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    Wyoming Elections: How to Vote and What’s on the Ballot

    The political world’s gaze on Tuesday will turn to Wyoming, where Representative Liz Cheney, a top target of the midterm election revenge tour of former President Donald J. Trump, is bracing for defeat in a Republican primary.Ms. Cheney, the vice chairwoman of the Jan. 6 committee who voted last year to impeach Mr. Trump, has been badly trailing Harriet Hageman, the Trump-backed challenger, in polls.It is not the only contested race on the ballot. Here is a refresher on the rules for voting and what is at stake.How to voteWyoming provides same-day voter registration, unlike many states with early deadlines for participating in elections. Residents who meet the state’s eligibility requirements can register in person at their polling place until 7 p.m. Mountain time on Tuesday.You have to be registered with a political party to vote in the primary. Voters can change their party affiliation at their polling place on Tuesday.Where to voteClick here to look up your assigned place to vote. Absentee ballots must be received at your county clerk’s office by Tuesday at 7 p.m. Mountain time, which is also when the polls close for in-person voting.What is on the ballotIn deep-red Wyoming, the Republican primary winner for the state’s lone House seat is virtually assured of being elected in November. The Democratic primary features three candidates.In the governor’s race, the incumbent, Mark Gordon, is facing three Republican challengers, while Democrats will choose between two candidates.Voters will also decide various intraparty races for secretary of state, state auditor, the Legislature and county offices.The state does not have a central website where voters can see a preview of their full ballot, but Ballotpedia offers a sample ballot tool. More

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    In Alaska, Sarah Palin’s Political Comeback Stirs Debate Among Voters

    WASILLA, Alaska — At one of her hometown churches in a mountainous valley of south-central Alaska, Sarah Palin’s star has dimmed lately.In the small city of Wasilla on Sunday, some of the congregants who had helped fuel her political rise years ago were weighing whether to back her bid for Alaska’s lone congressional seat in the state’s special election and primary on Tuesday.“Sarah is conservative, but she seems to have been drawn more into the politics of politics, rather than the values,” said Scott Johannes, 59, a retired contractor attending Wasilla Bible Church. He said he was undecided. “I think her influences are from outside of the state now,” he said.But nearby, at another Wasilla church Ms. Palin has attended, Joelle Sanchez, 38, said she still believed Ms. Palin stood with Alaskans, even though she does not always agree with the candidate’s sharp-edged persona. Ms. Sanchez’s relatives and friends have been torn over whether to support Ms. Palin’s run for Congress, she said.“I feel like they are looking at her through a dirty lens,” said Ms. Sanchez, a pastor at Church on The Rock who was leaning toward backing Ms. Palin. “I will not vote until I’ve spent time doing a little more research,” she added.Joelle Sanchez said that she did not always agree with Ms. Palin’s sharp-edged persona, but that she believed the House candidate stood with Alaskans.Ash Adams for The New York TimesIn churches and coffee shops, on conservative airwaves and right-wing social media, Alaskan voters have debated Ms. Palin’s motives in staging a political comeback — whether she’s interested in public service or in seeking more fame.Ms. Palin, the former governor of the state and 2008 vice-presidential Republican nominee, cleared one hurdle in June when she led a field of 48 candidates in a special primary election to fill the seat of longtime Representative Don Young, who died in March as he flew home. But she faces the next test on Tuesday in a complex special election that will allow voters to rank their top choices.Ms. Palin’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for interviews. In a lengthy interview with The Anchorage Daily News after she announced her run in April, Ms. Palin disputed claims that she was not committed to Alaska.“The establishment machine in the Republican Party is very, very, very small. They have a loud voice. They hold purse strings. They have the media’s ear. But they do not necessarily reflect the will of the people,” Ms. Palin told the newspaper.More Coverage of the 2022 Midterm ElectionsAbortion Ads: Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Democrats have spent nearly eight times as much on abortion-related ads as Republicans have, with Democratic strategists believing the issue has radically reshaped the 2022 landscape in their party’s favor.Liz Cheney: If the G.O.P. congresswoman loses her upcoming primary, as is widely expected, it will end the run of the Cheney dynasty in Wyoming. But she says her crusade to stop Donald J. Trump will continue.Arizona Governor’s Race: Like other hard-right candidates this year, Kari Lake won her G.O.P. primary by running on election lies. But her polished delivery, honed through decades as a TV news anchor, have landed her in a category all her own.Climate, Health and Tax Bill: The Senate’s passage of the legislation has Democrats sprinting to sell the package by November and experiencing a flicker of an unfamiliar feeling: hope.Interviews with two dozen voters and strategists in Wasilla, Palmer and Anchorage on Saturday and Sunday captured the challenges ahead for Ms. Palin, who won an endorsement from former President Donald J. Trump but who pollsters say has a tough hill to climb in November because of her low approval ratings.Several voters said Ms. Palin had abandoned Alaska, after she resigned from the governor’s office in 2009 amid ethics complaints and legal bills. But Ms. Palin’s support remains strong among other Republicans, including conservative women who have followed her political rise and have seen themselves in her struggles as a working mother.