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Trump’s vote-by-mail conspiracy theories decimated the Republican Party’s early vote lead in Florida: report

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President Donald Trump (MSNBC)

Florida Republicans once had a robust vote-by-mail program that helped give them the edge over Democrats in the state. Unfortunately, however, President Donald Trump’s conspiracies have killed any lead the GOP held.

The New York Times cited University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald, who said that this is the first election in which Democrats are casting more early votes than Republicans.

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“In Florida, he said, 11.5 percent of Democrats who requested absentee ballots have returned them, compared with 8.7 percent of Republicans,” the Times reported. “The same pattern emerges in another battleground state, North Carolina, where the return rate for Democratic ballots is 32.9 percent, and the return rate for Republicans is 27.4 percent.”

In 2016, Trump’s early-vote turnout swamped Hillary Clinton, particularly in states like Florida. It’s a problem that Republicans are beginning to understand is a problem. The report explained that the GOP expected suppressed turnout because of Trump’s conspiracies; they didn’t expect it to be this bad.

“And a lack of absentee ballots returned could leave the GOP blind as it adjusts its get-out-the-vote operation in the weeks ahead,” said the Times.

“One of the advantages of having absentee ballots or voting by mail is it gives you a little bit of a snapshot as they are returned, and finding out who is returning them and where you are in your field operation,” said GOP strategist Matt Gorman. “If Republicans aren’t getting accurate reads on that, they’re not getting accurate reads on where they need to adjust more.”

A top adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Alex Conant, explained that the president’s attacks on voting by mail have suppressed GOP turnout.

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“In Florida, Republicans have a really good early-vote program,” he said. “The president takes advantage of it. So why the president would tell Republicans in Florida not to vote early, when historically that’s how we run elections in Florida, is very concerning.”

According to polls in 11 battleground states, 56 percent of Republicans say they plan to vote in person, where just 26 percent of Democrats say they will. Given that polling places have been cut all over the country, this could mean extra long lines for the GOP, which could also suppress their turnout.

Ironically, Democrats sought to use another stimulus package to help fund voting operations so that polling locations wouldn’t be shut down. Republicans refused to support it, essentially hurting their own voters who plan to vote on Election Day.

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Read the full report.


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2020 Election

‘So, so cruel’: Rights advocates sound alarm about immigration agenda Stephen Miller is crafting for Trump’s 2nd term

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Immigrant rights advocates along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters responded with alarm to reporting this week that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is plotting how to "rev up Trump's restrictive immigration agenda" and is ready to "unleash executive orders deemed too extreme for a president seeking reelection" in the event of a Biden loss next week.

NBC News reported Friday that Miller, speaking as an adviser to the president's campaign, laid out four top priorities in a 30-minute call Thursday: "limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing 'sanctuary cities,' expanding the so-called travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and slapping new limits on work visas." Implementing these policies would require a mix of legislation and executive action.

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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