Political Roundup for August 30, 2017

Last night in St. Petersburg, Ex-Mayor Rick Baker (R) performed considerably worse than expected, tying incumbent Rick Kriseman (D) at 48. The race will head to a November runoff.


AL-Sen: Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) picked up an endorsement last weekend from State Sen. Trip Pittman (R). Pittman, an antiestablishment conservative who came in fourth in the primary, has a base in the Mobile area. Moore is currently leading polls of the runoff with appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R).

More AL-Sen: However, the polling picture has been loking slightly better for Strange recently. Harper has Moore leading him just 47-45 and Strange’s allies in the Senate Leadership Fund put out a poll showing him down to Moore 45-41. These polls are far better for Strange than some prior surveys showing him down by a margin well into the double-digits.

AZ-Sen: Newly-pardoned ex-Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) is, at 85, considering a run for the US Senate seat of Sen. Jeff Flake (R). There are reasons to be skeptical though: Arpaio, a serial publicity hound, has floated his name for just about every statewide race in the last two decades. Flake also got some bad news from JMC Analytics Monday, as a new poll shows him trailing ex-State Sen. and 2016 candidate Kelli Ward (R) 47-21; however, there may be reasons to be skeptical as the poll was only of Republicans and AZ has semi-open primaries.

FL-Sen: A Florida Atlantic University poll has Sen. Bill Nelson (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R) just 42-40, a smaller margin than most polls have shown. Scott has not declared his candidacy but is near-universally expected to challenge Nelson in what will be a hard-fought and expensive race.

NV-Sen: Sen. Dean Heller (R) has an internal from Tarrance to rebut that JMC Analytics Poll showing him down from a few days ago. In his internal he leads perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) 55-33. Not exactly a sterling performance for an internal but certainly better than the alternative.


AK-Gov: Ex-Sen. Mark Begich (D) is considering a run for Governor, which would throw a major wrench in some Democrats’ plans to back incumbent Gov. Bill Walker (I) for a second term as the race’s de facto Democrat. Begich could have a significant reservoir of discontent on the left to tap into; State Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D) says he is looking for a liberal candidate to challenge Walker and will run himself if no one emerges. However, a Democrat running against Walker runs the sizeable risk of splitting the center and center-left vote in the red state and handing the race easily to the GOP with a plurality. State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) is in the race for Republicans, and several others are considering.

MA-Gov, MA-LG: State Rep. Paul Mark (D) is rumored to be testing the waters on a bid for Lt. Governor or Governor. Mark, a Bernie supporter who hails from the Berkshires at the western end of the state, would join Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D), Gov. Patrick admin official Jay Gonzalez (D), and 1994 LG nominee Bob Massie (D) in the Gov primary; no notable candidates have declared for the shotgun-wedding LG primary. The primary winners will face popular Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and LG Karyn Polito (R) in the general.


CO-5: The primary to take on Rep. Doug Lamborn (R), a generic backbencher whose poor political skills have netted him chronic primary troubles, is getting even more crowded. Colorado Springs councilman Tom Strand (R) has indicated he plans to enter the race next month. Strand joins State Sen. Owen Hill (R) and El Paso County commissioner and 2016 Senate nominee Darryl Glenn (R) in the GOP primary. Strand’s entry is probably music to the ears of the incumbent, as the odds of Lamborn’s challengers butting heads and allowing the incumbent to squeak through with a plurality have gone up significantly.

IA-3: Pete D’Allesandro (D), Bernie’s Iowa campaign manager, will run for the light-red house seat of Rep. David Young (R). D’Allesandro joins several other little-known Dems in the race but could easily emerge as the primary front-runner if he can tap into Sanders’s network.

NY-27: The House Ethics Committee has extended its review of Rep. Chris Collins’s (R) financial transactions, and will announce a decision by mid-October. Collins allegedly helped friends and colleagues buy shares in a pharmaceutical company at below-market prices.

TX-16: A pair of Democrats have announced their campaigns for the deep-blue open seat of Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D). El Paso CE Veronica Escobar (D) kicked off her run last week, and probably starts the race as the front-runner, as she represents the entire district. School board member Dori Fenenbock (D) also announced her campaign last weekend; she will resign her school board seat to focus on her campaign.

UT-1: Rep. Rob Bishop (R) has pledged to retire in 2020 if he wins re-election to a ninth term. Bishop has never been seriously challenged for his deep-red seat covering the northern Salt Lake City suburbs and rural northern part of the state.

State & Local:

DE-AG: AG Matt Denn (D) surprisingly announced he would not seek a second term yesterday. Denn, a former LG and Insurance Commissioner, was generally talked about in terms of when, not if, he would climb Delaware’s political ladder. Instead, Denn will retire in 2018 to pursue private sector employment, citing burnout at the grueling campaign lifestyle.

FL-AG: State Rep. Jay Fant (R) is attempting to stake out a position as the most conservative candidate in this race. Establishment support and the endorsement of incumbent Pam Bondi (R) has largely passed Fant by in favor of retired judge Ashley Moody (R). To remain relevant, Fant is hoping to cast himself as the most conservative candidate, as well as to receive at least implicit support from Gov. Rick Scott (R), with whom he has had a good relationship. Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

GA-LG: State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R) will resign his legislative seat to focus on a bid for LG. State Sen. David Shafer (R) is considered the front-runner for the open seat, with Sen. Rick Jeffares (R) also in the race.

KS-SoS: State Rep. Scott Schwab (R) will run for SoS, joining fellow State Rep. Keith Esau (R) and KSGOP chair Kelly Arnold (R) in the race. Schwab seems to be the only moderate of the three candidates in the race so far, giving him a clear lane on one side of the KSGOP’s moderate/conservative chasm. Incumbent Kris Kobach (R) is running for Governor.

