inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

GIORDANO: Looking into the Crystal Ball for 2024 Politics

Many of the most important events of 2023 are even more significant because they shape the landscape for 2024 which I think will be a more consequential year.

Despite huge voter dissatisfaction with inflation and Biden’s economy, Democrats won many important elections in 2023. They won for two reasons: the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and because of the huge edge they have in mail-in voting.

I’m in the camp that thinks abortion will not have quite as much power in the elections of 2024. However, the Supreme Court is supposed to rule in June on whether or not the abortion inducing drug Mifepristonem which can be mailed over state lines and whether it is safe. If they restrict it, this could be a key issue in 2024.

As far as the mail -in ballot, Republicans still do not the urgency needed to compete with Democrats. President Trump not his supporters to vote this way. In Pennsylvania, I’m convinced that state GOP leaders are not going all out to compete.

Activists like Scott Presler and Citizens Alliance are doing vital work in getting Republicans to use mail-in balloting, but they need a lot more resources. A sign of how intense Democrats are on this issue, is that were outside polling places in November, trying to convince Democrats to vote by mail in 2024 and registering them to receive ballots on the spot.

Probably, the most hopeful sign on the local level, was Cherelle Parker becoming the next mayor of Philadelphia. She will bring a great deal of energy and good ideas to the job. She also defeated extreme progressive and former City Councilperson Helen Gym, who would have been a disaster for the entire area.

In her victory speech, Parker drew a red line with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner over the issue of retail theft. Her statement, “You won’t be able to go in the store and steal $499 worth of merchandise and just think it’s OK,” is a direct shot at a memo Krasner sent to his attorneys about not prosecuting theft cases under $500.

Speaking of redlines, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Senate and Governor Shapiro recently drew another red line blocking Krasner by giving the Pennsylvania Attorney General the power to appoint a special prosecutor who can prosecute crimes that happen on SEPTA property or its vicinity. Some analysis says this power would extend over huge areas of the city.

The biggest international story with huge local implications was the October 7th Hamas savage attacks on Israelis. This attack and subsequent implied support of it by various groups across the Delaware Valley resulted in the resignation of University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill for not explicitly condemning those calling for the state of Israel to be abolished. It also resulted in two educators on local suburban school boards to be forced to resign.

Let’s hope that Hamas is vanquished soon and peace is restored.

RFK Jr. and Taylor Swift are two people who had big impacts in 2023 and I expect even more in 2024. Kennedy’s announcement that he will run as an independent in 2024, has major parties worried. In what I think will be a very close presidential election, I think he could tip the balance in a swing state like Pennsylvania. Swift was an economic and pop culture force second to none. I believe she will intervene with young women in 2024 supporting Democrats, particularly on the issue of abortion.

The last major “personality” that I worry about for 2024 is AI. What role will AI play in upcoming elections? However, my rock-solid belief is that Delaware Valley Journal won’t have AI writing columns. See you in 2024.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Casey Increasingly Breaking With Dems as Biden’s Approval Fades

Many Democrats in Washington are trying to present a unified front ahead of what is expected to be a bitter 2024 election season. 

Bob Casey apparently disagrees. 

The Pennsylvania senator is increasingly breaking with President Joe Biden, voting against legislation championed by the Democratic president in what analysts say is a bid to protect the vulnerable Senate seat next year. 

Casey has reason to be nervous. At present, the usually reliable swing state of Pennsylvania barely went for Biden in 2020, with the Democrat claiming victory there by less than 1.20 percentage points. Recent polling shows Biden and Trump virtually tied in the state, suggesting a possible shift in Trump’s favor for the state’s critical 20 electoral votes. 

Casey has historically enjoyed far more comfortable margins in his Senate races. He has won two of his three contests by double-digit margins and the other by nearly that much. Still, data show him breaking from mainline Democratic party-line votes increasingly as the year has gone on. 

A FiveThirtyEight analysis shows Casey voting nearly 20 percent less in favor of Biden-backed bills in the 118th Congress as compared to the 117th, having voted 98.5 percent with Biden in the latter and just 78.6 percent in the former. 

