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Thanks to all your generous contributions, we are now running ads for the site on Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, and Twitter. In addition we have ads up or scheduled on the websites of college newspapers in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In addition to trying to drive traffic to the site, we also hope to get students involved in politics and voting.

As an aside, when I talked to the ad manager at the University of Georgia on the phone, he asked if I knew that Herschel Walker once played football for the Georgia bulldogs. I said I had heard that somewhere. He then mentioned that some students loved Walker and others hated him. I just smiled quietly. (V)

Very Tight Senate Races in Four States

Right now, a number of the races that were supposed to be close don't seem to be. In particular, in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, the Democrats seem to be doing well. In Arizona, for example, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) has led in every poll. In Pennsylvania, the same holds for Lt. Gov John Fetterman (D-PA). In New Hampshire, the nomination of Don Bolduc (R) saved the day (actually, the 6 years) for Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). Georgia is still in flux, but we can't imagine all the talk about Herschel Walker paying for multiple abortions is likely to help him. That doesn't mean that there couldn't be surprises, but the Republicans have a "candidate quality" problem in all four, and that probably means most independents will ultimately side with the Democrats. If the blue team wins all four, that would be a net of +1 (Pennsylvania).

Florida is one of the few states where the Republicans have a "candidate quality" problem, but the candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), is probably going to win anyway. Rubio is famously lazy and not a very good campaigner, but that may not matter. The state has become increasingly red over time and Democrats rarely win statewide there anymore.

However, there are four other states that have gone back and forth all year and where anything could happen. These are the true tossups. They are Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Here are the polls for the four states for the whole year:


North Carolina



These are the true toss-ups and will probably continue to be until the end. No matter what the polls say, all four could go either way. However, history shows that 4-0 is somewhat more likely than 2-2 as the undecideds tend to break the same way. (V)

It's Debate Season

October is when candidates debate (if they debate at all), and so we are now seeing debates. In the past week there have been debates between the Senate candidates in Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Do they matter? In close races, if a few thousand voters change their minds on account of a debate, that could be enough to change the result. Sometimes something totally off the wall happens in a debate and that changes everything. Some pundits think that George H.W. Bush looking briefly at his watch while debating Bill Clinton sealed his doom. The impression it made was that Bush was thinking: "How much longer do I have to be up here talking to this incompetent, womanizing fool who ought to go back to the hick town in Alabama or Arkansas or wherever he came from?" It was interpreted as condescending, whereas Clinton was interpreted as being all-too-human but authentic.

Here are brief rundowns of the recent debates:

  • Arizona—Mark Kelly vs. Blake Masters (R): Last week, Kelly and Masters squared off in their first and only debate. Masters went on the offensive, often attacking Kelly on the border and claiming he was an abortion radical. He also put the culture wars front and center. While Masters attacked Kelly over and over, he also (virtually) patted Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D?-AZ) on the head as a wonderful senator. Kelly tried to show that he was a moderate who could work across the aisle. He talked about working with Republicans to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. He also sympathized with people who couldn't make ends meet and emphasized that sometimes he wasn't on the same page as Joe Biden. But Kelly could also lash out and hit Masters hard for his statements on abortion, Social Security, and the 2020 election. Over and over, he called Masters an extremist.

  • North Carolina—Cheri Beasley (D) vs. Rep. Ted Budd (R): This race is different from the other two because it is an open-seat race and neither candidate is terribly well known. And neither one wants to be tied to the leader of his or her party. Beasley refused to state whether she wanted Joe Biden to run in 2024 and Budd didn't want to talk about who should be the 2024 GOP nominee. However, one topic they both wanted to talk about was abortion. Beasley said: "There is no place in the exam room for Congressman Budd." Budd merely argued that the states should regulate abortion and that as a senator he would not play any role in the matter. Another hot topic was dope. Beasley wants the federal prohibition to be dropped. When asked about marijuana, Budd said he was against illegal immigration. He is probably smart enough to know he shouldn't say the evil weed should be banned forever and people who used it once should rot in prison until they die. Budd attacked Biden as much as he attacked Beasley, but Beasley didn't attack Trump so much.

