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2014 Election Tag

Remove yourself from the monotonous political rhetoric for just a moment, as difficult as that may be at this point in an election year. Consider a reality that needs no embellishment. Consider a race that stands on its own as a stark choice of great consequence. A story of the longshot. The kind of story that Americans are proud to say can happen here. In a recent Facebook post, Maryland’s Dan Bongino decided the time was now to silence his opponent’s downright fallacious — but all too commonplace — political rhetoric. The kind of rhetoric that, if given enough money, stamps out the potential of great candidates for office.
After a long day of campaigning in the rain I just returned from the grocery store. Diapers are really expensive, as many of you already know.

Why am I telling you about the price of diapers? Because my multimillionaire opponent has spent over $600,000 of his $250,000,000 net worth on television ads attacking me for, get ready for it, a "war on women." I've tried to let it go, but I won't any longer. Does this fake know anything about me? He has no idea how hard my wife and I have to work to pay for little things like diapers for my daughter.

We've written extensively about Democrats' troubles this election cycle, and how Republicans have reason to be confident (although not overly so) heading into Tuesday's midterm elections. Most of the polling and analysis has focused on Republican chances to take the Senate, but recent reports show that Democrats are also scrambling to maintain their hold on key House and gubernatorial seats. Analysts have never doubted Republicans' ability to maintain their hold on the House, but Democrats' spending in House races shows that even in normally friendly areas, their candidates are in trouble. Via AP's Big Story:
In one example, the Democratic committee has bought $99,000 in radio ads for eight-term Rep. Lois Capps in her Santa Barbara-area race against Chris Mitchum, the son of the late actor Robert Mitchum. The GOP candidate has relatively little money still on hand for his campaign — $96,108 — but the contest is considered close. The committee also reserved $360,000 in air time for ads for first-term Rep. Steven Horsford in his central Nevada district north of Las Vegas after the Karl Rove-founded group Crossroads GPS made a late ad buy of $935,000. And In Hawaii, the Democrats are spending $200,000 on television ads and voter outreach for Mark Takai, who is locked in a tight race with former Republican Rep. Charles Djou in an open Honolulu-based district that Obama won with 70 percent of the vote. In the closing days, the Democratic committee has invested $1.1 million in an effort to protect six incumbents in Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, West Virginia and California. With Obama persona non grata for many Democrats, former President Bill Clinton was campaigning in California on Wednesday. "It's a tough climate, it's getting tougher," Israel said. "It's the worst climate for Democrats since 2010, but it won't be 2010. We knew that this was coming and we prepared for it."
They may think they're prepared for a fight, but things aren't looking good with regards to gubernatorial races, either. Real Clear Politics has classified just two races (California and New York) as "safe" for Democrats, and even their most high-profile candidate of the cycle is maintaining a slow and steady implosion.

To be fair, Senator Kay Hagan wasn't the only Democrat who said people would be able to keep their healthcare plans and doctors under Obamacare. Lots of Democrats made that claim, including Obama and many of his supporters in the media. It's funny how they're so tongue tied now. Kay Hagan was asked about her position in a TV Interview Tuesday night. Transcript and video by the Washington Free Beacon:
Kay Hagan Won’t Say She Regrets Falsely Telling People They Could Keep Their Health Plans Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) refused to answer whether she regrets repeating President Obama’s famous lie that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Hagan talked about failed legislative proposals to help North Carolinians keep their health care plans instead of expressing regret over her endorsement of President Obama’s statement in a TV interview Tuesday night. “But if you knew then what you know now, do you think you would have said it that many times?” the anchor asked.
Here's the video: The North Carolina senate race took an especially nasty turn recently when Harry Reid's super PAC tried to blame Hagan's Republican challenger Thom Tillis for the death of Trayvon Martin.

