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Author Topic: The US Congress; Congressional races  (Read 13160 times)
DougMacG
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« Reply #200 on: February 14, 2014, 10:13:11 PM »

Poll Shows Republican Terri Lynn Land Leading Michigan Senate Race 
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/198400-poll-finds-gop-maintains-lead-in-michigan-senate-race
http://www.rttnews.com/2270231/poll-shows-republican-terri-lynn-land-leading-michigan-senate-race.aspx?type=glpn

A victory for the Republican candidate in Michigan could go a long way in the GOP's efforts to retake control of the Senate in 2014.

The poll also showed that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder maintains an eight-point lead over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer. 

A negative assessment of President Obama's job performance may be weighing on the Democratic candidates, as 61 percent of likely Michigan voters said they would give the president a negative rating.
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Obama carried Michigan in 2008 by 17 points.  The times they are a changin'


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #201 on: February 19, 2014, 01:25:33 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YyPzU8Uf30
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DougMacG
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« Reply #202 on: February 20, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »

I like like the math behind this but others might just know his conclusions.  Based on analysis of previous elections and the electoral maps out there, Republicans need to pick up 8 or 9 Senate seats in 2014 in order to still hold majority after 2016.  It will take wins in the House, Senate and Presidency to even try to turn this ship around.  (This should have happened in 2012!)

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/02/20/computing_democrats_risk_of_losing_the_senate_121640.html

Over the past two cycles, the president’s job approval has explained 58 percent of the variance in competitive Senate races in any given state.

...unless 2016 turned out to be a good Republican year overall, that Republicans would probably have to win 53 or 54 seats in 2014 to feel good about their chances of holding the Senate two years later.



 At Obama’s current 44 percent approval rating, we’d expect Democrats to lose somewhere between nine and 13 seats.

 If we run our simulations around [his average rating 48.3 percent over his presidency], we get the following overall distribution of outcomes:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/chart3-2-20.gif

(The only way Obama recovers from where he is today back to his Presidency average is if Republicans either take off the pressure or if they self-implode.  Both scenarios are possible.)
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G M
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« Reply #203 on: February 20, 2014, 11:10:56 AM »

(The only way Obama recovers from where he is today back to his Presidency average is if Republicans either take off the pressure or if they self-implode.  Both scenarios are possible.)

Given the GOP's history, it's an almost certainty.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #204 on: February 20, 2014, 12:45:09 PM »

(The only way Obama recovers from where he is today back to his Presidency average is if Republicans either take off the pressure or if they self-implode.  Both scenarios are possible.)

Given the GOP's history, it's an almost certainty.

Yes.  Even so, with politics as usual Republicans in a sleepwalk might re-take the Senate and hold the House in 2014.  Then lose it all in 2016 without accomplishing a single thing unless we/they are able to pull together and communicate a compelling message.  It all sounds familiar, doesn't it.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #205 on: March 04, 2014, 05:13:11 PM »

Charlie Cook
March 3, 2014

"There are now at least 10, and potentially as many as 13, Democratic-held [US Senate] seats in jeopardy."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/off-to-the-races/congressional-democrats-face-uphill-battle-in-midterms-20140303
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ccp
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« Reply #206 on: March 04, 2014, 05:52:34 PM »

"There are now at least 10, and potentially as many as 13, Democratic-held [US Senate] seats in jeopardy."


We need 15.

Otherwise we will still have a President who is ruling through stacking the agencies with cronies and dictates through them for another two years.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: March 05, 2014, 08:06:09 PM »

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/03/05/texas-turmoil-for-dems-pro-impeachment-anti-obamacare-democrat-pulls-primary-shocker-104677
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DougMacG
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« Reply #208 on: March 13, 2014, 09:57:23 AM »

Most expensive congressional race in history ($11 million)
David Jolly (R) beat Alex Sink (D) in a district Obama carried in 2008 and 2012.
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/200523-republican-jolly-wins-crucial-florida-special-election

Despite millions spent, Dems are down 4 points from Obama's 2012 vote.  Nationally, Obama received 51% of the vote in a magical turnout year.  Take away 4% and give most of it back to the Republican and Dems don't win the divided states and districts.

In this case, the Libertarian won 5% too.  Someone can explain to me how a strategy that allows Dems to win with significantly less than 50% of the vote advances libertarian ideals.  I fail to see it.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 01:41:08 PM by DougMacG » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #209 on: April 09, 2014, 11:46:07 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/us-policy-has-gone-liberals-way-for-70-years/2014/04/08/8dffa2b2-b906-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_print.html

From the article:

In response, conservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts
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DougMacG
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« Reply #210 on: April 17, 2014, 12:23:27 PM »

Energy State Dems in Senate Races Split From Obama

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/17/energy_state_dems_in_senate_races_split_from_obama_122303.html#ixzz2zAIIojQx

Obama lost all of West Virginia's 55 counties in 2012 and won just 35.5 percent of the vote statewide.

