Get Political Wire by Email:

October 21, 2014

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"I mean, realistically, my political career is probably over."

-- Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D), quoted by Politico, reflecting on the sexting scandal that forced him to resign from Congress.

Gardner Leads in Colorado

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado finds Cory Gardner (R) leading Sen. Mark Udall (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 43%.

In the race for governor, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) barely edges challenger Bob Beauprez (R), 45% to 44%.

A new Monmouth poll has Gardner ahead 47% to 46%.

What Is Russia Up To Now?

Foreign Policy: "What first sounded like something straight out of a Tom Clancy novel is turning out to be Moscow's first serious test of Western resolve since the invasion of Crimea earlier this year. While details are patchy and the situation is still unfolding, three separate credible eyewitness accounts and a photo showing a dark structure descending into the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea seem to confirm the presence of a foreign submarine or mini-sub some 30 miles from Stockholm. If so, this would be a major escalation of tensions in the Baltic Sea region."

"Adding to the mystery are other reports of a North Sea-bound Russian container ship sailing under a Liberian flag hovering outside Swedish territorial waters. Defense analysts have speculated that this might be the submarine's mother ship. In response to these chilling developments, the Swedish military has launched one of its biggest military operations in decades, involving some 200 men, a number of stealth ships, minesweepers, and helicopters to locate the suspected sub and its crew."

Bonus Quote of the Day

"It's not going to be an easy election, it's a close election. Like I said, much closer than I can even understand why. I don't want to say anything about your Wisconsin voters but, some of them might not be as sharp as a knife."

-- RNC co-chair Sharon Day, quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, while campaigning in Wisconsin.

McConnell Pays for Enthusiam

The Kentucky Republican Party is offering volunteers all-expenses-paid trips to join Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) campaign bus tour and "contribute to an enthusiastic atmosphere" at his events, The Hill reports.

Haley Headed for a Big Win in South Carolina

A new Charleston Post and Courier poll in South Carolina finds Gov. Nikki Haley (R) headed for a landslide victory over Vincent Shaheen (D), 51% to 31%, with Tom Ervin (I) at 11%.

Senate Math May Hinge on Kansas and Georgia

Charlie Cook: "The prospects remain very tough for Democrats to hold onto their majority in the Senate, but there is a new scenario emerging--albeit still unlikely--that is turning the majority math a bit on its head."

"As I have said previously, Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take the majority. The question has generally been whether Republicans just need to knock off six Democratic seats to get to 51, or if they will need to gross seven seats in order to net six. Now there appears to be a real question as to whether Republicans may need to gross eight seats in order to net six, covering for the potential loss of not just Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas but an open seat in Georgia as well."

Obama's Bigger Plan for Klain

Administration insiders tell Mike Allen that Ron Klain, who starts Wednesday as the White House Ebola czar, will be in line to succeed John Podesta as counselor to President Obama when Podesta leaves, likely to chair Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Said the source: "The president has been talking to Ron about different roles for a long time, and he wouldn't accept the Ebola job unless there was a promise of something bigger."

McConnell Has Slight Edge in Kentucky

A new Western Kentucky University poll in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) with a three-point lead over challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), 45% to 42%.

Justice Suspended in Email Porn Scandal

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery was suspended with pay by a 4-1 vote of his court colleagues, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reports.

"He becomes the latest in a sad parade of high-ranking state officials, and the first judge, to be forced from office for participating in an apparently longstanding, friends-only pornographic email ring centered in the Tom Corbett-era Attorney General's office."

Obama Doesn't See Himself as a Supreme Court Justice

President Obama told Jeffrey Toobin that he's not very interested in being on the Supreme Court, despite his background in constitutional law.

Said Obama: "I don't think I have the temperament to sit in a chamber and write opinions. I love the law, intellectually. I love nutting out these problems, wrestling with these arguments. I love teaching. I miss the classroom and engaging with students. But I think being a Justice is a little bit too monastic for me. Particularly after having spent six years and what will be eight years in this bubble, I think I need to get outside a little bit more."

McCain Sets Meeting to Discuss Re-Election

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has scheduled a breakfast meeting for Nov. 6 in Arizona where he will discuss with supporters his "thoughts" on seeking re-election in 2016, the Arizona Republic reports.

Earlier this month, McCain told reporters that the odds of him running again in 2016 "are pretty good."

Quote of the Day

"One of the nice things about being home is actually that it's a little bit like a time capsule. Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there's still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills (laughter) -- I think eventually they got paid -- but they're sort of stacked up. And messages, newspapers and all kinds of stuff."

