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Political Roundup for April 27, 2017

It’s a Thursday and election day, so as you might guess that means it’s time to go to Tennessee. TN-LD-95 is an R+28 (2012) seat around Collierville in the southeast Memphis suburbs. Seven Republicans are running for this seat: Collierville councilman Billy Patton (R), Germantown councilman Frank Uhlhorn (R), school board member Kevin Vaughan (R), nonprofit exec Missy Marshall (R), salesman Curtis Loynachan (R), and attorneys Joseph Crone (R) and Gail Horner (R). Patton looks like the slight front-runner but any of the others could surprise. The primary winner will be favored over a Some Dude D in the general. Now the rest of the day’s news:


AL-Sen: Two staunch social conservatives have joined the race to take on Sen. Luther Strange (R). Most prominent among them is former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), who announced yesterday he would enter the race and now looks like the favorite to advance to a runoff with Strange barring the entry of another high-profile candidate. Joining Moore in entering the race in the last few days is gastroenterologist Randy Brinson (R), head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. State Rep. Ed Henry (R) was already in the race. No Dems have as of yet expressed interest in this seat, but the prospect of facing the polarizing Moore may make the race more enticing.

NV-Sen/Gov: Well, this was unexpected. Steve Cloobeck (D), a wealthy Dem donor who has been widely considered a likely gubernatorial candidate, will endorse Sen. Dean Heller’s (R) bid for re-election. Needless to say, we can cross Cloobeck’s name off the list of Senate candidates, and this might mean he is unlikely to run for Gov as well (at least not if he intends to win a primary.)

More NV-Sen: One person for whom Cloobeck’s endorsement might be unwelcome news is ex-State Treasurer Kate Marshall (D), who just announced she is considering a run against Heller. Marshall lost a 2014 run for SoS to now-SoS Barbara Cegavske (R) in the 2014 wave. While Marshall’s 2014 loss will likely not be held against her by Dems given their wipeout in the state that year, she also underperformed in her 2011 special election run for NV-2. Thus, Marshall is probably not their first choice for arguably their best pickup opportunity; many other Dems are considering but none as of yet seem particularly serious about it.


AL-Gov: Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) is considering a run for Governor. Considered a rising star on AL’s very thin Dem bench, Maddox could face State Rep. Craig Ford (D) and ex-State Supreme Court justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) in the primary. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not announced whether she will seek a full term after ascending to the top job a few weeks ago.

More AL-Gov: Former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville (R) will not run for Governor after all. Tuberville was seen as likely to enter the contest before Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned and LG Kay Ivey (R) was elevated to the top spot. There is no word as of yet on the plans of the other candidate widely seen as a lock to run, PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R). Many other Republicans seem to be waiting out Ivey’s decision.

CO-Gov: Investment Banker Doug Robinson (R), Mitt Romney’s nephew, is running for Governor, and plans to self-fund his bid. Robinson joins Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R) and self-funding ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R) in the primary. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R), interestingly a relative of the Bush family, is also considered likely to enter. Democrats will choose between Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), ex-State Treasurer Cary Kennedy (D), and bold progressive State Sen. Mike Johnston (D).

GA-Gov: State Sen. Hunter Hill (R), who represents a wealthy Atlanta-based seat, is running for Governor, joining two candidates better-known statewide, LG Casey Cagle (R) and SoS Brian Kemp (R), in the primary. Hill seems to be making school choice his signature issue. Ex-Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R) and Jack Kingston (R) and multiple Dems, including State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) and Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (D), are considering runs.

IL-Gov: Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers (D) will not run for Governor, instead endorsing wealthy businessman and 1998 IL-9 candidate JB Pritzker (D) in the race to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). State Sen. Daniel Biss (D), Heir Force Maj. Chris Kennedy (D), local superintendent Bob Daiber (D), and Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D) are also in the race.

MD-Gov: Hillary advisor Alec Ross (D) is the first Democrat to announce a run against Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Ross seems very “C” list, but about a half-dozen other Dems of various profile levels are considering runs against the popular Hogan in the very blue state.

OK-Gov: Former US Attorney Gary Richardson (R), who ran for Governor in 2002 as an Indie and likely tilted the race to Brad Henry (D), is running for Governor again in 2018 as a Republican. LG Todd Lamb (R) and State Auditor Gary Jones (R) are also considering the race; Democrats will likely nominate State Rep. Scott Inman (D) over ex-State Sen. and 2014 US Senate nominee Connie Johnson (D).

TN-Gov: Businessman Bill Lee (R) is entering the race for Governor, joining Haslam admin official Randy Boyd (R), another wealthy businessman. Many other Republicans are considering the race, while ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) is in the contest on the Dem side.

VA-Gov: Prince William CE Corey Stewart (R) compared workers removing a statue in New Orleans to ISIS last week. What did the statue commemorate? A paramilitary action in 1874 to overthrow the state’s democratically-elected, biracial, Republican government. Stewart is trying to cast himself as the antiestablishment choice in this primary with ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) and State Sen. Frank Wagner (R).


CA-22: Prosecutor Andrew Janz (D) is running against Rep. Devin Nunes (R) in this R+6 Fresno-area seat (that will likely be more GOP-friendly in a midterm with lower Hispanic turnout). Given Nunes’s newfound high profile Janz could wind up easily becoming a prodigous fundraiser.

GA-6: The GOP SuperPAC Congressional Leadership Fund is dumping another $3.5M into this race, $2.5M on TV and $1M on various ground-game, online, and mail efforts. The race between ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) and congressional staffer Jon Ossoff (D) is on track to be the most expensive House contest ever.

IL-13: State Rep. Carol Ammons (D), a liberal who represents central Champaign, has opened up a committee to explore a run against Rep. Rodney Davis (R). This Champaign/Springfield area seat was drawn to be swingy, but has trended right in the past few years, and Davis has proven a strong incumbent.

IA-3: Sanders campaign staffer Pete D’Allesandro (D) is running against Rep. David Young (R) for this light-red Des Moines area seat. Democrats’ are back to square one in recruitment for this race after businessman and 2016 candidate Mike Sherzan (D) abruptly aborted his campaign a few weeks ago.

MT-AL: In the “disturbing mental images” portion of the roundup, musician Rob Quist (D) apparently was a regular performer at an Idaho nudist resort. Quist even made performances during a time when he said he was unable to work because of gallbladder surgery. Quist is the underdog to 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R) in the special election four weeks from today.

PA-10: Teachers’ Union official Mark McDade (D) is running in the special election for the seat of Rep. Tom Marino (R), who is set to resign to become Drug Czar. McDade is basically a Some Dude, but he has the same last name as ex-Rep. Joe McDade (R), who represented a prior form of this Scranton-area district from 1962 to 1998. Many, many Republicans are considering runs for this deep-red seat.

