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What Trump's stunning lack of interest in any major event unrelated to terror tells us (June 29, 2016, 11:26 AM)

When it comes to "terror," Donald Trump is quick on the draw. Within roughly an hour of reports on the attack on Turkey?s Ataturk International Airport, Trump was pushing out useless tweets while his campaign was warning that "the terrorist threat has never been greater." 

But if you're looking for responses on anything besides terrorism, forget it. The world economy, for instance, meh. Women's health, not so much. In both cases, Trump's reaction to the UK's Brexit vote and the Supreme Court's abortion ruling are indicative of how he would lead on any urgent issue not related to terror: in absentia.

Trump, who had the serendipitous good fortune to be in Scotland promoting his new golf course on the day of the Brexit vote results, totally blew the press opportunity to assert himself on a major international issue. In fact, he didn't even mention the cataclysmic vote until asked by reporters.

Trump could have used the moment to substantively address a momentous global event. Instead, he provided a widely broadcast infomercial for his newest luxury golf club, standing in front of a bagpiper and wearing a white ?Make America Great Again? cap. [...] As reporters pressed Trump on the referendum, it was not clear if Trump fully understood what had just happened. He declared the outcome ?fantastic? and ?great? because it reflects the anger of voters, and said that the plummeting value of the pound could positively benefit the country. 

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/29 (June 29, 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.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 3:15:46 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

NY-01: The Democratic primary to face freshman GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin remains uncalled, with ex-Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst holding a 29-vote lead over venture capitalist Dave Calone with all precincts reporting. As of Wednesday morning, it?s unclear how many absentee ballots need to be tabulated or when they?ll be counted.

Throne-Holst outspent Calone, and EMILY?s List dropped $720,000 for her; no major outside groups came to Calone?s aid. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also endorsed Throne-Holst and appeared in an ad for her. However, the East Hampton Star recently noted that Throne-Holst has a reputation for being difficult to work with, which helps explain why Calone had the backing of far more local Democrats than his opponent. Throne-Holst had also been a member of the Independence Party until she decided to run for Congress. Calone ran ads accusing Throne-Holst of not being a genuine Democrat, and he noted that she had contributed to the Conservative Party in the past; the group now backs Donald Trump, which Calone emphasized. It?s very possible that Throne-Holst?s weak ties to local Democratic powerplayers and Calone?s attacks helped Calone offset (or at least almost offset) her huge financial edge.

Obama narrowly carried this eastern Long Island seat, and Zeldin will be a top Democratic target. However, Zeldin has amassed a large warchest, and he won?t mind that the eventually Democratic nominee will be distracted for a little while longer. This area also tends to favor Republicans downballot, though Democrat Tim Bishop held this seat for 12 years until Zeldin unseated him. Unlike many vulnerable Republicans, Zeldin isn?t distancing himself from Donald Trump at all. Back in April, Zeldin claimed that his internal polls showed Trump beating Hillary Clinton "in a blowout" in New York's 1st Congressional District, but he didn?t release any actual numbers, and there have been no public polls here. Daily Kos Elections rates the general as Lean Republican.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 3:34:39 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

NY-03: Ex-Nassau County Tom Suozzi hasn?t had a lot of electoral success over the last decade, but he?ll have the chance to change that in November. Suozzi decisively won the Democratic primary for this open Long Island swing seat with 36 percent of the vote; Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern, who had retiring Rep. Steve Israel?s endorsement, and ex-North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman each took 22 percent, with North Hempstead Town Councilor Anna Kaplan at 15. Suozzi didn?t run any ads, but he started the contest with a great deal of name recognition, which may have made all the difference in this four-way primary.

In 2001, Suozzi gave Democrats control of the county executive post for the first time, and he decisively won re-election four years later. However, the Democratic rising star waged an ill-advised gubernatorial primary campaign against Elliot Spitzer in 2006, and got crushed 82-18 statewide. The Great Recession hit Nassau hard a few years later, but Suozzi didn?t recognize that he was in electoral danger until it was too late. In 2009, Suozzi narrowly lost re-election to Republican Ed Mangano by 386 votes in a complete shocker. Suozzi had $1 million left in his warchest after that campaign, so he clearly didn't take Mangano seriously. Mangano looked weak after the state seized control of Nassau's finances in 2011, and Suozzi launched a comeback campaign in 2013. However, he lost his rematch to Mangano 59-41, demonstrating that his popularity hadn't recovered.

