It’s time for Episode 59 of the Nerdcast, POLITICO’s podcast on the White House and politics. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter.
First segment: The shooting in Virginia that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others at a practice for the Republican congressional baseball team. Has divisive political rhetoric inspired violence? Is the divisiveness of this era different than it’s been in the past?
Datapoint: 12. About a dozen Republican megadonors, collectively representing hundreds of millions of dollars in political giving, gathered with President Donald Trump’s legislative director in the White House last week, to try to rally support for the Trump agenda. The meeting came days after legislative director Marc Short acknowledged that the Russia investigation has hampered that agenda — and on the same day James Comey testified before Congress.
Datapoint: 1.3. That was Republican Ed Gillespie’s margin of victory in the Virginia gubernatorial primaries Tuesday night. As listeners may recall from last week, we were focused on the Democratic side; Gillespie was expected to skate to the finish line.