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Westlake Legal Group > Democratic Party (Page 7)

Why Bernie Sanders Stood Out at the Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES — Bernie Sanders examined the butter cow. He power-walked by the Ferris wheel. He gobbled a corn dog.

He spoke to almost no one.

Most presidential candidates use the 10-day Iowa State Fair to showcase their retail campaigning skills, because it is one of the best opportunities to meet a wide cross-section of voters before the caucuses in February. Mr. Sanders’s approach to the event on Sunday — stride briskly, wave occasionally, converse infrequently — underscored how he has grounded his campaign in championing ideas rather than establishing human connections.

His lectern-pounding, impersonal campaign style served him well during his first presidential run, especially here in Iowa, where his near-victory in the caucuses against Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of State, transformed him into a threat for the Democratic nomination.

Yet even as his campaign seeks to project its strength in early primary states, there are signs — in Iowa polls, conversations with local officials and discussions with dozens of voters — suggesting that Mr. Sanders, 77, may be struggling to gain traction in the state that fueled his political rise.

[Which candidates have qualified for the September Democratic primary debates?]

It is a dynamic that was perhaps most evident last weekend at the state fairgrounds: As voters talked up first-time presidential candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Mr. Sanders was often an afterthought.

Some voters cited Mr. Sanders’s age. Others said they wanted to elect a woman. Many praised his ability to push the party to the left but said it was time for someone else to claim the progressive mantle.

“I’m liking Elizabeth Warren,” said Danielle Hensley, a 22-year-old student from Iowa City, after casting her presidential vote at the fair’s highly unscientific corn kernel poll. Ms. Hensley supported Mr. Sanders in the caucuses four years ago; now, she explained, she sees him as “a 2016 candidate.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159170787_3842eec9-1722-46cc-906f-b8558f203f12-articleLarge Why Bernie Sanders Stood Out at the Iowa State Fair Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party

Unlike in 2016, when Mr. Sanders was the only candidate with a liberal populist message, there are now many other progressives who have adopted a similar agenda.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

It is still early in the primary season, and Mr. Sanders and his aides dismiss outright any notion that his Iowa campaign has lost momentum, repeatedly asserting that the campaign is well positioned for the long haul. They remain confident that they can energize first-time caucusgoers who were too young to cast their votes four years ago. And they brush off a recent poll that showed Mr. Sanders slipping in the state, saying that it does not capture the views of younger voters, working-class Democrats and others who are not yet paying attention to the race — groups that the campaign sees as a big part of his base.

“We’re feeling really, really good,” Mr. Sanders told reporters after his turn at the fair’s political soapbox. “I think we’re going to win here in Iowa.”

During a conference call with reporters on Monday, Mr. Sanders’s advisers pushed back against doubts about the strength of the campaign, insisting that most polls still have him in second place, and noting that he enjoyed a boost in support in surveys taken after the second Democratic debates. They also maintained that voters trust Mr. Sanders on health care, which his team argues is the most important issue to the electorate.

Mr. Sanders has some significant advantages in the state.

Some gave Mr. Sanders a thumbs down as he made his way through the fair.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

Through the end of June, he had an estimated 7,000 individual donors in Iowa, according to an analysis of campaign fund-raising records by The New York Times, by far the most of any candidate. And he maintains an army of die-hard liberal foot soldiers who are more than eager to propel him to the convention. On Friday, before the state’s annual Wing Ding dinner in Clear Lake when supporters for the various candidates typically gather and chant outside the event as a show of force, Mr. Sanders’s team boasted that their volunteers had instead knocked on every Democratic door in the town. He plans to return to Iowa next week for what will be his eighth trip to the state since announcing his candidacy in February.

But the landscape for Mr. Sanders is vastly different than it was four years ago. Nearly two dozen candidates are now vying for the nomination. And unlike in 2016, when he had the liberal populist message to himself, there are now many other progressives who have adopted a similar agenda. There is also a surging energy among young activists for diversity, female candidates and generational change.

At the same time, several Iowa Democratic officials said they were miffed by Mr. Sanders’s campaign, which they see as operating as something of a lone wolf.

Jeannine Grady, Democratic chairwoman in Marshall County, where Mr. Sanders defeated Mrs. Clinton in the caucuses in 2016, said Mr. Sanders’s campaign is not following the traditional campaign playbook of staying in close contact with county chairs.

Though running an unconventional, outsider campaign had worked for him in the past, she said, it may not work this time, especially now that his message is no longer novel and voters have so many other candidates on offer.

“I don’t believe it’s possible for him to run an insurgent campaign like he did four years ago,” said Ms. Grady, who caucused for Mr. Sanders in 2016. “Part of being an insurgent is being relatively unknown. He can’t now be unknown.”

[The race is fluid, and other things we learned from the July Democratic debates.]

“Sanders is running on the fumes of his last campaign,” said William Baresel, Democratic chairman in Floyd County. “And weakness is starting to show in get-out-the-vote efforts they have done.”

Sanders allies say it is precisely that willingness to operate outside the established political system that is part of Mr. Sanders’s appeal, especially for those who believe the current system is broken and requires wholesale change.

Mr. Sanders’s most loyal fans still flock to his events because of the constancy of his message.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

Pete D’Alessandro, who ran Mr. Sanders’s Iowa campaign in 2016 and is now a senior adviser, stressed in an interview that the campaign was working behind the scenes to woo voters who had not yet tuned in to the political process.

“If we do as a team what we’re supposed to do each day, we will be in a position to talk to that voter who can’t engage right now when they’re ready to engage,” he said. “Then you’ll see a whole different dialogue going on.”

And he suggested that Mr. Sanders should not be measured by the usual political metrics for success.

“The reason that I’m not concerned is I know at the end of most days, we sit around as a senior staff and we say, ‘We just won today,’” he said.

But if the stakes are high for every presidential candidate in Iowa, they are even more elevated for Mr. Sanders: Many political observers say success for him in 2020 is predicated on a repeat strong performance in the caucuses.

And as he traveled across Iowa ahead of his visit to the state fair, Mr. Sanders declared that he planned to win not just the Iowa caucuses, but the nominating contests in New Hampshire, Nevada and California as well.

Though he has faced some criticism for adhering strictly to his message, it is, perhaps above all, his constancy that has loyal fans still flocking to his events — he had one of the biggest crowds at the fair — and pledging their allegiance.

Waiting to hear Ms. Warren speak at the fair on Saturday, Misty Cornelius, 38, of Des Moines, said she remained “a strong Bernie supporter” — a declaration confirmed by the glittery “Bernie 2020” tattoo she bore on her chest.

[Sign up for our politics newsletter and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

But there were also skeptical voices.

“He’s unrealistic,” said Michael McDonald, 64, of Altoona.

“I like Bernie, but he seems a little too old, honestly,” said Andrew Ball, 22, of Iowa City.

Teresa Brumer, a 51-year-old dental assistant from Urbandale who caucused for Mr. Sanders in 2016, said she wanted to see if Mr. Sanders was “the same man as he was four years ago.”

He was, she said after hearing him speak. But she was now also considering Mr. Buttigieg.

Reid Epstein, Lisa Lerer and Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting from Des Moines, Matt Stevens from New York and Rachel Shorey from Washington.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kamala Harris, in a Pivot, Makes Her Play for Iowa

STORM LAKE, Iowa — Senator Kamala Harris ordered tacos at a Mexican joint in Storm Lake (two chicken, one pork). She mingled with the masses at a New York-themed bar in Sioux City. (“You’ve got the whitest teeth,” one patron told her. “That’s a plus right there.”) She sampled apple egg rolls and flipped pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

“I can also flip Republicans,” she grinned while gripping a metal spatula.

As Ms. Harris trundles her way across Iowa on a five-day bus tour that is her longest trip yet to any early primary state, the California Democrat’s embrace of Iowa’s quirky political traditions has delivered the unmistakable message that the state’s kickoff caucuses are increasingly central to her 2020 calculations after months of focus on South Carolina.

By the end of her tour on Monday, Ms. Harris will have made more stops in Iowa on this trip than she did in the entire first half of 2019, according to the Des Moines Register’s candidate tracker. She did not once venture farther west than the Des Moines suburbs until July, as her one planned trip there was scratched because of Senate votes.

“You can’t fake showing up,” said Jim Eliason, the Democratic county chairman in Buena Vista in northwestern Iowa, who happily introduced himself to Ms. Harris, outside the Storm Lake taqueria on Friday.

[Here’s the latest data on who’s leading the race to be the Democratic nominee.]

Now Ms. Harris is showing up. The giant crowd of reporters, cameras, supporters, staff and even some hecklers that shadowed her across the state fairgrounds testified to a rising presence in the state.

