Archive: December 09, 2013
looks at seven races to watch for how Obamacare could impact the 2014 midterm elections.
"In 2010, Republicans rode a wave of frustration over the economy and
health-care overhaul, recapturing control of the House of
Representatives. This time around, they're focused on keeping that
majority and looking toward gains in the Senate - and they'll rely on
the bungled HealthCare.gov rollout to fuel voter support."
calls an improving economy the sleeper issue for 2014.
"Consider that stronger attitudes about the economy and nation's direction could raise the president's job-approval rating five, six, or seven points. Democrats' chances next year are much better if Obama's approval is in the high 40s than the low 40s."
"Then there are the vulnerable GOP governors in states like Florida (where the unemployment rate is 6.5%), Maine (6.7%), Ohio (7.5%), Pennsylvania (7.5%), and Wisconsin (6.5%). The unemployment rate dropping another full point in these states would represent quite the talking point for these governors. Ditto vulnerable Democratic governors in Colorado (6.8%), Connecticut (7.9%), and Illinois (8.9%)."
Former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) is not ruling out a third-party run for governor next year, the Columbia State
Said Bauer: "I'm hearing more and more people say they are fed up with the two-party system. And they have asked me about running."
When asked if a third-party run would end up siphoning enough votes away from Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to give the race to Vincent Sheheen (D), Bauer shot back: "You don't think a third-party candidate (can) win?"
: "Bauer is a VERY flawed candidate, but we're believers that his message ("people are fed up with the two-party system) is a potentially powerful one for folks in 2014. Just something to keep an eye on..."
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), "to the surprise of almost no one, apparently plans to announce a bid for re-election Monday morning at a Portland elementary school," the Oregonian
Kitzhaber "served two terms starting in the mid-1990s and won a historic third term in 2010. He has been giving signs in recent weeks that he plans to run again, identifying tax reform as his next big initiative."
"Kitzhaber's entry into the race would essentially clear the primary field of Democrats who might have gubernatorial ambitions, and would make him the immediate front-runner against any Republican in the general election."
: "Democrats increasingly view championing the pay of hourly workers as a can't-lose issue that revs up their base of liberal, black, and Hispanic voters. Perhaps more importantly, it also resonates with the white, blue-collar workers who overwhelmingly side with Republicans."
"Since minority participation tapers off in mid-term elections, assailing Republican opposition to hiking the minimum wage could be a more potent Democratic wedge than immigration reform, particularly in red states with competitive U.S. Senate campaigns, such as West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Louisiana."
A new U-T San Diego/10News poll
in San Diego finds the two-month sprint to become San Diego's next mayor begins in a statistical dead heat with Kevin Faulconer (R) just edging David Alvarez (D), 47% to 46%, among likely voters.
Republicans "are so giddy about the prospect of winning" Sen. Mary Landrieu's (R-LA) seat "that their main problem is too many of them are trying to do so," the New York Times
"As Democrats look across the rest of the South, the outlook does not get much better. Ms. Landrieu, along with Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, is pretty much all that is left of Southern Democrats in the Senate."
"All three are up for re-election next year. And the outcome of their races could determine whether the Southern Democrat, once a formidable species in the Senate, is headed for extinction."
Archive: December 07, 2013
Former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie told Politico
that is considering a run against Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) next year.
Said Gillespie: "It's a very winnable race."
"Gillespie, who has never sought public office, floated the trial balloon at The Homestead resort, where about 500 activists and party leaders are gathered for a three-day annual meeting... Virginia's Senate race is currently not seen as competitive, but Gillespie's entry would all-but-guarantee a real battle and could put the state on the map in 2014."
Archive: December 06, 2013
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) has decided to seek re-election and is expected to
announce that decision shortly, Roll Call
The incumbent will likely
face a competitive primary election against state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R).
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was in New Hampshire last night but kept dodging the question of whether he would run for Senate from that state, the Londonberry Patch
Said Brown: "I don't think anything's off the table at this point. I'm in no hurry, there's no timetable."
Meanwhile, a video
caught Brown showing he wasn't even sure what state he was in.Politico
: "Scott Brown: Where am I?"
Archive: December 05, 2013
A new Field Poll
finds California Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) public approval rating "has surged to a new high, and he is the overwhelming early favorite to win re-election next year."
Key finding: 58% approve of the job Brown is doing, up seven points from July.
Brown leads his closest Republican challengers, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R), by more than 40 points.
Said pollster Mark DiCamillio: "It's overwhelming. Voters may be satisfied enough with Jerry Brown that they never seriously entertain any of the challengers. At least that's what it's looking like at this stage."
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) "is causing friction with some of his colleagues by pushing the House GOP campaign arm to deny support for some of the party's gay congressional candidates," Politico
"Forbes has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn't back some gay candidates. His efforts on Capitol Hill were described... by more than a half-dozen sources with direct knowledge of the talks."
"The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure there are no Todd Akin-style gaffes next year, so it's meeting with top aides of sitting Republicans to teach them what to say -- or not to say -- on the trail, especially when their boss is running against a woman," Politico
"Speaker John Boehner is serious, too. His own top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female constituents."
Archive: December 04, 2013
: "Prognostications about the upcoming midterm election are coming fast and furious. The bullishness about the Democrats' prospects, so frequently expressed (and exaggerated) during the government shutdown, is gone. Current forecasts typically range from 'a midterm headache for Democrats' to 'a midterm nightmare' for Democrats and possibly even another Republican wave. But at this moment, what's most likely is something less dramatic, at least as far as the House of Representatives is concerned. An early version of this blog's forecasting model suggests that there will be only a small shift in House seats in 2014 -- one more likely to advantage Republicans than Democrats, but one that will fall far short of a wave."
For another perspective on 2014, listen to our recent conversation with Larry Sabato:
Subscribe via iTunes
to get episodes automatically downloaded.
Sources close to former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) tell the Washington Examiner
that the odds of him running for U.S. Senate in neighboring Massachusetts "have risen to 50-50."
Said one: "He's certainly leaving the option open, whereas he's closed the door on other races. The only door he's leaving open is New Hampshire Senate."
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) "is out with a new TV ad
offering a Biblical solution to the already heated 2014 Senate race in Arkansas," KATV
"Pryor's campaign said the ad will begin airing on Wednesday. In the 30 second ad, Pryor speaks directly to the camera about his faith in the Bible. The ad is a substantial purchase for the campaign and will run statewide."
Says Pryor: "I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in His word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right. This is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas."
Tampa Bay Times
"In a bad sign for Charlie Crist's fledgling gubernatorial bid, his
hotshot new campaign manager has left the team. Bill Hyers, fresh off
his big New York City win managing the campaign of Mayor-elect Bill de
Blasio, was slated any day now to start working full time for the former
Florida governor and had already been introduced to donors."
"House Democrats are stockpiling cash, and some GOP strategists have expressed concern that Democrats could use their financial advantage to expand the playing field." Nathan Gonzales
"Through October, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $65 million and had $25 million in the bank for the 2014 cycle. The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $52 million during that same period and had $18 million in the bank. If Democrats continue to outpace Republicans in fundraising, that $7 million cash discrepancy could grow between now and next November."
"I'm David, and he's Goliath. That's just the reality of it. However, the path to victory just gets wider and wider."
-- Matt Bevin (R), quoted by the Wall Street Journal
, on his longshot bid to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
"Supporters of Liz Cheney, whose campaign for a Senate seat in Wyoming got off to a rocky start, have created a super PAC to bolster her 'name awareness and approval rating,'" the New York Times
"The group is hosting a high-dollar fund-raiser this week in Washington featuring her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, at a Georgetown restaurant, according to an emailed invitation."
Former Vice President Dick Cheney "reluctantly commented on the rift between his two daughters Liz and Mary Cheney, saying that he was surprised that Mary, who is lesbian, and her wife attacked Liz
on Facebook," ABC News
Said Cheney: "We were surprised that there was an attack launched against Liz on Facebook, and wished it hadn't happened. It's always been dealt with within the context of the family and frankly that's our preference."
Archive: December 03, 2013
: "It's widely accepted as an article of faith that Obamacare will be uniformly bad politics for Dems in 2014. After all, the rollout is a disaster and majorities disapprove of the law, so how could it possibly be any other way, right?"
"Here's something that counter-programs that narrative a bit: Democrats are currently using a major pillar of the health law -- the Medicaid expansion -- as a weapon against Republican Governors in multiple 2014 races. Many of these Governors opted out of the expansion or have advanced their own replacement solutions, and many are facing serious challenges."
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) tells the AP
that he's weighing whether he'll run for Louisiana governor, with plans to decide by January.
"The Republican senator said he expects to have a decision after the holidays... If Vitter decides to make a bid for the position, he'd be a formidable candidate. His Louisiana approval ratings are high. Other possible GOP contenders have been waiting for Vitter's decision to determine if they'll run."
: "There is a natural human tendency to believe that any major development,
no matter how long before an election, will be the last important
influence on said election. This theory is fine in the last days before
an election, but with almost a year to go, it is pretty unlikely that
the national political situation will suddenly become static for well
over 300 days."
: "Today, there's a very frustrated American public that's disillusioned with the president, angry at an ineffective Congress, turned off by a seemingly intolerant Republican Party that's unwilling to govern, and fed up with a Democratic Party that's had difficulty governing. There's a crisis in confidence and competence that's hurting everyone, and that requires some serious soul-searching by Washington's politicians and both major parties. Yes, perhaps President Obama's low approval ratings enable the GOP to win back the Senate. And yes, perhaps the public's dissatisfaction with the GOP -- as well as the country's changing demographics -- make Democrats the front-runners to hold the White House in 2016."
"But something larger is going on here, which could upend everything and produce unintended consequences. If there were serious independent candidates running for the House and Senate in 2014, they would get serious looks; interestingly, though, very few legitimate indie candidates have popped up yet. But don't be surprised if by the spring of 2014, there are a slew of semi-serious indie candidates in enough places to wreak some havoc."
Wall Street Journal
: "The ability of Democrats to keep control of the Senate in 2014 will depend largely on elections in southern states... Three of the four most vulnerable Senate Democrats in the 2014 election are from the South."
"Republicans believe Arkansas is their best shot at knocking off an incumbent, making Mr. Pryor a prime target in the battle for control of the chamber. The GOP needs to add six seats to win a majority in the Senate, an achievable but far-from-certain goal. It is hard to see how they could hit that mark if they can't win here."First Read
: "To win back the Senate in 2014, Republicans need to net six seats. And
here's their path: win six of seven states, all of which Mitt Romney
carried in 2012 -- Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina,
South Dakota, and West Virginia."
: "Democrats have had a nice run recently of interesting House recruits and new takeover opportunities resulting from open GOP seats. And yet, it probably won't matter."
"If history is any guide -- and it usually is -- the president's recent problems have already overshadowed that good news for House Democrats and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, all but erasing any chances that the party can win back the House next year."
Archive: December 02, 2013
Ending weeks of speculation, Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray (D) announced that he would run for a second term, the Washington Post
"Gray's decision to run for reelection reshapes the District's political landscape for the April 2014 Democratic primary. Three council members -- Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) -- had announced their plans as far back as March."
: "It could be election fatigue, or maybe everyone is waiting for Governor Christie to anoint someone. But no New Jersey Republican has jumped into the race for U.S. Senate next year, despite all the talk in October about how Democrat Cory Booker will be vulnerable because he "only" won by 11 percentage points, instead of the 20 points some polls showed."
: "So what are we fighting about? How smoothly the law operates, and how many customers it manages to enroll by the end of Obama's term, are open questions. Likewise up for debate is whether Obama's approval ratings will recover. But these are not fundamentally questions about the life or death of Obamacare. They're about how much political pain Democrats in Congress must endure. We're not fighting over health care policy. We're fighting about the midterm elections."
Democratic Party is hoping 2014 will be a Year of the Woman--again. As
party operatives prepare for the 2014 midterm elections, Democratic
women are being cast in starring roles, on the ballot and at the ballot
box, as the party tries to take back politically important governor's
mansions and keep its fragile majority in the Senate."
"In 2012, Democrats snagged Senate seats from Republicans in states
where the GOP should have prevailed with relative ease. In 2014,
Republicans want to show they can play that game, too. The GOP could
conceivably capture the Senate by winning in seven states currently
represented by Democrats but that Mitt Romney carried. But running the
table in those states is a very tall task, party strategists freely
acknowledge, so they're working to expand the map of competitive races
to states like Iowa, Michigan, Colorado and several others."
Archive: December 01, 2013
Former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) said he has changed his mind and will try to defeat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) for his old seat next year, WMUR
Smith said that he "had made a decision not to run largely to get out of the way for other candidates, but as weeks came and went no major candidates got into the race, and he kept getting encouragement to run."
Said Smith: "I have a decision to run again for the Senate. This is nothing personally against Jeanne Shaheen, who I like as a person, but I couldn't disagree more with her politics."
Just before Thanksgiving, former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) dropped the "MA" from his Twitter handle and he is now @SenScottBrown, WMUR
The move prompts more speculation Brown is preparing for a U.S. Senate run for New Hampshire.
Archive: November 27, 2013
: "In seven of eight Senate races the incumbent senator facing a serious or
semi-serious primary challenger is a Republican. That's in contrast to
incumbent Democrats. In the eight races just one includes an incumbent
Democrat with a primary challenger."
: "President Obama's poll numbers are at record lows. The health care law that serves as the cornerstone of his domestic policy legacy is even more unpopular. And there are few chances to change the conversation among a skeptical public that isn't happy with Washington."
"Sound familiar? It should: The national political climate today is starting to resemble 2010, when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives by riding a wave of voter anger."
: "Combined with a favorable map, Republican momentum has put control of the Senate firmly in play. In fact, the 7 seats most likely to switch parties in our latest Hotline Senate Rankings are only Democratic-held. If Republicans flip 6 of the 7 -- without losing any of their own vulnerable seats -- they would control the Senate in 2015."
"Overall, 13 of the 15 most vulnerable seats are held by Democrats. Just two GOP-held seats are even somewhat in danger of flipping parties: Georgia, where Republicans could nominate a controversial candidate like Rep. Paul Broun, and Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't popular and faces well-funded primary and general-election challengers."
Archive: November 26, 2013
Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (R) has a new TV ad "showing off his modest watch, a symbol of his down-to-earth frugality," the Chicago Tribune
Says his official bio
: "Bruce has never let his success change him. He still drives a 20-year-old camper van, wears an $18 watch, and stays in the cheapest hotel room he can find when he's on the road."
But he doesn't mention his real estate portfolio which includes nine homes in Illinois, Florida, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and "a penthouse in a landmark co-op building along New York's Central Park, which property records show Rauner bought in 2005 for $10 million."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Illinois finds Gov. Pat Quinn (D) "continues to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the country, but the Democratic lean of the state is enough to still make him neck and neck in hypothetical contests with the Republicans vying to take him on next fall."
Key findings: "Only 34% of voters approve of the job Quinn is doing to 60% who disapprove... In match ups with his potential GOP foes Quinn leads Bruce Rauner (R) 41% to 38%, trails Dan Rutherford (R) 41% to 39%, and ties both Bill Brady (R) and Kirk Dillard (R) at 41% and 39% respectively."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Pennsylvania finds Gov. Tom Corbett's (R) political situation has gone from bad to worse in the last eight months.
Key findings: "Corbett is now the most unpopular Governor anywhere in the country that we've polled, with only 24% of voters approving of him to 65% who disapprove. It's gotten to the point where Corbett's numbers are even upside down with Republicans, only 37% of whom approve of him with 51% disapproving."
More bad news: "Corbett already trailed his potential Democratic opponents by 7 to 11 points in March but those deficits have increased to 12-20 points now."
A new CNN/ORC International survey
finds Republicans with a two-point edge in the generic congressional ballot, 49% to 47% -- a big reversal from just last month when Democrats led by eight points.
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Ohio finds Gov. John Kasich (R) begins his re-election year with a seven point lead over a largely
unknown possible Democratic challenger, Ed FitzGerald (D), 44% to 37%.
Archive: November 25, 2013
A Smart Politics
review "of gubernatorial elections since the end of World War II finds that ex-governors have won back their old seats 57% of the time out of nearly seven-dozen such contests conducted during this 68-year period... However, a deeper dig into the data finds the odds of success fall off a bit when these ex-governors square up against an incumbent -- like Crist would face in Rick Scott."
"During these governor-on-governor battles, ex-governors have knocked incumbents out of office just 12 times out of 29 contests since 1945, or 41% of the time."
Liz Cheney (R) touts her family and Wyoming connections in a new ad
for her U.S. Senate campaign.
: "The ad comes as the rest of her family is in the spotlight for their very public feud over Cheney's opposition to gay marriage, and as the candidate continues to be dogged by questions about her authenticity and ties to the state."
The New York Post
reports that a battle between Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Gov. Chris Christie (R) "may start sooner than expected -- in the race for New York governor next year and not, as has been widely speculated, in the 2016 presidential contest."
Christie reportedly told Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R) last week that "he's ready to back him to the hilt" if Astorino challenges Cuomo in next year's gubernatorial election.
quotes Cuomo: "I can tell you this: I spoke to Gov. Christie this morning who told me the exact opposite. And I'll leave it at that."
the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist paid dearly for
putting his arms around President Obama at a town hall touting the
Democrats' economic-stimulus plan in February 2009. The governor's chief
rival for the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, replayed footage of the embrace
over and over, savaging Crist's conservative credentials. Now running
as a Democrat for his old job, Crist may find that his continued embrace
of an increasingly unpopular president--and his controversial health
care law--could thwart him once again."
Archive: November 24, 2013
Bill Hyers is "suddenly a blazing hot commodity after managing Bill de Blasio's New York mayoral victory. Almost without taking a breath, he has been snapped up to run the marquee 2014 Florida gubernatorial campaign of Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist," the Washington Post
"He has millions of dollars in his campaign account, solid approval ratings and a small number of potential challengers who are virtually unknown, but Gov. Jerry Brown still won't say whether he'll run for reelection next year," the Los Angeles Times
"Although Brown stays mostly out of the spotlight, his aggressive fundraising -- and his preference for biding his time -- put the safe money on a run for an unprecedented fourth term as governor, a race he would enter as a strong front-runner. And experts say that despite an already respectable war chest, it behooves him to wait."
Archive: November 23, 2013
Liz Cheney (R) "is ending the roughest week of her political career by reserving nearly $40,000 more in TV time in Wyoming, a significant buy nine months before the Senate primary," Politico
"Using this map
, you can see every US media market with reference to political leanings, voter demographics, upcoming 2014 political races and what it will likely cost to place an ad in each market."
Archive: November 22, 2013
Minneapolis City Pages
published photos of Stewart Mills (R), who is seeking to unseat Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), which show him drinking from a beer bong and licking the mouth of a woman to whom he is not married.
His statement: "It's no secret that in the past I've let my hair down to have fun with family and friends. My wife and I have had many lighthearted moments in our lives but right now I am focused on my Congressional campaign and the disastrous effects of our overreaching government and sky high unemployment in the north eastern Minnesota."
Bill Bryk (D), "a 58-year-old attorney from Brooklyn who's never been west of Buffalo, N.Y., is challenging current U.S. Senator Mark Begich in Alaska's 2014 Democratic primary," the Anchorage Daily News
Said Bryk: "If the Democrats of Alaska are so wise as to nominate me at their primary then indeed I will be a resident of Alaska on Election Day. Until that time, though, it's not necessary."
"Bryk is something of a serial out-of-state candidate. He's run, unsuccessfully, for Congress in Indiana and for U.S. Senate seats in Wyoming and Idaho. There may even be another state in there somewhere."
The Obama administration "is planning to push back the period during which Americans sign up for coverage under the new health law in its second year of operation, a change that could reassure insurers while also avoiding the 2014 midterm elections," the Wall Street Journal
Such a shift "would ensure that Democrats facing tough re-election races next fall don't have to campaign at the same time as open enrollment is taking place, although some premium information would be already available during the campaign."
A new Southern Media & Opinion Research poll
in Louisiana finds Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) approval rating falling more than ten points to 47% in the last six months.
Said pollster Bernie Pinsonat: "Senator Landrieu's job performance has deteriorated since this spring. If (she) faced re-election in the next few months, her outlook for re-election would be highly unlikely."
That said, Landrieu still leads Bill Cassidy (R) by seven points, 41% to 34%. "But the data questioned whether she would be able to clinch the 50% necessary to win outright. With Tea Party-endorsed Republican Rob Maness receiving just under 10% in the poll, Cassidy could conceivably win in a runoff if he could claim all or most of Maness' support for himself."
Archive: November 21, 2013
Here's a must-read: How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014
by Colin Delany.
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Florida finds Gov. Rick Scott (R) trailing former Gov. Charlie
Crist (I) by seven points in his re-election bid, 47% to 40%.
Key finding: Voters says Scott does not deserve to be reelected by 53% to 37%.
To avenge his defeat last year, former Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) "has promised to put his financial means and political mettle toward ousting his successor," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Roll Call
"Their race proved to be one of the state's most bitter battles between two Democrats, thanks in part to California's new primary system."
Said Stark: "Hopefully Eric will lose, and I am doing everything I can to see that Ellen Corbett wins that primary election. ... I remember Eric, during the campaign against me, suggested that I was too old and inept to be of any value in the political process, so I am going to see if I can prove that to be wrong."
