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Daily Kos Elections



Daily Kos's official elections portal.



Published: Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:49:31 +0000

Last Build Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:49:31 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/26

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:01:19 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone.

Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday.

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Morning Digest: Two final polls have Roy Moore far ahead in today's Alabama Senate GOP runoff

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 12:01:40 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

AL-Sen: We have some last-minute polls of today's GOP Senate runoff in Alabama, and they both point to a clear win for former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Cygnal gives Moore a 52-41 edge against appointed Sen. Luther Strange, while the GOP pollster Trafalgar Group has him up 57-41. Indeed, as of Monday evening, every single poll that's been released has shown Moore ahead, and even Strange’s best poll—which was paid for by his free-spending allies at the Senate Leadership Fund—still found Moore with 41-40 edge last week.

It's worth noting that both of these late polls were in the field Saturday and Sunday, just after none other than Donald Trump held a rally for Strange in Huntsville on Friday night. Strange has been tying himself to Trump as closely as possible, and the senator and his supporters have been hoping that Trump's popularity with the Republican rank-and-file will help him make up badly needed ground. However, Trump's event didn't exactly serve as a rallying cry for Alabama Republicans to back Strange.

In addition to going off on tangents against NFL players and North Korea, Trump told the crowd that he "might have made a mistake" backing Strange, perhaps the oddest thing an endorser could possibly say. Trump did argue that Moore could actually give Democrat Doug Jones an opening in the December general election if the former judge won the nod, but he still called both GOP candidates "good men," and Trump pledged to stump for Moore if it came down to it. That's probably not a very persuasive message for Trump-loving Republicans who might be on the fence about Strange.

In any case, we'll find out very soon if the polls are right, or if the only poll that matters in this race really is on Election Day. The polls close at 8 PM ET tonight, and Daily Kos Elections will begin our liveblog then. We'll also be live-tweeting the results as well. We hope you'll join us for what will be an eventful night no matter what happens.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/25

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:01:07 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Monday, Sep 25, 2017 · 3:36:45 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Special Elections: In addition to the Alabama GOP Senate runoff, Tuesday brings us four special legislative election. As always, Johnny Longtorso has the goods: Florida SD-40: Back in April, freshman Republican state Sen. Frank Artiles resigned after he unleashed a racist tirade against fellow state senators, opening up this Miami-Dade County seat. The Democratic nominee is Annette Taddeo, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2008 and 2016, and was Charlie Crist's running mate in 2014. The Republican nominee is state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz. Also on the ballot is independent Christian "He-Man" Schlaerth. This seat went 58-40 for Hillary Clinton in 2016; according to Florida data expert Matthew Isbell, it backed Barack Obama 54-45 in 2012. Florida HD-116: Because of Florida's resign-to-run law, GOP state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz has to resign from the state House to run in the special election for SD-40. Diaz's resignation takes effect Sept. 26, regardless of whether he wins or loses the Senate race. The Democratic candidate to succeed Diaz in this Miami-Dade County seat is Gabriela Mayaudon, who was a congresswoman in her former home of Venezuela. The Republican candidate is Daniel Perez, an attorney. This seat went 51-46 for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 55-44 for Mitt Romney in 2012. New Hampshire House, Rockingham-4: This is an open Republican seat east of Manchester. The Democratic nominee is Kari Lerner, a realtor, while the Republican nominee is James Headd, a former state representative. Also on the ballot is Libertarian James Jarvis. This seat backed Donald Trump by a 59-36 margin in 2016, and voted 60-39 for Mitt Romney in 2012. South Carolina HD-31: This is an open Democratic seat in Spartanburg. The Democratic candidate is Rosalyn Henderson Myers, a member of the Spartanburg City Council. The Republican candidate is Michael Fowler, who ran for this seat in 2016 and lost 77-23. This seat went 72-24 for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 79-20 for Barack Obama in 2012. As we wrote in our most recent Voting Rights Roundup, Hurricane Irma hit the two Florida seats hard earlier this month, and several areas are still working to recover. This includes Richmond Heights in SD-40, a heavily black neighborhood, which is still suffering from major power outages. Democrats and nonpartisan voting rights groups had called on Republican Gov. Rick Scott to delay the special election a few weeks, but the governor refused. Monday, Sep 25, 2017 · 3:52:08 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer AK-Gov: Over the weekend, businessman Scott Hawkins, whose company works with mining and oil and gas companies, announced that he was joining the GOP primary to challenge independent Gov. Bill Walker. Hawkins has only run for office once, with him narrowly losing a 1996 race for the Anchorage Assembly, but he's been very active in state GOP politics. Hawkins has worked with a business-backed GOP super PAC called the Accountability Project, which just happens to be headquartered in the offices of Hawkins' company. Last year, the Accountability Project targeted two moderate Republican state House members in primaries largely over their support for an oil tax credit that was anathema to the oil industry, and also to stop them from joining a coalition with the Democratic state House minority. One of those targeted Republicans lost his primary, but state Rep. Paul Seaton survived and ended up forming that dreaded coalition with four other Republicans and the chamber's 17 Democrats. A few other Republicans are eying this contest. Former GOP state Sen. Charlie Huggins has filed to run, and his wife says he's in. State Rep. Mike Chenault, a former speaker, filed to run two wee[...]



Evan McMullin won 22 percent of the vote in Utah, but just one seat in the state legislature

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:33:05 +0000

Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Utah, a solidly red state that hosted an unexpectedly chaotic presidential race. Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton 46-27, with conservative independent Evan McMullin taking 22 percent; as a bonus, we've calculated McMullin's results in each legislative district in addition to Trump and Clinton's. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here. The GOP has controlled both chambers of the Utah state legislature since the 1970s, and Team Red maintains huge majorities. The Republicans have a 62-13 House supermajority, and a 24 to five edge in the Senate. Mitt Romney, Utah's possibly future U.S. senator, defeated Barack Obama 73-25 here, taking 68 of the 75 House seats and 27 of the 29 Senate districts. But things were a lot more eventful in 2016. Trump won a plurality in 55 House seats, while Clinton took 19 and McMullin managed to carry one. In the Senate, Trump carried 23 seats and Clinton won six, while McMullin struck out. We'll start with a look at the House, which is up every two years, and the one McMullin seat anywhere in the country. McMullin's win came in HD-63, located in the Provo area. While Romney won it 86-11, McMullin outpaced Trump 44-32, with Clinton a distant third at 19 percent. Republican state Rep. Dean Sanpei defeated his Democratic foe 79-21. McMullin came close to winning one other seat, the neighboring HD-64. Romney won 82-15 here, while Trump only outpaced McMullin 39-34, with Clinton taking 22; GOP incumbent Norm Thurston was unopposed. McMullin also took second place in another 31 seats, all of which were carried by Trump. McMullin's weakest performance was in HD-25, which just happened to be both Obama and Clinton's best seat. Obama carried this Salt Lake City seat 70-24, while Clinton beat Trump 74-11; McMullin took just 8 percent. Clinton won a majority of the vote in the same seven House seats that Obama carried, and Democrats represent them all. An additional 12 seats went from Romney to Clinton; half these districts have a Republican representative, and Democrats hold the other six. No Democrats represent any Trump seats. The Democrat in the most competitive seat is Sue Duckworth in Salt Lake County's HD-22. This seat went from 59-37 Romney to a thin 35.8-35.3 Clinton, while McMullin took 20.3 here. Amidst all this chaos, Duckworth beat her GOP opponent 52-48. The Republican in the bluest seat is Craig Hall in HD-33, another Salt Lake seat. This district went from 53-44 Romney to 45-31 Clinton, with 16 going to McMullin. However, Hall won 51-49. [...]



Former Democratic Rep. John Barrow will run for Georgia secretary of state

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 18:52:55 +0000

In an unexpected development, former Georgia Rep. John Barrow announced on Sunday that he'd run for secretary of state, a position that will be open next year because the current Republican office-holder, Brian Kemp, is running for governor. Barrow has the distinction of being the last white Democrat to hold a seat in Congress in the Deep South—a seat he held during many tough elections, even after Republicans repeatedly made his district redder and forced him to move, but finally lost in the GOP wave of 2014.

During his time in office, Barrow cultivated a reputation as a conservative Blue Dog, a profile that allowed him to survive in a red district but may not serve him as well should he face a contested statewide primary. That seems unlikely, though: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that former Rockdale County Tax Commissioner R.J. Hadley "has been persuaded to stand down," while another candidate, State Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, reported raising no money in the first half of the year. No other Democrats are running, and Barrow's message of nonpartisanship should serve him well in pursuing a post like this one, which ought to be (though often isn't) apolitical.

Republicans, on the other hand, have a multi-way fight for their nomination, which includes a trio of state legislators—state Reps. Buzz Brockway and Brad Raffensperger, plus state Sen. Josh McKoon—as well as Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle, who has led in fundraising so far. Whoever the GOP chooses, though, will have to contend with Kemp's mistakes as secretary of state, most notably a costly data breach that exposed the confidential information of over six million Georgia voters in 2015.

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Tim Pawlenty reportedly mulling a comeback bid for governor of Minnesota

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 17:25:00 +0000

Back in November, ex-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty didn't quite rule out a comeback bid for his old job, only saying he was "politically retired." The Star-Tribune's J. Patrick Coolican writes that Pawlenty has been saying the same kind of thing for months publicly, but GOP sources tell him that behind the scenes, Pawlenty really is considering getting in. Coolican reports that the former governor is "watching to see if the current field is locking down financial and political support."

If Pawlenty ran, he'd certainly be the biggest name in the GOP field. And as we wrote months ago, Pawlenty currently works in D.C. as a lobbyist for banks, which gives him access to plenty of money. Of course, Democrats wouldn't need to work hard to portray Pawlenty as a tool of greedy Washington interests if he attempted a comeback.

It's also not clear how popular Pawlenty, who ran an unimpressive race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is. Pawlenty last was on the ballot in 2006, when he narrowly won re-election 47-46 during the Democratic wave. Pawlenty left office with weak approval ratings, but a 2015 PPP survey gave him a positive 42-33 favorable score.

The GOP field is still slowly taking shape. The current candidates are Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who lost to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton 50-45 in 2014; ex-state party chair Keith Downey; state Sen. David Osmek; and state Rep. Matt Dean. Several other Republicans, most notably House Speaker Kurt Daudt, are still talking about getting in. Back in July, Daudt said he would decide by the early fall, which would put his announcement around… now? However, Daudt has been pretty inconsistent about his timeline in the past.

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Former Rep. Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting teenage girl

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:53:50 +0000

Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic congressman from New York City who twice derailed his own political career by sharing lewd pictures of himself with women who were not his wife, will now pay a much steeper price. On Monday, a federal judge sentenced Weiner to 21 months in prison for sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old North Carolina girl, following a plea agreement Weiner made with prosecutors earlier this year. Weiner had faced up to 10 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender.

In May of 2011, Weiner earned instant notoriety when he publicly tweeted a photo of himself in underwear to a woman, then claimed he couldn't "say with certitude" whether he was in fact pictured in the photo. (He was.) Smarting from brutal losses in the midterm elections just six months earlier and having no stomach for distractions, Democrats from all corners of the party immediately put pressure on Weiner to resign, which he soon did. But his departure didn't do much to lessen the pain: Republicans went on to pick up Weiner's seat in a special election that fall.

