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    Poll Update: Republicans Gain in the Senate

    A closer look at Pennsylvania and Nevada, and some Democratic leads that seem vulnerable.John Fetterman, the Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, has seen his lead in the polls dwindle, perhaps because Republican voters are coming home to their party. Hannah Beier/ReutersTwo weeks ago, we noted early signs that Republicans were making gains in the race for the Senate.Now it’s clear the race has shifted toward Republicans in important ways. Democrats might still lead enough races to hold the chamber, but their position is starting to look quite vulnerable.On average, Republicans have gained three points across 19 post-Labor Day polls of the key Senate battleground states, compared with pre-Labor Day polls of the same states by the same pollsters.The shift is similar to what we observed a few weeks ago. What’s changed with more data: We can be sure that the polling shift is real, and we have more clarity about where Republicans are making their biggest gains — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.We focused on Wisconsin last time we talked about Republican gains, so today we’ll focus on Pennsylvania.PennsylvaniaIf you’re a Democrat, there’s still one very important thing you can cling to in Pennsylvania: the lead.John Fetterman still leads Dr. Mehmet Oz in the polls taken since Labor Day. In fact, he basically leads in every one of them, by an average of around four percentage points.But Dr. Oz has nonetheless made significant gains. On average, he has closed by a net of six percentage points in post-Labor Day polling, compared with surveys by the same pollsters taken before Labor Day.The State of the 2022 Midterm ElectionsWith the primaries over, both parties are shifting their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.Trouble for Nevada Democrats: The state has long been vital to the party’s hold on the West. Now, Democrats are facing potential losses up and down the ballot.Democrats’ House Chances: Democrats are not favored to win the House, but the notion of retaining the chamber is not as far-fetched as it once was, ​​writes Nate Cohn, The Times’s chief political analyst.Latino Voters: A recent Times/Siena poll found Democrats faring far worse than they have in the past with Hispanic voters. “The Daily” looks at what the poll reveals about this key voting bloc.Michigan Governor’s Race: Tudor Dixon, the G.O.P. nominee who has ground to make up in her contest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, is pursuing a hazardous strategy in the narrowly divided swing state: embracing former President Donald J. Trump.Why has Dr. Oz surged back into the race? There are two ways to tell the story — one might leave Democrats feeling OK; the other might leave Republicans giddy. This is one of those cases where the best interpretation draws on both cases.If you’re a Democrat, the optimistic interpretation is that Dr. Oz is merely and belatedly consolidating Republican support after a damaging primary. In this view, Dr. Oz’s gains were inevitable and there’s not much for Democrats to worry about. With Mr. Fetterman still enjoying a lead, Democrats can tell themselves that Dr. Oz has mainly won over folks who were going to come around to him eventually.There’s truth to this interpretation: Dr. Oz came out of the primary with terrible favorability ratings. Many would-be Republican voters were not prepared to say they would support him. Back in a July poll from Fox News, Dr. Oz had just 73 percent support among Republicans. Now, it’s 83 percent. Realistically, many of those Republicans were going to rally behind Dr. Oz once the general election campaign got underway and once Republicans started judging him compared with a Democrat, rather than against Republicans.But there’s another