Campaign will redirect energies to new swing state, Texas.
It looks like the Wolverine Queen herself, Ms. Gretchen Whitmer, will have the last laugh over Donald Trump, who targeted the Michigan governor during the COVID-19 pandemic. While other governors hastily reopened their states and saw their approval ratings drop as coronavirus cases rose, Whitmer's COVID-19 approval rating has grown from 62 percent in late April to 69 percent in late June. She gambled, apparently successfully, that her constituents would prefer to stay alive. Meanwhile, recent polling shows that just 45 percent of Michigan voters approve of Trump's COVID-19 response (granted, this was before the president expressed his support for the demon sex doctor).
The numbers are bleak for Trump in Michigan, a state he narrowly won — like by .3 percent — in 2016 thanks to Russia and Jill Stein, who is kinda still Russia. He's facing a head-to-head matchup against Joe Biden in November, and he hasn't led a Michigan poll since mid-February when Biden was getting spanked in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. Biden has a polling average lead of almost nine points, more than double Hillary Clinton's, which was well within a margin of error and a James Comey push down the stairs.
Michigan is slipping through Trump's spoiled baby fingers.
Gretchen Whitmer says she will hit the ground running www.youtube.com
Trump has slowly retreated from Michigan. His dumpster fire campaign has stopped buying TV ads in the state while Handsome Joe is all over the airwaves, talking about how he won't kill you with COVID-19.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Trump faces a trifecta of troubles in Michigan, according to political strategists and state polling: reduced support among less educated white voters in a contest against Mr. Biden compared with Hillary Clinton; motivated Black voters in the state's urban centers; and suburban voters who continue to flee Mr. Trump's divisive brand of politics.
Trump's right: Nobody likes him.
Michigan has 16 electoral votes, and if Trump loses those, that would take his 2016 Electoral College tally down to 290. That doesn't leave much wiggle room. He's dumping money into Iowa, where he crushed Clinton by almost 10 points but he's now leading Biden by a single point. That's not the only state where he's on the ropes. Biden's leading in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Biden's lead in the latter two states is significant, and if Trump loses both then our long national nightmare is over.
Polling is not that great for Wisconsin, but we do know that Trump narrowly won by less than a percentage point in 2016. That was before he set the nation on fire. His approval ratings on COVID-19 and race relations are underwater, and although Trump's protectionist trade positions in 2016 might've resonated in the union-heavy state, labor loves cool Joe.
"Hillary Clinton was toxic to non-college-educated white working-class voters, particularly men," said Adrian Hemond, a Michigan-based Democratic strategist. "They don't have the same attitude with Joe Biden."
The Trump campaign and even fretful Democrats aren't fully convinced by the polls this time out given the president's surprised 2016 victory. However, Trump was on the offensive in the last election. That's why you had articles in late October that literally asked, “Why Is Trump In Michigan And Wisconsin?" Biden has clearly put Trump on the defensive. Morning Consult has another poll showing Biden narrowly winning Texas, which is game over.
Ted Cruz released a video last week warning of a “blue wave destroying the great state of Texas." (I think that just means Texans would've rejected Trump and his Republican stooges. Conservatives aren't big fans of democracy.) Senators Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand aren't worried about “red waves" coming for California and New York, both of which will get called for Biden as soon as the polls close.
Meanwhile, Trump has to wake up the troops in Texas (led by Allen West!) and tell them they might have to fight for this one.
Naturally, the New York Times is gonna New York Times. Dig this:
But the reality is that Mr. Trump has far more pathways to 270 electoral votes without Michigan than Mr. Biden does.
This implies that Michigan is a package deal and if Biden loses there, he loses the rest of the once mighty "Blue Wall." But the same is true for Trump. If he loses Michigan, it's likely he'd lose Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Trump campaign has been redirecting money to defend other, more conservative states that he won in 2016, like Ohio and Georgia, and to try to find new Democratic states to flip, such as Nevada and Minnesota.
Trump on the defense in Ohio and Georgia, which a Democrat hasn't won since 1992, shows that his paths to 270 are narrowing. The Times doesn't question the strategy of flipping Minnesota, a state Trump lost in 2016. How is that supposed to happen post-COVID-19?
