Search This Blog

Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024


Jenavieve Hatch at The Sacramento Bee:
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced Monday that he has officially made the California presidential ballot after the far-right American Independent Party offered to nominate him as their candidate.

Kennedy, who announced Bay Area tech entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his running mate last month, celebrated the AIP nomination Monday in a five-minute YouTube video.

He acknowledged that “ironically” the AIP was originally the party of segregationist and former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, “but it’s had its own rebirth before I came along.”

The AIP’s contemporary platform is staunchly conservative — its members are strong proponents of small, limited government and taxation, Christian conservative values, the Second Amendment and secure borders. In California, there were 825,981 AIP voters as of October 2023 — just under 4% of the state’s registered voters.

The counties with the highest percentage of AIP voters are rural Lassen, Modoc and Calaveras counties.

 From the latest available platform of the AIP:

The Protection of Life, and the Duties and Rights of Families

We believe in protecting all human life however weak, defenseless, or disheartened; we endorse the family as the essential bulwark of liberty, compassion, responsibility, and industry; and declare the family's right and responsibility to nurture, discipline, and educate its children. We maintain that all humans are persons from the beginning of their biological development and especially deserve our love and nurture when they are weakest and most dependent.

Marriage Between a Man and a Woman

We insist that marriage is between a man and a woman and assert the role of the law in establishing and reinforcing the mutual rights and obligations of that God-ordained contract.

The Individual and Common Defense

We assert the absolute, concurrent Second Amendment guaranteed individual right to self defense against impositions by other citizens or our government, coupled with a strong common defense, a common defense which requires a national sovereignty not damaged by imprudent or un-Constitutional treaties.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Fake Elector Update

Our 2020 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.

Rashad Rose at CNN:
Arizona state Sen. Jake Hoffman, one of the so-called fake electors charged in the Arizona 2020 election subversion case, announced Saturday that he’s been elected as a Republican National Committee national committeeman for the state.

“I’m humbled and honored to have been elected as the next RNC National Committeeman for Arizona!,” Hoffman said in a post on X Saturday.

His selection comes just days after a grand jury in Arizona handed up an indictment against former President Donald Trump’s allies, including Hoffman, over their efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

CNN previously reported that Hoffman sent a two-page letter to former Vice President Mike Pence on January 5, 2021, asking him to order that Arizona’s electors not be decided by the popular vote of the citizens, but instead by the members of the state legislature.


Boris Epshteyn, a former White House aide who remains one of Trump’s closest advisers; former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; and Rudy Giuliani are also among those who have been indicted, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

While Trump is not among those charged in Arizona, the details in the indictment suggest he is “Unindicted Coconspirator 1.”

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez at WP:

Also charged are the Republicans who signed paperwork on Dec. 14, 2020, that falsely purported Trump was the rightful winner, including former state party chair Kelli Ward, two state senators and Tyler Bowyer, a GOP national committeeman and chief operating officer of Turning Point Action, the campaign arm of the pro-Trump conservative group Turning Point USA.


Sunday, April 28, 2024

RNC: It Takes a Fief

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun. The nomination phase has effectively ended. Trump has begun turning the RNC into his personal fiefdom. 

David M. Drucker, Charles Hilu and Michael Warren at The Dispatch:
The Republican National Committee was poised to open and staff 40 satellite campaign offices across key battlegrounds when former President Donald Trump, now the presumptive GOP nominee, abruptly replaced RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and her deputies with fresh leadership.

Trump’s new RNC team, led by Chairman Michael Whatley, Co-Chair (and Trump’s daughter-in-law) Lara Trump, and senior campaign adviser Chris LaCivita, killed McDaniel’s 2024 blueprint. Roughly six weeks later, neither the committee nor the Trump campaign has much infrastructure or personnel in the swing states that will decide the November 5 election, multiple sources in Washington and the crucial battleground states told Dispatch Politics this week.

That means few if any regional and local campaign headquarters; little to no deployed field staff; and little to no traditional voter turnout activities, such as door-knocking, phone banking, or volunteer organizing. Even after the Trump-led RNC’s reimagined field program eventually emerges, their strategy is to concentrate almost exclusively on the half-dozen states that will determine Trump’s fate. Republicans elsewhere? They’re on their own.