Are Democrats at risk of losing the most reliable voting base, Blacks? Or, just as bad for Democrats, having low turnout? This video may just be an anecdote, or it may be the sign of something larger happening. An 82-year old Black woman named Joyce explains why she voted Republican for the first time in her life (via Tammy Bruce via Right Scoop). Joyce's rant is pure gold, and hits on the several points:
  • The economic devastation Democratic policies have wrought on the black community.
  • Abortion and its prevalence among African Americans.
  • The foolishness of calling people "racist" because they disagree with President Obama.
Black disappointment with President Obama himself is hurting Democrats in this election cycle.

NARAL probably didn't intend for their latest radio ad to be butt of every Conservative joke, but that's exactly what happened.

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), issued a press release today announcing, "a new $450,000 ad campaign attacking Senate candidate Cory Gardner for his position against birth control. The TV, radio and online ads will run between now and Election Day and will be targeted at young voters, especially young men." "Cory Gardner tries to deceive Colorado voters on his opposition to birth control and his belief that politicians have a right to interfere in our personal, private medical decisions," said Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. "These ads highlight how Cory Gardner is on the wrong side of Colorado values and voters, especially young voters." Evidently, men are single issue voters who only care about birth control and in particular, condoms. At least that's the prevailing theory of the Democrats these days. The folks over at The Federalist recorded the radio ad for your listening pleasure:
Dude: They're all out. Lady: Did you try the corner market? Dude: Of course. Lady: Grocery store? Dude: Sold out. Lady: Drug store? Dude: Come on. Lady: So everyone's sold out of condoms? How did this happen? Dude: Cory Gardner banned birth control and now it's all on us guys. And you can't find a condom anywhere. And The Pill was just the start. Pell grants my little brother was counting on for college? Cory cut them. Climate change that everyone knows is weirding our weather? Cory flat-out denies it. Sweat Pea, Cory denies science. Lady: Come on. Dude: This guy has no idea what's going on in the real world. [Wayne's World Scene Changing Music] Narrator: Don't let Cory's world become your world. [Yada yada yada...]

Last year at this time we noted the Harvard Institute for polling showed a shift in Millennials' allegiance, Harvard Survey: Obama and Obamacare push Millennials support off cliff:
Havard’s Institute of Politics just released a devastating study showing a massive drop in support among Millennials for Obama and Obamacare. Bottom line is that Millennials don’t like Republicans, but for the first time they don’t like Obama and Democrats almost as much. Here is the key finding in the Executive Summary (at pp. 5-6):
Additionally, we found that a majority (52%) of 18- to 29- year olds would choose to recall all members of Congress if it were possible, 45 percent would recall their member of Congress (45% would not) and approximately the same number indicate that they would recall President Obama (47% recall, 46% not recall).
Harvard IOP just released its 2014 Fall Survey, and the results show Millennials abandoning ship:
... slightly more than half (51%) of young Americans who say they will “definitely be voting” in November prefer a Republican-run Congress with 47 percent favoring Democrat control – a significant departure from IOP polling findings before the last midterm elections (Sept. 2010 – 55%: prefer Democrat control; 43%: prefer Republican control). The cohort – 26% of whom report they will “definitely” vote in the midterms – appear up-for-grabs to both political parties and could be a critical swing vote in many races in November.... Overall, President Obama’s job performance among America’s 18-29 year-olds has fallen from 47% (April 2014) to 43 percent (53%: disapprove), the second-lowest rating in the IOP polls since he took office (41%: November 2013). Among 18-29 year-olds saying they will “definitely be voting in November,” the president’s job approval rating is 42 percent, with 56% saying they disapprove.... The enthusiasm gap in favor of Republicans also is dramatic:

