Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

The big lessons from this year’s House GOP primaries: From the Politics Desk

By 37ci3 Jun20,2024



Welcome to the online version of From the policy deskevening bulletin that brings you the latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill from the NBC News Politics team.

In today’s edition, national political reporter Bridget Bowman explains how Trump’s influence is shaping the course of this year’s down-ballot GOP primaries. Moreover, the campaign posted reports from Nnamdi Egwuonwu about the former president’s efforts to recruit rappers as surrogates on the trail.

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Two truths and a lie: Lessons from the House GOP primaries so far

By Bridget Bowman

It is still unclear whether House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Goode was lost GOP primary in Virginiamail-in and provisional ballots will still be counted and a potential recount is pending.

Still, the extremely tight margin highlights two truths and one lie about this year’s House Republican primaries. The truths? It’s really, really hard to beat an incumbent. And it really helps to have Trump on your side.


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A lie? Trump’s endorsement is the be-all and end-all in the GOP primaries. He trails state Sen. John McGuire by a few hundred votes, an eyebrow-raising result for those who thought Trump’s stamp of approval would help propel McGuire to victory.

But the fact that Goodwin is so close to becoming the first member of Congress to lose to a primary challenger this cycle shows that the former president remains a dominant force in GOP contests.

Several other Republican candidates have endured tough primaries at the hands of Trump over the past few weeks. On Tuesday, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma easily escaped the runoff and defeated his wealthy rival who spend millions on the race. Cole told me last week that Trump’s endorsement was “very helpful.”

Trump’s support also helped two South Carolina Republicans — Reps. Nancy Mays and William Timmons — won bitter primary battles earlier this month.

While many insurgent primary challengers sought to align themselves with the MAGA movement, the vast majority of Trump’s nearly 170 House approvals this cycle — about 85% — went to incumbents, much to the delight of the party leadership. And most of those lawmakers don’t face competitive primaries.

Trump has so far endorsed only two primary challengers against sitting members: McGuire and Jerrod Sessler, a Navy veteran to take over GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, one of two remaining House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

Which brings us back to the first truth: Incumbents are hard to beat because they have built-in advantages like name recognition, fundraising and ground game. With the help of his state’s first two primaries, Newhouse defeated a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022. We’ll find out on August 6 if Newhouse can do it again.


Trump is suing rappers as campaign surrogates to win more voters of color

By Nnamdi Egwuonwu

A pastor and several prominent black Republicans joined the former president on stage at Donald Trump’s event for Black voters at a Detroit church last weekend. So did another unlikely figure: rapper Casada Sorrell, better known as Sada Baby.

Most Republican voters may not be familiar with Sada Baby, but there’s a good chance their children are. In 2020, he went viral with his “single”.Whole Lotta Choppas,” a mainstay of the pandemic on TikTok, was among the first viral posts on the app.

Years later, he sat on stage inches away from Trump and said, “He might be the first person to get me to vote,” in part because Trump’s team contacted him.

“His reaching out gave me a kind of effort that no other candidate has ever shown,” Sorrell said, noting that Trump could have gone after a bigger Detroit name like rapper Eminem. famous critic from him). “I try to act like it doesn’t mean a lot, but it does mean a lot.”

And this is not a one-time act. While Trump is busy courting young voters of color, one strategy of his campaign is to turn rap stars into surrogates, not just nationally recognized names but prominent small acts in their local communities.

The campaign hopes the outreach will create a permission structure for undecided voters in communities with little history of supporting Republicans to at least consider Trump’s message. And Trump embracing rappers — and they embracing him — could be a feature in this election, according to polling data. The generational divide among black votersyounger members of the community are more open to the former president.

Icewear Vezzo, another Detroit rapper who attended a Trump event in Michigan, encouraged fans to think of Trump after backlash against him. poses with it after the round table.

“Why can’t we respectfully disagree anymore,” Vezzo wrote to his 1 million Instagram followers. “Do you know what builds great companies and great civilizations? They all went and gathered a team of people who thought differently from them.”

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🗞️ The best stories of the day

  • 📖 Cram session: A week before the first presidential debate, Biden is at Camp David for several days of intensive preparation, while Trump holds informal policy sessions with advisers and allies. Meanwhile, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially could not qualify It exceeded CNN’s polling and voting threshold for the debate. More →
  • ⚖️ Judgment day: The Supreme Court has upheld the tax on foreign corporate investments, amid concerns that some may jeopardize future efforts to impose a wealth tax on the super-rich. More →
  • 🧟 ‘Zombie Law’: A group of Senate Democrats are seeking to repeal the 150-year-old law, which reproductive rights advocates fear could be used to further restrict access to abortion. More →
  • 👀 Disinfo watch: The Biden administration has no plans to alert the public to deep-pocketed fraud or other misinformation during the election unless it clearly comes from a foreign actor and poses a serious enough threat, current and former officials said. More →
  • 🌏 All over the world: Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday took their relationship to the next level by signing a strategic partnership agreement that could tip the balance of power in East Asia. More →
  • Football is life: Biden’s campaign is running ads during the Copa América soccer tournament in swing states that are hosting matches next month in hopes of reaching Latino voters. More →

For now, that’s it from The Politics Desk. If you have feedback – like it or not – email us politicsnewsletter@nbcuni.com

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