Get past the title. There are some very interesting takes in here from a variety of sources on how Sunday’s debate went down, and what the future holds.
Get past the title. There are some very interesting takes in here from a variety of sources on how Sunday’s debate went down, and what the future holds.
Are you ready for some good news? …
And here’s how some of that money is being applied in a crucial state: Texas. Swing Left is focused on more than just the national elections; they’re also energized to turn Red state legislatures like Texas to Blue. Then we can put a stop to Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression so we can make even more progress at the national level.
Former Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg failed in his bid for the White House, but he is still looking to make an impact on Texas politics.
Bloomberg announced Tuesday he is sending $2 million to a Democratic-leaning group called Swing Left, which has targeted Texas as one of 12 states where it will focus its energy in 2020.
In the case of Texas, the group is trying to help flip the Texas House from Republican control to Democratic control. Republicans have watched their majority in the Texas House shrink to just 9 seats and Democrats are convinced they have a shot of winning enough seats in 2020. In 2018, Democrats flipped 12 seats held by Republicans.
Very encouraging! Go Bloomberg! – keep the bucks flowing.
Yes, this is a good sign that Bernie is possibly going to get out of the race. But that he has kept open his campaign until end of April is still an open question. Considering what’s been happening nationally, Biden’s wins, Coronavirus etc. it would seem very likely.
Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign currently has no active Facebook ads, the morning after another disappointing finish in a series of primary contests.
Why it matters: A pause in digital advertising spend on Facebook has been a good indicator that candidates are dropping out of the 2020 race before. Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg made their Facebook ads inactive hours before they suspended their campaigns.
The state of play: Sanders and his wife Jane are traveling back to Vermont today to “assess the path forward for our campaign," per a note from his campaign manager Faiz Shakir.
- Shakir wrote that “last night did not go the way we wanted,” after they lost all three states that voted: Arizona, Illinois and Florida.
- Joe Biden has now accumulated what clearly looks like an insurmountable delegate lead over Sanders, leaving him little room and time to make up for that deficit.
- Coronavirus has profoundly changed the primary race, as candidates on both sides of the aisle are forced to cancel campaign rallies — a natural setting for Sanders that he’s now being denied.
What to watch: How Sanders, his team, and supporters move to rally behind Biden and whether Biden moves left on progressive policy in an effort to win over their voters.
Bernie Sanders suspended all of his Facebook campaign ads Wednesday on the heels of another stinging primary setback, sparking rumors that he’s about to drop out of the race.
The Facebook ad freeze came after Joe Biden won Tuesday’s primaries in Florida, Illinois and Arizona, virtually leaving Sanders without a viable path to the Democratic nomination.
The Facebook development prompted a social media frenzy, and several reporters tweeted Sanders had decided to suspend his campaign.
But Sanders campaign communications director Mike Casca shot down the rumors as “absolutely false" in a tweet.
After getting crushed in another round of presidential primary voting Tuesday, Bernie Sanders keeps pushing on — but it is unclear to where and for how long.
In a statement Wednesday morning, Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said the senator was assessing what to do next but suggested Sanders might take some time before announcing a decision.
“The next primary contest is at least three weeks away,” Shakir said. “Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign. In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”
In a more specific email sent to supporters, Shakir offered a blunter version of the message.
“No sugarcoating it, last night did not go the way we wanted,” he said. After Sanders votes in the Senate on Wednesday on pending coronavirus-response legislation, he and his wife, Jane, would fly home to Vermont to “begin holding conversations” about the future, Shakir added.
In the end, however, the senator doesn’t have many options. Paths to the nomination have closed off. Sanders’ movement seems weaker each time voters go to the polls. The coronavirus pandemic has muzzled his megaphone, making it impossible to hold the big rallies that are the lifeblood of his movement.
Now he faces a choice that is not just about his campaign, but also about the movement he has been building his entire political career.
Bernie’s interactions with a press gaggle were less than stellar. All of this is very tough stuff…
Resounding endorsement from 80 national security professionals for Biden came today in a letter. They are all spelling out their disgust for T’s behavior, his treatment of our foreign allies and his ability to lead. No one here is worried about having T come down on them…they have all left government it seems, but they did step out of their non-partisan lane, and pushed for Biden, and no T.
More than 80 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”
Most of the signatories, who include career diplomats, intelligence officers and defense policymakers, have served both Republican and Democratic administrations. They noted that their policy views cover a spectrum and as officials they “have often been in opposition, sometimes bitterly, with each other.”
“His reelection would continue this downward spiral and will likely have catastrophic results,” say the signatories, most of whom have never publicly endorsed a candidate for president.
Doug Wise, a former CIA clandestine officer and former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, broke a career-long vow to serve in silence by signing the letter.
“We need to restore courtesy, respectability and consensus decision-making based not on the personal interests of Donald J. Trump but on the personal interests of Americans,” said Wise, who retired in 2016 after 48 years of government service.
Wise, who leans Republican, said that he has never voted for president, content to trust in the American democratic system “to produce a good president and commander in chief.” But the system has failed, he said. So this November, he said, he will cast his first vote for president — for Biden.
