good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 503 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. no opinion pieces this week, but we do have a number of [LONGFORM] pieces this week. our polling section is large this week, and donald makes his first entry onto the TWIEN scene with his formal reelection campaign's kickoff today.
the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.
- from Fox News (A+ on 538): Fox News National Poll 6/16:
Biden 49 - 39 Trump
Sanders 49 - 40 Trump
Harris 42 - 41 Trump
Warren 43 - 41 Trump
Buttigieg 41 - 40 Trump
- from Ipsos/Daily Beast (N/A on 538): Ipsos/Daily Beast National Poll 6/17 [PDF warning]:
Biden 46 - 35 Trump
Sanders 47 - 35 Trump
Harris 41 - 35 Trump
Warren 42 - 36 Trump
Klobuchar 34 - 36 Trump
Buttigieg 34 - 36 Trump
- from Quinnipiac: 6/18 Florida Presidential Poll:
Biden 50 - Trump 41
Sanders 48 - Trump 42
Warren 47 - Trump 43
Harris 45 - Trump 44
O’Rourke 45 - Trump 44
Buttigieg 44 - Trump 43
In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan [...] Trump trails Biden by double-digits. In three of those states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida — Biden’s leads sit outside the poll’s margin of error.
Trump is also behind the former vice president in Iowa by 7 points, in North Carolina by 8 points, in Virginia by 17 points, in Ohio by 1 point, in Georgia by 6 points, in Minnesota by 14 points, and in Maine by 15 points.
In Texas, where a Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t won since President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Trump leads by just 2 points.
- from the Texas Tribune: Trump’s reelection support is 50-50 in Texas, Biden and O’Rourke lead the Democrats, UT/TT Poll says:
Half of the registered voters in Texas would vote to reelect President Donald Trump, but half of them would not, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Few of those voters were wishy-washy about it: 39% said they would “definitely” vote to reelect Trump; 43% said they would “definitely not” vote for him. The remaining 18% said they would “probably” (11%) or “probably not” (7%) vote to give Trump a second term.
- from Buzzfeed News: [LONGFORM] People In Flint Are Still In Crisis. They Want Presidential Candidates To See Them As More Than A Rallying Cry. the people of flint, long used to being a stopover location for prospective presidential candidates, are seeking to be something a little more this year as the city continues to try and recover from its massive infrastructural problems. flint has been a national issue since 2016; some of you may remember that both clinton and sanders debated there during that cycle, and donald trump also stopped over. so far this cycle though, only one candidate has stopped in the city--julian castro, who incidentally has a plan to eliminate lead poisoning. we're still quite early in the cycle, of course, so this is likely to change, but the question is worth asking whether or not it'll be anything extensive.
- from Alternet: ‘Storm of a century’: Why voter turnout in 2020 might be nothing like we’ve ever seen. we're still quite a ways out but there is already extensive speculation that based on the 2018 midterms and the continued, extremely polarizing presidency of donald that 2020 could be the highest turnout election since 2008 (61%), or perhaps even 1960 (63%). this would most likely require about 156 million ballots to be cast, compared to the 139 million cast in 2016.
- from POLITICO: Dems take red state detours to prove 2020 electability. a fair amount has already been said of the trend of democratic candidates going to places that they don't ordinarily go to in presidential cycles, which is the crux of this article. democratic candidates are taking the opportunity to go places that have never seen presidential candidates before, and while it's not going to win deep red states obviously, it suggests that maybe the democratic party is finally readopting something resembling the 50 state strategy.
- from Vox: A new poll shows how sexism and electability collide in 2020. one of the things that could genuinely be holding back the female candidates in this race is sexism--but not voter sexism, interestingly. for you see, the problem confronting female candidates this year is not necessarily voter opinions on whether a woman can be president per se, but voter's perceptions of other voters' opinions on the subject: "Only 33 percent of voters surveyed believed their neighbors would be comfortable with a woman in the Oval Office, despite 74 percent saying they themselves would be comfortable with a woman president." this, vox argues here, basically leads to the electability argument kinda fucking women over.
- from Vox: Young voters of color are supporting Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But many want a different candidate. emphasizing how early we are in this, it's worth noting that many candidates are being buoyed in part by name recognition currently, particularly biden and sanders. they of course have solid bases, but a lot of people are defaulting to people they know since it's early, and in the next few months those people might start shopping around for other candidates.
- from Vox: Why the Democratic Party doesn’t want a presidential debate about climate change. the longest lasting of the controversies surrounding the democratic debate series continues. the ostensible reason for this: "Perez said that even without a climate change-specific debate, it will be an issue that’s impossible to ignore. “I have the utmost confidence that, based on our conversations with networks, climate change will be discussed early and often during our party’s primary debates,” he wrote."
