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Democrats Are Not Going to Bail McCarthy Out

Joe Biden knows that a government shutdown could hurt many people. Fortunately for him, these people include Republican members of the House. Consequently, Biden is not going to help Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) by asking House Democrats to bail the Speaker out. In fact, a government shutdown might well help the Democrats in 2024 by letting them campaign on: "Republicans are not capable of governing. All they can do is fight with each other." That is a message most voters can understand.

Also important is that Biden and McCarthy made a spending deal in May, one that the Freedom Caucus never liked and is trying to kill. Biden is effectively telling McCarthy: "If you can't live up to the deals you make, how can I ever negotiate with you again? Your word apparently means nothing at all." Biden is also talking about how the cuts the Freedom Caucus wants go against things the other Republicans (and Republican voters) want. For example, Biden said that the FC-approved budget will require firing 800 Customs and Border Protection agents. Democrats would love to campaign on: "Republicans are weakening border security by reducing the number of Border Patrol agents."

However, Biden is supporting a bipartisan budget bill in the Senate that adheres to the deal Biden and McCarthy made in May. When it becomes clear that McCarthy can't get anything through the House, the pressure on everyone to simply accept the Senate bill will increase. If all the House Democrats support the Senate bill, it will take only five Republican defections to pass it through the House.

Biden's thinking, obviously, is that House Republicans would be blamed for a government shutdown. He could be wrong, but he has the bully pulpit and they don't. So for the moment, he is staying out of it and letting McCarthy fight with his own caucus. Republican senators very much think their party will get blamed if National Parks close and passport processing is even more delayed come Oct. 1. For example, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that government shutdowns "always seem to get blamed on Republicans." A Republican senator who wished to remain anonymous said: "When you have a Democratic Senate and a Democrat for president, I don't know what they [the FCers] think they're going to be able to accomplish. Maybe it's one of these things where it has to be experienced."

This is why Republican senators are on top of the situation and may encourage Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to join with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and pass something, even a continuing resolution to keep funding the government for a couple of months, and send it over to the House with an ultimatum to vote yes or else. Normally, the House moves first on spending bills, but there is nothing in the Constitution preventing the Senate from going first. In contrast, tax bills must originate in the House because Art. 1, Sec. 7, Clause 1 says: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." Both chambers may originate spending bills, though, and Senate Republicans may decide to break with tradition and go first this time.

One way out for McCarthy is to make a deal with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). This would probably result in two things. First, the bill would pass, mostly with Democratic votes. Second, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) would introduce a motion to vacate the chair. At that point Democrats would be on the spot. If they all voted to fire McCarthy, the resulting chaos would make for great television ads in 2024 under the heading: "Republicans can't govern." What is very important is for Democrats to stay unified and vote as a bloc. If the leadership decides to embarrass McCarthy, all the Democrats need to follow suit. Their "reason" could be that McCarthy made a promise to Biden in May and then broke it. That makes him unworthy to be speaker. Of course, they would greatly enjoy another 15 rounds of voting followed by McCarthy being elected speaker again.

Any goodwill McCarthy might have had with the Democrats vanished when he decided to allow an investigation of Joe Biden to start—especially when he knows the votes to impeach Biden aren't there and the last time the Republicans tried this stunt (in 1998) it backfired in their faces. House Democrats would now love to see McCarthy flail and fail. (V)

Democrats Did Bail Tuberville Out, However

Well, the Democrats sort of bailed Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) out. As we noted yesterday, the Senator was working on an end-run around Chuck Schumer to install a new Marine Corps commandant. Schumer and the Democrats clearly did not want to be the obstacle that kept that from happening, and so the Majority Leader cued up an end run around Tuberville's end run. That would basically be a double reverse, to use language the Senator is familiar with.

Specifically, the Senate considered and approved the nomination of Air Force Gen. C.Q. Brown to be the new Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 83-11. And in case you are wondering, Tuberville was one of the 11 "nay" votes. Tomorrow, the Senate will consider and vote on Gen. Randy George and Gen. Eric Smith to lead the Army and the Marines, respectively. Presumably the vote tally will be similar.

