The old adage “all politics is local” seems to apply less often than ever. But it may make a comeback in gubernatorial races this year, as a few states that don’t have much swing at the national level have highly competitive races on their hands.
— Even as the number of “crossover” districts in Congress has shrunk, governor’s races have always been a little more independent from national politics. At this point, though, most states we think of as Democratic have Democratic governors, the Republican ones have Republican governors, and the swing states, appropriately, have a mix — with a GOP advantage after the 2010 wave election.
— 2014 could scramble the map, though. In addition to a number of highly competitive battleground state campaigns, some of the most likely governorships to change parties this year are in non-traditional locations. Long-unpopular Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), for example, trails in his own party’s polling against Bruce Rauner (R). Quinn’s made comebacks before, but he’s also never faced an opponent as formidable as Rauner. Meanwhile, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is locked in a tight rematch with Tom Foley (R) — again, according to Democrats’ own polling.
— But Democrats also have good opportunities in a few red states. There hasn’t been a public, live-caller survey in Kansas yet, but almost every robopoll in the past few months has shown state Rep. Paul Davis (D) leading controversial Gov. Sam Brownback (R). And in Georgia, nagging ethics stories continue to weigh down Gov. Nathan Deal (R) in a tough race versus Jimmy Carter‘s grandson, state Sen. Jason Carter (D).
Just a few years back, Democrats held the governorships of Wyoming and Oklahoma, and Republicans held five of six states in New England. We’re not expecting anything quite that dramatic in 2014, but the governor’s map could move back in that direction.
— Scott Bland
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”