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Deep Blue New York Becoming Battleground State Thanks to Biden

Democrats are warning that New York is becoming a swing state this election.

Joe Biden speaks at a lectern. A giant U.S. flag is behind him.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Time to check your voter registration, New York: According to Politico, the deep blue Big Apple is teetering on the brink of becoming a battleground state as support for Joe Biden dissolves like the remnants of a bad dollar slice tossed into the Hudson.

According to Politico, Democratic elected officials, union leaders, and political consultants are worried that Biden’s team is ignoring New York and are trying to get it to boost his campaign in the state. They’re also deeply concerned about the Democrats in six swing districts that could determine whether the party maintains control of the House come November.

One high-level New York Democrat who spoke with Politico anonymously assessed that Democratic politicians facing tough races should avoid association with Biden, instead focusing on building their brand independent from him.

“Biden isn’t going to be handing out coattails, no matter what,” the Democrat said. “He’s only got anchors.”

According to two private polls reviewed by Politico, one taken in September 2023 and the other in March 2024, Donald Trump leads Biden by one point in New York House swing districts—putting candidates in those six districts in the crosshairs. Public polls show Biden’s lead against Trump across the state has shrunk to just eight points, according to a Siena College poll conducted in June. In the lead-up to the 2020 general election, Biden led Trump by nearly 30 points across New York, an astonishing plummet.

“We’re still acting like this is a one-party state, which for pretty much 20, 25 years it has been,” Democratic Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine told Politico. “I truly believe we’re a battleground state now.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s team expects him to easily win the state in November and have shown little interest in committing resources to it. During the 2024 election, Biden has largely only visited the Empire State for closed-door ritzy fundraisers, which are consistently protested by New Yorkers denouncing Biden’s support for Israel’s devastation of Gaza. He made one public appearance—a dedication ceremony for the Stonewall Inn Visitor Center in late June—but that too was overshadowed by protests.

While Biden’s polls have sent alarm bells ringing ahead of the 2024 general election, New York has been in a backslide for at least the past two years: During the 2022 midterm elections, New York Governor Kathy Hochul barely eked out a win against ultraconservative election-denialist Lee Zeldin, whose campaign largely focused on fearmongering about crime in New York City. Four blue congressional seats flipped red that year, including the humiliating defeat of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney to Republican Assemblymember Mike Lawler. A number of other races across New York State also faced surprisingly close contests. The midterm turnout in New York showed voters across the state swung to the right, falling for Republicans heavily stoking fear about crime.

Moderate Democratic Representative Pat Ryan—whose seat is at risk in New York’s 18th congressional district, north of New York City, and who narrowly won in 2022—called for Biden to bow out on Wednesday. “I’d be doing a grave disservice if I said he was the best candidate to serve this fall. For the good of our country, for my two young kids, I’m asking Joe Biden to step aside in the upcoming election and deliver on the promise to be a bridge to a new generation of leaders,” he told The New York Times. “I really hope, with all my heart, that he will listen.”

Still, many New York electeds continue backing Biden, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Both have expressed support for Biden as the Democratic nominee as he continues facing headwinds of doubt following his disastrous debate performance. “As I’ve said before, I’m with Joe,” Schumer said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday.

“The matter is closed,” Ocasio-Cortez told the press on Monday. “Joe Biden is our nominee. He is not leaving this race. He is in this race, and I support him.”

Democratic Party spokesperson Jen Goodman brushed aside concerns with confidence of New Yorkers’ long-standing hatred for Donald Trump, telling Politico, “Time and again New Yorkers have rejected Donald Trump.

“He’s the most unpopular person in New York politics, and there is no doubt that voters will once again turn out for President Biden in November,” Goodman added.

“Wait Until 2025”: Top Trump Ally Makes Terrifying Revenge Threat

Donald Trump’s Project 2025 buddy just made a clear threat on what a second-term agenda will look like.

Tom Homan speaks and makes a hand gesture
Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A former director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Donald Trump has an ominous warning for a second Trump administration.

“Trump comes back in January, I’ll be on his heels coming back, and I will run the biggest deportation force this country has ever seen,” said Tom Homan at a panel on immigration policy at the National Conservatism conference (NatCon 4) Monday afternoon. “They ain’t seen shit yet. Wait until 2025.”

Homan’s words match what Trump is promising to do if he’s elected in November, which is enlist police officers in a massive immigration crackdown and give them immunity from prosecution and lawsuits. The more he says about it, the worse it gets. Trump has claimed that there are 20 million people who will have to be deported and repeatedly compared them to horror movie character Hannibal Lecter.

