Economic Crisis

By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill – March 9, 2023

Last week The Hill published an op-ed titled, “Do Democrats need a past ‘superstar’ to hold the White House in 2024?” by veteran Republican consultant Douglas MacKinnon, who wrote: 

“At some point, all of the Democrats I have spoken with drift into a version of the same thought: They need a superstar to emerge as the ‘adult in the room’ to save the party.” 

Yet, MacKinnon failed to name a “superstar” who realistically could replace President Biden except for former First Lady Michele Obama — who has shown no interest.

Also lamenting the Biden problem is journalist Mark Leibovich. He recently wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled “The Case for a Primary Challenge to Joe Biden.” The piece was subtitled: “There must be some freethinking Democrat who’s willing to get in the race.” 

Between the lines, you can hear Leibovich screaming, “What is wrong with you people?” when he wrote: “There has to be one good Challenger X out there from the party’s supposed ‘deep bench,’ right? Someone who is compelling, formidable, and younger than, say, 65?”

However, Challenger X is not on the party’s “deep bench.” Like MacKinnon, Leibovich envisions this known savior candidate parachuting in and changing everything. Sorry to disappoint, but inside-the-box thinking leads to the lackluster Biden/Harris ticket. Yet, outside, there is potentially a “change everything” candidate. He is 59 years old and shopping around for big boy toys like an NFL team while building his dream sailing yacht and a rocket ship to Mars. His name is Jeff Bezos.

With a net worth of $127 billion, Bezos is one of the world’s wealthiest men. Currently, he appears not to harbor presidential ambitions. But do we know whether any Democratic leaders have asked?

After all, Bezos is a superstar performer in a nation long overdue for a leadership course correction. Moreover, polling indicates that Democrats are ready for an out-of-the-box president, not one from “the bench.”

Last month The Hill reported that only 37 percent of Democrats want President Biden to seek a second term, but with no clear replacement. Overall, a January 2023 Gallup poll found that while 64 percent of Americans think the “United States’ power in the world will decline, 73 percent think China’s power will increase.” If we are a declining power, we need a leader who is an extraordinary innovator with once-in-a-lifetime business acumen, a proven track record and the highest level management skills to reverse our downward spiral.

The RealClearPolitics average finds 64 percent of voters think our nation is on the “wrong track” compared to 27 percent who say we are headed in the “right direction.” Such pessimism will multiply if Americans must endure a Trump v. Biden rerun, begging the question, “Is this the best we can do?” And if Democrats are longing for “Challenger X” to derail the Biden/Harris ticket, then a strong case can be made for Bezos. But someone needs to ask him — now.

Building from scratch is a Bezos specialty and, fortunately, between his sofa cushions, he has the $2 billion needed to build, launch and run the most high-tech presidential campaign organization in history.

Then there is his rock star name recognition through Amazon. The company he started in 1994 is projected to overtake Walmart as the world’s largest retailer by 2024.

Amazon Prime has 153 million members. Juxtapose that with 155.5 million voters who cast a presidential ballot for Trump or Biden in 2020. From a marketing perspective, those 153 million prime members have an ongoing personal relationship with Jeff Bezos — a political plus if he were to run and win the nomination.

Of course, Bezos would have to detach himself from Amazon if elected president. Not easy since Bezos and his empire are thoroughly integrated into the U.S. economy. Remember during COVID-19 how Amazon’s delivery played a critical role while people were homebound and many businesses were shuttered? In addition, consumers are unaware of how many products and services they regularly use that have Amazon tentacles

Furthermore, unbeknownst to most Americans, Amazon is deeply embedded in the U.S. government as a contractor through Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to its website, “7,500 government agencies” use AWS. Even the CIA and other intelligence agencies are prominent AWS clients with state-of-the-art (often secret) contracts.

Also, the Department of Defense (DOD) is a longtime AWS partner. In 2019 then-President Trump was accused of intervening to preclude AWS from winning a $10 billion DOD contract. Allegedly, Trump wanted retribution for all the “fake news” perpetrated against him by the Bezos-owned Washington Post.

Ultimately Amazon sued, and DOD eventually canceled the Microsoft-won contract. But in December 2022, AWS won a DOD multi-vendor “Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability” contract worth billions.

And don’t forget Bezos the Rocket Man who blasted into space in 2021. Last month, NASA awarded Blue Origin – his personally owned space exploration company – a Mars study mission contract.

In these perilous times, Bezos’s skills are needed. New technologies, artificial intelligence and cyber warfare will rule the world, and China threatens. But, unlike other wannabe 2024 candidates, Bezos understands how to manage the challenges by leveraging present and advanced technologies to keep our nation from global decline.

Perhaps in 2024 voters will choose between Trump’s “Make America Great Again — Again” and Bezos’s “Make America Amazon.”  


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill – Feb. 23, 2023

The question Republicans are asking is: Can Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) win the White House in 2024? A better, more precise question is: Can he win suburban voters in Pennsylvania?

It’s a question all prospective GOP primary candidates should answer. Suburbanites are swing voters, while urban dwellers trend Democratic and rural residents are overwhelmingly Republican. Therefore, in battleground Pennsylvania, the candidate who captures the suburban vote increases his or her chances of winning the state’s 19 electoral votes to reach the 270 votes required to win the presidency. 

Thus, for Republicans itching to win back the White House, the eventual nominee must appeal to suburban voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia. Winning or losing these six states reduces the 2024 presidential election to its simplest form. But the likelihood of a winning combination is stacked against the GOP. Why? The answer is challenging Electoral College math along with some reality checks.

Now don’t expect GOP candidates to explain why or how they will win these six critical states before or during the primary season. When the “electability factor” is raised, it’s usually about winning in general. And Republican primary voters can expect to hear variations of “Fighting to save America” and “Let’s take our country back.” Unfortunately, slogans about uniting America are past their sell by date since “uniting” means compromise, which, in the eyes of many Americans, equates to surrender.

Note that the current leading Republican primary candidate, former President Trump, won the six states and the presidency in 2016. But in 2020 he lost five of them (which explains the “former” title). Reversing his losses requires new policies and broader (dare I say moderate?) appeal from a nominee who catches fire among independents in addition to a young and diverse electorate willing to vote for a new White House occupant. Does that candidate exist?

