At a moment of growing legal peril, Donald Trump ramped up his calls for his GOP rivals to drop out of the 2024 presidential race as he threatened to primary Republican members of Congress who fail to focus on investigating Democratic President Joe Biden and urged them to halt Ukrainian military aid until the White House cooperates with their investigations into Biden and his family.
“Every dollar spent attacking me by Republicans is a dollar given straight to the Biden campaign,” Trump said at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Saturday night. The former president and GOP frontrunner said it was time for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others he dismissed as “clowns” to clear the field, accusing them of “wasting hundreds of millions of dollars that Republicans should be using to build a massive vote-gathering operation” to take on Biden in November.
“They’re not indicting me, they’re indicting you. I just happen to be standing in the way,” he told the arena crowd in Erie, adding that, “Every time the radical left Democrats, Marxists, communists and fascists indict me, I consider it actually a great badge of honor.... Because I’m being indicted for you.”
Trump, who was impeached twice while in office, said Saturday that, “The biggest complaint that I get is that the Republicans find out this information and then they do nothing about it.”
“Any Republican that doesn’t act on Democrat fraud should be immediately primaries and get out — out!” he told the crowd to loud applause. “They have to play tough and ... if they’re not willing to do it, we got a lot of good, tough Republicans around ... and they’re going to get my endorsement every singe time.”
“He’s dragging into a global conflict on behalf of the very same country, Ukraine, that apparently paid his family all of these millions of dollars,” Trump alleged. “In light of this information,” Congress, he said, “should refuse to authorize a single additional payment of our depleted stockpiles ... the weapons stockpiles to Ukraine until the FBI, DOJ and IRS hand over every scrap of evidence they have on the Biden crime family’s corrupt business dealings.
Monday, July 31, 2023
Sunday, July 30, 2023
Our most recent book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and Trump's disregard for law. According to a federal indictment, he jeopardized national security by illegally retaining government documents, and then obstructed efforts to get them back.
The superseding indictment filed against Donald Trump in the classified documents investigation this week — and the addition of a third defendant — expand the scope of the crimes the former president is accused of committing and could bolster the case against him, according to legal experts.
Federal prosecutors filed three new charges against Trump in his alleged keeping and hiding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, essentially replacing the initial indictment in the case with a new one that reveals more evidence and brings the total federal charges against the former president to 40.
The superseding indictment accuses Trump of working with his employees to try to delete security camera footage from being reviewed by investigators, while adding a new count of willfully retaining national defense information. That count is related to Trump allegedly showing a top secret military document about Iran to other people who, like him, lacked the security clearance required to see such material.
Donald Trump in 2016: "If you're suing somebody privately and they delete and get rid of all your stuff that you subpoena, you get a very big consequence." pic.twitter.com/IJS1KwFI1a— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) July 28, 2023
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.
— Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing criticism from the majority of the Black Republicans serving in Congress for new public school standards that teach that some Black people benefited from slavery because it taught them useful skills.
Reps. John James of Michigan and Wesley Hunt of Texas became the latest to speak out on Friday. James tweeted his disapproval, saying that “nothing” about slavery was a “net benefit” to his ancestors.
James and Hunt are two of the five Black Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate, and they are both backing one of DeSantis' rivals, former President Donald Trump, in the 2024 presidential race.
"As the direct descendent of a slave, I have a hard time understanding Governor DeSantis’ position that transferrable skills learned in bondage are somehow a net benefit," tweeted Hunt.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate, also rebuked DeSantis on Thursday.
"As a country founded upon freedom, the greatest deprivation of freedom was slavery. There is no silver lining … in slavery," Scott — like DeSantis, a GOP presidential candidate — said here in response to a reporter's question after a forum with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
"What slavery was really about was separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating," Scott said. "So I would hope that every person in our country — and certainly running for president — would appreciate that. People have bad days. Sometimes they regret what they say. And we should ask them again to clarify their positions."
And Rep. Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida who has also endorsed Trump, earlier this week called on the state Education Department to “correct” the new standards.
The Joker laugh:
Ron DeSantis suffers from yet ANOTHER bizarre moment on the campaign trail. pic.twitter.com/MooMgWGEKj— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) July 29, 2023
Sugar-shaming a little kid:
At the Wayne County fairgrounds in Iowa. pic.twitter.com/qEIpsKwxPo— Gabe Gutierrez (@gabegutierrez) July 27, 2023
Friday, July 28, 2023
New data supplied to me by the Harvard Youth Poll sheds light on the powerful undercurrents driving these developments. Young voters have shifted in a markedly progressive direction on multiple issues that are deeply important to them: Climate change, gun violence, economic inequality and LGBTQ+ rights.
