Archive for the ‘Senate’ Category
Stuart Rothenberg’s latest article predicts a GOP majority in the Senate:
While the current Rothenberg Political Report ratings don’t show it, I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats. But I wouldn’t be shocked by a larger gain.
Rothenberg then adds this:
But I’ve witnessed 17 general elections from my perch in D.C., including eight midterms, and I sometimes develop a sense of where the cycle is going before survey data lead me there. Since my expectations constitute little more than an informed guess, I generally keep them to myself.
This year is different. I am sharing them with you.
Then he explains why he’s expecting a big Republican wave in the Senate:
After looking at recent national, state and congressional survey data and comparing this election cycle to previous ones, I am currently expecting a sizable Republican Senate wave.
The combination of an unpopular president and a midterm election (indeed, a second midterm) can produce disastrous results for the president’s party. President Barack Obama’s numbers could rally, of course, and that would change my expectations in the blink of an eye. But as long as his approval sits in the 40-percent range (the August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), the signs are ominous for Democrats.
The generic congressional ballot currently is about even among registered voters. If that doesn’t change, it is likely to translate into a Republican advantage of a few points among “likely” voters. And recent elections when Republicans have even a small advantage have resulted in significant GOP years.
There’s a dozen political lifetimes between now and Election Day so things can change. Still, Stuart Rothenberg has been doing these predictions for decades. I’m willing to trust him because his explanation makes sense.
Predictably, Rothenberg says that Republicans will flip West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana. Democrats aren’t even competitive in those seats. Arkansas and Louisiana are both uphill climbs for Democrats because those states are increasingly Republican states. North Carolina is still close but that’s only because of North Carolina’s large African-American population.
If those states flip, that’s the 6 seats Republicans need for the majority. The bad news for Democrats is that those aren’t the only states that are competitive. Terry Lynn Land is virtually tied with Gary Peters in Michigan. Joni Ernst leads Bruce Braley in Iowa, though usually by less than a point. New Hampshire is suddenly competitive. In Minnesota, Al Franken is vulnerable because he’s been a do-nothing senator, with the exception of rubberstamping President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s agenda. That’s before talking about how competitive Colorado and Alaska are.
Ed Rogers’ post highlights the lengths to which they’ll go to run away from Harry Reid:
Georgia’s Democratic Senate candidate, Michelle Nunn, recently suggested she might not vote for Harry Reid to be Democratic Senate leader if she wins her election. That the first vote Democratic senators would take would be to reelect Harry Reid, and thereby support and maintain the status quo in Washington, is a potent weapon for Republicans to use against Democratic candidates. In a well-rehearsed statement, Nunn told reporters that she “looks forward to changing the composition in the leadership of the Senate” and “will vote for the Democratic leader that…best represents our capacity to get things done.”
It’s impossible to take this seriously. If Ms. Nunn abstains from voting, Sen. Reid will know who abstained. That’s the moment at which she’ll be ostracized by Sen. Reid.
This type of posturing embodies the deceit Nunn’s entire campaign is based on. (Remember the leaked memo of her campaign strategy that exposed how contrived and fabricated her image really is?) But she is not the only Democrat who is resorting to these tactics in an attempt to get votes. If reelected, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is not going to stand up to the president and make a difference on the Keystone XL pipeline. Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has already proven she doesn’t really care about coal, no matter what she says on the campaign trail. And the very notion that Nunn wouldn’t fall into lockstep with the Democrats as soon as she crossed into the Beltway is just ridiculous. Democratic candidates seem to be counting on voters being really stupid. It is painfully obvious that much of what they say is not sincere.
If Republicans don’t push Nunn, Grimes and Landrieu on their phoniness, they should be slapped silly. Lundergan-Grimes won’t push Sen. Reid or President Obama about coal. She’ll vote for the Democrats’ budget, which will give President Obama’s EPA the authority to decimate the coal industry. Landrieu won’t push President Obama over the Keystone XL Pipeline even though her state would benefit from building it.
Nunn, though, is the biggest phony of the trio, though. Sam Nunn was a truly moderate Democrat. His daughter, however, is a true believer in President Obama’s agenda. She’s also lacking his political skills.
This trio of Democrats come from famous political families. That’s the good news for Democrats. The bad news for Democrats is that they’re each as phony as a $3 bill. That might’ve worked in the 1990s but it doesn’t work in a TEA Party environment.
A month ago, it looked like Scott Brown’s second Senate bid was in trouble. According to this article, stories of Brown’s demise are definitely premature:
In the WMUR/UNH survey released Thursday night, Shaheen led Brown by 46 percent to 44 percent, which is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
This latest numbers show a dramatic swing in Brown’s direction from the previous WMUR/UNH poll, which was conducted a month-and-a-half earlier and showed Shaheen leading Brown by 12 points.
