The Political Report – September 9, 2023

“A number of Donald Trump’s allies are growing concerned that his lead in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses isn’t built to last,” NBC News reports.

“Trump supporters are trying to beef up the campaign’s lean Iowa operation with more experienced hires. They are scrambling to fill roles handling regional political work around the state — jobs that ‘should have been filled six to eight months ago,’ according to one Republican operative based in Iowa.”

“And they are preparing for months of battle against Republican presidential opponents who trail badly in the polls but have built better machinery to find and secure votes.”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told supporters his morning that she would seek another term in the House in 2024, CNN reports.

New York Times: “Since stepping down from leadership last year, Ms. Pelosi, 83, has kept people guessing about her plans. Many were surprised to see her stay in Congress, but she has relished her lower profile as a rank-and-file member with emeritus status, offering advice on an as-needed basis to her party’s new leadership team in the House.”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) decision to seek re-election is not a surprise when you look at the good news Democrats had this week. She won’t be Speaker again but it seems increasingly likely her party will gain the majority in 2024.

Federal courts struck down GOP gerrymanders in Alabama and Florida. And a trial in Georgia could result in a new suburban district likely to favor Democrats. Taken together, that could result in three new Democratic-leaning districts.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the state’s congressional map, which offers some protection to three Democrats who currently hold seats in swing districts. Democrats only need five seats to win back House control and they made progress this week without doing anything.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) “has a message to voters who think President Joe Biden won’t run again,” Politico reports.

Said Newsom: “We need to move past this notion that he’s not going to run. President Biden is going to run and I’m looking forward to him getting reelected.”

He added: “Time to move on. Let’s go.”

TRUMP 2024. “South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is expected to endorse former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in her home state Friday, fueling speculation about the role the Republican governor may play in his third bid for the White House,” CNN reports.

“Not long ago, it looked like Kristi Noem’s star was flaming out. Following a turbulent first term, the South Dakota governor elected not to run for president, and the media turned its focus elsewhere,” Politico reports.

“But if the 2024 primary is in part a tryout to be former President Donald Trump’s next running mate, Noem’s national standing appears to have been rekindled. She’s suddenly front-and-center in the veepstakes.”

“Donald Trump’s campaign sees an opportunity to siphon autoworkers, on the brink of a strike and unsettled by the rise of electric vehicles, off of the coalition that narrowly elected Joe Biden in 2020,” Semafor reports.

“The UAW has conspicuously declined to endorse Biden so far, in part due to concerns about how labor will fare in the transition to EVs that the White House has made one of its top priorities.”

Politico: “The Republican party’s reputation as anti-science has hurt it badly in places where health care is a leading employer.”  Like in Pennsylvania.

The Biden campaign is launching a new ad that touts his surprise visit to Ukraine as an example of the “quiet strength of a true leader,” NBC News reports. It’s airing during “60 Minutes” in battleground states, timed with Biden’s trip to the G-20.

RAMASWAMY 2024. Vivek Ramaswamy said the convicted felons should be allowed to carry weapons — including if it’s concealed, Politico reports.

“Vivek Ramaswamy and CNN are locked in a bizarre dispute about a supposed upcoming appearance on the network,” Semafor reports.

“Last week, the Republican presidential candidate announced that he would be appearing in a town hall on the cable news network.”

“But two sources familiar with the matter said that Ramaswamy got ahead of event planners, and the town hall was never confirmed. One added that the tweet seemed to be an attempt by Ramaswamy to ‘will it into existence,’ and that Ramaswamy shared the news even after CNN told his campaign that a town hall was not going to happen on that day.”

“Vivek Ramaswamy, the fast-talking, Ivy league-educated, telegenic political phenom thrills Republican voters, infuriates his presidential primary opponents and styles himself as an entrepreneurial ‘scientist’ with a glittering business background and hundreds of millions of dollars to dump into his out-of-nowhere campaign for the White House,” The Messenger reports.

“But a review of Ramaswamy’s career – marked by the hyping of a failed Alzheimer drug, giant payouts when other investors got burned, lawsuits alleging pressure to break securities laws and more – reveals a businessperson whose true liquid net worth is unknown and whose track record as a successful entrepreneur shows limited value creation for anyone other than himself.”

