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Hello from the Lincoln Project, I'm Ron Suslow. Welcome back to our weekly roundup, where we bring in a rotating panel of experts to discuss the truth. You need to know behind the most important stories of the week and how they're shaping the political landscape of this election. We have, as usual, an outstanding panel today, political strategists, crisis communications consultant and Lincoln Project senior adviser. Susan, delicioso. Susan, welcome back to the podcast. Hey, Ron, great to be here.


Executive director at the Lincoln Project, a veteran of four presidential campaigns and a former director at the National Security Council, Sarah Lente. Welcome back, Sarah. Hey, Ron. And former political director for the California Republican Party and Lincoln Project co-founder Mike Madrid. Mike, it's always good to have you back. Always good to be here. On today's episode, we're going to take a look at the vice presidential debate and Donald Trump becoming a coronavirus super spreader in the White House.


But let's start with the debate. On Wednesday night, Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence squared off in the vice presidential debate. And the clear cut winner was the fly that spent a prolonged period of time on Mike Pence, his head. But I want to dive into what, if any, impact this debate could have on the election. But before we do that, Mike was actually there on the ground at the debate in Salt Lake City.


And first, why don't you tell us what that experience was like compared to other debates? And then and then let's talk about the impact on the election.


So it was a little bit eerie because it was all set up like we're normally used to the big conventions and big debates, you know, the oversized banners and the bunting and the perimeter that's been set for a week and a half and a million Secret Service, you know, folks walking around and they had the full the full regalia. But there were just a handful of people walking around. And most of those people were kind of handing out like these required masks, like you couldn't bring in your own mask if you did, you have to take it off and kind of replace it with this.


A profile, I guess, commission president, presidential debate mask. Right.


And and it was just very quiet, very subdued, which may which may be responsible for, I think, some of the reaction from the people that were there watching it. I think I got was very different than what the rest of the world is saying. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So as opposed to what might have otherwise been sort of an electric atmosphere. Yeah.


Normally there's a big buzz and there's a scrum media scrum there and there's a million people like trying to get into the front of the camera. There was none of that. I mean, there was just it was like a big amusement park that was built and a handful of people showed up. Yeah.


OK, so Mike, let's talk about what impact, if any, this debate is going to have on the election. Why don't we start with what you thought each of the candidates needed to do, whether they did it. And you're the numbers guy. Do we think we're going to see anything different in the polls as a result of that?


Yeah. So I think, look, the burden was on Pence here, right there behind by every metric there behind Pence had to come out. He kind of really remains or was up until last night, the last major asset, if you will hope, the last hope of the Trump pants campaign. He needed to come out and I think really throw a haymaker in a knockout punch. Didn't didn't do that. I think he did fine. I think he, frankly exceeded expectations.


I think the hype was so big, like she's going to knock him out the first round. The guy is going to be, you know, drooling or crying in a corner. That didn't happen. And I think he actually had some good points. The fly didn't help. But by and large, you know, I think he I think he probably over performed the low expectations that he had. Comilla, I think was look, I think she won the debate.


I think that she she she needed to not lose and she certainly didn't lose. I think it probably broke 55 45 in her favor. I think that they were both a little bit more restrained than they otherwise would be. She certainly was. I think there was a lot of really interesting analysis and takes as to why that was. I think some of it there's a lot of merits to I think some of it. And look, I'm a little bit biased.


I've seen every major debate Kamala Harris has done the last 20 years. And I've seen her bring her a game. I've seen her eviscerate people and I've seen her get destroyed by people. I think just to write this off as though she's a she's a woman and a woman of color, so she couldn't be who she is. I don't think that that's accurate. Now, there is one caveat to that. And there's a lot of people were introduced to her for the first time at this debate, remarkably few undecided voters.


And I think she probably did a really good job. Her best moments of the night were when she was going through her bio. At the beginning, I thought she did a really, really good job. And so in that end, mission accomplished. She got the job done. I think they walk out of this happy that the momentum continues. I don't believe that this will affect the trajectory of the race one iota. I think you may see a small bump or bounce the way you sometimes do after these things, but it's going to follow a larger separation that we're seeing.


And I think that what is really fascinating to me about this race is I think we have already seen the late break.