It’s understatement to say that the trend isn’t Shaheen’s friend. It’s probably overstating things to say she’s in trouble but I don’t think it’s wrong to say that she’s got some tough campaigning ahead. This statement from Sen. Shaheen’s campaign manager is definitely overstatement:
In a statement released after the survey’s results were released, Shaheen campaign manager Mike Vlacich said that the incumbent has been “ready for a competitive race since day one. Jeanne Shaheen is still leading all of her potential opponents because Granite State voters know and trust her,” he said.
The first question I’d ask Mr. Vlacich is pretty straightforward: If New Hampshire trusts her, why aren’t they showing it?
Going from a 12-point lead to a 2-point lead isn’t how people normally express confidence in a candidate.
Conventional wisdom says that Republicans don’t have to defeat Shaheen to retake the majority in the Senate. It’s thought that Democrats can’t maintain their majority if they lose Shaheen’s seat.
At this point, I’m thinking a Brown victory over Shaheen would be nice icing on the GOP’s cake. Similarly, while I’m not predicting anything at this point, I’m thinking that winning 8 seats is possible for the GOP.
Now that Brian Schweitzer has announced that he isn’t running, it’s time to all but officially put this US Senate seat in the GOP flipped category:
Helena, Mont. (AP) — Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer says he won’t run for U.S. Senate after Sen. John Walsh dropped his election campaign Thursday. Schweitzer was mentioned as a potential contender even before Walsh’s announcement.
But the Democrat already rejected a run earlier in the year when he said he wasn’t interested in the seat that opened when six-term Sen. Max Baucus was named U.S. Ambassador to China.
Schweitzer announced that he wouldn’t run on Twitter and confirmed it to The Associated Press. He said in a Facebook post that he was flattered his name was considered, and that he’ll support whoever emerges as the candidate.
This all but officially confirms the fact that Steve Daines will be the next US senator from Montana. Walsh was considered their only hope of winning. That’s why Baucus resigned. Baucus resigned so that Walsh could run as an incumbent. That plan blew up in the Democrats’ faces when the NY Times reported that Walsh had plagiarized his Master’s Degree thesis.
After that report, it was just a matter of time until Walsh’s campaign ended officially.
Now that Schweitzer has officially declined to be Daines’ sacrificial lamb, the Democrats’ bench isn’t just thin. It’s virtually nonexistent. Ed Morrissey’s commentary lays things out nicely:
At some point, Democrats have to give strong consideration to conceding the seat to Daines. He’s going to win it anyway, and putting up a candidate without any name power in Montana will force them to spend money on the race to maintain their credibility. Why waste the resources, especially for either a Democrat who lost by 50 points in his own party’s primary or for an all-but-carpetbagging abortion absolutist in a red state? Just tossing anyone up against Daines would have a strong whiff of desperation that might infect the rest of their races in Montana — especially if the nominee has to jump belatedly into a campaign and falls flat on his/her face. Schweitzer was their best opportunity to maintain the façade of credibility, even with the “gaydar” comments. They should take a hint from his withdrawal and cut their losses.
Perhaps, the Democrats could run Alan Keyes. He’d have as good a shot at winning in the Big Sky State as he had in the Land of Lincoln.
Seriously, this race is all but officially over. I’d be surprised if Daines doesn’t win by 20 points or more.
There are few political analysts I trust more than Michael Barone. I trust Mr. Barone because, in addition to being one of the best number crunchers in the business, he’s a superb researcher. That’s why I took note of what he wrote in this article:
A new Washington Post story quotes Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke as favoring “greater emphasis on the interests of these children who are refugees from extreme violence” instead of “an acceleration of the deportation process at the expense of these children.” But the Post reporters note that “O’Rourke added that he has been surprised by the anger he has heard toward the immigrants of many of his El Paso constituents, who ?feel like we can’t take care of everyone, and these children and their families are gaming the system.’” O’Rourke’s district, which includes most of El Paso County, is 79 percent Hispanic.
That’s stunning. When Hispanics are upset with the flood of illegal immigrants, that’s a sign that this issue isn’t hurting Republicans or helping Democrats. Here’s Mr. Barone’s observation on that:
Democrats are trying to blame the situation on House Republicans’ refusal to pass comprehensive immigration legislation. That seems pretty lame: There’s nothing in the bill the Senate passed in June 2013 that addressed this particular situation. As this article in the Hill makes plain, perhaps despite the writer’s intention, this is a troublesome situation for Democrats whose names are on the ballot this fall.
