SPOTLIGHT

Breaking Down Tuesday’s Senate Primaries

Thad Cochran (R-MS) listens during a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 9, 2009.                                                                                                                                                                                
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
June 4, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

Tues­day’s primary res­ults are in ““ well, sort of any­way. We’re still await­ing a fi­nal count on the much-hyped Mis­sis­sippi battle between Sen. Thad Co­chran (R) and Chris McDaniel (R), but most oth­er mar­quee res­ults are com­plete. Here’s what we found in­ter­est­ing:

It’s a run-off in Mis­sis­sippi. Bar­ring some wholly un­ex­pec­ted late re­turns, McDaniel and Co­chran will square off again in three weeks after neither earned a ma­jor­ity of the vote (though both got very close). It’s ob­vi­ously not the worst-case scen­ario for the six-term sen­at­or, but the res­ult should non­ethe­less deeply worry Co­chran sup­port­ers. Long­time in­cum­bents aren’t dragged to a run-off un­less voters have ser­i­ous ques­tions about their cam­paign. It’s hard to con­sider McDaniel (who will also be­ne­fit as the state’s strange blog­ger scan­dal fades from head­lines) any­thing oth­er than a fa­vor­ite the next three weeks, es­pe­cially if the me­dia be­gins ag­gress­ively ques­tion­ing Co­chran’s aptitude after a re­veal­ing, hard-hit­ting At­lantic story about the sen­at­or sug­ges­ted he has a weak grasp on his own agenda.

— State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) was ex­pec­ted to fin­ish first in the Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an primary in Iowa, but nobody pre­dicted she’d end up well north of 50 per­cent. That’s a big boost of mo­mentum for a can­did­ate who ““ while cer­tainly vi­able ““ still prompts a few private doubts among Re­pub­lic­an op­er­at­ives about her read­i­ness. Still, Iowa is a purple state with an open seat in a tough na­tion­al cli­mate for Demo­crats. It’s clearly a pick-up op­por­tun­ity for the GOP, in the same cat­egory of oth­er second-tier op­por­tun­it­ies like Col­or­ado and New Hamp­shire.

— Oth­er than per­haps Allyson Schwartz (D), the year’s most dis­ap­point­ing can­did­ate might be mil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Mark Jac­obs (R) in Iowa. Des­pite a big cash ad­vant­age, he some­how man­aged to fin­ish be­low even un­der­fun­ded ra­dio talk show host Sam Clo­vis (R). What’s es­pe­cially strange is polit­ic­al neo­phytes with a big wal­let ““ Tom Wolf (D) in Pennsylvania, Dav­id Per­due (R) in Geor­gia, and most re­cently an­oth­er Tues­day primary win­ner Tom Ma­cAr­thur (R) in New Jer­sey ““ have oth­er­wise had a strong start to 2014.

One quick note on House races: Demo­crats ap­pear to have qual­i­fied a can­did­ate for the gen­er­al elec­tion in lib­er­al-lean­ing CA-31 in Pete Aguilar  (D), something they couldn’t man­age in 2012. (This is a dis­trict Obama car­ried twice.) But the fact that dis­aster nearly struck again, even though the DCCC and oth­er groups were pain­fully aware of the dangers, sug­gest that Cali­for­nia’s top-two primar­ies will con­tin­ue caus­ing trouble for Demo­crats un­less they ad­just their strategy in situ­ations like this — per­haps to in­clude massive spend­ing like Demo­crat­ic out­side groups did on Ju­lia Brown­ley‘s (D) be­half in CA-26 two springs ago.

— Alex Roarty and Jack Fitzpatrick

What We're Following See More »
TO VISIT US TROOPS
John McCain Paid Secret Visit To Syria
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Senator John McCain paid a secret visit to Northern Syria over the weekend during his trip abroad. McCain reportedly went "to speak with American officials and Kurdish fighters leading the charge to push ISIS militants out of Raqqa, the jihadist group’s stronghold." The trip was organized with the help of U.S. military.

Source:
‘MORE WITH LESS’
Trump Budget to Call for Major Cuts
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration will deliver its first budget to Congress in mid-March, and the president confirmed Wednesday it will contain major cuts for federal agencies." The blueprint, expected to be released in mid-March, will not include the kinds of specifics usually seen in White House budgets, but rather will instruct the heads of agencies to "do more with less."

Source:
DEFERENCE TO PRESIDENT
More Republicans Trust Trump than GOP Members
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
PAC WILL TARGET INCUMBENTS
Sanders Acolytes Taking the Movement Local
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"While Democrats nationwide have put the focus on President Trump, the Sanders wing of the party has engaged in an intramural fight to remake the party in a more populist, liberal mold." From Washington state to California to Florida, Sanders loyalists are making good on their promise to remake the party from the ground up. And just last week, a "group of former Sanders campaign aides launched a super PAC with the explicit goal of mounting primary challenges to Democratic incumbents."

Source:
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login