"I'm not supporting Liz's candidacy."
-- Mary Cheney, in emails to Politico
, on her sister's U.S. Senate campaign.
Archive: November 20, 2013
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Colorado finds Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) just ahead of Ken Buck (R) in a possible re-election match up, 45% to 42%.
Udall holds slim leads over five other possible GOP challengers as well.
Said pollster Tim Malloy: "Though running even or ahead of six possible Republican challengers, Sen. Mark Udall must be pulling for a quick fix of the Obamacare website and a change of heart by Coloradans who dislike the Affordable Care Act by a wide margin."
Archive: November 19, 2013
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Colorado finds that voters say that Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) does not deserve re-election by a 49% to 42% margin.
Nonetheless, Hickenlooper edges four possible GOP challengers: 46% to 41% over Tom Tancredo (R), 45% to 40% over Scott Gessler (R), 44% to 38% over Greg Brophy (R), and 44% to 40% over Mike Kopp (R)/
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Montana shows Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) with pretty substantial leads over both possible Democratic challengers.
Daines leads John Bohlinger (D), 51% to 36%, and tops John Walsh (D), 52% to 35%.
Key findings: "But the number that may be most important to the US Senate race at this point is 34. That's Barack Obama's approval rating in the state, with 63% of voters disapproving of him. Only 31% of voters in the state support the Affordable Care Act to 58% opposed, and just 14% think the rollout of the ACA has been a success to 82% who think it's been unsuccessful. 63% rate it as being 'very unsuccessful.' All of that is making it a tough start to the race for Democrats."
Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) weighs in about the war of words
between Wyoming U.S. Senate candidate Liz Cheney (R) and sister Mary over same sex marriage, First Read
Said Simpson: "You're not even destroying friendships -- you're destroying family relationships just because of this race. It's hard for all of us who know the Cheneys to see the things she's doing to win this race. It's almost like she'll do anything to win this race, because I cannot ever believe that there would be a breach between she and Mary."The Week
: Why the Cheney family feud may hurt the GOP.
: "Another day, another poll... As NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R) has emailed clients, history shows that it's difficult for presidents to recover from nosedives like this. And if that's true, Obama will be a liability in 2014, period."
"But it will be important to see where Obama's approval rating is come Spring 2014, assuming the health-care website gets fixed and the Affordable Care Act rollout becomes a distant memory. Barring something unforeseen, these next two months are perhaps the president's last shot at getting right before the midterms. He needs a working website and a State of the Union that somehow instills some hope that he's up to the job as a leader. How the public responds will tell us if Obama will be able to recover in time for the midterms."
"So when people ask, 'Why in the world is Elizabeth Cheney taking on
Mike Enzi?' maybe the answer ought to be, 'Why not?' With so many Senate
seats now in states where the opposition party has no plausible chance
of winning, it does inject a bit of competition where there is
effectively none and punishes complacency in a body where members in
one-party states could easily get that way. When there is so much
animosity toward Washington, it actually is surprising that there are
fewer incumbents facing primary challenges. Cheney's run appears to be a
campaign against Washington more than an ideological jihad. It would be
wrong to see this as a tea-party challenge; this is more of an
outsider--albeit from an insider family--running against a longtime
incumbent. These are so rare that they are newsworthy."
A new St. Pete Polls survey
in Florida's 13th congressional district finds Alex Sink (D) leading Kathleen Powers (R), 50% to 31%, and topping David Jolly (R), 49% to 35%.
Rep. Phil Gingrey's (R-GA) campaign for U.S. Senate took a blow as four top staffers resigned, the Atlanta Journal Constitution
"We understand this was, in part, the result of a leadership struggle within the campaign. The Gingrey campaign has been marred by gaffes from the candidate -- the latest when the congressman's complaints on the issue of health care coverage for congressional staffers, made during a private House GOP caucus meeting, were leaked."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Mississippi finds Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in trouble if he decides to run for re-election.
Cochran leads Chris McDaniel (R) in a head-to-head Republican primary match up by just six points, 44% to 38%.
Key finding: When asked if they want to vote for Cochran or "someone more conservative," 55% of GOP primary voters chose the generic more conservative option.
Archive: November 18, 2013
The latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll
finds the bottom has fallen out for everyone in the nation's political leadership.
"Just 38% of those polled said they approved of Obama's job performance, with 55% disapproving. That's the lowest approval, and highest disapproval, the Heartland Monitor poll has recorded for Obama in the 19 times it has measured his standing since April 2009."
"Americans are even more dubious about Congress. Just 9% of those polled (down from 21% last November) approved of its performance. Fully 84% disapproved. Almost nine-in-10 of those who disapproved of Obama's performance also gave Congress a thumbs-down; 56% of those who disapproved of Congress also flunked Obama."
: "Republicans are giddy about their chances to retake the Senate on the back of a disaster known as Obamacare. There's just one problem: The GOP doesn't have the right candidates to make it happen."
"Sure, in the high-profile races of 2014, Republicans have recruited competitive contenders to take on red-state Democrats. But in the second-tier contests, the ones that could suddenly become competitive if the national mood turns increasingly toxic for Democrats, the GOP's cast of hopefuls ranges from the unknown to the unelectable."
Former Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS) "says he is considering entering the Mississippi Senate race next year -- particularly if longtime Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) opts not to seek another term," the Washington Post
"Conservative and tea party groups have lined up behind GOP candidate and state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who got into the race in advance of Cochran's announcement. The prospect of a hard-fought GOP primary has Democrats hoping to capitalize in a tough state."
"The biggest Republican-leaning money machines are spending dramatically less to help the party ahead of the 2014 congressional elections, a year after big-dollar conservative groups poured millions into unsuccessful campaigns against President Obama and Democratic candidates, and the GOP failed to retake the White House or the Senate," the AP
"Groups such as American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce no longer are willing to risk major investments on hard-line conservatives who embarrassed GOP leaders last fall and rattled the confidence of party donors. Many remain concerned after last month's government shutdown highlighted Republican divisions... Outside spending on television ads designed to benefit Republican Senate candidates is down almost 60% compared with two years ago."
A new Siena poll
in New York finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) with the the lowest job performance rating he's had since becoming governor, 44% to 52%.
That said, Cuomo still has a 61% favorability rating and crushes potential challengers in hypothetical match up.s
Archive: November 17, 2013
"After Republican primaries produced that horror show of candidates in two consecutive elections, probably costing the party control of the Senate, GOP leaders vowed that 2014 must be different," Politico
"But as Barack Obama learned the hard way, promising change is one thing, producing it is another. And while the GOP has clearly made headway this year curbing intraparty, resource-draining firefights that yield outside-the-mainstream nominees, it's less apparent that the progress will be enough to net the six seats it takes to make Mitch McConnell majority leader."
Archive: November 16, 2013
: "Americans profess detestation of politics and its practitioners, but their behavior belies their rhetoric. Last month, a poll reported that 60 percent of Americans favor voting out of office all congressional incumbents, including their own representatives. But just 11 months before this poll revealed the electorate's (supposedly) extraordinary dyspepsia, voters reelected 90 percent of representatives and 91 percent of senators. Most Americans most of the time have better things to do than feel strongly (aggrieved or otherwise) about politics. They are not as angry about goings-on in Washington as they say they are, or imagine themselves to be, or think they ought to be when a pollster takes their emotional temperature."
Archive: November 15, 2013
"If you don't like your Democratic House member, you don't have to keep him or her."
-- Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), quoted by National Journal
A new DFM Research survey
finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) deadlocked in the U.S. Senate race, 41% to 40%.
Key findings: McConnell's favorable rating is 35%, his unfavorable rating is 55%.
Democrats close to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) are letting potential supporters know the three-term senator is "waiting in the wings" if Charlie Crist's (D) campaign for Florida governor stumbles, the News Service of Florida
"Nelson's chief of staff, Pete Mitchell, called some prominent Democrats recently and told them the 71-year-old Nelson, who has been coy about his interest in the governor's race, is considering a bid."
Texas Sen. John Cornyn launches his campaign for a third six-year term
on Friday with a rally in Austin, it will feature a cameo appearance by
Gov. Rick Perry -- but no sign of tea party-backed freshman Sen. Ted
: "One Democratic pollster recently (and aptly) summed up the sentiment: 'Voters want to punish Republicans but not reward Democrats.' This dynamic suggests we are in for either a highly muddled election outcome next year--hardly the stuff for a wave, because one party has to be rewarded and looked favorably upon to create a wave--or a highly volatile environment, what a meteorologist might describe as an 'unstable air mass.' The latter dynamic could translate into a lot of surprise election outcomes, but not necessarily in any uniform direction."Joshua Green
: "Americans are fast losing faith in the president, his party, and his
signature policy achievement. But while they're open to the idea of
handing power to the opposition, Republicans are busy demonstrating that
they have no idea how to govern."
Neel Kashkari (R), the former assistant Treasury secretary who oversaw the TARP bank bailout in the Bush administration, is mulling a bid against California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in what would be his first political campaign, the San Francisco Chronicle
"Kashkari -- who is pro-choice, favors same-sex marriage rights and voted for Barack Obama in 2008 -- is talking like a candidate on a mission to rebrand a California Republican Party that is tired of losing."
Archive: November 14, 2013
A new Fox News poll
shows Republicans leading the generic congressional ballot, 43 to 40%. In last month's poll, Democrats led, 45% to 37%.
"The improvement in the generic Republican candidate's position comes mostly from increased support among independents. Republicans still trail Democrats in congressional job ratings."
"A tea party group has launched a campaign to support primary
challenges against all 87 Republicans who voted for the deal in late
October to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling."
"If I win, I might demand a recount."
-- Former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD), quoted by Roll Call
, on possibly running an unconventional idealistic campaign for his old seat.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is dating a 36-year-old Los Angeles entertainment lawyer, the New York Post
Booker remarked last summer that his "great dismay" was he has not "settled down with a life partner" but was amused at speculation he might be gay.
Archive: November 13, 2013
A new Quinnipiac poll
finds voters evenly divided on whether they would vote for a Democrat or a Republican in their Congressional district, 39% to 39%.
Democrats held a 9 point edge in early October.
Voters still disapprove of Republicans in Congress, 73% to 20%, more than they disapprove of Democrats, 62% to 30%.
In a candid moment, Sen. McConnell (R-KY) told reporters that Obamacare was all that he wanted to discuss at a press conference, WFPL
Said McConnell: "I'm probably not going to be answering questions about anything else, but I'm happy to respond to questions about Obamacare. As some of you have complained from time to time that I don't do a stake out after every event and I'm not going to do a stake out after every event because as you can imagine I prefer the news of that day to be what I'd like for it to be rather than what you all may be interested in pursuing."Wonk Wire
: Can Obamacare survive more bad news?
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Maine finds Mike Michaud (D) leading Paul LePage (R) in the race for governor, 38% to 36%, with Eliot Cutler (I) at 15%.
In a two-way race, Michaud leads LePage 53% to 39%.
Archive: November 12, 2013
Rep. Phill Gingrey (R-GA) released a new ad
saying he would repeal Obamacare in his first term as a U.S. Senator or not run again.
Said Gingrey: "I'll help repeal Obamacare in my first term or go home because you deserve a senator who gets the job done or gets out of the way. Repeal or go home, that's my pledge to you."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in North Carolina finds the U.S. Senate race "has tightened up quite a bit in the last couple months, with early attacks ads on Kay Hagan and the unpopular rollout of Obamacare taking a toll on her poll numbers."
Hagan is now basically tied with her Republican challengers, leading Heather Grant (R) 43% to 40%, Thom Tillis (R) 44% to 42%, and Mark Harris (R) 43% to 41% while trailing Greg Brannon 44% to 43%.
Archive: November 11, 2013
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) "refuses to follow the political script. He scoffs at politicians who use teleprompters. He casts aside speeches his aides write. It's all part of the image McCrory wants to project as the outsider," the Raleigh News and Observer
"But McCrory's improvisational approach has risks. At least a dozen times in his first 10 months as governor, McCrory's remarks have sparked controversies. McCrory is prone to misspeaking. He generalizes in a way that can insult key constituencies. And he mispronounces the names of even his closest aides."
Some New Mexico Democrats "wonder whether the governor portrayed in the national media is the same Susana Martinez they know. At the least, they paint a picture less rosy than the ones published outside the state extolling her bipartisan success," the Santa Fe New Mexican
"There have been pieces of legislation that Martinez was able to pass with the cooperation of Democrats... But there also have been bruising legislative fights in which, Democrats say, Martinez has shown little if any willingness to compromise. And the harsh attack ads and mailers Martinez ran against some Democrats during the 2012 election still are fresh on the minds of lawmakers."
"More than half of those surveyed in a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll
say they approve of the job Brown is doing as governor -- the highest rating since he retook the governor's office in 2011. Yet only 32% say they are inclined to vote for Brown if he seeks an unprecedented fourth term as California's chief executive next year."
"Moreover, respondents give Brown little credit for what is widely considered as his signature achievement since returning to the governor's office in 2011 -- erasing a $26 billion state deficit. Only 38% say they approve of the way Brown has handled the issue; 47% disapprove."
Archive: November 10, 2013
"Business leaders are plotting to take down Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) as part of a broader effort to punish lawmakers over the government shutdown," The Hill
Prominent Michigan donors are requesting financial backing for Amash's primary challenger, Brian Ellis (R), arguing that Amash "and others have effectively nullified the Republican majority in the U.S. House."
Former Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL) "wants to get back to Congress -- to take on his own party," The Hill
"Dold is attempting a comeback against former Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), who he lost to by less than 2,500 votes in a heavily Democratic suburban Chicago district last fall. The self-described moderate hoping to win his rematch by painting himself as the more bipartisan of the two -- and the one more willing to take on members of his conference."
Archive: November 09, 2013
"The signs are mounting. Scott Brown travels almost weekly to New Hampshire. Last month he formed a political action committee there to raise funds; this week he attacked the state's Democratic senator on his favorite target: national health care," the Boston Globe
"Now national Republicans are pushing the former Massachusetts senator to declare his candidacy for the US Senate from New Hampshire. And they insist, despite mixed signals from Brown, that he is seriously weighing such a run."
Archive: November 08, 2013
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) traveled with President Obama to New Orleans on Air Force One but she didn't attend his speech about boosting exports, the New Orleans Times Picayune
Landrieu in up for re-election next year.
notes how Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) once said he might "hack the Senate."
"But his first week in the Senate -- marked by deference to his colleagues, near-constant admissions that he has much to learn, and an obsessive focus on his home state -- looked nothing at all like the jolt to the Beltway he articulated earlier this year, before the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. And as Booker works to gain his footing in 'the world's greatest deliberative body,' it remains an open question whether he has the wherewithal to match his reformist rhetoric with action."
: "Tucked away in recent polls--which have documented the extraordinary anger directed at the Republican Party during the shutdown crisis--are measures of clear disappointment with the Democratic Party. The disappointment is substantial, and it raises big questions about the 2014 midterms."
"One clear troubling sign for the Democrats at this early stage is independent voters, who decide most elections. They are evenly divided, according to Pew's mid-October survey: 43% say that "if the elections for Congress were being held today," they would vote for the Republican candidate in their district, 43% say they would vote for the Democratic candidate."
"It is not too much of an oversimplification to say that Democrats are struggling because President Obama is struggling."
Archive: November 07, 2013
"We need to challenge the tea party representatives who like the Taliban shut our country down."
-- Former Montana Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D), quoted by the Helena Montana Record
, on why he's running for U.S. Senate.
"I am pro-life. I care about the life of every child: every child that goes
to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education,
every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the
Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children's future
and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I
have a record of fighting for people above all else."
-- Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D), quoted by the Dallas Morning News
, borrowing a phrase from anti-abortion
West Virginia state auditor Glen Gainer (D) will run for congress against Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) next year, WAJR
"The 21 year Auditor and popular Democratic politician has been looking at a possible run for Congress in 2014 since March. Gainer says he's gotten hundreds of phone calls, emails and texts and some days it's been overwhelming."
Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT), "ending months of speculation about when and if he would jump into Montana's potentially pivotal U.S. Senate race, officially launched his campaign Wednesday, saying it's time for Republicans to take control of the Senate," the Billings Gazette
"With a year to go until the midterm elections, immigration reform advocates hoping to jump-start debate on Capitol Hill are planning to target a handful of Republican lawmakers most likely to suffer political consequences next year if Congress fails to act on immigration reform," the Washington Post
"The campaign will target Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), Gary Miller (R-CA), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Joe Heck (R-NV). They represent districts with sizable Latino voting populations where President Obama won or performed well last year. They also have publicly voiced support for revamping the nation's immigration laws."
Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter (D) will challenge Gov. Nathan Deal (R)
next year "in a move that catapults the gubernatorial contest into the
national spotlight and tests whether Georgia's changing
demographics can loosen the Republican Party's 12-year grip on the
state's highest office," the Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Carter's decision...is another step along the
trail forged by his famous grandfather Jimmy Carter, who was elected to
the state Senate and then the Governor's Mansion before winning the
Longtime Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) will announce his future political plans at a news conference Thursday in Greensboro, N.C., Roll Call
"Coble's office declined to give any more details on the announcement -- the 15-term Republican has long been the target of retirement speculation."
Archive: November 06, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Texas finds Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) "is in grave danger of losing a primary next year if a serious campaign is run against him."
Key findings: "Cornyn's approval with Republican primary voters is only 46%, with 33% of voters disapproving of him. And 49% say they would like their candidate next year to be someone more conservative, compared to only 33% who say they support Cornyn."
Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), a former star football player, will not seek re-election next year, the Newark Star-Ledger
"Runyan, a moderate Republican, wrested back control of the traditionally Republican 7th District House seat in South Jersey from Democrat John Adler, who held it for one term after the retirement of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton."
Archive: November 05, 2013
"Amid the ongoing war within the GOP, the Senate Republicans' campaign arm is signaling a more aggressive approach in trying to get its favored candidates through contentious primaries in 2014," NBC News
"The approach is a switch from previous cycles, when the NRSC has stayed out of open contested primaries. A number of hard-line conservative candidates won primaries in 2010 and 2012 but went on to lose general elections. And this time, the GOP is facing several potentially messy primary fights -- and again staring down third-party groups that are working to elect more conservative or Tea Party-backed candidates instead."
: "The midterm elections are one year away, but it's already clear that days are numbered for some endangered House members. The reasons vary, from scandal to primary problems, strong opponents or the changing politics of individual districts."
Despite a poll yesterday showing
Greg Abbott (R) leading Wendy Davis (D) in the Texas gubernatorial race by just 6 points, a new Public Policy Polling survey
finds Abbott ahead by 15 points, 50% to 35%.
"Over two decades in politics, Charlie Crist has developed a reputation as one of the most charming politicians in modern Florida history. But Monday, as the former Republican governor kicked off his Democratic campaign for governor, he left no doubt his challenge of Rick Scott will be anything but gentle," the Tampa Bay Times
Said Crist: "Governing for the people has been replaced with cronyism and government on the fringes. The voice of the people has been silenced by the financial bullies and the special interests."
Rev. Calvin O. Butts III (D) "has been holding behind-the-scenes meetings with clergy and Harlem leaders as he moves ahead with a congressional bid for the seat currently occupied by Charlie Rangel, who has not declared his intentions," the New York Daily News
Archive: November 04, 2013
looks at the "idea that Americans are independent, and that the anger directed at both parties right now will lead to an anti-incumbent wave for both Democrats and Republicans."
"I won't say that an anti-incumbent wave is impossible, but I will say that it's not likely... [Since 1954,] there are many years in which a large number of incumbents are defeated. What you don't see is the same number of years where incumbents of both parties are defeated. In fact, such years pretty much don't exist."
A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll
in Texas finds Greg Abbott (R) leading Wendy Davis (D) in the race for governor, 40% to 34%.
In a three-way race against Davis and Libertarian Kathie Glass, Abbott's lead shrinks to 5 points, 40% to 35%.
Rep. Mike Michaud (D), running for governor of Maine, writes in the Bangor Daily News
: "So I wasn't surprised to learn about the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls some of the people opposed to my candidacy have been using to raise questions about my personal life. They want people to question whether I am gay."
"Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: 'Yes, I am. But why should it matter?'"
Archive: November 03, 2013
"Texas tea party activists eager to send another firebrand in the mold of Ted Cruz to the Senate have launched a movement to draft evangelical historian David Barton to run against Sen. John Cornyn," Politico
"Political analysts doubt he could take down a candidate as well-funded, well-known and widely endorsed as Cornyn. But they're not willing to count out an insurgent from the right -- not after watching Cruz come from nowhere two years ago. Barton has deep political roots, having spent nearly a decade as vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party. He is a skilled orator. And he's got the stagecraft down pat: He travels the country to deliver rousing tributes to patriotism, often in red, white and blue Western shirts."
Archive: November 01, 2013
Charlie Crist (D) is running for Florida governor as a Democrat, the Tampa Bay Times
"The worst-kept secret in politics was confirmed Friday afternoon when the Republican Party of Florida spotted Crist's official filing with the state Division of Elections."
Former Rep. Parker Griffith, "whose 2009 party switch rankled both Democratic and Republican voters, may be attempting a political comeback as an independent candidate," the Birmingham News
Archive: October 31, 2013
We interviewed Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report
for the latest episode in our new podcast.