Two years later, Weiner plotted a political comeback and unexpectedly jumped into the wide-open Democratic primary to succeed term-limited New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, promising that he'd reformed his ways and asking voters to give him a "second chance." Weiner quickly surged into first place in the polls, but just as quickly, his campaign imploded when, yet again, it came out that he'd continued to trade sexual messages with other women—even as he'd been asking the public for forgiveness. Weiner insisted on staying in the race and finished in fifth place with just 5 percent of the vote. He continued his compulsive sexting, of course, and now he's finished for good.

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Morning Digest: GOP lands top recruit Dino Rossi to run for Washington's swingy 8th District

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:01:50 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● WA-08: Will the fourth time be the charm? Republican state Sen. Dino Rossi announced on Thursday that he'll make his fourth bid for higher office next year, this time to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Dave Reichert in the 8th Congressional District. About four-fifths of the district covers the outer suburbs on the eastern edge of the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, while the other one-fifth includes more rural territory east of the Cascades. Rossi is a commercial real estate developer who has served in the state Senate on and off again since his initial 1996 victory, with his most recent stint following an appointment last year to replace a Republican incumbent who died.​ Campaign Action ​Rossi was Team Red's nominee for Senate in 2010 and governor in 2008 and 2004, but lost all three times in heavily contested races. His first bid for governor was for an open seat against Democrat Christine Gregoire, which saw him fall shy by just 129 votes after an ugly and drawn-out recount during which Rossi had unsuccessfully fought for a new election to take place. He lost their 2008 rematch by 53-47, but considerably outran John McCain's 57-40 defeat in that year's presidential race. Rossi then challenged longtime Democratic Sen. Patty Murray in 2010, but fell short of victory by 52-48. Although Rossi failed to win at the statewide level in those three contests, he carried the 8th District each time, including a solid 55-45 edge over Murray here in 2010. This seat backed Hillary Clinton 48-45 and Obama by 50-48 in 2012, but it's no stranger to supporting down-ballot Republicans like Rossi. For instance, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee lost it by 54-46 last year even as he was winning statewide by that same margin. Rossi will consequently be a formidable candidate if he ends up as the GOP's standard-bearer. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:01:10 +0000

The Pioneers — “Long Shot Kick De Bucket”

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GOP state Sen. Dino Rossi will run for Washington's 8th District to succeed GOP Rep. Dave Reichert

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:24:37 +0000

Will the fourth time be the charm? Republican state Sen. Dino Rossi announced on Thursday that he'll make his fourth bid for higher office next year, this time to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th Congressional District. About four-fifths of the district covers the outer suburbs on the eastern edge of the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, while the other one-fifth includes more rural territory east of the Cascades. Rossi is a commercial real estate developer who has served in the state Senate on and off again since his initial 1996 victory, with his most recent stint following an appointment last year to replace a Republican incumbent who died. Rossi was Team Red's nominee for Senate in 2010 and governor in 2008 and 2004, but lost all three times in heavily contested races. His first bid for governor was for an open seat against Democrat Christine Gregoire, which saw him fall shy by just 129 votesafter an ugly and drawn-out recount during which Rossi had unsuccessfully fought for a new election to take place. He lost their 2008 rematch by 53-47, but considerably outran John McCain's 57-40 defeat in that year's presidential race. Rossi then challenged longtime Democratic Sen. Patty Murray in 2010, but fell short of victory by 52-48. Although Rossi failed to win at the statewide level in those three contests, he carried the 8th District each time, including a solid 55-45 edge over Murray here in 2010. This seat backed Hillary Clinton 48-45 and Obama by 50-48 in 2012, but it's no stranger to supporting down-ballot Republicans like Rossi. For instance, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee lost it by 54-46 last year even as he was winning statewide by that same margin. Rossi will consequently be a formidable candidate if he ends up as the GOP's standard-bearer However, Rossi isn't the only Republican who is interested in this seat. State Rep. Drew Stokesbary confirmed that he's still considering a bid of his own. No other prominent Republicans have formally joined the race yet, but if Rossi draws just one other notable GOP rival, it could complicate things for Democrats thanks to Washington's electoral system. All candidates run on a single primary ballot, and the top-two finishers advance to the general election regardless of party. With several Democrats running before Reichert announced his retirement and more interested in the race afterward, a fractured Democratic field could allow Rossi and another Republican to take both general election spots if they more evenly divide the GOP vote. While this sort of debacle hasn't yet happened in Washington since the adoption of top-two, the very same thing occurred in a 2012 House race in California, costing Democrats a seat that easily backed Obama that year. However, if no additional strong candidates run for Republicans, it significantly increases the odds that a Democrat will face Rossi in what is one of Team Blue's top pickup opportunities next year. [...]



Voting Rights Roundup: ACLU plans new push for voting rights after Trump sparks a fundraising surge

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:10:31 +0000

Leading Off ● American Civil Liberties Union: The American Civil Liberties Union is perhaps best known for its storied efforts at litigation to protect the rights of Americans to free speech and other guarantees in the Constitution, no matter how popular those crucial rights may be. However, Donald Trump's victory has helped the ACLU to quadruple its membership and raise a staggering $83 million online since last year’s election compared to a more typical $3 million to $5 million. The advocacy group is now looking to flex its newfound muscles by expanding the scope of its fight to advance voting rights.​ Campaign Action ​With recalcitrant Republicans firmly in control of Congress, the ACLU plans on launching a new effort in October called "Let People Vote" that will take a 50-state approach toward preserving and expanding the right to vote at the state level. Not only will they still back litigation against repressive voting laws, but they plan on funding and organizing for reforms tailor-made for each state. Those measures include establishing independent redistricting commissions, restoring voting rights for citizens with past felony convictions, repealing voter ID laws, and allowing voters to register and cast a ballot on the same day. This latest news follows on the heels of the ACLU's announcement in August that it is putting at least $5 million toward a 2018 ballot initiative campaign to restore the voting rights of those with past felony convictions in Florida. If this measure makes it onto the ballot and passes (the yes side would need to take at least 60 percent of the vote to prevail), it could have a major impact, since Florida's lifetime ban means it disenfranchises more of its citizens than any other state. These planned reform efforts won't just target states where largely Republican legislators have actively tried to suppress voters, but also Democratic-run states where legislators simply aren't doing nearly enough to expand access to the franchise. Ballot measures can be particularly costly to fund for nonpartisan advocacy groups with more limited budgets and donor bases than political parties have access to. However, by avoiding some of the polarization that comes along with partisan election contests, campaign spending on ballot initiatives can be particularly potent for persuading voters. The ACLU taking a more active role in advocating for ballot measures and reform legislation to end partisan gerrymandering and increase access to the ballot could go a long way toward making it easier for Americans to vote and have their vote count equally. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/22

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:01:15 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Friday, Sep 22, 2017 · 3:56:55 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf NY-Gov, NY-24: Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, a Democrat, faces term limits this November and is often talked up as a potential candidate for higher office next year. She has previously refused to rule out challenging GOP Rep. John Katko in the 24th Congressional District or Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial primary, but Miner has now acknowledged that she is indeed actively considering the latter option. Miner conceded that a primary challenge against the incumbent would make her "a huge underdog," particularly given Cuomo's massive $26 million war chest as of the end of June. However, Cuomo has frequently raised the ire of the progressive base by supporting continued Republican control of the state Senate, while dissatisfaction with the state of key government services like transportation could help a primary challenger make inroads across ideological lines. Friday, Sep 22, 2017 · 4:04:52 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf FL-01: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz only won his first term last year in this dark-red western panhandle seat, but he had previously earned buzz as potential candidate for state attorney general next year. However, Gaetz recently endorsed former judge Ashley Moody instead, making a re-election bid his most likely course of action. Friday, Sep 22, 2017 · 5:04:40 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf IA-01: Democratic state Sen. Jeff Danielson had formed an exploratory committee back in July while he decided on whether to run for the 1st Congressional District next year, but he announced on Thursday that he ultimately won't be joining the race against Republican Rep. Rod Blum. Danielson's decision leaves state Rep. Abby Finkenauer as the only elected official currently running for Democrats, though she faces former U.S. Labor Department staffer Thomas Heckroth in the primary. This northeastern Iowa seat flipped from 56-43 Obama to 49-45 Trump, but Democrats are optimistic they can put it into play next year. Friday, Sep 22, 2017 · 5:11:20 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf TX-23: Democrat Judy Canales, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture official, had previously said she was considering running for the 23rd District, and she recently filed with the FEC to do so. Canales hasn't officially announced her campaign yet, but her entry would add to the growing Democratic primary, which includes former federal prosecutor Jay Hulings and former Air Force intelligence officer Gina Ortiz Jones. Democrats are seeking to oust Republican Rep. Will Hurd next year in this heavily Latino seat, which spans from San Antonio to El Paso and backed Hillary Clinton 50-46. Friday, Sep 22, 2017 · 5:35:16 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf PA-15: The Morning Call recently reported that former Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, a Democrat, is considering running for the Lehigh Valley-based 15th District again next year, although Callahan hasn't said anything publicly. Callahan was recruited to run 2006 and 2008 when Democrats were eage[...]



Morning Digest: Ed Gillespie's racist new ad in Virginia goes straight into Willie Horton territory

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:01:19 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

VA-Gov:  Republican Ed Gillespie has dropped another "anti-immigration" ad that makes his first one look positively tame by comparison (it's still terrible, though).

Campaign Action

Gillespie's new spot essentially equates "dangerous illegal immigrants"—itself a racist anti-Latino trope—with MS-13, a dangerous and violent street gang that actually heavily targets undocumented Latinos. The ad further equates Democrat Ralph Northam's vote against prohibiting "sanctuary cities" with "increasing the threat of MS-13." It uses photos of imprisoned MS-13 members and flashes the gang's "Kill, Rape, Control" motto across the screen in a positively Willie Horton-esque attempt to stoke racially charged fears among Virginia voters.  

And here's a fun fact about that Northam vote on "sanctuary cities": The vote Gillespie hits Northam for in the ad was almost certainly engineered by GOP lawmakers to force Northam to break a tie in the state Senate—solely to give the Republican an anti-immigration talking point, because Virginia doesn't technically have any "sanctuary cities" to ban in the first place.

