“President Joe Biden faces continued headwinds from broadly negative job ratings overall, widespread concerns about his age and decreased confidence among Democratic-aligned voters,” according to a new CNN Poll.
“There is no clear leader in a potential rematch between Biden and former President Donald Trump, who is widely ahead in the GOP primary. And nearly half of registered voters (46%) say that any Republican presidential nominee would be a better choice than Biden in 2024.”
Wall Street Journal poll: “By an 11-point margin, more voters see Trump rather than Biden as having a record of accomplishments as president—some 40% said Biden has such a record, while 51% said so of Trump.”
“By an eight-point margin, more voters said Trump has a vision for the future.”
Jonathan Last: “I would pay a lot of money to sit down with that 51 percent of respondents and ask them to tell me five things Trump accomplished in office.”
Every few days we get a poll that shows a 2024 presidential race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump deadlocked.
That’s not to say these polls don’t have interesting insights. We’ve learned quite a bit about views of Biden’s age and mental fitness and Trump’s ability to maintain support among Republicans after 91 criminal charges.
But keep two things in mind:
- Polls this early are not very predictive of an election next year.
- National polls are mostly irrelevant since the election will be decided in no more than eight states.
- And Benjy Sarlin makes another good point: Every time you see a poll showing Biden’s approval in the 30s, mentally add an asterisk that says “before Democrats spend $1 billion.”
He notes that Democrats will put that money into a message that won big in the midterms. It worked in swing state races where Democrats campaigned on issues like abortion and drug prices, all while painting their opponents as “MAGA extremists.” This isn’t theoretical. It’s the formula that’s worked extremely well for Democrats in special elections all year. So the next time you see a general election polling match up, remember that the campaign hasn’t even started yet.
UTAH 2ND DISTRICT SPECIAL ELECTION. The Associated Press has called Tuesday’s special GOP primary for former congressional aide Celeste Maloy, who leads former state Rep. Becky Edwards 38-35 with 82% of the estimated vote in. Maloy campaigned as a Donald Trump backer in the contest to succeed her old boss and prominent ally, outgoing Rep. Chris Stewart, while Edwards infuriated conservatives in 2020 when she endorsed Joe Biden. (Edwards has since expressed “regret”).
Maloy will go up against Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, who had no intra-party opposition, on Nov. 21 in a district that favored Trump 57-40. Either Maloy or Riebe would be the only woman in the state’s congressional delegation, as well as the fifth woman to ever represent the state.
PENCE 2024. Former Vice President Mike Pence devoted an entire speech on Wednesday to what he called a “fundamental” and “unbridgeable” divide within the Republican Party — the split between Reaganite conservatives like himself and propagators of populism like former President Donald Trump and his imitators, the New York Times reports.
Said Pence: “Should the new populism of the right seize and guide our party, the Republican Party as we have long known it will cease to exist. And the fate of American freedom would be in doubt.”
“Mike Pence spent three days in New Hampshire trying to revive his fledgling presidential campaign but was greeted with a tepid response from voters, empty seats at events and low-single-digit polls,” The Messenger reports.
“Two outside groups aligned with longtime Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell report that they have brought in nearly $50 million in fundraising in August in the race to build resources as Republicans aim to win back the chamber’s majority in the 2024 elections,” Fox News reports.
BIDEN 2024. “Vice President Kamala Harris will soon be hitting the road for a monthlong college tour, traveling to more than a dozen campuses across eight states,” ABC News reports.
“The trip underscores both the value Democrats are placing on younger voters and the more forceful role Harris is seeking to play on key issues like abortion access ahead of the 2024 election, after weathering two years of scrutiny and low approval ratings.”
CHRISTIE 2024. “If it wasn’t so disturbing that someone like him is actually running for president, you know, I would just feel badly for him.”— Chris Christie, talking to Hugh Hewitt, about Donald Trump’s criticisms of him.
TRUMP 2024. “Ever since Meta lifted its two-year ban on former President Donald Trump earlier this year, its Facebook and Instagram platforms have emerged as a key element of Trump’s presidential campaign fundraising plan, according to data from Meta’s archives and interviews with campaign strategists and Trump advisors,” CNBC reports.
“Meta’s platforms offer Trump a vital resource that he can’t get from his own social media site, Truth Social, or via his countless mass emails: Access to millions of potential donors who may not be part of his traditional political base of supporters.”
RAMASWAMY 2024. Vivek Ramaswamy on Tuesday appeared on a podcast hosted by an anti-Semitic YouTuber who has accused Jews of having “dual loyalty” and claimed that Zionists “worship the nation of Israel over America & are willing to infringe on their own country’s values to serve that agenda,” the Washington Beacon reports.
Ramaswamy was briefly interrupted during a campaign event in New Hampshire when he was hit by a falling sign emblazoned with his 2024 slogan, “Truth,” the New York Post reports.
