Sanders fades, Biden is weak, and it’s a wide-open race in Iowa


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Selzer and Co. is the gold standard of polling in Iowa, and one of the best pollsters in the biz, period. It has released its latest Iowa caucus poll (March 9 results in parenthesis):

Biden 24 (27)

Sanders 16 (25)

Warren 15 (9)

Buttigieg 14 (1)

Harris 7 (7)

The big winner? Pete Buttigieg, up 13! He’s followed by Elizabeth Warren. The big loser? Bernie Sanders, who is losing steam pretty much everywhere. His retread campaign (seriously, same stump speech as 2016) is being eclipsed by new, less-polarizing, more exciting candidates such as Warren and Buttigieg. Biden, too, has nowhere to go but down, and he’s already headed in that direction.

Morning Digest: Montana Republican who assaulted a reporter and lied about it will run for governor


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The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

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MT-Gov: GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte, who infamously assaulted The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of his 2017 special election win, filed paperwork on Thursday with the state for a 2020 bid for governor of Montana. Gianforte’s spokesman confirmed that the congressman, who represents the entire state in the House, would make a formal announcement during the state’s Republican Party convention that opens June 13.

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Gianforte is, of course, best known for that unprovoked attack on Jacob two years ago, but as we’ll discuss, that ugly story doesn’t even end there, nor is that Gianforte’s only liability.

A wealthy businessman who made his fortune in the

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Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—making friends


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It’s another Saturday, so for those who tune in, welcome to a diary discussing the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic Campaign. If you’ve missed out, you can catch up anytime: Just visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every week I try to tackle issues I’ve been asked about, and with the help of other campaign workers and notes, we tackle subjects that people who want to assist a campaign want to know.

On your first day of elementary school, you walked into a classroom full of people you had never met before, and you built some of the first relationships in your life. It was one of your first real experiences in building friendships. Many adults say that it is much harder to build friendships as an adult than it was as a young child or even a college student. There are reasons

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Voting Rights Roundup: Smoking gun shows census citizenship case is a GOP plot to rig redistricting


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2020 Census: In a bombshell development with explosive implications for redistricting, newly unearthed documents have exposed a huge smoking gun of nakedly partisan and racist motiviations behind the Trump administration’s unprecedented push to add a citizenship question to every 2020 census form. Indeed, the documents detail how the GOP plainly intended to use the question to gerrymander based on adult citizens instead of the traditional basis of total population because it would be “a disadvantage to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.”

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These documents come from the hard drives of perhaps the most prominent Republican redistricting consultant in recent decades, Thomas Hofeller, who drew gerrymanders for the party in numerous states over more than three decades. Hofeller died last summer, and his estranged daughter was legally able to obtain the hard drives and turn them over to

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Nevada governor becomes first Democrat to veto popular vote compact, but it still made gains in 2019


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The growing campaign to elect the president by popular vote met two defeats on Thursday, as the governor of one swing state rejected a bill to add his state’s Electoral College votes to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, while lawmakers in another did the same.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak unexpectedly became the first Democratic governor in the country to veto a bill to join the compact, meaning the state’s six electoral votes won’t get added to the 189 that are already part of the compact. Sisolak defended his decision with the fallacious claim that the Electoral College benefits small states such as Nevada, and his veto statement leaves little room for a future reversal. Supporters lack the votes in the legislature to override Sisolak’s veto, and it appears unlikely that they will be able to do so while Sisolak remains governor.

Shortly after Sisolak issued his

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Former Republican prosecutors release damning video calling for Trump’s prosecution for obstruction


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The Republican Party has been on a pretty steady trajectory toward fascism for a little over 50 years now. The original division between those who believe in a world of humane progress and justice and those who want total control over our country’s abundant resources and wealth was and continues to be predominantly racial. The push toward more fascistic powers of control by conservatives has historically followed the line that people of color, women, and those without money should not be allowed an equal say in the running of our country. That push has never been more overt than it has been in the past decade, when Republicans crystalized their white supremacist agenda, first against President Barack Obama, and subsequently with the support of Donald Trump.

A group of former Republican federal prosectors has combined efforts to push for the further investigation and possible prosecution of Trump for obstruction of justice. Calling itself

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Democratic presidential candidates who can’t win over small-dollar donors have no business running


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People, we now have what is perhaps the dumbest, whiniest, stupidest complaint to ever emanate from any Democratic campaign. “Democrats say new DNC debate rules are forcing them to distort their 2020 campaigns to get 130k donors,” reports The New York Times. ”Vendors are now quoting $40 and $50 to ‘acquire’ ONE new $1 donor.” 

Why is this bad? “For second- or third-tier candidates, they have to choose: They can either spend their money achieving these metrics, or invest in programs on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina,” said Betsy Hoover, a Democratic digital strategist who served as director of digital organizing for the Obama campaign in 2012. “Very few are going to be able to do both.”

