News: Press Clippings

Primaries in Maryland highlight Democratic divide

Reposted from POLITICO_Logo

Publication date 4/25/16

A TALE OF TWO PARTIES — “Maryland primaries highlight deep Democratic split,” by Campaign Pro’s Kevin Robillard: “When Democratic House candidates fanned out across the D.C. suburbs to hunt for votes last week, Kathleen Matthews stumped at a Bethesda farmer’s market where patrons browsed small-batch olive oils. Joseline Peña-Melnyk spent her morning with African Methodist Episcopal churchgoers on the first floor of a shopping mall in Hillcrest. Matthews and Peña-Melnyk are both Maryland Democrats, but there is a wide gulf between them — and the two House districts they seek to represent.”

— “Matthews and her opponents are grappling over a 62-percent white district that is one of the wealthiest in the country; Peña-Melnyk and her competitors are striving for a majority-black seat with about twice as many food-stamp recipients. And while both sets of candidates are competing for votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primaries, they are talking to different voters about significantly different issues.”

FINAL CAMPAIGNS — Joe Biden’s 2016 campaign: The Senate,” by POLITICO’s Edward-Isaac Dovere in Philadelphia: “Not long after putting a final pin in his presidential plans in the Rose Garden last October, Vice President Joe Biden started talking to staff about a different mission for 2016: helping put his beloved Senate back into Democratic hands. Within weeks, incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York was at the Naval Observatory for breakfast, talking over the details. Not long after, he returned with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Jon Tester of Montana for a 90-minute briefing on their top races. … ‘The Senate holds a special place in the vice president’s heart, and he will be dedicating a significant amount of time this year working to elect a Democratic majority,’” one senior Biden aide told POLITICO.

Days until the Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island primaries: 1.

Days until the 2016 election: 197.

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FIRST IN SCORE — Orchulli leaps into Connecticut’s GOP Senate primary: Republican Jack Orchulli, the former Michael Kors chief executive who challenged Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) back in 2004, will announce another run in Bridgeport, Conn., this morning, this time challenging Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal. He’ll face August Wolf, a businessman whose campaign has gone through upheaval after upheaval, and state Rep. Dan Carter in the GOP primary. “Mr. Wolf, I really have nothing positive to say,” Orchulli said when asked about his primary opponents in an interview. He plans to contribute some “seed money” to get his campaign off the ground.

— With $4.6 million in cash on hand, Blumenthal is heavily favored in the deep-blue state — but Orchulli believes Donald Trump’s potential presence on the ticket could help win “Connecticut may be liberal, but I’m convinced that Donald Trump will do well in Connecticut,” Orchulli said, suggesting Trump could drive turnout. He said he’d vote for Trump if he’s the nominee. “He’s said some things I disagree with, but overall, why not?” he said.

AIR SUPPORT — FIRST IN SCORE — Senate Leadership Fund slams Marlin Stutzman in Indiana radio ad: The Senate-focused GOP super PAC is airing its first negative ad against a fellow Republican, criticizing Rep. Marlin Stutzman’s voting record (and praising Rep. Todd Young’s) in a new radio ad backed by a $55,000, 10-day buy in Indianapolis. Though SLF, run by former McConnell aide Steven Law, and American Crossroads have gotten involved in GOP primaries before, the groups almost never go negative within their own party. “Where does career politician Marlin Stutzman stand on security?” the ad’s narrator asks. “Stutzman voted against funding our troops fighting the war on terror. He voted against funding the Department of Homeland Security. Stutzman even voted against funding the fight against ISIS. But he did manage to vote himself a massive pay raise in the state legislature.” The ad then praises Young as a “former Marine intelligence officer” who will “do what it takes to keep us safe.” Listen to the ad:

— DCCC MEDDLES WITH NEBRASKA GOP PRIMARY: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s TV ad in Nebraska’s 2nd District is boosting state Sen. Chip Maxwell ahead of his GOP primary, describing him as a conservative, anti-Obamacare tea partier while describing fellow Republican Don Bacon as part of the “Washington establishment.”

— McGinty’s final TV ad features Obama: Katie McGinty released her final TV ad of the Democratic primary in the Pennsylvania Senate race on Friday, featuring President Barack Obama. “Katie will stand up to special interests to protect your right to health care, Social Security and equal pay for women,” Obama says in the spot. “As the ninth of 10 kids and the mother of three daughters, Katie is fighting to ensure every family has a fair shot at getting ahead.” McGinty’s radio advertising has also featured Obama. Watch the ad:

HIDDEN CAMERA — CBS goes inside the NRCC’s call center: CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program snuck a hidden camera into the National Republican Congressional Committee fundraising call rooms, with the help of a NRCC staffer, for an episode on congressional fundraising that aired Sunday evening. The report features GOP Rep. David Jolly, who’s running for Senate in Florida and has introduced legislation that would ban members of Congress from personally raising money. “It is a cult-like boiler room on Capitol Hill where sitting members of Congress, frankly, I believe, are compromising the dignity of the office they hold by sitting in these sweatshop phone booths calling people asking them for money,” Jolly told “60 Minutes.”

