SPOTLIGHT

August Primaries Endanger Incumbents

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) (L) participates in a ceremonial swearing in event with Vice President Joe Biden, in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill, on December 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Schatz is filling the late Sen. Daniel Inouye's (D-HI) seat in the Senate.
National Journal
Scott Bland
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
July 25, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

After next week, primary sea­son will re­kindle for its last stretch be­fore every­one can fi­nally fo­cus en­tirely on the gen­er­al elec­tion. And the first week back could end up be­ing the most dan­ger­ous primary week of the year for in­cum­bents.

— Two House in­cum­bents are more likely to lose than not: Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) and Scott Des­Jar­lais (R-TN). But don’t write them in­to any broad­er pat­tern. Bentivolio, who was the only oth­er Re­pub­lic­an on the bal­lot in MI-11 when Thad Mc­Cot­ter‘s frad­u­lent nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions were thrown out, is the defin­i­tion of an ac­ci­dent­al con­gress­man, while the 2012 rev­el­a­tions that Des­Jar­lais had sexu­al re­la­tion­ships with co-work­ers and med­ic­al pa­tients and pres­sured one to have an abor­tion des­troyed his stand­ing with Re­pub­lic­ans. Both at­trac­ted very well-fun­ded chal­lengers with busi­ness and es­tab­lish­ment GOP sup­port.

— Oth­er in­cum­bents up at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust are bet­ter-po­si­tioned, though some still face po­ten­tially dif­fi­cult chal­lenges. Ex-Rep. Todd Ti­ahrt‘s (R) KS-04 comeback at­tempt also de­fies polit­ic­al pi­geon­hol­ing. Many of the groups back­ing Rep. Mike Pom­peo (R) had few ideo­lo­gic­al quibbles with Ti­ahrt while he was in Con­gress, per their vote score­cards, but they’re stick­ing with the in­cum­bent. Both can­did­ates are ac­cus­ing the oth­er of cronyism, and Pom­peo is us­ing Ti­ahrt’s ser­vice against him by at­tack­ing him over ear­marks. Mean­while, most still ex­pect Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) to win re­nom­in­a­tion, but phys­i­cian Milton Wolf (R) hasn’t faded as far as people thought after his X-ray con­tro­versy.

— Then, in Hawaii‘s tra­di­tion­al Sat­urday primary, there’s the lone big Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate primary of the cycle, pit­ting ap­poin­ted Sen. Bri­an Schatz (D) against Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D), who wanted that ap­point­ment in the first place and was backed by late Sen. Daniel In­ouye. That race and Gov. Neil Aber­crom­bie‘s (D) con­tested primary are stud­ies in con­trast among Hawaii Demo­crats, high­light­ing eth­nic dif­fer­ences, gen­er­a­tion­al dif­fer­ences, and a long-term ideo­lo­gic­al shift with­in the state party.

Only two con­gres­sion­al in­cum­bents have lost primar­ies this year (though as we’ve noted, that by it­self isn’t a full meas­ure of in­cum­bent strength and weak­ness). As primar­ies re­start, that fig­ure could go up fast.
— Scott Bland

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
19 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
21 hours ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
22 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
1 days ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login