Yeah, you and I have talked about this extensively because I look at myself going, I see stuff, I think stuff, but there's enough. Now to say we normally see in the last seven to 10 days that shift in public opinion, I think it's happened. We're going to get to that.


Anecdotally, I'd like to add. So before the debate, I called my sister, who worked for the Bush administration, lives in Texas, yada, yada. So are you going to watch the debate? She said absolutely not. She's like, my mind is made up. I'm voting for Biden. I don't need to watch this. Then I called my aunt this morning who lives in Connecticut. She's liberal. So are my cousins, Chris and Katherine.


They were texting during the debate and they thought she was like they thought she didn't answer the questions. They thought that neither did Pente answer the questions. And it was just interesting. So they're going to they're going to vote. But it wasn't a game changer.


It wasn't didn't really move the needle. I agree with you, Mike. She definitely, you know, did a really good job, I think, introducing herself for the first time to a lot of people who might just be turning out like the getting the biopsies in early and very clearly I thought was a really good. I mean, look, I'm a defer to Susan and Sarah on this for a whole host of reasons.


But I think that because she was introducing herself to a new audience nationally, she couldn't be the you know, the Kamala Harris that I've seen as the attorney general, the country, you know, and I made this point last night.


She hence went there. He said you had the most liberal, the most liberal senator, that at the record, I think she had to hold back so that they couldn't he couldn't prosecute her in that manner. That's right.


Susan, from your perspective, who did you think both Mike Pence and Senator Harris needed to appeal to last night? And how successful were they?


I don't think that they were struggling to or seeking to appeal to many people. I think they were seeking not to turn off anybody. And I think that was the major goal of the debate for each of them. Obviously, Mike Pence would have been it would have been helpful to the Trump campaign if he could have appealed to some women voters. But cutting off Senator Harris and that weird comment to always. Susan, let me answer your question. Susan, it was just a little diminishing, I think, to the moderator, but at the end of the day.


Kamala Harris delivered because she was able to offer a clear vision, the problem that Mike Pence faces, although he is a good debater, is he had to defend the Trump record. And more importantly, he was playing for that audience of one. He interrupted, I believe, as much as he did, because Trump told him to do that. He was trying to please the boss, and that's what it came down to.


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing last night. I mean, not out loud, but I thought he feels like he's trying to imitate the president in some way. But let's talk about covid and the exchanges about covid, because Pence spent much of the night trying to defend the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus. And he claimed that the Trump administration had always told the truth about covid, despite the ample evidence of Trump's lies from Boltwood tapes and from Pence himself penned an op ed saying there was no second wave.


Sarah, can you talk about how successful you think he was in defending the pandemic response? It was horrible.


There was no defense. So I mean, two hundred and two hundred and ten thousand people are dead. They're saying, I've heard the statistic that there could be another two hundred and ten thousand dead by the end of the year. I mean, it's ridiculous. And then he hit her on being pro-choice and late term abortion. And I just wanted to I wanted to hit him upside the head because it doesn't matter to them that two hundred and ten thousand people are dead.


It doesn't matter. And the fact that they had the intelligence on January twenty eighth and didn't do a damn thing until March 13th is very telling. And I'm sorry I worked at the NSC. You get a briefing every morning and he gets personally briefed from the very highest level and they told him this was coming and they fucking ignored it. Excuse my language.


Yeah. On the flip side, Senator Harris was looking to prosecute the case against the Trump administration's response to covid-19. Let's take a listen to what she said.


Well, the American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country. And here are the facts. Two hundred and ten thousand dead people in our country in just the last several months. Over seven million people who have contracted this disease, one in five businesses closed. We're looking at front line workers who have been treated like sacrificial workers. We are looking at over 30 million people. Who in the last several months had to file for unemployment and here's the thing.


On January twenty eighth. The vice president and the president were informed about the nature of this pandemic. They were informed that it's lethal in consequence, that it is airborne, that it will affect young people. And that it would be contracted because it is airborne. And they knew what was happening and they didn't tell you. Can you imagine if you knew on January twenty eight as opposed to March 13th, what they knew, what you might have done to prepare?


They knew and they covered it up. The president said it was a hoax. They minimized the seriousness of it. The president said, you're on one side of his ledger. If you wear a mask, you're on the other side of his ledger. If you don't. And in spite of all of that today, they still don't have a plan. They still don't have a plan. Well, Joe Biden does, so I want to leave this question out on the table for everybody.