“While most Democratic senators still agree with Biden over 80 percent of the time, these declines are significant,” FiveThirtyEight’s Cooper Burton wrote. “As a whole, Democratic senators are voting Biden’s way 11 points less than in the last Congress.”

Jim McLaughlin, president of the strategy and consulting firm McLaughlin & Associates, pointed to a recent Quinnipiac poll in which Biden’s numbers, he said, were “horrible.”

“He had a 58 percent unfavorable rating and a 57 percent  disapproval rating, and among the all-important independents, 68 percent disapproved of President Biden,” McLaughlin said, “not to mention, Donald Trump was beating Biden in the presidential race.”   

“The failures and corruption of the Biden administration have turned Scranton Joe into Swampy Joe,” McLaughlin continued. 

“Casey is scared to death,” he said.

Casey’s seat is one Democrats cannot easily afford to lose. Republicans are just a few seats away from a majority in the Senate. Losses in Pennsylvania and other Democratic-vulnerable states, including Montana, Arizona, and West Virginia, could easily push control of that chamber to the GOP, dealing a serious blow to Biden’s legislative ambitions should he win again in 2024. 

The national GOP has taken note.

“From the southern border to crime to inflation, Bob Casey is out of step with Pennsylvania voters on every issue,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Philip Letsou. “Throwing inconsequential votes won’t be enough to cover up Bob Casey’s career of rubber-stamping Democrats’ agenda.”

Casey may very well cruise to re-election, nonetheless. A Franklin & Marshall poll in April showed him enjoying a healthy lead over potential GOP challenger Dave McCormick, 42 percent to 35 percent. 

Still, the weight of slumping Democratic numbers could take its toll on Casey’s prospects. In addition to Biden’s slumping approval rates, Casey’s fellow Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman is also seeing cratering opinions among voters. 

The Quinnipiac poll showed 50 percent of voters holding an unfavorable opinion of Fetterman, who, after being sworn in, spent a protracted in-patient stay in a hospital for treatment of depression and who has constantly struggled with basic speech and communication stemming from a stroke he suffered in 2022.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Pennsylvania Insiders React to DeSantis Twitter ‘Failure to Launch’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should have been at the peak of his political game on Wednesday night when he announced his 2024 presidential campaign.

Instead, the Republican candidate’s rollout on Twitter Spaces fell somewhere between a debacle and a disaster.

The launch didn’t go well, to put it mildly. The “Twitter Spaces” app repeatedly failed, leaving would-be listeners who were unfamiliar with the technology wondering if the event had begun. Musk and his co-host David Sacks could be heard on the stream for a moment or two before disappearing again.

It took about half an hour before the conversation began in earnest, and by then, the launch flop had been lifted into the pantheon of political legend.

Fox News labeled it “AMATEUR HOUR: Much-hyped Ron DeSantis presidential announcement a disaster on Twitter.”

“Twitter Launch Debacle for DeSantis,” wrote Breitbart News.

Asked if the Twitter snafu hurt DeSantis, Pennsylvania-based Republican strategist and writer Guy Ciarrocchi said: “I don’t think so at all because, at the end of the day, this race is going to be about his message and his record and the other candidates and their messages.”

The demand to be on the Twitter feed was “overwhelming,” Ciarrocchi said.

“The fact that he tried to do something different on Twitter instead of the traditional speech in front of a courthouse building was neat,” Ciarrocchi added. “What really matters is his message. Nobody is going to decide who to vote for for president because the audio cracked during his announcement. They’re going to be far more concerned about what he said.”

DeSantis was “calm, focused, and funny. You didn’t hear any frustration or anger. It’s somebody that’s been around. It’s also somebody who’s a dad and knows things happen.”

DeSantis’s opponents obviously don’t agree. Former President Donald Trump launched a barrage of mocking attacks on DeSantis over the snafu. His son, Don Jr., gave it the label “De-Saster,” which promptly began trending on Twitter.

Democrats joined in the fun as well. “This link works,” tweeted the Biden-Harris campaign with a click-through to its donations page.

But DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin tried to spin it into a win.

“There was so much enthusiasm for Gov. DeSantis’ vision for our Great American Comeback that he literally busted up the internet,” Griffin said. “Washington is next.”

