Senate Election 2014

Expect more House Democrats to announce retirements

It was a mostly foregone conclusion that Republicans would keep control of the House of Representatives even before the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Now that there’s talk of a wave election, in which Republicans could build upon their majority in the House and take control of the Senate, there may be more Democrats who decide to retire rather than face voters this fall.

“We’ve seen a number of senior House Democrats announce their retirements,” noted John King yesterday on CNN’s Inside Politics. “I’m told in the next week to 10 days look for two, perhaps three, more as Democrats decide we’re not going to win the majority back, might as well get out of Dodge.”

Denial: Pelosi insists Obamacare won’t hurt Democrats

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is trying to play down the impact that Obamacare will have in the 2014 mid-term election, claiming that Democrats will continue to embrace the law on the campaign trail:

Republicans are “wasting their time” using ObamaCare as an electoral issue, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Thursday.

Days after the healthcare law was seen as a decisive issue in her party’s special election loss in Florida, Pelosi insisted GOP attacks would backfire and that Democrats would embrace ObamaCare on the campaign trail.
“I think the Republicans are wasting their time using that as their electoral issue, and they will find that out,” she said.

Pressed by a reporter whether Democrats should shy away from the issue on the campaign trail, Pelosi didn’t hesitate.

“No, absolutely not,” she said.

Remember when Pelosi was Speaker of the House? That was, of course, before the 2010 mid-term election, in which Republicans gained 63 seats and rendered her to “Minority Leader” status. She’s apparently forgotten that the 2010 election, which was seen as a referendum on Obamacare, and her subsequent demotion.

If Democrats are so keen on Obamacare, why is the pro-Democrat House Majority PAC running ads in toss-up districts that are critical of both the rollout of the law and ostensibly criticizes regulations that to caused millions of Americans to lose their health plans.

NE Senate: Anti-Obamacare Republican briefly aided pro-Obamacare firm

Ben Sasse has built his entire U.S. Senate campaign around the anti-Obamacare sentiment that runs deep in Nebraska. In a recent profile of the Nebraska Republican, the National Review, a conservative magazine, called him “Obamacare’s Cornhusker nemesis.”

“The Obamacare worldview is that only government can solve big problems, budget honesty doesn’t matter, and dependency is our future,” Sasse told the magazine, later adding that Republicans can repeal the law if they achieve electoral success in the next couple of cycles.

Sasse’s anti-Obamacare rhetoric, background and credentials has netted him support from several high-profile conservative personalities and groups, including Sarah Palin, Erick Erickson, the Club for Growth, and Senate Conservatives Fund. Last month, Breitbart ran a story claiming that health industry lobbyists “are making a concerted effort to sink the campaign of the Nebraska Republican.”

But the narrative that Sasse, who worked at HHS and the Justice Department, has tried to build around himself may take a hit. Politico reported this morning that the anti-Obamacare candidate once consulted with a firm that helped implement the law.

LA Senate: Democratic poll shows Landrieu down by 4 points

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) trails her likely Republican challenger by 4 points among “likely” Louisiana voters, according to a recent poll, and by 9 points among those who “definitely” plan to cast a ballot in November.

The poll, conducted by Hickman Analytics, a Democratic firm, found that Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) leads Landrieu 46/42 among likely voters and 49/40 with definite voters. The Louisiana Democrat is viewed unfavorably by 52% of voters, while 42% view her favorably.

When paired against a generic Republican, Landrieu trails by 11 points among likely voters and 13% with definite voters. The difference between Cassidy’s numbers and the generic Republican may be explained by his low name recognition, as 43% of voters say they’ve never heard of him.

Louisiana has “top-two” system where voters have everyone on the ballot in the general election, even multiple candidates from the same party. Cassidy, who isn’t the only Republican in the race, would have to win outright on November 4 to avoid a December 6 runoff against Landrieu.

The Louisiana Democrat has been pulling out all the stops to try to beat back Cassidy and Republicans. A super PAC supporting her campaign recently joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in bashing the Koch brothers, this despite Landrieu having been a notable beneficiary of their contributions.

What is it with Democrats attacking Republicans’ service to the nation?

Put Alaska First's misleading ad

There’s a disgusting pattern emerging of Democrats attacking Republican candidates’ records of service to the nation. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) recently complained that Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), his general election opponent, has a “sense of entitlement” because of his military service.

“There’s a lot of people in the Senate that didn’t serve in the military,” Pryor, who never served and is the son of a politician, told NBC News. “I think it’s part of this sense of entitlement that he gives off is that almost as like ‘I served my country, therefore elect me to the Senate.’ That’s not how it works in Arkansas.”

But this sort of attack doesn’t end with Pryor, who is one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection this year. A group supporting Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) in his quest for reelection recently released an ad in which they attack Dan Sullivan for being born in Ohio and owning a home outside of Alaska.

“Dan Sullivan, born and raised in Ohio, and the recent owner of a home in [a] swanky D.C. suburb,” the narrator says in an ad produced by Put Alaska First. “Documents show that while Sullivan pocketed a Maryland tax credit for residents living there, he was voting in Alaska, claiming to be one of us. Now he wants us to make him our senator.”

