Spotlight

For Auld Lang Syne

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: The 14 Days To New Year's '14' unveiling at Times Square Visitor Center on December 17, 2013 in New York City.
National Journal
Steven Shepard, Scott Bland, Karyn Bruggeman and Julie Sobel
See more stories about...
Steven Shepard Scott Bland Karyn Bruggeman and Julie Sobel
Dec. 23, 2013, 6:45 a.m.

On Fri­day, we shared what we learned in 2013. Today, for our fi­nal is­sue of the year, we look for­ward to 2014 with our Fear­less Pre­dic­tions for the year ahead.

No Sen­ate in­cum­bent will lose a primary: Sen. Thad Co­chran (R-MS) is the most vul­ner­able, with out­side groups lin­ing up quickly be­hind his con­ser­vat­ive chal­lenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). But Co­chran, 76, seemed en­er­gized by the chal­lenge when he an­nounced he’d run again. Sen. Bri­an Schatz (D-HI) faces Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), but Schatz put some dis­tance between the two in third-quarter fun­drais­ing, a sign that he may be con­sol­id­at­ing Demo­crat­ic sup­port. We think former Michigan Sec­ret­ary of State Terri Lynn Land‘s (R) chances to be­come the first Re­pub­lic­an to win a Sen­ate race in Michigan since 1994 are in­creas­ing.

Demo­crats will mount a strong chal­lenge in the Kan­sas gubernat­ori­al race: Gov. Sam Brown­back (R) and con­ser­vat­ives have wrestled con­trol of the state GOP from a cadre of mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­ans in the mold of Bob Dole and Nancy Kasse­baum. An auto­mated-tele­phone poll this fall showed state House Minor­ity Lead­er Paul Dav­is (D) nar­rowly ahead of Brown­back, and that was be­fore a group of mod­er­ates an­nounced they were form­ing a co­ali­tion to op­pose Brown­back’s agenda, with some threat­en­ing to unite be­hind Dav­is. In oth­er GOV races, we think Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn‘s (D) luck holds, and he wins reelec­tion des­pite low ap­prov­al rat­ings. And we think Re­pub­lic­ans un­der­es­tim­ate Texas state Sen. Wendy Dav­is (D) at their own per­il.

Obama’s ap­prov­al rat­ing won’t re­bound with a re­cov­er­ing eco­nomy: The un­em­ploy­ment rate in Novem­ber is at its low­est point in five years, and yet Pres­id­ent Obama re­mains mired in the low 40s. Voters tell poll­sters that the eco­nomy is their No. 1 is­sue, but their per­cep­tions of the eco­nomy are out of line with the over­all data that show grow­ing GDP and shrink­ing un­em­ploy­ment. Blame for that lies with grow­ing in­equal­ity and in­creas­ing po­lar­iz­a­tion.

That’s just a small taste of what we’re ex­pect­ing in 2014. Merry Christ­mas and Happy New Year; we’ll see you back here on Janu­ary 2nd.

What We're Following See More »
STAYING RELEVANT TIL 2020?
Rubio May Run for Reelection After All
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SOCIAL ISSUES ROIL CONGRESS AGAIN
LGBT Amendment Sinks Energy and Water Approps
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

The House voted down the otherwise uncontroversial Energy and Water appropriations bill Thursday after Democrats succeeded in attaching an amendment affirming LGBT job discrimination protections for military contractors. More than 40 Republicans supported the amendment, but when it came to vote on the bill, 130 Republicans joined all but six Democrats to sink the bill. Speaker Paul Ryan said Democrats voting against the bill after securing the amendment shows their intention was to scuttle the process. Democrats, however, blamed other so-called poison-pill amendments for their votes against the bill. Nonetheless, Ryan said he intends to continue the appropriations process.

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
SCREENING DELAYS
70,000 Have Missed American Airlines Flights This Year
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday. A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours."

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
×