The Political Report – May 15, 2023

Washington Post-ABC News Poll: “Trump leads DeSantis by 56 percent to 22 percent among Republicans without college degrees, while college graduates are roughly split between the two at 36 percent for Trump and 33 percent for DeSantis.”

Donald Trump’s campaign used images from Ukraine to depict Americans suffering under President Biden in an attack ad titled “Mourning in America,” the New York Post reports.

The Guardian: “He was interested in doing it on CNN because the campaign reached an understanding – which a spokesperson denied – that it would book more Trump surrogates.”

Amy Walter: “A race between two well-defined candidates like Trump and Biden, in a country as politically polarized as this, will be very, very close. Even so, given the antipathy among the public for a Trump v. Biden contest, I’m still not convinced that we’ll see a rematch between these two men in 2024.”

“President Biden’s reelection campaign has dropped New York City Mayor Eric Adams as a national surrogate following his public criticism of the White House’s approach to the migrant crisis,” Politico reports.

“A 2024 campaign bid for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is getting closer,” CBS News reports.

“The governor is eyeing a launch into the 2024 presidential race within the next couple weeks.”

“The DeSantis political operation is also expected to move its headquarters to a new location in Tallahassee on Monday, which will kick-start a window for the first federal election disclosures for a potential 2024 DeSantis campaign.”

Playbook: “The move will trigger a 15-day countdown by which the DeSantis team will have to file federal paperwork with election officials, marking the first public acknowledgment that he’s running. DeSantis has also started holding donor dinners in the governor’s mansion.”

Ross Douthat: “The most basic lesson to be drawn by Republican politicians from watching Trump’s town hall is the importance, for any would-be Trumpian successor, of demonstrating that you too can engage with the mainstream press and come away a winner.”

“This is the core of Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential strategy so far, which has lifted him to nearly Mike Pence-ian levels of support in primary polls in part because of his willingness to argue with Chuck Todd or Don Lemon, not just rattle off talking points on Hannity.”

“But it’s the opposite of the DeSantis method, which has been to stiff-arm the mainstream media (with a side of mockery from his friends and allies on Twitter). That’s fine for the governor of a rightward-trending state trying to get things done locally and build support with conservative activists. But it’s not what Republican voters actually seem to want from their national champions. They want the show, the battle, the drama. And you can’t really own the libs, in the end, if you won’t even take their questions.”

FLORIDA U.S. SENATOR. Politico’s Gary Fineout reports that Brevard School Board member Jennifer Jenkins spoke to unnamed “national Democrats and donors” while she was in D.C. last week, which he says is a sign that prominent party members are making a serious effort to recruit her to take on Republican Sen. Rick Scott. Jenkins, who was vetted by Charlie Crist as a possible running mate during his unsuccessful campaign for governor last year, has not publicly expressed interest in what would be a difficult and expensive campaign.

MARYLAND U.S. SENATOR. EMILY’s List announced Thursday it was endorsing Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, who would be the first woman to represent Maryland in either chamber of Congress since early 2017.

Meanwhile, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski says of his own potential Democratic primary bid, “I’m talking to my family and I expect in the next week or so, we’ll make an announcement.” Alsobrooks and the other two serious declared contenders, Rep. David Trone and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando, each hail from the D.C. suburbs, while Olszewski would be the first candidate with a base in the Baltimore area.

“Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) says he’s been ‘bombarded and besieged’ with calls from fellow progressives urging him to run for Senate. But as Raskin mulls whether to seek higher office, his position as the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee is giving him pause,” Punchbowl News reports.

“Does Raskin want to forfeit a chance at being an influential House committee chair to become a freshman senator — and in the minority at that?”

INDIANA GOVERNOR. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch publicized a Republican primary endorsement from Rep. Larry Bucshon on Thursday, a move that comes the same week that she announced the support of fellow Rep. Greg Pence.

On the Democratic side, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott played down the possibility he’d run while not quite ruling it out. “As for me, I don’t see the stars aligning for a McDermott candidacy in 2024 at this time,” said the mayor, who badly lost last year’s Senate race to Republican Todd Young. “Of course, you can never say never and things do change from time to time, but currently I have no plans to campaign for governor in 2024.” The only serious Democratic contender is Jennifer McCormick, a former GOP state education superintendent who fell out with the Republican Party years before outright leaving it.

MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR. New campaign finance reports from the first four months of the year show that Republican Gov. Tate Reeves outraised his only serious Democratic foe, Public Service Commissioner Brandon Pressley, $1.7 million to $1.35 million and ended the period with a huge $9 million to $1.6 million cash on hand edge.

NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR.  Change Research (D) for Carolina Forward: Mark Robinson (R): 46, Josh Stein (D): 43

INDIANA 5TH DISTRICT. While we hadn’t heard from former state Sen. John Ruckelshaus since he first expressed interest in running back in February, the Republican tells Howey Politics he’s still considering entering the race for this gerrymandered seat.

NEW YORK 3RD DISTRICT. Former state Sen. Anna Kaplan announced Thursday she would seek the Democratic nomination for the seat held by freshly-indicted Rep. George Santos. Kaplan, a Jewish refugee from Iran who came to the United States as a child to escape religious oppression, was a North Hempstead town councilwoman when she took fourth place in the 2016 nomination fight for a previous version of this seat. She had far more success two years later when she decisively unseated Republican state Sen. Elaine Phillips, but Kaplan went on to lose her 2022 general election to former state Sen. Jack Martins 53-47.

Kaplan joins Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan, who finished third in last year’s primary, in the contest. Plenty of other Nassau County Democrats could also run for this 54-45 Biden seat including former Rep. Tom Suozzi, who beat Kaplan in 2016 and left last cycle to run for governor, but Santos’ travails add plenty of uncertainty to this race. If there’s a special election it would be up to party leaders, not primary voters, to pick the nominees.

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

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