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Mitch McConnell: Howard Baker (Time to Go) vs Stay the Course (Go Down with the Ship)

Will the Red Wave Be as Successful in 2020 as it was in 2018? (amazon.com)

Mitch McConnell has a decision to make…if he hasn’t made it already. McConnell is an adult. He lives in the real world. The Senate Majority leader has a transactional relationship with the President of the United. McConnell’s decision will be based on his analysis of the political situation and the November elections. Whether or not his assessment turns out to be accurate is not the subject of this post. Instead it is to examine the parameters of that decision-making.

McConnell’s political agenda is a fairly simple one.

1. Help rich people get richer
2. Appoint conservatives to judge positions
3. Don’t help, you know….those people.

His assessment of the election results will be based on how those results affect his ability to achieve his agenda.

HELP RICH PEOPLE GET RICHER

To fulfill this objective requires the support of the House, the Senate, and the White House. Following the 2016 elections, McConnell had this trifecta. As a result he was able to pass a tax cut for the wealthy. This goal already was part of the agenda for the former party of Lincoln even prior to the election.

McConnell recognizes that those days are over. That political confluence is not likely to return. If anything the 2020 census will probably make it even more difficult to attain the political trifecta. At present if he wants to help rich people get richer, he has to do so through economic recovery acts. Otherwise, there would seem to be little he can do anymore to help rich people get richer in this Congressional term or the next.

APPOINT CONSERVATIVES TO JUDGE POSITIONS 

To fulfill this objective requires the support of the Senate and the White House. During the past three years he has had exceptional results in appointing conservatives to judicial positions. McConnell recognizes that the window of opportunity may be closing here due to the loss of the Senate, the White House, or both. As a result he has been seeking the retirements of older judges so he can replace them with young conservatives. So far that initiative has not been successful. Still, one can anticipate that he continue to appoint these judges right up to the very last  moment on December 31 if he can depending on the election results.

If there is no change in the Senate and the White House, then the urgency is off and McConnell can wait to the new session.

If there is a change in only the White House, then the urgency remains and he will seek to use every moment he has left. In the next session, he will oppose the nominations of new Democratic President. He will stymie the recommendations of the former Democratic Vice President just as he had done to the former Democratic President.

If there is a change only in the Senate, then time is urgent.

If there is a change in both the Senate and the White House, then time is urgent.

So at this point, it is in McConnell’s interests to appoint as many conservatives to judge positions as he can.

DON’T HELP, YOU KNOW….THOSE PEOPLE

McConnell has had two opportunities this year to help people he does not want to help. The economic freefall as the result of the coronavirus forced his hand to provide temporary relief including to the people who were hardest hit by the virus. Now that the medical crisis officially is over and the economy officially is back from the recession, McConnell has put the brakes on any additional help. Why should expensive Democratic states that subsidize the Confederate states with their taxes get any assistance to perpetuate their wasteful ways helping the wrong kind of people?

McConnell supported the efforts of the commander in-chief to use military force to liberate Lafayette Park from the heavily-armed terrorists who had surrounded the White House.  The death of George Floyd has witnessed four previous presidents preaching unity. What an excellent opportunity for McConnell beyond boilerplate to spurn any sign of compassion or desire for unity in the country when it includes the wrong people.

McConnell needs to maintain control of the Senate so in case Biden becomes President the world isn’t turned topsy turvy and the rich are called upon to help those who aren’t rich.

SENATE ELECTION PROGNOSTICATIONS

What is McConnell’s assessment of the Senate election results?

At present the Senate configuration is as follows:

51 Trumpicans
45 Democrats
2  Independents who caucus with the Democrats
2  Republicans who caucus with the Trumpicans

Previously, I had raised the question of how Mitt Romney would caucus in the next session (Where Will Mitt Romney Caucus in 2021?). Depending on the Presidential and Senate election results, his vote could be the determining one in who controls the Senate. Now there appear to be two Republicans with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski joining Romney. Together this amplifies the power of the Republicans in determining the control of the Senate in the next session.

