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UK 2015: WTF Happened?
by: Son_of_the_South - May 11
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Red Racing Horses analyzes and discusses elections from a Republican-leaning perspective. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog. Please read our site Terms of Use.

~The RRH Moderators: BostonPatriot, Daniel Surman, GoBigRedState, Greyhound, Izengabe, James_Nola, Right Reformer, Ryan_in_SEPA, and Shamlet.

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Political Roundup For May 22, 2015

by: Right Reformer

Fri May 22, 2015 at 06:00:00 AM EDT

Happy "Buy a Musical Instrument" Day.  Here is your morning roundup.

President:

Debates:  With a 10-candidate debate, there are quite a few people on the bubble.  Kasich, Santorum, Fiorina, Jindal, and Graham appear to be most at risk, with all of them vying for 1-2 spots.  Notably, it appears Fox has agreed to let more than 10 candidates on the stage if there's a tie for tenth place in the polls.  Given that a lot of these candidates will be receiving 1-2% in the polls, that could make a big difference. 

Iowa:  Huckabee says he won't participate in the Iowa straw poll this year, which is something of a surprise.  Given his popularity at the straw poll, I figured this would have been an easy momentum-booster for Huckabee. 

Jeb Bush:  Jeb mildly criticizes his brother for not vetoing more spending bills, and instead increasing government spending while in office. 

Senate:

CO-Sen:  Who says the Colorado race is a tossup?  Why, Michael Bennet.  But of course he's just trying to fundraise on the slightly misleading message. 

NV-Sen:  Congressman Heck could announce a Senate run any day.  Sources say he's waiting for Sandoval to officially duck out, but I have a feeling the two have already talked and Sandoval has given Heck the go-ahead. 

MD-Sen:  There's a very inside baseball story going around about Donna Edwards pushing Nancy Pelosi to put Van Hollen ahead of Steny Hoyer in the House minority leadership after the 2014 elections.  But it's unlikely Van Hallen would get anywhere with the story, I think.

PA-Sen:  Democrats are looking to recruit ABS.  Anybody but Sestak, for this seat that should be competitive in 2016, but lately has looked like a Toomey hold. 

Governors:

KY-Gov:  While this article tries to play up some possible party unity issues with Matt Bevin stemming from his primary campaign against Mitch McConnell last year, it doesn't sound like McConnell himself bears any ill will toward Bevin.  McConnell is a classy guy. 

LA-Gov:  Apparently David Vitter's campaign against Washington is rubbing some of his colleagues in the Senate the wrong way.  Probably doesn't matter in the short term, of course. 

Congress:

NH-1:  The irony of Guinta's scandal is that prior to the news of his FEC fine, the presidential candidates had been seeking to attach themselves to Guinta in anticipation of the New Hampshire primary. 

FL-18:  I would bet money we'll see a Dan Bongino candidacy in FL-18 at this point. Bongino has name recognition, the connection to Allen West, and the drive to be in office that I think will make it hard for him to resist the temptation to throw his hat into the ring.

CO-6:  Coffman says he is feeling the pressure to jump into the race against Senator Bennet, and hasn't yet ruled it out.  "Never say never."  Not a very enthusiastic response, but Coffman says he'll have a firm answer in the next month.  I predict Coffman stays put. 

Miscellany:

Judges:  The GOP rightly slowed down the pace of judicial nominations this year after taking over the Senate.  Democrats--who went "nuclear" 2 years ago--had done their best to pack the courts before the GOP takeover, and are now getting their just desserts.  But it appears that the GOP is letting a handful of new nominees be confirmed. 

Cuba:  President Obama is considering appointing an ambassador to Cuba, but Senator Cardin (D-MD) is advising him to bide his time. 

Discuss :: (84 Comments)

RRH Elections Launches on June 15th!

by: shamlet

Thu May 21, 2015 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

Today we'd like to give you some more information about some upcoming changes to RRH. We mentioned about a month ago that our current platform (the technical guts of the site), Soapblox, is shutting down this year, and that will necessitate a transition. We now have scheduled the big day and want you all to know that RRH will be relaunching on June 15th at RRHElections.com!

So what is going to change? Very little. We will have a new name, RRH Elections, which we think describes the mission of the site better, and thus a new web adress at rrhelections.com, which is still under construction. The site will have a new coat of paint and be built on a new Wordpress platform that will hopefully fix some of the technical bugs that have been popping up in the current site. But otherwise the experience will see almost no changes: the moderator team will be the same, the daily roundups, election-day and breaking news coverage, race rankings, polling, and other features will proceed just as before, and we will continue to apply the same high standards of civil discourse to our comments section.

