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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Harris Gets a Job
      •  So Does Rachel Levine
      •  Senate Begins Advancing S. 1
      •  Manchin Will Support a $3-Trillion Infrastructure Bill If Democrats Raise Corporate Taxes
      •  Trump Wants to Build a Huge Dark-Money Machine
      •  Missouri Senate Race Heats Up
      •  Newsom Picks New AG for California
      •  A Look at the 2022 Gubernatorial Races
      •  Republican Governors Miss Trump

Harris Gets a Job

The only job the Constitution gives the vice president is breaking ties in the Senate. Fortunately for Kamala Harris, the Senate is tied a lot these days, so she has something to do to break up the boredom. Now Joe Biden has given her an additional job: Stop the flow of immigrants at the Mexican border. After a couple of weeks, she will probably give it back to Biden and ask for something easier, like bringing peace to the Middle East while reinventing the government at the same time.

If ever there was a more thankless job than the one Harris is getting, we don't know what it is. Harris even said so, remarking that there is "no question this is a challenging situation." She plans on talking to the leaders of countries in Central America where the migrants are coming from. It is not clear how this will go. She could promise them money if they close their northern borders and block the roads out of the country so that people physically can't leave. The leaders may agree in order to get the money, but then they likely won't enforce the agreements with much enthusiasm since they are probably quite happy to be rid of desperate poor people. Furthermore, if the governments do set up roadblocks at the border, the would-be emigrants aren't likely to take "no" for an answer and clashes, possibly armed, are inevitable. Few, if any, of the countries in Central America are stable democracies with strong commitments to the rule of law. Potential emigrants will no doubt try to bribe border officials. However, if the going rate is high enough, that could reduce the flow somewhat.

Harris' new job is similar to one Biden had when he was vice president. It didn't work then and probably won't work now. But he is under pressure to do something, so giving a very high-profile official this assignment may convince some voters that he is doing something. In all fairness to Biden, assigning a woman of color to the task looks better than assigning it to an old white man, but the result probably won't be so different. (V)

So Does Rachel Levine

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health, one of seven assistant secretaries in HHS, all of whom rank lower than the secretary and the deputy secretary. The vote was close: 52 to 48, with Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) being the only Republicans voting to confirm. It's an important enough position to require Senate confirmation, but only in the top 100 positions the Senate must confirm.

But Levine is special. She is the only openly transgender person ever confirmed by the Senate. Why did 48 Republicans vote against her? Is this job way above her pay grade? Well, no. She graduated from Harvard and got an M.D. from Tulane. Then she was a resident at the prestigious Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Later she moved to Pennsylvania where she served as the state's physician general. One of her decisions (allowing police officers to carry naloxone) saved the lives of thousands of people who had overdosed on opioids. In June 2017, she was unanimously confirmed by the state senate as Pennsylvania's secretary of health, a job she held for 4 years to everyone's satisfaction. If that isn't a sufficiently good résumé for a job with HHS, it is hard to say what is. The 52-48 vote says a lot more about the Republican Party than it does about Dr. Levine. (V)

Senate Begins Advancing S. 1

One of the biggest fights in the Senate in decades—probably the biggest one since the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills of the 1960s—is going to be the one over S.1 (the Senate's version of H.R. 1). Democrats understand that if they don't pass it, Republican state legislatures in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, and other key states are going to enact laws making it harder to vote, possibly keeping Democrats from winning anything statewide in those states for years or even decades. Republicans understand this, too. The battle over S.1 is going to be existential for both parties.

The bill would mandate automatic voter registration whenever any eligible voter came in contact with a government agency, expand early voting to 15 days nationally, allow any registered voter to get an absentee ballot (along with a postage-free envelope) with no questions asked, restore voting rights to felons who have served their sentence, force super PACs to disclose their donors, provide for public financing of congressional candidates, end gerrymandering, and a lot more.

