Will FDR comparisons connect Bernie with older voters?


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This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: The president isn’t so sure he would call the FBI if he was approached with information about his political opponents from foreign actors. Or maybe he would. A White House reporter explains the president’s bizarre statement. Also, a 2020 reporter breaks down why Sen. Bernie Sanders is doubling down on democratic socialism. Plus, Mitch McConnell may have benefited from his wife Elaine Chao’s position as the secretary of Transportation. And he’s proud of it! The reporters who broke the story join the Nerdcast.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Biden crushes it in first-day fundraising: $6.3 million


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Joe Biden’s campaign announced Friday that he raised $6.3 million on his first day as an announced candidate, placing him atop the crowded Democratic primary in terms of first-day fundraising totals and quelling doubts about his ability to raise enough money to compete.

His surprising total — Biden has not been a candidate on his own since 2008 — far exceeded expectations set by those who suggested the establishment-oriented politician couldn’t compete in the new world of Democratic campaigns fueled by small-dollar donors.

Biden’s backers had set low expectations in advance, cognizant of how he might appear when measured against the two online fundraising dynamos of former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The former vice president was so concerned about his first-day haul that he made sure to throw a fundraiser, hosted at the Philadelphia home of a Comcast executive, on the day of his Continue reading “Biden crushes it in first-day fundraising: $6.3 million”

Former NRCC executive director Rogers launches consulting firm


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John Rogers, the former executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is launching a new political consulting firm with veteran ad-maker Jason Meath.

The new firm, Torchlight Strategies, will offer political ad-making and general consulting services to Republican clients and will also seek some public affairs work.

The business launch marks a new chapter for Rogers, who spent eight years at the NRCC, culminating in his two-year stint as executive director, the committee’s top staffer, in 2017 and 2018. Meath’s political record includes making ads and videos for candidates and outside groups in House, Senate and gubernatorial campaigns across the country in the last two decades, as well as President Donald Trump’s 2016 convention and 2017 inauguration.

Torchlight’s website promises to “illuminate” winning paths for political candidates, and Rogers said in an interview that his experience at the NRCC will inform the new firm’s approach — especially his history Continue reading “Former NRCC executive director Rogers launches consulting firm”

Gillibrand plans Trump NYC hotel speech, makes 2020 bid official


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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will deliver a speech in front of the Trump International hotel in New York City next Sunday as she launches the next phase of her presidential campaign.

The New York Democrat released a video Sunday morning announcing that she is officially running for president, after starting an exploratory committee two months ago.

The video kicks off a busy campaign week for Gillibrand, who will participate in an MSNBC town hall event in Michigan on Monday. Gillibrand also has stops scheduled in Iowa and Nevada before returning to New York at the end of the week.

Gillibrand’s video focuses on a litany of progressive policy goals, including universal health care, paid family leave and the “Green New Deal,” and touts the senator’s vote against the bank bailouts of 2008 and her work to change how the military prosecutes sexual assault.

Gillibrand has also been a leader of the Continue reading “Gillibrand plans Trump NYC hotel speech, makes 2020 bid official”

O’Rourke ‘not … proud’ of teenage murder fantasy writing


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‘WASHINGTON, Iowa — Beto O’Rourke said Friday he is “not … proud” of fiction he wrote as teenager about murdering children, while acknowledging its surfacing could hurt his campaign.

“Stuff I was part of as a teenager … not anything that I’m proud of today,” O’Rourke told reporters outside a meet-and-greet here. “And I mean, that’s the long and short of it.”

O’Rourke’s remarks followed a report in Reuters that O’Rourke, as a young member of the computer hacking group Cult of the Dead Cow, wrote an online article about how society could work without money and, in a more disturbing missive, about killing children.

“One day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles. … This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams,” he wrote, according to Reuters. Continue reading “O’Rourke ‘not … proud’ of teenage murder fantasy writing”

Former DCCC executive director Sena launches consulting firm


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House Democrats’ top political strategist during last year’s midterm elections is opening a new consulting firm with a longtime collaborator, resisting entreaties to sign up with a 2020 presidential campaign.