  • Wisconsin—Mandela Barnes (D) vs. Sen. Ron Johnson (R): In the first of two debates, both candidates called the other one an extremist. Johnson kept battering Barnes for wanting to defund the police, something Barnes has never supported, although some of the people who support Barnes do support that. Barnes said that the way to fight crime is to have better schools and more jobs so people don't have to become criminals to survive. Barnes repeatedly attacked Johnson over the coup attempt. During the melee on Jan. 6, Johnson tried to hand Mike Pence an alternative (i.e., fake) slate of electors and Barnes kept hammering on this. Johnson said the whole thing took less than an hour, so no big deal. Abortion also came up and each candidate painted the other as a radical on the subject. Barnes also hit Johnson on a comment Johnson made in August suggesting that he wanted to end Social Security. Johnson tried to weasel out of this by saying the biggest threat to Social Security was out-of-control spending. Barnes told several anecdotes about his family and life, like about how his grandfather moved to Milwaukee to become a steelworker and a union member. He also talked about how people he knew had died due to gun violence.

There were no huge gaffes in any of the debates, but again, in close races, a small shift can matter.

In Ohio, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and author J.D. Vance (R) will face off tonight. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Herschel Walker (R) are scheduled to debate on Oct. 14, but with all the news about his paying for abortions of late, Walker might cancel the debate. (V)

It is Also Election Season

Election Day is 4 weeks from tomorrow. In other words, in 29 days. Many states have early in-person voting. In some cases, voting has already started. Here is a list per state of when early voting starts (if at all). In some states, it is up to the county to decide, and often different counties have different dates and rules. In other states, state law sets the dates for early voting (or no early voting). In a few states, the only early voting is for people who have already filled in their absentee ballot and want to bring it to a polling place. Here is the lay of the land for in-person early voting:

State When does early voting start?
Alabama No early voting
Alaska Varies by location, but 15 days before Election Day in most locations
Arizona 27 days before Election Day
Arkansas 15 days before Election Day
California Mail-in voting in most counties but 29 days before Election Day in the rest
Colorado All mail-in elections, but voting centers are open 15 days before Election Day
Connecticut No early voting
Delaware At least 10 days before Election Day
Florida At least 10 days before Election Day. Varies by county.
Georgia The fourth Monday before Election Day
Hawaii All mail-in elections, but voting centers are open 10 days before Election Day
Idaho Early voting begins the third Monday before Election Day in some counties
Illinois 40 days before Election Day
Indiana 28 days before Election Day
Iowa 20 days before Election Day (in-person absentee voting)
Kansas Up to 20 days before Election Day
Kentucky 5 days before Election Day
Louisiana 14 days before Election Day
Maine 30 days before Election Day (in-person absentee)
Maryland The second Thursday before Election Day
Massachusetts Early voting beings the 17th day before Election Day
Michigan 40 days before Election Day
Minnesota 46 days before Election Day (in-person absentee voting)
Mississippi No early voting
Missouri No early voting
Montana 30 days before Election Day (in-person absentee voting)
Nebraska 30 days before Election Day
Nevada All mail-in elections, but voting centers open 17 days before Election Day
New Hampshire No early voting
New Jersey 10 days before the General Election
New Mexico 28 days before Election Day
New York 10 days before Election Day
North Carolina Not earlier than the third Thursday before Election Day
North Dakota At least 15 days before Election Day. Varies by county
Ohio 29 days before Election Day (in-person absentee voting)
Oklahoma Wednesday before Election Day
Oregon All mail-in elections
Pennsylvania No early voting
Rhode Island 20 days before Election Day
South Carolina Typically 30 days ahead of the election
South Dakota 46 days before Election Day (in-person absentee voting)
Tennessee 20 days before Election Day
Texas 17 days before Election Day
Utah All mail-in elections, but voting centers open 14 days before Election Day
Vermont All mail-in elections, but voting centers open 45 days before Election Day
Virginia 45 days before Election Day (in-person absentee voting)
Washington All mail-in elections, but voting centers open 18 days before Election Day
West Virginia 13 days before Election Day
Wisconsin No earlier than 14 days before Election Day
Wyoming 45 days before Election Day (in-person absentee voting)

Since Election Day is 29 days away, states that start early voting 29 days or more before Election Day are already going. These include California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. Indiana and New Mexico will start tomorrow. Arizona will start on Wednesday.

Excluded from the above table are the starting dates for absentee ballots. In many states, absentee ballots can be requested and returned many weeks before Election Day. Six states have no in-person early voting at all (excluding the eight states with all-mail-in elections). These six really need to get with the program. More information about early voting can be found here.

