The Political Report – May 1, 2023

A new Fox News Poll finds most voters favor the following proposals:

  • Requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers (87%)
  • Improving enforcement of existing gun laws (81%)
  • Raising the legal age to buy a gun to 21 (81%)
  • Requiring mental health checks on gun buyers (80%)
  • Allowing police to take guns from those considered a danger to themselves or others (80%)
  • Requiring a 30-day waiting period for all gun purchases (77%)
  • Another 6 in 10 favor banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons (61%).

A new NBC News poll finds the ‘MAGA’ movement was the least popular individual or group tested in the new survey.

Just 24% of Americans have positive views of the movement, while 45% voice negative views.

However, 52% of Republicans view the MAGA movement positively, as well as 53% of those who define themselves as conservative. 

As Joe Biden begins his reelection campaign, a new Gallup poll finds his job approval rating has slipped to 37% — the lowest Gallup has measured for him to date.

A new Emerson College poll finds Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential primary with 62%, followed by Ron DeSantis at 16%. No other candidate reaches double digits.

A new Fox News poll shows Donald Trump leading the Republican primary field with 53%, followed by Ron DeSantis at 21%, Mike Pence at 6% and Nikki Haley at 4%. In the Democratic race, Joe Biden leads the primary field with 62%, followed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 19% and Marianne Williamson at 9%.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Republicans would still vote for Donald Trump even if he is found guilty of a crime.

Ron Brownstein: “This neatly sums up GOP situation heading into 2024: 63% of Republicans say they want a second Trump term even if he’s found guilty of a crime. Just 21% of indies, 24% non-whites, 27% under age 45, 17% (!) col+ whites agree.”

“Democrats are rebuilding their strength in the ‘blue wall’ states that former President Trump won in 2016, raising the party’s hopes in a region that will prove critical to races up and down the ballot next year,” The Hill reports.

“The party is riding high after key victories in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin over the past six months, signaling a newfound momentum after Trump’s win called into question the party’s standing in the rust belt.”

New York Times: “Long the most loyal Democratic constituency, Black voters resurrected Mr. Biden’s struggling presidential campaign in South Carolina and sent him to the White House with his party in control of the Senate after two runoff victories in Georgia. In return, they hoped the administration would go beyond past presidents in trying to improve their communities — and they listened closely to his promises to do so.”

“Yet some of Black voters’ biggest policy priorities — stronger federal protections against restrictive voting laws, student loan debt relief and criminal justice and police accountability measures — have failed or stalled, some because of Republican opposition and some because Democrats have declined to bypass the Senate’s filibuster rules. Those disappointments, highlighted in interviews with more than three dozen Black voters, organizers and elected officials in recent weeks, leave open the question of just how enthusiastic Democrats’ most important group of voters will be in 2024.”

“President Joe Biden just announced his re-election campaign, but he’s already on track to sacrifice New Hampshire’s famed primary to a fringe rival like Marianne Williamson or Robert Kennedy Jr.,” NBC News reports.

“The unusual situation is one of Biden’s own making, thanks to the new primary calendar the Democratic National Committee ratified at his behest in February, which seeks to demote Iowa and New Hampshire and prohibits candidates from campaigning — or even putting their name on the ballot — in a state that jumps the line.”

“Republicans have sharpened their attacks against Kamala Harris since Joe Biden announced his reelection bid Tuesday in a push to make the 2024 election as much about the vice president as the president,” USA Today reports.

“The verbal barrage signals scrutiny to come for Harris, who Biden has made clear will be his running mate despite criticism Harris has gotten from members of both parties.”

“Republicans view Harris, whose approval ratings lag below Biden’s lackluster marks, as a campaign liability – a characterization that Biden allies reject.”

“Big donors in the business world started rallying around President Joe Biden soon after he announced Tuesday that he’s running for reelection next year,” CNBC reports.

“Executives spanning from tech to media to finance made it clear publicly and behind the scenes that they’re ready to help Biden overcome his soft approval ratings and fend off a heated Republican challenge – potentially in a rematch with former President Donald Trump.”

Teddy Schleifer: “One of the unspoken truths among Biden’s 2024 mega-bundlers is that this time will be harder—even though, as you recall, last time was pretty hard, too. Four years ago, after all, Biden had to scrounge for money on Zoom from a crisis-stricken billionaire class distracted by the once-in-a-century pandemic, crippling economic anxiety, and, at one point, a large Democratic field. But in the end, he feasted from the limitless appetite among liberal and center-right business leaders to get rid of Donald Trump, no matter the cost.”

“Now, as Biden announces his re-election bid, a quirky and entirely different fundraising malaise looms: Trump, once an omnipresent threat, seems quarantined in Mar-a-Lago and on Truth Social. The donor community in 2024 is widely expected to be a subset of the donors who participated in 2020, when American democracy felt on the line. Even if Trump is the nominee again, there’s a fear in Democratic fundraising circles that the election won’t feel quite as urgent or existential the third time around, potentially depriving Biden’s campaign of the resources they’ll need.”

