The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

With all the advantages of being an incumbent president, Donald Trump stills seems to be facing steep headwinds in his upcoming bid for re-election.

ABC News reported on Friday that it had obtained polling data from the president’s campaign that paints a bleak picture of his 2020 chances. It explained:

The polling data showed a double-digit lead for Biden in Pennsylvania 55-39 and Wisconsin 51-41 and had Biden leading by seven points in Florida. In Texas, a Republican stronghold, the numbers showed the president only leading by two points.

If Trump loses Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida in 2020, he will effectively lose the White House. Even coming close to a loss in Texas likely will mean he has experienced a nationwide blowout and a humiliating defeat.

As ABC News noted, Trump had claimed that this internal polling, which had previously been reported without the underlying numbers, didn’t exist at all. But Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale confirmed the data’s authenticity to the outlet, though he claimed it was “ancient.”

Just like with any leak, though, readers should be skeptical about why this particular information had been shared. Even if it is true, which it appears to be, selective disclosure can create a distorted perception.

Vox’s Matt Yglesias pointed out that ABC News only received a narrow set of top line numbers, not a comprehensive file on the campaign’s polling.

“Someone on the Trump campaign specifically wanted to generate a ‘Trump is polling poorly against Biden’ story and did not want that fact to appear in a broader context,” Ygelsias said.

IMAGE: Former Vice President Joe Biden. REUTERS/Jim Young  

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Michigan militia members at state capitol

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although Twitter and Facebook have been cracking down on some far-right users, extremists have found other ways to communicate — including the smartphone app Zello, which according to the Guardian, was useful to some far-right militia members during the siege of the U.S. Capitol Building last week.

"Zello has avoided proactive content moderation thus far," Guardian reporters Micah Loewinger and Hampton Stall explain. "Most coverage about Zello, which claims to have 150 million users on its free and premium platforms, has focused on its use by the Cajun Navy groups that send boats to save flood victims and grassroots organizing in Venezuela. However, the app is also home to hundreds of far-right channels, which appear to violate its policy prohibiting groups that espouse 'violent ideologies.'"

Keep reading... Show less