Nevada is a legitimate weak spot for Biden, who isn't as strong with Hispanic voters as Clinton was, but the state has six electoral votes. That's not an even swap for Michigan's 16 or Arizona's 11.
Look, we don't want to get overconfident or complacent, but 2018 did in fact occur, and Democrats had significant statewide victories in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer declared in her 2018 victory speech that she planned to “hit the ground running," and that same strength and fortitude is what's going to send Trump packing.
Stephen Robinson on Twitter.
Yr Wonkette is 100 percent ad free and entirely supported entirely by reader donations. That's you! Please click the clickie, if you are able!
Trump-spanking polls are giving us life!
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden expanding his lead over President Pandemic. With just three and a half months remaining for more people to die from Donald Trump's bungling, 51 percent of voters said they would vote for Biden, who speaks in sentences. Forty percent of voters are still ride or die with Trump, but they also are more likely to not wear masks and attend COVID-19 parties so they're really leaning into the “die" part, which could impact turnout.
Trump's job approval has sunk to 42 percent, a low not seen since April 2018, just prior to the Blue Wave that helped congressional Republicans “Find Something New." A majority of voters — 54 percent — still prefer Trump on the economy, but that's not their number one priority. Voters are most concerned about COVID-19 and Trump has nothing to offer but tax cuts, Confederate statue preservation, and suggestions for bleaching away the virus.
Trump is also struggling with seniors, a demo that normally votes for Republicans in big numbers while shaking their fists at rap music. That's a down-ballot death knell for GOP candidates.
Quinnipiac University released the hounds on Trump with a poll that showed Biden stomping the president by 15 points. (It's 52-37.) Biden was ahead “only" eight points a month ago. Biden's lead has grown to 17 points among independents. He's up 28 points on addressing racial inequality and 24 points on managing the COVID-19 outbreak. Voters prefer him by 19 points when it comes to handling a crisis. Quinnipiac even has Biden up five points on the economy, which makes sense because economic activity is known to stall when everyone's dead.
However, the poll didn't didn't survey voters on which candidate they believe is best equipped to pitch Goya beans, so the results are inconclusive.
"Thumbs up. Orange. Grinning like he won a prize," says @andersoncooper on Pres. Trump's Goya photo. "137,000 Amer… https://t.co/5zACf6Rs5r— Anderson Cooper 360° (@Anderson Cooper 360°) 1594861554.0
From the Wall Street Journal:
"President Trump has hit the trifecta in the misery market. The three key indicators—job rating, personal feelings, attitudes on re-election—are all deeply submerged underwater," [Democratic pollster Peter] Hart said. "They represent the best measure of the standing and political strength of an incumbent president."
These are stunning numbers that an incumbent has only recently seen in 1968 (Lyndon B. Johnson) and 1980 (Jimmy Carter). It didn't end well for either president. It's not much of a surprise, though, when you consider how fundamentally wrong Trump has been on everything. He's pushed to reopen the economy when most voters would rather stay alive. He's wrapped himself in the Confederate flag during a national reckoning on race. When Mitt Romney attends a Black Lives Matter march, a wise president might pay attention.
But Trump isn't wise. He's dumb as shit that got left back in the first grade. He can't course correct because he refuses to believe he's on the wrong course. He insists the jazz funeral of polls showing him losing badly are all “fake," because the "fake poll" industry is real and thriving even during a recession.
The other day, he rambled on about how he couldn't possibly lose because he still dominated the “rich assholes with boats" demographic.
Question: Do you see yourself losing in the fall? Trump: ...suppression polls...look at the lakes, thousands of boa… https://t.co/4LGHf3WjHV— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi) 1594765703.0
A CNBC/Change Research poll has Biden up seven points over Trump in Florida. They must've forgotten to count the boats. A Monmouth University Poll has Biden beating Trump by 13 points among registered voters. When adjusted for likely voters in a high turnout election, it's still a 10-point TKO. Trump is toast even with low turnout: Biden's up seven points. This isn't that crazy. Barack Obama beat John McCain by 10 points. Obama's margin narrowed to about five points in 2012 but he generally performed much weaker among white and older voters than Biden is.