Her campaign boasts 50 full-time staff in Iowa, plus 20 paid fellows, spread across seven offices. She bought her first television ad of the primary this week here, airing a minute-long introductory spot statewide. And in the latest Iowa poll, from Monmouth University, Ms. Harris had inched up to third place, at 11 percent, behind former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. (28 percent) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (19 percent). Senator Bernie Sanders was at nine percent, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was at eight percent and the rest of the field was far behind.

The tour started in western Iowa on Thursday.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times The crowd in Sioux City cheered.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times
ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159047868_91a9f845-7d5b-4d43-8689-d55dc28d5be5-articleLarge Kamala Harris, in a Pivot, Makes Her Play for Iowa Primaries and Caucuses Iowa Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party

Ms. Harris has favored rallies to more freewheeling campaign events. CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Strategists for Ms. Harris say her newfound focus is a result of the surprising degree to which the race in Iowa remains wide open, despite Mr. Biden’s continued advantage in the polls and the sizable operation Ms. Warren has constructed. It is also a tacit acknowledgment of history: those outside the top-three finishers in Iowa rarely go on to capture the nomination.

Ms. Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, who joined her at the state fair, has been courting Iowa activists and officials to ply them for information and possible endorsements. He has even traveled to Iowa on his own for meetings.

“Do you think Kamala can still win Iowa?” Mr. Emhoff recently asked one Iowa Democrat, after acknowledging her slow start in the state, according to a person who relayed the private conversation anonymously in order to maintain a relationship with the campaign.

Ms. Harris and her team have long been circumspect about the “W-word” and Iowa. Her campaign had initially sought to tamp down expectations here, suggesting that, unlike some rivals, victory was not essential. South Carolina, with its heavily African-American electorate, instead, has been pinned as the state most likely to propel her candidacy forward. But South Carolina is the fourth state to vote, and scoring an earlier victory elsewhere is often key to success there, as it was for Barack Obama in 2008.

Supporters waited for Ms. Harris to arrive at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake on Friday.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Ms. Harris herself was in Iowa on the night of Mr. Obama’s Iowa caucus victory, which famously helped him consolidate the support of African-American voters over a popular and well-known Democrat, Hillary Clinton. Now it is Ms. Harris seeking to chip away at the solid support in the black community for another well-known Democrat, Mr. Biden.

[Sign up for our politics newsletter and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

In an interview aboard her campaign bus, where snacks included Iowa-shaped cookies and some with “Kamala” written in frosting, Ms. Harris said the Iowa caucuses are “obviously significant in terms of the perception of the strength of the candidacy” going into the rest of the primary calendar. “You can’t deny that,” she said.

As summer has unfolded, Ms. Harris has more firmly found her ideological place in the expansive primary field: landing herself somewhere between the unalloyed liberalism of Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren and the moderation of Mr. Biden.

“From my perspective, what people want is that you see them, and you are prepared to solve their problems and the issues that wake them up in the middle of the night,” Ms. Harris said in the interview. “They couldn’t give a hoot about your ideology. That’s not what people want right now. Because ideology doesn’t fix problems. And what people want — I believe people want a problem-solving president.”

On the tour and in a television ad, Ms. Harris is highlighting her “3 a.m. agenda” to address the economic issues that keep Americans up at night.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

In Sioux City, for instance, she sidestepped a question about whether she would label President Trump a “white supremacist,” a designation that some of her rivals in the primary, including Ms. Warren, Mr. Buttigieg, Mr. Sanders and Beto O’Rourke began using last week. Prominent black politicians, such as Mr. Obama, have often avoided such sharp language about white leaders and sought to stress themes of tolerance and unity.

Ms. Harris said it was a “fair conversation that’s happening” because Mr. Trump “has been about condoning the conduct and certainly accommodating the conduct of white supremacists.”

In interviews, numerous Iowa voters said they were drawn to Ms. Harris’s potential history-making candidacy as a black woman, and to what they perceived as her toughness. Fewer mentioned policy specifics.

“I think she can fight Trump and win,” said Alana Jondle, a retiree in Fort Dodge.

Ms. Harris’s inaugural television spot in Iowa features her “3 a.m. agenda,” which aims to address the economic issues that keep Americans up at night. The ad leads with her promise to cut taxes for the middle class, and includes her proposals to address gender pay equity and establish “Medicare for all.”

Angie Miller of Cedar Rapids, who came to see Ms. Harris speak on the soapbox at the state fair on Saturday, said she had already seen Ms. Harris’s first ad and that “it grabbed my attention and made me really gravitate toward her.”

Fairgoers tried to catch a glimpse of Ms. Harris.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times Grilling pork is a ritual at the fair.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times
Ms. Harris navigated the crowds of press members at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

In her state fair speech, Ms. Harris’s pitch for a middle-class tax cut received little applause. But her new favorite line about Mr. Trump — “Dude gotta go!” — had the crowd roaring, as did her declaration that, “We will pay teachers their value!”

Asked in the interview why, as a progressive Democrat, she is leading with tax cuts, Ms. Harris said, “We’ve got to multitask.”

“I like to cook. I have five burners. They can all roar at the same time,” she said. “For most of my life, I’ve had four. Now I have five.”

Less freewheeling than some of her rivals, Ms. Harris favored structured events, like rallies and curated round tables early in 2019, rather than the unpredictability of chance encounters along the trail that have long characterized Iowa campaigning.

When Ms. Harris taped a podcast before a live Cedar Rapids audience in February, her team requested a rundown of the questions she would be asked in advance, said Simeon Talley, a Democratic activist and one of the podcast co-hosts. “They were very specific,” he recalled, more so than other 2020 candidates who have appeared.

“Even in our conversation with her, I got a sense that she was — rehearsed is maybe not quite the right word — but you got a sense that she had things that she was going to say and stay on script,” said Mr. Talley, who is undecided for 2020 but likes Ms. Harris. “It could be used as a knock against her that she’s cautious or rehearsed. Maybe there is an element of that. But it’s probably contributed to her rise and successful political career.”

Supporters took pictures with Ms. Harris’s bus in West Des Moines on Saturday.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

With her sister and campaign chair, Maya Harris, by her side, Ms. Harris appeared more than comfortable on this trip, and she greeted voters for the first two days while sporting immaculately white Chuck Taylors. She made her first campaign stop through an Iowa bar, and offered instruction on pronouncing her name (“Just think of ‘comma’ and add a ‘la’”). She asked children about their summer vacations. And she comforted a young woman who told her she came to the United States as an infant and was in the Obama era immigration policy that shielded from deportation young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

“Always remember,” Ms. Harris told her, “you belong here.”

Ms. Harris suggested she not only was enjoying her time in Iowa but signaled there was more to come.

“Spending time in Iowa has been really helpful to me,” she said in Sioux City. “You are making me a better candidate.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Democrats in Iowa Offer Plans to Combat Gun Violence

Westlake Legal Group 09warren-guns-facebookJumbo Democrats in Iowa Offer Plans to Combat Gun Violence Warren, Elizabeth mass shootings Law and Legislation gun control firearms Democratic Party

DES MOINES — One by one, Democratic presidential candidates on Saturday emphasized the urgent need to confront gun violence in America, speaking largely in harmony on an issue that has been thrust to the forefront after last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.

At a forum in Des Moines, the candidates voiced support for a common set of gun control proposals, like requiring universal background checks and banning assault weapons. And they repeatedly cited the same obstacles in their path: President Trump, the National Rifle Association and Republicans in Congress.

“You’re not going to tweet your way into making this happen,” said Representative Tim Ryan, Democrat of Ohio.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York urged gun control activists to press Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader. She suggested that they tweet at him, “Mitch, call the vote! Mitch, call the vote!”

And Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said, “We’ve got a guy in the White House that’s afraid. He’s afraid of the N.R.A.”

On Saturday morning, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts laid out a series of proposals to address gun violence, with an ambitious goal for her presidency: reducing gun deaths by 80 percent.

Ms. Warren offered her plan before she was scheduled to appear at the forum, which was expected to draw more than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates. The gathering was sponsored by Everytown for Gun Safety and two of its branches, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action.

There were nearly 40,000 gun deaths in the United States in 2017, 60 percent of which were suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“My goal as president, and our goal as a society, will be to reduce that number by 80 percent,” Ms. Warren said. “We might not know how to get all the way there yet. But we’ll start by implementing solutions that we believe will work. We’ll continue by constantly revisiting and updating those solutions based on new public health research.”

Under her plan, Ms. Warren would make major changes to how Americans buy guns. Her plan includes creating a federal licensing system, akin to getting a driver’s license, for people buying guns or ammunition.

She is also calling for new restrictions on gun purchases: The minimum age would be 21, people would be limited to one firearm purchase per month and there would be a one-week waiting period for all purchases.

