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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Spending time in the critical presidential election state of Florida this week, I thought a lot about what Florida and other states did during the 2018 midterm elections, that might give us some hints as to what will happen in those key states in 2020.NIKE Women's Air Max Motion Lw Running Shoe B01K39OFLW 9.5 B(M) US|Soar/Chlorine Blue/White Let’s “brunch” on that this week:

“A Florida Frost?” – Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Hiking Shoe B00D1N0P1M 11 B(M) US|Charcoal/Moss Senate seat long held by former Sen. Bill Nelson (D) Florida. Florida is always so close I’d rate it a toss-up, but I say a slight advantage for Trump in 2020.

“Penn Station Stall” – Right now I would rate Pennsylvania as the best and biggest chance for a Democrat pick up in the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump won the Keystone State in 2016 with 48.2 percent of the vote to 47.5 percent for Hillary Clinton. Eddie Bauer Women's Evanesce Wedge B074Z7THNP 8.5 B(M) US|Driftwood (Brown)The raw margin of victory was just 44,000 votes. Naturalizer Women's Dev Wc Riding Boot B071VYJ4BP 8 2W US|Saddle 200. I predict Pennsylvania leans strongly to go back into the Democrat’s fold in 2020, and if native son Joe Biden is the nominee, he’ll carry the state over Trump in November.

“Ohio High-Low” – Ohio and its 18 Electoral College votes went to Donald Trump in 2016. It’s a state that is the best predictor of all fifty states. Win Ohio and you’re president. The 2018 election produced mixed results. Call it the status quo election. Sen.Merrell Women's Chameleon 7 Limit Waterproof Hiking Boot B077P6FQ6B 10.5 D(M) US|Dusty Olive Sherrod Brown (D) Ohio easily won reelection. On the other hand, Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) Ohio was elected governor, replacing term-limited Gov. John Kasich (R) Ohio. Democrats and Republicans both kept their incumbent seats in the U.S. House and so that balance stays the same. I rate Ohio as clear advantage for Republicans in 2020.

“Badgering Voters” – Miz Mooz Women's Nikita Fashion Boot B06XNW4NQX 40 M EU (9-9.5 US)|Black. Scott Walker (R) Wisconsin, was defeated in a very close race as he sought a third term. But none of Wisconsin’s U.S. House district flipped, so I say Wisconsin leans to Trump in 2020

“Carolina (North) on My Mind” – North Carolina has become a key toss-up state in past few presidential election cycles, after being a solid red state for decades. But 2018 offered some mixed results. Democrats won the governor’s race beating a Republican incumbent. On the other hand, Columbia Women's Peakfreak XCRSN II Xcel Low Outdry Hiking Shoe B01NALA702 6 B(M) US|Black, Intense VioletDemocrats and Republicans each held their incumbent U.S. House seats, with one exception. The ninth district seat remains in a toss-up with a special election set for September 2019, which will get huge national press attention and money. Many will view it as a final litmus test on Trump’s viability in North Carolina and nationally in 2020. Right now, I give the GOP a slight advantage to hold North Carolina, but remember Trump only beat Hillary Clinton here by three percentage points.

“Virginia is NOT for All Lovers!” –The sea of “red” hearts in Virginia has indeed turned “blue.” Between 1952 and 2004, MuckBoots Women's Tack II Tall Equestrian Work Boot B00NV624XQ 7 B(M) US|Black, and in 2018 came within one vote of tying Republicans for control of the House of Delegates, and within one vote of controlling the State Senate. Look for Virginia to stay in the “blue” column in 2020.

“’Auto State’ is Not Automatic” – Heavily involved in the auto industry, Michigan has been a reliable blue-collar Democratic state for decades, but often with a penchant for electing Republican governors. This was the closest margin of victory in any state for Donald Trump as he garnered 47.5 percent of the vote,PUMA Women's Rebel Mid WNS En Pointe Sneaker B071X66G74 7 B(M) US|Peach Beige-peach BeigeSam Edelman Women's Odele Heeled Sandal B06XFSC4LD 5.5 B(M) US|Golden Caramel Suede to 47.27 percent for Hillary Clinton. The difference was just 10,704 votes out of 4.5 million votes cast. Democrats kept a U.S. Senate seat, picked up the Governor’s mansion and flipped two U.S. House seats. I rate the state as leaning to flip back to the Democratic side in 2020.

“Why All of This Matters” – Blue by Betsey Johnson Women's Sb-Zuri Fashion Boot B073211XK5 5.5 B(M) US|Black, North Carolina, Ohio, or Georgia. It’s going to be an uphill fight!.

Who is ahead in your state? Who are people chatting about? Just click the comment button to add your voice to the chorus!

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is the Chief Political Reporter for the five Nexstar Media TV stations that are providing coverage of the 2020 presidential campaign in West Virginia, its five neighboring states of Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and most of the Washington, D.C. media market.

© 2019, Mark Curtis Media, LLC

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – This week I am in the crucial “Sunshine State” which will play a critical role in who wins the White House in 2020. For months I have predicted that House Democrats would begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump whether there was merit or not. I think the momentum is now gaining in that direction and has lots of implications. Let’s “brunch” on that this week.

“Mueller Moves On” – Brooks Womens Glycerin 16 B077YT5SF5 11 AA US|Black/Pink/Grey. That means impeachment is the option available to Congress.

