NEWS AND OPINION:
It is an unusual request from a White House hopeful, perhaps. Entrepreneur, author and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has released a fundraising video revealing that he seeks only $1 from each potential donor.
“This is not just a political campaign. It is a cultural movement to revive our answer to what it means to be an American. Yes, I am an America First conservative. I am all in for it. But in order to put America first, we need to rediscover what America is. And that is what I am doing. I am running because I believe I am your best chance to deliver that to this country,” Mr. Ramaswamy says in a new, 90-second campaign video released Monday.
“I believe we can succeed. I believe in a landslide election next year if we get this right. The way I want to start is from the bottom up, through grassroots support. One-dollar donations — that’s what I want. I don’t need a big donation, I want a $1 donation,” he continued.
“This year we’re going to define the question of the what and the why. What do we stand for? It’s not about me. It’s not about any other candidate. It’s about what we stand for as a movement. Next year the voters in this country get to pick who’s going to be the best person to take that to the Oval Office. Thanks a lot, join the movement. And again, this is my ask: $1 at Vivek2024.com,” the candidate concluded.
SO WHO’S OUR ENEMY?
Americans have their own opinions about which nation is the “greatest enemy” of the U.S. A Gallup “world affairs” survey reveals the particulars.
“For the third year in a row, Americans are most likely to mention China as the United States’ greatest enemy in the world today. When asked the open-ended question, 50% of Americans say China is their nation’s greatest enemy, with most of the rest, 32%, naming Russia. North Korea, which was viewed as the greatest enemy in 2018, is now a distant third at 7%,” reports Mohamed Younis, editor in chief of Gallup’s digital news page.
He noted that the poll results coincided with press coverage of China-based surveillance balloons over U.S. territory — along with another influence.
“There has also been growing concern in the U.S. about China’s alleged backing of Russia in the Ukraine conflict and its association with the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Younis wrote.
“China’s position atop this year’s list is notable for extending the longest stretch of time such a large proportion of Americans have agreed on what country represents the United States’ greatest enemy. The highest level of consensus on this question since Gallup launched it in 2001 was for North Korea in 2018, with 51% naming it. But that tumbled to 14% the following year after former President Donald Trump worked to defuse U.S.-North Korea tensions,” he said.
See the particulars of the Gallup findings in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
The price of tying the knot continues to escalate.
“Spending for weddings increased to $29,195 in 2022 up 7.3% from $27,063 in 2021. This is another increase over the 2021 increase of 25%. Most of the increase in 2022 is based on higher service demand and inflationary pressure,” advises the Wedding Report, an industry source.
Here’s a few particulars: The average price of a wedding gown is $1,571, the price up by 4.6% since last year. The typical wedding cake weighs in at $507, up by 10.5%. Wedding food service in general runs an average of $5,195 — up by 19.8% since last year, while the bar service cost $2,673 — also up by 19.8%, the report said.
That sparkling engagement ring averages $3,970 — up by 9.2% — while the services of a typical wedding planner average $3,239 — up by 14.8%.
The data is based on 26,804 “proprietary surveys and behavioral data samples” obtained from couples who were getting married in 2022. The samples covered 57 types of wedding expenses and service in 17 categories, were collected in 2022 and released Tuesday.
NOT SO CONVINCED
Uh-oh. President Biden does not have a lock on the hearts of New Hampshire Democrats. The state maintains its “First in the Nation” primary status in presidential elections — and its homespun affection for the candidates is closely followed by analysts looking for potential trends in the outcome of the big race.
“Most Granite State Democrats like the job Joe Biden is doing as president, but only a third want him to be their party’s nominee in 2024,” reports the New Hampshire Journal, which polled 800 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters.
“Among likely Democratic primary voters, Biden has a 67% job approval rating — a relatively weak performance for an incumbent president. But more concerning for Biden backers was just 32% want him to be renominated in 2024. A plurality, 44%, would prefer a different nominee,” the Journal said.
And the findings get more dismal after that.
“Offered a list of names, the top choice was ‘undecided’ at 31%, followed by Biden at 30%. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was at 15% and Sen. Bernie Sanders at 12%. Nobody else broke double digits, including Kamala Harris, who was the choice of just three percent of respondents,” the Journal noted.
The poll of 844 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters was conducted March 1-3 by the publication, which is found at NHJournal.com.
POLL DU JOUR
• 50% of U.S. adults think that China is the United States’ “greatest enemy”; 76% of Republicans, 46% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.
• 32% overall think Russia is the nation’s greatest enemy; 12% of Republicans, 32% of independents and 53% of Democrats agree.
• 7% overall think North Korea is the nation’s greatest enemy; 5% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.
• 2% overall think Iran is the nation’s greatest enemy; 1% of Republicans, 3% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.
• 1% overall think “the U.S. itself” is the nation’s greatest enemy; 1% of Republicans, 2% of independents and 1% of Democrats agree.
• 1% overall think that Afghanistan is the nation’s greatest enemy; 1% of Republicans, 0% of independents and 1% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 1,008 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 1-23 and released Monday.
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