Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the May Jobs report this morning, saying:
To learn more, read the Forbes ongoing story, "Jobs Report: U.S. Economy Added 217K Jobs In May, Unemployment Remains Unchanged At 6.3%" by Maggie McGrath.
After extensive consultation with our state partners, BIPAC members, state, and local employers and business organizations with operations and employees in these states and districts, BIPAC has issued its next round of candidate endorsements in four U.S. Senate and ten U.S. House races. Each of these candidates are the broad consensus choice of the business community both nationally and at the local level and each are very competitive or highly significant races. If your organization has not been involved on behalf of these candidates to date, we would urge you to consider these as top priority candidates for the business community.
BIPAC will be working with our membership, local business organizations, and our state partners to educate employees in these states and districts on issues important to creating a pro-growth economic climate, how the candidates stand on those issues, and working to create a powerful business-driven grassroots Get Out The Vote effort in each of these races.
We strongly encourage you to join BIPAC and the local business community in each of these races in supporting these candidates as the clear favorite to provide a pro-growth, prosperity and jobs oriented economic climate.
If you have affiliates or employees in these states or districts and would like to join BIPAC's business-driven employee education and GOTV efforts here, please contact Bo Harmon at 202-776-7462.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado)
Primary Election: June 24
Rep. Cory Gardner is challenging incumbent Senator Mark Udall (D). Gardner has largely cleared the primary field and has been a friend to the business community in the House. There are few races featuring a greater contrast between the candidates in terms of their orientation towards supporting pro-growth economic policies. Gardner scored 100% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record and is working closely with employers in Colorado to expand their operations and create a more comfortable operating environment. Polling shows this race to be a toss-up at this point, so your engagement is important. www.corygardnerforsenate.com
Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
Primary Election: June 3
State Senator Joni Ernst is running in Iowa's open Senate seat. Ernst is running in a crowded GOP primary and needs to get 35% of the vote in the primary to avoid a convention. Ernst has earned 100% on the Iowa Prosperity Project's 2011 State Senate voting record and 90% on the 2012 State Senate voting record. She has consolidated support within Iowa's business community over the last month and has attracted support from across the ideological spectrum. Both the US Chamber of Commerce AND the Senate Conservatives Fund, typically opposed to each other, are BOTH advertising on her behalf to help avoid a convention selection which would make the candidate selection process completely unpredictable. She is endorsed for both the primary and general elections. www.joniforiowa.com
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia)
Primary Election: May 13 > See Results
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is running in the open West Virginia Senate seat. Capito scored 100% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. She faces Democratic nominee Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in the general election. Polling shows Capito with a double digit lead, making this seat a prime opportunity to move from adverse to business as it was when held by Rockefeller to pro-business as it would be with Capito. www.capitoforsenate.com
Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana)
Primary Election: June 3
Rep. Daines is running against Senator John Walsh (D). Walsh was appointed to the seat in February, after Senator Baucus resigned to become Ambassador to China. Daines is a pro-business candidate who was been endorsed by BIPAC and the U.S. Chamber in 2012 when running for the at large Congressional seat and has proven to be a strong advocate for the business community during his time in the House. While Baucus was accommodating to some pro-business opportunities, Daines offers the best chance to make this seat reliably pro-business in its orientation. www.stevedaines.com
Don Beyer (D-Virginia 8)
Primary Election: June 10
Don Beyer is seeking the Democratic nomination for the open seat in this safe Democratic seat. Beyer, former Lieutenant Governor and car dealership owner, faces several candidates in the primary. Beyer has won the first straw poll in the district and is considered the frontrunner. He demonstrated a welcomed propensity to working with the business community to solve problems and grow the economy during his time as Lt. Governor. With the primary quickly approaching, getting involved with the Beyer campaign during the primary is important. www.friendsofdonbeyer.com
Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida 26)
Primary Election: August 26
