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The Political Report – 1/27/21

A new Morning Consult poll finds 56 percent of voters approve of President Biden’s job performance, while 34 percent disapprove.

A new Gallup poll finds just 11% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S.

A new Monmouth poll finds 56% of Americans approve of the House of Representatives impeaching Trump for incitement of insurrection, while 42% disapprove.

Cook Political Report: “The stakes couldn’t be much higher: Democrats hold their narrowest House majority since the 1930s, and even tiny line changes could tip control in 2022. Although it’s become fashionable to decry gerrymandering, the Supreme Court in 2019 refused to rein in the practice and Democrats’ efforts to curb it in Congress appear to be headed nowhere absent ending the filibuster in the Senate.”

“That all but assures the parties will be locked in a high-tech arms race to maximize their seats in states they control, and initial analysis shows Republicans could gain enough seats through new maps alone to make the House a Toss Up.”

Cook Political Report: “As other Sun Belt states like Georgia and Arizona are trending more Democratic, Ohio’s demographics are moving in the opposite direction. And Democrats have better opportunities in the two other open GOP-held seats in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Still, even Republican strategists privately admit this decision from Portman isn’t good news for them and that they will have to fight — likely through a large and messy primary — to hold onto the seat. Republicans start with the advantage certainly, but it looks to be competitive…”

“So we start this now-open seat in the Lean Republican column. Recent trends don’t bode well for Democrats, so the GOP has the decided advantage, but it is indeed now among the list of competitive seats.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress, a CNN KFile review of hundreds of posts and comments from Greene’s Facebook page shows.

“Former President Donald Trump, determined to remain a force in G.O.P. politics, is gaining new opportunities with a crucial Senate seat unexpectedly coming open in Ohio, an ally announcing for governor of Arkansas and rising pressure on Republicans in Congress who did not stand with him during this month’s impeachment vote,” the New York Times reports.

“The surprise announcement on Monday by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that he would not seek a third term sparked a political land rush, with top strategists in the state receiving a flood of phone calls from potential candidates testing their viability. One consultant said he had received calls from five would-be candidates by midday.”

“That opening, along with another statewide contest next year in which Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to face at least one Trump-aligned primary challenger, are likely to make Ohio a central battleground for control of the Republican Party, and an inviting one for Mr. Trump, who held on to Ohio in the election while losing three other northern battleground states.”

“Three weeks after hundreds of people stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent rampage that left one police officer and four rioters dead and led to more than 100 arrests of the pro-Trump rioters, the House delivered an article of impeachment to the Senate, charging the former president with inciting the mob,” the Washington Post reports.

“In Oregon, the state Republican Party isn’t just backing former president Donald Trump — its official position falsely claims that the entire episode was a ‘false flag’ operation staged to discredit the GOP and silence Trump’s supporters.”

“Last week, the state party released a resolution passed by its executive committee that says the supposedly fake operation was meant to undermine Trump and give more power to President Biden.”

“Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot,” Axios reports.

Twitter announced it has banned MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell “for repeated violations of our civic integrity policy,” Politico reports.

OHIO SENATOR – With Senator Rob Portman retiring, let’s run down all the possible candidates:

REPUBLICANS

One person who quickly took his name out of contention, though, was former Gov. John Kasich.

DEMOCRATS

In the no column are former state Sen. Nina Turner, who is running in the anticipated special election for the 11th Congressional District, and Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, who is campaigning for mayor of Cincinnati.

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR–Bob McDonnell, who was the last Republican to serve as governor of Virginia, has endorsed Del. Kirk Cox, who is hoping to break the GOP’s long losing streak this fall. When McDonnell won office in 2009, that was in fact the last time any Republican won a statewide race in Virginia.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Virginia GOP’s governing body descended into acrimony for the second week in a row, with Republicans leaving in place a December decision to select nominees for statewide races through a party convention but failing to actually come up with a plan for conducting one during the pandemic.

Convention backers, per the Virginia Mercury, want to host “a remote event in which ballots would be collected at polling sites around the state” for the sake of safety, rather than the large, single convocation that a convention normally would involve. But such a move would require a 75% supermajority on the GOP’s central committee, and it appears that supporters of a traditional state-run primary voted down the proposal for a distributed convention in the hopes of pushing party leaders toward their preferred option—to no avail.

Republicans have therefore put themselves in an impossible position: They’re on track to hold a classic convention, but gatherings of such a size are forbidden by state rules aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus. One option could be a drive-through convention, but when Republicans in the 5th Congressional District used exactly that method last year, vote-counting lasted deep into the night after an all-day convention, and the whole affair ended in bitter accusations that the vote had been rigged.

MARYLAND GOVERNOR–Former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez is considering a run for Maryland governor in 2022, Politico reports.

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR–Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who previously had not ruled out a bid against Republican Sen. Ron Johnson next year, now confirms he’s “given consideration” to a possible campaign, though he hasn’t offered a timetable for a decision. Barnes, a former state representative, was elected on a ticket with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in 2018 and would be Wisconsin’s first Black senator.

GEORGIA SENATOR–The Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that former Republican state Rep. Earl Ehrhart might be considering a bid against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is up for re-election for a full six-year term in 2022. Ehrhart served in the state House for 30 years before retiring in 2018, making him the longest-serving Republican in the lower chamber, though he’s still only 61 years old.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also suggests that both former Sen. Kelly Loeffler and former Rep. Doug Collins could run against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock next year, though so far, the evidence for any sort of rematch is sketchy. The paper reports that backers of the two Republicans, who both ran in Georgia’s recent special election, have “rumbled about a 2022 campaign,” but mostly the rumbling seems confined to dueling statements issued by prominent supporters, each trying to blame the other side for the GOP’s humiliating loss of a crucial Senate seat.

WASHINGTON 3rd and 4th CDs— Republican leaders in Washington’s 3rd and 4th Districts are hopping mad and say they expect both Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse to face primary challenges. They both enjoy a measure of protection thanks to Washington’s top-two primary system, which works just like California’s.

The Seattle Times mentions former state Rep. Liz Pike as a potential primary challenger to 3rd District Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier, who lost in both 2014 and 2016 to Newhouse, called his vote a “betrayal” while not saying anything that would rule out another bid.

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

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