GOP still closer to Trump than Pence, despite Georgia result

But if it was a bad day for Trump, it was a good one for his former vice president. Mike Pence picked the winner of Georgia’s gubernatorial primary: his endorsed nominee, Governor Brian Kemp, ended up beating Trump’s pick, former U.S. Senator David Perdue, by 52 points.

The Pence vs. Trump game is where we’ll start this week, because sometimes the outcome can be misleading as to the state of affairs in politics.

The current president (Joe Biden) was once vice president, so it might make sense to think that someone like Pence would be a strong contender to win a future Republican presidential nomination. Polls and history, however, suggest Tuesday was more of an aberration than any sign of Pence’s future success.
Take a look at one Marquette University Law School Survey released this week, which polled Americans on the popularity of various high-profile Republican politicians.

Pence’s favorable rating among those who Lean Republican was just 49%. His unfavorable mark was 33%. That gives a fairly low net preference rating of +16 percentage points for Pence among what should be his base.

Compare Pence’s ratings with those of Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the same poll.

Trump received a 75% favorable rating and a 22% unfavorable rating, giving a net favorability rating of +53 percentage points.

DeSantis came in with a 56% favorable rating, a 14% unfavorable rating, and a hefty 30% who hadn’t heard enough to rate him. Among Republicans as a whole, DeSantis had a net favor score of +42 percentage points. Among those who could assess him, his favorable rating was higher than that of Pence or Trump.

Pence’s low approval ratings are reflected in first horse racing numbers for the 2024 nomination. When Trump is included in national primary surveys, Pence typically polls in single digits. Trump generally has the support of about half of the electorate, and DeSantis is in second place with support in the 10s or 20s.

When Trump is not included, Pence’s support jumps into double digits. Still, he’s usually 10 or more points behind DeSantis.

Simply put, a high-profile former vice president behind a governor who isn’t known to a third of the GOP electorate is a pretty weak position.

Pence might be able to boost his popularity with Republican voters by getting out there and getting his message heard. Remember, part of Trump’s success in the 2016 primary was that he ousted other candidates in the media. But Pence took third place, behind DeSantis and another 2024 nominee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in mentions on Fox News.
We probably shouldn’t be surprised by Pence’s troubles. The last former vice president to seek the Republican presidential nomination was Dan Quayle in the 2000 cycle. Quayle improperly questioned and abandoned the race long before the first votes. This nomination was won by another great state governor (George W. Bush of Texas).

Quayle, unlike Biden and like Pence, had been on a losing ticket the last time he faced voters in the general election.

Indeed, the story is littered with former vice presidents who tried for the presidency and couldn’t even win their party’s nomination. Being vice president gives you a head start in terms of name recognition, but it’s far from a guarantee that you’ll move up.

In Pence’s case, that leg may not be enough. Something will have to fundamentally change for Republican primary voters for Pence to succeed.

Primary participation tells the story of enthusiasm

The results in places like Georgia tell us a story that goes beyond just primary winner and loser. They also indicate something about enthusiasm, and right now the results confirm what the polls are telling us: Republicans are excited.

Take Georgia, for example. There were approximately 1.2 million votes cast in the GOP primary, representing a nearly 100% increase from just over 600,000 votes cast in the 2018 primary. On the Democratic side, turnout has increased by around 30%, from less than 600,000 in the 2018 primary to just over 700,000 votes cast in 2022.

Of course, any state can be an outlier. Georgia had a very compelling Republican primary for governor, while there was no truly competitive race for governor or U.S. senator on the Democratic side.

2021 shows Republicans shouldn't fear high voter turnout
So I decided to review each of the 13 regularly scheduled primaries that have taken place this primary season. In each of the 13, the change in Republican turnout relative to the 2018 baseline is greater than the change in Democratic turnout. In other words, Republicans are doing better than Democrats in improving their turnout from 2018 in the 13 primaries so far.

And we’re not just talking about a small difference in turnout either. While there are slightly different ways of counting turnout (i.e. the races you use to compare over the years), Republican turnout has grown nearly 50% on average so far. . Democratic turnout is down about 5% in those same contests.

This is exactly the reverse pattern we witnessed four years ago. In 2018, Democrats came out in significantly larger numbers than Republicans compared to the 2014 benchmark.

Democrats would go on to make big gains in the U.S. House that year.

This year, we obviously don’t know yet what will happen. The turnout patterns we’ve seen, however, match what the polls tell us.

Republicans are ahead on the generic congressional ballot, unlike at this point in 2018. The GOP has won the House in every midterm since 1938 in which they were ahead on the generic congressional ballot at this point.

Additionally, CNN/SSRS polls show that more Republicans are extremely enthusiastic about voting this year than Democrats. Again, it was the opposite four years ago at this point.

All of that is a long way of saying: The primaries so far verify what the pink poll for Republicans has been indicating for months.

For your brief encounters: Memorial Day is a sacred day for Americans

This Monday marks the unofficial start of summer, with Memorial Day observed across the country.

Last year, Ipsos asked Americans which holidays should be national holidays. Their picks included Cinco de Mayo, Columbus Day, Election Day, Indigenous Peoples Day, Juneteenth, Labor Day, Memorial Day, New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Veterans Day.

Memorial Day received more support as a national holiday (81%) than any other. Additionally, 75% of Americans said they plan to observe it in the coming year.

Remnants of surveys

Americans love the job market: A new Gallup poll finds that 71% of Americans believe now is a good time to find a good job. This is only 3 points lower than the century high of 74% recorded in October. Never before 2021 did Americans think it was a better time to find high-quality jobs in this century than right now.
Democrats and Republicans are split on Israelis and Palestinians: A new Pew Research Center poll shows that 67% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Israeli people compared to 52% who said the same of the Palestinian people. Among those who lean for the Republicans, 78% have a favorable opinion of the Israeli people against 37% who have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian people. Of those leaning towards the Democrats, 64% had a favorable view of the Palestinian people compared to 60% who had a favorable view of the Israeli people.
The fears of cycling: A Ipsos poll in 28 countries found that 52% of adults said cycling from one place to another in their area was too dangerous. This may be why more adults in these countries said they walked (37%) or drove (25%) than they rode a bicycle for a typical one-mile commute in their community. , even though 80% or more said cycling could reduce traffic or play. an important role in reducing carbon emissions.

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