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Political Roundup for April 28, 2017

Last night, school board member Kevin Vaughn (R) won the GOP primary for the safely Republican TN-LD-95.

Governor:

CT-Gov: State Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D) has officially opened an exploratory committee to run for governor. He is the 4th Democrat to indicate a possible run, joining Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, former state Sen. and Dept. of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris and former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei. LG Nancy Wyman (D) is also considered a possible candidate and as Lembo is friends with her, he says his interest in running should not be interpreted as signifying that she will not run and he says he would defer to her if she does run.

More CT-Gov: You can add one more name to the Democratic primary as well, as Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (D), who was re-elected mayor after a stint in federal prison, is also set to enter the contest today.

MN-Gov: State Rep. Matt Dean (R) announced yesterday he plans to run for governor. Dean has been in the State House since 2005 and served as majority leader from 2011-2013. He has the most political experience of anyone currently running on the Republican side, joining Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman, and political novices Christopher Chamberlin and Phillip Parrish. Dean has said he plans to seek the Republican Party endorsement and will abide by it and not run in a primary if he doesn’t get it.

WI-Gov: State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) says she is still considering running for governor, Vinehout is one of the few Democrats still considering running after a number of others including Rep. Ron Kind, former state Sen. Tim Cullen and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi have declined to run. Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik, attorney Matt Flynn, state Rep. Dana Wachs and Jefferson County Attorney and unsuccessful 2014 Democratic AG nominee Susan Happ are others who are considering running.

House:

MN-7:  Rep. Collin Peterson (D), who is consistently high on retirement watchlists is going to run for yet another term. After two failed bids for the seat in 1984 and 1986(when he lost by just 121 votes), Peterson defeated incumbent Rep. Arlan Stangeland (R) in 1990. He then survived two close re-election bids in 1992 and 1994 and had coasted to easy re-election victories for the next 20 years, helped by positioning himself solidly on the right side of the Democratic Party in the Republican district. In 2014 he was made a target by the NRCC and won by 9 points, below his usual margins but a solid win for a Democrat in a red district. Last year however he had a much closer race than expected, beating a severely underfunded Republican opponent by just 5 points. At the same time, his district stampeded hard towards Donald Trump, voting for him by 31 points(Romney won the district by 10 points in 2012). Dave Hughes, the Some Dude-ish Republican who faced him in 2016 is planning to run again, but with the NRCC making Peterson a target again, it’s likely that more high profile candidates will step up.

OK-1: Former Tulsa County DA Tim Harris (R) has announced he plans to run for Congress in 2018, or possibly sooner. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) has been mentioned as a candidate to head NASA, so a special election may be necessary. Bridenstine is likely not seeking re-election anyway as he pledged after being first elected in 2012 to only serve 3 terms in Congress, and he has given no indication he plans to violate that pledge. Former Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Jr. (R) and former state House Speaker and unsuccessful 2014 US Senate candidate T.W. Shannon (R) have also been mentioned as possibilities to run.

UT-4: Darlene McDonald, a technical engineer and first time political candidate has filed to challenge Rep. Mia Love (R) next year as a Democrat. If she wins the Democratic nomination, it would set up an interesting general election-between two black women in a district where only 2% of the residents are black. Other Democrats are considering running as well.

State & Local:

FL-SD-40: State Rep. Daisey Baez (D) plans to run in the special election to replace former Sen. Frank Artiles (R), who resigned after criticism of racist remarks he had made. Baez, who was elected to her first term in the House last year, acknowledged that she does not currently live in SD-40. She would have to move to the district in order to represent it. State Rep. Robert Ascencio (D) is also considering running. Republicans are hoping state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) will run. Gov. Rick Scott (R) has yet to set a date for the special election.

HI-LG: Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa says he is “very strongly inclined” to run for Lieutenant Governor next year. Although Arakawa used to be a Republican, he said he had not run for a partisan office since 1994(local offices are nonpartisan) and plans to run as a Democrat. A swap of offices could be in the works as current LG Shan Tsutsui (D) is expected to announce later this year he plans to run for Maui Mayor. Arakawa interestingly also says he expects Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, who he has a close relationship with, to run for governor and thinks he will defeat Gov. David Ige (D) in the Democratic primary.

KS-Treasurer: Jake LaTurner (R) is the new state Treasurer of Kansas after former Treasurer Ron Estes (R) was sworn in as a Congressman on Tuesday. LaTurner was a state senator before being appointed to the position by Gov. Sam Brownback (R). Republican Party committee members in the district will choose a replacement to be submitted to Brownback to fill the senate seat. LaTurner said he had been “sort of looking at” a bid for KS-2 next year before being appointed state treasurer, but now will run for a full term in the position next year.

