Jim Geraghty is noting the elected Democrats who are now switching to the GOP at the state level. This is occurring across the country and not only in the South. Kansas and New Jersey have joined the trend. Critically, the southern realignment to the GOP now includes elected black Democrats.
"Conservatives would love to see Dick Cheney be more vocal," said S.E. Cupp, a conservative blogger and co-author of the book Why You're Wrong about the Right. "But at the same time, he's not an idiot and neither are conservatives. He realizes that while that might energize the conservative base, that might not win over many independents who have a very bitter taste in their mouth from the Bush administration."
Richard Reeves: The most powerful political operation in the country now is the Supreme Court, with the men and women in black are on their way to deciding their second national election in just the first decade of the century. In 2000, the justices stopped the counting of votes in the presidential election. This year they tilted (or mutilated) congressional elections by ruling corporations (and unions) may anonymously pump millions of dollars into campaigns. Citizens can give much smaller amounts, but have to reveal their names and addresses -- "transparency" they call that. "There is no legitimate case against transparency.
The bookish, twice-unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson once sighed that if most thinking people supported him, it still wouldn t be enough to get elected in America because I need a majority. For some reason, Democrats have chosen to follow the disastrous model of Stevenson and not that of the feisty, man-of-the-people Missourian Harry Truman - though the former nearly wrecked the party and the latter got elected.
With Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee all making moves indicating they may run for president, their common employer is facing a question that hasn t been asked before: How does a news organization cover White House hopefuls when so many are on the payroll?
As widely reported, polls are now showing Republicans trusted across a broad span of issues. Indeed Republicans now lead on many of these broad issues, including healthcare, the economy and education, which is unheard of. Republican primaries are hotly contested and many establishment figures are toppling like ten pins. Utah will not have Senator Bennett to kick around anymore. Further, Lisa Murkowski, appointed to her seat by her father, lost to a decorated veteran of the Gulf War. Some are upset with this.
Consistent with the tide that we see flowing toward Republican and conservative candidates across the country, likely voters now trust Republicans over Democrats on all ten key issues:
In view of the success the Tea Party Express has enjoyed in the Republican candidate selection process this year, it's worth asking how that movement might influence the selection of a Republican nominee for president in 2012. Here are some preliminary thoughts
Having written a few days ago of my objections to the media s obsession with public opinion polls, I probably should have passed on the suggestion from my friends at FrumForum to address the topic de jour - a new CNN poll showing likely major Republican gains in the upcoming midterm elections.
Today is primary day in Georgia. It features a hotly contested run-off on the Republican side of the gubernatorial race between former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former congressman Nathan Deal. Handel received 34 percent of the vote in the initial seven-candidate primary; Deal finished second with 23 percent. Handel's excellent showing was propelled by Sarah Palin's endorsement. The endorsement seemed a bit counter-intuitive to some, since Deal has the support of leaders of the more socially conservative political organizations in the state, such as Georgia Right to Life. Handel favors rape-and-incest exceptions to an abortion ban. On the other hand, Handel seems better to fit the outsider/conservative reformer model. Deal, who switched from Democrat to Republican after the 1994 election, is a classic insider. Handel has also received Mitt Romney's endorsement. However, as a strong pro-life insider, Deal is not without big-time endorsements. He has received the support of Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. Thus, four of the top five (or so) possibilities for the Republican nomination in 2012 are invested in this race. Gingrich, I would think, is the most heavily invested, since the primary is taking place in his home state. The polls, as summarized here, show the race to be pretty even. Georgia-based Insider Advantage, polling on August 5, showed a 46-46 tie. A three-day poll by Mason-Dixon released about the same time showed Handel up 47-42. An even more recent poll by the Republican firm of Landmark Communications has Deal marginally ahead 44-42. Earlier the same outfit had Handel up 46-37. Polls that show Handel ahead reflect a significant gender-gap. Those in which the two candidates are even show very little. Thus, the female vote (along with regional tu