You can listen with the player below or subscribe to our feed via RSS
and have the latest episode automatically delivered to your phone or other player when it's ready.
Thanks for listening!
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Minnesota finds Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) with a 51% approval rating and leading each of his possible Republican opponents by anywhere from 10 to 13 points.
Franken tops Chris Dahlberg (R), 49% to 39%, beats Mike McFadden (R), 49% to 38%, is ahead of Jim Abeler (R),m 50% to 39%, and leads Monti Moreno (R), 49% to 36%.
: "Extending an olive branch to GOP senators, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is privately making it clear he won't engage in the Senate Conservatives Fund's hardball tactics to defeat his colleagues in their primary races. At a closed-door lunch meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday, the freshman conservative told his colleagues that he would not intervene in their 2014 primary fights or fundraise for the controversial outside group. Cruz added that the SCF's decision to try to defeat sitting GOP senators in their primaries was its alone."
Why the turnaround? Kyle Klondik
notes that "in presidential nomination
contests, the elites -- elected officials and party leaders -- are
historically more important than the grassroots."
New York Times
: "Here and nationally, the Democratic Party is enjoying something of a boomlet in newly declared candidacies for the House. Since Oct. 1, five candidates have lined up to contest Republican-held seats, with at least four more in the wings, Democratic officials say. Almost all say they are driven to run -- ostensibly, at least -- by disgust over the shutdown, first espoused by Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and embraced by Tea Party Republicans in the House and, eventually, most others as well."
Archive: October 30, 2013
: "Seniors broke heavily for Republicans in 2010, and they are a disproportionate voice in off-year elections. In the Republican battleground, the vote is tied among seniors and the Democratic candidate has gained 5 points among this group since June. In the Democratic battleground, Democratic incumbents lead by 14 points (51% to 37%) among seniors. This trend has also emerged in the last three national Democracy Corps surveys - which is a sea change."
Both Wendy Davis (D) and Greg Abbot (R) will have to attest to their identities in order to vote in next year's gubernatorial race, the San Antonio Express-News
That's because both candidates have a different name on their drivers license than that on the voter rolls. Although Davis opposed the law, an amendment she sponsored is what actually allows both to vote since their recorded names only differ slightly.
Said a Davis spokesman: "If it weren't for Wendy Davis' leadership, Greg Abbott might have nearly disenfranchised himself."
A conservative super PAC started by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has already spent $332,000 on independent expenditure against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in his 2014 re-election race, Political Moneyline
Amardeep Kaleka (D) is running for a congressional seat in Wisconsin but bases his campaign in Los Angeles, the Madison Capital Times
Explains Kaleka: "The way our business works, we've been in and out of California for four years now. We pay taxes in Wisconsin as well as here. Our home has always technically been (in Wisconsin)."
He adds: "I don't know if (where you live) corresponds to whether you're going to do a good job in Congress. I would rather elect somebody who has a lot of national leadership experience and international experience."
: "In 2010, Republicans made unpopular Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the face of their massive advertising campaign to take back the House of Representatives. Three years later, the Democratic leader has company in America's doghouse. Current Speaker John Boehner's poll numbers are as bad as Pelosi's were when the GOP turned her into a TV villain, possibly heralding another midterm election with the speaker splashed across the country's airwaves -- but this time with the roles in reverse."
A new Winthrop poll
in South Carolina shows Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has seen his approval rating drop from 72% in February to just 45% today among Republicans and those independents who lean toward the GOP.
Among all registered voters, his approval rating is just 37%.
A new Harper Polling survey
confirms Graham's 37% overall approval rating but finds he still holds a commanding lead in a GOP primary, with 51% of the vote, just above the threshold he'd need to avoid a runoff against the second-place finisher. His closest competition is Lee Bright (R), who pulls in just 15%.
A new Marquette Law School poll
in Wisconsin shows Gov. Scott Walker with small leads over three Democratic challengers.
Walker leads Mary Burke (D), 47% to 45%, tops Kathleen Vinehout (D), 47% to 44%, and beats Peter Barca (D), 48% to 42%.
A new Harper Polling survey
in South Carolina finds Gov. Nikki Haley (R) well ahead of challenger Vincent Sheheen (D) in her re-election race, 48% to 39%.
Alex Sink (D) confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times
that she is jumping into the race to succeed late Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) and will move into the district "imminently."
Said Sink: "Washington's broken. And I, like everybody else I know, is angry and mad about the logjam, about shutting down the government, about not understanding the impact it was going to have on small businesses and people. The people up there just don't seem to be able to work together."
"The offices of the governor and Pinellas elections supervisor are looking at scheduling the primary for Jan. 14 and the general election for March 11, though nothing has been finalized. The winner of that special election could face another election less than six months later -- an Aug. 26 primary, then a general election on Nov. 4, 2014."
Despite Dick Cheney's claim to the contrary, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) told Politico
he stood by his story that the two are "fishing buddies."
Said Enzi: "I anchored the One Fly Fishing Contest with him one time, and I was asked to speak at his induction in the fly fishing Hall of Fame. And we've talked about fishing when we've been together."
Cheney said over the weekend that Enzi's claim of them being fishing buddies "never happened
Archive: October 29, 2013
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) "caused widespread whiplash last week when he unleashed a blistering attack on Matt Bevin, his Republican primary challenger, just days after the Kentucky senator had signaled he was looking past Bevin to likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes," the Lexington Herald Leader
"Instead, several allies of McConnell and other Senate Republicans say the senator is now planning a two-front war: one against Grimes and the other against the fundraising groups that are supporting Bevin. McConnell's real targets are the Senate Conservatives Fund, which announced its endorsement of Bevin on Oct. 18, Heritage Action for America, Madison Project, FreedomWorks and other outside groups."
"If McConnell can crush Bevin, the thinking goes, he can expose a lack of ideological consistency in the outside groups, allowing him to separate Tea Party voters from Tea Party fundraising groups."
says the 2014 midterm elections may the the GOP's last chance to take back control of the Senate for years.
"The reason next year is
so make-or-break for Senate Republicans is because in 2016, when all of
the seats they won in 2010 come up--they netted a six-seat net gain that
year--there will be 24 GOP seats up, compared with only 10 for
Democrats, leading to some serious Republican overexposure. Seven of the
24 GOP senators up are hailing from states that Obama carried in 2012.
After having had plentiful Democratic targets in 2012 and 2014, it will
be Republicans in 2016 who will have the most incumbents in the
: "The 2014 midterm just got a lot more interesting. The twin dramas of the government shutdown and botched rollout of Obamacare have snapped a sleepy 2014 election season out of its slumber, sharpening the battle lines for each party and setting the stage for a consequential midterm that few expected even two months ago."
Archive: October 28, 2013
Herbert Claiborne "Clay" Pell IV (D) confirmed that he's actively exploring whether to jump into the 2014 Democratic primary for governor of Rhode Island and expects to make a decision within weeks, WPRI
Pell is the grandson of the late Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI) and has never held elected office. He and his wife, the Olympic figure-skater Michelle Kwan, live in Providence.
ranks the states where Republicans may be most vulnerable in the 2014 midterm elections.
The most vulnerable states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Indiana, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
Archive: October 27, 2013
Former Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News
that Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) lied about their relationship when he said that the two had gone fishing.
Said Cheney: "Mike also said he and I are fishing buddies, which is simply not true. Never happened."
Cheney's daughter, Liz Cheney, is challenging Enzi in the Wyoming Republican Senate primary.
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) "has been a frequent visitor to New Hampshire in recent months, headlining Republican fundraisers and stoking speculation he might switch states and run against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014 - a possibility he's pointedly declined to rule out," the Concord Monitor
"The latest (possible) clue: On Oct. 11, Scott filed paperwork with the secretary of state's office registering The People's Seat PAC Inc. as a New Hampshire political committee."
Archive: October 26, 2013
"As he seeks a third term in the U.S. Senate, Lamar Alexander is doing something few other incumbent Republicans have tried recently: Instead of running scared of the tea party, he's running hard against it," the Washington Post
"Independent analysts and strategists in both parties think Alexander has a good chance of winning his primary against a low-profile state representative. He is far ahead in early polling, but Alexander's willingness to confront the tea party makes it one of the most important bellwether races in the country."
Archive: October 25, 2013
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler (D) "was not telling the truth in his response to allegations that he did nothing to stop a teen drinking party that he attended this past summer, according to two women who attended the June bash in Delaware," WJLA
Said one woman: "Everybody was drunk. People were literally pouring beer from the top level onto the floor and it was just so blatantly obvious."
Said another: "He was there for the entire time I was there."
"Conservative Republicans in Iowa aren't the only ones happy to see Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) visiting the Hawkeye State
beginning today. So are Democrats -- who are eager to make him the face of Iowa Republicans in next year's midterm races," NBC News
The DNC highlighted the trip in a joint memo with local Democrats: "Up and down the ticket, the reckless and irresponsible political tactics of Ted Cruz are being admired and adopted by Iowa Republicans. Make no mistake: Ted Cruz is leading the Republican Party. Candidates want to be him. Incumbents are afraid of him. The Republican Party base is energized by him."
A new SurveyUSA poll
in Kansas finds Paul Davis (D) leading Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in the race for governor, 43% to 39%.
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) has a new video
that sure sounds like he's gearing up for another race for governor.
"The Republican establishment can't stand her. The media mocks her. But Sarah Palin isn't going anywhere," CNN
"After laying low for much of this year, Palin is gingerly stepping back into the public arena with a national book tour, a trip to the always-important political state of Iowa, and an eye on making yet another series of splashy endorsements in a variety of competitive Republican primaries."
"Five years after rocketing from Alaska obscurity to worldwide fame, Palin wants to be a political player in 2014."
Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) announced it had received a $5,000 campaign contribution from former President George W. Bush, the Columbia State
"Graham raised $1.2 million from July to September and has nearly $7 million in cash to spend on his 2014 race. Graham's three announced challengers in June's GOP primary... have less than $500,000 to spend combined."
President Obama "is setting off on a national fundraising tear to collect money for the three Democratic Party committees, scrambling to pack in events that had been delayed by the government shutdown and a series of foreign policy crises earlier this year," the Washington Post
"Obama is cramming at least nine fundraisers into a one-month period to benefit the Democratic National Committee and the two congressional campaign committees."
Archive: October 24, 2013
Under scrutiny for his presence at a party where teens said there was underage drinking, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D) said that in retrospect, he should have done more to intervene, the Baltimore Sun
Said Gansler: "Perhaps I should have assumed there was drinking in the home, and I got that wrong."
But he said firmly he will remain a candidate in the Democratic race for governor: "We're in it. We're going to win it."
A new Fox News poll
finds Democrats leading Republicans in the generic congressional ballot by eight points, 45% to 37%.
Also interesting: 46% of voters think a random selection of everyday Americans could do a better job on the country's problems than Congress.
Archive: October 23, 2013
The New York Post
says Eliot Spitzer (D) "was overheard saying that his recent unsuccessful run for New York City Comptroller will make it easier for him to run for another office in the near future."
Said the source: "I have heard he may challenge state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman or state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli,"
Mississippi U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel (R), who is challenging Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in a GOP primary, addressed a neo-Confederate conference and costume ball last summer, Mother Jones
"The tea party-backed Mississippi Senate candidate addressed a neo-Confederate conference and costume ball hosted by a group that promotes the work of present-day secessionists and contends the wrong side won the 'war of southern independence.'"
"After announcing his run last week, McDaniel quickly picked up endorsements from the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a prominent backer of the tea party. Both groups are key players in the internal GOP battle between establishment-minded Republicans and tea party insurgents and are backing right-wing challenges to incumbent Republicans whom they deem insufficiently conservative."
A new University of Arkansas poll
finds Rep. Tom Cotton (R) edging Sen. Mark Pryor (D) in the Arkansas U.S. Senate race, 37% to 36%.
"Ohio Gov. John Kasich has kicked up a political storm by circumventing
his legislature to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Conservatives don't like Obamacare, the expansion, or the techniques by
which their determined Republican governor made it happen, and they're
already challenging him in court. Yet Kasich may have strengthened his
hand going into his 2014 reelection race. And should he decide to pursue
higher ambitions, a solid victory next year in his purple presidential
swing state could hasten forgiveness from GOP primary voters -- or a
nominee in search of a ticketmate -- in 2016."
A new Civil Beat poll
in Hawaii finds Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) barely ahead of Democratic primary challenger Colleen Hanbusa (D), 38% to 36%.
: "Hard-line conservatives are rising out of the ashes of a weekslong government shutdown, emboldened by the possibility of adding to their ranks in the Senate next year -- whether by picking up Democrat-held seats or taking out Republican incumbents."
Archive: October 22, 2013
notes that Democrats hold an edge in the generic congressional ballot by 8 points, 48% to 40%.
"But given the challenges Democrats face and the heavily gerrymandered districts that work to protect incumbent members of Congress, it would take a political wave to unseat the House Republican majority. And at the moment, the Democratic advantage isn't large enough to suggest that a wave is building."
: "If there's anything I could get people to understand about the next election, it's this: Even a 2006 or 2010-esque tsunami might not give Democrats control of the House."
A new WMUR Granite State Poll
in New Hampshire shows Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) solidly ahead of former Rep. Charlie Bass (R), 51% to 34%, and former state Sen. Jim Rubens (R), 53% to 28%.
"About 47% of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don't work."
-- Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), quoted by the Bangor Daily News
, echoing Mitt Romney's infamous comments made during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Archive: October 21, 2013
A new USA Today/Princeton Survey Research poll
finds that just 4% of those surveyed -- equal to the margin of error -- say Congress would be changed for the worse if nearly every member was replaced next year while 47% say it would work better.
Key takeaway: "Those findings are similar to the public's views in previous years when voter dismay cost one side or the other control of the House. In 1994, when Democrats lost their majority, 40% said Congress would be better off if most members were replaced. In 2006, when Republicans lost control, 42% held that view."
: "The single most important election in the country next year won't take place in Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina or Alaska. And it won't occur next November, when voters across the country pick the next Congress. It will take place in Kentucky on May 20."
"While the general election in the commonwealth -- and in other states -- could decide which party controls the Senate for President Barack Obama's final two years in office, the GOP primary will go a long way in determining whether the Republican Party continues its evolution toward uncompromising utopian purity and, eventually, possible irrelevance."
has my take on the newest member of the U.S. Senate.
Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt (D) will run for the seat currently held by Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who is running for the U.S. Senate, the Arkansas Times
Former Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) is considering a run for the congressional seat he held for two decades, but if he runs it probably will be as a Republican, the Biloxi Sun Herald
Said Taylor: "I wrestle with it."
A Smart Politics
review finds it has been 129 years since the last time a Mississippi congressman came back to win a U.S. House contest after losing his seat at the ballot box.
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) announced that he will not seek a third term in the House, Roll Call
"Democrats have been looking to target Griffin in Arkansas' 2nd District. They argue that even though the district voted for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney with 55 percent in 2012, the right Democratic candidate could make the seat competitive."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that Republicans would be at risk of losing their majority in the House if the government were to shut down again in January, Roll Call
Said Reid: "I don't blame the American people for being upset. What we have here in America today is a crisis created for no reason, other than to satisfy the shrill right-wing Tea Party... All it did is hurt Republicans... I hope they've learned a lesson. The American people will not put up with that. And if this happens again, I don't think it will, but if it does, I think the House of Representatives will go Democratic."
Archive: October 19, 2013
A new Gonzales Research poll
in Maryland finds Anthony Brown (D) leading the Democratic race for governor with 41%, followed by Doug Gansler at 21% and Heather Mizuer at 5%.
Key findings: "Brown, who would be Maryland's first African-American governor, has the support of 56% of black voters, compared to 12% for Gansler. Among white voters, Brown and Gansler are in a virtual dead heat, with Brown receiving 29% and Gansler getting 28%."
Archive: October 18, 2013
Sarah Palin suggested she might get involved in Kentucky's Republican Senate race between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Matt Bevin (R), the Lexington Herald Leader
"Bevin said a number of national high-profile people had contacted him about helping his campaign, but he declined to say whether Palin was one of them."
Archive: October 17, 2013
: "The government shutdown and debt crisis has made 14 House seats more winnable for Democrats, according to new independent ratings released Thursday from The Cook Political Report
. There are now -- for the first time this cycle -- more Republican seats 'in play' than the 17 Democrats would need to win in order to take the majority in 2014."
Prime subscribers get the whole report
A trio of conservative groups -- The Club For Growth, Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project -- announced they will back Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) who announced a primary challenge against Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), the Washington Post
: "The indispensable Cook Political Report
has only has 13 Democratic-held seats listed in the relatively competitive tossup or "lean" category. Of course, Democrats need to take 17 seats to win the House. The ratings reflect, among other things, a lack of strong challengers for the Democrats and lack of retirements by Republicans."
"The thing is that expert ratings (like most polling) are not all that predictive a year out from an election. At this point in the 2006 cycle, there were 17 Republican seats in the lean or tossup
categories. That's well short of the 30 seats that Democrats would ultimately take from Republicans."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) now trails challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), 45% to 43%.
Key finding: 48% of Kentucky voters say they're less likely to support McConnell for reelection next year because he supported the government shutdown, compared to only 34% who say they're now more likely to support him.
: "House campaigns reported their fundraising totals for July through September this week, revealing some surprising hauls from more than a handful of members and candidates."
Archive: October 16, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in South Dakota finds that the U.S. Senate race has tightened since the summer, with Mike Rounds (R) now winning by only 6 points over Rick Weiland (D), 40% to 34%, with Libertarian Kurt Evans at 11%.
DCCC chair Steve Israel (D-NY) told Greg Sargent
that a number of new recruits for House races would be announced in coming days, thanks to Republican party damage sustained in the budget standoff.
Said Israel: "Conservatively, you will see another three -- it could be as many as five. In a number of districts we had top-tier, all-star potential candidates who several months ago didn't see a path to victory. They reopened the doors. These are competitive districts. They tend to be moderate and have large concentrations of independent voters. Those voters are now seeing the Tea Party implement their agenda."
New polls from Public Policy Polling
in six key U.S. Senate races find voters "extremely unhappy about the government shutdown. As a result Republicans trail in 5 of the 6 key races and are tied in the 6th. Republicans need to win 6 seats to take control of the Senate."
: "Yes. I cannot believe I'm saying this, but I hope the House flips to the Democrats in 2014, so we can be rid of these nuts. Let Ted Cruz sit in the Senate stewing in his precious bodily fluids, and let Washington get back to the business of governing."
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) is likely to face a pirmary challenge from his right by state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), the Clarion Ledger
McDaniel announced that he's holding a special event at noon Thursday to "announce his decision regarding a possible run for higher office."
: "Last week I observed
that I hadn't yet seen 'compelling evidence' that a Democratic political wave could be developing. I can no longer say that after seeing the recently released NBC News/Wall Street Journal
Archive: October 14, 2013
A Senate Democratic aide tells Greg Sargent
that they want the debt ceiling lifted for about 9 months -- until early summer -- with the idea being that the closer to the 2014 elections we get, the harder it will be for Republicans to stage another debt ceiling hostage crisis."
Said the aide: "The effect of this fight has been to destroy the Republican brand and put their 2014 candidates behind the eight ball. We are not trying to bait them into another fight. We'd rather put it past the election. But it's really up to them. If they want to recommit political suicide a few months before an election, that's going to be their choice. We're going to make sure that if this happens it has real consequences for them."
A new Talk Business-Hendrix College survey
in Arkansas finds more voters blame President Obama than Republicans for the government shutdown, 40% to 35%.
The poll also shows Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) barely ahead of Tom Cotton (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 42% to 41%.
Archive: October 13, 2013
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D), who is now running for governor, "regularly ordered state troopers assigned to drive him to turn on the lights and sirens on the way to routine appointments, directing them to speed, run red lights and bypass traffic jams by using the shoulder, according to written accounts
by the Maryland State Police," the Washington Post
New York Times
: "Now, instead of sharpening their attacks on Democrats, Republicans on Capitol Hill are being forced to explain why they are not to blame and why Americans should trust them to govern both houses of Congress when the one they do run is in such disarray. Complicating the prospects, the grass-roots political force that has provided so much of the energy for conservative victories over the last four years -- the Tea Party -- is aggressively working against Republicans it considers not conservative enough."
"As a result, many Republicans are openly worrying that the fallout from the fiscal battles paralyzing the capital will hit hardest not in the House, which seems safely in Republican hands thanks to carefully redrawn districts, but in the Senate. Republican infighting, they say, has given Democrats the cover they need to deflect blame and keep their majority."
Archive: October 12, 2013
Weeks after deciding not to mount another campaign for Florida governor, Alex Sink (D) is poised to run for the Congressional seat now held by Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL), the Tampa Bay Times
Said Sink: "I'm very interested. I have been listening to what's going on in Washington with this whole government shut down business, thinking this is so bad for our country, why can't these people get it together? They're hurting people. We need some kind of change up there. We need better people, or different people. Maybe I can be part of the solution."
Archive: October 11, 2013
A new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (D) survey
that that by a 16-point margin, 43% to 27%, voters blame the Republican in Congress, rather than President Obama and the Democrats, for the government shutdown.
On the generic congressional ballot, Democrats now lead by double digits, 46% to 36%.
A new Critical Insights poll
in Maine finds Mike Michaud (D) leading Paul LePage (R), 33% to 30%, with Eliot Culer (I) close behind at 24%.
