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Midterm Roundup: So Much For South Dakota?

Memo Pad Politics

Midterm Roundup: So Much For South Dakota?


Here are some interesting stories on the midterm campaigns that you may have missed on Monday, October 27:

• Democratic hopes of pulling an upset in South Dakota’s Senate race appear to be on life support. Three recent polls — from CBS News/New York Times/YouGov, NBC News/Marist, and Argus Leader/KELO — find Republican Mike Rounds regaining his footing over Democrat Rick Weiland and Indepdendent Larry Pressler. Rounds now leads by 12 percent in the Real Clear Politics poll average. Meanwhile, on Monday Weiland accused the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee of sabotaging his campaign, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in his chances of a comeback.

• Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) could be in big trouble if she can’t win over 50 percent on Election Day. A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds Landrieu leading Republicans Rep. Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness in an open contest, 36 to 35 to 11 percent. But if Landrieu and Cassidy advance to a December 6 runoff, as expected, then Cassidy would claim a 48 to 41 percent advantage. He leads by 5.8 percent in the poll average.

• Although the political media viciously attacked Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes for refusing to tell The Courier-Journal’s editorial board whether she voted for President Obama in 2012, it did not stop the paper from endorsing her challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Grimes trails McConnell by 4.4 percent in the poll average, but Grimes is sending in two of the party’s most effective surrogates — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — to campaign for her in the final week of the campaign.

• Desperate to close the gap in Iowa’s Senate race, the DSCC has begun running a tough new ad accusing Republican Joni Ernst of planning to privatize Social Security. Ernst leads by 2.2 percent in the poll average.

• And in one of the stranger stories from a notably odd election cycle, on Monday the New Hampshire Republican Party published an op-ed by former state House Speaker Marshall Cobleigh (R), hammering Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D) energy policies. The twist? Cobleigh has been dead for five years, and many of the issues that he cites — such as “skyrocketing gas prices” — are not quite as pressing as they were when the piece was written in 2008. Shaheen leads Republican Scott Brown by 5 points in the latest poll of the race, and she has a 2.2 percent advantage in the poll average.

Photo: James Bilbrey via Flickr

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Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Dominick Vila October 28, 2014

    Finding comfort in the fact that we are likely to win races in the Northeast and the West Coast does not hide the reality of our circumstances this midterm election. We are likely to lose control of the Senate, and deal with a larger GOP majority in the House, after this election. How is this possible considering all the economic gains we have made, our job creation record, our ability to reduce the Federal government record, the way we dealt with OBL and al-Libby, our ability to end our unfunded crusades, and our efforts to improve the standard of living of ALL Americans?
    There are many reasons for President Obama’s unpopularity, and the perception among most Americans, that our government is heading in the wrong direction.
    I am convinced that that perception has more to do with esoteric issues that are irrelevant to most Democrats, than the realities of our foreign and domestic policies. There are many among us who are offended by the alleged war on women, by our support of gay marriage, by our support of abortion, by President Obama stating that Trayvon Martin could have been his son, by President Obama’s remarks after the tragedy in Ferguson, by our proposal to raise the minimum wage, by our proposal to reform immigration laws, by our opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline construction, by our focus on the environment which is hurting the coal industry, by our efforts to enhance gun control legislation, and by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act among other issues.
    The GOP has managed to hide its dismal foreign and domestic policy record by demonizing issues that most rational people embrace, but that are considered poison in most Southern and Bible Belt states. They managed to pull it off as a result of President Obama’s focus on governance and his ambivalence to political strategy, by a horrendous performance by Democratic strategists and, conversely, because of an outstanding performance by Republican strategists who managed to convince many Americans that policies designed to overcome the economic quagmire we were in 6 years ago, policies designed to improve our standard of living, and reducing our presence in the Persian Gulf are evidence of divisiveness and evil socialism, and many among us are buying it.
    We are not about to lose control of the Senate because of our record, we are going to lose it because of our inability to articulate our successes, and our unwillingness or inability to fight back.

  2. elw October 28, 2014

    I do not think the GOP will be doing as well as they think. Even if they do win the Senate, it will make little difference in what happens – since they will not win enough seats to get anything done, unless they reach those 60 votes they need to over ride vetoes. One good thing, to think about is with the GOP holding the majority in both house will make it clear to everyone exactly who is the cause of a Congress that has won the title of the “least productive in history.” The fact that they fight as much with in their party as they do against the Democrats should be comfort enough to not panic because they cannot even pass bill they designed. In other word even the worse outcome of the election will not mean the end of the world for Progressives or for 2016. Let’s face it even if the Democrats hold the Senate not much will get done in the next two years. It is a dysfunctional Congress and this election will either keep the dysfunction about the same or make it just that much worse. In any regard with a Democrat in the White House any damage will be minimal.


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