interpretation that might be more encouraging for Republicans: Mr. Fetterman has endured forceful attacks related to his health — he had a stroke in May — as well as his views about crime and the economy. There’s reason to think those attacks are taking a toll.A Franklin and Marshall poll last week found Mr. Fetterman’s favorability ratings under water, with 46 percent saying they have an unfavorable view of him compared with 40 percent with a favorable view. Back in August, the numbers were nearly reversed: Just 36 percent had an unfavorable view of him, compared with 43 percent with a favorable view.Dr. Oz’s favorability ratings are still worse than Mr. Fetterman’s. And so far, most voters say they’re not concerned about Mr. Fetterman’s health. But there’s no doubt that Mr. Fetterman, rather than Dr. Oz, has become the focal point of the race over the last month. With Mr. Fetterman still struggling — by his own admission — to recover fully from the stroke, there’s no reason to assume that the spotlight will relent. As long as that’s true, Republicans can hope that Dr. Oz might continue to gain.Nevada?Wisconsin and Pennsylvania aren’t necessarily the only places where the G.O.P. is gaining in the polls.Republicans have picked up about 1.4 points in post-Labor Day Senate surveys in states other than Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The story isn’t always so clear in these other states — there are either fewer polls than in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, or the polls are a little less consistent about the size of Republican gains.Of the other states, it’s Nevada where the Republicans seem closest to assembling convincing evidence of a breakthrough. The recent polling there is fragmentary, but all of the recent polls show the Republican Adam Laxalt leading the Democratic Senate incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto. In the (only two) post-Labor Day surveys with a pre-Labor Day counterpart, Mr. Laxalt has gained nearly three points.Although it’s still too soon to say whether Mr. Laxalt has inched into a lead, Nevada has loomed as an obvious weak point for the Democrats this cycle.President Biden won the state by only two percentage points in 2020, and it’s not a state where Democrats can draw on their demographic strengths. College-educated voters represent a smaller share of the electorate here than in any other battleground state.Instead, Democrats depend on the state’s large and heavily Democratic Hispanic population. But Hispanics may be trending toward Republicans, and they would also probably be expected to turn out at relatively low numbers in a midterm, even if Democrats retained their margin of victory with the group.The big picture is … murkyThe scope of Republican gains isn’t just murky in the Senate races outside Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. It’s murkier beyond the Senate as well.Over the last few weeks, there haven’t been a lot of generic ballot polls, which ask voters whether they prefer Democrats or Republicans for Congress. But there are mounting signs of a rightward shift on this measure.On Monday, a new Monmouth poll added to the pile. Republicans led by two points among registered voters, a pretty sizable shift from its last poll, when Democrats led by three points. Looking back over the last two weeks, there are a lot more Republican leads on the generic ballot than there used to be.There are still a few dissenting data points, so it’s still too soon to be too confident about whether or to what extent Republicans have picked up ground nationwide, but it would be no surprise if Republicans were pulling back into the lead. With economic concerns on the rise and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade moving farther into the rearview mirror, the opportunity for Republicans to reclaim lost ground might be at hand. More

