McClatchy: Why Mitch McConnell green-lit a GOP deal on gun violence

I spoke to McClatchy‘s Dave Catanese about the the bipartisan gun safety package and decision of Senate GOP leadership to pursue and ultimately support such a deal.

“[John] Cornyn and McConnell are both realists and I think they went into this eyes open, with no illusions about how popular this might be with the base,” said Liam Donovan, a former Republican Senate campaign operative turned Washington lobbyist. “They’ve made a good faith effort to address the problem in common sense ways that voters broadly support.”

Donovan surmised that even though the loudest voices on the right are angered, the GOP leader sees a political upside.

He now has another significant vote in his pocket that he can hold up when Democrats complain the filibuster needs to be broken or amended to accomplish a legislative goal.

“Base blowback is a sunk cost having pursued a deal,” said Donovan. “You have to balance the prospect of a divisive vote with the fact that this is their last best chance to take the issue off the table for the foreseeable future, and on relatively favorable terms.”

Read the full piece here.

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NBC News: McConnell’s support for tougher gun laws reflects a changed political landscape

I spoke with NBC‘s Sahil Kapur about the bipartisan gun safety framework in the Senate, and what it says about the shifting political and strategic calculations of Republican leadership.

Liam Donovan, a lobbyist and former Republican campaign operative, attributed the intra-party shift to a growing prevalence of mass shootings and a “realignment of the GOP coalition.”

“Suburban Romney voters who had once been squarely part of the base are now up for grabs, if not beginning to lean Democrat, and this is the sort of issue that could make a big difference at the margin, both in the midterms and going forward,” Donovan said.

Read the full piece here.

It didn’t make the piece, but another important factor here is the limited window for such a deal to occur. A potential GOP Senate would be unlikely to lead on anything in this realm, to say nothing of the anticipated Republican majority in the House. This is a unique opportunity to defuse a key issue with just a fraction of the conference, with the added bonus of gumming up the legislative calendar at a make or break time for other Democratic priorities.

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The Lobby Shop Podcast: The Political Crystal Ball with Sean Trende

This week, The Lobby Shop team is joined by returning guest Sean Trende, a Senior Elections Analyst for RealClearPolitics, to talk about the 2022 midterm elections. Tune in as the group offers keen insight into what factors, such as the leaked draft decision from the Supreme Court and Biden’s falling approval ratings, will impact the results.

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A few key highlights

On the House map and the impact of redistricting on the midterms:

On the meaning of the generic ballot numbers at this juncture:

On the Hispanic shift toward the GOP, especially along the Rio Grande Valley:

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