The Morning Jolt

Culture

Primary-Contest Results Trickle In

Ky. State Representative and Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker arrives at a campaign stop in Louisville, Ky., June 23, 2020. (Bryan Woolston/Reuters)

On the menu today: Results are in for just a few of yesterday evening’s primary contests, a New York Times survey shows Joe Biden with a comfortable lead against the president, and the most recent statue-toppling sentiments are now being directed at . . . Abraham Lincoln and Jesus.

Mail-In Ballots Delay Election Results

Yesterday featured primary contests in several states, including New York, Kentucky, and Virginia. In New York and Kentucky, most of the results are being delayed by a massive uptick in mail-in ballots, certainly the result of concerns about COVID-19 and related poll closures.

Kentucky featured a Democratic primary contest between two candidates for U.S. Senate — state representative Charles Booker and former Marine pilot Amy McGrath — both of whom are hoping to face Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in a few months. But they’ll have to wait quite a while to find out their fate.

According to the Associated Press, state officials in Kentucky said the delays caused by COVID-19 closures meant they wouldn’t release any further information about the results until next Tuesday — and that the AP, therefore, won’t be calling a winner in that race until then. The New York Times has more details:

In Kentucky, fewer than 200 polling places were opened on Tuesday, a drastic reduction from the 3,700 locations that are often used in a typical election year. Absentee ballot requests soared in the state’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington. Yet a number of jurisdictions have indicated that on Tuesday they will only tabulate votes cast that day, or those cast that day combined with those cast during in-person early voting.

That would mean that potentially hundreds of thousands of absentee votes would not be counted until after Tuesday evening.

Mr. Booker was expected to run up a large margin in Louisville, his hometown and the largest city in the state, so the question was whether Ms. McGrath could overcome that advantage in more rural areas of eastern and western Kentucky.

Working in her favor is the nature of voting in the coronavirus age: Ms. McGrath banked a number of ballots from voters well before Mr. Booker’s late surge.

As of about midnight, with a little over half of the state’s precincts reporting, McGrath was leading Booker with 44.7 percent of the vote to his 36.5 percent.

Meanwhile, COVID-19-related delays are costing us clarity in New York, too, and final results from several contested Democratic primaries have yet to roll in. One of the most widely watched primaries was in New York’s 16th District, covering the Bronx and Westchester County, where progressive hopeful Jamaal Bowman seeks to unseat longtime Democratic congressman Eliot Engel.

Bowman had managed to lock up support from the progressive wing of the party, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as Senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). Engel pulled in establishment support, with the endorsements of Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi.

As of about 2 a.m., Bowman had a substantial lead over Engel, with 61 percent of the vote to Engel’s 35.6 percent. That’s with votes from about 60 of 732 precincts remaining to be counted.

Finally, in Virginia, Daniel Gade won the GOP primary for the chance to face incumbent Democratic senator Mark Warner in November. Gade, a retired Army officer who lost a leg to a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq, drew nearly 70 percent of the vote while facing two competitors.

According to The Daily Progress, a Charlottesville newspaper, Gade “advised President George W. Bush on military and disability issues and was Trump’s appointee to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but withdrew his nomination after a lengthy delay in the Senate over his confirmation.”

We may not have gotten clear results in some of yesterday’s biggest races, but progressive dreamers around the world can breathe a big sigh of relief about one thing: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her primary contest last night quite handily.

A New Poll Suggests Trouble for Trump

A survey of registered voters across the country found that Joe Biden currently has a sizable lead over President Trump — especially among women and non-white voters — with 50 percent support overall to Trump’s 36 percent. The survey was conducted by the New York Times and Siena College, polling 1,337 voters between June 17 and June 22.

Answering the question “If the 2020 presidential election were held today, whom would you vote for?” several key demographic groups preferred Biden by a fairly large margin. Among women, for instance, Biden leads the president by 22 points; his lead among men shrinks to just three points.

The former vice president also has an advantage among younger voters. More than half of respondents between 18 and 29 said they’ll vote for Biden, compared with just one-quarter who said they’d support Trump. But that gap shrinks almost entirely among older voters; Trump and Biden are tied at 44 percent among voters ages 45 to 64 and virtually tied with voters older than that.

