Seasons in the Abyss: The U.S. Senate Elections (2016)

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Mar 10, 2016.

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Can the Democrats win five additional seats in the 2016 U.S. Senate elections?

Poll closed Apr 10, 2016.
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  2. No

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  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Probability

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    To the one, there is no question that Stuart Rothenberg↱ is a good political analyst. To the other, though, this is a very risky analysis:

    With Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz seemingly positioned to fight it out for the Republican presidential nomination, Democrats are now poised to take over the Senate in November.

    The two Republicans still in the race who could help their party’s Senate prospects, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, continue to flounder. While a deadlocked GOP convention in Cleveland could, at least in theory, nominate a candidate with broad appeal and low enough negatives to revive the party’s Senate prospects, that development is both a long way in the future and a long shot.

    No, there is little hard evidence yet that a huge Democratic electoral wave has started to develop and at this point, Democratic control of the Senate is not yet inevitable. But that should not obscure the fact that a fundamental shift has occurred in the electoral cycle over the past six weeks.

    Up to this point, the burden of proof has been on Democrats to demonstrate that they can oust four or five Republican senators and win control of the chamber. But now, with Republicans in disarray and the party flirting with selecting a weak general election nominee, the benefit of the doubt has shifted away from the GOP and to the Democrats.

    The burden is on Republican strategists and nominees to prove that they can hold the Senate majority even in light of the party’s civil war.

    Okay, so ... right. I admit, I just don't see it. Possible, sure. But the headline for this Roll Call blog post uses the word probable.

    This is how the analysis works:

    Even with her obvious weaknesses, Clinton would be a solid favorite over Trump or Cruz to win the White House. That would mean that Democrats would need to net only four Senate seats instead of the five they would need if a Republican were elected president.

    When this cycle began, every reputable analyst noted that the GOP faced a difficult challenge in trying to hold the Senate. The combination of presidential year turnout, more straight-ticket voting and the Senate seats up in 2016 conspired to work to the Democrats’ advantage.

    Given what has happened inside the Republican Party over the past few months, it is difficult to believe that the party’s Senate prospects are as good as they once were, when most observers assumed the GOP would nominate a mainstream candidate.

    At least five incumbent GOP senators from Democratic-leaning or competitive states were facing difficult re-election races this year even under the most favorable circumstances – Mark Kirk of Illinois, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rob Portman of Ohio. A Republican open seat in Florida also looked at great risk.

    Add in the deep division within the Republican Party, and the possibility of Trump or Cruz leading the national GOP ticket, and all – or at least almost all – of those races suddenly look much more uphill. In addition, states like North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri and Arizona look more interesting

    That's not much to go on, is it? Yet Rothenberg adds in the Scalia factor, with Senate Republicans aiming to abandon the Constitution, and I'll even throw in Iowa, where Supreme Court politics suddenly have Democrats perking up, and looking forward to a contest against Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, whose closest election was a thirty-one point win.

    I don't see it.

    Sen. Johnson of Wisconsin? Virtually finished. Sen. Kirk of Illinois? Very possibly finished; the NRSC just made an amputee joke on Kirk's behalf, if that is any indicator of how anxious Republicans have gotten about the challenge from Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL08), who gave both her legs in Iraq. Throw in Florida, and that's three. But while Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL09) leads Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera (R) by five, reports now swirl that Republicans are courting Dr. Ben Carson to undertake a U.S. Senate bid. Preliminary polling suggests a fifty-six percent base to start with. But there is also New Hampshire, where Donald Trump won a commanding victory in a season generating record Republican turnout, and incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) enjoys a four-point lead over Gov. Maggie Hassan (D). Meanwhile, scant polling hints at a slight edge for former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in his bid to topple incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R) in the Buckeye State. In truth, Strickland will probably need some serious downticket disruption from the GOP presidential ticket to pull this one out; Portman is well-funded, well-coordinated, and not by any measure a weak campaigner. Polling data from Pennsylvania is also exceptionally useless, though averages suggest incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R) enjoyed a ten-point lead over former Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA09) ... last year ... with twenty percent undecided. Again, what manner of downticket disruption are we expecting? Can Sestak close that gap and win those undecided votes without it?

    But that's the thing. The polling available to the average news consumer is abysmal for U.S. Senate races. Stuart Rothenberg has all manner of data access, industry contacts, and other pathways for figuring what's going on in such cloud-strewn territory. And for the question of downticket disruption, Rothenberg invokes elections in 1964, '72, and '80 as caution against "naïve" underestimation.

