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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Plot Against America, in Six Parts

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie.  And we now know how close he came to subverting the Constitution.

From CNN:
John Eastman, a conservative lawyer working with then-President Donald Trump's legal team, outlined in a two-page memo a scheme to try to persuade then-Vice President Mike Pence to subvert the Constitution and throw out the 2020 election results on January 6. The memo was obtained by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, the authors of "Peril," and which was subsequently obtained by CNN.

PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL January 6 scenario
7 states have transmitted dual slates of electors to the President of the Senate. The 12th Amendment merely provides that “the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.” There is very solid legal authority, and historical precedent, for the view that the President of the Senate does the counting, including the resolution of disputed electoral votes (as Adams and Jefferson did while Vice President, regarding their own election as President), and all the Members of Congress can do is watch.
The Electoral Count Act, which is likely unconstitutional, provides:
If more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State shall have been received by the President of the Senate, those votes, and those only, shall be counted which shall have been regularly given by the electors who are shown by the determination mentioned in section 5 of this title to have been appointed, if the determination in said section provided for shall have been made, or by such successors or substitutes, in case of a vacancy in the board of electors so ascertained, as have been appointed to fill such vacancy in the mode provided by the laws of the State; but in case there shall arise the question which of two or more of such State authorities determining what electors have been appointed, as mentioned in section 5 of this title, is the lawful tribunal of such State, the votes regularly given of those electors, and those only, of such State shall be counted whose title as electors the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide is supported by the decision of such State so authorized by its law; and in such case of more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State, if there shall have been no such determination of the question in the State aforesaid, then those votes, and those only, shall be counted which the two Houses shall concurrently decide were cast by lawful electors appointed in accordance with the laws of the State, unless the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide such votes not to be the lawful votes of the legally appointed electors of such State. But if the two Houses shall disagree in respect of the counting of such votes, then, and in that case, the votes of the electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the executive of the State, under the seal thereof, shall be counted.
This is the piece that we believe is unconstitutional. It allows the two houses, “acting separately,” to decide the question, whereas the 12th Amendment provides only for a joint session. And if there is disagreement, under the Act the slate certified by the “executive” of the state is to be counted, regardless of the evidence that exists regarding the election, and regardless of whether there was ever fair review of what happened in the election, by judges and/or state legislatures. So here’s the scenario we propose:
1. VP Pence, presiding over the joint session (or Senate Pro Tempore Grassley, if Pence recuses himself), begins to open and count the ballots, starting with Alabama (without conceding that the procedure, specified by the Electoral Count Act, of going through the States alphabetically is required).
2. When he gets to Arizona, he announces that he has multiple slates of electors, and so is going to defer decision on that until finishing the other States. This would be the first break with the procedure set out in the Act.

Philip Rotner at The Bulwark:

The problem with this is that it wasn’t true: Pence didn’t have multiple slates of electors from Arizona, unless Eastman is referring to something Pence might have received over the transom or stumbled upon on Twitter. But random flotsam doesn’t count. The Twelfth Amendment is quite clear on this: The Vice President shall open “the certificates” signed and certified by the states, not just anything he might chance to pick up off the street. Arizona, like every other state, had “signed” and “certified” a single slate of electors, reflecting the results of the state’s election.

Back to the coup: 

3. At the end, he announces that because of the ongoing disputes in the 7 States, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States. That means the total number of “electors appointed” – the language of the 12th Amendment -- is 454. This reading of the 12th Amendment has also been advanced by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe (here). A “majority of the electors appointed” would therefore be 228. There are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected.
4. Howls, of course, from the Democrats, who now claim, contrary to Tribe’s prior position, that 270 is required. So Pence says, fine. Pursuant to the 12th Amendment, no candidate has achieved the necessary majority. That sends the matter to the House, where the “the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote . . . .” Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well.