Miami-Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo is challenging Rep. Joe Garcia (D) in this toss up race. While the general election is expected to be highly competitive, Curbelo also has to make it through a GOP primary featuring former member of Congress David Rivera who lost the seat to Garcia in 2012 following a campaign finance scandal very similar to the one Garcia now faces himself. Curbelo is the frontrunner, and has been endorsed by Jeb Bush, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and most of the Miami area business community. www.carloscurbelo.com
Bob Dold (R-Illinois 10)
Primary Election: March 18 > See Results
Former Rep. Bob Dold is challenging Rep. Brad Schneider (D). This is a rematch from the 2012 race where Dold lost to Schneider by less than 3,500 votes. Rep. Dold scored 82% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record while Schneider has not been a friend during his time in Congress. BIPAC's state partner, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has also endorsed Dold and is working with BIPAC and local businesses in the district to support his return to Congress. www.doldforcongress.com
Mike Coffman (R-Colorado 6)
Primary Election: June 24
Rep. Mike Coffman faces a competitive general election with likely Democratic nominee former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. This toss up race is a top Democratic target for 2014. Coffman is a good business ally in the House and scored 95% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. During Romanoff's campaign for U.S. Senate last election, he positioned himself distinctly to the left of current Democratic Senator Michael Bennett and actively opposed many key priorities of the Colorado business community. This is one of the most competitive districts in the country and one of the clearest distinctions between a pro-jobs, pro-prosperity consensus building candidate in Coffman and a hard left avowed opponent of the business community. www.coffmanforcongress.com
Andy Tobin (R-Arizona 1)
Primary Election: August 26
House Speaker Andy Tobin is looking to unseat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D). This is a tossup seat that Kirkpatrick lost in her 2010 reelection bid and won back in 2012. Tobin is a small business owner who has the backing of the local business community, such as the Arizona Restaurant Association. Other Republican candidates include State Rep. Adam Kwasman, and rancher Gary Kiehne. www.andytobin.com
Swati Dandekar (D-Iowa 1)
Primary Election: June 3
Former state legislator Swati Dandekar is running in Rep. Braley's open seat in Iowa 1. This is a safe Democratic seat and the competitive race will be in the Democratic primary. Dandekar has a good working relationship with the business community in Iowa and has been endorsed by John Deere and Rockwell International, two major employers in IA 1. Another leading candidate in the primary is State House Speaker Pat Murphy who has a long legislative record of actively opposing the business community and pro-growth policies. Should Murphy win, he would be very adversarial. www.swatidandekarforcongress.com
Richard Tisei (R-Massachusetts 6)
Primary Election: September 9
Former State Senator Richard Tisei is challenging Rep. John Tierney (D) in a rematch of the 2012 race. The 6th district is Democratic at the Presidential level but was carried by Republicans for Senate and Governor. Tierney barely won in 2012 and remains vulnerable after past ethics troubles. Tierney scored 4% on BIPAC's 112th Congress Voting record and is not a business friendly candidate. Tierney also faces a primary challenger, veteran Seth Moulton in a late primary which make this an even better opportunity to replace him with a business-oriented advocate. www.tiseiforcongress.com
Eric Swalwell (D-California 15)
Primary Election: June 3
Freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell is running for re-election. In 2012, Swalwell defeated incumbent Rep. Pete Stark (D) in the general election. During his brief tenure in Congress, Swalwell has impressed the business community in California and nationally for his willingness to seek consensus solutions and actively bring all sides together for productive legislation. Many BIPAC members with operations in the district are strongly supporting Swalwell's reelection who faces a Republican and Democrat in the June open primary. www.swalwellforcongress.com
Mike Bost (R-Illinois 12)
Primary Election: March 18 > See Results
State Rep. Mike Bost is running to unseat freshman Rep. Bill Enyart (D). This is a competitive race with the district being split pretty evenly between Democrat and Republican. Bost has a background in small business, having worked for Bost Trucking, owned by his father and uncle. He has a 79% (2011-2012) and 100% (2009-2008) rating from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Legislative Ratings. www.bostforcongress.com
Colin Peterson (D-Minnesota 7)
Primary Election: August 12
Rep. Colin Peterson is running for re-election in a tough race. A member of the Blue Dog Coalition, he was first elected in 1990 and is currently the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. Peterson scored 86% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. www.petersonforcongress.com
NOTE: BIPAC will continue to endorse candidates as consensus emerges in primary and general elections amongst its members and the local business community in favor of particular candidates.
