Editor’s Blog

An Ugly Watershed

CNN, NBC, FB and now even Fox News have either refused to run or dropped the President’s closing ad for being too racist.

All Your Questions Answered

I’ve been trying to hit various polls, late shifting races and more here in the Ed Blog. But I think the best wrap is this podcast episode Cameron Joseph and I just did. We work our way through all the latest trends, what to make of the polls, possible big surprises and the heavy weight of uncertainty. You can listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

You Might Find This Interesting

Or maybe not. Ben Smith and I were on a panel a couple weeks ago at a conference about content moderation, the press, the 1st amendment, yada yada. The conference was organized by TPM alum and now law professor big shot Kate Klonick. The panel was moderated by Jack Balkin of Yale Law School. Video of the panel after the jump …

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Twitter for Terrible People

Gab, the Twitter-like social network for racists and anti-Semites, is back online after getting dumped by its former web host. Allegra Kirkland has the story.

In related news, President Trump comments on his latest ad.


There are now three states in which the total “early vote” is larger than the entire vote (early and election day) in 2014. Those states are Texas, Nevada and Arizona.

Join Us Tomorrow Night

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow night. We’ll be hosting live election results for every congressional race, gubernatorial race and major referendum and proposition across the country. We’ll also be bringing you all the latest news, commentary, video of key moments and all the rest. We’re going to leave everything on the field bringing you coverage of the most important mid-term elections of our lifetimes. Join us.

WASHINGTON - JUNE 05:  Bradley Schlozman, associate counsel to the director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and former interim U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, adjusts his glasses as he testifies during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill June 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on prosecutorial independence of the Justice Department and the firing of the eight U.S .Attorneys.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bradley Schlozman

I’ve been waiting so long for this. You’ll remember that one of the big scammers in the US Attorney firing scandal, which was really a voter suppression scandal, was a guy named Bradley Schlozman, a character who was just as democracy-malevolent as Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams but somehow outdid them both in pure hapless gooberism. Well he’s back, as the lawyer representing the official trying to find ways to make it hard to vote in Dodge City, Kansas. John Light has our full Schloz report and retrospective (sub req) here.

If you really need an additional Schlozman fix watch this video of Sen. Leahy slapping Bradley around in congressional testimony in 2007. Video after the jump …

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Ha! Good Ad

This is an ad (“Like a Girl”) for MJ Hegar who’s running against Rep. John Carter (R-TX). I’m not sure whether it’s getting a heavy run on TV. But Hegar has massively out-raised Carter. So I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be. Cook rates this a “Likely Republican” district, so well on the outer margin of the possible for a Democrat. As far as I can tell though it hasn’t been polled.

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Report from the Field #3

From TPM Reader AC in Georgia …

You are undoubtedly getting a massive number of emails from across the country, and especially the most contested races. I thought I’d throw in a few cents, fwiw.

We live in John Lewis’s City of Atlanta district, but we’ve been canvassing heavily in the burbs — GA-6 and GA-7, both competitive House races in increasingly Asian and Latinx communities (Gwinnett County), as well as the southern suburbs of Clayton County, which are majority African American. Much of this organizing has been done through the Working Families Party (which you no doubt know from NY politics, and is trying to build a base in the South) and the New Georgia Project (founded by Stacey Abrams herself as the sort of ACORN-ish nemesis of the GOP vote-suppressing crowd).

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No Time Like The Present!

Are you a big TPM fan? Want to find out about a new way to support TPM at a higher level than Prime and get a bunch of cool stuff in the process? Let us introduce you to TPM Inside.

Brief Note

A brief note on reader reports I have and will be publishing. In the nature of things some of them will be very rah-rah. That’s natural for people heavily involved in organizing in the final days of a campaign. That’s just as it should be. Do not assume by what I publish that I’m validating anyone’s predictions, positive or negative, implicit or explicit. My interest is getting reports from people who are in the nuts and bolts of get out the vote and organization- and capacity-building.

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Report from the Field #2

An update from a TPM Reader in Tennessee. It’s an interesting update on a lot of fronts, much as the one I posted over the weekend from Maine. But one key point is the importance of political organizing, building organizational capacity at the state and local level, even if a lot of the results may only show up in future elections.

I wanted to send you a quick update from the deep red state of Tennessee. I don’t know if Democrats will win any new seats here, though Bredesen has a shot at it and we should pick up some state legislative seats. But I wanted to let you know that Democrats are energized and more importantly ORGANIZED here like never before.

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More on Kemp Scam

It turns out the backstory to Brian Kemp’s accusation against the Georgia Democratic party is about as stupid as you could imagine. According to this report, a voter found the vulnerability, alerted an attorney for the plaintiff’s in one of the on-going lawsuits against Kemp’s office. That lawyer alerted the attorneys for Kemp’s office. There were apparently a couple lines of communication. See the details here. But the gist is this. There was a security vulnerability in the system Kemp’s is responsible for securing. His office was alerted the vulnerability. Then instead of focusing on fixing it he put out a press release accusing the state Democratic party of trying to “hack” the state system. Shocking and awful and about as bad as you can imagine.

