“Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

It’s not very often I find myself as an Irishman quoting Oliver Cromwell, but the latest revelations on Donald Trump’s relationships with and views on Women give me no choice. I am a firm believer in the party system, and believe that true debate of ideas and polices make the eventual winner of an election a better one as they have been tried and tested.

In the US Presidential Election this year there is no true debate. One side have detailed policies and ideas of the future, the other feeds off the anger of those left behind, both economically and socially, but has no true plan to fix what ails them.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)
Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

In the past I have supported (from afar) candidates from both major parties in the United States. This year, I have made no secret of my support of Hillary Clinton and now I feel that if this election is to be a true election, with debate on ideas and policies then Donald Trump must resign as the Republican Nominee for President and be replaced with a candidate with true conservative credentials and the ability to lead the country. Whether that is his running mate Governor Mike Pence or another Republican such as Speaker Paul Ryan that is an issue for the Republican National Committee.

Mr Trump has proven time and again that he does not have the temperament or the ability to lead a country. He has maligned Women, Immigrants, the Disabled and Muslims. He has continued his candidacy through events which would have felled better men, but as he knows no humility and has surrounded himself with ‘Yes Men’ he has continued his campaign.

Mr Trump’s comments about women in the Hot Mic episode is a description of Sexual Assault. Nothing else. It is not locker room banter. It is not excusable for any man, whether a “star” or not to treat a women in the way Mr Trump describes.

America deserves better than Mr Trump. America deserves a debate on its futures and the ideals its holds dear. America deserves a better candidate for the President then the current Republican Nominee. America deserves a real apology from Mr Trump, not an apology that turns political by drawing in President Bill Clinton. That is not a true and real apology.

With less than a month to the Election Day on November 8th and Early Voting begun in a number of states, a solution is needed urgently. Mr Trump if he has any humility would resign as the nominee and withdraw from politics. I for one do not see Mr Trump displaying that type of humility, or humility in any form. He has failed to do so throughout this campaign.

All this brings to mind another quote, one from Joseph Welch in response in Senator McCarthy during the Army hearings. “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

I fear that along with humility, Donald Trump does not have any decency and it would be a tragic day for America were he to be elected to the highest office in the United States of America.

Its been quiet here….

UCC Express Logo2So of late its been a bit quiet here on the blog, but then again I haven’t not been writing. I have a few pieces up on the UCC Express Website that may be of interest to some of you. I have also started to write about sport, which is a change for me and an interesting challenge.

Majority of Irish people think the UK should remain in the EU

Refugee Team to Contest Rio Olympics

Florida Key to White House

Independents Slump As Parties Regain Support

Theresa May Set to Become UK Prime Minister while Labour Split Continues

Census Results Presents Constitutional Problems

Podcasts the Express Staff are Listening to

The Irish at Rio 2016

Pro-Choice and Religious: Is it possible?

Irish Paralympic Team Crowdfunding for Rio 2016

All my articles for UCC Express can be viewed here

It’s Clinton or Bust

Hillary_for_America_2016_logo.svgIts nearing the end April and with the last nominating contest of the Democratic Presidential on June 14th in Washington DC, there is only 1,594 pledged delegates left up for grabs Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has solidified her lead in her contest against Bernie Sanders. She has a lead now that is near insurmountable for Sanders to take over.

The target of 2,383 delegates is the key for the two campaigns and with Clinton only 459 delegates away from that target including Super Delegates it is almost certainly in the bag.

Bernie_Sanders_2016_logoFor Sanders now to take the lead it would take a gargantuan effort to win big and win hard in a contest where he hasn’t had any big wins. To win the nomination Sanders would have to win the following states with large margins over Clinton according to a FiveThirtyEight update

Continue reading “It’s Clinton or Bust”

US Election 2012: Election Nerds Unite!

So tonight’s the night that hundreds of political hacks, opinion makers and general election nerds all over the world, stay up or get up early to see what happens in an election that they have no influence over, but arguable has the most effect on them outside of their own national elections, the US Presidential Election. So whats the story?

Well if you haven’t taken a nap, I hope you have tomorrow off because it will be a long night. The first polls begin to close at 2300 GMT in Kentucky and Indiana and the last poll closes at 0500 GMT (Wed) in Alaska.

But these arent the important ones. The battle ground states polls close as follows:

  • Virgina 0000 GMT
  • North Carolina 0030 GMT
  • Ohio 0030 GMT
  • Florida 0100 GMT
  • New Hampshire 0100 GMT
  • Pennsylvania 0100 GMT
  • Colorado 0200 GMT
  • Wisconsin 0200 GMT
  • Iowa 0300 GMT
  • Nevada 0300 GMT

Each state should be called based on exit polls and early results soon after.  So we should have an idea who will win between 0300 and 0500, as I said it will be a long night.

