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PoliticsToday: the perspective of a middle schooler.

Welcome to PoliticsToday! This is a blog with a middle schooler’s thoughts on everything politics, from the Presidency to a City Council seat. We will express our thoughts on candidacies, policies and so much more, so look out! International readers, we will also have a foreign politics section as well, with focuses on the UN and other topics. A place for all politics, and everything relating to them- from a middle schooler from New York City.

The Final Round: Whom will Biden choose for his VP Pick?

Whom will Joe Biden pick for his Vice Presidential nominee? I’ll go over whom I think he will choose, based on who’s least to most likely to get the nod of the candidates that have been talked about in the last month or so. These people have also been mentioned as being on the shortlist.

Least Likely- Tammy Duckworth.

While she is my favorite candidate, I don’t think that she will get the nomination. With her excellent credentials and backstory, she is inspiring and may be the candidate to best boost turnout in November. However, the need for a Black woman in this country is critical. While Duckworth is a woman of color, Democrats can’t take the Black woman base for granted.

Furthermore, she stated that it had been some weeks since she last spoke with Joe Biden, when asked about the VP vetting process. This late, it suggests that Duckworth will not get the nod.

Next, is Karen Bass. She has emerged as the real wildcard, with not a lot of people knowing who she is. She’s the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, being the representative of a Los Angeles district. She was also the Speaker of the California State Assembly. She is profoundly progressive, supporting Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and other progressive policies. Biden shouldn’t need to pander to the progressive wing, especially with the task-force recommendations. However, he does need to appeal to Kasich/Project Lincoln- type Republicans, which won’t like Bass. However, Chris Dodd, the former senator from Connecticut, is reportedly pushing for her nomination, according to an article by Politico.(@natashakorecki, @ccadelago, @MarcACaputo) . Again, she’s definitely the wildcard, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets the nomination.

Then, we have Susan Rice. She’s widely known for being Obama’s National Security Adviser and the US Ambassador for the United Nations. If Biden picks her, it signifies that he is focusing mainly on foreign policy, something that would be great. However, with the racial inequalities and COVID-19, it is very unlikely that foreign policy will take the driver’s seat. Furthermore, she’s not an experienced candidate, and it’s hard to see a Rice 2024 run. However, she has a very close relationship with many Washington officials, such as Obama, Susan Collins, and Biden himself.

Finally, the person who’s been the most likely pick for months now, is Kamala Harris. She’s been tested at the national level, is a smart politician, and represents the near future of the Democratic party. Even though she was tough on Biden during the early debates, she has shown that she will be a worthy pick. She’s well known and liked among Democratic voters, and has lately increased her progressive chops. Furthermore, Jim Clyburn, the man that saved the Biden campaign, said he supports Harris. She’s probably the candidate who checks the most boxes, which is why I think she’ll be the nominee.

Who do you think Biden will choose as his VP candidate?

My Senate Map Ratings as of July 20, 2020.

Today I’ll be going over my Senate ratings for the 2020 elections. A “solid” status means that I believe that it is all but certain that the leading party will win (so around 9 in 10 odds or more), a “likely” is around 7 in 10 odds or more, a “leans” is a 6 in 10 odds and a “tilt” is a bit above 5 in 10 odds.

At the start of this map, we have 35 safe seats for the Democrats, 30 seats for the Republicans, and 35 seats up for grabs (class 2 seats plus 2 special elections). Pickup seats will be in bold. Also, Kansas doesn’t have because of the volatile Republican primary, which will happen on August 4. The victor of the primary will most likely change my ratings for it.

Solid Seats

I won’t go into to much detail for these because these seats won’t be a big factor in who gets the control of the Senate in 2021.

For the Democrats, we have:

Oregon- Jeff Merkley

Massachusetts- Ed Markey or Joe Kennedy III., depending on who wins the primary.

Rhode Island – Jack Reed

New Jersey – Cory Booker

Delaware – Chris Coons

New Mexico – Ben Ray Luján

Illinois – Dick Durban

Minnesota – Tina Smith- this would have been closer, along with Virginia, but in the very Democratic-favored atmosphere, I believe she is safe.

