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Miller policy using pandemic to stop asylum has expelled children over 13,000 times since March

The Trump administration has quickly and without due process expelled children from the United States over 13,000 times since March under White House aide and noted white supremacist Stephen Miller policy that has used the novel coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to shut down asylum at the southern border, BuzzFeed News reports

“The figure represents a major jump in child expulsions since the CDC issued an order allowing border officials to expel nearly all immigrants crossing from Mexico as the coronavirus was spreading rapidly across the world in March,” BuzzFeed News said. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly told the administration there was no valid public health reason for such an order in the first place. The administration forced the agency into signing it anyway.

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The reason Miller and gang have wanted this policy is because they’ve used it to stomp on the rights of children seeking asylum, bypassing the immigration court system entirely to quickly kick them out. They claimed at the time that the policy was going to be temporary. That was, of course, a lie, because it’s since been extended indefinitely. Since its implementation, expulsions of children have now skyrocketed from the hundreds into the thousands.

“Expulsions are legally different than deportations,” BuzzFeed News continued, “which would mean an immigrant had actually undergone the immigration process and found to not be legally allowed to stay in the US. Critics say the government is using the public health orders as an excuse to violate federal laws that govern the processing of unaccompanied minors at the border.”

That’s exactly what it’s been doing, leading health experts say in criticizing CDC Director Robert Redfield for giving in to the administration’s pressure and putting politics over science and humanity. “The nation’s public health laws should not be used as a pretext for overriding humanitarian laws and treaties that provide life-saving protections to refugees seeking asylum and unaccompanied children,” they wrote earlier this year.

“This is an enormous number of children who are being summarily sent back without any due process, potentially to serious or fatal danger,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt told BuzzFeed News. But the administration is still seeking to go even further to pressure the CDC in order to continue abusing children and disregarding their rights. 

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the administration has been trying to force the CDC into endorsing its unlawful policy detaining asylum-seeking children in hotels. While a judge ordered a stop to the administration’s practice of detaining kids at hotels while it seeks to quickly expel them, CDC officials told the Post that Trump officials have been pressuring the CDC to sign an order supporting the practice in an attempt to justify it to the court.

So far, the CDC has declined. Good, but at the same time they already gave in to the initial policy that has resulted in thousands of expulsions. It’s a policy that right now has no end in sight—unless we work to change that ourselves.

, 25 minutes ago

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Daily Kos Elections Nov. 3, 2020 poll closing times map

Bookmark Daily Kos Elections’ handy map of poll closing times for the Nov. 3, 2020 general elections so that you can know when to start checking returns in each state on election night. This is the map used by Nancy Pelosi and the Obama campaign!

Note that all times on the above map are Eastern, not local. You can download large-format maps keyed to each U.S. time zone below:

 Eastern | Central | Mountain | Pacific | Alaska | Hawaii

We also have a version of the Eastern Time Zone map with each state’s closing time individually labeled, to aid those who are color-blind.

Check back in with us when polls start closing at 6 PM ET Tuesday for our liveblog of all of this year’s key elections. Follow along by printing out and coloring in your own maps for the Electoral College, the Senate, and the House. And in the meantime, sign up for the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest to get the most comprehensive roundup of campaign news delivered to your inbox for free each weekday.

, 50 minutes ago

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DNI John Ratcliffe made up the claim that Iran was out to hurt Donald Trump, without any evidence

A week ago, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe—a title and name combo that’s right up there at the “jumbo shrimp” level of oxymoron—warned the nation that he had something very special to say. Then he stepped out for a special appearance in which he warned that Iran was interfering in the U.S. election by sending threatening letters to Florida Democrats telling them to switch parties and vote for Trump, or else. Oh, and he also said that Iran was doing this to hurt Donald Trump. And also Russia … something. Okay, bye.

How Iran’s actions in telling people they had to vote for Trump were designed to hurt Trump wasn’t explained. Presumably, Ratcliffe had some explanation for that claim. Or maybe not, since he left the stage and hurried away without taking questions.

Apparently Ratcliffe’s Trump-centric embellishment wasn’t just a puzzle for the reporters in the room: It also sent a shock through FBI Director Chris Wray and senior DHS official Chris Krebs, who flanked Ratcliffe during the announcement. Wray and Krebs had blessed the remarks before they were given to the public, stating that they matched the information they had obtained. The problem was … when Ratcliffe showed his statement to Wray and Krebs, it said nothing about an attempt to harm Donald Trump. 

That part, it seems, Ratcliffe simply made up on the spot.

According to Politico, when Ratcliffe said that the series of threatening emails were “designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump” he was on track right up until that final comma. It also seems that the press event was entirely Ratcliffe’s idea. FBI and DHS officials agreed to join him on stage as a symbol to show that the intelligence community as a whole took the threats from both iran and Russia seriously. They also hoped that their presence on stage would show that this was a strictly apolitical event. It was also viewed as a nice “victory lap” for the intelligence community, since cybersecurity experts had been able to identify the source of the threatening emails within hours after the first one was turned over to the FBI.

Then Ratcliffe went off script, made it overtly political, and turned the event into one that supported Trump rather than the nation’s cyberdefense. Which didn’t exactly warm the hearts of the men who joined him on stage.

This wasn’t a one-off for Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman who grabbed the DNI job entirely through his vocal support of Trump in House hearings. In September, Ratcliffe unilaterally declassified a document that had been identified by bipartisan committees in both the House and Senate Russian that made false claims about Hillary Clinton. And to cement his commitment to partisanship above all, Ratcliffe didn’t send the declassified document to the full Senate, or even the Intelligence Committee. He just sent it to Lindsey Graham.

Ratcliffe has also done his best to indicate that there is some sort of investigation going on into Hunter Biden and bolster the idea that the soggy laptop is legitimate. In fact, Ratcliffe couched his statement in a sort of double negative, saying that there was no evidence that the laptop was created by foreign intelligence … without saying that there was any evidence that it was real. 

Now that he has his media call button warmed up, don’t be surprised to see Ratcliffe announcing a special special press conference on … Saturday, or maybe Monday. Donald Trump has expressed his anger at how hard it’s been to get Christopher Wray to stand up on stage to provide the sort of last-minute distraction that then-FBI Director James Comey handed him in 2016.

There’s absolutely no doubt: John Ratcliffe will do it.

, 1 hour ago

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Democrats' Senate map is expanding in some very unexpected places

If you're seeking evidence that the Senate map is expanding, not contracting, for Democrats, look no further than Cook Political Report's ratings change in the Mississippi Senate race from "solid" to "likely" Republican. Republicans will most likely hold that seat on election night, but the idea that things are loosening even a tad in a state like Mississippi is somewhat astonishing.

The movement in such an unlikely state also suggests Democrats are very much in the running to bring home some of the lower-tier Senate races. One of Democrats' best chances for a pickup in a state that initially fell below the radar appears to be Montana, where Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is in striking distance of unseating GOP Sen. Steve Daines.

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A new poll released Wednesday by Montana State University put Bullock up 1 point, 48%-47%, with 5% undecided. And although Donald Trump is still running 7 points ahead of Joe Biden, 52%-45%, the other statewide races for governor the state's at-large congressional seat are neck and neck. In the gubernatorial race, Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte are tied at 45%, while Republican at-large candidate Matt Rosendale holds a one-point lead over Democrat Kathleen Williams, 47%-46%. In other words, Montana looks to be very competitive and Democrats could pick up some important seats there.

