April 23, 2014

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 (D) 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.

Unnamed Lawmaker Under Investigation

An unnamed House member is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, Roll Call reports.

"According to the three-page OCE quarterly report, which disclosed no member names, the Ethics Committee will release the name of a new member under investigation no later than Sunday -- meaning the announcement will likely come by Friday."

GOP Voters Overwhelmingly Opposed to Gay Marriage

A new American Values/Family Research Council survey of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents finds that 82% said they agree that marriage should be confined as being only between a man and a woman and that 75% "completely disagreed" that officials should be working to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.

Missouri Mayor Quits Before Impeachment

Marionville, Missouri Mayor Dan Clevenger "resigned Monday night for making anti-Semitic comments in the wake of the arrest of white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller and after aldermen voted 4-1 to start the impeachment process," the Springfield News-Leader reports.

How Senate Forecasts Compare

The New York Times has a very nice comparison chart of the forecasts made by the top election handicappers.

Romney Donates to McDonnell Legal Defense Fund

Mitt Romney "has made a personal donation of $10,000 to former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell's legal defense fund," the Washington Post reports.

"McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted in January on federal charges of bribery and fraud involving their relationship with a prominent Virginia businessman and campaign donor. The McDonnells are scheduled to face trial in July."

Bevin Loses Campaign Spokeswoman

"In the final weeks of the Kentucky Republican primary election, U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin's (R) chief spokeswoman has left the campaign for an unknown reason," WFPL reports.

"At least two field operatives have also left the Bevin campaign in recent weeks even as the Tea Party-backed candidate is beginning to run television ads refuting many of McConnell's attacks."

Paranoia May Prevent Immigration Vote

Charlie Cook: "Although the Senate did pass comprehensive immigration reform last year, the chances of any kind of significant reform passing the House this year are low at best. Optimists hope that in June or July, after many Republican incumbents have their primaries behind them, or possibly in a lame-duck session after the election, the House will take up the issue. The smart money is against that happening."

"First, the votes just don't seem to be there. Second, House Republican insiders, even those who privately would like to see a bill pass, are pessimistic because many in their ranks do not trust that Obama and the Democrats won't hang them out to dry. Their fear is that even if the House passed something, which would undoubtedly create enormous divisions and political problems in their conservative base, they have little confidence that Democrats wouldn't move the goalposts on them, leaving the GOP with no progress on immigration reform but having a badly divided party."

Lawmaker Scraps Plan to Make Bible the Official State Book

Louisiana state Rep. Thomas Carmody (R) "scrapped his proposal to make the Holy Bible the official state book before it could go to a full vote of the state House of Representatives," the New Orleans Times Picayune reports.

"The bill had become a distraction, he said. In introducing the legislation, Carmody always maintained he was not taking steps to establish a state religion, but rather to educate people."

Another Bridge Scandal in New Jersey Pops Up

"The George Washington Bridge may not be the only one used in an apparent act of political retribution by appointees of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and a familiar name in that scandal has surfaced anew," CNN reports.

"Last year, the mayor of Jersey City was supposed to meet with the state's transportation commissioner about a construction project that would temporarily close a section of the Pulaski Skyway, an aging bridge and elevated highway badly in need of an overhaul. But when Democrat Steven Fulop decided not to cross party lines and publicly support Christie's re-election, a meeting with Commissioner James Simpson was canceled."

Interviews point fingers at a former Christie deputy, Bridget Anne Kelly, who last summer apparently authored the now-infamous email: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

Boozman to Undergo Heart Surgery

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) is undergoing emergency heart surgery, Roll Call reports.

His office confirmed a report from the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, but did not provide any further details other than to note in a statement that he "is receiving excellent care."

Supreme Court Says States May End Affirmative Action

"A splintered Supreme Court voted 6-2 that states may end racial preferences without violating the U.S. Constitution," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"The case came from Michigan, which in 2006 passed a voter initiative ending racial preferences. A federal appeals court had struck down the measure, finding that it served to disadvantage minorities in the political process."

"Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for a plurality, said that the case wasn't about resolving the debate over affirmative action, but rather 'who may resolve it.' He wrote the Constitution doesn't forbid voters from ending the practice, which was instituted by officials at the University of Michigan and other state agencies."

Republicans Ignore Earth Day

National Journal: "For years, mentions of Earth Day have sprung up each April from members of both parties. In April 2010, Democrats spoke of Earth Day over 150 times, mostly in commemoration of its 40th anniversary. But no Republican has uttered the words "Earth Day" on the House or Senate floor since 2010."

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