I noted here that Sarah Palin has endorsed Patrick Murphy, a 33-year old political unknown, for Governor of Maryland. The endorsement has raised Murphy's profile and helped him substantially with fundraising. But the consensus in the state is that it will not enable him to pose a serious threat to frontrunner Robert Ehrlich. The best assessment of Palin's impact on the race may be that of Carmen Amedori, who agreed in April to be Murphy's running mate but backed out two weeks later because she figured he had no chance. Amedori's view, according to the Washington Post, is that prior to Palin's endorsement, Murphy figured to capture approximately 20 percent of the vote. With the endorsement, she thinks Murphy's share might rise to 25 percent. It is still unclear why Palin decided to endorse Murphy, who acknowledges that the two never spoke before she made her decision. To be sure, Ehrlich is not as conservative as Palin, but neither is Terry Branstad, Palin's choice in the Iowa gubernatorial primary. Perhaps Palin is looking to future, seeing in Murphy a promising conservative politician who deserves a boost and who might be a useful ally down the road <
I think it's cool that Sarah Palin is endorsing candidates in Republican primaries all over the country. But I question some of her judgments and wonder how she reaches them. Here in Maryland, for example, Palin has endorsed an obscure Republican candidate for governor named Brian Murphy. She finds him a "commonsense conservative" who "has the private sector experience that is so lacking in government today." Common sense and private sector experience are fine attributes. And I have no reason to doubt that Murphy possesses them both, though I'd be interested to know just how Palin, from her perch in Alaska, goes about assessing the "commonsense" of candidates throughout the land. The problem is that, in my view (and I've lived in Maryland most of my life), Murphy has essentially zero chance of defeating our incumbent liberal governor, Martin O'Malley. By contrast, former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, the overwhelming favorite to secure the Republican nomination, is running even with O'Malley in the polls. Thus, for those of us who wish to avoid a continuation of liberal state governance, Ehrlich is the obvious choice, unless Ehrlich himself is a liberal. Ehrlich is no liberal. As governor, he balanced the budget, opposed tax increases, and enacted Maryland's first charter schools law. And he vetoed the "Fair Share Health Care Bill" which required businesses with more that 10,000 employees in the state to either spend eight percent of payroll on employee health care, or pay that amount to a state health program for the uninsured. He also effectively ended the moratorium on executions that had been instituted by his predecessor. Ehrlich similarly displayed his conservatism as a congressman. His lifetime ACU rating was 82
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), who is running in a heated three-way Republican primary for governor of Tennessee, has a dire warning about the new health care reform law: If a new Congress and president aren t elected in order to repeal the bill, states might just have to secede.
The Tea Party caucus unveiled this week is full of controversial characters - you either love em or you hate em. From Representative Michele Bachmann to Joe You Lie Wilson to the BP-groveling Joe Barton, the caucus is sure to be a receptacle for contentious tea party interests. The Tea Party caucus has forty members, all of them Republican - the one Democrat with a Tea Party endorsement, Rep. Walt Minnick (ID-1), declined to join. The following is a profile of Tea Party caucus members.
Then, on Monday afternoon, Sarah Palin shook up the primary, taking to her Facebook page to dub Ayotte the country s newest mama grizzly - Palin s designation for commonsense, conservative women who are itching to stand up to the Obama agenda. (The club already included two of the country s most notable female candidates this cycle - Nikki Haley, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in South Carolina, and Carly Fiorina, the Republican Senate nominee in California.) Palin wrote that she was impressed by Ayotte, a daughter of the Granite State, a daughter of its public schools, and its first female attorney general, and praised Ayotte's - pro-life, pro-family, anti-tax constitutional' positions. Palin even took a shot at Binnie, who s been blanketing the airwaves, calling him a self-funded millionaire running with an R next to his name who likes Obamacare and cap-and tax.'