VA-AG: AG Mark Herring (D) is surprisingly launching a negative ad against his little-known challenger, former prosecutor John Adams (R). The ad hits some of Adams’s corporate legal work. The launch of the ad is more than a little surprising as Herring was not expected to have a competitive race against his little-known opponent, and could backfire by raising Adams’s name recognition.

NJ-State House: State Rep. Craig Coughlin (D) has secured the support of the Essex County delegation for Speaker. The move means Coughlin has the votes to oust incumbent Speaker Vincent Prieto (D) next year.

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  • Boehnerwasright August 30, 2017 at 7:35 am

    @AZ-senate Small point but the arizona gop senate primary is only semi-open as in republicans and independants can vote but no democrats.

  • MosheM August 30, 2017 at 8:17 am

    TX-14 Randy Weber pretty much doesn’t have a district left after yesterday and last night. Rain continues. Unbelievable what’s going on in Beaumont and Port Arthur. They got 26 inches of rain yesterday and much more since.

    29, M, R, NY-10

  • w920us August 30, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Left-wing nut jobs not happy over this. And the nerve of her not to say Trump should be impeached! Outrageous! LOL
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein booed at San Francisco event after saying she hopes Trump can change

    Feinstein stuns San Francisco crowd: Trump ‘can be a good president’

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

    • GorrestFump August 30, 2017 at 9:19 am

      I think Feinstein can lose in a Dem on Dem situation someone like Becerra could beat her easily. Its just a matter of fact of who is willing to cross the Cali establishment.

    • Tekzilla August 30, 2017 at 10:15 am

      I wouldn’t have booed her for it but its an absurd statement. We all know Trump is who he is. The man has not and will not change. Saying you hope he can/will is just happy talk.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • Left Coast Libertarian August 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm

        What’s wrong with that? The alternative is to do constituent services and just vote no. Feinstein has issues she finds important. She takes defense very seriously and Trump just flip-flopped on Afghanistan.

        DiFi wouldn’t lose a Democrat on Democrat general election, because all the Republicans and independents can vote in it. She also has universal name recognition and can raise huge sums of cash. She’d likely lost the city of San Francisco but California is more than San Francisco.

        • GorrestFump August 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm

          Would Rs/Indies really vote for DiFi over someone like Garcetti or Becerra? I feel like given the few Rs that would vote would choose the bold prog over the career pol.

          • Left Coast Libertarian August 30, 2017 at 2:09 pm

            In 2016 it’s estimated that 2/3 of Republicans voted in the Senate race. That’s a big drop off but not a few Republicans voting. Why would Republicans vote for a bold progressive who’d enact policies they’d oppose. DiFi is hardly the candidate of choice but she actually cares about the Central Valley and she’s strong on security. Some Republicans probably voted for her in 2012 or in one of her previous campaigns.

  • segmentation_fault August 30, 2017 at 9:10 am

    There was an at-large special election for Fairfax County school board that the Democrat won 64-33. For comparison, Hillary won 64-29. According to his Twitter feed, Bill Kristol voted R but experienced regret later that evening.

    • krazen1211 August 30, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Aren’t these elections quasi non partisan? At least that counts as over performance for Rs. Romney got 40% in Fairfax.

      • w920us August 30, 2017 at 9:36 am

        It’s a tsunami level win for the Dems according to DKE…
        “Trump Just Got Slapped In The Face; Landslide Win For Democrats In Fairfax County Tonight”.


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

        • Ryan_in_SEPA August 30, 2017 at 9:50 am

          Well I do not think Fairfax County would ever be a strong place for a Trumpian style Republican Party.

          31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

          • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 10:19 am

            I think the issue is more traceable to 2015 in that how did a Republican win an at-large county-wide seat anyways. Odds are whatever Hough’s strengths were simply weren’t transferable to another candidate. The Dem she beat in 2015 trailed the other 2 Dems in the race (3 seats were open) by at least 700 votes in every district in Fairfax…which is either an indicator of her being great or the 3rd Dem being awful…or both.

            • bluewahoo August 30, 2017 at 10:27 am

              I think its a lot more tough to run a partisan campaign when there are three seats, plus a district seat, to vote for when there are no official partisan indicators on the ballot. My guess is ballot order could’ve had a greater influence than campaigns or party ID.

              Compared to yesterday where everyone just had to remember the party ID of one candidate.

              • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 10:39 am

                Oh it could have been lots of things, name rec, advertising, etc. The other 2 who won in 2015 were incumbents so no surprise there but the pattern of voting had Hough pretty solidly in 3rd and the the other Dem barely held 4th. Hough must have done something right.

            • LtNOWIS August 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm

              Hough was really good. She ran a great campaign with digital ads, volunteers pushing lit at every back to school night, etc. Meanwhile Grisafe has no kids and no experience, which is apparently a non starter for a lot of the high info parents and teachers who bother voting in a special school board election.

              28, VA-11

              • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm

                Makes sense, thanks for the local insight.

      • Tekzilla August 30, 2017 at 10:16 am

        Am I missing something? If Romney got 40% and this person got 33% isn’t that an underperformance?

        36/M/NY-01 (D)

        • Ryan_in_SEPA August 30, 2017 at 10:19 am

          Yea I don’t get it either. It is an overperformance relative to Trump, but not that much when you factor in Trump plus others.

          31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

    • bluewahoo August 30, 2017 at 10:03 am

      The major takeaway of the night for me is out of the three HoD districts in Fairfax County currently held by the GOP, the Democrat won two of them (42nd and 67th) and lost the third (40th) by only 9 votes. The 42nd is open this cycle as well! I’d say it spells trouble for the GOP in some of these Northern Virginia house districts they have been continuing to win in off years, especially since we also saw the Democrats win a special in Prince William County this past spring.