Jeff Jubelirer, vice president at Philadelphia’s Bellevue Communications Group, said that while DeSantis’s announcement stumbled, “I do not believe it hurts his chances.”

However, “I question why he chose this unorthodox method when he could have generated thousands of more views by declaring in prime time on a national TV outlet such as FOX or CNN,” Jubelirer said.

“In my opinion, he and his team made an unforced error by risking it with Elon and the untested Twitter Spaces,” he added. “As a result, the announcement stories focused as much – if not more – on the technical disaster rather than in some instances his candidacy and its viability.”

Charlie Gerow, a Republican consultant with Quantum Communications in Harrisburg, does not believe the flubbed Twitter event hurts DeSantis.

“Obviously, you’d prefer not to have the glitches,” he said. “But that said, he had 20 million people tuned in, and today it’s the number one story across the country.”

Christopher Nicholas at Eagle Consulting Group also said the clumsy launch will likely not cause DeSantis’s campaign to falter.

“The DeSantis balky launch will fade away shortly, as long as they don’t repeat that problem,” he said.

As 2024 Approaches, Is the Trump Base Still On Board?

Daria Novak described herself as a strong Donald Trump supporter in 2016, so much so that as the Republican nominee for Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District that year, she put Trump’s name above her own on campaign signs.

While she admires the accomplishments of Trump’s four years in office, she’s uncertain about another four years.

“In recent months, conservatives are split approaching the presidential election,” Novak said. “It’s not about a single man but it’s about a movement. The conservative movement is bigger than one individual.”

Trump is the only declared 2024 presidential candidate, seeking a non-consecutive second term in office. That’s a stark contrast to 2015 when Trump waited for a large field of declared Republican candidates before entering the 2016 sweepstakes.

What’s not different is that, like in 2015 and 2016, Trump has made some missteps since announcing his candidacy last November that might be politically fatal to other politicians. Despite that, he cruised to the nomination and won a shocking general election victory. The question is, “Will he have the capacity to do so again in 2024?”

Novak is not certain Trump will have the same level of Republican support for his third presidential run. “There were great results from the Trump presidency, but there were also negatives to his presidency,” she said. “Some are tired of Trump’s high level of tension.”

Mike Domanico, owner of the Trump Store in Bensalem said, “The Trump base is more supportive than ever. The country has been going in the wrong direction since day one of the Biden administration. People are saying they have had enough and are looking forward to 2024 if we make it that long.”

Bruce Breton, the co-chairman of Trump’s campaigns in New Hampshire, doesn’t see waning support for the 45th president. “Trump will be the top vote-getter and prevail in the primaries if he doesn’t clear the Republican field first,” Breton predicted.

Just as Trump defied naysayers in 2016, Breton said he would win another general election. “Under the Trump administration, we had low inflation, low gas prices, 401(k)s were up, and people were prosperous,” Breton said. “People will remember the policies and procedures of the Trump administration and that will impact both the primary polls and the national election.”

A recent Morning Consult poll has both good and bad news for the Trump campaign. The good news is Trump’s margin among potential primary voters, 48 percent to 31 percent, over his closest competitor, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. The bad news is Trump is below 50 percent as a former president and two-time nominee for his party, even before the campaigning begins.

Meanwhile, since declaring his candidacy, Trump has given his critics fodder.

In November, entertainer Kanye West came to dinner at Mar-a-Lago and brought uninvited guests — provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and White nationalist Nick Fuentes. Trump, expecting West, was reportedly furious about the other two.

This is not likely to have any long-term consequences, Breton said. “Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t personally screen everyone that comes to Mar-a-Lago. I blame Kanye West for that.”

In December, Trump brought up the 2020 election and declared, “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” Not a popular stance among pro-Constitution conservatives.

In a January social media post, Trump also launched a full-throated attack on pro-life voters, a key part of the Trump coalition in his 2016 victory. “It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms,” Trump wrote. “It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.”

Breton doesn’t anticipate Trump will lose the pro-life base after being the president most responsible for the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision. “That was just Trump being Trump,” Breton said.

