The Political Report – 2/24/21

Gallup: “Thirty-five percent of Americans currently approve of the way Congress is handling its job, a 10-percentage-point increase since January and the highest Gallup has measured in nearly 12 years.”

A new Marist poll finds 41% of New York registered voters think Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is doing either an excellent (15%) or good (26%) job in office.   This 41% approval rating is Schumer’s lowest job approval score since March of 2000.

First Read: “Daily Kos Elections completed its count of the 2020 presidential vote in all 435 congressional districts, and it found that Joe Biden carried 224 districts, while Donald Trump won 211.”

“That’s almost identical to the actual 222-213 partisan split in Congress that resulted after the 2020 congressional contests.”

“There were only 16 crossover districts in 2020 — nine Republicans hold districts that Biden carried last year, and seven Democrats represent districts that Trump won. The other 419 congressional districts are represented by the party that won it in the presidential contest.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he spent “considerable time” with former President Donald Trump this past weekend “calling key lawmakers on the ballot in 2022, especially GOP senators, to offer encouragement,” CNN reports.

Maggie Haberman on CNN: “I’ve heard from several people close to the former president that he himself is talking about 2024 a lot these days.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said Donald Trump likely would win the GOP presidential nomination if he decided to run again in 2024, Bloomberg reports.

Said Romney: “He has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party. I don’t know if he’s planning to run in 2024 or not, but if he does, I’m pretty sure he would win the nomination.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) will be greeting donors at a re-election fundraiser next week at Mar-a-Lago, Politico reports.  The event will be hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Associated Press: “Trump is endorsing South Carolina’s GOP chairman Drew McKissick for a third term, wading not only into state-level politics but also playing a role in maintaining the local party framework in places that backed his presidency.”

Democratic strategist Tara McGowan is planning a new $65 million effort to push progressive local news around the United States as part of an attempt to match the dominance of right-wing media, Recode reports.

Former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) announced that he will not run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia next year.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution says Perdue’s decision clears the way for other Republicans to enter what could be a crowded 2022 race against Democrat Raphael Warnock.

Backstory from Maggie Haberman: “Perdue had dinner with and played a long round of golf with Trump last week. It did not go well. Two people briefed on the meetings said Trump was very focused on McConnell and Kemp and retribution.”

Alex Shephard: “The Sunday shows are not designed to inform or educate. They are barometers of what representatives from the two parties think is important. The goal is not to understand an issue, let alone divine the truth, but to broadcast what Democrats and Republicans care about at that moment. They are vehicles for talking points rather than works of journalism…”

“But overall, the format itself feels exhausted, a relic from an earlier, more consensus-driven era. These were shows designed to highlight respectful political difference and to provide a place where both sides could come together and spin the public. These were not shows designed for a political system where one party wrongly believes that an election has been stolen, or that lives in fear of the whims of one man. The Sunday shows remain influential, but they haven’t been relevant in a long time.”

“New Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison is pledging to play a larger role in next year’s midterm elections than the group has in more than a decade, hoping a more robust effort from the once-beleaguered party apparatus can help prevent the type of steep electoral losses traditionally suffered by a sitting president,” McClatchy reports.

“In recent years, Democratic strategists say an underfunded and often neglected DNC was an afterthought in midterm races. But the new DNC chair is promising that those days are now behind them, pointing to an influx of cash and the full-throated backing of a new Democratic president — whose political operation appears much more intent on using the committee than the party’s last president.”

“President Biden has shifted the remnants of his campaign operation, including the donor and volunteer network that got him elected and several key staff members, over to the Democratic National Committee as part of a broader effort to build up the party before the 2022 midterm elections and a potential 2024 reelection campaign,” the Washington Post reports.

“The decision to house his operation at the national party, and to continue fundraising and organizing efforts there, is intended to signal his commitment to Democratic candidates at all levels, including members of the House and Senate who are supporting his legislative efforts.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “What we’re seeing right now are the effects of 1994 and 2010. Republicans are repeating their approach from those years: Oppose whatever the Democratic president proposes. It appears at this point that President Joe Biden will fail to get any Republican votes on his first major bill, and opposition to his cabinet picks is growing. Biden and the Democrats, for their part, are determined to have a different outcome than what happened in those years, drawing the lesson that the risks of underreaction are worse than the risks of overreaction.”

“Here’s the thing: In the old days, what happens over the next 10 months or so would be critical… To the extent that elections are nationalized now, all that changes. Voters still have short memories; what they think about Biden and how he’s handling things this year probably won’t matter much next year. Perhaps that means that Biden has more leeway for a slow start than, say, Clinton or Reagan did. But there’s still nothing certain about it. So the Democrats are probably correct to tackle the pandemic and boost the economy as quickly as possible if they want to avoid yet another midterm debacle.”

“A federal judge ruled Tuesday that former Miami Republican Rep. David Rivera violated campaign finance law when he funneled $75,927 in campaign money to a novice political candidate running against Rivera’s likely Democratic challenger in Florida’s 26th Congressional District — and ordered Rivera to pay a $456,000 fine for devising a scheme he knew was illegal,” the Miami Herald reports.

“In a scathing order, Judge Marcia Cooke said Rivera’s violations were knowing, willful and injured the public. She said Rivera has the money to pay the fine and also issued a permanent injunction to further prevent Rivera from breaking campaign finance law in the future since he continued to run for office after losing the 2012 race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District to Democrat Joe Garcia.”

“While Ted Cruz was getting clobbered for fleeing Texas amid its historic winter storm, the Democrat he defeated in 2018, Beto O’Rourke, was already deep into disaster relief mode — soliciting donations for storm victims, delivering pallets of water from his pickup truck and once again broadcasting his movements on Facebook Live,” Politico reports.

“It was part of an effort orchestrated by O’Rourke and his organization, Powered by People, in response to the crisis. It was also, to Texas Democrats, a sign that O’Rourke the politician is back.”

“In a case of potential brand-blemishing by association, the Murdoch empire’s cash cow, Fox News Media, is spending $250,000 to underwrite a three-day partisan political confab featuring ousted president Donald Trump and a host of speakers on multiple panels pushing the big lie that President Joe Biden was fraudulently elected,” the Daily Beast reports.

“Fox News Media donated the money via its fledgling Fox Nation streaming service, which is listed as a top corporate sponsor—along with the American Conservative Union, the organizer of the confab, and Liberty HealthShare, a Christianity-based health-care management firm—of this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.”

Geoffrey Skelley: “So what happened? Were the polls just terribly off in 2020? Not dramatically, no. Yes, polls once again underestimated Donald Trump’s performance, but the magnitude of that error (about 4 percentage points) wasn’t all that different from past presidential contests, such as in 2012 when polls underestimated Barack Obama’s margin of victory by almost 4 points. And there have, of course, been much larger polling errors, too.”

“But one reason the polling in 2020 has received so much attention is that down-ballot polling, namely the generic ballot — which asks respondents whether they plan to vote for a Democrat or Republican in their local race for the U.S. House of Representatives — was also off by a similarly large margin in 2020. In fact… the House popular vote was 4.2 points more Republican-leaning than the polls anticipated, making it the largest generic ballot polling miss in a presidential or midterm cycle since 2006.”

“A bill shortening Iowa’s early voting period, reducing Election Day voting by an hour and creating a stricter deadline for returning absentee ballots is a step closer to becoming law after it passed the Iowa Senate on Tuesday,” the Des Moines Register reports.  “The legislation would shorten Iowa’s early voting period by nine days, taking it from 29 days to 20.”

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

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