Rick Klein on the TAKE
Former President Donald Trump’s advice was both unexpected and unpleasant to Republicans in Pennsylvania who were hoping to unite the party following a divisive primary.
However, many of those running for office this year have been practically begging for it.
Trump’s request that Mehmet Oz “declare victory” to make it “much tougher for them to cheat” was based on no evidence and left it unclear who “them” may be. Thousands of legitimately cast votes are remained to be counted, including those submitted by members of the military serving overseas, and a recount is likely to be ordered under state law.
Oz hasn’t followed Trump’s advice, and none of the candidates has questioned the validity of ballots that haven’t been counted yet. Despite any evidence of fraud, all of the top Republican statewide candidates in Pennsylvania landed somewhere on the spectrum between emphasising “election integrity” and openly asserting that Trump’s 2020 election was stolen from him during their campaigns.
Kathy Barnette, a late-in-the-race Senate candidate, was at the Jan. 6 demonstration before the rioting in the US Capitol, and footage released this week shows her heading toward the Capitol that day, though she claims she did not join in the violence. Despite trailing considerably behind Oz and Dave McCormick, Barnette has refused to concede defeat; she claimed on the night of the primary that if either won, she would not endorse them because “I have no thoughts of backing globalists.”
No one can deny that state Senator Doug Mastriano stormed to the Republican governorship nomination, aided in part by Trump’s endorsement. Mastriano was present at the Jan. 6 demonstration, but he declined to join the insurgency. He did lead legal and state legislative efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and if he wins the governorship, he will have the right to appoint Pennsylvania’s next secretary of state.
More races will be held next week, including in Georgia and Texas, where pro-Trump politicians have backed lies and conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election. Those concerns are still significant in 2022, and they may become much more so in 2024.
Averi Harper on the RUNDOWN
A draught of new congressional districts unveiled this week in New York is already causing havoc in midterm elections, and former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is exploring a run for Congress.
“As we recover from Covid, our communities require assistance. As democracy is imperilled and working people struggle, our country requires assistance. I am willing to help in the battle against inequality “In a tweet, de Blasio announced the formation of an exploratory committee for the new 10th congressional district, which includes his Brooklyn neighbourhood.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, who presently holds the seat, would have to relinquish it since his Upper East Side house would suddenly be under the 12th congressional district. Some believe de Blasio has an excellent chance of winning the new NY-10.
“He can run on two issues: I’ll stop the guns and I’ll fight for choice,” New York political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told ABC News. “He has a large, large number of people in that district that listen to him and have voted for him in the past.”
Because of the new map’s boundaries, Nadler might face Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a member-on-member contest.
The move comes after de Blasio decided not to run for governor after serving two terms as mayor of New York City.
Alisa Wiersema on the TIP
While one of Pennsylvania’s primary elections could take weeks to complete, elections in Texas, the first state to vote in 2022, will be decided in less than a week.
The national debate over the draught Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade lingers over the runoff for Texas’ 28th Congressional District, where moderate incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar faces leftist Jessica Cisneros for the second time. While the election was already tense before the draught made headlines, Cuellar’s voting record as the only anti-abortion Democrat in the House has put the subject of abortion front and centre in the final days of the campaign.
Cisneros, who has the support of high-profile progressives like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, called on Democratic House leaders to retract their endorsements of Cuellar owing to his anti-abortion stance in the weeks preceding up to Tuesday’s runoff. The stakes are high: a primary loss for a longstanding incumbent in one of the country’s most conservative states would be a surprising upset, signalling that voters prioritise abortion access.
Republicans on the other side of the aisle will see if Trump’s endorsement is enough to get a contentious candidate through the runoff for Texas attorney general. Despite being the focus of a series of claims connected to state and federal investigations, Trump renewed his support for incumbent Ken Paxton during a recent rally in Austin, Texas, calling him “a fighter like no other.”
Despite his family’s resistance to the former president’s policies, his opponent, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, was denied Trump’s endorsement. Despite his family’s deep links to Texas politics, Bush faces a challenge in distancing himself from being perceived as too centrist for the present political atmosphere.
NUMBER OF THE DAY is brought to you by FiveThirtyEight.
According to a survey from the Guttmacher Institute, a research organisation that advocates legal abortion, 50 percent of abortion patients took contraception in the month they became pregnant. And, as Maggie Koerth and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux of FiveThirtyEight write, if the Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion, many women may be left with an unexpected pregnancy. Read more about why birth control hasn’t rendered abortion obsolete from Maggie and Amelia.
THE COMPLETE PLAYLIST
The “Start Here” podcast from ABC News. Beginning Thursday morning, ABC’s Anne Flaherty discusses the newest COVID-19 increase. Then, from Ukraine, ABC’s Ian Pannell reports on the collapse of Mariupol as two countries want to join NATO. In addition, ABC News contributor Christine Brennan discusses how new U.S. Soccer contracts are equalising wages. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW RIGHT NOW
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and President Sauli Niinistö are welcomed to the White House by President Biden and Vice President Harris. At 9 a.m., the leaders are expected to arrive. At 10:30 a.m., Biden, Andersson, and Niinistö deliver statements in the Rose Garden. At 11:30 a.m., the president leaves the White House for South Korea. Biden is making his first trip to Asia as president, and he will visit Japan later this week.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, and Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, board Air Force One together.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on clemency and the pardon attorney’s office at 9 a.m.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 9 a.m. to consider amending the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to include training on alternatives to use of force, de-escalation, mental and behavioural health, and suicidal crises, as well as making PTSD treatment available to public safety officers.
A hearing on “Free Speech Under Attack (Part II): Curriculum Sabotage and Classroom Censorship” will be held at 10 a.m. by the House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee.
The Senate Rules and Administration Committee will hold a hearing at 11 a.m. to look into the election administration.