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Hamilton Forces GOP Primary In Midwest

James Hamilton of Illinois has entered the race for governor assuring the public of a GO primary between Mr. Cardley and Mr. Hamilton. Hamilton's business background could come in handy to gain support across the midwest especially after the flip floppy answers of former businessman Erik Travere....whose simultaneous support for the payed leave bill before congress while dressing himself up as being pro-business has left business interests and unionist voters confused and wary. What seemed like a close race before is seeming to lose steam unless Travere can get his campaign back on track and back on message. Without it, this race will quickly turn into a 1 party race seeking the GOP nomination and the senate seat. 

So far, Hamilton has not said much. We will have to wait to hear more from the candidate on his views and policies for the midwest. 

 

@Dogslife @Isaac Beckley @LM32

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Another Republican enters

With the entry of Illinois congressman @ADG Anthony Granata, the GOP primary has become a 3 way race between Granata, Hamilton @LM32 and Cardley @Isaac Beckley. So far, Hamilton has been the most vocal and the most  seen in the media and on the campaign train, however, newcomer Granata has leaped in the polls after announcing his candidacy. He is now the highest in polling among the republicans thus far. 

Allthough all 3 republicans are trailing the lone democratic candidate Erik Travere @Dogslife, the latest polls show Granata to be the most likely to win against  Travere down by only 3 points . Hamilton follows losing against Travere by 7. Lastly, Robert Cardley appears to be the most at a loss in a head to head against teh democrat Travere.......minus more than 10 points. 

All of this is before much campaigning has happened, so no candidate needs panic yet. The republicans should take this election seriously and make their campaign stops....especially in key battleground states. Lastly, Travere is having the easiest time with fundraising by a long shot. Perhaps a long drawn out republican primary will drain any republican of funds before he reaches the general election. That is another factor to consider in this still VERY close Midwest gubernatorial race. 

 

 

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Granata Wins Big in Republican Primary

Gubernatorial latecomer candidate Anthony Granata has won over Hamilton in the Midwest Republican primary.  Granata stuck to popular conservative/republican talking points which played out well in a primary where mostly involved republicans with stronger political ideals tend to vote......and moderates usually stay home. Granata however, now faces a general election in which talking points like those in the primary will only help his base, and hurt him with moderates (who play a huge role in the region. 

                                                        Granata                                                              Hamilton

Percentage 52.29 47.71

 

@ADG @LM32 @Dogslife

 

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@ADG @Dogslife

                                                          Granata                                                                            Travere

                                                              52.79%                                                                             47.21%


 

Travere is doing a better job of appealing to moderate voters....especially on farmers (tariffs). Granata won the GOOP nomination because he appealed to classically conservative stances on issues, but that will not fare well in a general election in the midwest. 

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CANDIDATES ON THE ISSUES THUS FAR

TARIFFS

Travere is winning this battle. The midwest farmers do not like the soybean tariff.....even if they are otherwise pro-trump republicans

TAXES/BUSINESS

Granata wins this by a mile. Travere's flip floppy answers on the role of government in forcing businesses to pay for more benefits......only to later backtrack slightly...only to then claim to be pro-union. Granata's death tax line is well liked as well as his being for right to work legislation

UNIONS

Travere by a landslide. Being pro-right o work helped Granata in the primary......but that stance is not as well liked in the general election among union cities in the midwest.

 

@ADG @Dogslife

 

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TURN 2 ELECTION UPDATE

Granata takes a lead in the polls jumping up to 54.64% over Travere's 45.36%

 

 

 

 

 

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TRAVERE WINS EASILY  OVER GRANATA

 

Overall, Granata went all the way to the right (which did win him the GOP nomination), but in doing so (especially on issues like tariffs and right to work) Granata forgot that many Midwest voters are moderates.....especially in presidential swing states While there was some voter turnout problems with progressives who did not like how moderate/conservative Travere was.........it was nothing in comparison to the moderate vote that he picked up
 
                                                                    GRANATA                                                                               TRAVERE
 
Grand Total 1006014 1379231
Percentage 42.18 57.82

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Chicago Tribune: Late July 2019

 

Governor Announces Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations

 

The first executive order from the recently elected Governor Erick Travere was to establish an independent council to review data and make policy recommendations related improving policing and community relations. The council will have a number of representatives from police associations and various minority rights groups, such as NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and CAIR. The council is expected to provide advice on matters related to law enforcement and community relations through a lens of procedural and social justice.

