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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  The Returns Are In
      •  Supreme Court Pulls the Trigger on Concealed-Carry Case
      •  Kerry Enmeshed in Scandal...Maybe
      •  And Speaking of Crying Wolf
      •  Armenian Genocide Is Now Official (at Least in the U.S.)
      •  California Recall Is a Go
      •  Trump Endorses Wright in Texas
      •  Collins Is Out

The Returns Are In

The folks who put together the decennial census are officially finished with their work, and so they officially released the 2020 census on Monday.

Of course, the question that is of most interest to people in general, and to readers of this site in particular, is the shifting of seats in the House of Representatives. There was a bit less movement than expected; here's the list of states that saw a change to their congressional delegations, along with which party won the state in the 2020 presidential election and which party is likely to control redistricting:

State Gain/Loss Pres. Win Redistricting
California -1 Democratic Neither (independent commission)
Illinois -1 Democratic Democratic
Michigan -1 Democratic Neither (independent commission)
New York -1 Democratic Democratic
Ohio -1 Republican Republican
Pennsylvania -1 Democratic Neither (GOP legislature, but Democratic governor)
West Virginia -1 Republican Republican
Florida +1 Republican Republican
North Carolina +1 Republican Republican
Colorado +1 Democratic Neither (independent commission)
Montana +1 Republican Neither (independent commission)
Oregon +1 Democratic Democratic
Texas +2 Republican Republican

Because there are so many situations where there is no partisan control, and also because even the most enthusiastic gerrymander can only slice and dice things so much, it's hard to say exactly how this will affect the balance of power in Congress. However, here are our best guesses:

Republican Gains (+2):

  • Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) & Co. will find a way to make that shiny new seat red. Democrats have already said they're ready to sue, but the Florida Supreme Court is controlled by DeSantis appointees.

  • North Carolina: North Carolina may have a Democratic governor, but his power to veto district maps was taken away. The state's Republicans have been so enthusiastic about gerrymanders that they've ended up in federal court; they'll presumably be a little more careful this time.

Republican Losses (-3):

  • Illinois: Illinois Democrats have no shame about drawing laughably gerrymandered districts, and will do whatever they can to make sure it's the GOP that feels the pinch.

  • New York: There is too much potential for the state's Democrats to slice and dice the population of the New York City metro area. Some Republican is about to be left district-less.

  • West Virginia: All three House members from West Virginia are Republicans, so there is nowhere to go but down.

Democratic Gains (+2):

  • Colorado: The state's House delegation currently favors the Democrats, 4 to 3. That actually means the blue team is slightly underrepresented, so the new seat is likely to be blue.

  • Oregon: It's a very blue state, and most of the people are in the blue part in the west. Oregon Republicans are going to have to be satisfied with their ongoing, rock-solid control of OR-02.

Democratic Losses (-1):

  • California: There are far more Democrats representing California in the House than Republicans, so the odds are that it will be a Democratic seat that gets axed by the independent commission.

Who Knows? (6):

  • Michigan: The state's delegation is currently evenly divided, with 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans. The independent commission could go either way.

  • Pennsylvania: Another state that is evenly divided, though in this case it's 9 to 9. Pennsylvania's maps are drawn by a commission staffed with political appointees from both parties, and are subject to gubernatorial veto. Odds are this one ends up in court, sooner or later.

  • Ohio: Like Illinois Democrats, Ohio Republicans have no shame when it comes to absurd gerrymanders. However, once the vacant OH-11 is filled, Republicans will outnumber Democrats 12 to 4 in the state's congressional delegation. There's an upper limit to how much gerrymandering can be done.

  • Montana: While this one certainly leans Republican, we can't put it in the GOP column quite yet. Montana does have a Democratic senator in Jon Tester, and had Democratic governors for 16 years from January 2005 until January of this year. Further, there are sizable Democratic enclaves in the Western and Southern portions of the state; it won't be easy to chop Montana in two and end up with two solidly Republican districts.

  • Texas: Undoubtedly, the Texans will try to carve out two new Republican seats. However, most of the population growth has been in cities, and the majority of that has been Democratic arrivals from other states. If we had to guess, we would guess that the GOP is going to have to settle on one more Republican and one more Democrat.

