Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday's show: Good looking poll for Senator Cruz & Governor Abbott plus Mexico & Brazil



Thursday's video: An early poll shows Senator Cruz and Governor Abbott leading

Thursday's video:  An early polls shows Senator Cruz and Governor Abbott leading:




Brazil: Bring back the generals, or something like that


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Not long ago, Brazil was run by a military junta.  Then came a democracy, the expansion of the central government, crony capitalism, and corruption.  All of a sudden, one of the largest-GDP nations in the world looks as dysfunctional as any other.
So what do you do when elected leaders can’t keep the streets safe or give you economic growth?
Some Brazilians are yearning for law and order or “el hombre fuerte,” which is a syndrome all over the pages of Latin American history.
This is an update from Brazil, from The Guardian:
Hundreds of truckers and their supporters had gathered at a gas station on a highway near São Paulo, for a rally in support of a nationwide protest that has brought South America’s biggest economy to its knees.
But among the slogans and Brazilian flags were signs not usually seen at strike demonstrations: slung from a nearby overpass were banners calling for “military intervention”, a sign that this shutdown has taken on a political dimension all of its own.
As a nationwide truck strike reaches its 10th day, gas stations have finally begun to receive fuel deliveries and truckers have started drifting back to work – some unwillingly.
But hundreds of demonstrations have continued on highways across Brazil – and many of those still protesting are calling for a return to the rightwing dictatorship that ran Brazil for two sombre decades until 1985.
Look before you leap is my message to Brazilians.
Unlike Chile’s General Augusto Pinochet, a man who made his country the economic envy of the Third World, most Latin American military leaders clean up the streets, crack a few heads, make the trains run on time, and then collapse from corruption or abuse of power.
Or as my late father used to say, they bring “order” and forget “law.”  In other words, order without law is a problem, too.
My good guess is that there won’t be a junta in Brazil’s future.  The country is so messed up that the military wants no part of it, unless things get so out of hand that the military has no choice.
At the same time, you can’t blame the people of Brazil for wanting something better.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

What can we learn from the old "brasero" program?


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In 1953, Pres. Eisenhower created the "brasero program" because thousands of Mexicans were crossing over and working illegally.

It was killed in 1965 by President Johnson. Looking back, President Johnson made a huge mistake to please the labor unions, as John Fund wrote years ago:

"I've written before about how President Eisenhower's Bracero guest-worker program reduced arrests of illegal aliens at the border from over a million in 1954 to only 45,000 by 1959. 
The number of arrests remained under 100,000 a year until 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson ended the program under pressure from labor unions."
The "brasero" program worked for two reasons:

1) It established a legal framework for hiring Mexican workers; and,

2) It understood that most Mexicans just wanted to come here to work. They just wanted an opportunity to work, make some dollars and go back home.

Let's revive a modern version of "brasero". Give people a chance to come here, work and go back to Mexico with a pocketful of dollars!


PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


"Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans" by Allan Ridding


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Back in the mid-1980's, I read "Distant neighbors" and attended a book presentation in Mexico City.       

Of course, US-Mexico relations have changed a lot from the days of President Reagan and President Lopez-Portillo.    Nevertheless, the 20th century history is still relevant.   It will help you understand attitudes on both sides of the border:



Samantha is rude and ignorant of recent history

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Dear Samantha Bee:   Your choice of words was awful and your knowledge of history is no better.   
Obama & Democrats had all of the votes and did not pass immigration reform or a Dream Act.    On the other hand, President Trump actually put an idea on the table regarding the “dreamers”.
So why are you picking on Ivanka?  Why not the Democrats who failed to keep a campaign promise about immigration?
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wednesday's show: Lopez-Obrador moving up in Mexico, Brazil chaos and the Roseanne controversy

We look at the Roseanne Barr controversy or a lot of nothing about nothing.......New poll shows Lopez-Obrador leading by big margin.......Brazilians call for military takeover.......Lincoln Memorial 1922.....Indianapolis 500 started 1911......Mickey Mantle longest HR in 1956.......and others stories.....

