Bruising GOP Primary Fights Worry Party Leaders

“In many parts of the country, Republican candidates are trying to put distance between themselves and President Trump. In the Indiana Senate primary, the bruising fight is over which candidate is the more authentically Trumpian,” the New York Times reports.

“As the May 8 primary election approaches, the race here has taken a nasty turn, with candidates attacking one another as insufficiently aligned with the president, or way too late to Team Trump. Some Republicans worry that the tenor has the potential to bloody the winner so badly that he will be weakened in the general election contest against Sen. Joe Donnelly, one of this election year’s most vulnerable Democrats.”

“The Indiana primary is among several, including those in West Virginia and Wisconsin, where Republicans are locked in nominating battles in states Mr. Trump won in 2016 and where the party has hoped to add to its slender two-seat majority.”

GOP Candidate’s Parents Max Out to His Opponent

Just months after Kevin Nicholson (R) announced his bid to run against incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Nicholson’s own parents donated the legal maximum to Baldwin’s primary campaign, CNN reports.

Explained Nicholson: “My parents have a different worldview than I do, and it is not surprising that they would support a candidate like Tammy Baldwin who shares their perspective.”

McCain and Feingold Now Riding a Big Money Wave

Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Russ Feingold are now benefiting from the campaign donations they once fought so fiercely against, Politico reports.

“Supporters of Sen. McCain (R-AZ), seeking a sixth term after 30 years in the Senate, have boosted his campaign through a super PAC specifically designed to run ads on his behalf, financed almost entirely by six-figure donations from Wall Street titans and other corporate executives. Feingold, the former Senate Democrat trying to reclaim his old seat in Wisconsin, has been boosted by outside groups financed through ‘dark money’ committees that don’t reveal their donors.”

Feingold Seeks Unusual Return to Senate

Smart Politics finds that Russ Feingold’s (D) official entrance into the 2016 U.S. Senate race puts him on an unusual pathway back to the nation’s upper legislative chamber.

“Over the last half-century only two U.S. Senators have returned to the chamber after losing their seat at the ballot box – Ohio Democrat Howard Metzenbaum in 1976 and Washington Republican Slade Gorton in 1988. No other Senator accomplished this feat since 1956.”

However, from “the beginning of direct elections in 1913 until the mid-1950s, such political comebacks were much more common with 14 defeated ex-U.S. Senators winning back a seat in the chamber including one who accomplished the feat twice: Kentucky Republican John Cooper in 1952 and 1956 (after losses in 1948 and 1954 respectively).”

Feingold Seeks Return to Senate

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) announced that he will run to reclaim the U.S. Senate seat he lost five years ago to Ron Johnson (R), “fulfilling the hopes of Democrats who have been pushing for the liberal to return to the political arena,” the AP reports.

In the video announcement filmed inside his home near Madison, Feingold said his “desire to serve is stronger than ever” and that he wants to fight to “bring back to the U.S. Senate strong independence, bipartisanship and honesty.”