The swing state of Wisconsin votes; Trump pays up | World News - Hindustan Times
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The swing state of Wisconsin votes; Trump pays up

The Economist
Apr 07, 2024 08:08 AM IST

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Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Hyatt Regency in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 2, 2024. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski / AFP)(AFP)
Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Hyatt Regency in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 2, 2024. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski / AFP)(AFP)

Wisconsin, one of six swing states expected to decide the presidential election, holds primaries on Tuesday. The state is using new legislative maps after its most senior court deemed old district lines, which heavily favoured Republicans, unconstitutional. Joe Biden’s campaign will be hoping that the newly competitive local races boost Democratic turnout. Some Wisconsin Democrats, like those in nearby Michigan, may vote “uncommitted” to protest against Mr Biden’s support for Israel in the war in Gaza.

Donald Trump posted a bond worth $175m as part of his civil-fraud case in New York. The payment, which was reduced on appeal from $454m last month, staves off the seizure of the former president’s assets, which could have hobbled his election campaign. Mr Trump was found guilty of fraudulently inflating his property values.

Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that the state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, with some exceptions, was constitutional. That ruling allows a harsher six-week ban, which was passed last year, to come into effect on May 1st. Separately, the court approved an abortion referendum to enshrine the right to abortion until viability (generally around 23 weeks) in its constitution. Floridians will vote on the measure in November.

Florida’s top court also said the state could vote on legalising recreational marijuana. The ballot measure would allow existing medical marijuana operators to start selling to anyone aged 21 or older. New York, which gave the green light to recreational cannabis in late 2022, did not take that approach. But New York has struggled to issue licences and, like California, is battling a robust illegal market.

Shares in Mr Trump’s social-media company fell by 21% on Monday, after the firm disclosed losses of over $58m in 2023 and said it “expects to incur operating losses for the foreseeable future”. The firm, which owns Truth Social, went public last month after merging with a special-purpose acquisition company. It was arguably never a sound economic bet.

The mayor of Uvalde—the Texan city where 19 children and two adults were shot dead at an elementary school in 2022—quit, citing health issues. Cody Smith, who was elected in 2023, resigned less than a month after the city published an independent report clearing local police of wrongdoing in the widely-criticised response to the shooting. In January a scathing federal report said police errors proved fatal.

It has long been fashionable for right-wing politicians to declare that California is a failed state. This rhetoric is often overblown. But for all its continuing prowess in innovation (not least in artificial intelligence), the state again appears to be entering one of its periodic rough patches. Read our story about California’s three overlapping economic challenges.

 A view from elsewhere

Donald Trump’s populist goals of mass deportations and war against the economic establishment may be unrealistic, but the alternative is perhaps even more “subject to doubt”, wrote Sherelle Jacobs, a columnist, in the Daily Telegraph, a conservative British broadsheet, on March 18th. Democrats appear not to grasp the perils of America’s economic model nor the need for order in the face of “appalling levels” of crime, she wrote.What do you think about our new feature, A view from elsewhere, which takes in views on American politics from around the world? Send us feedback on usib@economist.com.

Today’s polls

The race between Mr Biden and Mr Trump remains stubbornly stable. According to our poll tracker, which is updated daily and shows an average of the latest polls, the candidates are still in a dead heat.

Figure of the day

90%, the share of special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, that have lost value after combining with their target company since 2019, per one estimate. Read our story from last month about Donald Trump’s meme-stock gamble.

Daily quiz

Tuesday: Which state was the first to permanently abolish the death penalty?Monday: How many states have no death penalty?

From Monday to Thursday we’ll quiz you on American politics. Email all your answers with your name and where you are from to usib@economist.com before 5pm New York time (10pm London time) on a Thursday. The weekly winner, chosen at random from those who give all the right answers, will be announced here on Fridays.

If you enjoyed this week’s quiz, play Dateline, The Economist’s new history game.

—Justice Juan Merchan, the presiding judge in Donald Trump’s upcoming hush-money payments case, in his ruling that expanded a gag order on the former president on April 1st. Mr Trump has repeatedly targeted the judge’s daughter online.

© 2023, The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. From The Economist, published under licence. The original content can be found on www.economist.com

 

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