Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Benefits and Dangers of Social Media in Politics

Facebook was founded on February 4, 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg. It started out as a social networking website where people could join and post statuses and pictures about their lives. It was small at the beginning, but soon it expanded at a fast pace. In 2006, Zuckerberg opened the website up to everyone at least the age of thirteen. By July 2010, there were 500 million users. Cell phones allowed for easier access to the website, which 150 million people connected through at the time. In November of that year, Facebook was valued at $41 billion. The company went public on February 1, 2012 and continues to be the world's largest website in terms of social media. In January 2014, the company reported that there were 1.23 billion users online every month.

The website Facebook remains the crown jewel of social media, but there are many other websites and apps to communicate on. Twitter and Snapchat are other examples. By allowing people to post about their lives and what's going on, social networking websites have also allowed people to display political opinions. This wasn't a bad thing (at least at first) because it invited people to have serious discussions about topics they might never have the chance to talk about on a regular basis or in person. It became more beneficial when politicians created their own accounts on social media. You can easily find President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and many other politicians on these websites. It's not just national and international politicians using social media to their advantage, but also local politicians. I can easily follow the Facebook feed of my alderman, county supervisor, state representative, or state senator. I've also been able to attend political events that wouldn't have been aware of thanks to social media.

Political interest isn't just transmitted by politicians on Facebook. Numerous news organizations use social media. These include the big three in America: MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. You can find newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on these websites. A simple "like" will you give all the access you need to reports and opinions of important issues. Think tanks and economists are also aboard, giving people who aren't experts access to excellent data and studies to help become more informed on modern issues and dismiss views that are incorrect. The wide range of organizations that have pages make social media the most powerful political force in our time. An essay by tech consultant Clay Shirky for Foreign Affairs is one of the best explanations I've seen about the advantages of social media. Most importantly, he discusses political movements that can be formed on websites. Developing countries controlled by tyrannical dictators will have an increasingly difficult time maintaining power when resistance groups, both peaceful and militant, can spread information on the web.

Unfortunately, intelligent debate and the spread of credible information isn't dominant on social media. An exchange of ideas can bring out the best in people, but also the worst in people. The worst is reinforced through political advocacy pages that can be founded on Facebook or other websites by anyone. People can then post their propaganda and watch it spread with ease. One of the most notorious pages when it comes to this is Occupy Democrats. Many of posts the page makes are debunked and easy to refute, but over 3 million people have liked the page and blindly read their posts without knowing if the claims made are true or not. It isn't the only example. There are plenty of pages, from liberal to conservative, that often conduct themselves in such a way. Does that matter to people who like or share a status? Usually not, they just agree with what it says and spread lies without thinking objectively.

The spread of false information on social media, rather than constructive arguments with evidence, is a danger because millennials often rely on websites like Facebook and Twitter for news. A new study published by the American Press Institute confirms this, but I wasn't really surprised by the results since I see it on a regular basis. It's a big problem when you consider the number of fringe websites that are getting large followings within certain ideological groups. These websites don't engage in professional journalism or fact-checking. I remember one attack on Governor Scott Walker from the website Jezebel. It attacked my governor for apparently requesting that the University of Wisconsin system no longer report sexual assaults. The problem with the article (as the update on the top shows) was that a spokesman from UW countered saying they had requested that the governor delete the requirements because the law was already on the books. This meant there would be less paperwork and more efficiency, but before the spokesman clarified what was going on I saw it shared on social media by several liberal friends. Even larger liberal websites reported what Jezebel claimed, leading them to retract the articles after the truth came out. Despite the correction, who knows how many who shared the articles even cared or bothered to check back.

This is only one of countless examples I can provide on the problems with misinformation and social media. These problems are not dying. In fact, they are getting worse as political dialogue is simplified to get the attention of casual users (I understand not everyone is as invested in politics as I am, so often titles are used as click bait). I hope that social media gets better. I certainly do my best to comment on posts that I believe are false while handling those who disagree with me in a civil manner, but there has be a stronger demand from more people who want credible information and less drivel that exists to merely confirm a bias. That task is becoming increasingly difficult. Not only does it mean less accurate information is spread, but it ruins relationships.

