The Russian social media bots have gone crazy with love for Tulsi Gabbard

She is exactly what Russia wants in an American leader – an isolationist

However …

It appears that the surge of interest in Gabbard after the second round of debates may not have been artificially augmented by bots, at least not to any significant degree. “Twitter told Recode that its initial investigations into the matter did not find any significant evidence of bot activity amplifying hashtags around the debates.” On the other hand, an independent analysis by the Wall Street Journal disagreed with Twitter’s claim, especially as it applies to negative opinions about Kamala Harris.

This is a complicated situation.

Dan Coats has stepped down as the DNI. The process to replace him could be lengthy and contentious. Trump had planned to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe, but bipartisan criticism caused him to step back from that selection, further delaying the installation of a permanent director.

Therefore, by law, the deputy director becomes the acting director. Trump has a problem with that because the current deputy director is an apolitical, competent career intelligence officer who will present the facts objectively, while Trump wants to install an unprincipled lackey who will echo his own pronouncements, no matter how ignorant they may be. (Among the facts Trump didn’t like: “Russia interfered with the election”; “North Korea has not halted its nuclear program”; “Iran was in full compliance with the treaty.”)

It’s purely speculation, but this seems to mean that the deputy director position will be vacated in a time frame approximately concurrent with Coats’ actual exit. If the posts of DNI and deputy director are both vacant, the law allows Trump a variety of alternatives (hence the request for the list), and one of those alternatives may allow him to install a partisan toady as the acting DNI.

Politico/Morning Consult took polls before and after the debates, and nobody moved more than the margin of error.

Only four candidates moved at all, and all moves were statistically meaningless:

  • Biden dropped from 33 to 32
  • Warren increased from 13 to 15
  • Harris dropped from 12 to 10
  • Buttigieg increased from 5 to 6

So I guess you might fairly conclude: (1) if nobody won, that’s a win for Biden; (2) if nobody generated any excitement, that’s a win for Trump.