Elizabeth Warren appeared on The View on Tuesday and gave ringing endorsement to Jeanne Shaheen for working so hard for the people of... Vermont. From the Washington Free Beacon:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) gave an impassioned endorsement of senator Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) on Tuesday’s The View. The only problem was that she forgot which state Shaheen is from. Warren touted Shaheen’s historical significance, but made a crucial slip-up when trying to sell her case to Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell (as if they needed convincing): “The only woman in the history of the United States who has been both a governor and a Senator,” Warren said. “Independent, out there working for the people of Vermont.” Unfortunately, Shaheen is running for re-election in New Hampshire.
Here's the moment on video: You can watch the extended version here. You'll notice Warren doesn't correct herself and neither does anyone else. Aaron Blake of the Washington Post is seeing a pattern:

Democrats have used a lot of gimmicks over the years to gain support and votes for their candidates, but their latest efforts to use sex to sell their decidedly unsexy candidates might just win the award for Most Ridiculous Millennial Outreach Gimmick of 2014. Students at North Carolina State University won a contest with Cosmopolitan magazine to have "party bus" filled with models transport students to and from the polls on Election Day. Yes, really. From the Washington Post:
“On Election Day, a bus decked out with snacks, swag, and models (hi, this is Cosmo) will roll up to North Carolina State University, the winner of’s first-ever party bus contest,” the magazine said. “The bus will shuttle students back and forth to a nearby polling location so students can vote.” The university was entered into the contest by sophomore Camden Willeford, Cosmo said. “This election is not a light matter here in NC,” he said. “The weight is on the students of North Carolina State University.”

You don't need polls to tell you that there is a fearful, ornery mood out there. But it is confirmed by the polls, and Democrats are the primary recipients of that anger. We wrote about this a week ago, Election 2014: America “completely out of control” and “women feel unsafe”. The mood does not appear to be getting any better. From CNN:
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans are angry at the direction the country is headed and 53% of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance, two troubling signs for Democrats one week before the midterm elections, a new CNN/ORC International Poll shows.... The CNN/ORC poll shows that 30% of Americans are "very angry" and 38% are "somewhat angry" about the way things are going in the country, while 31% expressed "no anger" at all. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland notes the 31% of "very angry" Americans matches the mood of the country in 2010 when Republicans took back control of the House. In next week's election, the emotion of anger could be a motivating factor in driving out GOP voters. While 36% of Republican voters said they are "extremely" or "very enthusiastic," about voting this year, only 26% of Democrats use that language to describe themselves, in the CNN/ORC poll.
From The Washington Post, voters are taking their anger out on Democrats:

I am going to go out on a limb and project that there are going to be historic election results on November 4th that would have been unimaginable until this August, when reports on Ebola coming to this country began filling the news. This has transformed the women that Democrats have historically relied on, "soccer moms", into "health and safety moms". Because I am both a mother and an environmental health and safety professional, other mothers question me on the latest news related to both Ebola and the potentially deadly Enterovirus D-68. Every last one of those women say that we should have had travel bans, mandatory quarantines, and that the administration isn't being completely candid in its reports related to these pathogens. For example, there is news that the New Jersey nurse quarantined after returning from work with Ebola patients in Africa was just released:
A nurse who was quarantined at a hospital in New Jersey after returning from West Africa was released Monday, her attorney said. Kaci Hickox, who told CNN the quarantine was violating her rights, was discharged after testing negative for Ebola. Hickox was put in isolation Friday after returning to New Jersey from a month in Sierra Leone. Her quarantine, part of a days-old policy the governors of New York and New Jersey instituted for all health care workers who've had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, has been criticized widely by health care experts. On Sunday, she spoke by phone with CNN's Candy Crowley and Elizabeth Cohen. "This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated," Hickox said. She said she was flummoxed as to how New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has no medical training, could describe her as "obviously ill."
This video summarizes the story from CNN:

Candidates have been criss-crossing their respective districts for well over a year now, laying out their platforms and making promises about how they'll bring change to the offices they hope to hold. But judging by Gallup's latest poll, Americans aren't necessarily buying what their potential representatives are selling. With just days to go before the election, the Congressional approval rating is still hovering just above its all-time low. Via Gallup:
Congressional job approval in October matches the 14% average found so far in 2014. The current approval figure is the lowest found in October of a midterm election year since Gallup began tracking this measure in 1974. Gallup has found that low congressional approval ratings before midterm elections are linked to higher seat turnover, especially for members of the president's party. For example, congressional job approval in October was 21% in 2010, and 23% in 1994, two years when the president's party lost a large number of seats.

