A new Marquette Law School Poll national survey finds Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential race with 46%, followed by Ron DeSantis at 22%.
No other Republican candidate is close to either Trump or DeSantis.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis on Florida’s new teaching standards around slavery — “and effectively guaranteed that the Florida governor would see it figure into his coverage for several more days,” Politico reports.
Said Scott: “There’s no silver lining in slavery. Slavery was really about separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was devastating… I would hope that every person in our country — and certainly running for president — would appreciate that. And listen: People have bad days. Sometimes, they regret what they say. And we should ask them again to clarify their positions.”
Politico: “The [Ohio ballot] measure, known as Issue 1, would raise the threshold for future ballot initiatives — moving the requirement for passage from a simple majority to 60 percent of the vote.”
“In normal times, such a change would probably not prompt such massive levels of expenditures, nor national attention, especially as it’s being considered in an otherwise sleepy special election.”
“But these are not normal times. The push to pass Issue 1 is widely seen as an attempt by Republicans in the state to effectively block a separate initiative for abortion rights that is set to be considered this November. As such, it’s prompting a massive arms raise between heavy-hitting groups on each side of the debate.”
“Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign is rebooting a pair of linked fundraising vehicles that have sat dormant since he launched his campaign, as his fledging operation faces a difficult early stretch,” NBC News reports.
“One of the vehicles is a joint fundraising committee created around the campaign launch in late May but has been inactive so far, campaign finance records show. The other is a leadership PAC which is linked to the joint fundraising committee, as is DeSantis’ campaign committee — an increasingly common campaign finance setup.”
“There are strict rules detailing how campaigns have to pay for their own costs, but the joint fundraising committee-plus-PAC setup can split things like fundraising costs with the campaigns, and it’s a vehicle for large-dollar donors to put more money behind campaign-adjacent efforts.”
New York Times: “On the day his presidential campaign said it had laid off more than a third of its staff to address worries about unsustainable spending, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida began his morning by boarding a private jet to Chattanooga, Tenn.”
“The choice was a routine one… but also symbolic to close observers of his struggling presidential campaign.”
Rolling Stone: “Some of Biden’s closest confidants have in recent weeks told the president that DeSantis has performed so poorly in the primary, that the governor would likely be notably weaker than the twice-indicted Trump in a match-up against Biden… Biden has at times agreed with this premise in private conversations.”
Washington Post: “Many in the party are alarmed at polling showing that most voters trust Republicans more than Biden and the Democrats on the economy.”
After Chris Christie slammed Nikki Haley for not directly taking on Donald Trump, Haley fired back on Fox News: “I’m not obsessively anti-Trump like he is. I talk about policies.”
“President Biden’s team is expanding his re-election strategy beyond Donald Trump to target the MAGA movement and its impact on U.S. politics, figuring it will endure even if Trump isn’t the GOP nominee,” Axios reports.
“The move aims to cast Trumpism as a far-right authoritarian force — and stems partly from Democrats’ polling that suggests the term MAGA is viewed more negatively than Trump Republicans.”
“He’s cutting costs, shedding staff and swapping big speeches for intimate diner stops,” Politico reports.
“But the reboot of Ron DeSantis’ flailing presidential campaign is still avoiding the Florida governor’s biggest hurdle of all: taking on Donald Trump.”
“Faced with lagging poll numbers in national and state surveys and a string of missteps Team Trump has capitalized on, DeSantis continues to struggle with how to topple the former president and frontrunner, who appears to gain support with each indictment. And interviews with 17 people who work in and around his campaign revealed little appetite to dramatically change that strategy.”
Playbook: “The biggest x-factor is the candidate himself. In 2007, McCain was a household name. He had a reputation for saying what he believed. He had a certain charisma. He had developed enormous amounts of goodwill with the political press. He seemed authentic to voters. He drew on all of it to help him claw his way back.”
“Today, as DeSantis begins an Iowa bus tour sponsored by the Never Back Down super PAC, the inevitable question is this: Does he have what it takes to own his failures and truly reset? Or is he setting himself up not to reset, but to rewind — simply playing through his campaign’s missteps a second time?”
MICHIGAN U.S. SENATOR. GOP Rep. Lisa McClain told The Detroit News Wednesday that she’s decided not to seek Michigan’s open Senate seat.
NEVADA U.S. SENATOR. An unnamed source tells NBC that Jeffrey Ross Gunter, who had a turbulent tenure as Trump’s ambassador to Iceland from 2019 to 2021, plans to launch a bid against Democratic Sen. Jackie Rosen sometime early next month. Gunter would join a GOP primary that includes Army veteran Sam Brown, whose kickoff this month came as welcome news to the NRSC, and Jim Marchant, the Big Lie spreader who narrowly lost last year’s race for Nevada secretary of state.
NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR. Though term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper had previously declined to endorse Josh Stein to succeed him next year, he told a recent gathering of the Democratic Governors Association that one of his priorities is “getting North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein elected,” in the words of Punchbowl News. Stein remains the only notable Democrat in the race for governor, but last month, Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan, who is retiring from his current post, said that he’s considering a bid. Cooper’s comments might therefore be a subtle message that he’d prefer to see Stein avoid any competition in the primary, or that he’d be willing to help him secure the nomination if he does get company.