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Political Roundup for December 4th, 2017

Big Picture

Professions: Here’s a cool breakdown of professions by party. It’s from FEC data, so the numbers will be fairly skewed in several ways. Still, it’s interesting to see the differences, especially between similar professions and among ones in the same industry.


AL-Sen: CBS commissioned a poll of the upcoming special Senate election in Alabama from YouGov and found Creepy Roy (R, unfortunately) ahead of former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) 49-43. Most polls recently have found Moore ahead by single digits, but turnout patterns will be crucial, as they are in any special election (and really, every election).

AR-Sen: It’s not official, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may be on the way out. If that happens, CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be his likely successor. Pompeo’s likely successor is rumored to be Sen. Tom Cotton (R). Finally, we get to the point of all this, which is that if those dominoes fall that way, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R) may want to return to DC, this time in the upper chamber.

FL-Sen: In a contrast to much of his tenure in office, Gov. Rick Scott (R) seems to be pretty popular at the moment, or so says this poll by Saint Leo Uiversity. Scott’s favorables are over 60%, and the poll also finds him leading incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) by 10 (!) points. The undecided number in the poll is high, and we still have eleven months until the 2018 general election, but this has to be putting a smile on Scott’s face.

UT-Sen: I’m not quite sure why, but the country’s clumsiest political puppetmaster is contemplating backing Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) for another term against a nascent bid by former Presidential nominee and business wizard Mitt Romney (R). This might make sense, since Hatch has been instrumental in shepherding the tax reform package, except that he was looking to retire. I have to assume that Bannon is just trying to block Romney, but that seems somewhat risky in Romney-loving, Trump-disliking Utah. It seems risky for Hatch’s legacy as well. We’ll have to see how this one plays out over the next few months to get a clearer picture.

Trump Districts: Politico runs down the Democrats in Trump districts who are therefore vulnerable next year, and it’s a decent summation. I’ll just add that if there’s a Democratic wave, most of them should survive to be absolutely slaughtered a few cycles from now. The only district that I’m fairly sure will fall is the open MN-01.

MI-09: With the retirement of long-serving Rep. Sander Levin (D) over the weekend, speculation now turns to who will run to succeed him. Sander’s son Andy (D) is thought to be mulling a run, as is State Sen. Steve Bieda (D). On the Republican side of things, no major candidates are getting serious mentions yet. The district, based in the inner northern suburbs of Detroit, moved into theoretically competitive territory in 2016. However, Demorats are likely to hold onto it in 2018 and it may get eliminated in a few cycles due to reapportionment.

NV-04: One of Rep. Ruben Kihuen’s (D) former campaign workers has accused him of sexual harassment. The way things are going with allegations lately, this could see his northern Clark County-based district open up in 2018. Kihuen beat former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) last year by four points. Hardy was once thought to be a probable one-term wonder wave baby, but the district actually moved two points rightward in 2018. A return to Congress for the Man from Mesquite no longer looks impossible, though the Democratic nominee should be favored.

TX-27: Rep. Blake Farenthold (R), he of the infamous footy pajamas photo, has been unmasked as the subject of a sexual harassment claim by a staffer that ended in an $84k settlement. This may boost the campaign of his primary challenger Michael Cloud (R), or it may attract more challengers.


AR-Gov: Well, Arkansas Democrats, once dominant in the Natural State, just can’t seem to catch a break. Not only have they lost both Senate seats, all four House seats, all statewide offices, and both chambers of the legislature, but now they’re even struggling to field a candidate for Governor. It had looked for a few days like they’d found one, but former State Rep. Jay Martin (D) has now taken his name out of consideration. I’m sure that someone will eventually file for the race, but it has to be embarrassing to put a name out publicly and then have that person publicly decline. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) will likely cruise to reelection with little opposition.

FL-Gov: The battle lines in the Sunshine State’s Democratic gubernatorial primary are finally starting to take shape. Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine (D) seems to have decided to take the corporate Democratic approach to raising the minimum wage, calling for regional differences in how much the wage is increased. Stay tuned for more differences appearing among the candidates as they jockey for different factions of the primary electorate.


Aurora City Council: After a recount for a hotly-contested at-large seat on the Aurora, CO (pop. 325,000) city council, it appears that the more conservative candidate has won by 45 votes. However, it’s worth noting that progressives captured several seats on the once-red-but-now-blue city’s nonpartisan city council.

