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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GOP commits $250 million to keep control of the House

Associated Press

The Republican National Committee has committed $250 million to a midterm election strategy that has one goal above all else: Preserve the party's House majority for the rest of President Donald Trump's first term.

Facing the prospect of a blue wave this fall, the White House's political arm is devoting unprecedented resources to building an army of paid staff and trained volunteers across more than two dozen states. The RNC is taking the fight to Senate Democrats in Republican-leaning states, but much of the national GOP's resources are focused on protecting Republican-held House seats in states including Florida, California and New York.

"Our No. 1 priority is keeping the House. We have to win the House," RNC political director Juston Johnson said. "That is the approach we took to put the budget together."

RNC officials shared details of their midterm spending plan with The Associated Press just as several hundred volunteers and staff held a day of action on Saturday in competitive regions across the country. The weekend show of force, which comes as Democrats have shown a significant enthusiasm advantage in the age of President Donald Trump, was designed to train 1,600 new volunteers in more than 200 events nationwide.

There were more than three dozen events in Florida alone, a state that features competitive races for the Senate, the governorship and a half dozen House races.

Seven months before Election Day, there are already 300 state-based staff on the RNC's payroll. The committee expects to have 900 total paid staff around the country — excluding its Washington headquarters — before November's election, Johnson said. The number of trained volunteers, he said, has already surpassed 10,000.

The strategy is expensive. And it carries risk.

The RNC's focus on a sophisticated field operation designed to identify and turn out key voters, an approach favored by former chairman Reince Priebus and expanded by Trump's hand-picked chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, leaves the RNC with no additional resources to run advertising on television or the internet. It also puts tremendous pressure on the president and senior party leaders to raise money to fund the massive operation.

And few believe that even the best field operation could wholly neutralize the surge of Democratic enthusiasm on display in recent special elections, which has some Republican strategists fearing that the House majority may be lost already.

Democrats need to pick up at least 24 seats to take control of the House for the last two years of Trump's first term. They need just two seats to claim the Senate majority, though the map makes a Democratic Senate takeover much less likely.

An optimistic McDaniel said strong Republican fundraising has allowed the aggressive strategy. During the first year of Trump's presidency, the GOP set a fundraising record by raising more than $132 million.

"Our sweeping infrastructure, combined with on-the-ground enthusiasm for President Trump and Republican policies, puts us in prime position to defend our majorities in 2018," McDaniel said.

The $250 million price tag for what she described as a "permanent data-driven field program" is the committee's largest ground-game investment in any election season. The resources are focused in some unfamiliar territory, including several House districts in Southern California, which Johnson described as "a huge focus."

At a minimum, each targeted state features an RNC state director, a data director and at least a few staff devoted to each competitive House district. They are aggressively recruiting and training local volunteers to expand the GOP's presence in key communities.

The teams are larger in some states than in others.

In Florida, there are already 60 permanent field staff on the ground, Johnson said, including some dedicated to building relationships with the influx of Puerto Ricans who recently migrated from the hurricane-ravaged island. Johnson expects close to 150 paid staff on the ground in the state by Election Day.

And there are roughly two dozen paid staff already on the ground in Ohio and Nevada, he said. Both states feature competitive races for the House and Senate.

Nevada state director Dan Coats has been on the ground in the state for a year. He said the Nevada team already features directors for voter registration, volunteer training and strategic initiatives, which include Hispanic outreach.

"We're building a volunteer army that will be a turnkey operation for every Republican campaign up and down the ballot," Coats said. "A strong field game like the one we have here can and will make a difference."


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( detailed poll about the mid terms , indications are the race is tighter than it was earlier this year )

Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

The gap among registered voters is tightening as President Trump’s low approval rating inches up. Gun policy could be a wild card in House elections, the poll shows.


By Dan Balz, Scott Clement - The Washington Post
  0

Posted: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victories in November.

The poll finds that the gap between support for Democratic vs. Republican House candidates dropped by more than half since the beginning of the year. At the same time, there has been a slight increase in President Trump's approval rating, although it remains low. Measures of partisan enthusiasm paint a more mixed picture of the electorate in comparison to signs of Democratic intensity displayed in many recent special elections.

One potentially new factor in the mix of midterm issues is gun policy, which has emerged as a major voter consideration two months after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. More than 4 in 10 registered voters say it is extremely important that candidates share their views on gun issues. Fewer voters say it's critical that candidates share their views on Trump or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaders who are most likely to be targets in partisan messaging this fall.

With the Republicans' House majority at risk, 47 percent of registered voters say they prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, while 43 percent favor the Republican. That four-point margin compares with a 12-point advantage Democrats held in January. Among a broader group of voting-age adults, the Democrats' margin is 10 points, 50 percent to 40 percent.

Republicans owe part of their improved standing to Trump's thawing job ratings. The Post-ABC poll finds that 40 percent approve of the president, up slightly from 36 percent in January to his highest level of support since last April. Still, Trump continues to face majority disapproval at 56 percent, higher than any president at this stage since the dawn of modern polling, an indication that he remains a significant liability for Republicans on November's ballot.

The survey shows the GOP making a more pronounced shift among white voters, who now prefer Republicans by a 14-point margin over Democrats, up from five points in January. Republicans lead by 60 percent to 31 percent among white voters without college degrees, slightly larger than an 18-point GOP advantage three months ago.

