By Robert A. Vella
This morning, I read a somewhat satirical weather forecast for southwest Washington state:
Very smoky, with a 10% chance of falling ash. Stay inside, close your windows, and pray.
The climate change induced wildfires which are ravaging the West Coast and causing extremely unhealthy air quality conditions throughout the region seem apocalyptic. Residents are understandably worried here, not just for their immediate well-being but for their long-term future as well. Across the nation, extreme weather events have been hammering the U.S. with increasing frequency and severity. From crop-destroying droughts in the Southwest, record flooding in the heartland states, wild temperatures swings in Colorado, an onslaught of tropical storms in the Southeast, to sea level rise incursions along the Eastern Seaboard, it’s quite obvious that Mother Nature isn’t happy with us humans right now.
In addition to the dismal weather forecasts, the prospects for America’s social, political, and economic health are even more immediately worrisome as “President” Donald Trump along with his fascist and racist supporters are determined to seize total authoritarian control over the country or destroy it should they fail. The United States has never faced such an existential threat from within since the South seceded from the Union in 1861.
However, the Traitor-in-Chief and his sycophantic Republican Party need not prevail in either of their sickening goals. In less than eight weeks, the issue will be decided. Americans have a real opportunity to stop the madness by changing course. We all must commit ourselves to this effort because there is no higher priority. Until after the election, that will be the sole purpose of this blog. Readers who want to wallow in fear and self-pity, or those who want to express villain-worship or hero-worship for the megalomaniac currently in the White House, or those who relish in the demise of America, will not be received warmly here. If you won’t join the fight, then get out of the way.
Below is our new Electoral College map snapshot, plus today’s news stories.
To review, it is a simplified projection which weighs the quality and consistency of state polls, which incorporates voter turnout/registration trends and the effectiveness of voter suppression efforts (by Republicans), which moves some states that currently look competitive but which historically favor one party over the other (e.g. Georgia and Iowa) to their traditional color, and which decides two states that split their electoral votes (i.e. Maine and Nebraska) to their dominant political party. The only changes from August are the move of Florida from the Democratic side to swing-state status.
The survey, which was conducted from Sept. 9 to 11, shows Biden leading Trump by 10 percentage points among registered voters, 49 percent to 39 percent. The previous Yahoo News/YouGov poll found Biden ahead by just 6 points immediately after the Republican National Convention.
The results suggest that a week of unrelenting and unflattering revelations about Trump — from the Atlantic report on his alleged contempt for Americans wounded or killed in war (which appeared on Sept. 3) to Bob Woodward’s recordings of Trump admitting he downplayed the deadliness of COVID-19 (released on Sept. 9) — has damaged the president’s standing with voters.
Asked if their opinion of Trump’s coronavirus response has changed because of Woodward’s big scoop — a tape of Trump privately acknowledging the virus was “deadly stuff” even as he publicly sought, in his own words, “to play it down”— nearly a quarter of Americans (23 percent) say yes. Even 15 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2016 say the Woodward news has changed their mind about the president’s handling of the pandemic.
Those might seem like small numbers. But in an age of extreme polarization, they could augur a real shift. Overall, 15 percent of Americans say the Woodward quotes have made them less likely to vote to reelect the president in November — and a third of these were 2016 Trump supporters.
More election news: