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Hello from the Lincoln Project and welcome back, I'm Ron Saslow. It's time for another State of the vote episode where once per week we bring you an update on the national political map as voters around the country begin casting their ballots. This election is unlike any other in history because of the record number of ballots that are being cast by mail. So although we're conditioned to think that Election Day is a one time event that happens on one day of the year, people are voting right now.


In fact, mail in ballots have already started being sent in key states like Florida and Georgia and Minnesota, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Texas and Wisconsin and dozens more. And this week, ballots will be mailed in California, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and South Carolina. Joining me today is Lincoln Project co-founder and former political director of the California Republican Party, Mike Madrid. Mike, it is so great to have you on again.


It's always good to be here. Let's do it again, as well as political strategist, former campaign manager for Joe Walsh's primary challenge to Donald Trump, a former senior political adviser and communications director of the Goldwater Institute, and an Arizona native, Lucy Caldwell. Lucy, I'm so glad you could join us today. Thanks, Ron. It's great to be here with you guys. So let's start with mail in ballots which are out in over half the states in the country.


Mike, before we dig in to the state specific stuff, what are the trends we're seeing on the national map that voters should be watching right now?


Well, the first thing to keep in mind is as of the taping of this show, there's been over 600000 ballots cast in the US presidential election. So as much as we've been reminding people that there really is no Election Day anymore, there's really an election month. We're now going to start seeing exponential rates of numbers start popping up as all of these other states come online to 600000 quite a bit. I mean, there's going to be probably one hundred and fifty million votes cast by November three.


But, you know, every day is going to be a big, big, big chunk of that. So the election is happening in real time. And we've got to be mindful that there's a record number of requests for absentee ballots. Twenty seven states have expanded, but by mail in one way, shape or form. And where it's here, it's upon us to heroin. Yeah. And so as these numbers start coming in, in huge waves, what are we looking for and in what states just broadly?


Well, you're looking for a couple of things. The first is you're going to be looking for the number of absentee ballot requests, which is generally a sign of enthusiasm or interest in the race. The second is what you're looking for is a partisan split, which we know is going to break pretty heavily for the Democrats this time, which, again, is kind of anomalous. You know, a 20, 30 year trend here. And then, of course, as we get deeper into the election cycle and with only 39 days, that's kind of a funny thing to say.


But you'll start looking at the number of returns that are cast, right? You don't want just ballots sitting out there. Campaigns will be chasing those that are still sitting out there. But the main kind of enthusiasm is requests and then returns. And when they are returned, we have been talking about and campaigns have been conditioned people to vote early, quickly. When you get the ballot, turn it around because of the post office challenges and some of the narrative that the president's been putting out there.


Right. OK, let's take a look at North Carolina for just a minute, because we talked about North Carolina right after the ballots were mailed. Can you talk a little bit about what early returns we're seeing in that state in particular, what they mean?


Yeah, we look at North Carolina because it's the first state to begin voting by absentee ballot. We mentioned that about a previous podcast. There have been one million absentee ballot requests, which is a huge number. To put that in perspective, the number of ballots cast from absentee at this time in 2016 was eleven thousand one hundred and thirty seven. Today, that number sits at two hundred three thousand and fifty five, which is I mean, that's just it's like inconceivable the size the significance of how big it is and how big it's got.


So, yeah, enormous size of they're breaking at least with the returns, three to one favoring the Democrat, Joe Biden. That's not terribly surprising. We will see an equal and commensurate high turnout on the day of election voters. So, again, we're seeing two different types of elections happening. North Carolina is a perfect example of that. The ASMs off the chart, absentee ballot requests off the chart, returns off the chart, three to one break for the Dems, going to keep growing exponentially until November 3rd, at which point in time the partisan split will completely change 180 degrees.


We'll see a massive influx of Republicans going to the polls. And that is a perfect example of what you've described earlier. North Carolina is a perfect example of what you've described several times before on the podcast about how it's going to look like Trump wins on election night. And then day by day, as the count matures, we will see a massive shift. Toward Joe Biden, that's because that's because of the demography of who's voting how right. And the good news is we're starting to see the overall media start to talk about this and educate people more about being patient, about the fact it's going to take a couple of days and perhaps most importantly, the fact that the president is going to be communicating and messaging into this environment between the count and the count on November 3rd and the daily ballot count that comes up from absentees claiming that the election is being stolen.