“The RNC was aggressively staffing up in 10-plus states and it was put on hold when Trump started to make the changes at the RNC,” a veteran Republican field operative said. “The new regime is moving quickly to get the field operation going but I expect it to be narrowly focused on presidential battleground states, as opposed to expanding operations in states like California and New York, where there are a lot of House seats in play.”

In early March, the RNC’s new leadership sacked more than 60 full-time staff across the communications, data, and political departments. As Dispatch Politics reported soon after, roughly 40 of the 60 let go were field troops.

The majority of all fired employees were immediately invited to reapply for jobs. But weeks later, the field program is lagging, especially compared to the voter turnout operation stood up by President Joe Biden. The incumbent Democrat’s campaign has opened 30 headquarters alone in Michigan and has multiple such offices in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Florida.

The decision to jettison McDaniel’s preparations for a robust ground game that was similar in scope and strategy to the RNC’s efforts to boost Trump in 2016 and 2020 appears to have originated at the top. Trump repeatedly told McDaniel in conversations before he pushed her out of the chairmanship that he did not need the RNC to focus on “get-out-the-vote” activities. Rather, knowledgeable Republican sources told us, the former president informed McDaniel he wanted the committee to prioritize “election integrity” efforts.

 A key figure in the "election integrity" effort will have the major distraction of trying to stay out of prison.  Pema Levy at Rolling Stone:

The attorney running the Republican National Committee’s “election integrity” effort has been criminally charged by the state of Arizona for her efforts to help Donald Trump steal the 2020 election. This turn of events highlights the Orwellian meaning of the phrase “election integrity,” as used by Trump and the Republican Party: An effort to win at all costs.
[Christina] Bobb endeared herself to the former president as a fervent supporter who worked as both a Trump associate and a journalist as part of various efforts to help Trump overturn the 2020 results. As Mother Jones reported when the RNC hired her last month:
As a correspondent for OAN, Bobb promoted the Big Lie—enough that she was a named a defendant in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation suit against the network. But Bobb was not just a purveyor of the Big Lie—she was also part of the operation. Weeks after the 2020 election, Trump brought in a new team of lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani, to help him subvert the results and remain in office. Though Bobb has not been charged with any crimes, she worked with that team to help coordinate the scheme to certify fake slates of electors in states Biden won, a plot that is part of both the criminal indictment against Trump in Georgia and the federal charges brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Now Bobb has joined the list of Trumpists who have been charged with a crime. (Bobb’s name and charges have been redacted in the indictment until she is served, but multiple outlets have reported she is among the Trump allies charged.) Arizona charged each of the state’s 11 fake electors, which include sitting members of the state legislature and leaders in the state GOP. Arizona also charged Trump allies Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Boris Epshteyn, Mike Roman, John Eastman, and Jenna Ellis with related crimes.


Saturday, April 27, 2024

Kristi Noem Is Going Through Some Things

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.  One remaining question is the Republican vice presidential nomination.  One contender just took a serious hit.  Trump hates dogs, but millions of voters love them, and they will not approve of this news about Kristi Noem.

Martin Pengelly at The Guardian:
Conservative pundits have condemned the South Dakota governor and possible Trump running mate Kristi Noem, amid widespread horror over her admission in a new book that she killed both an “untrainable” dog and an unruly goat during a single day in hunting season.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, a Trump White House staffer turned critic, said: “I’m a dog lover and I am honestly horrified by the Kristi Noem excerpt. I wish I hadn’t even read it. A 14-month-old dog is still a puppy and can be trained. A large part of bad behaviour in dogs is not having proper training from humans.

“Dogs are a gift from God. They’re a reflection of his unconditional love. Anyone who would needlessly hurt an animal because they are inconvenient needs help.”

The Guardian revealed Noem’s story, which is contained in a book out next month. In No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, Noem describes her frustrations with Cricket, a 14-month-old wirehair pointer who Noem says ruined a pheasant hunt and killed a neighbouring family’s chickens.

“I hated that dog,” Noem writes, saying Cricket was “untrainable … dangerous” and “less than worthless … as a hunting dog”.