Click to listen:







Wednesday's video: The Roseanne scandal is much about nothing




Upcoming elections in Colombia and Mexico

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By July 15, we will know who will be the next presidents of Mexico and Colombia.  Americans usually don’t care about these elections, but 2018 may be one of those years when results matter in two of the largest GDPs in Latin America.
Let’s go to Colombia.
With 98 percent of the votes counted, conservative 41-year-old Iván Duque nailed down 39 percent of the vote, according to Colombia’s national electoral agency. 
He was followed by the progressive 58-year-old economist and ex-mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, with 25 percent.
Duque is in a strong position for round 2, but 36%, the ones who did not vote for #1 or #2, will now have to choose between the two finalists.
I am not familiar with the other candidates and whom they will endorse.
Nevertheless, this is now down to Duque and Petro.  The big question is this: which one can persuade a majority of Colombians?
Stay tuned, but I like Duque’s chances.
Down in Mexico, conventional wisdom was that leftist Andrés López-Obrador was going to win.  He may, but don’t bet on that “caballo,” or horse, just yet.
A couple of weeks ago, a Mexican friend explained what he called “Plan B,” an effort for voters to vote for whoever is #2 or rising in the polls.  According to my friend, Mexican voters are planning to wait until the last moment to cast their ballots, when they have a good sense of who is #2.  It is their hope that #2 gets the support of #3 and #4 and overthrow López-Obrador.
“Plan B” may be a Mexican dream, but it appears to be working.  “Número 2,” Ricardo Anaya, a right-center candidate, is gaining and closing the gap against López-Obrador.  The latest polls show that the lead is narrowing:
Less than two months before Mexicans vote, Lopez Obrador’s support grew to 39 percent from 38 percent in the previous poll at the end of March, according to polling firm Parametria, but his lead narrowed to 14 points from 18.
The possibility of a victory by Lopez Obrador, who has threatened changes to the country’s landmark reform to lure private investment to its energy markets, has spooked some investors, helping send the peso currency down more than 3 percent in April.
Support for Ricardo Anaya, the candidate of the “For Mexico in Front” coalition of three parties from the right and left, grew to 25 percent from 20 percent the month before. In a recent TV debate, he portrayed himself as the only alternative to the frontrunner.
So far, Mexicans, specifically the large middle class and business sector, are turning to Anaya as the alternative.
Unlike Colombia, where a runoff is coming between right-center Duque and left-center Gustavo Petro, Mexicans have one chance to stop leftist López-Obrador.
My guess is that Duque will win in Colombia and bring back ex-president Alvaro Uribe’s successful policies.
As for Mexico, I am not sure that Anaya will close the gap, but lots of candles are burning in Mexican homes, hoping it is so.
It would be a great summer for the U.S. if right-center candidates win in Mexico and Colombia!
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Some thoughts about Lopez-Obrador & Mexico


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The latest news from Mexico is that Sr. Lopez-Obrador is increasing his lead and referred to as a "Tropical Messiah".   

As The WSJ wrote today:   
"If Mr. López Obrador is sworn in as president—this time for real—it isn’t entirely clear which man will turn up. 
Many fear it will be the fervent social activist with an authoritarian streak who sees the country divided in two camps, what he calls a “mafia of the powerful” against Mexico’s “good and honest people.” 
Others hope it will be the López Obrador who as Mexico City mayor proved to be a pragmatic manager, joining with telecom magnate Carlos Slim to restore down-at-the-heels neighborhoods."
Time will tell but it looks likely that LO will be the one sworn in.     I do caution that polls are polls as we learned in the US in 2016!

What does that mean for the people invested in LO's message?   My guess is that major disenchantment lies ahead and whatever political consequences come with it.

It's not too late for Mr. Anaya, Mr. Meade & "El Bronco" to consider their options.   It may be good for the country for them to unite and give the Mexican people one real alternative against Mr. LO.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



May 2018: FOX News doing very well


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Not a shock and Fox News is # 1 again:    
In prime time, Fox News destroyed its competition, with an average total audience of 2.381 million viewers, compared to MSNBC's 1.384 million and CNN's 835,000. 
Among viewers 25-54, the group most coveted by advertisers, FNC shook off a challenge in recent months from MSNBC to claim a clear victory: 461,000 viewers, well ahead of MSNBC (329,000) and CNN (265,000).
The bottom line is that Fox is doing well for 3 reasons:

1) CNN is boring and totally predictable.   It's not working;

2) MSNBC is just crazy, unless you think that President Trump is going to be arrested in the next 24 hours; and,

3) Fox is engaging and provocative.   It's enjoyable to watch.  

And that's how I see it!   

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday's show: Ireland abortion vote, elections in Colombia & Mexico and other stories



Tuesday's video: A look at Latin America



‘Free at last’ to have an abortion?