And then all the shenanigans that we are already seeing happening in real time to start preventing these ballots from being counted. I want to take some time now to talk about Arizona, Lucy. They are set to start voting in early October. Do you want to set the stage by talking a little bit about what the demographics and trends in Arizona are before we talk about Cindy McCain?


Yeah, absolutely. So I think that one thing that sometimes gets lost about Arizona is that it is a far more purple state than people realize. And it actually is not only becoming more so demographically, but has been a state that has not ever been kind of hyper partisan in the way that some people might think. We had Janet Napolitano as governor in twenty eighteen Arizonans elected Kyrsten Sinema over Martha McSally, whom we like to remind people has never actually won a Senate, never actually been elected in Arizona.


But so I think that Arizona is a place that is changing. I think it sometimes gets kind of a bad rap, because when we do crazy, we do crazy really big. We do SB 10, 70, Crazy Joe Arpaio crazy. But the truth is that there are a lot of indicators and there are a lot of reasons that we've seen extremes like that in Arizona. But there are a lot of indicators that it's becoming bluer and bluer all the time.


So in 2010, just 10 years ago, Arizona went in hard for that Tea Party wave and they had in the state house, you know, something like 40 Republicans in the House to 20 Democrats and like 20 Republicans to nine Democrats, super proof majority, veto proof majority. And now they barely have a they barely have a majority in the House and a comfortable by a smaller one in the Senate. And they're going to lose at least one of those.


I think I think that when you look at Arizona, you have to realize that all the votes are in Maricopa County. That's where Phoenix is. It's where it's where all 10 Scottsdale is for tourist goers. But that's also the area that is experiencing the biggest growth. It was the biggest growing county in the country last year. And so I think that people think of Arizona as like this really hard red state that's in a shift. But the shift has been going on for a long for a long time.


Yeah, that shift, Mike, is something we've talked about a couple of times before, so I want to take a quick detour. Why don't you talk about that, the shift that's happening in the Sunbelt and then we're going to come back and talk about Cindy McCain in just a moment. So the Sun Belt states all have a couple of key characteristics, and that is they are, as Lucy just pointed out very eloquently, they're undergoing some rather dramatic demographic transformations that are happening really in two significant areas.


But there's a couple of other demographics that seem to make them work for a more centrist type of politics. The first is these economies that Lucy, again, was talking about in Maricopa County. This is like Scottsdale, even Mesa. They're they're now centered and anchored with these new tech oriented, high skilled worker economies. And a lot of the people that are moving there are white collar younger, more frankly, progressive, maybe not in the ideological sense, but certainly more centrist and less partisan perspective than what Arizona stereotypically used to be conceived as.


And that's not particular to Arizona. That's what's happening in Texas. We like Austin in the Houston suburbs and Dallas Fort Worth. Same things are happening in Maricopa County and it's happening to the entire Sunbelt. And it's why we at the Lincoln Project have doubled down on this new Southern strategy. Right. This Sunbelt ties in very nicely with this changing younger, more forward thinking and aspirational new economy worker. You also have a large number of Latino voters, right.


That are growing rather exponentially throughout the Southwest, specifically, of course, in the Georgias, which is now in play as well. And the North Carolina is it's an African-American vote. You couple that with seniors, a lot of snowbirds in Arizona, as we call them, and retirees through warmer climates throughout the south, particularly hard hit by covid. And Arizona again is spiking again. Right. Arizona had one of the worst hard hit states because of the mismanagement of the pandemic by not only Donald Trump, but Doug Deucy, the governor of Arizona.


We're seeing those numbers really jump off the charts again. We're going to have another bad spike speaks directly to the sixty five plus demographic. You add all three of those suburban college white, high tech workers, Latinos. Sixty five plus. You've got the perfect recipe for a shift away from a hard red ruby red states to a more centrist politics. And we know that that is what's moving. The demographic you're talking about are these Cauvin? Yeah, that's the covid specifically.


