IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'Sex and the City' star announces primary challenge to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, best known as one of the stars of HBO's hit series "Sex and the City," is  launching a progressive primary bid against incumbent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

"I love New York. I’ve never lived anywhere else. But something has to change.," she says in her announcement video. "We want our government to work again, on healthcare, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us."

A Siena College poll out Monday showed Nixon as a heavy underdog in the primary matchup, with Cuomo getting 66 percent support among registered Democrats, compared to just 19 percent for Nixon. 

Here's her announcement video: 

NRA will spend $2 million on ads opposing Biden's gun policy and ATF nominee

The National Rifle Association is pledging to spend $2 million in digital and television ads, as well as supporter outreach as it looks to rally opposition to President Joe Biden's gun policies and his pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

The efforts include $600,000 in digital advertising across seven states (Maine, Arizona, Montana, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania), $400,000 in television ads in Maine, West Virginia and Montana, and $500,000 in mail pieces sent to supporters in 12 states (Maine, Arizona, Montana, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Utah, Alaska, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana). 

Examples of the digital and television ads shared by the NRA show the opposition centered on Biden's nomination of David Chipman to lead ATF as well as a broad claim that Biden wants to ban "commonly owned firearms and magazines," calling on senators to oppose both Biden and Chipman. 

After a mass shooting in Colorado last month, Biden reiterated his call to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as to expand the use of background checks

Last week, Biden took executive action aimed at limiting homemade firearms that don't have traceable serial numbers and to call on the Justice Department to lay out model "red flag" laws for states. These laws allow courts to temporarily block someone from having a firearm if family members believe they are a danger to themself or to others. He also announced Chipman's nomination alongside those actions. 

"Americans should not be forced to live in fear in a political climate in which government leaders are outrightly hostile to a fundamental and guaranteed freedom enshrined in our Bill of Rights," Amy Hunter, an NRA spokeswoman, told NBC. 

“We will fight Chipman’s nomination and the bad bills that now are in the Senate. And, this is just the beginning.”

The NRA has recently been marred by accusations of mismanagement and is in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. 

Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that has organized as a counterweight to the NRA's institutional power in the gun arena, launched a seven-figure ad campaign of its own last monthaimed at convincing Congress to pass new background check expansions. 

EMILY's List endorses Democrat Carroll Foy in VA Gov race

In the crowded Democratic primary for Virginia governor, Jennifer Carroll Foy’s campaign has been adamant that the race has turned into a two-person contest — between her and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Now, EMILY’s List has decided to endorse the former state delegate over state Sen. Jennifer McClellan this morning.

Both Carroll Foy and McClellan are vying to be the state’s first woman — and first Black woman — governor. And Carroll Foy has edged out McClellan in fundraising so far, even as McAuliffe has far more resources. 

But McClellan got a boost of her own this morning as she attempts to frame herself as the non-McAuliffe alternative — CNN is reporting that two prominent Democratic donors in California are asking their network to send money to her. 

Polling in the race has shown McAuliffe with a huge lead over the field ahead of the June 8 primary, with the rest of the field, that also includes Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and state Del. Lee Carter, in a pile-up far behind him. 

—Ben Kamisar contributed

Biden administration kicks off social media push on vaccines with celebrity help

The Biden administration on Thursday plans to kick off the next phase of its campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy with a new effort that targets young people through celebrities and their social media platforms, according to administration officials. 

The idea is for doctors, scientists and other health officials to take over the social media platforms of famous people, including Olivia Holt, Eva Longoria, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, for live events about the vaccine aimed at their millions of followers, according to a release detailing the effort. The initiative, called “We Can Do This: Live,” will include Instagram Live questions and answers and other virtual events where followers can ask questions and get information about the vaccine.

The NBA, WNBA, NASCAR, the Recording Academy and others such as Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, political strategist Ana Navarro, Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban are also participating in the events.

The timing of the new phase comes as availability for the vaccine has been expanded to all adults, and the administration is trying to reach some of the core groups that are still hesitant to get vaccinated. “It’s time to pull all the levers we have,” one administration official said.

