Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Zachary Roth was our go-to reporter on voting rights and voter suppression issues for years. He left TPM a while back and now he's out with a whole book on the topic, The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy. This is an incredibly important issue at any time. But it's very relevant today with the raft of recent court decisions knocking down state voter suppression laws and Donald Trump's new push to put bogus claims of 'voter fraud' at the center of the election and perhaps use them to lay the groundwork to contest a loss in November. Zack is going to join us for a Live Chat in The Hive (sub.req) tomorrow at 1 pm eastern.

Come by and get your question in now or join us tomorrow at 1 pm.

Let me start by saying I see no chance that Trump withdraws from the race, despite Republican wishful thinking to the contrary. Call it big game unicorn hunting. But unicorn studies is a perfectly respectable discipline. So I wanted to explore one aspect of this scenario. In the quite unlikely case of Trump leaving the race, who would replace him? My understanding is that in this all but unprecedented situation the Republican National Committee would convene and pick a replacement. Even if they wanted to canvas the views of Republicans nationwide there's simply no practical way and no time to do that.

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There's a lot of chatter this morning - based on absolutely nothing, so far as I can tell - that Donald Trump might drop out of the presidential race. I emphasize: as far as I can tell, chatter based on nothing but what I suspect is wishful thinking on the part of Republicans. At the same time, reporters are quoting high level Republicans sources saying that in the next few days top tier Republicans might come out in opposition to Trump. I will totally believe it when I see it.

But I can't help but note what seems obvious.

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I'm excited to announce the debut of our 2016 TPM Electoral Scoreboard. In 2012 the Scoreboard was our most popular tool of the entire election season. The Senate Scoreboard will debut soon. (Click on the image below to go to the Scoreboard page.)

The Scoreboard runs off polling data from PollTracker. And unlike many other predictive maps it runs purely on poll data. It debuts today with Clinton at 271 electoral votes, Trump with 179 and 88 in the Toss-up category.

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I'd like to take a moment to pull together a series of recent threads on Donald Trump. We've now seen another episode of Donald Trump's impulsive and self-destructive behavior play out in his fight with the Khan family. There was a less noted moment where he apparently didn't realize that Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula two years ago and has been operating in eastern mainland Ukraine ever since. This brings me back to my early posts drawing concern to Trump's mix of policy friendliness and financial ties with Russia and especially persons in the orbit of Vladimir Putin. They all flow together in ways that may not at first be clear.

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We now have what I believe at least is our first major Republican elected official saying he will vote for Hillary Clinton. Rep Richard Hanna of New York. "I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?" he said in an interview with the local paper.

Candidly, that's what you do if you're really 'Never Trump.' This is what I was getting at - or rather what I think Obama was getting at - in my write up on President Obama's speech last week at the DNC. The country's sense of itself is built on a string of mythic national moments. The McCarthy Era, Watergate. If we're lucky and Trump is defeated, I believe people will quickly come to look back on it as a McCarthy-era-like near miss. People will be asking, which side were you on? What did you do? Did you stand up?

In an interview today with a local ABC affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, Donald Trump suggested that what angered critic Khizr Khan was Trump's aggressive efforts to prevent terrorists from entering the country.

"It's a very big subject for me, border security is very big. When you have radical Islamic terrorists probably all over the place, we’re allowing them to come in by the thousands and thousands. And I think that’s what bothered Mr. Khan more than anything else. And, you know, I’m not going to change my views on that. We have radical Islamic terrorists coming in that have to be stopped. We’re taking them in by the thousands.”

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