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In today’s edition: Donald Trump celebrates big wins on Super Tuesday, Trump-aligned candidates did ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌ 
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March 6, 2024


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Today in D.C.
  1. Haley calls it quits
  2. MAGA’s downballot wins
  3. Sinema’s out
  4. Foreign interference expected
  5. Biden and Trump’s top negatives
  6. Musk and Trump meet
  7. A new TikTok bill
  8. Gantz wraps D.C. trip

PDB: Biden romps on Super Tuesday — except in American Samoa

Powell testifies before House Financial Services … House takes up spending package … WSJ: Ukrainian commandos go to Sudan to fight Russia

— edited by Benjy Sarlin, Jordan Weissmann and Morgan Chalfant


Nikki Haley will drop out after a Trump blowout

Emil Lippe/Getty Images

Nikki Haley plans to suspend her presidential campaign today, after Donald Trump stormed through Super Tuesday by winning almost every state. Haley is slated to give remarks at 10 a.m. from Charleston, where The Wall Street Journal reports she will announce her decision — but will not immediately endorse Donald Trump. On Tuesday evening, Trump celebrated his victory at his Mar-a-Lago club and told a crowd of admirers that the time had come for “unity.” In a roughly 20-minute speech under his ballroom’s chandeliers, Trump ignored Haley, who only eked out a win in Vermont. Instead, he sought to contrast his presidency with that of Joe Biden’s, with a particular focus on the border crisis. “Our cities are choking to death, our states are dying, and frankly our country is dying, and we’re going to make America great again — greater than ever before,” he said. The Biden campaign, in a memo, called Trump a “wounded, dangerous and unpopular candidate” and argued voters were still only beginning to process his impending nomination.

— Shelby Talcott and Morgan Chalfant


MAGA candidates make downballot gains

REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Beneath last night’s Trump and Biden landslides, the story of Tuesday night was a Republican shift to the right. In Texas, state House Speaker Dade Phelan was in second place in his home district and heading to a runoff with a challenger backed by Attorney General Ken Paxton and Donald Trump. Paxton’s campaigns against legislators who voted to impeach him succeeded across the state, and Rep. Tony Gonzales, who voted for gun control legislation after the 2022 Uvalde shooting, couldn’t crack 50% of the primary vote. In North Carolina, Republicans picked as their gubernatorial nominee Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is notorious for a Facebook post denouncing the 2018 movie “Black Panther” as “created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by [a] satanic marxist,” and were on their way to ousting the state superintendent of public instruction in favor of a home school activist who’d called public schools “socialism centers.” Wyatt Gable, a Turning Point USA organizer at Eastern Carolina University, successfully primaried an incumbent GOP legislator. And in Arkansas, Rep. Steve Womack was headed for a single-digit victory over a challenger who attacked him for not rejecting more spending bills. There was far less ideological turmoil in Democratic races: In Texas, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee defeated a younger challenger, Amanda Edwards, while Rep. Lizzie Fletcher was on track to beat a progressive insurgent who’d called for a Gaza ceasefire.

— David Weigel


Kyrsten Sinema won’t run for reelection

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Kyrsten Sinema left the Democratic party and now she’s leaving the Senate. “I believe in my approach, but it’s not what America wants right now,” she said in a video bitterly announcing that she’d depart “at the end of this year.” The Arizona independent was central to bipartisan talks that produced breakthroughs on guns, infrastructure, post-Jan. 6 reforms, and same-sex marriage, as well as the immigration deal that died last month. At the same time, she fatally alienated progressives by opposing changes to the filibuster to codify abortion and voting rights, by voting against a minimum wage increase, and by blocking tax hikes on wealthy investors in the Inflation Reduction Act. Her behind-the-scenes negotiating style — constituents were frequently unsure of her positions, or the reasoning behind them — didn’t help. With a Sinema bid out of the way, longtime Democratic rival Rep. Ruben Gallego is set for a one-on-one race against Republican Kari Lake in November.

— Benjy Sarlin


U.S. braces for 2024 meddling

International players will seek to take advantage of the divided, divisive U.S. political landscape in 2024, U.S. officials from both political parties told Semafor’s Morgan Chalfant. “Our foreign adversaries are more motivated than ever to try and interfere in our elections,” the 2016 Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, said. Russia is at the top of the intelligence community’s list of major threats, while China, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and other nations could also dive in. “I think the Chinese are trying to get better at it, I think the Iranians have dabbled in it, and it’s not something that costs a lot of money, so you can imagine more and more nations are going to be engaged in that,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Hack or be hacked: We’ll be tracking elections around the world at the Semafor Global Election Hub, which launched this week.