Consider this quite possible scenario: the Democrats lose one seat in Alabama and pick up three in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine. Under these results the Senate configuration will be:

49 Trumpicans
47 Democrats
2   Independents who caucus with the Democrats
2   Republicans.

How will the two Republicans caucus if they have the power to decide who controls the Senate? In the interim, the Trumpicans will continually demonize Murkowski as a traitor, will not support her if she chooses to run for re-election, and will not welcome her in the Trumpican party.  In other words, the Trumpicans will do everything they can to encourage her to caucus with the Democrats in 2021 where that one vote might mean the difference. The other Republican Senator already voted to remove the President from office and is on the trump list. If the Democrats prevail in the Presidential election, it is easy to imagine the two Republicans caucusing with the Democrats.

This analysis excludes the other potential seats which also may be won by Democrats. Since all the candidates haven’t even been selected yet, it is too early to be realistic about the final results in the Senate. In addition, who knows what other events will occur between now and November (or October with early voting). It’s not so long ago that the coronavirus dominated the news. Now that the President of the United States has dominated Lafayette Square as he deployed his forces to take back the country, the results of his great victory have yet to be factored into the polls. What will the reaction be when coronavirus deaths in the United States hit 200,000? What will happen in the international arena? What will the response be to the October indictments of the Deep State including Obama and Biden as co-conspirators? So it easy to understand why predictions for the Senate remain fluid.

One should also keep in mind, that depending on the election results, Trumpican Senators up for re-election in 2022 may experience an agonizing reappraisal. If the vaunted red wave predicted by the Trumpican in chief dooms Trumpican control of the Senate as it did the House in 2018, then Trumpican Senators may want to reevaluate their position.

Consider Wisconsin as an example. In 2016, Wisconsin was not Trumpican during the primary. It barely was so in the Presidential election.  In fact, the then Republican Senator won by a larger margin. Since then the Senator has converted to the Trumpican cause and is gung ho on indicting Deep State Democrats. However, also since his election, Democrats have won statewide elections for governor and a state judge. Democrats also have gained popular vote victories for Congressional and state legislative seats but due to gerrymandering have been unable to turn those state majorities into victories. That may change after the 2020 census. Regardless, in statewide Senate election in 2022, Johnson will be running as a Trumpican. Or will he like other Trumpican Senators running in 2022 see the light and have a change of heart? Will it be too late?

Everything above is based on possible scenarios. The situation is very fluid. Maybe we will try again to buy Greenland? Maybe a hurricane really will hit Alabama? Maybe North Korea will launch a missile or detonate a bomb or both? So as McConnell assesses the situation for the Senate, there are a lot of variables to consider. As we get closer and closer to actual voting, many of the variables will stabilize. Then it will be possible to get a better fix on the results. Then it may be too late to do anything about the prospective results if they are adverse to McConnell who himself is a candidate. In the meantime, McConnell will do everything he can to appoint conservatives as judges and not to help you know…those people despite everything which has occurred.

If Mike Pence Were President, How Many More Americans Would Be Alive Today?

Are we living in an alternate reality? (amazon.com)

If Mike Pence were President, how many more Americans would be alive today? The “what if” counterfactual has a special niche within historical thinking. It may be best known from science fiction for history scholars also engage in it. The time travel stories are a way to “fix” a wrong which had occurred. The result is a better timeline. In practice, such stories typically end with failure in that the past cannot be changed…or if it is changed, it is for the worse due to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Still, it can be fun to stretch one’s mind and consider a different future. In the very popular podcast Ben Franklin’s World about early American history, host Liz Covart ends her interviews with guest scholars with what she calls the “fun part” of the show: she asks the interviewee to comment on what if something had happened differently in the topic they are discussing. It is not unusual for the guest to conclude that the change proposed by Covart might have made a difference in the short run, but in long term, the greater momentum of history would have prevailed. I wonder.

During the Covid-19 crisis, BBC has been posing such questions to scholars. The most recent one (April 24) asks an eminent Cambridge classical scholar: “What if Alexander the Great had lived longer?”

In America, two counterfactuals loom large. First, suppose John Kennedy had not been assassinated, what would have happened specifically in Vietnam? Would Kennedy have followed the route Lyndon Johnson took? Less frequently is it asked, “Would the Civil Rights Bill have passed?”

The second one involves Abraham Lincoln. I grew up on the Twilight Zone episode Back There and Superboy’s attempt to prevent the assassination of Lincoln through time travel. Those efforts failed. If Lincoln had lived, sooner or later would the Confederacy have returned to power as in some ways it still is today? After all, after World War II, wasn’t the great hero whose words we keep hearing during the present crisis dumped from office in England?

