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Tue May 12, 2020, 01:22 PM

NYT : The G.O.P.'s Pandemic Playbook

Republicans can flip a House seat in California, but they’re raising doubts about the voting anyway.


In the Los Angeles suburbs on Tuesday, California’s 25th Congressional District will hold a special election to fill the seat of former Representative Katie Hill. (You remember her resignation in October, I’m sure.) Christy Smith, the Democrat in the race, and her Republican opponent, Mike Garcia, have been unable to campaign in person. The contest — conducted largely through social media, television ads and virtual events — has grown increasingly vitriolic, according to our California political reporter Jennifer Medina. Democrats are increasingly worried that they could lose, allowing Republicans to flip a California House district for the first time in more than two decades.

So why are Republicans hellbent on undermining the legitimacy of an election that they could very well win? Look to their national political strategy. Let’s rewind for a second: A few weeks ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an order to mail ballots to each of the roughly 425,000 voters in the district. About a dozen in-person polling locations were also set up. Late last week, Mayor R. Rex Parris, a Republican who is backing Mr. Garcia, asked county officials to open an additional in-person polling place in Lancaster, a small, working-class, majority-minority city north of Los Angeles.

And on Friday, Mr. Newsom ordered ballots to be sent to the state’s 20.6 million voters for the November election, making California the first state to alter its voting plans for the general election. This combination of events — a new in-person polling place and a universal vote-by-mail option — set off a Republican firestorm. The National Republican Congressional Committee accused Democrats of conspiring to “steal” the election. Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader who is from a neighboring district, said Democrats were trying to “rig the election.” Even Mr. Garcia accused his opponents of “trying to change the rules to steal an election.” And then, President Trump weighed in, calling the election “rigged.”

What’s particularly strange about these cries is that the neighborhood where the new polling place was opened routinely elects Republicans. In the State Legislature, Lancaster is represented by two Republicans. Even though Democratic voters outnumber Republicans in the 25th District, Republican voters are returning ballots in significantly higher numbers. The latest data shows that 40 percent of ballots sent to registered Republicans have been returned, while 27 percent of Democrats have mailed theirs back. One in five Independents have returned their ballots. (Given that this election is happening in deep blue California, it’s fair to assume that a good share of those voters backed Ms. Smith.)


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Reply NYT : The G.O.P.'s Pandemic Playbook (Original post)
Celerity May 2020 OP
gratuitous May 2020 #1

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 01:32 PM

1. Gov. Newsom is fully prepared to act, Mr. President

But first, he needs a favor from you . . .

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