ADF

Commentary

The Demographic Division that Matters the Most


The demographic division that counts most in presidential elections has nothing to do with race, gender or income: it involves state boundaries that determine votes in the Electoral College.

By that standard, warning signs from the midterm elections should alarm Republicans looking ahead to 2020. Three states crucial to Trump’s victory in 2016 shifted decisively toward Democrats two years later and Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin combine for 46 electoral votes. Those three states each went GOP by paper-thin margins two years ago, but this time Democratic Senate candidates won easily and Republican gubernatorial nominees also crashed and burned.

Even if Trump holds all the other states he carried last time, he’d fall short without Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Instead of a focus on rallying loyal followers, Trump needs to win independent, suburban votes in these key swing states whose recent desertions could doom GOP prospects.

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Hugh Hewitt: President Trump and the 2020 Election


President Trump will win reelection. Anyone who watched his presser after the midterms knows in his or her bones that it’s gonna happen, because he’s getting better and better at the job.

He’s spent two years learning the job to which he brought a communications skill set unmatched by any other commander in chief, except Ronald Reagan.

Nobody is better at “combative” than Trump, and we live in an age addicted to combativeness. Cable news has adopted sports-like coverage and monetized combativeness. The culture is built on combativeness.

The president is also getting better and better at the policy and performance aspects of the presidency, getting better on the details even as he sharpens his jousting skills.

If Trump repopulates his front bench with a talented supporting cast of people who would amplify rather than muffle his message, he’ll be unstoppable in 2020.

Of course that could change, but right now you just have to say: he is the prohibitive favorite.

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Michael Medved: Hurting the Press the President and the Country


Jim Acosta, the aggressively arrogant reporter for CNN, posed a recent question illustrating the biggest problem with the press.

The day after midterm elections, Acosta grilled the president by saying: “I want to challenge you on one of the statements that you made… that this caravan was an ‘invasion’ … As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion.”

Now, if Acosta had quoted Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer and then asked the president’s response, it would have been fair and appropriate, but it’s not a reporter’s job to “challenge” an official in his own name and his own voice.

Why not explore disagreements among politicians, without taking sides yourself? The undisguised anti-Trump contempt by leading journalists supports the idea that the nation’s biggest battle isn’t Democrats vs. Republicans, it’s the media vs. Trump: an impression that hurts the press, the president, and the country.

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Michael Medved: Something for Both Sides to Celebrate


The mid-term elections provided a rare occasion for conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, to look at the same events and feel a shared sense of satisfaction and encouragement.

Republicans feel good about expanding their Senate majority and holding key governorships in Florida, Ohio, and elsewhere. Democrats take pride in capturing the House and flipping governorships in Illinois, Michigan and more. Republicans won big races in deep blue states like Massachusetts and Vermont; Democrats gained ground in GOP strongholds like Kansas and South Carolina.

Americans know how to split tickets: in Maryland, Republican Governor Larry Hogan and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin both won simultaneous landslides.

The election returns show that Americans still care most about local issues plus the character and competence of their candidates.

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Hugh Hewitt: The Courts and the Fight for the First Amendment


The Supreme Court in the U.K. recently decided unanimously in favor of a bakery in Belfast where they declined to make a cake celebrating same-sex marriage.

You may think it sounds similar to the case of Jack Phillips here in our country.

That’s because it is.

Here at home, of course, Jack won at our high court—by a 7-2 margin in the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, defended by the good folks at ADF, the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Jack’s story, the story of the U.K., the story of Baronelle Stutzman—the florist up in Washington state— all are just examples of how widespread these free speech and free exercise of religion issues are today.

The courts—at least for the foreseeable future—are the first and last line of defense for what our founders called “The First Freedom.”

The good folks need to stay fully engaged in the fight.

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Lanhee Chen: The Big Story Behind the 2018 Election


Americans turned out on Tuesday in big numbers to vote in a critical and hotly contested midterm election.

While Democrats were able to win control of the House, the big story is that Republicans will add to their majority in the U.S. Senate. 

That’s significant for two reasons:

First, the incoming freshman class of GOP Senators includes an impressive group of leaders like Mitt Romney, Josh Hawley, and Rick Scott who will stand for policies that promote economic growth, provide for a strong national defense, and advance conservative reforms.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, a Republican Senate means that President Trump’s appointees—in particular to the federal courts—will continue to be confirmed.  This is great news for those who value constitutional restraint and the rule of law. 

The 2018 midterm election was consequential indeed.  And its impacts will surely be felt for years to come.

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Michael Medved: The Kingdom of Kindness


I first learned about the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting hours after it happened, when I walked to my own synagogue’s Shabbat services near Seattle. Like other Sabbath observers, I was isolated from the news until I saw a good Christian friend who had showed up at our place of worship, standing vigilantly at the back of the sanctuary.

As it turned out, our friend Charlie—a marine officer, an NRA gun instructor and internationally renowned opera singer—heard the news and immediately took it upon himself to come to our synagogue to protect his friends.

His decision, like the other expressions of support for the Jewish community from good people across the country, reminds us how blessed we are as Americans.

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