Assassinations make for better “what ifs” than more general questions. An assassination may fail as it did with Ronald Reagan. So it is easy to contemplate a different scenario with Lincoln and Kennedy. The possibility of failed assassination attempt is very believable. Similarly, it is just as believable with Reagan to imagine a successful one. Very little needs to change for those moments to have ended up differently.

Bigger events are more problematical. For example, during the Covid-19 crisis, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth has been shown as a TV series on HBO. It is about an alternate America where Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election. He then steers America towards a more accommodating relationship with Hitler than Roosevelt pursued. This counterfactual is less convincing. Here the change is not a matter of a bullet being moved a fraction of inch. Instead it requires a change in the American populace whereby such a person could have first become a viable national candidate and then triumph. That change moves the alternate reality to not totally farfetched but not quite believable either. It’s a really big change.

So it would be if the Senate had voted a President out of office and made Mike Pence the new President. Still, given all that has happened since February –– ONLY FEBRUARY? REMEMBER WHEN WHAT JOHN BOLTON WOULD SAY WAS IMPORTANT? THAT WAS IN FEBRUARY….OF THIS YEAR?! FEBRUARY! WAS IT REALLY ONLY FEBRUARY! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?

If only there weren’t a Trumpican majority in the Senate, think how different America would be today.

If only Mitt Romney hadn’t been the one Republican in the Senate, think how different America would be today.

If only the Senate hadn’t gambled that what harm could the ignorant inept immature President do, think how different America would be today.

Did we lose that gamble or would the events have been the same if Mike Pence had become President then?

This time we have hard-based scientific evidence that the situation could have been different. We know that social distancing and lock-downs work. It is possible to examine the dates of when cities in the United States (like New York) and cities throughout the world commenced a lock down. The numbers aren’t hidden figures. They are visible in plain sight. We know that the earlier these actions were taken, the fewer deaths there would have been and would be.  The same applies to the states. It is possible to examine the numbers from the 50 states and observe how many lives would have been saved if a state had acted a day earlier, two days earlier, a week earlier, or two weeks earlier. We know with different national leadership fewer Americans would have died and the economy wouldn’t have collapsed as much.

Would Mike Pence have acted faster to implement what we know to be the successful way to curtail the spread of Covid-19?

Would Mike Pence have ignored all the warnings about the pending crisis?

Would Mike Pence have prevented a cruise ship from docking in order to keep the number of infections down in his country?

Would Mike Pence have claimed there were only 15 infected people and the number would soon be zero?

Would Mike Pence have said everything was under control?

Would Mike Pence have promoted hydroxychloroquine as a “game changer”?

Would Mike Pence have targeted Easter Sunday and then May 1 as dates when the country could be reopened?

Would Mike Pence have asserted his royal powers to do what he wants because the President calls the shots even if he is not responsible because the buck does not stop with him unless you are staying at one of his properties?

Would Mike Pence have conducted disorganized press conferences full of dishonesty and ignorance?

Would Mike Pence have used the press conferences as political rallies where he exults in insulting people?

Would Mike Pence have contradicted the scientific evidence about the possible return of Covid-19 in the fall or next year (assuming it ever disappears in the first place)?

Would Mike Pence have banished scientists who contradicted him or who have better ratings than he has? Ratings for honesty. Ratings for competence. Ratings for trustworthiness.

Would Mike Pence have suggested the ingestion of disinfectants should be investigated?

It is really not so difficult to imagine a different scenario being played out. The evidence is right there before us. We have the numbers. We have the multiple examples from the different cities, states, and countries. When the Unpresidential Library is built, an entire room will be dedicated to the failure of Donny Disinfectant to guide the ship of state through the turbulent wave of infection that washed over our country. Students of all ages and scholars, too, will debate the issue of the price America has paid because Mike Pence did not become President in February 2020. We the People will wonder what if we had had an adult in the White House instead of Donald Trump, the singularly most incompetent, inept, ignorant, and immature president in American history. How many more tens of thousands of Americans might be alive today if only Mike Pence had been President? On Election Day, we will have the opportunity to vote on whether we would have been off if Mike Pence had been President.