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    ‘Una contienda de infarto’: Bolsonaro, Lula da Silva y Brasil tienen 4 semanas trepidantes

    El presidente Jair Bolsonaro parecía condenado al fracaso de cara a la primera ronda de las elecciones. Pero ahora, rumbo al balotaje, el mandatario de derecha tiene un camino a la reelección.RÍO DE JANEIRO — La madrugada del lunes, el presidente de Brasil, Jair Bolsonaro, se fue a dormir reivindicado. Los resultados electorales de la noche habían demostrado, tal como él lo había afirmado, que las encuestas subestimaban enormemente la fuerza de su movimiento de derecha.Horas más tarde, despertó con un nuevo desafío: ¿cómo obtener millones de votos más en solo cuatro semanas?El 30 de octubre, Bolsonaro se enfrentará a un contrincante de izquierda, el expresidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, en una segunda vuelta electoral para liderar al país más grande de América Latina.Ahora la contienda —un enfrentamiento entre los dos mayores pesos pesados de la política brasileña— podría inclinarse hacia cualquiera de los dos lados y promete prolongar lo que ya ha sido una dura batalla que ha polarizado al país y puesto a prueba la fortaleza de su democracia.“Lula sigue siendo el favorito, pero uno se puede imaginar totalmente que esto se convierta en una victoria de Bolsonaro”, dijo Oliver Stuenkel, un politólogo brasileño. “Si se suman todos los números de los candidatos de partidos pequeños, hay suficientes votos por ahí”.Da Silva, conocido universalmente como Lula, terminó en primer lugar el domingo, con el 48,4 por ciento de los votos, frente al 43,2 por ciento de Bolsonaro. De este modo, Da Silva se quedó a 1,85 millones de votos del 50 por ciento que necesitaba para una victoria rotunda en la primera vuelta, mientras que Bolsonaro se quedó a ocho millones de votos.Lo que ahora hace que la contienda sea impredecible es que muchos otros votos parecen estar en juego. Casi 10 millones de personas votaron el domingo por candidatos que ahora están fuera de la pelea, con aproximadamente un tercio de esos votos para candidatos de centroderecha. Otros 38 millones de personas votaron en blanco o no votaron.El expresidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva terminó en primer lugar el domingo con el 48,4 por ciento de los votos, frente al 43,2 por ciento de Bolsonaro.Victor Moriyama para The New York TimesA medida que la campaña entra en una segunda fase, ambas partes han expresado confianza. Da Silva dijo que agradecía la oportunidad de finalmente debatir cara a cara con Bolsonaro, mientras que Bolsonaro dijo que creía que su campaña tenía impulso y un plan para la victoria.El lunes, Bolsonaro ya estaba usando las herramientas de su cargo en su beneficio. Adelantó a la próxima semana la entrega de cheques de unos 115 dólares para brasileños de bajos ingresos, parte de un programa de bienestar mensual que recientemente amplió en un intento de última hora de atraer más apoyo. El domingo por la noche, Bolsonaro citó esa ayuda económica como una de las razones por las que superó las predicciones de las encuestas.Las encuestadoras habían pronosticado que Bolsonaro recibiría aproximadamente el 36 por ciento de los votos, más de siete puntos porcentuales por debajo de su resultado real. Sobreestimaron ligeramente el apoyo de Da Silva.La pregunta de por qué las encuestas habían subestimado el apoyo a Bolsonaro confundió a los círculos políticos brasileños el lunes. Los encuestadores especularon que los votantes fueron deshonestos porque se avergonzaban de admitir que iban a votar por el presidente, cuyas afirmaciones falsas sobre una variedad de temas lo han convertido en un paria en algunos círculos, o que simplemente mintieron para sabotear las previsiones. Bolsonaro ha arremetido contra la industria de las encuestas —el domingo por la noche las llamó mentirosas— y muchos de sus partidarios han seguido su ejemplo.Las cosas podrían complicarse aún más antes de la segunda vuelta. El jefe de gabinete de Bolsonaro, Ciro Nogueira, instó a los partidarios del presidente a rechazar a los encuestadores que quieran entrevistarlos.La votación del domingo trajo buenas noticias para los conservadores en la mayoría de las elecciones de gobernadores y diputados, incluyendo muchos candidatos estrechamente alineados con Bolsonaro.Dado Galdieri para The New York Times“De esta manera, se tendrá la certeza desde el principio de que cualquiera de sus resultados es fraudulento”, escribió en Twitter a sus 100.000 seguidores. Luego sugirió que los encuestadores se equivocaron a propósito. “Solo una investigación profunda lo dirá”, dijo.Antonio Lavareda, presidente de Ipespe, una de las principales empresas de sondeos, dijo que tenía que examinar el efecto de los votantes que se quedaron en casa; el 21 por ciento del electorado no votó, el porcentaje más alto desde 1998. También especuló con que muchas personas que dijeron que votarían a terceros candidatos se pasaron a Bolsonaro en el último momento.Pero a pesar de los pronósticos inexactos de su empresa para el presidente en la primera ronda, Lavareda hizo una predicción audaz: el 48,8 por ciento de apoyo a Da Silva el domingo significa que “es prácticamente imposible” que no gane el 30 de octubre.Sin embargo, el fracaso de las encuestas dejó un mal sabor de boca a muchos brasileños y expertos.