Research shows that people who consider themselves Republicans and Democrats are hating each other more than ever. I come from a family that has people from both parties and I'm a conservative in one of the most liberal locations of Wisconsin. My life experience allows me to understand different viewpoints and to tolerate them. On social media it is okay to debate, but don't be rude and threaten a relationship with someone. People with political views should never be rubber stamped by others. Politics isn't the only thing that defines someone. Usually people have multiple interests in music, sports, gaming, movies, or reading. I don't hate people who have views that disagree with me, but I think others don't have as much tolerance.

In the end, social media has strengths and weaknesses. The problem is that I see a world where the weaknesses outweigh the strengths and the country is going on a path where the course may not change. I think people can still have political discussions, but in order to improve the social climate on websites the tone should be soft and people should know their arguments are factual. If we as a society achieve this, then the electorate will become more knowledgeable. That would be a heck of a lot better than what I see now.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brexit Victorious!

UKIP leader Nigel Farage celebrates - Reuters
Everyone knew that Britain's European Union membership referendum was going to be very close. As the results came in, there was a clear divide across the United Kingdom. Most cities in England voted to remain with the EU, but the rest of the region favored leaving. The Welsh also preferred to leave, but the Scots and Northern Irish wanted to stay. As the returns continued, it became increasingly clear that the Vote Leave campaign had an edge. Early in the night, Sunderland (one of over twenty bellwethers), went strongly to leave the EU. More and more, the key constituencies of the UK over-performed when it came to Vote Leave. Eventually, the referendum was called: the UK would leave the European Union. The final results showed that 51.89 percent of the voters wanted out, while 48.11 percent voted to stay in.

This referendum is one of the most important votes in modern western history. The British faced a tough choice: leave the European Union and enter economic uncertainty or stay and be subject to laws (several of which are ridiculous) from Brussels that were slowing growth and regulating immigration. This vote was the right choice for Britain and I believe it will lead the country to a brighter future. The UK will no longer be hampered by the European Union and bad economic policy. I think the country's finances will recover. The City of London is one of the world's financial capitals and I think the EU will be quick to negotiate trade policy with the departing member (the transition is two years).

There are a few winners and many losers. The biggest loser is David Cameron. The prime minister has decided to resign, which he said in his speech following the referendum's results:

I'm going to miss Cameron. While he wanted to remain in the European Union, he did a great job when it came to handling the recession in his country. He has achieved important goals in bringing the country on a path to a balanced budget and making the boosting incentives for businesses. Under his leadership, over 1.5 million jobs were created and Britain has become more competitive. Whoever his successor is going to be, I hope this progress continues.

Other losers include numerous finance companies and bankers. Many of them were betting on the UK remaining with the EU. When it was becoming clear that Brexit was going to happened, the Pound Sterling took a dive. I vacationed in England two years ago. Back then, the U.S. Dollar was weaker than the pound, but now it's the opposite. Over $2 trillion of the world's stock value has evaporated after Brexit. The British voters effectively defeated the influence of global political and financial leaders. It's not just Cameron who's defeated, but also Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour Party's leader is threatened by some in his own party, who are trying to remove him after not doing enough for the campaign to remain in the EU. President Obama and Canada's Justin Trudeau have also been defeated. Most academics opposed Brexit, but the majority of the voters didn't care.

The reactions of numerous supporters who wanted to remain are somewhat comical. Labour MP David Lammy wants the government to ignore Brexit and the wishes of 17 million people. The grassroots supporters have posted a petition to hold a second referendum. Over 2 million people have signed it.

There are two big winners. Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, has dedicated his political life to getting the British out of the European Union and is a strong Eurosceptic. His dream has now become reality. UKIP may only have one member in the House of Commons, but the size of the party's supporters has increased from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions under Farage's leadership. Even if he never becomes prime minister, this victory is Farage's victory. The other winner of the referendum is Boris Johnson, a current Conservative MP and former mayor of London who ran the Vote Leave campaign. His decision to do so staked his political career on Thursday's result. If defeated, chances are he would have gone nowhere. With Cameron resigning, Johnson may have just won the grand prize when the Conservative Party holds a leadership election in October: prime minister.

As Britain begins the process to end its membership, everyone is wondering what's next for the European Union. Nationalist movements will be emboldened to fight for their own referendums. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front in France, wants to hold a referendum (Frexit?) in her own country. President Francois Hollande does not want to hold a referendum and has been trying to avoid it by contacting members of his Socialist Party as well as the Republicans and the Greens. What about Swexit? The Swedes share common interests with the British in the EU, but now the latter has left. It is possible that Sweden will want to follow its ally, but right now the polls are in favor of remaining.