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This Week in Statehouse Action: Sine Die of the Living Dead edition

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:32:49 +0000

Some things just won’t stay dead. The GOP’s attempt to repeal Obamacare and kick millions of Americans off of their health insurance. Zombies. Jesus. Jon Snow. And now we can add Republican attempts to sow fear and division with blatantly racist campaign ads in Virginia elections this cycle to the list.  Dawn of the Dead Horse: It sure is getting beaten. Campaign Action First, there was Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie’s fear-mongering ad that was chock full o’ racist dog whistles and sought to target Democratic nominee and current Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam as weak on immigration policy and for allegedly supporting “sanctuary cities.” The ad claimed that Gillespie will keep us “safer” by “get[ting] tough on illegal immigration” and used racially charged language and tropes often used to smear members of the Latino community. Then there was the blatantly racist direct mail piece dropped by a Virginia Republican’s “leadership PAC” (read: political committee that does certain things so GOP candidates can keep their hands clean) against Elizabeth Guzman, a Latina House candidate. The mailer uses the term “illegal alien,” a term that’s dehumanizing and is just one of the many racially charged dog whistles often used to cloak racism in a veneer of moral authority while perpetuating negative stereotypes. The mailers also are designed to evoke the racist trope that giving driver’s licenses to members of this community would lead to gun violence or voter fraud. (Take a gander at them yourself right here.) Now we’ve come back around to Gillespie, who’s just dropped another “anti-immigration” ad that makes his first one look positively tame by comparison (but don’t get it twisted—the first one is still awful).  Gillespie’s ad essentially equates “dangerous illegal immigrants”—itself a racist anti-Latino trope—with MS-13, a dangerous and violent street gang that actually heavily targets undocumented Latinos. The ad further equates Northam’s vote against prohibiting “sanctuary cities” with “increasing the threat of MS-13.” It uses photos of imprisoned MS-13 members and flashes the gang’s “Kill, Rape, Control” motto across the screen in a positively Willie Horton-esque attempt to stoke racially charged fears among Virginia voters.   And here’s a fun fact about that Northam vote on “sanctuary cities”: The vote Gillespie hits Northam for in the ad was almost certainly engineered by GOP lawmakers to force Northam to break a tie in the state Senate—solely to give the Republican an anti-immigration talking point, because, well, Virginia doesn’t technically have any “sanctuary cities” to ban in the first place. The ad is straight out of Donald Trump’s racist fear-mongering playbook, and it’s just the latest indication of Gillespie’s terror and desperation.  [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/21

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:01:24 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Daily Kos Elections World HQ despot David “DavidNYC” Nir will be out of town for this seminal event, but if anyone wants to take the lead on organizing a DKE team, please do! xMy buddy @stevekornacki & I are doing elections trivia in NYC on 9/26 @ 630 pm. (Done by AL-Sen poll close) Tix here https://t.co/666VhNAJju— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) September 11, 2017 Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 · 6:23:14 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MI-Sen: GOP pollster Marketing Resource Group takes a look at the very hypothetical matchup between Democratic Sen. Debbi Stabenow and Republican musician Robert Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock. They give Stabenow a 52-34 lead; her opponent is called "Kid Rock the Republican" in MRG's question, even though if he ran, Ritchie would not be identified by his stage name on the ballot. MRG says they did the poll without a client, though they've agreed to work with businessman Sandy Pensler if he decides to seek the GOP nod. Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 · 6:34:29 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer TN-Sen: Clay Travis, a Nashville-based host for Fox Sports Radio, told the Independent Journal Review this week that he's interested in challenging GOP Sen. Bob Corker as an independent. However, Travis said he wouldn't run if he had to give up his radio job. Because of equal time laws, it's unlikely Travis could pull this off. If Travis doesn't run in the end, it won't be because his ego wasn't big enough. Travis bragged that he had "100 percent name recognition" at a University of Tennessee tailgate party, and declared that Democrats and Republicans "would kill to have the recognition in the state" he purports to have. Travis also recently told CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin that he “believe[s] in only two things completely. The First Amendment and boobs.” What a great guy.   Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 · 6:59:45 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NJ-Gov: Well, this is unusual. While almost no one is acting like Republican Kim Guadagno has any real chance to beat Democrat Phil Murphy in this fall's race, a group backed by the Democratic Governors Association called Our New Jersey is taking to the airwaves anyway. The DGA tells us that $1 million is behind the spot, which isn't chump change. However, the ad is so far only airing in the Philadelphia media market, which covers just a quarter of the state; the vast majority of viewers watch New York City TV, where ad time is very expensive. The DGA's counterparts at the RGA also debuted a TV spot this week, though that one only runs for 15 seconds. It's not clear what's happening. Polls have consistently shown Murphy with a clear lead over Guadagno; even a late June poll from Guadagno had Murphy winning 42-28. This week, Fox released a survey from their usual bipartisan polling team of Democratic firm Anderson Robbins Research and the GOP group Shaw & Company Research that gave Murphy a 42-29 edge. That's a lot closer than the 58-33 Murphy lead Quinnipiac found earlier this month, but it's still not close. Both Donald Trump and outgoing GOP Gov. Chris Christie very unpopular here, and it's tough to believe that Team Blue is really concerned about this. We'll keep an eye out to see if national groups start advertising splurging in the New York City media market, but until then, this Democratic ad buy is more a curiosity than a sign of alarm. The actual ad from Our New Jersey hits the notes you'd expect. [...]



Cash Rules Everything Around Me: Virginia House end-of-summer edition

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:12:04 +0000

Get the money, dollar dollar bill y’all. End-of-summer Virginia candidate finance reports have finally dropped, and they contain some pretty good news for Democrats.  Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam’s fantastic fundraising numbers made a lot of news. Northam raised over twice as much money as Republican Ed Gillespie and had twice as much cash on hand heading into the final two months of the race, news that brings a bit of relief to Democrats worried about the two-to-one cash advantage Gillespie had just after the primary elections in June. But that’s just one race out of the 103 being held in Virginia this fall, so let’s look a little further down the ballot and see what’s shaking. Democrats running for the House of Delegates this fall put up some impressive numbers this reporting period. The Virginia Public Access Project is an incredible resource for this, but we decided to make all the candidates’ fundraising numbers (total raised for the period and cash on hand) available side by side in a single spreadsheet for easy comparison in each and all districts. And like we do with all data we assemble in such a way, we analyzed the snot out of it. This is what we learned. 1. Eight of the top ten fundraisers were Democrats. This was easy enough to eyeball just from the handy list VPAP assembled, although theirs lacks party IDs (Dels. LeMunyon and Cox are the Republicans, by the way). Only one of the Democrats on this list (John Bell) is an incumbent, and both of the Republicans are. So seven of the top ten fundraisers are Democratic challengers, all in competitive districts. 2. The Democratic challenger out-raised the Republican in 22 GOP-held seats.  Great! Here’s a cool graph. Now let’s break that down a little.  2a. Nine Democratic challengers raised more money AND have more cash on hand than their Republican opponents. (Bolded candidates are Daily Kos endorsees.) HD-02 (Jennifer Carroll Foy in open Republican seat) HD-12 (Chris Hurst challenging Rep. Joseph Yost) HD-13 (Danica Roem challenging Rep. Bob Marshall) HD-17 (Djuna Osborne challenging Rep. Chris Head) HD-30 (Ben Hixon challenging Rep. Nick Freitas) HD-31 (Elizabeth Guzman challenging Rep. Scott Lingamfelter) HD-33 (Tia Walbridge challenging Rep. David LaRock) HD-42 (Kathy Tran in open Republican seat) HD-98 (Sheila Crowley challenging Rep. Keith Hodges) 2b. Thirteen Democratic challengers out-raised their Republican opponents but have yet to overcome incumbent war chests and still trail in cash on hand. HD-03 (Bill Bunch challenging Rep. Will Morefield) HD-10 (Wendy Gooditis challenging Rep. Randy Minchew) HD-20 (Michele Edwards challenging Rep. Dickie Bell) HD-26 (Brent Finnegan challenging Rep. Tony Wilt) HD-27 (Larry Barnett challenging Rep. Roxann Robinson) HD-32 (David Reid challenging Rep. Tag Greason) HD-40 (Donte Tanner challenging Rep. Tim Hugo) HD-51 (Haya Ayala challenging Rep. Richard Anderson) HD-55 (Morgan Goodman challenging Rep. Buddy Fowler HD-56 (Melissa Dart in open Republican seat) HD-73 (Debra Rodman challenging Rep. John O'Bannon) HD-88 (Steve Aycock challenging Rep. Mark Cole) HD-100 (Willie Randall challenging Rep. Rob Bloxom) [...]



Morning Digest: Party-switching GOP Gov. Jim Justice backs Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:01:35 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● WV-Sen: On Wednesday, MetroNews' Brad McElhinny reported that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice told a group of lawmakers that he was supporting Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's bid for re-election. Before early August, that probably wouldn't have been very exciting news. Justice is close to Manchin and last year, the senator endorsed Justice in the three-way Democratic primary; Justice also hired several of Manchin's advisers for his campaign. But just last month, Justice attended a rally with Donald Trump and announced he was joining the GOP.​ Campaign Action ​Manchin is running for re-election in a state that backed Trump 68-26, and he's going to need to win over a lot of voters who like Trump. Justice argued that, by re-electing Manchin, West Virginians would actually be helping Trump. McElhinny quotes the governor telling the room, "Now he may be a terrible person to y'all but Joe has been a friend of mine and I'm going to tell you this as straight up as I can be: Joe Manchin is becoming a very key, integral part with Donald Trump. And I'm going to take my read off of Donald Trump." Justice continued, "Joe Manchin is — and I know this — Joe Manchin is Donald Trump's liaison with the Democrats. And you want, and I want, what Donald Trump is trying to get done." It's unclear how much help Justice will be for Manchin. Justice, a coal billionaire, did very well as the Democratic nominee in coal country, an area that has abandoned Democratic presidential candidates but still is open to voting blue down-ballot. These are the type of voters Manchin is going to be seeking next year, and if Justice is still well-regarded in the region, his cross-party seal of endorsement could be a big help. However, that's a big if. While a recent poll from Repass and Research America Inc. gave Manchin a 51-34 approval rating, that same sample found the newly Republican governor with a weak 34-44 score. West Virginia doesn't get polled often, so we don't have other numbers to compare it to. But it's possible there just aren't many voters Justice could appeal to who already don't like Manchin. And as we've seen in the past year, Justice is an eccentric guy. If he really believes he's backing Manchin to help Trump, he may change course if Trump tells him to. Indeed, an unnamed person who was at the meeting tells Buzzfeed's Henry Gomez that Justice indicated he'd follow Trump's lead. Still, Republicans will be working hard to caricature Manchin as a typical Democrat who has lost his way in D.C., and the senator will be happy to echo Justice and define himself as a bipartisan figure. [...]



A month after joining the GOP, Gov. Jim Justice backs Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's re-election bid

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:04:16 +0000

On Wednesday, MetroNews' Brad McElhinny reported that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice told a group of lawmakers that he was supporting Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's bid for re-election. Before early August, that probably wouldn't have been very exciting news. Justice is close to Manchin and last year, the senator endorsed Justice in the three-way Democratic primary; Justice also hired several of Manchin's  advisers for his campaign. But just last month, Justice attended a rally with Donald Trump and announced he was joining the GOP. Manchin is running for re-election in a state that backed Trump 68-26, and he's going to need to win over a lot of voters who like Trump. Justice argued that, by re-electing Manchin, West Virginians would actually be helping Trump. McElhinny quotes the governor telling the room, "Now he may be a terrible person to y’all but Joe has been a friend of mine and I’m going to tell you this as straight up as I can be: Joe Manchin is becoming a very key, integral part with Donald Trump. And I’m going to take my read off of Donald Trump." Justice continued, "Joe Manchin is — and I know this — Joe Manchin is Donald Trump’s liaison with the Democrats. And you want, and I want, what Donald Trump is trying to get done." It's unclear how much help Justice will be for Manchin. Justice, a coal billionaire, did very well as the Democratic nominee in coal country, an area that has abandoned Democratic presidential candidates but still is open to voting blue down-ballot. These are the type of voters Manchin is going to be seeking next year, and if Justice is still well-regarded in the region, his cross-party seal of endorsement could be a big help. However, that's a big if. While a recent poll from Repass and Research America Inc. gave Manchin a 51-34 approval rating, that same sample found the newly Republican governor with a weak 34-44 score. West Virginia doesn't get polled often, so we don't have other numbers to compare it to. But it's possible there just aren't many voters Justice could appeal to who already don't like Manchin. And as we've seen in the past year, Justice is an eccentric guy. If he really believes he's backing Manchin to help Trump, he may change course if Trump tells him to. Indeed an unnamed person who was at the meeting tells Buzzfeed's Henry Gomez that Justice indicated he'd follow Trump's lead. Still, Republicans will be working hard to caricature Manchin as a typical Democrat who has lost his way in D.C., and the senator will be happy to echo Justice and define himself as a bipartisan figure. [...]



