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SPECIAL EDITION: 24 thoughts on Joe Biden dropping out.

By Isaac Saul Jul 22, 2024
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President Biden speaking on July 12, flanked by Vice President Harris. Photographer: Bonnie Cash
President Biden speaking on July 12, flanked by Vice President Harris. Photographer: Bonnie Cash

I’m Isaac Saul, and this is Tangle: an independent, nonpartisan, subscriber-supported politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from across the political spectrum on the news of the day — then “my take.”

Are you new here? Get free emails to your inbox daily. Would you rather listen? You can find our podcast here.


Today's read: 15 minutes.

👋
President Biden is exiting the 2024 presidential race. Today, we break down what we know, what happens next, and how this changes the race.

Correction.

In our Friday edition on the Secret Service, we wrote that when President Teddy Roosevelt was running for president in 1912, “like Trump, he had lost a re-election campaign as the incumbent and then re-joined the fray to run for re-election.” In fact, Teddy had not lost a presidential election at that time — he assumed the presidency following President McKinley’s assassination in 1901, won re-election in 1904, and then declined to run for a third term. In our summary, we conflated the 1908 election with Roosevelt’s unsuccessful 1912 run for office.

This is our 111th correction in Tangle's 259-week history, and our first since July 16th. We track corrections and place them at the top of the newsletter in an effort to maximize transparency with readers.


What a wild month.

The last few weeks have been historic, memorable, terrifying, and a bit overwhelming. We appreciate you all so much for reading and listening to Tangle through it all. This month, we are having one of our largest growth months ever — due in large part, I believe, to the way we cover the news: with balance, transparency, honesty, and independence. Our small but mighty team is hoping to keep the momentum going. If you could take 15 seconds to share Tangle with a friend (either by clicking here or forwarding this email to someone) we’d greatly appreciate it.


Quick hits.

  1. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle is testifying this morning before the House Oversight Committee on the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump and reports that his request for more personnel was declined. (The testimony) Reminder: We published a deep dive on the Secret Service on Friday. Read it here.
  2. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) died over the weekend following a battle with pancreatic cancer. (The passing)
  3. Russia convicted U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich of The Wall Street Journal of espionage and sentenced him to 16 years in prison. (The sentence)
  4. After a drone attack by Houthis in Tel Aviv on Friday, Israel struck a suspected Houthi military base in Yemen on Sunday, killing six people. Shortly after, Israel said it intercepted a surface-to-surface missile from Yemen headed toward the southern Israeli city of Eilat. (The latest) Separately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lands in the U.S. today for a scheduled meeting with President Biden tomorrow. (The visit)
  5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least two people in the United States have died and 28 have been hospitalized in connection with a listeria outbreak across the Midwest and Northeast linked to meat sliced at deli counters. (The outbreak)

Today's topic.

Joe Biden. On Sunday, President Joe Biden announced he is dropping his reelection campaign and endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris to replace him on the ticket. Biden, until now the presumptive Democratic nominee, leaves the race later in the election cycle than any sitting president in U.S. history. His exit sets the stage for an intense rush to unite the Democratic Party around a new candidate before the August nominating convention in Chicago. 

The president announced his decision in a letter posted on X (formerly Twitter), writing, “While it has been my intention to seek re-election, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and focus entirely on fulfilling my duties as president for the remainder of my term.” Biden also said he planned to address the nation later this week to discuss his decision. Roughly 30 minutes later, he posted again, this time offering his “full support and endorsement” of Harris as the Democratic nominee. 

Harris released her own statement shortly after Biden, thanking the president “for his extraordinary leadership as President of the United States and for his decades of service to our country.” She also declared her intention to seek and win the nomination, prompting a slew of endorsements from prominent Democrats such as Gov. Josh Shapiro (PA), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA), Rep. Jim Clyburn (SC), Sen. Mark Kelly (AZ), former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and many others. Notably, though, former President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY) have not endorsed Harris.

