The Hill, upset that GOP activists aren’t planning to play Senate spoilers in 2016?

I’m not really sure why the Hill sounds so surprised, here: “Republican Senate incumbents look to be largely free of tough primary challenges by Tea Party candidates that could complicate the party’s efforts to retain the uppwer [sic] chamber during the pivotal 2016 election.”  We have 24 seats at stake in the next election, which is also a Presidential election. As the Hill admits, there are two open seats that are tempting prospects for conservative activists (three, if Vitter wins the governorship*); but what the Hill doesn’t quite bring up is that there aren’t that many Senators up this cycle that REALLY infuriate grassroots activists.  I mean, yes: everybody grinds their teeth over John McCain. But he is probably the only nationally recognized galloping disaster of ours this cycle.

At least, for right now.  Ask me again in March.  Then again, in March we’ll be smack dab in the middle of the Presidential election cycle, and a lot of activists are going to be understandably fixated on that. So maybe ask me in 2017? …No, wait, too late then.  Maybe just don’t ask me at all… no, that doesn’t even make any sense.

Moe Lane

*I am not about to say that he can’t.


Bloomberg spends $2.2 million of antigun money to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in Virginia.

Reuters doesn’t exactly elide that: but neither does it really push too much the minor detail that the two seats that Mike Bloomberg poured his money into replaced a retiring Democrat and Republican with… a Democrat and Republican.  Indeed, it’s almost as if Bloomberg needn’t have put in any money at all. Although I don’t mind if Democrats and/or liberals throw a lot of money into the electoral process and never get anything back. In fact, I think that they should double down…


Russ ‘Raise the minimum wage!’ Feingold wants to get himself some unpaid interns!

I don’t know know whether the news that Feingold’s campaign is advertising for unpaid interns represents Russ Feingold’s hypocrisy – after all, he’s looking specifically for people who will commit to spreading for free the message that there should be a generous minimum wage hike – or just his general cluelessness about how things work now. I mean, ever since Ron Johnson sent him packing from the Senate Russ Feingold has been bitterly licking his wounds in academia, which is about the worst place in the world for keeping on top of current societal trends.  Guess we’ll just have to go with the healing power of ‘and’ on this one:

In this position, interns are given a wide range of tasks and are guaranteed to learn a great deal about a campaign for U.S. Senate. Strong writing, research, and organizational skills are required; having a positive attitude and being outgoing are also appreciated. Scheduling is extremely flexible. All internships are unpaid and require a commitment of 8 to 12 hours per week.

…Guy won’t even shell out $180 bucks a week for this? Talk about a cheapskate!  A brazen one, at that. Continue reading Russ ‘Raise the minimum wage!’ Feingold wants to get himself some unpaid interns!

Ted Strickland’s (D) Senate bid gasping for cash.

The numbers are pretty entertaining: incumbent Rob Portman (R) raised almost eight million this year, with eleven million in the bank, while former governor Ted Strickland (D) raised about two and a half, with about a million and a half in the bank (Democratic primary challenger P.G. Sittenfeld has raised about half of that, and also has about half of that COH). As the Washington Free Beacon notes here, Strickland’s far behind both the short-term and long-term fundraising benchmarks that he was supposed to hit; I should also note that those numbers assume an uncontested primary. Strickland may not actually get one of those. Continue reading Ted Strickland’s (D) Senate bid gasping for cash.

…Nah, the 2016 Senate races aren’t that foregone yet. Or foregone at all, really.

I like Charlie Cook’s stuff, but there’s a glaring hole in the logic here:

…Demo­crats have fared well in Sen­ate races when the pres­id­ency was up for grabs. In 2008 and 2012, they picked up eight and two seats, re­spect­ively. Their gain in 2012 wasn’t lar­ger be­cause they’d already picked up four seats in 2000 and six more in 2006—the two pre­vi­ous times this class of sen­at­ors had faced voters—leav­ing few­er ad­di­tion­al seats with­in their reach.

Con­versely, Re­pub­lic­ans did won­der­fully in the midterm elec­tions of 2010 and 2014, when they picked up six and nine seats, re­spect­ively. Add in the im­pact of the polit­ic­al tox­icity sur­round­ing Obama in 2010, and Re­pub­lic­ans had a hur­ricane-force wind at their backs. The class of sen­at­ors who are up for reelec­tion in 2016 were the be­ne­fi­ciar­ies, but now they must face an elect­or­ate that is demo­graph­ic­ally more daunt­ing.

Continue reading …Nah, the 2016 Senate races aren’t that foregone yet. Or foregone at all, really.

Maine-SEN: Gov. Paul LePage considering ’18 run.

Governor Paul LePage is term-limited and his term is up in 2018. So the question is, why wouldn’t he think about a Senate run? “The Republican governor told “The Howie Carr Show” that he was “thinking about it very strongly,” according to the Portland Press Herald. “I think we need leadership in Washington. Yeah, I might do that.””

As to whether he’d win… maybe. Just maybe. Angus King is popular enough, but he’s a freshman and a stealth Democrat in a state that is perhaps more comfortable with electing liberal Republicans. Not that Paul LePage is a liberal; but he also handily outperformed the polls in 2014 despite being in a honest-to-God three-way race. Nominating for Senate a two-term governor who was term-limited out anyway is a perfectly sensible party gambit. Heck, that was more or less Sen. Angus King’s story in the first place.

Sen. Rand Paul looks likely to be able to run for Senate and President next year.

Politico: “The Kentucky GOP’s central committee voted Saturday to adopt a presidential caucus system next year, clearing the way Republican Sen. Rand Paul to run for president and reelection at the same time.” It’s costing Senator Rand Paul $500K to do this – he’s agreed to cover the costs of the Kentucky GOP running a caucus instead of a primary – but apparently the first-term Senator thinks that it’s worth it. Certainly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does, too. Continue reading Sen. Rand Paul looks likely to be able to run for Senate and President next year.