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“The Sunday Political Brunch”—July 17, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016


It’s off to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, and then on to Philadelphia for the Democrats. Political conventions are mostly scripted these days, a far cry from the “smoke-filled rooms” and drama that often played out on the national stage in the 1950s and '60s. A lot has already happened this past week, so let’s “brunch” on that:

“Feeling Berned” – Bernie Sanders finally endorsed Hillary Clinton this week at a rally in New Hampshire. He was fully sincere and enthusiastic, in my opinion; yet, many of his own supporters weren’t buying it. I’ve seen various polls showing that anywhere from 9 to 15 percent of Sanders’s supporters will not cross over and support Clinton. Back in May, CBS News had its much-talked-about exit poll in West Virginia that showed 44 percent of Sanders voters were planning to vote for Trump if Clinton should be the nominee. One Sanders backer told me this week, “I’ll just write in Bernie’s name in November.”

“Trump’s Bump” – Traditionally, candidates get a bump in the polls from their convention week and the naming of their Vice-Presidential running mates. The latest Real Clear Politics Composite Poll (taken before the announcement of Mike Pence as Trump's VP) shows Hillary Clinton with a lead over Trump of just 2.7 percent. Her lead has shrunk in recent weeks, and she and Trump are now in a statistical tie. My guess is that Trump may pull slightly ahead during his convention week.

“Pence Analysis” – Here’s the short bio: Governor Pence is a 57-year-old lawyer. He is about to complete his first term as Governor of Indiana. Prior to that, he served 12 years in Congress, including a stint in the Republican leadership. He is much more conservative than Trump; and that gives him more appeal to the party base, which is very guarded in its feelings about whether Trump is a true conservative. The biggest asset Pence brings is experience, especially in being able to navigate the murky waters of Washington, D.C. He fits the pattern of previous VP nominees Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden, in that regard.

“Indiana Wants Me” – The Hoosier State is not a big player in the Electoral College, with just 11 votes, but it’s a state Republicans must have. It has traditionally been the most conservative of the Midwestern states, but Barack Obama carried it in 2008 (only to lose it back to the GOP in 2012). The last Democrat to carry Indiana prior to Obama was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Before that, it was Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. In short, Indiana is one of the most reliable “red" states.

“Clinton VP?” -- Various sources indicate that Hillary Clinton has whittled her list down to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and former Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA). Okay, you can eliminate Brown, Booker and Warren, because each is from a state with a Republican Governor. If any of these becomes Vice President, they will be replaced in the Senate by a Republican, and that could keep the upper chamber barely in GOP control. Both Virginia and Iowa are key battleground, swing states that Clinton needs to win. I predict her choice will be Kaine.

“Timing Is Everything” – The big question for Clinton is when she should make her announcement. Some believe it should come mid-week, to steal some of the thunder away from Republicans. In 2008, you’ll recall, John McCain announced Sarah Palin the morning after the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Suddenly, Obama’s soaring speech at Mile High Stadium the night before was an afterthought. McCain had stolen the headlines and Obama’s momentum, at least for a few weeks, before Palin began to implode. For sheer drama, I think Clinton should go back to the age-old practice of keeping her VP choice a secret until the convention. But my bet is that she will announce it this coming Friday or Saturday.

“Security Is the Issue” – I have been saying for months that national security would vault to the top of the issues list. Normally, the economy is the top issue in a national election; but, given recent violence and terrorism in places such as Nice, Istanbul, Orlando, Paris, Brussels, Mali and San Bernardino, I believe domestic and international security will be the biggest concern for voters.

What’s your top issue? Just let us know by clicking the comment button atwww.MarkCurtisMedia.com.


Related Slideshow: Presidential Candidate’s Social Media - 2016

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Trump Facebook

5.73 Million

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Trump Twitter

6.19 Million 

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Trump Klout

88 Score 

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Cruz Facebook

1.9 Million 

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Cruz Twitter


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Cruz Klout

89 Score

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Rubio Facebook

1.28 Million 

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Rubio Twitter

1.17 Million 

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Rubio Klout

81 Score 

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Kasich Facebook


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Kasich Twitter


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Kasich Klout

87 Score 

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Bush Facebook


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Bush Twitter


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Bush Klout

80 Score

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Carson Facebook

5.07 Million

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Carson Twitter

1.13 Million

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Carson Klout

80 Score 

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Clinton Facebook

2.46 Million 

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Clinton Twitter

5.4 Million 

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Clinton Klout

94 Score 

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Sanders Facebook

3.10 Million 

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Sanders Twitter

1.44 Million

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Sanders Klout

84 Score 


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