“Dan Sullivan, if elected, he won’t just go to Washington, he’ll go home to Washington,” the narrator adds.

Sarah Palin rolls out first round of 2014 endorsements

Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has rolled out her first endorsements of the 2014 mid-term election cycle, hailing each of her picks as the “conservative” choice in their respective races.

In a post on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Palin, who has substantial sway in the conservative movement, told her 4-plus million fans that her endorsements would be announced in “in coming days.”

“I’m excited to announce that big U.S. Senate and House of Representatives endorsements are on the way!” Palin wrote. “Lots of vetting and research goes into these endorsements because this is for YOU. It’s to allow you to take a closer look at good men and women with servants’ hearts who are willing to get in the rough and tumble arena to help save America.”

Palin weighed in on three U.S. Senate races, all of which are expected to remain in Republican hands this fall. She began the string of endorsements, done in coordination with her political action committee, with T.W. Shannon, who is seeking the Republican nomination in Oklahoma, on Wednesday and announced two more on Thursday. She posted graphics with each endorsement, which have been included below.

“Tom Coburn leaves large conservative shoes to fill as he retires from the U.S. Senate. At 6’5 feet tall, T.W. Shannon is just the leader to fill them,” Palin wrote. “T.W. is the underdog in his race, but that’s not a position he’s unfamiliar with. He’s had to beat the odds all of his life.”

AK Senate: Club for Growth endorses Dan Sullivan, hopes for “fiscal conservative majority”

Dan Sullivan

The Club for Growth PAC has endorsed Dan Sullivan in his bid to unseat Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), one of the four Red State Democrats seeking reelection in the 2014 mid-term election. The endorsement is a rare instance of a conservative group backing the same candidate as the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

“Dan Sullivan is a fiscal conservative with a stellar track record in Alaska and we strongly endorse him for the United States Senate,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement on Wednesday. “Dan has fought for pro-growth tax reform, taken on ObamaCare in court, and beaten back federal overreach by Obama’s EPA.”

“In the Senate,” he continued, “Dan Sullivan will continue the fight for economic freedom and we can’t wait to see him help deliver for America the kinds of pro-growth policies he’s already delivered for Alaska.”

Sullivan, a former Alaska Attorney General and state Department of Natural Resources commissioner, is one of five candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate and is considered the favorite in the August 19 primary.

The most recent poll out of Alaska found Sullivan was the most competitive Republican against Begich, though he trailed by 4 points, just outside the margin of error. A separate poll paid for by American Crossroads, a Republican super PAC, showed Sullivan leading the Democratic senator by 6 points.

Chris Matthews: “I think the Senate goes” to Republicans

See Video

During a segment this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Chris Matthews predicted that Democrats will lose the Senate in the 2014 mid-term election.

“It’s going to be very hard to hold the Senate,” said Matthews, who is ordinarily a cheerleader for President Obama and Democrats. “I think the Senate goes. I think we heard from the ‘Ghost of Christmas Future’ this week, which is [Democrats] are going to lose the Senate.”

Matthews also said Democrats have to get very tough to “minimize their losses in the House.” Just five months ago, Democrats and some pundits tough there was a chance that Republicans would lose the House.

NC Senate: Tillis, Brannon tied in Republican primary

The Republican primary race for the rights to take on Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) took a turn yesterday, with a new poll showing that state House Speaker Thom Tillis is now tied with a conservative challenger with strong grassroots support.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that Tillis’ support has dropped from 20% in February to 14% this month. What’s more, Tillis now trails Hagan, 45/43, in a preview of a potential November match up.

Tillis has had a rough time on the campaign trail in recent days. A radio interview recently surfaced in which the establishment favorite said, ”Obamacare is a great idea that can’t be paid for.”

“Only 15% of primary agree with Tillis’ sentiment that ‘Obamacare is a great idea,’” wrote Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, ”compared to 78% who say they disagree with it.”

Greg Brannon is now tied with Tillis, taking 14% of North Carolina Republican voters, according to the poll. The two are followed by Heather Grant (11%) Ted Alexander (7%), Mark Harris (7%), Alex Bradshaw (6%), Jim Snyder (4%), and Edward Kryn (1%). More than a third of GOP voters (36%) are undecided.

Today in Liberty: Republicans win in FL-13, Obama’s approval rating hits new low

“There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.” — Edward Snowden

— Republicans hold on to FL-13: Though most political analysts had given Democrats a slight edge in the special election, David Jolly (R-FL) defeated Alex Sink (D-FL) last night in Florida’s Thirteenth Congressional District. This was the race Roll Call said that “Democrats can’t afford to lose.” Sink outraised and outspent Jolly. Even when outside groups are accounted for, Sink had an advantage. While it’s true that the GOP had control of the district for many years, it had been trending Democratic. President Obama, for example, won FL-13 in 2008 and 2012. Most Republicans are saying that this race was a referendum on Obamacare, and they’re right. That’s where Jolly staked his claim, while Sink wanted to “fix” the law. Though a close race, as every suspected it would be, voters in FL-13 rejected Obamacare. We’ll have more on the 2014 implications a little later today.

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