The Political Report – 1/28/22

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds President Biden losing to a generic Republican in a 2024 match up, 46% to 37%.  However, Biden holds small leads over four actual Republicans, including Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz and Mike Pence.

  • Biden 45, Trump 44
  • Biden 45, Cruz 39
  • Biden 44, Pence 42
  • Biden 44, DeSantis 39

A new Marquette Law School Poll in Wisconsin finds that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and former President Donald Trump run equally well against President Biden in hypothetical 2024 matchups, although Biden leads both Republicans.

  • Biden 41, DeSantis 33
  • Biden 43, Trump 33

 A new University of New Hampshire poll finds President Biden’s approval rate has plunged in the Granite State to 39% to 60%.

A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll in finds President Biden’s approval rating has fallen off a cliff in Georgia with just one-third of registered voters approving of his performance.  That’s a sharp decline from the 51% of voters who gave Biden high marks in the AJC’s May poll.

Jonathan Chait: “When an ideological extreme faction with unpopular views emerges, it becomes a threat to the party that hosts it. At first, the party’s incentive is to banish the extremists, lest their toxic ideas taint the party’s brand with the broader electorate. But if the radical faction’s growth is not arrested, the calculus changes, and barring the doors can no longer work. It forms a large enough part of the base that the party can’t afford to alienate its members. The crank wing becomes too big to fail.”

“I believe the anti-vaccine movement is reaching that point in the Republican Party. The movement’s position is akin to the tea party in 2009, or the birther movement a few years later — perhaps (this is a rough estimate) smaller than the former but larger than the latter. The cause has too many adherents, who supply too much energy, for the party to risk alienating.”

A new Data for Progress poll in Arizona finds Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) would crush Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in a Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, 74% to 16%.

A new OH Predictive Insights poll in Arizona finds 44 percent of Republican voters surveyed said they see Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) favorably, compared with just 42% of Democratic voters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) seems awfully serious about launching a primary challenge to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Punchbowl News reports.  Gallego went to New York over the weekend to meet with some of Sinema’s donors about a possible Senate run in 2024.

“A group of lawyers is working to disqualify from the ballot a right-wing House Republican who cheered on the Jan. 6 rioters unless he can prove he is not an ‘insurrectionist,’ disqualified by the Constitution from holding office, in a case with implications for other officeholders and potentially former President Donald Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“A lawyer for Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) cited an 1872 congressional action granting amnesty to Confederate soldiers to defend his own client’s eligibility for office,” TPM reports.  “The argument from Cawthorn lawyer James Bopp Jr. came in response to a legal effort to have Cawthorn declared ineligible for office because he allegedly ‘encouraged, and upon reasonable suspicion helped aid, the insurrection’ on Jan. 6.”

A new Monmouth poll finds that about 1 in 8 Americans believe both that President Biden’s victory was only due to fraud and that there is still a path to overturn those results and reinstate Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Also interesting: “One-third of Americans continue to believe that Biden’s 2020 victory was the result of voter fraud. In a trend that tests the definition of statistical coincidence, this result has been 32% every time Monmouth has asked this question since November 2020.”

Said pollster Patrick Murray: “The persistence of the ‘big lie’ continues to be a warning sign. It is being fed and nurtured by messages that tout the possibility of overturning the 2020 result even though no such legal mechanism exists.”

Republicans now lead Democrats in the generic congressional ballot by 2 percentage points, according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average.  Democrats normally have needed an advantage of several points to win the House.

Monmouth Poll: “Congressional Republicans have a small edge over their Democratic colleagues on a dubious metric – they are slightly less likely to be seen as lacking concern for the average American’s financial well-being.”

“This, along with a continuing decline in President Joe Biden’s job rating, contributes to a small preference for GOP control after this year’s midterm elections.”

Said pollster Patrick Murray: “The GOP advantage on the economic concern question is not large as a percentage, but Democrats had a similarly small edge on this metric in 2018 and ended up gaining 41 House seats.”

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) raised more than $9.8 million in the last three months of 2021 and will end the quarter with roughly $23 million in cash on hand for a reelection battle that could decide control of the U.S. Senate, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) has amassed a $37.3 million war chest for the 2022 election cycle, a sign that he has “quickly become one of the most prolific fundraisers among Senate Republicans,” Fox News reports.