An undisputed political fact is that the Republican base alone cannot elect a president. (Same for the Democratic base.) Yet, the depth of national polarization is illustrated by how both parties begin the 2024 race with a list of likely red or blue states spread across the Electoral College map.

If a party won a state over the last two presidential elections, it is deemed as being the “likely” winner in 2024. After the 2020 election and census, the likely red states provide 219 electoral votes, including Texas, Ohio and Florida. Democrats have 232 votes from likely blue states. Hence, with a total of 538 electoral votes — 87 are battleground votes spread across six states.

So now, let’s examine those six states, starting with the most likely to be named the 2024 “mother of all battlegrounds,” even though it was “red” over the last three presidential elections.

North Carolina: The 2020 census increased its electoral votes from 15 to 16. North Carolina’s economic and population growth supplements the voter rolls with young, skilled, educated residents who tend to be more progressive and racially diverse. Meanwhile, retirees migrating from northern or midwestern states provide some balance.

The state’s movement from solid red began in 2008 when Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) squeezed out a 0.3 percentage-point win over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Then from 2012 to 2020, North Carolina reverted to red, but it was always close. In 2016, Trump won by a more generous 3.6 percentage points, but his 2020 win was by only 1.3 points. Considering the GOP’s narrow electoral path in 2024, North Carolina is a “must-win” — a status once granted to Ohio and Florida.  

Georgia: The GOP’s shocking loss of the state’s 16 electoral votes in 2020 guarantees that the next Republican nominee will become one with Georgians. In 2016, Trump won by 5.2 percentage points, only to lose by 0.2 points in 2020. So, was it Trump or a more general trend toward blue?

Arizona: Here is another 2020 red-to-blue shocker that is either a one-off or a blue presidential trend. For the electoral math equation, the GOP must win back Arizona’s 11 electoral votes that Trump lost by 0.3 percentage points after winning in 2016 by 3.6 points. But Arizona is not a must-win for Democrats because of the cushion that follows.  

Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania: The three “blue wall” states have voted in unison since 1992. The three states total 44 electoral votes, down from 46 in 2020, with Pennsylvania and Michigan each losing one vote.  

In 2016 Trump unexpectedly won all three states by fractions that allowed him to reach 270. Then in 2020, Biden reclaimed the “blue wall.” Here are Trump and Biden’s percentage-point margins of victory:

Michigan 2016: 0.2  — 2020: 2.8

Wisconsin 2016: 0.7 — 2020: 0.7

Pennsylvania 2016: 0.7 — 2020: 1.2

In politics, always expect the unexpected, and historical voting data only acts as a guide. Nonetheless, the GOP nominee has a steep climb over the blue wall to win at least one of the three states, along with must-wins in Georgia, Arizona and North Carolina, to reach 272 electoral votes. (Wisconsin, the GOPs best bet, is represented in the 272 total.)

All this electoral math gaming precludes unexpected red or blue flips. Still, the 2024 Republican nominee must focus on these six states to reach 270. GOP primary voters should boldly ask whether their candidate can win these states or risk losing the White House.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted on The Hill Feb. 9, 2023

How does Donald Trump vs. Ron DeSantis end? “Not well” is my answer. Such pessimism is based on former President Trump’s recent response when radio host Hugh Hewitt asked him if he would support “whoever” wins the GOP presidential nomination. “It would have to depend on who the nominee was,” Trump replied, prompting Hewitt to change topics.

The 45th president’s answer leads one to envision a list of “acceptable” nominees locked in a drawer at Mar-a-Lago. And what if the eventual winner were someone Trump considered disloyal?

Later during Trump’s Feb. 2 interview, Hewitt confronted him about the loyalty issue without mentioning loyalty. Hewitt asked:

“I want to know about if you have the position, if you’ve done someone well, if you’ve helped Youngkin or DeSantis or Nikki Haley or Mike Pompeo, is it your position they should not run against you if you’ve helped them?”

Trump answered: “Yeah, I would say that, but I know how life works. And I know how politics works. And politics is a microcosm, but even more vicious [than] life.”

Indeed politics is vicious, often called a “blood sport,” but the expected trajectory for the GOP nomination fight could make those traditional descriptions sound antiquated. Instead, think Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) — a 1960s-originated national defense concept that strategically deters superpowers from annihilating each other with nuclear weapons.

The MAD concept has been applied to business and personal conflicts for decades. Now the GOP primary could be MAD after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) officially enters the presidential race as many expect in late spring. And because the former president fears DeSantis, Trump madly fired an offensive junk-filled missile this week — a preview of more juvenile attacks to come.

According to The Hill, there are “eight Republicans who could challenge Trump,” but none poll in double digits except Florida’s governor. Thus, take cover for the Trump vs. DeSantis nuclear fight with fallout raining on prospective challengers when (or if) they declare — until dropping out and choosing sides.

The predominant and looming primary questions are, “What happens if Trump loses?” And “Will Trump take the traditional path and support the presidential nominee for the good of the party?”

Both scenarios alarm Republican leaders since it is well established that Trump “cannot” lose under any circumstances. Losing conflicts with his carefully crafted personal brand. “You’re fired” (Trump’s famous “Apprentice” phrase) does not apply to him. Therefore, Trump will attack, demean, lie, disrupt and seek an alternative route to circumvent the “loser” label — anything to save face.

What happens if DeSantis wins the 2024 nomination? He would represent the future triumphing over the past and, many would say, “Trumpism without Trump.”