The goal, according to the release, is to reach Americans, particularly young people, “directly in the places where they already consume content online, including social media, podcasts, YouTube, and more.”

John Bolton-sponsored poll suggests Trump's grip on GOP is losing steam

new poll of likely Republican voters commissioned by former President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, suggests the intensity of support for Trump within the GOP has been slipping, even as he remains a popular and influential figure within the party. 

The poll, commissioned by Bolton's super PAC, finds that 85 percent of likely Republican general election voters view Trump favorably, compared to 13 percent who view him unfavorably. But under the surface, Bolton argued that enthusiasm for Trump is beginning to wane, pointing to the fact that 58 percent of respondents say they have a “very favorable” view of Trump while 27 percent say they just view him “somewhat” favorably. 

Bolton and his pollster, veteran North Carolina political operative Carter Wrenn, compared the data to polls taken before Election Day in 2020 that found significantly higher numbers of Republicans who viewed Trump strongly or very favorably. 

“I was motivated on this poll in part because in the commentariat and among some politicians, there didn’t seem to be a recognition that things changed on Jan. 20th,  when Trump had gone from sitting in the most powerful office in the world to sitting by a swimming pool at Mar-a-Lago. That’s going to have an effect over time as it is for any incumbent president,” Bolton said in a call with reporters discussing the poll's findings. 

“I hoped and believed, as somebody who had been in Republican politics for a long time that we had not become a cult of personality,” he added, saying he’s encouraged by the poll’s finding that 82 percent of Republicans say they care more about a candidate’s stance on issues than whether they’re loyal to Trump. 

Bolton’s super PAC polled 1,000 likely midterm general election voters by phone (with an oversample of 600 likely Republican general election voters in that larger total) from April 3-7. The Republican section has a margin of error of 4 percent. 

Bolton, who has long been a fixture in GOP politics, joined the Trump administration for a little over a year. He left the administration amid a disagreement whether he resigned or was fired, and both Trump and Bolton have repeatedly criticized each other publicly since.  

Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign aide who continues to advise him, tweeted a criticism of Bolton Tuesday in response to the polling. 

"John Bolton has never recovered from being fired. President Trump used Bolton’s idiocy to the benefit of Americans in negotiating deals with other countries because they knew Bolton was a crazed lunatic," Miller said

Trump won a significant plurality in a hypothetical 2024 GOP presidential primary matchup against six other potential Republican hopefuls — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.  

Forty-four percent of those GOP primary voters backed Trump, but 56 percent were either undecided or backing another candidate. Among those who have a “very favorable” view of Trump, 70 percent said they’d back him in 2024, while 30 percent said they were undecided or backing another candidate. 

Behind Trump in the hypothetical GOP presidential primary matchup were: DeSantis and Haley at 9 percent each; Cruz at 7 percent; Pence at 6 percent; Rubio at 2 percent; Noem at 1 percent; and 21 percent who were undecided.

Views on Trump’s policies and personality also served as a strong proxy for voters’ choice in 2024 — 71 percent of voters who like both Trump’s policies and personality backed him, while 64 percent who liked his policy but disliked his personality were not supporting him. 

And the poll found that for a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, whether Trump personally opposed a candidate made no difference as to a voter’s decision on that candidate (29 percent said they’d be more likely to vote against that candidate while 19 percent it would make them more likely to vote for that candidate). 

Wrenn pointed to those numbers specifically to argue that part of the GOP softening on Trump is related to his personality, and that Trump’s hold on the 2024 field, and the party at large, may not be as strong as some may think. 

“Among Washington consultants, it’s a mantra: If Trump runs, you can’t win. I think that’s a fiction,” he said. 

The poll is not the first to examine the future of the GOP, and not the only one from a principal with a personal connection to the administration. As Axios first reported last month, Fabrizio, Lee & Associates(which polled for Trump’s presidential campaign) found that the plurality of GOP voters, 23 percent, were most concerned about fiscal issues, with 19 percent considered “extremely conservative” and 17 percent focused on individual freedom.

