Charlie Crist (D) announced that he would legalize marijuana and expunge criminal records for those arrested on misdemeanors or third-degree felonies related to the drug if he were elected Florida governor next year, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) “raised more than $9.5 million during the latest fundraising quarter, an enormous sum that highlights the extensive fundraising infrastructure the Democrat has built for a re-election bid that will help decide control of the Senate,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Ron Brownstein: “It’s common now for Democrats to argue that the agenda they are struggling to implement on Capitol Hill represents the party’s most ambitious since the ‘Great Society’ Congress convened in 1965. That’s a reasonable assessment—but one that the party today should consider as much a warning as an inspiration. Under the relentless prodding of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic-controlled House and Senate passed landmark legislation at a dizzying pace during that legendary 1965–66 legislative session…”
“Then, suddenly, when the work of the 89th Congress was finally finished, Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and three in the Senate during the midterm election of 1966. The Democrats’ bitter disappointment is a cautionary tale for their party descendants hoping to materially improve their odds in next year’s midterm contest by reaching agreement on the sweeping economic bills that have divided the party for months.”
“The lesson of history is that it is extremely difficult for presidents to translate legislative success in their first year into political success in the midterm elections of their second year. Those early achievements can boost presidents in their reelection bids, but in almost all cases they have not proved an antidote to the other midterm factors that cause the president’s party to lose ground in Congress.”
Redistricting in West Virginia is pitting two GOP House incumbents — Reps. David McKinley (R) and Alex Mooney (R) — against each other in a newly drawn district, the first instance of the process forcing two lawmakers to run against each other as a result of new lines informed by the 2020 census, The Hill reports.
“A judge has denied Sean Parnell’s (R) request for an expansive gag order against his estranged wife and her attorney, though the judge did seal some parts of the ongoing custody fight that has roiled Parnell’s campaign for U.S. Senate,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“I’m going to be the first Black governor Maryland has ever had.”
— Robin Ficker (R), who is white, quoted by the Washington Post.
Four of the Senate Democrats facing the chamber’s most competitive reelection bids — Raphael Warnock, Mark Kelly, Catherine Cortez Masto and Maggie Hassan — smoked their likely Republican opponents in the fundraising race last quarter, Politico reports.
Ron Watkins (R), the man widely suspected of being behind QAnon’s master account, announced a challenge to Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) in a bizarre video in which he calls the congressman “the dirtiest Democrat in the D.C. swamp.”
Said Watkins: “If we don’t follow our beliefs and the founding principles of our nation, it will crumble! This must stop now! Therefore, I have decided to double down—with God as my compass—to take this fight to the swamp of Washington, D.C.”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R), the likely GOP challenger to Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) next year, released a video of him playing with nunchucks.
“It looks like Ron Watkins, a prominent figure in the QAnon movement who many believe is Q himself, filed paperwork indicating he might run for Congress from Arizona on Thursday,” Vice News reports.
Amy Walter: “There are two very important groups to watch in this upcoming midterm election. One is independent voters. In the last four midterm elections, independents had soured on the sitting president’s performance and preferred the ‘out’ party by double digits. In all four of those elections, the party in the White House lost the House, the Senate or both.”
“The other group to pay attention to is Democratic base voters, especially younger voters and voters of color who turned out for the first time in 2018 and 2020. Many of these so-called ‘surge’ voters were motivated by an aversion Donald Trump, and the racial justice protests over the summer of 2020. Democrats need these voters to show up again in 2022.”
“A group of anti-Trump Republicans on Thursday endorsed a slate of Democrats and centrist Republicans in the 2022 midterms to fight against the former president’s hold on the party,” The Hill reports.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $35.8 million in the third quarter, surpassing the National Republican Congressional Committee’s haul of $25.8 million, Axios reports.
“After 37 years at The New York Times as a reporter, high-level editor and opinion columnist, Nicholas Kristof is leaving the newspaper as he considers running for governor of Oregon,” the New York Times reports.
Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker (R) “canceled a fundraiser with a conservative film producer who until Wednesday used a rendering of a swastika as her Twitter profile picture,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
The campaign initially contended the symbol wasn’t a swastika but a sign of opposition to vaccine requirements.
“Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) raked in $8.4 million during the last three months for her U.S. Senate campaign — more than any candidate has raised at this stage of a Senate campaign in Florida history,” Florida Politics reports.
Politico: “Rep. Liz Cheney’s primary challenger landed former President Donald Trump’s endorsement before she even officially launched her campaign. Now, she’s cashing big checks from Trump’s biggest donors — including tech billionaire Peter Thiel.”
“It demonstrates Trump and his allies are mobilizing together to punish the handful of Republicans who voted to impeach him after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.”
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