“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) recently announced a hefty $2.8 million campaign haul, showing the competition he can still raise big bucks while under FBI scrutiny,” the Dallas Morning News reports.  “But where most of the money came from is a mystery. Paxton has yet to name all his campaign donors, despite a deadline last week that required disclosure.”

GEORGIA U.S. SENATOR and GOVERNOR. Quinnipiac is out with its inaugural poll of Georgia, and it finds tight general elections for both Senate and governor in this newly minted swing state. In the former contest, one-time University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker holds a tiny 49-48 lead over Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. The school didn’t test any other Republicans against the incumbent, which may be just as well, as it finds Walker utterly destroying state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black 81-6 in the May GOP primary.

Turning to the race for governor, Quinnipiac finds 2018 Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, who faces no serious intra-party opposition in her second bid, locked in a tight race against two different Republican foes. Gov. Brian Kemp edges out Abrams 49-47, while former Sen. David Perdue ties her 48-48.

But unlike the Senate primary, the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination contest looks far more uncertain. Kemp outpaces Perdue, who has Donald Trump’s backing, 43-36, with another 10% going to ex-state Rep. Vernon Jones. That’s a considerably smaller lead for Kemp than the 41-22 edge he enjoyed last month in Insider Advantage’s survey for Fox 5 Atlanta, though Quinnipiac puts him a shade closer to winning the majority of the vote he’d need to avert a June runoff.

RHODE ISLAND 2ND CD and GOVERNOR. State Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced Wednesday that he would end his campaign for governor in order to run for Rhode Island’s open 2nd District instead, a development that reshapes both of the state’s highest-profile Democratic primaries.

Magaziner had spent years preparing for a 2022 bid to succeed Gov. Gina Raimondo, a close ally who was to be termed-out. And even after Raimondo resigned last March to become secretary of commerce and Lt. Gov. Dan McKee ascended to the top job, Magaziner went ahead with his campaign. His calculations began to change last week, though, when Rep. Jim Langevin announced that he would retire from Congress.

The Boston Globe reported over the weekend that unnamed Democratic “[p]owerbrokers” fear that a packed September nomination fight could give two-time Republican gubernatorial nominee—and possible congressional candidate—Allan Fung an opening in what’s currently a 56-43 Biden seat, but that they hoped they could clear the House field by convincing one of McKee’s three serious primary foes to switch races. Two of them, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and former CVS executive Helena Foulkes, quickly made it clear they were staying in the gubernatorial primary, but Magaziner went ahead and made the switch days later.

Magaziner joins two fellow Democrats, nonprofit head Omar Bah and former state party chair Ed Pacheco, in the primary, and he looks like the frontrunner at this early point. In addition to being the only candidate elected statewide, Magaziner, who is the son of Bill Clinton healthcare policy adviser Ira Magaziner, is a strong fundraiser who had a hefty $1.6 million in his state campaign account in September. Federal law prohibits the treasurer from using any of that cash on his congressional campaign, but he’s free to refund the money and ask his donors to contribute to his new effort. Still, the field for the 2nd District remains very much in flux, though state Rep. Joseph Solomon and former state Rep. Stephen Ucci have each taken their names out of contention.

It also remains to be seen which of the candidates for governor will benefit most from the departure of Magaziner, who ended September with considerably more cash-on-hand than any of his now-former rivals. The one and only poll we’ve seen was an early November internal from Gorbea that showed McKee edging her out 26-24, with Magaziner in third at 16%.

TENNESSEE 5TH CD. Donald Trump quickly responded to Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper’s Tuesday decision to retire from this newly gerrymandered seat by issuing a not-tweet pre-endorsement to former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. Trump extolled Ortagus, a one-time Fox News commentator who now works at a health care investment firm and added he’d back her “if she decides to run!” Ortagus responded by yes-tweeting out Trump’s statement and adding her thanks, though she didn’t commit to running.