As for the European Union itself, this is a defeat they don't want replicated. Angela Merkel certainly doesn't want to see more referendums. Her Christian Democratic Union continues to plunge in the polls, going from over 40 percent support in June of last year to just over 30 percent now. The Social Democratic Party, the CDU's main opposition, is also declining in the polls. The two main benefactors in Germany are the right-wing Alternative for Germany and the left-wing Green Party. It is up to Merkel and the rest of status quo to get themselves out of this mess. It is likely that several EU members will negotiate agreements exclusive to themselves. Whatever happens, Brexit could be the beginning of a dramatic change in European politics.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Back Brexit

The referendum on British membership in the European Union is coming up. There has been a lot of chaos over the last few weeks. Intense debates have been held by pro-EU and anti-EU politicians. On Thursday, Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered, which led to a suspension of campaigning for twenty-four hours. Campaigning has started up again as both sides try to sway the remaining undecided voters. After analyzing both arguments, I've decided to that it would be wise for the British people to leave the European Union.

Neither choice is easy and there are consequences to both. I do believe there will be some negative economic impact of Britain decides to leave the European Union, but I believe these problems will only be in the short term. I think that the the British will be able to adjust and recover with good speed. If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, I think this will equate to better UK relations with the United States. British policymakers will no longer be bogged down by a large bureaucracy governing from Brussels and they will have more freedom to make foreign policy decisions.

There are many ways the European Union has pushed the British over the edge (assuming Brexit prevails on June 23). The refugee crisis continues to boil. Resources are being stretched to the limit in order to help the 1.1 million people who have fled the Middle East for Germany. There are weak security measures in place, which just adds more problems. Many of those who have arrived to Europe wouldn't have had to if the United States and other western countries took greater interest in fighting ISIS and promoting stability. The issue here is that a large number of them don't follow classical liberal principles that Europe received from the Enlightenment. Sexual abuse has been on the rise to levels not seen since periods of war. This is due to major cultural differences between Europeans and Arabs. Homosexuals are also in danger of losing legal status due to Islamic beliefs.

Migration to the EU is the main reason many people support Brexit, but isn't the only one. Europe continues to face a difficult economic situation. While Britain is not part of Eurozone, many Britons despise the monetary union because it shows the danger of being tied in any way to the European Union. Let us not forget what the intention was of the Eurozone:
The original point of the eurozone, in keeping with the romantic post-WWII ideals of the EU itself, was to further political integration by putting the economic cart before the horse. It was and remains a very large currency union without most of the things that make a currency union work. Unlike the United States and the dollar zone, there is no universal European banking authority, and no overarching EU government with any power. By contrast, the U.S. federal government, with its centralized bank regulation and large taxing and spending, acts as a shock absorber by preventing banking crises from spreading and by automatically doling out increased social spending to struggling locations. 
This was all known at the time, even by designers of the EU. They thought that once a crisis happened, Europe would be forced into the real economic and political union that would make the eurozone viable over the long term. It would be painful, but eventually a true United States of Europe would emerge, and the violent nationalism that twice drenched the entire world in blood would be buried forever.
The creators were not anticipating the outrage that would occur. This anger isn't just in Britain, but in other countries that may hold their own referendums. The concept of a United States of Europe sounded tempting, but it was a reckless idea. The United States of America was formed between thirteen states that all shared common values and spoke the same language. It's important to remember that while waves of immigrants would eventually arrive in the next several decades, America was not originally a melting pot. The thousands of men who fought the American Revolution mostly had ancestral roots from Great Britain and were overwhelmingly Christian. Europe itself is very different. Britons and Hungarians don't always share common values and principles. Neither do the Finnish and Portuguese or (obviously) the Germans and the Greeks. Nationalist movements have grown because many people are starting to prefer real national sovereignty.

As British historian Andrew Roberts argued in a new op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, the British have the right to self-determination. A total of 60 percent of British laws are now imposed in Brussels across the English Channel, rather than at the Houses of Parliament in London. The British should have the power to vote for their own laws and should be able to set their own immigration standards. Britain has survived troubling moments in history before and it will again if it leaves the European Union. One of the strongest cases for Brexit was made by Roland Smith of the Adam Smith Institute. Smith argues that the British can see further economic involvement in the world if they leave the European Union. It's not isolation, but the flexibility to make agreements and alliances that the UK wants. It would also be a strong regional counterweight to the European Union for investors.

