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Name: Mister Rea
Gender: Male
Hometown: Houston
Home country: Moon
Current location: afk
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 48,808

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I will only point out now that with Amy gone from the race, Warren is the youth candidate

Maybe she's just a scrappy young colt of a mere 70 years, but dammit she's got the best ideas and the sharpest vision of the future. I'm still voting for Warren tomorrow.

I'll leave when she leaves. I'll sleep when she sleeps.

DU Poll Results of Secondary "Plan B" Candidates at DU

Last week (Saturday thru Wednesday) I did an informal poll that I think can give some perspective on what the contest will look like in the next month of two ahead. I used to do data analysis for market research surveys (including politician clients) and I think the findings are pretty instructive for both DU and the party at large.


Let me start by saying this is not science, or at least not quantitative science. My findings are more along the lines of case study science, or qualitative analysis for those of you who know about market research, my one time profession.

Also, as long as I'm hedging, this is not a study of DUers, but a sampling of DUers who participate in the primaries forum, which is to say people who are interested enough to pay attention to and take sides in the democratic primary race. And to that extent I'm postulating that they are representative of how different preference groups within the party and this website are thinking. Anyway, if you care about this community, this will give you a picture of where we are and where we're headed. If you'd like the excel file I grinded this out on, PM me


I posed a simple request to DUers in this forum: List your top four candidates in order of who you'd support. The thread is here: LINK

I then tallied the results. When people didn't make four choices (a few made only one) I left those spots blank. When respondents were unclear (e.g., "I'm torn between Candidate X and Candidate Y" ) I asked them to specify or I recorded their preferences in the order named (as above, labeled X as choice 1 and Y as choice 2). This is in keeping with standard market research methodology when dealing with unclear respondent preferences. I kicked the thread twice in order to insure it appeared at different times of the day.

A total of 98 DUers responded to this question. 78 named four preferences, 10 only named three, 5 named only two, and 5 wouldn't name a back-up preference (2 for Biden, 2 for Warren, and 1 for Bloomberg).


Top Preference
Top Preference was only a control. The website already records this. But it pleased me that the survey results closely paralleled what DUers overall have expressed:

Vote-Candid.- %age - DU Pref% (excluding undecideds)*
35 - Warren . – 35.7 – 33.9
28 – Biden. . – 28.6 – 27.1
19 – Sanders- 19.4 – 22.0
8 - Buttigieg..- 08.2 – 08.5
4 - Klobuchar.- 04.1 – 04.2
2 -Bloomberg- 02.0 - 01.7
1 – Gabbard – 01.0 - nil
1 – Steyer. . – 01.0 - nil
Percentages were current as of Wednesday, altho Biden preferences have edged up since (congrats, Joe!). These totals exclude Undecideds, which were at 41% on Feb 25th.

Top Four Mentions

So the respondents seem to be quite close to representative of the DU Primaries forum community. The number of unweighted mentions for each candidate gives a sense of who is at least acceptable to the DU voters. There, Warren was the most overall "acceptable" candidate at 91%. However Joe Biden ran a relatively close second at 78%. This should not be contstrued to mean others are unaccepted in inverse proportion to their mentions, only that they were not in the top four.

89 – Warren. – 90.8%
76 – Biden. . – 77.6
56 -Klobuchar- 57.1
55 -Buttigieg .- 56.1
50 – Sanders – 51.0
18 – Steyer. . – 18.4
09 -Bloomberg– 09.2
04 – Gabbard – 04.1

Weighted mentions

Of course there's a difference between being picked 1st and 4th. Just randomly I weighted each preferential placement as worth (respectively) 4, 3, 2, and 1 "votes", to index overall support, resulting in 925 'votes'. This is the least scientific component of this report, but slightly differentiates the weight of preference.

275 Warren
205 Biden
154 Sanders
118 Buttigieg
112 Klobuchar
-29 Steyer
-20 Bloomberg
-12 Gabbard

Second & Third Choices

With Super Tuesday (March 3rd) about to bump a few candidates out of the race (this was written pre-Pete's withdrawal), the most important part of the study was answering "Who will they go to next?" But it is also a key factor when all three national frontrunners are in their 70s and death's gristly hand is knocking at their doors. (Sorry, I keed, I keed!)


