A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
All eyes will be on New Hampshire on Tuesday (January 23) for the Granite State’s presidential primaries, with much attention likely focused on Nikki Haley’s performance. Haley came in third in Iowa, where former president Donald Trump secured a dominant victory that some are already arguing shows the race for the GOP nomination is effectively over. If under-pressure Haley fails to at least come close to Trump on Tuesday, expect many more voices to declare Trump the party’s presumptive nominee. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is a distant third in New Hampshire polls, returns to South Carolina over the weekend, though he’s due back in New Hampshire next week ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
For Democrats, Tuesday’s primary is an unusual one: Joe Biden’s name won’t appear on the ballot after the DNC, at the behest of the White House, shook up its primary calendar to make South Carolina the first state to vote on February 3. One name that will be appearing on ballots, though, is that of Dean Phillips, the Minnesota Congressman waging a long-shot challenge against Biden for his party’s nomination on the basis that Biden is too old to seek another term. But Phillips has struggled to gain momentum, and it’s hard to imagine him staying in the race if the unofficial write-in campaign for Biden sees him win the primary. Biden, who plans to be in Virginia on Tuesday as New Hampshire votes, will be paying his latest visit to the Palmetto State next weekend, when he’s due to headline a dinner on Saturday (January 27) celebrating the state’s new position in the party’s primary calendar.
With control of the Senate and House also at stake in November, Monday (January 22) will also see the first primary debates in California’s race to permanently fill the Senate seat once held by Dianne Feinstein and Ohio’s Republican primary for the seat held by Democrat Sherrod Brown, which Republicans are hopeful of flipping in November. There’s also a debate on Thursday (January 25) in the Republican primary for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, where Rep. Lauren Boebert is running after she announced she was switching from the 3rd Congressional District, where her likely Democratic opponent Adam Frisch was significantly outraising her.
Back in DC, keep an eye out as well for developments in negotiations on an agreement on the supplemental funding bill that includes critical aid to Ukraine in exchange for new border security measures. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell both struck an optimistic tone about potential floor action next week following their talks at the White House on Wednesday.
Round two of the Barbenheimer battle heats up on Tuesday (January 23) with the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations. The two blockbuster films, released on the same week in July, are joined by Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon as the films most likely to win the coveted Best Picture award. Unlike at the box office, critics predict Oppenheimer will claim the crown, as well as the best actor gong for Irishman and Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel presents the awards for the fourth time.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who used his annual press conference this week to announce Moscow had rejected proposals to resume nuclear arms control talks because of Washington’s support for Ukraine, will be in New York on Monday (January 22) to attend a Security Council meeting expected that day on the conflict.
On Tuesday (January 23), he’ll participate in the Council’s quarterly debate on the situation in the Middle East, likely dominated by the conflict in Gaza but now almost certain to also include a discussion on US-led strikes on Yemen’s Houthis in response to attacks on ships in Red Sea. All three conflicts will also be on the agenda at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday (January 22), who will be joined by counterparts from Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well as Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Following his visit to Davos earlier this week, firebrand Argentinian president Javier Milei will face the first major challenge to his radical policy prescription for the ailing Latin American country when unions hold a general strike and major protest on Wednesday (January 24). The shows of opposition are timed to take place the day before a planned vote on Milei’s omnibus legislation, with a modified version of the bill due before the National Congress on Thursday (January 25) following committee sessions earlier in the week.
Amid tensions with Moscow, new NATO member Finland votes on its next president on Sunday (January 28). With popular president Sauli Niinistö, once dubbed the ‘Putin whisperer’ for his contacts with the Russian leader prior to the invasion, stepping down after two six-year terms in office, polls suggest a close race between right-leaning triathlete Alexander Stubb and Pekka Haavisto, the main left-leaning candidate who would make history by becoming the country’s first gay president. The Finnish president has considerable powers, notably when it comes to foreign and security policy, but unfortunately for Russia there’s little daylight between Stubb and Haavisto when it comes to the threat posed by Moscow. A runoff, if needed, takes place on February 11 and the winner will take office at the beginning of March.