Weekend Open Thread for July 14-16, 2017

Happy Weekend. First off, we will be releasing our new Senate Rankings tomorrow at noon. Also, we are making the following two Row Officer Ratings changes based on Louisiana filing:

LA-Treasurer Safe R from Likely R || LA-PSC-2 Safe R hold from Lean R takeover

Now this week’s questions –

1. In general, do you think celebrities make good political candidates?

2. Why do you think we’ve seen zero Senate retirements this year?

And because it is the weekend……. we give you the distinguished gentleman from the great state of Michigan HERE!

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102 Comments

  • Izengabe July 14, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    1) Anyone who can get a lot of free media and has high name recognition can be a good political candidates. I guarantee you Kid Rock has much higher name rec than Debbie Stabenow and the press cares a heck of a lot more about what he does than what she does.

    Our campaign finance system which puts onerous restrictions on raising money gives celebrities a natural advantage over regular politicians who can’t raise or spend enough money to compete with candidates who are universally known and get millions of dollars worth of free media air time.


    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • Red Oaks July 14, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    On question 2 – there are so few retirements this year because there were so many during the last cycle in 2012. There were 10 open seats due to retirements (ME, CT, VA, WI, NE, ND, TX, NM, AZ, HI) + 1 due to an incumbent defeated in a primary (IN) + 5 partial-term incumbents running for at least their first full term (MA, NY, WV, MS, WY). There simply are not that many long-time Senators – Hatch and Feinstein are the only ones who have been around longer than 3 terms.

    Similarly there were lots of open seats in 2010 and relatively few six years later in 2016.


    MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

    • Red Oaks July 14, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      Forgot that Dean Heller of NV was also running for his first full term in 2012 so a majority of the 2018 class wasn’t even in the Senate in early 2007.


      MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

      • rdelbov July 14, 2017 at 9:58 pm

        My best guess is three senate retirements-two D and one R. I have to check baseball scores so I can’t be more specific then that right now.

    • Greyhound July 15, 2017 at 12:54 am

      Yeah, its kind of amazing to think Chris Coons and Joe Manchin are smack in the middle of the Senate seniority ranking. Coons is only 53!

      Hell, 49 Senators have started their terms after RRH was founded! This site is older than almost half of America’s current Senate careers!


      R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Rep. Ted Lieu suggests that Peter Smith, a Republican donor recently found dead, was actually murdered. Presumably due to Trump/Russia related reasons.

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/13/dem-rep-floats-conspiracy-theory-about-gop-operatives-suicide-without-any-evidence/


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • roguemapper July 14, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      I wouldn’t automatically assume it’s suspicious that “NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER” was written in all-caps as an 81-year old’s last words. I always write in all-caps because my ordinary handwriting is so dreadful even I can’t read it.


      Dem NC-11

    • segmentation_fault July 14, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      I don’t know much about this case but it is true that Putin’s enemies (often journalists reporting things he doesn’t like) wind up suspiciously dead all the time.


      core dumped

    • MikeFL July 14, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      This is the same BS that Hannity & co. was peddling about the DNC staffer. Everything is a conspiracy theory now.


      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

    • cer July 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Which proves that crazy conspiracy theories are truly bipartisan.


      Conservative first, Republican second!

      • Left Coast Libertarian July 15, 2017 at 7:48 pm

        It’s a shame that Sean Hannity has crazy conspiracy theories but he’s a TV personality. Ted Lieu is an elected official. Based on how the neighboring Maxine Waters is increasing in popularity I guess Lieu decided being insane is what riles up the Democratic base.

        • MikeFL July 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

          Although you could make a tongue-in-cheek argument that Hannity basically operates as an informal WH advisor, as Trump and his administration have been known to repeat his conspiracy theories.


          26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

  • Republican Michigander July 14, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    1. In general, do you think celebrities make good political candidates?

    Depends on the area, on timing, and most importantly if they have ties to the district.
    California is favorable to most celebrities because most live there.
    Trump was a celebrity, but has the business background as well. He became a celebrity due to his business advertising (indirectly or directly).
    Al Franken took advantage of a great D year to edge Coleman.
    Melissa Gilbert was a disaster who dropped out, but was going nowhere because of lack of district ties.

    “”””2. Why do you think we’ve seen zero Senate retirements this year?””””
    For R’s – they are the majority. For D’s, they think they have a shot at the majority.


    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

  • Conservative First July 14, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    What is the status of the two Louisiana races mentioned above?

    • shamlet July 14, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      Neither one has a credible Dem running. The Democrat that was appointed to the PSC filed for election as an R.


