SPOTLIGHT

After Tonight, Bleak Forecast for Senate Conservatives

Ben Sasse, republican congressional candidate from Nebraska
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
May 13, 2014, 7:40 a.m.

Let’s, for a mo­ment, look past to­night’s Neb­raska Sen­ate primary. Re­gard­less of wheth­er anti-es­tab­lish­ment fa­vor­ite Ben Sas­se (R) wins or loses, the con­ser­vat­ive groups at his side (Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund and Club for Growth, among oth­ers) have an im­port­ant month ahead of them. And by the looks of things, things aren’t poised to break in their fa­vor.

— The Wall Street Journ­al re­por­ted Monday that the Club had pulled out of its fight against Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID 02), whose primary against at­tor­ney Bry­an Smith (R) oc­curs next week. The Idaho race was ar­gu­ably the main House show­down with­in the Re­pub­lic­an Party this year, and the in­cum­bent looks poised to win a T.K.O. be­fore any­one starts count­ing bal­lots.

— Things look worse for con­ser­vat­ive chal­lengers in Ken­tucky, where a Matt Bev­in (R) vic­tory over Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell (R) would, at this point, re­gister as one of the biggest polit­ic­al shock­ers in years. Re­mem­ber when Bev­in was the rais­on d’etre of some con­ser­vat­ive act­iv­ists and the Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund? (Not­ably, the Club nev­er en­dorsed him.)

— That leaves con­ser­vat­ives ral­ly­ing around state Sen­at­or Chris McDaniel (R) in Mis­sis­sippi, in his match­up against Sen. Thad Co­chran (R). Ex­pect an al­most fer­vent amount of at­ten­tion on that race between now and the June 3 primary ““ the op­er­at­ives plot­ting against the in­cum­bent know he might be the only chance they have left to knock off a cur­rent of­fice­hold­er. Co­chran is still viewed as the fa­vor­ite and is up in the polls, but con­ser­vat­ives con­sider it still very win­nable.

Re­gard­less of to­night’s res­ults or the out­come of the Mis­sis­sippi con­test, ex­pect some soul-search­ing among the lead­ers of the “con­ser­vat­ive es­tab­lish­ment” after this month’s slate of races. There’s a grow­ing re­cog­ni­tion that 2014 is go­ing to be a lot dif­fer­ent than the tea party-in­fused years of 2010 and 2012.
— Alex Roarty

What We're Following See More »
STAKES ARE HIGH
Debate Could Sway One-Third of Voters
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered 'debate persuadables'—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate."

Source:
YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS ANYMORE
Gennifer Flowers May Not Appear After All
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

Will he or won't he? That's the question surrounding Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again threats to bring onetime Bill Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to the debate as his guest. An assistant to flowers initially said she'd be there, but Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway "said on ABC’s 'This Week' that the Trump campaign had not invited Flowers to the debate, but she didn’t rule out the possibility of Flowers being in the audience."

Source:
HAS BEEN OFF OF NEWSCASTS FOR A WEEK
For First Debate, Holt Called on NBC Experts for Prep
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

NBC's Lester Holt hasn't hosted the "Nightly News" since Tuesday, as he's prepped for moderating the first presidential debate tonight—and the first of his career. He's called on a host of NBC talent to help him, namely NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack; NBC News president Deborah Turness; the news division's senior vice president of editorial, Janelle Rodriguez; "Nightly News" producer Sam Singal, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray and political editor Carrie Dann. But during the debate itself, the only person in Holt's earpiece will be longtime debate producer Marty Slutsky.

Source:
WHITE HOUSE PROMISES VETO
House Votes to Bar Cash Payments to Iran
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The House passed legislation late Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from making any cash payments to Iran, in protest of President Obama's recently discovered decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash in January. And while the White House has said Obama would veto the bill, 16 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the measure, 254-163."

Source:
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
×