Pro-life activists disagree. “Trump is way out of line here on life. He does not have a pulse on where his potential base is — as many believed he has in the past,” tweeted Lila Rose, leader of the pro-life group Live Action. “This kind of nonsense will be a losing political strategy for him.”

On another front, Trump endorsed House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy for speaker. Then after the third round of voting, Trump issued another endorsement for McCarthy, trying to convince Republicans to “TAKE THE VICTORY” in another social media post. Yet, the House still went through 14 rounds of voting before McCarthy was elected.

“We needed reforms that the Freedom Caucus pushed,” Novak said. “Whether this shows the level Trump has over Republicans is questionable.”

It’s worth remembering that since 2015, Trump’s critics have labeled every unconventional move by Trump as the end of his political career, Breton said.

Richard Booker, former Radnor commissioner and school board member, believes the Republican base still supports Trump.

“While there are some who are now off of the ‘Trump Train’ due to the performance in the mid-terms, I don’t think that group is a significant percentage of the Republican base,” said Booker.  “Moreover, the mid-terms were not as bad as the legacy media makes out.  Most Trump backed candidates did well.  The poor results in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia Senate races were unfortunate. However, the GOP had significantly more seats to defend this cycle than the Democrats.  (The Democrats will have to defend many more than Republicans in the next cycle, and I believe that there will be significantly better results for the GOP then).

“I will support whomever comes out of the Republican primary,” Booker added.  “My prediction is that Trump will win the Republican primary if he stays in the race until the end.   In addition, most Republican voters recognize, that Trump is the only candidate who will aggressively enforce the border.  There are other great candidates in the GOP vying for the Presidency, however, Trump is uniquely experienced (and would be limited to only four years).

“In the end, the GOP will coalesce around Trump if he is able to beat down the many lawsuits and investigations that he faces, and make it to the end of the primary.  My opinion is that he has a very good chance to win again if he gets to the general election.  Media collusion, vote harvesting and other dubious election practices (see for example, the 2020 Time election article and Mollie Hemingway’s book “Rigged”) will be his biggest obstacles.”


Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

PA SRCC Leadership Team Appointed

Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-West Moreland) announced the Pennsylvania Senate Republican Campaign Committee’s (PA SRCC) Leadership team for the 2023-24  election cycle.

State Sen. Dave Argall (R-Luzerne/Carbon/Schuylkill) has been reappointed as cycle chairman. Senator Argall worked closely with Ward to oversee the PA SRCC’s successful 2022 election cycle where Republicans won key swing districts and maintained their Senate majority.

In addition, Senator Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland/Dauphin/Perry) will join the PA SRCC as the deputy chairman for the 2023-2024 campaign cycle. In this role, Rothman will provide key support to the Republican Caucus in efforts to maintain and build their majority in 2024.  Twenty-five Senate seats will be up for reelection in 2024, and more if there are special elections needed.

“With the support of Dave Argall I feel confident that the PA SRCC will remain focused on maintaining and growing our Senate Majority through 2024,” Ward said. “His leadership was vital last year, and he will be a key Member for our success going forward. And with Sen. Rothman’s strong record as a campaigner and fundraiser he will be an important resource for our caucus heading into 2024. The SRCC Leadership team is ready to hit the ground running to strengthen our majority next year.”

Argall told the Delaware Valley Journal that he enjoys the extra assignment working to help keep the Senate in Republican hands. Unlike the House, which narrowly flipped to Democrat control in2022 with redistricting and other headwinds, the state Senate retained a Republican majority.

“Our goal is to protect and expand our Senate majority,” said Argall.
Asked how he plans to do that, Argall said they “work very, very hard to find good candidates.”

Candidates either come to the SRCC or the organization goes out and finds them.

“There is nothing more important in this business than having a qualified, hardworking candidate,” Argall said.

“If they are well-known in their communities, that is always a plus,” said Argall. But that is not always needed. “Are they willing to roll up their sleeves and knock on a lot of doors and make a lot of phone calls?”

And, the vet their candidates so there are “no surprises.”

In addition to good candidates, there is also the need for adequate financing.

The SRCC raised $3.2 million in 2022 and Argall said they hope to raise even more for 2024.


Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or