In the past few days, governors from both parties have stated their opposition to President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” which has resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families at the border. Some governors issued statements, while others like Larry Hogan, Charlie Baker and Roy Cooper took action by recalling their National Guard troops that had been deployed to protect the border.
Here is the list, in alphabetical order by state, as of the night of June 19:
For political context, Hickenlooper (D) and Malloy (D) are term-limited. Baker (R), Hogan (R), Raimondo (D), Scott (R), Sununu (R), and Wolf (D) are running for reelection. Carney (D), Cooper (D), and Northam (D) are in the middle of their current terms.
Incumbent Governor Tom Wolf and incumbent Senator Bob Casey are far ahead of their Republican challengers, according to a newly released poll of Pennsylvania voters from Franklin & Marshall College. Casey, who is running for his third term in the U.S. Senate, leads Republican candidate Lou Bareltta 44-27, with 23 percent of voters still undecided. Wolf, who is running for reelection as governor of the Keystone State, leads Republican State Sen. Scott Wagner 48-29, with 23 percent of voters still undecided.
The same poll gives President Donald Trump a 35 percent approval rating, compared to 52 percent who say he is doing a poor job. The poll is problematic for Republicans on tax cuts and health care, two of the biggest issues in this election cycle. Only 33 percent of voters said they had seen an increase in household income because of the tax cuts signed into law last year. Only 41 percent of voters said the Trump administration had made “significant changes” to the Affordable Care Act. More ominously, 52 percent of voters said that changes to the Affordable Care Act would make the health care system worse for their family.
Pennsylvania had been considered a potential pickup opportunity for Senate Republicans because of Donald Trump’s upset victory in the state in 2016. However, this poll, as well as the redrawn congressional map by the State Supreme Court, and Conor Lamb’s upset victory in a congressional special election last April, would seem to indicate otherwise.
Larry Sabato and the Cook Political Report list both Pennsylvania races as Likely Democratic.
Tom Perez announced he had been endorsed by David Pepper and Marcel Groen, the chairmen of the Ohio and Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
“To win states like Ohio, Democrats must have a leader who can rebuild our party, reach out to our big tent and refocus our message on creating real economic opportunity for Americans in rural counties, small cities and our urban centers,” Pepper said. “Tom Perez can do just that. Tom combines the unique experience of having successfully led large, complex organizations, with a strong progressive record of accomplishment on issue after issue. He understands the need for robust state parties to play the central role in an effective progressive infrastructure and the importance of building a true partnership between the national party and state parties in order to win elections at all levels.”
“While we are blessed with many impressive candidates for DNC chair, one stands out. Tom Perez has dedicated his life to fighting for the little guy, from his efforts to stop discriminatory voter ID laws at the Justice Department to requiring employers to disclose expenditures that pressure employees not to unionize,” Groen said in a statement. “After Donald Trump won Pennsylvania this past election, it is now more important than ever that we have a chair with this sort of record of results who can speak to people in Philadelphia as well as Johnstown and build a DNC for every Democrat.”
The significance of these endorsements is twofold: the real impact is that as state party chairs, both of them are voting members of the DNC and will elect the next chairman at the party’s winter meeting in Atlanta at the end of February. The symbolic impact is that these are two of the crucial Rust Belt states that cost Hillary Clinton the election.
Beyond them, Perez also rolled out endorsements from several former Department of Justice officials and U.S. attorneys (remember, federal law prohibits officials currently in the Department of Justice from making political endorsements), the most high-profile being his former boss, Attorney General Eric Holder:
“I truly have great respect for all of the candidates running for DNC chair, but as we wage an epic battle for the heart and soul of our nation, I strongly believe that Tom Perez is the progressive fighter and change agent we need to lead the Democratic party and to rebuild the party infrastructure in the states. I’m confident Tom is up to the tasks that will confront the next DNC Chair. I endorse him with great enthusiasm.”
This follows up on the news of Keith Ellison receiving the endorsement of John Burton, the chairman of the California Democratic Party. All candidates for DNC chairman are rolling out endorsements in the lead up to the fourth and final regional DNC forum, scheduled to take place in Baltimore on Saturday.
Here’s a good scoop from Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti:
Top Democratic officials in four Rust Belt states that voted for Donald Trump earlier this month have invited the candidates for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship to formally share their thoughts on how the party can compete there at a meeting next month.
A letter obtained by POLITICO and circulated by officials with the Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania Democratic parties on Tuesday evening invites the candidates to the Ohio group’s executive committee meeting on Dec. 10.
“As Chairs and Vice Chairs of states in the industrial Midwest — traditional bellwether or ‘red’ states — we are particularly concerned to hear the ideas and plans you and other candidates have to help us turn this critical region blue again. How will you continue to energize the coalition that has performed so well to elect Democrats at times, while also making inroads in the areas where President-Elect Trump did so well across our states? We are also eager to share our ideas,” the letter reads.
“Bottom line: We’d be honored to have you come to our region to hear directly from Democrats, present your plans and ideas, and engage our grassroots activists who are eager to be part of the conversation.”
If any of the candidates accept, the letter notes, the hosts will invite all DNC members to attend.
Hillary Clinton’s losses in this region were perhaps the most alarming development of the election for state and national Democrats. With the exception of Ohio and Indiana, Democrats had a lock on Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in presidential races since the 1980s. A combined margin of victory of approximately 107,000 votes in those three states secured the presidency for Donald Trump, despite a 2.36 million vote lead in the popular vote for Clinton as votes are still being counted.
Will be keeping an eye on the DNC candidates to see how they respond to this invitation. Any responses will be updated and added here.