Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

We’re now five days out from the midterm election. I wanted to share some thoughts as some of the outlines of Tuesday night start to come into view.

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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.

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.

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.

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