WASHINGTON -- If Tuesday, President Biden will deliver his State of the Union Address at 9:00 p.m. ET. ... Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds responds to the GOP. ... Texas holds its primary contests. ... The Russian military convoy moves towards Kyiv, and heavy shelling is done on Ukrainian cities. ... The GOP primary for the vacant Pennsylvania Senate seat has turned into a battle royale. It's Fat Tuesday.
First: Can Biden do it all in one speech? Can Biden do it all in one speech? Und erheben Sie sich zum Zeitpunkt des Krieges in Europe?
This is the biggest challenge facing the president heading into his first State of the Union address. With low approval ratings, Biden is trying to restart his domestic agenda. He touts positive economic numbers, but also responds to rising inflation and tries to mobilize the democratic world against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
We understand why Biden seems to prefer to deliver a traditional State of the Union over one targeted to address what's going on in Ukraine.
According to polls, Americans are more concerned about inflation than the economy. Despite the decline in Omicron cases, Covid is still present. There are many Democratic constituency groups that want the president continue with the Build Back Better agenda.
The danger of trying to do it all, with the pomp and circumstance of a State of the Union speech, is that it can feel out of touch with the war against Ukraine.
Will we be able look back at this speech and see that it reflects the moment, even if Ukraine has elected Biden to become President?
This is Biden's big order tonight.
Data Download: The number for the day is... 1
This is the number of times Biden mentioned Russia in his address to Congress last January (not including any additional passing references). He noted that he retaliated for Russian election interference, and also added that the administration can "cooperate whenever it's in both our mutual interests."
Russia will likely be mentioned a few times more Tuesday night.
You need to be familiar with the following numbers:
$1 Million: The amount that the Biden-aligned Building Back Together spends on an advertising campaign to boost the administration's economic message about the State of the Union.
31 The House's Democratic members who are not running for re-election. This is after Ted Deutch, a Florida Rep., announced Monday that he would resign in fall to head the American Jewish Committee.
14 Retired Republican House Members, following the announcement by Fred Keller (Pa.) that he will not run for re-election. Keller was redistricted to a member-on–member primary against Republican Rep. Dan Meuser.
Midterm roundup - It's Primary Day Texas, the first of the 2022 calendar states
Reminder: If the primary candidate fails to win a majority (50 percent+1), the top 2 finishers will be competing in a May 24-runoff.
Additionally, Texas polling stations close at 7:00 p.m. (or 8:00 p.m.) local. ET in the majority of the state in the Central Time Zone and at 9:00 p.m. ET in the small portion of the state that is in Mountain Time. The earliest NBC News' Decision Desk can make a call is after all polling stations in the jurisdiction have closed, which means at 9:00 p.m. ET for all races in the state and 8:00 ET in most congressional districts.
We're currently watching the following races:
Governor: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has been challenged by his right but polling and Abbott's vast war chest suggest he will win the necessary 50 percent to avoid a runoff.
Attorney General But can Trump-endorsed incumbent Attorney general Ken Paxton avoid a runoff His main opponents include George P. Bush (Jeb’s son), former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and Rep. Louie Gohmert.
Texas-28 The Democratic incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar is facing a progressive challenger, Jessica Cisneros from South Texas.
Texas 35: The top Dem candidates in this safe Dem District are Greg Casar, an ex-Austin City Councilmember and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Eddie Rodriguez, a state representative, and Rebecca Viagran.
Texas-15 The Republican race in this potential GOP pickup district is between Trump-backed Monica de la Cruz, and Mauro Garza. Top Dem candidates are Ruben RAMirez, Eliza Alvarado, and Michelle Vallejo.
Texas-8 Eleven Republicans are vying for the position of retiring Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), but the main two are Morgan Luttrell, a veteran and twin of the Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell, and Christian Collins, a conservative activist.
Another dynamic worth watching in the Lone Star State is the state's new voting laws. Jane C. Timm of NBC reports that thousands of ballots are at risk of being rejected.
Two top Democratic governors called for the party to get beyond process debates on the campaign trail and instead focus on empathizing and praising their achievements and focusing on voters. DGA vice-chair and New Jersey Governor spoke out during a broad discussion at the Democratic Governors Association meeting in Florida. Phil Murphy, DGA chairman and North Carolina Governor, said that the party was "late to inflation." Roy Cooper stated that "when you are frustrated and angry you can blame the guy at top." You can read more about Roy Cooper on the MTP Blog.
According to a new poll by Alex Lasry, a Milwaukee Bucks executive and Democratic Senate Candidate, is catching up with Wisconsin Lt. Governor. NBC's Natasha Korecki reports that Mandela Barnes is still ahead of Barnes.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate hopeful, Lt. Governor. John Fetterman launches his first TV ad. Although his campaign claims it will "stay up on TV through May 17th primary," early reports from AdImpact indicate that only $16,000 was booked.
Ohio Republican Matt Dolan has shaken up the state's crowded GOP Senate Primary with his deep pockets, refusal to join other candidates who are trying to cozy up for former President Donald Trump. Henry Gomez of NBC reports.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn has returned to to run in the 11th district (his hometown district), after having previously planned to run in another district.
Ad watch: Battle Royale, Pennsylvania
Television personality Mehmet Oz, and Dave McCormick, a former manager of hedge funds in Pennsylvania are still waging war in the Republican primary for Senate. But now they are under attack from an outside group that supports Jeff Bartos.
Yesterday, Jobs for Our Future PAC released a new ad in Pennsylvania. It claimed that "Political tourists" are parachuting into Pennsylvania to pretend they're conservatives, while there is only one true conservative who actually lives in Pennsylvania.
They laud Bartos's efforts to help small businesses survive the pandemic, and say, "We can trust Jeff Bartos that he will stand up against China, take on Biden, and crack down illegal immigration."
AdImpact reports that the group has spent more than $565,000 on state radio and TV advertising so far.
ICYMI: What other happenings around the world
Democrats attempted and failed Monday to pass legislation that would codify the rights to abortion in federal law. This raises the stakes for Supreme Court as it considers Roe v Wade's future and increases the likelihood that the issue will be a major topic during the midterms.
GOP leaders denounced Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) -- for speaking to white nationalists.
The Atlantic profile Arizona Secretary-of-State and gubernatorial hopeful Katie Hobbs.