  • HS August 30, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I was told indirectly from someone in the VA GOP that Herring is not looking so good for the AG race. Apparently he is considered very partisan. I was surprised to hear that, and wasn’t sure it was believable until your blurb above.

    On the other hand, perhaps people are mixing up this John Adams with his ancestors, or more importantly, Sam Adams beer.

    • Tekzilla August 30, 2017 at 10:17 am

      I’ve seen Adams advertisements a few times and I live in NY lol. So Herring probably wants to define him before Adams defines himself. Herring IMO will likely win by 5-10.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

  • GerGOP August 30, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Even if the ballot was non partisan (? Thought I read something), the St Petersburg election is a troubling thing in terms of enthusiasm to go to the polls.

    • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Election day in particular too. I mean not that when someone votes mattered but Kriseman won election day which I wouldn’t have predicted.

      In a somewhat interesting sidebar the City council seat that was up, the top vote-getter was GOP and the 3rd place vote-getter is also GOP. 3rd place finished only 4 votes behind 2nd place, triggering a recount; if the recount changes the order then it could be GOP vs GOP for this seat, which would be I think a pick-up in the supposedly nonpartisan race.

  • krazen1211 August 30, 2017 at 10:04 am

    GDP in q2 2017 revised up to 3%.

    • jncca August 30, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Trump + recession would equal what, 25% approval?

      24, CA-6. Part Obama, Part May, Part Christian Democrat.

      • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 10:41 am

        Wouldn’t change much I don’t think. His most ardent supporters are with him on ACA and immigrants hurting the economy and the recession would just embolden that. I tend to think the only thing that would have a demonstrable movement would be foreign military conflict.

      • TexasR August 30, 2017 at 10:42 am

        Probably 22% since that’s what GWB fell to in 2008 after spending 2006-2007 hovering in the 30s.

        Whatever we're talking about, it's all Frank Meyer's fault
        Be careful what you wish for

      • krazen1211 August 30, 2017 at 10:50 am

        Possibly. One of the 538 guys pointed out that solid GDP growth benefits incumbent Presidents but doesn’t help his party in midterms as much.

  • Tekzilla August 30, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Random Thoughts….

    IA-03 D’Allesandro could be a decent get, I think he should have no problem tapping into the network. Probably the best choice of the batch there for Dems.

    TX-16 Escobar would be pretty great to replace O’Rourke in a Safe D seat, maybe long term bench potential

    DE-AG Sad to see Denn retire, always liked him. Hopefully this creates enough ladder climbing opportunities for others so Sarah McBride can run for something, I think she has a future in DE politics.

    36/M/NY-01 (D)

  • krazen1211 August 30, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Az-sen. Ward, free media, and Franks might not want it.


    • GerGOP August 30, 2017 at 11:55 am

      Well, we need a Candidate with an once of brain and political skills in this race.

    • HS August 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      I don’t believe that. Frank’s has been awfully active statewide for a guy who has a safe House seat. He has been very energetic about pushing Trumpian issues – Mueller should resign, the filibuster is bad, etc. And he can’t run for Governor. So he is preparing for a Senate run. The only question is which seat.

      • Boehnerwasright August 30, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        To run for flake’s seat seems like a bad risk-reward for Frank with the possibility of McCains seat opening up soon. A 3-way race with Ward is far from a sure win and the general election against most likely Sinema is a coinflip in a what shapes up to be a pro-dem 2018 midterm.
        Not only are his chances not that great, running in the primary can hurt him in a possible future primary for an open McCain seat. He would quite likely loose support from party actors, would have problems fundraising as many usual donors won’t give him money for a run vs an incumbent and he will be bombarded by both Flake and SLF on the air. Just look what the SLF did to Brooks in Alabama.

      • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm

        2022 promises a lot of upheaval in AZ politics. A likely open Gov race. McCain’s Senate seat up. New congressional maps. Why couldn’t Franks current actions be aimed at 2022?

        • HS August 30, 2017 at 5:41 pm

          Trent Frank’s would be challenged for either Senate seat. If he runs now he faces Flake and Ward. However, if he runs for McCain’s seat, whenever it is open, he faces McSally, who the establishment will back, and possibly Schweikert or DeWit or someone else. And the Dems will run someone strong that race too.

  • RogueBeaver August 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    WI-SEN: Kooyenga out, Vukmir expected to run. http://mailchi.mp/rightwisconsin/kooyenga-says-no-to-us-senate-run

    QC/Blue Tory/M

    • edtorres04 August 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Nicholson already has the Club for Growth and Bolton endorsements. I think if Walker supports Vukmir, she has a chance. Otherwise, Nicholson will likely be the candidate.

  • fatcathobbes August 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    GA state senator Hunter Hill is resigning to campaign for governor full-time. His district went from 46-53 Romney to 55-40 Clinton.

    • shamlet August 30, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Probably about as close to a Safe D pickup as it gets. In hindsight this is probably a seat we should have just left as a vote sink in 2012 given the trends in inner metro Atlanta.

      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

      • Jon August 30, 2017 at 8:04 pm

        It worked for over half the cycle though …

        45, M, MO-02

    • rdelbov August 30, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Not to be confused former state senator Judson Hill who resigned from the state senate to seek the 6th congressional seat won by Handel. So Hunter Hill will be gone soon and Judson Hill has already resigned from the state senate.

      Have no fear!!! Republican State Senator Jack Hill is still in the GOP caucus. So the Republicans in the state senate still have a Hill to stand on or a Hill to fight on and so forth.

      On the D seat there are several Jones, Jacksons, Johnsons and Thompsons that belong to the same last name caucus.

