Fight breaks out in a key Democratic convention meeting. Sanders campaign co-chair calls it “disgusting, disturbing, unacceptable.”
“A Democratic Party meeting that leaders hoped would project unity weeks ahead of the national convention instead broke out into a behind-the-scenes feud over corporate money in politics. At a virtual gathering of a key committee for the Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders-allied members said Joe Biden appointees called them ‘children’ and made other rude comments in a breakout room where they were talking privately.” (POLITICO)
- What’s happening: An online meeting ahead of the Democratic National Convention led to a fight between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, and you can bet both sides aired their complaints to the press.
In a disagreement over a policy change, Sanders supporters reportedly changed their background images; in response, “the host just closed the meeting so we couldn’t see each other anymore.” You can read the details here.
- What’s at stake: By itself, this is a blip. But combined with the continuing disagreements between progressives (Sanders) and “establishment” (Biden) Democrats and the nearing convention, it becomes a larger issue.
First, the media isn’t telling you one of the biggest election stories: the massive and increasingly vicious split in the Democratic Party — and how it could doom Joe Biden’s campaign.
Sanders delegates felt left out and frustrated at the 2016 convention. But in 2020, the rise of the progressive wing has given them new power … power that “establishment” Democrats (yes, that includes liberal Democrats too!) don’t want to give up.
The Biden campaign is encouraging it, too, with the emphasis on the “unity platform” and cooperation with Sanders. But it may not be enough to guarantee the votes of Bernie supporters and/or it may push Biden too far left for less ideological general election voters.
Second, no matter how much Biden gives in to the progressives, it likely won’t help him or the party now.
Sanders delegates are reportedly planning “a revolt” at the convention because Medicare for All wasn’t included in the draft party platform. They may vote down the party platform when it comes to the (virtual) convention floor.
At best, that will waste time. At worst, that will spark another round of party in-fighting.
Third, remember: Biden is two weeks out from his national convention, and he has…
(2) a powerful and openly hostile wing of his party, from its senior leaders (the Sanders co-chair; see below) down to its activists
(3) continuing fights between Biden and Sanders supporters about the future of the party
… and the mainstream media still hasn’t said a word!
- What else to know: Just this week, the Sanders campaign co-chair compared voting for Biden to eating from a “bowl of [redacted]” … in an interview with a major publication! (You can read the story here, but note that the language is not redacted.)
She wasn’t making private or off-the-cuff remarks; she was giving an interview to a national magazine. Doesn’t seem like party unity to us!
Report: 44% of Americans under 30 support firing a business exec for a Trump campaign donation.
“Buried deeper in the report, however, is a stunning data point that might be one of the most troubling current cultural indicators. Forty-four percent of Americans younger than age 30 believe a company is correct in firing an executive because he or she personally donated to President Trump’s reelection campaign.” (The Federalist)
- What’s happening: The Cato Institute recently published its survey of Americans’ political opinions and how they share — or don’t share! — them. Check out the full survey results here.
Among the findings, as The Federalist highlighted, is this stat: 44% of Americans under 30 support firing a business executive for a personal donation to President Trump’s campaign.
- What’s at stake: Anecdotally, this election year seems simultaneously underwhelming (in that campaign events are limited or canceled due to COVID) and overwhelming in the deep, often angry, and often bitter partisan fighting.
And here’s a selection of what the data from the Cato Institute survey (review it all here) says:
— “staunch liberals stand out as only group who feels they can share their opinions,” while 77% of conservatives “self-censor”
— “many Americans think a person’s private political donations should impact their employment”
— “employed Americans say they personally are worried about missing out on career opportunities or losing their job if their political opinions became known”
It’s difficult to quantify (or even predict) the exact effect this will have on the 2020 election, but we would presume at least:
(1) a potential effect on polling if people are afraid to say they support President Trump
(2) a potential increase in “cancel culture”
- What else to know: Ahead of the 2016 election, some Republicans said there was a “secret Trump vote” that didn’t register in polling because polling respondents weren’t sharing their vote truthfully.
Needless to say, many on the left mocked that idea. But we know how that turned out on Election Day 2016!
New poll in Florida shows a 13-point lead for Biden … but no one believes it!
“Now, as the presidential election heats up, the nation’s largest swing state is snubbing the marquee pollster. When Quinnipiac dropped a survey last week that showed former Vice President Joe Biden up 13 points over President Donald Trump, Florida didn’t flinch.” (POLITICO)
- What’s happening: Quinnipiac University recently released a poll that showed Joe Biden up 13 points over President Trump in Florida. But it seems that experienced political staff and analysts in the state just don’t believe it.
- What’s at stake: President Trump’s supporters have said the polls don’t show the truth about the 2020 election … and been criticized for it from the left.
But in the case of this eye-popping Quinnipiac University poll, it seems there may be something to the story. It’s not political bias that affected the result; instead, it’s a criticism of the university’s polling methodology. (Check out the full details in the story here.)
Issues with polling methodology, combined with conservatives’ likelihood to not share their political beliefs (see The Vote story above), lend credence to the theory that polls aren’t showing the real story in 2020.
- What else to know: Corey Lewandowski, who works on President Trump’s 2020 campaign, raised a similar point in his piece on Real Clear Politics earlier this month.
The opening line sums up the tone and point of it well: “It’s almost as if the television talking heads and Washington’s professional political class learned nothing after their 2016 Election Night trauma.” Read the full piece here.
What’s wrong with all-mail voting in the 2020 election, according to an expert.
“Even during the coronavirus pandemic that has so disrupted our lives, it would be a mistake to go to an all-mail election. Concerns that President Trump has raised about mail-in voting are based on documented problems we have seen with such voting.” (Fox News)
- What’s happening: President Trump’s criticism of all mail-in voting — distinct and different from the traditionally used absentee ballots! — has been met with criticism and outrage from the left. Now an expert from the Heritage Foundation has recapped the key issues in this piece published on Fox News’ website.
- What’s at stake: We don’t think it’s too dramatic to say the 2020 election.
Democrats have constantly pushed — and filed lawsuits to advance — universal mail-in voting and to introduce substantial voting procedure changes in states across America. But the mainstream media isn’t telling that story; they prefer to ignore the distinction in vote-by-mail types that President Trump has now clearly made.
President Trump has made an important distinction that we’ve echoed: there’s a big difference between absentee voting and what he called universal mail-in voting, i.e. ballots automatically sent out to registered voters.
— mail ballots are the “most vulnerable to being altered, stolen, or forged”
— mail ballots can be “miscarried or not delivered by the U.S. Postal Service” (remember the CBS News report we mentioned yesterday?)
— mail ballots take longer to tally and could delay an announcement of the election winner
Bottom line: it seems that President Trump’s supporters are right that Americans must have the option to vote by mail … but also the option to vote in person.