Democrats do not have formal rules for transferring delegates from one candidate to another, but DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said the party will “undertake a transparent and orderly process” in the coming days to determine Biden’s replacement. Approximately 4,700 delegates will attend the Democratic National Convention in five weeks, 3,748 of whom are pledged to Joe Biden. “Pledged delegates” are awarded according to the results of the presidential primaries, but since Biden is no longer seeking the nomination, they are now free to support whomever they choose

Biden’s campaign has $96 million in campaign funds as of June, but campaign finance laws don’t clarify how (or whether) that money can be transferred to another candidate at this point in the campaign. Some experts have suggested that Harris can assume control of the funds as long as she remains on the Democratic ticket, but other election lawyers have argued that any such transfer could be blocked in court. Meanwhile, news of Biden’s exit prompted the single biggest day for online Democratic contributions since the 2020 election, with over $50 million raised

Former President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, criticized Biden and the Democratic Party shortly after the decision was announced. “Crooked Joe Biden was not fit to run for President, and is certainly not fit to serve - And never was!” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social. Later in the day, Trump said “the people around him lied to America about his Complete and Total Mental, Physical, and Cognitive Demise.”

Biden’s decision ends nearly a month of uncertainty about his candidacy following his widely criticized performance in the first presidential debate on June 27. In the weeks following the debate, a chorus of elected Democrats publicly called on him to end his campaign. The effort reached a fever pitch over the weekend while the president was recovering from Covid at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. In dropping out, Biden becomes the seventh U.S. president not to run for a second elected term (not including Theodore Roosevelt, who did not run for reelection after his first elected term but ran as a third-party candidate in a later election). 

Today, we’ll explore reactions to the news of Biden’s exit from the left and right. Then, I’ll share my take.


What the left is saying.

  • The left thinks Biden made the right decision to step aside and hopes Democrats can unify around a competitive candidate.
  • Some call Biden’s decision courageous and selfless. 
  • Others say Harris is best positioned to defeat Trump. 

The Washington Post editorial board wrote “with Biden stepping aside, Democrats must now embrace an open process.”

“After more than half a century of admirable public service, relinquishing power wasn’t easy. It required a push from the Democratic establishment but also a measure of self-awareness that is too often absent from U.S. politics,” the board said. “Mr. Biden campaigned in 2020 as a ‘bridge’ to the next generation of Democratic leaders. Passing the torch now — four years earlier than he had hoped — increases the odds that his party can hold the White House. But Democrats need to proceed carefully.”

“An open process for picking Mr. Biden’s replacement as Democratic nominee, as well as that person’s running mate, risks becoming messy. It could draw attention to Democratic quarrels over issues that divide Democrats such as Mr. Biden’s policy in the Middle East,” the board wrote. “Yet Mr. Biden’s decision creates an opportunity for a reset, not only for his party but also for U.S. politics generally, through a competitive nomination process among future national leaders… there is time for Democrats to scrutinize the contenders for top of the ticket.”

In The Los Angeles Times, LZ Granderson said “Biden’s decision to drop out is one of the most patriotic moments in a long life of service.”

“Rarely is the decision to not seek reelection celebrated as honorable. Usually it’s an indication of legislative disappointments or morality shortcomings,” Granderson wrote. “This is particularly true when that person is as effective as Biden has been. To step out of the presidential election must feel like a gut punch, particularly given the risk of the Republican nominee becoming president.”

“He did not deserve to be beaten up in the press as badly as he has been by members of his own party. Had he stayed true to his promise to be a bridge candidate, that would not have happened,” Granderson said. “Biden’s decision to remove himself from the race does not reflect on his administration’s effectiveness. It doesn’t cast a poor light on his career. What it does is better position the party and the country to avert the threat of a second Trump administration.”

In The Daily Beast, David Rothkopf argued “Kamala Harris must be the candidate.”

“There are few challenges greater than running for president of the United States. But for the Vice President, those challenges will be compounded by the fact that her situation is unprecedented. Yet, it is vital to recognize that the alternatives to Harris’ smooth selection as nominee of the Democratic Party and her election as president of the United States are disaster for the country,” Rothkopf wrote. “All of who have supported Biden, regardless of how they may have felt about his decision not to run, can show their respect and appreciation for Biden by immediately doing all in their power to support the Vice President.”

“The contrasts between the two campaigns should be dramatically heightened should Harris top the ticket. Clearly, Harris is much younger, the first Gen X presidential candidate. She is a woman. She is the first African American to serve as Vice President and the first Asian American. Her parents were immigrants,” Rothkopf said. “Her profile makes Harris the ideal nominee the Democrats could pick to challenge and defeat Trump. Her youth contrasts with the fact that he is elderly and has shown signs of mental deterioration.”


What the right is saying.

