Happy Primary day, OnPolitics readers!
Primaries are being conducted in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Oregon and Idaho.
There's the celebrity doctor facing a conservative commentator and a former hedge fund manager in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Democrat who is favored to win a Senate nomination but is recovering from a stroke. A North Carolina congressman trying to survive a knockout bid from fellow Republicans. An Idaho governor battling his lieutenant governor. And Donald Trump.
Can Cawthorn pull off re-election? North Carolina's primary day features one of the year's most embattled incumbents: Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., whose turbulent term has been marked by ethics complaints, carrying handguns in airports, repeated traffic violations and a furor within his own party over remarks about cocaine and D.C. orgies.
(Another) TV star turned politician: Mehmet Oz, the surgeon-turned-talk show host, hopes to win the Republican nomination to a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania with the help of a Trump endorsement - but it won't be easy. Many conservatives criticized Trump's endorsement, saying Oz has voiced liberal views in the past on items like abortion and gun control.
A drop in dropboxes? Election Day voting had been declining for years, but it cratered during the pandemic as more Americans used mail-in ballots for the 2020 election. A recent analysis from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab found an increasing share of the electorate returned vote-by-mail ballots using drop boxes.
A wave of new election laws in some states, though, has put limits on drop boxes. From Florida to Wisconsin and Iowa to Pennsylvania, the boxes have been at the center of fights in courtrooms and on the floors of state legislatures.
President Biden, FLOTUS visit Buffalo following mass shooting
President Joe Biden said "white supremacy is a poison" and vowed "hate will not prevail" during a trip Tuesday to Buffalo, New York, where he grieved with family members of 10 victims killed Saturday during a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket.
"What happened here is simple, straightforward terrorism," Biden said. "Domestic terrorism inflicted in the service of hate and a vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior."
Biden and first lady Jill Biden met with families of the shooting victims, who ranged from 32 to 86 years old. Most were Black, either shopping or working at a Tops Friendly Market in one of Buffalo's highest concentrated African American neighborhoods. The slain included a civil rights advocate, a deacon and a heroic security guard.
Who is responsible? The shooting suspect was identified by authorities as Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, about 200 miles east of Buffalo.
Gendron is white, and law enforcement officials were working to confirm the authenticity of a 180-page document published online before the attack that discusses the "great replacement theory." The document detailed the plot and identified Gendron by name as the gunman, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
"I call on all Americans to reject the lie and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain and for profit," Biden said, though not singling out any names. "We've now seen too many times the deadly, destructive violence this ideology unleashes."
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Fundraising for abortion rights groups may affect midterms
Activists on either side of the abortion debate appealed to supporters for more grassroots fundraising in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The efforts could boost turnout for abortion advocates during the November midterm elections. Historically, the party that does not hold the White House has more success during the midterms, but the leaked opinion could help the party backing abortion rights as well as advocacy groups.
"Big events that tend to scare one side or the other tend to be really good for fundraising and so you can expect a decision overturning Roe to be a massive boost to groups on the abortion rights side of the spectrum," said Ian Vandewalker, senior counsel at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice.
Abortion rights political action committees have outraised their anti-abortion counterparts by a two-to-one margin in the past two decades, according to an analysis of fundraising data from Open Secrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics.
Experts said that PAC money does not fully capture how much is spent because the Republican Party and Democratic Party have aligned themselves closely with anti-abortion candidates and abortion rights candidates, respectively.
But the abortion rights side has also used funds to professionalize the movement by spending money to conduct focus groups and polls. Experts say the actions disconnect efforts from the grassroots, especially people of color. On the other hand, anti-abortion groups are skilled at mobilizing support around abortion as a single issue.
"I think they've forgotten that abortion doesn't happen on the bench of the Supreme Court or in the White House or in the halls of Congress," Shawn Carney, the president of the Texas-based nonprofit organization 40 Days for Life, said of pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood. "It happens in these neighborhoods."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pres. Biden vows "hate will not prevail" after Buffalo mass shooting