11 Democrats last week urged Obama to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of May.  Six of them face contested re-elections this year.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #211 on: April 23, 2014, 06:02:05 PM »

McClintock first came to my attention via Top Dog who recommended him as a particularly good and savvy state legislator whose advise on the various state Propositions was always well-informed and sound.  Such was my experience.  He is now a Congressman in northern CA and I continue to send some money his way every campaign, and will do so again.

----------------------------------------------

AUBURN, Calif. — A moderate Republican trying to unseat a conservative congressman from his own party, Art Moore sat a little stiffly at a Sizzler restaurant here during the monthly meeting of the Auburn Area Republican Women Federated. Appearing after the meeting’s agenda was already set, Mr. Moore was not invited to speak before the group — not that it would have made much of a difference.

He knew that many local Republican officials did not look kindly at his recent decision to challenge Representative Tom McClintock, a Tea Party favorite. One of them, Bonnie McAdams, was blunt about it.

“Don’t run against other Republicans,” Ms. McAdams, a member of the Republican Party’s central committee in Placer County, told Mr. Moore. “Go get the other guys. They’re the enemies, not the Republicans.”

Mr. Moore’s challenge in California’s Fourth Congressional District is an unusual one, even against the backdrop of the Republican Party’s internecine battles. Contested Republican primaries for the House and Senate typically feature conservative challengers, backed by motivated and enthusiastic Tea Party members, against moderate incumbents.
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Art Moore, a moderate, is challenging McClintock. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

But here in California, where a top-two primary system nearly guarantees that Mr. Moore will move past the primary to the general election, the challenge is coming from the left, with Mr. Moore arguing that Mr. McClintock is too conservative even for this strongly Republican district. Conservatives are gathering to protect Mr. McClintock, one of the few congressmen whose voting record is considered perfect by prominent conservative groups like Club for Growth and Freedom Works. In response, Mr. Moore has hired Rob Stutzman, a onetime aide to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — a moderate Republican himself — as a political consultant.

The two candidates have been busy taking jabs at each other. Mr. McClintock criticized Mr. Moore for failing to vote in past elections; Mr. Moore said he had not voted because of a belief that career military officers like him should not be involved in politics, adding that he is no longer in the military. Mr. Moore faulted Mr. McClintock for living in Elk Grove, outside his congressional district; Mr. McClintock said he would like to move into his district but could not sell his house until it regained the value it had lost during the housing crisis.

Mr. Moore, 35, and his campaign manager, Jeff Wyly, laid out the reasoning behind his run: unhappiness among typical voters at the gridlock in Washington and with conservatives like Mr. McClintock, who last fall voted to shut down the federal government to prevent financing for President Obama’s health care program. The primary is scheduled for June 3.

“It’s healthy for the party to have competition,” Mr. Moore said. “This shouldn’t be seen as destructive. It’s a win-win situation for the Republicans because if I win, I think I bring a much better brand and future to the party. If he wins, he’ll at least have gotten some competition that might make him rethink his role as a representative.”

Still, Mr. Moore is not likely to sway people like Ms. McAdams, who became politically active five years ago by joining the Tea Party. She said she was upset that Mr. Moore was targeting a conservative like Mr. McClintock, who “is standing up for the people” along with Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
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Mr. McClintock said that his conservative principles would appeal to all Republicans and that his strong positions on civil liberties, including his stance against spying by the National Security Agency, would win over some Democrats. “I’m quite content to go toe to toe for every vote in this district,” he said.

Analysts said the race was difficult to handicap, in part because it does not fit the pattern of what has been going on around the country.

“Given the mood of the Republican base, it’s still more likely that a conservative challenger beats a moderate incumbent, rather than vice versa,” said David Wasserman, who follows House races for the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter.

Mr. Wasserman added, however, that most incumbents were likely to survive challenges from a fellow Republican. “The power of incumbency is very strong,” he said. “Local groups and organizations are very hesitant to get involved against an incumbent.”

The Fourth District occupies a large swath in central and Northern California, from the politically moderate suburbs of Sacramento to the conservative towns of the Central Valley and the rural communities of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Mr. McClintock, 57, who was first elected in 2008, won 61 percent of the votes in the 2012 general election against a little-known Democrat.

Allan Hoffenblum, who has worked for three decades as a Republican consultant and analyst in California, said many moderate Republicans in the district were displeased with Mr. McClintock, who, like many conservatives, favors spending cuts and smaller government. The district includes many farming communities, and Mr. McClintock voted against the recent farm bill, which he described as giving giant subsidies to agricultural businesses.