But would Trump want to sabotage the DeSantis campaign? Ask former Trump Attorney General William Barr, who framed his former boss’s modus operandi in an Aug. 22 interview on the Free Press. But Barr was requoted in a Feb. 3 New York Times headline, “Trump Won’t Commit to Backing the G.O.P. Nominee in 2024.” That Times report also reflected Trump’s remarks from the previously mentioned Hugh Hewitt interview. Controversially, former A.G. Barr channeled Trump’s thinking and said:

“‘If it’s not me, I’m going to ruin your election chances by telling my base to sit home. And I’ll sabotage whoever you nominate other than me.’ It shows what he’s all about,” Barr said. “He’s all about himself. ” 

Barr’s harsh words apply to Trump’s MAD intimidation campaign against DeSantis, coupled with The Hill reporting Trump’s criticism of the Florida governor’s loyalty:

But would Trump want to sabotage the DeSantis campaign? Ask former Trump Attorney General William Barr, who framed his former boss’s modus operandi in an Aug. 22 interview on the Free Press. But Barr was requoted in a Feb. 3 New York Times headline, “Trump Won’t Commit to Backing the G.O.P. Nominee in 2024.” That Times report also reflected Trump’s remarks from the previously mentioned Hugh Hewitt interview. Controversially, former A.G. Barr channeled Trump’s thinking and said:

“‘If it’s not me, I’m going to ruin your election chances by telling my base to sit home. And I’ll sabotage whoever you nominate other than me.’ It shows what he’s all about,” Barr said. “He’s all about himself. ” 

Barr’s harsh words apply to Trump’s MAD intimidation campaign against DeSantis, coupled with The Hill reporting Trump’s criticism of the Florida governor’s loyalty:

DeSantis even edges out Biden in a hypothetical general election match-up (as does Trump). The difference is young DeSantis – unlike the 76-year-old, twice-impeached Trump – has never lost an election. Most consequential, DeSantis is not jeopardized or compromised by impending threats of multiple federal and state indictments.

Instead, the governor generally abstains from personal attacks, focusing his intellectual firepower on issues that appeal to the GOP base.

This week DeSantis’s presidential prospects doubly brightened.

First, the conservative, influential Club for Growth stated, “The party should be open to another candidate,” after not inviting Trump to its donor retreat. Naturally, Trump blasted off. Moreover, records show “advantage DeSantis” since Club for Growth donated $2 million to his 2022 gubernatorial reelection and $267,620 to his previous congressional campaigns.

Second, piling on Trump, the formidable Koch fundraising network declined support, saying, “The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter.”

So how does Trump vs. DeSantis end?

If Trump wins the nomination, DeSantis will finish his second term in January 2027, positioned as the 2028 GOP presidential front-runner and possibly awarded a short-term gig on FOX News.

Then, if DeSantis tops the 2024 ticket but loses the general election, expect Trump to gloat, saying, “I would have won.”

In the meantime, Trump has launched a war against DeSantis for the primary race. If Trump loses, he may later commit under-the-radar sabotage in the general election. Ultimately, Trump may destroy the winner if he loses.

Conversely, DeSantis has the arsenal to end the Trump Era with decades left to war against the woke culture and rivals from both parties.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill Jan. 26, 2023

2024 will mark a sorry anniversary for the Republican Party: 20 years since President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign won both the popular and Electoral College votes. That feat has since eluded three GOP presidential nominees and one incumbent.

The critical question is, “Are Republicans capable of nominating a winning ticket to halt this embarrassing losing trend?” I doubt it since rapidly changing demographics are reducing the Republicans’ popular vote count in battleground states.

In 2016, Donald Trump was elected president by winning only the Electoral College — a political fluke that he did not repeat in 2020. Moreover, the demeaning label “illegitimate president” can haunt a commander in chief who wins without the popular vote. Just ask George W. Bush, circa 2000.

To understand how this forthcoming non-celebratory 20th anniversary of continuous political loss manifested itself, let’s begin with notable 2004 state voting data and compare it to 2020 state results.

But first, the basic facts: Incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in a demure, respectable campaign by today’s standards. Bush won the popular vote 50.7 to 48.3 percent and the Electoral College vote 286 to 251.

Subsequently, four states totaling 32 electoral votes that contributed to Bush topping 270 in 2004 have since become GOP Electoral College “dropouts.” Starting in 2008, every Democratic presidential ticket has won the following states (with their 2024 electoral votes in parentheses): Virginia (13), Colorado (10), Nevada (6) and New Mexico (5).

Where does the Republican Party go to replace those 34 electoral votes? Good question. GOP presidential candidates dream about turning back the clock but wake up to face this daunting data:

In 2004, Bush won Virginia by a safe 8.2 percentage point margin, but in 2020 Biden won by an even safer 10.1 points.

Colorado used to be Bush country by a comfortable margin of 4.7 percentage points. Then in 2020, Biden achieved an astounding 13.5-point victory.

New Mexico was a 2004 Bush squeaker where he won by 0.7 percentage point. Yet, Biden triumphed with 10.8 points.  

Then in Nevada, Bush took the state by only 2.6 points, and Biden won with a 3-point margin.

As referenced earlier, the comparative data from those four states demonstrate a more significant demographic voter problem that will dog the Republican Party into 2024. Here is the major obstacle using data from the Roper Center from 2004 and 2020:

In 2004, whites composed 77 percent of voters, a share that shrunk to 67 percent by 2020. Bush was reelected in 2004 after winning the white vote 58 to 41 percent over Kerry. But in 2020, Trump lost reelection to Joe Biden even after winning whites 58 to 41 percent — the same percentage Bush won in 2004.

Hence, that 10 percent drop in whites as a share of voters from 2004 to 2020 proved detrimental to Trump. And in 2024, the white percentage will continue shrinking (perhaps by three points), the same decrease from 2016 to 2020, when white voters dipped from 70 to 67 percent.

By comparison, 1984 Roper data show that 86 percent of voters were white when President Reagan won his reelection landslide, winning them 66 to 34 percent over former Vice President Walter Mondale.

While still heavily relying on white voters, the Republican Party continues to lose states that had historically been red — most prominently Georgia and Arizona in 2020. So again, let’s compare both states to Bush’s 2004 benchmark victory to grasp the GOP’s precipitous decline.

Bush won Arizona by 10.5 percentage points. Sixteen years later, Biden eked out a 0.3 percentage point surprise defeat over Trump — who in 2016 had won Arizona by 3.6 percentage points. Thus, in 2024, Arizona catapults to the highest tier of battleground states with its 11-vote Electoral College prize.

Georgia in 2024 will garner even more money and media attention. Its newly acquired battleground status illustrates the Republican Party’s vulnerability. In 2004, Bush conquered Georgia with a 16.6 percentage point blowout, while Trump won by a respectable 5.2 points in 2016. Then in 2020, Trump and Republicans were stunned when Biden managed a 0.2 percentage point win, earning 16 new blue electoral votes, and the fallout continues in court.

