The Political Report – July 29, 2023

Monmouth Poll: “When asked whom they would like to see as the Republican nominee for president in 2024, 46% of GOP-aligned and leaning voters name Trump and 20% name DeSantis without any prompting.”

“In a primary ballot question that explicitly lists 14 announced candidates, Trump’s support increases to 54% while DeSantis’ vote share barely moves (22%) and no other candidate gets above 5%.”

“In a head-to-head contest between just the two, Trump garners 55% support and DeSantis gets 35%.”

Washington Post: “Even with the backdrop of Trump facing another potential indictment over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, many GOP voters wrote off the former president’s legal challenges as part of a continued liberal smear campaign and said it didn’t impact the image — positive or negative — they already have of him.”

“Some, however, said they were tired of all the drama surrounding Trump and are increasingly open to other candidates as they look to 2024.”

A new Pew Research poll finds Donald Trump’s “unfavorable” rating among Republicans has risen from 24% in 2022 to 32% in 2023.

Greg Sargent: “New data supplied to me by the Harvard Youth Poll sheds light on the powerful undercurrents driving these developments. Young voters have shifted in a markedly progressive direction on multiple issues that are deeply important to them: Climate change, gun violence, economic inequality and LGBTQ+ rights.”

“John Della Volpe, director of the poll, refers to those issues as the ‘big four.’ They all speak to the sense of precarity that young voters feel about their physical safety, their economic future, their basic rights and even the ecological stability of the planet.”

KENTUCKY GOVERNOR.  A new update from the Republican firm Medium Buying shows that Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and his allies at the DGA are far outspending Republican Daniel Cameron and the RGA on TV and radio ads. According to Medium, the Democratic side has combined for $5.5 million in spending, with $3.4 million coming from Beshear and $2.1 million from the DGA. Republicans, meanwhile, have collectively spent $4 million, but the bulk of that—$3.2 million—has come from the RGA while Cameron’s campaign has been responsible for just $800,000.

As Digest readers well know, this means the advertising gap favors Democrats by an even wider margin than the raw dollar totals suggest. That’s because candidates are generally entitled to more favorable rates from stations than third-party groups, meaning they can run more ads for the same amount of money. In response to a query from Daily Kos Elections, Medium provided additional data showing just how much more: Democrats so far have aired 64% of all ads while Republicans have run just 36%, a nearly 2-to-1 edge.

A similar fundraising advantage that most Democratic campaigns enjoyed over their Republican rivals in 2022 made it difficult for outside GOP groups to make up the shortfall, a trend that may have played a role in Democrats’ surprisingly strong midterm performance in many key races.

NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL. The Dispatch, a conservative site, reports that far-right Rep. Dan Bishop, who has been weighing a bid for state attorney general, “could announce a statewide bid as soon as August,” according to multiple unnamed sources. One Republican, former state Rep. Tom Murry, is already in the race and reportedly plans to stay in even if Bishop enters, according to the Dispatch.

Two little-known Democrats are also running, Marine veteran Tim Dunn and Navy Reserve veteran Charles Ingram. However, a much bigger name who has not ruled out a campaign is Rep. Jeff Jackson, whose district Republicans are likely to target when they re-gerrymander North Carolina’s congressional map later this year. The attorney general’s post is open because Democratic incumbent Josh Stein is running for governor.

MONTANA U.S. SENATOR. The deep-pocketed Club for Growth suggested on Monday that it might backtrack from its previous statements indicating it would once again support Rep. Matt Rosendale if he were to launch another Senate bid. Club president David McIntosh told reporters on Monday that he thinks wealthy businessman Tim Sheehy, the favorite of Mitch McConnell and the NRSC, is an “impressive candidate” while saying of Rosendale, “We’re proud of what he’s doing in the House.”

In February, however, McIntosh was much more enthusiastic about the congressman. “If he decides to run, we’d want to support him again,” he said. McIntosh insisted in his latest remarks that the Club might still back Rosendale but was still waiting to see whether he decides to challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester a second time.