Dan Sena, who was executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as the party netted 40 House seats and flipped the majority in 2018, has co-founded Sena Kozar Strategies with Scott Kozar, a Democratic media consultant who has been a principal at the New Media Firm for the last eight years, working on now-Rep. Xochitl Torres Small’s (D-N.M.) campaign, among others, last year.

The midterm results had Democratic presidential campaigns inquiring after Sena’s services. But Sena was inspired to open a rare Hispanic-owned and -operated political consulting firm, the two men told POLITICO in a joint interview.

“You work your way through jobs. You get an opportunity to run things, as a Hispanic — the hope has Continue reading “Former DCCC executive director Sena launches consulting firm”

Warren raised $299K online on launch day of exploratory committee


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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) raised over $299,000 online the day she launched her presidential exploratory committee, according to a new Federal Election Commission filing that provided the first look at her campaign fundraising.

A POLITICO analysis of the year-end filing from ActBlue, the online fundraising platform used by Warren and most other Democratic campaigns, shows more than 8,000 donations earmarked to Warren’s exploratory committee streaming in on Dec. 31, after she released a video announcing her campaign that morning. That works out to an average donation of about $37.

The numbers are the first official glimpse at Democratic fundraising in the 2020 presidential race, along with a filing from former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro’s campaign showing he raised over $220,000 in December. But they significantly trail Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-Calif.) January campaign announcement that she raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours after Continue reading “Warren raised $299K online on launch day of exploratory committee”

Population boom could remake 2020 map


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<![CDATA[
MIAMI — A handful of presidential battleground states experienced a population explosion over the past year, altering the landscape in at least three key states that stand to play a pivotal role in the 2020 election.

Those population shifts are poised to have a tangible impact in 2020 — with demographic shifts cementing Florida’s premier swing-state status, vaulting Arizona onto the list of 2020 swing states and perhaps putting Nevada further out of reach for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

Both the year-over-year changes and the longer-term trends this decade point to a transformed electoral map in 2020 — shaped both by population shifts and the Trump-enhanced realignment that has come to define modern politics. The population shifts could have even more material impacts after 2020, when the decennial reapportionment process will remake the House of Representatives in 2022 and the Electoral College for the 2024 presidential election.

New Census Continue reading “Population boom could remake 2020 map”

Republicans are in a shutdown pickle


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<![CDATA[

It’s time for a new episode of Nerdcast, POLITICO’s podcast on the White House and politics. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter.

Subscribe and rate the Nerdcast on Apple Podcasts.

Datapoint: Eight. Eight days to go until a partial shutdown of the federal government, unless Congress and the White House can figure out some sort of deal to keep things funded.

POLITICO reporting referenced in this segment:
GOP leaders plot votes on border wall as shutdown looms
Trump uses French terrorist attack to advance push for border wall funding
Trump jams Republicans with shutdown vow

Datapoint: Three. President Trump is heading into his third year in office looking for his third chief of staff. It’s the big story at the White House this week, after the president said the current Chief of Staff Continue reading “Republicans are in a shutdown pickle”

Sinema lead grows again as Arizona Senate vote count continues


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<![CDATA[
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has expanded her lead over GOP Rep. Martha McSally in Arizona after another day of ballot-counting in the state’s Senate race.

Sinema stretched her lead to 28,688 votes on Saturday evening as officials in the two most-populous counties, Maricopa and Pima, counted tens of thousands more absentee ballots, though that margin could shrink slightly if smaller counties where McSally has an edge report new totals later Saturday evening. Sinema now has 49.5 percent of the vote to McSally’s 48.2 percent, with hundreds of thousands more votes still left to count.