So, with the eight seats where we're willing to hazard a guess, we've got the Republicans with a net of -1, and the Democrats with a net of +1. Or, put another way, that's Democrats +2. If the six mystery seats split evenly, that means the Democrats finish the process actually having gained two seats. If the six mystery seats break 4-2 for the Republicans, then the whole thing ends up as a wash. Either way, Republican control of the House is going to depend on successful campaigning, or on successful gerrymandering. The GOP is not likely to pick up enough seats via population growth/movement to get the job done.

A few other census-related notes of interest:

  • This is the first time California has ever lost a seat in the House.

  • New York lost a seat for want of just 89 more people. The significance of COVID-19 here is obvious.

  • Meanwhile, Minnesota avoided the ax by a margin of just 26 people. Guess there are benefits to having a disproportionate number of long, cold nights.

  • The U.S. population grew by 7.4% in the past decade. That's the second-lowest figure ever, and is a further argument for allowing increased immigration, so that the Social Security and Medicare pyramids don't collapse.

  • The only decade with a lower growth rate, incidentally, was the 1930s (7.27%).

  • They really ought to make Willis Carrier's birthday a national holiday. It would be difficult to overstate how important the invention of air conditioning was in terms of facilitating movement from the North and Midwest to the Sun Belt.

  • Donald Trump's efforts to exclude non-citizens have been forgotten. So too has the Census Bureau's maneuvering to avoid bowing to Trump's wishes. Never forget that the bureaucracy is very good at digging its heels in when it wants to.

And so, at long last, this particular political football has reached the end zone. Just 9 years until we get to do it all over again. (Z)

Supreme Court Pulls the Trigger on Concealed-Carry Case

Since Amy Coney Barrett was seated—and really, since Brett Kavanaugh was seated—the Supreme Court has mostly avoided taking up the really controversial issues. Or, when they did, they handled them via the shadow docket, where decisions are unsigned and tend to get much less scrutiny. This was a pretty clear effort, on the part of Chief Justice John Roberts, to reinforce the whole "justice is blind" thing, and to create a reputation for the current iteration of the Court as fair-minded and even-handed.

But now, it would seem that Roberts & Co. are getting ready to take that 6-3 conservative majority for a spin, as they have begun to accept much more politically fraught cases. The latest to make the docket is a challenge to a New York state law that limits concealed-carry permits to those citizens who can demonstrate a special need for them. In Columbia v. Heller, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment gives Americans a right to keep a gun at home. In this case, which is properly called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, they could plausibly rule that the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to keep a (concealed) gun...everywhere.

Given their druthers, there is little question that the Court, as currently constituted, will rule in favor of the plaintiff, and so will open up concealed carry to residents of the eight mostly large, blue states where such permits are currently limited (the other 42 states already allow concealed carry for most residents). Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch, along with Kavanaugh and Barrett, have tipped their hands repeatedly in past jurisprudence. The views of Roberts are less clear, but when there is one of him and five of them, his views don't much matter.

The justices are really going to have to stand on their heads to justify their decision, since nearly all arms available at the time the Bill of Rights was written were so large as to be unconcealable. There is no case to be made that James Madison, et al., wanted people to be able to carry hidden weapons while shopping for bread, or traveling to church, or having a pint of ale at the local public house. That said, the Court has been more than happy to ignore that whole "well regulated Militia" bit that appears at the very start of the Second Amendment, so they will undoubtedly find a way to rule in their preferred fashion here.

More broadly, this is a shot across the bow of Congressional Democrats (no pun intended). Many Democrats have talked about making changes to the Court, or creating a Constitutional Court, or otherwise watering down SCOTUS' power. Now, Roberts & Co. are effectively saying "we dare you!" Of course, the allegedly apolitical Court is waiting until next term to take up these controversial issues, which means their decisions will come down in the midst of election season, which may well be followed by the Democrats' loss of one or both chambers of Congress. So, perhaps the Republican justices aren't being so daring, after all. (Z)

Kerry Enmeshed in Scandal...Maybe

This weekend, The New York Times published a story based on a recording they acquired that features Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. In it, Zarif speaks rather more frankly about a number of issues than he presumably would if he knew that, say, The New York Times would end up listening in.

The main focus of the piece is Zarif's admission that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is pulling many of the strings (perhaps most of the strings) behind the scenes. However, the part that got all the attention, at least from right-wing media and politicians, was this very brief paragraph near the end:

Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times, to his astonishment, Mr. Zarif said.

We could have sworn that the Times was fake news and could not be trusted. Perhaps our list of fake news sources is out of date.