Political Roundup for October 17, 2017

First, there is a single legislative special today. MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk is a D+5 (2016) seat stretching from Seekonk in suburban Providence to Medfield in Boston’s southwest suburbs. Foxborough councilman and Sanders campaign staffer Paul Feeney (D) is facing off with legislative staffer Jacob Ventura (R) and retired investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve (I), a former DINO who has high name recognition. Due to the lean of the seat and the energized D base, Feeney looks like a moderate favorite, but with three credible candidates this race could theoretically go any way.

Now, onto the news!


Tax-returns: Governor Jerry Brown (Sane D-CA) has vetoed a bit of legislation that would force Presidential candidates to submit their tax returns to the public to appear on the ballot in the state. Brown rightly pointed out that this could easily set precedence for states requiring far more revealing things to be made public, and that individual states should not be able to regulate federal elections in this way. Expect the next CA Governor to not be as reasonable when it comes to finding petty ways to snipe at Trump.

Trump-Approval: An Emerson poll has Trump doing . . . pretty well for Trump, sitting at a 44/50 approval rating. They also polled 2020 match-ups, and found Biden ahead of Trump by around 10 points, but Warren effectively tied with him.

2020: Tulsi Gabbard has been spotted making the rounds in Iowa. At a recent Iowa Democrats campaign event, both Gabbard and Rep. John Delaney (who has already announced a run) talked in vaguely positive platitudes about coming together as a country, in what is probably a dry run for a possible 2020 campaign message. Honestly, both are probably far too centrist to actually win a national D primary these days, but Gabbard has such an astoundingly odd political profile that I kind of want her to run regardless, just to see what happens.


AR-Sen: There are rumors flying that Senator Tom Cotton (R) might be tapped as the next director of the CIA. This is a curious prospect, as Cotton is widely expected to have his sights set firmly on the presidency, and a job in the Trump Administration seems like a less useful stepping stone towards that than just staying on as a 2+ term Senator in uber-safe Arkansas. We’ll have to see, though with some of the other stories coming out today the NRSC might not want to defend even more unexpectedly open seats in 2018.

CA-36: The GOP has another candidate running for the chance to take on 3-term Democrat Raul Ruiz in this Eastern-Riverside-County seat. Republican Dan Ball, a local news anchor, announced his run yesterday. He joins Actress Kimberlain Brown in the race for the second slot to Ruiz in California’s top-2 system, but Ruiz has beaten tougher opponents than both of them in worse years than 2018 is shaping out to be, so he’s probably still secure.

FL-27: Well this is . . . unexpected. Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera (R), one of the GOP candidates running to succeed retiring Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) in this Cuban seat covering most of Miami, has stated that she believes she was abducted by aliens when she was 7. Needless to say, this does not bode well for her chances in what is easily the Democrat’s best 2018 flip target, even assuming she makes it out of the Cuban Machine primary.

MI-9: Sandy Levin (D) is still apparently undecided on whether or not he wants to run for re-election to his Suburban Detroit seat. While Levin is probably safe if he runs again in this rapidly diversifying seat covering Upscale-Yuppie Liberals in Southeastern Oakland County and Union Dems in Southern Macomb County, the GOP could realistically make a play for an open seat that moved quite a bit towards Trump last year.

MI-11: Kerry Bentivolio, a man who is either the most or second-most accidental Congressman ever depending on where you put Joseph Cao on the list, is running for this seat again as a Republican. Bentivolio has been a perennial candidate even before accidentally being the only guy left on the ticket in 2012 after the McCotter fiasco, and is probably not going to be a serious threat to win this seat again as several other Republicans are running and more may get in the race. Rep. David Trott (R) is retiring.

MS-Sen: Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), no stranger to health scares, will apparently be unable to make back to Washington due to health concerns. This robs the Senate GOP of a crucial vote needed to pass their tax reform plan (not to mention the chair of the Senate Appropriations committee), and also raises the increasingly likely possibility that Cochran will be unable to serve out the remainder of his term, opening up another GOP seat that the party will have to play defense in. Expect Cochran’s 2014 primary opponent Chris McDaniels—who is already making noise about primarying Mississippi’s other Republican Senator—to jump at the easier chance to make it into the Senate after losing a nail bitter back in 2014.

