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Tag: ohio primary

For GOP Senate Wannabes, A Race To The Bottom

On Tuesday, Ohio Republican Senate hopeful J.D. Vance celebrated receiving the endorsement of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Though she is a QAnon conspiracy theorist who has spread anti-Semitic, racist, and Islamophobic hate and been stripped of all committee assignments for conduct that does not "reflect creditably on the House," as House rules put it, Vance tweeted: "Honored to have Marjorie's endorsement. We're going to win this thing and take the country back from the scumbags." His campaign told Fox News that the two would campaign together on Sunday in Ohio.

Around the country, Republican Senate hopefuls like Vance are doing everything possible to appeal to the far-right wing of their party and are touting endorsements from an array of bigots, pardoned criminals, conspiracy theorists, and shock jocks.

Greene has also backed former football player and accused domestic abuser Herschel Walker for the Senate nomination in Georgia. After the two posed for photos together and Greene began running Facebook ads backing Walker, the Democratic Party of Georgia filed an ethics complaint in October alleging campaign finance violations.

After receiving an endorsement from Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who among other issues has a history of making anti-Semitic comments, North Carolina Senate hopeful and former Rep. Mark Walker hailed him as "a fierce conservative and a proven fighter who will ensure our North Carolina Values are not forgotten in Washington, D.C."

Vance and other candidates have also touted backing from bigoted anti-LGBTQ extremists and organizations.

Penny Nance of the Concerned Women for America, an organization that says that it fights against "sexual promiscuity," "cohabitation," and efforts to "eliminate natural distinctions between men and women," has endorsed Vance and Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler in their Senate races.

FRC Action, the political arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, has also endorsed Hartzler for Missouri's open Senate seat. The group's Alaska state affiliate is backing Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican candidate taking on incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

A handful of right-wing figures who accepted pardons from former President Donald Trump for their crimes have also been in high demand.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, pardoned for felony tax fraud, has endorsed the Senate campaign of disgraced former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and campaigned with Jane Timken, the former chair of the Ohio Republican Party.

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, pardoned for making false statements to federal investigators, has backed Greitens, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, New Hampshire Senate hopeful Don Bolduc, and Pennsylvania candidate Kathy Barnette in their respective Senate primaries.

Bobby Jeffries, a Pennsylvania Senate candidate, has touted the backing of former Trump lobbyist and political dirty trickster Roger Stone, pardoned for witness tampering and obstruction.

Other Trump apologists and election conspiracy theory spreaders have also been a hot commodity.

Ric Grenell, a Twitter troll and former Fox News contributor who was selected by Trump to briefly serve as his acting director of national intelligence, has claimed that the real tragedy of the January 6 Capitol insurrection was that it cost his former boss his social media accounts. He has backed Ohio candidate Bernie Moreno, Alaska's Tshibaka, and Arizona's Jim Lamon.

Jenna Ellis, an attorney who helped oversee Trump's unsuccessful effort to overturn the 2020 election results, endorsed former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump adviser known for his neo-Nazi ties who also pushed false claims that President Joe Biden was not the true victor in the 2020 elections, is supporting Greitens in Missouri and Barnette in Pennsylvania.

Some candidates have also enjoyed the backing of pro-Trump media figures.

In December, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he was "honored" have Dana Loesch "standing with me in my campaign for the United States Senate." Loesch, a talk show host and former NRA spokesperson, headlined a Texas "Stop the Steal" rally for Trump after the November 2020 election.

Mark Levin, who was among the radio hosts told by their network, Cumulus, last January to stop making claims about the 2020 election having been stolen, has endorsed Mandel in Ohio and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich in Arizona.

Informal Trump adviser and conspiracy monger Sean Hannity has thrown his support to Walker in Georgia and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.

Republican candidates at all levels continue to highlight the endorsements of far-right figures who traffic in conspiracy theories and extreme positions that polls show are popular with a growing segment of the GOP primary base.

While most Americans now support LGBTQ rights, a May 2021 Gallup poll found only a minority of Republicans support allowing transgender people to serve in the military and participate in sports teams that match their gender identify.

Despite there being no evidence that Trump was the real winner in 2020, polling shows most Republicans have bought in to the claim. A December University of Massachusetts at Amherst/YouGov survey found just 21 percent of Republican voters believe Biden's victory was legitimate. According to the results of a September CNN poll, 59 percent of Republican voters and GOP-leaning independent voters said believing that Trump had the 2020 election stolen from him was an "important" part of being a Republican.

A summer 2021 poll by Citizen Data found that 62 percent of conservative adults embrace at least one QAnon conspiracy theory.