Other:

UK-election: A poll indicates that the expected Conservative landslide in the June general election could even extend into Scotland. The poll, commissioned by the Sunday Times Scotland has the Tories at 33%, 18 points ahead of where they were in 2015. The SNP got 44% support in the poll, while Labour has fallen to 13%, 11 points down from 2015. The Conservatives are increasingly being seen as the better alternative over Labour for voters who supported the No side in the 2014 independence referendum and who voted for Leave in the Brexit vote last year. The numbers project the Tories to win as many as 12 seats in Scotland, picking up 10 from the SNP and 1 from Labour, which would represent their best numbers since the early 1970s. Among the SNP seats thought to be at risk is Moray, currently held by SNP Deputy Leader Angus Robertson, where Leave only narrowly lost last year in the Brexit referendum.

Political Roundup for April 25th, 2017

National:

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

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

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

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

Congress:

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

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

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

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

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

State & Local:

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

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

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

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

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

Other:

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for April 21, 2017

Governor:

FL-Gov: Ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D) is apparently close to formally announcing a run for governor. She said she would make an announcement about whether she plan to run “soon”, defining soon as something between tomorrow and two more months. A big obstacle to her running was recently removed as her husband, undergoing cancer treatment, was told his cancer was in remission. Two Democrats are already running-Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King, and trial lawyer John Morgan is also considering running.

GA-Gov: State Sen. Burt Jones (R) is considering joining the race for governor. LG Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are already running on the Republican side. Jones was a former team captain for the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team in 2002. He says he intends to make a decision about running in the next couple of months

OH-Gov: Ex-Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) is holding a town hall in Dayton on Monday, fueling speculation he may be interested in running for governor. The town hall will follow a press conference in Columbus earlier in the day to discuss “the impact of privatization on Ohio’s public schools.” Although Kucinich’s name has not been discussed much in connection with the race, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball website mentioned him yesterday as someone “looming in the background” of the race.

OK-Gov: State Rep. Scott Inman (D) announced yesterday he is joining the race for governor. Inman, who is term-limited out of the House, joined former state Sen. Connie Johnson (D) and retired auto mechanic Norman Brown in the Democratic primary. LG Todd Lamb (R), State Auditor Gary Jones (R) and attorney Gary Richardson are running on the Republican side.

House:

MD-6: State House Majority Leader William Frick (D) has begun raising money for a congressional run in anticipation of Rep. John Delaney (D) potentially vacating the seat to run for governor. Although he has filed paperwork to raise money for the race, he has not filed to be on the ballot yet.

NE-2: Ex-Rep. Brad Ashford (D) says either he or his wife, Ann will run for Congress against Rep. Don Bacon (R) next year. He says “One of us is running next year. And you can take that to the bank.” Right now, he says his wife is leaning towards running. The two Ashfords have one thing in common-both are former Republicans. Brad was a registered Republican and later an independent while serving in the Legislature and then became a Democrat after leaving. Ann was a registered Republican until changing her registration at the end of last year after voting for Hillary Clinton.

NM-1: Two Democrats announced bids yesterday for this open seat. Albuquerque city councilman Pat Davis, who also is executive director of liberal group Progress Now New Mexico joined former University of New Mexico law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez in announcing their intentions to run for the seat left open by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who is running for governor.

UT-3: It appears Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), who already announced on Wednesday that he wouldn’t seek re-election next year, may not even serve out the rest of his term. Chaffetz said during an interview with a local radio talk show that he is considering leaving office early. The situation would present a difficult scenario-state law is unclear about the process for holding a special congressional election. State law only says that in case of a vacancy, the governor shall call for a special election. No timetable or process is spelled out. The last time a vacancy in a congressional seat in Utah occurred was in December 1929, and in that case the special election was not held until the next scheduled general election in November 1930. Utah has gone the 3rd longest period of time without a special congressional election behind Delaware(1900) and Idaho, which has never held a special congressional election since statehood in 1890.

VA-10: State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D) announced yesterday that she is challenging Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) next year. Wexton is the 4th Democrat to join the race, and the one many Democrats think has the best chance of beating Comstock. She joins Army veteran Daniel Helmer, former Obama Administration official Lindsey Davis Stover and former Fairfax County teacher’s union president Kimberly Adams. Others, including Dorothy McAuliffe, wife of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) are thinking about running.

