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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Instead of his usual stump speech, Bernie Sanders tonight threw his support behind Hillary Clinton, providing a clear contrast between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump on the many issues he used to discuss in his campaign stump speeches. Sanders spoke glowingly about the presumptive Democratic nominee, lauding her work as first lady and as a strong advocate for women and the poor. “We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make a great president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight."
In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.
"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.
Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.
The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."