Homan’s threat could also hint at the Project 2025 planning document, a 900-page playbook written by Homan and other conservative ideologues with the backing of the right-wing Heritage Foundation. It explains how a dramatic overhaul of the federal government could happen in line with Trump’s authoritarian aspirations, opening the floodgates for extreme policies to be enacted.

In recent days, Trump has tried to distance himself from the document, even as many of its authors are former staffers from his presidential administration. Even some of his current staffers have promoted it, including his campaign press secretary, Karoline Leavitt. The Biden-Harris campaign, as well as other Democrats, has pounced on the controversial document, attempting to tie it to the former president and convicted felon.

But not only are Trump’s disavowals not believable, they also are alienating some of his right-wing supporters, including extremist Alex Jones and white nationalist Nick Fuentes. That segment of Republican voters aren’t put off by the more extreme items in the Trump–Project 2025 agenda but are in fact eager for them to come to fruition.

George Clooney Calls on Biden to Withdraw: “The Dam Has Broken”

Clooney urged the president to “save democracy.”

George Clooney looks to the side
David Livingston/WireImage/Getty Images

Academy Award–winning actor George Clooney on Wednesday joined the growing chorus of voices calling for Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race. 

Since Biden’s disastrous appearance at CNN’s presidential debate last month, many have urged him to demonstrate that his halting, confused performance was not indicative of his mental acuity. 

But in an op-ed for The New York Times, Clooney confirmed that things are exactly as bad as everyone feared. 

“It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010,” wrote Clooney, referring to a fundraiser he co-hosted for Biden last month, which raised $28 million for the president’s campaign, per Variety. “He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.  

“Was he tired? Yes. A cold? Maybe. But our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw. We’re all so terrified by the prospect of a second Trump term that we’ve opted to ignore every warning sign,” he wrote. 

“We are not going to win in November with this president. On top of that, we won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate,” Clooney said. “This isn’t only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly.

“We love to talk about how the Republican Party has ceded all power, and all of the traits that made it so formidable with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, to a single person who seeks to hold on to the presidency, and yet most of our members of Congress are opting to wait and see if the dam breaks. But the dam has broken,” he wrote. “We can put our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November, or we can speak the truth.”

Clooney concluded that “Joe Biden is a hero; he saved democracy in 2020. We need him to do it again in 2024.”

Although a staunch Democratic supporter and donor, this isn’t the first time Clooney has broken with Biden. In May, the actor and director called a top aide at the White House to voice his opposition to Biden’s denunciation of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. One anonymous source told The Washington Post that Clooney was concerned that sanctions on the ICC would penalize his wife, Amal Clooney, who worked on the case. 

Biden has previously relied on celebrity spokespeople, such as Robert DeNiro, to help him set the stakes for his fight against Trump. Should Clooney’s dissent spark a wave of calls from high-profile public figures to drop out, public opinion of the president could nosedive even further. 

Read more about Joe Biden:

Bombshell Report Exposes Trump’s Mar-a-Lago GOP Grift

Donald Trump has transformed Mar-a-Lago into an “essential rite” for Republican candidates as he quietly rakes in millions.

Donald Trump smiles weirdly and makes a fist. A row of U.S. flags are behind him, as are massive drapes, and a huge chandelier can be seen above him. He is at Mar-a-Lago.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

A stunning new investigation by The New York Times exposes how Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago has become the lucrative “epicenter” of the MAGA movement, shifting from a nonpartisan venue that hosts galas for charity to a hub for the conspiratorial far right to extol Trump’s greatness and sing songs in his honor at the low, low price of $600,000 a head.

According to an analysis of evidentiary records in New York’s fraud case against the Trump Organization, Mar-a-Lago pulled in a net profit of $22 million in 2022. While the remainder of Trump’s clubs and properties also saw an increase in profits through and after Trump’s presidency, Mar-a-Lago—where Trump spends most of his time and to which conservatives flock, hoping for a glimpse of their dear leader—has seen more than double in profits, according to an analysis by the Times.

According to the Times, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club increased its initiation fee from $100,000 in 2016 to $600,000 by 2022. With approximately 500 members, that’s roughly $12 million being given to the club Trump owns, which is effectively money straight into Trump’s pocket.

According to campaign finance filings through the first quarter of 2024 reviewed by the Times, candidates and political committees have spent more than $4.7 million at Mar-a-Lago since Trump left the White House, with Trump’s campaign and super PAC accounting for roughly a quarter of that total.

Some of Trump’s grift was known during his presidency: Mar-a-Lago collected a pretty penny from the federal government, charging more than $1.4 million for rooms rented to Trump’s mandatory Secret Service entourage during his presidency and even charging the White House for liquor consumed by his aides.

