Tuesday, May 17, 2022

FiveThirtyEight on today's primary elections in Pennsylvania and four other states

Five states are holding primary elections today, the most populous of which is Pennsylvania. FiveThirtyEight's coverage of these primaries has focused on the Keystone State, most recently when it asked Who Will Win The GOP's Senate Primary In Pennsylvania?*

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses the races to watch in Tuesday's primaries in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania. They also introduce a new FiveThirtyEight collaboration with Ipsos in which we ask Americans about the issues they care most about in the run-up to the midterm elections. The first poll, coming out this week, is all about inflation.
The supposed front runner for the GOP nomination is Mehmet Oz, but both Kathy Barnette and David McCormick (shown in the preview image) could beat him today. They're likely to face off against John Fetterman, who is leading Conor Lamb for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. FiveThirtyEight has more on him in How John Fetterman Became A Democratic Favorite In Pennsylvania.

John Fetterman is the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. He's a Democrat, he's covered in tattoos, he's running for Senate and he's polling really well in his party's primary. But he's trending these days because of resurfaced reports that he chased an unarmed Black jogger with a shotgun in 2013.
Not a great look for a Democratic candidate, but it hasn't seemed to hurt him much, if at all.

Beyond the U.S. Senate contest, FiveThirtyEight examined the Republican candidates, asking Which May 17 Candidates Believe The 2020 Election Was Stolen?

Voters in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania are heading to the polls this week to vote in their states’ primary elections. Here are the Republican candidates running for Congress, as well as state-level positions like secretary of state, who support former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.”
Kaleigh Rogers has more in the article accompanying the video, pointing out Pennsylvania.
Of this week’s primaries, we’ve found Pennsylvania has the greatest share of Big Lie candidates running: We’ve identified 15 of 41 Republican candidates there who have backed Trump’s claims of a stolen election. In particular, the race to become the GOP nominee for governor has attracted multiple election deniers. One of the frontrunners in that race — Doug Mastriano — has repeatedly questioned the results of the 2020 election, including in Pennsylvania and he supported Trump’s efforts to try to overturn results there. He has said there was “cheating and fraud” in Pennsylvania and “rampant voting problems,” though his evidence relies on anecdotes and misinformation.
I'm recycling my reaction from Jane Mayer describes 'The Big Money Behind the Big Lie' on MSNBC.
All of this reminds me why I think calling the idea that the election was stolen the Big Lie doesn't go far enough.
Personally, I'd rather call it Trump's dangerous delusion, his fixed belief that the election was stolen from him despite all evidence, which I see as related to his vulnerability to conspiracy theories, but "the Big Lie" is the established phrase used by CNBC and others, so I'm calling it that instead. It's a lie, too.
Mayer's reporting shows that Trump's delusion is not just dangerous but contagious. It's bad enough that there is one pandemic running around; we don't need another.
The delusion has continued to spread, infecting a lot of candidates in today's elections. Ugh.

*The video also covered one of the "litany of unpleasant realities" that were "also a list of future blogging topics" from Weekend Update compares this week's headlines to 'Mad Max' on last night's 'SNL', inflation. FiveThirtyEight published the results of that survey in We Asked 2,000 Americans About Their Biggest Concern. The Resounding Answer: Inflation. In response to my challenge to myself "to see how many of them I tackle this week," that's two down. Stay tuned for more as the week progresses.

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