  • Conservative First August 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    MI-SOS: MSU professor Joseph Guzman (R) running

    • Republican Michigander August 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Guzman’s a good guy. I met him a few years ago. Guzman was part of Trump’s campaign and was nearly appointed to his cabinet.

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

  • Son_of_the_South August 30, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    CO-05: I have to say, I very much like Owen Hill. His libertarian streak fits Colorado (and me) very well. When he ran statewide before, I thought he needed to wait. If he manages to beat Lamborn, he could wait things out in the House until he gets a good year, then run statewide. He’s young enough to have a long and productive political career.

    24, R, TN-09
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • rdelbov August 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      I like Owen Hill as well. I little unhappy to see so many candidates in this primary/convention race.

      Has the GOP settled on a primary system for 2018? I understand they are unhappy about the idea that Indies or even Ds might vote in the GOP primary? Or am I just imagining this?

      • fatcathobbes August 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm

        They’ll have a vote on whether to opt out of the primary and instead nominate candidates via convention, but it requires 75 percent of the central committee to vote in favor, and is therefore unlikely to pass. They’ll probably end up having a primary where unaffiliated voters can participate.

    • fatcathobbes August 30, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      I’d like his odds if he could get Lamborn 1 on 1, but as long as Darryl Glenn stays in, I think Lamborn wins with a plurality.

      • rdelbov August 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

        Thanks for clarifying this. In the back of my mind-I remember something about this. Of course I get the candidates today have the option of opting out of the caucus system by signature gathering-which the congressman will certainly do either way.

  • Son_of_the_South August 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    NY-27: If this is private equity, then I don’t see how they can convict Collins. It’s generally very hard to establish a hard market value for private shares, especially when it comes to things like pharma companies doing rounds of VC fundraising. There’s no open market to dictate the prices. The fair market value really just is whatever the company and the investor (or two investors trading between themselves) agree to. Maybe he got the shares for less than others had paid per share previously, but that could be completely legitimate if the company needed to raise some quick funds.

    24, R, TN-09
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      The stock is practiacally worthless now anyways. If Collins did anything wrong you can be sure the investors who lost everything will talk. If no one talks, then it’s pretty likely nothing illegal happened.

      As someone who used to follow MS drugs carefully because I was fascinated with Elan Pharmaceuticals progress on the drug…the trials show failure so often investing in the early stage is a fool’s errand. Sure if something actually works the money to be made will be astronomical but it’s just not going to come from an un-tested company from New Zealand with no background in successfully bringing adrug through late stage trials or to market.

  • Mayor Perk August 30, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    OH-Gov: Jerry Springer (D) is supposedly still testing the waters, which he’s been doing every cycle for the past 30 years.


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

  • Manhatlibertarian August 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    The Trump Administration is targeting some Red State Dem Senators on tax reform, in particular the 3 Dems who didn’t sign the Schumer letter setting out the Dem principles on tax reform, Heitkamp, Manchin and Donnelly. VP Pence is expected to appear with Manchin at a WVa Chamber of Commerce function, and will likely bring the tax reform question up with him at some point. He may also go to Indiana to pressure Donnelly. Meanwhile Trump is taking a tougher line toward McCaskill, who did go along with the Schumer letter, but also wants to eliminate tax loopholes and lower the corporate tax rate. He urged Mo voters to vote her out of office if she doesn’t support tax reform in a speech in Mo. Meanwhile the “Not One Penny” campaign of progressive activists is threatening retaliation again Dem members of Congress who support the GOP tax reform plan. I think tax reform is the make it or break it event for the Repubs after the failure of health care reform, which is why they are looking for Red State Dem Senators for support in case they lose 3 or more GOP Senators who won’t vote for the tax reform bill for whatever reason.


    • fzw August 30, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Does this need 60 votes? If so, I don’t see why Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, McCaskill and maybe Nelson and King don’t just “work” with Republicans while ensuring the other 41 Democrats filibuster.

      Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
      R-leaning Indy.

      • rdw72777 August 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        Does it even get through the House though? We know someone will attach upper class tax cuts to Trump’s plan to raise the standard deduction which makes it a deficit-buster meaning the debt-watchers and deficit hawks can’t possibly go along.

      • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 5:05 pm

        I’m pretty sure that some sort of tax reform can be done through reconciliation (which only takes 51 votes), although I’m not 100% sure of that.

        SC-03, Conservative Republican

    • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      I think it’s a good idea for President Trump to go after Dem senators like McCaskill who are fake moderates. She’s traveling her state disingenuously portraying herself to voters as a moderate when she’s really very liberal and totally out of step with Missouri voters. She even voted to filibuster Neil Gorsuch. Even if his national numbers are sagging, I think President Trump can still do Republican candidates a lot of good in states like MO, IN, ND, WV and MT. I mean, heck, if he can go after McCain and Flake, then surely he can go after fakes like McCaskill, Donnelly, Heitkamp, etc.

      SC-03, Conservative Republican

      • jncca August 30, 2017 at 5:34 pm

        If Trump is at about 37% approval as the polls say, he’s at best 50-50 in MO and IN and likely below that in MT.

        He is only an asset in WV and ND.

        24, CA-6. Part Obama, Part May, Part Christian Democrat.

        • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 5:46 pm

          His top approval states include MT as Gallup recently shown (56% approval). And don’t forget that 37% is generally adults while likely voters is more in the 40% range. Even if he runs even in MO and IN, the enthusiasm of his base can help, especially when a Dem is really just an anachronism like McCaskill and Donnelly.

          SC-03, Conservative Republican

          • jncca August 30, 2017 at 5:51 pm

            I trust Trump’s 2016 totals adjusted for his current popularity more than I trust Gallup when it comes to Trump approval by state. MT at R+20 doesn’t pass the smell test.

