It’s easy for Democrats to get excited about Michelle Nunn (D): She raises a lot of money, has a last name famous in Georgia, and has had close to a year to build her campaign before the general election. But now that David Perdue (R) has (somewhat unexpectedly) won the Republican Party’s nomination for Senate, it’s time for a reality check. Is a Democrat really going to win in Georgia, and are they really going to do it in 2014? — Democrats haven’t won a Senate or gubernatorial race in Georgia since 2000, when Zell Miller claimed victory. The state’s changing demographics have nudged it toward competitiveness, but President Obama lost handily there in 2008 and 2012. We might soon talk about the Peach State as a presidential battleground, but it’s not quite there yet. — Consider, especially, that it’s a midterm year — when minority participation drops as a share of the electorate — in which Obama’s approval numbers are dismal. A poll commissioned by Democracy Corps and the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund released Tuesday found that in a dozen presidential battlegrounds (including Georgia), the president stood at just 37 percent. — Republicans eyeing the race believe it will be competitive but are confident that Perdue will ultimately prevail. Their big, early general election spending has not yet come to Georgia: No major outside group like the Chamber of Commerce or American Crossroads targeted Nunn in TV ads during the two-month runoff, the perfect time, in theory, to soften her up before the fall. It’s a sign Republicans aren’t feeling threatened by her, at least not yet. Perdue, a former high-flying CEO who Rep. Jack Kingston (R) knocked for living in a gated community, will be vulnerable to the same playbook Democrats so effectively ran in 2012 against Mitt Romney, and it would be foolhardy to write this race off yet. But as this race reaches the general election, it’s hard to consider Nunn anything other than a clear-cut underdog.— Alex Roarty
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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."