Rupert Murdoch admits some Fox News hosts endorsed false narrative of a stolen 2020 election

By |2023-03-01T20:23:19-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

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Notes on the State of Politics: March 1, 2023 – Sabato’s Crystal Ball

By |2023-03-01T20:23:28-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

Dear Readers: This is the latest edition of Notes on the State of Politics, which features short updates on elections and politics. — The Editors How likely is an Electoral College tie? The 2020 election came fairly close to ending in an Electoral College tie. While Joe Biden won the national popular vote by about 4.5 points, his margins in several key states were much narrower. Specifically, Biden’s 3 closest wins were by 11,779 votes (or .24 percentage points) in Georgia, 10,457 in Arizona (.31 points), and 20,682 (.63 points) in Wisconsin. Had these states voted for Donald Trump and everything else had been the same, the Electoral College would have produced a 269-269 tie, leaving both candidates short of the magic number of 270 electoral votes. If this ever happens, the U.S. House of Representatives would have to decide the election — we’ll have more about how this would work in tomorrow’s Crystal Ball. But before we do that, we wanted to look at whether there are plausible paths to 269-269 in 2024. Changes to the electoral vote allocations as a result of the 2020 census have altered the overall math slightly. Using the new allocation based on the 2020 results, the election would have been slightly closer: 303-235 Biden, instead of the 306-232 edge he enjoyed in reality. The 2020 map with the new Electoral College totals is shown in Map 1. Map 1: 2020 presidential election with new electoral vote apportionment This also would have changed what would have happened had Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin voted for Trump. Under the new allocation, that map would produce a 272-266 Republican victory as opposed to a 269-269 tie. So the new apportionment of electoral votes alters the potential Electoral College tie scenarios and, as we assess the map, makes such a scenario less likely, because the specific pathway apparent back in 2020 is now closed. But a tie is still possible, even if one restricts hypothetical Electoral College scenarios to only include changes to the states that were the closest in the 2020 election. In other words, one doesn’t have to go to absurd lengths — such as a blue Wyoming or a red Massachusetts — to come up with a tie. Using 270toWin — our go-to site for Electoral College strategizing — we played around with realistic scenarios for an Electoral College tie. We locked most of the 2020 Electoral College results into place, not altering any states beyond the 7 from 2020 that were decided by less than 3 points (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). As part of this scenario, we also locked in the 2020 electoral vote allocations from Maine and Nebraska, the only 2 states that award electoral votes by congressional district. Both states split in 2020, and under the new district lines, Donald Trump would have carried Maine’s 2nd District by about 6 points, with Joe Biden carrying Nebraska’s 2nd District by about the same margin. So that set a baseline electoral vote floor for each side at 226-219 Democratic, with 93 electoral votes from the 7 most competitive states outstanding. Using these Electoral College puzzle pieces, we came up with 3 scenarios, although scenarios 2 and 3 are very similar. Map 2: Hypothetical Electoral College tie, scenario 1 Map 2 shows the first tie scenario. This one would effectively be a realigning map, where Democrats lose the old “Blue Wall” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — states that Donald Trump won in 2016 but not 2020 — as well as Nevada, a state that Trump never carried but where Democrats only won by a little under 2.5 points in both 2016 and 2020. Meanwhile, Democrats would hang onto Arizona and Georgia and also flip North Carolina, which was Trump’s closest win in 2020. We don’t find this scenario that plausible because we don’t envision a world in which Democrats are winning Arizona but not its usually bluer northwestern neighbor, Nevada. Nor do we see North Carolina — clearly, to us, the reddest of these 7 states and the only one that backed Trump in both 2016 and 2020 — going blue while 4 of the others go red. The Tar Heel State also is the only one of these 7 states where Democrats had no statewide success in 2022, losing both an open-seat Senate contest and a pair of high-profile state Supreme Court races, making it even harder to imagine it voting Democratic while any of the others are going Republican. Map 3: Hypothetical Electoral College tie, scenario 2 Map 3 shows another scenario — and this one seems a bit more plausible. Democrats again hang onto Arizona and Georgia. They also keep Nevada and lose North Carolina. All of those states would be replicating how they voted in 2020. Meanwhile, Republicans claw back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but Democrats hold Wisconsin. While this doesn’t require North Carolina