Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As you can see I've been writing a number of book reviews and recommendations recently. I plan to do this on an on-going basis. Because I read a lot of history and people seem interested in getting recommendations on good reads. But I'm starting for the moment with what amounts to a backlog of some of what I think are the best books I've read in the last five or six years. The one I wanted to talk about today is Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? by William G Dever, a now retired biblical archeologist and historian.

This book isn't necessarily what I would call a page turner, at least not in the conventional sense of a galloping narrative. It's more an investigation and I found it irresistible. It's also one of those books that changed or profoundly advanced my understanding of a key topic or question.

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From TPM Reader JR ...

I don't have a statistical answer to Josh's question regarding what percentage of GOP primary voters, whether for Trump or not, are "new" voters.

But I wanted to chime in to note that once state voter databases, and in turn major party voter files, are updated, then we will have a hard, exact data answering this question. Voting history is a searchable public record across the states, and we always know who voted in general elections and primaries.

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We seem to be in a period where state, territory and now county GOPs are trying out various models of party collapse and paramilitary violence in preparation for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. We had the latest out of the US Virgin Islands this morning. But the good folks in Cascade County, Montana seem to be getting their freak on as well. From David Murray's rather amazing piece in the Great Falls Tribune ...

With little more than seven weeks left until Montana’s primary election, the Cascade County Republican Party appears to be tearing itself apart from the inside out.

In the past three weeks, two Cascade County Republicans have filed complaints with the commissioner of political practices alleging either the Cascade County Republican Central Committee candidates or their primary election opponents have lied or falsified documents. A third Republican is suing the commissioner of political practices and the state attorney general, arguing that his right to forcefully criticize his opponent is being muzzled by state law.

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In response to my post below expressing deep skepticism about whether Donald Trump is really 'bringing new people into the system', I heard a few brief mentions that Trump is doing better in exit polls among 'first time voters.' This wouldn't be altogether surprising: he is the outsider candidate. Someone has to win first time voters. And I wouldn't expect it to be Bush or Marco Rubio.

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I was just listening to MSNBC and there was a comment in passing about Trump about the GOP's need to keep the 'new people Trump has brought into the system.' Here's the thing: I strongly suspect this premise, indeed, the very statement, is simply false.

To be clear, this isn't a dig at MSNBC. This is totally conventional wisdom and I've heard versions of it from numerous publications. The idea here is that Trump supporters or substantial numbers of them simply were not voting before Trump came along or were not voting for the GOP. I very much doubt that's true.

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In case you missed it, I wanted to flag this post over the weekend. I hate to say I told you so, but ... well, we have more poll data which shows that substantial majorities of Republicans don't think it's okay to deny the nomination to the person who got the most votes. That doesn't mean it won't happen. But as I said earlier, you can have whatever rules you want. But the whole process depends on the perceived legitimacy of the process. And it seems pretty clear that a clear majority of Republican primary voters do not think this would be okay.

Epic US Virgin Islands party meeting this weekend features guns, cops, plenty of Crazy and a delegate to the national convention thrown to the ground in a scuffle. Lauren has the story.

I mentioned before that Republican primary voters nationwide seem clearly against awarding the party's presidential nomination to someone who didn't get the most votes or delegates in the primaries and caucuses, regardless of who they support themselves. A new poll shows that 62% of Republicans say it would be "unacceptable" for the candidate who won the most votes not to get the nomination, if no candidate was able to clinch outright by getting to 1237 delegates.

There are two additional points worth noting about this new poll.

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