State & Local:

OK-LG: Former OK Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell announced yesterday he plans to run for Lieutenant Governor. Pinnell served as state Republican Party Chairman during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles and was the youngest state GOP chairman in the country at the time.

Omaha Mayor: Women’s rights groups are criticizing the DNC for holding an event in Omaha featuring mayoral candidate Heath Mello (D) because Mello voted for pro-life bills as a state senator. The Daily Kos has also withdrawn their endorsement of Mello after discovering his voting record on the issue.

International:

UK-general election: Former UKIP Leader Nigel Farage says he will not stand as a candidate in the upcoming general election. He considered running for UKIP in Clacton, where MP Douglas Carswell announced that he will not run for re-election. Carswell was UKIP’s only MP before leaving the party to sit as an independent earlier this year. Farage has failed 7 times previously in being elected to Parliament. He also predicted the Tories would win a large majority and knowing that fact would allow UKIP voters to vote their conscience.

 

Political Roundup for April 19th, 2017

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

President:

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

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

Congress:

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

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

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

State & Local:

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

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

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

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

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

Other:

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

Political Roundup for April 18, 2017

Check back for our GA-6 liveblog starting at 7p ET. Until then be sure to check out our preview of the race if you have not already.

Congress:

ND-Sen: Firefighter David Peyer (D) is launching a bold progressive challenge to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). We enthusiastically support Peyer’s efforts to make sure North Dakotans don’t send a Trump-appeasing DINO back to the Senate.

TN-Sen: Attorney and Iraq veteran James Mackler (D) will run for the seat of Sen. Bob Coker (R). It is unclear how serious a candidate Mackler will be but his launch is getting some significant press.

OK-1: Tulsa DA Tim Harris (R) has entered this race for the seat of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R), who has indicated he will honor a term-limit pledge and retire in 2018 (or sooner if he is picked to become NASA director). Harris joins businessman Kevin Hern (R) and nonprofit exec Andy Coleman (R) in the primary.

OK-2: Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R) created a really bad soundbite when he said that it was “bullcrap” that constituents pay his salary. Mullin’s deep-red rural seat isn’t vulnerable in a general but this is the sort of thing that could create primary trouble, especially since Mullin has also indicated he is likely to break a term-limit pledge.

Governor & Row Offices:

CT-Gov: Two Democrats are moving forward on runs to succeed retiring Gov. Dan Malloy (D). Malloy admin consumer affairs secretary Jonathan Harris (D), a former West Hartford Mayor, is stepping down from the cabinet to consider a run, as is federal prosecutor Chris Mattei (D). Should they enter Harris and Mattei would join Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) in the primary; many other Democrats are considering.

CT-SoS: SoS Denise Merrill (D) has not announced whether she will run for Governor, but that isn’t stopping a candidate from floating his name to succeed her should the seat become open. State Rep. Matt Lesser (D) has announced he will explore a run for SoS, but only if the seat is open.

MN-AG: Attorney Harry Niska (R), who serves on a local board in Eagan, has become the second Republican to enter this race, joining ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) in the race. Unlike his rivals, Niska seems to have no compunction about taking on AG Lori Swanson (D), who is seen as likely to vacate the seat to run for Governor, but who would be a prohibitive favorite for a fourth term if she were to run again. State Rep. John Lesch (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) are in the race on the Dem side, but only if Swanson vacates the seat.

NE-SoS: Former elected state school board member Bob Evnen (R) will run for the open SoS seat. Evnen has already announced support from Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R) and Don Bacon (R), and thus looks like the front-runner for the post. State Sen. John Murante (R) is the other candidate commonly associated with this race.

OK-AG: Appointed AG Mike Hunter (R) will seek a full term in his post in 2018. The decision was somewhat in doubt as Gov. Mary Fallin (R)’s first appointee to a Row Officer slot, Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn-Houston (R), had announced she would be a placeholder that would not seek a full term.

Local Races:

Seattle-Mayor: Ex-Mayor Mike McGinn (D) will seek a comeback to the office he lost in 2013, taking on incumbent Ed Murray (D). McGinn is a far-left moonbat with hipsterish tendencies, while Murray is an establishment progressive. McGinn’s term as mayor was widely characterized as an incompetent mess, while Murray has done a better job on competence issues. But McGinn performed better than expected in 2013 with the city’s far-left electorate, and Murray has also been recently hit with a lawsuit alleging long-ago sexual abuse, so this race could be very competitive.

