SPOTLIGHT

Lee Terry’s Declining Returns

None

with Rep. Ed Whitfield (2R), R-KY, and Rep. Bobby Rush, D-IL, during a meeting of the House Rules Committee on Capitol Hill on May 21, 2013 in Washington. The committee met to discuss legislation to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian tar sand oil to refineries in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. 
National Journal
Scott Bland
May 14, 2014, 7:40 a.m.

Ben Sas­se (R) swept aside his chal­lengers to take the Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate nom­in­a­tion in Neb­raska and Pete Rick­etts (R) eked out the gubernat­ori­al nom­in­a­tion, her­ald­ing change in the state’s top of­fices. An­oth­er primary res­ult may have fore­shad­owed more change in the fu­ture: Rep. Lee Terry (R) is not look­ing se­cure in NE-02.

— Terry took just 53% in the GOP primary Tues­day night, run­ning head-to-head against un­der-fun­ded, little-no­ticed chal­lenger Dan Frei (R). It’s the third suc­cess­ive primary Terry’s vote share has dipped. Over the last few terms, his con­gres­sion­al vot­ing scores from a few groups like the Club for Growth and the Amer­ic­an Con­ser­vat­ive Uni­on have also de­clined, though Terry’s stand­ing with the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce, for ex­ample, has re­mained steady.

— Mean­while, Demo­crats are clos­ing in on his oth­er side. Terry’s dis­trict has got­ten more com­pet­it­ive in gen­er­al elec­tions, as Pres­id­ent Obama high­lighted by nar­rowly win­ning NE-02’s elect­or­al vote in 2008. After win­ning his first four races with 60% or more, Terry has cleared 55% once in the last four gen­er­als, and he won by less than 2 per­cent­age points in 2012.

— Present weak­ness be­gets fu­ture trouble. Some of the can­did­ates and strategists watch­ing anti-GOP in­cum­bent chal­lenges in ID-02 and TX-04 this year had been eye­ing Rep. Mike Simpson‘s (R) and Rep. Ral­ph Hall‘s (R) primary un­der­per­form­ance for some time be­fore mak­ing bet­ter-or­gan­ized chal­lenges in 2014. And while Demo­crats had some well-pub­li­cized re­cruit­ing is­sues in NE-02 last year, the next pres­id­en­tial year could be an en­ti­cing draw for a new chal­lenger — as­sum­ing Terry’s for­tunes don’t con­tin­ue fall­ing this Novem­ber.

As Terry said last night, he won, and “that’s the ma­jor is­sue.” But his mar­gins don’t have much more room to de­cline in vic­tory, and they may be at­tract­ing fu­ture op­pon­ents.
— Scott Bland

What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
ARE YOU THE GATEKEEPER?
Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago
THE LATEST

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.

×