It is for these reasons that I back Brexit. The European Union has become too powerful, yet it is insufficient to cope with current crises. Britain will be more free and will have a bigger say in its own future if it is no longer entangled with the continent. If the British don't vote to leave the EU now, then they may never have the chance to do it again. Even if they have one, it is likely that a referendum would be called under worse circumstances.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rubio's Back?

It's amazing how many people don't care about you until they need you. This is what's happening with Republicans in the upcoming Florida Senate election. It has only been a couple months since Marco Rubio dropped out of the presidential election. His decision came after a horrible defeat at the hands of Donald Trump on March 15. Rubio only won Miami-Dade county and 27 percent of the vote to Trump's 45.7 percent. Immediately after his decision to drop out of the race, the Florida senator emotionally announced that he would not run for a second term. He had made this promise during the campaign season.

Currently, the Republican primary to replace him in Florida looks as large as the presidential field was. There are eleven people running to win the GOP's nomination. It's another clear contrast with the Democrats, who only have three options. One of the reasons Rubio didn't want to run was because his friend Lieutenant Governor Carlos López-Cantera was also running for the nomination. But the lieutenant governor has a tough race. There are numerous main rivals, including two U.S. representatives and a wealthy real estate developer.  The biggest problem for all these candidates, however, is that almost half of Republicans in Florida don't seem to want any of them. According to a poll released earlier this month by Mason-Dixon, 49 percent of Republicans are undecided on the current crop of candidates. In even better news for Rubio, 77 percent of Republicans think he should run again.

Why is there such a drive to get Rubio to run again? There are multiple reasons, but I think the main problem has to do with the Republican presidential nominee. Few voters in modern elections vote with mixed ballots anymore (a mixed ballot means that you voted for Republicans and Democrats, instead of just one party on an election day). Donald Trump continues to embarrass himself and Florida has a large population of Hispanics. If Hillary Clinton wins Florida, then it is likely that a Democrat will win the Senate election as well. Incumbents, like Rubio, are harder to defeat than new candidates. If he runs, then it will be harder for Democrats to win the Senate seat. That's why so many Republicans who voted for Trump think Rubio should run in order to save the election.

As early as this month, Rubio reiterated that he would not be running, but then the mass shooting in Orlando occurred. Rubio and López-Cantera were both there in the aftermath, but something very unusual happened between the two. The lieutenant governor urged his friend to run again. López-Cantera still plans to continue to run for Senate, but saying this means that Rubio's reelection bid would not damage their friendship. All of a sudden, Rubio now says that he is reconsidering running for a second term. I backed Rubio in the presidential election and I hope he does run for Senate again. We're going to need to win every Senate election possible. It's looking tough with Trump on the presidential ticket, but Rubio increases the likelihood of winning the Sunshine State in the Senate election.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Goodbye Bernie

June 7 effectively marked the end of the Democratic nomination race. The night before, Hillary Clinton had achieved her victory by controlling a majority of the delegates. Sanders had been focusing on the critical California primary, but this news stopped his momentum. It started with New Jersey, where Clinton won easily. Then New Mexico got behind her as well. Sanders was hoping that he would easily win the three remaining rural western states, but it didn't happen. He won the North Dakota caucus easily, but it was closer in Montana. Surprisingly, Clinton eeked out a win in South Dakota. Then it came down to the Golden State, but the returns were consistently for Clinton. Even though Sanders didn't official end his campaign, everyone knows it's over (unless the presumptive nominee is indicted).

I don't think Sanders knew how successful he would be in the 2016 primaries, but this success was still limited. I, like many people, expected him to lose. That's exactly what happened. Even if he didn't lose badly like many believed early on, he still lost. There are multiple reasons why Sanders' revolution of the Democratic Party failed. Bill Scher of POLITICO explains one of the big factors:
Sanders didn’t help matters by coming up short time and again with genuine specifics on how he would change things. That was especially evident—and probably harmful to him in the New York voting on Tuesday—when Sanders gave thin and dismissive responses to the New York Daily News editorial board’s probing questions about which bureaucratic tools he’d use to achieve his goals, the economic consequences of his plans and the particulars of his foreign policy. In doing so, he validated the Clinton campaign critique that, in Bill Clinton’s words, he’s a “change-talker, not a change-maker.”
A casual reader of this blog knows that I'm no fan of Sanders because of his lack of logic when it comes to everything. Sanders adores democratic socialism, but he was running up against every law in economics. Academics, both liberals and conservatives, tore apart his economic policy proposals. Clinton's edge, noted by Nate Silver, was that she was favored among most Democrats. Many of Sanders' voters were independents who did not accurately represent the ideals of the party. He was heavily supported in caucuses, but they had lower turnout than open primaries.