Rochester, NY-Mayor: Monroe County commissioner Tony Micchie (R) will run for Mayor of Rochester, giving Republicans a serious candidate for an office they haven’t seriously contested in living memory. Incumbent Lovely Warren (D) is facing County commissioner James Sheppard (D) and former news anchor and State House candidate Rachel Barnhart (D).

Washington, OR-CE: Washington County Exec Andy Duyck (R) announced last week that he would not run again for the top job in this large suburban Portland county, leading Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden (R) to enter the race. Though Washington County is nowadays deep-blue, it has a GOP-friendly history and officially nonpartisan elections.

International:

Britain: Prime Minister Theresa May (Conservative) announced a snap general election for June 8 to clear the air over the Brexit.  This moved was done with the support of Cabinet.  The Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Marxist Opposition Jeremy Corbyn (Old Labour) supports the move as well.

Political Roundup for April 10th, 2017

IMPORTANT: We are planning to release our RRH/DDHQ GA-6 poll on Wednesday. If you donated last week, please send us an email with your donation amount and the approximate time you made it to (redracinghorses@yahoo.com) to be put on the email list for the special early poll release. Also it is not too late to donate and get early access to our poll. Please click HERE to donate and help us pay for the GA-6 poll!

As we all watch missile-launch footage for the thousandth time, here’s electoral news to start your week off right.

National

WWC: After Donald Trump heavily overperformed normal Republican numbers with members of the White Working Class in dying industrial towns, local Democrats in these areas thought they’d get some attention. This failed to materialize, and they’re getting despairing and bitter about it.

Congress

PA-Sen: State Rep. Jim Christiana (R) has officially jumped into the race to challenge incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D) in 2018. Christiana is a solid B-lister, but he’s 1/203. This is going to be quite the lift for him, even if he wins the primary. Casey has been fairly secure in his seat even as the state has drifted rightward.

WI-Sen: We’ve covered Scott Walker’s brightening prospects for a third term due to iffy Democratic recruitment before. Now the Journal-Sentinel is pointing out that the same holds true for Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Baldwin has yet to draw a big-name Republican challenger for 2018 after Rep. Sean Duffy (R) declined to run.

Cook PVI: Elections nerds, rejoice! Charle Cook and Co. have released their official 2017 PVIs, and there’s lots of great analysis and charts at the link.

GA-06: Some Dudish special election candidate David Abroms (R) is bringing in former presidential candidate Evan McMullin (Egg McMuffin) to do an event for him. I guess this counts as using a heavy hitter in some circles, but it won’t go over well with many Republicans, even in this district. When you look like you’re going to be an also-ran, I guess you swing for the fences.

Governor

CO-Gov: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) announced his long-rumored candidacy for Governor yesterday. Perlmutter represents a district in suburban Denver that used to be considered swingy but has moved leftward in recent years. He should be considered the frontrunner in both the primary and general elections.

TN-Gov: State Sen. Mark Green (R) has been selected as President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army. This is very good news for every other candidate in the crowded Republican primary for Governor of Tennessee. All of the ones not named Mark Green are at least loosely affiliated with the pro-business establishment faction that dominates the state party. Green was the antiestablishment faction’s best candidate in years. It was looking like he might get a plurality in such a crowded field. Now the way is clear for the establishment types to fight it out. Someone in the administration will remind the eventual winner of this later when they need a favor.

State/Local

FL-HD-66:  In another episode of ‘The FLGOP And TXGOP Are Really Good At Recruiting Minority Candidates,’ HD-66 hopeful Berny Jacques (R) (who is Haitian) is getting big fundraising help already from some big names. HD-66 is a swingy seat in Pinellas County.

Lansing-Mayor: It seems that the contest for Mayor of Lansing isn’t really much of a contest after all. A new poll shows that State Rep. Andy Schor (D) leads City Councilwoman Judi Brown Clarke 47-20.

International

UK-Labour: As the perpetual dumpster fire of Corbynism burns on, Labour is set to be massacred in the local elections on May 4th. The losses should be especially bad in Scotland since the SNP wave hasn’t had a chance to wash through local offices yet.

Political Roundup for March 29, 2017

Hope you are enjoying our relatively slow news cycle as the political world tries to figure out what is going on.  Here is today’s roundup:

President/National/International

Brexit:  Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty today.  Triggering Article 50 officially begins the British withdrawal from the European Union and all that entails. Buckle up everyone.

