Andrew Gillum (Fla), Stacey Abrams (Ga) & Ben Jealous (Md) could be first Black Governors

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by MCP, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    Andrew Gillum, (Fla), Stacey Abrams, (Ga), and Ben Jealous, (Md) Could Be the First Black Governors of Their States

    Here’s How They Got This Far


    WHAT WE ARE experiencing right now is absolutely historic. The United States does not currently have a single black governor — not one. Florida, Georgia, and Maryland have never had a black governor. No black person has ever been the Democratic Party nominee for governor in Florida or Georgia. But that seems poised to change.

    On Tuesday night, Andrew Gillum pulled off a stunning win in Florida’s Democratic primary for governor. He joins Georgia’s Stacey Abrams and Maryland’s Ben Jealous as the third brilliant, successful, and progressive black leader elected to represent the Democratic Party in a gubernatorial race this November. Each of those elections will be a brutal nail-biter, but success is possible.

    I’m sorry if you’ve heard me say this before, but it’s hard to understand a moment in history when you are in it. History is better seen, understood, and valued in retrospect. Still, we can already tell that we’re witnessing something potentially monumental. I won’t go as far as calling this moment the new Reconstruction, but we haven’t seen the possibility of this type of political representation at the state level since the years following the Civil War.

    How did this happen?

    First, let me paint with broad strokes for a moment, then we can get down to the details.

    The three candidates are widely known and respected in their home states. They are not fictional creations of a political machine. They’ve been working hard for the people in Florida, Georgia, and Maryland for more than a decade. They have well-established political networks there. Before this spotlight was on them, they had each already fought for change and won on many different occasions. Gillum, now the mayor of Tallahassee, was the youngest person elected to its city council at age 23. Abrams is a former state lawmaker who served as the minority leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives for six years. Jealous is a first-time politician, who became an activist during his college years, eventually working his way up to become the NAACP’s youngest-ever president.

    They understand the media landscape. They’ve been on the big stage. They’ve spoken to huge audiences. They understand the nuances of get-out-the-vote campaigns and polling locations. They’ve built and managed teams and organizations. They are each seen as young — Jealous is 45, Abrams is 44, and Gillum is 39, but they are actually seasoned political veterans who’ve been in the public sphere their entire adult lives.

    You have to start there. Anything else will put the credit for their victories where it doesn’t quite belong. Gillum, Abrams, and Jealous won because their entire lives and careers built up to this moment. I don’t mean to sound brash, but they are winners. They expected to win. They’ve won before. And that matters.

    All three of them are also practical, down-to-earth bridge builders. They have strong views and policies, yes, but all three understand that to get stuff done on the state or local level, you have to build functional coalitions of diverse groups. The base of that coalition may very well be black — each of them has a very strong base of black support that they build and work from — but they learned a long time ago how to build broader coalitions in order to accomplish their goals.

    ENTER SEN. BERNIE SANDERS. He endorsed Gillum, Abrams, and Jealous, and he also traveled to Florida and Maryland to campaign alongside the candidates there. (Sanders endorsed Jealous almost a year ahead of his June primary, but he announced his support for Gillum and Abrams just weeks before their elections.) The Vermont senator’s efforts helped solidify the progressive base for those candidates. They’ll each tell you that it made a difference. In fact, Gillum tweeted as much within hours of winning his election. Sanders’s support wasn’t enough for them to win, of course, but it definitely helped. His base is deeply committed and trusts him. They donate. They show up to events. They volunteer and phone-bank. Sanders’s network supercharged the trio’s already progressive campaigns.

    Let’s pause right there for a moment. This is a huge deal. By bringing together a highly engaged black voting base with Sanders’s deeply committed core base of supporters, Gillum, Abrams, and Jealous have accomplished what Democrats will need to do if they are going to have any real success moving forward — they have unified the devoted base of the Democratic Party with the Berniecrats. That’s no small feat — and I’m not sure anybody other than these three black candidates for governor could’ve done it this way.

