Tuesday Was A Huge Night For Trump – And J.D. Vance

By Susan Crabtree for RealClearPolitics

In his 2016 bestselling autobiography “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance thanks his grandparents – his “Mamaw” and “Remember in 2019 when workers were doing well in this country, not struggling terribly. Thanks [to] the president for everything, for endorsing me.”

Tuesday night, as Vance stepped closer to his goal of joining the most exclusive club in the country – the U.S. Senate – he thanked his grandparents again, along with President Trump.

“I absolutely gotta thank the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, for providing, ladies and gentlemen, an example of what could be in this country,” Vance, 37, said in his primary victory speech. “Remember in 2019 when workers doing well in this county, not struggling terribly, thanks for the president for everything, for endorsing me.”

RELATED: Trump Endorsement Vaults J.D. Vance To Top Of Contentious Ohio GOP Senate Primary Race

Vance then pulled a trademark Trump maneuver, slamming the “fake news media” for wanting to write a story that “this campaign would be the death of Donald Trump’s America First agenda … Ladies and gentlemen, it ain’t the death of the America First agenda.”

It’s been a heady, evolutionary six years for Vance, the Yale law school graduate and venture capitalist who burst on the scene with his book about growing up “dirt poor’ in Appalachia. Coastal elites immediately embraced his life story as a way to understand Trump’s appeal among the white working class.

During the 2016 campaign, though, Vance declared himself a Never Trumper, dubbing the casino-developer-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-politician “cultural heroin” for the masses, and argued he was leading working-class voters into a dark place.

However, during the Trump presidency, Vance shifted sharply to become an avid Trump supporter, citing the tumultuous Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a significant turning point. (His wife, Usha Chilukuri, had clerked for Kavanaugh when he was an appeals court judge.)

Meanwhile, Ohio transformed from a Republican-leaning swing state to a solidly red GOP bastion, supporting Trump by nine percentage points in 2016 and double digits in 2020.

Vance’s win brings to a close a crowded and contentious Republican contest to fill the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, a respected moderate. It also marks a major victory night for Trump, who has taken the unusual step for a former president of picking sides in primaries – a way to solidify his role as party kingmaker while he weighs another White House run in 2024.

Trump undoubtedly tilted the race in Vance’s favor. Before his endorsement, Vance was trailing former Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel, another Trump acolyte, 28%-23%, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average of polls. Meanwhile, State Sen. Matt Dolan faded in the final stretch.

With more than 95% of the vote reporting late Tuesday night, Vance won 32.2% compared to Mandel’s 23.9% and Dolan’s 23.3%.

RELATED: There Are 11 Million Unfilled Jobs In America – Where Are The Workers?

Before and after Trump endorsed Vance, his GOP opponents spent millions of advertising dollars reminding voters that Vance had called himself a “Never Trumper” just a few years ago. The conservative Club for Growth’s sister PAC, which backed Mandel, funded an ad that Factcheck.org labeled “misleading” for suggesting that Vance had said some Trump supporters were motivated to back him because they are racist. In fact, the full Vance quote said most of Trump’s voters were inspired by his economic policies or “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of PayPal, channeled $13.5 million into a political action committee backing Vance in the race. Vance had worked for Theil as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley before moving back to Ohio. Thiel, along with Trump, influenced Vance’s politics, especially when it comes to opposing China and placing stricter limits on immigration. Despite the infusion, Vance continued to run behind in the polls until Trump’s endorsement.

“The question presented in this primary was, ‘Do we want a border that protects our citizens? Do we want to ship our jobs to China or keep them right here in America for American workers? Do we want a Republican Party who stands for the donors who write checks to the Club for Growth or do we want the Republican Party for the people right here in Ohio?” he asked the crowd Tuesday evening.

Even though Trump’s endorsement inevitably boosted Vance’s candidacy, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Just two days before the primary, Trump appeared to flub J.D. Vance’s name when citing his endorsement, seemingly merging it with Vance’s opponent’s last name. A Newsmax host claimed that it wasn’t a gaffe by Trump but a way to hedge his bets in the race.

“We’ve endorsed … J.P? Right?” Trump asked during his Ohio stumping on Vance’s part Sunday. “J.D. Mandel – and he’s doing great.”

On Monday, Vance minimized the gaffe, saying Trump speaks with such enthusiasm and so often that he was bound to “misspeak” sometimes. Vance now faces Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan, who handily won his party’s primary with 69.7%, with approximately 96.1 of the votes counted, according to the Associated Press.

