Daily Kos Elections

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  1. GOP pollster shows Louisiana's Democratic governor close to the majority he needs to win outright

    The GOP firm JMC Analytics is out with a new poll of the Oct. 12 all-party primary for governor on behalf of the Louisiana Association of Health Plans, and after leaners are pushed, they show Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in first place with 48% of the vote—just two points shy of the majority he’d need to avoid a November runoff. Frustratingly an underfunded Democrat, Oscar Dantzler, takes 2% of the vote, a showing that could make all the difference for Edwards next month.

    JMC also finds wealthy businessman Eddie Rispone edging Rep. Ralph Abraham, a fellow Republican, 22-20 for the second place spot, making this the first poll to ever show Rispone leading Abraham. Last week, JMC released a survey for the media company Nexstar that found Edwards in first with 41%, while Abraham led Rispone 24-16 for second.

    Abraham’s team responded to these unwelcome new numbers with a release proclaiming, “Don’t believe fake polls and failing campaigns,” but they didn’t provide any actual data to contradict JMC. However, Abraham’s own team has already found his position deteriorating since Rispone began bombarding the airwaves two months ago. Earlier this month, a Remington Research poll for Abraham showed him leading Rispone 27-19, the same margin that JMC found last week, but that was still a huge drop from the congressman’s 34-8 advantage in Remington’s June survey.

    Rispone, who has been self-funding most of his campaign, held a massive $6.3 million to $1.4 million cash-on-hand lead over Abraham at the beginning of September, so even if JMC is off and Abraham is still ahead, that lead may not survive the next few weeks. To make matters tougher for Abraham, Rispone also went up with his first TV spot last week attacking the congressman, and Abraham has yet to hit back.

    The RGA is doing what they can to make sure Edwards doesn’t win outright next month, and they’re out with another negative spot. The commercial once again faults Edwards over the condition of Louisiana’s economy and tries to tie him to national Democrats.


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  2. Yes, we really can turn Texas blue—and it starts with a crucial special election this November

    An amazing thing happened in Texas last year: After years of dashed dreams, progressives made major inroads up and down the ballot all across this very large and very red state. Some of the most stunning successes came in the state House, where Democrats flipped a dozen seats from the GOP.

    Goal Thermometer

    They now need just nine more to do something that not long ago might have seemed impossible: take charge of a legislative chamber in the second-biggest state in the nation and, with that, put the brakes on Republican extremism. Without their hammerlock on state government, Texas Republicans would no longer be able to enact laws that target reproductive rights, attack LGBTQ people, suppress the vote, and gerrymander congressional districts.

    Here’s the other incredible part: We actually have a road map to the majority. It turns out that, despite his narrow statewide loss in last year’s Senate race, Beto O’Rourke carried nine state House districts still held by Republicans, while in another eight, he lost by just 4 points or less. Those seats will form the battleground that will decide control of the state House, and all of them are up for election next year.

    One, however, will go before voters much sooner, and that’s where we come in. House District 28, in the suburbs west of Houston, recently became vacant because a longtime Republican legislator decided to resign after facing the first close election of his career—and the long-term picture is ugly for the GOP. In 2012, Ted Cruz won the 28th District by a giant 64-34 margin. In 2018, he prevailed here just 51-48.

    Those trends are a major part of why Democrats have an enormous opportunity to pick this seat up in a special election that’s fast approaching on Nov. 5. The other big reason is that we have an awesome candidate running here whom Daily Kos is proud to endorse: educator Eliz Markowitz.

    Want to start turning Texas blue this year? Give $3 to this fantastic progressive right now!

  3. Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/23

    Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

    Please note: The Live Digest is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free space. It’s also a place to discuss elections, not policy.