    So that’s the macro-narrative. Gillum, Abrams, and Jealous won because they are deeply rooted, highly experienced political organizers with pre-established bases of support who knew that, in order to win, they’d need smart coalitions.

    But politics is local. And the fact is that Gillum, Abrams, and Jealous made a slew of essential local decisions that resonated well with voters. Essentially, instead of jumping to the middle, and not really committing to serious policy reforms, they did the exact opposite and took strong stands on expanding access to health care, criminal justice reform, civil rights and voting rights, a living wage, better schools and better pay for teachers, and so much more. Those issues resonated deeply with voters — so much that Gillum was outspent by a factor of five by the establishment favorite in the race, Gwen Graham, but still won. (Gillum was the only non-millionaire in the race, but his financial backing by liberal billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer, through their groups the Open Society Foundations and NextGen America, was instrumental to his campaign.)

    Gillum also took a meaningful stand on an issue that resonates strongly with voters by Florida, which has seen a number of high-profile mass shootings in recent years: gun reform. He was celebrated in early 2017for beating back a lawsuit filed by the gun lobby and supported by the National Rifle Association. No other candidate could say that. In exchange, he got the support of gun reform groups like Moms Demand Action, which endorsed him in April. Young activist survivors of the Parkland school shooting campaigned for him.

    All of that mattered.

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    But in the end, Gillum, Abrams, and Jealous made it this far because they out-organized their opponents. They built complex ground games that got people out to vote. They crisscrossed their states, holding rallies and town halls, shaking hands, looking voters directly in the eye, and answering tough questions. They went to community centers and senior citizen homes. They held large events, but ultimately won people over in living rooms and at kitchen tables.

    Many things about how the 2016 presidential campaign went down turned me off to the Democratic Party. And it’s not just the presidency: The party has no control over either the House or the Senate. The same goes for the majority of state legislatures and governorships across the country. But these candidates give me hope. They are different.

  2. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    MEANWHILE, The Democratic Party and its allies are pumping much-needed resources into Rhode Island in an effort prop up an unpopular incumbent governor facing an insurgent challenge in a blue state.

    The Intercept
    Aída Chávez
    September 10 2018, 2:43 p.m.
    Photo: Steven Senne/AP

    DEMOCRATS ACROSS THE country are zeroed in on a handful of dynamic gubernatorial candidates hoping to make history in three states currently governed by Republicans. In Florida, Georgia, and Maryland, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, and Ben Jealous are running unapologetically progressive campaigns that could result in each candidate becoming the first African-American to govern each state.

    The Democratic Party and its allies, meanwhile, are pumping much-needed resources into Rhode Island in an effort prop up an unpopular incumbent governor facing an insurgent challenge in a blue state.

    Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo is working to fend off a progressive, albeit underfunded, primary challenge from the left. Matt Brown, a former Rhode Island secretary of state, is running a grassroots campaign against Raimondo, who he describes as “the most extreme corporatist Democrat in the country.”

    The Democratic Governors Association has pumped in $1 million to support Raimondo, money that won’t be available for Georgia, Florida, or Maryland. EMILY’s List, which helps elect pro-choice women, jumped in as well, spending $345,000 on pre-primary mailers for the incumbent. Although Raimondo presents herself as pro-choice, she was criticized by reproductive rights advocates for passing what amounted to restrictions on abortion access during her first term in office and is listed as “mixed-choice” by NARAL Pro-Choice America.

    A July survey found Raimondo with a 40 percent job approval rating among the general public and 58 percent among Democrats. That dropped to 29 percent among independents, who are legally allowed to vote in Wednesday’s primary.

    Raimondo, a former venture capitalist, has raised nearly $7.8 million for her re-election, raking in much of her fundraising from the same corporate players responsible for the state’s fiscal problems. The claim of “most extreme corporatist” may sound like hyperbole, but as state treasurer, Raimondo touched off a scandal by pushing through pension reform legislation that handed a billion dollars of state worker money over to hedge funds with links to the conservative movement, which harvested eye-popping fees.

