The Political Report – December 11, 2022

A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll finds that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis now leads Donald Trump by 5 percentage points in the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, 47% to 42%.

DeSantis is ahead by even more — a whopping 11 points — among Americans who say they voted in a 2016 Republican primary or caucus in their state.

Peggy Noonan: “Mr. Trump has looked bad since his weak and formless presidential announcement last month—dining with anti-Semites and white supremacists, meeting with Q supporters, calling for the Constitution to be waived to return him to office. He appears to be deliberately marginalizing himself. There is a debate whether we are witnessing the end of Mr. Trump. But here is the truth: Only the voters can crush Mr. Trump.”

“It’s good if senators come forward and deplore his latest antics, if party operatives cast doubt on his viability and writers and thinkers on the right deplore him. But it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that voters on the ground turn away from him. That is how it ends. Any other way and he says the swamp did him in. Voters have to show no, it was us, and we’re not the swamp.”

John Ellis: “At the precinct level, Trump remains the champ. Until someone beats him at the precinct level, Trump remains the front-runner. And the more the media (on all platforms) and the GOP establishment (on but mostly off the record) attack Trump, the more the protective instincts of ‘base’ Republican voters kick in.”

“He’s not clearing the field. He’s not scaring anyone out of the race by any means. And there’s just a lot of politics to play between now and 2024. A lot of this is inside baseball right now.” — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), quoted by the New York Times, on Donald Trump’s entry into the presidential race.

Nate Silver: “Democrats have a narrow path to Senate control after 2024, but it’s narrow indeed, and one that might require the GOP continuing to nominate bad candidates — and a fair share of luck.”

Herschel Walker (R) felt as though he should have received 100% of the vote in Johnson county — where he grew up — and was “absolutely shocked” by the result, the Daily Beast reports.

Said Walker: “I’m gonna call the sheriff and have him find out who didn’t vote for me.”

NBC News: “The former Heisman Trophy-winning University of Georgia football star was hard to manage and coach, according to campaign staff who didn’t want to publicly speak about his foibles; they noted his poor public speaking skills and penchant for veering off message.”

“Behind the scenes, campaign insiders and their political allies describe a first-time celebrity candidate who was difficult to manage and utterly unprepared for a brutal campaign that would tarnish a once-sterling brand.”

Said one GOP strategist: “This is what you get when you have a candidate who threatened women, stalked them, paid them to have abortions, said crazy things and has an adversarial relationship with the English language.”

Steve Kornacki calculates that metropolitan Atlanta has shifted 42 percentage points towards the Democrats since 2004.

CA-22: Democrat Rudy Salas on Wednesday filed paperwork with the FEC for a potential 2024 rematch against Republican incumbent David Valadao, though an unnamed source tells the Fresno Bee that the former assemblyman is doing this to keep his options open. Valadao won 52-48, but stronger presidential-year turnout could give Democrats a bigger opening in a Central Valley seat that Biden took 55-42.

VA-04: Petersburg City Councilor Treska Wilson-Smith, who is retiring from her current post, says she’s interested in competing in the upcoming special election to succeed her fellow Democrat, the late Rep. Donald McEachin.

NY-14: The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday that it was investigating Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, though it did not reveal any details about what it was looking into. The congresswoman’s spokesperson put out a statement in response saying, “The congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests. We are confident that this matter will be dismissed.”

WI State Senate: Democrats got their first candidate for the April 4 special election to succeed former Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling this week when environmental attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin announced she was in. Meanwhile, Thiensville Village President Van Mobley said that he would compete in the GOP primary that will take place on Feb. 21.

Philadelphia Mayor: The first TV ad of the May Democratic primary to succeed termed-out Mayor Jim Kenney is already here, as grocer Jeff Brown’s allies at For A Better Philadelphia PAC are spending $92,000 on an inaugural cable buy. The introductory commercial deploys footage of Michelle Obama praising him before the narrator touts Brown as “a national leader for ending food deserts” who “hires people formerly incarcerated and manages a union workforce.” The only prior advertising has been $70,000 in radio spots from Allan Domb, a former City Council member who has self-funded in the past.