 

In announcing the establishment of the independent council Governor Travere stated: “This council will bridge the divide between law enforcement and our communities. On the council will be people like the Chief of Chicago police and representatives from the NAACP. The entire project will be open to the public so we can ensure complete transparency. Violence in our communities must stop and it must be stopped now.”

 

The news was warmly received by progressive activists throughout the state. Black Lives Matter representative Angela Pearson-Dawes published a statement saying, “It’s good to see our regional government might be led by a smart Governor who understands that black bodies have been dropping for too long now. The corruption and police murder and systemic racism needs to end yesterday.”

 

Some conservative activists expressed skepticism of the council. One local radio commentator in Louisville claimed dissatisfaction of the composition of the council, “So many of the people on this council are from a bunch of different liberal racial special interest groups. There’s no way to expect any reasonable recommendations from such a racially-charged council.”

 

A snap poll conducted by the Chicago Tribune suggests a majority of respondents approve of the creation of such a council, but will reserve judgment until they see the recommendations the council delivers. A preliminary report is set to be delivered no later than June 30, 2020 and a final report is due no later than December 30, 2020.

 

Ranked Choice Voting Act Denied By Regional Legislators

The Ranked Choice Voting Act was defeated in a 45 Aye to 55 Nay vote, mostly down party lines with four Democrats joining the Republicans in rejecting the measure. The proposal was the first bill considered by the regional legislature since the recent special Gubernatorial election which resulted in Erick Travere’s victory. Political commentators considered the proposal a surprise first choice for the Governor’s legislative agenda, while he did make such a proposal on the campaign trail, yet was widely elected upon appeals to union members and farmers.

 

Debate on the matter was terse. Republican leader Joseph Granata, son of the recently defeated GOP gubernatorial candidate Anthony Granata, shot down the proposal quite quickly: “We don’t need to add additional elections and further burden midwesterners with extended election cycles.” The Democrats representative in the legislature was not convinced that the proposed act would be burdensome: “If you actually took 5 minutes to look up what ranked choice voting is, or if you were to read the bill, you’d see that this makes elections more representative and make voters happier.”

 

Political commentator, Thomas Schoolcraft, responded for comment saying, “This bill wasn’t necessarily a bad one, but it was poorly timed. Changes to electoral systems can’t be made lightly and voters really need to be sold on it. A surprisingly short time from introduction until vote didn't allow much consideration for persuasion of the public or legislators. With higher priority issues to consider, such as the soybean tariffs and potential automotive factory closures , lawmakers weren't really willing to go along with the Governor's desires at this time.”

 

White Nationalists to Rally in Illinois

A report has recently surfaced that a racial extremist group of white nationalists calling themselves 'The White Crusaders' has be promoting their organization on Twitter and various internet forums and chat programs with the aim of holding a rally in Illinois in the coming months. The size of the group is unknown at this time. A man named Christopher Everest claims to be leading the group and stated on Twitter: “The time for white men to retake our country is now! The [Jewish racial slur]-subverted politicians and media can not be trusted. We shall gather to demonstrate our numbers and show we are not afraid. Place and time TBA.”

 

Michigan Teen Ticketed for Doing 138 mph on I-75

A seventeen year old driver was ticketed for driving 138 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone. The driver told the trooper ticketing him that he was driving so fast because he was late for a 9:30 curfew.

The teen did not receive a reckless driving charge but did receive a 138/70 speeding ticket and a SMH (Shaking My Head) award from the regional police twitter account.

credit original story here: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/11/29/teen-stopped-doing-130-mph-75/2157327002/

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Illinois Judge blocks Travere Executive Order

An Executive Order [19-03] signed by Midwest Governor Erick Travere which looks to ban rallies where violence is "expected and probable" has been blocked by Judge in Illinois today. The Judge ruled that the Executive Order, looking to ban the right of expression of groups or individuals was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Terminiello v. City of Chicago was cited extensively by the Judge, which ruled that a law which banned speech that "stirs the public to anger, invites dispute, brings about a condition of unrest, or creates a disturbance" was unconstitutional. He noted the amendments made by the Governor in the Executive Order did little mitigate the encroachment on First Amendment Rights, saying in his decision "free speech should be free and able to be spoken without the preclearance or approval from a government agency or body..." the Governor and his legal team have the ability to appeal the decision if they wish. 