Larry Pfeiffer, former senior director of the White House Situation Room and a former chief of staff to then-CIA Director Michael Hayden, said he leans Republican. “If Donald Trump wasn’t running, and it was Mitt Romney versus Joe Biden, I’d be endorsing Mitt Romney,” he said. “And I probably wouldn’t be public about it.”
Pfeiffer, who served five presidents dating to Ronald Reagan, said he sees himself as nonpartisan, so much so that endorsing a candidate feels like “an unnatural act.”
Margaret Henoch, a former CIA officer who joined the agency in the Reagan administration, agreed that a public endorsement is “absolutely” unheard of for career professionals. But these are not normal times, she said.
Henoch said her endorsement is “not political.” It’s driven by a desire to restore “the stability of the country and the world and the respect for the role and function of government” in a democratic society.
Paul Rosenzweig said he was a Republican but became an independent in 2017 because “the standard-bearer for my party no longer represented the values that I think the party should stand for.”
“Even though I am sure I will disagree with much of what [Biden] does, I am also certain that the overall result will be far superior under Biden than under Trump,” said Rosenzweig, who served as a senior policy adviser at the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and as a senior counsel to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in the Clinton administration.
James R. Clapper Jr., a former director of national intelligence who entered government service in the Kennedy administration and retired in 2017, has voted “both ways” in federal elections. He considers himself a “Democrat domestically and a Republican in the foreign and national security realm.”
He, too, said he would vote for Biden. “I just think he would represent, if elected, a restoration of normality to the country,” said Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who served in five Democratic and five Republican administrations.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who ran a foreign policy-focused campaign for the presidential nomination of a party she sharply criticized, announced on Thursday that she was dropping out of the race.
@MissJava - Can you move to 2020 Primary please? Thanks!
T’s campaign send a letter to take down a “False and Misleading” ad
The Ad strings together a lot of statements T HAS said…and he made quite a few of them with the rise of this pandemic. True and of course they are damaging.
letter from Trump/Pence Campaign to take down this ad.
And MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, former spokesperson for G.W. Bush responds appropriately. Your words, pal…
Every so often, Trump says something true. Dumb, but true.
Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote
President dismissed Democratic-led push for voter reforms amid coronavirus pandemic during Fox & Friends appearance
How to protect elections amid the coronavirus pandemic
Stacey Abrams lays it out.
A thread on pushing for vote by mail for every state:
Trump vs. Biden on coronavirus: The timeline is utterly damning
This tells us everything…we are in bad shape for November
Sen Warren is gearing up to push for making the voting system work with a mail-in ballot in November which the R’s have wanted the States to handle. The upcoming bill the Dems will push for in the next few weeks, will have to include this voting mandate in it. Dems must dig in for this.
Hopefully there will be a groundswell of support, but this age of Coronavirus has demobilized people in the shelter-in-place set up of today.
Now less than seven months away from a general election that could be held under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan to radically reshape voting to respond to the emergency.
It’s a massive set of proposals that shows where the more liberal section of the Democratic Party wants to take Democracy, even if Republican lawmakers in the Senate and the White House have made it clear that such changes are political non-starters.
The proposed plan calls for $4 billion in new elections funding, 30 days of required early voting, and a mail-in-ballot to be sent to every registered voter in the country. It was published Tuesday morning, the same day as the controversial Wisconsin primary, which saw thousands of voters disregarding health guidance to wait in line at polling stations.
“The chaos and the attempt to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, should be a wake up call for the United States Congress,” said Sen. Warren, in an interview with NPR. “We need to act immediately.”
Republicans, and some Democrats at the state level, have long opposed federal mandates on voting administration, arguing that it’s up to the states to run their own elections. But Sen. Warren disagrees; the voting plan she released while she was still running for president for instance called for a “uniform federal ballot” and federal voting machines.
Another common criticism is that Democrats, like Warren, are using the emergency as an excuse to push for reforms that they’ve long wanted. The sort of reforms where if implemented, according to President Trump, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
Election experts have attempted to refute some of those sorts of accusations, noting that the voters that use vote-by-mail systems most effectively tend to be older voters and white voters – voters who traditionally skew more Republican.
The same logic applies when you consider who the coronavirus is most dangerous for, according to Stanford election law professor Nate Persily.
“If you think that the most vulnerable populations to the Coronavirus are older people — they tend to vote Republican disproportionately. And they might be the ones who might be most likely to vote by mail,” Persily said. “So it’s not clear who wins as a result of moving to these types of measures.”
Federal judge expands voting decision to apply to all ex-felons in Florida
Bernie is out
Powerful Ad to stop T in the 2020 election…Look at the video which reminds us that T was inept at handling this pandemic, and not a leader. His words speak volumes.
click ad within…
Trump Is Pushing a False Argument on Vote-by-Mail Fraud. Here Are the Facts.
As the coronavirus pandemic accelerates a national trend toward voting by mail, experts say it can be conducted safely, despite Republican claims of corruption.
