Washington’s Democratic governor will not seek re-election to post his party has held since 1985

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared Monday that he wouldn’t seek what would have been a historic fourth term as chief executive of the Evergreen State, a move that will set off a battle to succeed him next year. Under state election law all the candidates will run on one ballot rather than in separate party primaries, and the top two contenders, regardless of party, will advance to the general election. Republicans haven’t won this office since John Spellman prevailed in 1980, though Inslee himself only narrowly prevailed the last time this post was open in 2012.

Inslee’s departure ends an electoral career that’s seen both plenty of triumphs and some big setbacks. The Democrat first won office in 1988 when he pulled off a close victory for the state House, and he sought a promotion four years later by running for the open 4th Congressional District in the rural central part of the state. Inslee managed to advance to the general election by edging out Democratic state Sen. Jim Jesernig 23-22 in the blanket primary, a precursor to the modern top-two primary, but he faced a tough fight in the fall against Republican colleague Doc Hastings.

Inslee won 51-49 at the same time that, according to analyst Kiernan Park-Egan, George H.W. Bush was carrying the seat 43-35 over Bill Clinton (independent Ross Perot secured another 22%), but he had little time to rest up. Hastings came back for a rematch in 1994 and emphasized the incumbent’s support for the Clinton administration’s assault weapons ban, a vote the Democrat would acknowledge hurt him at home. The GOP wave hit Washington hard and Hastings unseated Inslee 53-47 at the same time that Speaker Tom Foley was losing re-election to George Nethercutt in the neighboring 5th District, and both constituencies have remained in GOP hands ever since. Another victor that year was Republican Rick White, who denied 1st District Rep. Maria Cantwell a second term in the 1st District near Seattle.  

But while that disastrous cycle ended plenty of Democratic careers, Inslee was determined that his would not be one of them. The ousted congressman, who soon moved to the Puget Sound community of Bainbridge Island, announced a 1996 campaign for governor and said of his recent defeat, “What it showed was when you vote your convictions over political expediency, on occasion it's not good for your career.” Inslee, though, struggled to gain traction in a field that included the eventual winner, Democratic King County Executive Gary Locke, as well as Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, and he finished fifth in the blanket primary with just 10%.

Inslee soon set his sights on a 1998 House comeback bid against White in a constituency that, per Park-Egan, had supported Clinton 51-37 two years before. Inslee, who had no intra-party opposition this time, was in for a difficult fight in a seat both parties identified as a major battleground, and White’s 50-44 lead in the blanket primary seemed to foreshadow another uphill race for the Democrat.

White, though, wasn’t as strong as he appeared to be. The incumbent had just gone through a high-profile divorce, and he feared that the third-party candidacy of social conservative Bruce Craswell would cost him some much-needed support. Inslee, meanwhile, ran ads blasting the Republicans for waging a long impeachment battle against Clinton, which proved to be a compelling argument that year. Inslee got back to the House by winning 49.8-44.1, with Craswell taking the balance.

Inslee’s second stint in Washington, D.C., went far better for him than his first, and he never failed to win re-election by double digits. The Democrat, however, decided to give up his secure seat in 2012 for another campaign for governor even though retiring incumbent Christine Gregoire’s weak approval ratings presented a big opening for the GOP. Republicans quickly consolidated around Attorney General Rob McKenna, who had scored a 59-41 victory in 2008 during an awful year for his party, while Inslee also had no serious intra-party opposition.

Most polls through July showed McKenna in the lead but Inslee, who resigned his seat to focus on his statewide bid, worked hard to tie his opponent to unpopular national Republicans. The Democrat, in one debate, responded to the attorney general’s declaration that he didn’t want Washington to be a place where a third of residents were on Medicare by saying, “Remember when Mitt Romney talked about the 47% that just weren’t sort of part of our family in a sense? And now my opponent says that this one out of three somehow should not have insurance.” McKenna worked to win over enough Obama voters to prevail, but he wasn’t able to take quite enough. Inslee instead scored a 52-48 victory at a time when the president was carrying Washington 56-41.

The new governor got a big setback before he took office when two renegade Democrats in the state Senate, Tim Sheldon and Rodney Tom, put the GOP minority in charge of the chamber even though Democrats nominally held a 26-23 edge. Inslee himself appeared to be a tempting target for 2016 after several polls showed him with an unimpressive approval rating, but potentially strong GOP foes like McKenna and Rep. Dave Reichert demurred. The Republican who eventually stepped forward, Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant, struggled with fundraising, and the governor beat him 54-46 as Hillary Clinton was scoring a 53-37 victory here.

Inslee had a better second term, especially after a 2017 special election put his party in control of the state Senate at long last, and in 2019 he joined a crowded presidential field. The governor’s would-be successors, though, found themselves waiting for months to see if he’d turn around and seek a third term at home, which is exactly what happened when Inslee ended his White House quest in the face of poor polling. Inslee went on to become the first three-term governor since Dan Evans secured re-election in 1972 after he scored an easy 57-43 victory over far-right foe Loren Culp, a former small-town police chief who refused to recognize his landslide loss.

Tuesday Primary Preview: Trump’s Big Lie slate aims to go three for three in key Arizona races

Primary season is back in full force on Tuesday with major contests taking place in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Ohio voters will also go back to the polls for primaries for their state legislature, which were delayed because of redistricting litigation (primaries for the Buckeye State’s other offices took place as planned in early May).

Below you'll find our guide to all of the top contests, arranged chronologically by each state’s poll closing times. When it’s available, we'll tell you about any reliable polling that exists for each race, but if we don't mention any numbers, it means no recent surveys have been made public.

And of course, because this is a redistricting year, every state on the docket has a brand-new congressional map. To help you follow along, you can find interactive maps from Dave's Redistricting App for Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington.

Note that the presidential results we include after each district reflect how the 2020 race would have gone under the new lines in place for this fall. And if you'd like to know how much of the population in each new district comes from each old district, please check out our redistribution tables.

Our live coverage will begin at 8 PM ET at Daily Kos Elections when polls close in Missouri as well as most of Kansas and Michigan. You can also follow us on Twitter for blow-by-blow updates, and you’ll want to bookmark our primary calendar, which includes the dates for primaries in all 50 states. Lastly, you can track the outcomes of each of these key races with our cheat sheet, which we’ll keep continuously updated throughout election night.


Polls close at 7:30 PM ET.


Polls close at 8 PM ET / 7 PM local time in the portion of the state located in the Central time zone, where virtually all Kansans live, and an hour later in four sparsely populated counties along the state's western border with Colorado. Individual counties have the option to keep their polls open an extra hour.

KS Ballot (56-41 Trump): The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the state constitution protects abortion rights, but the Republican-dominated legislature has placed a proposed constitutional amendment on the primary ballot to change that. If a majority votes “yes” on Tuesday, then the legislature would have the power to end abortion in the state. A win for the “no” side, however, would keep the status quo intact. The only poll that’s been released was a mid-July survey from a Republican pollster on its own behalf that showed “yes” ahead 47-43.

