In todays politics news: Arizona Senate candidates hide from reporters; Booker goes to Iowa; and an ad with puppies
Good evening, I’m Ben Jacobs with the latest from Washington and beyond. If you’re not already receiving the politics minute by email, sign up.
Kevin Cramer says #MeToo is about victimization
Kevin Cramer, the Republican Senate candidate in North Dakota, made controversial comments to the New York Times over the weekend. He said North Dakotans cannot understand this “movement toward victimization”, adding: “They are pioneers of the prairie. These are tough people whose grandparents were tough and great-grandparents were tough.” He added of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight, “the world got to see close up how ugly it can be when you go too far.”
Will this cause a backlash? Likely not, Cramer is known for making controversial off-the-cuff comments and has done so before about the confirmation fight surrounding Kavanaugh.
So how does Kavanaugh affect the race? Incumbent Heidi Heitkamp, who previously voted for Neil Gorsuch, voted against Kavanaugh. In a race where polling now consistently has her facing a double-digit deficit against Cramer, Republicans pointed to her vote as a defiant parting shot by a rival facing long odds.
Arizona Senate candidates hide from reporters
Arizona has one of the most competitive Senate races in the country where two congresswomen are facing off in a race crucial for control of the Senate. But while Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally may disagree on most issues, they do agree on one thing, avoiding the media, as noted by the Arizona Republic.
What this means. It’s yet another touchstone of how politics has changed in recent decades with politicians increasingly avoiding the mainstream media. The contrast is particularly striking in Arizona, which had long been represented by John McCain, who was notoriously accessible.
Cory Booker goes to Iowa
Perhaps the official curtain raiser on the 2020 Democratic primary was Cory Booker’s appearance at the Iowa Democratic party’s annual fall dinner on Saturday. The New Jersey Democrat was in the first-in-the-nation caucus state ostensibly to campaign for November candidates up and down the ticket. However, for a potential presidential candidate, it’s always good to show up in Iowa.
So is he running?Probably, though Booker played coy about it at the event. He has already placed staffers on various campaigns in Iowa, a traditional step by potential presidential candidates hoping to build up an organization in the state.
What does it mean for 2018? It’s a boost for candidates in Iowa who are in a competitive swing state and need all the help they can get.
Poll of the day
In Texas’s gubernatorial race, incumbent Republican Greg Abbott is leading by a margin of 53% to 33% over Democrat Lupe Valdez. Abbott has long been expected to cruise to victory and the poll from Emerson is yet another data point.
Why this matters.Unlike the governor’s race, the Senate race in Texas is relatively competitive. The two candidates, Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke, have garnered a significant amount of national attention. But, while Cruz can count on coattails and major resources from Abbott, Valdez is likely to be a drag.
What are her issues?First, her fundraising has been anemic. As of the last reporting period, Abbott had 100 times more money than she did. Also, her most recent burst of press attention was when she lost her gun. While it’s not uncommon for firearms owners to misplace their weapon, Valdez was elected sheriff of Dallas county.
Ad of the day
Freedom Caucus member David Brat has an ad out where he appears with puppies. Brat won his seat in 2014 after a shocking upset of House majority leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary. He is now in a tight Virginia race in a suburban Richmond district against Democratic candidate Abigail Spanberger, who campaigns partly on the strength of being a former CIA case officer.
Why puppies?Because who doesn’t like puppies? Also, it gives Brat an opportunity to tout legislation he backed to end federally funded medical testing on dogs.
Will this help?Puppies never hurt. But Brat is in a tight race against a well-funded Democratic opponent. The question is whether in a year where voters are focused on more pressing issues like healthcare and the economy if anyone actually is swayed by puppies.
Read more: www.theguardian.com