In Kansas, Democrat Barbara Bollier won the endorsement of the Kansas City Star, which compared Bollier's GOP opponent Rep. Roger Marshall to the highly unpopular Republican, Kris Kobach. "Don’t be fooled," wrote the Star, "Marshall is every bit as conservative as Kobach. Bollier is far better prepared to meet this moment." Kansas.com also endorsed her as "an independent thinker," writing, "It’s no surprise that more than 80 current and former Republican leaders have endorsed her campaign." An internal poll conducted by GBAO found Bollier leading by 1 point, 46%-45%, with Libertarian Jason Buckley drawing 4% and 4% undecided. Yet apparently, Marshall feels so good about the state of play that he decided to skip the final debate altogether. In a pretty stunning move, Marshall suggested he got "set up" after the Topeka TV Station KSNT tried to contact him repeatedly and even sent a certified letter inviting him to participate in the debate.

Watch this video from @KSNTnews tonight.@RogerMarshallMD got caught shamelessly lying after he blew off a 3rd debate. While I was in the studio speaking directly to Kansans. The difference is clear: I'll always show up for you, while he'll mislead and deceive. #KSSen pic.twitter.com/12rV52bUwU

— Dr. Barbara Bollier (@BarbaraBollier) October 29, 2020

In South Carolina, Cook Political has the race between Democrat Jaime Harrison and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham in tossup territory. Since Harrison's eye-popping $57 million fundraising haul in the third quarter, he has also picked up the endorsement of the South Carolina's oldest newspaper, The State. The Economist's forecast model is also "unclear which candidate will win," putting the race in the same category as other tight races that have been viewed as slightly more ripe for Democratic pickups, such as the two Georgia Senate races along with the one in Iowa.

Some Democratic Senate candidates are obviously much better poised to deliver wins on election night, but if there's one thing that unites nearly all these races—from the "very likely" flips to the "unclear"—it's that they are trending in Democrats' direction, according to forecasts and recent polling. 

That's a good sign and suggests Democrats might walk away with an unexpected victory or two in some of the scrappier races that weren’t originally viewed as being in the offing for Democrats. 

, 1 hour ago

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Earth Matters: Right whale population dwindles; Sunrise campaigns in TX; renewables reports buried

Earth Matters is a Daily Kos compendium of wonderful, disturbing, and hideous news briefs about the environment.

Atlantic right whale 

NOAA reports that at most there are only 366 Atlantic right whales alive: In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated its classification of Atlantic right whales from “endangered” to “critically endangered.” On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that as of January 2019, the species had dwindled to 366, with just 100 breeding females remaining. Since then, according to the Conservation Law Foundation, NOAA has tallied another 15 deaths. "These population estimates are devastating," CLF senior attorney Erica Fuller said. "The outlook is grim if we do not act today. We know human activities are decimating this population, what will it take for federal fishery managers to finally take action to protect these magnificent animals?" Right whales were hunted to near extinction until whaling was banned 85 years ago. After two decades of recovery, their numbers reached 480 in 2011, but the population has fallen by a quarter since then. One of the leading causes of their deaths is entanglement in fishing net lines. But there are other issues these days, including a low reproductive rate. Because of ocean warming, the whales’ food source—a plankton called copepods—have moved north and the whales must follow them hundreds of miles. In the waters off Canada, they run into more lines from nets and heavier shipping traffic than further south. Michaela Morris, Oceans Associate with Environment America Research & Policy Center, issued the following statement: “For centuries, people along the Atlantic Coast have marveled at right whales. It’s distressing to think that we may be the last generation to witness them. Federal judges have ordered NOAA to issue a rule to protect right whales from entanglements by May 2021. We encourage the public to share their concerns once the comment period opens.”

The Protect the Results coalition has been preparing organizing hundreds of post-election events across the country just in case Donald Trump refuses to concede. Click here to find, and RSVP for, the Count Every Vote rally near you.

Solar, wind, and batteries already are changing the energy sector, but you ain’t seen nothing yet: A new report from RethinkX—Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind and Batteries is Just the Beginning”—states:

“By 2030 electricity systems comprised entirely of solar, wind and batteries (SWB) can provide both the cheapest power available and two to three times more total energy than the existing grid in the continental United States, and most populated regions globally, bankrupting coal, gas and nuclear power companies and slashing consumer costs dramatically.”

The report concludes that an energy system comprising 100% solar, wind, and batteries would have more generating capacity than is needed on most days. This means lots of electricity can be produced at “marginal cost close to zero.” RethinkX’s authors say this “Clean Energy Super Power”  will lead to the development of “new business models and industries, create trillions in new value, and could help repatriate energy-intensive manufacturing,” the AP reports.

Mike Siegel

Climate activists of the Sunrise Movement join campaign to turn Texas blue: The youth-led organization has been a major grassroots force backing the Green New Deal and is campaigning for the only two Democratic House candidates who also the support the GND. "They say everything is bigger in Texas. This year, we mean historic youth turnout for Biden to flip Texas blue," Evan Weber, the Sunrise Movement's political director, told George Cahlink at E&E Daily. If Democrats win the Senate, White House a "massive, green economic recovery package" will have a possible chance of passage. Sunrise has made 200,000 calls for progressive Democratic candidates Mike Siegel (Congressional District 10) and Julie Oliver (CD-25). They are running against Republican incumbent Reps. Michael McCaul and Roger Williams, respectively. Sunrise is also making calls for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and MJ Hegar, who is running for Senate against Republican incumbent John Cornyn. Said Cliff Walker, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, "Youth turnout is powering Texas right now, and we know that if this continues, we will flip the state. The Sunrise Movement is part of the present and future of the Texas Democratic Party, and their issues are issues near and dear to Texas Democrats."

Trump regime’s chief of the federal Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy buries reports on … renewables: Dan Simmons is his name and he seems to think the office he’s in charge of shouldn’t even exist. Said Stephen Capanna, a former director of strategic analysis for the OEERE, “There are dozens of reports languishing right now that can’t be published. This is a systemic issue.” InvestigateWest in collaboration with Grist found that the Department of Energy has deep-sixed more than 40 reports and “has replaced them with mere presentations, buried them in scientific journals that are not accessible to the public, or left them paralyzed within the agency, according to emails and documents” and interviews with current and former employees at DOE and its national labs. Critics worry that burying or delaying the release of studies hurts efforts to fight the climate crisis and has a negative impact on investor decisions.

Report: Banks lent $2.6 trillion to economic sectors driving the climate crisis and wildlife destruction: The report from portfolio.earth—“Bankrolling Extinction”—found that financial institutions had funded to the tune of $2.6 trillion projects that accelerate mass extinction and made no efforts to lessen impacts on the ecosystem. That’s more than the annual gross domestic product of all but the seven wealthiest nations. The economic sectors involved include food, forestry, mining, fossil fuels, infrastructure, tourism, transport, and logistics. Sir Robert Watson, the former chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services told The Guardian the world’s finance industry has responsibility to do its part to protect nature, but most don’t. “Bank by bank,” he said, “the report authors found a cavalier ignorance of—or indifference to—the implications, with the vast majority unaware of their biodiversity impacts, or associated balance sheet risks. In short, this report is a frightening statement of the status quo.” Liz Gallagher, director of portfolio.earth, told Reuters, "Banks are starting to realize that if they invest in sectors that cause climate change, that will hurt their returns. Banks need to understand that the same holds true for destroying biodiversity." The top 10 offenders? Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Mizuho Financial, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, HSBC, SMBC Group, and Barclays. 