Prior to Trump’s political career, the Times notes, Mar-a-Lago was largely a venue for glitzy charity galas and few political events. In the 2014–2015 season, the last before Trump announced his run for president, the Times counted 52 fundraiser events at Mar-a-Lago, with only one being political.

After his infamous “very fine people” comment about the neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the deadly Unite the Right rally in 2017, many traditional charity events stopped using Mar-a-Lago and set up shop elsewhere, according to the Times. All but six fundraiser events abandoned the venue—and have since been replaced by far-right events, such as an annual gala hosted by Turning Point USA, a conservative group using Christian nationalism to target college campuses, which began taking place at Mar-a-Lago in 2018.

The Times identified 130 people who attended three or more events at Mar-a-Lago since Trump left office. Many are election denialists and Capitol rioters, and 44 are members of Congress, state officials, or Republican candidates running for office. Thirty-four of those candidates received endorsements from Trump after they made the pilgrimage and kissed the ring.

“We don’t do too many of these things at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump claimed in March 2022 at a fundraiser for Vernon Jones, who was running for the Republican nomination in Georgia’s 10th congressional district. “I don’t want to make it a totally political place,” Mr. Trump added.

Trump’s Donors Really, Really Hate J.D. Vance

A new report reveals how Donald Trump’s donors are fighting about the possibility of Senator J.D. Vance becoming Trump’s running mate.

J.D. Vance speaks on a mic and makes a hand gesture
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s donors are reportedly fighting with each other over the prospect of Senator J.D. Vance becoming Trump’s running mate.

The Daily Beast reports that Republican donors are sharply divided over Vance, with criticisms over his lack of political experience and business expertise. Some are also upset about one of Trump’s campaign managers, Susie Wiles, reportedly playing favorites with Vance.

“The person who’s had some outside influence here is Susie Wiles,” one GOP strategist said, based on conversions with donors, adding that “she certainly wants Vance. Vance is like her little pet.”

Donors are more inclined toward Senator Marco Rubio and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who demonstrate more experience, as well as safer foreign policy stances in Rubio’s case. In contrast, “J.D. Vance is a guy who wrote a book and helped with a Netflix show,” the strategist said.

Vance also underperformed in his 2022 Ohio election victory, running nearly 10 points behind the state’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine. The strategist said that this shows that many Republicans in Ohio didn’t support Vance, which may translate to other swing states.

The article did point out that Vance has the support of at least one big-time donor: Silicon Valley billionaire David Sacks, who is part of the infamous “PayPal mafia” that includes the likes of Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, among other tech moguls. Will those connections be enough to elevate Vance to be Trump’s running mate above Rubio and Burgum? Rubio’s establishment support has hurt him with some MAGA personalities, including Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. It seems the decision will come down to whether Trump wants a safe choice or an antiestablishment figure like himself.

Trump Ally Exposed for Horrific Hit List of Political Enemies

Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed “secretary of retribution” is even more bloodthirsty than the former president.

Ivan Raiklin smiles
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed “secretary of retribution” is touting a wild plan to arrest politicians, police officers, and journalists he views as disloyal to the former president, according to a sweeping new investigation by Raw Story.

Conservative political activist Ivan Raiklin claims to have assembled a “Deep State target list” that includes high-ranking Democrats and Republicans, U.S. Capitol Police officers, officials at the FBI and other intelligence agencies, witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trials, and journalists at The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, and other news outlets. Their supposed crime? Being Trump’s political enemies. And Raiklin views himself as justice incarnate.

During one podcast appearance earlier this year, Raiklin said his nickname was the “deep state marauder, a.k.a. the mauler.” Raiklin’s plan for what to do with his list isn’t nearly as gruesome, but it is still terrifying. He intends to enlist right-wing sheriffs to carry out mass arrests, and in May, he declared his intention to arrange “livestreamed swatting raids.”

Raiklin reportedly claims that if he went public with all of the so-called evidence he collected on Trump’s enemies in the deep state, it would be probable cause to arrest those high-ranking officials and journalists on his list.

Those arrests would be carried out by “constitutional sheriffs,” specifically a right-wing anti-government group called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. Those sheriffs would then deputize the 75,000 veterans Raiklin claims were dismissed from the military for refusing to comply with Covid-19 vaccine mandates, forming a rogue army intent on revenge.

Thus far, attempts at assembling his troops have proved less than successful.

Raiklin attempted to recruit some at the group’s convention in April, where he asked a panel whether they’d “be willing to go to the maximum level to create consequences for these federal actors,” who he alleged had committed some kind of “seditious conspiracy.”

