I have no idea if anyone will be checking this blog tonight, but as of 9:30 p.m. EDT, the results from Connecticut and Georgia are showing that you don’t know nuthin’ if you don’t know where the votes are coming from.Ned Lamont has a narrow lead over Joe Lieberman in CT with a little over half the precincts reporting, but who knows exactly what that means? The CW in the Nutmeg State is that the urban precincts come in much later than the ‘burbs, which might mean Lieberman’s surge is yet to come. But I’m only guessing here.I have a much better idea about where the votes come from in GA, and I have to tell you, the early reports showing that Hank Johnson is demolishing Cynthia McKinney in Georgia-4 are very premature. Yes, he’s winning 3-1 with 18% of the precincts reporting, but every one of those precincts are low-vote, majority-white, Republican leaning precincts in Gwinnett and Rockdale Counties. Until boxes finally start coming in from Dekalb C0unty, where probably 95% of the votes in this runoff will be cast, there’s no way to know what’s really happening in this race.For those who care, the early returns from Georgia indicate that Jim Martin will almost certainly beat Greg Hecht for the Democratic nomination to run against Casey Cagle (the guy who beat Ralph Reed in a Republican primary) for Lieutenant Governor. Hecht’s whole campaign was based on trying to generate an anti-Atlanta vote against Atlantan Martin; but early returns show Martin winning in Savannah, Macon, Columbus, and a number of other south and central Georgia counties. And he’s winning easily in the north Atlanta suburbs as well.More later, if events justify it.
TDS Strategy Memos
Latest Research from:
By Ed Kilgore
After watching Donald Trump’s wildly applauded address to this year’s CPAC conference, I wrote an assessment at New York:
In his rapturously received 88-minute address to the 2021 CPAC conference on Sunday, former president Donald Trump didn’t give his listeners what so many of them wanted: a pledge to run for president again in 2024 (though he teased the crowd with his obvious availability). But he vented his outsized spleen fully, and left no doubt that the future of Trumpism will be its past, revived and vindicated.
Much of the speech was rehashed from the brag sessions of the 2020 campaign, treating his administration as one long parade of unprecedented triumphs on every single front. Accordingly, Joe Biden’s extremely brief presidency was condemned as the worst in history already thanks to the 46th president’s reversal of the policies of the 45th (especially on immigration policy), which were one long parade of unprecedented triumphs on every single front. Viewers were left with the distinct impression that a near-utopian future for the country would be as simple as the replacement of Biden with — well, if not Trump — then someone with exactly the same policies and sterling leadership qualities.In tune with the reactionary atmosphere of this and every other Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump suggested that resistance to the plans of the hated opposition was enough of an agenda. Twice he asserted that Democratic governance would put the country on a short road to full-fledged communism. But it was remarkable how little he bothered to outline any ideas for the future other than the restoration of the recent past.
The one exception was his bloody-shirt demands for “election integrity” legislation in every state, which included a universal revocation of no-excuse absentee balloting (and all in-person early voting, since he called for a “single election day”) and universal voter ID requirements. It’s an audacious proposal, considering that 13 states (including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin) carried by Biden already have voter ID requirements, and fully 34 (including 12 states carried by Trump) had no-excuse voting by mail before the COVID-19 pandemic and the marginal liberalization of deadlines and procedures that Trump blames for his defeat.
Apparently Trump’s “landslide” victory required tighter voting rules than the country has had for many years. It’s unlikely a return to the spirit of the days of poll taxes and literacy tests is going to pass muster with federal and state courts (Trump, of course, blasted the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court that included three of his nominees, for lacking the “courage” to overturn Biden’s victory). But Republican subscription to this terrible assault on voting rights is another way that GOP elected officials can bend the knee to Trump.
Other than voter suppression, the future of Trumpism as outlined by its founder seemed to revolve around vengeance against RINOs, the ancient conservative epithet that now seems to be defined strictly by a lack of loyalty to Donald Trump. To feral roars from the crowd, he named every single congressional Republican who voted for his impeachment or conviction, suggesting that all must go before the GOP would be able to match the communist-bent Democrats in viciousness and self-discipline.
It appears, then, that Trump has determined to ensure that Republicans go into 2022 and 2024 as a political force dedicated to the restoration of his legacy with or without his personal leadership. For the most part, the dominant ideological movement in the party and the hallowed conservative movement is his. Indeed, one of the more unmistakeable phenomena of CPAC 2021 is the extent to which Republican activists now treat the conservative and MAGA movements as identical. And if he chooses to keep control of both movements, who can challenge him? The obvious successor to Trumpism is ever more Trumpism, and the obvious successor to Trump is still Trump.