The Political Report – June 16, 2023

A new Morning Consult poll finds that in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s federal criminal indictment, his lead in the Republican presidential primary is now the largest to date — more than tripling Ron DeSantis’s support, 59% to 19%.

Less than a week after Donald Trump was indicted on 37 federal charges, his support among Republican and Republican leaning voters remains largely unchanged, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Trump leads Gov. Ron DeSantis in the GOP presidential primary, 53% to 23%, with no other candidate earning more than 4%.

In a hypothetical general election matchup, President Biden has a slight lead over Trump 48% to 44% among all registered voters.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) has filed paperwork to run for the Republican presidential nomination. Who?

New York Times: “Supporters of Mr. Suarez announced a super PAC on Wednesday in tandem with his filing, beginning with an initial ‘six figure’ ad buy in three early-voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. The committee, SOS America PAC, is starting off on solid financial footing, with almost $6 million left over from its previous iteration.”

“Donald Trump is seeking to present the next election as a stark choice: whether to return to power a twice-impeached, twice-indicted former president so that he can beat his prosecution and exact revenge on his political opponents,” the Washington Post reports.

“In the process, Trump is now determinedly delegitimizing the legal system, as he has tried to do in the past with public health measures, the intelligence community, elections and other people or agencies he views as opposing him.”

Axios: “Republicans have little recourse for saving Trump from the federal justice system to which he’s now beholden. Instead, they’re embarking on a political revenge campaign in a bid to prove their loyalty to Trump and muddy the waters in the court of public opinion.”

David Corn: “Donations to No Labels are handled by an online fundraising platform called Anedot… When an online contributor sends No Labels $100, Anedot pockets $4.30. That money bolsters Anedot’s mission to raise funds for the right and the GOP.”

New York Times: “In previous eras, the indictment of a presidential candidate would have been, at a minimum, a political gift for the other candidates, if not an event that spelled the end of the indicted rival’s run. Competitors would have thrilled at the prospect of the front-runner’s spending months tied up in court, with damaging new details steadily dripping out. And they still could be Mr. Trump’s undoing: If he does not end up convicted before November 2024, his latest arrest is not likely win him converts in the general election.”

“But Mr. Trump’s competitors — counterintuitively, according to the old conventional political wisdom — are actually dreading what threatens to be an endless indictment news cycle that could swallow up the summer. His rivals are desperate to get media coverage for their campaigns, but since the indictment became public last Thursday, as several advisers grumbled, the only way they can get their candidates booked on television is for them to answer questions about Mr. Trump.”

Mike Pence got into in a heated exchange with conservative radio host Clay Travis after the former vice president refused to say if he would pardon Donald Trump.

Said Travis: “What I’m hearing is you’re fine with Donald Trump being put into prison, sir and that, to me, since you were his vice president, feels pretty disrespectful.”

The Wall Street Journal offered a warning to Republicans: “GOP primary voters can benefit from reading the latest Trump indictment and asking what it means for a second Trump term. The facts alleged show that Mr. Trump has again played into the hands of his enemies. His actions were reckless, arrogant and remarkably self-destructive. This is the same Donald Trump they will get if they nominate him for a third time.”

“What the fuck is wrong with you? You can’t talk to me that way.”— Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), quoted by Vanity Fair, recounting how she responded to a “very inappropriate” comment by a male legislator. 

Nate Cohn: “Even more than his loyal base of popular support, Donald Trump is protected by a wall of elites — conservative media commentators and politicians who forcefully defend the former president, attack his opposition and deter his rivals from going on offense. In some cases, they can even force Mr. Trump’s rivals to come to his aid!”

“To fundamentally change the race, the indictment would need to be so serious that it gradually corrodes these walls of elite support. It might start with his usual defenders acting a little less outraged. It might become acceptable to lightly critique Mr. Trump’s conduct. Maybe the former president’s most vocal defenders would concede his conduct was imperfect. Bit by bit, his skeptics might become more emboldened. Perhaps in time, his opponents would feel comfortable expressing outrage about Mr. Trump’s conduct — even if it’s outrage that he allowed himself to fall prey to the odious Deep State.”

“Gov. Ron DeSantis is heading to Nevada this weekend — a first foray to an early 2024 state that’s getting less attention as the Republican presidential field focuses elsewhere,” NBC News reports.

“The Republican National Committee has not yet finalized its primary calendar, but Nevada state law now calls for the state’s primary to be held on Feb. 6. That would likely place it just behind Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina among the early states that can boost (or sink) candidates’ momentum in the race for the presidential nomination.”

Cornel West, already running for president on the People’s Party line, announced he’ll now seek the Green Party nomination. However, as of now, the Greens aren’t on the ballot in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and some other key states.

“Four major environmental groups endorsed President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection for president on Wednesday night, ahead of his speech at a League of Conservation Voters dinner in the nation’s capital,” CNN reports.

“President Biden is expected to be endorsed by the AFL-CIO this week ahead of a Saturday union rally in Philadelphia, according to people familiar with the process, marking the earliest presidential endorsement in the labor federation’s history as the two major parties battle over working-class voters,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The AFL-CIO, which includes 60 unions representing more than 12.5 million workers across a host of industries and the public sector, has long supported Democratic presidents and presidential nominees. While its support of Biden has been widely anticipated, the endorsement will land more than 16 months before the 2024 election, and at the start of the Republican presidential primaries.”

“Most of the 18 House Republicans who represent districts that voted for President Joe Biden don’t want to talk about the elephant in the room: Donald Trump, the former president and front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination, and his federal indictment over mishandled classified information,” NBC News reports.

“Those Republicans are walking a tightrope as they seek re-election in challenging territory.”

Greg Sargent: “Let’s see what happens if/when Republicans from Biden districts are asked to vote on a subpoena of DOJ or an amendment defunding/hobbling the prosecution of Trump as part of the government shutdown fight.”

Joe Klein: “It was an exhilarating 90 minutes, and not only because of Christie’s candor. We knew the attacks on Trump were coming. But the surprise—and I must say, it was a relief—was the joy that came from watching a terrific stand-up politician at work. I had almost forgotten what that was like.”

“Christie speaks plain English. He is self-deprecating. He was fluent and reasonable—even when I disagreed with his positions—on a broad swath of issues.”

“President Biden is almost certain to be Democrats’ pick for president in 2024, but he might not win the first two contests of the primary season if they’re in the traditional first-to-vote states of Iowa and New Hampshire — a scenario that seems increasingly likely,” Axios reports.

“Biden’s team is indicating he won’t be on the ballots in those states if they vote before South Carolina, his choice to have the first primary.”

“Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire could defy Biden and move ahead with their contests — even as the party warns it will strip them of their national convention delegates if they jump the gun.”

“There’s no oxygen for anything else or anyone else. That’s an environment where he thrives.”— Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung, quoted by the Washington Post.

Donald Trump’s fundraising dinner last night pulled in north of $2 million just hours after he was arraigned in Miami, Politico reports.

First lady Jill Biden warned Wednesday against voting for Donald Trump, The Hill reports. Said Mrs. Biden: “We know what’s in store if these MAGA Republicans win because we’ve all lived through this.”

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

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