But how successful do you think she was in prosecuting the case against the Trump administration's coronaviruses response? Both both on the substance, but also just listening to that clip. Again, the emotion in her voice, I thought carried even more value than what she said.


I thought it was awesome, but she it was great. What she did that at that moment was terrific. Unfortunately, throughout the debate, she got less and less emotional, less and less. I don't know, something was lost. But what to me at the end of the debate when Karen Pence walked out without a mask and her husband walked out with a mask and like it was the proverbial fuck you, I'm from the pants, you know, and the Trump administration.


What are you doing? This isn't funny anymore.


And it's premeditated. They know. Exactly. Absolutely. Susan, what did you think?


I thought when she said they knew and they covered it up with a message that could resonate for the next twenty six days, hands down. And that's what people will remember. They know that Bob Woodward had it come out. He has the tapes to back it up. They covered it up. And every family has had to deal with either an economic hardship. There's food insecurity in this country, their unemployment lines. Children were learning remotely for months. That affects every single family.


And that's the difference with the issue of the coronavirus and anything else that the either side can talk about. Every family has been touched by this.


So she did really deliver that well. And I agree with Sarah. I think she should have it would have been good if she kept some of that same energy throughout the debate. But she had a great way of talking right to the voters and really knocking Pence out without having to literally throw a punch.


Yeah, yeah. There were several moments where she turned to the camera and was very clear she didn't care about anybody in that room. She wanted to talk directly to the American people and I thought that was powerful. Mike, what did you think about that, that particular moment and her prosecution in the case? I thought she did that. That that segment you just played, I thought was very powerful. I thought it was definitely one of the better moments that she had.


And the reason why is when the delivery was very well done, I think, which was what you said. But but just as and perhaps more importantly, when we look back at this race and you look at the data and you look at how stratified it is, the stratification really began in mid-March. This whole thing has been about covid and the pandemic. They can't get out of this. There is nothing they can do. They can't proud boy their way out of it.


They can't Lysol their way out of it. They can't do anything. And really, it's their way out of bleach, their way out of it.


And so really, again, there's major shift. It's something I have really I don't want to say I've never seen it, but I don't remember ever seeing it is when the president contracted the coronavirus. The numbers collapse with with senior citizen voters just like 20 point drop. So it's I don't even know what that is. You see, one year like something's wrong with the methodology. Have the whole team look at why don't you talk about this? Because, yeah, there's a twenty seven point shift in the CNN survey.


So so what happened was of the whole veneer of his the facade came down. It's like that scene in The Wizard of Oz.


Pay no attention to the man behind the fantasy has burst out of his birth. Everyone's looking at the great Oz. And I realize it's a it's the, you know, evil man behind. They're trying to construct this facade. Yeah. And that's what happened.


And enough people and it was not a small number, but seniors didn't see senior citizens. The sixty five plus voters we've been talking about all year with the budget.


Yes, they moved and they moved back historically, historically big and historically fast. And again, the question the only question remains is, is this a drop? Can he get it back or was this the shift? You always look forward to campaigning the final days. It's not quite the final days yet, but it's pretty darn close. And my guess is he's lost them and he's going to continue to flail and it's only going to make the problem worse.


He can look, by the way, he can go lower. OK, if you look at covid infection rates to Sarah's point, we are going to have an awful, horrible winter as as a globe and as a country. Wisconsin is now. Yeah, I mean, there are beds in Wisconsin right now. And if you look at the counties with higher than national average infection rates, it's a complete overlap, almost perfect with the red states in the 270 map.


So all of his base of support within the next twenty six days are going to be experiencing, if not personally in their communities, a massive outbreak of this virus.


Not only are they going to have that the outbreaks of of covid, you're also going to be dealing with flu season. So that is going to lead. For the last several months, we've been fortunate that we've only been dealing with. covid, so it hasn't overloaded the hospitals, those scenes that we've seen, we saw in March and April and May with people waiting on lines to get hospital into the hospital. We're going to see those again because there will be an additional problem with the flu.