            One point I will grant you is that some of the people who are big Trump fans in the Midwest are former Dems who voted Donnelly — Trump may help in IN more than I said in the last comment.

            I don’t think he is especially beneficial in Missouri, however, and I’m not really sure about Montana, either. Montana is a very independent state and Tester won in a very tough race in 2012.

            24, CA-6. Part Obama, Part May, Part Christian Democrat.

            • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

              I don’t know if I fully trust any data we have on President Trump’s approval ratings after what happened in November, but MT is the kind of state where he’s pretty popular and Tester won only with a plurality in 2012. And Tester, like McCaskill, is a fake moderate and independent or not, Montana is still conservative. The fakes get away with it for a while but it always catches up with them. Think Landrieu, Lincoln, etc. Even some moderately conservative Dems like Pryor got wiped away in Republican states and that should worry Dems like Manchin and Heitkamp. But I digress.

              In addition to your point on Donnelly, Mike Pence likely has residual popularity in Indiana that can come in handy, too. How much help Trump will be in Missouri remains an open question, but McCaskill has very unwisely racked up a liberal record in the Senate and if the GOP plays it right, she might get the pink slip.

              SC-03, Conservative Republican

              • krazen1211 August 30, 2017 at 6:22 pm

                The pool of GOP voters in those 5 states, and arguably OH as well, is simply much larger than the poll of Dem voters. So Trump at the minimum should attempt to boost turnout ala GA-06.

              • MikeFL August 30, 2017 at 6:59 pm

                The polls weren’t that off, it was just everyone’s narrative about them. I think the averages were mostly within the MoE across the board. And a lot of the polls a couple weeks before the election didn’t account for Comey’s letter, which definitely hurt Clinton in the final days among her (and probably Johnson’s) soft support.

                26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

                • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 30, 2017 at 7:45 pm

                  The state polls in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and etc. were all horribly wrong. But the national polls were pretty much on point.

                  It was pretty amazing to see the left savage Nate Silver for the simple observation that someone behind in the polls by 2-3% but with an electoral college advantage had a decent 33% chance of winning.

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

                  • Son_of_the_South August 30, 2017 at 8:12 pm

                    That’s interested me for a while. it’s a reverse of the 2012 situation. If memory serves, the national polls had it neck and neck, but the state polls showed an Obama win. It turned out that the state polls were correct and the national ones were a bit off.

                    24, R, TN-09
                    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

                  • MikeFL August 30, 2017 at 8:29 pm

                    “Horribly wrong” is an exaggeration. If you look back at the RCP averages for the 2016 state polls, they all show a trend to Trump in the last week and a half of the election except for WI, and only Wisconsin and Michigan are really off. If there had been more polls in the field that last weekend, I think we would’ve seen a much more accurate picture. And you have to account for the unusually high amount of undecideds that either stayed home or ended up breaking for Trump, which a lot of polls had.

                    Obviously, Wisconsin was a complete miss across the board, except for the Trump campaign pollsters, as even R-leaning groups had Clinton winning it.

                    26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

                    • Manhatlibertarian August 30, 2017 at 9:01 pm

                      Yes while most opinion polls were showing a 3 or 4 point Clinton lead at the end, if you looked at the RCP polls for key states right before the election, Trump had 265 Electoral votes, only a few short of a EV majority. I still thought Trump would lose because I did not think it possible to lose the popular vote by 3 or 4 points and get an electoral vote majority. Of course Trump lost the popular vote by only 2.1 points but managed to get 306 EVs (or 304 if you count “faithless electors”); a big reason for that is because California became a vast Dem vote sink where Trump lost by 4.3 million votes. If you took out California Trump won the popular vote in the rest of the country by about 1.4 million votes.

                    • MikeFL August 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm

                      Yeah, and the polls were quickly tightening in PA and MI.

                      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

            • Left Coast Libertarian August 30, 2017 at 6:10 pm

              We shouldn’t conflate approval with who people would vote for. People vote for people they don’t approve of when the alternative is someone who they disagree with.

              • fzw August 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm

                It’s just as, if not more likely, that Democratic Senators get more votes among people who approve of Trump than they lose among people who disapprove. There’s tons of precedent for this for out-party Senators

                Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
                R-leaning Indy.

            • Son_of_the_South August 30, 2017 at 6:16 pm

              Donnelly is an actual moderate, at least in terms of his voting record. If he were in MT instead of Tester, I think he’d likely be a lock for reelection due to small states’ being more willing to split tickets. On the other side of the coin, I think that a McCaskill or Tester-style faux moderate would be more likely than not to lose in Indiana. Dems are really lucky that Donnelly is from Indiana.

              24, R, TN-09
              Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

              • Manhatlibertarian August 30, 2017 at 8:44 pm

                Yes I agree Donnelly is more of a centrist than McCaskill and Tester; he is anti illegal immigration, voted for Gorbush and one was of 3 Dem Senators to not endorse Schumer’s Dem tax reform policy letter.

                McCaskill and Tester are both faux moderates and try to play a smoke and mirror game with voters where they pretend to be more centrist than their actual voting record.

              • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 10:32 pm

                Yes Donnelly is more moderate, although there aren’t any true conservaDems in the Senate, imo.

                SC-03, Conservative Republican

  • andrew_1918 August 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Hm, interesting…

    Fox News (8/27-29)- 41/55
    Rasmussen- 41/57
    Morning Consult- 40/55
    PPP- 40/53
    Harvard/Harris- 43/57
    YouGov- 40/55
    GWU/Battleground- 42/53
    Opinion Savvy- 43/55
    SurveyMonkey- 41/58

    • Son_of_the_South August 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      Those are… what?

      24, R, TN-09
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • Mike1965 August 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Kind of sad that that when you cherry pick Trumps best polls you still only get approvals in the low 40’s.

