202 Comments »

MT-AL: Gianforte gets into physical confrontation with a reporter

Well, for those of you that didn’t think there was enough WWE in politics, your prayers have apparently been answered. The night before the MT-AL special election, we get this:

We will have more as we get it but the account seems to be corroborated by others. Police are apparently on the scene.

250 Comments »

Political Roundup for May 24, 2017

Yesterday in New York, Democrat Christine Pelligrino picked up the deep red LD-9 by a large margin in a significant upset. Dems easily held SD-30.

Senate:

HI-Sen: Sen. Mazie Hirono (D) announced last week that she has kidney cancer, which will be treated with removal of her left kidney and a mass (I’m guessing a metastasis) on her rib. Our thoughts are with her and her family.

OH-Sen: ICYMI last week, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) announced he would not run for the Senate seat of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). The move is somewhat surprising as Tiberi had been ramping up his fundraising. The decision likely leaves State Treasurer and 2012 nominee Josh Mandel (R) as the clear primary favorite here.

RI-Sen: State Rep. Bobby Nardolillo (R) announced he would run against Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D). Why he would want to give up his seat for such an obviously suicidal run against an entrenched incumbent in a blue state is beyond me.

Governor:

FL-Gov: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) has been thought likely to enter the Democratic primary, but he announced that he is also considering a run as an Independent. If he pulled the trigger on that, peeling off some upscale moderate-liberals from the D column would go a long way to keeping this seat in the GOP fold. But my best guess is that this is more an attention play to try and get him statewide visibility against his likely primary rivals, ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), businessman Chris King (D), and ambulance-chaser extraordinaire John Morgan (D).

GA-Gov: A pair of big-name Democrats have recently declared they will not run for Georgia Governor. Former Obama DoJ official and liberal flavor of the week Sally Yates (D) and Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (D) have bowed out of the race in the last few days. State Reps. Stacey Evans (D) and Stacey Abrams (D) look like Dems’ most likely prospects here now.

IA-Gov: Today is the end of an era as Gov. Terry Branstad (R) resigns after holding the job for 8,169 days, making him the nation’s longest-serving Governor ever. Branstad beat the prior record of 21 years held by 18th-century NY Gov. George Clinton (DR). Kim Reynolds (R) will be sworn in as Governor today to succeed him. Somewhat ironically, Branstad’s prior #2, 90s-era ex-LG Joy Corning, just passed away this week at 84.

MA-Gov: Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D) announced a bid for Governor over the weekend, becoming the most notable candidate into the race to take on popular Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Warren joins Gov. Patrick admin official Jay Gonzalez (D) and 1994 LG nominee Bob Massie (D) in the primary. There hasn’t been a whole lot of interest from “A” list Dems in this race, so Warren may wind up becoming the primary front-runner.

NM-Gov: In something of a surprise, AG Hector Balderas (D) announced last week he would not run for Governor and would instead seek a second term as AG. His decision likely leaves Rep. Michele Lujan-Grisham (D) as the clear front-runner in the Dem primary, though several other candidates are still considering.

WI-Gov: As Democrats continue to cast about for a challenger to Gov. Scott Walker (R), one candidate seems to be eager to run. Mike McCabe (D), former director of a liberal nonprofit, is actively considering a run, but strangely says he may run as either a Democrat or an Independent. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), who is more moderate, is the only other Democrat actively considering a run here.

House:

AL-5: Rep. Mo Brooks (R) doesn’t have to give up his House seat to run for Senate, but that isn’t stopping one candidate from laying the groundwork to follow Brooks in the House should his bid succeed. Clayton Hinchman (R), a veteran who lost a leg in Iraq, announced his campaign last week.

NY-22: Binghamton University professor Patrick Madden (D) is running against Rep. Claudia Tenney (R). Tenney was elected with 44% in a three-way race last year in this medium-red seat stretching from Binghamton to Utica.

PA-7: Bold Progressive State Sen. Daylin Leach (D) is the latest Democrat to consider a run against Rep. Pat Meehan (R). Leach seems a cut above the miscellaneous carpetbaggers in the race already and would probably be the primary front-runner if he ran. However, his rabid progressivism may be a tough sell in what is still a purple seat.

UT-3: The race to succeed Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) has already gotten extremely crowded, as four candidates have already declared: State Sens. Diedre Henderson (R) and Margaret Dayton (R) and State Rep. Brad Daw (R) have announced their entry into the race, along with investment adviser Tanner Ainge (R), son of Boston Celtics president Danny. Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) is openly considering.