Tuberville will still maintain his hold on the other 300 or so officers awaiting confirmation, but with considerably less pressure to fold (hence the headline). That said, Schumer & Co. decided it was better to act than to react, since their hand was about to be forced anyhow. This also means that the three most important posts will be filled, even if hundreds of other officers are left to twist in the wind.

Exactly when this little logjam gets resolved is anyone's guess. Tuberville has dug in, the policy he's cranky about isn't going anywhere, and it would take 700 hours (per estimates from the Secretary of the Senate) to work through the whole backlog using normal order. Maybe the Pentagon should announce that the Senator has won, and they are changing the policy. Then, after he lifts his hold and all the promotions get approved, they could announce "Oops! Turns out we weren't legally able to do that. Sorry!" That would be dirty pool, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and surely "Coach" knows that trick plays are a part of the game. (Z)

Garland to Congress: I Am Not Your Prosecutor

AG Merrick Garland testified forcefully before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. He said: "I am not the president's lawyer. I will also add that I am not Congress' prosecutor." Take that, Congress, especially Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH). Garland said that his job is to pursue justice and that he doesn't take orders from anyone.

It's a tough job. Nobody likes him. Republicans hate him because the DoJ is going after Donald Trump for trying to overturn an election he lost. Democrats dislike him because they say he is too timid in going after Trump. It's certainly true that if some minor employee for a military contractor leaked a single classified document, she would be denied bail and get 5 years in prison. In fact, it happened in 2016 when Reality Winner leaked one document about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump had boxes and boxes of secret documents in an unsecured location many people may have had access to. Only after multiple polite attempts to get Trump to return the documents, did the DoJ do something. Democrats see this as the DoJ treating Trump with kid gloves.

This was Garland's first appearance before Congress since appointing Jack Smith as special prosecutor. He was much more aggressive than in the past. He denounced threats against prosecutors and said they will not be intimidated. He also said that he will not be deterred from defending democracy. He further said that the Dept. is not politicized and certainly not weaponized against conservatives. He also said that he had not discussed Hunter Biden with the president.

Republicans went after him for allegedly interfering in the probe of Hunter Biden, something Garland and the prosecutor, David Weiss, vigorously deny (see next item). He did agree in August to make Weiss a special counsel. Garland repeatedly said that he has not interfered with Weiss in the past and will continue not interfering in the future.

While Jordan kept going after Garland, the ranking member, Jerry Nadler (D-NY) kept going after Jordan, pointing out that every claim Jordan made had been debunked by witnesses before the Committee. Every time a Committee member asked Garland a question, he started to answer and then one or more Republicans on the Committee talked over him, not letting him answer their own questions. As usual, the hearing was all about grandstanding. No actual information transfer occurred. (V)

Hunter Biden Whistleblower Is Undercut by New Witnesses

IRS-agent-turned-whistleblower Gary Shapley has alleged that the investigation into Hunter Biden's past was impeded by the DoJ, possibly on orders from the Very Top. No, not AG Merrick Garland. More Top than that. The sound of whistles blowing delighted House Republicans, so they are investigating Hunter nine ways to Sunday based on the remarks from Shapley. They are so happy to provide a national service to out what Donald Trump calls the "Biden Crime Family."

Only maybe Shapley misremembered things, or worse yet, is lying. New testimony from FBI and IRS officials undercuts what Shapley said. Oops. CNN got ahold of transcripts from their testimony. In the transcripts, the officials say things that contradict Shapley on key points.

At issue is a meeting in Oct. 2022 among prosecutors and agents working on Hunter Biden's case. Shapley has stated that during the meeting, then-U.S. Attorney for Delaware and current special counsel David Weiss, a Trump appointee, said that he was not the deciding person about whether to charge Biden. Normally U.S. attorneys are the charging people, so if Shapley's remark is true, it could imply interference from above and would mean that Weiss was not in charge of his own investigation—a very strange matter, at best.