Ned Foley at ElectionLawBlog:

Had Pence done any of what Eastman’s memo suggested, the plot would not have prevailed because the House of Representatives under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership would have caused the Twelfth Amendment’s joint session to come to a halt incomplete.... With a stalled and incomplete count because of a standoff between Pence and Pelosi, the Twentieth Amendment becomes the relevant constitutional provision (not discussed in Eastman’s two-page memo, but the relevant part of the analysis in my Loyola Law Review article and the Atlantic essay). From the House and Pelosi’s perspective, because the counting of electoral votes remains incomplete, if that condition continues all the way through until noon on January 20, then Pelosi is in a position to assume the role of Acting President (and entitled immediately to receive the nuclear football, with its launch codes). 

The coup, continued: 

5. One last piece. Assuming the Electoral Count Act process is followed and, upon getting the objections to the Arizona slates, the two houses break into their separate chambers, we should not allow the Electoral Count Act constraint on debate to control. That would mean that a prior legislature was determining the rules of the present one — a constitutional no-no (as Tribe has forcefully argued). So someone – Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc. – should demand normal rules (which includes the filibuster). That creates a stalemate that would give the state legislatures more time to weigh in to formally support the alternate slate of electors, if they had not already done so.
6. The main thing here is that Pence should do this without asking for permission – either from a vote of the joint session or from the Court. Let the other side challenge his actions in court, where Tribe (who in 2001 conceded the President of the Senate might be in charge of counting the votes) and others who would press a lawsuit would have their past position -- that these are non-justiciable political questions – thrown back at them, to get the lawsuit dismissed. The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Pushing the Big Lie Downballot

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie. Now they are trying to take over state and local parties, where they can influence nominations and challenge election results.

 Jill Colvin at AP:

Before winning Donald Trump’s coveted endorsement in his race to become Arizona’s top election official, Mark Finchem received several calls from people close to the former president making clear they approved of the work he was doing to challenge the results of the 2020 election.

“They said I had been noticed,” said Finchem, a state representative who was outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection and has been a key proponent of a widely panned partisan ballot review in Arizona. In subsequent conversations, he said, Trump praised his work and expressed hope he would continue.

As Trump considers another presidential run in 2024, he has taken similar interest in important but relatively obscure races in other critical battlegrounds, throwing his support behind candidates who have not only perpetuated the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, but in some cases also actively tried to overturn the results. The moves reflect Trump’s desire to exert influence on all levels of the Republican Party and install allies into critical roles in the states that may be more amenable to helping him subvert future election results.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Evangelicalism Is a Political Movement Now

 In Defying the Odds, we talk about the social and economic divides that enabled Trump to enter the White House. In Divided We Stand, we discuss how these divides played out in 2020.  

David French:
On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released the results of a study indicating that the percentage of white adults identifying as Evangelical or born-again grew between 2016 and 2020, and that growth was concentrated amongst Trump supporters.

...

But setting aside the instances of individual conversions, what seems to be happening at scale isn’t so much the growth of white Evangelicalism as a religious movement, but rather the near-culmination of the decades-long transformation of white Evangelicalism from a mainly religious movement into a Republican political cause.

Why do I say the transformation is political and not religious? A key metric here is church attendance. An increasing number of self-described Evangelicals go to church rarely or not at all. The numbers are remarkable. Here is Ryan Burge with the data:


Stuart Rothenberg spotted this trend years ago:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Winners: Newsom and None of the Above

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall.  Newsom won.

Ben Christopher at CalMatters:

Of the nearly 10.6 million ballots counted as of Sept. 17, nearly 4.7 million, or 44%, did not include a choice for the replacement candidate. That’s compared to the 2.8 million votes, or 26%, that went for the flesh-and-blood frontrunner Larry Elder. If “nobody” were a candidate, he or she would be crushing the competition.

...

The two-question structure of California’s recall ballot was the subject of endless confusion among voters. Now it’s providing new ways to be perplexed by — or perhaps to purposefully misinterpret — the election results.

Elder has already touted his 47% showing among voters who picked a replacement candidate as evidence of his strength as a possible 2022 candidate and to suggest that polls understated his popularity. In a tweet today, he juxtaposed the reported election night results to an Emerson College poll that put the candidate at a mere 23%.

In fact, the number Elder highlighted was his share of the vote only among ballots marked with a replacement candidate. Missing from his calculation: The 4 million-plus ballots without a selected candidate at all.

A historical note: In the successful 2003 recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, only about 756,000 of 9 million voters, or 8%, left question two blank.


