Inside the Beltway: MAGA mania takes over as slogan splits party, riles rivals

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Former President Donald Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” motto emerged in 2016 and quickly morphed into the ultra-efficient “MAGA” acronym, which became both an effective public speaking device and campaign theme.

Political rivals are also fond of it.

“MAGA Republicans’ economic plans: tax handouts for the ultra wealthy, hikes for working families,” advised the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday, in a communication from its “War Room” shared with Inside the Beltway.

Then there’s a serious “MAGA poll” to consider, from YouGov.

“The MAGA movement divides the Republican Party. Just about as many self-identified Republicans say they identify as MAGA Republicans (41%) as say they do not (44%). The rest (15%) aren’t sure. MAGA Republicans are more likely than non-MAGA Republicans to identify as ‘very conservative.’ Republican men (47%) are more likely than Republican women (34%) to say they are part of MAGA. Half of born-again Christians (49%) say they identify this way,” YouGov said in a brief analysis.

MAGA and non-MAGA Republicans do differ on some matters, such as their views of Mr. Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Vast majorities of MAGA Republicans view each man favorably, but Trump’s majority is larger (94% for Trump, 82% for DeSantis) and far more say they have a “very favorable” view of Trump (72%) than of DeSantis (47%). Most non-MAGA Republicans like both men, too, but more view DeSantis very favorably (40%) than view Trump that way (24%),” it advised.

MAGA is also a handy addition to media headlines. Here’s a few from the past 48 hours.

“Biden Slams MAGA Republicans for wanting to ‘cede the future to China’” (The Daily Mail); “Overreach, rather than oversight: Jordan and MAGA GOP skating beyond the law” (The Hill); “Why some MAGA voters won’t protest for Trump” (Christian Science Monitor); “Biden: MAGA Republicans are threatening to undo all this economic progress” (Real Clear Politics); “Joe Biden says GOP risks ceding U.S. tech leadership to China: ‘I’ve got news for you and for MAGA Republicans in Congress: not on my watch’” (Fortune); and “Elon Musk invites Twitter fact-checker community to check Biden’s condemnation of ‘MAGA’ Republicans” (Fox News).


His campaign now describes him as a “presidential candidate and political outsider.” That would be Republican hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, who has just announced a six-figure, two-week advertising blitz across Iowa and New Hampshire. The ad buy is part of a multi-million dollar ad campaign in the early states over the next several months. His outreach is now underway.

“I am a successful entrepreneur and I’m running for president of the United States. We are in the middle of a national identity crisis,” Mr. Ramaswamy says in the 30-second spot.

“Faith, patriotism and hard work have disappeared. Wokeness, gender ideology and the climate cult have taken their place. We spend so much time celebrating our diversity that we forget the values that bind us together. I believe deep in my bones those values still exist,” the candidate advised.


Presidential candidate Nikki Haley has revealed she soon will visit the southern U.S. border, specifically Eagle Pass, accompanied by Rep. Tony Gonzales, Texas Republican. The pair will hold a press conference of course.

“They will address the ongoing border crisis caused by the Biden-Harris administration,” her campaign noted in a press release.

She is the first of the 2024 presidential hopefuls to visit the border, by the way. She arrives there Monday afternoon.


The old protest signs and public demonstrations from the anti-war era are going academic. Literally.

“New minor in protest art offered at University of Maryland,” reads the headline at the College Fix, an insightful student-written news site.
“Creative Placemaking” is among the new offerings at the school.

“Coined by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2010, ‘creative placemaking’ is the collaboration of artists and designers with local residents and stakeholders to address community challenges and opportunities,” the university’s media team told the College Fix.

Mural design, storytelling, public policy, “pop-up installations,” “disruptive innovations,” and events are among the many alternatives for students.

“It is part of the Big Ten university’s ‘Arts for All’ initiative which makes the school ‘a national leader in leveraging the combined power of the arts, technology and social justice to collaboratively address grand challenges,’” the College Fix analysis noted.


Just in time for the grand opening of MLB season, perhaps?

Baseball fans already are likely familiar with ballpark prices — which can be something to be reckoned with according to Axios, which has done a check on those prices, based on games played by 30 U.S. teams in 2022.

The estimates here are for four adult-priced tickets, parking for one car, two hats, two beers, four sodas and four hot dogs. And the results: The Boston Red Sox has the highest priced entry total for a party of four, weighing in at $385. The Arizona Diamondbacks were the cheapest at $152.

And just a few more teams here: New York Yankees ($349); Washington Nationals; ($321); Atlanta Braves ($256); Minnesota Twins ($227); Baltimore Orioles ($203); and Pittsburgh Pirates ($199).

“No peanuts here. A breakdown of the typical cost to see a live Major League Baseball last year puts the national average at $256,” the bios analysis note


• 31% of U.S. adults say the economy is the most important issue facing the U.S.

• 20% say preserving democracy is the most important issue.

• 9% say health care is the most important issue.

• 8% cite immigration; 8% cite climate change.

• 7% cite crime, 6% cite gun policy.

• 5% cite abortion, 4% cite education.

• 1% are unsure about the issue.

SOURCE: An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll of 1,237 U.S. adults conducted March 20-27.

• Find Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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