The response was underwhelming, according to Raw Story. Despite being fairly sympathetic to Raiklin, officers warned that his plot was illegal, and it would be unlikely that prosecutors would ever press charges.

Even Sheriff Dar Leaf, who gained notoriety among the far right for suggesting that the group that attempted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was simply attempting to make a citizen’s arrest, felt that Raiklin’s plan went too far.

“We’re not going to be able to just go out and arrest,” Leaf said. “We’ve got to do a grand jury indictment, just like the Constitution says.”

When asked by Raw Story about Raiklin’s plan, Leaf said he didn’t know who Raiklin was, and opposed political prosecutions.

Former Sheriff Richard Mack, who leads the Constitutional Sheriffs group, told Raw Story that he had severed ties with Raiklin in early June and did not approve of his rhetoric. “Quite frankly, he talks about that list of 350 people—I’m sure they can afford lawyers,” said Mack. “It reeks of lawsuits, and it doesn’t follow due process.”

Raiklin has also emailed sheriffs’ offices across the country hoping to enlist them to his cause. Not one has signed on, according to Raw Story.

More about Trump’s plans for revenge:

Elon Musk Idiotically Demands Laws for What’s Already Illegal

The X owner is pushing one of Donald Trump’s most bonkers election conspiracies.

Elon Musk gestures while making a weird face
Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Elon Musk is giddy to elevate right-wing talking points about alleged rampant election fraud ahead of November.

Taking a page from Donald Trump’s book this past week, Musk has been up late, firing off various fearmongering tweets about requiring paper ballots, in-person voting, and hand-counting ballots.

It’s no coincidence. The House will vote Wednesday on the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility, or SAVE, Act, sponsored by Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee and Texas Republican Representative Chip Roy. Ahead of the vote, the GOP is trying to whip up controversy about election fraud.

The bill would require a Real ID or U.S. passport for voting, rather than the standard driver’s license, in an effort to tamp down on noncitizen voting. The bill also calls for states to purge noncitizens from their rolls and even have Homeland Security deport anyone unlawfully registered.

Additionally, just this week, Republicans announced they’ll put the issue of proof of citizenship in their party platform at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week.

You wouldn’t know it to hear Republicans talk, but it’s already a federal crime for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. What’s more, noncitizen voting is incredibly rare, making up only about 0.0001 percent of the votes cast in state elections in 2016, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Even the Cato Institute says “noncitizens don’t illegally vote in detectable numbers.”

Nevertheless, Republicans and their allies are running with the conspiracy theory that Democrats are using immigrants to steal the elections, combining two of their favorite topics: voter fraud and the border. “Why are Democrats so adamantly against ensuring only American citizens vote in our elections?” Speaker Mike Johnson wrote Monday on X (formerly Twitter). “They want to turn illegal aliens into voters. We must pass the SAVE Act to prevent this.”

Musk then reposted Johnson, writing: “Those who oppose this are traitors. All Caps: TRAITORS. What is the penalty for traitors again?”

At 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, Musk quote-tweeted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who wrote, “There is no hiding it now. Biden and the Democrats want illegal immigrants to vote in the election this November. Our elections are NOT safe from mass interference as long as states do not require proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections.”

As the owner of X, Elon is not only pushing this rhetoric on his site, but he is actually taking steps to help Trump and Republicans stop nonexistent voter fraud. Along with billionaire Nelson Peltz, Musk aims to present Trump with a “data-driven” election-oversight system.

As Elon would say, it’s all looking “extremely concerning”!

The 3 Wildest Things Trump Said at Train-Wreck Florida Rally

Donald Trump is totally losing it—and his rally at Doral made that more clear than ever before.

Donald Trump at a mic. People in the crowd in the stands behind him hold signs up reading "You're Fired!" and "Trump 2024."
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Riding high as Democrats continue to scramble following Biden’s debate performance last month, Trump on Tuesday spewed a dizzying array of nonsense and repeatedly fumbled over his prepared remarks during a campaign rally at his golf course in Doral, Florida.

1. Trump claimed Biden doesn’t know what a synagogue is during a bizarre tangent on his golf skills.

“This evening, I’m also officially challenging Crooked Joe to an 18-hole golf match right here on Doral’s Blue Monster,” Trump said, after challenging Biden to a debate with “no moderators, no holds barred.”

“I’ll even give Joe Biden 10 strokes aside. And if he wins, I will give the charity of his choice $1 million,” Trump continued before immediately declaring Biden won’t take him up on the offer—not because he’s hosting the NATO summit this week but because he’s “all talk.”

