Politico’s Martin reports, moving to “preempt concerns from restive social conservatives,” ex-Gov. Terry Branstad’s (R) camp “is blasting out” an email and robo-calls “which tout the social conservative credentials” of his new running mate, state Sen. Kim Reynolds (R).
Branstad mgr. Jeff Boeyink, in a 6/24 email to delegates slated to attend the 6/26 GOp convo: “Kim is a pro-life, pro-family, pro-taxpayer, limited government conservative.” The robo-call “makes the same case.”
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The “quick effort” by Branstad’s camp to assure social conservatives comes as the state GOP’s longstanding divide between its establishment and movement wings “appears to be the main threat” to Branstad’s hopes. The selection of Reynolds “has not been warmly received by at least one influential” IA conservative.
Radio show host Steve Deace, “who hosts a radio talk show” on Des Moines’s WHO, noted that he was getting emails from conservatives concerned about Reynolds’ views on property rights and predicted that her selection would not mollify Vander Plaats’ backers (6/24). Meanwhile, Politico’s Burns reports, ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) PAC has sent a new $10K donation to Branstad’s camp, “doubling Romney’s previous contribution to Branstad” (“Morning Score,” 6/25).
IA State Univ. prof. Steffen Schmidt said the selection of a running mate doesn’t always have an impact since most voters focus on the top of the ticket. But Schmidt said But this year, “It matters a lot.”
Schmidt: “Branstad had to make a really tough decision. … Vander Plaats will scare off a lot of independents. There are a lot of Democrats who say they will vote for Branstad … so I think (Branstad) decided, ‘I’m going to pick someone who won’t do any damage,’ and that was the No. 1 decision” (Hayworth, Sioux City Journal, 6/24).
Meanwhile, LG Patty Judge (D) on 6/24 “welcomed” Reynolds to the race, “then immediately needled her for a lack of statewide experience.” Judge: “Her stay in the Iowa Senate has been relatively short, and we really have not had a real good opportunity to hear her views on many of the issues that Gov. Culver and I feel will be important in this race” (Forgrave, “Iowa Politics Insider, Des Moines Register, 6/24). Judge also said she looked forward to meeting Reynolds in face-to-face debates (Boshart, Cedar Rapids Gazette, 6/25).
Des Moines Register’s Obradovich writes, the Branstad camp “managed the rollout with its usual finesse.” Reynolds “appeared poised and confident, but maybe a little nervous. She was prepared but not so polished as to seem artificial.”
Reynolds “said the right things” about being a conservative: She’s pro-life, pro-family, believes in traditional marriage and wants Iowans to have a right to vote on same-sex marriage. She’ll “also have to be more forthcoming” about her personal history. Branstad mentioned Reynolds had overcome adversity in her life, but she brushed aside a question without specifically addressing her two drunken-driving arrests. She said that’s been well-publicized (6/25).
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The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, on which Donald Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women, "Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania," where Hillary Clinton now leads. Jennifer Duffy writes that she now expects Democrats to gain five to seven seats—enough to regain control of the chamber.
"Of the Senate seats in the Toss Up column, Trump only leads in Indiana and Missouri where both Republicans are running a few points behind him. ... History shows that races in the Toss Up column never split down the middle; one party tends to win the lion’s share of them."
"Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump. Just two weeks before Election Day, five Republicans―Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican running for an open seat that’s currently occupied by his brother―contend that certain commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee provide false or misleading information by connecting them to the GOP nominee. Trump is so terrible, these Republicans are essentially arguing, that tying them to him amounts to defamation."
Former Illinois GOP Congressman Aaron Schock "recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago." Schock resigned from Congress after a story about his Downton Abbey-themed congressional office raised questions about how he was using taxpayer dollars.