The Political Report – 3/24/21

A new PRRI poll finds a majority of Americans within all partisan groups, including Republicans, now support same-sex marriage.

Gallup: “Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March, as 32% say they are satisfied with the direction of the country. This is the second monthly increase Gallup has recorded after the measure fell to its lowest point in nearly a decade in January.”

“Republican hopefuls around the country are emphasizing immigration in their initial campaign pitches for 2022 statewide GOP primaries, concluding that voters still loyal to former President Donald Trump’s agenda will embrace tough-on-borders candidates,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Nathaniel Rakich: “Moderate politicians are becoming an endangered species. The most liberal Republican in Congress nowadays is still ideologically to the right of the most conservative Democrat, reflecting the fact that the median voters in each party are drifting further and further apart as well.”

“But if winning elections were the only consideration, the parties likely wouldn’t be so eager to purge themselves of centrist members. It’s not an ironclad rule, but there is a lot of evidence that moderate candidates tend to perform better at the ballot box. And though the relationship may be growing weaker with time, an examination of split-ticket voting in the 2020 election suggests it’s still there.”

“Facing more than $1.3 billion in liabilities over her post-election conspiracy theories, lawyer Sidney Powell told a judge that the defamation lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems filed against her earlier this year should be dismissed because ‘no reasonable person’ would believe that her well-publicized comments about an international plot against former President Donald Trump were ‘statements of fact,’” according to Law & Crime.

Perry Bacon Jr.: “A majority of Americans, about 55 percent, approve of President Biden’s job performance so far, whereas about 39 percent disapprove. Those are pretty good numbers for a president in this polarized era. And for Democrats to keep control of the U.S. House and Senate next November, Biden will probably need to keep his approval ratings in this vicinity. That’s unlikely, but possible, because of some broader shifts happening in American politics.”

“Why should we focus on presidential approval ratings when we are thinking about next year’s midterms? For two reasons. First of all, we don’t yet have a lot of other data to rely on…”

“Second and more importantly, presidential approval ratings in recent years have been a decent indicator of what will happen in the midterms.”

TEXAS 6TH CD — “Armed with the backing of Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R), Tarrant County businessman Michael Wood (R) is hoping to convince Congressional District 6 voters that it’s time to for the GOP to move away from former President Donald Trump,” the Dallas Morning News reports.

“Former Donald Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is building a technology platform that the ex-president is eyeing for his newly announced social media service,” Insider reports.

MISSOURI U.S. SENATOR — Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R)–who resigned to avoid being impeached for trying to hide an affair where he allegedly sexually assaulted his hairdresser–announced on Twitter he will run for the U.S. Senate.

Said Greitens: “As a Navy SEAL, I fought for this country to ensure our freedoms are protected. Now, the Left wants to take those freedoms away from you. That’s why I’m running for the US Senate in Missouri. We must fight to take America back from the lunacy of the left.”

Kansas City Star: “He faced allegations that he photographed a woman nude without her consent in 2015 in an effort to keep from speaking about an extramarital affair. Greitens, who announced a divorce last year, has admitted to the affair, but repeatedly denied claims of blackmail and violent sexual abuse.”

First Read: “Greitens’ Senate candidacy is risky business for a Republican Party that’s seeking to win back the Senate with a challenging map and — so far — five announced Senate GOP retirements.”

“If he’s the nominee, Republicans will have decide whether to embrace someone with this kind of record.”

“We remember when Roy Moore lost a Senate seat in Alabama (a state Trump won by 25 points in 2020), and when Kris Kobach lost the gubernatorial race in Kansas (a state Trump won by 15 points). Candidates matter.”

IOWA 2ND CD — “The prospect of a floor vote to overturn a contested congressional race in Iowa has suddenly become a real dilemma for House Democrats’ most vulnerable members,” Politico reports.

“A handful of nervous Democrats have spoken up publicly as the House Administration Committee reviews the case. But behind the scenes, more moderates are voicing concern about the dynamics of possibly unseating a GOP lawmaker — particularly after they hammered Republicans for trying to do just that to President Joe Biden, which led to a deadly insurrection in the U.S. Capitol.”