Is it just about Obama, Romney, the popular vote and the electoral college (there is a lot written about those elsewhere so I wont bother). Well it mainly is but there is plenty else going on 11 State Governors, 33 Senate Seats and all of the 435 seats in House of Representatives.

Some interesting races here to watch including can Scott Brown hold his Senate seat from Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Will Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana two Republicans who made bad statements on rape manage to get elected? Will Tammy Baldwin a Democrat in Wisconsin become the first open Lesbian in the Senate? Connecticut too has an interesting race with Linda McMahon (yes her from the wrestling) trying to win a seat and has spent a lot of her own money. It is highly unlikely that the Republicans will gain control of the senate, but will Democrats increase their control? Also will Maine elect independent candidate and former Governor Angus King?

In the House it is expected that the Republicans will retain control, but will Michelle Bachmann retain her seat in the Minnesota 6th? The Californian 30th, 31st and 44th  are also interesting thanks to redistricting and Open Primaries. The 30th sees two incumbent Democrats, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman battle it out. The 31st sees Republican Incumbent Gary Miller take on a Republican challenger Bob Dutton. While the 44th again sees two Democratic Incumbents Laura Richardson and Janice Hahn fight for a seat

In terms of ballot measures, four states are voting on Marriage Equality. Maine, Maryland and Washington are voting to allow Marriage Equality while Minnesota is voting on the definition of  Marriage (between a Man and a Woman).  Arkansas is voting on Medical Marijuana and Colorado, Oregan and Washington is voting on legalising it, while Montana is voting on banning Medical Marijuana. California is voting to ban the Death Penalty and to Increase Taxes to pay for education. Florida is voting to Limit Obamacare (as is Montana and Wyoming) and also on limiting public funds to abortion.

A long but interesting night ahead, and one which will show how Americans are moving on some interesting questions. Enjoy fellow elections nerds!

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Santorum’s Out

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Republican presidenti...

The Race for the Republican Presidential Nomination just became easier as Rick Santorum has pulled out of the race this evening.

Santorum who was trailing Mitt Romney in the Delegate race for the nomination phoned Romney before making the announcement.

“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,”

After the announcement Mitt Romney issued a statement

“Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran,” Mr. Romney said. “He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

The road to the convention in Tampa now looks clear for Mr Romney for the nomination setting it for a clear race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in the Autumn.

Time for Republicans to come together?

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 04:  Republican candi...
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 04: Republican candidate for president US Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) is seen on a television screen during a caucus night party for Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the Red Rock Casino February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to early results, Romney defeated former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to win the Nevada caucus. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

There has been many calls over the last number of months for US Republican Presidential hopefuls to drop out of the race for the Nomination. With Mitt Romney reaching half the number of delegates required for the nomination, pressure on Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to pull out of the race is growing.

Last night Mitt Romney won the primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington DC. Now Romney has carried 18 states compared to Santorum’s 11 and Gingrich’s 2. Ron Paul has yet to win a state.

None of the candidates seem set to pull out. Rick Santorum will more then likely re-asses this if he does lose his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24th. He is hoping to get enough delegates to prevent Mitt Romney from gaining the nomination on the first ballot in Tampa in August.

Gingrich and Paul still say they will go to the convention, but with a growing number of senior of Republicans calling on them to bow out, they may eventually follow that advice.

With major primaries coming up on April 24th in Connecticut (28), Delaware (17), New York (92), Pennsylvania (72) and Rhode Island (16) could of course change how many of the candidates will continue to the convention.

The current delegate standings are (1,144 to win) according to AP/Google:

  • Romney, Mitt 655
  • Santorum, Rick 278
  • Gingrich, Newt 135
  • Paul, Ron 51

Barack Obama is beginning to treat Mitt Romney as his opponent as he has criticised him in a speech last night, while Romney ignored the other Republican candidates in his victory speech focusing on Obama’s record in office, this could be a sign of things to come.

Also last night Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination as he has 2,854 delegates which is more then the 2,778 needed to win the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Super Tuesday: No clean sweep, but Romney still the frontrunner

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 31:  A supporter of Repu...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

With the majority of the results in for the ten states holding Primary Contests for the Republican Party Presidential Nominee, Mitt Romney has managed to win six of those states including the Ohio. Rick Santorum managed to win four states and came second in a number of them. Newt Gingrich managed to win in his home state of Georgia, but his southern strategy seems to have faltered in other states.