Another big boon for Trump in Ohio Tuesday was the primary victory of Max Miller, a former Trump campaign and White House aide, who won the Republican nomination for the newly written 7th Congressional District in Northeast Ohio. Miller led the pack as of late Tuesday night despite abuse allegations from his ex-girlfriend, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. Miller has denied it.

Miller was initially recruited to challenge Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment. But Gonzalez opted to retire instead.

J.R. Majewski, an Air Force veteran who painted a giant “Trump 2020” sign on his front lawn ahead of the last presidential election, won a crowded GOP nomination and this fall will face Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in the history of the House of Representatives. (Kaptur was first elected in 1982.) Majewski defeated Theresa Gavarone, Craig Riedel, and Beth Decker.

RELATED: Repair Shop Owner Who Serviced Hunter Biden’s Laptop Files Lawsuit Against Adam Schiff, CNN

And in a close contest in Ohio’s 13th district, southeast of Cleveland, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a lawyer, political commentator, and former Miss Ohio whom Trump endorsed, is projected to win her crowded GOP primary, defeating six other Republicans. She will face Emilia Sykes, the former House minority leader, who ran unopposed in her primary.

At the top of the Ohio state ticket, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also survived the primary even though he is considered a moderate who does not back Trump. Still, the crowded primary kept DeWine’s showing under 50% even though he has served in some elected capacity in the state for more than 40 years.

DeWine was widely criticized by Republicans over the state’s COVID shutdowns, drawing three Republican opponents, including U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, former state Rep. Ron Hood, and farmer Joe Blyston. The three, however, split the Trump vote, leaving DeWine to pick up a solid 48.1% compared to Renacci’s 28%, Joe Blyston’s 21.8%, and Ron Hood’s 2.1%. DeWine will face Democrat Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton in the general election.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

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Never Trumpers Close Ranks After Pro-Impeachment Republican Gets Blasted By Trump As ‘Total Fool’

As the divide in the Republican Party continues to grow between those who support former President Donald Trump and those who do not, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) can always be counted on by the anti-Trump forces.

On Sunday, Cheney rushed to the rescue of Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), after the latter was called on the floor by former President Donald Trump at a rally in the Palmetto State.

RELATED: Democrat Strategist Calls Kamala Harris’ Europe Trip ‘Tragic,’ Embarrassing

Rallies That Still Draw Big Crowds

Trump held one of his signature rallies in Florence, South Carolina on Saturday. Despite rain and weather, thousands turned out to greet the former President. It was there that Trump, while talking about local candidates, called Rice “a total fool.”

“Right here in the 7th Congressional District, Tom Rice, a disaster. He’s respected by no one, he’s laughed at in Washington, he was never thought highly of in Washington.”

Rice was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in 2020.

Trump’s rally was in part to support his endorsed candidates, who include Rice’s challenger, State Rep. Russell Fry

Following the rally, Rice released a statement that read,

“Trump is here because, like no one else I’ve ever met, he is consumed by spite. I took one vote he didn’t like and now he’s chosen to support a yes man candidate who has and will bow to anything he says, no matter what.”

RELATED: ‘The Daily Show’s’ Trevor Noah Eviscerates Biden: World Leaders Would Never Have Dared To Ignore Trump’s Phone Calls 

One Of Several Censured

Rice and Cheney have another thing thing in common, besides their disdain for the leader of their party. They have both been censured in their home states for their votes to impeach.

Rice was censured back in February by the South Carolina Republican Party for his impeachment vote. Cheney was not only censured by the Wyoming Republican Party, but in November, the party voted to no longer recognize her as a Republican.

A further similarity is that Trump has endorsed Republican primary opponents against both. 

Trump endorsed Rice’s opponent Fry in February. 

He made a rather curious endorsement against Cheney’s opponent, Harriet Hageman, last year. 

Hageman was once a very close ally of Cheney, even serving as one of her fundraisers. Hageman had referred to Trump as “racist and xenophobic” and was part of the Establishment GOP’s effort to deny Trump the Republican nomination in 2016.

RELATED: Former Trump Staff Member Stephanie Grisham Punches Back At ‘The View’: ‘You Keep Attacking Me’ 

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Pro-Trump Republican Challenging Lisa Murkowski Releases First Ad: ‘America First, Always’

Kelly Tshibaka, a pro-Trump conservative challenging Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, has released her first ad.

Murkowski, a Republican, voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial.

While the ad avoids making any negative commentary about her opponent, Tshibaka does sprinkle in some clearly Trumpian elements to her message.

“I’m a conservative, pro-life, pro-second amendment,” she confidently states. “And America first, always.”

Tshibaka also positions herself as an outsider running against an establishment Republican.

“The insiders don’t like me because I spent my career exposing taxpayer fraud and abuse,” she tells potential voters. “That’s okay, I’m not running for them, I am running for you.”