Here’s the thing—if you are complaining about winning small-dollar support for your campaign, you are inherently doing it wrong. If the choice is between winning white

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A new study shows how badly Americans were ‘fleeced’ by the GOP tax bill


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As tax season drew to a close in April 2019, and Americans all across the country struggled through their newly-convoluted return forms, their paltry or non-existent refunds, their minimum wage, and salary increases, and their resulting financial status, a slowly dawning realization began to take shape.

It was the unpleasant recognition that yes, in fact, they had been conned.

The title of this analysis by Think Progress, reporting on a study just released by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, really says it all: New study confirms ordinary Americans got fleeced by the Trump tax bill.

And Michael Hiltzik, writing for the Los Angeles Times, explains just what a colossal, shameless rip-off the Republican Party and Donald Trump perpetrated against ordinary Americans, with the passage of their so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” a legislative abomination which the formerly Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a Republican Senate foisted upon

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Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—clean campaigns in a dirty world


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Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Yers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

Every time there is an election, there are accusations about “dirty campaigns.” When it comes to campaigns, you’ll find that some people, with almost no scruples, are willing to do or say anything in order to confuse voters, muddy the water, and bash your candidate. How in the world do you run a clean campaign in a dirty world? 

While this series focuses on downballot (small) races, this is a challenge faced by campaigns at every level. No matter what kind of campaign you want to run, someone—whether it is your opponent or an outside advocacy group—will definitely sling some mud. How does

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Florida governor and wife invested millions into company behind the private railway system he backed


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Republican governor Rick Scott’s record of shady, possibly corrupt dealings while in office continue to surface. He’s given out tons of taxpayer money to private industry types to whom he has suspicious ties, as well as just giving out money to private industries that don’t really serve the needs of the general public. Back in 2011, the Cryptkeeper come to life was offered $2.4 billion in federal funds for a high-speed rail project that would connect Tampa to Orlando, and Orlando to Miami. At the time, Scott said “the proposed high-speed rail line is far too uncertain and offers far too little long-term benefit for me to consider moving forward.” First, he was going to cut spending and then take the federal government to task for the “investments it makes.” In his defense, he did argue that he was worried about Florida having to balance a budget—something required by

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 04:  First Lady Ann Scott listens as Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Shell Lumber and Hardware store on June 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The governor visited the store to highlight the disaster preparedness sales tax holiday running now through June 7th and to encourage residents to prepare for the hurricane season which started on June 1st.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Voting Rights Roundup: GOP floats impeaching N. Carolina Supreme Court in growing war on democracy


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North Carolina: On Friday, North Carolina Republicans escalated their assault on democracy to yet another level when state party executive director Dallas Woodhouse issued a barely veiled threat to impeach the state Supreme Court if its Democratic majority blocks the GOP’s attempt to put several deceptively worded constitutional amendments on the November ballot in a widely criticized partisan power grab.

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In other words, Republicans are telling the justices, “Rule the way we want or we’ll boot you out of your jobs”—making no attempt whatsoever to disguise their contempt for the rule of law and judicial independence. And this is no idle threat, since the GOP has the two-thirds majority in the state Senate they’d need to oust these judges, thanks to gerrymanders that were ruled unconstitutional in 2017.

This threat of a constitutional crisis comes amid the GOP’s last-ditch effort to

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Intelligence sources: Russia totally attacked Florida’s election systems


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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) got a lot of heat from Republicans and the traditional media a couple of weeks ago for saying that Russian hackers had “penetrated” some of the county voting systems in Florida. His detractors included his general election opponent, the odious Gov. Rick Scott, on whose watch this happened. Because according to three people who are aware of the intelligence involved talked to NBC News, it totally happened.

Nelson was informed of the attack by the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, because they wanted him to “let supervisors of elections in Florida know that Russians are inside our records” Nelson said. He also said that Russian hackers “have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about.” The attacks began with a 2016 hack of a Florida elections vendor, VR Systems, by hackers working for Russian military

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Texas Republican shows what desperation looks like with lie about his opponent’s fundraising


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Republican Rep. Will Hurd is losing the fundraising game to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Daily Kos-endorsed Filipina-American former Air Force Intelligence officer running for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District. So he’s decided to start lying about the money Jones is raising.  

“When you raise more money from Massachusetts than you do from Texas, that is not a good indication of your broad-based support,” Hurd said of Jones.

More money from Massachusetts, a far-away state with less than 7 million residents, than from Texas, the state the race is located in with more than 28 million residents? Whoa, if true … but it’s really, really not true.

Hurd’s campaign is counting every donation that went to Jones through ActBlue as coming from Massachusetts, because that’s where ActBlue’s office is. But ActBlue is, as its many many donors know, a conduit. It passes money from donors around the country to candidates and causes.