  • The right argues Biden should step down as president if he can’t run for reelection.
  • Some say the Democratic Party overruled the wishes of its primary voters.
  • Others question whether any Democrat can beat Trump in this election. 

National Review’s editors said “Biden should resign the presidency.”

“Joe Biden did the right thing in ending the charade of asking the American public to believe that he was capable of serving another four years as president,” the editors wrote. “Biden should take the next logical step and resign the presidency. It’s possible to imagine a president not being able to campaign but still being capable of carrying out his official duties — say, if he had a serious physical impairment. And it is even possible to imagine a president who could serve for another six months but not another four and a half years. But such scenarios do not apply to Biden.”

“Democrats wouldn’t be in this fix if Biden and his family had taken full accounting of his aging when they decided to run again last year and if the White House, Democratic leaders, the press, and various other insiders hadn’t undertaken an effort to cover up Biden’s state. They all knew what was going on but figured that if they didn’t talk about it, somehow people wouldn’t notice,” the editors said. “That cover-up was intended to deceive the American people, but its first victims were Democratic primary voters, who were denied a real choice or a real say in their party’s nominee.”

In The Federalist, Brianna Lyman wrote “Democrat oligarchs just overthrew their own voters.”

“Democrats have spent years breathlessly claiming that ‘democracy’ (in our Constitutional Republic) is at risk if former President Donald Trump wins. But apparently the threshold for risks to “democracy” depends on the likelihood of winning. When it became clear Biden could not prevail over the consensus that he is unable to carry out the duties of a presidential candidate after his frightening debate performance, Democrats moved to subvert the will of their own voters to better their chances of retaining power.”

“Biden gave no explanation for his monumental decision to withdraw from the race after profusely disputing reports that he would not remain the nominee,” Lyman said. “But if Democrats aren’t willing to invoke the 25th Amendment, or get Biden to step down, then their justification is simply a flex of their political muscle: ‘We can do whatever we want.’”

In The Washington Examiner, Timothy P. Carney asked “is a replacement really stronger against Trump than Biden would have been?”

“Ditching Biden helps the Democrats’s odds of keeping the White House in November. That’s obvious, because otherwise, very few Democrats would have called on Biden to drop out. But how much does this move help Democrats,” Carney wrote. “Some polls suggest that a new Democrat… would actually be the favorite over Trump in swing states. These polls show something, but they do not show that Harris, Whitmer, Shapiro, et alia are ahead of Trump. The reason: Harris, Whitmer, Shapiro, and every other Democrat have negatives that aren’t picked up in a poll about a generic ‘Younger Democrat.’ Generic candidates always poll better than real candidates.”

“Harris’s weaknesses are well-known and too long to list here. And yet if anyone else elbows Harris out of the way, that will introduce another negative, which is resentment from some of the base for pushing aside a black woman who was next in line,” Carney said. “It’s too early to predict where this race will be even a week from now — since we don’t even know for sure who the Democratic nominee will be — but it’s safe to dismiss any reading of the polls as suggesting that Trump is now the underdog.”


My take.

Reminder: "My take" is a section where I give myself space to share my own personal opinion. If you have feedback, criticism, or compliments, don't unsubscribe. Write in by replying to this email, or leave a comment.

A normal "my take" just won't do today’s monumental news justice. Instead, here are 24 thoughts on what just happened.

