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AL-Sen Runoff Preview

Tomorrow, there are two major elections: a special Senate runoff in Alabama and a mayoral primary in Boston, as well as a key legislative special in Florida. Polls close at 8p ET in both Alabama and Boston (7p ET in Florida) and we will be liveblogging.

AL-Sen Runoff: The big race tomorrow is a GOP primary runoff for Alabama’s Senate seat. The special election was moved up to this year by now-Gov. Kay Ivey (R) after she ascended to the top job. The August primary narrowed the field down from four major Republican candidates to two for this runoff.

Luther Strange

Appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R) made a somewhat, well, strange, decision in regards to this race. Despite the fact that as AG his office was investigating then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) for covering up a sex scandal, Strange accepted an appointment to the Senate from Bentley. The appointment decision was in spite of the fact that Strange had statewide name recognition that would have made him the prohibitive favorite for an open seat race. Strange’s handling of the appointment, which raised blindlingly obvious questions of impropriety, has become a major liability for him in this race. And with the race moved up from 2018, he doesn’t have a lot of Senate service record to distract from the appointment mess. Strange came in second in the preliminary round with 33%; while that is a poor showing for an incumbent, it was something of a victory for Strange as some polls had shown him in danger of missing the runoff entirely. Strange’s biggest asset in this race has been his close establishment ties, particularly to Mitch McConnell; McConnell and his associated forces have not hesitated to use every card at their disposal for Strange. Thus, he has been the beneficiary of a sustained negative ad barrage against his opponents. Strange has also been able to land Trump’s endorsement and a rally from the president last Friday. But it may not matter in the end; all polls of the runoff have shown him down, though by varying margins. CW is that Strange is still ultimately a mild to moderate underdog tomorrow. However, Strange does seem to have been narrowing the gap in polling in recent weeks and there is a chance the Trump rally could give him a late boost to surprise.

Roy Moore

Strange’s rival, and the front-runner for the seat, is ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R). If Strange has baggage of a typical political-insider nature, Moore has equal baggage in his out-of-the-mainstream ideology. Moore’s first stint on the state Supreme Court ended with his removal after he refused to take down a statue of the Ten Commandments in front of the courthouse. After being re-elected to the court in 2012, Moore was removed again over ordering state officials to disregard SCOTUS’s Obergefell decision. Moore has a dedicated base of social conservatives, but is something of a one-note character on religious issues. Indeed, Moore made a notable gaffe in the runoff campaign when he appeared to have no idea what the DACA program was. That single-minded focus on religious social conservatism could make him a tough sell to less-devout Republicans. That said, Alabama is still among the most religious states in the nation, and his evangelical base was still enough to put Moore in a comfortable first in the primary with 39%. Moore is also an easy fit for antiestablishment voters, due to his quixotic nature and Strange’s establishment ties. Indeed, Strange’s establishment backing (and negative ads) have pushed the two antiestablishment-leaning major eliminated candidates, Rep. Mo Brooks (R) and State Sen. Trip Pittman (R), to endorse Moore. Moore held wide leads in polls of the runoff after the primary, and has led in every released poll since the first round. However, his margins have been narrowing in recent weeks, and Strange does seem to have some momentum. If Strange is successful at selling himself as the stronger Trumpist, it’s likely Alabamans will gravitate to that message over Moore’s theocratic one. That said, Moore is still (at the very least) a moderate favorite to prevail tomorrow, and it would be at least somewhat surprising if he didn’t ultimately pull out a win. A Moore nomination would be a quite bitter pill to swallow for McConnell and establishment Republicans after their extensive involvement in the race; Moore is about as good a bet as any to be a difficult-to-work-with loose cannon in the Senate.

Doug Jones

The winner will face ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in a December general. Jones, who sewed up his primary against token opposition in the first round, is a relatively generic moderate Democrat, but he is still the most credible contender than Democrats have put up for an Alabama Senate seat since 2002. It’s hard to tell which of the two Republicans would be a stronger general election candidate against Jones; while Moore has very well-defined vulnerabilities, Strange has not come out of this campaign looking good himself. And Strange’s corruption stink may have more salience than Moore’s extreme social conservatism in a very socially conservative state that has just seen corruption scandals. All in all though it may not matter who Republicans nominate; Alabama is still a very red, very inelastic state, and it’s hard to think such a Trump-friendly area will hand a seat to a Democrat. For now Jones has been flying under the radar and hoping to spark some interest after the GOP settles on a nominee, but we continue to consider either GOP nominee an extremely strong favorite in the general. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

Boston-Mayor: The other election of the day is the California-Rules Top Two primary for Mayor of Boston, which is basically a straw poll as there are only two major candidates. Boston has a population of 675K and a PVI D+33 (2016), which breaks down as roughly 45% White, 25% Black, 20% Hispanic, and 10% Asian. In spite of Boston’s reputation as a student/hipster/upscale liberal town, most of those sit outside the city limits in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline, and those within Boston are low-turnout and largely irrelevant in local elections. Instead, elections are dominated by moderate white ethnics: the city includes a huge section of high-turnout middle-class-white suburban territory in the southwest (West Roxbury) and some urban poor white ethnic neighborhoods. The only other real bloc in municipal elections is the minority community: Boston has a large Black community in the south-central part of the city, and a Hispanic community in East Boston. This year, incumbent Mayor Marty Walsh (D) is seeking a second term. Walsh is a union-backed white ethnic Dem who won a close race in 2013 and has been a mainstream to slightly moderate liberal in office. Walsh has been relatively popular and has long been considered a strong favorite for re-election; indeed, it was something of an open question whether he would get a serious challenger at all. Walsh did draw a serious rival, however, in councilman (not that) Tito Jackson (D), who represents the African-American heavy Roxbury neighborhood. Jackson is attempting to run to Walsh’s left, but he remains little-known outside his district and there isn’t an obvious reservoir of discontent with Walsh to tap into. A third non-serious candidate, insurance agent Joe Wiley (D), triggered the preliminary round. Rumor is that Walsh put Wiley up as a plant to trigger the preliminary round (it would have been canceled with only two candidates) and give Jackson an embarrassing preliminary result to keep him from gaining momentum. CW is that the gamble will work, as Walsh has been leading in polls by around 2:1 and it would be a surprise if the results tomorrow will look much different than that. However, if Jackson did better than expected it could give him momentum ahead of the real thing in November.

