Wisconsin Could Decide This Thing

But not in the way we once expected…

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All Eastern Time

Throughout the day: Donald Trump will pop up when you least expect it as part of the third day of the Republican Party national convention. 


3:00pm: Donald Trump meets with Medical Professionals on COVID-19 in the Oval Office, which is scheduled to be closed press.


Kamala Harris will attend a virtual “Sister to Sister: Mobilization in Action Program” roundtable in Michigan to launch a nationwide voter engagement program for Black women, which will be open press. 

After, Senator Harris and Doug Emhoff will attend a virtual Biden for President finance event.

In the evening, Senator Harris will attend virtual Biden for President finance events.


8:30pm – 11:00pm: Republican Party convention Day 3 with speakers including:

Mike Pence

Karen Pence

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

Representative Dan Crenshaw (TX-02)

Representative Elise Stefanik (NY-21)

Representative Lee Zeldin (NY-01)

Richard Grenell

Kellyanne Conway

Keith Kellogg

Jack Brewer

Sister Dede Byrne

Madison Cawthorn

Scott Dane

Clarence Henderson

Ryan Holets

Michael McHale

Burgess Owens

Lara Trump


Halfway through the Republican convention (which my custom-crafted anemometer says lost a bit of momentum from Day 1 to Day 2, and could lose more in Day 3, given the lineup), the most important events shaping the prospects for a possible Donald Trump comeback are not taking place in federal government buildings in Washington, DC, but in the streets of America’s cities, including

* Washington, DC, where the online Right is consumed with what happened at some outdoor dining establishments on Tuesday.

* Minneapolis, MN, where a “federal grand jury on Tuesday handed up an indictment charging four Minnesota men with conspiring to set fire to the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct in the civil unrest that followed the May 25 police killing of George Floyd.” (Star Tribune)

* And, most of all Kenosha, WI, where, late-night, there was more violence in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.


Defining how Donald Trump could still win can be described in many ways: demographically, electorally, thematically, Joe Biden errors.

Demographically, Trump needs to get a bigger rural turnout than he had in 2016 in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and a few other states; to keep Biden from getting sufficient non-white vote (especially among Black Americans); and to improve his standing with suburban voters.

Electorally, he needs to win back the Big 5 (NC, GA, FL, OH, IA, TX), and then win 2 of the Big 4 (AZ, WI, MI, and PA), with congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska also in the mix.

But what if Minnesota is also in play, because of the aftermath of George Floyd’s death? And what if the events in Kenosha decisively help move Wisconsin in Trump’s direction?


There are two basic ways for Trump to possibly recover in the suburbs:

* The kind of messaging used on the second night of the convention (racial diversity, women, cares about people like you).

* Order and law.

Make no mistake: without a substantial turnaround in the suburbs, Trump has zero chance to win:

Republicans have lost the suburbs only three times since 1980: In 1992, 1996 and 2008 — all three, Democratic presidential wins. Even in those races, the G.O.P. candidate lost by no more than five points. In 2016, suburbs powered Mr. Trump’s victory, with exit polls showing he won them by four points.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released in July shows Joseph R. Biden Jr. leading Mr. Trump in the suburbs by a margin of nine percentage points. Another survey by Fox News found an 11-point advantage for the former vice president.

Mr. Trump won the suburbs of North Carolina by 24 points, according to 2016 exit polls. He’s now losing them by 21 points, according to a Fox News poll in June. In Florida, a state that was expected to favor Mr. Trump, a 10-point advantage in 2016 exit polls is now a six-point deficit. (New York Times)


Make no mistake: without a substantial increase in turnout in rural areas, Trump has zero chance to win.

Democrat Bill Galston, writing in his weekly Wall Street Journal column, explains both Trump’s challenge – and opportunity:

[A] Trump victory is far from impossible. Although the Democratic convention was successful, it did open up some political vulnerabilities. The convention did not focus on Mr. Biden’s policy agenda. A plurality of Americans told CBS/YouGov that they thought the recent focus on discrimination against minorities had gone too far, an impression the convention did nothing to dispel. There was little outreach to white working-class voters who are reconsidering their support for Mr. Trump….

As an analysis by Brookings Institution demographer William Freyshows, more than 60% of the 2016 non-voters in the “Blue Wall” states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were whites without college degrees. Compared with 2004, when George W. Bush won re-election, turnout rates among these voters, fell by 7 percentage points in Wisconsin, 5.7 points in Michigan, and 2.7 points in Pennsylvania. Restoring their turnout to 2004 levels could allow President Trump to repeat his 2016 Midwestern success, even if Democrats do better in the suburbs and large cities.


