( CNN) Seven states vote today — the last major primary for the better part of a month.
Our conversation, lightly edited for flow, is below.
Chris: Harry! Voters are voting! This is the last big — multiple nations voting — primary between now and August. We’ve got South Carolina, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Colorado, New York and Utah all voting today.
Senator Mitt Romney. Romney has only one adversary in the Republican primary and looks like he will roll easily. And, this being Utah, Romney is a very strong favorite to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch next year. Is Donald Trump’s favorite governor in any real difficulty? Trump was in South Carolina on Monday night to tout Gov. Henry McMaster, who’s in a runoff today against John Warren. Polling shows the race sort of, various kinds of close. Is it? The return of the Grimm Reaper. Former congressman and former convict Michael Grimm is challenging Rep. Dan Donovan for his old Staten Island congressional seat. This is the most Staten Island race of all time. Does Grimm have a chance?
Chris: So, let’s talk NY-1 1.
A Siena/ NY1 poll released earlier this month proved Grimm up 47 -3 7 over Donovan. I assume that’s largely merely name ID since Grimm has, um, been in the headlines a lot.
You’ve been to the district recently. Do you think Grimm is the favorite today? And do voters not care that he was incarcerated for misdemeanour tax fraud?
And, maybe more importantly: if Grimm wins, does that devote Democrat a real chance of winning the seat in November?
Harry: I love talking New York 11. I love Staten Island as much as any Bronx boy could love Staten Island, which is to say “it’s OK.”
I would say Grimm has a real shot there, though that poll was taken nearly a month ago. If you pull up that poll, most GOP voters think he’s the most Trump-like. That’s big given that Trump has an over 80% favorable rating among Republican voters in the district. Donovan voted against the Trump tax cuts, but does have Trump’s endorsement.
I think some voters do are of interest to Grimm’s tax conviction, but many don’t. They think it’s overridden given the fact that either his time as congressman in which he was praised for his constituent services as well as his ability to pass Hurricane Sandy aid or that the Obama Justice Department was out to get him.
I think, though, you hit on the most important point: general election viability. Appear at the Siena poll. Many more Donovan voters say they won’t automatically cast a ballot for the GOP nominee in the autumn than Grimm voters who say they will. More primary voters suppose Donovan is the better general election candidate. Eventually, look at each of their electoral track records. Grimm won with 55% in 2014 when the GOP was winning the House vote by 6 nationally. Donovan won with 62% of the voting in 2016 when the GOP was winning the House vote by 1 nationally.
This is a district Trump won by 10, but Obama won by 4. A weak the parliamentary elections candidate dedicates Democrats a real opposing shot in this race.
I don’t think that’s the suit for the other races you have mentioned, though.
Chris: I suppose I might set my money on Grimm for this simple reason: Primary voters are not typically strategic. As in, they vote for the candidate they like as opposed to the candidate that someone tells them has the very best chance to win some far-off election.
People like me and you are forever poring over polls and data to find who might be the best nominee. Normal people — and , no, Harry, we are not normal — don’t do that. So, I’ll take the heart candidate over the head nominee every time — especially in a primary.
I am intrigued by the McMaster-Warren race if merely because I think it’s totally intriguing that a governor that Donald Trump has run all out for is in ANY danger of losing a Republican race in a state that is as reliably conservative as South Carolina.
Of course, that presumes there is a chance McMaster loses. What say you?
Harry: I select heart over head when it comes to sports. I mean how else can one has become a Buffalo Bills fan? In politics, you gotta go with the head. Of course, I sometimes wonder if my gut get in the way of my head.
Anyway, McMaster as a legislator is fascinating to me. He lost to Fritz Hollings in the 1986 Senate race and hasn’t stopped running for stuff since. McMaster also endorsed Jon Huntsman in 2012 and then was one of the first to endorse Trump in the 2016 cycle. I ensure those two as most varied legislators, but apparently they were close enough for McMaster.
The public polling is minimal in South Carolina. It generally matches the first-round outcome, which is McMaster winning. The exact margin to be determined. I should say internal polling released publicly( for which we should be quite suspicious) actually had McMaster trailing.
Perhaps most interesting about the race( as in New York 11) is that Trump decided not to endorse the candidate who better matched his profile. McMaster’s opponent John Warren is an foreigner tycoon like Trump.
Trump went with allegiance instead.
To quote a favorite cinema of mine, “it’s a bold strategy Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.”
Chris: “Dodgeball.” It’s a damn classic.
“We should mate … you are familiar with, socially.” — White Goodman
McMaster is a very odd one as a legislator. He endorsed George W. Bush in the 2000 GOP primary and then John McCain in 2008. Then Huntsman. Then Trump. I dare you to try an ideological through line( or any sort of through line) between those four.
I think the way to understand Trump’s endorsement of McMaster is to return to one of the basic principles we know about Trump: He likes people who like him. McMaster got on board with Trump early on in 2016. Trump be remembered that. He wants to reward McMaster. So, he endorses him. And is over there to campaign for him.
Never overthink it with Trump — at least in my experience. The obvious answer is almost always the right answer.
OK, so we are maintaining our eye on 😀 TAG 54 TT