-- President Obama, quoted by the Weekly Standard, at a fundraiser in Chicago. An official transcript later deleted the reference to unpaid bills.

Snyder Holds Small Lead in Michigan

A new Mitchell poll in Michigan finds Gov. Rick Snyder (R) edging challenger Mark Schauer (D) in the race for governor, 48% to 46%.

In the U.S. Senate race, Gary Peters (D) leads Terri Lynn Land (R), 51% to 38%.

Americans Are Self-Segregating by Political Views

John Avlon: "What's changed? Well, the two parties in Congress are more ideologically and geographically polarized than at any time in our recent history. But we've had deep divisions in our politics before. And yes, the Wingnuts seem to have an outsize influence on our politics debates. But we've had extremists in our politics before."

"What's different is the proliferation of partisan media via cable news and the Internet. Amid unprecedented access to information, our fellow citizens are self-segregating themselves into separate political realities. That's the conclusion of a compelling, if depressing, new study by the Pew Research Center on political polarization and media habits."

Spending Already for Hillary

"Hillary Clinton's friendly super-PAC is spending roughly $23,000 a day - nearly as much as it's bringing in - as it builds a database of supporters and donors for a possible 2016 Democratic presidential bid," Bloomberg reports.

"Viewed another way: Getting Ready for Hillary costs her supporters about $2 million per quarter, covering expenses for everything from political consultants to voter databases to Des Moines hotel rooms."

Republicans Using Romney's Email List to Win Senate

Time reports that Mitt Romney's digital operation may have been a generation behind President Obama's effort, "but his email list has proven to be a potent fundraising too for the party as it looks for victory this fall."

"In the past week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has emailed the list no fewer than 16 times, many times with emails addressed from Romney himself, while the National Republican Congressional Committee, House Republican's campaign arm, has used it at least once."

Republicans Continue to Push Travel Ban

"Republican leaders, conceding the futility of a flight ban from Ebola-afflicted West Africa, are refining their response to the outbreak, pressing to suspend visas for travelers and create 'no boarding' lists," the New York Times reports.

"But a supercharged political atmosphere is making legislative nuance difficult two weeks before midterm elections and days before a hearing on Friday on the Ebola response called by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a panel riven by partisan division. Republicans on the campaign trail continue to goad Democrats to embrace a broad travel ban, although no direct flights to the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea exist."

GOP Risks Backlash on Immigration

New York Times: "Republicans have long relied on illegal immigration to rally the conservative base, even if the threat seemed more theoretical than tangible in most of the country. But in several of this year's midterm Senate campaigns -- including Arkansas and Kansas, as well as New Hampshire -- Republicans' stance on immigration is posing difficult questions about what the party wants to be in the longer term."

"Some Republicans are questioning the cost of their focus on immigration. Campaigning on possible threats from undocumented immigrants -- similar to claims that President Obama and the Democrats have left the country vulnerable to attacks from Islamic terrorists and the Ebola virus -- may backfire after November. At that point, the party will have to start worrying about its appeal beyond the conservative voters it needs to turn out in midterm elections."

Why House Republicans Alienate the Hispanic Vote

Nate Cohn: "Political analysts keep urging the Republican Party to do more to appeal to Hispanic voters. Yet the party's congressional leaders show little sign of doing so, blocking an immigration overhaul and harshly criticizing President Obama for his plan to defer deportation for undocumented migrants."

"There's a simple reason that congressional Republicans are willing to risk alienating Hispanics: They don't need their votes, at least not this year."

October 20, 2014

Cotton Surges Ahead in Arkansas

A new Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College poll in Arkansas finds Tom Cotton (R) leading Sen. Mark Pryor (D) by eight points in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 41%.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"We've got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn't win. And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me."

-- President Obama, quoted by the Weekly Standard.

Top Alabama Republican Indicted on Corruption Charges

Mike Hubbard (R), "speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and a powerful leader in the state Republican Party, has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with 23 counts, including using his office for personal gain and soliciting things of value," the Birmingham News reports.

Runoff Increasingly Likely in Louisiana

A new FOX 8 News-Raycom Media Poll in Louisiana finds Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) leads the U.S. Senate race with Bill Cassidy (R), 36% to 32%, with Rob Maness at 6%.

The race is almost certain to head to a runoff. Cassidy leads a two-way race with Landrieu, 43% to 40%.

McConnell Barely Ahead in Kentucky

A new Bluegrass Poll in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) barely leading Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), 44% to 43%, with Libertarian candidate David Paterson at 5%.

Previous Entries


Political Wire Podcast Engaging conversations about elections and the political issues of the day. Subscribe via iTunes or RSS to get episodes automatically downloaded.