[Biden’s biggest weakness? Iowa. But some rivals don’t seem to know it.]

Ms. Warren’s plan also calls for increasing taxes on gun manufacturers, as well as spending $100 million annually on research into gun violence.

Ms. Warren’s presidential bid has been powered in large part by her steady stream of policy proposals, and gun safety was among the highest-profile issues that she had not yet addressed in detail. Before rolling out her new plan, she called on Friday for Walmart to stop selling guns.

Ms. Warren’s plan endorses several proposals that are broadly popular among the Democratic candidates, like requiring universal background checks; banning assault weapons; enacting a so-called red flag law that allows guns to be removed from people deemed dangerous; and repealing a law that shields gun manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits.

The possibility of passing a red flag law has received considerable attention after last weekend’s shootings, and Mr. Trump on Friday said there was “tremendous support” for what he described as “really common-sense, sensible, important background checks.” But his track record on guns leaves major question marks about his commitment to that position.

Ms. Warren laid out actions she would take on guns using executive power, such as expanding background checks to cover more gun purchases. But much of her agenda on the issue would require passing legislation in Congress.

[At Iowa’s Wing Ding dinner, Democrats assail G.O.P. on gun control.]

To do that, Ms. Warren reiterated her call to get rid of the Senate filibuster — a step that would clear the way for a narrow Democratic majority to pass new gun laws without needing to reach 60 votes.

“Enough is enough,” Ms. Warren said. “Lasting gun reform requires the elimination of the filibuster.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

At Iowa’s Wing Ding Dinner, Democrats Assail G.O.P. on Gun Control

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — The Democratic presidential candidates paused here for a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, underscoring how the turbulent events of the past week have refocused the primary contest.

The brief lull in the primary campaign came as nearly the entire field descended on Northern Iowa on Friday night for the Wing Ding dinner, an annual event that has long served as an early testing ground for Democratic presidential aspirants.

In speech after speech, the candidates focused their fire on assailing President Trump and Republicans for their lack of action on gun control and abetting white supremacy — rather than focusing their fire on each other.

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio recounted his recent trip to Kentucky, where he led protests of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, for not acting on gun control legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

“We need gun reform in America and we need it now,” Mr. Ryan said, bringing the crowd to their feet. “People are dying on the streets of this country, getting killed by weapons that were made for battlefields not neighborhoods like Dayton, Ohio.”

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey used his five-minute slot to deliver a somber sermon on the “moral moment” faced by the country.

“This is a week where I will not let the slaughter of our fellow citizens just disappear within the next media cycle,” he said.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., who received rapturous applause from the crowd, focused his remarks on turning the page from the Trump presidency, describing white nationalism as a “national security threat.”

“We’ve got to win not just the era but the future of this country,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “We are going to fix things in this country, we are going to do it together.”

The party fund-raiser, held at Clear Lake’s iconic Surf Ballroom, where Buddy Holly played his final rock show before dying in a plane crash in a nearby cornfield, has become an essential stop for Democratic activists and candidates to size up the field.

[Here’s the latest data on who’s leading the race to be the Democratic nominee.]

Barack Obama spoke here in 2007 before his presidential campaign caught fire. And last year, when Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer, was weighing a presidential bid, he wowed the crowd and presaged the 2020 campaign by urging Democrats to fight as dirty as Mr. Trump does.

(Mr. Avenatti abandoned his presidential hopes in December. Four months later he was charged in a scheme to extort Nike, the shoe manufacturer.)

This year, Mr. Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren and J.D. Scholten, who is beginning a second campaign against Representative Steve King of Iowa, won the strongest reception from the audience.

Jerry Dietz, a 79-year-old farmer, said he arrived at the event backing Senator Amy Klobuchar but left most impressed by Mr. Buttigieg, though he worried the country wasn’t ready to elect the first gay president.

“I have relatives who wouldn’t vote for him,” he said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159091542_26d5bbec-749e-481f-bca6-b5fb6fd17673-articleLarge At Iowa’s Wing Ding Dinner, Democrats Assail G.O.P. on Gun Control Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Bullock, Steve Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. received rapturous applause from the crowd, describing white nationalism as a “national security threat.”CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

For many Democrats, the back-to-back mass shootings last weekend offered another reminder of their most deeply-held desire: Ousting Mr. Trump.

Many in the Democratic primary field have heightened their denunciations of Mr. Trump, labeling him a racist and a white supremacist.

As he left the White House for a vacation at his New Jersey golf club on Friday night, Mr. Trump called for lawmakers to pass “meaningful” background checks, a sign that the president finds himself under new political pressure.

Even so, there were no major signals on Friday from the N.R.A., the White House or Capitol Hill that action on the politically fraught issue was closer to compromise or resolution.

Setting himself apart from his rivals, former Representative Beto O’Rourke stayed home in El Paso to attend memorials and visit with shooting victims in his mourning hometown.

“I’m here to make sure that at this moment we do not allow ourselves to be defined by this act of terror,” he said, by way of a video message, “but instead by the way this community overcomes this attack.”

Outside, young boosters for a half-dozen campaigns chanted and screamed at each other. Someone played “Come on Eileen” for no discernible reason. And former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. slow jogged outside to greet his supporters.

The speeches at the Wing Ding dinner surpassed the two-hour mark, with 22 candidates each delivering their pitch in back-to-back-to-back five-minute increments to a sweaty room of Democratic activists. Several opened their comments with cracks about the size of the field, a reality that’s begun to worry party officials and voters.

Of course, as Mr. Holly once crooned, everyday the caucuses are “a-getting closer” and the race is “a-getting faster.” The Iowa blitz this weekend signifies the unofficial start of the fall campaign season, a time when the field is likely to narrow as candidates fail to qualify for debates and start hemorrhaging campaign cash.

[Andrew Yang became the 9th Democrat to qualify for the next debate.]

The dinner comes as the field battles to overtake Mr. Biden, who’s commanded a steady lead in the race despite a series of gaffes. On Thursday evening, Mr. Biden raised eyebrows during a speech in Iowa when he said that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.

A new survey in the state shows Ms. Warren gaining ground and Senator Bernie Sanders sliding. Mr. Sanders’s near win in the caucuses three years ago is what fueled his insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton.

Taffy Brodesser-Akner contributed reporting from Clear Lake.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

How Gun Control Groups Are Catching Up to the N.R.A.

WASHINGTON — The political momentum in the gun control debate has shifted in the year leading up to this weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, with gun control advocates taking a more empowered stance and the National Rifle Association consumed by internal power struggles.

The major gun control organizations, propelled by funding from supporters like Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, and grass-roots networks across the country, have helped enact new laws — mostly in Democratic-controlled states — and, for the first time in 25 years, passed a significant gun control bill in the House.

But the gun lobby’s structural advantages, built over decades and defended by President Trump and congressional Republicans, remain in place: an N.R.A. budget that dwarfs what even Mr. Bloomberg has spent, a Republican Senate majority disinclined to consider gun-control legislation, and a base of primary voters for whom the N.R.A.’s endorsement is a critical seal of approval.

The net effect is a playing field on gun issues that is far more level than it has been since N.R.A.-backed Republicans took over Congress in 1994, sparking one of the country’s most bitter, partisan culture wars.

Yet in the immediate aftermath of the weekend massacres, there were few signs the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings would lead to calls for additional gun restrictions any different from those already being pushed by Democrats.

Though the United States experiences hundreds of mass shootings each year, few have captured enough public attention to force even incremental change. And even in cases when gun control legislation is drafted, the N.R.A. and its allies in elected office have almost always defeated it.

On Sunday, activists and Democrats, including the leading candidates for president, reiterated chronic pleas for the Republican-controlled Senate to take action on the gun control bill that House Democrats passed in February, a measure that would require background checks for all gun buyers.

“The Senate should come back from recess and immediately vote on laws that we know work and save lives,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the grass-roots gun control organization funded largely by Mr. Bloomberg. “If Congress continues to sit on its hands, then we will work even harder to make sure that we have a gun-sense majority in Congress and a president who will do the right thing.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158863890_6ef4bbd8-25c0-4dea-9815-a876bc7aa35c-articleLarge How Gun Control Groups Are Catching Up to the N.R.A. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J State Legislatures Presidential Election of 2020 National Rifle Assn gun control firearms Democratic Party

An offering of flowers near the Walmart in El Paso where the shooting took place.CreditAdriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, called the attacks this weekend “horrifying” in a Twitter post, but said nothing about legislation.

“Sickening to learn this morning of another mass murder in Dayton, Ohio overnight,” he tweeted on Sunday. “Two horrifying acts of violence in less than 24 hours. We stand with law enforcement as they continue working to keep Americans safe and bring justice.”

