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      •  Saturday Q&A

Saturday Q&A

On Thursday, most folks will be thinking about eating. For now, however, they're thinking about impeachment.

Q: If the Democrats vote on impeachment with the case they currently have, and the trial begins in the Senate, do you believe disputes regarding subpoenas for witnesses and documents will receive an expedited response from John Roberts and/or the Supreme Court? Once there is an impeachment trial, how could the judiciary refuse extremely expedited treatment of disputes? A.D.B., Brecksville, Ohio

A: If and when an impeachment trial gets underway, it is all-but-inconceivable that folks like former NSA John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and "Acting" Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney can avoid appearing if they are subpoenaed. First of all, any of the doctrines they might invoke to avoid appearing—like, say, executive privilege—were largely conjured out of thin air, and have a less-than-rock-solid legal basis. On the other hand, the right and the duty of the Senate to conduct impeachment trials is written into the text of the Constitution, without any specific limitations. Second, John Roberts can and will resolve this situation. He would arguably have the power to do so as presiding officer, just as a judge can issue a bench warrant. He would certainly have the power to do so as the leader of the Supreme Court. Surely, as presiding officer, he is not going to announce "Sorry all, we're not going to be able to move forward until we can get a Supreme Court ruling on this, and I just don't know anyone who can call the Court into session."

To us, the big question is exactly what sort of cooperation can be compelled. In the case of the Clinton impeachment, the managers of the process already had preliminary testimony from everyone relevant thanks to Kenneth Starr. That's not true here; presumably the Democrats would want both a closed-door meeting with Bolton, for example, and then an appearance at the impeachment trial. Would they be able to get that? Another big question is what role the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination would play. What kinds of questions could, say, Mulvaney refuse to answer? And could he be immunized against prosecution and forced to answer all questions? There are pretty clear answers to these questions when it comes to a standard criminal or civil trial, but an impeachment trial technically isn't either of these things. A huge amount will ultimately come down to (1) What will the prosecution ask for and (2) What will Roberts decide. Under Senate rules, the Senate can overrule Roberts on anything, but it is doubtful that many senators will want to go on record saying "No, Bolton doesn't have to show up" after Roberts has ruled he has to. There could be a lot of fireworks.

Q: What are the chances that officials from Ukraine who had interactions with Rudy Giuliani will be asked to testify for the impeachment investigation? Surely they could testify that Rudy told them President Zelensky was required to announce the start of investigations into the Bidens if they wanted military aid. D.W., St. Louis, MO

A: It is pretty unlikely that any Ukrainians will be called (even if they are willing to obey an American subpoena), for two reasons. The first is that they don't really have anything to add; there have already been three Americans who were privy to everything and who have said there was a quid pro quo in place. For those who do not believe, or who wish to make excuses for the President's behavior, this isn't going to change their minds.

The other problem is that there is still much motivation for the Ukrainians to tote the Trump administration's water, like the fact that they don't want next year's military aid to be withheld. If leader-of-the-impeachment-inquiry Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) summoned some Ukrainian officials, they might deny everything, and leave him and the Democrats with borscht on their faces.

Q: I have a question about the item you had on Senate Republicans plotting strategy with the Trump administration, comparing it to a defendant coordinating strategy with his or her jury. I am wondering if Senate Democrats coordinated with the Clinton White House during his impeachment, or if Nixon was doing so prior to his resigning. R.H., Silver Spring, MD

A: The short answer is: no. Undoubtedly there was some communication going on, simply because presidents are continually in contact with the Senate at all times, and it's unlikely that nary a word would be said about impeachment. But there wasn't coordination of the sort that we're seeing now.

In Nixon's case, the process unfolded in a manner such that discussions of strategy would not have made much sense. First, his party did not control the Senate, and so was not calling the shots. Second, things spiraled so quickly that nobody had to think all that seriously about a trial due to Nixon's abrupt resignation. Nixon was in contact with Senate Republicans, but that was primarily to gauge his support among them. And when Barry Goldwater said conviction was imminent, the President pushed the eject button on his presidency.