As you might imagine, Kerry denies this ever happened (note also that the source of the claim, Zarif, is secondhand, and could have an agenda here). Still, Republicans were absolutely apoplectic over the news. "People are talking about treason—and I don't throw that word around a lot," said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). "John Kerry does all kinds of things that I can't stand. But this is the one that broke the camel's back."

It's always nice to know what "people" are thinking, though as Sullivan throws the word "treason" around, he does seem to be forgetting that Donald Trump verifiably shared classified intelligence many times, including about Israel. So much so, in fact, that there is a Wikipedia article entitled Donald Trump's disclosures of classified information. Anyhow, Sullivan wasn't the only senator to express his pique. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Todd Young (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were also critical, with some of them calling on Kerry to resign or be terminated.

We do not have a security clearance, nor is foreign policy our area of expertise, so we're left to make our best guess about how much substance there is to this "scandal." It's hardly a secret that Israel doesn't like Syria, and it's hardly a secret that the Israeli government has been known to utilize covert ops. So, it is hard to imagine that his revelation, if Kerry did indeed utter it, was all that much of a surprise to the Iranians. Especially since VAJA, the Iranian intelligence agency, knows what they are doing.

On top of this, again assuming Kerry is guilty of spilling some beans, this alleged leak happened a decade ago, under another president, and in a job that is basically unrelated to the former Senator's current post of special climate envoy. So, if you asked us to render our best judgment, we would say that this sure looks like a bad-faith effort to tarnish the Biden administration a little bit, and not a serious misdeed by a high administration official.

That is just our guess, though. What we are more certain of is this: The Republican Party has invented so many scandals out of whole cloth (stop the steal, Barack Obama's birth certificate, Hunter Biden's laptop, etc.), and has exaggerated so many others all out of proportion (Benghazi, Hillary Clinton's e-mails, etc.) that they've become like the boy who cried wolf. Nobody seems to be listening anymore. This situation with Kerry, whether it has substance to it or not, has barely registered. It sure looks like it will be forgotten by, say, Thursday.

Actually, that's not entirely true. The MAGA folks are listening, and are undoubtedly obsessing about the traitorous John Kerry. But they already hate the Democrats, and are already safe Republican votes. Ginning them up might get them to donate a few more bucks (presumably recurring, unless they uncheck the box and make Donald Trump angry), but it's not going to move the needle politically. The Democrats are in the same situation; outside of a few scandalous events too momentous to be ignored (like the insurrection), nobody outside the party faithful much cares about bad behavior by current or former GOP officeholders. The post-Watergate era was the era of political scandals, large and small, but we may now have moved into the post-post Watergate era. (Z)

And Speaking of Crying Wolf

In case you wanted an example of trying to create Joe Biden "dirt" out of thin air, the right-wing media gave us one this weekend. Last week, of course, the President unveiled his plan to curb greenhouse emissions. And if you tuned into Fox News on Friday, you learned some shocking news: The White House is planning to strictly ration beef consumption, such that each American will only be allowed 4 pounds per year, and no more than one hamburger per month.

Republican politicians were happy to join in on the outrage parade. For example, in Texas, they love to flog their meat. And so, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) quickly got on Twitter to let everyone know that the commies aren't coming to take away his hamburgers:

Anything to deflect attention from February's disastrous electrical grid failure, it would seem.

Presumably, you did not need us to tell you that this is utter nonsense. First of all, Joe Biden is a savvy politician, and would never hand the GOP so much red meat to throw to the base (ok, that time, the pun was definitely intended). Further, McDonald's is the second largest employer in the country, with 1.7 million people on staff (trailing only Walmart). Add to that the countless employees of Burger King, Five Guys, In-N-Out and other burger chains, not to mention all the folks employed in butchery, cattle-raising, meatpacking, etc. To impose such restrictions would mean economic chaos.

The truth of the matter is that there is one study out there that supposes that if Americans cut their consumption of beef to four pounds a year, it would really help with greenhouse emissions. However, the study was merely hypothesizing, was conducted and published before Biden ever became president, and—most importantly—has no connection whatsoever to the President or his plan. It's not mentioned in a footnote, or linked on a website, or anything.

The claim about Biden is so obviously wrong (and so obviously silly) that the Fox News host who first made it was compelled to back down and to admit it was a mistake. The other Fox hosts who picked up the story (including Larry Kudlow), and the politicians who ran with it (including Abbott) have said nothing. Anyhow, we point this out as an example of why it's getting more and more difficult to make actual scandals (or semi-scandals, or mini-scandals) stick. The signal-to-BS ratio is just too low. (Z)

Armenian Genocide Is Now Official (at Least in the U.S.)

