August, 2014

O’Malley Offers Staff to South Carolina Democrats

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), “a 2016 White House aspirant trying to win backing in the first Southern presidential primary state, is sending four aides from his political-action group to help the S.C. Democratic party with the November election,” the Columbia State reports.

“No other major Democratic candidate has offered staffing help to the state party.”

White House Now Insists Obama Has a Strategy for ISIS

The White House is pushing back after President Obama’s stated his administration currently doesn’t have “a strategy” for dealing with ISIS, Business Insider reports.

“White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest subsequently insisted that Obama specifically articulated a ‘comprehensive strategy’ for dealing with the Islamic State during the briefing… Overall, Earnest said the word ‘strategy’ at least 24 times during his CNN interview.”

Forecast Shows Democrats Outperforming Expectations

Sam Wang has updated his Senate forecast which shows Democrats with a 70% probability of retaining control of the upper chamber.

One reason his forecast is more favorable to Democrats than others is that he’s relying more on actual polls than so-called “fundamentals.”

“This year’s Senate race is harder than any electoral forecast that the other forecasters have ever had to make. To be frank, 2008 and 2012 were easy. My own experience is guided by 2004 Presidential race, which was as close as this year’s Senate campaign. In 2004, I formed the view that the correct approach is to use polls only, if at all possible.”

Does Obama Have a Foreign Policy?

Matt Bai: “If you’ve been at the beach and missed the latest world news, let me briefly catch you up. Terrorists in Syria and Iraq have been overrunning the countryside, pausing to savagely murder an American journalist. Pakistan is reeling from political crisis. The Russians just made an incursion into Ukraine, the Israelis have been blowing up every other building in Gaza, and Ebola’s rampaging through West Africa.”

“All of which has led to some of the most blistering criticism of Barack Obama’s presidency — and not just because he found time to golf. Republican leaders have called Obama feckless and incompetent, a man without a grand plan.”

McConnell Pledges No Government Shutdown

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “tried to quash talk that he would allow another government shutdown if he becomes Senate majority leader next year,” CNN reports.

Said McConnell: “Of course not. Remember me? I am the guy that gets us out of shutdowns.”

Brian Beutler: “He’s threatening to use the appropriations process as leverage to extract concessions. That’s a government shutdown fight. And no matter how he plays it, he will unleash forces he and other GOP leaders have proven incapable of restraining.”

Schauer Pulls Ahead in Michigan

A new EPIC-MRA poll in Michigan finds Mark Schauer (D) has edged ahead of Gov. Rick Snyder (R) among likely voters by two points, 45% to 43%.

Said pollster Bernie Porn: “I would have bet that Snyder would have a significant lead at Labor Day. The fact that Schauer is up by a couple of points against an incumbent … probably spells that this is going to be a close race.”

Wolf Headed for Landslide Win in Pennsylvania

A new Franklin & Marshall College poll in Pennsylvania finds Tom Wolf (D) with a 25-point lead over Gov. Tom Corbett (R) in the race for governor, 49% to 24%.

Said pollster Terry Madonna: “The big takeaway here is that the race has not changed because Corbett has not changed. His narrative remains the same, and that’s the fundamental problem for his campaign.”

Corbett would be the first Pennsylvania governor ever to be denied a second term.

RNC Will Spend $100 Million on Voter Turnout

The RNC “is on track to spend more than $100 million in the midterm campaign, with virtually every dime plowed into the party’s new digital voter-turnout program,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“If the program is effective, Republican campaigns will have access to a modern get-out-the-vote operation that has been the hallmark of the Democrats’ success in recent election cycles. But if it fails to deliver as advertised, Republican candidates will be stuck with another subpar voter turnout program and without the resources the GOP traditionally sent to their campaigns in midterm years.”

Why Libertarians Won’t Help GOP Win Youth Vote

Alan Abramowitz: “An analysis of data from the 2012 American National Election Study raises serious doubts about the claim that a candidate with libertarian views would have strong appeal to younger voters. In fact, the data indicate that younger voters tend to hold relatively liberal views on social welfare as well as cultural issues. Only a small minority of voters under the age of 30 can be classified as libertarians. Moreover, both younger and older Americans who hold libertarian views already vote overwhelmingly for Republican candidates, so nominating a candidate with a libertarian philosophy would be unlikely to gain many votes for the GOP.”