“There’s been unhappiness in that district because of McClintock’s rigid ideas. He’s not sending any money back to the district,” Mr. Hoffenblum said. “So if Moore can actually do well in the crossover vote, he can actually give McClintock a serious challenge.”

In California’s system, the two candidates who get the most votes in the June primary will move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. The third candidate is an independent; three Democrats who had considered running decided not to. So Mr. McClintock and Mr. Moore are almost guaranteed to face off in November.

Mr. Moore grew up here and returned to the area in December with a view toward running for Congress. A graduate of West Point, he served for 14 years in the National Guard, including 30 months of deployment overseas. He lived in Washington until December, working as a consultant in intelligence.

Mr. Moore hopes to succeed in November by drawing moderate Republicans away from Mr. McClintock and winning overwhelmingly among non-Republicans.

After a town-hall meeting in San Andreas, a small town in the district, Mr. McClintock dismissed the idea that the Republican rivalry here echoed the larger one within the party. Instead, he said, he sees a cynical attempt at exploiting California’s top-two primary system by Mr. Moore and the Democrats.

“It’s obvious that he coordinated closely with the Democrats to manipulate the new primary system in California to keep a Democrat off the ballot,” Mr. McClintock said. “When we watch one Democrat after another pull papers and then suddenly decide not to file, I think it’s a pretty good guess that there is coordination going on.”

Mr. Moore, who is seeking elected office for the first time, denied any coordination with Democrats. He said that about half a dozen Republican officials and businessmen in the district, as well as Democrats and independents, had encouraged him to run, and that friends from childhood and his Boy Scout days had introduced him to Republican operatives, including his consultant, Mr. Stutzman.

But as an indication of the difficulties in challenging an incumbent, Mr. Moore said his supporters were not ready yet to endorse him publicly, which Mr. McClintock pointed to as evidence of his challenger’s lack of credibility.

Mr. Moore said he hoped that the first of the endorsements would be made soon.

“I’m hoping it’ll come before the primary,” he said. “But I don’t have it solidified yet.”
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DougMacG
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« Reply #212 on: April 23, 2014, 10:11:50 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXqHI059n90
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ccp
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« Reply #213 on: April 24, 2014, 09:09:13 AM »



By Scott Conroy - April 23, 2014

A new round of polls released on Wednesday offered generally upbeat news for Democrats in four U.S. Senate contests in Southern states considered key to the party's hopes of retaining its majority in November.  

According to the New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation surveys, vulnerable incumbent Democrats are holding on to leads in Louisiana and Arkansas and effectively tied in North Carolina. Upstart challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, meanwhile, is trailing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by just a single point in Kentucky.

All four races are critical to Republicans’ hopes of netting the six seats they need to regain control of the upper chamber.

Though he narrowly lost North Carolina in 2012, President Obama was blown out by margins ranging from 17 to 24 percentage points in the other three states, suggesting that the Democratic Senate candidates are running strong campaigns in a region that has grown increasingly hostile to their party in federal elections.  

In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan leads state House Speaker Thom Tillis -- the frontrunner in the Republican primary -- 42 percent to 40 percent, according to the new poll.

In Louisiana’s still largely unsettled contest, in which there are no primaries, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu leads the Republican frontrunner, Rep. Bill Cassidy, by a 42 percent to 18 percent margin, with 20 percent of respondents having no opinion.

The most surprising result of the new surveys comes in Arkansas, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor enjoys a 10-point advantage over Republican Rep. Tom Cotton. Pryor has long been considered the most vulnerable Senate Democrat this November, but he leads Cotton by 2.2 percentage points in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average.  

National Democratic operatives moved quickly to highlight the Arkansas poll, in particular, on Wednesday morning. “DC convention wisdom is flat out wrong in Arkansas and there’s mounting evidence of Mark Pryor’s strength,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky said in an emailed statement.

Meanwhile, Republicans were eager to cast doubt on the polls’ methodology, noting, among other concerns, that the head-to-head surveys measured support among registered voters rather than likely voters. They also questioned the validity of the samplings.

The Weekly Standard noted that the percentage of respondents in each of the four Southern states who said they had voted for Obama was much higher than the actual 2012 results.

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/23/senate_polls_buoy_southern_dems_gop_is_skeptical_122387.html#ixzz2zoRfkrK8
Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 11:32:30 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #214 on: May 06, 2014, 11:13:03 AM »

http://firebrandprogressives.org/steve-wiles-drag-queen-past-surfaces-before-election/
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G M
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« Reply #215 on: May 06, 2014, 11:26:26 AM »


Ooof. Although it's nice to see candidates being vetted by the media. Too bad it only happens when there is a R after their name.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #216 on: May 06, 2014, 04:48:10 PM »

Rand Paul's Odd Choice
By Allysia Finley
May 6, 2014 2:21 p.m. ET

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, along with GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, has led nothing short of a Copernican revolution in government reform this past year. Strange then that Rand Paul should be allying with liberal groups and rallying tea party groups against Mr. Tillis in Tuesday's GOP Senate primary.