If you are currently registered for RRH in good standing (as in, not permabanned) we will automatically register you for the new site. Exact details on how to access your account will come once the new site launches. For any lurkers that are thinking about joining the site, this means there is no reason to hold off for another month - create an account here before June 15th and you will be automatically registered for the new site. For existing users, an important step you can take now is to make sure your contact email is up to date. You can do this by going to "[username]'s Page" -> "Profile" -> "Email and Password" -> "Real Email" and making sure you still check that account (or changing the email to one you do check). This will make it easier for us to connect you with your account at the new site.

A word about timing: We are timing the transition for what we hope will be a slow news week, after the spring election season concludes but before major Supreme Court decisions the last few days of June. Thus, we have decided that the new RRH Elections will start up on Monday, June 15th. That week, roundups and content will be posted on both sites, rrhelections.com and redracinghorses.com, as we work out any technical issues that arise connecting people with their new accounts and gradually shift the discussion threads over to RRH Elections. After Friday, June 19th, redracinghorses.com (this site) will stop presenting new content. However, commenting abilities will remain for another week or two after that so we can help with any lingering technical issues. Starting about July 1, this site will stop accepting new comments and become an archive and/or redirect to the new site. We will give you plenty of information and reminders over the next few weeks as the big day approaches.

One more immediate change: Our twitter feed can now be found at @RRHElections.

Thank you all so much for reading and commenting and making this community a great place to discuss politics. We hope this transition will only make the site better!

Discuss :: (16 Comments)

Political Roundup for May 21, 2015

by: Ryan_in_SEPA

Thu May 21, 2015 at 06:46:34 AM EDT

Please check back for an important announcement about the site relaunch today at noon.

Congress/POTUS
FL-Sen:  Politico examines everyone's favorite Bold Progressive from Florida, Representative Alan Grayson (D), and his likely run for US Senate against establishment backed candidate Representative Patrick Murphy (D).

Sanders/O'Malley:  Senator Bernie Sanders (S) is making such a big fuss in his off the wall presidential campaign that he might be sucking the little oxygen more serious candidates like former Governor Martin O'Malley (D) might have out of the race.  Sanders is getting Bold Progressive attention, but there is a limited market for an anti-Hillary challenger and Sanders might be wasting it.

Fox Debates:  Fox News is going to limit the number of debaters in its Republican presidential debates to 10 individuals.  The 10 will be determined by averaging the last five national polls before the event.  There is some serious flaws with this, but at least it is a metric instead of having 500 people on stage.

CNN:  CNN has announced a similar format for its top 10 debate as Fox News, but CNN has also decided to hold a minor league debate featuring the lesser known candidates.  The second debate will have  minimum polling and staffing requirements.

ME-2:  Freshman Representative Bruce Poliquin (R) is surprising a lot of people with the vigor of his fundraising and the lackluster fundraising his opponent, Emily Cain (D), has had.  Cain's weakness is leading to talk of a primary challenge on the Democratic side, which must be good news to Poliquin as he can build his already large warchest in this inexpensive, but vulnerable seat.

CA-Sen:  Representative Loretta Sanchez (D) is having some issues out of the gate in her uphill bid to win the second spot in the top-two primary for US Senate.  Sanchez's stumbles are upsetting southern California Democrats as they have been largely locked out of statewide office.

Other
Gay Marriage: 60% of Americans think gay marriage should be legal according to the latest Gallup survey.  The issue seems like something that could hurt Republicans as those who seem to be fixated with voting candidates sharing their views are more likely to be against gay marriage, but a majority of Republicans under the age of 65 support gay marriage.

Death row for the Death Penalty:  George Will lays out the case why death penalty is withering away as a political issue and how public opinion and conservative reevaluation of the issue is driving it.

Discuss :: (93 Comments)

Political Roundup for May 20, 2015

by: GoBigRedState

Wed May 20, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

Please check back for an important announcement about the site relaunch tomorrow at noon.

President:

Walker: After initial excitement over his planned campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has seemed to fall back somewhat after others have officially launched their campaigns. But he impressed a group of about 80 US House Republicans that he met with yesterday in a meeting organized by Rep. Paul Ryan (R). Rep. Tom Cole (R) says he "hit it out of the park" with the group.

Senate:

CA-Sen: Rep. Adam Schiff (D), who last week declined to run for Senate, says he would not be surprised to see more candidates get in the race after Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) got in last week. He specifically mentioned Rep. Xavier Becerra (D), who has often been mentioned as a potential candidate. Looking for another challenger to Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) may be a bigger factor now after Sanchez stumbled out of the gate with her Native American "war cry" gaffe.

