The clock is ticking on groups like the Madison Project, Senate Conservatives Fund and ““ to a lesser extent ““ the Club for Growth. Today’s National Journal magazine cover story tracks the GOP establishment striking back in this year’s primaries; the flip side of that story is the relative ineffectiveness of their rebellious conservative counterparts.
— It’s why the primary in Nebraska looms as a major moment in the 2014 campaign. There, after FreedomWorks’ unusual shift, conservative groups are aligned in unison behind Midland University president Ben Sasse against the more establishment-friendly former state treasurer, Shane Osborn. Sasse looks like the favorite right now, although it’s been a competitive race thus far. And if Sasse wins, groups like SCF can likely count on a fundraising victory lap that will spill over into other Senate primaries.
— Other opportunities have petered out. SCF went all in on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s challenger Matt Bevin (R) in a Kentucky race that’s closing with a whimper instead of a bang. (The same goes for Milton Wolf‘s (R) primary in Kansas against Sen. Pat Roberts.) Establishment candidates are on the march in North Carolina and Georgia. Even a candidate like onetime super lobbyist Ed Gillespie (R) in Virginia would seem primed for a challenge from the right; instead, he’s waltzing to the GOP nomination.
— Conservative groups have also lined up behind state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) in Mississippi, but his campaign has been dogged by revelations of a litany of offensive remarks he made as a talk show radio host. If he defeats Sen. Thad Cochran (R), the story might be less about conservative triumph than conservative outside groups giving Democrats, backing former Blue Dog Rep. Travis Childers (D), an outside chance at winning the state.
CFG still has a number of House primaries where they can claim primary victories. But in the Senate landscape, it’s Nebraska or bust.
— Alex Roarty
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
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.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."