      FWIW RCP average is 38.5-56.5.


      • district1 August 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm


        The above omits fresh results from Gallup at 35 (8/27 – 8/29), Reuters at 37 (8/25 – 8/29).

        ex D flack (ex flack, not ex D)

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 30, 2017 at 7:42 pm

          These polls probably aren’t disagreeing that much. It’s more or less just the difference between registered voters and all adults. Republicans always do better in the former and worse in the latter.

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

          • HS August 30, 2017 at 8:59 pm

            And who cares what adults have to say. If they can’t be bothered to register, then I don’t care what they think.

            • Jon August 30, 2017 at 10:03 pm

              Note that in 10 states there’s now automatic registration; registration rolls are going to get bloated by people who never voted and have no intention of ever doing so in those states. (More than they already are in some jurisdictions by continuing to have people who moved out of state on their rolls.)
              For all the problems of determining who is a likely voter, it’s a much better screen than registered voters.

              45, M, MO-02

        • rdelbov August 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm

          Here’s another fundamental difference between Obama 2010/Trump 2018.

          Obama’s policies in 2010–Cap/Trade, Obamacare and a yuge monetary spending bill coupled with tax increases very unpopular with the majority of the voters.

          Trump wants to fix/replace parts of Obamacare and that is a popular concept with the majority of voters. The majority of voters want to see our infrastructure upgraded. The majority of voters want some sort of tax reform/tax cuts. The majority of voters want to fight international terrorism-fix immigration and so forth. Do a majority of voters want to put the interests of american workers over the interest of foreign workers? Ditto for naming conservative judges!!!

          Of course building the wall might be a 50% issue for the GOP but notice how many votes that congress has taken on that? I know a lot of voters who don’t care for Trump but love his court nominees and his efforts to cut Washington regulations. How many small business people want to do forms 1065 every year? Obama policies were deeply unpopular with a lot of voters while the basic concept of Trump’s ideas can poll well if you don’t mention his name.

          • segmentation_fault August 30, 2017 at 10:11 pm

            OMG! Did you just try to spin this year’s Obamacare debacle as a positive for Republicans?

            • HS August 30, 2017 at 10:29 pm

              The Obama care fix isn’t over. They are going to introduce another plan. I believe former Sen. Rick Santorum has been working with them on this. And the fact is, something will have to pass, since Obama care is falling apart.

      • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        Don’t forget that the polls that survey likely or registered voters are better for President Trump and he’s more in the 40s in those.

        SC-03, Conservative Republican

    • Greyhound August 30, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      He’s been out of the limelight for a week or so because of Harvey, and that usually bumps his numbers up. Like 7-10% of the country disapproves of Trump every time he opens his mouth and does something, but comes back to him once the Left does something stupid in turn.

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

    • Tekzilla August 30, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      It’s interesting to cherry pick polls? I suppose it can be, yes.

      Even with the best of cherry picking he’s at what, 41% on average in these? A terrible position to be in 7 months in.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • MikeFL August 30, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Note that Obama lost the House and Senate with these approval numbers, even with the cherry picking. But everything is fine, 8-dimensional chess, etc.

      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

      • Greyhound August 30, 2017 at 8:44 pm

        Well, Obama also won re-election even after posting these approval numbers. And IIRC these are still better than the ones Trump actually won with last year.

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

        • fzw August 30, 2017 at 8:59 pm

          Not comparable. Obama only hit below 43% in the averages once in his first term, and that was after the midterms. He was never more than -6 in the averages pre-2010 midterm. Anything less than -20 for Trump these days seems to be considered good for him. I guess if people want to assume that approvals are analogous to his favorables as a candidate, that’s fine. I don’t think they are.


          Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
          R-leaning Indy.

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 30, 2017 at 10:14 pm

            Considering the gap between all adults and people who actually vote, a 43% for a Democratic President and a 38% for a Republican President are probably pretty close to each other.

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

            • fzw August 30, 2017 at 10:22 pm


              A one point difference between all people and voters seems pretty meaningless to me. Anyhow, I don’t see how it really compares to Obama’s approval rating in his first midterm. Obama was polling about ten points higher at his lowest point than Trump is now

              Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
              R-leaning Indy.

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 30, 2017 at 10:29 pm

                36.1% –> 38.6% seems like a pretty big jump. The actual 2016 election was lost by less. Especially when considering the 38.6% is both likely + registered voters (not just likely voters). Likely voters might be closer to 40%. Also, if a Democrat is at 43% among all adults, you’d also have to adjust downwards for likely voters. So GOP President at 36% among all adults isn’t so far from a Democrat at 43%.

                I don’t think Trump is that far from where Obama was at. That being said, the Democrats lost 2010 fairly badly. And unlike the GOP, they got a lot of major legislation passed before their “shellacking”.

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

                • fzw August 30, 2017 at 10:46 pm

                  I was referring to your original 38% figure for comparison, my bad. And again, Obama never reached that low until 2011 (AFTER THE MIDTERMS). His 2010 lowpoint was about 45%, so adjust for likely voters to 43-44% (and that was only for a couple weeks, making it even less analogous to Trump’s situation, where he’s been mired at 40 or below for months and continues to slowly drop). I don’t even know how anyone can compare Trump and Obama in their first terms with a straight face.

                  But that being said, Democrats will probably need that approval to drop to around 30% to have an excellent shot at 50 Senate seats in 2018. His approvals now are probably sufficient for a Democratic House though, but it’s more a matter of recruiting better House candidates in several of the Clinton seats that’s giving me pause on giving them the edge there. Particularly the California and PA seats along with WA-8. They are getting decent candidates in most of the swingy Trump seats, though, with only a few still lacking

                  Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
                  R-leaning Indy.