“She is genuine, she’s authentic — what you see is what you get,” said T.J. DeSpain, 51, an art therapist who attended an outdoor concert in Palmer and who said she was drawn to Ms. Palin’s rock-star-like status. “She looks like Alaska Barbie.”Ms. Palin faces multiple candidates in the special election to fill the remainder of Mr. Young’s term. They include Mary Peltola, a Democrat who could become the first Alaska Native in Congress, and Nicholas Begich III, the Republican scion of the state’s most prominent Democratic political family. Tara Sweeney, a former Trump administration official, is running as a write-in candidate.A campaign sign in Palmer, Alaska. Ms. Palin has encouraged supporters to rank her, and no one else, on their ranked-choice ballots.Ash Adams for The New York TimesThe special election, which for the first time will allow voters to rank their choices, is happening alongside the state’s nonpartisan primary election to fill the House seat from 2023 onward. In that race, voters have been asked to make their selection from a list of 22 candidates of all parties and affiliations that also includes Ms. Palin.The new ranking system has rankled some Republicans who argue that it waters down their vote. Ms. Palin has encouraged supporters to rank her — and her alone.Establishment Republicans have urged the party’s voters to rate Ms. Palin and Mr. Begich in the top slots, fearing that Ms. Peltola, the Democrat, could clear a path to victory. Should Mr. Begich or Ms. Peltola prevail in the special election, a win for either one could serve as a major boost in momentum and name recognition.In Wasilla and the nearby city of Palmer, several voters still remembered the days when Ms. Palin competed in beauty queen pageants and starred on the high school basketball team. Some said they admired how she had never seemed to lose her down-to-earth personality, even as her star rose, and how she always appeared willing to strike up a conversation at the local grocery store or at Target.And many had also not forgotten 2008, when Ms. Palin vaulted to the national stage as Senator John McCain’s running mate and seemed to take on a new and unrecognizable persona. Her anti-establishment language has since come to define the Republican Party, and other candidates have followed suit.Some Alaskans see her status as a far-right celebrity as an asset, as did a few callers into “The Mike Porcaro Show,” a conservative talk radio program. They argued that Ms. Palin would be able to bring attention to Alaska in a way that a lesser-known newcomer to Congress would not.But her fame has most likely cost her support as well. “Now she likes to be in the limelight with all these brazen comments and things,” said Jim Jurgeleit, 64, a retired engineer who said he was voting for Ms. Peltola.Ms. Palin has mostly been on the reality TV circuit and promoting other Republicans outside the state since she resigned from the governor’s office. Some argue she has spent more time on the conservative channel Newsmax or in the lower 48 states than on the campaign trail. Janet Kincaid, 88, the owner of the Colony Inn in Palmer, once opened her lakeside home in Wasilla for a $20,000 fund-raiser when Ms. Palin ran for governor. Now, she preferred to talk about Mr. Begich, for whom she has hosted two fund-raisers.Janet Kincaid, who once hosted a fund-raiser for Ms. Palin, intends to support Nick Begich this year.Ash Adams for The New York Times“To be frank, I’m a strong supporter of Nick Begich,” she said. “I think he’d be better for the job.”On Monday evening, Ms. Palin’s former in-laws were also hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Begich at their Wasilla home. Jim Palin, the father of Ms. Palin’s ex-husband, Todd, declined to comment on Ms. Palin. But when asked why he was supporting his former daughter-in-law’s rival, he said, “He will stay in that job for as long as we want him to be.”At a vintage car show in downtown Palmer, Richard Johnson showed off his 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix. He said he still saw Ms. Palin as reflective of his old-school, conservative values and planned to vote for her. “She is a quitter,” he added, “but at least she stands for something.” More

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    Senate G.O.P. Campaign Arm Slashes TV Ad Buys in Three States

    The Republicans’ Senate campaign committee has slashed its television ad reservations in three critical battleground states for the fall, a likely sign of financial troubles headed into the peak of the 2022 midterm election season.The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut more than $5 million in Pennsylvania, including its reservations in the Philadelphia media market, according to two media-tracking sources.Reservations in Wisconsin, in the Madison and Green Bay markets, have also been curtailed, by more than $2 million. And in Arizona, all reservations after Sept. 30 have been cut in Phoenix and Tucson, the state’s only two major media markets, amounting to roughly $2 million more.So far around $10 million had been canceled as of midday Monday, though more changes to the fall reservations were in progress. The states where ad reservations have been canceled are home to three of the nation’s most competitive Senate contests.In a statement, Chris Hartline, the communications director for the N.R.S.C., said, “Nothing has changed about our commitment to winning in all of our target states.”Mr. Hartline added that the committee had “been spending earlier than ever before to help our candidates get their message out and define the Democrats for their radical agenda. We’ve been creative in how we’re spending our money and will continue to make sure that every dollar spent by the N.R.S.C. is done in the most efficient and effective