Matt Gaetz becomes latest Kevin McCarthy defector to draw a primary challenger: From the Politics Desk

Welcome to the online version of From the Politics Desk, an evening newsletter that brings you the NBC News Politics team’s latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill.

In today’s edition, national political reporter Bridget Bowman notes how four House Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker are now facing primary challenges. Plus, senior political editor Mark Murray breaks down how voters have a rosier view of Donald Trump’s presidency than Joe Biden’s.

Sign up to receive this newsletter in your inbox every weekday here.

Gaetz becomes latest McCarthy defector to draw a primary challenger

By Bridget Bowman

The decision nearly seven months ago to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker has already had lasting implications on Capitol Hill. Now that move is making its way to the campaign trail, looming over several primaries that could help shape the GOP’s future in the House.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz became the latest House Republican who voted to remove McCarthy to draw a primary challenger. Aaron Dimmock, a former Navy aviator, according to the Pensacola News Journal, filed to run against Gaetz on Friday, just ahead of the deadline to enter the race.

Do you have a news tip? Let us know

Gaetz, McCarthy’s chief agitator, wasted little time attempting to tie Dimmock to the California Republican, posting on X that McCarthy “would be getting a puppet of his to run.”

Gaetz also said in a statement to NBC News: “I’m excited to welcome Missouri-based DEI instructor Aaron Dimmock to the campaign. Aaron is not in Kansas City anymore. This is Trump Country. Our pronouns are USA and MAGA.”

Dimmock did not respond to a request for comment. Although he put a Florida address on his campaign filing, the form of identification was listed as a Missouri driver’s license.

Of the eight House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy last year, six are seeking re-election. And four of them are now facing primary challengers: Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Bob Good of Virginia, Eli Crane of Arizona, and Gaetz. All four seats are in Republican territory, so the winner of the primary will be favored in the general election.

Earlier this month, an outside group tied to a McCarthy ally went up on the airwaves with ads targeting Mace, Good and Crane. Gaetz and Crane won’t face their primaries until late summer, while Mace and Good have their primaries in mid-June.

They aren’t the only incumbents facing primaries this year. Gaetz himself has backed challengers looking to take down his own GOP colleagues, endorsing Republicans running against Reps. Tony Gonzales of Texas and William Timmons of South Carolina. He also endorsed former state Sen. Darren Bailey, who lost a primary race against Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois last month.

It’s not unusual for more centrist lawmakers, like Gonzales, to face primary challengers from the right. But the fact that some of the hard-right Republicans are also facing intraparty opposition shows that the Republican establishment is gearing up for a fight over the direction of the party.

And neither side is backing down.

These are the poll numbers that should worry Biden the most

By Mark Murray

The recent 2024 polls have been all over the place. But taken together, they still confirm just how competitive — and relatively stable — the contest between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump remains with nearly six months to go until Election Day.

CNN’s latest national poll found Trump up by 6 points (though still within the margin of error). NBC News’ survey had Trump ahead by 2 points, while Marist had Biden leading by 3 points (both within the margin of error). And polls from Quinnipiac University and the Pew Research Center showed essentially a tied race.

And the battleground state polling — especially in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — is just as close.

No matter the survey you pick, the new polls underscore that voters continue to have fonder memories of Trump’s presidency than they do of Biden’s — and that maybe should concern Biden’s re-election campaign more than any horse-race result out there.

Take the CNN poll, for example, which finds 55% of Americans saying that Trump’s presidency was a success, versus 39% who said the same of Biden’s presidency.

More strikingly, 61% in the CNN poll believe Biden’s presidency has been a failure, compared with 44% who say that about Trump’s presidency.

Or look at last week’s national NBC News poll, which showed Trump holding a 7-point lead over which candidate had the stronger record of accomplishment (46% of voters chose Trump, while 39% chose Biden).

Or consider the Pew poll, which found 42% of voters saying Trump was a good or great president, versus 28% who said the same about Biden.

Or even take the CBS News battleground poll of Michigan, which had Biden ahead by 2 points among likely voters in the state, but also showed 62% saying the condition of Michigan’s economy under Trump was very or fairly good, compared with 38% who say the same of Michigan’s economy today.

The glass-half-full-news for Biden is that he has a strong story to tell voters — with the unemployment rate at a historically low level and hundreds of thousands of jobs being created each month.

Team Biden can also remind voters about the millions of jobs lost during Trump’s final year as president, when Covid wrecked the labor market. The Biden campaign has aired TV ads attacking Trump’s handling of the economy.

Still, voters consistently say they have sunny perceptions of Trump’s presidency and cloudy views of Biden’s. That’s more revealing than any horse-race poll.

That’s all from The Politics Desk for now. If you have feedback — likes or dislikes — email us at

And if you’re a fan, please share with everyone and anyone. They can sign up here.

This article was originally published on

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top