But Senate Democrats may not get off easy by just blaming Mr. McConnell. The spate of mass shootings in recent years has led an array of activist groups to adopt positions that were once relegated to the far fringes of the gun debate; these groups now aim to hold accountable Democrats who they believe do not fight hard enough for gun control measures.

[A weekend of gun violence stuns the country]

“They must do everything in their power, everything in their capacity as a senator, from holding a filibuster, to placing a hold on nominees and key bills, to getting back to D.C. right now to show the nation that they are willing to act,” said Igor Volsky, the executive director of Guns Down America. “It’s not enough to simply ask Mitch McConnell to bring something to a vote. They have to use their leverage as a United States senator to shame him into taking action.”

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has pushed for gun control legislation since the 2012 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., said Sunday that he’d spent the weekend discussing gun control proposals with his Republican colleagues.

If Republicans won’t budge, then Democrats will “have to get together and figure out what leverage we have in the Senate,” Mr. Murphy said in an interview. But realistically, he said, gun control may only pass the Senate if Democrats control the chamber.

“It’s my responsibility to try to find a legislative path, but I’m not going to take too many kicks at the football if it keeps getting pulled out from under us,” Mr. Murphy said. “I think we have had our eyes firmly on the electoral path since the spring of 2013, and we probably have to keep it there.”

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut has pushed for gun control measures since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Representative Mike Thompson, a California Democrat who leads the House’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, said members were working on additional legislation — including restrictions on high-capacity magazines — despite the challenges of passing the measures in the Senate.

“Sadly, we know that the issue of gun violence prevention is a partisan issue,” Mr. Thompson said. “We saw that firsthand with the House Republicans holding up any hearings on gun violence prevention, any votes on gun violence prevention, for six and a half years after Sandy Hook. Once the Democrats took over the House, that changed.”

There was no sign over the weekend that Republicans’ opposition to new gun laws had softened. In appearances on Fox News, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House minority leader, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas blamed violent video games — to which the N.R.A. has long sought to shift blame — for the proliferation of mass shootings.

“We’ve always had guns and evil,” Mr. Patrick said in the Fox interview. “I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.”

[Make sense of the people, issues and ideas shaping American politics with our newsletter.]

Violent video games are common in many other countries, which do not experience mass shootings at anywhere near the level the United States does. But no other country has as many guns: Americans own an estimated 393 million guns, according to a 2018 study, more than the nation’s population.

Some Democratic Candidates Seek to Link Shootings to Trump

Aug 4, 2019

Massacre at a Crowded Walmart in Texas Leaves 20 Dead

Aug 3, 2019

After Parkland, a New Surge in State Gun Control Laws

Dec 14, 2018

Newtown Wasn’t an End for Gun Control. It Was a Beginning.

Apr 29, 2019

Gun Issues, Long at the Fringe, Now Loom Large for Democratic Candidates

May 31, 2019

In a major shift from past presidential campaigns, the 2020 Democratic candidates are unanimous in their support of universal background checks and other restrictions. Many have gone further, calling for reinstatement of the expired 1994 assault weapons ban — part of a crime bill written by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — as well as offering more robust proposals. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey has called for a federal gun licensing program.

“Enough is enough is enough, and it’s been enough for the past five years,” Mr. Biden said at a campaign event in Las Vegas late Saturday.

Both sides have claimed victories at the state level. In 2019, 17 states, all but three of them with Democratic legislatures, and Washington, D.C., enacted 35 laws that restricted gun ownership. At the same time, Republicans in Florida enacted legislation allowing teachers to carry guns in their classrooms, Idaho lowered its age for carrying a weapon without a permit to 18, and several states now allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Further complicating the gun-control debate is that the N.R.A. has been in turmoil, mired in financial scandal, investigations, infighting and revelations that it was targeted by Russia.

In April, a power struggle with Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s longtime chief executive, led to the departure of Oliver North, the group’s former president, leading Mr. Trump to implore the group to “stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS – FAST!” But the turmoil continued, and Christopher W. Cox, the N.R.A.’s top lobbyist and second-in-command — and a friend of Donald Trump Jr. — was forced out in June.

The N.R.A. has turned over thousands of pages of records in congressional investigations of its ties to Russia. It is also facing investigations by the attorneys general of New York and Washington, D.C. And it is mired in a bitter legal fight with Ackerman McQueen, an advertising firm that was for decades its most influential contractor.

In April, a power struggle with Wayne LaPierre, center, the N.R.A.’s longtime chief executive, led to the departure of Oliver North, its president.CreditScott Olson/Getty Images

But the N.R.A. remains formidable, with an overall budget that dwarfs that of any gun control group, and it is unlikely to moderate its positions.

After 30 hours of silence following initial reports of the El Paso massacre, the N.R.A. released a statement offering “our deepest sympathies” to victims in El Paso and Dayton.

“We will not participate in the politicizing of these tragedies,” said N.R.A. spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. “As always, we will work in good faith to pursue real solutions that protect us all from people who commit these horrific acts.”

Perhaps a more telling statement came Saturday morning, before the Texas shooting, when Willes Lee, the group’s second vice president, tweeted: “Where do you feel least safe, most vulnerable? Exactly. A gun free zone. Tell elected officials & business owners they are responsible for innocent people losing lives.”

Still, gun control advocates believe the N.R.A. is in its weakest position since 1994. With Mr. Trump in the White House, the organization can no longer say that a hostile administration is threatening to take away Americans’ guns.

Some prominent Republicans, including Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida, do support extreme-risk protection orders, commonly known as red-flag laws. This in itself is a significant shift, and in an interview earlier this year, Mr. Rubio said he had been influenced by how routine mass shootings had become.

“I remember being at a confirmation service for my nephew, and somehow the thought crept into my head: What if somebody walked in here now and started shooting?” he said. “I never used to think about those things. So absolutely, it has an impact on people, and people want action.”

After the shooting in El Paso, Mr. Graham tweeted that it was “time to do more than pray,” but did not elaborate.

For Democrats in Washington, the political winds on gun control have shifted dramatically since Sandy Hook.

Of the 235 Democrats in the House now, just three received “A” ratings from the N.R.A. last year: Representatives Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Henry Cuellar of Texas. Mr. Cuellar has a Democratic challenger for 2020 who has sought to make his position on gun control an issue in the primary. By contrast, in 2008, voters elected 67 Democrats with A ratings.

Among Democrats, there was little appetite after the El Paso and Dayton massacres for the typical offering of thoughts and prayers for the victims.

“No more thoughts and prayers,” Senator Kamala Harris of California wrote on Sunday in a fund-raising solicitation for three gun control groups. “We need action.”

Reid J. Epstein reported from Washington, Maggie Astor from New York and Danny Hakim from Orlando, Fla. Katie Glueck contributed reporting from Las Vegas.

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Back-to-Back Outbreaks of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country

DAYTON, Ohio — On Sunday, Americans woke up to news of a shooting rampage in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, where a man wearing body armor shot and killed nine people, including his own sister. Hours earlier, a 21-year-old with a rifle entered a Walmart in El Paso and killed 20 people.

In a country that has become nearly numb to men with guns opening fire in schools, at concerts and in churches, the back-to-back bursts of gun violence in less than 24 hours were enough to leave the public stunned and shaken. The shootings ground the 2020 presidential campaign to a halt, reignited a debate on gun control and called into question the increasingly angry words directed at immigrants on the southern border in recent weeks by right-wing pundits and President Trump.

“It’s outrageous,” said Terrion Foster, who works in accounting and lives in Kansas City, Mo., where he was out shopping at a farmer’s market near downtown on Sunday afternoon. “It’s really sad because I feel like you can’t go anywhere and be safe. I’m 50 years old and I didn’t think I’d be alive to see some of the things that are going on today.”

The shootings prompted Republicans, including Mr. Trump, to condemn the gunmen’s actions and offer support to the people of Dayton and El Paso. Democrats urged Congress to take action and pass stricter gun laws. “We have a responsibility to the people we serve to act,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Residents of El Paso were on edge, grimly aware of a manifesto posted online that the authorities said was written by the suspect, Patrick Crusius, 21, who was in police custody. The manifesto spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” described an imminent attack by the writer and railed against immigrants.

[The manifesto was posted on 8chan. “Shut the site down,” the platform’s creator says.]

Federal investigators in El Paso said they were treating the massacre at the Walmart that also wounded another 27 on Saturday morning as an act of domestic terrorism, and prosecutors said they were considering federal hate crime charges. They were also considering federal gun charges that would carry the death penalty.

“We are going to conduct a methodical and careful investigation with a view toward those charges,” said John F. Bash, the United States attorney for the Western District of Texas, who said he had consulted with Attorney General William P. Barr.