Friday, September 17, 2021

Gonzalez to Retire at 36

 Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties.

The state of the GOP is not good. 

Jonathan Martin at NYT:

Calling former President Donald J. Trump “a cancer for the country,” Representative Anthony Gonzalez, Republican of Ohio, said in an interview on Thursday that he would not run for re-election in 2022, ceding his seat after just two terms in Congress rather than compete against a Trump-backed primary opponent.

Mr. Gonzalez is the first, but perhaps not the last, of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to retire rather than face ferocious primaries next year in a party still in thrall to the former president.
...

Mr. Gonzalez said that quality-of-life issues had been paramount in his decision. He recounted an “eye-opening” moment this year: when he and his family were greeted at the Cleveland airport by two uniformed police officers, part of extra security precautions taken after the impeachment vote.

“That’s one of those moments where you say, ‘Is this really what I want for my family when they travel, to have my wife and kids escorted through the airport?’” he said.

Mr. Gonzalez, who turns 37 on Saturday, was the sort of Republican recruit the party once prized. A Cuban American who starred as an Ohio State wide receiver, he was selected in the first round of the N.F.L. draft and then earned an M.B.A. at Stanford after his football career was cut short by injuries. He claimed his Northeast Ohio seat in his first bid for political office.

Mr. Gonzalez, a conservative, largely supported the former president’s agenda. Yet he started breaking with Mr. Trump and House Republican leaders when they sought to block the certification of last year’s presidential vote, and he was horrified by Jan. 6 and its implications.

Still, he insisted he could have prevailed in what he acknowledged would have been a “brutally hard primary” against Max Miller, a former Trump White House aide who was endorsed by the former president in February.

Yet as Mr. Gonzalez sat on a couch in his House office, most of his colleagues still at home for the prolonged summer recess, he acknowledged that he could not bear the prospect of winning if it meant returning to a Trump-dominated House Republican caucus.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Recall Reverb

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall.  Newsom won.

 Ronald Brownstein at The Atlantic:

The exit polls conducted by Edison Research for a consortium of media organizations showed that a clear majority of voters backed Newsom’s approach to combatting the pandemic. More than three-fifths of voters said his policies for fighting the virus were about right or even not strict enough, and he won roughly 85 percent of them. Almost exactly the same share of voters said getting the vaccine was a public-health responsibility (as opposed to a personal choice) and Newsom likewise won nearly 85 percent of them. More than seven in 10 voters backed his mask mandate for public schools. The recall ran up huge margins among those who said his policies were too strict and that getting the vaccine was a personal choice, as well as those who opposed the mask mandate, but in each case they constituted only about one-third or less of voters (just one-fourth in the case of masks).

Those results suggest that both in California and nationally, Republicans who have centered their messaging on defending the “rights” and “choices” of the unvaccinated are playing to the short side of public opinion—and potentially alienating many among the roughly three-fourths of American adults who have gotten the shot. (A flurry of national polls released this week have found narrow majorities backing vaccine mandates for large employers, teachers, and health-care workers, and a bigger majority supporting mask mandates in schools—both of which almost all Republicans are opposing.) Although the exit poll did not ask voters about their vaccination status, two of the best-respected late California polls each showed Newsom winning about two-thirds of those who have received the shot (as did Newsom’s internal polling).

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Nationalizing the Recall Vote

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall.  Newsom won.

Jonathan Martin at NYT:

California basks in its clairvoyance. “The future happens here first,” says Gov. Gavin Newsom, calling his state “America’s coming attraction.”

By emphatically turning back the effort to recall him from office, however, Mr. Newsom made clear that California’s cherished role presaging the politics of tomorrow was not as significant as another, larger factor in Tuesday’s results: the tribal politics of today.

The first-term Democratic governor will remain in office because, in a deeply liberal state, he effectively nationalized the recall effort as a Republican plot, making a flame-throwing radio host the Trump-like face of the opposition to polarize the electorate along red and blue lines.

Mr. Newsom found success not because of what makes California different but because of how it’s like everywhere else: He dominated in California’s heavily populated Democratic cities, the key to victory in a state where his party outnumbers Republicans by five million voters.