As we have explained once or twice, the lawyer Raphael Lemkin, who fled Europe for the U.S. due to his Jewish heritage, became an activist after World War II in an effort to prevent something like the Holocaust from happening again. He wrote, he spoke, and he lobbied national governments to pass laws and to join international conventions. Discovering that there was no word for the phenomenon he was fighting against, Lemkin created one: genocide. His Greek/Latin grammar was a little shaky, but he combined the base genos (the Greek word for "family, tribe, or race") and the suffix -cide (the Latin word for "killing"). He intended the term to refer not merely to mass killing, but to the specific crime of trying to exterminate an entire race, nationality, or religion. Lemkin began to explore the additional notion of cultural genocide late in his life, but died unexpectedly in 1959 before he could bring that to fruition.

Nobody doubts the historicity of the Holocaust, excepting folks who are so far down the conspiratorial rabbit hole that they're never coming back. And outside of Turkey, nobody doubts the historicity of the Armenian genocide, which took place between 1915-17, and claimed the lives of approximately 1 million people (some scholars use a longer timeframe, and a correspondingly larger death toll). Lemkin himself wrote extensively about what happened to the Armenian people, and one of his many activist projects was to try to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The official position of the Turkish government, however, is (and has been) that there was no genocide and that the death toll is either exaggerated or is merely a product of the misfortunes that sometimes take place during a war. This is among the grossest and most offensive historical lies extant, and a great many U.S. presidential candidates have promised to formally call the Turkish government out on it. However, on becoming president, these folks (including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama) decided that Turkey was too important an ally to aggravate, and so backed down. Obama's 2009 statement on the matter, made shortly after his inauguration, is a particular case study in needle-threading: "I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts."

This weekend, on the occasion of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (April 24), Joe Biden broke the pattern and formally decreed the events of 1915-17 to be a genocide: "Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring ... The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today."

Why was it Biden who took the plunge that his predecessors feared to make? It could be a matter of personality; he may have less tolerance for word games and B.S. than his predecessors. It could also be political. The vast majority of Armenians in the U.S. (between 500,000 and 1 million of them, depending on whom you believe) live in blue states, so there isn't a clear benefit of that sort. However, Biden's political program, particularly his climate-change policy, is framed in terms of human rights and social justice, and playing along with the Turkish government's denialism does not jibe very well with that.

It is also the case that Obama, in particular, had reason to believe that the Turkish government was about to accept reality on its own, and that his input would not be needed. There was a joint effort between Turkish and Armenian activists to get the Turkish government to issue a statement of responsibility and regret (which the Obama administration helped negotiate). However, during the late-Obama and early-Trump years, that effort collapsed when the Turkish government simply could not bring itself to follow through. That means that, from the modern-day vantage point of Biden, this situation is not going to resolve itself, and the only real option left is for the U.S. to deliver a not-so-gentle push in the right direction.

In any event, the die is cast now, and the world waits to see how much damage is done to the U.S.-Turkey relationship. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had strong words for his American counterpart, decreeing that: "The U.S. President has made baseless, unjust and untrue remarks about the sad events that took place in our geography over a century ago." He also threatened to declare that the U.S. government's treatment of the Native Americans was also a genocide. From the historian's perspective, at least, that's not much of a threat at all. Outside of what happened in California, it's probably not accurate, but maybe it will spark a conversation Americans should have had a long time ago.

Anyhow, thus far, words are all that Erdoğan has had. It's true that the U.S. needs Turkey, but it's also true that Turkey needs the U.S. So, maybe this won't be quite as damaging as Biden's predecessors feared. (Z)

California Recall Is a Go

This day has appeared imminent for about 6 weeks, and now it has arrived: Enough signatures have been verified such that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) will face a recall election later this year. Actually, that is not 100% certain, since people who signed the recall petition now have 30 days to contact the state and withdraw their signatures. But it is 99.999% certain, and because of the long list of steps that California law calls for (like the 30-day cooling off period), the election will take place in about 6 months.