FL-Sen: With Sen. Marco Rubio (R) running for president, some Republicans have been looking for a wealthy candidate with the ability to self-fund to run for the seat. They may possibly have found their man in Randy Fine, a self-made millionaire businessman who is currently running for a state House seat in Brevard County. Fine seems to have a good political resume as well, formerly serving as the state chairman of Teenage Republicans and working as a US House page and interning for former Rep. Bob Dornan (R) of California. Fine says he is willing to spend "seven figures" on a race if he decides to run.

OH-Sen: A conservative challenger to Sen. Rob Portman (R) has been expected to emerge ever since he announced his support of same-sex marriage. He finally has such a challenger-Don Elijah Eckhart. Eckhart, who would qualify as a Some Dude and will be a heavy underdog to Portman, previously ran as a conservative independent in the 2008 race for OH-15, likely helping Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy defeat Republican Steve Stivers(Stivers came back to defeat Kilroy in 2010).  

Governor:

CA-Gov: A candidate has already announced a campaign for governor on the Republican side. Tulare County Supervisor Allen Ishida (R) made the announcement on a local radio show last week and confirmed the plans this week. Although he can't formally file this early, he does plan on starting to raise money now-something he will probably need a lot of to get better known as a county official in a Central Valley county away from the major population centers.

DE-Gov: Former Attorney General Beau Biden (D) is currently undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center according to the office of Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has largely been absent from the public since he was treated at a cancer center in Houston in 2013, and did not seek re-election as AG last year. At the time of that announcement however he said he still planned to run for governor next year. With continuing questions about his health and his absence from public, it is looking increasingly likely that Biden may not be able to run for governor, which could create an open free for-all on the Democratic side as Biden has been considered the presumptive nominee if he ran.

IN-Gov: Gov. Mike Pence (R) definitely plans to run for re-election and will officially announce his campaign next month. Although he was once considered a possible presidential candidate, he was always considered more likely to run for re-election as governor, although some had speculated he might stand aside after some controversies this year including the RFRA.

House:

FL-6: Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford (R) is planning to run for the seat of Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) as DeSantis runs for Senate. Rutherford however currently does not live in FL-6 as it is just south of Jacksonville/Duval County and includes none of the city/county itself.

MD-4: Two new Democratic candidates are apparently in the running to succeed Rep. Donna Edwards (D). They are former US Army officer Warren Christopher(no relation to the former US Secretary of State with the same name) and former Howard University official Alvin Thornton. Christopher took 13% in a primary challenge to Edwards last year. Thornton was chairman of the commission in 2001 that set education funding formulas for the state. 

State & Local:

Charlotte Mayor: Edwin Peacock has announced he will run for the Republican nomination for mayor. He will face Scott Stone in the September primary. This will set up a battle between the last 2 Republican nominees-Stone lost to now US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in 2011 while Peacock lost to Patrick Cannon in 2013. 4 candidates are in on the Democratic side, including Dan Clodfelter, who was appointed mayor in 2014 after Cannon resigned due to corruption charges.

Election Summary:

KY-Gov (R): Matt Bevin appears to have won by 83 votes over James Comer, but a recount will be needed.

KY-Ag. Commissioner (R): State Rep. Ryan Quarles wins an unexpectedly close race.

KY-AG (R): State Sen. Whitney Westerfield wins.

KY-SOS (D): Alison Lundergan Grimes wins easily against weak opposition, but does worse than gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway (D) did against his weak primary opposition, indicating possible weakness in the general.

KY-Treas. (D)-State Rep. Rick Nelson wins.

KY-Treas. (R)-Allison Ball wins.

Jacksonville Mayor: Lenny Curry (R) unseats Mayor Alvin Brown (D). 

Philadelphia (D): Councilman Jim Kenney wins easily.

Colorado Springs Mayor: Ex-AG John Suthers (R) wins easily. 

NH-HD-Rockingham 32: 19-year old Yvonne Dean-Bailey (R) wins.

CA-SD-7: Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer (D) wins.

Discuss :: (142 Comments)

Kentucky Primary & May 19 Mayors Liveblog

by: shamlet

Tue May 19, 2015 at 18:00:00 PM EDT

Results: AP (KY) || AP (Philadelphia) || City of Philadelphia || WJXT-TV (Jacksonville) || Colorado Springs Gazette || CA-SD-7 (SOS)

2:05 ET: With almost everything in Glazer has won 54.6-45.4.  That's a wrap folks.

1:12 ET:  California has finally updated, and with about 60% of the vote in,  it looks like Glazer will hold on to his ~9 point lead.  I'm calling this one for him now.

11:49 ET: Still no update from California.   I want to see some election-day results before calling it for Glazer.

11:17 ET:  Alameda is reporting now, with Glazer up 56-44 there.  Barring a massive election-day edge for Bonilla, Glazer should win.

