Campaign Report — 2024 chatter grows on both sides
Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, tracking all things related to the 2022 midterm elections. You can expect this newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to November’s election.
Someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.
Let the White House jockeying commence
The 2022 midterm campaign season is heating up, but this week it seems like 2024 speculation has taken the spotlight on both sides of the aisle and we can hardly keep up.
On Thursday, former President Trump, who continues to hint at a 2024 run, suggested that he would be open to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) being his running mate if he launches a presidential bid.
“Well I get along with him,” Trump told Newsmax’s Rob Finnerty when asked about the possibility of a Trump-DeSantis ticket. “I was very responsible for his success, because I endorsed him and he went up like a rocketship.”
A DeSantis surge? Trump has led most hypothetical 2024 GOP primaries, but DeSantis normally trails him. But last week, a University of New Hampshire survey showed the Florida governor leading the former president 39 percent to 37 percent among likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters. Of course, most other polls nationally and other states tend to show Trump leading, but it’s proof that DeSantis’s star continues to grow among Republican voters.
The two men have insisted they have a good relationship and were seen chatting at a wedding in Palm Beach back in April. Still, Trump has reportedly complained privately about DeSantis’s political ambitions, and DeSantis has declined on multiple occasions to rule out a presidential run.
Making the early-state rounds: As the Trump-DeSantis chatter continues, other Republicans are making campaign moves in early states. The Hill’s Mychael Schnell reports that former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is slated to attend a fundraiser in Iowa with Gov. Kim Reynolds (R). Haley is also slated to make an appearance at the Feenstra family picnic, hosted by Iowa Rep. Randy Feenstra (R) on Thursday.
And Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) is also being thrown into the mix less than a year after he won his first even political bid in Virginia’s gubernatorial election. The Washington Post reports that Youngkin has been meeting Republican mega donors and has plans to headline a Nebraska GOP event.
Now onto the Democrats…
While President Biden and Vice President Harris have repeatedly said the president has plans to run in 2024, speculation is still growing about what many critics say is the thin Democratic bench going into the next presidential election.
Biden is facing pushback over his handling of the economy as inflation and gas prices hit record levels, with his approval rating sitting just above 40 percent. On top of that, the president is turning 80 this year.
Pritzker draws speculation: Some Democrats, particularly those in the party’s progressive flank, have voiced frustrations that those in the party’s establishment (i.e. Biden) acted too late on issues like abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on Thursday that Biden could stand to face a primary challenger if he decides to run again in 2024.
“That’s not something I’m encouraging, but it’s certainly possible. We’ve seen it in the past,” Pritzker said. The governor was recently in New Hampshire, an early-voting state, which drew immediate speculation he could be planning his own run.
And there’s even been renewed chatter of a potential run from none other than former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Hill’s Amie Parnes reports: “The overturning of Roe v. Wade by a Supreme Court that includes three judges nominated by Donald Trump, along with devastating Tuesday testimony to the Jan. 6 panel about the former president’s temper tantrums as a mob attacked the Capitol, have Clinton and her allies seeing new vindication in her 2016 warnings about the mistake of electing Trump.”
The Roe fallout continues
Democrats and political groups are using the Supreme Court’s decision last week, which eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion, as a way to galvanize voters ahead of is expected to be an already challenging midterm environment for the party.
Sen. Maggie Hassan’s (D-N.H.) campaign is out with a new ad on Thursday, calling the decision one that “catapults us backwards” and seeks to show her as a proponent of protecting personal freedoms in the state. Hassan happens to be one of several vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection this November.
Money pours in: Rep. Val Demings’s (D-Fla.) senatorial campaign has already created a website called rubiosplanforwomen.com seeking to hit her opponent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) over his stance on the medical procedure.
Meanwhile, groups like the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Planned Parenthood Action Fund have launched ad buys in battleground states in an effort to target lawmakers over the issue or highlight politicians opening the door to a more national ban on the issue. The big question remains if the issue of abortion will be enough to excite Democrats’ base as the country amid President Biden’s lagging approval ratings and other pressing issues like inflation.
Biden’s filibuster move
President Biden made headlines on Thursday when he called for the Senate to carve out an exception to the 60-vote filibuster to codify abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned the precedent set by Roe v. Wade.
“The most important thing to be clear about is I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that,” Biden said speaking from the NATO Summit in Madrid.
The comments earned praise from Democrats, including progressives. Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate praised the move in a statement, saying “Good.”
“Send me to D.C., and I will proudly cast that 51st vote to eliminate the filibuster and codify the right to an abortion into law,” Fetterman said.
A walk down memory lane: While Biden’s comments are sure to enthuse progressives over his openness to changing filibuster rules, that doesn’t necessarily mean Democrats might have the votes to create a carveout.
In the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion last month that indicated the high court would overturn Roe v. Wade, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that “the filibuster is the only protection we have in democracy” in his defense of the 60-vote rule.
And while Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) criticized the draft ruling at the time of its leak, a statement she released on the matter did not suggest her defense of filibuster would change, saying “protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever.”
MAPPING OUT THE HOUSE
The congressional lines are now in place for all 50 states ahead of November after New Hampshire became the last state late last month to finalize their House map. The Hill’s Max Greenwood helped us break down what those congressional lines translate to for Democrats and Republicans.
The takeaways: Among some of his big takeaways, they provide some “good news, bad news” for Democrats. Democrats gained a handful of districts that tilt in their direction – they have blue legislatures in Oregon and Illinois, who passed favorable Democratic maps, to thank for that. Democrats were also spared from an aggressive Republican gerrymander in North Carolina after a state court weighed in.
But, but, but: Republicans are still anticipated to gain three to four House seats in November, in part because Democratic gerrymander maps in New York and Maryland were tossed out. Plus, a congressional map offered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), widely seen as a possible 2024 GOP contender, will stand for the 2022 midterms. That map creates four more Republican-leaning districts and effectively guts a North Florida district currently held by Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.).
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Campaign page for the latest news and coverage. See you Tuesday.