“Renuncio a las encuestas durante las próximas cuatro semanas”, dijo Brian Winter, analista de América Latina de Americas Society/Council of the Americas, un grupo que impulsa el libre comercio enl a región. “Su metodología no funciona”.Los pronósticos de las encuestas y la falta de claridad en la contienda podrían llevar a una situación tensa cuando se revelen los resultados el 30 de octubre. Bolsonaro ha dicho durante meses a sus partidarios que sospechen de fraude electoral —a pesar de no ofrecer ninguna prueba— y ha sugerido que la única forma en que podría perder es si la elección es robada.Esas afirmaciones sin fundamento parecen haber persuadido a millones de votantes en Brasil.El domingo por la noche, muchos de los partidarios de Bolsonaro ya reclamaban juego sucio. “Es un fraude. Lula no puede estar por delante de Bolsonaro”, dijo Yasmin Simões, de 28 años, una empleada de comercio minorista que esperaba frente a la casa de Bolsonaro en un barrio junto a la playa en Río de Janeiro. “Si Lula es elegido —por fraude— definitivamente va a haber una revuelta y yo voy a estar ahí”.El éxito de los aliados de Bolsonaro y el apoyo que recibió, mayor a lo anticipado, también muestran que tiene un firme control del movimiento conservador en Brasil.Maria Magdalena Arrellaga para The New York TimesAlgunos comentaristas conservadores conocidos también empezaron a asegurar, sin dar pruebas, de que algo sospechoso había sucedido en la votación del domingo.“Creo que es MUY posible que hubo fraude”, tuiteó Rodrigo Constantino, comentarista de derecha afincado en Florida, para sus 1,3 millones de seguidores. “¡El ÚNICO OBJETIVO tiene que ser ganar tantos votos para Bolsonaro que ni siquiera un algoritmo raro pueda cambiarlos!”.La votación del domingo fue una buena noticia para los conservadores en la mayoría de las elecciones de gobernadores y congresistas, incluidos muchos de los candidatos más cercanos a la línea de Bolsonaro. Al menos ocho de sus exministros fueron votados al Congreso, entre ellos varios que se vieron envueltos en escándalos. En total, el partido de Bolsonaro ganó 29 curules en el Congreso, con lo que ahora ocupa 112 en total y se posiciona como el partido con más representación tanto en la cámara baja como en el Senado.En consecuencia, si se le elige para un segundo periodo, Bolsonaro podría estar empoderado por su control del Congreso y replantear de manera más significativa su visión para el país. Para Da Silva, un congreso conservador podría complicar sus esfuerzos por gobernar.El éxito de los aliados de Bolsonaro y el apoyo que recibió, mayor a lo anticipado, también muestran que tiene un firme control del movimiento conservador en Brasil.“La derecha moderada de Brasil es un basurero político”, dijo Stuenkel. “Parte de la polarización extrema en Brasil es que, en la derecha, Bolsonaro tiene el dominio absoluto”.En las próximas cuatro semanas, el equipo de Bolsonaro planea ir por el estado clave de Minas Gerais, donde cree que puede cosechar un millón de votos y buscará mejorar sus resultados en el bastión de Da Silva en el nordeste, dijo Fábio Faria, ministro de Comunicaciones de Brasil y alto asesor del presidente. “Estamos muy confiados”, dijo.La campaña de Lula da Silva planea subrayar la serie de afirmaciones falsas de Bolsonaro y mostrar que a la economía le fue mucho mejor durante los dos mandatos de Da Silva, de 2003 a 2010, que en el gobierno de Bolsonaro.Da Silva en un mitin el sábado. Los analistas pronostican que se moderará para atraer a los votantes más de centro.Victor Moriyama para The New York Times“Será la primera oportunidad que tendremos de un debate cara a cara con el presidente”, dijo a sus seguidores Da Silva el domingo por la noche. “¿Va a seguir mintiendo o, por una vez en su vida, va a decirle la verdad al pueblo brasileño?”.Da Silva había enfocado su campaña en aumentar los impuestos para los ricos y en ampliar los servicios para los pobres pero, luego de los resultados del domingo, los analistas dijeron que moderaría su discurso de campaña para atraer a más votantes centristas.“Hay que ir a los rincones bolsonaristas del país”, dijo el senador Jean-Paul Prates, un asesor de la campaña de Da Silva. “Hay que dar la cara, sonreír a la gente del sur, del medio oeste y hablar de las cosas que importan en sus vidas”.En las ocho elecciones presidenciales previas en la democracia moderna de Brasil, el candidato que ha liderado la primera vuelta nunca ha perdido en la segunda. Pero los cinco puntos porcentuales que separan a Bolsonaro y Da Silva también son el margen más reducido que se ha registrado entre dos candidatos en un balotaje.Como resultado, dijo Winter, “esta va a ser una contienda de infarto”.Jack Nicas es el jefe de la corresponsalía en Brasil, que abarca Brasil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay. Antes reportó de tecnología desde San Francisco y, antes de integrarse al Times en 2018, trabajó siete años en The Wall Street Journal. @jacknicas • Facebook More

