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Morning Digest: Two more Colorado Republicans knocked off Senate ballot (April 29, 2016, 08:01 AM)

Leading Off:

? CO-Sen: Hoo boy. Colorado's just been a GOP killing field this past week. On Thursday, the secretary of state's office announced that the final two Republicans hoping to get on the June primary ballot, rich guy Robert Blaha and former Aurora City Councilor Ryan Frazier, had both failed to make it; a few days earlier, ex-state Rep. Jon Keyser met with the same fate. All candidates were required to submit at least 1,500 signatures from registered Republicans in each of the state's seven congressional districts, but according to election officials, Blaha fell short in three districts and Frazier in four.

However, their problems sound much graver than Keyser's, whose sole issue involved a single petition-gatherer whose address on his affidavits did not match his voter registration record because, he said, he'd moved recently. Blaha and Frazier, says the secretary of state, had their signatures rejected "for a variety of reasons, including the signer was not a Republican, the signer's address did not match voter registration records, duplicate signatures and notary errors." Keyser is challenging his case in court and may well succeed, but Blaha and Frazier's mistakes are a lot harder to overcome.

Blaha and Frazier (this is starting to sound like either the world's worst law firm or the world's worst buddy-cop show) can also both head to court, and they have five days to do so. Frazier sounds like he's ready to, saying he's "fully prepared to win that argument"; Blaha hadn't said anything as of this writing. For the moment, only two Republicans have actually made it on the ballot: former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham, whose petitions checked out, and El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, who secured a spot by winning the support of delegates at a recent state convention. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has got to be enjoying himself watching this clown-car pileup.


Two more Colorado Republicans knocked off Senate ballot (April 28, 2016, 06:02 PM)

Hoo boy. Colorado's just been a GOP killing field this past week. On Thursday, the secretary of state's office announced that the final two Republicans hoping to get on the June primary ballot, rich guy Robert Blaha and former Aurora City Councilor Ryan Frazier, had both failed to make it; a few days earlier, ex-state Rep. Jon Keyser met with the same fate. All candidates were required to submit at least 1,500 signatures from registered Republicans in each of the state's seven congressional districts, but according to election officials, Blaha fell short in three districts and Frazier in four.

However, their problems sound much graver than Keyser's, whose sole issue involved a single petition-gatherer whose address on his affidavits did not match his voter registration record because, he said, he'd moved recently. Blaha and Frazier, says the secretary of state, had their signatures rejected "for a variety of reasons, including the signer was not a Republican, the signer's address did not match voter registration records, duplicate signatures and notary errors." Keyser is challenging his case in court and may well succeed, but Blaha and Frazier's mistakes are a lot harder to overcome.

Blaha and Frazier (this is starting to sound like either the world's worst law firm or the world's worst buddy-cop show) can also both head to court, and they have five days to do so. Frazier sounds like he's ready to, saying he's "fully prepared to win that argument"; Blaha hadn't said anything as of this writing. For the moment, only two Republicans have actually made it on the ballot: former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham, whose petitions checked out, and El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, who secured a spot by winning the support of delegates at a recent state convention. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has got to be enjoying himself watching this clown-car pileup.


Deborah Ross: NC shouldn't be in the business of making it more difficult for people to vote (April 28, 2016, 04:18 PM)

Goal Thermometer

Another federal judge appointed by a Republican president has upheld North Carolina's worst-in-the-nation voter suppression law, and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Deborah Ross is not happy about it. She posts on Facebook:

Our democracy is strongest when everyone has an equal opportunity to participate, and North Carolina shouldn't be in the business of making it more difficult for people to vote. Instead, it's gotten harder to vote in North Carolina, just ask Richard Burr whose ballot might not have been counted after he showed up to the polls without his ID card. I worked across the aisle in the General Assembly to ensure access to the vote for more North Carolinians and I will do the same as your U.S. Senator.

That bit about her opponent, Republican Sen. Richard Burr, refers to when he showed up to vote in the primary this year without his driver's license, pointing that while he "may have only misplaced his license, there are an estimated 225,000 North Carolinians who don't have a valid driver's license?a disproportionate number of whom are minorities or economically disadvantaged." She makes a good point. Burr was able to vote provisionally and his ballot was accepted. It didn't work quite so well for regular voters.

At least 130 ballots in Forsyth County (one third of all provisional ballots cast) were rejected in the primary because they were missing signatures. This likely due to the lack of designated area for signatures on this year's provisional ballots. Forsyth County Board of Elections' staff director Tim Tsujii states that many voters were not instructed by poll workers to add a signature somewhere on the form.