Other Kansas races to watch: KS-AG (R)


Polls close at 8 PM ET in the portion of the state located in the Eastern time zone, where almost all Michiganders live, and an hour later in four small counties in the Upper Peninsula along the state's western border with Wisconsin.

MI-Gov (R) (51-48 Biden): The Republican contest to face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer transformed dramatically in late May when a massive signature fraud scandal prevented former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who had been the frontrunner, and four other candidates from appearing on the primary ballot. One of the five remaining contenders, conservative radio host Tudor Dixon, soon earned the backing of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and other members of her influential family, plus a last-second endorsement from Donald Trump. She’s posted leads in most recent polls, and national Democrats seem convinced that Dixon will advance as well, as they recently launched ads against her.

Self-funding businessman Kevin Rinke, who most surveys have had in second, has used his wealth to decisively outspend his rivals; Rinke has aired commercials faulting Dixon for accepting the help of DeVos, who resigned from Trump’s cabinet a day after the Jan. 6 attack. Another candidate, real estate agent Ryan Kelley, attracted national attention in June when the FBI arrested him on misdemeanor charges related to his role in the riot, but he’s struggled to turn that notoriety into votes. Chiropractor Garrett Soldano and pastor Ralph Rebandt are also running, while Craig is using his limited remaining funds in a long-shot effort to win the nomination through a write-in campaign.

MI-03 (R) (53-45 Biden): Freshman Rep. Peter Meijer, who was one of the 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump, faces primary opposition from a Trump-backed challenger, conservative commentator John Gibbs. The winner will go up against 2020 Democratic nominee Hillary Scholten, who faces no intra-party opposition for her second bid, in a Grand Rapids-based seat that Michigan's new independent redistricting commissions transformed from a 51-47 Trump seat to one Biden would have decisively carried.

Meijer and his allies have massively outspent Gibbs’ side, though the challenger got a late boost from Democrats who believe he’d be easier to beat in November. The DCCC launched an ad campaign in the final week declaring that Gibbs was "[h]andpicked by Trump to run for Congress" and saying he supports a "hardline against immigrants at the border and so-called 'patriotic education' in our schools." A pro-Meijer PAC quickly responded by running its own commercial arguing that Gibbs is actually the “handpicked candidate” of Nancy Pelosi.

MI-08 (R) (50-48 Biden): Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee is defending a seat in the Flint and Saginaw areas that’s a little more competitive than his current 5th District, and three Republicans are campaigning to face him.

The frontrunner is former Trump administration official Paul Junge, who lost to Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin 51-47 in the old 8th District in 2020. (The old and new 8th Districts do not, however, overlap.) Former Grosse Pointe Shores Councilman Matthew Seely, like Junge, has self-funded almost all of his campaign, though Junge has spent far more. The third candidate, businesswoman Candice Miller, shares her name with a former congresswoman who used to represent a neighboring seat, but she’s reported raising nothing.

MI-10 (D) (50-49 Trump): Five Democrats are competing to take on Army veteran John James, who was Team Red's Senate nominee in 2018 and 2020, in a redrawn seat in Detroit's northeastern suburbs that's open because of the incumbent-vs.-incumbent matchup in the 11th (see just below).

The most prominent contender is probably former Macomb County Judge Carl Marlinga, who was the county’s longtime prosecutor. The best-funded candidate, though, is attorney Huwaida Arraf, while Warren Council member Angela Rogensues also has brought in more money than Marlinga. Sterling Heights City Council member Henry Yanez and former Macomb County Health Department head Rhonda Powell are also in, but they’ve each struggled with fundraising. James himself faces only minor opposition in his own primary.

MI-11 (D) (59-39 Biden): The Democratic primary in the new 11th is a duel between a pair of sophomore House members, Haley Stevens and Andy Levin. Stevens' existing 11th District makes up 45% of this revamped seat in Detroit’s northern suburbs, while Levin’s 9th is home to another 25%. Retiring Rep. Brenda Lawrence represents the balance of this district, and she’s backing Stevens.

Stevens and Levin have largely voted the same way while in Congress, though while Levin has emphasized his support for Medicare for all and the Green New Deal, Stevens has portrayed herself as more pragmatic. The congresswoman has enjoyed a huge financial advantage over her colleague; outside groups, led by the hawkish pro-Israel organization AIPAC, have also outspent Levin’s allies by a lopsided margin. A recent independent poll showed Stevens ahead 58-31.

MI-12 (D) (74-25 Biden): Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who is one of the most vocal progressives in the House, faces a prominent intra-party challenge from Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. Two other candidates, former state Rep. Shanelle Jackson and Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett, are also running, but they haven’t attracted much attention. The three challengers, like a large portion of the electorate in this Detroit-based seat, are Black, while Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants.

Tlaib, whose existing 13th District makes up 53% of the new 12th, has far outspent Winfrey, who has faulted Tlaib for casting a vote from the left against the Biden administration's infrastructure bill. However, a newly established group called Urban Empowerment Action PAC has gotten involved to help Winfrey, and it’s responsible for most of the more than $600,000 that’s been spent on her side.

MI-13 (D) (74-25 Biden): A total of nine Democrats are competing in an extremely expensive contest to succeed retiring Rep. Brenda Lawrence, who is Michigan's only Black member of Congress, in a seat that includes part of Detroit and its southern suburbs. The top spender by far is state Rep. Shri Thanedar, who unsuccessfully sought Team Blue’s nomination for governor in 2018 before winning his current office two years later; Thanedar, who is originally from India, is the only candidate who isn’t Black.

State Sen. Adam Hollier, meanwhile, has benefited from over $6 million in outside spending promoting him and attacking Thanedar. Most of this has come from AIPAC, but VoteVets and the crypto-aligned Protect Our Future have also expended considerable sums. Lawrence, for her part, is supporting Michigan Civil Rights Commissioner Portia Roberson.

A recent independent poll showed Thanedar leading Roberson 22-17, with Hollier at 16. The field also includes hedge fund manager John Conyers III, who is the son and namesake of the late former congressman, and former Detroit General Counsel Sharon McPhail, who each clocked in with 7%, as well as Detroit School Board member Sherry Gay-Dagnogo and Teach for America official Michael Griffie.


Polls close at 8 PM ET / 7 PM local time.

MO-Sen (R) (57-41 Trump): Republicans have a crowded contest to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt in this conservative state, though only three―former Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler―appear to have a shot at the nomination. The field also includes Rep. Billy Long, state Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, and wealthy attorney Mark McCloskey, but none of them have registered much support in the polls.

Early surveys gave the lead to Greitens, who resigned from the governorship in 2018 in the face of multiple scandals. The candidate, though, has been on the receiving end of millions of dollars worth of ads from a super PAC that, among other things, has highlighted his ex-wife's accusations that Greitens physically abused both her and their children in 2018.