Legislative Specials: There are also three notable legislative specials this week. Two are hotly-contested generals in Dade County, Florida. The biggest race is for FL-SD-40, an R-held Hispanic-Majority D+8 (2016) seat around Kendall in the southwest suburbs of Miami. This seat shifted strongly for Clinton last year, but it is Cuban machine territory to its core. More importantly for the current national climate, the Dem base here is mostly minorities (blacks and non-Cuban Hispanics), who are likely to be low-turnout, with super-energized white liberals basically a non-entity here. State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) is facing off tomorrow with perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D). Diaz is considered a credible candidate and has strong machine backing. Likewise, Taddeo-Goldstein, who has run for office 5 times in the last 10 years (and come close multiple times but never won), is getting major outside support. In spite of the blue top-of-the-ticket lean of the seat, this race looks like a pure Tossup. Additionally, with Irma having just impacted the area and shut off power for several days this month to almost all the district’s residents, low turnout is likely. It’s unclear who that might help; Dems are super-energized nationally, but the Cuban GOP machine is excellent at rustling up votes for low-turnout races (with an army of absentee-ballot-rustlers called boleteros). Overall there is no clear favorite here tomorrow. In the same area, FL-LD-116 is an R-held D+1 (2016) seat covering southwest Miami suburbs around Kendall. This is the seat that Diaz gave up to run for SD-40, and overlaps with the central part of the Senate district. Attorney Daniel Perez (R), who won a closely-contested and nasty primary, looks to be favored over former anti-Chavista Venezuelan legislator Gabriela Mayaudon (D), as Mayaudon doesn’t seem to be running a serious campaign. However, in this purple a seat with the current national climate an upset can’t be counted out. The least interesting special to cover is in SC-LD-31, a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Spartanburg councilwoman Rosalyn Henderson-Meyers (D) is the prohibitive favorite over 2016 nominee Michael Fowler (R).

Political Roundup for September 6, 2017

Last night, establishment favorite Marvin Pendarvis (D) won the nomination for the safe D SC-LD-113 without a runoff. Republicans also held a State House seat in NH.

President:

Hillary: Hillary Clinton is using her new book to blast Sen. Bernie Sanders (D) and blame him for paving the way for her lost to Donald Trump. Because in the Clinton’s World it is always somebody else’s fault.

Governor:

GA-Gov:  State Rep. Stacey Evans (D) is resigning her seat in the state House to focus on her gubernatorial bid. Her primary opponent Stacey Abrams has already resigned her state House seat.

ME-Gov: Term limited, 32 year old state Sen. Garrett Mason (R) announced he will run for governor. Mason will join Gov. Paul LePage’s former director of health and human services, Mary Mayhew, in the Republican GOP primary. Sen. Susan Collins (R) is also mulling a run for governor.

NV-Gov: Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) announced he will run for Governor. He will most likely face Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) who is thought to be the front runner for the GOP nomination.

NY-Gov: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) approval ratings have recovered a bit from the “Summer of Hell” lows. Cuomo’s favorability rating stands at 56% to 37 % which is up from a 52% to 41% rating he had in July.

OH-Gov: Jerry Springer (D) is seriously thinking of running for Governor because in 2017 the thought of Jerry freaking Springer being Governor of Ohio is a serious thing.

Senate:

AL-Sen: While Roy Moore (R) looks for someone to explain to him what exactly this DACA thingy is, Sen. Luther Strange (R) flip flops his position on the senate filibuster rule to be more in line with Donald Trump.

NJ-Sen: The trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (we think he’s a Democrat but since the New York Times won’t tell us we are not really sure) begins today. It is a tale of international jet setting, $1,500 a night hotel rooms and high priced hookers models but the core of the case is really just good old fashion Medicaid fraud as Menendez was allegedly getting paid off to help a crooked doctor steal $8.9 million from taxpayers . If Menendez resigns his seat before January Gov. Chris Christie (R) would get to pick a Republican replacement. If Menendez can survive after until after a new governor is sworn in chances are Democrats will pick the replacement.

WV-Sen: Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has a 5 point lead of 49% to 44% over a generic GOP challenger. While “Generic Republican” and “Generic Democrat” generally tend to poll better than an actual human being with a name and human flaws what is of note is that Manchin had a 9 point lead (50% to 41%) in the same poll in June. Manchin’s approval ratings have also dropped from 56% in June to 51% today.

House:

MA-3: Democrat Ellen Murphy Meehan, the former wife of former Rep. Marty Meehan, announced she will not be running for the open seat of retiring Rep. Niki Tsongas.

NJ-2: It’s time for the biannual speculation that state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) will run for congress. It seems like we go through this rouse every two years and Drew always passes on running against Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) in a district Trump won 51% to 45%.

NY-21: Stillwater, NY Mayor Rick Nelson (D) was arrested on child pornography charges. His son Patrick Nelson (D) is seeking the Democrat nomination to challenge Rep. Elise Stefanik (R).

PA-11: Former Corbett administration official Dan Meuser (R) has dropped out of the shotgun wedding race for Lt Governor and will instead run for the open congressional seat Rep. Lou Barletta (R) is vacating to run for Senate. State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R), state Rep. Tarah Toohil (R), former federal prosecutor Joe Peters, and businessman Andrew Lewis are also considering runs for the open seat.

SD-AL: State Sen. Neal Tapio (R) could be the fourth candidate to enter the race for the statewide House seat Rep. Kristi Noem (R) is vacating to run for Governor. Tapio said he would put $300,000 of his own money into the race. Tapio is a staunch Trump supporter who plans to run as an “outsider” candidate. Former state Public Utilities Commission member Dusty Johnson and current Secretary of State Shantel Krebs are both seeking the GOP nomination. Retired Judge  Tim Bjorkman is seeking the Democrat nomination.

TX-23: Former 1 term Rep. Pete Gallego (D) will not run for this seat again in 2018. Gallego beat Rep. Quico Canseco (R) in 2012 but lost re-election to Will Hurd (R) in 2014 and a comeback attempt against Rep. Hurd  in 2016. Gallego passing on running again probably has a lot to do with Julian & Joaquin Castro putting their muscle behind their college buddy Jay Hulings. Hulings is not from district and only moved their to serve as US Attorney but with the Castro brothers help he is locking up establishment and DCCC support. This meant that Gallego was having a very hard time raising money from establishment Democrat donors and he decided to pass on another comeback attempt.

