Major Election Concern – Supreme Court

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court begins its new term without a full bench. The vacancy left by the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia remains unfilled.

President Barrack Obama has put forth a nominee, Merrick Garland. The Senate has refused to consider his appointment, saying the empty seat should not be filled until the next President is elected.

In addition to Scalia’s seat, with the ages of the current Justices, there is a real possibility the next person to fill the big chair in the Oval Office may have the opportunity to appoint up to four other people to the High Court.

At stake is the ideological bent of the Supreme Court, which has been decidedly conservative for decades, to a more liberal persuasion.

Yet on the campaign trail we have heard only a small amount of talk of such an important duty of the presidency.

As the new term begins and the Presidential Election just over a month away, what do voters think of the Court?

In timely fashion, Pew Research has revealed the results of its most recent subject on the highest court in the land and Americans opinions about the Court.

As can be readily seen from this chart, the Justices are viewed much more favorably than the other branches of government. Americans with a 60% sentiment look kindly on the Court.

favorability

But there is a sharp difference in how Republicans and Democrats view the Supremes.

partylinesIndependents and Republicans may have a majority favorable view of the Supreme Court, it is much lower than the opinion of Democrats.

When Americans look at the Court from an ideological perspective, there are diverse ideas.

ideologyAs the chart depicts, Democrats see the Constitution as being a living document and changing with changing times. Republicans tend to interpret the Constitution to say what it means and meaning what it says. Independents tend to be evenly split between the two points of view.

Moderates tend to be evenly split between POVs, while conservatives and liberals are decidedly encamped in opposing perspectives.

How does appointments to the Supreme Court factor into your decision on who should be the next Commander-in-Chief?

Does it have any sway?

Here are five takeaways identified by Pew:

  1. Americans’ opinions of the court hit a 30-year low last year after controversial decisions, but have rebounded after a quieter term.
  2. There is a significant partisan gap in views of the court.
  3. Partisans have starkly different views over how the justices should interpret the Constitution.
  4. Conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are particularly likely to see court appointments as very important to their vote.
  5. Most Americans disagree with the Republican-controlled Senate’s decision to not hold hearings on Obama’s court nominee.

Get the details: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/26/5-facts-about-the-supreme-court/

From the Cornfield, as I continue to evaluate the candidates – Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Evan McMullin – who gets to make these vital appointments to a term for life is a  deciding factor.

Desert Poll Results

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This past week I conducted another unscientific, presidential preference survey. This time it was of residents in the Desert Tri-State area of Arizona, California and Nevada.

Not surprising, the results mirrored the results in the survey the week before of readers of From The Cornfield, Kernels From The Cornfield and CNN’s iReport.  In both surveys, participants overwhelmingly leaned Republican.

Here in the Desert, the median age is 55 years old. Older Americans tend to be more conservative and to vote. This area also holds as a bedrock of American society the Second Amendment.

Here are the results:

Party Preference –

79% Republican 7% Democratic

Democratic Nominee –

Hillary Clinton 50% Other 50% (Extrapolated)

Libertarian Nominee –

Marc Feldman 33% (Need more info) Other 67% (Extrapolated)

Republican Nominee –

1/2 tie Donald Trump 21%, John Kasich 21%

3/4/5 tie Jeb Bush 14%, Dr. Ben Carson 14%, Other 14%

6/7 Scott Walker 7%, Other 7%

One of the others had a write-in candidate of Ronald Reagan – Stan did you vote in the Desert Poll?

LOL

From the Desert with feet planted in the Cornfield, there you have the latest survey from Cornfield to Desert Polls.

This weekend following Thursday’s first presidential debate among Republican candidates, I plan to survey who you thought were winners and losers in both the debate and the earlier forum among the seven who don’t make it on to the debate stage.

partypreference demchoice libchoice repchoice

Take Back The Vote

cornfieldlogoIn 15 short months from now, those of us who vote will hold our noses and enter a booth to cast our chose between the people offered to us to become the next President of the United States of America.

Leading up to that day, following the party conventions, you will hear, wherever you go, people bemoaning the nominees.

You will hear people asking if this is the best the parties could offer to the American people.

You will hear people asking why the most qualified person never seeks office.

You will hear the lame excuse that the good ones do not want to have the media spotlight shown on their lives. They do not want their families subjected to the public sticking their noses into their private business.

That is a cop out excuse and has little to no weight nor value.

The truth is: The reason we do not have better candidates running for office, and better choices when we cast our ballot on Election Day, is because the vast majority of us have abdicated our responsibility to selecting a nominee to the fringes – the extremes on both right and left.

In every political opinion or news story about the candidates and the upcoming primaries and caucuses you can read or hear of how the candidates must play to the base. And it is the base – which is really not the base – who are either conservative zealots or liberal fanatics.

The vast majority of the American voting public resides not to the far left nor in the far right. The vast majority of American voters are more centrist or moderate.

But, the vast majority of Americans do not vote in the primaries and the caucuses.

While the vast majority of Americans – not just voters – sometimes move to the right on some issues and sometimes move left on other issues, where they live is in the eye of the political hurricane.

Americans do not take the time to learn about the candidates, their positions, their policies, about what the issues and concerns are.

It is so much easier to stay in the serene eye as the storm rages around them than to muster the will  and energy to vet the people who would govern us.

Why don’t we have better nominees to choose from?

Because we, the people, are letting the extremes determine who the nominees will be.

It is time to put up or shut up.

From the Desert with my roots firmly planted in the Cornfield, I believe it is time to #TakeBackTheVote.

It is time for those of us who live to right of center or left of center or dead center to get out and vote in the primaries and caucuses and make our voices heard.

It is time to #TakeBackTheVote.

It is time to say, “Enough is enough. This is my America. It is not conservative. It is not liberal. It is not moderate. It is America.”

Who will join me this election season and #TakeBackTheVote?