WASHINGTON – If Georgia’s new election law was simply meant to restore confidence in American democracy among Republicans and Trump supporters, well, Donald Trump certainly did not cooperate.
Trump this week criticized Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for failing to push through even tougher laws.
“Election Day is meant to be Election Day, not Election Week or Election Month,” Trump said. “We are giving way too many days to vote.”
So Georgia and the GOP, what are we doing here?
If the law’s most charitable interpretation was to build confidence in the electoral system, Trump (after torpedoing it on his own) disagrees. And now, after all the changes to the law – including the removal of authority from the secretary of state and local election officials – Democrats certainly don’t have confidence in Georgia’s electoral system either.
Conclusion: It is easy to argue that the whole process has only weakened democracy.
In fact, there is data that draws a direct line between Trump’s post-November statements and the declining confidence of Georgia Republican voters in the electoral system.
As one of us wrote last month,
“From the end of the ballot until election day in November, 84% of Georgian voters said they were confident that the votes in the state would be counted accurately. In fact, more Georgia Trump voters were confident (89%) than Georgia Biden voters (79%).
But the polls coming out of the second round of the January 5 special ballot in Georgia showed a different story.
[W]hilum only 10% of Trump voters in Georgia in November said they did not trust the vote count, up to 47% for Republican Senate candidate Kelly Loeffler and 46% for those who support incumbent president of the Republican Senate David Perdue in January. “
Of course, Trump’s statement is about two things: 1) retribution from Kemp and Raffensperger, whom he considers disloyal for resisting his account that he legitimately won the election; and 2) keep alive the lie of widespread fraud, which he will continue to insist on as long as there is a chance that he will ever be on a ballot someday again.
After all, if he said the game wasn’t rigged, that would mean he might one day lose, fair and square.
Manchin’s warning shots targeting both sides
Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V., fired two different warning shots at the two sides with his Washington Post op-ed last night.
The first – aimed at Democrats – was his unequivocal opposition to changing the filibuster, as well as his reluctance to use budget reconciliation to replace regular order in the Senate (committee hearings, etc.).
“There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster. The time has come to end these political games and usher in a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the great political debates facing our nation, ”Manchin wrote.
“I just don’t believe that budget reconciliation should replace regular order in the Senate,” he added.
But the second warning shot was aimed at the Republicans: “The Republicans”, he writes, “have a responsibility to stop saying no and to participate in the search for a real compromise with the Democrats”.
By the way, when it comes to President Biden’s infrastructure plan, what we take away from the president’s remarks yesterday (along with remarks from members of his cabinet) is that the administration wants to negotiate.
And if they want to negotiate, it looks like Manchin’s desire for a 25% corporate tax rate is the eventual rate, doesn’t it?
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Downloading data: the numbers you need to know today
9 percentage points: The difference between the share of Americans who identify as Democrats (49 percent) and who identify as Republicans (40 percent) in the new Gallup poll, the largest gap since 2012.
About three years: Accelerating the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, where the state legislature has approved a decision to expedite enactment from 2024 to July.
31 054 411: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 70,153 more than yesterday morning.)
563 084: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, according to the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 889 more than yesterday morning.)
171,476,655: Number of vaccine doses administered in the United States
18 percent: The share of fully immunized Americans.
21: The number of days Biden has left to meet his 100-day vaccination goal.
Northam endorses McAuliffe in Democratic primary
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday endorsed his predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, in the Virginia Democratic primary for governor.
“Terry’s strong record in serving Virginians is exactly why we need him as the next governor,” Northam said in a statement, according to the AP, who first reported on approval.
“We will need bold leadership ready to build a more equitable post-COVID economy that creates jobs, invests in workers, ensures equitable access to quality affordable health care and rebuilds the thriving network of small businesses in Canada. Virginia, ”added Northam.
ICYMI: What else is going on in the world
Here’s what you need to know about the leadership actions on guns President Biden is expected to announce today.
Speaking of firearms, there are new developments in an NRA bankruptcy hearing.
GOP representative Lee Zeldin has said he is running against Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2022.
A potential candidate for the Alabama Senate, GOP Secretary of State John Merrill is out of the race after denying – then admitting – an extramarital affair.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says his party does not need to “engage in all cultural battles.”
The past may not be the prologue to the California encore race.
Don’t miss Jane Timm’s fact-check on the stringency of election laws in the Blue and Red States.
Investigators are examining a trip Representative Matt Gaetz took to the Bahamas.