In Clinton's case, the Senate was once again controlled by the other party, such that his party was not calling the shots. Further, the Democrats were not unified behind him the way that Republicans are unified behind Trump. Quite a few Democrats in the House (31) supported the impeachment inquiry, and several of them (5-7, depending on which article we're talking about) voted in favor of impeaching Clinton. In the Senate, there were quite a few outspoken critics of Clinton among the Democrats, most obviously Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who delivered a floor speech excoriating the President.

Consequently, Clinton handled his impeachment defense as a well-heeled, highly savvy defendant would: He established a "war room" in the White House that tightly controlled messaging on impeachment, and that kept the news shows well-supplied with folks who pushed back against the GOP narrative. In particular, they hammered over and over on their argument that "personal mistakes involving human weakness" (their words) do not equate to an abuse of presidential power.

Did Clinton choose this approach because it was the only viable path available to him? Did he do it because he was more ethical than Trump, and thought that direct pressure on the Senators would be problematic? Did he do it because he was smarter and more shrewd than Trump, and understood the best way to play the hand he was dealt, from an optics standpoint? Hard to say, but clearly it worked—not only did Clinton avoid conviction, he got a bounce in the polls.

Q: Wouldn't it be more prudent to put the impeachment on hold? Clearly the Supreme Court needs to rule that witnesses must be compelled to testify, and it's going to take time for that to be resolved. Waiting would allow Democrats to gather more evidence with regards to Trump's taxes, his potential lying to special counsel Robert Mueller, his immigration policy, and so forth. Trump is very likely to make another blunder, especially with Rudy Giuliani running around, and other unknown shady characters lurking around his sphere of influence. In fact, the imminent threat of impeachment could be useful as a sort of "Sword of Damocles" over Trump's head. It could keep him in line until: (1) He really steps in it, or (2) we get past the primaries and Republicans can actually vote their consciences, or (3) public opinion of Trump takes a downward turn due to some other factors, such as the economy or foreign aggression, disaster or national debt crisis. Your thoughts? B.W., Easton, PA

A: You lay out a pretty good case for dragging things out, though we would argue Trump has already "really step[ped] in it."

In any case, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Schiff have both shown themselves to be very sharp political operators, and undoubtedly have worked through all the permutations. But politicians are generally pretty risk-averse, and there are a number of risks and downsides to your strategy that surely concern them. Among those:

  1. Support for impeachment is not obviously growing right now, and recent polls suggest it might even be shrinking a tiny bit. If they drag things out, and "50% of Americans support impeachment and removal" somehow becomes "35% of Americans support impeachment and removal," they would be between a rock and a hard place. If they abandoned impeachment, the base would be furious, and their change of course would be used against them by Republicans ("See? Even the Democrats know Trump didn't do anything!"). If they moved forward, they would be doing something that 2/3 of the country opposes.

  2. The voting public, on the whole, does not do well with complexity. Robert Mueller expressed his view that Trump is clearly guilty of a felony, and said that only the President's office is protecting him from prosecution. However, because folks had to read between the lines a tiny bit to get what Mueller was saying, and because the crime was an unfamiliar one like obstruction of justice, Trump barely took any damage at all. Right now, the Democrats have a fairly simple narrative of the sort that might get people's blood boiling: The President tried to use the people's money to pursue his personal goals. If they try to pursue a multi-faceted case, the Democrats could very well lose the narrative.

  3. Quite a few of the impeachment "jurors" are running for president right now. That's probably manageable through March or so, but then dual responsibilities of being candidate and juror could spread Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) or Bernie Sanders (I-VT) a bit too thin. Depending on how public opinion evolves, it could also put them in the position of casting a vote that will hurt their candidacies, no matter which direction they vote (see item #1).

  4. If the whole impeachment business were to drag out until late spring, the Republicans would immediately start arguing: "The election is in half a year. Just drop the whole matter and let the people decide."

For these reasons, we suspect the Democrats are not going to let this go much beyond the new year.