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A Brief Look at the 2019-2020 Midwest Regional Legislature

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Current Composition: 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats

Estimated Affiliations: 43 Conservative Republicans, 8 Moderate Republicans; 28 Progressive Democrats, 16 Moderate Democrats, 5 Conservative Democrats

 

The recent special election for the new Midwest regional government has been primarily focused on the top-line result with the election of Democrat Erick Travere to be the new Governor of the region. A slight upset in the slightly conservative-leaning, slightly-Republican region, Erick Travere won with appeals to pocket-book issues and and taking moderate stances on voters economic concerns, while avoided alienating voters who would ultimately vote Republican down-ticket.

 

This may cause some anxiety and friction for the new Governor and the regional government going forward.

 

As was recently seen in the first bill considered in the current session, the Ranked Choice Voting Act, a Republican caucus which stays united can deny the Governor's legislative agenda. If the handful of conservative Democrats in the regional legislature feel that the Governor is out of step with their concerns, they can easily make what would otherwise be 51-49 party line votes look somewhat lopsided. This is also true in the converse, where a group of moderate Republicans could feel their party is being excessively intransigent and side with Travere and the Democrats thereby providing them with legislative victories.

 

It seems likely that many votes in the legislature in the 2019-2020 session will come down to debate, public pressure, and rhetorical appeals in the press and during legislative debate. With careful consideration of strategic positioning and proper focus on rhetoric and voters' concerns, either or both regional parties could score political victories in the coming months. Alternatively, either or both regional parties could follow the sirens's song of their respective ideological bedrock voters. Only time will tell where we head.

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(Late October 2019)

 

Midwest Labor Relations Act Withdrawn

The Midwest legislature has been recently debating a bill to address labor issues going forward for the newly formed region, so that one standard would prevail for the Midwest rather than the continuation of the state laws as they previously stood. To that end, Governor Erick Travere (D-IN) proposed the Midwest Labor Relations Act, modeled on the Minnesota model of labor laws, which were generally favored by labor unions.

Initially, it seemed that the bill would be unilaterally shot down by the GOP’s regional leader, Joseph Granata (R-OH): “I can’t support the bill because it doesn’t include any language protecting workers who chose not to unionize from losing jobs based on that decision.  I want right to work language written into any labor bill passed by this body.” Right-to-work is a concept of labor laws broadly supported by Republicans and the majority of states which make up the Midwest region, but is widely detested by labor unions and Democrats. It is likely to be one of the major fault lines in regional politics for some time to come.

Perhaps surprising, Patricia Vanderbeak (R-MI), proposed changes to the legislation to make it more palatable to moderate Republicans, perhaps undercutting the Republican position in negotiations, and those changes were accepted. However, such changes were insufficient to get the GOP entirely on board, so another set of changes were made, presenting Michigan’s right-to-work language as a potential compromise. This was accepted by the GOP and was forced into the bill on a 51-49 party line vote.

As a response to the amendment, the bill was withdrawn rather than being put to a vote. If the bill had been put to a vote, it is unknown what the result would be, but political commentators suspect it would have been passed and then vetoed  by the Governor. After withdrawing the vote, the Governor was reported to be quite angry stating: “The republicans in the state legislature have become detached. They are radical and they are rogue. They no longer care about the people.”

With the bill withdrawn, the status quo with regards to the Midwest’s labor laws shall prevail for the time being.

 

 

End Predatory Lending Act Passes Unanimously

The End Predatory Lending Act was recently passed by the regional legislature unanimously. Little debate was conducted in the legislature regarding the issue. The Republican-written bill was brought to the floor by the Democrat caucus. It seems that the issue is one that, while low priority for most voters, was able to pass on a bi-partisan basis, pleasing moderates as the Governor and legislature are seen as proactive on an issue and not being unnecessarily divisive. This is a great law that protects our less fortunate here in this great region, I’m glad I have a chance to sign it,” Governor Erick Travere wrote in his signing statement.

 

Presidential Hopefuls Visiting the Midwest

The Presidential primary is in full swing, with many states in the Midwest being viewed as hotly-contested swing states that are pivotal for candidates in both parties.  Republican Paul Vang was in Ames, Iowa where he spoke about issues involving Affirmative Action, racial preferences and its negative impact on Asian-Americans in higher education. Democrat Ken Bowers was in Detroit, Michigan protesting General Motor’s recent decision to lay off thousands of workers saying, “It’s time to yank their free ride.” Pennsylvania Democrat Daniela Gonzalez spoke about her life story in Iowa and her desires to make farming sustainable.

The Ames, IA straw poll is just around the corner and marks a potential crucial test for candidates as it is a pre-cursor to the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus.