Hartzler, for her part, has the backing of Missouri’s other senator, Josh Hawley, but her efforts to get the biggest endorsement in GOP politics went badly: In early July, Trump publicly announced that he “will NOT BE ENDORSING HER FOR THE SENATE.” Instead, the day before the primary, Trump announced "that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!" Both Greitens and Schmitt thirstily lapped up the statement as a bona fide expression of support, ignoring the fact that Trump pointedly did not choose between the two.

Unlike the lightning-rod Greitens, Schmitt has managed to avoid any toxic headlines throught the race, though his opponents have tried to portray him as being too close to China. Schmitt has also benefited from more outside spending than anyone else, and recent polls have shown the attorney general in the lead.

The Democrats have a primary battle of their own between Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and businesswoman Trudy Busch Valentine, though the winner will be a longshot, even if they get to face someone as tainted as Greitens. A onetime Republican, former U.S. Attorney John Wood, is also campaigning as an independent.

MO-01 (D) (78-20 Biden): Freshman Rep. Cori Bush pulled off a major upset two years ago when she unseated veteran Rep. Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary, and the high-profile progressive now faces four intra-party opponents in a St. Louis seat that only experienced small changes under the new map.

Bush’s main foe is state Sen. Steve Roberts, who has gone after Bush for casting a vote from the left against the Biden administration's infrastructure bill and has Clay’s backing. Bush's team, meanwhile, has highlighted accusations of sexual assault against Roberts by two different women in 2015 and 2017, though he was never charged in either case. A July poll showed the incumbent ahead 40-20.

MO-04 (R) (69-29 Trump): Seven Republicans are competing to replace Rep. Vicky Hartzler in what remains a safely red constituency in the western part of the state, and there’s no obvious frontrunner.

Cattle farmer Kalena Bruce has the backing of Gov. Mike Parson and the influential Missouri Farm Bureau, while state Sen. Rick Brattin has the prominent anti-abortion group Missouri Right to Life in his corner. Former Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks is the only other candidate who has held elected office, while former Kansas City TV anchor Mark Alford enjoys some local name recognition. Retired Navy SEAL Bill Irwin is the final candidate who has spent a notable amount of money.

Outside groups have almost completely focused on helping or hindering only two of the contenders. School Freedom Fund, which is an affiliate of the anti-tax Club for Growth, has spent over $1 million to support Brattin or attack Alford; two other organizations, the crypto-aligned American Dream Federal Action and Conservative Americans PAC have deployed a comparable sum to help Alford and weaken Brattin.

MO-07 (R) (70-28 Trump): The GOP has a similarly crowded eight-way race in southwestern Missouri to replace another Senate candidate, Rep. Billy Long, and no one has an obvious advantage here either. The field includes a trio of state senators, Eric Burlison, Mike Moon, and Jay Wasson, while another name to watch is Alex Bryant, a pastor who would be the first African American Republican to represent Missouri in Congress. The final candidate who has spent a notable amount is physician Sam Alexander.

Wasson, who is self-funding, has far outspent his competition, but Burlison’s allies at the Club for Growth have also dropped $1 million to stop him. The Club and the nihilistic House Freedom Caucus, likewise, have deployed almost $600,000 to promote Burlison. A third group, Conservative Americans PAC, has spent close to $700,000 to beat Burlison and a bit less than half of that to hit Moon.


Polls close at 10 PM ET / 7 PM local time.

AZ-Sen (R) (49.2-48.9 Biden): Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly will be a top GOP target following his close win in 2020 for the final two years of the late John McCain's term, and five Republicans are competing to face him. Most polls show that the frontrunner is former Thiel Capital chief operating officer Blake Masters, who picked up Trump’s endorsement in June. Masters’ old boss, conservative mega donor Peter Thiel, has poured $15 million into a super PAC to support him, while the anti-tax Club for Growth is also spending on his behalf.

Masters’ main intra-party rival appears to be wealthy businessman Jim Lamon, who posted a lead in one recent survey. Lamon has tried to portray Masters as a phony conservative who only recently relocated to the state from California, and he’s also run a commercial using recent footage of his rival calling the Unabomber “a "subversive thinker that's underrated."

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, meanwhile, began the race looking like the frontrunner, but Trump loathes him for insufficiently advancing the Big Lie and he’s faded in recent months. State Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire round out the field.

AZ-Gov (R & D) (49.2-48.9 Biden): The Republican primary has turned into an expensive proxy battle between Trump and termed-out Gov. Doug Ducey, a one-time Trump ally who wound up in the MAGA doghouse after he refused to go along with Trump’s efforts to steal the 2020 election.

Trump is all in for Kari Lake, a former local TV anchor turned far-right conspiracy theorist. Ducey, meanwhile, is supporting Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson, who has used her wealth to massively outspent Lake. Former Rep. Matt Salmon, who was the 2002 nominee, is also on the ballot along with two others, though he ended his campaign in June and endorsed Robson. Most polls show Lake ahead, though a Robson internal had the race tied.

Robson and her allies are trying to pull off an upset by highlighting Lake’s past as a supporter of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and they got some help in June from an unexpected source. After Lake targeted drag performances as "grooming" and "child abuse," a prominent Phoenix drag queen named Richard Stevens responded by posting images of the two together during their now-severed friendship and revealing that he’d performed for her multiple times. The story wound up in an anti-Lake ad in which another drag queen said that the candidate is “not just a fake, she's a phony'.”

The Democratic side has been a far more low-key affair, though there’s been little recent polling. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has been the frontrunner from the start, and she’s enjoyed a big financial advantage over former Homeland Security official Marco López.

AZ-01 (R & D) (50-49 Biden): Republican Rep. David Schweikert is seeking re-election in a reconfigured seat in the eastern Phoenix area that’s more competitive than his existing 6th District, but he needs to get through an expensive and ugly primary before he can worry about that. Businessman Elijah Norton has enjoyed a huge spending advantage thanks to his personal wealth, and he’s aired ads attacking Schweikert over a major scandal that resulted in the incumbent admitting to 11 different violations of congressional rules and campaign finance laws in 2020.

Schweikert, for his part, has focused on Norton's turbulent departure from his insurance company. The congressman has also circulated mailers showing his challenger and a male friend with the caption, “Elijah Norton isn't being straight with you.” Norton quickly fired back with a defamation lawsuit accusing Schweikert of falsely insinuating that he’s gay. The field also includes Josh Barnett, who badly lost a 2020 race against Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego but could cost Norton some much-needed anti-incumbent votes.

The Democratic contest between Jevin Hodge, who lost a tight 2020 race for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and former Phoenix Suns employee Adam Metzendorf has been far less incendiary. Hodge, who would be Arizona’s first Black congressman, has far outspent his rival, and the DCCC backed him in June.

AZ-02 (R) (53-45 Trump): Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran is defending a seat in northern and eastern rural Arizona that’s considerably more conservative than the 1st District he holds now, and seven Republicans are competing to face him. One of them, Navy SEAL veteran Eli Crane, picked up Donald Trump’s endorsement in the final weeks of the race, a decision that earned Trump loud boos at his rally a few hours later (possibly because of a coordinated effort by opponents who've criticized him for not living in the district).