to vote blue, it does require Michigan and Pennsylvania to both vote more Republican than Wisconsin, which neither did in 2016 or 2020 (although Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had almost identical margins in 2016). Wisconsin still seems the shakiest for Democrats of these 3 states — Republicans did, after all, defend Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) there last cycle and kept the gubernatorial race much more competitive than in Michigan or Pennsylvania, and Biden’s margin was under a point there in 2020. But these states still vote similarly enough that scenario 2 is not out of the question. Map 4: Hypothetical Electoral College tie, scenario 3 Finally, Map 4 is identical to Map 3, except North Carolina votes blue while Georgia votes red. This one seems less likely than the second scenario, as Georgia has pretty clearly trended blue in recent years while North Carolina has not. Overall, an Electoral College tie remains unlikely — landing on a specific 269-269 outcome is something we would not rule out, but we wouldn’t bet on it, either, without getting great odds. Again, we’ll have more to say about how an Electoral College tie would be decided in tomorrow’s Crystal Ball. But we first just wanted to say that, yes, it’s possible, even under the new Electoral College allocation and even if you just focus on the states that were most competitive in 2020. Slotkin enters Michigan Senate race In January, the first Democratic Senate retirement of the cycle came in a light blue state. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has held elected office in the state since the 1970s, announced that she would not seek a 5th term. Though Stabenow’s retirement announcement was, in some reporting, considered to be an ominous sign for her party’s prospects, it came at a time of triumph for Michigan Democrats: They had a nearly perfect 2022 cycle. Democrats won most of the marginal House districts, flipped the legislature, and won each of the state’s 3 statewide races with comfortable majorities — their biggest disappointment was the Macomb County-centric 10th District narrowly slipping away. Surely, with the Michigan Democrats’ large bench, there would be a flurry of candidates ready to get into the open-seat Senate race, right? Instead, the past several weeks were relatively quiet on that front. If anything, the Democratic “shadow primary” seemed defined by the process of elimination. Almost immediately, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was just reelected to a second term, ruled out a run. Other prominent Democrats followed, with the more notable exceptions of 7th District Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Though Benson and a few other notable Democrats are still considering the race, Slotkin announced her campaign on Monday. The Republican field, meanwhile, remains in flux, although Rep. John James (R, MI-10) — the party’s nominee in the 2018 and 2020 Senate races — recently filed for reelection to the House. While that deprives Senate Republicans of a potential recruit, it does give House Republicans an incumbent to seek reelection in a swingy seat next year. Slotkin, who was first elected amid the 2018 blue wave that crashed in the House, ran after serving in the Obama administration and has a background in the U.S. Intelligence Community. In the House, she has been part of a bloc of center-left Democrats that have taken an interest in national security issues — other examples from the 2018 class include Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D, VA-7) and Mikie Sherrill (D, NJ-11), both of whom could also be future statewide candidates. Slotkin’s district, which is essentially the successor to a seat that Stabenow held in the late 1990s, is centered on Lansing but extends into the Detroit metro area. Numbered MI-8 last decade, Slotkin flipped the seat by 4 points in 2018 after it gave Donald Trump a 7-point margin 2 years earlier. As Trump carried the district again in 2020, Slotkin replicated her 2018 margin, making her one of only 7 “crossover seat” Democrats that year. For 2022, redistricting turned Slotkin’s seat into a Biden-won seat, although his margin there was narrow (he would have carried it by less than a percentage point) and it would have narrowly voted against Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) in 2020. Though the district was a bit friendlier to Democrats, Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett represented much of the area that was new to Slotkin, making him almost a co-incumbent in the race. Overall, the MI-7 contest turned into 2022’s most expensive House race. But as Map 5 shows, the result was a clear win for the (actual) incumbent: Slotkin won a third term by just over 5 points. Map 5: MI-7 in 2022 Note: Map 5 uses unofficial data, but the official result was almost identical Source: Jackson Franks Barrett is running again, and his candidacy could deter other GOP entrants (he was unopposed for the nomination in 2022). Democrats have several prospects for the seat, but it seems possible that whomever they nominate will have a home base in Lansing’s Ingham County — the blue bastion of the