The Political Report – August 4, 2022

In a big victory for abortion rights, the proposed constitutional amendment in Kansas to remove protections has failed, the Cook Political Report projects.

The results don’t even appear to be close. The pro-choice and pro-access to abortion side, or the “No” vote, won 59-41. We call that a landslide.

And there’s the Democratic playbook for the midterms: Tap into the growing anger about Republican extremism, from taking away abortion rights to attacking democracy.

Politico: “It would have been a victory for Democrats and abortion rights activists if they’d even kept it close in Kansas.”

“Instead, as the heavily Republican state rejected an anti-abortion constitutional amendment, it marked a political earthquake with the potential to reshape the entire midterm campaign.”

“And if the politics of Roe proved fraught for Republicans in Kansas, it’s going to be even more treacherous for the GOP in swing-ier, more moderate swaths of the country.”

Washington Post: “Polls had suggested that the measure could go either way, but Kansas is also a red state (albeit one with a Democratic governor). So what led to the somewhat surprising result? Motivated Democratic voters. Other than this ballot initiative, there weren’t many reasons for them to come out to vote in this primary. Yet Democratic turnout was up more than 60 percent compared to 2018, when Kansas Democrats were deciding whom should be their gubernatorial nominee.”

Nathaniel Rakich: “By all accounts, turnout in Kansas is through the roof today, with the secretary of state suggesting that half of voters statewide will cast a ballot (it’s unclear if he meant half of registered voters or half of eligible voters). That strongly suggests that the abortion-related ballot measure is driving turnout, not the state’s sleepy primaries.”

“The overwhelming support for abortion rights in a traditionally conservative state bolsters Democrats’ hopes that the historic Supreme Court ruling will animate their voters in an otherwise difficult election year for their party,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Kansas vote signals that abortion is an energizing issue that could affect turnout in the November midterms.”

The result is “a political earthquake with the potential to reshape the entire midterm campaign,” Politico reports.

New York Times: “Consider far western Kansas, a rural region along the Colorado border that votes overwhelmingly Republican. In Hamilton County, which voted 81 percent for Mr. Trump in 2020, less than 56 percent chose the anti-abortion position on Tuesday (with about 90 percent of the vote counted there). In Greeley County, which voted more than 85 percent for Mr. Trump, only about 60 percent chose the anti-abortion position.”

“We can talk about the cities all day long, but Kansas is known as a rural Republican state for a reason: Rural Republican areas cover enough of the state that they can, and almost always do, outvote the cities. The rejection of the amendment has as much to do with lukewarm support in the reddest counties as it does with strong opposition in the bluest ones.”

No matter how you look at it, the abortion rights vote in Kansas last night was a political earthquake ahead of the midterm elections. The ballot measure not only encouraged more Democrats to turn out to vote, but it proved unpopular to many Republicans as well — even in areas that overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump.

But it’s important to remember that a ballot measure is a clean up or down vote on a single issue. Voters will feel more conflicted in November when they are voting on candidates instead of a specific question. Will abortion rank as highly as concerns about rising prices and a looming recession? That wasn’t decided last night. It’s clear that any focus on abortion is more likely to help than hurt Democrats this fall. A lot of Republicans will try to stop talking about abortion entirely.

But as last night’s extraordinary vote suggests, Democrats have a real opportunity to make the election about Republican extremism on a variety of issues, abortion being just one of many.

“The conservative legislature wanted this to be among a small group of voters who generally lean conservative and have more competitive primaries in Kansas. But here we are, and people know what’s on the ballot and I think they know what’s at stake. I think the plan backfired and they ended up with a vote on abortion only weeks after the fall of Roe.” — Planned Parenthood CEO Emily Wales, quoted by Vanity Fair, on Kansas Republicans putting the abortion measure on the primary ballot instead of the general election ballot.

Republican lawmakers placed the initiative on the ballot in January of last year in response to a 2019 decision by the state Supreme Court that overturned legislation banning an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. In their ruling, a majority concluded that the state constitution protects “the right of personal autonomy,” which includes “whether to continue a pregnancy.” Only restrictions that “further a compelling government interest” and are “narrowly tailored to that interest” would pass muster, said the justices. The ban in question did not, and so more aggressive restrictions would not as well.

