Sunday, October 21, 2018

GOP Women’s Group Attacking Trump Funded Solely by Male Democratic Donor


By Joe Schoffstall | THE WASHINGTON FREE BEACON  

Photo: Reid Hoffman, a venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn has pushed millions into the coffers of Democratic committees (Getty Images)

A new Republican women's group who is "fed up with Trump" and pouring cash into toss-up congressional districts is bankrolled solely by a male billionaire venture capitalist, Reid Hoffman, who is a major donor to Democratic campaigns and causes, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Republican Women for Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based "grassroots" nonprofit, was founded by Jennifer Pierotti Lim and Meghan Milloy and is comprised of "right-leaning" women who are opposed to President Donald Trump. Their PAC is active in New Jersey, Kentucky and Michigan.

The group has garnered glowing national media profiles that include a ten-minute segment on CBS News and articles in publications such as Glamour, Slate, and others.

The group is so far active in competitive congressional districts in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Michigan.

"We think the best thing that we can do for the party and for the country right now is to make sure there are good women—Democrat or Republican—that are elected to office and who can serve as a check on this administration and on the president," Milloy told the Detroit Metro Times. "[This effort] really was inspired by us talking to Republican women in these districts where they said there was just no way that they could vote for the Republican."

The group established a political action committee, the Republican Women for Progress PAC, on Sept. 13 to support their work for the midterms and has since spent $231,000 on independent expenditures for voter recruitment and advertisement productions in the toss-up districts in three states.

The PAC disbursed $76,000 on ads and recruitment in support of Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey's 11th congressional district, $78,000 backing Amy McGrath in Kentucky's 6th congressional district, and $77,000 on Elissa Slotkin in Michigan's 8th congressional district.

The PAC's October quarterly filing—the first from the group—also shows that the group of Republican women is bankrolled by just one donor: Reid Hoffman, a venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn, who is a major donor to Democrats. 

Hoffman cut a $400,000 to the PAC on Sept. 27, its filings show.

Hoffman has pushed millions into the coffers of Democratic committees and campaigns this cycle.

Hoffman provided $3 million to the House Majority PAC, a PAC closely affiliated with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) that is focused on electing and keeping Democrats in the House of Representatives; $2 million to the Senate Majority PAC, a PAC dedicated to electing and preserving Democrats in the Senate; and $1 million to Forward Majority Action, a group launched by former Obama alumni.

Hoffman also sent a maxed contribution to the Democratic National Committee and pushed cash to the campaigns of Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tim Kaine (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Phil Bredesen (Tenn.), and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) among others.

The venture capitalist additionally sent money to a number of Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives and the Massachusetts Republican Party.

The co-founders of Republican Women for Progress previously led Republican Women for Hillary during the 2016 elections. That group was featured on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Yahoo News, Wall Street Journal, the Hill, U.S News and World Report, and the New York Times.

Following publication, Jennifer Lim, co-founder of Republican Women for Progress, sent the following comment:

"In terms of the Reid Hoffman donation, even a male tech billionaire and major Democratic donor recognizes the important role women should play in the Republican party. We are pleased to have the support of donors across the ideological spectrum to ensure the voice of republican women is heard across the country."

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Caravan Chaos: Caravan migrants break Guatemala border fence, rush Mexico


By SONIA PEREZ D. and MARK STEVENSON


Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US arrive at a border crossing point with Mexico in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala on October 19, 2018 (AFP Photo/ORLANDO SIERRA)

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala (AP) — Migrants traveling in a mass caravan burst through a Guatemalan border fence and streamed by the thousands toward Mexican territory on Friday, defying Mexican authorities’ entreaties for an orderly crossing and U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats of retaliation.


On the Mexican side of a border bridge, they were met by a phalanx of police with riot shields. About 50 managed to push their way through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.

The gates were closed again, and police used a loudspeaker to address the masses, saying, “We need you to stop the aggression.”