That's the most the biggest change with sixty five plus. But again, what this is saying is exactly right. Arizona's been changing for many years. Right. Napolitano was the Governor Arpaio who was kind of the right route to the right of Attila the Hun Lefler. Whoever you want to talk about, you know, lost in Maricopa County. Right. And was defeated in twenty in the same year that Trump wins, Katherine Sinema wins in the twenty eighteen midterms.


Yeah, this is a trend. It's not a one off. These weren't anomalies. There is a movement away and you can kind of see it historically. And there's every expectation that you've got two plus three point eight in Arizona with the with the polling averages. This is very seriously, I think, going to be a bellwether state. I think it's like the new Ohio. Arizona is a really fascinating place now, electorally now as fascinating.


And Lucy, you and I were talking recently about the surprising number of anti Trump Republicans in Arizona compared to other states. And and last week, Cindy McCain finally formally endorsed Joe Biden for president. So can you explain the importance of John McCain in Arizona as someone who represented the state in the Senate for thirty one years? And then how much is Cindy McCain's support for Joe Biden going to impact the election in Arizona?


Yeah, so I think that it impacts it more than people might realize in some ways and less than others. I think that in terms of because of some of the things we've talked about, I think that Arizona Republicans are not as tight of a coalition as one might think. Even during the heyday of John McCain and John Kyl in the Senate, they were still at constant odds with the Arizona Republican Party, the county party in Maricopa County. And so infighting among among Republicans is pretty typical in such a way that I'm not sure that anyone who's, you know, rock read is going to really give a damn about Cindy McCain's endorsement.


I think at the same time, Arizonans have a huge amount of pride in the idea of being free thinking maverick sort of people. I think Arizonans love the story of how when Nixon was on the verge of being impeached and ultimately resigned, it was Barry Goldwater and John Rhodes who went to that at the time, the minority leader who who went to Nixon and said, this is abominable and you need to get the hell out. And so I think that that independent streak is really important.


I'm not sure if anyone who was going to vote for Trump is now going to go vote for Biden because of Cindy McCain's endorsement. I think McCain made it pretty clear how he felt about about Trump over the years. I do think that it could. I do think it could cause people who feel like they want to be good, upstanding Republicans to stay home or not participate. And I know that that piece is often uncomfortable to talk about. But it's not just that we want disaffected Republicans to go pull the lever for Biden.


If you can't do it, then stay home. That's also exercising your vote.


So I think that those are the kinds of things that we could see at play because of an endorsement like this. I mean, there have been other endorsements that are probably as important, like the endorsement by Jeff Flake and some others. So interesting stuff afoot in in Arizona. And it's true. There are a lot of people who have been not just McCain alums, but Jan Brewer alums and other members of the large Mormon community in Arizona who are thought of as being part of a Republican stronghold.


A lot of folks, some who've come out publicly, some who haven't, but a lot of folks working behind the scenes in a way that that when I first realized that, I found even surprising. Yeah.


Mike, what's your take on this? Especially the Mormon community there, which we've talked about a bit recently, especially in light of that that community being key to the Spencer Cox upset in in the Utah primary, right?


Yeah. Look, there's Lucy, as usual. Hit it right on the head. Arizona has been by far the most active grassroots Lincoln Project State, and they all came to us deep in Arizona.


That's right. And a true Arizona maverick style. They kind of create their own little narrow lane and they're like, well, this is what we want to say and this is what we're going to do. And we're like, we'll have at it. However, we can help resource and make it more effective. So you've got very active, probably six or seven different groups and organizations led by different individuals, some who we work closely with and some who we don't even know that are just like we're Republicans, we're conservatives.


We're not voting for this guy in a different way.


And it's like having an example of someone like that, Mike. And I know that you've spoken with him and been in touch with someone like Bob Worthley, who is a guy who was a entrepreneur who started Schemozzle back in the day. Remember how we used to shop on airplanes? And he is a well known prominent Mormon businessman who was also very involved in the Latino community in Arizona. And in between twenty, twenty ten and twenty twelve, when he thought all the crazy stuff that was happening with SB 10, 70, etc.