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    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 3:02:18 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    GA-Sen-A: On Monday, 2017 Democratic House candidate Jon Ossoff picked up an endorsement from Rep. Hank Johnson. Ossoff used to work as an aide to Johnson, and the congressman was an early supporter of Ossoff’s congressional bid last cycle.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 3:06:59 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    Raleigh, NC Mayor: On Monday, Hillary Clinton was the special guest at a fundraiser for former Wake County Commissioner Caroline Sullivan, who is running in the Oct. 8 nonpartisan primary.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 4:53:13 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    GA-Sen-B: Former U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’s considering running as a Democrat in next year’s special election, and that he will meet with party leaders in D.C. this week. Tarver, who spent seven years in the Army, represented a state Senate seat in the Augusta area until 2009, when Barack Obama picked him to serve as the Southern District of Georgia’s first black U.S. attorney.

    Tarver considered running for this seat in 2016 against GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, but he decided to stay put. Tarver remained at his post until early March of 2017, when Donald Trump ordered him and another 45-Obama appointed U.S. attorneys to resign.

    The AJC writes that unnamed Democrats believe that Tarver could rally black and moderate voters. However, the paper also notes that he would begin the race with very little name recognition in the Atlanta area, which was outside of his jurisdiction.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 5:12:59 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    WY-Sen: Politico, citing interviews with a dozen unnamed members of Congress and aides, reports that Republicans believe that Rep. Liz Cheney is likely to enter the GOP primary to succeed retiring Sen. Mike Enzi, but that she’s not expected to make a final decision for another “couple months.” Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who was Cheney’s predecessor as Wyoming’s only House member, currently has the race to herself.

    Several Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, very much want Cheney in the upper chamber, but that view is not unanimous in the caucus. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been publicly feuding with Cheney on Twitter (Paul labeled her a “NeverTrump warmonger,” while Cheney declared that her would-be colleague had surrendered “to terrorists”). Politico also writes that other GOP senators are still pissed at Cheney for her aborted 2014 primary bid against Enzi.

    While Cheney is currently the number-three Republican in the House, some of her current colleagues aren’t backing her, either. Notably North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, who recently stepped down as head of the nihilistic Freedom Caucus, has contributed Lummis. Lummis was a member of the Freedom Caucus until she retired in 2017, and if she makes it to the Senate, she could again be a pain for her party’s leadership.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 5:46:42 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    WV-Gov: State Sen. Ron Stollings announced Monday that he would join the Democratic primary to challenge GOP Gov. Jim Justice. Stollings, who works as a physician, argued in his kickoff that the state needs to do more to combat the opioid crisis.

    Stollings, who describes himself as a "centrist," won his fourth term 57-43 last year in a southern West Virginia district that had backed Donald Trump by a massive 78-19 margin, which was Trump’s best performance in any of the state’s 17 Senate districts. Stollings joins community organizer Stephen Smith in the primary, while Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango says that he’ll decide soon.

    Meanwhile, Justice faces former state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and former state Delegate Mike Folk in May’s GOP primary. Thrasher began running TV spots over the summer, and he’s now out with his second ad well ahead of Election Day.

    The commercial features several people praising Thrasher as a hard worker who gets to the office early, and one woman declares that no one will out-work him as governor. The spot doesn’t mention Justice, who has been loudly criticized even by members of his own party for rarely showing up to the state capital and for delegating much of his office’s work to his aides.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 6:10:59 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    IL-15: Politico reports that unnamed Republicans are trying to recruit farmer Sarah Frey, who the New York Times labeled “the undisputed pumpkin queen of America” in a 2016 article, to run for this safely red open seat. (We assume Frey is not related to Jack the Pumpkin King from The Nightmare Before Christmas.) There’s no word yet on how interested Frey, whose company shipped 5 million pumpkins in the fall of 2016, is in running for Congress.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 6:24:36 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    MI-06: Republicans have reportedly been fretting that longtime Rep. Fred Upton could retire, but he seems to be leaning towards running again. Upton spent the weekend handing out “Upton 2020!" buttons at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference (we assume the exclamation mark connotes excitement), and he told Politico that GOP leaders have been trying to persuade him to defend his competitive seat. However, he acknowledged that he still hasn’t made up his mind whether he’ll seek a 13th term, though he said he was “certainly on that path.” Upton won last year 50-46, which was the closest race of his career.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 6:44:23 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    NY-15: New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez announced Monday that he would join the crowded Democratic primary for this safely blue Bronx seat. Rodriguez represents part of Manhattan outside of this district, but he pointed to his history as a community organizer in the South Bronx and the many shared concerns between his City Council seat and the 15th District and said, “The only thing that separates Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx is our river.” Rodriguez immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic and he argued, “It is time to stand up to Donald Trump and bring an immigrant to Congress.”