Political Roundup for September 5, 2017

First off, there is a single legislative special today. SC-LD-113 is a D+19 (2016) seat covering a thin stripe of racially-mixed lower-middle-class suburbs of Charleston from North Charleston to Summerville. Trial lawyer Marvin Pendarvis (D), who is a close confidante of the area’s state Senator, looks like the clear favorite in the primary with a chance to win outright, but he also faces school board member Chris Collins (D) and marketing consultant Angela Hanyak (D), each of whom could potentially make a runoff. Two Republicans are facing off for the right to lose.

Senate:

AL-Sen: This story looks at how ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) is not getting much national support for his Senate run in December, unlike several other Dem special election candidates from earlier this year. It seems in part due to Jones being more conscious of his red state and attempting to run as a conservative Democrat rather than a vanguard of the #resistance. As the runoff between appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R) and ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) consumes most of the oxygen for this month, Jones is attempting to fly under the radar and emerge as an acceptable alternative to the GOP nominee. Regardless of Jones’s national support or lack thereof, his odds are still long in the deep-red state.

More AL-Sen: Moore had an embarrassing moment late last week in which he appeared to have no idea what the DACA program was. It’s too early to say if this gaffe will have resonance but it’s certainly not a positive for him so close to the runoff.

AZ-Sen: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is still “seriously considering” a run for Senate. Sinema is widely expected to run as she is considered to be Dems’ strongest possible recuit against vulnerable Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) is running against Flake in the primary.

IN-Sen: Another story is out corroborating allegations that Rep. Todd Rokita (R) is a bad boss to his staffers. The story has several nuggets of Rokita generally being a, for lack of a better word, jerk. For example, “a worker was booted from a staff meeting and instructed to clean Rokita’s vehicle, which included scrubbing the carpets” because a volunteer driver had BO. Rokita is facing fellow Rep. Luke Messer (R) in what is expected to be a tough primary for the right to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly (D).

MO-Sen: A new MOScout poll has AG Josh Hawley (R) leading incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 50-45. Hawley, who is in his first term as AG, is widely expected to run against McCaskill after being recruited by the entire GOP establishment.

Governor:

HI-Gov: State Rep. Bob McDermott (R) has abruptly dropped out of the race for Governor after learning that another Republican is planning to run. Rumors are that candidate is State Rep. Andria Tupola (R), a moderate who, unlike the staunchly socially conservative McDermott, could be a credible general election candidate. Separately this weekend, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) surprisingly announced her intent to primary Gov. David Ige (D); click for our full recap on the decision and Great Mentioner for the now-open HI-1.

IL-Gov: State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) has lost an endorsement from Rep. Brad Schneider (D) with his choice of LG running mate, Chicago councilman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (D). Ramirez-Rosa, 28, is a supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement. Biss is facing businessmen J.B. Pritzker (D) and Chris Kennedy (D), Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D), state Rep. Scott Drury (D), and local superintendent Bob Daiber (D) in the primary. Pritzker is generally considered the front-runner to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).

ME-Gov: Jon Jenkins (I), who served as Mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn, as well as a term in the State Senate in the 90s, is considering an Indie bid. Jenkins would be the third credible Indie contender in this race, joining appointed State Treasurer Terry Hayes (I) and comedian Karmo Sanders (I). Dems and Republicans look set to have crowded primary fields as well, with ex-Gov. John Baldacci (D) and Sen. Susan Collins (R) among the highest-profile candidates considering.

MN-Gov: Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R) has dropped out of the race for Governor. 2014 nominee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R), State Sen. David Osmek (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and ex-State Rep. and MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R) remain in the GOP convention race, with several others, most notably State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R), considering. Democrats have a crowded field as well.

OH-Gov: Speculation is growing that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray (D) will step down to enter the race for Ohio Governor. Cordray, a former AG and State Treasurer, would likely become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination over the current crowded field of “B” and “C” listers. Ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. and 2014 State Treasurer nominee Connie Pillich (D) are in the Dem race already. Four Republicans are also running.

WI-Gov: Nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) has entered the race for Governor. State Superintendent Tony Evers (D) is the front-runner for the nomination to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R), but State Rep. Dana Wachs (D) and businessman Andy Gronik (D) are also in the race.

KY-Gov ’19: Ex-State House Speaker and AG Greg Stumbo (D) is considering a run for Governor in 2019. Stumbo is a liberal who is known as a bare-knuckled political brawler but has proven himself convtroversial in his red state. AG Andy Beshear (D) is also thought to be considering a run; the primary winner will face incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in the general.

House:

KS-2: Brownback admin official Antonio Soave (R), a former Italian semi-professional soccer player, is considered likely to run for this open Topeka-area seat. Soave currently lives in KS-3 but will move into the 2nd to run. He will join a crowded primary field of State Sens. Steve Fitzgerald (R) and Caryn Tyson (R), State Rep. Kevin Jones (R), and Basehor councilman Vernon Fields (R) in the GOP primary. Ex-state Rep. and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis (D) is the likely Dem nominee for this medium-red seat.

OH-16: Former OSU football star Anthony Gonzalez (R) has filed to run for this open seat, joining moderate State Rep. Tom Patton (R) and Trumpist State Rep. Christina Hagan (R) in the race. Gonzalez has hired a former Rob Portman campaign operative as his campaign treasurer, suggesting he could have significant establishment support. The GOP field for this medium-red Cleveland and Akron suburban seat is likely to grow.

OK-1: Trump has tapped Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) to serve as NASA director, but the question over whether there will be a special for this Tulsa-area seat before the 2018 general is very much up in the air. Bridenstine would need to resign before the end of the year to allow a special to be held at all. With a primary runoff likely to be necessary, March is the earliest the special general could be held. And even for that, Bridenstine would need to vacate the seat on the likely-too-short-timeline of within the next few weeks. Click here for our full report and Great Mentioner on the seat. As a side note, by contrast, the situation in the other seat for which Trump has tapped a sitting Rep. (PA-10) is much easier. Rep. Tom Marino’s (R) administration position does not require Senate confirmation, and Pennsylvania does not have special primaries, meaning the seat could be up as quickly as this November.