, he decided to recall and then primary Russell Pearce. Right. And ended and then served in the Senate for many years. And he came out last month and said Trump does not speak for Mormons. Mike Pence had gone to Arizona and was having a Mormon Serpens event, and Bob put up his hand and said, no, you don't speak for us. And he has organized you publicly hundreds of prominent Mormon businessmen. And I think that I mention him in part because I think that's an example of a guy who I think was engaged in something ten years ago around this horrible draconian immigration law and getting rid of Russell Pearce.


That was in some ways for Arizona in a similar episode to getting rid of a scorched like Donald Trump, Maricopa County got rid of Joe Arpaio. So Arizonans are comfortable with changing their minds and rejecting folks that maybe we realize were a bridge too far.


And Senator Grassley has been in touch with us. And you're exactly right. He's he's the consummate Arizonan, a Mormon, very, very well respected in the community. We've met with him a number of times. And he's like, look, we can get thousands of Mormons. I mean, the network in the Mormon community is is extraordinary. And again, this is base Republican vote. Yeah. This is like, you know, this is the soft areso these are this is the Republican base.


And that debate is happening. And we have spoken offline, too, just because I'm interested. In fact, I lived in Arizona for a couple of years, twenty five years ago. And we kind of I was reminiscing a little bit, talking about the Mormon family, the Mormon community. And, you know, he was saying, look, I've got five kids. Two of them are Trump voters. Two of them are Biden voters. And the other one is I'm still working on it.


So this is not easy for anybody.


But there is. A strong more than any other Christian community that I have seen a strong contingency of Mormons in Utah, as you mentioned, in Nevada. In Montana. Absolutely. In Arizona that are standing up and saying, no, I'm ready to be counted on a different side of this and I can't do it and I won't do it. Some are for Biden, some are not. But a lot of them are just saying I'm not of Donald Trump.


Before we leave Arizona, I want to look at three key voter groups there, which are Republican voters, college educated white voters and Hispanic voters, and you touched on this a little bit just just a few minutes ago. But according to a New York Times CNN poll, which came out last week, Trump had an 11 percent job disapproval rating among GOP voters in Arizona, 52 percent disapproval rating for white, college educated voters, which is the demographic you've been telling us all along, is the one that's moving the most and 63 percent disapproval among Hispanic voters.


So how critical have those groups been in the past and how important will these groups be in determining who wins Arizona in 2020? So let's talk about college educated voters first. Donald Trump in 2016 got 34 percent nationally of the college educated white vote as a historical low. Those numbers dropped much further in twenty eighteen when people realized that those are people who held their nose like, OK, I'll vote for Donald Trump because he's a Republican, maybe goes into the role maybe like like a president.


When it became clear that he was not bought it, they took it home, they unwrapped it and did not like what they saw.


They're like, oh, no, that really is what he was saying. This is the guy. And that is where you saw the hemorrhaging in the Republican base in twenty eighteen and why that was such a significant blue wave in the midterm elections. OK, those numbers, we believe, have gotten lower, even lower than that, that you're seeing some of that with a negative nine. I think you just said that the Republican voters I think many of the listeners have heard us talk about the Bannon line, which is four percent.


That's the goal that we at the Lincoln Project have have been looking to get. If we if we get four percent of Republican voters to abandon Donald Trump, we think that we're at a pretty good spot. We're at a plus nine right now, more than double that in Arizona, by the way. We're at least double that in most states, with the exception of North Carolina. We're still at about we're still very close to even. So we're fighting hard in North Carolina, but we've moved numbers and a lot of these other states.


The other demographics that you're talking about is Hispanic voters. What you're seeing and you may have heard the news the past couple of weeks that the hemorrhaging Hispanic voters. It is true, but that's primarily Cubans in Miami-Dade. And there is a little bit of an upward tick in Hispanic males, us born under 40 that are a little bit Trumpy. And there they actually are beginning to mirror their white cohorts, noncollege educated males under 40. It's less sticky.


They can be moved back. But there is, I think, some sign of either assimilative tendencies on the part of of Hispanic Americans and just kind of general anxiety, just overall economic anxiety, which is not an excuse for his cultural and social behaviors. But it's there. You've got to admit it. So they're a little bit more susceptible to cross pressures then than probably their white cohort? Actually, much more. But they are moving there until they're corrected back.