There are several other Republicans who are considering running for this revamped seat, which GOP lawmakers transmuted from a 60-37 Biden district to a 54-43 Trump constituency, and the Tennessee Journal says that businessman Baxter Lee is thinking about it. Last week, Axios also mentioned Carol Swain, who lost both the 2018 special election and the regular 2019 contest for mayor of Nashville, and Steve Glover, a member of the city’s Metropolitan Council (the equivalent of the city council) as possibilities.

On the Democratic side, community activist Odessa Kelly launched a primary campaign against Cooper last year well before redistricting, but the redrawn lines place her outside the new 5th. Kelly now says she’s considering what to do in the face of these unfavorable circumstances, though the other two constituencies that now contain parts of Nashville are even more conservative: The new 7th, where GOP Rep. Mark Green will almost certainly run, would have favored Trump 56-41, while Republican Rep. John Rose’s 6th is considerably worse at 64-34 Trump.  

P.S. By splitting Nashville, the GOP legislature has all but guaranteed that the city will be represented in the House by a Republican for the first time since 1875, when one-term Rep. Horace Harrison left office following his defeat the previous year. Indeed, this will be the first map to divide Nashville’s Davidson County since before the 1950s.

OREGON GOVERNOR. The state SEIU has endorsed Tina Kotek, who recently stepped down as speaker of the state House, in the wide-open May Democratic primary.

CALIFORNIA 12TH CD. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Tuesday that she is running for reelection, citing the “crucial” need to defend American democracy through legislation on voting rights and other issues, the Washington Post reports.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said he plans to appoint someone new to serve as Virginia’s top election official when current Elections Commissioner Chris Piper’s four-year term expires this summer, the Virginia Mercury reports.

PENNSYLVANIA U.S. SENATOR. “Mehmet Oz’s introduction to GOP grassroots politics is a code-red crisis. In his first three unofficial tests as a candidate in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary, the celebrity physician known as Dr. Oz has been handily rejected by party activists,” Politico reports.  “It’s a disappointing start for a cash-flush, top-tier candidate in one of the most important Senate races in the country.”

“New York’s bipartisan redistricting commission has failed to reach consensus on a new congressional map, ensuring that the state’s Democratic lawmakers will redraw district lines in a process that could affect control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections,” Reuters reports.

“The panel had until Tuesday to vote on a map to send to state legislators. Instead, Democratic and Republican commissioners exchanged accusations of political bias in dueling statements on Monday that made it clear no agreement would be forthcoming.”

“A federal judge in Minnesota on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by WinRed… that sought to block state attorneys general from investigating fundraising tactics that have triggered complaints of fraud,” the New York Times reports.

In a video of Donald Trump at one of his Florida golf clubs, one of Trump’s golfing partners films him walking up to take a swing, saying: “First on the tee, the 45th president of the United States,” Insider reports.  He then added, while grinning happily: “The 45th and 47th.”

HAWAII GOVERNOR. Rep. Kai Kahele (D-HI) “says he’s reassessing his political future after hearing from people who want him to run for governor,” Hawaii News Now reports.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) “is drawing criticism for sending out unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to voters after he and other Republicans took aim at the practice in the past,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

“House Democrats added seven names Thursday to their list of vulnerable incumbents in need of party resources heading into the challenging midterm elections,” NBC News reports.

VIRGINIA 5TH CD. Andy Parker (D), the father of a journalist who was killed during a live TV report in 2015, is running for Congress against Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), CBS News reports.  Parker called Good the “Marjorie Taylor Greene of Virginia.”

NORTH CAROLINA U.S. SENATOR. Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said last year that not receiving an offer to teach at Duke University upon leaving the governorship was “blacklisting” and comparable to the refusal to serve Black Americans at lunch counters in the 1960s during segregation, CNN reports.

“Ken Langone, a billionaire investor and Republican donor, contributed to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) political action committee days after the conservative Democratic lawmaker said he would not support President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion social and climate spending package,” CNBC reports.

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

1 comment on “The Political Report – 1/28/22

  1. So, the anti vaxxers have found a home in the Republican party. Cool as they continue to die like flies, the interesting part being that nationally recognized far right types have died from it and they still don’t get vaccinated. Same for the fools who buy The Big Lie that Trump will be “Reinstated”. Both are a reflection on a failed electorate that is neither well informed or rational. And for a change it’s not just we Boomers.

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