“At that moment,” Noem says, “I realised I had to put her down.”

Noem describes taking Cricket to a gravel pit on her farm and shooting her. Remarkably, Noem then describes how she also chose to kill an unruly, unnamed, un-castrated goat, first botching the job then finishing the animal off with a third shotgun shell.

The news roiled the race to be named running mate to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, of whom Noem is an ardent supporter.

Sarah Matthews, another Trump aide turned opponent, said: “When I saw tweets about Kristi Noem murdering her puppy, I thought to myself, ‘Damn, one of the other VP contenders’ teams found some oppo,’ until I realized SHE wrote about it in HER book.“I’m not sure why anyone would brag about this unless they’re sick and twisted.”

Friday, April 26, 2024

Two Old Men

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.  It is a fight between two very old men.

Jonathan V. Last: "When people say Biden is “old” what they mean is “frail.” Trump is functionally the same age as a Biden, with a much worse BMI and cognitive functioning. But because Trump can yell at the moon like a mad dog, people see him as “vigorous” and age isn’t a problem.

But Trump's behavior at trial may change perceptions.

President Biden has introduced a change to his White House departure and return routine. Instead of walking across the South Lawn to and from Marine One by himself, he's now often surrounded by aides.

Why it matters: With aides usually walking between Biden and journalists' camera position outside the White House, the visual effect is to draw less attention to the 81-year-old's halting and stiff gait.

Zoom in: Some Biden advisers have told Axios they're concerned that videos of Biden walking and shuffling alone — especially across the grass — have highlighted his age.Weeks ago the president told aides that he'd prefer a less formal approach, a White House official told Axios. He suggested that they walk with him.... By the numbers: In March, Biden's five walks to and from Marine One at the White House were by himself, or with family members.Starting April 16, Biden was joined by staff or lawmakers nine out of 10 times he walked to and from Marine One.

Between the lines: Biden resisted taking steps to account for his age early in his presidency, but has shifted gears recently.Besides the different footwear, he now enters Air Force One on a lower level, taking shorter stairs than the ones used on his early trips to climb to the plane's cabin. Biden also continues to do physical therapy and stretching exercises most days.
Among the heavily recurring topics in Trump’s private sniping this past week — according to the source, another person familiar with the situation, and a different Trumpworld figure briefed on the matter — is the former president’s bitterness towards New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who reported in print, online, and on CNN that Trump was visibly nodding off while in court. “He appeared to be asleep,” she told the network. “He didn’t pay attention to a note his lawyer passed him. His jaw kept falling on his chest, and his mouth kept going slack.”

The observation immediately went viral, provoking an irate denial from Trump’s campaign and reigniting the former president’s antipathy towards Haberman, who has been reporting on him for years. The resentment lasted the entire week, the sources add. It did not help Trump’s denial that he continued to doze off while seated in the Manhattan courtroom throughout the rest of the week. “Trump appears to have fallen asleep in court again,” Haberman wrote on Friday. “His eyes were closed for extended periods and his head dropped down twice.”

In recent conversations with Republican associates, Trump has repeatedly torn into Haberman and her CNN appearances, attacked her journalistic credentials, and bizarrely insisted that she was wrong about him falling asleep. Despite his dozing being widely reported, the former president has laid much of the blame for the detail going viral at Haberman’s feet. He was even observed glaring at her on Monday as he exited the courtroom following her CNN appearance.

It’s not just Haberman who’s been inflaming Trump during the first days of his criminal trial.

Trump has also privately asked people close to him if they agree that the courtroom sketch-artist must be out to get him, two of the sources say. Trump has critiqued the sketches of him that have circulated in the media this week, and insisted some of the images were likely drawn to make fun of him. One such sketch captured Trump snoozing, with his eyes closed and head tilted.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Unhappy Voters, Continued

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.

The nomination phase is effectively over.

The RFK Effect

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.

 Voters are not happy about having to choose between Trump and Biden.  Trump allies are trying to boost RFK Jr. in an effort to split the anti-Trump vote. The tactic might be backfiring.

Hans Nichols at Axios:

A trio of recent polls shows that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s independent candidacy may be hurting former President Trump more than President Biden.