[Two nations come together in El Paso. The bustling Walmart exemplifies those ties.]

In Bellbrook, a quiet suburb of Dayton, that residents described as a “utopia,” the typical Sunday morning peace was disrupted by the police and news media who swarmed the cul-de-sacs and sidewalks of the neighborhood where Connor Betts, the 24-year-old suspect, is believed to have lived.

Brad Howard, 25, who had known Mr. Betts since before kindergarten and rode the bus with him to school for years, opened his phone and saw the news of his classmate on Sunday morning. “It was just another one of those things,” he said. “Just a kick in the teeth.”

Theo Gainey, who lived for 10 years down the block from the Bettses and was a year ahead of Connor Betts in school, remembered him as a “bit of an outcast,” ostracized in large part because of threats he made at school that got him into serious trouble.

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Westlake Legal Group 04daytonshooting-video2-videoSixteenByNine3000 Back-to-Back Outbreaks of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country Trump, Donald J Terrorism Republican Party Immigration and Emigration House of Representatives Democratic Party Dayton, Ohio, Shooting (2019) Crusius, Patrick (1998- ) Betts, Connor (1994- )

Officials said the gunman killed nine people and injured 27 others in less than one minute in a busy entertainment district.CreditCreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

“He got arrested on the school bus” for the threats, said Mr. Gainey, who added that he was on the bus himself when it happened. He recalled Mr. Betts being a freshman or sophomore at the time. Mr. Gainey, 25, did not remember the specifics of the threats but said that Mr. Betts had to leave school for the rest of that year. When he returned, “the threat thing followed him, and people didn’t want to hang out with him.”

Mr. Betts died during the shooting and his motive appeared unclear. Some details about him began to emerge on Sunday: he attended local public schools in Bellbrook, took classes at Sinclair Community College in the Dayton area and was majoring in psychology. He had been working at a gas station and was registered to continue classes in the upcoming fall semester.

He was charged in May 2016 with operating a vehicle while under the influence in 2015, and a ticket said he had a blood alcohol content of .091, over the legal limit of .08. Mr. Betts pleaded guilty the next year to a lesser charge of having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence.

Westlake Legal Group 0805-nat-webDAYTONmap-300_ Back-to-Back Outbreaks of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country Trump, Donald J Terrorism Republican Party Immigration and Emigration House of Representatives Democratic Party Dayton, Ohio, Shooting (2019) Crusius, Patrick (1998- ) Betts, Connor (1994- )

Ned Peppers Bar

OREGON

DISTRICT

W. FIFTH ST.

By The New York Times

Witnesses to the shooting, which occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, described a scene of horror and chaos.

James Williams, 50, had been seated with friends on the patio at Ned Peppers, a bar near where the shooting occurred. He and his friends got up and walked across the street when suddenly, they heard shots.

He and a friend rushed back to the bar and found bodies all over the ground. Officers at the scene were asking for belts to use as tourniquets, so Mr. Williams took his belt off. His friend attempted CPR on one of the victims, pumping his chest and urging the man to hang on. He didn’t survive.

“You just wouldn’t believe the people who have pulled together and tried to save these people and there wasn’t any saving,” Mr. Williams said. “Most of them were probably dead.”

The shooting began at 1:07 a.m. on East Fifth Street in Dayton’s Oregon entertainment district, which was bustling with late-night revelers enjoying a warm summer evening, said Nan Whaley, the mayor of Dayton. Uniformed officers on routine patrol in the area responded, shooting and killing the gunman within one minute of his first gunshots, she said.

The gunman was wearing a mask, body armor and hearing protection, and he possessed a high-capacity magazine capable of holding 100 rounds, the police said.

The nine victims were men and women ranging from 22 to 57 years old, including Mr. Betts’s sister, Megan, who was 22. Twenty-seven other people were injured.

The authorities said they still had not established a motive for the shooting. They said Mr. Betts arrived in the entertainment district Saturday evening with his sister, Megan K. Betts, 22, and another “companion.” Mr. Betts then split from the rest of the group for a period of time before opening fire, the authorities said.

Across the country, Americans tried to process the weekend of violence while going about their usual routines. On Sunday morning at the National Cathedral in Washington, the Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin Sr. spoke to Americans struggling to grasp the violence and loss of life, on top of what can feel like a long list of national and personal struggles.

“Our real challenge is to look within,” he said. “If you are honest this morning, all of us need to be transformed at little bit more.”

In Cambridge, Mass., people said they had little hope that the events would lead to any policy changes.

“It’s disheartening, I think, to see so many politicians just keep doing the same kind of wash-rinse-repeat kind of cycle of: mass shooting happens, and then it’s, tweet about thoughts and prayers, and then it becomes, ‘We can’t talk about political ideology, we can’t talk about this and that,’” said Greg Cameron, 31, who does marketing for a bike share company.

Laura Platt, 33, a physician, said she wanted to see better gun policies enacted, but had no expectation that that would happen.

“Nothing happened after Sandy Hook, so I think nothing’s going to happen after this,” she said.

Mr. Trump, who spent the weekend at his estate in Bedminster, N.J., thanked law enforcement officials in both cities on Sunday, declaring that “hate has no place in our country and we are going to take care of it.” He said that “a lot of things are in the works.”

Mr. Trump did not elaborate on that statement.

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What These Student Debaters Learned From the 2020 Democratic Debates

WASHINGTON — For the 20 Democratic candidates who tussled onstage in Detroit last week for their party’s nomination, the debates were a chance to goose poll numbers, undercut rivals and wring donations from potential voters.

For the nearly 200 students who attended a summer debate program last week run by the Washington Urban Debate League, the contests were something else: a lesson plan.

The program, a two-week boot camp for middle and high schoolers held at the Washington Latin Public Charter School, enrolls mostly minority students from underserved backgrounds. The presidential debates offered a teachable moment, said David Trigaux, the league’s program director.

“We always try to find ways to connect to what’s going on in the public discussion,” he said. “The timing of the debates couldn’t be better to provide examples of some things to do and some things not to do.”

Across two harried nights of intraparty sparring, the campers, sorted into “labs” according to experience, found examples of both. They are not yet old enough to vote, much less stand for the highest office in the land. But they could probably debate circles around those who are.

The camp has a scholastic feel; less hiking and canoeing, more nine-to-five instruction in the art of cross-examination and rebuttal. In a math classroom on Thursday, a lab of junior varsity debaters simulated Wednesday night’s presidential showdown, with each student adopting the role of a different candidate.

“Global warming is the first thing we should focus on,” said Brooke Roberson, 12, giving a convincing impression of Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, who has staked his 2020 run on climate change. Earlier that day, she hunched over a laptop watching clips of debate highlights, absorbing the candidates’ platforms, attack lines and speaking styles.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158747562_ef5e1b6c-52a1-414b-8641-26993896f34b-articleLarge What These Student Debaters Learned From the 2020 Democratic Debates washington dc United States Politics and Government Public Speaking Prince George's County (Md) Presidential Election of 2020 Global Warming Education (K-12) Democratic Party Debates (Political) Debates (Academic) Arms Trade

Shabad Singh, 12, and Brooke Roberson, 12, examining a clip of Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii from Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Detroit.CreditMichael A. McCoy for The New York Times

“The first thing we have to worry about is how to beat Donald Trump,” countered Darrian Carroll, a University of Maryland doctoral student who helped lead the lab, mimicking former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “We won’t stop global warming if we don’t beat Donald Trump.”

“But do you have a plan, other than to beat Trump?” pressed Tyler Davis, 13, channeling Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

Role-playing the presidential contests helps less experienced debaters hone their rhetorical skills, said Hiba Sheikh, 24, the lab’s other leader. It also magnifies differences. In the type of competition the campers practice, called policy debate, judges grade opposing teams, each composed of two debaters, according to the strength of their arguments as well as the evidence they present. “Thinking about presidential debates through a policy debate lens makes you really see what claims they are making and how they are substantiating those claims,” Ms. Sheikh said of the presidential candidates. “And often they’re just not substantiating them.”

One floor away, a lab of 12 varsity debaters looked for parallels. The candidates’ liberal use of ad hominem attacks might not fly in a policy debate round, said Jackie Poapst, the assistant director for George Mason University’s debate team, who led the discussion. But deploying strong opening statements to prime an audience and stressing the far-reaching effects of policy certainly would.

Ms. Poapst’s students watched Wednesday’s debate as a homework assignment. For over an hour, they picked apart performances, zeroing in on effective attacks (Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York and Ms. Gabbard) and key clashes (Senator Kamala Harris of California versus Mr. Biden on health care; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey versus Mr. Biden on criminal justice).