      R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

      • Conservative First July 14, 2017 at 10:09 pm

        Does that mean that Edwards allies are running as Rs?

        • shamlet July 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

          Yes, at least for PSC – the appointed incumbent, Damon Baldone, is a D-turned-RINO. The Edwards candidate for Treasurer was the one who dropped out and I think the others are all mainstream Rs.


          R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

  • Tekzilla July 15, 2017 at 12:27 am

    For retirements I still think the following are possible…

    Feinstein, Cardin, Carper, Corker, Hatch. Maybe 2 or so retire?


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • Tekzilla July 15, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Also for Saturday morning fun, who would wind up replacing these if they retired?

      CA – Villaraigosia
      MD – Sarbanes
      DE – Markell
      TN – Blackburn
      UT – Romney


      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • HoneyBee July 15, 2017 at 10:15 am

        Blackburn over Corker would be a massive upgrade.

        And I’d love to have Mitt Romney in the Senate, first of all because I liked his policies and think he’s smart, and a good Republican, and second of all because I’d love to see what those smug leftists who started praising Mitt Romney and kissing up to him being like “remember when the Republican Party was led by good people like Mitt Romney not this evil Trump character” would do when he starts advocating for Conservative policies in the Senate.


        Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

        • Tekzilla July 15, 2017 at 11:07 am

          I don’t think many if any Democrats are under any illusion that Romney is not conservative. They just liked that he stood up to and called out Trump. That being said, something tells me he’d be much more like Ben Sasse in the senate, where he would sometimes speak out and criticize Trump, but ultimately vote with his agenda in full. Considering Romney’s public role since the election, few if any Democrats would be shocked at this.


          36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • roguemapper July 15, 2017 at 10:33 am

        Tennessee would almost surely be Governor Haslam.


        Dem NC-11

      • shamlet July 15, 2017 at 10:52 am

        I’d go Becerra, Haslam, and Delaney – agree on the other two.


        R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

  • davybaby July 15, 2017 at 12:30 am

    1. The first step in any campaign is for the candidate to say “This is my story” to the electorate. The big advantage celebrity candidates have–aside from money–is that they are already known to the public.

    2. Stay tuned. My guess is that Hatch and Feinstein will both retire, and maybe Ben Cardin, too.

  • shamlet July 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Ok, I’m actually stumped: What is the bottom right district in this panel of 6? The other 5 are easy to recognize but I can’t for the life of me figure out what that 6th one is. http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/14/independent-commissions-gerrymander-just


    R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

    • HoneyBee July 15, 2017 at 9:26 am

      TX-33. Minority district in DFW area

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas%27s_33rd_congressional_district


      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

      • shamlet July 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

        Ahh right. I forgot how thin the connector between the two halves of that seat was.


        R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

    • rdelbov July 15, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Really bizarre lines in congressional and legislative districts of AZ. My goodness the congressional lines are just contorted.

      It has been a month or two since I asserted that CA commission did bizarre lines. That is always good for a few posts and a few laughs. Oh yes even as there are 400 thousand Hispanics, outside of CD51, in San Diego county somehow it makes sense to connect downtown San Diego to the Imperial Valley. I guess Riverside County is totally bereft of Hispanics?

      I might, however, that I assert that democrats have hijacked the word “Gerrymander”. Yes yes you draw 4 fairly safe R seats in KS or three fairly safe R seats in NE but an absolute bare minimum of counties and cities are split. Historically a Gerrymander occurs when a political party distorts city or county lines or strings cities or counties together in a long snake like district for political advantage. KS and NE’s maps are not gerrymanders. You want to see a Gerrymander look at MA or MD where counties and cities are sliced up and drawn like squashed bugs. Splitting counties 4 times when doing it just twice is all that is required is a gerrymander. That is why I contend NC-MI (except for racially motivated moves in Oakland county) are not gerrymanders. Sure they favor a political party but you don’t a seat drawn from Saginaw to Allergen county.

      So yes commission maps are in some cases more bizarrely drawn then political maps. I might add that a liberal Federal judge okayed the drawing of lines for VA2-VA3-VA4. Talk about bizarre.

    • Son_of_the_South July 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Lol


      23, R, TN-08
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • w920us July 15, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Wow. A significant factor for my absolute NO regret in my vote for Trump.
    My father was a vet and it disgusts me how progressives & unions treat our veterans.

    Shulkin is cleaning house!