Perpetually wrong pundit Hugh Hewitt, who actually thinks voters' number one issue in November is going to be China, dismissed this voodoo data on MSNBC last night. He sticks with his gut, and his gut says he "grew up seven miles from Pennsylvania." I'm guessing he didn't spend much time in West Philly. (Peggy Noonan predicted an Obama loss in 2012 — damn the polls — because of the number of Romney yard signs she'd seen.)
These polls clearly reflect an electorate coping with double-digit unemployment, an unchecked pandemic, and a president with no constructive solutions for either.
Trump might be slowly waking up to reality. Last night, he sent a break-up text over Twitter to his campaign manager Brad Parscale, who wasn't able to make Trump less repulsive than whatever was growing on his neck. We'll laugh derisively at him in a separate post.
Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.
Yr Wonkette is 100 percent ad free and entirely supported entirely by reader donations. That's you! Please click the clickie, if you are able!
Senate Democrats block Republicans’ BS police ‘reform’ bill.
Senate Republicans offered a piddly-ass bill that gently, but not too strongly, encouraged police departments to “revise their practices," which in a total coincidence keep resulting in dead Black folks. The police have proven no more capable of voluntarily reforming themselves than Keith Richards in the 1970s, so Senate Democrats blocked the bill today. Republicans are aghast: “But we thought you wanted meaningless reform that changes nothing but will make us look slightly less racist during an election year?"
The gentlewoman from California wasn't having it. Kamala Harris said the Senate can't pass a “police reform bill" that doesn't reasonably address the concerns of Black people, who the police are killing ... a lot. If Kamala's a cop, this was some hardcore “cop-on-cop" crime.
Kamala Harris schools John Cornyn on police reform www.youtube.com
Republicans wanted to slap South Carolina Senator Tim Scott's smiling face on their raggedy-ass bill like it's a pancake syrup, but the bill didn't even remove the "qualified immunity" that shields police from murder-related lawsuits or impose new federal restrictions on lethal force (like, please stop doing it so much). The most it could muster was a "penalty" of less free money for police departments that don't require the use of body cameras. I think cops would gladly pay you Tuesday for not incriminating themselves today.
From the Washington Post:
The [bill] withholds federal grants to state and local law enforcement agencies that don't proactively bar the practice of chokeholds. It also calls on states and localities to report to the Justice Department when so-called "no-knock warrants" are used, and it would punish those that do not do so by withholding federal funding.
Neither of those proposals would've saved the lives of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor. Police departments are still free to shake down states for their Star Destroyers, and what amounts to a “fine" doesn't hold the officers accountable. I don't consider it a “victory" that one of Taylor's killers lost his job. That's the bare minimum. He should also face prosecution for murder because he murdered someone.
When John Cornyn grossly claimed that Democrats were “blocking their own lynching bill," which shows you how much he cares about the lynching bill, Harris informed him she wasn't falling for the Republicans' banana in the tailpipe.
HARRIS: I think it's important we not get distracted. We cannot pull out a specific component of this bill and leave everything else in the garbage bin. And that is the logical and practical and actual conclusion of where you are going with the suggestion that we would sacrifice issues like no-knock warrants, issues like national standard for use of force, issues like the need for independent investigations for police misconduct, issues like pattern and practice investigations with subpoena power for the United States Department of Justice ... It's like asking a mother, save one of your children and leave the others!
Cornyn asked Harris if she'd yield for a question, and Harris said, “Absolutely," but she cocked her hips as she said it, as though she was preparing to skin him alive. Never ask a Black woman a question under those circumstances. Let your curiosity remain unsatisfied.
He asked if Harris was “familiar with the rules of the Senate that allows senators to offer amendments to improve legislation." Yes, she is, asshat, and Harris reminded the Texas senator that they both serve on the Judiciary Committee, where Democrats had asked for a meaningful discussion but none occurred. Cornyn kept digging.