11:10 ET: The Contra Costa County Early Vote has dropped, and Glazer is up 54-46.  That's a good sign for him, as the Alameda county part of this district (which is one of the richest areas in the entire country) should be even more friendly to him.

11:00 ET: The polls have closed in California.

10:37 ET:  Greyhound here, taking over.  Quick recap--Bevin has won the KY-Gov GOP primary by under 100 votes & heading to a recount, Curry (R) has narrowly won the mayorship of Jacksonville, Kenney has won the Philadelphia D primary for mayor, and Suthers has won relection in Colorado Springs.

10:26 - Speaking of ideological purity, Cumberland County Republicans have tossed RINO County Commissioner Barb Cross and renominated conservative favorite Gary Eichelberger and nominated Vince Difilippo as his running mate.

10:15 - Further adventures in PA DINOism... In a heated race for the Democratic nomination for Allegheny County Controller, DINO Controller Chelsea Wagner has won a nailbiter against machine hack and former Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty by 3 percent.  

10:05 - Ryan here with a series of PA updates: Adventures in PA Democratic DINOism strikes in Reading (the largest city between Philly and Pittsburgh) tonight as Democratic Mayor and the closest thing resembling a Bold Progressive Vaughan Spencer has came in third in his bid for reelection against DINO Wally Scott.

9:56 - A quick final update from Kentucky: the final 12 Jefferson precincts did not change the vote margin, and it's still Bevin +83 with 100% in and a recanvass pending. (BostonPatriot) 

9:40 - Shamlet is signing off as I have to get to sleep. We're at Bevin+83 and certainly headed for a recount in Governor, and Quarles+809 in Ag Commissioner (R); that one may or may not be recount-worthy. Greyhound will pick things up at 11 in this post with CA-SD-7 coverage.

9:34 - 12 Jefferson precincts to go and Bevin has retaken a lead of 83 votes. Should be enough as he was leading Comer by a healthy margin in Jefferson.

9:33 - After an inexplicable delay, the AP has called Treasurer (R) for Ball. Quarles leads Heath by 800 in Ag Commissioner (R) with 12 precincts out.

9:31 - Looks like the margin will be under 100 votes either way in Kentucky, which probably means we're in for convoluted recount procedures.

9:25 - Downballot AP calls in Kentucky: State Rep. Rick Nelson has won Treasurer (D), and State Sen. Whitney Westerfield has won AG (R). Treasurer (R) still hasn't been officially called, but Allison Ball (R) has won it 47-31. For Ag Commissioner, Quarles leads Heath by 1100 votes with Heath-friendly territory still out.

9:20 -  For those of you that need a break from the drama in Kentucky, let's go to the soothing mountains of Colorado Springs, where John Suthers (R) is leading 68-32 with 93K votes in. This one's over. 

9:17 - Those 49 precincts come from 4 counties: Ballard (13), Jefferson (12), Ohio (19), and Warren (5)

9:13 - Comer has taken a 30-vote lead with 49 precincts to go.

9:09 - AP has called Philly for Kenney and PA-SD-5 for Sabatina.

9:08 - Bevin may just barely hang on. 59 precincts remain and Bevin holds a 750-vote lead over Comer.

9:05 - It's starting to look like Count Von Recount will be making an appearance in Kentucky. The Bevin-Comer gap has closed to 900 votes, with 113 Comer-friendly precincts out.

9:00 - Polls have closed in Colorado Springs.

8:58 - Whoa. As Western Kentucky comes in, Comer has been surging. Bevins' lead is now just 1900 votes (33-32) with 150 western precincts left to report.

8:55 - No drama in PA-SD-5: Sabatina (D) leads with 81% and 10% reporting.

8:35 - 4% in for Philly and this one's over before it starts. Kenney is at 61 (!), with Williams trailing far behind at 26 and Abraham only at 6.

8:30 -  First couple Philly precincts suggest this could be even more of a blowout than we were expecting: Kenney is at 58%.

8:24 - We're just a little over 80% in and I'm pretty much ready to call it for Bevin, who leads 35-29. Comer has just passed Heiner for second by a couple hundred votes.

8:20 - Things are pretty static in Kentucky: 75% in, Bevin 34 Heiner 30 Comer 28. Downballot, Nelson leads Blakemore for Treasurer-D 27-23, Ball is well ahead in Treasurer-R with 47, Westerfield at 53 in AG-R, and Quarles at 52 in Ag Comm-R.

8:06 - Calling Jacksonville for Curry. 94% in and he continues to hold that 2%, 5K vote lead.

8:04 - 64% in and things are holding steady: Bevin 34 Heiner 30 Comer 27.