way possible.”After this article was published online, Mr. Hartline called it “false” on Twitter and said that “there is money being moved from the I.E. side” — independent expenditures that cannot be coordinated with campaigns — “back to the N.R.S.C. side of the wall.”He declined to say how much was being rebooked.In Wisconsin, some ads were being reserved in Milwaukee, for instance, though significantly less than what had been canceled in Madison and Green Bay, as of Monday afternoon.In Pennsylvania, the Senate Republican super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, recently announced it was adding $9.5 million to its fall reservation in the closely watched race between Mehmet Oz, the Republican, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democrat. The super PAC moved up the beginning of its ad buy by three weeks, to Aug. 19, a decision that may have eased pressure on the party committee to keep its reservation.As online fund-raising has slowed for Republicans in recent months, affecting both candidates and party committees, the party is increasingly dependent on major super PACs in the battle for the Senate. Entering July, the Senate Republican super PAC had nearly $40 million more cash on hand than the Democratic Senate super PAC.The Senate party committee said it had already helped fund $17 million in “coordinated” and “hybrid” ads with Republican senators and Senate candidates in Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin, according to the committee, and had spent $36 million on television overall.The N.R.S.C. entered July with $28.5 million in the bank and has millions of dollars reserved in other battleground states.A person familiar with the committee’s planning said some of the money saved by canceling reservations now would eventually be used to rebook advertising time in coordination with the Senate campaigns, which would help stretch the group’s dollars further because candidates are entitled to lower ad prices. Some of the new reservations were already being made on Monday. More

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    Schumer Backs Nadler Over Maloney in N.Y. Democratic Primary

    Senator Chuck Schumer, New York’s most powerful Democrat in Washington, will throw his support behind Representative Jerrold Nadler on Monday in a bruising Manhattan primary contest against the congressman’s longtime ally, Representative Carolyn Maloney.Mr. Schumer becomes the first member of the state’s congressional delegation to take a side in the Aug. 23 race, which pits two House committee chairs with three decades’ service against one another.Given his stature — both as the Senate majority leader and as a power broker in his home state — and the relative lack of input from fellow political leaders, Mr. Schumer’s last-minute endorsement could prove decisive for voters torn between two popular incumbents and clear the way for other prominent Democrats to enter the tussle.“New York has a lot of outstanding leaders, but few of them lead with the courage, conviction and brilliant legislative effectiveness of my friend, Jerry Nadler,” the senator said in a statement shared with The New York Times. “I’ve watched as time after time, Jerry — a critical partner of mine in the House — was right on the issues years before so many others.”Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney ended up in the same district after a state court tasked with reviewing New York’s congressional map approved a redistricting plan that combined Manhattan’s East and West Sides above 14th Street into a single district for the first time since before World War II.More Coverage of the 2022 Midterm ElectionsAbortion Ads: Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Democrats have spent nearly eight times as much on abortion-related ads as Republicans have, with Democratic strategists believing the issue has radically reshaped the 2022 landscape in their party’s favor.Liz Cheney: If the G.O.P. congresswoman loses her upcoming primary, as is widely expected, it will end the run of the Cheney dynasty in Wyoming. But she says her crusade to stop Donald J. Trump will continue.Arizona Governor’s Race: Like other hard-right candidates this year, Kari Lake won her G.O.P. primary by running on election lies. But her polished delivery, honed through decades as a TV news anchor, have landed her in a category all her own.Climate, Health and Tax Bill: The Senate’s passage of the legislation has Democrats sprinting to sell the package by November and experiencing a flicker of an unfamiliar feeling: hope.Mr. Schumer cited Mr. Nadler’s work as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on impeachments of former President Donald J. Trump, as well as his legislative efforts to try to expand voting rights, protect abortion rights and tighten gun restrictions.A spokesman for Mr. Schumer, Angelo Roefaro, added that the senator had “deep respect for Carolyn Maloney’s significant accomplishments in Congress.” Mr. Roefaro said that the senator had spoken to Ms. Maloney, the House Oversight Committee chairwoman, about his decision.The senator, who was traveling upstate on Monday, could not immediately be reached for additional comment. Mr. Nadler welcomed the support in a statement on Monday as well, and planned to announce the endorsement later in the day.Bob Liff, a spokesman for Ms. Maloney, played down the impact of Mr. Schumer’s support.“At a time when women’s rights are on the chopping block, we need strong women like Carolyn Maloney to carry the fight to Republicans,” he said. “Besides, Senator Schumer votes in the 10th District, not the 12th.”Mr. Schumer and Mr. Nadler have a long history. They served together in the New York State Assembly as young men in their 20s, then represented New York City districts in the House together before Mr. Schumer, a Brooklynite, ran for Senate in 1998 — a crowded race in which he notably won Mr. Nadler’s support.But given Mr. Schumer’s party leadership role and the competing claims of Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney, many political operatives and politicians had expected him to sit out the primary.That has been the tack adopted by nearly every fellow New Yorker in the House, by House Democratic leadership and by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the state’s junior senator, despite Ms. Maloney’s having endorsed her unsuccessful campaign for president in 2020.Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney have largely similar voting records, but have taken somewhat different tacks in the race.Mr. Nadler has highlighted his work as Judiciary Committee chairman and argued that his progressive voting record is purer than Ms. Maloney’s. She has stressed her success in winning federal support for local priorities, like the Second Avenue Subway, and the importance of having a woman representing the district at a time when abortion rights are being rolled back across the nation.A third candidate, Suraj Patel, is challenging both incumbents, arguing that New York needs a new generation of leaders. Polls show the race remains tight. More

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    Liz Cheney’s Primary in Wyoming Is Likely to End a Dynasty and an Era

    CODY, Wyo. — At an event last month honoring the 14,000 Japanese Americans who were once held at the Heart Mountain internment camp near here, Representative Liz Cheney was overcome with emotions, and a prolonged standing ovation wasn’t the only reason.Her appearance — with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as former Senator Alan Simpson and the children of Norman Mineta, a Democratic congressman turned transportation secretary who was sent to the camp when he was 10 — was part of a groundbreaking for the new Mineta-Simpson Institute. Ms. Cheney was moved, she said, by the presence of the survivors and by their enduring commitment to the country that imprisoned them during World War II.There was something else, though, that got to the congresswoman during the bipartisan ceremony with party elders she was raised to revere. “It was just a whole combination of emotion,” she recalled in a recent interview.As Ms. Cheney faces a near-certain defeat on Tuesday in her House primary, it is the likely end of the Cheneys’ two-generation dynasty as well as the passing of a less tribal and more clubby and substance-oriented brand of politics.“We were a very powerful delegation, and we worked with the other side, that was key, because you couldn’t function if you didn’t,” recalled Mr. Simpson, now 90, fresh off being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and as tart-tongued as ever about his ancestral party. “My dad was senator and a governor, and if I ran again today as a Republican I’d get my ass beat — it’s not about heritage.”He was elected to the Senate in 1978, the same year that Mr. Cheney won Wyoming’s at-large House seat, and they worked closely together, two Republicans battling on behalf of the country’s least populated state in an era when Democrats always controlled at least one chamber of Congress.It’s not mere clout, however, that traditional Wyoming Republicans are pining for as they consider their gilded past and ponder the state’s less certain political and economic future. Before Tuesday’s election, which is likely to propel Harriet Hageman, who is backed by former President Donald J. Trump, to the House, the nostalgia in the state is running deeper than the Buffalo Bill Reservoir.Mr. Cheney and Mr. Simpson were not only in the leadership of their respective chambers in the 1980s; they, along with Senator Malcolm Wallop, a Yale-educated cold warrior whose grandfather served in both the British House of Lords and the Wyoming Legislature, got along well and often appeared together as a delegation in a sort of road show across the sprawling state (“A small town with long streets,” as the Wyoming saying goes).From left, Senator Malcolm Wallop, Representative Dick Cheney and Senator Alan Simpson during Mr. Cheney’s nomination hearing for defense secretary in 1989.Ron Edmonds/AP PhotoEven headier was the administration of President George Bush. Mr. Cheney became defense secretary, and his wife, Lynne, served as chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, while Mr. Simpson was both the second-ranking Senate Republican and one of the president’s closest friends. On top of that, the secretary of state at the time, James A. Baker III, spent summers on his Wyoming ranch, meaning two of the country’s top national security officials could be found doing unofficial promotional work for the state’s tourism industry.“You’d have Army choppers snatching Cheney and Baker from fishing holes,” recalled Rob Wallace, who was Mr. Wallop’s chief of staff.As conservative as the state was on the national level — Lyndon B. Johnson is the only Democrat to carry Wyoming in the past 70 years — the Wyoming Republican delegation worked effectively with two well-regarded Democratic governors in that same period, Ed Herschler and Mike Sullivan.Now, Ms. Cheney hardly even speaks to the two other Wyomingites in Congress — Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans — and has little contact with Gov. Mark Gordon. Ms. Lummis has endorsed Ms. Hageman. But Mr. Barrasso and Mr. Gordon, who are mainline Republicans in the Cheney tradition, have sought to maintain neutrality in hopes of avoiding Mr. Trump’s wrath.More Coverage of the 2022 Midterm ElectionsAug. 9 Primaries: In Wisconsin and a handful of other states, Trump endorsements resonated. Here’s what else we learned and a rundown of some notable wins and losses.Arizona Governor’s Race: Like other hard-right candidates this year, Kari Lake won her G.O.P. primary by running on election lies. But her polished delivery, honed through decades as a TV news anchor, have landed her in a category all her own.Climate, Health and Tax Bill: The Senate’s passage of the legislation has Democrats sprinting to sell the package by November and experiencing a flicker of an unfamiliar feeling: hope.Disputed Maps: New congressional maps drawn by Republicans in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Ohio were ruled illegal gerrymanders. They’re being used this fall anyway.“They’ve got to make their own choices and live with the choices that they make,” Ms. Cheney said about the two men, before adding: “There are too many people who think that somebody else will fix the problem, that we can stay on the sidelines and Trump will fade.” More