In past elections, Democrats did a good job convincing Hispanics that Republicans were anti-immigration. That led to Democrats winning the Hispanic vote by a wide margin. The border crisis exposed Democrats as not caring about securing the border. That’s hurt Democrats with independent and Hispanic voters.
While the American people generally favor immigration reform in the abstract, they demand fairness and the rule of law. In this influx of illegal immigrants, they’re seeing neither fairness or the rule of law. It’ more than that, though.
As these illegal immigrants get sent to cities across the country, a nasty case of NIMBYism is settling in:
In the other, Lovelace quotes the chief of staff of the mayor of Lynn, Mass., about how many Guatemalan “children” were sent there and placed in public schools. “Some of them have had gray hair and they’re telling you that they’re 17 years old and they have no documentation,” the official is quoted as saying.
Part of this is due to these illegal border crossers not being children. Another part of this is that cities are getting stuck with the bill from an unexpected influx of people. Mostly, though, they juts don’t want to have to deal with the problem. It’s one thing when they’re someone else’s problem. It’s another when they’re your problem.
If Democrats, including President Obama, don’t work towards fixing this crisis, it’ll be high profile proof that they’re incapable of governing. That’s the worst accusation to hit an incumbent with during election season. If people think that politicians aren’t interested in or are incapable of governing, the other things don’t matter.
This is a tipping point moment for Democrats, especially if they’re on the ballot this fall. If they don’t provide real leadership on this issue, they’ll be hurt this fall.
Based on Ed Morrissey’s post on Michelle Nunn’s missteps in Georgia and Ed’s post about today’s Kentucky primary, I’m thinking that the Democrats’ best chances at flipping Republican-held seats in the US Senate isn’t looking good. Here’s Michelle Nunn’s problem:
HUNT: But you’re not sure if you would have voted yes or no?
NUNN: When I look back at what they were doing when this was passed, I think, I wish that we had more people who had tried to architect a bipartisan legislation. And who had worked together across the aisle.
HUNT: So, yes or no?
NUNN: I think it’s impossible to look back retrospectively and say, “What would you have done if you were there?” Because I wasn’t there, and we now have hindsight. What I can do is say: Here’s where we are today, and here’s what we should do, which is move forward.
HUNT: So do you think it should be repealed?
NUNN: I do not.
That’s a major unforced mistake by Nunn. Saying that you don’t support repealing Obamacare in Georgia is political suicide. Ed notes that Nunn’s campaign totally avoids Obamacare as an issue. The GOP candidate will certainly pound Ms. Nunn for avoiding questions about Obamacare. They’ll extract more than several pounds of flesh on that issue.
Then there’s Allison Lundergan-Grimes’ problem:
By coming out against the 20-week aboriton limit, Grimes is at odds with at least two-thirds of Kentucky voters. According to a Marist poll released last week, “67% of Kentucky residents think abortion should be illegal. This includes 21% who say it should be illegal without exceptions and 46% who say it should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother’s life. 28%, however, report abortion should be legal. Included here are 18% who say abortion should always be legal and 10% who think it should be legal most of the time.”
Grimes’s opposition to the 20-week abortion limit on the grounds that it doesn’t put the “health, life, and safety of the mother first” doesn’t make sense. The text of the bill explicitly contains an exceptionfor when “in reasonable medical judgment, the abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but not including psychological or emotional conditions.” (Medical experts have testified before Congress that if a serious medical issue should arise late in pregnancy, delivering a child alive is actually much safer than aborting her: A live delivery of the baby can be performed in an hour, but a late-term abortion can take three days.)
Politicians saying that they support abortion-on-demand in Bible Belt states is political suicide, too. While Lundergan-Grimes currently leads McConnell by 1 point, that’ll flip once Sen. McConnell highlights Lundergan-Grimes’ position on abortion-on-demand.
Those are really the Democrats’ only opportunities to flip Republican-held seats. Right now, the odds facing Lundergan-Grimes and Nunn look steep.
If Harry Reid had said that he had sources who told him that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years while he was at a fundraiser, he would’ve gotten sued into bankruptcy by Mitt Romney. Sen. Reid essentially admitted that he didn’t have proof to verify his accusation when he said that he shouldn’t have to prove it, that the accusation was against Gov. Romney, not him.
That’s BS. The accusation against Sen. Reid is that he’s a liar who’s epeatedly gotten caught lying. Victor Davis Hanson’s article provides substantial ammunition against Sen. Reid:
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Reid libeled candidate Mitt Romney with the unsubstantiated and later-refuted charge that Romney was a tax cheat. “The word’s out that he [Romney] hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years,” Reid said.