The situation in the districts where control of the House is likely to be decided is slightly more favorable for Democrats. The Cook Political Report, which produces nonpartisan analysis, lists 56 of the 435 congressional districts as competitive - 51 of them in Republican hands to just five held by Democrats.

In competitive districts excluding Pennsylvania, where new boundaries were drawn this year, Democrats have an edge of 50 percent to 43 percent when voters are asked which party's candidates they would favor if the election in their district were held today. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to capture the majority.

Special elections and gubernatorial races over the past year have shown that Democrats are benefiting from a surge in voter enthusiasm, including a narrow victory in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District in March, which Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016.

The Post-ABC poll finds parity in stated voting intentions. Among registered voters, 68 percent of both Republican-leaning and Democratic-leaning registered voters say they are certain they will vote. This contrasts with Post-ABC polling ahead of the 2010 and 2014 midterm cycles, when Republicans averaged a double-digit advantage in intentions to vote and Democrats suffered major losses in both years.

Other public polls have found a narrowing in Democrats' midterm advantage, although it has been less sharp than in the Post-ABC poll.

An average of public polls compiled by The Post finds Democrats' lead on this metric stood at eight points in January and 11 points in February but six points in polls over the past 30 days, similar to the Post-ABC poll's four-point margin. Analysts expect Democrats to need a six- to eight-point lead in so-called generic-ballot polls to win a majority of congressional districts.

The new survey points to opportunities and challenges for both parties in coming months.

Some core constituencies for each party expressed tepid interest in turning out to vote in an off-year election, when many eligible voters typically stay home. Although 58 percent of all adults say they are sure they will vote this year, that falls to fewer than 4 in 10 among adults younger than 30. Young voters have heavily favored Democrats in recent elections. Certainty to vote dips to 54 percent among African Americans and 39 percent among Hispanics. Those compare with 64 percent among whites, a majority of whom favor Republicans.

At the same time, white voters with college degrees, a competitive voting bloc, are 14 points more likely to say they are certain to vote than whites with some college or less, a group that has increasingly favored Republicans and voted for Trump at record levels.

Sixty-one percent of men and 56 percent of women say they are certain to vote, with 55 percent of female registered voters saying they favor a Democratic candidate and 50 percent of men backing a Republican. Democrats are counting on strong turnout among women to help their candidates in November.

The renewed gun-control debate is a wild card in the midterm election, with lawmakers facing pressure from students nationwide to pass new laws. Several polls have shown heightened support for restrictions aimed at curbing gun violence following February's massacre in Parkland.

Although public activism has put pressure on Republicans and the National Rifle Association, the Post-ABC poll suggests that neither party holds an advantage in support among the 42 percent of voters who say it's "extremely important" that a congressional candidate share their views on the issue.

Within this group, three-quarters of voters who prioritize enacting new gun laws support Democrats for Congress, while 8 in 10 of those who give protecting gun rights greater significance support Republicans. As a whole, the group splits nearly evenly, with 47 percent supporting Democrats and 46 percent backing Republicans.

A smaller 31 percent say it is "extremely important" for congressional candidates to share their views aboutTrump, although more than half say this will be at least "very important." Those who say it is extremely important favor Democrats over Republicans by 11 points, 54 percent to 43 percent.

Many Republicans are trying to make Democratic leader Pelosi a focus of their campaigns. In the poll, 17 percent of voters say a candidate's views on Pelosi will be extremely important in their vote, and Republicans lead Democrats by 16 points among this group in the generic congressional ballot.

Pelosi has a negative image, with 32 percent of Americans holding a favorable view of her, and 44 percent unfavorable. But nearly one-quarter have no opinion of the former house speaker, who could regain the gavel if Democrats flip the House. Among Republicans, she is well-known and widely disliked, with 74 percent holding unfavorable views of her, 63 percent strongly.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted April 8-11 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults reached on cellphones and landline telephones. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; the error margin is four points among the sample of 865 registered voters.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is so much going to happen in the time before the official campaign starts -- on Labour Day -- that the "surge" in enthusiasm is a thin straw to start making any predictions on. Or at least predictions involving money.

We don't know how things are going to turn out, but the USA is in the middle of an immense struggle right now. One side is going for impeachment. The other side seems strangely unable to head this off. They may be delaying to orchestrate a series of high-profile arrests, all of them connected to the Democratic Party.

If the Republicans lose control of the House, Trump will be terribly wounded. People will become more aware of this as the election approaches. The very enthusiasm of the fire-in-their-eyes Democrats will stir the Trump supporters.

I don't know who will win. I do know that Trump's approval ratings are rising, and that the economy seems to be improving. We are in a treacherous world, in a drift towards a super-power war. Stormy Daniels isn't going to cut it. (Have you ever seen a less sexy porn star?) The mood will change before the election, very likely in decisive ways. These polls mean next to nothing.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
There is so much going to happen in the time before the official campaign starts -- on Labour Day -- that the "surge" in enthusiasm is a thin straw to start making any predictions on. Or at least predictions involving money.

We don't know how things are going to turn out, but the USA is in the middle of an immense struggle right now. One side is going for impeachment. The other side seems strangely unable to head this off. They may be delaying to orchestrate a series of high-profile arrests, all of them connected to the Democratic Party.