“Gavin may have been on a high wire, but he was wearing a big, blue safety harness,” said Mike Murphy, a California-based Republican strategist.

The recall does offer at least one lesson to Democrats in Washington ahead of next year’s midterm elections: The party’s pre-existing blue- and purple-state strategy of portraying Republicans as Trump-loving extremists can still prove effective with the former president out of office, at least when the strategy is executed with unrelenting discipline, an avalanche of money and an opponent who plays to type.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Pre-Emptive Allegations of Fraud

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall.  At this point, a Newsom defeat would be a huge upset.

 Nick Corasaniti at NYT:
As a wave of recent polling indicated that Mr. Newsom was likely to brush off his Republican challengers, the baseless allegations accelerated. Larry Elder, a leading Republican candidate, said he was “concerned” about election fraud. The Fox News commentators Tomi Lahren and Tucker Carlson suggested that wrongdoing was the only way Mr. Newsom could win. And former President Donald J. Trump predicted that it would be “a rigged election.”

This swift embrace of false allegations of cheating in the California recall reflects a growing instinct on the right to argue that any lost election, or any ongoing race that might result in defeat, must be marred by fraud. The relentless falsehoods spread by Mr. Trump and his allies about the 2020 election have only fueled such fears.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

More Good Signs for Newsom

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall.  At this point, a Newsom defeat would be a huge upset.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Newsom's Sprint

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall. 

Phi Willon at LAT:

Momentum has turned strongly against the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom with just days to go before voting ends, a change that comes after a deluge of political ads and support from leading Democrats who have slammed the effort as a Republican power grab.

According to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll cosponsored by the Los Angeles Times released Friday, 60.1% of likely voters surveyed oppose recalling Newsom compared with 38.5% in favor of ousting the governor. Fewer than 2% of likely voters remained undecided or declined to answer, suggesting the issue is largely settled in the minds of California voters.

The findings, which were gathered by pollsters between Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, align with results from a batch of recent independent polls, all of which showed a decisive advantage for Newsom as the Sept. 14 recall election approaches.
Shane Goldmacher at NYT:
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bid to fend off a recall in California has been bolstered by an infusion of tens of millions of dollars from big donors in recent months that delivered him an enormous financial advantage over his Republican rivals in the race’s final stretch.

There had been moments over the summer when Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, had appeared vulnerable in public polls, as California’s unique recall rules seemed to provide an opening to conservatives in one of the most reliably Democratic states in the nation. But Mr. Newsom raised more than $70 million this year into an account to battle the recall, much of it in July and August, allowing him and his allies to dominate the television airwaves and out-advertise his opponents online.

California has no limits on donations to recall committees, and Mr. Newsom has taken full advantage of those loose rules. His contributions have included an early $3 million from Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix; $500,000 from the liberal philanthropist George Soros; and $500,000 from the Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Dr. Priscilla Chan, a philanthropist and the wife of the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, contributed $750,000, and the real estate magnate George Marcus gave $1 million.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Nationalizing the Recall

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall. 

Jeremy White and Carla Marinucci at Politico:
Vice President Kamala Harris cast California’s recall election as part of a national struggle for progressive policies while rallying voters in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has long framed the recall as a clash between California’s forward-looking vision and resurgent Trumpism. Harris put the White House’s stamp on that argument as she returned to her political home turf for a campaign rally alongside Newsom and most of California’s statewide Democratic officials.

In a speech of contrasts, Harris assailed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for defending an abortion ban that doesn't create allowances for rape or incest by saying he would “eliminate all rapists” by aggressively prosecuting them. Harris said “that is not who we want in our leaders" and argued Newsom’s foes sought to reverse his policies on abortion rights, aid to undocumented immigrants and voting.

“It is because of his vision, it is because of the agenda, it is because of who he fights for,” Harris said. “California, let us send a message to the world that these are the things we stand for, these are the things we fight for, and we will not give up.”

That exhortation echoed Newsom’s campaign rhetoric. The Democratic governor predicted again Wednesday that a Republican governor would undermine California’s pandemic progress by unraveling vaccination mandates, and he warned that Republican frontrunner Larry Elder “celebrates what just happened to women in Texas and is celebrating the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade.”
 