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As you may have heard, abortion is now legal in Ireland. They call it “the latest in a series of stinging rebukes to the Roman Catholic Church”.
On the positive side, it was a vote rather than a court decision. The people voted to legalize abortion and that’s always better than a judge pretending that he knows best. Also, abortion is legal only in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.
As a pro-life man, I found the vote disturbing, but Ireland is free to amend its constitution.   
My biggest shock was watching some of the reactions in the news:
“It just means that women — and the men who love the women of Ireland — have spoken out and they’ve said times have to change. And they are going to change now,” a tearful Mellet said at the Royal Dublin Society, where the count took place throughout the day.     
Ailbhe Smyth, a veteran campaigner and co-director of Together4Yes, the national pro-repeal group, is one of those women.
As she arrived to the count, she was greeted with roars of applause from supporters, who thanked her for her longstanding efforts.
Smyth told CNN that the road to get to this day had been a long and hard one, but the result marked a seismic shift for the country.
“Irish people are clearly standing up and saying of course the lives of women in Ireland matter. It’s a great victory for equality for freedom for dignity for human rights, — and not only for women,” Smyth said. (CNN)     
It gets better. One site even listed the 17 best reactions to legalize abortion. Let me share this one:  
“What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years.””
It’s like watching the 17 best reactions to Astros’ fans finally bringing a World Series to Houston or street parties celebrating the Eagles bringing the Super Bowl to Philadelphia.
Not a word in these reactions about the life being aborted. It’s all about a woman’s body or her right to have an abortion. 
What about the little girls aborted who will never get to make a decision about their bodies or celebrate any vote?
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Check before you tweet.......

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday's show: The week in review with Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda




Monday's video: "Cautiously optimistic" about Colombia


Fathers is what our kids need!



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As we approach Father's Day, let's chat about the "father crisis" in many communities in the US.

Years ago, Juan Williams, author and Fox News contributor, wrote The Tragedy of America's Disappearing Fathers:
"The extent of the problem is clear.

The nation's out-of-wedlock birth rate is 38%.

Among white children, 28% are now born to a single mother; among Hispanic children it is 50% and reaches a chilling, disorienting peak of 71% for black children.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly a quarter of America's white children (22%) do not have any male in their homes; nearly a third (31%) of Hispanic children and over half of black children (56%) are fatherless.
This represents a dramatic shift in American life.

In the early 1960s, only 2.3% of white children and 24% of black children were born to a single mom.

Having a dad, in short, is now a privilege, a ticket to middle-class status on par with getting into a good college."
Fathers' Day is around the corner.   Let's remember a simple truth: We need men to be responsible fathers.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



May 2007: Remember when Democrats were very rude to President Uribe?


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A post from May 2007

Colombia's President Uribe is one of the most responsible leaders in Latin America.   Like Mexico's Pres. Calderon, Uribe enjoys strong support back home because he is dealing with the problems.

Yet, the Democrats treated Pres. Uribe poorly during his recent trip to the US.

Why? Because Uribe believes in making decisions and solving problems. The Democrats believe in making speeches and non-binding resolutions.


What are the Democrats thinking?

Robert Novak had a great article about Uribe and the Democrats:

"The first Colombian president to crack down on his country's corrupt army officer hierarchy, and to assault both right-wing paramilitaries and left-wing guerrillas, last week confronted Democrats wedded to out-of-date claims of civil rights abuses and to rigidly protectionist dogma.This is remarkable U.S. treatment for a rare friend on the South American continent, where Venezuela's leftist dictator Hugo Chavez can only exult in Uribe's embarrassment as he builds an anti-American bloc of nations.

A former congressional staffer, who in 1999 helped author Plan Colombia against narco-guerrillas, told me:"President Uribe may be the odd man out, and that's no way to treat our best ally in South America." (How to Lose an Ally)
In the real world, we choose to support men like Uribe or we will create more room for men like Chavez.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.





President Hillary Clinton?


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What if Hillary Clinton had won the election?    

Michael Goodwin has a few ideas in his new post:    
"Coupled with her breathtaking sense of entitlement, it is hard to see her presidency lifting the ­nation’s self-confidence, at home or abroad."
Goodwin raised some very good points.   

I would add that Hillary Clinton would have continued the devastation of the Democrat Party, i.e. they lost 1,000 seats under President Obama's two terms.

President Hillary Clinton would have faced serious threats from the party's left on domestic spending and the cultural issues, such as LGBT and abortion.