Yesterday, the Democrats took the first steps in what is sure to be a brutal process going forward. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN). It is 800 pages long and is like a giant Christmas tree full of pretty ornaments for Democrats, including many items that have nothing to do with voting or democracy. These could prove to be stumbling blocks because not all Democrats are on board with them. In the end, the Democrats are first going to have to check with the more moderate members of their own caucus to see what they can stomach. Starting with a great big wish list and later throwing out a large part of it is just part of the standard Kabuki theater that is legislation these days. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) included all kinds of stuff he knows won't pass so he can say to the progressives: "I tried, but our own party doesn't agree with all this stuff. I was forced to remove it. I'm terribly sorry." Actually, he's not sorry at all, but protocol requires him to pretend he likes things that he knows have no chance of passing.

There will be plenty of testimony before the Committee. Yesterday, Mac Warner (the West Virginia secretary of state) urged the Committee to kill the bill. So did Todd Rokita (the Indiana AG). Two former Republican FEC chairmen also testified against the bill. The majority leader and minority leader also both spoke (for and against the bill, respectively). Eric Holder will address the Committee soon. None of their arguments will matter one whit. Nobody is listening.

In the end, all that will matter is what the Democrats do about the filibuster. If they decide to reinstate the "talking filibuster" and let each senator get only one turn speaking for as long as they like and run the Senate 24/7 then, as we pointed out on Monday, Republicans could probably gum up the works for 2-3 weeks as they drop like flies onto the Senate floor, possibly literally. Then there would be a vote. Alternatively, Democrats could change the rules to exempt voting rights bills from filibusters, but that doesn't appear to be their current plan. In any event, the process has now started. It will be explosive since with some trimming, every Democrat will vote for the bill and no Republican will vote for it. Sparks will fly.

In an important development concerning the filibuster, moderate independent Sen. Angus King (ME) wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday in which he said that voting rights are a "special case." He said he would prefer that the Republicans play ball on important bills like S.1, immigration, infrastructure, etc., but if they don't, well, maybe the filibuster rule has to be changed. The key clause in his op-ed is this: "if forced to choose between a Senate rule and democracy itself, I know where I will come down." Hint: he may be a King, but he's for democracy.

It is clear that the Democrats' strategy is to make it abundantly clear to the Republicans that if they want to have any influence at all in governing, a strategy of "obstruct, block, stonewall, and stymie everything the Democrats want" will simply lead to the Democrats "reforming" the filibuster and going it alone. If the Republicans don't get the message, it seems increasingly likely the Democrats will work out their own consensus internally and then ram that through with no Republican votes. (V)

Manchin Will Support a $3-Trillion Infrastructure Bill If Democrats Raise Corporate Taxes

A lot of Democrats think Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is a DINO, and not of the stegosaurus type. In truth, he is a normal moderate Democrat, except that he is constrained by representing a state that voted for Donald Trump by 40 points. Yesterday, he said that he is fine with Joe Biden's proposed $3-trillion infrastructure plan, provided that the bill also paid for it by raising taxes on corporations. He also wants to repeal some of the other goodies in the 2017 tax-cut bill. Can you imagine a Republican saying that his support for a massive spending program full of liberal priorities was contingent on raising corporate taxes? We can't.

Why is Manchin gung ho on a big-time infrastructure bill? Maybe it has to do with the fact that the infrastructure in West Virginia is extremely decrepit. Surely Joe Biden would be very grateful for his vote and make sure that plenty of money was allocated for cleaning up abandoned coal mines and toxic waste sites, paying for broadband Internet in rural areas, putting factories that make solar panels and wind turbines in depressed areas, and other things that Manchin's constituents would definitely notice. Manchin is an old-style politician who likes to make deals—and so is Biden. It's not hard to imagine them coming to an agreement that is a big win for West Virginia. With Manchin pushing for infrastructure and King agreeing to "reform" the filibuster, it is clear that the Democrats are now putting maximum pressure on the Republicans to either agree to work with them in good faith or be left behind. (V)

Trump Wants to Build a Huge Dark-Money Machine

Next month, major Republican donors will gather at Mar-a-Lago to discuss setting up a dark-money machine that can help Donald Trump work his will on the Republican Party. This will be separate from the leadership PAC and revenge super PAC Trump has already set up. Trump's model seems to be: the more places big donors can shovel money into, the more money he will collect. Of course, if most of the big donors send all the donations to one of Trump's slush funds, the less money there will be for the RNC, NRSC, NRCC, and RGA. No doubt Trump sees starving all the official Republican fundraising committees as a feature rather than a bug.