ALABAMA U.S. SENATOR — Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) “announced he will run for Senate next year, a confirmation of his rising Republican profile as a fierce fighter for former President Donald Trump,” reports.

Associated Press: “Brooks has been criticized, and two House Democrats have proposed he be censured by Congress for his fiery speech at the pro-Trump rally before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY — Josh Putnam: “But in New Hampshire, how the state plays the game of primary defense is a bit different. For all of the talk of the state parties and what they may do in maintaining the status quo, the decision on the presidential primary date ultimately lies with Secretary of State Bill Gardner (D).”

“State law places the presidential primary date-setting power squarely in Gardner’s domain and he has been adept over the last nearly half century in waiting out all challengers and scheduling the Granite state primary at the front of the queue.

ALASKA U.S. SENATOR / GOVERNOR — Last week, the Associated Press name-dropped a few Republicans as possible intra-party opponents for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has not yet said if she’ll run again in 2022. The most familiar name is former Gov. Sarah Palin, who is perennially mentioned as a possible Murkowski foe even though she hasn’t actually appeared on a ballot since her 2008 vice presidential bid.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is mentioned as a possibility, though he hasn’t shown any obvious interest in doing anything other than run for re-election next year. Dunleavy hasn’t announced his 2022 plans, though he said last week, “I enjoy the job and there’s a lot of work to be done. There’s also Joe Miller, who beat Murkowski in a 2010 primary shocker but went on to lose to her that fall when the senator ran a write-in campaign. Miller, who unsuccessfully sought the 2014 GOP nod for Alaska’s other Senate seat, campaigned against Murkowski as a Libertarian in 2016 and lost 44-29. Miller also does not appear to have said anything about another campaign.

NORTH CAROLINA U.S. SENATOR — Meredith College takes a look at an extremely early Democratic primary scenario and finds former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and state Sen. Jeff Jackson tied 13-13. Former state Sen. Erica Smith, who lost the 2020 primary, takes 11%, while virologist Richard Watkins is at 4%. (Watkins ran in 2018 in the primary against veteran Rep. David Price and took just 6% of the vote.) Beasley is the only person tested who is not currently running.

Former President Trump told Lisa Boothe that Sen. Josh Hawley and Sen Ted Cruz were two people who could lead the Republican Party going forward.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), and Trump’s former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders were among the other figures Trump highlighted as the future of the GOP.

OHIO U.S. SENATOR — 314 Action, which is trying to recruit former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton to run for this open seat, has released a survey from Public Policy Polling that shows her outperforming her fellow Democrat, Rep. Tim Ryan, in hypothetical general election matchups against a trio of Republicans. First up are the Acton numbers:

  • 42-41 vs. former state Treasurer Josh Mandel
  • 40-40 vs. former state party chair Jane Timken
  • 40-38 vs. author J.D. Vance

Next up is Ryan:

  • 38-42 vs. Mandel
  • 38-41 vs. Timken
  • 37-39 vs. Vance

314 publicized another PPP poll last week that had Acton leading Ryan 37-32 in a potential primary. Both Democrats are publicly considering running, though neither of them has announced a bid.

Mandel and Timken currently have the GOP side to themselves, but plenty of others could get in. Vance, who is best known as the writer of “Hillbilly Elegy,” has not said anything about his interest, but Politico reports that he recently met with people close to Trump. Last week, the Cincinnati Enquirer also revealed that far-right billionaire Peter Thiel had contributed $10 million to a super PAC set up to help Vance if he runs.

NEVADA U.S. SENATOR — The far-right anti-tax Club for Growth has released a survey from its usual pollster WPA Intelligence that finds its old ally, 2018 gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt, leading former Sen. Dean Heller 44-25 in a hypothetical GOP primary. Heller, who lost Nevada’s other Senate seat to Democrat Jacky Rosen in 2018, has not shown any obvious signs of interest in taking on Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto.

Laxalt has not said anything about his 2022 plans, though CNN recently reported that he is considering a Senate bid. McClatchy, citing an unnamed GOP aide, also writes that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “is also said to favor Laxalt’s candidacy.”

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

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