Tshibaka most recently served as Alaska commissioner of administration, a position from which she stepped down to announce her campaign to unseat Lisa Murkowski.

RELATED: Report: 9 Of The 10 Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Trump Facing Primary Challengers

Pro-Trump Kelly Tshibaka Ready To Take On Murkowski

While the new ad by Kelly Tshibaka doesn’t delve into any specific messages contrasting herself with Senator Lisa Murkowski, she is, as Alaska’s News Source reports, “closely aligned politically with former President Donald Trump.”

Tshibaka has defined herself as a “new generation” of Alaska conservatives and chastised Murkowski for siding with Democrats in the impeachment trial, voting to convict Trump for the charge of incitement of insurrection related to the Capitol protest.

“President Trump has been great for Alaska, and we need to remember that in both elections Alaska selected President Trump as our president,” Tshibaka told the outlet.

“I don’t think it helps Alaska when our senator goes against and picks a fight with a president who’s benefiting our state.”

Tshibaka has also reportedly hired several advisers with ties to the former President to help her with a campaign to defeat Murkowski.

“Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark and battleground states director Nick Trainer … will serve as Tshibaka’s senior advisers,” Politico reveals.

She also brought on Tim Murtaugh, who was communications director on Trump’s reelection effort.

RELATED: Here Are the 6 Republicans Who Voted That Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is Constitutional

Trump: I’ll be There To Campaign Against Murkowski

Donald Trump has yet to endorse anybody against Lisa Murkowski though Politico notes he is “on the hunt for a credible Murkowski opponent on the senator’s right flank.”

Trump has repeatedly bashed Murkowski not only for her impeachment vote but for consistently standing alongside Senator Susan Collins and the late John McCain in obstructing a conservative agenda.

He recently knocked Murkowski for her role in voting to confirm appointees for President Biden who have, he states, led to the revocation of ANWR drilling permits.

“Not only did Murkowski kill the biggest economic stimulant for the State, but also one of the biggest energy-producing sites in the world,” he criticized.

“She’s the best friend Washington Democrats ever had—and Alaska’s reward for that betrayal is an empowered Left coming after their wealth and jobs,” he added.

“I think she will be met very harshly by the Alaska voters in 15 months, and I will be there to campaign against her!”

“We can’t let the Radical Left destroy Alaska’s Energy Industry with their Socialist job-killing agenda,” Tshibaka recently tweeted.

“If Liberal Lisa Murkowski won’t protect us, I will!” she added.

 

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Conservatives Are Lining Up To Primary Anti-Trump Cheney In Wyoming

On Wednesday, House Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her position as GOP Conference Chair, and now challengers in Wyoming are lining up to oust her from her Congressional seat altogether.

As many as six people have already announced they will challenge Cheney for her House seat in the 2022 midterms. A defiant Cheney told reporters on Thursday that she “obviously welcomes” anyone who wants to throw their hat in the ring against her. 

“There are millions and millions of Republicans out there who want us to be a party that stands for principles and who are very worried about the direction that the party is going and don’t want the party to be dragged backward by the former president.”

Cheney has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, and has also spoken out about her concern with the direction of the Republican Party as influenced by Trump.

RELATED: Gas Lines, Inflation Evoke Biden-As-Carter Memories

Trouble For Cheney Started With Impeachment

Liz Cheney’s troubles began not long after her impeachment vote against Donald Trump. In February, Cheney was censured by the Republican parties of ten Wyoming counties. Some used phrases in their announcements of a censure like “betrayed the trust” of voters, and “devalued the political influence of the state of Wyoming.”

Cheney also survived an attempt in February to remove her from the Conference chair position, with even fellow Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida traveling to Wyoming to encourage voters there to remove her from office. 

Last month at a GOP retreat in Florida, calls for her to be removed from the Conference Chair got louder as Cheney was at odds with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) over the scope of a commission that is investigating the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

She also said that anyone who challenged the 2020 election results should be disqualified from being the 2024 GOP nominee – a clear shot at Trump.

RELATED: CDC Director Quickly Goes From ‘Impending Doom’ To ‘No Masks’, Prompting Questions About Timing  

Who Are Cheney’s Challengers?

State Senator, gun rights activist, and Cheyenne-area business owner Anthony Bouchard was the first to announce he intended to challenge Cheney.

Another Wyoming legislator, a conservative radio host whose family owns Casper-area radio stations, State Rep. Chuck Gray has also announced he is running. 

Retired Army Colonel Denton Knapp, who currently lives in California but grew up in Wyoming and plans to move back, has thrown his hat in the ring. He said what prompted him was, “What’s missing right now is trust in our elected officials. Wyomingites expected Cheney to vote a certain way and she didn’t. As a result, she’s going through consequences.”