Now that voting has started, votes are going to be locked in, so television ads will have increasingly less effect because they can't sway people who have already voted. On the other hand, someone who votes 4 weeks before Election Day really doesn't have the profile of an undecided voter, so these votes were never really in play. Still, the table above shows that the countdown has begun. (V)

How Are Republicans Dealing with Abortion?

The 800-pound gorilla in the room is abortion and he is making a lot of noise. Republican candidates have to figure out how to deal with the situation, since Democrats seem to have this annoying habit of bringing the subject up all the time. In fact, over $25 million has gone into abortion ads so far. The ads say that Republicans are extremists and would imprison doctors and force rape victims to have their rapist's baby.

There are two ways to go with this, if you are anti-choice: fight back or change the topic. Different GOP candidates make different choices. For Republicans who want to go down the first road, one approach is outright lying. For example, Colin Schmitt is running against newly seated Rep. Pat Ryan (D-NY), who supports abortion rights. Schmitt is running ads saying that Ryan supports legalized abortion right up to the moment of birth, which is completely untrue. The ads also say that Ryan wants to allow non-doctors to perform them. In a very narrow sense, that is true, since more than half of all abortions are medical and they are "performed" by the patient herself by taking pills dispensed by a pharmacist, but the suggestion is that they are being done by barber-surgeons or local handymen. But the mere fact that Schmitt is running ads on abortion—instead of on crime or inflation—suggests that he is very worried about the issue.

Other Republicans are just ignoring the issue, but that leaves Democrats free to say anything they want with no pushback. When a Democrat calls their opponent an extremist who hates women and the opponent doesn't respond, it leaves the impression that the charge is true and the opponent has nothing to say on the topic. Nevertheless, the NRCC is urging Republican candidates to ignore abortion and talk about how Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have caused inflation and how it is ruining the economy instead of responding to the ads about abortion. That might not be a good idea since for a very large number of women, abortion is the #1 issue and just silence from the Republican candidate might not be a winning strategy. Still, most Republicans appear to be taking the NRCC's advice and avoiding the topic altogether.

That's not to say that all Republicans are taking their cues from the NRCC, though. A few have brought abortion up, however vaguely. Oregon Republican Alek Skarlatos made a brief mention of women's healthcare, but it was vague enough that women might have thought he wanted to encourage women to get mammograms. In Iowa, Rep. Cindy Axne (D) has run ads showing her opponent, Zach Nunn, raising his hand in a primary debate after the moderator asked who thinks all abortions should be illegal. Nunn has since tried to have it both ways, making a spot saying he is pro-life but could live with an exception to preserve the health of the mother. Nunn also basically accused Axne of supporting infanticide.

Very few other Republicans are firing back because then they will get into a back and forth over abortion and they don't want that subject to dominate the campaign. But in the absence of any pushback, the Democrats have free rein to say whatever they want to on the subjects. For example, in conservative rural districts, they can say that Republicans are in favor of having the big bad government make healthcare decisions for women, rather than the women themselves. In all districts, they can call Republican extremists and in most can say the Republicans would rather have a woman die than have an abortion that could save her life. If the answer to that is "gas prices are too high," that might not work with a lot of women voters. (V)

How Will the Supreme Court Deal with Abortion?

Huh? Didn't they already finish that discussion in Dobbs v. Jackson? Probably not. A new lawsuit in Kentucky is challenging a state law that makes killing a fetus or embryo a state crime. The law works from the assumption that human life begins at conception. Three Jewish women who live in Kentucky have challenged the law arguing that the concept that life begins at conception is specifically a Christian theological concept and not some universally acknowledged truth. The suit points out that the Old Testment is crystal clear that life begins at birth, not at conception, so killing a fetus or embryo is not murder. In essence, the suit argues that the Kentucky law has written Christian dogma into the law and that is specifically forbidden by the Constitution's establishment of religion clause. Hence the Kentucky law is unconstitutional and must be struck down.

At least one of the women clearly has standing to sue. She is of advanced maternal age and has stored nine embryos with an embryo-storage company at great expense in case she decides she wants another child. Telling the company to pull the plug on the embryos would kill them and thus be murder under Kentucky law. Keeping them viable in storage costs her a lot of money every month. Consequently, the Kentucky law is forcing her to spend money even if she decides she doesn't want more children, so it is harming her personally. That gives her standing to sue. The other women, who are both Jewish, are claiming that enshrining specifically Christian dogma in Kentucky law violates their freedom of religion.

