The GOP’s failed 2018 U.S. Senate nominee, John James, has lassoed some D.C. attention for dithering over what office to seek next year and deleting hundreds of campaign videos.
It’s all part of the Advance‘s semi-regular roundup of Michigan in the national news.
James camp hits delete button
John James, a businessman who challenged U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) in 2018, is a popular man in the GOP.
Trump twice considered him as United Nations ambassador, but ultimately passed. The Advance has noted he could challenge U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) or U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester). Politico looked last week at aggressive recruitment efforts in Washington, including by Trump himself.
Meanwhile, James’ campaign has scrubbed hundreds of campaign videos, Talking Points Memo reported, noting that “it appears that James has had an eye on his future since the moment he lost [the 2018] race”:
James’s aides removed all 100 videos posted to its Facebook page from his campaign’s “100 days” video series within weeks of the early November election. They also took down 99 of his 100 YouTube videos. Almost two-thirds of the videos were taken down from twitter in one fell swoop on Nov. 21, 2018. His 2018 campaign manager, Tori Sachs, deleted 45 of her own tweets on the same day.
… It seems like the work to clean up his online presence after that loss was a bit rushed. His campaign failed to delete six reposts of the Facebook videos, like this speech. One was left on his YouTube channel.
Among the deleted videos are James saying he supports Trump’s agenda “2,000 percent” and railing against the “monstrosity” of Obamacare. James adviser Stu Sandler weighed in:
“We took a few down to make it a little more user friendly,” he told TPM, while refusing to discuss whether James pulled them down with an eye on a future run. “There was no reason for [the videos’] content.”
GOP polling in Michigan
It’s become a cliché that 2020 is looking like it will come down to Michigan (and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) again, but Democrats and Republicans alike remain Mitten-obsessed.
No fewer than 11 Democratic presidential hopefuls — and counting — have stumped in Michigan, as the Advance reported. And there’s no shortage of outside groups looking to play here in the 2020 election.
There’s also new GOP polling in six states that was released to the right-wing Washington Examiner to allay fears about Trump’s re-election prospects. But the Examiner zeroed in on “a few red flags for Trump, mostly in Michigan, whose Electoral College votes are crucial to the president’s reelection prospects”:
There, the president’s job approval was 45%, with 50% disapproving. Meanwhile, Trump was supported by a paltry 42% of poll respondents when asked to choose between him and Biden. Additionally, only a plurality, 47%, approved of the job Trump is doing on “securing fair trade deals,” a key issue in the Midwest. In each of the other five states tested, Trump scored at least 50% approval on that question.
The poll was conducted by WPA Intelligence on behalf of Americans for Fair Skies, a political nonprofit urging the federal government to enforce trade agreements related to the airline industry. The poll surveyed 1,200 likely voters April 27 to 30 in Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
Slotkin and vulnerable freshmen
Freshman Democrat Elissa Slotkin was featured in Roll Call’s look at five new members of Congress, which also included U.S. Reps. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania.
The piece notes that none of them actually mentioned progressive freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) by name, but decides they’re specifically calling her out anyway:
At an event to tout their formation of a joint fundraising committee to tap each other’s donors (and hopefully bring in more), the five, all with military or intelligence backgrounds, never mentioned New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by name.
… “There’s been an overwhelming focus on a small number of members in our caucus who did not flip seats, who did not help win the House, who are doing what is right for their districts, but who don’t represent our districts, or at least my district,” Slotkin said at a Friday breakfast with a small group of reporters.
The story goes on to note that all but Houlahan are running in districts Trump won in 2016 and lawmakers are helping each other fundraise for 2020. But naturally, the social media responses have been focused on the supposed catfight with AOC, because everything is terrible.