                  • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 30, 2017 at 11:00 pm

                    Yeah, you’re right about the times not matching up perfectly. There is some difference in Obama and Trump insofar that the Democratic Congress actually passed Obama’s priorities, from the stimulus to Obamacare to Dodd-Frank. Both were/are probably equally unpopular among independent voters, but Obama held onto a higher share of his party partisans. While the GOP is still at war with itself.

                    I think Trump could be more or less equal to Obama if the GOP got its act together and actually tried to pass thing. But that’s not going to happen, so I’m actually in agreement with you. I guess I was thinking that the “fundamentals” of their approval were more or less similar. Like the Dems of 2009 and the GOP of 2017 got dealt the same Poker hand, but the GOP is playing it much worse.

                    The California seats are widely seen as the most likely to flip, but I’m not so sure about that. SoCal turned blue because of a big surge in Latino turnout. Nobody can say with a straight face that Trump was as bad for Latinos as Hillary Clinton portrayed him. I could entirely see the Republicans losing the popular vote by even more than DDHQ thinks and keeping the House because Latino turnout plunges. I actually think the Dems make sense here and will do better in the “swingy Trumpy seats” than the California near-misses.


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

      • Mike1965 August 30, 2017 at 8:49 pm

        Even with Trumps dismal approval numbers my way to early prediction is Republicans retain both houses of congress. The maps just favor the R’s that much. I think come 2019 you will have a situation where Democrats got the most votes for President (2016), House (2018) and Senate (2014-2018) but Republicans hold the trifecta. Merica.


        • rdelbov August 30, 2017 at 9:09 pm

          The biggest advantage the GOP has going for it in 2018 is the alternative is Pelosi/Schummer/Sanders/Warren Philosophy is a really hard sell to voters in ND-IN-MO-WV plus +20 or so Red states. I might add since it is a given that turnout will be lower in 2018 with a blend of voters that historically favors Rs you will see a lot of democrats run away from the positions of the National Democratic party. Any idea on the number of Ds who will call on Hillary for campaign appearances in 2018?

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 30, 2017 at 10:15 pm

          It’s not like America is the only country with first-past-the-post elections. It’s not America’s fault that liberals like to cram themselves into echo chambers.

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

          • Jon August 31, 2017 at 6:48 pm

            Yes, but one thing to watch out for though is the mirror image; in a decade or so we may have rural areas that are also echo chambers (albeit opposite politically of the urban ones) if the 2008 to 2016 trend continues.

            45, M, MO-02

        • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 10:39 pm

          I agree with you. We need to be careful reading too much into President Trump’s unfavorables and comparing him to Obama and other presidents. Trump has an extremely loyal and enthusiastic base and his approval ratings on the economy and certain items is much higher. Probably the biggest takeaway from the Fox News Poll out tonight is that 96% of Trump voters are satisfied with their vote compared to 93% of Hillary voters. To me, it seems nearly impossible for the Dems to take the Senate and I don’t think they’ll take the House either.

          SC-03, Conservative Republican

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 30, 2017 at 10:45 pm

            “Trump has an extremely loyal and enthusiastic base”

            I mean, so did Obama. He won in 2012 for a reason.

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

            • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 11:18 pm

              Right but we’re talking mid-term. The question is whether Trump can get his voters to the polls better than Obama did in 2010 or 2014.

              SC-03, Conservative Republican

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 31, 2017 at 12:34 am

                I mean, the Obama example suggests that the answer is no. And under this line of thought, 2018 probably looks even worse than 2010, because the GOP establishment is still waging war against Trump’s most loyal and enthusiastic base voters.

                If we’re in 2018 and the GOP Congress still hasn’t passed anything, what drives Trump supporters out to the polls? A burning desire to re-elect a bunch of guys who already didn’t do anything for Trump’s agenda?

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

          • HS August 30, 2017 at 10:48 pm

            The Democrats will need phenomenal luck to win the Senate. The most likely requirement is that McCain passes and his seat is won by them. But this still requires no losses by any of the weak Democrats. Even in wave years, that doesn’t normally happen.

          • Boehnerwasright August 30, 2017 at 11:03 pm

            Is there any proof out there that the number of people that are satisfied with their vote has any predictiv value for what happens in 2018? This really feels like a desperate attempt to find any number that does not look horrible.
            For the claim of a extremely loyal and enthusiastic base here is a MorningConsult Poll from beginning of this month where approval is split further in strong/somewhat approval and disapproval. (http://www.politico.com/f/?id=0000015d-c4ae-d494-a77f-e6be72bd0000)

            Only 18% of RV strongly approve of Trump while 41% strongly disaprove which is really at odds with the claim of an enthusiastic base. Morning consult is even one of the more trump friendly pollsters.

            • prsteve11 August 30, 2017 at 11:17 pm

              Is there any proof out there that the number of people that are satisfied with their vote has any predictiv value for what happens in 2018?

              Is there any proof that it doesn’t? My main point is that his base is still largely in tact. But time will tell the story, as it always does!

              SC-03, Conservative Republican

              • Boehnerwasright August 30, 2017 at 11:30 pm

                We know(enough articles/books on that topic out there) that the approval numbers and to a certain extent strong approval numbers have a good correlation with the sucess of the presidents party in midterm. Why would we instead take your number where we don’t even know if the number is even predictive in any form for 2018.
                Regarding you base claim, how do you explain that so few people strongly approve of trump? A president with a strong, loyal and mostly intact base should really have more then 18% of RV strongly approve of him.

                • fzw August 30, 2017 at 11:44 pm

                  Yes, that question is bullsh**. Aside from telling us nothing about their 2018 vote, people lie (or simply forget, which I find hard to believe) to pollsters about who they voted for in the last election all the time. There’s a few articles out there that I distinctly remember reading about how a decent number of Bush ’04 voters told pollsters they voted for Kerry after Bush became anema around 2006-07. People in 2014 even who voted for Obama claimed to not remember. This can skew the results of “do you regret your vote?” considerably. Disaffected Trump voters are gonna be less likely to admit they voted for him.