State & Local:

NYC-Mayor: Councilman Eric Ulrich (R), one of three Republicans on the council and the only one from outside Staten Island, has endorsed in the race for NYC Mayor. But surprisingly, Ulrich isn’t backing either of the main Republican candidates, developer Paul Massey (R) or State Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R). Instead, Ulrich is backing celebrity detective and former Arby’s pitchman Bo Dietl (I), who is attempting to run on the GOP line after an unsuccessful attempt to get traction against Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) in the Dem primary. As you might expect, getting the support of 3/5 borough chairs needed to run as a non-Republican in the GOP primary will be tough for Dietl.

CT-Treas: If Connecticut’s Democratic Row Officers aren’t considering the Governor’s race, they’re certainly being shoved in that direction by those seeking to climb the ladder behind them. State Rep. William Tong (D) is considering a run for State Treasurer if five-term incumbent Denise Nappier (D) retires or runs for Governor; he joins a fellow legislator openly considering a run for SoS if that incumbent leaves. As of now, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), Gov. Dan Malloy cabinet official Jonathan Harris (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) are the only Dems in the race.

IN-Supt: The state legislature, after multiple failed attempts, has passed a bill to turn the State Superintendent from an elected to an appointed position; the bill now goes to Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), who is the seventh consecutive governor to advocate the idea. The bill would allow for incumbent Jennifer McCormick (R) to seek one final term in 2020 and transfer the office to appointed status come 2024, when McCormick would have termed out anyway. Republicans’ urgency to support the measure has gone up in the last few years because of prolonged feuding between then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) and then-Superintendent Glenda Ritz (D).

NV-AG: AG Adam Laxalt’s (R) top deputy, ex-State Rep. Wes Duncan (R), will run for his boss’s job if Laxalt does not seek a second term in 2018. Duncan seems to be a strong candidate; an Iraq veteran who won his State House seat in an upset in 2012, he was on the shortlist to be Speaker before his departure to join Laxalt’s office. For his part, Laxalt is widely considered near-certain to run for Governor; Duncan is the first candidate on either side to express interest in the AG seat.

Buffalo-Mayor: County commissioner Betty Jean Grant (D) will run for Mayor. Grant, a liberal with some maverick tendencies, could take black votes away from establishment-liberal incumbent Byron Brown (D), and thus possibly help his main challenger, mavericky City Comptroller Mark Schroeder (D).

NY-Nassau-CE: Ex-State Sen. and 2016 NY-3 nominee Jack Martins (R) will run for Nassau County Executive, hoping to push aside indicted incumbent Ed Mangano (R). Martins is expected to secure the backing of the county machine, but Mangano has not definitively said he will step aside. State Rep. Charles Lavine (D), county commissioner Laura Curran (D), and party-switching county Comptroller George Maragos (D) are in this year’s race on the Dem side.

Political Roundup for April 26, 2017

Hello, again, from my safe space: a Metro-North quiet car barrelling through a string of leafy, Wall Street Journal-reading, Romney-won Super ZIPs. 2012 lives on in my heart.

Anyway, from last night:
SC-SD-3: Richard Cash (R) wins the runoff 54-46.
CT-LD-7: Joshua Hall (D running on WFP line) wins.
CT-LD-68: Joe Poletta (R) wins with 78%.


State Trends: According to RCP, 2016 ACS data suggests that purple suburbs will be the future’s most important electoral battlegrounds.

Social Classes and Politics: If you needed any further signals of the future of our partisan coalitions, look no further. Whereas most college-educated Americans see the political climate as a tremendous threat to the economy, only 1/5 of Americans with a high school diploma or less agree.

Democrats:  According to Politico, while Democrats have seen a yuge burst in enthusiasm in the Trump era, they currently lack the infrastructure and organization to channel that into electoral success.

Labor: Six years after Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered its biggest defeat since the Wagner Act, organized labor is cozying up to… Republican President Donald Trump.


Democratic House Recruitment: Cardboard and marker manufacturers be damned, 408 Democrats have already decided to take a break from bitching over brunch and run for Congress.

CA-39: Long-term Rep. Ed Royce (R), one of 23 Republicans sitting in a Clinton-won district, will be challenged in 2018 by former Cal State Fullerton Chemistry Professor Phil Janowicz (D). While Janowicz is certainly a C-list candidate, then-Cornell College Political Science Professor Dave Loebsack earned laughter when he challenged popular IA Rep. Jim Leach in 2006.

GA-06: An estimated 15-20% of 2016 GA-06 Republican presidential primary voters who voted in round one chose Democrat Jon Ossoff, but, of course, all is, and forever will be, well in TX-07, TX-32, VA-10…

GA-06 (2): In a risky move ahead of an election in a twice-divided district, President Trump will headline an Atlanta Karen Handel (R) fundraiser—just a mile-and-a-half down the street from GA-06.

TX-23: To learn about a Republican Congressman doing things well, read this puff piece about Rep. Will Hurd.

VA-10: First Lady McAwful (D) may challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R).

State & Local:

PA-Gov: State Sen. Scott Wagner’s internal polling shows him with a large lead in the GOP primary over State Rep. Mike Turzai (R) and businessman Paul Mango (R), who has just told Republican officials that he will enter in May.

NYC-Mayor: Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R) has filed to run for Mayor. Half Greek, half Cuban, and from an Outer Borough, Malliotakis may resonate better with GOP primary voters than will Larchmont, Westchester County’s Paul Massey (R). Take this as a sign that John Catsimatidis (R), a Malliotakis friend, will not run again (although, now that I think of it, Catsimatidis running would be a pretty funny sight…).


Polarization: Damn lazy millennials and their social media! Wait… Challenging conventional wisdom, The Economist finds that political polarization has increased most among… the elderly.

Political Roundup for April 25th, 2017


Abortion: Tom Perez, newly-elected head of the DNC, has declared that Democrats are completely Pro-Choice and that the DNC will not support insufficient Pro-Choice candidates. Naturally, this has caused quite a bit of controversy given that Abortion cuts across political lines far more than you would expect (something like 25% of the Democrat’s voters are Pro-Life, and something similar for the GOP and Pro-Choice), and Nonwhite Democrats in particular are far less likely to support Abortion than White ones. While this probably won’t change many minds, it is a nice reminder of the state of chaos the Democrats are in post-Clintonpocalypse, and a marked departure from the Democrat’s famous 50-state strategy that won them the House in 2006.

Evan McMullin: The former Independent Conservative Presidential candidate is going to be running for . . . something. He hasn’t told us yet, and in fact I’m not sure he knows yet. McMullin probably needs to find some way to get donors to back him to help pay off his staggering debt from his presidential campaign, but the polls so far have him doing remarkably well in Utah. Honestly, I think we can probably cross Texas off as the Senate seat the Democrats need to win next year to flip the Senate, as there’s probably a better chance they pick up 2 in 2018 and McMullin beats Hatch to give the Democrats a 50-49 majority in the body.