Obama won this seat just 51-48, and Team Blue needs to hope that Suozzi?s baggage won?t drag him down, or that Donald Trump will at least offset it. The GOP has consolidated behind state Sen. Jack Martins, a former mayor of Mineola. Martins hasn?t proven to be a very strong fundraiser so far, but he gives Team Red a shot at a House pickup in a year where they?re mostly on the defensive. Daily Kos Elections rates the general as a Tossup.

Morning Digest: GOP reserves $2.5 million in airtime for under-the-radar Missouri Senate race (June 29, 2016, 08:01 AM)

Leading Off:

? Senate: The conservative group Senate Leadership Fund, which is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has announced about $40 million in fall TV reservations. New Hampshire is getting the most cash, with $15.8 million going to boost Sen. Kelly Ayotte. As Andrea Drusch points out, the Koch brothers have refused to help Ayotte, so SLF is likely trying to fill the void.

The group has also announced that they've reserved $8.1 million in Ohio, $6 million in Nevada (the only Democratic-held seat on the list), $6.2 million in Pennsylvania, and $2.5 million in Missouri. While Florida was not included, SLF says they'll be spending heavily to help GOP incumbent Marco Rubio.

The Missouri investment is particularly notable. There haven't been many polls here, but GOP incumbent Roy Blunt looks like the clear favorite against Secretary of State Jason Kander in this conservative state. However, the GOP group One Nation recently spent $1.5 million on ads for Blunt, so this move doesn't come completely out of nowhere. But Democratic Senate groups haven't included the Show Me State in their fall reservations, and Hillary Clinton and her allies haven't shown much of an interest in targeting Missouri's 10 electoral votes yet. That may change, but it's interesting that the GOP is signaling that they're taking this race seriously, while Team Blue isn't yet.

Daily Kos Elections June 28 primary liveblog #3 (June 28, 2016, 10:45 PM)

Tonight, voters in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah will cast ballots in their states? downballot primaries. Our guide to the key races can be found here. The first polls close at 8 PM ET in Oklahoma, and we'll be bringing you tonight's results as they come in. We?ll also be covering the returns closely on Twitter.

ResultsCO | NY | OK | UT

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:54:02 AM +00:00 · David Nir

Even though we're still awaiting AP calls on a few races, the action has mostly wound down. Here's a recap of New York:

NY-01 (D): In the most exciting race of the night, former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst has a lead of just 24 votes on venture capitalist Dave Calone with just 1 precinct left. This one will get decided by the absentee ballots.

NY-03 (D): Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi's political comeback is well in hand. He's leading Suffolk County Legislator Steven Stern 35-26 with 84% reporting.

NY-13 (D): State Sen. Adriano Espaillat seems to have an insurmountable 36.5 to 34.1 lead on Assemblyman Keith Wright with 96% of voting machines tallied. But Wright isn't conceding; in fact, he's demanding an investigation (into what exactly, we don't know).

NY-19 (D & R): The AP has called both races. For Democrats, law professor Zephyr Teachout is crushing Livingston Town Councilman Will Yandik 77-23 with 75% reporting. For the GOP, former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso is beating wealthy businessman Andrew Heaney 63-37.

NY-22 (R): Tea partying Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney has a 42-32 lead on businessman Steve Wells, the NRCC's choice, with 77% reporting. Democrats would be thrilled if that held up.

NY-24 (D): The AP has called it for former Kirsten Gillibrand staffer Colleen Deacon, the favorite of DC Dems. She has a big 49-32 lead on college professor Eric Kingson, a Bernie Sanders endorsee.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:59:50 AM +00:00 · David Nir

And here's a run-down of the action in CO, OK, and UT, where everything has been called:

CO-Sen (R): Republicans chose El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn as their standard-bearer; he took first by a 37-5 margin over rich guy Jack Graham in a five-candidate field. Glenn will now face Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in the fall.

