Archives for Politics

Presidential sweepstates: Who will challenge Hillary?

For Democrats and Republicans, the early stages of the 2016 presidential contest are worlds apart. Many Democrats already view Hillary Rodham Clinton as a quasi-incumbent, someone who could take the reins from President Barack Obama. The former secretary of state has made no decisions about her political future but has done little to dampen enthusiasm about another presidential campaign, traveling the country making speeches and preparing to release another book. Republicans have no clear front-runner and expect a crowded primary field that could include fresh-faced candidates like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco
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Can a two-woman ticket win in Texas?

Forget whether Hillary Clinton could win the White House in 2016. Women still have yet to run many statehouses, but in 2014 two Texas Democrats are going for a new kind of history: Winning as an all-female ticket for governor and lieutenant governor. Woven into one of the nation’s most intriguing gubernatorial races this year is whether Democrat Wendy Davis, whose 11-hour filibuster over abortion restrictions catapulted the state senator to national fame this summer, can not only overcome long odds in a fiercely Republican state but pull off a political first. If Davis and fellow state Sen. Leticia Van
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Defining the deciding issues for elections in 2014

In a competitive district east of Denver, Democrat Andrew Romanoff is counting on voter anger at a divided and ineffectual Congress to help him unseat three-term Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. “I must have blinked and missed it,” the challenger said of the House’s work this past year. “It’s become a punch line to call this the least productive Congress in history or to joke ‘how do you tell when Congress is in session or on vacation, it’s hard to tell the difference.'” Ten months to next year’s midterm elections, Democrats are determined to make Congress’ slim production of fewer than
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Health care a dividing issue in 2014 races

Republicans see the 2014 midterm elections as a chance to capitalize on voter frustration with the problem-plagued health care overhaul, but the GOP first must settle a slate of Senate primaries where conservatives are arguing over the best way to oppose President Barack Obama’s signature law. In intraparty skirmishes from Georgia to Nebraska, the GOP’s most strident candidates and activists are insisting on a no-holds-barred approach. They accuse fellow Republicans — including several incumbent senators — of being too soft in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act and to the president in general. The outcomes will help determine just
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Nasty split between GOP leaders, rabid right

Republican leaders and several hard-right groups are displaying the classic signs of a political divorce, including bitter name-calling and reprisals against one another. The recent eagerness of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to lash out at groups that have given them fits has unshackled others in the Republican ranks to publicly question the motivation of organizations like the Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action, Madison Project and Club for Growth. Such organizations disparage Republicans they accuse of following the path of least resistance in Washington and vow to replace them in primaries with conservative purists. “I
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Another Bush out there — a tea party one

The latest scion of one of America’s most powerful political dynasties is trying to convince voters he’s something other than what his famous surname suggests. George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s 37-year-old son who is a grandson of one former president and nephew of another, is launching his political career by running for Texas’ little-known but powerful land commissioner post. But rather than campaigning on the mainstream Republicanism embodied by the family name, Bush says he’s “a movement conservative” more in line with the tea party. As if to underscore the point, he says he draws the most inspiration not from
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Chamber of Commerce jumps into races in Idaho, W.Va.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching ads backing eight-term Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, who faces a primary challenge in Idaho, and two GOP candidates in West Virginia as the business organization ramps up its political activity for next year’s congressional elections. The Chamber’s involvement in Idaho marks the second time in recent months that the group has taken sides in the internal Republican fight pitting the GOP establishment against conservative activists. The group backed Bradley Byrne over tea party favorite Dean Young in a special congressional runoff primary in Alabama, pumping at least $200,000 into the race. Byrne won
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Worried Democrats distance themselves from Obamacare

Democrats running for re-election in Arkansas, Louisiana and other Republican-leaning states faced enough problems before President Barack Obama’s popularity swooned in November. Now they are awkwardly distancing themselves from him a year before the election, seeking the right balance between independence and betrayal. A popular president can help his party’s candidates for Congress and governor candidates in mid-term elections. But Democrats increasingly worry they could suffer losses, much as they did in 2010, Obama’s first mid-term elections. In a twist few expected, Republicans are still hammering the issue that fueled their successes in 2010: the health care overhaul they call
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Liberals retaking control in New York

With Bill de Blasio taking office as mayor in January, New York City appears poised for a resurgence of liberal policies. After 20 years of Republican leadership, not only will America’s largest city have the most liberal mayor in a generation, helping him implement change will be a progressive-leaning City Council and a longtime liberal ally in the new public advocate. The city was governed for the last 12 years by Michael Bloomberg, a political independent who was first elected as a Republican, and for eight years before that by Republican Rudolph Giuliani. To observers as well as Democratic legislators,
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Same sex couple ready to marry legally in Hawaii

Some same-sex couples plan to get married as soon as they’re able to do so legally in Hawaii on Monday. A ceremony for six couples at the Sheraton Waikiki is one of several wedding events planned soon after 12:01 a.m., when a new law allows gay couples to marry in the state. Couples who want to get married as early as possible Monday won’t have to wait until Hawaii’s Health Department opens its doors at 8 a.m. Same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses at 12:01 a.m., department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said. Okubo said the state’s marriage license application
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