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Political Roundup for November 8th, 2017

Remember, remember, the 7th of November…

Last Night’s Results

Democrats did well on a lot of friendly turf last night. In the marquee race of the evening, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) defeated Ed Gillespie (R) by 9 points in VA-Gov. Democrats also appear close to taking the Virginia House of Delegates, with recounts pending and a possible 50-50 split in that chamber that could play a major role in 2021 redistricting control in Virginia. In other races, Phil Murphy (D) easily won NJ-Gov as expected; Provo Mayor John Curtis won the UT-3 special election; Democrats took control of the Washington State Senate through their victory in WA-SD-45; and Democrats won two State House specials, GA-HD-117 and GA-HD-119, in the Athens area of  Georgia.

National

Populist/Nationalist Uprising…or not: The Economist posits that despite conventional wisdom purporting the opposite, political power follows economic power. The magazine explains that the global upper class has been successfully flexing its muscle. As proof, it notes that Brexit has resulted in a wage squeeze due to the Pound’s decline and that the Donald’s “revolution” has resulted in… a tax cut bill that benefits the wealthy.

Hudson Valley Hasids: Mutual contempt between the Hasidic residents of the Hudson Valley and their neighbors is at an all-time high. The Village of Kiryas Joel’s Haredi residents and their longer-tenured neighbors in the Town of Monroe have, for years, experienced severe tensions. These tensions and KJ’s rapid growth catalyzed a vote yesterday on the question of KJ secession from Monroe.

The Irrational Electorate: Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has published groundbreaking work on “the attribution error, or voters’ tendency to believe that politicians have more control than they really do. Of course, we the people would never elect anyone of importance thinking that they could snap their fingers and quickly enact massive, structural changes…

The Year of the Womyn: According to lyin’ NBC News, there were a record number of female candidates on the ballot in Virginia’s elections yesterday.

Redistricting: While no surprise to RRH readers, the elections yesterday mark the beginning of a three-year course of elections that will determine control of 2020’s decennial redistricting process.

Big City Mayors and Millenials: Big city mayors are finding that pocketbook and infrastructure issues, such as affordable housing and good public transit, top the list of millennials’ concerns. While condescending conventional wisdom says that millennials are attracted by “cultural districts” and the like, this new information flips that narrative on its head.

Congress

NJ-02: Twelve-term Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R) is retiring from his purple South Jersey seat. South Jersey Political Boss Tony Soprano George Norcross has promised State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) his imperative full support in the case of his likely bid.

TX-Sen: What do Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke have in common? No, this isn’t the beginning of a joke: the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the two rivals are both pushing back against those in their respective parties who
oppose NAFTA. Both men wisely cite the tremendous benefits that Texas has reaped from the poorly-understood trade deal.

TX-02: Seven-term Congressman Ted Poe (R) has announced he will not seek re-election to his Houston-area US House district.

The States

CA-Gov: The Los Angeles Times reports that former Congressman Doug Ose (R) is considering a gubernatorial bid.

IL-AG: For AG, the C[r]ook County Democrats have endorsed State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) over, among others, former Governor Pat Quinn (D).

TX HD-46: In her first press appearance since being acquitted, State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) waxed presidential. Dukes alleged that the media and her colleagues had treated her “very unfairly” during her corruption trial. Sad!

Political Roundup for September 27th, 2017

About last night: ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) won the AL-Sen runoff, defeating incumbent Luther Strange (R) 56-44. Incumbent Marty Walsh (D) advanced to a general with councilman Tito Jackson (D) in Boston, which Walsh led 66-24, and Democrats picked up a pair of legislative seats in FL-SD-40 (with Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) winning by 3%) and a deep-red State House seat in NH. Republicans held FL-LD-116 easily.

Governor:

NJ-Gov: Former Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe Phil Murphy (D) has launched his first TV ad of the general election. After spending more than $20 million to buy win the Democrat nomination, Murphy has put his campaign on autopilot, kept a low profile and went on the public dole by entering the New Jersey Campaign Finance system program that limits donations, curtails spending and allowed him to use taxpayer money to finance his campaign. Murphy’s first ad obviously tries to link Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) to Gov. Chris Christie (R) whose poll numbers are absolutely toxic. The RGA is up with their second 15-second TV ad (See HERE) which hits “really loaded, really liberal” Phil Murphy for not paying his employees the $15 minimum wage he claims to favor.