When 'fake news' gets too real: GOP rolls out propaganda websites in Virginia and nationwide

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:46:07 +0000

Turns out “fake news” is real, just not the way Donald Trump thinks it is. The Republican Governors Association—the GOP’s official campaign arm dedicated to electing Republican governors nationwide—is connected to two websites that purport to be independent news sources but are, in reality, propaganda platforms that support GOP candidates. The first, launched in Virginia as a way to boost Ed Gillespie’s flaccid campaign, is the at-least-mildly-obvious Republican Standard, which describes itself as “a new media journal delivering clear, factual and smartly-balanced information to Virginia’s public square.” The Republican Standard, which is run by GOP operatives tied to Gillespie and “to a firm that has been paid by the RGA,” devotes most of its space to pro-Gillespie items and pieces that shed an unfavorable light on Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam. (When contacted for comment on the site, the Gillespie campaign refused to say anything, instead referring questions to the RGA.) The site’s senior editor is Shaun Kenney, and his Republican Standard bio conveniently fails to mention that he used to be executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia. The RGA’s broad-spectrum propaganda endeavor is far more insidious. The Free Telegraph is a site that trumpets the supposed accomplishments of Republican governors and gubernatorial candidates and blasts the alleged shortcomings of their Democratic counterparts. An Associated Press inquiry revealed that the RGA sought to conceal its involvement in the creation and administration of the site; it launched in July with no indication that it was the product of an official Republican Party committee. After the AP caught on to them, they “remedied” their lack of accountability. Now, at the very bottom of each page, you can squint and see a teeny tiny “paid for by Republican Governors Association” disclaimer, in fine gray-on-black font for ease of reading, surely. Don’t let the Republicans get away with hijacking the news. Contribute $3 to help elect Democrat Ralph Northam governor of Virginia. [...]



New Hampshire Democrats have a big opening to win Manchester mayor race for first time since 2003

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:24:38 +0000

On Tuesday, New Hampshire's largest city held its non-partisan primary, and unsurprisingly, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and Democrat Joyce Craig advanced to the Nov. 7 general. But in what was a surprise, Craig outpaced Gatsas 53-46, the first time the Republican incumbent has finished second in the primary in any of his five mayoral races. This doesn't mean Gatsas is doomed: Two years ago, Gatsas led Craig 43-37, while another Democrat grabbed 15; in November, Gatsas beat Craig by 85 votes. Still, it's not a good sign for the incumbent at all.

Democrats haven't controlled the mayor's office since incumbent Robert Barnes lost re-election to future GOP Rep. Frank Guinta in 2005. However, Gatsas came close to losing two years ago, and he only won 53-47 in 2013. Gatsas had spent years flirting with a run for higher office, and last year, he finally decided to run for governor. Gatsas ended up taking third place with 21 percent of the vote in the primary, well behind eventual winner Chris Sununu's 31 percent.

If Craig wins, expect to hear her mentioned as a future candidate for NH-01 or for statewide office. Moreover, potential Democratic presidential candidates will likely show up in Manchester over the next two months to try and make inroads with New Hampshire Democrats: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently stumped for Craig.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/20

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:01:23 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 · 3:19:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Manchester, NH Mayor: On Tuesday, New Hampshire's largest city held its non-partisan primary, and unsurprisingly, GOP Mayor Ted Gatsas and Democrat Joyce Craig advanced to the Nov. 7 general. But in what was a surprise, Craig outpaced Gatsas 53-46, the first time Gatsas has finished second in the primary in any of his five mayoral races. This doesn't mean Gatsas is doomed: Two years ago, Gatsas led Craig 43-37, while another Democrat grabbed 15; in November, Gatsas beat Craig by 85 votes. Still, it's not a good sign for the incumbent at all. Democrats haven't controlled the mayor's office since incumbent Robert Barnes lost re-election to future GOP Rep. Frank Guinta in 2005. However, Gatsas came close to losing two years ago, and he only won 53-47 in 2013. Gatsas had spent years flirting with a run for higher office, and last year, he finally decided to run for governor. Gatsas ended up taking third place with 21 percent of the vote in the primary, well behind eventual winner Chris Sununu's 31 percent. If Craig wins, expect to hear her mentioned as a future candidate for NH-01 or for statewide office. Moreover, potential Democratic presidential candidates will likely show up in Manchester over the next two months to try and make inroads with New Hampshire Democrats: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently stumped for Craig. Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 · 3:35:56 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer VA-Sen: Princeton Survey Research Associates International, polling on behalf of the University of Mary Washington, takes a look at next year's Senate race, and they give Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine a clear lead against all GOP comers. Kaine beats Corey Stewart, the Confederate-worshipping head of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and the only announced candidate, 54-39 with likely voters. Kaine leads Rep. Dave Brat, who famously beat then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 primary, 54-41, and outpaces Rep. Scott Taylor 53-41. While national Republicans are targeting plenty of Democratic senators across the country, they've largely ignored this race so far. Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 · 3:56:00 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer CT-Gov: The GOP field may be getting another comer before too long. David Stemerman, the founder of the hedge fund Conatus Capital Management, said this week that he was closing his firm in December and he "expect[s] to form a candidate committee that will prepare to launch a campaign in 2018." Conatus currently manages $1.6 billion, so Stemerman may have some connections that could help him raise money. A number of other Republicans have entered the race or formed exploratory committees, and there's no clear frontrunner. Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 · 5:39:56 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf IA-Gov: Labor leader Cathy Glasson has upgraded her campaign from the exploratory phase to official after she recently threw her hat into the ring for the Democratic gubernatorial primary. As a career nurse whose union covers health-care workers, Glasson leads SEIU Local 199 in the Iowa City area. Although she hasn't run for office before and starts off with little recognition, organized labor is a particularly important constituency in Democ[...]



Morning Digest: As two polls show a close race in Virginia, another has Democrat Ralph Northam up 10

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:01:47 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● VA-Gov: Three groups released polls of November's race for governor in Virginia on Tuesday, and … well, it feels like it's Choose Your Own Adventure Week in the Old Dominion (again). Campaign Action If you think the race is a tossup, turn to page 1. Mason-Dixon gives Democrat Ralph Northam a 44-43 lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in their first poll since January. If you think it’s even closer than that, stay on page 1. Fox, which as usual employs the Democratic firm Anderson Robbins Research and the GOP group Shaw & Company Research, has a 42-41 lead for Northam with likely voters. Among registered voters, it’s 42-38 Northam; when a pollster offers both options, Daily Kos Elections always goes with likely voters. On Monday, Suffolk University also had the two tied 42-42, so this pair of polls seem to back that reading up. But if you think Northam is blowing Gillespie out of the water, turn to page 10. Quinnipiac gives the Democrat a huge 51-41 lead, even better than the 44-38 edge they found a month ago. According to Larry Sabato, unreleased private polls also have Northam up, but "more modestly" than what Quinnipiac found. If you think Northam's leading, but not by nearly 10 points, turn to page 5. On Monday, the University of Mary Washington published a poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International that had Northam leading 44-39. If you think Gillespie is ahead, there's a blank page at the end where you can write whatever you want. But while no released survey has shown Gillespie with any lead in months, wary Democrats and optimistic Republicans will remember that polls gave Team Blue clear leads in the 2013 gubernatorial race and the 2014 Senate race, but the Democrats only narrowly won each race. However, the polls were much better during last year's presidential contest. [...]



Is Virginia's governor's race a dead heat, or is Northam ahead? New polls show both outcomes

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:29:54 +0000

Two independent firms released polls of November's race for governor or Virginia on Tuesday, and… well, it feels like it's Choose Your Own Adventure Week in the Old Dominion (again). If you think the race is a tossup, turn to page 1. Mason-Dixon gives Democrat Ralph Northam a 44-43 lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in their first poll since January. On Monday, Suffolk University had the two tied 42-42, so this seems to back that up. But if you think Northam is blowing Gillespie out of the water, turn to page 10. Quinnipiac gives the Democrat a huge 51-41 lead, even better than the 44-38 edge they found a month ago. According to Larry Sabato, unreleased private polls also have Northam up, but "more modestly" than what Quinnipiac found. If you think Northam's leading, but not by nearly 10 points, turn to page 5. On Monday, the University of Mary Washington published a poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International that had Northam leading 44-39. If you think Gillespie is ahead, there’s a blank page at the end where you can write whatever you want. But while no released survey has shown Gillespie with any lead in months, wary Democrats and optimistic Republicans will remember that polls gave Team Blue clear leads in the 2013 gubernatorial race and the 2014 Senate race, but the Democrats only narrowly won each race. However, the polls were much better during last year's presidential contest. Let’s make sure this story has a happy ending. Please chip in $3 to help Ralph Northam win. Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 · 10:38:04 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer If you think it’s even closer, turn to page 0 (which we guess would be the introduction?) Fox, which as usual employs the Democratic firm Anderson Robbins Research and the GOP group Shaw & Company Research, has a 42-42 tie with likely voters. Among registered voters, it’s 42-38 Northam; when a pollster offers both options, Daily Kos Elections always goes with likely voters. [...]