MARYLAND U.S. SENATOR. Del. Jon Cardin, who is a nephew of retiring Sen. Ben Cardin, said he might consider entering the already crowded Democratic primary to succeed his uncle if it gets even more crowded, suggesting a “window” could open “if multiple candidates get in the race.” The contest already includes Rep. David Trone, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando, while a few other names are also lurking as potential contenders. Cardin ran for state attorney general in 2014 but lost the primary 50-30 to state Sen. Brian Frosh.

MICHIGAN U.S. SENATOR. Mitchell Research has released a poll sponsored by MIRS News that finds Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin leading two potential GOP opponents for next year’s Senate race but with a large share of voters still undecided. The poll shows Slotkin ahead 44-38 over former GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, who previously didn’t rule out running and is reportedly considering the race, while she has a much wider 41-28 lead over former Rep. Peter Meijer, who likewise is reportedly interested.

There have been almost no other polls released here despite Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s announcement at the start of the year that she wouldn’t seek another term representing this swing state. The one other publicly available survey, which was from EPIC-MRA last month, found Slotkin up just 40-39 against former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, another Republican who has yet to join the race but has previously said he’s considering it.

TENNESSEE U.S. SENATOR. Politico reports that Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson, who earned national attention earlier this year after her GOP colleagues came just one vote short of expelling her from office, is planning to announce next month that she’ll run for Senate against GOP incumbent Marsha Blackburn and had already spoken with the DSCC and EMILY’s List. Johnson said she’s considering the race and would decide this summer.

Any Democrat would have a difficult time giving the party its first statewide win since 2006, though Johnson may have access to a wide donor base. She, along with fellow state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, was part of the “Tennessee Three” whom Republicans tried to remove from office for participating in a protest in favor of gun safety legislation on the chamber floor. Jones and Pearson, who are both Black, were expelled while Johnson, who is white, was not, and she told reporters afterward that the disparate treatment “might have to do with the color of our skin.” Both Jones and Pearson returned to the legislature soon after their respective county governments reappointed them.

WEST VIRGINIA GOVERNOR. State Auditor JB McCuskey dropped out of the crowded GOP primary for West Virginia’s open governorship on Monday and announced that he would instead run to succeed one of his now-former opponents, Patrick Morrisey, as attorney general. But the race for that post already features two Republican state senators, Mike Stuart and Ryan Weld, who greeted McCuskey’s entry with hostility. Weld charged that McCuskey was “scrambling” because his gubernatorial bid had “failed to gain any traction whatsoever,” while Stuart lambasted him as a “moderate” and declared himself to be “the only America First pro-Trump candidate.”

The labor-backed Working Families Party this week endorsed former state Sen. Raquel Terán, who is seeking Arizona’s open 3rd District, while its California branch gave its backing to Rep. Barbara Lee in the state’s open Senate race. The WFP’s endorsement often comes with material support, particularly through its ground game, and commonly goes to particularly progressive candidates.

MARYLAND 6TH DISTRICT. Former Chevy Chase Vice Mayor Joel Rubin, who previously served in the State Department under Obama, has joined the busy Democratic primary for Maryland’s open 6th Congressional District. The town Rubin serves, however, is a suburb on the Washington, D.C., border that is both geographically and culturally distant from the House seat he’d like to represent. Rubin previously ran for the old 8th District in 2016 but took just 1% in what was another crowded Democratic primary for an open seat.

Meanwhile, it appears that former Republican Del. Dan Cox, who lost last year’s contest for governor in a 66-34 blowout, won’t be joining the race. Earlier this month, Cox disavowed any knowledge of paperwork that had been filed with the FEC to create a campaign committee under his name, but the Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger has now obtained text messages and emails indicating that Cox’s own treasurer, Rory McShane, had in fact acted on his behalf. The day after the FEC filing was reported, though, McShane texted the campaign’s accountant to say, “Need you to terminate Dan Cox’s committee, he’s decided he’s not running.” Cox still has yet to comment himself, though.

Though a flier advertising her appearance at an upcoming event identified her as a “candidate” for Maryland’s open 6th District, Montgomery County Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles tells Maryland Matters that the description was “premature” (in the words of reporter Josh Kurtz) but says she’s “likely” to join the Democratic primary. A large number of candidates for both parties have already entered the race or are considering bids.

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

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