The Political Report – July 18, 2023

A new AP-NORC poll finds that only about 1 in 10 U.S. adults give high ratings to the way democracy is working in the United States or how well it represents the interests of most Americans.

A new AP-NORC poll finds that only 22% of Republicans have high confidence that votes in the upcoming presidential election will be counted accurately compared to 71% of Democrats, underscoring a partisan divide fueled by a relentless campaign of lies related to the 2020 presidential election.

A new Gallup poll finds Americans’ confidence in higher education has fallen to 36%, sharply lower than in two prior readings in 2015 (57%) and 2018 (48%).

A new Gallup poll finds 68% of Americans consider immigration a good thing for the country, while 27% consider it a bad thing. “While barely a quarter of Americans consider immigration a bad thing for the country, that view is far more prevalent among Republicans (43%) than Democrats (10%), with independents roughly matching the nation as a whole (28%). Still, half of Republicans consider it a good thing, as do 67% of independents and 87% of Democrats.”

Yair Rosenberg: “That Kennedy would ultimately echo the anti-Semitic assumptions of his conspiratorial cohort was inevitable. Indeed, he is far from the first traveler on the well-trodden path from conspiracism to outright anti-Semitism. In recent years, individuals as diverse as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kyrie Irving, and Elon Musk have graduated from garden-variety conspiracy theories to anti-Jewish arguments. Even the content of Kennedy’s COVID-19 conjecture isn’t original: Jews have been blamed for spreading plagues for centuries, most famously during Europe’s Black Death.”

“Over the weekend, Kennedy furiously tweeted denials and clarifications, insisting that he meant only that COVID served ‘as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons,’ not that ‘the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered,’ though he’d clearly raised that exact possibility in his original remarks.”

“Kennedy himself has no prior history of anti-Semitism, and has never evinced personal prejudice toward Jewish people. But his conspiratorial compass ensured that he would eventually arrive at this destination, because it points in only one direction.”

According to a Popular Information analysis of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s first FEC filing, the lion’s share of Kennedy’s biggest donors have previously only donated to Republicans.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. floated a conspiracy theory last week that suggested the virus that causes Covid was “engineered” to “spare” Jewish and Chinese people.

And with those comments, he ended any possibility that he might share a debate stage with President Biden. It was always unlikely that Biden would ever agree to debate Kennedy, but with some polls showing Kennedy attracting 20% support of Democrats he might have made a case for himself.

Kennedy now claims his comments were “misinterpreted.” But a video shows they were not. Democrats now have an even stronger political — and moral — obligation to deny Kennedy and his bizarre theories a national platform.

OHIO U.S. SENATOR. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) “launched a long-anticipated Senate bid Monday, becoming the third prominent Republican to run in an already fractious primary clash that will determine who takes on Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown in 2024,” NBC News reports.

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman said that the third-party No Labels group will stay out of the 2024 U.S. presidential race if polling shows its candidate would play a “spoiler” role by helping to elect either the Democratic or Republican nominee, Reuters reports.

Politico: “Democrats are rightly spooked by the prospect of credible third-party candidates this cycle… But there is one point of solace for Democrats: Voters in battleground states have been less likely to vote third party in recent elections than those in less competitive states.”

“None of the top 20 states for third-party voting in the past two presidential elections is broadly considered a swing state, and only three of the top 20 were states where the winning candidate’s margin in 2020 was within single digits: Minnesota (No. 11, Biden +7), Maine (No. 13, Biden +9) and Iowa (No. 19, Trump +8).”

WISCONSIN U.S. SENATOR. As Wisconsin Republicans continue to cast around for a candidate to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year, unnamed party operatives tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lawrence Andrea that former state Senate President Roger Roth is considering a bid. Roth himself has yet to comment, but last year, he defeated seven other candidates to win the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, besting his nearest opponent, state Sen. Patrick Testin, 30-18. However, Roth lost the general election as part of a ticket with gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels, with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and his running mate, Sara Rodriguez, prevailing by a 51-48 margin.

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR. The conservative group Citizens for a New Louisiana has released a poll of this fall’s race for governor conducted by BDPC, a consulting firm run by veteran pollster Greg Rigamer that has done work for both parties. Notably, the poll asked a few issue questions before the horse race, including, “Did the Louisiana Legislature acted responsibly or irresponsibility [sic] in passing the state budget?”

The survey finds Republican state Attorney General Jeff Landry with a 30-28 edge over former state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, who is the only Democrat in the race, while state Treasurer John Schroder takes 6% and none of the other candidates tops 5%. In the likely event that no one earns a majority in the first round, a hypothetical runoff question shows Landry leading Wilson just 45-40 despite Louisiana’s strongly conservative lean.

WEST VIRGINIA U.S. SENATOR. “Joe Manchin isn’t even a Senate candidate and he’s still outraising his potential opponents,” Politico reports.  “The West Virginia senator’s campaign raised nearly $1.3 million in the most recent fundraising quarter, besting Republicans Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney. Manchin’s Country Roads PAC brought in about $400,000.”

GEORGIA U.S. SENATOR. “More than seven months after losing his U.S. Senate bid, Republican Herschel Walker’s campaign still has nearly $4.5 million in its account. And some donors are pressing to get their contributions back,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.