Mexican federal police chief Manelich Castilla, speaking from the border town of Ciudad Hidalgo, told Foro TV that his forces achieved their main objective of preventing a violent breach by the 3,000-plus migrants. 


In a separate interview with Milenio television, he accused people not part of the caravan of attacking police with firecrackers and rocks.

“It will be under the conditions that have been said since the start,” Castilla said. “Orderly, with established procedures, never through violence or force as a group of people attempted.”

The chaos calmed somewhat as migrants formed lines in a mass of humanity stretching across the bridge. Some returned to the Guatemalan side to buy water and food.


But others, tired of waiting, jumped off the bridge into the Suchiate River. Migrants organized a rope brigade to ford its muddy waters, and some floated across on rafts operated by local residents who usually charge a dollar or two to make the crossing.


Cristian, a 34-year-old cell phone repairman from San Pedro Sula, said he left Honduras because gang members had demanded protection payments of $83 a month, a fifth of his income. 

It was already hard enough to support his four daughters on the $450 he makes, so he closed his small business instead.

Cristian, who declined to give his last name because the gangsters had threatened him, estimated that about 30 percent of the migrants want to apply for refugee status in Mexico, while the rest want to reach the United States.

“I want to get to the States to contribute to that country,” Cristian said, “to do any kind of work, picking up garbage.”

Police and immigration agents let small groups of 10, 20, 30 people through the gates if they wanted to apply for refugee status. Once they file a claim, they can go to a shelter to spend the night.


Eric Lagos Rodriguez from Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, and his family turned themselves over to authorities to apply.

“We couldn’t go on like this,” Lagos said, “we’re traveling with six children.”

As dusk neared, police were relieved by fresh officers and reformed ranks.

Migrants continued to hang on the gates, yelling “there are children here” and “we are hungry.” 

Back on the Guatemalan side, some people set up tarp shelters.

Earlier in the day, thousands of migrants, some waving Honduran flags and carrying umbrellas to protect against the sun, arrived at the Guatemalan side of the river, noisily demanding they be allowed to cross.

“One way or another, we will pass,” they chanted, climbing atop U.S.-donated military jeeps parked at the scene. Young men tugged on the fence, finally tearing it down, prompting the huge crowd of men, women and children to rush past and over the bridge.

Edwin Santos of San Pedro Sula was one of the first to race by, clutching the hands of his father and wife.

“We are going to the United States!” he shouted. “Nobody is going to stop us!”

Acner Adolfo Rodriguez, 30, one of the last through, said he hoped to find work and a better life far from the widespread poverty and gang violence in Honduras, one of the world’s deadliest countries.

“May Trump’s heart be touched so he lets us through,” Rodriguez said.

President Donald Trump has made it clear to Mexico that he is monitoring its response. On Thursday he threatened to close the U.S. border if Mexico didn’t stop the caravan. Later that day he tweeted a video of Mexican federal police deploying at the Guatemalan border and wrote: “Thank you Mexico, we look forward to working with you!”

Mexican officials said those with passports and valid visas — only a tiny minority of those trying to cross — would be let in immediately.

Migrants who want to apply for refuge in Mexico were welcome to do so, they said, but any who decide to cross illegally and are caught will be detained and deported.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Friday with President Enrique Pena Nieto and Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray in Mexico City, with the caravan high on the agenda.

At a news conference with Videgaray, Pompeo called illegal migration a “crisis” and emphasized “the importance of stopping this flow before it reaches the U.S. border,” while also acknowledging Mexico’s right to handle the crisis in a sovereign fashion.

“Mexico will make its decision,” Pompeo said. “Its leaders and its people will decide the best way to achieve what I believe are our shared objectives.”

At Mexico City’s airport before leaving, Pompeo said four Mexican federal police officers had been injured in the border standoff and expressed his sympathy.

On Thursday, Videgaray asked the U.N. for help processing what Mexico expects to be a large number of asylum requests.