  1. First and foremost, Biden made the right decision. As I said two weeks ago, it was rather obvious that President Biden should drop out, through several different lenses: As an American without any horse in the race, I don’t believe he could competently be president for another four years. Watch a video of Biden from three years ago, then watch the debate, and then tell me you are confident he’d be okay in four years. If I put my Democratic strategist hat on, I’d want to pivot because Biden was likely to lose the election while the party has a bench of stronger candidates. If observing as a GOP strategist, Biden was probably the candidate you wanted to face; but Harris would be a close second (more on that in a minute).
  2. It's always weird watching political talking points shape up in real time —  immediately after Biden’s announcement, I watched several prominent conservatives and Trump supporters start suggesting that "Democratic elites" were enacting a coup and undermining democracy by forcing Biden out. I think this is... really, really silly. Democrats didn’t hold a competitive primary. Secondly, voters pushed this, not Democratic elites. Biden was getting crushed in swing-state polls and the response to the debate from a large portion of voters was crystal clear: some disappointment, and a lot of shock and worry. Focus group results were awful. Democratic House representatives in swing states were the first to break against Biden because of their constituents, and then governors and other prominent donors began to turn on him. Democratic elites actually did the opposite of leading a coup on Biden — they circled the wagons and held out until it was obvious they had no other choice. They tried to stop this and they failed, then they came together to push Biden to step aside. 
  3. The Democratic Party has done a lot of things in the last 8 to 10 years to distance itself from its grassroots voters and hurt the party’s image. The work to ensure Hillary Clinton would be the nominee in 2016 during what was supposed to be an open primary is near the top of the list. Forcing Biden out is, genuinely, close to the opposite. It is responsive to polling, to focus groups, and to constituent demands at the grassroots level. Remember that only a couple dozen House Democrats and a handful of Democratic senators came out against Biden before he dropped out himself.
  4. The most democratic way the Democratic Party could have handled the 2024 race was by having an open and competitive primary last year. They didn't do that (which, of course, is common for incumbents). The least democratic way they could have handled 2024 once Biden won that primary would have been to force Biden out and coronate a hand-selected successor — say, someone like Gov. Gavin Newsom (CA). I actually think picking Harris, who was chosen by Biden (who won in 2020 and won the primary), is a kind of middle ground between an open primary and the party elites picking someone. Harris was chosen by the man voters picked, and she was on the ticket the majority of voters selected knowing full well (given Biden's age) she could one day replace him. I think it’s both logical and fair for Biden to endorse her.
  5. This is entirely unchartered water. That phrase has been thrown around a lot lately, but in this case it’s genuinely true. Nobody can confidently say what is going to happen these next few weeks. With that in mind, it’s worth remembering that someone else aside from Harris may end up atop the ticket; but I sincerely doubt it. Biden endorsed her. She (probably) has access to his money. His campaign has effectively been transferred to her. I think this is a done deal, even though the delegates at the DNC convention could decide to go another direction. To me, the only question remaining is who her vice president is going to be. My money is on a white male with moderate left politics, probably someone popular from a swing state. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro? Arizona Senator Mark Kelly? Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear? All would be near the top of my list in likelihood. No, it will not be Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, or Joe Biden.
  6. By far the most scandalous aspect of Biden’s decision is that it took so long. Biden's inner circle did their best to shield him from press scrutiny and conceal the decline that was observable to anyone with two ears and two eyes. The media obliged. Some of us have been questioning Biden's fitness for several years (and taking a great deal of flack for it). He said he was going to be a “bridge to the next generation” and implied he'd be a one-term president. Now he will be. But the pressure campaign required to get here was remarkable. 
  7. I am fully supportive of an open convention. Part of that is selfish: Tangle has press passes for the DNC (we applied for the RNC and the DNC, but we only got the latter), so I'll be there in person and would genuinely like to observe the process. But I also think an open convention is the most democratic option, and I think it'd be good for this party to shake things up and see what happens if they let their top talent fight it out.
  8. What can we say about Nancy Pelosi? Has any politician in the last few decades wielded more consistent power over the Democratic Party than her? She is getting a lot of credit (on and off the record) for orchestrating Biden’s ouster, and it’s pretty incredible to consider what a force she still is even after stepping down from her House leadership position. 
  9. A lot of people are wondering aloud how Biden is fit to serve but not fit to run for re-election. I think this is a fair question. One simple answer is that Biden is not dropping out because he (or his inner circle) believes he isn’t fit to serve, but because he isn’t likely to win. Another plausible answer is that his circle believes he is fit to serve right now but recognize that — given the huge toll the last three years have taken on him — four years from now he probably won't be able to do his job. However, it is possible that Biden isn’t fit to serve right now. I genuinely don't know which answer is right, because I don't know enough about his medical history or day-to-day state to say. But based on how he has appeared in public, it's hard to imagine he is in full control of his administration.
  10. Two of my least favorite groups in politics are the over-educated, self-righteous, ultra-progressive liberals who constantly try to police people's language and the proudly ignorant, alt-right "conservatives" who embrace worm-brained conspiracies about everything. But I have to say: The new breed of Bitcoin tech-bro elites like David Sacks and Balaji Srinivasan who seemingly started following politics four months ago and now confidently think they know everything (while making hare-brained predictions like Michelle Obama becoming the nominee) are quickly climbing my list.