Big Easy makes it tough: Tight polling shows next month's mayoral race is anyone's game

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:55:56 +0000

New Orleans' Oct. 14 jungle primary to replace termed-out Mayor Mitch Landrieu is less than a month away, and a new poll indicates that it's an extremely tight three-way race to get to the November general election. Market Research Insight, once again polling on behalf of a group of business people (including John Georges, the owner of the local paper The Advocate), just barely puts City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell in the lead with 27 percent of the vote, while two former judges, Michael Bagneris and Desiree Charbonnet, take 26 and 25 percent, respectively. Businessman Troy Henry, who badly lost to Landrieu in 2010, is a distant fourth with just 4 percent. Like Landrieu and most of the city's voters, all four candidates are Democrats. Last month, MRI found Charbonnet leading Cantrell 25-23 with Bagneris at 19, so Bagneris may be gaining ground as the campaign marches on. Bagneris challenged Landrieu for re-election in 2014, and lost 64-33, making us quite skeptical that his second bid would go much better, and indeed, his fundraising was pretty meh until recently. However, Bagneris brought in $260,000 from early July through mid-September, a much stronger total than his previous hauls, and he has $103,000 on-hand. Bagneris seems to be benefiting, at least financially, from a recent controversy over New Orleans' old Confederate monuments. In the spring, the Landrieu administration removed several statues commemorating Confederate leaders and a separate monument to Reconstruction-era violence, and Landrieu himself gave a widely praised speech celebrating their departure. But Bagneris, who like all the major candidates is black, has spoken out against his old rival's actions, arguing that Landrieu's move "divides the races" and saying there should have been a citywide vote before the monuments were removed. By contrast, Cantrell was one of the city councilors who voted for the statues’ removal in 2015, while Charbonnet has said the city should move on from the controversy. Bagneris' stance on the monument issue seems to have helped him make inroads with some influential local business people. Last month, businessman Frank Stewart, who published newspaper ads denouncing Landrieu over the monuments, hosted a breakfast for Bagneris; in attendance were, as The Advocate's Tyler Bridges puts it, "some three dozen friends and associates capable of writing big campaign checks." Stewart, who had been a longtime supporter of the Landrieu family, claims his decision had "no relationship whatsoever" to Bagneris' position on the Confederate monuments, but he almost immediately contradicted himself: In the very same interview with the Times-Picayune, Stewart says Bagneris had told him "that if he were mayor, he would've had a referendum. That's why I'm backing him." [...]



Running out of time before next week's primary, Republicans pull out the stops for Luther Strange

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:28:35 +0000

Following on the heels of recent news that Donald Trump will campaign in Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange on Saturday, the White House also confirmed to Politico that Mike Pence will head down to the Yellowhammer State to join the campaign stump with Strange on Monday. Strange's camp is increasingly pulling out all the stops as he tries to overcome former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's polling lead in next Tuesday's Senate special election Republican primary runoff.

Fundraising and ad support have always been a major advantage that Strange has had thanks to the adamant backing of establishment Republicans, and the NRA is the latest GOP-leaning group to air a new ad on his behalf. The NRA calls "Big Luther" Strange the only candidate who will be 100 percent for gun rights, repeatedly emphasizing their endorsement of the incumbent while calling Moore weak on gun rights. They reportedly plan to spend a "seven figure" sum on the new spot.

Meanwhile, the Mitch McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund debuted a new ad that more vigorously attacks Moore. The spot blasts Moore for having "grabbed headlines and cashed in" by paying himself $1 million from a charity ran. SLF excoriates him for laying of 170 court workers while taking two pay raises for himself during his first stint on the state's high court in 2001. They continue by calling Moore out for more recently criticizing Trump's plan to build a border wall, after which they pointedly emphasize that Trump doesn't support Moore in this race.

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Former Democratic state Rep. Linda Coleman will challenge GOP Rep. George Holding in North Carolina

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:24:57 +0000

Former state Rep. Linda Coleman announced on Monday that she will run for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District against Republican Rep. Greg Holding, becoming the highest-profile Democrat in the race so far. Coleman was Team Blue's nominee for lieutenant governor in 2016 and 2012, and performed respectably given the circumstances. She lost by a razor-thin 50.08 to 49.92 margin to Republican Dan Forest for an open seat in 2012 even as Republican Pat McCrory was winning a historic 55-43 landslide in that year's open gubernatorial contest. Coleman sought a rematch against now-Lt. Gov. Forest last year, but fell short by 52-45 as Trump carried the Tarheel State and statewide Republicans performed well in races where their candidates successfully separated themselves from the controversy over anti-LGBTQ law HB2. Coleman will first have to get past the Democratic primary, though, where distillery owner Sam Searcy has been running since July. She previously represented an eastern Wake County state House from 2004 to 2010, and had previously served on the Wake County commission before that, giving her a solid geographic base of support in this heavily gerrymandered seat, which contains suburban Wake and parts of several counties in the eastern greater Raleigh area. Coleman, who is African American, could also have a leg up in the primary in a district where a solid bloc of the primary electorate will be black. Republicans adroitly crafted this seat to protect Holding despite the Raleigh area's explosive population growth helping to drive its leftward trend. The district still favored Trump by 53-44, meaning it won't be easy to defeat the three-term incumbent next year. However, the 2nd is the only GOP-held district in North Carolina that is better-educated than the national average, which could make a Trump-induced backlash among college-educated voters particularly potent if 2018 turns into a truly Democratic-favoring wave election. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/19

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:01:23 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 · 3:35:31 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MD-Gov: Former state Attorney General Doug Gansler lost the Democratic primary for governor in 2014, and he had refused to rule out running again in 2018 shortly after last November's elections. However, Gansler stated on Monday that "at this point, I have no plans to enter the race." While that isn't exactly a firm "no," Gansler seems quite unlikely to reverse course and take the plunge. Gansler's 2014 bid also went very poorly after he was dogged by scandal and came in a distant second place behind then-Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who went on to narrowly lose the general election, so this latest news isn’t a surprise. The Washington Post report also indicated Gansler said he'd probably decide whom to support among the crowded field of candidates after next February's filing deadline passes. Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 · 3:49:57 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf SC-Gov: Democratic state Rep. James Smith increasingly looks all but official as a gubernatorial candidate for next year. Smith launched a new website and video on Monday, and says he'll formally decide in October whether to join the race. Smith recently filed his paperwork to run while he still publicly considers it, becoming the first notable Democrat to do so. Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 · 3:59:50 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf WI-Gov: Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout filed her paperwork to begin fundraising for a potential gubernatorial bid back in June, but had said she was still considering whether to mount a challenge to Republican Gov. Scott Walker next year. Vinehout announced on Monday that she will be holding an event on Sept. 25 to declare whether she will seek re-election or join the gubernatorial primary, where a handful of other notable Democrats are already running. Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 · 4:16:14 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MA-03: Democrat Lori Trahan recently filed her paperwork to begin raising money for a potential campaign to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Niki Tsongas, though she has yet to officially announce that she's running. Trahan is a consulting firm CEO who was once chief of staff to former Rep. Marty Meehan, who represented predecessor versions of this district from 1993 to 2007. She doesn't appear to have run for office herself before. No notable Democrats have formally joined the race yet, but state Sen. Barbara L'Italien and Boston Mayor Mary Walsh's former chief of staff Daniel Koh have both previously created exploratory committees. This Merrimack Valley seat backed Hillary Clinton 58-35 and should strongly favor Democrats next year. Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 · 4:37:31 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MD-06: Emergency-room pediatrician Nadia Hashimi is the latest notable Democrat who has taken steps toward running for the open 6th Congressional District after she filed her paperwork to begin raising money earlier in September. Hashimi has an unusual background that could make her stand out in a crowded primary field: She was born in the U.S. to immigrant parents who left Afghanistan a few years [...]



Morning Digest: Trump to campaign with Luther Strange in Alabama, but new poll has Roy Moore ahead

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:01:22 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● AL-Sen: Appointed Sen. Luther Strange is calling out the big guns with just a week left until the Republican primary runoff against former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Donald Trump himself, making good on his endorsement of Strange before last month's first round, announced he will come to Huntsville to campaign with Strange on the last Saturday night before Election Day. Although Strange has always had the steadfast support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the White House has been far more tepid in its enthusiasm for the vulnerable incumbent, having previously done little for Strange ahead of the runoff, where both candidates have done their best to tie themselves to Trump. Campaign Action ​However, Moore isn't without his own backers. Rep. Mo Brooks, who finished third in last month's first round with 20 percent, endorsed Moore. After facing a barrage of attacks from the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund super PAC, Brooks' enmity toward the Senate establishment was well-known, but it had been unclear if that would lead him to actually outright support Moore. While Brooks finished far behind Strange and Moore in round one, the House Freedom Caucus member's voters appear to be a more natural fit for an anti-establishment candidate like Moore to begin with. Meanwhile, JMC Analytics is out with their newest poll, which finds Moore prevailing just as every other pollster has shown since the first round. JMC places Moore ahead 50-42 over Strange, which is nonetheless a considerable improvement for Strange since their mid-August poll, where Moore led 51-32. However, time is quickly running out for Strange to bring Moore below 50 percent and close the rest of that gap if these numbers are accurate. [...]



California GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher asks Trump to pardon Wikileaks' Julian Assange

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:39:13 +0000

This is just wild. California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who is widely reported to be Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin's favorite congressman, is now shilling for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Rohrabacher pitched White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on the idea of pardoning Assange, or "something like that," in exchange for supposed evidence that would prove Russia had no role in the hacking of Democratic campaigns last year. Of course, Assange faces charges of espionage if he were to ever be extradited to the U.S. He's been holed up Ecuador's United Kingdom embassy for the last five years to avoid being extradited to Sweden for questioning regarding his role in a suspected rape, but Assange has remained there to avoid being sent to the U.S. even after Sweden ended its investigation in May. It wasn't that long ago that prominent conservatives were figuratively calling for Assange's head on a spike, but partisanship makes for strange bedfellows, indeed. This isn't the first time that Rohrabacher has done something this batshit crazy. Just last week, Rohrabacher put on his tinfoil hat to argue that the Charlottesville Nazis and KKK protesters were "Civil War re-enactors" who were part of a Democratic plot of manipulation to manufacture a confrontation and "put our president on the spot." He previously met with far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, went on Albanian television and declared that "Macedonia is not a state" and should be split up and given to other countries, and had gotten involved with his close friend and disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a strange plan ostensibly to help the Republic of Congo defeat the terrorist group Boko Haram. Although the incumbent has held down his coastal Orange County district with ease for 15 terms, this diversifying and highly educated suburban seat zoomed leftward from 55-43 Romney to 48-46 Clinton last year, and its demographics render it a prime target for Democrats next year as 2018 is shaping up to be a backlash to Trump nationally. Rohrabacher already faces several serious Democratic challengers, and this latest insanity is likely doing him no favors with general election voters. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/18

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:01:11 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Monday, Sep 18, 2017 · 3:16:32 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf AL-Sen: Appointed Sen. Luther Strange is calling out the big guns with just a week left until the Republican primary runoff against former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Donald Trump himself, making good on his endorsement of Strange before last month's first round, announced he will come to Huntsville to campaign with Strange on the last Saturday night before Election Day. Although Strange has always had the steadfast support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the White House has been far more tepid in its enthusiasm for the vulnerable incumbent, having previously done little for Strange ahead of the runoff, where both candidates have done their best to tie themselves to Trump. However, Moore isn't without his own backers. Rep. Mo Brooks, who finished third in last month's first round with 20 percent, endorsed Moore. After facing a barrage of attacks from the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund super PAC, Brooks' enmity toward the Senate establishment was well-known, but it had been unclear if that would lead him to actually outright support Moore. While Brooks finished far behind Strange and Moore in round one, the House Freedom Caucus member's voters appear to be a more natural fit for an anti-establishment candidate like Moore to begin with. Meanwhile, JMC Analytics is out with their newest poll, which finds Moore prevailing just as every other pollster has shown since the first round. JMC places Moore ahead 50-42 over Strange, which is nonetheless a considerable improvement for Strange since their mid-August poll, where Moore led 51-32. However, time is quickly running out for Strange to bring Moore below 50 percent and close the rest of that gap if these numbers are accurate. One thing keeping Strange in contention is the heavy advantage he and his allies have on the airwaves. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest to debut a new ad on Strange's behalf. Their new spot praises Strange for taking on the Obama administration while he was Alabama’s attorney general. They also laud Strange for "keeping our courts conservative" by voting to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Monday, Sep 18, 2017 · 3:43:04 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf ND-Sen: The Club for Growth, a hardline anti-tax group that plays a major role in boosting insurgent GOP extremist candidates, has released a new poll from WPA Intelligence that tests a hypothetical general election matchup between Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Republican state Treasurer Kelly Schmidt. Their survey gives Schmidt a 48-44 lead in the rarely polled Senate race. Schmidt, who has been in office since her initial 2004 election, has so far flown under the radar as a potential Republican candidate. She has yet to even acknowledge that she is[...]