Much of the media fumbled coverage of the most substantial climate discussion ever in a presidential debate: With some outstanding exceptions, post-debate reporting mostly focused on the horse race, adopted faulty, often right-wing assumptions about the economic impacts of addressing climate change, and failed to accurately depict public opinion trends regarding climate action. Climate journalist Emily Atkin wrote in her newsletter Heated, that most coverage “[ignored] the fact that Trump doesn’t have a climate plan at all.” Atkin compared coverage in 30 articles appearing in mainstream outlets. While they all discussed the potential consequences of implementing strong climate policies, “only five discussed the cost of doing nothing,” she wrote.

North Dakota legislative committee okays transfer $16 million in federal coronavirus relief funds meant to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells to companies fracking new wells. The money needs to be spent by year’s end or the state will lose it. Lynn Helms, director of the state's Department of Mineral Resources, made the proposal. Some lawmakers—Democrats, natch—said the funds would better be spent to expand contact tracing or helping nursing homes arrange safe family visits. But the committee voted to give money to frackers.

, 2 hours ago

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The Growing Importance of South Asians in U.S. Politics

Because 40 percent of immigrants from India arrived in the United States after 2010, their political impact is just beginning to be felt.

by Ravi Agrawal , 2 hours ago

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An International Election Observer’s Advice for America: Trust the Process

Used to monitoring elections in fragile states overseas, the Carter Center is turning its attention for the first time to U.S. elections.

by Colm Quinn , 2 hours ago

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Are Latinos keener on Trump? Have seniors warmed to Biden? All these questions and more—answered!

There has been a lot of discussion lately about how the electorate has evolved from Donald Trump’s narrow victory in 2016 to his likely loss in 2020: Senior citizens have swung back in the Democratic direction, or Latinos are more likely to vote for Trump, for example. Some of that pundit chat has just been taken as an article of faith, though, originating with snippets from focus groups or person-on-the-street interviews, or extrapolated from looking at which states are moving in what direction and who lives in those states.

But there’s actually an illuminating and rigorous way to do that kind of number-crunching in an apples-to-apples fashion, by comparing the crosstabs from the same good pollster from four years ago versus today. And if you do that with Pew Research’s most recent national poll, it turns out that much of the conventional wisdom is in fact borne out: Trump’s Latino vote share has indeed increased, but that’s counteracted by continued Democratic improvement among college-educated white voters. And while Biden is doing better with senior citizens, his real gains seem to be coming with younger voters, a much less-discussed demographic.

In this post, we’ll compare the crosstabs of Pew's October 2016 poll with their October 2020 poll, including their separate component on religion. If you’re wondering why Pew, in particular, that’s partly because of a long track record of accuracy in horserace polling, but also because they tend to use much larger sample sizes than other pollsters, which means that the crosstabs themselves have large enough sample sizes to be considered reliable. Pew’s 2020 poll features, for instance, 11,929 respondents, who were validated against 2016 and 2018 voter files. By contrast, most routine opinion polls have sample sizes in the mid-hundreds. That might be adequate for accurate topline numbers, but it yields completely unreliable data when drilling down to individual crosstabs.

Speaking of topline numbers, that’s where we should start. The 2020 Pew poll has Joe Biden leading Donald Trump 52-42 nationwide, while Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson gets 4% of the vote and the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins takes just 1%. Their October 2016 poll had Hillary Clinton leading Trump 46-40, with 9 for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3 for Jill Stein, the Green candidate.

Some folks might naturally ask, “Why would you use the 2016 poll? It was wrong!” Digging deeper, though, it really wasn’t that far off. Clinton, of course, did wind up winning the popular vote by a margin of 2 points, 48-46. Beyond that, it’s possible, if not likely, that the actual state of the race in mid-October of 2016 was something around Clinton 46, Trump 40. That was right before FBI Director James Comey’s infamous  letter shifted the race’s dynamic, and it’s clear from panel-type surveys (see the graphic on page 7 of this link, for an example) that in the final weeks, the undecided voters who didn’t like either candidate broke heavily—in fact, almost entirely—to Trump, which explains how he pulled ahead at the very end.

You might say that polls in 2016 weren’t so much “wrong” but rather that most firms, especially state-level pollsters, just stopped polling too early to catch this late drift. And that also points to one of Biden’s key advantages this time, which doesn’t get discussed very much: This year, there are many fewer undecided voters—or voters weakly supporting third-party candidates, the kind who usually wind up voting for a major party candidate anyway at the end. You can see that in the many polls, both national and in swing states, that have Biden already over the 50% mark.

But let’s start looking at the various crosstabs, starting with race:

RACE

RACE CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE WHITE (COLLEGE WHITE) (NON-COLL. WHITE) BLACK HISPANIC
38 49 -11 44 51 -7 +4
51 36 +15 58 37 +21 +6
31 56 -25 34 60 -26 -1
81 3 +78 89 8 +81 +3
65 18 +47 63 29 +34 -13

The most interesting data point may be that Trump’s position with Latino voters is, indeed, better than where it was four years ago. Note, however, that Biden’s standing with Latinos is not materially worse than Clinton’s four years ago; it may simply be that many fewer of them are undecided this year, compared with where they were four years ago.

A natural follow-up question to this would be: “Why? What about … all the racism?” Well, at least part of an explanation is that Cuban-Americans (and probably Venezuelans as well) seem to have warmed up considerably to Trump since 2016, very possibly based on his aggressive stances toward the governments in their ancestral countries. You can see that happening if you look specifically at polls of Miami-Dade County or Florida’s heavily Cuban 27th Congressional District, which provide some of the few surveys you can find anywhere where Trump is overperforming his 2016 stats. That’s probably only a partial explanation, though, because Cubans are only a small part of the nation’s overall Latino population and by themselves couldn’t bring about that big of a shift.

In the final equation, though, that Latino shift may not matter that much for Biden’s prospects, since it’s being more than canceled out by the movement in the opposite direction among white voters, especially college-educated ones. While that movement doesn’t appear as large (“only” 4 points among all white voters nationwide, 6 among college-educated white voters), it still has a bigger impact because white voters substantially outnumber Latino voters in most parts of the country. In other words, 4% percent of two-thirds of the total electorate (the plausible white share we can expect) has a lot more leverage than 13% of around 15% of all voters (the approximate Latino proportion).

Even states with large Latino populations like Arizona (which has apparently moved into Biden’s column) and Texas (which, regardless of the final outcome, has undeniably graduated into long-anticipated swing state status) are nevertheless seeing significant improvement in Democratic vote share. Again, much of that is because of college-educated white voters in those states’ suburbs fleeing the Republican Party.

That’s even what seems to be happening in Florida, where Biden is maintaining a lead in the low single digits despite what’s going on in the Cuban-American community, because he’s bouncing back so strongly in the suburbs of the Tampa and Orlando areas. As a case in point, mostly suburban Pinellas County, which Trump narrowly won in 2016, is now on track for a double-digit BIden win.

EDUCATION

EDUCATION CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE POSTGRAD COLLEGE GRAD SOME COLLEGE HS OR LESS
64 25 +39 68 28 +40 +1
49 35 +14 57 37 +20 +6
43 41 +2 48 46 +2 0
40 47 -7 45 49 -4 +3

While the education gap is quite large, the growth in the education gap seems to have already happened, by and large, since the gulf isn’t getting much bigger this year according to Pew. The education gap really opened up in 2012 and especially 2016; it was was much smaller in the 00s, and in fact ran the other direction in the 20th century, when people with lower levels of education were more likely than people with more schooling to vote Democratic.

