While the rest of the country wants less DONALD TRUMP, Republicans just can’t quit him. Our flash POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted in the days following the Senate trial shows that despite the impeachment managers’ gripping presentation and video laying out Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 rampage, the GOP remains the undisputed party of Trump.
Republican voters got over any misgivings they had about Trump’s role on Jan. 6 very quickly. Fifty-nine percent of Republican voters said they want Trump to play a major role in their party going forward. That’s up 18 percentage points from a Morning Consult poll conducted on Jan. 7, and an increase of 9 points from a follow-up poll on Jan. 25, before the impeachment trial began.
Another piece of evidence: While Trump’s overall favorability rating is an abysmal 34% in our latest poll, 81% of Republican respondents gave him positive marks. Trump was at 77% approval among Republicans on Jan. 7 and 74% on Jan. 25.
This new poll comes as the most prominent elected Republican, Senate Minority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL, has begun a post-impeachment effort to loosen Trump’s grip on the party. While McConnell wrote in a WSJ op-ed Monday that he was bound by the Constitution to acquit Trump because he’s out of office, he’s also made clear he’s prepared to take on Trump-backed Senate candidates in 2022 when they risk blowing winnable races.
Though the 2024 primary is still far off — who knows what will happen with Trump three months from now, let alone in three years? — he currently swamps any potential rival. Fifty-three percent of Republicans said they would vote for Trump if the primary were held today.
All the other Republican hopefuls are polling in the low single digits, besides Mike Pence, who received 12 percent. Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Mitt Romney, Kristi Noem, Larry Hogan, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Tim Scott and Rick Scott all polled below 5%. Only Donald Trump Jr. and Nikki Haley punched through at 6%.
Overall support for impeachment has remained steady. It increased slightly from 56% in a Jan. 17 poll to 58% after the acquittal. President JOE BIDEN has a 62% approval rating among all surveyed, a number achieved because of his near universal support among Democrats (92%) and a surprisingly strong showing among Republicans (20%).
Conspiracies still linger about whose side the rioters were on. While 83% of Democratic respondents believed (correctly) the rioters were supporters of Trump, Republicans were split: 43% said the rioters were Trump supporters, 29% Trump opponents and 27% were unsure. Read the toplines and crosstabs
AN ACTUAL GOP FAMILY FEUD — Just ask Rep. ADAM KINZINGER (R-Ill.) about the party’s undying love for Trump. Kinzinger has become a darling on cable news after voting to impeach Trump, but the next family reunion will be a tense affair. Eleven of his family members scolded him in a two-page letter, telling the congressman that he “embarrassed the Kinzinger family name.” More from the NYT’s Reid Epstein
POLICE POLITICS — Earlier this month the DCCC hired DYJUAN TATRO — a former gang member who earned his bachelor’s degree in prison and then became a criminal justice advocate — as a strategic outreach adviser.
Now some of Tatro’s past commentary on police violence and police reform is drawing attention especially on the right — a likely preview of what’s to come in the 2022 midterms.
Democrats over the weekend swatted away a N.Y. Post story headlined “House Dems hire ex-gang member to top campaign post.” DCCC spox Cole Leiter wrote on Twitter: “[email protected] serves his time. Then @DCCC hires him after he becomes a national leader in a bipartisan movement to reform prison education systems. @NYPost publishes trash headline.”
But that wasn’t the end of it. Fox News followed with a story about some controversial tweets Tatro wrote. “I don’t understand why you can’t CONDEMN VIOLENT POLICE & acknowledge LOOTING as a VITAL form of social PROTEST,” read one post last summer. After the Jan. 6 ransacking of the Capitol, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “The answer to white supremacists storming the Capitol is not to give more money to a different group of white supremacists who’s [sic] job it is to uphold white supremacy.”
