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Watch: Johnson Blasts Dem Opponent Over Anti-Police Comments on Russian Propaganda TV

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Three weeks ago, I asked whether GOP Senator Ron Johnson had vaulted into frontrunner status in his re-election battles in Wisconsin.  My tentative answer to that question at the time was 'yes.'  It's not feeling very tentative anymore.  Johnson has turned his Democratic challenger, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, on full blast over his radical statements and positions -- and it's working.  Prior to last month, Johnson had never led in a Marquette Law School statewide poll, which is considered the 'gold standard' survey in Wisconsin.  Ever, in his political career.  Then the September MU Law numbers put Johnson ahead by one point, an eight point reversal from the August results.  Being up a point isn't exactly an impressive margin, but it was still a first.  The October polling just dropped this week:

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I'm not sure I'd take the 'over' on a five-point Johnson win, but a somewhat comfortable victory (certainly by recent Wisconsin standards) definitely seems plausible.  If you missed Spencer's post earlier, I'm still processing that Badger State Democrats cleared the field for this guy:

Barnes offered his harsh words about American law enforcement to a Russian-funded media outlet. Barnes, a Democrat, is taking on Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson next month...Records show that Barnes did six interviews with RT, formerly Russia Today, in 2015 and 2016, during his second term as a state lawmaker. RT is a Russian state-controlled international news television network funded by the Kremlin. In May 2015, for instance, Barnes told RT that police brutality is a “total epidemic” in the United States. A month earlier, he posted a screenshot of his interview with RT on the Baltimore protests, commenting, "People are tired of being targets." ... In July 2016, after five police officers were shot dead in Dallas in retaliation against alleged racial discrimination by police, Barnes told RT that “police officers across the country haven’t reformed their patterns and practices” and that “police officers are over-exercising their badges.” Barnes then thanked RT on Twitter for interviewing him...In September 2016, Barnes said that Black Lives Matter protests that turn violent are a “human reaction” to the police. In that same interview, he says that if police officers are Black, it “doesn’t mean they are 100% behind the community.”  Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department said RT and another Russian-funded outlet are "critical elements in Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem."

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Mandela Barnes is not just a riot-excusing, defund-the-police, 'no bail' zealot, though he is all of those things.  He also took his anti-cop crusade to a Kremlin propaganda operation. Take a bow.  As of last month, the Barnes campaign could not identify one single active duty law enforcement in the entire state who has endorsed their campaign.  Not one.  Out of more than 13,000.  At their debate last evening, Johnson ripped Barnes over the story above:


Spencer also highlighted a 2017 tweet in which Barnes lamented 'Russian propaganda,' which I guess he only opposes when he's not actively participating in it.  In that same tweet, he cited voter ID as a form of voter suppression.  It's been wild to watch Democrats continually shout 'suppression' and 'racism,' taking the wrong side of a roughly 80/20 issue:


Of course, Democrats sometimes feel emboldened to adopt certain radical positions if their activist and donor classes demand it, secure in the knowledge that the media will mostly cover for them.  But as voters learn more about Barnes, his summer lead has evaporated, and Johnson appears to be in the driver's seat in that race.  If the GOP can hold serve in Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina and elsewhere, they'd likely need to win two-of-three in Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania to win the upper chamber majority. I'll leave you with this. Imagine how much more poorly Barnes might be faring without the 'news' media being squarely on his side:

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