Conservative Intelligence Briefing Coverage of Conservative Political Candidates and Campaigns. Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:04:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Senate Could Flip on Immigration Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:04:08 +0000 Conservative Intel Among the nine toss-up states for control of the US Senate, Colorado features a neck and neck fight between sitting Senator Mark Udall and Republican Congressman Cory Gardner. Immigration could be the defining issue.

With the border crisis still flaming, Colorado is among the many states feeling the heat. Though not a border state with Mexico, Colorado’s illegal immigrant population is disproportionately high compared to neighboring states.

Like many of his Democrat Senate colleagues, Udall is faced with having supported the president and many of his unpopular policies. On the other hand, Gardner’s chances may hinge on his voting record in the House which is decidedly anti-amnesty.

Analyst say the turnout among the state’s electorate both in terms of numbers and demographics could decide the fate of the candidates. Latinos have an historically low turnout in midterm elections. With voter intensity among Republicans pointing to a high turnout, a Gardner victory could decide ultimate control of the Senate.

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Hagan On the Downswing Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:15:19 +0000 Conservative Intel As the battle for control of the U.S. Senate rages on with just under 11 weeks to go before the election, news just isn’t getting any better for Democrats.

With polls showing consistently that 9 states are in the ‘toss-up’ category, campaigns are getting more aggressive and increasingly vitriolic. Among those toss-ups is North Carolina’s Senate seat held by Democrat Kay Hagan.

The state has increasingly been seen as purple as it flip-flops between Democrat preference in presidential politics but more Republican-leaning in congressional and state politics. Enter the most recent poll by Public Policy Polling on the matchup between Hagan and her Republican opponent Thom Tillis.

Hagan’s previous 7-point lead in earlier polls has been reduced to a 4-point lead, just outside the margin of error. Additional the Libertarian candidate, Sean Haugh, commands 8% of the vote, most of which would go to Tillis if Haugh were not in the race.

Harry Reid blasted Tillis and the support he has received from the Koch brothers, “They think they have enough money to buy America. Not only with the U.S. Senate, not only with the House of Representatives, but with the constitutional offices, as well.”

North Carolina is among Mitt Romney’s many campaign stops in the coming weeks which could give Tillis a critical boost both among Independent voters and in the turnout for Republicans. Like the other 8 toss-ups states, this race could easily come down to which party turns out its core voter base.

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Poll: Dems Have Edge on 2016 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:52:01 +0000 Conservative Intel It is no secret that President Obama’s increasingly dismal approval ratings are doing no good for the Democrat brand, and it explains why Democrat candidates – specifically those trying to hold on to their U.S. Senate seats in this cycle – are running away from the president and in the direction of Republicans.

Nevertheless, a most recent Quinnipiac University NY poll shows that the Democrat brand is still tops among voters in New York in terms of the outlook for the 2016 presidential race.

In a virtual matchup between Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, Clinton wins easily with 54 to Christie’s 34 percent. What’s more, embattled and scandal-marred NY Governor Andrew Cuomo beats Christie 47-37.

Christie offers the best showing for Republicans in the Empire State, in which the poll also showed Hillary beating Jeb Bush 60-29 and Rand Paul 61-30. Similarly Cuomo beat them both also by 55-30 and 55-31, respectively.

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Women Could Determine Senate Control Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:19:28 +0000 Conservative Intel With the potential flip of the U.S. Senate in November on everyone’s minds, the ultimate outcome could come down to women voters and whether they approve of the women candidates.

Of the 9 toss-up states, over half include a female candidate. Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Sen. Jean Shaheen in New Hampshire are fighting to hold on to their seats.

Likewise, female challengers including Michelle Nunn (D) in Georgia, Natalie Tennant (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R) in West Virginia, Joni Ernst (R) in Iowa, Alison Grimes (D) in Kentucky, and Terri Lynn Land (R) in Michigan are fighting either to unseat incumbents or to win an open seat.