Taxes: Trump’s big tax announcement coming Wednesday is apparently not going to be a finalized proposal, which isn’t coming until June. Given how much we mucked up Healthcare, I’d prefer going nice and slow and making sure everyone knows what we’re doing as opposed to the make-it-up-as-we-go-along of the AHCA.

Trump: Despite all the wailing of the media establishment, Trump voters are sticking with their guy. Only 2% regret their decision, and 96% say it was the right thing to do. People may not like Trump, but the still consider him preferable to the status quo, which is probably going to be the story of his Presidency.


GA-6: Nate Cohn has notice an unexpected trend here—Trump actually did reasonably well with the voters who were registered in the district before mid-2015, but got walloped with those who registered since then. He predicts Trump would have won this seat by 10.5% had he been facing the 2012 electorate. There are two ways to read this—the first is that the Atlanta Suburbs are exploding with new people, and once the 2020 census comes around we’re all going to be amazed at the fact that this was once a GOP district based on the demographics, or Trump brought a whole bunch of reluctant Dem voters out of the woodwork . . .but not quite enough for him to lose.

MI-1: The Democrats have a candidate for this seat, and this one is actually a Yooper! Dwight Brady, a professor at NMU, has announced he is running for this seat, which absolutely galloped towards Trump last year. No word on whether or not he’s sufficiently Pro-Choice to receive DNC funding yet.

NJ-5: This seat, which is the latest in the Republicans-should-never-have-lost-it-but-did-with-a-knucklehead-incumbent tradition of seats, is apparently going to see a major GOP primary for the right to take on freshmen incumbent Josh Gottheimer (D) in this Northern-Jersey seat. The candidates are State Committee Chairman Sam Raia and Bergen fundraiser Chuck Shotmeyer. Expect this to be a big $ affair, as this is the closest seat to Wall Street that can realistically elect a Republican.

NY-24: John Katko, 2-time winner of the “How on earth do you win by that much?” award for Congressional overperformance, has shot down rumors that he was planning to run for New York Attorney General. This is good for us, as he is currently tying down a light-blue Upstate seat that would be tough to defend in a Trump midterm.

PA-Sen: Jeff Bartos, a Republican from Lower Merion, has announced he is running for Senate against Dem incumbent Bob Casey Jr. Bartos is an interesting pick, given that he’s from one of the bluest parts of the state and been a Democrat supporter and donor as recently as 2012, and is running very much in the Fiscon mold in a Republican party this is clearly moving in the other direction. Besides, who’s ever heard of a real estate mogul from a super-blue upscale area who has a history of donating to and supporting Democrats winning Pennsylvania as a Republican? Can’t be done I tell you!

State & Local:

CO-Gov: Jared Polis, the 5-term Democrat from Boulder, is thinking about running for Governor. Polis, who is probably one of the nicest members of Congress and who has a history of pushing an unorthodox form of upscale Liberalism, would be a strong contender for Governor of Colorado, but he faces the obvious challenge of fellow Dem rep Ed Perlmutter, who has already announced and who is far closer to Generic D. If he does pull the trigger, expect the Teacher’s Unions to carpet-bomb his candidacy back to the stone age over his strong support of school choice.

MA-Gov: Former Democratic Lt. Gov candidate Robert Massie has announced he is running for Governor of the Bay State. Massie has a long history as a progressive activist in Massachusetts, but is probably most famous for being on the same ticket as Mark Roosevelt’s 1994 blowout loss to Bill Weld. Considering he is now running against an uber-popular moderate Republican incumbent Governor, he might be interested in repeating history. Let’s see if he can lose Boston to a Republican again!

MI-Gov: Lt. Governor Brian Calley has released a new soft-spoken ad where he talks about his daughter, and hinted at a major announcement late next month. The smart money’s on a run for Governor, though I guess he could be aiming to take on Stabenow for Senate as well, since Michigan is the only Trump state in the country without at least one Republican Senator.

NH-State-House: A New Hampshire State Rep has switched her party from the Democrats to the GOP. I’m sure her ~150 constituents are heartbroken.

VA-Gov: Elizabeth Warren has endorsed Tom Perriello for Governor, continuing the trend of the Democrat’s Left wing jumping behind Perriello as opposed to the more moderate and established Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. This race is shaping up to be the first conflict in the Democrat’s looming ideological battle, and will be interesting to watch to see if the normally well-disciplined Democrats are still willing to vote for their establishment-backed candidate over the Bold Progressive.


France-1: Here’s a nice interactive map of the 2017 1st round French election results.

France-2: Le Pen has made the startling and unexpected announcement that she is stepping down as leader of the Front National ahead of the May runoff election. Nominally this is to let her focus more on competing for the runoff, but might also be an attempt to distance herself from the incredible baggage associated with the FN name and try to give her candidacy a more independent-oriented flavor like Macron has done.

UK-1: UK pollsters have finally found a demographic that is supporting Labor over the Tories! Unfortunately for Corbyn, that demographic is seats that Labor won by more than 15% in 2015 . . .and they’re only up 11 points there. The same poll has Labor seats that were closer than 15% voting for the Tories by 17 points. Corbyn is going to have to pull off one hell of a miracle if he wants to avoid going down in history as the worst leader the Labor party has had since Ramsay MacDonald.

UK-2: A poll of Wales has come out, and it shows the Tories with a 10-point lead there, even though the Tories have literally never held the most seats in Wales since the founding of the Liberal Party in the mid-19th century. If this holds, it will probably result in the Tories taking a healthy majority of Wales’s 40 seats, and probably wiping Labor out of everything outside its ancestral home in the Welsh Coal Fields north of Cardiff.

Political Roundup for April 20, 2017

Polling Update: We want to poll the MT-AL special election! Now here’s the problem….Our poll of GA-6 in which we correctly predicted an Ossoff vs Handel runoff completely drained our coffers. Polling Montana is hard because it requires a live person. We estimate that doing a proper poll of Montana could cost $2,000 when all is said and done. But if you guys are up for it we are too! The MT-AL special election is on May 25th. That means we got time to try and raise enough. If we are unsuccessful in raising enough your donations will not go to waste because we will poll the GA-6 runoff and if the donations we get are super generous we will attempt to poll both races! So if you want to do it please go to and contribute today!


Cabinet: President Donald Trump’s choice for deputy secretary of commerce, Todd Ricketts, has withdrawn his nomination due to difficulties in untangling his financial holdings. Ricketts is a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs.