So it’s heartening for Democrats to see that Biden is bouncing back better across the educational spectrum, among non-college voters as well as college-educated ones. Looking at state-level and district-level polling, that bounce-back isn’t uniformly distributed, but among non-college voters, we’re seeing it more in areas lots of white voters but not many evangelical Christians. The states of the Upper Midwest are prime examples, but West Virginia (both one of the whitest and least-educated states) is maybe the most extreme case: Most polls of the state still show Biden losing badly, but by margins in the teens, versus Clinton’s 40-point drubbing in 2016.

AGE

AGE CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+
49 28 +21 59 29 +30 +9
47 34 +13 57 37 +20 +7
43 47 -4 49 47 +2 +6
45 47 -2 49 49 0 +2

There’s been a lot of talk about how Biden's rebound among senior citizens is what’s driving his success this year, but Pew’s data suggests that if any one age group is making a difference, it’s younger voters. Biden has still improved with the 65-plus set, but the younger you go, the bigger the gains. This is one area, though, where Pew seems to see things somewhat differently from other pollsters, some of whom have found a double-digit surge for Biden among senior citizens.

Interestingly, Trump isn’t doing any worse with young voters; the difference maker is that Biden is polling at 59% with them, instead of 49% as with Clinton. In other words, many more younger voters have already committed to Biden instead of calling themselves undecided or holding out for a third party.

We may have a less contentious Democratic primary, and a quicker concession from Bernie Sanders this time, to thank for that. (It’s possible that each new generation of young voters has to learn the hard way not to experiment with vote-wasting, just as the previous generation found out with Ralph Nader in 2000.) As an example, in Pew’s 2016 poll, Johnson and Stein combined for 18% of the votes among the youngest cohort. This year, the combined third-party share among 18-29s is only 12%, which is still much higher than any other demographic category, but obviously a big and consequential drop.

RELIGION

RELIGION CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE WHITE EVANGELICAL WHITE MAINLINE BLACK PROTESTANT CATHOLIC UNAFFILIATED
14 75 -61 17 78 -61 0
37 48 -11 43 53 -10 +1
87 3 +84 90 9 +81 -3
46 44 +2 51 44 +7 +5
59 21 +38 71 22 +49 +11

Finally, let’s take a look at the religion crosstabs. Despite a few high-profile individual evangelical defections to Biden in recent months, the rank-and-file haven’t really budged. One place where Biden’s seen an appreciable gain, though, is with Catholics. That’s important because one place where Catholics are overrepresented is the populous swing states of the Midwest and Northeast.

Interestingly, that Catholic number (and the evangelical number) might also help us to make more sense about the Latino numbers we were discussing earlier. If you were to assume Latinos are monolithically Catholic, then seeing the two figuress going in opposite directions wouldn’t make much sense. However, an increasingly large share of Latinos in the U.S. are evangelical, so it’s possible that we’re seeing evangelical Latinos moving in the Republican direction, while Catholic Latinos are not.

The largest movement of any group, however, is among the “unaffiliated” (which is how Pew groups together both atheists and agnostics as well as people who simply answer “nothing in particular”). Notice that this is a very similar-sized move as the shift among voters aged 18-29, and that makes sense, since younger generations are much more likely to skew nonreligious than older generations. And as with the 18-29 bracket, note that the Trump number is unchanged; instead, a much larger number of them are committed to Biden this time rather than undecided or voting third party.

, 2 hours ago

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'Great metaphor for how he's treated his supporters': Buttigieg zings Trump for Omaha rally debacle

Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Democratic presidential hopeful, has been nailing a recent string of appearances on Fox News. For example, he recently got personal about what the latest Supreme Court confirmation could mean for his marriage to his husband, Chasten Buttigieg. Since that clip went viral on social media, he’s had another standout back and forth, this time talking about Donald Trump’s recent rally in Omaha, Nebraska, where, as Daily Kos covered, a number of people were literally left miles from their cars in the cold.

Can such a rally possibly be helping Trump with voters? In the interview clip below, Buttigieg got right to the point about what impact he thinks Trump’s rallies will have on voters—and what he believes it says about the president’s values. Also below, an inspiring example of how Buttigieg handled a heckler at a recent event in Florida. The takeaway? The future needs to be all about unity.

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Here’s that Fox clip.

Trump's rallies are a metaphor for how he views his own supporters. Happy to have them cheer for him, only to leave them out in the cold. pic.twitter.com/ofhRNkZnca

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 29, 2020

In speaking to host Martha MacCallum on Fox about which states both candidates are visiting in the days before the election, Buttigieg said: “I’m not even sure those visits from Donald Trump are really helping him.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” MacCallum said.

“Like, look in Omaha, where he left supporters out freezing in the cold. Which is a great metaphor for how he treated supporters more generally across the country.”

“In Arizona,” Buttigieg continued. “He got a bunch of people in a rally that has the potential to be a spreader event. Which kind of symbolizes his inability to lead us out of this pandemic.” 

“Yeah, we’ve heard that line a lot,” MacCallum said. “You know, it’s fine. It may or may not be.”

“Because he doesn’t seem to care about the health and safety of his supporters,” Buttigieg continued. “So I don’t think these events are really helping him.”

Buttigieg’s also getting some social media attention for the way he handled a heckler at an event in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Wednesday. As covered by Out Magazine, Buttigieg was trying to rally LGBTQ voters to vote early in the particularly important state. During this outdoor event, a heckler in what appears to be a MAGA hat decided it was an appropriate time to chime in. Buttigieg really took the high road and stuck to his points about unity under Biden-Harris leadership.

“Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who will serve him just as enthusiastically as he will serve us?" Buttigieg said to the crowd in reference to the heckler. "Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who cares just as much about protecting the lives of those that protest us as those who stand at our side?"

A bit later, Buttigieg managed to get a nice dig in toward Trump, adding, "Don't you feel a little sorry for a president who finds it necessary to draw this kind of support?" He then reassured the heckler by saying, “It's okay, sir, because when Joe Biden is president you will be safer too!"

Here’s that clip.

He’s so good. https://t.co/EfXMUg8H5A

— PolitiSnark🐝 😎 (@SnowflakeSnark) October 28, 2020

After a bit more heckler disruption, and mentions of his recent Fox appearances, Buttigieg asked the relentless heckler if he could continue with his remarks for the event. Then he pivoted in a smooth move. He asked the heckler if he denounced white supremacy. The heckler said he did, and Buttigieg tied up the unity thread, saying the two of them agreed on something.

“That's a beginning point,” he stated. “See if you can get your president to do the same thing!" Zing!

Here’s that clip.

Master class on handling a heckler by @PeteButtigieg pic.twitter.com/MmTf3l8tWY

— Michael AntonasRozum (@michaelrozumesq) October 28, 2020

And here’s the full conversation between Buttigieg and MacMullen on YouTube.

, 2 hours ago

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‘We Don’t Believe in a Political Solution’ in Nagorno-Karabakh, Fighters Say

After a month of heavy fighting over the disputed enclave between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a negotiated settlement seems far off—and civilians are paying the price.

by Liz Cookman , 3 hours ago

News Hunter General News News

Latest Post About General News


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Miller policy using pandemic to stop asylum has expelled children over 13,000 times since March

The Trump administration has quickly and without due process expelled children from the United States over 13,000 times since March under White House aide and noted white supremacist Stephen Miller policy that has used the novel coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to shut down asylum at the southern border, BuzzFeed News reports

“The figure represents a major jump in child expulsions since the CDC issued an order allowing border officials to expel nearly all immigrants crossing from Mexico as the coronavirus was spreading rapidly across the world in March,” BuzzFeed News said. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly told the administration there was no valid public health reason for such an order in the first place. The administration forced the agency into signing it anyway.