 

P.S. The previous post on Post-Trumpatic Stress Disorder: Is There A Cure? needs to be amended. If the Senate had voted to remove the President, would he have complied? Based on his words, he would have brought the matter to HIS Supreme Court to squash this hoax. Therefore additional requirements to prevent a re-occurrence of Trumpatic Stress Disorder are needed.

Congress shall have the authority to enforce subpoenas through the Sergeant at Arms seizing people who choose not to comply.

Congress shall have the authority to hold subpoenaed people in custody during their testimony.

Congress shall have the authority to indict people who are in violation of their subpoena or who fail to cooperate with the investigation.

Congress shall have authority over the Secret Service in cases where the President has been voted out of office by the Senate.

Where Will Mitt Romney Caucus in 2021?

Who will have the last laugh? (https://www.rawstory.com)

The Senate is in play. In the 2018 election the House was in play. The majority party predicted a Red Wave would sweep through the House and it was right. The vaunted Red Wave cleansed the country of hundreds of Republican officeholders at the local, state, and federal level. Congressional representatives who didn’t feel the love were history. All in all, it was a stupendous showing that resulted in a more purified Trumpican Party and a much better situation in the House of Representatives. Fox even crowed that the losses were less than Obama had in his first non-presidential year election.

The Senate, however, remained relatively unscathed by the Red Wave. Will that be true this time around?

As we enter the 2020 election year, the breakdown of the Senate is as follows:

52 Trumpicans
1 Republican
45 Democrats
1 Socialist
1 Independent.

The Socialist and the Independent caucus with the Democrats; the Republican caucuses with the Trumpicans. Estimates vary as to how many of the Trumpicans are really TINOs (Trumpicans in Name Only).  It is possible a Democrat or Socialist will be elected President or be on the winning ticket as a Vice Presidential candidate so perhaps there will only be 99 or 98 Senators after the inaugural until new state elections can be held.  Such developments could work to the advantage of the Trumpicans until a replacements are elected. Many different scenarios are possible. The situation remains very fluid

Life will not stand still between now and Election Day. Consider two recent developments regarding the Senate.

RESTRICTING KING GEORGE III

Recently the Senate attempted to place restrictions on what a President of the United States could do involving Iran. The attempt was laughable. This action followed almost immediately after that very same Senate had given the Impeached President carte blanche do what he wanted. There are no checks and balances. Suppose the bill had passed, been signed into law, and then violated, what would the Senate do? Call for an impeachment?  So even putting aside that the bill would not be signed by the Impeached President and that the Trumpicans would never override a veto just as they would not vote to remove him, what, in the real world, was the purpose of this proposed legislation? Why waste any time on it?

The only saving grace is that since there were some Trumpican defections in the Senate vote, it does identity possible TINOs who perhaps one day might become Republicans again.

THE MUNCHKIN VERSUS BONESPUR BOY

It is rare for a Senator to break with a party on an impeachment vote. So far in American history, there is only one instance of a Senator voting to remove a President of his own party. Apparently, the Impeached One thought there was a Democrat who might vote against his party. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Senator, has long been considered one of the more conservative members of the Democratic Party. He has voted more often against his Democratic caucus than with it. There seems to have been a genuine belief that this Senator (and perhaps Doug Jones of Alabama for different reasons) might defect. Obviously that did not happen. The Democratic Party remained united.

So how did the Impeached One respond to Manchin’s failure to be loyal to him over his party? Naturally, he did so with the usual tact and grace which have made him the exemplar of mature responsible adult conduct.  The Impeached One called this traitor who denied him a bipartisan acquittal a “munchkin.”  Here we may observe the seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb-aleck in his element. He always has a wisecrack. Sometimes his barbs are spot on and sometimes they are just silly if not stupid.

This insult fell flat. Munchkins are lovable. They also detest the Wicked Witch of the West Wing. Other than the vague similarity in sound, there was nothing really to connect Manchin and Munchkin. As the Senator quickly pointed out, the two of them are about the same height but Manchin has much less weight than TUBBY WUBBY. Manchin also went to college on a football scholarship while Bonespur Boy only enters the arena if it is scripted and rigged in his favor.

But then Manchin channeled his inner Susan Collins:

“Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider.”

“I hope he changes. I’m looking for that person that has heart and soul and compassion.”