NV-Gov: Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) has announced 12 “special events” starting on Monday during which he is expected to officially announce his candidacy for Governor. On the Democrat side Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) has scheduled a “special announcement” for Monday which she will most likely use to announce her run for Governor. Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak (D) and State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) have previously announced their candidacies.

VA-Gov: New polls are out in Virginia. PPP has Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie by a very narrow 43% to 40% margin with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 4% and Not Sure at 13%, a Monmouth poll taken 9/21 to 9/25 has Northam at 49% and Gillespie at 44%, while IMGE Insights has Nothman leading Gillespie 45% to 41%.

Senate:

MS-Sen: State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who nearly toppled Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in a 2014, now has his eye on challenging Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in 2018. McDaniel has been talking with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and views Roy Moore’s primary win as a call to arms.

PA-Sen: Rep. Mike Kelly (R) who at one time was considering a run for Senate has sent a fundraising letter out on behalf of GOP Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta.

TN-Sen: ICYMI Sen. Bob Corker has announced he will not seek re-election in 2018. Please scroll down for our complete coverage of this from yesterday and for my plug for David French to run for Senate!

TX-Sen: Sen. John Cornyn (R) has made it clear he will run for re-election in 2020. H stated that he would stay in the Senate “as long as Texans will have me” which at the rate Texas is turning blue could be a VERY long time.

House:

IN-04: State Sen. John Crane (R) announced he will not run for this open safe R seat of Rep. Todd Rokita is vacating to run for Senate. Steve Braun and Diego Morales are the two leading GOP candidates in this race.

MI-11: RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel (R) has ruled out a run for the open House seat of retiring Rep. Dave Trott (R).

NV-3: Emily’s List has endorsed failed 2016 NV-4 candidate Susie Lee (D) for this open swing seat. The Nevada Democrat establishment seems to be coalescing around the very wealthy Lee while the GOP has a fairly large and wide open field for this seat.

NY-19: And then there were 7! Some dudette Sue Sullivan (D) has dropped out of the race for Congress vs. freshman Rep. John Faso leaving only 7 no name Democrats vying for the right to take on Faso next year.

State, Local & Other:

NY-Nassau County Executive: The Civil Service Employees Association Nassau County has endorsed Republican Jack Martins for county executive. Municipal labor unions usually endorse Democrats but since the Nassau Country Republican machine is all about playing ball they can buy these endorsements away from the Democrats.

NY-Corruption: A three-judge federal-appeals court panel has overturned former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) 2015 federal corruption conviction. At issue was the 2016 Supreme Court case that overturned former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s corruption conviction. In Skelos’ case prosecutors used the pre-2016 SCOTUS ruling charging standards against Skelos. This was the same issue that lead to the overturning of former New York Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s (D) corruption conviction. Federal prosecutors are expected to retry Skelos under the new standard.

VA-Lt Gov: In the race for Lt Governor PPP has a new poll out with Democrat Justin Fairfax leading Republican Jill Vogel 43% to 37% with Not Sure at 21%.

VA-AG: PPP also polled the race for Attorney General and had Democrat Mark Herring leading Republican John Adams 46% to 38% with Not Sure at 16%.

#FakeNews: The Washington Post ran an unbelievably crappy story in which they falsely claimed 17,000 Wisconsinites in two counties didn’t vote in 2016 because of voter ID laws. The state of Wisconsin actually keeps records of how many people show up to vote without an ID. In 2016 less than 600 people came to vote without an ID and every single one of them were allowed to vote if they agreed to sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn’t get ID. But instead of  relying on the actual numbers the state of Wisconsin keeps The Washington Post instead decided to rely on a biased unverifiable targeted survey with 293 self-respondents (out of 2,300 sent) in which they extrapolated their ridiculous figure of 17,000 disenfranchised non-ID voters. The whole thing is complete nonsense and a prime example of how false stories can perpetuate false myths about voter fraud and disenfranchisement that don’t exist.

