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August 19, 2014


Rand Paul Won't Win Over Young Voters

Harry Enten: "It's a tantalizing theory for the right and a fun story for the media. But the data suggests that the senator from Kentucky has his work cut out for him. So far, Paul isn't doing much better among young voters than the Republican nominee in 2012, Mitt Romney, or than Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, is currently doing."




Obama Returns to Vacation

"President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha's Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place," The Hill reports.





Is Pat Roberts in Trouble?

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Kansas finds Sen. Pat Roberts (R) leading challenger Chad Taylor (D), 32% to 25%, with independent Greg Orman at 23%, and Libertarian Randall Batson at 3%.

Key finding: "As weak as a 32% standing is for an incumbent, that still gives him a pretty clear lead due to his opponents pretty much splitting the anti-Roberts vote evenly. But if one of them was to pull out Roberts would really be in trouble."

In the race for governor, Paul Davis (D) leads over Gov. Sam Brownback (R) by two points, 39% to 37%, with Libertarian candidate Keen Umbehr at 9%




Plouffe Joins Uber

Former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe announced he is joining Uber:

New York Times: "Mr. Plouffe, who ran President Obama's 2008 campaign, said he planned to run Uber's communication efforts much like a political race, pushing to woo consumers and regulators alike in the company's fast-paced expansion across the world."

Try Uber and get $30 off with this link.





Crist Wants to Campaign with Obama

Tampa Bay Times: "With Barack Obama's approval ratings lately barely cracking 40 percent, plenty of Democrats will keep their distance from the president heading into the midterms, just as Alex Sink did she when ran for governor in 2010. Not Charlie Crist, who said today he hopes to be campaigning side by side with the president."




Rauner Says He Nearly Punched Someone

Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (R) "revealed to a small group in a private meeting that the closest he was to punching someone in the governor's race came after a dust-up before last Spring's Greek parade" with Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) camp, the Chicago Sun Times reports.

"Quinn's campaign says it doesn't know what Rauner is talking about,"

See more...




Hagan Still Leads in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds Sen. Kay Hagan (D) leading challenger Thom Tillis (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 42% to 38%, with Libertarian Sean Haugh at 8%.

In a two way race, Hagan leads by just one point at 43% to 42%.




Perdue Builds Lead in Georgia

A new SurveyUSA poll confirms what many recent Georgia polls show: David Perdue (R) is building a solid lead over Michelle Nunn (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 50% to 41%.

In the race for governor, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) tops challenger Jason Carter (D), 48% to 39%.




Top GOP 2016 Hopefuls Embroiled in Scandal

NBC News: "Republican governors, once considered among the party's best hopes for taking back the White House, have suffered significant setbacks in recent months. And their legal and political woes - both large and small - have made the still-developing 2016 presidential race look even more unpredictable."

"What's more, it all comes as congressional Republicans battle low-approval numbers and with no clear heir apparent to be the GOP's next standard bearer."




Latest Senate Forecasts

The latest Monkey Cage forecast gives Republicans an 86% chance of winning control of the U.S. Senate after the midterm elections.

The Upshot gives Republicans a 58% chance.




Republicans Back Off Using Obamacare as Issue

"Republicans seeking to unseat the U.S. Senate incumbent in North Carolina have cut in half the portion of their top issue ads citing Obamacare, a sign that the party's favorite attack against Democrats is losing its punch," Bloomberg reports.

"The shift -- also taking place in competitive states such as Arkansas and Louisiana -- shows Republicans are easing off their strategy of criticizing Democrats over the Affordable Care Act now that many Americans are benefiting from the law and the measure is unlikely to be repealed."

"The party had been counting on anti-Obamacare sentiment to spur Republican turnout in its quest for a U.S. Senate majority, just as the issue did when Republicans took the House in 2010. Now, Republicans are seeking a new winning formula for an election less than three months away."

Wonk Wire: There's a reason Obamacare is working




Howard Dean Enthusiastically Backs Hillary Clinton

Howard Dean still thinks Hillary Clinton "will have a challenger in the Democratic field -- maybe several. But he won't be one of them. And if Clinton does run, Dean sounds like he's ready to join the team," CNN reports.

Said Dean: "I am a huge Hillary Clinton fan. I just am. Not because I hope to get a job. I know her; I've known her for a long time. I think she has an enormous mental capacity to do analysis and let the chips fall where they may. If she is president, which I hope she is, I think she is going to be a terrific president,"




Reid Thinks Democrats Will Lose South Dakota

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) believes Democrats will retain control of the U.S. Senate after the midterm elections but said he's most concerned about the open seat in South Dakota, where Sen. Tim Johnson (D) is stepping down, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

Said Reid: "We are going to lose in South Dakota, more than likely."

A new Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll finds Mike Rounds (R) leading Rick Weiland (D) by 25 points, 49% to 24%.