GA-Gov: Former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) has been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he would likely decide if he would run around July 4, but the early tea leaves are pointing to Westmoreland passing on a run for governor.

IL-Gov: Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers (D) said he will decided within the next two weeks whether he will enter the increasingly crowded Democrat primary for Governor. If Summers joins the race, he’ll be the only African-American candidate running in a primary filled with billionaires, heir force candidates and various local pols.

ME-Gov: Military veteran Adam Cote (D) announced he will run for governor. Cote lost the 2008 Democrat primary to now-Rep. Chellie Pingree by a 44% to 28% margin.

MN-Gov: Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman became the first Republican to enter the race for this open seat.  Huffman says he intents to abide by the endorsement of the Republican convention so their is a good chance he won’t be the party’s candidate as the field could get quite crowded. Other potential GOP contenders include House Speaker Kurt Daudt, state Rep. Matt Dean and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

NJ-Gov: Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno unveiled a proposal to slash New Jersey property taxes by $1.5 billion annually. Guadagno hopes to make her property tax cut plan one of the centerpieces of her gubernatorial campaign.

NY-Gov: How did New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) make $783,000 in royalties from a book that sold only 3,200 copies? The exorbitant payments came for News Corp’s HarperCollins division who published Cuomo’s very poorly selling (but highly profitable) book. If only Preet Bharara (who was investigating NewsCorp when he was fired by President Trump) was still around to get to the bottom of this…..

OH-Gov: State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D) has resigned as state Senate Minority Leader to concentrate on his campaign for governor. Senate Democrats have selected state Sen. Kenny Yuko (D) to replace Schiavoni as Senate Minority Leader.


AL-Sen: State Rep. Ed Henry (R), the lawmaker who started the impeachment proceedings against former Gov. Robert Bentley (R), announced he will run for U.S. Senate. Henry becomes the first Republican to officially enter the primary against appointed Senator Luther Strange. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, state Sen. Slade Blackwell, state Sen. Trip Pittman, former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., suspended state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and various member of the Alabama congressional delegation are all considering entering the GOP primary against Strange as well.

NM-Sen: Albuquerque construction company owner Mark Rich (R) has announced he will run for Senate against Sen. Martin Heinrich (D). Rich has never run for public office before but does have the ability to partially self finance his campaign.

TX-Sen: And the award for the worst poll of 2017 goes to…. Texas Lyceum! Their just released poll shows Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) edging out Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in a potential 2018 Senate matchup and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) tied with Cruz. Of course this is a poll of adults and Castro’s margin is 35% to 31% with a mere 34% undecided and O’Rourke is only tied 30% to 30% with 40% undecided. Junk polls like this are really nothing more than fundraising fodder for people like O’Rourke who are running long shot campaigns.

UT-Sen: Republican Derek Miller, the CEO of World Trade Center Utah and former chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert (R), said he’s thinking “very seriously” about running for Senate and expects to make a final decision in the fall. Miller has indicated that he would be willing to challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) in a primary but would step aside if Mitt Romney (R) decided to run.

UT-Sen: There is a good chance that the Democrat candidate for Senate in Utah in 2018 will not be a guy wearing a dress. Salt Lake County Council Member Jenny Wilson (D) filed paperwork to create an exploratory committee and launched a campaign website ahead of a potential challenge to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R).


GA-6: In the 24 hours after Star Wars aficionado Jon Ossoff (D) clinch a spot in the special election runoff the 30 year old embodiment of the hope of the #Resistance raised over $500,000. Like Ossoff himself the vast majority of this money comes from outside of the district. The DCCC is also going on the air with another $500,000 worth of ads.

IA-4: Internet psychic Kim Weaver (D) is coming back for another run against Rep. Steve King (R) in 2018. Weaver lost to King by more than 22 points in 2016 but maybe her tarot cards are telling her something about 2018 we don’t know.

OH-14: Twice failed independent candidate for local office Betsy Rader announced she will run for Congress as a Democrat against Rep. David Joyce (R). It is not often that someone turns a failed run for Russell Township trustee into a congressional career but Ms. Rader is hoping to break the mold!

MT-AL: The attempts by Democrats to make the upcoming special congressional election an all mail-ballot election have failed. Montana state house Republicans have killed a bill that would have required the election to be conducted entirely by mail and Montanans who want to vote will have to stand in line like a bunch of schnooks.

TX-32: Former NFL linebacker Colin Allred (D) has launched a campaign to unseat Rep. Pete Sessions (R). Allred played a few seasons with the Tennessee Titans from 2007 to 2010 where he was mostly a backup and special teams player.

UT-3: In case you missed it Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) has announced he is retiring from Congress at the end of this term. Evan McMullin (R) is reportedly considering running for this seat. No word yet on what Merrill Cook (R) and Enid Greene (R) intend to do.

State, Local & Other:

Boston-Mayor: Democrat Tito Jackson (no relation to Michael Jackson) has filed papers to begin collecting signatures to run for Mayor. Jackson is will be a heavy underdog to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) who is seeking re-election.

Cleveland-Mayor: Outspoken City Councilman Zack Reed (D) is entering this year’s mayoral race. Reed is best remembered for his DUI arrest a few years ago when he fell asleep on the steering wheel at a stop light. More than a dozen candidates have taken out nominating petitions for the race. Mayor Frank Jackson (D) announced in February that he will seek an unprecedented fourth, four-year term.

FL-SD 40: Here’s a hat tip to all politicians out there, it is probably not a good idea to use the N-word when talking about your colleagues in the state senate. Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R) is facing mounting pressure to resign for saying that Senate President Joe Negron (R) had only risen to his position of power because “six [n-word]” in the Republican caucus elected him. I’m not sure what’s worst Artiles blatant racism or the fact that Artiles seems to be a complete drunken idiot (although those two things are not mutually exclusive).

Fake News: We hate to link to Vox but this piece about how CNN treats politics like sports is well worth watching. The crux is CNN has turned their political coverage into reality TV theater and it is having a poisonous effect on our political discourse.

Political Roundup for April 19th, 2017

In case you missed it last night, Democrat John Ossoff got 48% of the vote in the GA-6 special election, narrowly missing the cutoff to win the seat outright. He will face Republican Karen Handel, who got 20%, in the runoff election in June. Now, onto today’s news!


Immigration: Trump is taking his first steps towards reforming America’s immigration system, specifically the H1-B system where companies can petition for specific immigrants to be granted access to the country to work for them. He issued an executive order today that is probably more symbolic than anything else, most likely because I doubt it’s possible for him to push anything through Congress that would actually reduce immigration.

North Korea: So, it seems like there was some confusion about that carrier group Trump claimed was heading up to the Korean Peninsula. I’m still not entirely clear what was happening here, but it does not help Trump’s negotiation stance that he’s apparently not up to date on where his own carriers are.