    VA fires more than 500 feds under Trump, even before new accountability law
    http://www.sunherald.com/latest-news/article161463838.html


    R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
    #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

  • HoneyBee July 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Once again, with some amendments in the house today, members of the stupid party come out in full force and vote along with the Democrat voting block to kill some good NDAA amendments.

    Hartzler Amendment which would’ve prevented the military from paying for transgender surgeries (You don’t even have to be a social conservative to ask why the hell is the military paying for this?) voted down 209-214. 24 Republicans voted against it along with every Democrat and special shame to the 6 Republicans who didn’t even vote.

    The Buck Amendment, which would’ve required the DOD to pay the lowest cost possible for fuels also failed with 32 Republican noes and Filemon Vela voting for it. I am a believer in Climate Change, but the safety of our country comes first and asking the military to use more expensive fuels which risks our safety is stupid. Stupid is as stupid does from this stupid party.

    But worst of all, the Gosar Amendment, which would’ve repealed Davis-Bacon for the military failed. What a stupid vote by these 51! Republicans who voted against this. Davis-Bacon is ridiculous economic policy that leads to gross waste, and the fact that there are 51 idiots in our party who support this insanity is depressing.


    Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

    • roguemapper July 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      All of those RINOs should be ruthlessly primaried. That said, what does it mean to “believe in climate change” if you don’t want to do anything about it?


      Dem NC-11

      • HoneyBee July 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm

        I support a nationwide Carbon Tax that accurately prices Carbon with it’s effect on Climate Change. But there are 2 conditions for it: 1: It needs to be accompanied with an equal reduction in corporate taxes so it’s revenue neutral and 2: It needs to be part of a treaty/international agreement so every country has the same tax.

        I do NOT support the military using it’s budget on Democrat political objectives regardless of cost


        Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

        • roguemapper July 15, 2017 at 1:05 pm

          Fair enough, you certainly do want to do something about climate change. The military has made it clear though that its interest in alternative energy is due to the risk of troops running out of fossil fuels in the field and the high vulnerability of fossil fuel supply convoys that was responsible for more than 3000 casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq. It seems to me that if anyone is trying to use the military budget to score political points on this issue it’s Ken Buck and those who voted for his amendment.


          Dem NC-11

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 15, 2017 at 1:39 pm

            That’s a different issues from the “lowest cost for fuels”. The military has long been interested in solar backpacks and generators as an alternative to diesel generators due to the security issues of fuel convoys in the field.

            The issue is that there’s been this huge drive under the Obama administration to get the Navy to run on (more expensive) biofuels, which has nothing to do with security in the field. A friend of mine told me that when he pointed this out to the Navy Sec. in charge of the program, he didn’t really have a response. It’s hardly security-related.

            The real reasons Republicans can’t touch this is because so many Republicans come from agricultural states that benefit from this.


            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • roguemapper July 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

              The military has considered climate change to be a national security threat of its own accord for over a decade. Many Republicans consider that to be a political decision rather than a national security decision. If you don’t consider climate change to be a national security threat in and of itself then obviously the Navy Sec will have a difficult time responding with an alternative explanation for a decision that was made based on reducing climate change.

              To be sure, one might hold the position that climate change is a national security threat but that it should be countered in a different manner. However, that is not Ken Buck’s position. Ken Buck’s position, which he has regularly stated since he entered Congress, is that the military should not focus on climate change because it will diminish its ability to focus on ISIS. Ken Buck may very well be unable to walk and chew gum at the same time but the military seems to think that it’s capable of focusing on multiple threats at the same time without diminishing its ability to focus on any given threat.


              Dem NC-11

              • HS July 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm

                The military, although generally more conservative than the population in general, is not totally immune to the climate change silliness that a large portion of the public believes. It is a sign of the times.

            • ike56 July 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

              As one who has served on the staff of a major command i.e. The entire Pacific, I won’t speak for the Army vis-a-vis security risks of fuels, but the argument is bogus for the Navy. Climate change is an important issue to address, but to call it a “security” question is preposterous!


              38, USN CPO (CA-52, stuck with Scott Peters until a good candidate comes along).

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      The Hartzler amendment is indeed amusing when you consider the wide panoply of things that Tricare WON’T pay for. They won’t pay for new mammograms, but they’ll sure as hell pay for sex changes. #RINOPriorities


      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • w920us July 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Why taxpayers are responsible for paying for transgender surgeries is beyond me also.


      R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
      #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

    • californianintexas July 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Yeah, the military paying for transgender surgeries is ridiculous. Sex change operations strike me as about as medically necessary as facelifts or nose jobs.


