March 26, 2021

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Latest News, Weekender

The Weekender (3/26/21)

Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender.

Let’s get started.

Virginia: The Virginia GOP candidates for governor are in an all out sprint to the right, desperately trying to win over Trump voters before the convention. VPM reports Glenn Youngkin and Pete Snyder have driven an “unprecedented” $2 million in spending on radio and TV ads, with both candidates echoing Trump. This week, Snyder also touted endorsements from Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bob Good – one of the Trumpiest members of the Republican party, who is famous for spreading lies about the election and calling the pandemic that has killed more than 10,000 Virginians “phony.”

While all of these candidates are spending millions of dollars and much of their time trying to prove they are the Trumpiest candidate – they’re all just playing catch-up to frontrunner Amanda Chase who is known as Virginia’s ‘Trump in heels,’ still claims the election was stolen, and was censured for calling the Capitol insurrectionists “patriots.” Chase has consistently led the GOP field in grassroots fundraising and polling. GOP strategist Jimmy Keady said, “She’s where the base is at.”

New Jersey: New Jersey GOP candidate Jack Ciattarelli is making it a point to show his lack of care when it comes to the pandemic. At an indoor campaign stop, Ciattarelli was pictured not wearing a mask, joining the ranks of a dangerous, anti-science movement and putting public health at risk for a partisan photo-op. This is Ciattarelli’s second maskless public appearance in the last two weeks alone. His reckless behavior shows how he is unfit to lead New Jersey, especially as the state recovers from the pandemic.

Hogan and Baker Approval Ratings Tank, Endangering Republicans’ Chances of Winning in 2022

With Donald Trump out of the White House, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan “have been knocked off their pedestals.” Unable to hide behind Trump anymore, their approval ratings have taken a nosedive and both have pitiful support among members of their own party, jeopardizing Republicans’ chances of keeping those seats red in 2022.

Politico reports Baker’s “standing within his own party is so strained that” he might get a primary challenger backed by GOP leadership next year. This is the latest in a string of bad news for Baker – with his sinking popularity and weeks of failing to stand up a statewide vaccination program, Baker has dropped like a lead balloon and his chances of re-election are going down with him. His approval rating has dropped by 26 points, and members of his own party only gave him a 38% approval rating.

In Maryland, Hogan has angered many Trump activists with his criticism of the Trump administration, and his approval rating has dropped 14 points. Maryland Republicans are facing a fractured base and an increasingly blue state – more Marylanders favored Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 election than they favored Clinton over Trump in 2016.

Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball have ranked Maryland as the state most in danger of flipping parties next year.

Wisconsin GOP Praises Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ Vaccine Rollout

Wisconsinites have had high praise for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ handling of the vaccine distribution. He’s done such a good job – even Republicans, who have a history of trying to undermine the governor, admit he has handled the vaccine rollout well.

GOP Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said the state “has done a really good job getting people vaccinated.” And state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos noted how Gov. Evers’ administration has worked to speed up vaccine distribution: “Kudos to the administration for actually doing a better job.”

Wisconsin is one of the top states in the country for shots in arms. Nearly half of Wisconsin’s seniors are already fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and nearly three in four seniors have received at least their first dose. As of this week, Wisconsin has vaccinated 27.2% of its residents, ahead of the national average.

Also impressive – Wisconsin’s vaccine waste rate is ten times below the federal government’s standard of 2%.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on MSNBC’s This Week with Joshua Johnson, explaining how her state is responding to the pandemic, and how the American Rescue Plan will benefit Michiganders.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, talking about the horrific mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado this week.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam sitting down with NBC News White House Correspondent Geoff Bennett, discussing the historic legislation he signed this week making Virginia the first Southern state to repeal the death penalty.

And a bonus tweet featuring Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak…

“With the right priorities, we will not only beat this pandemic, but build lasting success for North Carolina. The most important recommendations today will invest in North Carolina’s people so they can learn, get healthier, and get the right kind of training for great jobs.”

“I saw some color up here…black and blue [signs], black and blue again and again and again, and that’s what Travis and I are going to do together, we are going to beat up the Democrats, make them that black and blue.”

Who said it? Send your answer to press@dga.net and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed former Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch’s spokesperson last week, you were right! Kleefisch’s spokesperson sent out a tweet comparing Gov. Tony Evers to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Jokes about mass murder, especially during a pandemic, are unacceptable and hurtful to victims’ loved ones.