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Can The Democrats Keep The Speakers Gavel Out Of Kevin McCarthy's Hands?



Emerson’s latest national polling shows Biden with his highest approval rating of the year— 45% (with 49% disapproving), up 3 points since last month. Why? Women voters. Still, the Real Clear Politics polling average, which leans right, shows Biden continuing to strugge with 42.8% approval to 53.5% disapproval. The FiveThirtyEight average of registered voters has Biden’s approval at 43.6% with a disapproval of 52.9%.


All polls show Biden’s approval climbing. However, a new poll from Larger Research for ABC News and the Washington Post indicates that “a clear majority of Democrats” want the party to replace Biden as its nominee for 2024. Gary Langer reports that “just 35% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor Biden for the 2024 nomination; 56% want the party to pick someone else. Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, for their part, split 47%-46% on whether Donald Trump should be their 2024 nominee— a 20-point drop for Trump compared with his 2020 nomination… On issues, the survey finds broad opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling eliminating a constitutional right to abortion and a big Democratic advantage in trust to handle the issue. But there's no sign it's impacting propensity to vote in comparison with other issues: four rank higher in importance and two of them— the economy, overall, and inflation, specifically— work strongly in the GOP's favor.”


The Democrats are counting on other factors to help them win seats in the midterms— women fearful of Republican intentions towards Choice, Americans in general fearful of Republican intentions towards democracy, MAGA candidates making even the most worthless Democratic candidates look good in comparison— best example is in New Hampshire Senate race where incumbent Maggie Hassan (D) doesn’t deserve a second term but where the GOP nominated a MAGA crackpot, Don Bolduc, who even mainstream Republicans won’t back. The White House is trying to turn this around with some actions that actually impact peoples’ lives— reducing student loan debut, albeit in a niggardly way, taking credit for falling gas prices… and in small ways like pushing consumer-oriented reforms. Today Biden announced bringing backing an old Obama program (dumped by Trump) that allows consumers “to see a more complete price on airline tickets— including baggage and change fees— before they buy. “The White House says the proposed rule from the Transportation Department will prevent airlines from hiding the ‘true cost’ of airline tickets, which would help consumers save money up front and encourage more competition among airlines to offer better fares. The requirement will apply not only to airlines directly but also on third-party search sites such as Kayak and Expedia. Airlines made nearly $700 million on cancellation and change fees last year, according to the White House.”


Biden, which has already done something like this in regard to credit card fees, urged other federal agencies to take similar cost-saving actions, particularly by increasing transparency on hidden fees that can balloon the true cost of goods and services— think telecommunications. But, short of seriouslynot fines; prison terms outlawing telemarketing calls, there is little the Democrats can do between now and November to change the outcome. The NY Times published a report on how, post pandemic, factory jobs are booming. But… “The resurgence has not been driven by companies bringing back factory jobs that had moved overseas, nor by the brawny industrial sectors and regions often evoked by President Biden, Trump and other champions of manufacturing. Instead, the engines in this recovery include pharmaceutical plants, craft breweries and ice-cream makers. The newly created jobs are more likely to be located in the Mountain West and the Southeast than in the classic industrial strongholds of the Great Lakes. American manufacturers cut roughly 1.36 million jobs from February to April of 2020, as Covid-19 shut down much of the economy. As of August this year, manufacturers had added back about 1.43 million jobs, a net gain of 67,000 workers above pre-pandemic levels… Manufacturers say the numbers could be even stronger, if not for their continued difficulties attracting and hiring skilled workers amid 3.7 percent unemployment.”


Raising the minimum wage, which passed the House and was blocked by Republicans in the Senate with the help of conservative Democrats like Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and Maggie Hassan, would have helped solve that problem. And so would have more vigorous and muscular policies about American companies out-sourcing manufacturing to low-wage countries like China and Vietnam. The Times piece concludes by noting that “Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, said in an interview that the laws were already changing the calculus for investment and job creation in the United States. In recent weeks, White House officials have promoted factory announcements from automakers, battery companies and others, directly linked to the climate bill. ‘One of the most striking things that we are seeing now,” Deese said, ‘is the number of companies— U.S. companies and global companies— that are committing to build and expand their manufacturing footprint in the United States, and doing so based on their view that not only did the pandemic highlight the need for more resilience in their supply chains, but that the United States is creating a policy environment that makes long term investment here in the United States more attractive.’”


Anyway, too late now. Instead, the Democrats will have to depend on how horrible Republican MAGA candidates like Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania are, people not even mainstream Republicans can stomach. Are there enough of them though? Reid Epstein reported from Mastriano’s bust of a rally in Harrisburg over the weekend, where they expected thousands of people and wound up with around 60. “He is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May, has chosen not to interact with the state’s news media in ways that would push his agenda, and trails by double digits in reputable public polling and most private surveys. There’s no sign of cavalry coming to his aid, either: The Republican Governors Association, which is helping the party’s nominees in Arizona, Michigan and six other states, has no current plans to assist Mastriano, according to people with knowledge of its deliberations.” That’s right, they’re even helping a crackpot like Tudor Dixon, who’s down by double digits, while ignoring Mastriano.



Maybe a little over-dramatically Epstein declared the gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania the “most consequential in the country,” the answer to the Democrats’ prayers. Mastriano was an active J-6 insurrectionist who has indicated he will make it much harder too vote and that he decide future elections if he’s elected governor. He’s also said he will ban abortion with no exceptions.


One GOP group has run 811 TV ads attacking Josh Shapiro (D) but since May, Shapiro has run 23,000 TV ads attacking Mastriano and promoting himself. Epstein noted that “Republicans elsewhere who, with Trump’s endorsement, won primaries against the wishes of their local political establishments are facing similar disparities in TV advertising in the final weeks of the midterm campaigns. Along with Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Trump-backed candidates for governor in five other states— Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan— have combined to air zero television advertisements since winning their primaries. Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, the RGA’s co-chairman, was asked about whether he views Mr. Mastriano as a viable candidate during a question-and-answer session this month at Georgetown University. ‘We don’t fund lost causes and we don’t fund landslides,’ Ducey said. ‘You have to show us something, you have to demonstrate that you can move numbers and you can raise resources.’ Mastriano isn’t a potential landslide, he hasn’t moved any numbers and he sure hasn’t raised any resources. He has $397,319 in his campaign account compared to Shapiro’s $13.5 million.


“Mastriano’s supporters,” wrote Epstein, “say he’s following a Pennsylvania playbook written by Trump. They are counting on a surge of under-the-radar grass-roots enthusiasm on Election Day and a political environment in which Republicans are motivated by anger with President Biden… There’s not much help coming for Mastriano from the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, which was sufficiently in need of cash that, in a real-life Hail Mary, it sold its Harrisburg state headquarters in June to the Catholic church next door for $750,000.”


Go ahead, guess why I included this new Jonathan Pie video about Liz Truss and her British Conservative Party.



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