Episode 155: End Times Insight

34 minutes

10/28/20-- In the run-up to the 2020 election, the drama of U.S. congressional races pretty much ended with the primaries. But, there's still news to be made this week, and Gov. Charlie Baker brought all eyes to Ballot Question 2 Tuesday when he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito issued a joint statement coming out against ranked-choice voting.

"At a time when we need to be promoting turnout and making it easier for voters to cast their ballots, we worry that question two will add an additional layer of complication for both voters and election officials, while potentially delaying results and increasing the cost of elections," the statement read.

The timing of the statement is interesting, Stephanie says, because it comes after roughly 1.7 million voters already cast their ballots in Massachusetts.

This is an instance where the issue has clearly become a partisan one in the weeks before the election. GOP candidate for Senate Kevin O'Connor came out against ranked-choice voting, as did the MassGOP, and now Baker and Politio. On the other side, Massachusetts Democrats Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Attorney General Maura Healey have all come out in favor of ranked-choice.

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Joining the hosts to discuss the national angle is friend of the pod Vicki McGrane, reporter from the Boston Globe. She recently wrote about the Democrats' chances of turning the Senate blue in 2020. Compared to January of this year, the common thinking around this probability has changed drastically. Back then, it was largely assumed Republicans had a slight edge over Democrat to hold on to their power. Now, McGrane says, there's been "an incredible shift." Democrats are now widely believed to take over the Senate majority thanks in large part to recent events.

"The president, and the pandemic, and everything that’s happened in this crazy year, George Floyd, has conspired to help Democrats really expand the map and be competitive in places like Kansas, Alaska, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina... it just goes on and on.”

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A new survey out from UMass Amherst and WCVB asked Massachusetts voters about their confidence in elections as well as their feelings about the potential for violence after the election. The results were troubling.

Seventy-nine percent of voters are at least somewhat concerned about the possibility of violence associated with the 2020 presidential election. Fifty-six percent of voters are at least somewhat confident that votes will be counted as voters intend this election.

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