Get Political Wire by Email:

October 23, 2014

Kitzhaber Plummets in Oregon

In the wake of a scandal involving Oregon's First Lady, a new SurveyUSA poll in Oregon finds Dennis Richardson (R) now leading Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) in the race for governor by 55% to 39%.

Richardson was stunned, telling KXL, "It was just amazing to see that kind of a flip. People finally have figured it out, that with cover-ups, waste, investigations, sweetheart deals, and pay-for-play they finally decided that's not going to work for Oregon's future."

Race for Colorado Governor a Toss Up

A new Quinnipiac poll in Colorado finds Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) now leads Bob Beauprez (R) in the race for governor, 45% to 44%.

Hickenlooper trailed by 10 points in a similar poll last month.

Abbott Headed for Landslide in Texas

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll finds Greg Abbott (R) has a 16-point lead over Wendy Davis (D) in the closing days of the race for Texas governor, 54% to 38%.

Said pollster Jim Henson: "The drama of the outcome is not who wins, but what the margin will be. Wendy Davis has not led in a single poll in this race."

Young Says Big Government Causes Suicide

After remarks deemed insensitive to a high school where a student had killed himself, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) doubled-down saying that suicide comes from federal government largesse "saying you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing," the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

He added: "When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting wood and catching the fish and killing the animals, we didn't have the suicide problem."

Quote of the Day

"There's no doubt that there's a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists. Sometimes he can be negligent in the symbolism."

-- David Axelrod, quoted by Businessweek, on President Obama's management style.

Rauner Jumps Into Lead for Illinois Governor

A new Chicago Tribune poll in Illinois finds Bruce Rauner (R) has surged ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn (D) in the race for governor, 45% to 43%.

"The findings represent a sharp turnaround from a similar survey conducted Sept. 3-12 that found Quinn with an 11 percentage point advantage over Rauner. The governor's race has tightened as voters become more focused on the campaign and both sides bombard the airwaves with tens of millions of dollars' worth of negative attack ads on television, radio and newspaper websites."

White House Plans for Staff Departures

"White House chief of staff Denis McDonough has asked senior aides to tell him if they're going to stick around for President Barack Obama's final two years in office, with a West Wing restructuring after the midterms possible," Politico reports.

"The process, which began in recent weeks, is focused on keeping people at the White House, with the expectation among senior administration officials that whoever's in place next summer would remain through the end of the presidency."

Parties Prepare for GOP Taking Control of Senate

"With Republicans looking increasingly likely to take control of the Senate, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are already considering how they will operate in the chamber if the levers of power are reversed," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"For Republicans, the prospect of controlling the Senate is sparking an early debate over whether to change the rules of the road, particularly those guiding nominations and the budget. Such rule changes are arcane but could have a big impact on legislation and who is confirmed to judicial- and executive-branch posts."

"Democrats, too, would face choices, including how much of an impediment they want to be to a GOP-run Congress and who will lead them in that fight."

New Hampshire Senate Race is Tight

A new CNN/ORC poll in New Hampshire shows Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) barely ahead of Scott Brown (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 47%.

GOP Still Favored to Win Senate

Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball: "The blunt math: Our present ratings leave Republicans with 49 seats and Democrats with 47 seats, with four Toss-ups: Georgia and Louisiana, which both might be heading to overtime, and Colorado and Kansas, where incumbents Udall and Roberts are in deep trouble -- especially Udall -- but retain a path to victory. To claim a majority, Republicans need to win half of the Toss-up states. Democrats need to win three of them to achieve a Biden Majority (a 50-50 draw with Vice President Joe Biden's tie-breaking vote giving Democrats the edge). Given the playing field, this arithmetic certainly advantages the GOP, but there is at least some chance that Democrats might pull off the unexpected."

Ernst Leads in Iowa

A new Quinnipiac poll in Iowa finds Joni Ernst (R) just ahead of Bruce Braley (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 46%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: "Throughout the campaign, Sen. Ernst has had an edge on likability. If she makes it across the finish line first that may be the key. Her campaign theme that she is the 'farm girl next door' who made good has taken her from unknown state legislator to a serious shot at the United States Senate."

Mayor Suspected in Disappearance of Teachers

"A Mexican mayor and his wife were 'probable masterminds' behind the disappearance of 43 student teachers last month in the restive southwest," Reuters reports.