      34, Female, Libertarian, UT-02 (hometown CA-31), theelectionsgeek.com

      • Tekzilla July 15, 2017 at 8:44 pm

        Thats a pretty ludicrous comparison. One has to do with someones mental health and gender identity the others are strictly physical “improvements”.


        36/M/NY-01 (D)

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 15, 2017 at 8:48 pm

          Not really. A facelift or nose job in fact could have a serious positive (or negative) impact on someone’s mental health. Much like a sex change operation. One could make a decent case for funding plastic surgery (especially but not exclusively in the aftermath of traumatic accidents).

          I’m also pretty sure that scientific studies have shown physical appearance matters much more than even conventional wisdom suggests, vastly enhancing almost every aspect of a person’s life. People really do tend to treat other people much worse for being ugly/fat.


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • w920us July 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Sen. Joe Donnelly selling stock after AP ties company to Mexican labor
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/14/joe-donnelly-senator-selling-stock-after-ap-ties-c/

    Unlike Bayh who refused to acknowledge or correct a gajillion missteps, Donnelly moving quickly on this.


    R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
    #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

    • rdelbov July 15, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Of course Donnelly did not disclose the exact amount of his dividends and naturally he does not release his actual tax returns. My guess is that if he receives 15K in dividends a year his chunk of the company is worth half a million to a million bucks. He can call it a distraction but he likely has a big chunk of his net worth tied up in this stock. He has likely seen a nice little appreciation in this business. Yes he is correcting but selling his stock means “I have a made a ton of bucks on this puppy but its time to run for cover”. As someone once said”he can run but he can’t hide” so I don’t expect this issue to go away.

      • w920us July 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm

        Definitely agree. IMHO, Trump, Pence and the rest of the Indiana GOP are gonna pull whoever the Republican nominee across the finish line in this R+10? state. I personally don’t see Donnelly surviving especially given how things turned out in Indiana last year.


        R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
        #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

        • Son_of_the_South July 15, 2017 at 7:46 pm

          R+9


          23, R, TN-08
          Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

          • HoneyBee July 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm

            R+9 by Cook PVI over 2 elections. R+11 in 2016 using one election PVI


            Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • roguemapper July 15, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    It looks as if the CBO will have the time to score the Cruz Amendment before the initial procedural vote on the Senate health care bill. The vote will apparently need to be delayed since McCain will be in Arizona next week recovering from surgery.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/15/mccain-out-surgery-obamacare-repeal-240595


    Dem NC-11

    • Mike1965 July 15, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      Officially delayed.

      https://twitter.com/seungminkim/status/886409878109130752


      You know what's actually pretty disrespectful to the american flag? The confederate flag.

    • segmentation_fault July 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      The bill got an incredibly icy reception from GOP governors in Rhode Island and Sandoval is still not allowing Heller to vote for it, so I think this delay could be the end of it, at least for the Cruz Amendment.

      I am not sure what the GOP “compromise” with Dems that McConnell said was coming if BRCA failed would look like. I don’t know if Republicans would want to do anything that actually improves the function of the ACA marketplaces, like guaranteeing certainty to insurance companies that their subsidies will be paid. The only thing I can think of as a possible compromise is repealing the medical device tax.


      core dumped

      • GOPTarHeel July 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

        There is no bipartisan bill and never will be. Nothing will pass the Senate, much less the House. The markets will death spiral further, so the ACA is functionally dead even if BCRA doesn’t pass.


        R/NC-13. I'll never regret a vote that resulted in Neil Gorsuch.

        • krazen1211 July 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

          There can maybe be a bipartisan bill in 2 years but first we have to pass Trumpcare.

  • Tekzilla July 16, 2017 at 12:34 am

    WAPO/ABC has Trump at 36/58 RV. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/poll-finds-trump-standing-weakened-since-springtime/2017/07/15/2decf03a-68d2-11e7-9928-22d00a47778f_story.html?utm_term=.7592b2324e3c

    I don’t see congressional ballot, but I thought this question was interesting, I don’t think I’ve seen it asked like this before…

    Q: What do you prefer: the current federal health care law, known as Obamacare, or the Republican plan to replace it? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?
    Hide Results
    Detailed View
    **NET Current law/Obamacare** 50
    Current law, strongly 37
    Current law, somewhat 13
    **NET Republican plan** 24
    Republican plan, somewhat 7
    Republican plan, strongly 17
    (VOL) Something else 4
    (VOL) Neither 13
    No opinion 9


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • segmentation_fault July 16, 2017 at 2:20 am

      35% supports him no matter what.


      core dumped

      • HS July 16, 2017 at 10:38 am

        Adults. Totally pointless except to reinforce the MSM talking points.

