General

Another Rough Week For 2014 Dems

Another rough week for 2014 Democrats with Republicans’ odds of a Senate takeover increasing, Democrats stumbling in the states and losing their financial advantage, and Republicans strengthening their position in key races. As you hit the door for the weekend, check out 2014 Democrats’ rough week in review:

National

The Washington Post: New Election Lab Forecast Suggests 86 Percent Chance That GOP Wins Senate

The Washington Post’s Election Lab “Currently Gives Republicans An 86 Percent Chance Of Winning A Senate Majority.” “Election Lab, our midterm elections forecast, has been updated with a host of new features, including — most importantly — an updated forecast. Our model currently gives Republicans an 86 percent chance of winning a Senate majority.” (John Sides, “New Election Lab Forecast Suggests 86 Percent Chance That GOP Wins Senate,” The Washington Post, 7/15/14)

  • Republicans Have a “Very Solid Chance Of Taking Back The Senate.” “But for now, both our model’s prediction and current polls suggest the GOP has a very solid chance of taking back the Senate.” (John Sides, “New Election Lab Forecast Suggests 86 Percent Chance That GOP Wins Senate,” The Washington Post, 7/15/14)

Election Lab: In The U.S. House, Democrats “Have Less Than A 1 Percent Chance” At Retaking The House And Are Slated To Lose More Seats Than In 2012. “The updated forecast for the House is nothing surprising. In line with what we’ve previously written, we estimate that the Democrats have less than a 1 percent chance of taking the House. Our model currently estimates that the Democrats will win 193 seats, down slightly from the 201 they controlled after the 2012 election and the 199 they currently control, given existing vacancies.” (John Sides, “New Election Lab Forecast Suggests 86 Percent Chance That GOP Wins Senate,” The Washington Post, 7/15/14)

The Wall Street Journal: Democrat Senate Candidates Losing Financial Edge

According To A Review By The Wall Street Journal, Democrats In Competitive Senate Races Are Losing Their Fundraising Advantage. “Democratic candidates in five of the most competitive Senate races are losing some of their fundraising advantage over their Republican opponents, according to a Wall Street Journal review of the latest campaign-finance reports. In the first three months of the year, most Democratic candidates in these races outraised their Republican challengers, many of whom still faced primaries that promised to drain some of their funds.” (Rebecca Ballhaus, “Democrat Senate Candidates Losing Financial Edge,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/15/14)

FiveThirtyEight: Democrats Are In A Perilous Position In 2014 Senate Races

FiveThirtyEight: “If Republicans Sweep Those Nine Close Races (Plus South Dakota), The GOP Would Pick Up 10 Seats, Controlling 55 In The New Senate.” “But right now, let’s take the polls’ word for it; if Republicans sweep those nine close races (plus South Dakota), the GOP would pick up 10 seats, controlling 55 in the new Senate. If Republicans lost all of them (including Georgia, Kentucky and Arkansas), they’d pick up only two seats — holding 47.” (Harry Enten, “Democrats Are In A Perilous Position In 2014 Senate Races,” FiveThirtyEight, 7/15/14)

  • Democrats Are In A “Perilous” Position That Could Mean “A Minor Republican Gain To A GOP Romp.” “In other words, the final outcome for the Senate could be anything from a minor Republican gain to a GOP romp. At the moment, the state of play seems manageable from a Democratic perspective, but the party’s position is perilous. A tiny shift could tip the canoe and spill a lot of Democrats overboard.” (Harry Enten, “Democrats Are In A Perilous Position In 2014 Senate Races,” FiveThirtyEight, 7/15/14)

The Washington Post: No, The House Isn’t In Play. Not Even Close

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Sunny Prediction That Democrats Will Retake The House Is Not Going To Happen. “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi predicted that Democrats could pick up as many as 25 seats this fall, a gain that would hand her side control of the chamber for the first time since 2010.  ‘I feel very certain that we will win the 17 seats we need,’ she told WaPo’s Ed O’Keefe in an interview published Wednesday morning.  ‘We’re playing in about 70 districts; 25 is my goal — I would like that,’ she added. That is so not going to happen.” (Chris Cillizza, “No, The House Isn’t In Play. Not Even Close,” The Washington Post’s The Fix, 7/16/14)