“It’s impressive just how much more they do than us and how much less they do than us at the same time,” said Timothy Neal, 15, comparing his fellow campers with the presidential hopefuls. “On one hand, we talk about one resolution a year, and they had, like, six of those in that one debate,” he added, using the term for the topic students debate over a 10-month season. “And on the other hand, we talk about one resolution a year, and we aren’t dodging questions and salting each other.”

The presidential debates can also influence the varsity students’ own arguments. In policy debate, students present real-world proposals and actionable plans to enact them. That often means considering shifting political winds. This season’s resolution, that the United States limit arms sales to foreign governments, is complicated by the impending election, said Lola Rogin, 14. “If something political changes, and it could be anything, it changes the trajectory of debates.”

In the past two years, the campers have sparred over issues like education and immigration — topics that bear directly on their own lives. Many of them come from immigrant backgrounds, and the issue of foreign arms sales can also sometimes hit close to home. “That’s something that they can really understand, because there’s gun violence in D.C.,” Mr. Trigaux said.

Joey Villaflor, 12, playing Senator Cory Booker last week during a re-enactment of Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Detroit.CreditMichael A. McCoy for The New York Times

Since its inception in 2015, the camp has exploded from just 32 students to hundreds. The league has grown from a handful of schools to nearly 50, all of them public schools in Washington and nearby Prince George’s County, Md.

About 30 cities, including Baltimore, New York and Chicago, have urban debate leagues. (Detroit’s urban debate camp starts this week.) The leagues aim to bring debate to disadvantaged populations. The Washington league, which hosts tournaments during the school year, lowers barriers to participation, providing coaching resources and transportation to competitions. The camp, which is free, serves every attendee daily breakfast and lunch.

“We will never make the kids pay anything,” said Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, whose foundation funds the camp. In 2015, Mr. Ornstein and his wife, Judy, started the foundation in memory of their son, Matthew, a former policy debate champion who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The camp bears his name. Including facilities costs, payment for staff members and food, this year’s price tag approached $100,000, Mr. Ornstein said.

Being in Washington also has its advantages: Volunteer judges have included Capitol Hill staff members, a Secret Service agent and other government employees. On Friday, at the close of a campwide tournament, Mr. Ornstein read from letters addressed to the students from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. (High school debate “set me up for success in college, law school, in advocacy and law practice, politics, public service, and, of course, winning arguments with my husband!” Mrs. Clinton wrote.)

For some campers, studying the presidential contests made debate more relatable. “It’s cool to see that debating can be a real-life skill. It can persuade a lot of people,” said Shabad Singh, 12, who played Ms. Harris in her lab on Thursday.

Others find value defending multiple perspectives and watching the candidates present competing ideas. “It’s good to see your opinions played out on a larger scale,” said Paola Almendarez, 15. “Because some people, and I would include myself in this, are so locked into what they think is right.”

In Friday’s tournament, she and Ms. Rogin, her debate partner, placed first among the varsity students. With that under her belt, did she have any advice for any of the 2020 Democrats before the next bout?

“Oh,” she said, “where do I begin?”

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Back-to-Back Bursts of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country

DAYTON, Ohio — On Sunday, Americans woke up to news of a sickening shooting rampage in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, where a man wearing body armor shot and killed nine people, including his own sister. Hours earlier, the first gun massacre to capture the nation’s attention this August weekend had unfolded in El Paso, when a 21-year-old with a rifle entered a Walmart and killed 20 people.

In a country that has become nearly numb to men with guns opening fire in schools, at concerts and in churches, the back-to-back bursts of gun violence in less than 24 hours were enough to leave the public stunned and shaken. The shootings ground the 2020 presidential campaign to a halt, reignited a debate on gun control and called into question the increasingly angry words directed at immigrants on the southern border in recent weeks by right-wing pundits and President Trump.

“When you are talking about the shooting yesterday and they have to ask ‘which one?” wrote Michael Blanco, 22, a fishery technician in Oswego, N.Y, on Twitter on Sunday, adding the hashtag #ThisisAmerica.

[For the latest updates, read our live briefings on the Dayton shooting and the El Paso attack.]

The shootings prompted Republicans, including Mr. Trump, to condemn the gunmen’s actions and offer support to the people of Dayton and El Paso. Democrats urged Congress to take action and pass stricter gun laws. “We have a responsibility to the people we serve to act,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Residents of El Paso were on edge, grimly aware of a manifesto posted online that the authorities said was written by the suspect, Patrick Crusius, 21, who was in police custody. The manifesto spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” described an imminent attack and railed against immigrants.

[The manifesto was posted on 8chan. “Shut the site down,” the platform’s creator says.]

In Bellbrook, a quiet suburb of Dayton, Ohio, that residents described as a “utopia,” the typical Sunday morning peace was disrupted by the police and news media who swarmed the cul-de-sacs and sidewalks of the neighborhood, where Connor Betts, the 24-year-old suspect, is believed to have lived.

Brad Howard, 25, who had known Mr. Betts since before kindergarten and rode the bus with him to school for years, opened his phone and saw the news of his classmate on Sunday morning. “It was just another one of those things,” he said. “Just a kick in the teeth.”

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Westlake Legal Group 04daytonshooting-video2-videoSixteenByNine3000 Back-to-Back Bursts of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country Trump, Donald J Terrorism Republican Party Immigration and Emigration House of Representatives Democratic Party Dayton, Ohio, Shooting (2019) Crusius, Patrick (1998- ) Betts, Connor (1994- )

Mayor Nan Whaley said the suspected gunman had killed nine people and injured at least 27 in less than one minute. It was the second mass shooting in America in less than 24 hours.CreditCreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

“Just like everybody else in the world you don’t expect it to be a few blocks from your place,” said Brian Harris, who was standing up the street with his wife Diane, the owners of a machine shop.

Mr. Betts died during the shooting and his motive appeared unclear. But the attack on shoppers in El Paso is being viewed as a domestic terror attack, federal authorities said on Sunday.

John F. Bash, the United States attorney for the Western District of Texas, said that the shooting seemed to meet the statutory definition of domestic terrorism, in that “it appears to be designed to intimidate a civilian population, to say the least.”

“And we’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is deliver swift and certain justice,” he added.

Across the country, Americans tried to process the weekend of violence while going about their usual routines. On Sunday morning at the National Cathedral in Washington, the Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin Sr. spoke to Americans struggling to grasp the violence and loss of life, on top of what can feel like a long list of national and personal struggles.

“Our real challenge is to look within,” he said. “If you are honest this morning, all of us need to be transformed at little bit more.”

Hundreds of people milled about a farmer’s market in Kansas City’s River Market district on Sunday afternoon, shopping for items ranging from beaded crafts to vegetables like squash and peppers. Several people said that while the mass shootings certainly got their attention, they were not going to scare them out of going on with their lives.

“It’s outrageous,” said Terrion Foster, 50, who lives in Kansas City, Mo., and works in accounting. “It’s really sad because I feel like you can’t go anywhere and be safe. I’m 50 years old and I didn’t think I’d be alive to see some of the things that are going on today.”

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Why a Race-Baiting Trump Is Courting Black Voters

DETROIT — Mark Greer is a black Detroiter so outraged by President Trump’s regular stream of invective toward people of color that he does his best to avoid exposure to him.

So when he clicked on a YouTube link last month to watch an episode of “The Breakfast Club,” a morning radio show popular with African-Americans, he was angered by an ad that greeted him: a message from Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

“It just infuriated me because I felt like they were being slick, trying to slip it in there,” said Mr. Greer, 28, who works for a philanthropic organization. “I know better, but other people who are watching this might go, ‘Hmmm.’”

President Trump’s entire approach to people of color — his attacks on political leaders, his campaign’s social media strategy targeting the black electorate, his ability to fuel black opposition but also demoralize some black voters — is one of the most extraordinary political dynamics of the Trump era. No modern president has ever vilified black Americans or sought to divide people along racial lines like Mr. Trump, while also claiming to be a champion of their economic interests.

The online ad that Mr. Greer saw illustrates the audacious nature of Mr. Trump’s strategy. Even as the president sows racial disharmony, telling four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back,” and saying “no human being” would want to live in the “rat and rodent infested” city of Baltimore, his re-election campaign is spending money on social media to put Mr. Trump before the eyes of black voters.

The objectives are twofold: First, to try to win over a handful of black voters. The campaign intends to highlight low rates of African-American unemployment and the criminal justice overhaul the president signed, a measure that is already a subject of his campaign’s Facebook advertising.

But the more clandestine hope, and one privately acknowledged by Trump allies, is that the president can make black voters think twice about turning out for Democrats or expending energy on trying to change a system some African-Americans believe is unalterably stacked against them.

For many voters of color in this crucial swing state, Mr. Trump’s racial invective is deeply hurtful on a personal level, but something they have come to expect from a president who has consistently denigrated them.