John Della Volpe, director of the poll, refers to those issues as the “big four.” They all speak to the sense of precarity that young voters feel about their physical safety, their economic future, their basic rights and even the ecological stability of the planet.
“This generation has never felt secure — personally, physically, financially,” Della Volpe told me.
Here’s a chart showing how opinion among 18-to-29-year-olds has shifted on those issues, according to data that the Harvard Youth Poll crunched at my request:
Those numbers — which come from the Harvard Youth Poll of 18-to-29-year-olds released each spring — all suggest that today’s young voters are substantially more progressive on these issues than young voters were even five or 10 years ago. Sizable majorities now reject the idea that same-sex relationships are morally wrong (53 percent), support stricter gun laws (63 percent) and want government to provide basic necessities (62 percent).
They are not enthusiastic about Biden.
Yet national developments could continue exerting a powerful pull on these voters. For example, the chart above suggests that Trump’s rise to the presidency might have accelerated their progressive evolution. The former president continues looming over our politics and will likely be the GOP nominee.
“That data clearly shows a Zoomer Trump effect,” Della Volpe, the author of a book about Gen Z, told me. “Every single variable has gotten more progressive.”
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.
DeSantis said that if elected president, he might pick ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR., noted vaccine conspiracy theorist, to lead the FDA or CDC.
It was a statement bound to get media attention. DeSantis knew that; the whole point of saying it was to “own the libs.” But it also left the soft belly of his campaign exposed on the right.
Former VP MIKE PENCE was quick to spot the opportunity with an attack aimed to appeal to the Christian conservative voters whose support DeSantis desperately needs.
"When I am President, I will only consider Pro-Life Americans to lead the FDA, CDC, or HHS,” Pence said. “[P]ro-abortion Democrats like RFK Jr. would not even make the list."
— FIGHT NO. 2: DeSantis’ staff attacked Rep. BYRON DONALDS (R-Fla.), a Trump endorser and the sole Black Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, after he mildly criticized Florida’s widely panned new teaching standards on slavery. Said Donalds: “[T]he attempt to feature the personal benefits of slavery is wrong & needs to be adjusted.”
Cue DeSantis spox JEREMY REDFERN: “[S]upposed conservatives in the federal government are pushing the same false narrative that originated from the @WhiteHouse.” Not to be outdone, DeSantis aide CHRISTINA PUSHAW compared Donalds to VP KAMALA HARRIS.
A Ron DeSantis 2024 campaign worker who was reportedly fired for retweeting a fan-made video about the governor which featured a symbol associated with Nazis had previously praised the impact of white supremacist Nick Fuentes.
Nate Hochman, a communications staffer, is said to have allegedly retweeted the controversial meme video from the Ron DeSantis Fancams Twitter account which ended with the 2024 hopeful's face imposed over what appeared to be a circular symbol known as the "sonnenrad."
Hochman, as first reported by Semafor, was let go after allegedly retweeting the since-deleted video featuring the ancient symbol which had been appropriated by the Nazi Party and is still used today by white supremacist groups.
Hochman, Axios reported, not only retweeted the video from his own account but had actually made the clip himself and posted it from the Ron DeSantis Fancams profile. Joey Hannum, a former aide for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, had also speculated that the Ron DeSantis Fancams Twitter account was being used by Hochman as a "sock-puppet operation."
...Hochman, a former fellow for the Claremont Institute and the National Review who has previously written for outlets such as The New York Times, was previously seen as a rising star in the conservative movement.
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.
While the delegate count won’t begin taking shape until voting begins next January, Trump’s edge in the race to win their votes is years in the making. Many state Republican parties made changes to their rules ahead of the 2020 election by adding more winner-take-all contests and requiring candidates to earn higher percentages of the vote to claim any delegates. Those changes all benefit a frontrunner, a position Trump has held despite his mounting legal peril, blame for his party’s lackluster performance in the 2022 elections and the turbulent years of his presidency.