In addition to Weiss and Shapley, there were five other people present at the meeting. Three of them have now testified before a House Committee on camera. They disputed Shapley's allegation. One of the people present at the meeting with Weiss, FBI special agent Thomas Sobocinski, told the Committee: "I do not remember—I don't—he didn't say that. In my recollection, if he would have said that, I would have remembered it." Shapley's previous boss, Darrell Waldon, who was also at the meeting, told the Committee: "I do not recall that ever being said." FBI Assistant Special Agent Ryeshia Holley told the Committee: "I don't remember him saying that." Then she added that Shapley may have been confused or misunderstood.

Weiss' problem was that U.S. attorneys in other states didn't want to partner with him (presumably because they thought the case—which Weiss had been pursuing for 4 years—was too weak to stand up in court). Thus it was not that some higher up was blocking him, but that he was having trouble finding a venue to bring charges. Now that Weiss has been made a special prosecutor, the only thing that will change is that he can now bring charges in other jurisdictions, even if the U.S. attorneys there want no part of it.

And not only are there now other witnesses to the meeting who contradict Shapley, but Weiss has joined in as well. Shapley said that Weiss' request to be a special counsel was denied (again, presumably from someone above him, which would have to be Garland). Weiss wrote a letter to the Committee saying that he never requested special counsel status. If he never requested it, it could hardly be turned down. U.S. attorneys can charge anyone who violated a federal law within their jurisdiction. That is basically their job description.

The end is not in sight here, but now the Republicans' whole case that Hunter Biden received kid gloves treatment is based on the testimony of one witness who claims to have heard evidence at a meeting. Now three other people present at the same meeting have testified that they didn't hear it. Also on one key point (Weiss being denied special counsel status), Weiss himself has said he never even asked for it.

To make things even more interesting, the law banning drug users from owning firearms may be unconstitutional. If it is, then the government has no more right to ask if someone is a drug user than to ask if someone eats meat. Here's the problem. In June 2022, the Supreme Court, in the Bruen decision, struck down a century-old New York State gun law because it hasn't been around long enough and does not fit the American tradition. This says that gun laws that don't have a very long historical basis are not valid. During the 18th century and much of the 19th century, there were no laws prohibiting people who used alcohol or drugs from owning guns. That is a much newer invention. Some states had laws about that, but the first federal law dates from 1968. Consequently, in court, Biden will argue that on account of Bruen, the federal law requiring people to state on a form whether they use drugs is unconstitutional because it isn't 200 years old. If a law is found to be unconstitutional, people can't be convicted of violating it. If Biden is tried and formally acquitted, there goes the "Biden Crime Family" attack Republicans would love to use in 2024.

Biden's arraignment is now set for Sept. 26 in Delaware, The judge has ordered him to appear in person. He had a plea deal but it fell apart. He is expected to plead not guilty.

Also worth noting that the crime Biden is accused of (and which he probably committed) is lying on the federal form he filled in to buy a gun. He said he wasn't a drug addict, when he was. He had the gun for less than 2 weeks and never used it. Nevertheless, lying on a federal form is a crime. Readers with good memories may recall that Biden is not the only person ever to have lied on a federal form. Just to name one other example, Justice Clarence Thomas filled out financial disclosure forms over multiple years where he failed to report—as required by federal law—in-kind gifts worth millions of dollars from billionaires who had a keen interest in how he voted on certain cases before the Supreme Court. He has not been charged or investigated for essentially the same crime as Biden: lying on a federal form. Do we have a two-tiered justice system? We report, you decide. (V)

Biden Adviser Tells Nervous Democrats: Calm Down

There have been endless news stories about Joe Biden's approval being 40% and two-thirds of Democrats preferring someone else as their presidential candidate. Democrats, being Democrats, are buying worry beads by the gross because they keep wearing them out. A senior White House adviser, Mike Donilon, is going around trying to calm the scared Democrats by telling them that two issues will propel Biden to reelection: abortion and Trump. Some Democrats think this is hubris.

Biden is ignoring all the controversy about impeachment, immigration, his age, and the auto strike and running a classic Rose Garden campaign so far (except for an aggressive television and digital presence in the swing states). Biden maintains that the big issues are democracy, abortion, and the economy. The latter has both offense and defense. Offense is talking about MAGAnomics, which consists of an assault on Social Security, Medicare, and the middle class. Defense consists of talking about low unemployment and steadily dropping inflation.