Crane himself released a survey before he earned Trump’s nod showing him in the lead with 19% while state Rep. Walt Blackman and businessman Mark DeLuzio tied 12-12 for second. Outside groups have spent $1 million to either promote Crane or attack Blackman, a fellow Big Lie promoter who would be the state’s first Black member of Congress. The field also includes Ron Watkins, the reputed founder of the QAnon conspiracy cult, though he’s raised little.

AZ-04 (R) (54-44 Biden): Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton faces six Republicans in a seat based in the southern Phoenix suburbs that is considerably more competitive than the 9th District he now serves. The GOP establishment has consolidated behind Tanya Wheeless, a former president of the Arizona Bankers Association. Her best-funded rival is restaurant owner Kelly Cooper, who has financed most of his campaign himself, while Chandler City Councilman Rene Lopez is also in. Outside groups have deployed over $1 million to support Wheeless and bash Cooper.

AZ-06 (D & R) (49.3-49.2 Biden): Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick announced her retirement last year before Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission drew up a new Tucson-based seat that’s well to the right of her current 2nd District, and both parties have contested primaries to succeed her.

The Democratic side pits former state Rep. Daniel Hernández, who as an intern helped save then-Rep. Gabby Giffords after she was shot in 2011, against state Sen. Kirsten Engel; a third candidate, engineer Avery Anderson, hasn't earned much attention. Both candidates have brought in a comparable amount of money, and major outside groups haven’t been involved here.

Until recently, the Republican primary looked like it would be an easy win for Juan Ciscomani, a former senior advisor to Gov. Doug Ducey who has far outraised his five intra-party foes. But things got more interesting in the final days when the House GOP’s main super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, spent over $1 million to support Ciscomani, whose decision to campaign as a unifier may not be resonating with the primary electorate.

Ciscomani’s main rival appears to be former mortgage banker Kathleen Winn, who has thrown far more red meat to the base. Winn has spread conspiracy theories insinuating that American leaders are “being paid off” by China and Russia, so naturally she has the backing of notorious far-right figures including Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and Kari Lake, Trump’s candidate for governor.

AZ-AG (R) & AZ-SoS (R & D) (49.2-48.9 Biden): Both the offices of attorney general and secretary of state, which along with the governor are involved in certifying election results in the Grand Canyon State, are open, and Trump is backing an election conspiracy theorist for each.

Trump’s man in the six-way contest for attorney general is former prosecutor Abe Hamadeh, who has denied that Biden won the state. Hamadeh's intra-party foes are Tiffany Shedd, who lost a close general election last cycle in the 1st Congressional District against Rep. Tom O'Halleran; Rodney Glassman, a former Democrat who now sports an endorsement from far-right Rep. Paul Gosar; former prosecutor Lacy Cooper; former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould; and manufacturing executive Dawn Grove. The winner will go up against former Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Kris Mayes, who has no opposition in the Democratic primary.

Over in the four-way contest for secretary of state, Trump is backing state Rep. Mark Finchem, a QAnon supporter who led the failed effort to overturn Biden's victory and attended the Jan. 6 rally just ahead of the attack on the Capitol. Finchem faces two fellow legislators, state Rep. Shawnna Bolick and state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who have both promoted voter suppression measures. The final candidate is advertising executive Beau Lane, who has Gov. Doug Ducey’s endorsement and is the one candidate who acknowledges Biden’s win.

The Democratic contest for secretary of state pits state House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding against Adrian Fontes, who narrowly lost re-election in 2020 as Maricopa County clerk. A recent poll for an unnamed super PAC put Fontes ahead 44-29, but a pro-Bolding group gave their candidate a 35-30 advantage.

Other Arizona races to watch: Maricopa County, AZ Attorney


Polls close at 11 PM ET / 8 PM local time.

Washington’s top-two primary requires all candidates to compete on one ballot rather than in separate party primaries. The two contenders with the most votes, regardless of party, advance to the Nov. 8 general election. Candidates cannot win outright in August by taking a majority of the vote.

WA-03 (51-46 Trump): Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler earned herself a prominent place on Trump's shitlist after she voted for impeachment, and she now faces four fellow Republicans, two Democrats, and two unaffiliated candidates in this southwest Washington constituency that's very similar to her previous district. Trump himself is pulling for Joe Kent, an Army veteran who has defended Putin's invasion of Ukraine and has ties to far-right extremists.

An outside group called Conservatives for A Stronger America, though, has spent over $1 million to attack Kent and elevate a third Republican, evangelical author Heidi St. John. Kent has argued that this organization is trying to “prop up a spoiler candidate and split the vote” in order to help Herrera Beutler advance to the general election, though he’s trying something similar on a smaller scale. His campaign has sent out mail pieces highlighting how the only serious Democratic candidate, auto repair shop owner Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, is the one "pro-choice candidate for Congress,” a move aimed at costing Herrera Beutler Democratic votes. The field also includes GOP state Rep. Vicki Kraft, though she’s earned little notice.

WA-04 (57-40 Trump): Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, who also voted for impeachment, faces six intra-party opponents in this largely unchanged eastern Washington constituency, while businessman Doug White is the one Democrat in the running. Trump has thrown his support behind 2020 gubernatorial nominee Loren Culp, an ex-cop who has refused to recognize his decisive loss to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, but he’s badly struggled with fundraising.

Defending Main Street, which is aligned with the GOP leadership, has spent over $1 million praising Newhouse and attacking Culp, while the challenger has received no major outside help. Team Red’s field also includes self-funding businessman Jerrod Sessler and state Rep. Brad Klippert.

WA-08 (52-45 Biden): Three notable Republicans are challenging Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier in what remains a competitive seat in suburban Seattle.

Schrier's most familiar foe is 2020 nominee Jesse Jensen, who unexpectedly held her to a 52-48 win last time despite bringing in little money and is proving to be a considerably stronger fundraiser this time. Another well-established Republican is King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who was the 2012 nominee for attorney general; Dunn is the son of the late Rep. Jennifer Dunn, who represented previous versions of this constituency from 1993 to 2005. Team Red's field also includes another failed candidate for attorney general, 2020 nominee Matt Larkin.

Jensen has outspent his intra-party rivals, and he’s also benefited from over $300,000 in support from a super PAC set up to help him. The group’s efforts include ads against Dunn, including mailers highlighting his past struggles with alcoholism.

Other Washington races to watch: WA-SoS

Donald Trump Jr. Deposed By DC Attorney General Probing Former President’s Inaugural Committee

Donald Trump Jr. was deposed earlier this month by Washington, D.C. attorney general Karl Racine in a probe of former President Trump’s inaugural committee, a court filing indicates.

Racine is spearheading a probe into the alleged misuse of inaugural funds involving a payment made by the Trump Organization to a D.C. hotel for nearly $50,000 in 2017, the week of the inauguration.

Trump Jr., a Trump Organization executive, in the deposition, stated he did not authorize spending $50,000 from his father’s inaugural committee on hotel rooms for his friends.

Racine has sued the organization and Trump’s D.C. hotel over misuse of inaugural funds.