Right, right. Right. White collar white men tend to be more all about white identity, grievance politics. You've got Hispanics that are kind of on the fence going, well, I'm not really like the undocumented that he's railing on. Like, that's not my community. But I also have a little bit of sensitivity to it. I understand it. And so they're kind of like going, well, what does that mean for the economic conditions of where I'm at my job?


I'm not writing code for a living. I'm not you know, my job is an hourly warehouse job. What do I do here? Yeah. And once we start making a lot of those cultural pills, we start to correct it and bring them back away from Trump. But there's a little bit of a little bit of bait there that that they're starting to take. Yeah. So I want to do one more thing before we leave Arizona and then talk about our B.G. as well before we do this episode.


So looking at the Senate in Arizona, that same New York Times poll showed Mark Kelly up over Martha McSally, six percent of GOP voters, 52 percent of white college educated voters and 57 percent of Hispanic voters all support Mark Kelly over McSally. Lucy, how should we be thinking about the Senate race in Arizona within the context of the whole Senate and the presidential election there?


Well, first of all, Martha McSally is just a complete train wreck of a candidate, and she could not be less bears repeating.


She could not be less attuned to her audience. She is like a master class in someone going to Washington and hiring staff of maybe one time went to the state for spring training and just have no clue what they're doing. So her strategy has been to go all in for Trump, and that is turning out to be a really, really stupid strategy. And so in addition to all the aforementioned stuff about how Arizonans are quite comfortable with voting for people of multiple parties on the same ballot and quite comfortable with maverick candidates, they also, you know, she at the same time, her whole stack has been I'm this.


Female fighter pilot, I'm a fighter pilot and then poor thing, she finds herself running against an astronaut.


So I would say that one of the things that is I think so appealing about Mark R. Kelly and I think people know that he's the husband of Gabby Giffords, a beloved Arizona congresswoman, Democrat from Tucson, who was the victim of that shooting about a decade ago and has been a person that Arizonans have gotten to know because of his, how he stood by his wife and his advocacy work. I think that when I talk to my relatives in Arizona and friends in Arizona who vote there, I think that in addition to having that comfort level with bouncing back between Dems and R's, I think that there there is a sense that the progressive left in Washington maybe doesn't understand the anxieties that they have anxieties about the border, anxieties about the economy, but that there's also a lot of ugly toxicity coming out of Republicans.


And so someone like Mark Kelly is a perfect candidate for them because he already has a much longer tenure and relationship with Arizonans than Martha McSally does. And he's a business guy. He's friendly with all the Chamber of Commerce groups. He's a person who has done business in Arizona. And so I think that it's a it's a good indicator of where that race is headed. I don't think it's actually nearly as connected to the presidential race as people may think, because you see a much, much bigger split among among people in terms of how they feel about the mixed race versus the Biden Trump race.


But but I do think that the motivation of voters to engage in that race is super, super interesting. And Arizona is going to wind up with two Democrat senators for the first time in many, many, many, many decades. It's really this is the land of Goldwater. But Barry Goldwater, I think, would be rolling in his grave over the state of the current Republican Party anyway.


Mike, we've spoken a lot about the way states process and count absentee ballots, particularly we focused on Florida because they're different from the Rust Belt, which is far less prepared to do their absentee ballot counting ahead of time. But Florida has been doing this for a while. So they're going to be more prepared on election night to report the counts for those mail in ballots than some of the other states. And in Florida, you know, obviously is contentious in every major presidential election.


But this year is going to be extremely important on election night because it will give us a signal as to what we can expect in the days to follow. How important is the process in Arizona and what is that going to be like compared to the other states? Let me walk you through some of it really briefly. In Arizona, absentee ballots will begin getting mailed on October the 7th. Absentee ballots will begin getting processed and counted. We've talked about the difference of those on October the 20th, so they do have an early count process.


They will actually start counting. And so you can then expect an early result, of course, being closer to the West Coast Pacific Time Zone. It's it's going to be as early as Florida, North Carolina, but it will be earlier by most standards. Here's the thing, though. Everyone can vote by mail and the state will be mailing absentee ballot applications to all active voters. So not at the ballot itself, but the ballot request. OK, so this is a significant departure.