Add to all of this that Mrs. Clinton has "zero" personalty and you would have had a very unpopular president.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

A book about President McKinley

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During the 2016 election, Karl Rove often brought up the 1896 election and even wrote a book about it:


May 2008 and those Josh Hamilton homers!



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Ten years ago, Josh Hamilton was the talk of baseball.

Like Roy Hobbs, Hamilton came back from rock bottom to play major league ball.

Hamilton took the Rangers to a couple of World Series but never won the big one like Hobbs in that great movie, "The Natural".     To be honest, it was not Hamilton's fault.   It was the Rangers' bullpen who couldn't get the last strike in back to back innings.

"During his darkest hours -- after he had been banished from baseball in 2004 and was doing coke, downing a bottle of Crown Royal a day and burning through his entire $4 million signing bonus -- Hamilton had recurring dreams that he was "fighting the devil, an awful-looking thing," with a stick or a bat, swinging but always missing."
Like Chen wrote:
"Three hours before game time at Rangers Ballpark, fans are already gathering in the stands to watch the home team take batting practice, but the show doesn't really start until it's Hamilton's turn to step to the plate."
The Hamilton story ended abruptly in spring training 2016 when he couldn't  overcome injuries.    He is out of baseball now.   Nevertheless, his performance in 2008 and for the next few years made baseball a lot of fun in Texas.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Bloody weekend in Chicago but does anyone care?


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It happens every weekend but no one seems to care:   "8 people killed, 25 wounded in bloody weekend in Chicago".

It happened on the heels of a conflict of words between the police union and Mayor Emanuel.    

Many fear that the violence and shootings will increase with summer on its way.

By the way:   "In December 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau released data confirming Illinois had dropped below Pennsylvania as the sixth most populous state in the country, due to four consecutive years of population decline.  Even more troubling was the fact that Illinois’ population loss was primarily driven by Illinoisans relocating to other states at the rate of 1 person every 4.6 minutes."

That's a lot of people and taxes heading out!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

November 2006: A word about Nathan Aguirre's funeral


Our community came together yesterday and said goodbye to Nathan Aguirre

As I wrote before, Nathan was a very popular young man who died in Iraq.

The church was full. The streets were full of school children and others. It was a wonderful sight.


Remember Memorial Day:





Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday's show: Memorial Day 2018 and other thoughts with Frank Burke, author

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Guest:  Frank Burke, author, businessman & contributor to American Thinker.....we will look at the meaning of Memorial Day in US history..........and other stories....

Click to listen:





Sunday's video: A word about Memorial Day and US history





Texas’s aspiring Democrat governor has tax problems

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We had a historic election in Texas: the first Latina, the first lesbian, and the worst voter turnout since President Wilson.
On Tuesday, 415,000 Democrats showed up to vote for governor…”and the smallest number of ballots cast – in the 14 Democratic gubernatorial primary runoffs held since 1920.  That year, 449,000 Democrats voted, according to Texas Election Source’s analysis of Texas State Historical Association data.”
What happened? The easy answer is that the party was not excited about its choices.  Furthermore, Andrew White did not really campaign or put up much of an effort against a very flawed candidate like Lupe Valdez.
A few days after the election, we learned that Miss Valdez has a tax problem.
This is probably not a major scandal.  After all, many people fall behind on their taxes and settle with tax agencies. 
Nevertheless, this is not a good headline the first week of the campaign: “Lupe Valdez, the Democratic nominee for Texas governor, owes $12,000 in property taxes.”
Here are a couple of questions.  Why didn’t this come out during the primary or when Miss Valdez announced her candidacy?  Did she get any special treatment, given her position as Dallas County Sheriff?
Again, I don’t think the tax issue will cost her any votes.  However, it won’t help her, either, especially when she delivers a populist rant.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Round 1 in Colombia


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The first round is over in Colombia and here is where we are:   
"With 98 percent of the votes counted, conservative 41-year-old Iván Duque nailed down 39 percent of the vote, according to Colombia’s national electoral agency. 
He was followed by the progressive 58-year-old economist and ex-mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, with 25 percent."
Duque is in a strong position for round 2 but 36%, or the ones who did not vote for # 1 or # 2,  will now have to choose between the two finalists.   

I am not familiar with the other candidates and who they will endorse.  

Nevertheless, this is now down to Duque and Petro.  The big question is this:   Which one can persuade a majority of Colombians?

