April 24, 2014

Why Landrieu Has a Chance to Win

Wall Street Journal: "The political arms of large corporations have given nearly five times as much money to Sen. Mary Landrieu as to her Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy... Industry groups have run television advertisements supporting her re-election. And several big Washington trade associations that normally back Republicans, led by energy groups, are throwing their support behind the incumbent."

Morning Line: "Of all the Democrats running, Landrieu's race may be the most important. In many ways, she's a keystone. It's hard to see Democrats holding the Senate if she loses, but it's also hard to see them losing the Senate if she wins."

Nelson Says He's 'Tempted' to Run for Florida Governor

"Despite assurances that he's not planning to run for governor, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson told a group of local business leaders Wednesday he's tempted to run because he doesn't like where Florida is headed," the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

"Speculation has mounted that Nelson might enter the governor's race if Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist stumbles in challenging Scott."

Will Brown's Run Hurt Massachusetts Republicans?

"Scott Brown's entrance into New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race has created a political and media firestorm that some analysts believe will damage critical underpinnings of Charlie Baker's gubernatorial candidacy in Massachusetts," the Boston Globe reports.

"Many of the state and national Republican resources that would have been showered on Baker's race for governor -- in terms of fund-raising, strategists, and manpower -- will now be directed at Brown's challenge to Senator Jeanne Shaheen."

Bonus Quote of the Day

"No one in either party today brings the level of missionary zeal to the task that Rand Paul does.... Spend five minutes with Paul and it's clear he doesn't care what you look like or where you're from. He's beating the bushes for anyone who prizes liberty.... He's having fun too. And that's contagious."

-- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), writing for Time magazine.

McCain Predicts Big Campaign Finance Scandal

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says there will be "a major scandal" as a result of the Supreme Court's recent decisions to relax campaign finance laws, The Hill reports.

Said McCain: "We're at the height of corruption thanks to the United States Supreme Court. I predict there will be a major scandal because there is too much money washing around."

Quote of the Day

"Would you call and tell my mom?"

-- Jeb Bush, quoted by Politico, in a reference to his mother Barbara Bush's comments that there have been enough Bushes in the White House.

Tight Race in Colorado

A new Quinnipiac poll in Colorado finds Sen. Mark Udall (D) barely edging challenger Cory Gardner (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 44%.

Colorado voters are divided 42% to 42% in their approval of the job Udall is doing as a U.S. Senator and say by 46% to 40% he does not deserve to be reelected.

Thune Won't Make White House Bid

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) "has ruled out a bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2016," the Huffington Post reports.

Said Thune: "I am not running for president. But I know a lot of my colleagues are and I think that you probably have to, if you're going to get serious about it, get going pretty quickly."

Networks Fight For Clinton Interview

"Hillary Clinton's forthcoming book is setting up a battle of the network stars," the Washington Post reports.

"With Clinton's memoir, Hard Choices, a likely bestseller and possible curtain-raiser on her 2016 presidential ambitions, the television networks have begun jockeying to be the first to interview the former first lady and secretary of state when her publicity campaign begins in a few weeks."

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.

Listen here:

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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."

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