Patterico's Pontifications


Why Not Have a Fully Chaotic Election, Riven with Controversy?

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:11 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Because, I guess, so many of us longed for a reply of the Florida recount of 2000. NPR reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that election officials in Pennsylvania can count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

The Court declined without comment to take up one of the highest-profile election law cases in the final stretch before Election. Pennsylvania Republicans had sought to block the counting of late-arriving ballots, which the state’s Supreme Court had approved last month.

Republicans sought the emergency stay, arguing that it is up to the state’s legislature — not the court — to set rules for how elections are conducted. They also said the court’s ruling could allow ballots cast after Election Day to be counted.

Chief Justice Roberts joined with the three remaining Court liberals to deadlock the Court at 4-4, allowing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision last month to stand, which overturned the GOP majority in Harrisburg’s law requiring mail-in ballots to be received by 8:00 pm on Election Evening and instead imposted what the majority felt was an arbitrary deadline of 5:00 pm on the Friday following the election. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court also declared that ballots need not include a valid postmark, and can only be disqualified if it can be determined that they were indeed mailed after Election Day. The Democrat majority on the court justified this questionable power grab on the basis that the legislative deadline, while reasonable under normal circumstances, “will unquestionably fail under the strain of COVID-19 and the 2020 presidential election, resulting in the disenfranchisement of voters.” One has to marvel at the court’s confident use of the word “unquestionably” in that clause above.

So, with Pennsylvania being a state that could decide the final outcome of the entire election, we are nicely set-up for a scenario under which Tuesday night ends with Donald Trump holding a lead in the Keystone State, only to lose it as ballots are further counted, perhaps ultimately losing by a margin commensurate with the number of late-arriving ballots bearing no postmark. Wouldn’t that be a magnificent way to wind-up this stupid, stupid year?


A Zoom Cautionary Tale

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

My post title is an effort to give the story something other than a “WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE THOUGHT HE WAS OFF CAMERA – WHY ON EARTH DID HE CHOOSE TO DO THAT DURING A PROFESSIONAL ZOOM CALL?” zinger. Yet the question still remains:

The New Yorker has suspended staff writer Jeffrey Toobin after he exposed himself during a Zoom call last week between staffers of the magazine and WNYC radio, Vice Motherboard reported on Monday.

In a statement to Motherboard, Toobin acknowledged the incident: “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.”

A New Yorker spokesperson, meanwhile, said that Toobin “has been suspended while we investigate the matter.” He is also the chief legal analyst at CNN, where he last appeared this past Saturday. A CNN spokesperson provided the following statement to The Daily Beast: “Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted.”

Never assume, always make sure…because you know why:


Report: Trump Gaining Among Younger Black And Hispanic Voters

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:54 am

[guest post by Dana]

Interesting stuff from FiveThirtyEight:

Take white women. They backed Trump over Clinton in 2016 but were split pretty evenly between the two parties in the 2018 midterms. And now they favor Biden by 6 points in UCLA Nationscape polling, which would be around a 15-point swing toward the Democrats compared to what CCES found for the 2016 race. Trump has also taken a major hit among older white voters. In 2016, he won white voters age 45 or older by more than 20 points, but according to UCLA Nationscape polling, he now leads by only 4 points.

Trump isn’t losing ground among all white voters, though. White men, for instance, look likely to back Trump by around 20 points again. And Trump is also making inroads with college-educated white voters. Trump lost this group by more than 10 points in 2016, and Republican House and Senate candidates lost it by a similar margin in 2018, but Trump may be running closer to even among them now. As FiveThirtyEight’s Perry Bacon Jr. recently noted, many college-educated white voters are Republican-leaning, especially south of the Mason-Dixon line. The question will be whether Trump can attract support from this group nationally, as he’s already essentially got a lock on many Southern states (although maybe not as many Southern states as he’d like). Trump is currently polling at 49 percent among white, college-educated voters in UCLA Nationscape’s polling, and if he stays there, that could help him hold on to battleground states he carried in 2016, such as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, where college-educated white voters are more likely to prefer the GOP.

Trump has also gained real ground among nonwhite voters. To be clear, he still trails Biden considerably with these groups, but in UCLA Nationscape’s polling over the past month, he was down by 39 points with these voters, a double-digit improvement from his 53-point deficit in 2016.

While older Black voters look as if they’ll vote for Biden by margins similar to Clinton’s in 2016, Trump’s support among young Black voters (18 to 44) has jumped from around 10 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in UCLA Nationscape’s polling. Black voters remain an overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning constituency, but a notable reduction in their support could still be a problem for Biden.

Young Blacks & Hispanics aren’t following their elders’ lead:

Notably, young Black voters don’t seem to feel as negatively about Trump as older Black Americans do. For instance, an early-July African American Research Collaborative poll of battleground states found that 35 percent of 18-to-29-year-old Black adults agreed that although they didn’t always like Trump’s policies, they liked his strong demeanor and defiance of the establishment. Conversely, just 10 percent of those 60 and older said the same.


It’s a similar story with younger Hispanic Americans, a group where Trump has also made gains. According to UCLA Nationscape’s polling, Trump is attracting 35 percent of Hispanic voters under age 45, up from the 22 percent who backed him four years ago in the CCES data.


The final presidential debate will happen this Thursday. The election is in 16 days.


Patterico on Political Beats, Talking Peter Gabriel Era Genesis

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

We’re going to forego a political post this morning, and say nothing about political pronouncements by a dishonest and hackish DNI, because something more important is happening: the release of the episode of the amazing Political Beats episode featuring Jeff Blehar’s (@EsotericCD) favorite band: Genesis. This episode concentrates on the Peter Gabriel years and features yours truly as guest.

I discovered Political Beats only a few weeks/months ago, listening to Matt Welch talk with the fellas about the Beach Boys. I tend to drift off to sleep listening to podcasts and I quickly found I cannot do that with Political Beats because it keeps me awake. For hours. They pick a band and really go deep, talking about each album in many cases for 20 minutes at a time. The Beach Boys episode was fascinating and kept me up past 3 a.m., but I learned an incredible amount about the band. I have ruined several nights of sleep since, with their Byrds and Springsteen episodes (Parts 1 and 2).

But this is a special one, because Genesis is Jeff’s favorite band.

He’s wanted to do them for a long time, and I feel I can take some credit for pushing him into it. It was a fantastic experience and I have listened to large chunks of the final product, despite having participated in the event Thursday evening, and the way the musical examples are interspersed is masterful.

As you’ll hear, I’m bad at public speaking — which is a weird trait for a D.A., I know. I get better when I feel I have mastered the material, which is why I do OK in trial, but I get worse when I feel uncertain — and talking about Genesis in the presence of perhaps their biggest superfan (Blehar) was intimidating. I think it comes across in my hesitant demeanor. That said, I threw in a couple three musical examples on the piano or organ when appropriate, and Jeff does most of the talking anyway, as is appropriate and which is what I wanted to happen. I think a good time was had by all. It’s definitely worth the 3.5 hours you’ll have to invest to hear the whole thing.

Listen here, and be sure to subscribe wherever you get podcasts. It’s a great show.

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