“GOP congressional candidate Joe Kent’s ties to white nationalists include interview with Nazi sympathizer”

This headline from CNN says it all. Actually to be fair, Joe Kent has offered various explanations of this interview. But the bottom line appears to be: “The lady doth protest too much.”

“While Kent has tried to shift his campaign rhetoric toward the center – including by removing calls to adjudicate the 2020 election from his website sometime between June and July – his campaign has been bogged down by associations with white nationalists and extremists, whom Kent has repeatedly had to distance himself from.

. . . Kent’s website also features an endorsement from Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers who was censured by the Republican-controlled Arizona senate after she gave a speech to the white nationalist conference calling for public hangings.”

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“Judge upholds Georgia election laws on all counts in voting rights case”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Fair Fights Action has lost its 2018 challenge to Georgia’s election laws after four years. Georgia’s voter registration and absentee ballot practices, while not perfect, the Judge concluded, did not violate either the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act. The judge ruled in favor of Georgia on all counts. The full opinion is embedded in the article.

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“Where Democrats’ Grip on Minority Voters Could Slip in Midterm Elections”

Unfortunately, behind a firewall, the WSJ offers an interesting and nuanced analysis of the likely impact of increased support among voters of color for the Republican Party. The bottom line is turnout next month will be key. As per usual, a low turnout election will benefit Republicans whereas a high turnout election offers the Democratic Party its best chance.

“Black voters are a prime example of the balance between voter turnout and party preference. The median shift toward Mr. Trump in heavily Black neighborhoods was 1.5 percentage points. But Democrats retained overwhelming support among Black voters, winning about 90% of their votes. That suggests that Democrats gained substantially more from higher Black turnout than the party lost in defectors to the GOP.”

The analysis is based on a study of census tracts in which 70% of residents are persons of color. The WSJ compared how those neighborhoods voted in 2020 as compared to 2016. The study– which includes charts if you have access–confirms the consensus that the Republican Party did make inroads with nonwhite voters in 2020. But it offers a nuanced analysis:

“National figures show that U.S. Latino, Asian-American and Black voters backed President Joe Biden in 2020, though by smaller margins than Democrats won four years earlier. At the same time, more of these voters turned out than in 2016, producing a net gain in votes in many places for Democrats.”

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“Trump allies have interviewed nearly 200 election officials to probe for weaknesses”

Jen Fifield at Vote Beat reports on “a coordinated, multi-state effort to probe local election officials in battlegrounds such as Michigan, Arizona, and Texas ahead of the November election” in an effort to exploit for vulnerabilities for political gain.

“The survey questions appear intended to detect potential weaknesses in local election systems and gather detailed information about how elections are run. Election experts say the information could easily be used to fuel misinformation campaigns, disrupt voting, or challenge results.”

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“Gerrymandering Isn’t Giving Republicans the Advantage You Might Expect”

Nate Cohn for The Upshot offers an intricate analysis of the 2022 congressional maps in historical perspective. Lots of interesting graphs to get to his basic take:

“In reality, Republicans do have a structural edge in the House, but it isn’t anything near insurmountable for the Democrats. By some measures, this is the fairest House map of the last 40 years.”

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