People are going to be scared. And just to the point, with seniors on top of the fact that Donald Trump couldn't protect himself, so how can he protect everybody else? And he has all the protection in the world, senior citizens, and especially in suburban women, they see his behavior as reckless and that scares him. It's not just the culvert. It's that he's so reckless with it and they have had enough. And I agree with Mike and everyone else that this race has settled.


There is something that has gelled when you see Biden over 50 constantly. And Trump's one number is the economy, and he's not breaking 50 on that any longer. And then you add that he's in the 30s with seniors and women. I don't know how you come out of the 30s and that's the biggest problem.


You mentioned the capacity in Wisconsin, which they are at right now. And one point I just want to you know, this is probably not something that is getting enough attention right now. But I had three emergency room emergency medicine doctors on the podcast recently, including our friend, Dr. Dan Bobkoff. And one of the points that one of those doctors made is that we tend to talk about the hospitals being at capacity because of covid and and how that is ultimately the catastrophe.


Right. That's why we've been flattening the curve. But the thing that we aren't paying enough attention to is the excess death that is caused as a result of the normal emergency room loads not being able to be seen because of the covid spikes. So what we her point was that when all this is over and we look back, we're not going to be talking about just two hundred thousand four hundred thousand Americans, God forbid, if that's where this goes from covid, we're going to be talking about massive numbers of excess deaths that did not have to happen because covid consumed the capacity of all these emergency rooms of people.


Exactly. People were afraid to go in for medical procedures. So that was another thing that, you know, heart attacks went up, strokes went up. EMS time is now going to be down because budgets are so strapped that they are laying off EMT workers. So you're absolutely right.


It will be a lot bigger. And I hate to say this, but I know two families that have lost children to suicide in this time. It's real. The impact we don't even we haven't even conceived of yet as part of this story. So while we're on the topic of covid shortly after 1:00 a.m. last Friday, we learned that Donald and Melania Trump had both tested positive for the coronavirus. On Thursday, Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs broke the story that a senior aide to Trump hope Hicks had tested positive after Hicks tested positive.


Trump flew to Bedminster golf course for an indoor fundraiser, complete with a buffet, and potentially exposed over 200 people to the deadly virus.


And then Friday afternoon, Trump was taken to Walter Reed Hospital after receiving experimental yes, but back after receiving experimental treatment for covid-19, the course of treatment for Trump has been largely unclear. We know that Trump received supplemental oxygen at some point on Friday and he had a fever. But we don't know how high the fever was. We also know that Trump had lung scans, but we don't know what they revealed. And most strikingly, we don't know when Trump's last negative coronavirus test was Suzanne.


We're in the middle of an election right now. How important is it for voters to have a clear understanding of the health status of both presidential candidates?


It is critical, especially since both candidates are, in fact, in their 70s. So that is one thing that the American public would be concerned about. Now, you add the layer of covid people probably feel a little bit better about Joe Biden because he's been responsible all the time. He has run a virtual campaign he was mocked for. But guess what? He's he's determined to be safe and keep others safe. So that message, just by seeing him with the mask and everything in his event does play into it.


On the contrary, you see Donald Trump, who is nothing but reckless and will not share his his medical records, he won't. Even if you remember going back to November, he went to Walter Reed. He did not tell the American public why he went there. They said it was because they were about to do part of his physical. But that was never confirmed. Donald Trump made people sign nondisclosure agreements. Actually, at that point, his doctors are lying because he is instructing them to lie.


We now we have gotten used to Donald Trump lying, which is really frightening, and it's almost built in. But people need to understand, we're talking about the president of the United States, our national security, Mike Pence, is running around the country doing campaign events. And frankly, I believe that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Grassley, number two and three in line of succession, should also be isolating, given that they are in their 80s. This is a critical time for our nation.


We have to be secure. And I just hope that the American public is tuned into how substantial that is.


Sarah, after stating that Trump had mild symptoms, his White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, sent an anonymous quote to the White House press pool, saying that I quote, The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. Can you first of all, that's what was weird and bizarre for him to do that. So can you talk about the national security implications of the president being hospitalized and the White House making conflicting statements about his health?


So the bottom line is that when presidents are ill or sick or incapacitated, the idea is that countries that are hostile towards us might make moves at the very base level Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, you name it. And and and that's the danger. And then if you have conflicting. Dialogue on on his actual health and how he's doing that. You know something from the White House, you're sending a signal that they don't know what you don't know what's going on.