Events on America’s ground have more potential to help the president electorally than anything that Team Trump could do at the convention.

Or, more accurately, events on the ground are providing a context which Team Trump can exploit at the convention.

The New York Times

Events overnight on Monday might further stoke Republicans’ message that Democrats would preside over a total breakdown of domestic security. In the Wisconsin suburb of Kenosha, protests erupted in violence and arson in response to the shooting on Sunday of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white officer in an encounter that was captured on video. Such scenes of destruction in a crucial swing state could play into Mr. Trump’s hands, even as polls show most voters disapprove of how the president has handled race relations and matters of law enforcement….

Democrats have largely ignored the vandalism linked to the unrest…

It is that last sentence (“Democrats have largely ignored the vandalism linked to the unrest…”) that right now gives Trump-Pence perhaps the greatest hope for victory. These events – and the Democrats unwillingness to denounce violence and looting frequently and full-throatedly -- can potentially sway suburban voters and turn rural Trump-backing non-voters into citizens who cast ballots for the president.

Have no doubt: Joe Biden is against violence and looting.

But that reality might for some Americans might not matter as much as the perception, which even the New York Times shares.

From a Wide World of News reader who lives in northern Wisconsin:

I live 224 miles mostly north and a little west of Kenosha.  Yesterday on the way to pick up school supplies (my boys are going 5 days a week to a parochial school) my 12 and 13 year olds had a debate on the shooting and response.  It should’ve been on TV.

My 12-year-old was quite firm that the police are trained to take action and we don’t know all the facts about what the guy was doing.  He wondered how the police are supposed to do their job. Today my social media feed is filled with the man’s arrest record. 

The 13-year-old indicated that this can’t keep happening and we’ve got to do something about it.  He said, Jacob Blake “was shot in front of his kids, how could the police do that?”  But he’s holding out final judgment until he knows more.  

Basically sums up the nationwide conversation.

But the pictures out of Kenosha…will impact undecided here....burning and looting? Folks in my neck of the woods know no grey area there.  And most folks that live in Milwaukee and Madison try come to my neck of the woods to get away from the chaos.  They want to escape it too, if only a week at a time.  This will impact Wisconsin voters.  And how ironic it happened this week...


Night three in Kenosha brought solidarity, chaos, gun toting protestors, two shooting deaths, several gunfire-wounded protesters, bottled water, and surreal images. Earlier Tuesday, Jacob Blake’s mother delivered an emotional message.

by Brian P. Nadeau

New York Times provides a description of events that unfolded Tuesday night, into Wednesday: 

Three people were shot early Wednesday, and one [NOTE: Now 2] of them died, law enforcement officials said, during a chaotic night of demonstrations over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black resident whose children were nearby as their father was shot this week by a white police officer.

In Kenosha, a third night of protests over the shooting of Mr. Blake stretched into the early morning hours of Wednesday, after demonstrators clashed with law enforcement officials near the county courthouse downtown.

Tuesday evening was spent in a shifting, hours long standoff between the police and protesters. Protesters assembled outside a newly erected metal barrier protecting the courthouse and threw water bottles, rocks and fireworks at the police.

The police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, repeatedly warning the crowd through a bullhorn that they were violating the city curfew of 8 p.m. and risking arrest. The crowd was eventually forced out of the park with tear gas and onto city streets, where the standoff continued.

* In midst of Kenosha protests, man carrying a rifle is chased down, fires at another man who jumped onto him.

* A very graphic video of wound sustained by same man attempting to stop shooter. 

* Several assault rifles, shots fired, in chaotic nighttime scene that played out in Kenosha.

NBC5 Chicago covers poignant words from Jacob Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson:

Jacob Blake's mother issued an impassioned plea for people across the country to "take a moment and examine your heart," saying her son would be "unpleased" by the unrest sparked from his shooting by police over the weekend.

"Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians: do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts," Julia Jackson said Tuesday, days after her son was shot multiple times in the back by Kenosha police officers. "We need healing. As I pray for my son's healing - physically, emotionally and spiritually - I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country."

Jackson pleaded with all races and said she was praying for "all police officers and their families."

"Let's use our hearts, our love and our intelligence to work together to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other," Jackson said.

Wisconsin State Journal publishes must-see, impactful photos from Tuesday night in Kenosha

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Gov. Tony Evers speaks to Trump, COS Mark Meadows, turns down federal support to calm Kenosha unrest. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Tuesday night that Gov. Tony Evers turned down an offer of federal help from President Donald Trump to help quell the outbreak of violence in Kenosha.

"We have a National Guard standing by that if the general for the National Guard needs additional help, we're there to do it," Meadows said. "But today, that request was denied by the governor."