Why it matters: President Biden says his polling numbers are moving in the right direction. They look even better when the latest results for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are factored in.

By the numbers: Biden and Trump are tied 46%-46% in the latest Quinnipiac University national poll.

  • Throw RFK in the mix, and it's still tied 37%-37%.
  • But force RFK voters to choose and they break 47%-29% for Trump.
  • That dynamic is consistent with two other polls — a Marist survey on Monday and a NBC News one on Sunday — that show Biden's margin increasing when RFK and other third party candidates are included.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Problematic Senate Candidate in Wisconsin, Continued

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. In 2024, several Republican Senate candidates are having problems.  One is Eric Hovde of Wisconsin.

Dems, Progs, and Israel

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.  The Gaza war is politically dangerous for Biden. A shocking percentage of young people think that the October 7 massacre was justified.  And Arab Americans in the key state of Michigan may be turning away from the president. 

Mara Gay at NYT:
For the first time in decades, possibly since the anti-Vietnam War and environmental movements, the left wing has led the center of the Democratic Party in a new political direction on a major issue — one sharply critical of the Israeli government, impatient with the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and increasingly willing to use American leverage to curb Israel’s military plans.

In recent weeks, Democratic leaders have begun inching closer to the progressive view that it is against U.S. interests to continue sending unconditional U.S. military aid to Mr. Netanyahu’s government in an asymmetrical war that has killed thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza. And they have recognized that anger among Democratic voters — especially young voters — over the U.S. role in Gaza is a serious threat to Mr. Biden’s re-election that cannot be ignored.

Jeffrey M. Jones at Gallup:

Prevailing political patterns in Middle East sympathies remain in place this year. Republicans overwhelmingly sympathize with Israel over the Palestinians, independents tend to favor Israel, and more Democrats side with the Palestinians than Israelis. This is the case even as Democrats give Israel much higher favorable ratings than they give the Palestinian Authority. The Democrats’ movement has been recent; until 2022, Democrats were more likely to sympathize with Israel.

Among age groups, young adults are slightly more sympathetic to the Palestinians than the Israelis (after being equally divided last year), with the other groups sympathizing with Israel.

But does this sympathy translate into votes in the voting booth or on the floor?

The Biden world counterpoint comes courtesy of the recent Harvard Youth poll, which found economic issues — not the war in Gaza — dominating the list of issues that matter to young voters. (Only 2% of respondents cited the “Israel/Palestine conflict” as their top concern.) Aides also note the campaign has launched a major youth outreach effort and that “the youth vote and the student vote are not synonymous.”

Harvard polling guru JOHN DELLA VOLPE agreed that there is little “evidence that this is on its way to being a cultural phenomenon.” But, he added: “How this evolves, who knows? … Hopefully things improve. But I would not be willing to write [the protests] off right now.”

Most House Democrats supported Israel aid on Saturday, but the nay vote was higher among Dems than Reps.

GOVTRACK: H.R. 8034: Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024

This was a vote to pass H.R. 8034 in the House. The federal budget process occurs in two stages: appropriations and authorizations. This is an appropriations bill, which sets overall spending limits by agency or program, typically for a single fiscal year (October 1 through September 30 of the next year).

Vote Outcome
All VotesRD
Not Voting

Passed. Simple Majority Required. Source:

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Trump Money Woes

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses party organizations and campaign finance.

Lloyd Green at The Guardian:

Donald Trump dodged financial calamity on Monday. The office of Letitia James, the New York attorney general, and lawyers for Trump reached agreement in open court on the terms governing the appellate bond posted by the former president. 


Trump would no longer maintain any authority over the account. In turn, James remains barred from enforcing her $454m judgment against Trump and his businesses. For those keeping score, Trump is now out-of-pocket in a neighborhood north of a quarter of a billion dollars and counting.

His pretense of being cash-rich is soiled. In March, he shelled out for a separate $91.63m bond while he appeals the $83.3m verdict in the latest E Jean Carroll defamation case. Earlier, he paid another $4m into court to block Carroll from collecting a prior defamation judgment, also on appeal.

The stock price of Trump Media & Technology Group – his eponymous meme stock, DJT – is in the doldrums. Politico also reports that Save America, a Trump-controlled Pac, has already spent $59m on his legal fees and may run shortly out of money.