DESANTIS 2024. Politico: “Of the 50 donors who gave at least $160,000 in the years leading up to his 2022 reelection campaign, only 16 — less than a third — provided funds to the super PAC Never Back Down, which can receive unlimited contributions, through the end of June.”
COLORADO 8TH DISTRICT. State Rep. Gabe Evans announced Wednesday that he’d enter the Republican primary to face freshman Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo in the 8th District, a constituency in the northern Denver suburbs and Greeley area that favored Joe Biden 51-46. Evans will compete for the nomination against Weld County Commissioner Scott James, a former conservative talk radio host who launched his own effort in July.
Evans, who previously served as a police officer in Arvada and in the Army, first won his state House seat in 2022. Evans during that campaign filled out a questionnaire where he said he wanted to outlaw abortion except when it was necessary to save the mother’s life, a response the DCCC was quick to blast out on Wednesday.
MAINE 2ND DISTRICT. The Bangor Daily News reports that Republican state Rep. Austin Theriault, who is a former NASCAR driver, is planning to announce a bid against Democratic Rep. Jared Golden sometime this month and that national GOP leaders are “effectively behind” him. Donald Trump took this northern Maine seat 52-46.
Theriault made it to the top level of American racing, the NASCAR Cup Series, in 2019, and he competed there five times before an injury led him to become a driver consultant. (His career best in the NASCAR Cup Series was 32nd place.) Theriault last year won elected office when he flipped the seat long held by retiring Democratic state Rep. John Martin, who served as the powerful speaker of the House from 1975 to 1994. Theriault won that open seat 69-31 two years after it favored Trump by a much smaller 54-44 according to Dave’s Redistricting App.
Theriault would join a GOP primary that includes Robert Cross, an unsuccessful 2022 state Senate candidate who raised little money through June for his newest effort. Fellow state Rep. Mike Soboleski expressed interest in running himself last month, while a third state representative, Laurel Libby, told BDN Tuesday she hasn’t made up her mind about whether to take on Golden.
MINNESOTA 3RD DISTRICT. While Rep. Dean Phillips infuriated fellow Democrats this summer when he started mulling a primary challenge to President Joe Biden, Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales writes that local Democrats don’t believe he’s “in immediate danger” of facing a serious renomination threat at home. Former state Sen. Melisa López Franzen accepted a job as the main lobbyist for the University of Minnesota shortly after the Minnesota tipsheet Morning Take mentioned her as a possible challenger, and no other notable names have surfaced so far.
PENNSYLVANIA 10TH DISTRICT. Marine veteran Mike O’Brien announced Wednesday that he’d challenge Republican incumbent Scott Perry, who is the leader of the nihilistic Freedom Caucus, for a 51-47 Trump seat based in the Harrisburg and York areas.
O’Brien, who retired last week after a 20-year career as an aviator and instructor, grew up in Philadelphia and neighboring Montgomery County, and he tells the Philadelphia Inquirer he cast his ballot in the latter jurisdiction during most of his time in the service; the new candidate also says he decided to retire to Harrisburg’s Dauphin County and registered to vote there in April. O’Brien kicked off his campaign declaring, “Right now, Congressman Scott Perry and his hard-right gang of insurrectionists are a threat to democracy and a threat to our freedoms.”
The Democratic field also includes Harrisburg City Council member Shamaine Daniels, who lost to Perry 54-46 last year, and Rick Coplen, who unsuccessfully sought the nomination against Daniels; neither repeat contender, though, had more than $20,000 banked at the end of June. The Inquirer recently reported that TV news anchor Janelle Stelson is also considering running here.
ILLINOIS 7TH DISTRICT. The city of Chicago last week released a 2020 letter written by the attorney for two of City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin’s former top aides accusing her of misusing government money and personnel, including by hiring an unqualified employee “for personal services like running errands, planning her daughter’s birthday party, grocery shopping and the like.” Conyears-Ervin is currently mulling a Democratic primary bid against longtime Rep. Danny Davis.
The pair, Ashley Evans and Tiffany Harper, further alleged in 2020 that the treasurer both tried to use official resources for electoral matters, which included sending money to “advance the agenda of several churches and other religious organizations” that supported her, and threatened to retaliate against any subordinates who wouldn’t help her. Evans and Harper argued she resorted to such tactics by firing them, and they later received a total of $100,000 in a 2021 settlement.
While that settlement was public knowledge, then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was a Conyears-Ervin ally, spent years trying to keep this letter from becoming public. However, Mayor Brandon Johnson, who successfully ran against Lightfoot earlier this year, released the document last week. Conyears-Ervin issued a statement afterward saying, “While I am not allowed to discuss the specifics of this settlement, I will make a general statement as I take these matters seriously. I have never, nor will I ever abuse or misuse taxpayer dollars and breach the public trust.”