EDITORS' BLOG
Readers Respond to the Sanders’ Surge, Pt. 2
Prime Membership Required

TPM Reader CR takes a simple approach ..

I see this election in fairly straightforward terms:

Trump has basically had his average approval rating written in stone at about 43%, and his disapproval rating in the 52-54% range. Since, by virtually every survey, this looks to be a huge turnout election and not a “base” election, those percentages should be more accurate than if it was a base election.

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Readers Respond to the Sanders’ Surge, Pt. 1
Prime Membership Required

TPM Reader MR says it’s not all about the presidential horse race …

I’d like to expand on an important disagreement I have with a portion of your recent Editor’s Blog post “Don’t go overboard with this”. It’s a disagreement that I have with you that spans several of your posts, and I think it’s summed up nicely here.

You wrote, “Given the enormous stakes, you don’t just want someone who has a shot. You want to be sure it’s the candidate with the best shot, to the extent you can ascertain that.“ I disagree with this statement vehemently. I suppose this is the liberal version of the old “Buckley Standard”. It’s something that I felt was cynical when he laid it out, and I find defeatist and shortsighted in this context.

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Don’t Go Overboard With This

While I was away I had a lot of time to reflect and pull together my thoughts on the Democratic primary race. As I’ve stated in the past I think there are major downside risks for the Democrats if they nominate Bernie Sanders. At the same time, I see a lot of pundits and not a few Democrats saying that Sanders is “unelectable”.

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The Methodological Magic of Public Health

Here’s another fascinating, sobering article in the Times tied to the COVID-19 outbreak. We know about the ongoing epidemic in China as well as new and fast-moving outbreaks in South Korea, Italy and Iran. So far there appears to be little if any domestic spread in the United States. This article looks beneath these headlines at the mix of federal authorities doing macro-planning, compiling lists of people returning from China and how they interact with a vast and decentralized array of local public health departments who are actually doing the monitoring.

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Greetings

Thanks to the team for all the great coverage while I got away for a few days with my family. I had a nice, relaxing time. So now back to the dumpster fire of American politics.

Hiring: NYC-Based Newswriter at TPM

Calling all political news junkies. Talking Points Memo is hiring an ambitious, New York-based newswriter to cover the epic political stories of our time.

Full posting after the jump.

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Where Things Stand: Why Did Collins Turn Down Trump Just To Defy His Party, Pursue Pipe Dream?
Prime Membership Required

There’s got to be something going on behind the scenes here.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) has been a bulldog for President Trump from his perch on the House Judiciary Committee for months, most notably with his aggressive defense of the President throughout the impeachment inquiry. Trump rewarded his loyalty by floating to reporters Thursday night that the lawmakers is among the candidates he’s considering to become director of national intelligence.

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Mulling A Possible Contested Convention, Pt. II
Prime Membership Required

Reader RS has a different perspective from AC — “ultimately, the party should be allowed to pick” who wins the nomination, he writes.

Here’s part of his email.

As far as I understand it, the Democratic Party has always required a majority vote at the Convention to nominate a candidate. If that doesn’t occur on the first ballot, pledged delegates are released and the deliberations continue. That reflects the desire to try, as best as possible, to get a consensus nominee.

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Mulling A Possible Contested Convention, Pt. I
Prime Membership Required

Readers have been writing in about the possibility that, by this summer, Democrats could be facing a contested convention — one in which Bernie Sanders is leading in delegates, but without enough to win the nomination outright.

Reader AC reflects on the angst that could result should the party step in and select another nominee.

I get that there are reasons to be worried about Bernie, but I think the worries about the other candidates, and especially a contested convention in which a Bernie clear lead doesn’t translate to a Bernie nomination, should be much more significant.

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TPM Cafe
| Cafe

Trump is touting a “blue-collar” boom. But U.S. manufacturing is in a recession.

FROM the archive
| Cafe

On June 30, 1974, Alberta Williams King was gunned down while she played the organ for the “Lord’s Prayer” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a Christian civil rights activist, she was assassinated…just like her son, Martin Luther King, Jr. But most people remember only one. Until a month ago, I was one of those people.

| Miscellany

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