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Week In The News: Barrett Confirmation Hearing, Early Voting

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during day two of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington October 13, 2020. (Demetrius Freeman/AFP via Getty Images)
Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during day two of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington October 13, 2020. (Demetrius Freeman/AFP via Getty Images)

This week, a split screen on the future of American democracy. From early voting to Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, we make sense of the week’s news.


Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

Stephen Henderson, host of “Detroit Today” on WDET since 2015. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who worked for the Detroit Free Press, the Baltimore Sun and the Chicago Tribune. (@SHDetroit)

Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor for Slate. Host of the Amicus podcast. (@Dahlialithwick)

Meg Kinnard, politics reporter for the Associated Press. (@MegKinnardAP)

From The Reading List

Washington Post: “Across the country, Democratic enthusiasm is propelling an enormous wave of early voting” — “With less than three weeks to go before Nov. 3, roughly 15 million Americans have already voted in the fall election, reflecting an extraordinary level of participation despite barriers erected by the coronavirus pandemic — and setting a trajectory that could result in the majority of voters casting ballots before Election Day for the first time in U.S. history.”

Slate: “Amy Coney Barrett Won’t Say Trump’s Obvious Lawlessness Is Lawless” — “Judge Amy Coney Barrett sent a few shockwaves through her otherwise fairly predictable confirmation process on Tuesday and Wednesday by declining to answer a series of easy questions about democracy and the rule of law.”

Associated Press: “Graham’s $28M sets quarterly fundraise record for Senate GOP” — “U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has set a fundraising record for Republican Senate candidates, bringing in $28 million in the third quarter of a reelection battle that is swiftly becoming among the more expensive in the country — and his toughest to date.”

Washington Post: “To Democrats’ frustration, GOP predicts clear sailing as Barrett testimony ends” — “Senate Republicans predicted clear sailing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as she concluded her confirmation testimony Wednesday, and said she will forge a new and prominent path as a conservative, religious woman who opposes abortion.”

The Hill: “States experience record early voting turnout amid pandemic” — “Election Day is still 19 days away, but voting — both in-person and by mail — has started around the country, shattering voter turnout records.”

1. They Voted For Trump In 2016. Will They Do It Again In 2020?

We talk to voters who cast their ballots for Donald Trump in 2016. Four years later, they explain the issues they care about, what they think of the job President Trump has done, and how they’ll vote this time around.

The Guest: Cheryl Johnson, farmer

Who She’s Voting For


Her Top Issue

Donald Trump represents what our country was founded on: capitalism. … He might be crude and rude sometimes but I do believe that he genuinely has the best of the American dream at heart for everybody in America.

Hopes And Dreams For America

Build the country for everybody. No matter what color, no matter what race you are, for everybody, all Americans. That’s what I want. And I do think it can be achieved. And I hope however divided this is, I hope that becomes the goal of everyone.

The Guest: Matt Powell, car salesman

Who He’s Voting For


His Top Issue

The American president should look at the world through the perspective of America. … The United States president should not look at what’s best for other countries when making decisions about the citizens of the United States.

Hopes And Dreams For America

What are the next four years of this country going to look like for me? I hope they’re not the continued slow walk to socialism. And that’s exactly what a Biden-Harris presidency would give us. It would be an intrusion into our liberties. It would be a higher dependence on federal government. It would be a bigger acquiescence to foreign powers. And it would not be America first.

The Guest: Tommy Stallings, real estate agent

Who He’s Voting For


His Top Issue

There’s not enough time in this hour to tell you why I’m not voting for Donald Trump … whether it was the Helsinki news conference, whether it was Charlottesville, whether it was pulling our troops out of Syria, whether it was just his acquiescence to Vladimir Putin and Russia.

Hopes And Dreams For America

John Kelly, Jim Mattis, Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn, Anthony Scaramucci — think what you want to about them — whether they’re financial leaders or military leaders, they know a thing or two about leadership and they come away from this president up close and they have grave concerns. And that probably weighs more on me than anything about where do I want my country to be in four years.

2. What Democratic Voters Want From Biden

We talk with Democrats. Some are all in on Joe Biden. Others will be holding their noses at the ballot box. What do Democratic voters want for — and from — their candidate?

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