But Jose Porfirio Orellana, a 47-year-old farmer from Yoro province in Honduras, said he has his sights set on the United States due to woeful economic conditions in his country.

“There is nothing there,” Orellana said.

Migrants have banded together to travel en masse regularly in recent years, but this caravan was unusual for its huge size, said Victor Clark Alfaro, a Latin American studies professor at San Diego State University. By comparison, a caravan in April that also attracted Trump’s ire numbered about 1,000.

“It grabs one’s attention that the number of people in these kinds of caravans is on the rise,” Clark Alfaro said. “It is migration of a different dimension.”

Elizabeth Oglesby, a professor at the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies, said people join caravans like this because it’s a way to make the journey in a relatively safe manner and avoid having to pay thousands of dollars to smugglers. She disputed Pompeo’s assertion that that there is a “crisis” of migration.

“The border is not in crisis. This is not a migration crisis. ... Yes, we are seeing some spikes in Central Americans crossing the border, but overall migration is at a 40-year low,” Oglesby said.

Speaking on the Televisa network, Videgaray did not seem concerned about Trump’s threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it had to be viewed in light of the hotly contested U.S. midterm elections, in which Trump has made border security a major campaign issue.

Videgaray noted that 1 million people transit the border legally every day, and about $1 million in commerce crosses every minute.

“Before taking decisions of that kind,” Videgaray said, “there would be many people in the United States ... who would consider the consequences.”
___

Associated Press writers Peter Orsi, Christopher Sherman and Maria Verza in Mexico City contributed to this report. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Origins of Progressive Agony


By Victor Davis Hanson

Protesters gather in front of the doors of the Supreme Court as Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in, October 6, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)


In the wake of Obama, the Democratic party was a shipwreck, to be saved only by Hillary and the Supreme Court.

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement?


Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate Democrats left,” and lately the rantings of Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez confirm that diagnosis.


Obama, the Fallen God

Paradoxically, Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 and 2012 and yet helped to erode the old Democratic Party in the process. 


He ended up in opulent retirement while ceding state legislatures, governorships, the House, the Senate, the presidency, and the Supreme Court to conservative Republicans.


Obama had promised leftists — in his prior brief tenure in the Senate he had compiled the most partisan record of his 99 colleagues — that his social-justice methods and agendas would lead to a proverbial “permanent Democratic majority.”

Do we remember the February 2009 Newsweek obsequious cover story “We Are All Socialists Now”?



Supposedly, changing demography, massive illegal immigration, and identity politics had preordained a permanent 51 percent “Other” whose minority statuses, as defined by gender and race, had now become a majority, given the destined demise of the white working classes. 

If Obama had not existed, someone like Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or Kirsten Gillibrand was supposedly foreordained to be president anyway.

But while Obama sermonized about our predestined “arc of history” and how its moral curve bent this way and that, he managed to lose both his supermajority in the Senate and the House itself by 2011. By 2015, the Senate lost its Democratic majority.

Ruling by pen-and-phone executive order only took the country more leftward. And it came at the price of stagnating the economy, acerbating social, cultural, and racial differences, raising taxes, and recalibrating foreign policy.

Obama bequeathed to his successors neither a popular progressive record nor a robust economy nor a stellar foreign-policy success. If he did ensure massive minority voting registration and bloc voting, that served largely himself — and came at the cost of alienating independents and the working classes. 


In other words, Obama most certainly did pass on to his successors the downside of his polarizing sermonizing and divisiveness, but not the upside of record minority turnout and uniform voting.

Progressives once thought that Obama was their godhead and their assured pathway to permanent power. In those heady days of 2009, the American system of government was still deemed wonderful. 

Conservatives were bitter dead-enders, and the country was in the process of being fundamentally “transformed.” Basking in the rites and rituals of her role as first lady, Michelle Obama had finally learned, by her own admission, to be proud of her country.