But it's so right now, we haven't seen any no moves, no moves are made. But it's just it's stupid. And it's not what you do as a White House. And when you're at the NSC, you there are memos that go up to the national security adviser to the chief of staff before they reach the president, saying this is what we recommend your messaging to be on this. So obviously, I don't know if that's not going up the ranks.


I don't know, you know, and it doesn't it's not like you just send an email, goes through the staff secretary because it's a there's a protocol. It takes like eight steps to get there. So they're not communicating. Mike, on Sunday, after all of this, Trump took a joyride around Walter Reed to greet his supporters, needlessly putting Secret Service agents at risk.


You know, these are guys who sign up to take a bullet for the president not to ride around in a hermetically sealed suburban where there's just, you know, covid popping off like what is Trump's mini parade around the hospital say about his priorities and his state of mind?


Let's think first about how they felt getting into the car with him, knowing and just the level of commitment that they have to their their work. I mean, it's a special thing. Look, the president's going to continue to flail. The president is losing. The campaign is coming off track. I think we are a little bit hesitant to say that. I know I have been very conservative in the way that I've been communicating the data. But, look, the ghosts of 2016 should only go so far.


It's pretty clear what is what is lining up. And what is happening doesn't mean the trajectory. The race can't change, but it's going to take something very, very significant for that to happen as a result. The president knows this, by the way. He's being told this. He's going to react to it the way that he always does, which is how he runs his own campaign and he manages it himself and he's just going to decide on a moment to moment basis on what the best thing is to do.


So I think we just have to be prepared for it. I was going to keep doing stupid things. I think this the debates change that's happened just this morning. Yeah. You know, it's going to be a big part of that. And and Biden has already said, well, then I'll go and take answers from a remote location from the public. He's not going to let that stand. Is OK with that? I'm going to be 20 different iterations of what he's going to do and how he's going to respond.


And I was going to attack before it all happens.


So for our listeners, let me just unpack that.


After the Presidential Commission on Debates decided to make the next presidential debate remote, undoubtedly due to one of the candidates being a contagious covid super spreader, Trump told Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business that he wouldn't participate.


He's not going to do it. He's a baby chicken. Yeah. Later, his campaign manager released a statement saying that Trump will hold a rally instead of a debate. You're right.


I didn't know to that he not like, is this going to be Toltz all over again? I mean, yeah, you wonder that the president is not.


Well, we know that we saw his breathing. We know that he should be resting, but he's going to the Oval Office.


Just think about how much he must have on the line legally, that he's literally willing to risk his health, maybe his life to get reelected because he's so scared about. I think it's much worse than what we have in thinking all along his legal responsibility, if he could just even get through the election so he could get Penson so he could be pardoned for anything. I think that's how short term he's thinking and he thinks he's the only one who can get him there.


I think he's afraid because he knows that debate was terrible for him. And we all saw the way he almost melted down at the word smart. Yeah, he's afraid of not looking smart and he can't be a bully on a two lane debate.


He just can't. Right. We have mute buttons for a reason. And I think they would end up having to mute him and he couldn't be a bully on the stage to Joe Biden.


Well, then he'd also have to give complete answers. He can't do that, right?


Exactly. He can't do that either. Yeah, I think I think it just is a it would be too dangerous, too risky for him to to do that.


Kind of like he's afraid so. And also, if you watched Biden in Gettysburg. Yeah.


You should be afraid. Oh, he should you should be afraid. He was such a good speech. On Wednesday, Trump went on Twitter to say that catching the coronavirus was a blessing from God. Let's take a listen.


It's a cure for me. I walked in. I didn't feel good. A short 24 hours later, I was feeling great. I went to get out of the hospital and that's what I want for everybody. I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president because I feel great. I feel like perfect. So I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise. I caught it. I heard about this drug.


I said, let me take it. It was my suggestion. I said, let me take it. And it was incredible the way it worked. Incredible. And I think if I didn't catch it would be looking at that like a number of other drugs. But it really did a fantastic job.


And he's going to have access to that drug. And I was on a call this morning where it was. I have to dig into this, but do it in that drug, they used embryonic embryos. OK. So for every pro-life are out there, how do you feel about that? Yeah. And as a result of embryonic stem cell research, and that's causing the development of. That's correct. Yeah, I have five embryos that are frozen right now.