Reprinted with permission from the American Independent

Ohio Primary Raises New Election Worry: Rejected Provisional Ballots

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Ohio's Democratic presidential primary winner was never in doubt, but its voting process was.

The April 28 primary, the second statewide vote-by-mail contest since the pandemic interrupted the 2020 election, highlighted new complexities facing voters if the nation shifts to mostly absentee voting this fall.

In addition to postal delivery delays possibly disqualifying hundreds of thousands of ballots—as was seen in Wisconsin's April 7 primary—Ohio's saw legally registered voters who waited until the eleventh hour to vote wrestle with the vote-by-mail process and get prevented from casting a ballot that would be counted.

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Trump Ad In Ohio: John Kasich Is A Loser!

Donald Trump’s new campaign ad in Ohio makes the ultimate accusation against Gov. John Kasich.

“After John Kasich helped Wall Street predator Lehman Brothers destroy the world economy, he decided to run for governor of Ohio,” the announcer says. “John Kasich has been an absentee governor, spending most of his time everywhere but Ohio…”

And then, the knife goes in: “…especially Michigan, the latest disaster in his failing presidential bid.” Calling Kasich a loser in Michigan, where he came in third place behind the winner Trump and second-place candidate Ted Cruz despite his heavily targeting of the state with a regional Rust Belt appeal, seems to be purposeful slam.

This ad also pointedly undermines the GOP’s new national strategy of going after Trump with specific candidates in targeted states, as the race enters the phase of winner-take-all primary states, in order to trigger the complex processes of a brokered convention in which no candidate has a majority.

Trump’s message to the voters: Kasich is a loser, so why would you want to vote for him? Get with the winner.

The ad closes: “Kasich gave Ohio Obamacare, and increased our budget more than any other governor in the U.S. We don’t need him in Ohio — and we certainly don’t need him in Washington. John Kasich — just another all-talk, no-action politician.”

Endorse This: Okay, Don’t Vote For Rubio!

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The decline of the Marco Rubio campaign hit an even newer low Friday morning, when spokesman Alex Conant called upon supporters of other candidates to vote for Rubio in Florida — and for supporters of Rubio to not vote for him in Ohio.

This all begs an important question: With Republicans now embarking on an elaborate plan to deny Trump a majority of delegates by targeting him with different opponents across various states, will this actually be too complicated — not to mention degrading to the candidates themselves — for the voters to buy into it?

CNN co-host John Berman asked: “Just to be clear, because you’re calling on Kasich and Cruz voters in Florida to vote for Marco Rubio — you can do something about Rubio voters in Ohio. Will you right now tell supporters of Marco Rubio in Ohio to vote for John Kasich?”

“Yeah — I’m just stating the obvious,” Conant said. “If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio, and you want to defeat Donald Trump, your best chance in Ohio is John Kasich — because John Kasich is the sitting governor, he’s very close to Donald Trump in some of the polls there.

He then continued, with an attempt to make the constructive pitch: “The same is true here in Florida, where if you want to defeat Donald Trump here in Florida, where there’s 99 delegates at stake, you need to vote for Marco Rubio, because he’s the only one with a mathematical shot — and if you look at the polls and the early voting, a very good shot, of beating Donald Trump here.”

(Note: Given the actual polls in Florida, it’s not even clear that Rubio has much of a shot in his home state — but granted, it is still better than anybody else’s.)

At this point, it seemed like co-host Kate Bolduan could scarcely believe what she was hearing: “So Alex, your answer to John — that Rubio supporters in Ohio should vote for John Kasich — your answer is yes?”

“Yeah, my answer is, John Kasich is the one candidate in Ohio that can beat Donald Trump,” Conant confirmed. “That’s stating the obvious. So if you’re a Republican primary voter in Ohio, and you don’t want Donald Trump to be the nominee, John Kasich is your best best. If you’re a Republican primary voter here in Florida, and you don’t want Donald Trump to be your nominee, Marco Rubio is your best bet. That is indisputable — everybody would say that.”

That’s right: Vote for me here — not even for me to win, but in order to stop an electoral majority for someone else — and don’t vote for me in some other places. This is the newest “Please clap” moment of campaign pitches.

Video via At This Hour/CNN.

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Polls: Trump Slaughtering Rubio In Florida, And Ahead Of Kasich In Ohio

A raft of new polls in the past few days show Donald Trump remaining on track for big victories in next week’s big-state contests.

Any potential Trump victories in Florida or Ohio would absolutely force home-state candidates Marco Rubio and John Kasich out of the race, respectively — leaving Ted Cruz as the remaining anti-Trump GOPer.