The Big Lie,  California ed.:

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Trumpists Take Over the Precincts

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie. Now they are trying to take over state and local parties, where they can influence nominatios and challenge election results.

 Isaac Arnsdorf, Doug Bock Clark, Alexandra Berzon and Anjeanette Damon at ProPublica:
On his “War Room” podcast, which has tens of millions of downloads, Bannon said President Trump lost because the Republican Party sold him out. “This is your call to action,” Bannon said in February, a few weeks after Trump had pardoned him of federal fraud charges.

The solution, Bannon announced, was to seize control of the GOP from the bottom up. Listeners should flood into the lowest rung of the party structure: the precincts. “It’s going to be a fight, but this is a fight that must be won, we don’t have an option,” Bannon said on his show in May. “We’re going to take this back village by village … precinct by precinct.”
...

ProPublica contacted GOP leaders in 65 key counties, and 41 reported an unusual increase in signups since Bannon’s campaign began. At least 8,500 new Republican precinct officers (or equivalent lowest-level officials) joined those county parties. We also looked at equivalent Democratic posts and found no similar surge.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, people are coming out of the woodwork,” said J.C. Martin, the GOP chairman in Polk County, Florida, who has added 50 new committee members since January. Martin had wanted congressional Republicans to overturn the election on Jan. 6, and he welcomed this wave of like-minded newcomers. “The most recent time we saw this type of thing was the tea party, and this is way beyond it.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Larry the Counterproductive

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall. 

Carla Marinucci and colleagues at Politico:
THE BUZZ — GOD’S GIFT TO GAVIN? GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder has become a campaign gift to Gavin Newsom — with some Republicans suggesting the talk show host has actually become “counterproductive” to the recall drive.

Elder last week set off a firestorm by uttering out loud the sentiment that every major GOP recall candidate had studiously avoided. Speaking of Sen. Dianne Feinstein on fellow conservative Mark Levin’s radio show, Elder claimed that “nobody’s seen [her] in weeks,” and suggested the 88-year-old senator is in “even worse mental condition than Joe Biden.”

“They’re afraid I'm going to replace her with a Republican — which I most certainly would do,” Elder said. “And that would be an earthquake in Washington, D.C."

Elder’s comments immediately became a fundraising focal point for Democrats — and prompted some on social media to suggest Elder had just sunk the recall movement. But Elder was right on this point: few statements can fire up the party’s base like the threat of Republicans flipping the U.S. Senate — and Newsom immediately jumped on it. incumbent opponent plenty of material. Take the case of Texas’ restrictive new abortion legislation: When anti-abortion activist Lila Rose tweeted that Elder promised a litany of actions to put the brakes on legal abortion in California, Elder, pressed by the Sac Bee’s Lara Korte this weekend, failed to refute that tweet and then had his security team block Korte from further follow-ups.

Over the weekend, Elder told conservative pundit Candace Owens that slave owners are “owed reparations” and said sex education has “no place“ in California schools. And CNN reported that Elder once admitted being accused twice of sexual harassment, saying that one of his accusers was too ugly to be credible.

THE FALLOUT: The stumbles have led recall campaign leader Orrin Heatlie, the former Yolo County sheriff's sergeant, to tell POLITICO this week that Elder’s entry has been “counterproductive” to the grassroots recall movement. “I rejected his candidacy from the get-go, because he’s so far outspoken on the extreme,’’ he said.

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Recall and the Big Lie

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall. 

Hailey Branson-Potts at LAT:

The Republican-backed recall election could not be more consequential for California. Set amid a deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with record-breaking wildfires and a relentless drought drying fields and faucets, it gives the GOP its best shot in over a decade at governing the nation’s most populous state.

And if there’s a symbolic heart of recall mania, it may be here in Amador County in the Sierra foothills, where about 1 in 5 registered voters signed petitions to give Newsom the boot. That’s the highest concentration in California.

The most fervent support for the recall has come from Northern California, where rural conservatives say that their voices are drowned out in Sacramento by urban Democrats and that they would be better off seceding to form their own state called Jefferson.
Conservatives talk about the recall effort through the lens of Trump’s lies that he won the 2020 election. By and large, they refuse to cast their ballots by mail, believing his false claims that mail-in voting leads to rampant voter fraud. If Newsom prevails, many won’t trust the results — just as they didn’t after Trump lost.