        • MikeFL July 16, 2017 at 10:52 am

          The approval rating is 39/56 among RV. And this is for healthcare among RV:

          *NET Current law/Obamacare**47%
          **NET Republican plan** 26
          (VOL) Something else 4
          (VOL) Neither 13
          No opinion 9


          26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

          • Tekzilla July 16, 2017 at 11:18 am

            I say this jokingly not meanly, did Honeybee right Trumps tweet in response to this today?:

            The ABC/Washington Post Poll, even though almost 40% is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time!

            Harry Enten points out that the Post poll was extremely accurate nationally and is rated A+ so a pretty blatant lie.


            36/M/NY-01 (D)

          • Merrimackman July 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm

            59% of Republican prefer the GOP Plan. 30% want something else… Not a good impression of whats currently being debated.
            But 11% prefer Obamacare. Pretty clear evidence that they need to pass something.


            R, RI-2

      • Vosmyorka July 16, 2017 at 3:14 pm

        I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence that this is true — his “strong approval” numbers are in the low 20s in polls that discriminate between “strong” and “somewhat” approvers. 35% might be his floor in an election but that, well, isn’t great.


        Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

  • GerGOP July 16, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Kamala Harris is meeting with big time Clinton donors: http://pagesix.com/2017/07/15/kamala-harris-meets-with-democratic-elite-in-hamptons/

  • Mayor Perk July 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

    CA-Sen: Caitlyn Jenner considering. Time to revisit the CA Senate ranking! /snark

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/07/16/caitlyn-jenner-mulling-california-senate-run/482654001/


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

    • GerGOP July 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Does Jenner have a fashion line or something? If yes, she has nothing to lose but everything to gain.

      • roguemapper July 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        Not fashion but cosmetics. Though her most profitable business is actually Bruce Jenner Aviation which probably wouldn’t be affected either way. I’m guessing a name change for that one didn’t market test well!


        Dem NC-11

    • Izengabe July 16, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      You guys are all laughing but if Feinstein retires I think Jenner could win! For starters Jenner doesnt have to worry about a GOP primary. CA is top two. A boat load of Dems will probably run splitting their vote 7 ways to Sunday and no other GOP candidate of note will get in. Jenner could absolutely make the runoff and then anything is possible. CA is too big a state to be able to raise enough money to compete with the insane amount of free media Jenner will get. Jenner will be able to get his message out in a way no other candidate can match. We laugh but we all laugh at Trump coming down the escalator. President Donald Trump and Senators Kid Rock, Caitlyn Jenner and Al Franken. Welcome to #idiocracy.


      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 10:21 pm

        She’d be a better gubernatorial candidate than Senate candidate just because crossover votes easier to get at that level. You may laugh, but maybe Caitlyn Jenner is the person we need to get Republican turnout up (since the gubernatorial race looks bleak).

        That being said, I’d be a pretty enthusiastic voter/donor/volunteer for the Caitlyn for Senate campaign!


        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • Izengabe July 16, 2017 at 10:41 pm

          I don’t think Jenner would want to be Governor. Being Governor is a much harder job.


          Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 11:44 pm

            Fair enough. At this point, Donald Trump should be calling Caitlyn (no f’ing way he doesn’t have her number) and literally just promise to sign some symbolic-ish executive order on transgendered people (and attribute it to Caitlyn Jenner) if Caitlyn runs for Senate. At the very worst, it would force Dems to spend to protect an otherwise safe seat.


            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • BostonPatriot July 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm

              If nothing else it would be a fascinating lesson in politics. Would we really see America’s most famous transgender person carrying stalwartly conservative places like Kern and Placer? And would Jenner outperform Generic R in San Francisco?

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 2:20 pm

                I actually don’t think you would see that many regional shifts. Compare the 2006 and 2010 elections where you had two really really different Republican candidates. Arnold won by 17, while Whitman lost by 13 (a 30 point margin shift).

                Arnold won Kern by 50 points, Whitman won by 19. Arnold lost Los Angeles by 3 points, Whitman lost by 31. Arnold lost San Francisco by 33, Whitman lost by 61. All in all, the county shift was pretty uniform despite the fact that there were fairly uneven demographic changes.


                I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • MosheM July 16, 2017 at 11:45 am

    President Trump’s approval rating stands at 50 percent in the counties that fueled his win https://t.co/b4ZA5FUHfa https://t.co/oPoyFUvwxL


    28, M, R, NY-10

    • roguemapper July 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Missouri, Indiana, and Minnesota shouldn’t be on that list since they weren’t decisive in 2016 and won’t be decisive in 2020. Nor were they considered swing states or meaningfully targeted by the campaigns like the rest of that list. It’s not a big deal, but their inclusion seems rather arbitrary to me.