Pennsylvania is the tipping-point state, and Republicans know it. Joe Biden should win, but only if we can get out the Democratic vote. Click here to get involved in phonebanking, textbanking and other crucial volunteer activities we need for the FINAL DAYS to deliver the Keystone State for Democrats.

The reason Miller and gang have wanted this policy is because they’ve used it to stomp on the rights of children seeking asylum, bypassing the immigration court system entirely to quickly kick them out. They claimed at the time that the policy was going to be temporary. That was, of course, a lie, because it’s since been extended indefinitely. Since its implementation, expulsions of children have now skyrocketed from the hundreds into the thousands.

“Expulsions are legally different than deportations,” BuzzFeed News continued, “which would mean an immigrant had actually undergone the immigration process and found to not be legally allowed to stay in the US. Critics say the government is using the public health orders as an excuse to violate federal laws that govern the processing of unaccompanied minors at the border.”

That’s exactly what it’s been doing, leading health experts say in criticizing CDC Director Robert Redfield for giving in to the administration’s pressure and putting politics over science and humanity. “The nation’s public health laws should not be used as a pretext for overriding humanitarian laws and treaties that provide life-saving protections to refugees seeking asylum and unaccompanied children,” they wrote earlier this year.

“This is an enormous number of children who are being summarily sent back without any due process, potentially to serious or fatal danger,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt told BuzzFeed News. But the administration is still seeking to go even further to pressure the CDC in order to continue abusing children and disregarding their rights. 

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the administration has been trying to force the CDC into endorsing its unlawful policy detaining asylum-seeking children in hotels. While a judge ordered a stop to the administration’s practice of detaining kids at hotels while it seeks to quickly expel them, CDC officials told the Post that Trump officials have been pressuring the CDC to sign an order supporting the practice in an attempt to justify it to the court.

So far, the CDC has declined. Good, but at the same time they already gave in to the initial policy that has resulted in thousands of expulsions. It’s a policy that right now has no end in sight—unless we work to change that ourselves.

, 25 minutes ago

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Daily Kos Elections Nov. 3, 2020 poll closing times map

Bookmark Daily Kos Elections’ handy map of poll closing times for the Nov. 3, 2020 general elections so that you can know when to start checking returns in each state on election night. This is the map used by Nancy Pelosi and the Obama campaign!

Note that all times on the above map are Eastern, not local. You can download large-format maps keyed to each U.S. time zone below:

 Eastern | Central | Mountain | Pacific | Alaska | Hawaii

We also have a version of the Eastern Time Zone map with each state’s closing time individually labeled, to aid those who are color-blind.

Check back in with us when polls start closing at 6 PM ET Tuesday for our liveblog of all of this year’s key elections. Follow along by printing out and coloring in your own maps for the Electoral College, the Senate, and the House. And in the meantime, sign up for the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest to get the most comprehensive roundup of campaign news delivered to your inbox for free each weekday.

, 50 minutes ago

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DNI John Ratcliffe made up the claim that Iran was out to hurt Donald Trump, without any evidence

A week ago, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe—a title and name combo that’s right up there at the “jumbo shrimp” level of oxymoron—warned the nation that he had something very special to say. Then he stepped out for a special appearance in which he warned that Iran was interfering in the U.S. election by sending threatening letters to Florida Democrats telling them to switch parties and vote for Trump, or else. Oh, and he also said that Iran was doing this to hurt Donald Trump. And also Russia … something. Okay, bye.

How Iran’s actions in telling people they had to vote for Trump were designed to hurt Trump wasn’t explained. Presumably, Ratcliffe had some explanation for that claim. Or maybe not, since he left the stage and hurried away without taking questions.

Apparently Ratcliffe’s Trump-centric embellishment wasn’t just a puzzle for the reporters in the room: It also sent a shock through FBI Director Chris Wray and senior DHS official Chris Krebs, who flanked Ratcliffe during the announcement. Wray and Krebs had blessed the remarks before they were given to the public, stating that they matched the information they had obtained. The problem was … when Ratcliffe showed his statement to Wray and Krebs, it said nothing about an attempt to harm Donald Trump. 

That part, it seems, Ratcliffe simply made up on the spot.

According to Politico, when Ratcliffe said that the series of threatening emails were “designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump” he was on track right up until that final comma. It also seems that the press event was entirely Ratcliffe’s idea. FBI and DHS officials agreed to join him on stage as a symbol to show that the intelligence community as a whole took the threats from both iran and Russia seriously. They also hoped that their presence on stage would show that this was a strictly apolitical event. It was also viewed as a nice “victory lap” for the intelligence community, since cybersecurity experts had been able to identify the source of the threatening emails within hours after the first one was turned over to the FBI.

Then Ratcliffe went off script, made it overtly political, and turned the event into one that supported Trump rather than the nation’s cyberdefense. Which didn’t exactly warm the hearts of the men who joined him on stage.

This wasn’t a one-off for Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman who grabbed the DNI job entirely through his vocal support of Trump in House hearings. In September, Ratcliffe unilaterally declassified a document that had been identified by bipartisan committees in both the House and Senate Russian that made false claims about Hillary Clinton. And to cement his commitment to partisanship above all, Ratcliffe didn’t send the declassified document to the full Senate, or even the Intelligence Committee. He just sent it to Lindsey Graham.

Ratcliffe has also done his best to indicate that there is some sort of investigation going on into Hunter Biden and bolster the idea that the soggy laptop is legitimate. In fact, Ratcliffe couched his statement in a sort of double negative, saying that there was no evidence that the laptop was created by foreign intelligence … without saying that there was any evidence that it was real. 

Now that he has his media call button warmed up, don’t be surprised to see Ratcliffe announcing a special special press conference on … Saturday, or maybe Monday. Donald Trump has expressed his anger at how hard it’s been to get Christopher Wray to stand up on stage to provide the sort of last-minute distraction that then-FBI Director James Comey handed him in 2016.

There’s absolutely no doubt: John Ratcliffe will do it.

, 1 hour ago

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Democrats' Senate map is expanding in some very unexpected places

If you're seeking evidence that the Senate map is expanding, not contracting, for Democrats, look no further than Cook Political Report's ratings change in the Mississippi Senate race from "solid" to "likely" Republican. Republicans will most likely hold that seat on election night, but the idea that things are loosening even a tad in a state like Mississippi is somewhat astonishing.

The movement in such an unlikely state also suggests Democrats are very much in the running to bring home some of the lower-tier Senate races. One of Democrats' best chances for a pickup in a state that initially fell below the radar appears to be Montana, where Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is in striking distance of unseating GOP Sen. Steve Daines.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris need your help EVERY DAY between now and the election. We are calling voters in swing states to help the whole Democratic ticket. Sign up with 2020 Victory, and make target phone calls to voters from the comfort of your home. All you need is a computer, a quiet place to make these calls and a determination to absolutely humiliate Donald Trump.