At the moment, Newsom looks to be safe. He and the Democrats are successfully (and correctly) framing this as a Republican attempt to do an end-run around the electoral process. Consequently, polls say that only about 50% of Californians approve of the job the governor is doing, but 60% oppose his recall. Those are far, far better numbers than Gray Davis was pulling before he was recalled. Of course, 6 months in politics is a very long time, but the thing that is hurting Newsom is his handling of COVID-19. And when the time comes to cast ballots, things will likely be back to some semblance of normalcy, and the mask policies and other sources of irritation will be in the rear-view mirror. So, his approval does not seem likely to decline precipitously.

Meanwhile, as the Democrats stick with their guy—to the point that they don't currently plan to put a serious Democratic alternative on the "if Newsom is recalled, who do you want to replace him?" part of the ballot—the Republican field is crowded. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA), and John Cox are all in, at least for now, and if they stay in they will split the GOP vote. In the 2003 recall, the Republican Party managed to nudge several prominent Republicans out of the race, so that voters could unify behind Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it is not clear that will be possible this time.

Of course, the 800-pound trans woman in the room is Caitlyn Jenner, who just announced her candidacy over the weekend. For obvious reasons, there has been little polling of the race so far, and none with Jenner as a candidate, so we're left to guess how viable her candidacy really is. Yesterday, we had an item in which we expressed skepticism about celebrity candidacies like Jenner's, and conceded that while she bears some similarities to Schwarzenegger, she likely has a much tougher hill to climb.

It would seem that this point is worth exploring a bit more, because quite a few correspondents took us to task, in particular, for not also noting the successful "celebrity" candidacy of Ronald Reagan. His victories would seem to be a point in Jenner's favor; if he did it, maybe she can, too. However, beyond "celebrity" and "Republican," the two have virtually nothing in common, such that the comparison is not instructive. Although Reagan had no previous experience in political office before being elected governor, he did serve for 6 years as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the 1940s and 1950s. That job is very much politics-adjacent under any circumstances, and never more so than during the early years of the Cold War, with McCarthyism and Blacklists and the like. Reagan had to do a great deal of deft maneuvering (which, among other things, netted him a wife in Nancy Davis, who was accused of being a commie and was cleared thanks to Ronnie's help). Further, by the time he ran for governor in 1966, Reagan was a veteran stump speaker, having delivered hundreds of addresses on behalf of Barry Goldwater and others. Jenner, by contrast, is a political neophyte.

Beyond that, 1966 was nearly 60 years ago. In that time, Reagan had a natural constituency. He ran a campaign that successfully unified California Republicans and older, more centrist Democrats (many of them transplants from the South who were barely Democrats at all by that point). Today, California is roughly as Democratic by percentage as it was in 1966, but there are many fewer centrists and many more liberals. Meanwhile, the percentage of Republicans is a fair bit smaller than it was in 1966 (with many people having left to be independent, or to join a third party). So, the constituency Reagan rode to victory no longer exists. What constituency will Jenner cobble together to replace it? The state's Republicans may be leery of someone who is trans, or someone who broke with Donald Trump. Alternatively, they might just like one of the other Republicans better. Meanwhile, we are skeptical that there is a huge tranche of left-wing crossover votes to be had, just because Jenner is famous, or because her election would break a glass ceiling. Some votes, yes, but not enough.

Now let's talk about a celebrity politician who is considerably more relevant here than Ronald Reagan, namely Trump. It's true that he did not run for office in California, though he did submit himself to the state's presidential voters twice (collecting 32% and 34% of the vote). Residents have watched the state burn, over and over, while he did little or nothing, often making spurious claims of blame, based on the state's water or forestry policies. Residents watched COVID-19 spiral out of control, particularly in urban areas, while Trump pitched the benefits of bleach and hydroxychloroquine. In short, the people of the Golden State have just had a very powerful object lesson in what happens when you elect an unqualified celebrity to high office. That is more likely to linger in their minds than "Hey, Reagan worked out ok!"

And finally, we will finish with another list of celebrities who may also be more relevant here than Reagan: Arianna Huffington, Larry Flynt, Gary Coleman, Mary Carey, Leo Gallagher, Angelyne, and Jack Grisham. All of these folks were celebrities (with varying levels of notability) when they ran for governor in 2003 (Carey, by the way, is already running again). They did not expect to win, and none of them came close to doing so; they just wanted the free publicity. Caitlyn Jenner is a grandmaster of reality TV programming; don't be surprised if she's really just running to provide footage for a limited edition series for E! Television, or one of her other TV partners. And even if that is not the case, don't be surprised if voters suspect she's primarily in search of free publicity, and act accordingly when it comes time to cast their ballots. (Z)

Trump Endorses Wright in Texas

Right now, TX-06 is open thanks to the death of Rep. Ron Wright (R) from COVID. A total of 23 candidates, including 11 Republicans, have declared for the race. Among those is Wright's widow, Susan, who just picked up the endorsement of Donald Trump. "Susan Wright will be a terrific Congresswoman (TX-06) for the Great State of Texas," he explained in a a statement, while giving no specifics as to why that might be the case.