CORNYN: What I'm trying to fathom ... is why the senator would rather have these negotiations occur behind closed doors as opposed to here on the floor of the Senate to see broadcast on television. Don't you think that sort of interaction and debate and negotiation out in front of all 330 million Americans would be beneficial to healing our country?
If you too were having trouble figuring out what Cornyn's damned point was, he was annoyed that Democrats were blocking the bill rather than letting it pass and then offering amendments to it later. Because they should trust Mitch McConnell. Harris responded like she was talking to simple-minded kids watching "Ms. Kamala's Neighborhood."
HARRIS: Indeed. That is the beauty of the Judiciary Committee. Our meetings are public meetings.
She paused to give Cornyn a chance to recover and respond, but it was cold without his skin, so he just slunk away ... like a nerd.
Scott tried to save the useless bill with an even more useless speech about how it was an opportunity to say "not only do we hear you, not only do we see you, we are responding to your pain." I'm not into kink shaming, but I know few Black people who are into having salt poured into our police-inflicted wounds.
Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.
Yr Wonkette is 100 percent ad free and entirely supported entirely by reader donations. Please click the clickie, if you are able!
Ellison also charging the punk ass cops who watched Chauvin kill George Floyd.
When now-former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin brutally killed George Floyd on a city street, three other cops stood and watched, which is just bad policing because they're supposed to stop crimes, of which murder is one. It was also bad human-ing. Random citizens screamed for Chauvin to stop, to remove his knee from Floyd's neck as he cried out in delirious agony, and they weren't even in the so-called “protect and serve" business. The cops were, and they did nothing. This wasn't a complicated Trolley Problem. Their inaction was criminal.
Fortunately, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is treating these criminals in blue like criminals who should wear stripes. According to law enforcement sources, Ellison plans to charge the three other officers at the scene — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane — with aiding and abetting murder, and it's no longer the remedial murder Chauvin was charged with last Friday. He's elevating that shit from third-degree murder and manslaughter to second-degree murder. The big difference between third and second degree murder — aside from potentially 15 more years in prison — is that second degree murder is intentional. That is the correct choice because even Stevie Wonder can see that Chauvin intended to kill Floyd, who was completely at his mercy. They weren't in a slap fight like on Dynasty and Floyd hit his head on a coffee table.
Dynasty: Alexis and Dominique's Catfight www.youtube.com
Ellison also doesn't need to prove premeditation to convict Chauvin of second-degree murder. I can't stress enough that this is how George Floyd would've been treated if he'd committed a similar offense. People have rationalized the lesser charge because they believed it was the best shot at conviction, but that only perpetuates a discriminatory system. Besides, if Chauvin had tripped on a brick and died while chasing Floyd, the police unions would've still called for the maximum sentence possible. Police officers are empowered to act with force on the state's behalf, and when they abuse that power, the state should hold them accountable, not send them home with a lollipop.
Gov. Tim Walz asked Ellison to take over the prosecution from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, which was moving slow like Uncle Joe at the Junction. I can appreciate deliberation in forming an airtight case but this obscenity was on video. (Alas, so was Rodney King's beatdown.) It offended the conscience that the other officers remained free while Floyd remained dead. Although Thao just watched like some sick bastard who watches torture murders, Kueng helped pin Floyd down. That's usually enough for life in prison if you're a gangster, and too many cops consider their badges a license to gangster.
When tweeting the news to her followers, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar called Ellison's decisive action "another important step for justice." In 2002, Minneapolis police on a domestic violence call choked the life out Christopher Burns, who was unarmed, with his fiancee and three young children present. This was the third police killing of a black man that year. Local activists held peaceful rallies, but the “up-and-coming" young Hennepin County attorney declined to press charges against any of the officers involved. That
prosecutor was Amy Klobuchar. Her tweets now just seem like empty words from a desperate politician watching her vice presidential ambitions fade away.
Ellison did the right thing. He's seeking full justice for George Floyd, and he doesn't care if it pisses off the local police union, which we know it will. It's well past time that prosecutors and politicians stand up to them. We should expect nothing less.
Follow SER on Twitter.
Wonkette is ad-free and 100 percent reader funded. You're reading us, so please help fund us if you're able.