My parents are nuts over what I'm going to do with them next and. OK. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I'm speechless.


I want to get your reaction to you know, we have over two hundred and ten thousand Americans who've died from this virus. We've seen record unemployment that isn't getting any better. And I just I want to get each of your reactions to Trump saying having covid-19 is a blessing from God.


Mike, uh. Yeah, got to got to scrape the barrel here. Look what a happened of the hydroxyl chloroquine treatment, by the way. Whatever happened with that? Nothing that's not on the list. Apparently not anymore. Look, I guess it's a kind of a weird play to evangelicals, I guess. I mean, what's he saying?


What does that even mean? I like his superhuman self coming out that he's defeated it. And he's he was divinely touched and inspired to kind of demonstrate to us that he's stronger than the virus.


But I'm not sure there is an ethos in evangelical culture to count it all joy, to be grateful to God for everything that comes your way. I can onward now. I would know how my my my parents are pastors. I grew up in an evangelical household. I don't identify as an evangelical Christian anymore, but. But that kind of language I don't like. While it is jarring to hear, I think I don't think it is that jarring to his base.


I don't think it's jarring. I think it's a way to signal that, you know, I personally think it's revolting, but but I don't think it's jarring to the people who who he is talking to. And we now know we've known this all along. He's not seeking to build a bigger coalition. He's seeking to galvanize the people who support him and keep them from peeling away from him. Right, Mike?


That's exactly right. And look, I think it's also a little bit off topic, but I want to use this as a pivot point. It's very important to stop being afraid of the numbers that we're seeing and start talking about the fact that this guy is losing and he's losing bad because the peeling off of people will continue to cascade in that direction as the sense of his imminent loss begins to set in. That is critically important as we get closer to November.


The third is I know that there's a lot of people scared and have been every day since November 3rd because the polls were wrong and all of the stuff. But there needs to be a stronger sense of of what is coming in order to continue to move those numbers down. And we need to drive those numbers down. It needs to become socially unacceptable to support this. It needs to be ostracized. And people who just follow the winner, which is a standard social behaviour that needs to set in and set in firmly, deeply and quickly over the next three weeks.


And we've talked a lot about why why we need this election to be a landslide. We don't need to go there again because we have another episode of State of the Vote coming out on Monday. Come back if you want more of Mike Madrid on the numbers. But yeah, Susan, what was your take when you when you heard that tape?


I don't think that Donald Trump is trying to appeal to anybody except he truly believes that he was touched by God, like he believes he is that special to receive the blessing.


I don't think he does that. No, I think he actually thinks that he is he is the chosen deliverer. I chose him one.


I do believe it. He is so insulated and thinks so highly and only of himself that I actually think he believes that kind of stuff when he speaks. You could disagree. I get why. But he's not that calculating. He's simply always about him. When he says something, it's always how he feels about himself. And I believe he said it's a blessing from God that I was the one who gets it so I could be the one to help save you.


And that's what he believes. It's nonsense. It doesn't make any it's nonsensical. It doesn't help him with any constituency, I don't believe.


But that's how he feels. Saras when saying so.


God, I know. I hear what you're saying, that he's just going crazy. I agree with you agree with that, I think.


But I also think that everything he does is pretty calculated so that he can it's like, look at Sarah.


He's not that smart. I don't know. He's not that smart. Seems to think that way. Yeah.


He's not a deal which like he didn't even. Right.


But anyway, but but but like we we know already that he has co-opted tried to co-opt religious fundamentalists. We that was one of our first ads that we dropped way back in January and February. Yeah. Margaret Church. Right.


We know that he sees a powerful political base that he can manipulate when he uses religious rhetoric. And I believe in God, we know that, like the righteous gemstones, if they so they know exactly. They don't believe a fucking thing, excuse my language. So why don't we all say this is the this is the chattery is the roundup that we have?




Now, I yeah. I agree with you there. Yeah. We've exhausted, I think, this week's news. So why don't we talk about what's coming up this week. So as you look ahead, Mike, what are the stories that you're watching?