Overall, this is not especially newsworthy. In elections like these, the widow usually wins, in part due to the sympathy factor, in part due to name recognition, and in part due to the logic of "she is most likely to continue the policies of the guy we already elected." So, if you had to bet money, you should really bet on Wright in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Of course, if you would like some evidence, the polls all have Wright trouncing the field. So, Trump's endorsement isn't going to matter.

The reason we mention this at all is that Trump has been very parsimonious in the bestowing of endorsements. And when he does grant them, particularly since leaving the White House, it's been to candidates who are (or were) a slam dunk to win (either the election or, at very least, the Republican nomination). In other words, the Donald is taking no risks; he just keeps picking the Harlem Globetrotters to beat the Washington Generals. This suggests that he knows, or at least suspects, that his endorsement is not actually determinative, and he's trying to prop up his reputation by picking only heavy favorites. And whether or not our supposition about his inner state of mind is correct, the fact is that if he doesn't change his current tack, his endorsements will be largely meaningless, since they will just be affirmations of what was already going to happen anyhow. (Z)

Collins Is Out

Former representative Doug Collins tried to get himself elected to the U.S. Senate from Georgia last year, and really didn't come close. He got knocked off in the primary by then-senator Kelly Loeffler (R), who in turn was beaten by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA). He had hinted that he might be back in 2022, either to take another run at Warnock's seat, or to try to knock off Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA). On Monday, however, Collins announced that he was sitting 2022 out. He suggested he'll be back to run in some future year, although neither of the offices he aspires to (senator, governor) will again be up until 2026.

Why did Collins bail out? He didn't say. Here are some guesses, though:

  1. He realized that challenging a sitting officeholder and winning is tough, and decided not to try it again.
  2. He's dialed in enough to know which way the winds are blowing in Georgia, and that is not in the direction of "arch-conservative, Trump-loving Republican."
  3. He's got a high-paying gig lined up with a right-wing news outlet or a think tank or a lobbying firm, and decided he'd rather spend the next few years fattening his bank account.
  4. He believes that he must have Donald Trump's endorsement, and learned (or guessed) that he's not getting it.
  5. There is some skeleton in the closet that he fears may see the light of day.

We think #3 is probably the likeliest explanation, but who knows? Did Collins ever socialize with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)? (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Apr26 Biden's Next $2 Trillion "American Families Plan" Will Be Released This Week
Apr26 Redistricting Is Upon Us
Apr26 Biden Is Still Popular
Apr26 Poll: Reaction to Chauvin Verdict Is Partisan
Apr26 Walker Freezes Georgia
Apr26 Caitlyn Jenner Is Running for Governor of California
Apr26 Carter Beats Peterson in Louisiana
Apr26 The "Great Replacement Theory" Has It Backwards
Apr25 Sunday Mailbag
Apr24 Saturday Q&A
Apr23 House Passes D.C. Statehood Bill
Apr23 Biden Announces Ambitious Plans on Climate Change
Apr23 Democrats Are Also Working to Change the Voting Laws
Apr23 Black Democrats Prioritize H.R. 4 over H.R. 1
Apr23 Montana Restricts Voting Rights
Apr23 Democrats' Ambitions Are Succumbing to Reality
Apr23 Vanita Gupta Confirmed as Associate Attorney General
Apr23 Trump Is Still Gunning for Kemp
Apr23 Giuliani Is Ramping Up His Plans to Run for Governor of New York
Apr23 The Grift Goes On
Apr22 Well, That Didn't Take Long
Apr22 Senate Democrats: Republican Infrastructure Proposal Is a Non-Starter
Apr22 Whither the Republicans, Redux, Part III: The Conspiracists
Apr22 Whither the Republicans, Redux, Part IV: The Faces of the Party
Apr22 Whither the Republicans by the Numbers, Part I: The Evangelicals
Apr22 Whither the Republicans by the Numbers, Part II: National Trends
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Apr21 Whither the Republicans, Redux, Part II: Corporate America
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Apr20 Rep. Steve Stivers Will Step Down
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