NJ-Sen: Despite a brief indication to the contrary, all of the corruption and bribery charges against Senator Menendez (D-NJ) are going to trial. Given that its more or less an open secret that he is guilty, this means that it is possible that Lame-duck GOP Governor Chris Christie will get to appoint his successor, if only for a few months. Given that Christie is in full-on IDGAF mode after being spurned by Trump, no one has any idea who he would appoint or why.

TN-Sen: Former Governor Phil Bredesen (D), last seen winning a landslide re-election in normally blood-red Tennessee in 2006, is considering running for the now-open Senate seat. Bresden is pretty much the only Democrat who could make a race in what is arguably the most reliably Republican state East of the Mississippi, but is probably going to suffer the same fate that Bill Weld did in Massachusetts when he tried to transform “Popular Moderate opposite-party Governor” into a Senate career—Federal Politics give individuals much less room to maneuver personally than state-level ones. Given that Tennessee has only gotten redder since Bresden retired in 2010, this race is probably Likely R at worst for the GOP, even if he does run.


Calgary-Mayor: Incumbent Naheed Nenshi, who made waves in 2010 as the first Muslim to win mayorship of a major Western city, has won re-election narrowly over former Progressive-Conservative party leader Bill Smith. Nenshi is famous for coming out of nowhere with his oddly post-partisan and social-media-based “Purple Campaign” in 2010, and has governed as an eccentric centrist since then. He coasted to re-election with 73% of the vote in 2013 (the mayoral terms were extended from 3 years to 4 during his tenure), but faced a stiff challenge this year from Smith, who was benefiting from a change-focused campaign in a city hit hard by falling oil prices. If you ever wanted to know what a Muslim, Centrist Obama would look like, Nenshi is probably your guy.

Immigration: The Census Bureau has released updated and detailed numbers about America’s Immigrants. We’re well on our way to passing the previous-high of 14.7% of Americans having been born in a foreign country, and are expected to hit that number sometime in the early 2020s. Of note is that America’s Immigrants are diversifying rapidly, with immigration from Mexico slowing, but being more than made up for by surges from medium and smaller-sized countries like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Burma, Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya. We’ve gotten almost an entire Congressional district’s worth of new Immigration from China and India each since 2010, and we’re on track to have gotten one from non-Mexican Latin America, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 as well.

Quebec: Quebec’s government has revived an effort to require women’s faces to be uncovered to use public services, such as riding a bus. The move is stated to be a part of Quebec PM’s Couillard’s effort to enforce the “neutrality of the state” in religious affairs, but is being widely panned as a naked pandering to Quebecois’ anti-Muslim tendencies.

RRH Elections 2016 General Election Preview Series, Part 10: Senate Races

Today we finish off our Preview Series with the 34 US Senate races. We will have a final ratings update tomorrow.

Here is the full schedule:

Part 1: Northeast Legislatures
Part 2: Midwest Legislatures
Part 3: Sunbelt Legislatures
Part 4: Western Legislatures
Part 5: Local Elections and Public Service Commissioners
Part 6: Western House Races
Part 7: Eastern House Races
Part 8: Western Governor and Row Officer Races
Part 9: Eastern Governor and Row Officer Races
Part 10 (Friday, November 4): Senate Races

Continue Reading

Afternoon Polling Roundup for October 25, 2016

President (National)

CNN/ORC – Clinton 49, Trump 44, Johnson 3, Stein 2

NBCNews/Survey Monkey –  Clinton 46, Trump 41, Johnson 7, Stein 3

Stress – Is this election stressing you?  Personally I am having a good ole time as it is proving many of my lowly  assumptions of humanity true.

President (States)

Monmouth (AZ) – Trump 46, Clinton 45, Johnson 4, Stein 1

TB&P Hendrix College (AR) – Trump 56, Clinton 33

Fox2/Mitchell (MI) – Clinton 49, Trump 41, Johnson 3, Stein 1

NYTimes/Siena (NC) – Clinton 46 Trump 39

Emerson College (ID) – Trump 52% Clinton 23% McMullin 10%, 9% Undecided, Johnson 4% and Someone else 1%


