The Political Report – February 11, 2023

Monmouth Poll: “When asked who they would like to see as the Republican nominee for president in 2024, GOP voters come up with two names as top-of-mind preferences – DeSantis (33%) and Trump (33%).”

“Any other potential contender is mentioned by just a handful of poll participants – including former Vice President Mike Pence (2%), former South Carolina Gov. and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (1%), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (1%), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (1%), and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (1%).”

“Mike Pence is headed to Iowa the same day rival Nikki Haley is announcing  her presidential bid,” The Dispatch reports.

“The former vice president will headline a grassroots rally and launch a statewide advertising campaign as part of a fresh foray into the key 2024 battleground.”

“Pence continues to mull a White House bid, and he is moving to upstage his former Trump administration colleague with a campaign-style event in Iowa centered around parental rights, public education curriculum, and gender.”

“With his call for a ‘blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America,’ President Biden on Tuesday night acknowledged rhetorically what Democrats have been preparing for two years: a fierce campaign to win back white working-class voters through the creation of hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs that do not require a college degree,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Biden’s economically focused State of the Union address may have avoided the cultural appeals to the white working class that former President Donald Trump harnessed so effectively, the grievances encapsulated by fears of immigration, racial and gender diversity, and the sloganeering of the intellectual left.”

“Donald Trump is going on the attack against potential rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination over Social Security and Medicare, seizing on the same GOP divisions over federal spending that President Biden is seeking to exploit,” the Washington Post reports.

“Trump moved to wield the issue as a wedge in the primary, particularly against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with a video message last month urging Republicans to use negotiations over raising the debt ceiling to cut spending but not “a single penny” from Social Security or Medicare. He also posted a short video clip of a younger DeSantis praising Paul Ryan, the former House budget chairman from Wisconsin who famously proposed replacing Medicare with giving seniors money for private health insurance.”

“The emphasis reflects potential vulnerability for Republican rivals who were elected to powerful posts in the pre-Trump tea party era, embracing austerity in the last showdown over raising the federal debt limit.”

Washington Post: “Many Republican leaders, disappointed with the results of the November midterms, have bemoaned their party’s nomination of fiery candidates who played to the GOP base but in the end attracted little support beyond it. Some within the party fear a similar effect in the 2024 presidential primary if their candidates are overly focused on appeasing the anger and emotions of Republican loyalists…”

“It is not the first time a Democratic president has used an outspoken, newly powerful group of House Republicans as a foil. Both Bill Clinton and Obama saw their party lose the House two years after they took office, as Biden now has. Both then ran against the GOP-led House as part of their reelection effort.”

Politico: “Trump has already swallowed up a handful of prominent endorsements from South Carolina political royalty. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is generating his own buzz.”

“But the possibility that Sen. Tim Scott, a fellow South Carolinian, could launch a campaign is perhaps the trickiest hurdle for Haley to navigate. The senator is actively making calls to allies as he weighs his own run for president, according to three people familiar with those conversations.”

“Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) has hired former Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner and longtime Republican operative Rob Collins to co-chair a super PAC supporting the senator’s political efforts,” Axios reports.

“Scott’s decision to tap two politically-savvy Republicans — a former senator who chaired the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a former executive director of the NRSC — is a sign that he’s moving closer to launching a 2024 presidential campaign.”

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is on the cusp of making a final decision on a 2024 presidential run,” The Hill reports.

“Several Republicans familiar with the deliberations say that DeSantis is almost certain to seek the GOP’s presidential nomination. His advisers have begun reaching out to and interviewing potential hires for a campaign and are gaming out the best time to announce his intentions.”

Seth Masket: “Now at least so far, Ron DeSantis is enjoying the benefit of some national conversation about him as an alternative to Trump. But that condition is temporary – he hasn’t campaigned much outside of Florida, and we don’t really know how he’ll play in Iowa, New Hampshire, and elsewhere. Politically astute people outside Florida know his name but not much more at this point.”

“Also, there are other candidates out there. They’re not showing up in polls yet because people don’t know that they’re running, but they are. Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, and others are visiting the early contest states, raising money, making friends, asking for endorsements, and doing all the other things candidates do at this stage.”

“Trump wasn’t especially popular early in the 2016 cycle, but the key to his success was that his opponents within the Republican Party were divided among many different candidates. Those events could repeat themselves in 2024. But it’s also possible that Republicans who are worried about his influence just might have learned a lesson from back then.”

“Chicago Democrats are pushing President Biden to choose their city for the 2024 Democratic National Convention, warning that hosting the event in a right-to-work state like Georgia would be a major insult to the labor movement,” Axios reports.

“Atlanta, Chicago and New York are the leading cities being considered to host. Unlike the other two, Atlanta is in a right-to-work state.”

“As Gov. Ron DeSantis prepared for an election night party in downtown Tampa last year, city officials received a surprising — and politically sensitive — request,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Republican governor’s campaign wanted weapons banned from his victory celebration at the city-run Tampa Convention Center, a city official said in emails obtained by The Washington Post. And the campaign suggested that the city take responsibility for the firearms ban, the official said — not the governor, who has been a vocal supporter of gun rights.”

“When Donald Trump hit the campaign trail for the first time this year, he vowed to cut federal funding to schools promoting ‘left-wing’ ideas about gender and race. After the former president suggested that parents should be able to vote out school principals, one woman pumped her fist from the balcony of the South Carolina State House and cheered so loudly that her voice cracked,” the Washington Post reports.

“In that moment, Trump was leaning into the issues animating the conservative base most fervently — and his aides took note of the enthusiastic response he received on his trip. With schools at the center of GOP complaints about the way Americans discuss race and gender, the debate over these topics is expected to be a focal point of the 2024 presidential primary, according to party activists and strategists.”

“Former President Donald Trump is approaching Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with a newly urgent hostility, rushing to turn the Republican base against his most formidable potential rival in 2024,” NBC News reports.

“Out is ‘Ron DeSanctimonious,’ Trump’s clunky attempt at a nickname.”

“In are increasingly frequent public floggings on Trump’s Truth Social website that brand DeSantis in terms that could repel GOP voters.”

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

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