 

White Crusaders Undeterred, Still Potentially Growing

Reports have once again surfaced about the White Crusaders and that their numbers are growing, despite condemnations by prominent politicians and attempted prohibition of their rally by the Midwest Governor. They reportedly have selected an undisclosed location in Illinois to host their rally. Christopher Everest, despite being banned multiple times by Twitter on various accounts, is said to be engaging in account-sharing and ban-evasion and tweeted out: “A location has been selected. We will be going into the belly of the beast. Expect us. Soon.” The FBI Civil Rights division reports that they are keeping a watchful eye on the group and stated, “Unfortunately, the number of people claiming to be with the WC is growing,” although they did not disclose the number of individuals within the group.

 

 

 

First Look at Regional Approval Ratings

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Governor Erick Travere (D-IN): 56% Approval, 28% Disapproval; GOP Leader Joseph Granata (R-OH): 43% Approval, 32% Disapproval

A new regional poll was released measuring the public opinion throughout the entirety of the Midwest about the Governor and his opposition leader in the Republican Party. Erick Travere enjoyed a 56% approval rating, with 28% critical of his performance as Governor, while majority leader Joseph Granata received positive marks from 43%, with 32% less positive.

“The Governor is still enjoying a bit of a political honeymoon with the voters, but recent polling movement suggests that may be coming to an end,” said political commentator Thomas Schoolcraft, “having to govern and find compromise with an opposition party is always a difficult task, and will always make one look worse when compared to happy, uplifting television campaign ads. He continues to appeal to progressives in his party, and moderates are still hopeful for positive actions for farmers and rural issues.”

“Joseph Granata is a little bit of a less-known figure compared to his father, who recently ran for Governor, which explains his higher ‘unsure/don’t know’ numbers. In certain respects, he is loomed over and in the shadow of his father. This could be a blessing or a curse, as he has a strong approval rating among conservative voters and disapproval numbers among progressives. Moderates are split. Many, regardless of political orientation, are looking to see how he defines himself going forward and what legislation he will attempt to get through the regional legislature.”

 

@Dogslife @ADG @Paul Vang @Sovereign @Jellybeans @Bruce

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(Early February 2020)

Budget Passes, Legalizes Marijuana, Cuts Property Taxes for Farmers

The Midwest legislature passed the region’s first budget since the ten states became one region. The budget, proposed by supporters of Erick Travere, was passed by a 52-48 margin, with several legislators from both parties crossing over to the either side. The contents of the budget, along with relatively sparse debate, likely impacted this.

The budget contained a provision to exempt small farms from property taxes, a position favored by conservatives and likely included to attract support from Republican legislators. It also increased allocations for various government programs related to education and health care. The most controversial aspect of the budget was the proposal to legalize and tax marijuana. While opposition to legalized marijuana has been waning nationally in recent years, it’s still rarely considered a winning position to hold in the conservative-leaning Midwest region.

“Whether by design or by accident, the Governor’s decision to make marijuana legalization attached to the budget process is likely what made legalization possible,” said Jared Roller, spokesman for the Midwest chapter of NORML. “In a straight vote on legalization, conservatives opposed to marijuana and moderates skittish about such a change likely would’ve banded together and blocked it. But because this was part of the budget process, moderates that hate large disruptions broke in favor of this bill. The governor’s arguments in favor of legalization during the debate, both fiscal and justice-based, likely helped as well.”

Ultimately, five Republicans voted in favor of the Democrat-sponsored budget, while two Democrats voted against it.

“Both regional political leaders will need to decide how best to reproach the legislators who voted against the party’s desires, if at all, going forward,” said Thomas Schoolcraft, political commentator for the Chicago Tribune. “Each leader will need to decide if they want to be a permissive leader who allows dissension, or one who expects their caucus to toe the party line. Either way has merits and can have significant influence on current votes and votes down the line.”

 

Voter ID and Automatic Voter Registration Debate Continues

The Midwest legislature continues to debate issues related to identification being necessary for voting, as well as all eligible voters being automatically enrolled as voters. The bill, proposed by Governor Erick Travere, was initially seen as a compromise bill, wherein conservatives would get the voter identification provisions enacted into law that they view as necessary to protect election integrity, while progressives would’ve been pleased by automatic voter registration.

This compromise was recently upended when an amendment proposed to remove the automatic voter provisions was passed in a party line vote, after debates involving a more engaged Joseph Granata.

“It’s a credit to the Governor that he moved as many votes as he did, even if it was ultimately a bit short of what he wanted. At this point, he will need to consider if he wants to pull the bill, as was done to the previous labor relations bill and likely take a significant hit in popularity from conservatives and some moderates. Perhaps he could veto a passed bill, likely to similar effect. Or he could sign the bill, pleasing those same voters, but upsetting a significant portion of the progressive Democrat base.”