Q: After listening to as much of the impeachment inquiry testimony as I could, it seems that things are reaching a conclusion and that articles of impeachment will be drawn up soon. I assume that will take at least a few days. From there, they are voted on by the whole House (maybe another day), and then are sent to the Senate, where I understand that they must drop everything and work only on impeachment immediately. To me, this seems to be on a collision course with the expiration of the short term funding resolution on December 20th. What happens if this is the case? And what happens if the Government shuts down in the middle of an impeachment trial? M.N., Lake Ann, MI

A: Congress is paid under the terms of a different law than most of the rest of the government, so a shutdown would not substantially affect their ability to conduct a trial. The biggest problem is that the Senate could have two major items of business at the same time—budget and impeachment. If that did happen, they would surely have to pass another short-term funding resolution to kick that particular problem into the future.

Q: Why are the Republicans allowed to put up those partisan posters in the hearing room? Is there any House rule about that? J.L., Baltimore, MD

A: Just so we're all on the same page, here is what you are talking about:

A bunch of obviously partisan posters on
tripods, like one that says Adam Schiff has known the identity of the whistleblower for 93 days.

As to your question, the Republican committee members did not obviously run afoul of any rules. They have clearly set these up as exhibits, and House rules allow the use of exhibits. Schiff could attempt to rule the exhibits out of order, and to have them removed, but that might require assent from the House Parliamentarian. It would also play into the Republicans' hands. First, because it would direct additional attention to the signs. Second, because it would allow Jim Jordan (R-OH), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), et al. to go on Fox News and say "What is Adam Schiff so afraid of?" He has undoubtedly decided that it's best to just let them sit there, in the background, and to draw as little attention to them as is possible.

Q: I found your piece "What Kind of Government Reforms Might Be Passed Post-Trump?" very interesting. Clearly the current situation has exposed a lot of areas of improvement. However, ultimately, I think there is another big problem that, if it did not exist, would make such reforms unnecessary. We have a portion of the media that has become a propaganda machine for the President. Currently, a person's view of the facts in the impeachment case completely depends on where that person gets their news. No wonder the impeachment hearings haven't moved the needle of public opinion! I've even seen studies where people are really struggling to know what to believe. This is truly dangerous for a democracy and Vladimir Putin is probably thrilled by it. Has anyone looked at options to hold the press to a higher standard without inhibiting the freedom of the press? M.B., Melrose, MA

A: This is, of course, a very tricky question. In the past (and even in the present), there have been FCC rules governing television coverage of politics. However, what made those possible was that airwaves are government property and accepting limitations is part of the lease terms. Trying to regulate media concerns that are entirely private, like cable stations, Facebook, or blogs or the like is vastly trickier, given First Amendment concerns.

It would also be a mistake to think that this is the first time in U.S. history where the press was highly partisan and highly polarized. It used to be that Democrats got their news from Democratic newspapers and Republicans got their news from Republican newspapers, and the difference in coverage between outlets was as wide as the one between Fox News and MSNBC. If, in 1896, you read the New York Journal (a working-class Democratic paper owned by William Randolph Hearst, a.k.a. the 19th century's answer to Rupert Murdoch), you would have learned that William Jennings Bryan was the greatest thing since instant coffee, and that he was going to restore America to prosperity with his manna from heaven in the form of silver coinage. If you read the New York Times, you would have learned that Bryan was a wild-eyed nut job who hated both the American people and the Bible, and whose election would have meant the ruin of the United States.

What makes things really different today is the extent to which it is easy for individuals to send or receive highly inflammatory, propaganda-laden information. There has never been a time in the history of the world, prior to the advent of the Internet Age, that someone with no capital, no equipment, and no expertise could publish whatever nutty thought comes into their head ("Michelle Obama is actually a man!" "There's a pizza place in Washington D.C. that is operating a pedophile ring on behalf of Hillary Clinton!" "Donald Trump has signed more bills into law than any president!") and have it potentially reach an audience of millions or billions of people. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, however, offer that very opportunity.

Let us give a specific example. In the fall of 2008, when this website had one writer (V), one person collecting the polling data, two people helping with system administration and graphics, and no backing from anyone, it was getting 1.5 million visitors a day. That's more than all but the very biggest newspapers in the country. Of course, we're not purveyors of inflammatory, propaganda-laden information. Other folks (ahem, Alex Jones), we can't say the same.

