The Political Report – 4/5/2021

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds about half of Republicans believe the January 6 Capitol siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists “trying to make Donald Trump look bad.”

Also, 60% of Republicans also believe the false claim put out by Trump that November’s presidential election “was stolen” from him due to widespread voter fraud, and the same proportion of Republicans think he should run again in 2024.

FiveThirtyEight: “In the past two decades, trust in traditional media has plummeted — especially among Republicans. According to polling from Gallup, since at least the late 1990s, Republicans have been less likely than Democrats (and independents) to say they trust the media. But starting in 2015, trust among Republicans took a nosedive, falling from 32 percent to 10 percent in 2020. (Meanwhile, among Democrats, trust in the media has actually climbed back up, and by quite a bit.)”

“Part of this is because Republicans are often more vocal in their criticism of the media and have long perceived it as having a liberal bias. But now they are also more likely to say that being ‘anti-media’ is part of their political identity, and this is likely driving the staggering gap in media trust that we are seeing.”

“Justice Democrats, the left-wing group that recruited Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for Congress, has its eyes set on ousting another Democratic incumbent,” Politico reports.

“The organization will announce that it is backing Odessa Kelly (D) in her campaign against Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) — a Blue Dog Coalition member who has long frustrated liberals.”

MISSOURI U.S. SENATOR — Republican pollster Remington Research has tested a variety of potential configurations for next year’s GOP Senate primary and finds disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens leading in each of them, though the headline matchup is very close.

The one non-hypothetical pairing features Greitens versus the only other notable declared candidate, state Attorney General Eric Schmitt; in that head-to-head, Greitens comes out ahead just 40-39. Adding a third candidate to the mix, however, widens that gap, largely at Schmitt’s expense:

  • 36-29 Greitens, Rep. Jason Smith: 16
  • 36-30 Greitens, Rep. Billy Long: 14
  • 38-26 Greitens, Rep. Ann Wagner: 18
  • 38-30 Greitens, businessman John Brunner: 10

Toss everyone in the mix (plus yet another member of the House, Vicky Hartzler) and the picture remains similar: Greitens 31, Schmitt 18, Wagner 12, Smith 9, Hartzler 8, Long 6, and Brunner 2. That contrasts with a recent Greitens internal that had him beating Schmitt 48-11, with Wagner at 9 and Smith at 7.

Needless to say, it’s exceedingly unlikely that this entire brigade, including four sitting U.S. representatives, would all pile in, though everyone included in this poll has in fact said they’re considering the race.

PENNSYLVANIA U.S. SENATOR — Democrat Rep. Brendan Boyle, who’d reportedly been considering a Senate campaign, said on Friday that he’ll take a pass on the race. Two notable Democrats, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, are already running for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, though many more are still weighing the race.

ALABAMA GOVERNOR / LT. GOVERNOR — Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth says he “will not run against” Gov. Kay Ivey, a fellow Republican, if she decides to seek a third term next year. He did not, however, say what he plans to do if the governor calls it a career. Ivey has been coy about her intentions, saying on Friday, “My plate’s pretty full right now. It’s just not time to make that decision known.”

TEXAS 6TH CD — The Texas AFL-CIO, which has 235,000 members across the state, has endorsed Democratic businesswoman Lydia Bean in the May 1 special election for the 6th Congressional District. Meanwhile, former Trump official Brian Harrison is running yet another ad, this time attacking Joe Biden over immigration. According to the Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek, only Harrison and fellow Republican Susan Wright have advertised on TV so far.

ALASKA U.S. SENATOR — An internal poll commissioned by Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R) primary opponent, Kelly Tshibaka (R), shows the challenger leading in the all-party, open primary by 15 points over the three-term incumbent.

Tshibaka, who recently hired Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark to run her campaign, leads 34% to 19%, while Al Gross, who ran as an independent last year, pulls 18%.