That infuriated Republicans, who were eager to clamp down on abortion if not ban it outright. They therefore drafted misleading language that would undo this ruling by amending the constitution. “Because Kansans value both women and children,” the amendment superfluously began, “the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion”—even though the Supreme Court case had no bearing on such funding.

The accompanying explanatory text was also heavily tilted to the “Yes” side, saying that a “No” vote “could restrict the people, through their elected state legislators, from regulating abortion by leaving in place the recently recognized right to abortion.”

Republicans further sought to tilt the scales in their favor by scheduling the vote to coincide with the state’s August primary, almost certainly expecting light mid-summer turnout that would favor their side. That emphatically did not come to pass. Remarkably, the total vote on the abortion amendment was 25% greater than the combined tally in both parties’ primaries for governor, meaning at least 150,000 voters showed up just to vote on the ballot measure.

In the state’s most populous county, Johnson County in the Kansas City suburbs, at least 243,000 voters participated in the vote on the amendment, 90% of the turnout of the hotly contested general election for governor in 2018. What’s more, the “No” side demonstrated considerable crossover appeal: While Democrat Laura Kelly carried Johnson 55-38 four years ago, the pro-abortion position prevailed by a far wider 68-32 margin on Tuesday.

A similar phenomenon repeated itself across the state, even in deeply conservative Sedgwick County, home to Wichita—the longtime headquarters of the anti-abortion terrorist group Operation Rescue and the city where abortion provider George Tiller was assassinated in 2009 while leaving church. Donald Trump won Sedgwick 54-43 in 2020, but “No” also won, 58-42.

Both sides spent heavily, about $6 million apiece, with half of the “Yes” funding coming from the Catholic Church. Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, the leading group that worked to defeat the measure, carefully targeted its messaging: Ads in Democratic-leaning areas warned that the amendment “could ban any abortion with no exceptions,” while those in more conservative parts of the state avoided mentioning abortion at all and instead decried the measure as “a strict government mandate designed to interfere with private medical decisions.”

Amendment supporters, meanwhile, relied on more partisan framing, blasting “unelected liberal judges appointed by pro-abortion politicians” who “ruled the Kansas constitution contains an unlimited right to abortion, making painful dismemberment abortions legal.” But even though Trump won Kansas by a wide 56-41 margin just two years ago, this sort of message failed to break through.

The final result also defied the only public poll of the race, a survey from the Republican firm co/efficient that found the amendment passing by a 47-43 margin. It will also buoy activists in Kentucky, who are fighting a similar amendment in November, as well as those in Michigan, who are seeking to enshrine abortion rights into their state’s constitution. And it should serve as a reminder to Democrats that protecting the right to an abortion is the popular, mainstream position in almost every part of the country.

“Primary victories in Arizona and Michigan for allies of Donald Trump on Tuesday reaffirmed his continued influence over the Republican Party, as the former president has sought to cleanse the party of his critics, install loyalists in key swing-state offices and scare off potential 2024 rivals with a show of brute political force,” the New York Times reports.

“In a particularly symbolic victory for Mr. Trump, Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House who gained national attention after testifying against Mr. Trump at the Jan. 6 congressional hearings, lost his bid for State Senate.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “Democrats haven’t been able to clear the field everywhere, but they have done so in many high-profile races, and they’re generally making pragmatic choices in highly contested seats. For governor in Arizona, for instance, they nominated current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs by a more than 3-to-1 margin.”

“There’s no guarantee any Democrat will win in Arizona this year, even if Republicans put up a weak candidate. But Democrats are successfully avoiding intense nomination fights and emerging united, usually behind well-regarded candidates. That’s not always been the case, and it remains to be seen whether it makes any difference. But it is certainly a major theme of this cycle for the party.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “The former president’s power over the party’s voters is nothing extraordinary, but his sway over its candidates is strong. Tuesday’s wins and losses filled in some more details.”

“In general, some of Trump’s endorsed candidates in contested races win, especially when the conditions are good for any high-profile endorsement to matter — multicandidate primaries with little to differentiate the candidates.”

“Yet candidates continue to beg for his endorsement, and in practical terms, that means that a lot of Republican candidates are repeating Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election. Some just refuse to admit that President Joe Biden was legitimately elected, while others are basically campaigning against free and fair elections.”