Few Republican primaries are as significant and hotly contested as North Carolina's. A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Mr. Tillis leading obstetrician Greg Brannon by 12 points and Baptist pastor Mark Harris by 25. But here's the rub: Mr. Tillis is sitting right on the 40% cusp necessary to avoid a runoff, and as the poll notes the momentum is "on the anti-establishment candidates' side." A week ago Mr. Tillis was leading the doctor by 26 points and preacher by 35.

However, Mr. Paul and his second fiddle, Utah Senator Mike Lee, have been urging local tea party groups to back Mr. Brannon. And Mike Huckabee —who, recall, was Todd Akin's biggest supporter—has anointed Mr. Harris as the choice for Christian conservatives. Liberal groups have also poured $4 million into ads against Mr. Tillis, whom they perceive as the most viable candidate to take on Kay Hagan in the fall.

Their common goal is to force Mr. Tillis into a runoff with the hopes of unifying his opponents and eroding his financial advantage. A runoff would also give them an additional two months to campaign and build their momentum. The PPP survey showed the speaker leading Mr. Brannon by just six points in a run-off with non-Tillis primary voters breaking 47-29 for the tea party candidate.

Mr. Paul and his tea-party phalanx appear to oppose Mr. Tillis for no other reason than he's the choice of the "establishment," including Mr. McCrory, Mitt Romney, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens of Republican legislators. The irony is that the "establishment" is backing Mr. Tillis because as speaker he's quarterbacked government reforms championed by tea party groups.

Last year, he helped pass a tax reform that cut the state's income tax, ranging from 6.0% to 7.75%, to a flat 5.8%; slashed the corporate rate to 5% from 6.9%; and killed the state's death tax. He also rounded up votes for education reforms that eliminated teacher tenure; created vouchers for low-income and special-needs students; and lifted the state's 100-school cap on charters. Don't forget the national ruckus that the North Carolina legislature sparked last summer by scaling back weekly unemployment benefits, which cut off federally funded extended payments.

Behold the results: In just the last six months, North Carolina has added 56,000 jobs after averaging 60,000 annually between 2010 and 2012. Since January 2013, its unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3% from 8.8%, the largest percentage-point decline of any state.

Mr. Paul ought to be singing the speaker's praises, not stumping for Mr. Brannon—a candidate with no distinguishing political qualifications other than an apparent subservience to the Kentucky senator.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #217 on: May 13, 2014, 09:02:16 AM »

Democrats trying to win back the U.S. House of Representatives this year have seized on the issue of income inequality to beat Republicans.

There’s just one problem: the districts where Democrats have the best shot to win Republican-held seats show some of the smallest gaps between rich and poor in the U.S., an indication of just how hard it will be for their message to take hold with voters.

Of the 100 congressional districts ranked as having the greatest gap between rich and poor, not one is held by a Republican whose seat is considered up for grabs this November
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-12/closing-wealth-gap-may-not-help-democrats-win-back-house.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #218 on: May 23, 2014, 10:22:58 PM »

A Democratic War on One Woman
Democrats resort to character assassination in the Senate race against Dr. Monica Wehby in Oregon.
By Kimberley A. Strassel


May 22, 2014 7:05 p.m. ET

It doesn't take a neurosurgeon to work out what Democrats are doing to Monica Wehby in Oregon. It's more useful to realize they are doing it precisely because she is a neurosurgeon—a successful female one, to be precise.

Dr. Wehby, a 52-year-old pediatric specialist, won the Oregon Republican primary Tuesday and will face Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in November. She won despite planted, pre-primary media hits that detailed police "incident" reports from her divorce and from a later breakup. The Oregonian discovered at least one of these reports was first requested from police by a researcher for the Democratic Party of Oregon. Jamal Raad, spokesman for that organization, used to work for Mr. Merkley and this week rejoined his team.

The reports themselves don't merit much comment, beyond pointing out the willingness of the national press to sensationalize some trivial moments in Dr. Wehby's private life. A Politico story about Dr. Wehby in 2013 visiting the house (to which she had a key) of a boyfriend who wasn't returning her calls was run under the headline: "Oregon Senate Hopeful Accused of Stalking Boyfriend." Never mind that the story (at the end) quoted the boyfriend, a businessman, as saying he had been "emotional," regretted calling the police, and that they remain friends.

