With the help of Joanne Kenen
HEAD OF LOSS — For former President Donald Trump, the past two days have been a slow bloodletting. He has been assigned much of the blame for the GOP’s disappointing midterm election results, exposing him to uncharacteristic intraparty criticism as he heads into a 2024 race.
He has turned the post-election period into a primary within the 2024 GOP primary — a contest that will shape the race long before the first states vote. This will determine which candidates challenge it – if any – and what message they will use to make their case.
Trump, of course, continues to have an iron fist on the party base. Its ability to generate energy locally is unparalleled. But the Republican case against his renomination is strong, given his track record. The GOP lost the House, the Senate and the White House under its watch. This year, his endorsements have loaded the party with a collection of ill-suited candidates who squandered golden opportunities for GOP gains. The question of “candidate quality” that Republicans are wringing their hands over? That’s essentially an understatement for Trump-backed candidates.
Former ally Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, explained it this way to The Associated Press: “We lost in 18. We lost in 20. We lost in 21 in Georgia. And now, in 22, we’re going to lose governorships, we’re not going to win the number of House seats we thought, and we may not win the Senate despite a president who has a job endorsement 40%,” said Christie. “There is only one person to blame for this and that is Donald Trump.”
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey called the losses in Pennsylvania and elsewhere “the debacle for which he is to some degree responsible.” Former GOP House Chairman Paul Ryan made similar remarks, calling Trump Wednesday “a drag on our ticket.” Even a newly elected Republican congressman told CNN Today that the Republican Party needs to “move on” from Trump.
Tuesday’s data didn’t show much support for another Trump bid, especially in the states that will matter the most in 2024. Exit polls from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania put his unfavorable rating at 58% , which makes him even less popular than Joe Biden, who himself was underwater in those states. In Michigan — the third state in the Rust Belt trifecta that powered Trump’s election in 2016 — voters have repudiated Trump endorsers from top to bottom as part of a Democratic frenzy.
Even in Florida, a state Trump has carried twice and the site of an incredibly strong GOP midterm performance, voters have shown little interest in seeing the former president run again. When asked if they wanted Trump to run again in 2024, 60% said no, compared to 33% who said yes.
Trump has been in this position before. The question is whether this moment follows a familiar script — like the Access Hollywood scandal or the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, both of which generated a spasm of GOP criticism, followed by a nationwide capitulation. gone – or if it’s something different.
The rise of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who led an Election Day rout atop Florida’s ticket in a state with 30 electoral votes, complicates Trump’s ability to bulldoze in his current situation. Already, betting and prediction markets have assessed the situation and made a quick decision, shifting their 2024 presidential odds from Trump as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination to DeSantis.
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– Musk’s Twitter mayhem brings a sharp warning from the FTC: Elon Musk’s Twitter came under sudden and unusual fire from the Federal Trade Commission in Washington today, after a chaotic 24 hours in which new following rules sparked a series of fake accounts “verified”, and the main heads of privacy and security have resigned. Wednesday night’s rollout of a new policy in which Twitter users could buy “blue check” verifications for $8 a month unleashed a wave of fake accounts, each carrying a “verified” blue check, posing as a bunch of public figures – Trump, George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Biden.
— Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wins Montana House race: Trump administration Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will represent Montana in Congress next year, returning to Washington four years after his scandal-ridden tenure as Cabinet secretary ended in resignation. . Zinke will represent Montana’s 1st congressional district, which covers the western half of the state, by virtue of her victory over Democrat Monica Tranel. The district, which Montana won this year after a re-distribution based on the 2020 census, was considered the more competitive of the state’s two House races.
– On January 6, the accused who published violent diatribes obtained a provisional release: A federal judge today ordered the release of Jan. 6 defendant Ryan Nichols, whose violent tirades amid crowds and deployment of OC spray against police landed him in pretrial detention for the past 20 month. US District Court Judge Thomas Hogan – who originally ordered and repeatedly upheld Nichols’ committal – said he still considered Nichols a danger to the community, which is why he ordered him first venue. But he said Nichols’ current confinement to a detention center in Rappahannock, Va., made it impossible for him to access the digital evidence in the case he needed to prepare for trial next year.
ALL ABOUT MONEY – NATO chief predicted UK will continue to ‘lead by example’ on defense spending even as Britain grapples with fiscal crisis, writes Cristina Gallardo.
Speaking to the press during a visit to 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his government for their “strong support” for the alliance transatlantic.
Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, pledged to increase defense spending to 3% of GDP by 2030. But Sunak – whose government took office in the face of an economic crisis and a black hole of several billion pounds in public finances – has not said whether it will meet this commitment. as his ministers seek savings.
Asked by POLITICO if he felt reassured by the UK’s defense spending plans amid fears the government would have to cut commitments, Stoltenberg said he was “absolutely confident that the UK will continue to show the ‘example’ in this area.
SAFE HARBOR — What is Mastodon? As Twitter goes through turmoil, some users are leaving the app and looking for a new home. Mastodon might not be able to be this place – what could be? John Herman reporting for New York Magazine.
THE SILENT SUCCESS OF ACA — The Affordable Care Act enrollment season began November 1. And you may have heard little or nothing about it, Joanne KenenCommonwealth Fund reporter-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, emails Nightly.
Besides the last-minute, out-of-the-box pledge to repeal Obamacare from Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (and governors can’t repeal Obamacare, even though it didn’t really help) importance here), the long-controversial Health Act 2010 is now. .. not controversial. It’s just part of American health care.
The Biden administration has beefed it up, expanding grant eligibility and making it more affordable for low-income people. Four out of five people can find an option for less than $10 a month, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the ACA.
And – while many of us don’t see or hear much about open enrollment – multimedia and multilingual outreach is underway for people who are covered or not currently on an ACA plan. but who are eligible for coverage, said Ellen Montz, who heads the CMS office that oversees the ACA. Additionally, CMS is investing nearly $100 million to expand “navigator” services – what it sounds like, assistance to people trying to find the best health plan option for them, especially in underserved communities. . The Trump administration had cut these aid programs.
Insurers participating in Obamacare marketplaces must now also offer a “standardized” option – meaning it’s easier for people to understand and compare. And of course, HealthCare.gov, the rickety website that nearly wiped out then-President Barack Obama’s iconic national achievement in 2014, operated seamlessly for several years.
Like we said – a big yawn.
But about 14 million people are now covered by ACA plans (and another 21 million in the ACA Medicaid expansion). And in times of economic uncertainty – if there is in fact a recession in our future – people who lose their jobs (and their insurance) will have a way to be covered. Maybe not so boring after all.
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