WATN: Former three time RRHelections Turkey Award Winner Anthony Weiner (D) has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15 year old girl. We would make more jokes about he “man” most responsible for electing Donald Trump President of the United States but the sick f*** was having cybersex with a kid. May he rot in jail.

Political Roundup for August 11, 2017

Senate:

TN-Sen/TN-6: State Sen. Mark Green (R) will not run for any higher office next year. Green had previously announced a run for governor earlier this year, but suspended that bid while he was under consideration to be Secretary of the Army. He later withdrew his name from consideration, but did not restart his campaign for governor. Sen. Bob Corker (R) has not yet said whether he is seeking re-election, but some had hoped Green would challenge him or run for the open seat if Corker does not run fro re-election. There was also some speculation Green might run for TN-6, which Rep. Diane Black (R) is giving up to run for governor.

TX-Sen: Former Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen (R) is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the Republican primary. Running for Senate seems like a curious choice for McQueen after he resigned from his job as Corpus Christi Mayor earlier this year after spending just 37 days on the job. Among other things, McQueen is running on reducing the size of Congress to about one representative per 1 million people(the current average is about 1 per 711,000).

House:

FL-6: Former state Rep. Fred Costello (R) is planning to run for Congress, but only if Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) decides to run for governor. Costello has run for Congress twice before, losing to DeSantis in the 2012 and 2016 Republican primaries.

IN-4: Diego Morales, an Army veteran and a senior advisor to VP Mike Pence when Pence was governor is running for this now open seat. Morales is the first candidate to announce plans to run since Rep. Todd Rokita announced on Tuesday he is running for US Senate.  Also, state Sen. Brandt Hershman (R) announced on Facebook he is not running.

MA-3: Dan Koh, chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) hasn’t said anything publicly yet about running for this newly open seat, but of he does, he has the full support of his current boss. Walsh says he is “100 percent behind” Koh running for the seat. Koh, whose name was mentioned in connection with the seat after Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) announced her retirement Wednesday has said in the past that he has considered running for Congress or another elected office.

TN-6: Former Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner John Rose (R) has announced he will run for Congress next year. Rose served as Ag Commissioner from 2002-2003 and also has been involved with the Tennessee State Fair Association and owns a business that trains IT professionals. Rose joins state Rep. Judd Matheny (R) in the GOP primary. Political strategist Scottie Nell Hughes, an ardent supporter of President Trump has also expressed interest in the race.

Governor:

AL-Gov: State Senate President Del Marsh (R) will run for re-election to the state Senate and not run for governor. Marsh had been considering getting into the governor’s race, but said he wanted to wait until Gov. Kay Ivey (R) decided whether or not to run. Ivey says she is close to making a decision.

CO-Gov: Former Colorado State athletic director Jack Graham is considering running for governor, but wants to be sure he can win the Republican primary. Graham says he is a “different kind of candidate” who favors limited government and a strong defense but who is also pro-choice, pro-gay rights and favors some forms of gun control. He ran for US Senate last year, finishing a distant second behind Darryl Glenn in the Republican primary.

CT-Gov: Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano will not join the crowded GOP primary for governor. A gubernatorial bid by Fasano could have set up an awkward matchup between the Republican leaders of both the House and Senate with House Minority Leader Themis Klarides still deciding on a potential bid. 3 Republicans are already running with 3 others having formed exploratory committees, and others like Klarides could still join the race.

ME-Gov: Former state Rep. Diane Russell (D) is joining the Democratic primary for governor. Russell identifies herself as a “hardcore progressive” and favors single-payer healthcare. She was also a supporter in the Legislature of legalizing recreational marijuana and was also a supporter of the ranked-choice voting initiative. She joins 6 other Democrats in the primary.

MD-Gov: Krish Vignarajah, a former policy director for Michelle Obama, is joining the Democratic nomination for governor. However, questions have been raised about whether she meets Maryland’s residency requirements to run. Candidates must have been a registered voter in the state for 5 years, and while she says she registered to vote in the state as early as she was able, she also registered to vote in the District of Columbia in 2010 and voted there in 2014. She says she never voted in more than one place at a time, and doesn’t think being registered in more than one place precludes her from meeting the requirements.