Delegate Projections

After the contests, Romney has opened a good lead on delegate projections. According to Google Politics Romney now has 415 delegates. Rick Santorum has 176, Newt Gingrich 105 and Ron Paul 47. With the elusive figure of 1,144 still a good distance away it is still an open race with states with big delegations still to vote.

All delegate projections for each state are taken from Google Politics and Elections

Alaska

In the Alaska Caucus Romney won a third of the vote, while Santorum came 2nd on 29%. Ron Paul hoped to do well here and he manged third 24% while Gingrich came last on 14%. The delegates split as follows, Romney 8, Santorum 7, Paul 6, Ginrich 3.

Georgia

Georgia is Newt Gingrich’s second win in this primary cycle. Georgia is of course his home state which he represented in Congress. For that he was rewarded with nearly half the vote on 47%. Romney managed second place on 26% and Santorum third on 20%. Ron Paul trailed badly here on 6%. The delegates will be split Gingrich 46, Romney 13 and Santorum 2.

Idaho

In Idaho Mitt Romney swept the boards winning 62% of the vote at the Caucus. He takes all of Idaho’s 32 delegates. Santorum and Ron Paul were tied for second place on 18% with Gingrich on 2%.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts proved to be an even better results for Romney as won over 72% of the Primary vote. Romney has proven that he is still popular in the state where he used to be Govenor. He takes all 38 delegates from Massachusetts. Santorum finished on 12%, Paul on 10% and Gingrich on 5%.

North Dakota

North Dakota had some good news for Rick Santorum as 40% of Caucus goers suppored him. Ron Paul came second here on 28% with Romney close behind on 24%. Gingrich again brought up the rear with 8%. The delegates will be distributed as follows, Santorum 11, Paul 8, Romney 7 and Gingrich 2.

Ohio

Ohio the bell-weather state which is normally pivotal in  the Presidential Election proved to be pivotal in this years republican primary also. While Santorum had some difficulties over not registering delegate slates correctly, it was a state that was neck and neck in the final opinion polls. In the end Romney won the state on 38% but Santorum was only pipped to the post as he ended on 37%. Gingrich managed to come third here on 15% beating Paul who finished on 9%. The delegates will split 35 to Romney and 21 to Santorum

Oklahoma

The conservative voters of Oklahoma backed Rick Santorum as their guy in their primary giving him 37% of the vote. Mitt Romney finsihed second 28% while Gingrich’s southern strategy got him a third place finish with 27% and Paul came last on 10%. The delegates split 14 to Santorum an 13 each to Romney and Gingrich.

Tennessee

Tennessee proved to be another good state for Rick Santorum. Here he won on 37% of vote leaving Mitt Romney trail on 28%. Newt Gingrich came third on 24% while Ron Paul came last on 9%. The delegates will split Santorum 25,  Romney 10 and Gingrich 8.

Vermont

Back in Vermont it was good news for Mitt Romney in a state that borders Massachusetts. Here he won 40% of the vote with Ron Paul finishing in second on 25%. Santorum was close behind on 24% with Gingrich trailing on 8%. The delegates split Romney 9 and Santorum and Paul both get 4.

Virginia

In Virginia it was Mitt Romney versus Ron Paul, as the other candidates failed to get on the ballot. Mitt Romney easily won on 60% of the vote, leaving Paul with 40%. This results means that Romney takes 43 of the delegates and Paul takes 3.

Analysis

Romney retains his lead, but yet again Santorum highlights Romney’s lack of support among conservative voters. While Romney has picked up some high profile endorsements this week its not all in the bag just yet. Santorum continues to bring the fight as can be seen by the close results in many states, especially Ohio.

Newt Gingrich seriously needs to look at his game plan, while he has won two states (South Carolina and Georgia) he is trailing 3rd in most Southern States and is in fact last in many states outside of the south. He needs to reconsider his plan, or drop out and endorse Santorum.

Ron Paul at this point just hopes to be King-maker at the Convention in Tampa. He is steadily picking up delegates in the proportional primaries and is focusing especially on caucus’s where he does seem to do quite well. I can’t see him winning any race, but whether or not becomes King-maker will be interesting.

The next contest are on Saturday with Caucus’s in Kansas, Guam, Northern Marina Islands and the US Virgin Islands.

Its Super Tuesday!

ST. CHARLES, MO - FEBRUARY 7:  Republican pres...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Today ten states hold their Republican Primaries today to chose their nominee for the Presidential Election this November. Between them 416 (18.2% of the total delegates) are up for grabs today, but the amount available in each state varies from 17 delegates in Vermont to 76 in Georgia. The following are the states voting today.