State Offices:

ME-All: The state’s Ranked-Choice Voting system, implemented by initiative in 2016, has been unanimously struck down by the state’s supreme court, declaring it in conflict with a provision in the state constitution that says that the candidate who receives a plurality of votes must be elected.

AR-Lands Comm: Manager Alex Ray (R) will run for the open Lands Commissioner seat, joining a fellow political novice, Tommy Land (R), in the GOP primary.

AR-SoS: State Rep. Trevor Drown (R) will run for Secretary of State; he will face state Lands Commissioner John Thurston (R), and potentially others, in the GOP primary. Incumbent Mark Martin (R) is termed out.

AZ-Supt, WATN: In addition to her high profile challenge from ex-State Sen. David Schapira (D), state Superintendent Diane Douglas (R) is getting a primary challenge. Douglas’s primary challenger may be a familiar name: 90s-era ex-California Rep. Frank Riggs (R). Riggs represented the Santa Rosa and Northern Coastal regions for three non-consecutive terms from 1990-98 before a little-noticed Senate run. Riggs then moved to Arizona and has since become something of a perennial candidate.

CT-Comp: State Sen. Terry Gerratana (D) is exploring a run for Comptroller, becoming the first Democrat into the race to replace incumbent Kevin Lembo (D), should he follow through on his expected run for Governor. Former congressional candidate Mark Greenberg (R) is in the race on the GOP side.

CT-Treas: Greenwich town board member John Blankney (D) is considering a run for State Treasurer, joining State Rep. William Tong (D) in staking out the post. Five-term incumbent Denise Nappier (D) has not announced her intentions, but is thought to be considering a run for Governor.

FL-AG: Two more candidates are considering runs for Florida AG. Former judge Simone Marstiller (R), who served as a top legal advisor to Jeb and ex-AG Bill McCollum (R), is considering and could be a credible candidate. Attorney and 2016 State House candidate Ryan Yadav (D) is considering a run on the Dem side. State Rep. Jay Fant (R) is the only candidate in the race, but the contest may be upended if AG Pam Bondi (R) leaves for a Trump admin job and Gov. Scott (R) can appoint her replacement.

MI-SoS: State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) is considering a run for the open SoS seat. The GOP nominee, which will be decided at a convention next year, will likely face law school dean and 2010 nominee Jocelyn Benson (D) in the general.

SC-LD-69: State Rep. Rick Quinn (R), son of one of South Carolina’s most high-powered GOP consultants, has been indicted in a complex embezzlement and pay-to-play scandal with roots that stretch back decades. Quinn’s saga may wind up implicating some of his family’s clients, who include Gov. Henry McMaster (R) and multiple key figures in the SCGOP.

Local Offices:

San Antonio-Mayor: Ex-Mayor and ex-HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D) has endorsed councilman Ron Nirenberg (I) over the woman who succeeded him as mayor, incumbent Ivy Taylor (D). Nirenberg, an upscale liberal is running to the left of Taylor, a moderate-to-conservative borderline DINO, in the runoff on June 10.

New Orleans-Mayor: Judge Desiree Charbonet (D) has announced her candidacy for Mayor, joining councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (D) and retired judge and 2013 candidate Michael Bagneris (D) in this fall’s open-seat race.

St. Petersburg-Mayor: A new St. Pete Polls survey has 2000s-era ex-Mayor Rick Baker (R) continuing to post a wide lead for a mayoral comeback this fall. Baker leads incumbent Rick Kriseman (D) by a 46-33 margin, similar to a 10-point margin in a prior survey.

Kansas City-Mayor ’19: Two city councilors are already running to succeed mayor Sly James (I) when he is termed out in 2019. Jermaine Reed (D) and Scott Taylor (D) have announced their entry into the race.

NY-Westchester-CE: Westchester County Dems have given their official endorsement to State Sen. George Latimer (D) in the race to take on incumbent Rob Astorino (R). Latimer topped county commissioner Ken Jenkins (D) in the poll, but will still face him in a primary. Astorino is seeking a third term in the deep-blue county that has been trending left in recent years.