With concerns mounting over how the country can conduct elections during a pandemic and Democrats pressing for alternatives to in-person voting, President Trump has begun pushing a false argument that has circulated among conservatives for years — that voting by mail is a recipe for fraud.
“Mail ballots, they cheat,” Mr. Trump said at the White House on Tuesday afternoon. “Mail ballots are very dangerous for this country because of cheaters. They go collect them. They are fraudulent in many cases. They have to vote. They should have voter ID, by the way.”
The president spoke as Wisconsin voters, many wearing protective masks, were going to the polls on a fraught Election Day, after the Republican-led legislature refused Democratic demands to delay the election and allow for expanded mail-in voting. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump claimed again that there was “tremendous potential for voter fraud.”
Here’s a look at the facts on the matter.
All voter fraud is extremely rare.
Studies have shown that all forms of voting fraud are extremely rare in the United States. A national study in 2016 found few credible allegations of fraudulent voting. A panel that Mr. Trump charged with investigating election corruption found no real evidence of fraud before he disbanded it in 2018.
Even so, experts say that the mail voting system is more vulnerable to fraud than voting in person.
“What we know can be boiled down to this: Voting fraud in the United States is rare, less rare is fraud using mail ballots,” said Charles Stewart III of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mr. Stewart pointed to several documented voting fraud cases of recent decades involving mail or absentee ballots, most recently the race in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District in 2018, when an operative who rounded up absentee ballots for the Republican candidate, Mark Harris, was charged with election fraud. The practice is known as ballot harvesting.
“They’re stories, they’re dramatic, they are rare,” said Mr. Stewart, a professor of political science who studies the machinations of voting.
The North Carolina case also illustrates the fact that frauds big enough to sway the outcome of an election — those involving campaigns rather than individual voters — will likely be detected, said Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist and elections scholar.
Richard L. Hasen, an elections expert at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, said such cases were few and far between.
“Election fraud in the United States is very rare, but the most common type of such fraud in the United States involves absentee ballots,” Mr. Hasen said. “Sensible rules for handling of absentee ballots make sense, not only to minimize the risk of ballot tampering but to ensure that voters cast valid ballots.”
States that vote entirely by mail see little fraud.
Five states, including the Republican bastion of Utah, now conduct all elections almost entirely by mail. They report very little fraud. The state is among the six states with the highest percentage of mail-in votes in the last election in 2018, all of which had Republican state election supervisors at the time, according to David J. Becker, the director of the Center for Election Innovation and Reform.
Colorado, which has 3.5 million registered voters, has been a vote-by-mail state since 2014.
“There’s just very little evidence that there is more than a handful of fraudulent (vote-by-mail) cases across the country in a given election cycle,” said Judd Choate, the director of elections in the Colorado Department of State.
Republicans say voting by mail gives Democrats an advantage.
Since the coronavirus outbreak and calls for more widespread mail voting to protect voters, some Republican officials, including Mr. Trump, have advanced another argument against the practice: that it will disadvantage Republican candidates.
The president on Wednesday tweeted that mail-in voting “for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” In Georgia, where the secretary of state is mailing all voters absentee ballot requests for the May primary, the State House speaker, David Ralston, a Republican, told a local news site, “This will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia,” adding, “This will certainly drive up turnout.”
Even before the coronavirus emerged as a global threat, Democrats had generally favored ways to expand access to voting by mail. Some Republicans have long argued against voting by mail and in favor of tightening voter identification and registration requirements, asserting that easing restrictions invites voter fraud.
Some Democrats have also raised concerns about security.
While Democrats have generally favored mail voting — which works in a very similar way to absentee voting — some have balked at its widespread use because of the reduced level of security when voters are not required to appear at the polls.
Douglas A. Kellner, a co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, is among the Democrats who have raised flags about voting by mail.
“If you analyze all the steps involved in a mail election you start to see where the weak points are for fraud,” Mr. Kellner said, pointing out vulnerabilities in the process, among them the chance that ballots may be intercepted in the mail and forged.
Mr. Kellner recalls an absentee ballot harvesting scheme at New York nursing homes during the 1980s that led to changes in the law limiting who may help a nursing home resident fill out a ballot. It was among rules that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo suspended last month for the coronavirus pandemic.
The president, vice president and cabinet members have voted by mail recently.
Mr. Trump, while criticizing mail voting, recently acknowledged that in March he voted absentee by mail in his adopted home state of Florida. In the 2018 midterm elections, Mr. Trump voted absentee by mail from New York.
Mr. Trump is hardly the only administration official to vote by mail. Vice President Mike Pence voted absentee by mail for both the primary and general election in 2018. Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary, also voted absentee in 2018 and Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, has voted absentee 15 times in the last 15 years, according to Florida’s voter file. Mr. Ross, like Mr. Trump, voted absentee for Florida’s primary last month.
Senator Bernie Sanders last week called upon the nation to prepare to mail vote in the November 3 general election.
“God forbid that this pandemic extends month after month after month after month and that people are unable to vote in the fall,” Mr. Sanders said, urging that paper ballots be readied for everyone.
Poll is out of likely voters. (April 10,2020)
Good Sunday reading