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Political Roundup for October 19th, 2017

Check back at 3p ET this afternoon for our preview and open thread of this weekend’s elections in Japan, Argentina, and the Czech Republic.

Big Picture

Party-Building: This discussion between Tomas Edsall and Henry Olsen about the changing coalitions of both parties and their current strategies is a pretty good. It’s a birds-eye view of contemporary politics with some historical context.

Congress

MS-Sen:  Questions are mounting as to the mental state of Sen. Thad Cochran (R). Multiple reports in recent days paint a picture of a man who doesn’t always know where or who he is. I’m not quite sure how you handle this situation. On the one hand, it’s pretty hard to force someone to resign, even if they’re not in their right mind. On the other hand, if this is true, then he needs to be replaced with someone more for for office. Of course, it would have been best for everyone involved if he had just stepped aside in 2014, when a lot of us saw something like this coming.

WY-Sen: Blackwater founder Erik Prince (R) looks to be moving ahead with a primary challenge to sen. John Barasso (R). Prince has confirmed that he’s owned a home in Wyoming for 25 years and has a Wyoming driver’s license. So, I guess this absolutely unnecessary  primary can proceed without residency questions being raised. Whoopee.

DCCC/NRCC: It appears that Democratic donors are in a giving mood. The D-trip regularly outrages the NRCC, but the gap was larger than usual this quarter at $9 million, or about 75% more than the Republican haul. republican donors end to give more directly to candidates, but this should still be somewhat concerning.

IN-06: Well, it looks like after initial rumors trailed off into uncertainty, we now have an answer: Greg Pence (R), brother of Vice President Mike, is likely running for Congress to succeed Rep. Luke Messer (R). This is a bit interesting from a conflicts-of-interest  standpoint, because Pence is also the head of the fundraising team for Messer’s Senate campaign. Pence has to raise his own money as well, so I have to wonder if the two jobs will interfere with each other.

MA-03: This one is getting pretty crowded. folks. Steve Kerrigan (D), 2014 Lt. Gov nominee and past aide to both the Clintons and the Obamas, has jumped into the primary for right to succeed retiring Rep. Nikki Tsongas. Kerrigan is the seventh(!) serious Democrat to enter the race, following right on the heels of Westford school board member Terry Ryan (D), who entered earlier this week. Kerrigan’s big-name ties shouldn’t hurt his fundraising, and with a few other candidates already raising money quickly, this primary could get very expensive.

OH-12: Late last night, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) surprisingly announced his resignation. This suburban Columbus and rural central Ohio seat should be a fairly easy GOP hold; click through for our updated Great Mentioner.

PA-06:  Rep. Ryan Costello (R) would appear to have a fight on his hands, at least in the realm of fundraising. Costello did manage to outrages his challenger, Chrissy Houlahan (D) in the third quarter, but only by 9k. Both candidates raised over 300k. Costello has a big advantage in CoH, but he should be fundraising a bit better than that in such a wealthy district in a big metropolitan area.

PA-07: Speaking of Philadelphia-area Democratic candidates seeking Republican-held swing seats, resident of Philadelphia Dan Muroff (D) raised 77k in his bid to unseat Rep. Patrick Meehan (R). He and his campaign staff hilariously tried to disguise the relatively meager haul by announcing that they had raised 306k since entering the race. Some outlets fell for it at first, but even that number didn’t look so big compared to the 400k that professional moonbat State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Bold Progressive) raised in the third quarter.

UT-04: Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams (D) has announced that he’s running against Rep Mia Love (R) in 2018. love has struggled in the past, but had a solid win in 2016. despite McAdams’ strengths and President Trump’s relative unpopularity in Utah, this will still be an uphill climb in such a Republican district.

Governor

VA-Gov: Former president Obama is being dispatched to make campaign swings in ongoing races, especially in next months off-year contests in Virginia. These seem fairly routine, but there are whispers behind the scenes that Democrats are worried about African-American turnout. Some Democrats are hoping that more appearances by the former President in the right places will help prop -up black turnout, but it didn’t work that well in 2016, so I’m skeptical.

VA-Gov Continued: Speaking of the Virginia Governor’s race that’s coming up in a few weeks, we have another edition of Dueling Polls! Q thinks Northam is ahead by fourteen points, while Fox thinks he’s ahead by seven points. Those are the RV numbers for the Fox poll and LV numbers for the Q poll. Funnily enough, the Q poll actually gets better for Gillespie with RV. Other polls have suggested a much closer race. Either way, someone’s going to have egg on their face come early November.