26 Comments »

RRH Elections May 2017 Gubernatorial Rankings

It is time once again to take a look at the gubernatorial landscape. Our RRH Elections Race Rankings evaluate all the gubernatorial elections in likelihood of flipping, in the overall gestalt opinion of the moderators. Here is this month’s map:

Safe D Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R Safe R
CA (OPEN)
HI (Ige)
NJ (OPEN)
NY (Cuomo)
OR (K. Brown)
RI (Raimondo)
MN (OPEN)
NM (OPEN)

PA (Wolf)
.
Lean I:
AK (B. Walker)
CO (OPEN)
CT (OPEN)
FL (OPEN)
IL (Rauner)
ME (OPEN)
MI (OPEN)
NV (OPEN)
VA (OPEN)
KS (OPEN)
MD (Hogan)
MA (Baker)
NH (Sununu)
OH (OPEN)
WI (S. Walker)
AL (Ivey)
AZ (Ducey)
GA (OPEN)
IA (Reynolds)
OK (OPEN)
SC (McMaster)
SD (OPEN)
TN (OPEN)
VT (P. Scott)
AR (Hutchinson)
ID (OPEN)
NE (Ricketts)
TX (Abbott)
WY (OPEN)

Bold denotes a seat we expect to flip; Italics denotes a Dem-held Tossup seat.

RRH Elections has made the following four changes to our gubernatorial ratings since our last post in January, two in Republicans’ Favor:

Nebraska Safe R from Likely R || Vermont Likely R from Lean R

And two in favor of Democrats:

Minnesota Lean D from Tossup || Rhode Island Likely D from Lean D

These changes mean RRH Elections is currently projecting a net shift in gubernatorial seats of between R+1 and D+7.

Flip over for recaps of all the races!

Continue Reading

162 Comments »

Political Roundup for May 23, 2017

Hello from the Swamp. The water level is rising, but the locals seem ever-content snorkeling around festering toupees floating in the federal government’s factory town.

[First off, there are two special elections today in the Empire State; Gov. Cuomo (D) surprisingly scheduled these specials, where nominees are selected by a cabal of insiders, rather than wait until November to allow a primary – it’s unclear which insider scratched Cuomo’s back to get that deal. NY-SD-30 is a D+44 (2016) seat covering Central Harlem and some pieces of adjacent neighborhoods. Community board chair and former reality TV villain Brian Benjamin (D) is the prohibitive favorite over R and I Some Dudes. NY-LD-9 is an R+13 (2016) seat along the south shore of Long Island from Massapequa to Babylon. This is about as stereotypically lower-middle class white-ethnic LawnGuyLind as it gets; unsurprisingly, this seat swung hard to Trump last year. Republicans have nominated retired teacher Tom Gargiulo (C), a registered Conservative, and he is favored over teacher Christine Pellegrino (D), though Pellegrino has received some outside support from the teachers’ union and could pull an upset with low turnout. -Shamlet]

House

2018 Playing FieldFiveThirtyEight‘s Harry Enten tells those weirdos who don’t follow elections like NFL games what RRH regulars have known since November 9th: the 2018 midterm elections simultaneously present bad news to both parties. Enten explains the bizarre dichotomy in which Democrats find themselves ahead of 2018; Democrats could conceivably win a House majority and lose ground in the US Senate.

MT-AL: According to our friends over at Decision Desk HQ, absentee ballot return rates ahead of Thursday’s special election in Montana’s at-large congressional district signal Big Sky Bob high turnout. Four days out from the general election, returned absentees in MT-AL have already reached 101% and 67% of absentees cast in 2014 and 2016, respectively. While county turnout breakdowns seem to favor a grown ass man who inhales more smoke than Spicoli musician Rob Quist (D), turnout is also very strong in many Republican base counties.

NC-Redistricting: In the latest twist in the litigation that never ends over North Carolina’s congressional redistricting, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-3 decision that lawmakers improperly used race as a criteria when crafting District 1 in Northeastern North Carolina and the infamous, Charlotte-to-Triad snaking District 12. With this decision, the court has further confused the already jumbled caselaw about when a majority-minority seat is necessary. Oddly, while this decision will have a far-ranging impact on the legality of many maps across the country, it won’t actually impact the current North Carolina congressional map, which lawmakers redrew in response to lower court decisions in 2016. However, the decision will likely mean that maps for the North Carolina General Assembly, already ruled illegal racial gerrymanders by lower courts, will have to be redrawn before the 2018 elections. From a Republican perspective, lawmakers should welcome the chance to shore up legislative seats since the 2011 legislative map was far too aggressive of a gerrymander in urban counties, though any new maps will have to face scrutiny from a newly-liberal North Carolina Supreme Court as well as the federal judiciary. For a conservative leaning analysis of this Supreme Court decision read NRO here, while Rick Hasen has a nice, if liberal-leaning, post up at his blog here.

(Thanks, GOPTarHeel!)

