Conservative Intelligence Briefing Coverage of Conservative Political Candidates and Campaigns. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:10:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 #LASen: New AFP ad slams Landrieu over Obamacare Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:07:00 +0000 David Freddoso This ad features an Iraq War veteran who lost his insurance because of Obamacare and had to pay more as a result:

h/t Chris Stirewalt.

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#ORSen: The most pro-life ad a pro-choice candidate can cut Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:42:25 +0000 David Freddoso Oregon Right to Life has endorsed Jason Conger for the GOP Senate nomination against the preferred establishment candidate, Dr. Monica Wehby. Wehby has stated that she believes abortion “should be a personal choice.”

But then here’s Wehby’s new ad, which is getting rave reviews. It’s a great ad in its own right, but you have to think it was cut with the thought of minimizing that issue’s impact to whatever extent she can.

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#NESen: Cruz endorses Sasse Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:52:11 +0000 David Freddoso Ted-Cruz-wins_BTTed Cruz endorsed Midland University president Ben Sasse today in Nebraska’s open-seat GOP primary.

The Sasse campaign issued this statement from Cruz: 

“I have gotten to know Ben Sasse, and while Nebraskans have good choices, Ben is the strongest conservative voice running for United States Senate. Ben will not be just another vote in the Senate – he will be a leader in the fight to stop the Obama agenda and repeal ObamaCare from day one. We need strong reinforcements like him in the United States Senate.”

Sasse’s campaign announced that Cruz will be joining the candidate, Mike Lee, and Sarah Palin at a rally in North Platte on Friday. This endorsement, coming after those others, could provide a boost in the final three weeks of the campaign — election day is May 13.

The crowded primary has not been polled in some time — our poll from February showed Sasse having moved from an asterisk last spring to nipping at the heels of the early frontrunner, former State Treasurer Shane Osborn. 

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Republicans are finally starting to do better with Republicans Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:33:57 +0000 David Freddoso Hillary Clinton’s numbers are at their lowest point in six years, according to a new FOX News poll that was released last week. This is interesting, but politicians’ numbers rise and fall, and it’s a long way to 2016.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake observed, and I agree, that the Republican Party’s apparent revival is the more interesting result in this poll — not just the fact that it’s happening, but how it’s happening:

It shows Americans are now evenly split — 45 percent to 45 percent — on the GOP. As recently as October, the same poll showed just 30 percent of Americans viewed the GOP favorably, compared to 63 percent unfavorable…

The reason for the GOP’s improved numbers has a lot to do with its own supporters coming home. While just 62 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of their own party in October, 84 percent now say they like their party.

Independents have improved their view of the GOP, with 30 percent viewing it favorably — up from 14 percent in October.

This hews to a principle I pointed out last year. Republicans tend to have lower ratings as a party than Democrats precisely because Republicans are more critical of their own party. And the more conservative they are, the more critical they tend to be, even if they intend to vote Republican in the end. Otherwise, based on the poll numbers Republicans typically post as a party, you would have expected the entire GOP to collapse long ago.

This political asymmetry has been demonstrated in national polls again and again, and it’s been especially pronounced ever since the October government shutdown. Here’s my post on the matter, complete with an excellent fingerpaint drawing from yours truly. The damage inflicted by the shutdown was universal, and among Republicans double-edged. After a few months of Obama taking hits over his signature health care law, disgust with the GOP seems to be receding as well.

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#VA10: A very low-turnout affair in one of America’s most politically savvy districts Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:28:19 +0000 David Freddoso CaptureVa. Delegate Barbara Comstock is favored to win this Saturday’s firehouse primary for the GOP nomination to replace Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va, but it’s going to be close. The low-turnout nature of the affair and a high number of undecided voters could result in a surprise.

This unique Saturday election, for which there are only ten polling places in the entire Congressional District, will be a very low-turnout affair that will be decided by just a few thousand voters. Comstock’s overwhelming five-to-one fundraising lead over her nearest GOP opponent means little in this context — the six-way race could prove very close — the winner might get as few as 2,500 votes out of 750,000 or so eligible voters.

Candidates will be working desperately to get their family and friends to the polls, using whatever shoestring methods are available. Television advertising is practically useless in this sort of race, just given the small crowd to which one must appeal. Candidates are personally calling likely voters to persuade them — something that simply could be done in a normal congressional primary.

Here’s a little low-budget video put out by Rob Wasinger, one of the other candidates who served as chief of staff to Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.:

Wasinger is just one of several candidates challenging Comstock from the Right. Out of these, Del. Bob Marshall is the best known, but has lagged in fundraising; former HUD advisor and Americans for Prosperity COO Stephen Hollingshead has raised more money than anyone except Comstock; Wasinger has the largest number of small donors, which could be an unusually important number in this race.