This is not the first case in which Jews have filed suit to void a state law banning abortions from the moment of conception because that violates someone else's religion, but not theirs. The other case comes from Florida. But the Kentucky one is interesting because the woman who is storing embryos can clearly make the case that she has been harmed financially by the law and thus has standing to sue. If she were to say she wants to reduce the number of stored embryos from nine to eight to cut costs, she could then make the case that the law is causing her present harm, not some potential future harm. For the other women, the case that they are being personally harmed by the law is somewhat weaker. The embryo owner could conceivably [sic] multiply the monthly cost of storing the ninth embryo by the number of months she has to live according to actuarial tables and present that as the amount of harm the law is doing to her. It doesn't matter if the amount is only a few thousand dollars. The point is that the law is causing her personal harm, so she has standing.

The case has some other tricky legal aspects as well, since it also addresses in-vitro fertilization, a process that often results in fertilized eggs being discarded. Can Kentucky ban IVF? The Supreme Court may have to decide. Of course, there is a long road being a lawsuit just being filed and the case getting to the Supreme Court, but since it does raise some freedom of religion questions, it might eventually make it there. The past cases have typically involved some Christian (e.g., a baker) who felt that a law discriminated against Christians. This case raises the issue of whether a state legislature can pass laws that favor one religion's beliefs over another's. It takes four votes for a case to be accepted. The three Democratic appointees will probably vote to accept the case, so they will need one of the Republican appointees to be willing to take a case they would probably prefer not to have. However, if the 11th Circuit (Florida) and Sixth Circuit (Kentucky) appeals courts end up with the two cases and disagree, the Supreme Court will be under a lot of pressure to resolve the dispute. (V)

Election Officials Are Tightening Security

Election officials in multiple states are worried about potential violence on Nov. 8, and have bolstered security measures as a precaution. A survey of 30 election offices showed that 15 had enhanced security in various ways, from hiring extra security guards to installing panic buttons for election workers to holding active-shooter training for staff. All of this is largely due to threats from Donald Trump's supporters. Nothing like this has happened since the 1960s, when armed officers were often present in polling places—not to protect, but to intimidate Black voters who had the audacity to try to vote. Some of the election officials have been stymied in their attempts to upgrade security because they don't have a budget for it or there are bureaucratic hurdles they are unable to jump through in time. In some cases, officials are cutting other normal services to pay for more security. For example, Jefferson County, CO, has cut back mailings to voters to pay for an armed guard at each of the four busiest polling stations.

One example of the problem is in Champaign County, IL, where county clerk Aaron Ammons (D) wants to install metal detectors at his office because visitors have come in and filmed the staff and layout in a threatening manner. He also testified before Congress, that in 2020, anonymous people threatened his daughter's life and he saw people filming his house.

The DoJ has investigated over 1,000 threats to election officials, including 100 that warrant prosecution. There is clearly war being waged against elections by shadowy groups. The battle is working. About one in five election officials have said they will quit after this year's elections. It is also known that Donald Trump's supporters are actively engaged in filling available vacancies, which may be relatively easy if no one else is willing to take the job. When there is only one candidate for a critical job, it is hard for a county to say no. Justin Roebuck (R), the clerk of rural, conservative Ottawa County, MI, said that Trump has "really poisoned the well." (V)

Five Issues That Could Determine Control of Congress

The Hill has a list of five issues that will probably determine which party controls Congress in January. On the whole, we agree that these are the top issues. One works for the Democrats, three work for the Republicans, and one is a complete unknown. But how important each issue is won't be known until we have the exit polls. Here is the list:

  • Abortion: Democrats are hoping that the Dobbs decision is their not-so-secret weapon that will get millions of women (and some men) energized to vote no matter what. Early indications are that it will. They are certainly flooding the media with ads about it and Democratic candidates are talking about it all day. The referendum in Kansas could be the canary in the coal mine. If it is, Democrats will do well this year.

  • Inflation: Voters are unhappy about food and gas prices. Historically, unhappy voters blame the president, even though the president has little actual control over the economy, and none in the short run. But voters are more sensitive to the direction of inflation than the actual cost of various things. It is better for the incumbent party for gas to be $4.00/gal and going down than $3.80 and going up. Also, there are regional variations in price. According to, here are the lowest current prices in some key states: Arizona ($3.15), Florida ($2.79), Georgia ($2.73), Nevada ($3.95), North Carolina ($2.99), Ohio ($3.06), Pennsylvania ($3.22) and Wisconsin ($3.39). However, what people notice is the direction of prices in their area, not the national average or national trend.