Exactly why after decades of being demeaning, nasty, and insulting, this person in the eighth decade of his life would change defies the laws of common sense. Yet here we have examples of at least two Senators expressing thoughts that have no basis in the real world. It calls into question their judgment on everything else.

MAINE

With that observation, let’s segue into actual Senate races. If Susan Collins was in deep trouble even before the impeachment vote, her wishful thinking about the Impeached One having learned from this case is exactly right but not in the way she means. He has not learned to behave more responsibly. He has learned that he really can murder someone on broad daylight on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and not pay a price. The events since he was acquitted are exactly what one should have predicted. The day after Mueller’s abysmal showing on television, Little Donee Waney was back at it with the perfect phone call to his target in extortion. As the past week has shown, the Impeached One is in full force now that he knows he can’t be touched by Congress. Whatever wishful thinking Collins had in mind, she is likely to be lambasted on the campaign trail for the absurdity of her comment especially every time the Impeached One proves her wrong.

Although there are no guarantees, Maine, like Colorado, seems like a pick up for the Democrats.

Consider the other examples where the Red Wave might strike.

Kansas – Trumpican loser of a statewide election in 2018 now going for a repeat loss in 2020 much to the dismay of the Senate Majority leadership.

Arizona – Trumpican loser of a statewide election in 2018 now consistently trailing for a repeat loss in 2020.

Georgia – Trumpican Congressional Representative threatening the election of a Romney-supporter appointed to fill a vacancy.

One additional wild card in any calculations of who will control the Senate is who will win the presidential election and therefore provide the vice presidential vote in case of a tie.

And then there is Mitt Romney. Suppose when all is said and done, the Trumpicans have 50 Senate seats. If they have the additional vice president vote, then Romney can’t change the balance of power. But suppose the Democrats win the presidency. Then Romney’s vote could make the difference. In this case, the Democrats only need a net gain of two to put Romney in the driver’s seat.

In the meantime, the Trumpicans are doing everything they can to excommunicate Romney. The father-son duo insults him constantly. Fox insults him constantly. The Trumpican organizations insult him constantly. Along with Abraham Lincoln and John McCain, Mitt Romney is persona non grata in the Trumpican Party. Lots of scenarios are possible this election year. After all, Manchin might defect himself. But one scenario to keep in mind is the possibility that Republican-and-not-Trumpican Mitt Romney may have the final choice of which party controls the Senate.

Republican Party versus the Trumpican Party: The 2020 Elections

"Thank you Istanbul": A victory poster shows Mr Erdogan (R) and mayoral candidate Binali Yildirim (BBC.com)

When did you first know that Individual #1 would not honor the 2020 election results if he lost?

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WINS POPULAR VOTE

Technically, that headline is not really a news item. In the baby-boomer era of the American presidency, the Democratic candidate routinely wins the popular vote. The lone exception is the post-9/11 election in 2004. Otherwise the Democratic victory in this facet of the electoral process can almost be taken for granted. Obviously winning the popular vote is not enough to win the presidency.

Nonetheless, the Democratic popular vote victory in 2016 while expected also should generate questions. Consider two commonly asserted claims that combined should have undermined the Democratic popular vote margin:

1. The turnout of black voters in support of the Democratic candidate declined from 2012
2. White Obama voters switched parties especially non-college educated ones.

One might think therefore the chances of a Democratic candidate prevailing in the popular vote would be correspondingly reduced. So if the margin was still nearly 3 million votes, then imagine what it would have been if Democrats had been able to retain these 2012 voters in 2016.

But there is a piece missing. It is not one that has garnered a lot of attention. It is not one that I recall hearing on the talk shows or reading about on blogs or in newspapers or magazines. I am not saying it has not been discussed, only that it seems to have done so minimally at best.

To begin with, although Trump is president whereas Mitt Romney lost in 2012, look at the vote totals.  Trump actually received a slightly smaller share of the vote than Romney did — 45.95 percent for Trump versus 47.15 percent for Romney.

Let’s look at Wisconsin as an example to determine what was going on. This is the state that one candidate famously never visited while it is alleged the Russian violation of the United States may have made a difference. The vote totals tell a more complete story.

In 2012 the Democratic candidate received 1,620,985 votes. In 2016 that number declined substantially to 1,382,536. One might think a 238,000 drop would result in big gain for the other side. Think again.