The Democratic governor deployed the National Guard to Kenosha on Monday and doubled the size of the deployment to 250 on Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, Evers did speak with both Meadows and Trump but Meadows was offering help from the Department of Homeland Security, not the National Guard, according to the Evers administration. Evers declined because more Guard members were already been sent there.


As for the GOP convention:

Ostensible reality #1:

CNBCRed meat for Trump’s base dominates Night 2 of the Republican National Convention

Ostensible reality #2: 

New York TimesIn an abrupt swerve from the dire tone of the convention’s first night, President Trump staged a grab-bag of gauzy events and personal testimonials aimed at female and minority voters.

Ostensible reality #3: 

John Podhoretz:

The entire convention is a sustained and intelligent effort to create a permission structure for Republican voters who fled the GOP two years ago — to dull Trump’s sharpest edges, to soften what seems inviolably hard, and to let them come home.

Will it work? Who knows? But they have to try, and this supremely competent convention shows they know what they’re doing.


New York Times

President Trump made a bid to sand down his divisive political image by appropriating the resources of his office and the powers of the presidency at the Republican convention on Tuesday, breaching the traditional boundaries between campaigning and governing in an effort to broaden his appeal beyond his conservative base.

In an abrupt swerve from the dire tone of the convention’s first night, Mr. Trump staged a grab-bag of gauzy events and personal testimonials aimed in particular at female and minority voters. In videos recorded at the White House, Mr. Trump pardoned a Nevada man convicted of bank robbery and swore in five new American citizens, all of them people of color, in a miniature naturalization ceremony.


The first lady’s speech was part of a patchwork of themes that also included messages opposing abortion, attacking Democratic nominee Joe Biden as a dangerous radical, highlighting President Trump’s ties to evangelical Christians and praising administration efforts to combat the opioid crisis….

Faced with a pandemic that has killed more than 175,000 Americans, President Trump used glitzy video and misleading testimonials to spin a tale of heroism and resolve far removed from the grim reality of a country in the throes of an uncontrolled public health crisis….

Government forecasts predict the country’s coronavirus death toll could surpass 200,000 by mid-September; schools continue to struggle with reopening plans as mini-outbreaks across the country shut down classes and frustrate parents; the economy continues to suffer from ­recession-level unemployment and desperation; a safe and effective vaccine is at least months away; and a flu season looms that public health experts say will only worsen an already precarious situation.



The [Melania Trump] speech came at a time of family turmoil for the Trump clan, which has always aimed to be seen as a close-knit tribe, and of unwanted revelations from one of Mrs. Trump’s own former trusted confidantes, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff….

Ms. Wolkoff is reported to have secretly recorded the first lady speaking disparagingly about her family, including her stepdaughter Ivanka Trump, and the recordings are said to be the partial basis of her forthcoming book, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.” The actual recordings are likely to be given to a news outlet ahead of her book’s publication on Sept. 1, two people familiar with the plan said. (Emphasis added.) (New York Times)


The Big 4.2 - by Brian P. Nadeau

Arizona - Early Voting Begins October 7th

TUSD shuts down 2nd school, two special-ed classes on another campus after student, staff member test positive. (Arizona Daily Star)

* Several metro PHX businesses may be able to reopen Thursday. (Arizona Republic)


Michigan - Early Voting Begins September 19th

* Gov. Whitmer standing firm on business re-openings. (The Detroit Press)

* Ford, GM salaried employees won’t return to offices for months. (Detroit Free Press)


Nebraska-2 - Early Voting Begins October 5th

* Republican U.S. Rep. Don Bacon joins rally supporting USPS, criticizes both Trump & Pelosi. (KMTV CBS3)

* Iowa farmers suffering from drought on heels of last year’s historic flooding. (WOWT NBC6)


Pennsylvania - Early Voting Begins September 15th

* Philly area schools furlough staff deemed unnecessary as virtual learning takes hold. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

* Gov. Wolf shares fall agenda, which includes marijuana legalization, expanded child care access, paid parental leave. (WGAL NBC8)


Wisconsin - Early Voting Begins October 15th

* Head of PHMDC sued by single mother of 2 over virtual learning order. (WMSN FOX27)

* Gov. Evers appoints Nia TrammellDavid Conway to Dane County Circuit Court, 4th & 5th appointments this year. (The Cap Times)

TOP STORIES - by Brian P. Nadeau

Sports: No fans, cutout-filled stands…yep, a no-hitter thrown by White Sox ace Lucas Giolito absolutely still counts.

CBS Sports

Business: Palantir IPO coming to current shareholders near you Sept. 24th.

Business Insider

Entertainment: 'The West Wing' cast reuniting to benefit When We All Vote.

CNN Entertainment


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