Republican campaign arm spox Michael McAdams called the hiring of Tatro as well as his tweets “disturbing,” coming on the heels of the “defund the police” push last year. The DCCC declined to comment. But some Democrats argued that Republicans lost their standing as the party of law enforcement after Trump supporters killed a police officer last month in the raid. (They also say defund-the-police looks almost mainstream compared with some of the wacky QAnon conspiracies that have gained a foothold in the GOP.)
Still, we suspect Democrats haven’t heard the last of attacks on police issues — and the Tatro tweets have handed their opponents some fodder.
BIDEN’S TUESDAY — The president and VP KAMALA HARRIS will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 12:30 p.m. Biden will leave the White House at 5:30 p.m. for Joint Base Andrews, traveling to Milwaukee, where he’ll arrive at 6:30 p.m. Central time. He’ll have a CNN town hall at 8 p.m. Biden will leave Milwaukee at 9:50 p.m. and eventually end up back at the White House at 12:50 a.m. Eastern time.
— Press secretary JEN PSAKI will brief at 11:30 a.m.
— The House and Senate are on recess this week.
SIGN UP! — With Trump’s second impeachment over, Democrats in Congress will shift their focus to Biden’s agenda, from Covid-19 relief to the vaccine rollout and more. Join RACHAEL today at 9 a.m. for a live conversation with Assistant House Speaker KATHERINE CLARK (D-Mass.) on the most pressing legislative priorities and her approach to getting things done as the fourth highest-ranking member of the House. Register here
THE WHITE HOUSE
OUT: SOCCER MOMS. IN: ‘WOMEN IN CHAOS’ — “GOP tries to weaponize pandemic-exhausted parents against Biden,” by Chris Cadelago and Natasha Korecki: “The pandemic has disrupted lives and exacerbated inequities and a raft of public and private surveys show clear political potholes and opportunities because of it. The coronavirus is spawning sweeping policy prescriptions from Democrats and Republicans alike, from billions in school reopening funds to the creation of a federal child allowance. And it’s prompting pollsters to loosely coin emerging voter demos like ‘women in chaos’ and ‘families in crisis.’
“Within the GOP, there is a belief that the pandemic and resulting turmoil make Biden and Democratic incumbents especially vulnerable among those demographics.”
OUT: ENDLESS TV. IN: A HUMDRUM PRESIDENTIAL SCHEDULE — “Inside the new President’s routine: Oval Office fires and early bedtimes,” CNN: “[Biden] has established a regular schedule, including coffee in the mornings with the first lady, meetings and phone calls from the Oval Office starting just after 9 a.m. and a return to his residence by 7 p.m. As he walks home along the Colonnade, he’s often seen carrying a stack of binders or manila folders under one arm. He still brings a brown leather briefcase into the office.”
SNAKE OIL ELECTION SALESMEN — WaPo’s Shawn Boburg and Jon Swaine drop an investigative piece on conservative donors who say they were swindled out of millions by bogus election fraud assertions: “The story behind [one $2 million] donation — detailed in previously unreported court filings and exclusive interviews with those involved — provides new insights into the frenetic days after the election, when baseless claims led donors to give hundreds of millions of dollars to reverse President Biden’s victory.
“Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party collected $255 million in two months, saying the money would support legal challenges to an election marred by fraud. Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress also raised money off those false allegations, as did pro-Trump lawyers seeking to overturn the election results — and even some of their witnesses.”
RELATED — In a CNN op-ed, Christine Todd Whitman, Norman Eisen and Joanna Lydgate offer a rundown of the criminal and civil charges Trump could face post-impeachment: “The accountability era begins”
THE NEXT TEST FOR GEORGIA DEMS — “Perdue explores Senate comeback bid against Warnock in 2022,” by Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The former Fortune 500 executive is probably the only candidate who could clear the field of other well-known challengers in 2022, when Warnock is up for a full six-year term that will test how decisively Georgia has shifted to the left.
“But two other 2020 Republican Senate rivals are also ruminating on a run: [Kelly] Loeffler and former U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who fought throughout the year for a spot in the runoff against Warnock. Both are said to be waiting on Perdue’s decision before they make up their minds.” Perdue is “leaning heavily” toward running, a senior adviser told Bluestein.
