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The Midterms Minute: Michael Cohen gets out the vote – for Democrats

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Michael Cohen gets out the vote for Democrats

Say what? Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer has now so thoroughly turned on his ex-boss that he’s urging Americans to head to the polls to vote against Trump and the Republicans. “Grab your family, grab your friends, grab your neighbors, and get to the poll, because if not, you are going to have another two or another six years of this craziness,” Cohen, who pleaded guilty in August to eight criminal counts, told CNN on Friday. “So, make sure you vote. All right?”

Do Democrats want his help? Probably not. The longtime Trump henchman pleaded guilty to a host of federal crimes, including a scheme to pay off women who said they had sexual relationships with Trump for their silence, in violation of election law. Cohen has offered to campaign against Republicans in the midterms or the 2020 presidential election, but there have been no public takers. The best thing Cohen might offer Democrats is any information implicating Trump that he gives to prosecutors.

Pac won’t pull ad warning Democrats will lynch black men

Say what again???? A political action committee (Pac) is refusing to pull a widely condemned radio ad that suggests white Democrats will lynch black men if they win in November. The ad, which supports Arkansas representative French Hill for re-election, features two black women discussing sexual assault allegations against supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh. The ad claims that Democrats’ treatment of Kavanaugh, who is white, will make black men vulnerable to false allegations of rape by white women. “White Democrats will be lynching black folk again,” one of the women says.

Who is behind this madness? The ad was created by a group called Black Americans for the President’s Agenda. Its co-founder, Vernon Robinson, told the Associated Press he would not stop airing it. “ We have a plan, we’re executing the plan,” he said.

Does Hill want this kind of support? No. He disavowed the ad from the outside group immediately when it began to circulate on social media.

Polling place gets out of Dodge

Dodge City, Kansas, is losing its only polling place ahead of November’s election for governor in the state. The city of 27,000, once an icon of the wild west, has since 2002 had just one polling site at the local civic center, the Associated Press reported. Now local officials have moved the site outside of city limits, to a location more than a mile from the nearest bus stop.

Why is this happening? Local officials say it’s because road construction has obstructed the old site in a city once notorious as a symbol of frontier lawlessness.

Is that really all there is to it? The governor’s race pits Republican Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who has faced accusations of voter suppression and championed harsh immigration restrictions, against Democratic state senator Laura Kelly. Dodge City’s economy is buttressed by two huge meatpacking plants which have drawn Hispanic immigrants as workers. The city is now 60% Hispanic.

Poll of the day

Last week, we told you about a poll of Tennessee’s Senate race that found Democrat Phil Bredesen trailing by 14 points against Republican Marsha Blackburn. Now, things have changed. A new Vanderbilt University poll found the two deadlocked, with 43% of voters backing Blackburn and 44% for Bredesen.

What changed in a week? Not that much, but it’s an indication of how volatile polling can be in a toss-up race like this. “The bottom line is that Tennessee’s Senate race will be determined by which candidate is better able to turn out their base, as well as any national waves that occur – blue or otherwise,” said Vanderbilt political science professor John Geer.

What does it mean? A Bredesen win is considered crucial if Democrats are to pick up the two seats they need to take control of the Senate.

Ad of the day

Indiana senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat in a tough re-election fight, is out with an ad featuring himself wielding an ax and chopping blocks of wood as he emphasized his independence from the Democratic party. “I split with my own party to support funding for Trump’s border wall. The liberal left wants to chop defense spending. No way,” he says.

Life imitates art? The ad is drawing comparisons to a nearly identical – but fake – ad from the TV show Veep. They share details from the ax-wielding candidate in a checked shirt down to the puns on the word “chop”. In the Veep ad, a voiceover intones: “President Selina Meyer thinks she can chop our prosperity, our dignity and our stature around the world. Well, someone is chopping back,” referring to the fictional president played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

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