The meeting is being sponsored by the Conservative Partnership Institute, which is run by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former senator Jim DeMint. Speakers will include other Trump allies, among them Stephen Miller, Russ Vought, and Ric Grenell. They will argue that Democrats do it, too, so they have to compete. Actually, Democrats raise most of their money via ActBlue, not secretive dark-money channels. Nevertheless, Democrats do have groups like the Democracy Alliance, which does raise a fair amount of money, but it isn't nearly as secretive as what Trump is planning.

Also present at Mar-a-Lago will be a newly formed group, the Save America Alliance. It will be an invitation-only, membership-based organization. The new club won't actually collect money and then distribute it. Instead, it will make recommendations to donors where they should send their money. For a mere $100,000 annual donation, members will get staff recommendations for primary challenges of candidates that "actively fought to impair President Trump and his America First agenda." One might have thought Trump would have had someone make a public website telling everyone which candidates to back, rather than making it a big secret only for the ultrarich. But this way, the donors can have the feeling that they are getting inside dope that the hoi polloi won't know. Smart of Trump, no?

In addition to the keynote speakers, there will be a panel entitled "Playing Offense in 2022." This will no doubt focus on telling the donors which Democrats to target in 2022. However, we'll tell you which Senate Democrats will be targeted right now: Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), Maggie Hassan (NH), Mark Kelly (AZ), and Raphael Warnock (GA), And you got this without having to promise to donate $100,000 to anyone. One of the many fringe benefits of reading our site. (V)

Missouri Senate Race Heats Up

Earlier this week, disgraced former Missouri governor Eric Greitens threw his soiled hat in the ring to replace the retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). The entire Republican establishment sees the ghost of Todd Akin here. Akin is most famous for claiming that victims of "legitimate rape" don't get pregnant (apparently unlike victims of "illegitimate rape," who get pregnant every time). Greitens never discussed rape in public, but his tying up and blindfolding a nude woman and taking photos of her to blackmail her into keeping quiet about their affair is not likely to win over female voters en masse. The establishment will do everything it can to take down Greitens.

Step 1 was to get Missouri AG Eric Schmitt (R) to enter the primary, which he did yesterday. Both of them announced on Fox & Friends, so Donald Trump was sure to see them. Both of them used their air time to directly appeal to Trump for his endorsement.

Schmitt's hope is based on his strenuous efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He organized an amicus brief in the lawsuit that wanted the courts to throw the election out. He figures that Trump will appreciate that and endorse him. He is scheduled to meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) this week. This is a sign that McConnell is potentially interested in him. Schmitt is close with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), which is probably not a plus for McConnell. Also, last year Schmitt sued the Chinese government for unleashing the coronavirus on the U.S. The chief of staff for former (Democratic) AG Jay Nixon, Chuck Hatfield, said: "You're suing the Chinese Communist party in Cape Girardeau, Missouri? What, do they have a field office down there?"

Greitens is most definitely not going to get an invitation to make his case to McConnell. His hope is that Trump will recognize a fellow sexual abuser and bond with him over that. Otherwise, he's up Schmitt's Creek.

Other Missouri politicians who have won statewide may also enter the contest, so it is not a done deal. On the Democratic side, the mayor of Kansas City, MO, Quinton Lucas, is exploring a run.

Republicans regard Greitens as a four-alarm fire, but down in Alabama they have a three-alarm fire, as well. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) is running for the seat that Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is leaving. Brooks isn't as bad as child molester Roy Moore, but he is crazy enough to drive lots of suburban housewives to either stay home or possibly even vote for the Democrat, if the blue team can find a moderate football coach to run. This is a far cry from the old days when the state parties could usually block loony candidates who could lose even in very red states and districts. Now fealty to Trump cancels out any other defects a candidate may have. (V)

Newsom Picks New AG for California

Pop quiz time: The residents of California include folks who trace their ancestry to more than two dozen Asian nations, among them Sri Lanka, Laos, Japan, China, and Cambodia. However, none of these is the Asian nation from which the largest number of Californians claim descent. China, for example, is #2, Japan is #6, and Cambodia is #8. What Asian nation tops the list? Answer later.