Midwest Legislature Condemns White Crusaders

The Midwest legislature passed a resolution denouncing the alt-right, white nationalists, and specifically the group known as the ‘White Crusaders.’ The White Crusaders are a group being monitored by the FBI and announced they would be holding a rally in January in Skokie, Illinois. No news has been heard from that group related to the rally since the announcement though. However, shortly after the resolution was announced as having passed, there was a tweet allegedly from the group with an image of an old man laughing stating, “You have no power here.”

The Governor provided a short statement stating he was glad to see the resolution passed. He took a moment to critique Republican leader Joe Granata in his signing statement: “It seems like Joe Granata tried to kill this resolution and enable the alt-right throughout the entire process.”

“The governor really felt like twisting the knife, and some people view that as unseemly and unnecessary while progressives have responded positively online,” claimed Thomas Schoolcraft, pollster from the Chicago Tribune. “Voters still don’t understand what Granata was trying to accomplish here. Some have suggested he was trying to parse that there is a difference between being ‘alt-right’ and being a ‘white nationalist’, and the latter is more worthy of condemnation. Or that it’s a more accurate label. In either case, he really needed to explain that in a persuasive manner, which he never attempted. Whipping his caucus so hard on an uncontroversial idea such as condemning white nationalists or the alt-right backfired hard. These legislators have to get re-elected at the end of the year and they didn’t want to explain to voters why they voted to table this resolution with no explanation. It’s that simple.”

 

February 2020 Polling: Travere Mostly Steady; Granata Slides After White Nationalist Bill

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Gov. Erick Travere (D-IN): 54% Approval, 34% Disapproval; GOP Ldr. Joseph Granata (R-OH): 40% Approval, 39% Disapproval

 

Both the Governor Erick Travere and GOP Leader Joseph Granata saw their approval numbers dip and disapproval numbers climb in the most recent polling conducted by the Chicago Tribune. The Governor retains a 54% approval rating with Midwestern voters and a 34% disapproval rating. Joseph Granata’s approval rating stands at 40%, with 39% disapproving.

“The Governor still enjoys a positive, albeit smaller spread compared to the previous polling. He is generally seen as active and engaged in the Midwest, alleviating any concerns some may have had about his Presidential campaign. Progressives are enjoying his stands on issues and combativeness, although that same combativeness is pushing down his numbers with conservatives and some moderates,” stated political commentator Thomas Schoolcraft. “One would expect declines in popularity simply from having to make decisions that some people won’t like. As long as he doesn’t drive away too many people, he should stay in fine shape.”

“Joseph Granata has some catching-up to do. The way the white nationalism resolution was handled was eye-brow-raising for many voters and his caucus. His caucus is publicly asking for him to be more engaged on the floor of the Midwest legislature, and he’s going to need to do so if he wants to use the Republican majority to maximum advantage. A whip alone will rarely be enough to carry the day. Similarly, voters don’t feel like they know what this guy wants to accomplish. He has yet to bring anything to the floor. What’s his agenda? Is Granata just a partisan opposed to the governor with nothing to offer except whips? A closet alt-right fringelord? They don’t really know.”

 

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(May 2020)

 

GOP Senate Primary: Granata v. Grant

The Republicans in the Midwest will have a choice facing them for the position of US Senator in the upcoming primary midterm elections. Recently elected Congressman Johnathon Grant of Missouri will be facing former gubernatorial candidate Anthony Granata of Illinois in the summer campaign. Both candidates seem to be attempting to position themselves to appeal conservative Republican voters, whom make up the largest portion of the GOP primary electorate.

 

Anthony Granata has been stressing his appeal as an ‘America First!’-style candidate, reaffirming his commitment to President Trump’s tariff policy and a hardline on immigration reform and border security. Johnathon Granata has been stressing that he is more consistently conservative in his favoring of limited government, due to his support for marijuana legalization and reduction in tariffs. Both candidates seem to be appealing to different strains of conservative thought within the Republican party, with Granata slightly more traditionally Republican, while Grant seems a bit more libertarian minded.

 

Anthony Granata, while better known than Grant due to his campaign for governor, also comes with some baggage from his defeat in that election and the recent replacement of his son as Midwest leader. Grant is a relative newcomer to the scene, but has garnered much media attention recently due to frequent press releases and availabilities, activity on the house floor, and twitter presence.