Ron Brownstein: “If Democrats avoid the worst outcome in November’s midterm elections, the principal reason will likely be the GOP’s failure to reverse its decline  in white-collar suburbs during the Donald Trump era.”

“That’s a clear message from yesterday’s crowded primary calendar, which showed the GOP mostly continuing to nominate Trump-style culture-war candidates around the country. And yet, the resounding defeat of an anti-abortion ballot initiative in Kansas showed how many voters in larger population centers are recoiling from that Trumpist vision.”

“Donald Trump-backed candidates pulled ahead in Arizona’s GOP primaries, showing, if early election results hold, a sign of the sway the former president still has over Republicans in the state,” the Arizona Republic reports.

“Blake Masters (R), who’s backed by both Trump and tech investor Peter Thiel, was declared the U.S. Senate primary winner.”

“Mark Finchem was declared the Republican primary winner in the secretary of state race, and Abe Hamadeh led his competitors for attorney general. Both men were Trump-endorsed, and both denied Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in Arizona.”

“Trump-endorsed Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence, were in a virtual tie in the race for the GOP nomination for governor.”

ARIZONA U.S. SENATOR. Former Thiel Capital chief operating officer Blake Masters, who picked up Trump’s endorsement in June, beat wealthy businessman Jim Lamon 39-29 for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in what will be one of the most contested Senate races in the nation.

ARIZONA GOVERNOR. Kari Lake, a former local TV anchor turned far-right conspiracy theorist, leads Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson 46-44―a margin of about 11,000 votes―with just over 637,000 ballots tabulated; the Associated Press, which has not called the race, estimates that 80% of the vote has been counted so far. Lake, who trailed until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, has Trump’s endorsement, while termed-out Gov. Doug Ducey is for Robson.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs defeated former Homeland Security official Marco López in a 73-22 landslide.

ARIZONA 1ST CD. Republican incumbent David Schweikert holds a 43-33 lead over wealthy businessman Elijah Norton with 96,000 votes in, or 82% of the estimated total. The winner will be defending a reconfigured seat in the eastern Phoenix area that, at 50-49 Biden, is more competitive than Schweikert’s existing 6th District.

Jevin Hodge, who lost a tight 2020 race for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, defeated former Phoenix Suns employee Adam Metzendorf 61-39.

ARIZONA 2ND CD. Trump’s candidate, Navy SEAL veteran Eli Crane, enjoys a 34-24 lead over state Rep. Walter Blackman in another uncalled race; 76,000 votes are in, which the AP says is 90% of the total. The winner will face Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran, who is defending a seat in northern and eastern rural Arizona that Trump would have taken 53-45.

ARIZONA 4TH CD. In potentially bad news for the GOP establishment, self-funding restaurant owner Kelly Cooper leads former Arizona Bankers Association president Tanya Wheeless 30-25; 56,000 ballots are counted, and the AP estimates this is 82% of the total. The powerful Congressional Leadership Fund supported Wheeless, who benefited from $1.5 million in outside spending to promote her or attack Cooper. The eventual nominee will take on Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton in a reconfigured 54-44 Biden seat in the southern Phoenix suburbs.

ARIZONA 6TH CD. Former state Sen. Kirsten Engel defeated state Rep. Daniel Hernandez 60-34 in the primary to succeed their fellow Democrat, retiring Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. This new Tucson-based seat would have backed Biden just 49.3-49.2.

Juan Ciscomani, who is a former senior advisor to Gov. Doug Ducey, turned back perennial candidate Brandon Martin 47-21. Ciscomani always looked like favorite to capture the GOP nod against an underfunded set of foes, though his allies at the Congressional Leadership Fund unexpectedly spent $1 million to support him in the final days of the race.

ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL. The GOP primary has not yet been resolved, but Trump’s pick, former prosecutor Abe Hamadeh, leads former Tucson City Councilor Rodney Glassman 32-24 with 605,000 ballots tabulated; the AP estimates that 80% of the vote is in. The winner will go up against former Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Kris Mayes, who had no opposition in the Democratic primary, in the contest to replace termed-out Republican incumbent Mark Brnovich.

ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE. State Rep. Mark Finchem, a QAnon supporter who led the failed effort to overturn Biden’s victory and attended the Jan. 6 rally just ahead of the attack on the Capitol, defeated advertising executive Beau Lane 41-25 to win the GOP nod to succeed Democratic incumbent Katie Hobbs. Trump was all-in for Finchem while Ducey backed Lane, the one candidate in the four-person primary who acknowledges Biden’s win.

Former Maricopa County Clerk Adrian Fontes leads House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding 53-47 in another race that has not yet been called. A total of 467,000 ballots are in, which the AP estimates is 77% of the total vote.

MARICOPA COUNTY ATTORNEY. With 328,000 votes in, appointed incumbent Rachel Mitchell leads former City of Goodyear Prosecutor Gina Godbehere 58-42 in the special election primary to succeed Allister Adel, a fellow Republican who resigned in March and died the next month. The winner will face Democrat Julie Gunnigle, who lost to Adel 51-49 in 2020; this post will be up for a regular four-year term in 2024.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR. Conservative radio host Tudor Dixon won the nomination to face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by defeating wealthy businessman Kevin Rinke 41-22; Dixon picked up Trump’s endorsement in the final days of the campaign, though he only supported her when it was clear she was the frontrunner. Note that these totals don’t include write-ins, so we don’t know yet exactly how poorly former Detroit Police Chief James Craig’s last-ditch effort went.

MICHIGAN 3RD CD. Conservative commentator John Gibbs’ Trump-backed campaign denied renomination to freshman Rep. Peter Meijer, who was one of the 10 House Republicans to vote for impeachment, 52-48. Meijer and his allies massively outspent Gibbs’ side, though the challenger got a late boost from Democrats who believe he’d be easier to beat in November.

Gibbs will now go up against 2020 Democratic nominee Hillary Scholten, who had no primary opposition in her second campaign. Meijer defeated Scholten 53-47 in 2020 as Trump was taking the old 3rd 51-47, but Michigan’s new independent redistricting commission dramatically transformed this Grand Rapids-based constituency into a new 53-45 Biden seat.

MICHIGAN 8TH CD. Former Trump administration official Paul Junge beat former Grosse Pointe Shores Councilman Matthew Seely 54-24 for the right to take on Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee. Junge lost to Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin 51-47 in the old 8th District in 2020 and decided to run here even though the old and new 8th Districts do not overlap. Biden would have carried the revamped version of this seat in the Flint and Saginaw areas 50-48.

MICHIGAN 10TH CD. Former Macomb County Judge Carl Marlinga beat former Macomb County Health Department head Rhonda Powell 48-17 in the Democratic primary for a redrawn seat in Detroit’s northeastern suburbs that’s open because of the incumbent-vs.-incumbent matchup in the 11th (see just below).

Marlinga will face Army veteran John James, who was Team Red’s Senate nominee in 2018 and 2020, in a constituency Trump would have taken 50-49. James narrowly lost to Democratic Sen. Gary Peters within the confines of the new 10th by a 49.3-48.6 margin last cycle, but he begins this general election with a massive financial lead.

MICHIGAN 11TH CD. Rep. Haley Stevens beat her fellow two-term incumbent, Andy Levin, 60-40 in the Democratic primary for a revamped seat in Detroit’s northern suburbs that Biden would have carried 59-39. Stevens represented considerably more of the new seat than Levin, whom some Democrats hoped would campaign in the 10th instead of running here; Stevens and her allies, led by the hawkish pro-Israel organization AIPAC, also massively outspent Levin’s side.

MICHIGAN 12TH CD. Rep. Rashida Tlaib turned back Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey 65-20 in this safely blue seat. The AP estimates only 66% of the vote is counted because of the aforementioned delays in Wayne County, but the agency has called the contest for the incumbent.

MICHIGAN 13TH CD. Wealthy state Rep. Shri Thanedar leads state Sen. Adam Hollier 28-24 with 51,000 votes tabulated in this loyally blue Detroit-based constituency, but the AP estimates that this represents only 49% of the total vote and has not made a call here.

Michigan gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley (R), who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, is refusing to concede despite finishing in fourth place in Tuesday’s primary.