Before we get back to that, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), as you may have heard, has a wee recall problem right now. Yes, recent polling says he would survive if the election were held immediately. However, it won't be held immediately. So, he needs to shore up his support, to make sure he remains safe.

It was the Governor's good luck that Joe Biden raided California for two key slots in his presidential administration. Senator Kamala Harris, of course, became vice president. Newsom appointed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla in her place, which was a tip of the cap to Latino voters, and—as an added bonus—opened up another vacancy. Newsom filled that one with Shirley Weber, who is Black.

And then, after plucking his running mate from California, Biden returned to claim his HHS Secretary in the person of California AG Xavier Becerra. That created a third vacancy for Newsom to fill. Given that the governor recently gave one boon to the Latino community (specifically, Mexican Americans) and another one to the Black community, perhaps you can guess where this is heading?

If you can guess, well, then you're not Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). He led the first Trump impeachment process, of course, and has been angling to be appointed as Becerra's replacement. Some major Democratic players, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have been lobbying Newsom to appoint Schiff. During the impeachment process, Schiff was a big star among Democrats, but that was then and this is now. No one doubts his competence, but "white" is not the ethnic group missing from the list in the previous paragraph. If white Californians are concerned about being represented in state government, they have Newsom himself (and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, for that matter).

The missing ethnic group, of course, is Asians. Having built a (small) bridge to Black voters and to Latino voters with his other two appointments, it was exceedingly likely that Newsom would go with someone of Asian descent with his third. That said, the second-largest Asian subgroup in California (remember, folks of Chinese descent) can already claim two high-ranking state officials: State Treasurer Fiona Ma and State Controller Betty Yee. So, giving Chinese-American voters even more representation was not likely to be in the cards.

On the other hand, the largest Asian subgroup—that would be Filipinos, with nearly 1.5 million Californians of that heritage—has nobody in the upper echelons of the state's executive branch. Well, they didn't until yesterday, that is. It should be no surprise, given what we've laid out here, that Newsom connected the dots and decided to tap a Filipino American to succeed Becerra as AG: Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda). Bonta is an outspoken progressive, and was nearly appointed AG back in 2016, when Kamala Harris vacated that job to become a senator. He'll be the first Filipino American to serve as California AG.

Naturally, the appointment of Bonta will please Filipino-American voters more than it will, say, Vietnamese-American voters, in the same way that elevating Padilla to the Senate will please Mexican-American voters more than it will Argentine-American voters. Still, when you're facing a recall, you've got to get as much bang for your buck as is possible. And beyond the white folks, the three largest ethnic subgroups in California are Mexican (3.5 million), Black (2.3 million), and Filipino (1.5 million). Newsom's strategy here could not be plainer if he hired a sky writer to fly over the state capitol to spell it out in giant, smoky letters.

The Governor may just get to make a fourth high-profile pick before his head goes on the (potential) chopping block. Many Democrats would like to see Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) resign from the Senate yesterday, if not sooner. Some are urging Joe Biden to give her a fig leaf by appointing her husband, Richard Blum, a wealthy major Democratic donor, as ambassador to some far-away country, so that she could use "I want to be with my wonderful husband and besides, I love Pad Thai" as an excuse. Newsom has promised he would appoint a Black woman to her seat if she goes. Since being a Democratic senator from California is de facto a lifetime appointment, Newsom has to be very, very careful not to step on anyone's toes with it, since quite a few folks (including Schiff) want the job. His best move there would be to appoint an elderly Black woman who won't run in the 2022 special election. That would fulfill his promise and give potential other candidates a level playing field to compete for it in 2022. The major candidates are Reps. Barbara Lee (74) and Karen Bass (67). Progressives would be thrilled if he named Lee. If she subsequently decided not to run in the special election in 2022 (or the regular election in 2024), that wouldn't be on Newsom's ledger. (V & Z)

A Look at the 2022 Gubernatorial Races

While the races in the Senate will get top billing in 2022, voters in 36 states will pick a governor. If we count the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia this year, then there could be up to 38 new governors this cycle. However, that is very unlikely, since some states are so red or blue, that the proverbial yellow dog could be elected there, as long as said canine had the proper (D) or (R) on its dog tag. Here are the 2022 races, grouped in three categories:

Rock solid
State PVI Governor Gov's party Last race Cook Gonzales Sabato
Alabama R+14 Kay Ivey Republican 59.5% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
Alaska R+9 Mike Dunleavy Republican 51.4% R Solid R Solid R Likely R
Arkansas R+15 (Open)   65.3% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
California D+12 Gavin Newsom Democratic 61.9% D Solid D Solid D Likely D
Colorado D+1 Jared Polis Democratic 53.4% D Solid D Solid D Likely D
Connecticut D+6 Ned Lamont Democratic 49.4% D Solid D Solid D Likely D
Hawaii D+18 (Open)   62.7% D Solid D Solid D Solid D
Idaho R+19 Brad Little Republican 59.8% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
Illinois D+7 J. B. Pritzker Democratic 54.5% D Solid D Solid D Likely D
Massachusetts D+12 Charlie Baker Republican 66.6% R Solid R Solid R Likely R
Nebraska R+14 (Open)   59.0% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
New Mexico D+3 Michelle Lujan Grisham Democratic 57.2% D Solid D Solid D Likely D
New York D+12 Andrew Cuomo Democratic 59.6% D Solid D Solid D Likely D
Oklahoma R+20 Kevin Stitt Republican 54.3% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
Oregon D+5 (Open)   50.1% D Solid D Solid D Lean D
Rhode Island D+10 Daniel McKee Democratic 52.6% D Solid D Solid D Likely D
South Carolina R+8 Henry McMaster Republican 54.0% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
South Dakota R+14 Kristi Noem Republican 51.0% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
Tennessee R+14 Bill Lee Republican 59.6% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
Vermont D+15 Phil Scott Republican 68.5% R Solid R Solid R Likely R
Wyoming R+25 Mark Gordon Republican 67.1% R Solid R Solid R Solid R
State PVI Governor Gov's party Last race Cook Gonzales Sabato
Iowa R+3 Kim Reynolds Republican 50.3% R Likely R Solid R Likely R
Maine D+3 Janet Mills Democratic 50.9% D Likely D Battleground Lean D
Minnesota D+1 Tim Walz Democratic 53.8% D Likely D Solid D Likely D
Nevada D+1 Steve Sisolak Democratic 49.4% D Likely D Battleground Lean D
Ohio R+3 Mike DeWine Republican 50.4% R Likely R Solid R Likely R
Texas R+8 Greg Abbott Republican 55.8% R Likely R Solid R Likely R
State PVI Governor Gov's party Last race Cook Gonzales Sabato
Arizona R+5 (Open)   56.0% R Tossup Battleground Tossup
Florida R+2 Ron DeSantis Republican 49.6% R Lean R Battleground Likely R
Georgia R+5 Brian Kemp Republican 50.2% R Lean R Battleground Tossup
Kansas R+13 Laura Kelly Democratic 48.0% D Lean D Battleground Tossup
Maryland D+12 (Open)   55.4% R Tossup Battleground Lean D
Michigan D+1 Gretchen Whitmer Democratic 53.3% D Lean D Battleground Lean D
New Hampshire D+1 Chris Sununu Republican 65.1% R Solid R Battleground Lean R
Pennsylvania EVEN (Open);   57.8% D Tossup Battleground Tossup
Wisconsin EVEN Tony Evers Democratic 49.5% D Lean D Battleground Tossup

The last three columns are the ratings by Charlie Cook, Nathan Gonzales, and Larry Sabato, respectively. The rows are color-coded based on the party expected to win the governor's mansion. When two of the three rated a state as solid, we classified it as solid. That even holds for the open seats in Arkansas, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Oregon. They are not going to switch parties, no matter what. So, 21 of the states are basically off the table.

The next batch of six states are likely to stick with their existing governor, but surprises do happen. Still, in the 158 gubernatorial elections since 2010, only seven governors lost their jobs, and all of these states have an incumbent governor running for reelection.