Beyond that, Trump World tussles with Ken Griffin, a major Republican donor and the chief of Citadel Securities, a leading Wall Street market-maker. Last Thursday, Devin Nunes – the former Republican congressman who resigned from the House to run Trump’s media company – wrote to the head of the Nasdaq, raising the issue of “potential market manipulation” of DJT stock and blasting “naked short-selling”.

Griffin, whose wealth is estimated at a cool $37bn, quickly struck back. He branded Nunes a “proverbial loser” whom Trump “would have fired on the Apprentice”. He also accused the humorless Californian of trying to deflect blame for DJT’s lackluster stock price.

Jessica Piper at Politico:

A PAC controlled by former President Donald Trump that has devoted tens of millions of dollars to his and his allies’ legal bills could be running out of cash after spending nearly $3.7 million on legal fees in March.

Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC, has now spent $59.5 million on legal consulting since the start of 2023. It also incurred $886,000 in new legal debt in March, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission late Saturday. More than $1.1 million of its March spending went toward two firms representing Trump in his New York criminal hush money trial.

The total spent on legal expenses for Save America was almost as much as Trump’s campaign committee in the month of March, highlighting how legal troubles have sucked up the cash of his political operation. Trump’s official campaign committee spent just over $3.7 million in March, with travel expenses, followed by payroll, occupying its biggest expenditure categories.

That total is minuscule compared to the more than $29 million that President Joe Biden’s campaign spent in March, with the incumbent launching a major ad campaign.

Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC, was able to stay in the black in March due to another $5 million refund in March from Make America Great Again Inc., the Trump-backing super PAC. The super PAC has transferred $5 million to the leadership PAC each month going back to last July, with less regular transfers before then.

The leadership PAC initially seeded the super PAC with $60 million before he announced his candidacy. Now, MAGA Inc. can only send $2.75 million more back to Save America, raising questions about whether Save America will continue to be the vehicle to fund legal bills in several cases linked to Trump.


Monday, April 22, 2024

Rightward Shift Among Chinese Americans in SF

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.  Our next book will carry the story through 2024.

 Jim Carlton  and Christine Mai-Duc at WSJ:

Long a reliable voting bloc for the left, Chinese-Americans have been important drivers of a recent backlash against progressive policies in San Francisco, which has grown in support and been backed by tech industry money.

Members of the Chinese community, who make up one-fifth of this city of 810,000 and a slightly smaller percentage of registered voters, say they have been particularly incensed by incidents of anti-Asian violence, school policies they believe have emphasized equity over merit, and street homelessness. Many are also upset that property crime has long been higher in San Francisco than most other major cities, though it has dropped this year.

Chinese-Americans were among the most emphatic backers of ballot measures passed last month mandating drug screening for public welfare recipients and expanding police powers, as well as the 2022 recall of the three school board members and the district attorney, Chesa Boudin. Their margin of support for those efforts was 10 to 30 percentage points higher than the overall San Francisco voting population, according to an analysis of publicly available data by research firm Data Second. The firm is run by the husband of Marjan Philhour, a candidate for San Francisco Board of Supervisors running on a moderate platform.

In the past, Chinese-Americans often voted for representatives from their own community, in which political activists had close ties to left-wing political movements. That was particularly true in Chinatown, the oldest enclave of Chinese immigrants in the U.S., dating to the 1850s.

As Chinese residents climbed the socioeconomic ladder, however, they increasingly moved to the city’s western, more suburban neighborhoods and began voting for reasons other than ethnic representation, political analysts and community leaders said.

Many Chinese-American voters grew angry at the political establishment during the pandemic, when prolonged school closures and a move away from merit-based admissions at one elite high school incensed families who put an emphasis on education.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Deepening Diploma Divide

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.  

Nate Moore at The Liberal Patriot:

We are on track for a historically large education divide among white voters. An average of recent polls finds Joe Biden winning white college-educated voters by 18 points and losing white non-college voters by 27 points—a colossal gap of 45 points. 

