Greg Gianforte Won in Montana, But the Trend Bodes Very Poorly for the GOP Nationally

Republican Greg Gianforte defeated Democrat Rob Quist in a Montana special election last night. He also apologized for beating up a Guardian reporter. But he still won, and the altercation with Ben Jacobs seems to have had little or no effect, in part because over half the votes had been cast via early voting and in part because Republicans in Montana are apparently rubes who thought it was great that their candidate beat up a reporter.

That’s the bad news. That’s all I want to say about the bad news.

Here’s the good news, if you’re looking ahead to 2018.

Rob Quist lost by only 6 points in district where Donald Trump won by 20. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, this district is Very Red. There are 120 Red districts that are less Red than this Montana at-large district. Based on the demographics, a typical Republican would defeat a typical Democrat by 11 points. The Republicans won by 16 points in 2016; 15 in 2014; 11 in 2012; 27 points in 2010; and 32 points in 2008. In other words, Republicans have enjoyed huge, huge wins in this district for the last decade.

Quist lost by 6 points, even though he was a very weak candidate who had a lot of baggage (granted, he was also running against a weak candidate).

But, let’s say conservatively, that Quist and Gianforte are evenly matched, and where a typical Republican would win by 11 points, this Republican won only by 6. That means that the national political climate is swinging toward the Democrats by around 5 points.

So, in that most conservative of estimates, where Democrats gain 5 points in each race nationally because their President is bonehead, the Democrats would take back 53 seats in the 2018 midterms. The Democrats need only a net gain of 24 seats. Therefore, even assuming that only half of the Districts get a 5 point swing, the Democrats can still regain the House.

Keep in mind, also, that we are still a year and a half away from the midterm elections, and Donald Trump continues daily damage to his Presidency and the Republican party.

Even more encouraging is this: The Georgia 6th district is +8 for the Republicans, meaning that a typical Republican running against a typical Democrat in that district wins by 8 points. In polls right now, the Democrat Jon Ossoff is leading by 7 points. That’s a 15 point swing.

Strictly mathematically speaking, the Democrats only need a TWO POINT swing in every district to regain 25 seats and take back the House.

In other words, news of out of Montana last night was dispiriting, but the broader national trend as we head toward 2018? It looks very positive.

Pajiba

Trend DuJour: Superfood Cocktails

Following through with resolutions get more difficult the deeper we get into 2017. Committing to Sober January is not for everyone, so we’ve uncovered the latest trend that will remove the guilt trip that follows a boozy night out with friends.

Superfood cocktails allow you to indulge in tasty drinks while forgoing the extra sugar and empty calories of a traditional appletini. They utilize the restorative elements of healthy foods to create delicious libations that won’t break your New Year’s resolutions.

We caught up with expert mixologist Brad Stanton from the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, Canada to give us the rundown on his favorite superfood cocktail and the benefits that go along with it.

What are some of the perks that go along with consuming superfood cocktails?

BS: Superfood cocktails leverage the nutrient-rich characteristics and natural flavors of health foods to create unique and exciting beverages that can be enjoyed in a social setting. From pomegranates and blueberries to less conventional ingredients such as Greek yogurt and avocado, superfoods add a delicious and nutritious component to any cocktail.

Do you notice a change immediately after drinking a superfood cocktail compared to your standard appletini?

BS: It depends on the superfood cocktail but certainly in some cases drinks produce an immediate effect. The way we perceive taste is heavily influenced by environmental factors including our expectations after selecting a drink on a cocktail menu. Physically, the benefits derived from superfoods vary and may have more subtle effects depending on the potency of the ingredient. In the case of the Turmeric Fizz, I’ve had many guests say they feel energetic and uplifted after drinking!

Brad Stanton

What are your favorite ingredients to use?

BS: There are so many superfoods out there to pick from! Some of my favorites (in no particular order) include astragalus, cayenne pepper, matcha green tea, blueberries, almonds, coconut and even pure maple syrup, which is packed with antioxidants. In the future, I would love to use spirulina in a cocktail!