    A Democratic Senate? Possible, certainly. Within reach, seemingly. Probable? Well, it's Stuart Rothenberg, whose consideration I do not take lightly. To the one, I don't see what he's seeing. To the other, why would I, from my armchair, see what he sees in his well-connected and well-informed professional work? But most importantly, it would seem time to start paying attention to the Senate contest. I might not say "probable", but I do feel a bit better about the prospect for Rothenberg's analysis.

    Barring disaster, splitting the Senate is more likely; the big question, though, seems to have something to do with downticket disruption. Meanwhile, recent hours have heard reports of a $200,000 advert buy in Arkansas by an organization supporting incumbent Sen. John Boozman (R), targeting U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge (D), in a three-way race including minister and career politician Frank Gilbert (L). There is no reliable polling data available to the general public, but Gilbert took only 1.9% in 2014, when he ran a statewide campaign for governor as the Libertarian candidate. It would seem Boozman supporters are at least worried about Conner Eldridge.

    A Democratic Senate probable? It's one thing to trust the experienced hand, but, you know, probable? Come on, really?

    Let us hope the seasoned analyst is right. Or not, I guess, if you're a Republican supporter. Still, though, perhaps it's time to start paying attention to the Senate races.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Rothenberg, Stuart. "Dem Senate Takeover Probable, If Cruz or Trump Nominee". RothenBlog. 8 March 2016. Blogs.RollCall.com. 9 March 2016. http://bit.ly/1Xe6FCx
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Self-Harm

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    Greg Sargent's↱ consideration of what passes for a vetting process this time around makes sense except for the part where it doesn't.

    Republican operatives will “vet that person and put their real record on display.” Ideally, of course, this is what would happen if the Senate were to hold hearings on that person. But that might afford the nominee a chance to directly respond to his or her Republican cross-examiners in a high profile setting (as opposed to only having Democratic groups mount all the pushback, which of course they will also do, once there is a nominee). Direct exchanges between the nominee and Republican Senators, alas, might reflect well on that person. And so the only “vetting” and examination of the nominee’s “real record” will be undertaken through the RNC and associated GOP-aligned groups.

    That’s not meant as sarcasm. It’s the actual Republican party-wide position right now. Remember, Senate Republicans themselves have told reporters that they don’t want to hold hearings explicitly because it would risk drawing the wrong kind of media attention to the nominee, thus making it harder politically for GOP Senators — particularly vulnerable incumbents facing reelection in states carried by Obama — to oppose that person later. As CNN reported last month, Senate Republicans are holding off on any hearings, because

    they risk giving Obama’s choice an opportunity to detail his or her life story and legal qualifications, and they’d rather stop the nominee before giving the White House and Senate Democrats a chance to build momentum.

    …for vulnerable GOP senators, several Republicans argued that it would be much better politically for those members to avoid a vote, rather than have to cast a judgment on the merits of nominee who could be well-qualified and well-liked.

    The vetting of the nominee, then, will be carried out by political operatives, even as Senate Republicans keep the nomination process on hold indefinitely.

    Okay, so all of that seems pretty straightforward. Senate Republicans want to stonewall stupidly, so the RNC will handle the oppositional vetting, but they're going to farm it out to an outside attack group called America Rising Squared.

    The thing is that I don't get what anyone expects to accomplish by this.

    Senate Republicans endanger their majority simply by pulling this stunt. Perhaps they might think they can wash their hands of it, but it actually seems more like deliberate disdain. They are determined, just once, to get away with pretending to ignore the president while giving him a finger.

    It's like they're setting up a harm reduction scheme while calculating self-harm. This just doesn't make sense. Part of the operating thesis justifying outsourcing the vetting process is to put distance 'twixt Republicans and the damage they do, except this isn't really creating any separation; it just says Senate Republicans are too damn lazy to do their own muckraking.

    There is throughout American conservatism right now an astounding dissonance, a valence of permeating self-contradiction nearly numbing simply for trying to tally. Any number of theses might suffice, but if they contradict with each other, does that mean they can't both be right?

    That is to say: They are about to harm themselves. They know they are about to harm themselves. They are going to harm themselves, anyway, so they are devising some extraneous scheme to try to reduce that harm, because the alternative, to simply not harm themselves, is not up for discussion.

    In one person this makes a certain amount of sense. But what, metaphorically speaking, does it mean for the GOP? That is, what manner of cry for help is this?

