WASHINGTON, January 12, 2016 — Tonight’s State of the Union address is likely to have a significant impact on the Iowa Caucus votes on February 1. President Obama will address gun control, using a bit of political theater by having an empty chair in the First Ladies box to represent all those killed by gun violence.
The country is divided on Obama’s gun control measures. The biggest criticism is that we have gun control measures in place, and Obama’s executive actions lack the substance to stop gun violence in places like Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco—or in Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, or Oregon.
The question of whether Obama will endorse a candidate is already answered. Typically, sitting presidents do not make endorsements of presidential candidates until their party’s primaries are over.
In keeping with that tradition, Obama says he will not endorse anyone until the party nominee is a fait accompli.
Obama may believe that, regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, he will be succeeded by a Democrat. But many voters remain independent, and independents will determine who wins the White House in 2016.
According to Pew Research, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. An April 7, 2015 Pew Research analysis of long-term trends in party affiliation examined partisan affiliation across racial, ethnic, educational and income subgroups. According to Pew:
“The share of independents in the public, which long ago surpassed the percentages of either Democrats or Republicans, continues to increase. Based on 2014 data, 39% identify as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23% as Republicans.”
This is the highest percentage of independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling.
Independents do lean left or right: 48 percent identify as Democrats or lean Democratic; 39 percent identify as Republicans or lean Republican. The gap in total party preference has held fairly steady since 2009, when Democrats held a 13-point advantage over Republicans, 50 to 37 percent.
Recent developments and uncertainties in the Democratic party may sway many independents away from blue, but will they go red?
Bernie Sanders, despite his continued surge, is not considered viable by pollsters and pundits. They dismiss the possibility of the independent-turned-Democrat, self-avowed socialist winning the nomination or the White House. He is waved off with the suggestion that his real goal is the vice-presidential slot; he cannot be serious about being president.
This notion gained credence when Sanders dismissed the Clinton email scandal with the comment, “we are all tired of hearing about your emails.”
Clinton maintains her strength among voters whose minds are made up and those over 40, while Sanders keeps a tenuous grip on the under-40 crowd.
Hillary is pushing back against White House policies, distancing herself from a president with failing favorability ratings. Rasmussen gives Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -12 for today. Gallup shows the President’s approval rating for the period January 4-10 at 47 percent.
Yesterday, Clinton called for an end to the Obama Administrations’ deportation raids on the homes of immigrant families from Central America and to provide attorneys for all children who cross the U.S.-Mexican border without parents.
Under current law, the U.S. government is not obligated to provide or pay for attorneys for people who try to immigrate illegally.
When pressed at Monday’s “Brown & Black” forum in Iowa, Clinton would not say she would not deport children in the U.S. illegally, but she said they should receive some form of “due process”.
Since May, 2014, tens of thousands of Central American migrants have arrived at the U.S. border, after perilous journeys, seeking refuge from the drug violence and negative economics plaguing their countries.
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly (A Choice Not An Echo) says that immigration is our number one issue and Donald Trump is America’s only hope on that issue.
The 91-year-old conservative told Breitbart News that she believes Trump alone will return the government to the people. She warned that, if immigration is not stopped, “we’re not going to be America anymore.”
Schlafly, who coined the term Kingmakers to describe the “cosmopolitan elites who control the Republican Party and have historically determined the Party’s presidential nominee” further said:
“Trump is the only hope to defeat the Kingmakers … Because everybody else will fall in line. The Kingmakers have so much money behind them.”
Sanders’ numbers are surging with concerns over Clinton’s viability. There are concerns over her “war on Bill’s women,” Benghazi, her lies to the parents and loved ones of those killed there, her general mishandling of Libya, the comingling of personal and Clinton Foundation funds, and most pressing, her use of a private server and sending confidential information over un-secure emails.
One huge question facing Democrats is whether Clinton will be indicted for “trafficking in classified information on a private e-mail server.” What some might find amazing is that over half of polled Democrats say that if Clinton is indicted, her presidential nomination bid should not stopped.
In a survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted in January 2016, 59 percent of voters think Clinton broke the law by sending and receiving classified information via her private email server; 42 percent say it is very likely. Hence their response to the question of whether she should step down is remarkable.
Rasmussen reports that 46 percent of all likely U.S. voters say anyone “charged with a felony while running for office should immediately stop campaigning.” However a follow up survey finds “just as many (47%) feel that candidate should continue running until a court determines their guilt or innocence.”
Among Republicans, 54 percent think a candidate charged with a felony should stop running, with 41 percent disagreeing. Among Democrats, “40 percent say that the candidates should stop campaigning while 53 percent think they should keep running until a court determines their guilt or innocence.”
Then there is Donald Trump.
Trump, who continues to lead the polls with Ted Cruz nipping closely at his heels, told Jimmy Fallon during Tonight Show taping on Monday,
“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. I think it’s going to be one of the most interesting races … A poll came out, if I win (the Republican nomination) and she wins (the Democratic nomination), it’s going to be the largest voter turnout in the history of the country.”
Will voters be voting for a candidate, or against? Trump’s best hope may be for Clinton to be formally indicted, with evidence of her co-mingling Foundation and personal funds coming to light.
American’s don’t like the entitled, white 1 percent; while they might forgive her for the emails, the Clinton foundation accepting money in exchange for speeches by former President Bill Clinton rubs many the wrong way.
Hillary Clinton has friends in high places, and not everyone wants those friends having paid for access to the White House, whether they live on Wall Street or in Saudi Arabia.
Candidates are vying for late-night couch time prior to the February 1 Iowa Caucus, and Clinton will be on The Tonight Show this Thursday, making it two appearances each for each of the leading contenders.
On the couch with the ladies of Fox News #Outnumbered, Geraldo Rivera stated one of the only true truths we are liable to hear today: The final race will be between Clinton and Trump and we better get used to it.