district, it gave Slotkin over two-thirds of the vote each time she was on the general election ballot. Aside from running up the score in Ingham County, one of the keys to Slotkin’s electoral success has been keeping Livingston, the district’s second-largest county and the one directly east of Ingham, relatively close. Livingston County essentially consists of the exurban communities between Detroit and Lansing, and Slotkin has held the GOP margin there to under 20 points. The Crystal Ball is starting the open MI-7 race as a Toss-up. The last time Michigan saw an open-seat Senate contest, in 2014, now-Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) had no opposition to succeed the late Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI). A competitive primary may force Democratic contenders to better establish themselves with Black voters, although any statewide Democratic campaign in Michigan worth its salt should emphasize outreach to minorities. At the time of his election to the Senate, Peters was in the odd position of being a white member who represented a Black-majority House district — the credibility that he established with the Black community likely helped him in 2014 and 2020. Slotkin’s district is only about 7% Black by composition, a number half the statewide 14%, so look for her campaign to aggressively court that key demographic. McClellan enjoys broad-based overperformance Speaking of majority-minority districts, let’s take a quick detour to our home state. Last week, we wrote about the special election in the 4th District, a heavily Black seat that elected Rep.-elect Jennifer McClellan (D), who will be leaving the state Senate to enter the U.S. House. McClellan’s victory was not a surprise but her margin was — her roughly 3-to-1 edge was notably better than what most Democrats get in the district. Turnout dynamics often are different in special elections than typical general elections, which sometimes accounts for odd partisan results. In one fairly recent example, Louisiana had a special election for state treasurer in 2017. The treasurer runoff election was held concurrently with a mayoral runoff in heavily Democratic New Orleans. With the mayoral election on the ballot, Orleans Parish cast close to a quarter of the votes in the statewide treasurer’s race (the parish usually casts more like 10% of the state’s votes). With New Orleans exerting a disproportionate influence, the Democratic nominee for treasurer, Derrick Edwards, took close to 45% against now-Treasurer John Schroder (R). Considering the lean of the state and his lack of funding, Edwards’s showing was respectable. But when the office was up again, in the regularly-scheduled 2019 election, things looked more typical — Schroder was reelected by 25 points. Along those lines, we wondered if McClellan’s margin was padded by a disproportionately strong showing in her home area, Richmond. As it turns out, that wasn’t really the case. Richmond City and neighboring Henrico County are 2 of the largest, and bluest, localities in the district. Last week, the pair cast exactly half the total vote in the election — that was up only slightly from the 49% they accounted for in 2022. So McClellan’s showing was more of a broad-based overperformance than anything else. As a bit of a thought experiment, we took the 2022 result from the 4th District and applied a uniform swing. In other words, last year, the late Donald McEachin (D) was reelected by 30.1 points; last week, McClellan did 18.9 points better, winning by 49%. How would an across the board 18.9% swing towards Democrats compare the actual result? Table 1 considers this. Table 1: 2022 uniform swing vs actual 2023 result in VA-4 As it turned out, McClellan ran slightly behind “expectations” in both Richmond and Henrico, although she obviously carried them overwhelmingly. Her biggest overperformance was actually from another locality that she currently represents in the state Senate: Charles City. One of the smaller counties in the district (it only has 3 voting precincts), it was the commonwealth’s most Democratic county in 1990s-era presidential elections, but its blue lean has eroded in recent years. McClellan’s 44-point margin there was 33 points better than what McEachin earned, and 14 points more than what a uniform swing would suggest. McClellan ran ahead of expectations in several rural Southside counties, one of which was Surry. Just south of Charles City County, Surry County has been undergoing similar larger-scale trends. In 2021, now-Gov. Glenn Youngkin became the first modern GOP nominee for governor to carry this historically deep blue locality (although he did so by just 12 votes). When McClellan is next on the ballot, in 2024, it seems likely that she’ll have a more “typical” Democratic coalition. Next year, a much larger presidential electorate may be in a more straight-ticket mood. The 110,000 votes that were cast in last week’s election represent just a quarter of the nearly 400,000 ballots the district would have cast in the 2020 election. Still, we’ll be watching to see how McClellan’s initial rural appeal translates with an election held under more “normal” circumstances.