 

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 17th, 2017

President

Harris: Ambition apparently knows no bounds for America’s favorite multiracial progressive/nullification proponent, Sen. Kamala Harris (D). The very freshman Senator was seen at a meeting in the Hamptons with big-name Democratic donors. The speculation is that she’s thinking about running for President in 2020. But wait, progressives! Don’t let your hearts be too aflutter, because she was meeting with those nefarious Clinton Donors. The corrupting influence of Corporatist Money knows no bounds!

Congress

CA-Sen: Speaking with J-Cats on the New York mogul’s radio show, Olympic gold medalist and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner (R) says that he/she is considering running for the Senate. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is on retirement watch, so there could be an open seat. Other than that, I’m just kind of speechless on this one.

IN-Sen: I actually feel a bit bad for Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) on this one. Donnelly is selling $50,000 worth of stock in his brother’s arts and crafts company because the ink for the inkpads is made in Mexico. Big Whoop. I know that Indiana has been hard-hit by outsourcing, and this can’t be popular there, but it wouldn’t sink him either. I probably shouldn’t feel too bad for him, though, because with $15,000 in dividends produced on that equity last year, it shouldn’t be hard to sell for an increased price. This will likely come up at some point in his 2018 race, but he’s probably neutralized early.

MO-Sen: The Club for Growth commissioned a poll of a McCaskill-Hawley matchup, and their polling firm found a 46-42 Hawley lead. It should be noted that this is less of a lead for Hawley than he had in a previous poll, but that the 12% who are undecided are mostly right-leaning voters.

PA-Sen: It’s Reporting Season once again, so we’re getting a flurry of fundraising numbers. One of them that caught my eye was that rich guy Jeff Bartos (R) raised over $1 million this quarter in his bid to oust Sen. Bob Casey (D). Barton faces a very uphill climb, and several other Republicans are thinking about entering the race, but it’s not a bad start.

TX-Sen: In a slight surprise, progressive darling Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) has outraised his opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in this year’s second quarter. O’Rourke raised $2.1 million to Cruz’s $1.6 million. However, Cruz quickly sent out an email pointing out that he has $5.7 million in COH. O’Rourke got over $1 million in online donations, largely from small donors. It shouldn’t matter much, though, as long as Cruz doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel. This is Texas, after all.

WV-Sen: The Republican primary to take on Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is already getting nasty. AG Patrick Morrisey (R) is challenging Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) to a series of debates and is questioning the former Democrat’s conservative credentials. Meanwhile, Jenkins is calling Morrisey a former DC lobbyist a ‘profiteer.’ This one will likely get even uglier, folks, so strap in.

PA-06: The NRCC has written a blog post attacking Rep. Ryan Costello’s (R) opponent, Chrissy Houlahan (D). Whoop-di-doo, right? Right, accept that it may reveal a key Republican tactic for 2018. The blog post notes that many Democrats are currently taking stances in favor of single-payer (read: government-run) healthcare and challenges Houlihan to reveal her stance on the issue. It’s a great little bit of ratfucking, because if she comes out against it, she might hurt herself in the Democratic primary, but a stance in favor would almost certainly hurt her in the swingy and affluent Main Line suburbs that comprise the heart of the district. If she’s smart, she’ll attempt to avoid taking a stance on the issue, but who knows? Maybe she or some other Democrat will take the bait.

Governor

TN-Gov: State House Speaker Beth Harrell (R) has officially announced her candidacy for Governor. She joins rich guys Bill Lee and Randy Boyd and state Sen. Mae Beavers in the Republican primary. Rep. Diane Black (R) is also said to be mulling a run of her own. What’s amazing isn’t how many Republicans are running, but that all of them are from Middle Tennessee (as is the only announced Democrat, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean). There’s a real opening for an East Tennessee Republican, especially since they could easily play a regional dogwhistle game. West Tennessee often feels as if Nashville purposefully neglects it. If someone from East Tennessee could connect with that sentiment, they’d unite two Grand Divisions and be pretty much unstoppable.

TX-Gov: It’s not like anyone was in suspense about it, but Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced his campaign for a second term over the weekend. Somewhat interestingly, he currently has no declared opponents.

