Political Roundup for September 11th, 2017

Our own John Henrik Gilhuus has an excellent preview of today’s national elections in Norway, and it’s a great read. John will also be liveblogging the results here after polls close at 3 PM Eastern. Separately, at noon ET we will also have a preview of tomorrow’s NYC Primary and many other local elections around the country.

And now, as we remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on this day in 2001, here’s some electoral news to get your day started right.


Hillary: Well, it’s official. Breaking the hearts of Trumpistas and angry feminists everywhere (such a rare combination that I can’t even think of a joke for it), Hillary Clinton has declared that she’ll never be a candidate for office again. This is a pretty significant admission, as being the First Woman President(TM) has pretty much been her singular goal for the last fifty years.


AL-Sen: It looks like the Curse of the Appointed Senator will claim another victim. Southeast Research went into the field and found that in the upcoming special election Republican primary runoff, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R-Jeezus) leads appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-Trump) 52-36.

MI-Sen: Songsmith Robert Richie, aka Kid Rock (R) is sounding more and more like a candidate for office, albeit an unconventional one. At a recent concert, Ritchie gave a stump speech of sorts on a wide variety of political and cultural topics. He did tone it down a bit from his usual X-rated topics to merely R-rated profanity, but if he does eventually run, it’s going to be one wild ride.

IN-09: This is pretty much just a Democratic campaign press release, but it highlights something pretty interesting about how the post-2016 Democratic Party is changing. The candidate who put out the release against Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R) has no real shot at winning the GE. However, as evidenced by his prominently-featured endorsement by the Indianapolis chapter of the Bernie-affiliated group Our Revolution, the more lefty elements of the party are being a lot more open about their socialist leanings these days. If such a group gains traction within the party, it will likely effect candidate selection and messaging for years to come.


FL-Gov: Buried in this piece on a poll of Sunshine State political insiders is a very interesting opinion: nearly two-thirds believe that Big Law Guy John Morgan (D-The Nearest Ambulance), who is widely thought to be a candidate for Governor, will not actually run. That’s food for thought, and likely good news for former Rep. Gwen Graham (D).

FL-Gov-Continued: Oops! Gadfly State Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Jack Latvala (R) was reportedly very angry at local officials for shutting down the Tampa area due to Hurricane Irma because it interfered with his kickoff fundraiser. Latvala is known for his fiery temper, among other attributes. It often makes him popular in certain quarters. This time, though, he stepped in it big time.

IL-Gov: In something of a companion piece to the IN-09 article above, State Sen. and gubernatorial hopeful Daniel Biss (D) has found a replacement running mate after having to jettison his original one for that official’s support of the anti-Israel BDS movement. The previous running mate was a Chicago Alderman, whereas this one is a State Rep. from Rockford. Biss is a progressive darling (watch John Green’s previous promotion of him as evidence), but even he is feeling the heat from some quarters for making the switch. Biss is unlikely to get the nomination, though, as support seems to be coalescing behind Rich Guy JB Pritzker (D).


JeffCo-School Board: The biennial knife fight for control of Colorado’s second-largest school district is once again upon us, and the district’s superintendent is worried that the contests will be just as nasty as they have been in previous elections. In particular, he’s worried that employees of the school district (read: members of the teachers’ union) will allow the contest to carry-over into the workplace. I’m really glad that I don’t have this guy’s job.

NC-Redistrict: Tarheel Republican legislators have filed over 2,000 pages of paperwork that they say proves that they tried to use the newly-redrawn legislative maps to screw over the Democrats as much as possible while also not breaking county integrity rules that the court suddenly decided superseded established VRA standards. I guess if you’re the NC Democrats, this kind of puts you in a weird spot. What do you do, complain that the new maps DON’T screw you over? Eh, I guess that they’ll just scream ‘racists!’ like they usually do.

NH-Voter Fraud: Oy, I’m not sure what to think of this one. On the one hand, it’s kind of disturbing that several thousand voters who registered and voted on E-Day 2016 may not actually live in the state. On the other hand, NH House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R) and the Washington Times are probably blowing this out of proportion, as even if a significant number of them were not NH residents, a decent number also probably voted for Trump and Ayotte.

NV-AG: Ahead of an expected run for his boss’ job, Nevada’s No. 2 prosecutor has departed his job for a berth at a prominent private firm. Wes Duncan (R), right-hand man to AG and gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt (R) is getting in some time in the private sector as he ramps-up his nascent campaign. Duncan, who is only 36, is also a Major in the USAF’s JAG Corps.