      Dem NC-11

      • BostonPatriot July 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

        Wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota is decisive in 2020 since that would require only a couple points of shifting (it’s not unfathomable that Trump could drop Florida and NC, but pick up MN to win 272-266). But otherwise agree. MO and IN haven’t been close to decisive states anytime in recent memory.

  • Son_of_the_South July 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    TN-Gov: Harwell in

    http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/07/16/beth-harwell-tennessee-governors-race-2018/466002001/


    23, R, TN-08
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • w920us July 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Macron hasn’t been all that liberal, outside of his climate change exchange with Trump.

    Macron’s agenda puts France’s centre-right premier at ease
    https://www.google.com/amp/www.forexrepository.com/news/macrons-agenda-puts-frances-centre-right-premier-at-ease.htm/amp

    Democrats, get a grip: Emmanuel Macron is not your progressive savior
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/posteverything/wp/2017/07/14/democrats-get-a-grip-emmanuel-macron-is-not-your-progressive-savior/


    R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
    #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

    • Greyhound July 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Yeah, he’s got far more in common with Tony Blair and Bill Clinton than anyone the American Left wants to admit right now.


      R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Honestly, more in common with Margaret Thatcher than Tony Blair. Tony Blair still oversaw a massive spike in government spending (even as a % of GDP) and a proliferation of left-wing QUANGOs.

        Macron is planning on ramming through massive cuts to both government spending and taxation, a war on French unions, a crackdown on illegal immigration, and reapproachement with Russia. The left doesn’t have much outside of the Paris agreement and global trade (which strictly isn’t really a left-wing position).

        Global left-wing adulation would seem bizarre if the left had principles and Macron weren’t a handsome youngish man.


        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • Greyhound July 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm

          I was thinking more along the lines of “Won on a platform of repudiating Left-wing Orthodoxy”, but yeah, his economic platform is the kind of thing Socialists use in horror stories for their kids. He’s kind of running as the weird inversion of Reagan, in that he’s using Left-wing cultural touchstones and right-wing boogeymen to push a more limited-government fiscal and economic policy as opposed to right-wing touchstones and left-wing boogeymen.

          I am very interested in seeing how his presidency plays out.


          R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

          • roguemapper July 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm

            OK, so let’s look at Macron’s horror economic platform before this nonsense becomes RRH CW.

            1) Retention of the 35 hour base work week.
            2) Retention of the 62 yo base retirement age.
            3) Permit employers to call employee referendums on opt outs from above rules.
            4) Reduce dismissal waiting period, severance pay, and 5 year appeal window.
            5) Exclude financial securities and capital investments from wealth tax.
            6) Cut corporate tax rate from 33% to 25%.
            7) Exempt bottom 80% of households from residential tax.
            8) Cut spending €60 billion through attrition of 120K public sector jobs.
            9) Replace with €50 billion stimulus via green spending and job training.
            10) Extend unemployment benefits to the self-employed.


            Dem NC-11

            • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 7:57 pm

              Sounds like an economic agenda too radical for the American electorate, let alone the French electorate. At least without a Wisconsin-style backlash and political trench war.

              Especially since policy changes are rarely considered not radical because “they just make us more like the rest of the world”. Or else no conservative in the entire United States would find any part of Obamacare radical. And no conservative in America would consider Reagan actually conservative (he only cut tax rates to 40%!)


              I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • roguemapper July 16, 2017 at 8:04 pm

                Macron’s latest approval rating is 64% and it has risen from 60% since he took office and his economic agenda became even more expressly defined, so it sounds as if your statement is empirically false.


                Dem NC-11

                • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 8:09 pm

                  It’s almost as if a politician can be more or less popular than their actual policy agenda, especially before they actually implement it.

                  It’s almost as if Americans overwhelmingly liked almost every single policy aspect of Obamacare and yet somehow hated Obamacare for 6 years and annihilated the Democratic House majority for passing it. Or almost as if Trump’s approval ratings significantly outperform those of the Republican healthcare plan.


                  I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • Greyhound July 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

              Which is a horror story to Socialists. “And then the Corrupt Banker-Capitalist moved to CUT Spending! And Public Sector Jobs! And you’re not going to believe this part, but he ever pushed for CUTTING the corporate tax rate! Truly he is Hitler reincarnate!”