With just 9 days to go until Election Day, consultants and pollsters are busy running the numbers and developing eleventh hour strategies for candidates running for Senate in key swing states. In competitive states like Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, and North Carolina, Republican momentum has pushed those Senate races to well within the margin of error, and even the New York Times has Republicans well ahead of Democrats and on track to take back the Senate. From MSNBC:
“Senate contests are coming down to the wire,” says pollster Barbara Carvalho of Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion. “ In a reversal from 2012, when there were multiple paths for [President] Obama, now the Democrats are struggling to protect their firewall in Iowa, North Carolina and Colorado.” All five of these races are within the polls’ margins of error. The lone exception is the NBC/Marist poll of South Dakota, where Republican Mike Rounds enjoys a 14-point lead over Democrat Rick Weiland, 43 percent to 29 percent, while independent Larry Pressler, a former Republican senator, gets 16 percent. To win control of the Senate, Republicans must gain a net of six seats. Two pick-up opportunities – in Montana and West Virginia – appear to be slam dunks for the GOP. And South Dakota, per the NBC/Marist poll, looks to be a safe bet for a third. That means Republicans need to win three out of these seven other Democrat-held seats to get to a majority: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire and North Carolina. But if Democrats win a GOP-held seat – say Georgia – or if Orman decides to caucus with Democrats, that means Republicans must win an additional seat (or two) to net six Senate seats.

Working in the Texas campaign world over the past few years has given me a good idea about how conservatives across the political spectrum feel about GOP candidates wading into the complicated world of multicultural outreach. Much of the work I’ve done since last September has been working toward the goal of making this sort of outreach mainstream---and it hasn’t always been easy. But a recent radio interview given by President Obama may have made my job just a little bit easier: Via The Hill:
Controversial voter identification laws are not the primary reason minority voters are failing to cast their ballots, President Obama said in a radio interview airing Tuesday. "Most of these laws are not preventing the overwhelming majority of folks who don't vote from voting," Obama said during an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton. "Most people do have an ID. Most people do have a driver's license. Most people can get to the polls. It may not be as convenient' it may be a little more difficult." … "The bottom line is, if less than half of our folks vote, these laws aren't preventing the other half from not voting," Obama said. "The reason we don't vote is because people have been fed this notion that somehow it's not going to make a difference. And it makes a huge difference."
There are two takeaways from this interview, and neither of them bodes well for Democrats. The first is that President Obama has gone completely off the rails when it comes to maintaining unity in messaging within the party. A major part of liberal messaging this cycle has focused on voter suppression; President Obama has undermined years of effort with one interview.

Non-citizens, who should not be voting, wield significant influence in American elections according to a new report from the Washington Post. Can you guess which party they typically vote for? Jesse Richman and David Earnest reported, here are some highlights:
Could non-citizens decide the November election? In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races... Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.
That's kind of a big deal, isn't it? Oh, and then there's this:

Some people think Obamacare is ancient history and Democrats would certainly like to believe that but it's still an important issue. Byron York of the Washington Examiner explains the how and why:
Who says Obamacare isn't major factor in midterms? Some Democrats and their advocates in the press believe Obamacare, a year into implementation, is no longer much of a factor in the midterm elections. But no one has told Republican candidates, who are still pounding away at the Affordable Care Act on the stump. And no one has told voters, especially those in states with closely contested Senate races, who regularly place it among the top issues of the campaign. In Arkansas, Republican challenger Tom Cotton is pulling ahead of incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor partly on the strength of a relentless focus on Obamacare. Cotton's newest ad attacks Pryor over the law, as did two of Cotton's four previous ads. "In our polling, [Obamacare] continues to be just as hot as it's been all year long," says a source in the Cotton campaign. "If you look at a word cloud of voters' biggest hesitation in voting for Mark Pryor, the two biggest words are 'Obama' and 'Obamacare.' Everything after that is almost an afterthought."
Voters have every reason to be suspicious. It turns out there are some things we won't be told until after the election. Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times has the story:

Early voting is looking good for Iowa Republican Joni Ernst. In fact, it's looking better than usual. Kirsten Hunter of the Washington Free Beacon reports that even CNN is acknowledging the trend:
CNN: Iowa Early Vote Data Shows Unprecedented Republican Numbers Elated Republicans are celebrating the unprecedented success of U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R) in Iowa’s early voting. Iowa Republicans banked a surge of early voters this week, a practice usually dominated by Democrats in the state. Ernst’s unprecedented success is also the result of her opponent, Rep. Bruce Braley’s, failure to mobilize Iowa Democrats despite receiving support from high-profile figures including the Clintons and the seat’s current holder, Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa). “Braley hasn’t run a great campaign,” said CNN reporter Peter Hamby. “Look at the early vote numbers in that state. Democrats in the last two or three cycles have really done well by running up the early vote number.” Hamby elaborated that Republicans are at a “parity” with Democrats after assessing this week’s early Republican votes. This “has never happened before,” Hamby said. “Braley wants that number to be higher.”
Here's the video segment: This surge may explain why liberal news sites are attacking Joni Ernst for expressing her completely Constitutional views on the Second Amendment.

It's remarkable to watch Democrats scrambling to get away from Obama just six years after they and the media declared the death of the GOP. The latest example comes from Josh Kraushaar of National Journal:
Senate Democratic Officials Start Lashing Out at White House The relationship between the White House and Senate Democrats hit a new low Tuesday evening after the administration's press office released a transcript of first lady Michelle Obama's appearance in Iowa on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley. The problem: The subject line of the e-mail referred to Braley as the "Democratic candidate for governor." The botch came after the first lady repeatedly referred to the Democratic Senate nominee as "Bruce Bailey" in a campaign appearance earlier this month—and it took an attendee in the crowd to correct her mistake... Indicating the sensitivity of the mistake, top Senate Democratic officials wasted no time lashing out at the Obama administration's political team in response, suggesting it was acting like a junior varsity operation two weeks before the midterms. The slipup comes one day after President Obama told Rev. Al Sharpton on his radio show that Senate Democrats keeping their distance from him are still "folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress." That alarmed Senate Democrats up for reelection this November, most of whom are working hard to distance themselves from an unpopular president. "The ineptitude of the White House political operation has sunk from annoying to embarrassing," one senior Senate Democratic aide told National Journal. Another Senate official told the Washington Post that Obama's comments were "not devised with any input from Senate leadership."
The problem for Democrats is Obama's ego. He just can't stand not being part of the story.

While most Democrats are desperately trying to distance themselves from President Obama, Illinois Democrats are safe from the President's campaign death kiss. Monday night, President Obama headlined a campaign rally for Illinois Senator Dick Durban and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. As Rebel Pundit pointed out:
ABC 7 reporter Charles Thomas stated the Jones Convocation Center, was not filled. Thomas did his best to paint the president’s visit as a success, “When it comes to Chicago, especially on the South Side, Obama has not lost his political magic. Sunday night at the Jones Convocation Center, it was filled to near-capacity.” Thomas reported 6,000 attendees at the rally to re-elect Quinn, but the capacity at the center is 7000.
Interestingly, the President is having difficulty filling seats on his home turf. Earlier this week, attendees at a Maryland rally walked out when Obama took the stage; and last month, the Climate Summit held in New York City was missing some pretty crucial world leaders, yet another indicator of Hope and Change's waning star power.