AL-Sen: With the date for the special election for this seat moved up (see story below), it looks like holder-of-the-most-badass-sounding-name-in-the-Senate Luther Strange is going to get a primary challenger. Strange hasn’t been able to shake accusations that he was appointed to this seat as a quid pro quo from former Governor Robert Bentley, who Strange was investigating at the time of his appointment. Strange’s prospective challenger, Del Marsh (Dammit Southerners, why do you guys get all the politicians with cool names?), is the current Senate Pro Tempore, and would be able to mount a serious challenge to Strange.

HI-2: Tulsi Gabbard, probably the most mavericky Democrat in Congress right now, has faced a lot of national blow-back over her Pro-Assad stances, including doubting whether or not he actually used chemical weapons on civilians. However, she is still gathering considerable support back home in her district, where she’s made quite a name for herself in her 4+ years in Congress.

MN-8: Stewart Mills, who came close to picking this seat up for the GOP in both 2014 and 2016, is considering making a 3rd run for the race. No word yet if he’s going to go back to his long-hair look for this attempt.

State & Local:

AL-Sen Special Election: Newly ascended Governor Kay Ivey has moved up the date of the special election for Alabama’s Senate seat to an August Primary and a December General. Former Governor Robert Bentley had scheduled it for election day 2018 in a curious yet legal move that created rumors that he was intentionally trying to help Senator Strange keep the office by dragging out the special for as long as possible. Oddly enough though, the dates selected are 1-week off of some important municipal elections in Alabama, so it’s curious why she picked those specific dates.

CO-Treasurer: State Rep. Justin Everett (R) has announced he is going to run for this open seat, setting up a competitive general election with fellow State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D). Everett is kicking off his campaign by promising to reform the state’s pension system.

KS-Treasurer: Governor Brownback has appointed Republican State Senator Jacob LaTurner to fill the now vacant post of State Treasurer after the previous officeholder, Ron Estes, won the recent KS-4 special election. LaTurner has been a reliable Brownback ally so this makes sense from a political perspective, but it also opens up his Senate Seat, and in the crazy world of KS primary politics that means that it could be filled by the sort of closet-progressive-running-as-a-“Republican” candidates that are surprisingly widespread in Kansas politics.

NY-Corruption: A former NYS county executive is being investigated for corruption (Debbie Preston, of Broome County). I’d make a joke about how in other news the Pope is Catholic, but honestly, the idea that Pope Francis is secretly an atheist out to destroy the Catholic Church from within is probably more likely than New York getting a handle on its corruption issues at this point.

VA-Fundraising #s: Blue Virginia has a nice rundown of the fundraising totals of most of the statewide and local candidates of note here.


UK-Election: I’ve hammered this point home for months, but it’s still kind of staggering to look at how bad the polls are for Labor. This ICM/Guardian poll released yesterday has the Tories up 48-23 on Labor, a popular-vote margin that is literally unprecedented in modern British polling. If Labor got every single LibDem and UKIP vote from this poll, they’d still be down 5 points to May’s Conservatives. This will be the first real test of the strength of Labor’s hold on its Northern White Working Class seats, which have historically provided the party with a large electoral “cushion” against poor poll numbers but who are the exact profile of the places that voted for Labor in 2015 and Leave in 2016, so we’ll see if May’s more Populist-flavored Conservatism can win them over.

GA-6 Special Election Preview

Thanks again to Jon Henrik Gilhuus for his help with the pictures!

Tomorrow the first round of the year’s most-watched House Special election will take place. At stake is GA-6, an R+2 (2016) seat in the northern Atlanta suburbs. The seat covers the wealthy eastern quarter of Cobb County east of I-75, wealthy suburbs of Fulton County north of the Perimeter (which also have some isolated lower-middle-class minority pockets) and the northern quarter of DeKalb County, which is a mixture of upper-middle-class suburbs bisected by a corridor of poor, heavily Hispanic slumburbs along I-85. This was once Newt’s seat and the most Republican in Georgia (a prior version of this seat was a GOP vote sink as recently as the 90s) but it trended hard-left last year, and that has led Democrats to go all-in on this race in looking for a way to defeat Trump. Polls close at 7p ET and we will be liveblogging. If you haven’t seen our poll of the race from last week, now is the time to check it out. Five Democrats and eleven Republicans are running.

Jon Ossoff

The clear front-runner in the first round is former congressional staffer Jon Ossoff (D). Ossoff has coalesced national liberal support and raised a ridiculous amount for this race from national liberal donors. He is running a stridently anti-Trump campaign and seeking to cast himself as the vanguard of the bold progressive “Resistance.” However, his incredibly thin resume, which consists of a low-level staffing job with five months of security clearance and running a small video production company, and his stridently anti-Trump liberal campaign limit his ability to take crossover support. While he received essentially unanimous Dem support in the poll, his crossover support was non-existent. As a result, he is certain to finish in first, but according to our and other recent polls, he is likely to finish well below 50%, probably somewhere around the 40% mark. Ex-State Sen. Ron Slotin (D) is the other Democrat of note in the race. Slotin served two terms in the State Senate in the early 90s before launching an unsuccessful primary run for GA-4 in 1996. Slotin was initially considered a credible candidate for this race before he got eclipsed by the Ossoff hypestorm, but he may still draw a couple points from more moderate Dems turned off by Ossoff’s thin resume. Three Democratic Some Dudes are also in the race and may draw a point or two between them.

Karen Handel

On the GOP side, the field is far more crowded with four candidates all having a chance to come in second. That said, ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) looks like the most likely to advance. Handel is well-known from a long political career, including as Fulton County Exec, a term as SoS in the 2000s, and runs for Governor in 2010 and Senate in 2014. Handel is a fairly typical suburban conservative – fiscally conservative and socially a mainstream conservative. Owing to her strong name recognition and base in Fulton County (nearly half the district), she has taken a narrow lead for second in our poll and was a more comfortable second in some other recent polling. She has also received some establishment support, including an endorsement and ad from ex-Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).

Bob Gray

Handel looks likely to finish in the high teens and have the best chance to advance, but there are three other candidates tightly bunched right behind her in the low teens. Johns Creek councilman Bob Gray (R) has turned into a surprisingly strong contender, thanks to significant self-funding and a campaign as the most unapologetic Trumpist in the field. Strangely for someone embracing Trump so tightly, Gray has also been backed by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.

Dan Moody

Ex-State Sen. Dan Moody (R) has by far the most cash of the field thanks to $2M in self-funding. He has been running as a fairly typical Chamber-of-Commerce conservative and has the support of Sen. David Perdue (R), who Moody helped recruit campaign workers for in 2014. Moody also helped recruit people for the successful campaigns of former Governor Sonny Perdue (cousin of the Senator), and several of the Perdues’ campaign people have returned the favor to work for Moody this spring.