Republicans losing popular and electoral votes in states once considered safe will force the party into a 270-vote math fight where the electoral-rich “blue wall” states of Pennsylvania (19), Wisconsin (10) and Michigan (15) become “must-win” for Republicans. That is a desperate and expensive situation involving 44 electoral votes and the White House at stake.

In 2004, Bush lost Pennsylvania (21), Michigan (17) and Wisconsin (10), then totaling 48 electoral votes, but he had enough of an electoral cushion to reach 270 without the trio. Now the Bush cushion has deflated.

Trump, who lost the popular vote in 2016, was elected president because he busted through the triple blue wall by winning an extra 77,744 votes spread across PennsylvaniaMichigan and Wisconsin — earning 46 electoral votes. Then in 2020, those three states reverted to blue when Biden won with similarly close margins as Trump in 2016.

The Republican Party faces a crisis due to its shrinking white voter base unless it makes commensurate gains among the growing non-white electorate, which totaled 33 percent of voters in 2020 and which Biden won 71 to 26 percent over Trump. That 33 percent will increase in 2024.  

Nearly 20 years after he became the last Republican to win the popular and electoral votes, George W. Bush has ironically become an outcast in a Trump-dominated party. GOP voters in 2024 are unlikely to nominate a candidate who can match Bush’s 2004 achievement, which will require a major realignment and rebranding.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill: Jan. 5, 2023

The calendar says 2023, but politically, it’s 2024. Therefore, at the beginning of this volatile two-year presidential campaign cycle, expect at least half of the predictions and prognostications to be inoperative by January 2024. (But we don’t know which half!)

My speculation about a small fraction of the half likely to be valid a year from now concerns two names on The Hill’s recent report, “GOP Rankings: The Republicans most likely to be the party’s 2024 presidential nominee.” Ranked fifth was former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who leads former Vice President Mike Pence, in seventh place.

These distinguished “formers” from President Trump’s Cabinet share a similar trajectory (going nowhere) while deciding whether to fight their old boss and enter the race. I say, “don’t waste your time,” because this vainglorious exercise invariably leads to a future announcement: “Today, I will end my campaign.”

Meanwhile, the Mikes are trolling in Iowa, have visited New Hampshire and are touring red states to flack their books. Pence’s book, titled “So Help Me God,” last week ranked #11 on the New York Times bestseller list. Even so, the former VP fails to generate excitement outside his loyal base of white evangelical voters, which he famously brought to Trump’s victorious ticket in 2016.

Pompeo’s book “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love” has a Jan. 24 publication date. But the only list that both Pompeo and Pence are likely to top is “Republicans least likely to win the 2024 nomination.”

Let’s begin with Pence, an honorable, loyal Christian man. Pence – after four years one breath away from becoming the most powerful man on the planet – has scar tissue from continuously biting his lower lip while silently standing next to President Trump.

However, when all the facts are known about Team Trump’s plot to remain in power, I believe history will cast Mike Pence as an American hero for his courageous actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

At the Capitol, when democracy was under attack (with a gallows erected to chants of “hang Mike Pence”), the vice president honored his oath of office, “so help me God.” And faithfully, under intense presidential pressure, Pence ignored Trump’s pleas not to fulfill his constitutionally mandated duty to certify the Electoral College votes. Consequently, repeatedly, he was called a “traitor” and shunned by the majority MAGA wing of the Republican Party.

Two years later, Pence is squandering his heroic legacy since testing presidential waters means he must appease Trump’s loyal base and convince them to support him. Hence why Pence has never publicly condemned Trump’s actions or the trauma he endured before, during and after Jan. 6, 2021.

Last year on the anniversary of Jan. 6, my Hill op-ed was headlined, “The ‘hero’ of Jan. 6 should embrace the truth.” But American voters are still waiting for Pence’s “truth” since he declined to testify in front of the Jan. 6 committee. In the meantime, on his book tour, Pence boasts about the Trump/Pence administration’s accomplishments, anticipating his 2024 run — running in circles earning single-digit support in GOP preference polls.

Instead, Pence should withdraw from 2024, play his heroic trump card and inspire others to do the right thing when the going gets tough in life-and-death situations.

Pence also knows that Trump could be toppled with the smallest bench of primary candidates. That’s another reason for Pence to declare, “So help me God” and serve the country by playing kingmaker — leading his evangelical base to support a godly winning candidate not named Trump.

But Mike Pompeo is not that candidate. Although fifth in The Hill’s rankings, Pompeo earned only 1 and 2 percentage points in recent GOP primary polls. Nevertheless, the former Kansas congressman tapped by Trump to be CIA director then secretary of state, and now a Fox News contributor, has a presidential resume — but only by divine intervention will he occupy the Oval Office. Speaking of almighty works, on Dec. 29, I received a fundraising email from Mike Pompeo with the subject line: “Wisdom from the Bible.” Pompeo quoted a passage from Jeremiah and then wrote:

“Our God-given freedoms are under assault. That’s why I created the Freedom Fund. To defend the freedoms and values that make America great against government overreach and the radical Left.” He continued:

“If you love America and refuse to let the Democrats turn the American dream into a socialist nightmare, that I need YOU to step up right away with an emergency donation to our Freedom Fund.”

Hey Mike: What about the “nightmare” perpetrated by your former boss, who trampled the Constitution trying to overturn a legitimate election to keep himself in power? Why haven’t you directly criticized his actions?

At least Pompeo had the guts to speak with the Jan. 6. committee. Then last week, his testimony transcript was released, with his shocking answer to the following question found on page 17, lines 14-16:

Q. “Did you reach out to any counterparts in other countries on [Jan 6] to convey any information or reassure them as the attack on the Capitol was unfolding?”

A. “I don’t recall.” 

Pompeo’s answer signals a dereliction of duty and makes for an embarrassing opposition ad that writes itself. Cue the footage and deep male voice-over:

“The Capitol is under siege. A necessary step for the transfer of presidential power is threatened and halted. The vice president is hiding, the president is silent for hours, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, ‘I DON’T RECALL’ reaching out to reassure our allies.”  

Chances are Pompeo’s candidacy won’t get far enough to warrant that script. With no political lane, branding or constituency, Pompeo stands for nothing but lofty platitudes and, worse, will lose his Fox News gig once he declares.

