Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Robinson Endorses Trump

Normally when a lieutenant governor unknown outside his state endorses someone, even for president, it's not really newsworthy. But sometimes it is. As you read in the previous item, North Carolina is going to be one of the biggest battlegrounds in 2024, right up there with Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia. At the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in D.C. on Friday, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R-NC) endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Now here's why this is important. Robinson is running for governor and will face NC AG Josh Stein to succeed term-limited Roy Cooper. Robinson is exceedingly Trumpy, not to mention homophobic, antisemitic and all-around bigoted. Oh, and he's Black. Among other things, he has said: "There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth." He also condemned the movie Black Panther and said: "How can this trash, that was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets, invoke any pride?" There's plenty more where that came from.

Now that Robinson has endorsed Trump, the next step is for Trump to endorse Robinson, which Trump has hinted he will do. This practically guarantees that Robinson will win the Republican gubernatorial primary and we will have a redo of the 2022 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, with a race pitting a Jewish AG named Josh Stein against a Trumpy general-purpose bigot. Only this time, Trump will probably be on the ballot and the stakes will be much higher, with North Carolina's electoral votes likely in play. Having Robinson on the ballot (and possibly Trump coming to North Carolina to campaign for him), could energize Democrats and possibly turn off moderate Republicans who find Robinson repulsive. If Robinson indeed gets the GOP nomination, Mitch McConnell will again be kvetching about "candidate quality."

Robinson wasn't the only speaker at the conference, of course. Just about all the Republican POTUS wannabes were there. Trump was cheered when he spoke about abortion, even though he was notoriously slippery about his actual position on it. Chris Christie was booed for attacking Trump. Ron DeSantis got applause. Kari Lake gave a speech, even though she hasn't decided yet if she is running for vice president or for the Senate. She would prefer the former but would accept the latter as a booby prize. Even Vivek Ramaswamy and Larry Elder showed up. A good time was had by all. (V)

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