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    Herschel Walker Paid for an Abortion for Ex-Girlfriend, Report Says

    ATLANTA — Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia and an avowed abortion opponent, paid for his then-girlfriend to have an abortion in 2009, according to a report published Monday in The Daily Beast. Mr. Walker called the claim “a flat-out lie.”The woman, who The Daily Beast said asked to remain anonymous out of privacy concerns, said that she and Mr. Walker had conceived the child while the two were dating, and mutually agreed not to go ahead with the pregnancy. She said Mr. Walker, who was not married at the time, reimbursed her for the cost of the procedure, the outlet reported.As evidence, the woman provided a copy of a $700 check from Mr. Walker, a receipt from the abortion clinic and a “get well” card from Mr. Walker, The Daily Beast reported. The outlet published a photo of the card with what it said was Mr. Walker’s signature.Mr. Walker quickly posted a statement on Twitter and threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against The Daily Beast on Tuesday morning. “I deny this in the strongest possible terms,” he said. “It’s disgusting, gutter politics.”The development is the latest in a series of potentially damaging reports about Mr. Walker’s personal life since he began his campaign for Senate in 2021. In June, The Daily Beast reported that Mr. Walker, who has criticized absentee fathers in Black households, had fathered a child out of wedlock. Later that week, the outlet reported on two more children he had not previously mentioned publicly or to his campaign aides.The State of the 2022 Midterm ElectionsWith the primaries over, both parties are shifting their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.Trouble for Nevada Democrats: The state has long been vital to the party’s hold on the West. Now, Democrats are facing potential losses up and down the ballot.Democrats’ House Chances: Democrats are not favored to win the House, but the notion of retaining the chamber is not as far-fetched as it once was, ​​writes Nate Cohn, The Times’s chief political analyst.Latino Voters: A recent Times/Siena poll found Democrats faring far worse than they have in the past with Hispanic voters. “The Daily” looks at what the poll reveals about this key voting bloc.Michigan Governor’s Race: Tudor Dixon, the G.O.P. nominee who has ground to make up in her contest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, is pursuing a hazardous strategy in the narrowly divided swing state: embracing former President Donald J. Trump.Christian Walker, Mr. Walker’s son who has not endorsed his father’s campaign or appeared publicly on behalf of his father, weighed in on Monday evening, saying on Twitter that “every member” of Mr. Walker’s family urged him not to run for office.“I don’t care about someone who has a bad past and takes accountability. But how DARE YOU LIE and act as though you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man,’” he continued. “You’ve lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives.”Mr. Walker responded with a single tweet: “I LOVE my son no matter what.”In an interview on Monday night with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Mr. Walker denied the account laid out in The Daily Beast article, saying he did not know the woman. When asked about the reported $700 payment for the abortion, he said, “I send money to a lot of people.”“I never asked anyone to get an abortion, I never paid for an abortion,” Mr. Walker continued. He said of Democrats, “They want this seat. But right now they’ve energized me even more.”Mr. Walker has also been found to have exaggerated or misrepresented other parts of his life story. He claimed to have worked in law enforcement when he did not. He exaggerated the origins of a chicken business he built. After starting a food distribution company, he claimed to donate a portion of his business earnings to charity but there is little proof that the organizations received the funds.Mr. Walker has made his opposition to abortion a cornerstone of his campaign message, saying repeatedly that he supports bans on the procedure with no exceptions for rape or incest. He has also endorsed legislation recently proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, that institutes a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Mr. Graham’s bill does include exceptions for rape, incest or pregnancies that threaten the mother’s health.“There’s no exceptions in my mind,” Mr. Walker told reporters in Macon, Ga., in May, days before the state’s G.O.P. Senate primary. “You never know what a child is going to become.”The Georgia Senate race is one of the most closely watched in the country. Most polls show that the race between Mr. Walker and his Democratic opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock, is virtually tied. A spokeswoman for Mr. Warnock’s campaign declined to comment. More

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    François Legault Wins Re-election in Quebec

