The Political Report – 3/22/21

IOWA 2ND CDPlaybook: “Just weeks after blasting Donald Trump for trying to overturn the Electoral College, House Democrats are about to try to reverse the outcome of a House election in Iowa to pad their slim majority by an extra seat.”

“Democrats say their candidate Rita Hart, who lost to GOP Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks by six votes, has every right to ask the House to resolve one of the closest House races in American history. Congress, they point out, has dealt with 110 such contested election cases over the past 90 years. Only three, however, resulted in the declared winner being ousted and replaced, according to the House Administration Committee.”

Key takeaway: “The effort to oust Miller-Meeks in favor of Hart has been blessed by the top echelons of House Democratic leadership.”

Washington Post: Pro-impeachment Republicans object to Democratic probe of narrow Iowa race.

NEW YORK GOVERNOR / 23RD CD — “Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) said in a statement Sunday night he would not run for re-election or for governor in 2022, following allegations last week of inappropriate sexual conduct,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“For a political party whose membership skews older, it might be surprising that the spirit that most animates Republican politics today is best described with a phrase from the world of video games: “’Owning the libs,’” Politico reports.

“Gamers borrowed the term from the nascent world of 1990s computer hacking, using it to describe their conquered opponents: ‘owned.’ To ‘own the libs’ does not require victory so much as a commitment to infuriating, flummoxing or otherwise distressing liberals with one’s awesomely uncompromising conservatism. And its pop-cultural roots and clipped snarkiness are perfectly aligned with a party that sees pouring fuel on the culture wars’ fire as its best shot at surviving an era of Democratic control.”

Meredith Conroy: ““The largest bloc of young Republicans (ages 18 to 29) are white men, according to a 2018 survey from Tuft University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which found that among young voters, white men were the only racial or gender group to align with the GOP in the midterms.”

“This is important because polling by the Public Religion Research Institute, also from 2018, found that 55 percent of young white men (ages 15 to 24) think that discrimination against white people has become as big a problem as discrimination against Black people and other minority groups. In fact, almost half said in that poll that diversity efforts will harm white people.”

“In other words, a core part of the younger GOP base is really concerned that they’ll lose their status in society.”

Pew Research: “While Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say Black, Hispanic and Asian people face discrimination, Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say that there is a lot of discrimination against White people in society today. About a quarter of Republicans (26%) say that White people face a lot of discrimination; just 4% of Democrats say this.”

“The handful of gubernatorial contests and special elections throughout 2021 could be the first litmus test of post-Trump politics during the Biden era,” Axios reports.

“2021’s slate of contests begins this weekend. Two special elections take place on Saturday in Louisiana. The elections are to replace Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R), who passed away last year due to COVID-19, and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D), who joined the administration as a Biden senior adviser.”

ILLINOIS 16TH CD — “A fundraiser for Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) will be headlined by Karl Rove and co-hosted by a who’s who of Illinois Republicans, a show of political strength coming as ex-President Donald Trump vows revenge against GOP House members who voted to impeach him,” the Chicago Sun Times reports.

LOUISIANA 2ND CD — Louisiana State Senators Troy Carter (D) and Karen Carter Peterson (D) will advance to an April 24 runoff that will determine who will replace former Rep. Cedric Richmond (D), who is now a senior advisor to President Biden, the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Carter and Ms. Peterson are both veteran politicians and have roots in the competing, and fractious, Black political factions of New Orleans. Both have also run for this seat before — both of them in 2006, and Mr. Carter again in 2008 — without success.”

LOUISIANA 5TH CD — “Julia Letlow (R) won a special election outright Saturday to represent the 5th Congressional District and will succeed her husband Luke, who captured the seat in December only to die of COVID three weeks later,” the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

Politico: “Her election brings the number of Republican women in Congress to 31 — a stunning turnaround from the end of last cycle, when there were just 13.”

Harry Enten: “Republicans’ response to losing control of the White House and Senate has been to try and make voting harder in a number of states. Most notably, perhaps, is Georgia, where they’re going after ways of voting that were popular for Black voters and Democrats in 2020 (e.g. mail voting).”

“Democrats and Black advocacy groups are, of course, up in arms and trying to stop the GOP.”

“We can’t know how these changes, if they come to pass, would affect future elections. But by looking at two of the most prominent moves Republicans are trying to make, we can see it’s not at all clear that Republicans will succeed in helping their electoral prospects.”

GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE — “Former President Donald Trump is expected to endorse Rep. Jody Hice in a campaign to unseat Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in next year’s Republican primary,” Politico reports.

“Trump publicly seethed about Raffensperger after the November election, when the secretary of state refused to support Trump’s false claims that Georgia’s 16 electoral votes were stolen from him.”

Insider: “Since late February, a small band of insiders led by Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Bill Stepien have established themselves as gatekeepers for who gets endorsed and how fast those endorsements roll out.”

“This consolidation of Trumpworld power in the chaotic months since Trump lost re-election have angered the Republicans who supported Trump but are not part of the tiny clique running Trump’s post-White House political operation.”

“A Pro-Biden group, operating with the White House’s blessing, plans to raise unlimited funds — and grant donors anonymity — as it prepares to promote and protect the president’s agenda from the outside,” Axios reports.

“By not capping anonymous contributions, the group, called Building Back Together, will have an easier time raising money, ahead of its anticipated launch next month to defend Biden’s policies.”

Politico: “But what’s truly unique about the Republicans’ pre-presidential primary is the contingent framework that is unfolding around it. It’s a primary — but a wholly conditional one. Prospective 2024 candidates, donors and conservative media outlets — the entire Republican ecosystem — are building strategies and structuring the race around the single question of whether former President Donald Trump runs again.”

“It’s been nearly a half-century since either party had to navigate a primary in which a losing president loomed as a potential contestant.”

GEORGIA — “Republican Georgia legislators are pursuing an overhaul of primary and runoff election rules — changes that might have prevented Democrats from winning U.S. Senate races if they had been in effect last year,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

“Runoffs would be held four weeks after an initial election, cutting short the state’s current nine-week wait.”

A new Gallup poll finds 62% of U.S. adults say the “parties do such a poor job representing the American people that a third party is needed,” an increase from 57% in September.

Meanwhile, 33% of Americans believe the two major political parties are doing an adequate job representing the public, the smallest percentage expressing this view apart from the 26% reading in October 2013.

Key takeaway: “Independents are usually much more likely than Republicans or Democrats to favor a third political party, but in the current poll, Republicans are nearly as likely as independents to hold this view, 63% to 70%. That represents a dramatic shift for Republicans since last September when 40% favored a third party.”

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

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