Senate

MI-Sen: An oil executive has decided to run for US Senate in Tex… Michigan. Lena Epstein (R), Donald Trump’s 2016 Michigan campaign chair, has announced her bid to challenge 3-term Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) in a race RRH rates as Leaning Democratic. Epstein, a 35-year-old Jewish Republican from tony Bloomfield Hills, may be able to tap into national Jewish Republican fundraising circles and will likely have the President’s support. Yet, strong electoral and financial support of a Trump-backed candidate from Metro Detroit’s Democratic-leaning Jewish population seems unlikely; the President underperformed both Mitt Romney and John McCain in Oakland County’s most Jewish precincts. While remains unclear whether Epstein will self-fund any portion of her race, her family company’s $175 million in annual revenues point to the possibility.

Governor

MN-Gov: In something of a surprise, former State Rep. and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek (R) will forego an expected gubernatorial bid to seek re-election in 2018. Stanek’s profile could have appealed to the sorts of inner-ring St. Paul suburban, blue collar Catholics the MN GOP has largely yet to attract. Yet, he will remain at the forefront of the state’s Republican bench along with perennially-mentioned US Rep. Erik Paulsen, who continues to see his shadow.

NY-GOV: Scarsdale Republican (no, really) Harry Wilson, a 45-year-old retired hedge fund manager, is considering a gubernatorial bid. In his narrow 2010 loss to incumbent Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (D), Wilson was the first statewide challenger to win the backing of all of New York City’s three major newspapers since 1976. Westchester County Republican leaders would likely prefer a second bid from 2014 gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino (R), but the incumbent county executive will first need to win reelection in the blue county in November. Yet, Wilson’s story as the son of an immigrant raised in an economically-depressed, Upstate community may also prove compelling—along with his reported willingness to self-fund $10M in the pricey Empire State.

State/Local

Detroit Mayor: In how dire of straits is Motown? While voters believe that the city’s notorious blight, crime, and poverty have worsened under Mayor Mike Duggan (D), the same new poll shows the Motor City’s executive firmly in the driver’s seat ahead of the city’s August municipal primary.  The Detroit News finds Duggan crushing Heir Force Gen. and State Sen. Coleman Young II (D) 55%-23%, with 19% undecided and 3% going to other candidates. Duggan, the city’s first white mayor in decades, has consolidated the support of the city’s powerful labor unions, a number of black religious leaders, business groups, and Detroit’s powerful Democratic political machine in opposition to the California-raised son of the city’s first black mayor.

WA LD-45: It’s a week old, but here’s a solid profile on the race to replace the late Washington State Sen. Andy Hill (R) in the Kirkland and Sammamish-based 45th legislative district. King County Prosecutor Manka Dhingra (D) and ex-US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers staffer Jinyoung Lee Englund (R) are set to square off in a race that, absent other vacancies, will determine control of the Republican coalition-led chamber. However, while Hill was a Republican, the district’s Eastside turf will not host a fair fight. Whereas Mitt Romney took 39.63% in the affluent, white collar, high tech district, Donald Trump only managed 28.03%. Hill crafted a unique brand as a moderate, budget-focused technocrat after upsetting a far-left State Senator in 2010, but Englund is racing against a much shorter clock to differentiate herself from POTUS.

229 Comments »

Political Roundup for May 22nd, 2017

As Washington gets a breather while Trump is abroad doing the foreign policy that he seems to be halfway decent at, let’s catch up on the electoral news that dropped over the weekend.

Congress

CA-10/CA-25/CA-45/CA-48/CA-49: Democrats are targeting Reps. Jeff Denham, Mimi Walters, Steve Knight, Darrell Issa, and Dana Rohrabacher (plus two more who are unnamed) over their votes for the AHCA. Politico is actually fairly skeptical that this strategy will work given how much time that there is for the AHCA to fade from public consciousness. As always, the money quotation is from former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (D).

MT-AL: Shocking anyone who knows anything about Native American politics, the Crow Nation (led by the awesomely-named Chief A.J. Not Afraid) has endorsed Republican nominee Greg Gianforte ahead of the special election to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It’s possible that the reason for the move is that Gianforte is a big booster of coal. A coal mine on Crow land is a major source of income for the tribe.

PA-07: Congressional hopeful Dan Muroff (D-Gun Control Fetishists Anonymous) has been endorsed by former Gov. Ed ‘Fast Eddie’ Rendell (D) in his bid to topple Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Bulletproof). I’d say that this is a big get for Muroff, and I guess it is, but Rendell’s endorsees for suburban seats always seem to suffer fairly embarrassing defeat.

UT-03: After Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) announced his retirement, the Utah officials wasted no time in setting the dates for a special election. The parties must choose designees (presumably by district conventions) by June 30th for an August 15th primary. The general election will be held on November 7th. Normally another special election would be a headache for the GOP, but this district is safely Republican, even with President Trump’s bad approval numbers.