- from the Guardian: Can lightning strike twice? Trump set to launch 2020 campaign. donald trump formally launches his reelection campaign today in orlando, florida. focuses of his campaign are all but guaranteed to be economy, national security, and immigration; how well he sticks to these given his inability to tout them effectively in 2018 remains to be seen, of course. socialism also seems like it's shaping up to be a part of donald's reelection message, and he may be preparing to relitigate the 2017 healthcare fight as well.
- from NBC News: Biden's 'Back to the Future' dilemma. joe biden has an interesting issue: the crux of his appeal is based in the past, but so are most of the criticisms of him. the source of most of the things that make people like him are obviously rooted in the obama administration and his extensive legislative and senate career, but his past also leaves him open to attack because it leaves a lot to be desired. NBC offers some observations: "Biden is finding out that William Faulkner's observation applies to presidential politics: The past is never dead; it's not even past. To win, he may have to figure out how to get past his past."
- from VICE: Biden Has an Aggressive Plan to Force China to Go Green. policy-wise, biden's climate plan has some interesting international features. per VICE, "It promises that as president, “Biden will rally a united front of nations to hold China accountable to high environmental standards in its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure projects so that China can’t outsource pollution to other countries.”" this is not really a feature in any other candidate's plans, it is worth noting.
- from CNN: Biden slams critics of working with GOP: 'Why don't you all go home then, man?'. biden is trying to play up the bipartisanship argument, probably against better judgment. while other candidates have stumped on the idea of nuking the filibuster in the senate and using executive orders to pass their policies instead of trying to ram things through the senate at all, biden takes a consensus line: "The fact of the matter is, if we can't get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive. Zero." in the event that biden somehow cannot make this work, he intends to "[...]go out and beat these folks if they don't agree with you, by making your case -- and that's what presidents are supposed to do: Persuade the public."
- from CBS News: Sanders defends democratic socialism, calling for "21st Century Bill of Rights". the capstone of sanders's past week was his speech on democratic socialism, where he doubled down on being a democratic socialist, framing it somewhat in the image of FDR and the new deal. sanders also called for a 21st century bill of rights though, as the article title notes. this bill of rights "would establish that every American, regardless of income, has a right to a job with a living wage, health care, education, affordable housing, a clean environment and a secure retirement." (see also In These Times: Bernie Sanders Has Laid Out the Stakes of the 2020 Election: Democratic Socialism or Barbarism; Truthout: Bernie Sanders Proposes New Economic Bill of Rights)
- from Left Voice: Sanders’ Speech Explains His Vision of Socialism—It Sounds a Lot like New Deal Liberalism. not everybody on the left is per se thrilled with sanders's speech, however. left voice criticizes sanders here for essentially jacking new deal liberalism and presenting it as democratic socialism instead of providing an actual alternative to the capitalist system we live in. this is not unfounded--sanders is basically doing that, honestly---but as a matter of practice it's something of a hollow criticism, as a genuinely anti-capitalist or socialist platform is almost certainly not viable at the national level currently.
- from Vox: Elizabeth Warren isn’t Hillary Clinton. this piece by Vox is one-part modification of an interview ezra klein did with elizabeth warren, one-part putting warren in a broader context as a candidate. warren, in klein's view, is not hillary because where hillary had many plans with many messages, warren has many plans which all reinforce a singular message. warren, weirdly enough, seems to also basically agree with sanders on most things? bu she also won't define herself as anything bernie does.
- from Reuters: Democrat Warren wants 7 billion fund to give grants to minority entrepreneurs. warren has a small plan to promote minority entrepreneurs by "creating a $7 billion fund to provide grants to help more minorities start their own business" which she would pay for with her ultra-millionaire tax (see also: Warren Medium post; Mother Jones: Elizabeth Warren Just Unveiled a Plan to Close the Racial Wealth Gap).
- from Mother Jones: Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan for Winning the White House, and Right Now It’s Working. despite an early fumbling over the extremely dumb native american story, warren has remained incredibly consistent to her election plan, which is paying off quite well for her so far. she has of course been rising in the polls and gaining significant media attention, and now seems likely to overtake sanders if sanders continues to stagnate in the polls.
- from Buzzfeed News: Kamala Harris Has A Network Of Black Sorority Sisters Mobilizing For Her In The South. one advantage kamala harris has going for her organization wise is sorority sisters. harris is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the oldest (greek letter) sorority for black females in america, and as it happens that is a very convenient for campaign organizing. harris is fairly distant from the front runners in the south currently, polling only around 8% in south carolina (biden is polling at 40%!), so she'll probably take every volunteer she can get. harris's campaign in fact identifies the sorority connection as one of the keys to sucessful organization in the south as of now.