  • Alaska (24),
  • Georgia (76),
  • Idaho (32),
  • Massachusetts (38),
  • North Dakota (25),
  • Ohio (63),
  • Oklahoma (40),
  • Tennessee (55),
  • Vermont (17),
  • Virginia (46)

Mitt Romney goes into today after winning the last five Republican contests (Maine, Arizona, Michigan, Wyoming and Washington) but it still could all be upset if former Rick Santorum could stage an upset especially as it is a virtual tie in Ohio, which is normally a swing state in the Presidential Election and so tonight could prove critical.

Newt Gingrich has home state advantage in Georgia according to polling and should win there, but its not looking good for him anywhere else.

In Virginia only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul made it on to the ballot and could be Paul’s first victory in the race for the nomination.

But if all goes well Mitt Romney may solidify his front runner status if he wins enough delegates and creates a big enough gap. He certainly is able to outspend the rest of the contenders and with the Super-PACS taking big media buys in the large states he should do quite well. Also with the state he used to be Governor of voting, Massachusetts, he should do well there.

NBC have a great guide to the states that are voting (PDF).

GOP race wide open again

ST. CHARLES, MO - FEBRUARY 7:  Republican pres...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won 3 non-binding contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado yesterday putting back in contention after poor results in Florida and Nevada and puts the front runner Mitt Romney under pressure.

While all the contests were non-binding they are an indication on how the delegates may be divided among the candidates at later state conventions.

In Colorado Santorum won with 40% of vote to Romney’s 35%. Newt Gingrich was a distant third 13% with Ron Paul close behind on 12%.

In Minnesota Santorum had a convincing win with 45% of the vote to Ron Paul’s 27%. Romney came third with 17% and was followed by Gingrich on 11%.

In Missouri, which holds its caucus on March 17th, Santorum won 55% of the open primary vote. Romney came second with 25%, with Paul on 12%.

While these are non-binding they will certainly invigorate Santorum’s campaign which needed a boost following the early win in the Iowa Caucus.

So much for a quiet month then

Republican Nomination Race – February will be boring?

SARASOTA, FL - JANUARY 24: Lynn Coffin holds b...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

After the exciting initial contests in Iowa (Santorum), New Hampshire (Romney), South Carolina (Gingrich) and Florida (Romeny) which were at first wide open contests, February Republican Primarys will not be as exciting and the winner is nearly known before hand. While this may lead to some upsets, it is doubtful that any will occur.

Today’s Nevada Caucus is a perfect example. With results due from about 1am Irish time. Mitt Romney is expected to win by a 20 point margin, the only interesting thing will be what proportion of Nevada’s 28 delegates he will get and who will be runner up. A second place finish for Ron Paul could be a lift for his campaign.

The rest of the states voting this month also favour Romney as he carried them in his attempt at the Republican nomination in 2008.  Romney is could win a narrow victory in Maine’s week long caucus which began on Friday ends on February 11th. 24 delegates are up for grabs in the Pine Tree State.

On Tuesday, Colorado and Minnesota have their caucuses. In Colorado things are a bit tighter for Romney who is under pressure from Newt Gingrich here. Romney won this state in 2008 but in the polls before Christmas he was trailing behind Gingrich, but fortunes may have changed since them and the majority of Centennial State’s 36 delegates could go to Romney.

Meanwhile in Minnesota where in 2008 Romney won, he is under pressure from Gingrich majorly. In a poll last month for PPP Ginrich has an 18 point lead, but can he maintain it?  40 delegates are at stake in the North Star State.

On the 28th it gets a bit more interesting with Primaries in Arizona and Michigan. Romney only carried Michigan in 2008 as Arizona went for its own John McCain. He has a 10 point lead according  to an average of polls on RealClearPolitics in Michigan and has a good shot at a good portion of its 30 delegates.

Meanwhile in Arizona the last Rasmussen Report poll had Romeny with a 24 point lead over Gingrich. Arizona is a winner takes all primary with 29 delegates up for grabs and will be an important state for momentum as it takes place 7 days before Super Tuesday.

So with Mitt Romney ahead in most of the states voting this month it could be a tad boring unless there is a major upset, but it does give us plenty of time to look forward to Super Tuesday on March 6th when Georgia (76 Delegates), Ohio (66 Delegates), Virginia (49 delegates), Oklahoma (43 Delegates), Massachusetts (41 Delegates) and Vermont (17 delegates) all going to the polls. Lets see what happens