Governor

CT-Gov: A commission has ruled that Bridgeport Mayor and convicted felon Joe Ganim (D) cannot receive public funding for his gubernatorial campaign because, well, the felon thing. Connecticut law prohibits public financing from going to felons. So let me get this straight: a dude who sold some weed once can’t get public financing that his rivals can get, but brutal murderers can’t be executed? If you ask me, the Nutmeg State has its priorities all out of whack. Anyway, given the the clown car nature of the Democratic primary, Ganim still might have a chance at winning. The Republican primary is equally crowded.

PA-Gov/PA-Sen: Rep. Mike Kelly (R) ended his short-lived exploratory gubernatorial bid on Friday. However, rumors are already swirling that he may instead challenge Sen. Bob Casey (D) in 2018. That might put him on a collision course with Rep. Lou Barletta (R), who is also mulling a run against Pennsylvania’s favorite Heir Force General.

State/Local

OH-Voter Fraud: As the Aerosmith tune says, ‘it’s the same old story, same old song and dance.’ Yes, voter fraud does happen and needs to be addressed. However, as an investigation in Ohio found, the amount of fraud isn’t typically very high. Only 52 people voted fraudulently in Ohio in 2016. That’s 52 too many, but it’s not a crisis.

TX-GOP: Tom Mechler, Chairman of the mighty Republican Party of Texas, has announced his resignation in a bit of surprise. No one’s quite sure why, though he cited personal reasons. Whatever the impetus, campaigns will now begin in earnest for one of the most influential state party chairmanships in the country.

TX-Straight Ticket: With both houses of the legislature having passed the repeal of straight ticket voting in Texas, it now heads to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The Governor is likely to sign the bill, finally achieving the law change that has been on Lone Star Republicans’ wish lists for decades.

Denver: The only city in America where it is socially acceptable to wear an external-frame backpack downtown may be on the verge of having a public financing option for municipal candidates. Signature-gathering hasn’t even started yet, but if put on the ballot, the new option and other campaign finance restrictions would likely pass. The only major opponent will likely be unions, who would be banned from making contributions under the proposal. If you don’t click any other link in this roundup, click this one; the picture that the author picked is hilarious and unintentionally captures the left-wing tendencies of ends over means and constitutional illiteracy perfectly.

International

Iran: Prince of Persia, err, President Hassan Rouhani (Less Nuts Than Ahmadinejad) has won reelection by a 20-point margin. His party also captured the Tehran City Council, which is often a training ground for national politicians in the making. Iran will likely now have limited expansions of personal freedoms in the near future.

UK: As the Tory lead narrows from gargantuan to merely very large, some pols are already positioning for what happens after the election. Corbynland has already been signaling that Her Majesty’s Most Marxist Opposition is going to try and keep control of the Labour Party after the election. There have already been rumblings that a group of approximately 100 Labour MPs are ready to break away if a defeated Corbyn refuses to step aside. Now there’s an even more interesting twist: former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair is talking about forming a new centrist party around this breakaway group, at least in private talks with donors. What’s the problem with that, you ask? The problem is that Blair is still hideously unpopular (even moreso than Comrade Corbyn). SDP Part Deux is going to be fun.

127 Comments »

Weekend Open Thread for May 19-21, 2017

Programming Update:  Our gubernatorial ratings will publish tomorrow, Saturday May 20, 2017, at Noon Eastern. As President Putin (United Russia) sits in the Kremlin laughing at the farce our politics have become and enjoying how he has become the center of our political life, it is time for this weekend’s open thread:

(1) Could former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination for President again if she ran in 2020?

(2) Are there any parts of the country where holding a pro or anti Russian stand has meaningful electoral significance?

(3) Should states have partisan primaries or adopt a jungle primary style system as seen in Louisiana?

And because it is the weekend….we give you the Trump vs. Comey rap battle you have all been waiting for HERE

91 Comments »

Political Roundup for May 19, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: Former state Rep. Perry Hooper, Jr. (R) who chaired Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Alabama last year, has decided not to run for US Senate. Hooper was considered for the appointment that went to now Sen. Luther Strange (R). Hooper endorsed Strange in the press conference announcing his decision not to run. State Sen. Tripp Pittman (R) also got in the race after State Senate President Del Marsh (R) decided not to run. Pittman is from Baldwin County, and the only Republican from the coast who is running.

