Voters Express Disgust at Ruling Elites


            The 2016 presidential election contest to pick a successor to President Barack Obama began in earnest on February 9, 2016, when 535,103 voters in New Hampshire traipsed through the snow to cast their ballots in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary.


            Although the election was called a primary, the New Hampshire ballot access rules means that the election is basically a General Election.  Turnout was over 60%.


There were 882,959 registered voters as of February 5th, 231,376 (26%) of the voters are registered Democrats, 262,111 (30%) of the voters are Republicans, and 389,472 (44%) of the voters are Undeclared. New Hampshire allows same day registration and lets Undeclared voters pick a party for the day, and then return to undeclared status. 


What actually happened was that 5,392 more voters cast their ballots in 2016 than in 2008, the last time there were heavily contested primaries in both parties, and another 37,689 people who voted in the Democratic primary in 2008 switched to the Republican primary in 2016.  So, 284,120 Republican ballots were cast, a gain of 43,081 over 2008, and 250,983 Democratic ballots were cast, a decline of 37,689 over 2008. 


That means that at least 22,009 undeclared voters cast ballots in the Republican primary and 19,607 undeclared cast ballots in the Democratic Primary, assuming 100% turnout of party members.


The results, including write-ins from the other primary, are: 1st place Senator Bernie Sanders 153,679 (28.3%); 2nd place Donald Trump 102,201 (18.7%); 3rd place Hillary Clinton 95,792 (17.8%); 4th place Governor John Kasich 45,347 (8.4%); 5th place Senator Ted Cruz 33,351 (6.2%); 6th place John Ellis (Jeb) Bush 31,573 (5.9); 7th place Senator Marco Rubio 30,235 (5.6%); 8th place Governor Christopher Christie 21,281 (3.9%); 9th place Carly Fiorina 11,805 (2.2%); and 10th place Ben Carson 6,561 (1.2). 


The top ten candidates accounted for 98.2% of all the votes cast in the election. Except for Rubio receiving 203 write-in votes in the Democratic primary to Christie’s 216, the relative position of the candidates in the opposite parties write-in votes remained the same.  It is interesting to note that more than 2,888 Republicans, almost exactly 1%, wrote-in Sanders or Clinton; while 3,228 Democrats, more than 1%, wrote-in Republican candidates’ names.


This clearly shows that the action was in the Republican primary.  It attracted a greater share of the unaffiliated, and more Democrats opted to vote in the other party than Republicans.


Voters Are Trying to Get the Candidates to Talk About the ECONOMY


By boosting outsiders, a businessman with no governmental experience, and a populist Senator preaching socialism, the voters are sending a clear message to the governors that dealing with the economy, specifically jobs and the red ink in which everyone, from pension funds to personal balance sheets, is drowning. The candidates have had their fun talking about immigration or whether their opponents are really eligible to run for president.  Now that the voters have gotten a chance to speak, it is clear they are dissatisfied with the debate so far.


And it’s not just the politicians who got it in the neck, with establishment stalwarts like Hillary Clinton running third and Jeb Bush running sixth.  The New Hampshire Union Leader, the leading newspaper of the state, endorsed Chris Christie early, and he ran an unimpressive eighth garnering 3.9% of the vote and dropping out.  So, much for the value of newspaper endorsements in the age of social media and television.  Christie’s crash was unsurprising to anyone who paid attention to his previous record at the polls.


What Lies Ahead – Bush v. Clinton


Mainly white voters from small rural states have been the only voters so far.  Now, the contest moves into areas more representative of the voting population of the country.  As in every presidential race, anti-leader coalitions emerge as the contest moves to different states.  Trump has made himself unacceptable to minorities, especially Hispanics, and his incendiary rhetoric would mean the United States would be at war immediately upon his inauguration.  His advocacy of, not only waterboarding, but carpet bombing, targeted assassination, even of the families of targets, makes good entertainment and grabs voters attention, but would make catastrophic government.  Furthermore, Trump is short on policy and voters are not going to take The Donald on trust, he has been divorced and gone bankrupt too many times.  Trump is a snake oil salesman who will eventually flame out.  If the Republicans actually fail to stop him, he will lead them to a Goldwater-style defeat in November.  As it is, the Republicans are already almost too fragmented to win in November, and I actually think, given the stolen election of 2000, that the Republicans have elected their last president.  However, Trump has exposed the Republican emperor with no clothes.  He has demonstrated that the media covers elections primarily to improve their bottom lines, not to inform the voters or help them to frame a viable government. He also, with his vast alleged personal wealth, has demonstrated how his opponents have to toe the line of their contributors, something he does not have to do in a self-financed campaign.


Christie demolished Rubio’s gravitas before imploding himself.  Ted Cruz is an irresponsible barn burner who is trying to lead the country backward into a Christian past that never was. The irony is that both leading contenders are offering nineteenth century solutions to twenty-first century problems.


