Support for NPR and the following message come from Simon & Schuster Publishers of is this anything by Jerry Seinfeld in his first book in 25 years Seinfeld shares his favorite work from across five decades in comedy. Is this anything is available? Wherever books are sold everybody. It's Scott detrow. And before we start the show, I have a request it is the final weeks of a chaotic presidential election. And not only are we podcasting everyday to bring you all the news you need many of us are traveling across the country in a pandemic to do the same and we are able to do this because of one thing your financial support when you support your local public radio station, it helps us at the NPR politics podcast, but it also helps the political reporters where you live reporters like Emma hurt from WABE in Georgia and Steve Harrison from wfae in North Carolina who are both joining us today to talk about the Senate races in those States. So just go to donate. NPR. Org Paulette.
I think it started. Thank you so much. It really goes a long way, especially in moments like this where we really know things are hard for everybody. Thank you so much. Hi, this is Jasmine from Lynden Washington. It's currently 4 in the morning, and I'm getting ready to unload the first truckload of mail here at the post office, including all the ballots for Whatcom County.
This podcast was recorded at a very important job and we appreciate you doing it especially at 4 a.m. It is 11:30 Eastern on Thursday. October 15th. Politics are always changing but one thing is certain the mail never stops. Okay, enjoy the show.
Hey there, it's the NPR politics podcast on Scott detrow. I cover the presidential campaign. I'm Domenico montanaro senior political editor and correspondent and dominicano. We know that that male men and women across the country are busy because according to the US elections project more than 17 million ballots are already in amazing in such an important job at this time of year with all the questions that have been going on surrounding mail-in ballots. Yeah. So we're going to talk today about a new NPR PBS NewsHour Marist poll. We're also going to focus in on North Carolina and Georgia Senate races, but first we're going to know some news from the Biden campaign, Senator, Kamala Harris is canceling her campaign events through the weekend. That's after one of her top staffers communications director Liz Allen and a member of the flight crew on a recent flight that Harris took have both tested positive for the coronavirus Allen traveled with Harrison a trip last week. And since then Harris has tested negative twice on Monday. And then yesterday we will keep you updated on this. It's also just worth noting that the campaign.
At least all of this information preemptively and that is very different than how the Trump campaign is handle things in recent weeks. Let's shift gears here though. There's a new poll from NPR PBS NewsHour and Marist you worked on it and it is showing what a lot of holes in Vermont. And that is Joe Biden has a considerable National lead over Donald Trump a double-digit lead 54 to 43% over Trump among likely voters. This is the highest that we've had Biden in the pole at 54% since we started testing the head-to-head matchup between Biden and Trump back in February bite in a bite and getting a 54 is really significant. We've seen that in some other poles as well and Trump has not gotten above 44% in our poll at all. And we haven't seen him really much about that in any polls nationally course the national International surveys do not decide the election that's you know, those key swing States and you know still within striking
Send those places but even over the last few weeks. We've seen Biden increase his leading a lot of those places and we got less than three weeks to go Scott a weed like this across the country. What does that tell you about? The key swing States in what key swing states. Are you thinking the most about right now? I'll give you one number that made my jaw Hit the Floor almost literally when I saw it in are subgroups. Was that bite and now for the last 3 months has consistently had a strong showings with white voters. And in this pole he is he has 51% of white voters. He's beating Donald Trump 51-47 in our poll would likely white voters Trump won white voters by 20 points in 2016, and no Democrat has one that high a share of white voters dating back to Jimmy Carter and 76th and the country was far less diverse. So what does that tell me Biden's over performance with white voters means across the country and up and down the ballot that has the potential if it stays at this.
Level to be a tsunami up and down the ballot and key races. I think we should broaden out the conversation and take a close. Look at a couple interesting states with interesting Senate races and bring some great reporters from our great number stations in Steve Harrison from North Carolina member station wfae hey Steve station WABE, welcome back to the podcast. Hey there great to be here. So you have actually between you three really interesting Senate race is going on right now in North Carolina and Georgia are states that we're not really on the top of the democratic broader which list at the beginning of the selection but they have gotten closer and closer and both look like places where Democrats have a decent chance of maybe flipping control. Let's let's start with Georgia. What do the two races that you're covering right now look like Emma.
It's it's been fun. It's been it's been real fun. The first one is are like regularly scheduled race. So that's Republican incumbent David Perdue and he's being challenged by Democratic nominee. John and Purdue is a really close Trump Ally and so he's having to walk a tightrope because you know, if polls are telling then the presidential race in Georgia is tight and Purdue needs to outperform Trump in order to avoid a runoff needs to get more than 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff and then we have our special election kind of crazy race and stick with me here. So we had a an incumbent Senator retire early because of health reasons Johnny isakson. He's replaced by an appointee Kelly Loeffler who's been in office since January and immediately for the Georgia Constitution. She's up for election in November, but it's a special election with no party primaries. So we've got 21 names on.
Ballot and what it's turned into is a really bloody intra-party fight on the Republican side between Leffler who is an outsider and then Congressman Doug Collins who's a staunch Trump defender in the house and they've just been hammering each other for months and on the Democratic side, there's one FrontRunner who's emerged Raphael Warnock and just know his campaign energy. I think it's starting to come through in the polls where he starting to pull ahead and you can see him that we don't 40% and some poles and Collins and Leffler splitting the Republican votes behind him. And let's shift our Focus North just a little bit Steve. What is that North Carolina Senate race looking like right now is the Republican he is a first-term senator and kind of the narrative with him going into this was that he was not trusted fully by president from space. He had broken with the president on a few occasions during his term.