8:00 - Polls have closed in Philadelphia.

7:47 - Downballot break: Treas-D: Nelson 27 Blakemore 24 Henderson 20. Treas-R: Ball 47 Larson 33 Imes 20. AG-R: Westerfield 53 Ag Comm-R: Quarles 52

7:40 - 48% in, Bevin 34 Heiner 31 Comer 27.

7:35 - Looks like Curry is going to squeak out a narrow win in Jacksonville. He's holding that 51-49 lead with 79% of the election-day vote in, a margin of 5K votes out of 180K cast. Odds are there are about 20K votes out so unless there's a lot from heavily black Northwest Jacksonville the margin should hold.

7:32 - 35%ish in and Bevin is leading Heiner 35-33. Comer is back at 25, but much of what is left is rural areas.

7:27 - Back to Kentucky and it's starting to look like Bevin is opening up a lead. With 25% in, he's up on Heiner and Comer 36-31-26.

7:25 - Edit: Sorry, that's the early vote and half of the election day vote from Jacksonville. It looks likely that should hold up for Curry but Brown is still in this.

7:24 - Early vote dump from Jacksonville has it as a nail-biter: Curry leads 51-49 with 143K early votes in. The gross lead is 3Kish votes, which could be overcome by Brown with strong election-day results.

7:10 - Let's look downballot. Treasurer D: Nelson leads Blakemore 26-24. On the R side, Ball leads Larson and Imes 47-33-20. AG-R, Westerfield leads Hogan 51-49, Ag commissioner-R, Quarles leads Heath 54-46.

7:09 - We're just shy of 20% and Bevin leads Heiner 35-34; however, most of Heiner's votes are coming from Jefferson.

7:00 - Polls have closed in the rest of Kentucky and in Jacksonville.

6:51 - 3% in and Jefferson is putting Heiner back into contention. Bevin leads Heiner 34-31 with Comer at 26. However, Jefferson at 10% is more in than the state as a whole.

6:47 - Up to 1% in and Bevin has taken a 37-29-25 lead over Comer and Heiner on the basis of a strong showing in the Cincinnati suburbs.

6:28 -  Comer is leading in Fayette. If that holds up it's a very good sign for his chances.

6:15 - First 4 precincts are in, mostly from rural areas (particularly Laurel County, in the deep red south-central part of the state): Comer is up 45-25-25 on Bevin and Heiner. Bevin is taking 62% in sububan Cincinnati's Campbell.

6:00 - Polls have closed in the eastern half of Kentucky.

Poll Closing Times - Kentucky (East) - 6 || Kentucky (West) & Jacksonville - 7 || Philadelphia - 8 || Colorado Springs - 9 || California - 11

Discuss :: (99 Comments)

Kentucky Primary & May 19 Mayoral Elections Preview

by: shamlet

Tue May 19, 2015 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

Today is our last big multi-state election day of the spring. And it doesn't disappoint: Across the six states going to the polls today, we have very competitive races for Kentucky's Statewide nominations, three big-city mayoral offices at stake, and a couple miscellaneous legislative and local races. We will be liveblogging starting at 6.

Poll Closing Times - Kentucky (East) - 6 || Kentucky (West) & Jacksonville - 7 || Philadelphia - 8 || Colorado Springs - 9 || California - 11

Kentucky Primary:

All of Kentucky's Statewide offices (but somewhat strangely, none of its legislative seats) are up this year. Republicans have primaries for four of the six races, including a marquee race for Governor, while Democrats have but one competitive contest, for Treasurer. For the Row Officers, please see GradyDem's diary for a far more thorough treatment of them than I can provide here. You can also check out our Row Officer Ratings for our quick takes on these races.

KY-Gov (R):

Four candidates are competing in what looks likely to be the second-nastiest major race of the year (after Anchorage Mayor), and going into polling day it looks like a three-way Tossup. The race will also determine KY-LG nominees as Kentucky is a "Team Primary" state. The GOP primary winner will face AG Jack Conway (D), who with his running mate, State Rep. Sannie Overly (D), faces only token primary opposition. The acrimonious primary has driven up every candidate's unfavorables and may have left long-term wounds that could hamper the nominee in the general. For now RRH rates this general election as a Tossup, but that could easily shift depending on the nominee and how easily the GOP base consolidates. 