Later, when asked for proof, Reid offered a pathetic rejoinder: “I have had a number of people tell me that.” One wonders how many names were on Reid’s McCarthyite “tell” list — were there, as McCarthy used to bluster, 205 names, or perhaps just 57?
When asked again to document the slur, Reid echoed McCarthy perfectly: “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes.”
That’s just part of the proof of Sen. Reid’s McCarthyite accusations.
Reid has also brought back McCarthy’s custom of vicious and sometimes profane insults. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Reid announced: “I can’t stand John McCain.” Of then-President George W. Bush, Reid said: “President Bush is a liar.” Reid claimed that fellow Mormon Mitt Romney had “sullied” his religion.
When Gen. David Petraeus brought proof to Congress that the surge in Iraq was beginning to work by late 2007, Reid declared, “No, I don’t believe him, because it’s not happening.” He elaborated on that charge by labeling Petraeus, at the time the senior ground commander of U.S. forces fighting in Iraq, a veritable liar. Reid alleged that Petraeus “has made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual.”
What’s stunning is that his Democratic colleagues in the Senate haven’t criticized him for his despicable, McCarthyite, unethical behavior. Neither has anyone in the supposedly MSM.
Jeanne Shaheen hasn’t criticized Sen. Reid for his McCarthyite rantings. Mary Landrieu, Mark Udall, Mark Begich, Kay Hagans, Al Franken and Mark Pryor haven’t criticized him for his McCarthyite antics, either.
In fact, Al Franken has virtually repeated Sen. Reid’s rants against the Koch brothers, the Democrats’ latest villains. I wrote this post to highlight the Koch brothers’ crimes against America:
Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.
Reid’s and Franken’s repeated rants against the Koch brothers are rants against people who want to get rid of corporate welfare. That isn’t something to vilify the Koch brothers for. That’s something that should be celebrated. Here’s something else that should be celebrated:
Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the [EPA and OSHA]. EPA officials have commended us for our “commitment to a cleaner environment” and called us “a model for other companies.”
Mark Pryor is so disgusting that he thinks Tom Cotton, who served 2 tours of duty in Iraq, is a spoiled brat who thinks he’s entitled to a seat in the US Senate.
To summarize, Sen. Reid’s malicious lies against the Democrats’ latest villain say that he’s willing to say anything despicable to help his candidates. Sen. Franken’s mindless rants against people who want to eliminate corporate welfare and whose employees have literally won hundreds of “environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009″ say that he’s content with vilifying good corporate citizes for political gain. Sen. Pryor’s hate-filled, anti-military rantings tell us that he’s a contemptible excuse for a human being.
It’s one thing to hit political opponents hard with verifiable facts. That’s called playing political hardball. When Sen. Franken lies about American industrialists who’ve contributed greatly to their employees’ lives, that’s called despicable behavior. When a U.S. senator criticizes a military veteran of being pampered and having an entitlement mentality, that’s proof that he’s a despicable human being who doesn’t have the requisite character to be a senator.
There’s only one conclusion to be drawn from this proof. The Democratic Party is an immoral political party. They haven’t hesitated in lying about the Koch brothers, Mitt Romney or Tom Cotton. Their senators have stayed silent while Sen. Reid maligned Gov. Romney, thereby giving their silent consent to Sen. Reid’s despicable actions.
The Democrats’ culture of corruption stinks to high heavens. It’s time to eliminate that stench from Washington, DC. It’s time to start fresh with people who’ll listen to the American people.
That’s the only way to restore trust in the institutions of government.
Technorati: Harry Reid, McCarthyism, Slander, Al Franken, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, Culture of Corruption, Crony Capitalism, Corporate Welfare, Agenda Media, Praetorian Guard, Democrats, Koch Brothers, Industrialists, Tom Cotton, Iraq War Veteran, Conservatism, Election 2014
Saying that Bruce Braley has had a tough stretch on the campaign trail is like saying HealthCare.gov didn’t have a smooth rollout. First, Braley criticized an Iowa hog farmer while running for the Senate in Iowa:
“If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice — someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years in a visible and public way on the Senate Judiciary” Committee, said Braley. “Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary. Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary.”
Crtiticizing a hog farmer while running for political office in Iowa is as foolish as a candidate for office in Oklahoma to talk about how much he loves Texas football. That’s as big a mistake as Todd Akin made in 2012, which takes some doing. Correct that. Which takes a Herculean effort.
Unfortunately for Braley, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then, in his attempt to stop the bleeding from the first disaster, he compounded it:
Then Braley sent out a press release touting his farmer credentials and the Des Moines Register found that it misspelled several basic farming terms like “detasseling” and “baling.”