New Year’s memo to Pence and Pompeo: Stay on the sidelines, write books, speak the truth about your old boss and support candidates who can defeat him.  

Drop out before you drop in.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill – Dec. 15, 2022

At every Republican gathering, there is one question that no one dares to voice: Will former President Trump drop out of the 2024 presidential race?

After Trump’s widely panned “low energy” presidential announcement on Nov. 15, the first month has been the campaign from hell.

At the starting gate after the midterm elections, Trump was directly blamed for the GOP’s failure to win control of the Senate and why the much-ballyhooed red wave stayed offshore. Then headlines exploded after he dined with celebrity Nazi lovers, racists and white supremacists — followed by his unhinged call for the termination of Constitution election rules benefiting him.

Pile on the Justice Department naming a special prosecutor to investigate events before and during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, enjoined with the Mar-a-Lago document scandal. Then add a host of legal setbacks after numerous political and business rulings.

Furthermore, the first month saw major donors jump ship and the stratospheric rise of a young rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — a Trump acolyte. Now, Trump’s 2024 campaign reality show is stranger than fiction, but the political reality is reflected in the downward trajectory of his poll numbers.

On Tuesday, The Hill reported a USA Today-Suffolk University poll showing DeSantis walloping Trump, 56 percent to 33 percent, among Republican and leaning GOP primary voters in a hypothetical match-up. Also, only 31 percent of Republican primary voters favor a Trump run.

Then on Wednesday, a Wall Street Journal poll showed DeSantis defeating Trump 52 percent to 38 percent. These and other polls make headlines and generate sustained media attention, eroding Trump’s standing as the inevitable front-runner.

Thus, the average politician would ask, “Is the universe telling me to disband my campaign?” Except Trump is not average. “I’m a victim, I will tell you. I’m a victim,” he said in his presidential announcement speech. Even more, he is a “victim” of self-inflicted wounds. But do Americans want to elect “a victim” as their next president?

Nonetheless, Trump is a unique victim who can never lose. In his mind, he is always a winner, which means the contest must be rigged if he does not emerge victorious. The worst name he can ever be called is “loser” — which explains why he manufactured the “Big Lie” to cover his 2020 reelection defeat.

And what was the overarching reason behind the Jan. 6 attack? So that Trump could go from “loser” to “winner” after the Electoral College results were overturned.

Looking ahead to 2023, what if Trump is indicted by the Justice Department (more likely every day) and the 2024 GOP nomination polls continue to boldly favor DeSantis? While Trump fears losing, what course of action is available to him before the primaries begin? Surely not a traditional campaign withdrawal speech.

Instead, Trump could play the poor health card and withdraw, a plausible excuse after he turns 77 in June. That way, Trump saves face by not being called a “loser” — only a victim of bodily maladies beyond his control.

Then imagine his predictable social media message: “I was winning the nomination and would have won the general election, but my doctor says I am at risk for (fill in the blank) and must end my campaign.”

The foundation for such an announcement was laid on April 4, 2022. During an interview with The Washington Post, Trump hinted that health problems could factor into his 2024 campaign decision, saying, “You always have to talk about health. You look like you’re in good health, but tomorrow, you get a letter from a doctor saying come see me again. That’s not good when they use the word again.”

Eyebrows were raised when Trump admitted human frailty, while skeptics saw the strategic potential for him to mix health with political face-saving.

Although Trump’s Nov. 15 presidential announcement negated playing his health card, he still holds the ace to save face if the following triple pressures become too intense in 2023:

First and potentially, Trump could be fighting the feds in a multicount federal indictment. Second and very likely, Trump wages a nasty nomination battle against DeSantis. Initially, the primary bench could be crowded, but ultimately, more likely the GOP nomination will be a two-man death match. 

Third, Trump must be the commanding general in the forthcoming GOP civil war against powerful forces who want a fresh face amid polls showing Trump could sink the GOP in 2024.

These three factors strengthen my hunch that Trump’s presidential campaign will end by this time next year.

Conversely, since Trump is known to be ruthless, narcissistic and can’t appear to lose, many will say the prospect of him dropping out is ridiculous. But that is the beauty of playing the health card in late 2023. Health problems, real or manufactured, could be used offensively, allowing Trump to maintain control of his non-defeat if he is careening toward inevitable primary defeats.

Most importantly, the health card protects his winning persona, allowing him to play kingmaker from the sidelines.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.

By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted From The Hill – Dec. 1, 2022

Brace yourself for the most dramatic and wackiest six months in pre-presidential campaign history. The action starts in January, but by June, expect answers to six questions that will set the stage for the 2024 presidential campaign.

The operative word is “expect,” as in “expect the unexpected” — a sure-fire political axiom.

We begin with the Democrats.

  1. Will President Biden run for reelection?

The answer should be announced by the end of January, since on Nov. 9, Biden teased, “my intention is that I run again — but I’m a great respecter of fate” while “guessing” that “the decision will be announced early next year.”

Thus, assuming Biden runs, these three factors could derail his reelection:

First, midterm election exit polls showed 67 percent of respondents, including 31 percent of Democrats, do not want Biden to run.

Second, “ageism” will be unkind to the ticket. Biden, who turns 82 in 2024, shines a glaring spotlight on Vice President Kamala Harris. According to poll averages, Harris’s 37 percent favorable rating is worse than Biden’s at 43 percent, while their unfavorable ratings are tied at nearly 52 percent.

Third, Biden’s weak and unpopular vice president is not easily replaceable since, as a non-white woman, Harris represents the base of the Democratic Party.

Therefore, with no heir apparent or primary opposition, could this lackluster 2024 Democrat ticket be in place by February?

Conversely, if Biden declines a second term, all political hell will break loose. But worse, from the national security desk, our adversaries might perceive Biden’s two-year lame-duck status as a sign of weakness and act more aggressively.

2. If Biden runs, will Kamala Harris remain on the ticket?

Ageism was previously mentioned, but this sensitive issue must be addressed from the perspective of a tragic news flash: “President Harris.”  