The initial front-runner in the race was Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R), who was the only statewide Republican to evade Gov. Steve Beshear's re-election coattails and win in 2011. Comer had been considered a rising star in the party, but his campaign has been fairly underwhelming. Comer's campaign has been single-mindedly focused on rural areas, emphasizing his experience in Agriculture. Comer has secured much of the establishment's support, including most of the explicit endorsements offered (though both Senators prominently declined to endorse anyone), and garnered an "A" list running mate in State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) who could help bring votes in his native suburban Cincinnati region. However, in the last month the race was turned upside-down by a long-ago incident: a college girlfriend accused Comer of being emotionally and physically abusive to her, accounts that were corroborated by several other mutual acquaintances. However, the stories do not seem to be taking a toll on Comer's poll numbers, as he is still in a three-way tie for first and his favorability is holding up well. If Comer wins the primary, there are likely to be a lot more questions. It is possible that the story could wind up becoming catastrophic for Republicans' chances - or, conversely, be seen as dirty politics and make Comer a sympathetic figure.

Buoyed by a early ad blitz, ex-Louisville councilman Hal Heiner (R) jumped out to an early lead earlier this year. Heiner gained name rec by narrowly losing a run for Mayor of light-blue Louisville in 2010. However, he is mostly running on his non-political resume: Heiner has business experience that has enabled him to self-fund his campaign and run on an image as an outsider. In direct contrast to Comer's rural strategy, Heiner's campaign has focused more on turning out votes in urban areas of Louisville and Lexington. Buoyed by self-funding, Heiner looked like the clear front-runner as recently as a few weeks ago. But Heiner has been hurt by the Comer accusations as well; it was revealed that Heiner's running mate, ex-Lexington councilwoman and 2011 Treasurer nominee KC Crosbie (R), met with a blogger who was the main source of the Comer abuse story. Somewhat strangely, Heiner (who says he was unaware of the meeting between Crosbie and the blogger) seems to have been hurt the most by the affair. Recent polls suggest he has lost what had been a moderate lead and entered a three-way polling tie with his two main opponents.

The Heiner-Comer war has left a surprising room for the third candidate in the race, 2014 Senate candidate Matt Bevin (R). Bevin, who previously ran a bell factory, mounted an antiestablishment primary campaign against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) in 2014. Though Bevin coalesced some antiestablishment support and gained name recognition, attacks from McConnell's expert campaign team drove up his unfavorability. Bevin didn't do himself many favors either through missteps such as falsely claiming a degree from MIT and attending a cockfight. Thus, when he made a late entry into the race, he was considered unlikely to have appeal beyond the most antiestablishment die-hards. A good sign of his percieved lack of viability is his decidedly "C" list running mate, 2014 State House candidate Jenean Hampton (R). However, the Heiner-Comer brouhaha has brought him back into contention and recent polls show him surging by staying above the fray.

Finally, a fourth wheel in the race is ex-Supreme Court Justice Will Scott (R). Scott has trailed the field in fundraising and poll numbers, but does have a base in rural Eastern Kentucky and has carved out something of a niche as the most strident Social Conservative in the field. Going all-in on a geographic strategy in the Appalachian East, he is running with Menifee County Sheriff Rodney Coffey (R). But other than a brief moment of media attention for arriving at a campaign event via parachute jump, Scott's campaign hasn't gained much traction. Scott has been consistenly polling in the high single digits, compared to the mid-20s for other candidates. And with the race between the other three looking like a Tossup, Scott's support may bleed further to more viable contenders. How much of his support holds up and who it might go to is an open question and one that could decide a winner today. 

Flip over for Mayoral Races in Philadelphia, Jacksonville, and Colorado Springs, along with other races tonight...

There's More... :: (18 Comments, 1368 words in story)

Political Roundup for May 19, 2015

by: shamlet

Tue May 19, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

We will have a preview of today's state and municipal races across five states, including the marquee KY-Gov GOP primary, this afternoon.

Also, please stay tuned Thursday afternoon for an important announcement about the site relaunch.

President:

Jindal: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is exporing a run for President. Once considered a fast-rising star in the party, Jindal's profile has dropped considerably after a widely-panned 2009 SOTU response and a rocky tenure as Governor.

Graham: South Carolina Sen. Lindesy Graham (R) also kicked off his campaign yesterday, with a formal launch scheduled for June 1. Graham is likely to shoot for the McCain niche of a staunch hawk who is moderate on domestic issues.

Senate:

CA-Sen, CA-46: After this weekend's strange "war cry" gaffe, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) is not ruling out aborting her Senate campaign and dropping back down to run for re-election to her House seat. Sanchez's embarassment was only compounded yesterday by the release of video from the incident. Worth noting is that this isn't the first racially-insensitive remark Sanchez has let slip: she came under fire in 2010 for stating that "The Vietnamese" were attempting to take her seat.

FL-Sen: LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) confirmed this weekend that he is "strongly considering" entering the Senate race. Lopez-Cantera would likely start with a strong geographic base in Dade County's Cuban community. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) is the only GOPer that has entered so far, but a host of others are considering.

