The Banter Brief: The GOP Nightmare In Virginia, Worst/Best Movie Ever, And Buttigieg Rising

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of The Banter Brief!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of The Banter Brief! This is free round up of the most important events of the week published every Friday. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so here:

1. Most Important Story Of The Week

The most important story of the week was the Democrats’ stunning victory in Virginia and Kentucky. Democrats won complete control of the Virginia government for the first time in 25 years on Tuesday, and beat Republicans in the Kentucky governor’s race. The GOP were beaten in other races across the country too that says much about their prospects in 2020. From The Atlantic:

Amid all the various local factors that shaped GOP losses—from Kentucky to Virginia, from suburban Philadelphia to Wichita, Kansas—the clearest pattern was a continuing erosion of the party’s position in the largest metropolitan areas. Across the highest-profile races, Democrats benefited from two trends favoring them in metro areas: high turnout in urban cores that have long been the party’s strongholds, and improved performance in white-collar suburban areas that previously leaned Republican.

This should terrify Republicans as it appears to be a direct refutation of Donald Trump. As Bob Cesca noted in his piece for Banter Subscribers this week, “Three shitty elections for Trump have proved that despite his childishly ridiculous excuses and spin, he’ll need all the illegal outside help he can get away with in order to make up for the fact that everyone beyond the 40-percenters aren’t playing any more.”

Read more:

Trump Is A Weak Incumbent, And He’s Getting Weaker - Bob Cesca on why the Virginia and Kentucky elections spell doom for the GOP in 2020

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2. Poll Analysis

Trump Polls: There were some troubling polls published this week showing Trump being extremely competitive with the leading Democrats in crucial swing states. Given the results in Virginia and Kentucky, Democrats have a lot to be confident about, but Trump is still dangerous and Democrats should not take victory for granted.

Read more: The Poll That Should Really Worry Democrats - Ben Cohen explains why new polls show that Democrats need to be very careful about their policy positions heading into 2020.

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Democratic Polls: Perhaps the most interesting news from the Democratic primary is Pete Buttigieg’s astonishing rise in Iowa. The Mayor from Indiana is now an extremely close second to Elizabeth Warren (19% to Warren’s 20%). If Buttigieg pulls the upset, or even places second, he may turn the whole race on its head.

Impeachment: According to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times nationwide poll, 4% say the House should vote to impeach and 30% say it should not. The rest of the country is undecided.

3. Quote Of The Week

"What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward Ukraine: It was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to, they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo, so no I find the whole process to be a sham and I'm not going to legitimize it."

- Sen. Lyndsey Graham trots out his new, bizarre defense of the Trump administration’s quid pro quo with Ukraine.

4. What to Watch

‘Holiday In The Wild’

This Netflix Christmas movie is so bad it’s good. Starring Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe, ‘Holiday In The Wild’ follows the newly single Davis on her travels to Zambia where she meets a sort of beta version of Indiana Jones (Lowe), who is a pilot and looks after baby elephants.

The plot is so inane and predictable you know what happens from looking at the cover image: Privileged white woman from America meets rough and ready Crocodile Dundee type character, realizes her life buying shoes and lunching is meaningless, then helps save animals, extremely grateful Africans, then finds love etc. The dialogue is perhaps worse — in fact it is so bad and so cheesy one wonders whether ‘Holiday In The Wild’ is really a comedy and Netflix accidentally miscategorized it. It’s basically another sequel to Sex And The City, but in Africa and without any real plot.

Apparently though there’s a huge market for these types of films in the weeks leading up to Christmas, especially ones featuring baby elephants. And that’s where ‘Holiday In The Wild’ really shines. The baby elephants really are extremely cute, and no matter how ludicrous the rest of the film is, the wildlife makes it all worthwhile.

5. Good News

We hate to be repetitive here, but the good news this week is clearly America’s rejection of the GOP in previously red leaning districts around the country. The Democrats have been badly in need of some good news, and the recent elections have given them a tremendous boost. With Trump now actively hurting Republicans in crucial elections, the GOP is now in an impossible position. They have to defend Trump while distancing themselves from him while also appealing to Republican voters whom overwhelmingly support the president. In other words, a strategic nightmare.

See you next week!

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Trump Is A Weak Incumbent, And He’s Getting Weaker - Bob Cesca on why the Virginia and Kentucky elections spell doom for the GOP in 2020

The Poll That Should Really Worry Democrats - Ben Cohen explains why new polls show that Democrats need to be very careful about their policy positions heading into 2020.

Get 30 day free trial