Judson Hill

State Sen. Judson Hill (R) is also a Chamber-of-Commerce conservative and has the support of Newt, as well as a strong base in the wealthy, heavily Republican, and high-turnout Cobb County portion of the district. All of Gray, Moody, and Hill were tightly behind Handel in our poll, and each could have a chance to upset her for second.

The other seven GOP candidates look to have no chance to advance, but will probably draw 5-10% between them. Businessman David Abroms (R) is running as a moderate and has support from Egg McMuffin Evan McMullin, which will likely get him around three points; he seems unlikely to garner much more than that. Businessman Kurt Wilson (R) hasn’t received a lot of buzz, but has fundraised six figures and has some support in local grassroots conservative circles that may get him a point or two. Conversely, Trump campaign operative Bruce Levell (R) has received some national buzz for his ties to the Trump camp, but got zero support in our poll and looks likely to finish at asterisk level. Three other candidates, GOP operative Amy Kremer (R), accountant William Llop (R), and veteran Keith Grawert (R), are running semi-serious campaigns and may draw a percent or two between them. There is also a final Some Dude in the race on the GOP side who has been running on a message of open anti-Semitism and whose name doesn’t deserve to be mentioned.

Special Elections: There are also two special elections tomorrow, and the more interesting one overlaps with the western part of GA-6. GA-SD-32 is an R+20 (2012), but likely much more D-friendly by 2016 numbers, seat in eastern Cobb County and parts of Sandy Springs, embedded within GA-6 and vacated by congressional candidate Judson Hill (R). Five Republicans and three Democrats are seeking this seat and it is chaotic enough that any two can advance. Physician Kay Kirkpatrick (R) looks like the slight front-runner; a major GOP donor, Kirkpatrick has been well-funded. There has been a slight brouhaha over Kirkpatrick using her maiden name on the ballot instead of her married name, with rivals saying that the move was to hide past Dem donations under her married appellation. Fellow physician Roy Daniels (R) is running an antiestablishment campaign and has Erickson’s endorsement. Attorney Gus Markis (R) has Gov. Deal’s endorsement, while railroad conductor Matt Campbell (R) has the support of a prominent legislator from an adjacent district. Consultant Hamilton Beck (R) looks like the longest-shot among the GOP candidates. Three Democrats are running; attorney Christine Triebsch (D) looks like the slight front-runner, but physician Bob Wiskind (D) and Weather Channel producer Exton Howard (D) are also running serious campaigns. Any two could advance, and an R-on-R or even a D-on-D runoff are possible. The other election is far less interesting. AL-LD-67 is a black-majority ~D+23 (2008) district around Selma. Attorney Prince Chestnut (D) is the prohibitive favorite over a Some Dude Indie.

Political Roundup for April 17th, 2017

We’re only a day away from one of the hottest special elections of the year – check back this afternoon for our preview of tomorrow’s GA-6 race. Until then here’s some electoral news to cure your Easter candy sugar hangover.


Cash Money: During the 2016 election, Donald Trump had underwhelming fundraising numbers, to put it mildly. Now that he’s actually President, that doesn’t seem to be such an issue. His campaign committee raised $42 million last quarter, and they show no signs of stopping there. The permanent campaign rolls on into infinity.


Generic Ballot: Marist is out with a new national poll, and it shows the Democrats at+7 on the generic ballot test. That one hurts, but it’s probably survivable for the House majority given the lack of a likely voter screen and incumbent overperformance.

MT-Sen: Jon Tester is facing a tough reelection in 2018, as he does whenever he runs in fairly-red Montana. If he loses next year, though, it won’t be for lack of money. He’s raised $2 million in the last three months. Keep in mind too that Montana isn’t a very expensive state media-wise. Big Sky Country is going to be absolutely covered in ads not too long from now.

ND-Sen: Well, this is something I wasn’t expecting.The NRSC apparently dislikes Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) more than you might expect, and they’re going so far as to recruit a challenger to run against him for right to challenge Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) in 2018. To replace him, the NRSC is trying to draft State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) (no, not the CA one). Campbell is wealthy and could self-fund, but North Dakota isn’t even very expensive, so that hardly seems like much of a reason to abandon a sitting Congressman. What does seem like a decent reason, though, is that Cramer has recently defended Sean Spicer on a few of his missteps.

WV-Gov: In contrast to Jon Tester and his fat stacks of cash, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) only raised $552k in the first quarter of 2017. That’s not horrible, but he probably needs to pick it up. Manchin is popular, but West Virginia is Trumpland. He’ll need lots of money to counter the funding of whichever Republican ends up running against him. Some people are saying that this signals a possible retirement, but I don’t think that the number is low enough to read that into it, at least this quarter.

GA-06: In the hottest special election so far this year, we’ve been gifted with two new polls in addition to our own. The first is from WSBtv/Landmark and predicts tomorrows results to be 45-17-9-8-8 Ossoff-Handel-Gray-Moody-Hill.

GA-06 Continued: The other poll, from Fox5/OpinionSavvy, says something similar with slight difference. The spread is 42-21-11-11-9 Ossoff-Handel-Hill-Gray-Moody.

PA-07: Frankly, folks, this Democratic primary is getting a bit suspicious. On Saturday, IT consultant Drew McGinty (D) became the third(!) Philadelphia Democrat to jump into the race to challenge Rep. Pat Meehan (R). This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that PA-07 contains not a single precinct in the City of Philadelphia. To top tall off, no democratic candidate who actually lives in the district has yet announced a run against Meehan.


IN-Gov: It’s very early in the cycle of it, but it looks like we might already have a Democratic candidate for King of the Hoosiers. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott (D) recently hinted at a run for Governor in 2020 while speaking to an assemblage of high schoolers. Brian Howey thinks he’s serious, and Brian’s sources are usually credible. I’m not quite sure why McDermott wants to run statewide with Trump likely sweeping the state again even in a loss, but I guess he really wants to get out of Hammond.

ME-Gov: In a move that I’m sure really made some people mad, Treasurer Terry Hayes (I, but actually D) has announced that she’s running for Governor. What really sucks about this situation if you’re not her or one of her supporters is that if she comes at least second in the initial vote count, she’s almost guaranteed to win in the end due to Maine’s new (unconstitutional) IRV voting system. If IRV isn’t struck down and she wins, expect to see a lot more ‘Independent’ politicians in Maine in the future.


Atlanta-Mayor: GA-06 may be getting all of the press right now, but ATL has another big race on the horizon – Mayor. During a recent press conference, Mayor Kasim Reed was asked about one of his chief rivals for reelection, State Sen. Vincent Fort (D). Reed didn’t hold back, dismissing Fort while also giving him both barrels with regards to his tenure in the General Assembly. As always, it looks like this race won’t be boring.

