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July 23, 2014

Perdue Wins Georgia Runoff

David Perdue (R) stunned Georgia's Republican political establishment Tuesday by capturing the party's U.S. Senate nomination in his first run for office, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Perdue "toppled 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston (R) by a narrow margin, setting up a battle of political newcomers with famous kin in the fall... In addition to his famous last name and lingering political network from his cousin, Perdue deployed $3 million of his own money to back his bid. Still, he was outspent by Kingston and allied Super PACs - including the deep pocketed U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

Jim Galloway: 5 reasons Perdue shocked Georgia's political world

Peach Pundit: Does anyone know how to poll this state?

Quote of the Day

"Now I don't assert where he was born, I will just tell you that we are all certain that he was not raised with an American experience. So these things that beat in our hearts when we hear the National Anthem and when we say the Pledge of Allegiance doesn't beat the same for him."

-- Rep. Steve King (R-IA), quoted by BuzzFeed, on President Obama.

Crist Retakes Lead in Florida

A new SurveyUSA poll in Florida shows Charlie Crist (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the governor's race by six points, 46% to 40%.

The previous poll had Scott leading by two points.

Perry Comes Roaring Back Into Presidential Politics

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) "is back in the game," the Washington Post reports.

"What he lacks in sizzle from 2011 he's making up for with newfound substance on issues such as the economy and turmoil in the Middle East. And with tens of thousands of undocumented immigrant children streaming into Texas, the border crisis gives Perry an animating issue placing him at the forefront of Republican politics... Perry's two days of campaigning across rural northern Iowa garnered rave reviews from local conservatives."

Astorino Slams Christie Over Remarks

New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino (R) slammed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) after Christie contended as head of the Republican Governor's Association that Astorino has little chance in his race against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), the Poughkeepsie Journal reports.

Said Astorino: "Clearly, he could come across the bridge and not just raise money for himself but raise money for the Republican candidate here - unless he is unable or unwilling because he has an issue that we don't know about with Andrew Cuomo and the Bridgegate scandal. And if that's the case and he feels he can't do it, then maybe he should step down as chairman because his role is to raise money for Republican candidates."

Warner Holds Big Lead in Virginia

A new Roanoke College poll in Virginia shows Sen. Mark Warner (D) with a 25-point lead over challenger Ed Gillespie (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 22%, with Libertarian Robert Sarvis at 5%.

Tight GOP Race for Arizona Governor

A new Harper Polling survey in Arizona shows a tightening Republican primary contest for governor with Doug Ducey (R) just ahead of Christine Jones (R), 23% to 21%, with another 22% undecided.

July 22, 2014

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no."

-- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D), quoted by the Boston Globe.

TV Show Would Feature Candidates Who Can't Win

Longshot New York congressional candidate Nick Di Iorio (R) "has been signed to star in a proposed reality show about candidates running in 'unwinnable' races. In a draft opinion released Monday, the Federal Election Commission said Di Iorio can appear on the series -- as long as he doesn't get paid," the New York Daily News reports.

Why Obamacare Isn't Doomed Yet

Tom Goldstein: "The Affordable Care Act took a potentially serious hit today when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a rule that extended the law's health-care subsidies to residents of the three-dozen states where the federal government runs a health insurance exchange. But the fact that another court of appeals upheld the same rule on the same day shows that the legal issue is very thorny and will very likely be ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court. And the administration probably will come out ahead in the end."

"The issue is so close and contentious that it is basically inevitable that the Supreme Court will have to resolve it. If case goes straight to the Supreme Court, we will get a final decision within a year; otherwise, it will probably be two. My best guess is that a majority of the Justices will cite the limited role of the courts and rule for the administration and uphold the rule by the same5-to-4 majority that rejected the major constitutional challenge to the law two years ago."

Colorado Races Extremely Close

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado finds Sen. Mark Udall (D) just ahead of challenger Cory Gardner (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 44% to 43%.

In the race for governor, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) edges challenger Bob Beauprez, 44% to 43%.

Bonus Quote of the Day

"I wasn't speeding, I was qualifying."

-- Sarah Palin, quoted by TMZ, after being caught speeding while blaming Sammy Hagar's, "I Can't Drive 55" which was playing on the oldies station she was listening to.

Conversation with Alex Lundry

Alex Lundry joins us for a fascinating look into the use of data mining in the upcoming midterm and presidential elections.

Listen here:

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Women Aren't Playing the Big Money Game

"For all the progress women have made in Congress and in elections, they are practically sitting out the new game that is redefining American politics: big money," Politico reports.

"It's not that women want to leave it to men like Sheldon Adelson and Tom Steyer to sidle up to the table to shape important races and party politics. Rather, many fundraisers are learning that successfully collecting cash from women takes a different approach than doing so from men. In interviews, more than a dozen fundraisers, donors and political consultants said that when they reach out to women they bump up against deep cultural, strategic and logistical challenges that contrast markedly with how money has always been extracted from men."