"The students went missing on Sept. 26 from Iguala in the southwestern state of Guerrero, after they clashed with police. The incident sent shockwaves across Mexico and undermined President Enrique Pena Nieto's claims that Mexico is getting safer under his watch."

October 22, 2014

Paul Will Hold 2016 Strategy Session Next Month

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) "is summoning his top strategists and political advisers to Washington one week after the November election for a strategy session over his widely expected 2016 presidential bid," National Journal reports.

"The gathering of Paul's top lieutenants in the nation's capital has been quietly organized by Doug Stafford, his chief political strategist, who began reaching out to key figures in Paul's political world earlier this month... Stafford has told invitees to reserve Nov. 12 on their calendar both during the day and into the night. Paul himself is expected to attend some of the meetings."

Brown Just Ahead in Tight New Hampshire Race

A new New England College poll in New Hampshire finds Scott Brown (R) is slightly in front of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 47%.

Still Very Close in Wisconsin

A new Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College poll in Wisconsin finds Gov. Scott Walker (R) has a slight edge over challenger Mary Burke (D), 47% to 46%.

Democrats Get Back Into Kentucky

The DSCC is jumping back into the Kentucky Senate race after stopping its TV ad buy last week, The Hill reports.

A DSCC official confirmed the committee plans to spend another $650,000 on TV to bolster Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) and the Senate Majority PAC is also poised to go back on the air with a high six-figures TV buy.

"Though McConnell still likely has an edge, Democrats say the race has tightened over the past few days."

Udall Slips Behind in Colorado

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll in Colorado finds Cory Gardner (R) leading Sen. Mark Udall (D) in the U.S. Senate race by seven points, 46% to 39%.

Said pollster David Paleologos: "As President Obama goes, Mark Udall goes. Obama's unpopularity is significantly affecting Udall's chances for reelection in November, as his opponent has consistently tied him to President Obama. By the looks of both President Obama's and Mark Udall's unfavorability ratings, that message is beginning to stick with Colorado voters."

Crist Has Edge in Tight Florida Race

A new St. Leo University poll in Florida finds Charlie Crist (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott in the race for governor by three points, 43% to 40%.

LePage Can't Think of Anything Nice to Say About Rivals

When Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) was asked to say "a few good things" about his two challengers -- Mike Michaud (D) and Eliot Cutler (I) -- in last night's gubernatorial debate, he was left nearly speechless.

Said LePage: "My opponents? I don't know, I don't follow them."

Christie Wants to Make Sure Republicans Count the Votes

At a recent event, Gov. Chris Christie (R) "stressed the need to keep Republicans in charge of states -- and overseeing state-level voting regulations -- ahead of the next presidential election," the Bergen Record reports.

Said Christie: "Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?"

Iowa Race Remains Tight

A new Monmouth poll in Iowa finds Joni Ernst (R) with a one point lead over Bruce Braley (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 46%.

Key finding: "Early voters support Braley by a 54% to 41% margin over Ernst. However, Ernst has a 50% to 42% advantage among the two-thirds of the electorate who have yet to vote."

Rounds Knew of Conflict But Did Nothing

"U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rounds (R) as governor knew his Cabinet secretary, Richard Benda, was going to work for an investor in the Northern Beef Packers plant about the time he approved Benda's proposal to give the plant more state aid -- or found out immediately afterwards but was not alarmed," the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

From Richest to Poorest in Congress

For the first time, Roll Call has tallied the net worth of every member of Congress.

A Brutal Attack Ad in Michigan

In Michigan's 11th congressional district, Bobby McKenzie (D) has put out one of the toughest attack ads of the cycle in his uphill race against David Trott (R).

The Fix: "Trott is an attorney who specializes in foreclosures. The premise of the ad is the 2011 eviction of 101-year-old Texana Hollis from her Detroit home after missed payments by her son."

See more...

Baker Edges Ahead of Coakley in Massachusetts

For the first time in the WBUR weekly tracking poll, Charlie Baker (R) is leading Martha Coakley (D) in the race to become the next governor of Massachusetts, 43% to 42%.

Said pollster Steve Koczela: "It's one of several polls which over the last week or so have shown a movement toward Baker. Coakley has essentially been treading water while Baker's been climbing."

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.