Sinema and McSally are vying to succeed Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who announced last year that he would retire instead of running for reelection after clashing with President Donald Trump. The state has not elected a Democratic senator since 1988, but the campaign was hard-fought, attracting more than $50 million in outside spending from Continue reading “Sinema lead grows again as Arizona Senate vote count continues”

House Dem candidates snag free rent


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<![CDATA[
House Democrats have exploited campaign finance law to pay rent for dozens of campaign offices used by their candidates in 2018 — an arrangement that’s further padded the party’s massive financial advantage in the midterms even as Republicans cry foul.

A number of House Democratic candidates haven’t paid a dime to rent the buildings where they based their campaign operations, according to a POLITICO review of Federal Election Commission records. Others rented space earlier this year but suddenly stopped some or all of the payments after winning their primaries. In their place, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee picked up the tab — paying over $1 million in office rent to property managers and LLCs in 22 states over the past two years, the committee’s FEC reports show.

The spending on 52 offices around the country, known internally as DCCC “Battlestations," comes from a special fund established under a 2014 law Continue reading “House Dem candidates snag free rent”

DCCC raises $100 million online in massive midterm haul


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<![CDATA[
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised over $100 million online in the 2018 election cycle — a massive haul that has helped fuel Democrats’ drive to retake the House majority.

The DCCC passed the nine-figure mark on Tuesday, one week out from Election Day, with an average donation of $19, according to a committee aide. The committee had raised $67 million online by this point in the 2016 election, its previous record year.

The digital total comprises about 40 percent of the $250 million the DCCC has raised in total for the 2018 election as of its latest FEC report.

“The outpouring of support from grass-roots donors has allowed us to invest in over 80 races, fund an unprecedented $30 million base engagement and turnout campaign, and hold Republicans accountable every step of the way,” Julia Ager, the DCCC’s chief digital officer, said in a statement.

The DCCC has Continue reading “DCCC raises $100 million online in massive midterm haul”

Whose Kavanaugh vote is going to hurt them the most?


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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It’s time for a new episode of Nerdcast, POLITICO’s podcast on the White House and politics. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter.

Subscribe and rate the Nerdcast on Apple Podcasts.

Datapoint: 2. As in two years left on Sen. Susan Collins’ term.

POLITICO reporting referenced in this segment:
GOP colleagues defend Murkowski after Trump broadside
Collins defends Kavanaugh vote, dismisses 2020 concerns
Dems line up to take on Collins after Kavanaugh vote

Datapoint: 209. Democrats are steadily gaining ground toward erasing the 23-seat margin and ending eight years of GOP control. There are now 209 seats either firmly or leaning in the Democratic column … only 9 shy of the 218 needed to win control.

O’Rourke raised over $9M online in August


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) raised nearly $9.1 million online for his Senate bid in August, according to a recent campaign-finance filing, increasing the pressure on GOP Sen. Ted Cruz in an unexpectedly close race.

The online haul puts O’Rourke on pace to have one of the most prolific fundraising quarters of any Senate candidate in history, excluding self-funders. In the past two months, O’Rourke has raised nearly $12 million online — already more than the eye-popping $10.4 million he brought in from April through June of this year. By comparison, Cruz raised $4.1 million in the second quarter of this year and $13.2 million from January 2017 through June 2018, according to his latest campaign finance report.

Cruz has led in most polls of his reelection campaign in Texas, which has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988. But O’Rourke has kept close to Continue reading “O’Rourke raised over $9M online in August”

Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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New Hampshire Democrats nominated former state Sen. Molly Kelly as their gubernatorial candidate Tuesday, setting up a tough general election against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

Only one New Hampshire governor in nearly a century has lost reelection after their first two-year term. But that governor was also the previous Republican to hold the office, and Kelly’s backers are hoping antipathy toward President Donald Trump and off-the-charts enthusiasm among the Democratic base can overcome Sununu’s early popularity.

Kelly had 66 percent of the Democratic primary vote to former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand’s 34 percent when the Associated Press called the primary with 18 percent of precincts reporting.