The moves are a sign of how Trump’s team is focused on the crucial, if less glamorous, aspects of winning the GOP nomination. That’s a notable change from his first bid for the White House in 2016, when his team of relatively novice operatives weren’t familiar with the minutia of the delegate contest and sometimes found themselves outflanked by better-prepared rivals, particularly Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
That doesn’t appear to be happening this time as election experts say it appears few other campaigns have been able to match Trump’s yearslong work.
“They’ve been asleep at the switch,” election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg said.
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses campaign finance.Jim Geraghty at NRO:
On the menu today: The seemingly frozen-in-amber GOP presidential primary is getting most of the attention and headlines, but under the radar, in at least a quartet of key states, the state Republican parties are collapsing — going broke and devolving into infighting little fiefdoms. Even worse for the GOP, these aren’t just any states — Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and Minnesota all rank as either key swing states or once-purple states that would be tantalizing targets in a good year. Meanwhile, the Georgia state Republican Party is spending a small fortune on the legal fees of those “alternate” Republican electors from the 2020 presidential election. If Republicans are disappointed with the results of the 2024 elections — for the fourth straight cycle, mind you — a key factor will be the replacement of competent, boring, regular state-party officials with quite exciting, blustering nutjobs who have little or no interest in the basics of successfully managing a state party or the basic blocking and tackling involved in helping GOP candidates win elections.
Monday, July 24, 2023
In Defying the Odds, we talk about the social and economic divides that enabled Trump to enter the White House. In Divided We Stand, we discuss how these divides played out in 2020. College degrees have become a major dividing line.
In state after state, fast-growing, traditionally liberal college counties are flexing their muscles, generating higher turnout and ever greater Democratic margins. They’ve already played a pivotal role in turning several red states blue — and they could play an equally decisive role in key swing states next year.
One of those states is Michigan. Twenty years ago, the University of Michigan’s Washtenaw County gave Democrat Al Gore what seemed to be a massive victory — a 60-36 percent win over Republican George W. Bush, marked by a margin of victory of roughly 34,000 votes. Yet that was peanuts compared to what happened in 2020. Biden won Washtenaw by close to 50 percentage points, with a winning margin of about 101,000 votes.
Name the flagship university — Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, among others — and the story tends to be the same. If the surrounding county was a reliable source of Democratic votes in the past, it’s a landslide county now. There are exceptions to the rule, particularly in the states with the most conservative voting habits. But even in reliably red places like South Carolina, Montana and Texas, you’ll find at least one college-oriented county producing ever larger Democratic margins.
The American Communities Project, which has developed a typology of different kinds of counties, designates 171 independent cities and counties as “College Towns.” Of those 171 places, 38 have flipped from red to blue since the 2000 presidential election. Just seven flipped the other way, from blue to red, and typically by smaller margins.
Sunday, July 23, 2023
One recent move that drew intense blowback, including from Republicans, was the campaign’s sharing of a bizarre video on Twitter that attacked Mr. Trump as too friendly to L.G.B.T.Q. people and showed Mr. DeSantis with lasers coming out of his eyes. The video drew a range of denunciations, with some calling it homophobic and others homoerotic before it was deleted.
But it turns out to be more of a self-inflicted wound than was previously known: A DeSantis campaign aide had originally produced the video internally, passing it off to an outside supporter to post it first and making it appear as if it was generated independently, according to a person with knowledge of the incident.
Second-guessing from political donors has intensified as Mr. DeSantis traveled this week from the Hamptons to Park City, Utah, to see donors. Records show the DeSantis campaign made an $87,000 reservation at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Utah for a retreat where donors were invited to cocktails on the deck on Saturday followed by an “investor appreciation dinner.” It’s the type of luxury location that helps explain how a candidate who has long preferred to fly by private jets burned through nearly 40 percent of every dollar he raised in his first six weeks without airing a single television ad.
Super PACs cannot coordinate directly with a campaign. But during the Citizens United era, they have taken their lead from the campaign's public statements. As Karl Rove said a decade ago, " You can't coordinate with them. But you can play bridge." It is extraordinary for a super PAC to disregard candidate signals and go rogue.
That campaign memo landed at the pro-DeSantis super PAC’s Atlanta headquarters with a thud. It seemed to rebuke the super PAC, calling into question the group’s decision to stay off the airwaves in New Hampshire and the pricey Boston market. Legally, super PACs and campaigns cannot coordinate strategy in private, so leaked memos are one way they communicate.