PA-HD-70: State Representative Dan McNeill (D) has died. McNeill was a local character well-known for his stature and booming voice. He was part of a dying breed of blue-collar, mostly white ethnic Catholic, urban machine Democrats. The race to replace him will have most of its action on the Democratic side of things, as the district is safe for Team Blue. The most interesting point will be whether a strong Puerto Rican candidate runs against whomever the local machine fields.

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  • MosheM September 11, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Bob Corker isn’t sure about running again in 2018


    29, M, R, NY-10

    • GerGOP September 11, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Gimme Marsha, or gimme death!

      • TennesseeMike September 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        I agree, run Marsha run! I think Marsha Blackburn might be the best known Tennessee US Representative. Maybe Black is better known in some circles but she is running for Governor. If Marsha Blackburn announces soon after Corker retires (if he does) she should be able to coalesce support behind her.

        TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

    • Tekzilla September 11, 2017 at 10:02 am

      I wonder if Ds can get anyone of note to run if he retires.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • Izengabe September 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Sen. David French (R-TN)!!!!!

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • RogueBeaver September 11, 2017 at 8:34 am

    NV-LG; Miller won’t run after all, Dems prefer Marshall. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada-treasurers-candidacy-for-governor-sparks-attack-ads/

    QC/Blue Tory/M

    • Tekzilla September 11, 2017 at 10:01 am

      I guess Miller is done with politics then? Too bad, I always thought he was a pretty good pol.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • edtorres04 September 11, 2017 at 11:17 am

        I did as well. I thought that he was the strongest Dem for the last few cycles and would probably be the strongest this cycle as well.

  • GerGOP September 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Thoughts and prayers for those who lost loved ones on this dreadful day 16 years ago. My parents’ best friends were actually scheduled to go to the WTC at around 8am, but the wife had a terrible headache that day… They were lucky when thousands were not.

    SPD Chancellor Schulz reaffirmed yesterday that he’s going to be Chancellor and is Open to offer Merkel the Job of Vice Chancellor “if she wants it”. Never mind that they would need to form a Grand Coalition again, this is a pretty ludicrous claim, given where the SPD is standing in the polls – sometimes even below their rock bottom 2009 Performance of 23%.

    Here is an overview of the latest polls: http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/

    • dforston September 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

      How much longer is Merkel going to lead Germany? She’s been doing it for 12 years. I would imagine people would be tired of her by now.

      • GerGOP September 11, 2017 at 9:19 am

        They kinda are and kinda aren’t. Germans are very risk averse people. Jn 2013, Merkel won with the Slogan “You know me”. Even though this didnt look like to be an asset early on, the CDU is running a Campaign of true and tested leadership in times of global anxiousness.
        This clearly is Merkel’s toughest reelection Campaign (she is getting heckled at every Campaign stop and had vegetables thrown at her), but the majority of Germans prefer her over Schulz by a large margin.

        During the TV Debate, Schulz tried to give the impression of being a well connected world leader (he was President of the EU Parliament after all) by mentioning Phone calls he had placed at times. Merkel easily dwarfed that by mentioning about five heads of governments/states she’d ring on the next day alone…
        Even though her popularity has suffered a great deal, in times of Trump, Brexit, Turkey, Russia and North Korea, people seem to bet on the safer horse.

        • rdelbov September 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

          The two most recent polls have CDU?CSU/FDP at 47 and 46 percent which as close as you can get to a majority without another party. Ironically I think the SDP would benefit from being out of office as they have been outflanked on the left as a member of the coalition.

          • GerGOP September 11, 2017 at 9:49 am

            Oh, absolutely. I doubt the SPD will enter another Grand Coalition.
            The CDU/CSU/FDP dont hold a majority, though and I dont think theyll get one on Election day. I think the CDU will slightly underperform and SPD slightly overperform, due to turnout.

  • RogueBeaver September 11, 2017 at 9:31 am

    UT-SEN: Another “Romney ready to run” story, but Hatch’s deadline pushed back to December. http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/14292-exclusive-mitt-romney-planning-to-run-for-senate-if-orrin-hatch-retires

    QC/Blue Tory/M

    • GerGOP September 11, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Not sure if Romney is made for the Senate, tbh

      • MosheM September 11, 2017 at 9:56 am

        It would be great to have a Flake replacement when he loses.
        We need a moral holdout in the party, ready to say no loudly to the insanity of the freakshow.