Dominion Lawsuit: Fox News Murdoch Advisor Said Booze Had Got to Rudy Giuliani

By |2023-03-01T20:23:32-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

Rudy Giuliani speaks to the media at a press conference held in the back parking lot of landscaping company on November 7, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chris McGrath/Getty Images Redeem now Rupert Murdoch and a top lieutenant privately disparaged Rudy Giuliani, court documents say.  Col Allan, a former New York Post editor, said of Giuliani: "I think the booze has got to him." They described Giuliani's election fraud claims as "deranged," yet Fox News broadcast them anyway.  Top editors give you the stories you want — delivered right to your inbox each weekday. Loading Something is loading. Thanks for signing up! Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app Email address By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider as well as other partner offers and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. .inline-newsletter-signup.loading { width: 100%; max-width: 640px; margin: 0 auto; visibility: hidden; } Fox News billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, and one of his top executives privately disparaged Rudy Giuliani as he pushed conspiracy theories about voter fraud in the 2020 election, court documents show. The legal documents, filed as part of a defamation lawsuit against Fox News by election machines company Dominion, suggest Murdoch and his top advisors privately believed the election fraud claims to be false, yet continued to promote them.The documents contain an exchange between Murdoch and Col Allan, a former editor in chief of the New York Post, in which they discuss speeches by Giuliani about the 2020 election results. "Rupert told Allan, 'Just saw a bit of Rudy ranting. A terrible influence on Donald.' Allan agreed, responding that Giuliani was 'unhinged. Has been for a while. I think booze has got him.'" Murdoch and Allan appeared to be discussing a bizarre press conference Giuliani held on November 7, 2020, at the Four Seasons garden center outside Philadelphia, which had apparently been mistakenly booked in a mixup with the Four Seasons hotel in the city. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and Trump attorney, played a leading role in pushing false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. "Rupert told the New York Post's Col Allan that "[w]ith several states now disappointingly favoring Biden hard to claim foul everywhere"—and that half of what Trump was saying was "bullshit and damaging.", the documents say."Allan responded that they would prepare "an editorial admiring Trump's achievements in office but urging him to consider the nation and his own legacy as it becomes increasingly clear he has lost office. It is time for acceptance and dignity." Rupert: "That's great. Thanks."  Claims have long circulated that Giuliani drinks excessively, with Trump aide Jason Miller claiming to the Jan. 6 committee that on Election Night 2020 he appeared visibly drunk as he urged Trump to refuse to concede his defeat. Giuliani has denied claims he has a drinking problem, and has also denied claims he was drunk on Election Night, 2020.  Insider has contacted his attorney for comment. Giuliani spearheaded legal efforts to overturn Trump's which were all defeated in court. He is facing a separate lawsuit from Dominion over his promotion of election fraud claims about the company, and has had his New York legal license revoked. Despite the misgivings by Murdoch and his top lieutenants, Giuliani continued to appear on Fox News where he pushed the baseless election fraud claims.  Fox News has disputed the Dominion lawsuit, saying that its right to discuss Trump's election fraud claims because it is protected under the First Amendment. "Dominion's lawsuit has always been more about what will generate headlines than what can withstand legal and factual scrutiny," it said in a statement. "Their summary judgment motion took an extreme, unsupported view of defamation law that would prevent journalists from basic reporting and their efforts to publicly smear Fox for covering and commenting on allegations by a sitting President of the United States should be recognized for what it is: a blatant violation of the First Amendment." .content-lock-lock .hidden { display: none; } Sign up for notifications from Insider! Stay up to date with what you want to know. Subscribe to push notifications Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.