UMass (NH) – Ayotte 46 Hassan 43

Monmouth (AZ) – McCain 52, Kirkpatrick 42

TB&P Hendrix College (AR) – Boozman 52, Eldridge 34

Emerson College (ID) – Crapo 57% Sturgill 24%

Afternoon Polling Roundup for September 28, 2016


Online post debate polls: It seems pretty clear that Donald Trump supporters were trying to rig unscientific online post debate polls in an effort to create a false narrative that Trump had won the first presidential debate on Monday night. The efforts originated from users of the pro-Trump Reddit communityr/The_Donald and 4chan messaged boards, which bombarded around 70 polls, including those launched by Time, Fortune, and CNBC. This is why only an idiot who knows nothing about polling and politics would put credence in these kind of unscientific surveys which explains why Donald Trump Tweeted a “Thank You” for winning the CNBC online poll.

Morning Consult: Clinton 41 percent, Donald Trump 38 percent, Gary Johnson 8 percent andJill Stein 4 percent. Before the debate, Trump had a 1-point lead in this poll.

Quinnipiac: Hillary 44 percent, Trump 43 percent, Johnson 8 percent and Stein 2 percent

Echelon Insights: Their post-debate poll conducted 9/26-27 has Clinton 45% to Trump 40% in a head to head and Clinton 41% Trump 36% Johnson 7% Stein 3% McMullin 2%

Reuters/Ipsos: Clinton picked up 5 points since their pre-debate poll and now leads a 4-way race with 42% to Trump 38%, Johnson 7%, Stein 2%. Hillary leads a head to head match up with Trump by 6 points 44% to 38%.

Deplorables: A newABC News/Washington Post poll shows that nearly 40 percent of Donald Trump‘s supporters think minorities have too much influence in society while 53% of Clinton voters believe whites have too much influence in society.

President-States & Senate:

AR-Sen: TalkBusiness has Sen. John Boozman (R) leading ex-US Attorney Conner Eldridge (D) 55% to 29%.

MI-Pres: Clinton 46%, Trump 41%, Johnson 8% conducted by Target Insyght for multi-client firm Governmental Consultant Services, Inc. (GCSI) and MIRS. 

VA-Sen ’17: Virginia Democrats prefer that Rep. Bobby Scott (D) to take over the Senate seat of Tim Kaine becomes Vice President. The Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy poll found that 26 percent of likely Democratic voters in the state would prefer that Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe appoint Scott to take over the seat until a special election in 2017. Rep. Don Beyer (D) was the choice of 9 percent and 26 percent said they were undecided.


AZ-1: A Democrat internal for the DCCC by Global Strategies Group has Democrat Tom O’Halleran leading Republican Paul Babeu 45% to 38%.

FL-26: Do you like salt with your polls? An internal poll from dildo connoisseur former Rep Joe Garcia (D) show him leading incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) by 1 point 47% to 46%.

IA-1: Loras College has Republican Rep. Rod Blum doing very well with 45% and Democrat Monica Vernon 38%

IA-3: Loras also has Republican Rep. David Young 46% and Democrat Jim Mowrer 36%

NY-19: Siena College poll has Republican John Faso 43 Percent, and nutjob Zephyr Teachout 42 Percent

State, Local & Other:

MA-Gov ’18: Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has a 63% approval rating and would lead Rep. Katherine Clark 39%-24%; Newton Mayor Setti Warren 40%-17%; Attorney General Maura Healey 43%-25% Boston Mayor Martin Walsh 37%-28%; and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton 39%-21%. Rep Joe Kennedy III polls the best and would tie Baker with 33% a piece.

Richmond, VA- Mayor: Joe Morrissey 29%- Jack Berry 25% – Michelle Mosby 7% – Jon Baliles 12% – Levar Stoney 14%.

AR-Marijuana Legalization: The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment appears on track for passing with 49% of voters saying they intend to vote for it with 43% against, while the competing  Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act has 53% opposed and 36% supporting it.

MA-Ballot Props: A UMass Amherst/WBZ poll of the Massachusetts ballot propositions has Question 4 which would legalize and regulate the use, possession and sale of marijuana for people aged 21 and older on track for passing with 53% for it and only 40% opposed. Question 2, which would allow state education officials to approve up to 12 new charter schools, has 49% for and 39% against. Question 3, which would restrict farm animal confinement and require eggs sold in Massachusetts to come from hens that have ample room to move around, has 75% for and 14% against. Question 1, which would authorize an additional slot parlor license in the state, has 44% in favor, 35% against and 22% unsure.