Stay tuned.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday's show: The NFL, Trump & North Korea and the Texas elections



Saturday's video: A couple of words about Texas politics



Throw the flag on the weak owners

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My guess is that the NFL Commissioner and owners were hoping to bring this “anthem” story to a conclusion. I don’t think so.
It’s hard to believe that so many successful men of industry would be this tone deaf about their customers. The NFL leadership is missing some key points:
1) They own the teams. They sign the paychecks and approve the players’ contracts. Furthermore, their business brand got killed by players kneeling during the national anthem. So why are they afraid to act like the boss and tell the players to live up to their contract?
2) Fans like me appreciate the anthem and flag pageantry. It’s great to stand up and sing the national anthem before a sporting event. It’s nice to see the players lined up respecting the traditions. It means a lot to the soldiers and their families or the policemen protecting the players.
3) Fans like me don’t want to see politics pushed in our faces during sporting events or shows. Just check out ESPN to see what happens when hosts assume that we care to hear their political beliefs.
The NFL commissioner and owners are out of touch with reality, as Derek Hunter pointed out:
The idea that the NFL is only implementing its new national anthem policy because of falling ratings and public pressure is exactly how businesses work. No business exists to employ people; they exist to make as much money as possible. Hemorrhaging fans, or customers, is the quickest path to failure, so it’s smart for the NFL to do all it can to stop the swirling public relations disaster its players created.
Fining teams whose players kneel during the anthem isn’t “punishing dissent,” it’s the people who sign the front of the players’ sizable checks exerting the authority inherent in any employer/employee relationship.
Players have six other days of the week, and 21 other hours on the day of games, not to mention the months they have off, to protest whatever they want in any matter they choose. They’re celebrities in their towns, they don’t lack access to media willing to report on anything they do. But when they punch the clock, they should leave their personal agendas in the locker room and do their jobs.
President Trump didn’t create the disgust fans felt; he recognized it.
Memo to NFL owners: Listen to President Trump. He has got this one figured out just right.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Check out a new Mexico website


This morning, I added Mexidata.info to My Favorite Places. 

It features articles about Mexico and it is worth checking from time to time!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Ireland said "yes" to abortion


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Ireland said "yes" to abortion:   Ireland ends abortion ban as 'quiet revolution' transforms country.

I am amazed by the reaction of some women:   
"“It’s incredible. For all the years and years and years we’ve been trying to look after women and not been able to look after women, this means everything,” said Mary Higgins, obstetrician and Together For Yes campaigner."
In the meantime, who is protecting the little girls who get aborted?  They will never get a chance to celebrate any kind of a vote.   Aborted babies are the ones who never get to "choose".

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

We can't ignore Venezuela any longer


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We can't ignore Venezuela any longer:   
Last weekend’s controversial presidential election in Venezuela has reminded Americans of an economic and humanitarian crisis we have ignored for far too long. If we are honest with ourselves, we might not be able to ignore it much longer."
Since global oil prices took a plunge in 2014, the Venezuelan economy has been in a freefall. For decades, the country’s vast oil reserves – the largest in the world – masked the weak economic state of the country and the destructive reality of socialism. Now, Venezuela stands on the brink of a catastrophe on par with the world’s worst refugee crisis – and it’s unfolding in our backyard.
In the past two years, nearly 1 million Venezuelans have fled to surrounding countries, putting pressure on economies in the region. They live in crowded shelters and peddle to buy food and medicine for themselves and relatives back home. But the fate of refugees is arguably better than those who remain behind.
Those still inside Venezuela live in a desperate state.
Yes, a humanitarian crisis that Latin America can not ignore anymore.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

And now another one from Hillary Clinton!


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And now from Hillary Clinton:  "Electoral College ‘Needs to Be Eliminated’"

Naturally, it's very convenient.   She lost in 2016 and VP Gore in 2000.  Both times the winner of the popular vote lost the Electoral College and the presidency.

Of course, the Electoral College can be replaced.   All you have to do is amend the US Constitution and call for direct popular vote.    

Is it likely to happen?   No.    It always fails.

In fact, 2016, and also 2000, proved the wisdom of the Electoral College.     

Clinton won the popular vote because of the heavy concentration of Democrat voters in the coasts and large metro areas.  On the other hand, Trump dominated everything between the coasts.    

Hillary Clinton was a regional not a national candidate.   Just look at the map.

One last note:   There is no guarantee that Mrs. Clinton or VP Gore would have won their contests under a popular vote system.    Bush 2000 & Trump 2016 would have run totally different campaigns.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.




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