: "The unanswered question is how this abstract notion of blame, on just one issue, might translate into tangible changes in voter preferences 13 months from now. Republicans are taking more blame for the shutdown -- but they were extremely unpopular to begin with. How many people's votes will be changed by the shutdown?"
"The best measure of this might be the generic congressional ballot, which measures overall preferences for Democrats or Republicans in congressional races around the country. However, very few generic ballot polls have been released since the shutdown began, and the exceptions are from dubious polling firms like Public Policy Polling and Rasmussen Reports."
"That isn't to say Republicans are without any reason for concern: The most recent Gallup poll shows a much sharper drop in Republican favorability ratings than in those for Democrats, which could presage a shift in the generic ballot."
Archive: October 10, 2013
: "Republicans should pay attention to what's looking increasingly like a Democratic win in the making in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election; that ought to make them at least a little worried for the 2014 midterms. Historically, whichever party is in the White House loses the Virginia gubernatorial election, just as the White House's party loses House seats in midterm elections. The last time this did not happen was 40 years ago, in 1973."
"The issue for Republicans nationwide [is] Cuccinelli embodies their present identity in many ways. Both are becoming deeply unpopular for conservative positions... Meanwhile, McAuliffe looks a lot like Democrats nationally. Both are not well-liked (you could even say, disliked), but they're not seen as extremist - and, crucially, they look great when compared to the other guy."
"So, Republicans should have a bit of a sinking feeling when looking at Virginia. When presented with the choice between ugly and uglier, Virginians seem to have decided to go with ugly. This may not end up being predictive of next year's midterms, but it should be unsettling, to say the least, to Republicans nationally."
A new University of North Florida poll
finds Charlie Crist (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the race for govenror, 44% to 40%, with another 16% either undecided or for other candidates.
Former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) tells the New Hampshire Union Leader
that he has decided against a comeback bid.
Said Smith: "I gave it a lot of thought. Normally, I'm very decisive but I had a lot of difficulty making up my mind. I went into all aspects of it and right up until yesterday, I was on the fence. That's when I decided that I wasn't going to do it."
Archive: October 09, 2013
The Tampa Bay Times
speculates that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) might run for the seat being vacated by Rep. C.W. Young (R-FL) instead of for his old job.
"Absurd as it sounds - who would opt to one of 435 House members rather than governor? - Crist was willing to give up the governorship to run for U.S. Senate in order to gain long-term political job security, and winning a House seat would be a lot less risky than taking on Rick '$100-million' Scott."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
finds Democrats lead the generic congressional ballot 46% to 41%, including a 42% to 33% lead with independents.
Key findings: "Independents have shifted 21 points on the generic ballot from July when Republicans had a 39% to 27% advantage with them. The lean toward Democrats for next year reflects who they blame for the shutdown. By a 51% to 37% margin they say Republicans are more at fault than Democrats, and by a 57% to 41% margin they think Congress is more to blame than the President."
A new Brown University poll
in Rhode Island finds that Gina Raimondo (D) has the early advantage over Angel Taveras (D) in next year's Democratic primary for governor, 42% to 34%.
However, Taveras is a stronger candidate against Allan Fung (R) in a general election race.
rookie Michelle Nunn is about to underline her status as the leading
Democratic candidate in Georgia's race for U.S. Senate with an
eye-popping $1.7 million raised in the first three months of her
campaign....She's on a path to outraise every Republican in the
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) told Roll Call
that Republicans were "absolutely" prepared to lose the House to extract concessions from President Obama and he said the White House is "missing the determination of the Republican Party."
Said Gingrey: "I mean, they seem to think that we will miss this opportunity for a 'Braveheart
' moment to do the right thing for the American people and that we'll back down for fear of losing the House and not gaining control of the Senate."
Archive: October 08, 2013
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who heads up the House Democratic campaign effort, told Democratic lawmakers at a closed door meeting today "that GOP shutdown shenanigans were giving Dems a big recruiting boost, by prompting reluctant Dem candidates to express renewed interest in running in very tough GOP-held districts," Greg Sargent
"Israel, the chair of the DCCC, also said that if the 2012 House elections had been held today, with polls showing what they are now showing, Dems would have taken back the House, according to several sources present."
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) "may have more than a GOP primary challenge on his hands next year," the Atlanta Journal Constitution
"We're told that state Sen. Jason Carter (D), grandson of the former president, has commissioned a poll to 'test the political environment, given recent events,' for a 2014 run for governor."
Archive: October 07, 2013
"Sen. Ted Cruz's hardline on the government shutdown is forcing
Republicans to decide whether to embrace heated rhetoric ahead of the
2014 Senate primaries -- music to Harry Reid's ears... And as the shutdown
drags on and Republicans dig in on the debt ceiling, Republicans are
only digging the hole deeper, endangering what should be their year to
take back the Senate, with early warning shots."
"The battle is far from
over, but already Republicans and Democrats alike are pointing the
finger squarely at Cruz, who both sides credit with fueling the strategy
of linking Obamacare to the government funding fight -- without an
obvious exit strategy."
The Los Angeles Times
reports that "for sheer pop-some-popcorn-and-sit-back-and-watch entertainment, few contests can measure up to the Republican primary fight in Wyoming, where insurgent Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president and longtime state congressman, is bidding to unseat three-term incumbent Sen. Michael B. Enzi."
"With little separating the two staunch conservatives on issues, the contest has become a test of personalities and personal connections, celebrity vs. familiarity, and the question of when compromise -- like Enzi's involvement in bipartisan healthcare talks early in the Obama administration -- amounts to capitulation."
"Now, an outside group is jumping into the contest with the first TV spot
of the campaign, a 30-second advertisement that attacks Cheney for, one is led to believe, backing same-sex marriage."
Archive: October 06, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
finds that if the 2014 midterm elections were held today, Republicans "would be in grave danger of losing control of the House of Representatives."
In a series of 24 surveys in GOP-held House districts, Republican incumbents are behind in match ups with generic Democratic challengers in 17 districts. In 4 other districts, the incumbent Republican trails after being told that the incumbent supported the government shutdown. In just 3 districts are incumbents leading generic challengers after voters are told the incumbent supported the government shutdown.
Democrats need 17 seats to win control of the House. These results show that if the election were held today, such a pickup would be within reach.
Archive: October 04, 2013
Wendy Davis (D) "talked a lot about the issues she wants to emphasize in her race for Texas governor: public education (she's for it) and hyper-partisanship and political cronyism in Austin (she's against it). But the one thing she didn't talk about -- the very thing that has made her suddenly a viable statewide candidate -- was conspicuously absent," the Dallas Morning News
"Thursday's kickoff announcement was not the place to discuss abortion or women's health care. But because those issues will most certainly be a subtext of her opponent's attacks against her, Davis is going to have to find a way to talk about them."
: "How much of a chance does Davis have to accomplish what no Democrat has since 1990? In short, a very slim one."
Archive: October 03, 2013
Roll Call notes 10 from the House
and 5 from the Senate
to watch as key indicators for the 2014 midterm elections.
Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D) will run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, "giving Democrats the high-profile candidate they've been scrambling for in a bid to keep the seat they've held for decades," the AP
Archive: October 02, 2013
A new Susquehanna Polling & Research survey
in Pennsylvania finds 58% of respondents disapprove of Gov. Tom Corbett's (R) job performance -- including 45% who strongly disapprove -- while 33% approve.
That's a 12 point drop from a similar February poll where Corbett was down 52% to 39%.
A new Texas Lyceum poll
finds Greg Abbott (R) leads Wendy Davis (D) in a possible match up for governor, 29% to 21%, with a whopping 50% still undecided.
The New Hampshire Union Leader
tells former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) to stop flirting with a U.S. Senate bid in New Hampshire.
"Brown needs to either move here and announce a run or state definitively that he will not be a candidate. The ladies love his flirting, it is true, but the one who loves it the most is Jeanne Shaheen. Every time he bats an eye, she cashes a check. He needs to make his intentions clear or turn his big, brown eyes elsewhere."
Suggesting he's taking recent polls showing a closer race seriously, Cory Booker (D) released a negative ad
against Steve Lonegan (R) in their U.S. Senate race.
Archive: October 01, 2013
Internal polling conducted by New Jersey senatorial candidate Steve Lonegan (R) and obtained by National Review
shows Cory Booker's (D) lead in the U.S. Senate race slipping to just six points, 48% to 42%.
Similar to a Quinnipiac poll
released earlier today, a new Public Policy Polling survey
finds Democrats improving their position on the generic Congressional ballot in the wake of all the controversy about the government shutdown. Democrats now lead Republicans 45% to 40% up from a 43% to 42% spread in July.
Another interesting tidbit from the new Quinnipiac poll
"Looking at the 2014 Congressional races, voters pick a generic Democrat over a generic
Republican candidate 43% to 34%, the widest Democratic margin measured so far."
According to Politico
, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) "has privately warned House Republicans that they could lose their majority in 2014 as a result of shutting down the government."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Florida shows Charlie Crist (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the race for governor, 50% to 38%.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee "is launching robocalls targeting more than 60 House Republicans on the government shutdown," The Hill
"The calls patch constituents through to their congressman to allow them to urge them to end the shutdown, which began early Tuesday morning as the clock ran out on the government funding measure and the two chambers were unable to come to a compromise. "
Archive: September 30, 2013
A new FEC report shows House incumbents hold an 11-to-1 fundraising advantage over their 2014 challengers, Roll Call
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) told WBRC
that he will not seek another term in Congress.
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-NH) is selling his home in Massachusetts "at a time many are speculating he is planning his next political move," the Boston Herald
"Brown could not be reached for comment. He has said he is exploring a possible 2016 presidential run. He is also seen as a potential Senate candidate in New Hampshire, where he owns a summer home."
notes Brown "will appear at another GOP function in New Hampshire on Monday night, continuing to fan flames that he might move there to run for Senate in 2014, even though the possibility of that happening looks increasingly remote."
A new Siena Poll
in New York finds that 62% of voters do not want Eliot Spitzer to run for office against next year.
Said pollster Steven Greenberg: "On the heels of his political comeback attempt earlier this month, narrowly losing a Democratic primary for City Comptroller, voters are urging Spitzer to eschew any new comeback attempts in 2014. Only one-quarter of voters want to see him run for statewide office next year, nearly evenly divided among State Comptroller and his previous positions of Governor and Attorney General. At least 62 percent of voters from every region and party
agree, although more than 40 percent of African American and Latino voters think he should run."
Archive: September 27, 2013
: "First, this is not about Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney and I have known each other for over 45 years. He is a dear and loyal friend who I would protect and be loyal to the end of my days. I have proved that trait many a time for him, and he has done the same for me. We have campaigned for each other each and every time we ran - and neither of us ever lost an election! We have been in the trenches, we've been carpet bombed, shot at and missed, shot at and hit, abused, trampled, been both victims and victorious, and I would lay my life down for him. So indeed, it is not about Dick. It is about Lynne and Liz Cheney. So hang on tight because you are going to get some clear and true facts without rumor and innuendo, or any accompanying B.S. and mush."
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), "after months of preparation for a possible candidacy, will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor, removing what would have been one of the party's most serious contenders for next year's primary election," the Boston Globe
Archive: September 26, 2013
The Austin American-Statesman
confirmed from a Democratic source knowledgable about Wendy Davis' (D) plans that she's going to announce a bid for governor next week.
Tennessee U.S. Senate candidate Joe Carr (R) "plagiarized other people's writings at least four times in his answers to questions from a tea party group working to vet potential challengers to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the Tennessean reports.
"Responding to a questionnaire by the Coalition for a Constitutional Senate, which includes more than 60 Tennessee tea party and far-right groups and a political action committee known as Beat Lamar, Carr copied lengthy phrases and complete sentences from four different articles on The Heritage Foundation's website."
Archive: September 25, 2013
"A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in an non-presidential year. It's a great year for Republicans!"
-- Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (R), in a radio interview
, predicting big GOP wins next year.
: "Between the 2009 race and today's, we're seeing nearly twice as many sponsors, advertisements, and airings of ads. The Cook Political Report
takes care every four years to shoot down the presumption that the outcomes of Virginia's and New Jersey's gubernatorial races will foreshadow the overall outcome of the next midterm election. That said, Kantar Media CMAG believes the near-doubling, within one election cycle, of ad metrics like sponsors, unique advertisements, and spot occurrences is a fair rule of thumb for the significant general elections of 2014."
A new Clemson University poll
finds Sen. Lindsey Graham would get the votes of 31% of GOP voters regardless of his primary opponent, while nearly 20% of Republicans said they would not vote for him.
Key findings: GOP voters told the Clemson poll they disliked Graham for: his perceived lack of conservative principles; association with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and tendency to compromise too much with Democrats.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) unannounced re-election campaign is launching a statewide TV ad campaign today in an unusually early move -- more than 13 months before the election, the Detroit Free Press
"The one-minute ad
, expected to air in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing and Traverse City markets, is titled 'Michigan is Back' and touts Snyder's accomplishments since taking office in January 2011."
His closing line: "It's a nerdy job, but someone has to do it."
Archive: September 24, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Massachusetts finds Martha Coakley (D) with big leads in both the primary and general election for governor.
Coakley's announcement has pretty much evaporated support for all the candidates who were already in the race. She leads with 57%, followed by Steve Grossman at 10% and Don Berwick at 6%.
Coakley also starts out with a double digit lead over Charlie Baker (R), 51% to 38%.
"Something that might be of concern to Democrats, however, is that in
this year's data, independents are tilting Republican by 18 points, 43
percent to 25 percent. This is even more than the 14-point edge that the
GOP had in the 2010 polling (40 percent to 26 percent) and dramatically
different from the 1-point Democratic edge in 2012 (35 percent to 34
percent). While independents tend to vote in smaller numbers than they
do in presidential years, so do some of the strongest Democratic groups,
namely minorities, youths, and, in particular, young women. These are
the voters who made a huge difference for the Democrats in the 2008 and
2012 elections. This turnout disparity between midterm and presidential
years spells trouble for Democrats. They overcame that obstacle in 2006
by running strongly among those independents who had turned on President
Bush over the war in Iraq, among other things. The forces at work are
considerably different this time around."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in West Virginia finds Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) leading Natalie Tennant (D) by 14 points in the race for U.S. Senate, 50% to 36%.
Eliot Cutler (I) is officially launching his campaign for Maine governor, the AP
Cutler came in a close second to Gov. Paul LePage (R) in the 2010 election "and has said he represents a break from the traditional two-party political system."
Two Democrats and nine Republicans are facing off in special election primaries today for the House seat vacated by former Rep. Jo Bonner (R), the Mobile Press Register
"Tuesday's election is the first step toward doing that. A runoff election, expected to take place in the Republican Party's primary involving Tuesday's top two vote-getters, will occur on Nov. 5. The general election is Dec. 17."
Lynne Cheney told former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) to "shut your mouth" about supporting Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) over Cheney's daughter Liz in the U.S. Senate race, the Cody Enterprise
The conversation was conveyed in a Facebook post by Simpson's daughter-in-law: "I wasn't involved, just a bystander. But I won't tolerate others that treat those I care about ... with such disdain and disrespect. An intelligent woman like Lynne should realize that everyone is entitled to speak their mind and have an opinion. I was tempted to go tell her where she can go for speaking to a man I love that way when it occurred to me her so very classy commentary would be better shared here. Isn't she a gem!"
Archive: September 23, 2013
: "Nearly every Republican candidate running for Senate in 2014 backs the GOP's push to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare -- a sign of how popular they believe the plan is with conservative primary voters."
"Those supporting the GOP strategy include the seven House Republicans running for the Senate."
Archive: September 21, 2013
After months of flirting with another campaign for Florida governor -- "and trashing likely Democratic frontrunner Charlie Crist (D) -- Alex Sink (D) has decided to stay on the sidelines," the Tampa Bay Times
Said Sink: "I'm enjoying the possibility of making a difference in private life."
"Sink's decision not to run was widely expected in Florida political circles, as she showed little sign of putting together a campaign and was up front about her ambivalence and her family's opposition. But until Friday the former Bank of America leader and former state chief financial officer continued to keep the door open and several times pushed back her deadline for announcing a decision."
Archive: September 20, 2013
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) once made a $500 contribution to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the woman he's running against for U.S. Senate, the Baton Rouge Advocate
Cassidy, who was a Democrat well before entering politics, called it a "youthful indiscretion," adding, "Back then, Mary said she was a conservative."
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) "is increasing his fund-raising efforts amid speculation that he might retire instead of run for re-election next year," the New York Times
"Most members of Congress who are leaning toward retirement ease off the fund-raising circuit. But Mr. Cochran, who had nearly $774,000 on hand as of the end of June, is stocking his war chest to be prepared to run for a seventh term. Senate watchers believe that the longtime Republican has not definitively decided to run again, but is closely eying the possibility of his party regaining a majority next year, which could enable him to take over as chairman of the Appropriations Committee in what could be his final term."
"Republicans eyeing Obama's troubles should be giddy about next year's
prospects for winning control of the Senate and maintaining their big
majority in the House. Except, instead of dreaming about majorities in
both chambers of Congress, they're more focused on one little, nagging
concern: House Republicans could screw it all up."
Archive: September 19, 2013
and the Rothenberg Political Report
are collaborating on a new 2014 midterm race ratings map
Archive: September 18, 2013
Hillary Clinton told a charity luncheon in Chicago that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who lost a tough primary challenger when Bill Daley dropped his bid yesterday, "has just been entered into the Guinness World Records book as luckiest politician," the Chicago Tribune
Real Clear Politics
shows President Obama's average net approval rate is now underwater by 6.6 percentage points.
: "Obama's approval rating can greatly affect the 2014 midterm elections and, to a lesser extent, the 2016 presidential election... If the president's approval rating were to hold, a very simple regression finds the Democrats would lose 30 seats in the House."
"To be sure, the incumbent president's approval rating matters less when he is not running for re-election... [Even so,] once we control for the economy, every 5pt increase in a president's net approval rating increases his party's candidate's margin by 1pt in the [next] presidential election per Drew Linzer."
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) will not
run for U.S. Senate in 2014, National Journal
"Amash was tempted by the allure of a
campaign for higher office, sources say, but the second-term lawmaker
ultimately was unwilling to risk surrendering the clout he enjoys among
conservatives in the GOP-controlled House."
After weeks of pondering which office to seek, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) will announce on Oct. 3 whether she's running for governor, the Fort Worth Star Telegram
Austin American Statesman
: "Right now, it looks more than likely that Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D) will join a Davis ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor. Beyond that it is not at all clear what if any Democrats might fill out a statewide ticket. Democrats last won statewide office in in Texas in 2004."
Archive: September 17, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in New Hampshire finds Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in a pretty strong position as long as Scott Brown doesn't come across the border to challenge her.
Shaheen leads Charlie Bass (R), 51% to 41%, Jim Rubens (R), 50% to 33%, Karen Testerman (R), 50% to 31% and Dan Innis (R), 52% to 30%. The only Republican who really comes close to Shaheen is former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who she leads just 48% to 44%.
: "The GOP's brand is showing no sign of
recovering from what led to the party's thumping in 2012, and
second-term fatigue does seem to be plaguing Democrats. We could be
seeing an election in which the two forces cancel each other out, with
little change in the House, and Republicans picking up three, four, or
five Senate seats but still coming up short of the six they need to gain
a majority. Under those circumstances, it might be questionable in 2016
whether the electorate would want a third Democratic term in the White
house, but it is equally unclear whether voters would choose to turn the
executive branch over to Republicans. At the very least, Americans
might want to prepare themselves for Washington to muddle along for the
next three years until the 2016 election."
Wall Street Journal
Republicans think they are sure to hold the House in 2014 no matter what
happens because of gerrymandering, but even those levees won't hold if
there's a wave of revulsion against the GOP. Marginal seats still matter
for controlling Congress. The kamikazes could end up ensuring the
return of all-Democratic rule."
Former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot (R) says he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the Helena Independent Record
Racicot said that he is encouraging Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) to run for Montana's first open Senate seat since the 1970s.
The Boston Globe
looks at Martha Coakley's (D) bid for Massachusetts governor in which she "embarked on what could fairly be called the Great Handshake Tour of 2013, pumping palm after palm in a frenetic display designed to lay to rest memories of her failed 2010 Senate race when she famously disdained shaking hands outside Fenway Park in the cold."
"The message is clear: Coakley insists she has learned the lessons from her lackluster Senate race and will showcase a harder-working side of herself."
A Smart Politics
analysis finds that a 2014 West Virginia race between Shelley Moore Capito (R) and Natalie Tennant (D) would be the 13th U.S. Senate contest featuring two female major party nominees in U.S. history, and just the third without an incumbent.
"West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's anticipated entrance into an open-seat Senate race on Tuesday will bring the recruitment phase of next year's competitive Senate landscape closer to its conclusion," Roll Call
"Senate Democrats, who can afford a loss of no more than five seats in the 2014 midterms to retain a majority, are on the brink of filling the remaining few gaps on the party's roster of candidates. With Tennant in and Lt. Gov. John Walsh potentially running in Montana, the party has just one vulnerable seat left where it is still searching for a candidate: South Dakota."