Years after losing race for swingy Michigan seat, Rocky Raczkowski seeks the GOP nod again

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:38:30 +0000

On Monday, three Republicans announced that they were running to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Dave Trott in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, a 50-45 Trump seat located in suburban Detroit: businesswoman Lena Epstein, state Rep. Klint Kesto, and ex-state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski. No other noteworthy Republicans were running before this trio announced, though several are considering. Two Democrats were running before Trott retired. Back in May, Epstein, who co-chaired Trump's Michigan campaign and whose family owns an automotive and industrial lubricant company, announced that she would challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Epstein raised $211,000 during her first five weeks in the Senate race and loaned herself another $250,000, money that she can easily transfer to a House campaign. Kesto is a former assistant county prosecutor in Wayne County who has served three terms in a light red state House seat. Raczkowski is a former House majority leader and an Army veteran who served in Iraq. Raczkowski has been out of office since 2002, when he lost the U.S. Senate race to Democratic incumbent Carl Levin 61-38. Raczkowski tried to resuscitate his political career in 2010, when he challenged freshman Democratic Rep. Gary Peters for the old 9th Congressional District. (About one-third of that old seat is located in Trott's district.) Raczkowski lost to Peters 50-47, a rare success for Democrats in a swing seat in a horrible year. Four years later, Raczkowski narrowly lost a primary for the state Senate to eventual winner Marty Knollenberg, who has talked about running for Trott's seat. As we noted last week, Raczkowski's allies and his own antics got him into trouble during his congressional campaign. At a fundraiser for his congressional campaign, prominent conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly drew unflattering headlines for Raczkowski when she declared that, besides "the blacks," the largest group to vote for Obama was unmarried women, because "when you kick your husband out, you've got to have big brother government to be your provider." Raczkowski awkwardly tried to distance himself from Schlafly's comments by saying he "believe[s] in equality for everyone. I'm color-blind and gender blind," coming very close to accidently echoing Stephen Colbert. Raczkowski also drew headlines in 2010 when he told Politico that he would "love" to see Obama's birth certificate; Raczkowski's campaign later said his comments were taken out of context and that he didn't question Obama's citizenship, though they didn't explain what the proper context actually was. [...]



New polls show a close race for Virginia governor, but Ralph Northam dominates in fundraising

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:08:55 +0000

Two new polls of Virginia’s November gubernatorial election continue to find a close race between Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie. The first one, from Suffolk on behalf of USA Today, shows the race tied at 42-42 apiece, with Libertarian Clifford Hyra earning 2 percent. This survey is Suffolk's first one of the contest, and it surprisingly shows Donald Trump's approval rating at 41 percent with only 51 percent disapproving, which is markedly better for him than the consensus of national polls would suggest for a light-blue state. That could be a sign that Suffolk's likely voter sample is simply too red, but it could also indicate Democrats are having trouble turning out their voters for an odd-year state election.

The University of Mary Washington also published its own poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which was also its first of the race and appears to be part of its annual foray into polling the Old Dominion. They contend that Northam leads Gillespie 44-39 while Hyra takes 3 percent. Both of these results are consistent with prior surveys in this relatively under-polled general election, which have ranged from a tie to a modest Northam lead since the June primaries.

Although the polls remain close, the money chase over the last few months surprisingly was not. Northam raised a staggering $7.2 million in July and August, and he started September with a healthy $5.6 million on-hand. Despite his previous stint as Republican National Committee chairman, Gillespie raised only $3.7 million in comparison and had just $2.6 million on hand at the end of August.

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Donald Trump to campaign in Alabama for Luther Strange, but new poll still finds Roy Moore leading

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:25:37 +0000

Appointed Sen. Luther Strange is calling out the big guns with just a week left until the Republican primary runoff against former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate special election. Donald Trump himself, making good on his endorsement of Strange before last month's first round, announced he will come to Huntsville to campaign with Strange on the last Saturday night before Election Day. Although Strange has always had the steadfast support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the White House has been far more tepid in its enthusiasm for the vulnerable incumbent, having previously done little for Strange ahead of the runoff, where both candidates have done their best to tie themselves to Trump. However, Moore isn't without his own backers. Rep. Mo Brooks, who finished third in last month's first round with 20 percent, endorsed Moore. After facing a barrage of attacks from the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund super PAC, Brooks' enmity toward the Senate establishment was well-known, but it had been unclear if that would lead him to actually outright support Moore. While Brooks finished far behind Strange and Moore in round one, the House Freedom Caucus member's voters appear to be a more natural fit for an anti-establishment candidate like Moore to begin with. Meanwhile, JMC Analytics is out with their newest poll, which finds Moore prevailing just as every other pollster has shown since the first round. JMC places Moore ahead 50-42 over Strange, which is nonetheless a considerable improvement for Strange since their mid-August poll, where Moore led 51-32. However, time is quickly running out for Strange to bring Moore below 50 percent and close the rest of that gap if these numbers are accurate. One thing keeping Strange in contention is the heavy advantage he and his allies have on the airwaves. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest to debut a new ad on Strange's behalf. Their new spot praises Strange for taking on the Obama administration while he was Alabama’s attorney general. They also laud Strange for "keeping our courts conservative" by voting to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. [...]



Morning Digest: Perpetual rising star, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan won't seek re-election

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:01:23 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● IL-AG: On Friday, Democrat Lisa Madigan surprised the Illinois political world when she announced that she would not seek a fifth term as state attorney general. Madigan did say she would not run for anything in 2018, though she left open the possibility that she would seek major office again.​ Campaign Action ​For years, Madigan has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate or for governor. In 2009, national Democrats, including President Obama, tried to recruit Madigan to run for his old Senate seat, but she turned them down, and she also did not run for governor that year. In 2014, it looked likely that Madigan would challenge Gov. Pat Quinn in the primary, but she once again passed. (Democrats ended up losing both the 2010 Senate race and 2014 gubernatorial contests.) Madigan's father, Mike Madigan, is the speaker of the state House and longtime state party chair, and Lisa Madigan said in 2013 that she felt it would be bad for the governor and speaker to come from the same family. Madigan showed little interest in running for the Senate in 2016 or for governor against vulnerable GOP incumbent Bruce Rauner this cycle, and she seems to be waiting for her father to leave the stage before going further. But Mike Madigan, who has been speaker since 1983 (aside from two years following the 1994 Republican wave when Democrats were in the minority) shows no sign of going anywhere. Several Democrats have already expressed interest in running to succeed Madigan in the attorney general's office. State Sen. Kwame Raoul, another rising star who has been stalled for years, acknowledged his interest. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who passed on a 2011 bid for mayor of Chicago, did not rule anything out, either. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 22:01:08 +0000

Leon Bridges — “Coming Home”

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Republican congressman calls Nazi riots in Charlottesville a 'hoax' perpetrated by 'left-wingers'

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 20:27:59 +0000

Sweet merciful everything. GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who represents a traditionally Republican seat in Southern California that swung sharply against Donald Trump last year, has always been a nutcase, but now he's taken his loony toons act to grand new heights:

Rohrabacher isn't buying that conspiracy theory, but he's deep into another—that Democrats were behind last month's white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va. Oh, and calling them white nationalist riots is a liberal media deceit, he said.

"It's all baloney," Rohrabacher said.

Under Rohrabacher's scenario, a former "Hillary and Bernie supporter" got Civil War re-enactors to gather under the guise of protecting a Robert E. Lee statue there.

"It was a setup for these dumb Civil War re-enactors," Rohrabacher said. "It was left-wingers who were manipulating them in order to have this confrontation" and to "put our president on the spot."

Coming from Putin's favorite congressman, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that Rohrabacher's dunked his head straight into Alex Jones' toilet bowl. (Also, Civil War? That’s Bluto Blutarsky level.) But this is something, even for Rohrabacher. May this term—his 15th—be his last.

Give $3 today to help the Democrats show Rohrabacher we’re no hoax!

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Voting Rights Roundup: Supreme Court stays orders to redraw racially gerrymandered Texas districts

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 18:05:13 +0000

Leading Off ● Texas: In a major blow to voting rights, the Supreme Court ruled five-to-four along ideological lines on Tuesday to stay two recent lower court rulings that had ordered Texas Republicans to redraw their congressional and state House districts. Earlier this year, a panel of district court judges found that GOP lawmakers had intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters in coming up with these maps, rendering them unconstitutional. But the high court’s conservative majority has now put the orders to draw new maps on hold while it considers appeals by Republicans, which could mean there won’t be a final decision until next June—and too little time to redraw the maps for 2018.​ Campaign Action ​This latest delay—when new maps were almost finally in sight—is particularly infuriating, since lawsuits over these districts have been ongoing for six years, and lower courts have ruled four times this year alone that these lines not only discriminated against black and Latino voters but were intentionally crafted to do so. But thanks to the very slow gears of justice and a conservative Supreme Court majority that is hostile to the very notion of voting rights, we may not get redrawn districts until the 2020 elections. And that’s only if the plaintiffs prevail on the merits: The Supreme Court could turn back their complaint entirely. But even if plaintiffs eventually succeed, the lower court's orders to draw a few more black and Latino districts still fell short of what the plaintiffs argued for and what Daily Kos Elections has demonstrated was possible. Most importantly, Republicans will have gotten away with illegal gerrymandering for four out of the decade’s five election cycles. After 2020, the decennial census will require new lines anyway—and will give the GOP yet another chance to draw lines to suit itself. But no matter the outcome, Republicans have benefitted hugely. They'll continue to draw illegal, intentionally racist gerrymanders when they can count on the glacial pace of litigation and the taxpayers financing their defense to guarantee they get to use those maps for multiple election cycles. These cases demonstrate why it’s critical to restore the Voting Rights Act’s oversight provisions so that the Justice Department under a future Democratic president can block these discriminatory maps from going into effect without resorting to years of citizen lawsuits after the fact. This Supreme Court order proves an old maxim correct: Justice delayed is justice denied. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/15

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:01:17 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Friday, Sep 15, 2017 · 4:39:55 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf AL-Sen: Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's latest ad in the swiftly approaching GOP primary runoff features his wife praising his religious background, touting how he stood up to "liberals" to fight for Christian values. Moore wears as a badge of honor his removal (twice) from the bench over violating federal court orders where he imposed his religious values over the rule of law. The second half of the ad attacks "Washington Insiders" who don't share "our values" and are angry that Moore "won't bend his knee," flashing a picture of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Friday, Sep 15, 2017 · 4:43:22 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf CA-Sen: Some major progressive Democrats in California are itching to oust longtime Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but she can count on the support of one of them: fellow Sen. Kamala Harris. Harris announced on Thursday that she'd support Feinstein's re-election bid "100 percent," although the 84-year-old incumbent still has not unequivocally said that she'll run for another term next year. Friday, Sep 15, 2017 · 4:58:52 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MI-Sen: Republican Rep. Fred Upton recently acknowledged that he was seriously considering challenging Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow next year, and he has increasingly sounded more likely to take the plunge. Now, an aide has revealed that his boss will decide on a possible Senate bid by sometime this fall. Friday, Sep 15, 2017 · 5:15:14 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf ND-Sen: Wealthy Republican state Sen. Tom Campbell joined the contest against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp just last month, but he's already running his third TV ad, likely in an effort to dissuade any potential rivals from joining the Republican primary. His latest spot features Campbell in a field emphasizing his background as a "conservative farmer" while promising to "take back Washington from the career politicians" and support Trump's agenda. Campbell once again conspicuously omits his several years of legislative experience to focus on his business career instead. Friday, Sep 15, 2017 · 5:22:55 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf OH-Sen, OH-Gov: J.D. Vance, who wrote the best-selling 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy, had seen his name had come up a few months ago as[...]