  • Crime: This is an old standby. There have been zero elections in the last 50 years in which Republicans didn't talk about crime as if on any trip to the supermarket, your chances of being mugged are 50-50. There is a huge racist subtext here, as Republicans want to make everyone to think about young Black men committing street crime, not old white men stealing national defense secrets.

  • Immigration: Another Republican oldie but goodie. Again, the subtext is: "Brown people are coming in to take your job." It is never: "Giant corporations fight hard to allow as many immigrants in as possible in order to push wages down."

  • Donald Trump: This one is a real head scratcher. Trump has inserted himself into the midterms in many ways, from choosing candidates to making statements that are covered by the media almost every day. Normally, a midterm election is a referendum on the sitting president, but because Trump is so visible, this one could be a "choice" election between Biden and Trump. How that will play out is anyone's guess at this point.

Will any other issues crop up? Will there be an October surprise? There is not a lot of time left, but in 2016, 11 days before the election, then-FBI Director James Comey went public with "More e-mails!" and that might well have sunk Hillary Clinton, so it is always possible there is a big surprise between now and the election. It is unlikely that Trump will be indicted before Nov. 8 and it is also unlikely that he will announce a 2024 run before then. The known unknowns include developments in Ukraine, the next Select Committee hearing, progress in one of the many legal cases Trump is involved in, and action by the Fed. Of course, by definition we don't know about the unknown unknowns. (V)

Marijuana Is on the Ballot

In 2004, Karl Rove made sure that gay marriage was on the ballot in as many states as possible because he knew it would drive conservatives to the polling places to vote to keep it illegal. This year, progressives made a serious effort get marijuana legalization on the ballot in nine states. They succeeded in five of them. In Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota, voters will get to say whether they want legalize dope for adult recreational use. South Dakota's approval is a foregone conclusion since the voters approved the same proposition in 2020, but the state Supreme Court threw it out on a technicality. The current proposal is worded more carefully. And as everyone knows, as South Dakota goes, so goes North Dakota. In red states, a strong argument is that the government shouldn't be telling consenting adults what they can and cannot do inside their own homes.

In Oklahoma, supporters collected enough signatures, but the state Supreme Court ruled there wasn't enough time to put the measure on the ballot. It will be on the 2024 ballot.

As usual, there is a partisan split on the subject. Among Democrats, 71% support legalization and 16% oppose it. Among Republicans 47% are in favor and 41% are opposed. Democrats are expecting that putting marijuana on the ballot will get young people to the polls in droves. However, none of the five states this year is a swing state. Still, huge victories will result in measures in more states having pro-pot propositions (potpositions?) in 2024. At least, in the 37 states where that is possible.

Joe Biden got into the act by pardoning almost everyone convicted of a federal marijuana offense. That may sound good to some users of the product. The only catch is that almost no one has been convicted of violating the federal laws. Almost everyone in prison for using Mary Jane is there for violating a state law, and Biden's pardon doesn't help with state convictions. Still, his pardon has some PR value with those folks who don't understand this.

Jonathan Last at The Bulwark has some interesting thoughts on the matter. He asks: "Are we sure we've thought this legal weed stuff all the way through?" What he means is, suppose all the measures pass and weed becomes legal everywhere. Then what is very likely to happen is that the little mom-and-pop hippie dispensaries will be mowed over by Philip Morris, whose executives really don't give a hoot which particular plant is used in their cigarettes. If they need to switch from tobacco to grass, that's easy enough to do. Last also says that suppose the executives at Philip Morris found an additive to add to the product to make it very addictive, would the highly moral and socially conscious people who run the company do that? The question answers itself. We'd be back to square one.

He also makes the point that the delivery system matters. Nobody ever smokes a cigarette, no matter what plant is in it, by accident. Anyone doing so knows it. However, if marijuana is legalized, then Alice B. Toklas brownies will come along for the ride. Not everyone eating one of the little buggers will realize what's in it or how many to eat in one sitting. And they could end up in somebody's school lunch box and be shared with kids who don't know what they are getting for dessert. (V)

Did DeSantis Break Florida Law When Flying Migrants from Texas to Massachusetts?

