Senator Claire McCaskill has managed to hold on to her Senate seat this year. All of the votes have yet to be counted, but with 36% of precincts reporting it is clear that the Republican challenger, Todd Akin has lost. As of now it stands with McCaskill at 51% and Akin with 42%.
Akin ran into a lot of trouble earlier this election season with his remarks about abortions in varying cases. He made comments about what he calls ‘legitimate rape’ and how he had heard that women’s bodies had ways of shutting down unwanted pregnancies. This cemented the loss, especially because many fellow Republicans called for him to withdraw from the race.
It is now impossible for Republicans to gain control of the Senate.
Joe Donnelly has officially been named the winner in the Indiana senate race. Losing is the Republican, Richard Mourdock. Although not all the precincts are reporting, 75% are, and Donnelly has come up with 49% of the vote and Mourdock taking in 45%.
Mourdock recently sealed his own coffin when he was asked about his stance on abortion in the case of rape. He said he believed that pregnancies resulting from rape are a blessing from God. This was a very controversial comment that swayed many voters toward the Democrat.
With this loss for Republicans, it has made it nearly impossible to take control of the Senate.
Ted Cruz has been named the victor in the Texas senate race. With only 54% of precincts reporting it is clear that the Republican, Ted Cruz, has won the senate seat in Texas. Currently it stands at 57% of votes to Cruz and only 41% to Sadler.
This was an open seat vacated earlier by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Sadler was grossly underfunded and performed poorly in the debates. This is a much-needed win for the Republicans to maintain their numbers in the Senate.
With less than a week left until the election, it looks like the Nevada senate race is showing a clear front runner. Within the last week 3 new polls have been released, all showing Dean Heller, the Republican, up by at least 3 points if not upward of 6 points. The most recent poll showing Heller up by 6 points, it looks like we may have a Republican victory.
Since the last update on this election, the number of ads has really taken off. The two candidates have attack ads accusing their opponent of evil work. Heller has been charged with wanting tax payers to subsidize oil companies and wanting to outsource jobs. On the other hand, Berkley has been accused of flipping foreclosed homes for profit and using her position in Congress to benefit her husband. Not only are the candidates being attacked, but the ads themselves are. Independent organizations have now put out advertisements telling voters not to believe the other ads.
With this being such an important election in terms of control of the Senate, it is no surprise to see national groups getting extremely involved. Outside groups like super PACs and unions have already spent over $20 million, which is more than the actual campaigns have spent.
Additionally, the state of Nevada has been getting a lot of attention at the national level. Both President Obama and Governor Romney are making a big push for voter turnout. This state has a history of voting independently and splitting the ticket. Shelley Berkley has noted that she believes if the President can bring out big numbers, she can then benefit from that. But based on their past, Nevadans don’t always vote straight down party lines.
The sitting Senator, Heller is now defending his seat against Representative Shelley Berkley. The two candidates have now finished duking it out in their debates, and it is time to look at bringing voters to the polls. In a state of only 1.2 million voters, many believe turnout will be most important in deciding the election. Early voting began on October 20th and it looks like so far the Democrats are showing a larger turnout. However, the number of people voting early this year is much lower than that of people who went to the polls early in 2008.
Now that there are only 6 days until Election Day, it’s time to really look at the possibility of Heller keeping his seat, but also the option of Shelley Berkley unseating him. As the constant stream of ads shows no sign of slowing, it will be a tight race for the Nevada senate seat.
At an appearance in Wisconsin today, Vice President Joe Biden is telling voters that America is not in decline and that the Republican presidential ticket is in denial about the improving economy.
“Biden spoke to about 1,000 people at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Friday. Later in the day, he drew about 1,500 people at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha.
The vice president peppered his speeches with familiar criticisms of Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. He said Romney "meant what he said" when Romney contended that 47 percent of Americans see themselves as victims entitled to government assistance.
Biden said, quote, ‘I don't recognize the country he's talking about.’”
How is it possible that Biden does not understand the accusations made by Governor Romney and Paul Ryan? With unemployment still at 7.8%, not many Americans would see this as a prosperous America.
With this new gaffe, the Vice President has added to his already long list of mistakes during this election season. Earlier he stated that the middle class has been buried over the last four years. Well he is right! Under the Obama administration the middle class has been suffering, and this is what many people would call a decline. How is it that he can now claim the exact opposite?
Maybe the Obama campaign is happy elections are right around the corner; they won’t have to worry about what comes out of Biden’s mouth much longer. With only 10 days until Americans go to the polls, it will be interesting to see how much more trouble Biden can get into.
A new Congressional Research Service report is out today with numbers showing a dramatic increase in welfare spending over the last 4 years. According to this study, welfare spending reached $746 billion in 2011. When talking about welfare, this includes over 80 programs that are primarily designed to help low-income Americans. This jump in spending is in part due to the stimulus bill back in 2009, but it also has to do with the fact that more people are qualifying for welfare assistance in this weak economy.