Respondents preferring Biden favored Warren (46%) or Klobuchar (25%) if their candidate isn't the nominee. Pete Buttigieg was mostly likely to be their third choice

2nd choice Biden
13 Warren
7 Klobuchar
4 Buttigieg
1 Bloomberg
1 Sanders
2 none

3rd choice Biden
14 Buttigieg
5 Klobuchar
3 Bloomberg
2 Warren
1 Steyer


Respondents preferring Sanders almost unanimously preferred Warren as their back up. Their Plan Cs tended toward Biden (58%), so Biden seems to be a nominee they can at least acquiesce to. This suggests that it will be important for Biden supporters, in the event of his nomination, not to alienate Sanders supporters during the remaining primary contests. But shouldn't that be true of all of us?

2nd choice Sanders
18 Warren
1 Gabbard

3rd choice Sanders
11 Biden
3 Klobuchar
1 Buttigieg
1 Steyer


With Warren (the candidate with the largest national share of support who is also underperforming in the delegate contests), her supporters are the most critical to watch. Here there is good news for Sanders supporters. Among respondents, 18 of the 35 Warren backers (51%) said their go-to is Bernie. The rest were evenly split among the three moderate Democrats. Forced to a 3rd choice, 10 went with Klobuchar, 9 with Biden. Maintaining this positive situation makes it far more important for Sanders supporters to create welcoming campaign prior to the second-tier candidates pulling out of race.

2nd choice Warren
18 Sanders
5 Biden
5 Buttigieg
4 Klobuchar
1 Steyer
2 none

3rd choice Warren
10 Klobuchar
9 Biden
6 Sanders
5 Buttigieg
1 Gabbard
1 Steyer


There were not enough respondents for other candidates to draw valid conclusions, but lumped together, they generally replicate overall patterns. Out of those 15 DUers not preferring the top three candidates, Warren (at 7) and Biden (at 5) were the most likely Plan B candidates

2nd choice others
7 Warren
5 Biden
1 Gabbard
1 Klobuchar
1 Steyer

3rd choice others
5 Biden
3 Sanders
3 Warren
2 Klobuchar
1 Buttigieg
1 Steyer

Thought experiments

If DU had a traditional run-off system, where the top two candidates ran in a second round, you would approximate who a runoff election would select. This is achieved by looking at each respondents' 2nd, 3rd, or 4th until one of the top two finishers is mentioned. The result would be Warren over Biden (64%-36%). However this doesn't seem likely on a national scale.

The measure of a run-off between Joe and Bernie is too heavily weighted to Warren supporters to accurately reflect national trends, but among DU respondents to the survey the runoff would result in a very close contest. In the first preference, Biden is at a clear example. But when Warren's voters left in the second round, Sanders essentially closed the gap.

cand- 1st- 2nd- 3rd- 4th Rounds of candidate preference
Biden - 28 - 10 - 8 - 3
Sand. - 19 - 18 - 5 - 1

So the final run-off vote would be 49-43 (JB-53% to BS-47%) with 6% not voting. Of course with this margin of error, that's essentially a tie.

Next, I wondered what if this forum had a bottom-elimination system (the way Canadian parties select their prime minister candidates)? Then you'd get a different result

Round one would eliminate Steyer and Gabbard with their single votes each. Round Two would eliminate Bloomberg with his very expensive 2 DU voters. Factoring in secondary choices, Round Three would look like this, eliminating Klobuchar:

36 Warren
29 Biden
19 Sanders
8 Buttigieg
4 Klobuchar

Round Four would remove Buttigieg:
37 Warren
30 Biden
20 Sanders
8 Buttigieg

Round Five would bounce the Bern:
41 Warren
34 Biden
20 Sanders

Leading to the final round:
60 Warren
34 Biden

Of course things in the real world don’t work that way. I'm 56 and I can tell you, life is all about...