Are the Obamas Headed to California?

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, "could be the owners of a home in Rancho Mirage listed at $4.25 million before the month is out," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"The First Family is believed to be in escrow on a contemporary home in a gated community where entertainers Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby once maintained estates."

"The White House said rumors regarding a home in Rancho Mirage are not true. But area real estate agents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Obamas are the buyers of the Rancho Mirage home."

Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on Obamacare Subsidies

New York Times: "Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The decisions are the latest in a series of legal challenges to central components of President Obama's health care law."

"The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, upheld the subsidies, saying that a rule issued by the Internal Revenue Service was 'a permissible exercise of the agency's discretion.'"

"The ruling came within hours of a 2-to-1 ruling by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said that the government could not subsidize insurance for people in states that use the federal exchange."

Quote of the Day

"We don't pay for landslides, and we don't invest in lost causes."

-- Gov. Chris Christie (R), Connecticut Mirror, when asked about the New York governor's race.

Hagan Increases Lead in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds Sen. Kay Hagan (D) continuing to grow her lead over challenger Thom Tillis (R) as the legislative session drags on.

Hagan now has a seven point lead, 41% to 34%, with Libertarian Sean Haugh pulling in 8%.

GOP Holds Slight Edge in Senate Battleground

A new Democracy Corps poll in 12 states where control of the Senate is being contested shows that control of the chamber "rests on a knife's edge" with Republicans leading 46% to 44%.

Turnout Way Down Across Country

A new report finds that turnout in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries so far has declined from 18.3% in 2010 to 14.8% this year.

First Read: "What's more, the report says that turnout in 15 of these 25 states has reached historic lows, and only three of 25 (Nebraska, North Carolina, and West Virginia) had higher turnout in 2014 than four years ago. So take President Obama's low job-approval ratings, add them with Congress' lower numbers plus a sense that the political process is broken, and you get low turnout -- record lows in some cases. Now we don't know what turnout will be for the general election, but if these numbers are any guide, then you can probably bet some money that the number of Americans voting is going to be down in November. And that could produce some striking consequences."

Court Strikes Down Some Obamacare Subsidies

A federal appeals court ruled that the government "could not subsidize health care premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange, a ruling that could upend President Obama's health care law," the New York Times reports.

"The 2-to-1 ruling could cut potentially off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace."

Wonk Wire has a map of where subsidies might not be allowed.

What to Watch in the Georgia Runoff

"Jack Kingston finished second in the Georgia Republican Senate primary back in May, but he's the favorite to win Tuesday's runoff," Politico reports.

"David Perdue, who finished first in the May 20 primary but fell short of the threshold to avoid the runoff, made 50 stops over the final weeks on a statewide bus tour and was slated to finish Monday with an eight-city fly-around. Kingston has also kept up an aggressive travel schedule, campaigning so much that he lost his voice over the weekend."

Atlanta Journal Constitution: 5 things to watch

Why Obama Will Not Get to Appoint a New Justice

Jeff Greenfield: "It's a question that's roiled the liberal universe for years: Why won't 81-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg resign from the Supreme Court and give President Obama the chance to pick her successor, in case the Senate turns Republican after the mid-terms?"

"Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, one of the left's jurisprudential heroes, had a ready answer to that question when it was posed to him at the University of California Santa Barbara late last month. There is, he said, not a chance in hell that this Senate would confirm her successor, no matter who he or she might be--not the way the process works today. And therein lies a tale about just how drastically the 'advise and consent' process has changed, and why the smart bet would be on a paralyzed process, and perhaps even a Court with fewer than nine Justices, no matter what happens in November."

Populist Declared Winner in Indonesia

"Joko Widodo, the governor of Jakarta whose common touch has made him a political phenomenon, was declared the winner of Indonesia's presidential election on Tuesday, completing an improbable ascent from child of the slums to leader of the world's fourth most populous nation," the New York Times reports.

"But the announcement, while widely expected, did not end a simmering controversy, as his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, a retired army general, rejected the results as fraudulent and threatened to withdraw from the race."

Congress Agrees To Do Nothing

"Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are united on one thing: The best strategy this election year is to punt on any big decisions," Politico reports.

"Senate leaders are set to join the Republican House soon to replenish the ailing Highway Trust Fund for just a few months. When lawmakers return to Washington in September from the August recess, they'll very likely have to come together on a short-term funding bill to keep the government open because the traditional appropriations process is bogged down."

"Congressional inaction is a time-honored tradition in the months before an election. But the stagnation in this Congress -- even in the face of mounting national and international challenges -- only bolsters the perception that this is really the least productive in history. And a thaw doesn't appear to be in the offing as each party commits to seeking an elusive, post-election upper hand."

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