MISSOURI U.S. SENATOR. Attorney General Eric Schmitt beat Rep. Vicky Hartzler 46-22 in the primary to succeed their fellow Republican, retiring Sen. Roy Blunt; disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens, who was the other “ERIC” Trump endorsed one day before the primary, took third with only 19%. (Yet another Eric, Some Dude Eric McElroy, clocked in at 0.4%.) Republican leaders who weren’t Trump feared that the scandal-ridden Greitens could jeopardize the party’s chances in this red state if he were nominated, and Politico reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s allies at the Senate Leadership Fund quietly financed the main anti-Greitens super PAC.

Schmitt, though, will be the favorite against businesswoman Trudy Busch Valentine, who claimed the Democratic nod by beating Marine veteran Lucas Kunce 43-38. A onetime Republican, former U.S. Attorney John Wood, is also campaigning as an independent.

MISSOURI 1ST CD. Rep. Cori Bush turned back state Sen. Steve Roberts 70-27 to win renomination in this safely blue St. Louis seat.

MISSOURI 4TH CD. Former Kansas City TV anchor Mark Alford won the nod to succeed unsuccessful Senate candidate Vicky Hartzler by beating state Sen. Rick Brattin 35-21 in this dark red western Missouri seat. Brattin had the backing of School Freedom Fund, a deep-pocketed affiliate of the anti-tax Club for Growth, while the crypto-aligned American Dream Federal Action and Conservative Americans PAC supported Alford.

MISSOURI 7TH CD. Eric Burlison defeated fellow state Sen. Jay Wasson 38-23 to claim the nomination to replace Rep. Billy Long, who gave up this safely red southwestern Missouri seat only to come in a distant fourth in the Senate race. Burlison had the backing of both the Club for Growth and nihilistic House Freedom Caucus.

WASHINGTON 3RD CD. The AP has not yet called either general election spot in the top-two primary for this 51-46 Trump seat in southwestern Washington. With 105,000 votes counted, which represents an estimated 57% of the vote, Democrat Marie Perez is in first with 32%. GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted for impeachment, holds a 25-20 edge over Trump’s candidate, Army veteran Joe Kent.

WASHINGTON 4TH CD. Things are similarly unresolved in this 57-40 Trump seat in eastern Washington with 74,000 votes in, which makes up an estimated 47% of the total vote. GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse, who also supported impeaching Trump, is in first with 27%; Democrat Doug White leads Trump’s pick, 2020 GOP gubernatorial nominee Loren Culp, 26-22 for second.

WASHINGTON 8TH CD. Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier took first with 49% in this 52-45 Biden seat in suburban Seattle, but we don’t yet know which Republican she’ll be going up against. With 110,000 ballots in, or 53% of the estimated total, 2020 attorney general nominee Matt Larkin is edging out King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn 16-15; Jesse Jensen, who came unexpectedly close to beating Schrier in 2020, is in third with 13%.

WASHINGTON SECRETARY OF STATE. Appointed Democratic incumbent Steve Hobbs easily secured a spot in the November special election, but he may need to wait a while to learn who his opponent will be. With 965,000 votes in, which the AP estimates is 47% of the total, Hobbs is in first with 41%; Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, who does not identify with either party, enjoys a 12.9-12.4 edge over a first-time GOP candidate named Bob Hagglund, while Republican state Sen. Keith Wagoner is just behind with 12.2%.

KANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL. He’s back: Former Secretary of State Kris Kobach defeated state Sen. Kellie Warren 42-38 in a tight primary to succeed Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who easily won his own GOP primary to take on Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. Kobach, a notorious voter suppression zealot who lost to Kelly in a 2018 upset, will take on attorney Chris Mann, who had no Democratic primary opposition.

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) narrowly lost his seat last night when he was beaten by the Trump-backed John Gibbs (R) in a Republican primary. Meijer’s primary loss is mostly due to his vote to impeach Donald Trump for the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. But it’s also because Democrats spent a lot of money to boost Gibbs.

As Meijer warned in Common Sense the night before the primary: “In one of many such naked political gambits aimed at elevating the weaker Republican candidate ahead of the November midterm elections, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a $435,000 ad buy to promote the election-denying Gibbs in the final days leading up to our primary. “

This is not an insignificant amount of money for the Gibbs campaign, nor is it an insignificant act by Democrats. The DCCC’s ad buy was more than Gibbs raised over the entire duration of his campaign. It was also nearly 100x the support Donald Trump himself offered to Gibbs (a single $5,000 contribution from the Save America Super PAC). In other words, the Democrats are not merely attempting to boost a candidate over the finish line: They are subsidizing his entire campaign.