CO-05 (R): Despite turning in a terrible performance at the GOP convention, Rep. Doug Lamborn easily turned back a challenge from Calandra Vargas, 68-32.

OK-01 (R): Nothing to see here: Rep. Jim Bridenstine destroyed self-funding challenger Tom Atkinson 81-16.

OK-02 (R): Rep. Markwayne Mullin turned aside a challenge from Jarrin Jackson 63-37. Not awe-inspiring, though.

UT-Gov (R): Gov. Gary Herbert also had a wobbly time before his state's convention, but he utterly crunched wealthy businessman Jonathan Johnson 73-27.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 3:11:11 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

NY-22 (R): All the votes are now counted in this swing district, and the NRCC has taken its lumps. Their preferred candidate, Steven Wells, has lost to tea-partier Claudia Tenney by a 41-34 margin.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 3:12:55 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

NY-03 (D): It?s not an AP checkmark, but?.



Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 3:18:05 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

NY-01 (D): We won?t see an AP call here, for obvious reasons, but we now have 100% of precincts reporting. Anna Throne-Holst leads provisionally over Dave Calone, but the final margin is just 29 votes out of nearly 11,000 cast. So, think it is self-evident that this one is going to overtime, so to speak.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 3:24:31 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

NY-13 (D) : There?s no AP checkmark here yet, either, but the writing appears to be on the wall, making this one of the most shocking stats of the night:



Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 3:40:29 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

NY-03 (D): After inexplicably holding out for about 20 minutes, despite an insurmountable lead for Tom Suozzi, the AP finally calls the race for the former Nassau County Executive, who won the primary with 36% of the vote.

And, with AP unlikely to make quick calls in NY-01 or NY-13, we are going to call it a night. Unless someone has an eager need to see the GOP runoff in GA-03 liveblogged, the next time we will gather for an election night is over a month away. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 2nd, when voters head to the polls in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Thanks for reading!

Daily Kos Elections June 28 primary liveblog #2 (June 28, 2016, 09:42 PM)

Tonight, voters in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah will cast ballots in their states? downballot primaries. Our guide to the key races can be found here. The first polls close at 8 PM ET in Oklahoma, and we'll be bringing you tonight's results as they come in. We?ll also be covering the returns closely on Twitter.

ResultsCO | NY | OK | UT

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 1:45:35 AM +00:00 · David Nir

A quick recap of tonight?s calls so far:

CO-Sen (R): Conservative firebrand Darryl Glenn easily won the GOP primary; he?ll face Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in the fall.

OK-01 (R), OK-02 (R): GOP Reps. Jim Bridenstine and Markwayne Mullin easily turned backed challengers.

We?re still following races in NY and CO, with UT yet to come.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 1:54:58 AM +00:00 · David Nir

Here?s what?s happening in New York:

NY-01 (D): Former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is up 54-46 on venture capitalist Dave Calone with 55% reporting.

NY-03 (D): Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi is up 36-24 on Suffolk County Legislator Steven Stern with 25% reporting.

NY-13 (D): State Sen. Adriano Espaillat is up 36.5 to 34.3 on Assemblyman Keith Wright with 85% of voting machines tallies.

NY-19 (D & R): For Democrats, law professor Zephyr Teachout is crushing Livingston Town Councilman Will Yandik 80-20 with 20% reporting. For the GOP, former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso is likewise smashing wealthy businessman Andrew Heaney 71-29.

NY-22 (R): Tea partying Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney has a 45-33 lead on businessman Steve Wells, the NRCC's choice, with 37% reporting. Democrats would be thrilled if that held up.