"Republicans are playing offense in all but two of the top races next year and therefore had far more recruiting to do, but they have also landed candidates in nearly all of their highly targeted races. While the search is ongoing in some second-tier states, most of the party's biggest midterm question marks stem from the rampant competitive primaries that will play out next summer."
Archive: September 16, 2013
Bill Daley (D) "abruptly ended his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor today, telling the Chicago Tribune
that a lifetime in politics had not prepared him for the "enormity" of his first run for office and the challenge of leading the state through difficult times."
Said Daley: "One of the things I always thought in my career that I wanted to do, I thought I would be able to have that opportunity, I hoped, would be to run for office. And even though you're around it for a long time, you really don't get a sense of the enormity of it until you get into it."
However, he added: "There's no doubt in my mind that Pat Quinn will not be the next governor of Illinois. This governor is not that strong that somebody should fear running against him."
Sabato's Crystal Ball
: "West Virginia and national Democrats finally have a candidate in the Mountain State's open Senate race: Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) will reportedly
enter the contest Tuesday morning. Her entry, which has been rumored for months, gives Democrats a credible opponent for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R, WV-2), the likely Republican nominee. We are changing the rating in this race from Likely Republican to LEANS REPUBLICAN. With a successful statewide elected official now running, Democrats have kept the race on the competitive board, but it would still be a significant surprise if Republicans fumbled away one of their best pickup opportunities in the country."
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) is expected to announce her
candidacy Tuesday for the Democratic nomination to become West
Virginia's next U.S. Senator, the Charleston Daily Mail
"Long rumored to have interest in running,
Tennant began calling Democrats across the state Friday to let them know
her plans, said an unnamed Democrat."
Bob Vander Plaats (R), a key socially conservative power broker in Iowa's presidential caucuses, will consider a U.S. Senate run next month, BuzzFeed
Said a spokesman: "He would consider looking at it in the middle of October, and decide by the end of the year."
Archive: September 15, 2013
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), "who only three years ago appeared to be finished politically, will join the race for governor with an announcement in her home town of Medford on Monday followed by an 18-city barnstorming tour for the next three days," the Boston Globe
"After a lackluster performance that led to her humiliating loss to Scott Brown in the 2010 US Senate race, Coakley is expected to be a formidable candidate in the primary. Recent polls show she is now one of the most popular political figures in the state."
Archive: September 13, 2013
: "Congressional candidates often boast a résumé that includes time in local office, terms in the legislature or experience running a business. It's a formula that instantly boosts name identification with voters. But the cast of congressional candidates usually offers some upstarts -- people with an unusual background, a unique curriculum vitae or an unconventional motivation that gives them a shot at Congress."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will help raise funds for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) Democratic opponent, Politico
"Reid's move comes after he had said last year that
he would not publicly campaign against Senate Republican leader Mitch
McConnell because he didn't think it would be appropriate to do so."
"Some senior staff members working to get Ken Cuccinelli elected governor have had their roles redefined in a move that insiders say was made to reinvigorate the Republican's campaign," the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
Cuccinelli has trailed in nearly every poll over the last two months.
A Maine's People Resource Center poll
shows Mike Michaud (D) leading Gov. Paul LePage (R), 40% to 34%, with Eliot Cutler (I) at 17%.
However, in a two-way race Michaud absolutely crushes LePage, 60% to 36%.
Archive: September 12, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in North Carolina finds Gov. Pat McCrory's (R) poll numbers "continuing to fall to their lowest level ever."
Key finding: Only 35% of voters in the state approve of the job he's doing to 53% who disapprove.
McCrory now trails four possible but not well-known Democratic rivals: He's down 48% to 42% to Roy Cooper (D), 47% to 43% to Janet Cowell (D), 45% to 42% to Charles Meeker (D), and 44% to 42% to Josh Stein.
Roll Call: "House Democrats are taking a calculated risk to help some candidates
in contested, open primaries this cycle -- despite the potential blowback
that could come down the line."
A new EPIC-MRA poll
in Michigan finds Gov. Rick Snyder (R), fresh off a successful push for Medicaid expansion, is out-polling challenger Mark Schauer (D) by eight points, 44% to 36%.
In the U.S. Senate race, Rep. Gary Peters (D) barely edges Terri Lynn Land (R), 39% to 38%.
"GOP outside groups are struggling to keep up with the breakneck fundraising pace necessary ahead of the high-stakes election. Next year will be the Republican Party's best shot at taking the Senate for years to come, since they would need to net six seats, while Democrats have seven seats to defend in states that Mitt Romney won last year," Politico
"While the underlying reason for the weak fundraising is lingering frustration from 2012, when the Republican Party persuaded deep-pocketed donors to dump in millions, only to see their party lose seats in the House and Senate and Barack Obama take the White House again, there are new concerns, too."
"In interviews with fundraisers, bundlers and GOP operatives, a perception emerged that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has its own problems -- notably a leadership vacuum -- that is making the already difficult fundraising environment that much worse."
Archive: September 11, 2013
Florida Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign "cancelled a planned $25,000-a-person fund-raiser that featured an alligator hunt. The campaign has not yet given a reason for the decision, but the event -- and its quick demise -- became a social media sensation and prompted media inquiries," the Tampa Bay Times
Archive: September 10, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
suggests that it doesn't matter who the Republicans put forward to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) because she has a wide lead over all of them.
However, "there's still strong reason to think this will be a close race. Voters continue to be pretty closely divided on her job performance, with 43% approving and 39% disapproving. And the Republicans are being hurt by low name recognition at this point, with none of the potential candidates known to even half of the electorate. The race is likely to tighten up a good bit once the GOP settles on a candidate and that person becomes better known, but for now Hagan looks like she's in good shape."
A new Harper Polling survey
in South Dakota finds former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) starts the U.S. Senate race with a sizable 52% to 38% lead over Rick Weiland (D), a former aide to Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD).
Archive: September 09, 2013
A new Global Strategy Group (D) poll
in Arkansas finds Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) holds a six-point lead over Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), 47% to 41%.
Archive: September 06, 2013
"I violated all of my own standards and rules for management and leadership."
-- Charlie Baker (R), in an interview with the Boston Globe
, on his previous bid for Massachusetts governor.
Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry (D) said it's "unlikely he'll run for governor in 2014, but he didn't completely rule out the possibility and said he's confident he's eligible for a third term as the state's chief executive," the AP
When asked if the door was completely shut on a gubernatorial bid against Republican Gov. Mary Fallin in 2014, Henry responded: "There's a little bit of light shining through that door, because you never say never."
Archive: September 05, 2013
: "The crystallized summary of this nearly 50-year tour through history is less an iron rule of politics than a cautionary one: Omens can be deceptive. Of the 12 examples in our table, five Virginia elections were genuinely predictive of the next year's midterm results. Another five were misleading indicators. The remaining two (1985 and 1989) could be argued either way."
"So take out the coin in your pocket and flip it. Your nickel is as good a bet on the future course of politics as the outcome of Virginia's gubernatorial elections. Remember this in November when you see firm prognostications about 'what it all means.'"
Archive: September 04, 2013
"Former aides to John Boehner and other high-level GOP operatives are increasingly convinced that the House Speaker will step aside after the 2014 midterm elections," Huffington Post
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) will not seek re-election in 2014, the Providence Journal
The move "opens the door for a number of prominent politicians who have been eyeing the governor's office."
Chafee recently switched
his voter registration to become a Democrat in advance of what many expected to be a tough re-election race.
Charles Baker (R), the GOP's defeated candidate for governor in 2010, "will announce a second gubernatorial campaign Wednesday, according to three top Massachusetts Republican leaders briefed on his decision, a highly anticipated move that party insiders see as critical to Republican hopes of recapturing the governor's office," the Boston Globe
: "Local races rarely have an impact on statewide or congressional elections, but a trio of local races this year could have an effect on three competitive House districts next year."
Archive: September 03, 2013
Jeb Bradley (R) tells WMUR-TV
that he will not run for statewide office in 2014, "a significant blow" to New Hampshire Republicans who nearly took it for granted that Bradley would run for either governor or U.S. Senate next year.
Kevin Kookogey (R) called himself an "unannounced candidate" for U.S. Senate, fueling speculation that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is soon likely to get another primary challenger from the right, the Tennessean
A new Hays Research Group poll
in Alaska shows Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) leading challenger Mead Treadwell (R), 50% to 39% in the U.S. Senate race.
Archive: August 31, 2013
"For the past two years, Republican senators facing re-election have very deliberately spent millions of dollars, hired multiple consultants and cast scores of conservative votes with one goal in mind: avoiding the embarrassing primary conflagrations that befell their party in 2010 and 2012 and cost Republicans a chance at taking back the Senate," the New York Times
"It has not worked. Despite their careful efforts, some of the best-known and most influential Republicans in the Senate have been unable to shake threats from the right and have attracted rivals who portray these lawmakers as a central part of the problem in Washington."
Archive: August 30, 2013
A new West Virginia Poll
finds Shelley Capito (R) leading Natalie Tennant (D) in a possible U.S. Senate race, 45% to 40%, with another 15% still undecided.
Pollster Rex Repass warns: "But the campaign hasn't started. It's very early."
"Words to me are like thunder. They make a lot of noise, but they don't
accomplish anything. And that's how I feel. And
if that takes me down, it takes me down."
-- Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), quoted by the Washington Post
, on the controversial things he says.
Archive: August 29, 2013
Later today, Political Wire Prime
subscribers will get comments from former Gov. Howard Dean on what he's seeing for Democrats in 2014 as he travels around the country.
There are many great things planned for September as well.Subscribe today
for just $25 per year.
"Democratic operatives are scouring Texas to find worthy statewide candidates to run on a 2014 ticket with Sen. Wendy Davis," the Dallas Morning News
"The recruitment of running mates for the Fort Worth Democrat by the party and associated groups is a clear indication that Davis is indeed preparing for a statewide campaign. In theory, she would benefit from a ticket with competitive candidates for lieutenant governor, attorney general and other offices."
A Philadelphia Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College Poll
in Pennsylvania finds Gov. Tom Corbett (R) in big trouble for re-election next year.
Kye findings: "Just one in five registered voters think Corbett, who faces challengers from his own political party but no primary-election opponent, deserves a second term. It comes as little surprise that just 7% of Democrats want a second term for Corbett. It's a problem for Corbett that just 22% of independents want him re-elected. It is potentially disastrous that just 38% of Republican voters support his re-election."
Sen. Mark Pryor's (D-AR) "political destiny -- and potentially that of the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate -- may come down to which president Arkansas voters most closely associate with him," Bloomberg
"Republicans are trying to paint Pryor as a Barack Obama Democrat who backed the health-care legislation and 2009 economic stimulus. Pryor is more comfortable being associated with a different president, fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton."
That Clinton is making a big speech
in Little Rock on Obamacare next month is probably an attempt to be helpful to Pryor.
Archive: August 28, 2013
"Fall's fiscal fights have lined up in a way that could delay immigration reform until 2014, multiple senior House Republican leadership aides tell Politico
, imperiling the effort's prospects before the midterm elections."
"Immigration reform isn't certain to die if it slips into 2014, some in GOP leadership say. But major progress must be made in 2013 as it would be too difficult for the House to chart a course in 2014, an election year."
A North Star Opinion Research (R) poll
in Tennessee finds Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) with a huge lead over primary challenger Joe Carr (R), 64% to 22%.
Archive: August 27, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Maine shows Mike Michaud (D) leads Gov. Paul LePage (R) in the race for governor, 39% to 35%, with another 18% for Eliot Cutler (I).
In a two way contest, Michaud would blow LePage out, 54% to 39%.
Archive: August 26, 2013
Despite a pledge to steer clear of endorsing incumbents, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has financially backed a handful of Senate Republicans through his PAC, including Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), whose campaign Cruz said that he would not endorse
, the Washington Post
Cruz's leadership PAC, Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund, "made only five donations in the first six months of its existence, and all of those dollars went to incumbents."
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Colorado finds Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) leading state Greg Brophy (R), 47% to 40%, toppping Scott Gessler (R), 47% to 42%, and just ahead of Tom Tancredo (R), 46 to 45%.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) declined to back fellow Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn's bid for reelection in 2014, saying that he will probably steer clear of all races in which incumbents face primary challengers, the Washington Post
Cruz called Cornyn a "good man" and a "friend," but said, "I think it is likely that I am going to stay out of incumbent primaries across the country, either supporting incumbents or opposing incumbents."
: "The freshman Senator has made clear during his brief time in the Senate that he has little interest in going along to get along or any desire to climb the leadership ladder. In case you missed that point, Cruz's trip to Iowa last weekend and to New Hampshire this past Friday -- when he made the Cornyn comments -- are an obvious tell: Cruz wants to run for president in 2016."
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) announces her candidacy for a second term today, "flanked by three other high-profile GOP governors," the Greenville News
"Haley, who rose from obscurity in a 2010 primary crowded with well-known political figures to become the state's first woman governor, will be joined by Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin - all considered possible presidential candidates in 2016."
: "Haley is probably the most vulnerable GOP governor up for re-election in 2014 who's not from a swing state or blue state. And it's because of that vulnerability that has us scratching our heads as to why she's surrounding herself with national GOP leaders at her re-election announcement. Is she running for re-election? Or launching a campaign to become national surrogate or a cabinet secretary for the next Republican presidency? Seems like an odd decision to send the message locally that she's focused NATIONALLY."
Archive: August 23, 2013
The Cook Political Report
has a must-see chart that shows how the race for
Senate in 2014 is shaping up.
If Mayor Bob Filner (D) does step down, as expected, "an all-party primary would be held within 90 days of his resignation, with a runoff between the top-two vote-getters to follow within another 45 days," NBC News
"The biggest question with implications for local and national politics is what Republican Carl DeMaio will do: continue his campaign for Congress against freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, or jump into an abbreviated special election for the mayor's job that he came close to winning last November?"
"The possibility of DeMaio jumping to a mayoral special election is something that's worried GOP strategists ever since it became clear that Mayor Filner's job might suddenly become available. Both parties see the district -- which voted just 52% for President Obama in 2012 -- as up for grabs."
: "The battle for the Senate is primed to go down to the wire. Democrats can lose up to five seats while retaining the majority -- assuming Cory Booker wins October's special election in New Jersey -- but the party is threatened by members facing tough races in the Deep South and other conservative states. Already, races for three Democratic-held open seats (Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia) are favoring Republicans, and Sen. Mark Pryor is looking in tenuous shape in Arkansas."
"But as strong a cycle as this is looking for Republicans, that's as much attributable to the very conservative bent of the 'playing field' as it is to the environment or strong recruitment."
Archive: August 22, 2013
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released an internal poll
showing him in good shape against little-known primary challenger Matt Bevin (R), 68% to 21%.
"They'd never say it publicly. But catch many Democrats in an honest
moment and they would admit that a Republican-led government shut down
this fall might be the best thing -- perhaps the only thing -- that could
revive their fading hopes of capturing the House next year...Nothing
short of a powerful jolt -- a moment that grabs casual voters by the
lapels and makes them take notice -- is likely to alter the landscape in a
dramatic way. A shutdown could be it, Democrats argue, putting in play
GOP-leaning districts now thought to be all but out of reach."
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) announced
that he will not be running for governor.
Said Brown: "For the first time in 15 plus years, I have had a Summer to spend with my family. In addition, I have been fortunate to have private sector opportunities that I find fulfilling and exhilarating. These new opportunities have allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I want to continue with that process."
: "Now, it's looking increasingly unlikely that another campaign is in Brown's immediate future, based both on what he's been saying, and the options he has left."
Liz Cheney (R) posted a $220 bond on a charge of making a false statement to procure a fishing license in Wyoming, the Jackson Hole News and Guide
Cheney claimed she had been a resident of the state for 10 years, an error she later blamed
on a clerk.
compiles six buzz phrases "that almost always guarantee that the candidates uttering them are headed toward defeat."
Archive: August 21, 2013
Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who resigned earlier this year to lead a conservative Washington-based think tank, occasionally voted against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "while in the Senate. But they rarely criticized each other in public," the Columbia State
But the political action committee that DeMint founded in 2008 released a radio ad in South Carolina criticizing Graham for recently saying that voting to defund the Affordable Care Act was "a bridge too far."
notes DeMint is on record saying that Republican unwilling to vote to defund Obamacare "need to be replaced."
Archive: August 20, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Louisiana finds Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) leads Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) by ten points, 50% to 40%.
Key finding: "The key for Landrieu is that she still has a fair amount of crossover support from Republicans. 23% of them approve of her and 23% also support her in a hypothetical match up against Cassidy. That's a lot more support than you see most Democrats managing across party lines these days, particularly in the south."
Two GOP polls released yesterday found a much closer
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Ohio shows a toss up race for governor, with Ed FitzGerald (D) holding a slight lead over John Kasich (R), 38% to 35%.
Key findings: "The closeness of the race is more of a reflection on Kasich than FitzGerald. He has a negative approval rating with 42% of voters approving of him to 47% who disapprove. That represents a 10 point net decline from our last Ohio poll in November when he was at 45/40. FitzGerald meanwhile remains unknown to most voters in the state with 62% not having an opinion about him one way or the other- among those who do have one 20% see him positively and 18% in a negative light."
Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr (R) is expected to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in next year's Republican primary, the Tennessean
Archive: August 19, 2013
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) told a group of Republicans at a fundraiser last week that President Obama "hates white people," the Portland Press Herald
"Two Republican lawmakers confirmed the comment when asked directly by a Press Herald reporter, but asked that their names be withheld for fear of political retribution. Each said LePage talked about how Obama could have been the best president ever if he highlighted his biracial heritage. But, LePage said, the president hasn't done that because he hates white people."
A new National Republican Senatorial Committee poll
shows Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) leads Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) by four points, 45% to 41%.
Meanwhile, a Harper Polling survey
shows Cassidy ahead by two points, 47% to 45%.
A new Triton Polling survey
in Tennessee shows Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) trailing a generic "conservative" challenger by 5 points, 49.5% to 44.5%.
Meanwhile, Breitbart News
reports that conservative Tennessee radio host Ralph Bristol says he'll have a "major announcement" that will alter the political landscape tomorrow morning.
Archive: August 18, 2013
A Twitter poster who called Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) an "idiot" and "retard Barbie" -- and said Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) would demolish her in the governor's election -- got a thank-you from Abbott, the Dallas Morning News
Former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) said he is seriously considering another run for the U.S. Senate, the New Hampshire Union Leader
He lives in Florida but has a summer home in New Hampshire.
Said Smith: "I am giving it serious consideration, but I have not made a final decision. I have not."
As he toured Iowa
, former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) told the Des Moines Register
that he'll reveal his intentions for the Massachusetts governor's race "in a week to 10 days."
He added that "it's courteous to let others interested in the race know."
Archive: August 17, 2013
The New York Times
notes California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) "is enjoying a degree of success and authority he and his opponents could scarcely have imagined when he returned to Sacramento to begin a second tour as governor in 2010."
"The state's budget problems are largely resolved, at least for the short term. Mr. Brown is the dominant figure in Sacramento, strengthened by overwhelming Democratic control of the Legislature and the decline of the Republican Party. He has pushed through major initiatives on education financing and prison reorganization. Even Republicans say his re-election next year seems considerably more than likely."
"Brown is not saying whether he will seek re-election, but it seems
nearly unthinkable that he will not. He does not appear to be even
slightly worried about his prospects."
Archive: August 15, 2013
The Casper Star Tribune
notes that Liz Cheney (R) "is in campaign mode, speaking at events, collecting contributions, sending out press releases and advertising in the state."
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Enzi (R) "is traveling from town to town for 'listening sessions,' meetings he regularly schedules during congressional recess periods, where he lets constituents ask him questions and express their concerns for the country."
"Despite the travel, the three-term senator has yet to kick his campaign into gear. He's scheduled to speak to conservative donors and activists next month in New York, but he's still without a campaign website, bumper stickers, advertisements and campaign staff. He said he has a full-time job representing Wyomingites in Washington and hasn't announced when he will unveil a campaign team in the state."
Cook Political Report
: "McConnell can take on Grimes, though, he must contend with a primary challenge to his right from businessman and political newcomer Matt Bevin. It is worth remembering that McConnell runs textbook perfect campaigns and is an aggressive fundraiser. His opponents underestimate him at their peril. Polling shows McConnell well ahead of Bevin in the primary, but that the general election is in single digits. The contest is in the Toss Up column."
Rothenberg Political Report
: "Suggesting that this race is close to a toss up dramatically over-weights early polling and ignores the Republican advantage in the state in federal races. After all, McConnell won in 2008 -- a horrible year for Republicans. We reiterate our 'Republican favored' rating but definitely agree that this race is worth watching and that Republicans could find themselves in trouble here thirteen months from now."
"The brain trust of the Michigan Republican Party, energized earlier
this year by the surprise retirement of Democratic Sen. Carl Levin,
quickly set out to accomplish twin objectives: Recruit an electable,
well-financed Republican candidate, and do it quickly so that Rep. Gary
Peters, the de facto Democratic nominee, was not afforded a free pass to
campaign uncontested. With Labor Day around the corner, Republicans in
Lansing are failing on both fronts."
