Happy Friday! And a lucky day for whomever left the bag of cocaine in the White House! “The Secret Service said FBI lab results from the packaging found ‘insufficient DNA’ and could not retrieve any fingerprints,” CNN reports. “Therefore, the Secret Service is not able to compare evidence against the known pool of individuals,” the USSS said in a statement.
Up to Speed
- After the annual inflation rate peaked at 9.1 percent a year ago, it fell to 3.0 percent in June, a good sign for the U.S. economy and the lowest mark in over two years. But according to a recent poll from Reuters/Ipsos, President Joe Biden’s approval rating on the economy remains at a stagnant 40 percent.
- On Thursday, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin has “already lost” his war against Ukraine. “I think that there is going to be a circumstance where eventually, President Putin is going to decide it’s not in the interest of Russia—economically, politically or otherwise—to continue this war. But I can’t predict exactly how that happens.”
- American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, the issue advocacy group and super PAC, respectively, aligned with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and supportive of House Republicans’ 2024 campaigns, announced Thursday raising a combined $35 million in the first six months of this year—significantly more than the $21.6 million collected in the first six months of the previous off-year, 2021.
- A New York appeals court ordered the state on Thursday to redraw its congressional map. The ruling will allow the largely Democratic state legislature to redraw district lines previously determined by a neutral court-appointed expert, a change that could flip as many as six House seats currently held by Republicans, according to the New York Times. Republicans plan to appeal the decision.
- At a campaign stop in Hanover, New Hampshire, this week, Nikki Haley told The Dispatch’s David M. Drucker that she isn’t worried about where she stands in the presidential primary race. “I am comfortable with every benchmark I’m hitting. I fully expect us to stay where we are until midfall,” Haley said in New Hampshire this week. “Then, by midfall, it’ll start to shake up after the debates, after things start to move and all that’s going to happen.” Read the rest of Drucker’s piece here.
- At an event to promote her new book on Wednesday, Arizona Republican Kari Lake, who lost her bid for governor in 2022, suggested she might run for the state’s U.S. Senate seat. “I’m actually eyeing the Senate race. It’s something I’m considering,” said Lake, adding she will make her decision “in the next couple of months.”
- This video sent out by a super PAC supporting the longshot presidential campaign of Francis Suarez doesn’t feature the Miami mayor but instead an artificial intelligence-generated version of him. This version of Suarez from the uncanny valley is offering those who donate at least $1 to his campaign a chance to win a “free year of college” from the PAC. It’s one way to meet the 40,000-unique-donations threshold to get on the debate stage in August.
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in the Race for Campaign Cash
For months, the only measurement available to judge the Republican presidential contenders has been polling. At last, we now have a second metric: Fundraising.
And it’s no surprise the second-quarter fundraising hauls for the leading contenders reflect their standing in the polls. Former President Donald Trump is the overwhelming frontrunner for the GOP nomination; he also won the second-quarter money chase. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is running second behind Trump; he raked in more in the three-month period ending June 30 than any other candidate except the former president. Let’s review:
Donald Trump. The former president’s campaign confirms it raised a combined $35 million from donations averaging $34 each. A spokesman declined to reveal how much flowed to the campaign and how much flowed to Save America, a political action committee subject to federal contribution limits. Also unknown is the size of Trump’s war chest. Second-quarter fundraising disclosures are due at the Federal Election Commission on Saturday (July 15), so it won’t be a mystery for long.