NotedDC — How the Jan. 6 hearings are affecting state-wide races

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The Jan. 6 hearings on Capitol Hill are having ripple effects in state-wide races, with Democrats seeking to leverage the hearings to defeat Trump-backed candidates.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro has gone after GOP rival Doug Mastriano, citing testimony from former Attorney General Bill Barr debunking the state senator’s claims of election fraud.

“Bill Barr means: Doug Mastriano lied to everyone in an attempt to undermine our elections,” Shapiro tweeted last week. “This cannot be Pennsylvania’s new normal.”

Following Tuesday’s hearing, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) also took aim at candidates — such as her GOP rival Kristina Karamo, who she didn’t explicitly name — who have pushed the theory that the 2020 election was stolen.

“Those unhappy with the results of the 2020 presidential election – and now, political candidates courting their support and coveted endorsements – have perpetuated an unprecedented, dangerous, egregious and false campaign,” Benson wrote.

Republicans who previously backed Trump’s false election claims have seen state-wide gains across the country this year, including recently in Indiana and Nevada.

And in Arizona, state Rep. Mark Finchem (R), who was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee, also has a chance of being the GOP nominee for secretary of State.

But Democratic strategist Tony Cani predicted Finchem’s platform of denying the results of the 2020 election would backfire in a general election.

“In the general election, independent and Republican voters who switched to vote for [President] Biden and [Sen. Mark] Kelly [D] in 2020, they’re going to be frustrated with the focus that these folks [Republicans] are making on election integrity,” Cani said.

Matt Grossmann, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University, noted that it’s unclear to what extent the evidence uncovered against Trump and his allies will impact state-level races.

“The relationship between votes for governor and president and the votes for offices, like secretary of State and attorney general, are going up over time across states,” Grossmann said.

“I don’t necessarily think that’s about lack of caring, it’s about the increasing partisanship and polarization of the electorate,” he said.

After the first three public hearings by the Jan. 6 panel, an ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 58 percent of Americans said Trump should be criminally charged, though the same poll found only 34 percent of Americans were following the hearings.

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Takeaways from Tuesday’s hearing

The House committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot turned its focus to former President Trump‘s efforts to pressure local officials in its fourth public hearing.

Hear are four takeaways from Tuesday’s hearing:

1. Arizona House Speaker refutes Trump claims

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) rejected Trump’s claim that the election in the state was stolen.

  • Bowers emotionally detailed being pressured by Trump’s team to lie about the 2020 election results.

  • “You’re asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath,” Bowers recalled telling Trump’s team.

The committee has repeatedly shown evidence suggesting that Trump lied about his conversations with people, including Vice President Pence, just before the Jan. 6 riot.

“[Giuliani] said ‘We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.'”

– Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) on remarks from Rudy Giuliani, who advised Trump following the 2020 election.

2. State leaders, witnesses talk about being doxxed

Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R) testified via video about how his family was targeted by people online.

  • “All of my personal information was doxxed online,” he said in taped testimony.

  • “It was my personal email, my personal cellphone, my home phone. In fact, we had to disconnect our home phone for about three days because it would ring all hours of the night and fill up with messages.”

3. Schiff takes lead in questioning witnesses

The select committee let Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) lead the questioning on Tuesday, part of a rotation of leaders during the public hearings.

  • Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has been a frequent foe of Trump, leading the first impeachment inquiry into the former president.

  • Trump has labeled him “shifty Schiff” and “Pencil Neck,” among other insults. As recently as last week, Trump referred to him as “Watermelon Head.”

4. Poll workers recount harassment

Former Georgia election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss gave perhaps the most emotional testimony of the hearing Tuesday.

  • Moss spoke about her family being harassed after they became direct targets of Trump’s effort to overcome the election results in the Peach State.

  • She said she and her mother received death threats after they were targeted by false claims of election fraud.

The panel’s next hearing, set for Thursday, will focus on Trump’s influence over the Justice Department, according to Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

Trump looks to boost primary scorecard

Former President Trump’s hold on the GOP will be tested again Tuesday as his endorsed candidate Katie Britt takes on Rep. Mo Brooks in an Alabama runoff.

  • Trump initially backed Brooks in the House race but flipped his support to Britt earlier this year as Brooks struggled in polling.

  • Brooks is running on a MAGA platform but told AL.com ahead of the runoff: “It’s quite clear that Donald Trump has no loyalty to anyone or anything but himself.”

Britt, a former Senate aide, came in first place in the initial primary with 45 percent of the vote compared to Brooks’s 29 percent.

An Emerson College-The Hill poll conducted earlier this month showing Britt leading with support of about half of likely voters heading into the runoff.

The Hill’s Max Greenwood has more on the seven races to watch Tuesday.

FLORES TAKES OFFICE

Rep. Mayra Flores’s win in the special election for Texas’ 34th District last week is being heralded by Republicans as a signal of growing strength for the GOP among Hispanic voters.

Flores, who was sworn into office on Tuesday, shared a picture of her new office’s name plate: “My very first day in office and it’s a memorable one for sure. This is what dreams are made of; faith, family, and hardwork.”

Dems grapple with gas tax holiday

President Biden is set to decide by the week’s end whether the federal government will temporarily adopt a gas tax holiday to combat skyrocketing fuel costs.

“The president’s looking at an array of options to figure out how to give relief to the American public,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday.

The move would require congressional approval — a heavy lift in the evenly divided Congress during a critical midterm election year.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) previously rejected the idea, though vulnerable Democrats have urged the Democratic leader to reconsider.

The idea isn’t without controversy. Notably, then-President Obama, when Biden was his vice president, called the concept a “gimmick” in a spring 2008 speech.

“For us to suggest that 30 cents a day for 3 months is real relief – means we are not tackling the problem,” Obama said. “We are offering gimmicks.”

Under current prices, a tax holiday would save drivers about 18 cents a gallon when they fill up.

The national average gas price on Tuesday was $4.97 per gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA’s gas prices tracker.

BIDEN CELEBRATES VAX MILESTONE

President Biden visited a D.C. vaccination clinic after the Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of 5.

Read more from The Hill’s Peter Sullivan on the pandemic milestone.

That’s it for today. Stay with TheHill.com for the latest and recommend NotedDC to others: thehill.com/noted. See you tomorrow.

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