WV-Gov: Yes, I’m linking to Hoppy Kercheval twice in one roundup. He’s great. Read his stuff. Anyway, Gov. Jim Justice (D) seems to be having a liquidity problem. Though valued at approximately $1.6 billion, the newly-minted governor owes over $15 million in back taxes in six states through various companies. A lot of the debts are related to coal severance. It’s causing him a few minor headaches now, but he’s still likely to have this problem come his reelection bid in 2020 unless he settles these debts soon.

State/Local

NV-Voting: The Silver State has passed a new bill that expands voting rights for felons. It’s somewhat complicated, but basically it makes eligible for voting restoration about a quarter of the felons released each year. They were not previously eligible due to reasons that were problems, such as unpaid bills or probation violations, but not in and of themselves enough to cause revocation of parole.

Political Roundup for May 11, 2017

Polling Update: We are still way short of what we would need to raise to poll the MT-AL special election. Montana state law requires live callers to poll which makes the cost of polling the state very expensive. We are still waiting on approval from the state of Georgia to get an exemption to their state telecommunications law which requires live callers. If we can get the exemption and raise enough money we will poll GA-06. If not all money raised will be put towards polling the AL-Sen GOP primary. If you would like to help make the polls possible please go to:   https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and contribute today!

President:

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?: Because one President who is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame is not enough, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says he might actually run for President. Before you laugh at this please remember Donald Trump is President of the United States and Al Franken is a member of the US Senate.

Governor:

FL-Gov: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) officially launched is campaign for governor. Putnam has been a fixture in Florida’s political scene for over 20 years. He was first elected to the Florida State House in 1996, Congress in 2000 and was elected statewide to Agriculture Commissioner in 2010. With a resume like that its sometime hard to believe that Adam Putnam is only 42 years old.

MI-Gov: Better Call Sam. Wealthy attorney Mark Bernstein (D) is considering a run for governor. The Bernstein family law firm is one of the best known in the state and Mark is known for his “Call Sam” ambulance chasing commercials. If he runs Mark could put significant personal fortune into the race. When Mark’s brother Richard Bernstein ran for MI Supreme Court in 2014 the Bernstein family reportedly spent more than $1 million to help him win.

MN-Gov: 2014 gubernatorial nominee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R) will run for governor again this year. Johnson struggled with fundraising in 2014 but did outperform the well-funded GOP Senate nominee. Johnson joins Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman and State Rep. Matt Dean in the quest for the GOP nomination. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, State Sen. Dave Osmek, former MNGOP Chairman Keith Downey, and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek are all considering seeking the Republicans nomination as well.

NJ-Gov:  Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) has raised over $2.2 million since January for her gubernatorial campaign. While this is a fairly decent haul for her, New Jersey is a very expensive state to run in since it doesn’t have its own media market and candidates are forced to buy ads in NYC and Philadelphia. Her most likely general election opponent will be former Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe Phil Murphy (D) who has already written a check to himself for $10 million for his campaign and give himself a lot more.

TN-Gov: State Sen. Mark Green (R) is undecided about returning to the Tennessee governor’s race after his nomination to be Secretary of the Army was scuttled by Democrats and LGBT special interest groups. Ironically the controversy left wing groups created over his nomination has raised Green’s profile and stature and could even help him in a GOP gubernatorial primary.

VA-Gov: Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) believes healthcare is a “privilege” and not a “right”. At least that is what he said in a 2011 debate when he was running for re-election to the state senate. Expect Progressive darling Tom Perriello to make an issue out of this old quote in the Democrat primary.

Senate:

ME-Sen: Gov. Paul LePage (R) announced that he will not run for Senate in 2018. For months LePage had been hinting at potentially challenging Sen. Angus King (I) but this marquee matchup will not happen.

TX-Sen: Former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd will not run for Senate in 2018. Dowd had been considering an independent bid against Sen. Ted Cruz (R). The biggest obstacle to Ted Cruz’s re-election would come from a third party right of center candidate sucking up enough Republican votes to allow a Democrat like Beto O’Rourke to seek into office with less than 45% of the vote. With Dowd out that no longer looks like a possibility. Furthermore Cruz is starting to shed his image as an obstructionist Senate gadfly and is starting to be seen as a team player who the Senate GOP is counting on to bring Senate Republicans together to pass Obamacare repeal (see HERE).

