Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index registered a score of +2 in April, the first time it has been net positive since early March 2020, just before then-President Donald Trump declared a national emergency amid rising coronavirus infections.
Meanwhile, “the U.S. Census Bureau will release the first results of its decennial survey on Monday after a decade of explosive growth in Sun Belt states that will shift power in the House of Representatives,” The Hill reports.
The big winners include Texas, which will likely gain three House seats, and Florida, which could add two seats.
“It’s April 2021, and Donald Trump still can’t get past his grudge with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for refusing to overturn the 2020 election results in his state,” the Daily Beast reports.
Trump “has gone so far as to tell some close associates that if Ducey decided to run for Senate and managed to lock up the Republican nomination in 2022, he would consider traveling to Arizona to campaign for Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.”
Trump might help Republicans snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2022.
Politico: “Republicans are, to put it mildly, feeling good about their chances of retaking the chamber next year, following a better-than-expected showing in November’s House races that ushered in a freshman class led by GOP women and minorities. In 2022, the party only needs to flip a handful of seats, with both history and forthcoming redistricting on their side. And President Joe Biden has, through a series of ambitious early moves, helped his opponents coalesce around a midterm messaging strategy that hits Democrats on immigration, taxes and policing.”
“But Republicans also know the next 18 months are littered with political tripwires, from internal divisions over the former president trying to influence them from Mar-a-Lago to the fringe elements in their ranks that threaten to swamp their agenda.”
Associated Press: “Once solidly conservative places such as Texas have seen increasingly large islands of liberalism sprout in their cities, driven by the migration of younger adults, who lean Democratic. Since 2010, the 20-34-year-old population has increased by 24% in San Antonio, 22% in Austin and 19% in Houston… In November’s election, two states that also saw sharp growth in young people in their largest cities — Arizona and Georgia — flipped Democratic in the presidential contest.”
“As mostly college-educated transplants have relocated to Denver and its satellite communities, Colorado has gone from being a solidly Republican state to a competitive swing state to a solidly Democratic one. It’s a pattern that some political experts expect could be replicated in other states importing loads of young people, even traditionally conservative Texas.”
“A bill that would impose a host of new restrictions on voting in Florida passed a key committee in the State Senate on Tuesday after a fiery debate among senators and hours of citizen testimony opposing the measure,” the New York Times reports. “The vote set the stage for a possible full floor vote in the Republican-controlled chamber in the coming weeks.”
NEW YORK CITY MAYOR — The city Campaign Finance Board on Thursday approved former White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan for matching funds.
The board said the previous week that it was “deferring its decision” as it sought “further information” about a super PAC that has received at least $3 million from the candidate’s father, but it cleared Donovan for public financing following its review. With this development, all of the notable Democrats competing in the June primary have received matching funds except former Citigroup executive Raymond McGuire, who is not taking part in the program.
Meanwhile, attorney Maya Wiley received an endorsement on Friday from EMILY’s List. The field also includes two other pro-choice women, former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and nonprofit executive Dianne Morales.
TEXAS 15TH CD — 2020 GOP nominee Monica De La Cruz-Hernandez’s second campaign picked up an endorsement Friday from Sen. Ted Cruz. De La Cruz-Hernandez, who held Democratic incumbent Vicente Gonzalez to a shockingly close 51-48 win last year, is the only notable Republican currently in the race for this Rio Grande Valley seat, which backed Joe Biden only 50-49 after supporting Hillary Clinton by a wide 57-40.
OHIO 1ST CD — Franklin Mayor Brent Centers filed FEC paperwork Thursday for a potential campaign for the Cincinnati-area seat currently held by his fellow Republican, Rep. Steve Chabot. Centers previously said he planned to enter the race in early May.
NEVADA 4TH CD — 2020 candidate Sam Peters has announced that he’ll once again compete for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford. Peters, who is an Air Force veteran and businessman, lost last year’s primary 35-28 to former Assemblyman Jim Marchant. Horsford went on to beat Marchant 51-46 as Joe Biden was carrying this northern Las Vegas area seat by a similar 51-47 spread.
KANSAS 3RD CD — 2020 Republican nominee Amanda Adkins earned an endorsement Friday from 4th District Rep. Ron Estes for her second campaign against Democratic incumbent Sharice Davids.
FLORIDA 20TH CD — Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard said Thursday that he would not compete in the still-unscheduled special election for this safely blue seat.
NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR — 2020 Democratic nominee Dan Feltes told the Concord Monitor that he had “no intention right now of putting my name on the ballot in 2022,” though he didn’t rule out a second bid for governor.
Feltes, who was state Senate majority leader at the time, raised a credible $1.7 million last time for his bid against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, but the popular incumbent defeated him in a 65-33 landslide. Sununu has yet to announce if he’ll run for a fourth two-year term or challenge Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan instead.
MISSOURI U.S. SENATOR — The Kansas City Star recently asked former NASCAR driver Carl Edwards if he was interested in seeking the Republican nomination for this open seat, and he did not rule out the idea. Edwards said, “I don’t have an active campaign going on,” before he talked about his belief “in the founding principles and individual freedom and liberty and sustainability of our way of life.” He added, “There might be a day when I’m able to help with that.”
WASHINGTON 4TH CD — Far-right ex-cop Loren Culp announced Thursday that he would challenge Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, who is one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump in January. Culp, who was the GOP’s 2020 nominee for governor, made it very clear he’d be making his campaign all about that vote: After accusing the incumbent of having a “spine made of jelly,” Culp, without offering any evidence, accused Newhouse of making “some kind of deal” with Democrats.
Newhouse was already facing intraparty challenges on his right from state Rep. Brad Klippert and businessman Jerrod Sessler in next year’s top-two primary, and more could still join. It’s possible that a crowded field of opponents could split the anti-Newhouse GOP vote in the 4th District and allow the congressman to advance to a general election with a Democrat, but that’s far from assured. This 58-40 Trump seat is red enough that Newhouse went up against a fellow Republican in both 2014 and 2016, and this eastern Washington seat will almost certainly remain very conservative turf after redistricting.
Culp may also be prominent enough to emerge as Newhouse’s main foe, especially since Klippert did not report raising any money in the time between his January launch and the end of March. (Sessler entered the race in early April.) Culp himself served as mayor of the small community of Republic, which is located in the neighboring 5th District, in 2018 when he made news by announcing he wouldn’t enforce a statewide gun safety ballot measure that had just passed 59-41.
Newhouse, for his part, responded to Culp’s new campaign by reaffirming that he’ll be running for a fifth term next year. Newhouse brought in $288,000 during the first quarter for his campaign, and he ended March with $528,000 to defend himself.