In 2012 the losing Republican candidate received 1,407,966 votes while in 2016 the winning candidate received 1,405,284, also a decline but of only 2700. However this roughly comparable total to 2012 was enough to win the state in 2016 due to the precipitous Democratic drop-off.

As it turns out, there is more to the story than the presidential election alone. In the Senate election, the Republican candidate won with over 50% and over 3% margin compared to the miniscule presidential margin of .7%. This winning candidate had 1,479,471 votes, over 74,000 more than the presidential tally. That means 74,000 people went to the polls voted for the Republican senatorial candidate but did not vote for the Republican presidential candidate. By contrast the Democratic presidential candidate had about 2000 more votes than the Democratic senate candidate.  When the Democrats went to the polls they voted for both the Democratic presidential and senate candidates; when Republicans went to the polls they did not. Where did the missing Republican presidential votes go?

The issue of the missing Republican voters was addressed in an article entitled “Trump Is Driving Out Precious Voters” (NYT 2/17/19 printed edition). The authors are:

Sean McElwee, Data for Progress
Brian F. Schaffer, Tufts University, political scientist
Jesse H. Rhodes, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, political scientist
Bernard L. Fraga, Indiana University, political scientist.

The article opens with the well-known commonly accepted truths noted above: the Democratic problem with the Obama-to-Trump voters and the loss of popular vote by the Republicans in six of the last seven elections.  The authors then state a caution:

It has flown under the radar a bit [EXACTLY!!!], masked perhaps by the switch of millions of Barack Obama voters into Mr. Trump’s column, but in 2016 Mr. Trump did not receive support from a large segment of voters who pulled the lever for Mitt Romney in 2012.

In fact, the Wisconsin example reported above shows even people who went to the polls and voted for a Republican senator did not vote for the Republican presidential candidate.

The authors suggest based on their data that 5 percent of the Romney vote in 2012 stayed home in 2016. Another 5 percent voted Democratic. They provide no figures for people who voted Republican for some offices but abstained from voting for a presidential candidate. The implication of the numbers the authors provided is the 10% drop-off in Republican voters from 2012 to 2016 was compensated for by the better-known Obama-to-Trump shift by uneducated whites.

Are these shifts temporary or do they reflect the beginning of a permanent realignment. The congressional elections of 2018 witnessed a nearly 9% difference between the total house vote of the two parties. That is a huge amount if extended to the presidential election in 2020. According to the analysis, the authors hypothesize that based on the 2016 and 2018 elections, the Republican Party may have lost more than 40% of the Romney voters born after 1976. Ironically given the front runner status of Joe Biden and the continuing popularity of Bernie Sanders, it is the Republican Party that increasingly becoming the party of old white males!

The authors then ask: “Can Republicans solve their demographic problem?”

They express some doubt. They do so by comparing the political positions of the lost Romney voters with the 2016 and 2018 voters and detect a gap that probably cannot be bridged. Such people might still vote for Republicans at the local level as indicated in the Wisconsin Senate vote but even that becomes problematic when at the federal level all, or almost all, Republicans have abandoned being Republican.

Which of the following actions since the 2018 elections seem likely to win back the missing Republican voters in 2020?

Trump’s shut down of the government.
Trump’s obstruction of justice at least 10 times according to the Mueller report.
Trump’s nullification of checks and balances and assertion of rule above the law.
Trump’s exposure as the biggest financial loser in American history.
Trump’s North Korean lover building more bombs and firing more missiles.
Trump’s claim that winning trade wars is easy is exposed as fraudulent.
Trump’s thriving in insulting and demeaning people.
Trump’s laughter at the “joke” of shooting illegal immigrants.

The Panhandle has replaced Peoria. The old claim of as goes Peoria so goes nation has become as goes Panhandle so goes just enough of the nation to win in the Electoral College without winning the popular vote. In 2000 and 2016, it was not the intention of the Electoral College winners to lose the popular vote. In fact, in 2016 the winning candidate was just in it for narcissistic marketing reasons and did not expect to win at all. The circumstances have changed. Now for the first time in American history, a candidate in a two-major-party election is not even seeking to win a majority of the popular vote or even a plurality. Instead the focus is on the Electoral College. Individual #1 has no interest in winning back the lost Republican voters. That’s because at the federal level, there is no Republican Party, just the Trumpicans.