He has accused both entities of “blatantly and unlawfully abusing nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family.”

The former President’s son and the Trump Organization have denied any such accusations.

RELATED: Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement Of Biden’s 100 Day Ban On Deportations

Trump Jr. Deposed By an Anti-Trump AG

Racine, a superdelegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, has had a bit of a fixation with the Trump family for years now.

So it’s no surprise that he’s deposed Donald Trump Jr.

Racine took part in a lawsuit against the former President on June 12, 2017, that alleged Trump had not fulfilled his pledge to separate his political activities from his business ventures while serving as president.

Yes, the good ol’ emoluments clause.

The Supreme Court ended the lawsuit last month, declaring them moot as he was no longer in office.

RELATED: House Democrats Want Biden To Relinquish Sole Authority To Launch Nuclear Weapons

Just Another Witch Hunt?

Racine’s obsession with the Trump family also includes reviewing the potential for charges against the former President for his alleged role in the Capitol riot in early January.

“Lawyers inside the Washington, DC attorney general’s office are working to determine if it is legally viable to use district statutes to charge former President Donald Trump for his alleged role in the insurrection,” CNN reported two weeks ago.

They add that Racine’s office was “collaborating at a high level with federal prosecutors.”

Law enforcement officials tasked with protecting the Capitol testified earlier this week that they did not anticipate the riot at the Capitol on January 6th, indicating there was no way President Trump could have either.

Also deposed in the current case are Donald Trump Jr’s sister, Ivanka, and former Trump campaign deputy campaign manager Rick Gates.

According to the court documents, Trump Jr.’s deposition “raised further questions about the nature of the Loews Madison invoice and revealed evidence that Defendants had not yet produced to the District.”

Racine is reportedly seeking more time to collect further information and conduct three more depositions for the case.

The post Donald Trump Jr. Deposed By DC Attorney General Probing Former President’s Inaugural Committee appeared first on The Political Insider.

Newt Gingrich Slams Trump Impeachment Lawyers – ‘Absolute Lack Of A Coherent Defense’

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke out on Wednesday to rip into former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team, saying that they have an “incoherent” message and adding he had “no idea” what the lawyers were doing.

Gingrich Speaks Out On Impeachment 

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen as bad a defense team as the president sent up, and I have no idea what they thought they were doing,” Gingrich said on Fox News

“There’s a good case to be made,” he added. “I thought they were going to make it. I think it’s amazing that they only lost one Republican given the absolute lack of a coherent defense.”

The former Speaker went on to say that he would have been “beside myself” if this was his own legal team.

“I’m surprised he didn’t fire [Bruce Castor] some time during the afternoon,” Gingrich continued. “It was that bad. Bad lawyers can lose good cases. That’s the danger here.”

Related: Gingrich: Pelosi Impeachment Push Is Because She’s Scared Trump Might Run Again – And Win

This comes after sources close to Trump’s defense team reportedly told both Politico and CNN that Trump was “not happy” with how he was being represented by his lawyers.

“President Trump was not happy with the performance of his legal team in action,” one source said.

Gingrich Discusses Democrats’ Strategy

Gingrich then talked about Democrats, describing them as the “party of Hollywood” and saying that while their video presentation was effective, they were still unfairly trying to pin the actions of the Capitol riots on Trump.

“The fact is that to say to [74.2 million] Americans we’re going to dictate to you who you are allowed to vote for is just not sustainable,” Gingrich said.

 “But on the other hand the Democrats are trying to scar up Trump to weaken him …. Trump’s greatest ally is Joe Biden, and every time Biden does something that is destructive, it further reminds the Trump voters why it’s unacceptable to allow the Washington politicians to dictate to the rest of us,” he added. 

Related: Newt Gingrich Predicts Democrats Will Throw Away Congress ‘Once Again’ With ‘Radical’ Budget Agenda

Democrats have already impeached Trump twice in the House of Representatives, and he is the first former president to stand trial in the U.S. Senate.

If he is impeached in the Senate, he will not be allowed to run for office again.

This piece was written by James Samson on February 11, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Jim Jordan Claims Democrats Are ‘Scared’ Of Trump

The post Newt Gingrich Slams Trump Impeachment Lawyers – ‘Absolute Lack Of A Coherent Defense’ appeared first on The Political Insider.

Jim Jordan Claims Democrats Are ‘Scared’ Of Trump

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) penned an op-ed for Fox News on Tuesday that accused Democrats of having an “obsession” with impeaching Donald Trump because “they’re scared of him.”

Jordan Attacks Democrats 

Jordan wrote in the op-ed that Democrats are hoping that this impeachment trial will lead to so much disdain for Trump that he will never run for office again.

“It’s been almost a month since he left office, but Democrats still can’t let go of President Donald Trump,” Jordan wrote. “That’s why, as our country faces many urgent challenges, the Senate will set aside its real work this week and instead focus on yet another political impeachment charade.”

Jordan added that while the Capitol riots should not have happened last month, they were not a concern for Democrats because while Republicans have condemned violence in the past, “Democrats have not, and now they are casting political blame for what happened at the Capitol.”

Related: Jim Jordan Calls Out Dems’ ‘Double Standards’ – They ‘Objected To More States In 2017 Than Republicans Did Last Week’

“President Trump did not incite the violence of Jan. 6,” Jordan said. “News reports suggest the FBI knew in advance that violence would occur. The U.S. Capitol Police also reportedly understood that there was a ‘strong potential for violence’ that day.”

“Pipe bombs had been placed before President Trump’s speech,” he continued. “So how can Democrats accuse President Trump of inciting violence when the violent acts had been planned in advance?”

Jordan Blasts House For Impeaching Trump

Jordan lamented the fact that in the House, there was no due process for Trump, “there was no process whatsoever.” He added that the Senate is now preparing to conduct an unconstitutional “impeachment trial” of a man no longer president.

“Last week, Democrats threatened President Trump that if he declined to testify during the Democrats’ impeachment charade, they would use it as proof of his guilt,” he wrote. “That may be how trials work in socialist countries. But that’s not how it works in America.”

“Democrats are going to these lengths because they are obsessed with canceling President Trump,” Jordan continued. “They’re scared of him. They know he works [for] the American people, and not the Washington Swamp. Unlike most politicians, President Trump did what he said he’d do. Hopefully, one day, he’ll get to do it again.”

Read Next: Rep. Jim Jordan Says Trump Should Not Concede: ‘Instinctively Everyone Knows’ The Election Is Flawed

This piece was written by James Samson on February 9, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Maxine Waters Confronted By MSNBC About Encouraging Violence Against Republicans
Bill Maher Claims Christianity Is To Blame For Capitol Riot
Liz Cheney Says There’s Major Criminal Probe Into Whether Trump Made ‘Premeditated Effort To Promote Violence’

The post Jim Jordan Claims Democrats Are ‘Scared’ Of Trump appeared first on The Political Insider.

