NEW YORK — Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani claims he’s being picked on by New York’s local news station NY1, which barred him from its studios for the next candidates’ debate because he is unvaccinated. The son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says that he should be allowed to debate his political rivals, Lee Zeldin, Harry Wilson and Rob Astorino, at either a neutral location or in the Chelsea studio of the cable news channel. “NY1 Spectrum News has imposed a COVID mandate, saying that I can actually not come in the building again,” he said during a Sunday news co...
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‘Trump hates this’: Morning Joe says abortion ruling could kill his 2024 chances before campaign begins
Former President Donald Trump is privately worried that last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights will smother his 2024 campaign before it's even officially announced, according to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
A majority of Americans oppose the loss of abortion rights protections in place for nearly 50 years under the ruling in Roe v. Wade, but the court Trump built struck down those rights in last week's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson -- and the "Morning Joe" host said the former president fears voters will punish him and the Republican Party.
"Donald Trump hates this privately, and he's complaining about it privately because this will hurt him," Scarborough said. "This will hurt Republican candidates in the areas that cost him the election in 2020, in the suburbs. We talk about the suburbs of north Atlanta, the Philly suburbs, the I-4 corridor [in Florida], but those suburban areas are areas Republicans have been losing over the past several years."
"This is only going to cause, especially women in the suburbs, to move away from them more," he added. "On the other side Hispanic voters who have long been more traditionally pro-life than a lot of Democrats have given them credit for. You may have a break towards Republicans on that side of the margin. Then, of course, as always, there's a split in education. College grads, people with post-grad degrees, they're going to move toward the Democrats after this ruling, if you believe the polling, and those with high school degrees, those who have formed the backbone of a lot of Republican surge over the past 20, 30 years, they're going to most likely, if you believe the polls, move to Republicans. I don't think it's clear-cut."
However, Scarborough said, polling has already shown the Supreme Court's rulings have boosted Democrats' chances in the midterms more than four months out.
"I will say something has happened over the past two, three months and maybe it's the gun debate, maybe it's the leaked memo, that in several polls have shown Democrats picking up 10 points in the generic ballot test," he said. "This is a little tighter than some of the ones I've seen, but there's some others that show Democrats surging as much as 10 points."
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The US Supreme Court's ruling ending the nationwide right to abortion was one of the most seismic domestic political shifts in a generation -- upending the crucial midterm elections that will decide who controls Congress next year.
Republicans are celebrating the culmination of almost 50 years of activism around the argument that Roe v. Wade -- the 1973 landmark ruling guaranteeing federal protection of abortion rights -- was wrongly decided.
Democrats, too, have been galvanized by the scrapping of half a century of reproductive rights, and by fears Republicans will go further and introduce a federal abortion ban if they retake Congress -- threatening legal access nationwide.
Democratic President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set out what they see as the stakes on Friday, with both saying abortion would be "on the ballot" in November.
The issue has traditionally animated conservatives more than liberals but the Supreme Court may permanently have altered the political topography, analysts say.
"By striking down Roe, this is likely to create a new constituency of pro-choice voters who are activated to turn out and donate in ways that they would not normally in a midterm election," Shana Gadarian, a professor of political science at Syracuse University, told AFP.
"The Roe decision not only has a major effect on the midterm elections, but it paved the way for greater implications on human rights as a whole," Democratic political strategist Amani Wells-Onyioha added.
"The conservative right has made it clear that it intends on coming for contraception, the LGBT+ community, and African Americans next."
A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll out Monday showed a whopping 78 percent of Democrats believe the court's decision made them more likely to vote in November -- 24 points higher than Republicans.
Democrats are leveraging this and several recent similar polls to make the case that the position adopted by Republicans across the country is far outside of the mainstream.
The party sees it as galvanizing for its liberal base but also, according to Democratic pollster Carly Cooperman, a mobilizing issue for the moderate suburban women the party is trying to peel away from the Republicans in battleground House districts.
"Republicans will do everything possible to turn the conversation back to inflation, the economy, and high gas prices," Cooperman told AFP.
"At a time when Democrats have consistently shown less enthusiasm for the midterms compared to Republicans, the question will be how much the court's ruling will narrow this gap."
Gerard Filitti, senior counsel at the New York-based Lawfare Project think tank, argues that Democrats may be able to reframe the midterms as a battle over fundamental rights rather than the cost of living.
"Concern over civil rights may well trump concerns over the economy, and the Republicans are no longer assured a clear path to victory in the November midterms," he said.
The Republicans' messaging has been mixed, with many members of Congress and state governors rushing to celebrate a historic victory while others prefer to keep the focus on the cost of living and economic uncertainty.
'Win for life'
Republican leader and former president Donald Trump called the decision "the biggest win for life in a generation" while Adam Laxalt, the Republican Senate nominee in Nevada, said the issue "won't distract voters from unaffordable prices, rising crime or the border crisis."
The decision set off a frenzy of activity on both sides, with at least eight states imposing immediate bans and a similar number expected to follow suit within weeks.
Dozens of arrests were reported during a weekend of nationwide protest -- although incidents of violence and vandalism were isolated.
Mississippi, Utah and Louisiana have been hit with lawsuits seeking to block their bans. The plaintiff in Mississippi, abortion provider Planned Parenthood, said it will spend $150 million on the midterm elections, alongside NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily's List.
In Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested that a federal ban would be "possible," although he has also acknowledged that no position on the issue has ever achieved the upper chamber's 60-vote threshold.
"It will be important to see how Republican candidates campaign after this Supreme Court decision," Lyle Solomon, a California-based principal attorney at Oak View Law Group, told AFP.
"If they campaign on abortion restrictions and focus a lot on the Supreme Court decision being a victory, it may backfire on them. On the other hand, Democrats will be looking to take full advantage of the Supreme Court decision and rally voters around the message of abortion rights and access to safe abortion."
US abstract painter Sam Gilliam, who was the first Black artist to represent his country at the Venice Biennale fifty years ago, has died at the age of 88, his gallery said Monday.
"Sam Gilliam was one of the giants of Modernism," said Arne Glimcher, the founder of the Pace Gallery in New York.
He said Gilliam, who lived most of his life in Washington "was able to convey the shared torments and triumphs of life through the universal language of abstraction" and made a name for himself with "revolutionary work that freed the canvas from its support."
An acclaimed colorist, Gilliam was hailed in the 1960s and '70s for taking the abstract canvas off the wooden stretcher and hanging it like a drape, or between two sawhorses, adding a spatial dimension that spanned the gap between painting and sculpture.
Glimcher said he had "painted right up until the end of his life and his most recent works are among his best."
Gilliam was born in Mississippi in 1933 but became a leading figure in the Washington Color School in the 1950s. He represented the US in the Venice Biennale in 1972.
© 2022 AFP