Sununu had a 61 percent approval rating in an August poll of the state conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, which showed him with a double-digit lead over Kelly. But Democrats believe those numbers could shift in the intensity of the Continue reading “Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu”

Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




New Hampshire Democrats nominated former state Sen. Molly Kelly as their gubernatorial candidate Tuesday, setting up a tough general election against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

Only one New Hampshire governor in nearly a century has lost reelection after their first two-year term. But that governor was also the previous Republican to hold the office, and Kelly’s backers are hoping antipathy toward President Donald Trump and off-the-charts enthusiasm among the Democratic base can overcome Sununu’s early popularity.

Kelly had 66 percent of the Democratic primary vote to former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand’s 34 percent when the Associated Press called the primary with 18 percent of precincts reporting.

Sununu had a 61 percent approval rating in an August poll of the state conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, which showed him with a double-digit lead over Kelly. But Democrats believe those numbers could shift in the intensity of the Continue reading “Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu”

Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




New Hampshire Democrats nominated former state Sen. Molly Kelly as their gubernatorial candidate Tuesday, setting up a tough general election against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

Only one New Hampshire governor in nearly a century has lost reelection after their first two-year term. But that governor was also the previous Republican to hold the office, and Kelly’s backers are hoping antipathy toward President Donald Trump and off-the-charts enthusiasm among the Democratic base can overcome Sununu’s early popularity.

Kelly had 66 percent of the Democratic primary vote to former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand’s 34 percent when the Associated Press called the primary with 18 percent of precincts reporting.

Sununu had a 61 percent approval rating in an August poll of the state conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, which showed him with a double-digit lead over Kelly. But Democrats believe those numbers could shift in the intensity of the Continue reading “Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu”

Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




New Hampshire Democrats nominated former state Sen. Molly Kelly as their gubernatorial candidate Tuesday, setting up a tough general election against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

Only one New Hampshire governor in nearly a century has lost reelection after their first two-year term. But that governor was also the previous Republican to hold the office, and Kelly’s backers are hoping antipathy toward President Donald Trump and off-the-charts enthusiasm among the Democratic base can overcome Sununu’s early popularity.

Kelly had 66 percent of the Democratic primary vote to former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand’s 34 percent when the Associated Press called the primary with 18 percent of precincts reporting.

Sununu had a 61 percent approval rating in an August poll of the state conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, which showed him with a double-digit lead over Kelly. But Democrats believe those numbers could shift in the intensity of the Continue reading “Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu”

Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




New Hampshire Democrats nominated former state Sen. Molly Kelly as their gubernatorial candidate Tuesday, setting up a tough general election against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

Only one New Hampshire governor in nearly a century has lost reelection after their first two-year term. But that governor was also the previous Republican to hold the office, and Kelly’s backers are hoping antipathy toward President Donald Trump and off-the-charts enthusiasm among the Democratic base can overcome Sununu’s early popularity.

Kelly had 66 percent of the Democratic primary vote to former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand’s 34 percent when the Associated Press called the primary with 18 percent of precincts reporting.

Sununu had a 61 percent approval rating in an August poll of the state conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, which showed him with a double-digit lead over Kelly. But Democrats believe those numbers could shift in the intensity of the Continue reading “Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu”

Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu


This post is by Scott Bland from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




New Hampshire Democrats nominated former state Sen. Molly Kelly as their gubernatorial candidate Tuesday, setting up a tough general election against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

Only one New Hampshire governor in nearly a century has lost reelection after their first two-year term. But that governor was also the previous Republican to hold the office, and Kelly’s backers are hoping antipathy toward President Donald Trump and off-the-charts enthusiasm among the Democratic base can overcome Sununu’s early popularity.

Kelly had 66 percent of the Democratic primary vote to former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand’s 34 percent when the Associated Press called the primary with 18 percent of precincts reporting.

Sununu had a 61 percent approval rating in an August poll of the state conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, which showed him with a double-digit lead over Kelly. But Democrats believe those numbers could shift in the intensity of the Continue reading “Democrats nominate Kelly to face New Hampshire Gov. Sununu”