  • AZ-Sen: Ruben Gallego (D): $3.1 million raised
  • CA-Sen: Katie Porter (D): $3.2 million raised, $10.4 million cash on hand
  • WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D-inc): $1.3 million raised, $10.7 million cash on hand
  • LA-Gov: Jeff Landry (R): $4.5 million raised, $9 million cash on hand
  • NC-Gov: Mark Robinson (R): $2.2 million raised (in six months), $3.2 million cash on hand
  • AZ-06: Juan Ciscomani (R-inc): $815,000 raised, $1.6 million cash on hand
  • CA-45: Michelle Steel (R-inc): $1.1 million raised, $1.7 million cash on hand
  • IA-02: Ashley Hinson (R-inc): $690,000 raised, $1 million cash on hand
  • IA-03: Zach Nunn (R-inc): $729,000 raised, $1 million cash on hand
  • IL-17: Eric Sorensen (D-inc): $515,000 raised, $770,000 cash on hand
  • MI-10: John James (R-inc): $1.1 million raised, $1.7 million cash on hand
  • MT-01: Ryan Zinke (R-inc): $786,000 raised, $876,000 cash on hand
  • NC-14: Jeff Jackson (D-inc): $507,000 raised, $663,000 cash on hand
  • NJ-05: Josh Gottheimer (D-inc): $1.2 million raised, $15.1 million cash on hand
  • NJ-07: Tom Kean Jr. (R-inc): $860,000 raised, $1.47 million cash on hand
  • NY-02: Rob Lubin (D): $343,000 raised (in five weeks), additional $7,000 self-funded
  • NY-03: Anna Kaplan (D): $455,000 raised
  • OR-05: Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-inc): $717,000 raised, $1 million cash on hand
  • TX-15: Monica De La Cruz (R-inc): $833,000 raised, $1 million cash on hand
  • WA-03: Joe Kent (R): $245,000 raised, $392,000 cash on hand

FLORIDA U.S. SENATOR. Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the DSCC are trying to recruit former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell to take on GOP incumbent Rick Scott, but another Democrat appears ready to launch his campaign before she makes up her mind.

Navy veteran Phil Ehr, who raised $2 million for his 2020 bid against the nationally infamous Rep. Matt Gaetz in the safely red 1st District, confirms he’s interested and will decide in the coming weeks. An unnamed source, though, says that Ehr, who lost to Gaetz 65-34 as Trump was taking the old 1st by a similar 66-32 margin, is planning to get in “soon.”

MICHIGAN U.S. SENATOR. The Daily Beast’s Ursula Perano reports that, while actor Hill Harper says he’s lived in Michigan for the last seven years, the new Democratic candidate’s residency “may be more complicated.” Perano uncovered a 2020 Seattle Times article saying that Harper moved to that city during the first season of production for his show, The Good Doctor, so his son could attend school there. (That season aired in 2017 and 2018.) That same story said that “Harper commutes from Seattle to the show’s set in Vancouver, British Columbia.”

Perano also found a pair of websites used to book the actor for speaking engagements, both of which appear to have been in use in recent years: One said that Harper would be traveling from California, where he also owns a condo, while the other said he’d be coming from Seattle. “Hill Harper began spending time in Michigan because of work, but quickly realized the greatest people in the world live in Michigan and decided to move there full time,” his campaign told the Daily Beast for the story, “Ever since moving to Michigan in 2016, he’s voted as a Michigander, paid taxes to the state, and runs a small business in Detroit.”

INDIANA GOVERNOR. Howey Politics relays that there are still “rumors” that state Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers is considering seeking the GOP nod to succeed his boss, termed-out Gov. Eric Holcomb and would likely self-fund. There is no other information about Chambers’ interest.

MISSOURI GOVERNOR. Businessman Mike Hamra, whose eponymous company operates almost 200 restaurants nationwide, tells the St. Louis Business Journal he’s “seriously considering” seeking the Democratic nod and will “likely to have a final decision later in the fall.” Hamra made his interest known days after state House Minority Leader Crystal Quade launched her own bid to lead what’s become a tough state for Democrats.

MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR. Republican incumbent Tate Reeves is airing a transphobic new TV ad where the governor, after praising his daughter for working to earn a soccer scholarship, declares, “Now, political radicals are trying to ruin women’s sports, letting biological men get the opportunities meant for women.” Reeves, as Mississippi Today notes, signed a 2021 law banning trans athletes from women’s sports even though the bill’s sponsor acknowledged she didn’t know of this happening in the state.

ARIZONA U.S. SENATOR. Failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) “says she’s still occupied with her legal challenge to the result of the governor’s election but is thinking of a run for Senate,” KGUN reports.

Said Lake: “So we’ll be making a decision on that in the next couple of months and we’ll see. I’m actually eyeing the Senate race. It’s something I’m considering.”

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

1 comment on “The Political Report – July 18, 2023

  1. Why would anyone think that ANY scion of a political family would be free from being a jerk, and a moneyed jerk at that? Money loves money first. The real question is, where did the other Kennedys get their streak of progressivism?

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