Presidential aspirations dominate governor’s meeting

No fewer than a half-dozen potential presidential candidates are gathering in Florida as the Republican Governors Association prepares to select its next leader. The organization’s annual conference begins Wednesday in a luxury oceanside resort where the nation’s Republican governors will celebrate their party’s recent success in the midterm elections. Privately, they’re jockeying for position as the 2016 presidential contest looms. None of the most likely White House candidates is expected to seek to replace the outgoing RGA chief, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as the group’s chairman. It’s a position with responsibilities that would conflict with the presidential primary season.
Read More

Landrieu swamped by TV ads from opponent

Republican Senate contender Bill Cassidy and his conservative allies have overshadowed endangered Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu by roughly a 180-to-1 margin on television since their campaign went into overtime, according to an analysis released Friday. It was a reverse from earlier in the campaign, when Landrieu blanketed the airwaves and conservatives held onto their cash, expecting to spend it during the extra-innings campaign. Both Cassidy, a third-term Republican congressman, and Landrieu failed to win more than 50 percent of the vote in a crowded field during Nov. 4’s first round of voting. That forced a Dec. 6 runoff where spending
Read More

Dissatisfaction, turnout drove GOP to big wins

A sharp drop in turnout, a wave of voter unhappiness with both parties and a geographically favorable slate of Senate races combined to give the GOP the advantage it needed to pull off an unexpectedly strong victory Tuesday, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks. Disdain toward both parties dominated. The vast majority of voters had a negative view of one or both parties and about either President Barack Obama or Republican leaders in Congress. Where those groups overlapped — among voters who had an unfavorable opinion of both Democrats and Republicans (17 percent) and
Read More

A revamped political landscape with more division

America awoke Wednesday to sharper dividing lines in an already divided government, forcing President Barack Obama to recalibrate his approach and giving Republican leaders in Congress new muscle to check him. The president scheduled an afternoon news conference to offer his take on an Election Day thumping of Democrats that gave Republicans control of the Senate, strengthened the GOP hold on the House and put a series of Democratic-leaning states under control of new Republican governors. One of Obama’s first post-election calls was to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, positioned to become the new Senate majority leader and confront the
Read More

Now the focus shifts to 2016 Presidential campaign

And so it begins. Even before the polls had closed on Election Day, Republicans had shifted their focus to 2016 and the party’s top target: Hillary Rodham Clinton. And by the end of the night, the GOP had claimed victories in Senate contests and governor races that will serve as a White House launch pad for the party’s most ambitious. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has acknowledged presidential aspirations, won his third election in four years, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder earned second terms amidst White House whispers of their own. The governors and their
Read More

Key players playing high stakes on election night

Republicans rolled in a series of races Tuesday to seize control of the Senate, the biggest prize in the midterm elections. This, while seeing two vulnerable GOP governors defeat their challengers in marquee races in Wisconsin and Florida and building an even stronger majority in the House. Altogether, Republicans needed to gain six seats to win back the Senate majority they lost in 2006. They achieved that and much more. ___ THE PATH In West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, Republicans switched open seats that had been held by Democrats to their column. Then they added Arkansas, where incumbent Democrat
Read More