The Political Report – 3/29/21

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds President Biden’s approval lands at 72% for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Also 60% approve of Biden’s stewardship on repairing the beleaguered economy.

Harry Enten: “President Joe Biden’s approval hasn’t moved in two months. He had an average 55% approval rating at the beginning of his presidency. Two months later, Biden’s approval rating stands at 54%. That’s less movement than even former President Donald Trump had during his first few months on the job, and opinion on Trump was notoriously stagnant.”

“Biden’s secret to success is simple: he’s addressing the issues Americans care about, while his weaker issues are those that most Americans don’t seem as worried about.”

“You can see this well in Gallup polling and a newly released ABC News/Ipsos poll.”

A new Pew Research poll finds the 60% of Republicans think the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed 550,000 Americans so far — has been made a bigger deal than it really is.

FiveThirtyEight: “Notably, the four states where the greatest number of voting-restriction bills have been filed — Georgia, Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania — were some of the closest states in last year’s presidential election. They also all voted for President Biden — the first time Georgia and Arizona voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in over two decades — and have Republican-controlled legislatures, making them especially fertile ground for new voting restrictions.”

Democracy Corps conducted focus groups this month with Trump loyalists and Trump-aligned voters in Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The striking theme is that Trump voters feel powerless over their lives:

  • The Trump loyalists and Trump-aligned were angry, but also despondent, feeling powerless and uncertain they will become more involved in politics.
  • Trump’s base saw Biden, as a white man, as not threatening, controlled by others, unlike Obama.
  • The Trump loyalists and the Trump aligned are animated about government taking away their freedom and a cancel culture that leaves no place for white Americans and the fear they’re losing “their” country to non-whites.
  • They were angered most of all by Black Lives Matter and Antifa that were responsible for violence in Democratic cities that put white people on the defensive – and that they feel was ignored by the media.

But even more interesting was that Trump voters were curious to know how they benefit from the American Rescue Plan, as compared to Obamacare which they saw as a new entitlement for Blacks and immigrants.

Keep that in mind as President Biden rolls out his infrastructure plan. It’s unlikely these voters care much about the cost or future debt burden. They want to know how it helps them. And from what we know about Biden’s plan, there’s a lot in there Trump voters should like.

“Stymied by delayed census data needed for redistricting, some states are considering postponing their 2022 primaries or turning to other population estimates to start the once-a-decade task of redrawing voting districts used for U.S. House and state legislative elections,” the AP reports.

“The U.S. Census Bureau was supposed to provide redistricting data to the states by March 31, but after setbacks from the pandemic, it won’t be ready until mid- to late August and might not be available in an easy-to-use format until Sept. 30. That’s later than the legal deadlines to complete redistricting in some states and could mean less time for court challenges, candidate filing and ballot creation.”

“Lin Wood, the defamation and personal injury lawyer who took up former President Trump’s baseless accusations of election fraud, will run to lead the South Carolina Republican Party,” The Hill reports.

Politico: “So far, a half-dozen Democrats who could face some of the toughest redistricting prospects have floated bids for Senate or governor — all in states where Republicans have the ability to doom their House careers with new maps next year.”

“This year’s once-a-decade redraw of congressional maps is made far more complicated by coronavirus-related delays in the process. And that uncertainty — on top of a 2022 election that could plunge Democrats back into the minority — is leading some lawmakers to seriously consider political options beyond the House.”

USA Today: “The Democrats’ botched handling of the 2020 Iowa caucuses touched off a renewed national debate over the presidential nominating process and Iowa’s place in it.”

“But Iowa Republicans say the early visits from national political leaders help reinforce their expectation that they, at least, will hold the nation’s first caucus again in 2024 — regardless of what Democrats do.”

“A bipartisan group of Wisconsin lawmakers proposed a new kind of election system for Congressional races on Friday, arguing that the state’s existing system exacerbates partisanship and discourages compromise,” NBC News reports.