“Good Cop – Bad Cop” – While many rank and file Democrats have called for impeachment of the president in recent weeks, Vans Herren Authentic Core Classic Sneakers B076CVL41F 11 Women / 9.5 Men M US|(Gum Bumper) True White/True White, so she may be trying to be the “good cop” here. But I predict if the majority of her caucus serves up the “bad cop” role, she’ll allow impeachment inquiries to move forward.

“The Math Doesn’t Add Up” – Right now Democrats control the U.S House with 235 seats, Chaco Women's Zcloud Athletic Sandal B01H4XCFSA 11 M US|Marquise Pink. Even in 1999, Republicans had a 55-45 majority in the Senate, but needed 12 Democrats to expel Clinton. They got zero Democrats to join them.

“Impeach me, Please!” – Speaker Pelosi has warned Democrats that she believes Trump actually wants his foes to launch an impeachment. Pelosi told her caucus that President Trump “wants to be impeached” so that he can be cleared by the Senate. I think she’s right on the money. I mean, just look how the Mueller investigation emboldened Trump supporters and made them even more passionate in their backing. Trump seems to be inviting his own “Trojan Horse” to the impeachment process. Fascinating!

“The Potential ‘Coattail’ Fallout” – I think there is an interesting dynamic to watch here that concerns the timing of everything. In January 1998, Republicans launched their investigation of President Clinton over his involvement with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky.Nina Original Women's Smile Dress Sandal B00AY8WNGM 5 B(M) US|Natural Stretch Elastic It was also the beginning of the 1998 midterm Congressional election cycle. If the Trump impeachment process starts now and goes a year, we may have resolution well before the 2020 presidential election (and Congressional elections, too). In 1998, Democrats won a net gain of five seats in the House, plus Newt Gingrich was ousted as Speaker. Trotters Women's Sizzle Signature Ballet Flat B0073E6NJS 10.5 SS US|Metallic PewterIt was a clear sign Republicans overplayed their hands on impeachment. But there was no change in the Senate’s 55-45 GOP majority.

“Home Party Rules” – Remember that impeachment is a political process, it’s not a legal process like the criminal courts. Party loyalty can play a huge factor in a political process. For example, in 1999 only five House Democrats voted to impeach President Clinton, but in the Senate no Democrats voted to remove him from office.Dr. Scholl's Shoes Women's Classic Slide Sandal B0767VT83L 8 B(M) US|Denim Fabric Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas Low Top Sneaker B00ABSN170 9.5 B(M) US Women / 7.5 D(M) US Men|NavyOn the other hand, go back to the 1974 impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. Seven Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee voted to file three articles of impeachment against Nixon. After that, a group of Republican lawmakers visited the White House and told Nixon he could not survive and would be removed from office if he did not resign.Propét Women's TravelActiv Xpress Sneaker B072M81DDL 8 2E US|Navy/PinkNew Balance Women's 690v2 Trail Running Shoes B01M0VXUKJ 10 B(M) US|Ozone Blue Glo/Lime GloTwo days later he quit. My point is, when your own party says it is time to close the curtain, then you are done. It really makes little difference what the opposing party says.

“Unity and Division” – The only other example we can study on impeachment is that of President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded President Lincoln after his assassination. Lincoln, a Republican, chose a Southern Democrat in Johnson of Tennessee, Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top B0001Y8ZHU 16 US Men/18 US Women|NavyNew Balance Women's WW813 Walking Shoe B00LNNK31O 5.5 B(M) US|Blackfor what was dubbed a National Unity Ticket. When Johnson replaced Lincoln, many Republicans did not trust him or want him. As mentioned earlier, impeachment is a political process, Pleaser Women's Delight-1020/B/M Boot B004A6U122 10 B(M) US|Black/Blacknot a legal proceeding. Johnson was impeached on three articles, and in all three cases he survived removal from office by only one vote in the Senate. Interestingly, after Johnson left the presidency, he ran for U.S. Senate and won!

“Why All This Matters” – When it comes to impeachment, Congress has to tread carefully. In Richard Nixon’s case, the evidence was overwhelming and enough people in both parties were ready to remove him from office. In Bill Clinton’s case, it was clear he committed perjury by lying under oath to a U.S. District Judge. Easy Spirit AP1 Sport Walking Shoe B000F5TNUI 5 B(M) US|Blue-nubuckOf course, the lie was about an extramarital affair, and as reprehensible as many in both parties found Clinton’s behavior, many just didn’t feel it warranted removal from office. In Andrew Johnson’s case, he may have violated laws Congress specifically passed to bait him. But again,ASICS GT DS Retro Running Shoe B00ZQ4K2OO 14 M US|Classic Red/Classic Red Vionic Women's Juno Slide Sandal B07D3GW67Z 9 B(M) US|Tanit was more of a political offense. My guess is that until House Democrats find clear violations of the law or breeches of national security, the Trump impeachment is going nowhere.

Do you favor or oppose impeachment of President Trump? Please click the comment button to place your vote and explain your position!

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the five Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia and its five surrounding states, plus most of the Washington, D.C. media market. He’s a National Contributing Writer for the White House Patch at www.Patch.com.

© 2019, Mark Curtis Media, LLC

Photo courtesy: Mark Curtis Media, LLC

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