If it’s Monday, President Biden says he’ll meet with Putin “in principle” if Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine. The United States warns that Russia has plans to kill or imprison critics and dissidents in Ukraine. According to a new poll, the Texas Attorney General’s race may go to a runoff. Reporter Suzanne Gamboa takes a deep dive into the Cuellar vs. Cisneros race in Texas-28. And the Texas primary election is only eight days away.
However, first and foremost: Nearly a year and a half after the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic coalition that came together to elect Joe Biden and defeat Donald Trump has disintegrated. In 2020, all of these groups united to defeat Trump by 4.5 percentage points in the popular vote, 51.3 percent to 46.8 percent.
This Democratic coalition, however, has frayed by early 2022.
And it’s one of the main reasons why the Democrats’ midterm prospects — at least for the time being — appear so bleak.
In the most recent Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll, incumbent Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton received that percentage of the Republican primary vote. If he reaches that threshold in next week’s primary, he’ll be forced into a runoff (in Texas, candidates move onto a primary runoff unless one wins the majority of votes).
Paxton, who has long been dogged by fraud allegations, is followed in the poll by Land Commissioner George P. Bush with 25%, former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman with 13%, and Rep. Louie Gohmert with 7%.
According to the same poll, former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke has a 40% favorability rating (and a 46% unfavourability rating) as he runs for governor against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has a 50% approval rating and a 46% disapproval rating for his job performance.
The primary season is quickly approaching, and both parties are dealing with different intraparty dynamics. House Democratic retirements have increased opportunities for progressives seeking to shift the caucus to the left.
According to reporters, House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump are preparing to run against Trump-backed primary challengers.
The recent FBI raid on Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar’s home and campaign office, as well as redistricting, complicate Cuellar’s path to victory in next week’s primary against attorney Jessica Cisneros, according to Suzanne Gamboa from Laredo.
According to an FEC filing from the weekend, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with House GOP leadership, is spending $150,000 to support Rep. Van Taylor, R-Texas, ahead of next week’s primary. Taylor has spent time on the airwaves himself as he faces competition from his right.
Former Missouri Senator Jack Danforth is urging an independent candidate to enter the state’s open Senate race, telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that such a candidate “would be very, very well-funded.”
The conservative Congressional Leadership Fund is running a new ad in Houston supporting Morgan Luttrell for the Republican nomination in Texas’ 8th Congressional District, just over a week before the March 1 primary.
The advertisement emphasizes Luttrell’s military service before a narrator says, “After we send Morgan Luttrell to Congress, Luttrell will fight the Biden-Pelosi agenda and defend our Texas way of life.”
Luttrell and his main opponent, conservative activist Christian Collins, have divided key Republicans in the state. Luttrell is endorsed by multiple law enforcement leaders, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Collins, meanwhile, has been endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for whom he used to work, and the House Freedom Caucus.