FLORIDA 1ST CD — As the Matt Gaetz scandal metastasizes in ever more revolting ways, CNN also reports that prosecutors are investigating whether the congressman spent donor funds on “travel and expenses” for the young women and teenage girls he’s allegedly been involved with. While the gravity of the sex trafficking charges Gaetz may face is immense, using campaign money for personal reasons—which is also illegal—has brought down several of Gaetz’s peers in recent years, including former California Rep. Duncan Hunter.

OHIO U.S. SENATOR — Rep. Danny O’Connor (D-OH) will not run for retiring Sen. Rob Portman’s (R) Senate seat in 2022 and is planning instead to run for re-election, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance acknowledged that he’s “thinking very seriously” about a bid for the GOP nomination for Senate a few days after a band of far-right billionaires dumped tens of millions of dollars into a super PAC to support a hypothetical Vance candidacy last month.

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Warren Davidson, who’d been eyeing both a Senate campaign and a primary challenge to Gov. Mike DeWine, now sounds like he’s leaning toward the latter. “I don’t really plan to run for Senate in 2022,” said Davidson in mid-March. “What I am looking at in 2022 is A) Congress, of course, and B) I’m encouraged by the feedback I’ve received on the governor’s race and I am taking a hard look at the governor’s race.” That’s a little confusing because the Senate is part of Congress, but presumably Davidson was referring to the House.

Judd Legum: “On January 11, Facebook announced that ‘following last week’s awful violence’ it was suspending donations from its political committee ‘for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies.’”

“But campaign finance records… reveal that, 44 days later, Facebook donated $50,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee. Facebook routed the donation through a fundraising vehicle that the RSLC set up in Virginia, a state with lax campaign finance laws that allows unlimited direct corporate contributions. The primary goal of the RSLC is to elect Republicans to state legislatures and other state-level offices across the country.”

Harry Enten: “Indeed, once you control for who controls the White House, there is a surprisingly strong correlation between the generic congressional ballot 19 months before the midterm elections and the eventual House result.”

“If trends hold, the most likely national House result in 2022 given the current generic ballot is Republicans winning by between 4 and 5 points.”

“While we don’t know how redistricting will change things in terms of what type of advantage Democrats will need in the national vote to hold onto the House, any Republican advantage in the popular vote would probably be enough to take the House.”

WYOMING AT LARGE CD — “Rep. Liz Cheney took on the Trump wing of her party and survived its attempt to politically kneecap her. But it’s only the beginning of what looks like a years-long fight for her place in the GOP,” Politico reports.

“Cheney has racked up a string of wins that put her on more solid footing in the party — starting with her easy victory over a conservative-led effort to oust her as House GOP conference chair.”

“She still has to lock down her party’s endorsement in the deep red state of Wyoming next August, leaving plenty of time for pro-Trump forces to mobilize against her — though she’s likely to benefit from multiple pro-Trump candidates competing for the same lane. If Cheney can hang on to her House seat, however, her ability to climb the Republican leadership ranks may still be hamstrung by her vote against a former president who’s said to be obsessed with taking down the Republicans who helped impeach him.”

The siblings of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) are again coming out against him — this time in a blistering new attack ad airing on Fox News claiming that Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar helped instigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, People magazine reports.

Will Saletan looks at the Georgia voting law provisions, listing “the good,” “the bad” and “the overhyped.”

Nate Cohn: “Democrats are understandably concerned about a provision that empowers the Republican-controlled State Legislature to play a larger role in election administration. That provision has uncertain but potentially substantial effects, depending on what the Legislature might do in the future. And it’s possible the law is intended to do exactly what progressives fear: reshape the electorate to the advantage of Republicans, soon after an electoral defeat, by making it harder to vote.”

“And yet the law’s voting provisions are unlikely to significantly affect turnout or Democratic chances. It could plausibly even increase turnout. In the final account, it will probably be hard to say whether it had any effect on turnout at all.”

“Donald Trump spent a lifetime putting his name on steaks to skyscrapers to stimulus checks, but now, the former president appears to be replacing the gold-plated surname with a number: 45,” NBC News reports,

“Last week, the 45th president launched his new official website,, a URL unlike those of his predecessors, who used their names for their web addresses.”

“Trump’s shift from his name to his digits has been across his political properties.”

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

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