"A group of tea-party and conservative organizations urged Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to retire rather than seek a third term next year, signaling that tea-party activists have zeroed in on a new target as they try to pressure incumbent Republicans from the right," the Wall Street Journal
However, the Knoxville News Sentinel
notes there are no obvious candidates willing to challenge Alexander in a primary.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) announced that he'll seek a third term in Congress, not run for governor, the Idaho Spokesman-Review
Said Labrador: "I've decided to end all the speculation and announce that I have no plans at this time to run for Governor. I do not feel that I have yet completed the mission you sent me to Congress to do. There is still much work to be done. Whether at the state or the national level, I will always be an advocate for Idaho."
Archive: August 14, 2013
that "a prominent conservative group marshaled new polling data on
Wednesday to try and convince reluctant Republicans that forcing a
government shutdown over 'Obamacare' wouldn't necessarily harm the GOP,
or cost the party control of the House of Representatives."
Action for America - one of the conservative groups leading the charge
to pressure Republican lawmakers against voting to continue government
spending unless they can defund President Barack Obama's health care law
- said its new poll of likely voters in 10 relatively competitive
congressional districts showed that forcing such a shutdown would not be
fatal for the GOP in 2014."
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) told the Idaho Statesman
he'll announce today whether he'll run for re-election to Congress in 2014 or challenge Gov. Butch Otter in a Republican primary.
South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright (R) announced his U.S. Senate candidacy by calling incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood," the Columbia State
Said Bright: "During the recess, when I would hope that he would be around folks in South Carolina, getting their feelings on so many issues that affect their lives, he has instead chosen to take his time to be a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood and that concerns me. He needs to spend more time listening to what the brothers in South Carolina have to say."
Graham last week visited Egypt with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Archive: August 13, 2013
Democrats have finally found a recruit to run for the open Senate seat in West Virginia, Roll Call
Said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): "I think we're going to be very competitive in -- in West Virginia, we have a candidate there who should be announcing shortly."
The Columbia State
that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) will officially kick-off her
re-election bid on Aug. 26 with fellow governors -- and potential 2016 presidential
candidates -- Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas, and Bobby
Jindal -- in town for the rally and a subsequent fundraiser.
: "Congressional campaign ad wars in the summer? It could happen in 2014. Without a presidential race dominating the airwaves, House and Senate races will be on the receiving end of an unprecedented deluge of political spending."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in North Carolina finds Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) with an eight point lead over both Thom Tillis (R) and Phil Berger (R), 47% to 39%, as well as leads over six other potential challengers.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D) told a group of campaign volunteers last month that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D), his chief Democratic rival for governor, has a thin record of accomplishment and is trying to rely on his race to get elected next year, the Washington Post
Said Gansler: "I mean, right now his campaign slogan is, 'Vote for me, I want to be the first African American governor of Maryland.' That's a laudable goal, but you need a second sentence: 'Because here's what I've done, and here's why I've done it.'"
Archive: August 12, 2013
"Kentucky, Wyoming and South Carolina should have been easy wins for incumbent Republicans trying to regain the U.S. Senate majority in 2014. Instead, the primary challenges they face threaten to drain resources, sharpen campaign trail rhetoric and build division for a party struggling to find its way after a demoralizing 2012 election," Bloomberg
"In Georgia, the Republican primary is jammed with seven candidates, pitting one wing of the party against the other -- as is the case in the other states. Meanwhile, Democrats are unifying behind one candidate."
"The infighting has raised Democratic expectations that they can keep control of the chamber and perhaps capture seats in Republican-leaning states. They did that in Indiana and Missouri in 2012 against inexperienced candidates backed by the small-government Tea Party branch of the party."
An internal poll
conducted in Arkansas for the National Republican Senatorial Committee puts Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) ahead of Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) by two points, 44% to 42%.
A new Siena poll
in New York finds that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is viewed favorably by 65% of voters and unfavorably by 30% -- up from 58% to 35% in June.
Key finding: 55% say they are prepared to re-elect him while 35% would prefer someone else.
Said pollster Steven Greenberg: "With the Legislature out of town for the summer, Cuomo has reversed his downward polling trend from the first half of this year. His favorability rating is back in the mid-60s and his re-elect number is back in the mid 50s. More than two-thirds of voters, including majorities of Republicans and conservatives, say that Cuomo has been an effective governor in his first three years."
Archive: August 11, 2013
"Republicans are increasingly concerned about Georgia's Senate race, where a crowded primary threatens to produce a flawed candidate who could put at risk a seat in a Republican-leaning state," The Hill
"Recent polling shows the two candidates Republicans are most anxious about -- Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Paul Broun (R-GA) -- leading the pack. Whoever emerges from the clown-car primary, with seven candidates and counting, will face a candidate Democrats are high on in a state where shifting demographics benefit their party."
Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) reelection bid may be the first Senate contest to crest the $100 million mark, the Washington Post
"Races in recent years have come close to breaching the $100 million mark. The Massachusetts Senate race between Scott Brown (R) and Elizabeth Warren (D) carried an $82 million price tag, making it the most expensive contest in Senate history. (The massive spending in that race is all the more remarkable when you consider that neither Brown nor Warren had significant personal money to spend on it.) For more than a decade before the Massachusetts race, the 2000 New York Senate fight between Hillary Clinton (D) and Rick Lazio (R)held the record for spending at $70 million."
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) announced
this week that he would run for re-election in 2014, but Political Moneyline
notes "plans had already been underway for months. From April through June his committee spent a quarter of a million dollars gearing up his image and the campaign."
Archive: August 10, 2013
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) "made his dislike of the Portland Press Herald
abundantly clear while sitting in a fighter jet simulator: He said from the cockpit that he would like to blow up the newspaper's building," the Portland Press Herald
When asked what wanted to do in the flight simulator, he replied: "I want to find the Portland Press Herald
building and blow it up."
He later added the Bangor Daily News
to his list of targets, which has video
of the remarks.
Archive: August 09, 2013
finds that Rep. Tom Cotton's (R-AR) position on the House Financial Service Committee are what have propelled the freshman lawmaker into a U.S. Senate race against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and given him a large campaign war chest.
The Cook Political Report
has released its latest House ratings.
Key takeaway: There are twice as many Democratic House seats in the "lean" and "toss up" categories than Republican House seats.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) put out a dramatic video
highlighting his campaign kick off at Fancy Farm last weekend.
Key line: "He's for guns, freedom and coal."
Jesse Benton, campaign manager for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), had a rough day yesterday when a recorded telephone conversation was leaked
with him saying he was just trying to "hold my nose for two years" so he could go back to work for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
A quick search
shows how deep Benton's ties are to Paul and the tea party. He's been paid more than $800,000 by various campaigns and committees tied to the Paul family.
: "Contributors are already trying to build a relationship with New Jersey Democratic Senate candidate Cory Booker by contributing to his campaign. Washington, D.C.-area donors have given more than $100,000 to the Newark mayor's federal campaign."
: "Thad Cochran is taking his sweet time. The Senate's 2014 battle lines are already largely set with the increasingly glaring exception of Mississippi. But Cochran won't say whether he will run for a seventh term and has indicated it will be months before he decides, stalling potential successors from laying groundwork in the race ahead of an impending spring primary."
Archive: August 08, 2013
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) told Q13 Fox News
that he's "thinking about" running for statewide office, such as governor or U.S. senator.
Said Reichert: "I'm thinking about all those options. I still feel like I'm young and energetic. And, you know, we'll see how Gov. Jay Inslee does, and if he continues on the path that he is, it doesn't look too good for him. So I'll keep an eye on that, and who knows what Patty Murray does in the next year or two?"
Nate Silver said he doesn't expect to write much about elections over the next few years because they won't be very compelling, Deadspin
Said Silver: "You look at where the news cycle is going and I'm kind of aware that 2016, I think, will be fascinating, but I'll be frank. I think 2014 midterm will be dull as compared to other most recent elections. There's not much at stake where we know that GOP's gonna control one branch of Congress--almost for sure--and we know Obama's in the White House through 2016, so you don't have really control of all of DC at stake and that makes it less compelling."
: "When Pryor first won his Senate seat in 2002, Arkansas was only 3pt more Republican than the nation in the nearest two presidential elections. Over the past two cycles, Arkansas averaged 14pt to the right of the country at large. That puts it on the same level as Alabama and more Republican than any other southern state, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. This [means] that instead of Arkansas being the most Republican southern state as it is today on the presidential level, it was the most Democratic southern state. Other data sends the same signal. At the time of his 2008 reelection bid, Democrats controlled 75% of the Arkansas House of Representatives and 77% of the state Senate; now it's only 48% and 40%, respectively. Three of the four Arkansas members of the House of Representatives were Democrats in 2008, while it is 0 today."
A telephone recording obtained by Economic Policy Journal
has Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) campaign manager, Jesse Benton, explaining what he thinks of his current job: "Between you and me, I'm sorta holdin' my nose for two years."
McConnell's primary challenger jumped on the news with this tweet:
Benton confirmed the authenticity of the recording telling the Weekly Standard
, "It is truly sick that someone would record a private phone conversation I had out of kindness and use it to try to hurt me."
has obtained an internal email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that highlights plans to target 17 House Republicans with a grass-roots push over the August recess.
Ken Buck (R) will run for U.S. Senate next year in an effort to unseat Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), the Denver Post
"The Senate run comes four years after the Republican failed to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in a year where GOP candidates saw sweeping victories nationwide. In that bid, Buck was riddled by gaffes that spanned from comparing homosexuality to alcoholism and a comment that voters should elect him because he does not wear 'high heels' -- a jab at his GOP primary opponent, Jane Norton."
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told KRMG
that he's running for re-election and made his decision just hours after the November presidential election.
Said Inhofe: "I went home and I talked to my wife and I said you know we've got a serious problem here, we're going to have this guy around for four more years. I just can't bail out now."
Archive: August 07, 2013
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (R) said that he "never had any intentions to step down even as his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, weighed a possible bid for governor," the Chicago Tribune
The statement "adds some less-than-flattering context to his daughter's assertion last month that she 'never planned to run for governor" while her father served as speaker."
Said Madigan: "Lisa and I had spoken about that on several occastions, and she knew very well that I did not plan to retire. She knew what my position was. She knew."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Georgia finds Gov. Nathan Deal (R) in good shape for a second term.
Deal leads Stacey Abrams (D), 37% to 34%, tops Jason Carter (D), 48% to 33%, and crushes Scott Holbomb (D), 48% to 28%.
South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright (R) is expected to announce his primary challenge to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) next week, the Columbia State
"The primary race against Graham is becoming increasingly crowded with self-proclaimed conservatives seeking to unseat the moderate Republican who has brokered several deals across party lines, including a controversial immigration reform bill."
Archive: August 06, 2013
Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA) told the Monroe News-Star
that he won't run for re-election next year.
"Alexander, who hadn't yet drawn serious opposition for 2014, said he's grown weary of brutal party politics in Washington and fundraising."
He's added to the casualty list
looks at the primary challenges to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and points out that all incumbent senators who were defeated or close to being defeated in primaries in the past 20 years "were not very close to the base of their party Senate caucuses."
"All Republicans were in the first quartile for conservatism among Republican senators, while all Democrats were among the first quartile for 'liberalness' among Democratic senators. That is, about 75% of their caucus was less moderate than they were... So, you can say that there was a real ideological hole for potential primary opponents to run through. No such gaps exist for McConnell and Graham. McConnell was in the 47th percentile for conservatism among Republicans in the 112th Congress. Graham was in the 55th percentile for conservatism among the Republican caucus. In other words, both of them have been right in the middle of their caucuses."
Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson (D) said told cn/2
that he won't run for governor in 2015 because he wants to pour his efforts into improving Kentucky schools and preparing the next generation for jobs.
Said Abramson: "The next chapter in my life, I want to focus on just the issue of education."
He did not say specifically how he planned to do that once he leaves the lieutenant governor's office in December 2015.
A new Harper Polling survey
in Arkansas shows Rep. Tom Cotton (R) with a small lead over Sen. Mark Pryor (D), 43% to 41%.
In contrast, a poll released yesterday found
Pryor with an eight point lead.
: "Our educated guess - he would be a disruptor, in ways that could be interpreted as both good and bad, depending on your view of the U.S. Senate. You would see him partner with someone like Rand Paul on legislation; you would see him alienate some of the old bulls, both Democrats and Republicans (just like he alienated Lautenberg when he started to eye the seat before the incumbent said he wouldn't run for re-election); and you would see him become the first true social-media senator (with his 1.4 million Twitter followers). So you could have a disruptive force in one of the government's most orderly and decorous bodies. That could produce some interesting results and stories and surprising rivalries and surprising bedfellows."
"The way Ted Cruz has lit up the right in his first 9 months, don't be surprised if Booker becomes a liberal counterweight to Cruz. He's unlikely to pursue the strategy that Hillary, Franken and Elizabeth Warren have all pursued or are pursuing and that is to keep a low profile in his first term. That's not how Booker ticks."
Wyoming U.S. Senate candidate Liz Cheney (R) "improperly received a state resident fishing license based on an application with incorrect information," the Casper Star-Tribune
"Cheney, who last month announced she will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary, received her resident license just 72 days after closing on her Wilson house in May 2012. State law requires residents live in the state 365 consecutive days before they can receive a resident hunting or fishing license, which are cheaper than out-of-state licenses. Cheney's application also lists her as a 10-year resident of Wyoming."
Said Cheney: "The clerk must have made a mistake. I never claimed to be a 10-year resident."
When Illinois gubernatorial hopeful Bill Daley (D) launched his new website, "he included a photo that could trump that of any other candidate in the race," the Chicago Sun Times
"It's a photo taken in the Situation Room the day Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces."
The photo caption: "This is what leadership looks like."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Georgia finds Michelle Nunn (D) tied with Phil Gingrey (R), 41% to 41%, and with David Perdue (R), 40% to 40%, in a possible U.S. Senate race.
In other match ups, Nunn leads Karen Handel (R), 40% to 38%, tops Jack Kingston (R), 40% to 38%, and beats Paul Broun (R), 41% to 26%.
Archive: August 05, 2013
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), "who skyrocketed to national fame after mounting a lengthy filibuster earlier this summer, on Monday said she won't wait much longer to decide whether to enter the Texas gubernatorial race," Politico
Said Davis: "I'm still trying to decide, but I do think people are ready for a change from the partisan, very fractured leadership we have in Texas."
"I don't intend to run to the right of Mitch McConnell. I don't intend to run to the left of Mitch McConnell. I intend to run straight over the top of Mitch McConnell and right into the U.S. Senate."
-- Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin (R), quoted by the Louisville Courier Journal
, delivering "what may have been the sharpest attack of the day" at Fancy Farm.
A new AFSCME poll
in Arkansas finds Sen. Mark Pryor (D) leading Rep. Tom Cotton (R) in his re-election race by eight points, 43% to 35%.
Meanwhile, Smart Politics
finds that no incumbent U.S. Senator has lost a general election race coming off a victory in which he did not face a major party opponent. Pryor only faced a Green Party candidate in 2008.
Archive: August 04, 2013
"Let's tell it like it is. If the doctors told Sen. McConnell he had a kidney stone, he wouldn't pass it."
-- Alison Lundergran Grimes (D), quoted by The Hill
Archive: August 02, 2013
The Lexington Herald Leader
looks at the kickoff of Kentucky's U.S. Senate race:
"Mitch McConnell and his major Democratic opponent,
Alison Lundergan Grimes, will take the same stage Saturday for the first
time as rivals in next year's U.S. Senate race in Kentucky. The
occasion will be the political speaking program Saturday afternoon at
the 133rd annual Fancy Farm picnic in the far Western Kentucky county of
Graves, where candidates often unleash old-school stemwinders
with political raw meat."Scott Wartman
: "The heated political rhetoric at Fancy Farm this weekend should
give voters a sense of how the 2014 U.S. Senate candidates stand up in a
looks at the Senate math for Republicans: "The bottom line: While
Republicans have a narrow path to the majority, the seats they must win
are in friendly states, and turnout will work in their favor because
this is a midterm election. It's going to be a heck of a fight."
Nancy Mace (R), the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, and South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R), one of the Legislature's more outspoken libertarians, say they will announce soon that they will run against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in next year's Republican primary, the Columbia State
The two challengers would join businessman Richard Cash (R) "who lost a 2010 Republican congressional runoff, in trying to block Graham from winning a fourth six-year term in the Senate."
A new Mellman Group (D) poll
in Kentucky finds Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) edging Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in a U.S. Senate race, 44% to 42%.
It's the second poll this week giving Grimes a slight edge over the Senate GOP leader.
The Cook Political Report
moves the race to "toss up."
Archive: August 01, 2013
: "House Democrats face a conundrum in 2014: They can't run with the president, but they don't want to run without his campaign organization either."
"On the surface, vulnerable Democrats in conservative districts will likely be aided by President Barack Obama's absence from the ballot in 2014. But in some districts, Democrats will miss the president's campaign organization and robust turnout operation."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Kentucky finds that Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) leads Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) in the race for U.S. Senate, 45% to 44%.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) "has more than $10 million in the bank to aid his 2014 reelection bid, and an additional $3 million left over from the effort to pass Proposition 30 last fall," the Los Angeles Times
"Brown filed his fundraising reports for the first half of 2013 with the secretary of state's office on Tuesday. It shows the governor in a strong position to finance a reelection campaign. Brown has not declared his intention to seek an unprecedented fourth term as governor, but would be a strong favorite to win reelection if he decides to run."
: "More than five months after saying she wouldn't return as Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) running mate, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) announced Wednesday she would seek the Democratic comptroller nomination but wouldn't say if she backs her boss for re-election."
Archive: July 31, 2013
A new Denno Research poll
in Michigan finds Gov. Rick Snyder (R) leading challenger Mark Schauer (D) in the race for governor, 43% to 37%.
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) will announce his candidacy next week to challenge Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), "arguably Democrats' most vulnerable senator of the cycle," Roll Call
The Cook Political Report
moves the race to "toss up."Politico
: "Arkansas is one of a handful of Republican-leaning
states represented by Democrats -- Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska
are the others -- that are critical to the GOP's chances of flipping the
Senate next year. The party needs to net six seats to capture the
chamber. But Democrats say history is in their favor, noting that only
three of their incumbents have lost in the past decade."
Sen. John McCain told the Tampa Bay Times
that Charlie Crist "would be a tough candidate if he decides to challenge Gov. Rick Scott, as expected."
Said McCain: "There are a lot of people who thought he did a good job when he was governor. Everything I hear from my friends in Florida is he's going to be very competitive."
When asked if he would campaign for Crist, McCain said, "I couldn't do that. But I'm not sure I could campaign against him."
Archive: July 30, 2013
: "The recent entry of Michelle Nunn into the Georgia Senate race is good news for national and state Democrats who hope to swipe a normally Republican Senate seat in the Deep South... Nunn has potential, and the Republican primary could increase her opportunities, both because of its bitterness and potential for producing a seriously flawed nominee."
"But there is a heavy burden of proof on Nunn to show that she can win -- or, rather, that Republicans are throwing the contest away. She will need every break to go her way to have any kind of real chance. Given that, we are moving this race from Safe Republican to Republican Favored. It's certainly worth watching, though it doesn't yet merit some of the early hype that it has received."
In an awkward appearance with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in his home state, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) stopped short of endorsing Alexander's re-election bid, the Tennessean
Said Paul: "I'd rather not go there. I'd hate to be painted as 'Oh, I've come here and I'm not endorsing him' because I think that's the wrong message to send. I'm very supportive of Sen. Alexander, and I hope he doesn't get an opponent."
"Republican officials are grumbling that Liz Cheney passed up an
opportunity to run in her adopted state of Virginia, leaving the party
empty-handed as it searches for a challenger against Sen. Mark Warner.
Instead of taking one for the Republican team, she's sparked an
intra-party war in Wyoming. And, some strategists say, her prospects
would be slightly better running in a battleground state than waging a
long-shot primary battle against a popular sitting senator."
: "Republicans have made no progress in
improving their party's standing with the electorate overall, or for
that matter with minorities, women, young voters, and those
self-described moderates. Social and cultural issues continue to plague
their party among many young and some women voters. Intransigence among
conservatives in the party seems to be preventing the GOP congressional
leadership from trying to lance the immigration boil. Even deeper cuts
in discretionary domestic spending are providing considerable cannon
fodder for Democratic media consultants, who are preparing ads for next
year. Not to mention that a government shutdown would be considerably
more likely to damage Republicans than Democrats."
"On the other hand,
voters increasingly seem to have hit the mute button on President Obama.
They are no longer listening to him, and his approval numbers seem to
be dropping by about a point every three weeks. This does not seem to be
because of any of the so-called scandals that got Republicans so worked
up during the winter and spring, but more because voters have a
perception of Obama as a not particularly effective leader. They tend to
give him points for having good intentions on most issues, but they see
him as ineffectual. Add to that growing concern over the Affordable
Care Act, with only a third of Americans telling pollsters that it will
help the nation's health care situation, and less than a quarter who
believe that it will help their own family's health care."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Alaska finds Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) leading Mead Treadwell (R), 44% to 40%, and crushing Joe Miller (R), 55% to 32%.
The poll also shows Begich way ahead of Sarah Palin (R), 52% to 40%.
The Jackson Clarion Ledger
looks at speculation that Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) may decide to retire next year.
"One person said they left their last conversation with the elder statesmen with the sense that Cochran was trying to convince himself that running for re-election was the right thing to do. In fact, I've heard more and more that Cochran seems to be leaning toward retirement rather than running again. I wouldn't count him out, but if he doesn't run again, you can expect a wild and wooly Republican primary."
