How much of a problem will Pelosi be for Dems in 2018?


WaPo: “While Democrats grow optimistic about their chances of taking control of the House in November, they are increasingly anxious that the presence of their longtime and polarizing leader, Nancy Pelosi, is making it harder for many of their candidates to compete in crucial swing districts. Republicans, clinging to a 23-seat majority in the House, have made the House minority leader a central element of their attack ads and are portraying many of their opponents as inextricably tied to the liberal from San Francisco. At the same time, some Democrats are expressing alarm that she is standing in the way of the next generation of leaders. The tension was apparent Thursday, when Rashida Tlaibbecame at least the 27th Democratic House candidate to decline to say whether she would support Pelosi. Some Democrats fear that anti-Pelosi attacks aimed at the Democratic candidate in this week’s special election in an Ohio congressional district helped push the Republican to a narrow lead. The dynamic creates a conundrum for Democrats, many of whom rely on Pelosi’s fundraising prowess and admire her political savvy and status as one of the country’s most influential female leaders. But some also are beginning to speak out about how allowing Pelosi to remain in charge of the caucus could reduce the size of a Democratic wave in November or worse, imperil their ability to win the majority.”

Dems could face another hurdle in Minnesota – AP: “For all the talk of a blue wave sweeping Democrats back into the House majority this fall, their efforts could be thwarted in one of the nation’s bluest states. … Democratic incumbents in both Minnesota districts are leaving office, and the races to replace them are widely rated as tossups. ‘Minnesota is going to be ground zero for control of the House,’ said Corry Bliss, director of the Conservative Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who served four years as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, agreed. … Despite Minnesota’s reputation as a liberal stronghold — it hasn’t gone for a Republican president since 1972 — the state has become a major battleground for the parties. Tens of millions of dollars in outside political advertising have flooded the state in recent years as Republicans tried to pick off outstate members of Congress while Democrats focused on the suburbs. The GOP now holds three of the state’s eight House seats.”

“In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger…” – Alexander Hamilton or James MadisonFederalist No. 51

NatGeo: “Scientists are betting on a new system to alert us to impending earthquakes: birds wearing tiny backpacks. Though no one knows precisely why, animals often act atypically before an earthquake or other disaster. Flocks of birds might migrate off course or be active at unusual times, says Martin Wikelski, an ecologist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and a fellow of the National Geographic Society. He directs a satellite tracking project called International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space. ICARUS will use lightweight electronic tags—affixed as backpack harnesses, leg bands, or even hats—to monitor the activity patterns of tens of thousands of birds, bats, and other creatures for irregularities that suggest an earthquake is imminent. A global network of volunteers has started to tag animals with the devices—Wikelski calls them ‘wearables for wildlife’—which will track and beam their movements and other data to the International Space Station. There Russian astronauts will install the ICARUS data-gathering hardware during an upcoming spacewalk. The result, Wikelski hopes, will be a disaster-prediction network akin to an ‘internet of wings.’”

Trump job performance
Average approval: 
41.2 percent
Average disapproval: 
53 percent
Net Score: 
-11.8 points
Change from one week ago: 
down 0.4 points
[Average includes: Gallup: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; IBD: 41% approve – 50% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 41% approve – 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 58% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 45% approve – 52% disapprove.]

Control of House
Republican average: 
41.4 percent
Democratic average: 48 percent
Democrats plus 6.6 points
Change from one week ago: 
no change
[Average includes: IBD: 45% Dems – 45% GOP; NPR/PBS/Marist: 47% Dems – 40% GOP; Quinnipiac University: 51% Dems – 39% GOP; NBC/WSJ: 49% Dems – 43% GOP; Fox News: 48% Dems – 40% GOP.]

Politico: “Voters in Hawaii head to the polls Saturday for another primary day. And when Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) declared she would try to dethrone Democratic Gov. David Ige, it looked like her primary to lose. Public polling early in the year had Hanabusa lapping Ige (one from Mason-Dixon Polling in March had her up 20 in the primary). Hanabusa’s camp painted Ige, who defeated former Gov. Neil Abercrombie in a 2014 primary, as an absentee governor who badly mishandled the false-alarm missile alert in January. … Ige’s campaign has run on this, securing the endorsement of popular Mayor Harry Kim and running an ad featuring his response to the eruption. Public polls tightened and eventually showed Ige regaining a lead over Hanabusa as the campaign dragged. … Hanabusa’s campaign maintains it feels good about the race. … The primary race to replace Hanabusa in Hawaii’s 1st District could send a familiar face back to Congress: former Rep. Ed Case. The well-known, moderate Case could be the front-runner in a crowded race that also features Lt. Gov. Doug Chin and state Rep. Kaniela Ing, for whom Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on Thursday.”

GOP seeks Trump’s help in Ariz. Senate race – Politico: “National Republicans are asking President Donald Trump to intervene in the Arizona Senate primary amid rising fears that the GOP will nominate an unelectable candidate and cede the seat to Democrats in November. During a recent phone call, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) asked the president to endorse GOP Rep. Martha McSally, widely viewed as the establishment favorite in the Aug. 28 primary, according to two senior Republicans familiar with the conversation. Trump, according to one of the Republicans, was non-committal and did not say yes or no to the request. McSally is facing former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, both of whom are running as conservative insurgents. Polls have consistently shown McSally leading in the primary, but Republicans fear that if Ward or Arpaio win the nomination it would effectively hand a victory to the expected Democratic nominee, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. Neither the White House nor the NRSC would comment.”

GOP super PAC creates presence in six new districts – The Hill: “The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with retiring Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is expanding its presence in key GOP-held districts as Republicans seek to fend off a potential Democratic ‘blue wave’ in this year’s midterm elections. The group announced Friday that it is opening field offices in six Republican-led districts, bringing its total to 40 offices in competitive House races across the country. The new field offices are intended to boost GOP Reps. Rodney Davis (Ill.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), George Holding (N.C.) and Pete Sessions (Texas), as well as now-open seats in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District and Kansas’ 2nd District.”

Kobach to recuse himself from Kansas vote-counting – Fox News: “Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state locked in a tight Republican gubernatorial primary battle against incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer, said Thursday night that he plans to recuse himself from the vote-counting process. Earlier Thursday, Kansas election officials revealed that Kobach – who received President Trump’s endorsement – was ahead of Colyer by just 121 votes after two counties reported discrepancies in their initial tallies from Tuesday’s election. The tightening of the vote count prompted Colyer to issue a letter, demanding that Kobach – the state’s top elections official — refrain from instructing county election officials on the counting of ballots, and Thursday night Kobach said he would comply with the request. ‘I’ll be happy to recuse myself,’ Kobach told CNN. ‘But as I say, it really doesn’t make any difference. My office doesn’t count the votes. The counties do.’”

Blankenship heads to W Va. Supreme Court with his ballot fight – Charleston [W. Va.] Gazette-Mail: “Don Blankenship is taking his battle to run for the U.S. Senate to the West Virginia Supreme Court. According to a petition for a writ of mandamus filed with the state’s high court Thursday, Blankenship and the Constitution Party are challenging West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner’s decision to deny Blankenship’s candidacy papers to run with the party. Warner denied Blankenship’s filing, citing West Virginia’s ‘sore loser’ law… However, Blankenship is challenging the denial with two central arguments: His attorney, Robert Bastress, argues in the filing that state law, as of the time Blankenship filed as a Republican in January, did not contain any ‘sore loser’ provision as the secretary of state’s 2018 election guidebook states; and Bastress says changes to the code passed by the Legislature this year and enacted into law in June cannot be retroactively applied to the campaign, which was already underway.”

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