Virginia – Mark Warner

For the Republicans, we have:

  1. Arkansas – Tom Cotton

2. Idaho – Jim Risch

3. Nebraska – Ben Sasse

4. South Dakota – Mike Rounds

5. Oklahoma – Jim Inhofe

6. Tennessee – William F. Hagerty (TBD, but has National and State Republican support)

7. West Virginia – Shelley Moore Capito

8. Wyoming – Cynthia Lummis (TBD, but has National and State Republican support)

9. Louisiana – Bill Cassidy

10. Missisippi – Cindy Hyde Smith

Likely Seats

For the Democrats, we have:

1.Michigan – Gary Petersthis race will not be tighter than the presidential race, in which Michigan will be a key state.

2. New Hampshire – Jeanne Shaheen- she doesn’t have a credible opponent in which should be a good opportunity for the Republicnas, which shows how this year is shaping up to be a blue landslide (or, more appropriately, a tsunami).

3. Colorado – John Hickenlooper- this is a pickup for the Democrats. He is the strongest candidate possible aganist Cory Gardner, which shows how the Democrats did really well with recruitment this cycle (along with Steve Bullock, a fellow moderate-western governor turned failed presidential candidate).

For the Republicans, we have:

1. Alabama – Tommy Tuberville- While Trump preferred Tommy Tuberville over Jeff Sessions in the primary I actually think that Tuberville is weaker politically. Democrats will have a lot of opposition research to do, but I doubt that anything will be enough to counter Alabama’s strong partisan lean.

2. South Carolina – Lindsey Graham- Graham’s opponent, Jaime Harrison, is the strongest candidate that the Democrats could have wished for (like Colorado and Montana). However, South Carolina is a ruby-red state (unlike its neighbors, Georgia and North Carolina.)

3. Kentucky- Mitch McConnell- Amy McGrath has been shown to be vulnerable- she barely beat a relatively unknown opponent (Charles Booker) in the primary. The only thing keeping this election from being safe is 1) the amount of money that McGrath has and 2) the horrible approval ratings McConnell has.

Lean Seats

For the Democrats, we have:

1. ArizonaMark Kelly- Mark is an amazing candidate, and Martha McSally is not. He has campaigned really effectively, and polls show that, with him routinely beating McSally by a 10-point or more margin.

For the Republicans, we have:

  1. Alaska- Dan Sullivan- polls (or really, only the Election Twitter- funded PPP poll) have shown a close race, but Independent/Democrat Al Gross has to gain a lot of recognition with undecideds.
  2. Texas- John Cornyn- this race will be closer at the presidential level than at the Senate, simply because MJ Hejar isn’t a great candidate. It will probably tighten, but Cornyn seems safer than Trump in TX.
  3. Georgia Special- TBD- this race is really unpredictable. Between Doug Collins, Kelly Loeffler, Matt Lieberman, and Raphael Warnock, there are a lot of candidates in the jungle primary. I think the winner will be Doug Collins, and the Democrats are at risk of locking themselves out of the runoff come January.

Tilt Seats

For the Democrats, we have:

  1. North CarolinaCal Cunningham- Cal is a great candidate, and Thom Tillis is acting too right wing for the swing state that is NC. I think that this race will be one of the closest, but that Cal Cnningham will emerge as the victor (as polls say)

2. MontanaSteve Bullock- Bullock is the best candidate for the Democrats in MT. He’s done a good job with COVID-19, and he has raised a lot in a ver cheap state to advertise in. Also, he has Tester’s playbook already written out. The momentum is in favor of Bullock, and I don’t think that this will change. Chuck Schumer really got in luck with him as the candidate.

3. MaineSara Gideon- Susan Collins is the least liked senator. She needs to appeal to her base AND independents, which is virtually impossible now. I think this will be the closest race, but that Sara Gideon will prevail.

And finally, for the Republicans:

  1. Iowa- Joni ErnstErnst was viewed as the future of the Republican Party. Now, she’s in a very tight race against Theresa Greenfield. A Des Moines Register poll showed Greenfield winning, but Iowa is trending rapidly Republican. I think Ernst will win, but this rating will probably change next time.

2. Georgia- David PerdueJon Ossoff is a really good candidate, but I don’t think that he can beat Perdue at this moment. As the party coalesces around him after the primary, expect his donations to go up. David Perdue is a backbencher, and that won’t help him.

https://www.270towin.com/2020-senate-election/5W2AKM shows my predictions, with a 51-49 map map in favor of the Democrats.

Want to create your own map? Here’s how! https://www.270towin.com/2020-senate-election/

Thanks for reading! What race interests you?