: "Perhaps more than any previous year, the 2014 midterm campaigns feature a wave of daughters eager to embrace their fathers' political legacies while forging their own political futures. And at a time when the 2016 presidential field appears likely to include both the son of a prominent politician (Rand Paul) and the wife of a president (Hillary Rodham Clinton), it is no surprise that daughters are forming a political class of their own."
: "With the trifecta of big money, deep investment from both parties and a split electorate with a sizable swing vote, the race between Republican Rep. Mike Coffman and Democrat Andrew Romanoff in Colorado's 6th Congressional District stands to be the state's -- and potentially the nation's -- toughest House battle of 2014."
"Rather than coming down to local issues, strategists say the Coffman-Romanoff fight will be a simple question of numbers: Which party will succeed in driving up turnout? In this way, Colorado's 6th District is set to become a proxy war for the national Democratic and Republican parties."
Archive: July 29, 2013
Eliot Spitzer (D) has hired Obama rapid-response maven Lis Smith to assist in his bid for New York City Comptroller, the New York Daily News
"As Forbes noted in 2012, Smith isn't just not afraid of pushing back on behalf of her candidate; she's -- yes, total reference to the 2006 Spitzer bio by Brooke Masters -- known for, more often than not, spoiling for a fight."
With Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost (R) challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart (D-IL) -- which The Fix
notes "is quite a winnable seat for Republicans" -- it's worth taking a look at a compilation video
put together warning voters what might soon be coming to Washington, D.C.
Former Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) has withdrawn from the Democratic primary for Arkansas governor, KNWA
Halter said his reason for leaving the race is "to avoid a divisive primary" with former Rep. Mike Ross (D). The move effectively clears the field for Ross.
The chief of staff to the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-NJ) told Cory Booker's staff that his boss would retire and asked Booker to wait before jumping in the U.S. Senate race, the Newark Star Ledger
"The answer was no. And on Dec. 20, Booker all but declared his candidacy for the seat... For that and many other perceived slights, Lautenberg's family members have not forgiven Booker. They've made it clear on the campaign trail by supporting one of Booker's rivals, Rep. Pallone (D-NJ), in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary, which was called after the senator's death last month."
Archive: July 28, 2013
Republican senators "are nearly united" in their response to Liz Cheney's (R) primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Politico
"Despite the clout of the Cheney name in Washington, nearly the entire Senate establishment is backing Enzi -- moderates, conservatives and the Senate GOP leadership team. And that unity could help Enzi surmount a very bloody fight next year."
Archive: July 27, 2013
South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Richard Cash (R) is surprised he's the only candidate challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) in a primary, the State
But he "welcomes others getting into the race because he thinks it will create more pressure on Graham in the primary and boost whoever comes out on top of the challengers."
Said Cash: "Having a number of challengers will possibly help keep Lindsey under 50 percent. If he's held under 50 percent and it goes to a runoff, anything can happen. I expect for most people, if he's not their first choice, are not going to vote for him in a runoff."
Archive: July 26, 2013
A new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (D) poll
finds Michael Michaud (D) would crush current Gov. Paul LePage (R) by 27% in a two-way race, 61% to 34%.
Michaud also holds a solid lead in a three-way race, 40% to 31%, with Eliot Cutler (I) at 26%.
A new Wenzel Strategies (R) poll
in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with a huge lead over challenger Matt Bevin (R) in a Republican primary, 59% to 20%.
Archive: July 25, 2013
Businessman David Perdue (R) entered the Georgia U.S. Senate race yesterday and told the Atlanta Journal Constitution
that he doesn't like the term "self-funder."
He prefers "investor," though he declined to specify the size of his investment.
Said Perdue: "I'll see how it plays out. I will be the largest investor. I'm very confident it's going to be well-funded. We will have the necessary resources. And our research shows if we get the message out we can win this thing.... I'll have more skin in the game than any other person who invests with us. But I also ask of other four candidates: Where's their skin in the game?"
"Since declaring himself the tea party candidate in the 2010 elections," Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) "has methodically tried to broaden his appeal beyond the conservative grass-roots movement. And nowhere has that been more apparent than in his increasingly close ties to McConnell, the Senate veteran who could be a critical asset in selling a Paul White House candidacy to the party establishment," Politico
"So as McConnell descends into a GOP civil war with tea party-backed candidate Bevin to defend his Senate seat in 2014, Paul must perform a careful balancing act: Show complete support for McConnell, all the while avoiding alienating the same tea party supporters who helped him in 2010 and whom he'll need in 2016."
: "Any political junkie has to LOVE this year's Kentucky Senate race -- now that there's a GOP primary in addition to a competitive general election."
: "Other than a clear front-runner, Georgia's GOP race for Senate race has it all -- including three sitting congressmen, a minister, a runner-up for the 2010 gubernatorial nomination and three candidates who may be capable of at least partially self-funding."
Archive: July 24, 2013
A new Field Poll
in California finds that a majority of Californians, 51% to 33%, approve of the job done by Gov. Jerry Brown (D).
The survey "also finds that a 43% to 38% plurality of the overall electorate, and a 57% to 22% majority of Democrats, are inclined to support Brown in a re-election bid should he run for another term."
A new MassINC poll
in Massachusetts shows that Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) leads former Sen. Scott Brown (R) in a possible 2014 race, 43% to 38%.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) isn't waiting for primary challenger Matt Bevin (R) to formally launch his campaign today. He's already got a negative ad
Even before he officially enters the GOP Senate primary race, Matthew Bevin (R) fired off a press release accusing Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) "of misleading the public to avoid talking about his own record in the Senate," the Louisville Courier Journal
Said Bevin: "The 2014 U.S. Senate race has barely begun and already it's the same old Mitch McConnell with nothing but smear tactics and misleading the public about his opponents."
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) told the New York Daily News
that he is running for re-election in 2014 -- at least for now.
But Rangel isn't ruling out retirement and noted his plans could change "around October," based on "what the community decides."
Archive: July 23, 2013
Humorist Kinky Friedman "doesn't know if he's ready to jump back into Texas politics. But the cigar-chewing humorist and musician -- known for the black attire and cowboy hats he normally dons -- said he may soon create an exploratory committee to help him decide whether to run for office again," the Fort Worth Star Telegram
"And if so, for which one."
Former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) "hasn't ruled out a run" against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) next year, WMUR
"The move marks the first time a conservative trusted by the party's base has emerged as a possible candidate to take on Shaheen... If he were to run, Smith would no doubt have to further explain why he left the Republican Party a dozen years ago for a brief time. Since he is a Florida resident, he would also have to officially move back to New Hampshire."
Allies of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tried to push Matt Bevin (R) not to launch a primary challenge, National Review
Said one adviser to Bevin: "Mitch McConnell's people reached out to Matt for several months through all different avenues trying to convince him not to run. They can pretend like they're not afraid, they can call him a nuisance, but they were desperate not to have him. Because they are scared."
He added: "First they tried to threaten him and then they tried to dangle shiny political prizes."
Must-watch: Charlie Cook
on the 2014 midterm elections.
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Wyoming finds that just 31% of voters consider Liz Cheney to be a 'Wyomingite' to 50% who do not. By a 50% to 28% margin they think it would be more appropriate for Cheney to run for the Senate from Virginia than Wyoming.
In her GOP primary race with Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), the incumbent crushes Cheney by a 54% to 26% margin.
"In New York politics, where unlikely comeback attempts are becoming common, one of the most unexpected may be developing as former Gov. David Paterson says he's may run for Congress if Rep. Charles Rangel retires," the AP
Said Paterson: "I'm definitely looking at it."
"I will have $25 million in the bank by the end of the year and will use
it in early 2014 to define my opponent."
-- Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), quoted by National Review
, which notes "a war
chest of that size will buy a lot of defining, even in an expensive
media state like Florida."
: "When House Republicans retreat to their districts for the August recess, they will each be armed with a detailed guide -- an exceptionally detailed guide -- on how to assure their already convinced constituents that Washington is broken."
"The best way to stay in Washington appears to be to deride Washington, and Republican leadership isn't going to deviate from that familiar formula."
Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel (R), who has reportedly been contemplating a return to political life after serving seven months on federal drug charges, was arrested and charged with drunken driving, the East Hampton Star
Ravenel "was elected as South Carolina's state treasurer in 2006, but was forced to resign from office in 2007 and subsequently served time in federal prison on a cocaine possession charge... He has recently been rehabilitating his political career, according to multiple reports, doing a reality TV show for the Bravo network, with an eye on a return to politics, possibly even challenging Lindsay Graham in the Republican senate primary next year."
Christine O'Donnell (R) is mulling another U.S. Senate race from Delaware, the Wilmington News Journal
"O'Donnell continues to be regarded by some in her party as a divisive liability who should stay off the ticket, and her decision to run again for the Senate remains up in the air, just as it was after 2010... The tea party sensation has yet to announce her plans for next year, causing some Delaware Republicans to wonder if her indecision is keeping other GOP candidates from stepping forward as the campaign draws closer."
So far, no names aside from O'Donnell's have surfaced as possible challengers to Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), "bracing for a primary challenge backed by anti-tax Tea Party activists, is shrinking from his longtime role as a broker of high-stakes congressional deals to tend to his own political survival," Bloomberg
Archive: July 22, 2013
Michelle Nunn (D) told the Atlanta Journal Constitution
that she's a candidate in the 2014 race for U.S. Senate, the very seat once held by her father.
Said Nunn: "I'm excited about it. I've learned that you can't wait for somebody else to do it. Everybody has an individual role and a responsibility to contribute where they can. This seems like a way for me to contribute."
Her formal announcement is on Tuesday.
"He tried to make love to the tea party and they didn't like it."
-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, quoted by Politico
, on the possibility
of a tea party backed challenger to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin (R) is likely to announce this week that he'll challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in a GOP primary, the Louisville Courier-Journal
The Daily Caller
reports Bevin "has hinted at a possible run for months."The Week
: Can McConnell survive a Tea Party challenge?
"With the field for next year's Democratic primary nomination for governor becoming clearer, so too is the realization that the battle between incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn and challenger Bill Daley will be fought more along personal rather than ideological lines," the Chicago Tribune
"Quinn already has signaled a willingness to portray Daley, the son and brother of former Chicago mayors, as a candidate of wealth and entitlement. And Daley, already accusing Quinn of failing to govern, is ready to link the governor's leadership style to his imprisoned predecessor, Rod Blagojevich. All this with more than eight months before the March 18 primary day."
: "With the House sliced and diced into districts that leave most incumbents insulated from any serious reelection challenge -- and a host of prized Senate recruits from both parties deciding they'd rather just stay home -- control of Congress could be decided next year by the fewest number of states and congressional districts in a decade or more."
"The parties out of power are in a critical window over the next several months to expand the map or risk ceding seats that should be within reach. They're confident they'll pull it off: Check back in the new year and the landscape will look a lot different, they say."
Archive: July 21, 2013
"A select cohort of top Massachusetts Republicans met quietly last week to discuss the party's prospects for 2014, hoping to organize a top-to-bottom-of-the-ticket strategy that could help the party grapple back to relevance," the Boston Globe
"But few decisions can be made until two of the figures involved in the meeting finalize their own political intentions."
"Charles D. Baker, the 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee, and former senator Scott Brown have not yet made clear whether either plans to run for governor next year. Several people in the meeting said they believe Baker plans to run, while Brown's intentions are less obvious."
Archive: July 19, 2013
A new Harper Polling survey
in Wyoming finds Sen. Mike Enzi (R) crushing challenger Liz Cheney (R) in a Republican U.S. Senate primary, 55% to 21%.
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Iowa finds voters like Gov. Terry Branstad (R): He has a 50% to 37% favorability rating and a 51% to 33% job approval, but they also say by 46% to 43% that he does not deserve another term.
Asked another way, 54% of voters say Branstad has been in office long enough, while 37% say he should seek another term.
GOP efforts to regain control of the Senate "improved this week
amid signs the party's preferred candidate in Louisiana, Rep. Bill
Cassidy (R-LA), is beginning to shore up support and establish himself
as the clear alternative to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)," The Hill
"Cassidy raised a hefty $1.1 million in the second quarter of
2013 -- an impressive tally that observers say should quiet early
grousing that the congressman isn't the best Republican for the
admittedly formidable challenge of unseating Landrieu."
The team that was preparing former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's (D) potential Senate candidacy "are blaming his sudden departure on Democratic infighting and bad blood among Schweitzer and the state's two current Democratic senators," Business Insider
"The main target of their ire: Sen. Jon Tester (D). In the week before Schweitzer decided not to run, Democratic leaders began have doubts about Schweitzer's candidacy. Multiple sources close to Schweitzer pointed to Tester and his chief of staff directly as the source of that doubt -- something that Tester's staff denies."
"The source said Tester was 'sticking knives' in Schweitzer's potential run...Three sources close to Schweitzer's campaign fingered Tester's camp as the source of two unflattering stories that popped up in the past week -- one in Politico
and one in the local Great Falls Tribune
. These sources singled out Tester and Tom Lopach, his chief of staff."
GOP strategist Ed Rollins told The Hill
that it will not be easy for Liz Cheney to win over voters in Wyoming.
Said Rollins: "I like Liz, I've been a longtime friend of her father's, but it'll be portrayed as they've been away from the state a long time, a housewife who's kind of bored who moved back to Wyoming after a long time to run for the Senate. Unfortunately for Liz, that's not a state like California or New York where you can carpetbag very easily, and even though she was born there she hasn't been there for a long time."
Archive: July 18, 2013
Liz Cheney launched her campaign for Senate by calling 69-year-old Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) "confused," NBC News
Said Cheney: "I think Sen. Enzi may be confused. I think he may have me mixed up with Cynthia Lummis. What happened is I called Sen. Enzi to tell him that I was considering a run. And I have always believed that that decision should be made irrespective of whoever else is in the race."
She added: "It's not true -- I did not tell Sen. Enzi I wouldn't run if he did. I suppose he's just confused."
: "This 'confused' line has some wondering if Cheney is trying to play up the age difference between herself and Enzi a bit too much, and it has the potential to backfire."
"When someone has never gotten a paycheck in Wyoming and
has lived their entire adult life in Virginia, I think they
should run from Virginia."
-- Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), quoted by Bloomberg
, on Liz Cheney's announced primary challenge of Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).
Liz Cheney's primary challenge of Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) "is rekindling Republicans' concerns that party feuds could lead to a reprise of the 2010 and 2012 elections, when bitter Republican primary fights in several states produced weakened, gaffe-prone nominees who went on to lose winnable races to Democrats - and thwart Republicans' hopes of winning a majority in the Senate," Reuters
"In next year's elections, Republicans will need a net gain of six seats to take control of the 100-member Senate. Most analysts expect the party to gain some seats - possibly enough to reclaim a majority - but say it cannot afford the types of missteps it has made in the past two elections."
"The fields of candidates are still shaping up, but already there are signs of brewing Senate primary fights among Republicans in several states, including Iowa, Georgia and Alaska."
Archive: July 17, 2013
TIME: Mr. Vice President, this is Zeke Miller with TIME Magazine
TIME: Can I ask you about your daughter's campaign?
Cheney: It's her campaign, so you've got to ask her. You guys have got to ask. [Pause.] Obviously, I'm a strong supporter of hers.
TIME: Thank you for your time.
Cheney: You bet.
A new Roanoke College poll
in Virginia finds Ken Cuccinelli (R) leading Terry McAuliffe (D) by six points in the race for governor, 37% to 31%, with another 27% still undecided.
"I'm absolutely not too old to be Senator. I'm in the median age."
-- Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), in a CNN
interview, in response to his primary challenge from Liz Cheney. Enzi is 69 years old.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) sounded a likely theme for his anticipated Democratic primary campaign against challenger Bill Daley (D), calling himself a man of the people and not "a champion of millionaires," the Chicago Tribune
Said Quinn: "I fight hard for folks who don't have lobbyists, who don't have political action committees, who aren't in high places, but are the heart and soul of Illinois."
"The biggest question in Pennsylvania politics right now isn't whether
Gov. Tom Corbett will win reelection. It's whether he'll even get the
chance. Beset by legislative failures and bleak poll numbers, the
Republican looks like the country's most vulnerable governor heading
into the 2014 election. And Republicans are questioning whether they
should let Corbett face a near-certain defeat when they could find a
ready replacement with a much better chance of winning."
"Nobody in Wyoming likes a long campaign, and anybody from Wyoming would know that."
-- Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), quoted by the Washington Examiner
, taking a dig at primary rival Liz Cheney (R) who announced her bid
Archive: July 16, 2013
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)," the anti-abortion Republican physician accused of encouraging his wife and mistress to have multiple abortions, raised just $39,000 in the second quarter," Roll Call
"It's a paltry sum for an incumbent member and signals more trouble for his re-election prospects in 2014."
"I thought we were friends."
-- Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), quoted by the Washington Post
, on Liz Cheney's announcement she would challenge him
in a GOP primary.
Liz Cheney (R) announced she will run against Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) in next year's Republican primary, the AP
Cheney is the elder of Dick Cheney's two daughters.
: "Democrats can do everything right during this 2014 election cycle, but they still don't have much of a chance of capturing a majority due to the congressional district boundaries and recent voting patterns in Southern and border states in rural and small-town-dominated districts. However, if Republicans engage in enough self-destructive behavior of the type we've seen the past couple of years, voters might just reach a breaking point. Some in the Republican Party seem intent on seeing how far they can go in alienating as many female, young, minority, and self-described moderate voting blocs as possible, despite frequent warnings from party leaders and strategists to avoid that."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) commented on a meeting of conservatives last weekend who are trying to come up with a plan to defeat him in a GOP primary, the Columbia State
Said Graham: "I expect them to mount a challenge, and I expect to fight back and push back. I feel good about my re-election."
Meanwhile, the Huffington Post
reports Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said he would not challenge Graham.
Michelle Nunn (D) is expected to announce a U.S. Senate bid from Georgia but wasn't talking about it at a White House event yesterday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Said Nunn: "I have been telling folks that I was focused on this event and I was going to do some thinking about (the Senate race), and I'll be talking about it shortly. But I wanted to get through this event and focus on this."
Archive: July 15, 2013
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) announced she would skip a race for governor next year and run for re-election instead, Capitol Fax
Madigan's announcement is a big boost for Bill Daley (D) who already announced a primary challenge to Gov. Pat Quinn (D).
: "A race-by-race analysis of the Senate, in fact, suggests that Republicans might now be close to even-money to win control of the chamber after next year's elections. Our best guess, after assigning probabilities of the likelihood of a G.O.P. pickup in each state, is that Republicans will end up with somewhere between 50 and 51 Senate seats after 2014, putting them right on the threshold of a majority."
So when does Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) give us his farm
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who made national headliners by leading a filibuster against abortion legislation, raised almost $1 million in the final two weeks of June, the Texas Tribune
"Davis, who is mulling a run for Texas governor in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994, said in an interview ... that if she jumps into the governor's race, her ability to raise enough money to run a competitive statewide race will be 'a key question.'"
"For the first time this year, Republican strategists believe they're within striking distance of taking back control of the Senate, thanks to untimely Democratic Senate retirements and red-state Democratic recruits deciding not to run for Congress. The latest blow to Democrats: former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's surprising decision
Saturday to pass up a campaign," National Journal
"Republican recognize that they only need to win three Senate seats in the most of conservative of states -- Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska -- and Mitch McConnell could be a Majority Leader in 2015. (That is, if McConnell can hold onto his own Kentucky seat.) The latest developments underline how punishing the map is for Democrats for 2014, and little margin for error they have."
"Democrats can afford to lose up to five Senate seats and still maintain their majority, but they already risk conceding over half that number before campaigning even gets underway."Sean Trende
: "Republicans aren't favored to win back the
Senate, but suddenly there is a pretty clear path forward."
Less than three weeks after losing a special US Senate election, Gabriel Gomez (R) said he is open to making another run for political office, the Boston Globe
Said Gomez: "If something does pop up and I've got the same passion that I had for this last race, then I would be interested in it."
He added: "Nothing is off the table."
Great Falls Tribune
: "Two weeks after news reports first linked former Gov. Brian Schweitzer to a pair of mysterious dark money
political groups, a Tribune investigation shows Schweitzer's ties to those groups are deeper than a top political consultant let on."
Archive: July 14, 2013
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) announced his candidacy for governor declaring that he figuratively and literally has a spine of steel, the Austin American Statesman
Explained Abbot: "On a steamy summer day like this, I went out for a jog. While I was jogging a huge oak tree suddenly crashed down on me. The falling tree crushed my spinal cord -- piercing my body with pain -- leaving me forever paralyzed. I would never walk again."
Noting that doctors had to insert steel rods along his vertebrae, he added: "Some politicians talk about having a spine of steel. I actually have one. I will use my steel spine to fight for you and every Texas family."
Archive: July 13, 2013
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) said that he didn't want to leave
Montana to serve in the U.S. Senate but a source familiar with his decision told CNN
Schweitzer "was beginning to recognize what senior Democrats in Washington had feared."
Said the source: "The research book was getting worse by the minute."
NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring confirmed the same to Roll Call
: "We did our homework and there was a lot of rust under Schweitzer's hood -- a LOT of rust."
Meanwhile, Democratic sources tell The Hotline
that "the amount of opposition research on the former governor painted a grim picture. A report in the Great Falls Tribune
tomorrow will outline Schweitzer's ties with a dark money
organization, which may have been deeper than Schweitzer had let on."