Democrats will downplay this touchy topic, but Republicans will hype it to the max after the ticket is announced and through Election Day. But “expect the unexpected” if polls show Harris as an extreme liability, and she might be pressured to withdraw from the ticket (perhaps for “health reasons” or to run for Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) seat in 2024 or even to be nominated for a Supreme Court vacancy). In that case, newly reelected Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – who recently vaulted to national prominence – might be a strong replacement.  

3. What’s the early 2023 Republican perspective?

It is historically unprecedented that the GOP already has a declared presidential candidate frontrunner two years before Election Day 2024. That frontrunner also controls the Republican Party apparatus from top to bottom.

Politically speaking, in “normal” circumstances, if that frontrunner’s likely opponent were an incumbent president, an early announcement might be advantageous. But, when the frontrunner is twice-impeached former President Trump, who failed to win the popular vote in two elections, is entangled in webs of legal liability and tailed by a special prosecutorthere are too many downsides. Such as:

Trump’s flawed, loyalty-based primary candidate interventions kept Republicans from winning control of the Senate.

He is saddled with an average 54 percent unfavorable rating, higher than Biden and Harris.

The former president recently dined with a celebrity antisemite accompanied by a white nationalist leader. Ironically, this bizarre incident could generate more lasting political fallout than Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, indirectly attack the Capitol and remove top-secret documents from the White House. Then watch as Trump drama peaks during the first six months of 2023 due to the next question

4. Will the Department of Justice (DOJ) indict Trump before June 2023?

No matter what action or inaction the DOJ takes, there will be massive political consequences. The June date matters because, by that time, the 2024 GOP bench will be packed with Trump’s primary opponents. Then, as a group, they might speak out against the former president’s actions, helping to mitigate the potential for political upheaval from his loyalists after hammering the “it’s time to move on” theme.

More questions: If Trump is indicted, will he go to trial? Will there be violence? Will a deal be made to stop him from running? Will the GOP pressure Trump to drop out? What action will Republican leaders take against the DOJ? (For example, will they try to impeach Attorney General Merrick Garland?)

The only playbook is the law.

5. Will the anti-Trump faction spark a civil war within the Republican Party?

If so, it will start in late January when Trump’s ally, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, is up for reelection. But there will be no contest since Trump loyalists control all the party machinery at every level — having disposed of anyone not deemed sufficiently “Trumpian.” Still, momentum for a “fresh face” is growing.

6. Will Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announce for president in May or June?

That timing is based on the end of Florida’s legislative session presided over by Gov. DeSantis. He is ascendent as the party’s future hope after winning reelection by nearly 20 points. Polls, like this one from the battleground state of Pennsylvania, show DeSantis slightly ahead of Trump.

Meanwhile, major donors are deserting Trump and becoming unabashedly vocal about what the Florida governor represents — winning elections. Therefore, when DeSantis announces in mid-2023 (“when” not “if,” I hear), loyal Trump voters might support the 44-year-old Trump acolyte, who offers “Trumpism” without Trump’s legal problems, ongoing drama, name-calling and losing streak.

The recent barrage of DeSantis media hype runs the risk that he might peak too early. Can he live up to the oversized expectations – topple Trump and then Biden – having never competed on the national stage?

That question will be answered much later. In the meantime, there are enough questions for the first six months of 2023 to keep the political adrenaline pumping and juice the axiom, “expect the unexpected.”

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill – Nov. 18, 2022

Last Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) won reelection, defeating Democrat Charlie Crist by 19.4 percentage points. His victory was the political equivalent of tectonic plates shifting the Earth’s crust — a theory explaining the creation of continents and mountain ranges.

The magnitude of DeSantis’s triumph also triggered a plate shift at the Republican National Committee. Powerful energy was emerging to move mountains, creating new landscapes for someone not named Trump to be the 2024 presidential nominee.

Speaking of creation, Gov. DeSantis’s final campaign ad featured a Genesis-inspired narration about God creating “a fighter on the eighth day.” DeSantis’s sacrilegious self-branding was universally criticized.

But criticism of former President Trump was more injurious after the election fallout opened a political sinkhole under Mar-a-Lago. The first national post-midterm poll, followed by a flood of Republican surveys from Iowa, New Hampshire, Georgia, Florida and Texas, showed the former president trailing DeSantis by double digits. Then, in a desperate attempt to stay relevant and possibly ward off potential indictments, Trump’s Tuesday night reelection announcement was mocked as “low energy” and sank into weak sand.

Contrast Trump’s campaign launch with DeSantis’s Nov. 8 victory speech. The jubilant governor acknowledged tectonic shifts, bragging, “We have rewritten the political map.” Although referring to Florida, that statement, and the entire speech, was a national dog whistle for his (assumed) 2024 run. DeSantis concluded:

“Now, while our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track. I believe the survival of the American experiment requires a revival of true American principles. Florida has proved that it can be done. We offer a ray of hope that better days still lie ahead.”

Sounding Reagan-esque and steeped in conservative governing principles, could Ron DeSantis – the new Ron Reagan – forge a 21st century version of the Reagan coalition that brought millions of disgruntled “Reagan Democrats” to the GOP? That successful coalition resulted in three consecutive Reagan landslides — 1980, 1984 and 1988, when Vice President George H. W. Bush indirectly won Reagan’s “third term.”

Inspired by Reagan, DeSantis announced Feb. 6 as “Ronald Reagan Day” in Florida, proclaiming, “Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest presidents our nation has ever had and left an iconic legacy that continues to inspire.”

Channeling Reagan in the third most populous state (having “rewritten the political map”), DeSantis is combat-ready to lead a national political and cultural realignment. Most likely, his presidential announcement will occur after the Florida Legislature’s session closes in early June.

Meanwhile, DeSantis benefits from a touchy topic. On Nov. 20, President Biden turns 80, and his opponent might be the 44-year-old governor. Recent presidential campaign history shows that age gaps of more than 20 years favor the younger candidate.

For example, in 1992, Gov. Bill Clinton (D-Ark.), age 46, defeated 68-year-old President George H. W. Bush. And again in 1996, Clinton, age 50, trounced Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas), age 73. Then in 2008, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), age 47, prevailed over 72-year-old Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Now that Trump, age 76, is an official presidential candidate, the history of elder defeat raises an inevitable question: Will the Grand Old Party be the first to nominate a presidential candidate from Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979)?