        29, M, R, NY-10

        • GerGOP September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

          I think it would diminish him in some ways.

          • zbigreddogz September 11, 2017 at 10:29 am

            Sure, being “in the arena” always diminishes people in some ways. Much easier to critique from the benches.

            But bottom line is, people in the arena matter more, and ultimately are listened to more.

      • andyroo312 September 11, 2017 at 11:09 am

        I adore the man but…agreed.


    • krazen1211 September 11, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Hatch should retire and we should get someone younger in the seat.

  • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 10:20 am


    MI-SEN – Grosse Pointe businessman Sandy Pensler is running for US Senate along the other three candidates (Lena Epstein, John James, Bob Young).
    The Free Press site is down, but he’s a businessman. He ran in 92 for Congress in the old MI-8 and lost the primary to former Congressman Dick Chrysler.

    In 1992, redistricting changed the “old 6th (Carr) /18th (Broomfield)” districts and created the then “new 8th” which is a swingish district that tilted slightly D. The old 6th in the 80’s was a D-gerrymander which had dual Livingston-Oakland doublecrosses (pre-APOL) and that Lansing and Pontiac together with most, but not all of Livingston. The 1992-2000 version of the 8th had all of Ingham, all of Livingston, Holly and Rose Twp in Oakland, most of Southern Genesee, and Flint Township (not City). It also had a part of Washtenaw County outside of Ann Arbor and Ypsi itself including Northfield, Webster, Scio Twp, Saline, and part of Pittsfield. It was “the bloody 8th” since it elected Carr, Chrysler, Stabenow, and Mike Rogers.

    As a chair, my attitude has always been this with “potential” candidates. If you’re not in, your out. By in, I mean filed, filed a campaign finance committee, or doing what is necessary to be a candidate. I’ll worry about Kid Rock if he’s actually a candidate.

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

  • RogueBeaver September 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

    MI-11: Trott retiring. https://twitter.com/HotlineJosh/status/907266580966510592

    QC/Blue Tory/M

    • GerGOP September 11, 2017 at 11:45 am

      It feels like an exodus of Swing Reps… Propably a subjective feeling, but I could do with less.

      • MosheM September 11, 2017 at 11:48 am

        The slaughter is coming and everyone knows it.

        29, M, R, NY-10

        • cer September 11, 2017 at 6:40 pm

          There is NO sign of a slaughter coming at all. Way too early to panic.

          Conservative first, Republican second!

          • roguemapper September 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm

            Just for the record, in 2010 there were 17 D retirements in the House. There are now 17 R retirements for 2018. However, the open D seats in 2010 included a lot more easy flips than the open R seats for 2018. Only FL-27 seems to qualify in 2018. In any case, the GOP picked up 10 of 17 open D seats in 2010. That’s pretty typical for a wave. Open seats are easier, of course, but if you have a wave it always involves a lot of incumbents losing swing districts. There’s a decent argument to be made that nearly all open seats that flip in a wave would flip anyhow.

            Dem NC-11

            • Greyhound September 11, 2017 at 7:33 pm

              For the record, in 2014 there were 25 GOP retirements. Though admittedly 7 of those were because they were elected Senator/Governor, and another 4 were because they tried to do so and lost. But we still had retirements in decently competitive seats like CA-25, IA-3, MI-4, MI-8, NJ-3, PA-6, VA-10, and WI-6. We also had a bunch in 2016 as well. Republicans don’t tend to stick around as long as the Democrats do in Congress.

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

              • Left Coast Libertarian September 11, 2017 at 8:43 pm

                Here are the numbers since 2006

                2006: 18R, 9D
                2008: 27R, 6D
                2010: 20R, 17D
                2012: 19R, 22D
                2014: 25R, 16D
                2016: 25R, 18D

                Republicans retire a lot more than Democrats. The one election in the last 4 that the Democrats won is also the one the Democrats had more retirements. Republicans retiring more seems intuitive to me because Republicans don’t tend to spend as long in congress. Democrats view it as a career/calling. Republicans view it as a way to give back but not a career.

                Right now it’s 17 Republicans retiring and 8 Democrats. If it’s 25-17 we’ll get 8 more Republicans and 9 more Democrats.