WV-Sen: ICYMI Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) campaign launch video is well worth a watch. The video hits Sen. Manchin (D) for saying one think to get elected and doing another in Washington, DC. The ad features Manchin changing his views on gun control, standing with Planned Parenthood and endorsing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The video clearly lays out the case Jenkins will be making to voters and the themes in it will most likely be the focus of his campaign for Senate.

House:

CA-10: Registered nurse Dotty Nygard (D) will challenge Rep. Jeff Denham (R). Nygard is an activist in California Nurses Association the powerful Nurses Union. While Nygard seems like a C-list candidate at best Hillary Clinton did win this district 49%-46%.

GA-6: San Francisco loves Jon Ossoff (D) and the Congressional Leadership Fund is running a new ad letting everyone know that.

NY-1: Sommelier Hannah Selinger (D) announced her intention to challenge Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Selinger has no prior experience running for public office and only moved to the East End of Long Island six years ago.

NY-11: Boyd Melson (D), a 35-year-old retired boxer, plans to run to run against Rep. Dan Donovan (R) next year. Melson lives in Brooklyn not Staten Island and can at best be described as a D-list candidate.

SC-5: The Club for Growth has endorsed Ralph Norman in the May 16th Republican primary runoff vs. Tommy Pope and has gone on the air with two new TV ads on Norman’s behalf (See HERE & HERE). UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has also made her preferences in this race known by donating $100 to Ralph Norman’s campaign (See Here).

VA-10: Dorothy McAuliffe, wife of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), will not seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) next year. This clears the way for DCCC recruit state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D) to have an easier path to the Democrat nomination.

WV-3: Ex-State Delegate Rick Snuffer (R) becomes first to announce he will run for Congress after Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) announced his Senate candidacy. While Snuffer  is a former State Delegate he is also entering frequent candidate territory. Snuffer has run twice before for WV-03 (getting within 8 points in 2012), ran for WV GOP Chair, and ran for US Senate run in 2006 (getting 6% of the R primary vote). Current WV GOP Chair & former Sen. Shelley Moore Capito staffer Conrad Lucas is also prepping a Congressional campaign here.

State, Local & Other:

AL-Redistricting: The court mandated legislative redistricting in Alabama is slowing coming to completion. The senate has passed a map that complies with the court order unpacking of black voters. The new Senate maps smoothed out county lines while maintaining a partisan make up similar to the old. The house map that has passed committee also looks like it will keep the partisan balance the same while fixing the items the court wanted addressed.

NH-HD Cheshire 4: Rep. Joseph Stallcop has left the Democratic Party and joined the Libertarian Party. His defection will give the Libertarian Party two members in the 400 member state House. This will entitle the Libertarian Party to be recognized as a caucus, with its own room in the capitol. Stallcop is a 21 year old college student and was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016.

Political Roundup for May 2nd, 2017

Stay tuned for our SC-5 & Leg. Specials live blog later today!

National:

2020: Kirsten Gillibrand, who is on everyone’s 2020-prosective shortlist for the Democrats, declared that she has no interest in the race and is instead focused on her 2018 re-election campaign. I don’t buy it for a second honestly, as what else is she going to say right now? That’s she’s only running for re-election to the Senate to jump out on New York pretty much immediately afterwards? Let’s see what she says come mid-2019. Gilibrand is probably in the Democrat’s ideological sweet spot of being Progressive enough to be tolerable to the Sanderistas while not being so completely crazy as to be unelectable, so if she sticks to this the Democrats are down one of their better prospective candidates.

Supreme Court: Rumors are flying that Kennedy might be retiring sometime in the next year. Unlike the Gorsuch nomination (which basically replaced a Conservative Stalwart with a Conservative Stalwart), Kennedy has been the crucial swing vote on the court since the Bush years, and a Conservative replacement would probably create an Ideological Conservative majority on the court for the first time since probably the 1930s. We’re talking about a 5th vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade and a whole host of other long-time Conservative judicial goals being within reach for the first time, so this court fight will probably dominate headlines for months.