State/Local

OH-SD-01: Well, this is an unusual level of candor. State Sen. Cliff Hite (R), who resigned unexpectedly the other day, has clarified that the resignation was due to ‘inappropriate behavior’ with a state employee who worked near his senate office. This is the guy who started his own son over Big Ben when he coached a high school football team, so making good decisions based on personal feelings seems to be a problem for him. The district isn’t in danger, though – it’s one of the most conservative senate districts in Ohio.

OH-SoS, OH-Treas: Two statewide Republican contenders abruptly dropped their Row Officer campaigns this week; Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo (R) dropped his bid for Treasurer to clear the field for State Rep. Robert Sprague (R), while State Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R) dropped her bid for SoS to clear the field for State Sen. Frank LaRose (R). As Mingo lives in OH-12 and Pelanda lives a few miles outside of it, it seems rather possible that they both got word of Tiberi’s impending resignation and may refocus to that race. The Ohio GOP now looks set to have no serious Row Officer primaries, with Auditor Dave Yost (R) for AG and State Rep. Keith Faber (R) for Auditor already not facing serious intraparty opposition.

Political Roundup for October 18, 2017

Last night, Democrats held MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk by a smaller than expected 47-43 margin. Now as polling seems to indicate that Alabama might go blue while Virginia might go red, but New Jersey remains solidly anti-Christie, it is time for today’s roundup:

Presidential/National

Soros:  George Soros (Bane of Right) has transferred $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations in an effort to free up even more funds for political purposes, which should not be much different than prior behavior.

Subsidies:  Senators Lamar Alexander (R?) and Patty Murray (D) have reached an agreement on restoring Obamacare subsidies for 2 years in exchange for loosing Obamacare restrictions imposed upon the states.  It is not clear that such a compromise will get a vote in either chamber even though President Trump supports.

Trump/McCain:  President Trump (R?) and Senator John McCain (Maverick War Hero) are going back and forth on nationalism.  McCain started the latest round of the Trump / McCain feud by attacking Trump’s brand of nationalism.

Congress

AL-Sen:  Think Progress has thrown a tsunami of cold water on Fox News’s Senate poll showing the race a dead heat.

MI-11:  State Representative Tim Greimel (D) will be the fourth Democrat to enter the race to replace retiring Representative Dave Trott (R).  Greimel was the state House Minority Leader between 2013 and 2016.

PA-10:  Representative Tom Marino (R-Big Pharma) has withdrawn his name for nomination to be Drug Czar after the press did its job an exposed him being in the pocket of opioid manufacturers in the pharma industry.  Marino should be concerned in this district as its been ravaged by the opioid crisis.

States

VA-Gov: Monmouth – Gillepsie 48 Northam 47, Christopher Newport Northam 48 Gillepsie 44

NJ-Gov: Fairleigh Dickinson and Fox News – Murphy 48 Guadagno 33

NJ-Legislature:  The latest on whats happening with the Democratic legislative leadership battles and any potential gains the Democrats might make in the Legislature this year.  It sounds like the lower house remains up for grabs between the North and South Jersey Democrats while there is little belief the Democrats will pick up any seats.

NJ-SD-3:  State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Norcross) is being outspent on the PAC front by the NJEA whose backing RINO Fran Grenier against Sweeney because he has spoken out against the NJEA’s outrageous behavior/demands.

International

Japan: The center-right (sort of)/ statist Liberal Democratic Party is on its way to a massive landslide.  The LDP is on pace to win approximately 2/3 of the seats in the lower house, which is near an all-time record for Prime Minister Abe’s LDP.

Political Roundup for October 11th, 2017

After President Trump singlehandedly redefined the IQ bell curve yesterday in proving his vast intellectual superiority to Rex Tillerson, Mensa proudly folded up its operations. It had a good run, but the defunct organization knows the country is in the most capable hands.

Last night, Republicans held FL-LD-44, while the following combinations advanced in mayoral elections in North Carolina:
Raleigh: Nancy McFarlane (I) 49 – Charles Francis (D) 37
Greensboro: Nancy Vaughan (D) 61 – Diane Moffett (D) 22
Durham: Steve Schewel (D) 51 – Farad Ali (D) 29
Fayetteville: Mitch Colvin (D) 45 – Nat Robertson (R) 32

President/Miscellaneous

Duh: The failing New York Times shares the obvious: ultra mature President Donald Trump’s super not petty and totally provoked fight with outgoing US Senator and Liddle Man Bob Corker (R) isn’t endangering his legislative agenda.