Also in the running is Marissa Joy Selvig, former mayor of Pavillion, a small town of 200. Selvig said, “I’ve never been a Cheney fan.” She added, “She has been working more for herself and for the Republican Party than she has the citizens of Wyoming. That’s what I see.”

Businessman Darin Smith is the most recent challenger to announce his candidacy. He announced his intention to run last week.

RELATED: 3,309 New Earmarks Proposed by 324 Members Of Congress Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion

Could Be An Uphill Battle For Cheney Opponents

Liz Cheney has a formidable track record when it comes to campaigning. She has beaten both Democrat and Republican opponents in the Cowboy state, and enjoys all the benefits of incumbency.

In the first quarter of this year, she raked in $1.5 million, her best fundraising quarter yet. Being the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, she enjoys universal name recognition and family legacy advantages, too.

Prior to being in the House, Cheney ran an ill-fated Senate campaign against then Senator Mike Enzi, but dropped out after only six months. Accusations of being a “carpet-bagger” dogged Cheney and claims that she had not spent much time in Wyoming until moving to affluent Jackson Hole in 2012.

Liz Cheney is free to do what she believes is right, but she might want to get home to see if the people in Wyoming agree with her.

 

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Republicans Release Plan to Target Vulnerable Democrats, Take Back The House

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released a list of 47 “vulnerable Democrats” they plan to target in 2022 in an effort to take back the House.

The memo reminds voters that Republicans are “just five seats short of a majority” following some unexpected successes in the 2020 election.

NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer says that in the first few weeks of the Biden administration, Americans are already “seeing the job-killing initiatives House Democrats support.”

House Democrats on the Education and Labor Committee, for example, are pushing for a $15 minimum wage proposal, despite warnings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that it would put 1.4 million Americans out of work.

“We will relentlessly hold House Democrats accountable for their socialist agenda,” Emmers adds, “and ensure voters understand the damaging impact policies like defunding the police, government-run health care, and ending the Keystone XL Pipeline will have on Americans’ everyday lives.”

RELATED: Democrats Have A Back-Up Plan That Might Still Bar Trump From Running Again If Impeachment Fails

Republicans Will Target Democrats, But They’re a Target As Well

While House Republicans will be targeting Democrats to win back the majority from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, some of them will be targets themselves.

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly setting his sights on possible primary challenges to “Never Trump” Republicans, according to Newsmax.

His son Eric was floating the idea even prior to the impeachment fiasco.

“I will personally work to defeat every single Republican Senator/Congressman who doesn’t stand up against this fraud,” he tweeted regarding the 2020 election. “They will be primaried in their next election and they will lose.”

We doubt things have been patched up after the events that followed.

In mid-January, 10 Republicans in the House voted to impeach the former President for “incitement of insurrection.”

RELATED: 64 Percent Of Republican Voters Would Join Trump If He Started A New Party

What Will Trump Do?

The ability of Republican candidates to target their Democrat counterparts may very well come down to what Trump does going forward.

Anger over Republicans joining Democrats in the impeachment effort has boiled over – a report notes that 7 out of the 10 GOP lawmakers who voted in favor of impeaching Trump are already facing primary challenges for their congressional seats.

Further complicating matters, some have speculated whether or not Trump would be better served to start his own party due to a fracture with the GOP.

A poll from earlier this month shows an overwhelming percentage of Republican voters would join a new political party established by the former president.

It seems the NRCC might want to focus on shoring up support from the former President if they are to have any chance of regaining a majority in the House.

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Trump Reportedly Eyes Primary Challenges Of ‘Never Trump’ Republicans Instead Of Third Party

Former President Donald Trump has reportedly, for the moment, put the idea of a possible third party on hold, and is setting his sights on focusing on possible primary challenges to “Never Trump” Republicans, according to Newsmax.

After the inauguration of Joe Biden, it had been reported that Trump had been talking with allies about creating a new third party, the “Patriot Party.”

Aides close to Trump said the third party idea came about after he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had exchanged words.

McConnell blamed Trump for the deadly riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. 

RELATED: Rand Paul Slams Impeachment “Farce” That “Should Be Dismissed”

Trump Thinking Senate Conviction Not Likely

New York Times Washington Correspondent Maggie Haberman reported that the third party was partly a means to stop Republicans from voting to convict him in the impeachment trial, but Trump does not feel that there will be any impeachment conviction in the Senate.

Seventeen Republicans would be needed to vote to convict in a Senate trial.