“We will not cede New Hampshire,” read one line that appeared in boldface for extra emphasis. In a reference to Boston, the memo read, “We see no reason why more expensive markets in New Hampshire should not also be prioritized.”
But the super PAC, which has studied the memo line by line, may be unmoved by the suggestions. “We’re not easily going to change our course,” said one senior official with the DeSantis super PAC who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about strategic decisions.According to a person with direct knowledge of the process, the memo, first published by NBC News, was written by Ms. Peck, but without the input or knowledge of the broader campaign leadership team, an unusual move for such a highly scrutinized document.
The candidate himself soon made clear that he, too, wanted to see changes.“I can’t control” the super PAC, Mr. DeSantis said recently on Fox News, before adding some specific stage directions. “I imagine they’re going to start lighting up the airwaves pretty soon with a lot of good stuff about me, and that’s going to give us a great lift,” he said.
Since then, the super PAC has not aired a positive ad about Mr. DeSantis or returned to the airwaves in New Hampshire.
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Any distinction between the former president’s White House bid and his criminal defense is vanishing as the charges against him mount. Fighting those prosecutions is increasingly dominating his time, resources and messaging, making the centerpiece of his candidacy an appeal to stay out of prison. As he forges ahead, much of the Republican base appears to be cheering him at each turn.
To illustrate how Trump’s criminal defense is swallowing his campaign, just over half of the money he raised last quarter went not to the campaign itself but to an affiliated PAC that is footing the legal bills. Of more than $35 million raised between March and June, the campaign received $17.7 million, according to the latest report to the Federal Election Commission. The rest went to the Save America PAC, which will report its latest finances on July 31 but has been spending millions on lawyers representing Trump and allies in the multiple ongoing cases, according to FEC disclosures.
“A lot of money is going to legal and people who don’t do much, and not a lot is left over to do marketing and advertising,” said one Trump adviser, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans. “A lot of the money we’re raising is just going to legal.”
When Mr. Trump kicked off his 2024 campaign in November, for every dollar raised online, 99 cents went to his campaign, and a penny went to Save America.But internet archival records show that sometime in February or March, he adjusted that split. Now his campaign’s share has been reduced to 90 percent of donations, and 10 percent goes to Save America.
The effect of that change is potentially substantial: Based on fund-raising figures announced by his campaign, the fine-print maneuver may already have diverted at least $1.5 million to Save America.
And the existence of the group has allowed Mr. Trump to have his small donors pay for his legal expenses, rather than paying for them himself.
The different rules governing what political action committees and candidate campaign committees can pay for are both dizzying and somewhat in dispute. But generally, a PAC cannot spend money directly on the candidate’s campaign, and a campaign committee cannot directly pay for things that benefit the candidate personally.
There have been signs that Mr. Trump’s campaign has been carefully monitoring its expenses.
He has mainly attended events organized by other groups, as opposed to staging his own large-scale political rallies, which were the lifeblood of his two past runs for president and are one of his favorite parts of campaigning. Those rallies are expensive, costing at least $150,000 and usually more than $400,000.
Friday, July 21, 2023
Our book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection. Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellion, coups, and secession. Trump posted a picture of himself holding a baseball bat, right next to a picture of DA Bragg.
Donald Trump says that it would be "very dangerous" for Jack Smith to put him in jail because of his "passionate" supporters. pic.twitter.com/DsWNbRMWZR— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) July 20, 2023
Alex Griffing at Mediaite:
Trump Truth Social post: “If you f*ck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before.” pic.twitter.com/YzAB8HQ4Jx— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) July 20, 2023
The quote from the 9-second clip was reported on October 2020 by the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, who included it in a roundup of a two-day media blitz by Trump.
Farhi reported Trump made the remark on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in the context of talking about Iran.
Thursday, July 20, 2023
I approve this message. pic.twitter.com/f1q5giNM8j— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 18, 2023
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie. And we now know how close he came to subverting the Constitution.
Donald J. Trump and his allies are planning a sweeping expansion of presidential power over the machinery of government if voters return him to the White House in 2025, reshaping the structure of the executive branch to concentrate far greater authority directly in his hands.
Their plans to centralize more power in the Oval Office stretch far beyond the former president’s recent remarks that he would order a criminal investigation into his political rival, President Biden, signaling his intent to end the post-Watergate norm of Justice Department independence from White House political control.