If the Republicans lose control of the House, Trump will be terribly wounded. People will become more aware of this as the election approaches. The very enthusiasm of the fire-in-their-eyes Democrats will stir the Trump supporters.

I don't know who will win. I do know that Trump's approval ratings are rising, and that the economy seems to be improving. We are in a treacherous world, in a drift towards a super-power war. Stormy Daniels isn't going to cut it. (Have you ever seen a less sexy porn star?) The mood will change before the election, very likely in decisive ways. These polls mean next to nothing.

the poll has some interesting findings , the republicans seem to be doing well with white voters , much like trump did in 2016 , meaning many rural white districts are likely not in play for the democrats

Nancy Pelosi is also an odd figure in the race , she has huge negatives among republican voters and doesn't seem to bring much to the race , I'm surprised the democrats haven't dumped her years ago

the gun issue is also explored , whats interesting is those who want stronger laws and those who don't almost cancel each other out according to the poll , around the same % of people , the issue brings out some voters on each side but does not give a huge advantage to either , for every voter who shows up wanting new laws , someone else shows up to vote not wanting them

but the problem for the republicans is there polling weaker in the swing districts , mostly mixed rural/ suburban / urban congressional districts , where there is a wide mixture of voters ( blacks , Hispanics , white ) unlike the mostly white rural core republican areas and if your a republican candidate you have to assume democratic turnout will be higher than it was in other mid terms

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The secret of Pelosi is that she raises a huge amount of donations. And she's a pretty shrewd operator. But her time is up.

This is at the end of the Clinton-Obama Era of the Democratic Party -- that goes back a long way. The Clintons have controlled the party for almost 30 years. It's a phenomenal achievement, particularly if you ignore how they got the money.

Pelosi is a part of that team. I think when she goes, it likely means the Clintons are over ... you see the signs already. Ted Kennedy is being revealed as an ambitious coward in the new film on Chappaquiddick, for example. That's like tearing down the statue of Lee in Virginiaburg ...

On the sidelines -- slavering impatiently -- the true barbarians, people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie ...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( almost forgot there is a special election tomorrow in Arizona , hasn't generated as much press and it appears the republican is still favoured to hold the seat )

FiveThirtyEight FiveThirtyEight


Everything You Need To Know About The Arizona 8th Special Election
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Apr. 23, 2018 at 5:58 AM

Everything You Need To Know About The Arizona 8th Special Election

By Nathaniel Rakich

Filed under Special Elections

0423 AZ08preview 4×3

Illustration by FiveThirtyEight / Getty Images

For the second time in 2018, voters will go to the polls to replace a Republican congressman who resigned. But Tuesday’s special election in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District — which Rep. Trent Franks vacated in December after reportedly offering one of his staffers $5 million to carry his child — is expected to have a very different outcome from last month’s Democratic upset in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. Prominent nonpartisan handicappers all rate the race between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni as “Likely Republican” — but in terms of reading the tea leaves for November, the winning margin will matter more than the outcome.

1. The district

Arcing through the suburbs northwest of Phoenix, including Surprise, Peoria and Litchfield Park, Arizona’s 8th District is usually a Republican stronghold. According to Daily Kos Elections, President Trump carried it 58 to 37 percent in 2016; Mitt Romney won it 62 to 37 percent in 2012. According to FiveThirtyEight’s preferred method for calculating a district’s default partisanship — we call it a district’s “partisan lean”1

— the 8th District is 25 percentage points more Republican-leaning than the nation as a whole.

That’s comparable to Pennsylvania’s 18th District and most other jurisdictions that have hosted special congressional elections since Trump took office. But, as regular readers of this site know, that hasn’t stopped Democrats from being competitive in — and even winning — many of those races.

Democratic overperformance in federal special elections




Partisan Lean

Vote Margin

Dem. Swing

2017 April 4 California 34th* D+69 D+87 18
April 11 Kansas 4th R+29 R+6 23
May 25 Montana At-Large R+21 R+6 16
June 20 Georgia 6th R+9 R+4 6
June 20 South Carolina 5th R+19 R+3 16
Nov. 7 Utah 3rd R+35 R+32 3
Dec. 12 Alabama U.S. Senate R+29 D+2 31
2018 March 13 Pennsylvania 18th R+21 D+0.3 22
April 24 Arizona 8th R+25 ? ?

Partisan lean is the average difference between how the constituency voted and how the country voted overall in the last two presidential elections, with 2016 weighted 75 percent and 2012 weighted 25 percent.

* Results are from the all-party primary, which included multiple Democratic candidates; results reflect the total vote share for all Democratic candidates combined.

Sources: Daily Kos Elections, secretaries of state

The margins in federal special elections since Trump’s inauguration have been an average of 17 points more favorable to Democrats than pure partisanship would lead us to expect. Another Democratic overperformance is likely on Tuesday — practically no one thinks Lesko is going to defeat Tipirneni by 25 points or more. But in order for Tipirneni to win outright, she’d not only need to do better than the Democrats’ average overperformance so far, but also better than their overperformance in Pennsylvania.

That’s unlikely. Arizona’s 8th District is especially infertile ground for Democrats. Unlike Pennsylvania’s 18th District, it has no historical tradition of Democratic support. (In fact, quite the contrary — the area is known for its devotion to controversial former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.) Whereas southwestern Pennsylvania had elected a Democrat to Congress as recently as 2000, the West Valley (as this part of Arizona is known) hasn’t done so since 1980.2

And while registered Democrats represent a plurality of voters in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats 41 to 24 percent among active voters in Arizona’s 8th.

