- The Washington Times
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

It is an alarming headline, but one to be heeded. “The Left secretly preps for MAGA violence after Election Day,” says The Daily Beast in an analysis released Tuesday which includes a smaller headline that proclaimed “Doomsday scenarios.”

The analysis is by Sam Stein, politics editor for the news organization, and it may be one of the first to seriously broach the possibility of election violence. Such talk has been alluded to here and there, along with the idea that there’s a new “civil war” brewing in America.


Now comes insight into what could erupt amid the bout between President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden.

“The progressive coalition Fight Back Table has been meeting to game out what happens if Joe Biden doesn’t win by a landslide. It’s not pretty. Last week, a coalition of leading progressive groups gathered on Zoom to begin organizing for what they envision as the post-Election Day political apocalypse scenario,” writes Mr. Stein.

“The meeting dealt with the operational demands expected if the November election ends without a clear outcome or with a Joe Biden win that Donald Trump refuses to recognize. Sources familiar with the discussions described them as serious with a modestly panicked undertone,” the analyst says, noting that there was a meeting almost a year ago about this same concern.

“A smaller session last fall had talked about post-election planning, but those discussions were tabled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first time they were bringing the matter to the 50-plus organizations that make up the coalition. To formalize the effort, they gave it a name: the Democracy Defense Nerve Center,” Mr. Stein writes in his lengthy report.

He also cites information from the organizational group which stated that “the potential for violent conflict is high” between opposing factions, and that potential occupations or shutdowns following the election could continue for weeks.

“Those involved in the conversation say this wide an array of groups has never coordinated so closely on these matters before. And the fact that they were sitting down some two months in advance of the election, was a testament to how seriously they take the complications and threats Election Day poses,” advises Mr. Stein.

Stay tuned. Please.

ABOUT THOSE ‘PEACEFUL’ PROTESTS

A majority of Americans — 60% — agree that people are “free to peacefully protest” according to a sizable new Pew Research Center poll of 11,000 U.S. adults. There is, however, a jumbo difference between the opinions of Republicans and Democrats in the current era of social unrest.

Only two years ago, three-fourths of the nation agreed that people were free to protest. The 13 percentage point drop in that opinion since then is “coming almost entirely among Democrats,” the pollster said. And the numbers: 79% of Republicans say the freedom to protest is viable; just 43% of Democrats agree in the survey, which was released last week. But there is another partisan dynamic to consider as well. Do protests matter?

“Among the public overall, 68% say it is very important for the country that people are free to peacefully protest, down from 74% two years ago. In this case, the decline has come entirely among Republicans. Only about half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (53%) say it is very important for the country that people are free to peacefully protest,” the poll analysis said, noting that the number was 64% in 2018.

“Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, there has been no change in views in the importance of being able to protest peacefully: 82% currently say this is very important, and the same share said this two years ago,” the analysis said.

Find more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

WHAT JOE COULD HAVE BEEN

One veteran political observer witnessed Joe Biden’s recent stop in Pittsburgh, in which he gave a short speech at a manufacturing plant now staffed by robotic devices, handed out pizza to firefighters, then departed.

“He came across as a pandering politician who says one thing in one room and another later on, leaving the people most affected by his decision unmoved. Biden needs to connect back with people because he comes across as a Washington strategist-created robot when he talks. He uses a teleprompter or notes with words likely crafted by his staff and determined by what the polls say — or by what Twitter says,” writes Salena Zito, national political reporter for The Washington Examiner.

“He now comes across as a man who has lost any of the personal touch that he once possessed; even if that’s not true, it is what he conveys. Elections are about people, not about teleprompter speeches — not about who gets what to trend on Twitter, but people: their lives and stories and triumphs and failures. People want to know a candidate will risk going where they are to earn their votes. Ask them, and they’ll tell you that — because they believe they are risking everything to give you their support,” Ms. Zito advises.

MEANWHILE IN FLORIDA

A new NBC/Marist poll of likely voters finds that President Trump and Joseph R. Biden are tied in Florida at the moment, each with 48% of voter support. The president bests his rival in dealing with crime, 48% to 45%. The overall favorability of both are tied at 47%.

Among Hispanic voters, the president leads Mr. Biden, 50% to 46%, Meanwhile, Mr. Biden has a tiny lead among senior citizens, 49% to Mr. Trump’s 48%.

The poll of 766 likely Florida voters was conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 6.

POLL DU JOUR

60% of U.S. adults agree that “people are free to peacefully protest”; 79% of Republicans and 43% of Democrats agree.

51% overall agree that “everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed”: 76% of Republicans and 26% of Democrats agree.

41% overall agree that “rights and freedoms of all people are respected”: 52% of Republicans and 30% of Democrats agree.

30% overall agree that “the government is open and transparent”: 36% of Republicans and 26% of Democrats agree.

28% overall agree that “the tone of political debate is respectful”: 30% of Republicans and 24% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 11,001 U.S. adults conducted from July 27 TO Aug. 2 and released Sept. 2.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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