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    Why Abortion Has Become a Centerpiece of Democratic TV Ads in 2022

    Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Democrats have spent nearly eight times as much on abortion-related ads as Republicans have.In Michigan, Democrats took aim at the Republican nominee for governor almost immediately after the primary with a television ad highlighting her opposition to abortion, without exceptions for rape or incest.In Georgia, Democrats recently attacked the Republican governor in another television ad, with women speaking fearfully about the specter of being investigated and “criminalized.”And in Arizona, the Republican nominees for both Senate and governor were confronted almost instantly after their primaries with different ads calling them “dangerous” for their anti-abortion positions.All across America, Democrats are using abortion as a powerful cudgel in their 2022 television campaigns, paying for an onslaught of ads in House, Senate and governor’s races that show how swiftly abortion politics have shifted since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June.With national protections for abortion rights suddenly gone and bans going into effect in many states, senior White House officials and top Democratic strategists believe the issue has radically reshaped the 2022 landscape in their favor. They say it has not only reawakened the party’s progressive base, but also provided a wedge issue that could wrest away independent voters and even some Republican women who believe abortion opponents have overreached.Volunteers organizing campaign materials before the Kansas state primary at the Johnson County Democratic Party headquarters in Overland Park, Kan.Katie Currid for The New York TimesIn the fallout of the ruling, Democrats see the potential to upend the typical dynamic of midterm elections in which voters punish the party in power. In this case, although Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress, it is one of their top policy priorities — access to abortion — that has been most visibly stripped away.“Rarely has an issue been handed on a silver platter to Democrats that is so clear-cut,” said Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster working with multiple 2022 campaigns. “It took an election that was going to be mostly about inflation and immigration and made it also about abortion.”In the roughly 50 days since the Supreme Court’s ruling, Democrats have flooded the airwaves in many of the nation’s most closely watched contests, spending nearly eight times as much as Republicans have on ads talking about abortion — $31.9 million compared with $4.2 million, according to data from AdImpact, a media tracking firm. And in the closest Senate and governor’s contests, Republicans have spent virtually nothing countering the Democratic offensive.By contrast, in the last midterms four years ago, Democrats spent less than $1 million on ads that mentioned abortion-related issues in the same time period.The 2022 advertising figures do not include money spent on the recent anti-abortion rights referendum in Kansas. The landslide defeat of that measure, particularly in a traditionally conservative state, has only further emboldened Democratic strategists and candidates.There are risks to focusing so heavily on abortion at a moment when Americans are also expressing intense anxiety over the economy. But Democrats are plowing ahead, particularly in key Senate races.They have spent more than $2 million on ads targeting Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, for his position on abortion; $1.6 million on ads against Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania; and $1.8 million on Adam Laxalt, the Republican Senate nominee in Nevada who recently wrote an op-ed defending his stance on the issue.Read More on Abortion Issues in AmericaA First: Indiana became the first state to draw up and approve a near-total abortion ban in the post-Roe era. Some major companies in the state, including Eli Lilly, have criticized the law.An Uneasy Champion: President Biden, a practicing Catholic, is being called to lead a fight for abortion rights that he has sidestepped for decades. Advocates wonder if he’s up to the task.A Resounding Decision: Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have removed the right to abortion from the State Constitution, a major win for abortion rights in a deep-red state.Safe Havens: After Roe, conservatives are seeking to expand ways that allow women to give up newborns, such as baby drop boxes. But for many experts in adoption and women’s health, they are hardly a solution.More abortion ads have aired in the Senate races in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Arizona and Washington — and even in Connecticut and Maryland, two states with secure Democratic incumbents.“I clearly believe abortion is going to matter because I think it cuts across demographics and it really does get into many voters, including Trump voters and independents, and their concept of personal freedom,” said J.B. Poersch, the president of Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super political action committee that has already funded abortion commercials in multiple states.But Republicans say Democrats risk ignoring the economic concerns that polls have shown are paramount.