Political Roundup for February 9, 2016

Happy NH Primary Day! Go to the open thread below to give your predictions, and we will have a liveblog tonight starting at 7 ET.


New Hampshire: We have three new polls, one from UMass Lowell, one from CNN/WMUR, and one from Gravis. All show Trump and Bernie well head and a pile-up for second on the GOP side.

FBI: The FBI confirms it is investigating Hillary’s server. The server could be looking at jail time if it is convicted.

Bloomberg: We have it from the horse’s mouth now: Ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is considering a third-party run for President this year. Bloomberg, who is willing to self-fund $1B, would probably be the only person with the name recognition and cash needed to built the 50-state infrastructure necessary for a credible third-party run.


CA-Sen: State Rep. Rocky Chavez (R) has dropped out of this primary and will run for re-election to his State House seat in the Oceanside area. Chavez had raised almost nothing for this race, ending his bid with an utterly comical $369 (no zeroes) CoH. Chavez’s decision leaves ex-CAGOP chairs Tom DelBecarro (R) and Duf Sundheim (R) as the two remaining little-known Republicans competing to get a chance to lose the general. If one of them gets traction, he may be able to beat out either Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) or (less likely) AG Kamala Harris (D) for second place and turn a competitive D-on-D general into a one-sided rout for the remaining Democrat.

IN-Sen, IN-Gov, IN-LG: Scott Holcomb (R), a staffer to retiring Sen. Dan Coats (R), never got much traction or fundraising in his bid to take over Coats’s seat, and he has now dropped out of the race to be the new running mate for Gov. Mike Pence (R). Incumbent LG Sue Ellspermann (R) is stepping down to pursue a job as head of the state’s community college system. As an aside, it’s somewhat strange that Pence didn’t wait to see if Ellspermann actually got the job before replacing her, but c’est la vie. The selection of Holcomb, who had run as a social moderate, could signal that Pence feels the need to tack to the center in his rematch with 2012 opponent and ex-State House speaker John Gregg (D) after drawing a media firestorm over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act last year. The GOP Senate primary is now a one-on-one battle between establishment-oriented Rep. Todd Young (R) and the more antiestablishment-friendly Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R). The May primary winner will face Ex-Rep. Baron Hill (D) in the general.


ME-2: Bangor councilman Joe Baldacci (D), brother of ex-Gov. John (D), has dropped out of the race to take on Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R), citing low fundraising. Ex-State Sen. and 2014 nominee Emily Cain (D) now looks unlikely to face primary opposition.

MN-2: Retiring Rep. John Kline (R) is poo-poohing the GOP field in the race to replace him, saying that none of the five Republicans in the race have shown the ability to run a strong race. The field currently consists of talk show host Jason Lewis (R), ex-State Rep. Pam Myhra (R), ex-State Sen. John Howe (R), businesswoman Darlene Miller (R), and others. Democrats have cleared their field for self-funding healthcare exec Angie Craig (D) in the purple seat that is looking like one of their strongest pickup opportunities.

PA-2: State Rep. Dwight Evans (D) announced the endorsement of Philly Mayor Jim Kenney (D) last week. The endorsement was expected as Evans was one of the first high-profile  backers of Kenney’s mayoral bid last year. However, it does add another tea leaf that the Democratic establishment is ready to throw indicted Rep. Chaka Fattah (D) under the bus in favor of Evans, the only other African-American seeking the majority-black seat.

VA-2, VA-4: Rep. Randy Forbes (R) announced yesterday that he would run for re-election in the open light-red VA-2 rather than the deep-blue new VA-4. Click to go to our full coverage of the move and the implications for the race.

Governor, State, & Local:

NY-Gov ’18: Retiring Rep. Chris Gibson (R) has officially opened up a campaign committee to fundraise for a gubernatorial bid in 2018. Gibson is one of several Republicans, including 2014 nominee and Westchester CE Rob Astorino (R), 2010 nominee and Buffalo school board member Carl Paladino (R), and 2010 Comptroller nominee Harry Wilson (R), taking a serious look at the race. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to run again, but may face a serious primary and/or third party challenge from a more liberal Dem.