    There comes a point where I can imagine the RNC recognizing that a Clinton presidency is the best possible outcome they can hope for, but are Senate Republicans really going to stake their majority on this insane maneuver?

    That can't be what is actually happening.

    Can it?

    Does everything really have to be what it looks like?

    Especially when it can't be what it looks like because that's too crazy?

    At what point does this conservative tantrum start to make sense? And I don't mean just philosophically; there is the tactical, and also the practical.

    They sense the danger. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) pulled a bunch of YouTube footage from radio show appearances in hopes of hiding some of his extremism; Republican supporters in Alabama are nervous enough about the Democrat to have taken a $200,000 ad buy this early in the season. Stu Rothenberg uses the word probable to describe a Democratic Senate if Trump or Cruz wins the nomination. Greg Sargent notes the Senate GOP passing its advice duty to the RNC, who in turn outsources to a PAC, and this in order to protect Senate Republicans from embarrassing themselves too much while embarrassing themselves ...

    ... and thus helping wreck the Party in a volatile election cycle running under a looming spectre of civil unrest from a crowd itching for domestic strife.

    Or is that just rubbing it in?

    No, seriously, what the hell are they doing?
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Sargent, Greg. "In Supreme Court fight, Republicans lead with their chins". The Washington Post. 14 March 2016. WashingtonPost.com. 19 March 2016. http://wapo.st/1R7VxFJ
     
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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    The republican establishment seems intent on shooting it's self in the foot.
    24 republican senate seats are up for re-election. vs 10 democratic seats.
    regression towards a mean?
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Joe and I traded a few posts in the Clown Car thread↗ orbiting RNC and Republican establishment cognizance of the GOP's existential condition. I admit, what is happening to the Republican Party is dizzying.

    And the thing is that Republicans and conservatives are not, stem to stern, devoid of talent and capability. In this case, it is easy enough to speculate or even presume that someone of reasonable influence, somewhere in the Party, is aware of what is happening, has accepted some context of this happening, and is planning for the future.

    This consideration I only note because, okay, it's one thing that the Establishment has stirred up this unruly, unwieldy, intractable base. But it's quite another that the Establishment itself seems hell-bent on some manner of severe self-harm. I joked about Ockham; nothing that explains this seems reasonably obvious, and suitable presumptions are unbelievable.

    The Senate question almost seems as if the Party is willing to destroy itself as if to purge these elements; instead of standing off against the hardliners, the Establishment seems willing to play along by continuing the McConnell Cloakroom Project. This appearance would suggest that Republicans are willing to completely collapse because someone, somewhere understands that just getting through this means longer-term damage for the whole of American conservatism. But at this point, I'm well into the range of irresponsible crackpottery; the GOP isn't about to destroy itself to purge the whole bigot wing, but I can't think of any reason other than pure stupidity for playing along. At least by the crackpottery, someone is trying: Fine, give them their way, watch the whole thing collapse, and maybe we can get back to whatever it is we're actually supposed to be doing, and we get at least a cycle of kicking these jokers to the curb because we gave them their way and got our asses kicked for doing so.

    I mean, I can see it, but ... come on ... really?

    Because let's face it, that big a gamble on self-harm simply isn't what is happening. It is far too extraordinary a plot with far too many pathways to failure.

    To the other, maybe they see something the rest of us don't. The challenge of projecting the behavior of American voters is that we can be wildly unpredictable. For all the talk of equivalence and equivocation in our political rhetoric, we would be foolish, I think, to overlook the potential that come November, Americans will have adjusted, and see no big deal, and all this is like any other year beacuse, let's face it, both sides do it, and all that other stuff we say in order to pretend there's nothing unusual happening.

    Honestly, I think the only way they get through this is if Americans buy into the story line they seem to hope to put together, that the Reluctant Nominee should be the Reluctant President because oh, it's such a great story, and nominating Paul Ryan agaisnt his will at a contested convention that he presides over just shows Republican heroism, or something like that, but let's face it, even that is preposterous.

    I find myself running up against a strange question: It is generally impolite to presume people so stupid, but how stupid must I presume Republicans at this point in order to figure out what the hell is going on?

    Because it's all pretty much unbelievable.
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    26,887
    Why would anyone doubt that? They sold that line with Reagan, W, Romney, Palin, - - they've been selling that line in these circumstances for thirty years now. It always sold before.

    For starters, in a lot of ways there is nothing unusual happening.

