#Elections, #Headlines, #politics, #TheNewz

Scoop: Ben and Jerry jump into battle for the House

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Ben and Jerry want a new flavor in Congress — and they’ll be fighting for it by the pint.

The famous co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, joined by MoveOn.org, announced a contest on Friday to raise awareness for seven Democratic House challengers in districts ranging from the most competitive battlegrounds to long-shot Democratic targets like GOP Rep. Steve King’s seat in Iowa.

The effort — called Ben and Jerry (the people, not the corporation) Take Back Congress, Flavor by Flavor — asks voters to invent ice cream names and flavors inspired by the seven Democratic candidates. Then, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who spearheaded a similar effort for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, will make a limited, homemade batch of each flavor and raffle off the pints to supporters. MoveOn.org will also send fundraising pitches for each of the candidates as part of the contest.

The endorsed candidates include: Jess King, the challenger facing Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.); Ammar Campa-Najjar, who’s running against Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.); Lauren Underwood, who’s challenging Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.); Aftab Pureval, running against Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio); J.D. Scholten, the Democrat facing King in Iowa; James Thompson, who’s running against Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.); and Stephany Rose Spaulding, who’s challenging Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.).

Cohen and Greenfield selected the slate of candidates by focusing on “longshots, up and comers and candidates who might not be given a chance by institutional actors,” said Edward Erikson, a consultant who’s working with Cohen and Greenfield. “They’re all in difficult seats to win, but we want to spread out the map.”

“This is our way of honoring some of the best up and coming progressive champions across the country,” Greenfield said in a statement released with the contest announcement.

Back in 2016, the duo made an ice cream for Sanders, called “Bernie’s Yearning,” featuring a milk chocolate disc covering the top of plain mint ice cream. The disc represented “the huge majority of economic gains that have gone to the top 1% since the end of the recession” and “beneath it, the rest of us,” read a description of the ice cream flavor on the pint, POLITICO reported.

Like the Sanders flavor, the ice cream for the seven House candidates will not be for sale, Erikson said.

Cohen also plans to travel throughout October to several of the districts, including Hunter’s in San Diego and Smucker’s in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to host events with ice cream, but they will not be coordinated with the candidates.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/21/ben-and-jerrys-house-835609

#Elections, #Headlines, #TheNewz, #Women

Poll: Democratic women turbocharged to vote in midterms

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Nearly two-thirds of voters are highly motivated to cast ballots in this November’s midterm election — but no group more than Democratic women, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

Overall, 64 percent are “very motivated” to vote, the poll shows. That is statistically unchanged from the 66 percent who said last month they were very motivated by the midterms, and up from 55 percent back in May.

But as voters begin to lock in their November plans in President Donald Trump’s first midterm election, one key demographic group — Democratic women — is more motivated to vote than all the others.

Seventy-one percent say they are very motivated to vote, more than any other group including Democratic men (63 percent), Republican men (68 percent), Republican women (69 percent), independent men (58 percent) and independent women (51 percent).

The details of which cohorts are more energized form the battle lines for this fall’s midterm elections. And while energized Democratic-leaning women bode well for their party, the full picture is more complicated.

Just as many Republicans (69 percent) overall as Democrats (67 percent) are very energized. And enthusiasm has leveled off after skyrocketing earlier this summer.

“With [fewer] than 50 days until the midterms, our polling shows a modest drop in voter enthusiasm among Democrats and Republicans”, said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s managing director. “Notably, 69 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats said they are very motivated to vote in November, compared to 75 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats who said the same last month.”

Other demographic breakdowns are a mixed bag for both parties. White voters (66 percent) are more energized than African Americans (58 percent) or Hispanics (52 percent). Nonwhite voters are central to Democrats’ hopes in a number of states and congressional districts.

Younger voters are also less enthusiastic. Just 45 percent of voters aged 18-21 are very motivated, compared with 52 percent of millennials (ages 22-37), 60 percent of Generation Xers (38-53) and 74 percent of Baby Boomers (54-72). Among seniors ages 65 and older, 81 percent are very enthusiastic.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows Democrats with a 5-point lead on the generic congressional ballot, 43 percent to 38 percent. That is down slightly from a 10-point lead last week.

The poll was conducted September 13-16 — almost entirely before Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were teenagers growing up in the Washington suburbs. (Just over a third, 34 percent, say the Senate should confirm Kavanaugh, slightly greater than the 30 percent who say Kavanaugh shouldn’t be confirmed. Thirty-six percent of voters are undecided.)

Trump has little political capital to spend on rescuing Kavanaugh’s nomination, the poll suggests. Only 42 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while a 53 percent majority disapproves.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,564 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: https://politi.co/2plKRw6 | Crosstabs: https://politi.co/2xnJpxP

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/19/poll-midterms-2018-women-democrats-828613

#Elections, #Headlines, #ScienceTech, #Security, #TheNewz

This is what Americans think about the state of election security right now

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A wide-ranging new poll yields some useful insight into how worried the average American feels about election threats as the country barrels toward midterms.

The survey, conducted by NPR and researchers with Marist College, polled 949 adult U.S. residents in early September across regions of the country, contacting participants through both landlines and mobile devices. The results are a significant glimpse into current attitudes around the likelihood of foreign election interference, election security measures and how well social media companies have rebounded in the public eye.

Attitudes toward Facebook and Twitter

As the most recent dust settles around revelations that Russia ran influence campaigns targeting Americans on social media platforms, just how much do U.S. voters trust that Facebook and Twitter have cleaned up their acts? Well, they’re not convinced yet.

