Thursday, June 18, 2020

Last Call For That Poll-Asked Look, Con't

The Kentucky Democratic Senate primary just got heart-attack serious, if a new Charles Booker/Amy McGrath poll is to be believed.

Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker is pulling ahead of former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath in the state’s Democratic Senate primary, according to a new poll released Thursday by the progressive think tank Data for Progress.

The survey, conducted from June 13-15 by the online polling company Civiqs, found Booker leading McGrath 44 percent to 36 percent. It’s the latest sign that Booker is heading into the June 23 primary with significant momentum despite McGrath’s outsize fundraising advantage and longtime lead in the polls.
The Data for Progress/Civiqs poll also found McGrath’s favorability rating under water. Of the 898 registered Kentucky voters surveyed, only 24 percent said they have a favorable view of the former fighter pilot, who launched her Senate campaign last year with the support of Democratic Senate leaders in Washington. Fifty-nine percent reported having an unfavorable opinion of McGrath, while 18 percent said they were unsure.

Fewer voters, meanwhile, said they have an opinion of Booker, with 38 percent unsure of how to view him. Still, 33 percent said they have a positive opinion of him compared to 29 percent who reported an unfavorable opinion.

McGrath has long been seen as the favorite to win the Democratic nomination to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in November. But Booker has emerged as an unexpected threat in the final weeks before the June 23 primary, especially amid ongoing protests over racial injustice and police brutality.

Louisville, Booker’s hometown, became a hotbed for those protests after 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, an unarmed black woman, was shot and killed by police in March while officers executed a no-knock search warrant at her apartment.

Booker, a freshman state lawmaker, has appeared frequently at the protests in Louisville, and has knocked McGrath for not being more present at the demonstrations. An advertisement launched this week by Booker’s campaign features a clip of McGrath from a June 1 Democratic debate explaining that she had been absent from the protests because she was spending time with her family.

McGrath’s campaign has noted that she has attended several events and met with community leaders in recent weeks about the issues of racial inequality and police practices.

Despite Booker’s lead in the latest Data for Progress/Civiqs poll, the primary is expected to be highly competitive. McGrath has a massive financial advantage over Booker – her most recent federal filings show her with more than $19 million in cash on hand. And other recent polls show her leading in the race.

A recent internal poll released by Booker’s campaign showed him trailing McGrath by 10 points. Still, that suggests that his standing in the race has improved drastically. A similar internal poll fielded in April showed him down more than 50 points.

I hate to say it, but this brings to mind the 2015 Bluegrass/Survey USA poll showing Jack Conway had an 5-point lead over Matt Bevin heading into the gubernatorial election, a race that Bevin ended up winning by 9 points.  Bluegrass was fired as a pollster and went under, their reputation in the state ruined.

On the other hand, Bevin's commanding win in 2015 because, among other things, Bluegrass's model fatally undercounted white GOP non-college men, was the canary in Coal Country that presaged the rise of Trump a year later.

It's possible that the Civiqs poll is predicting the new model correctly and that the effect of Breonna Taylor's death at the hands of LMPD will rewrite the race, not only next week, but in June as well. It's possible that it's a national trend that will wipe out the GOP, including Trump and McConnell, in November.

Or not. Booker could win and then lose to McConnell by 20 points as opposed to the somewhat closer race McGrath has been running.

We'll see what happens next week.

Another Supreme Day All Around

In a 5-4 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the US Supreme Court sided with young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children and ruled that the Trump regime has no right to arbitrarily end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program under the DREAM Act.

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, his second stunning election-season rebuke from the court in a week after Monday’s ruling that it’s illegal to fire people because they’re gay or transgender.

For now, the young immigrants retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States.

The 5-4 outcome, in which Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices were in the majority, seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump’s campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in 2016 and immigration restrictions his administration has imposed since then.

The justices rejected administration arguments that the 8-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program is illegal and that courts have no role to play in reviewing the decision to end DACA. The program covers people who have been in the United States since they were children and are in the country illegally. In some cases, they have no memory of any home other than the U.S.

Trump didn’t hold back in his assessment of the court’s work, hitting hard at a political angle.

“These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!” he wrote on Twitter, apparently including the LGBT ruling as well.

In a second tweet, he wrote, “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”

Roberts wrote for the court that the administration did not pursue the end of the program properly.

“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,“ Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients.”