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that in 2015, which was the most recent open seat race, the ads only started two months before the primary day. Eight years before that, though, millionaire Tom Knox launched a serious TV buy all the way in early December: Knox went on to lose the nomination to Michael Nutter 37-25.

WV-01: Former Del. Derrick Evans, who served 90 days in prison for his participation in the Jan. 6 riot, announced Tuesday that would form an exploratory committee for a possible Republican primary bid against Rep. Carol Miller in this safely red southern West Virginia seat.

Evans last year live-streamed himself at the Capitol yelling at police officers, “You go tell your liberal mayor to go kiss rocks!” A short time later he told his audience, “We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!” He resigned from the legislature days later after only about a month in office, and later told his judge that he was a “good person who was unfortunately caught up in a moment which led to me breaking the law.”

However, Evans wasn’t the least bit apologetic this week when he put out a video talking about his 2024 plans. He instead declared he was “held captive by the illegitimate Biden regime as a Jan. 6 political prisoner” until October, adding, “I am proud to know that the liberal mainstream media is going to label me as an ultra MAGA election denier.” The former delegate did not mention Miller in his missive, though he expressed how he was “both angered and disappointed with the weak RINOs representing us in D.C.”

NC-11: The House Ethics Committee has ordered outgoing Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn to pay $14,000 to charity for promoting a “Let’s go, Brandon” cryptocurrency that he had a financial interest in; he was also told to pay another $1,000 in fines for not filing his required disclosure statements with the House on time. The Committee also probed allegations that Cawthorn had an “improper relationship” with a staffer, but it concluded there was no evidence of this.

The report determined that Cawthorn had not “knowingly or willfully failed to file timely disclosures,” though it also admonished the congressman for improperly accepting the coin at a discounted rate. Cawthorn, who lost renomination in May to Chuck Edwards after a legion of other scandals, says he’ll make his donations to the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Shepherd Brain and Spinal Cord Center.

NJ-11: Democratic Assemblyman Roy Freiman has not ruled out challenging Republican Rep.-elect Tom Kean Jr., telling the New Jersey Globe, “It is very early. It’s always an honor to be thought of in that regard.” When asked if he was dismissing the idea, the assemblyman responded, “I am not commenting on it.” New Jersey holds elections for state office in odd-numbered years, so it’s not uncommon for would-be congressional candidates in the legislature to seek re-election before committing to a new race. Freiman’s 16th District should give him little trouble, however: It would have voted 60-39 for Joe Biden, according to Dave’s Redistricting App, and has moved to the left in recent years.

Chicago Mayor: Monday was the deadline for Chicago residents to file objections in order to try to get candidates disqualified from the Feb. 28 nonpartisan primary ballot, and complaints were leveled at five of the 11 mayoral candidates who turned in petitions last week:

  • Perennial candidate Frederick Collins
  • Activist Ja’Mal Green
  • Freelance counselor Johnny Logalbo
  • Alderman Roderick Sawyer
  • Wealthy perennial candidate Willie Wilson

Mayoral contenders need 12,500 valid signatures in order to make the ballot, and it’s common in Illinois politics for their opponents to try to find problems with the petitions they submitted in order to get them disqualified.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, though, will not need to defend her place on the ballot. While Alderman Brian Hopkins, who is not running for mayor and hasn’t endorsed anyone, said last week that he’d assembled a team to undertake a preliminary review of the incumbent’s petitions, he said days later that he “ran out of time” and would not be filing a challenge.

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

1 comment on “The Political Report – December 11, 2022

  1. Just over the weekend, the NYT had an article telling people that it was not clear where Elon Musk’s political leanings lie. Even though he’d been telling people to vote for Rs in the midterm and denouncing Dems as “too woke”. Their need for “the view from nowhere” undermines good, factual reporting by not finding anything they think they can report.

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