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Senate Races Are Getting Down and Dirty

The 2024 general election is less than a year away, and the primaries are even closer. And so, we are in prime season for senatorial candidates trying to cut wannabe competitors off at the knees.

We start in Pennsylvania, where the Republican bench must be thinner than paper, since the Pennsylvania GOP keeps importing mediocre candidates. David McCormick is, of course, back for another go-round after having lost his 2022 primary against another imported, mediocre candidate in the person of Mehmet Oz. Consistent with the Republicans' party line, McCormick is strongly opposed to doing business with China. Well, he is now, at least. In his previous career as a hedge fund manager, which ended roughly 3 weeks ago, he was very enthusiastic about investing in China, increasing his firm's holdings from $1.6 million to $1.77 billion in 5 years, for an increase of 110,525%. It's almost like he doesn't really believe what he's preaching, and he's just saying what he thinks voters in Pennsylvania want to hear. Needless to say, as we learned from the Oz election, Pennsylvanians just love that kind of transparent phoniness.

Meanwhile, over in California, it turns out that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is really more of a Marylander these days, having established his primary residence there several years back. Actually, the paper trail supports the notion of two primary residences, one in Maryland and one in Burbank, CA, but it's pretty clear that the former is the primary primary residence, while the latter is a secondary primary residence, at best.

We think it is unlikely that this will hurt Schiff all that much, if at all. Clearly, the members of Congress spend the majority of their time living somewhere other than their home states, since they have to be in DC 200+ days per year. Schiff made the very reasonable choice to settle his family in a place where he could actually see them on a regular basis. It's one thing when someone, like the aforementioned Oz, returns to a state after a multi-decade absence and then pretends to understand that state's issues. Schiff's ties to California are still more than strong enough that he understands the state; certainly the voters in his district feel that way, having elected him eleven times. All of this said, if Schiff's race against Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) is neck-and-neck, small things like this could be decisive. Well, until it's discovered that Porter's primary residence is really in Virginia or Delaware, that is.

Finally, Peter Meijer has made it official and declared that he will attempt to return to Washington by means of the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). He's decided to run the Mike Pence playbook, since that obviously worked out so well for the former VP. By that, we mean that Meijer said yesterday that yes, technically he voted to impeach Donald Trump, but he'd still support Trump for reelection, and would love to work with the former president if and when he becomes the future president.

This is a posture that is guaranteed to upset both Never Trump Republicans and Trumpy Republicans, so Meijer's goose is already cooked. Don't take our word for it; the job of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is to get Republicans elected to the Senate, with little concern for a candidate's particular views, and nearly 100% of the focus on electability. And yesterday, NRSC Executive Director Jason Thielman said: "Peter Meijer isn't viable in a primary election, and there's worry that if Meijer were nominated, the base would not be enthused in the general election." Sorry, Pete. (Z)

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