Democrats obviously believe that more Trumpian Republicans will be easier to beat in swing districts like Meijer’s. In fact, the Cook Political Report moved the race to Lean Democrat after Meijer conceded the race to Gibbs, who later remarked on how little money he actually spent to win the seat.  If Democrats flip the seat, it will seem like a good bet. But politics is often unpredictable and if the election-denying Gibbs wins, Democrats will own it.

As Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) told CNN: “Here’s the thing, don’t keep coming to me asking where all the good Republicans that defend democracy are and then take your donors’ money and spend half a million promoting one of the worst election deniers that’s out there.”

Gallup: “When Americans are asked to name the most important problem facing the U.S., 8% of the resulting mentions focus on abortion. While not high on an absolute basis, this is the highest such percentage since Gallup began tracking mentions of abortion in 1984.”

“Additionally, another 6% of Americans name a related issue — problems with the nation’s judicial system and courts.”

“Abortion ranks behind three other issues on the ‘most important’ list… Inflation (17%) and dysfunctional government or bad leadership (17%) top the list, with another 12% of Americans making general complaints about the economy.”

As the January 6 Committee hearings show how Donald Trump intentionally sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, there’s been a lot of talk about his “weakening” hold on the Republican party. There have even been suggestions that he could be defeated in a 2024 Republican presidential primary by someone like Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

But if you watch the successful candidates in this year’s Republican primaries, there are very few who have been willing to cross Trump. In fact, embracing Trump’s contention that the 2020 election was stolen by Democrats is usually a prerequisite for emerging as the victor. That’s because no one wants Trump to turn his base against them.

Even Tudor Dixon (R), who’s running for governor in Michigan and has emerged as a unity candidate of sorts, wasn’t willing to admit on Fox News yesterday that Trump actually lost the election. Instead, when asked directly if the 2020 election was stolen, Dixon dissembled: “Well, it’s certainly a concern to a lot of folks here in Michigan.” Even when it was pointed out that Biden won Michigan by more than 150,000 votes, she wouldn’t acknowledge that Trump actually lost.

Dixon has been endorsed both by Trump and by his education secretary, Betsy DeVos (R), who resigned her post after Trump did nothing to stop the January 6 insurrection. But proving Trump’s continuing strength, even DeVos tried to get back into his good graces in order to help secure the endorsement of Dixon.

So while Dixon has seemingly been able to bridge the establishment and Trump side of the Republican Party, it’s only because she’s embraced Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. That proves that Trump is still very much in control of his party.

Politico: “Republicans vying for Congress — and countless more in down-ballot races — are using DeSantis’ photo in campaign mailers and television ads and are dropping his name in debates ahead of the Aug. 23 primary. The use of DeSantis in Republican contests is rivaling, and even sometimes surpassing, that of former President Donald Trump, who has handed out congressional endorsements in several Florida elections.”

Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton warned Republican primary candidates that they are “risking political suicide” if they align themselves too closely with the former president, the HuffPost reports.

Said Bolton: “Trump’s fixation on himself and the 2020 election are poisonous to independent and undecided voters.”

New York Times: “Nearly half of Americans oppose masking and a similar share is against vaccine mandates for schoolchildren, polls show. But what is obscured in those numbers is the intensity with which some parents have embraced these views. While they once described themselves as Republicans or Democrats, they now identify as independents who plan to vote based solely on vaccine policies.”

“Their transformation injects an unpredictable element into November’s midterm elections. Fueled by a sense of righteousness after Covid vaccine and mask mandates ended, many of these parents have become increasingly dogmatic, convinced that unless they act, new mandates will be passed after the midterms.”

Eric Trump used a golf bag featuring the lettering “Trump 2024” under an American flag patch at Donald Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, club, which was hosting a tournament of LIV Golf, the controversial pro tour backed by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, CNBC reports.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she would be “honored” if former President Donald Trump asked her to join his ticket in 2024 should he decide to run again.

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

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