Haberman said Sunday, “In last 24 hours, after floating through a few folks that he was considering creating a third-party as a way to keep Senate R’s in line ahead of impeachment, Trump has been talked out of that and is making clear to people he isn’t pursuing it, per ppl familiar w his thinking.”

It has been nearly three weeks since Trump supporters protesting the certification of the electoral college votes stormed the Capitol building.

Many members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, have accused Trump of inciting the violence. 

Haberman went on to say, “Trump has started to believe there are fewer votes to convict than there would have been if the vote had been held almost immediately after Jan. 6, the people familiar with his thinking said.”

RELATED: House Republicans Call For Cheney’s Removal From GOP Conference Chair After Impeachment Vote 

Possible Primary Targets For Trump

While there is no official word from Donald Trump yet about primary challenges, his son Eric was floating the idea even before the certification vote.

There are several prominent “Never Trump” Republicans in Washington that could make possible primary targets.

Not only is Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) in trouble at home and has already gained a primary challenger for 2022, several other Republicans have spoken out against Trump in recent weeks.

Immediately following the violence at the Capitol, Utah Senator Mitt Romney chastised Trump, “What happened at the U.S. Capitol today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.”

Romney also stated that he believes that impeachment could bring “unity in our country.”

The Utah Senator has been famously “Never Trump,” since before the 2016 election.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also joined in by saying, “The mob was fed lies,” and went on to say that the Capitol riot was “provoked by the President.”

10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump could theoretically fire up Trump supporters for primary challenges. They include: 

  • Newly-elected Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer
  • Liz Cheney
  • South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice
  • Washington Reps. Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler
  • Never Trump Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who once considered a third party challenge for President against Trump
  • Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
  • Michigan Rep. Fred Upton
  • New York Rep. John Katko
  • California Rep. David Valadao

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said impeaching Trump was “appropriate,” but has not said if she would vote to convict.

RELATED: Trump Leaves The National Stage – Or Has He?

Trump Considering Several Future Plans?

There has been much speculation as to what Trump’s future plans might include, besides starting a third party.

Rick Grenell, former Acting Director of National Intelligence and one of Donald Trump’s most loyal Senior administration officials, said that Trump has said told him “personally, numerous times, he does want to run again.”

Grenell also said that “Trump needs the Republican Party as much as it needs him.”

Another possibility mentioned was Trump starting his own media outlet.

A report from Axios in November claims that Trump had told friends he wanted to start a digital media company to rival Fox News.

Many conservatives believe Fox made a huge mistake on election night by calling Arizona early for Joe Biden. 

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Daily Kos straw poll: Elizabeth Warren wins a plurality, Sanders and Bloomberg round out top three

In the first post-Yang Gang straw poll, we’re finally back to having a clear picture of the Daily Kos community’s presidential preferences. And as of now, Elizabeth Warren is still top dog around these parts. 

    Elizabeth Warren 33

    Bernie Sanders 25

    Mike Bloomberg 13

    Amy Klobuchar 9

    Joe Biden 8

    Pete Buttigieg 7

    Tom Steyer 1

Despite a mediawide effort to erase Warren, she retains the plurality lead among Daily Kos readers (and outsiders urged on in various online forums). The two progressives in the race have 58% of the total, which is in line with results we were seeing last year. The difference? In October, the numbers were Warren 41, Sanders 15. Sanders has been consolidating the left offline, and he’s done that to some extent here online. 

The big surprise, or better said, disappointment, is that Bloomberg would get 13% around these parts—which just happens to be the rate he’s currently getting in the outside world. Turns out, sometimes we’re not just that different from the broader party. 

Chris Matthews Frets: If Bernie Wins the Nomination ‘We’ll Lose 49 States’

MSNBC host Chris Matthews is sounding the alarm suggesting that if the Democrat party goes all-in on radical socialist, Bernie Sanders, President Trump will wipe the floor with them on Election Day.

In discussing how the other candidates have withheld their fire against Sanders and his radical policies, Matthews predicted the ultimate outcome would be Trump winning 49 of 50 states. Or is it 57, Barack?

“They’re [other candidates] just pandering to the Bernie people and you know what pandering gets you? Nothing,” the MSNBC host complained. “It certainly doesn’t get you respect.”

“They’ve got to get out there and say I disagree with socialism; I believe in the markets; I think he’s wrong,” Matthews continued. “I think you’ll never get it done and this country will never go that direction, by the way we’ll lose forty-nine states.”

Safe to say, Chris has no thrill going up his leg for Bernie’s socialist candidacy.

RELATED: Chris Matthews: Obama’s Presidency ‘Still Thrilling to Me’

Let’s Analyze Those Comments

There is a lot to unpack in Matthews’ comments, not the least of which is how his prediction will probably come true. We’ll get to that in a minute, however.