  • “But, There Is Simply No Evidence That The House Is In Play This Fall — Or Even Close.”(Chris Cillizza, “No, The House Isn’t In Play. Not Even Close,” The Washington Post’s The Fix, 7/16/14)

The Wall Street Journal: Cook Downgrade: Another Bade Sign For Senate Democrats

“The Nonpartisan Cook Political Report Moved Iowa’s Senate Race From Its Lean Democratic Column To Toss Up.” “The nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved Iowa’s Senate race from its Lean Democratic column to Toss Up – a downgrade for Democrats that comes a day after an NBC/Marist poll found Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in a dead heat with Republican Joni Ernst, an Iowa state senator.” (Reid J. Epstein, “Cook Downgrade: Another Bad Sign For Senate Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/18/14)

  • As Iowa Is Rated A “Toss-Up,” It Spells “Very Bad Things For The Odds Of Democrats Holding Control Of The Senate Next Year.” “If Iowa is indeed a toss-up, it portends very bad things for the odds of Democrats holding control of the Senate next year. According to Cook’s ratings, nine Senate races are now toss-ups: Democratic-held seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina and Republican seats in Georgia and Kentucky.” (Reid J. Epstein, “Cook Downgrade: Another Bad Sign For Senate Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/18/14)

Alaska

Alaska Dispatch News: After Begich Airs Ad Touting Cooperation, Murkowski Pushes Back

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Pushed Back On A Begich’s Ad That They Both Vote Together 80 Percent Of The Time. “A new campaign ad from Democratic Sen. Mark Begich spotlights his relationship with Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, saying the two vote together as much as 80 percent of the time. But Murkowski is pushing back, saying that in spite of their cooperation on key Alaska issues, she and Begich are not as close as the ad would lead listeners to believe.” (Nathaniel Herz, “After Begich Airs Ad Touting Cooperation, Murkowski Pushes Back,” Alaska Dispatch News, 7/15/14)

  • Murkowski: “You Can Make The Numbers Work To Your Advantage … There Is A Real Departure Between Where Mark Stands And Where I Stand.” “‘Let’s just put it this way: You can make the numbers work to your advantage,’ Murkowski said in a phone interview Tuesday. While the two may agree on many Alaska-specific matters, she said, when it comes to national issues, ‘there is a real departure between where Mark stands and where I stand.’” (Nathaniel Herz, “After Begich Airs Ad Touting Cooperation, Murkowski Pushes Back,” Alaska Dispatch News, 7/15/14)

Washington Examiner: Why Mark Begich Still Hasn’t Gotten A Vote On Any Of His Amendments

After Six Years In The Senate, Begich Has Yet To “Have A Vote On Any Of His Amendments.”  “Elected six years ago, Sen. Mark Begich is still waiting for a vote on any of his amendments. It’s a sore point for the Alaska Democrat, who already faces a difficult re-election campaign in a conservative-leaning state.” (David M. Drucker, “Why Mark Begich Still Hasn’t Gotten A Vote On Any Of His Amendments,” Washington Examiner, 7/14/14)

  • In An Interview With The Washington Examiner, Begich Is “Not Personally Frustrated” At Himself Or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid For Not Bring Begich’s Amendments To A Vote. Examiner: “You’re not frustrated by your own lack of votes on amendments?” Begich: “If you’re on the floor fighting for an amendment, that means you have lost at the subcommittee level, you’ve lost at the committee level, you’ve lost at the managers’ amendment level — that’s your last stand … If you want to grandstand, spend all of your time down on the floor doing that. So, that’s why, to me, I’m personally not frustrated as (to) my own amendments … because I’m getting work done through all the committees. But on top of that, I’m not afraid to vote on whatever amendments they want to bring forward.” (David M. Drucker, “Why Mark Begich Still Hasn’t Gotten A Vote On Any Of His Amendments,” Washington Examiner, 7/14/14)

Arkansas

The Hill: Cotton Outraises Pryor For Fourth Quarter In A Row

“Cotton Has Outraised Pryor For Four Consecutive Fundraising Quarters.” “Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) outraised Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) in the second quarter of the year by more than half a million, his campaign announced Monday. … This continues a troubling trend for the Democrat, who faces the toughest reelection fight of his career against Cotton, a top GOP recruit for the seat. Cotton has outraised Pryor for four consecutive fundraising quarters.” (Alexandra Jaffe, “Cotton Outraises Pryor For Fourth Quarter In A Row,” The Hill, 7/14/14)

