2014 Election

Frank Scaturro for Congress

Featured image Frank Scaturro first came to my attention as a historian. He’s the author of Grant Reconsidered, a brilliant defense of the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, which I discussed here. He also wrote The Supreme Court’s Retreat from Reconstruction: A Distortion of Constitutional Jurisprudence, which I have not read. But Scaturro’s talents extend beyond the study of history to law and politics. He served as Counsel for the Constitution for »

Republicans still have slight edge in latest Nate Silver Senate forecast

Featured image Nate Silver, the reigning champion of election forecasting, has issued a new Senate forecast. He projects that the Republicans will gain 5.7 Senate seats. They need a gain of 5 to wrest control of the Senate, so Silver’s forecast gives the Republicans a better than 50 percent chance of accomplishing this. In his last forecast, Silver projected a Republican gain of 5.8 seats. Thus, he sees the overall shape of »

Ernst pulls even, or maybe ahead, in Iowa

Featured image Two new polls contain good news for those of us hoping to see the Republicans win the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin. A Rasmussen poll has Republican Joni Ernst, fresh off of her victory earlier this week in the primary, in a dead heat with Democrat Bruce Braley (Ernst 45, Braley 44). Before the primary, Braley was leading Ernst by 4 to 8 points in the various »

American Crossroads poll puts Cotton five points ahead of Pryor

Featured image Although certain polls from April and early May suggested that Sen. Mark Pryor had opened up a large lead over Rep. Tom Cotton, more recent polling suggests that the race is neck-and-neck. I made that case here. Now, American Crossroads has released a survey showing Cotton with a 46-41 lead. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.39. American Crossroads is, of course, strongly pro-Cotton. In fact, it »

Mississippi’s Republican brawl too close to call [UPDATED -- runoff coming]

Featured image This is another primary day in the 2014 cycle. The most interesting race is the Republican Senate primary in Mississippi between longtime Senator Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party’s favorite in the race. I don’t believe we have written about this contest and, frankly, I have averted my eyes. It has been that distasteful. I’ve always thought, however, that Mississippi could do with a more conservative »

The Cotton-Pryor race: neck-and-neck after all

Featured image I was surprised in early April when two polls — one by New York Times/Kaiser, the other by Opinion Research Associates — showed Sen. Mark Pryor leading Rep. Tom Cotton by 10 points. Frankly, I didn’t believe that these polls accurately reflected the state of the race. But then, in early May, an NBC/Marist poll gave Pryor an 11 point lead, 51-40. Although Tom’s campaign pointed to internal polling that »

Civil War In the Democratic Party

Featured image The Democratic Party is plagued by fault lines that have the potential to tear the party apart. Simply put, there are still some Democratic factions that want to see economic growth, manifested outside the sphere of app development. They are now eclipsed by the party’s anti-growth majority, and are on their way to becoming Republicans. An excellent illustration of this deep split is playing out at the Democrats’ Minnesota convention. »

Where we are now

Featured image John McLaughlin and Jim McLaughlin are Republican strategists and partners in the national polling firm McLaughlin & Associates. Over at NRO they take a look at current polling data and ask whether a mid-term tsunami is on the way. They look at changes over the past month and, not surprisingly, find them trending against Democrats. Obama is a drag and he has become even draggier, you might say, in the »

Mark Pryor and company rubber stamp radical nominee David Barron

Featured image The Senate has confirmed the nomination of left-winger David Barron to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote was 53-45. Only two Democrats voted against confirming Barron. They were Joe Manchin, a genuine moderate, and Mary Landrieu, who is up for re-election in a conservative state. Other pseudo-moderate Democrats such as Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, and Kay Hagan were perfectly content to rubber-stamp a nominee who, among things, has »

Communism works, says Rep. Joe Garcia

Featured image In the course of attacking Republicans for opposing amnesty, Democrat Rep. Joe Garcia of Florida, declares: “We’ve proved that communism works; if you give everyone a good government job, there’s no crime.” Here’s the video: If you say so, Joe. But can’t we skip amnesty and just pay for everyone in Mexico to have “a good government job”? By the way, both Larry Sabato and Charlie Cook rate Garcia’s race »

In other primary news

Featured image Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, has won the Oregon Senate primary and will face incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley. Wehby defeated state Rep. Jason Conger by a margin of 51-37. Such polling as exists suggests that Wehby has a shot at defeating her non-descript opponent. However, Wehby, a divorced mother, has come under fire for her involvement in two domestic disputes. Her ex-boyfriend apparently called the police on her for alleged »

Georgia Republican Senate Primary produces a runoff

Featured image With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting in Georgia, the Republican Senate primary has finally been called. David Perdue will finish first and Rep. Jack Kingston will finish second. Perdue is at 30.3 percent; Kingston at 26.2 percent. Accordingly, there will be a runoff in July. Because the three candidates who came in next are quite conservative, and because collectively they captured more than 40 percent of the »

McConnell wins Kentucky primary

Featured image With more than 80 percent of the precincts reporting, Mitch McConnell is the runaway winner in his primary contest against Matt Bevin. McConnell’s lead is 60-36. Politico reports that the Senate Conservatives Fund, associated with Jim DeMint and a major funder of Bevin’s campaign, immediately issued a statement congratulating McConnell, thanking Bevin for “standing up for conservative principles,” and calling for Republicans to “unite” in the fight against Grimes. Bevin »


Featured image Scott noted yesterday that Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Georgia, says she does not — indeed, cannot — know whether she would have voted for Obamacare. This is an odd and unsatisfactory answer. Yet, it might well be true. Nunn would have voted as Harry Reid instructed her. And Nunn cannot know for sure whether Reid would have demanded her vote or given her a pass »

So Michelle Nunn says…

Featured image Michelle Nunn is the Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia. Unfortunately, she appears to be a strong candidate. She uses her name to hide behind her positions on some key issues. We don’t yet know who the Republican nominee will be, but whoever he or she is, the candidate will be able to answer this question: Would you have supported the enactment of Obamacare? To Nunn the question (raised by »

Poll: Voters leaning Republican in 2014 battleground races

Featured image A new poll conducted for Politico by SocialSphere Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts contains bad news for Democrats. Surveying voters in 16 states with competitive Senate races and dozens of congressional districts that may also be in play (according to the University of Virginia Center for Politics), Politico found that 43 percent intend to vote for the Republican Senate candidate, while only 36 percent intend to vote for the Democrat. The »

Analyze this

Featured image Yesterday’s New York Times featured Nicholas Confessore’s long page-one story on David (mostly) and Charles Koch. I wrote about it in “A campaign you may have missed.” Today’s Times brings Confessore’s relatively brief story on Tom Steyer, a sort of (hypocritical and narrowly self-interested) liberal counterpart to the public-spirited involvement of the Koch brothers. Steyer has committed to raising $100 million promoting “climate” issues on behalf of Democratic Senate campaigns »