Let’s begin with how the MSNBC host, who wants to convince viewers that he and his network are not an arm of the Democrat party, framed the comment.

We’ll lose forty-nine states.”

Why would he consider that a personal loss? A rhetorical question, of course.

Also worth considering, Mr. Matthews, is the possibility that Democrats aren’t exclusively pandering to Bernie’s people. Perhaps they have conformed to the extreme elements of the fringe left and are supportive of his socialist policies and platforms.

It’s not exactly a far-fetched notion for a party that has conformed to Bernie’s acolytes on impeachment hoaxes and theatrics from top to bottom.

RELATED: Chris Matthews Admits the Trump/Russia Collusion Story is Toast

He’s Right

Now back to our initial analysis – that Matthews may very well be right when he says the Democrats will suffer incalculable electoral losses on Election Day.

A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows the socialist curmudgeon dominating the field while more palatable choices amongst party moderates are plummeting.

And while Bernie-mania and his dreams of American socialism are popular amongst the extreme left, it remains extremely unpopular to the rest of America.

new poll found only 28% of Americans have a favorable view of socialism, while 58% have an unfavorable impression.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) believes Sanders’ name on the Democrat ticket will result in overwhelming losses for the party in November. Perhaps enough that the House could be flipped.

“Bernie Sanders and House Democrats’ socialist agenda will put an end to Nancy Pelosi’s unsuccessful second stint as Speaker,” NRCC Spokesman Michael McAdams said in a statement.

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Former CNBC Anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera To Challenge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is a former longtime CNBC anchor who just announced she will challenge Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her New York House seat.

After leaving CNBC full time in September 2018, Caruso-Cabrera became a contributor for the news outlet.  A CNBC spokesperson said she will take a leave of absence from her contributor role as she focuses on her campaign. The former anchor also serves as a member of the board of directors for financial services firm Beneficient.

RELATED: New Trump Impeachment Push For Democrats Over Roger Stone Affair?

Caruso-Cabrera More Moderate than Ocasio-Cortez

Caruso-Cabrera’s filing late Monday show that she will run in New York’s 14th District Democratic primary. More moderate than self-described socialist Ocasio-Cortez, Caruso-Cabrera has a reputation for being more skeptical of government and has supported free markets. Though she’s been a registered Democrat for years, in 2010 she published a book with what some might consider a more conservative or libertarian sounding title, “You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government.”

Caruso-Cabrera released a statement explaining her decision to seek NY 14. “I am the daughter and granddaughter of working class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” the statement read. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had.”

“That’s why I’m running,” she added.

She Was a Longtime CNBC Contributor

Caruso-Cabrera spent more than two decades CNBC as the co-anchor of “Power Lunch” and also as the news outlet’s chief international correspondent.

Ocasio-Cortez’s profile has been elevated immensely since her election and she is considered one of the more influential voices on the left today. Nicknamed “AOC” the congresswoman has made national headlines for her support for policies like “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal,” which is supposed to target climate change but reads like socialist wish list.

Ocasio-Cortez also received plenty of attention when she endorsed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. President Donald Trump has even gone after Ocasio-Cortez in tweets and speeches.

RELATED: AOC Complains Government Healthcare Too Complex – ‘No One Should Go Through This’

Will AOC Be Ousted After Only Two Years?

AOC shocked many mainstream Democrats when she defeated veteran Rep. Joe Crowley in his 2018 House primary. Ocasio-Cortez then defeated her Republican opponent, Anthony Pappas, with a whopping 78 percent vote in the Democrat-leaning district.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera joins about a dozen other candidates who have already filed to run for AOC’s seat. The primary will be held June 23.

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Iowa happened: The first post-voting Cattle Call of the season, and Bernie catapults into the lead

Iowa happened, and what a clusterfuck it was. We already knew that new caucus rules would make a mess out of any post-caucus clarity, and final results didn’t disappoint. CONFIRMED: The Iowa caucuses suck and this should mark the end of their unearned first-in-the-nation status. Also CONFIRMED: There was no winner. Just hand the prize to Pete Buttigieg, or maybe Bernie Sanders. 

But seriously, who cares? Iowa allocates less than 1% of national delegates, so whether Buttigieg got 11 or 12 or 13 delegates, and whether Sanders got 10 or 12, the tally needed for victory is 1,990. Iowa was about one thing and one thing only: media narrative. And despite that mess, Buttigieg got the bump he needed, now catapulting into second place in myriad polling in Bernie-friendly New Hampshire. 