Trump:  President Trump (R-Mar-a-Lago) says there is no doubt “we’ll make a deal on healthcare”.  I am not sure what he means by this.  Maybe he plans to invite Nancy and Chuck over to see what they would like to do as the House Freedom Caucus still lives in some land where government healthcare did not exist in 2008 let alone now.

More Trump:  The big push to get Mar-a-Lago to release its visitor records hit a roadblock… they do not keep such records.  Groups have been pushing for such records to see who the President is meeting with when he flees the Swamp on the Potomac for his resort located in a state that is essentially one big swamp.

Congress

WATN:  Former Representative Steve Stockman (R) was arrested earlier this month on charges stemming from his solicitation of charitable donations for non-profits that were used instead for personal and campaign expenses.  Stockman was charged along with two former staffers.

More WATN:  The FBI used one of former Representative Aaron Schock’s (R-Dowton Abbey) former staffers as an informant to rat out the former Congressman for his misuse of government and campaign funds to further his lifestyle and create wealth as he never had as he entered Congress at a very young age.  Schock’s trial starts this summer.

Freedom Caucus:  The House Freedom Caucus, the third largest party in the House of Representatives, is trying to figure out a way to push its clean repeal of Obamacare over the objections of the minority government led by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) and the Democrats who are secretly wondering if they can push through single payer in 2019.

States

NJ-State Sen:  State Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus (R-Anti-Gas Tax) called off her primary challenge to State Senator Steve Oroho (R-Gas Tax).  Phoebus’ usual challenge of an incumbent who backed her in 2015  essentially guarantees that Oroho will win reelection to his red northwestern New Jersey state senate seat.

Utah:  Bloomberg looks at how Utah appears to be one of the leaders in promoting the American Dream and how it has high rates of intergenerational advancement.

 

 

Political Roundup for March 27th, 2017

President:

AHCA: As you’ve no doubt heard by now, it got pulled at the last minute as Ryan was pretty convinced it didn’t have the necessary votes. We’ll have to see what eventually comes out of this failure, but in the meantime, expect the focus to shift more to Tax Reform for now.

Trump & Ryan: It’s a complicated relationship.

Trump & Supporters: Some scattershot polling suggests that Trump has yet to lose any significant ground among his base. Most notable in this poll is that Trump’s JA is lagging the Republican margin on the Generic Ballot, which is a good sign for Congressional Republicans given that the counties included in it are basically places where Trump over-performed the GOP baseline last year.

Travel Ban: A federal Judge in Virginia ruled in favor of Trump’s Travel Ban on Friday. The judge basically said that Trump’s previous campaign statements cannot be considered a legal argument that the ban is secretly designed to discriminate against Muslims. The fact that we needed to go through 2 federal judges before finding one that agrees that you cannot invalidate an EO on the grounds of “The President once said something mean about people affected by this order” is a pretty good demonstration of why people think the American government is broken.

China-Ambassador: Terry Branstad is sort of enjoying his status as ambassador-in-waiting as the Senate continues to languish in approving Trump appointee picks. Meanwhile, he’s continuing to add days to his rather impressive tenure as the longest-serving Governor in American history, serving 4 terms between 1983-1999, and then another 2 terms between 2011-present. We’ve held the IA Governor’s office for all but 12 years between 1969 and the present day, and that consists of exactly 2 Republican Governors!

Congress:

GA-6: Opinionsavy has polled this special election, and found that Ossoff (D) has consolidated a pretty solid 40% and easy win in the first round, but is running neck-and-neck with any Republican he’s paired with in the runoff. There’s reason to think that Ossoff might have found his floor and ceiling already however, as this poll also gives Trump a 53-46 approval rating in the seat, and has the AHCA at 47-50. Those numbers don’t give Ossoff a lot of space to move past 40% to the 50+1% he needs to secure the seat. Still, these are pretty impressive numbers for a political newbie in a seat considered almost untouchably safe for the GOP half a year ago. Expect the final stretch here to be expensive for both sides.

Nuclear Option: It seems that Chuck Schumer is going to force McConnell to go Nuclear in order to confirm Gorsuch. Honestly I’m not even sure this is a bad move for Schumer, who is probably well aware of how futile this is likely to be in terms of actually stopping Gorsuch, especially after the latter’s excellent performance in the hearings. He needs to ensure that the D base stays energized and opposed to the GOP as opposed to turning its ire at members of his caucus who would be providing the filibuster-breaking votes.