Media Matters’ Bobby Lewis talks insurrection, white supremacy, and the media

In the media ecosphere, researchers may be among the most undervalued players in the industry—especially those who focus on “opposition research,” which is the practice of collecting information on opponents. For Bobby Lewis, this means studying, tracking, and analyzing the many strands of conservative misinformation in the U.S. that threaten our multiracial democracy. Since 2016, Lewis has been a researcher at Media Matters, a progressive research and information center that monitors misinformation in the U.S. media. In practice, Lewis’ job requires that he monitor everything from far-right message boards to Fox News and mainstream print outlets.

During the Trump administration, Lewis’ primary focus was the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, which he says functioned as “an informal morning briefing” for President Donald Trump that influenced countless policy decisions and in turn, dominated almost every media cycle. Lewis’ work monitoring Fox & Friends and other conservative media gave him tremendous insight into the right-wing narratives that were pushed in the days leading up to and following Jan. 6, when on live television, Trump supporters attempted to carry out a coup in the U.S. Capitol and overturn the results of the election. 

The American public is still processing what happened, and the media is grappling with how to accurately report on the people who stormed the Capitol in an attempted coup. While the actions of these Trump supporters were deadly, reporting makes it clear that it could have been worse. As we headed into Inauguration Day, Prism spoke to Lewis about the language and framing journalists should consider when covering these events, the historical precedence for racial terrorism, and what to expect from the Republican Party post-Trump. Our interview has been condensed and edited. [This interview was conduced before Inauguration Day.]

Tina Vasquez: Many media outlets still seem to be grappling with what language to use to describe the events of Jan. 6. As a researcher, how are you thinking about it or articulating what we saw at the Capitol?

Bobby Lewis: “Insurrection” is an appropriate term for what happened, as is “attempted coup.” Simply put, a group of pro-Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying an election that Trump fairly lost. Insurrectionists fought police officers to gain control of the building—even murdering one of them—and planted bombs at the Republican and Democratic national committees. Regardless of any other variables, there’s no question that an insurrection against the federal government took place on Jan. 6. As researchers, we watched it unfold on live TV, and more videos are still all over social media. But if you were watching right-wing media, the attempt to downplay insurrection began immediately. Fox’s news division said, “[I]t’s not like it’s a siege,” there was “no vandalism” (aside from all the vandalism), and the “peaceful” gathering was “a huge victory” for the insurrectionists.

Vasquez: As a journalist, I’m really struggling with the mainstream media's continued assertion that Trump supporters descended on the Capitol because they believed their president when he said the election was stolen. That may be true in many instances, but it also seems clear that so many of Trump's supporters simply did not like the results of the election. But perhaps neither of these narratives are accurate or helpful. What is the most responsible way to report on why these people invaded the Capitol?

Lewis: The first thing to keep in mind is that as we all saw, an insurrection took place. Every individual on the National Mall that day isn’t guilty of trying to overthrow democracy, but there were more than enough bad actors to mount a serious, violent attack on Congress, which came seconds from meeting its targets face-to-face with weapons and zip ties. That’s the most important thing that happened that afternoon. Attacking Congress is attacking our democracy, and given the United States’ rich history of violent white supremacists overthrowing democracy, we should remain focused on that threat above all else.

Those who attended the rallies on the National Mall were deluded by right-wing media and the president into believing the election was stolen and Trump actually won. At a minimum, the prevalence of those false claims created a space that allowed the rally and the violence to happen. In either case, it’s another symptom of our country’s depressingly vast information crisis, where tens of millions of Americans believe that our sources for information about the world are “fake news,” a belief that is ironically often based on exaggerated or false claims from unreliable sources they loyally trust.

Vasquez: Broadly, the media tends to convey surprise when right-wing movements have a show of force and there is little articulation of how it was a clear escalation of the rhetoric and conduct that’s been building over the last few years or that there is historical precedent for how white people behave in this country. We've heard that the Capitol was "unprepared" for what happened. Tell me what you know about how openly that week's events were being planned.

Lewis: The attack on the Capitol was, at least in part, planned in public. For weeks, far-right users on Parler and Telegram were openly brimming with violent fantasies about Jan. 6 in Washington. We shouldn’t forget the role of the mainstream social media platforms either. While Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg claimed that the insurrectionist attacks were “largely” not organized on Facebook, our research found at least 70 “Stop the Steal” affiliated groups on that site—importantly, 46 of these were private groups, a type of group that Facebook has struggled to regulate before.

The “Stop the Steal” movement, led by far-right personality Ali Alexander—and reportedly organized with help from GOP Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and Paul Gosar—attracted many extremists to the protest that would become an insurrection. Infowars’ Alex Jones heavily promoted and raised funds for the Jan. 6 event with violent rhetoric. There were plenty of warning signs that the police missed, accidentally or otherwise—an open question, with investigations underway into over a dozen officers—but it is clear that the Capitol Police force, like the rest of the government, doesn’t take the right-wing extremist threat as seriously as it should.

Immediately, the insurrection was an obvious escalation of Trump’s countless lies about voter fraud, which were reliably fed to him by Fox News, Newsmax, One America News, and others for months, even before the November election. In fact, right-wing media outlets have been lying about voter fraud and fearmongering about civil war for many years, so the groundwork for a violent rebellion has arguably been building on the right for a very long time. The precursors to insurrection fell together, more or less right in front of our eyes.

Vasquez: So this is an escalation of what we’ve seen over the last four years, but there is also historical precedence for this. I’ve been thinking about the Wilmington, North Carolina, insurrection.

Lewis: We do need to put the insurrection in a proper historical context. As Adam Serwer pointed out in The Atlantic, true democracy in the United States is not 244 years old—it’s only 55 years old, dating to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which guaranteed the vote (at least officially) to all Americans regardless of skin color. Prior to that we had Jim Crow, a system of racist governments throughout the South that established itself on the ashes of our brief attempts to enfranchise Black men (but not women) after the Civil War. The federal government eventually lost interest in protecting Reconstruction governments, and in time they were all destroyed by white supremacist terrorism.

The era of our true democracy has culminated so far in a multiracial coalition electing the first Black president, Barack Obama—and then an overwhelmingly white coalition electing the man who built a political career on saying Obama was not American. And on the day of the insurrection, this latter coalition stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to keep its aggrieved leader in office. The insurrection was an expression of the systemically racist history of the country, much of which we also saw in racist coverage of Black Lives Matter protests. American white supremacy always strikes back after Black political achievement, and we already surrendered democracy to racist revanchism once before. It cannot happen again.

Vasquez: Over the course of the Trump administration, the media has reported on Trump supporters as if they are generally "working class" people with "economic anxieties," rather than racists who were moved by Trump’s rhetoric. The use of class status to elide a discussion of race is common, but as recent reporting has shown us, the insurrectionists came from all of the country and some were affluent—a fact mainstream media continues to appear surprised by. What are the characteristics of Trump supporters that you think are worth noting, what are the similarities his followers actually have?

