The Political Report – October 14, 2023

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Arizona finds Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) leading the U.S. Senate race with 41%, followed by Kari Lake (R) at 36% and Kyrsten Sinema (I) at 15% in a three-way match up.

Another 8% of respondents said they were not sure.

Astead Herndon in the New York Times:

“The question I’ve always wanted to know the answer to: Was Kamala Harris really chosen as a running mate because she had the right identity at the right time, the highest-profile diversity hire in America?”

“I directly placed in front of her the question others had only insinuated. ‘When someone asks, “What does Vice President Kamala Harris bring to the ticket?” what is that clear answer?’ I asked. Her team made clear it would be my final question. ‘Were you in this room of 2,000 people?’ she asked. I nodded. ‘Did you see them cheering and standing?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘That’s what I say.’ She stood up and walked out of the room.”

Elaina Plott Calabro in The Atlantic:

“Of course Kamala Harris is ready for the presidency, to the extent that anyone can be ready. This should not be hard for her own colleagues to talk about. Not talking about it leaves the subject open for political exploitation — by opponents whose own likely candidate makes the idea of readiness absurd. And yet the topic is treated as a trip wire…”

“I asked Harris herself: Had she and Biden discussed how to address questions about her readiness to step in as president, should circumstances ever require it? ‘No,’ she said. And that was the end of the conversation.”

Jonathan Martin: “Biden has conducted little polling on how to reassure voters about his age, complains bitterly about his intra-party critics who raise the issue in public and is unwilling to consider hearing aids.”

“He can’t slow the march of time, of course, and nor can he fully defuse the issue. But Biden can do more than to ad-lib a joke about being 110 years old. His own supporters and lawmakers are all but pleading with him to take the matter seriously, because simply saying “watch me,” as he often retorts when asked about his age, is precisely the problem: people are and it’s still the overriding issue troubling them the most about his candidacy.”

Donald Trump lashed out at fellow Republicans on Truth Social, writing that Republicans “eat their young.”

He added: “That’s the problem with so many in our Party, they go after the people who are on their side, rather than the Radical Left Democrats that are destorying our country.”

“The Republican National Committee plans to recruit and train tens of thousands of poll workers and watchers in battleground states for the 2024 election,” Axios reports.

“It’s part of the RNC’s push to mobilize on-the-ground “election integrity directors” in crucial states ahead of the 2024 election.”

Gabrielle Hanson, who is running for mayor in Franklin, Tennessee, refused to denounce a white supremacist group that has supported her during the campaign, WTVF reports.

Sadi Hanson to the board of Alderman: “This is the old adage of you reap what you sow.”

She added: “You’ve planted seeds for years and years against our citizens, and they are coming to harvest… It’s easy to shift all the blame. I just happened to arrive at a time when everything was starting to crumble.”

Politico: “Six states voted last year on abortion referendums. In all six, including deep-red Kansas, Kentucky and Montana — the anti-abortion side lost, and it wasn’t particularly close. The losing streak continued this year, as state supreme court races and special elections that became proxy wars over abortion swung decisively in favor of abortion-rights advocates.”

“The anti-abortion movement needs Ohio to be different, and as early voting begins Wednesday, they’re holding rallies, canvassing, phone-banking, and airing TV, radio and digital ads to ensure that November’s referendum doesn’t become the latest proof-point for a hardening narrative that opposing abortion rights is a losing issue for the conservative movement.”


  • CA-Sen: Katie Porter (D): $3.4 million raised, $12 million cash on hand
  • CA-45: Michelle Steel (R-inc): $1 million raised, $2.4 million cash on hand
  • MI-10: Anil Kumar (D): $177,000 raised, additional $401,000 self-funded, $544,000 cash on hand
  • MT-02: Matt Rosendale (R-inc): $335,000 raised
  • TX-34: Mayra Flores (R): $861,000 raised

“Former Vice President Mike Pence filed Thursday to run in Nevada’s presidential primary, opting not to participate in the Nevada Republican Party’s caucus — and with it, skipping out on an opportunity to win any Nevada delegates at the Republican National Convention,” the Nevada Independent reports.

“Pence’s decision comes as several other high-profile candidates, most notably former President Donald Trump, have filed to run in the caucus, which will occur two days after the end of voting in the primary on Feb. 8. Still, running in the primary instead of the caucus could provide Pence with an opportunity to garner attention for a victory in a statewide presidential nominating contest that does not include Trump, the faraway GOP front-runner, on the ballot.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) “has been privately telling Republicans that she has a real shot at being named Trump’s vice presidential nominee for the 2024 election,” the Daily Beast reports.

“President Biden’s reelection effort will launch a pilot test of its 2024 organizing strategy in Wisconsin and Arizona next month, hiring about two dozen staffers and opening a Milwaukee office with a new focus on digital and in-person outreach that aims to directly leverage the personal relationships of volunteers,” the Washington Post reports.

“The moves come as the Democratic National Committee has redirected its organizing efforts to a new smartphone app that encourages supporters to communicate with people in their own friend, family and community circles and then report those contacts back to the party’s voter file.”

Semafor: “For one, campaigns still see another phase to the race, one in which a single candidate consolidates support and starts looking like a final rival to Trump and forces voters to pay more attention. Mitt Romney, who has expressed skepticism that Trump can be defeated, urged donors and campaigns at a retreat this week to winnow the field as fast as possible to preserve whatever chance of avoiding a ‘train wreck’ remains…”

“There’s also the ever-present hope that Trump will eventually ‘collapse under his own weight,’ as the cliché goes, even as his many indictments, trials, and lawsuits have so far only rallied Republicans to his defense…”

“And finally, there’s always room for a little blind faith. Campaigns are holding out for the possibility that some major event changes the race — perhaps one none of them can predict — and they want to be in the best position possible to capitalize should it arrive.”

Washington Post: “Instead of voters turning on him because they are appalled by his behavior, fearful he would not be electable or exhausted by his perpetual drama, the indictments have boomeranged to his favor among Republicans, according to voters, polls, strategists in rival campaigns and Trump advisers.”

“Interviews with scores of voters in multiple states show that Trump’s constant message of victimhood has seeped in not just among the Trump faithful — but also among center-right voters who were previously skeptical of him. Many of the voters echoed his long-running attacks on the law enforcement system that he has sharply ratcheted up in recent months.”

“In many cases, Republicans who said they were initially interested in another candidate more than Trump were dismissive of the seriousness of the charges. Some said they believed Trump had made mistakes, but they contend there was an unfair double standard against him.”

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign is making its first move in the Iowa air wars, with a $2 million ad buy in the state starting in mid-November and running through the night of the caucuses Jan. 15,” NBC News reports.

“The move will make the campaign the first to reserve airtime in Iowa through the caucuses — and it underlines how important the state is to DeSantis’ presidential hopes.”

“It’s a major purchase from a campaign that reported just $5 million on hand at the end of September to spend in the primary.”

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

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