Get More Smarter on Tuesday (November 5)

Friends don’t let friends mail their ballots when it is too late for them to be received in order to be counted. Visit GoVoteColorado.com to find out where to drop off your ballot before 7:00 pm tonight. Now, let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► It’s Election Day today! Here are the latest ballot return figures analyzed by GOP polling outfit Magellan Strategies. For you last-minute voters, here’s a handy voting guide from The Denver Post. The Colorado National Guard will be assisting the Secretary of State’s office with cybersecurity matters.

For more of a national perspective, check out NPR’s Election Day guide. The biggest races are in Kentucky and Mississippi, where Democrats have a chance to win their respective battles for Governor in traditionally red states. The gubernatorial race in Kentucky could also be a significant moment for the issue of Medicaid work requirements.

 

► According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, President Trump’s approval ratings remain stagnant and he’s not looking good compared to potential Democratic rivals:

The new poll highlights the degree to which most of the country already has made a judgment about the president’s performance and their voting preferences next year. Among the 39 percent of registered voters who approve of Trump’s job performance, Trump is winning at least 95 percent support against each of five possible Democratic opponents. But among the 58 percent of voters who disapprove of Trump, he receives no more than 7 percent support.

Former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) run strongest against the president nationally, with Biden leading by 17 points (56 percent to 39 percent), Warren by 15 points (55 percent to 40 percent) and Sanders by 14 points (55 percent to 41 percent).

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), the other two Democrats tested against Trump, also lead the president among registered voters, with Buttigieg up by 52 percent to 41 percent, and Harris ahead by 51 percent to 42 percent.

This data is all wrong, argues President Trump, who says “I have the real polls.” As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains:

Faced with a slew of national polls that show roughly half the country supports not only his impeachment but also his removal from office, President Donald Trump did what he always does: Just say stuff.

Regardless of whether Trump’s super-secret polls really do exist, there are other numbers that murky the picture for 2020. As Nate Cohn notes for the New York Times, Trump opponents still have that pesky Electoral College thing to worry about:

Despite low national approval ratings and the specter of impeachment, President Trump remains highly competitive in the battleground states likeliest to decide his re-election, according to a set of new surveys from The New York Times Upshot and Siena College.

Across the six closest states that went Republican in 2016, he trails Joe Biden by an average of two points among registered voters but stays within the margin of error.

Mr. Trump leads Elizabeth Warren by two points among registered voters, the same margin as his win over Hillary Clinton in these states three years ago.

The poll showed Bernie Sanders deadlocked with the president among registered voters, but trailing among likely voters.

As we wrote in this space in September, there’s a very obvious and straightforward reason for why Republicans don’t want to move away from the Electoral College and toward a popular vote system of choosing our Commander in Chief.

 

► The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations of its intent to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Accords. Not one Republican member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation is commenting on the decision. Not. A. Single. One.

 

► House Democrats released a second round of transcripts from recent impeachment hearings; today’s batch includes testimony from US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker.

On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee released transcripts from the testimony of former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and former State Department adviser Michael McKinley. CNN takes a look at some of the key lines in each transcript, as does The Washington Post. It appears that at least one section of McKinley’s testimony contradicts comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Sondland, meanwhile, must be taking a lot of Ginko Biloba or something; he apparently now remembers that Trump was seeking a “Quid Pro Quo” type of deal with Ukraine.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► As Max Boot writes for The Washington Post, supporters of President Trump don’t have much to say in his defense anymore:

When the whistleblower’s complaint was first released, the most common defense was to claim that it’s all “hearsay.” That didn’t make any sense, given that the White House had previously released a rough transcript of the call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump could be heard asking for a quid pro quo. (“I would like you to do us a favor though.”)

Now the hearsay defense has collapsed altogether after a slew of current and former administration officials — Marie Yovanovitch, Kurt Volker, Fiona Hill, William B. Taylor Jr., Alexander Vindman, Laura Cooper, Philip Reeker, Michael McKinley, even Trump donor Gordon Sondland — confirmed what was evident on the call readout: namely, that Trump had withheld military aid and a White House meeting to blackmail Ukraine into maligning Joe Biden and casting doubt on whether Russia had hacked the 2016 election…

…Republicans haven’t had any more luck in focusing on “process,” especially since Democrats just gave them what they had been demanding — a floor vote in the House, open impeachment proceedings and the right to subpoena their own witnesses (subject to a committee vote). Turns out — surprise, surprise — this didn’t satisfy Republicans.

As Boot explains, the current messaging approach for Republicans essentially boils down to this: Trump shouldn’t be impeached because his alleged crime wasn’t carried out to completion. Of course, this argument makes no sense whatsoever, but that’s not really important to Trump defenders. The key is to just keep arguing.

 

► Federal law enforcement agents appear to have disrupted a plot by a man in Pueblo to blow up a synagogue.

 

► Three Colorado school districts are taking action to restrict students who fail to meet vaccination requirements. Colorado law actually requires schools to restrict students who do not have up-to-date immunization records or exemptions, but this requirement is often unenforced.

 

The Denver Post reports on new polling information from the exceptionally long named Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the University of Colorado Boulder Leed’s School of Business:

To the degree they track U.S. foreign policy, Coloradans view global trade as a net positive, support strong defense spending and are divided when it comes to energy policy and climate change…

…Researchers interviewed state officials, economic developers, teachers and other individuals and groups to better understand their concerns regarding the middle-class and their views on foreign policy…

…Compared to Ohio, where the first study was conducted last year, Colorado respondents were more favorably disposed to international trade, foreign aid and immigration.

 

 CBS4 Denver reports on a different long-named survey, also from the University of Colorado:

A survey conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder found a majority of polled Colorado voters approve of impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump and legalized sports betting…

…Meanwhile, half of registered voters oppose Prop CC which would allow the state to keep money it usually gives back to taxpayers and would instead spend it on education and transportation, effectively dismantling TABOR. Of those surveyed, 43% say they are in favor; 7% are unsure.

 

► Governor Jared Polis (D-Boulder) is traveling to India for his first international trade mission since taking office in January. Polis will have to deal with historically-awful air pollution during his visit. 

 

► Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser wants more funding for the successful Safe-2-Tell program.

 

► A legislative study committee focused on higher education is moving forward with potential legislation that would incorporate work experience into some form of college credit. 

 

► As Colorado Public Radio reports, the Colorado State Auditor has some harsh words for Colorado’s State Fair, which has apparently been losing money for 21 straight years.

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

Politico reports on strange happenings on the first day of a trial for former Trump confidante Roger Stone:

Only minutes after the first potential juror took the witness stand, Roger Stone abruptly left the courtroom, apparently ill. Moments later, a spectator started moaning and collapsed.

Everyone from the judge to the spectators — which included alt-right media activist Milo Yiannopoulos — was left baffled.

It was a fittingly unpredictable opening to the trial of the longtime conservative provocateur, a three-week affair that’s expected to be heavy on spectacle and colorful characters. Stone is fighting charges he lied to Congress and obstructed its 2016 Russia investigation, and Tuesday was slated for jury selection.

 

► What if the city of Federal Heights held a city council meeting and most of the elected officials failed to show up? Oh, wait, that did happen.

 

ICYMI

 

► State Rep. Don Valdez abandoned his fledgling campaign for Congress in CO-3 to focus on winning re-election in HD-62.

 

► Be sure to check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast:

 

 

For more political learnings, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter

 

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  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Federal law enforcement agents appear to have disrupted a plot by a man in Pueblo to blow up a synagogue.

    Wonder if he will depend on the Trump defense, that since nothing really happened, you can't hold him responsible for those actions which APPEAR to be illegal.

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