Aaron Blake looks at the latest Associated Press/NORC poll and suggests the most troubling finding for President Trump “is this one: 41% of Republicans say that Trump doesn’t make them feel ‘excited.’ A strong majority (58%) says Trump does make them feel excited, but this is still 4 in 10 Republicans who aren’t excited about their Republican president.”
“That’s hardly the kind of base discipline you would want to brag about. And it’s a far cry from the raucous support you see at Trump’s rallies.”
The same AP/NORC poll finds 42% of Americans approve of President Trump’s handling of his job, in line with where he has been throughout his tenure. Just 7% of Democrats have a positive view of Trump as president.
“Trump’s job approval rating and other markers in the survey underscore the deeply divisive nature of his presidency, with Republicans largely favoring his actions and Democrats overwhelmingly disapproving. As Trump eyes his reelection campaign, it suggests his path to victory will hinge on rallying higher turnout among his core supporters as opposed to persuading new voters to back his bid for a second term.”
Also interesting: 61% of Americans say Trump has little or no respect for the country’s democratic institutions and traditions.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 73% of Independents disapprove of Trump. 54% strongly disapprove.
“Republican concerns are mounting about President Trump as damaging information piles up regarding his dealings with Ukraine,” The Hill reports.
“The dam is not yet at the bursting point, but anxiety — fueled by the sense that more revelations could emerge at any moment — is rippling through the GOP.”
“More discord could burst into public view soon. There are tensions about the White House’s strategy, with the most fervent Trump allies favoring a hard-line approach and others expressing misgivings.”
Democrats are split largely along generational lines in their judgement or support of Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), who will give her final floor address after the vote on the impeachment resolution Thursday.
According to Politico, younger representatives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-CA) train their condemnation on those who leaked and disseminated intimate and explicit pictures of the congresswoman.
“This doesn’t happen to male members in the same way — revenge porn in this respect. It’s horrific,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I don’t think we’re really talking about how targeted and serious this is. We’re talking about a major crime… being committed against her.”
Older members, while uniformly sad to see Hill go, focus on her personal indiscretion.
“Our darling Katie. It’s so sad,” Pelosi during a closed-door leadership meeting Monday. “It goes to show you, we should say to young candidates, and to kids in kindergarten really, be careful when transmitting photos.”
The Los Angeles Times got the back story on how the nude photos of Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) wound up online — and it includes GOP operatives who had previously worked for Steve Knight (R), her opponent for Congress.
“Conservative websites soon revealed that they had obtained some of Hill’s private texts and nude photos of her, including one with a campaign aide. The main authors of the articles, it turns out, were former campaign advisors to Steve Knight, the Republican congressman ousted by Hill a year ago.”
“The estranged husband of Katie Hill, who resigned from Congress after nude pictures of her were posted online, told his parents he believed he had been hacked just before the images were published,” BuzzFeed News reports. He is lying, and I hope Hill sues him into oblivion. I hope at the end of all this he is on the street without a dollar to this name.
“Kamala Harris is dramatically restructuring her campaign by redeploying staffers to Iowa and laying off dozens of aides at her Baltimore headquarters, as she struggles to resuscitate her beleaguered presidential bid,” Politico reports.
“The moves come as Harris is hemorrhaging cash and in danger of lacking the resources to mount a competitive bid against better-funded rivals in Iowa. The overhaul will touch nearly every facet of Harris’ operation, with layoffs or re-deployments coming at headquarters, as well as in New Hampshire, Nevada and her home state of California, a Super Tuesday prize that her advisers once viewed as a big asset.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “In an era of political nationalization that is bleeding down the ballot even to state-level races, the best bet in all three states would be to go with partisanship. And that’s where we’re leaning: Our ratings for the gubernatorial races in Kentucky and Mississippi remain Leans Republican and, while we don’t issue ratings for specific state legislative chambers and races, our sense is that the Democrats are better-positioned than Republicans to win both the Virginia House of Delegates and (especially) the Virginia Senate.”
Politico: “President Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment — and sending a message to those who don’t to get on board. Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as ‘unprecedented and undemocratic.’”
“Conspicuously absent from the group is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a politically vulnerable Republican who’s refused to support the resolution and avoided taking a stance on impeachment. With his new push, Trump is exerting leverage over a group he badly needs in his corner with an impeachment trial likely coming soon to the Senate — but that also needs him.”
A new Franklin & Marshall poll in Pennsylvania finds 37% of registered voters believe President Trump has done a good enough job to deserve re-election, while 59% voters say it is time for a change.
Also interesting: 57% of registered voters in the state support an impeachment inquiry intoTrump.
In the Democratic presidential race, Joe Biden leads the field with 30%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 18%.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Fox News that he would “absolutely not” back Sen. Bernie Sanders in a 2020 presidential match-up against President Trump. Ridiculous. Manchin should just go ahead and join the Republican Party. I strongly dislike Bernie Sanders too and believe that his nomination will destroy the Democratic Party in 2020 and beyond, but even I would proudly vote for him against Trump.
“President Trump earlier this week asked for a show of hands from hundreds of wealthy donors in Chicago if they supported letting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) out of prison,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The informal poll over clemency for the disgraced former politician found that most people in the room were sympathetic… A trio of Republican congressmen at the back of the room was firmly opposed.”
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci accused Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) of trying to “set me up” over a recorded message of support solicited through a booking service, The Hill reports.
Bullock jokingly thanked Scaramucci for his “contribution” to his campaign after paying $100 to Cameo, a booking service in which users pay public figures to deliver personalized messages.