The Department of Homeland Security can try again, he wrote. But any new order to end the program, and the legal challenge it would provoke, would take months, if not longer, immigration experts said.

The court’s four conservative justices dissented. Justice Clarence Thomas, in a dissent joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, wrote that DACA was illegal from the moment it was created under the Obama administration in 2012. Thomas called the ruling “an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a separate dissent that he was satisfied that the administration acted appropriately in trying to end the program.

DACA recipents were elated by the ruling.

“We’ll keep living our lives in the meantime,” said Cesar Espinosa, who leads the Houston immigration advocacy group FIEL. “We’re going to continue to work, continue to advocate.”

The only reason DACA still exists is because SCOTUS reuled that the Trump regime was too lazy to come up with a decent legal argument as to why it should be ended.

That's it. Four justices were ready to rule that the entire program was unconstitutional, but Roberts didn't want to be the bad guy who deported two-thirds of a million people back to countries they never knew.

More importantly though, it wrecks the Stephen Miller strategy to continually use the threat of destroying DACA as a cudgel to compel the Democrats to do what the regime wants "or else".

On top of all that, Dreamers deserve to stay in the US, period. And the court agrees.

For now.

The GOP's Race To The Bottom, Con't

It's amazing how national Republicans keep discovering how racist their own federal office candidates are on a regular, continuing basis and how that might be a problem in the general election and nationally overall, and still people pretend to be shocked by it. How, I have no idea, especially when Republican primary voters in deep red areas of the country keep voting for them precisely because they are as racist as the candidates they choose to represent them.

The House’s highest-ranking Republicans are racing to distance themselves from a leading GOP congressional candidate in Georgia after POLITICO uncovered hours of Facebook videos in which she expresses racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views.

The candidate, Marjorie Taylor Greene, suggested that Muslims do not belong in government; thinks black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party”; called George Soros, a Jewish Democratic megadonor, a Nazi; and said she would feel “proud” to see a Confederate monument if she were black because it symbolizes progress made since the Civil War.

Greene finished first in a primary for a deep-red, northwest Georgia seat last week by a nearly two-to-one margin over the second-place candidate. She is entering an August runoff as the heavy favorite to secure the Republican nomination for a district where that is tantamount to winning the general election in November. Her initial victory — which has sparked panic in GOP circles — comes as Republicans are grappling with a national reckoning over racial inequality and police brutality after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last month.

Republicans had just felt relief after they finally ousted Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a controversial member with a long history of making racially charged remarks, in a primary earlier this month.

Yeah, like the racism "ended" with King of the Melonheads gone.  Also, a Q Anon crackpot is a racist, Islamophobic anti-Semite?


Now GOP lawmakers, aides and operatives fear Greene — a wealthy businesswoman who already drew national attention because of her belief in a trove of “QAnon” conspiracy theories — could create an even bigger black eye for the party if she wins the nomination. Greene will face neurosurgeon John Cowan in the Aug. 11 primary runoff.

“These comments are appalling, and Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them,” said Drew Florio, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) went further, throwing his weight behind Greene’s opponent.

“The comments made by Ms. Greene are disgusting and don’t reflect the values of equality and decency that make our country great,” Scalise said in a statement. “I will be supporting Dr. Cowan.”

In recordings obtained by POLITICO, Greene described Islamic nations under Sharia law as places where men have sex with "little boys, little girls, multiple women" and "marry their sisters" and "their cousins." She suggested the 2018 midterms — which ushered in the most diverse class of House freshmen — was part of “an Islamic invasion of our government” and that “anyone that is a Muslim that believes in Sharia law does not belong in our government.”

In other videos, she directly compared Black Lives Matter activists to the Neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members who marched at a white nationalist rally three years ago in Charlottesville, Va., denouncing them all as “idiots.” And Greene forcefully rejected the notion there are racial disparities in the U.S. or that skin color impacts the “quality” of one's life: “Guess what? Slavery is over,” she said. “Black people have equal rights.”

When asked for comment on quotes from the videos, Greene campaign manager Isaiah Wartman did not deny their veracity but declined to elaborate.

“Thank[s] for the reminder about Soros. We forgot to put him in our newest ad. We’re fixing that now,” he wrote in an email to POLITICO. “Would you like me to send you a copy?

Suddenly, this seat might actually be in play.

Stay tuned.


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