Mr. Trump and his associates have a broader goal: to alter the balance of power by increasing the president’s authority over every part of the federal government that now operates, by either law or tradition, with any measure of independence from political interference by the White House, according to a review of his campaign policy proposals and interviews with people close to him.
Mr. Trump intends to bring independent agencies — like the Federal Communications Commission, which makes and enforces rules for television and internet companies, and the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces various antitrust and other consumer protection rules against businesses — under direct presidential control.
He wants to revive the practice of “impounding” funds, refusing to spend money Congress has appropriated for programs a president doesn’t like — a tactic that lawmakers banned under President Richard Nixon.
He intends to strip employment protections from tens of thousands of career civil servants, making it easier to replace them if they are deemed obstacles to his agenda. And he plans to scour the intelligence agencies, the State Department and the defense bureaucracies to remove officials he has vilified as “the sick political class that hates our country.”
Monday, July 17, 2023
Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.
Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign has fired roughly a dozen staffers — and more are expected in the coming weeks as he shakes up his big-money political operations after less than two months on the campaign trail.
Those who were let go were described to NBC News by a source familiar as mid-level staffers across several departments whose departures were related to cutting costs. The exits come after the departures of David Abrams and Tucker Obenshain, veterans of DeSantis’ political orbit, which were first reported by Politico.
Sources involved with the DeSantis campaign say there is an internal assessment among some that they hired too many staffers too early, and despite bringing in $20 million during its first six weeks, it was becoming clear their costs needed to be brought down. Some in DeSantis’ political orbit are laying the early blame at the feet of campaign manager Generra Peck, who also led DeSantis’ 2022 midterm reelection bid and is in the hot seat right now.
“She should be,” one DeSantis donor said.
“They never should have brought so many people on, the burn rate was way too high,” said one Republican source familiar with the campaign’s thought process. “People warned the campaign manager but she wanted to hear none of it.”
“DeSantis stock isn’t rising,” the donor added. “Twenty percent is not what people signed up for.”
The person noted that DeSantis has a penchant for switching out staff, which means that he has no core team that has worked together before. DeSantis had three different campaign teams for each of his three runs for Congress, and notably had a huge campaign shakeup during his first run for governor in 2018.
Unlike traditional presidential field organizing — which is run by an official campaign and driven largely by volunteers — the Never Back Down effort is staffed with an army of paid workers, many of whom have responded to advertisements that offer positions for $20 to $22 an hour. Trained in Iowa during an eight-day class, some come out of the system with polished pitches, as true believers. Others are just there for a job.Giulia Carbonaro at Newsweek:
Paid canvassing is a method of voter contact that has proved effective in previous campaigns but requires significant supervision and can backfire if employees misbehave. There is no way to know how frequent the misfires are or whether they are detracting from the goals of DeSantis donors. In a few cases, residents at homes visited by canvassers, as sometimes happens with volunteer efforts, have reported being turned off by the dress of workers. Others have complained about door knockers from distant states coming to their neighborhood.
As Florida grapples with an unfolding property insurance crisis, recent data show that insurance premiums in the state have reportedly surged by over 200 percent since Ron DeSantis won the governor's office in 2018.
On average, Florida homeowners pay over $4,200 per year for home insurance, triple the national average of $1,700, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute (Triple I).
Insurance premiums have grown significantly since DeSantis won the gubernatorial race in late 2018, for a total of a 206 percent increase, as reported by Yahoo Finance—which makes them the highest in the entire country. In the last year alone, insurance premiums in the state surged by 42 percent.
The issue is likely to add pressure on DeSantis, now one of the many Republican candidates for the 2024 presidential election, especially as Florida has recently seen several insurers leaving the state.
Sunday, July 16, 2023
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dished out wild COVID-19 conspiracy theories this week during a press event at an Upper East Side restaurant, claiming the bug was a genetically engineered bioweapon that may have been “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.
Kennedy floated the idea during a question-and-answer portion of raucous booze and fart-filled dinner at Tony’s Di Napoli on East 63d Street.
“COVID-19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”
“We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not but there are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact,” Kennedy hedged.
In between bites of linguini and clam sauce, Kennedy, 69, warned of more dire biological weapons in the pipeline with a “50% infection fatality rate” that would make COVID-19 “look like a walk in the park.”
“We do know that the Chinese are spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing ethnic bioweapons and we are developing ethnic bioweapons,” he claimed. “They’re collecting Russian DNA. They’re collecting Chinese DNA so we can target people by race.”