Also, keep in mind that the Republican field is now shifting into winner-take-all states: if Trump were to win these by even a single vote statewide, he would get all of their delegates. And if he’s winning these states by landslides, he gets the intangible benefit of a huge boost of great publicity and an increase in his supporters’ morale — and a corresponding plummet for anyone else.

The latest polls in Florida:

  • Fox News: Trump 43 percent, Rubio 20 percent, Cruz 16 percent, and Kasich 10 percent.
  • Associated Industries of Florida is the closest one: Trump 33 percent, Rubio 27 percent, Cruz 16 percent, and Kasich 12 percent.
  • Quinnipiac University: Trump 45 percent, Rubio 22 percent, Cruz 18 percent, and Kasich 8 percent.
  • CNN: Trump 40 percent, Rubio 24 percent, Cruz 19 percent, and Kasich 5 percent.
  • University of North Florida: Trump 36 percent, Rubio 24 percent, Cruz 16 percent, and Kasich 9 percent.
  • SurveyUSA: Trump 42 percent, Rubio 22 percent, Cruz 17 percent, and Kasich 10 percent.
  • Monmouth University: Trump 38 percent, Rubio 30 percent, Cruz 17 percent, and Kasich 10 percent.

And the latest polls in Ohio:

  • The newest release from Fox News is the first outfit to have Kasich ahead in his home state: Kasich 34 percent, Trump 29 percent, Cruz 19 percent, Rubio 7 percent.
  • Quinnipiac University: Trump 38 percent, Kasich 32 percent, Cruz 16 percent, and Rubio 9 percent.
  • CNN: Trump 41 percent, Kasich 35 percent, Cruz 15 percent, and Rubio 7 percent.
  • And from Democratic-aligned firm Public Policy Polling: Trump 38 percent, Kasich 35 percent, Cruz 15 percent, and Rubio 5 percent.

And as a bonus, there is also a SurveyUSA poll in North Carolina: Trump 41 percent, Cruz 27 percent, Rubio 14 percent, and Kasich 11 percent. This state, however, is still voting proportionally.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of the Michigan, Mississippi and other primary elections during a news conference held at his Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Trump Running Strong In All His Opponents’ Home States

A very scary thing is happening for Republicans right now. Donald Trump isn’t just winning against his competitors: He might even steamroll all of them in their own home states.

If, ultimately, Trump were to defeat Ted Cruz in Texas, Marco Rubio in Florida, and John Kasich in Ohio — or even run a close second to any of them on their home turfs — then the damage to his rivals will likely be too much for any of them to continue as plausible contenders.

Quinnipiac University released a poll Tuesday morning for John Kasich’s home state of Ohio, which will hold its winner-take-all primary on March 15. The result was alarming: Trump 31 percent, Kasich 26 percent, Cruz 21 percent, Rubio 13 percent, and Ben Carson at 5 percent.

So what was Kasich’s response? His campaign released a blog post declaring: “When it comes to winning home state primaries, John Kasich is in a far superior position when compared to Senator Rubio.” (More on this later.)

Meanwhile, a new poll out of Texas, which will hold its contest during next week’s Super Tuesday, March 1, showed Cruz barely ahead of The Donald. From University of Texas/The Texas Tribune: Cruz 37 percent, Trump 29 percent, Rubio 15 percent, Kasich 5 percent, and Carson 4 percent — plus 6 percent for Jeb Bush, who was still in the race when the poll was being conducted last week.

If Trump were to attain such a second-place showing in Texas, and if that left Cruz far underneath the 50 percent mark, Cruz’s credibility as a stop-Trump candidate would be utterly trashed. And if Trump were to actually win the Texas primary — well, it would be immediately over for Ted.

The situation in Marco Rubio’s home state of Florida, which will hold its primary the say as Ohio on March 15, is not very clear. There hasn’t been a publicly-released poll of the Sunshine State since mid-January — before the victories by Trump and Cruz, plus Rubio’s efforts to spin his own lesser showings as victories.

But in those mid-January polls, Trump was way ahead:

  • CBS News/YouGov had Trump at 41 percent, Cruz 22 percent, and Rubio 18 percent. The state’s former governor Jeb Bush, who just dropped out of the race this past weekend, was at only 4 percent.
  • Florida Atlantic University showed Trump at 48 percent, Cruz 16 percent, and Rubio 11 percent. Bush had 10 percent.
  • The Florida Times-Union had Trump at 31 percent, Cruz 19 percent, and Rubio 12 percent. Bush was at 13 percent.

One thing is for sure: We should all be very eager to see the next poll out of Florida. After all, it would be well-nigh impossible for Rubio to argue that he is the last competitive alternative to Trump — and the last, best hope of the GOP establishment — if it turned out Trump was still winning back in his home state.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young