But then with the loss of local, state, and federal legislative power, progressives grew understandably bitter. Never had so much been promised and so little delivered. And they began to recalibrate Obama the erstwhile savior as mostly a narcissist who had thrived while emasculating his followers.

That bitter disappointment was something akin to the shipwreck of Republican dreams of the late 1950s. Giddy after the elections of 1952 and 1956, Republicans had thought that a beloved Ike was their permanent salvation, when, in fact, Ike, but not necessarily his party, did well for a brief hiatus of two terms — after following 20 years of Democratic presidential rule and ushering in eight more.

The 2016 Election

The 2016 election understandably embittered and radicalized Democrats — as happens when a party wins the popular but loses the electoral-college vote.

And given the propitious start of the 2016 campaign, the election year certainly was not supposed to end that way.

On Election Eve, the New York Times still preened that its various models and polls gave Donald Trump no real statistical chance of victory — or rather respectively a mere 15 percent, 8 percent, 2 percent, or less than 1 percent chance of winning the election. 

Such faux mathematical precision was invented to lend accuracy to suspect polls and biased models that were already eroding. The supposedly buffoonish Trump would not just humiliate but destroy the Republican party, as it split asunder — and as Never Trumpers joined liberals in blasting their comedic nominee.

A boastful lame-duck Obama was lecturing the nation on the eve of the anticipated Clinton landslide that there was zero chance of any party, much less any nation, warping the U.S. election. 

Pre-election, a smug Hillary Clinton pontificated that Trump had to grow up and accept the impending verdict of the voters that would shortly demolish his candidacy and humiliate his person. She would add insult to Trump’s injury by sweeping Georgia and Arizona and by a landslide that would reinvigorate the Obama dream.

Indeed, dozens of the careerists and progressive appointees at the Washington FBI, DOJ, CIA, and National Security Council took all sorts of risks to insure a Clinton blowout. 

They variously sought to warp the FISA court, subvert the Trump campaign, collude with Fusion GPS and its Russian sources, and weaponize the FBI to ensure the Clinton victory — on the premise that their unethical and often illegal behavior would soon be rewarded by the Clintons, who for decades had proven far less ethical than 2016’s miscreant minions.

Hillary’s defeat caused unimaginable shock. 


It almost immediately prompted a collective psychological meltdown. 

The tragedy was not just that an inept Clinton had squandered the gifts of a $1 billion war chest, the deep-state collusion of the Obama administration, and a completely captive and obsequious media. 

But she had lost to Trump, the reality-TV-show host, the controversial raconteur, the first serious presidential candidate with neither military nor political experience.



Worse still, Clinton had blown a huge lead by foolishly seeking an electoral mandate while Trump, the supposed dunce, outsmarted her analytics and young techies by battering down the blue wall and stealing her Democratic Midwest with a populist nationalist message, part JFK, part Ronald Reagan.

Nothing is more humiliating than to be already doling out White House patronage jobs on Election Day at noon, and by evening suffering a shipwrecked candidacy and the certainty of eight more years of progressive rule incinerated. 

No wonder progressives were recently reduced to frenzied maenads gnashing their teeth and breaking their fingernails on the closed doors of the Supreme Court.

Trump

In the past, the usual progressive attack on traditionalists and conservatives had been met with a sort of tsk-tsk appeasement, a Marquess of Queensberry forbearance from men and women who had learned their polite political manners at the country club.

The Bush, McCain, and Romney approach was to be above the fray and expect Americans to condemn progressive excess, when in fact the attitude of exasperated conservative voters was always something more like, “If they won’t do their job and fight back, then why in the hell should we support them?”

Then came Trump, who considered politics as a sort of televised WWE wrestling mat, and who enjoyed the political fray as much as he had when he once climbed into a real Wrestlemania ring with Vince McMahon.

He said bluntly and often crudely what most had thought silently and soberly.