The idea that Ashkenazi Jews are somehow separate from Caucasians has fueled deadly bigotry for centuries, and the conspiracy of Jewish immunity from tragedy has been part of antisemitic attacks as far back as the Black Plague and as recently as the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Abraham Foxman, who worked for decades as the head of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, condemned “antisemitic stereotypes going back to the Middle Ages that claimed Jews protected themselves from diseases.”
“It cannot be ignorance because he is not ignorant,” Mr. Foxman said Saturday night.
Mr. Kennedy responded to The New York Post story with a defense that only deepened his conspiratorial theories. He wrote on Twitter that he “accurately pointed out” that the United States is “developing ethnically targeted bioweapons” — a point he made in his remarks captured on video, when he repeated fanciful Russian propaganda that the United States is collecting Russian D.N.A. in Ukraine to target Russians with tailored bioweapons.
Saturday, July 15, 2023
For all the talk about turnout, this is what distinguished the 2022 midterms from any other in recent memory. Looking back over 15 years, the party out of power has typically won independent voters by an average margin of 14 points, as a crucial segment of voters either has soured on the president or has acted as a check against the excesses of the party in power.
This did not happen in 2022. Every major study — the exit polls, the AP/VoteCast study, the Pew study published this week — showed Democrats narrowly won self-identified independent voters, despite an unfavorable national political environment and an older, whiter group of independent voters. A post-election analysis of Times/Siena surveys adjusted to match the final vote count and the validated electorate show the same thing. It took the Democratic resilience among swing voters together with the Democratic resilience in turnout, especially in the Northern battlegrounds, to nearly allow Democrats to hold the U.S. House.
In many crucial states, Democratic candidates for Senate and governor often outright excelled among swing voters, plainly winning over a sliver of voters who probably backed Mr. Trump for president in 2020 and certainly supported Republican candidates for U.S. House in 2022. This was most pronounced in the states where Republicans nominated stop-the-steal candidates or where the abortion issue was prominent, like Michigan.
Friday, July 14, 2023
Ron DeSantis is trying to reassure donors and activists that his campaign only looks stalled.
A confidential campaign memo obtained by NBC News lays out what the Florida governor’s presidential campaign sees as its path forward: focusing on the early states, refusing to give up on New Hampshire, not yet investing in “Super Tuesday” battlegrounds, zeroing in on DeSantis’ biography and sowing doubts about his competitors — particularly Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
“While Super Tuesday is critically important, we will not dedicate resources to Super Tuesday that slow our momentum in New Hampshire,” the memo states. “We expect to revisit this investment in the Fall.”
The document, dated July 6, is labeled a “confidential friends and family update” and makes clear that it’s “not for distribution.” Its details about the campaign’s strategy are far more in-depth than what has been shared publicly.
Ron DeSantis’ campaign is blitzing Iowa at a frantic pace six months before the Republican caucuses there, trying to boost his flagging challenge of former President Trump, the GOP front-runner.Daniella Diaz at Politico:
Why it matters: DeSantis' push comes as polls suggest the more voters know about the Florida governor, the less they like him — and amid reports that GOP influencer Rupert Murdoch, an early DeSantis supporter who owns Fox News, is losing faith. Murdoch privately is telling people he'd like to see Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin enter the race, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
That latest tranche of lawmaker nods has served to highlight Trump’s overwhelming lead in the endorsement derby, which prompted us to ask the Hill’s DeSantis Devotees: After months of hype, why is the governor’s bandwagon still so sparsely populated? No member has endorsed him since May 23, when Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) jumped aboard.
Your Huddle host asked five of the six — where you at, Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Fla.)? — in the hallways on Wednesday:
- Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.): “I don’t have any comment on whether somebody else has endorsed him. … If you look at the job that he did in Florida, that’s the model for what we want to be done for the country.”
- Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.): “There’s part of the Republican Party that was moved by the indictments. So I joke, I say we got to figure out some way to get DeSantis indicted.”
- Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.): Ignored your Huddle host
- Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas): “I think most people in this conference support Gov. DeSantis. I think there’s a default in the conference to go with the former president.”
- McCormick: “I think most people are being very careful because obviously it’s no fun to be on Trump’s dark side. And most people who’ve ever experienced that could tell you about that.”
Thursday, July 13, 2023
Our more recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses voter demographics .
