Former Green Beret announces run for Rep. Patrick McHenry’s seat

Republican Pat Harrigan, a businessman and former Green Beret, announced on Tuesday that he’ll run for Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R-N.C.) seat, after the former Speaker pro tempore announced he’ll retire at the end of this term. 

“Following Congressman McHenrys retirement, I’m running for Congress in North Carolina’s 10th District,” Harrigan said in a video on X , the platform formerly known as Twitter, just after news broke that McHenry would not run for reelection in 2024.

It’s his second cycle trying for the U.S. House after he ran last year for the state’s 14th District, which was eventually won by Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson.

“Faced with President Biden’s disastrous policies at home and abroad, our country needs experienced, battle-tested leadership,” Harrigan said in another post .  “I’m ready to step up in Congress to lead the charge for a better, stronger America.”

He had originally planned on running against North Carolina state Rep. Tom Moore (R) in the state’s 14th District next year, according to Axios , but now sets his sights on Washington. Jackson is now running for attorney general , after the state’s maps were redrawn , favoring Republicans. 

Harrigan said in his launch video that “God has placed a calling on our lives to enter the political arena,” and contended that the calling “has come at a cost,” referencing an incident last year in which shots were fired at his home in Hickory, N.C. 

McHenry, who served as Speaker pro tempore after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted earlier this year, announced on Tuesday that he’ll retire after nearly two decades in Congress. 

“This is not a decision I come to lightly,” he said, “but I believe there is a season for everything and—for me—this season has come to an end.”

Click here to see original article

Elizabeth Vargas: ‘Elephant in the room’ Trump won’t be ignored at NewsNation debate

Elizabeth Vargas says whether he’s there or not, Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate on NewsNation isn’t going to pretend former President Trump doesn’t exist.

“We are not going to ignore the elephant in the room,” the “Elizabeth Vargas Reports” host and co-moderator of the fourth 2024 primary debate told ITK. 

“One of the debates, they waited an hour to acknowledge his existence,” Vargas said.

The 45th president, who’s leading the Republican primary field, Vargas said, is “the No. 1 target” for all of the GOP White House hopefuls. 

“We intend to ask several pointed questions about Donald Trump, and his policies, and his plans and give the candidates an opportunity to compare and contrast themselves to the person they most need to beat at this point in the race,” she said.

Trump has signaled  that he won’t attend the debate being held at the University of Alabama. He’s poised to participate in a Fox News town hall on Tuesday hosted by Sean Hannity.

Vargas, who’s moderating the mid-week debate alongside conservative pundit Megyn Kelly and The Washington Free Beacon’s Eliana Johnson, said in addition to asking about Trump, she’s also aiming to get candidates to toss their “canned campaign speeches.”

“We are dedicated and working hard to make this the smartest debate we can — to pin down these candidates on some of the issues that I think that they have largely glided over in the first few debates and on the campaign trail. We want to get some specificity,” the former ABC News anchor said.

Some topics Vargas said she’s hoping to address include violence in the Middle East, Ukraine funding, crime, fentanyl and U.S. border security and immigration.

“The debate’s happening in Alabama, which is a big military state. I’m an Army brat myself, so I’m hoping to get in a question about the state of the U.S. military,” she said.

It’s the first presidential debate to air on NewsNation, which like The Hill is owned by Nexstar Media Group. 

“I think our growing visibility will be exponentially bigger on debate night,” Vargas said of the network, which she joined earlier this year.

“We have lots of cable news networks catering to the far fringes — the extremes of both the left and the right — and not as many who are just trying to talk to the moderate middle. So I think this is a tremendous opportunity for us and we couldn’t be more excited.”

The Emmy Award-winning journalist said she and the debate team have been spending weeks “studying, reading and watching everything” to prep for the event and come up with questions for the Oval Office contenders, who include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

“There’s a lot of toing and froing and disagreement, as there should be. It’s all fine, and we will figure out the very best questions and probably be rearranging them, and swapping them in and out right until the moment of the debate,” she said.