More AL-Sen: In a surprise move, state Rep. Ed Henry (R), who seemed certain to run for US Senate, decided on Wednesday not to run, tearing up his qualifying papers at a news conference in front of Republican headquarters. He also charged that Sen. Luther Strange (R) behaved in a “corrupt and improper manner” as attorney general and suggested that Strange deserved impeachment as AG.

Governor:

AL-Gov: State Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan (R) is running for governor next year. He joins a GOP primary that includes Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Public Service Commission Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh, former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George and businessman Joshua Jones. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not decided yet whether to seek election to the post she succeeded to last month.

IA-Gov: Johnson County Commissioner Mike Carberry (D) has decided against running for governor next year. Carberry had been exploring a run for the past couple of months. Democrats currently running include state Sen. Nate Boulton (D), former Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Andy McGuire, Polk County Conservation Director Rich Leopold, party activist Jon Neiderbach, and state Rep. Todd Pritchard (D). LG Kim Reynolds (R) is set to become governor next Monday, as Gov. Terry Branstad (R) should be confirmed as Ambassador to China. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) is considering challenging her in the Republican primary.

KS-Gov: Former state Rep. Josh Svaty (D) is running for governor next year, giving Democrats their first contested primary for governor since 1998. In that race, state Rep. Tom Sawyer (D) ran primarily to keep Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps from getting the nomination. Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) is also running, and state House Minority Leader Jim Ward (D) is considering running as well. A possible point of contention with Svaty among Democrats is his pro-life voting record.

VA-Gov: The Democratic primary between LG Ralph Northam and former Rep. Tom Perriello is very close according to a new poll. Perriello received 40% in the Washington Post poll while 38% chose Northam. 18% were undecided. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie holds a large lead on the Republican side with 38%, Corey Stewart with 18% and state Sen. Frank Wagner (R) with 15%. 24% were undecided.

House:

AL-2: State Rep. Barry Moore (R) plans to challenge Rep. Martha Roby (R) in the Republican primary. Moore’s decision to challenge Roby is based primarily on her decision to abandon support for Donald Trump last year after the release of the Access Hollywood tapes where Trump made lewd comments about women. The decision contributed to Roby having a much closer than expected race last year, winning by only 8 points over a Democrat who received little funding and party support. 9% of the vote went to Becky Gerritson, whom Roby had defeated in the Republican primary but ran as a write-in in the general election. Moore was one of the first Republican officials in the state to endorse Trump last year. The two come from opposite ends of the district-Roby is from Montgomery at the north end of the district, while Moore comes from Enterprise, at the south end.

FL-27: LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) could be well positioned to run for Congress if a new poll is correct. The poll by Republican pollster Front Porch Strategies showed Lopez-Cantera with 57% in a Republican primary compared to 13% for former Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado and 3% for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who has already declared his candidacy. The poll also matched him up with state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) in a general election and found him leading 41-34. The poll was taken on behalf of a Republican consulting firm that Lopez-Cantera used in his short-lived campaign for US Senate last year.

OK-1: Pastor and small business owner Danny Stockstill (R) is planning to run for Congress next year. He joins former Tulsa County DA Tim Harris, state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R), attorney Andy Coleman and businessman Kevin Hern in the Republican primary. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) is not seeking re-election next year and is a candidate to be NASA Administrator, raising the possibility of a special election.

UT-3: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) confirmed yesterday that he plans to leave Congress early, on June 30. This will set up a special election to replace him, but it’s not clear how that election will be conducted. State law does not specify how it’s to be done, and precedent doesn’t give any guidance either. The last time a vacancy occurred in a Utah congressional seat was in 1929, and in that case, the special election to fill the seat did not occur until it was held concurrently with the election for the next term in 1930. Many state lawmakers say they should be called into special session to set the rules for how the special election should be conducted. but Gov. Gary Herbert (R), through the office of LG Spencer Cox (R) who acts as the state’s chief elections officer, plans to set the rules himself. Although nothing official has been released, it appears that plans are to have primaries on August 15(which coincides with municipal elections) and the general on November 7.

More UT-3: Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) appears close to announcing a bid for Congress. He says he is “feeling more and more like it’s the right thing to do.” He says he and his wife will come to a final decision “in the coming days.”

State offices:

OH-SOS: State Sen. Frank LaRose (R) has announced he is running for Secretary of State next year. He will face state Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R) in the Republican primary. State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D) is running on the Democratic side. Current Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) is running for governor.