Look to DeSantis’s Florida victory for the answer after he garnered broad support from the nation’s two largest racial groups — whites and Hispanics. That fact will bolster DeSantis’s strategic argument that he is the strongest general election candidate to “fight” President Biden, who teased his forthcoming reelection announcement.

Moreover, Florida represents a racially mixed America. Census bureau data show whites are 53 percent of the population. Hispanics at 27 percent, African Americans 17 percent and Asians at 3.

Let’s compare Florida exit poll data from DeSantis in 2022 and Trump in 2020. Naturally, more Floridians voted in the presidential election, casting 10.96 million ballots, while 7.7 million voted in the midterms.

The Florida and national exit poll data shown below is from NBC News, but the data is consistent across all major news organizations:  

2022: White vote, 64 percent of the electorate — DeSantis 65 percent/Crist 34.

2020: White vote, 62 percent of the electorate — Trump 62 percent/Biden 37.

2020 National: White vote, 67 percent of the electorate — Trump 58 percent/Biden 41.

2022: Fla. Hispanic vote, 21 percent of electorate — DeSantis 58 percent/Crist 40.

2020: FL Hispanic vote, 19 percent of electorate — Trump 53 percent/Biden 46.

2020 National: Hispanic vote, 13 percent of electorate — Trump 32 percent/Biden 65.

DeSantis could lead a new Reagan-like coalition resulting in a national realignment of Hispanic voters — flipping states such as Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada back into the red column.

Although DeSantis reveres President Reagan as his political role model, the governor is known to lack Reagan’s charming persona. Worse, it has been widely reported that DeSantis is devoid of personality. He is known to burn through staff, has a huge ego, is thin-skinned and always on the attack. In a balanced but revealing Vanity Fair profile of DeSantis, Gabriel Sherman wrote, “The biggest complaint you hear about DeSantis is that he never says thank you.”  

But personality traits behind closed doors matter less if DeSantis can crush Trump with shifting tectonic plates. A promising DeSantis coalition built on his conservative policy leadership as an anti-woke culture warrior known for “getting things done” must first win over GOP primary voters in a cage fight with the former president.

For years Republicans bemoaningly asked, “Who will be the next Reagan?” Then, in 2015, Trump descended the escalator and remade the party in his image. Now, DeSantis, supremely talented but humanly flawed with rough edges, is well positioned as a unique “Generation X” mix of Ronald and Donald.

Ultimately, all these politically rational pro-DeSantis 2024 arguments make too much sense. That explains why a GOP civil war is just warming up, as “Trump the Impaler” is armed with spears.

And if Trump fails to win the nomination, don’t be surprised when he swipes “the torch passed to a new generation” and burns the GOP with a third-party run.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill – Nov. 3, 2022

A convergence of forces threatens to crack the Constitution’s solid foundation upon which our nation has thrived. Pressure emanating from this powerful convergence could cause tectonic plate shifts impacting and destabilizing equal justice, the rule of law and government authority. At risk is our traditionally respected electoral system, along with the peaceful transfer of power that helped make this oldest continuous democracy the envy of the world.

Intensifying the pressure is a partisan media in which truth is pliable based on the audience’s political leaning, reflecting our hyper-polarized electorate, where facts and “alternative facts” are equally valid.

That is the national backdrop for two Earth-shaking decisions expected after the midterm elections. In one corner, former president Trump declares his decision to launch a 2024 presidential campaign. In the other, Attorney General Merrick Garland announces whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) will pursue an indictment of citizen Trump. Which decisive event occurs first could be consequential to advancing a successful message-branding narrative while forcing the other into a defensive posture.  

Either way, Americans should brace themselves for turmoil mirroring pre-Civil War levels of hatred and mayhem with the potential for violence. Note that unrelated to this topic, a major survey associated with Yale University found that among American adults, “Half (50.1%) agreed that ‘in the next few years, there will be civil war in the United States.’” That begs the question: Could a DOJ indictment of Trump be a spark? Keep reading.

But first, let’s explore circumstances and responses concerning two announcements, starting with:

Donald Trump declares he is running for president

Political history is made when the twice-impeached former president (who twice lost the popular vote) declares his intention to run for a second term.

According to recent poll averages, Trump’s chances are 50-50 against his assumed opponent, President Biden. Many believe Trump would run to avenge his 2020 loss, which he still insists he won. Equally plausible, he could run to boost his now damaged but once respected Trump brand while he is embroiled in numerous, complex legal challenges.

By declaring his candidacy ahead of possible DOJ indictments, Trump could hope to accomplish the following:

– Rally his base and juice the rightwing media machine with messages that Trump is unbeatable against “Slow Biden.”

– Assume Trump can and will intimidate potential primary opponents into dropping out before they officially declare.

 – Strategically hover over the crowd of 2024 GOP hopefuls but not join them. For example, Trump declined an invitation to the annual Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas on Nov. 18-19. All the prospective GOP candidates will be at this major-donor cattle call except “King Trump,” who expects to be crowned without a primary fight. (Note to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: Bring Trump’s “crown,” make a joke and generate some headlines.)  

–  By announcing before Thanksgiving, the former president likely believes he will ward off a DOJ indictment, showing what a huge political mistake it would be since he is the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nomination.

–  Intimidation has long been a Trump calling card. In mid-September, The Hill reported Hugh Hewitt’s controversial interview with Trump, when the former president hinted at “problems” among the American people should he be indicted.

Trump would have a distinct advantage should he declare his candidacy before a potential DOJ indictment. This week, The Hill reported that influential Republicans expect AG Garland will indict Trump “60 to 90 days after Election Day.”

Garland could also announce that DOJ will not pursue an indictment against the leading presidential candidate from the opposing political party vying to defeat his boss. Indeed, there will be much talk about “shredding the Constitution” if Trump is not brought to justice with headlines screaming, “Politics Trumps Law.”

DOJ indicts Trump before he declares his 2024 candidacy

At an August news conference shortly after the Mar-a-Lago raid, Garland said, “Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor.” Therefore, if DOJ indicts Trump, expect lofty platitudes such as “we are a nation built on laws” and “even a former president or leading presidential candidate is not above the law,” along with “mountains of evidence” and a “solid case.”