As more documents come out relating to the flights of migrants from Texas to Massachusetts (with a very brief stop in Florida), more questions about the legality of the whole project are being raised.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) had the flights take the route from San Antonio, TX, to Crestview, FL (pop. 27,000), and then a few minutes later to Martha's Vineyard. The stopover was undoubtedly intended because Florida law allows the governor to deport undocumented immigrants from the state, so the flight from Crestview to Martha's Vineyard was probably technically legal. However, the first leg was from San Antonio to Crestview and the state legislature most definitely did not give the governor the authority to fly undocumented immigrants into the state. Using state money to pay for that flight appears to be a violation of state law.

Furthermore, the program was launched in July, when the Florida Dept. of Transportation issued a request for bids to companies to remove undocumented immigrants who have agreed to be relocated out of the state. There was nothing in the tender about rounding up anyone in Texas. Also, while the people shipped north did agree to the flight, they were misled about there being housing and jobs for them, and lying to them might constitute fraud. There have already been lawsuits about this.

CNN has identified the person who rounded up the migrants in Texas, lied to them about the housing and jobs, and got them on the plane, as Perla Huerta. One wonders who told her to do this, who paid her, how much, was Florida state money involved, was there competitive bidding for her contract, and what was DeSantis' role in the matter, among other questions. There are certainly many possibilities that multiple laws were broken here.

It is also not clear how open the request for bids for the flights was. The winning company, Vertol, has close ties to Florida Republicans. The winning bid was $615,000 to fly 48 people to Massachusetts via Crestview. That comes to $12,813 per person. That number looks extremely fishy. A commercial flight from San Antonio to Miami on American Airlines is $624 first class and from Miami to Boston on AA is $443 first class, for a total of $1,067. Cattle class is much cheaper. Chartering a private jet for 48 people for 8 hours of flying would normally be in the ball park of $100,000, not $615,000. There are probably a substantial number of private jet charter companies in Florida that would have come in with a bid far below $615,000 if they had been given a chance to bid. Was there open competitive bidding here or did DeSantis just award the contract to his buddies, without actual bidding? If so, were any Florida laws about competitive bidding for state contracts broken? It doesn't add up. Will the Florida AG start investigating DeSantis? Don't hold your breath. (V)

Republican Bigwigs Are Heading to Georgia

NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) knows that flipping the Senate red will do wonders for his presidential chances in 2024, while if the Democrats pick up seats, he's in trouble. So he is fighting for every last seat, even those that don't look promising. Consequently, tomorrow he is heading to Georgia, where embattled Herschel Walker needs all the help he can get. Scott, a former Florida governor, is well known in Florida, of course, and southern Georgia has a 200-mile border with Florida. Tallahassee is 15 miles from Georgia and Jacksonville, FL, is only 25 miles from Georgia, so many people in southern Georgia know who Scott is. His visit is not exactly a Hail Mary play, but we're in that league.

It will be interesting to see how Scott handles (or deflects) questions about whether Walker paid for one or more abortions. After all, Scott doesn't know whether the stories are true. All he knows is what's in the media and whatever cock-and-bull story Walker tells him. Scott is much too smart to believe a word Walker says, so he has to be careful not to state point blank that Walker never paid for any abortions when future developments might show that he did. He also can hardly claim Walker would rival Henry Clay as the greatest senator of all time. The best he could do is say that Walker is only slightly dumber than Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL). No doubt Scott is secretly cursing Walker for causing him to waste time in Georgia when Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, and Wisconsin are calling.

Also heading off to the Peach State tomorrow is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). As a graduate of Harvard, Harvard Law School, and the fabled 101st Airborne Division (the Screamin' Eagles), we can't imagine that Cotton identifies much with Walker as a buddy. However, every morning Cotton looks in the bathroom mirror and sees a future president. He knows that showing that he is a loyal Republican could help him in 2024, and besides, since he may end up competing with Scott and Scott will be there, he knows it can't hurt to show up as well (and watch Scott like a hawk, er, an eagle). (V)

Do the Democrats Need to Talk about Patriotism?

Progressive activists represent 8% of Democratic voters but are absolutely 100% convinced that they know what is right for the country and for their Party. The problem is that the vast majority of the voters are not interested in what they are selling. Green New Deal, anyone? Well, actually, the great majority of voters would prefer lower gasoline prices.

Political analyst Ruy Teixeira has written a piece giving the Democrats some advice that the progressives definitely don't want to hear. As an example, he points out that most voters are patriotic and Democrats have completely ceded this issue to the Republicans. How could it be otherwise, he writes, when some very noisy Democrats believe that "America was born in slavery, marinated in racism, and remains a white supremacist society, shot through with multiple, intersecting levels of injustice that make everybody either oppressed or oppressor on a daily basis"? Then they tell people to vote Democratic because the Republicans will just add fascism to the mix. It's not exactly Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" message and not terribly inspiring.