          • MikeFL September 11, 2017 at 8:37 pm

            I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily likely at this point (I’ll wait until 2018 to make that judgment), but there are signs there: Trump’s approval rating and the generic ballot.

            26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

            • Left Coast Libertarian September 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

              Bush’s approval rating was low in 2006 but Republicans had a lower number of retirements. Republicans didn’t decrease retirements based on the President’s approval rating or the generic ballot during the Obama presidency. There doesn’t seem to be much correlation between Republican retirements and what goes on in Washington. You might be able to make a stronger argument about Democrats. Their retirement numbers were low when they smelled blood in 2006 and 2008 and they’ve been low so far this cycle.

          • Tekzilla September 12, 2017 at 12:44 am

            Number of Democratic candidates running, Act Blue fundraising, Key Republican Retirements, Generic Ballot Polling etc.

            Sure, no sign at all. Gotcha.

            36/M/NY-01 (D)

        • Conservative First September 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm

          This is about Trott being dissatisfied with Washington. He would have been reelected easily.

    • Tekzilla September 11, 2017 at 11:53 am

      I wonder if some of the Jersey Rs retire this week too.

      Corker and Upton probably the other two to watch.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • bluewahoo September 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Sabato has moved it from Likely Republican to Toss up. Same move he made with WA-8th.

      A little too bullish for me, but definetly a good opening for Ds.

    • Boehnerwasright September 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Trott didn’t run that far ahead of Trump in 2016 and is only in his second term, so him retiring should not move the republican prospects that much for this district, if a good candidate wins the primary.
      Yes Trott running would be better, but someone like Dave Reichert retiring was way more of a problem for holding a seat.

      • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm

        Trott did well with business moderates, but also bled 3-5% of conservative and libertarian Republicans still mad over his primary of Kerry Bentilvolio.

        MI-11 slightly leans R, but it is a tough district due to all the infighting and dynamics running there. Oakland County is one of the most diverse political counties in the state. Combining Milford, White Lake, Birmingham, Bloomfield, and Waterford is going to make things interesting in its own right, and that’s without the Wayne County portion.

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

    • Izengabe September 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Front Paged!!! Please take all discussion on this there.

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • aas34 September 11, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    ND-Sen; Border States CEO, Tammy Miller interested after being recruited:


    32, R, CA-2

    • Izengabe September 11, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      She would be a good get for the GOP here.

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • edtorres04 September 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm

        Better than Campbell, but we really need Cramer or Schmidt.

  • RogueBeaver September 11, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    WI-SEN: Fitzgerald out. https://twitter.com/alweaver22/status/907286190465933312

    QC/Blue Tory/M

  • Tekzilla September 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Emerson has Moore up only 44-40 on Jones in the general.


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • MikeFL September 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Strange is only up about the same too. 43.1-39.6 Strange, 43.5-39.9 Moore.

      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

    • Greyhound September 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      This is just a weird poll. Why are they measuring a GE in a sample that is supposedly ~80% GOP primary voters? How are they finding Trump at only +15 with that kind of sample? And if they’re measuring two different electorates, why are they suggesting that Strange Primary voters are splitting almost evenly between Moore and Jones? Did they ask the primary question of the GE electorate again?

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

    • Son_of_the_South September 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      We’ll see, but Emerson is a notoriously bad pollster. It’s not quite Repass-level bad, but it’s no Q.

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

  • rdw72777 September 11, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    What is Wes Duncan doing. Leaving the AG office to go private so he can begin running for AG in what, 3 months?

    • Son_of_the_South September 11, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Given which firm it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were paying him for very little work to give him more time to campaign without sacrificing his pay.

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

  • Manhatlibertarian September 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    SCOTUS Judge Kennedy has issued an order temporarily blocking a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that would have allowed about 24,000 refugees who had been promised by a resettlement agency that it would provide them with basic services entry to the US starting Tuesday. In an earlier ruling the SCOTUS has stated that the US only had to admit refugees with a bona fide relationship into the US until the court reached a final decision, which had been interpreted by the Trump Administration to mean people with close relatives in the US or a firm job or school offer. The Appeals Court decided that a close relationship with a resettlement agency should also allow admittance into the US but the Trump Admin disputed that. The case is Trump vs Hawaii.