Big, Beautiful Wall: Speaking of the American Great Wall… According to the very dishonest AP, many people are saying that they don’t like the Donald’s proposed wall. They also disapprove of his plan to deport the “dreamers.”

Chicago Demographics: According to The Economist, without the Big, Beautiful Wall soon to Make America Great Again, Hispanics have eclipsed African-Americans to become Chicago’s second-largest ethnic group. Until recently, they were long ignored by the C[r]ook County Democratic machine.

God’s Waiting Room: The Wall Street Journal reports that real estate developers are looking to shake Boca Raton, Florida’s reputation as “God’s waiting room.” Given the perennial swing state’s very troubling age gap, these sorts of things are always worth keeping an eye on, especially when they reflect potential larger trends.

Russians and Fake News: The New York Times highlights the ingenious method by which clever, Russian-run accounts fanned the flames of controversy on both sides in 2016: anger. This quote really says it best: “One of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion, and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.”

GA-Redistrict: Sore loser and ex-US AG Eric Holder has filed a lawsuit against Georgia’s mid-decade redraw of its State House districts because…if Section 5 were in effect, he believes that preclearance would have been denied. Yes, really. Sad!

Congress

2018 Senate Cycle: According to Politico, some Democrats have begun to believe they can win the US Senate. The article points out, however, that the map is still very unfavorable. Even if Jabba the Hutt Steve Bannon’s deplorables succeed in their primary challenges, most will still win their generals.

AL-Sen: Former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) has released his first TV ad ahead of his matchup with Goliath Roy Moore (R). In his intro spot, Jones attacks the dysfunction in Washington and casts himself as a pragmatist who will cross party lines to accomplish something. Considering the “burn it all down” mentality of the Republican primary voters who supported God’s Gift to the World, Jones’ is sure to be the best possible strategy…

CA-Sen/Democrats: After ancient US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D) surprise re-election announcement, Politico highlights the rift among the California Democrats. The Democratic establishment, including US Senator Kamala Harris, back Feinstein. Yet, bold progressives like Congressmen Ro Khanna and Ted Liu are trying to get Congresswoman Barbara Lee or Robert Reich to challenge Feinstein.

WA-08: Seattle’s Crosscut, one of the best local news sites in America, breaks down State Senator Dino Rossi’s (R) likely uphill battle to keep Washington’s ever-changing 8th district in GOP hands.

The States

IL-AG: Former state and federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley has just filed for AG. In pressing responsibilities for a state prosecutor, the courageous candidate pledges to be a constant thorn in POTUS’ side. Fairley joins State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) and State Rep. Scott Drury (D) in the primary race; a fourth possible Dem, McHenry CE Jack Franks (D), announced yesterday he would not run.

California First: The New York Times looks back at California’s Prop 187. Like some of the hardline immigration policies being pushed now, the referendum polled well in 1994. However, the article explains something we know all too well: Prop 187 ultimately destroyed the CA-GOP as demographics shifted. But, surely, things will be different this time!

TX-Gov: Greg Abbott, with or without an opponent, is looking to increase his support among Wise Latinas/os.

VA-Gov: Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) plans to campaign for Low Energy Ralph Northam (D) in Virginia this weekend.

Places where Donald Trump isn’t President

Catalan Independence: Despite some controversy surrounding the Spanish province’s independence vote, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont wasted no time in signing a declaration of independence from Spain.

Political Roundup for October 5th, 2017

President

Cuban: Mark Cuban isn’t saying if he will run for President, but if he ran, this is how he would do it.

Governor

VA-Gov: A Washington Post – Schar School poll finds Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) leading Ed Gillespie 53%-40% among likely voters, with Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra back at 4%. While most polling has shown a Northam lead, this is his largest lead in recent public polls.

ME-Gov: An internal poll for Sen. Susan Collins (R) by Hans Kaiser shows the senator has 75%-19% approval ratings among Maine voters. While the poll has been confirmed as authentic, apparently the specific results are not available (which is never encouraging with a leak). Supposedly Collins “leads her next closest competitor [Mary Mayhew] in the Republican primary by a better than 3:1 margin and two other competitors by even larger margins.” The poll also found her above 50% against any Democrat in the general election.