Below are the next round of endorsements by the BIPAC Action Fund. The races are varied - from general election Senate races to House primaries in solidly Republican or Democratic districts where a clearly pro-business candidate exists in contrast to others in the race. In all cases, BIPAC has consulted with local business leaders, organizations, and BIPAC members in these states and districts. BIPAC's endorsements represent the consensus agreement of the business community on the ground in these states and districts regarding the strongest candidate to support pro-growth, pro-jobs policies. We strongly encourage all of our members to also support the following candidates and work with us towards their election.
Terri Lynn Land (R- Michigan)
Primary Election: August 5
Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, the presumptive Republican nominee is running against Rep. Gary Peters, the likely Democratic nominee for the Michigan open Senate seat. While Michigan went to President Obama in 2008 and 2012, this race is considered a tossup. Polls have the two candidates within 2-5 points from one another. Land has shown impressive fundraising to date and her record as Secretary of State, personal interviews, and history managing a family real estate development company in Michigan has shown her to be a friend of business. She is strongly supported by many of Michigan's leading employers and is the very clear choice of the business community in Michigan. Rep. Peters scored only 8% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. www.terrilynnland.com
Barbara Comstock (R - Virginia 10)
Party Canvass: April 26
Delegate Barbara Comstock is seeking the GOP nomination in this competitive open seat. In the Republican primary, Comstock faces conservative firebrand, state Delegate Bob Marshall. Comstock has a 95% rating from the Virginia Chamber 2013 Legislative Scorecard and is gaining broad national and local GOP and business support for her nomination. The winner of the GOP nomination will face presumptive Democratic nominee Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust. The district has a slight Republican edge, and went to Romney by 1 point in 2012 and Obama by 3 points in 2008. Comstock is supported by the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, and many BIPAC members. www.barbaracomstockforcongress.com
Ted Lieu (D- California 33)
Primary Election: June 3
State Senator Ted Lieu is running in the open seat to replace retiring Rep. Waxman. This seat is heavily Democratic and a crowded field of 18 candidates provides an opportunity for the business community to elect a pro-business Democrat, such as Lieu, in the primary. Lieu has received the official endorsement of the Democratic Party and a number of business leaders in the district are supporting Lieu. The endorsement is supported by the CalChamber and the California Prosperity Project, as well as several BIPAC members with operations in the district. www.tedlieu.com
David Valadao (R- California 21)
Primary Election: June 3
Rep. Valadao is a House freshman running for re-election. Valadao is a Republican sitting in a district that President Obama (D) won by 11 points in 2012. The likely Democratic nominee is Amanda Renteria, former Chief of Staff for Senator Stabenow. The 21st district is known for its farming and agriculture, especially dairy, and Valadao has a solid background in dairy farming, as a managing partner of Valadao Dairy, which he started with his brothers. A friend to the business community, Valadao has previously been endorsed by BIPAC. The endorsement is supported by virtually all BIPAC members with California operations, as well as the Cal Chamber and California Prosperity Project. www.valadaoforcongress.com
Brian Ellis (R- Michigan 3)
Primary Election: August 5
Businessman Brian Ellis is challenging Tea Party Rep. Justin Amash in the Republican Primary. Amash has not been a friend to the business community, especially for his part in the Tea Party led government shutdown and efforts to default on federal debt. He also opposed a balanced budget amendment and the Keystone XL pipeline. Ellis has a business and financial services background and the backing of the Grand Rapids business community. This race represents the business community taking an important symbolic stand in favor of pro-business candidates when they mount a primary challenge to non-business oriented candidates. www.ellis4congress.com
Doug Ose (R - California 7)
Primary Election: June 3
Former Congressman Doug Ose (R) is running in the 7th district, challenging Rep. Ami Bera (D). Ose previsouly served 3 terms in the House, first elected in 1998. Also in the race are former congressional aide Igor Birman (R) and 2012 Senate nominee Elizabeth Emken (R). This is one of the most highly competitive general election races in the country. Ose is supported by the California Prosperity Project and the California Business Roundtable as well as several BIPAC members in the district. www.dougose.com
The cost of elections is increasing. Swing districts and voters are decreasing. Billions of dollars are being spent to target a smaller and smaller number of voters. The business community has an advantage in elections that no one else has. They are a trusted, credible communication source to these voters. As the cost per vote increases dramatically, employers are in a unique position to impact elections at very low cost.