A new Pew Research Center analysis of verified voters and nonvoters in 2022, 2020, 2018 and 2016 finds that partisan differences in turnout – rather than vote switching between parties – account for most of the Republican gains in voting for the House last year.
Overall, 68% of those who voted in the 2020 presidential election turned out to vote in the 2022 midterms. Former President Donald Trump’s voters turned out at a higher rate in 2022 (71%) than did President Joe Biden’s voters (67%).
Other key findings:
- Voters under 30 continued to strongly support the Democratic Party, voting 68% to 31% for Democratic candidates. But this margin was somewhat narrower than in 2018. Republicans benefitted more from significant drop off in voter turnout among younger age groups between 2018 and 2022, since young voters tend to support Democrats. Voters under 30 accounted for 10% of the electorate in 2022 – similar to their share of all voters in 2018 (11%), but down from 2020 (14%).
- Ideological polarization by party was nearly complete in 2022: Only 1% of self-described conservative Republicans voted for Democratic House candidates and less than 1% of liberal Democrats voted Republican.
- Voting in person on Election Day increased sharply in 2022 compared with 2020. More voters reported casting ballots in person on Election Day in both parties, but the share remained much higher among Republican voters (51%) than among Democratic voters (34%).
- White voters without college degrees made up a majority (54%) of Republican voters in 2022, compared with 27% of Democratic voters. Yet these voters made up a somewhat greater share of GOP voters in 2020 (58%) and 2018 (57%).
- Voters ages 50 and older were a larger share of the total in 2022 (64%) than in any of the past three elections. 70% of Republican voters were 50 or older, as were 57% of Democratic voters.
- Hispanic voters continued to support Democrats, but by a much smaller margin than in 2018: Hispanic voters favored Democratic candidates by a 21-point margin in 2022, compared with a 47-point margin in 2018. This change was driven by asymmetric changes in voter turnout among Hispanic adults, rather than changing preferences among individual Hispanic voters.
- Black voters continued to support Democrats by overwhelming margins: 93% voted for Democrats in the midterms while 5% supported Republicans. This is similar to levels of support in 2020, 2018 and 2016. Black voters made up 9% of the electorate in both 2022 and 2018 and 11% of the electorate in 2020.
- The Republican advantage among White evangelical Protestants was somewhat larger in 2022 than in the past three elections. 86% supported Republican candidates in 2022 and only 12% voted Democratic.
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Former President Donald Trump posted on his social media platform what he claimed was the home address of former President Barack Obama on the same day that a man with guns in his van was arrested near the property, federal prosecutors said Wednesday in revealing new details about the case.
Taylor Taranto, 37, who prosecutors say participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, kept two firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside a van he had driven cross-country and had been living in, according to a Justice Department motion that seeks to keep him behind bars.
On the day of his June 29 arrest, prosecutors said, Taranto reposted a Truth Social post from Trump containing what Trump claimed was Obama’s home address. In a post on Telegram, Taranto wrote: “We got these losers surrounded! See you in hell, Podesta’s and Obama’s.” That’s a reference to John Podesta, the former chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Democratic presidential campaign.
NEW: Taylor Taranto's erratic and menacing wave of threats — to Obama, Raskin, McCarthy and others — prompted a more urgent effort by law enforcement to apprehened him despite being identified more than a year earlier as a participant in the Jan. 6 breach. https://t.co/puv0V2OLoT— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) July 5, 2023
NEW: Justice Dept will argue today that Taylor Taranto was menacing TWO elementary schools last month.... before his arrest outside former President Obama's home (allegedly w/ van stocked w/ guns and ammo nearby)— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) July 12, 2023
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the impact of social media and campaign technology.
To some, she’s a dangerously effective new version of the millennial MAGA politician ready to tear down the institutions of government in pursuit of an ultraconservative revolution. To others, she’s something more, the vanguard of a potentially significant turn in American politics. Luna is less a politician who parlayed her seat in Congress into a huge online following—like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—than the other way around: the first social media influencer to parlay an online audience into a seat in Congress.
Part of Charlie Kirk’s job is to live on the internet. The pro-Trump activist and podcast host created Turning Point USA with the goal of creating an army of influencers to combat what he saw as the left-wing tilt on college campuses and in popular culture. One day in 2018, Kirk was struck by an Instagram video of a ferocious Latina immigration hawk. “It was literally a rant on how the news was full of it and they weren’t being transparent about what actually happens at the border,” Luna says. But the clip caught on like wildfire. “I saw that she was a natural talent from Day One,” Kirk says. He thought Luna had the same kind of magnetism he saw in Candace Owens, his first big discovery. “I realized she really had a spark.”
