Open Thread

The Open Thread for July 26, 2018

Two polls, Quinnipiac University and the Kaiser Family Foundation, find Democrats with a 12-point lead in the generic congressional ballot. The Kaiser Family Foundation showed Democrats leading Republicans 49 percent to 37 percent, up from an 8-point 46-38 lead in April.  The Quinnipiac had Democrats leading 51 percent to 39 percent over Republicans, up from a 9-point lead in late June.

Meanwhile, new polling conducted for NBC News by Marist College finds Trump and the Republicans facing devastating numbers in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  “In Michigan, 54 percent of voters disapprove of his job performance, with just 36 percent approving. Those numbers are similar in Wisconsin, with 52 percent disapproving to just 36 percent approving. In Minnesota, Trump’s disapproval rate is at 51 percent, with 38 percent approving.  Democrats lead in the generic ballot question of which party voters want to control Congress by eight points in Michigan and Minnesota, and nine points in Wisconsin.”

The NPR/PBS/Marist poll finds is equally bad for Trump as the Quinnipiac poll yesterday.  Trump’s approval is at 39% and his disapproval is 51%.  But there is more:

  • Do you approve or disapprove of Trump tariffs? Approve: 43% Disapprove: 47% However, those with < $50k household income: Approve: 40% Disapprove: 50% These are the ones that will be hit hardest.
  • Has the US been strengthened or weakened by Trump’s decisions? Strengthened: 37% Weakened: 54% This problem is worse in the suburbs: Strengthened: 30% Weakened: 61%
  • Small town/rural support for tariffs is about 57-58%… which actually is pretty poor for support of something Trump does. That means that even in these rural areas, 40-42% of people don’t like them.
  • Does your impression of Trump make you more likely to vote for a Dem or Rep for congress in 2018? D+9 among registered voters. However, in Suburban areas, D+18. Trump is toxic in the suburbs.
  • Should Mueller be fired? Yes: 17% No: 68% Even Republicans say no Yes: 23% No: 60%
  • Is the FBI just trying to do it’s job, or is it biased against the administration? Do it’s job: 59% Biased: 33% Allegations of bias are failing.

Finally, 64% of Americans don’t think President Trump has been tough enough on Russia, including 47% of Republicans.  “As to whether Trump should view Putin as a friend or foe, Americans are nearly evenly split, with 45% saying he should be seen as an enemy and 44% saying he is an ally. That might be a surprise to those who grew up in the Cold War era, but partisanship might have something to do with it. Among GOP voters, 58% view the Russian leader as an ally.”

Lucy McBath (D), whose teenage son, Jordan, was shot and killed in 2012 by a stranger at a gas station, won the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, ABC News reports.

Said McBath: “I never expected this to happen, but I know that in light of all my experiences, to not to do anything is a tragedy in itself.”

“In a quest to shrink national monuments last year, senior Interior Department officials dismissed evidence that these public lands boosted tourism and spurred archaeological discoveries, according to documents the department released this month and retracted a day later,” the Washington Post reports.

“The thousands of pages of email correspondence chart how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides instead tailored their survey of protected sites to emphasize the value of logging, ranching, and energy development that would be unlocked if they were not designated as national monuments.”

“Several of President Trump’s senior economic advisers believe he plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on close to $200 billion in foreign-made automobiles later this year,” the Washington Post reports.

“Trump wants to move forward despite numerous warnings from GOP leaders and business executives who have argued that such a move could damage the economy and lead to political mutiny. But Trump has become increasingly defiant in his trade strategy, following his own instincts and intuition and eschewing advice from his inner circle.”

“President Trump’s vituperative tweet against Iran late on Sunday showed his determination to use the same approach that he took to engineer a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea. But Mr. Trump’s top advisers are far more united in their hostility to engaging with Iran, and Iran is far less likely to bend to such pressure,” the New York Times reports.

“It only deepened questions about the long-term direction of Mr. Trump’s Iran policy. While the White House on Monday did not rule out direct talks between the president and Iran’s leaders over its nuclear program, Mr. Trump’s hawkish national security team has put the focus more on toppling the Iranian government than striking a new deal with it.”

“The Trump administration may have already deported as many as 463 migrant parents who were separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border, and they may have lost their right to reunification, Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing on Monday,” NBC News reports.

“Those parents may not be eligible to be reunified with their children, according to the filing, which grouped parents not in the U.S. as either potentially eligible or not eligible.”

“The White House has suspended the practice of publishing public summaries of President Donald Trump’s phone calls with world leaders, two sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN, bringing an end to a common exercise from Republican and Democratic administrations.”

“It’s unclear if the suspension is temporary or permanent.”

She’s the next Speaker.  Mark that down.

New York Times: “While Ms. Gillibrand has made her name and reputation on fighting for women’s issues, especially around sexual assault and harassment — ‘60 Minutes’ favorably branded her ‘The #MeToo Senator’ earlier this year — she has spent recent months injecting her portfolio with a dose of the kind of economic populism that infused Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign in the 2016 presidential primary.”

”She was among the first this year to endorse a federal jobs guarantee that is newly in vogue on the left. She was the first senator to introduce legislation to require that every post office in the country offer retail banking services in an effort to curb the predatory payday loan industry. She has announced a push to provide training to help those who lose their jobs to automation, embraced legalizing marijuana, pushed to tax drug companies for prescription drug price hikes, backed the Wall Street tax and announced that she would reject all future corporate political action committee money.”