MD-Gov: A Mason-Dixon poll finds almost half of Democrats approve of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s job performance, but only 25% of those voters would actually vote for him against a Democratic candidate. While this is a solid number of ticket splitters for Hogan, it shows that a lot of his bipartisan appeal is soft and movable. Hogan led all Democratic opponents by varying margins, the smallest of which was 7 points against Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker. He also led Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz by 13 points, former NAACP head Ben Jealous by 16 points, and State Sen. Richard Madaleno by 16 points, with the differences largely a function of name recognition. Baker also led the Democratic primary, with 28% over Kamenetz’ 11% and Jealous’ 10%.

NJ-Gov: In which Kim Guadagno (R) tries to use a four month old internal poll with no real numbers released to say she still has a chance.

Senate

ME-Sen: Apparently the same internal poll for Collins described above also tested a LePage-King race. There, the Independent Senator (King) led the Governor (LePage, R) with more than 60% of the vote.

House

PA-18: ICYMI, ethically challenged Rep. Tim Murphy (R) will retire at the end of this term thanks to his reprehensible hypocrisy and actions. See our Great Mentioner in the link for candidates, and then cross-apply those names with Roll Call’s list.

MN-1: State Sen. Carla Nelson (R) is running for Congress. Nelson is something of a polarizing figure within the party, with fundraising ability but not much sympathy from conservative activists. Unfortunately for Nelson, her planned announcement on Monday was overshadowed by the Las Vegas shooting. Instead of her planned speech, she acknowledged the purpose of the event to announce her campaing and declined to take questions from the press. One question lingers if Nelson would abide by the Republican convention endorsement, but why would she bother if she has better odds in a primary? In other news, State Rep. Nels Pierson (R), who represents a rural seat on the outskirts of Rochester, is out of this race. As an aside, Heather Carlson of the Rochester Post Bulletin is the person to follow to keep up with this open seat race, where she’s been tracking candidates and their endorsements.

UT-3: Mitt Romney yesterday endorsed Provo Mayor John Curtis, the Republican nominee in Utah’s 3rd congressional district special election. Normally Romney endorsing a Republican wouldn’t be incredibly newsworthy, but it’s probably not worth leaving things to chance with how Democratic-leaning special elections lately have been and the son of a former Republican US Senator running on a third party line. The Romney endorsement is something of a seal of approval for Mormon voters in Utah, with whom the former Massacusetts Governor is incredibly popular. The endorsement also wasn’t necessarily a done deal; with how anti-Trump Romney has sounded since the presidential election, he always had the option to just stay silent.

NY-11: A match for the ages? Steve Bannon is supporting former Rep. and felon Michael Grimm, in his Republican primary challenge to successor and Rep. Dan Donovan.

State and Local

TX-AG: Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial is delayed a third time until next year. At this rate, he may be reelected until we see any movement on his securities fraud case. This time, the delay was over a dispute over attorneys’ fees for the prosecution.

Political Roundup for October 3rd, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of yesterday’s senseless massacre in Las Vegas. Our hope is that if politicians are crass enough to want to politicize yesterday’s tragedy they could at least talk about reforming America’s mental healthcare system. That might actually do some good and help people in need.

Elections do go on though – check back at noon for previews of today’s mayoral races in Albuquerque and Birmingham. Now today’s general news:

President:

Clinton: Yes the Clinton campaign really did stop polling battleground states at the end of the 2016 campaign! The only explanation we can think of for this political malpractice is that her campaign must have been managed by Russian agents.

Governor:

MI-Gov: Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R) is listening. Calley kicked off a listening tour ahead of his expected campaign for governor. Attorney General Bill Schuette is considered the front runner for the GOP nomination and recently recieved the tweeted endorsement of President Donald Trump.

NJ-Gov: If a campaign falls in the woods and there’s no one around to hear it….. Yes there is a campaign for governor in New Jersey and yes no one is paying attention to it. New Jersey’s public financing system caps how much gubernatorial candidates can spend so the amount of paid media is limited and the free media is completely ignoring the race. Maybe the GOP should have tried harder to get Joe Piscopo to run. At least someone would have paid attention to him.