The district’s demographics might be especially bad for Democrats in a low-turnout special election. Arizona Democrats lean on non-white voters, especially Latinos, for a large share of their support, but people of color have historically been among the least likely people to vote in off-year elections. That makes districts like Arizona’s 8th (which is 30 percent non-white, including 19 percent Latino) more vulnerable to a Democratic drop-off in special and midterm elections.

Even worse for Democrats, Arizona’s 8th District is also home to lots of older voters — a demographic that’s both heavily Republican and dutiful about casting ballots even in off-year elections. The West Valley is considered one of the best places in the country to retire, and more than 24 percent of 8th District residents are 62 years old or older. Indeed, predominantly white retirement communities such as Sun City are a distinguishing feature of this district.

2. The polling

The polling average so far (Lesko 47 percent, Tipirneni 44 percent) suggests a close race, but those numbers come with a mountain of question marks. Two of the three public polls were conducted by partisan firms: Perhaps predictably, the Republican one showed a 10-point Lesko lead, while the Democratic one showed a tied race. That combination implies that the true result is somewhere in the middle. On the other hand, the only nonpartisan poll agreed with the Democratic assessment that the race is statistically tied. However, for this poll to be correct, left-leaning demographics would have to constitute an unusually high share of the electorate; the poll’s sample was far younger and better educated than district averages. Turnout could swing that way, but Democrats shouldn’t hold their breath.

Latest polls of the special election in Arizona’s 8th District





April 14–16 Lake Research Partners (D) 44% 44%
April 12–15 Emerson College 45 46
April 10 OH Predictive Insights (R) 53 43
Average 47 44

In addition to the public polls for which we have precise numbers, internal Republican polls reportedly put Lesko ahead by “high single digits or double digits.” Considering that House special election polls come with very wide margins of error, any of the outcomes shown by any of these polls — from a narrow Tipirneni win to a Lesko rout — is plausible.

3. The players

Unlike in Pennsylvania, the candidates in Arizona’s 8th District are about evenly matched in terms of quality and fundraising. Lesko represented much of Arizona’s 8th in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2009 to 2015 and in the state Senate from 2015 until earlier this year, earning the gratitude of her retiree-heavy constituents when she pushed a bill to allow people to drive golf carts alongside regular traffic. Tipirneni is a political neophyte, but she has a good story to tell as an Indian immigrant who became a doctor and cancer researcher.

Neither candidate is an ideological outlier; both champion their party’s usual positions on issues like health care, taxes and guns — although embracing the usual Democratic positions may make Tipirneni an outlier in such a conservative district, which would work to Lesko’s advantage. Both have also weathered mini-scandals: In January, Lesko transferred $50,000 from her state campaign account to a federal PAC working to elect her to Congress, which may violate rules forbidding candidates from coordinating with PACs. Tipirneni has had to deny that a malpractice lawsuit she settled in 2006 was the reason she ended her career as an ER doctor just months later.

On the rubber-chicken circuit, the Democrat has raised the most money, but Republican outside groups are negating that advantage. As of early April, Tipirneni had raised a total of $741,000 and spent $616,000 of it; Lesko had raised $564,000 and spent $511,000. But, starting shortly after the party’s loss in Pennsylvania, GOP outside groups began directing a steady stream of campaign spending to Arizona’s 8th District, adding up to more than $1 million. That may seem like a lot for a supposedly uncompetitive race, but it’s a fraction of the $10.7 million in soft money Republicans anxiously poured into Pennsylvania. An ounce of prevention, they likely reason, is worth a pound of cure. For their part, liberal groups are getting involved in the race only indirectly, if at all.

4. The actual votes

Tuesday may be Election Day, but even as you read this preview, most — some estimates say as many as 80 percent — of the votes in the contest have already been cast. Arizona has a generous early-voting period (and it is well used — we estimate that more than 60 percent of votes in the 2016 election were cast early3

), and no excuse is required to cast an absentee ballot (in fact, Arizona maintains a Permanent Early Voting List, and enrollees are automatically mailed a ballot in advance of each election). As of Monday morning, about 150,000 people had already voted, according to the Arizona secretary of state.

Although those ballots haven’t been counted yet, the data on who submitted them — their age, gender, party, etc. — is public information. Unfortunately for Tipirneni, 49 percent of those who have voted so far are registered Republicans; only 28 percent are registered Democrats. Nearly 60 percent of the electorate so far is age 65 or older.

Normally, we put very little stock in early-voting-based predictions. There are too many places for your train of logic to go off the rails: Registered party members may not be voting for their party’s candidate; we have no idea how registered independents are voting; the people who vote on Election Day might behave completely differently from early voters and drown them out; and so on. However … a 21-point party gap is a huge difference, and there probably aren’t going to be that many more votes cast on Election Day itself. By no means do the early-voting numbers suggest that Tipirneni is doomed, but they’re definitely good for Lesko.

