How a close race in 2018 still shapes American politics


WASHINGTON- If it’s Thursday… The January 6 committee holds his final hearing to examine Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on the Justice Department. … Ukraine suffers military setback in his eastern campaign. … The Senate is set for a key procedural vote on bipartisan gun legislation, according to NBC’s Capitol Hill team. …Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recount NBC’s Dasha Burns won’t comment on whether Biden should run in 24 (“If he does run, he’ll have my support,” she adds). …And a new poll from Wisconsin shows tight races across the state.

But first : Two developments on Wednesday reminded us that seemingly minor developments in American politics — like which candidate wins a particular primary — can end up having far-reaching effects years later.

Development No. 1: Democrat Andrew Gillum, the party’s 2018 candidate for governor of Florida, was charged on Wednesday with wire fraud, conspiracy and misrepresentation (Gillum says he is innocent).

Development #2: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who defeated Gillum by 32,000 votes, narrowly leads Donald Trump in New Hampshire, according to a 2024 state poll (yes, we know it’s pretty early).

Gillum’s primary victory in 2018 was, of course, a big surprise. Aided by endorsements and money from Senator Bernie SandersI-Vt, and Tom Steyer — along with other candidates ganging up on top Democrat Gwen Graham — Gillum upset Graham.

In fact, Graham’s loss was one of the few statewide primary losses for establishment-backed women in Round 18.

The Florida Democratic Party hasn’t recovered since, while the DeSantis 2024 buzz couldn’t be bigger right now.

All of this reminds us of how far-reaching the primaries and the events that unfold in them can be.

And if you recall, Barack Obama’s own path to the White House was aided by several Republican candidates – Jack Ryan and Mike Ditka – dropping out or refusing to run for the 2004 Illinois Senate race.

Tweet of the day

Downloading data: The day number is … 6

That’s the number of candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump in Georgia who have lost their primary nominations so far this year. That’s more than half of the 11 Trump-backed candidates who have lost so far this round.

It is true that the vast majority of Trump mentions win their primaries. And he’s above water in races that NBC’s political unit deems competitive — 21 wins and 11 losses. But his Georgia competitive racing record of two wins and six losses stands out, especially after two more losses at Georgia on Tuesday.

Why is Trump having such a hard time in Georgia this cycle? One theory is that the states and races where he has been least effective are places where Trump has been blamed for hurting the GOP in competitive elections. Learn more on the Meet the Press blog.

Other numbers to know:

2 percentage points: That’s the difference between Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Trump in a University of New Hampshire online poll among probable GOP 2024 presidential; primary voters in the state, DeSantis leading 39% to 37%.

3: At least how many people have received new grand jury subpoenas related to an investigation into the attempt to create a bunch of fake presidential voters hoping to contest the 2020 election, according to the New York Times.

6 percentage points: It’s Democrat John Fetterman’s lead over Republican Mehmet Oz in a new Pennsylvania AARP Poll(50% to 44%), with Oz’s preference rating significantly underwater. The same poll also finds Democrat Josh Shapiro slightly ahead of Republican Doug Mastriano in the race for state governor, 49% to 46%.

Midterm Review: Badger State Battleground

Wisconsin is hosting competitive gubernatorial and Senate races in November, and a new poll from Marquette Law School shows both contests are up for grabs.

In the Democratic Senate primary, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes leads the field at 25%, with Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry just 4 percentage points behind. Every potential general election showdown with GOP Sen. Ron Johnson was within a few percentage points.

(Johnson, meanwhile, continued to make his case on the airwaves. His campaign announced Wednesday that it was teaming up with the Republican National Senate Committee to launch a new ad on inflation.)

In the Republican gubernatorial primary, the Marquette poll finds businessman Tim Michels, who has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, and former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch nearly tied for the top, at 27% and 26% respectively. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ lead on the GOP field ranges from 4 to 17 points.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Arizona Senate: FreedomWorks hosts a forum with all the top GOP Senate candidates tonight.

Missouri Senate: Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee approved Senate candidacy of GOP Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

Governor of Illinois: The Democratic Governors Association is setting aside an additional $1.5 million in ad time, per AdImpact, as it seeks to undercut GOP Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s chances in his Republican primary.

Governor of Michigan: Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer told NBC News on Wednesday that she would not “weigh in” on President Joe Biden’s decision whether or not to run for re-election in 2024. And, she added that she was too busy to consider his own presidential campaign at the time.

Governor of New York: Former Vice President Mike Pence is should approve GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin for governor, according to The New York Times.

Alaska At-Large” A senior state election official says removing nonpartisan candidate Al Gross from the upcoming House special election will not elevate another candidate in August’s ranked choice election. because Gross retired too late.

Illinois-15: Two outside groups (Club for Growth and Conservative Outsiders PAC) backing GOP Rep. Mary Miller earmarked $300,000 in TV ad time in the final days before next week’s primary, while Miller’s main opponent, Rep. Rodney Davis, booked an additional $123,000 in television time. , by AdImpact.

Ad-watch: show everything in Maryland

Less than a month before Maryland’s gubernatorial primary, Democratic candidates and the groups that support them are hitting the airwaves.

The latest announcement comes from PAC For The People, an outside group supporting former Education Secretary John King. The ad highlights his work in the Obama administration and a narrator tells viewers, “John is a public school parent with progressive values. He has a record fighting for civil rights and equality.

According to AdImpact, the group has spent nearly $75,000 on ads so far, but they’ve booked an additional $86,000 in airtime by the July 19 primary.

Learn more about Maryland’s ad wars on the Meet the Press blog.

ICYMI: What else is going on in the world?

The Uvalde School District is furloughing Police Chief Pete Arredondo.

President Joe Biden has called on Congress to suspend the federal gasoline tax for three months.


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