Advance Notice: Briefs

Anti-Trump group calls on moderate Republicans to vote Biden 

By: - May 26, 2020 6:11 pm

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The Lincoln Project, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-Trump group, is targeting moderate Republicans in Michigan to help vote President Donald Trump out of office in November.

George Conway, a lawyer, vocal opponent to Trump and husband to top White House aide Kellyanne Conway, said during a Tuesday night virtual town hall that the group’s primary motivation is to get “people to vote for Donald Trump’s opponent [presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden].”

The group is headed by a number of former Republicans who have parted ways with Trump and his administration. 

“The reason people might not show up to vote for Donald Trump is the same as the reasoning for Republicans and conservatives who could be persuaded to vote for Joe Biden,” Conway said. “And both outcomes, I think, are encouraged by us reminding people what they already know, which is all the reasons why Donald Trump is unfit, incompetent, lawless and the worst president in American history.”

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Conway was joined by Lincoln Project Founder Ron Steslow, Executive Director Sarah Lenti and Jeff Timmer.

Timmer, a former Michigan GOP director who broke from the party over Trump, said that “supporting a Democrat goes against my DNA. … But now I realize a Democrat needs to have just one simple thing to win my vote. That’s called a heartbeat.”

Now the former Republicans are looking to flip the state that helped Trump win in 2016. The group is focused on battleground states, like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“Michigan was the most narrow of those states,” Timmer said. “Trump’s numbers were awful in Michigan before COVID-19, worse even than in 2018 when Democrats won a tsunami victory here.”

Trump has now targeted all three of Michigan’s top three Democratic officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. 

Benson announced last week that she would send every voter in the state an application to vote by mail for the upcoming August and November elections to help reduce in-person voting and curb the spread of COVID-19.

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Trump called the move “illegal” and threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan.

Timmer said that when he was a part of the Michigan Republican Party, he joined the fight against the party’s own Secretary of State who attempted to expand no-reason absentee voting, but now sees Trump’s action as a move to “hold on to power.”

“I have no reservations any longer,” Timmer said. 

However he believes that “when it comes to election tactics, I certainly wouldn’t put anything past the Trump crew.”

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.