The surplus of early votes will also be a boon to those who follow the results live on Tuesday night. Expect the early vote to be released about an hour after polls close at 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. Eastern Time); since those initial results are expected to constitute the vast majority of ballots, we might know who the winner is right then and there. If not, the truly dedicated can stay up late to watch the Election Day results trickle in on the secretary of state website. Since only one county (Maricopa) lies within the boundaries of the 8th District, we can’t provide our usual county-by-county benchmarks to watch for, but analyst Ryan Matsumoto has put together precinct benchmarks that you can use to get a sense for whether Lesko or Tipirneni is hitting the vote goals she needs.

5. The bottom line

Even if, as expected, Democrats do lose this race, it could still be good news for their prospects in November. The key question to ask is this: How much did Tipirneni outperform partisan-lean-based expectations by? Even if Lesko ends up winning Arizona’s 8th District comfortably, beware of a media narrative that portrays it as good news for Republicans, or at least a reprieve from the recent run of close elections. It makes no sense to compare elections based on the moving target of how close they are; you need a fixed reference point like improvement over base partisanship. Based on FiveThirtyEight partisan lean, an 8-point Lesko win would be exactly in line4

with past special-election results that have pointed to a Democratic wave. If, however, Lesko wins by a margin in the teens — thus holding Democratic overperformance to 12 points or fewer — then perhaps special-election results are beginning to come into agreement with the tightening generic ballot polls; maybe Democrats’ position truly is eroding. Or maybe not — it’s just one data point.

The margin may also influence both parties’ thinking about November’s big U.S. Senate race in Arizona, which could be decisive in the battle for control of the upper chamber.5

Again, this special election will be just one data point, but it will be the first one we have for the Grand Canyon State, which is important because Democratic special-election overperformance has varied widely from state to state. Arizona as a whole has a FiveThirtyEight partisan lean of R+7.5, so theoretically, any Tipirneni overperformance of 8 points or more would bode well for Democrats’ chances to flip Sen. Jeff Flake’s open seat.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything you need to know about Tuesday's Arizona special election for Congress

Ronald J. Hansen, The Republic | azcentral.comPublished 6:00 a.m. MT April 22, 2018

It has been decades since Phoenix's western suburbs have seen a congressional election with any real suspense.

Since 1977, only two people — Bob Stump and Trent Franks — have represented the area in the U.S. House of Representatives. Because of the 8th Congressional District's reputation as a Republican stronghold, Democrats haven't even bothered to put a candidate on the ballot since 2012.

On Tuesday, voting ends in the special election to replace Franks, the veteran House Republican who resigned in December amid a sexual-misconduct scandal. Republican Debbie Lesko is the favorite to replace him because of her party's 17-percentage-point registration advantage in the district.

But at a time when independents, and even some Republicans, nationally are increasingly wary of the GOP, Democrat Hiral Tipirneni has mounted a serious challenge to Lesko.

How close is the race? Recent polls show anything from Lesko winning by 10 percentage points to Tipirneni by 1.

RELATED: Tipirneni outraises Lesko as Arizona's CD8 race enters final stage

The parties and campaigns are dissecting pictures in an effort to gain the upper hand.

Democrats point to photos of Tipirneni drawing hundreds to an event in Sun City, traditionally a conservative area, as a sign of her strength.

Republicans point to a Tipirneni ad showing her in medical scrubs wearing an Apple Watch and note that she hasn't worked as a physician since that device was invented. It was a way to insinuate she quit medicine over a malpractice lawsuit, something she denies.

The battles underscore an intensity usually lacking in this part of Arizona and are another sign that Republicans have anxiety about the coming congressional midterm elections, when the president's party historically loses seats on Capitol Hill. The volatility and chaos of President Donald Trump's first term has contributed to a sense of dread among many in the GOP.

"There are obvious reasons for Republicans to be concerned. The president's approval rating isn't great, (and) special election numbers on the whole are not great for the GOP," said Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Polling on the generic preference for Democrats or Republicans in Congress has improved for the GOP, potentially stabilizing fundraising and helping calm jittery nerves of vulnerable incumbents, Skelley said. All that will get a fresh appraisal after Tuesday.

"In that sense, I can see the outcome (in Arizona) mattering," Skelley said.

Why it matters

The election offers Democrats a long-shot possibility of narrowing GOP control of the House.

But a Lesko win by small numbers, say, less than 10 percentage points, is sure to be an ominous sign about Republican prospects in the fall elections. Right now, Democrats need to win 23 seats to retake the chamber.

"All of these special elections are being nationalized," said John McGlennon, a government and public-policy professor at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. "We see very high levels of voter engagement compared to other midterm election years, and the current nature of our political system, with the high polarization between the political parties, makes everything seem more national in scope."

There have been eight federal special elections across the country since the 2016 elections. Democrats can point to improvement in all of them.

The party posted narrow, stunning victories in an Alabama Senate race and a Pennsylvania House race. Trump won Alabama statewide by 28 percentage points, and he won the Pennsylvania district by nearly 20 percentage points.

Five other races went to Republicans but by smaller margins than the party has seen in recent elections.

Mike Estes, for example, won a special election in Kansas last year by 7 percentage points. His predecessor, Mike Pompeo, who quit the House to join the Trump administration, won that seat by 32 points in 2016.

Similar outcomes played out in South Carolina, Montana and Georgia. In Utah, a third-party candidate also splintered GOP votes in a race there.

In California, Democrats overwhelmingly won a race they easily won in 2016 as well, suggesting the common thread was not rejecting the party of recent incumbents.

