February, 2018

PA-18 Special Election Is Now a Toss Up

Cook Political Report: “It’s not normal for Republicans to be worried about losing a seat President Trump carried by 20 points. But with two weeks to go before the March 13 special election, Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone is locked in an extremely close contest against Democratic prosecutor/Marine veteran Conor Lamb, who has significantly outspent him.”

“We’re moving the race from Lean Republican to Toss Up.”

“What’s made the race so close, many Republicans admit, is that Lamb has simply proven to be a stronger candidate than Saccone.”

NSA Chief Has Not Been Asked to Combat Russian Threat

“US Cyber Command chief Adm. Mike Rogers told lawmakers on Tuesday that he has not been granted the authority by President Trump to disrupt Russian election hacking operations where they originate,” CNN reports.

“Asked by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed if he has been directed by the President, through the defense secretary, to confront Russian cyber operators, Rogers said “no I have not” but noted that he has tried to work within the authority he maintains as a commander.”

Trump Hires a Campaign Manager for 2020

President Trump has hired Brad Parscale, the digital media director of his 2016 campaign, to run his re-election bid, CNN reports.

Jonathan Swan: “This decision reflects Jared Kushner’s continued influence inside Trumpworld. Nobody has promoted Brad Parscale more than Jared, and during the campaign he was Parscale’s biggest advocate. It also shows that Trump wants somebody adept at digital campaigning to run his campaign.”

Mueller Moves to Dismiss Charges Against Gates

Special counsel Robert Mueller “has moved to drop charges that were brought last week in an expansive superseding indictment against Rick Gates,” Axios reports.

“Mueller’s decision to drop the more expansive charges against Gates suggests that he may have provided good information for Mueller’s probe. Gates still faces an advisory sentence of 57 to 71 months under his guilty plea, per Bloomberg, but it’s worth nothing that the ‘prosecution can request a shorter sentence but isn’t required to do so.'”

Corker Sticks with Retirement Decision

“Brushing aside pleas from some of his fellow Republicans, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) hasn’t changed his mind about retirement and won’t seek re-election,” the Tennessean reports.

Politico: “The move ends a period of intense speculation in Tennessee and Washington about Corker’s future and avoids what could have been an ugly primary between Corker and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.”

Top Republican Drops Race for California Governor

“Doug Ose (R) dropped out of the race for California governor, citing a crowded field of candidates and lack of fundraising needed to defeat Democrats, who are leading in the polls,” the Sacramento Bee reports.

Said Ose: “There’s no money, and if you don’t have enough money, you can’t communicate a message.”

He added: “There’s nobody willing to invest in a statewide Republican campaign to the level that needs to be done. The people that have traditionally written $25,000 checks are now writing $1,000 checks because they don’t see a path for a Republican to win.”

Here Come the Post-Millennials

Ron Brownstein: “Americans are just growing accustomed to the impact of the massive millennial generation as consumers, workers and voters. But now the crusade for gun control led by survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting is heralding the arrival of the younger generation rising behind them. And in their racial diversity, attitudes toward religion and culture, their digital fluency and their political priorities, this emerging generation — usually called the post-millennials, sometimes labeled Generation Z — might shake American life even more profoundly than the millennials.”

“For Republicans who have nervously watched polls showing an enormous backlash against President Donald Trump’s insular nationalism among the millennials, this younger generation could represent an even greater threat.”

Roy Moore Endorses In Missouri Senate Race

“Former judge Roy Moore has endorsed a controversial conservative firebrand for the Senate race in Missouri, in his first major political move since losing his own Senate campaign in Alabama last year,” the Washington Post reports.

“Moore, who was defeated after multiple women accused him of making sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, has put his weight behind Courtland Sykes, a Navy veteran who has called feminists ‘she-devils‘ and said he would not want daughters who were ‘career-obsessed banshees.'”

Said Moore: “Courtland is a man of impeccable character, courage, and Christian faith. We need men like Courtland Sykes in the Senate of the United States, a leader who will not only say what is right, but also a leader who will do what is right!”

Levi Sanders Announces Congressional Bid

Levi Sanders (D), the son of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), is the eighth Democrat to enter the race for New Hampshire’s 1st District House seat, WMUR reports.

“Sanders, 48, enters the race in the unique – although not unprecedented — position of residing out of the district he hopes to serve in Washington. He is a resident of Claremont, which is in the 2nd District, where he is a registered Democrat, but he’s running for the 1st District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who is not seeking re-election.”