The Politics of the Pandemic

This pandemic has changed our world and these changes will last for a long time. As a result, its effects will last much more than the pandemic will last itself. Here is how I think our world will change. Here, I will talk about international relationships.

I think that this will mark the demise of the United States as the global superpower, because of the inefficiencies within our government. We love leaders with charisma and speeches, but most of the time, they prove to not handle times like this right. This results in inefficiency within the government, with the parties squabbling and willing to let other states sink. We are the United States, not the Separate States US not reacting quickly enough and as much as it needs to. Coupled up with our president’s press briefings- with a lot of “sarcasm”-, it looks like a circus.

This results in other countries taking the helm. Right now, it seems like Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, and Canada will help lead the world. They have all dealt with this crisis very well- with a focus on science professionals and believing them, and also apologizing for their mistakes. And yet, they still respect democratic norms while doing so. We are looking at a future where my age group will interact with these countries because of their work in this pandemic. They will lead in science and policy.

While these will lead, the PRC won’t. They do have great manufacturing prowess, but will not diplomatic-wise. They have covered up the deaths and infections of COVID-19, and most countries agree. How can you trust a country that doesn’t disclose the problems they face? Overall, I think that China won’t be as strong as predicted because of this.

Next, I will talk about local relationships within NYC and the United States

New Hampshire Democratic Primary Analysis

Author’s Note: I’m not going to write about the Iowa caucuses, because of the irregularities and the fact that the Associated Press has not announced their winner. However, based on current results, my prediction was a little off, starting with the fact that Buttigieg is projected to win more delegates than Sanders. Also, Biden at fifth place never happened- in Iowa-, so Klobuchar underperformed my expectations.

Hello everyone! This is my analysis of the New Hampshire primary, which happened this Tuesday. I will go through every candidate, from most over performing to under performing in the primary.

  1. Amy Klobuchar- Amy exceeded expectations and then exceeded some more. From a projected 12 percent to 20, Amy was definitely a winner. Multiple people at school have came up to me, asking who she is, and what she stands for If she becomes the nominee, New Hampshire may be the reason why. Furthermore, she cost Buttigieg the centrist vote, and Warren the college-educated women- who were expected to be a Warren bloc. Overall, great night for her. However winning in Nevada and South Carolina will be very hard for her, so she needs to gain support with minorities.
  2. Pete Buttigieg- After Iowa, many expected Pete to do well in New Hampshire. However, pulling to within two points of Sanders? Unthinkable until Tuesday night. If Amy hadn’t had a great night, Pete would have probably won. He needed to do good in NH, but has just as a tough road ahead of him as Klobuchar. Better than expected, but not by that much, is my take on Pete.
  3. Bernie Sanders- Bernie needed to win, and win he did. He would have probably liked a bigger lead, but the youth turnout wasn’t there for him. Probably the leader right now, and expect him to do relatively well in Nevada. In South Carolina? I’m not sure, but we’ll have a guide come the Nevada caucuses.
  4. Joe Biden- Joe said he was going to be really bad in Nh, but fifth? I’m not sure if the campaign even thought they could reach that low of a position. He didn’t really need to win NH, but this will hurt him a lot. Many Biden supporters are flocking to Buttigieg, Bloomberg, and now Klobuchar, and his main argument (electability!) doesn’t really work now. He needs to fight real hard to secure the nomination.
  5. Elizabeth Warren- Warren needed to poll in the top 3 to revive her campaign. Now, she’s taking a “unite the wings” approach, which hurt Booker, Harris, and Beto. She might look forward to winning in Nevada, which is a possibility. If she doesn’t do good in that state, she should drop out.

I’m sad that Yang will be leaving the campaign. He brought fresh, exciting ideas into the primary, and many people, at least in my school, liked him. I hope he runs for mayor of NYC in 2021. Losing Bennet and Patrick is also bad. None of them had ever really gotten traction, but I liked them both.

See you guys for the Nevada debate!

My Prediction -as of 10:00 P.M- for who will win the Iowa Democratic Caucuses

Hello All! Tonight is the big one, the Iowa caucuses! After seeing- and reading- multiple news sources, my prediction for the Iowa caucuses is as follows:
1. Sanders

2. Buttigieg

3. Warren

4. Klobuchar

5. Biden

I think that Klobuchar will beat Biden because he has not been viable (gotten 15%) in multiple precincts, and Klobuchar has won those. However, I think the big winner tonight will be Buttigieg. He will be able to attract both Warren and Biden votes, so I think he will win or get second. This prediction will probably change, and I will address it in my analysis of the caucus tomorrow.

