Inside the Beltway: Perfect test case: Trump in Pennsylvania
President Trump will journey to Montoursville, Pennsylvania, on Monday evening for a jumbo campaign-style rally in an aviation hangar at a regional airport. The town is located about 100 miles west of Scranton, has a population of 4,777 and there is festival-style excitement in the air. Over 10,000 people are expected to attend the event, according to local officials. Local schools will be closed for the day while restaurants are poised for some big business. Shuttle buses are ready to run nonstop to ferry the faithful to the event, which will be covered by C-SPAN at 7 p.m. EDT.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” reports WNEP, the local ABC News affiliate.
“Question: Why doesn’t President Trump wear glasses? Answer: Because he already has 2020,” one listener quipped in a message to the station.
Mr. Trump, however, never forgets the local dynamic. This marks his 48th rally in Pennsylvania, his seventh in the northeastern part of the state. The president is also there to support congressional candidate Fred Keller, a GOP state representative Mr. Trump has endorsed and praised as strong on crime, Second Amendment rights, health care and issues of concern to active duty military and veterans. Mr. Keller faces Democratic challenger Marc Friedenberg in a special election on Tuesday which will decide on a replacement for Republican Tom Marino, who resigned from office in January to take work in the private sector. If he’s elected, Mr. Keller would be one of just two House members who did not attend college.
“This is a heavy manufacturing, heavy agriculture district and Fred’s story really fits in with what a lot of families experience here,” Keller campaign manager Jon Anzur told Roll Call.
The election could prove a perfect test case as 2020 looms.
“Keller’s campaign has also echoed GOP messaging in other races, warning of socialism and the high costs of liberal proposals like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All,” the news organization said.
‘TRUMP CAN BEAT ANY OF THEM’
One analyst predicts that Joe Biden’s red-hot campaign for president will cool and quickly.
“Sanders is still the candidate to beat in the Democratic primary. He more closely aligns with where the passion is among Democratic voters far to the left. Sanders is the purity candidate whereas Biden’s the relic whose opposing the energy of the Democratic Party,” John Thomas, a California-based Republican pollster and strategist, told Fox News.
“Biden’s support is way overestimated for two reasons: First, it is a function of name ID. Biden is one of the most well-known politicians in the world. Second is the promise that Biden can beat President Trump. But the moment that promise starts to look shaky for any number of reasons he has a poor fundraising quarter or his approvals dip Trump will overtake Biden, branding him as corrupt as Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic establishment,” said Mr. Thomas.
“I think Trump, honestly, could beat any of the cast of characters who are running at this point,” he continues, citing unemployment rates in such states as Pennsylvania, which was 5.2% under Mr. Biden’s watch, now 3.8% under Mr. Trump.
“These are numbers that affect anybody who runs against Trump,” Mr. Thomas continued, advising that this is Mr. Biden “moment in the sunshine,” and it won’t last.
TERSE HEADLINES OF NOTE
A brief assortment of headlines from the last 24 hours after Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, announced support for impeachment proceedings against President Trump:
“Republican Party turns on Justin Amash after congressman calls for Trump impeachment” (Mediaite.com)
“Why Justin Amash stands alone” (The Washington Post)
“Rashida Tlaib is recruiting Justin Amash to cosponsor bipartisan impeachment resolution” (Daily Caller).
THE AOC EFFECT: A MUST-HAVE ENDORSEMENT
A certain Democratic socialist is making headlines in Britain.
“Democratic 2020 hopefuls eye the coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsement. She is the great young hope of America’s left-wing, an articulate and impassioned progressive whose policies have gained traction. Now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old first-time congressman from New York, is seeing her newfound political clout manifest in a new way a race for her endorsement, ” writes Ben Riley-Smith, U.S. editor for The Telegraph, a London-based news organization.
Democratic hopefuls Sens. Bernard Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are among those already vying for the endorsement.
“What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent world view and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward. I think Sen. Sanders has that. I also think Sen. Warren has that,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told CNN.
Would she consider endorsing Joe Biden, the network asked?
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez simply “turned and walked away without a definitive answer,” Mr. Riley-Smith noted.
A MOMENT WITH THE LIBERTARIANS
New at the Libertarian Party’s online campaign store: A T-shirt and a lapel button emblazoned with the motto “Guns save lives.”
The party explains.
“Gun rights are important for everyone, but especially those that are physically weak. Banning guns would not curb violence or death. It will just change the nature of violence and deaths. It would result in violent criminals having more power to perpetrate violence against innocent people. Violent criminals will be emboldened if they know that average Americans are unable to defend themselves. And banning guns would mean people who should be free to go about their business, for example traveling home from work after dark, will live in greater fear. It will mean that people who live in more dangerous areas (and who are typically poorer) have fewer options to defend themselves and their families,” the party notes in its formal issues guide.
“Libertarians support people’s rights to defend themselves and to arm themselves. We see it as immoral for government to try to prevent someone from doing so.”
POLL DU JOUR
39% of Americans are “somewhat familiar” with special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election; 36% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 42% of Democrats agree.
23% overall are “very familiar” with the report; 28% of Republicans, 10% of independents and 22% of Democrats agree.
18% overall are “extremely familiar” with the report; 18% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.
16% overall are “not at all familiar” with the report; 14% of Republicans, 30% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.
4% don’t know or are unsure about the report; 4% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Fox News poll of 1,008 registered U.S. voters conducted May 11-14.
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