Home Daily News Clips Wednesday News: “How Russia Wins an Election”; “Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight...

Wednesday News: “How Russia Wins an Election”; “Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans”


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, December 14. Also check out Seth Myers on “Trump’s Cabinet of Plutocrats and Hardliners.”

  • New poll from Quinnipiac University:

    Former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie has an early lead in a field of largely unknown Republican contenders in the 2017 Virginia governor’s race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    Virginia Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam edges Gillespie in a general election matchup and has wider leads over other Republicans, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University Poll finds.

    Gillespie gets 24 percent of Republican votes in a hypothetical GOP primary for governor, followed by U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman with 10 percent, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart with 4 percent and State Sen. Frank Wagner with 4 percent.

    Most Republican voters, 57 percent, are undecided.

    In general election matchups, Northam edges Gillespie 38 – 34 percent. The Democrat leads other Republicans:
    38 – 29 percent over Stewart;
    39 – 30 percent over Wittman;
    39 – 30 percent over Wagner.
    None of the contenders is well known at this early date, as the percentage of voters who don’t know enough about the contenders to form an opinion ranges from 66 percent to 86 percent.

    “Ever since Ed Gillespie came oh-so-close to upsetting U.S. Sen. Mark Warner two years ago, he has had his eye on the governor’s mansion. He enters this campaign with a solid, but by no means overwhelming, lead for the Republican nomination. If there are four candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination come the June primary, that will work to Gillespie’s advantage since that would prevent development of a stop-Gillespie coalition,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

    “In the general election match-up against Lt. Gov. Northam, the presumed Democratic nominee, Gillespie does the best of the GOP contenders,” Brown added. “But at least part of Northam’s general election lead and Gillespie’s lead among Republicans is due to their better name recognition. This race for governor is just beginning and none of the candidates, including Northam and Gillespie, in either party has anything approaching widespread name recognition. The candidates who reach that level will become the early leaders.”

    Virginia voters approve 52 – 30 percent of the job Gov. Terry McAuliffe is doing. Approval is 75 – 8 percent among Democrats and 52 – 32 percent among independent voters. Republicans disapprove 57 – 27 percent.

    The State Legislature gets a 47 – 31 percent approval, with similar scores among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

    Old Dominion voters support 48 – 38 percent legislation that would require 75 percent of state universities’ undergraduate enrollment be made up of students from Virginia.

    There is a wide age gap as voters 18 to 34 years old oppose the bill 55 – 36 percent, while older voters support the measure. Support is 55 – 34 percent among Republicans and 49 – 41 percent among independent voters. Democrats are divided, with 44 percent supporting the measure and 40 percent opposed.

    “Virginians have long taken pride in their higher education system. Now they want it for themselves,” Brown said.

    A total of 67 percent of voters are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the way things are going in Virginia today, while 32 percent are “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.”

    In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 23 percent of Virginia voters say the economy is the most important problem facing the state today, followed by 12 percent who list education, 8 percent who cite mass transit and 6 percent who say “politicians” or political leadership.

    From December 6 – 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,098 Virginia voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The survey includes 451 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

  • Quizzical

    The post mortems on the Clinton campaign are inevitable and necessary, but they all should have a big footnote: the Trump campaign had all the material hacked from the DNC and from Podesta’s emails, which gave them a gold mine of information about the Clinton campaign’s strategy and self assessments of their strengths and weaknesses. In addition to that was the damage that was caused when the materials were published on Wikileaks at strategic times. In addition to that were the key staffers who were sidelined due to the leaks, either because they had to resign or had become useless. There’s probably more we don’t know about. It would be naive to think that the materials published on Wikileaks represented the full extent to which the Clinton Campaign’s communications were hacked. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Russians were reading Clinton’s emails and texts in real time. They had, after all, hacked her Campaign Chairman’s emails.

    In addition to all that, there was a campaign of false news being waged against Clinton that was effectively propagated to voters through Facebook.

    So yeah, in hindsight the Clinton Campaign should have put more resources into Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. But in the next campaign, will the first priority be setting up a ground game in Michigan, or hiring the best intelligence and counter-intelligence experts?

  • Quizzical

    Another post-election question for Trump supporters: how does it help the U.S. if Russia uses its connections to the Trump campaign and Trump Administration to end the sanctions and bring Russian oil and gas to the market? It seems to me that that greater supply would bring world oil prices down and that would hurt the oil and gas industry, and coal too, in the U.S. There might be more US oil drilling companies going bankrupt.

  • Rep. Don Beyer:

    Recent, credible intelligence reports suggest a concerted effort by a foreign power to interfere in the outcome of our presidential election.

    I believe that Electors should be given all information relevant to this interference before they make their decisions and before they cast their votes.

    Congress must take whatever action is necessary to protect the integrity of our democracy. I call on the leaders of Congress to delay the date of the vote for the Electoral College until an intelligence briefing has been given to each Elector.

  • True Blue

    Trump’s lack of interest in security briefings is compounded by the person who is actually receiving those briefings, Flynn, accused of sharing U.S. secrets with foreign entities! IMO, this is part of the reason why the Electoral College should delay the vote and receive classified briefings.

    “Reince Priebus, who’ll soon become Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, offered a curious defense yesterday of his boss’ habit of skipping intelligence briefings. Priebus explained that the president-elect may not always bother with a presidential daily briefing, but Trump nevertheless has “intelligence briefings every day.”

    For Team Trump, that’s not a contradiction. As the transition team’s communications director later explained, Trump may miss the occasional presidential daily briefing put together by U.S. intelligence agencies, but he receives daily updates on security issues from retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor.

    That’s not reassuring. This is after all, the same Michael Flynn who believes bizarre conspiracy theories, who’s repeatedly disseminated fake news as if it were real, whose former aides were so troubled by his false claims they came up with the “Flynn Facts” euphemism, and who, according to a new Washington Post report, “inappropriately shared” classified information with foreign military officers in 2010. . .”

    “Remember, Flynn spent much of 2016 attacking Hillary Clinton for having a private email server – which, he claimed, amounted to the mishandling of sensitive information.

    He neglected to mention that he’d been accused of sharing U.S. secrets during a war with foreign countries without permission.

    It’s worth emphasizing that Flynn wasn’t punished for his actions, and according to Army records, there was “no actual or potential damage to national security as a result” of his actions. He was even promoted after the incident, though an investigation delayed the process.

    But given the broader concerns about Flynn’s fitness to be the National Security Advisor to the next president, and in light of his own bizarre rhetoric about Clinton, revelations like these don’t exactly inspire confidence in his abilities.” Steve Benen


    • Quizzical

      The election is over, but the campaign is not over, which is why Trump is doing victory rallies. Plus there is this unfinished business about the Russians helping the Trump campaign. I spent my fair share of time defending Hillary on the emails and I don’t see myself doing that any more. I do believe, however, that any elected or appointed official, who deals with a large volume of classified documents, would be found to have committed some security violations if their activities were examined under a microscope. The Perfect Weapon article puts things in nauseating perspective by pointing out that the classified defense secrets stolen by just one Russian internet operation in the 90’s would, if the documents were stacked, be higher than the Washington Monument.

      Anyway, Donald J Trump has a lot of secrets, starting with his tax returns. He’s opened Pandora’s Box, we shall see how that works out for him.

  • Haven’t posted an insane EW Jackson tweet in a while….so here we go!