Key Takeaways from the January Democratic Debate

Here are my key takeaways from the January Democratic Primary Debate. With only 3 weeks left until Iowa, this was the last debate before voting starts. I waited to publish until today to add some things on Warren after the audio from the failed handshake was released, and the fact than CNN confirmed that the Warren campaign did tell them that Bernie told her that a woman could not run for president.

While some polls have showed that the public generally thinks that Warren had a good night, I think that it has the potential to be a devastating one. Here’s why: because of all the controversy of the past 3 days, Warren has burned a crucial bridge to the Bernie supporters, the progressive, new, left wing. However, she already burned her bridge with the moderates by always standing with Bernie, so now, she has no ideological side to pander to, except maybe for the percentage of voters that are caught between the two lanes, but the amount of them is pretty small.

Biden did not trip up like we saw him do in the earlier debates. I also thought that he was a bit more personal than before; helping him change the idea that the only place he’s been is Washington DC. I think that this debate will not impact his poll standings that much, because we are at the point where most people kind of know the main candidates.

I thought that Klobuchar did a pretty good job, but that she needs more than a “pretty good job” to do better. She was great at the December debate, but the polls didn’t show a great burst of support, although her campaign did raise 1 million dollars in the 24 hours after the debate. Her responses on health care and impeachment were pretty solid, but again, not enough to get her out of a distant fifth.

Buttigieg did very good last night, and definitely held his ground against Amy Klobuchar over the experience issue. However, I think that he might be caught in the same situation that Warren is in- he has bold, big plans for the Electoral College, etc. which many moderates don’t like, and positions on issues like the wealth tax and Medicare for All that doesn’t appeal to progressive voters. Nevertheless, he has been in this situation for quite some time, (remember when analysts thought the Warren-Buttigieg would make perfect sense?!) so I don’t think that this will affect him that much.

I finally think that Bernie did a pretty good job, just as he’s done since his heart attack in October, without making any big mistakes nor having great success. However, I think that this spat with Warren could boost him, and we’ll see if the polls show a Bernie increase. On a side note, Tom Steyer literally did nothing- except maybe prove he would be a good EPA Secretary? I would much rather see Andrew Yang or Mike Bloomberg up on the debate stage.

Please comment on what you thought of this debate!

What the past- and the US’s part in it- has to say about Trump’s potential impeachment

Authors Note: This was written for a school assignment.

This week, I read Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under the Clinton administration. While I have considered this to be one of my favorite books since 5th Grade, now I found it to be even more relevant because of the fact that the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, announced she supported, and would soon implement, an impeachment inquiry into the president’s dealings with many people in power all over the world.

Albright states that a fascist is “someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals they have”. One of the most important parts of this definition, I believe, is the fact that they are, “willing [to do] whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals they have”. She goes on to explain that every fascist has employed these other means- from Mussolini with his want for his followers to treat him as a god, to the modern-day corrupt governments from Russia, Venezuela and other countries using social media in order to spread false information. What has never changed, though, is the fact that the United States of America have always stood up to these leaders since World War II. This week, while reading the book, I repeatedly thought, but what happens when those leaders are our leaders? What happens when the leaders of America are willing to do whatever is necessary to win, when they contact other nations, asking for false evidence of wrongdoing of an opponent? I believe that we will be able to answer these questions fully in the upcoming months, just as we did in the 1970’s with the impeachment of Richard Nixon. What we are fortunate about, though, is the fact that there has always been a strong opposition to these leaders is the US- and that, hopefully, there always will, so no president will ever be left unchecked by the true power they will always have to succumb to -the will of their people.

Why Warren Can be a Bridge between the progressive grassroots and the Democratic National Committee

Bernie Sanders is too radical and anti-establishment for the higher ranks of the Democratic Party.  Joe Biden is too weak and a symbol of the old, “bland” politics of yesterday to many grassroot Democrats. Kamala Harris is too wishy-washy for both. That only leaves us with one candidate in the main top tier: Elizabeth Warren. She is firmly in the progressive camp, but is seen more electable than Sanders; and, with her very extensive policy proposals, has been able to show who she really is to the hyper-interested and involved voter in this year’s complex primary. She already appeals to the white, progressive, urban voters that Sanders was unable to win in the 2016 primary. While Sanders goes heavily on his rhetoric, Warren is able to talk about virtually everything with immense precision in terms of policy. I think that the higher ranks and the “corporate” Democrats find Warren a new type of progressive, one that doesn’t scare off normal voters who don’t want Bernie’s socialism-and one that can win those voters. She is not necessarily a “unify the two wings” type candidate like Harris is (which makes her seem not progressive or centrist enough on issues like healthcare and immigration), but a progressive that can appeal to the center-left part of the party.

