Former Obama adviser Axelrod issues warning after Trump ballot decisions

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By Carina

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod expresses strong reservations about recent decisions to remove Trump from state primary ballots. 

In particular, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows barred Trump, citing violations of the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause” related to his actions before the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol. 

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Axelrod perspective on legal complexities in Colorado and Maine

Axelrod warns that such exclusions could lead to significant turmoil in the nation, emphasizing that preventing Trump from running might divide the country.

Axelrod also points out the legal complexities surrounding the decisions in Colorado and Maine, suggesting that if Trump is to be excluded, it should be determined through the electoral process rather than invoking the 14th Amendment. 

He notes that these decisions might inadvertently support Trump’s claims of being unfairly targeted by Democratic officials, viewing his candidacy as a legal defense strategy against perceived political persecution.

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Maine’s suspension and potential Supreme Court intervention

In Maine, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has suspended her finding until the court system rules on the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court will likely have the final say on whether Trump appears on the ballot in Maine and other states. 

Bellows emphasizes the gravity of her decision, acknowledging the unprecedented nature of depriving a presidential candidate of ballot access based on the 14th Amendment’s Section 3, emphasizing that no presidential candidate has engaged in insurrection before.

Electoral implications in Maine vs. Colorado

While Maine has only four electoral votes, it is one of two states that split them. 

The exclusion of Trump from the ballot in Maine could have outsized implications, considering he won one of Maine’s electors in 2020. 

This contrasts with Colorado, which leans heavily Democratic, making the electoral impact less significant. 

Legal experts emphasize the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify the interpretation of Section 3 to avoid inconsistent decisions across states.

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Calls for Supreme Court guidance: Legal experts weigh in

Legal experts argue that the rulings in Maine and Colorado underscore the necessity for the U.S. Supreme Court to offer decisive guidance on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 

With inconsistent decisions emerging across states, experts like Rick Hasen highlight the certainty of the Supreme Court addressing the merits of these cases sooner or later. 

The lack of precedent in Section 3 calls for a comprehensive and conclusive legal interpretation.

Trump campaign’s strong response to ballot exclusions

The Trump campaign responds vehemently to the ballot exclusions, labeling them as “election interference” and an attempt to disenfranchise American voters. 

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The campaign expresses intent to appeal the Maine decision, emphasizing that the efforts to exclude Trump from the ballot are perceived as a “hostile assault on American democracy.” 

The campaign also calls for the disqualification of Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, citing her previous statements that indicate potential bias.

Polls show strong GOP support for Donald Trump

Despite the controversies surrounding his ballot access, polls consistently indicate Trump’s significant lead as the leading GOP presidential candidate. 

Surveys show a substantial margin, with Trump holding a 50-point lead over potential competitors like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. 

As the legal battles unfold, Trump’s popularity among Republican voters remains a pivotal factor in the evolving landscape of the 2024 election.

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