The AP’s Nick Riccardi has a very user-friendly breakdown on the state of play on redistricting: “As redistricting looms, Democrats jockey to counter GOP”: “As the once-a-decade redistricting conflicts heat up across the country, both Republicans and Democrats are wrestling with how far to press their advantage in a fight as consequential as any election. For Republicans that means building on the success of 10 years ago — even as some population and political trends work against them. For Democrats, it’s a test of their commitment to the changes they’ve long argued are needed to create a level playing field. …
“The stakes are particularly clear now. Some experts note Republicans could win control of the House in 2022 based on redistricting alone. Three of the states where the GOP has complete control of the map-making — Texas, Florida and North Carolina — are expected to gain a total of six seats. A GOP sweep of those seats would flip the House.
“But packing Republican voters into new districts in the growing states won’t be easy. Much of the population growth in those states has come in cities, inner-ring suburbs and places with large Black and Latino communities — all key Democratic constituencies.”
IN THE SUNSHINE STATE — “Covid wars launch DeSantis into GOP ‘top tier,’” by Marc Caputo in Miami: “Ron DeSantis once drew national scorn for his stewardship of Florida’s Covid-19 response — critics took to referring to the governor as ‘DeathSantis’ for his resistance to restrictive measures.
“But that very blowback … has made DeSantis ascendant in the GOP. His position is strengthened among the GOP grassroots and elites heading into his 2022 reelection in Florida and accompanied by increasing conservative chatter nationwide about a presidential bid. By scrapping with reporters and President Joe Biden’s White House … the wonky but combative governor has elevated his profile at a time when other big-state governors have been laid low.”
2024 WATCH — “Nevada Democrats move to end presidential caucuses,” by Tyler Pager and David Siders: “The bill, which was introduced in the Assembly, would convert the nominating system in the state to a primary election instead of caucuses, a move former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threw his support behind immediately following last year’s caucuses.”
PELOSI FORMALLY ENDORSES INDEPENDENT COMMISSION ON JAN. 6 — USA Today: “Monday’s letter was the strongest indication [Speaker Nancy Pelosi] was planning to move ahead with a special commission. It follows not only an impeachment trial that brought new evidence to light but also an interim assessment from Honoré he presented to Pelosi on Jan. 28.
“‘It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened,’ she said in her letter Monday.” Read the letter
THE BLOWBACK CONTINUES — “6 of the 7 GOP Senators who voted to convict Trump are facing blowback and formal censures back home,” Insider
BUT, BUT, BUT — The Utah Republican Party goes out of its way to say it’s cool with both Mike Lee’s vote to acquit and Romney’s vote to convict: “Utah GOP responds to senators’ varying impeachment votes: ‘There is power in our differences,’” CNN
THE POST-IMPEACHMENT GLOW — “How Joe Neguse and Stacey Plaskett Plan to Wield Their Influence After Impeachment,” NYT: “Even though their prosecution failed to deliver a conviction, both lawmakers said they hope to turn their newfound prominence into gains for their constituents as President Biden barrels forward with an ambitious agenda for economic stimulus and other overhauls.
“And in interviews after the trial’s conclusion, both said they were conscious of their roles as among the few Black lawmakers who took part in an impeachment of a former president whose race-baiting and anti-immigration stances helped create deep divisions in the country.”
TRACKER: The U.S. reported 1,078 Covid-19 deaths and 55,000 new coronavirus cases Monday.
FROM N.Y. — “Cuomo Accepts Some Blame in Nursing Home Scandal but Denies Cover-Up,” NYT: “Admitting a degree of fault for the first time, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday that his administration’s lack of transparency about the scope of coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes in New York was a mistake. … By failing to answer questions from state lawmakers, the public and the news media, Mr. Cuomo acknowledged, the state created a void that was ‘filled with skepticism, and cynicism, and conspiracy theories which furthered the confusion.’
