Texas economy

GOP wins on economy, immigration; Democrats are ahead on abortion and health care

WASHINGTON- If it’s Monday… President Biden attends the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. … Biden said “the pandemic is over” in an interview with “60 Minutes”. … In the same interview, the president say one more time the United States would defend Taiwan if attacked by China. …Latest NBC News Poll find Congressional preference tied at 46%-46%, with Biden’s approval rating at 45% (up 3 points from last month). … Donald Trump replaces JD Vance in the Ohio Senate. …And Joe O’Dea starts as pro-abortion rights in the Colorado Senate as Democrats back down.

But first : Perhaps what stands out the most from the latest NBC News poll are the two very different campaigns Democrats and Republicans are running with 50 days until the midterms.

The Republican Party holds unprecedented advantages on the economy, crime and border security, while the Democrats have an all-time record on abortion and a double-digit advantage on health care.

Just look at these numbers when registered voters were asked in our poll which party best handles 12 different issues:

“There are basically two campaigns in America right now,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, the GOP half of the NBC News poll. “There’s a campaign on the economy, cost of living, crime and border security, and Republicans are winning that campaign.”

“But there is a second campaign on abortion, democracy and climate change, and the Democrats are winning that campaign,” he added.

One way to think about the upcoming November election: if it’s about the economy (as well as crime and immigration), the Republicans will be the big winners.

But if it’s something else, then Democrats have an opportunity for a midterm surprise.

Tweet of the day

Data download: The day number is … 507

That’s the seven-day average of daily Covid deaths in America, according to NBC News’ data visualization team, a decrease of 1.7% over the past two weeks. Cases are down nearly 26% over the past two weeks to a daily average of 60,731, while hospitalizations are down 12% to 31,800.

It was against this backdrop that President Biden declared the pandemic “over” in a new interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with Covid. We are still working on it a lot, but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one is wearing a mask. Everyone seems to be in pretty good shape. And so, I think that’s changing.

Politico reports that Biden’s comments surprised some in his own administration because it was not part of what he had planned to say. Last week the head of the World Health Organization said the ‘end is in sight’ as global cases fell 22% week-on-week to around 11,000.

Other numbers to know:

Nearly 1.5 million: That’s the number of customers in Puerto Rico who lost power after Hurricane Fiona hit, knocking out power to the entire island. The National Hurricane Center warns the island could face 12 to 18 inches of rain in the future, and even 30 inches in some local areas.

1 out of 10: The portion of rapid Covid tests that iHealth Labs is currently making compared to its production in February, according to a new report from NBC News’ Shannon Pettypiece that examines how Covid test suppliers are reducing production.

24: The percentage point advantage Democrats have over Republicans in the generic Congressional ballot with Latino voters in the new New York Times/Siena poll.

More than 100: How many local school board candidates are backed by the 1776 Project PAC, a group that has financial backing from GOP megadonor Richard Uihlein.

6: The number of GOP primaries where Democrats spent money to help pick their favorite Republican candidate where Democrats now look heavily favored to win in November, according to analysis by Axios.

Midterm review: Trump on the trail in Ohio

Former President Donald Trump visited Ohio over the weekend to boost GOP Senate hopeful JD Vance, and Trump pushed back against a New York Times report that some Republican candidates are taking their distances with him as they head into November.

“The New York Times made a fake story today, on its big front page, that JD wasn’t sure if you wanted my support,” Trump said at the Youngstown rally, according to NBC News’ Jesse Kirsch. “JD fucks my ass. He wants my support.

Vance’s spokesman, Luke Schroeder, told Kirsch that Vance “has called on the president to join us on the campaign trail, both publicly and privately, throughout the summer,” but the Times said reported that Vance did not specifically invite Trump to the state. The rally also came as Vance finds himself in a surprisingly close race against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan.

Not all GOP Senate candidates are eager to campaign with Trump. Colorado Republican Joe O’Dea noted on “Meet the Press” that Trump did not endorse him, adding, “I don’t want to see him run again.” Trump’s favor also hit a new low after the presidency in NBC News’ latest national poll.

For his part, Trump again teased another run for the White House, telling the crowd in Ohio, “Stay tuned, everyone, stay tuned.”

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Georgia Senate: Republicans are focusing new attacks on Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock on his “financial gains” since taking office, Politico reports.

Pennsylvania Senate: The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the cognitive tests Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman took while recovering from a stroke. And Politico reports that an internal campaign memo from Fetterman raised concerns about increased GOP ad spending.

Governor of Arkansas: Sarah Sanders, Republican candidate for governor of Arkansas, said she was ‘cancer free’ after surgery for thyroid cancer and released a statement from her doctor saying, ‘I don’t anticipate let it slow her down.”

Governor of Arizona: NBC News’ Liz Brown-Kaiser has confirmed that Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin plans to campaign with Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Governor of Nevada: NBC News’ Adam Edelman recounts how GOP gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo is focusing heavily on education issues as he tries to win in a purple state. He also faced criticism from the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun for speaking at a church he called “sad for its violently anti-gay rhetoric.”

Maine-02: The Associated Press reports how the rematch between Democratic Rep. Jared Golden and former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin could be an indicator.

Texas-34: The Texas Tribune reports that Republican Rep. Mayra Flores’ district manager has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment stemming from both her time in Flores’ office and the county’s Republican party. The former staff member denies the allegations.

Ad Watch: O’Dea presents himself as an advocate for abortion rights

In a new ad that aired this weekend, the daughter of Colorado Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea told viewers, “He’s also a different kind of Republican. My dad supports a woman’s right to choose.

O’Dea is in favor of allowing abortion for up to five months, after which he would only support the procedure in cases of rape, incest and “medical necessity”, he told ” Meet the Press”.

It’s a stance on abortion that’s different from that of his fellow Republican Senate candidates, many of whom favor tougher bans with a few exceptions. But that hasn’t stopped Democrats from attacking him on the issue, warning he could give the GOP the majority it needs to push for tougher abortion regulations, and pointing to his vote on a 2020 ballot measure that did not include these exceptions.

O’Dea poses as a moderate in his bid against Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, thwarting his party on issues like immigration.

ICYMI: What else is going on in the world?

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a Republican, signed into law an abortion ban law that applies to all stages of pregnancy and includes exceptions only for victims of rape and incest and medical emergencies .

The Justice Department is asking a federal appeals court to block a lower court’s ruling that bars it from accessing classified documents that were recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence earlier This year.

Governor Ron DeSantis received a standing ovation at an event in Kansas this weekend after ferrying migrants from the southern border to Martha’s Vineyard last week.

The Taliban freed an Illinois Navy veteran in a prisoner swap that NBC News’ Ken Dilanian said was personally approved by the president. In exchange, America commutes the sentence of an Afghan drug lord who has been detained for 17 years.