The 2014 elections are projected to be the most expensive midterms to date. Each election cycle, the cost of elections increases substantially. In 1998, candidates, parties and outside groups spent $1.6 billion total on Congressional races. By 2012, that figure more than doubled to $3.7 billion and is expected to rise again in 2014.
Counterintuitively, while election spending increases each cycle, there are fewer swing seats and competitive races taking place. According to the Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index, there were 164 swing seats in the House in 1998. By 2013, that had dropped to 90. Even fewer, maybe 20-30, are actually competitive.
It isn't just the reduced number of competitive seats, there are fewer and fewer swing voters available to be persuaded in the competitive elections that DO exist. BIPAC uses a formula to determine the number of true swing voters in a given state or district. Over the last eight years, we take the lowest performance of ANY Republican and the lowest performance of ANY Democratic candidate and assign that low-water mark as a partisan baseline. We estimate the number of votes likely to be cast in 2014 and subtract the percentage that is base Republican and base Democratic and are left with the number of real swing votes in a state. You can see from the chart below that a very small number of votes are actually at play in the most competitive Senate races. In several states, the swing voters represent less than 20% of expected turnout. Only 13% of expected voters in NC are swing, 12% in GA, 18% in AK and 12% in CO. More money may be pouring into races, but there are increasingly fewer voters to persuade.
With approximately $4 billion to be spent in 2014 to impact elections, how can the business community play the most effective role in electing pro-business, pro-prosperity candidates? Educate your members and employees on the elections and how they will affect your company and their job. Employers are the most credible source for information, followed distantly by political parties and labor unions. Research has shown that employer-provided information was useful to helping voters make their voting decisions and it also made them more likely to vote. As the cost per vote skyrockets, employers, unique among those trying to impact elections, have a low cost alternative to traditional campaign tactics, such as TV advertising, with the additional benefit of being enormously more effective in shaping elections.
The political landscape has shifted pretty dramatically in just the last 2 months. Since January 1, numerous additional retirements have been announced and several candidates have picked up significant new challengers. There are now 38 House retirements, including several of the Congress' longest serving members, many in districts that will not be competitive in a general election. While some of these districts have heirs apparent, many do not and it is in these primaries that the business community can play an outsized role in selecting pro-business members who will likely hold the seat for a number of years. While the overall electoral direction isn't significantly different, the details are and it is in some of those details that the business community holds additional opportunity.
Many of the House retirements or resignations over the last 8 weeks have come in strongly Democratic leaning districts. Some races already have likely replacements lined up, including long serving members, George Miller (CA-31) and John Dingell (MI-12) (State Senator Mark DeSaulnier in California and Rep. Dingell's wife, Debbie Dingell, in Michigan). Most open seats already have crowded competitive primaries where the business community should engage to elect the most pro-business candidate possible. These include Rob Andrews (NJ-1), Mel Watt (NC-12), Rush Holt (NJ-12), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4), Jim Moran (VA-8), Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35), Ed Pastor (AZ-7), and Henry Waxman (CA-33). None of these seats are likely to switch to Republicans, but several have pro-business Democrats running who can shift the temperament in Congress. In NJ 1, state Sen. Donald Norcross has gathered support from Rep. Andrews, along with other top ranking state Democrats, but faces a primary challenge from Mayor Frank Minor. Both NC-12 and NJ-12 have a large field of Democratic candidates, including several state representatives and senators. Expect both primaries to be competitive. In McCarthy's open seat, Democrats seem to be rallying around Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, though others are still considering getting into the race, including Nassau Legislative Minority Leader Kevin Abrahams. Moran's open seat in Virginia is another district with an extremely crowded primary. The early frontrunner is former Lieutenant Governor and car dealership owner Don Beyer, a pro-business candidate to watch. The race for McLeod's open seat is just shaping up, but state Senator Norma Torres has already announced her bid. Pastor's open seat in Arizona has gained several candidates, and it is even rumored that Congresswoman Sinema (AZ-9) may switch to the solidly Democratic 7th seat to run in 2014. In CA-33, 2 frontrunners have emerged from the crowded race, former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel and state Senator Ted Lieu. Ted Lieu has the early backing of the California business community.