    • Midnight901 September 11, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      >The Appeals Court decided that a close relationship with a resettlement agency should also allow admittance into the US

      This is such a nonsensical decision. It basically allows organized human trafficking so long as it calls itself “resettlement”.

  • Left Coast Libertarian September 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Can someone please explain to me how “Medicare for All” is conflated with single payer. Medicare has premiums and co-pays. While the government is the single insurer they aren’t the single payer.

    • roguemapper September 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Bernie’s bill has no co-pays or deductibles. The federal government is in fact the single payer. There is a premium tax of course: 6.2% for employers and 2.2% for households.

      Dem NC-11

      • Jon September 11, 2017 at 6:49 pm

        Let me guess:
        Those self employed would pay the full 8.4% (on their reported income); those that anticipate less than 2.2% of their income going towards health care wouldn’t be able to “opt out” (young adults); and it would be collected like FICA-Medicare but on top of the current rate.

        On the business side; I don’t know if 6.2% of their employees total salary is more or less than they typically subsidize.

        This would also for those nearing retirement but under 65 but with a very good employee health care insurance plan reduce the incentive of staying at work until 65, particularly those with enough dividend / business income that the Obamacare tax would matter.

        The total rate seems rather low unless they are going to either send health providers to the poor house (even if they confiscate all outstanding HSA & FSA balances which only works for the first year) or pay for the rest of it with general revenue. The default VAT rate is 20% in the UK.

        45, M, MO-02

        • Manhatlibertarian September 11, 2017 at 8:30 pm

          Yes I agree. The single payer plan would likely have to squeeze hospitals and doctors financially as much as possible or use general tax revenues to make up for the likely shortfall from the payroll tax. Another possibility is the “rationing” of healthcare because of funding problems which will lead to long wait times for non emergency medical care. Ironically with expanded Medicaid, Medicare, the CHIPs program, health insurance exchange subsidized policies and employer provided health insurance relatively few US citizens in most states don’t have some type of healthcare coverage; this is particularly true for blue states like Cal, NY, Vermont etc. where progressive Dems are most prone to favor single payer healthcare insurance. Note also voters in Colorado last year defeated by a large margin a payroll tax single payer ballot question similar in a number of ways to what Bernie is proposing.

          • Jon September 12, 2017 at 6:48 pm

            I was already including the rationing you mentioned in my calculations plus more; including bans on any and all more newer procedure / medicine costing more than existing ones even if the newer one is more effective. I also considered every possible savings I could conceive of, even those Democrats would oppose (e.g. non-US citizens on tourist visas not covered) and added those up and didn’t come close to reaching revenue neutral at 8.4%.

            45, M, MO-02

  • Vosmyorka September 11, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Dan Jones has Utah as a possible competitive Senate race in 2018; he has presumptive Democratic nominee, Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson leading Orrin Hatch by 11 points, running competitively against Rep Chris Stewart or university president Matt Holland, but getting destroyed by Mitt Romney by 38 points if he runs. http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/14293-poll-romney-wins-matchup-and-likely-will-run-if-hatch-doesn-t

    Dan Jones has been pretty good at primaries in Utah in the past, but they’ve generally had a strong anti-Republican (less so Democratic, really) House effect in the past; their final 2016 poll had Trump winning Utah by 2 over McMullin, while in reality he won by 15 over Clinton; most of their undecideds can be transferred to the Republican column. Still, suggests to me that anger over the Trump election has not subsided in Utah, and that the state may be a more viable (or, at least not less viable) Democratic seat 3 for Senate control than Texas.

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

    • HS September 11, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      No way, no how. Hatch should retire, but if he doesn’t, he will win. If he does, either Romney or Stewart will. A Democrat will not take a Senate seat in 2018 under any circumstances. And they have a far better chance of winning Texas – not that I think they will win Texas.

    • segmentation_fault September 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Daily Kos Elections points out that Dan Jones did not mention party affiliation in their poll.

      What we can still glean from it: Mitt Romney is a lot more popular in Utah than Orrin Hatch.

      Bernie Bernstein

  • krazen1211 September 11, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Texas voter ID continues to win big at the 5th circuit. So I suspect it will remain in place for 2018, and then probably the losers will eventually drop the case.


  • segmentation_fault September 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    The flip side is that in the event that partisan gerrymandering is struck down, the case against NC Republicans would be pretty easy to make.

    Bernie Bernstein

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