“Currently in Wisconsin, the winners of party primaries compete in the general election. This bill proposes switching to ‘Final-Five’ voting, which would require nonpartisan, single-ballot primaries in federal races. The top five candidates would then proceed to the general election, where voters would vote on ranked-choice ballots to determine a winner through an instant runoff.”

“If there was ever any doubt of Mike Pompeo’s political ambitions, the former secretary of state put them to rest on Friday by becoming the first big-name Republican to meet with voters in Iowa this year and lay the groundwork for a possible presidential campaign,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Pompeo largely cast his remarks… as an effort to win a Republican majority in Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. But his breakfast speech was tinged with references to the presidential campaign in 2024 — a race that Mr. Pompeo has never denied eyeing.”

GOP pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson in an interview with Ezra Klein:

“To the extent that these days, you see discussion about expanding the coalition and bringing in voters who might be more available to the GOP. There is not as much of an appetite these days for winning back, say, college educated suburbanites, I think in part because there is a belief that there may just be too great a divide on some of these sort of values and culture type issues.”

“Meanwhile, I think there is some more appetite you are seeing among Republicans for doing outreach to those in communities of color, who may not have college degrees.”

American Independent: “A Republican former professional wrestler is district hopping in the hopes of winning a U.S. House seat — and is totally changing his personality in the hopes of making his congressional dreams a reality.”

“In his Nevada race, Rodimer ran ads painting himself as a clean-cut, family man — wearing a collared shirt and seated on a couch with his wife and five children.”

“Now, Rodimer is back and running in a special election in Texas’ 6th District — a Dallas-based House seat left vacant after Rep. Ron Wright died following a COVID-19 diagnosis. And Rodimer looks like a totally different person, donning a cowboy hat and positioning himself as a rodeo bull rider with a Texas accent.”

Mark Barabak: “In 2003, amid California’s tumultuous gubernatorial recall election, President George W. Bush visited the state and had this to say about the campaign: Nothing.”

“The Republican National Committee kept similarly mum throughout the campaign, which ended in Democrat Gray Davis’ ouster and replacement by Hollywood super-duper-star Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

“That was then.”

“The attempt to recall current Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom — still in the qualifying stage, but almost certain to make the ballot — has turned into a nationwide Republican crusade, engaging partisans from the Arizona border to Washington, D.C.”

“Sen. Susan Collins avoided censure from her state party on Saturday, escaping the fate of other Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his most recent impeachment trial,” Politico reports.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) told ABC News that he would support the reelection of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) if she runs again, after the two GOP lawmakers split on former President Trump’s impeachment.

Said Sullivan: “We don’t agree on everything, but we make a good team for Alaska… If Sen. Murkowski runs again, I’m going to support her.”

“Former President Trump is already deeply involved in the 2022 midterm elections, headlining fundraisers and backing primary challengers, but he has yet to weigh in on one of this November’s few races: the vote for Virginia’s next governor,” The Hill reports.

Politico: “The former president is obsessed with defeating him next year. He’s getting mauled by his own state party. Last week alone, a Republican congressman announced he’d challenge in the primary and the state legislature voted to strip his office of some official powers.”

“By most accounts, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger doesn’t have a prayer of being reelected.”

Said GOP strategist Jay Williams: “He’s toast. I don’t know that there’s a single elected official who would put their neck out for Brad Raffensperger right now.”

HuffPost: Georgia voting law punished Secretary of State for defying Trump.

Washington Post: “The aggressive pitch to Republican contributors comes as the number of independent money operations connected to Trump — some directly associated with the former president, others that have his tacit blessing — has been rapidly expanding since he left office.”

“The groups, which include both nonprofits and big-money super PACs, are seeking to capitalize on Trump’s fundraising firepower, which drove a record $2.2 billion into the three Republican Party campaign committees during his time in office.”

“GOP officials are now trying to keep that pipeline going, a prospect complicated by Trump’s ambivalence about letting the party continue to fundraise off his name — and the separate fundraising efforts springing up around him, some of which could take aim at Republicans who have crossed the former president.”

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

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