    Once again: Trump is not some kind of new, unprecedented Republican candidate in any sense except the GOP honchos didn't pick him, and his language is a bit vulgar for the front man. This guy slots right into the Party, suits the base to a T. This entire election is business as usual, for the most part - the Dem candidate is a bit weak and compromised, but we've seen that before.
     
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Never forget that we have a millionaire's congress. Perhaps, their view of what's important differs in some fundamental way from ours?
    If congress and the executive hadn't been playing a millionaire's game these past few decades, I doubt that Trump would have seemed so desirable to the electorate.
    Looking at the actions of the "leaders" of "my" country, I have often wondered: "What in hell are they playing at?".
     
  10. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    4,169
    Sounds plausible, almost as if I heard it somewhere before...

    "We had to destroy the village party in order to save it."

    Nahh... Who would think like that?
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    An Omen, of Sorts

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    The Las Vegas Sun brings us what probably does seem inevitable news:

    Reno conservative Sharron Angle, who lost a high-profile bid to oust Democratic Sen. Harry Reid in 2010, filed paperwork Friday to make an encore run for his soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat.

    The Tea Party darling said she registered in Carson City after months of testing the water and hinting at a possible bid. Her move adds another primary opponent for the Republican frontrunner, three-term Rep. Joe Heck, and could throw a wrench in Republicans' hopes to claim the seat over Reid's endorsed candidate, former Democratic Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

    Angle tweeted her announcement Friday afternoon just after 4 p.m., writing that “2nd Amendment remedies will be my solution to EVERYTHING."

    Remember that the hardliners start to make sense if we apply the presupposition that they are looking for an excuse to revolt. Will Sharron Angle actually run for U.S. Senate on an insurrection platform?

    The plot stew sludge thickens. I mean, it's already proverbially interesting. And it's already dangerous. Republicans need to get a handle on this.

    Meanwhile, Sharron Angle is running for U.S. Senate.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Associated Press. "Angle to make another bid for Reid's Senate seat". Las Vegas Sun. 18 March 2016. LasVegasSun.com. 21 March 2016. http://bit.ly/1S0EtyY
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The Basic Sketch

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    Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) might be feeling the heat. Nick Gass↱ explains it all in a well-roasted nutshell:

    Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk chided his Republican colleagues on Friday for their unwillingness to put the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland through a vote and confirmation process.

    "Just man up and cast a vote. The tough thing about these senatorial jobs is you get yes or no votes. Your whole job is to either say yes or no and explain why," Kirk told "The Big John Howell" show on Chicago's WLS-AM ....

    .... Kirk is one of a handful of senators facing uphill climbs toward reelection in the fall who have said they would meet with Garland, including Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, though the Illinois lawmaker is thought to be perhaps the most vulnerable target for the Democrats and his challenger, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

    And, you know, it would be easy enough to reproduce the whole Politico article here; the rest is trying to point attention to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and quietly concede that a Democrat will win the White House.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Gass, Nick. "Sen. Mark Kirk to GOP colleagues: 'Man up and cast a vote'". Politico. 18 March 2016. Politico.com. 21 March 2016. http://politi.co/1RwnuEn
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    A Note Aside

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    In recent days I passed on a thin report from Molly K. Hooper↱ of The Hill; the headline, "Dems: GOP nominee could help us win House", is only barely supportable. But the February inquiry came to mind again because, owing to a new Cook Political Report from last week, there is some buzz that a Democratic House now stands within the realm of possibility. Steve Benen↱ reminds:

    I’d recommend quite a bit of caution before counting on a new House Democratic majority. For one thing, we don’t yet know for sure that Trump will be the Republican nominee. Quite a bit can and will happen in the coming months ....

    .... Having said all of that, the fact that this is even a topic of conversation should send chills down the spines of Republican officials. As recently as a year ago, their House majority appeared untouchable – a peak that Democrats couldn’t possibly climb in one cycle. That there’s even a question about this in 2016 is itself a striking development.

    I'm not ready to commit to this buzz. Not yet. I mean, I get that the GOP is crashing, and badly, but where is this crossover vote going to come from? Statewide elections? Yeah, Democrats can win those. Thirty seats to flip the House? I'll worry about a thread for that discussion ... er ... ah ... later.