    Rodriguez ran in this February’s crowded special election for New York City public advocate and took fifth place with 6% of the vote. He will face a rematch in next year’s primary against former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Assemblyman Michael Blake, who also ran in that contest and took 11% and 8%, respectively.

    Several other Democrats are running for this open seat, and there’s a real danger that conservative City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. will be able to claim the nomination with a plurality. Even fellow City Councilman Ritchie Torres, who had what was easily the largest war chest of the entire field at the end of June, told Politico, “Ruben Diaz Sr. is the frontrunner by default. If the race were held today, he would win on the sheer strength of name recognition.”

    However, one candidate may be exiting the race soon. Former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, who left office in 2014 after he was convicted of bribery and extortion, said this week that he was considering seeking his old seat in the legislature. Stevenson has not yet dropped out of the congressional race, though.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 6:59:31 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    MS-Gov: If you like ads that are entirely centered around an uncreative pun, you’ll love Republican Tate Reeves’ newest offering. The spot goes after Democrat Jim Hood by showing a truck and urging viewers to “look under the hood.” The narrator argues that Hood will raise taxes and “will turn back the clock and let trial lawyers file frivolous lawsuits.”  

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 7:20:45 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    KY-Gov: Democrat Andy Beshear’s newest spot makes use of GOP Gov. Matt Bevin’s many awful comments about teachers. It begins with video from last year’s teacher strike of the governor saying, “Somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.”

    Bevin is then heard declaring, “This is a group of people that are throwing a temper tantrum,” and, “Like saving a drowning victim ... you just need to knock them out and drag them to shore.” It concludes with Bevin saying, “I regret nothing that I have ever said about an educator. Nothing.”

    Bevin’s allies at the RGA affiliate Putting Kentucky First are also out with a commercial staring Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins, who tells the audience that Bevin and Donald Trump want to ban sanctuary cities. Kentucky doesn’t actually have any sanctuary cities, but this doesn’t stop Chaffins from doing some fear-mongering by insisting that Beshear opposes outlawing them.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 7:35:13 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    WI-07: On Monday, the day that GOP Rep. Sean Duffy’s resignation became official, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers set the dates for the special election to succeed him. The candidate filing deadline will be Dec. 2 and the party primaries will take place on Dec. 30, meaning that this will be the last election to take place during this decade. The general election will be on Jan. 27.

    This northwest Wisconsin seat moved from 51-48 Romney all the way to 58-37 Trump, and the GOP will be favored to hold it next year. State Sen. Tom Tiffany, who has the support of former Gov. Scott Walker, is currently the only noteworthy Republican in the race, though a few other local politicians have expressed interest in competing here. A few Democrats, including a few local elected officials, are eyeing this seat as well, though none of them have joined the contest yet. 

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 8:15:09 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    LA-Gov: The GOP firm JMC Analytics is out with a new poll of the Oct. 12 all-party primary for governor on behalf of the Louisiana Association of Health Plans, and after leaners are pushed, they show Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in first place with 48% of the vote—just two points shy of the majority he’d need to avoid a November runoff. Frustratingly an underfunded Democrat, Oscar Dantzler, takes 2% of the vote, a showing that could make all the difference for Edwards next month.

    JMC also finds wealthy businessman Eddie Rispone edging Rep. Ralph Abraham, a fellow Republican, 22-20 for the second place spot, making this the first poll to ever show Rispone leading Abraham. Last week, JMC released a survey for the media company Nexstar that found Edwards in first with 41%, while Abraham led Rispone 24-16 for second.

