Tight Race for Virginia Governor

A new Quinnipiac poll in Virginia finds a close race for governor with Terry McAuliffe (D) just edging Ken Cuccinelli (R), 40% to 39%.

With Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling running as an independent, the race stays tight with McAuliffe and Cuccinelli tied at 34% and Bolling at 13%.

PPP poll yesterday found McAuliffe with a solid lead.

Liberals Pledge to Remake American Politics

Mother Jones reports that a month after President Obama won reelection, “top brass from three dozen of the most powerful groups in liberal politics met at the headquarters of the National Education Association, a few blocks north of the White House.”

“At the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign around three goals: getting big money out of politics, expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation. The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues–potentially, a coalition of a kind rarely seen in liberal politics, where squabbling is common and a stay-in-your-lane attitude often prevails.”

How Dark Money Tipped Montana’s Senate Race

ProPublica reports a small “dark money” group called Montana Hunters and Anglers, launched by liberal activists, bought radio and television ads in Montana’s U.S. Senate race — not supporting incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) but instead backing libertarian Dan Cox, describing him as the “real conservative” or the “true conservative.”

“Where did the group’s money come from? Nobody knows.”

Christie More Popular Among Democrats

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Chrisitie (R) is now actually more popular with Democrats nationally than he is with Republicans.

Christie’s overall favorability is 51% to 23%, but his +29 standing with Democrats, 52% to 23%, is higher than his +21 with GOP voters, 48% to 27%. He’s most popular with independent voters at +34 at 52% to 18%.

There’s No Crying in Redistricting

GOP pollster Bill McInturff:

“Republicans captured 49.4% of the two-party vote for Congress in 2012, yet won 54% of the seats in the House. This gap between the Republican vote and the seats they won is on the high side, but certainly not without precedent over the past 40 years. If you began your career as a Republican trying to win the House in the 1970s and 1980s, you would adopt, as I do, the borrowed adage ‘there’s no crying in redistricting.'”

Lawmaker Flips on Hurricane Aid

Biloxi Sun Herald editorial takes their local congressman to task for voting against disaster relief for people affected by Hurricane Sandy noting that, “Seldom has a single vote in Congress appeared as cold-blooded and hard-headed as one cast by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) last week.”

Palazzo quickly reversed himself in a statement saying, “I am fully committed to providing the relief they so desperately need.”

Obama Picks Jack Lew for Treasury

President Obama will nominate White House chief of staff Jack Lew for Treasury secretary as soon as Thursday, Politico reports.

“In doing so, Obama is throwing Lew straight into the middle of an increasingly nasty budget war, the likes of which Washington hasn’t seen since the mid-1990s.”

“Lew should be prepared for this type of fiscal and political environment, though — he helped President Bill Clinton strike the 1997 balanced budget accord as a top official at the Office of Management and Budget, the agency he has since run for both presidents. And Lew played an important role in the contentious 2011 debt ceiling debate.”

The downside, according to Kevin Roose: Lew’s terrible signature would be on our money.

The Week: The right choice?

Why is Barney Frank Breaking the Rules?

Steve Kornacki: “Barney Frank is breaking the rule of politics that says if you want a major appointment, you should never, ever talk about it publicly.”

“After all, there are a few reasons why it’s customary for appointment-seekers to keep quiet. One has to do with image-protection. How will you look if publicly campaign for a position only to be snubbed for it? If you never admit to being interested, at least you can always claim you never really wanted the job. This is apparently of no great concern to Frank, though.”

“The other obvious reason for staying quiet is strategic: Most people making decisions on appointments probably don’t appreciate a public pressure campaign. This is the risk to what Frank is doing. Because he has a national reputation, he’s created a real stir with his lobbying.”

Obama’s Remade Inner Circle Has an All-Male Look

New York Times: “About 43 percent of Mr. Obama’s appointees have been women, about the same proportion as in the Clinton administration, but up from the roughly one-third appointed by George W. Bush… But Mr. Obama’s recent nominations raised concern that women were being underrepresented at the highest level of government and would be passed over for top positions.”

USA Today: Obama sticks to friends for top posts.

Why Obama Isn’t Likely to Mint a $1 Trillion Coin

Megan McArdle: “I think–and I assume the White House does as well–that there’s a substantial risk that this sort of nominally-legal-but-obviously-tendentious reading of the law would trigger a selloff in US bonds. Minting a $1 trillion coin neatly end-runs GOP obstructionists, but only by proving that the president himself has little respect for the institutional restraints on his office. So while the pundit in me is eager to see how this would play out, the US citizen in me is afraid of the effect that this would have on my country. I assume that our president shares these sort of concerns.”

Felix Salmon: “It would effectively mark the demise of the three-branch system of government, by allowing the executive branch to simply steamroller the rights and privileges of the legislative branch. Yes, the legislature is behaving like a bunch of utter morons if they think that driving the US government into default is a good idea. But it’s their right to behave like a bunch of utter morons.”

Democrats Re-Establish Lead in Party Affiliation

A new Gallup survey finds “an average of 47% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they were independents who leaned Democratic in 2012, compared with 42% who identified as or leaned Republican. That re-establishes a Democratic edge in party affiliation after the two parties were essentially tied in 2010 and 2011.”

GOP Fever Hasn’t Broken

“Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress confidently predicted that the re-election of the president would break the partisan ‘fever’ they claimed had enveloped Washington and the Republican Party,”NBC News reports.

“But the weeks since the election have found Republicans as dogged as ever in their resistance to Obama, whose initiatives – including gun control, immigration reform and efforts to boost renewable energy – still face an uncertain path forward, particularly in an unruly House of Representatives still controlled by a Republican majority. And Republicans are signaling a willingness to go to great lengths to bend coming battles in their favor.”

Politico: “After four-plus years of embittered partisan combat, he views his GOP bargaining partners with more than a little contempt, and he momentarily vanquished enemies who just can’t say ‘yes’ to him.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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