Lewis: The most notable aspect of Trump support is a sense of grievance and anger over anything they feel has been taken from them. Since Trump himself is a perpetual victim, he cultivates this attitude in his followers as an us versus them ethos in which he and his followers are fighting alone for good and everyone else—the establishment, the media, Democratic voters, anyone who gets in Trump’s way—is the enemy of the people. Conservative media focus this hatred into political action, sometimes in ways that betray their poorest supporters, such as lying that Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy improved wages. Clearly, this sort of grievance knows no economic boundaries. Accordingly, there are extremely poor and extremely wealthy Trump supporters, and they all agree that some often intangible thing has been taken from them and that whatever the problem is, Trump will make it “great again.” 

Journalists should strongly resist the trap of assuming that Trump supporters, especially violent ones, are necessarily poor or uneducated. It strikes me as a holdover from the early days of Trumpism, when few in the media seemed to grasp the full picture of what was coming. It lends an embarrassing amount of accuracy to the Trumpist complaint that the media “doesn’t understand” them. And it’s a baffling mistake to make when we know Trump and his allies have had the support of a lot of the conservative intelligentsia and received plenty of donations from wealthy Americans. Also, the kind of tactical gear we saw on display in the Capitol attack is not cheap, much like highly customized AR-15s often seen at right-wing demonstrations. Lazy stereotyping helps nobody, and it actually hinders efforts to fully understand the white supremacist threat.

Vasquez: Leading up to the attempted coup, what were the most marked ways that right-wing media outlets fanned the flames of insurrection?

Lewis: Evidence has always shown that the results of the 2020 election were secure and accurate; there was never any credible reason to entertain the countless fraud claims. Yet in the run-up to Jan. 6, right-wing media kept pushing and entertaining “rigged election” claims in ways big and small, even down to refusing to refer to now-President Biden as “president-elect.” A violent attempt to overthrow the election may have found less popular support if right-wing media hadn’t poisoned the discourse with months, years, and even decades of baseless lies that widespread voter fraud steals elections, while also telling the audience that certifying the 2020 election is “the most dangerous assault on the very nature of America, certainly in our lifetime, and maybe since the previous Civil War.”

Vasquez: What did you find notable about right-wing media outlets' coverage or reframing of the coup? What are the narratives that Americans should be aware of, and how can they push back on them?

Lewis: It was remarkable how quickly false claims spread that “antifa” was responsible for the Capitol attack. Before the mob had even left the building, people across social media began posting videos from Capitol Hill claiming that “antifa” went undercover as Trump supporters to start violence. Conservatives quote-tweeted coverage with assumptions or claims that antifa was responsible, and tried to match people in photos from the Capitol with people in photos from anti-fascist protests. The claim peaked with a Washington Times article “reporting” that facial recognition had proved “antifa” involvement, a false claim which was retracted, but not until after it spread through right-wing media and made it to Congress, thanks to Rep. Matt Gaetz.

If we don’t indulge further right-wing lies about George Soros or “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” it’s unclear who would execute this B-movie “antifa” infiltration plot, or to what end. Unfortunately, it’s easier to share lies than report the truth, and once the lie has spread, truth plays catch-up forever.

Another narrative Americans should be wary of is the suggestion that the country should just move on, couched in vague appeals to “unity” that deliberately avoid a full reckoning of the insurrection. Fox & Friends, perhaps the president’s favorite TV show, said that Trump should not be impeached because his supporters are “ready to explode” and a second impeachment could inflame them further. Republican officials, including some who encouraged the insurrection, similarly call for “unity” as a response to impeachment. But there can be no “unity” without consequences for those who endangered the republic. And history has shown us, over and over again, that a failed insurrection with no consequences is a trial run for eventual success.

Vasquez: The events of Jan. 6 and everything we’ve learned in the days since have really shown some of these right-wing movements for what they are. It’s never been about patriotism or religion or freedom of speech, but rather a white supremacist power grab. Could this in any way be a moment of opportunity for progressive movements?

Lewis: Particularly at this moment, I think the most important thing people can do is demand that responsibility be taken not only for the violence on Capitol Hill, but also for the Trump and right-wing media-driven voter fraud lies that built the permissive environment for the insurrection. Dozens of corporations have suspended or eliminated contributions to members of Congress who voted against certifying the election; hundreds of business leaders denounced the insurrection; Trump’s approval is near record lows—society in this moment, including some critical levers of political power, is uniquely hostile to the revanchist conservatism that led to the insurrection. Fox News is still one of Trump’s most powerful allies, but as the Trumpist push against the election grew more extreme, the network lost viewers to right-wing rivals Newsmax and OAN, and Fox may have begun to get on the bad side of its biggest remaining advertiser—because he doesn’t think Fox supports Trump enough. With corporations eager to distance themselves from the insurrection, perhaps even Fox News’ cable fees could be imperiled by the network’s strong push to undermine the 2020 election. People of conscience should press the advantage and demand consequences for the attack on democracy before this unique moment passes.

Vasquez: There is no denying that the Trump administration has been a goldmine for mainstream and cable news and the journalists who cover Trump closely. What are the ways in which mainstream and cable news networks are responsible for normalizing Trump's rhetoric and underplaying how dangerous and violent it is?

Lewis: It was well-documented that CNN gave enormous amounts of free airtime to the Trump campaign in 2016, back when the network was obsessed with the spectacle of a game show host running for president. CNN also developed a terrible habit of hiring former Trump officials to provide commentary, even though they were contractually forbidden from criticizing Trump and many of them abruptly quit or got fired in disgrace. Les Moonves, the former CEO of CBS who later lost his job for being a sexual predator, said Trump’s run for president “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Although those days have passed and in some ways coverage of Trump got much better, some normalizing trends unfortunately remained for the duration of Trump’s presidency.

For one, there is absolutely no need to invite a government official on a show when the network knows the official is just going to lie to the audience. Mainstream media outlets do have a critical “truth-telling” role, but telling the truth does not require platforming a liar, even if the liar has a prestigious job like White House press secretary. Continuing to have them on air, even if the interviews are contentious and filled with fact checks, does harm by treating a violently abnormal administration as normal.

A related scourge is mainstream media companies paying contributors or writers to represent conservative viewpoints with lies and misdirection. Showcasing a variety of viewpoints is one thing, but it is antithetical to the mission of a news organization to pay someone like conservative columnist Bret Stephens to mask vapid concern trolling as principled conservative arguments. Even in an opinion vertical, it’s unacceptable—not to mention the fact that Stephens has repeatedly embarrassed The New York Times with his terrible columns and petulant, entitled behavior. News staffers have likely been fired with cause for much less.

I am also concerned that, in time, Trump officials will get to become well-paid media contributors and consulting executives despite the current popular scorn toward them. It may seem unthinkable amid the current level of popular and corporate outrage, but many former George W. Bush administration officials found comfortable gigs despite their various roles in launching or supporting the Iraq War, which was also based on lies in the media. Some former Trump officials, like John Bolton, are already collecting checks thanks to their time with President Trump. They should never work in or near politics again.

Vasquez: Among journalists, there has been a lot of talk about the words we need to be using in reporting to describe the perpetrators of the attempted coup—white supremacists, domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, etc. As someone who studies media and right-wing movements, what framing do you think is important for journalists to use right now? 

