Spotlight

What to Watch For

McLEAN, VA - NOVEMBER 05: Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Virginia Terry McAuliffe and his son Peter leave a polling station after he casted his vote on Election Day November 5, 2013 at Spring Hill Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. McAuliffe is running against Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the current attorney general of Virginia, to succeed Bob McDonnell to be the next Virginia governor.
National Journal
Josh Kraushaar
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Josh Kraushaar
Nov. 5, 2013, 6:40 a.m.

Elec­tion Day is here, with a split ver­dict ex­pec­ted in the New Jer­sey and Vir­gin­ia gubernat­ori­al races. But even though Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Terry McAul­iffe (D) are heavy fa­vor­ites, re­spect­ively, there are many un­answered ques­tions we’ll be track­ing.

New Jer­sey: Will Christie hit the ma­gic 60% mark? He’s above it in two pub­lic polls re­leased this week, be­low it in two oth­ers. If he does, it would provide the gov­ernor with a power­ful talk­ing point look­ing ahead to 2016. As im­port­ant: Will Christie top 40% among His­pan­ic voters, a key vot­ing bloc in New Jer­sey, and a high-wa­ter bench­mark for George W. Bush‘s 2004 pres­id­en­tial cam­paign? Fi­nally, will New Jer­sey Re­pub­lic­ans pick up the five state Sen­ate seats ne­ces­sary to take over the up­per cham­ber? It’s a long-shot, but read Gov­Beat’s Re­id Wilson for the five races to watch — where the GOP needs a clean sweep.

Vir­gin­ia: McAul­iffe is lead­ing, but will he sweep the sub­urb­an strong­holds? Pay close at­ten­tion to Prince Wil­li­am, Loudoun Cos. (NoVa), Hen­rico and Chester­field Cos. (Rich­mond) and Vir­gin­ia Beach City and Ches­apeake City (Tide­wa­ter). Now-Gov. Bob Mc­Don­nell (R) won all of these counties by double-di­git mar­gins; Ken Cuc­cinelli (R) could lose all of them, ex­cept Chester­field (where Cuc­cinelli’s mar­gins will be a telling bell­weth­er). If that happened, it would sig­nal how off-kil­ter Cuc­cinelli’s mes­sage was to middle-of-the-road voters. Mean­while, pay close at­ten­tion to the AG race. If Mark Her­ring (D) de­feats Mark Oben­shain (R), Dems should hold every statewide of­fice for the first time since the Nix­on ad­min­is­tra­tion in what was re­cently a GOP-friendly state.

Oth­er races to watch: Will the busi­ness com­munity be able to help one of their own, Brad­ley Byrne (R), against an un­der­fun­ded so­cially-con­ser­vat­ive act­iv­ist Dean Young (R) in the AL-01 run­off? How will Wall Street re­act to an an­ti­cip­ated Bill de Bla­sio romp in NYC? In the Bo­ston may­or­al race, will a co­ali­tion of labor and minor­ity sup­port pro­pel Marty Walsh (D) to a come-from-be­hind vic­tory over more-mod­er­ate John Con­nolly (D)? And in Wash­ing­ton state, mil­lions of dol­lars are be­ing poured in­to a bell­weth­er state Sen­ate spe­cial elec­tion — which could of­fer clues about the na­tion­al en­vir­on­ment, and af­fect the bal­ance of power in a di­vided state le­gis­lature.

What We're Following See More »
NEVER TRUMP
USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
40 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."

Source:
COMMISSIONERS NEED TO DELIBERATE MORE
FCC Pushes Vote on Set-Top Boxes
44 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Federal regulators on Thursday delayed a vote on a proposal to reshape the television market by freeing consumers from cable box rentals, putting into doubt a plan that has pitted technology companies against cable television providers. ... The proposal will still be considered for a future vote. But Tom Wheeler, chairman of the F.C.C., said commissioners needed more discussions."

Source:
UNTIL DEC. 9, ANYWAY
Obama Signs Bill to Fund Government
5 hours ago
THE LATEST
REDSKINS IMPLICATIONS
SCOTUS to Hear Case on Offensive Trademarks
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"The Supreme Court is taking up a First Amendment clash over the government’s refusal to register offensive trademarks, a case that could affect the Washington Redskins in their legal fight over the team name. The justices agreed Thursday to hear a dispute involving an Asian-American rock band called the Slants, but they did not act on a separate request to hear the higher-profile Redskins case at the same time." Still, any precedent set by the case could have ramifications for the Washington football team.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Bannon Still Collecting Royalties from ‘Seinfeld’
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at a little-known intersection of politics and entertainment, in which Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon is still raking in residuals from Seinfeld. Here's the digest version: When Seinfeld was in its infancy, Ted Turner was in the process of acquiring its production company, Castle Rock, but he was under-capitalized. Bannon's fledgling media company put up the remaining funds, and he agreed to "participation rights" instead of a fee. "Seinfeld has reaped more than $3 billion in its post-network afterlife through syndication deals." Meanwhile, Bannon is "still cashing checks from Seinfeld, and observers say he has made nearly 25 times more off the Castle Rock deal than he had anticipated."

Source:
×