    Brown would have to overcome steep odds, but he maintains that the race is closer than public polls show. And the Raimondo campaign’s decision to go negative in the days leading up to the September 12 primary — from a TV ad accusing her opponent of “money laundering” to attacks centered on the nuclear nonproliferation group he co-founded —indicate the race is indeed tightening. One mailer, funded by a pro-Raimondo Super PAC, showed an image of a nuclear explosion and read “Matt Brown Nuked His Own Nonprofit.”

    She’s also taking it seriously enough to have gone out and acquired an endorsement from civil rights icon John Lewis, a congressperson from Georgia. But when Lewis later learned Raimondo was running against Brown, whom he called a “very, very good friend,” he said publicly that he regretted the endorsement.

    DESPITE HER FUNDRAISING prowess, Raimondo is so unpopular she could lose the general election in the solidly blue state. However, former state Rep. Joe Trillo, who was President Donald Trump’s state campaign chairman, is running as an independent and could act as a spoiler, helping Raimondo’s re-election chances. Recent polls have her deadlocked with Republican candidate Allan Fung, who she narrowly defeated in 2014. That year, the Raimondo campaign spent about $6.3 million in a three-way race in which she won 41 percent of the vote. The same July poll found Brown 15 points behind the likely GOP challenger, but 45 percent of voters still hadn’t heard of him, meaning he could quickly gain ground by winning the nomination.

    Raimondo’s head-to-head polling calls into question the conventional argument that centrist or pro-corporate candidates deserve support because they are more electable. “She’s taken millions in campaign contributions from Wall Street, fossil fuel industry, tobacco industry, lobbyists, corporations, tax breaks, and benefits from the state,” Brown said in an interview. “And she has, I think, raised a total of $7 million dollars now for this race and yet, as you point out, still a large majority of Rhode Islanders are looking for a different candidate with a different vision.”

    Throughout her political career, Raimondo has also received thousands of dollars from the family that owns Purdue Pharma, a company widely blamed for fueling the opioid epidemic.

    Brown’s campaign has sworn off corporate political action committee money, relying instead on individual contributions. The campaign boasts hundreds of volunteers that knock on doors and hold phone-banking sessions. In the first two months of the campaign, he said, they held over 70 events all across the state, “in people’s living rooms, talking to their friends and neighbors.” As for his policies, he’s running on “Medicare for All,” the creation of a public bank, tuition-free college, undoing Raimondo’s cuts to Medicaid, and a “Green New Deal.”

    The gubernatorial hopeful has the backing of progressive groups like Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, Indivisible Rhode Island, and Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America. Raimondo, on the other hand, is supported by nearly all local labor unions, Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island Political Action Committee, LGBTQ community advocates, and the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women.

    Raimondo has refused to participate in even a single debate with her primary opponent. “She has funded her campaign with millions of dollars from Wall Street and corporations in an attempt to buy the election, while doing no debates with me about our records and our visions for the state,” Brown said. “So, it’s really — the kind of campaign she’s running is not democracy.” Raimondo told the Providence Journal she skipped out on debating because Brown is “not operating in good faith,” accusing him of telling lies.

    The only conclusion one can come to when a candidate avoids debate, Brown said, is that the candidate has an indefensible record. “And in her case, it’s a record of always working for Wall Street and corporations at the expense of the people. It’s a record of cutting Medicaid and giving out corporate giveaways, handouts, out to handpicked corporations that are often her campaign donors,” he continued.

    “It’s a record of taking money from the executives of a gas company and then turning around and announcing that we’re going to do ‘whatever we have to to make sure we’re successful here at building a fracked gas and diesel oil burning plant in Rhode Island,’ which would be bad for everyone in the state, bad for our future, bad for our children. The only one it’s good for is the corporation. The fracked gas corporation, they’d make a bundle off Rhode Islanders, and Gov. Raimondo gets campaign contributions from them in return.”

