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

Reprinted with permission from Independent Media Institute

Donald Trump is heading to Nevada on Friday for a campaign rally on the eve of the state’s presidential caucuses. However, unlike his previous rallies in early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada Republicans will not be able to vote for Trump (or anyone else) the day after the rally.

That’s because Nevada is one of several states to cancel their nominating contest.

In September 2019, the Nevada Republican Party voted to cancel the state’s presidential nominating contest, becoming one of the first in a series of states to follow suit.

State officials admitted they were canceling the contest to help Trump. The decision to cancel was based on the “inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting our delegates at the National Convention in Charlotte,” Keith Schipper, Nevada GOP spokesperson said at the time.

Since then, Republicans in several states have either canceled their nominating contest or changed the rules to all but assure Trump is victorious.

Along with Nevada, Republicans in Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, and South Carolina canceled their nominating contests.

The GOP state parties in GeorgiaMinnesota, and Wisconsin refused to list any candidate other than Trump on their state’s primary ballot.

In Michigan, Republicans changed the amount of support a candidate needs to receive national delegates.

“This kind of un-American bullshit shouldn’t happen here,” former Rep. Joe Walsh, a Republican who recently ended his campaign for the GOP nomination, said in January about states canceling their primaries.

In states that have not rigged the primary for Trump, support for him has been lackluster.

In Iowa, Trump became the first incumbent to lose a delegate to another candidate in almost 30 years, losing one of Iowa’s 40 delegates to former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

On the day before the New Hampshire primary, Trump boasted that he had the support of 95% of Republicans. Yet he received less than 86% of the New Hampshire GOP vote.

“President Trump has delivered for Nevada, and Nevada is going to deliver for him,” Nevada Republican Party chair Michael McDonald said in a press release about Trump’s upcoming rally, set for Feb. 21. Trump lost the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

On the Democratic side, voters in Nevada will caucus on Saturday, Feb. 22, to help select the nominee who will face Trump in November. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leads in the average of Nevada polls, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

After Nevada, Democrats in South Carolina will vote in a Feb. 29 primary. South Carolina Republicans canceled their primary.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been claiming that COVID-19 has been mostly defeated in the U.S. — which is laughable in light of how much infection rates have been surging, especially in Sun Belt states. But according to Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, Team Trump has found a new coronavirus talking point: claiming that Americans can learn to live with the pandemic and the ever-climbing death count.

According to Abutaleb and Dawsey, the "goal" of Trump's White House and campaign allies "is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year, and the economy will continue to improve. White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House's thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations."

A Trump Administration senior official, quoted anonymously, told the Post that Americans will "live with the virus being a threat." And a former Trump official, according to the Post, said of Trump's allies, "They're of the belief that people will get over it, or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on — and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day."

Figures from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore show that the coronavirus pandemic continues to be quite deadly — especially in the United States. As of Monday morning, July 6, Hopkins was reporting a worldwide COVID-19 death count of more than 534,800 — and almost 130,000 of those deaths were in the U.S.

Biden's campaign has been asserting that the former vice president has a much better track record than Trump when it comes to pandemics. Democratic strategist and Biden campaign adviser Ariana Berengaut told the Post, "From really January on, Vice President Biden has been laser focused on the rising risk to the American people presented by this pandemic. You can almost imagine them side by side — Trump's leadership and Biden's leadership…. Trump has no plan for tomorrow, no plan for a week from now; so, there is absolutely no plan for the fall, and that's what encapsulates the whole arc of that contrast."

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, told the Post that Trump's coronavirus response has been and continues to be an abysmal failure.

Garin asserted, "Trump is increasingly defined in voters' minds by his failing response to the coronavirus crisis, and virtually every action and position he's taken have been wildly out of sync with where the public is at on what should be done. Biden now has a remarkable opportunity to contrast himself with this failure of leadership that a large majority of voters see so clearly."