Trump already heralded his response to a DOJ indictment in the previously mentioned Hugh Hewitt interview when he said, “‘There is no reason that they can [indict], other than if they’re just sick and deranged, which is always possible, because I did absolutely … nothing wrong.’”  

Then, assume Trump would personalize the indictment, messaging something like, “Indicting me is indicting you.” And repeating what he said after the Mar-a-lago raid: “It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the justice system and an attack by radical left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for president in 2024.”

My bet is Trump announces his presidential intentions well before DOJ makes any move. Perhaps DOJ thinks it will be prudent to wait until the initial Trump fervor dies down — putting space between pursuing justice and presidential politics. DOJ could also spice up its indictment press conference with a surprise announcement on Jan. 6, 2023.

More surprises are in store if the GOP wins control of the House

Trump vs. DOJ could get messy if the GOP wins control of the House and, as expected, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Jordan, a long-time Trump sycophant, has sent smoke signals about potentially impeaching AG Garland and President Biden. 

With friends like Jordan, Trump’s Revenge Campaign will prosper, and, per usual, Trump wins even when he loses, is impeached or indicted.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


By Myra Adams – The Hill contributor


Reposted from The Hill Oct. 20, 2022

Is this a cosmic sign? Is the universe sending a message to American voters? Nov. 8 commences with a grand convergence of political and lunar events. Long ago set in motion and destined to collide is Election Day with a total lunar eclipse, also known as a Blood Moon.

The moon’s “maximum eclipse” occurs at 5:59 a.m. (EST). Thus, as millions of voters turn off their alarms, the Earth moves across the moon, turning it a scary orange-red color. The coincidentally-timed event will unnerve millions of Americans already on edge about impending Election Day chaos. Others will joke that the “man in the moon” is a Republican signaling a victorious red wave.

Aside from the lunar eclipse and a full moon that will induce much election night political howling, there are seven reasons why the midterm elections could be historic with lasting ripple effects. Addressing these reasons, I offer Donald Trump’s favorite go-to phrase, “We’ll see what happens.”

Speaking of the former president, his aura and gravitational pull on the political universe align with the orange Blood Moon, while his Earthly presence directly or indirectly impacts most of the following reasons.

Turnout could be record-breaking

According to U.S. Census Bureau data based on the “percentage of the citizen voting-age population that voted,” the trend line tells the story. Consider the 2010 midterms, when turnout was 45.5 percent but fell to 41.9 percent in 2014. Then in 2018, turnout jumped to 53.4 percent, sparked by President Trump’s polarizing effect on the electorate.

Reports say early voting is robust, and “Midterm Turnout Looks Primed to Reach Historic Levels Again” — the headline of a recent Morning Consult survey. However, which party will benefit from “historic levels” of turnout is unclear.

The polling industry’s credibility is on the line

Polls dominate election cycle reporting, but the electorate views the industry skeptically. Therefore, polling could suffer a significant blow if results differ vastly from final projections in marquee races. Likewise, record turnout could be blamed if modeling of key demographic groups misses the mark.

Women and younger voters’ turnout could skew results

Again, using Census data from the 2018 midterms, 55 percent of eligible women voters cast ballots, up from 43 percent in 2014. And this year, many are energized about abortion, inflation and crime. Younger Americans could also affect close races. In 2018, 36 percent of those aged 18 to 29 voted, compared to 20 percent in 2014. Morning Consult’s survey affirms, “America’s youngest voters, who showed up in record numbers in 2018, say they are just as sure about their plans to vote now as they were then.”

The growth of Hispanic/Latino voters could be epic

According to Pew Research, “Latinos are projected to account for 14.3% of all eligible voters in November 2022, a new high” increasing “from 12.8% in 2018.”

Republicans are confident that Hispanic/Latino voters are trending away from traditionally supporting Democratic candidates. If GOP optimism proves true, coupled with the projected growth of Hispanic/Latino voters, it equals a game-changing data point for the 2024 election cycle.

Midterm mayhem: Hangovers from 2020

Hangovers from the 2020 presidential controversies (real or imagined) could plague midterm results. This week an AP/NORC poll found, “Only about half of Americans have high confidence that votes in the upcoming midterm elections will be counted accurately.”

Feeding that narrative are two notable examples, both Trump-endorsed Republican candidates from Arizona. First, gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was asked during a CNN interview if she would accept the election results. Lake dodged the question three times before saying, “I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result.”

Second, Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters has claimed his election will be stolen weeks before votes are counted. Trump-taught candidates are following their master’s playbook.

A Hill report headlined “GOP election deniers spark alarm about 2024” framed the problem. An “unnamed GOP strategist” said, “‘The more you call into question an election without ever providing proof, or backing up your findings, the more you make people less inclined to participate in the process.’”

Even if their candidates lose, voters’ belief in the integrity of elections and accepting the results is a foundational hallmark of American democracy. But currently, a majority of Americans believe “democracy is not working well.” The 2022 midterms bear a historical burden that will either restore or decrease election integrity heading into the 2024 presidential cycle, which begins the next day. 

Record-setting campaign spending

Open Secrets, an organization that tracks campaign spending, conservatively estimates that midterm elections spending will top $9.3 billion. By comparison, $7 billion was spent during the 2018 midterms, a jump from $4.7 billion in 2014. Is there a reason why spending is at extreme levels? OpenSecrets Executive Director Sheila Krumholz said, “Spending is surging across the board this midterm cycle, fueling a polarization vortex that shows no signs of slowing.” Sadly, each side believes that if the other side wins, the nation is imperiled and democracy is threatened.

Donald Trump’s domination

Trump’s name is not on the ballot, but his hand-picked acolytes are stand-ins for MAGA Trumpism. Thus, do votes for GOP candidates also count as votes to bring Trump back to Washington?

Furthermore, if Republicans win control of the House, Senate and hotly contested gubernatorial races, expect that Trump will claim copious amounts of credit. As heralded, the former president may announce his decision to seek the 2024 Republican nomination before Thanksgiving.

Then 2023 could be Trump’s year of revenge. Conceivably he will encourage or pressure House Republicans to impeach President Biden (and many need no encouragement).  

All the above beg two questions: First, is there a powerful cosmic meaning to a Blood Moon — lunar eclipse on Election Day? Second, will Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” be the top trending album on Nov. 8?