The Jolt: Never mind my Dad, Donald Trump Jr. tells Georgia voters. Cast an absentee ballot

We’re anticipating a substantial increase in the number of whiplash cases at local hospitals, thanks to a robocall sent out to Georgia voters over the weekend. Listen here, but below is a transcript:

“This is Donald Trump Jr., and I’m calling on behalf of the Republican National Committee because my father, President Donald J. Trump, mailed you an official absentee ballot request.

“Voting absentee is a safe and secure way to guarantee your voice is heard. That’s why President Trump wants you to join him in being an absentee voter this year…

“President Trump needs your absentee vote to make America great again.”

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For months, President Trump has attempted to stir doubts about an election conducted largely by mail – which could be the case by November. Only last week, Trump said this:

“We have to be very careful because they’re trying it again with this whole 80 million mail-in ballots that they’re working on, sending them out to people that didn’t ask for them, they didn’t ask, they just get them and it’s not fair and it’s not right and it’s not going to be possible to tabulate in my opinion.”

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But in fact, Trump and first lady Melania Trump have requested their mail-in ballots for November. from Florida election officials.

In addition to being a prima facie example of chutzpah, you can consider the robocall as evidence that many Republicans fear that Trump’s constant absentee ballot-bashing could dampen enthusiasm for postal votes among older voters who lean toward Trump – but might decide to stay home instead.

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In an interview on WSB Radio this morning, host Scott Slade asked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger what he thought of the Carter Center’s announcement that it would monitor the Nov. 3 election for fairness – its first observation mission inside the borders of the U.S.

Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, didn’t say he approved – but he didn’t disapprove, either:

“Our office has been reaching out to nonprofit groups such as the Carter Center. We’ve been working with the King Center, the bishop of the AME church -- he wants to volunteer his churches as polling locations…

“We always welcome people that want to be part of the positive, constructive solution, making sure that it’s easy to vote In Georgia, that we have the appropriate safeguards. Because we understand we’re going to have a big turnout this year. Both sides are watching this, even folks down the middle.”

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Raffensperger also said that absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 general election will begin going out on Sept. 16.

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Some takeaways from this morning’s latest piece on the race for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat:

· Republican Doug Collins’ campaign surfaced video of the infamous mid-court meeting between Loeffler and Stacey Abrams in September 2018, and it will relentlessly promote the clip between now and November.

· Collins’ campaign sees the video as tantamount to an endorsement of Loeffler -- as the two embraced, an announcer highlighted Abrams’ liberal agenda -- and called her a “bold-faced” liar.

· U.S. Sen. Tim Scott headlined a fundraiser for Loeffler on Friday, while former First Lady Sandra Deal spoke at a rally for Collins in Gainesville that night. Ex-Gov. Nathan Deal was also in the crowd, though he hasn’t yet formally endorsed.

· Also on Monday, Republican congressional candidate Andrew Clyde announced he was backing Collins. That’s little surprise; Clyde, an Athens gun store owner, is running to succeed Collins in Georgia’s 9th District.

· This week, Loeffler hits the campaign trail with Gov. Brian Kemp and several other backers in his orbit, including Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Insurance Commissioner John King.

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The on-again-off-again flirtation with cityhood among some Buckhead residents is apparently on again, according to Reporter Newspapers.

The outlet disclosed that a mysterious group known as the Buckhead Exploratory Committee is floating possibly cityhood or annexation into either Sandy Springs or Brookhaven.

There’s also a private webinar on YouTube, where a moderator named Jack Montgomery outlined the concept and asserts that the independence push by the affluent, majority-white community has nothing to do with race.

In fact, he said, “our whole reason for forming this committee is to right the wrongs of a racist and non-democratic past while ensuring the happiness, safety and security of all of the residents and business owners here.”

The idea has been roundly condemned by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Buckhead Coalition, the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the Buckhead Business Association and Livable Buckhead.

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In an earlier post, we offered an explanation for the orchestrated effort by speakers at the last week’s Republican National Convention – including President Trump – to describe America’s suburbs as under siege.

This morning, Morning Consult that the strategy has worked – at least in the short term:

A new Morning Consult poll conducted Friday that asked 4,035 likely voters which candidate they would pick found Biden leading Trump by 6 percentage points, 50 percent to 44 percent.

It marked a 4-point improvement from his standing heading into the convention on Aug. 23, when Biden led 52 percent to 42 percent. Friday’s poll had a 2-point margin of error, compared with a 1-point margin of error for responses gathered among 4,810 likely voters on Aug. 23…

Trump cut into Biden’s lead among voters in the suburbs: Before the convention, Biden led by 14 points (54 percent to 40 percent), but after the convention, he led by 8 points (50 percent to 42 percent).

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Before a backdrop that read “Democrats failed blacks,” state Rep. Vernon Jones talked of being harassed by protesters after President Donald Trump’s closing speech at the Republican National Convention. Here’s some of what he said:

“My life was threatened. And other lives were threatened. And when I hear that foolishness from the liberal media that it was mostly peaceful, where in the hell were they when my life was threatened, and other lives were threatened?”

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Video posted by far-right site Brietbart shows protesters asking Jones if he supports Trump and demanding he say the name of Breonna Taylor, a woman killed by police during a no-knock raid. Although a few people invaded Jones’ personal space, no violence or threats were recorded. Police officers escorted him to his hotel. This video posted on Twitter also failed to record any threats of violence.

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Comparing President Trump to a cowboy in an opinion piece for The Hill newspaper, U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, defended President Donald Trump against fellow Republicans who recently endorsed his opponent.

“I suppose I can understand how people that don’t like cowboys also don’t like the way President Trump approaches problems that others have failed to solve,” Scott wrote. He specifically mentioned former U.S. senator Jeff Flake of Arizona,

Flake formally endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden last week. Also from The Hill:

[Flake] called “putting country over party” a practice with a “noble history” in Arizona and pointed to former Sen. Barry Goldwater’s (R-Ariz.) endorsement of Rep. Karan English (D-Ariz.) in the 1992 election.

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Some provocative thoughts from George Chidi at Decaturish.com:

People have been asking me why I’ve been so keen on observing protests of late. I was at the one last night downtown in Atlanta. I arrived just after someone spray-painted the outside of the Zone 5 police station. A cop went to arrest the guy, but people in the crowd snatched him out of their hands, then smashed a window – again – on the police station and set off fireworks as a distraction.

There’s a crew. They know what they’re doing…

Guns have been ubiquitous at street protests here, which creates a serious risk of the heckler’s veto on peaceful protest. A thousand people may be in the street marching in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis, but it only takes one with lousy trigger discipline or poor impulse control – or malign intentions – to force everyone present to answer disingenuous questions about why they were at a “violent” protest.

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At least one race for the state Legislature has yet to finish. WTOC-TV in Savannah tells us that the Chatham County Board of Elections will be officially conducting a recount for the State House District 163 runoff race on Wednesday.

Candidate Anne Allen Westbrook requested the runoff after just 20 votes separated her and opponent Derek Mallow. The recount will be conducted by hand.

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath will both be featured Monday in a “Rock the Vote” event. Check out the details here.