A photo he posted to Facebook is actually a farm in England, NOT Iowa.
Here’s the photo:
Here’s what Buzzfeed wrote about Braley’s brouhaha:
TripAdvisor lists the farm as a fruit farm in England and an employee of the farm named Sonya confirmed to BuzzFeed the photo was of Cammas Fruit Farm.
The first tip Braley should learn from this is that he’s got extremely incompetent people working for his campaign. That type of incompetence is downright frightening. They certainly don’t know that the first rule of holes is to stop digging.
The next lesson Braley should’ve learned in this is that it’s exceptionally stupid to criticize a major voting block in the state you’re running in. That’s because it’ll just piss off the people you need to win elections. Pissing off a huge voting block isn’t the path to victory very often. In Iowa, pissing off hog farmers is foolishness on steroids.
The other lesson Braley should learn is that saying provocative things at fundraisers often return to bite the candidate in the arse.
The biggest question that isn’t settled yet is whether this is a fatal mistake. It might be but it’s too early to tell. It isn’t too early to tell, however, whether it was foolish for Braley to incompetently pander to this huge voting block.
This article lays out the statistics that Colorado is actually going backwards thanks directly to Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act:
Quite apart from the issue of premium increases, the 84,881 enrollees is far below the number of people who lost their insurance plans because of Obamacare. “Cancellation notices affected 249,199 people,” Jo Donlin, director of external affairs for the state insurance division, wrote in a Nov. 14 email.
That’s the worst of the news on the Obamacare front for Colorado but it isn’t the only bad news on that front. Here’s more:
“With less than a month to go before the enrollment period ends for this year, fewer than 85,000 Coloradans have signed up for health insurance,” The Colorado Observer’s Mark Stricherz reports, noting that state officials projected that they would need 125,000 to 140,000 enrollees.
“Even in the worst-case scenario, insurers would still be expected to earn profits, and would then likely raise premiums in 2015 to make up the difference,” Stricherz quotes Kaiser Family Foundation analyst Larry Leavitt as predicting.
In other words, people aren’t buying what the administration is selling. In fact, they’re getting disgusted by Obamacare’s options.
Based on these statistics, more people in Colorado are uninsured under Obamacare than were uninsured prior to the ACA. That’s called going backwards, which isn’t what President Obama promised.
These statistics shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum, either, because they’re affecting the Senate race in Colorado:
Udall is clearly worried about how Obamacare affects his re-election prospects. Donlin accused him, in that email, of trying to “trash” the state’s cancellation figures. When CNN’s Dana Bash asked him in January (before Gardner entered the race) if he would campaign with President Obama, Udall repeatedly refused to give a direct answer to the question. “Coloradans are going to re-elect me based on my record, not the president’s record,” Udall told Bash.
That’s rich. I can’t imagine Sen. Udall has voted differently than Harry Reid many times since arriving. Voting with Harry Reid is the same as voting with President Obama.
Most importantly, Sen. Udall voted for Obamacare, aka the ACA, which has led to Colorado’s disaster of having more people uninsured under Obamacare than there were prior to the ACA. That’s a political disaster waiting to happen for Sen. Udall. He’s got to be sweating his decision to vote for the ACA.
This polling from Michigan shows Democrats might have an impossible task on their hands in keeping control of the Senate:
RCP Average 9/7 – 1/8
Land (R) 39.4, Peters (D) 38.8 Land leads by .6%
Harper (R) 1/7 – 1/8
Land 44%, Peters 36; Land leads by 8%
PPP (D) 12/5 – 12/8
Land 42%, Peters 40%; Land leads by 2%
If Democrats have to fight to hold Carl Levin’s seat in Michigan, they’re in trouble. If they don’t hold Levin’s seat this November, they’ll lose control of the Senate. The national landscape isn’t helping Democrats this year. It doesn’t help Democrats that they’re fighting off the image that they can’t be trusted.
It wasn’t just President Obama who lied about people keeping their health insurance plan if they liked it. Lots of Democratic senators repeated that, too.
Friday’s jobs report hurt Democrats, too, although not for the reason most would think. Having 535,000 people quit looking for a job is the biggest indictment against Obamanomics. All of the Democrats that are up for re-election this year voted for President Obama’s budget blueprint.
If Michigan is in play, what does that say about Montana, Louisiana, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, South Dakota, Arkansas and Alaska? Is Minnesota in play? It’s already shaping up to be a very pro-GOP election cycle. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
Technorati: Terry Lynn Land, Republicans, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, New Hampshire, Gary Peters, Obamacare, Recession, Democrats, Election 2014