WA-SD-45: I gotta be honest, it looks like Republicans are going to lose the tenuous control that they have over the Washington State Senate. The Coalition has a one-seat majority. With the recent death of State Sen. Andy Hill (R), a special election has been called to fill District 45. Republicans chose their local golden boy, former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, to run in the special election. However, a new poll from PPP (D) shows Manka Dhingra (D) leading Rossi 46-40. More troublingly, of the undecided voters, 52% prefer a generic Democrat to only 1%(!) who prefer a generic Republican.

RRH Elections/Decision Desk HQ GA-6 Poll: Ossoff (D) leads Handel (R) 39-15

Ossoff leads at 39%; Handel leads crowded race for 2nd spot; Republicans combined narrowly top 50%

Five days ahead of the closely-watched first round of the special election to fill the US House seat formerly held by HHS Secretary Tom Price (R), a new poll from RRH Elections shows Democratic front-runner Jon Ossoff well ahead of the field, leading his nearest challenger 39-15. Overall Ossoff is well short of the 50% mark needed to win outright, though he hits that mark among those who have already voted. Four Republicans, former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R), Johns Creek councilman Bob Gray (R), and former State Sens. Dan Moody (R) and Judson Hill (R), are all bunched tightly together in a race to advance with Ossoff, with Handel narrowly leading Gray for the second runoff spot 15-12. The six most prominent Republicans combined lead the two most prominent Democrats combined by a margin of 51-43. The survey of 321 Likely Voters was conducted from April 5-10, 2017 using both an IVR automated phone survey (220 voters) and an online survey (101 voters) and has a margin of error of 5%. All survey design and data analysis is the responsibility of RRH Elections; funding was provided by the generous contributions of our readers and co-sponsorship by Decision Desk HQ. For comments or questions on the poll, please email us at

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Political Roundup for April 12th, 2017

First off some bad news: Our polling contractor hasn’t sent us the GA-6 data yet, so it looks like we won’t be releasing the poll until tomorrow. We apologize for the mess – this has been the poll from hell logistics-wise. Please click HERE to donate and help be a part of America’s only volunteer crowd sourced polling effort!

About last night: Looks like all that last minute GOP activity in KS-4 was not a head fake or a waste as Republican Ron Estes pulled off a closer than expected 52% to 45% win last night over Democrat James Thompson in this R+15 district.


CA Presidential Primary: A bill making its was through the legislature in Sacramento could move the Californian presidential primary to March potentially making the largest state in the nation the third state to vote after Iowa and New Hampshire.


Governor Approval Ratings: Morning Consult has released their new Governor approval rankings. Republican governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland are the nation’s two most popular governors. Baker has a 75% approval rating and Hogan a 73% approval rating. Meanwhile New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the least popular with a 25% approval rating. Of note Florida Governor and potential 2018 Senate candidate Rick Scott (R) is sporting a 57% approval rating.

CT-Gov: Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker (I/R) filed papers to run for governor as a Republican. Walker was once considered an A-list type of candidate and was even floated as a potential Americans Elect independent presidential candidate in 2012. But for some inexplicable reason Walker decided to run for Lt Governor in 2014 and lost the GOP primary. Walker joins fellow Republicans Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, and former Coventry Town Councilman Micah Welinktukonis as candidates who have formally filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Unpopular Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy hasn’t decided whether to seek a third term in 2018.

GA-Gov: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) has filed to run for governor in 2018. Cagle is the presumptive Republican front-runner in what could be a crowded field to succeed a term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal (R). Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is already in the race and a cast of current and former lawmakers are considering running as well.

ME-Gov: In an interview with WGAN radio Republican Sen. Susan Collins said she was seriously contemplating a run for governor of Maine in 2018.

SC-Gov: Newly elevated South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) raised over $960,000 in the 1st quarter setting him up for the looming GOP primary battle. Former South Carolina labor and public health chief Catherine Templeton (R) reported last week that she raised $700,000 during the first quarter of 2017 for her gubernatorial run.

VA-Gov: The latest Quinnipiac poll has former Rep. Tom Perriello leading the Democrat primary with 25% to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s 20% with a whopping 51% are undecided. On the GOP side Ed Gillespie leads with 28%, followed by Prince William County Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart at 12%, State Sen. Frank Wagner with 7% and 51% undecided. With this many “undecideds” it is easy to be undecided about the value of this Quinnipiac poll.


Senate Approval Ratings: Morning Consult has released their new Senate approval rankings. Of note is the fact that Tammy Baldwin who is up for re-election in 2018 has only a 44% approval rating.

MO-Sen: Rep. Ann Wagner (R) has nearly $2.8 million cash on hand as she contemplates challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

MT-Sen: Republicans finally get their first candidate to declare but it is not one of the big named hopefuls. Rather state Senator Albert Olszewski (R), who finished in sixth place in the 2012 GOP primary for Lt Governor, announced he would run for senate. The 54-year-old Olszewski is an orthopedic surgeon.

VA-Sen: Quinnipiac polled a potential 2018 general election Senate race and finds incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine (D) leading a potential matchup with Laura Ingraham (R) 56% to 35% and leading Carly Fiorina 57% to 33%.


CA-50: Retired Navy SEAL Josh Butner becomes the fourth Democrat to enter the race to challenge Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) next year.

CO-6: Denver attorney and veteran Jason Crow (D) announced he will challenge Rep. Mike Coffman in 2018.

GA-6: Political statistician Nate Silver says Democratic congressional candidate and Star Wars aficionado Jon Ossoff was “making sh*t up” about him in his fundraising emails. Ossoff seems to have fabricated a quote from Silver for his email fundraising appeal. I guess when you are in the process of scamming the Democrat base out of upwards of $8.3 million a few white lies here and there can be expected.

More GA-6: The DCCC is making a six figure ad buy on all 7 of Atlanta’s black radio stations as well as associated websites on behalf of Jon Ossoff. The ad urges black voters to turnout and tell Trump that “…racism and intolerance are never OK”. It looks like absentees/in person early votes had a big increase of over 5,000 votes on Monday to 26,717 from 21,111. It looks like Democrat ballots make up a little over 10,000, No Party ballots a little over 9000 and GOP ballots a little under 7500. Now if only someone would poll this race……

MT-AL: Financial deadbeat and Democratic congressional candidate Rob Quist has raised over $1.3 million. This cash infusion should come in handy for Quist since due to his own personal financial problems he is paying himself a salary out of his campaign funds.

NY-19: Livingston Deputy Supervisor Will Yandik announced he will not seek the Democrat nomination for Congress against freshman Rep. John Faso (R). Yandik was defeated in the Democrat primary last year by left wing carpetbagger Law Prof Zephyr Teachout, who in turn lost to Faso.