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Trump’s pick for California governor race says DMV is ‘worse’ than ‘the Holocaust’


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California businessman and Trump-endorsed GOP candidate for California’s gubernatorial race, John Cox is in some deep doo doo. Thursday Cox made some doo doo remarks during a campaign stop to a California DMV, as reported by Capital Public Radio. 

“You know, I met a Holocaust survivor in Long Beach. He survived concentration camps, and he said this was worse. He’s 90 years old and he had to wait four hours down in Long Beach. Can you imagine that?” Cox says.

Cox was trying to play an everyman of sorts, and do what Republicans and fascists have always done, tell the “common folks,” that they will “make the trains run on time.” Cox is running against Democrat Gavin Newsome and this won’t help. Cox’s campaign made sure to explain that while John Cox said that the lines at the DMV were worse than the lines to (maybe?) concentration camps, he

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Women’s uprising of 2018 is reaching past Congress into state legislative races


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A record number of women have won major party nominations for governor in 2018. And for the House. But it doesn’t stop there. State legislatures may get less attention than Congress (with some notable exceptions), but they make laws that affect many of us day to day … and they, too, are poised to get a wave of women in November’s elections:

In Michigan, for example, a state that proved pivotal in electing President Donald Trump in 2016, only 23 percent of state lawmakers are women. But this year, a woman will appear on the Michigan ballot for governor, attorney general, secretary of state and in 63 percent of the state’s Senate seats and 71 percent of its House seats.

Nationally, if women candidates are as successful as they have been for the past two decades – their historic rate of victory is about 60 percent – the number

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Morning Digest: Another senior Texas congressman bails, and Democrats may have a shot at his seat


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The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

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TX-21: For the second time this week, a senior Republican from Texas has announced he would retire from the House. The Texas Tribune’s Abby Livingston obtained an email from Lamar Smith, who heads the Science, Space and Technology Committee, in which he declared, “For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else,” and he soon confirmed he is indeed departing. But while fellow Texan Jeb Hensarling is leaving behind a safely red seat, Smith’s 21st Congressional District is a bit more interesting.

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Smith’s very gerrymandered district, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio and takes

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Georgia Republicans love bump stocks used by Las Vegas shooter. Democrat Stacey Abrams can stop them


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It’s no secret that some Republicans love the 2nd Amendment so much that they’ll do anything to guarantee their access to firearms—even when it means standing by gun laws that are truly nonsensical and dangerous. In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting earlier this month, lawmakers of many ideological stripes finally began asking some serious questions about whether or not certain kinds of devices that have no other purpose than killing should be available to the general public. Specifically they were referring to bump stocks—a device that can be attached to a semiautomatic rifle which allows it to fire rounds of bullets (up to 500 per minute) as fast as a machine gun.

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Bump stocks are so deadly that even the NRA came out and said it was open to reviewing and tightening regulations on them. 

But even this small policy concession is too much for the Georgia Republicans running for governor

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Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—Diversity in your actions


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Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

When you think of moments of activism that stick with you, it is not just about the subject of the protest, but also the people involved. As human beings, we all live for a narrative, a story that we can tell ourselves to make sense of the world.

People often embrace moments based on how it emotionally connects with them, but also their ability to imagine themselves as fairly represented by your efforts. This week, we are going to talk about diversity in action, and building the actions you have to effectively represent your communities.

We discussed, in this series, prior

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Voting Rights Roundup: Court nixes special elections for redrawn North Carolina legislative maps


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North Carolina: On Monday, a federal district court declined to order special elections this year for a slew of North Carolina legislative districts that will have to be redrawn after the Supreme Court struck down the Republican-drawn maps as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders in June. This ruling is unwelcome news for voting rights advocates and Democrats, who had sought to hold new elections before next year’s legislative session, especially since these illegal maps have been in place for most of this decade.

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However, the judges did order an expedited timetable for re-redistricting that will still ensure new maps are in place in advance of the regularly scheduled elections in November of 2018, rejecting Republicans’ preferred deadline of Nov. 15 of this year. The court directed the GOP-dominated legislature to produce new maps by Sept. 1, although the judges also held out the possibility of a

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Women are ready to run—for office. EMILY’s List is expanding to help them.


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In 2015 and 2016, as Hillary Clinton ran for president, EMILY’S List got a record 920 inquiries from women across the country interested in running for office. Since the election, the number is 16,000, and the organization is ramping up to help as many of them as possible:

EMILY’s List officials said the group is currently in touch with 130 women across 80 U.S. House districts about the possibility of running in down-ballot races. What happens with the 16,000 more broadly comes down, in part, to scale. The team tasked with state and local candidates has nearly tripled in size, but still only stands at 14 people. Eight are “advisers” based regionally in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Virginia, and North Carolina, officials said.

The revamped training department, led by Mũthoni Wambu Kraal, an EMILY’s List official since 2009, is now working to create a digital platform that

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