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Tags: political | deadlock | voters | economy

End of Political Gridlock

End of Political Gridlock

(AP/John Bazemore)

Dr. Edward Yardeni By Wednesday, 16 November 2016 07:37 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Before the election, I was rooting for gridlock. I figured that our country and the financial markets would be better off if the results confirmed the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, who had established a system of checks and balances in our Constitution. The result, led by President-elect Donald Trump, was a resounding Republican landslide in Congress, state legislatures, and governorships.

Stocks soared on the news. Maybe I figured wrong. Over the next four years, we will see if our system, dominated by one party’s majority in every major branch of our government (but not in the media or the universities), can do right by our country and economy. I am optimistic. Stock investors perceive that the regime change will lead to a much more pro-business environment. That’s probably true, though the jury is still out on the protectionist leanings of the incoming President.

In any event, the majority party has a clear majority and can move forward without much opposition from the minority party, which clearly is in disarray.

Consider the following election results:

(1) One more state to go. The Democrats have lost control of so many state legislatures that the Republicans are within just one more of being able to start a “Convention of States” unopposed. Democrats now control only 13 state legislatures (26%). If they lose just one more, they fall below the percentage needed to stop constitutional amendments. Article 5 of the Constitution specifies that three-quarters of the states can vote to propose and ratify amendments to the Constitution. The Founders included this clause to balance the power between the states and the federal government.

(2) Dems decimated. Damage to the Democratic Party occurred even before the 2016 election. From 2008 through 2015, the Dems lost representation across the Senate (-10.2%), House (-19.3), state legislatures (-20.3), and governors (-35.7), according to a 11/10 analysis in The Washington Post. One of the untold stories of the Obama presidency is how singular his victory was, observed another 11/9 Washington Post article. It was titled: “The remarkably thin Democratic bench just got badly exposed.” It noted that Obama won over 330 electoral votes during both elections. But Democrats lost lots of battles in the Senate and House during 2010 and 2014. And they lost more than 900 state legislative seats during those two elections, according to Pew’s research.

(3) Losing the battlegrounds. Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa are the key states that turned from Obama blue to Trump red during this election cycle. Hillary Clinton captured slightly more of the popular vote at 47.85% versus Trump’s 47.23%. But the state-level wins propelled the GOP candidate to capture 290 electoral votes (20 more than needed to win) versus Clinton’s 232. That’s all according to data from the Associated Press, updated as of 11/15.

The BBC’s helpful 11/11 post-mortem on the contest included lots of relevant data. It noted that the Democrats lost points off of the national share of popular votes versus the 2012 election while the Republican share didn’t change much. A similar pattern translated to a loss of Florida’s 29 electoral votes, which previously went to Obama twice, by a slim 1% margin. The BBC observed that the strong population of older voters in Florida and their majority preference for Trump helped to tip the scales.

Another big blow to the Dems was the loss of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, which had gone blue over six prior elections. In the industrial North, Trump’s gains were supported by white working-class voters without a college degree, explained NPR. Lots of them had previously gravitated towards Obama. But this time, Trump spoke to them while Clinton did not.

(4) Up for re-election. Twenty-five Senate Democrat seats, including two aligned independents, are up for election two years from now, according to the Associated Press. Thirteen of them are from states that Trump won, or lost by a narrow margin. Only eight Republican seats are up for re-election. For now, it may be easier to get the support of the incumbent Democrats for the issues that are important to the conservative voter base that they’ll have to appeal to in 2018.

Dr. Ed Yardeni is the President of Yardeni Research, Inc., a provider of independent global investment strategy research.

© 2022 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

The majority party has a clear majority and can move forward without much opposition from the minority party, which clearly is in disarray.
political, deadlock, voters, economy
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 07:37 AM
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