“They’ve got a lot of bad news, and they think that’s the only good news they’ve got,” said former Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, who led the House Republican campaign arm during the 2018 midterm elections. “If they want to be a single-issue party, that’s on them.”If Democrats do focus overwhelmingly on the issue of abortion at the expense of other matters, Mr. Stivers suggested, “they’ll get smoked on the economy, where they’re already losing ground.”For months, Democrats have been bracing for a Republican wave this fall, prompted by President Biden’s diminished popularity, high gas prices and inflation, and they still face a difficult political environment. But Mr. Biden is expected to sign a sweeping legislative package soon that addresses climate change and prescription drug prices. In addition, gas prices are declining, and there are at least some tentative signs that inflation may be slowing.Those developments, combined with the backlash to the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion, have raised Democrats’ hopes of maintaining power after November. Certainly, they plan to advertise their legislative achievements while making other attacks on Republicans, whom they argue are a threat to democracy.For now, new abortion-focused Democratic advertisements are popping up seemingly almost every day, including in Alaska, Iowa and Virginia.Some abortion ads use the specific words and positions of Republican candidates against them. Some are narrated by women speaking in deeply raw and personal terms. Some use Republicans’ unyielding stances on abortion to cast them more broadly as extremists.And some, like one early ad hitting Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, do all three. “Doug Mastriano scares me,” a woman declares at the beginning of the spot.One particularly emotional spot came from Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, who used a montage of women to target Gov. Brian Kemp’s stance on abortion.“He supports a total ban,” one woman says in the ad. “Even if I’m raped,” another says. More women continue, one after another: “A victim of incest. Forced pregnancy. Criminalized women. Women with jail time.”An ad for Stacey Abrams includes a montage of women describing what the re-election of Gov. Brian Kemp would mean for abortion rights.One GeorgiaDemocrats aim to connect abortion messaging to the broader argument that hard-line Republicans are seeking to strip away fundamental freedoms.“The arguments Democrats are using in those ads don’t stay contained to the abortion space,” said Jennifer Palmieri, the former White House communications director under President Barack Obama and a longtime party strategist. “You’re telling them something about their temperament, their judgment and their values.”In at least five states, Democrats have used the phrase “too extreme” to call out Republicans, using abortion as the example.Often, abortion is the Democrats’ opening gambit at the start of general election ad campaigns. Just this month, ads have targeted Tudor Dixon in the governor’s race in Michigan and Kari Lake in the governor’s race in Arizona. And a day after Minnesota’s primary for governor, Democrats began airing an ad calling Scott Jensen, the Republican nominee, “too extreme” on abortion.Elaine Luria, the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in Virginia, has aired an ad calling her opponent, Jen Kiggans, “too extreme for Virginia.”Elaine for CongressThe next major test of abortion’s political power comes in a special election on Aug. 23 in New York.County Executive Pat Ryan in Ulster County, N.Y., the Democratic candidate in that race, has made abortion the focus of his campaign, even in a state where access remains protected. In a new ad this week, Mr. Ryan featured a carousel of national Republicans arguing that the party would pursue a nationwide ban.A Democratic super PAC is spending $500,000 to promote Mr. Ryan, a veteran, with an abortion message. “He sure didn’t fight for our freedom abroad to see it taken away from women here at home,” the narrator says.The election is being closely monitored as a barometer of the issue’s power. Democrats have overperformed — even in defeat — in two other special elections since Roe v. Wade was overturned, in Minnesota and Nebraska.Meredith Kelly, a Democratic strategist and ad maker, said one factor that made abortion “extremely powerful” was the idea that “Republicans are taking something away.”Research has shown that the notion of losing rights can be galvanizing for voters, which Ms. Kelly saw firsthand in 2018 when she guided the messaging for the House Democratic campaign arm. The party took over the House in part by bludgeoning Republicans for their repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.“When you take something away from voters, especially something as cherished and crucial as health care, which is what this is, that is a really politically perilous decision,” she said of Republicans’ approach to abortion rights.Some Republicans are trying to backpedal or soften their stances.In Arizona, ads are hammering Blake Masters, the Republican Senate candidate, for calling abortion “demonic,” talking about punishing doctors who perform the procedure and opposing exceptions for rape and incest during the primary. In a post-primary interview with The Arizona Republic, Mr. Masters called the state’s 15-week ban “a reasonable solution” and expressed his desire to “reflect the will of Arizonans.”On the airwaves, though, few Republicans have had an answer. One notable exception has come in the New Mexico governor’s race; Mark Ronchetti, the Republican nominee to take on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, has been under fire over his stance on abortion.“I’m personally pro-life, but I believe we can all come together on a policy that reflects our shared values,” Mr. Ronchetti said in a campaign spot that detailed his position on the issue.Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania attorney general and Democratic nominee for governor, opened his first ad of the general election by hitting Mr. Mastriano on abortion.Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general and the Democratic nominee for governor, at a campaign event in Lock Haven, Pa.Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York TimesIn an interview, Mr. Shapiro said voters were especially attuned to the issue because the state’s Republican-led Legislature had passed strict abortion limits that he would veto and that Mr. Mastriano would sign.“There is an intensity around this,” he said. “They know the next governor of Pennsylvania is going to decide this.”The evening before, Mr. Shapiro said, he met a Republican woman in the Lehigh Valley who told him that she was voting for him — her first Democratic ballot — because of abortion.“It has brought people into our campaign and brought people off the sidelines to get engaged unlike any other issue,” Mr. Shapiro said of abortion’s influence after the Supreme Court’s ruling. “We just saw an explosion.” More

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    On TikTok, Election Misinformation Thrives Ahead of Midterms

    The fast-growing platform’s poor track record during recent voting abroad does not bode well for elections in the U.S., researchers said.In Germany, TikTok accounts impersonated prominent political figures during the country’s last national election. In Colombia, misleading TikTok posts falsely attributed a quotation from one candidate to a cartoon villain and allowed a woman to masquerade as another candidate’s daughter. In the Philippines, TikTok videos amplified sugarcoated myths about the country’s former dictator and helped his son prevail in the country’s presidential race.Now, similar problems have arrived in the United States.Ahead of the midterm elections this fall, TikTok is shaping up to be a primary incubator of baseless and misleading information, in many ways as problematic as Facebook and Twitter, say researchers who track online falsehoods. The same qualities that allow TikTok to fuel viral dance fads — the platform’s enormous reach, the short length of its videos, its powerful but poorly understood recommendation algorithm — can also make inaccurate claims difficult to contain.Baseless conspiracy theories about certain voter fraud in November are widely viewed on TikTok, which globally has more than a billion active users each month. Users cannot search the #StopTheSteal hashtag, but #StopTheSteallll had accumulated nearly a million views until TikTok disabled the hashtag after being contacted by The New York Times. Some videos urged viewers to vote in November while citing debunked rumors raised during the congressional hearings into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. TikTok posts have garnered thousands of views by claiming, without evidence, that predictions of a surge in Covid-19 infections this fall are an attempt to discourage in-person voting.The spread of misinformation has left TikTok struggling with many of the same knotty free speech and moderation issues that Facebook and Twitter have faced, and have addressed with mixed results, for several years.But the challenge may be even more difficult for TikTok to address. Video and audio — the bulk of what is shared on the app — can be far more difficult to moderate than text, especially when they are posted with a tongue-in-cheek tone. TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, also faces many doubts in Washington about whether its business decisions about data and moderation are influenced by its roots in Beijing.“When you have extremely short videos with extremely limited text content, you just don’t have the space and time for nuanced discussions about politics,” said Kaylee Fagan, a research fellow with the Technology and Social Change Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center. TikTok had barely been introduced in the United States at the time of the 2018 midterm elections and was still largely considered an entertainment app for younger people during the 2020 presidential election. Today, its American user base spends an average of 82 minutes a day on the platform, three times more than on Snapchat or Twitter and twice as long as on Instagram or Facebook, according to a recent report from the app analytics firm Sensor Tower. TikTok is becoming increasingly important as a destination for political content, often produced by influencers.The company insists that it is committed to combating false information. In the second half of 2020, it removed nearly 350,000 videos that included election misinformation, disinformation and manipulated media, according to a report it released last year. The platform’s filters kept another 441,000 videos with unsubstantiated claims from being recommended to users, the report said.TikTok says it removed nearly 350,000 videos that included election misinformation, disinformation and manipulated media in the second half of 2020.TikTokThe service blocked so-called deepfake content and coordinated misinformation campaigns ahead of the 2020 election, made it easier for users to report election falsehoods and partnered with 13 fact-checking organizations, including PolitiFact. Researchers like Ms. Fagan said TikTok had worked to shut down problematic search terms, though its filters remain easy to evade with creative spellings.