April 23, 2014

Conversation with Rob Christensen

Rob Christensen, often called "the dean of North Carolina political reporters," joins us on the Political Wire podcast for a deep dive into Tar Heel politics and a U.S. Senate race that may be the bellwether for the midterm elections.

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How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014

A must-read: How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014 by Colin Delany.

Georgia Now Allows Guns Almost Anywhere

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed legislation "that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms," the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

The bill, "which passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session, allows Georgians to legally carry firearms in a wide range of new places, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings. A recent analysis also said it could let felons use the state's 'stand your ground' rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened."

Intoxicated Girl Rushed from Prime Minister's Home

A severely intoxicated 18-year-old girl was taken to the hospital last weekend from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's residence, the National Post reports.

Conservatives Don't Want Bush to Run

A new Economist/YouGov poll finds just 18% of self-identified conservatives want Jeb Bush to run for president in 2016.

Other findings: "26% of Republicans want Bush to run. That puts him behind Paul, at 36%, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 30%. Some 35% of Republicans do not want Bush to run."

Meanwhile, Fox News reports Bush confirmed he's "thinking about running for president," in his most direct statement yet about a possible 2016 run.

Why Government Fails So Often

A fascinating new book: Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better by Peter Schuck.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"We can't be against everything. We've got to have a forward-looking program, whether it's immigration, or foreign policy, or education."

-- Bob Dole, in an interview with Politico, on the Republican party.

On Wonk Wire

Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire:

Walker Holds Small Lead in Wisconsin

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Wisconsin finds Gov. Scott Walker (R) leading challenger Mary Burke (D) by just three points, 48% to 45%.

Key finding: "Burke's increased support is likely a function of her name recognition increasing significantly over the last seven months. In September only 39% of voters had an opinion about her but that has spiked to 71% with voters pretty evenly split on her- 36% rate her favorably, 35% unfavorably."

Bonus Quote of the Day

"Ideological people don't give you a whole lot of money."

-- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by Politico.

Florida Lawmaker Arrested for DUI

Florida state Rep. Dane Eagle (R), who argued just last month that elected officials need to be "held to a higher standard," was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the Huffington Post reports.

Landrieu Aggressively Defends Obamacare

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) told Greg Sargent she would campaign aggressively against challenger Bill Cassidy's (R) opposition to the Medicaid expansion in her state and "offered a spirited defense" of the Affordable Care Act.

Said Landrieu: "It's a solid law that needs improvement. My opponent offers nothing but repeal, repeal, and repeal. And even with all the law's setbacks, we're seeing benefits for thousands of people in Louisiana."

She added: "I think the benefits that people have received are worth fighting for."

Wonk Wire: Obamacare's Medicaid expansion a great deal for states

Hickenlooper Leads All Challengers

A new Quinnipiac poll in Colorado finds that margins of 19 percentage points or more among women, and smaller margins among independent voters keep Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) ahead of all of his possible Republican challengers.

Candidate Attacked for Link to Weather Underground

New Mexico Republicans ripped into gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber (D) for accepting the endorsement of former Weather Underground co-founder Mark Rudd and attending a recent fundraiser at the home of Rudd and his wife, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.

GOP Candidate Urges Parents to Pull Kids Out of School

South Carolina lieutenant governor candidate Ray Moore (R) said that Christian parents should pull their children out of the "godless" and "pagan" public school system, the Huffington Post reports.

Said Moore: "We cannot win this war we're in as long as we keep handing our children over to the enemy to educate."

He added: "It cannot be fixed, the socialistic model, and we need to abandon that. As conservatives and Christians, if you think you're going to win this war you're in, and leave your children in those schools, it will not happen."

Southern Senate Races Remain Close

The New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation polled four key Senate races in the South:

Arkansas: Sen. Mark Pryor (D) 46%, Tom Cotton (R) 36%

Kentucky: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) 44%, Alison Lundergran Grimes (D) 43%

Louisiana: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) 42%, Bill Cassidy (R) 18%

North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan (D) 42%, Thom Tillis (R) 40%

The Upshot: "The survey underscores a favorable political environment over all for Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas -- states President Obama lost in 2012 and where his disapproval rating runs as high as 60 percent. But it also shows how circumstances in each state are keeping them in play for the Democrats a little more than six months before the midterm elections."

Quote of the Day

"I thought I was a conservative, but we've got some in Congress now who are so far right they're about to fall out of the Capitol."

-- Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), quoted by the Washington Post.

Scottish Independence Poll Tracker

With the referendum less than six months away, the Financial Times finds more voters currently opposed to Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom, 46% to 39%.

Perry Wants to Debate Cuomo

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) "is looking to brush up on his debate skills" with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), ABC News reports.

Said Perry: "A debate between the governors of two of the largest states in the country on policy issues such as taxes, government spending, education, regulations and legal reform would be beneficial to our states and our country as a whole."

Perry is in New York seeking to lure New York companies to Texas.

Missouri Republicans Seek to Impeach Governor

"A Missouri state House committee will hold hearings Wednesday into three proposed articles of impeachment against Gov. Jay Nixon (D), whom some Republicans say has committed offenses worthy of being removed from office," the Washington Post reports.

GOP Field in North Carolina Says Climate Change Is Not Fact

"Fittingly, all four Republican candidates in the North Carolina Senate race were asked on Earth Day if they believed climate change is a proven fact. And all four candidates said 'no.'" TPM reports.

"The answer is the latest example of how the field has taken steps to out flank each other on the right as they vie for the nomination to face Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) in the general election, which is roughly a month away."

April 22, 2014

Cuomo Holds Landslide Lead

A new SIena poll in New York finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) crushing Rob Astorino (R) in the race for governor, 58% to 28%.

Self-Funder Wins Primary to Replace Radel

Curt Clawson (R) won the Republican nomination in the Florida special-election race to replace former Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) -- "and he is now likely to be the district's next member of Congress," Roll Call reports.

"The tea party will likely claim credit for the win. Clawson overtly aligned himself with the conservative base of the party, but he also broke from the crowd thanks to his own self-funding. He loaned his campaign $2.65 million, according to his pre-primary Federal Election Report."

On Wonk Wire

Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire:

Quote of the Day

"If I was Tom and I was looking for some excitement, I wouldn't run as an independent for governor in a Republican state. He'd be better off if he bought a new sports car and got a girlfriend and got it out of his system."

-- Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, quoted by CNN, on Tom Ervin joining the gubernatorial race.

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