What voters fear about Biden and Trump

REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Voters worry that Joe Biden is too old and that Donald Trump will seek revenge on his enemies. Those are the top negatives for each candidate, according to a polling memo by Democratic strategy shop Blueprint shared with Semafor. Biden’s age leapt off the page: 69% of respondents named it as a concern, versus 57% who named Trump punishing political rivals or breaking the law. But there were also some less-discussed Trump negatives that majorities saw as legitimate: 56% thought he would let rich tax cheats run free, 56% thought he would cut taxes for the rich ahead of the middle class, and 55% thought he would cut Social Security or Medicare. “One of the best contrast messages that we tested was that Trump is on the side of the rich, while Biden is on the side of the working class, as evidenced by his drug price policy,” Blueprint head pollster Evan Roth Smith said. The poll of 1,001 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29 by YouGov.

— Benjy Sarlin


Elon Musk meets with Donald Trump

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

Donald Trump met on Sunday with Elon Musk, who has been regularly promoting conspiracy theories around illegal immigration and voting in recent weeks. The New York Times, which broke news of the Palm Beach meeting, noted that it comes as Trump is facing personal financial pressure and Republicans are struggling to match Democrats in campaign fundraising. Compared to spending $44 billion on Twitter, even a record-setting donation to Republican outside groups would be pocket change to Musk. But don’t assume it’s happening just yet: As the story notes, Musk relies heavily on government contracts, tends to spread his donations across parties, and never donated to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last year even after he praised his campaign and personally hosted his launch announcement.


Gantz fields concerns from U.S. officials

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz is facing pressure at home and abroad over his visit to Washington. During meetings at the White House earlier this week, Gantz was asked tough questions about Israel’s handling of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and its war plans from Vice President Kamala Harris and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Axios reported. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “expressed strong concerns” over the humanitarian crisis during his own meeting with Gantz Tuesday, according to the Pentagon, while the State Department said Secretary of State Antony Blinken told him Israel must take “urgent steps” to get more aid into Gaza. Gantz, who has faced criticism from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allies over the Washington trip, met with congressional leaders over the course of two days, but not with Speaker Mike Johnson. He’s headed next to London to meet with U.K. Foreign Minister David Cameron.


Lawmakers seek to force ByteDance to divest TikTok

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Capitol Hill’s latest effort to crack down on TikTok might actually have legs. The bipartisan leaders of the House China select committee introduced legislation that would force ByteDance to divest TikTok within 180 days or it would ban the platform in app stores in the U.S., citing longstanding national security concerns over the app’s Chinese parent company. Similar efforts have stalled out before, but this one is moving: The House Energy and Commerce Committee scheduled a markup of the bill on Thursday. Notably, the list of more than a dozen cosponsors includes a key member of House GOP leadership: Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. And it has backing from the White House. TikTok decried the bill as an “outright ban” and the Chinese embassy in Washington accused the lawmakers of “deliberately overstretch[ing] the concept of national security to wear down Chinese enterprises.”


Beltway Newsletters

Punchbowl News: Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., who heads the House Freedom Caucus, told Republicans during a closed-door leadership meeting Tuesday that they should attempt to shut down the government in September to prevent Democrats from achieving any policy victories before the Congress and potentially the administration changes. Lawmakers present largely disagreed with him.

Playbook: President Biden continued to face some blowback from Democratic voters over his handling of the Gaza war, with “uncommitted” receiving 19% of the vote in Minnesota and 8% in Colorado, while “no preference” got 13% in North Carolina.

The Early 202: Planned rate cuts later this year may put the Federal Reserve in the crosshairs of both presidential campaigns on the trail come fall.

Axios: Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who is vying to replace Mitch McConnell as Senate GOP leader, is endorsing Kari Lake in the Arizona Senate race.

White House

  • While President Biden ran up the score on Super Tuesday overall, a mystery candidate named Jason Palmer won American Samoa after showing up to personally campaign as an “advocate” for the island’s interests.
  • Biden’s State of the Union speech will be streamed on the POTUS Instagram account tomorrow night, according to a White House official, as the administration looks to reach a wider audience (the account has over 19 million followers).
  • Vice President Harris’ remarks on Gaza over the weekend were toned down by the National Security Council. — NBC
  • Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska turned down an invitation from the White House to the State of the Union on Thursday apparently because she may have been seated near Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s widow. Navalny’s past statements about the Crimean Peninsula belonging to Russia upset Ukraine. — WaPo