PA-15: Rep. Charlie Dent (R) has revealed text messages from his primary challenger, State Rep. Justin Simmons (R) in which Simmons asked for Dent’s endorsement for re-election and expressed a desire to replace Trump as the GOP presidential nominee. Simmons is attempting to portray himself as a stronger Trump supporter than the moderate Dent in this light-red Lehigh Valley area seat.

State & Local:

HI-LG: State Sens. Josh Green (D) and Will Espero (D) have declared for LG, joining fellow State Sen. Jill Tokuda (D) and Maui CE Alan Arakawa (D) in the shotgun-wedding race. Espero might be someone to watch for a quick exit from the race, as he ran for HI-1 in 2014 and could try again now that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is running for Governor.

LA-PSC-2: Ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R) has secured the official endorsement of the state party in this race. Whitney is an antiesatblishment conservative who lost her 2015 re-election bid to a more moderate Republican. In this race, she is facing two RINOs for the deep-red seat, D-turned-R appointed incumbent Damon Baldone (R) and Gov. Edwards-endorsing surgeon Craig Greene (R).

Westchester, NY-CE: Incumbent Rob Astorino (R) has been sending out mailers to unaffiliated voters to get them to write his name in for the Reform Party nomination.  Astorino created the Reform Party as a vanity line (with the “Stop Common Core” name) for his 2014 gubernatorial run, but then lost control of it to talk radio host Curtis Sliwa. Sliwa’s organization has now endorsed Astornio’s most likely rival for re-election, State Sen. George Latimer (D). However, Astorino was able to force a primary, which is open to unaffiliated voters as well as the negligible number of Reform Party registrants.

Milwaukee, WI-Sheriff: Controversial DINO Sheriff David Clarke resigned last week without immediate explanation. It’s unclear if Clarke is in line for a Trump administration post or if he is headed to some sort of Cable TV gig.

Political Roundup for August 9th, 2017

About Last night, Democrat Phil Miller won IA-LD-28 by a 54% to 44% margin. Trump won seat 58% to 37%. In MO-LD-50 Sara Walsh (R) won by a narrower than expected 52% to 48% margin. In MO-SD-28 Republican State Rep. Sandy Crawford won.

In primaries, Marquette councilwoman Sara Cambensy (D) won the primary for MI-LD-109 with 37 percent of the vote. She will face Republican Rich Rossway in General Election. Tenisha Yancey (D) won the primary for the Safe D MI-LD-1, and Spartanburg councilman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) won the primary for the Safe D SC-LD-31. Businessman Paul Rosino (R) prevailed in OK-SD-45, while retired cop Ross Ford (R) narrowly won in OK-LD-76 over the prior incumbent’s widow. Ford will face teacher Chris Vanlandingham (D) in the general.

President:

Kasich: An American Research Group poll has Gov. John Kasich leading President Trump in a hypothetical New Hampshire Republican presidential primary 52% to 40%.  Unfortunately ARG did not do a three way poll of a hypothetical primary in which John Kasich plays spoiler allowing Trump to win again with 40% of the vote.

Governor:

CO-Gov: State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) has found a novel way around Colorado’s restrictive campaign finance laws that limits donations to $1,150. Stapleton is holding off announcing his run for governor in order to raise unlimited cash for a super PAC-style group called Better Colorado Now. Stapleton’s situation highlights the problems with restrictive campaign finance laws that encourages the outsourcing the cost of running a political campaign to outside third party political groups.

FL-Gov: Despite serious questions that arose, a Florida grand jury has cleared Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum of criminal liability after an investigation into his use of a city-funded email program used to send private and political messages.

KS-Gov: Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) made it official and announced that he will run for Governor in 2018. Colyer is poised to takeover as Governor of Kansas when current Gov. Sam Brownback (R) finally gets confirmed to be ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Running for a full term as a sitting governor should give Colyer a leg up in the Republican primary where he could face a crowded field that includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (who entered the race earlier this week), businessman Wink Hartman, former state senator Jim Barnett and entrepreneur Ed O’Malley

NY-Gov: Oh, Miranda! Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is taking the threat of a Cynthia Nixon primary challenge serious enough to offer to sit down with her and discuss education issues. Nixon meanwhile declined to rule out a bid for Governor during an appearance she made on the Today Show.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) may want to do some more polling before deciding if she wants to run for Governor. According to a PPP poll of a potential GOP primary former LePage health commissioner Mary Mayhew would lead Collins in a hypothetical matchup, 44 percent to 33 percent. Collins would score just a mere 28% against a hypothetical “someone else”. We would advice taking this poll with a very big grain of salt as it is common practice to release polls like this to either motivate or demotivate a potential candidate from running.

TX-Gov: Texas Democrats still do not have a candidate for governor. No major Democrat has shown any interest in losing challenging Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) who has nearly $41 million in his campaign account and strong approval ratings. So far only former “International Mr. Leather” Jeffrey Payne (D) has announced his intentions to run.

VA-Gov: A new poll released by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University shows Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) with a slight 42% to 37% edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race. Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra gets 6% in this matchup while 13% are undecided.

WY-Gov: Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) confirmed she will not run for Governor. Incumbent Gov. Matt Mead (R) is term limited and many people had thought Lummis would be a shoo-in to succeed him. Without Lummis running the field here seems to be wide open.

Senate:

AL-Sen: President Donald J. Trump (R) has endorsed appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) ahead for the upcoming special election. Assuming President Trump doesn’t start a nuclear war between now and August 15th this should help Sen. Strange bigly.

IN-Sen: ICYMI, fourth-term Rep. Todd Rokita (R) will join the primary for Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Senate seat. We had full coverage of this yesterday.

MI-Sen: Kid Rock (R) has made it official! Robert Richie aka “Kid Rock” has left his two-decade affiliation with the Warner Music Group and signed on with Music City’s BBR Music record label. He is also contemplating a US Senate run.

NV-Sen: A Strategic National poll has  Sen. Dean Heller (R) leading perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian in a Republican primary by a 38% to 34% margin win 27% undecided. Of course this poll was taken before the Senate Leadership Fund PAC put any money into reminding Nevada voters about Tarkanian’s $17 million bankruptcy and other less than flattering business dealings.