ND-Sen: Speaking of which, Heidi Heitkamp, widely considered one of if not the most vulnerable Democrat up next year, has been talking nice about Trump lately. Most of this is just standard “I’m not like those National Democrats” talk that cross-state Senators always go to when it’s time for re-election, but this seems oddly interested in resurrecting the sort of Populist-Agri-Democrat profile that has been pretty much wiped out Nationally since 2010. Heitkamp is going to need everything she can to help her survive in a state that she barely won in 2012 and that has galloped hard right since.

CA-34: In the latest “California cannot run an election competently to save its life” story, a number of the sample Korean-language ballots for this upcoming special election were printed with the candidates in the wrong order. Koreans are a notable part of this (otherwise Hispanic-majority) seat in central Los Angeles, and while it’s unclear how many ballots are actually affected, this is an embarrassing failure for a state that is only saved from being the worst in the country by the fact that no one is quite sure whether or not New York has found all of its 2016 ballots yet.

State & Local:

CT-Gov: Ted Kennedy Jr., son of the late Massachusetts Senator and currently a Connecticut State Senator, is apparently interested in running for Governor. The nephew of the former president has been rather low-profile in his political career compared to some of the rest of his family, and is apparently trying to avoid simply basking in his family name. CT-GOV is one of the GOP’s best Gubernatorial pickup opportunities next year, so this would be an interesting development.

VA-Poll: Gravis has polled most of the upcoming Virginia races, finding a close Governor race for either Democratic candidate, Kaine up comfortably but not invincibly, and Trump sporting a -12 approval rating in the state. Nothing here is out of line with the common wisdom.

Other:

Bulgaria: The Center-right GERB party managed to win over their main rivals in the elections over the weekend. GERB took 32.5% of the votes to the Socialist’s 26.8%, with a more Nationalistic-tinged United Patriots party taking 9.2% and the Turkish-ethnic MRF party at 8.9%.

Census Numbers: Some more Census numbers are in, mostly looking at counties this time. Cook County continues its drawn-out evacuation, Wayne and Baltimore City are still bleeding people, and the Booming Sunbelt is still booming. Movement to the North Dakota Shale Fields has slowed to a trickle, and Puerto Rico continues to lose an almost staggeringly large amount of its population, dropping 300,000 (Close to 10% of the Island) since 2010.

“Trump as Hitler”: I don’t normally like quoting cartoonists in these roundups, but Scott Adams has been remarkably insightful about how Trump works, and I think he’s onto something here. The Failure of the Healthcare bill has shifted the media narrative about how Trump is literally Hitler and going to form camps (any day now, I swear!) to “Trump is completely incompetent at governing”. This is an interesting step up in terms of media image, but it also gives Trump some room to maneuver, given that unlike the previous meme, “Trump is incapable of governing” is possible to disprove.

UKIP: Douglas Carswell, the UKIP’s only MP in parliament, has left the party. Carswell left the Tories to join the UKIP in 2014, but has had a clear falling out with UKIP officials since, most notably Nigel Farange. Carswell’s move is another blow to a party that is still struggling to find a reason to exist in a world where Brexit is basically a certainty and the incumbent Conservative PM is talking about One-Nation Conservatism.

Political Roundup for March 23, 2017

President:
AHCA: Here’s a list of all the House Republicans presently opposing the AHCA.

AHCA-2: Rumors are swirling about last-minute changes to the Obamacare repeal, most of which vary wildly in which direction the changes will be in.

Gorsuch: Vote is scheduled for Monday at Noon.

Regret?: In a move that will come as a shock to . . .basically the sort of the people who read the Washington Post, it turns out very few Trump voters regret their choice in President. After the election (and after Brexit last year), it was common to see stories of voters expressing immediate regret over the decision, despite very little polling suggesting this was true. Hopefully this will finally put an end to that meme.

Surveillance: So House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has reported that the Obama administration did not apparently wiretap Trump directly, but rather were wiretapping so many people close to him that they wound up effectively wiretapping him anyway. More concerning is that Nunes also claimed that such information was “Widely disseminated inside intelligence community reports”. Honestly, this makes more sense than the most common explanations I’ve seen of Trump’s Russia ties—That Trump is either a secret Russian Spy taking orders from Putin that the FBI is this close to busting or the target of one of the most grotesque abuses of political power in history, though it does make me wonder who they were tapping that claimed Trump golden-showered a bed in a Russian hotel.

Congress:
FL-Sen: A St. Leo poll has Rick Scott, long bemused by people outside of Florida as an awful governor and a drag on the ticket, with positive approval ratings and only trailing long-time Senator Bill Nelson 39-34%. Scott is considered the overwhelming favorite for the GOP nod if he runs, with substantial personal wealth and massive name-ID, and is currently our best candidate for giving the popular and inoffensive Nelson a solid challenge. The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll with a similar 48-42 margin.