IN-AG: State Sen. Randy Head (R, and a member of the unfortunate names caucus) will run for AG this year. Incumbent Greg Zoeller (R) is stepping down to run for the House in IN-9. Head is the fourth Republican to seek the nod for the post at a June convention, joining ex-AG Steve Carter (R), Elkhart DA Curtis Hill (R), and state prosecutor Abby Kuzma (R). Former judge Lorenzo Arredondo (D) is thus far the only Dem seeking this seat.

MT-Aud: State Sen. Matt Rosendale (R) jumped into this race for Montana’s stupidly-named State Auditor post last week (the office doesn’t audit anything; it’s the state’s Insurance Commissioner). Rosendale, who is considered a strong recruit, replaces ex-State Rep. Champ Edmunds (R) in the race; Edmunds, who had raised almost nothing, bowed out yesterday and endorsed him. Rosendale is likely to face 2012 AG candidate Jesse Laslovich (D), a staffer for termed-out incumbent Monica Lindeen (D), in the general.

WA-LG: TV news anchor Phillip Yin’s (R) LG campaign is raising some eyebrows because of his prior employment with CCTV, a state-run Chinese news network. Yin, who was based in the network’s American office, has received favorable coverage in Chinese media for his campaign. Yin faces University Place councilman Javier Figueroa (R) and multiple Democrats in this top-two primary.

GA-DeKalb-CE: Appointed DeKalb CE Lee May (D) will not seek a full term. May was appointed after the prior incumbent, Burell Ellis (D), was convicted of corruption, but May has since become the center of corruption rumors himself. 2014 LG nominee and ex-State Sen. Connie Stokes (D) is running and ex-Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond (D) is considering a run for the top job in this large black-majority suburban county.

NYC-Mayor ’17: Councilman Eric Ulrich (R), one of three Republicans on the 51-member NYC Council, is rumored to be considering a bid for mayor in 2017 against (insert your adjective here) Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D). Ulrich, who has held down a diverse and heavily Democratic district in the Ozone Park and Rockaway areas of Queens, would be one of Republicans’ stronger possible candidates, but he would still face long odds in the 80% Democratic city.


NC-Redistrict: The state legislature is appealing a court ruling that would force them to redraw NC-1 and NC-12 to make them less ugly. As ballots have already been sent out for primaries under the old map it’s probably a safe bet that any ruling will be stayed until the 2018 cycle.

RIP: This obituary of Edgar Whitcomb, who served as Governor of Indiana as a Republican from 1968 to 72 and recently died at 98, is well worth your time. Whitcomb, a bona-fide war hero in the Pacific Theater of WWII, later sailed solo around the world and had a number of other interesting experiences that put most pols’ life stories to shame.

Today’s Elections:

In addition to the NH primary, we have two special legislative elections in Minnesota today, and both should be holds for their incumbent parties. MN-SD-35 is an R+8 seat around Anoka. Ex-State Rep. Jim Abeler (R) is well-known and relatively moderate, and should be a clear favorite over retired professor Roger Johnson (D). MN-LD-50B is a D+6 seat covering roughly the southern half of Bloomington. Bloomington councilman Andrew Carlson (D) is favored over realtor Chad Anderson (R). Anderson is running a credible campaign though, and an upset is not out of the question.


New Hampshire Primary Polls are Open – Predictions Open Thread!

It’s 12AM EST and Polls have open in New Hampshire! Voters in Dixville Notch and other small New Hampshire hamlets have voted and released the first results. Please use this open thread to discuss the early returns for New Hampshire, election day reports and give us your New Hampshire primary predictions!