Perry Indictment May Help Him

National Journal: "What had first appeared a gross abuse of power seemed more reasonable given the revelation that the public official he sought to oust was caught driving very, very drunk... Casting the indictment as part of a liberal witch hunt, Perry stood behind his actions in media appearances over the weekend, and conservatives across the spectrum helped bolster his case... If anything, the indictment news cycle has been kind to Perry."

Jonathan Chait: "Perry may not be much smarter than a ham sandwich, but he is exactly as guilty as one."




Democrats Frustrated by Obama Indifference

The New York Times reports on a White House meeting with congressional leaders where President Obama quickly dismissed a request by Senate Majority Harry Reid to urge Republicans to stop blocking confirmation of his nominees.

Said Obama: "You and Mitch work it out."

"Mr. Reid seethed quietly for the rest of the meeting, according to four separate accounts provided by people who spoke with him about it. After his return to the Capitol that afternoon, Mr. Reid told other senators and his staff members that he was astonished by how disengaged the president seemed... But the impression the president left with Mr. Reid was clear: Capitol Hill is not my problem."




Inside the Koch Plan to Take Down Harry Reid

Sen. Harry Reid's (D-NV) reelection "is more than two years off, but the Koch brothers' political machine is already methodically laying the groundwork that will be used to try to take him out," Politico reports.

"The efforts in recent months have been largely subterranean, but they are unmistakable. A handful of nonprofit groups in the vast political network helmed by allies of the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch have established or expanded permanent ground operations in Reid's backyard. Focused on wooing key demographics like Latinos and veterans, they've also paid for ads assailing the Senate Democratic leader."




Americans Not Sure Police Shooting is About Race

A new Pew Research poll finds that the public overall is divided over whether Michael Brown's shooting by police in Ferguson, MO raises important issues about race or whether the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves: 44% think the case does raise important issues about race that require discussion, while 40% say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

Wonk Wire: Ferguson exposes the the calcifying system of inequity




Americans Back Iraq Airstrikes

A new Pew Research survey finds 54% of Americans say they approve of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq, while 31% disapprove.

"But while the public backs airstrikes, there is widespread concern about the U.S. becoming too involved in Iraq. Overall, 51% say their greater concern about military action is that the U.S. will go too far getting involved in the situation. Fewer (32%) say they are more concerned that the U.S. will not go far enough in stopping Islamic militants."




Republicans Gain Steam in House Races

The Rothenberg Political Report shifted six House races in favor of Republicans as "district-level data demonstrates a difficult landscape for Democratic candidates."




Obama Careful in Talking About Police Shooting

President Obama is choosing his words carefully when talking about the police shooting of Michael Brown last week in Ferguson, MO, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Said one White House aide: "His words can't heal things overnight -- centuries of racial history and decades of economic unwinding take time to repair. But if his words are careless, they can inflame the situation, and he knows that."




August 18, 2014


Davis Praises GOP Primary Loser Tiahrt

A Facebook post by former Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) about a supportive phone message from gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis (D) is drawing mixed reaction from conservatives, the Wichita Eagle reports.

Tiahrt lost a primary bid to regain the congressional seat he once held. Davis is challenging Gov. Sam Brownback in November.

Davis left the following message on Tiahrt's answering machine: "I've been meaning to give you a call here for a week or so. I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry the election results did not turn out as hoped. I've been sort of rooting for you from afar here. And it sounds like you worked really hard and ran a good campaign."




Perry Says Indictment is Attempt to Derail 2016 Bid

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) suggested that the felony indictment against him may be a plot to damage his potential campaign for president in 2016, Business Insider reports.

Said Perry: "I think over the course of the last 12 to 14 months, we have been thoughtfully engaged in helping candidates across the country. We've been successful in many of those places to help move the needle for those candidates. And the really hardcore left, they're not above sinking somebody's political or personal life, or block someone from being engaged in that type of activity. So the timing is suspect, to say the least."




Kid Presidents

Out later this month: Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America's Presidents by David Stabler and Doogie Horner.




Sometimes It's Just Politics

Rick Hasen looks and the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry (R) and concludes "we need to look very skeptically on indictments where the main allegation is that the politician engaged in perfectly legal hardball politics."

"We already inject the legal system into so much of our political campaigns. We should reserve the machinery of criminal law for only the most egregious cases of self-interest and personal benefit. For everything else, we should leave it to the power of legislatures to impeach or remove members, and for the outraged public to throw the bums out."




Jeffords Has Died

Former Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) has died at 80, the Burlington Free Press reports.

"Jeffords was regarded as a maverick in Washington even before he split from the Republican Party in 2001, decried the party's rightward shift and criticized what he saw President George W. Bush's political intransigence on a number of issues... Jeffords' decision to become an independent in 2001 rocked the nation by giving control of the Senate to the Democrats, costing his Republican colleagues their committee chairmanships."




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