Trump's unintended consequences
According to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll, the former president’s rhetoric may be persuading some would-be Trump voters to sit out the 2024 presidential election. The poll found that unlikely voters (that is, those who are eligible to vote but aren’t planning to cast a ballot) actually support Trump over President Joe Biden by nearly 20 percentage points. But many also don’t believe their vote will actually count, so why bother.
It turns out that spending years telling your potential supporters that elections are rigged may be bad for turnout. As USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page told me, “These are already disenchanted folks who don’t believe that politics is working for them.”
We don’t know how this will all play out as the election is still 14 months away. But payback can be a real pain in the neck.
A story you should be following: Texas' impeachment trial
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing 16 articles of impeachment on charges including corruption and bribery. His jury? Texas Republicans.
The impeachment trial is shaping up to be a battle between Texas’ MAGA wing and the more traditional conservative wing, and it may just reveal cracks within the state party. In a pretrial motion earlier this week, Texas senators voted against dismissing all charges against Paxton.
Obviously, Texas is still a deeply red state. Paxton spoke at Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of Jan. 6 and filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania and three other states to block the certification of Biden’s victory in 2020.
But this could be an interesting test case. I’ll be watching closely to see how Paxton’s impeachment trial impacts the Republican Party both in Texas and nationally.
Someone you should know: Tennessee Rep. Gloria Johnson
State Rep. Gloria Johnson, one of the “Tennessee Three,” announced earlier this week that she will be running for the U.S. Senate against Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn.
After a mass shooting in Nashville that killed six people, including three children, Johnson took to the floor of the Tennessee Statehouse with a bullhorn, calling for gun law reform. She survived expulsion by one vote, while Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were expelled (both have since been reinstated).
Johnson is someone I will be following closely as she faces an uphill battle to unseat Blackburn in a state where a Democratic senator has not been elected in more than three decades.
Molly Jong-Fast’s weekend routine
What show are you bingeing on right now?
I’m watching “Family Ties” with my second son. It’s really fun — dated, but fun.
What’s the last book you read?
I’m reading “Doppelganger” by Naomi Klein.
What time do you wake up on the weekends?
I can never sleep past 6:30 a.m., but sometimes I get up as late as 7 and it’s magic.
How do you take your coffee?
No sugar, but with a lot of milk.