 

Political commentator Thomas Schoolcraft summarized the state of the race: “Right now, it seems both candidates are about equally matched in terms of conservative appeal, while Grant holds an edge with moderates in the party. This is giving Grant a lead, but not an insurmountable one. Moderates may end up making the difference in the Republican primary, unless one of the candidates can successfully paint the other as being sufficiently unacceptable to the conservatives in the party. Campaigning from the candidates will likely determine who wins the contest.”

 

The winner of the primary will face off against Democratic Congressman Craig Daniels of Iowa in the fall.

 

Midwest Legislature Working

The Midwest legislature has seen a good bit of comity and activity as of late, passing the Police Camera Act, Age of Consent Act, and the Flint Crisis Act. All three bills were passed by unanimous consent, with little or no objections offered by newly appointed GOP leader Mark McCready.

 

The Police Camera Act makes it mandatory for police officers to wear body cameras and provides $3 million in funding for that purpose.

 

The Age of Consent Act stipulates that the age of consent will be eighteen within the Midwest, with certain exceptions for activity conducted by minors due the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ clause offered by Democrats support of Governor Erick Travere.

 

The Flint Crisis Act may have been the most controversial bill, initially objected to by former leader Joe Granata, but he was subsequently replaced by McCready who recanted that objection and supported the bill. The bill appropriates $450 million for to replace water pipes in Flint, Michigan that have lead in them as well as sets up a commission to investigate any lead poisoning in Flint. The commission should make a public report no later October 15, 2020.

 

Governor and New Majority Leader Approval Ratings

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Governor Erick Travere: 54% Approval, 35% Disapproval; GOP Leader Mark McCready: 34% Approval, 30% Disapproval

 

The Chicago Tribune has conducted a survey of all adults within the Midwest. Governor Travere’s approval rating continues to hold steady at 54% with all adults. The GOP recently changed leaders in the legislature, and the new leader, Mark McCready, has an approval rating of 34%.

 

Chicago Tribune pollster Thomas Schoolcraft offered this about the Governor’s numbers: “The Governor is likely happy with these polls. Many progressives and moderates view him as reasonable and competent, while many conservatives are expressing distress. In sum, he continues to hold an appeal with a majority of voters. While he certainly raised some eyebrows with gun owners and earned some ire from conservatives due to a recent announcement in his now-ended Presidential campaign, not pushing for that in the Midwest legislature lessens its ability to negatively impact his approval ratings. It may be that the announcement was an attempt to make him more acceptable to national Democrats and position as a potential Vice Presidential pick. The MacMillan campaign should certainly be considering him, depending on how much of their strategy will be to appeal to the conservative-leaning Midwest region. He has also quietly accumulated a very substantial warchest.”

 

On the new GOP leader: “Right now, he is largely an unknown. He can pursue a number of strategies to increase his polling numbers going forward, all with benefits and downsides. Gun owners were certainly pleased with his response to the Governor’s announcement on gun issues. This may be a dividing line going forward or it may not. He can try a ‘go-along and get-along’ approach, as was seen with the Flint bill, but his caucus may eventually object, depending on circumstances and how long it goes on. There are any number of ways he can proceed and I look forward to seeing what he chooses.”

 

Underage Marijuana Smoking, Crime Increases After Legalization

 

The Chicago Tribune has learned that use of marijuana on university campuses has increased sharply in the past month according to a tip from an unnamed police chief: “Used to be that we’d get a call from a resident assistant a every week or few days during the school year about some guy acting the fool. We’d go out and tell them to knock it off, maybe arrest the guy if they were carrying a big stash. Now? We’re out there every night, maybe two, three times a night. And a lot of these kids are eighteen or nineteen; if we arrest them, we’re going to be jeopardizing their futures, but if we don’t, they’re going to continue smoking and end up too baked for classes or become victims of other crimes themselves. It’s a tough spot.”

 

This report comes on the heels of the Midwest government’s decision to legalize marijuana use for those twenty-one years and older, along with retail marijuana stores.

 

Another report states that several cannabis shops around the Detroit area were reportedly broken into and vandalized with graffiti after they closed for the day. Rumors claim that some of the graffiti was done by the ‘White Crusaders’ group but neither the Detroit police nor the FBI have confirmed this.

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Grant Prevails Over Granata in GOP Senate Primary

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Rep. Johnathon Grant (MO) 11,115,531 votes (53.41%); Rep. Anthony Granata (IL) 9,731,696 votes (46.59%)

 

The Midwest Republican Party has completed their primary process and selected Representative Johnathon Grant @SWMissourian of Missouri over Representative Anthony Granata @ADG of Illinois to campaign for the office of US Senator in the general election. Grant won the majority of votes and states in the Midwest region, while Granata held onto his homestate of Illinois, as well as Kentucky.