A story about how the man she was divorcing, Jim Grant, called in 2007 to complain that she had "slapped" him with a note pad (she denied it and police acknowledged that the "slight red dot" on his face might have been a "zit") was run under headlines in numerous papers about Dr. Wehby's "harassment" of Mr. Grant. Never mind (again) that Mr. Grant now lives four doors from her, donated to her campaign, and calls her a "good friend."
Enlarge Image

Dr. Monica Wehby, Oregon's Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. www.monicafororegon.com

Some conservative commentators have noted that this is the Democratic "war on women," but that doesn't give near enough credit to what is a broader and now-staple Democratic strategy. When faced with a Republican who they cannot beat on policy questions, Democrats move to character assassination. It gives them something to say, while softening up voters to believe their worst accusations about the GOP. The assault is particularly vicious against a Republican woman or minority who threatens to pull votes from their base.

Oregon is a perfect example. The liberal state is competitive because it is a stunning microcosm of the ObamaCare disaster. The FBI is investigating "Cover Oregon," the state online exchange that officials spent three years and $250 million creating, yet which never signed up a person. The cost of health care has soared in the state, and many Oregonians have lost their doctors. The majority of residents hate ObamaCare, and Mr. Merkley—a freshman senator who has done little in D.C.—is sitting on way-upside-down approval ratings.

Dr. Wehby is therefore Democrats' worst nightmare. A nationally recognized pediatric neurosurgeon who was on the board of the American Medical Association, she got into this race to fight ObamaCare. She's a policy wonk, able to run rings around Oregon's junior senator, especially on health-care reform. She's pro-choice (personally pro-life) and supports gay marriage and medical marijuana—so the left can't hit her with the social-issue agenda. She's a fiscal conservative and a tort reformer—positions that hold appeal even among Oregon's more liberal electorate.

She's also a savvy campaigner. In April she ran a remarkable ad featuring a woman recounting how Dr. Wehby had saved her from having to terminate her pregnancy and then saved her infant daughter's life. The spot resonated particularly with women, of all political stripes. Some 57% of Oregon women voted for President Obama in 2012, and if Dr. Wehby pulls some of that group, Mr. Merkley is in a world of hurt. An early May poll had her leading by two points. Democrats are bitter at possibly having to divert campaign money away from more risky Senate races—Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska—to a state they didn't expect to be in play.

Thus the Democratic decision to portray an accomplished doctor as emotionally crazed and unhinged. The hope was to tank her primary bid, so that Mr. Merkley would face her more conservative and less electable GOP opponent.

Now that she's won, Democrats will continue to pile on the "she's-nuts" stories, as we've seen this week with a new piece about an Oregon woman who is being prosecuted for conning doctors (including Dr. Wehby) into doing unnecessary medical procedures on her eight adopted children. The goal is to rebrand Dr. Wehby as Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction." Imagine if the right tried this on Hillary Clinton.

Dr. Wehby can at least take solace that she's not alone. Democrats have unleashed similar tactics in nearly every Senate race where they are vulnerable. In Arkansas, they are portraying Republican Tom Cotton as a greedy, heartless former McKinsey consultant. (The Romney redux.) In Michigan, they've labeled GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land a slum landlord. In Montana they are running an ad accusing Republican Steve Daines of being callous about rape victims. It features a woman saying she was raped at age 14, claiming Mr. Daines would make "criminals" of women who have abortions.

If Monica Wehby is whackadoodle, she's hidden it well for 30 years from a dozen schools and hospitals, dozens more boards and organizations, and thousands of parents who credit her with helping their kids. Her challenge is to embrace her history and keep the debate on the policy reforms voters care about. Because that's the last thing Democrats want.
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bigdog
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« Reply #219 on: May 24, 2014, 01:33:59 PM »

http://www.vox.com/2014/5/22/5723878/how-a-bill-becomes-a-law-in-2014

From the article:

... the DATA Act's success was often imperiled — and during which an already modest law became even weaker. It's a saga that includes lobbying, leaks to the press, bureaucratic sabotage, and last-minute twists. And crucially, it involves compromise after compromise. Put together, the story offers a new guide not just to how a bill can become a law — but why so few actually become laws, and why the ones that do are often so disappointing. In that way, it's an updated Schoolhouse Rock lesson for our polarized, dysfunctional Congress.
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G M
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« Reply #220 on: May 25, 2014, 11:35:22 AM »

The less congress does, the better.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #221 on: May 25, 2014, 11:47:47 AM »

Will Rogers "The good thing about taxes is that we don't get all the government we pay for."
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bigdog
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« Reply #222 on: May 25, 2014, 01:53:10 PM »

The less congress does, the better.