    Voters in Quebec gave a second term to Premier François Legault, who has shifted the province from a once fervent-independence movement to a nationalism focused on French Québécois identity.MONTREAL — Voters in Quebec overwhelmingly re-elected Premier François Legault to a second term on Monday, embracing his appeals to French Québécois identity in a campaign marked by heated debates over the inflow of immigrants to Canada’s French-speaking province.Mr. Legault’s party, Coalition Avenir Québec, won a majority of seats in the provincial legislature — significantly increasing its share of seats to 93 from 76 — with an agenda that emphasized an identity-based nationalism and pro-business policies, but set aside the long-held separatist goal of turning Quebec into an independent nation, according to preliminary election results after polls closed at 8 p.m.With his victory to another four-year term, Mr. Legault, 65, who co-founded a successful budget airline before entering politics and is known for his pragmatism, continued to reshape Quebec’s political landscape. The two parties that had enjoyed a lock on the province since the 1970s — the federalist, pro-business Liberal Party and the separatist, social democratic Parti Québécois — came in a distant second and fourth respectively.For Canada’s federal government, which is already facing a brewing separatist movement in the oil-rich province of Alberta, the electoral results in Quebec could lead to more demands by Mr. Legault for greater control over immigration policy and other potentially hot-button issues.Mr. Legault’s party won 43 percent of the popular vote, compared with 37 percent in 2018, and 93 seats in the 125-seat National Assembly, according to preliminary results. His support was strongest in the suburban and rural districts that are home to the highest percentage of French Québécois voters, according to polls before the election.In Montreal, the multicultural and ethnically diverse city that has sometimes been a punching bag for Mr. Legault’s allies, his party was expected to come in second place behind the Liberal Party.During the five-week campaign, Mr. Legault accused Montrealers of “looking down’’ on the people of Quebec City, the provincial capital, in one of several comments that, critics and opponents said, were meant to acts as wedges between the French Québécois majority and the province’s English-speaking and other ethnic, racial and religious minorities.Enjoying strong approval ratings thanks to his economic policies and his leadership during the pandemic, Mr. Legault appeared to want to coast to re-election by running a low-key campaign that both the French and English news media described as lackluster.But the polarizing issue of immigration became one of the campaign’s dominant themes, and its most divisive, after Mr. Legault linked immigration to violence and extremism. He apologized for his remarks, but later described increasing immigration as “suicidal” for Quebec’s French identity.Immigration is not a major political issue for much of the rest of Canada, with the federal government planning to significantly increase the number of immigrants allowed into the country over the next few years to fill labor shortages. But in Quebec — the province with the greatest control over immigration policy — the arrival of immigrants is seen as altering the French Québécois’ linguistic and Roman Catholic heritage.Mr. Legault wants to maintain an annual cap of 50,000 immigrants permitted to settle in the province of 8.7 million. With Quebec also facing labor shortages as well as a low birthrate and an aging population, some political opponents and most business groups want that level raised by tens of thousands more.Mr. Legault started his political career in the separatist, social democratic Parti Québécois, which, for decades, led the province’s independence movement. Fighting on behalf of a French-speaking majority that had felt historically oppressed by an economically dominant English-speaking minority, the Parti Québécois identified with liberation movements throughout the world.But even as Mr. Legault has pushed aside the idea of independence, he has tapped into an identity-based nationalism that, critics say, marginalizes the province’s non-French Québécois minorities. In his first term, Mr. Legault’s government has further restricted the use of English and has banned the wearing of religious symbols by some government workers in public places, in a move that, critics say, effectively targeted veiled Muslim women.If Mr. Legault has reshaped Quebec politics, his strong popularity among French Québécois voters has nearly wiped the separatist Parti Québécois off the electoral map. According to preliminary results, it won only two seats in Monday’s election. More

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    Ahead of Midterms, Democrats Bet on Abortion Rights

    EAGAN, Minn. — Before dozens of volunteers fanned out through the Twin Cities suburbs to knock on voters’ doors on a recent sunny Saturday afternoon, Representative Angie Craig, Democrat of Minnesota, gathered them in a campaign office in a strip mall here to make sure they remembered a specific message.“As you go to each door, what I want you to have in your mind is that if Tyler Kistner is your member of Congress, he is someone who has said he is 100 percent pro-life,” Ms. Craig said, referring to her Republican opponent. “Today, the people of this district have never had a more distinct choice. We are the party — and I am the member of Congress — who will be the wall to protect your reproductive rights, to protect your privacy, to protect your freedoms.”In competitive districts across the country like Ms. Craig’s, Democrats in difficult re-election races are leaning heavily into preserving abortion rights as a closing argument for their uphill bids to hang onto their seats in a year when their party’s majority is at risk.Armed with polling data that shows that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion has moved independent voters in their direction, they have reoriented their campaigns around the issue in the crucial final weeks before the election.The strategy is built around the hope that in the handful of close races that will determine control of the House, the demise of federal abortion rights has energized independent voters and conservative-leaning women so intensely that it could allow otherwise vulnerable Democrats to eke out victories that previously seemed out of reach.Supporters of abortion rights protesting in Washington. Polling data shows that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has moved independent voters toward Democrats.Anna Rose Layden for The New York TimesNearly every advertisement that House Democrats’ super PAC is funding is about reproductive rights, including one that dramatizes the consequences of a national abortion ban, featuring police officers handcuffing doctors, nurses and patients who sought or performed “health care services that have been legal for nearly 50 years.” Roundtables hosted by vulnerable incumbents flanked by OB/GYNs and elaborate events rolling out Planned Parenthood endorsements abound.It is a rare opportunity for Democrats to go on the offensive during a campaign cycle that was initially expected to deal their party steep losses, and in which their majority is still at risk amid rising inflation, concerns about crime and President Biden’s sagging approval ratings. In recent weeks, however, internal polling has shown that the threat of losing abortion access has energized some abortion rights supporters who might not ordinarily vote in a midterm election and swayed independents toward Democratic candidates, potentially affording the party a chance to stanch its losses. More