Still, in this fragmented field, no one showed dominance, with Buttigieg and Sanders around one-quarter of the vote, Elizabeth Warren at about one-fifth, and Joe Biden really just impatiently waiting for South Carolina to vote. Remember, Sanders got around half the Iowa vote in 2016, so he lost support in the four years of nonstop campaigning since. And given turnout was just as poor as it was in 2016, no one is reshaping the electorate. Sanders isn’t spurring a new wave of youth turnout. We don’t have a Barack Obama in the race. 

Anyway, let’s dive in to the rankings. 

1. Bernie Sanders ⬆️ (Last week: 2)

At a New Hampshire town hall, Anderson Cooper asked Sanders if he saw himself as the front-runner, and his answer was a hard “NO!” But too bad: That moment has arrived—not because of his own strength—he’s barely cracked 20% in the national polling aggregate, but because of continued weakness and fragmentation of the field. Of course Bernie doesn’t want to be tagged as the front-runner. That means being the target of the kind of incoming fire that he’s never had to face. For now, he's kinda lucked out—Elizabeth Warren shows no interest in taking him directly on. And in Friday’s debate, most of the fireworks were directed at Pete Buttigieg, as a surprising fight for the “moderate” lane has shaped up. 

But the honeymoon won’t last, and how he responds to it will inform much of the rest of the race. Warren and Kamala Harris and even Joe Biden wilted under their respective assaults. Buttigieg has his turn in the firing lane. It’s not easy being the target of the combined rest of the field. 

Still, it might not matter. It’s not as if Bernie has any “soft support” in his coalition. He’s easily the most polarizing candidate, and people either love him or hate him. His supporters’ actions have further alienated potential second-choice voters. You don’t sit and call Warren a snake and then expect her supporters to come to you as a plan B. No other candidate has this problem. No one else’s supporters are as consistently nasty and toxic as his. And Bernie supporters can get mad at me and hurl insults for saying so, but truly national candidates work to broaden the tent and bring new supporters into their coalition. That’s why I don’t see Sanders winning in the end: He still can’t push beyond his core base. (And to be clear, no one else can, this isn’t picking on just Sanders). But what’s most damning is that he’s not even trying to broaden his coalition. 

So what’s ahead? Sanders should do well in New Hampshire. He won it decisively in 2016. He’ll hit a brick wall called “black voters” in South Carolina, but he should do fine in the Nevada caucuses and head into Super Tuesday with a bit of momentum. His problem isn’t competing in a fragmented field. His problem will be the inevitable rise of the anti-Bernie candidate once the field becomes further consolidated. It’s inevitable. If that candidate happens to be Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg, then life will truly suck. I’m suddenly hoping its Amy Klobuchar, just so that Plan B isn’t as soul-sucking depressing. 

I do wish the left could consolidate around Warren, a far less-polarizing candidate. But that’s a pipe dream now.  

2. Biden ⬇️ (Last week: 1) 

Biden wasn’t expected to do well in Iowa: His job was just to minimize the damage. And while he wasn’t entirely successful with that, it’s enough to limp through to New Hampshire, one step closer to South Carolina, where he can power up (in video game parlance). 

Biden’s entire game at this point is older black voters. As long as he holds them, he can scoop up big chunks of delegates in the South. Did his poor performance in Iowa damage that support? We don’t see it in the public data, but private data suggests that he definitely took on water. (What “private” data? My polling firm Civiqs. And look how we outperformed almost the entire polling industry in Iowa.), and Buttigieg and Bloomberg are the beneficiaries. Still, his firewall of Black support remains mostly intact, and as long as that holds, he should be en route for a win in South Carolina. 

Biden’s big problem right now isn’t electoral, it’s financial. “In one troublesome sign for the financially strapped campaign, it canceled nearly $150,000 in television ads in South Carolina, which votes Feb. 29, and moved the spending to Nevada, whose Feb. 22 contest follows New Hampshire’s. The move seemed to acknowledge that Biden’s campaign cannot sustain a continued run of bad news.” Kamala Harris didn’t drop out because of poll numbers, she dropped out because she ran out of money. Bloomberg greedily eyeing Biden’s ideological lane, Buttigieg has already made inroads into it, and Amy Klobuchar is desperately trying to muscle her way in. That’s a lot of threats from a lane that was supposed to be his alone. 

We’ve long talked about the Left being split two-way between Sanders and Warren. Few if any saw the center line stacking up four-way. What this means is less pressure to consolidate the Left flank, and a greater chance for a contested convention this summer. 

Uh oh. 