The good news is that it is not entirely clear what social media platforms are. Are they publishers? Are they technology firms? Are they modern-day railroads? Right now, that lack of clarity is allowing them to operate in a "wild west" fashion, just as the early rail barons or oil barons did. But that cannot last forever, and some of the greatest abuses will be reined in, either voluntarily (as we're already seeing), or with government regulation, or both. The First Amendment may cover some aspects of what Facebook or Google do, but it certainly doesn't protect all of it.

Q: I have no doubt you knew you would be questioned about your comment about Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow. Do you really put them in the same category and, if so, why? D.D., Hollywood, FL

A: Apropos to our point above about social media, that was in an item about how Americans are losing faith in facts, and increasingly embracing the notion that everything is subjective. We said that wasn't terribly surprising in an era where Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity are ascendant.

You're right that the two of us can sometimes guess what things are going to generate a response. Sometimes we just know that something's provocative, or raises questions/issues that are particularly ripe for debate. And sometimes we cannot fully explain our points, either because it would interfere with the flow of an item, or because there simply isn't time when producing between 3,000 and 7,000 words of content a day (in an average year, we each produce the equivalent of about 12 full-length novels' worth of words, or about one novel per month per person).

When it comes to Hannity and Maddow we do stand by the point we were making, even if we didn't explain it. For a very long time (150 years, give or take), the news media has drawn a clear line between reporting (objective, fact-based) and op-ed (subjective, more opinion-based). Maddow and Hannity are both clearly on the op-ed side of the line, and whether they are a cause of the populace's loss of faith in facts, or are a byproduct, or both, they are quite different from the preeminent television news media personalities of past generations. If you had asked Americans 30 or 40 or 50 years ago who the most famous television news anchors were, you would have heard names like Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Edward R. Murrow, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and John Chancellor. These folks were all squarely on the reporting side of the line.

With that said, Maddow and Hannity clearly occupy very different places in the op-ed universe. Maddow is a classic op-ed type, who tries to make sure her opinions are well supported with factual evidence. She could write the New York Times' or the Washington Post's staff editorials (that is, the ones debated upon and decided by the editorial board), and she'd be right at home. Hannity, by contrast, is a propagandist. He doesn't care about facts, except to the extent that they support (or can be bent to support) his pre-existing opinions. One is reminded of Sherlock Holmes, who admonishes his companion Dr. Watson: "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." Maddow generally follows Holmes' advice, Hannity doesn't.

Q: There are five US territories with populations over 50k plus DC. Since they trend Democratic, it seems like a power move for a Democratic White House, Senate, and House to make six new states and add five new Supreme Court justices. What is required to make new states? This would certainly make the Republicans think twice about how good the Electoral College is. The Republicans have shown a complete willingness to do anything for power. Why should the Democrats not fight back with serious measures? E.S., Maine, NY

A: Now that these six entities have met the population threshold for statehood, there are basically four steps left: (1) The residents would have to write up a state constitution, and (2) hold a vote in which the majority of residents supported the submission of that constitution to Congress for approval. Then, (3) Congress would have to approve a resolution granting statehood, and (4) the President would have to sign it. That's pretty much been the procedure since the early 1800s.

There are some significant logistical complications here. First, the Democrats would either have to get 60 seats in the Senate (unlikely anytime soon), or they would have to eliminate the filibuster. Then, these territories (and DC) would actually have to desire statehood. That's a slam dunk in the case of DC, but it's a little less clear in some of the other cases. There are many reasons that territorial residents sometimes don't want statehood, including: (1) They would end up paying more taxes, (2) they would be subject to new and different laws, (3) they fear a loss of identity, and (4) they may not actually like the United States. The admission of Hawaii, for example, was delayed for at least 10 years because native Hawaiians were resentful of the federal government, and opposed "submission" (as they saw it).

