tfw you are a Republican incumbent president definitely winning an election
(Trump of course can still win the election and the unique circumstances of mail-in voting, the coronavirus pandemic, court curveballs and even militant activity, added to the president’s false accusations of fraud and eager sowing of chaos, have imbued the 2020 election with added uncertainty.)
For all the focus on the presidential race and the senate races, the election contests that have the most immediate impact on many people’s lives are down-ballot, at the state and local level.
Some of the most important races are to elect local sheriffs, prosecutors, and judges, who define the on-the-ground reality of the criminal justice system from Minneapolis to Ferguson to Philadelphia to Phoenix.
These elected officials collectively draw the line between innocence and guilt and decide who to charge, what to charge, and how to punish. They assert control in the street, shaping the ability of activists to demonstrate. They determine the culture of law enforcement and they are responsible for equality before the law.
In a boon to voters, The Appeal website and their political report editor Daniel Nichanian are tracking these races across the country and building tools to help people zero in on the most important local elections and ballot initiatives.
Check it out:
Colorado voters are taking up a wolf reintroduction initiative that would fill in a crucial missing piece of the iconic animal’s historic territorial range, the Associated Press reports. Gray wolves have rebounded in parts of the American West with remarkable speed following their reintroduction 25 years ago, now numbering more than 2,000 animals in 300+ packs. Here’s AP:
the 2020 election offers an opportunity to jumpstart the wolf’s expansion southward into the heart of the Rocky Mountains. A Colorado ballot initiative would reintroduce wolves on the state’s Western Slope. It comes after the Trump administration on Thursday lifted protections for wolves across most of the U.S., including Colorado, putting their future in the hands of state wildlife agencies.
The Colorado effort, if successful, could fill a significant gap in the species’ historical range, creating a bridge between the Northern Rockies gray wolves and a small Mexican gray wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico.
“Colorado is the mother lode, the final piece,” said Mike Phillips, who led the Yellowstone reintroduction project and now serves in the Montana Senate.
Here is Susan Collins, the endangered Republican senator from Maine, finding three different ways not to answer the Donald Trump question. Her tacit campaign pitch is that Republicans need to hold the senate to check a Joe Biden presidency. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell probably gave Collins a green light to vote against Amy Coney Barrett – he did not need her vote, and a majority of Mainers told pollsters they objected to Barrett’s hasty installation.
Tons of people continue to vote early in Houston, the crown jewel of Texas. (?)
What does it mean? Take it from the Cook Political Report’s congressional races expert:
Many states provide information about how many ballots Republican and Democratic voters have requested and returned. But because we don’t know how many people crossed party lines to vote for the other side, and because we don’t know how many people will vote on election day, that information is not very informative. The exception is in Nevada where almost everyone votes early and where the journalist Jon Ralston keeps a crystal ball (“Trump still down in all reasonable models,” Ralston says in his blog.)
But a record number of voters are participating in the 2020 election in places like Houston. Many no doubt are motivated to vote early by a desire to avoid packed polling places on election day. Others might be motivated by the candidates. The total vote for the two major party candidates is expected to eclipse the ~130m tally from 2016 and perhaps climb toward 150m.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah has given rise to some consternation within the Mormon community for comparing Donald Trump to a hero from the Book of Mormon at a politics rally in Arizona.
“He seeks not power but to pull it down,” Lee said, paraphrasing Mormon scripture, as Trump stood nearby at a lectern smiling – thinking to himself, perhaps, “Yes, that sounds exactly like me”.
“He seeks not the praise of the world or the fake news,” Lee continued. “He seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people.”
Lee went on praise Trump’s fidelity as a husband and to say that Trump’s fraudulent charity scam was a rare and uncharacteristic lapse in the president’s lifelong commitment to succoring the poor and also Trump hates money. (Kidding he did not say that.)
The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins has noted criticism of the remarks and tweeted part of a statement from Lee in which the senator says he respects people’s right to think what he said was not good.
Hello and welcome to our round-the-clock coverage of the 2020 US elections. More than 80m Americans have already cast their ballots, according to the US Elections Project. Election day is on Tuesday.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden are scheduled to hold dueling events in Minnesota and Wisconsin today, with Biden also traveling to Iowa. Both candidates were in Florida on Thursday, where a Biden event appeared to be cut short by a downpour, while 17 attendees at a Trump rally had to be taken to the hospital for intense heat, according to NBC News.
A federal appeals court ordered that ballots arriving after 3 November in Minnesota be segregated – in case they are invalidated in a final ruling. One of the state’s Democratic senators, Amy Klobuchar, decried the late-stage order and urged people not to drop anything in the mail.
On Fox News, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, claimed that the number of deaths from Covid-19 is “almost nothing”. At least 1,049 new Covid-19 deaths were reported on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, and the number of confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in the United States is roughly 230,000.
Thank you for joining us today!