2016-Retrospective: Some data-crunchers have determined that about 70% of Trump’s 2016 victory came from convincing former Obama voters to pull the level for him. The actual number is higher still if you assume that the drop in black turnout from 2012-2016 is a return to normalacy from the record highs of the Obama years as opposed to being a 2016-specific low

Climate Change: The national review has a very interesting piece on the Bret Stephens Op-Ed “Controversy”, specifically pointing out the inherent irony in the situation. The left has gone apeshit because the NYT published a piece that is basically saying that if you want to convince people, telling them that you are right and they are the equivalent of holocaust deniers for disagreeing is a great way to not do that. The actual piece (which I’m betting <5% of the people complaining have actually read, as is standard for this sort of thing) is remarkably moderate for the fire its getting, basically saying that everything the Left is doing with regards to the issue is wrong, self-destructive, and inherently anti-scientific. The left savaging an anti-Trump Conservative for giving them sound political advice is a remarkably good demonstration of why they’ve had serious electoral trouble lately.

Congress:

GA-6: Ossoff has released an internal poll showing up 1 point in the runoff for this seat. Amusingly, the poll puts him at 48%, which is basically exactly what he got in the initial election. This is probably a “Hey, keep paying attention to me” internal poll more than anything else, as the deflated Dem enthusiasm after not winning this seat outright last month might be taking its toll on his fundraising #s in this seat, given how heavily he was reliant on out-of-state donations.

Generic-Ballot: CNN/ORC has the Democrats up 9 points on the Generic Ballot. Its worth mentioning however that they have had a consistent D house-lean, putting the Democrats up right before 2014 and giving the Republicans a measly 1-point lead ahead of the 2010 wave.

TX-Sen: Joaquin Castro (The US representative, not his brother the former SA mayor/HUD secretary) has announced he isn’t running against Ted Cruz for Senate. This probably clears the field for El Paso Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is still probably a huge underdog to Cruz in a state that Democrats keeps insisting is going to be blue any day now. Maybe if they start running moderate Hispanic Democrats willing to buck the party platform in key places as opposed to White Bold Progressives, they’d have a better shot, but that would require a leap in mindset the “Demographic inevitability” Democrats don’t seem to be willing to make.

State & Local:

CA-Votes: In a probably unexpected move, my home state’s continued flaunting of federal law has created probably the best test case for the issue of voting fraud in the US. California is now issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants (at this point I’m surprised they’re not just issuing them Social Security cards while they’re at it). However, California automatically registers anyone with a driver’s license to vote, which means that it was probably ridiculously easy for an illegal immigrant with one of the licenses to register. Breitbart has suggested that Sessions subpoena the state for its AB60 (the illegal licenses bill) rolls and compare them against the 2016 voter rolls, looking for significant overlap (which would be probably the closest we can get to proof of mass, devolved, voter fraud).

FL-Gov: In a move that surprised nobody, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) has filed to run for Governor next year. Ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), daughter of former Senator & Governor Bob, is also widely expected to announce her own run for Governor today. FL-Gov is a big prize for both parties, given that it will likely control the map-drawing of Florida after the 2020 census, and the Democrats have been shut out of the office for 20 years at this point.

ND-Gov ’20: Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed a new voter-ID bill into law yesterday, despite being similar to a previous one that is still working its way through the courts. Basically, it’s the classic issue of whether the laws put an undue burden on the ability for legal voters to vote if they don’t have an appropriate ID. Expect lots of Lawyers and testimony and for the case to drag out for another few years.

OK-Gov: Democrats have a competent candidate for Governor in former Attorney General Drew Edmondson (D), who lost the 2010 primary. While his chances are slim (Oklahoma is a strong contender for the most reliably Republican state in the country, given that no Democratic presidential candidate has managed to win a single county there since 2000), a big part of the reason why the Democrats have such a huge deficit in Governorships (33-16-1 currently) is their inability to win in red states, so getting competent candidates everywhere is going to be a key part of trying to break their current dry spell.

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 https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and contribute today!

President:

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.

Governor:

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.

Senate:

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).

House:

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.

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