The Political Report – October 30, 2023

A Public Religion Research Institute poll finds 64% of Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic party say they would prefer someone else other than Joe Biden to be the party’s nominee in 2024, while 34% say they would prefer Biden to be the nominee.

Dan Pfeiffer: “Even 41% of the Democrats and leaners who approve of Biden’s job performance say they would prefer a different candidate. Biden’s age is the overwhelming reason that Democrats are looking elsewhere. PRRI asked the Democrats to explain why they wanted someone other than Biden, and 70% of the answers involved age or the desire for younger leadership.”

“But, and this is a pretty big but, Democrats also really like Joe Biden. In that same poll, 80% of Democrats and Democratic leaners view Joe Biden favorably. To put that number in perspective, Trump, who has a massive lead in the GOP primary, is viewed favorably by only 69% of Republicans and leaners.”

Donald Trump called on former Vice President Mike Pence to endorse him after Pence announced he was suspending his 2024 presidential campaign.

Said Trump: “People are leaving now and they’re all endorsing me. I don’t know about Mike Pence. He should endorse me. You know why? Because I had a great, successful presidency and he was the vice president.”

Playbook: “Where in 2016, Trump picked Pence as his running mate largely to reassure the evangelical wing of the GOP, in the 2024 cycle, there’s really only one litmus test for Republican voters: Are you sufficiently pro-Trump, or not?”

“By that measure, Pence fell short.”

Politico: “At times, Pence seemed to be running more for his place in the history books than the Iowa caucuses, defending his resistance to Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election and criticizing Trump and other GOP candidates polling above him on everything from their positions on Social Security reform to the war in Ukraine. The Wi-Fi passcode at his June 7 launch event in Ankeny, Iowa, earlier this year was: ‘KeptHisOath!’”

“Pence framed the GOP primary as a battle between populism and conservatism, frequently decrying what he called ‘the siren song’ of the former. He did manage to shape the debate in limited ways, pressing candidates like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to embrace a 15-week ban on abortion and assailing biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy over his lack of experience.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis told CNN that Donald Trump maintains such a large lead in the polls because people recognize his name.

Said DeSantis: “He’s the most famous person running, 100% name ID, he’s the person people know.”

He added: “When you actually drill down in these early states, clearly he’s got some that’ll vote for him no matter what — but there’s are a lot more that aren’t going to vote for him in the primary.”

“The super PAC supporting Donald Trump will begin airing an attack against Ron DeSantis in Iowa, a shift in strategy after months of focusing their messaging on their likely general election opponent,” the New York Times reports.

“It will enter the rotation as part of an ad buy totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars by the group Make America Great Again Inc., which supports Mr. Trump. It aims to paint Mr. DeSantis, with less than three months before the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, as insufficiently conservative, by accusing him of supporting statehood for Puerto Rico.”

“It marks a change in approach by the super PAC, which abandoned negative ads about Mr. DeSantis at the start of the summer.”

Cornel West’s presidential campaign “has fueled suspicions that his bid is an improvisational performance as much as it is a political campaign,” the New York Times reports.

Asked about these suspicions, West agreed: “It’s jazz all the way down, brother.”

“The decision by Mike Pence to end his presidential campaign on Saturday was a bow to what had finally become inevitable. He was struggling to raise money, win support from the party’s base and manage the torments from the man who had made him nationally famous, Donald Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“But the root of his campaign’s collapse — and, very possibly, his political career — goes back to 2016, when Mr. Pence accepted Mr. Trump’s offer to be his running mate.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign launched a “Trump accident tracker” Tuesday intended to highlight slip-ups and controversial statements from the former president, escalating the battle between the two 2024 GOP rivals, The Hill reports.

“Andy Kim is trying to do something rare in New Jersey politics: win by casting himself as a soft-spoken outsider,” Politico reports. “In a state known for its brass-knuckle campaign tactics, its machine-dominated politics and no shortage of characters tainted by dubious ethics or outright corruption, he’s betting voters will see his run for Senate as something entirely new.”

Said Kim: “I get it, I’m not central casting of what someone imagines a New Jersey Democrat or politician looking like. That’s what I thought would be my biggest weakness, but it’s actually turned out to be my biggest strength.”

“Everyone’s got the right to run, but I’m sorry, I have no idea what he is running on that is different from what President Biden is running on.”— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), in a Meet the Press interview, on Rep. Dean Phillips’ presidential bid.

“Donald Trump will headline his eighth campaign event in Iowa in a little more than a month on Sunday as part of the former president’s accelerated fall schedule leading up to the first-in-the-nation caucuses in January,” the AP reports.

Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) primary challenger, Keith Gross, was once kicked off the ballot in Georgia after a judge examining allegations that he lied about his eligibility to run for a statehouse position said he was “troubled” by his testimony, NBC News reports.

“Asa Hutchinson’s presidential campaign manager is leaving the campaign next week due to differences over direction and whether the former Arkansas governor still has a path to the 2024 Republican nomination,” CNN reports.

“Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder announced Thursday that he was ending his 2024 Republican campaign for president and endorsing former President Donald Trump,” the AP reports.

“Some major Republican donors who have spent much of 2023 looking for a Donald Trump alternative are increasingly open to one 2024 candidate: Donald Trump,” NBC News reports.

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

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