GA-6: The Club for Growth has endorsed Bob Gray (R) for this open seat north of Atlanta. I think we can assume that this means Gray will be a “No” vote on any form of the AHCA.

GA-Sen: Johnny Isakson (R-GA) is recovering from back surgery, which means that he might miss key votes, most notably for AHCA. Given that we’re already running tight on Senate votes, this is not a good development for us.

State & Local:
FL-Gov: The same St. Leo poll also asked about the Governor’s race, and has Mike Huckabee (yes, for real) leading the GOP primary field on pure name recognition, and Patrick Murphy (yes, for real) leading the D one for probably similar reasons.

MD-Gov: A new UMD poll of Maryland shows similar results to what we’ve previously seen—that Hogan is one of the most popular governors in the country—but also that he’s not nearly as solid for re-election as his +47 approval rating would suggest. He’s only up 41-37 to Generic Democrat, and after all the polls showing how much Generic Democrat would have beaten Trump if he ran last year, we can expect Mr. Democrat to face a lot of pressure to jump into the race. More seriously, Hogan was always going to have a tough hill to climb for re-election in what is probably the strongest downballot-D state in the country, and unless the Democrats nominate a spectacularly bad candidate, he probably has a ceiling of around 55% of the vote simply because a lot of the people who like him will like whoever the Democrats decide to run too.

SA-Mayor: A pair of polls has shown the 1st round of this May election to be competitive, with incumbent and DINO Ivy Taylor (who might be the only Black Female DINO of note in the entire country) at close to 50% of the vote, which in Texas would allow her to avoid a runoff entirely. Her main opponent is fellow “Non-Partisan” candidate Ron Nirenberg, with Bexar County D Chairman Manuel Medina languishing in 3rd place. Taylor’s weird coalition of Republicans and Black Democrats is one of the oddest in the country, but seems to be holding up decently enough for her in the admittedly fairly powerless position.

VA-Gov: It looks like more people from Obamaworld are jumping in to back Perriello, whose main opponent is getting much of the local VADem backing. Perriello’s running on a Sanders-esque “I’m a Progressive and proud of it”, and is even trying to turn his 2010 loss into a positive, claiming that it was proof that he wasn’t going to run away from defending progressive values just because it was politically expedient.

WI-Gov: Walker maintains his “Just popular enough to keep winning” level of support in the latest MULaw poll. I’m more concerned about this race than most, simply because I think Walker’s running the danger of overstaying his welcome and I’m not sure he’s even the GOP’s strongest candidate to hold onto this seat with Trump in the White House.

Other:
Census-data: The 2015->2016 numbers are out. No real surprises, but still lots of interesting tidbits to pour over.

The Family that would not leave: Chelsea Clinton continues to be heavily promoted for future political office, because let’s be honest—there was no chance that America’s most connected political family would ever let something like “Losing to Trump” get in the way of their long-term plans to run America. Though at the very least I expect Chelsea to bide her time for her last name to become less horrifyingly toxic in a D primary before running for president.

UK-London: The chaotic and deadly Westminster attack yesterday is still being investigated, but multiple arrests have been made, including a number in Birmingham. Given the nature of the attack, odds are very good that it was some sort of ISIS-based Muslim extremist, but the police aren’t releasing any specific information just yet.

UK-Manchester: George Galloway is running in the by-election for Manchester Gorton, a super-safe Labor seat that opened up following the death of oldest sitting parliamentarian Gerald Kaufman last month. Galloway has already gone, well, full Galloway (which is what we used to call going full Corbyn before Corbyn became a thing) in the seat by accusing the Labor party of trying to stack their shortlists with South-Asian candidates in this South-Asian heavy seat, possibly to discourage Galloway from running. This will be the 4th city Galloway has represented in parliament should he win, which has to be some kind of record.

Political Roundup for March 20th, 2017

As you pick yourself up off of the floor and kick aside a mug with a little green beer still at the bottom, here’s a warm serving of electoral news to help with the hangover.

Big Picture

Turnout: It looks like turnout in 2016 was about halfway between 2008 (62.2%) and 2012 (58.8%) at 60.2% of eligible voters. Then again, how would we know? New York City is still counting.

Congress

PA-Sen: Ah, crap. The Libertarians found a Senate candidate for 2018 in Pennsylvania. It’s not like Republicans had anything more than an outside chance at beating Sen. Bob Casey (D) anyway, but now it’ll be even harder.