OK, and so you will see a much larger vote by mail in Arizona than you have ever seen before. How much? We don't know, but it's probably going to be considerably larger. OK, but again, with an early count and an early processing. You will you will see a larger e-mail request, larger male vote and a earlier count than most Western states.


I thought an estimate today that something like over 80 percent of of voters in Arizona have already requested a mail in ballot. This is a fact check that I thought and I think on a Republic piece. So Arizona is very used to voting by mail. Already there are a couple of other pieces of good news. One, both the Maricopa County recorder, which again is where all the votes are, as well as the Arizona secretary of state, which is the body that oversees elections in Arizona, are Democrats.


And the Arizona secretary of state has made available a tool for Arizonans where they can log in and check the status of their ballot after October 7th about whether their ballot has been counted. And the Maricopa County recorder's office, I understand, has also made a tool like this available. Arizonans are not only used to voting by mail, but they're also used to what the process is if you don't send your ballot in in time. And so lots of experience among Arizona voters of mailing if they don't mail it instead of send of walking their ballot in that day.


And that may end up being an option. A lot of people exercise because then you skip the line. There are also, of course, it's early in-person voting. The one other thing I want to tell you about that is just blew my mind in Arizona is that and I've read a lot of YouGov polling, so I just think they're very good. Is that they asked I think a week ago, actually, sometime in the last week, they were figuring out, OK, how motivated are these people to vote of folks to?


And it was the kind of split that you'd expect. It was like forty seven percent, five and forty four percent. Trump six percent not sure. Then they asked each group. How likely they would be to vote for someone else other than the person that they had chosen, so they said to people who said, I won't vote for Biden, would you consider voting for someone? Would you consider voting for Biden? Eight percent of people said yes.


In other words, I would vote for Biden, 11 percent said maybe. Then they asked the reverse. They asked people who had said they would absolutely not vote for Trump. Would you consider changing your mind, in other words, by inferring Biden voters, Trump voters, whatever. And only three percent of people who had said they were not voting for Trump said that they would consider it at nine percent, that maybe so you have like a two X margin there of that, because I think there's been a lot of worry there about how strong is the support.


And to me, that was a good indicator that fascinating.


I'm going to send that over to check that stuff out. I think if you're using a standard prognosticator of enthusiasm for the candidates, I think you're making a mistake in twenty twenty because so much of this is just anti Trump vote.


Yeah, there's so many people have been waiting for four years for this election that you're not shaking anybody off. And we've talked a little bit about what the convention means or what the debates mean and the historic stratification of this race. I just think it's baked. It's cooked in. I'm not going to say that there isn't room for movement. There is, but it's very, very de minimus. Yeah. People know there's nothing you can do anymore that's going to shock people about Donald Trump.


They see it. They know it. They smell it. They're pissed about it. They're going to show up.


They're going to vote.


So how do you see this playing out and impacting the election, given that the Supreme Court vacancy is going to be filled very likely by a hypocritical Republican caucus in the Senate, that doesn't really give a damn about precedent or what they said before about seating a justice this close to an election?


Yeah, so I don't get mad. I think that we're experiencing a little bit of an emperor has no clothes moment for those of us who are hardcore, never Trump. And I'll tell you why I think that a few years ago and I think about this when I think about how last year when I was running this primary campaign of Joe Walsh and I was trying to convince people who still identified as Republicans and participated in Republican primaries to participate. A lot of the questions were things like, well, what about conservative judges, what about the judges?


And so our line would be, of course, we want conservative judges, but Trump is so toxic and the Senate is such broad that we will forego that to not lose our democracy. And so there is a read of this here, which is sort of like, well, isn't this kind of a great outcome then? Right, because you are going to get that conservative judge. Right.


And push Trump out the door maybe moments later. Right. And so I think the fact that many of us and I share this view have have said the vacancy should not be filled until later. And Republican senators are hypocrites. It's like, yeah, what else? Yeah. Tell me something I don't know. It's been fun to see Lindsey Graham squirm. I think that it could have an impact on the Graham Harrison race. I think the money he raised last Friday night was unbelievable.