I hate to be boring here. I'm really laser focused, like every hour, like desperately looking for the next data point in the polling. And I will be this the entire week, because this week will be definitive on telling us whether or not this race has shifted substantially enough to prevent the race from being competitiveness. And if it will continue on a downward trajectory, as I fully expect that it might with the with the coronavirus situation happening in the Rust Belt in the Midwest, we will know, I think, with a very high degree of certainty who the next president and states will be a week from a week from Friday.


Susan, what are you keeping your eye on as we go into next week? Well, I'm looking at the numbers as well and I'm looking at how it affects the Senate. I think that they are spiraling the Republicans. And I want to see how many more seats can be put in play.


Lindsey Graham is now a tossup seat, which is crazy, crazy, crazy, insane.


If Lindsey Graham is a toss up seat, we could talk about the Senate losing 10, 12 seats at this point because they are on a spiral down and Donald Trump is taking them there on top of it. I'm also looking to see what happens as far as covid numbers being reported goes. We are in the really heading towards flu season. And I know I said this last time I was on, but this is a scary time for a lot of people.


And I'm really concerned about that, especially after Donald Trump had the nerve and the gall and audacity to say, don't worry about it. Yeah, yeah.


I will just say on the Senate point, I was on a call a couple of days ago with a very prominent Democratic election attorney who you all know and his numbers 50 to.


52 seats he thinks still have by the end of this Sarah. What are you watching? Amy CONI Barrett Seymour, is she going to be confirmed? What's going to happen? I mean, are they are they going to ram this through? I believe they will. Fox News just came out with a story four hours ago saying Democrats resigned, that Amy Connie Barrett confirmation is inevitable. So I'll be watching that.


I am watching this story that just broke about six men who plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home because they didn't like her coronavirus restrictions. And that's after obviously months of criticism by Donald Trump, including a tweet to liberate Michigan all the way back in April. And so as as this story develops, you know, I wouldn't be surprised if we see proud boys. I wouldn't be surprised if we see, you know, the the the the white supremacist groups, the militant groups that that Trump has as egged on.


And it is just another step in the escalation, I think.


Ron, was that a state or DOJ investigation? I'm just curious. I believe it was FBI. It was OK. All right.


I want to go to a listener question and then a listener comment today. The question comes from Tanya Foote's who writes, Is there a deadline for returning your mail in ballot? I plan to drive mine to my board of elections and hand it to them in person. But I fear many ballots may not be counted if they aren't received in time. What are those dates and are they postmarked by or received by dates?


Like every state is different. It's important that you understand and look up the laws regarding your own state. A number of states are extending their deadline so that if it is postmarked by Election Day and receive up to seven or even 16 days afterwards, it will still be counted. Look, let's just use common sense. If you're not three or four days ahead of Election Day, if you're not if you haven't mailed it by November one or by Halloween, let's just say Halloween out there, if you haven't mailed it by Halloween plan on driving it in.


I mean, please, just just just take the extra 30 minutes or whatever it takes to get down to the county government center or to a drop box and get it in because you just don't want to risk it. You don't want to. And don't, don't, don't, don't gamble with that. Just it's not about Halloween. Drive it in. Yeah. And and one last thing before we go. I just want to read a listener comment because we get so many great emails and notes from you all.


And and I don't read very many of them. But but here's one from Bob Dulong, who is a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He says, Your podcast with doctors, Barkov Kathuria and Doctor was excellent. As you mentioned, it was before Trump's diagnosis, Joy Ride and victory lap. The issues those E.R. docs talked about were the same as the issues my son, an E.R. physician assistant, has talked to me about. I especially like the discussion on germs.


This is not new science. My hat is off to those docs for what they face on a daily basis. We will get through this. But the president has made it so much more difficult. Bob, thank you for writing in and thanks to everyone else who's written and for your great questions. We appreciate the encouragement. And we wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for you to. Thank you. Thank you to Susan, Mike and Sarah for being on the show today.


And thanks to all of you at home for listening. You can find more information about our movement at Lincoln Project US if you have any questions, comments or advice for us. You can reach us, as always, a podcast at Lincoln Project US. And please note that even if we don't respond, we read every email we get and we always appreciate hearing from you. 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 us stay up in the rankings, which allows new voters to find the show and join our movement to beat Trump and Trump ism at the ballot box for the Lincoln Project. I'm Ron Stutsman. I'll see you in the next episode.