The Second Democratic Debate, Night One

The first night of the second debates was intense and with a lot substance. It was exciting to see the mini-debates involving the leaders yesterday, the progressives, and the worse-polling moderates. These are my winners and losers of the first night.

WINNERS:

Delaney, Bullock and Williamson all did a good job of showing themselves to the American people, with Bullock and Delaney actively going against Sanders and Warren. This debate was great for their name recognition, and they just need Biden to do poorly tonight for them to campaig effectively for the centrist voters. Bullock had very good substance, while Delaney fought himself into the conversation; with a lot of help from the moderators, who defaulted on him for the response to Sanders’ and Warren’s proposals. He also effectively made great points in the healthcare debate, noting that he actually had experience in that sector. Bullock, on the other hand, had a great moment against Warren when he responded that her views were just going to get Trump re-elected, and that she was “falling into Trump’s hands”. It was a great debate for both as they got their name out, though I’m not sure if the second debate with Biden and Harris going against each other will cause their gains to disappear. Watch out for Biden not doing so great, because if that happens, Delaney and Bullock will probably rise.

Williamson, on the other hand, went a more unorthodox and eccentric way. She supports the big ideas of Sanders and Warren, but expressed her concern about the small details of Medicare for All. She excelled, surprisingly, in the race part of the debate, by skillfully connecting Flint’s water crisis to racial inequality and strongly supporting reparations. She is an interesting candidate that has captivated some people.

We all expected Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to have to defend their policies, but it is clear that Warren did a better job. She tactically went against Delaney, Bullock, and Ryan, while Sanders was just loud. I felt that he didn’t contribute much to the back-and-forth. These two definitely met expectations, but they didn’t go over them that much.

LOSERS:

While the worse-polling candidates gained last night, the second tier did a mediocre job of explaining their vision and proposals with the exception of Buttigieg when he was asked about generational change. He is a really good debater, but he has to step up and fight. Not good, but definitively not bad. Klobuchar directly explained her policies, but she missed some of the moderate versus liberal debates, in which she could have been good at. At times, though, she took a long time to explain her positions-which cost her because of the limited allotted time. O’Rourke-who we should consider a lessser candidate that Buttigieg and even Klobuchar- did a poor job of crystallizing his policy proposals and of asking direct questions from the moderators. He also didn’t get much hand to hand combat, which he likes, because of Delaney, Bullock, Ryan and sometimes Hickenlooper. Overall, Beto has had a lackluster performance throughout, especially when compared to Buttigieg, who is overtaking him with the “next generation” persona.

Let’s see if this debate impacts many of the candidates, but I am sure that it will change many voters’ minds.

Why Climate Change is not the most urgent issue of my generation (in the United States)

Climate Change is a growing global crisis, with our cities at risk because of rising seas, and disruptions to our crop production probable because of droughts. There’s no doubt that this is a significant issue not only for the future, but for right now. It is also obvious that the previous generation had to do more on this, and that it will be thrust upon us to save our planet, home, and species. 

Tens of thousands of my generation in Europe have been protesting for more action right now from our politicians. It is impressive how they have consistently walked out of school every Friday for the last few months. One might wonder Why haven’t these protests crossed the pond? Well, that is because here in the US we are still fighting for another issue that if not more important, is more urgent: gun control. It is more likely that a member of my generation in the US will die because of guns than because of climate change.

While kids in Europe were protesting for their cities not to be flooded 15 millimeters in 5 years. we were protesting not to be shot in our schools. 

This situation shows that Europe has successfully created social laws that, besides terrorist attacks, prevent mass shootings in schools and other places. By effect, this shows how the US is riddled with bureaucracy and inept politicians looking to save their seats, and not to create change.

It is better, and frankly easier, to create laws that revamp the system to buy guns than to start thinking of big, bold proposals for climate change that will reshape the economy and impact everyone. It is a priority and more pressing issue for us to battle gun violence and shootings in our schools than to battle climate change, even though that is our next priority.