I think it's really interesting to think about in terms of the McSally Kelly race, because, Kelly, because of how Martha McSally went into her Senate seat, Kelly could actually be seated early and make a huge difference. But I have seen I guess I think the verdict is out, but I do worry in some ways. Yes, it could make, I think, the kinds of people who feel so angry and go to the polls over this, we're already going.


But there is a I think, an ever so slight risk of people who are kind of flirting with ridin with Biden to think like a bridge too far if it's not. So I tend to think electorally in some ways. It's just better to have the Band-Aid ripped off and have it felt. That is the kind of you'll see the kind of bump then that you saw maybe after the cabinet hearings in those midterms. So I think it probably if we just put aside the mike for a minute, that you're saying, I think a new justice being named I before the election.


And I asked Professor Aune probably saying last week or by rechanneling uncertainty who are here with us. But I'm really wondering because we know historically that the Democrats don't vote on the court. Right. It's not something that animates them. It doesn't turn them out. It just hasn't. But it does for conservatives. Right. It has historically been one of the biggest turnout motivators for conservatives. So as as we're thinking about the dynamics at play in the races in the battleground states right now, how do you think this vacancy and whether or not it's filled right now and by whom is going to impact these races?


That's a great question. And first, let me start by saying, as we're taping this, the announcement just came out, but Amy Barrett will be the nominee.


Oh, so I say that just because, yeah, I got my finger on the pulse of.


But that but that changes the that changes the dynamic, too, right. Is now we're into now who. Now we know who. And that will become the focus of the energy and the combatants on both sides of this politically. And I bring that up because it is important to understand that this is going to come and go in waves depending. Right. So we were just a few minutes ago talking about what the vacancy meant. What does it mean to people?


You saw enormous sums of money being thrown by Democrats largely who were animated by this. And how could they? That was a wave. Now, this next week coming up, you're going to see another wave, a different wave. And it's going to I think ultimately what loosely articulated is probably the most likely scenario. I think that there's a net benefits to this, because really, just as a matter of timing and unfortunate timing, obviously by losing a justice and an iconic one at that, it really is focusing the minds of Democrats at a time where they're not animated by this as an issue.


We all know that conservatives, you know, lose sleep at night thinking about the court. Right. You know, that's just not the way Democrats they're just not motivated by. But they are now and this close to the election with a hearing that is coming up. And my guess it's going to be a very truncated, you know, process. I certainly Econolodge that we're going have one day of hearings and they're going to put the vote up on Tuesday and not put his members of his caucus up to any more danger than they already know that's going to cause.


Right. Because we do know again, let's take it back to this white, college educated suburban women. This is this is a real decision here. We're talking about literally the end probably of Roe versus Wade, very highly likely, and the Affordable Care Act. Right. To measures that poll, that poll very well with college educated suburban white Republican women. These numbers are good numbers for for support for both of those decisions, for both of these issues.


And when you take that away in a very real, meaningful way within a month of an election, yeah, there's going to be a price to be paid. The question is how much? Right. And that's what we'll be debating over the course of the next couple of weeks. But I think it's going to happen very fast. I think this nomination will be put up for there will be a day of hearings. The Democrats will say you're not actually vetting this right.


The battlefield will be very condensed and McConnell will move on.


That's so fascinating that Barrett is the choice. I mean, I guess it's not fascinating. It's predictable, but that really is going to piss off white suburban women. And I think we often confuse data about how people feel about abortion versus how people feel about Roe v. Wade. And I looked this up the other day when Tom Cotton tweeted something stupid about the Supreme Court, which is that last year, a Pew survey found that over 70 percent of Americans actually, not just women, oppose overturning Roe v.


Wade. So that's very out of step with mainstream Americans and angry suburban and well-educated women definitely turn out so. To vote, that's a really interesting distinction that we never really drill into because it's a really good point. Roe v Wade versus abortion and attitudes on both of those being different, very different. They are. But both of them, keep in mind, leave far enough margin to be to get us past the ban. Right.


I'm interested in four percent. If it's if it's not that more than four percent say you're in trouble. Yeah. To me, again, I've looked at it very myopically. If it's moving the numbers just on the margins, it could create a tectonic shift in the electoral map.