Schumer, Jeffries pressure Murdoch, Fox News over Trump’s false election fraud claims

By |2023-03-01T20:23:32-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries are calling foul on Rupert Murdoch. The top Democrats in Congress sent a letter to Murdoch, urging Fox News leadership "to stop spreading false election narratives." Court papers revealed that Murdoch said some of the anchors on Fox News parroted false election fraud claims in the months after the 2020 election. Members of Rise and Resist participate in their weekly "Truth Tuesday" protest at News Corp headquarters on February 21, 2023 in New York City.  Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images News | Getty Images Two top Democrats in Congress are calling on Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and the leadership of Fox News "to stop spreading false election narratives and admit on the air that they were wrong to engage in such negligent behavior." Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, both Democrats from New York, sent a letter this week to Murdoch and Fox News leadership. The letter comes days after further revelations in Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox Corp. and its TV networks. "As noted in your deposition released yesterday Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other Fox News personalities knowingly, repeatedly, and dangerously endorsed and promoted the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election," the lawmakers wrote in the letter, which was released Wednesday. Trump has repeatedly spread false claims that the election was stolen from him. His attempts to pressure a top official in Georgia to "find" votes for him are the subject of a criminal probe in that state, which Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Earlier this week, Dominion filed court papers that revealed parts of the testimony from Murdoch and other top Fox Corp. leadership. In his deposition, Murdoch acknowledged that some of Fox's top TV hosts endorsed false election fraud claims. When Murdoch was asked if he was "now aware that Fox endorsed at times this false notion of a stolen election," Murdoch responded, "Not Fox, no. Not Fox. But maybe Lou Dobbs, maybe Maria [Bartiromo] as commentators," according to court papers. "Some of our commentators were endorsing it," Murdoch said in his responses regarding election fraud during the deposition. "They endorsed." Murdoch and other top Fox executives also remained close to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott during the election coverage, according to the court papers. A representative for Fox didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. On Monday, when the court papers were filed, a Fox News representative said in a statement that Dominion mischaracterized the facts by cherry-picking soundbites, "When Dominion is not mischaracterizing the law, it is mischaracterizing the facts." Dominion sued the right-wing cable networks, Fox News and Fox Business, and their parent company, arguing the networks and their top anchors made false claims that Dominion's voting machines rigged the results of the 2020 election. Fox News has consistently denied that it knowingly made false claims about the election. In court papers filed in February, the parent company said that the past year of discovery has shown Fox Corp. played "no role in the creation and publication of the challenged statements – all of which aired on either Fox Business Network or Fox News Channel." Murdoch and his son Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, in addition to Fox's chief legal and policy officer, Viet Dinh, and Paul Ryan, the former Republican speaker of the House and a Fox board member, have all been questioned in recent months. The revelations that have come out in court papers in recent weeks stem from months of discovery and depositions. Top Fox TV personalities, including Carlson and Hannity, also faced questioning. The faces of Fox News and Fox Business also expressed disbelief in Sidney Powell, a pro-Trump attorney who aggressively promoted claims of election fraud at the time, according to court papers. Ryan said that "these conspiracy theories were baseless," and that the network "should labor to dispel conspiracy theories if and when they pop up." The lawsuit has been closely watched by First Amendment watchdogs and experts. Libel lawsuits typically focus on one falsehood, but in this case Dominion cites a lengthy list of examples of Fox TV hosts making false claims even after they were proven to be untrue. Media companies are often broadly protected by the First Amendment. Fox News has said in earlier statements, "the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech." A status conference is slated for next week, while the trial is set to begin in mid-April. Read the letter below: Dear Mr. Rupert Murdoch et al: As noted in your deposition released yesterday Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other Fox News personalities knowingly, repeatedly, and dangerously endorsed and promoted the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Though you have acknowledged your regret in allowing this grave propaganda to take place, your network hosts continue to promote, spew, and perpetuate election conspiracy theories to this day. The leadership of your company was aware of the dangers of broadcasting these outlandish claims. By your own account, Donald Trump's election lies were "damaging" and "really crazy stuff." Despite that shocking admission, Fox News hosts have continued to peddle election denialism to the American people. This sets a dangerous precedent that ignores basic journalistic fact-checking principles and public accountability. This is even more alarming after Speaker McCarthy is reportedly allowing Tucker Carlson to review highly sensitive security camera footage of the events surrounding the violent January 6 insurrection. We demand that you direct Tucker Carlson and other hosts on your network to stop spreading false election narratives and admit on the air that they were wrong to engage in such negligent behavior. As evidenced by the January 6 insurrection, spreading this false propaganda could not only embolden supporters of the Big Lie to engage in further acts of political violence, but also deeply and broadly weakens faith in our democracy and hurts our country in countless other ways. Fox News executives and all other hosts on your network have a clear choice. You can continue a pattern of lying to your viewers and risking democracy or move beyond this damaging chapter in your company's history by siding with the truth and reporting the facts. We ask that you make sure Fox News ceases disseminating the Big Lie and other election conspiracy theories on your network. WATCH LIVEWATCH IN THE APP