Trump had a looney idea that millions of the deplorable middle and working classes had no innate advantages accruing from “white privilege” (whatever that still means) — and were tired of being told they did by those who really had clout and connections. 

Trump, crazily, said that globalization made more voters poorer than richer, and that making things in the U.S. still mattered.


And the more the punditocracy wrote him off, the more it galvanized voters who despised talking heads.

Had progressives just lost to Rubio or even Cruz, it would have been almost tolerable. And had they lost while still winning Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, they could have endured it. But to lose to an orange and combed-over Trump with a mile-long tie, who outfoxed their own Silicon Valley experts by demolishing their blue wall, only added terrible insult to staggering injury.

The System

Progressives soon woke up to the reality that without power they were unable to stop Trump, and so they embraced any desperate means necessary to trap the ogre. 

The effort proved as frenzied as it was impotent: boycotting the inauguration, suing over state voting machines, using the courts to stymie Trump appointments and executive orders.

They tried appealing to the emoluments clause and the 25th Amendment of the Constitution.

They began winking and nodding at the assassination chic of celebrities and politicos such as Johnny Depp, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffith, Madonna, Robert de Niro, Snoop Dogg, and a host of others. 

The many methods to subvert Trump’s presidency or fantasize about his gory death were as varied as the number of faux-accusers who would come out of the woodwork to smear Brett Kavanaugh. 

And the result was eerily the same: the more the impotent frenzy, the more it discredited its source.

Blacks Lives Matter, Antifa, and #MeToo were all in a sense weaponized to do what elections had not. 

Finally, in exasperation, Democrats have begun demonizing the Electoral College itself, which has gone from the legal basis of Obama’s treasured “blue wall” to a relic of old, white male Founders who supposedly favored rural hicks over the better people of the cities. 

Progressives now damn the idea of a nine-person Supreme Court and mysteriously praise the discredited, hare-brained scheme of FDR to pack the court with progressive toady judges.

They bitterly lament the unfairness that a Wyoming or Montana might have as many senators per state as California or New York.

They had no such complaint in 2009 when they had a Senate supermajority — a margin they won in part because a tiny progressive state such as Rhode Island had the same number of senators as odious conservative Texas.

How could it be that a picture-perfect system that had empowered Barack Obama now gave the country Donald Trump? 

How unfair of the deplorable Founders to have bequeathed that ball and chain to the better people of 2016!

If the system does not deliver the correct results to progressives every time, then change the damned system to ensure that it does!

The Supreme Court


In 2008, all the stars above — terror over the September 14 stock meltdown, unhappiness over the Iraq War, the kick-me McCain campaign, the Obama heritage candidacy, and stay-home conservatives turned off by the traditional Republicans — aligned to give Democrats control of the Congress and presidency.

Progressive astrologists predicted a series of Obamas for the next half-century. But in truth, the country was never really progressive. 

Until Obama, no Democrat without a Southern accent had won the popular vote since John Kennedy in 1960. 

And by 2010, the pushback became a near rout, within a few years, leaving the Left with its last vestige of power: a divided Supreme Court, which since the Roosevelt era had always salvaged the progressive dreams that had been wrecked in the executive and legislative branches.

Trump, however, not only got elected but in matters of court appointments he also proved to be an originalist and constructionist in a way that recent Republican presidents had never quite envisioned. 

He outsourced his Supreme Court nominations to the no-nonsense Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. 

Progressives went regressive in their furor and demonized Trump’s picks to such a degree that there was little chance that a Georgetown cocktail circuit would ever manage to turn a Gorsuch or Kavanaugh into a Souter or Stevens.

Fear grew over a future that would be even worse than the bad present.

Should Trump be reelected, he might have one or two more deleterious picks yet — and perhaps even female Supreme Court justices more conservative than their male counterparts.

It might prove difficult to smear a woman nominee with supposed questionable teenage behavior four decades prior.