It is possible that Democrats could overcome all of these obstacles in the next decade, but even so, should they? Maybe we have entered into an era of realpolitik in America, where a party does whatever it can to advance its objectives while it's in power, the minority be damned. On the other hand, if both sides just keep playing tit-for-tat as power changes hands from party to party, that could destabilize the democracy (already has, in fact), and could permanently undermine its foundations. There is an argument to be made that one side has to say "enough is enough" and has to make a point of playing within the rules. We don't mean to advocate for one side of this debate or the other, incidentally, merely to illustrate two ways of looking at the question.

Q: I find myself feeling, by turns, dismayed, confused, and angered by the latest wave of concerns about electability among the Democratic field. It's true that there are several candidates who really don't stand a chance, and should stop wasting their money on a hopeless endeavor. Similarly, new entries this late into the cycle aren't really fair to the established candidates, have yet to offer anything which distinguishes themselves, and impact the party negatively overall.

For those at the front of the pack, though, I really fail to see the point of asking the question. Any of them can win, certainly; poll after poll suggests this, to varying extents. it seems to me that the question they should really be asking is: by what margin can each of them win, to put as much distance between themselves and Trump as possible (thus minimizing the chance that he would defy, or try objecting to, the results)? And then, perhaps, this: what tricks could the Trump campaign and the RNC (among others) deploy to counter them?
B.W.S., Pleasant Valley, NY

A: We're going to talk about three questions here: One we think you're right about, one we think you're wrong about, and one we think you're overlooking.

First, the question we think you're wrong about. Beyond making certain that the ultimate nominee isn't something totally disqualifying, like a child molester or a communist spy, it's not really worth worrying about the attacks that Donald Trump and the GOP will launch against them. Attacking the opposition and punching below the belt is what he does, and is what they do (at least, at the moment). Whomever the Democrats nominate, Trump is going to find something to hit them over the head with, even if it's something he has to make up out of whole cloth (ahem, Barack Obama's nation of birth). And his base is going to eat it up. This is an inevitability.

The question you raise that we think is a good one is: How well does this person match up against Trump? That includes not only their polling numbers compared to him, but also whether they will be able to counter his debate style, and to skillfully deflect his attacks (or to turn them around on him), and whether they have ideas that will appeal to voters.

The question we think you're overlooking is: How well is the candidate's current status likely to hold up? If the election were held today, Joe Biden would surely have the best chance of beating Trump. But will that hold for a full year? Since Biden is universally known, he does not appear to have a lot of room to gain new support. And given his propensity to make gaffes, and to potentially affirm the narrative that he's too old and too mentally unsharp, he has the potential to bleed some support. The flip side of Biden is someone like Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend), who probably does have room for his support to grow, given his smooth speaking and obvious mental agility, the fact that he's not universally known yet, and the possibility that he finds a way to connect with black voters. In three or four months' time, could Buttigieg's strengths and Biden's weaknesses cause them to flip places in the polls? We do not know the answer to that, but it's a question that should be considered.

Q: As you've noted, Nikki Haley is evidently positioning herself for a 2024 presidential run. You and other sites have also speculated that she may be positioning herself as a replacement for Mike Pence in 2020, were he to be dropped from the ticket. Could she not also be angling to replace Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State? His departure—for a Senate run or otherwise—strikes me as more likely than a sitting VP being dropped from the re-election ticket (which, as far as I know, hasn't happened in 75 years). It's a highly visible role (and therefore also a potential springboard to 2024), Haley has plausible qualifications for it, and her public comments on Tillerson could be read as an audition to do his old job "the right way," i.e., with greater loyalty and deference to the President's agenda. What are your thoughts? Z.C., Toronto, Canada

A: First of all, the last time a sitting VP was dropped was in 1976, when Gerald Ford cashiered Nelson Rockefeller in favor of Bob Dole. So, it does happen. And if any president is likely to do it, it's surely Donald Trump.

As to Haley, it seems improbable that she's making a play for a Cabinet gig. She's pretty good at kissing the ring when need be, but that's not an easy job to survive in, long-term. Ask Rex Tillerson. It's even harder to survive without doing things that could potentially lead to criminal indictment.