In addition, there have been a handful of recently announced retirements (and one resignation) in solidly Republican districts including Trey Radel (FL-19), Cory Gardner (CO-4) and Buck McKeon (CA-25). Radel's Florida seat will be filled by special election, where several candidates have announced, including state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto who has a long record of working effectively with the business community. The race to replace Gardner, who is running for Senate, is still in the early stages, though Ken Buck who was running for Senate, has dropped his bid and will now run for Gardner's seat. McKeon is retiring from Congress and former state Sen. Tony Strickland (R) is running for his seat in this Republican favored district.
In the Senate, a few races have changed dramatically over the past few weeks. Senator Pat Roberts' challenge from physician and Tea Party candidate Milton Wolf became more competitive than expected, though revelations about Wolf mocking autopsy photos on Facebook have kept the race in Roberts' favor. In Mississippi, the Club for Growth, who endorsed state Senator Chris McDaniel, has officially started going after Cochran in the race. This is one of the most competitive Republican primaries to watch for 2014. Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner's (R) announcement that he will challenge Sen. Udall (D) made that race suddenly competitive and one that should be followed closely by the business community. The Virginia Senate race is one that also may move into the competitive category as Republican Ed Gillespie's campaign continues to take shape.
While the broad strokes remain the same - the Republicans have a reasonable shot at taking the Senate majority and are expected to hold the House or possibly extend their majority - the details of who will be sitting in Congress have been shaken up over the past 8 weeks. This shake up presents the business community a number of crowded and competitive primaries in which they can play an important role in shaping the tenor of the next Congress. BIPAC looks forward to working with you to maximize your engagement in any of these races that may be most important to you.
As the rest of the country waited for the ball to drop to mark the end of 2013 and the beginning of the New Year, President Obama was waiting to start the roll out of his 2014 agenda. Throughout January, the President has been slowly outlining different areas of his agenda, from the economy to security, all in the build up to his 5th State of the Union address on January 28th.
Obama has made no secret of the fact that the economy is going to be a big item on his 2014 agenda. With Gallup’s Jan 16th poll showing 89% of respondents voting that it is extremely/very important to them that the President and Congress deal the issue of the state of the economy, both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue must be prepared to negotiate and compromise for the greater good or come the November midterms, both parties may struggle to convince voters of their worth.
While what is being suggested isn’t new by any standards, the President has already used his first two weekly addresses of 2014 to illustrate to Congress and the American people that he wants to take action, such as bringing back unemployment insurance which was cut as Congress recessed for the holidays, increasing the minimum wage and creating more jobs.
Obama’s comments on the matter have focused on energizing the country. He wants to bring back jobs lost to the recession and overseas competition, while also stating that he’s keen to work with Congress on proven ways to create jobs but is not afraid to move on his own if Congress doesn’t act.
Immigration reform has been held up in the house for months now, but based some of his remarks and lots of reports; it seems Obama plans to keep immigration on his agenda for 2014. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA.), who attended a meeting between the President and Democratic senators last week, told reporters “he predicted that the House would pass something this year.” Further comments from Sen. Kaine and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY.) indicated that Obama recognized that immigration reform would be a battle but was “cautiously optimistic.”
Along with being on the President’s agenda, reports suggest immigration will also be addressed at the annual House Republican retreat, where a session will be dedicated to open discussion on immigration reform. While most agree any movement would occur incrementally, should the President be successful in this area it would highly likely also assist him with his economic agenda.
Other Items on the Table
Though the economy and immigration will be two hot topics on the President’s agenda for most of 2014, he will also have some shorter term agenda items. He’s already announced his plans for NSA reforms; wants to work with colleges to improve opportunities for low income students to earn degrees and, like most second term presidents, Obama will likely spend time developing his international policy legacy.
To be fair, both Chris Christie in New Jersey and Ken Cuccinelli are both extraordinary candidates in some ways. Christie pulls many more crossover votes than an average candidate and as a result, drew a fairly weak opponent. Conversely, Cuccinelli proved much more polarizing than other Republicans of similar ideology, so each is a bit of an outlier in terms of crossover potential. That each ARE outliers, however, demonstrates just how wide the political center is when presented with extraordinary candidates.
For the entire partisan divide in Congress and the rancor between the parties in DC, the election results yesterday tell us that there are many Americans who still vote for individual candidates and issues, not parties.
