9:01 AM, Oct 22, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Entering the final fortnight of the Senate races, something of a pattern has started to develop. Republicans are leading in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polling in all states that were to the right of the national average in the 2012 election (which President Obama won by 4 points), with two exceptions: Kansas, which is tied; and North Carolina, where Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan is clinging to a 2-point lead but has less than 46 percent support. These right-of-center states in which the GOP is leading include six where seats are currently held by Democrats: Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia.
In all states that were at least 3 points to the left of the national average in the 2012 election (so states where Obama won by at least 7 points), Democrats are leading. These include several contested races, such as in Minnesota (4 points to the left of the national average in 2012), Michigan (5 points), New Mexico (10), Oregon (12), Illinois (17), and New Jersey (18).
That leaves three states that were less than 3 points to the left of the national average in the 2012 election — and the president’s Obamacare-induced 42 percent approval rating has put them very much in play this time around. Indeed, Republican candidates are leading in Colorado (1 point to the left of the national average in 2012) and Iowa (2), and Scott Brown is narrowly trailing in New Hampshire (2).
Then there’s Virginia. Versus the country as a whole, Virginia is as down-the-middle as could be: Obama won reelection nationally by 3.9 points; he won in Virginia by 3.9 points. Based on 2012 (and 2008 and 2004), Virginia is to the right of Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire — and Republicans are showing they can do quite well in those races. Moreover, as Kim Strassel, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Ross Douthat have all noted in recent days, Virginia GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie is running an unusually (for this cycle) ideas-focused, reform-minded campaign. In particular, he’s the only GOP Senate candidate so far who has advanced a genuine alternative to Obamacare. So why have national Republican consultants and donors so overlooked this race?
Incumbent Mark Warner, who voted for Obamacare, is somewhat reeling from alleged ethical violations involving possible discussions of a federal judgeship for the daughter of a key Democratic state senator whose position was important to Democrats’ efforts to expand Obamacare in the state. Even before that accusation recently came to light, Gillespie had cut Warner’s 20-point lead essentially in half, and Warner’s support is under 50 percent. (There has been no polling since the accusation surfaced.)
Given how saturated the airwaves are in most other winnable races, Republicans who are looking for a place where they can get the most bang for their buck in the closing days of the 2014 campaign might want to cast their eyes toward the Old Dominion.
With 13 days left until the election, Virginia has the feel of the race that might end up seeming like the one that got away. So why let it get away?
A key polling result may trip the legal marijuana breakout.4:45 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DAVID W. MURRAY and JOHN P. WALTERS
A poll reported in the Washington Post on September 23 offers positive news for those troubled by the movement to legalize marijuana. It also does not augur well for those pushing more states to follow Colorado and Washington, where legalization is already underway.
12:00 AM, Jul 24, 2014 • By FRED BARNES
Republicans have distinct advantages in Senate races this year, including President Obama’s low job ratings, the number of vulnerable Democrats, and an unhappy national mood. But there’s another advantage: the generally high quality of their candidates. This wasn’t the case in 2010 and 2012, when Republicans blew chances to capture the Senate.
The Democrats’ Senate problem.Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By JAY COST
What do Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia have in common? For one, none has a city larger than 400,000 people. For another, they all voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. For yet another, they are the most likely places for Republicans to pick up Senate seats, thus taking control of the upper chamber, in 2014.
These three facts are related.
9:07 AM, Feb 12, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll of likely Alaska voters finds incumbent Democratic senator Mark Begich leading a potential Republican challenger by 12 points with the inclusion of an independent candidate. Begich, who was first elected in 2008 over scandal-plagued Republican Ted Stevens, has 45 percent support in the Hayes poll, while one Republican candidate, former attorney general Dan Sullivan, gets 33 percent.
2:33 PM, Oct 24, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat from North Carolina who is up for reelection in 2014, says she supports delaying the deadline for signing up for health insurance under Obamacare's individual mandate. Hagan, who voted for Obamacare back in 2010, also says the fine for not signing up for health insurance should be waived.
12:48 PM, Oct 15, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Not a single citizen of the state of Alaska have signed up for the Obamacare exchange. The Associated Press reports that Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, has written a letter to Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the problems with the health insurance exchanges set up by the federal government:
9:37 AM, Oct 15, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New polls of likely voters in three key states in next year's U.S. Senate election show Republicans running just behind incumbent Democrats. Harper Polling, a firm associated with Republicans and working on behalf of conservative super PAC American Crossroads, conducted surveys of likely voters in Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisiana, where those state's Democratic senators face reelection in 2014 (via Politico). In each of those races, most of the potential Republican challengers poll within single digits of the Democrat.
8:03 AM, Sep 12, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Alaska's lieutenant governor Mead Treadwell, a Republican, has officially entered the U.S. Senate race in 2014 to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Begich. The Associated Press reports:
Treadwell, who announced his intention to run in June, has events planned for Anchorage and Fairbanks on Thursday.
3:37 PM, Dec 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Mark Begich, a Democrat from Alaska, is "pleased" to include more than $200 million in pork spending in the Sandy legislation, a bill meant to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The senator's office explains the request in a press release:
1:28 PM, Jul 25, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican congressman Don Young of Alaska has crossed the aisle to endorse Democrat Mazie Hirono in the U.S. Senate race in Hawaii. "But here's what's important, Hawaii," Young says, sitting next to Hirono. "If you're looking for a United States senator who doesn't just talk about bipartisanship but actually knows how to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done, Mazie Hirono will be that senator." Watch the ad below:
12:00 AM, Jun 6, 2011 • By FRED BARNES
It’s anybody's guess whether Sarah Palin will run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. If she does, she’s likely to benefit from a highly favorable documentary that highlights the part of her career least known to most Americans.