I am intrigued by this. It has seemed to me for a long time that the less Congress does, the wider the opportunity for presidential impact on policy. And given your view of the current president, I will admit to being confused here.
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G M
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« Reply #223 on: May 25, 2014, 02:40:15 PM »

Both congress and the president currently operate way outside the constitutional lines and spend money at unimaginable rates. The less they do, the less damage done.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #224 on: May 25, 2014, 06:26:10 PM »

Agreed, AND at the same time, BD raises a valid point; one that, as I have noted previously, Glenn Beck has raised-- the decreasing relevance of Congress in front of Executive and Bureaucratic Power.
 
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G M
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« Reply #225 on: May 25, 2014, 07:03:19 PM »

The perfect storm of a corrupted media, a detached public and nutless (mostly) republicans.
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ccp
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« Reply #226 on: May 26, 2014, 09:14:04 AM »

By/Stephanie Condon/CBS News/May 12, 2014, 5:35 PM

Keith Crisco, Clay Aiken's congressional opponent, dies
 
Keith Crisco, the North Carolina congressional candidate running in a Democratic primary election against Clay Aiken, was found dead in his home Monday. Crisco, 71, died from injuries sustained from a fall, WRAL reports.

The textile entrepreneur was running against the former American Idol star for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina's 2nd district. Crisco and Aiken both garnered about 40 percent of the vote in last Tuesday's primary. Aiken won just a 369-vote lead, leaving open the possibility of a recount or a runoff election. The winner of the primary would face off against Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C.

Aiken said in a statement that is "stunned and deeply saddened" by Crisco's death and will suspend all campaign activities "as we pray for his family and friends."

"Keith came from humble beginnings," Aiken said. "No matter how high he rose - to Harvard, to the White House and to the Governor's Cabinet - he never forgot where he came from. He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him."

Democratic strategist Brad Crone said that he spoke with Crisco earlier in the day and that the candidate planned to concede the race Tuesday.

"This is a shocking day," Crone said in a statement to CBS News. "At Keith's instructions, I called Gary Pearce, an advisor to Mr. Aiken, to convey that Keith was going to concede the election tomorrow morning and would be calling Mr. Aiken to congratulate him."

The North Carolina board of elections said in a statement, "The State Board of Elections is saddened to hear of the passing of Keith Crisco. A native of North Carolina, we are grateful for Mr. Crisco's service to our state and his community through the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crisco family during this difficult time."

Ellmers released a statement Monday saying her thoughts and prayers are with Crisco's family and friends.

"I am deeply saddened by this sudden and painful tragedy and wish God's blessings for Keith's family through the coming days," she said. "His kindness and dedication to his principles were models we should all strive toward, and he will be dearly missed."
.
© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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G M
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« Reply #227 on: May 26, 2014, 09:35:30 AM »

I find the possibility of this being a murder very unlikely.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #228 on: June 10, 2014, 11:57:21 PM »

Stunning loss!  Does anyone remember a Majority Leader losing reelection in a primary?  Brat's victory over Cantor in the primary marked the first defeat of an incumbent House Majority Leader since the position's creation in 1899.

Tea party candidate, economics professor David Brat was behind by double digits in every poll.  Eric Cantor raised over $5,400,000.  Brat spent 122,000.
Don't tell me polls tell outcomes or that politics is all about money.
I used to like Eric Cantor.  The House leadership lately has been fighting the will of its members and its constituency.  Can you imagine Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama ignoring the left wing of their party?  This establishment loss will have many, many repercussions.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/06/11/cantor_loses_to_tea_party_candidate_in_va_upset_122936.html
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/06/10/who-is-david-brat-meet-the-economics-professor-who-defeated-eric-cantor/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Brat
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ccp
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« Reply #229 on: June 11, 2014, 07:33:10 AM »

 I wonder why Brat was able to win against the money and name recognition when other were not.  The Mitch McConnell.

Was it the makeup of his constituency or he was simply a better candidate?

I don't know.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #230 on: June 11, 2014, 09:19:11 AM »

I wonder why Brat was able to win against the money and name recognition when other were not.  The Mitch McConnell.
Was it the makeup of his constituency or he was simply a better candidate?
I don't know.

All of the above I presume.  Maybe it was his campaign slogan, "I am Eric Cantor's term limit."  Or maybe Mark Levin has good coverage in the area.

I don't know what is unique about immigration attitudes in his district.  It is conservative in the sense that Romney beat Obama 57-42 there. The district is 17% black and 5% Hispanic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia's_7th_congressional_district

There is a feeling that conservative districts should have conservative representation.

Maybe the news story about minors being dumped over the border for citizenship has pushed people over the edge.