              Seriously, this is probably the most fiscally right-wing government platform of any major country in the world.


              R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

              • roguemapper July 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm

                Umm… France’s public sector spending is 56% of GDP and Macron plans to cut it to 52% of GDP. Sweden’s public sector spending is 50% of GDP. Norway’s public sector spending is 49% of GDP. Greece’s public sector spending is now 49% of GDP (was 57% in 2010 before austerity). Italy’s public sector spending is 48% of GDP. Canada’s public sector spending is 48% of GDP. Germany’s public sector spending is 44% of GDP. Spain’s public sector spending is 44% of GDP. The UK’s public sector spending is 42% of GDP. Japan’s public sector spending is 40% of GDP. The US public sector spending is 38% of GDP. Australia’s public sector spending is 36% of GDP. Perhaps VBKC and you just don’t understand the broader left very well. Please, cut the nonsense.


                Dem NC-11

                • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 8:24 pm

                  Yes, “broader left” voters form their political opinions on public sector employment policies by pulling up OECD statistics on public sector spending as a % of GDP and then assessing whether the policy in question will take their country closer or farther away from the OECD median. Yes, that is how the left works. Just like how Donald Trump would not actually be implementing a right-wing policy by lowering the American corporate tax rate to 25%. Perhaps you just don’t understand actual humans very well.

                  The French left is going to resist Macron in the streets.


                  I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

                  • roguemapper July 16, 2017 at 8:32 pm

                    Macron’s rhetoric has consistently fixated on how much France’s public sector is out of whack with other OECD nations, how this reduces France’s economic competitiveness, and how this is the foremost impediment to a common EU investment fund (a key goal of the European left). So, yes, unlike the Donald’s voters for whom “Make America Great Again” suffices, this has actually been a central feature of the French political debate for this entire year.

                    I have no doubt that the far left will resist Macron in the streets. The left is not synonymous with the far left fringe despite the fact that conflating it that way is your only consistent talking point.


                    Dem NC-11

                    • GOPTarHeel July 16, 2017 at 9:41 pm

                      You’re assuming that Macron thinks 52% is the ideal ratio of public sector spending to GDP instead of it being a politically possible destination for his policies.


                      R/NC-13. I'll never regret a vote that resulted in Neil Gorsuch.

                    • roguemapper July 16, 2017 at 9:54 pm

                      I’m not assuming that because that isn’t Macron’s position. He wants public sector spending to be below 50% and more in line with Germany’s (in part to pave the way for the aforementioned common EU investment fund). His position is that the economic growth that will result from his other economic policies will bring the public sector ratio of France’s economy even lower with time. And, for what it’s worth, I’m well-aware that this is a classical liberal supply-side argument but I don’t personally reject supply-side notions as a whole (I won’t speak for the left in general in that regard). I just don’t think they’re a perpetual motion machine ad infinitum like the CfG does.


                      Dem NC-11

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 8:21 pm

                Even most Republicans don’t support cutting the corporate tax. One poll found 39%, with only 22% of Americans overall – which confirms the hypothesis of only 1/4th or so of Americans being economically conservative. Even cutting taxes on the middle class and working-class are less popular than people think (both being roughly 50-50 propositions)!

                https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2017/04/TaxDeficit_3a_Politico.jpg&w=1484

                The fact that I favor unpopular policies such as lower corporate tax rate and modest cost controls to entitlements and not having “free college” points to a certain irony. As much as I mercilessly scorn high-education, high-income individuals who call themselves “socially liberal and fiscally conservative” for ruining America, it has since dawned upon me that I’m a high-education, high-income voter who is both significantly more socially liberal and fiscally conservative than the median American voter. It’s just that the political class is even more out of step with the electorate than I am.


                I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • Vosmyorka July 16, 2017 at 7:17 pm

          Has Macron made moves towards a rapproachment with Russia? I don’t know if he’s actually done anything in terms of French-Russian relations besides hosting Putin the one time, but he was by the far the most hostile candidate towards Russia in the election and has occasionally insulted his opponents by comparing them to Putin. (Indeed, I suspect this is a big part of why he’s popular among the American left).

          Surface impressions like this deceive sometimes, of course.


          Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

          • GOPTarHeel July 16, 2017 at 7:46 pm

            I’m not sure we mere mortals will ever understand the vastly complex, Jupiterian thoughts of Mr. Macron.


            R/NC-13. I'll never regret a vote that resulted in Neil Gorsuch.