    (Holy shit, this really is going to become relevant over the next month or two, isn't it?)
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Benen, Steve. "The fight for congressional control takes an unexpected turn". msnbc. 21 March 2016. msnbc.com. 21 March 2016. http://on.msnbc.com/1ZkGBqS

    Hooper, Molly K. "Dems: GOP nominee could help us win House". The Hill. 13 February 2016. TheHill.com. 21 March 2016. http://bit.ly/1nDt9k0
     
  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well, we can hope. Democratic control of both houses is a distinct possibility. I think Democrats will take control of the Senate. The House is more iffy. It was only 5 years ago when Democrats controlled both houses of congress. Given the disorder within the Republican Party, I think it is a distinct possibility, no matter who the party nominates for POTUS.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    26,887
    You forgot an adjective: Republican. Not to harp on the matter, but it's misleading to talk about the US government since 1980 in non-partisan terms. You will conceal the actual pattern of events.

    A majority vote does not control the Senate, unless it's a Republican Senate and the issue is a rightwing corporate one that can draw Democratic opposition to a filibuster.
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    McCain|Able

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    It is easy to see why Democrats and their supporters feel confident about the prospect of taking the Senate. The latest from Roll Call:

    No dynamic better embodies the internal conflict roiling the Republican Party today than the squeeze Trump is putting on McCain, the original independent and maverick of the party. On a larger scale, nobody has been a more consistent voice on American foreign policy for the GOP than McCain, whose views on conflict, diplomacy, and America's role in the world Trump has largely rejected.

    In McCain's home state of Arizona, the latest Rocky Mountain Poll shows Kirkpatrick tied with McCain at 42 percent, with 16 percent of voters still undecided. But the same poll shows the biggest hurdle between McCain and a sixth Senate term may be the ticket he's running on, if Trump is at the top of it: Incredibly, Trump loses the red state to Hillary Clinton by eight points, just four years after Mitt Romney won the state by eight points for Republicans.

    Everything McCain has to do to win re-election is made more difficult by Donald Trump. He has to protect his left flank among women and Latinos, which made up 17 percent of the electorate in 2012 and are expected to be up to 21 to 22 percent of the vote in 2016.

    But McCain also can't afford to ignore Trump and his supporters to his right. Not only does McCain have a primary to get through in August, he's losing an unusual share of Republicans, 27 percent, to Kirkpatrick, who is winning the state's rural vote at the moment.

    It seems obvious enough that Sen. McCain finds himself in a difficult year with potential drag from the top of the ticket mucking up Republicans' standing with crossover and independent voters, as well as an insurgent factor that means he cannot necessarily count on certain hard-right blocs.

    While rumors of Sen. Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) demise are far too early and enthusiastic, the GOP is doing itself no favors. Between the Trump effect and Senate grandstanding, Republicans have come so unstitched that stalwarts such as McCain are facing exceptional election challenges. Indeed, Senate prospects are shaping up better than Democrats should ever find themselves hoping.

    Which, in turn, reminds that sneaking suspicion that everything can still go all to hell. It's kind of crazy out there.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Murphy, Patricia. "McCain Getting Fenced In by Trump". Roll Call. 1 May 2016. RollCall.com. 1 May 2016. http://bit.ly/21p2GWr
     
  17. Schneibster Registered Member

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    390
    I saw Rachel say on her show that the Republican Party is becoming unpopular with some Republicans.

    Now let's see if I can find a linkie...

    Got a Benen link, with a mention of the Rachel show, and a link to it and the Pew report, and the following quote from Pew:

    They've got a lot of time to repair that though.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    26,887
    That happened also back in 2006, when a lot of people who had voted twice for W suddenly developed a need for "independence" and someone to blame for what was happening.

    All of a sudden there were all these "Independents" running around, and the Republican Party establishment was disliked by them very much.
     
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  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Not What He Needed

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    It's almost enough to compel pity for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); the former GOP presidential nominee and longtime Senate stalwart faces a potentially tough re-election campaign this year in which his Democratic opponent is polling even in general, and actually winning in some rural areas considered more conservative. Add in drag from the Trump effect and Senate Republicans' dereliction of duty, and it seems fair enough to say that the arrest of one of his top fundraisers on exceptionally serious drug charges just doesn't help.

    A woman listed as the RSVP contact for U.S. Sen. John McCain's re-election fundraisers was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of drug charges after Maricopa County sheriff's deputies found an active meth lab and other illicit drugs while conducting a search warrant at her north-central Phoenix home, officials said.

    The Sheriff's Office identified one of two people arrested in the drug bust as 34-year-old Emily Pitha, a former member of the staff of retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who most recently worked on GOP campaign fundraising.