Los Angeles Times: Democrats May Lose Hope In Arkansas Despite Clinton Legacy

The Democratic Stronghold Of Hope, AR, Has Become An “Increasingly Republican One.” “Much has changed since Bill Clinton grew up in this sleepy Arkansas town. The former Clinton home is now a well-appointed museum. The old two-lane road in front grew into a bustling artery leading to a Wal-Mart. Across the street sits a taco truck, whose owner, immigrant Elvia Bello, sells her famous tamales to the small but growing Latino population in the once-segregated community. But perhaps the biggest change of all in a state that once had reliably elected Democrats is the sandwich-board sign on a corner with hand-painted letters announcing: ‘Tea Party Meeting 4th Thursday 7 p.m.’ This busy intersection near the old Clinton homestead reflects a state at a crossroads. Far from the one that gave the nation its 42nd president, Arkansas has caught up with the political shift of its Southern neighbors. Now, even a place called Hope is no longer a Democratic stronghold, but an increasingly Republican one.” (Lisa Mascaro, “Democrats May Lose Hope In Arkansas Despite Clinton Legacy,” Los Angeles Times, 7/15/14)

  • “Pryor Is Struggling …” “Pryor is struggling to fend off tea party freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, who represents the southwestern corner of the state, including Hope.” .” (Lisa Mascaro, “Democrats May Lose Hope In Arkansas Despite Clinton Legacy,” Los Angeles Times, 7/15/14)

A New Poll Released By Gravis Marketing Shows Democrat Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) Down – Marking The Eighth Consecutive Time Polling Has Shown Pryor Losing To Tom Cotton.

Colorado

TIME: Friendly Fire Over Colorado Fracking Could Cost Democrats The Senate

Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper And Senator Mark Udall Are Now In The Fight For Their Political Lives. “At stake isn’t just Democrat Hickenlooper’s tough reelection, but that of fellow Democrat Senator Mark Udall—and, given the electoral map, potential control of the Senate. Oil and gas groups are gearing up to pour in $20 million in Colorado to defeat the initiatives, which they say would essential halve or effectively halt fracking in Colorado.” (Jay Newton-Small, “Friendly Fire Over Colorado Fracking Could Cost Democrats The Senate,” TIME, 7/13/14)

  • Rep. Jared Polis’ (D-CO) Intentions To Put Forth A Ballot Initiative Restricting Fracking In The State Is The Democrats’ “Biggest Concern.” “With a nail biter election on the horizon that flip control of the U.S. senate, the biggest concern of many Colorado Democrats is one of their own—a wealthy congressman named Jared Polis who is pushing statewide ballot initiatives that party strategists fear could increase Republican turnout in November. Polis has introduced and is helping garner enough signatures for a state ballot effort would restrict oil and gas fracking, a major issue in his home district where four of the five biggest towns have banned it.” (Jay Newton-Small, “Friendly Fire Over Colorado Fracking Could Cost Democrats The Senate,” TIME, 7/13/14)

Washington Examiner: How Fracking Is Making Colorado Democrats Quiver

“Democratic Sen. Mark Udall Announced His Opposition Wednesday To Statewide Ballot Initiatives …” “Democratic Sen. Mark Udall announced his opposition Wednesday to statewide ballot initiatives being bankrolled by Rep. Jared Polis that would impose restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Udall is facing a tough fight from GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, who has slammed the ballot effort, to maintain his Senate seat.” (Zack Colman, “How Fracking Is Making Colorado Democrats Quiver,” Washington Examiner, 7/16/14)

  • Udall Was Forced To State His Position On The Fracking Ballot Initiatives As A Special Legislative Session To Scrap The Initiatives Was Cancelled. “Udall’s move was compelled partly because Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, also up for re-election this year, canceled a special legislative session that aimed to shelve the Polis-pushed proposal. The ballot proposals are likely headed for the November ticket. Hickenlooper was trying to secure buy-in from legislators and drilling companies to add new standards to landmark methane emissions regulations for fracking his administration implemented in February, which were the first such standards in the nation.” (Zack Colman, “How Fracking Is Making Colorado Democrats Quiver,” Washington Examiner, 7/16/14)