Trump’s criteria for selections seemed to be youth, strict constructionism, and intellectual brilliance — along the lines of a cohort of young Scalias. 

In short, the Court could no longer save for progressives what the presidency and Congress had lost them — an unfortunate downturn brought about once again by none other than the odious Donald J. Trump.

The catastrophic yet suicidal loss in the 2016 election and the disappointment over the Obama presidency radicalized Democrats. 

A combative Trump himself certainly enraged them, on a variety of political, social, and cultural levels.

When Democrats lost, they realized that they still lived in a Republic and not a volatile Athenian democracy — and found this also hard to take.

More exasperating still was the loss of the Supreme Court, the last bastion of elite brilliance and superior morality that might yet save America from the prejudices and ignorance of the irredeemables, deplorables, clingers, and crazies.

Add it all up, and it was enough to drive any liberal to binge progressive drinking.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won. @vdhanson


Thursday, October 18, 2018

SHOCK: Another Illegal Alien Caravan is Headed for the U.S. and President Trump Just Issued Them a Warning


By Katie Pavlich| Townhall


Another caravan of illegal aliens is on its way from Honduras to the United States. The participants plan to claim asylum, most illigitimately, at the southern border.

President Trump is watching the issue closely and is warning arrests and deportations will be made.

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Anybody entering the United States illegally will be arrested and detained, prior to being sent back to their country!

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President Trump also urged Republicans to make illegal immigration an issue on the campaign trail just three weeks before voters head to the polls for the 2018 midterm elections.

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Hard to believe that with thousands of people from South of the Border, walking unimpeded toward our country in the form of large Caravans, that the Democrats won’t approve legislation that will allow laws for the protection of our country. Great Midterm issue for Republicans!

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Republicans must make the horrendous, weak and outdated immigration laws, and the Border, a part of the Midterms!

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Yesterday President Trump, backed up by Vice President Mike Pence, threatened to cut aid from Honduras if the government failed to stop the caravan from moving north.

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The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!

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Spoke to President Hernandez of Honduras about the migrant caravan heading to the U.S. Delivered strong message from @POTUS: no more aid if caravan is not stopped. Told him U.S. will not tolerate this blatant disregard for our border & sovereignty.

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During an interview with 60 Minutes over the weekend, President Trump reiterated consequences for illegally crossing into the United States, including child separation.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ECONOMIC BOOM: The Trump Economy Surges!


By Frances Rice


Americans' confidence in the US economy has boomed since President Donald Trump took office.

Trump's overall economic approval rating is 51 percent, ten full points higher than his base job approval number.

Record-high optimism about the economy, plus the stock market and near-record high optimism about wage growth are working in the favor of Trump and Republicans running for office.

According to a fresh CNBC poll, Trump’s deregulation, tax relief and trade reforms are responsible for the great economic news.

The poll found that 48 percent of the public is optimistic about the current economy. They are also optimistic it will get better.

This is the highest level in the poll's 11-year history and more than double the 20 percent registered in the December 2016 survey.

The poll, conducted October 4-7, shows 83 percent of Republicans are optimistic.  The poll shows that 22 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Independent voters are also optimistic.

Americans expect their wages to grow an average of 5.1 percent in the next year, up from 4.7 percent in the June survey and the highest since 2008.

Incredibly, there are over 7 million jobs that are not yet filled. Blue collar workers are being employed at the best rate since the 1980’s.

A record-high 51 percent of the public say now is a good time to invest in stocks, with a record-low 25 percent saying it's a bad time.

That's a big uptick among independents, a majority of whom approve of the president's economic job performance.

This data comes on the heels of a recent CBS News poll showing three-quarters of voters describing the nation's economic conditions as very or somewhat good. 

Unemployment hasn't been this low since the late 1960's, with American workers benefiting from a red hot jobs market, including Black Americans, Hispanics and middle class households.

Given this great economic news, the Blue Wave prediction seems to be mere hype.