Sanders can demand several changes to the party platform to move the Democrats further left, but that will extiniquish if Clinton is elected president. She will return the party back to modern progressive liberalism, rather than democratic socialism. I think another big problem for Sanders was that he did not make connections with key constituencies earlier. His campaign represented angry liberal white voters, but the Democratic Party is too diverse for that. The Clintons have huge connections with black and Latino communities across the country. This aided them in the nomination victory. Sanders needed to reach out to these groups very quickly in the game to win the nomination.

His California speech will be remembered as one of annoyance, defiance, and delusion. Clinton is the first female nominee of a major party, but Sanders never mentioned it. It was not a gracious resignation of defeat. He said he plans to continue on, but there's no path to victory anymore. Like his ideology, his campaign is now in the gutters. That's how it will remain short of a miracle by the time of the convention. The big challenge now is the transition of Sanders voters to Clinton voters. Some are already begrudgingly doing so, but the work is up to Clinton and Sanders to unite the party.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Seven States, Seven Counties

While Donald Trump attempts to unite the Republican Party, I finished reading a book by conservative columnist Ed Morrissey on what the GOP needs to do to win in 2016. I consider this book important for Republicans who want to understand different battleground states in the country because I think it offers a strategy to win. Unfortunately, Trump hasn't followed anything close to it and Morrissey has already posted that his candidacy will be a disaster. Trump can obviously change, but it's difficult to do so after the voters have already seen so much. In Going Red, Morrissey visits seven key counties in seven states that will decide the presidential election. If the election is close, then these counties will matter. Here's a quick summary of the counties. Keep in mind these are Morrissey's findings:

Hillsborough County, Florida (29)

Republicans in 2012 lacked community engagement within the county, which has many different kinds of voters and includes Tampa Bay. Many Hispanic voters in the county who migrated to the United States are there for economic opportunity, but also foreign relations with their homelands. It is important to offer a positive agenda in many minorities communities in order for them hear you out. Above all, the Republicans need to listen and understand their concerns. While white voters and upscale voters tend to lean to the GOP, younger voters are more socially libertarian.

Hamilton County, Ohio (18)

Once again, it is important to understand the local communities of Hamilton county, which includes Cincinatti. Local identity is important in the county, from forty-eight local governments to the variety of church memberships. There's an east side upper class that focuses on the economy and a west side working class that prioritizes education policy. Talking about a replacement to Obamacare will also help to win voters in this county. Republicans need to expand on the get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort in order to drive out more conservatives. Reaching out to potential voters will go a long way among demographic groups that tend to be ignored like African-Americans.

Wake County, North Carolina (15)

North Carolina was the only state in the book to go Republican in 2012. Sitting in the north and center of the Tar Heel state, it includes the city of Raleigh and is a fast-growing metropolitan area. The middle class voters of the county favor pragmatism over ideology. They don't want government services gutted, but want them to be run more efficiently. Voters in the county don't care about social issues. In fact, discussing same-sex marriage and taking on political correctness could be a turn off for some voters who feel that real issues are ignored. That same goes for the many younger voters in the county, who are more libertarian.

Prince William County, Virginia (13)

This county, located in the northeast of the state, is unique because of its diversity, youth population, and government workforce. Like other counties, Morrissey writes about the need to communicate with minority communities. A campaign should be welcoming and not ignore whole voting groups like African-Americans. It helps to hand out rhetoric about making government run more efficiently as opposed to slashing whole programs because this is opposed by many government workers. The tone on immigrantion has be to reduced because many Mexican voters oppose the views of GOP politicians on that issue. It also helps to focus on defense and national security issues since so many workers in the county are employed in those departments.

Brown County, Wisconsin (10)

Home to the Green Bay Packers, Brown county is imperative for both political parties in Wisconsin. There are more independents here than in the highly ideologically liberal Dane and Milwaukee counties or the very conservative WOW counties. Brown county voters are more pragmatic and prefer positive messaging. A candidate needs to build local connections and make a compassionate case to win voters in the county, many of whom are religious. National security and the economy matter in Brown county's communities. Environmental regulations, for example, hurt many paper mills scattered throughout the county and in the state as a whole. Farmers favor immigrant labor, so it is better not to take a hardline stance on the issue. Spending money on digital to recruit people will help with GOTV efforts.