A new poll released Wednesday by Montana State University put Bullock up 1 point, 48%-47%, with 5% undecided. And although Donald Trump is still running 7 points ahead of Joe Biden, 52%-45%, the other statewide races for governor the state's at-large congressional seat are neck and neck. In the gubernatorial race, Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte are tied at 45%, while Republican at-large candidate Matt Rosendale holds a one-point lead over Democrat Kathleen Williams, 47%-46%. In other words, Montana looks to be very competitive and Democrats could pick up some important seats there.

In Kansas, Democrat Barbara Bollier won the endorsement of the Kansas City Star, which compared Bollier's GOP opponent Rep. Roger Marshall to the highly unpopular Republican, Kris Kobach. "Don’t be fooled," wrote the Star, "Marshall is every bit as conservative as Kobach. Bollier is far better prepared to meet this moment." Kansas.com also endorsed her as "an independent thinker," writing, "It’s no surprise that more than 80 current and former Republican leaders have endorsed her campaign." An internal poll conducted by GBAO found Bollier leading by 1 point, 46%-45%, with Libertarian Jason Buckley drawing 4% and 4% undecided. Yet apparently, Marshall feels so good about the state of play that he decided to skip the final debate altogether. In a pretty stunning move, Marshall suggested he got "set up" after the Topeka TV Station KSNT tried to contact him repeatedly and even sent a certified letter inviting him to participate in the debate.

Watch this video from @KSNTnews tonight.@RogerMarshallMD got caught shamelessly lying after he blew off a 3rd debate. While I was in the studio speaking directly to Kansans. The difference is clear: I'll always show up for you, while he'll mislead and deceive. #KSSen pic.twitter.com/12rV52bUwU

— Dr. Barbara Bollier (@BarbaraBollier) October 29, 2020

In South Carolina, Cook Political has the race between Democrat Jaime Harrison and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham in tossup territory. Since Harrison's eye-popping $57 million fundraising haul in the third quarter, he has also picked up the endorsement of the South Carolina's oldest newspaper, The State. The Economist's forecast model is also "unclear which candidate will win," putting the race in the same category as other tight races that have been viewed as slightly more ripe for Democratic pickups, such as the two Georgia Senate races along with the one in Iowa.

Some Democratic Senate candidates are obviously much better poised to deliver wins on election night, but if there's one thing that unites nearly all these races—from the "very likely" flips to the "unclear"—it's that they are trending in Democrats' direction, according to forecasts and recent polling. 

That's a good sign and suggests Democrats might walk away with an unexpected victory or two in some of the scrappier races that weren’t originally viewed as being in the offing for Democrats. 

, 1 hour ago

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Earth Matters: Right whale population dwindles; Sunrise campaigns in TX; renewables reports buried

Earth Matters is a Daily Kos compendium of wonderful, disturbing, and hideous news briefs about the environment.

Atlantic right whale 

NOAA reports that at most there are only 366 Atlantic right whales alive: In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated its classification of Atlantic right whales from “endangered” to “critically endangered.” On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that as of January 2019, the species had dwindled to 366, with just 100 breeding females remaining. Since then, according to the Conservation Law Foundation, NOAA has tallied another 15 deaths. "These population estimates are devastating," CLF senior attorney Erica Fuller said. "The outlook is grim if we do not act today. We know human activities are decimating this population, what will it take for federal fishery managers to finally take action to protect these magnificent animals?" Right whales were hunted to near extinction until whaling was banned 85 years ago. After two decades of recovery, their numbers reached 480 in 2011, but the population has fallen by a quarter since then. One of the leading causes of their deaths is entanglement in fishing net lines. But there are other issues these days, including a low reproductive rate. Because of ocean warming, the whales’ food source—a plankton called copepods—have moved north and the whales must follow them hundreds of miles. In the waters off Canada, they run into more lines from nets and heavier shipping traffic than further south. Michaela Morris, Oceans Associate with Environment America Research & Policy Center, issued the following statement: “For centuries, people along the Atlantic Coast have marveled at right whales. It’s distressing to think that we may be the last generation to witness them. Federal judges have ordered NOAA to issue a rule to protect right whales from entanglements by May 2021. We encourage the public to share their concerns once the comment period opens.”

The Protect the Results coalition has been preparing organizing hundreds of post-election events across the country just in case Donald Trump refuses to concede. Click here to find, and RSVP for, the Count Every Vote rally near you.

Solar, wind, and batteries already are changing the energy sector, but you ain’t seen nothing yet: A new report from RethinkX—Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind and Batteries is Just the Beginning”—states:

“By 2030 electricity systems comprised entirely of solar, wind and batteries (SWB) can provide both the cheapest power available and two to three times more total energy than the existing grid in the continental United States, and most populated regions globally, bankrupting coal, gas and nuclear power companies and slashing consumer costs dramatically.”

The report concludes that an energy system comprising 100% solar, wind, and batteries would have more generating capacity than is needed on most days. This means lots of electricity can be produced at “marginal cost close to zero.” RethinkX’s authors say this “Clean Energy Super Power”  will lead to the development of “new business models and industries, create trillions in new value, and could help repatriate energy-intensive manufacturing,” the AP reports.

Mike Siegel

Climate activists of the Sunrise Movement join campaign to turn Texas blue: The youth-led organization has been a major grassroots force backing the Green New Deal and is campaigning for the only two Democratic House candidates who also the support the GND. "They say everything is bigger in Texas. This year, we mean historic youth turnout for Biden to flip Texas blue," Evan Weber, the Sunrise Movement's political director, told George Cahlink at E&E Daily. If Democrats win the Senate, White House a "massive, green economic recovery package" will have a possible chance of passage. Sunrise has made 200,000 calls for progressive Democratic candidates Mike Siegel (Congressional District 10) and Julie Oliver (CD-25). They are running against Republican incumbent Reps. Michael McCaul and Roger Williams, respectively. Sunrise is also making calls for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and MJ Hegar, who is running for Senate against Republican incumbent John Cornyn. Said Cliff Walker, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, "Youth turnout is powering Texas right now, and we know that if this continues, we will flip the state. The Sunrise Movement is part of the present and future of the Texas Democratic Party, and their issues are issues near and dear to Texas Democrats."

Trump regime’s chief of the federal Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy buries reports on … renewables: Dan Simmons is his name and he seems to think the office he’s in charge of shouldn’t even exist. Said Stephen Capanna, a former director of strategic analysis for the OEERE, “There are dozens of reports languishing right now that can’t be published. This is a systemic issue.” InvestigateWest in collaboration with Grist found that the Department of Energy has deep-sixed more than 40 reports and “has replaced them with mere presentations, buried them in scientific journals that are not accessible to the public, or left them paralyzed within the agency, according to emails and documents” and interviews with current and former employees at DOE and its national labs. Critics worry that burying or delaying the release of studies hurts efforts to fight the climate crisis and has a negative impact on investor decisions.

Report: Banks lent $2.6 trillion to economic sectors driving the climate crisis and wildlife destruction: The report from portfolio.earth—“Bankrolling Extinction”—found that financial institutions had funded to the tune of $2.6 trillion projects that accelerate mass extinction and made no efforts to lessen impacts on the ecosystem. That’s more than the annual gross domestic product of all but the seven wealthiest nations. The economic sectors involved include food, forestry, mining, fossil fuels, infrastructure, tourism, transport, and logistics. Sir Robert Watson, the former chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services told The Guardian the world’s finance industry has responsibility to do its part to protect nature, but most don’t. “Bank by bank,” he said, “the report authors found a cavalier ignorance of—or indifference to—the implications, with the vast majority unaware of their biodiversity impacts, or associated balance sheet risks. In short, this report is a frightening statement of the status quo.” Liz Gallagher, director of portfolio.earth, told Reuters, "Banks are starting to realize that if they invest in sectors that cause climate change, that will hurt their returns. Banks need to understand that the same holds true for destroying biodiversity." The top 10 offenders? Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Mizuho Financial, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, HSBC, SMBC Group, and Barclays. 