“I think he can win again,” said Malak Aldasouqi, a 21-year-old Detroit Public Schools intern, who is Muslim and said she often feels disheartened by the president’s attacks on people of color. “It’s a little bit of a no-faith situation because there’s been a lot of times where I’ve felt betrayed by the American people.”

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Malak Aldasouqi of East Lansing, Mich.CreditErin Kirkland for The New York Times

[Make sense of the people, issues and ideas shaping American politics with our newsletter.]

Still, Democrats also sense that the president’s race-baiting presents a unique opportunity. After a disastrous dip in black turnout in 2016 in battleground states like Michigan, Democrats are now working to harness the disdain for Mr. Trump to motivate a group that may prove to be most pivotal in the 2020 election: the low-propensity voters of color who decide late whether or not to cast ballots in the election.

Turnout figures show many stayed home in 2016, an election that marked the first decline in black participation rates in two decades. Increasing black turnout by just a few percentage points in urban areas of states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could thwart Mr. Trump’s re-election.

And there are already signs that Mr. Trump’s conduct, which has been reminiscent of a 2016 campaign filled with racist tropes, is likely to ensure that outcome.

Longtime black Democratic leaders say the only time they can recall black voters being so engaged in presidential politics was when they had the chance to elect, and then to re-elect, Barack Obama.

“My dental hygienist talked with me about the election for 40 minutes the other day,” Shirley Franklin, a former Atlanta mayor, recalled with wonder, adding: “Some have preferences but a lot don’t. They just say, ‘I want to vote for whoever is going to beat Trump.’ That’s the predominant feeling.”

Early polling also points to a highly engaged black electorate.

A June poll from CNN found that 74 percent of Democratic voters were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year, a higher figure than even in the years before Mr. Obama’s two elections. The figure was the same for white and nonwhite Democrats.

Theodore R. Johnson, a scholar at the Brennan Center who has written extensively on black voters, said he was skeptical that African-American turnout would reach Obama-era levels, but noted that “if it just goes up from ’16, Trump is in trouble.” A record 66.6 percent of eligible black voters cast ballots in 2012, but that number fell to 59.6 percent four years later.

Mr. Johnson said the evidence from the Trump era indicates that African-Americans are highly motivated. He pointed to their turnout in the 2017 special Senate election in Alabama and in last year’s midterm elections, in which the black vote jumped 11 percentage points above 2014 levels, the year of the previous midterm.

“He’s very, very disrespectful,” said Teresa Singleton, 55, a Detroit firefighter. “It’s very disrespectful. And I’m just shocked that the No. 1 man in the United States goes through these Twitter attack rages like that. It encourages me to get out and help advocate for someone different in the next election. I feel like it’s my responsibility.”

Teresa Singleton, a Detroit firefighter.CreditErin Kirkland for The New York Times

The Trump campaign said it was eager to deliver its message to black voters.

“President Trump has an excellent record benefitting black Americans, which we will enthusiastically communicate,” said Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesman. “Black unemployment has hit an all-time low, paychecks are rising, and the President is providing second chances to people through criminal justice reform.”

The campaign is spending far more on digital advertising to try to influence voters than his Democratic challengers. Since the beginning of 2019, Mr. Trump has spent $14.1 million on Facebook and Google campaigns, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic digital firm. The highest-spending 2020 Democratic candidate is Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has spent $3.2 million.

[Read about how President Trump has often used race for his own personal gain]

Some of that messaging is aimed at black voters using ZIP codes, though no public data tracks the precise amount. The Trump campaign has posted multiple ads on Facebook highlighting the criminal justice legislation, including spots that feature video of the president flashing a thumbs-up in the White House alongside African-Americans after signing the measure.

“Americans from across the political spectrum can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption,” reads the message on the screen at the end of one of the ads.

Mr. Trump doesn’t have to convert black voters with that message; just inhibiting enough of them from participating on Election Day would be a victory for his purposes. And leading black officials are already voicing concern that, in addition to Mr. Trump’s own advertising, the combination of strict voter identification laws and even more aggressive foreign interference on social media could suppress black turnout.

The risks for the president are that suburban voters who fled the Republican Party in the midterm elections will come out in force for the 2020 Democratic nominee, and that black and Hispanic voters in cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Phoenix will turn out in far larger numbers than they did in 2016.

Still, Democrats say Mr. Trump’s message is a difficult one to counteract. Opinions about the president and his racially divisive attacks are already baked into the views of many people of color.

Quentin James, who leads a group dedicated to electing black Democrats, said it is precisely because so many African-Americans are inured to Mr. Trump that the party must devote substantial money to energizing one of their most irregular, but vital, constituencies: younger black men.

Democrats say research indicates it is not helpful to invoke Mr. Trump directly to fuel such motivational efforts.

The president’s standing in polls of black voters has not changed since his 2017 defense of neo-Nazis marching on Charlottesville, Va., according to Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, a super PAC focused on motivating black voters.

“I do think that using Trump imagery is triggering for black people,” Ms. Shropshire said. “We don’t use it in our advertising.”

Democratic presidential candidates have not settled on how to deal with the man they all hope to replace. While five of the party’s 20 candidates called Mr. Trump a racist during this week’s debates in Detroit, the party’s private polling shows that affixing that label to him is not the most effective way to peel support away from the president.

A poll conducted in June for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a political arm of the progressive think tank, offered voters six derogatory descriptions of Mr. Trump: ineffective, false promises, for the rich, divisive, corrupt and racist. Among voters surveyed, the ineffective label moved the most voters toward a generic Democratic candidate; the racist label moved the fewest.

Among black voters, the poll found that calling Mr. Trump a racist did not move support to Democrats. Calling him ineffective did.

“This isn’t about just speaking to the obvious, that our president is a racist, it has to be about how are you connected to the struggle of our communities,” Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of the five candidates who called Mr. Trump racist during the debates, said in an interview on Friday. “I’ve heard that line from candidates before, but not followed by the kind of from-the-heart talk that I think is really important if there is going to be trust that the next leader really feels us, understands communities of color.”

But Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes of Wisconsin, a state that saw one of the largest drops in African-American turnout between 2012 and 2016, warned his party that the eventual standard-bearer must speak unambiguously about the president’s conduct if he or she wants to energize black voters.

“We still have to have a candidate who won’t be afraid to stand up to him and call him out,” said Mr. Barnes, who is black. He added that the presence of an African-American candidate on the ticket “certainly would be helpful.”

[The latest data and analysis to keep track of who’s leading the race to be the Democratic nominee.]

In Detroit, black voters and officials articulated a desire for Democratic candidates to move beyond the president’s race-baiting and discuss issues pertinent to people’s daily lives.

Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a Michigan state representative, said of Mr. Trump: “If we start kind of ignoring a lot of the ignorance that he shows, he won’t have as much of a fan base, a following, a platform.”CreditErin Kirkland for The New York Times

“It’s time for us to kind of pull the plug and shift our message and shift our conversation,” Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a Michigan state representative, said on Tuesday at a gathering she hosted to watch the first night of the debates. “If we start kind of ignoring a lot of the ignorance that he shows, he won’t have as much of a fan base, a following, a platform.”

Still, Charles Ellington, a 55-year-old marketing representative who came to see Mr. Booker at a rally on Thursday, said he would keep his focus on the president. He acknowledged that Mr. Trump is “irritating” — and has been “ever since he was sworn in” — but said that’s all the more reason to show up next year.

“Man, you gotta get out and vote!” said Mr. Ellington. “We can’t sit this one out.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Fuels Racial Disharmony, but Courts Black Voters on Facebook

DETROIT — Mark Greer is a black Detroiter so outraged by President Trump’s regular stream of invective toward people of color that he does his best to avoid exposure to him.

So when he clicked on a YouTube link last month to watch an episode of “The Breakfast Club,” a morning radio show popular with African-Americans, he was angered by an ad that greeted him: a message from Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

“It just infuriated me because I felt like they were being slick, trying to slip it in there,” said Mr. Greer, 28, who works for a philanthropic organization. “I know better, but other people who are watching this might go, ‘Hmmm.’”

President Trump’s entire approach to people of color — his attacks on political leaders, his campaign’s social media strategy targeting the black electorate, his ability to fuel black opposition but also demoralize some black voters — is one of the most extraordinary political dynamics of the Trump era. No modern president has ever vilified black Americans or sought to divide people along racial lines like Mr. Trump, while also claiming to be a champion of their economic interests.

The online ad that Mr. Greer saw illustrates the audacious nature of Mr. Trump’s strategy. Even as the president sows racial disharmony, telling four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back,” and saying “no human being” would want to live in the “rat and rodent infested” city of Baltimore, his re-election campaign is spending money on social media to put Mr. Trump before the eyes of black voters.