    McCain's campaign manager, Ryan O'Daniel, issued this response Tuesday night:

    "We commend the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement officers in their fight to keep our community safe from illegal drugs and associated criminal activity. The campaign immediately terminated any relationship with Ms. Pitha upon learning of her alleged involvement in the operation.”

    The report, from Christopher Silavong and Dan Nowicki↱ of the Arizona Republic includes the detail that law enforcement noticed Pitha after her boyfriend, Christopher Hustrulid, signed for an international parcel delivering over half a pound of MDMA last month.

    According to Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Det. Doug Matteson, two children apparently living in the home, aged five and ten, "had easy access to all of the drugs and materials", including alleged "bomb-making materials" kept in the lab.

    Yeah. That's just what John McCain needed.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Silavong, Christopher and Dan Nowicki. "McCain fundraiser arrested in meth-lab bust in Phoenix". The Arizona Republic. 27 April 2016. AZCentral.com. 3 May 2016. http://bit.ly/1OcZsxx
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Meanwhile ....

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    There is, actually, some Senate election news that I need to update, but meanwhile, some lighter fare because, well, we probably need a chuckle right about now.

    Sharron Angle, a Republican candidate for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's seat, sent a newsletter listing primary opponent Rep. Joe Heck's website as joeheck.com, which redirects to a website of ... anime pornography. Heck's website is actually drjoeheck.com. Angle's campaign updated the newsletter to reflect the correct address online, but it also sent a print version in the mail.

    (Gurciullo↱)

    See? Much better.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Gurciullo, Brianna. "Senate candidate directs voters to porn website with same name as opponent". Politico. 10 June 2016. Politico.com. 14 June 2016. http://politi.co/1US8qT2
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    That Was ... er ... ah ... Something

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    And that's the last time we'll see Sharron Angle's photo for a while. The contest to replace Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) comes down to Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV03) and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto↱.

    It looks like it was a short evening for the watchers and wonks; Masto had eighty percent of the Democratic vote at ten percent reporting, while Heck racked up 69 percent of the Republican vote. The final tally was Masto 81 - 6 Rheinhart, with "none" placing third in the Democratic contest; Heck 65 - 23 Angle, with "none" placing third for the Republicans.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Roarty, Alex. "Heck, Cortez Masto to Face Off in Nevada Senate Race". Roll Call. 14 June 2016. RollCall.com. 15 June 2016. http://bit.ly/1Yt5sdu
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Interesting Times (Arizona Tumult)

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    Sophia Kunthara↱ of Cronkite News brings a functional reminder that there is such thing as bad news:

    When Arizona delegates to the Republican National Convention were asked Thursday how many would not vote for Sen. John McCain in next month's primary, more than half of their hands went up.

    The question stunned veteran pollster Frank Luntz, who had asked it as part of a presentation on the last day of the convention on the challenges facing the party―one of which was party unity.

    "Oh my God," Luntz said. "Where's the chairman? You should've told me this before."

    Luntz pressed the issue, getting silence when he asked the crowd if it would support Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, over McCain. The delegates said they would support McCain if he was elected as the state's Republican nominee next month.

    "I can't believe this, what the hell," Luntz said.

    ‡​

    When Luntz asked who in the delegation room wanted to see McCain re-elected, he was met with silence, a few shaking heads and a few murmurs against the incumbent. When he then asked who would not vote for McCain, more than half the delegates raised their hands, with one calling out that the five-term senator was "too old" and another saying, "There's a reason he's not here."

    The senior U.S. Senator from Arizona faces a primary contest on 30 August; his campaign suggests confidence, and polling shows a thirteen point advantage over the leading contender among three challengers.

    Looking forward, Sen. McCain faces a tough fight for November; a June poll↱ even suggeested U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ01) holding a slender lead within the margin of error, which might still be an outlier. Then again, Mr. McCain's general lead in polling has been declining, but whispered insinuations are now openly discussed: Sen. John McCain's re-election campaign appears to be in trouble.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Heinsius, Ryan. "New Poll Shows Kirkpatrick with Slight Lead Over McCain for U.S. Senate ". KNAU. 15 June 2016. KNAU.org. 28 July 2016. http://bit.ly/2aB1KOS

    Kunthara, Sophia. "Convention delegates show lukewarm support for McCain re-election". Cronkite News. 21 July 2016. CronkiteNews.AZPBS.org. 28 July 2016. http://bit.ly/2alA1Ny
     

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