Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) remains vulnerable, with Quinnipiac University polls for the past six months showing voters divided on his job performance. But another statewide race is emerging as congressional Democrats suffer following the rocky rollout of the health care law, according to the new Q poll: The percentage of voters who disapprove of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall‘s job performance has been climbing since the spring, and he now appears to face a tougher reelection battle than previously thought. Once again, Colorado looks like a battleground state, as it was in the presidential race in 2012 and 2008, and in the 2010 Senate race.
— Udall’s approval rating now stands at 44% approve/44% disapprove. While the percentage of voters who approve of Udall’s performance is steady from early June, the percentage who disapprove rose from 31% in the late spring. As a result, his reelect is upside down, and he holds only a 3-point lead over 2010 nominee Ken Buck (R). Hickenlooper, meanwhile, is in similar shape. He holds mid-single-digit leads over the GOP crop of candidates, but more voters say he doesn’t deserve reelection.
— Colorado Republicans have two big opportunities, but it’s less clear that they have the candidates to capitalize on them. Buck and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) remain popular among the GOP base, the Q poll shows. But roughly 2-in-5 voters say they haven’t heard enough about the two to form an opinion, and Democrats won’t lack for TV-ad fodder if one or both is on the statewide ticket.
— Udall is the more interesting case. He has gone to great lengths to distinguish himself from President Obama on two issues: health care and government surveillance. Still, it’s clear that Obama’s abysmal approval rating — 36%, down 7 points from June — is weighing on Udall’s reelection prospects.
Democrats — even including those in second-tier seats without impressive Republican opposition, like Udall — are hoping that Obama’s sinking approval ratings represent the nadir for their party, and not the first signs of a rising wave against them. They have a lot riding on the continuing implementation of the health care law, and, if things don’t turn around soon, flawed GOP opposition might not be enough to save them.
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- 5 How Politics Breaks Our Brains, and How We Can Put Them Back Together
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”