The winner will likely take on Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, D, in a suburban D.C. district that was very fond of Wolf but has only the slightest Republican lean.

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#ID02: New ad: I’m a conservative who fights insurance companies Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:00:48 +0000 David Freddoso Bryan Smith, the Club for Growth-backed challenger to Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has an interesting spin with this new ad. There’s nothing inconsistent about a conservative railing against insurance companies, but this demonstrates how a Republican trial lawyer can market himself as the scourge of both Obamacare and the insurance companies.

Will this be effective in a GOP primary? That’s another question entirely. Idaho Republicans have been sending Mike Crapo, a trial lawyer, to the Senate for some time, so it’s probably not too much of a turnoff.

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#MISen: War on women? Yeah, whatever Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:14:37 +0000 David Freddoso Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, R, has a pretty good ad out pushing back against the Democrats’ “War on Women” meme. A mother and an accomplished professional woman like her can certainly throw it right back in their faces of a liberal male opponent:

Comments by Matt Lewis.

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Today is election day in #FL19 Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:13:39 +0000 David Freddoso CaptureIt’s been a bitterly negative race with two SuperPACs and one wealthy self-funder filling the airwaves with ads. Today is the primary election to replace Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., in an overwhelmingly Republican southwest Florida seat. 

Curt Clawson, who got some huge early publicity with the unusual purchase of a light-hearted Super Bowl ad, has spent $2.8 million, most of it his own money, beating his nearest opponent’s campaign 3-to-1. Leveling the playing field somewhat is the fact that he’s also had $900,000 in negative SuperPAC ads thrown at him. In all, more than $5 million has been spent on this race, a majority of it by Clawson. 

A PPP poll released Friday by local WINK News has Clawson, a former auto-supply business executive and NCAA basketball star, with a large lead over the other three candidates in the race:

With 38 percent of respondents saying they’d vote for him, Clawson received double the support of second-place candidate Lizbeth Benacquisto (19 percent), who was nearly neck-and-neck with Michael Dreikorn (18 percent) and Paige Kreegel (17 percent).

Another survey from St. Pete Polls shows him with a very narrow lead against Benacquisto, a conservative state senator who has the Susan B. Anthony List putting in $50,000 to get out the vote: 

 Benacquisto:         25.5%
Clawson:               29.8%
Dreikorn:               11.0%
Kreegel:                21.3%
Undecided:           12.3%

The biggest difference between the two polls is that one shows Benacquisto not only in close contention, but also with some daylight between herself and the also-rans below her. The big surprise is how competitive Dreikorn appears to be. He has spent only $15,000, and only about $10,000 in outside money has gone toward helping him. 

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‘Access shock’ prompts WA bureaucrats to ban narrow insurance networks Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:44:47 +0000 David Freddoso CaptureGet ready: The Affordable Care Act is about to become even more unaffordable:

The practice of offering relatively inexpensive health plans with bare-bones provider networks has created tension between making health care affordable and keeping it accessible. It’s set to come to a head this week in Olympia.

The growth of “narrow networks” in Washington comes as the Affordable Care Act limits the ability of insurance companies to control their costs. That’s made it harder to offer plans at a range of prices — something the companies want to do as they compete for comparison shoppers on the health exchanges.

What this means is that “access shock” is starting to pinch people, and the politicians are getting worried. Commit this next paragraph to memory — it sums up the history of liberalism. 

Many companies figured out they could sell cheaper plans that offer consumers fewer choices of where to get care. That caught some consumers, and Washington’s insurance commissioner, by surprise.

The fact that this has “surprised” anyone is grounds for them to be removed from office for incompetence. If insurers can’t set dollar caps or offer plans that don’t cover absolutely everything (such as plans without maternity coverage for older folks), they have to raise prices. In an industry that’s lucky to enjoy at 4 percent profit margin, it’s as simple as that. And it isn’t much different for non-profit insurers. All this means is that fewer middle class people will be able to afford insurance. Premiums in Washington are already up 21 to 44 percent, depending on your age.

It’s the circle of life: Government reacts to the problems it causes with solutions that are sure to make the problem even worse.

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Crist on abortion: It doesn’t get much more weasely than this Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:49:13 +0000 David Freddoso Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor who is now running as a Democrat to get his old job back, said during an appearance during the 2010 primary that he was a “pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax conservative.” In a local TV interview yesterday, Crist explained that when he said he was “pro-life,” he actually meant he was “for life,” which actually means “not pro-life.” Whatever he believes now, this at least suggests that pro-lifers were right not to trust him then.

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