                  Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
                  R-leaning Indy.

                  • district1 August 31, 2017 at 12:24 am

                    These retrospective questions have been debunked over and over again but they continue to be used because journalists love using them for crosstabs. “Trump voters believe X”, “Obama voters believe Y”, etc.

                    You’ll notice that top internal campaign pollsters basically never use this question because the responses are known to be unreliable.

                    ex D flack (ex flack, not ex D)

                • prsteve11 August 31, 2017 at 12:40 am

                  Why would we instead take your number where we don’t even know if the number is even predictive in any form for 2018.

                  These aren’t ‘my numbers’. I’m simply quoting a poll which is really all any of us can do with these ‘favorable/unfavorable’ stats. This isn’t the first poll that’s shown the vast majority of Trump voters standing by their man.

                  Regarding you base claim, how do you explain that so few people strongly approve of trump? A president with a strong, loyal and mostly intact base should really have more then 18% of RV strongly approve of him.

                  Don’t mean to be a stickler here but the poll we’re talking about (Fox) finds that 28% strongly approve. I don’t want to get into a big fight about all this, but I just don’t see a Republican disaster in 2018 and I don’t think I’m the only one on this site who doesn’t.

                  SC-03, Conservative Republican

              • Vosmyorka August 31, 2017 at 9:41 am

                The real problem — same as it was in 2016, and same as it will be for as long as Trump remains in power — is that Trump’s base is fundamentally a losing coalition put together to oppose things that a majority of people, and probably a majority of voters, either do not care about or actually oppose; this is VERY true in the primary where it was quite literally repeatedly necessary to obfuscate obvious stances, and is also true in the general election to a lesser extent.

                So long as this is the case, Trump and Trumpism will always need a vote-split of some sort to win any national contest, and this is never guaranteed and becomes less likely the longer they stay in power. That is why they always seem to be losing.

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

          • Greyhound August 30, 2017 at 11:26 pm

            Also, its worth noting that Trump has a 45/55 Favorability rating in that poll, which is actually a little bit better than what it was right before he was elected.

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

            • prsteve11 August 31, 2017 at 12:45 am

              Exactly. There’s no doubt that we’d like President Trump to have better numbers, but the whole Trump phenomenon has run counter to conventional wisdom thus far. I think one of the reasons so many political analysts and pundits hate him so much is that he’s made fools of them for predicting what would happen based on conventional wisdom and polling numbers.

              SC-03, Conservative Republican

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 31, 2017 at 12:49 am

                I’d actually argue that the Trump victory was entirely consistent with polling numbers. He was slightly behind in the polls and had a clear electoral college advantage, suggesting a decent chance at victory. Similarly, his victory in the primary…was incredibly predictable if all you looked at was polling, past election data, and demographics.

                The real story is why conventional wisdom and the political pundits/analysts almost universally religiously pushed a narrative that was inconsistent with the empirical numbers that they collected. The answer is that our political/intellectual establishment is delusional, stupid, and unfit to rule. Thus, why we elected Donald Trump in the first place.

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

  • Manhatlibertarian August 30, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    It seems in the last few weeks it has become very much a thing for certain leftists to attack statues of Columbus. With the recent attack on the Columbus statue in Yonkers, NY, 4 Columbus statues have now been defaced or destroyed in 4 cities; Yonkers, Buffalo, Baltimore, and Houston. The leftists who attacked the Baltimore Columbus statue in a video called Washington and Columbus “genocidal terrorists”. And of course a commission set up by Mayor deBlasio in NYC is examining whether the famed statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle in Manhattan should be removed at the insistence of the Dem City Council Speaker; deBlasio refuses to say what his position is. I don’t know how politically wise it is for some Dem pols to align themselves with the anti Columbus movement. In particular he is a hero to many Italian Americans and also as an agent of Spain he brought Hispanic culture to the Americas. Sure Washington and Columbus had their flaws, but they were men of their times and you have to look at the context of their contribution to history in its totality.


  • kewgardens August 30, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    “How Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Has Heightened the Barriers to a Black-Brown Coalition” http://inthesetimes.com/features/chicago_immigration_trump_black_brown_divide.html

    “It’s been shocking to me how many of my African-American clients voted for Trump solely on the basis of immigration”

    While SJWs topple statues of Columbus, some on the Left are clearly worried that Trump’s immigration policies may have some traction in African-American communities.

    Note that this is a leftist publication decrying any barriers to a black-brown coalition.

    • Greyhound August 30, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Well, yeah. Next you’ll tell me Nixon’s stance on the post-1965 Civil Rights movement got him some traction with American Catholics.

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

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 31, 2017 at 12:29 am

      The concept of a “black-brown coalition” was always stupid. And really, Latino identity politics is just stupid. Both from a normative perspective and a “want to win elections” perspective. Latinos already come to America very racially, economically, socially, and culturally diverse. And then they integrate (or not) into American culture/society in a lot of different ways. The leftist notion of a counter-cultural rainbow coalition “destroying whiteness” (in the critical race theory cultural/social sense, not the violent one) was never going to happen.

      Evangelical Christians are already a more cohesive voting bloc than Latinos. As are Appalachian/Southern whites (all three groups overlap). And Midwestern whites without a college-degree. Not to mention liberal elites certainly aren’t discouraging this trend!

      It isn’t implausible at all to me that in a decade or two, “white identity politics” could become a STRONGER force in American politics than Latino identity politics.

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

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy August 31, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Amusing question in that Fox poll we’ve mentioned.


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

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