When we look at who'd settle for whom, we again run into Warren's strength as a unity candidate. Among the 28 who said they'd dance with Elizabeth if they can't have Mr. or Ms. Right, were half of the Biden voters and almost all of Sanders. That's 38 out of 63 (or 60% of) non-Warren supporters would get with her as their second choice.

So... Who'd settle for Warren?
18 Sanders
13 Biden
3 Buttigieg
2 Klobuchar
1 Gabbard
1 Steyer

Most (57%) of Warren's DUrs would vote for Sanders next in line. One Biden supporter also said Bernie is his number two. That person must be the happiest Democrat tonight.

So... Who'd settle for Sanders?
18 Warren
1 Biden

Joe did not do well in second choice voting; he only got 10 "twos", compared to 25 "threes" and 13 "fours". This makes him look more acquiesced to than preferred. Don't worry, Joe, that was also my strategy in high school. The upside is that he was mentioned acceptable by 78%. In the McDonald's Restaurant of life, Joe Biden is the Big Mac. That is, when there's a big hungry crowd lined up behind you and you're under pressure to pick an item off the menu quickly, he's who you'll go with in a pinch.

So... Who'd settle for Biden?
5 Warren
3 Buttigieg
1 Bloomberg
1 Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar got more #two picks than Biden, mostly from DU Bidenites who were asked "who's next"? Coupled with a presumed win in her home state on Mar 3, if these stats bear out for all Democrats, she's the second tier candidate in the best position to pursue the fight.

So... Who'd settle for Klobuchar?
7 Biden
4 Warren
1 Buttigieg

Executive Summary

We need to fuck up Trump's bullshit hard in November

Raw Data

The voting totals looked like this -

cand's - 4th - 3rd - 2nd - 1st
Biden - 13 - 25 - 10 - 28
Bloomberg - 3 - 3 - 1 - 2
Buttigieg - 17 - 21 - 9 - 8
Gabbard - 0 - 1 - 2 - 1
Klobuchar - 20 - 20 - 12 - 4
Sanders - 3 - 9 - 19 - 19
Steyer - 11 - 4 - 2 - 1
Warren - 11 - 5 - 38 - 35
Total - 78 - 88 - 93 - 98