I wrote here about Sarah Palin's intriguing decision to back Joe Miller's challenge to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. Palin announced that decision in early June. Nearly two months later, and one month before Alaska's Republican primary, Murkowski holds a 32 point lead (62-30) over Miller.
Contrary to pretty much every projection until now, Democratic control of the Senate is also starting to coming into question. While Mr Obama's approval ratings have continued to fall, and now hover at dangerously close to 40 per cent according an ABC-Washington Post poll published on Tuesday, the fate of his former colleagues in the Senate looks even worse.
A rogue wave is headed our way. Barring a sharp reversal of current trends, American voters are about to sweep away the Democratic majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and, at a minimum, throw control of the U.S. Senate into serious question. My updated analysis shows stark changes in the electoral environment over the past six months with the playing field in the House of Representatives having grown by 50 percent (from 80 seats to 120 seats) with almost all of that growth among seats currently held by Democrats.
Politico reports that Democrats are encountering a brutal fundraising period in their longtime donor stronghold of mega-rich New York. The exact quarterly figures won't be known until after the July 15 filing deadline, but some Democratic campaign insiders are calling this the worst period for fundraising they've experienced in the New York area since 1994 (there's that year again).
On Sunday, Colombia elected Juan Manuel Santos to succeed Alvaro Uribe as its president. This is very good news. Santos is an ally of Uribe and, as I noted here, Uribe is a staunch friend of the United States and a thorn in the side of Venezuela's dictator, Hugo Chavez. Even more importantly, he is perhaps the most successful president in modern Latin American history. In the words of the Washington Post editorial board,
The news from South Carolina is a sign of the times, not an anomaly: State Rep. Tim Scott, an African-American, clobbered Strom Thurmond's son Paul in the Republican primary for a Congressional seat, while Nikki Haley easily won a runoff election to be the Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina. The State reports: Scott, 44, owns an insurance business and became the first black Republican in the South Carolina Legislature in more than a century when elected two years ago. Before that, he served 13 years on Charleston County Council and was elected chairman four times. He's now the favorite in the coastal 1st District, which has elected a Republican congressman for three decades. ... Scott grew up in poverty in North Charleston, his parents divorcing when he was 7. ... Earlier this year, Scott was campaigning for lieutenant governor, but changed his sights after U.S. Rep. Henry Brown announced he was retiring. The district reaches from near Charleston northeast along the state's coast to the high rise hotels of Myrtle Beach. Scott picked up key national endorsements, including one from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The Washington-based Club for Growth, which promotes reducing taxes, budget reform and free trade said Tuesday that donations from its members and political action committee totaled more than $313,000 for Scott. ... "Our objective is to attract the voters who have the same ideals that we have - seeing the same issues as important," Scott said. "If we focus on those issues, we attract a diverse group of people." Scott promises to dismantle the new federal health care law he says costs too much and is unconstitutional. He promises to cut federal spending and simplify a federal tax code he says is the product of too much lobbying and too many lawyers. Candidates like Tim Scott and Nikki Haley are, I t
This is really going to be the year of the women from the past versus the women for the future. In Arkansas, for example, Blanche Lincoln stands a good chance of losing her Senate seat to Republican House member John Boozman. Sen. Lincoln is a reliable Obama vote make that a reliable Obama/Harry Reid vote for issues like the stimulus package, Obamacare, cap-and-trade, and bank reform (even with the ruckus she made over forcing banks to spin off their derivative operations).
