“The question isn’t whether we are a nation divided by anger and fear. The question is what we’re going to do about it.” – Timothy Perry Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics
As Barack Obama recently said, “Too often, in elections like this, too many people get a little complacent. We can’t just hope for a better country. We have to go out and work for it. All of us.” That includes doing GOTV. Indeed, Republicans are holding their GOTV rallies, as seen on the left where Ryan and Webber attack Mikie Sherrill as a Pelosi clone, which she is not. We can and must do better.
In the six most contested NJ House races none of the Democratic candidates are considered “Safe” winners. In the Cook Political Report in CD 2 and CD 5 respectively Jeff Van Drew and Josh Gottheimer are rated as “Likely Democratic” winners, in CD 11 Mikie Sherrill “Leans Democratic,” and in CD 3 and 7 respectively Andy Kim and Tom Malinowski are “Republican Toss Up’s.” In the most challenging race, CD 4, Josh Welle is making a valiant effort but faces a nineteen-term conservative incumbent who is rated “Safe.”
Likewise in the U. S. Senate race, where ads on both sides are in attack mode and fueled by large pots of money, the Cook Report has the race as a “Toss Up.” While both candidates have their failings, it is only incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez who has the voting record and positions which Democrats, moderate Republicans, and Independents are likely to support. Failure to vote for him endangers the ability of Democratic senators to have a say in legislation and nominations important to us.
Each House race is different and generally focuses on local dynamics. Nonetheless the outcome of current races is substantially influenced by the fervor toward and against President Trump. Some people have already voted and many have already made up their minds, but new recent issues could still influence turnout. Because Trump is rabble-rousing his supporters, a high turn out of Democratic voters is critical.
Here are some current issues which may be helpful to sway undecided individuals and incentivize them to turn out.
- A man in South Florida was arrested and accused of sending explosive packages to at least a dozen of President Trump’s most prominent critics. A vivid reminder that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric can move people toward violence.
- The mass shooting at a prominent synagogue in Pittsburgh – a hate crime. This is not what America is about. Trump’s response: “the death penalty for the shooter and an armed guard would have made a difference,” as if tougher penalties and more people with guns were the solution.
- The migrant caravan working its way through Mexico – now another Trump election strategy. While Trump rails against them, Mexicans in the towns through which the migrants pass are showering them with tortillas, toys, clothing, and medicine. Their kindness stands in sharp relief from Trump’s callous treatment of desperate people.
- Taking “a meat axe to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid” is a plan which Mitch McConnell has just offered us. Such would become a reality if the House and Senate remain in Republican hands.
- to the Supreme Court, despite serious concerns of his fitness, has energized both Republicans and Democrats. Our fear as to how the new Supreme Court will diminish or end some of our most precious rights is well justified. And Trump may yet have further opportunities to put in place highly conservative Supreme Court justices, (not to speak of his huge number of judges already placed in lower courts.) Reminding voters of the threat may sway some and incentivize others to turn out.
- Despite Trump’s frequent boasts about a rising stock market, on October 24 a tumbling market had lost all of its gains since the start of 2018. The problem remains with this morning’s market opening. This should concern many Jerseyans who rely on pension funds, other types of retirement accounts, and investment accounts, plus, it does not bode well for our economy and jobs. His trade war, a factor here, could make matters significantly worse.
Prior issues are SALT (Part I), Healthcare (Part II), Climate Change (Part III), The Trump Factor (Part IV), Immigration (Part V), “Follow the Money” (Part VI), Gun Control, Festering and Frustrating (Part VII) and Menendez has beliefs; Hugin has none Part VIII.