With the majority of the Democrat candidates taking money from the well-funded pro-abortion PAC, Emily’s List according to AP’s Phillip Elliot, the races will almost certainly include appeal to Democrat constituencies on the issue of abortion.

This cycle is unprecedented with the number of female candidates for U.S. Senate. With women voters showing a historical pull toward female candidates, male candidates are increasingly stepping up the emotional appeals to counteract the advantage.

Perhaps what bodes well for Republicans, however, is that turnout among women in midterm elections is skewed heavily in favor of married women who more often than not vote with their husbands. Appealing to traditional values that align with pro-family culture could be a determining factor in these races.

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Romney Buzz Continues Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:47:25 +0000 Conservative Intel Romney continues blazing the campaign trail on behalf of Republican midterm candidates around the nation, which continues to fuel speculation about his ultimate motivation.

At a recent event in W. Virginia while campaigning for a handful of November candidates, Romney was inundated with questions about whether he’ll run for president again. He insisted, as he has for months, “I’m not running. I’m expecting to be getting behind some good people or a good person who will be [the Republican nominee].”

But some say that a growing swell of support could prompt him to reconsider. Before her inaugural run for public office, Hillary Clinton insisted she wouldn’t seek the U.S. Senate seat in New York. But after reportedly being begged to run, she relented.

Supporters say Romney could do the same. In the void of leadership that has been created by President Obama, 2016 presents an opportunity for someone with leadership credentials to step in and assume the mantle.

During his W. Virginia comments, Romney mused, “I was not a big fan of the president’s policies, as you know, either domestically or internationally, but the results of his mistakes and errors, in my opinion, have been more severe than even I would have predicted.”

Among Romney’s campaign stops are New Hampshire, Iowa and Florida on behalf of other Republican midterm candidates. And his choice of venues in early primary states continues to fuel speculation.

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Rick Perry Booked Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:27:01 +0000 Conservative Intel Rick Perry remains supremely confident in the face of the grand jury indictment handed down last week for alleged corruption in the exercise of his executive authority as governor of Texas.

On Tuesday, Gov. Perry formally turned himself in at the Travis County courthouse as he was fingerprinted and photographed, wherein he commented:

“I’m here today because I believe in the rule of law, and I’m here today because I did the right thing. I am going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing that the actions that I took were not only lawful and legal, but right.”

Perry’s arraignment is scheduled for Friday, but the governor plans not to attend given his packed campaign schedule as he continues crisscrossing the country stumping for Republican midterm candidates.

Since the announcement of the indictment, Perry has received more media attention and bipartisan support than in previous months combined this year. Assembling at dream team of legal titans, Perry is expecting victory in the case.

Should he prevail, his position as a champion for the rule of law and as a fighter against political corruption could help his efforts to rebrand after his failed bid in 2012. Rick PAC has already produced a TV ad which paints Perry as a crusader for justice as it shows video clips of the convicted district attorney fighting law enforcement officers.

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Al Franken: Not Funny Anymore Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:08:10 +0000 Conservative Intel Former Saturday Night Live star turned politico, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) won his seat in the U.S. Senate by a razor-thin margin of 312 votes in 2008 after a protracted recount against Norm Coleman and in a year when Democrat candidates could ride the coattails of the first black president.CIB082014-Franken3

But tables have turned in 2014 with a national electorate that is decidedly not keen on the Obama presidency, nor on anyone who is seen as a champion of the administration’s policies. With the most recent polls showing a clear majority against Obamacare, anyone associated with the president’s now-notorious signature legislature is increasingly a pariah.

That might explain why Franken, previously known for his outspoken and outlandish rhetorical style, has been laying low and saying little says Peter Sullivan for The Hill. Speculation is that saying anything will only draw attention to his defense of Obama and his lackluster record.