TX-Gov: Texas is turning Blue! Democrats just know they will win back the Texas governor’s mansion in 2018. Even though Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is very popular and sitting on a war chest of over $41 million and the leading Democrat in the race so far is leather aficionado Jeffrey Payne. Texas is turning Blue!

VA-Gov: After the massacre in Las Vegas the NRA has announced they are postponing the start of their $750,000 TV ad buy on behalf of Ed Gillespie (R) until October 10th. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun control group is spending $700,000 to help elect Democrat Ralph Northam.

Senate:

MI-Sen: Potential senate candidate Kid Rock (R) does not like the Detroit Metro Times’s coverage of him and has taken to social media to voice his displeasure (and yes his displeasure is safe for work!).

NJ-Sen: Testimony in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) revealed that the Senator got so angry at a bureaucrat he was trying to strong arm into helping Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen $8.9 billion Medicaid dispute that he hung up on him. The testimony revealed Menendez was uniquely focused on providing favors for the crooked doctor who provided Menendez with private jet flights, lavish vacations, pretty models and hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions.

WI-Sen: Despite recent rumors that he was considering jumping into the race, Rep. Sean Duffy (R) confirms that what he said in February still applies and that he will run for re-election in 2018 and will not run for Senate.

House:

LA-1: In case you missed it, this is the full 60 Minutes interview with Rep. Steve Scalise (R) in which he tells his harrowing ordeal after being shot in a politically motivated assassination attempt.

MN-1: Sen. Carla Nelson (R) has announced she is running for the open R+5 House seat Rep. Tim Waltz (D) is vacating to run for Governor. Nelson will face Jim Hagedorn in the GOP primary. Hagedorn is making his third bid for this seat after losing to Walz by less than 1 point in 2016 and 9 points in 2014.

NJ-7: Tom Malinowski (D), a former assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama and a former senior director on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, is the latest Democrat to announced a challenge to Rep Leonard Lance (R) next year. Malinowski joins  Linda Weber, Lisa Mandelblatt,  Scott Salmon, Peter Jacob and Goutam Jois in seeking the Democrat nomination.

PA-1: Rep. Bob Brady’s (D) legal troubles could get a whole lot worse. Jimmie Moore, a former Philadelphia Municipal Court judge and one time Democrat primary challenger to Bob Brady, is co-operating with federal investigators and has admitted to concealing the $90,000 payment he alleges Brady gave him to drop out of the 2012 race for Congress. Moore has pleaded guilty to falsifying his campaign finance filings after dropping out of the race.

VA-7: Some dude former Marine pilot Dan Ward (D) raised over $260,000 last quarter continuing a trend of unknown Democrats in very uphill races raising an unbelievably large amount of money early. Rep. David Bratt was re-elected in 2016 by a 57.7% to 42.2% margin while Donald Trump was winning this district 51% to 44%. We are not sure if this is an indicator of something actually going on here or just the usual Democrat donor insane fetish for liberal military veteran candidates.

WI-1: Want more proof that Democrat donors are willing to throw their money out the window? Some dude perennial candidate Randy Bryce has raised over $1 million in the third quarter and has raised more than $1.5 million since entering the race in June. This is Bryce’s 4th run for elected office. Bryce lost a 2012 Democrat primary for state Assembly by 39 points, lost a 2014 election for state Senate by 23 points and lost a race for the Racine Unified School Board. So yes Democrats just threw $1.5 million at a guy who couldn’t get elected to his local school board to challenge Speaker Paul Ryan (R) who was re-elected in 2016 with 65% of the vote.

State, Local & Other:

NY SD-34: State Senate Democrats think they have found a candidate to primary Independent Democrat Conference leader Jeffrey Klein. Sen. Michael Gianaris, who heads the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee, recently met with Alessandra Biaggi, the granddaughter of the corrupt late Rep. Mario Biaggi, about a primary challenge to Klein.

Detroit- Mayor: The first television ad backing Democrat Mayor Mike Duggan’s re-election bid will air Tuesday in Detroit.

WATN: Sadly for the Ohio GOP former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) will not be running for office in 2018. Rather Kucinich held a press conference on Monday to announce his endorsement of Issue 2, Ohio’s drug-pricing ballot issue.

VA-HD: Our friend Miles Coleman at DDHQ has released this excellent ratings and overview of next months House of Delegates elections in Virginia. We strongly recommend you check it out. It is really good stuff if you are trying to figure out which races to watch there.