There is a more general feeling that the status quo including everything to do with Obamacare and Obamanomics is unacceptable.  People see our country unraveling and are not content with the go-along,-get-along attitude of Republican leadership in opposition.

People see what a difference one Senator like Ted Cruz can make working in the minority in the Senate and wonder why we can have the entire majority in the House for 4 years and can't make any impact on policy or direction. 

Two days before the election, the state's largest newspaper said Cantor is “indispensable”and touted his "willingness to work across the aisle to move legislation."
http://www.timesdispatch.com/vote-for-cantor/article_db0935f4-9a93-5399-a0f1-1250218f73c7.html

No, he is not indispensable, and willingness to work across the aisle to move bad legislation is not a good quality. 

Cantor took a try at leadership and failed.  But he will easily find a job in Washington.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #231 on: June 27, 2014, 01:19:25 PM »

It occurs to me to mention that Tea Party McDaniels, who just lost to RINO Cochran in Mississippi had quite a string of comments on issues in which race was involved that left me feeling , , , uncomfortable.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #232 on: June 27, 2014, 03:47:11 PM »

It occurs to me to mention that Tea Party McDaniels, who just lost to RINO Cochran in Mississippi had quite a string of comments on issues in which race was involved that left me feeling , , , uncomfortable.

If so, then maybe it was best to defeat him in the Republican primary, but wrong to do that by undermining the process.  Republican establishment put their money into a nasty robo call campaign, aimed at Democrats,  trashing the tea party.

“The time has come to take a stand and say NO to the tea party,”
http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/22/robocall-allegedly-recruiting-dem-votes-for-gop-sen-cochran-bashes-tea-party-alleges-racism/#ixzz35sGTPirL

If McDaniel uncomfortable quotes on race, why not highlight those quotes, and target Republicans, instead of trashing the tea party and targeting black Democrats with out of state, Republican establishment money.

Club for Growth wasted about 3 million on this race, and the Republican establishment wasted even more, all that could have gone to defeating Democrats elsewhere.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #233 on: June 27, 2014, 03:49:46 PM »

Agreed.  There was also the unsavory matter of McDaniels' people photographing Cochran's senile wife.  Plausible denial was in place but still the whiff of it was not pleasant.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #234 on: June 27, 2014, 03:59:49 PM »

Third post of the day

All the President's Enablers
By Kimberley A. Strassel
June 26, 2014 6:55 p.m. ET

Congressional Democrats profess themselves scandalized that Speaker John Boehner will sue President Obama on behalf of the House. The only scandal is that congressional Democrats allowed it to come to this.

Mr. Obama does bear responsibility for an "aggressive unilateralism"—as Mr. Boehner puts it—that has stripped legislators of their constitutional role. But he has been indulged in his every excess by legislators of his own party. Call it wimpy, call it the Stockholm syndrome, call it what it is: Congressional Democrats watch supinely as the president treads on their powers. Separate branch of government? Who, us?

Call it too another disturbing reality of the Obama era. In the history of this country, there was one thing on which Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, could regularly agree: Nobody messes with Congress's powers. Political parties were happy to rally votes for a president's agenda, to slam his opponents, to excuse his failings. But should that president step on Congress's size 12 toes, all partisan bets were off.

Andrew Johnson was impeached by nearly two-thirds of the House for the "high crimes and misdemeanors" of violating a controversial law that the House had passed. Theodore Roosevelt's regulatory reaches were bitterly opposed by conservatives in his party. The Republican speaker, Joseph Gurney Cannon, famously complained of the Rough Rider: "That fellow at the other end of the avenue wants everything from the birth of Christ to the death of the devil." When FDR announced his court-packing plan, it was a Democrat, Henry Ashurst, who labeled it a "prelude to tyranny" and delayed the bill in the Senate for 165 days, contributing to its defeat.

This institutional cantankerousness was alive and well through the Bush era. In May 2006, the FBI raided the office of then-Democratic Rep. William Jefferson. Republican Speaker Denny Hastert and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a blistering joint statement denouncing it as a violation of the separation of powers. Republicans and Democrats spent much of the Bush years jointly attempting to force the president to give Congress more say in his wars and detention policies.
Enlarge Image

Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in April. Associated Press

Scholars can and do argue over the constitutional merits of these episodes. What's clear is a long history of Congress vigorously slapping back at any intrusion on its perceived powers. Indeed, congressional touchiness has encouraged White Houses throughout U.S. history to think carefully about what powers to exercise.

Mr. Obama has not needed to think, carefully or otherwise. Name a prominent Democrat—name any Democrat—who has said boo about the president's 23 unilateral rewrites of ObamaCare. Or of immigration law. Name any who today are defending constituents in their districts against the abuses of the Obama IRS. A few congressional Democrats got their backs up with the White House over possible Syria action, but they are dwarfed by the majority who've gone silent over Mr. Obama's national-security policies—which they once berated George W. Bush for pursuing as an "imperial" president.