The 98 survey responses were graded thus -

1 - Warren - Klobuchar - Sanders - Biden
2 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
4 - Biden - Klobuchar - Buttigieg - Warren
5 - Biden - Warren - Klobuchar - Sanders
6 - Warren - Sanders - Biden - Buttigieg
7 - Biden - Warren - Klobuchar - Sanders
8 - Warren - Sanders - Biden - Klobuchar
9 - Sanders - Warren - Buttigieg - Biden
11 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Buttigieg
12 - Warren - Buttigieg - Biden - Klobuchar
13 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
14 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Steyer
15 - Sanders - Warren - -
16 - Sanders - Warren - Klobuchar - Biden
17 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Buttigieg
18 - Warren - Sanders - Buttigieg - Biden
19 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Steyer
20 - Warren - Sanders - Klobuchar - Buttigieg
21 - Biden - Klobuchar - Buttigieg - Warren
22 - Sanders - Warren - -
24 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
25 - Klobuchar - Biden - Sanders - Warren
26 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Buttigieg
27 - Warren - - -
28 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
29 - Sanders - Warren - Biden -
30 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
31 - Warren - Sanders - Klobuchar - Buttigieg
32 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg -
33 - Warren - Sanders - Buttigieg -
34 - Biden - Klobuchar - Buttigieg - Warren
35 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Steyer
36 - Buttigieg - Warren - Biden -
37 - Warren - Sanders - Buttigieg - Biden
38 - Buttigieg - Gabbard - Biden - Klobuchar
39 - Warren - Sanders - Steyer - Buttigieg
40 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Steyer
41 - Sanders - Warren - Biden -
42 - Biden - Buttigieg - Klobuchar - Bloomberg
43 - Bloomberg - Biden - Warren - Steyer
44 - Gabbard - Warren - Sanders - Buttigieg
45 - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar - Biden
46 - Warren - - -
48 - Sanders - Warren - Klobuchar - Buttigieg
49 - Steyer - Warren - Klobuchar - Sanders
51 - Biden - - -
53 - Biden - Warren - Bloomberg - Klobuchar
54 - Biden - Klobuchar - Steyer - Buttigieg
55 - Buttigieg - Biden - Warren - Bloomberg
56 - Sanders - Warren - Biden - Klobuchar
57 - Biden - Warren - Klobuchar - Buttigieg
59 - Warren - Klobuchar - Biden -
61 - Klobuchar - Warren - Biden - Buttigieg
62 - Biden - Buttigieg - Klobuchar - Warren
63 - Warren - Klobuchar - Biden - Buttigieg
64 - Warren - Sanders - Biden - Klobuchar
65 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
66 - Biden - Bloomberg - Buttigieg -
68 - Buttigieg - Biden - Klobuchar - Warren
70 - Buttigieg - Warren - Biden - Steyer
73 - Biden - Klobuchar - Buttigieg - Warren
74 - Warren - Buttigieg - Sanders - Klobuchar
75 - Klobuchar - Warren - Buttigieg -
77 - Warren - Sanders - Biden - Klobuchar
78 - Warren - Sanders - Klobuchar - Biden
79 - Sanders - Warren - Steyer - Klobuchar
80 - Bloomberg - - -
81 - Sanders - Gabbard - -
82 - Warren - Sanders - Klobuchar - Biden
83 - Warren - Biden - Klobuchar - Buttigieg
84 - Biden - Klobuchar - Bloomberg - Warren
85 - Warren - Sanders - Biden - Buttigieg
86 - Warren - Biden - Sanders - Klobuchar
87 - Buttigieg - Warren - Biden - Steyer
88 - Buttigieg - Biden - Steyer - Warren
89 - Warren - Biden - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
90 - Warren - Sanders - Biden -
91 - Warren - Sanders - Buttigieg - Biden
93 - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar - Biden
94 - Biden - - -
95 - Warren - Steyer - Klobuchar - Biden
96 - Warren - Biden - Sanders - Klobuchar
98 - Biden - Sanders - -
99 - Sanders - Warren - Biden -
100 - Biden - Klobuchar - Warren - Buttigieg
101 - Warren - Klobuchar - Sanders - Biden
102 - Warren - Biden - Klobuchar - Bloomberg
103 - Biden - Buttigieg - Bloomberg - Warren
104 - Warren - Sanders - -
105 - Biden - Buttigieg - Warren - Steyer
107 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Klobuchar
108 - Warren - Sanders - Gabbard - Steyer
109 - Sanders - Warren - Klobuchar - Buttigieg
110 - Klobuchar - Steyer - Sanders - Warren
111 - Warren - Buttigieg - Sanders - Klobuchar
112 - Buttigieg - Klobuchar - Warren - Steyer
113 - Warren - Sanders - Klobuchar - Biden
114 - Biden - Warren - Buttigieg - Steyer

The Best Reason to vote for Elizabeth Warren Tuesday

People here are saying Warren will be out after Super Tuesday. That might (or might not) be true. But you should vote for her anyway

1. If you want her to have any voice in the convention, she needs delegates. Warren needs your vote for her to gain delegates to sit in the platform committees that wired the 2020 Democratic Platform. Just a few will do to put her voice and ideas at the table.

If you were attracted to Warren for her ideas, this will get them heard. And hers are you the right ideas.

2. If you're trying to "stop Bernie", you want Warren to do as good as possible. About half of her support will go to Sanders when she leaves the race, according to a DU survey I did last week. (It's qualitative data, not quantitative data, but it's quite convincing. I'll post results and another thread tonight after I've finished looking at the numbers)

3. If you're concerned about Biden being a vulnerable candidate because of his establishment ties and opposition to expanding Medicare, then you want to give Elizabeth Warren more leverage in discussing our issues as she leaves the race. So again, voting for her now helps that cause.

