The Political Report – May 4, 2023

“Turnout in last year’s midterm elections fell from a century-high point of 50 percent in 2018 to 46.6 percent in 2022, and Census data released Tuesday suggest the drop was concentrated among Black voters, younger voters and college graduates,” the Washington Post reports.

“Black voter turnout dropped by nearly 10 percentage points, from 51.7 percent in 2018 to 42 percent in 2022… White voter turnout slipped by only 1.5 points to 53.4 percent. The 11-point turnout gap between White and Black voters is the largest in any presidential or midterm election since at least 2000.”

 “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is stepping up his criticism of President Biden’s leadership, stirring speculation that the maverick Democrat may challenge Biden as a third-party candidate in 2024,” The Hill reports.

“Manchin notes he has had a 12-year relationship with No Labels, the centrist political group that is trying to gain access to the ballot in all 50 states to open a path for a third-party candidate to run for president.” 

David Byler: “Small-dollar donors were supposed to save democracy. Reformers had hoped that grass-roots political fundraising — connected by the internet and united against corruption — would become a formidable force to counter the money that wealthy individuals funnel to candidates.”

“Only half of that would become true. Small-dollar donors are indeed powerful today — but they have made politics worse, not better.”

“This has manifested in different ways depending on the party. For Republicans, small-dollar donors have bankrolled bomb-throwers who treat Congress like the Thunderdome. For Democrats, they have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on ridiculous, fantasy-driven campaigns. And even when they flood a race with cash, they do little to lessen the influence of big donors.”

Politico: “Nearly a dozen aides and advisers in Biden world described Jill Biden as someone who has grown more willing to endure the rigors and demands of being in the political spotlight herself — and more convinced of her husband’s fit for the job.”

“Close advisers say she feels a comfort level with her role inside the White House, balancing the ceremonial responsibilities of the office with the weight of serving as a trusted adviser to the president.”

“Iowans must be present to participate in the state’s caucuses under a bill the House passed Monday — a bid by Republicans to fend off the threat of New Hampshire jumping the line to become the first presidential nominating contest,” the Des Moines Register reports.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) “is warning that President Joe Biden could jeopardize his prospects — and those of down-ballot Democrats — in a key swing state by messing with New Hampshire’s presidential primary,” Politico reports.

Said Shaheen: “The president could have had more diversity — which is the reason he gave for wanting to change the current order — he could have moved another state earlier without doing what he did to New Hampshire.”

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said GOP candidates will have to address abortion “head on” in 2024, USA Today reports.

Said McDaniel: “Many of our candidates across the board refused to talk about it, thinking ‘Oh we can just talk about the economy and ignore this big issue.’ And they can’t.”

She added: “They’re uncomfortable but they can’t be. You need to say, listen, I’m proud to be pro-life.”

“A draft Republican Party autopsy report on the 2022 midterm elections examining why the GOP failed to win the U.S. Senate and posted smaller-than-expected gains in the House does not mention Donald Trump or his role as the de facto leader of the party,” the Washington Post reports.

“GOP leaders are avoiding Trump in part because RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has vowed to be neutral in the 2024 Republican primary as the former president seeks a second term. Comments praising or criticizing Trump would break that vow, some of the people involved in the report said.”

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel that a recent report on the party’s disappointing performance in last year’s midterms showed that the GOP was unable to lock down the support of independents, citing abortion messaging as a key reason why, The Hill reports.

Said McDaniel: “The biggest takeaway we’re taking is independents did not break our way, which has to happen if we’re gonna win in 2024.”

New York billionaire John Catsimatidis is ruling out supporting Ron DeSantis for president in the 2024 election, telling the Washington Examiner that the Florida governor “doesn’t even return his phone calls.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Monday that he wouldn’t be running for president “this year,” but an aide says he has not closed the door on entering the race altogether, Politico reports.

“President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are gearing up for their first fundraising events as soon as next week to help kick off their 2024 reelection campaign,” Reuters reports.

“Some of the events being planned for Biden include a reception and dinner that could take place in New York City on May 10.”

Donald Trump released a campaign video in which he outlined plans to seize the endowments of any college or university practicing affirmative action.

Forbes: “Donald Trump started a new ad campaign on Facebook last week that insists the U.S. is doing worse under President Joe Biden. The Facebook ads even include photos trying to suggest the chaos we see in those images is a direct result of Biden’s policies.”

“The only problem? The two most prominent photos in the ad are from Trump’s time at the White House.”

Politico: “It’s a campaign operation characterized by an unusual level of organization and discipline — one that’s chipping away at his likely chief rival before he even jumps in the race.”

MARYLAND U.S. SENATOR. Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) ruled out a 2024 Senate bid Tuesday, The Hill reports.

Montgomery County Council Member Will Jawando on Tuesday became the first notable candidate to enter what’s sure to be an expensive Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Cardin. Jawando, whose father is originally from Nigeria, would be the first Black person to represent Maryland in the Senate.

Jawando served in the Obama administration before campaigning in the 2016 cycle to succeed Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who gave up his 8th District to wage a successful bid for the state’s other Senate seat. Jawando, though, was overshadowed in a truly expensive primary that included state Sen. Jamie Raskin, self-funder David Trone, and former hotel executive Kathleen Matthews, and he ended up taking fifth with just 5%. (Raskin, who won that race, and Trone, who prevailed in another seat two years later, are also eyeing Senate bids.)

But Jawando had a far better 2018 when he took second in the 14-way Democratic primary for one of the four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council in a contest where the top four vote-getters advanced to the general election. He and his ticketmates decisively won in November in Maryland’s most populous county, and Jawando secured a second term last year.

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

1 comment on “The Political Report – May 4, 2023

  1. cassandram

    “For Democrats, they have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on ridiculous, fantasy-driven campaigns. And even when they flood a race with cash, they do little to lessen the influence of big donors.”

    This is part of the thoughtless ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t” criticisms of Democrats. When you encourage Democrats to run everywhere, you can’t complain when they do. Many of these campaigns are long-term investments — people need to hear from Dems in order to decide to vote for Dems. It is really hard to out-organize gerrymandering, but it is criminal to not give voters a choice AND an opportunity to hear from Dems directly.

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