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) told the Associated Press
that he will not run for the state's open U.S. Senate seat in 2014.
Said Schweitzer: "I don't want a job where I have to wear a suit and my dog isn't welcome."
Archive: July 12, 2013
: "After the drip-drip of campaign fundraising leaks over the past two
weeks, it's now clear that the amount of money it took to look
impressive is staggering. Challengers and incumbents raised the bar so high that to be
considered a standout this time around, a candidate had to have raised
$2 million for a Senate campaign or more than half a million for the
Even though Sarah Palin said she is considering
a U.S. Senate --- resulting in a lot of national buzz -- "party leadership in Alaska hasn't heard a peep from her," Alaska Public Media
reports. "Republican Party Chair Peter Goldberg says that there's been no communication between him and Palin. Ever."
Said Goldberg: "I would think she would want to at least speak briefly to the new head of the Alaska Republican Party. But no, never met the lady. Never spoken to her. I have seen her once."
Archive: July 11, 2013
Cory Booker (D) raised $4.6 million for his Senate campaign in April, May and June, the Philadelphia Inquirer
reports, "a huge haul could vault him well ahead of all other candidates in the push for campaign dollars."
Booker ended the quarter with $4.5 million cash on hand for his U.S. Senate race in New Jersey.
Archive: July 10, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Iowa finds Rep. Bruce Braley (D) leading potential GOP challengers in a U.S. Senate race by margins ranging from 9 to 13 points.
Braley tops Matt Whitaker (R), 43% to 34%, beats Joni Ernst (R), 45% to 33%, leads Mark Jacobs, 44% to 32% and beats Sam Clovis (R), 43% to 31%.
Key findings: "Part of the reason for Braley's early leads is that he's a solid candidate. He has a +10 net favorability rating with 34% of voters rating him positively to 24% with a negative opinion. It also has a lot to do with the Republican candidates being so unknown at this point though. Whitaker is the best known but still has only 23% name recognition and from there it's 20% for Ernst, 19% for Clovis, 18% for Young, and 16% for Jacobs."
New Hampshire state Sen. Andy Sanborn (R), who is running for governor next year, said he is sorry for comparing Obamacare to the plane crash at the San Francisco airport that killed two people and injured dozens more, WMUR-TV
Archive: July 09, 2013
"Let's see Bruce Braley paint me as a racist with a black wife."
-- Scott Schaben (R), quoted by the Carroll Daily Times Herald
, saying his marriage to an African American woman would prevent opponents from portraying him as a racist in the Iowa U.S. Senate race.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told Sean Hannity
that she is considering running for Senate in 2014.
Said Palin: "I've considered it because people have requested me considering it, but I'm still waiting to see what the lineup will be and hoping that, there again, there will be some new blood, new energy, not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state that come from political families that have sort of [unintelligible] up there for so many years because too many of them have been part of the problem."
She also reiterated that she would consider supporting a third party if Republicans don't return to their conservative roots.
Coming soon: The Party's Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat
by Charlie Crist.
The Tampa Bay Times
notes it promises to be "a no-holds-barred memoir of his journey from Republican to Democrat. He will name names and offer a frank indictment of the failings of the Republican Party." It's due out in September.
Maryland Lt. Gov Anthony Brown's (D) campaign announced it raised $1 million since early April -- narrowing a fundraising disadvantage -- and it hired President Obama's campaign manager to help Brown try to win the governor's mansion, the Baltimore Sun
Jim Messina "will join the campaign as a senior adviser, helping the campaign use technology to build grassroots support and increase fundraising."
A new Quinnipiac poll
in New Jersey finds Cory Booker (D) tops the magic 50% mark in both the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the general election.
In a Democratic primary, Booker has 52%, followed by Rep. Frank Pallone (D) at 10%, Rep. Rush Holt (D) at 8% and Sheila Oliver (D) at 3%.
In a possible general election matchup, Booker beats Steve Lonegan (R) 53% to 30%.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's (R) campaign committee announced it has hired four campaign staffers to strategize for his re-election in 2014, the Des Moines Register
Said Branstad: "Over the coming weeks and months, you will hear from our campaign team as they begin voter contact, outreach and community recruitment in a way no other Republican in Iowa has done before."
"The campaign committee said the staffers will begin work now even though the governor does not plan to announce his intentions until next year."
Archive: July 08, 2013
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced he would not run for re-election next year.
says State Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) "becomes the clear favorite for the GOP nomination and for election as the Lone Star State's next governor."
A new Harper Polling survey
in Pennsylvania finds that just 24% of voters think Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has done enough to deserve re-election.
The family of the late senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) endorsed Rep. Frank Pallone (D) as his successor, picking Pallone over Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), the Washington Post
: "With the strongest name identification, Booker has held wide leads so far in public polling on the race. Still, the family's decision not to endorse him is hardly surprising. Booker's announcement that he was exploring a Senate bid before Lautenberg had announced his re-election plans set off party drama in the Garden State."
"Gov. Rick Perry will unveil his political plans Monday afternoon in
San Antonio, raising the curtain on what has the makings of a tumultuous
2014 election cycle. Perry did not tip his hand about his announcement
in a nearly 12-minute appearance on Fox News Sunday."
: "The smart money is on Perry saying that he WON'T run for re-election as governor next year... Then again, Perry -- the longest-serving governor in Texas history -- has surprised folks before. In 2010, it was widely expected he'd step aside to make way for Kay Bailey Hutchison. But he ended up running and crushed KBH in the primary. So anything could happen..."
Archive: July 07, 2013
Liz Cheney is showing up everywhere in the Wyoming, the New York Times
reports, "from chicken dinners to cattle growers' meetings, sometimes with her parents in tow. She has made it clear that she wants to run for the Senate seat now held by Michael B. Enzi, a soft-spoken Republican and onetime fly-fishing partner of her father."
"But Ms. Cheney's move threatens to start a civil war within the state's Republican establishment, despite the reverence many hold for her family."
Enzi "says he is not ready to retire, and many Republicans say he has done nothing to deserve being turned out."
Archive: July 03, 2013
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) told the Bergen Record
that he expects the $2 million fundraising advantage he had over Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) at the end of March to have evaporated by the time the next campaign-finance disclosures in the U.S. Senate race are made public later this month.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) announced that he would seek a second term in office during a private fundraising event hosted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Lewiston Sun Journal
"LePage was reticent
about running last week after the Democratic majority in the state Legislature, with help from some Republican lawmakers, doled out a veto override on a state budget LePage rejected for tax increases."
The chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party abruptly resigned, announcing that he intends to manage a congressional campaign in Iowa, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Ben Nesselhuf "said he decided to take the job of managing the congressional campaign of Jim Mowrer, a 27-year-old Army and Iraq War veteran who plans to challenge conservative Republican Rep. Steve King in a district that includes extreme northwestern Iowa. The move allows him to live with his wife, who resides in Sioux City."
Archive: July 02, 2013
"Despite pledging to wage fights against establishment Republicans deemed guilty of ideological impurity, conservatives have had a rocky cycle so far, failing to front candidates in a number of top races," The Hill
"But a number of conservative groups insist that for them, the cycle is just beginning, and warn that a grassroots storm is brewing."
Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) re-election campaign released a very catchy, if bizarre ad
, welcoming Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) into the Kentucky U.S. Senate race.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) "is inviting close friends and supporters to an event next Monday in San Antonio where he is expected to announce if he plans to seek an unprecedented fourth full term as Texas governor," CNN
A new Clarity Campaigns poll
in Hawaii -- paid for by EMILY's List -- finds Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) holds an 11-point lead over Sen. Brian Schatz (D) in next year's Democratic Senate primary, 46% to 35%.
released earlier this week found Schatz with a narrow lead.
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Texas finds that Gov. Rick Perry has enhanced his political standing considerably over the last five months and would be tough to beat if he runs for re-election.
In a hypothetical match with state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), Perry wins by 14 points, 53% to 39%.
Perry also leads Julian Castro (D) by 50% to 43%, tops Bill White (D) by 50% to 40% and crushes Annise Parker (D) 52% to 35%. In January he led this quartet of Democrats by an average of 4 points, now he leads them by an average of 12.
"Accepting the invitation from countless Washington liberals to become President Obama's Kentucky candidate was a courageous decision by Alison Lundergan Grimes and I look forward to a respectful exchange of ideas."
-- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted by ABC News
, after drawing a Democratic challenger to his re-election bid.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and his team "are hiring campaign staff, opening a campaign headquarters and fundraising in earnest," the Des Moines Register
"It's the unofficial flipping of the switch, and it means 'game on' for 2014 - even though the Republican governor says he won't publicly state for certain until next year whether or not he's seeking re-election."
Said Branstad adviser Doug Gross: "It will be easier for the Cubs to win the World Series than for a Democrat to beat Branstad. That being said, I expect him to run like he is 20 points behind."
Archive: July 01, 2013
looks at the challenge facing Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) as she attempts to unseat
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R).
"Since 1982, when the new wave of polarization took hold, there have been eight midterm elections. These make for some daunting numbers for Grimes, on three counts: 1). McConnell is running when the other party controls the White House. The opposition party successfully defended 18 of 19 seats in 1982; 11 of 12 in 1986; 17 of 17 in 1990; 13 of 13 in 1994; 13 of 16 in 1998; 11 of 14 in 2002; 16 for 16 in 2006; and 18 for 18 in 2010. That's just eight out of 125 races, or 6%, when a seat has flipped to the White House party in a midterm. Most of those were when the president had an approval rating well into the 60s. Obama's approval rating right now is in the mid 40s."The Fix
: "This will be the nastiest race in the country."
Kentucky Secretary Of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) will run against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in next year's U.S. Senate election, WLEX-TV
"Grimes is thought to be the Democrats' best hope of unseating McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader. Grimes had been considering whether to throw her hat into the race for the past several months."
of c|n2 reports Grimes told supporters that she intends to run for U.S. Senate.Update
: The Lexington Herald Leader
has coverage of her announcement.
"I really want people to judge me by my deeds, not my words."
-- Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D), quoted by the Florida Times-Union
, alluding to his previous life as a Republican.
A new Civil Beat poll
in Hawaii finds Sen. Brian Schatz (D) with a narrow lead over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) in the Democratic Senate primary, 36% to 33%.
"Schatz, appointed in late December by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to the seat held by the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, is being challenged by the congresswoman who Inouye wanted to take his place. The race has divided the state's dominant political party, in part because of Inouye's influential standing in the party even after his death, and because the candidates hold similar policy views."
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) "is never going to see a better moment for a statewide run for office, even though the odds of a Democrat winning statewide in Texas could not be worse," the Texas Tribune
"She would almost certainly lose."
"There are always more reasons not to run than to run. But she has emerged as the predominant voice on an issue that pits the party in power against the party out of power. She has a sea of orange shirts behind her, and the Republicans are clearly very, very irritated by her presence on the stage. They're also irritated that their own officeholders are largely responsible for the attention she's getting."
Archive: June 28, 2013
A new Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll
of more than 120 of Florida's most plugged-in political players finds them nearly evenly divided on whether Gov. Rick Scott will win a second term, with 51% predicting Scott wins and 47% predicting he loses. Just two months ago, the poll found 60% expecting Scott to lose.
"While more than seven in 10 Democrats still expect to retake the Governor's Mansion in 2014, Republican optimism in Scott's chances has climbed from just 53% of Republicans in April expecting him to win to 75% today."
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), "whose political standing has rebounded after her embarrassing defeat in the 2010 US Senate race against Scott Brown, is giving serious consideration to running for governor," the Boston Globe
"Those people said Coakley is gauging the political climate and reviewing the dynamics of jumping into what is becoming a crowded Democratic primary race, and is on the verge of making a final decision."
A new Basswood Research poll
in Arkansas finds Sen. Mark Pryor (D) just edging likely challenger Tom Cotton (R), 41% to 40%.
Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) will not run for reelection in 2014, Roll Call
Said Campbell: "At the end of this term, I will have spent 14 years serving in full-time, elected politics. I am not, nor did I ever intend to be, a career politician. I am ready to begin a new chapter in my life."
Archive: June 27, 2013
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) told reporters that his future in politics was uncertain after the legislature overrode his veto of a state budget bill, the Bangor Daily News
Said LePage: "I am going to be meeting with my family at some point and we are going to be talking it over. Quite frankly, I don't know how you recover from this. I really don't know how you recover from a tax increase. This is a giant obstacle. It's like having a giant hole in the bottom of your ship and you are trying to get across the pond."
Archive: June 26, 2013
: "If there was one overarching theme to yesterday's big news events -- the Voting Rights Act decision, President Obama's climate-change speech, and Wendy Davis' filibuster in Texas -- we saw key portions of the Democratic base as fired up as we've seen them since the Nov. 2012 election. Taken together, this COULD be the beginning of how the Democratic Party attempts to nationalize the midterms and figure out how to motivate its base. And while some of these issues may not appeal to some swing voting groups, remember this: Midterms are about base enthusiasm."
Archive: June 25, 2013
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Montana finds that if the top tier candidates for each party get into the U.S. Senate race, it will be a toss up.
Brian Schweitzer (D) leads Steve Daines (R), 48% to 45%, but Marc Racicot (R) edges Schweitzer, 47% to 46%.
"Yes, I did use illegal drugs, drink too much, lose my temper, go to
jail overnight a couple of times and get some probation. Anyone who is
really interested in the specifics can drill down if they want to, but
for me, now, what is important is that the suffering that I and those
around me endured was not wasted."
-- Jay Williams, quoted by the Des Moines Register
, on filing papers for a U.S. Senate bid in Iowa.
"Republicans' path to a Senate majority is a narrow one. Not everything
has to go right for the GOP to win the six seats they need for a
majority, but they can't afford many errors either, particularly those
that are self-inflicted. In the last two election cycles, Republicans suffered enough
self-inflicted errors to cost their party Senate seats. These errors
largely came in the form of contested primaries that produced nominees
who were poorly positioned to win statewide general elections."
"While some Republican
activists seem to have learned the lessons of 2010 and 2012, it is clear
that not everyone got the memo."
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Ohio finds Gov. John Kasich (R) with his best-ever job approval rating: 55% of voters approve of his performance with just 32% disapproving.
By 49% to 37% voters say Kasich deserves to be reelected, and he leads his likely challenger Ed FitzGerald (D) by 14 points, 47% to 33%.
Archive: June 24, 2013
Though she has laid the ground work for her 2014 re-election bid, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) "stopped short of committing to a run to keep the governor's mansion next year," the Florence Morning News
"With a husband currently deployed in Afghanistan and two small children, she said if it's bad for the Haley family, she won't seek re-election."
Said Haley: "If we look and it's too much on the family, I could absolutely see (not running again)."
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said that "he's sorry if anyone was offended by his crude sexual remark
a day earlier about a Democratic leader in the state Senate," the Kennebec Journal
"The Republican governor, in impromptu comments to reporters outside his office, also said he is considering abandoning his re-election bid in 2014 and running instead for Congress."
"Ben Quayle, who lost re-election to Congress last year, is joining a law firm with Republican ties and doesn't plan to run again in 2014," the Arizona Republic
"Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, could have taken up a midterm battle against freshman U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in her metro Phoenix district. But he said he is focusing on work instead, while still staying involved in policy matters on the side. Several other Republicans have already started campaigning for Sinema's seat."
Archive: June 23, 2013
A new Minnesota Poll
finds Sen. Al Franken (D) with a 55% approval rate, a double-digit increase from the 44% who thought so in September.
Archive: June 22, 2013
looks at how Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who won election by just 312 votes, has positioned himself for re-election.
"To solidify his then-shaky standing, Franken employed a disciplined strategy that started in 2009 when he was declared the victor of a three-way race in which he won less than 42 percent of the vote. Back then, he spoke of not wanting to 'waste this chance' and made repeated promises to keep his head down and do the work. He has largely stuck to that vow, avoiding the national spotlight. He rarely talks to the Washington press corps, has shed his comedic persona and focused on policy, working to be taken seriously."
"If I lose, I lose. I don't want to stop being a senator to be senator."
-- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in an interview with the Wall Street Journal
, on not making politically calculated votes prior to his 2014 re-election bid.
Archive: June 20, 2013
"He's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline."
-- Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), quoted by the Bangor Daily News
, on Democratic rival Troy Jackson (D) who he said has a "black heart" and should go back in the woods "and let someone with a brain come down here and do some good work."
"I was having a look around to see how bad it would be to live there. And I concluded it was really bad to live there -- traffic is bad, weather is worse. Most of the people you talk to are frauds. You know."
-- Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D), in an interview with Roll Call
, as he mulls a U.S. Senate bid.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said he would make a decision to run again for governor before July 1, Bloomberg
He added: "Later in the year, if there's more expansive plans than that we'll announce at the appropriate time."
Brian Schweitzer (D) won a second term as Montana governor in 2008 "with nearly two-thirds of the vote, and he remained popular as he moved out of the governor's mansion in January. But his style and perceived not-a-team-player attitude after eight years in Helena has rubbed numerous people in both parties the wrong way," Roll Call
"That includes -- but is hardly limited to -- the inner circle of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus. According to several Montana Democrats -- who all hope he runs and wins -- Schweitzer's campaign planning has included extending olive branches to a Baucus political apparatus he'll likely need."
Archive: June 19, 2013
Stephen Nodine (R), currently serving a two-year jail term on perjury and harassment charges, announced via email that he is considering a bid for Alabama's 1st congressional district seat, the Birmingham News
Nodine "resigned from the county commission in 2010 following his indictment for murder in the death of Angel Downs, his longtime mistress. He pled guilty to felony perjury in 2012 as part of a deal in which prosecutors dropped the murder charge."
"Nodine said he is eligible to serve in Congress despite his status as a convicted felon. The Constitution allows felons to hold office in the House of Representatives - even while incarcerated."
An internal poll
conducted by a prominent Republican polling firm proposes that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) attack the Philadelphia teachers union to overcome widespread
opposition to his education policies and bolster his faltering
re-election prospects, the Philadelphia City Paper
As she mulls
her own political return, Alex Sink (D) "resents all the attention on lifelong-Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist and is intent on being courted for as long as possible," the Tampa Bay Times
She is "revolted by the prospect of Crist as the Democratic nominee" and called the possibility "a disaster."
"The campaign against former Gov. Crist would be brutal, she said, noting the job losses during his term, flip-flops on issues, 'plus all the stuff that hasn't been written about yet, about the Republican Party fiasco, about Jim Greer, about the party in the Bahamas,' she said, referring to Crist's hand-picked GOP chairman, now in prison for stealing party funds and who was accused of hiring prostitutes at a fundraising retreat Crist attended."
Outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) told KPCC-FM
that he's planning to run for California governor.
Said Villaraigosa: "You mentioned governor. Look, I believe in public service. I want to run for governor. In fact, I fully expect that I will. I'm going to tell you something, I will never have a job like this. This city has given me more than I could have ever hoped for."
: "First, it matters for the 2014 election. A simple model of House election outcomes constructed by political scientist Gary Jacobson shows that the share of seats controlled by the president's party depends in part on presidential approval.... Obviously, other factors matter too. But a less popular president certainly provides headwinds for Democratic candidates."
"Second, it matters for the 2016 election. Of course, that's a long way away, and a lot can happen between now and then. But again, simple forecasting models show that, controlling for other factors, the incumbent party does better when the incumbent president is popular."
"Third, it matters for whether the President gets what he wants from Congress--with some caveats."
A new Quinnipiac poll
in Connecticut finds Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) beginning his reelection campaign as a slight underdog against Tom Foley (R), the man he beat three years ago.
Foley edges Malloy by three points, 43% to 40%.
Archive: June 18, 2013
Despite efforts to change the date of next year's primary election -- currently scheduled for April 1 -- key members of the Washington, D.C. city council apparently opposed the change, the Washington Post
New York State Rep. Steve McLaughlin (R) denounced Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) "as a 'schoolyard bully" and confirmed to the Albany Times Unon
that he is 'considering' a run against him "fueled by his opposition to Cuomo's new gun control law."
: ,Between the 'sorting out' that took place in the past four elections and a redistricting process that maximized the number of safe seats for both parties--but especially for Republicans--the bulk of the 2014 congressional election action won't be in the House, but in the Senate. The disproportionate exposure for Senate Democrats is very clear, giving Republicans the opportunity to gain a large number of seats, and potentially the six they need for control of the chamber. However, the same was true last year, when instead of gaining two to four seats, the GOP ended up with a net loss of two. A repeat of that looks extremely unlikely, but whether Republicans are in a position to capitalize on their opportunities remains to be seen."
A new Quinnipiac poll
finds Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) with a highest-ever approval rating of 43%, though 44% still disapprove.
Scott continues to trail former Gov. Charlie Crist in a general election match-up, 47% to 37%, a slight improvement from his 16-point deficit in March.
Archive: June 17, 2013
Wall Street Journal
: "Both political parties are encountering a surprising problem as they prepare for next year's battle to control the U.S. Senate: Some of their top choices are turning down invitations to run for seats in a body with a reputation that has been tarnished by bickering and gridlock."
"I don't think becoming a senator is about being in a popularity contest."
-- New Jersey Senate candidate Sheila Oliver (D), in an interview with Brian Lehrer
, in which she's running way behind Cory Booker (D).