The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group tasked with getting Republicans elected to the Senate, believes Republicans have expanded the 2014 playing field with five more contested races as the GOP seeks to retake control of the chamber.
In a memo released to consultants Friday morning, NRSC political director Ward Baker writes that Republicans have become competitive in Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Oregon and Minnesota since the start of the year.
The latest Mitchell Research poll has Land up six (44/38) over Peters; a previous Mitchell poll had her behind by one. This is enough to put her in front, overall; toss out the partisan polls and Terry Lynn Rand is ahead by rather more. Looking at the rend line… well, Gary Peters can’t just seem to catch fire. And I don’t think that the governor’s race is going to help, either: as of this moment Rick Snyder is decently ahead, and in a comfortable place for a Republican governor in a blue state.
Hmm. Snyder needs a little work on his hair. And how tall is he? – Dang, but I quite enjoy being spoiled for choice for 2016.
David Freddoso lays it out: Barack Obama has a 36% – thirty-six – approval rating and Al Franken’s own personal numbers are 46/42. That’s the kind of combination that screams ‘vulnerable incumbent’ – but we just need a candidate. And there’s still no clear sign of one in the wings.
I know, there are candidates. But we need one of them to start shining. Today. And then we need the other candidates to get out of the way.
Alternate title: Kathleen Sebelius must accept that her career is dust in the wind.
It’s in the New York Times and everything. Of course, even the New York Times can’t ignore basic reality:
Even if Ms. Sebelius had not presided over the Department of Health and Human Services at a time of turmoil and self-inflicted distress — and while carrying out a law that inspires such anger on the right — her candidacy would be a tough sell in Kansas. Democrats have not held a Senate seat in the state since 1939. And even before the president’s popularity started to take a steep slide last year, he fared especially poorly in Kansas, winning only 38 percent of the vote there in 2012.
The Old Gray Lady did her level best to try to run some volts through the chest of this possible scenario – which, if it came to pass, would absolutely ensure Republican turnout in Kansas in November* – but the Times’ heart wasn’t in it, and left unsaid was the political reality that the GOP is looking for a good, solid political excuse to turn Sebelius replacement Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s confirmation hearings into a furball. That would embarrass Barack Obama… and no Democrat may embarrass Barack Obama. Certainly no female Democrat may. Only Obama’s feelings are worthy of consideration these days, it seems.
So, Kathleen Sebelius should pretty much face facts: she sacrificed her career and her reputation to the dubious glory of Barack Obama. Time for her to accept her destiny as just another K Street lobbyist…
Via Hot Air Headlines.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Yup, been wanting to use that line for a while.
*Unfortunately, Kansas is such a hardcore Republican state already that we couldn’t use it to toss out Democrats on the federal and/or statewide level; I’m not sure if there are any. And we’re already at super-majority levels in the state legislature anyway.
Branstad, who talked with reporters Wednesday after an Iowa Statehouse bill signing ceremony to revise Iowa’s corn promotion checkoff, was unrelenting in his remarks about Braley’s criticism of Grassley.
“I think it is awful. I think it is terrible, that somebody running for office in Iowa would go to Texas to raise money from trial lawyers and then put down our senior senator and the farmers of the state of Iowa,” Branstad said. “And I think that this is something that Iowans will not forget. Agriculture is something that is important to this state, and we were there in the nation’s Capitol to honor one of the greatest humanitarians of all time who was a farmer, who became a great agriculture researcher and saved a billion people. And it is just unthinkable.”
Ostensibly, he’s doing something completely different: “The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.”
I try to stay out of primaries. And you’ll note that it’s not going to be crossposted on RedState, either. Nonetheless, it amuses me whenever the phrase ‘castrating hogs’ shows up in a campaign commercial:
I can’t imagine why, of course.
Your daily dose of Democrats eating their own*:
‘Downton Abbey’ Democrats May Cost their Party the Senate
When it comes to green gentry liberalism, think of an Americanized version of the PBS hit—where everyone knows his or her place, and our betters look best.
Last week was a good week for natural gas, but a bad one for green gentry liberalism. John Podesta, a veteran of the Clinton White House who is once again a presidential adviser, tried to explain some energy facts of life to the true-believing liberal base. Still, it’s unclear if Podesta’s intended audience was listening, and that willful blindness may cost the Democrats control of the Senate.
…but I know damned well that his devotees will care, so here you go:
Nate Silver, the former New York Times analyst who rose to prominence after correctly predicted every state that voted for Barack Obama in 2012, gave the Republican Party a 60 percent chance of retaking the Senate in November — a chilling prospect for Democrats who once found Silver’s predictions comforting.
Be sure to write those checks out to your party anyway, Democrats! Sure, that money will just be thrown away, but that’s what Democratic donors are there for. (more…)
This is from, of all places, NPR:
“We always look at the question: how interested are you in the upcoming elections on a 1-to-10 scale, with a 9-to-10 being the most interested.” said Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican research firm, who pointed to a recent Wall St Journal/NBC News poll his firm did with Hart Research Associates.
“In a presidential election, it doesn’t mean as much because everybody votes. In a mid-term election, where you’re looking at 40 percent turnout, it does make a difference… Among voters who rate their interest a 9 or 10, Republicans have a 15-point advantage, 53 [percent] to 38 [percent]. So you have Republicans now gaining the same kind of intensity they had in 2010. It’s like our guys are campaigning downhill as opposed to the Democrats.”
But, as the title says, don’t get cocky. “Confident” is fine, though. People react well to that and it’s good for morale.
Short version: Alaska, Louisiana, and North Carolina to Toss-Up: New Hampshire to Lean Democrat. To be fair, Cook is also degrading GA to Toss-Up and put Mississippi into Likely Republican territory, but the map is still bad for Democrats, and frankly just got worse for them. But this may be the most important bit:
Strictly speaking, I am not criticizing the Fix for not drawing a more explicit link between Presidential approval ratings and Senate churn in a midterm election. They established the basic point, which was that both parties are increasingly taking seriously that the President’s current low numbers will translate into Democratic losses in the Senate. The Monkey Cage spells it out:
Presidential approval is strongly correlated with midterm congressional election outcomes. Gallup has polled Americans on presidential approval during every midterm election cycle since 1954. Across the 16 midterm election cycles from 1954 through 2012 the average level of presidential approval during the first quarter (January to March) of the election year is about 58 percent. Over the available Gallup presidential approval polls for the first quarter of this year, Obama’s approval is significantly below the average, about 42 percent, worse than every other year except 2006 and 1974.