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 16, 2017 at 7:53 pm

            That was true during the actual election. Macron took the most hawkish stance against Putin and Bashir al-Assad. He seems to have dropped that stance after hosting Vladimir Putin at the Versailles palace.

            http://www.atimes.com/article/macron-shifts-syria-rejects-assad-must-go-neoconservatism/

            In a lot of ways, it’s actually really impressive how brazenly deceptive of a politician Macron has been. And I genuinely don’t mean that in a negative or derogatory sense. His ability to ruthlessly dismantle political rivals (such as his total humiliation of Bayrou and Valls) and totally manipulate the media in order to advance what he thinks is best for the nation genuinely impresses me. He honestly reminds me of Pinochet in Justin Trudeau’s skin.

            Of course, time will tell if his agenda ends up good for the nation.


            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • Vosmyorka July 17, 2017 at 12:46 am

              He also chewed out Putin to his face and banned Russian state media from governmental events during that trip…

              Accepting that Assad will stay seems more like an acceptance of reality, what with Trump in the White House, than some sort of groundbreaking, stance-reversing decision. Condemning “neoconservatism” is just condemning a buzzword.


              Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

  • GerGOP July 16, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Rand Paul says healthcare wont pass in his opinion. Dont waste any more time with this clown.

    • Izengabe July 16, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      I still think this is a plot he and McConnell worked out to get more pork for KY. In the last minute I could see Paul getting bought off with a ton of pork spending that benefits McConnell’s folks back home.


      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • Republican Michigander July 16, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    FEC numbers are in for House candidates who filed on/before June 30th.

    MI-01
    Jack Bergman – Raised 272K, Spent 198K, 90K Cash on hand
    Matthew Morgan – Raised 115K, Spent 44K, 71K cash on hand.

    MI-02
    Bill Huizenga – Raised 548K, Spent 304K, 453K Cash on hand
    Robert Davison – Raised 8900, spent 1345, 9575 Cash on hand

    MI-03
    Justin Amash – Raised 124K, Spent 145K, 207K Cash on hand
    Jeff Thomas – Raised 3541, Spent 538, 3003 Cash on hand

    MI-04
    John Moolenaar – Raised 47K, Spent 42K, 41K Cash on hand

    MI-05
    Dan Kildee – Raised 206K, Spent 44K, 664K Cash on hand

    MI-06
    Fred Upton – Raised 550K, Spent 271K, 772K Cash on hand
    Rich Eichholz – Filed after July 1st
    David Benac – Raised 7360, Spent 4481, 2878 Cash on hand
    Eponine Garrod – Nothing on file at FEC (Either late or not processed)

    MI-07
    Tim Walberg – Raised 400K, Spent 168K, 387K Cash on hand

    MI-08
    Mike Bishop – Raised 418K, Spent 218K, 394K Cash on hand
    Darlene Domanik – Raised 14K, Spent 1600, 12,550 Cash on hand
    Elissa Slotkin – Filed after July 1st

    MI-09
    Sander Levin – Raised 81K, Spent 136K, 202K Cash on hand

    MI-10
    Paul Mitchell – Raised 185K, Spent 84K, 112K Cash on hand

    MI-11
    David Trott – Raised 335K, Spent 78K, 284K Cash on hand
    Haley Stephens – Raised 323K, Spent 42K, 281K Cash on hand.

    MI-12
    Debbie Dingell – Raised 257K, Spent 284K, 421K Cash on hand.

    I skipped MI-13, and MI-14 since they are two of safest D districts in the country.

    MI-01 will always have a spirited race. MI-11 makes me nervous, especially if Bentilvolio runs again as an independent.


    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • Son_of_the_South July 16, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      MI-11 has lots of rich liberals. I’m not surprised that she’s raising money well.


      23, R, TN-08
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

      • Republican Michigander July 16, 2017 at 10:21 pm

        A lot of her money also came from New York.


        MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • shamlet July 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Could this be the year Sander actually retires? Longtime Safe incumbent spending more than he takes in with very low fundraising is pretty strong circumstantial evidence of burning cash pre-retirement.


      R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

      • Republican Michigander July 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm

        I always have to see it to believe it with a Levin. Hopefully, he gone (to use a Hawk Harrellson reference). If he’s gone, it may be worth fighting for with the right candidate. Lean D, but a populist with a lot of appeal in Sterling Heights and Clinton Township could make it interesting.


        MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

      • Boehnerwasright July 17, 2017 at 6:41 am

        I wouldn’t read to much into his numbers esp. as he is in a small deep-blue state where he very likely would win the general even if he spents zero dollars on his re-election.
        He could simply not feel the need to fundraise right now, as he can always activate his small-donor network to raise any money he could need.

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