Archives for Politics

Greg Orman: A candidate without a party

Independent candidate Greg Orman, running a surprisingly competitive race for the Senate in Kansas, has based his campaign on his disdain for both major political parties. But the parties have something the Kansas City businessman could really use right now: an established get out the vote operation. In most elections, making sure that friendly voters cast their ballots is more important for a candidate in a race’s final days than wooing new supporters. Orman’s opponent, three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, has several thousand GOP campaign workers and volunteers armed with the latest voter information who are making sure his likely
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Is Wendy Davis ready to accept defeat?

It’s a sunny afternoon just before the election and Wendy Davis isn’t addressing an arena packed with adoring supporters, speaking on national television or working a hotel ballroom of top donors. Instead, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor is in a soldier’s backyard in an especially conservative corner of the state that she has no hope of carrying, addressing 30 campaign volunteers as they slap at stinging fire ants. Davis’ campaign, which began with sky-high hopes among Democrats nationwide, is nearing the finish line facing seemingly insurmountable odds. The state senator dares critics to count her out, but her well-funded
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Big money flowing into small elections this year

Political groups that took advantage of loosened campaign-finance rules spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. This year, they’re cropping up in state and local races as well. Wealthy individuals and interest groups of all stripes are increasingly setting up political committees that can steer unlimited sums to small-dollar contests for state legislature, sheriff and school board. Four years after the Supreme Court ruled that Congress cannot restrict spending by political groups not directly affiliated with candidates, the “Super PACs” and other spending committees that sprung up in the wake of that decision are becoming
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Obama picks few campaigns this season

Wistful about fighting his last campaign, President Barack Obama touted a burst of U.S. economic growth on Thursday to try to limit Democratic losses in next week’s elections, in a speech at one of the few voter rallies he is attending. Obama seized on government figures that said the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter to suggest his policies are working and that electing Democrats will help the middle class. But with polls showing Republicans poised to gain seats and possibly seize control of the U.S. Senate on Election Day on Tuesday, Obama’s
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Hillary Clinton softpedals comments on rivals

When it comes to potential Democratic primary rivals, Hillary Rodham Clinton is displaying a light touch. Heading into Tuesday’s midterm elections, Clinton has crossed paths with two possible presidential competitors in the past week: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. By all accounts, the back-and-forth of a debate stage remains a long way off. “For the past eight years, you’ve had a great team,” Clinton said at the University of Maryland, where she vouched for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who is running to succeed O’Malley. The outgoing governor has a lengthy record that puts him in good
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Independents could determine control of Senate

After millions of Americans vote next week, it’s possible that one or two men will decide which party controls the Senate. One is Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who generally “caucuses” — or cooperates — with Democrats but says he might switch to the Republicans. The other is Greg Orman of Kansas, an independent candidate trying to oust Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. If he wins, Orman says, he would caucus with whichever party holds the majority when the new Congress convenes in January. He has not said, however, what he would do if he could decide, by himself, which
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Giffords struggles to make guns a mid-term issue

She has delivered the same 64-word speech eight times already, but Gabby Giffords is struggling to get through the ninth. “Together, we can win elections,” the former Arizona congresswoman tells her Seattle audience before starting to stumble. After a moment of confused silence, an aide whispers the next line, and Giffords continues the broken sentence: “… change our laws.” Four years after she was shot in the head and went on to inspire millions with her recovery, Giffords is as committed as ever to pushing for tighter gun-control laws. But in the final days of this year’s midterm elections, few
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Jeb Bush labels Obama as ‘incompetent’ on Ebola

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday criticized President Barack Obama’s initial handling of the Ebola crisis as “incompetent,” saying it gave rise to unneeded fears among the American public about the virus. Bush, who is the latest potential Republican presidential candidate to attack the president over Ebola, also said in a wide-ranging discussion at Vanderbilt University that he supports travel restrictions for people who have been to the most severely affected countries in Africa. Bush said Obama should have been more “clear and concise” about his plans, and lent more credibility to health officials leading the response. “It looked
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Democrats turn up the scare tactics in Senate races

Their majority in jeopardy, Senate Democrats unleashed a late-campaign round of attack ads Monday accusing Republicans in key races of harboring plans to cut Social Security and Medicare. The commercials in Iowa, New Hampshire, Louisiana and elsewhere appear aimed at older voters, who cast ballots in relatively large numbers in midterm elections and have tended to support Republicans in recent years. One ad, airing in Iowa, shows Republican candidate Joni Ernst on videotape saying, “Yes, I have talked about privatizing Social Security.” Another, which began appearing in New Hampshire during the day, says that while Scott Brown was a senator
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New Hampshire Senate’s unpopularity contest

If there’s one person in New Hampshire less popular than President Barack Obama, it’s Republican Scott Brown. But that might not matter as the former Massachusetts senator tries to unseat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in his new home state. Brown, who moved to New Hampshire late last year, hopes to sink Shaheen by linking her to Obama, whose favorability and job approval remain at all-time lows. And while Brown’s favorability numbers are just as dismal — one poll shows voters liking him less the more they get to know him — he’s running neck-and-neck with the considerably more popular Shaheen.
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