In Newsom, they have found an avatar for the Democratic Party and everything they hate about it — a political entity in opposition to many of the things they hold dear, including (and sometimes especially) Trump.

“In many ways, the recall was never really about Gavin Newsom in particular,” said Kim Nalder, a political science professor at Cal State Sacramento.

Elder is encouraging this attitude:

 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Larry Elder, the Oppo Gold Mine

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall. 

 James Rainey at LAT:

Within 24 hours of Donald Trump riding down that golden escalator into the heart of America’s political consciousness, Larry Elder once recalled, he had the reality TV star pegged as the next president. He urged his radio audience: “We ought to get behind him.”

Two years into the Trump presidency, Elder sounded rhapsodic about the choice he and other Americans made. “The election of Donald Trump in 2016, in my opinion, was divine intervention,” he told an audience of conservatives gathered at a Rancho Palos Verdes resort in 2019. “It was a miracle. He is almost God-sent.”

Elder sounds decidedly more guarded about Trump these days, as the longtime Los Angeles radio host leads 45 other challengers in the race to replace Gavin Newsom, should Californians vote to recall the governor on Sept. 14.

Brie Stimson at Fox News:

Larry Elder, a gubernatorial candidate in California’s Gavin Newsom recall election, said he would replace U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, with a Republican – if Elder becomes governor and Feinstein were to step down during his term.

"God forbid Gov. Elder should replace Dianne Feinstein who nobody’s seen in weeks," Elder told Mark Levin on his radio show Friday. "I'm told she has a worse mental condition than even Joe Biden. They're afraid I'm would replace her with a Republican — which I most certainly would do and that would be an earthquake in Washington D.C."

 Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck at CNN:

Larry Elder, a radio talk show host and the top Republican candidate in California's recall election, disclosed in 2011 episodes of his radio show that he had twice been accused of sexual harassment and forcefully denied the allegations.
In one instance, Elder recounted that, while he worked in private practice as an attorney in the 1980s, his employee accused him of hitting on her. Elder then defended himself by implying the woman was too unattractive for him to sexually harass.
"This woman who tried to break the contract, not to compete and then accused me of hitting on her," Elder said in one episode. "That's how, that's how she put it. If you had seen her, you would know that the picture would be a complete defense. I'm just saying."
Elder later said the claim, made while he owned and operated a legal executive search firm in the 1980s, was false and said the woman backed down when he threatened to sue her for defamation.


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Trumpists, Conspiracy Theorists, and Antivaxxers

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie.  

And other lies, too.

Peter Stone at The Guardian:
Top loyalists to Donald Trump, who frequently push lies about election fraud, have joined forces with conservative doctors touting unproven Covid cures and vaccine skepticism, and like-minded evangelical ministers at a series of events across the US this summer.

The conservative “ReAwaken America” tour – featuring ex-general Michael Flynn and top Donald Trump loyalist donors – has held events in Florida, Michigan and other states.

It underscores how Trump’s allies, anti-vaccine doctors and conservative preachers are amplifying baseless claims that are hurting the nation’s public health and its democracy with potentially far-reaching impacts, say pandemic and election experts.

The tour comes as Covid cases soar and as Republican drives to pass state laws weakening voting rights increase. While the tour has touted Flynn’s key role, a Tulsa Oklahoma media figure and Christian entrepreneur named Clay Clark has been instrumental in orchestrating the gatherings – also dubbed “health and freedom” conferences – using his “ThriveTime” podcast and radio show and Charisma News coverage.

 

As I pointed out on my autism politics blog, the list includes familiar figures from the antivax movement:


There may be others whose names are too hard to read in the photograph.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Elder and Abortion

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues It also discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall. 

From PPIC:
With the special election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom less than two weeks away, the share of California likely voters who say they would remove Newsom still falls short of a majority, while about half of likely voters do not currently have a choice for a replacement. Solid majorities of Californians favor requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter large outdoor gatherings or certain indoor spaces. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California.