    Historic primary victories, like that of Ayanna Pressley, who unseated a 10-term Democratic incumbent in Massachusetts, or Gillum’s victory in Florida, have energized him. “I think we’re on the verge of the next major upset in this battle for the future of the Democratic Party,” he said.

    sharkbait28 likes this.
  3. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

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  4. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Poll: Gillum leads DeSantis by 6 points in Florida governor race

    The Hill
    By Brett Samuels

    Democrat Andrew Gillum holds a 6-point lead over Ron DeSantis (R) in the hotly contested gubernatorial campaign in Florida, according to a new poll.

    The Reuters–Ipsos–UVA Center for Politics poll found that 50 percent of voters surveyed support Gillum, compared to 44 percent who back DeSantis.

    The remaining percentage of voters said they support a different candidate or did not indicate support for any candidate.

    Gillum and DeSantis are running to replace outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is term-limited and running for Senate. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the gubernatorial contest a “toss-up.”

    The Reuters poll shows Gillum with a slightly larger cushion than most other polls have shown thus far.

    A RealClearPolitics average of polls in shows Gillum with a lead of roughly 4 percentage points.

    Gillum, currently the mayor of Tallahassee, has earned the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and has campaigned on a progressive agenda that includes expanding Medicare to cover everyone.

    DeSantis, who resigned as a congressman earlier this month to focus on campaigning for governor, has received the endorsement of President Trump.

    DeSantis sparked controversy just a day after he and Gillum won their respective primaries when he urged voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum, who would be the state's first African-American governor, and his policies in the November election.

    His comments prompted fierce backlash, with critics suggesting the remarks had racial undertones or were outright racist.

    DeSantis denied that race had anything to do with his comments, but instead argued he was focusing on "ideas and principles."

    The Reuters–Ipsos–UVA Center for Politics poll surveyed 1,000 voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    sharkbait28 likes this.
  5. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    A few progressives on the left has noticed that since winning the democratic nomination for Governor of Florida, Andrew Gilliam's stance on medicare for all has somewhat shifted since.
  6. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

  7. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Is that a strategy or shift shaped around winning or losing ?
  8. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    If you looked at the statistics for what the average american would like, many of them would like medicare for all, both those who would vote republican or democrat.

    You asked on whether the platform for medicare for all is that of a strategy for winning. I believe that this is one of the reason why he won the democratic nomination for governor. Changing the rhetoric half way through a campaign could possibly come back and hurt him.
  9. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    I don’t really question your logic, but I do think campaigns tend to be tailored around the circumstances. What works in a primary may often have to be massaged when the focus shifts to the general population. Of course, shiftiness can hurt but so can ideological stiffness.
    MCP likes this.
  10. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    If you happen across a poll measuring the support of Puerto Rican’s “now residing in Florida” — please post it. I’m interested in knowing what they’re thinking and whether they may be “Making Florida Blue Again.”

  11. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    This is sounding more and more like Andrew is slowly moving away from a progressive stance.
  12. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Wondering, will Hillary’s support in Florida do more harm than good or good than harm???

  13. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    Having Hillary supporting you in Florida could be counterproductive, noting Hillary's record in Florida from the last election.
  14. muckraker10021

    muckraker10021 Superstar ***** BGOL Investor

    RepubliKlan Governor candidate Brian Kemp Has Purged 10% of Voters in Georgia

    Journalist Greg Palast confronts GOP candidate for Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp outside the Sprayberry Barbecue in Newman, Georgia, asking, “Mr. Kemp are you removing Black voters from the voter rolls just so you can win this election?”

    ....This past week, I released the name of every one of these Georgia voters Kemp flushed from voter rolls in 2017. If you’re a Georgia resident, check the list. If your name is on it, re-register right now....