3. Elizabeth Warren ⬇️ (last week: 3)

Once upon a time, the media gave three candidates a pass out of Iowa, but that only was until a woman was the third, so she’s been all but ignored this past week. She overperformed the polling (the Iowa aggregate had her around 15%) to get to around 20% of the vote. While it was nice to outperform those expectations, it’s hard to forget that at one time she was actually leading in those Iowa polls. She still hasn’t fully recovered from her Medicare for All plan rollout, a debacle that might have ended up costing her the nomination. 

But she’s not out of this, not by a long shot. Obviously, she won’t win anything hovering at around 15% in the national polling, but it’s not as if anyone else is consolidating support. A first-place showing in New Hampshire would dramatically reshape the race, but a second place would be a boost. Third place, despite representing next-door Massachusetts, would be a disappointment, and that’s but that’s what the polls currently suggest. Fourth place would be brutal. 

Warren, like every candidate not named Joe, is having a hard time attracting black voters. South Carolina will be rough. But Nevada could very well end up a battle between her and Bernie. A victory somewhere this month would provide a strong boost heading into delegate-rich March, but as of now, no place seems obviously ready to give her that victory. 

Like every other candidate, her problem is, where does she grow support? The Bernie Left is locked in. They’re not going anywhere. More moderate to centrist Dems are spooked by Medicare for All, and now see her as too liberal. She’s wooed black voters heavily with little success, but might that accelerate if Biden falters? And is Buttigieg really going to survive into Super Tuesday, particularly given the renewed attacks he’s facing? 

At this point, Warren’s best chance for victory is, ironically, to become the anti-Bernie candidate. Biden needs to be gone and Pete needs to stall. Klobuchar needs to stay in the back of the pack. Wall Street Dems can rally around Bloomberg, but there's not enough of them to matter electorally. A coalition of part of the Left plus the party mainstream would give Warren the nomination. Probable? Heck no. It’s almost an impossible scenario, actually. But nothing in this crazy race is “probable.” No one can win, but someone has to, eventually.  

4. Pete Buttigieg ⬆️ (Last week: unranked)

Small-liberal-college-town mayor Pete Buttigieg co-“won” Iowa with Sanders (helped by impeachment keeping his Senate rivals in Washington), and that has given him new life as a potential Biden replacement, at least for the moment. He claimed a surge in big-dollar donations after Iowa (at the same time that Biden saw his fundraising hit a wall), so it seems like the Wall Street crowd, already in love with Buttigieg, could be going all-in on him.

Now Sanders is getting young people of color, and Warren is doing okay with younger educated women of color—nowhere near Biden’s dominance with black voters, but you know, it adds up to 10-15% support each among black voters. Shitty, to be sure, but it’s something. Buttigieg? He’s at zero. Any genuine rise in Buttigieg’s overall support would be a clear signal to black America that white liberals really don’t give a shit about justice issues. (Which is probably already true, but still ...) You want the gory backstory on how he fired his city’s Black police chief for exposing racist beat cops on his force? It’s here (and the story goes far beyond the police chief). It’s enough to generate enough distrust and hostility with perhaps the most important voting group in our party to last a generation. 

It’s not just a primary problem. We don’t win November without strong black turnout in Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Jacksonville. If we don’t have a nominee that can talk the language of black America and can motivate those voters to turn out, we’re toast. 

Now I know Buttigieg supporters will say I’m just taking shots at their guy, but here’s the thing: This issue matters in the primary. It matters to black voters, who will chose hundreds of delegates to the conventions, and it matters to some white allies eager to show solidarity. It’s akin to Bernie’s refusal to expand his coalition, except Sanders refuses by choice. Buttigieg can’t because of his past history.

More immediately, however, polls have Buttigieg moving up to second place in New Hampshire. Can he hold it despite the attacks during the New Hampshire debate and a serious barrage of negative attention like this?

Former Mayor Pete doesn�t think very highly of the Obama-Biden record. Let�s compare. pic.twitter.com/132TB7MHaq

— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) February 8, 2020

Simply brutal. And effective. Buttigieg’s “experience” truly is a joke, and the arrogance inherent in him thinking he deserves a promotion to the White House from a small liberal college town mayorship is breathtaking. He’s never received more than 11,000 votes in an election, and in his small-town reelection bid, that number went down to 8,500. 

Now he needs to weather those attacks and notch that top New Hampshire finish, because South Carolina and Nevada don’t look to be hospitable territory. 

The wildcards at this point are Amy Klobuchar, who seemed to be well received after Friday’s New Hampshire debate, and Michael Bloomberg, who seems to be trying to buy himself a pass to the nomination at a brokered convention. But just think of all those voters in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Georgia that we could’ve registered with the half-a-billion spent so far by Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. It’s sickening seeing all that money spent on the altar of egoism.