Yesterday, I wrote about Alvin Greene, the Democratic nominee to run against Sen. Jim DeMint in South Carolina. Greene, a political novice, reportedly ran essentially no campaign -- no events, no signs, no debates, no website, no fundraising. Nonetheless, he obtained almost 60 percent of the vote in his race against Vic Rawl, a county council member and former state legislator. Now, Rep. Jim Clyburn is claiming, as the article I linked to yesterday suggested, that Greene might be a Republican plant. And he wants the U.S. Attorney to investigate. "Somebody gave [Greene] that $10,000 [the filing fee] and he who took it should be investigated, and he who gave it should be investigated," Clyburn intoned. If Republicans did "plant" Greene, the move would stand in contrast to the Democrats, who restrict voter choice by inducing candidates not to run for the Senate. But did Republicans "plant" the nearly 100,000 voters who chose Greene instead of the establishment Democrat? UPDATE: Here's an extended interview with Mr. Greene. He's a man of few words and handles condescension well (see especially the last few questions). I don't anticipate too much offensively negative campaigning either by Greene or Sen. DeMint. Yesterday, I wrote about Alvin Greene, the Democratic nominee to run against Sen. Jim DeMint in South Carolina. Greene,...
Republicans are encountering some speed bumps on what they hope is the road to victory in the November elections. Their candidates for Republican open Senate seats in Ohio and Missouri are running no better than even in recent polls. The independent candidacy of Gov. Charlie Crist is threatening Marco Rubio s bid to win the Republican open Senate seat in Florida.
In Nevada, the Republicans seem to be eager to have anyone oppose Harry Reid: LAS VEGAS — Elevator technician David Shurtliff, 48, strolled out of an early voting station at the Clark County Government Center the other day, happy to proclaim whom he voted for in Tuesday’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate: [...]
The Club for Growth has gone on the offensive against one of the GOP candidates in the Nevada Senate primary: The conservative Club for Growth s first TV ad for Sharron Angle attacks her top U.S. Senate opponent in the GOP primary, Sue Lowden, for raising taxes and supporting Harry Reid in the past. The 30-second [...]
Vaughn Ward, a Republican Congressional candidate in Idaho endorsed by the Tea Party who lost Tuesday, plagiarized President Obama's 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention. His web site also took language on tax relief from Kentucky Rep. Geoff Davis, on marriage from South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and on healthcare from an op-ed article by Georgia Rep. Tom Price -- all Republicans.
In the 1st District Republican primary in Idaho, Raul Labrador and Vaughn Ward lead a crowd of GOP candidates vying to take on freshman Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), the only Democrat in Congress to receive the national Tea Party group's support. The mid-April endorsement surprised even Minnick, who never courted the support but said he was "pleased" to have their backing.
Former self-proclaimed Vietnam vet Richard Blumenthal deserves a formidable Republican opponent. Blulmenthal is the Connecticut Attorney General who regularly used his office as a steppingstone to better things; the better thing he now seeks is the job of United States Senator from Connecticut. Slate's William Saletan makes an impressive case that no one should give Blumenthal a break for his Vietnam deception because he has never given anyone a break. Saletan argues that Blumenthal has made a career out of holding others to the strictest standards of truth -- and mercilessly prosecuting them when they fall short. Last fall he wielded the authority of his office, for example, to threaten righteous legal action against a hotel and a musical performance company for calling their tribute show "An Evening With the Platters." He said it was "unclear" whether the company owned the rights to the Platters' name. After the hotel backed down and renamed its show "A Tribute to the Platters," Blumenthal declared victory but warned, "I will continue fighting to enforce Connecticut's truth-in-music law." How does that stack up against Blumenthal having falsely held himself out as a Vietnam vet on several occasions? I doubt that former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon is the right candidate to maximize Republican chances against. McMahon apparently had a hand in dredging up Blumenthal's Vietnam deception, and she emerged with the Republican endorsement at the party convention last weekend; her financial resources were apparently a strong selling point along with her outsider status. Republican former Rep. Rob Simmons is the decorated Vietnam veteran who contested McMahon for the nomination. Simmons narrowly lost the nomination to McMahon at the Connecticut Republican convention last week. Observing from a distance, I thou
Ann Coulter: Republican consultants are doing a wonderful job raising expectations sky-high for the November elections, so that now, even if Republicans do smashingly well, it will look like a defeat (and an across-the-board endorsement of Obama's agenda). Thanks, Republicans! That's what happened in the 1998 congressional elections, nearly foiling Clinton's impeachment. It's what happened to the Conservative Party in Britain a week ago. And that's what happened this week in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, formerly represented by Rep. John Murtha. Note to Republicans: Whenever possible, victory parties should be held after the election, not before it.