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    Election Deniers in U.S. Push Idea of Voting Fraud in Brazil

    The false specter of an election rife with conspiracy and fraud — this one in Brazil — is spreading around American right-wing media channels from prominent election denialists still fixated on the fiction that Donald J. Trump was robbed of the presidency two years ago. Some used the voting in Brazil on Sunday to try to whip up concern about the approaching midterm elections in the United States.“Dear Brazil, please watch those vote counts at 3 a.m.,” Mark Finchem, the Republican candidate for Arizona secretary of state, wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday, Election Day in Brazil. “They are a doozy.”Mr. Finchem also warned of “suitcases coming out under tables” and “pizza boxes up in front of windows to block poll watchers.” These motifs were based on debunked but prominent conspiracy theories pushed by allies of Mr. Trump who tried to overturn the results of the election in 2020.President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, whose candidacy Mr. Trump and his supporters favored, outperformed expectations, forcing an Oct. 30 runoff election against his opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.Some of the Trump allies sowing doubt in elections helped export their strategy to Brazil after the 2020 election. Donald Trump Jr. warned about Chinese meddling in a speech in Brazil last year, while Mr. Bolsonaro’s son appeared at an event in South Dakota last year hosted by the pillow entrepreneur Mike Lindell, a prominent promoter of election conspiracy theories.As our colleagues in Brazil have written, Mr. Bolsonaro has been attacking the election system for months and suggesting that if he did not win, it would be due to fraud. There is no evidence of past widespread fraud and Brazil election officials maintained that these allegations are false.Despite attempts by American election deniers to draw parallels between the two countries, Brazil’s voting system is markedly different from that in the U.S. Rather than using different procedures and equipment in each state, Brazilian voters use the same machines nationwide, and there is no voting by mail. As a result, results can be delivered in a matter of hours.On Monday, even after the better-than-expected results, some allies of Mr. Trump were in the strange position of continuing to push the idea of election fraud even while celebrating the outcome.Stephen K. Bannon said on his show on Monday morning that the Brazilian election was an “absolutely central and very stark warning to MAGA and to all the Republicans of the games being played in these elections.” He referred American viewers to a list of vigilante activities they could participate in for the upcoming election in their own country.Gateway Pundit, a right-wing website, described the election in a headline as experiencing “MASSIVE Fraud” while hailing its outcome. More

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    Trump Files a Defamation Suit Against CNN

    The former president has a history of threatening, and occasionally filing, lawsuits against media organizations whose coverage he deems unfair.Former President Donald J. Trump sued CNN on Monday, claiming that the network defamed him and demanding $475 million in damages.Over the course of his business and political career, Mr. Trump has frequently threatened to sue media organizations over news coverage that he deems unfair or disrespectful. Although he rarely followed through, his attacks on the media became a staple of his political messaging and have often been cited in fund-raising entreaties in the run-up to this year’s midterm elections.In 2020, his re-election campaign sued The New York Times and The Washington Post over opinion articles that linked Mr. Trump to Russian interference in American elections. His suit against The Times was dismissed; the suit involving The Post is pending.Mr. Trump’s complaint against CNN was filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The lawsuit alleges a “campaign of dissuasion in the form of libel and slander” that, Mr. Trump asserts, has recently escalated “as CNN fears the plaintiff will run for president in 2024.”The 29-page suit cites numerous times when CNN hosts and guests criticized Mr. Trump over his policies and his questioning of the 2020 presidential election result. It also laments that some guests have invoked Adolf Hitler and the history of Nazi Germany in criticizing Mr. Trump’s behavior. Among the on-air guests cited as having defamed Mr. Trump is the singer Linda Ronstadt.A CNN spokesman declined to comment.A footnote in the lawsuit shows that Mr. Trump’s representatives contacted CNN in July to give notice of prospective litigation and request that the network stop referring to Mr. Trump’s comments about the 2020 election as “lies.” According to the suit, CNN declined Mr. Trump’s request and replied, “You have not identified a single false or defamatory statement in your letter.”In 2019, Mr. Trump threatened CNN with a lawsuit over “unethical and unlawful attacks.” CNN called that threat “a desperate P.R. stunt.” A suit never materialized.In Monday’s suit, Mr. Trump’s lawyers justified their demand for $475 million in damages in part by alleging that CNN’s coverage has caused the former president to suffer “embarrassment, pain, humiliation and mental anguish.” More

