Swing Voters Say the Darndest Things
Plus, America, Land of Unbelieving Believers.
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RICH THAU AND JILL DITOMMASO: Swing Voters Say the Darndest Things.
As the House January 6th Committee hearings go on hiatus for the next few weeks, it’s useful to know how the most important electoral weather vanes—aka Trump-to-Biden swing voters—view the two key Republicans associated with the proceedings: Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney and former President Donald Trump. Is their political stock going up or down?
Of the 13 Trump-to-Biden Arizona voters who participated in this month’s Swing Voter Project online focus groups on June 13, only 5 watched the primetime hearing on June 9. (Only eight even knew there was a primetime hearing that day.) All five hearing-watchers heaped praise on Cheney, calling her “brave” and a “true Republican,” among other compliments. One respondent, Chaunsy, 47, from Goodyear, said, “I wish she was running for president.”
Maureen, 61, from Chandler, explained Cheney is brave because “she’s stepping out against her own party and condemning [Trump], instead of just being one of the crowd, just going along with the whole deal.”
This admiration of Cheney was the polar opposite of most of the group’s feelings about former President Trump.
A White House insider straight out of central casting took congressional testimony to a whole new level. It’s no longer ‘what did the president know and when did he know it?’ It’s now ‘how many weapons was he directing to the Capitol for a coup?’ David Priess joins Charlie Sykes.
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DANIEL N. GULLOTTA: America, Land of Unbelieving Believers.
[W]hile the Religious Right has played a role in the waning of traditional Christianity in the United States, the disillusioned young scions of conservative Catholic and Protestant families aren’t emptying the pews at home to fill them in more progressive church spaces. Liberal Christians traditions are in a faster freefall than conservative ones.
Notwithstanding the Episcopal Church’s progressive stances on a number of issues that align with the mores of liberal young Americans—the denomination ordains trans people, blesses same-sex marriages, and supports abortion rights—its membership and Sunday attendance have plummeted. Far from picking up large numbers of disaffected post-evangelicals during the Trump years, the church experienced a net loss of almost 170,000 members between 2016 and 2020. These numbers reflect a decades-long trend: In October 2020, the denomination’s own news service reported that “membership is down 17.4 [percent] over the last 10 years.” The average age of the average Episcopalian and the lack of generational replacement have contributed to an overall picture that prompted one scholar to say, “The Episcopal Church will be dead in the next 20 years.” (He later wrote to clarify and mildly soften his position: “They will very likely be on life support.”) It’s been a steep slope: The denomination has produced more American presidents than any other, a reminder of the prestige and power it enjoyed as recently as one or two generations ago.
It adds up.
A time for choosing… Liz Cheney has a livestream tonight at the Reagan Library at 9pm Eastern. Tune in, should be interesting.
What is going on in California? A release of information about those with gun permits is probably going to result in a lawsuit.
Meanwhile, in Saint Louis… A challenger to Ann Wagner, hardly a profile in courage but insufficiently Trumpy, is pledging to give away an AR-15 every day for the month of July. Looking at his website, I’m left to wonder: Does he have that much money in his campaign?
And now, a word from a STL “RINO”… Our friend Lynn Schmidt has this column on the disturbing Eric Greitens.
Wood jumps in… The former January 6th Committee staffer is apparently jumping into the Missouri Senate race.
But in Jefferson City… The state has added a photo voter ID law and done away with the primaries, in favor of caucuses.
Score… A great documentary about movie scores is now free for all to watch.
What would you do with half a billion? Because Amtrak made the Acela 100 seconds faster, well behind schedule.
Jim Mattis does the most Marine thing ever… Marries a woman he met at a bar and gets married by an Elvis impersonator.
“A withering indictment of the GOP…” Read Peter Wehner in The Atlantic on yesterday’s J6 hearing.
“Indict them all…” Nicholas Grossman in Arc Digital on the prosecutorial challenges and why we must overcome them to bring justice those who went along with a coup attempt.
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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.