Teixeira says that the Democrats should talk much more about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and how the founders of the country fought for democracy and how modern Democrats want to preserve it and Republicans want to replace it with authoritarianism (or fascism). Democrats could easily wave the flag and act patriotic and pick up votes from patriotic Americans, but dissing the country all the time doesn't quite do the job.

The survey that showed that the 8% of the voters who are progressive activists have a view of America that is not only far from that of the average American, but also far from the average nonwhite American. Only 34% of the progressive activists say they are proud to be an American. In contrast, 76% of Latinos, 70% of Black people, and 62% Asian Americans are proud to be Americans. By dissing America all the time, the progressive activists are driving away some voters who are gettable.

In the past, some Democratic politicians understood that a pitch to patriotism could work for them. Bill Clinton famously said: "There is nothing wrong with America that can't be cured by what is right with America." On the night Barack Obama won the presidency, he said: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer." Together they won four presidential elections. Teixeira says that Democrats now should emulate them and talk about how good America is, not how bad it is. The former wins votes. The latter loses them. Talking about patriotism doesn't mean than once elected a president, a candidate can't work on justice and equality, but if he loses, he definitely can't work on them. (V)

Today's Senate Polls

It looks like Wisconsin could go right down to the wire. (V)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Wisconsin Mandela Barnes 49% Ron Johnson* 50% Oct 03 Oct 07 YouGov

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Oct09 Sunday Mailbag
Oct08 Do I Hear Three?
Oct08 Saturday Q&A
Oct08 Today's Senate Polls
Oct07 Biden Decides It's High Time to Take Action
Oct07 OPEC+ Goes There
Oct07 DoJ Wants Classified Documents from Trump
Oct07 Select Committee Schedules Next Hearing
Oct07 From the Education Desk, Part I: President Sasse
Oct07 From the Education Desk, Part II: Veteran Teachers?
Oct07 From the Education Desk, Part III: A Fiasco at NYU
Oct07 This Week in Schadenfreude: Apparently, M-A-G-A Isn't S-E-X-Y
Oct07 This Week in Freudenfreude: Tu Stultus Es
Oct07 Today's Senate Polls
Oct06 Appeals Court Gives the DoJ What It Wants
Oct06 Musk Plans to Buy Twitter after All
Oct06 Can Poll Workers Be Trusted?
Oct06 Fox Is Covering the Senate Races More than CNN and MSNBC Combined
Oct06 Is Herschel Walker a Preview of 2024?
Oct06 2024 Looks Grim for Senate Democrats
Oct06 DeSantis Gets a New Top Individual Donor
Oct06 Ohio Creates an Election Integrity Unit, Like Florida's
Oct06 Today's Senate Polls
Oct05 OPEC Prepares to Throw a Wrench in the Gears
Oct05 Fire Walker?
Oct05 Today's Silly Lawsuits
Oct05 Tim Scott Is Ramping Up
Oct05 Speaking of Spending on Propositions
Oct05 Today's Surprise Polls
Oct05 Today's Senate Polls
Oct04 Biden Visits Puerto Rico
Oct04 As the TrumpWorld Turns
Oct04 Some More Baggage for Walker...
Oct04 ...And for Oz, Too
Oct04 Hoosier Governor?
Oct04 Petraeus Foresees a NATO Attack on Russia if Putin Goes Nuclear
Oct04 Today's Senate Polls
Oct03 Gerrymandering May Not Be Fatal for the Democrats
Oct03 Democrats Are Worried about Holding the Senate
Oct03 Was Ranked Choice Voting Fatal for Sarah Palin?
Oct03 Democrats Are Already Struggling with the 2024 Primary Schedule
Oct03 Dixon Goes Full Culture War--and Republicans Abandon Her
Oct03 Florida Republicans Are Pleading for Relief--After Voting against Funding FEMA
Oct03 The Supreme Court Is Back in the Saddle
Oct03 O'Rourke and Abbott Debate in Texas
Oct03 The Documents Case Is in the News Again
Oct03 Ted Deutsch Has Left the House
Oct03 Today's Senate Polls
Oct02 Sunday Mailbag
Oct02 Today's Senate Polls