4. Don't you want to give her at least one shot at beating the Bloomberg's numbers the only time they're on the ballot together?

Who's the best VP for each nominee?

Joe Biden is hinting he'd pick Kamala Harris for his number two spot. I think that's pretty smart. They're closed politically but miles apart stylistically. You don't gain anything in the electoral college with her, but I think regional VP choices may be a thing of the past anyway. If his goal is to patch demographic holes in his appeal, I'd offer up Ayanna Pressley. She's the smartest and savviest of "The Squad". She's young, experienced in local government, connected to the Kennedys, and feminist as hell.

I've heard some Bernie supporters say Warren would be his best VP. and I'm supporting Warren for the top spot anyway, but I don't think she gains him anything at all in the #2 spot. Sanders needs to go young, but maybe not too young (don't need to spotlight his age). Bernie himself would of course reject the question of optics in picking an understudy, but Julian Castro, Tammy Baldwin, or Tammy Duckworth are all worth looking at. Duckworth checks the box on military experience and her selection might calm down a few reluctant moderates in the party. He'll need to build more bridges than any other potential nominee.

Warren should also consider Sen Harris. But I'd suggest she, more than any other candidate, needs to think regionally. Julian Castro would be her smartest choice demographically speaking, he's around 50 and would rally the southwest (but won't help in Texas). But she probably needs someone with ties to big business. So I'd recommend Cory Booker, who not only has great government experience, but also had a compelling heroic quality, given his tendency to run into burning buildings.

Bloomberg is easy. The only pick for him would be Elizabeth Warren. If he can't appoint her, he's a chickenshit. She's the only running mate who'd show he's serious about finance industry reform. She's the only partnership that shows he's an actual Democrat.

Buttigieg (whose name my spellcheck is only just starting to recognize) will need a populist, an troublemaking rabble-rouser. It's a shame AOC is too young. It's a shame Angus King is too old. But Ted Lieu is in the Goldilocks zone. Dude can throw a punch. Again, there's the California problem--it doesn't patch electoral holes.
on edit: as per comments below, Ted Lieu isn't eligible. So let me play my one wild card and suggest George Clooney instead

But anyway, that's my suggestion for candidates who are their 70s or 30s.

Any other thoughts?

I was talking to the Lord yesterday

I was talking to the Lord yesterday and I said, "Rabbi, when they were crucifying you on the cross and sticking that sword in your side, how come you didn't just heal yourself?"

And Jesus was like, "My child, I don't think that would be an appropriate use of my powers. My father didn't put me on this Earth to act selfishly."

But I was all, "But, O Christ, it's like they say on an airplane. When the oxygen masks fall down in an emergency, you're supposed to help yourself first and then you can help the person next to you."

And the Lord said, "What's an airplane?"

Update on study of secondary choices for president

the updated findings are down in the 3rd post in this thread

I've asked people in the forum to name their top four candidates in order of preference. I'm up to 59 responses so far.

Top picks are not a surprise
Biden - - 32%
Sanders- 25%
Warren - 25%

It's early in the day, so that might explain a higher response favoring Biden than what the site's polling has. But this is more like a focus group (qualitative data) instead of quantitative findings.

The interesting parts are that 2nd preference findings. a 50%+ majority selects Warren as they backup choice. That include nearly all of the Sanders voters.

Across all four choices, Warren is selected by >90% of those responding. Among the 9 respondent picking none of the top 3 choices, 4 picked her for second place and 8 of the 9 mentioned her for their top four.

As the race tightens, Warren is certain to pick up more steam (whereas Sanders has nearly maxed out his support prior to the convention.) Effectively speaking, Sanders and Biden are in a sprint and Warren is in a marathon.

I'll wait a day or so for more people respond before I post the final findings. But there's much reason for hope

Let's do something different here. List your top four candidates in order of who you'd support

We all wear our candidate support tags at the feet of our posts in this forum. But the reality is 3 weeks from now at least half of the current contenders will have bowed out.

After Super Tuesday this will probably be a three (maybe four) candidate race. Personally I hope it's a two-person race, because that will give us clarity going into the convention.