Can you create a superfood cocktail in your own kitchen?

BS: Yes, anyone can make a superfood cocktail at home—all you need is the proper ingredients, a little creativity and your spirit of choice.  

What are the highlights of your drink of choice; The Turmeric Fizz?                                                                               

BS: The Turmeric Fizz is an effervescent juggernaut that glows a bright and vibrant orange color.  The drink not only invigorates the palate with poignant spice notes, but provides drinkers with antioxidants, antibacterial agents and anti-inflammatory characteristics derived from the turmeric. 

What are your suggestions for people just dipping their toes into this trend?

BS: I encourage people to dive right in! Engage with experts at health food stores, do some research online and head to your local market to pick up some ingredients to experiment with. Using your senses of taste and smell, try and “understand” the flavor profile of the superfood and think about how it would work in a cocktail. Most importantly though, have fun with it!

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An Expert Reveals the Biggest Art Trend of 2017

Buying and collecting art is an art in itself. Keeping up with the best up-and-coming artists, knowing when to buy classic versus trendy, and discovering the piece that’s going to take your collection to the next level is a skill set that takes time to develop. To give you a leg up, we talked with Saatchi Art’s Chief Curator Rebecca Wilson, who shared her tips and the trend of the moment.

How did you get into art curation?

Slightly by accident. I was the editor of Art Review, a contemporary art magazine based in London, and went from there to work at the Saatchi Gallery. While I was there I started a prize for graduates just leaving art school called New Sensations which culminated in a big exhibition of 20 BFA and MFA graduates in London during Frieze week. So I was plunged in at the deep end curating a huge exhibition of 50 or more works in a 10,000 sq ft venue. I did it for seven years, and have gone on to curate many exhibitions in different cities as well as curating thousands of exhibitions online at Saatchi Art. Being the curator of an online gallery is very much an ongoing thing as around 1000 new works are uploaded by artists to Saatchi Art every day.  So I start my day going through all of these works, earmarking them for upcoming online and offline exhibitions, as well as features on individual artists. As a curator I’m also thinking about clients that would be interested in the works that we are able to recommend through our art advisory service.

What’s your best tip for starting an art collection?

Buy what you love! It’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of which artist’s works might go up in value and forget that you are about to buy a unique work of art that someone has made and that you will be able to enjoy every day. I’d also spend time going to MFA degree shows and looking at as much art as you can. It will help you to work out what you like and why you like it.

For an avid art collector, any advice for buying classic versus trendy pieces?

You can get stung buying work by young artists that very rapidly attract a lot of hype as prices on the whole increase too quickly, the market gets satiated, and young artists can struggle to develop and continue to make exciting work in such a pressured atmosphere. So it’s much better to focus on works that you feel an emotional response to and that you can imagine enjoying over time. This can of course be a range of works in different styles and mediums. I love to bring together all sorts of styles that I like from new contemporary paintings to Indian miniatures to geometric collages and black and white photography. But for me it always starts with really loving a work and wanting to know more about the artist’s ideas and process. 

Any art trends you’re seeing for 2017?

More and more people are buying art and they are buying it online which is really exciting for artists all over the world. This trend looks set to continue which means that all kinds of artists who have not been served well by the traditional art gallery model will see their works discovered and bought, enabling them to earn a living from their work in a way that was not possible 10 years ago.

Do you have a favorite artist of the moment?

I’m very excited about an emerging artist from the UK called Ed Burkes. He was awarded a First Class BA from Falmouth University, we featured him in Saatchi Art’s 2016 Invest in Art report introducing some of the most notable graduates of the year, and he’s already been picked to show his work in London at two different exhibitions for the best emerging artists in the UK.

Ed Burkes

What was the first piece of art you ever purchased? 

I bought a triptych of photographs by Idris Khan when he was graduating from the Royal College of Art in London.

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