 

Political pundits largely credit Grant's victory to his overall campaign strategy and deeper warchest. Thomas Schoolcraft summarized the general consensus as such: "Grant has been driving hard for this primary win for some time now, being very active and showing deep determination to win the primary. He spent well in every state rather than concentrating on winning big in one or two places. He tried to reach out and that seemed to pay off for him. Additionally, Grant went all in with his warchest. He didn't hold any resources back and he comes away with the win. Of course, now we have to wonder if he will be able to find the funds for a general election campaign. Tonight though, he will likely feel satisfied."

 

Representative Granata came in second place in the contest. Schoolcraft stated, "Granata was a bit more in step with mainline Republican thinking. A number of voters were persuaded by Granata's arguments related to Grant's relative lack of experience and he was too far outside typical Republican norms on some issues. Many responded to that positively when they heard it. However, some moderates in the party actually considered those aspects a plus, thinking Grant would have greater cross-over appeal in a general election. Granata was similar to Grant in that he put all of his resources into this race, but ultimately Grant had the deeper pool of resources to draw from."

 

Rep. Johnathon Grant will face off against Democratic Representative Craig Daniels @Sovereign in the general election. While initial polling shows Grant with a sizeable lead, he has spent the entirety of his warchest and will need to replenish his funding for the general election. This may give Daniels an opportunity to close that gap or even claim a lead. Only time and actions will tell. Daniels won the Democratic primary unopposed.

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2020 Midwest Legislature Election Preview

The campaign season is getting into full swing, and the Midwest regional legislature is no exception. Candidates and their supporters are out knocking on doors, putting up yard signs, and running those campaign ads we all love to hate. All 100 seats in the legislature are up for election every two years, and 2020 is no exception. With the backgroud noise of the race for US Senator and a Presidential election, it can be hard for local candidates to stand out, but Republican and Democratic candidates alike will be giving it their all to win office.

 

The Chicago Tribune has conducted a region-wide survey and provides the following estimation of where the parties stand heading into the campaign season contrasted to how they did in the previous election.

 

Previous Election Results

Illinois: 5 Republicans, 14 Democrats

Indiana: 7 Republicans, 3 Democrats

Iowa: 1 Republican, 4 Democrats

Kentucky: 5 Republicans, 2, Democrats

Michigan: 7 Republicans, 8 Democrats

Minnesota: 3 Republicans, 6 Democrats

Missouri: 6 Republicans, 3 Democrats

Ohio: 12 Republicans, 5 Democrats

Wisconsin: 5 Republicans, 4 Democrats

Total: 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats

 

2020 Preview

Illinois: 3 Republican, 5 Tossup, 11 Democratic

Indiana: 4 Republican, 3 Tossup, 3 Democratic

Iowa: 0 Republican, 3 Tossup, 2 Democratic

Kentucky: 4 Republican, 1 Tossup, 2 Democratic

Michigan: 2 Republican, 6 Tossup, 7 Democratic

Minnesota: 4 Republican, 1 Tossup, 4 Democratic

Missouri: 3 Republican, 5 Tossup, 1 Democratic

Ohio: 4 Republican, 11 Tossup, 2 Democratic

Wisconsin: 2 Republican, 3 Tossup, 4 Democratic

Total: 26 Republican, 38 Tossup, 35 Democratic

 

Chicago Tribune political commentator Thomas Schoolcraft remarked upon the survey and gave the lay of the land: "We see a clear lean by the voters towards the Democratic side as the campaign season gets going in earnest. The progressive Democrats are largely motivated to turn out and get a victory for their Governor and deliver the regional legislature to him. Interestingly, some of the rhetoric from the Governor @Dogslife regarding guns, coupled with Republican action @James Grant on that matter, is motivating conservatives to get back into the game, although they are still not at the level of progressive motivation. Republicans may still end up holding onto the legislature, but it will definitely be an uphill climb for them. Missteps or overheated rhetoric could up alienating moderates and cost the election for either side. Yet sometimes that rhetoric is what gets your base really amped up to vote. Coattail effects if the Presidential or Senatorial candidates wins a state by a significant margin could also play a role in the results. The legislature will still be in session during the campaign. With money not being a factor in these minute local races, this election will likely come down to good decisions from the party leaders. I personally can't wait to see what happens."

