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Exclusive: FBI Raid Has Led to a Full-On GOP Meltdown – TalkOfNews.com

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FBI Raid Has Led to a Full-On GOP Meltdown

#FBI #Raid #Led #FullOn #GOP #Meltdown

Dalia Lithwick: “The immediate GOP response to Monday evening’s FBI search for documents at Mar-a-Lago is almost as revealing as the search warrant itself.”

“Having witnessed the bulk of the party harden its commitment to protecting Trump at any cost after the January 6th attack on the Capitol, nobody should be shocked to learn that ranking Republicans—without any information about what was seized, or why—were willing to stake their political careers on the claim that it was a lawless, partisan ‘raid.’ The darkest versions of these claims called for doing away with federal law enforcement altogether.”

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Exclusive: The 2024 Senate map is terrifying for Democrats. That’s one reason Georgia’s runoff matters. – TalkOfNews.com

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The 2024 Senate map is terrifying for Democrats. That’s one reason Georgia’s runoff matters.

#Senate #map #terrifying #Democrats #reason #Georgias #runoff #matters

Democrats prevailed in this year’s Senate elections — but that was the easy part.

The hard part is coming in 2024, when the party faces a starkly unfavorable map that could put them in a deep Senate hole for some time if things go even somewhat poorly.

So even though next week’s runoff pitting Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) against Herschel Walker (R) won’t determine next year’s Senate majority, because Democrats have already won it, its outcome will have significant implications for how well-positioned the party is in its next very challenging Senate cycle.

Currently, just three Democratic senators represent states Donald Trump won in 2020, and they’re all up for reelection in 2024. These are Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), though only Brown has confirmed he’s running again. These are all very red states, and winning them in a presidential year will be quite difficult for Democrats.

But the vulnerabilities go deeper. The only remotely close states in the presidential contest where Republicans are defending seats are Florida and Texas — two states where Democrats keep coming up short of late. Democrats are also defending seats in five states Joe Biden very narrowly won in 2020. These seats are held by Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Democrats might think they have nothing to worry about regarding this group of seats, because, look, the party just defied the naysayers in the tough year of 2022, winning at least one statewide contest in each of these — so clearly these states lean in their favor.

But it’s always a mistake to overread the results of the last election, and to underestimate how much things could change before the next one. Particularly if Trump is not the nominee again, the party coalitions could be scrambled in unpredictable ways. And even Trump came quite close to winning these states in 2020.

The Class of 2024

Senators serve six-year terms, so only one-third of the body is up for election each cycle. And the particular grouping of Senate seats (referred to as a “class”) up for election in 2024 has enjoyed a particularly charmed run for Democrats. You have to go all the way back to the 1994 GOP wave for a strong Republican performance. Since then, they’ve been on the ballot in the following years:

  • 2000: A closely fought presidential year in which Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the Electoral College, and Democrats picked up four Senate seats on net
  • 2006: A Democratic wave year, in which the party retook both the House and the Senate, picking up six seats in the latter chamber
  • 2012: A strong Democratic year for Barack Obama’s reelection, in which the party unexpectedly expanded its Senate majority by two seats
  • 2018: Another Democratic wave year — but the party had won so many seats in deep red states in previous cycles that they had several incumbents in strongly Republican territory, so they ended up with a net loss of two seats

So this Senate class is risky for Democrats in part because they’ve had such good luck with it in the past. Nearly half of Democrats’ Senate majority — 23 sitting senators — come from this grouping of seats, so they’ll all be on the ballot in 2024. Meanwhile, only 10 Republicans will be up, though special elections could increase this number. That’s already a numerical disadvantage. But the disadvantage extends to which specific seats are up.

Which specific seats are up

To understand the extent of the Democrats’ challenge, it’s important to realize that the Senate has changed. In the past, it was common for a state’s voters to back Senate and presidential candidates from different parties. For instance, after the bitterly fought 2000 election, 30 of 100 sitting senators represented states that their party’s presidential nominee did not win in the most recent election. That’s a lot of ticket-splitting.

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Since then, that number has gradually dwindled, as red-state Democrats and blue-state Republicans have retired or gone down to defeat. When Trump took office, there were 14 such senators remaining. Next year, there will be either five or six (depending on whether Walker can unseat Warnock in Georgia’s runoff election). The Senate has sorted by partisanship.

Of course, very close states at the presidential contest can still go either way. But it’s gotten much tougher to defy partisan gravity in deeply Republican or Democratic states — especially in a presidential year. In 2016, zero states elected presidential and Senate candidates from different parties. In 2020, just one state did, as Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Joe Biden both won in Maine.

In 2024, all three Democratic senators representing states Trump won in 2020 — Manchin in West Virginia, Tester in Montana, and Brown in Ohio — are up.

Andrew Prokop/Vox

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Manchin and Tester haven’t announced whether they’re running again. Both have repeatedly won in their respective states, though their victories in 2018 were narrow (they each won by about 3.5 percentage points). If either or both retire, Democrats would have immense difficulty finding nominees with comparable cross-partisan appeal. Brown has said he is running again, and Ohio isn’t quite as red as the other two states, but if Republicans can find a competent challenger, he’ll face a tough contest too.

So that’s three seats where, per underlying partisanship alone, Democrats will have a hard go of it.

Then there are five swing states which, if recent history is any guide, are likely to have closely matched Senate and presidential outcomes.

In Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema has infuriated progressives and may face a primary challenge from Rep. Ruben Gallego. In Nevada, Jacky Rosen just saw her colleague Catherine Cortez Masto narrowly survive a very close contest in 2022. Then there are the well-liked Rust Belt incumbents Debbie Stabenow, Tammy Baldwin, and Bob Casey Jr.

None of them will start off as underdogs, and all could well survive. But again, much will likely depend on the presidential contest, and if that contest trends toward the GOP, several of these Senate seats could follow.

Next is a set of likely Democratic states — Maine, where independent Sen. Angus King caucuses with the Democrats; he is 78 and hasn’t announced whether he’s running again, Minnesota (Amy Klobuchar), Virginia (Tim Kaine), and New Mexico (Martin Heinrich). All start as the favorites, but these states aren’t so overwhelmingly Democratic that they’re absolutely certain to win.

Beyond that, Democrats will also have to defend the seat of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is under federal investigation again. Menendez was previously indicted on public corruption charges in 2015, but his trial ended with a hung jury and the Justice Department gave up on the case. New Jersey is a solidly Democratic state but the party would probably feel better if their nominee wasn’t perennially a DOJ target.

Meanwhile, of the GOP-held seats up for election, only those held by Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are in remotely close presidential states.

A chart showing that Republicans are only defending 10 Senate seats in 2024, and they’re all in states Trump won in 2020.

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Andrew Prokop/Vox

Florida has been trending away from Democrats, as recently seen in Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio’s landslide reelection victories this month. Texas has been trending toward Democrats (Trump only won it by 5.6 percentage points in 2020, and Cruz won reelection by 2.6 percentage points in 2018), but still, Democrats haven’t won a statewide race there since 1994.

The takeaway

Democrats’ forbidding 2024 Senate math raises the stakes of the Warnock/Walker runoff in Georgia — if the party starts off with a 51-49 majority rather than a 50-50 one, they can at least afford to lose one seat next cycle without losing control.

That’s especially important because, in a presidential year, the party’s biggest challenge will be holding on to their three seats in deep red states — West Virginia, Montana, and Ohio. The first big question is whether Manchin and Tester will run again, and if they do, the next question is whether they can keep defying partisan gravity, as Collins did in 2020.

But an analysis based purely on statewide partisanship would suggest Democrats are likely to lose all three seats even in a great year for their presidential candidate and their party nationally. That’s the main reason holding the Senate will be so tough for them. The 2022 Senate map was, as I wrote last year, “relatively balanced,” but the 2024 map just isn’t. (And again, that’s mainly because Democrats have been so successful in these races previously, so they simply have more to lose.)

And if 2024 is not a good year for Democrats nationally? Well, then they could lose some or all of those five swing state seats, putting them at a serious deficit in the Senate that it could take many years to climb out of.

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Exclusive: Rachel Maddow Devastatingly Shows Why Trump’s Nazi Thanksgiving Isn’t Politics As Usual – TalkOfNews.com

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Rachel Maddow talks about Trump's Nazi Thanksgiving on The Rachel Maddow Show.

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Rachel Maddow explained why Trump elevating Nazis by having dinner with them is not politics as usual.

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Maddow said:

And I feel like since this came to light over the holiday weekend, most of the talk in political circles has been about whether or not this is bad for Trump, whether or not this is going to reflect poorly on him as the leader of the Republican Party, whether this is something that might hurt him, whether this might be a mistake or whether this will slide off him, too.

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Okay, the reason groups like People For The American Way monitor guys like this and keep track of what they are saying and doing is not just because a guy like this might have an incidental effect someday on a real politician who interacts with them.

No, the reason it is worth keeping track of Holocaust-denying racist agitators who advocate race war and — I kid you not — burning women alive in America, the reason you — the reason you monitor guys like that is not just because of
their potential future impact someday on other people who have power, it’s because of their power and the damage they want to do.

And guys like that, neo-nazi agitators getting a big proverbial hug, a private audience with the Republican Party’s likely next presidential nominee, sure, that reflects on that political candidate and on his party, but more importantly, it’s great for the Nazis, right? It’s a supercharging thing for their perceived legitimacy, their reach, their ability to get their message out to people, to operate, recruit, and do what they want to do, which in this guy’s case is turning the United States of America into a whites-only, no Jews allow fascist homeland under a dictator who he would please like to be Donald Trump. It is hard to have regular, everyday, normal politics alongside this type of politics, too, but that’s where we are, and the violent ultra-right will benefit greatly from this moment.

Maddow was correct. This situation isn’t politics as usual. Donald Trump is elevating Nazis and telling people that Nick Fuentes really gets him. Trump’s desires and impulses have never been in doubt, and he wants to destroy democracy to seize and keep power.

When the media treats Trump dining with Nazis as just another Trump quirk, and they debate whether or not the former president hanging out with NAZIS is a bad thing, they are normalizing extremism and injecting it into mainstream society.

Donald Trump is a national security threat, and treating him as anything less only helps American right-wing extremism.


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Exclusive: Florida as Red State Is Good for U.S. Foreign Policy – TalkOfNews.com

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FDA Authorizes Updated Covid Booster Shots

#Florida #Red #State #Good #Foreign #Policy

Max Boot: “The Democrats’ midterm wipeout in Florida — not a single Democrat will hold statewide office next year in what was once a swing state — is bad news for the party but good news for the future of U.S. foreign policy.”

“President Biden, with no hope of winning the state in 2024, is now free to pursue more pragmatic policies towards Cuba and Venezuela, rather than catering to politically potent constituencies of conservative Cuban Americans and Venezuelan Americans in south Florida, as administrations of both parties have been doing for decades.”

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