VA-Sen: Nothing says you are a man of the people and a real Virginian more than flying out to the Hamptons and having a $10,800 a head fundraiser at the mansion summer home of New York Giants co-owner Jon Tisch, which is why Sen. Tim Kaine (D) plans to spend the last week in August on the South Fork of Long Island, NY raising some serious money.

WI-Sen: The NRSC has launched radio ads in the Wausau and La Crosse markets attacking Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) over an opioid scandal in Wisconsin Veterans Administration Hospital that Sen. Baldwin tried to help sweep under the rug.

WV-Sen: Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t “give a s–t” if his liberal voting record costs him re-election.

House:

KY-6: Politico Magazine looks at Democrats fetish for getting behind the candidacy of US veterans. The latest example of this in in KY-6 where long shot formerly unknown Air Force pilot Amy McGrath was able to raise over $200,000 in 36 hours thanks to a viral video of her talking about serving as a combat pilot. McGrath faces State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D) in the primary. Both Donald Trump and Mitt Romney won KY-6 by double digits and Rep. Andy Barr (R) cruised to an easy 22 point win in 2016.

MT-AL: Newly elected Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) will get his first Democrat challenger. Some dude attorney John Heenan (D) announced he will run for Congress.

NJ-11: After the DCCC’s top recruit Assemblyman John McKeon (D) announced that he would not run for Congress, Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) announced he is “officially exploring” a run for the seat held by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R). Donald Trump won this district by 1 point in 2016 and Frelinghuysen cruised to an easy 20 point victory in a seat that his ancestors have represented in one capacity or another since 1720.

NY-19: A pro-Obamacare group has launched a new digital ad aimed at freshman Rep. John Faso (R). No word on how much they intend to spend on the hit job digital ad.

OH-16: Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (R) recently met with the NRCC about a possible run for the seat Rep. Jim Renacci (R) is vacating to run for governor. 28 year old heir force state Rep.Christina Hagan (R) and State Rep. Tom Patton (RINO) are currently running for this seat.

TN-2: Financial advisor Brad Fullington (R) has become the third Republican to enter the open race for the safe R seat of retiring Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R). Fullington is not nearly as well known as  Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and State Rep. Jimmy Matlock who are also seeking the GOP nomination.

WI-4: Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski (D) is considering challenging Rep. Gwen Moore (D) in a Democrat primary next year. Moore has not faced a serious challenge in years and easily defeated felon and (former state Senator) Gary George in her last two primary elections.

State, Local & Other:

Syracuse-Mayor: The September 12th Democrat primary for mayor of Syracuse has narrowed from 7 candidates to 3. Democrat organization endorsed City Councilor Joe Nicoletti, City Auditor Marty Masterpole and NY State Dept of Labor official and former Dean of Students at Syracuse University Juanita Perez Williams made the ballot while 4 others either dropped out, couldn’t get enough signatures or had enough of their nominating petition signatures invalidated by challenges to be knocked off the ballot (an art form in NY State). Syracuse has not elected a GOP mayor since 2001 and 55% of voters are Democrats, so the winner of the Democrat primary will be the favorite in November.

Detroit & Kenya Preview & Open Thread

Today there are a handful of minor elections: 8 legislative specials, an international race, and a meaningless mayoral race in Detroit. There isn’t enough to liveblog today, but here is an open thread to discuss any of these races.

Detroit: Today is the primary for Mayor of Detroit, but it’s not exactly interesting. Detroit has a population of around 675K (which is still dropping, though not quite as precipitously as it has been) that is roughly 85% Black, with a small Mexican community on the southwest side and a few white hipsters downtown. It had a PVI of D+44 (2008). This race is a California-Rules Top Two primary, so with only two serious candidates, today is essentially a straw poll for November’s real election. Incumbent Mike Duggan (D) is the first white mayor of the city since the 70s. Duggan is a typical machine hack liberal, but he has done a decent job of slowing the city’s freefall and even reversing the decline in some neighborhoods. Clearing that low bar is enough to make him a huge favorite for re-election to a second term. Duggan’s rival, State Sen. Coleman Young Jr. (D), son of Detroit’s polarizing 70s and 80s era mayor of the same name, is running to his left, accusing Duggan of not paying enough attention to the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Polls generally show Duggan leading Young by around 2:1, and it looks like that will be close to today’s result as well. Six other non-serious candidates are on the ballot, including four felons.

Kenya: The east African nation of Kenya is also holding its presidential election today. Kenya is a nation of 48M with a land area slightly smaller than Texas. Like many third-world democracies, Kenya’s politics are more clan- and personality-based than ideological. The two candidates for president are incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Ralia Odinga, his rival in the previous election. Both are wealthy and descendants of some of the nation’s founding leaders, and their families have dominated the nation for much of the time since independence. Polling shows Odinga with a slight lead; regardless of the result, observers are considering post-election violence to be likely between the nation’s various clans.

