(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 7

(A)political Newsletter - U.S. Political News & Election Updates

September 1st, 2023

Good morning everyone,

The polls have seen fluid movement recently, following both Trump’s legal troubles and the successful Republican debates. On the Democratic ticket, RFK Jr. and Marianne Williamson have both reached double digits against President Joe Biden but still pose no serious threat. Some smaller campaigns have seen dramatic changes, including in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis also scored some points over his handling of recent Hurricane Idalia, yet still is behind Trump by about 40 points. While the current showdown looks like a rematch between Trump and Biden, a lot can happen; it's only September.

In today’s edition:

  • Poll update

  • Mitch McConnell health concerns

  • Pennsylvania Democrat issues

  • Arizona Senate race

Poll Update

As of August 29, the poll numbers still heavily favor former President Donald Trump, despite his legal troubles and not participating in the debates. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gained a slight boost after a several-month-long steady fall following the debates. Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley both saw decent increases following their performances at the debate, with Haley now sitting ahead of former Vice President Mike Pence. Several candidates, including Doug Burgum and Asa Hutchinson, who both were at the debates, still sit below 1%.

Mitch McConnell Suffers Second Press Freeze in 2 months

(PHOTO - J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

August 30, 2023: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had another period of non-responsiveness during a press conference, furthering long-running concerns about his health. McConnell, 81, went about 30 seconds where he did not answer reporters’ questions. This is the second time he has had a mental freeze, after the last one in July. Before that event, he had a string of health problems, including a fall in recent months where he broke several ribs and suffered a concussion. Before that, he had fallen at an airport. His office immediately put out a statement saying McConnell was feeling "lightheaded".

McConnell’s Republican allies were quick to defend against concerns about his health, with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) stating to Axios that McConnell was sounding better. However, there have been no reports of other Senators trying to take advantage of the situation and vie for the role. McConnell has only dealt with one challenge to his authority since he rose to power as leader of the Senate Republicans. Rick Scott (R-Fl.) challenged McConnell's leadership after the 2022 Midterms. This is a time when many of the nation’s leaders are advancing in years, with President Biden being 80 years old and former President Trump being 77 years old.

McConnell immediately called congressional allies, stating that he was fit to serve. His office released a statement from the Senate physician that he is "medically clear" to serve. Rank-and-file Republicans are considering forcing a special conference to discuss McConnell’s health.

Pennsylvania Democrats: It’s a f-ing disaster”

Democratic strategists and former Pennsylvania Democrats call into question the party’s ability to put up a fight in the key battleground state. Based on interviews with 20 Pennsylvania Democratic officials and strategists, the Democratic Party's ability to compete in the key battleground state is being questioned due to voter discontent, and significant financial challenges are posing obstacles for the party with just over a year left until the 2024 election.

An anonymous state committee member referred to it as "amateur hour", with a former Pennsylvania Democratic staffer saying "it’s a fucking disaster."

In July, the state party was subjected to a series of job cuts that were not disclosed until recently. Based on its latest campaign finance filings, one of its political action committees had a mere $7,500 in the bank as of early June. Democrats in the state are becoming increasingly concerned about the effectiveness of their leadership, particularly state party chair Sharif Street.

The primary worry is that the party will not be adequately prepared for both the upcoming presidential election and a crucial Senate race next year. Additionally, a state Supreme Court competition will take place this November, with Democrats putting the highly contentious abortion topic at the forefront of the debate.

Blake Masters Poised to challenge Kari Lake in Primary for AZ Senate

PHOTO - Daily Dot

Former Senate candidate Blake Masters appears ready to run again for U.S. Senate, a move that will most likely put him at odds with his former ally, Kari Lake. Lake, the former candidate for Arizona Governor in the 2022 Midterms, is considered a heavyweight in the primary because of her widespread fame and close relationship with former President Donald Trump. Kari Lake has not officially stated her intention to join the race, but Axios reported she is staffing up for a coming entrance into the race.

Whichever person wins the nomination will have to go up against two people: incumbent Senator Kyrsten Sinema, running as an independent, and Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, running for the Democratic nomination in her place. As we previously reported, an AP Norc poll found that even if Kari Lake and Kyrsten Sinema run for Senate, with Sinema siphoning votes from Rep. Gallego, he will still most likely win the election in 2024. The race will also pit two conservative voices against each other with near-identical politics. This is a rare example of Republican politics where there is more of a moderate vs. conservative divide for the nomination.

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