Other:

RIP: Roger Ailes has died at the age of 77. Ailes is best known for being the founder and chairman of Fox News, but he had a career as a political consultant before that, and was the man behind one of the most well-known and most successful campaign ads of all time. Mitch McConnell hired Ailes to work on his 1984 Senate campaign against Sen. Dee Huddleston (D). McConnell, then Judge-Executive of Jefferson County was trailing badly against Huddleston in polls. Huddleston had one weakness though-he was frequently absent from the Senate. Ailes produced an ad attacking this weakness-with a Kentucky farmer searching for Huddleston with dogs. The ad, often known as the “Bloodhounds” ad turned the campaign around, and McConnell defeated Huddleston by just over 5,000 votes.

154 Comments »

Political Roundup for May 18, 2017

As Democrats wonder how many some dudes they will have to deal with in their enlarged caucuses in 2019 and Republicans if Vice President Mike Pence knows too much, it is time for today’s roundup:

President/National

Special Prosecutor:  In case you have been unconscious for the last day and this is the first news you are reading (talk about being a loyal reader), former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been named Special Prosecutor by the Justice Department to investigate the involvement of Russia in the presidential election along with the always <s>more damaging</s> cover-up.  The appointment was by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whom I am not sure how he still has his job after such an appointment.

More Special Prosecutor:  The appointment of Mueller was a surprise to President Trump, which is not a surprise considering what happened to the last guy investigating this mess.  It appears Trump took it well.

Even More Special Prosecutor:  Erick Erickson makes several good points on how Mueller’s appointment is a good thing.

President Pence: Some Republicans are gleefully beginning a President Pence whisper campaign.  Pence is considered generic and boring enough of a Republican that he could potentially save the brand and salvage something resembling a congressional majority.

Republicans Impeachment:  Some Republicans, led by Senator John McCain (R-Real Hero), have brought up the “I” word and Nixon in response to the growing dumpster fire known as the Trump administration.

Democrats Impeachment:  While some Republicans are whispering about impeachment, Democrats are trying to control their Impeachment Happy caucus to not exterminate the Trump presidency prematurely before it causes the maximum amount of damage to Republicans.

Voters:  Trump does not appear to be suffering too much among voters in the Rust Belt states according to Bloomberg interviews.  I am not sure anyone really considers Concordville, Delaware County, to be “Rust Belt” though.

Congress

OH-Sen: Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Labor) looks to buck the Trumpian trend in Ohio during his upcoming reelection campaign.  Brown has a strength in his strong ties to organized labor as a means of mitigating some of the disconnect between working class whites and Democrats.

NRCC:  The NRCC had its best April ever from a fundraising perspective and its fourth month in a row over $10 million raised.  The NRCC raised $46 million over the first 4 months of the year, which is $19 million higher than the last off-year, 2015.

PA-12:  Democrats have another candidate to take on Representative Keith Rothfus (R) in former teach Aaron Anthony (D-Bold Progressive).  Anthony seems like a some dude candidate in a district where the Democrats still have a bench, but it is definitely not a progressive bench.  Tom Prigg is also running for the Democratic nomination.

States

PA-Gov:  Businessman Paul Mango (R) launched his gubernatorial campaign on Wednesday and will be doing a tour of the Commonwealth.  Mango is considered a long shot candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor, but seems to be taking the Governor Wolf style approach of being an outside businessman as the basis of his campaign.

233 Comments »

Political Roundup for May 17, 2017

Election Results:  Ralph Norman won the Republican primary runoff in SC-5 by a razor-thin margin, which will lead to a recount. Kay Kirkpatrick won the Georgia SD 32 runoff with a healthy 58% of the vote.   Wendy Brawley won the South Carolina HD 70 Democratic runoff.  Two non-machine candidates won the Democratic nominations in Philadelphia for District Attorney and Controller.  Lawrence Krasner (D-Bold Progressive) and Rebecca Rhyhart (D) will likely be the next District Attorney and Controller respectively.  Bill Peduto (D-Bike Lanes) is on his way to a second term as Mayor of Pittsburgh after winning the Democratic primary easily. Finally, in Los Angeles, councilman Gil Cedillo (D) won re-election and Monica Rodriguez (D) won an open seat.

The news a bit light as President Trump is sucking the oxygen out of our political circus with his growing dumpster.

President/National

Governed by a Child:  David Brooks (Scarsdale Republican) articulated what I have been saying for months about Trump in a recent NY Times piece… Trump is not an authoritarian, Nixon, populist or corporatist, but is nothing more than an infant leading the most powerful nation in human history incapable of exercising any form of self-control.  While I think Brooks comes off as a smug elitist at times, he is on point.

Watergate:  Senator John McCain (R-War Hero) is calling the level of “odd behavior” to put it mildly coming from the White House as reaching Watergate levels.  You need 2/3 to convict a president in an impeachment trial.  The Democrats have at least one Republican flirting with the idea.