Jefferson County, Colorado (9)

This county sits between the western border of Denver and the Rocky Mountains. It used to be a Republican stronghold, but Democrats finally caught up by connecting with Hispanics, a key demographic within the county and Colorado itself. Once again, getting involved in a community Republicans traditionally leave out can help them win elections. There is an income divide in the county, with many upper middle class people living in the west and northern parts of the county. Working class communities are situated in the center and west of the county. No matter what income level, many voters in this county care about the economy and energy policy. Like other counties, many unaffiliated voters are libertarian on social issues (marijuana is a good example), but there are many social conservatives as well due to the county's many megachurches. To win the county, a candidate has to navigate carefully and unite both wings of the party. Finally, there are many conservationist conservatives in the state who care about the beauty of where they live. The recent EPA debacle in the Animas River offers Republican candidates the opportunity to talk about who should control protecting the land: localities or the federal government.

Hillsborough County, New Hampshire (4)

The final county Morrissey provides a brilliant analysis for is in our smallest battleground state. The county itself is made up of middle and upper class whites who tend to lean independent. One of the changing dynamics of the population in the Granite State is that people moving there might favor lower taxes, but want more government benefits. They key here is open up people to the GOP and many independents are willing to vote for one if they make an appealing argument that isn't just based on ideology. As Morrissey notes in other counties with people he interviewed, people here don't get that invested in social issues. Just like with other counties, the ground game needs to be improved here. There's also a lot of younger voters here, where the GOP needs to narrow the Democratic advantage. They can do big focusing on innovating new policies to increase job opportunities and bring down the national debt.

Overall, I find this book to be very interesting. Ed Morrissey does a terrific job with the seven counties he writes about. His decision to go to them and ask around is admirable. I think many people should read his book in order to help understand what will get the Republican Party to start winning at the presidential level again. This book offers a blueprint for Donald Trump to win in 2016. The question is will he follow it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Who will win the California Primary?

It's been a long primary season. For the Republicans, there was speculation over a brokered convention. For the Democrats, the nomination race has been even longer. Hillary Clinton is expected to become the nominee at the convention in Philadelphia because she has clinched enough delegates, but everyone is wondering how the race between her and insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders will end. Clinton wants a strong finish in the election and that depends on the results of the California primary.

Both candidates are strongly campaigning in the Golden State, which has tightened the race. California is the largest and one of the most liberal states in the country. It isn't entirely irrelevant even though Clinton has already won. The Democrats who vote in the primary will send the final message of this nomination cycle. If Clinton wins the primary, then Democratic voters are clearly eager to get to the general election and will be happy with where the party is going. This direction means that they favor an extension of the policies of Barack Obama with his former secretary of state. If Sanders wins, then who can blame him for continuing to the convention even if it is fruitless effort. His victory would mean that there is clear hunger to move the Democratic Party further left toward the European style of government and economic policy.

There have been previous examples of losing candidates making big impacts. California Democrats rebelled against presumptive nominees in 1980 and 1984, which led to battles over the party's platform at the conventions (the Democrats lost both elections). Sanders will have the opportunity to make the Democratic Party's agenda one that has several elements of his democratic socialism. Chances are that Sanders will continue to fight for the nomination. According to the RealClearPolitics average, the Vermont senator is behind, but he has momentum and could win a big victory tonight. He could then fight for Clinton;s superdelegates before the convention, even though his chances of winning are nearly impossible since she has already won enough and will win more delegates tonight from California and any states that are left voting tonight.

Hispanic voters are the key to victory in California. It will be important to looks at the margins tomorrow. Clinton has traditionally performed better with Hispanic voters, specifically if they are older. If she dominates with them like she did in other states, then she should win. If, however, more young Hispanics turnout then Sanders has a good chance at winning. It will be important to look at the cities. Clinton has won due to her strengths in cities during the race, so keep your eyes on San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento. Sanders wants to do well in the cities, but he desperately needs to win by huge margins in rural and suburban counties. Overall, I think Clinton has the advantage and is more likely to win tonight, but Sanders does have a chance to make one last punch with tonight's pimary.