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    Oath Keepers founder accused of ‘armed rebellion’ on January 6 at trial

    Oath Keepers founder accused of ‘armed rebellion’ on January 6 at trialStewart Rhodes and four associates face the rare civil war-era charge of seditious conspiracy for attacking the US Capitol The founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates planned an “armed rebellion” to keep Donald Trump in power after he lost the election, a federal prosecutor contended on Monday as the most serious case yet went to trial involving the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.Stewart Rhodes and his band of far-right militants were prepared to go to war to stop Joe Biden from becoming president, assistant US attorney Jeffrey Nestler told jurors.The group celebrated the Capitol attack as a battle they had won and continued their plot even after Biden’s November 2020 electoral victory was certified by Congress in the early hours of 7 January, Nestler alleged.Capitol attack officer Fanone hits out at ‘weasel’ McCarthy in startling interviewRead more“Their goal was to stop, by whatever means necessary, the lawful transfer of presidential power, including by taking up arms against the United States government,” the prosecutor said during his opening statement. “They concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy.”Rhodes and the four others are the first January 6 defendants to stand trial on the charge of seditious conspiracy, a rare civil war-era charge that calls for up to 20 years behind bars, which they deny. The stakes are high for the US Department of Justice (DoJ), which last secured a seditious conspiracy conviction at trial nearly 30 years ago.Rhodes’ attorney painted a far different picture, describing the Oath Keepers as a “peacekeeping” force. He accused prosecutors of building their case on cherry-picked evidence from messages and videos and told jurors that the “true picture” would show that the Oath Keepers had merely been preparing for presidential orders they expected from Trump but never came.“Stewart Rhodes meant no harm to the Capitol that day. Stewart Rhodes did not have any violent intent that day,” Rhodes’ attorney, Phillip Linder, said. “The story the government is trying to tell you today is completely wrong.”On trial with Rhodes, of Granbury, Texas, are Kelly Meggs, leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, Kenneth Harrelson, another Florida member of the group, Thomas Caldwell, a retired US navy intelligence officer from Virginia, and Jessica Watkins, who led an Ohio militia group. They face several other charges as well.About 900 people have been charged and hundreds convicted in the Capitol attack. Rioters stormed police barriers, fought with officers, smashed windows and temporarily halted the certification of Biden’s electoral victory.Prosecutors told jurors the insurrection was no spontaneous outpouring of election-fueled rage but part of a detailed, drawn-out plot to stop Biden from entering the White House.Rhodes began plotting to overturn Biden’s victory right after the election, Nestler said.He told his followers during the planning stage that “it will be torches and pitchforks time if they (Congress) don’t do the right thing”, according to an encrypted Signal message he sent to his followers that was shown to the jury by prosecutors.During a December media interview, Rhodes called senators “traitors” and warned that the Oath Keepers would have to “overthrow, abort or abolish Congress”.Before coming to Washington, they set up “quick reaction force” teams with “weapons of war” stashed at a Virginia hotel, the prosecutor said.As Oath Keepers stormed the Capitol, Rhodes stayed outside, like “a general surveying his troops on a battlefield”, Nestler said. After the attack, the Oath Keepers were “elated”, Nestler said.“These defendants were fighting a war and they won a battle on January 6 … but they planned to continue waging that war to stop the transfer of power prior to Inauguration Day. Thankfully their plans were foiled,” Nestler said.Defense attorneys say the Oath Keepers came to Washington only to provide security at events for figures such as Trump ally Roger Stone before the president’s big outdoor rally behind the White House. Rhodes has said there was no plan to attack the Capitol and that the members who did acted on their own.Rhodes’ lawyer told jurors that his client will take the stand to argue that he believed Trump was going to invoke the Insurrection Act and call up a militia. TopicsUS Capitol attackDonald TrumpJoe BidenUS politicsLaw (US)newsReuse this content More