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Updated 4:40 p.m. | Political reporters have a fever and the only prescription appears to be fundraising numbers.
It’s a time-honored tradition: Every month, the House and Senate campaign committees release fundraising totals in a regular effort to claim momentum and financial supremacy, and political reporters can’t resist the temptation to report them.
In a race filled with plenty of fast-talking, quick-tongued hopefuls — including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and, at one point, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — Ben Carson stands out as very different, and not only because of his race, resume and life accomplishments.
The retired pediatric neurosurgeon often lacks the other candidates’ intensity, and at times seems about to doze off for a quick nap (even in the middle of an answer). But if you focus on that part of his style and delivery, you are missing his appeal.
Updated: 12:50 p.m. | Every day there’s a new story exposing a candidate or a politician, and each misstep is portrayed as a disqualifier — a mistake that will lead to the candidate’s demise. It can be easy to forget that imperfect people get elected to office.
A few weeks ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hosted a few dozen contenders from across the country for a candidate school, and I had a chance to sit down with a handful of them.
I say it repeatedly: Events matter. And for President Barack Obama, the terror attacks in Paris present a no-win political situation, at least until other, compelling news changes the subject.
That is not to say the president, the Democratic Party or the likely Democratic 2016 nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be fatally damaged by the attacks that killed at least 129 people. The extent of any political damage is yet to be determined and rests, in part, on unforeseen events that will occur in the weeks and months ahead.
The panic is palpable from the media and too many GOP “insiders.”
The Republican Party is going to nominate Donald Trump or Ben Carson for president, guaranteeing Barry Goldwater-style losses in the 2016 elections and threatening the Republic. Or, as The Washington Post put it on Page 1 of its Nov. 13 issue, “GOP preps panic button,” and “Party elites see doom if Trump or Carson win.”
In spite of the recent rush of retirement announcements, this Congress is still below the historical average of exits each cycle, which means more House retirements are likely to come.
Wyoming Republican Cynthia M. Lummis, California Democrat Sam Farr and Texas Democrat Rubén Hinojosa capped off the week by announcing they will not seek re-election next year. The trio makes 14 members who are leaving the House without seeking another office in 2016, according to Roll Call’s Casualty List.
Maybe Republican Matt Bevin isn’t going to burn down Frankfort after all.
The Kentucky Republican rocked the GOP establishment by challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in last year’s primary and irked some party strategists this year by running his gubernatorial campaign strictly on his own terms.
Pam Keith is a pro-choice Democratic woman running in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, but the first-time candidate is having trouble getting EMILY’s List interested in her candidacy in Florida.
EMILY’s List was founded 30 years ago to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office. EMILY is an acronym for “Early Money Is Like Yeast,” because “it makes the dough rise.”
Louisiana isn’t anywhere close to belonging on a list of swing states, yet Republican David Vitter is at risk of losing not only his gubernatorial race this month, but also his Senate seat next year.
The Pelican State’s senior senator has struggled to unify the Republican vote after finishing second in the Oct. 24 jungle primary with just 23 percent. He trails Democrat John Bel Edwards in multiple public polls heading into the Nov. 21 runoff. Full story
I hear it all the time: Voters want change after one party has held the White House for eight years, and that’s why only once over the past six decades has a party held the presidency for three consecutive terms. Tough luck, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The observation has merit, but it isn’t nearly as significant a factor as it may initially seem. Full story
A year out from the 2016 elections, the playing field of competitive Senate races is still taking shape, with ratings changes in three contests.
Matt Bevin’s victory in the Kentucky governor’s race is yet another sobering reminder that polling is a risky business. And for some Republicans, Kentucky could be a glimmer of hope for GOP Sen. David Vitter’s gubernatorial bid in Louisiana.
Bevin’s victory wasn’t the political shockwave on par with Eric Cantor’s primary loss in 2014, but the Republican’s margin of victory was stunning.
For Donald Trump and his brand, “winning” is of utmost importance. While his relentless talk about American exceptionalism is appealing to GOP primary voters, Trump’s personal success in life and his front-runner status in the Republican contest are other elements of the billionaire businessman’s appeal. Everybody likes a winner, after all, especially when that winner is sticking it to the establishment.
Unfortunately for Trump, his early lead in the polls and his belief in the certainty of his success have sown the seeds of his own inevitable political destruction.
Though I took notice of Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s endorsement of Sen. Marco Rubio for president, I didn’t immediately think about Gardner as a possible running mate for Rubio — until a CQ Roll Call colleague dropped that pearl of wisdom in my lap.
But there are plenty of reasons why Gardner needs to be on any Rubio shortlist of possible running mates, even this early in the 2016 election cycle.
Carly Fiorina is popular among Republicans, both nationally and in Iowa. And yet, when those same Republicans are asked to name their preferred candidate for president, they generally don’t select her. Why?
Is it simply, as some have suggested, that Republicans don’t want to vote for a woman, or that she isn’t getting enough attention in the Iowa and national media? Or is it that there already are two political outsiders leading the GOP race, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, and there is no room for another candidate who has never held elective office?