Political Roundup for October 2nd, 2017

Big Picture

Self-packing: This is a great look by Charlie Cook at not just how divided America is, but how that divide is often geographically reinforced an may even make it harder for Democrats to retake the House of Representatives than has been thought. Basically, it may be the case that most of the swing voters being convinced to vote Democratic in 2018 may already live in Democrat-controlled districts.

President

Kasich: Ohio Governor John Kasich (R, for now) is making more noises about not being able to support the GOP, and rumors are that he’s gearing-up for an Independent run, possibly with CO Governor John Hickenlooper (D).

Congress

AL-Sen: Our friends over at DDHQ commissioned a general election poll for the upcoming Alabama Senate election and found former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) leading former US Attorney Doug Jones (D-not as good as the actor) 50-45. That’s much closer than most Yellowhammer State contests usually are, but even still, Moore is actually over the finish line with those numbers (he actually got a slight majority in the poll).

MA-Sen: File this under ‘Oh yeah, that guy.’ 2013 special senate election nominee Gabriel Gomez (R) is thinking about running for the Senate again next year, this time against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Redistribute the Wampum). I guess it’s good to have another decent candidate looking at the race, but absent a scandal there really isn’t a path here for Republicans.

AZ-09: Sometimes I feel really bad for decent candidates who don’t understand that coalition shifts that have been going on for multiple elections don’t just magically reverse themselves. With my new knowledge that a good candidate like Dr. Steve Ferrara (R) has already raised over $250,000 running for a 17-point Hillary seat (I can just hear the local activists now ‘But McCain won it!’), this is one of those times. There’s talk that former State House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D) might get in, but right now this is Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s (D) race to lose.

NY-11: Having recently gotten orange out of his sartorial repertoire, Mikey Suits is back. Former Rep. and felon Michael Grimm (R) has launched a campaign to reclaim the seat he resigned from as part of a plea deal by primarying Rep. Dan Donovan (R). There’s some Staten Island factional feuding going on here too, so Grimm has backers.

Governor

KS-Gov: So it turns out that Kansas law is very open-ended on who can run for Governor, and three teenagers are doing just that. The third one to get into this race is highlighted in this article and is a libertarian-flavored Republican. Some are even asking if dogs can be on the ballot.

VA-Gov: I’m not really sure how to treat this story. A veteran Democratic consultant in Richmond think that Lt. Gov Ralph Northam’s gubernatorial campaign is definitely headed for defeat. On the one hand, maybe this guy is just annoyed that Northam didn’t hire him. On the other hand, he’s plugged-in and there has been chatter (not necessarily backed-up by polls) that Gillespie has been gaining ground slowly but surely.

State/Local

New Orleans-Mayor: The all-Democrat race for mayor has shifted a fair amount, with new polling finding the race at 33-25-23 Bagneris-Charbonnet-Cantrell. Cantrell had previously been slightly ahead but neck-and-neck with Bagneris.

VA-HoD: If you’re not as familiar with Virginia state politics as many of the national politics swamp creatures that infest Arlington are, then here’s a good breakdown of competitive delegate races from Charlie Cook.

International

Canada: MP Jagmeet Singh has been elected as the new leader of the labor-flavored lefty New Democratic Party. The NDP briefly had a stint as the primary opposition to the Tories until the Liberals came roaring back into power under current PM Justin Trudeau. Singh is the first non-white party leader in Canadian history. He has a large task ahead of him to bring his party back to its recent heights.

Japan: Well, this is awkward. Ahead of the snap national election that PM Shinzo Abe called recently, the leaders of the main (lefty) opposition party have attempted to abandon their party label and join a new right-wing party that’s gotten some press… and been rejected. Abe and his center-right Liberal Democratic party are likely going to rack up hefty majorities.

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 September 19th, 2017

First off, there is a single legislative special primary today. MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk is a D+5 (2016) seat stretching from Seekonk in suburban Providence to Medfield in Boston’s southwest suburbs. Two Democrats and Four Republicans are running. For Dems, Foxborough councilman and Sanders campaign operative Paul Feeney (D) and legislative staffer Ted Phillips (D) are facing off. Feeney is more of a blue-collar liberal while Phillips is a bit more upscale in sensibilities; there is no clear favorite. For Republicans, Baker admin official Mike Berry (R) has the most GOP establishment support and looks like the front-runner. Berry faces three other credible candidates in Chamber of Commerce official Harry Brousaides (R), legislative staffer Jacob Venura (R), and 2014/16 State House candidate Tim Hempton (R), who could each pull the upset. Waiting in the general is well-known retired TV investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve (I), a former DINO who could have enough name recognition to make it an authentic three-way race or even pull an upset win.