That said, we clearly don't grasp Haley's mindset, as we don't get what she's doing in embracing Trumpism. Trump himself barely won in 2016, and by 2024 (her first real presidential shot), his coalition is going to be too small to carry a presidential election (assuming that Trumpism has not become a totally disgraced ideology, like anti-civil rights activism in the late 1960s). Further, does she not know that his base includes a sizable number of racists? Does she really imagine that those folks are going to vote for a brown-skinned woman whose birth name was Nimrata Randhawa?

Q: In watching the impeachment drama on TV and trying to think critically, it appears that the evidence against Trump & Co. gets more conclusive every day. However, when looking at the "should Trump be impeached?" polls, it appears that they have trended downward since the televised hearings began, with a significant drop on FiveThirtyEight's impeachment tracker this weekend. What's going on? Are the majority of others coming to some conclusions that I'm apparently blind to?

Also, poll after poll after poll appears to show that not only will so-and-so Democrat beat Trump consistently, and even that so-and-so will beat Trump in {fill in a critical swing state}. Yet, the betting markets still consistently show Trump as the front runner.
D.R., Omaha, NE

A: Well, keep in mind that if this week's hearings have any impact, it won't show up until polls released next week. Beyond that, however, we don't really think there's been a meaningful loss of support for impeachment this week. Since the Ukraine story broke, about 45% of people have supported impeachment, about 45% have opposed, and about 10% apparently don't care. That's where it stands now. The variances from those numbers are pretty small, and probably mostly reflect random variations in the samples.

That said, neither of us particularly expects a lot of movement this week, even with all of the bombshells flying around. If anything is going to move the needle, it's going to be the adoption of formal articles of impeachment, along with the ensuing Senate trial.

As to the betting markets, always keep in mind that the book's goal is to get half the money on one side of the question and half the money on the other. In an entirely rational world, this gives us pretty good predictive data. But sometimes in sports, people bet with their hearts rather than their heads (i.e., not rationally). That is why you should never bet on the Cowboys or the Yankees, because fan bettors skew the odds. And, as you can imagine, there is even more emotion that seeps into political betting. Some Trump fanatics (cultists?) are undoubtedly betting what their hearts want, not necessarily what their heads say. Some folks, including at least one of our readers, hate Trump but are betting on him as a hedge (they want a consolation prize if he wins). It's unlikely that any of the other candidates are attracting much action of this sort, and even if they are, it's not at Trump's level. All of this is going to make his odds look better than they really are.

Q: What's with the Emerson national poll of the major Democratic candidates vs. Trump? It has Trump ahead of most of them, whereas most national polls indicate Biden, Warren, Sanders, and often Buttigieg all ahead of Trump by numbers outside the margin of error. They're more Rasmussen than Rasmussen. Is this the mother of all outliers? S.Y., Philadelphia, PA

A: Normally, Emerson is pretty good, but something wonky has been going on there this year. Using Biden as our baseline, the last five Emerson polls, in chronological order, have him -2 to Trump, +2, +8, +2, and +6. That means their results are not only out of line with most other polls, but that they are also all over the place. Just a reminder that you can't put too much stock in any one poll, or even in any one pollster. Unless it's Ann Selzer, that is.

Q: I was rather surprised by the election results in the Louisiana gubernatorial contest. Not so much surprised that Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) won, but how he won. It does not appear Edwards' victory was a result of turning Republican votes blue (as may have been the case in Kentucky because of the deep unpopularity of Gov. Matt Bevin, R-KY), but rather because of high turnout among minorities and the Democratic base. If the blue team is able to muster such a turn-out operation but on a larger scale, might it be possible that Louisiana could possibly be in play in 2020, as well as states with similar demographics (Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri come to mind)? With so little ticket-splitting going on, this has the possibility to have a massive effect on down-ballot races as well. I would argue anyone in a position of power at the DNC who does not see and act on this is guilty of political malpractice. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think the Louisiana election results provide a roadmap for the Blue Team to flip some otherwise unflippable races, or is this just a pipe dream of this rural pickup driving liberal? R.M., Port Matilda, PA

A: Well, let us first point out that Edwards (and Andy Beshear in Kentucky) do appear to have flipped some Republicans, particularly in the suburbs. Also, there was actually pretty clear ticket-splitting, particularly in Kentucky.