In Minnesota, arguably one of the few ‘purple states’ where neither party has any clear advantage, Franken may be vulnerable. According to a Suffolk University poll in April, only 43% of Minnesotans approve of the president. And his Republican opponent, Mike McFadden, aims to exploit that political reality.

Larry Jacobs, University of Minnesota political scientist, explained, “Al Franken’s gonna have a fight on his hands. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. What [Republicans] want is McFadden to be a passive, pleasant receptacle for anti-Obama votes.”

With fewer than three months remaining in the campaign, Franken has shown a consistent double-digit lead in the polls. But McFadden’s campaign is getting increasingly aggressive on Franken’s record and points out that Coleman had a similar lead going into the 2008 election before ultimately losing to Franken.

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Values Voters Left in the Cold? Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:42:58 +0000 Conservative Intel Values Voters are starting to voice concern for the path to the White House coming into the final leg of the midterm elections reports the Washington Post. Leaders say they’re not represented well in the current crop of potential candidates.

Gary Bauer, head of the Campaign for Working Families and former presidential candidate, explained that Values Voters “have been treated as the stepchildren of the family, while the party has wanted to get on with so-called more electorally popular ideas. The Republican base will not tolerate another candidate foisted upon us as a guy who can win.”

The Values Voter Summit, held annually to hear from ‘values leaders’, conducted a 2016 straw poll in September 2013. Ted Cruz took the top spot at 42% with Ben Carson and Rick Santorum both tying for 13%.

The 2014 Summit is set for next month for which confirmed speakers include Huckabee, Cruz, Carson, Paul, Perry, Rubio and Santorum. Conspicuously absent from the roster, however, are Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.

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Mary Landrieu Flying Off Course Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:47:34 +0000 Conservative Intel With fully nine Senate seats up for grabs on November 4th, the balance of control in DC is teetering. And the final outcome could come down to a plane ticket.

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is in a fight for her political life with polls showing her down. The state’s election rules are an oddity among other states. Referred to by politicos as the ‘jungle general’, multiple candidates per party can run in November after which the top two vote-getters go head to head in a December run-off.

According to a CNN report, Landrieu spent $3,200 of taxpayer money on charter flights that were largely for campaign purposes. The campaign blamed a vendor for improper billing. But it was later revealed that her office was reimbursing another $5,721 for additional flights to Dallas for a fundraiser.

With the two Republican candidates easily combining for over 50% of the vote, Landrieu’s campaign is sweating. Now, her improprieties concerning campaign travel expenses are increasing the heat.

The lead Republican candidate isn’t missing the opportunity. Bill Cassady fired:

“Sen. Landrieu’s disregard and abuse of taxpayer money is unacceptable and, reportedly, illegal. She should return all the taxpayer money she has spent on charter flights, open up her travel logs for further review to ensure there are not more violations, and apologize to American taxpayers immediately.”

Making matters worse, the LA GOP points out that the state’s other senator always flies commercial and is questioning Landrieu’s use of chartered flights, according to USA Today. Should the race for control of the U.S. Senate come down to Landrieu’s seat, the outcome of the midterm elections may not be fully known until after Thanksgiving.

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MT Dems Choose Replacement Candidate Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:34:33 +0000 Conservative Intel Montana Democrats have officially reloaded after the calamitous downfall of Sen. John Walsh. Walsh’s plagiarism scandal brought national attention to the race to fill the seat vacated by Senator Max Baucus after the his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to China.

Easily making the August 20 deadline to replace Walsh, Montana Democrats tapped state Representative Amanda Curtis, a math teacher by profession, to take the open spot on the November ballot.

This selection officially pits Rep. Curtis against Congressman Steve Daines in the November 4th midterm election. In the days preceding Walsh’s announcement to end his campaign, Daines was leading in most polls by double-digits.

With limited name ID and a small campaign warchest, Curtis has an uphill battle to overtake Daines with roughly 11 weeks remaining in the midterm cycle. Montana is considered by most as an easy pickup for Republicans on the road to retaking the Senate.

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