VA-2, VA-4: Forbes Switching Districts

We have a resolution to one of the three re-redistricting incumbent questions. Rep. Randy Forbes (R) will run for re-election in VA-2 thanks to re-redistricting that has turned his current seat, VA-4, into a strongly Democratic district. Forbes, who is known as both a staunch SoCon and a hawk, has been somewhat controversial nationally but has held down a purple seat with no trouble and seems to have a better rapport on a local level. Forbes represents none of the current or new VA-2, which has gone from light to medium red under the new plan, but has strong name recognition in the Hampton Roads Media Market. Forbes will face at least one intraparty opponent, State Rep. Scott Taylor (R), but most Republican establishment figures in the area, including retiring Rep. Scott Rigell (R), seem to be in favor of Forbes’s switching districts. No Democrats have as yet expressed interest in this district, and with a well-known GOP candidate in Forbes, it’s likely that this will be at best a long-shot opportunity for them.

In Florida, we are still waiting on how the re-redistricting situation shakes out for Reps. Dan Webster (R) and Gwen Graham (D), but with a June filing deadline, it’s possible we won’t get an answer for a while.


Political Roundup for February 8, 2016

With one day until voters in New Hampshire go to the polls in the first presidential primary, I am ironically enough writing this roundup from Polk County, Iowa where the presidential nomination process started a week ago today.

President – Polling

New Hampshire

ARG: Democratic, Republican

Monmouth (Democratic and Republican)

UMass Lowell / 7 News


Franklin Pierce University / Boston Herald


Talk Business


Rubio:  After having what can be classified as a rough debate, Senator Marco Rubio (R) came out swinging and had a large event Sunday morning in Londonderry that maxed out the capacity of the venue.  Specifically, Rubio hammered away at President Obama again despite the blustering attack her received for his repetitive critique of President Obama from Governor Chris Christie (R), a on again off again buddy of the President, during the debate on Saturday.

Elites and New Hampshire:  New Hampshire poses another problem for elites within both political parties as voters look poised to hand victories to a old hippie socialist over former Secretary of State and Co-President Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and to a demagogue liberal posing as a Republican on the Republican side.

Bush: RRH favorite Ross Douthat examines why former Governor Jeb Bush’s (R) failed campaign has all the hallmarks of the undoing of his father, President George H.W. Bush (R) on top of being tied to toxic legacy left by his brother, President George W. Bush (R).

Clinton:  When you think Republicans have lunacy occurring in their ranks, you have to look to see what is going on with the Democrats.  Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright have launched vicious attacks against women who are not blindly following former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and voting for her because we need to obtain identity politics goals blindly.  Albright said those women who do not support each other, aka those who are Feeling the Bern, really should burn in a special level of hell for not helping a fellow woman.

Cruz:  The New York Times is several months late in realizing what I have known for awhile:  Senator Ted Cruz (R) is the President Richard Nixon (R) of our time.  In addition, the Times finally realizes what strategy Cruz can use to win and how he has been successful so far.

Trump:  In case you missed it, Donald Trump (himself) upped the ante regarding interrogation of terrorists by promising to not just bring back waterboarding, but to bring forward something a “hell of a lot worse.”  I guess he is off the topic of illegal immigration for once, which might be a good thing.

Music:  At least we can thank Donald Trump for one thing, he has broken the decades long Republican practice of kowtowing to artists who object to Republicans using their music at events.  Trump continues to blare Adele even after she said to stop.


PA-Sen: The increasingly problematic DSCC favorite candidate, Katie McGinty (D), is under attack for giving an incorrect and heavily convoluted answer to whether she every took campaign donations from leaders of the NRA, pro-life groups, or the oil/gas industry.   McGinty said no eventually to the question asked of her at a forum, but she is taking heat from the right and left because she admitted in financial disclosures to accepting funds.  Republicans are calling her an outright liar and Democratic Bold Progressive darling candidate; Braddock Mayor John Fetterman (D) is enjoying mocking her.  This cannot come at a worse time as McGinty is behind on fundraising with former Congressman Joe Sestak (D), who DC and local Democratic hacks hate on a level eerily similar to how establishment hacks on the Republican side hate Senator Ted Cruz.

NY-5: In New York, you don’t have to go around offering kickbacks, those seeking kickbacks come to you in exchange for “economic development grants”.  “Allegedly” State Senator James Sanders (D), then a City Councilmember, offered $1.7 million in exchange for a $250,000 kickback.  Sanders is challenging Congressman Greg Meeks (D) for the Democratic nomination in NY-5 this year.  The US Attorney, who must have a couple thousand prosecutors and investigators under this command to investigate every politician in the greater New York City area, is already investigating Sanders and his funneling of funds to “non-profits” for “economic development”.