So share with us who is your plan B, or your plan C. And if you've got it in you, even your plan D.

I'll start down in the thread discos. And let's keep this one positive.

Hard evidence shows a centrist candidate not as strong as a progressive


The traditional argument that a Sanders or a Warren candidacy would be more vulnerable to a Trump victory is based on the idea that 100% of the people are voting, and they vote along a one-dimensional spectrum of left to right.

That is, the further to the left a candidate's policies are, the more voters you lose in the middle. And if the body of voters in the United States were one-dimensional in their thinking, then that is thinking understanding of how election work would be right.

Here's the thing: that analysis is a shallow smear of horse pucky.

Thomas Piketty, a French political economist, in 2013 wrote "Brahmin Left vs. Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict" in the journal "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." He analyzes around 70 years of post-election surveys from Britain, the United States and France and concludes that people are voting for (wait for it) the candidates who speak to their concerns, not based on simple Left Right polarities.

First, the sheer amount of data analyzed in Piketty's paper is stunning. He and his researchers analyze voters in those three countries by income (broken into deciles), education, party, gender, religion and income disparity. The final 106 pages of the paper consist of graphs and charts. This is a seriously detailed data analysis that took years of work, and any intelligent political party operative should take it very seriously.

Now, for the findings. Piketty's basic thesis is that poorer and less educated voters were historically the kind of voters who voted for left and left-liberal parties. These voters understood that their class interests did not align with the right-wing parties of the rich; thus, historically, the "high-income, high education" voters picked the right-wing parties.

This shifted in the past 70 years: "high-education elites now vote for the 'left', while high- income/high-wealth elites still vote for the 'right' (though less and less so)," Piketty notes. Note the scare quotes around "left": part of Piketty's point is that the so-called left parties, like the Democratic Party in the U.S., the Socialists in France and Labour in the U.K., have in the past two decades not really been that left, at least on economic issues. With the exception of Jeremy Corbyn's contemporary Labour Party, the aforementioned are aligned with the same kind of neoliberal economic policies that rich elites favor.

In other words, people respond to Trump's attacks on elites because they don't like elites. They think liberals are snobs. They don't tend to think Bernie is a snob. That's what he's doing right and most of field is doing wrong.

Remember that the next time you're making fun of wypipo for voting against their own economic interests. They're falling for the charms of a malicious con artist because we quit speaking to them. As Sanders shows every time he gets on Fox News, he does speak to the concerns of the forgotten working class.

Oops, turns out women DON'T get paid equal to men at Bloomberg's company

I mean, according to Bloomberg:


Bloomberg Says Women ‘Get Paid Exactly The Same As Men’ At His Company. They Don’t.

The company that made Michael Bloomberg his billions has told government watchdogs it hires fewer women and pays them less than men.

In the United Kingdom, where Bloomberg LP employs several thousand workers, women earn 21.9% less than men in terms of their median hourly wage. Women occupy only 1 in 5 of the top quarter of the highest-paying jobs; the representation of women is largest in the bottom quarter of jobs.

And although an equal share of men and women earn bonuses, the median women’s bonus is one-third lower than the median men’s bonus.

Those figures come from a mandatory gender pay gap report that Bloomberg LP filed in the United Kingdom in April 2018. The reports, which are meant to spur change to reduce pay inequity, are not perfect. Companies prepare their own data — reporters have caught some companies submitting impossible figures — and corporate leaders have argued that pay equity reports fail to capture particular reasons why some workplaces have a gender gap.

Dammit!! Democrats just lost a key endorsement, which could affect 2020's outcome

And here I was hoping the Democrats would get the coveted Russian endorsement this time around.

No such luck, Chuck

Russia Backs Trump’s Re-election, and He Fears Democrats Will Exploit Its Support
A classified briefing to lawmakers angered the president, who complained that Democrats would “weaponize” the disclosure.

Feb. 20, 2020, 4:55 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, in a disclosure that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.

The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Mr. Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.

During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that Mr. Trump has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans.
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