  11. I messaged about 50-60 friends and family on Sunday night with an open-ended question: How are you feeling about the prospect of Harris replacing Biden? Of the Democratic voters who responded, the majority of whom live in Pennsylvania (where I live and grew up), the number one response was "relieved." Here are some other common representative responses: Biden did the right thing. I'm worried Harris can't win. I wish it was an open convention. Nervous but hopeful. I have hope. I'm all in. Confident our odds are better with Harris, or any Democrat. Needed something to re-energize the party… Notably absent was anyone saying it was the wrong choice or expressing any anger about it. 
  12. From my Republican-voting friends and family who responded, these were the common responses: She's a hack. She's a fraud. She's better than Biden because of her age but worse on policy. She is more progressive. Trump is going to mop the floor with her. Trump will crush her. Scarier on policy but better because she isn't so old. I'm voting for Trump no matter what, so it doesn't matter. I'm curious to see her VP but I am probably voting third party. 
  13. I posed the same question on Twitter. There, the most common sentiment (at least as of this writing) was that Harris couldn't win, may not be the nominee, or shouldn't be the nominee. There was the same relief and support for Biden dropping out, but much more skepticism she could beat Trump.
  14. I don't think Vice President Kamala Harris is a great politician. I have been very critical of her in the past. I think she fails to connect with voters en masse, hence her middling performance in the 2020 Democratic primary. However, people have gotten so negative on her that at this point I think she might be underrated. Memorable exceptions aside, she is a good speaker. She is a good debater. She is youthful compared to both Biden and Trump. She was a prosecutor who wrote a whole book on reducing crime, which remains one of the top issues coming into the 2024 election. If she and Trump debate, I think she'll do better than a lot of people think.
  15. Small-dollar donors raised over $27.5 million on ActBlue in the first five hours of Vice President Kamala Harris' presidential campaign (and over $50 million by this morning). That is a sign of incredibly strong grassroots support for Harris, or for Biden dropping out (or both).
  16. Biden has been a pretty big drag on the party in polling the last few months. Consider a recent set of YouGov polls: In Arizona, Trump was up on Biden by 7 points, but the Democratic Senate nominee was up on the Republican Senate nominee by 8 points. In Michigan, Trump was up on Biden by 2 points, but the Democratic Senate nominee was up on the Republican Senate nominee by 9 points. In Pennsylvania, Trump was up on Biden by 3 points, but the Democratic Senate nominee was up on the Republican Senate nominee by 12. Et cetera. It's worth stating plainly that Democrats are probably stronger in these swing states than Republicans, but Biden was just that bad for many voters compared to Trump. Harris will almost certainly close the gap.
  17. Donald Trump is now the oldest nominee of any major party in U.S. history. Get ready to hear that line a lot from Democrats. Interestingly, in the last 30 years, there have been four instances where a Democrat running for president was running against a Republican 10+ years older than them. Democrats won all four (Clinton over Bush in 1992, Clinton over Dole in 1996, Obama over McCain in 2008, and Obama over Romney in 2012). 
  18. If I had to put odds on the Biden-Trump match-up, I would have said there is about a 70% chance Trump was going to win. I think if Harris picks a moderate candidate from a swing state as her running mate, her odds are closer to 50% to win. My initial instinct about the news was that it might bring a jolt of energy strong enough to make her a favorite, but after spending a night on all the available polling, it's pretty clear she’s still an underdog. After campaigning, and the twists and turns of the race, I could easily see Trump creating some distance — but I think in the midst of the assassination attempt and questions about Biden's fitness, a lot of people have forgotten how much your average Democrat or moderate genuinely detests Trump. He has some of the worst negatives of any politician ever, and I think Dems very well may end up back in the driver's seat before election day.
  19. What does Biden do now? I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this. He has over five months left in his presidency. He was spurned by his own party. He clearly did not want to drop out, but was instead forced out by the people around him. I'm very, very curious to see how he reacts. Will he quietly ride off into the sunset? Will he re-orient all his energy to Harris's campaign and beating Trump? Or will we see the "Dark Brandon" meme in action — some kind of Biden unchained who says and does whatever he wants (does he pardon Hunter?), and who fights hard to push his agenda and pet projects before leaving office?
  20. Fun fact: This will be the first Presidential election since 1976 to not have a Biden, Bush, or Clinton on the ticket.
  21. I was listening to the sports analyst Bill Simmons discuss Biden dropping out this morning. He compared it to an NFL team’s fan base really wanting a second-string quarterback to come in because the starter was playing terribly, and then realizing that the second stringer was the second stringer for a reason. I think this is a good analogy to predict what might happen (i.e. Harris flopping and Democrats getting rolled). However, it’s also true that sometimes a second-string quarterback comes in and absolutely lights it up, even if he’s worse than the starter, because the defense’s game plan was built entirely for the starting quarterback. And I think that could also happen here. My genuine read on this situation is that Trump wanted Biden to stay in the race and would have much preferred to run against him than Harris.
  22. A lot of people like to say that presidential debates don’t matter. I’m very curious what those people think now. 
  23. I find it very odd that Biden made this decision without us ever seeing or hearing directly from him. I know he has Covid, so making a national address is complicated and he probably doesn’t look or sound great. But he just made the most consequential decision of his entire term (perhaps career), and all we have is a picture of a typed-up statement that has his signature on it. He could have easily uploaded a 60-second video, or taken questions outside at a distance from the press. The whole thing is just very, very bizarre, and I am extremely curious to see and hear from him directly. 
  24. On May 30, Trump was convicted in the hush money trial. On June 11, the president's son Hunter Biden was found guilty of federal gun crimes. On June 27, Biden gave the debate performance that led to him dropping out. On July 1, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump had broad immunity for official acts as president. On July 13, someone tried to assassinate Trump. On July 15, a Florida judge dismissed Trump's classified documents case. That same day, Trump tapped J.D. Vance as his running mate. On July 21, Biden announced he was dropping his re-election bid. That's less than two months of history-making news. The election is over three months away. Buckle up.