Legislative Specials: There are also 8 legislative specials at stake across 5 states: 3 generals, 4 primaries, and a primary runoff.
IA-LD-82 is probably the first legit shot for a contested R pickup in a legislative special this year. At stake is a formerly D-held R+12 (2016) seat covering much of the college town of Fairfield and rural areas to the south along the MO border. A pair of school board presidents, Phil Miller (D) and Travis Harris (R) are facing off. This is a very Trumpist area, but the seat voted for Obama in 2012. Between the new lean of the seat and the energized Dem base, I would say there is no clear favorite.
MO-SD-28 is an R+21 (2012) seat covering a broad swath of rural areas north of Springfield, from Lebanon to Sedalia. State Rep. Sandy Crawford (R) should be heavily favored over retired teacher Al Skalicky (D) for the seat.
MO-LD-50
is an R+13 (2012) seat covering the southern edge of the Columbia area and rural areas between Columbia and Jefferson City. Democrats have gone all-in on this seat on behalf of attorney and state legislative staffer Michaela Skelton (D), a cousin of ex-Rep. Ike (D). Skelton is facing lobbyist and GOP official Sara Walsh (R), who has the lean of the seat on her side but has trailed in fundraising. There is no clear favorite overall.
MI-LD-1 is a D+25 (2016) seat covering the wealthy northern half of the Grosse Pointes, the lower-middle-class suburb of Harper Woods, and the desperately poor northeast corner of Detroit. 11 Democrats are facing off; the primary winner will be the prohibitive favorite in the general. 2016 candidate and attorney Pam Sossi (D), who took over a third of the vote against the indicted prior incumbent in last year’s primary, is probably the front-runner this time with a more white-heavy electorate and fractured field. Two other 2016 candidates, congressional staffer Washington Youngson (D) and teacher Keith Hollowell (D), are also running. The other candidates in the race are Justin Johnson (D), the brother of indicted State Sen. Bert (D), school board member Tenisha Yancey (D), zoning board member Gowana Mancill Jr (D), attorneys Kirkland Garey (D) and Sandra Bucciero (D), and three Some Dudes. Sossi, Yancey, Mancil, and Johnson are considered the major candidates.
MI-LD-109 is a formerly-D-held R+3 (2016) seat covering the central Upper Peninsula from Marquette to Manistique. Four Democrats are facing off for the open seat. Marquette councilwoman and 2016 candidate Sara Cambensy (D) looks like the slight front-runner as she has name recognition from her prior run, but Marquette County commissioner Joe Derocha (D) has stronger establishment support. Two others, Sen. Debbie Stabenow staffer Jeremy Hosking (D) and Limestone Twp. councilman Tom Curry (D), also seem serious. The winner will face former school board president Richard Rossway (R).
OK-SD-45 is an R+21 (2016) seat covering some poor neighborhods south of downtown OKC and wrapping southwest around the Airport through deep-red southwestern exurbs near Mustang. Former State Highway Patrol chief Kerry Pettingill (R) looks like the slight favorite, but businessmen Duane Smith (R) and Paul Rosino (R) also seem serious. Attorney Scott Harris (R), physician Diane Means (R), businessman Brian Walters (R), and a Some Dude all look like longer shots. For Democrats, police dispatcher Steven Vincent (D) is the clear favorite over Noah Ynclan (D), who has no establishment support after revelations of a 2013 domestic violence conviction.
OK-LD-76 is an R+18 (2016) seat covering most of the western half of Broken Arrow in the Tulsa suburbs. Shelly Brumbaugh (R), widow of the prior Rep., is the clear favorite for the primary, but she faces four other Republicans. 2014 candidate Cliff Johns (R) seems like her most serious rival, but businessman Jess Guthrie (R), retired cop Ross Ford (R), and teacher Brian Elliott (R) are also in the race. Teachers Chris Vanlandingham (D) and Forest Mayer (D) are facing off for the Dem nomination; there is no clear favorite on that side.
SC-LD-31 is a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Two Democrats are heading to a primary runoff: Spartanburg city councilor Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) and NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D). Henderson-Myers led Abusaft 39-32 two weeks ago and looks like a slight front-runner, but an upset is possible. The primary winner will be a prohibitive favorite in the general.

Political Roundup for July 26th, 2017

Greetings from Montauk, where the hipster horde has finally largely disappeared into the Atlantic.

Last night’s results:
Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh held NH-SD-16
Republican Stacey Wilkes (R) won MS-LD-108 outright with no runoff
State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) and perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) advanced to the general in FL-SD-40
Attorney Daniel Perez (R) will face former Venezuelan legislator Gabriela Mayaudon in FL-LD-116
Spartanburg councilwoman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) and NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D) head to a primary runoff in SC-LD-31

National

Democratic Strategy: Prominent DC Democrats courageously ventured just west of Loudoun County into rural Virginia to roll out their plan to lurch to the left on economic issues ahead of 2018. Democrats hope such a move will provide inroads into the white working class.

Youngstown Rally: Not content to merely rally among boys, 45 held a campaign event among the working men of hardscrabble Youngstown, Ohio.

Congress

Gerrymandering: The Economist introduces Ah-nuld’s crusade against gerrymandering. The governator likens politicians supportive of the practice to “girly men” who refuse to go to the gym.

US-AG/TX-Sen: Amid the rumors of Jeff Sessions’ days being numbered, Senator Green Eggs and Ham Ted Cruz (R) quickly shot down any rumors of accepting an offer to take the post.

Governor

NJ-Lt. Gov: Former Goldman Sachs executive and NJ Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy has named Assemblywoman and former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) his lieutenant gubernatorial nominee. Simon adds gender and racial diversity, political experience, and a Trenton Rolodex to the ticket.

VA-Gov: Underscoring the need for a sole signature Democratic victory in the age of Trump, the DNC is sending money to Ralph Northam (D) in the medium blue state. Northam’s coffers drained during a bruising primary against nutroots wet dream Tom Perriello (D).
Local

Allentown-Mayor: Surprise! Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) was charged yesterday in federal court in an alleged pay-to-play scheme. Pawlowski dropped out of the 2016 Democratic US Senate primary after federal agents raided his office.

Houston-Mayor: The Texas Supreme Court declined to expedite a case challenging the wording of a 2015 Houston city proposition which changed the term limits of the mayor from three two-year terms to two four-year terms.

Westchester: Westchester County has finally prevailed in a discriminatory zoning witch-hunt lawsuit filed by the Obama administration after HUD conceded the current zoning scheme’s legality. A decision against Westchester could have had political geography effects nationwide.

Places Not Lucky Enough to be America

The UK: Boris Johnson, on a trip to New Zealand, denies any infighting among the Tories.

Political Roundup for July 25, 2017

First off, today is a relatively big day for legislative specials, with 6 seats up across 5 states; there are 3 primaries, 2 general elections, and 1 Louisiana-Rules-Top-Two primary.

