“Democrats aim to nominate president in first week of August, as some push Biden to quit the race”

From AP, the latest on this developing story:

Democrats will look to hold a virtual vote to make President Joe Biden their party’s nominee in the first week of August, as Biden has rebuffed calls from some in his party to quit the race after his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump.

The Democratic National Convention’s rules committee will meet on Friday to discuss its plans, according to a letter sent to members obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, and will finalize them next week. The letter from co-chairs Bishop Leah D. Daughtry and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz states that the virtual vote won’t take place before Aug. 1 but that the party is still committed to holding a vote before Aug. 7, which had been Ohio’s filing deadline.

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“Why it’s so hard to measure support for political violence”

538:

It’s true that, over the past few years, polls have shown increasing shares of Americans saying — in one way or another — they may be OK with political violence…

When asked whether they agree with the statement, “Americans may have to resort to violence in order to get the country back on track,” 20 percent of Americans strongly or somewhat agreed in a March Marist/NPR/PBS NewsHour poll. And a June survey from NORC and the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats found 7 percent and 10 percent of Americans agreed that the “use of force is justified” to either restore Trump to the White House or prevent him from becoming president again, respectively.

But research suggests these numbers may be exaggerating how many Americans truly support political violence. Polls with a lot of disengaged respondents (i.e., those who were not totally paying attention when taking a survey) are susceptible to overestimating support for violence, and vague questions that don’t specifically spell out what exactly is meant by “political violence” can also skew the results, according to a 2022 paper published in PNAS. Researchers found that, when they adjusted for these flaws by using engagement checks (trap questions to make sure a respondent is paying attention) and more detailed descriptions of acts of violence, the actual support was much lower than previous studies had found.

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Wilkinson on GOP Voter Fraud Claims

Francis Wilkinson in Bloomberg: “[A]rguably the most pervasive evidence of the GOP assault on democracy remains the party’s multi-front war on the franchise. The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that makes noncitizen voting illegal and requires proof of citizenship to register to vote. Since noncitizen voting is already illegal, and the Senate is well aware of that fact, the legislation will not go far. It’s what’s known as a messaging bill. The message: Do not trust democracy.

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“In Vance, Trump finds a kindred spirit on election denial and Jan. 6”

Washington Post: “Vance has said he would have used the vice president’s role overseeing the electoral count to recognize Trump electors from states the then-president didn’t win and that Congress ‘should have fought over it from there.’ That, he said in February as he auditioned to be Trump’s pick, was the proper way to deal with an election ‘that had a lot of problems.’”

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House Democrats Protest Biden/DNC Plan to Run Out the Clock

WaPo reports on the backlash to DNC plans to hold a “virtual roll call” prior to next month’s convention, effectively reducing the time available to replace Biden as the party’s nominee:

Democratic infighting erupted into new territory Tuesday as a trio of party elders pushed to stick with formally nominating President Biden weeks ahead of the party’s national convention, prompting some House Democrats to demand a slower process amid calls for him to step aside….

Three Biden allies who previously chaired the Democratic National Committee sent an email Tuesday to the roughly 180 members of the DNC’s rules committee pushing to hold a “virtual roll call” to formally nominate Biden and Vice President Harris by early August.

“It should conclude in advance of August 7. This is a small but important step to ensure that Democratic nominees appear on every ballot in the United States this fall,” wrote Donna Brazile, former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

The Post reports that, while some support this approach, “other House Democrats have responded furiously to what they consider meritless scare tactics from party officials who they say are trying to ram a politically vulnerable president through the official nominating process.”

You can find the Brazile-McAuliffe-Dean email here. In addition to discussing the Ohio ballot access problem — since resolved by legislation and no longer a real problem, as Rick explained yesterday — it cites four states (Washington, Montana, Oklahoma, and California) with filing deadlines between August 20 and 22. (The Democratic Convention will take place August 19-22.)

The most polite thing I can say about the legal arguments for a pre-convention virtual roll call is that they don’t pass the smell test. Does anyone really think that Washington and California are going to exclude Biden-Harris from the ballot? Or for that matter Oklahoma or Montana, where he has no chance of winning? And was the DNC somehow unaware of these filing deadlines at the time they scheduled the convention? The memo says that national elections have become “hyper-litigious” (news to anyone?), but there’s no serious effort to argue that there’s any genuine legal risk of Biden-Harris being left off the ballot in any state. Respectfully, these are makeweight arguments designed to deflect attention from the Biden/DNC plan to run out the clock, which has been discernible since at least early last week.

The possibility that the virtual roll call might start as soon as July 21 (four days from now) has some House Democrats very worried, according to this AP report. The AP says it has a draft letter (not yet sent) that calls the early vote “a terrible idea” that “could deeply undermine the morale and unity of Democrats.”

All this comes as Politico Playbook releases draft polling results from BlueLabs Analytics, finding that Trump is “comfortably” leading Biden in swing states, and that alternative Democratic candidates — Sen. Mark Kelly, Gov. Wes Moore, Gov. Josh Shapiro, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — outperform Biden by about 5 points. VP Harris also outperforms Biden too, though by a smaller margin. Playbook quotes an unnamed Democratic leader of the effort to replace Biden as saying: “The shooting clearly helped the strategy of Biden’s team to run out the clock…. But it’s not over. Senior D leaders have not changed their minds that Biden needs to get out. I think a final push will come once the R convention ends on Thursday.” That may be too late.

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“Nevada county reverses controversial vote and certifies two recounts while legal action looms”

AP: “The 4-1 decision overturns last week’s vote against certifying election recount results from June’s primary in the politically mixed swath of northern Nevada [Washoe County], which includes Reno. The rare move had potential implications for how the November elections could play out in one of the nation’s most important swing counties.”

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