We’re only a day away from one of the hottest special elections of the year – check back this afternoon for our preview of tomorrow’s GA-6 race. Until then here’s some electoral news to cure your Easter candy sugar hangover.
Cash Money: During the 2016 election, Donald Trump had underwhelming fundraising numbers, to put it mildly. Now that he’s actually President, that doesn’t seem to be such an issue. His campaign committee raised $42 million last quarter, and they show no signs of stopping there. The permanent campaign rolls on into infinity.
Generic Ballot: Marist is out with a new national poll, and it shows the Democrats at+7 on the generic ballot test. That one hurts, but it’s probably survivable for the House majority given the lack of a likely voter screen and incumbent overperformance.
MT-Sen: Jon Tester is facing a tough reelection in 2018, as he does whenever he runs in fairly-red Montana. If he loses next year, though, it won’t be for lack of money. He’s raised $2 million in the last three months. Keep in mind too that Montana isn’t a very expensive state media-wise. Big Sky Country is going to be absolutely covered in ads not too long from now.
ND-Sen: Well, this is something I wasn’t expecting.The NRSC apparently dislikes Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) more than you might expect, and they’re going so far as to recruit a challenger to run against him for right to challenge Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) in 2018. To replace him, the NRSC is trying to draft State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) (no, not the CA one). Campbell is wealthy and could self-fund, but North Dakota isn’t even very expensive, so that hardly seems like much of a reason to abandon a sitting Congressman. What does seem like a decent reason, though, is that Cramer has recently defended Sean Spicer on a few of his missteps.
WV-Gov: In contrast to Jon Tester and his fat stacks of cash, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) only raised $552k in the first quarter of 2017. That’s not horrible, but he probably needs to pick it up. Manchin is popular, but West Virginia is Trumpland. He’ll need lots of money to counter the funding of whichever Republican ends up running against him. Some people are saying that this signals a possible retirement, but I don’t think that the number is low enough to read that into it, at least this quarter.
GA-06: In the hottest special election so far this year, we’ve been gifted with two new polls in addition to our own. The first is from WSBtv/Landmark and predicts tomorrows results to be 45-17-9-8-8 Ossoff-Handel-Gray-Moody-Hill.
GA-06 Continued: The other poll, from Fox5/OpinionSavvy, says something similar with slight difference. The spread is 42-21-11-11-9 Ossoff-Handel-Hill-Gray-Moody.
PA-07: Frankly, folks, this Democratic primary is getting a bit suspicious. On Saturday, IT consultant Drew McGinty (D) became the third(!) Philadelphia Democrat to jump into the race to challenge Rep. Pat Meehan (R). This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that PA-07 contains not a single precinct in the City of Philadelphia. To top tall off, no democratic candidate who actually lives in the district has yet announced a run against Meehan.
IN-Gov: It’s very early in the cycle of it, but it looks like we might already have a Democratic candidate for King of the Hoosiers. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott (D) recently hinted at a run for Governor in 2020 while speaking to an assemblage of high schoolers. Brian Howey thinks he’s serious, and Brian’s sources are usually credible. I’m not quite sure why McDermott wants to run statewide with Trump likely sweeping the state again even in a loss, but I guess he really wants to get out of Hammond.
ME-Gov: In a move that I’m sure really made some people mad, Treasurer Terry Hayes (I, but actually D) has announced that she’s running for Governor. What really sucks about this situation if you’re not her or one of her supporters is that if she comes at least second in the initial vote count, she’s almost guaranteed to win in the end due to Maine’s new (unconstitutional) IRV voting system. If IRV isn’t struck down and she wins, expect to see a lot more ‘Independent’ politicians in Maine in the future.
Atlanta-Mayor: GA-06 may be getting all of the press right now, but ATL has another big race on the horizon – Mayor. During a recent press conference, Mayor Kasim Reed was asked about one of his chief rivals for reelection, State Sen. Vincent Fort (D). Reed didn’t hold back, dismissing Fort while also giving him both barrels with regards to his tenure in the General Assembly. As always, it looks like this race won’t be boring.
WA-SD-45: I gotta be honest, it looks like Republicans are going to lose the tenuous control that they have over the Washington State Senate. The Coalition has a one-seat majority. With the recent death of State Sen. Andy Hill (R), a special election has been called to fill District 45. Republicans chose their local golden boy, former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, to run in the special election. However, a new poll from PPP (D) shows Manka Dhingra (D) leading Rossi 46-40. More troublingly, of the undecided voters, 52% prefer a generic Democrat to only 1%(!) who prefer a generic Republican.