With that said, is it possible that states of the Deep South are in play in 2020? Our ruling on that is: "unlikely, unless we get much more data suggesting otherwise." You just can't draw too many conclusions from off-year elections that are shaped by some wonky local factors (like Bevin's unusually high unpopularity). With that said, the folks at the DNC are paying very close attention to these things, and they certainly have a lot more data than we do. Further, a lot of these states (e.g., Georgia) are going to get a great deal of attention from the Party due to Senate races. So, if they really are flippable, the Democrats will give it the old college try. At the very least, it's likely that the Republicans are going to have to spend a lot of resources defending states they really shouldn't have to defend. That will leave the GOP thinner in swing states, particularly the big, expensive ones like Florida and North Carolina. So, even if recent events in Kentucky and Louisiana do not prove to be portents of those states moving into the blue column, they could indirectly contribute to the movement of other states into the blue column.

One potential factor that could put Georgia in play is a Democratic ticket consisting of Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams. Abrams came within a hair of being elected governor of Georgia. If she were on the ticket, that would undoubtedly drive up turnout among minorities and young people in the Peach State. But that is just one state, of course.

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov22 Two More Nails in the Impeachment Coffin
Nov22 GOP Plots Impeachment Strategy
Nov22 FBI Official Under Investigation for Document Tampering
Nov22 Trump Signs Short-Term Funding Bill
Nov22 Trump Gets Another Tax Return Victory
Nov22 Google to Significantly Limit Targeted Political Ads
Nov22 About that Trump Jr. "Bestseller"
Nov22 Lots of Drama in Israel
Nov21 Sondland: There Was a Quid Pro Quo and Everyone Knew about It
Nov21 It Wasn't Just the Gordon Sondland Show
Nov21 Hearings Aren't Moving the Needle
Nov21 Democrats Debate in Atlanta
Nov21 Americans Don't Believe Campaigns Are Based on Facts
Nov21 Nikki Haley Goes Full Trumpist
Nov21 Wayne Messam Is Out
Nov21 Republicans Still Want Pompeo to Run for the Senate in Kansas
Nov21 Carolyn Maloney Will Become Chair of the House Oversight Committee
Nov20 Impeachment Inquiry Goes Better than Usual for Trump
Nov20 Trump Reverses Policy on Israel
Nov20 Grisham Tells a Whopper
Nov20 New Hampshire Poll Has Buttigieg in the Lead
Nov20 Democrats Debate Tonight
Nov20 Let Them Eat...Avocado Toast
Nov20 Jim Jordan May Get a Never Trump Challenger
Nov19 Get Ready for More Fireworks
Nov19 Trump Gets Physical...Or Does He?
Nov19 Two Courts Give Trump Favorable Tax Return Rulings
Nov19 A Faustian Bargain?
Nov19 Another Day, Another Gerrymandered North Carolina Map
Nov19 American Bridge Tries Out Possible Approach to 2020 Advertisements
Nov19 Why The Hill is Fox News Lite
Nov18 The Base Is Too Big
Nov18 Pelosi: Impeachment Hearings Might Not Finish This Year
Nov18 Trump Attacks a Pence Staffer
Nov18 Poll: Buttigieg Leads in Iowa
Nov18 Warren Has a Plan ... for Health Care
Nov18 The Harris Campaign: The Obituary
Nov18 Bloomberg Will Spend $100 Million in Four States
Nov18 What Kind of Government Reforms Might Be Passed Post-Trump?
Nov17 John Bel Edwards Is Reelected
Nov17 Sunday Mailbag
Nov16 Yovanovitch Testifies, Republicans Obfuscate, and Trump Instigates
Nov16 Stone Is Guilty as Charged
Nov16 Saturday Q&A
Nov15 The Day After...
Nov15 Diplomacy, Trump Style
Nov15 Today in Emoluments News: Trump International DC
Nov15 Amazon Sues the Pentagon
Nov15 The State of the Democratic Race, Part I: National Polls
Nov15 The State of the Democratic Race, Part II: Early State Polls