In response to a question asking about how much those companies had done since 2016 “to make sure there is no interference from a foreign country” in the U.S. midterm elections, 24 percent of respondents believed that Facebook had done either “a great deal” or “a good amount,” while 62 percent believed the company had done “not very much” or “nothing at all.”

When asked the same question about Twitter, only 19 percent thought that the company had made significant efforts, while 57 percent didn’t think the company had done much. Unlike nearly every other question in the broad-ranging survey, answers to this set of questions didn’t show a divide between Republicans and Democrats, making it clear that in 2018, disdain for social media companies is a rare bipartisan position.

When it comes to believing what they read on Facebook, only 12 percent of voters had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence that content on the platform is true, while 79 percent expressed “not very much confidence” or none at all. Still, those numbers have perked up slightly from polling in 2018 that saw only 4 percent of those polled stating that they were confident in the veracity of content they encountered on Facebook.

Midterm perspectives

In response to the question “Do you think the U.S. is very prepared, prepared, not very prepared or not prepared at all to keep this fall’s midterm elections safe and secure?,” 53 percent of respondents felt that the U.S. is prepared while 39 percent believed that it is “not very prepared” or not prepared at all. Predictably, this question broke down along party lines, with 36 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Republicans falling into the “prepared” camp (51 percent of independents felt the U.S. is prepared).

An impressive 69 percent of voters believed that it was either very likely or likely that Russia would continue to “use social media to spread false information about candidates running for office” during the midterm elections, suggested that voters are moving into election season with a very skeptical eye turned toward the platforms they once trusted.

When it came to hacking proper, 41 percent of respondents believed that it was very likely or likely that “a foreign country will hack into voter lists to cause confusion” over who can vote during midterm elections, while 55 percent of respondents said that hacked voter lists would be not very likely or not at all likely. A smaller but still quite significant 30 percent of those polled believed that it was likely or very likely that a foreign country would “tamper with the votes cast to change the results” of midterm elections.

Election security pop-quiz

Political divides were surprisingly absent from some other questions around specific election security practices. Democrats, Republicans and independent voters all indicated that they had greater confidence in state and local officials to “protect the actual results” of the elections and trusted federal officials less, even as the Department of Homeland Security takes a more active role in providing resources to protect state and local elections.

A few of the questions had a right answer, and happily most respondents did get a big one right. Overall, 55 percent of voters polled said that electronic voting systems made U.S. elections less safe from “interference or fraud” — a position largely backed by election security experts who advocate for low-tech options and paper trails over vulnerable digital systems. Only 31 percent of Democrats wrongly believed that electronic systems were safer, though 49 percent of Republicans trusted electronic systems more.

When the question was framed a different (and clearer) way, the results were overwhelmingly in favor of paper ballots — a solution that experts widely agree would significantly secure elections. Indeed, 68 percent of voters thought that paper ballots would make elections “more safe” — an attitude that both Republican and Democratic Americans could get behind. Unfortunately, legislation urging states nationwide to adopt paper ballots has continued to face political obstacles in contrast to the wide support observed in the present poll.

On one last election security competence question, respondents again weighed in with the right answer. A whopping 89 percent of those polled correctly believed that online voting would be a death knell for U.S. election security — only 8 percent said, incorrectly, that connecting elections to the internet would make them more safe.

For a much more granular look at these attitudes and many others, you can peruse the poll’s full results here. For one, there’s more interesting stuff in there. For another, confidence — or the lack thereof — in U.S. voting systems could have a massive impact on voter turnout in one of the most consequential non-presidential elections the nation has ever faced.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/AWuKoQ-IASM/

#Elections, #Headlines, #Healthcare, #People, #politics, #TheNewz

Ocasio-Cortez: My proposals aren’t ‘pie in the sky’

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New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended an ambitious slate of policy proposals Sunday, casting the various planks of her Democratic Socialist agenda as long-term investments that would pay dividends for future generations of Americans.

“What we need to realize is that these investments are better and they are good for our future,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“These are generational investments,” she said. “They’re not short-term Band-Aids, but they are really profound decisions about who we want to be as a nation and how we want to act as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.”

Ocasio-Cortez in June ousted 10-term incumbent congressman and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley in his Queens and Bronx-based district’s Democratic primary. Since that astonishing win, the 28-year-old former Bernie Sanders organizer has become the face of a groundswell of progressive candidates in 2018 to challenge longtime Democratic lawmakers for their seats. Some have other won; others, such as New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, have fallen short.

Pressed on Sunday by Jake Tapper on how the U.S. government would fund a federal jobs guarantee, Medicare-for-all, tuition-free public college and other programs that could cost roughly $40 trillion over the next decade, Ocasio-Cortez insisted she was not blind to the “political realities” of enacting her platform.

“They don’t always happen with just the wave of a wand. But we can work to make these things happen,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“These systems are not just pie in the sky. They are, many of them are accomplished by every modern civilized democracy in the Western world,” she added.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/16/ocasio-cortez-democrats-progressives-825777

#Elections, #Headlines, #politics, #TheNewz

Jimmy Carter urges Democrats to ‘appeal to independents’

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The 93-year-old former president underscored the complicated calculations for Democrats as they prepare for the midterms

Jimmy Carter has issued a warning to his fellow Democrats looking to oust the Trump administration: Don’t go too far to the left.

“Independents need to know they can invest their vote in the Democratic party,” the former US president said in an annual address he gives at his post-presidential center and library in Atlanta.

Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/12/jimmy-carter-democrats-midterms-advice-progressives-independents