““This is a political-leaning conference right now, not a policy-leaning conference,” Ryan told me. Which makes sense, he added, because “our party is a populist-leaning party right now, not a policy-leaning party.”
In this sense, there’s some logic to Jordan ascending to lead Republicans in the House, the body which best reflects the sentiments of the GOP’s Trumpified rank-and-file.
“He’s a very articulate fighter on TV, with the gavel,” Ryan said. “He is the star of the conservative media industrial complex, he is their darling.”
Yet as we spoke, Jordan had just seen 20 of his GOP colleagues oppose his candidacy on the House floor, a day before the tally would rise to 22.
“He is where the center of gravity is,” Ryan added of Jordan, “but I think, we’ll see what happens here, there’s just enough institutionalists around still that…”
I interrupted: “He can’t get quite get there.”
Which was a nicer way of saying what I was thinking: There are still enough antibodies resisting the virus.
However, if we’re being honest, in the House, and the GOP writ large, increasingly it’s Jordan who’s the body and the pre-Trump Republicans the virus.”
“In state after state, fast-growing, traditionally liberal college counties like Dane are flexing their muscles, generating higher turnout and ever greater Democratic margins. They’ve already played a pivotal role in turning several red states blue — and they could play an equally
“Vox’s platform is founded heavily on nationalism and a return to “tradition” on social issues: The Spanish nation, to hear the party tell it, should prioritize its residents and practices like bullfighting rather than welcoming migrants, should be skeptical of efforts to advance gender equity, and should be actively opposed to LGBTQ rights, including gay marriage. Key stances Vox has championed include claiming that gender violence doesn’t exist, pushing to reverse a trans rights law that just took effect this year, banning abortion, and closing shelters housing foreign minors.”
“Sinema’s decision reflects a tradition of Arizona politics, where registered independents rival the state’s registered Republicans as the state’s largest voting group. The state is split nearly evenly into thirds among the two major parties and independents.
Based on initial exit polls, the makeup of this year’s electorate reflected some of this dynamic: Independents made up the largest group of voters in the Senate race, and they backed Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly by more than 15 points. Republicans, the next largest group, backed candidate Blake Masters by a smaller margin than they backed the 2020 election-denying gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Sinema has said that her decision to change parties is meant to reflect this dynamic: “I promised I would never bend to party pressure,” she wrote in her op-ed. “Arizonans — including many registered as Democrats or Republicans — are eager for leaders who focus on common-sense solutions rather than party doctrine. … It’s no wonder a growing number of Americans are registering as independents. In Arizona, that number often outpaces those registered with either national party.”
Arizona’s partisan breakdown isn’t expected to change dramatically before 2024, and Sinema’s decision makes the state’s upcoming Senate race wide-open. Sinema isn’t announcing a reelection effort yet, only saying that she does not plan to run for president. But if she does run, her move could work to her advantage.
She faced an uphill challenge by running as Democrat — she wasn’t leading in any hypothetical polling conducted in 2021 or 2022 when matched up against leading alternative Democratic candidates, like Rep. Gallego, Rep. Greg Stanton, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, or Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. Her favorability ratings remained low during the last year in both public and private Democratic polling from the Kelly campaign, according to a Democratic operative who was familiar with those results. Now, by unaffiliating herself with the state party, she could avoid what likely would have been a bruising primary contest that she would have lost.”
“Facing a potential primary challenge on her left from Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, Sinema stood a real chance of losing renomination if she sought reelection as a Democrat (she might’ve been in trouble against a more center-left Democrat, too, like Rep. Greg Stanton). Tellingly, Yoshinaka’s study found the prospect of facing a highly competitive primary in one’s own party can play into leaving that party.”
“if Sinema’s chances of winning a Democratic primary were mediocre at best, it’s unclear how much stronger her path would be as an independent. It’s hard to imagine Republicans deciding not to field a major candidate against Sinema even if she’s an independent, but it’s possible she is hoping that the potential complications of a three-way race discourage a high-profile Democrat like Gallego from running. In that scenario, perhaps Democrats line up behind her in a head-to-head race against a Republican.
However, Gallego has already responded to Sinema’s switch by sending out fundraising texts that say he’s considering a Senate run. Now, Sinema might be able to put together a mishmash coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents to win a three-way contest. After all, that Suffolk poll found that Republican likely voters also had a slightly more positive view of her than Democrats (35 percent favorable, 40 percent unfavorable), while independent likely voters had net-positive attitudes (42 percent favorable, 27 percent unfavorable). And she could attract plurality support if Democrats and Republicans nominate candidates who are viewed as too far left or right. That’s a possibility, too, as Gallego is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Arizona Republicans just nominated far-right contenders Blake Masters and Kari Lake in the 2022 Senate and gubernatorial races, respectively.
But Sinema could certainly also find herself running in last place. Yoshinaka’s study found party switchers suffer an electoral penalty in their first general election after switching, with an average decline of 4 to 9 percentage points in vote share. Having upset Democrats, Sinema might lose most of their support to the Democratic pick, and there’s no guarantee that many Republicans back her over their party’s nominee, even if that candidate is highly problematic.”
“The difficulties Sinema is likely to encounter speak to why senators rarely switch parties, and why it’s even more unusual for them to become — and stay — independent. Sinema is just the 10th senator since 1951 to formally switch parties while in office”
“Republicans across America are pressing local jurisdictions and state lawmakers to make typically sleepy school board races into politicized, partisan elections in an attempt to gain more statewide control and swing them to victory in the 2022 midterms.
Tennessee lawmakers in October approved a measure that allows school board candidates to list their party affiliation on the ballot. Arizona and Missouri legislators are weighing similar proposals. And GOP lawmakers in Florida will push a measure in an upcoming legislative session that would pave the way for partisan school board races statewide, potentially creating new primary elections that could further inflame the debate about how to teach kids.
The issue is about to spread to other states: The center-right American Enterprise Institute is urging conservatives to “strongly consider” allowing partisan affiliations to appear on ballots next to school board candidates’ names, as part of broader efforts to boost voter turnout for the contests. A coalition of conservative leaders — including representatives of Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute and Kenneth Marcus, the Education Department civil rights chief under former Secretary Betsy DeVos — have separately called for on-cycle school board elections as part of sweeping efforts to “end critical race theory in schools.”
In Florida, school boards are among the last elected officials who blocked policies of Gov. Ron DeSantis. If Republicans succeed in pushing the state to strip school board elections of their nonpartisan status and gain more representation on school boards, they could break the last holdouts who regularly defy the governor.”
“Making school board races partisan could make an already heated political landscape even more contentious”
““I do think party labels would produce more informed voters,” West said. “But, at the same time, it would likely accelerate emerging trend of nationalization of local education politics.””
“And despite the differences, the three parties are unified around some big things. All three are fairly socially progressive, for example, on things like LGBT rights, and the coalition has proposed an agenda including greater protections for trans people and ending restrictions on blood donations from gay men. The parties, too, may have different ideas of what progress means, but they are coalescing around the idea that Germany has to move a bit forward, and faster, to tackle challenges like climate change.”
“The coalition wants to lower the voting age in Germany to 16. It wants to legalize weed, an issue Merkel never really got behind. Climate change was a big issue among all parties during the 2021 elections, and this agreement speeds up the timeline for Germany to abandon coal, from 2038 to 2030. The plan also calls for social investments, like building 400,000 affordable housing units and raising the minimum wage to 12 euro an hour.”