Chris McDaniel (R) “rode his campaign bus around Mississippi on Monday” making a last-minute pitch to voters ahead of Tuesday’s run-off against Sen. Thad Cochran (R). The state senator, who walks in to today’s race the favorite, framed his battle as the start of a “conservative revival” for the country.
“‘You can feel it can’t you?’ McDaniel told supporters at a rally. ‘The country is waking up. The conservative movement has awakened.’”(Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
Regardless of the outcome Tuesday, Republicans in Mississippi are dealing with the “bitter reality” that “the larger battle for power within the” state GOP “is only just beginning” with more statewide elections on the way in 2015.
“Win or lose this week, conservatives here predict that Mississippi’s state elections in 2015 will bring another reckoning for the party. The reality that McDaniel has come so close to unseating Cochran may herald a larger-scale shift in culture for a state where seniority has long been king.”
State Sen. Michael Watson: “‘If Chris is victorious, and I think he will be on Tuesday, it’s a game-changer and you look at your options.’” (Politico)
TURNOUT TOUGH TO PREDICT: “Around midday Monday, the Secretary of State’s Office released county-by-county absentee balloting, touching off another round of tea leaf reading. Cochran appears to have the advantage there with an increase in absentee balloting in the counties he won. Whether it is a predictor of turnout in an otherwise unpredictable race remains to be seen.” (Sun Herald)
RACE RELATIONS: “Race is roiling” the runoff in Mississippi, “a state with a long history of divided politics where the GOP is mostly white and the Democratic Party is mostly black,” and the conflict is spilling into allegations that McDaniel supporters are trying to prevent African-Americans from voting.
The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, FreedomWorks, and Senate Conservatives Fund have hired “former Justice Department attorney, J. Christian Adams” to oversee the results, and FreedomWorks says it will send “several dozen” poll watchers to voting stations Tuesday.
Adams: “‘Election integrity is essential, and Mississippi has a long, documented and tragic history of lawlessness in elections. The outcome of the runoff should be determined by who gets the most votes, not by who manipulates the system the best.’”
“Asked if the Justice Department is watching this year’s runoff, Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said in an email: ‘The department is aware of concerns about voter intimidation and is monitoring the situation.’ Voters who experience problems are encouraged to report them, she said.” (AP)
BIG MONEY: How much has been spent in this race? $17 million, “a mind-boggling figure in a state without one media market among the nation’s top 50.” (Sunlight Foundation)
What We're Following See More »
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."