New study suggests the 2020 election increased alcohol use and decreased sleep

By |2023-03-01T20:23:36-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

People experienced reduced sleep quantity and efficiency coupled with heightened stress, negative mood, and alcohol use in the period surrounding the 2020 election, according to new research published in the journal Sleep Health.“Anecdotally, my experience of politics is that they have become increasingly divisive over the last 10-15 years, and really across my lifetime as a whole. As such, I was personally curious as to whether and how this increased divisiveness affects our emotional well-being and sleep,” said study author Tony Cunningham, a member of the faculty and the director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.“From a scientific perspective, the effect of major socio-political events on aspects of mental health and well-being is one of those things that you would think is well researched but when I looked into the literature it had really only been explored by a few pioneering studies, and ours is the first to associate changes in emotional well-being on Election Day with changes in sleep later on Election Night.”“Finally, the potential for global effects really interested us,” the researcher explained. “As globalization has increased and we have become more and more connected via the internet, we were wondering if the lines between communities and nations may be blurring with regard to the effects of these major event.”The study was conducted as part of a larger investigation into the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that collected data during a period before and after the 2020 U.S. election. The study included both U.S. and non-U.S. residents, with a total of 543 participants ranging in age from 18 to 90.The participants received daily surveys during a period prior to the election (October 1-13) and the days surrounding the election (October 30-November 12). The surveys, which were delivered in the morning, asked the participants to assess their previous night’s sleep by recording their bedtimes, time required to fall asleep, number of awakenings through the night, morning wake time and time spent napping during the day. They also reported the previous night’s alcohol consumption. Mood was assessed using a validated questionnaire as well as questions from a standard depression screening tool.The researchers found that stress levels were consistent for both U.S. and non-U.S. participants during October but increased sharply leading up to and on Election Day, with U.S. participants reporting higher levels of stress than non-U.S. participants. Among U.S. participants, alcohol consumption increased significantly on three specific days: Halloween, Election Day, and November 7. Among non-U.S. participants who drank, in contrast, there was no change in alcohol consumption during November.In addition to increased alcohol use, Election Day also evoked heightened stress and negative affect among U.S. participants, which in turn was associated with reduced sleep amount and efficiency.“The most relatable point might be the association between daytime mood and subsequent sleep,” Cunningham told PsyPost. “We found that worsened mood and emotional well-being during the day correlated with poorer sleep later that evening. While it was associated with the election in this case, this is likely true on a daily basis – when we have bad days we may have poorer sleep at night, though this should be validated with further research.“With regards to future elections though, I think this study speaks to the need to have an awareness of how we and others may be affected during these highly stressful events. While we may feel compelled to stay tuned into all of the news, it may be in the best interest of our sleep and mental health to take a break and engage in some self-care.”The researchers found that stress levels dropped once the election was officially called November 7, among both U.S. participants and non-U.S. participants > However, the changes in stress levels were significantly greater in U.S. participants.“The most surprising thing to me was that this data was part of a larger study investigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep and emotional well-being,” Cunningham said. “While we definitely saw movement in these measures over the course of the pandemic, at no point in our COVID-19 data collection did we see any changes nearly as dramatic as what we saw in the weeks surrounding the election.”“I think this largely speaks to how we perceived the two events: stress related to the pandemic was much more chronic without a clear end in sight (even today), while stress surrounding the election was much more acute.”The results are in line with previous research, which has found that people in the United States tended to report higher levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety in the lead up to the 2020 election. Similar findings have been observed for the 2016 election.But the study, like all research, includes some caveats.“Far and away the biggest limitation of the study is the lack of diversity of the sample,” Cunningham explained. “While we were able to recruit both a U.S. and international sample, a vast majority of the sample was comprised of white, liberal females from the northeastern United States. This study should be conducted with a focus on recruiting a much more diverse sample racially, ethnically, by sex and gender, and across the political spectrum.”“Other questions worth following up on is if sleep behavior leading up to Election Day has an effect on Election Day mood and stress as the relationship between these are thought to be reciprocal. Also this was an investigation on just one major sociopolitical event. It would be interesting to learn more about what features of an event are capable of generating this kind of an effect, especially of global magnitude (e.g., number of people involved, tone, potential implications, etc.)”“The data collection associated with this study also occurred with the backdrop pre-vaccine COVID-19,” Cunningham added. “In line with what we mentioned above, it was actually surprising to see as much movement in these measures as we did given the simultaneous chronic stress we were all experiencing at the time associated with the early days of the pandemic. Future research should definitely follow up to determine how much the context of the pandemic may have affected our results.”The study, “How the 2020 US Presidential election impacted sleep and its relationship to public mood and alcohol consumption“, was authored by Tony J. Cunningham, Eric C. Fields, Dan Denis, PhD, Ryan Bottary, Robert Stickgold, and Elizabeth A. Kensinger.