Comey:  With an alleged memo floating around where former FBI Director James Comey noted that President Trump asked him to stop investigating  former DNI Director Flynn’s love affair with Mother Russia, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R) is going to subpoena said memo if it exists.

Democrats:  While the current occupants of the White House resemble a burning ship adrift, Democrats with presidential ambitions were dancing around down the street trying to appease potential decisionmakers in the anointing of a new Democratic champion if Hillary Clinton gives up her death grip on the Democratic Party.

Congress

Obamacare/Trumpcare/Moderatecare:  A bipartisan group of moderate senators is pushing a proposal to keep Obamacare afloat despite the respective caucus leaders engaging in taunts of the other saying their caucus is united.  It is not clear what the compromise bill will look like or whether it would ever make it to the floor for a vote.

NY-27:  Representative Chris Collins (R) faces an ethics inquiry into investments he made in an Australian biotech firm.  The Office of Congressional Ethics did not comment, but allegedly they are investigating Collins.

International

UK-Labour:  While the new Rome burns, the Labour Party wants to tax the British people at levels not seen since the time Clement Attlee was Prime Minister.

 

41 Comments »

SC-5 & Pennsylvania Liveblog

Results: SC-5  (AP) || SC-5 (DDHQ)  || PA (AP)  || GA-Senate 32(Cobb)  GA-Senate 32(Fulton)

10:15 ET – I am going to call it an evening as the only outstanding races of interest are PA-Superior Court (Republican Primary) and PA-Commonwealth Court (Democratic Primary).   We will have an open thread from here on regarding the Los Angeles races.

9:47 ET – Philly machine death watch… Krasner gets the check for DA and Rhynhart gets the check for Controller.

9:45 ET – With another dump in GA Senate 32, I am going to call it for Kilpatrick (R) with 89% in from Cobb and 100% in from Fulton.

9:37 ET – We might be seeing the first signs of the death of the Philadelphia Democratic machine as two candidates not considered machine candidates are winning DA and Controller with 57% in.

9:33 ET – Cobb has dumped 50% of the precincts as Kilpatrick remains up 58-42 in Cobb, which means that Kilpatrick is up by approximately 56% to 44%.  This looks like Kilpatrick will hold this for the Republicans.

9:30 ET – All of Fulton has been counted in GA-Senate 32 and Kilpatrick remains up by about 10%.  Cobb still has 72% of its precincts to report.

9:30 ET – Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto (D-Bike Lane) has received the check with 66% of the vote with 50% counted.

9:25 ET – Bold Progressive Philly DA candidate Lawrence Krasner (D) is out to a 16 point lead with 42% in.

9:10 ET – Back to GA Senate 32… Kilpatrick remains up with 28% in from Cobb and only early votes in Fulton.

9:08 ET – Norman has won the SC-5 Republican runoff.

9:06 ET – In Pennsylvania, it appears the Democratic endorsed candidate for Commonwealth Court, Todd Eagen, is polling 4th right now.

8:48 ET – Norman is up by approximately 400 votes with 51 precincts remaining.

8:42 ET – Norman is down to 1% lead over Pope, but the remaining precincts are in Pope favoring York County.

8:40 ET – Pope and Norman are within 10 votes of each other with 2/3 in.

8:27 ET – Norman has taken the lead in SC-5 according to DDHQ.

8:15 ET – There appears to be a glimmer of hope for Norman in SC-5 as the results continue to narrow and his areas are just starting to heavily report.

8:07 ET – Pope’s lead is narrowing as 1/3 of the results are in. Pope leads by 4%.

8:03 ET – In Georgia State Senate District 32, Kilpatrick (R) leads Triebsch (D) 58% to 42% as the first results roll in.

8:00 ET – Pennsylvania has closed.

7:50 ET – With 7% in, Pope leads Norman 58% to 42% in SC-5.

7:41 ET – Turnout is supposedly low in the Pennsylvania primaries today, which close at 8pm Eastern.  I was the 14th Republican to vote and 25 voter overall in my ward at 915 AM.

7:33 ET – Ryan_in_SEPA here for the liveblog.  Pope still has a 60 vote lead as the early vote starts being counted.

7:30 ET- I will be turning this over to Ryan_in_SEPA for the rest of the night.

7:19 ET- Pope is now up 54-46 with York early votes coming in.

7:13 ET- Norman leads pope 69-66 in the first early votes.

7:00 ET- Polls have now closed in SC-5 and Georgia.