McClatchy: GOP Senate Candidate Inches Ahead In Colorado As Obama Approval Tumbles

New Poll Finds Udall Behind His Republican Opponent 44-42 Percent. “Add another Senate race to the tossup list: Colorado. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, trailing Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican, by 2 percentage points, 44-42 percent. By a 49-40 margin, voters say Udall does not deserve to be re-elected.” (David Lightman, “GOP Senate Candidate Inches Ahead In Colorado As Obama Approval Tumbles,” McClatchy, 7/17/14)

Cook Political Report: Colorado Governor: Moves To Lean Democrat

Cook Political Report Downgrades Hickenlooper’s Reelection Chances. (Jennifer Duffy, “Colorado Governor: Moves To Lean Democratic,” Cook Political Report, 7/18/14)

According To A Recent Quinnipiac Poll, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) Now Trails His Challenger Bob Beauprez (R-CO). “Despite stronger voter optimism about Colorado’s economy than found in many states, the race for governor is tied, with 43 percent for Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper and 44 percent for former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.” (“Colorado Gov Race Tied, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Economy Is Good And Getting Better, Voters Say,” Quinnipiac University, 7/16/14)

Illinois

The Associated Press: “Illinois Gov. Quinn Facing Ongoing Investigation”

Questions AboutGovernor Pat Quinn’s (D-IL) Failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Continue To Haunt His Re-Election Campaign. “Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, locked into a competitive re-election bid, is fighting to maintain an image as a reformer who’s cleaned up state government as questions about a now-defunct anti-violence program he started in the run-up to his 2010 election threaten to hang over his campaign for months. On Wednesday, a bipartisan commission of lawmakers agreed to grant federal prosecutors’ request to wait to call a number of former Quinn administration officials they subpoenaed to testify about the program, which a state audit recently concluded had “pervasive” problems, including misuse of funds. But Democrats rejected Republicans’ push to set schedule that testimony for October – just weeks before the Nov. 4 election. Lawmakers recessed until Thursday without a plan on how to proceed.” (Sara Burnett, “Illinois Gov. Quinn Facing Ongoing Investigation,” The Associated Press, 7/16/14)

Iowa

The Wall Street Journal: Cook Downgrade: Another Bad Sign For Senate Democrats

“The Nonpartisan Cook Political Report Moved Iowa’s Senate Race From Its Lean Democratic Column To Toss Up.” “The nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved Iowa’s Senate race from its Lean Democratic column to Toss Up – a downgrade for Democrats that comes a day after an NBC/Marist poll found Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in a dead heat with Republican Joni Ernst, an Iowa state senator.” (Reid J. Epstein, “Cook Downgrade: Another Bad Sign For Senate Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/18/14)

Des Moines Register: Ernst Outraises Braley With Nearly $1.8 Million For The Quarter

Bruce Braley, Democrat Candidate For Senate In Iowa Was Outraised By His Republican Counterpart. “The two candidates in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race both raised around $1.7 million for the most recent reporting period, but the GOP candidate raised slightly more. Democrat Bruce Braley’s campaign said today that the congressman raised just under $1.7 million between April 1 and June 30, the Associated Press reported. Braley had over $2.7 million in cash on hand at the end of the second quarter. Republican Joni Ernst raised $1.78 million. She only had 26 days after winning the primary to fundraise as the GOP nominee, aides told The Des Moines Register. She had more than $1 million in the bank at the end of the period.” (Jennifer Jacobs, “Ernst Outraises Braley With Nearly $1.8 Million For The Quarter,” Des Moines Register, 7/16/14)

Massachusetts

The Boston Globe: Poll Has Martha Coakley, Charlie Baker In Dead Heat

Martha Coakley’s (D-MA)Campaign For Governor Has Seen Her Near Double Digit Lead In The Polls Disappear Over The Last Four Weeks, Leaving Her “Virtually Tied” With Charlie Baker (R-MA). Democrat Martha Coakley has seen her edge over Republican Charlie Baker nearly erased in the last several weeks and is now virtually tied with Baker in a potential general-election matchup, according to a new Boston Globe poll. Coakley leads Baker 39 percent to 36 percent in a hypothetical November contest. The 3-point edge is within the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Four weeks ago, Coakley held a nine-point advantage over Baker. The gap between the two is now the narrowest it has been in the seven weeks since the Globe began polling.” (Michael Levenson, “Poll Has Martha Coakley, Charlie Baker In Dead Heat,” The Boston Globe, 7/17/14)

