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Tags: Paul Begich

Three House Republicans, Running Strong in 2014 Senate Races



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What a mess! The government is shut down, the polling numbers for Republicans are terrible, half the party is at the throats of the other half . . . the hopes for retaking the Senate in 2014 must be lost, right?

In a quartet of polls conducted in the final week of September (before the shutdown) things didn’t look so bad.

Let’s see how bad things look in Alaska . . . 

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for: the Republican 
candidate or the Democratic candidate?


Republican: 45%


Democrat: 35%


Someone Else: 8%


Not sure: 12%

Well, that’s intriguing. Sure, Mark Begich (D., Alaska) will probably run ahead of a generic Democrat, but the narrative du jour is that the shutdown and fight in Washington is ruining the Republican brand.

“But that’s a generic ballot!” Democrats will object. Up against named challengers . . . Begich leads GOP lieutenant governor Mead Treadwell 43 percent to 42 percent, he leads Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan 43 percent to 41 percent, and he leads 2010 Senate candidate Joe Miller 55 percent to 28 percent.

Then in Louisiana:

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for: the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republican: 45%

Democrat: 41%

Someone Else: 4%

Not sure: 10%

Incumbent Democratic senator Mary Landrieu leads Republican representative Bill Cassidy . . . 46 percent to 44 percent. Keep in mind, Cassidy is one of those so-called extremists in the House Republican caucus.

Okay, how about Arkansas?

If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republican 40%

Democrat 37%

Someone Else 2%

Not sure 20%

Head-to-head against GOP representative Tom Cotton (an NR favorite), incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor gets 45 percent to Cotton’s 42 percent. Keep in mind, Cotton is also one of those so-called extremists in the House Republican caucus.

A poll conducted on week into the shutdown found:

In the latest survey of 603 likely Arkansas voters, Pryor leads Cotton 42% to 41% with 17% of voters undecided. The poll, which was conducted on Tuesday, Oct. 8, has a margin of error of +/-4%.

Three incumbent Democratic senators in red states, topping out in the mid-40s; two of whom are up against Republican House members. It’s early, but that’s not a great place to be. Of course, Democrats might chalk that up to an anti-incumbent mood.

So let’s peek in West Virginia, where there will be an open-seat race . . . 

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republican 48%

Democrat 36%

Someone Else 4%

Not sure 12%

Head to head, Representative Shelley Moore Capito, Republican, leads Natalie Tennant, Democrat, 51 percent to 34 percent. And yes, we have another member of the House Republican Caucus, doing well in a Senate race.

So the mess in Washington might be wrecking the GOP’s image . . . but there’s not yet much evidence that the muck is splashing onto those red state Senate challengers.

(Note: This post was edited after initial posting to reflect the dates of the polls.)

Tags: Senate Democrats , Mead Treadwell , Paul Begich , Tom Cotton , Shelley Moore Capito

A Sarah Palin–for–Senate Bid? Oh, Please! Oh, Please!



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Today’s Morning Jolt begins with what could be one of the biggest stories of the 2014 election cycle . . . or just another comment that never amounts to anything:

A Sarah Palin for Senate Bid? Oh, Please! Oh, Please!

This could be big. On the other hand, we’re all familiar with the phenomenon of eagerly anticipating a big-time, endlessly scrutinized, high-stakes campaign from Sarah Palin, only to find out she’s decided against it.

Sarah Palin may not be done with politics after all.

The former Alaska governor, who was also 2008’s GOP vice presidential nominee, said Tuesday she’s contemplating a bid for U.S. Senate against Democrat Mark Begich. He’s up for re-election in 2014.

“I’ve considered it because people have requested me [to] consider it,” Palin told conservative radio host Sean Hannity on his show. “I’m still waiting to see what the lineup will be. And hoping there will be some new blood, new energy. Not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state that come from political families.”

Remember, Obama’s political-activism group, Organizing for Action, has loudly pledged they won’t help Begich at all in 2014 because he voted against the background-check bill. (You’re forgiven for wondering aloud just how many volunteers Organizing for Action has in Alaska, but presumably OfA would be able to steer a lot of donations Begich’s way if they so chose.)

I’m all for a Palin-for-Senate bid; nothing like “Senator Palin of Alaska” and “Senator Liz Cheney of Wyoming” to convince the Left that their world is falling apart. Obviously, she would have enormous fundraising prowess, unparalleled name ID, and her opponent won by about one percentage point over incumbent Republican Ted Stevens, about one month after Stevens was convicted of seven felony counts of failing to report gifts. Sure, a February PPP survey had her trailing Begich considerably, but that’s a theoretical. If nothing else, she would make the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have to spend oodles in Alaska to protect an incumbent.

But it’s tough to get too excited about a Palin bid, considering the number of times she’s made comments that suggested a particular course of action, only to reverse course:

  • Back in September 2010, she sounded like she might run for president: “If nobody else wanted to step up, Greta, I would offer myself up in the name of service to the public.”
  • Then she announced she wouldn’t run . . . but then she later said, “You know, it’s not too late for folks to jump in and I don’t know. Who knows what will happen in the future?”
  • After leaving Fox News in January, she declared, “I encourage others to step out in faith, jump out of the comfort zone, and broaden our reach as believers in American exceptionalism. That means broadening our audience. I’m taking my own advice here as I free up opportunities to share more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation. We can’t just preach to the choir; the message of liberty and true hope must be understood by a larger audience.” And then . . . in June, she signed up with Fox News Channel again.

So if this Senate bid never comes to fruition . . . will anyone be surprised?

Tags: Sarah Palin , Paul Begich

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