This leaves Kasich and Bush as the only viable centrist Republicans. It would make a strong ticket, Ohio and Florida,  although if Kasich beats Bush, would Jeb be willing to be Vice-President? Hmmm.  In fact, this election is shaping up to be 1992 all over again.  In 1992, in the Democratic primary, a dying Senator from a neighboring state, Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, beat Bill Clinton in the Democratic primary.  Hillary did not need to win in 2016, because she already won in 2008 and everyone knows that one swallow does not make a summer.  Hillary was going to stay in the race, and it was a good chance for the voters to send her a message about what she needs to do to pick up her game.  She hasn’t faced voters in a decade.


It’s Foreign Policy, Stupid


Although James Carville, the RaginCajin Rasputin of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid” the truth is that presidential elections turn on foreign, not domestic policy. That was a lie.  Clinton was astute enough not to call Bush I up on the two wars: Panama and Iraq I, that he got the country into.


 There is only one finger on the nuclear trigger. There is only one person who can order troops into battle or put boots on the ground.  In the end, voters can finesse the economy by changing the members of Congress, but there is only one Commander-in-Chief, and in the current crop of candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the only one who can tell the players and the issues in foreign policy without a scorecard.  Not to mention, after eight years of a black president, it is more than time for a woman, and Hillary is the only woman around even remotely competent and experienced enough to do the job.  She may not be likable, and may be a little rough around the edges, but she’s not interviewing for wife or paramour, it’s executive and diplomat in chief.


And Bush will be the Republican nominee because a) the Republican party no longer believes in democracy.  The voter photo ID laws, upheld by the racist Supreme Court majority, are designed to discourage voting and b) the Bush family does not win elections, it smears its opponents.  Voters will groan and complain about another Bush-Clinton contest, but the truth is that elections are about the present as well as the future.  And the truth about America today is that there is little social mobility, that the best indicator of what a person will do with her or his life is to look at their parents.  This is what America has become.  If Jeb Bush is elected president, he will be the fourth member of his family to become president (his mother, Barbara, was a Pierce and related to Franklin Pierce.)  One family, almost 10% of its presidents, is that democracy?


 But the most compelling reason for a Bush nomination is that in the wake of the fraudulent 2000 vote count in Florida, where Jeb was the Governor, many people wanted a revote.  The 2016 presidential election will be a chance to let the voters decide whether the 2000 election was legitimate or not.


The reason that Al Gore asked for a recount in only four counties is that under Florida’s election Law’s, recounts had to be requested county by county, and even the Gore campaign could not marshal the lawyers and the resources to file the papers to ask for a recount in all 67 counties.  The only person who could order a statewide recount was the governor, Jeb Bush.  So, it was Jeb who was responsible for his brother becoming president, all because he was unwilling to see if the votes in Florida had been counted correctly.


Jake Tapper, the famous journalist who wrote Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency proves by examining the overvotes as well as undervotes that, under the Florida Election Law standard of voter intent, Al Gore clearly won the electoral votes in Florida.  However, Down and Dirty, is not mentioned in his list of activities on Wikipedia.  Jake Tapper’s illustrious career in media is fueled by his knowledge and suppression of the fact that Gore won the 2000 election.


So, it is necessary from a governmental perspective that Bush and Clinton face each other in 2016 and that Clinton wins by carrying Florida. This will be the revote for which voters in Palm Beach County were clamoring in 2000. Think about it.  Should a country which can’t even count six or seven million votes accurate really be spreading democracy by force to others?


BONUS – An Historic Proof that the Elected Leadership is Out of Touch


Lakewood Township in Ocean County, is the seventh most populous municipality in New Jersey, with almost 100,000 people.  Its explosive growth has been fueled by a recent and rapid influx of Orthodox Jews.  The Orthodox Jews are a powerful political force with a majority of representatives on the various governing bodies.


While Orthodox Jews are a majority of the school board, few send their children to the public schools. As a result, although there are 30,000 school aged children in Lakewood, only 5,500 attend public school.  Lakewood’s school budget was $112 million of which $20 million was spent on busing.  There are two reasons for this disproportion.  The first is that New Jersey provides a transportation stipend to all students who attend private school.  The second is that Lakewood provides “courtesy busing”, that is to say they provide bus service to students, both public and private, who are not required to receive it by law, but they do it for safety or other reasons.  There are almost 10,000 students in Lakewood who receive this courtesy busing, 2,700 public school pupils and 7,100 private school students.


This year, Lakewood’s school budget increased to $123 million, leaving a $9.5 million deficit.  Looking to save money, the state monitor put courtesy busing on the chopping block to save over $6.2 million.  The school board, desperate to retain courtesy busing, proposed a referendum, asking voters to approve a tax increase to pay for the bus service.  


On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, Lakewood voters cast ballots in a special school referendum.  The result: 108 YES, and 7,561 NO. The referendum lost with a 98.6% No vote, probably the most lopsided in the history of a free democratic contested election.  When people claim to win elections with 98% or 99% of the vote, you can usually bet that a dictatorship is being described, along with stuffed ballot boxes, physical intimidation or elimination of opposition, etc.  But 98.6% to 1.4% in a fair and honest election can only mean one thing. THE ELECTED LEADERSHIP IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE VOTERS!


The boosting of Trump and Sanders combined with the collapsing stock market are the people’s way of trying to get the candidates for president to talk seriously about the economy, budget deficits and job creation.


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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf