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Help Us With This

Today is the end of the first week of this year’s annual TPM Journalism Fund drive. We’re doing everything we can to get to be half way toward our goal by the end of the today. That means ending the day having raised $250,000. We’re currently at $228,612. I know this sounds like I’m going full PBS telethon. But the annual drive is a critical part of the mix that makes TPM possible. If you value what we do, if you rely on us, if you think it’s important that TPM exist, please consider contributing to the drive. It takes just a moment and you can do so by just clicking this link.

We all appreciate it.

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Thunderdomism’s Last Stand

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According to some of the country’s most prominent news publications, the Democratic establishment moved quickly beginning Sunday afternoon to lock down the Democratic presidential nomination for Kamala Harris. Said Axios this morning: “It’s over. The Democratic establishment pushed out Biden and locked in Kamala Harris with astonishing speed and efficacy.” The Times published a piece entitled “How Democrats Learned to Love the Smoke-Filled Room Again.” But the idea that the ‘establishment’ anointed Kamala Harris and locked the nomination down for her turns the whole matter pretty much on its head. What locked in Harris was the overwhelming resistance of Democratic voters and activists to anyone else. It was national columnists and a significant number of Democratic elites who were pushing for the thunderdome primary.

A good bit of this was support for Harris herself. A lot of it was the fact that with the incumbent president and presumed nominee out and no time to run anything other than a fake primary Harris had democratic legitimacy on her side. Eighty million voters literally chose her in 2020 to be the person who took over for Joe Biden if he couldn’t serve. Democratic primary voters in effect reconfirmed that this Spring since Biden and Harris were against running as a package deal. Few things are more embedded in American political culture than the idea that vice presidents succeed presidents.

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The Battle Is Joined

The Battle Is Joined

As we’ve noted a few times, we’re now in the midst of a race for each campaign to define Kamala Harris. What focus groups have shown in recent weeks is that many swing voters or marginal voters have vaguely negative impressions of Harris but basically know little about her. So she’s largely a blank slate for these and actually many other voters. That was always going to be very different for Biden and Trump. Voters know who they are and tend to have very fixed opinions about them. Not so for Harris.

The Trump campaign – actually one of its allied SuperPacs, as far as I can tell – went on the air last night with a series of attack ads in the Blue Wall states. (They’re probably appearing in other places too. But that’s where I have direct reports of their appearing.) They focus on what I believe is Harris’s key vulnerability. (Ed.Note: I’ve subsequently heard these ads may only be running in the Philly and Detroit metros – more information on that as I learn more.)

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Can You Help With This?

I want to send a huge thank you to the 1601 TPM Readers who have given so far to this year’s annual TPM Journalism Fund drive. We are currently at just over $212,000 and we really want to get to the halfway point of $250,000 toward our goal of $500,000 by the end of the first week of the drive. So if you’ve been considering contributing, can you take a moment and make it today? It is, I believe, a great and important cause, keeping TPM here, vital and robust for the future. If you’re ready, just click right here. We thank you, our whole team.

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Status Check

We now have three polls post-Biden departure: One with Harris 2 points up, another with Trump 2 points up and a third with Trump up by 1. I would call these numbers encouraging.

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Senior Trump DOJ officials still don’t want to talk about why they changed Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendation at the last minute.

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Ep. 334: Yes We Kam

Kate and Josh discuss the outpouring of euphoria from Democrats over VP Kamala Harris’ elevation as well as her breakneck veepstakes.

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