Arizona's Republican-heavy 8th District offers another chance — six months from the midterms — to see if Democrats can compete everywhere.

Who did The Republic endorse?

Another sign of the intensity in Arizona revolves around The Arizona Republic.

Both sides have pointed to the newspaper's endorsement of their campaign during the primary election. But those endorsements of Lesko and Tipirneni were made in races against other candidates, not each other, and The Republic's editorial board hasn't made an endorsement for the general election.

Both sides have made it less than clear that The Republic's editorial board did not endorse either of them for the general election. And both sides have accused the other side of misleading voters over the endorsement issue.

Lesko cites The Republic's primary endorsement of her at the top of her list of backers on her website.

An early mailer from the Republican National Committee similarly noted that Lesko is endorsed by The Republic, not clarifying that she was endorsed only for the February primary election.

For her part, Tipirneni ran a TV ad that prominently notes, "The Arizona Republic endorsed her, saying Tipirneni could cut through the vitriol in Congress."

The ad did note that the endorsement appeared Feb. 5, though voters could be forgiven if they didn't know that was for the Democratic primary.

If Tipirneni trumpeted The Republic's view that represented a possible change in Washington, Lesko could point to a similar highlight published the same day.

"What really sets Lesko apart from this right-wing field of candidates is that she enjoys the advantage of actually making things happen — big things," The Republic's endorsement said.

Ballots show heavy GOP presence

Apart from the polls, early voting in the race underscores how it is largely being decided by Republicans.

Nearly half the ballots received through Wednesday came from registered Republican voters, according to figures tracked by the Secretary of State's Office. By comparison, 28 percent came from registered Democrats. The rest came from independents and members of other parties.

Republicans also have had a small turnout advantage over Democrats in the race.

The numbers don't reflect who the voters selected, but suggest many of them consider themselves Republicans.

If everyone voted in line with their party affiliation, Tipirneni would need to win nearly 90 percent of independents to match Lesko's GOP support.

RELATED: Attack ad on Debbie Lesko decried as 'lies'

Democrats are not suggesting they are winning nearly every independent vote, but they do think there's an underappreciated demographic in the race: Republicans crossing over to vote for the Democrat.

If Tipirneni attracted 20 percent of Republicans and won independents by just 10 percentage points, she could lose 10 percent of her party's voters and still be within 5 percentage points of Lesko.

How the party loyalists and independents come down will determine whether the race ends as an underwhelming Republican performance or a Democratic shocker that would reshape Congress even before November's elections.

Republican candidate Debbie Lesko was in the lead after unofficial results were released on Tuesday. She spoke with supporters who had gathered at her home after results were released. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral.com

A tough place for Democrats

The Arizona election comes a month after Democrat Conor Lamb's upset win over Rick Saccone in a usually conservative district in western Pennsylvania.

That district has some superficial similarities to Arizona's 8th District, which has some wondering if Democrats can do it again.

For one, Trump won both districts by 20 or more percentage points. And both special elections became necessary after eight-term Republican incumbents were toppled by sexual-misconduct scandals.

But there are key differences that set the races apart.

Before this year, Republicans were winning in Pennsylvania, but Democrats maintained a voter-registration edge. That suggests that people there were at least open to voting for a Democrat in a way that hasn't happened yet in the Arizona district, where most people register and vote Republican.

That race also featured a third-party choice who collected more votes than the final margin separating Lamb and Saccone. There is no third-party choice on the ballot in Arizona.

Also, Lamb sold himself as a former prosecutor who supported gun rights and personally opposes abortion rights.

Tipirneni is a doctor who calls for a "Medicare for all"-type public option to achieve universal health-care coverage. She favors limited gun-safety reforms and welcomed a student from the Parkland, Florida, high-school massacre to help in the campaign's final weekend.

Republicans keep spending

If those positions put Tipirneni at odds with conservative voters, national Republicans aren't acting like the race is in the bag.

The Republican National Committee has spent $527,000 trying to help Lesko. The National Republican Congressional Committee has chipped in $383,000. The Congressional Leadership Fund, linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has poured $102,000 into the race.

Democrats have notably stayed out of the race, but outside groups supportive of the party have waded in.

The Progressive Turnout Project, for example, has spent $33,000 largely on ground operations. People for the American Way put $17,000 in the race. The AAPI Victory Fund, a group that supports Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, has spent $5,000 to help Tipirneni, who is an immigrant from India.

RELATED: Tipirneni gets backing of group opposed to corporate campaign cash

Campaign-finance reports from earlier this month show that Tipirneni outraised Lesko overall and from those living in the district who gave at least $200.

At the time the reports ended, on April 4, Tipirneni had $125,000 in cash; Lesko had $54,000.

Lesko has reported raising at least another $82,000 since then, mostly from PACs. Tipirneni has reported at least another $50,000, mostly from individuals.

In the final days of the race, Lesko was scheduled to go to Washington for a fundraiser with Ryan, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, was scheduled to come to Arizona to help her raise money.

End Citizens United, a Washington-based political-action committee that helped Democrats raise money in their recent upset wins in Alabama and Pennsylvania, claims to have steered $100,000 to Tipirneni's campaign.

Ady Barkan, a progressive health-care activist whose videotaped pleadings with U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, last year briefly became a viral hit, has formed a group trying to raise money for Democrats, starting with Tipirneni.