Political Roundup for June 28, 2016

Please remember to check back at 7p ET tonight for our liveblog of tonight’s primary results. And if you haven’t read our previews of what to watch today, check them out now!

A technical note: The site may experience minor interruptions at some point after 11PM ET tonight as our web hosting company is updating its servers; they expect the downtime will be under 5 minutes.


Priorities USA: The Democratic SuperPAC has released a hard-hitting ad with a young cancer survivor slamming Trump’s mocking of a reporter’s disability.

Generic Ballot: NBC/WSJ has the generic congressional ballot tied 46-46. Dems had a 20-point advantage at this point in 2008.


AR-Sen: TalkBusiness has a poll with Sen. John Boozman (R) leading ex-US Attorney Conner Eldridge (D) by a 51-29 margin.

NV-Sen: The Koch Network is spending big on a new ad hitting ex-AG Catherine Cortez-Masto (D) on her work to eliminate Uber Ride-Sharing in the state. Cortez-Masto faces Rep. Joe Heck (R) in one of the nation’s hottest Senate races.


AZ-1: State Sen. Carlyle Begay (R), who switched parties from D to R to run for this seat, is dropping out of this race and endorsing Pinal Sheriff Paul Babeu (R). Babeu still faces State House Speaker David Gowan (R), ex-SoS Ken Bennett (R), and 2014 candidates Gary Kiehne (R) and Wendy Rogers (R). The primary winner will face R-turned-D ex-State Sen. Tom O’Halleran (D).

GA-3: Outgoing Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) has backed West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson (R) to succeed him. Ferguson has coalesced most establishment support for his July 26th runoff against antiestablishment-friendly State Sen. Mike Crane (R), who has the backing of the Club for Growth.

KS-1: An internal poll for physician Roger Marshall (R) shows Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) leading Marshall just 42-41; salt to taste, of course. Marshall has significant establishment support against the very antiestablishment-leaning Huelskamp but has faced questions over a 2008 conviction for attempting to run over a neighbor.

ME-2: A Portland Press-Herald Poll shows Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) holding just a 41-40 lead over his 2014 rival, ex-State Sen. Emily Cain (D). However, the sample size is only 224, which is well below the minimum generally considered best practices.

NY-19: Ahead of today’s primary, Siena gives ex-State Rep. John Faso (R) and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout (D) large leads in their respective primaries for this swing seat. Faso and Teachout face businessman Andrew Heaney (R) and Livingston Twp. councilman Will Yandik (D) respectively.

WATN: 70s/80s-era DC Delegate Walter Fauntroy (D) was arrested yesterday after returning to the country after 4 years as a fugitive. Fauntroy, who was previously convicted of a felony in connection with the House Bank Scandal, had fled to the UAE after passing bad checks for a 2009 event he organized.

NC-Redistrict: In a curious decision, SCOTUS has agreed to take up the question of whether North Carolina’s 2011 congressional redistricting plan is an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. The 2011 plan was struck down and has now been replaced by a cleaner map that preserves the map’s 10R-3D lean. As it seems unlikely NC would disrupt the districts again and switch back to the 2011 map for no partisan advantage, the value of this case is probably solely for precedent-setting.

Governor, State, & Local:

WATN: The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated the bribery conviction of ex-VA Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). The decision sets a new legal precedent for public corruption cases – to make a long story short, it says that a public official trading their influence and reputation for gifts (as McDonnell did with nutritional supplement maker Johnnie Williams) isn’t illegal, but trading official actions is. Needless to say, McDonnell’s political career remains totally dead from this scandal.

AR-SoS ’18: Two Republicans have decided to get a jump on the 2018 cycle; Lands Commissioner John Thurston (R) has announced a bid for SoS when current incumbent Mark Martin (R) is termed out, and Martin’s deputy Joseph Wood (R) has announced he will face Thurston in a primary.

Los Angeles-Mayor ’17: Charter school executive Steve Barr (D) has announced he will challenge LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) for re-election when the seat come sup in Spring 2017.


UK Conservatives Leadership: Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to run for Conservative Party Leader (and thus Prime Minister). May, who tepidly backed the Remain side in Brexit, is likely to be the main opposition to Boris Johnson for the post.

UK Labor: Labor MPs are considering bolting to form a new party after being unable to oust leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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