NEWS AND OPINION:
Conservative radio host Larry Elder continues his challenge to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election — and his bid for that office has drawn intense scrutiny.
“He calls himself the ‘Sage from South Central.’ Critics call him ‘the Black face of White supremacy.’ And Californians may soon call him ‘governor. Larry Elder — longtime radio host, first-time candidate — a right-wing provocateur who hasn’t run for office since the 5th grade. But he’s beating a crowded field of politicians at their own game, emerging as an unlikely Republican frontrunner in California’s upcoming recall election,” writes NBC News political analyst Alex Seitz-Wald.
“With three weeks to go, the national media have suddenly woken up to the fact that Larry Elder could be the next California governor, and are hitting him with a sledgehammer. The conservative radio host, in turn, is denouncing the press as biased and unfair,” said Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz in his own report.
Mr. Elder had a clear response to the treatment, and summarized the press in five words.
“They are scared to death,” he told Sean Hannity, a prime-time host on the network.
Mr. Elder is the leading choice for the next governor among Republican voters. While Democratic voters outnumber their GOP counterparts, a new CBS News survey shows that the Republican voters in California are more motivated to get to the polls.
There are nine Democrats and 24 Republican hopefuls in the race; the recall election takes place on Sept. 14.
It’s complicated. But one observer has a helpful summary.
“You almost can admire the chutzpah of lefties attacking Larry Elder, the leading opponent to Gov. Gavin Newsom in California’s recall election. Among the attacks is that Elder lacks big government experience,” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.
“That sounds valid — except the recall effort was sparked by Newsom’s extraordinary failures. From homeless encampments to surging crime to failed COVID- and forest-management measures, he is turning the Golden State into a nightmare.
“Not having that experience is Elder’s strongest appeal,” he observes.
AFGHANISTAN: AMERICANS WEIGH IN
Americans have some very specific sentiments about the crisis in Afghanistan. It’s complicated — and here’s how they feel about it, according to an ABC News poll released Sunday.
84% of U.S. adults say U.S. troops should stay in Afghanistan until all Americans have been evacuated.
71% say U.S. troops should remain until all Afghans who aided the U.S. have been evacuated.
66% of U.S. adults are worried about a terrorist attack on the U.S.
59% disapprove of the way President Biden is handling the crisis in Afghanistan.
56% say the end of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan makes “no difference” in how safe the nation is from terrorism.
36% say the military response make the U.S. “less safe from terrorism”; 7% say the presence makes the nation “safer from terrorism.”
The ABC News/Ipsos poll of 513 U.S. adults was conducted Aug. 27-28.
A TEACHABLE MOMENT
So what led the national trends on Twitter in the last 24 hours? It sparked over 24,000 tweets by 4 p.m. on Sunday.
And here’s the official hashtag: #BringbackTrump.
HARMONY AMONG THE REPUBLICANS
The Grand Old Party used to rely on chummy “retreats” at some convenient resort to create unity among the lawmakers as elections approached. Well, maybe not this year.
At the moment, Republicans appear to be on the same page on at least one issue as the 2022 midterm elections take shape on the horizon. And that’s a start.
“Republicans have been laying a foundation for a midterm argument rooted in casting President Biden as a weak leader who has lost control of a swirl of crises, from the surge in migrants at the southern border to a rise in violent crime and now the situation in Afghanistan,” The Washington Post noted in a new report published Sunday.
Weak leader? Lost control? That observation could imply that a change of heart could be occurring between a certain Senate minority leader and a former U.S. president.
“Whatever its merits, the message does unite the Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump sides of the party,” said Taegan Goddard, founder of Politicalwire.com, in a response published Sunday.
HARD WORK AS A CURE-ALL
A new TIPP survey reveals that an old-fashioned work ethic could actually counter the stress of modern life. Six-out-of-10 Americans appear to believe that is true.
“Will burying ourselves in our work help to minimize or alleviate stress? Well, many survey respondents nationwide weighed in on this question as part of a recent national TIPP Poll. Findings revealed that while 49% of women believe that work is a great stress reliever from other stresses in their life, men scored a surprising 66%. Overall, 57% think work is a stress reliever,” wrote Deborah S. Bright, an executive coach, and a contributing analyst to TIPP Insights.
Her commentary was published Sunday; the poll of 1,322 U.S. adults was conducted July 28-30 and released Sunday.
POLL DU JOUR
• 60% of U.S. adults say the economy is “getting worse”; 81% of Republicans, 66% of independents and 33% of Democrats agree.
• 37% overall say the economy is “getting better”; 13% of Republicans, 31% of independents and 64% of Democrats agree.
• 29% overall say the economy is “poor”; 42% of Republicans, 31% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.
• 42% overall say the economy is “only fair.” 40% of Republicans, 43% of independents and 46% of Democrats agree.
• 26% overall say the economy is “good”; 17% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree.
• 2% overall say the economy is “excellent”; 1% of Republicans, 3% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 1,006 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 2-17 and released Friday.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.