Now we come to the battleground states, the nine states that could go either way. In these states, and, really, in all states, one thing that could be different this time is that all the governors have been sorely tested by COVID-19, and if their voters think they really botched it, their party could be in trouble, although that is less likely in the open seats. Further, unemployment varies considerably from state to state and the voters tend to hold governors much more responsible for unemployment than senators. After all, governors can (and have) shut down businesses in many states for longer or shorter periods. Senators don't do that.

There are a few footnotes here (which we have put in purple) that could be important:

  • Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA) hasn't said yet if he is running. If he runs, he'll almost certainly win. If he does not run, the Democrats have a good chance to win this one.

  • Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) might decide having to run every 6 years is much more fun than having to run every 2 years and might decide to challenge Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). In that case, the gubernatorial race in New Hampshire will become a toss-up.

  • If Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) retires, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) might try for his seat. That obviously changes the gubernatorial election, since it will then be an open seat.

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is under a lot of fire now and could either resign or decide to retire in 2022. New York does elect Republican governors sometimes, so in an open-seat race, the GOP might have a chance, but it would be a small one since AG Letitia James (D) would be certain to run and there are no statewide-elected Republicans with her star power.

  • Gavin Newsom could be recalled. If he's recalled, a Republican could be elected in his place. And if a Republican is elected in his place, that person could be reelected next year. However, that is a lot of "ifs," and the odds of all three coming to pass are pretty slim, because Newsom appears to be safe (see above). So, California stays in the "rock solid" column.

  • Donald Trump is determined to unseat Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA). Will marginal Republican voters show up to defeat a candidate Trump hates when Trump himself is not on the ballot?

  • In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) is term limited, but Trump is all-but-certain to insert himself into the race anyway to make sure a Trumpish governor is chosen as a kind of way to somehow punish Ducey. How will that play out?

And last of all, if the economy really picks up speed due to the end of the pandemic, the incumbent party in each state is going to claim credit for it, even if its governor behaved stupidly throughout it. That will help incumbents everywhere. Still, gubernatorial races are much more local than senatorial races. Since 2000, every state except Alabama, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington has elected at least one Democratic governor and one Republican governor, so almost anything is at least conceivable. (V)

Republican Governors Miss Trump

Donald Trump helped a lot of Republican governors, and not all of them by campaigning for them. In fact, some of them won by attacking him and campaigning against him. This includes three of the most popular governors in the country: Charlie Baker, Phil Scott (R-VT), and Larry Hogan (R-MD). All of them are from very blue states. It turns out that while Republicans tend to stick with any Republican over any Democrat, there are a fair number of blue-state Democrats willing to support an anti-Trump Republican. In fact, some of these governors were more popular with Democrats than with Republicans. Hogan's approval, for example, was at one time 81% among Democrats and 65% among Republicans. No doubt part of his "problem" is that very Trumpy Republicans don't like him taking pot shots at Trump. What may also have hurt them with Republicans is that none of them voted for Trump last November. Scott voted for Biden, Baker didn't vote for president, and Hogan voted for the long-dead Ronald Reagan.

Now that Trump is off in Florida, these governors have a problem. They have lost their muse. Or is it their foil? To paraphrase Richard Nixon: "they don't have Trump to kick around anymore." As a consequence, their approval numbers have nosedived. For example, Baker has gone from 80% to 52%. When asked about this, Baker blamed it on "coronavirus fatigue." He said: "I think everybody's anxious for the pandemic to be over." Maybe his numbers will improve when the pandemic is finally over, but if Baker decides to run again in 2022, he won't be able to win many Democratic votes by attacking Trump. That will be old hat when Trump isn't in the White House anymore and the Democrats will have a genuine Democrat (who also hates Trump) to vote for. This is part of the reason Baker hasn't decided whether he will run again. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Mar24 Gun Control Kabuki Theater, Part 168
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Mar21 Sunday Mailbag
Mar20 Saturday Q&A
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Mar19 Untruth and Consequences
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Mar17 Governors in Trouble, Part I: Gavin Newsom
Mar17 Governors in Trouble, Part II: Andrew Cuomo
Mar17 Filibuster Theater: Biden and McConnell
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Mar17 It's Hard to Stand out in Today's GOP
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