Kirk called Luna to offer her a job heading Turning Point’s Hispanic outreach operation. Luna was intrigued, but there was one problem. She was about to leave for medical school in Grenada. Kirk, a prodigious fundraiser, told her not to worry. He would reimburse her for the costs.
“That’s where I changed paths,” Luna says.
Besides the homegrown “talent” at Fox, with their choice of guests they were making people who used to be fringe characters into powerful media stars. One of the first prototypes out of their laboratory was a woman named Michele Bachmann.
After the GOP takeover in 2010, she demanded a seat on Ways and Means. Boehner politely declined.
Her response to me was calm and matter-of-fact. “Well, then I’ll just have to go talk to Sean Hannity and everybody at Fox,” she said, “and Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and everybody else on the radio, and tell them that this is how John Boehner is treating the people who made it possible for the Republicans to take back the House.”
I wasn’t the one with the power, she was saying. I just thought I was. She had the power now.
She was right, of course.
He assuaged her with a seat on Intelligence.
Monday, July 10, 2023
What makes the 2022 midterms so noteworthy, then, is that they represent a break from the decades-long trend toward Democrats. And when you drill down into the numbers, it becomes clear that two issues in particular are responsible for the Asian American backslide toward Republicans: public safety and education.
Let’s start with the former. As violent crime surged in cities throughout the country in 2020 and 2021, the Democrats in charge of many of those cities largely failed to respond with an effective message or policy agenda. Rather than prosecuting criminals and getting repeat offenders off of the streets, many Democrats took a “root causes” approach that came across as quixotic and ineffective. Moreover, following George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, many people, fairly or not, began to see the Democratic Party as anti-police. For many Asian Americans who live in urban areas, the visible erosion of public safety was unacceptable—and they blamed Democrats for letting it happen.
The first sign that this could pose an electoral problem for Democrats came in early 2022 with the effort to recall San Francisco’s progressive District Attorney, Chesa Boudin. Simmering fury about Boudin’s handling of crime and his seemingly indifferent attitude towards the victims of crime, many of whom were Asian American, eventually boiled over into outrage. And while every major racial demographic favored recalling Boudin, Asian Americans were by far the most supportive, with around 67 percent supporting the recall and only 13 percent opposing.
Frustration about crime wasn’t isolated to San Francisco. Asked in a national poll ahead of the midterms how important crime was to determining their vote, 85 percent of Asian Americans said it was “extremely” or “very” important. And when asked which party handles crime better, Asian Americans broke about even between Democrats and Republicans. Compared to other issues like health care, immigration, and gun control, on which Asian Americans overwhelmingly prefer Democrats, crime is a striking outlier.
The other issue most responsible for Asian Americans’ rightward shift is education. For many Asian Americans, especially those who are immigrants or low-income, education represents the step ladder for reaching a better life for themselves or their children. In recent years, however, Democrats have begun to fold up that stepladder in the name of racial equity. Across the country—from San Francisco to Boston to New York City and beyond—public school systems have tried to restructure the admissions process for “gifted and talented” schools and programs. By replacing academic assessments with lottery systems or other subjective evaluations, these proposals would dramatically reduce the number of Asian American students admitted, sometimes by as much as 40 or 50 percent.
The response from Asian Americans? Anger, resentment, and an electoral backlash. In San Francisco, Asian Americans drove the recall of three school board members who had rammed through one such admissions change. In New York City, frustration with a new admissions process that replaced academic screenings with lottery systems for hundreds of selective public middle and high schools eventually drove Mayor Eric Adams to roll back the unpopular reform.
And while admissions changes like these are certainly animating for many Asian Americans, Democrats are pushing plenty of other education policies that are likely just as politically toxic. One example is California’s attempt to eliminate honors-level classes and prohibit schools from sorting students according to academic achievement. Another is the ongoing attempt to encourage colleges to consider race and ethnicity when deciding which students to admit, something that only 21 percent of Asian American adults support according to a recent Gallup poll. In short, Democratic attempts to meddle with education in the name of equity and social justice at the expense of equality and fairness are driving away Asian American voters.