    Abraham’s team responded to these unwelcome new numbers with a release proclaiming, “Don’t believe fake polls and failing campaigns,” but they didn’t provide any actual data to contradict JMC. However, Abraham’s own team has already found his position deteriorating since Rispone began bombarding the airwaves two months ago. Earlier this month, a Remington Research poll for Abraham showed him leading Rispone 27-19, the same margin that JMC found last week, but that was still a huge drop from the congressman’s 34-8 advantage in Remington’s June survey.

    Rispone, who has been self-funding most of his campaign, held a massive $6.3 million to $1.4 million cash-on-hand lead over Abraham at the beginning of September, so even if JMC is off and Abraham is still ahead, that lead may not survive the next few weeks. To make matters tougher for Abraham, Rispone also went up with his first TV spot last week attacking the congressman, and Abraham has yet to hit back.

    The RGA is doing what they can to make sure Edwards doesn’t win outright next month, and they’re out with another negative spot. The commercial once again faults Edwards over the condition of Louisiana’s economy and tries to tie him to national Democrats.

    Monday, Sep 23, 2019 · 8:35:27 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

    MA-04: On Friday, state Rep. Patricia Haddad became the latest Democrat to express interest in this reliably blue open seat. Newton City Councilor Becky Walker Grossman also told the Boston Globe that her own decision would come “very soon.” Walker Grossman is the daughter-in-law of former state Treasurer Steve Grossman, who took second place in the 2014 primary for governor.

    Dave Cavell, who works as a senior advisor to state Attorney General Maura Healey, also is interested, and he said he’d be deciding in the upcoming weeks. Cavell previously worked as a speechwriter for both Barack and Michelle Obama.

  4. Morning Digest: Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III challenges Sen. Ed Markey in Democratic primary

    The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

    Leading Off

    MA-Sen: On Saturday, Rep. Joe Kennedy III announced that he would challenge Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey in next September’s Democratic primary, setting up what will be one of the most high-profile nomination fights of the cycle.

    Campaign Action

    Whoever wins should have little trouble prevailing in the general election in this very blue state, but along the way we’re sure to see a very expensive intra-party fight. At the end of June, Kennedy had a small $4.2 million to $4.1 million cash-on-hand edge over the incumbent, and each man has the connections to raise a whole lot more.

    Kennedy will be 40 on Election Day while Markey will be 74, and the congressman has spent the last month arguing that he can bring change to the political system Markey’s inhabited since before Kennedy was born. However, this primary is anything but a traditional battle between the party establishment and an insurgent outsider, and any ideological fault-lines are hard to find.

    To begin with, Kennedy is a member of the most prominent political family in the Bay State, and perhaps in all of America—a grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and a great-nephew of both former President John F. Kennedy and longtime Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. Joe Kennedy is also a four-term House member who served as a DCCC regional vice chair during the last election, so he’s been an ally of the party leadership. He was chosen to give the official Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018.

  5. Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III launches challenge to Sen. Ed Markey in Democratic primary

    On Saturday, Rep. Joe Kennedy III announced that he would challenge Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey in next September’s Democratic primary, setting up what will be one of the most high-profile nomination fights of the cycle.

    Whoever wins should have little trouble prevailing in the general election in this very blue state, but along the way we’re sure to see a very expensive intra-party fight. At the end of June, Kennedy had a small $4.2 million to $4.1 million cash-on-hand edge over the incumbent, and each man has the connections to raise a whole lot more.

    Kennedy will be 40 on Election Day while Markey will be 74, and the congressman has spent the last month arguing that he can bring change to the political system Markey’s inhabited since before Kennedy was born. However, this primary anything but a traditional battle between the party establishment and an insurgent outsider, and any ideological fault-lines are hard to find.

    To begin with, Kennedy is a member of the most prominent political family in the Bay State, and perhaps in all of America—a grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and a great-nephew of both former President John F. Kennedy and longtime Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. Joe Kennedy is also a four-term House member who served as a DCCC regional vice chair during the last election, so he’s been an ally of the party leadership. He also was chosen to give the official Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018.