PA-AG:  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected a petition by Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) to have her law license suspension reconsidered.  Kane petitioned for reconsideration of her temporary suspension in light of one of the Supreme Court justices involved initially being suspended for receiving naughty emails.  The six remaining justices unanimously agreed Kane needs to get lost and accept that Pennsylvania is ruled by the VRWCGOBC, which involves Democrats and women in Pennsylvania because that is how the state rolls.


Weekend Open Thread for February 5-7, 2016

We will have coverage of the GOP debate tomorrow night; the debate airs at 8p ET on ABC. Until then, here are this week’s questions –

  1. What is your favorite and least favorite campaign ad so far this year? Which ad has been most effective?
  2. When do you think the nominations, on both sides, will be fully decided by? After NH? End of February? After Super Tuesday? End of March? June?

And because it’s the weekend, we give you this classic tribute to New Hampshire.

Finally, please take this week’s post-Iowa, pre-New Hampshire straw poll so we can see how (if at all) preferences have changed. Last week’s results were:

Rubio – 48%; Cruz – 16%; Trump – 10%; Clinton – 9%; Kasich – 6%; Paul – 3%; Bush – 2%; Others – 1% or less

Who do you currently support for President?

  • Marco Rubio (56%, 57 Votes)
  • Ted Cruz (13%, 13 Votes)
  • Donald Trump (11%, 11 Votes)
  • Hillary Clinton (9%, 9 Votes)
  • John Kasich (7%, 7 Votes)
  • Bernie Sanders (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Jeb Bush (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jim "#Gilmentum" Gilmore (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Carly Fiorina (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Chris Christie (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ben Carson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Michael Bloomberg (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Gary Johnson (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 101

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February GOP Debate #1 Open Thread

Tonight’s GOP debate is at 8p ET on ABC, meaning that this is the first debate I’ll actually be able to watch. It will feature Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Kasich, Bush, and Christie. Here is an open thread to discuss the debate.


Political Roundup for February 5, 2016

Only 4 days to the New Hampshire primary!!!!


Iowa Democrat Caucus: The Des Moines Register released a blistering editorial calling for a complete audit of the results of Iowa Democrat caucus which resulted in a virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Pointing to confusion and problems at numerous precinct sites the paper declared that “something smells in the Democratic Party.”

Hillary: During CNN’s town Hall in Derry, New Hampshire Hillary Clinton explained that she took $675,000 for three speeches to powerful Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs because “that’s what they offered” and that she wasn’t really thinking about running for president when she took Goldman Sachs’ money.

Sticker Kid: Sticker Kid clearly upstaged Hillary Clinton during her post Iowa caucus speech. Is he a symbol of the overwhelming indifference young voters have to Hillary’s presidential campaign? Hillary won just 14% of the vote of Iowa caucus goers under 30.

Sanders: Bernie Sanders should have no trouble getting on the April 19th New York primary ballot. His campaign turned in over 85,000 signatures to the Board of Elections. Candidates only need 5,000 signatures to make the ballot, with 500 from each congressional district.

Cruz: Ted Cruz’s super PAC needs a spell check. They misspelled “country” in their latest ad. Of course “counrty” could be the Canadian spelling.

Trump: Donald Trump has been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize by a mystery patron. The Nobel Foundation will not release the name of the nominator but our guess is that it rhymes with Shmonald Drump.

Kasich: John Kasich’s super PAC New Day for America has a new attack ad out hitting the other candidates for throwing mud in attack ads. The anti-attack ad attack ad portrays Marco Rubio as a child chugging water.

Carson: Ben Carson’s campaign is in the process of downsizing as the fundraising juggernaut that fueled his campaign seems to be slowing down. Carson’s campaign will layoff more than 50 staffers and cut salaries across the board. The layoffs amount to about half his campaign’s paid staff. To save money Carson will also reduce his entourage and stop flying on private and return to travelling on commercial flights.

