Live Midterm Updates: Biden Calls Midterms a Choice Between ‘Different Visions of America’

With two days left to go, Democratic and Republican leaders are running into a perennial end-of-election-season problem: There isn’t much left to say that they haven’t already said, usually a few dozen times.

That was clear on the Sunday morning talk shows, where Republican guests repeated talking points on inflation and crime and expressed confidence in a coming red wave, and Democratic guests repeated talking points on President Biden’s record and expressed confidence that polls were underestimating them.

Here are a few moments that stood out from the blur.

The R.N.C. calls for more poll watchers.

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” about reports that right-wing activists have been intimidating voters. She responded: “Nobody should be intimidating or breaking the law. Nobody should. But poll watching is not intimidating.”

The host, Dana Bash, had not mentioned poll watching, a formal process through which members of both parties can observe the casting and counting of ballots. Rather, the episodes she cited included right-wing activists gathering near ballot drop-boxes in Arizona with cameras and guns, and a group in Michigan urging members to photograph voters’ license plates.

“Do not attack or intimidate people who are trying to vote,” Ms. McDaniel urged before returning to the separate issue of poll watchers, whom Republicans are working hard to recruit. “The R.N.C. couldn’t do this for 40 years — we were under a legal order that we couldn’t have poll watchers, and now we can,” she said, referring to a ban that was imposed in 1982 after courts found that the Republican Party had intimidated voters or tried to exclude minorities. The ban was lifted in 2018.

She added: “They’re just simply observing, and it helps us at the end to give assurance to the voters to say, listen, we were there. We watched it. It went well.”

Oklahoma’s governor discusses his unexpectedly close race.

Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma — a Republican in a competitive race for re-election in one of the nation’s reddest states — argued that Democrats were spreading “disinformation” about his record.

“The reason there’s a tight race is there’s been unprecedented dollars spent against me, to the tune of $50 million to spread lies and chaos,” Mr. Stitt said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The disinformation is just unbelievable. They’re literally sending out fliers to people in rural parts of our state saying I’m going to close the rural schools. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

Joy Hofmeister, his Democratic opponent, opposes vouchers that would give parents government funding for private-school tuition, an idea Mr. Stitt supports. Ms. Hofmeister has called the idea a “rural school killer” — arguing that it would divert limited funds from public schools to private schools, which are not an option in many rural areas — and that argument appears to have been powerful among rural voters.

Clyburn casts the stakes of the election in dire terms.

Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking House Democrat and an influential figure among Black voters, defended recent comments in which he suggested that the United States was at risk of following the same path as Germany in the 1930s. He said that Germany “was the greatest democracy going” before electing a leader who “co-opted the media” — and that Republican victories in the midterms could “lead to the destruction of this democracy.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” the host, Shannon Bream, noted that critics had condemned Mr. Clyburn’s remarks as belittling the Holocaust.

“I’ve talked to many Jews in my congressional district, and they are supporters of mine,” Mr. Clyburn responded. “They know that this is the stuff that causes those kinds of deteriorations in democracy.”

Mr. Clyburn cited efforts that could enable Republican governors and state legislatures to overturn the results of future elections, as well as the demonization of the news media as troubling echoes of the past.

“I’ve studied history all of my life, I’ve taught history,” he said, “and I’m telling you what I see here are parallels to what the history was.”

Chris Cameron contributed reporting.





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