The objectives are twofold: First, to try to win over a handful of black voters. The campaign intends to highlight low rates of African-American unemployment and the criminal justice overhaul the president signed, a measure that is already a subject of his campaign’s Facebook advertising.

But the more clandestine hope, and one privately acknowledged by Trump allies, is that the president can make black voters think twice about turning out for Democrats or expending energy on trying to change a system some African-Americans believe is unalterably stacked against them.

For many voters of color in this crucial swing state, Mr. Trump’s racial invective is deeply hurtful on a personal level, but something they have come to expect from a president who has consistently denigrated them.

“I think he can win again,” said Malak Aldasouqi, a 21-year-old Detroit Public Schools intern, who is Muslim and said she often feels disheartened by the president’s attacks on people of color. “It’s a little bit of a no-faith situation because there’s been a lot of times where I’ve felt betrayed by the American people.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158684874_03116aae-c480-4943-b02e-2d5bd1ea3e03-articleLarge Trump Fuels Racial Disharmony, but Courts Black Voters on Facebook Voting and Voters Trump, Donald J Race and Ethnicity Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Political Advertising Midterm Elections (2018) Facebook Inc Detroit (Mich) Democratic Party Booker, Cory A Blacks

Malak Aldasouqi of East Lansing, Mich.CreditErin Kirkland for The New York Times

[Make sense of the people, issues and ideas shaping American politics with our newsletter.]

Still, Democrats also sense that the president’s race-baiting presents a unique opportunity. After a disastrous dip in black turnout in 2016 in battleground states like Michigan, Democrats are now working to harness the disdain for Mr. Trump to motivate a group that may prove to be most pivotal in the 2020 election: the low-propensity voters of color who decide late whether or not to cast ballots in the election.

Turnout figures show many stayed home in 2016, an election that marked the first decline in black participation rates in two decades. Increasing black turnout by just a few percentage points in urban areas of states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could thwart Mr. Trump’s re-election.

And there are already signs that Mr. Trump’s conduct, which has been reminiscent of a 2016 campaign filled with racist tropes, is likely to ensure that outcome.

Longtime black Democratic leaders say the only time they can recall black voters being so engaged in presidential politics was when they had the chance to elect, and then to re-elect, Barack Obama.

“My dental hygienist talked with me about the election for 40 minutes the other day,” Shirley Franklin, a former Atlanta mayor, recalled with wonder, adding: “Some have preferences but a lot don’t. They just say, ‘I want to vote for whoever is going to beat Trump.’ That’s the predominant feeling.”

Early polling also points to a highly engaged black electorate.

A June poll from CNN found that 74 percent of Democratic voters were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year, a higher figure than even in the years before Mr. Obama’s two elections. The figure was the same for white and nonwhite Democrats.

Theodore R. Johnson, a scholar at the Brennan Center who has written extensively on black voters, said he was skeptical that African-American turnout would reach Obama-era levels, but noted that “if it just goes up from ’16, Trump is in trouble.” A record 66.6 percent of eligible black voters cast ballots in 2012, but that number fell to 59.6 percent four years later.

Mr. Johnson said the evidence from the Trump era indicates that African-Americans are highly motivated. He pointed to their turnout in the 2017 special Senate election in Alabama and in last year’s midterm elections, in which the black vote jumped 11 percentage points above 2014 levels, the year of the previous midterm.

“He’s very, very disrespectful,” said Teresa Singleton, 55, a Detroit firefighter. “It’s very disrespectful. And I’m just shocked that the No. 1 man in the United States goes through these Twitter attack rages like that. It encourages me to get out and help advocate for someone different in the next election. I feel like it’s my responsibility.”

Teresa Singleton, a Detroit firefighter.CreditErin Kirkland for The New York Times

The Trump campaign said it was eager to deliver its message to black voters.

“President Trump has an excellent record benefitting black Americans, which we will enthusiastically communicate,” said Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesman. “Black unemployment has hit an all-time low, paychecks are rising, and the President is providing second chances to people through criminal justice reform.”

The campaign is spending far more on digital advertising to try to influence voters than his Democratic challengers. Since the beginning of 2019, Mr. Trump has spent $14.1 million on Facebook and Google campaigns, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic digital firm. The highest-spending 2020 Democratic candidate is Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has spent $3.2 million.

[Read about how President Trump has often used race for his own personal gain]

Some of that messaging is aimed at black voters using ZIP codes, though no public data tracks the precise amount. The Trump campaign has posted multiple ads on Facebook highlighting the criminal justice legislation, including spots that feature video of the president flashing a thumbs-up in the White House alongside African-Americans after signing the measure.

“Americans from across the political spectrum can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption,” reads the message on the screen at the end of one of the ads.

Mr. Trump doesn’t have to convert black voters with that message; just inhibiting enough of them from participating on Election Day would be a victory for his purposes. And leading black officials are already voicing concern that, in addition to Mr. Trump’s own advertising, the combination of strict voter identification laws and even more aggressive foreign interference on social media could suppress black turnout.

The risks for the president are that suburban voters who fled the Republican Party in the midterm elections will come out in force for the 2020 Democratic nominee, and that black and Hispanic voters in cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Phoenix will turn out in far larger numbers than they did in 2016.

Still, Democrats say Mr. Trump’s message is a difficult one to counteract. Opinions about the president and his racially divisive attacks are already baked into the views of many people of color.

Quentin James, who leads a group dedicated to electing black Democrats, said it is precisely because so many African-Americans are inured to Mr. Trump that the party must devote substantial money to energizing one of their most irregular, but vital, constituencies: younger black men.

Democrats say research indicates it is not helpful to invoke Mr. Trump directly to fuel such motivational efforts.

The president’s standing in polls of black voters has not changed since his 2017 defense of neo-Nazis marching on Charlottesville, Va., according to Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, a super PAC focused on motivating black voters.

“I do think that using Trump imagery is triggering for black people,” Ms. Shropshire said. “We don’t use it in our advertising.”

Democratic presidential candidates have not settled on how to deal with the man they all hope to replace. While five of the party’s 20 candidates called Mr. Trump a racist during this week’s debates in Detroit, the party’s private polling shows that affixing that label to him is not the most effective way to peel support away from the president.

A poll conducted in June for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a political arm of the progressive think tank, offered voters six derogatory descriptions of Mr. Trump: ineffective, false promises, for the rich, divisive, corrupt and racist. Among voters surveyed, the ineffective label moved the most voters toward a generic Democratic candidate; the racist label moved the fewest.

Among black voters, the poll found that calling Mr. Trump a racist did not move support to Democrats. Calling him ineffective did.

“This isn’t about just speaking to the obvious, that our president is a racist, it has to be about how are you connected to the struggle of our communities,” Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of the five candidates who called Mr. Trump racist during the debates, said in an interview on Friday. “I’ve heard that line from candidates before, but not followed by the kind of from-the-heart talk that I think is really important if there is going to be trust that the next leader really feels us, understands communities of color.”

But Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes of Wisconsin, a state that saw one of the largest drops in African-American turnout between 2012 and 2016, warned his party that the eventual standard-bearer must speak unambiguously about the president’s conduct if he or she wants to energize black voters.

“We still have to have a candidate who won’t be afraid to stand up to him and call him out,” said Mr. Barnes, who is black. He added that the presence of an African-American candidate on the ticket “certainly would be helpful.”

[The latest data and analysis to keep track of who’s leading the race to be the Democratic nominee.]

In Detroit, black voters and officials articulated a desire for Democratic candidates to move beyond the president’s race-baiting and discuss issues pertinent to people’s daily lives.

“It’s time for us to kind of pull the plug and shift our message and shift our conversation,” Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a Michigan state representative, said on Tuesday at a gathering she hosted to watch the first night of the debates. “If we start kind of ignoring a lot of the ignorance that he shows, he won’t have as much of a fan base, a following, a platform.”

Older voters, who lived through the Jim Crow era, said the president’s conduct was a constant reminder of what life was like for them decades ago.

“I’d like to get close to him, do something to his ass,” said Moses Baldwin, an 89-year-old retired Detroit police officer at Ms. Gay-Dagnogo’s debate watch party. “That’s the way I really feel.”

Moses Baldwin, a retired police officer, in Detroit.CreditErin Kirkland for The New York Times

Charles Ellington, a 55-year-old marketing representative who came to see Mr. Booker at a rally on Thursday, has focused his anger at the president in a different way. Mr. Ellington acknowledged that Mr. Trump is “irritating” — and has been “ever since he was sworn in” — but said that’s all the more reason to show up next year.

“Man, you gotta get out and vote!” said Mr. Ellington. “We can’t sit this one out.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com