Democracy expert cites concerns after election denier tapped for House GOP campaign panel

By |2023-03-01T20:23:37-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

A state GOP legislator who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and pushes the lie that the 2020 election was stolen is now helping lead the Michigan House Republicans’ campaign committee, raising concerns from a democracy expert who called the appointment “a warning bell” for Michigan voters. State Rep. Angela Rigas (R-Caledonia) is one of the GOP lawmakers appointed to be an executive member of the campaign committee, the caucus’ leadership panel that works to elect and reelect Republicans to the chamber, House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R-Richland Twp.) announced Feb. 21. Rep. Angela Rigas | Michigan House photo Rigas is an election denier and was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, in support of former President Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden. Rigas — who was endorsed by Trump in her campaign for the 79th House District — has admitted to participating in the rally and claims she was tear-gassed within the Capitol grounds. The riot left five people dead and more than 140 police officers injured. Disproven claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election incited the armed, far-right mob of Trump supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol building two years ago. “In both the 2020 and 2022 elections, Michiganders rejected politicians who denied lawful election results or who distorted facts for political gain,” said Matt Patton, Michigan policy advocate for Protect Democracy. “Appointments like this should be a warning bell for Michigan voters who believe facts matter and that acknowledging clear winners and losers of elections is the bedrock of democracy itself.” Rigas has said that she considers being called an “insurrectionist” and “terrorist” a “compliment,” and believes participants in the insurrection were “exercising their God-given Constitutional rights.” She has also espoused anti-vaccine rhetoric, was involved in rallies protesting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 health orders and is a member of the Michigan House Freedom Caucus that has been combative with new Democratic leadership. House Republicans spokesperson Gus Portela did not respond to an inquiry regarding the optics of having a January 6 participant in the panel’s leadership team. Rigas said in a statement Friday that she is “excited to start my new role as Executive Board member of the House Republican Campaign Committee.” “I’m honored to work with many other great Representatives around the state to make Michigan red in 2024 and ensure we gain a Republican majority and the People’s Chamber,”she added. State Rep. Andrew Beeler (R-Port Huron) was tapped by Hall to lead the HRCC. “We’re going to stop the radical Democrat agenda that seeks to tax families and small businesses into oblivion,” Beeler said Tuesday. Half of incoming Michigan GOP lawmakers are election deniers More members of the HRCC leadership team include state Rep. Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland) in the vice chair role; state Rep. Mike Harris (R-Clarkston) as recruitment chair; state Rep. Jaime Greene (R-Richmond) as recruitment vice chair; state Rep. Graham Filler (R-St. Johns) as finance chair and state Rep. Tom Kunse (R-Clare) as finance vice chair. Rigas is joined by fellow state Reps. Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Twp.), Phil Green (R-Millington), Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville), Pat Outman (R-Six Lakes), John Roth (R-Traverse City), Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills), Matthew Bierlein (R-Vassar), Nancy De Boer (R-Holland), Gina Johnsen (R-Lake Odessa), Thomas Kuhn (R-Troy) and Kathy Schmaltz (R-Jackson) as executive members on the committee. Beeler, Posthumus, Meerman, Outman and Roth have also, in various ways, denied the results of the 2020 election, as the Advance previously reported. SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST. DONATE