While African American and Latino voters make 30% of registered voters in Forsyth County, they comprise 61% of the 130 voters whose ballots were rejected because of "no signature."

Forsyth County citizen Creola Clark was one of the many citizens whose provisional ballot was denied. Clark was not given any of the same sort of the assistance for lacking an approved form of ID despite her having cited being "Elderly ? NO ID" as her reason for not having an ID.

Burr had no problem voting, and has absolutely no problem with the fact that Creola Clark did not get the same consideration as him, that her ballot was summarily tossed even though she had a valid reason to not be able to present ID. Deborah Ross, however, has a big problem with it. Which is just one reason that we need to get her to the Senate.

Please spend $3 on helping Deborah Ross fight for voting rights in the Senate.


Maybe you should have thought that Supreme Court thing out a little more, Chuck Grassley (April 28, 2016, 03:30 PM)

Goal Thermometer

As if it just occurred to him, Sen. Chuck Grassley is admitting that the whole blockade of President Obama's Supreme Court nominee for the duration of his last year in office might have a bit of a downside: the Republican front-runner.

"If Trump's elected president, it probably is a little more unknown than if there's a [Sen. Ted] Cruz elected president," Grassley said Wednesday in an interview on the Iowa radio show "In Depth." "I would have to admit it's a gamble." [?]

Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is standing by his decision not to hold confirmation hearings this year.

"I haven't second-guessed myself," he said. "It's a gamble on who's going to be the next president of the United States. I second-guess that. But I guess that's a point that I'm willing to take."

Gee, thanks Chuck, for gambling with the highest court in the land. It's not like it matters, or anything.

Does the gatekeeper of the federal judiciary, the actual chairman of the actual Judiciary Committee, have any business making these kinds of decisions for the country? Does he even deserve a place in the Senate? No. Let's get him out of there.

Please donate $3 today to Patty Judge to retire this guy.


So Carly Fiorina is Ted Cruz's answer to his woman problem? (April 28, 2016, 01:49 PM)

The best rationale for the most disliked clown in the Republican car picking the second-most disliked clown as his pretend running mate is that Ted Cruz thinks Carly Fiorina will help him with women voters. That's just not going to happen considering who Cruz picks to have on his payroll.

The leaders of three prominent liberal and pro-abortion rights organizations on Thursday issued a scathing letter to Ted Cruz urging the Texas senator to oust Troy Newman, co-chair of the Pro-Lifers for Cruz coalition, citing his past incendiary statements and comments on abortion. [?]

?Troy Newman has called the murder of an abortion provider a ?justifiable action? and runs an organization whose baseline purpose is to harass and terrorize women. It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism ? after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government in order to prevent low income women from accessing cancer screenings,? Laguens said in a statement. ?However it is disappointing to see even a presidential candidate like Ted Cruz so blatantly disregard women?s health and lives but this is what the Cruz Fiorina ticket stands for.?

Newman is a founder of the so-called Center for Medical Progress, the group that created all those fake videos about Planned Parenthood. You know, the videos that were all bullshit but still didn't show the horrific things Fiorina insisted she saw in them. So, yes, it's pretty much horrible all the way down.

Perhaps this is actually Cruz's strategy?surrounding himself with people who are even more horrible and hateful than he is, to look less awful by comparison. It's not going to work.


Polling Roundup: Inaugural Clinton v. Trump, and damn Trump is stuck in the gutter (April 28, 2016, 01:01 PM)

The state of the presidential contest is ? not close

20160428161418785.png
General election 2016: Clinton v Trump

Conventional wisdom is that general election polling this far out is suspect at best?the candidates might not be fully introduced to the general public, hurt primary feelings can skew results as supporters of defeated candidates claim they won?t vote for their party?s nominee (they?ll come back), the general public still hasn?t fully tuned in, and the attack machines from both parties haven?t fully geared up.

Things might be different putting these two candidates up, since everyone knows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and their favorability ratings already reflect those of candidates who?ve been put through the wringer. Clinton, of course, has over a generation of being ?wrung? by the Republican Noise Machine, and Trump seems hell-bent on putting himself through the ringer, no outside assistance necessary thank you very much!


Registration among Latino voters spikes and they ain't voting for The Donald (April 28, 2016, 12:28 PM)

Beyond recent national polling that is just devastating for the GOP in 2016, we now have evidence that Hispanic voter registration is ?skyrocketing,? reports Rafael Bernal: 

Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, projects 13.1 million Hispanics will vote nationwide in 2016, compared to 11.2 million in 2012 and 9.7 million in 2008. 