Morning Digest: Virginia Democrats mull nixing primary for undemocratic convention in key House race

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:01:04 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● VA-10: Well, this is garbage. Democrats in Virginia's 10th Congressional District—a highly educated seat in the D.C. suburbs that swung sharply against Donald Trump last year—have been enjoying a surge in progressive energy, as at least four different serious candidates have all stepped up to challenge the incumbent GOP congresswoman, Barbara Comstock. But now Democratic leaders in the district are suggesting they might do an end-run around democracy by eliminating next year's Democratic primary and instead pick a nominee at a party convention, which means only a tiny fraction of a fraction of the electorate would get to participate.​ Campaign Action ​What makes this even more distressing is that this potential move might be aimed at helping one candidate in particular, state Sen. Jennifer Wexton. Wexton came into the race highly touted and quickly locked up some major establishment endorsements, but in a major surprise, she turned in the weakest second-quarter fundraising report of all the top contenders, trailing former State Department official Alison Friedman, Army veteran Daniel Helmer, and former Veterans Administration official Lindsey Davis Stover. Wexton is the only elected official among the bunch, so she could benefit if the nomination is decided by a handful of party insiders, and tellingly, her campaign is the only one open to a convention. Her three top rivals all emphatically insist on a primary. As well they should. A vigorous primary will engage voters and compel all the candidates to get their campaigns operating at full capacity—a crucial shakedown test. By contrast, switching to a convention would deprive voters of a chance to make their voices heard and would (quite fairly, for once) open the local Democratic Party up to charges that the process is indeed "rigged." It would also yield a nominee who's spent months talking to just a handful of convention delegates rather than to the broader electorate, which is a recipe for producing a weak candidate (just ask Kansas Republicans how they felt about Ron Estes). And since a primary would be held in June, that would give the winner plenty of time to regroup for the general election campaign against Comstock. Party leaders are set to make a final decision in November, but there's only one choice that's right, both for Democrats and democracy: a primary. [...]



Bogus: Virginia Democrats consider eliminating primary in favor of a convention for key House race

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:22:29 +0000

Well, this is garbage. Democrats in Virginia's 10th Congressional District—a highly educated seat in the D.C. suburbs that swung sharply against Donald Trump last year—have been enjoying a surge in progressive energy, as at least four different serious candidates have all stepped up to challenge the incumbent GOP congresswoman, Barbara Comstock. But now Democratic leaders in the district are suggesting they might do an end-run around democracy by eliminating next year's Democratic primary and instead pick a nominee at a party convention, which means only a tiny fraction of a fraction of the electorate would get to participate. What makes this even more distressing is that this potential move might be aimed at helping one candidate in particular, state Sen. Jennifer Wexton. Wexton came into the race highly touted and quickly locked up some major establishment endorsements, but in a major surprise, she turned in the weakest second-quarter fundraising report of all the top contenders, trailing former State Department official Alison Friedman, Army veteran Daniel Helmer, and former Veterans Administration official Lindsey Davis Stover. Wexton is the only elected official among the bunch, so she could benefit if the nomination is decided by a handful of party insiders, and tellingly, her campaign is the only one open to a convention. Her three top rivals all emphatically insist on a primary. As well they should. A vigorous primary will engage voters and compel all the candidates to get their campaigns operating at full capacity—a crucial shakedown test. By contrast, switching to a convention would deprive voters of a chance to make their voices heard and would (quite fairly, for once) open the local Democratic Party up to charges that the process is indeed "rigged." It would also yield a nominee who's spent months talking to just a handful of convention delegates rather than to the broader electorate, which is a recipe for producing a weak candidate (just ask Kansas Republicans how they felt about Ron Estes). And since a primary would be held in June, that would give the winner plenty of time to regroup for the general election campaign against Comstock. Party leaders are set to make a final decision in November, but there's only one choice that's right, both for Democrats and democracy: a primary. [...]



This Week in Statehouse Action: It takes a district edition

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 19:27:36 +0000

What happened? Sure, we all know that's the title of Hillary Clinton’s new book about the election. But it’s also what Republicans are saying this week after Democrats flipped two more solidly red seats on Tuesday night. Those two wins bring the seat flip score this cycle to Democrats 6, Republicans 0. Campaign Action Wins feel good, and pickups feel better, but Democratic success since Trump’s election actually cuts a quite a bit deeper. Analysis of these special elections reveals that Democrats are consistently outperforming the presidential elections results from both 2016 and 2012. Democrats have beaten Hillary Clinton’s numbers in 28 of the 35 contested special elections this cycle, and Democrats improved on Obama’s 2012 numbers in 25 of them. Compared to Clinton’s numbers, Democrats are performing an average of 13 percent better, and they’re even performing 9 percent better than Obama.  Don’t call it a comeback … okay maybe call it a comeback. Living History: Lots of hand-wringing and column space has been invested in analyzing the regions of the country where the Democratic margin fell sharply from 2012 to 2016. Was this a one-time thing? Is this a permanent partisan realignment? Will Democrats be able to recover? Did I leave the oven on? Ten of the special elections held so far this cycle have been in districts where the presidential margin shifted 10 or more points toward the Republican presidential candidate from 2012 to 2016. Briefly, they are Connecticut HD-115, Iowa SD-45, Iowa HD-89, Iowa HD-82, New Hampshire HD Grafton-9, New Hampshire HD Belknap-9, Minnesota HD-32B, New York AD-09, Oklahoma HD-28, and Missouri SD-28. In all 10 of these districts, the margin has shifted back toward Democrats in the special. But in eight of them, the margin has shifted past the 2012 presidential margin. Does this mean we can expect Democrats to win everything everywhere this cycle? Nah, that’s silly. But it does mean that Democrats not only aren’t stuck at 2016 performance levels, but they’re also often improving on Democratic presidential performance in 2012. Too many words? Check out a neat visualization of this whole section here. [...]



Democrats have bounced back in districts that swung hard to Trump—and almost everywhere else, too

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 14:01:45 +0000

There has been considerable consternation and many pixels spilled about the regions of the country where the Democratic margin in the 2016 presidential election fell sharply compared to 2012, including the entire states of Iowa and Ohio. Was this the beginning of a permanent realignment? Was it a new baseline? Or would Democrats be able to recover?

We now have some answers, illustrated in the chart at the top of this post. There have been 10 special elections in districts where the presidential margin shifted 10 points or more toward Donald Trump compared to the 2012 margin. And in all 10 of those, the margin has shifted back toward Democrats in the special election. What’s more, in eight of the them, it has shifted past the 2012 presidential margin, and Democrats have outright won six of them (those where the dark green dot is to the right of the vertical axis).

With just 10 elections in this category, we have to be a little careful, but we can say one thing with certainty: Democrats are not stuck at 2016’s presidential numbers.

What about areas where the 2016 Democratic presidential numbers improved dramatically over 2012? Have they slid backward? Those, and all the rest of this cycle’s special elections, are shown below.

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Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare. Now we have a chance to expand it in this light blue state

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:16:20 +0000

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Earlier this year, when Congress was trying to repeal Obamacare, we went all-in on protecting the law and saving health care for millions. Now we're going all-in to expand health care.

In Maine, the state legislature has passed bills to expand Medicaid under Obamacare five times. Each time, these bills were met with a veto from Maine's troglodyte Republican governor, Paul LePage—a man whose over-the-top antics and racist attacks have made him a favorite of Donald Trump.

Democrats don't have the numbers in the legislature to override LePage's veto, but there is another way to pass Medicaid expansion into law: a ballot initiative.

Daily Kos is endorsing Mainers for Health Care, the campaign supporting Question 2 on the ballot this fall in Maine. It would expand Medicaid to 70,000 Mainers and put an exclamation point on the end of a year that has bitterly disappointed Republicans for their failure to repeal Obamacare.

Maine is a light blue state and expanding Medicaid is popular. But we can't take any chances when people's health coverage is on the line.

Can you chip in $3 to Mainers for Health Care to help pass Medicaid expansion and bring health coverage to tens of thousands of Mainers?

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Bob Corker gets first GOP primary foe, while would-be Army Secretary Mark Green mulls joining race

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:21:55 +0000

This week, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker picked up his first notable GOP primary challenger when Andy Ogles stepped down as head of the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity and announced he would try to unseat Corker. As the local leader of AFP, which is part of the Koch brother's political network, Ogles was part of the successful fight to stop Medicaid expansion. However, Ogles was unable to stop GOP Gov. Bill Haslam from passing the state's first gas tax increase since 1989. It's unclear how much support Ogles can expect from the Koch brothers and their allies. Ogles may not be the only Republican who decides to take a shot at Corker, who has not committed to seeking a third term. While state Sen. Mark Green announced a month ago that he wouldn't run, he recently told the Times Free Press that he is now "seriously considering it." Green was not happy with Corker's statement about Donald Trump's reaction to last moth's violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. After Corker said that Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful," Green told Breitbart that he's "already told Sen. Corker my thoughts about his comments about the President and that's as far as I intend to go at this point." Back in July, the Washington Examiner's David Drucker reported that wealthy businessman Lee Beaman and his allies were looking to finance a viable primary challenge against Corker, and that Green was their first choice. Green dropped his campaign for governor after Trump picked him for secretary of the Army earlier this year, but Green's nomination failed due to his long history of disparaging remarks about Muslims and LGBT people. Corker has not yet committed to seeking a third term, though he's been beefing up his war-chest as he decides. If Corker runs and gets to face both Ogles and Green, that could be a huge help for the incumbent. Tennessee has no primary runoff, so if the anti-Corker vote is split, the senator could claim the GOP nod with just a plurality. Ex-state Rep. Joe Carr, who lost the 2014 GOP primary to Sen. Lamar Alexander just 50-41 but badly lost a 2016 House primary, is also considering running. However, even if Corker does get to face multiple opponents in the primary, he has some powerful enemies he may have a tough time shaking. White supremacist Steve Bannon, who has returned to lead Breitbart after a stint in the Trump White House, is reportedly hoping to unseat Corker, along with a few other senators, in next year's GOP primary. Bannon is close to billionaire mega-donor Robert Mercer, who has the resources to make life tough for Corker and his colleagues. Trump is also not a fan of Corker. Notably, Trump tweeted last month that Corker's words about his performance after Charlottesville was a "[s]trange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is c[...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/14