Said Gillibrand: “Labels are hard. But I’m comfortable with ‘populist.’”

Politico: “A favorite of Trump’s since last winter’s federal shutdown and the earlier unsuccessful effort to repeal Obamacare, Mulvaney has emerged as one of the two leading candidates to succeed John Kelly as Trump’s chief of staff.”

“Long rumored to be on his way out, Kelly has no clear plans to resign — but Mulvaney has been discreetly lobbying for the job, asking Republicans outside the White House to put in a good word on his behalf with the president.”

“Facebook says it is trying to prevent massive election interference like it saw in 2016. But the company won’t say if it has seen similar interference from Russia or other groups ahead of the US midterm elections,” CNN reports.

“The company recapped its various election-related initiatives on a 45-minute call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. It provided updates mostly about previously announced efforts, including a searchable database of political ads and fact-checking partnerships to fight misinformation.”

“Advisers to President Trump say Joe Biden is the Democrat he most fears running against, and that Pennsylvania is the state he worries most about flipping against him,” Axios reports.

“Trump’s calculation is based partly on how weak he sees other Democratic possibilities, including Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, and partly on who’s capable of appealing to his base of working class whites.”

“Trump advisers say says Biden, like the president, conveys authenticity, is comfortable in his own skin, can work a crowd, and relishes throwing and returning punches. Biden could — and would — needle Trump, and get under his skin, with a brio that few other big-name Democrats could muster.”

Lanny Davis — a lawyer for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer — tells Mike Allen that, following last night’s release of a secret Trump-Cohen recording, we’ll soon learn more “about what Michael Cohen saw and heard.”

Said Davis: “Michael Cohen has made a turn. This is on the record — Michael and I talked about it. Michael is going to tell the truth to the powers that be, and let the chips fall where they may.”

Jonathan Swan: “We’re now beginning to learn why Trump was so agitated, according to aides, when investigators raided Cohen’s office.”

Walter Shapiro: “It’s hard to identify a Senate or House seat that is being lost because of excessive Democratic activism. Even if a Democratic incumbent like North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is troubled by calls to ax ICE, there is scant evidence that this makes her more vulnerable than before in a state that Donald Trump carried by better than a two-to-one margin.”

“For a party supposedly riven by unbridgeable chasms, the Democrats survived the primaries without major stumbles. This year, there are no Democratic challengers in winnable seats who have been forced to go on television to explain, ‘I am not a witch.’ And in California’s top-two ‘jungle primary,’ the Democrats avoided squandering any potential House pickups by making sure they got a candidate onto the ballot in all contested districts…”

“Nor are this year’s congressional races some overwrought struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party… No party is ever completely unified, not even the Republicans who are fearfully pledging their fealty to Trump. But the Democrats — for all their differences over economics and temperament — recognize the anti-Trump stakes in 2018. And so, for once in their turbulent history, they are more arrayed rather than disarrayed.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

12 comments on “The Open Thread for July 26, 2018

  1. Prop Joe

    Delaware Dem: Remember that “Captain America: Civil War” graphic that was posted back in the Summer of 2016? While heading home from Ant-Man and The Wasp, I thought “Hell… Infinity War is over… I wonder which characters from the DL Civil War graphic are still around in the MCU?!”

    • I have to find that. I have it saved somewhere. I forget who was who. Jason330 and I survived, since Cap and Iron Man are still alive. Perhaps El Som faded away into nothingness. LOL.

  2. More interesting polling:

  3. cassandram

  4. That Walter Shapiro article is, to put it politely, bullshit. Just because Democrats are unified against Trump doesn’t make them unified.

    • Actually, on general policy terms, I would argue we are more unified than you would think. For example, I would argue that EVERYONE is for universal healthcare achieved though some kind of Medical for All or Medicaid for All or some other kind of Transitional Public Option that will eventually cover everyone or some other kind of Single Payer Mechanism. Now, I guess you can say will are divided HOW to do it.

  5. I would agree, except somebody has to inform the Delaware delegation. They’re stuck in the ’90s.

    Just as an example, does Tom Carper need any of the money he’s collected from PACs and corporations this cycle? Of course not. Yet his hand’s still out.

    • cassandram

      There’s definitely a need for legislators and some of the political arms to catch up with their base. But on the whole, there have not been Christine O’Donnell level candidates or crazy teajhadi candidates or spectacular flameouts. And I would tell you (based upon a few rounds of phonebanking for candidates not in Delaware) people are voting for Dems to 1) be a check on Trump and 2) to refocus their Party who is seen (with good reason) as having lost the thread. It is item 2 that I suspect is the reason why the DCCC-backed candidates don’t win as much as expected this cycle.

      • Good to hear. I consider Coons and Carper lost causes, but I hope somebody in LBR’s office shows her this.

        • delacrat

          LBR was one of the 139 House Democrats who voted today for a bloated $717 billion war budget for 2019.

          Consider her lost.

          • No, you go ahead and consider her whatever you like. I’ll stick with my own judgment if yours is the alternative.

  6. Delaware Stonewall PAC

    Delaware Stonewall PAC has endorsed Wilmington City Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha in his Sept 6 Primary contest against incumbent Charles Potter in the 1st Representative District. This is Stonewall’s first ever endorsement of a Primary challenger against a sitting Democrat.

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