Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination.
Translation: they probably didn’t, which CNN will concede later. Moving on…
…The groups behind the operation had a sense of humor about what they were doing. One Twitter account was named after Bruno Gianelli, a fictional character in The West Wing who pressed his colleagues to use ethically questionable “soft money” to fund campaigns.
A typical tweet read: “CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52–>49/476-10s.” The source said posts like that — which would look like gibberish to most people — represented polling data for various House races.
No doubt much to the disappointment of people looking and hoping for a bloody internal fight over the district, the NRCC is playing it straight:
“Eric Cantor has been a steadfast leader for our party, and a great friend and mentor for so many House Republicans. I know Eric will continue to lead on the issues he cares so deeply about. Virginia families have selected Republican David Brat to represent them in Congress. I congratulate him on his victory and look forward to working with him in Congress.” – NRCC Chairman Greg Walden
Moving forward: it’s a R+10 district, and it’s unlikely to flip. Cook Political Report: “Virginia’s 7th CD is very heavily Republican: GOP presidential nominee won it 57 percent to 42 percent in 2012. So even Brat, who attacked Cantor from the right on immigration and debt ceiling politics, doesn’t change our Solid Republican rating here.” I note this because I want to make sure that people understand that if the fundamentals of the race don’t change – i.e., that there’s no significant chance that the seat will flip – then the national organizations will actually have no reason to put in increased resources for the race. As it stands right now the Democratic party is not showing any signs of seriously contesting the seat: their hastily-chosen candidate has no money, no staff – and no promises of meaningful support. If that changes, the NRCC will no doubt reassess; but as it stands now Dave Brat is in a good enough position without further investment.
Amanda Renteria is a Democrat challenging Rep. David Valadao in California’s 21st district. She also has a perfectly good campaign website, [site link removed].
But on her FEC Statement of Organization, Renteria lists her official website as renteria4congress.com, which is actually an attack website set up by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
CA-21 is currently Lean Republican according to Cook, but if this is the level of competence that Rep. Valadao will be facing then that categorization may change soon. And not to Ms. Renteria’s benefit.
[UPDATE: Apparently, I have to spell this out: Ms. Renteria’s ‘official’ site is a NRCC-based one that’s attacking her.]
The NRCC went ahead and created a useful list called the “7 Most Ridiculous Things Kathleen Sebelius Said At Today’s Hearing:” there were more than seven, of course, but these were particularly… well, ‘good’ is not really the right term, eh? Anyway, this one’s my favorite:
2. “The website never crashed.”
“We were anxious to get the website up and running and functional, which we clearly have failed to do to date, although I would suggest the website has never crashed,” Secretary Sebelius testified about HealthCare.gov.
This would be what we call in this business a hint.
Republicans are eyeing congressional swing districts President Barack Obama narrowly won last year for signs that the unpopularity of Obamacare could help them unseat House Democrats in 2014.
Polls conducted by the National Republican Congressional Committee and released to POLITICO show that nearly half of voters in two swing districts Obama carried in 2012 — Minnesota’s 8th and New Hampshire’s 1st — expect the Affordable Care Act to diminish the quality of their health care.
What makes this interesting is that both of those races were not particularly close, but both have had significant churn lately and the incumbents in neither state can hope to get their 2012 numbers; for that matter, both were flipped in the Great 2010 Obamacare Shellacking. If these seats are vulnerable – and the NRCC polling suggests that they are – then one has to wonder about the races that were particularly close in 2012. Certainly Democratic incumbents are making that calculation right now…
Don’t forget, folks: it’s not just the Presidency. We have House and Senate races to attend to, too.
This came out a few days ago, but the NRCC‘s point has obviously not become less relevant since then. Volunteer. Vote. Speak up. And remember: you are not taking back your country: that would imply that somebody actually had the right to take it from you in the first place. You are merely smacking down a bunch of idiots who thought that we had given them the keys to the candy shop.
Good news for the NRCC, of course – but it’s also kind of anticlimactic, at this stage of the game. The DCCC was ahead last month, the NRCC was ahead the month before that… I kind of expect that we’re going to see the two committees fighting it out for pole position for the rest of this election cycle.