NY-24 (D): Former Kirsten Gillibrand staffer Colleen Deacon, the favorite of DC Dems, has a big 52-29 lead on college professor Eric Kingson, a Bernie Sanders endorsee, with 14% reporting.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:05:39 AM +00:00 · David Nir

NY-01 (D): Whoa. A huge batch of votes just got dumped here and now Throne-Holst is up by TWO votes. Wow.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:09:46 AM +00:00 · David Nir

NY-01 (D): With 87% reporting, Calone is now up by 3 votes.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:12:09 AM +00:00 · David Nir

CO-05 (R): The AP has called it for Rep. Doug Lamborn, who easily turns back his challenger, Calandra Vargas.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:13:54 AM +00:00 · David Nir

UT-Gov (R): No surprise. Gov. Gary Hebert is crushing wealthy businessman Jonathan Johnson 74-26.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:18:44 AM +00:00 · David Nir

NY-03 (D): This race has tightened considerably, with Suozzi up just 30-27 on Stern with 41% reporting. It's tricky to forecast what will happen here, though, because almost none of the vote in Nassau has reported. That's Suozzi's home base, but he also shares it with the two other notable candidates running, so there's no telling how it'll break down.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:20:07 AM +00:00 · David Nir

NY-13 (D): With 91% of the vote tallied, it looks like it?ll be hard for Wright to come back. Espaillat is up 36.6 to 34.1, a margin of over a thousand votes.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:25:32 AM +00:00 · David Nir

NY-03 (D): Here?s why this race could change in a hurry. Suozzi is up 29-28 on Stern right now, but former Nassau Interim Finance Authority chair Jon Kaiman is crushing it in Nassau County, 50-22, with most of the county still out. If the rest of Nassau looks that way, then Kaiman could surge into the lead.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:35:23 AM +00:00 · David Nir

NY-03 (D): Nope, that Kaiman surge ain?t happening. Suozzi is now up 35-26 on Stern, with Kaiman back at 19 and 83% reporting per the AP. Suffolk County, Stern?s base, is done counting, so there?s really no way anyone can make up enough ground up Suozzi. Assuming this holds, he?ll go on to face GOP state Sen. Jack Martins for this swingy open seat left open by retiring Democratic Rep. Steve Israel.

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016 · 2:38:29 AM +00:00 · David Nir

NY-01 (D): With 98% reporting, Throne-Holst leads by 9 votes. This one won't get decided until the absentee ballots are counted. It?s amazing this race wound up so close given how widely Throne-Holst and her allies at EMILY?s List outspent Calone.

Daily Kos Elections June 28 primary liveblog #1 (June 28, 2016, 07:59 PM)

Tonight, voters in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah will cast ballots in their states? downballot primaries. Our guide to the key races can be found here. The first polls close at 8 PM ET in Oklahoma, and we'll be bringing you tonight's results as they come in. We?ll also be covering the returns closely on Twitter.

Results: CO | NY | OK | UT

Supreme Court to consider important North Carolina racial gerrymandering case in coming term (June 28, 2016, 03:20 PM)

The Supreme Court announced this week that it would hear a case this coming term concerning racial gerrymandering in North Carolina?s congressional districts. Alongside a similar challenge to Virginia?s state House of Delegates districts already set for the fall term, the court is poised to resolve some of the unclarified issues regarding the acceptable and impermissible use of race ahead of the 2020 redistricting cycle.

In 2011, Republican legislators in the Tarheel State redrew the 1st and 12th congressional districts and increased them from plurality black to majority black, claiming the changes were necessary to comply with the Voting Rights Act. In 2016 a federal district court struck down these districts, deeming them an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. Legislators subsequently claimed that they had gerrymandered based on party, not race. However, the court found that arbitrarily increasing the share of black voters was not necessary to preserve their ability to elect a black representative, but instead had diluted black voters? clout in surrounding districts.

The district court thus ordered legislators to redraw the 1st and 12th districts and the Supreme Court refused to issue a stay while lawmakers appealed. Republicans subsequently passed a new, neater-looking map which they claimed ignored race entirely. However, this new map likely will have the exact same political impact as the old map and continue to elect just two minority representatives. Republicans showed their outright disdain for democracy when they explicitly defended the map?s grossly-unfair partisan split of 10 Republicans and three Democrats in an evenly-divided swing state.

Although the district court subsequently upheld the legislature?s new replacement map against claims of illegal racial and partisan gerrymandering, its inequities remain. We have previously demonstrated that an alternative configuration could create an additional district that would elect a black representative, while a non-partisan map could yield a far more balanced partisan outcome. The district court even deemed the legislature?s openly-partisan map troubling for democracy, but admitted its hands were tied without an adequate standard to judge illegal partisan gerrymandering under past Supreme Court precedent.