Report from The Field

From a longtime TPM Reader in Maine …

Nate Silver pegs ME-2 as the tipping point district for Democrats to take the House. The GOP incumbent is in his second term and he and Trump won by 10 points in 2016.

BUT this is also a district that Obama won twice. It’s supported referenda on minimum wage increases and Medicaid expansion.

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All Up to You

One thing that strikes me again and again about this critical election. Republicans to a great degree and urban concentration to a lesser degree have tilted the system dramatically in the GOP’s favor. We see it clearly at the presidential level and even more dramatically in the House, which is supposed to be the part of federal government most sensitive to public opinion. The Democrats will need to want it more, a lot more, to start the process of gaining power to re-democratize the federal government. Wanting it more means doing more: turning out occasional voters, out-canvassing, getting friends to the polls. A good bit of that is now baked in with early voting either coming to a close or already finished in numerous states. It’s all down to election day and people making the difference on the ground.

Two Days Out

More bullet points on the midterms.

We have two premium national polls out overnight or this morning, ABC/WaPo and NBC/WSJ. Both have congressional generic ballot numbers which are, to my reading, too close for comfort. 8 points in the former, 7 points in the later. By normal standards, by democratic standards, those numbers would be enough for a blow-out win for the Democrats. But they probably need at least a five point advantage to have a shot at taking the majority.

On the other hand, we’ve seen some of the strongest numbers for Dems in the last couple days in individual swing districts. I’m thinking here particularly of the latest NYT/Siena polls. But not just those.

To be clear, those national polls do point to Democrats taking the House. But so much is at stake. It’s much too close for comfort. Too much is on the line.

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Don’t forget to join us Tuesday night for live election results of every congressional race, gubernatorial race and major referenda and propositions across the country. Of course, we’ll also have live updates, reporting and commentary to make sense of what’s happening as the news unfolds.

Go Deep on Voting Rights

This midterm election has rightly focused an immense amount of attention on voting rights and voter suppression. We are most of the way through our big project for 2018, our special editorial series on Voting Rights and Democracy. You can see all eight pieces we’ve published so far on topics ranging from voter purges, gerrymandering, felon disenfranchisement, the history of voting rights, voter fraud hysteria and more. It’s a great body of knowledge and some great journalism.

We have two more pieces to come. The series was made possible by The American Federation of Teachers, which sponsored the series.

This Could Happen

I gave some broader read yesterday of where I think we are 5 days out before the midterms. But check this out. The first big electoral fight of the Trump era was the election to replace Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). Democrat Jon Ossoff galvanized Democrats nationwide but came up just short against Karen Handel, a standard issue establishment Republican who in normal times is a good fit for the district. It was widely assumed – with good reason – that if Democrats couldn’t take the seat then they likely wouldn’t have much of a chance in the general elections in 2018. But check this out. The New York Times and Siena are doing live polls using voter list. That’s generally how campaigns do polls as opposed to media organizations. They’re about half way through their poll (267 respondents). But Lucy McBath, the Democratic challenger, is up two points: 46%-44%. Again, this poll is still on-going. They end up going to 500 or 600. Normally I wouldn’t put much into this early number. But we already have good evidence this race is close. This is one of the races that national Republicans have started pouring money into just in the last week or so of the campaign. We’ll get more of this poll tonight.

Shocking But Unsurprising

President Trump laments that mail bomb campaign and synagogue massacre broke alleged Republican election momentum.

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Join Us Election Night

Long time readers will know this. But I wanted to make sure everyone knows to join us Tuesday for election day and night coverage right into the depths of the evening. We will be hosting live results for every congressional and gubernatorial races across the country as well as major propositions and referenda across the country. I will be providing play by play in the Editors’ Blog. The whole team will be wrangling all the news in real time. Be sure to join us.

Inside Briefing with Amy Walter

Have questions about the midterms. Tomorrow after at 4 PM eastern we’re holding an Inside Briefing with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report. No one has a better grasp of the electoral terrain of American politics than Amy. We’ll talk about the late breaking developments in the final days of the campaign and take your questions.

Grifty McGriftsalot

We went back to watch video of Trump’s January 2016 Iowa veterans fundraiser to figure out whether his lawyer has any argument that the Trump Foundation shouldn’t be shut down like a rat-infested bodega like the New York Attorney claims.

Never Go Full Trump: The Lena Epstein Story

Yesterday I discussed this bizarre incident where a “Jews for Jesus” faux rabbi did some kind of invocation or prayer at an event Vice President Mike Pence held for Rep. Mike Bishop and candidate Lena Epstein. Making it particularly offensive is that the ‘rabbi’ Loren Jacobs was asked to say a prayer on behalf of the eleven Jews murdered at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. I tried to explain some of it in this post last night. Suffice it to say that most Jews have a viscerally negative reaction to this group, which they correctly see as a stalking horse for evangelical groups trying to convert Jews to Christianity. Which brings us to the question: who the hell invited this guy?

I’ve been digging into this minor mystery. And boy, it’s a really weird story. And by that I mean not just the ‘rabbi’ but the whole campaign of Lena Epstein which appears to be an unfolding train wreck that I didn’t know about but really needed to. Read More

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