There are 471 Senators and Representatives up for re-election this year. After the dust clears, it looks like about 460 of them - or their establishment successors - will have somehow avoided this mass purge of incumbents. In its endless quest for the grand narrative, the media seems to have missed the hundreds of congressmen who have dodged this American uprising
On Tuesday, West Virginia Democratic primary voters ousted an incumbent who has been in the House since 1983 partly because of his vote for Obamacare. That legislation is also at issue in a special election this month for a Pennsylvania House seat the Democrats have held since 1974. In that race, both candidates say they opposed the passage of Obamacare, but the Republican is running to the Democrat s right by saying that he will vote to repeal it.
During the California GOP Senate debate, candidate Chuck DeVore argued for wrapping up the fight in Afghanistan, astonishingly claiming that the Taliban and Al Qaeda did not present "an existential threat".
Nicholas Clegg is the leader of Great Britain's Liberal Democrat party. Until recently, it looked as if the Liberal Democrats would replicate their usual showing in the upcoming elections - a distant third place. That would have been fine. From all I can tell, Clegg is a Euro-liberal who tries to dress himself up as the "anti-politician" alternative to the insiders in the Labor and Conservative parties. Sound familiar?
Mitt Romney has sold his family home in Belmont, Mass., and bought a $12 million house in La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego -- a move considered to be positioning for a 2012 presidential race. "He's become a familiar face at California political events, addressing the state Republican convention last month and campaigning on behalf of his former Bain Capital protege, Meg Whitman, a candidate for governor," the Boston Herald reports.
One hot August day, George LeMieux was a little-known 40-year-old political consultant. The next afternoon, he was appointed to represent 18 million Floridians in the United States Senate by Gov. Charlie Crist, his former boss. I d describe myself as a Charlie Crist Republican, LeMieux said then.
Ignoring pressure from Washington, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he's considering running for Senate as an independent candidate. Crist told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday that he wants to listen to Florida residents as he makes up his mind on whether to stay in the Republican primary against Marco Rubio or run without party affiliation. Crist says he wants to be "very, very thoughtful and deliberate."
In early March, I wrote about the challenge that Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln faces from the left of the Democratic party in the form of the state's Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. I suggested that, although Halter would be well-funded by out-of-state leftists, he probably didn't pose much of a threat to Lincoln. Arkansas Democrats are a pretty moderate lot, I noted, and "the usual leftist suspects -- lawyers, labor union loyalists, professors, and blacks -- are not sufficiently numerous to form a winning coalition, particularly given the strength of Lincoln's base in east Arkansas." Recent polling confirms this assessment. According to Chris Cillizza, polls show Lincoln holding a double-digit lead over Halter. Cillizza believes that the primary campaign is "energizing" Lincoln, and that by vanquishing a challenge from the left, Lincoln will "build up some momentum heading into what promises to be a difficult fall campaign." He quotes a Democratic political operative who claims that "defeating the unions and national political bloggers will speak to a key part of Lincoln's reelection argument - that she is independent and will always put Arkansas first." This strikes me as wishful thinking. Lincoln was the 60th vote for Obamacare and has generally been a reliable vote for the Democrats throughout her career. In a political year like this one is shaping up to be, and with Lincoln's record, it's going to take more than facing down the Daily Kos to convince Arkansas voters that Lincoln (in the words of one of her ads) answers to Arkansas, not to her party. The bottom line, I think, is that Arkansas Democrats are too moderate to nominate Halter, and Arkansas voters as a whole are too center-right to re-elect Lincoln - provided, of course, that the Republicans nominate a credible candidate.