Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

President Trump whether he believes a “strong Europe is important for the United States”: “Yes, a strong Europe is very, very important to me as president of the United States and it is also in my opinion, in my very strong opinion, important for the United States. We want to see it. We will help it be strong, and it is very much to everybody’s advantage. I look very much forward to meeting the Pope.”

It’s notable that as normally understood, this sounds like a re-statement of decades-long US policy which President Trump, and especially candidate Trump, had departed from rather dramatically. Yet it is equally notable that this statement doesn’t include any explicit mention of the EU or NATO.

Trump at press conference with Italian Prime Minister: “A responsible approach to refugees is one that seeks the eventual return of refugees to their home countries so that they can help to rebuild their own nations.”

Let’s stop for a moment and note that President Trump and his skeletal foreign policy team have accomplished the fairly difficult feat of deeply alienating South Koreans (and seemingly many Japanese as well) while notionally protecting them from the threat of a militaristic and aggressive North Korea.

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I’m very excited about this week’s podcast. I talk with Timothy Snyder, a historian at Yale. You’ve likely seen him in the news recently talking about his new book on authoritarianism. You may have read his book Bloodlands. But I wanted to talk about an almost 15 year old book called The Reconstruction of Nations

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Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is currently running four points ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2018 Texas Senate election – 35%-31%, according to a just released poll. I would not get too excited by these numbers. It’s very early. And those are incredibly low numbers for both candidates. That’s a huge number of undecideds.

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Sean Spicer got asked about the Carl Vinson mystery today. It was … well, it was sad. Spicer basically said ‘Oh, you misunderstood what we meant. Sucks to be you.’ (Actual quotes and more here.) That’s silly. Here’s what happened or rather what I think we can be fairly confident happened based on the totality of evidence and anonymous sources at the Pentagon reported in the press. (TPM’s Matt Shuham is just published a detailed timeline of the events in question here.)

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Okay, we can’t quite call this a wrap yet. But it certainly looks like the Georgia 6th congressional race is going to a run-off. What does that mean? I was fairly pessimistic that Ossoff could win outright tonight. Would have been great if he could have, for obvious reasons. It looked doable early. But it wasn’t to be.

Here’s my takeaway.

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10:06 PM: DeKalb votes are all in. Ossoff improved on Clinton’s number by 1.6% (58.6% > 57%) He’s currently up 1.5% on Clinton’s number in Cobb County (41.4% > 39.9%) with 96% reporting. He’s way up in Fulton but only 16% so that’s largely meaningless at this point.

9:59 PM: Okay, seems pretty clear this is going to a run-off. Almost all the vote is in in Cobb (GOP) and DeKalb (Dem) Counties. Fulton is still mostly out. Trump beat Clinton narrowly there, by about 2.5% points. Ossoff is currently at 50.1% with 50% reporting. So hard to see how he doesn’t fall below 50%.

9:42 PM: Looking more like Ossoff comes in under 50%. Maybe one or two points shy.

9:30 PM: Okay, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Report says we’re going to a run-off, i.e., Ossoff under 50%. I wouldn’t say that’s definitive. Other really good data people aren’t willing to make a prediction yet. But he’s one of the best number crunchers in the business.

9:21 PM: Worth keeping in mind if Ossoff comes in just under 50%: the rest of the Dem field looks to be at upwards of 1%.

9:13 PM: This is going to be really close. Personally, I’m a bit more pessimistic than I was a half hour ago. But over or under 50% still entirely possible.

9:06 PM: I think basically we’re where we’ve been all evening – numbers that are necessary but not sufficient (as Dkos folks put it earlier) for Ossoff to hit 50%. One thing that seems clear now is that the election day vote was very large. In general, that’s a hopeful sign for Republicans since they’re expected to do better on election day rather than early vote. So far though even those election day numbers make 50% still possible for Ossoff. So this isn’t necessarily good or bad for Ossoff but a potentially hopefully sign for GOP to keep Ossoff under 50%.

8:49 PM: We’re still seeing pretty much all data that is consistent with Ossoff getting 50% of the vote but by no means proves that he will.

8:43 PM: BREAKING: We’re going to be looking at number from individual precincts for a while. You’re welcome.

8:34 PM: Ok, opening up a new thread. Where are we? There are some cautiously optimistic signs for Democrats – and in this case I call optimism getting 50%. All the results I’ve seen suggest Ossoff is coming in right in the range he’d need to hit 50%. But in the range. So by no means a sure thing and the uncertainty of special election turnout makes it very hard, really all but impossible to model final results based on this area or that. The best way to put it is that we’re not seeing the kinds of individual precinct results which put Ossoff out of the running for 50%. In the hunt, by no means a sure thing.