That caused a lot of Anger from the president caused a lot of upset his base to be upset as was wood would Republicans turn out and support Thom Tillis in the way that he needed to win. You know, what a pretty pretty close State the Democratic Challenger cow Cunningham is an attorney member of the Army Reserve running a very Centrist campaign, but then two weeks ago we had these two huge surprises that dropped in the race and now everyone's kind of scratching their head to see how's this going to play out in the next 3 weeks for listeners who aren't up to speed as much just walk us through what this to Norma surprises were and then we'll talk more in detail in a little bit on a Friday night 2 weeks ago Center to Tilles announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus most likely from that event at the White House for for Amy Coney. Barrett and Anna real.
Matter of like an hour or two later Cunningham announced kind of confirmed that he had sent inappropriate romantic sexual text messages to a woman and then he later confirmed that he had had an affair. It just feels like one of those quaint old type of scandals pre Trump doesn't seem to have the same resonance now and I think I think that's a great point and it's really interesting here because their strategy seems to be really just to hunker down and Ride This Out ever going to take a quick break. There's a lot more to talk about in both, Georgia and North Carolina though, and we will do that in a moment support for this podcast and the following message come from Google after New York issued a stay-at-home order brooklyn-based laundromat. Celsius used free Google tools to adapt they quickly shifted to drop off service only enabling online booking on Google so customers could reserve
Drop off times in addition to helping Celsius remain open it also allowed them to set aside dedicated times for local First Responders Explorer Google's free tools for small businesses at google.com. / grow.
the white male citizens
Miss representative democracy series about voting in America from NPR through line episode October 15th, and we're back and North Carolina and Georgia are states were a lot of people have already voted Emma. What has the early vote been like in Georgia and how has that affected how the candidates are are campaigning and making their closing pitch early voting in Georgia. This year has been bigger than it ever has your candidates and campaigns have been talking to voters about it. I think more than ever before candidates themselves are early voting and people have responded. The Secretary of State said that early voting participation on Monday. The first day for most counties was up 30% from the last record in 26 and all in more than 900,000 people in Georgia have have already voted between early voting and absentee. That's you don't more than one in ten now,
Generally the case in North Carolina as well. So today on Thursday was the first day of early in-person voting in North Carolina. The big change here is that we've had voting by mail for several weeks and there has been a huge surge of people voting by mail. I think in all of the 2016 general election about 200,000 people voted by mail in North Carolina. We are already far far ahead of that in terms of returned ballots more than a million people have requested them dominicano. Both of these states are really extreme examples of states that have been longtime Republican states North Carolina the exception in 2008. Otherwise, it's voted for a Republican presidential candidate that you have seen massive growth in urban and Suburban areas, which happened to be the exact kind of areas that have really been repelled by President Trump in end shifted Democrat. I mean, how much are we talking about a a turnout model that might not look like anything we've ever seen before in, Georgia.
Insane demography is Destiny, you know, it is a place that was largely white 20-30 years ago and is now split between whites and non-whites pretty evenly and you know, the states politics haven't quite caught up yet. You saw Stacey Abrams and in her gubernatorial race come pretty darn close and you know, there's a lot of energy a lot of effort on the ground there. You've seen those long lines and you know, you do Wonder whence taste like Georgia North Carolina, even the Texas could switch kind of on display that fracture, you know on the Republican side. We have this fight and you see both candidates both leading Republicans really trying to appeal to the conservative base that you know used to completely control the state without you know, without much effort right Trump won Georgia with five points in 2016, barely even
Visiting Nurse you think about North Carolina? If you go back to the 2016 race Hillary Clinton had these huge margins in the urban counties in a Charlotte rally Etc. But when you can look a little closer she was able to outperform Barack Obama in those counties because of Republican voters and if you look closer though, either the turnout in African-American precincts was lower than it was in 2012. So I think a big Push by the Biden campaign in North Carolina this time, it's been to try and get the turn out in 2022 look more like 2012, but I think this year it's looking likely the wind again and inlets and end the conversation on a broader note Dominico. These are too expensive hotly contested Senate Races. They are not alone in that respect this year you have seats that are in danger of flipping from from Republican to Democrat in Iowa, Arizona, you know.
Even places like South Carolina and Montana usually States we do not talk about is contested Senate races are really up in the air right now, Alabama this this to be a wildly different Senate in a few months. Well with the Senate at stake You're darn right that there's going to be a ton of money that's poured in President Trump in particular has inspired Democrats to open up their wallets and contribute mostly through actblue, which is raised almost a billion dollars a billion dollars through a lot of this and on the presidential side. We just saw advertising dollars TV advertising dollars cross a billion dollar threshold, which is really stunning figure and that's not even including how much money is being spent on the Senate races, which is all alright, Emma Steve. Thanks to both of you for a for joining us today and good luck in the final weeks of this race whenever those final weeks and very ambiguous this year.
Thanks for having me. Remember you can support all of us on this podcast by supporting your local public radio station to get started had to donate. Npr.org politics, I'm Scott detrow. I cover the presidential campaign. I'm Domenico montanaro senior political editor and corresponding. Thank you for listening to the NPR politics podcast.