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:01:07 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Thursday, Sep 14, 2017 · 3:20:20 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer TN-Sen: This week, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker picked up his first notable GOP primary challenger when Andy Ogles stepped down as head of the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity and announced he would try to unseat Corker. As the local leader of AFP, which is part of the Koch brother's political network, Ogles was part of the successful fight to stop Medicaid expansion. However, Ogles was unable to stop GOP Gov. Bill Haslam from passing the state's first gas tax increase since 1989. It's unclear how much support Ogles can expect from the Koch brothers and their allies. Ogles may not be the only Republican who decides to take a shot at Corker, who has not committed to seeking a third term. While state Sen. Mark Green announced a month ago that he wouldn't run, he recently told the Times Free Press that he is now "seriously considering it." Green was not happy with Corker's statement about Donald Trump's reaction to last moth's violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. After Corker said that Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful," Green told Breitbart that he's "already told Sen. Corker my thoughts about his comments about the President and that's as far as I intend to go at this point." Back in July, the Washington Examiner's David Drucker reported that wealthy businessman Lee Beaman and his allies were looking to finance a viable primary challenge against Corker, and that Green was their first choice. Green dropped his campaign for governor after Trump picked him for secretary of the Army earlier this year, but Green's nomination failed due to his long history of disparaging remarks about Muslims and LGBT people. Corker has not yet committed to seeking a third term, though he's been beefing up his war-chest as he decides. If Corker runs and gets to face both Ogles and Green, that could be a huge help for the incumbent. Tennessee has no primary runoff, so if the anti-Corker vote is split, the senator could claim the GOP nod with just a plurality. Ex-state Rep. Joe Carr, who lost the 2014 GOP primary to Sen. Lamar Alexander just 50-41 but badly lost a 2016 House primary, is also considering running. However, even if Corker does get to face multiple opponents in the primary, he has some powerful enemies he may have a tough time shaking. White supremacist Steve Bannon, who has returned to lead Breitbart after a sti[...]



Morning Digest: Supreme Court gives Texas' GOP-drawn congressional map a new lease on life

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:01:05 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● TX Redistricting: In a major blow to voting rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled five-to-four along ideological lines on Tuesday to stay two recent lower court rulings that had ordered Texas Republicans to redraw their congressional and state House districts. Earlier this year, a panel of district court judges found that GOP lawmakers had intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters in coming up with these maps, rendering them unconstitutional. But the high court's conservative majority has now put the order to draw new maps on hold while it considers an appeal by Republicans, which could mean there won't be a final decision until next June.​ Campaign Action ​This latest delay—with new maps finally in sight—is particularly infuriating, since lawsuits over these districts have been ongoing for six years, and lower courts have ruled four times this year alone that these lines not only discriminated against black and Latino voters but were intentionally crafted to do so. But thanks to the very slow gears of justice and a conservative Supreme Court majority that is hostile to the very notion of voting rights, we may not get redrawn districts until the 2020 elections, and that's only if the plaintiffs ultimately prevail on the merits. [...]



After a rough two years, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts loses Democratic primary to Vi Lyles

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:44:02 +0000

On Tuesday, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts lost the Democratic primary to Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles 46-36, with North Carolina state Sen. Joel Ford taking a distant 16 percent. Because Lyles took more than 40 percent of the vote, there will not be a primary runoff. Lyles will face City Councilor Kenny Smith, who won the GOP primary against minimal opposition, in the Nov. 7 general election. As we wrote at the end of last year, Roberts' has had a very rough tenure since she won in 2015. (Charlotte is one of the few large cities to elect mayors to two-year terms.) In early 2016, Roberts and the city council passed a non-discrimination ordinance that prompted the GOP-led state legislature to respond by passing a piece of anti-LGBT legislation known as HB2, which earned the state national scorn and multiple boycotts by high-profile businesses. The ordinance was repealed at the end of 2016 as part of an apparent deal with the legislature that would supposedly have resulted in HB2 getting repealed afterwards. The Republican leadership responded to Charlotte's move by doing nothing and going home; HB2 was eventually repealed, but the compromise measure enraged LGBT activists. Like Roberts, Lyles voted for both the non-discrimination ordinance and the repeal. However, Lyles met with GOP legislators in late 2016 about a possible joint repeal, and she's shown more of a willingness to accommodate them than even Roberts had. Lyles also has argued that the mayor didn't work well with the council during the unrest in the city after Keith Scott, a 43-year-old black man, was killed by police in September; Lyles also said at the time that Roberts went too far when she publicly criticized Police Chief Kerr Putney. During the campaign, Lyles argued that, while she and Roberts agreed on many issues, she would be a more effective leader. Roberts was the only candidate with the money to air ads during the primary, but it was far from enough. Charlotte is a very blue city, but Smith could pull off an upset win. In 2009, Antony Foxx won a close race to become Charlotte's first Democratic mayor since Harvey Gantt left office in 2009. In 2013, moderate Republican Edwin Peacock lost to Democrat Patrick Cannon 53-47, and he lost to Roberts just 52-48 in 2015. However, Smith is considerably more conservative than Peacock: For one thing, he has slammed the non-discrimination ordinance as "social engineering" on the part of liberals. Smith was likely planning to run against Roberts, and Lyles may be a more elusive target. However, Smith quickly started arguing that Lyles "voted with Jennifer nearly 100 percent of the time. If you want to move away from the direction that Jennifer Roberts has led us, vote for me." Smith also begins the campaign with a large $323,000 to $43,000 cash-on-hand edge over Lyles. Whoeve[...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/13

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:01:03 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017 · 4:15:17 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MT-Sen: Yellowstone County District Court Judge Russell Fagg has been considering joining the primary for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester next year, and he previously formed an exploratory committee ahead of his planned departure from the bench in October. On Tuesday, Fagg reiterated that he's still "exploring" whether to run (since judicial ethics rules prevent him from becoming a formal candidate while still in office), but he continues to raise money like a candidate. Fagg also unveiled a group of endorsements from major Montana Republicans: former Reps. Denny Rehberg and Rick Hill, plus former Govs. Marc Racicot, Stan Stephens, and Judy Martz, who are the only three living GOP ex-governors. Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017 · 4:22:26 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf TX Redistricting: In a major blow to voting rights, the Supreme Court ruled five-to-four along ideological lines on Tuesday to stay two recent lower court rulings that had ordered Texas Republicans to redraw their congressional and state House districts. Earlier this year, a panel of district court judges found that GOP lawmakers had intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters in coming up with these maps, rendering them unconstitutional. But the high court’s conservative majority has now put the order to draw new maps on hold while it considers an appeal by Republicans, which could mean there won’t be a final decision until next June. This latest delay—with new maps finally in sight—is particularly infuriating, since lawsuits over these districts have been ongoing for six years, and lower courts have ruled four times this year alone that these lines not only discriminated against black and Latino voters but were intentionally crafted to do so. But thanks to the very slow gears of justice and a conservative Supreme Court majority that is hostile to the very notion of voting rights, we may not get redrawn districts until the 2020 elections, and that's only if the plaintiffs ultimately prevail on the merits. Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017 · 4:39:11 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential resul[...]



New poll finds Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake getting crushed in the GOP primary and losing in the general

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:13:06 +0000

Things are beginning to look increasingly dire for Republican Sen. Jeff Flake's chances of winning a second term next year in Arizona. A recent poll from Democratic firm GBA Strategies is the latest survey to find Flake getting crushed in the Republican primary, with him trailing former state Sen. Kelli Ward by an astonishing 58-31. Flake sports an atrocious 34 percent job approval rating and 59 percent disapproval rating solely among Republicans. In a hypothetical general election matchup with Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who appears to be a likely candidate, Flake loses by 47-40. His approval rating among all voters stands at a miserable 38 percent, with 50 percent disapproving. These numbers echo multiple recent polls from JMC Analytics and HighGround, which found Ward trouncing Flake in the primary by 47-21 and 43-28, respectively. HighGround had also tested a hypothetical general election matchup and also found Sinema beating Flake 41-33. Arizona is still a red-leaning swing state, but Flake has tried his damnedest to piss off both swing voters and the hardline GOP base by steadfastly supporting Trumpcare while also publicly bashing Trump and taking a more moderate line on immigration than his party's leader. So far, Ward is Flake's only noteworthy primary foe, and there have been multiple reports this year of how top state Republicans and even Donald Trump himself have been searching for a more prominent challenger who doesn't come with Ward's baggage record of weak fundraising. However, these recent polls demonstrate that even Ward may be able to knock off Flake if the Republican base is pissed at him enough, while such awful numbers for the incumbent may yet convince a more imposing challenger to join the primary. Meanwhile, Sinema hasn't joined the race yet for Democrats, but is expected to do so soon, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly having told her recently that she'll have his support if she takes on Flake. There's still a long way to go until next year's late-summer primary and November general election, but Flake appears to be in for a world of hurt if he can't turn things around. [...]



Former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz mulling a comeback bid for Connecticut governor

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:35:24 +0000

Democratic former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz's name hasn't come up much this cycle as a potential candidate to succeed Connecticut’s retiring Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, but she recently revealed that she has received encouragement to join the race and is considering it. Bysiewicz served three terms as secretary of state from 1998 to 2010, which would make her the only candidate in the current Democratic field who had held statewide office before. Bysiewicz has been exploring a state Senate campaign for several months already, but it wouldn't be the first time that she sought higher statewide office. However, her prior runs for governor, attorney general, and Senate all ended in spectacular failure. Bysiewicz joined and later dropped out of the 2006 gubernatorial race against GOP Gov. Jodi Rell to seek re-election. She ran for governor again in 2010 when Rell retired, but also dropped out of that race before the Democratic primary after spending a year on the campaign trail. Bysiewicz then tried to run for attorney general in 2010, but the state Supreme Court embarrassingly found that she lacked the legal qualifications to run under state law because she hadn't actively practiced law for the necessary 10 years. Adding insult to injury, Bysiewicz earned negative headlines over her role as the state's chief election administrator in the 2010 gubernatorial election, where Malloy defeated Republican Tom Foley by just a few thousand votes. Bysiewicz called that race before all votes had been counted, even though there were major voting problems, with a shortage of ballots in Connecticut's largest city of Bridgeport. Bysiewicz tried to resuscitate her once-promising career by running for Senate in 2012, but she got demolished 67-33 in the Democratic primary by Sen. Chris Murphy, who was serving in the House at the time. In one infamous incident, Bysiewicz ran an attack ad against Murphy in which she claimed he "has taken more hedge fund money than any other Democrat in Congress." That turned out to be an amateurish mistake, though, since the report she relied on pertained to a former New York congressman named Scott Murphy. While none of the current Democratic gubernatorial candidates is particularly well-known, Bysiewicz's notoriety could prove to be more of a hinderance than an asset if she runs. Fortunately for Democrats, she sounded more likely to defer to Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who has previously said she's considering joining the race to succeed her boss. [...]