    Read the entire story -

    sharkbait28 likes this.
  15. sharkbait28

    sharkbait28 I Never Don't Trip

    Stacey Abrams on point! Hope all y'all GA folks get out to vote for her :cool:

  16. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Poll shows Andrew Gillum with
    9-point lead over Ron DeSantis

    A poll of likely Florida voters released Wednesday found Democrat Andrew Gillum with a significant 54 percent to 45 percent lead over Republican Ron DeSantis.

    The Quinnipiac Univesity Poll shows Gillum has passed the 50 percent threshold among likely Florida voters.

    Gillum has gained and DeSantis has slipped since a Sept. 4 survey by Quinnipiac, in which the Democrat had the support of 50 percent and the Republican had the support of 47 percent of likely voters.

    Gillum support
    The latest poll shows the Democratic nominee, currently mayor of Tallahassee, has strong support among multiple demographic groups:

    -- Women favor Gillum 59 percent to 39 percent.

    -- Black voters favor Gillum 98 percent to 2 percent. If elected, Gillum would be Florida’s first black governor.

    -- Hispanic voters support him 59 percent to 41 percent.

    -- Independents favor the Democrat, 56 percent to 40 percent.

    Democrats support Gillum 96 percent to 2 percent.

    DeSantis support
    The Republican nominee, who was a congressman until resigning this month to campaign full time, finds his support concentrated in the Republican Party’s base:
    -- Men favor DeSantis, 51 percent to 48 percent.

    -- Republicans favor their party’s nominee 90 percent to 9 percent.

    -- White voters back DeSantis 53 percent to 45 percent.

    Quinnipiac also found Florida voters view Gillum an DeSantis differently.

    -- Gillum is rated favorably by 55 percent of likely voters surveyed and negatively by 31 percent, for a net positive of 24 points.

    -- Voters have a somewhat unfavorable view of DeSantis, with 42 percent viewing him positively and 47 percent negatively, which puts him 5 points underwater.
    At this point, Gillum's biggest asset is just that voters like him better," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in written analysis of the results.

    On Tuesday, the NBC News/Marist Poll showed Gillum with 48 percent to DeSantis’s 43 percent, a 5-point advantage for the Democrat.

    Previously, Gillum was plus 4, plus 2, plus 6, plus 6, plus 4, plus 3 and plus 2.

    In almost every poll, the lead is within the margin of error. When the leads are within the margin of error, the race could be tied — or DeSantis could actually be slightly ahead.

    The margin of error in the Quinnipiac survey is plus or minus 4 percentage points, which means Gillum’s 9-point lead is statistically significant. Breakdowns for smaller groups, such as men, women, Democrats and Republicans, have higher margins of error.

    In the NBC/Marist poll the margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

    Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Bill Nelson, had 48 percent and his Republican challenger, Gov. Rick Scott, had 45 percent. Quinnipiac had Nelson at 53 percent and Scott at 46 percent.)

    That doesn’t mean the election is over. It does mean that Gillum supporters need to avoid complacency and a feeling that he’s going to win so actually going out and voting isn’t critical — much the way some people who preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump didn’t bother voting because they figured Clinton was sure to win.

    And Republicans are mounting an extensive effort, both in person through DeSantis and via television ads, to sow fear about Gillum.

    “All these TV ads don’t seem to be helping DeSantis’ campaign,” Brown said. “Those TV ads, run in an effort to introduce DeSantis to Florida voters, are airing at the same time his favorability numbers are sinking and Mayor Gillum's are rising.”

    The fine print
    The Quinnipiac poll of 888 likely Florida voters was conducted from Thursday through Monday.

    The NBC/Marist poll of 600 likely Florida voters was conducted from Sept. 16-20.

    Quinnipiac and Marist, which both used live callers to landline and mobile numbers, are among the best regarded pollsters in the business. Pollster ratings from statisticians at give Quinnipiac and A minus and Marist College an A.


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