- from the Atlantic: Kamala Harris’s Mistake. harris is not without criticism this week, of course. some people are not very appreciative of her statement on the DoJ most likely having no choice but to prosecute donald in a post-trump presidency because it reeks too much of some sort of effort to create an illiberal democracy, or some similar criticism like that.
- from POLITICO: Pete Buttigieg raised staggering $7 million in April alone. despite stalling in the polls, pete buttigieg is still raising fairly large amounts of money (in part because of his continued appeal to some liberals, but also probably because he is apparently one of the favorite sons of many wall street types); it is worth bearing in mind though that we currently do not have anybody to compare this against besides biden, who has supposedly raised 19.8 million according to basic math. it's entirely possible that buttigieg is on the short end of the stick. we'll have to see.
- from CNN: Buttigieg cancels top-dollar California fundraisers to focus on officer-involved shooting in South Bend. buttigieg also had to cancel appearances at a number of events this week to handle an officer-involved shooting that took place in south bend this week. this move has mostly been praised, but i imagine will be under a decent amount of scrutiny given that buttigieg is running for president and will, if he wins, have to address things like this on a national level.
- from POLITICO: Julián Castro in Fox News town hall: Let’s talk about me, not Hillary. julian castro was the latest candidate to have a fox news town hall, at which he rebuked the network's efforts to tie everybody to hillary clinton (and also rebuked efforts to talk about really any other candidate actually in the primary). castro also doubled down quite significantly on his plans for immigration and in his criticisms of donald trump, despite the conservative audience at home.
- from CNN: Amy Klobuchar joins Democrats calling for impeachment proceedings. amy klobuchar, the other other female candidate, became the latest democrat to call for impeachment proceedings that is running for president. this brings the total number of candidates in favor of impeachment proceedings up to about a dozen, according to CNN.
- from the Atlantic: This Isn’t Going According to Plan for Kirsten Gillibrand. kirsten gillibrand's mighty, shambaholic campaign continues to get press--but most likely not for the reasons she'd want. last week i had an article on how she's used to uphill battles, but in this case it seems like she picked off a battle that is entirely too much for her abilities as a skilled campaigner, because her polling remains incredibly bad. her one solace is she's made the first debate, but that's about it. that, i think, is really her last chance to start rising in the polls before she's going to be relegated to perennial 1%er status the rest of the way.
- from POLITICO: How Rep. Eric Swalwell would tackle gun violence in America. eric swalwell has a plant to tackle gun violence. it is quite straightforward, and "includes banning assault weapons, instituting a gun buyback program and requiring licenses for all gun owners." he also says he "would hold weapon manufacturers responsible by “lifting the shield of liability that protects” them" and wants insurance to be a part of gun licensing.
- from New York Magazine: [LONGFORM] Tulsi Gabbard Had a Very Strange Childhood, which may help explain why she’s out of place in today’s Democratic Party. And her long-shot 2020 candidacy. this piece by NYMag is an extensive profile of possibly the second most odd candidate running in the primary and perennial 1%er tulsi gabbard, the congresswoman for hawaii's second congressional district, noted "progressive" candidate, apparent hindu nationalist, and supposed assad apologist. gabbard is an interesting candidate mostly because of her own incredibly unique past, but also because of the incredibly odd people she brings together to form her 1% coalition that polls just behind yang but just ahead of williamson, usually (that coalition being progressive types, hindu nationalists, intellectual dark web dogwhistlers, and more).
- from CBS News: Marianne Williamson on bringing spirituality back into politics. marianne williamson, who is arguably the weirdest candidate of the cycle ahead of gabbard, takes a very interesting line of approach to the campaign, which i think i'll just quote directly: "The problem [with politics] is with an over-corporatized, over-secularized political conversation so disconnected from values, so disconnected from issues of moral and ethical responsibility, as to have broken itself off of the major river of American thought and American life. That's why so many people can't relate to it." interestingly, williamson also supports a 200-500 bllion dollar reparations package.
- from Vox: [LONGFORM] Andrew Yang is promising to revitalize America. His nonprofit tried, too, but couldn’t. andrew yang is running on a platform of revitalizing america among other things, but his record on the issue suggests he might have a hard time messaging on that. as Vox reports, yang intended to create 100,000 jobs through venture for america, but VFA has failed to create even 4,000 "jobs" so far. given that VFA is sorta kinda a model for yang's campaign, this does leave a number of questions up in the air.
anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.