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Elections Briefing, March 23, 2021: GOP Bench, IA-02, Israel Election

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Elections Briefing 3-23-21 2024 IA-02 Israel

Today is a national election day, and what could happen when the House intervenes in an Iowa House race? That and more in the Tuesday Briefing.

US Election News

About the Republican Bench for the Next Election

While we are under our own strict rules not to go into great detail about the upcoming 2024 election – people, it’s 2021 – but we caught on to one thing the 45th former president had to say about it. According to Donald Trump, if he should step aside in 2024, that the Republican Party has a lot of candidates that could fill the void and win, ostensibly with his blessing.1

Sure, there will be a lot of Republican names floating around if he does not step forward. However, the only candidate with confirmed pull over the full bloc of Trump voters has the surname “Trump.” His chosen candidates do not always win. Or, to put it more accurately, his candidates usually win their primaries (unless you’re Luther Strange), but not necessarily the general election. With the way the Republican Party is today, Trump just has to pick his preferred candidate and they will win. Holding together the Trump coalition post-Trump will be the challenge.

IA-02 Race Being Investigated by House

Democrats may still be able to boost their narrow US House majority, but this way would be very controversial. In the 2nd District race in Iowa, Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) flipped the seat by all of six votes. She was sworn into Congress in January and has served ever since. Her Democratic opponent from that race, Rita Hart, did not go the litigation route, but petitioned the House to investigate the election under the Federal Contested Elections Act. This law gives the power to, among other things, vacate the seat and declare a new election and even outright overturn an election result.2

While the House Democrats on the panel are claiming due diligence, Republicans are crying foul in saying they are trying to overturn a legitimate election. It is not known when the committee will make a determination, but were the Democrats to install Hart, though unlikely, there would be many questions to answer.

Trump Likely to Wade Into Georgia SOS Election

While Donald Trump may or may not run for elective office again, he will keep his legacy going by intervening in Republican politics across the country. One state that got squarely in his crosshairs over the winter is Georgia, where the former president felt the state’s 15 electoral votes were stolen from him. At the center of this alleged perfidy is Brad Raffensperger (R), the Secretary of State who claims the state had a smooth and secure election.

It should therefore be no surprise that Trump will look to settle a personal score in endorsing Raffensperger’s primary opponent. Word is that he will3, and expect him to endorse a primary challenger to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) should one emerge. This then goes back to the first news blurb: Trump’s candidates can probably get through primaries, but Democrats just sealed several big wins in Georgia. Can hardcore pro-Trump candidates win in Georgia the way it is trending? We will have to wait until 2022 for the answer.

International Election News

Election Day in Israel

Today, the people of Israel, the most vaccinated country in the world, head to the polls. It was not because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to cash in on a turning tide against COVID, but because the nation has three times in a row had no choice. This is Israel’s fourth election day since 2019. The results will not be clear for weeks unless one bloc, either Netanyahu’s right-leaning or Yesh Atid’s center and left-leaning, do much better than expected. At present, polling tends to indicate another deadlock, though there have been small signs of hope for Netanyahu and Likud in the past few days.

Congolese Presidential Candidate Dies Following Vote

Just one day after the Republic of the Congo voted in its presidential election, candidate Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas died from COVID-19 complications. Kolelas was the main opposition candidate against Denis Sassou Nguesso, the president since 1997. He also ran against Sassou-Nguesso in 2016, losing in a landslide.4

Freedom House rates the Republic of the Congo as “not free” with a 2 out of 40 score in political rights.

Election Calendar

Today is the Israeli election.
Thursday is the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election.
20 days until the Yukon territorial election.
32 days until the Louisiana-02 special runoff.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Justine Coleman, “Trump says GOP has ‘pretty deep bench’ if he doesn’t seek reelection,” The Hill, 22 March 2021.
  2. Kristina Peterson, “Close GOP Win in Iowa Gets Second Look From House Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 21 March 2021.
  3. Dominick Mastrangelo, “Trump expected to endorse Raffensperger challenger: report,” The Hill, 22 March 2021.
  4. Al Jazeera and News Agencies, “Congo’s opposition candidate Kolelas dies a day after elections,” Al Jazeera, 22 March 2021.

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