Black voters favor Biden by a 74-point margin — just 5 percent say they support Trump — but that lead shrinks quite a bit among Hispanics, 64 percent of whom said they’d back Biden compared with 25 percent of whom said they’d back Trump. Among white voters, Trump remains just slightly ahead, with 44 percent support to Biden’s 43 percent.

One area where Trump stands out is among white voters with no college degree, who prefer him to Biden by a nearly 20-point margin. Among white voters with at least a college degree, Biden has a 28-point lead. Trump and Biden are tied when it comes to support within their own parties: Eighty-five percent of self-identified Democrats said they’ll back Biden, and the same percentage of self-identified Republicans plans to back Trump.

Election Day is, of course, still too far away for polls to have a whole lot of bearing on what outcomes we might expect. As the last few months have illustrated, a lot can happen in just a short period of time to rapidly change public opinion. But if I were the Trump campaign, the president’s numbers in some of those key demographics would certainly have me a little worried and thinking hard about an effective strategy to make up ground in the interim.

Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Must Go

Hold on to your hats for this one, folks. The “anti-racist” brigades trolling the country for statues to deface and rip down have now trained their scrutinizing gaze on none other than . . . Abraham Lincoln.

That’s right. Outraged Americans rioting over racial injustice are now promising to topple a monument to the man who issued the Emancipation Proclamation — and, not only that, but a monument funded by formerly enslaved people to honor Lincoln specifically for having issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The fecklessness, ignorance, and sheer idiocy of our new progressive purity police apparently knows no bounds.

Gathering at the statue yesterday evening, a mob vowed to rip the statue down on Thursday night at 7 p.m., helpfully announcing to law enforcement precisely when to show up and prevent them from carrying out this reprehensible act of vandalism.

And it’s not just the mob on this one. The District of Columbia’s non-voting congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has joined their ranks, announcing that she plans to introduce legislation to formally have the memorial removed from Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill, referring to it as “problematic.”

In a statement, Holmes Norton insisted that, while the recently freed men and women who paid for the statue were understandably “grateful for any recognition of their freedom,” the statue itself needs to go because it depicts Lincoln standing over a kneeling African man. It didn’t, she said, “take into account the views of African Americans.”

That’s a patently false reading of the statue’s history, which, as she herself acknowledges, was actually underwritten by freed African Americans. Holmes Norton claims that Frederick Douglass “expressed his displeasure” with the statue, but this seems to be a rather aggressive misreading of Douglass, who, in a lengthy oration dedicating the memorial, had this to offer, among other glowing lines about it and the man it honors:

we, the colored people, newly emancipated and rejoicing in our blood-bought freedom, near the close of the first century in the life of this Republic, have now and here unveiled, set apart, and dedicated a monument of enduring granite and bronze, in every line, feature, and figure of which the men of this generation may read, and those of after-coming generations may read, something of the exalted character and great works of Abraham Lincoln, the first martyr President of the United States.

I hate to say I told you so, but it’s like I saw this coming when I wrote on Monday, “If the new progressive purity tests mean that [Ulysses] Grant has got to go, no one can stand.”

It appears the “anti-racist” zealots are out to prove me right. On Twitter a couple of days ago, far-left activist Shaun King argued that statues depicting Jesus as a “white European” need to come down because “they are a form of white supremacy.” Lest you think King is a constituency of one, note that thousands of individuals liked and shared this ludicrous sentiment.

One thing that has been vastly understated about the seemingly never-ending Statue Wars is how utterly devoid of intelligence most of these “arguments” are, if they exist at all. There is no actual reason in the world why people sincerely aiming to improve the lot of black Americans would want to rip down a statue honoring the president who, inarguably, has done the most for that group than any other single person in American history — not to mention why they’d want to rip down a monument commemorating the precise moment at which that man extended the freedom promised at our nation’s Founding to those who had been enslaved.

What started with lots of Americans rightly reiterating the value of every innocent human life and decrying the evil of racism has devolved into unintelligent mobs flexing their power indiscriminately simply for the sake of getting what they want. The actual substance of what they want was never the point.

ADDENDUM: I am happy to report that, as most things in the world appear to be getting steadily worse, it seems as if the glorious return of baseball is actually on the horizon.

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