Donilon said that he doesn't follow the ups and downs on polls so far out. His team is playing the long game. One of those polls shows that only 34% of voters think Biden could complete a second term. In contrast, the Social Security Administration believes that an 80-year old man will live to be almost 88. That will get him past the end of a second term. However the actuarial table does not take into account two things. First, Biden has a stressful job (but he seems to handle it well). Second, he has the best medical care in the entire world. He can be flown by helicopter to Walter Reed Army Medical Center at any moment of the day or night if needed, and all the top specialists will drop whatever they are doing and rush to treat him if required.

Donilon and the others on his team note that the polls did not predict Biden winning the Democratic primaries in 2020, but they did predict a red wave in 2022. Also, no one really knows yet how independents will react if Trump is a convicted felon by Nov. 2024. It's one thing to ask a hypothetical question now. It is something else if Trump actually is a convicted felon on Election Day. His base won't desert him, but independents might. (V)

Biden Campaign Will Go after Misinformation Directly

The big social media platforms have pretty much all agreed that they won't censor lies in 2024. Lying is as American as apple pie, cherry-tree-chopping George Washington notwithstanding. The sky's the limit. There will be lies about Joe Biden's character, activities, and health continuously. How about: "BIDEN JUST HAD A STROKE AND IS IN THE HOSPITAL"? Lies can travel around the world three times before the truth gets its boots on. It's going to be brutal.

The Biden campaign understands this and also understands that having The Washington Post fact checker call out the lies a few days later won't help much, so it is gearing up to deal with misinformation itself. Biden has appointed Rob Flaherty as disinformation czar. Flaherty is extremely aggressive and very controversial. He will work with the campaign's legal, communications, and digital teams. Among other things, Flaherty plans to run paid ads on Facebook and other sites calling out false information and shaming the platforms for allowing it.

A key part of his strategy is to get hundreds of volunteers engaged to scour social media for disinformation, report it back to him, and refute it themselves where possible. He is particularly focused on attempts at voter suppression like: "BREAKING NEWS. THE ELECTION HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL WEDNESDAY THIS YEAR." Or "YOU MUST BRING A PASSPORT OTHERWISE YOU WON'T BE ALLOWED TO VOTE."

Another thing Flaherty is going to deal with is the use of AI to produce deep fakes—photos and videos that look very convincing. This is not a theoretical threat. Ron DeSantis is already doing it. If the governor of Florida thinks it is all right, imagine what Trump will do. Or the people working at the Russian troll farm in St. Petersburg.

Many political observers agree that since the social media platforms aren't going to censor lies, it is up to the Biden campaign to counterattack them. In theory, Flaherty could post counter lies ("TWO 14-YEAR-OLD GIRLS JUST TESTIFIED IN COURT THAT TRUMP PROPOSITIONED THEM") but Democrats just don't do that kind of stuff.

Flaherty is not only going to go after disinformation. He is also working on making his boss more fun on TikTok and Instagram by posting pro-Biden videos featuring celebrities on them. The goal is to get young voters engaged by using sports and entertainment celebrities the kids like. Flaherty has his work cut out for him, but he is a force to be reckoned with. (V)

Trump Lawyer Flips

It was bound to happen and it has happened. One of the lawyers who helped Donald Trump plot his coup attempt in Jan. 2021 has flipped and gone over to the other side. It is Lin Wood. The special grand jury that Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis empaneled recommended that Wood be indicted, but Willis ignored that recommendation. Now it is clear why: He will be a witness for the state of Georgia and will testify against the 19 indictees. He is the first Trump insider to flip, but almost certainly not the last.

As one of Trump's lawyers, Wood filed numerous meritless lawsuits trying to overturn the 2020 election. All of them failed. They all rested on nonsense theories about massive voter fraud, none of which he had any actual evidence for. The courts are funny like that. They are not much interested in theories about what could have happened. They want to know what did happen and are fairly picky about demanding evidence demonstrating what happened. If there was fraud, please show it. Wood couldn't of course, because there wasn't any.