PA-7: Looks like another bold progressive will try to take a crack at unseating Rep. Pat Meehan (R) in this R+1 suburban Philadelphia district. So called “community advocate” and former board president of the pro-gun control group CeaseFirePA Dan Muroff has announced he will carpetbag into PA-7 and challenge Meehan. In 2o16 Muroff ran for the Democratic nomination PA-2 but came in fourth in the Dem primary, behind eventual winner Dwight Evans, incumbent Rep. Chaka Fatttah, and Brian Gordon. Muroff will face Molly Sheehan in the Democrat primary. Both Democrats currently running for this seat do not live in the district.

PA-10: President Trump has nominated fourth-term Rep. Tom Marino (R), a frequent DEA critic, to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This will led to special election in this R+16 seat.

SC-5: The Republican primary in the SC-5 special election seems like a contest between front runners ex-state Rep. Ralph Norman and state state House Speaker Pro Temp Tommy Pope. “Activist” and perennial candidate Sheri Few is trying to gain some traction (and notoriety) in the primary by running ads proclaiming her support for the Confederate flag. Chances are Few will be as unsuccessful in this campaign as she was in her 2014 run for Superintendent of Education and her 2006, 2008 and 2010 runs for a state House seat.

VA-10: Another some dude is looking to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R). 35 year-old U.S. Army veteran Dan Helmer is the latest Democrat to enter this race. Kimberly Adams is also running for the Democrat nomination while State Sen. Jennifer Wexton and Fairfax County Board member Kathy Smith are both considering the race as well.

State, Local & Other:

NY-SD 32: Total whackjob and New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz (D) announced he will run for the New York City Council in 2017. Diaz is socially conservative Pentecostal preacher. His son is Bronx Boro President and his allies control the Bronx County Democrat machine. Diaz should be a heavy favorite to win a council seat which would create a vacancy in the closely divided GOP controlled state Senate.

Brooklyn-DA: The New York Times takes a look at the seven Democrats lining up to run for Kings County District Attorney in 2017. Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson passed away in October after serving in office for three years.

MI-SD 2: State Sen. Bert Johnson (D) was indictment by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of hiring a ghost employee on his Senate payroll and stealing more than $23,000 from taxpayers.

Political Roundup for April 11th, 2017

We are compiling our data for our GA-6 poll today! If you would like to be emailed early access to our poll please click HERE to donate and be a part of our all volunteer polling effort!

Also stay tuned for our liveblog of the KS-4 special election later today!

Trump: A new CBS poll has Americans approving of Trump’s Syria strike 57-36, though they do think that Trump needs to get congressional approval for further action by an even larger 69-25. This has also bumped up his approval rating to a good-for-Trump 43-50.

Trump-2: Trump and his allies are slowly but surely taking control of the RNC and state parties from the top down. This is part of the long process of pushing out the state party leaders who pointedly refused to endorse or support him even after he won the GOP primary, and coalescing what is left with the Pro-Trump wing of the Republican party.

GA-6: The NYT has an interesting story how Trump’s presidential win has drastically altered the dynamics of GOP primaries, and the Obama-era trend of voters favoring Conservative purity over all else seems to be over. GOP candidates here are actively trying to sell themselves as pragmatic problem solvers, matching with an electorate that favors that over the Conservative litmus tests of old.

KS-4: Republicans are putting a lot of last-minute effort into this race, as rumors swirl that the GOP candidate here is nowhere near as safe as you would expect from an R+15 district in Kansas. This has been theorized as a “Build-the-margin” effort by the GOP, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s closer than people think due to the spectacularly unpopular administration of Governor Sam Brownback, who is probably the most disliked Governor in recent history without any kind of corruption scandal.

MO-Sen: While most observers have pegged Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wager as the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nod to take on the vulnerable Claire McCaskill next year, a new open letter signed by a number of GOP politicians have urged freshman AG Josh Hawley to run as well. Hawley has denied interest in the run (having taken office only in January), but this might be a good sign for his future prospects for the likely-open 2022 Senate race or possibly a redrawn and more R-friendly MO-5 the same year.

MN-7: Collin Peterson, the longtime Democrat from western Minnesota, has a second challenger in state rep Tim Miller. Miller joins 2016 R candidate Dave Hughes, who is itching for a rematch after the unexpectedly-close 2016 race that saw a relatively un-targeted Peterson have the closest call of his 26 years in Congress. Expect this seat to be a top GOP target in 2018 after Trump managed to win it by almost 30 points, especially with Peterson on retirement watch in recent years.

IA-1: Rod Blum, a man most people dismissed as unserious and then a one-term fluke before he won by a surprisingly good margin last year, has a new D challenger in State Rep Abby Finkenauer. Finkenauer is a very young candidate at only 28 and is from Dubuque, so she might have trouble regaining the traction Democrats previously had in the rural expanses of the seat that kept it D-leaning for years, but she seems at the very least credible above a some-dude

TX-Sen: Ted Cruz, fresh off re-inventing himself as a team-player Republican, is raking in the $ for his first re-election campaign. Cruz faces the prospect of a high-profile D challenger in Beto O’Rouke, and given the Democrat’s love of dumping huge amounts of money in Texas in support of unapologetic White Progressives, his opponents will probably be well-funded, even for a state of Texas’s size. Cruz also faces the prospect of a serious primary challenge after having spent most of the last presidential cycle finding a way to piss off literally everybody in the Republican party at least once, but it hasn’t materialized yet and his new-found appreciation of working together with the GOP leadership might wind up saving him from one.

State & Local:

CO-Gov: Cary Kennedy (D, but not one of those Kennedys–Ireland gave us a lot of people with that last name) was probably going for quirky when she decided to announce her bid for Governor while driving in her car. However, her announcement generated instant mockery and more than a little concern, as she was clearly driving unsafely while reading her notes and talking to the cameraman in her passenger’s seat. On one hand she did generate a lot of attention for her otherwise low-profile bid after Perlmutter announced his own bid for Governor over the weekend, but I’m not sure “I want this woman to be my Governor” is now the thought racing through most Coloradan’s heads.

PA-LG: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has ordered an investigation of his own LG, Mike Stack (D), over allegations that Stack and his wife have been abusing their staffers. Wolf and Stack, who are elected Shotgun-Wedding style in the general after running separately in the primaries, have never had a close relationship, and this might portend the possibility of Wolf recruiting a primary challenger to Stack.

TX-Voter-ID: A judge has struck down Texas’s Voter-ID laws as discriminatory (for what, the 3rd time now?). Regardless, expect this to get appealed and re-appealed, because honestly the SC probably needs to weigh in on this to finalize anything.