In Virginia, Cuccinelli underperformed Romney and dramatically underperformed his immediate GOP predecessor Bob McDonnell. He underperformed Republican Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain who has a similar ideological profile, but a different approach, style and temperament.
Most telling about the nature of campaigns and the difference a higher profile race can make and how effective the McAuliffe (a deeply flawed candidate himself) campaign's efforts were to define Cuccinelli as an extremist candidate is that Cuccinelli dramatically underperformed HIMSELF from his 2009 election as Attorney General. In that race, he received 1,124,137 votes or 57.5%. For Governor, he received only 1,008,554 for 45.5%.
New Jersey offers a mirror image. Obama won New Jersey with 58% and 57% in 2012 and 2008 respectively. Governor Chris Christie was elected in 2009 with only a plurality 48% of the vote over scandal plagued incumbent John Corzine. Yesterday, he walked away with 61% of the vote. Again, looking at vote percentages at the county level is revealing.
All of this simply illustrates what Washington has had such a hard time understanding: that voters are not wedded to parties the way politicians are, with a few exceptions. They are willing to switch between parties to support candidates that reflect their interests.
The results also demonstrate how important candidates and campaigns are. Good candidates with good campaigns can and will win in the most unlikely places. The pro-growth, pro-prosperity community needs to be the point of the spear ensuring we support those sort of common-sense, consensus building candidates in both parties. Voters showed in Virginia and New Jersey last night that a new way is possible.
Note: For this analysis, Obama/Romney results are a partisan benchmark. According to exit polling, Obama drew 92% of Democratic votes, Romney drew 93% of Republican votes and Independents split evenly 50-50. Thus, Romney and Obama provide an excellent barometer to evaluate over or under performance by a candidate based on a standard partisan behavior.
While the focus for the 2013 elections has been on the governors races in NJ and VA, there are other statewide elections taking place across the country this November – ballot measures. Ballot measures are one of the most direct forms of democracy, giving the voters a chance to directly influence public policy. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are currently 31 ballot questions in six states in 2013, ranging from taxes to casinos. Below is a snapshot of some of the ballot measures being voted on. For a more complete list you can visit the National Association of State Legislature’s Database.
Genetically Engineered Foods: Washington State has a referendum on whether genetically engineered foods should be required to be labeled with that distinction. Interest groups on both sides have raised substantial sums, with a slight edge for those supporting labeling. The result could depend on turnout as populous and liberal Seattle has a competitive mayoral race, while conservative rural areas have less high profile races.
Minimum Wage: New Jersey has a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would raise the minimum wage to $8.25, and provides mechanisms for annual increases. The amendment also mandates that New Jersey’s minimum wage must always be higher than the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25. While the governor’s race in New Jersey is gaining more attention, whoever turns out for the minimum wage measure could have an impact on the other statewide elections, and vice versa. Casinos: New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has pressed for a constitutional amendment to allow the state legislature to authorize and regulate casinos. While the wording of the amendment does not state whether the casinos will be private or state run, it does state the intention of the amendment is to create jobs, fund education, and allow local governments to lower their property tax burden.
Casinos: New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has pressed for a constitutional amendment to allow the state legislature to authorize and regulate casinos. While the wording of the amendment does not state whether the casinos will be private or state run, it does state the intention of the amendment is to create jobs, fund education, and allow local governments to lower their property tax burden.
Today we continue our 4 part series in which BIPAC will analyze the upcoming 2014 House crossover districts. House crossover districts are the congressional districts where the U.S. Representative and the presidential candidate voted for by that district are of opposite parties. There are currently 26 House crossover districts or 26 House members whose district voted for the presidential candidate of the opposite party. There are 15 incumbent Republicans serving in districts President Obama won and 9 incumbent Democrats serving in districts Mitt Romney won. This series will analyze the incumbents, the districts and potential challengers as the political landscape for 2014 continues to evolve and take shape.
To see the full list of House crossover districts visit the BIPAC portal here.
Jeff Denham (R, CA-10)
Rep. Denham is currently serving in his second term and besides his agriculture and military background, is known around town for a very specific issue – making sure federal office space is being used efficiently. Denham ran in the newly created 10th district in 2012, which leaned more Democratic than Denham’s old district, giving Democrats hope at switching the seat. All together, about $12 million dollars was spent on the race, showing how significant it was to both parties. Expect the same in 2014, especially since recent polls show that Denham may be facing backlash for the government shutdown. Right now, Denham’s most formidable opponent appears to be beekeeper and farmer Michael Eggman (D). Eggman has been part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) effort, Jumpstart, which supports promising candidates for 2014.