Here are some initial takeaways from the most recent FEC reports

Friday's first-quarter fundraising deadline gave reporters and the public the first glance at the state of 2021 campaign fundraising during a hectic three months that included the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, objections to the Electoral College, an impeachment vote, serious jockeying for higher office and many other flashpoints. 

Here are some key things we've learned from those filings so far: 

Most corporate PACs appear to have followed through on donation pauses

After the Electoral College objections and the Capitol attack, dozens of corporations put out statements ranging from condemnations to calls to re-evaluate their giving or blanket bans on donations to those who objected to President Joe Biden's victory. And this first, preliminary look, makes clear that most followed through. 

The majority of Republicans who objected to the Electoral College certification saw a decrease in political action committee donations in the first quarter of 2021 when compared to the first quarter of 2019 (only counting those who were in Congress during both eras). 

And most of the organizations that spoke out in the wake of the attack didn't donate to these members (note: Many of these corporate PACs file semi-annually, while federal candidates file quarterly).

Only a small group, including companies like Toyota, the National Association of Realtors, JetBlue and Cigna did, giving to a handful of lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election. But those groups issued more broad statements after the Congressional vote, not specifically promising the end to donations to those who objected to the Electoral College.  

Toyota is one good example of how some of those companies are handling the issue. In January, Toyota told E&E that "given recent events and the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are assessing our future PAC criteria." But when asked by NBC News about its donations, a Toyota spokesman said its donations are "based on their position on issues that are important to the auto industry and the company."

"We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification. Based on our thorough review, we decided against giving to some members who, through their statements and actions, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions," the spokesperson added, noting that the company generally gives to lawmakers who represent areas where Toyota has operations and that the company gave both to Democrats this quarter, as well as four of the 10 House Republicans who backed former President Donald Trump's impeachment

But many of those who objected raised a lot of small-dollar money 

If the money isn't coming in from corporations, then a candidate has to find new revenue sources. Many of those who objected to the Electoral College got a bump from small-dollar donors (per Politico, a majority of them), particularly some of the most outspoken objectors. 

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who vocally helped to lead the opposition to the Electoral College vote, raised an eye-popping $3 million over the single quarter, almost two-thirds from donations of under $200. In the first quarter of 2019, Hawley raised just $44,000. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., also raised about $3 million, a massive sum for a House member and more than all but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

And Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., another GOP lawmaker who repeatedly cast doubt on the veracity of the Electoral College (and more recently is facing investigations into sexual misconduct allegations) raised $1.8 million that quarter, more than three-quarters in donations under $200. 

The GOP spent the Trump years trying to leverage Trump's success with small-dollar donors into helping the party as a whole. And it remains clear that if big donors will be slow to donate to those who objected to the Electoral College, these small-dollar donors will only become more important to these members as they look toward re-election or higher office. 

Trump critics raised significant money, some spending big on security  

We didn't just see big quarters from those who backed Trump's attempts to throw out the Electoral College — some of the former president's most vocal Republican critics raked in cash too. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., raised $1.5 million, more than all but 12 House members. And the $1.2 million haul from Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., was good enough to get him into the top 20 of all members last quarter. 

But some of those seen as major Trump critics, either who supported his impeachment or have otherwise spoken out against him, have spent big money on security during the first quarter. Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., spent $69,000 of the $112,000 spent by his campaign all quarter on security services or consulting (Toomey is retiring at the end of 2022). His campaign had previously reported spending a total of $6,600 on security over the last decade. 

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who joined with Toomey to vote to impeach Trump, spent almost $44,000 on security expenses in February — he had spent about $2,000 on security previously out of his campaign account. 

Race for the Senate begins to come into focus

It's still early, but these reports also provided the first glimpse of what resources notable Senate candidates are beginning to amass. 

In the heated Ohio Senate GOP primary, former state GOP chairwoman Jane Timken loaned her campaign $1 million and raised another $1.1 million. Her primary opponent at this point, former state treasurer Josh Mandel, actually lost money in his primary campaign account apparently because his investments took a $130,000 hit. But a spokesman told Cleveland.com his campaign will net about $700,000 through fundraising in his joint fudraising committee.  