OK, the one follow up question I have to this piece of the conversation is, does this or is there is there any way that the Trump campaign can use can use this? Can they potentially hold out the confirmation until after the election? I think of my question is, can they change the nature of the election, at least in their messaging, in their rhetoric from being a a referendum on Donald Trump, which is a chaos candidate, a referendum on?


I won't I'm not going to say mismanagement or incompetence around covid, because we now know that it was malice that he intentionally lied and over two hundred thousand Americans are now dead as a result of that, that he is killing us.


But can they use this to transform the nature of the campaign of the election from a referendum to a choice? And does there's a choice campaign, a choice election become easier, easier for him to to win the demographics that we're talking about and ultimately carry the battleground states versus a referendum election?


My immediate reaction is no, because it's so baked in who Donald Trump is. What I will say is this. I think Amy Barrett is now his running mate in a way that Mike Pence is or is not right. This is real. This isn't abstract anymore. We're going to see her. We're going to talk about her. We're going to she's going to completely dominate the airwaves for the next couple of weeks. And in a real sense, she's going to personify.


Yeah. Trump ism. Yeah. To a lot of especially and low propensity voters who are paying attention for the first time and now they voted in 2016. And so I think that, again, I think that's a net negative for Donald Trump. I don't think that helps him. His base knows the reason why she was the nominee, by the way, is because so much so many, I should say, of the Republicans and the Republican establishment, as it exists under Donald Trump wants this pick.


The right political pick, frankly, would be Lagoa, right? Would be, you know, the Cuban-American woman to kind of work on locking up the Cuban vote and start putting Florida out of out of out of reach here. The choice of Amy Barrett really, I think, is about who he's got to placate in the hierarchy of the Republican Party as much as the grassroots activists are both very conservative women.


This is about we want we want Amy, going back to the purpose of this episode, which is to talk about voting and what's happening in the states. This is all happening as the vote is just beginning to really take off. And so so as massive waves of voters begin filling out their mail in ballots, the absentee ballots, which is going to be where most of the ballots are cast in this election, at the same time, we now have a couple of weeks worth of super intense media coverage ahead of us about Amy CONI Barrett.


And I think you're going to start to see some really big lines forming with early voting states. You know, we saw some of that in Virginia on the first day. They opened up three hundred and fifty people deep and then kind of moderates and has ebbed a little bit. I think you're going to see a pretty big spike of women in the suburbs showing up and taken out at the ballot.


Yeah, I think that Barrett is definitely to placate the hardcore evangelical base that has hung with him. I think you're right, Mike, that she becomes the best antidote to Harris. I hope I don't. I've thought a lot about what? About the lame duck session scenario. I think it just breaks down because it really would just come down to a a Senate make up of it in either scenario. But let's assume a Biden win and then a Senate that tries to ram through a court appointee.


One, you have some of these wild cards, like a Mark Kelly maybe being seated. But you also have probably been a lot of Republicans who are trying to turn the page on Trump and get out unscathed. And his nominee would be so, so just tied up with him because of those things you just mentioned, Mike. And so I don't see that happening because, again, part of why they all have fallen in with Trump so hard is that they're spineless, megalomaniac sycophants who really are only interested in themselves, in their own political survival, which is why they're already beginning to turn.


So, yeah, I think that they probably have to go big or go home. It is really going to hurt people like in the meantime, between now and November 3rd, people like Susan Collins. It is I mean, Sarah Gideon is going to be all over this. It's going to really hurt Cory Gardner. This is going to be big for Hickenlooper. So may not result in a court make up that people feel so supportive of. But certainly I think it's going to to really probably just be another opportunity to show some of the ugliness of the current party faithful on display.


Thank you to Mike and Lucy for being on the show today, and thanks to all of you at home for listening. You can find more information about a movement at Lincoln Project U.S.. Also, check out Vogue for more information about how to register to vote and get an absentee ballot. If you have any questions, comments or advice for us. You can always reach us podcast at Lincoln Project U.S. And please know that even if we don't respond, we read every email we get.


And we appreciate your time. If you haven't yet, it would really help us if you would subscribe rate and review the show wherever you get your podcasts. This helps new voters find the show and join our mission to defeat Trump and Trump ism at the ballot box for the Lincoln Project. I'm Ron Stassen. I'll see you in the next episode.