  • The House votes today on the fiscal year 2024 spending bill, ahead of a partial government shutdown deadline on Friday.
  • Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. won’t be running to replace GOP leader Mitch McConnell after all. The Wyomingite was considered the most conservative of the “three Johns” viewed as top contenders to become the next Republican leader, but he’ll be taking a shot at GOP whip instead.
  • Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. suggested he’d hold off on a decision on the leadership race until a conference meeting later this month.
  • Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who is making a run at GOP leader, endorsed placing term limits to the job.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell will testify before the House Financial Services Committee today at 10 a.m.
  • The House select committee investigating the COVID-19 pandemic response subpoenaed former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to testify at a deposition in May.
Former NFL player Tim Tebow with Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla. and their spouses. (Photo credit: Rep. Stephanie Bice)

On the Trail

  • Rep. Adam Schiff and Republican Steve Garvey advanced out of California’s top-two Senate primary, sparing Democrats an expensive intraparty fight with Rep. Katie Porter.
  • In Alabama’s 1st district, Rep. Barry Moore defeated fellow Republican Rep. Jerry Carl after being forced into a primary by a new map.
  • President Biden’s campaign raised $42 million for his campaign and Democrats during February, including $2 million in grassroots donations that came in on just one day. — CNN
  • Two super PACs fueled by Republican megadonors spent big against Republican candidates aligned with the House Freedom Caucus ahead of Super Tuesday. — NBC
  • Donald Trump offered his most explicit take yet on the Gaza conflict, telling Fox News that Israel needed to “finish the problem” in its war versus Hamas.
  • Sinema’s would-be successors offered warm words (presumably with her moderate supporters in mind). Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. thanked Sinema for her years of service and welcomed her to campaign with him. Republican Kari Lake said in a statement that “We may not agree on everything, but I know she shares my love for Arizona.”


  • The Securities and Exchange Commission are poised to pass watered-down carbon disclosure rules, a capitulation to a major lobbying effort from big business and a sign of eroding support for the ESG movement, Semafor’s Liz Hoffman writes.


Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett and four other federal judges heard arguments Tuesday night at … D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre, in the case of “Malcolm v. Estates of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.” The jokes stayed civil, but amid a discussion of whether the dagger Macbeth sees before him in Act 2 was real or imaginary, Judge Thomas Thrash of the Northern District of Georgia inquired as to whether it had been delivered by Hunter Biden.

Prosecutors filed new charges against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. and his wife, accusing the pair of obstruction of justice.

Peter Biar Ajak, a prominent South Sudanese opposition leader living in exile in Maryland, faces federal charges for allegedly trying to smuggle guns to the region.

The International Criminal Court issued warrants for a pair of Russian commanders that it said targeted Ukraine’s power grid.


Only 3% of young adults believe that the Holocaust is a myth, according to a new Pew Research poll, rather than the 20% reported in another poll that recently grabbed headlines. The result was part of a larger report exploring how increasingly popular online opt-in polls are prone to error.

National Security

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the creator of spyware known as Predator, which was allegedly used to target prominent political figures (including two members of Congress).

Foreign Policy

Victoria Nuland, the third highest-ranking State Department official and a noted Russia critic, will leave her post this month.


  • Federal officials are stepping in to help healthcare providers facing potential financial trouble after last month’s cyberattack on Change Healthcare, the country’s top processor of medical claims.
  • OpenAI released emails showing Elon Musk, who is suing it over its shift to a for-profit model, previously encouraging the organization to drop its open-source, non-profit stance in order to compete with rival Google.

Big Read

“For the right, demography is not doom,” Eric Levitz observes at Vox. Hardline conservatives in the media have spent years warning that the growing share of nonwhite voters risked making Republicans a permanent minority, while advocating for harsh immigration restrictions. But those fears are looking increasingly unfounded as working-class minorities gravitate to the GOP: The latest New York Times/Siena, for instance, finds Donald Trump leading with Hispanics. Similarly, the right’s fixation on strict voting laws is starting to look outdated and counterproductive, now that Republicans rely more on less educated, infrequent voters who are most likely to get tripped up by restrictions.


Stories that are being largely ignored by either left-leaning or right-leaning outlets, according to data from our partners at Ground News.

What the Left isn’t reading: President Biden criticized Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “the guy who likes to spend a lot of time on yachts.”

What the Right isn’t reading: Donald Trump likened migrants to Hannibal Lecter.

Principals Team

Editors: Benjy Sarlin, Jordan Weissmann, Morgan Chalfant

Editor-at-Large: Steve Clemons

Reporters: Kadia Goba, Joseph Zeballos-Roig, Shelby Talcott, David Weigel

One Good Text

Dave Wasserman is senior editor and elections analyst for the Cook Political Report.