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democrat seen to be eying a bid, posted a $1.2 million quarter with nothing from his own personal funds. 

Some incumbents likely to face serious challenges raised big money — for example, Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., raised almost $4.4 million; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., raised more than $1.6 million; Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., raised $4.6 million from Jan. 26 through March; Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., raised $2.9 million; and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto raised $2.3 million. 

Others, like Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., raised less as they continue to weigh whether they'll run again. 

Dayton mayor launches Ohio gubernatorial bid presenting herself as antidote to decades of Republican rule

Nan Whaley, the Democratic mayor of Dayton, Ohio, declared her candidacy for governor Monday by characterizing Republican incumbent Mike DeWine as an avatar of complacence and compliance in the face of economic distress and corruption. 

“I think the people of Ohio agree that they deserve better,” Whaley, 45, said in a telephone interview with NBC News. 

“People are working longer and longer hours, sometimes even two jobs, getting paid less, and not being able to provide for their families,” Whaley added. “And we've had three decades with the same corrupt politicians in Columbus, who care more about the extreme interests and lining their personal and political pockets, rather than folks who are trying to provide for their families and want their kids to have actual opportunities in Ohio.”

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speaks alongside Democrats from the House of Representatives and Senate at the Capitol on Sept. 9, 2019, in Washington.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

DeWine, 74, has not been implicated, but a scandal involving other prominent Ohio Republicans and legislation viewed as a bailout for two nuclear power plants has become a potential liability for GOP officials. Larry Householder, the former speaker of the Ohio House, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he orchestrated a $60 million bribery scheme around the legislation.

“What's gonna matter,” Whaley said, “is that people are going to see that the leadership and Columbus has been completely interested in self-dealing, and they're paying for it on their electric bills every month.”

Republicans have held the governor’s chair and most partisan statewide offices in Ohio for all but four years since 1990. DeWine has been a GOP mainstay since the 1980s, serving the state in the U.S. House and Senate and as lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Whaley and DeWine previously had enjoyed a cordial relationship, but the mayor believes the governor’s leadership on the pandemic — once lauded by those on both sides of the aisle as bold and decisive, especially when compared to former President Donald Trump and other Republicans — has worsened the more he fears backlash from his party’s base. Several Republicans, including former Rep. Jim Renacci, are considering challenging DeWine in next year’s primary largely on the basis that they think he’s been too restrictive in his approach to the coronavirus.

“There are actually examples over and over again in the midst of the pandemic where I think he puts his wanting to protect his power over his principle,” Whaley said of DeWine.

In an emailed statement, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik criticized Whaley’s two terms as mayor, noting high crime and poverty rates in the city.

“Now, Nan Whaley wants a promotion. Ohioans deserve leaders who serve to better our communities, not build their own political resumes,” Paduchik said.

Whaley has long been seen as a rising star in Ohio. She briefly ran for governor in 2018 but dropped out once it was clear Democratic establishment leaders were coalescing behind Richard Cordray, the state’s former attorney general and the former head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray lost to DeWine by less than 4 percentage points.

Since 2018, Whaley has elevated her state and national profile, first by leading an unsuccessful effort to draft Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, into the 2020 presidential race and then by becoming a surrogate for Pete Buttigieg’s White House bid. Her leadership of Dayton through several crises — including destructive tornadoes and a mass shooting that left nine dead in August of 2019 — also put her in front of national audiences. When Trump visited after the shooting, Whaley found herself the target of his angry tweets, even though she had said victims and first responders were grateful for his appearance.

“It's true that I am not the same person that ran four years ago,” Whaley said Monday. “And it is not through any fault of Dayton that we were tested so often through these challenges.”

Another Democrat, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, has been raising money for several months as he explores seeking the party's nomination for governor.

Dayton is not among the three metro areas — Cincinnati, along with Cleveland and Columbus — that traditionally produce statewide candidates. Whaley addresses that reality while alluding to the city’s recent challenges in her launch video, which begins by asking: “What does somebody from Dayton know about tough?”