Senate

AL-Sen: A JMC Analytics poll of likely voters shows Roy Moore keeping his large lead over Attorney General and Trump endorsee Luther Strange 47%-39%. This is actually an improvement for Strange, who trailed in the last JMC poll 51%-32%.

Governor

VA-Gov: Two new polls in the Virginia gubernatorial race. One survey shows Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) leading Ed Gillespie 44%-39% with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 3%. However, the Princeton Survey Research Associates International poll surveys “Virginia adults,” without even a voter screen. Meanwhile, a Suffolk University poll of likely voters shows the race tied between Northam and Gillespie at 42% with Hyra at 3% again. We rate this seat Lean Democrat.

MD-Gov: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has joined the Democratic field to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The list of other Democratic candidates, lazily grabbed from the article: “Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP leader Ben Jealous, state Sen. Richard Madaleno, technology entrepreneur and author Alec Ross, lawyer Jim Shea and Krish Vignarajah, a former policy director for first lady Michelle Obama.” We rate this seat Lean Republican.

House

MN-1: 2014 and 2016 Republican nominee Jim Hagedorn won the endorsement of two notable former congressmen: Reps. John Kline and Gil Gutknecht. The endorsements continue a continuous run of former Minnesota Republican officeholders backing Hagedorn this cycle. State Sen. Carla Nelson (R) has also been rumored to be strongly considering a run, and her Facebook page’s name recently changed from “Carla Nelson for State Senate” to just “Carla Nelson.”

UT-3: Dan Jones is re-running their poll of UT-3 mentioned in yesterday’s roundup with a full sample from the district instead of a subset from their statewide poll. The reasoning was complaints from third party candidate Jim Bennett, who barely missed the threshold for debate participation with his 6% showing in the survey.

VA-10: One of Rep. Barbara Comstock’s 1,000 opponents is sticking out. Democrat and veteran Dan Helmer sticks out for a terrible ad where he sings bad karaoke to Comstock about not holding town hall meetings. Pretty sure he won’t be her opponent.

MI-11: A lot of movement in Rep. Dave Trott (R)’s suddenly open seat. First off, State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R). Second, Lena Epstein (R) dropped down from the Senate race to this House bid. State Rep. Klint Kesto also plans to run. The article has a Great Mentioner of other candidates on both sides of the aisle. We previously ranked this seat Lean R when Trott was still in the race. Click here for some of yesterday’s discussion of the candidates on RRH Elections.

NY-24: Syracuse professor Dana Balter (R) is in the race against Rep. John Katko (R). While several other Democrats are considering runs in this swing seat that Katko surprisingly locked down over the last two cycles, Onondaga Community College board chair Anne Messenger is already in.

NY-27: Veteran Erin Cole (D) is out after a short-lived campaign. While Rep. Chris Collins is one of the least threatened Republican congressmen in New York, county Democratic leaders have still interviewed a number of potential candidates.

RIP: Longtime former congressman Bill Goodling (R) of Pennsylvania has passed away at the age of 89.

State and Local

TX-leg: Former State Rep. Steve Toth has the support of 30 former and current Republican State Representatives in his comeback bid. Toth left the chamber after a failed primary challenge to Rep. Kevin Brady, the Ways & Means Committee Chairman in Congress. While Toth would be expected to receive significant Freedom Caucus and allied endorsements, there are a few Straus allies that surprisingly make the list like State Reps. JM Lozano and Jason Isaac.

TX-leg: On the other side of the aisle, State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D) gains another reprieve as the Travis County DA holds off on felony charges of fraud with new information in the case. She still faces two misdemeanor charges.

International

Spain: Spanish federal government authorities are attempting to stifle campaigning in the Catalonian-led independence referendum on October 1st. Besides seizing campaign materials from the pro-independence side, the government is also threatening to arrest Carles Puigdemont, the regional government head, and other government officials supporting the referendum.

Iceland: Iceland’s Parliament has been set to dissolve October 27th; elections will be held October 28th.

 

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