“But he stopped short of a full apology for his handling of information about the death toll in the state’s nursing homes, an issue that has engulfed his administration in recent weeks.”
SCROLL THROUGH — “Armed with a camera, a young ER doctor captures the faces of the COVID war,” L.A. Times
AMERICA AND THE WORLD
STRIKE IN IRAQ — “Rockets strike near U.S. base in Iraq, killing 1, wounding 8,” AP: “Rockets struck outside Erbil international airport near where U.S. forces are based in northern Iraq late Monday, killing one U.S.-led coalition contractor and wounding at least eight people, Iraqi security and coalition officials reported, sparking fears of new hostilities.”
TURKISH LEADER SPEAKS OUT — “Turkey accuses U.S. of backing PKK after Turks killed in Iraq,” AP: “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan laid into the United States, accusing it of supporting Kurdish militants on Monday, days after Turkish troops found the bodies of 13 Turkish soldiers, police and civilians abducted by Kurdish insurgents in a cave complex in northern Iraq. …
“Erdogan also took aim at a U.S. State Department statement that deplored the hostages’ deaths, but added that the U.S. would condemn the deaths ‘in the strongest possible terms’ if it is confirmed that they died at the hands of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.”
IMMIGRATION FILES — “48 hours of border chaos: Inside a CBP crackdown on Iranian Americans,” by Lauren Gardner
LOOK WHO’S BACK — “Social media app Parler crawls back online on ‘independent technology,’” Reuters: “Parler, a social media service popular with American right-wing users that virtually vanished after the U.S. Capitol riot, re-launched on Monday and said its new platform was built on ‘sustainable, independent technology.’
“In a statement announcing the relaunch, Parler also said it had appointed Mark Meckler as its interim Chief Executive, replacing John Matze who was fired by the board this month. … Despite the relaunch, the website was still not opening for many users and the app was not available for download on mobile stores run by Apple and Alphabet-owned Google, which had earlier banned the app.”
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Mike Pompeo, Robert O’Brien to Co-Chair New Foreign Policy Series at Nixon Foundation”: “Former Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and former National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien will co-chair a new, monthly seminar-style roundtable discussion to consider and advance policies that maintain a balance among the world’s great powers that is favorable to America’s national interest. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, March 2 at 8 PM Eastern time via video conference.”
MEDIAWATCH — Sarah Mucha is now a politics reporter for Axios. She previously was a campaign embed for CNN.
NEW BOOK OUT TODAY WORTH YOUR TIME: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s “The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice,” which tells the story of the women who fought to defeat ISIS.
TRANSITIONS — Morgan Rako is now deputy director at College to Congress. She previously was press secretary for Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio). … Will Roper is joining Pallas Advisors as a senior counselor. He previously was assistant secretary of acquisition, technology and logistics in the Air Force.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Christina Parrott, director of operations and special assistant to U.S. Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, and Adam Meldrum, founder and president of AdVictory, welcomed Elvis Meldrum on Feb. 7. Pic
— Tiffany Haverly, most recently comms director for Energy and Commerce Republicans, and Jordan Haverly, an aide to Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.), welcomed Charlotte Eloise on Feb. 8. Pic, courtesy of Rachel Hegarty Photography
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Robert Allbritton … Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) (only 34!) … Reps. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), David Rouzer (R-N.C.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) and Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) … Carl Icahn (85) … Ed O’Keefe, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum … Jay Carson … Ty Trippet … former Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) … Jenn Crider … Kevin Robillard … POLITICO’s Cate Hansberry and Alexa Dragoumis … Adam Sharp … Jennifer Steinhauer … Susan Levine … Matt Chayes … CNN’s Mike Warren … Sarah Bianchi … Cameron Joseph … Kate Constantini … Jessica Hirshorn … Nigel Cory … Meagan Murphy … Massachusetts first lady Lauren Baker … Indiana first lady Janet Holcomb … Paul Blake … Andrew Kirk … Meredith Fineman … Jim Conzelman … Deloitte’s Garrett Heise … Danielle Haim
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