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2020 Midwest Senate Election Preview

If an election were held today for the office of US Senator from the Midwest, Republican Representative Johnathon Grant of Missouri @SWMissourian would be elected Senator. That is, of course, a very big hypothetical as the election is not being held today, and the Midwest is bracing for a campaign is likely to be hotly contested by both candidates and supported heavily by their parties in this crucial swing region.

Senpoll1.png

Johnathon Grant (R-MO): 52%, Craig Daniels (D-IA): 44%; Shirley Jones-Jackson (I-IL): 3%

 

Initially polling gives Grant an estimated eight point lead over his rival Craig Daniels @Sovereign across the region, although Daniels does lead Grant in the state of Illinois. Shirley Jones-Jackson, an independent candidate from Chicago, would take approximately 3% of the total vote.

"Right now, Grant is a better established candidate compared to Daniels," commented Thomas Schoolcraft, Chicago Tribune's lead political commentator. "He's been an active figure in Congress and the press longer than Daniels, and he's also a bit more recognizable due to the recently contested Republican primary. However, Daniels has a larger war chest and word is he is receiving large financial support from Democrats. He can easily use that money for spending on ads to close that gap."

Both candidates have been conducting town halls and introducing themselves more to voters, and reports state that those in attendance come away looking favorably on the candidates, "Both candidates are playing well to their partisan voters without alienating moderates. Neither has a particularly high cross-over appeal into the other party at this point. Which is fair, as it can be hard to cross-over without annoying your core supporters. All depends on their strategy."

Both candidates have released platforms as well. "Both platforms were well done and provide information to voters on a plethora of issues. This shows voters that both candidates are taking this election seriously and voters will hold the eventual winner to account for delivering on their promises."

As for the independent candidate, Schoolcraft had this to say: "She's a bit of an enigma to voters at this point, but she may be attempting to play spoiler. She has a history as a progressive activist, but it's hard to say if she can really pressure Daniels in any way as she doesn't appear to have the resources or profile to mount a significant campaign."

 

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Midwestern Equality Act Passes

With a vote of 57 Ayes and 43 Nays, the Midwestern Equality Act has passed the Midwest legislature, pleasing progressives in the region and upsetting some conservatives. The new law removes any references to husband and wife within regional code and replaces it with the word 'spouse.' Lawyers consulted by the Chicago Tribune regarding the change state that its effect will not be particularly significant, but mostly symbolic. "This is a change that was recommended and largely implemented at the federal level based on bureaucratic recommendation several years ago during the Obama administration," stated John Leibowitz, a civil rights lawyer based in Chicago. "It's good to see the Midwest government catching up in this regard. It may not impact much in terms of benefits or legal rights, but it is a step forward for inclusivity and diversity."

Deborah White, political director of the Midwest chapter of the Christian Coalition condemned the move, "This change in the law is symbolic of the relentless destruction of traditional values we see from our government. This term of spouse which is supposedly 'politically neutral' erases the unique beauty of a husband and wife coming together to form a holy union and implies that all are the same. It's deeply disappointing we didn't see our political representatives stand up more earnestly to condemn the bill."

Governor Erick Travere is expected to quickly sign the bill in conjunction with his role a vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket.

 

Midwestern Regional Election Round-Up

The one hundred elections being held for seats in the regional legislature continue to be vigorously campaigned. Both regional political parties have held their political conventions, bringing together their delegates from across the region to rally and coordinate to win the regional legislature.

The Democrats held their convention in Cincinnati, Ohio energizing their core voters within the state and prompting more focus on the election for more casual voters. They emphasized their desires to appeal to more moderate forces throughout the region, praising the work of Governor Erick Travere and suggesting their platform is the best for appeal to the broad middle of the electorate.

The Republicans similarly held a convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin similarly powering up their core voters in that state and getting attention from more casual voters there. They similarly sought to craft a platform to appeal to moderate voters. They emphasized their support for Republican presidential hopeful and favored son Paul Vang.

In a bit more local news, in Wisconsin's 8th district, public defender Gregory Kagan is running as an independent candidate. "We need more loud and proud progressive voices in the legislature, no soft piecemeal steps. We need to get guns off the streets and confiscation should be on the table." He previously ran as a progressive in the Democratic primary, but was passed over for Cynthia Cox, a moderate local school teacher. What was once considered a safe seat for the Democrats is now rated a toss-up, upsetting local Democratic activists claiming Kagan is throwing the seat to the Republicans.

Most political pundits expect the regional legislature to flip to the Democrats, regardless of the results of that race.

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