Trump then claimed Biden “doesn’t know what a synagogue is” and claimed Biden got “three or four” face lifts. “You know what took him so long to get into the race?” Trump asked the crowd. “The face lift didn’t work.”

2. Trump praised Hannibal Lecter—again.

Trump spent much of his speech fearmongering about asylum-seekers, comparing them to Hannibal Lecter. He then floated a conspiracy that countries across South America, Asia, Africa, and “every other place” are intentionally emptying “their prisons, their jails, and their mental institutions” to send “bloodthirsty terrorists, savage gang members, and child predators into the United States to prey on our people, to prey on you, to prey on everybody.”

“Did anyone ever see The Silence of the Lambs? Did you ever hear of Hannibal Lecter?” Trump asked the crowd while railing against asylum-seekers. “He was a lovely man. He would love to have you for dinner. He will take you. He had many people for dinner.”

Trump appeared cognizant of how far-fetched this comparison was, noting that the media “will say, ‘Oh, that’s terrible what Trump would say. He is rambling about Hannibal Lecter.’ No I’m not, rambling,” he said in defense of his recurring non sequitur likening asylum-seekers to a fictional character who eats people. “We are allowing people from insane asylums and mental institutions into our country by the tens of thousands.”

Trump’s claim appears to be rooted in a conspiracy theory that crime has dropped in Venezuela due to intentional efforts to send criminals to the U.S. According to available data, crime rates in Venezuela have gradually reduced slightly over time due to reduced opportunities for crimes to occur, as more people have been plunged into poverty and there is nothing of value worth stealing from them.

3. Trump promised to “take over our capital.”

Trump said he would take over Washington, D.C., so that it is “no longer a nightmare of murder and crime.” He also claimed people get “shot, mugged, raped” every time they visit the Jefferson Memorial or Washington Monument.

Important read on the Trump agenda:

Nancy Pelosi Really Doesn’t Sound Like She Wants Joe Biden to Run

The former House speaker gave a non-answer when asked if Joe Biden still has her support.

Nancy Pelosi, seated on an armchair, speaks and makes hand gestures. There is a black backdrop behind her.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Does Joe Biden have Representative Nancy Pelosi’s support to lead the Democratic ticket in November? Pelosi says that it’s up to him.

Pelosi was asked the question on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, and she ominously replied, “It’s up to the president to decide if he’s going to run.

“We’re all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short,” Pelosi said. Host Jonathan Lemire then reminded her that Biden has said he is going to run, and asked her if she wanted him to run.

“I want him to decide whatever he decides to do, and that’s the way it is, whatever he decides, we go in,” Pelosi responded.

Pelosi’s response could be easily interpreted as a nonanswer. Immediately after Biden’s disastrous debate performance two weeks ago, she didn’t make a commitment either. Last week, she called for both Donald Trump and Biden to take a mental fitness test.

Even though she doesn’t lead the House Democratic caucus anymore, Pelosi’s opinion still carries a lot of weight as a senior Democrat, and she presumably is in conversation with other leading members of the party. On Tuesday, House Democrats held a private closed-door meeting that reportedly left the party still divided on the future of Biden’s candidacy. While Biden has tried to put any thoughts of replacing him to bed, reports show that many Democrats are worried about his chances of winning reelection. If Biden doesn’t have total support from his party heading into November, it doesn’t bode well.

More on Dems in disarray:

Biden’s Attempt to Prove His Fitness Just Blew Up in His Face

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos interviewed Joe Biden after the disastrous debate, and he was not impressed.

George Stephanopoulos and Joe Biden sit facing each other
ABC/Getty Images

ABC News anchor George Stephanopolous was caught on film expressing doubt that President Joe Biden will be able to handle another term in the White House, only a few days after he did an exclusive interview with the embattled commander in chief.

In a low-quality video published by TMZ Tuesday, a pedestrian approached Stephanopoulos on the street in New York City. “Do you think Biden should step down? You’ve talked to him more than anybody else has lately,” the man asked.

“I don’t think he can serve four more years,” Stephanopolous replied, in a candid moment.

It’s a troubling response from the journalist whose interview with the president last week was meant to assuage national anxieties about Biden’s mental acuity, following a disastrous performance in last month’s presidential debate on CNN.

Stephanopolous’s comment also comes amid a high-stakes week for the president, as Biden continues to face calls from within his own party to withdraw from the presidential race, while also attending the NATO summit in Washington, D.C.

Stephanopoulos confirmed to TMZ that he had in fact made that statement but sought to walk it back some. “Earlier today, I responded to a question from a passerby. I shouldn’t have,” he told the outlet.

An ABC spokesperson clarified to TMZ that “George expressed his own point of view and not the position of ABC News.”