Decisive winning and GOTV will be important now that we know many of the things that Trump is obviously trying to do to “rig” the election. Belarus shows us that we also know what bad elections look like and why external actors are engaged in the process.

Sometimes referred to as Europe's last dictator, President Lukashenko, 65, was first elected in 1994.



— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) August 9, 2020

In the lead-up to the polls Sunday, reports of intimidation by Lukashenko’s government came thick and fast: candidates were jailed; opposition activists, supporters and journalists arrested; news websites blocked; independent election monitors harassed.
As Lukashenko faced the toughest election of his 26 years in power, authorities tried to clear the field of competition, detaining his two main opponents and barring another from running. But Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the wife of jailed candidate Sergei Tikhanovsky, united the three strongest opposition camps to fight Lukashenko in a campaign fronted by three women.
Long queues formed outside polling stations Sunday as voters heeded the opposition call to turn up in force. Yermoshina called the queues “an organized provocation” and “sabotage” by the opposition.
A heavy police and military presence in Minsk, the capital, blocked major roads and prevented people from approaching Independence Square.
One of the three women, Veronika Tsepkalo, had fled the country, the independent media site reported Sunday. Another, Maria Kolesnikova, was seized by police as she left campaign headquarters Saturday, but was released after a public outcry. Authorities arrested Tikhanovskaya’s campaign manager on Saturday for the second time in three days. Seven campaign volunteers were detained and another was missing, according to the opposition campaign.…


CNN is now beginning to worry about the margins and how Biden can lose, even if they’re a bit obsessed with comparing the 2020 election to 2016.

Biden's doing about 10.4 points better than Clinton in those same Great Lake battleground states that CBS News/YouGov polled. In the same Sunbelt states, he's doing only 8.1 points better.

You'll note two things here.
  • First, Biden's doing better in live interview polling overall than online polling, which is true nationally as well.

  • Second, Biden's doing disproportionately better than Clinton in live interview polls in the Great Lakes. The same cannot be said of CBS News/YouGov.

The regional breakdown of the live interview polling makes a lot of sense given the live interview national polling. Biden's been doing much better than Clinton among White voters. And, as I pointed out last week, the Great Lakes have a lot more White voters as a proportion of the electorate than the nation as a whole.
The regional breakdown difference between CBS News/YouGov and the live interview polls may seem trivial, but it could make all the difference in the world if the race were to tighten.
Right now, CBS News/YouGov polling indicates that Biden would be wise to devote as much energy and time to the Sunbelt as the Great Lakes. The live interview polls recommend that Biden might be better off putting more energy into winning in the Great Lakes.
Put another way, Biden would likely win in the electoral college if the national margin were the same as it was in 2016.
Meanwhile, CBS/YouGov polling suggests a different fate could occur. Biden's margin over Trump is no greater than six points in any of the states polled by CBS News/YouGov. This includes all the Great Lake battleground states. In other words, the tipping state in the electoral college (i.e. state containing the median electoral vote plus one) gives Biden a six-point margin.
At the same time, the one national poll CBS News/YouGov has done had Biden up 10 points. (This mostly matches other YouGov polls done over the same period.)
If the CBS News/YouGov were exactly correct, the difference in margin between the tipping point state and the electoral college would be at least as large as it was in 2016 and conceivably greater. In the CBS News/YouGov universe, Biden would likely lose if the national margin were the same as it was in 2016.

Again, this doesn't really matter if Biden continues to lead by a fairly wide margin nationally. If Biden's national margin shrinks, this would turn into potentially a very big deal.

We can also obviously see that the GOP is about stealing money, especially poorer people’s money.


— Teri Kanefield (@Teri_Kanefield) August 9, 2020

2/ Here’s how sadopopulism works:

💠First, the would-be oligarchs create a major crisis that causes pain and suffering to ordinary citizens by ignoring a pandemic and encouraging the spread.

💠Next, identify an enemy: The Democrats.

3/ It doesn’t matter that the Democrats tried to contain the virus by urging precautions, and that the Democrats have been trying to help ordinary Americans while Republicans protect the rich.
Because the truth doesn’t matter. It's a show.…

4/ Finally would-be oligarchs pretend to “defend” ordinary people from the “enemies” by offering a plan that actually hurts them even more by defunding social security (kill the payroll tax) and creating a bigger financial disaster later, while benefitting the ruling oligarchy.

5/ They get the headlines they want, they rely on a well-oiled propaganda machine, and they count on people not bothering (or not able) to untangle the lies.

People will get frustrated and say “politics is broken” and tune out.

6/ When citizens say “politics is broken” and think it's hopeless and nothing can be done, the oligarchs win.
We can't let them win.
Enough people right now (even people who have seen the lie machine from the inside) are explaining that it’s all a lie.

7/ Here's a more general definition of Sadopopulism (part of a larger thread).

I'm taking a break from the news (need a lovely Sunday walk, and will finish Part II of It's All A Lie Book Report)
— unless we learn that Biden picked Kamala Harris 😂


Sturgis Wild Ones’ choice “I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to be cooped up all my life either”. Morbid curiosity about guessing who will be stricken and who will not be around in a couple of weeks.

“Screw COVID,” read the design on one T-shirt being hawked at the event. “I went to Sturgis.”


Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has taken a largely hands-off approach to the pandemic, avoiding a mask mandate and preaching personal responsibility. She supported holding the rally.

Daily virus cases have been trending upward in South Dakota, but the seven-day average is still only around 84, with fewer than two deaths per day.

Sturgis officials plan to mass test residents to try to detect and halt outbreaks, but the area’s largest hospital system is already burdened with the influx of tourists and bikers who inevitably need medical care during this time.…


— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 10, 2020


— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) August 9, 2020


— Christopher J. Hale (@chrisjollyhale) April 21, 2020


— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) August 10, 2020


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