It’s Friday, and it’s the Briefing. Today we get into Donald Trump working the phones and we preview tomorrow’s Western Australia election.
US Election News
|Trump Called Another Georgia Elections Official on Tape|
Everybody knows about the recorded phone conversation between former President Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger last year. In that call, Trump pressured Raffensperger repeatedly to find a way to have him declared the winner in Georgia instead of Joe Biden.
Now we come to find out via the Wall Street Journal that Trump also called an elections investigator in Georgia, Frances Watson, and implored her to find the alleged fraud that cost him the election. Watson works for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, meaning her boss is Raffensperger.1
We are getting to the point – actually well beyond the point – where we want to reopen and re-litigate the 2020 presidential election. However, this is all part of the historical record, and one day we are going to look back and realize what a preposterous mess 2020 was on many levels.
|Green Bay Elections Process Faces Legislature Scrutiny|
Yesterday in the Briefing, we told you about the heat under the mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin’s seat. Also yesterday, the Wisconsin State Assembly began an inquiry into how Green Bay handled its election in 2020. Republicans have accused the city’s Democratic leadership of accepting funds from a Mark Zuckerberg-funded pro-elections non-profit and then turning over elections administration to Democratic interests. They say that how ballots were accessed and handled there is illegal. Some Democrats responded by saying that if elections boards were funded adequately, Green Bay would not have needed a grant in the first place.2
|New Georgia Bill to Centralize Elections Boards in Savannah’s Home County|
Georgia just gets all the attention, doesn’t it? Chatham County, home to beautiful Savannah (go there sometime), at present has a Board of Elections and a Board of Registrars. The Board of Elections does most of what you think it does, but the Board of Registrars, for example, maintains voter list and distributed absentee ballots. Sen. Lester Jackson (D) has proposed a bill in the State Legislature to merge the two bodies into one.3 Seems inefficient to have these functions broken into two different departments.
International Election News
|Western Australia Election Pre-Game Thoughts|
Saturday is election day in Western Australia. We are expecting a blowout win for the center-left Labor Party, potentially the biggest landslide in state history. You can view our final predictions here.
Among the possible political casualties is Zak Kirkup, the Leader of the Opposition and chief of the center-right Liberal Party. He sits in a marginal seat and if the swing to Labor there is even a fraction of what the opinion polls think, he’s out. A party leader losing is always a big deal, but it speaks to Labor’s gigantic lead, Premier Mark McGowan’s popularity, and the Liberals’ inability to create any narrative in this COVID campaign.
Expect bigger swings to Labor elsewhere, with the Liberals in fear that they could be reduced to single-digit seats or even loss of official party status. We have not gone as far as the latter, but acknowledge it as a possibility.
|Could the Liberals Blow It in Newfoundland and Labrador?|
The Newfoundland and Labrador election was at one point in February days away. It was then postponed, but earlier this week, it was again days away. It’s been postponed again until March 25. As we reported in an earlier Briefing, Newfoundlanders are not happy about this elections debacle or about the job Elections NL is doing.
Add to that a growing discontent with Premier Andrew Furey, the new Liberal who took over last year. Per Angus Reid, his approval rating has dropped eight points and his disapproval is up 11.4 The Liberals at one point earlier this year had about a 40-point lead in the polls over the Progressive Conservatives. The only poll since the election’s postponement in February showed the lead down to about 20. Then we have two other data points this week showing high discontent and the premier’s negatives spiking.
There is reason to believe, despite that 40-point lead in January, that the Liberals could blow it. We need further election polling to corroborate this, but if the Liberals seem uncomfortable now, it’s not just you. What could help them is that votes were cast prior to the first postponement, and they may have skewed heavily Liberal.
Tomorrow (or Today depending on your location) is election day in Western Australia.
5 days until the Dutch election.
8 days until the jungle primaries in LA-02 and LA-05.
11 days until the Israeli election.
Today’s Further Reading
- Cameron McWhirter, “Trump Call to Georgia Lead Investigator Reveals New Details,” Wall Street Journal, 11 March 2021.
- AJ Bayatpour, “Assembly elections committee hears claims of improper conduct,” WKOW-TV, 10 March 2021.
- WTOC Staff, “Ga. state senator introduces bill consolidating Chatham Co. election-related offices,” WTOC-TV, 10 March 2021.
- SaltWire Network, “Newfoundlanders and Labradorians split on Premier Andrew Furey: poll,” The Telegram, 10 March 2021.