MD-Sen: Most of the recent chatter around a Baltimore-area candidate into this race has centered around Rep. Elijah Cummings (D). However, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) reiterated last week that he is still considering the race. Ruppersberger is a more moderate Dem than Cummings or the current candidates in the race, DC suburban Reps. Donna Edwards (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D).

House:

FL-18: KC Ingram-Traylor (R), an anti-rail activist who appeared in an ad for Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) in 2014, is considering a run for Murphy's seat. The ad is likely to prove a major handicap for her. Martin County School Board member Rebecca Negron (R) and St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery (R) are so far looking like the front-runners for the GOP nomination.

FL-20: Rep. Alcee Hastings (D), the only member of Congress to hold the distinction of being corrupt in two different branches of government, wants a raise. And he has ample reason to: Hastings is, by most measures, the brokest member of Congress, with a net worth in the negative seven figures due to leftover legal bills from his judicial impeachment in the 80s.

IL-8: State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), a relative of State Senate President John (D), will run for Rep. Tammy Duckworth's open seat. Cullerton will face fellow State Sen. Mike Noland (D) and 2012 candidate and AULSID member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) in the primary for this medium-blue suburban seat.

NV-4: Ex-State House Speaker and 2012 NV-3 nominee John Oceguera (D) says he is "north of 90 percent" likely to run for the seat of Rep. Cresent Hardy (R). If Oceguera runs, he would be the fourth Democrat into this crowded primary after State Sen. Ruben Kihuen (D), ex-State Rep. Lucy Flores (D), and nonprofit exec Susie Lee (D). Oceguera's 2012 campaign was widely-panned, so he probably won't start as a front-runner here.

NH-1: Things really went from bad to worse for Rep. Frank Guinta (R) yesterday after the congressman acknowledged he broke (a rather inane) FEC regulation and agreed to pay a $15K fine. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) called for Guinta's resignation, and most figures in the NHGOP have openly decided to cut him loose. Ayotte's statement comes on the heels of a very memorable editorial from the conservative Union-Leader newspaper. At least four Republicans are already getting talked up as possible replacements, either in 2016 or a sooner special election: 2010 candidates Rich Asooh and Sean Mahoney, 2014 candidate Dan Innis, and 2014 Senate nominee Scott Brown. If Guinta is planning to resign, the end of this week (right before Memorial Day) would probably be the least-bad time to do it.

Governor, State, & Local: 

NC-Gov: A mere six months after forming an exploratory committee, AG Roy Cooper (D) has officially announced he will run against Gov. Pat McCrory (R). Neither McCrory nor Cooper is expected to face serious primary opposition.

WV-Gov: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) has been involved in discussions with all three prospective GOP candidates for Governor, Rep. David McKinley (R), AG Patrick Morrisey (R), and State Senate Pres. Bill Cole (R). Capito confirms that the three are attempting to work out a scenario that avoids a primary. None of the three have actually entered the race, but two Dems, billionaire Jim Justice (D) and State Sen. Jeff Kessler (D), are running.

VA-SD-21: We could have a major help in one of our few possible pickup opportunities in the closely-divided Virginia Senate. Roanoke City DA Don Caldwell (D) has filed to run as an Indie against State Sen. John Edwards (D) and surgeon Nancy Dye (R). The district is light-blue at D+3, so only a few points of Edwards's support bleeding to Caldwell could tip the race to Dye.

Nashville Mayor: It's rare that dueling internal polls actually provide clarity to a race rather than muddling the picture, but here we have two that do just that. A pair of releases from real estate exec Bill Freeman (D) and Davidson County Clerk Howard Gentry (D) very much agree on who the front-runners are. Each man's poll shows himself in the lead, with the other a close second. Both also show councilwoman Megan Barry (D) in third. The first round of this race is not until August.

Discuss :: (55 Comments)

Kentucky Downballot Primary Preview

by: GradyDem

Fri May 15, 2015 at 22:53:05 PM EDT

(A first-rate overview of the key Row Officer races in Kentucky tomorrow. Thanks Grady! - promoted by shamlet)

Over the last few weeks, much of the attention in Kentucky has been dedicated to the gubernatorial primary. But there are several downballot elections on both sides of the aisle occurring on Tuesday.

I want to profile them here. Financial numbers are cycle to date.

Before I look at each race (which are below the fold), I want to take a geographic look at what counties primary voters come from.

First, the Republicans:

Now, the Democrats:

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 1646 words in story)

Political Roundup for May 18th, 2015

by: Greyhound

Mon May 18, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

President:

Debates: The RNC is going to cap the number of debaters at 12. The fact that they have to set a cap in the first place should indicate how large the GOP field is getting to be.