NH-SD-16 is the big general election, for a previously D-held R+1 (2016) seat covering northern Manchester and its northern suburbs.Ex-State Sen. David Boutin (R) is seeking to get the seat back that he retired from in 2016; he is facing Manchester councilman Kevin Cavanaugh (D). The special election is highly competitive. I would guess the energized Dem base this year probably makes Cavanaugh a slight favorite, but an upset is possible. DDHQ will be posting results of NH-SD 16 HERE!
MA-SD-4th Middlesex is a D+14 (2016) seat stretching from Arlington to Billerica in the northwest suburbs of Boston. Cindy Freidman (D), CoS to the late prior incumbent, is the prohibitive favorite over a Green candidate.
MS-LD-108 is a ~R+30 (2008) seat covering the bulk of the town of Picayune and nearby rural areas along the Pearl River at the Louisiana border. This race is in a Louisiana Rules Top-Two format with no parties listed on the ballot. Insurance agent and local GOP official Stacey Wilkes (R) looks like the clear favorite, but she could face a runoff with either manager Jerry Frazier (D) or businessman and libertarian activist Tavish Kelly (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for MS-4 in 2014.
FL-SD-40 is the big primary today. The seat is a previously R-held D+3 (2012, sadly I don’t have 2016 numbers, but it likely shifted strongly left) around Kendall in the southwest suburbs of Miami. Both sides have competitive primaries. Two perennial candidates are facing off on the Dem side; 2016 FL-26 candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) looks like the slight front-runner, as she has received more establishment support than R-turned-D ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Ana Rivas-Logan (D). On the GOP side, State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) looks like the clear front-runner, as he has vacuumed up establishment support and lapped his rivals in fundraising. However, his main rival, 2000s-era ex-State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R), may have greater name recognition and could win on that base. A third candidate, attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for FL-26 in 2014, is running as the most antiestablishment conservative candidate, but looks like a third wheel.
FL-LD-116 is an R+7 (2012) seat around Kendall, vacated by the aforementioned Jose Felix Diaz. Former Rubio staffer and Jeb! campaign operative Jose Mallea (R) is facing off with attorney Daniel Perez (R). Both candidates have fundraised well and the race has become exceptionally nasty, with Perez being knocked for taking engagement photos in Cuba and Mallea being hit for not supporting Rubio in 2016 and not living in the district. Mallea has had greater fundraising and establishment support, so he looks like a slight favorite. The primary winner will face former Venezuelan anti-Chavista legislator (how’s that for a resume!) Gabriela Mayaudon (D).
SC-LD-31 is a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Four Democrats are facing off: Spartanburg city councilors Jerome Rice (D) and Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D), NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D), and lab tech Angela Geter (D). Rice and Abusaft look like the front-runners, but Henderson-Myers is also serious. A pair of GOP candidates who ran in 2016 are squaring off for the right to lose again.

And now the rest of the day’s news –

Governor:

CT-Gov: Much like Iowa Democrats and Alabama Republicans, Connecticut Republicans can’t resist piling more ever-more names into this clown-car primary. The latest entry is municipal manager Michael Handler (R), who serves as both budget director for the city of Stamford and emergency-management director for the neighboring town of New Canaan. State Rep. Themis Klarides (R) also indicated interest in joining the race last week. Other Republicans in the race or considering it include (deep breath): ex-US Comptroller David Walker (R), State Rep. Pradad Srinivasan (R), Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R), Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R), Trumbull Mayor Tim Herbst (R), 2014 SoS nominee Peter Lumaj (R), and others. Democrats’ prospective field is nearly as crowded.

HI-Gov: Rumors are growing that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) will leave her House seat once again to make a statewide bid – in this case, taking on Gov. David Ige (D) in the Dem primary. The choice would be somewhat surprising, as Hanabusa and Ige generally hail from the same fiscally liberal/socially moderate machine faction of the HIDP. However, it seems that Ige’s very passive and low-key style has irked some insiders, who are now attempting to recruit Hanabusa into the race.

MD-Gov, Anne Arundel, MD-CE, MD-SD-32: Anne Arundel County commissioner John Grasso (R) is termed out in 2018 and had previously announced a run for the purple SD-32 in northern Anne Arundel. However, Grasso now says he is considering primary runs against Gov. Larry Hogan (R) or Anne Arundel CE Steve Schuh (R) instead. Grasso’s focus in mounting either likely quixotic run seems to be on Hogan’s decision to reappoint a member of the county liquor board. mmmkay….

MI-Gov: State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) of suburban Detroit made his gubernatorial campaign official over the weekend. Colbeck, an antiestablishment-leaning conservative, becomes the second official candidate of note into the race after physician Jim Himes (R). AG Bill Schuette (R) and LG Brian Calley (R) are considered likely to run as well.

MN-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R) will run for Governor. Downey could have some significant party establishment backing at the convention, but joins a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) is considering and would likely be the front-runner for the GOP nomination if he enters.

NV-Gov: Clark County commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) is considering a run for Governor; if she enters she would join her fellow commissioner Steve Sisolak (D) in the Dem primary. AG Adam Laxalt (R) and Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) are considered likely to run on the GOP side.

OR-Gov: State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) announced he is considering a run against Gov. Kate Brown (D) and will decide within the next few weeks. Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who ran a competitive race against Brown for the SoS slot in 2012 before winning a purple State House seat in Bend, is considered one of the few rising stars on the ORGOP’s meager bench, along with SoS and 2014 nominee Dennis Richardson (R).

VA-Gov: Ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) and LG Ralph Northam (D) are tied at 44 in a new Monmouth poll, suggesting some tightening of the race from prior surveys that had Northam up by high single to low double digits. Gillespie also starts the general election with a cash advantage over Northam. Both Northam and Gillespie raised a bit under $2M in June. But since Northam spent a lot to win his primary while Gillespie sleepwalked through his (nearly to his demise, eking out an unexpectedly close win), Gillespie leads Northam in Cash on Hand 3.3M-1.8M.

Congress:

WI-Sen: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) will not run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) as a Republican, and calls a group trying to “draft” him into the race a “scam PAC”. Clarke would have likely been a prohibitive favorite in a GOP primary because of his high profile but (ironically) might have had a tough time gaining crossover votes in a general election. State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 candidate Eric Hovde (R) are the names most commonly connected with bids against Baldwin.

AZ-2: Ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) announced last week that she would carpetbag into this Tucson-area district and run against Rep. Martha McSally (R). Kirkpatrick has some name recognition in the area as her prior seat, AZ-1, extends into metro Tucson, and thus is likely to be Dems’ choice recruit for this purple seat.

WV-3: State Rep. Carol Miller (R) has entered this race, becoming the first truly credible candidate to seek this deep-red but historically-D Southern WV seat. Miller has a fairly strong record of consistently winning a seat in a 3-member Dem-leaning Huntington-area district. She joins ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), whose prior bid wasn’t terribly impressive, in the race to replace Senate candidate Evan Jenkins (R). State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Adoption attorney Sam McLure (R), who is active in the pro-life movement, will run for AG next year, joining appointed incumbent Steve Marshall (R), ex-US Attorney Alice Martin (R), and 2006 State Auditor candidate Chess Bedsole (R) in this crowded primary.