Gilmore:  Conservative political commentator/satirist Jamie Weinstein explains how he ended giving a rousing Iowa Caucus precinct campaign speech on behalf of James Gilmore III. Despite Weinstein’s best efforts none of the 12 votes Gilmore received in the Iowa caucus came from precinct Weinstein spoke in.


AL-Sen: Sen Richard Shelby (R) has released another ad ahead of the March 1st Republican primary. He is facing tea party challenger  Jonathan McConnell. McConnell has received very little help from outside groups and his campaign has just $293,000 cash on hand versus Shelby’s $17 million.

LA-Sen: New Orleans lawyer and unsuccessful 2010 Lt Gov candidate Caroline Fayard has become the first Democrat to enter the jungle primary for Louisiana’s open U.S. Senate seat. Fayard gained some notoriety during her previous campaign when she said Republicans are “cruel” and “eat their young”.

LA-Sen: Newly elected Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (R) is endorsing Rob Maness (R) for United States Senate. Maness who made an unsuccessful run in 2014 is running in a very crowded jungle primary for the seat of retiring Sen David Vitter (R).

OH-Sen: New Leadership for Ohio is out with a new ad on behalf of Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld. This is part of a $700,000 ad buy they are doing supporting Sittenfeld ahead March 15th Democrat primary with ex-Gov. Ted Strickland (D).  The winner of the Democrat primary will face Sen Rob Portman (R) in November.


NJ-3: The Democrats still have not found a challenger to freshman Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur. With New Jersey’s April 4th filing deadline fast approaching the DCCC is trying to recruit Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D) to run in this R+1 seat. Lampitt lives in Cherry Hill, NJ which is outside of the district.

PA-6: While national Democrats have turned their backs on Mike Parrish (D) in favor of 25 year old “Congressional kid” Lindy Li (D), local Democrats are still backing Parrish. Parrish just announced the endorsement of former Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and a whole bunch of local Democrat elected officials. The winner of the contentious Democrat primary will face freshman Rep Ryan Costello (R) who easily beat Manan Trivedi 56%–44% in the R+2 district.

TN-8: Ron Kirkland, who lost the Republican primary to Rep Stephen Fincher in 2010, has opted not to run for the R+19 seat Rep Fincher is retiring from. Six other Republicans have announced their candidacies for this seat.

WI-8: State Sen Roger Roth (R) has announced he will not seek the R+2 seat of retiring Rep. Reid Ribble (R). At least 7 other Republicans are considering a run. Democrat former state Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber is also considering a run.

State, Local & Other:

Maryland filing deadline: Maryland’s filing deadline for their April 26th primary was Wednesday. You can find the complete list of candidates here.

NY AD-65: New York City Republicans have tapped businessman and naval reservist Lester Chang (R) to run in the April 19th special election for the now vacant seat of disgraced ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.


February 4 Democratic Debate Open Thread

The first Democratic debate of the Post-O’Malley Era (Tommy Carcetti lives on in our hearts) will take place at 9:00 ET tonight. Hillary and Bernie will go at it from the University of New Hampshire, and you can catch the debate on MSNBC or streaming at NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com. Feel free to discuss the leftward march here.


Political Roundup for February 4, 2016


Cruz-Trump:  Donald Trump (Himself) finally melted down and lashed out at Senator  Ted Cruz (R) alleging Cruz stole the Iowa Caucus and there should be a revote.  In case Trump you were wondering if Trump jumped the shark, this is the 354 time Trump has jumped the shark.

Bush-Applause:  Former Florida Governor and worst campaigner of the cycle Jeb Bush (R) had to beg for applause in New Hampshire on Tuesday.  When you think this 9 figure campaign cannot get more pathetic, you see this story.  You would think for 9 figures you could buy a personality transplant or invent one.

Rubio-Bush: With his third place finish in Iowa, Senator Marco Rubio (R) is getting more attention from Republican establishment donors including some who have backed the Bush money burning extravaganza.