Texas

The Daily Beast: Wendy Davis’s Fundraising Fiasco

State Sen. Wendy Davis’s (D-TX) Campaign Was Caught Inflating Their Fundraising Numbers. “As if things weren’t going badly enough for Wendy Davis, the Texas gubernatorial candidate got caught inflating her campaign’s finances this week by counting a Willie Nelson concert as a contribution … Briefly though, Davis had a bit of a bright spot this week when she announced that she had outraised Abbott in the most recent fundraising period. Then, the Texas Tribune revealed her campaign had ‘juked the numbers.’  The $11.2 million that Davis had reported raising included $500,000 in in-kind donations, where a donor offers services instead of money, including $250,000 that was the cash value of a concert that country music legend Willie Nelson performed at a campaign fundraiser.” (Ben Jacobs, “Wendy Davis’s Fundraising Fiasco,” The Daily Beast, 7/17/14)

Virginia

 

Politico: Va. Democratic Super PAC: Obama ‘Could Hurt’ Warner

Virginia Progress PAC, A Democratic Super PAC Is Warning Donors That The Virginia Senate Race Will Tighten Up Due To Obama’s Unpopularity In The State. “A Democratic super PAC focused on reelecting Mark Warner has been making the case to donors that Virginia’s sleepy Senate race could become very competitive — private messaging at odds with public posturing from national Democrats, who argue that the contest should not be on the map and that Warner is safe. Talking points provided to a potential donor, obtained by POLITICO, are eerily similar to the pitch that Republican candidate Ed Gillespie is making to his own donors. Virginia Progress PAC, which has since changed its name to the End Gridlock Committee, said in a document distributed last month that it already has $2 million in cash and fundraising commitments and aims to raise another $500,000.” (James Hohmann, “Va. Democratic Super PAC: Obama ‘Could Hurt’ Warner,” Politico, 7/16/14)

West Virginia

Boston Globe: Elizabeth Warren’s Anti-Coal Stance Proved Pretty Awkward in W. Virginia

Warren’s Visit To West Virginia Raised Eyebrows As Warren Supports Obama’s War On Coal.  “When in West Virginia, do as the West Virginians do. For Elizabeth Warren, that means not mentioning or emphasizing your support for EPA regulation that could threaten coal production. Warren, the US Senator from Massachusetts, was in coal country to fundraise and speak on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant, currently West Virginia’s Secretary of State. But while the two jointly ripped on Wall Street and Senate Republicans and talked of raising the minimum wage, they explicitly avoided mentioning their disagreement on the EPA’s plans to cut carbon pollution by 30 percent by the year 2030, a proposal that has been harshly criticized by coal industry lawmakers.” (Eric Levenson, “Elizabeth Warren’s Anti-Coal Stance Proved Pretty Awkward In W. Virginia,” Boston Globe, 7/15/14)

  • Warren’s Visit “Made For A Slightly Awkward Contrast” From Tennant’s Support For Coal. “That made for a slightly awkward contrast, given Warren’s support for the EPA proposal. Tennant spent part of her speech railing against the EPA plan, and took aim at President Obama specifically.” (Eric Levenson, “Elizabeth Warren’s Anti-Coal Stance Proved Pretty Awkward In W. Virginia,” Boston Globe, 7/15/14)

Wisconsin

Earlier This Week, Gubernatorial Candidate Mary Burke (D-WI) Attended A Campaign Fundraiser In Chicago. “Gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke will travel to Chicago Tuesday for a campaign fundraiser, five days after the Democrat said she would outlaw donations from out-of-state residents.” (Dana Ferguson, “Burke To Fundraise In Chicago,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/15/14)

  • FLASHBACK: Just Days Ago, Burke Said She Would Outlaw Out-Of-State Political Donations If Elected Governor. “‘As governor, I’m going to make sure, I’m going to work hard to actually outlaw donations from outside of the state,’ Burke said at a stop in Sister Bay in Door County Thursday, according to a tightly edited video released by the state Republican Party.” (Dana Ferguson, “Burke To Fundraise In Chicago,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/15/14)

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