UT-Sen/UT-03: Former Presidential candidate Egg McMuffin, err, Evan McMullin (I?) is thinking about primarying either Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) or Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) in 2018. He’d likely go down in flames to either incumbent, but he’s free to pick his own poison.

MT-AL: Roll Call points out that GA-06 is the only special House race where the Democrats are playing, and in so doing confirms that national Democrats are doing jack squat in Montana. Musician Rob Quist (D), their nominee there by convention, appears to be on his own.

Governor

MN-Gov: Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) has canned her long-expected gubernatorial bid. She was a big fish in a fairly crowded pond as far as Democratic hopefuls for Governor were concerned. The announcement should have some fallout both in front of and behind the scenes as allegiances shift.

MN-Gov Continued: …aaaannndd here it is! In the wake of Smith’s exit, Rep. Tim Walz (D)  has now privately confirmed that he’s running for Governor. Word on Twitter is that he’s also secured the backing of Rep. Collin Peterson (D). If true, that would be significant. Only Rep. Rick Nolan (D), who is also a rumored gubernatorial candidate, would stand in Walz’s way as far as uniting outstate Democrats is concerned. Remember folks, this contest will likely be decided at a convention, so the dynamics are a bit different than nominating contests in other states.

NJ-Gov:  SNL alum and radio host Joe Piscopo has quashed rumors that he’ll be running for Governor of New Jersey as a Republican. However, he still hasn’t ruled out a run as an Independent.

NJ-Gov Continued: In that same Republican primary, Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno and Assmb. Jack Ciattarelli are currently battling to get top placement on primary ballots in various counties. Ciattarelli got the top spot in Mercer County the other day. Guadagno countered by winning in Bergen. The fight continues, though Guadagno is favored.

VA-Gov: The Post got a bit dramatic with their headline on this one, but yes, the Virginia Governor’s race is important. In fact, it’s heating up, at least for the Democrats. Early on, it looked like Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) had the nomination locked up. Now the landscape looks different, with former Rep. Tom Perriello (D) gaining ground. In fact, Perriello was just endorsed by John Podesta. This is his second Clintonista endorsement, which is impressive for someone so long associated with Team Obama.

VA-Gov Continued: In other news about the race that always gets covered more than New Jersey’s because it’s across the river from DC, distillery owner Denver Riggleman (R) has dropped out of the Republican primary. Riggleman had sought to form an antiestablishment coalition of primary voters, but soon found that very few Republicans in Virginia are anti-Ed Gillespie. At least he’s smarter than Prince William County Executive Corey Stewart (R), who has yet to discover this and is therefore still running for the nomination.

State/Local

OK-SD-44: Even Edwin Edwards admits that he couldn’t get out of this one. Oklahoma State Sen. Ralph Shortey (R) was literally found with a live boy in a motel room. Shortey had paid the 17-year-old for sex. Needless to say, a special election for this OKC district will be forthcoming.

PA-HD-197: In this latest chapter of our saga about residency requirements and adorably racist party bosses, yet another improbable thing has happened; a historically black newspaper wrote a puff piece about a Republican candidate. No, really. Click the link, I swear. The Philadelphia Tribune wrote a profile of special election candidate Lucinda Little (R), and it’s downright favorable. I still think she’ll lose to a write-in, but the way things are going, the stars are aligning for the unthinkable.

VA-HD-72: Del. Jimmie Massey (R) is retiring at the last minute. This is significant because his Henrico County district narrowly went for Clinton. It’s more Republican downballot, but could be competitive.

WATN: Former State Sen. Morgan Carroll (D), last seen losing a race for CO-06 to Rep. Mike Coffman (R), has been elected Chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party. That’s normal. What’s weird is that both her rhetoric and the article suggest that the state party is in a shambles. I’m not saying it’s breaking records for dominance, but I wouldn’t call a party that holds the governorship, half the legislature, 3/7 House seats, and a Senate seat one that needs rebuilding, either. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that the state has now voted Democratic in the last three presidential elections. What are they smoking? Oh, wait…

International

UK-LibDems: Liberal Democratic Leader Tim Farron is calling on all Tories who have Remain-voting constituencies to defect to his party or resign. He’s threatening to beat at the polls all who don’t stand aside or switch. Given that the Tories just had a poll come out putting them on 43% with a 17-point lead at a snap election, I don’t think he’ll have many takers. Then again, with only nine seats to his party’s name, he doesn’t have much to lose by swinging for the fences.