Many of those new Hispanic voters are also expected to vote against Trump if he is the Republican nominee, something that appears much more likely after the front-runner?s sweeping primary victories Tuesday in five East Coast states.

While many of the new registrations are taking place in California and Texas, which are likely to go Democratic and Republican respectively regardless, the numbers are also rising in Colorado, Nevada, and Florida.

A whopping 80 percent of respondents in a poll of registered Hispanic voters in Colorado and Nevada said Trump's views on immigration made them less likely to vote for Republicans in November. In Florida, that number was 68 percent.

Here?s the Colorado, Nevada, and Florida polling from Latino Decisions referenced above. 

Taken together, new Latino voters and their attitudes toward the GOP?s likely nominee could also have serious implications for down-ticket races. That?s exactly why the GOP is pinning its hopes on ?split tickets,? per the New York Times. Still, the GOP brand as a whole is in peril and it?s not just with Latinos, The Donald is also digging a hole with female voters. Keep digging, Donald, keep digging.


Go ahead, Donald, just keep talkin? about how much the ladies dislike Hillary ? (April 28, 2016, 11:05 AM)

Donald Trump began pressing a line of attack this week that?s deadly for his candidacy?that the ladies won?t vote for Hillary Clinton ?cuz she?s playing the ?woman card.? Brilliant, Trump, take it straight to your opponent among a voting bloc you absolutely need but already pretty much despises you. Who knows, maybe they don?t feel ?cherished? by The Donald?at least, 70 percent of them don?t per Gallup?s daily tracking poll (that ?unfavorable? view is up from 12 points since last July.) 

It?s not just that he?s losing single women, who vote disproportionately Democratic as a rule, it?s that he?s tanking with the segments that are essential to a Republican candidacy: both married and white women. Tierney Sneed reports:

Married women

Married women, who turned out for Mitt Romney over Obama by 53 percent to 46 percent, have an overwhelmingly negative view of Trump. Seventy percent of them view Trump unfavorably, according to Purple Slice online poll conducted by Purple Strategies for Bloomberg Politics and released earlier this month. Married women choose Clinton over Trump 48 percent to 36 percent. (The married female vote would be split 43-to-43 percent if Clinton was facing Cruz, according to the poll.)

?There?s a 21-point gap between where [Trump] is and where he needs to be just to match Romney, who lost,? Douglas Usher, a pollster for Purple Strategies, told TPM.

A Democracy Corps poll this month put Trump in slightly better stead with the married contingent?narrowly beating Clinton by 3 percentage points. But Clinton crushed him with unmarried women, 73 percent to 21 percent.

?Married women are supporting Trump by a slight margin and unmarried women are giving Hillary Clinton a 52-point advantage. That?s huge,? said Page Gardner, president of the Women?s Voices Women Vote Action Fund.


Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/28 (April 28, 2016, 09:01 AM)

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

Please note: This is a Democratic presidential primary-free zone.


Morning Digest: This is the worst polling debacle we've ever seen, by a huge margin (April 28, 2016, 08:01 AM)

Leading Off:

? MD-01: Forget any clever ledes?we're just going to give this one to you right up front: Republican pollster Gravis Marketing blew a race by 96 points on Tuesday night. Yep, 96 points. It's by far?by far?the biggest polling disaster we've ever seen, so let's talk about it a little.

Back in January, Gravis conducted a poll for former state Del. Mike Smigiel, who was challenging Rep. Andy Harris in the GOP primary in Maryland's conservative 1st Congressional District. Smigiel's poll gave him an impossible 58-29 lead on Harris, and we knew, just knew, that those numbers had to be total bullshit, but we didn't find out why until Politico's Steve Sheppard discovered that Gravis had conducted a so-called "informed ballot" poll.

In such a poll, respondents are given information about each candidate before asking which they'd prefer in a direct matchup. That's contrasted with an "initial ballot" test, where voters are asked for their preferences without hearing any candidate information; usually you ask both, with the initial ballot, as you'd expect, coming first.

Informed ballots are common practice, but if you're releasing informed ballot numbers, you simply have to explain that that's what they are. Ordinarily, in fact, we wouldn't even bother to assess how well informed ballots stack up against actual election results, since they represent some Platonic ideal of a campaign rather than reality. We also usually don't evaluate polls taken four months before Election Day, because circumstances can change. But it's doubtful they did in this case, and we have good reason for making an exception here.

That's because Smigiel went out of his way to conceal the fact his numbers did not represent an initial ballot test.


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