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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 9th, 2017

Happy Columbus Day! If you’re a government employee, congratulations, you have the day off! If you’re just a normal person, then here’s some electoral news to take your mind off of what Jenny in HR is probably telling everyone that came up on your last evaluation.

Big Picture

FL: Florida is a state of counterbalancing political trends. On the one hand, you have Puerto Ricans pouring into Orlando. On the other hand, you have northern retirees pouring planned communities across the state. This article examines the latter by looking at the biggest such community, The Villages (Florida’s Friendliest Home Town! to anyone who’s watched a few hours of Fox News in the last decade). One thing that the article fails to note is the same company that built The Villages is planning an even bigger community near Panama City Beach.

Gerrymandering: This is one of those great longform pieces from Politico Magazine. In it, Jeff Greenfield discusses how many Democrats’ obsession with gerrymandering blinds them to the real state-level work that they must do if they wish to regain power.

Talkin’ Bout My Generation: Is the Republican Party in a downward spiral with young voters? No, it definitely isn’t, at least according to this WaPo article. What seems to have happened is that as younger voters have gotten less white, white young voters have gotten more Republican. There’s also some evidence that young blacks have gotten a bit more Republican, but the article doesn’t discuss that.

Congress

MI-Sen: Another week, another Kid Rock Senate poll. This one from Mitchell (not the most reputable pollster) Mr. Ritchie trailing Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) by eight points, 46-38.

MO-Sen: Former Trump Steve Bannon has been trying to meddle in some Senate primaries recently. Missouri AG Josh Hawley (R), who’s running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) next year, heard that he might be on the target list and called the snake himself to charm his way out of it. It remains to be seen whether the snake will go quietly into the basket.

WY-Sen: Speaking of Steve Bannon sticking his nose where it’s in danger of being chopped off, he’s playing in Wyoming as well. He’s reportedly recruiting Blackwater founder Erik Prince to primary Sen. John Barrasso (R). I highly doubt it will work (see Liz Cheney primarying Mike Enzi a few years ago), but we’ll keep an eye on it nonetheless.

MI-08: When you’re in the wilderness, a bunch of formerly appointed officials suddenly look like good candidates. Enter Ellissa Slotkin (D), an Obama-era DoD official who is now running for Congress in her native Michigan. Slotkin is running against Rep. Mike Bishop (R) in his Lansing-to-Troy seat, and she’s raising quite a lot of money for a seat like this and early in the cycle. She’s got about $370k CoH right now. That’s phenomenal, but remember, Bishop is popular and the seat is stably R+4. If there’s a wave, I could see it falling, but it’s not likely at this point. The materials are there, though.

PA-18: With Rep. Tim Murphy (R) adding ‘disgraced former’ to the front of his name last week, there’s liable to be a special election for his Pittsburgh-area seat. Our friend Miles Coleman over at DDHQ breaks down the district by the numbers and finds that it’s likely to stay in Republican hands because of trends in the area over the past two decades.

Governor

CA-Gov: Fun fact: in Berkeley, CA, the side of town housing the big university is the one LESS in favor of seizing the means of production. Why is this, might you ask? It’s because even though California is a very blue state, and even its college students are yet bluer, they’re still less leftist than America’s biggest CrazyTown, where Jill Stein came in second place last year. Anyway, the college itself has produced a useful poll of the upcoming gubernatorial blanket primary. The poll came out as 23-12-10-9-7-4 Newsom (D)-Villaraigosa (D)-Cox (R)-Allen (R)-Chiang (D)-Eastin (D). I have to think that this race is Lt. Gove Gavin Newsom’s to lose, and he’ll certainly come in first in Top Two.

State/Local

CO-Treas: Well, we know who the Republican nominee for Treasurer in Colorado is already. Incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) has decided to run for Governor, and State Rep. Polly Lawrence (R) has stepped right in and raised $90,000 already. That’s almost as much as Stapleton usually raises this time of the cycle. It more than quadruples her closest primary rival. This bodes well for the GOP holding onto the office, as there likely won’t be a bloody primary and Lawrence sounds like solid candidate who stays on-issue.

Erie-Mayor: Salena Zito thinks that the GOP might pick up the Mayor’s office in Erie, PA. I’m not convinced, but she makes a strong case. Pieces like this that focus on local races are often good reads, and this one is no exception.

Hopkins-Mayor: File this one under ‘dumbass.’ A candidate for Mayor in Hopkins, MN, an inner suburb of Minneapolis, is in hot water after after claiming that a new light rail project will bring in ‘riffraff,’ ‘ethnics,’ and shootings. however right he is about transit links sometimes bringing crime to the suburbs, this was exactly the wrong way to approach the subject. His campaign must surely be doomed after this.

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