Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

What Is Russia Trying to Achieve?

Yesterday I was looking back through the progression of events with the at-first-suspected and now confirmed (according to the US government, at least) Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. It starts in June with a report that a private security firm (Crowdstrike) had concluded that a hack of the Democratic National Committee's email servers had emerged out of Russia. (Go back and you'll see an early theory was that they were stealing anti-Trump oppo with the intention of giving it to Trump.) It escalated in July with the first Wikileaks release of hacked DNC emails. And it's gone on from there, with more releases of emails, an increasingly Trump-aligned Wikileaks and less and less active denials from Russia that its security services are behind the leaks.

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The Obvious and the NFL

There's a story flying around the web claiming that either one of the main reasons or the main reason for sharply lower NFL ratings this year is because of opposition to protests by Colin Kaepernick and others. The numbers go back to a Yahoo/YouGov poll which found that 29% of self-identified NFL fans were watching few games this year. The reasons they gave were 1) time watching the election (17%), lost interest (28%), lack of opportunity (31%), Kaepernick protest (40%).

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Great Piece

Great piece oh how Trump's final meltdown may foil the GOP's efforts to get out of decades old restrictions tied to attempts to intimidate and suppression African-American voting over 30 years ago. Check it out.

This Could Be Interesting

A lot of Democrats would prefer someone younger and a bit more progressive than Judge Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court. If Hillary Clinton is elected President and she has a Senate majority, I suspect they'll get that. Now Sen. Jeff Flake says he's encouraging his colleagues to confirm Garland in the lame duck session of Congress if Clinton is elected. That could set up a very paradoxical situation in which Senate Republicans are suddenly Garland's gung-ho-est supporters.

So Close

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Conversation w/ TPM Longform author Charlotte Fryar, 10/25 @ 1 p.m. EST

Charlotte Fryar, author of a TPM longform piece about Frank Porter Graham and the political climate of N.C. (a crucial swing state), is joining Prime members in the Hive on 10/25 to discuss Graham, N.C. politics, and her views on how the election will go in the Tar Heel State. This conversation will be moderated by TPM -- get in your questions here before 1 p.m. next Tuesday.

10/20 Election Update

It's October 20 and the PollTracker Average stands at Clinton 47.1 percent, Trump 43.1 percent, a four percentage-point spread

The TPM Electoral Scoreboard stands at Clinton 323, Trump 161. Evan McMullin is leading in Utah, worth six electoral votes. Alaska, Arizona, Ohio and Georgia are in the Toss Up category.

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Critical Exchange

Here's a critical exchange from tonight about the Russian disruption campaign in the 2016 election. It's overshadowed by the refusal to accept the results of an election. But it was also crucial for what both candidates said.

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