“Republican strategists are exploring a shift away from ‘pro-life’ messaging on abortion after consistent Election Day losses for the GOP when reproductive rights were on the ballot,” NBC News reports.

“At a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans this week, the head of a super PAC closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) presented poll results that suggested voters are reacting differently to commonly used terms like ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, said several senators who were in the room.”

CALIFORNIA U.S. SENATOR. UC Berkeley has released two versions of its survey of the March top-two primary: One that includes a scenario where former Major League Baseball player Steve Garvey campaigns as a Republican, and one where he doesn’t run. First is the Garvey version:

  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D): 20
  • Rep. Katie Porter (D): 17
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (D): 7
  • former Major League Baseball player Steve Garvey (R): 7
  • perennial candidate James Bradley (R): 7
  • 2022 attorney general candidate Eric Early (R): 5
  • tech executive Lexi Reese (D): 1
  • Others: 4
  • Undecided: 32

Next up is the one without Garvey, though the two leading candidates don’t see their numbers budge at all:

  • Schiff (D): 20
  • Porter (D): 17
  • Bradley (R): 10
  • Lee (D): 7
  • Early (R): 7
  • Reese (D): 1
  • Others: 4
  • Undecided: 34

This is the first poll we’ve seen that includes Reese, who announced in late June, though UC Berkeley’s release misspells her first name as “Lexie.” A strategist for Garvey, meanwhile, told Politico in early June that “[w]e should have a decision made here in the next few weeks,” but we’re still waiting on him three months later.

FLORIDA U.S. SENATOR. While state Rep. Anna Eskamani didn’t quite rule out seeking the Democratic nod for Senate earlier this year, she announced this week she’d seek reelection to the state House.

EMILY’s List has endorsed former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is the Democratic frontrunner in the primary to face GOP incumbent Rick Scott.

INDIANA GOVERNOR. Former state Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers has made it clear he’ll be doing a substantial amount of self-funding in his quest for the GOP nod by throwing down $5 million of his own money. Chambers also began airing TV ads this week far ahead of the May primary: His opening spot, which Politico says has seven figures behind it, goes biographical by touting the candidate’s local roots and his supposed status as a political “outsider.” Eric Doden, another wealthy former state cabinet official, began running his own spots a month ago.

Former state education superintendent Jennifer McCormick, meanwhile, has publicized a mid-August internal Public Policy Polling that tests the Democrat against the other three notable Republican contenders:

  • 36-36 vs. former Attorney General Curtis Hill
  • 35-39 vs. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch
  • 35-46 vs. Sen. Mike Braun

The release argues that, while McCormick trails two of her would-be GOP foes, opposition to Indiana’s near-total abortion ban and unhappiness with the direction of the state could give her an opening.

WASHINGTON GOVERNOR. The Seattle Times’ Jim Brunner says that Attorney General Bob Ferguson will announce Saturday that he’s running for governor, a move that comes four months after he said he was forming an exploratory committee to succeed his fellow Democrat, retiring incumbent Jay Inslee. As Brunner has noted before, Evergreen State law doesn’t actually distinguish between exploratory committees and full-fledged campaigns.

MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR. Siena College’s new survey for Mississippi Today shows Republican incumbent Tate Reeves with a 52-41 lead over Democrat Brandon Presley, which matches the governor’s 49-38 margin in the school’s April survey. We haven’t seen any independent polls in the intervening time, though an early August Presley internal from Impact Research showed a 46-46 deadlock.

WISCONSIN U.S. SENATOR. Businessman Eric Hovde tells the National Journal he’ll decide in “the next couple months” if he’ll challenge Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin in a race where Republicans still do not have a viable contender.

MARYLAND U.S. SENATOR. Businessman Juan Dominguez announced this week that he’d seek the Democratic nomination for this open Senate seat, though he could struggle to gain traction against the frontrunners, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Rep. David Trone. Dominguez, who set up a fundraising committee in mid-May, tells Maryland Matters he expects to have raised just $250,000 by the end of the week. The candidate, though, still set himself a lofty fundraising goal of $10 million for the primary and general election.

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

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