GA-Ins Comm: Democrats have a credible candidate for this open seat as nonprofit exec Cindy Zeldin (D) has entered the race. Several Republicans have indicated interest in this race as well.

NM-LG: State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) is the latest candidate into the crowded shotgun-wedding primary for LG. Padilla and ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D) look like the serious candidates for this seat. The primary winner will be joined with the Dem gubernatorial primary winner as one ticket.

OK-Lab Comm: State Rep. Leslie Osborn (R) is exploring a run for Labor Commissioner, becoming the first candidate to declare interest in this open seat. Appointed incumbent Melissa McLawhorn-Houston (R) has declared she will not seek a full term.

LA-PSC-2: This piece is worth a read about how Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (D) wound up pointedly refusing to endorse his own appointee for this seat, D-turned-R ex-State Rep. Damon Baldone (R). Baldone is facing Edwards-endorsing physician Craig Greene (R) and antiestablishment conservative ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R).

Atlanta-Mayor: A new SUSA poll of this fall’s Atlanta Mayor race puts moderate city councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (D) as the clear front-runner; however, she takes just 27%. No other candidate in the 8-way field tops 10%, but most of the other candidates are running to Norwood’s left.

Jefferson, MO-CE: Incumbent Ken Waller (R) will not seek a third term as County Exec in this large suburban St. Louis county. State Rep. John McCaherty (R) will run to succeed him; Jefferson County is historically Dem-friendly but has stampeded right in the last 10 years.

NYC-CD-28: Councilman Ruben Willis (D) of southeast Queens was found guilty of corruption charges last week and expelled from office. Willis’s seat will remain vacant until the general election in November; two other Democrats had also been running for the seat. In other NYC news, HERE is a really good rundown of all the candidates for city office this year.

Political Roundup for June 21st, 2017

In case you missed it yesterday, Republican Karen Handel worked out an unexpectedly strong win in GA-6, and Republican Ralph Norman had an unexpectedly close win in SC-5. Republicans and Democrats each held a seat in the SC State House as well. What does it say about politics that the Democrats did better in the seat Clinton lost by close to 20 points that they basically ignored than the one she lost by 1 that they poured over $30 Million in? Maybe that going all-in on a political nobody who looks like he’s just finishing up his freshman year of college isn’t a good idea? Or perhaps,(more seriously) that the higher the special election turnout, the worse the result for the already-fired-up Democrats, as SC-5 saw something like 1/3rd as many votes as GA-6 did. Regardless, expect a day of Democrats spinning about how GA-6 didn’t really matter and Republicans spinning about how GA-6 meant everything.

Now, on to the news:

President:

CBS-Poll: A CBS poll has Trump down to his lowest numbers yet at 36% approval. His handling of the Russia probe seems to be his weakest point so far, as he’s not doing too bad on the other major issues tested. Also, Americans believe Comey over Trump by about 2:1, and slightly favor believing that the probe is a grave matter of national security over it being a political hatchet job.

2020: Morning Consultant did a poll of the favorability #s of just about every candidate seriously suggested for the 2020-Dem Nomination. The vast majority of them are unknown right now, with the exceptions being Warren (Slightly Positive) and Biden (Very positive). The only notable exceptions here are Sanders and of course Clinton 2020, because as they say the third time’s the charm!

Holder: Eric Holder, probably best remembered as the AG Obama replaced with Loretta Lynch, is apparently “re-entering the political fray” and is talking about running for President in 2020. Because at this point I think the Democrats saw the 17-candidate pileup of the 2016-GOP race and said “Hold my kale-smoothie–watch this”.

Congress:

MI-Sen: Former Michigan Chief SC Justice Bob Young all but formally announced his intent to run against Debbie Stabenow for Senate in 2018 at a local Republican event. Young, who is Black, sounded off on a very Constitutional-originalist note, and stressed his record of reducing the size of the judiciary in Michigan. He joins fellow Republican Lana Epstein in the GOP primary for this 2nd-tier GOP Senate target next year.

NV-3: GOP State Senator Scott Hammond has announced that he is running for this Suburban Vegas district that the GOP lost last year. The current freshman Democratic Incumbent Jackie Rosen is already running for Senate (Because the early bird gets the Senate Seat I guess?), and the seat was narrowly carried by Trump, making it a top GOP target for 2018. Hammond was a famous advocate for Nevada’s charter school bills, and gets a free shot at this seat since his State Senate seat isn’t up until 2020.

Other:

CO-alot: Mike and Cynthia Coffman, probably the closest thing the county has had to a political power couple since the Clintons limped off the national stage last year, are getting a divorce. While it’s not quite known why they are getting divorced (and kind of rude to pry), the couple was widely seen as the GOP’s best potential candidates for statewide office. We’ve got no idea what this means for Cynthia’s rumored Governor bid, or Coffman’s house seat, but we’ll hopefully find out relatively soon.

HI-St-House: In what has become commonplace for America’s weakest political party, the Hawaii GOP has lost another one of its members to the Democrats, this time former State House Minority Leader Beth Fukomoto, who was ousted from her leadership post for calling Trump racist and a Bully at the Hawaii Women’s March back in January. This is amazingly not the first time the GOP has lost its chamber leader to the Democrats, but since the state house is now 76D-5R, let’s hope we can manage to hold onto our 6% of the seats there.

Immigration: The Atlantic of all places has a good article detailing how the Democrats went from being sort of pro-immigration with major reservations to being absolutely 100% no-exceptions pro-immigration, and how it probably cost them the presidency. Remember a time when Obama felt a “Flush of patriotic resentment” at the idea of Mexican immigrants waving around Mexican flags at demonstrations?

Political Division: Here’s some interesting, if arguably flawed data. The voter study group commissioned a poll detailing the political ideology of the average Trump & Clinton voter. To summarize, Clinton’s supporters are pretty ideologically homogeneous Liberals, whereas Trump’s were split between Economic Conservatives and Populists. Notably, this poll also suggests that Libertarianism as an ideology is basically dead in the water in the US right now, which will come as no surprise to anyone paying attention to the political trends of both parties in the last 2.5 years or so.

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