2018 Campaign

Utah GOP Chairman Slams Mitt Romney

Utah Republican Party chairman Rob Anderson blasted Mitt Romney’s anticipated Senate run in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, hitting him for “essentially doing what Hillary Clinton did in New York” — campaigning in a state he hasn’t spent much time in.

Said Anderson: “I think he’s keeping out candidates that I think would be a better fit for Utah because, let’s face it, Mitt Romney doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here.”

Trump Hasn’t Asked Intelligence Chiefs to Stop Russia

When Sen. Angus King (I-ME) asked CIA Director Mike Pompeo if President Trump had asked him specifically “to try and stop the Russian meddling in the midterm elections, Pompeo dodged, feigning an inability to understand the question,” Defense One reports.

Said Pompeo: “I’m not sure how specific.”

Adm. Michael Rogers, the outgoing head of U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA, agreed: “I can’t say that I’ve been specifically directed.”

Democrats Maintain Solid Lead In Generic Ballot

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Democrats have a solid 49% to 41% lead on the generic congressional ballot, although that’s down a shade from December when it was 51% to 40%.

Beyond their overall lead, they’re also benefiting from an enthusiasm advantage: 65% of Hillary Clinton voters say they’re “very excited” to vote in the election this fall, compared to 58% of Donald Trump voters.

For comparison, the FiveThirtyEight polling average has Democrats leading 46.8% to 40.1%.

Democrats Say Bill Clinton Too Toxic for Midterms

“In a year when the party is deploying all their other big guns and trying to appeal to precisely the kind of voters Clinton has consistently won over, an array of Democrats told Politico they’re keeping him on the bench. They don’t want to be seen anywhere near a man with a history of harassment allegations, as guilty as their party loyalty to him makes them feel about it.”

“After booting Sen. Al Franken precisely because they wanted to draw a clear contrast with Trump, Democrats across the party’s ideological and geographical spectrum acknowledged the political trouble that any appearance with Clinton would cause.”

Trump Doesn’t Want Corker to Run Again

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) “has been reconsidering his decision to retire this year, but Mr. Corker’s hopes for retaining his seat are running into a potentially insurmountable object: President Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“Just over four months after Mr. Corker, upon declaring he would retire, unleashed a biting series of attacks on Mr. Trump, the president is refusing to bless his friend-turned-foe’s effort to re-enter the Republican primary race.”

“Instead, in a telephone conversation last week, Mr. Trump offered encouragement to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a conservative lawmaker and White House ally who has emerged as the favorite to win the Republican nomination for Mr. Corker’s seat.”

Dog Barred from Race for Kansas Governor

The Kansas Secretary of State’s Office ruled that a dog cannot serve as the state’s governor despite the official filings by a dog’s owners, KWCH reports.

“While there is nothing specifically written that says a dog cannot run to lead the state, the secretary state’s office says man’s best friend is not capable of serving the responsibilities required of the governor.”

Federal Prosecutors Hit the Campaign Trail

Wall Street Journal: “After watching President Trump fire former FBI Director James Comey, belittle Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, among other events, Chris Hunter said he decided to leave his job as a prosecutor in Tampa in December and run for Congress.”

“Mr. Hunter is now one of five former federal prosecutors who are running for House seats as Democrats this year, compared with zero in 2016. The Wall Street Journal couldn’t identify any similar Republican candidates.”

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.”

Grayson Says He’s Running But Won’t Say Where

Firebrand Alan Grayson (D) “says he wants to return to Congress in 2018, but is not yet saying which seat he’s running for,” Politico reports.

Said Grayson: “Yes, this cycle is what I’m looking at. But Florida law says I can run anywhere.”

“The Orlando Democrat has never stopped accepting online contributions since leaving Congress in 2016 to run for the U.S. Senate… Grayson in recent months has again started actively soliciting online contributions from the same small-dollar base that in the past helped make him a dangerous fundraiser.”

GOP Desperate for New Candidate In North Dakota

“Top Republicans are pleading with Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) to reconsider his decision to spurn the U.S. Senate race in North Dakota, fearing the party is on track to blow a prime pickup opportunity,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“White House officials and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are making another run at Cramer after internal opposition research on state Sen. Tom Campbell, the leading Republican to run in his place, turned up troubling information they worry could be a treasure trove for Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.”

GOP Advantages Are Eroding In House Races

Nate Cohn: “The Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot has slipped over the last few weeks. But Republicans have gradually lost advantages of their own.”

“Slowly but surely, the considerable structural advantages — like incumbency, geography and gerrymandering — that give the Republicans a chance to survive a so-called wave election are fading, giving Democrats a clearer path to a House majority in November.”