Lewis: It’s important to remember that white supremacy was a central force in the insurrection, much like it is with Trumpism. White supremacy has always been the biggest threat to multiracial democracy, and the federal government often releases assessments to this effect. 9/11 notwithstanding, white supremacist terrorism has killed more Americans than any other kind by far. But people, often conservatives, resist the need to talk about white supremacy, which only helps the white supremacists. Relatedly, it’s equally important to keep our focus on the fact that this was an attack on multiracial democracy, which is still quite young and fragile.

We can also never forget that right-wing media misinformation got us to this point. Whether one goes back to the “rigged election” lies of the 2020 election, the countless lies and misdirection that defended Trump’s other disgraces, or the more mundane “voter fraud” lies of the Bush/Obama era, conservative media have been misleading their audience about the fundamental workings of politics for years. Conservative media poisoned people’s minds with lies about the world, and then kept them from learning the truth by smearing truth-tellers with more misinformation. Trump, conservative media’s biggest fan, amplified these tendencies. Why would a die-hard Trump supporter believe that the election was fair, just because “fake news CNN” and its “deep state” sources said so? Or why would a staunch Republican believe humans cause climate change just because the liberal New York Times and the left-wing intelligentsia say so? The insurrection was, in some ways, an outgrowth of a larger information crisis that sits largely (but not entirely) at the feet of right-wing media.

Vasquez: What do you want Americans to be on the lookout for ahead of Inauguration Day? What are you anticipating will happen, and how do you recommend the media covers whatever happens?

Lewis: Unfortunately, Americans should be on the lookout for people in their communities planning or discussing political violence. The FBI is expecting armed protests at all 50 state legislatures, and again at the U.S. Capitol in the lead-up to the inauguration—if true, it potentially poses a nationwide threat. Americans do have a right to protest, even to protest based on malicious lies, but we must be vigilant for overly apocalyptic rhetoric, calls for and suggestions of violence, and stockpiling of weapons. If there is a protest in your area, consider who’s organizing it and who is scheduled to appear—any person or group who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, or helped organize or finance those events, should be a red flag. 

As someone who is from D.C. and who works in media, I unfortunately expect there to be violence around Inauguration Day. With any luck, my expectations will be incorrect. Violent far-right actors can often be all talk, but as we recently saw, things turn deadly when they decide they’re not bluffing. And with concurrent armed protests reportedly planned nationwide, there are many more situations that could potentially spiral out of control.

Whatever happens, the media should remember that our democracy itself came under attack on the Jan. 6, and it appears to remain gravely threatened by the possibility of more insurrection. Protest is an American right, but insurrection is not—and it’s not an “unfair bias” for the media to be forcefully direct about who enables attacks on our democracy. Telling that truth will be extremely unpopular, and will likely result in death threats, potentially even actual violence—but with the stakes so high, there is no other option.

Vasquez: You’ve talked about the role of conservatives and conservative media in how we got here, but I’m curious where you see the Republican Party going post-Trump. Actually, where do you think all of this is going?

Lewis: I think people need to begin considering the idea that modern, mainstream U.S. conservatism is fundamentally a racist movement. It can be a difficult and scary concept to think about given that it represents roughly half of the politically active adults in this country—and I’m not calling every conservative a racist or a terrorist—but for the past 50 years, the violent forces that would undo racial democracy have found a mainstream political home in Republican politics and nowhere else. From Lee Atwater’s Southern strategy to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” white supremacy has been a strong and consistent undercurrent on the right for half a century—like it used to be for the Democrats prior to 1965. Again, we see this reflected in conservative media coverage like that attacking President Obama as a Kenyan Muslim and calling Black Lives Matter activists “thugs” and “terrorists.” The clear racism in this media coverage is only clearer when juxtaposed with coverage of the “protesters” at the Capitol.

I’ve believed for all of my adult life that Republicans need an honest reckoning with how they became the party of white supremacy. Similarly, conservative media must think critically about the ways in which their coverage—including the false “voter fraud” obsession—has reinforced white supremacy. But even after the Republican president inspired a white supremacist attack on the Capitol, fed by reckless lies in right-wing media, it seems like that reckoning will never come—and the white supremacists will complete their takeover of the party.

Tina Vasquez is a senior reporter for Prism. She covers gender justice, workers’ rights, and immigration. Follow her on Twitter @TheTinaVasquez.

Prism is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet that centers the people, places and issues currently underreported by our national media. Through our original reporting, analysis, and commentary, we challenge dominant, toxic narratives perpetuated by the mainstream press and work to build a full and accurate record of what’s happening in our democracy. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Growing number of GOP senators oppose impeachment trial

A growing number of Republican senators say they oppose holding an impeachment trial, a sign of the dimming chances that former President Donald Trump will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Katie Couric’s Calls To ‘Deprogram’ Trump Supporters Come Back To Haunt Her As She Prepares To Host ‘Jeoparydy’

Earlier this week, we reported that Katie Couric had asked how we would “deprogram” supporters of Donald Trump during an interview with Bill Maher. Now, this has come back to bite her, as it has put her upcoming gig guest hosting the game show “Jeopardy!” in danger.

Couric’s Initical Commetns

“I mean, it’s really bizarre, isn’t it, when you think about how AWOL so many of these members of Congress have gotten. But I also think some of them are believing the garbage that they are being fed 24/7 on the internet, by their constituents, and they bought into this big lie,” Couric said to Maher.

 “And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump,” she added. 

Related: Katie Couric Asks How We’ll ‘Deprogram People Who Signed Up For The Cult Of Trump?’

‘Jeopardy!’ Producers Fire Back

A source with “Jeopardy!” told Page Six that producers of the game show are not happy about Couric’s remarks because much of the program’s audience is conservative.

“Katie’s comments so soon after she was announced as a host are very concerning to the producers,” the insider said. “They are worried there will be a backlash against her. There has already been some complaints.

“Jeopardy viewers are quite a traditional bunch, and there’s fears she might be too polarizing after this,” the source added. “At the very least, she already appears to have ruled herself out of becoming the permanent host of the show.”

Couric has been widely criticized for the comments that she made, with The Hill columnist and Fox News contributor Joe Concha speaking out to blast her.

“This sort of rhetoric from Couric — which comes across as so condescending and elitist — underscores the divide between our media, which primarily resides in New York and Washington, and the rest of the country, which is moderate to center-right per multiple polls,” he said. “And it’s why the industry is so mistrusted and frowned upon.”

“Jeopardy!” lost its longtime host Alex Trebek to pancreatic cancer back in November, and Couric is scheduled to be the second of many guest hosts to take the helm of the show before a permanent host is decided on.

Read Next: WaPo Reporter Says Trump Voters ‘Need To Be Deprogrammed’

This piece was written by James Samson on January 24, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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The post Katie Couric’s Calls To ‘Deprogram’ Trump Supporters Come Back To Haunt Her As She Prepares To Host ‘Jeoparydy’ appeared first on The Political Insider.