FIRST IN SCORE — End Citizens United PAC endorses six more: End Citizens United PAC, which has endorsed dozens of Democrats who support campaign finance reform this cycle, will back six more House candidates today. They include Salud Carbajal, who’s running for the open seat in California’s 24th District; Bryan Caforio, who’s challenging GOP Rep. Steve Knight in California’s 25th District; Raja Krishnamoorthi, who’s running for the open seat in Illinois’ 8th District; Jacky Rosen, who’s running for the open seat in Nevada’s 3rd District; Bill Golderer, who’s challenging GOP Rep. Pat Meehan in Pennsylvania’s 7th District; and Cory Simpson, who’s running to oppose GOP Rep. Alex Mooney in West Virginia’s 2nd District. None of the endorsements are especially surprising; Krishnamoorthi, for instance, is already the nominee in his Democratic-leaning suburban Chicago district.

GOVERNORS ON DEFENSE — RGA airs first TV ad in Montana:

— DGA TV ad goes after McCrory on LGBT law:

DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT — Report: Democratic presidential campaign have twice the reach on email: Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to be getting email updates from at least one of their party’s presidential candidates, according to new online survey data from Fluent. Forty percent of Democratic respondents last week said they were signed up for campaign emails, compared to 22 percent of Republicans; also, around one-quarter of Democratic respondents reported donating to a presidential campaign, compared to around one-sixth or one-fifth of Republicans.

Certainly, Bernie Sanders’ grassroots campaign is driving a lot of the Democratic engagement — but Donald Trump appears to be heavily involved on both sides, too. Democratic email engagement and donations skyrocketed “right around the time of Super Tuesday, when Donald Trump really solidified his momentum and standing,” said Fluent spokesman Robert Vanisko. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, “Trump is not much of an email marketer. He doesn’t need it. And some of the savvier email marketers on the Republican side, like Bush and Rubio, dropped out early, which could keep those [GOP] numbers depressed.” Fluent surveys users after a login or registration within their marketing network. See Fluent’s full survey results here:

PRESIDENTIAL SPEED READ — “Cruz, Kasich coordinate in new anti-Trump effort,” by POLITICO’s Katie Glueck and Kyle Cheney: “Ted Cruz and John Kasich have begun coordinating their campaign strategy to stop Donald Trump, an abrupt alliance announced Sunday night that includes Kasich quitting his efforts in Indiana and Cruz clearing a path for the Ohio governor in Oregon and New Mexico. ‘To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead,’ Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said in a statement.”

— “Roe took the pursuit of earned media to a new level on Sunday night, sitting right behind home plate for ESPN’s nationally broadcast Houston Astros game while holding a ‘Cruz 2016’ sign,” POLITICO’s Shane Goldmacher reports.

— “Sanders caught in a political trap,” by POLITICO’s Gabriel Debenedetti: Bernie Sanders’ “online money machine continues to pump along. He still draws thousands to his jam-packed rallies. There’s even the prospect of a series of likely May wins peeking over the horizon. Yet the path to the Democratic nomination has all but vanished after his 16-point loss in New York last week. Now, with national polls showing him roughly even with the former secretary of state and with $17 million in his pocket as of the beginning of April, Sanders is faced with a series of tricky questions about his place in the race over the next two months — the first of which is how, exactly, to articulate his remaining route to victory.”

— Still, “Sanders and his allies are trying to use his popularity to expand his political influence, setting up an ideological struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party in the post-Obama era,” The New York Times’ Nick Confessore reports. “Aides to Mr. Sanders have been pressing party officials for a significant role in drafting the platform for the Democratic convention in July, aiming to lock in strong planks on issues like a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, breaking up Wall Street banks and banning natural gas ‘fracking.’”

— “Cruz crushes Trump in weekend delegate fight,” by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney: “Ted Cruz notched another delegate landslide Saturday, stretching his advantage in a competition that might never occur: the second ballot of a contested Republican National Convention in July. Cruz won at least 65 of the 94 delegates up for grabs Saturday (and he may have won more, but Kentucky’s 25 delegates haven’t revealed their leanings). The Texas senator has so thoroughly dominated the fight to send loyalists to the national convention that if front-runner Donald Trump fails to clinch the nomination on the first ballot, Cruz is well-positioned to surpass him — and perhaps even snag the nomination for himself — when delegates are free in subsequent convention rounds to vote for whomever they want.”

CODA — QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t quite get what Kasich is doing.” — Donald Trump, echoing some of his fiercer detractors, via CBS News’ Sopan Deb.

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