Compared to 2020 results, Trump’s margin with non-college whites is holding steady, while Biden has significantly improved his standing with degree-holding whites. Such Democratic improvement is certainly welcome for Team Biden, but not unexpected. College-educated white voters have been shifting blue for a decade, driven left by Trump and the GOP’s hardline cultural stances. The flip side of the demographic coin is that nonwhite voters, particularly those without a degree, are moving towards Republicans. Should current trends continue, education polarization—rather than racial—will become the defining feature of American elections. 


RFK Jr's Family and Associates Are Against Him

President Joe Biden received the formal endorsement of more than a dozen members of the extended Kennedy family on Thursday, aiming to harness the legacy of a storied Democratic family while implicitly underscoring their near-universal rejection of a third-party challenge mounted by one of their own, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The broader Kennedy family has mostly shunned RFK Jr.’s campaign, calling it “dangerous,” even as the candidate himself looks to capitalize on his last name and family history.

But Thursday’s event in Philadelphia - the same city where RFK Jr. announced his independent bid for the presidency in October - nonetheless highlights the threat Kennedy poses to Biden as he seeks to win reelection in a race where even a low-performing third-party candidate could act as a spoiler.

Aaron Pellish at CNN:

Environmental groups are condemning Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential bid and his environmental policy in new efforts on Friday, portraying him as a candidate who will increase the chances former President Donald Trump is reelected.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, a climate advocacy group where Kennedy previously served as senior attorney for 28 years, is planning to run a full-page advertisement in newspapers through its political arm in six battleground states on Sunday. According to a copy of the ad obtained by CNN, the group is calling on Kennedy to drop out of the race to prevent him from being a spoiler for Trump, who they call “the single worst environmental president our country has ever had.”

“We have spent our careers fighting to protect the planet and its people. As current and former leadership and board members of the NRDC Action Fund, as well as former colleagues of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., we have one message for him: Honor our planet, drop out,” the ad reads.

“In nothing more than a vanity candidacy, RFK Jr. has chosen to play the role of election spoiler to the benefit of Donald Trump – the single worst environmental president our country has ever had,” the ad continues.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Another Problematic Senate Candidate

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. In 2024, several Republican Senate candidates are having problems. 

 Matthew Chapman at Raw Story:

Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde is unhappy that the media is covering his proliferation of MAGA election conspiracy theories.

In a new video posted to X, Hovde — a banking and real estate development executive challenging Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin — complained that news outlets were mischaracterizing his past statements about voting in nursing homes, implying that he was saying senior citizens shouldn't be allowed to vote. In reality, he said, he was just casting doubt that all the senior citizens who voted in 2020 actually did so.

"Let me tell you how a political hit job works, and the Democrats are experts at this," said Hovde. "So last week, in some news articles, there were written that I don't believe elderly should be able to vote. How did that come about? Because I absolutely believe the elderly should vote."

His actual statement, Hovde continued, was purely about "election integrity issues" and this got spread out of control through Democratic-controlled "phony news organizations." "It's patently false," he said. "It's fundamentally wrong."

The remarks at issue came from an interview Hovde gave on the Guy Benson Show, first reported by the left-leaning Heartland Signal, where he said, "We had nursing homes, where the sheriff of Racine investigated, where you had 100 percent voting in nursing homes. Well, if you're in a nursing home, you only have a five, six-month life expectancy. Almost nobody in a nursing home is in a point to vote."

Hovde did not explicitly say senior citizens shouldn't be allowed to vote; however, his remarks disparaging the idea most nursing home residents are of sound mind to vote in the first place generated widespread controversy and anger in the local press.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Problematic GOP Senate Candidates

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. Several Republican Senate candidates are having problems. 

In Montana, GOP recruit Tim Sheehy is having trouble explaining what he had claimed was a war wound.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Protection Money

 Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses party organizations and campaign finance.

Thomas Edsall at NYT:

Kim Lane Scheppele, a professor at Princeton of sociology and international affairs, summed up in an email the Trump-driven changes in the politics of raising money: “Most business leaders unfamiliar with autocratic government believe that when they support someone running for office, that person will owe them something if elected, tax cuts, deregulation, whatever the business leaders want.”

