NEWS AND OPINION:
Former President Donald Trump remains focused on winning the 2024 presidential election — and his campaign appears to be in constant motion, as does his fundraising.
Here is Mr. Trump’s latest request to supporters.
“The radical Democrats have used ballot harvesting to cancel out you vote and walk away with elections that they never should have won. But I’m doing something huge to fight back,” he advised in a voter outreach released Sunday.
“Our presidential campaign will launch our own Ballot Harvesting Fund in the states where the Left has been cheating the system. Please make a contribution to our brand new Ballot Harvesting Fund to harvest ballots in the states where we can, and beat the Democrats at their own game – for 1,500% impact,” the emailed request said.
BALLOT HARVESTING 101
What states allow ballot harvesting? Here is a handy guide from Ballotpedia.org — a fact-based political resource.
“Most states have laws permitting someone besides a voter to return the voter’s mail ballot. These laws vary by state. Mail ballots take the form of absentee ballots and ballots cast in vote-by-mail states,” the Wisconsin-based, nonprofit research organization noted in a guide to the subject.
It advises that as of May 2022, 25 states and Washington D.C. permitted someone chosen by the voter to return a mail ballot in most cases. In 11 more states, only specified other people — for example, household members, caregivers, and family members — may return ballots.
Only one state — Alabama — explicitly states that only the voter can return a ballot, while 13 states did not specify whether someone may return another person’s ballot.
ALASKA IS READY
The evolving “spy balloon” matter has placed the nation’s largest state into a large global role. In recent days, all eyes have been on Alaska, its airspace, and the persistent mystery balloons and “objects” and the jet fighters overhead.
“Unlike other states, Alaska is truly on the front lines. Because of our close proximity to our neighbors there is very little margin for error. Russian territory is only a few miles away. We are the one state closest to the Korean Peninsula and China. Alaska is truly on the front lines,” said Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, in a written statement.
“This latest incident demonstrates that Alaska remains the most strategic place on earth for both geopolitics and national defense,” Mr. Dunleavy later added, calling the military capability of his state “robust.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE IS VEXED
Democratic National Committee members, with the support of President Biden, recently stripped New Hampshire of its “first in the nation” primary status in presidential elections.
This does not appear to be a closed matter at the moment. That status is not going unchallenged by its Republican governor.
“We’re going first whether the president likes it or not. And so that’s going to be a huge opportunity for anybody who wants to step up and challenge him,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu predicted Sunday in a wide-ranging conversation on the CBS News program “Face the Nation.”
A press report Friday suggests the state simply will not comply with the DNC’s edict.
‘Republicans control the legislature in New Hampshire; Republicans control the governorship. They have no interest in going along with the Democratic committee’s plan. If anything, they’re interested in using it as a cudgel to hurt Democrats in the state. So those changes aren’t going to get made. And Democrats, it’s worth noting, want to keep their first in the nation primary. And they have said, we’re going to go ahead and do this, never mind what the committee and President Biden are pushing. So it’s a great big mess. It’s going to be fascinating to watch unfold,” said Adam Reilly, a reporter for WGBH, a Boston-based public radio station.
AN EVOLVING CONGRESS
Meanwhile, there are notable demographic developments on Capitol Hill.
“The 118th Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse in history. Overall, 133 lawmakers identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian, Alaska Native or multiracial. Together, these lawmakers make up a quarter of Congress, including 28% of the House of Representatives and 12% of the Senate. By comparison, when the 79th Congress took office in 1945, non-White lawmakers represented just 1% of the House and Senate combined,” reports a new study the Pew Research Center released last week.
“Despite this growing racial and ethnic diversity, Congress remains less diverse than the nation as a whole. Non-Hispanic White Americans account for 75% of voting members in the new Congress, considerably more than their 59% share of the U.S. population,” the study said.
The number of women in Congress is at an all-time high — there are 153 women in the national legislature, accounting for 28% of all members. The total includes six nonvoting House members who represent the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, four of whom are women.
In addition, there are 18 foreign-born lawmakers in the 118th Congress, including 17 in the House and one in the Senate — Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat who was born in Japan.
POLL DU JOUR
• 59% of U.S. adults say that the current federal government in Washington has a “negative impact” on most people’s lives; 78% of Republicans, 65% of independents and 38% of Democrats agree.
• 1% of U.S. adults overall say the current government in Washington has a “mixed impact” on most people’s lives; 1% of Republicans, 1% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
• 16% overall say the current government has made “a positive” impact on most people’s lives; 7% of Republicans, 14% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.
• 22% overall say that the government in Washington has made “little impact either way” on most people’s lives; 14% of Republicans, 19% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.
• 2% overall don’t know; 1% of Republicans, 2% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: Monmouth University poll of 805 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 26-30 and released Feb. 6.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.