The Political Report – September 3, 2023

A new Morning Consult poll finds 62% of potential Republican primary voters said Trump has the best chance of beating Biden, matching a tracking high.

Just 13% of potential GOP primary voters said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is most electable against President Joe Biden — matching a tracking low — while the share who said the same of entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy fell from 10% to 6% following his high-profile appearance in the debate.

DESANTIS 2024. “Hours before the Republican Party’s first presidential debate, the chief strategist for the super PAC that has effectively taken over Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign met with donors in Milwaukee,” the New York Times reports.

Said strategist Jeff Roe, on a leaked recording: “Now let me tell you a secret — don’t leak this. We need to do this now. We’re making a move now. The day after Labor Day we’re launching and we need your help to stay up and go hard the rest of the way. We need 50 million bucks.”

“With urgency in his voice, Mr. Roe told the donors he required much of the $50 million in the next month before the second G.O.P. debate on Sept. 27. He said he needed $5 million a month just to sustain his Iowa operations. And he said Mr. DeSantis needed to beat Donald Trump in ‘the next 60 days’ and separate from all of his other rivals ‘now.’”

“Never Back Down, the super PAC backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign, has ceased its door-knocking operations in Nevada, home to a key early nominating contest, and California, a delegate-rich Super Tuesday state,” NBC News reports.

“They added that in recent weeks, the group also ended its field operations in North Carolina and Texas, two additional states that vote on Super Tuesday in March.”

SCOTT 2024. “Top GOP donors and their allies privately are pushing Sen. Tim Scott’s team for more detail about his bachelor status before deciding how much to support him in the presidential campaign,” Axios reports. “The U.S. hasn’t elected an unmarried person as president in 139 years. It’s typical for candidates to trot out their families to try to enhance their appeal to voters.”

BIDEN 2024. “President Biden notched an array of early endorsements from progressive groups. He has won the support of top liberals in Congress for his campaign. He has avoided a primary challenge from the left, largely unifying the Democratic Party behind his reelection,” the Washington Post reports.

“But now, some liberals are warning with greater urgency that Biden must do more than just tout his record and warn about another Trump presidency to keep his party’s left flank energized. If Biden fails to more clearly lay out an ambitious liberal agenda for a second term, they say, the progressive voters he needs in 2024 may opt to stay home.”

New York Times: “The White House is looking for new ways to re-energize a crucial constituency that helped propel Mr. Biden to the presidency. That means describing the stakes of the election in stark terms… arguing that the Republican Party is trying to reverse generations of racial progress in America.”

TRUMP 2024. Donald Trump “has raised more than $9.4 million since being processed and taking a mugshot in Fulton County, Georgia last week—bringing the Trump campaign’s fundraising numbers for the month of August to more than $20 million,” Fox News reports.

CHRISTIE 2024. The super PAC supporting former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will begin airing a new TV ad Tuesday featuring Donald Trump’s mugshot in New Hampshire, the crucial first-in-the-nation primary state, The Messenger reports.

PENNSYLVANIA. Politico: “With a little more than a year to go until the 2024 election, the state Democratic Party is reeling from financial problems and a lack of trust across the party, according to interviews with 20 Democratic officials and operatives throughout Pennsylvania. They include elected officials, county chairs, state committee members, former state party employees and strategists.”

MISSOURI REFERENDUM. Missouri voters could see dueling ballot measures on abortion rights next year after a new group submitted six petitions that would create several exceptions to the state’s near-total ban on the procedure, including in cases of rape or fatal fetal abnormalities. One version of the petition would also allow abortion through 12 weeks of pregnancy, while two others would permit it until fetal viability, which is generally viewed as beginning at around 23 to 24 weeks.

However, the proposals, which were put forward by a former Republican political operative and artist named Jamie Corley, have earned the ire of the state’s Planned Parenthood affiliate, particularly for their focus on exceptions to Missouri’s ban. Yamelsie Rodríguez, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said in a statement that Corley’s approach “will continue to harm Missourians” and warned that “exceptions have never provided meaningful access.”

Reproductive rights activists have been working to qualify their own measure for the 2024 ballot after filing 11 different petitions earlier this year, all of which are more expansive than Corley’s proposals. (Proponents will ultimately settle on a single plan.) However, the local Planned Parenthood has taken exception to this push, too: Politico reported in April that the organization had pulled out of the coalition behind the effort, called Missourians for Constitutional Freedom, because most of its petitions also impose a fetal viability limit.

Corley is arguing that her more restrictive petitions have a better chance of becoming law. “I have respect for other organizations that are working in this realm,” she told KCUR. But, she added, “I would say I think we have a much different view and assessment about what is ultimately passable in Missouri.”

Missourians for Constitutional Freedom is also in the midst of a lawsuit against Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft over the summary language he drafted for six of the group’s petitions.

Ashcroft, who is running for governor, wrote that the measures would “allow for dangerous, unregulated, and unrestricted abortions, from conception to live birth, without requiring a medical license or potentially being subject to medical malpractice.” The ACLU of Missouri, which is leading the challenge, charged that the descriptions are “misleading” and prejudicial.” A state court will hold a trial on the dispute on Sept. 11, with the judge promising to deliver a ruling “pretty quick.”

COLORADO REFERENDUM. Abortion rights advocates announced this week that they’re launching an effort to place a proposed amendment on the 2024 general election ballot that would overturn a 1984 amendment that bans public funding for the procedure. The coalition behind this plan says they’re also looking to enshrine abortion rights into the state’s governing document, though they haven’t decided yet if they’ll try to do all of this with one initiative next year or with two. Any constitutional amendments would need to win at least 55% of the vote to pass.

LOS ANGELES DISTRICT ATTORNEY. Two new candidates announced this week that they’ll challenge incumbent George Gascón in next March’s nonpartisan primary to serve as the top prosecutor for America’s most populous county: county prosecutor Eric Siddall, who just stepped down as an official at the local Association of Deputy District Attorneys, and county Judge Craig Mitchell. The Los Angeles Times also reports that federal prosecutor Jeff Chemerinsky, who is the son of prominent legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, is considering running as well.

The incumbent already faced opposition from Nathan Hochman, who was the GOP’s 2022 nominee for attorney general but now identifies as an independent, as well as a trio of Gascón deputies: Jonathan Hatami, John McKinney, and Maria Ramirez. Unless one contender wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to the November general election.

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

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