Bill Young (R, FL-13)
Rep. Young passed away on October 18, 2013, setting up a special election for the remainder of his term. The moderate Republican with a seat on the Appropriations Committee would have been a tough competitor in 2014, but a special election gives Democrats a much better chance at the seat that went to President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Several potential candidates from both parties are now being mentioned for the seat. Expect this to be a major focus for both parties.
John Kline (R, MN-2)
2012 was one of Rep. Kline’s most competitive elections. He was running in a more competitive district after redistricting and faced a credible challenger, Mike Obermueller (Democratic-Farmer-Labor). However, Kline was able to draw on his reputation for working in a bipartisan manner and experience as Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee to beat Obermueller by over 8 pts. Kline already has challengers for 2014, including Obermueller, who is running again. Kline will be hard to beat, especially with his fundraising numbers; he already has over a million in the bank.
Scott Rigell (R, VA-2)
Currently in his second term, Rep. Rigell is known in Virginia for his pragmatic positions. The 2nd district leans more Republican after redistricting and has a large military presence. Because of this, Rigell has made sure to cater his positions, such as speaking out on sequestration. Due to his more centrist approach, Rigell will be seeing challengers from both sides in 2014. He already has a primary challenger, Kevin Meynardie (R) and on the Democratic side, retired naval officer and former Pentagon official Suzanne Patrick (D) has announced.
Ron Barber (D, AZ-2)
Rep. Barber was first elected to congress in the special election to succeed his boss, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D). In 2012, Barber won a full term to the 2nd district, beating Retired U.S. Air Force combat pilot Martha McSally (R) by less than one point. The 2nd district was drawn more Democratic after redistricting and Barber asserted himself as an independent voice in the House, voting with Republicans on issues important to the 2nd district, such as border control. McSally has already announced she will be running again in 2014, setting up what could be another competitive race.
Nick Rahall (D, WV-3)
Rep. Rahall has served in the U.S. House since 1977. While Rahall has easily won most of his elections, his margins of victory have gotten smaller as West Virginia becomes more conservative. In 2012, the moderate Democrat had to run against an unpopular President Obama in the state, but was able to prevail with strong fundraising numbers and support of the coal industry. Rahall already has a challenger for 2013, state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R). Jenkins was a Democrat, but switched parties to run against Rahall.
New poll numbers for the Virginia gubernatorial race dropped this week, giving McAuliffe (D) an edge over the other candidates. In the Politico poll released Monday, 44 percent of Virginians support Terry McAuliffe (D), 35 percent support Ken Cuccinelli (R), and 12 percent support Robert Sarvis (Lib). Further polls from Roanoke College and Christopher Newport University also show McAuliffe running ahead of Cuccinelli, by 6 points and 9 points, respectively.
These polls show a significant change from a few months back. At the beginning of the year, McAuliffe and Cuccinelli ran even at about 36 percent each. When the influx of negative ads began to hit the airwaves in July, both men saw their number take a significant dip, with McAuliffe maintaining a slight edge, and then gaining more steam in September and October.
Two major factors that could be playing into the recent numbers are the addition of Robert Sarvis (Lib) to the polls and the effect of the recent government shutdown. Sarvis was not included in several of the early polling reports. Now that he is, he could be taking away support for the other two candidates, changing the poll dynamics. According to a recent Politico poll, 14 percent of Virginians who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 have defected in favor of the libertarian candidate. The shutdown has also had a large impact on Virginia, a state known for its federal employee and military presence. Polls show that Americans, Virginians included, blame republicans more than democrats for the shutdown, which could put a damper on Cuccinelli’s (R) numbers, if voters associate him with the Republican Party. No matter the reasons, the polls all seem to be on the same page about one thing. McAuliffe (D) has the lead in the race going in to the final few weeks and Cuccinelli (R) has an uphill battle to climb if he wants to be the next governor of Virginia.
There is a time for politics and a time for governing. The time for politics is over the time for governing is upon us.