September, 2014

Cruz’s Advisers Say He’s Running for President

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “is running for president. The only thing left for him to do is say so,” National Journal reports.

“According to sources close to the Texas senator, Cruz could be preparing for an end-of-year announcement and is now dedicating considerable time and effort to cultivating a foreign-policy foundation that might help his candidacy stand out in what is guaranteed to be a crowded field.”

Said one adviser: “At this point it’s 90/10 he’s in. And honestly, 90 is lowballing it.”

Ohio Democrats Move to Contain Damage

“With a wounded candidate at the top of their ticket, Democrats in Ohio have been forced to adopt a Plan B as they seek to avoid a disastrous shutout in elections for governor and other statewide offices,” the New York Times reports.

“Democrats here and nationally had high hopes of ousting Gov. John Kasich, whose job approval was below 50 percent among voters in Quinnipiac University polls taken early this year. But that was before the challenger, Ed FitzGerald, suffered self-inflicted wounds and his campaign all but imploded. With donors fleeing, top aides to Mr. FitzGerald quit last month as it became clear there was not enough money for a hard-fought race.”

Democrats Crushing Republicans in Small Donations

National Journal: “Democratic candidates for Congress are crushing their Republican counterparts in small-dollar donations — outraising their GOP foes by an average of more than $100,000 per candidate in the nation’s top races. That’s the finding of a new National Journal analysis of federal records in the most competitive House contests in the country. In those, the average Democrat has collected $179,300 in donations under $200; the average Republican has brought in only $78,535.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“It would be an uphill fight, almost like climbing a wall. He would be running against someone who simultaneously has two television shows based on her. She is a political figure with such remarkable strength ahead of the campaign, unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

— Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), quoted by the Washington Post, on the possibility of former Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Time for Democrats to Panic?

Nate Silver looks at the implications of a new poll showing Joni Ernst (R) with a solid lead over Bruce Braley (D) in the Iowa U.S. Senate race.

“If Republicans are favored there also, they have a path to a Senate majority without having to worry about the crazy race in Kansas. Nor is Iowa their only option. Polls have also moved toward Republicans in Colorado, where their candidate Cory Gardner is now a slight favorite.”

“This is an awfully flexible set of outcomes for Republicans. Win the six ‘path of least resistance’ states that I mentioned before, avoid surprises in races like Kentucky, and all Republicans need to do is win either Iowa or Colorado to guarantee a Senate majority. Or they could have Roberts hold on in Kansas. Or Orman could win that race, but the GOP could persuade him to caucus with them.”

Quote of the Day

“I’ve seen him grow and I’ve seen him mature and I’ve seen him become more centrist. I know that if he were President or a nominee I could influence him, particularly some of his views and positions on national security. He trusts me particularly on the military side of things, so I could easily work with him. It wouldn’t be a problem.”

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), quoted by the New Yorker, saying he would support Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) if he were the Republican nominee for president.

The Iron Man of American Politics

New York Times: “Twenty-two years after he won the White House and six years after his wife’s near miss for the Democratic nomination, former President Bill Clinton again stands in the thick of the competition for the nation’s highest office.”

“That makes Mr. Clinton, who addressed his first national convention at age 33 and on Friday became a grandfather at 68, the most durable high-stakes player ever in American presidential politics.”

Braley Fails to Do Damage in Iowa Debate

Bruce Braley (D) and Joni Ernst (R) “squared off in a lively U.S. Senate debate Sunday evening, marked by heated exchanges on abortion, contraceptives, climate change and environmental regulations — and by biting attacks and comebacks, especially in the final few minutes,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“Braley went on the attack against a rival who is ahead by 6 points in the new Iowa Poll on the race, but front-runner Ernst responded in kind in their first face-to-face match-up.”

Braley “needed to land some blows against his Republican competitor” but “he didn’t deliver,” Bloomberg reports.

GOP Hopefuls Push Farther Right

New York Times: “Congressional Republicans successfully ended their primary season with minimal damage, but in at least a dozen safe or largely safe Republican House districts where more mild-mannered Republicans are exiting, their likely replacements will pull the party to the right, a move likely to increase division in an already polarized Congress.”