The Political Report – May 17, 2023

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds President Biden leading possible challenger Donald Trump in a presidential race, 44% to 38%. Also important: 63% of voters said they were less likely to support a presidential candidate who backs severe restrictions on abortion.

“Democrats maintained their narrow Pennsylvania House majority Tuesday by winning a special election and along with it continued control over how the chamber will handle abortion, gun rights and election law legislation,” the AP reports.

“Heather Boyd won a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives representing the Philadelphia suburbs, beating Republican Katie Ford for a vacancy created by the resignation of Democratic Rep. Mike Zabel. Zabel quit the Legislature in March, shortly after a lobbyist accused him of sexually harassing her.”

“Yemi Mobolade, a Nigerian immigrant and businessman with no political experience, will be the first elected Black mayor of Colorado Springs after he defeated Wayne Williams on Tuesday night in the city’s runoff contest,” the Colorado Sun reports.

“Mobolade had received 57% of the vote to Williams’ 43% as of 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. Williams conceded at about 7:30 p.m.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R), who’s backed by Donald Trump, is projected to win the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary, the Lexington Herald Leader reports. He will face Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in the fall election.

Former TV anchor Donna Deegan (D) beat JAX Chamber CEO Daniel Davis (R) “in a stunning upset for Jacksonville mayor, becoming the first woman ever and only the second Democrat to win a mayor’s race here in three decades despite Davis outraising her four-to-one,” the Tributary reports.

Former City Council Majority Leader Cherelle Parker, who ran as a law-and-order candidate, won the Democratic nomination for mayor of Philadelphia on Tuesday, all but officially ensuring her the city’s top leadership post.

Parker, a Black woman from a working-class background in North Philadelphia, promised first and foremost to restore a “sense of order” to a city reeling from record-breaking gun violence. She has said she would hire 300 more police officers to be dispersed evenly throughout the city, and would reinstitute a “constitutional” stop-and-frisk policy that she calls “Terry stops.” Among other measures, she has also spoken about expanding the hours of city public schools to provide more safe spaces for kids to spend their free time.

“Top advisers to President Biden are planning a 2024 battleground strategy that fully invests in North Carolina, while mounting an early challenge in the increasingly Republican domain of Florida, home to two of his top rivals,” the Washington Post reports.

“The strategy — which has been briefed to donors in recent weeks and has been signaled in early television advertising buys by the Democratic National Committee — comes as the party and Biden’s team make plans to focus most of their organizing and spending energy on the states that Biden won in 2020.”

“But the campaign’s early moves provide alternate paths to victory if the president finds himself struggling next year to repeat his 2020 victory. Biden won Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin by less than a single percentage point. If he loses all three states in 2024, he can still win the White House by winning North Carolina and holding onto his other states.”

Associated Press: “The trend has taken off as Democrats and left-leaning groups frustrated by legislative gerrymandering that locks them out of power in state legislatures are increasingly turning to the initiative process to force public votes on issues that are opposed by Republican lawmakers yet popular among voters. Only about half the states, mostly in the Western U.S., allow some form of citizen ballot initiative.”

Unfortunately, she lost.

Politico: “While Ramaswamy has not yet filed a mandatory personal financial disclosure (his campaign asked for a deadline extension in order to be ‘thorough’), he released 20 years of his individual income tax returns online and to reporters.”

“The filings date back to 2002, the year in which he turned 17 and reported earning $2,000. He reported over $1 million in annual income for the first time in 2011, when he worked at QVT Financial, and has since reported earning more than $240 million, driven by $174 million in capital gains for 2020.”

“Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Sunday teased a possible 2024 presidential run while declining to support Donald Trump’s campaign, becoming the latest onetime Trump appointee to distance himself from the former president’s third presidential bid,” CNN reports.

New York Times: “A group of conservative operatives using sophisticated robocalls raised millions of dollars from donors using pro-police and pro-veteran messages.”

“But instead of using the money to promote issues and candidates, nearly all the money went to pay the firms making the calls and the operatives themselves, highlighting a flaw in the regulation of political nonprofits.”

“Ron DeSantis has summoned top financial backers to Miami next week, in what is the latest indication the Florida governor is on the precipice of launching his long-awaited presidential campaign,” Politico reports.

“The invitations — which were described by two people familiar with the discussions — request that donors be present from May 24-26. By law, DeSantis can not directly receive or solicit contributions for a presidential campaign unless he has formally launched his bid.”

The pro-Ron DeSantis Never Back Down PAC slammed Donald Trump after his CNN town hall on Twitter, bringing up everything from January 6th to his court loss to E. Jean Carroll, Semafor reports.

But the tweet caused deep consternation within the PAC, with one DeSantis ally grousing that it was a “massive mistake” that “sounded like it came from CNN.”

“Nikki Haley’s financial disclosure report shows the former US ambassador to the United Nations was paid between $100,001 and $1 million each for 12 speaking engagements in 2022 and 2023,” CNN reports.

“Former vice president Mike Pence’s allies are launching a super PAC to boost a potential presidential bid, the latest sign he is moving closer to a White House run,” the Washington Post reports.

“Pence and advisers have hinted at a June launch for the presidency, potentially kicking off a historic matchup of a former president against his former vice president.”

New York Times: “Mr. Pence is working to carve out space in the Republican primary field by appealing to evangelicals, adopting a hard-line position in support of a federal abortion ban, promoting free trade and pushing back against Republican efforts to police big business on ideological grounds. He faces significant challenges, trails far behind in the polls and has made no effort to channel the populist energies overtaking the Republican Party.”

Wall Street Journal: “Aides say Mr. Pence’s strategy would be to focus heavily on Iowa, where the first nominating contest will be held early next year. He has long been popular among social conservatives and evangelical Christians, groups that dominate the state’s GOP caucuses.”

The answer is no.

“Florida’s top two Republicans in the state Legislature are endorsing Ron DeSantis’ still-unofficial bid for president, a move that is expected to unleash a wave of public endorsements that will help reassert the governor’s sway in the state that both he and his primary competitor, former President Donald Trump, call home,” NBC News reports.

Four New Hampshire Republican state lawmakers who endorsed Donald Trump last month, now say they’re endorsing Ron DeSantis, NBC News reports. But it’s not entirely good news for the Florida governor as at least one of them says she’s endorsing both men.

Two of the New Hampshire Republicans that Gov. Ron DeSantis claims flipped to support him for president over Donald Trump now say they’re both still for Trump, NBC News reports.

Innamorato did win out in Pittsburgh.

The Independent: “Asked about whether it tarnishes the Republican party that its leading figure was found liable of such crimes, Ms Haley responded that all sides should be heard in a legal proceeding, and that it was up to the American people to pass judgment.”

Said Haley: “I have always said that anyone that feels like they have been sexually assaulted in any way should come forward and have their voice heard. I also think that anyone that’s been accused should be able to defend themselves. I was not on the jury. I am not the judge. I think that both of them had their voices heard. There has been a verdict and there has been an appeal.”

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

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