Georgia-Primary: Landmark polled the GOP primary in Georgia, and found Huckabee leading with 18% followed by Carson, Walker, Bush, and Rubio.

Kaisch: The Ohio Governor and former Congressman is serious about running for President. Apparently he wants to fill the crucial Union-Hated-Midwestern-Governor-not-named-Scott-Walker niche created when Rick Snyder backed out. It might be easier to make a list of the prominent Republicans who aren’t running for president in 2016 given how wide the field is already.

Perry: The former Texas Governor and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate is set to announce a second run in June, creating competition for the Sunbelt-Governor-with-a-solid-record-whose-time-was-years-ago niche with Jeb Bush. At this point I have to wonder what it takes to dissuade some of these Republican candidates from running, as I doubt Perry will break into double digits in any non-Texas poll, ever.

Senate:

AK-Sen: State Senator Mike Dunleavy (R) is openly considering a primary challenge to sitting Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. Dunleavy is a much better potential candidate than some of the other rumored primary challengers to Murkowski, including 2010 GOP nominee Joe Miller and 2014 failed primary candidate Mead Treadwell. Murkowski is unlikely to take this challenge lying down however, and has a sizable base in the state given how she managed to win a write-in bid in 2010 after losing the Republican nod.

CA-Sen: Lorreta Sanchez hasn’t started her 2016 Senate Campaign well. She was caught on camera making a “whooping” sound when referring to Native Americans, and Harris has been quick to attack her over the gesture.

IL-Sen: Chicago Urban League President Andrea Zopp is apparently about to jump into the Democratic primary for this seat. Zopp, who is African American, is running for what has apparently become Illinois' “Black” Senate Seat, which up until the 2013 New Jersey Special election was the only Senate Seat to ever elect a Black Democrat. Zopp will probably run to Duckworth’s left in the primary.

IN-Sen: Former Congressman Baron Hill (D) is in. Hill is probably the Democrat’s best potential candidate outside of former Senator Evan Bayh, who is still flirting with running. Hill is most famous for his long-running feud with Mike Sodrel that ended with Sodrel’s primary loss and Hill’s general loss to current Congressman Todd Young (R).

Congress:

CA-46: Lou Correa (D) is running for this Heavily Hispanic open house seat in Central Orange County. Correa was last seen losing a County Commissioner seat covering much of the same territory earlier this year, though in an extremely low-turnout special election. We probably have no shot in this D+9ish seat, though if we make some gains with Hispanic voters in 2016 this is one of the most likely places for that to show up.

FL-18: St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery (R) is running. Since this is one of our top 2016 Congressional targets, it’s nice to see some actual candidates running here instead of the slate of nobodies we had in 2014.

NV-4: Cresent Hardy is getting a head start on working his district in advance of the 2016 elections. After winning one of the biggest upsets of the night back in 2014, Hardy immediately became one of the Democrat’s top 2016 targets.

Other:

Canada: The NDP has seen a surge in its national poll numbers after winning an amazing victory in Alberta. It’s now tied with the Liberal and Conservative parties in Canada, with each party taking around 30% of the vote. It remains to be seen if this increased level of support can hold up until the October election.

NY-Gov: New York Progressives are turning to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (D) to run for Governor in 2018, whether or not that means a challenge to sitting Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Polling: Emily Farris has a 3/20 approval rating with Republican primary voters in a recent PPP survey. If you’re wondering “who?” you’re not alone—Farris is a political science professor at Texas Christian University who’s not running for office at all. She offered to be included to get an idea of what the baseline results are for a candidate with 0% name recognition. Apparently its rather poor.

UK-Labor: Chuka Umunna has withdrawn from the Labor leadership election. The Nigerian-descended MP from London has been considered a rising star in the Labor party’s centrist wing, but bowed out three days after announcing due to the increased scrutiny placed on him.

Discuss :: (99 Comments)

Weekend Open Thread For May 15-17, 2015

by: Right Reformer

Fri May 15, 2015 at 13:25:37 PM EDT

It's the end of the week.  May everyone have a restful and pleasant weekend. Here are some questions to get you started for this weekend.

1. What is the third most likely Senate pickup opportunity for the GOP in 2016?

2. Obama and Warren. Grayson and Tester. Hillary and Bernie. Will Democratic infighting be a major issue or theme in the next cycle?

We here at RRH have wondered how Obama is handling his break up with his former BFF Elizabeth Warren. Because it's the weekend we imagine Obama's response to Sen Sherrod Brown and the other Democrat haters looks something like this.

And a poll ...

Discuss :: (127 Comments)
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