Republicans have long been bullish about their chances of taking back the Senate this year but are perhaps more excited right now about their prospects in gubernatorial races.
Phil Cox, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, says Senate candidates across the map are benefiting from strong gubernatorial candidates in their states, and four may even get a boost from candidates who are running ahead of them.
“Of the 36 governors’ races, we have 25 U.S. Senate races that overlap,” Cox said Wednesday. “Unlike in 2012, when candidates were distancing themselves, the candidates are reinforcing each other.”
Cox gushed about the RGA’s fundraising haul in the second quarter and the $70 million it has ready to deploy. He said the group plans to spend $100 million in the last 100 days before the election.
“This cycle, there are four states where governors are running ahead of Senate candidates and will help them — Iowa, Michigan, Georgia, and Arkansas,” Cox said.
Cox’s logic is based on polling that shows Republicans Terry Branstad, Rick Snyder, Nathan Deal, and Asa Hutchinson faring better with voters than Joni Ernst, Terri Lynn Land, Michelle Nunn’s two potential challengers in Georgia, and Tom Cotton.
Ernst has long owed some credit for her position to the help of Branstad, who has invested in making her the state’s first woman elected to national office. And Land, who has been dragging in the polls, could potentially benefit from Snyder, who looks comparatively more assured in his race for reelection against Democrat Mark Schauer.
Deal and Hutchinson may poll ahead of the respective Senate candidates, but the high-profile races in the battle for control of the upper chamber will more likely benefit the governors.
Nonetheless, it’s a unique situation that offers both sides a chance to benefit from another strong candidate. These races include some of Republicans’ top recruits, who still need all the help they can get.
What We're Following See More »
"Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will score another high-powered Republican endorsement on Wednesday, according to a campaign aide: retired senator John Warner of Virginia, a popular GOP maverick with renowned military credentials."
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday "heard several hours of oral arguments" over the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan rules. The 10-judge panel "focused much of their questioning on whether the EPA had overstepped its legal authority by seeking to broadly compel this shift away from coal, a move the EPA calls the Best System of Emission Reduction, or BSER. The states and companies suing the EPA argue the agency doesn’t have the authority to regulate anything outside of a power plant itself."
"Spending by super PACs tied to Donald Trump friends such as Ben Carson and banker Andy Beal will help make this week the general election's most expensive yet. Republicans and Democrats will spend almost $28 million on radio and television this week, according to advertising records, as Trump substantially increases his advertising buy for the final stretch. He's spending $6.4 million in nine states, part of what aides have said will be a $100 million television campaign through Election Day."
Monday night's debate may have inspired some in Congress, as Senate Minority Leader has decided to take a stand of his own. Reid is declining to allow a vote on a "bipartisan bill that would bolster U.S. spectrum availability and the deployment of wireless broadband." Why? Because of a "broken promise" made a year ago by Republicans, who have refused to vote on confirmation for a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission to a second term. Harry Reid then took it a step further, invoking another confirmation vote still outstanding, that of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.