Wood could be quite dangerous to Trump because in Georgia, Trump is charged with being part of a criminal enterprise in which multiple criminal acts were performed. Wood saw some of them (and was part of some of them). Wood is not the first person to flip, but the other one, Yuscil Taveras, an I.T. worker at Mar-a-Lago, is involved in the Florida case, not the Georgia one.

Once one insider goes over to the other side, that puts more pressure on the other ones, especially the 19 indictees in the Georgia RICO case. If you are the second or third person to switch sides, you will be welcomed with open arms and charges against you will usually be dropped. If you are the 14th, there is probably not much you can tell the prosecutors that they don't already know, so you aren't very useful and will be treated as such. It will be interesting to see who is next.

In case you haven't checked recently, fake elector Cathy Latham is trying to raise $300,000 for her defense. She has now raised $21,305. On the bright side, she has 2,700 prayers. But the fake electors are small potatoes. At best, they could testify against the person who recruited them, probably also a small fry. What Willis needs is for the medium fish among the Georgia 19 to switch sides, particularly, Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, or John Eastman. They all know a lot, none of them are rich, and their legal bills are mounting by the day. (V)

Both Chambers of Congress Might Flip in Opposite Directions

It is exceedingly rare for both chambers of Congress to flip in opposite directions. Democrats flipping two Republican chambers or Republicans flipping two Democratic chambers is common. It is called a wave election. But having both chambers flip in opposite directions is very rare. Yet that seems increasingly likely in 2024.

First the House. The Republicans have a tiny (five-seat) majority and are making a real mess of governing. Furthermore, 18 Republicans won in blue districts in the midterms and only five Democrats won in red districts. In a (more-partisan) presidential year, most of them could revert to the norm, giving the Democrats a net of 13 seats. That alone would do it. Then there is the matter of redistricting, which we looked at on Monday. Due to court decisions and battles in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the Democrats could net as many as 5 or 6 House seats if the stars align perfectly for them. At this point, various analysts think the Democrats are the favorites to capture the House. With a presidential election, 18 vulnerable Republicans, redistricting, Donald Trump on the ballot, and chaos among House Republicans, it will be tough for the Republicans to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

The Senate is completely different simply due to the map. Democrats are up in three deep red states: Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia. If Republicans win any two of them, Turtle rules, at least when not frozen. The toughest is West Virginia, which went for Donald Trump by 40 points and where Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) hasn't even said if he is running. If he retires or runs for governor, the seat is lost. Period. But even if he runs, Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) will be the toughest opponent he has ever had.

Of the three, Montana is the least bad for the Democrats. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is a popular populist and has won three times already. And the Republicans are probably going to have a nasty primary between Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and businessman Tim Sheehy. Also important is that in the past, Libertarian Party candidates got a few percent of the vote and that generally came out of the Republican's hide.

Ohio is in between West Virginia and Montana. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has won three previous elections and his kind of populism flies in Ohio. In addition, the Republicans are going to have a very nasty primary. Candidates include Ohio SoS Frank LaRose, state Sen. Matt Dolan, wealthy businessman Bernie Moreno, and maybe a few more.

Another tough seat will be Arizona, where Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) hasn't said what she will do. Democrats hate her and most Republicans will vote for the Republican candidate. She's toast. But who wins depends on whom the Republicans nominate. If it is pretend-governor Kari Lake or Blake Masters, who lost a Senate race in 2022, Democrat Ruben Gallego will be the strongest. But the result here depends on what Sinema decides and whom the Republicans nominate.

Politico is now reporting that Lake will jump in during October. She camped out at Mar-a-Lago for weeks in an attempt to butter up Trump to get him to put her on the ticket with him. Apparently, she was unable to satisfy him and has lowered (raised?) her sights from veep to senator. His apparent rejection of Lake has put the spotlight back on another four-letter word: Noem. However, multiple media outlets are reporting that Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD), who is married, has been having a years-long affair with Trump advisor Corey Lewandowski. See, for example, here, here, and here. Is the story true? Was it true love or Noem's ploy for getting to Trump via his aide? We don't know. But if Lake is out and Noem is potentially damaged, the veepstakes may be wide open now.