The strength theme continues throughout the video, which hits on the corruption scandals and features footage of DeWine in Dayton after the 2019 shooting as Whaley talks about leaders who are “too weak to do something.” “Do Something” became a rallying cry for gun-safety advocates who chanted the phrase at DeWine during that visit. 

DeWine has at times signaled interest in gun control legislation but has not been able to sell the GOP-controlled General Assembly. After suggesting that he would veto “stand your ground” legislation that removed the duty to retreat before shooting in self-defense, DeWine in January signed the bill.

Party-switching candidate attacks GOP Gov. Kemp as he launches primary challenge

Georgia Republican gubernatorial hopeful Vernon Jones, a former Democratic state representative who backed former President Donald Trump's re-election and ultimately switched parties, blasted the state's current governor during an appearance on Fox Business days after he announced his primary challenge. 

During his TV appearance, Jones criticized Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by accusing him of being responsible for GOP losses in the state in 2020, and arguing he "cannot beat Stacey" Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who may be eying another gubernatorial bid after she lost to Kemp in 2018.

"Our governor failed when we lost two United States Senate seats. He was directly responsible for this," he said on Fox Business. 

"Brian Kemp cannot beat Stacey. He's caved into her one time and we don't want him to cave in again." 

The broadsides on Kemp echo criticism from Trump and his allies, who still hold a grudge against Kemp because they say he didn't do enough to support Trump's unfounded claims of widespread electoral fraud. But other Republicans have said that Trump's repeated calls for states like Georgia to overturn the election results helped cost the GOP both Senate seats in the January runoffs there. 

As Trump has continued to criticize Kemp, the governor has become the face of the state's controversial new voting restrictions, which he signed into law last month

The former president has not yet endorsed in this race, although he did back Republican Rep. Jody Hice's primary bid against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, another top Georgia Republican Trump criticized in the wake of his loss. 

What all the new poll numbers tell us about Biden and his agenda

In the last 24 hours, we’ve seen four major national polls — Monmouth, Quinnipiac, NPR/PBS/Marist and Pew — release findings on President Biden’s first three months in office and the popularity of his legislative priorities.

And despite differing methodologies (Pew is an online poll, the others are live-caller) and differing overall numbers, these polls tell five clear stories about how Americans view the president and his early agenda. 

1. As he nears 100 days in office, Biden’s approval rating remains above water

Biden’s job rating

Monmouth: 54 percent approve, 41 percent disapprove

Quinnipiac: 48 percent approve, 42 percent disapprove

NPR/PBS/Marist: 53 percent approve, 39 percent disapprove

Pew: 59 percent approve, 39 percent disapprove

2. Americans are feeling more optimistic

According to the Monmouth poll, 46 percent of Americans believe the nation is headed in the right direction, versus 50 percent who think it’s on the wrong back. 

A month ago in the same poll, it was 34 percent right track, 61 percent wrong track.

3. Biden’s infrastructure bill is popular, and it pretty much matches his overall job rating 

Quinnipiac: 44 percent support it, 38 percent oppose it

Quinnipiac -- if it raises taxes on corporations: 53 percent support, 39 percent oppose

NPR/PBS/Marist: 56 percent support, 34 percent oppose 

4. Increasing taxes on corporations and those making $400,000 or above is popular

Quinnipiac on raising corporate taxes: 62 percent support, 31 percent oppose

Quinnipiac on raising taxes on those making $400K+: 64 percent support, 31 percent oppose 

NPR/PBS/Marist on $400K+: 65 percent support, 33 percent oppose

5. Biden’s personal ratings are higher than his policy ratings 

In the Pew poll, 46 percent of Americans say they like the Biden conducts himself, while 27 percent disagree and another 27 percent have a mixed opinion.  

That’s compared with a combined 44 percent who say they like all or many of his policies. 

And another 44 percent in the Pew poll say Biden has changed the tone of the political debate for the better; 29 percent say he’s changed it for the worse; and 27 percent say he hasn’t changed it much either way. 

The Monmouth poll was conducted April 8-12, and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.  

The Quinnipiac poll was also conducted April 8-12, and has a margin of error of plus-minus 2.8 percentage points. 