Paul: Senator Rand Paul (R) suspended his campaign and essentially endorsed beating Donald Trump.  Paul will now focus on running for reelection to the Senate.

Clinton:  In New Hampshire, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) said in New Hampshire that she will win the election by a landslide if people vote purely based on records.  Clinton should know that voters don’t usually pick based on records from her experience in 2008.

Santorum: Former Senator Rick Santorum (R) has suspended his campaign and endorsed Senator Marco Rubio (R).  Santorum praised the leadership talents of Rubio.

Rubio – Toomey:  Senator Pat Toomey (R) plans to endorse Senator Rubio’s campaign as well.

Latest National Poll: The latest post Iowa national poll from PPP has the Trump 25%, Rubio 21% and Cruz 21% with Carson at 11% and no one else above single digits. Rubio is +8, Cruz +3 and Trump -9.


FL-5: Ex-State Sen. Al Lawson (D) kicked off his expected bid against Rep. Corrine Brown (D) for this revamped Tallahassee-to-Jacksonville seat yesterday. Lawson could be a formidable opponent as he has high name recognition in the Tallahassee area, which Brown has never represented.

FL-18: Palm Beach County commissioner Priscilla Taylor (D) has dropped out of this race, citing poor fundraising. This Democratic primary is down to just two candidates, businessman Randy Perkins (D) and attorney Jonathan Chane (D). Republicans have a crowded field for this light-red seat.

FL-26: Ex-Rep. Joe Garcia (D) is mounting a fifth bid for this seat which he won in 2012 and lost in 2014. He will face 2014 LG nominee and DCCC favorite Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) in the race to take on Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) in this slightly bluer re-redistricted seat. Garcia is widely considered a weak candidate, as he is 1-3 in bids for the seat. His one win came against scandal-plagued then-Rep. David Rivera (R), and Garcia was hit with ethical scandals of his own in his time in Congress. However, Garcia’s name recognition could allow him to beat Taddeo-Goldstein in the primary. It looks like the primary will remain a one-on-one affair, as Andrew Korge (D), son of a big Clinton donor, has decided to forgo a run and seek the State Senate seat of Anitere Flores (R) instead. Though Flores’s SD-39 has a D+1 PVI, it is also heavily Hispanic and it’s doubtful Korge is the best fit for the district.

IL-10: After endorsing Highland Park mayor Nancy Rotering (D), Sen. Dick Durbin (D) has cut an ad for her. Rotering faces ex-Rep. Brad Schneider (D) in the March primary to take on Rep. Bob Dold (R) in this medium-blue suburban seat.

LA-4: Cardiologist Trey Backum (R) will run for this open seat in the Shreveport area, becoming the first serious candidate in the race; he will likely soon get company though, as State Rep. Mike Johnson (R) is likely to kick off his bid next week. The field will likely grow significantly from there.

WI-8: State Sen. Roger Roth (R), who came in second to now-retiring Rep. Reid Ribble (R) in 2010, will surprisingly not mount a second bid for this open seat. No candidates have yet entered this race.


PA-AG:  Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) is in a world of hurt financially as she has spent over $300,000 of campaign funds fighting off a frenzy of lawsuits, criminal actions, and removal attempts by literally every faction of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Good Ole Boys Club a substantial portion of humanity.  The Political Staffer/Consultant Industrial Complex took half of the amount in a PR campaign that has miserably failed.  Kane still has funds in the bank, but owes a million dollar plus loan to her husband whose divorcing her.

More PA-AG: Ex-Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has given his backing to Montgomery County commissioner Josh Shapiro (D) in this crowded primary. Shapiro faces Kane, Allegheny DA Stephen Zapalla (D), and Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) in the primary. State Sen. John Rafferty (R) is the presumptive GOP nominee.

WATN: Ex-DC Mayor Vincent Gray (D), who was ousted in 2014 amid a corruption scandal, is running for his old city council seat in Ward 7, which covers DC’s poor eastern tip.


Political Roundup for February 3, 2016


Iowa: A good article here about how Ted Cruz won Iowa, and how Marco Rubio’s late surge was just exactly as he planned.

