A very warm welcome to the inaugural issue of The Election Recap, your weekly, one-stop shop for the last seven days of midterms news. Let's get into it, shall we?
Hang onto your hats, everyone: Not only has former President Donald Trump supposedly made up his mind about running for re-election in 2024, but he may, in fact, announce his intention to do so in September, ahead of the November midterms, a pair of Trump advisers told The Washington Post on Thursday. In addition to meeting with 2024 donors and instructing his team to set up an online campaign presence, the former president has also reportedly been discussing potential campaign leadership options with his advisers. Though some maintain that Trump should enter the race as soon as possible, others are concerned his "direct insertion into the midterm campaign" might play right into Democrats' hands, or perhaps "scramble the dynamics" of the season's final months, the Post reports.
Troll, tan, laundry
It's the collab you never saw coming: Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman last week teamed up with Jersey Shore cast member Nicole "Snooki" LaVelle to poke fun at Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and his ties to the Garden State.
"Hey, Mehmet! This is Nicole — Snooki," LaValle began in a Cameo video filmed for the Fetterman campaign. "I heard that you moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to look for a new job, and personally, I don't know why anyone would want to leave Jersey, because it's like the best place ever, and we're all hot messes."
She continued, "I know you're away from home and you're in a new place, but Jersey will not forget you," before blowing a kiss to the camera.
Oz, who is running against Fetterman in the Pennsylvania race, is a longtime resident of New Jersey but has registered to vote and now lives at his in-laws' in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Fetterman, however, doesn't buy the supposed residency — in a recent ad, the Democrat accused Oz of moving to the Keystone State just to run for office. "Hey Dr. Oz," Fetterman said Thursday, in a tweet alongside LaValle's video, "Jersey loves you and will not forget you!!!" The Cameo cost the Fetterman campaign $393.75, MSNBC's Sam Stein reported, per a campaign adviser.
For months, headlines have predicted widespread Republican victory in the November elections. But recent polling from The New York Times and Siena College characterizes the race to control Congress as pretty neck and neck — at least for now. Asked what they hoped for the outcome of the 2022 congressional elections, 41 percent of registered voters said they would prefer if Democrats maintained control in Congress, versus 40 percent who wanted Republicans to take over. That said, Republicans led 44 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, "reflecting the tendency for the party out of power to enjoy a turnout advantage in midterms," the Times writes.
Whole lotta money
Former presidential candidate and current Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke on Friday reported raising almost $32 million in his campaign during the first half of 2022, shockingly surpassing Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. Notably, Abbott is not terribly far behind — he's pulled in over $30 million since January, per The Associated Press. But the Republican governor is not often outraised, having collected "more money than any governor in U.S. history" during his tenure. The tight margin between the two candidates "underlines O'Rourke's durability as a fundraising powerhouse," as well as the money magnets that are "high-profile governor's races," AP adds. Abbott is nonetheless expected to prevail in November.
- There's no knowing where the Catholic vote is going. [The National Review]
- "Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is getting backup in her re-election bid from an unusual, if not unexpected, source: Senate Democrats." [Politico]
- AARP Georgia released new polling out of the Peach State — and incumbents Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) are in the lead. [NBC News]
- "Are the 2022 midterm elections for sale? A handful of billionaires are trying to find out." [Popular Information]
- Will Americans base their vote in November on the downfall of Roe v. Wade? Survey says maybe not. [The New York Times, Politico]
- The Jewish Democratic Council of America has spent $2,900 supporting Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) in her race for the 11th District of Michigan. "Notably, Stevens is not Jewish, while her opponent, Andy Levin, is." [Primary School]
- All eyes are on Maryland on Tuesday, where a slew of candidates will battle it out for their party's nomination for governor. Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has endorsed his former Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz for the Republican nod, while Trump has thrown his weight behind state legislator Dan Cox. Meanwhile, former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, author Wes Moore, and state Comptroller Peter Franchot are locked in a contentious three-way race for the Democratic nomination. In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, is hoping to secure a second term against challenger Michelle Smith. Ten Republicans are running on the other side of the ticket. Van Hollen is expected to win his primary and would also be a "strong favorite" in the general election, per The Associated Press. Sixty-five candidates — specifically 31 Democrats and 34 Republicans — filed to run for Maryland's eight U.S. House seats this year.
- The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will hold what could be its final scheduled hearing on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The proceedings are expected to focus on Trump's inaction during the attack.
- Over in Arizona, the ex-president and his former Vice President Mike Pence will on Friday battle it out in a pair of dueling rallies to support gubernatorial candidates Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson, respectively. This is the second time Pence and Trump have butt heads in a primary, the first time being when Pence endorsed incumbent Brian Kemp (R) for Georgia governor over the Trump-backed David Perdue. Kemp ultimately won the nomination.