Judge Upholds Firing Of Police Officer Who Shot Breonna Taylor | News – BET

By |2023-03-01T18:33:23-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

Former Louisville Metro Police officer Myles Cosgrove will remain terminated, according to a Jefferson County Circuit Court.According to WDRB, Judge Melissa Bellows agreed with Cosgrove’s termination, which was upheld by the Louisville Police Merit Board in December 2021 with a 5-2 vote. Bellows ruled the board had "substantial evidence" to fire Cosgrove and said in a statement, "Even normal citizens must exercise the 'highest degree of care' in ascertaining whether they are shooting at a legitimate target. Cosgrove seems to be arguing that he should be held to a less stringent standard than an ordinary Kentucky resident, despite having considerably more legal privileges. A normal citizen who violated these principles could be subject to criminal liability."Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were in bed when they were startled by a banging on her apartment door around midnight on March 13, 2020. Police, holding a drug warrant, used a battering ram to break down the door. Taylor was killed when Mattingly and two other officers opened fire. Cosgrove reportedly fired 16 shots into Taylor’s apartment.Last year, the U.S. Justice Department prosecutors charged three Louisville cops of conspiring to falsify the Taylor warrant earlier this year. Kelly Goodlett, one of the former officers, pleaded guilty and admitted to aiding in fabricating a false connection between Taylor and a wanted drug dealer. Two other former officers involved in the warrant, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany, are scheduled to go on trial in federal court this year.

Donald Trump Is Trapped by His Own Strategy. That Doesn’t Mean It Won’t Work.

By |2023-03-01T06:28:47-05:00March 1st, 2023|Election 2020|

In his effort to outflank Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida — his most potent challenger-in-waiting for the Republican presidential nomination — Donald Trump goes only in one direction: hard right.At the start of this year, Trump announced his education agenda, declaring that he would issue mandates to “keep men out of women’s sports,” end teacher tenure and cut federal aid to any school system that teaches “critical race theory, gender ideology, or other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content onto our children.”“As the saying goes,” Trump declared, “personnel is policy and at the end of the day if we have pink-haired communists teaching our kids we have a major problem.”Later in January, Trump revealed his “Plan to Protect Children from Left-Wing Gender Insanity,” in which he promised to bring a halt to “gender-affirming care,” to punish doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors, and to pass legislation declaring that “the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female and they are assigned at birth.”“No serious country should be telling its children that they were born with the wrong gender,” Trump declared. “Under my leadership, this madness will end.”At one level, these pronouncements reflect Trump’s determination to prevent DeSantis from outflanking him. On a larger scale, they reveal a predicament facing not only the former president as he seeks renomination in 2024, but the conservative movement in general, including white evangelicals, the Republican Party and Fox News.Trump’s strategy requires him to continue his equivocation on white supremacism and his antisemitic supporters and to adopt increasingly extreme positions, including the “termination” of the Constitution in order to retroactively award him victory in the 2020 election. The more he attempts to enrage and invigorate his MAGA base in the Republican primaries, the more he forces his fellow partisans and conservatives to follow suit, threatening Republican prospects in the coming general election, as demonstrated by the poor showing of Trump clones in the 2022 midterm contests.Questions about the pandemicCard 1 of 4When will the pandemic end?

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