“We take our responsibility to protect the integrity of our platform and elections with utmost seriousness,” TikTok said in a statement. “We continue to invest in our policy, safety and security teams to counter election misinformation.”But the service’s troubling track record during foreign elections — including in France and Australia this year — does not bode well for the United States, experts said.TikTok has been “failing its first real test” in Africa in recent weeks, Odanga Madung, a researcher for the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, wrote in a report. The app struggled to tamp down on disinformation ahead of last week’s presidential election in Kenya. Mr. Madung cited a post on TikTok that included an altered image of one candidate holding a knife to his neck and wearing a blood-streaked shirt, with a caption that described him as a murderer. The post garnered more than half a million views before it was removed.“Rather than learn from the mistakes of more established platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” Mr. Madun wrote, “TikTok is following in their footsteps.”TikTok has also struggled to contain nonpolitical misinformation in the United States. Health-related myths about Covid-19 vaccines and masks run rampant, as do rumors and falsehoods about diets, pediatric conditions and gender-affirming care for transgender people. A video making the bogus claim that the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May had been staged drew more than 74,000 views before TikTok removed it.Posts on TikTok about Russia’s war in Ukraine have also been problematic. Even experienced journalists and researchers analyzing posts on the service struggle to separate truth from rumor or fabrication, according to a report published in March by the Shorenstein Center.TikTok’s design makes it a breeding ground for misinformation, the researchers found. They wrote that videos could easily be manipulated and republished on the platform and showcased alongside stolen or original content. Pseudonyms are common; parody and comedy videos are easily misinterpreted as fact; popularity affects the visibility of comments; and data about publication time and other details are not clearly displayed on the mobile app.(The Shorenstein Center researchers noted, however, that TikTok is less vulnerable to so-called brigading, in which groups coordinate to make a post spread widely, than platforms like Twitter or Facebook.)During the first quarter of 2022, more than 60 percent of videos with harmful misinformation were viewed by users before being removed, TikTok said. Last year, a group of behavioral scientists who had worked with TikTok said that an effort to attach warnings to posts with unsubstantiated content had reduced sharing by 24 percent but had limited views by only 5 percent.Researchers said that misinformation would continue to thrive on TikTok as long as the platform refused to release data about the origins of its videos or share insight into its algorithms. Last month, TikTok said it would offer some access to a version of its application programming interface, or A.P.I., this year, but it would not say whether it would do so before the midterms.Filippo Menczer, an informatics and computer science professor and the director of the Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University, said he had proposed research collaborations to TikTok and had been told, “Absolutely not.”“At least with Facebook and Twitter, there is some level of transparency, but, in the case of TikTok, we have no clue,” he said. “Without resources, without being able to access data, we don’t know who gets suspended, what content gets taken down, whether they act on reports or what the criteria are. It’s completely opaque, and we cannot independently assess anything.”U.S. lawmakers are also calling for more information about TikTok’s operations, amid renewed concerns that the company’s ties to China could make it a national security threat. The company has said it plans to keep data about its American users separate from its Chinese parent. It has also said its rules have changed since it was accused of censoring posts seen as antithetical to Beijing’s policy goals.The company declined to say how many human moderators it had working alongside its automated filters. (A TikTok executive told British politicians in 2020 that the company had 10,000 moderators around the world.) But former moderators have complained about difficult working conditions, saying they were spread thin and sometimes required to review videos that used unfamiliar languages and references — an echo of accusations made by moderators at platforms like Facebook.In current job listings for moderators, TikTok asks for willingness to “review a large number of short videos” and “in continuous succession during each shift.”In a lawsuit filed in March, Reece Young of Nashville and Ashley Velez of Las Vegas said they had “suffered immense stress and psychological harm” while working for TikTok last year. The former moderators described 12-hour shifts assessing thousands of videos, including conspiracy theories, fringe beliefs, political disinformation and manipulated images of elected officials. Usually, they said, they had less than 25 seconds to evaluate each post and often had to watch multiple videos simultaneously to meet TikTok’s quotas. In a filing, the company pushed for the case to be dismissed in part because the plaintiffs had been contractors hired by staffing services, and not directly by TikTok. The company also noted the benefits of human oversight when paired with its review algorithms, saying, “The significant social utility to content moderation grossly outweighs any danger to moderators.”Election season can be especially difficult for moderators, because political TikTok posts tend to come from a diffuse collection of users addressing broad issues, rather than from specific politicians or groups, said Graham Brookie, the senior director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council.“The bottom line is that all platforms can do more and need to do more for the shared set of facts that social democracy depends on,” Mr. Brookie said. “TikTok, in particular, sticks out because of its size, its really, really rapid growth and the number of outstanding issues about how it makes decisions.” More