But, Scheppele continued, “autocrats turn the tables. Once elected, autocrats use the power of the state to squeeze business.
In these circumstances, she added, political leaders “can threaten businesses with tax audits, more regulation, even criminal charges, unless they give in to the autocrats’ demands.”

Project 2025, Scheppele wrote,
is a blueprint for autocracy. In fact, it’s a direct copy of the plan that Viktor Orban used to take over the Hungarian government in 2010. If it is carried out, Project 2025 will concentrate huge power in the hands of the president, giving him the power to control the whole federal government at his whim. If business leaders think that this will benefit them and that giving up the rule of law is good for business, they will quickly learn that they are wrong. But it will be too late.


Perhaps most important, Project 2025 asserts that “President Trump’s Schedule F proposal regarding accountability in hiring must be reinstituted.”

Schedule F, which Trump sought to initiate by executive order in 2020, would turn the top 50,000 or so civil servants, who are currently protected from arbitrary firing or demotion, into political appointees under the control of his administration. Trump lost the White House before Schedule F could be applied, and Biden withdrew the executive order creating it.

For corporate America, application of Schedule F would radically escalate uncertainty. Federal officials making decisions ranging from penalties for failed occupational safety violations to initiation of antitrust proceedings, from I.R.S. rulings to the application of sanitary regulations in nursing homes would presumably have to prioritize loyalty to Trump to keep their jobs.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The End of Election Modeling

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the politics of economic policy.

At Marketplace, Kimberly Adams says that the economy  is becoming less predictive of political attitudes and behavior.
As a result, according to Alan Abramowitz, a professor emeritus of political science at Emory University, “these sorts of forecasting models that incorporate measures of economic conditions are just not working very well anymore.”

Abramowitz said another reason forecasting is harder these days is that, although models can be quite good at predicting the popular vote, that’s not how presidents are elected in the United States.

“What ultimately matters, of course, is the electoral vote,” Abramowitz said, referring to the Electoral College, “and the electoral vote hinges on the outcomes in a handful of closely contested states. Well, that’s very difficult to predict.”

For the first time in his decadeslong career, Abramowitz said he won’t even bother trying to put together a forecasting model this year.

“I know that enterprise continues, people will continue to do this,” he said. “I am so skeptical about the value of this particular enterprise right now … I’d rather leave it to others to try to figure out how to do this. And I think a lot of us who’ve been in this game for a long time probably feel about the same way.”

Views of the economy used to shape political choices.  Increasingly, it is the other way around. 

Kathy Frankovic at YouGov:

In 2000, a change in presidential administration from Democratic to Republican shifted the way partisanship affects economic views – even without a real change in economic measures. Economic assessments shifted in the opposite direction when Biden succeeded Trump as president. At the beginning of the Trump administration, Republicans and Democrats differed on how they saw the economy moving, with Republicans far more likely than Democrats to say the economy was getting better and Democrats far more likely to say it was getting worse. That difference was even larger in the weeks before the 2020 election. A month after Joe Biden’s victory — which was a month before his inauguration — Democrats remained negative on the direction of the economy, while Republicans were moving in that direction. The responses in the week before and the week after the inauguration show large movements in both parties. By the time Biden took office, Republicans viewed economic trends more negatively and Democrats saw them more positively.

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Way We Weren't

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.

In just a few years, a lot of people have forgotten how bad 2020 waws.

Lisa Lerer and Ruth Igielnik at NYT:
Views of Donald J. Trump’s presidency have become more positive since he left office, bolstering his case for election and posing a risk to President Biden’s strategy of casting his opponent as unfit for the presidency, according to a new poll by The New York Times and Siena College.

While the memories of Mr. Trump’s tumultuous and chaotic administration have not significantly faded, many voters now have a rosier picture of his handling of the economy, immigration and maintaining law and order. Ahead of the 2020 election, only 39 percent of voters said that the country was better off after Mr. Trump took office. Now, looking back, nearly half say that he improved things during his time as president.

The poll’s findings underscore the way in which a segment of voters have changed their minds about the Trump era, recalling those years as a time of economic prosperity and strong national security. The shift in views about his administration comes even as Mr. Trump faces dozens of felony counts and will appear in a New York courtroom on Monday for jury selection in one of his four criminal trials.