North Carolina Republicans are now appealing to the Supreme Court in hopes that their original gerrymandering scheme will be approved. However, given recent rulings in similar cases in Alabama and Virginia, it seems likely that they will face a skeptical court majority, according to election law professor Rick Hasen. This issue is yet another reminder of how important it is for Democrats to win the 2016 elections and confirm a new justice who firmly supports minority voting rights, especially when many Southern states could have drawn additional congressional districts for minorities, but chose not to.

Trump's ban isn't just for Muslims anymore?it now includes an indiscriminate number of people (June 28, 2016, 01:39 PM)

In the bizarro world of Donald Trump, we?re continually reminded that every policy pronouncement is really just a whimsical moving target?including that whole Muslim ban, which initially seemed so simple. Not so, says Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson. It's actually much more complicated, since Trump really meant to include ANYONE traveling from "terrorist nations." Caitlin MacNeal reports on Pierson's latest CNN utterances:

"Mr. Trump is going to be refining his policy ? putting out more specific details, which everyone?s been asking for, but there has been no change. He still does not want to allow individuals to come into this country who cannot be vetted."

"Individuals or Muslims?" [CNN's Brianna] Keilar then asked.

Pierson then focused on Trump barring immigrants who "cannot be vetted."

"Well, it doesn?t matter really where you?re coming from, except for the fact of the terrorist nations, which he is adding to this policy to make it more clear that if you are coming from a hostile nation, and you cannot be vetted, absolutely you should not come unto this country," she said. "But individuals are the same. We cannot allow individuals to come into this country that cannot be vetted."

Oh, so not just Muslims anymore??individuals? is what we're focusing on now. Maybe Trump got word that his religious test for entry into the country wasn't playing so well to the broader public. So now his "immigration policy" will just be broadly xenophobic by excluding people based on some arbitrary standard of terror he has yet to define. If you're looking for a little more confusing detail on Trump's ever evolving "immigration policy," AP has a great chronology. Bottom line: Who knows? We could all be next on the list. 

Poll: Gender of vice presidential nominee doesn't matter (June 28, 2016, 01:36 PM)

CNN poll:

In an election year when the politics of gender have been front and center, voters are largely agreed that they won't be swayed by the gender of any vice presidential selection. Almost 9 in 10 say that if Trump or Clinton were to choose a woman as their running mate, it wouldn't impact their vote either way.

Of course, people could be lying to pollsters. And I wish I had a dollar for every time I?ve heard ?I have no problem with two women on a ticket, but other people do!?

But fact is, there?s no evidence of any significant hit to picking a woman VP. According to the poll, 10 percent would be less likely to vote for her if she chose a woman VP, and 4 percent would be more likely. The difference? A measly 6 points.

And that ?less? and ?more? formulation is kinda bullshit anyway. CNN didn?t break down partisan crosstabs for that question, so for all we know, it?s Republicans saying they?d be ?less likely to vote for her? but they wouldn?t vote for her anyway! And if Democrats would be ?more likely? to vote for her, how significant is that if they were already going to vote for her in the first place? 

And that?s the nut of it. Who is this mythical voter who is fine with voting for a woman president, especially someone with negatives as high as Hillary Clinton?s, but a female running mate would be going just too far? And saying, ?It?s not me, but there are others??isn?t an answer.  

Trust Elizabeth Warren to know where she can be most effective (June 28, 2016, 01:18 PM)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a smart person who has accomplished amazing things. She didn?t just create the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau?she did so despite stiff opposition from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner himself. That showed that she could play the inside game better than most, despite lacking much of a portfolio at the time (in essence, she chaired a Congressional oversight panel keeping tabs on Wall Street bailout money). 

And yeah, she then followed that up by ousting a popular Republican senator when no other credible Democrat in a state overflowing with them was willing to challenge him. 

Now there?s a debate over whether Warren would be most effective as a senator or vice president. I?ve been on both sides of that fence (senate vs VP), so I understand the validity of both positions. 

brooklynbadboy has the definitive argument in favor of a Warren pick, so go read that if you haven?t. Re-read it if you have. It?s excellent and persuasive. But let me add something.

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