Much of the media fumbled coverage of the most substantial climate discussion ever in a presidential debate: With some outstanding exceptions, post-debate reporting mostly focused on the horse race, adopted faulty, often right-wing assumptions about the economic impacts of addressing climate change, and failed to accurately depict public opinion trends regarding climate action. Climate journalist Emily Atkin wrote in her newsletter Heated, that most coverage “[ignored] the fact that Trump doesn’t have a climate plan at all.” Atkin compared coverage in 30 articles appearing in mainstream outlets. While they all discussed the potential consequences of implementing strong climate policies, “only five discussed the cost of doing nothing,” she wrote.

North Dakota legislative committee okays transfer $16 million in federal coronavirus relief funds meant to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells to companies fracking new wells. The money needs to be spent by year’s end or the state will lose it. Lynn Helms, director of the state's Department of Mineral Resources, made the proposal. Some lawmakers—Democrats, natch—said the funds would better be spent to expand contact tracing or helping nursing homes arrange safe family visits. But the committee voted to give money to frackers.

, 2 hours ago

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The Growing Importance of South Asians in U.S. Politics

Because 40 percent of immigrants from India arrived in the United States after 2010, their political impact is just beginning to be felt.

by Ravi Agrawal , 2 hours ago

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An International Election Observer’s Advice for America: Trust the Process

Used to monitoring elections in fragile states overseas, the Carter Center is turning its attention for the first time to U.S. elections.

by Colm Quinn , 2 hours ago

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Are Latinos keener on Trump? Have seniors warmed to Biden? All these questions and more—answered!

There has been a lot of discussion lately about how the electorate has evolved from Donald Trump’s narrow victory in 2016 to his likely loss in 2020: Senior citizens have swung back in the Democratic direction, or Latinos are more likely to vote for Trump, for example. Some of that pundit chat has just been taken as an article of faith, though, originating with snippets from focus groups or person-on-the-street interviews, or extrapolated from looking at which states are moving in what direction and who lives in those states.

But there’s actually an illuminating and rigorous way to do that kind of number-crunching in an apples-to-apples fashion, by comparing the crosstabs from the same good pollster from four years ago versus today. And if you do that with Pew Research’s most recent national poll, it turns out that much of the conventional wisdom is in fact borne out: Trump’s Latino vote share has indeed increased, but that’s counteracted by continued Democratic improvement among college-educated white voters. And while Biden is doing better with senior citizens, his real gains seem to be coming with younger voters, a much less-discussed demographic.

In this post, we’ll compare the crosstabs of Pew's October 2016 poll with their October 2020 poll, including their separate component on religion. If you’re wondering why Pew, in particular, that’s partly because of a long track record of accuracy in horserace polling, but also because they tend to use much larger sample sizes than other pollsters, which means that the crosstabs themselves have large enough sample sizes to be considered reliable. Pew’s 2020 poll features, for instance, 11,929 respondents, who were validated against 2016 and 2018 voter files. By contrast, most routine opinion polls have sample sizes in the mid-hundreds. That might be adequate for accurate topline numbers, but it yields completely unreliable data when drilling down to individual crosstabs.

Speaking of topline numbers, that’s where we should start. The 2020 Pew poll has Joe Biden leading Donald Trump 52-42 nationwide, while Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson gets 4% of the vote and the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins takes just 1%. Their October 2016 poll had Hillary Clinton leading Trump 46-40, with 9 for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3 for Jill Stein, the Green candidate.

Some folks might naturally ask, “Why would you use the 2016 poll? It was wrong!” Digging deeper, though, it really wasn’t that far off. Clinton, of course, did wind up winning the popular vote by a margin of 2 points, 48-46. Beyond that, it’s possible, if not likely, that the actual state of the race in mid-October of 2016 was something around Clinton 46, Trump 40. That was right before FBI Director James Comey’s infamous  letter shifted the race’s dynamic, and it’s clear from panel-type surveys (see the graphic on page 7 of this link, for an example) that in the final weeks, the undecided voters who didn’t like either candidate broke heavily—in fact, almost entirely—to Trump, which explains how he pulled ahead at the very end.

You might say that polls in 2016 weren’t so much “wrong” but rather that most firms, especially state-level pollsters, just stopped polling too early to catch this late drift. And that also points to one of Biden’s key advantages this time, which doesn’t get discussed very much: This year, there are many fewer undecided voters—or voters weakly supporting third-party candidates, the kind who usually wind up voting for a major party candidate anyway at the end. You can see that in the many polls, both national and in swing states, that have Biden already over the 50% mark.

But let’s start looking at the various crosstabs, starting with race:

RACE

RACE CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE WHITE (COLLEGE WHITE) (NON-COLL. WHITE) BLACK HISPANIC
38 49 -11 44 51 -7 +4
51 36 +15 58 37 +21 +6
31 56 -25 34 60 -26 -1
81 3 +78 89 8 +81 +3
65 18 +47 63 29 +34 -13

The most interesting data point may be that Trump’s position with Latino voters is, indeed, better than where it was four years ago. Note, however, that Biden’s standing with Latinos is not materially worse than Clinton’s four years ago; it may simply be that many fewer of them are undecided this year, compared with where they were four years ago.

A natural follow-up question to this would be: “Why? What about … all the racism?” Well, at least part of an explanation is that Cuban-Americans (and probably Venezuelans as well) seem to have warmed up considerably to Trump since 2016, very possibly based on his aggressive stances toward the governments in their ancestral countries. You can see that happening if you look specifically at polls of Miami-Dade County or Florida’s heavily Cuban 27th Congressional District, which provide some of the few surveys you can find anywhere where Trump is overperforming his 2016 stats. That’s probably only a partial explanation, though, because Cubans are only a small part of the nation’s overall Latino population and by themselves couldn’t bring about that big of a shift.

In the final equation, though, that Latino shift may not matter that much for Biden’s prospects, since it’s being more than canceled out by the movement in the opposite direction among white voters, especially college-educated ones. While that movement doesn’t appear as large (“only” 4 points among all white voters nationwide, 6 among college-educated white voters), it still has a bigger impact because white voters substantially outnumber Latino voters in most parts of the country. In other words, 4% percent of two-thirds of the total electorate (the plausible white share we can expect) has a lot more leverage than 13% of around 15% of all voters (the approximate Latino proportion).

Even states with large Latino populations like Arizona (which has apparently moved into Biden’s column) and Texas (which, regardless of the final outcome, has undeniably graduated into long-anticipated swing state status) are nevertheless seeing significant improvement in Democratic vote share. Again, much of that is because of college-educated white voters in those states’ suburbs fleeing the Republican Party.

That’s even what seems to be happening in Florida, where Biden is maintaining a lead in the low single digits despite what’s going on in the Cuban-American community, because he’s bouncing back so strongly in the suburbs of the Tampa and Orlando areas. As a case in point, mostly suburban Pinellas County, which Trump narrowly won in 2016, is now on track for a double-digit BIden win.