The main culprits here are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Ms. Pelosi, who've put themselves and their caucuses at the disposal of the White House. Winning political battles—sticking it to the GOP—is their priority, not constitutional balance. Mr. Reid has made himself White House gatekeeper, sitting on thorny votes, earning Congress public scorn for dysfunction. His members are meanwhile happy for Mr. Obama to pervert the law, since it saves them taking tough votes.

It hasn't helped that much of the institutional memory of the Democratic Party has retired or died this past decade. Nearly half of today's Democratic Senate was elected with or since Mr. Obama and has never known institutional leadership.

West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd —onetime Senate majority leader and fierce defender of congressional power—would have laid down on train tracks to protest Mr. Obama's recess appointments when the Senate was not in recess. The current Senate Democrats cheered the president on. It was left to Republicans and a unanimous Supreme Court on Thursday to restore the Senate's constitutional rights.

Yet it is probably asking too much of Senate Democrats to protest the president's diminution of their powers when they won't protest Mr. Reid's. Alaska's Mark Begich has yet to have a vote on a single one of his amendments in six years. Louisiana's Mary Landrieu now runs the "powerful" Senate Energy Committee, but as Mr. Reid has neutered committees, she has as much luck getting a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline as she does if she were running the Senate cafeteria. The majority leader last year stripped the Senate of filibuster powers. The Obama senators cheered the dismantling of their institutional power.

Mr. Boehner's lawsuit was put down by some as a cynical attempt to rally his midterm voters. What this misses is that the Boehner lawsuit, if successful, would reassert the rights of all members of Congress—regardless of party, position or president in power. Democrats might consider thanking him for doing their job.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #235 on: June 29, 2014, 10:46:50 AM »

Agreed.  There was also the unsavory matter of McDaniels' people photographing Cochran's senile wife.  Plausible denial was in place but still the whiff of it was not pleasant.

It is strange to see which gaffes take down which politicians.  That was going to be way out of bounds.  Yet these politicians parade their families in front of the delegates and voters with the 'explicit implication' that it makes them a better man.  Then go to Washington, party with the young lovelies while leaving spouse back home to fend for herself.

WashPost has a negative piece on McDaniel again today.  There won't be enough Cochran voters this time who voted in the Dem primary to overturn this.  Still the tea party made an impact!  A sitting, popular Republican Senator was defeated if you only count Republican votes in a Republican primary, by a flawed candidate and campaign, for the express reason of straying from conservative principles.

A few others should take note.
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ccp
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« Reply #236 on: July 05, 2014, 11:28:29 AM »

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/category/2014-senate/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #237 on: July 07, 2014, 08:02:43 AM »

A lot of predicted Republican Senate pickup races are still close or still led by the Democrat.  The Republicans need to nearly run the board in 2014 in order to hold the majority in 2016 and give a new Presideent a chance at reforming the federal government.  Putting MN in play is one step in the right direction.  Here the far right, the establishment right, and the common sense right all agreed on the same candidate, while the incumbent Al Franken has a vulnerable record of agreeing 100% with a failed President.  Democrats also have a weak incumbent Governor and a one-party-rule legislature to reelect.  Energy and turnout could favor the challengers.
----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www3.atr.rollcall.com/al-franken-mike-mcfadden-minnesota-senate-2014/?dcz=

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.

Now Coleman’s handpicked candidate wants to return the favor in 2014. Franken will face a wealthy investment banker and first-time candidate, Mike McFadden, in November — and this time, he’s the senator battling an unpopular president’s drag on the ballot.

“The atmosphere right now is pretty toxic,” Coleman said in a recent phone interview. “This is a time when it’s good to not be of Washington. Mike is part of a solution, and Franken is part of the problem.”
...
“Every sentence about Norm Coleman in 2008 was a verb, a noun, and George W. Bush,” mused one former Coleman adviser.
...
A recent survey by the Democratic autodial firm Public Policy Polling showed Obama with a 44 percent approval rating in Minnesota, down from 50 percent in May of 2013.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #238 on: Today at 12:50:42 PM »

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/elections/2014/07/22/bruce-braley-three-fundraisers-on-day-of-missed-hearing/13004385/?sf28880685=%5B%22%5B%271%27%5D%22%5D

Braley under fire for missing VA oversight meetings

Des Moines Register, July 23, 2014

"Over a two-year period, Democratic (Senate candidate) U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley missed 75 percent of meetings for a committee that provides oversight over the Veterans Administration, including one meeting on a day he attended three fundraisers for his 2012 campaign."

Hey, he won that campaign.  Who needs oversight?
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