Take the survey: What do you think of Biden’s decision to drop out, and whom should Democrats nominate? Let us know!

Disagree? That's okay. My opinion is just one of many. Write in and let us know why, and we'll consider publishing your feedback.


Your questions, answered.

We're skipping the reader question today to give our main story some extra space. Want to have a question answered in the newsletter? You can reply to this email (it goes straight to my inbox) or fill out this form.


Under the radar.

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing $4.3 billion in funding for 25 new projects aimed at addressing climate change. The money, which is part of a $5 billion fund created by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, will be allocated between states, tribes, local governments, and territories as part of climate action plans developed in 2023. Some of the newly funded projects include initiatives in Nebraska to reduce agricultural waste, in Pennsylvania to reduce industrial pollution, and in Alaska to replace residential oil-burning systems with heat pumps. The EPA expects the funds to be delivered to recipients by early fall. The New York Times has the story.


Numbers.

  • 28. The number of days until the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. 
  • 25. The number of days since the first presidential debate.
  • 105. The number of days until Election Day. 
  • 3.0%. Donald Trump’s lead over Kamala Harris in a hypothetical matchup, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll released last week.
  • 5.7%. Trump’s lead over Harris in a hypothetical three-way race (with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.), according to polling averages from Decision Desk HQ and The Hill.
  • 38.6%. Harris’s approval rating as of July 17, according to FiveThirtyEight.
  • 41.7%. Trump’s approval rating as of July 21.  
  • 37. The number of Democratic lawmakers who publicly called on Biden to drop out before his announcement on Sunday.

The extras.

  • One year ago today we had just covered Republicans' controversial military bill.
  • The most clicked link in Thursday’s newsletter was the ad in our free edition for Brad’s Deals.
  • Nothing to do with politics: Following last week’s CrowdStrike outage that severely impacted air travel, you’ve got to love this fake Southwest Airlines tweet.
  • Our past two surveys: We erroneously omitted a survey link in our Wednesday edition on Judge Aileen Cannon dismissing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case. Rather than attempt to summarize our past two surveys, we’re going to let the results speak for themselves.

Have a nice day.

#TeamSeas has removed over 34 million pounds of trash from oceans, rivers, and beaches. Founded in 2021 by YouTubers Mark Rober and Jimmy Donaldson (better known as MrBeast), #TeamSeas partnered with a nonprofit environmental organization called The Ocean Cleanup to remove plastic pollution and other debris from bodies of water. #TeamSeas harnessed donations from over 200 countries and territories to accomplish their goal, including some donations from celebrities and billionaires. The initiative was supported online by a variety of creators, with #TeamSeas content receiving over 1.3 billion views across over 40,000 social channels. The group announced their achievement on YouTube


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Zach Elwood Author of How Contempt Destroys Democracy
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The Sunday — July 14

This is the Tangle Sunday Edition, a brief roundup of our independent politics coverage plus some extra features for your…
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