“They’re going to see a race and they’re going to judge whether or not I have it or don’t have it. I respect them taking a hard look at it, I’d take a hard look at it as well.”— President Biden, quoted by ABC News, on whether he’s too old to seek re-election.

New York Times: “A small circle of senior officials, some who have known Mr. Biden for longer than many of the soon-to-be-hired campaign staff members have been alive, will guide the president’s political strategy both in the White House and on the campaign trail.”

“None of them have significant public personas. Of the six, only Jennifer O’Malley Dillon and Jeff Zients, the White House chief of staff, have active Twitter accounts. But it was members of this group who began making phone calls last weekend to offer positions on Mr. Biden’s campaign, only some of which have been announced.”

“Officials in the White House and on his nascent campaign insist the campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, will be empowered to run Mr. Biden’s re-election bid. But an array of Democratic officials who have been involved in ramping up his 2024 effort have made clear that many major decisions will continue to be made by the president’s cadre of top advisers.”

Time: “In some cases, the President brushed back would-be challengers after bringing them into his administration, like Buttigieg and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. For others, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, he’s incorporated some of their pet initiatives into his own agenda. Many of Warren’s former advisors and staff now populate the senior ranks of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and are in key spots running Biden’s trade policy. And Biden has echoed Sanders as he pressured pharmaceutical companies to swallow cuts to the prices Medicare pays for essential prescription drugs like insulin.”

“With Democratic governors that have hinted at future presidential runs, like California’s Gavin Newsom and Illinois’s J. B. Pritzker, Biden has carved out extra time to meet them over his two years in office and deliver on the needs of their states.”

Amy Walter: “There’s a reason that President Joe Biden’s video announcing his re-election campaign begins with the chaotic scene outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021: the best tool Democrats have to mobilize their voters isn’t the sitting president, but the former president. The anti-Trump coalition has beaten the pro-Trump coalition in key swing states and districts in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Team Biden is convinced it will work again in 2024.”

“In some ways, the political environment looks similar to the previous eight years. The country remains deeply, but rather evenly, divided.”

NBC News: “The spot opens with a father and his young daughter raising the American flag outside their home, and says: ‘Joe Biden is running for re-election to make certain that the sun will not set on this flag.’”

“The Biden campaign says the spot is the first of two that will air in the next two weeks, on national cable channels as well as 15 different television markets across six battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It’s the first window into how the Democratic incumbent’s team views the 2024 map, focused on the closest battlegrounds Biden won in 2020.”

David Frum: “Despite lavish anti-Trump donations by big-money Republicans, Trump is cruising to easy renomination. Rather than capitalize on existing economic troubles, Republicans have started a debt-ceiling fight that will cast them as the cause of America’s economic troubles. Worse for them, the troubles are fast receding. Inflation is vexing, but the recession that Republicans hoped for did not materialize: Instead, Joe Biden has presided over the fastest and steepest unemployment reduction in U.S. economic history.”

“The big new Republican idea to halt the flow of drugs is to bomb or invade Mexico. Instead of reassuring women, Republican state legislators and Republican judges are signaling that they will support a national abortion ban if their party wins in 2024—and are already building the apparatus of surveillance and control necessary to make such a ban effective. Republican state-level voter-suppression schemes have been noisy and alarming when the GOP plan called for them to be subtle and technical.”

“It’s early in the election cycle, of course, but not too early to wonder: Are we watching a Republican electoral disaster in the making?”

“President Joe Biden cast himself as a defender of freedom on Wednesday in his first campaign ad since launching his 2024 reelection bid, aiming to flip the script on Republicans who have traditionally seized that mantle,” the AP reports.

“The television ad, which will air in major markets in the six states Biden carried in 2020 that are key to his path back to the White House, aims to portray Republicans as part of an ‘extreme movement’ bent on overturning elections, restricting access to abortion and undermining voters’ economic security. It’s a taste of what is set to be the core of the Democratic president’s campaign message to voters, as he seeks to paint all Republicans as embracing former President Donald Trump and out of the step with popular opinion and the nation’s values.”

John Cassidy: “One person whom Biden doesn’t explicitly name in the video is his likely opponent, Donald Trump. He doesn’t need to. Everyone knows that his campaign is predicated on the looming threat of a Trump second term. In the run-up to this announcement, political press has pointed to polls showing a lack of enthusiasm for another Biden candidacy among Democratic voters. This polling data needs to be interpreted carefully, though. My reading of it is that most Democrats like Biden personally, but aren’t hugely enthusiastic about the Party putting up an eighty-year-old who sometimes gets his words twisted as its Presidential candidate. However, they also can’t agree on a better idea, and they really, really don’t want to see Trump back in the White House.”

“Biden’s calling card, the one that identifies himself as a Trump-slayer, and an upholder of normality and sanity, remains his biggest advantage going into 2024.”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) released bloopers to a campaign video in which he pushes Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) into a wall that then breaks.

“Friends and allies of Anthony Weiner are urging the disgraced ex-congressman to stage a political comeback,” the New York Post reports. “The former pol raised eyebrows after he attended the Inner Circle charity dinner with his estranged wife Huma Abedin last Saturday.”

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

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