RELATED: Democratic activist launches six-figure ad blitz in CD8 race

After Tuesday, both parties will shift their attention to the next race, a special election in Ohio in August, and the November midterms across the country.

Jason Kimbrough, a spokesman for the Tipirneni campaign, offered an early postmortem for the Arizona race that both sides might accept.

"Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday," he said, "the ultimate takeaway for both parties may be to really listen to the voters in that district and not just take a cookie-cutter approach, ripping pages out of the playbook, presuming the party lines will work like they used to."


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( there might also seen be a special election in Texas )

Texas AG Paxton gives Abbott green light on sped-up special election for Farenthold seat

It's unclear when Gov. Greg Abbott hopes to call the election to represent a district ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

by Patrick Svitek April 23, 2018 2 hours ago

Gov. Greg Abbott got the go-ahead Monday from Attorney General Ken Paxton to suspend state law so the governor can call a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, as soon as possible.

Responding to a request from Abbott submitted Thursday, Paxton issued a nonbinding opinion saying a court would agree Abbott could set aside the election rules under a part of Texas law that lets the governor suspend certain statutes if they interfere with disaster recovery. Abbott said last week he wanted Farenthold's former constituents to have new representation "as quickly as possible" because the Coastal Bend-area's Congressional District 27 is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey.

"If the Governor determines the situation in Congressional District 27 constitutes an emergency warranting a special election before November 6, 2018, a court would likely conclude that section 41.0011 of the Election Code authorizes calling an expedited special election to fill the vacancy in that district," Paxton wrote.

Paxton's nonbinding opinion paves the way for Abbott to work around state and federal laws that he said are in conflict and make it "practically impossible to hold an emergency special election ... before the end of September." The governor's office did not immediately say what he planned to do in light of Paxton's opinion.

Farenthold, who had already announced he was not running for another term, suddenly resigned April 6 amid mounting scrutiny over the revelation last year that he used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment accusations in 2015. Democratic and Republican runoffs are currently underway to determine the nominees to fill Farenthold's seat for the full term starting next year.

CD-27 is among several districts that are the focus of a case that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the districts were created in a way that discriminates against minorities and should be redrawn. A lower court agreed, and the high court is hearing Texas' appeal. It's not immediately clear how a Supreme Court ruling against Texas would affect special election plans.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the Republican doesn't win in Texas and Arizona, Trump probably has a problem.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the republican won the Arizona special election although by a smaller margin than normal )

Republican Debbie Lesko wins Arizona special election

By Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call (TNS)
Apr 24, 2018 Updated 7 hrs ago

Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the special election in Arizona’s 8th District on Tuesday night, but by a relatively slim margin in a district that President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016.

With most of the votes counted, Lesko had 53 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office. The seat opened up after former GOP Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Lesko and Tipirneni could face off again in November. Both have said they plan to file to run again for a full term. The primary for that race is Aug. 28.

Ahead of Tuesday’s election, Democrats noted that a single-digit margin of victory for Lesko could indicate trouble in the fall for other Republicans in Arizona and across the country, especially considering Trump carried the district by 21 points.

Tiprineni, a former emergency room physician, raised $740,000 through the first quarter, surpassing Lesko’s haul of $564,000, according to Federal Election Commission documents. The fundraising edge helped her compete on the airwaves with a barrage of spending by outside GOP groups.

Republicans came to Lesko’s aid in hopes of avoiding another Democratic upset, after recent shock special election losses in Alabama and Pennsylvania. Groups including the Republican National Committee; the National Republican Congressional Committee; and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, spent a combined more than $1 million for the GOP nominee.

Lesko was endorsed by the House Freedom Caucus, though not every candidate endorsed by the hard-line conservative group joins its ranks. If Lesko is invited and decides to join, she would be the only woman in the bloc.

Throughout the campaign, the former state legislator stressed her support for Trump’s immigration policies, including building a wall on the Southern border. She also touted her support for the GOP tax overhaul.

Lesko was first elected to the Arizona state House in 2008, later moving to the state Senate in 2014. She served as the Senate president pro tempore until she resigned from the chamber in January to focus on her congressional bid.

She becomes the second Republican woman elected to Congress from Arizona, after Rep. Martha McSally, who is vacating her 2nd District seat to run for Senate. Campaigning with Lesko over the weekend, McSally noted the outsize attention the race had drawn, urging voters to help the former state senator “win big.”


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Republican Debbie Lesko wins Arizona House special election

By Benjamin Brown | Fox News

Debbie Lesko wins special US House election in Arizona

Republicans maintain control of House seat; Alicia Acuna reports.

Republican candidate Debbie Lesko won a special election for a U.S. House seat in Arizona Tuesday night, to replace former Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in December over sexual misconduct allegations.

Lesko, a former state senator, defeated Democrat Hiral Tipirneni to keep the 8th Congressional District seat in Republican control.

National Republican groups funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Lesko in the hotly contested race that spanned heavily conservative areas of western Phoenix suburbs.

“I congratulate Congresswoman-Elect Debbie Lesko and look forward to welcoming her to our conference,” said Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Debbie is a strong conservative whose values truly reflect those of the voters in Arizona’s Eighth District. The NRCC was proud to support her and our targeted and early investments proved to be a difference maker in the race.”

Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump tweeted his support for Lesko, pointing out her stance on border patrol, immigration and crime.

“Time is ticking down -- get out and VOTE today,” the tweet read. “We need Debbie in Congress.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan congratulated Lesko on “her hard-fought victory,” while pointing to the campaign win as a bellwether for the Republican party as they prepare for the midterm elections.

“Her victory proves that Republicans have a positive record to run on this fall and we need to spend the next seven months aggressively selling our message to the American people," Ryan said.

Several Republicans who spoke to the Associated Press said they backed Lesko for her support of the president’s stance on border security, including building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border – which Tipirneni had opposed.

Lesko also criticized Tipirneni, a doctor, for supporting government-run health care. The Republican beat the Democrat by almost six points in a district where Trump won by 20.

Democrats had hoped to extend a string of special election victories that saw them post victories in Alabama and Pennsylvania.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This doesn't seem to have been such a squeaker after all. A 6% margin is closer than might have been expected, but it isn' a close election.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( some devastating news for the democrats , new polls show the Missouri senate race a dead heat and are indicating the democratic incumbent is struggling in a state trump easily won in 2016 . her reasons for struggling seem to be that voters are tired of her and might be looking for someone new )

Polls show Missouri Senate race in dead heat

By Lisa Hagen - 04/30/18 12:57 PM EDT 334comments

Polls show Missouri Senate race in dead heat

© Greg Nash

Two new polls in Missouri show a tight race between Sen. Claire McCaskill

(D-Mo.) and her likely GOP opponent Josh Hawley.

Hawley’s campaign is touting a memo with an internal poll that shows him ahead of McCaskill, 47 percent to 46 percent. Seven percent of respondents were undecided.

A second poll released Monday from Emerson College found McCaskill and Hawley tied at 45 percent each, with 11 percent of voters undecided.

Both polls suggest McCaskill and Hawley are in for a tight race in a state carried by President Trump

in the 2016 presidential contest by 19 percentage points.

The internal poll favoring Hawley by a single percentage point showed him with a lead among independent voters, with 45 percent. McCaskill won 42 percent of independent respondents, while 13 percent were undecided.

Trump wins a positive job approval rating in the poll, at 53 percent. Forty-five percent of those polled disapprove of Trump. The survey also finds Republicans with a 3-point lead — 41 percent to 38 percent — in Missouri’s generic ballot.

The internal poll was conducted by OnMessage from April 16-18 and surveyed 600 likely voters. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.

In the Emerson survey, Trump also has a positive approval rating in Missouri, at 47 percent, compared to 45 percent who disapprove.

The poll found that Hawley is strongly favored to win the GOP nomination in the Aug. 7 primary. He’s nearly 30 points ahead of 2016 libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen.

The Emerson poll was conducted from April 26-29 and surveyed 600 likely voters. The margin of error was 4.2 percentage points.

The circulation of this memo comes after some Republicans are still grumbling about Hawley’s fundraising. Hawley, who's been viewed as a top GOP recruit, brought in $1.5 million in the first three months of 2018, compared to McCaskill’s eye-popping haul of $3.9 million


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The House election will be dictated almost entirely on turn out;
I still feel the Democrats have the enthusiasm advantage, but am happy to be proven wrong.

The Senate situation is quite interesting;
While Arizona and Nevada are potentially in play for the Democrats;

But Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, West Virginia, potentially Montana and now thanks to Rick Scott Florida are all in play for the GOP.

The Senate will likely prove more of a challenge to win back than the House for the Democrats.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ironically, I am more Marxist and more poll-driven than you ... this is the poll that counts (at least in my book). The 'economic' poll. This, plus Kanye ...

United States Unemployment Rate 1948-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar
The US unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in April 2018 from 4.1 percent in the previous month, and below market expectations of 4 percent. It was the lowest rate since December 2000, as 236 thousand people exited the labor force. The number of unemployed decreased by 239 thousand to 6.35 million and employment was almost unchanged at 155.18 million. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.78 percent from 1948 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953.

Besides, who says you are right about the imbalance of enthusiasm? By my calculus, the Democrats have gone from denial to anger, and should now be entering the stage of resignation as a result of $ucce$$ with Korea and China.

A demoralized party.

Internally, the party is in a struggle to wrestle control away from the Clinton crime family, and split between two foaming lefties. The threat of imminent arrests -- and the deals people will make -- must create an intense pressure. The party hierarchy waits to see what will happen.

And if anyone thinks Trump has problems with the Truth, wait until they get a load of Bernie. Both of the foamers are ancient -- Warren is he younger and will be 71 when the campaign starts, and Bernie's age is recorded in tree rings. He is composting before our eyes. Warren is the woman who got to Harvard by claiming Cherokee blood! (She looks more like Hester Prynne.)

They are going into a campaign where Trump's side will start making arrests as the countdown to the election ticks away. Employment is at record levels, and black people are publicly saying ... say, this Trump guy is Oh-Kay ... This will be interesting because I think the tide has turned. Serious insiders are shocked at what has been happening.

I know that the other side is claiming an enthusiasm gap. And they won special elections. But they spent big money doing it. In a way, they nationalized local elections. Can they transfer this to the regular election?

To me, if they aren't demoralized going into this election, they will be when they come out of it.
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2018 - US Midterm Elections

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