POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/11

Reid Blasts Republicans Over Immigration

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) “slammed Republicans for blocking comprehensive immigration reform and told Hispanics they shouldn’t be treated differently because ‘their skin’s a tone darker’ than that of America’s early European immigrants,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Said Reid: “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK. Do I need to say more?”

The Hill notes Reid’s statements “mark the most open assault from a major Democrat on the GOP’s stance on immigration so far this campaign cycle.”

About Last Night

So what do the results from last night’s primaries really mean?

Politico: “President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, who have been starved for good news through much of 2010, finally received a generous helping Tuesday night. Republicans, meanwhile, were left with several new reasons to wonder whether all the favorable national trends showing up in polls are enough to overcome local candidates who are inspiring little confidence about their readiness for the general election 12 weeks from now.”

First Read: “Lost in the White House’s and DSCC’s big win in Colorado, the likely second round of overtime for Republicans in Georgia, and perhaps the Democrats’ best primary night of the year was this key development: The Tea Party won yet another key primary.”

Murray Leads in Washington State

With a week to go until the Senate primary, a new SurveyUSA in Washington finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) leading Dino Rossi (R) among likely voters, 41% to 33%, with Tea Party favorite Clint Didier (R) at 11%.

Only the top two candidates will advance to November’s general election.

Quayle Denies Link to Website

Ben Quayle (R), an Arizona House candidate and the son of former vice president Dan Quayle, denied allegations that he used to write for the Dirty Scottsdale website.

However, the site’s founder tells Politico that Quayle was “one of the original contributors” to the site, which featured sexy photos of women and “chronicled the city’s clubs and nightlife and the predecessor to the popular gossip website TheDirty.com.”

Quote of the Day

“This is a clear abuse of power. This is exactly what thugs do in third-world countries to keep power. Bill McCollum is the Tonya Harding of Florida politics.”

— Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott (R), quoted by the Miami Herald, after being served a subpoena at the podium before starting a speech.

Lamont Loses in Connecticut

Despite leading the Democratic race for Connecticut governor for months, netroots favorite Ned Lamont (D) lost the nomination to Dan Malloy (D) in a stunning upset.

Hartford Courant: “The defeat was a major blow to Lamont’s political aspirations as he has now lost two statewide elections in four years. The entrepreneur burst onto the political stage with his defeat of U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the August 2006 Democratic primary, but he lost to Lieberman in the general election. Lamont, the great-grandson of the partner of the legendary financier J.P. Morgan, spent about $17 million of his own money against Lieberman and another $9 million against Malloy, although the final amount had not been tabulated.”

Second Overtime in Georgia

With 99% of the votes counted in Georgia’s Republican run off for governor, former Rep. Nathan Deal (R) holds a 0.2% advantage over Karen Handel (R) with military ballots still to be counted later this week, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Under Georgia law, the runner-up can request a re-count if the margin is less than 1%.

Republican Establishment Loses in Colorado

Anti-establishment Republicans carried the two biggest primaries in Colorado last night.

In the U.S. Senate race, Tea Party favorite Ken Buck (R) defeated Jane Norton (R) that sets up a general election this fall against an establishment Democrat, Sen. Michael Bennett (D).

In the race for governor, Dan Maes (R) — “an unknown, underfinanced gubernatorial candidate who has never held public office” — defeated former Rep. Scott McInnis (R) for the GOP nomination. He will also face Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (I) in the fall.

The Hotline notes Republicans “are scared of Maes’ unproven candidacy, his own ethical troubles, and fundraising issues. Maes, once a fringe Tea Party candidate, surged into the lead in polls as McInnis’ plagiarism scandal dominated local and national media. Maes didn’t help the GOPers’ confidence when he revealed that he believes the U.N. is involved in a nefarious plot to take over Denver through a bike-sharing program.”

How Bennet Won His First Election

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) won an election for the first time Tuesday night, defeating Democratic primary opponent Andrew Romanoff by a pretty decisive margin, 54% to 46%, despite trailing in polls just last week.

How did Bennet pull it off?

Marc Ambinder: “Romanoff’s ads against Bennet were over-the-top and may have backfired, because the trend was with him a week ago, and Bennet regained his footing in the last few days of the campaign.”

CQ Politics: “In the end Bennet likely benefited from Colorado’s mostly mail-in primary system, which allowed him to better leverage his large cash advantage. Forty-six of Colorado’s 64 counties held only mail-in elections this year and ballots began to be mailed out to voters July 19. Bennet, who outspent Romanoff by over $4 million during the primary, was able to flood the airwaves in the lead up and during the three week period in which voters could send in their ballots. Romanoff meanwhile was forced to mortgage his own house just to find enough money to stay on the air during the final stretch.”

Ben Smith notes that “much of what President Obama did — fund-raising, appearing in an ad and dialing into the tele-town hall meeting — is well known to the poltiical class. But Obama aides went even further, deploying cabinet officials to help Bennet, helping his modeling and GOTV effort and, my favorite, even getting comedian and ally George Lopez to tape a robo-call aimed at the Hispanic community.”

Dayton Avoids Recount in Minnesota

“After an achingly close night touched off fears of a recount,” former Sen. Mark Dayton (D) pulled ahead of Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) in the primary “and now moves on in the race to be Minnesota’s next governor. After midnight, with 98 percent of the vote counted, the former U.S. senator led Kelliher by about 5,000 votes — enough that no recount would be needed,” the Minneapolis Star Tribunereports.

Dayton will face Tom Emmer (R) in the fall election.

Advice for Levi Johnston

Upon hearing news that Levi Johnston wanted his job, Wasilla, Alaska Mayor Verne Rupright tells Entertainment Tonight, “Well, it is a little early to declare. Usually most wait until the year the seat is up.”

He adds: “But since I am nearly old enough to be Levi’s grandfather I think it would be wise for him to get a high school diploma and keep his clothes on. The voters like that!”

Why Democrats Play the Bush Card

A new Public Policy Polling survey of undecided voters finds that 51% think the current state of the economy is still President Bush’s responsibility to only 27% who think it’s President Obama’s, and 55% of them would rather have Obama as President to only 28% who are feeling any Bush nostalgia.

Paul Denies Kidnapping Allegations

In an interview on Fox News, Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul (R) deniedallegations made in a GQ story about his college days, saying “I think I would remember if I kidnapped someone, and I don’t remember. And I absolutely deny kidnapping anyone ever.”

“No, I was never involved with kidnapping, no I was never involved with forcibly drugging people… do we live in an era where people can come forward anonymously and accuse you of things and then all of a sudden I am supposed to spend the rest of the campaign defending myself against anonymous accusers who say I kidnapped them? The story just borders on ridiculous.”

He added: “I think they deserve a lawsuit. The problem is, in our country they make it almost impossible for politicians to win anything… we used to have journalistic ethics in this country… it’s so ridiculous I don’t know where to start.”

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