Spotlight

For Auld Lang Syne

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: The 14 Days To New Year's '14' unveiling at Times Square Visitor Center on December 17, 2013 in New York City.
National Journal
Julie Sobel, Karyn Bruggeman, Scott Bland and Steven Shepard
See more stories about...
Julie Sobel Karyn Bruggeman and Scott Bland and Steven Shepard
Dec. 23, 2013, 6:45 a.m.

On Fri­day, we shared what we learned in 2013. Today, for our fi­nal is­sue of the year, we look for­ward to 2014 with our Fear­less Pre­dic­tions for the year ahead.

No Sen­ate in­cum­bent will lose a primary: Sen. Thad Co­chran (R-MS) is the most vul­ner­able, with out­side groups lin­ing up quickly be­hind his con­ser­vat­ive chal­lenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). But Co­chran, 76, seemed en­er­gized by the chal­lenge when he an­nounced he’d run again. Sen. Bri­an Schatz (D-HI) faces Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), but Schatz put some dis­tance between the two in third-quarter fun­drais­ing, a sign that he may be con­sol­id­at­ing Demo­crat­ic sup­port. We think former Michigan Sec­ret­ary of State Terri Lynn Land‘s (R) chances to be­come the first Re­pub­lic­an to win a Sen­ate race in Michigan since 1994 are in­creas­ing.

Demo­crats will mount a strong chal­lenge in the Kan­sas gubernat­ori­al race: Gov. Sam Brown­back (R) and con­ser­vat­ives have wrestled con­trol of the state GOP from a cadre of mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­ans in the mold of Bob Dole and Nancy Kasse­baum. An auto­mated-tele­phone poll this fall showed state House Minor­ity Lead­er Paul Dav­is (D) nar­rowly ahead of Brown­back, and that was be­fore a group of mod­er­ates an­nounced they were form­ing a co­ali­tion to op­pose Brown­back’s agenda, with some threat­en­ing to unite be­hind Dav­is. In oth­er GOV races, we think Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn‘s (D) luck holds, and he wins reelec­tion des­pite low ap­prov­al rat­ings. And we think Re­pub­lic­ans un­der­es­tim­ate Texas state Sen. Wendy Dav­is (D) at their own per­il.

Obama’s ap­prov­al rat­ing won’t re­bound with a re­cov­er­ing eco­nomy: The un­em­ploy­ment rate in Novem­ber is at its low­est point in five years, and yet Pres­id­ent Obama re­mains mired in the low 40s. Voters tell poll­sters that the eco­nomy is their No. 1 is­sue, but their per­cep­tions of the eco­nomy are out of line with the over­all data that show grow­ing GDP and shrink­ing un­em­ploy­ment. Blame for that lies with grow­ing in­equal­ity and in­creas­ing po­lar­iz­a­tion.

That’s just a small taste of what we’re ex­pect­ing in 2014. Merry Christ­mas and Happy New Year; we’ll see you back here on Janu­ary 2nd.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
After Wikileaks Hack, DNC Staffers Stared Using ‘Snowden-Approved’ App
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Signal app is fast becoming the new favorite among those who are obsessed with the security and untraceabilty of their messaging. Just ask the Democratic National Committee. Or Edward Snowden. As Vanity Fair reports, before news ever broke that the DNC's servers had been hacked, word went out among the organization that the word "Trump" should never be used in their emails, lest it attract hackers' attention. Not long after, all Trump-related messages, especially disparaging ones, would need to be encrypted via the Snowden-approved Signal.

Source:
WARRING FACTIONS?
Freedom Caucus Members May Bolt the RSC
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Republican Study Committee may lose several members of the House Freedom Caucus next year, "potentially creating a split between two influential groups of House conservatives." The Freedom Caucus was founded at the inception of the current Congress by members who felt that the conservative RSC had gotten too cozy with leadership, "and its roughly 40 members have long clashed with the RSC over what tactics to use when pushing for conservative legislation." As many as 20 members may not join the RSC for the new Congress next year.

Source:
SOME THERAPIES ALREADY IN TRIALS
FDA Approves Emergency Zika Test
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued emergency authorization for a Zika diagnostics test from Swiss drugmaker Roche, skirting normal approval channels as the regulator moves to fight the disease's spread." Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that a new study in Nature identifies "about a dozen substances" that could "suppress the pathogen's replication." Some of them are already in clinical trials.

Source:
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
4 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
×