The Conversation

Politics: Policy issues, legislation and political topics of all sorts.

Polls Point to GOP Senate Majority

Sep 29, 2014 5:33 PM PT

A flurry of new polls including in Iowa, North Carolina and Louisiana are good news for the GOP and some serious odds makers now view them favorably in terms of their taking over control of the U.S. Senate in November.

In Iowa, Republican Joni Ernst is up 44 percent to 38 percent over Democrat Bruce Braley, a seat Democrats thought they'd win early. In a "race that was once viewed as close to a sure thing for Braley and the Democrats. Braley is now not even winning his own congressional district and is being weighed down by his support for Obamacare, among other problems".

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Nunn-Linked Group Under Investigation for Voter Fraud

Sep 29, 2014 5:15 PM PT

The New Georgia Project, a group run by Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn's "ally and campaign confidante," Stacy Abrams, has begun handing over documents in an ongoing voter fraud investigation.

Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp launched the investigation of the New Georgia Project earlier this month after receiving “numerous” complaints regarding applications submitted by the group, including forged signatures and applications. The investigation has turned up 33 fraudulent applications thus far, ahead of the thousands of pages of documents set to be turned over.

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Wow: Joni Ernst suddenly opens a 6-point lead in Iowa

Sep 27, 2014 5:59 PM PT

Teacups are rattling in the hands of Democrat consultants across the land, as another closely-watched neck-and-neck race suddenly turns into a big lead for the Republican candidate... and it's the race to fill the seat left behind by left-wing dinosaur Tom Harkin, no less.  The Des Moines Register calls it the latest twist in an "amazing race":

The ground under Bruce Braley has shifted.

The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is 6 points behind his GOP rival, Joni Ernst, according to The Des Moines Register's new Iowa Poll of likely voters.

Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent in a race that has for months been considered deadlocked. She leads nearly 4-1 with rural voters, and is up double digits with independents.

"Very interesting, and good news not just for Ernst but also for the GOP's chances of taking the U.S. Senate," said national political prognosticator Larry Sabato of "Sabato's Crystal Ball."

Just seven months ago, political analysts considered Braley almost a shoo-in for a seat held for 30 years by liberal Democrat Tom Harkin.

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Is the GOP Giving Up on Tax Cuts?

Sep 27, 2014 5:55 AM PT

As Politico points out, "Though tax cuts have been a mainstay of their campaigns since at least Ronald Reagan, though the top marginal tax rate is now the highest since the 1980s, though the party could win control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in almost a decade, Republicans are barely mentioning reducing tax rates with voters."

So, what's actually going on?

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Sarah Palin has fun with her own gaffe

Sep 26, 2014 8:33 PM PT

It was fun watching the liberals who saddled America with Barack Obama - known for dismissing a deadly terrorist enemy as al-Qaeda's junior varsity, blurting out that he has no strategy for defeating them, and blowing over a billion dollars on the worst website launch in history - rip into Sarah Palin for getting the address of the White House wrong in a speech.  She said "1400 Pennsylvania Avenue" instead of 1600.  Meanwhile, the current Vice President has to be led carefully across Pennsylvania Avenue by adults holding both of his hands, lest he be distracted by a shiny object and run headlong into traffic.

But it's even more entertaining watching Sarah Palin make fun of her own gaffe, courtesy of Twitchy:

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Will ObamaCare Break The Mid-Term Bank?

Sep 26, 2014 4:27 PM PT

According to a new Bloomberg View item, "a new study out this week from Bloomberg Government threatens to bring the Affordable Care Act back to center stage -- and in a way that will likely hurt the electoral chances of incumbent Democrats, all of whom voted for the law". 

According to the report, the Affordable Care Act "has far exceeded anyone’s estimates (or imaginations)" when it comes to cost.

To date, the report concludes that the health-care law has cost taxpayers $73 billion. And that number doesn’t include projected spending on the law’s Medicaid expansion, which if included would bring costs to more than $90 billion. The study’s estimate is even higher than the Congressional Budget Office’s “high” cost projection for the law -- $71.2 billion by the end of 2014.

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Gillespie Within Single Digits of Warner in Virginia

Sep 25, 2014 7:09 PM PT

Just two weeks ago a poll had Republican Ed Gillespie down by 22 points to incumbent Mark Warner in Virginia.

A new poll just out has him closing to within nine. The Gillespie team had been anticipating something of a surge as Fall turned voters' focus toward the upcoming mid-term elections.

“U.S. Sen. Mark Warner has been the most popular politician in Virginia for the past several years and appears to be in reasonable shape for reelection,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “But his lead is not insurmountable with six weeks to go until Election Day.” Warner had a 22-point lead over Gillespie in a poll released about two weeks ago from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

NC Sen Kay Hagan Benefited from Stimulus Money

Sep 25, 2014 7:01 PM PT

Per a new report by Politico, "JDC Manufacturing, a company co-owned by the Democratic senator’s husband, Chip, received nearly $390,000 in federal grants for energy projects and tax credits created by the 2009 stimulus law, according to public records and information provided by the company".

While Hagan deferred questions to staff members, some of the details may raise an eyebrow or two in her very competitive Senate race against Republican opponent, statehouse Speaker Thom Tillis.

Financial disclosure statements show that the Hagans’ income from JDC Manufacturing increased from less than $201 in 2008 to nearly $134,000 in 2013. Company representatives said higher rental income account for the uptick, not the stimulus-funded projects that were completed during that span. 

In statement to POLITICO, the Hagan campaign said the senator did not help her husband win the federal funding and disputed any suggestion they have profited off the law.

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