EDUCATION

EDUCATION CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE POSTGRAD COLLEGE GRAD SOME COLLEGE HS OR LESS
64 25 +39 68 28 +40 +1
49 35 +14 57 37 +20 +6
43 41 +2 48 46 +2 0
40 47 -7 45 49 -4 +3

While the education gap is quite large, the growth in the education gap seems to have already happened, by and large, since the gulf isn’t getting much bigger this year according to Pew. The education gap really opened up in 2012 and especially 2016; it was was much smaller in the 00s, and in fact ran the other direction in the 20th century, when people with lower levels of education were more likely than people with more schooling to vote Democratic.

So it’s heartening for Democrats to see that Biden is bouncing back better across the educational spectrum, among non-college voters as well as college-educated ones. Looking at state-level and district-level polling, that bounce-back isn’t uniformly distributed, but among non-college voters, we’re seeing it more in areas lots of white voters but not many evangelical Christians. The states of the Upper Midwest are prime examples, but West Virginia (both one of the whitest and least-educated states) is maybe the most extreme case: Most polls of the state still show Biden losing badly, but by margins in the teens, versus Clinton’s 40-point drubbing in 2016.

AGE

AGE CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+
49 28 +21 59 29 +30 +9
47 34 +13 57 37 +20 +7
43 47 -4 49 47 +2 +6
45 47 -2 49 49 0 +2

There’s been a lot of talk about how Biden's rebound among senior citizens is what’s driving his success this year, but Pew’s data suggests that if any one age group is making a difference, it’s younger voters. Biden has still improved with the 65-plus set, but the younger you go, the bigger the gains. This is one area, though, where Pew seems to see things somewhat differently from other pollsters, some of whom have found a double-digit surge for Biden among senior citizens.

Interestingly, Trump isn’t doing any worse with young voters; the difference maker is that Biden is polling at 59% with them, instead of 49% as with Clinton. In other words, many more younger voters have already committed to Biden instead of calling themselves undecided or holding out for a third party.

We may have a less contentious Democratic primary, and a quicker concession from Bernie Sanders this time, to thank for that. (It’s possible that each new generation of young voters has to learn the hard way not to experiment with vote-wasting, just as the previous generation found out with Ralph Nader in 2000.) As an example, in Pew’s 2016 poll, Johnson and Stein combined for 18% of the votes among the youngest cohort. This year, the combined third-party share among 18-29s is only 12%, which is still much higher than any other demographic category, but obviously a big and consequential drop.

RELIGION

RELIGION CLINTON TRUMP 2016 MARGIN BIDEN TRUMP 2020 MARGIN CHANGE WHITE EVANGELICAL WHITE MAINLINE BLACK PROTESTANT CATHOLIC UNAFFILIATED
14 75 -61 17 78 -61 0
37 48 -11 43 53 -10 +1
87 3 +84 90 9 +81 -3
46 44 +2 51 44 +7 +5
59 21 +38 71 22 +49 +11

Finally, let’s take a look at the religion crosstabs. Despite a few high-profile individual evangelical defections to Biden in recent months, the rank-and-file haven’t really budged. One place where Biden’s seen an appreciable gain, though, is with Catholics. That’s important because one place where Catholics are overrepresented is the populous swing states of the Midwest and Northeast.

Interestingly, that Catholic number (and the evangelical number) might also help us to make more sense about the Latino numbers we were discussing earlier. If you were to assume Latinos are monolithically Catholic, then seeing the two figuress going in opposite directions wouldn’t make much sense. However, an increasingly large share of Latinos in the U.S. are evangelical, so it’s possible that we’re seeing evangelical Latinos moving in the Republican direction, while Catholic Latinos are not.

The largest movement of any group, however, is among the “unaffiliated” (which is how Pew groups together both atheists and agnostics as well as people who simply answer “nothing in particular”). Notice that this is a very similar-sized move as the shift among voters aged 18-29, and that makes sense, since younger generations are much more likely to skew nonreligious than older generations. And as with the 18-29 bracket, note that the Trump number is unchanged; instead, a much larger number of them are committed to Biden this time rather than undecided or voting third party.

, 2 hours ago

News Origin

'Great metaphor for how he's treated his supporters': Buttigieg zings Trump for Omaha rally debacle

Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Democratic presidential hopeful, has been nailing a recent string of appearances on Fox News. For example, he recently got personal about what the latest Supreme Court confirmation could mean for his marriage to his husband, Chasten Buttigieg. Since that clip went viral on social media, he’s had another standout back and forth, this time talking about Donald Trump’s recent rally in Omaha, Nebraska, where, as Daily Kos covered, a number of people were literally left miles from their cars in the cold.

Can such a rally possibly be helping Trump with voters? In the interview clip below, Buttigieg got right to the point about what impact he thinks Trump’s rallies will have on voters—and what he believes it says about the president’s values. Also below, an inspiring example of how Buttigieg handled a heckler at a recent event in Florida. The takeaway? The future needs to be all about unity.

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Here’s that Fox clip.

Trump's rallies are a metaphor for how he views his own supporters. Happy to have them cheer for him, only to leave them out in the cold. pic.twitter.com/ofhRNkZnca

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 29, 2020

In speaking to host Martha MacCallum on Fox about which states both candidates are visiting in the days before the election, Buttigieg said: “I’m not even sure those visits from Donald Trump are really helping him.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” MacCallum said.

“Like, look in Omaha, where he left supporters out freezing in the cold. Which is a great metaphor for how he treated supporters more generally across the country.”

“In Arizona,” Buttigieg continued. “He got a bunch of people in a rally that has the potential to be a spreader event. Which kind of symbolizes his inability to lead us out of this pandemic.” 

“Yeah, we’ve heard that line a lot,” MacCallum said. “You know, it’s fine. It may or may not be.”

“Because he doesn’t seem to care about the health and safety of his supporters,” Buttigieg continued. “So I don’t think these events are really helping him.”

Buttigieg’s also getting some social media attention for the way he handled a heckler at an event in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Wednesday. As covered by Out Magazine, Buttigieg was trying to rally LGBTQ voters to vote early in the particularly important state. During this outdoor event, a heckler in what appears to be a MAGA hat decided it was an appropriate time to chime in. Buttigieg really took the high road and stuck to his points about unity under Biden-Harris leadership.

“Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who will serve him just as enthusiastically as he will serve us?" Buttigieg said to the crowd in reference to the heckler. "Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who cares just as much about protecting the lives of those that protest us as those who stand at our side?"

A bit later, Buttigieg managed to get a nice dig in toward Trump, adding, "Don't you feel a little sorry for a president who finds it necessary to draw this kind of support?" He then reassured the heckler by saying, “It's okay, sir, because when Joe Biden is president you will be safer too!"

Here’s that clip.

He’s so good. https://t.co/EfXMUg8H5A

— PolitiSnark🐝 😎 (@SnowflakeSnark) October 28, 2020

After a bit more heckler disruption, and mentions of his recent Fox appearances, Buttigieg asked the relentless heckler if he could continue with his remarks for the event. Then he pivoted in a smooth move. He asked the heckler if he denounced white supremacy. The heckler said he did, and Buttigieg tied up the unity thread, saying the two of them agreed on something.

“That's a beginning point,” he stated. “See if you can get your president to do the same thing!" Zing!

Here’s that clip.

Master class on handling a heckler by @PeteButtigieg pic.twitter.com/MmTf3l8tWY

— Michael AntonasRozum (@michaelrozumesq) October 28, 2020

And here’s the full conversation between Buttigieg and MacMullen on YouTube.

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