Polling: The Iowa results represented yet another failure for polling, at least on the Republican side. Here’s how the pollsters got it wrong.


SD-Sen: Sen. John Thune (R) was re-elected in 2010 unopposed. It appears he could do so again this year, or at least not face a Democratic opponent. Nobody has filed yet to take on Thune, and although the state Democratic Party’s communication director claims there are multiple people that are potential candidates, no names were forthcoming. Democrats have until March 29 to find a candidate.


MD-4: Two candidates have dropped out of the Democratic primary race just ahead of today’s filing deadline. Ex-Prince George’s County Council member Ingrid Turner is dropping out and instead running for a local judgeship. State Del. Dereck Davis is dropping out as well. 6 candidates remain on the ballot for the Democratic primary, with ex-Prince George’s state’s attorney Glenn Ivey, ex-Lieutenant Governor and failed 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown, and state Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk seen as having the best chance.

PA-8: A surprise here as state Rep. Scott Petri (R) has dropped out of the race. Petri had been seen as the most likely successor to retiring Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R). But the recent unexpected entry of the congressman’s brother, Brian Fitzpatrick into the race changed the dynamics and Petri would have found himself in a tough race. Petri instead will run for re-election to the PA House leaving Fitzpatrick as the overwhelming favorite in the Republican primary against ex-Bucks County Commissioner Andrew Warren and former Bucks County Assistant DA Dean Malik.

TN-8: Add another name to the list of candidates who have already declared candidacies for this seat which just came open on Monday. State Rep. Steve McManus (R) joins 5 others in the race. Most of McManus’s district lies in TN-9 however, which may complicate him getting known particularly in the rural part of the district.

State & Local:

KY-House special elections: The Republican State Leadership Committee is buying digital ads in the state tying Democratic candidates in 4 upcoming House special elections to President Obama. It is said to be the first part of a “six-figure, multi-platform ad campaign” to influence the special elections, being held March 8 to replace ex-state Reps. Mike Harmon (R) and Ryan Quarles (R) who are now State Auditor and Agriculture Commissioner respectively, and 2 Democratic state representatives who took jobs in the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin (R). Democrats must win at least 1 of the 4 races to keep their majority in the state House; if Republicans win all 4, they will force a tie.

KY-SOS: What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes? How about a federal grand jury subpoena! A federal grand jury in Lexington has subpoenaed the records of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) and her father Jerry Lundergan (D) in an investigation that relates to the finances of her political campaigns in 2014 against Sen Mitch McConnell (R) and her 2015 re-election campaign.

SC-LG: The State House has unanimously passed a bill that would allow gubernatorial nominees to pick their LG running mates after they win their party’ s nomination. A 2012 constitutional amendment changed the LG office from being elected separately from the governor to running with the governor as a team but did not specify whether gubernatorial nominees had to pick running mates before the primary and run as a team in the primary or choose their running mates after winning the nomination.

VT-LG: Garrett Graff (D) is dropping out of the race for Lieutenant Governor. Graff recently moved back to the state after a decade in Washington, DC as editor of Politico and before that Washingtonian magazine, and that raised questions about his residency and eligibility to run. Graff’s exit leaves state Reps. Kesha Ram and David Zimmerman and political newcomer Brandon Riker in the race for the Democratic nomination.

VA-AG-2017: A 2nd Republican has announced a run for AG next year. John Adams, a former federal prosecutor and naval officer who worked in the George W. Bush White House joins state Del. Rob Bell (R) in seeking to unseat incumbent AG Mark Herring (D).

Election Results:

In Modesto, Ted Brandvold (R) easily defeated incumbent Mayor Garrad Marsh (D) by a margin of nearly 20 points. In CT-LD-121, Joe Gresko (D) defeated Susan Barksdale (R). In MA-LD-12th Essex, Stephanie Peach (R) and Thomas Walsh (D) won their respective primaries. In MA-LD-9th Plymouth, Gerard Cassidy (D) won nomination. In MA-LD-3rd Worcester, Stephen Hay (D) and Dean Tran (R) will face off in the general.