The Political Report – July 1, 2023

A new Quinnipiac poll finds a majority of Americans think that the federal criminal charges against Donald Trump are either very serious (45 percent) or somewhat serious (20 percent).

A big majority says Trump acted inappropriately in the way he handled those documents (60 percent).

A new Civiqs survey finds 63% of women disapprove of Gov. Ron DeSantis a potentially bad sign for his presidential run. Just 27% approve of him.

Gallup: “At 39%, the share of U.S. adults who are “extremely proud” to be American is essentially unchanged from last year’s 38% record low.”

Mike Pence has hired veteran Republican operative Steve DeMaura, a former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, to run his White House bid, The Messenger reports.

Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis “are scheduled to speak Friday at the annual gathering of Moms for Liberty, a two-year-old group that has fiercely opposed instruction related to race and gender identity in the nation’s classroom,” the AP reports.

“The group, which has quickly become a force in conservative politics, advocates ‘parental rights’ in education, but an anti-hate watchdog has labeled it ‘extremist’ for allegedly harassing community members, advancing anti-LGBTQ+ misinformation and fighting to scrub diverse and inclusive material from lesson plans.”

NBC News: “Even though Moms for Liberty doesn’t plan to endorse a candidate in the presidential race, the 2024 candidates are coming to court the group — in large part because of the outsize influence its chapters have had on the local level. Candidates endorsed by the nonprofit have swept dozens of school board races and have begun making big changes in K-12 schools.”

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that if he is elected president he would seek to close four federal agencies as part of an effort to reduce the size of government,” NBC News reports.

Said DeSantis: “We would do Education, we would do Commerce, we’d do Energy, and we would do IRS.”

He added: “If Congress will work with me on doing that, we’ll be able to reduce the size and scope of government. If Congress won’t go that far, I’m going to use those agencies to push back against woke ideology and against the leftism that we see creeping into all institutions of American life.”

Veteran GOP political strategist Jeff Timmer described Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the “worst” presidential candidate he has ever seen.  Said Timmer: “It’s like he’s been assembled from the discarded spare parts of Bobby Jindal, Bill deBlasio, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker.”

Rebecca Traister: “While waiting for his plate of meat loaf, gravy, and an iceberg wedge at an empty restaurant in Concord, New Hampshire, on the first day of June, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was gently explaining to me that nobody knows whether HIV is the sole cause of AIDS.”

“That HIV infection causes AIDS is long-established science.”

“President Joe Biden is racing to boost his campaign war chest as the end of the fundraising quarter approaches Friday, marking the first major test of his campaign’s ability to generate the cash and enthusiasm needed to compete against Republicans in 2024,” CNN reports.

“In the closing days of the quarter, the campaign is ramping up its push for grassroots donors, including enlisting former President Barack Obama to tape a video with Biden to help drive small-dollar donations, along with hosting a slew of down-to-the-wire, high-dollar fundraisers.”

“President Joe Biden has cozied up to high-dollar donors at Upper East Side penthouses in New York and on West Coast decks in recent weeks,” the AP reports.

“He has two more fundraisers in Manhattan on Thursday that will close out an end-of-quarter campaign blitz that his team believes will put him on strong financial footing for a 2024 White House contest expected to set spending records.”

“Donald Trump said he might not participate in the Republican Party’s first 2024 election primary debate in August and may hold an alternative event, citing his lead in opinion polls and what he claims is the hosting network’s bias against him,” Reuters reports.

Said Trump: “Why would I give them time to make statements? Why would I do that when I’m leading them by 50 points and 60 points.”

Punchbowl News: “Senate Republicans blew their shot to flip the chamber last cycle because of poor candidate quality. While the 2024 map is even more favorable for Republicans, the issue of selecting the best candidates to win in competitive states isn’t going away any time soon. And neither is former President Donald Trump, who played a big role in pushing those sub-par candidates.”

“Tons of ink has been spilled focusing on vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents in deep-red West Virginia, Ohio and Montana — all states Trump won handily in 2016 and 2020. But in the more marginal swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — which Trump won in 2016 but lost four years later — the issue of candidate quality is rearing its head for Republicans once again.”

“’He wasn’t anywhere near Washington’? Did he have a TV? Was he alive that day? Did he see what was going on? I mean, that’s one of the most ridiculous answers I’ve heard in this race so far.”— Chris Christie (R), talking to CNN about comments made by Gov. Ron DeSantis on the January 6 Capitol riots.

“I think we see a pretty consistent pattern of him wishing he was a dictator, wishing he could be Putin in America. That’s what’s dark to me about it. That’s what he really wants. He wants to be a dictator.”— Chris Christie, speaking to the Financial Times about Donald Trump.

“Marianne Williamson compared a string of resignations among her campaign staff to Abraham Lincoln’s search for a top general during the Civil War,” The Messenger reports.

Said Williamson: “Do you know how many generals Lincoln went through to get to Ulysses S. Grant? He went through 12 generals and I don’t think anyone would say he was not an effective leader.”

“An exonerated member of the Central Park Five, Yusef Salaam, is poised to win a Democratic primary race for a New York City Council seat in Harlem,” CNN reports.

“New York City uses a system known as ranked choice voting in primary and special elections for many local offices, where voters can rank up to five candidates in order of their preferences… As of Wednesday morning, Salaam had received 50.1% of the vote.”

OHIO REDISTRICTING. Republican state Senate President Matt Huffman said on Wednesday that lawmakers might either draw a new congressional map by the end of September to replace the one struck down by the state Supreme Court last year, according to’s Jessie Balmert, or they might ask the court to overturn its ruling and allow Ohio to keep using the same map, which heavily favors the GOP. Huffman sounded uncertain about returning to the courts, however, saying, “I don’t know whether it’s a good option or not.”

The reasons for Huffman’s apparent hesitancy are unclear. In November, partisan Republicans took firm control of the Supreme Court after moderate Republican Maureen O’Connor, who had sided with the court’s three Democrats to block GOP gerrymanders, retired due to age limits. It’s therefore likely that the court’s new majority would readily roll back its previous rulings, just as the North Carolina Supreme Court did earlier this year following a similar Republican takeover.

One hope for Ohio Republicans that is almost certainly dead, however, is their pending appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year, the GOP asked the federal Supreme Court to reverse the state Supreme Court on the same basis that North Carolina Republicans had sought review of their own state Supreme Court’s decision on partisan gerrymandering.

That request from the North Carolina GOP was, of course, soundly rejected this week. While the U.S. Supreme Court still hasn’t decided whether to take up the Ohio appeal, there’s no material way in which it differs from the North Carolina case, so it’s all but impossible to imagine Buckeye State Republicans winning a favorable ruling when their Tar Heel colleagues could not.

“The political network established by the conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch has raised more than $70 million for political races as it looks to help Republicans move past Donald Trump, a Federal Election Commission filing will show,” the New York Times reports.

“With this large sum to start, the network plans to throw its weight into the G.O.P. presidential nominating contest for the first time in its history. The network spent nearly $500 million supporting Republican candidates and conservative policies in the 2020 election cycle alone.”

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

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