(Note: As a companion piece to the new survey, PPIC is publishing a blog post by president and CEO Mark Baldassare, “Key Opinion Shifts in California’s Recall Election.”)

Among California likely voters, 39 percent would vote yes to remove Newsom, while 58 percent would vote no. The share saying they would vote yes is the same as on prior PPIC Statewide Surveys in March (40%) and May (40%). Fifty-three percent of likely voters approve of how Newsom is handling his job as governor, similar to levels throughout 2021 so far.

Asked about replacement candidates on the recall ballot, about half of likely voters say either that they favor no one or wouldn’t vote (25%) or that they are still unsure (24%). Among likely voters, one-quarter (26%) would choose Larry Elder. He is followed by Kevin Faulconer (5%), John Cox (3%), Kevin Kiley (3%), and Caitlyn Jenner (1%).

 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Abortion Script Flips

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social issues.

Alex Seitz-Wald and Sahil Kapur at NBC:
Virginia was once at the forefront of anti-abortion efforts, going to the Supreme Court to defend its right to prosecute a newspaper publisher for running an ad promoting abortion.

But today, Democrats are betting that voters in the modern-day Old Dominion will keep them in the governor's office to defend abortion rights after the Supreme Court tipped its hand on the hot-button issue Wednesday.

From Virginia to California, Democrats are trying to motivate voters as the expanded conservative majority on the court inches closer to limiting or overturning the right to terminate a pregnancy for the first time in nearly half a century. It is a glimpse into America’s shifting politics of abortion, which have typically energized conservatives more.

Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic former governor of Virginia who is running for a second term, was already airing TV ads about abortion before the court allowed Texas’ strict new law, which bans abortion after six weeks, to go into effect Wednesday. (Virginia bars governors from serving consecutive terms.)

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Early Signs in the Recall Election

 Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall. 

Seema Mehta and Melanie Mason at LAT:

With the recall election less than two weeks away, the mail ballot returns so far show that more than twice as many Democrats have voted than Republicans and that liberal areas of the state such as the Bay Area have the highest rates of return, according to state officials and political data researchers.

The early numbers provide good news for Gov. Gavin Newsom. But they also show his weaknesses and what his campaign must do between now and election day on Sept. 14 — turn out young and Latino voters — key parts of the coalition he needs to stay in office but notoriously difficult populations to mobilize in nonpresidential elections.
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These numbers represent a snapshot in time: Nearly 4.7 million Californians have cast ballots. The returns show that Democrats are turning out in high numbers — 2.5 million have cast ballots, compared with more than 1.1 million Republicans. Los Angeles County, the largest in the state, is lagging — 16.5% of voters have returned ballots, compared with rates in the high 20s in counties like Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma. Voters in the purple suburbs of cities like Los Angeles are also highly represented.

Polling showed that Democrats are less motivated to vote than Republicans but the healthy numbers show that Democrats “are not unenthusiastic,” said Robb Korinke, a principal with Grassroots Lab, a public affairs firm that conducts research on state and local governments. “They’re certainly not asleep.”

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Delta Is Killing GOP Voters

DeSantis was elected governor in 2018 with a margin of victory of just 0.4 percent, or 32,000 votes. Florida’s official COVID death count is now 39,695, a chilling reminder about the public health impact of DeSantis’ policies, and the fact that politics is about addition, not subtraction.

Christopher Ingraham at The Why Axis:
It’s well-known, by this point, that the Delta variant is currently hitting Republican states and counties the hardest. In the South especially, vaccination rates are low and mask use has typically been spotty, resulting in skyrocketing case and hospitalization numbers in several states.

But the picture on mortality has been less clear. Deaths lag behind hospitalizations, so the former have been slower to rise than the latter. Covid treatment has also improved since the early days of the pandemic, boosting patients’ odds of survival. And senior citizens, the group most vulnerable to the virus, have high rates of vaccination relative to other age groups.

But several months into the Delta wave and the data are clear: over the past month, people living in the most staunchly Republican counties have been three times more likely to die of Covid than those living in Democratic strongholds. While the disease doesn’t make political distinctions, Republican attitudes, conspiracy theories and policy failures have created conditions in which the Delta variant can thrive.