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Scott Walker with Donald Trump in 2016. If the mood among Democrats in Wisconsin is cautious optimism Republicans are grappling with frustrated inevitability.
Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Wisconsin: Trump's base fired up by his bombast but will that be enough?
In the roof of a converted barn in rural Kenosha, Racine county’s southern neighbour, Republican candidates for US Senate all the way down to county sheriff, gathered this weekend to rally the faithful. They pressed flesh, slapped backs, leaned in and ate chilli and hot dogs with about 90 local activists.


An estimated 70,000 to 100,000 demonstrators rally outside the capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, against restrictions on collective bargaining for government workers in 2011.
Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images
'They are so sick of losing': hopes of Wisconsin left tempered by past
Elly Gallaher, who has been politically active for years, has seen some new faces at the Democratic party office in downtown Racine, Wisconsin. Angelina Cruz, who runs the teachers’ union in town, says people seem more receptive on the doorstep this time than in the recent past. Erin Forrest, the executive director of Emerge Wisconsin, which encourages and trains Democratic women to run for public office, believes voters are finally making the connection between the fallout from austerity and the Republican governor, Scott Walker, who advanced it.


‘When pipe bombs are sent to CNN, it should be understood as one of the most violent examples yet of a democracy that has long been under threat.’
Photograph: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Trump’s words have consequences, and he can no longer deny it
Lizbeth Fierro, from Racine, Wisconsin, was 16 when Donald Trump was elected. “I thought he was a joke,” she told me. Then she noticed a change at school. “Once he was elected there were a lot more people who came out very bold and started saying mean comments about immigrants and Mexicans … I thought, ‘Wow, this is dumb, this is very dumb.’”


A man is taken away by immigration agents in Ohio. Trump’s rhetoric has given license for citizens to vent their bigotry.
Photograph: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
'They want to take me away': immigrants under attack as Trump tries to rally Republican base
Ricardo Fierro knew something was up. The morning of 24 Julystarted like most others in Racine, Wisconsin. He took his four-month-old daughter Josephine and went to check on his mother, who lives nearby and was recovering from an operation. But that day he sensed he was being followed by four vehicles with tinted windows.


The House speaker, Paul Ryan, seen campaigning in Wisconsin in 2016, is stepping down and Democrats have an outside chance of capturing his seat in the midterms.
Photograph: Anthony Wahl/AP
Democrats wary of 'luxury of hope' in Wisconsin's divided bellwether
When I checked in at Heathrow for my flight to Racine, the woman helping me tag my bags asked the purpose of my journey. When I told her I was going to cover the midterm elections she asked: “Do you think it’ll make any difference? He just does what he wants.”


Donald Trump holds a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office in March.
Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP
Trump is crude on Saudi Arabia, but he’s simply continuing US policy
In 1989 five teenagers – four black and one Hispanic – were arrested for the brutal rape and assault of Trisha Meili, a white woman attacked while jogging in Central Park in New York. Less than two weeks later, Donald Trump took out full-page advertisements in all four of the city’s newspapers calling for a return of the death penalty. In an interview later that year, he told CNN’s Larry King: “The problem with our society is the victim has absolutely no rights and the criminal has unbelievable rights,” and that “maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.”


The US representative Peter King of New York and other delegates react as they watch Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speak during the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA
Trump's win shredded the election playbook. What will that mean for the midterms?
Roughly 10 days before the 2016 presidential election, one of America’s largest unions sent a bus of volunteers from Iowa, where Hillary Clinton looked sure to lose, to Michigan, where union leaders heard she was in trouble. They called Clinton’s team to tell them what they were doing only to receive a stern rebuke. Turn the bus around they were told. Michigan is safe.

 Jeremy Corbyn during his visit to the Alone with Empire exhibition at City Hall in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA
Three years of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn has changed British politics
During May’s local elections, Ilford Conservative party printed and distributed a leaflet with no policies and no achievements, bearing the headline, “What we’re doing/have done for ward/area name”. It had mistakenly put out a template. Underneath came numbered bullet points next to a list of what were intended to be accomplishments, which began: “Issue 1 We’ve done: Three lines of text about what issues/projects/policies you’ve already done or are doing or will be doing in your ward/area.” It continued all the way up to Issue 4.
Gary Younge and Nesrine Malik withdraw from Comment Award
We have withdrawn our names from the Society and Diversity category of the Comment Awards on account of the nomination of Melanie Phillips on the same shortlist. In doing so we would like to draw a clear distinction between those viewpoints with which we disagree and those which we fundamentally object to on account of their bigotry and divisiveness. We believe that Phillips's body of work falls among the latter.

 A President Trump rally in Southaven, Mississippi. Photograph: Brandon Dill/EPA
It comes as no shock that the powerful hate ‘identity politics’
Given the political volatility, economic precarity and environmental catastrophe that blight this current moment, there is every reason to be concerned about the durability of modern democracy. Donald Trump, Brexit, growing inequality, melting ice caps, stagnant wages, trade wars, actual wars, immigrants left to die in the sea, all while fascists and their sympathisers sit in government. The threats are everywhere. Some, however, are apparently more obvious than others.
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No Place Like Home – A Black Briton’s Journey through the American South
book review
'The idea of retracing the route is a great one, urgent and necessary.'
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