The NPR/PBS/Marist poll was conducted April 7-13, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.3 percentage points. 

And the Pew poll was conducted April 5-11, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 2.1 percentage points.

Poll: Majority of Americans say a "not-guilty" verdict in Chauvin trial would be a negative step for race relations

Six-in-ten Americans say that a verdict of “not guilty” for the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd would be a negative step for race relations in America, according to new poll data from Monmouth University. 

But the country is more divided on whether a conviction for Derek Chauvin would actually improve race relations, with almost half of Americans saying it’s not likely to make much of a difference. 

The survey, which was conducted April 8-12, finds that 63 percent of Americans said it would be a negative step for race relations if Chauvin, who is charged with murder in Floyd’s death last year, is found not guilty.  

But, asked about the possibility that Chauvin is instead found guilty of murder, 46 percent said a guilty verdict won’t make a significant difference for race relations. Thirty-seven percent say a guilty verdict would have a positive effect. 

Chauvin faces second-degree and third-degree murder charges, as well as a manslaughter charge. 

The Hennepin County Government Center on April 14, 2021, in Minneapolis.Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

The survey finds significant differences between white Republicans and other white partisans on this issue. Among white Republicans, just 13 percent say a guilty verdict would be a good step for race relations. A majority — 56 percent — of white Democrats and independents say the same thing. 

About half of Americans– 49 percent – also said that police officers are more likely to use excessive force against a Black person than against a white person in similar circumstances. That’s down from the 57 percent who said the same last June, but still much higher than in previous surveys.

About a third – 30 percent — of Americans say there’s more racism among police officers than among other groups, while 14 percent say there’s less and 51 percent say there is not more or less racism among police officers compared to the rest of society. 

The survey comes at a time when there is very high awareness of the ongoing Chauvin trial. Almost two-thirds of Americans say they have heard a lot about it, with another 31 percent saying they’ve heard a little. 

The Monmouth survey was conducted April 8-12 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Poll: Forty-three percent of Republicans say they will avoid vaccine if possible

A new poll from Monmouth University finds that about one-in-five Americans say they plan to avoid  getting a Covid-19 vaccine if possible, a share that remains virtually unchanged since the beginning of the year.  

The survey, which was conducted April 8-12 — before federal health authorities called for a pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to very rare cases of blot clots in some women — found that 21 percent of Americans overall say they likely won’t get the vaccine if they can avoid it. That’s compared to a statistically similar 24 percent in both January and March polls. 

Those shunning the jab include 43 percent of Republicans but just 5 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents. 

Volunteer medical staff administer Covid-19 vaccines to walk-in patients during a pop-up clinic at Western International High School on April 12, 2021 in Detroit, Mich.Matthew Hatcher / Getty Images

But the poll also has some good news for vaccine advocates. The share of Americans who say they want to wait and see how the vaccine rollout goes before getting a shot is down from 21 percent in March to just 12 percent now. 

Overall, 51 percent of Americans say they’ve received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Another 14 percent say they plan to get one as soon as they can. 

The poll also finds President Joe Biden’s approval rating above water, with 54 percent approving and 41 percent disapproving of his performance in office so far. 

That’s compared with a 51 percent approve/42 percent disapprove rating last month. 

The poll of 800 respondents was conducted April 8-12 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

 

McCrory makes it official, announces N.C. Senate bid

Former North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory says he’s in for the 2022 Senate race. 

McCrory made the announcement on his Charlotte-area radio show Wednesday morning, saying he is “simply the best for this job of any of the people talking about running for it.” 

In a separate announcement video, McCrory emphasized the stakes of the next Senate contest, noting the 50/50 split between the parties in the upper chamber and the fact that ties are currently broken by Vice President Kamala Harris.

“It’s time we join together and take back the Senate from Kamala Harris,” he says in the video. “So I’m in.” 

Former GOP Rep. Mark Walker has already announced a bid for the seat, which will be open after the retirement of Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Rep. Ted Budd is also reportedly considering a run.

McCrory enjoys high name recognition in the state from his stint as governor. But former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, has also been floated as a candidate whose last name would immediate make her a top-tier contender for the seat.