On a personal level, Vargas said the best thing she can do for herself ahead of debate night is to “get a good night’s sleep.”

But with so much intense focus on the Republican showdown, even catching some zzz’s sometimes means dreaming of the debate.

“When you wake up at 2 a.m. thinking, ‘Wait, we should ask DeSantis this?’ it’s definitely taken over a lot,” Vargas said with a laugh.

“But in a good way.”

Click here to see original article

Younger voters appear less likely to vote in 2024, despite previous record: Survey

Younger voters may be less likely to vote in 2024, despite their previous record, according to a new poll from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP).

Of those ages 18-29 who said they voted in the 2020 election, only 49 percent of respondents in the poll said they “definitely” will be voting in the next presidential election. Seventeen percent said they will “probably” vote in the 2024 election.

In response to a question about participation in the 2020 presidential election, 65 percent said they “definitely” voted. Only 29 percent said they “definitely” didn’t vote.

“The bad news is that fewer young people intend to vote in this election compared to the Biden-Trump election of 2020. The good news is there’s still time, and we know what Gen Z and young millennials want to see and hear. They want evidence that democracy works, that government can address our challenges, and that there’s a meaningful difference between the two parties,”  IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe said about the poll.

When it comes to primaries and caucuses for the 2024 presidential election, only 35 percent said they will “definitely” vote in them. Twenty percent said they will “probably” vote in a primary or caucus in 2024.

Other findings from the poll include a majority saying the country is “off on the wrong track,” at 53 percent. The economy was an issue of major concern amongst respondents, with 35 percent saying it was the “national issue” that concerns them the most. 

“One year out from the 2024 election, our poll makes it clear that the youth vote cannot be taken for granted,” Ethan Jasny, student chair of the Harvard Public Opinion Project said on the webpage about the poll. 

“Young Americans are deeply passionate about issues ranging from abortion to labor rights, but they often struggle to see that passion represented in Washington. For turnout in 2024 to match the record numbers we saw in 2020, candidates must ensure that the values and energy of young Americans are reflected in their campaigns,” Jasny continued. 

The poll, taken of 2,098 18-to-29 year-olds, was conducted between Oct. 23 and Nov. 6. and has a margin of error for its total sample of plus or minus 2.86 percentage points. 

Click here to see original article

Haley leads Biden by 4 points in 2024 matchup, but falls short of Trump: Poll

GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley leads President Biden in a hypothetical head-to-head race, but she still trails former President Trump by a large margin in the GOP primary, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The Messenger/Harris poll found that a Haley-Biden matchup would result in a four-point lead for the former South Carolina governor. Trump would also lead Biden by a seven-point margin, the survey shows.

But the GOP primary is less competitive, with Trump holding a massive lead over Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in mock matchups. Just over three-quarters of GOP voters — 76 percent — sided with the former president over Haley, the poll found, with just under three-quarters – 73 percent — doing the same against DeSantis.

Despite surging momentum , Haley has so far failed to turn a rising primary campaign into a serious Trump challenge. She is neck-and-neck with DeSantis in national polling for second place in the primary, but neither candidate is close to unseating Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee.

According to the poll, Haley would also significantly outperform DeSantis versus Biden, and would attract more independent voters than Trump — 40 percent of independents would support Haley while 37 would back Trump.

About 20 percent of respondents were undecided.

“The Haley phenomenon is driven by moderate Republicans, Independents and disaffected voters,” Harris’s chief pollster Dritan Nesho said. “She beats Biden handily in a general election because of this but still has a lot of ground to make up with Republicans.”

The fourth debate of the GOP primary is slated for Wednesday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where all eyes will be on Haley. The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced Monday night that four candidates qualified to make the stage: Haley, DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy .

Trump, like the first three debates, has signaled he will not attend. Instead, he is expected to participate in a town hall hosted by Fox News’s Sean Hannity  on Tuesday night.

The Messenger/Harris surveyed about 2,000 people online last week, with a margin of error of about 2 percent.

Click here to see original article