If Lake runs for the Senate and Masters does not, she will win the Republican nomination easily. That will probably cause sane Republican voters to vote for Sinema or even Gallego, basically increasing Gallego's chances because it is first-past-the-post in Arizona. There are no runoffs in Arizona. In any event, there are many possible outcomes and only one is good for the Democrats: A Gallego win.

Michigan is an open seat because Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is retiring. The Democrats have a strong candidate in Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), who is a prodigious fundraiser. But the Republicans also have a strong candidate in former representative Mike Rogers. The state is slightly bluish, but Rogers could conceivably win.

Finally, the Republicans have talked Connecticut resident David McCormick into trying again in Pennsylvania. He was beaten in the Republican primary by Mehmet Oz in 2022 and is back for a second whack at the piñata. This time he will face Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). The Casey family has 40+ years of service in elected office in Pennsylvania, but McCormick could dump $20 million of his own money (or more) if he decides he really wants to be a senator. Of course, since he is rich, he may have developed a fondness for crudités, which is fatal in Pennsylvania politics.

The point is that the Democrats can afford to lose only one seat. If Manchin decides not to run, they have to win every one of the above races in the other states. Republicans need to win only one of them if Manchin drops out. Of course, if Trump is elected president, 50 seats in the Senate will sort of do the job, so if Manchin drops out and Trump wins, Republicans will control the Senate, no matter what else happens.

For the Democrats, swapping the Senate for the House is a bad deal. With a GOP-controlled Senate, many executive appointments won't be approved, probably no judges will be approved, and certainly no Supreme Court justices will be approved if a seat opens up. The only saving grace of a Democratic House and Republican Senate is that deal making on legislation might be possible because turtles like to bask in the sunlight. In the current configuration, that is simply impossible. (V)

Trump's Electoral College Edge May Be Fading

We looked at this briefly last week, but it's worth a closer examination. It has been an article of faith for a number of years that the Electoral College favors the Republicans due to all the small, thinly populated red states. A new analysis by the other Nate (Cohn) suggests that changes in key states may be the most important factor in 2024.

In Donald Trump's two presidential campaigns, he did better in key swing states than he did in the country as a whole. This observation has prompted numerous pundits to say that Democrats must win the national vote by at least 4 points in order to offset the built-in bias. That may not be true anymore. A comparison of the House vote in 2020 and 2022 in six swing states shows that the Republicans advantage there has disappeared in four of them. Here are graphs:

Changes in House vote from 2020 to 2022 in six swing states

For example, the total Republican House vote in Wisconsin in 2020 was 3.8 points more favorable to the Republicans than the national vote that year. In 2022, the gap between Republicans and Democrats was about the same in Wisconsin as nationally. In other words, Democrats didn't underperform the national average in Wisconsin in 2022. They tracked it closely. That is also true of Pennsylvania and Arizona. In Nevada and Georgia, not much changed, but in Michigan Democrats underperformed compared to the national average in 2020 but greatly overperformed in 2022 (including winning the trifecta).

Can we conclude anything from these data? Well, every election is different, but the trend in at least four swing states seems to be moving in the right direction for the Democrats. They no longer have to have at least a 4-point edge nationally in order to win states important in the Electoral College like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.

Cohn also presents data about swing-state polling. Over the past year, Biden led Trump in the national polls by about 1.3 points. In the past, that wouldn't have been enough to win the swing states, yet he has small leads in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Does that say a lot? No, but it agrees with the graphics above. Biden may not have to win the national vote by 4 points to win the swing states as they are tracking the national results more closely now.

Recent changes in the voting behavior of different demographic groups is also relevant here. Biden has been gaining slightly among all white voters while Trump has been gaining slightly among nonwhite voters. But Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were at least 83% white in the 2020 election, compared to 69% nationally. A slight gain among white voters and a slight loss among nonwhite voters will help Biden in the these three battleground states, even if it makes his wins in California and New York smaller. However, it could cost him Arizona, a heavily Latino state. On the other hand, Democrats won a Senate seat, the governorship, the attorney general position and the secretary of state in Arizona in 2022, so the general leftward trend of the state may outweigh losses among minority voters. (V)

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