This report was requested by Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. He says this study underscores a fundamental shift in welfare, as it is now moving away from a temporary fix to a more permanent crutch. He also stated that “welfare assistance should be seen as temporary whenever possible and the goal must be to help more of our fellow citizens attain gainful employment and financial independence”.
What’s also shocking to find is that Medicaid, which is only one of several programs under the welfare umbrella, accounts for $296 billion of that federal spending. That’s 40% of total spending on low-income assistance; back in 2008 that number was only $82 billion. Medicaid is the federal-state health program for the poor. The second biggest program is food stamps, which accounts for $75 billion in 2011. The spending on food stamps has nearly doubled since 2008. Since President Obama took office, 15 million more people joined the food stamp program, a total of 47 million people now receive food stamp benefits.
If anything, this report seems to speak clearly to the issue of unemployment in this country. Many people can no longer afford to provide for their families and now rely on welfare services. These spending habits are not sustainable for the federal government, and something must be done in order to help lower income citizens. With more job creation, not as many people will be relying on welfare and perhaps then we can cut the spending on these programs. Obviously this report just shows how much this recession is hitting the American people.
It’s time, once again, to look at what has been happening recently in the Nevada Senate race. In Nevada the Democrat challenger, Shelley Berkley is trying to unseat the current Senator Dean Heller. This has been considered one of the most important races to watch this election cycle, but within the last month it looks like Dean Heller has become the front runner. All polls in the last two weeks have had Heller up by 3 points. Although these results fall within the margin of error, the tide has been with Heller for quite some time and these results indicate an outcome in favor of Heller. With their debates over, it’s all about the ground game and reaching out to the undecided voters.
In their last debate on Monday night, the two candidates hit each other on their lack of compassion for the middle class. Both claimed the other had done things within the last year to hurt the middle class. Heller accused Berkley of benefiting from the housing crisis in Nevada, talking about a company with ties to her husband which purchases troubled homes and then rents them out. He claims she is capitalizing on other people’s misery. On the other hand, Berkley pressed Heller hard on his vote for tax subsidies for big oil companies, saying he isn’t looking out for the average people. Heller continued to press the issue concerning Berkley’s ethics that she was under investigation for previously. Berkley refused to answer those attacks. But it’s not just the middle class vote the two candidates need to worry about, the Latino vote has become a center piece for victory in Nevada.
Heller has had trouble reaching out to Latino voters, whereas Mrs. Berkley has released several Spanish language TV ads. Although Heller has done his best in this area, it seems that his message is not resonating as well as Berkley’s.
On Monday, Dean Heller received the endorsement of Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. In addition to the NRA endorsement over the weekend, Heller has picked up some much needed support from these backers. His opponent has seen the support of former President Clinton. Like many other tightly contested Senate races this cycle, Clinton has done campaign appearances to support Berkley’s bid for Senate. The two have worked hard to discredit Heller and tie him closely to the Romney/Ryan ticket.
With less than 3 weeks until the election, this race is coming down to the wire. The two candidates must really focus on raising money, and getting out into the state to reach those undecided voters. This is going to be a close race, so keep your eyes on Townhall for more updates as Election Day approaches quickly.
UPDATE: Two new polls by Rasmussen and the Las Vegas Review-Journal have Heller up by 7 and 6 points, respectively. Both of these results are outside the margin of error and therefore we have more evidence that Heller could win in Nevada. Additionally, those polled after watching the debate on Monday thought Heller won by a 2 to 1 margin. Heller is on his way to wrapping up a victory in less than 3 weeks
Once again we turn our attention to the senate races across the country that are the tightest races. In Arizona we check in with the race between Jeff Flake (R) and Richard Carmona (D). Within the last week a new poll was released that showed Richard Carmona with a 4 point lead with likely voters over Jeff Flake. Now these results are still within the percentage of error, and therefore, we can still call this a toss-up race.
This has been a surprisingly tough fight so far for Jeff Flake, as Arizona often votes Republican. Now the race has turned rather negative. Just last week Representative Flake put out a new TV ad charging his challenger with anger problems relating to women. Mr. Carmona has issued a statement calling this accusation “a work of fiction”. He claims the woman featured in the ad was a partisan Republican who was caught lying on her resume. Carmona then released an ad in retaliation against these attacks and said Flake “should be ashamed” for these statements. In this closely fought race, this is not the only way the competitors are going about bringing in votes.
Last Wednesday former President Bill Clinton campaigned for Carmona at an outdoor rally on the Arizona State University campus. This event also featured a musical performance by Jimmy Eat World and former Phoenix Suns basketball player and current mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson. After the celebrity studded event Carmona took the stage followed by a speech by Clinton that lasted 30 minutes.
The same night of that rousing campaign appearance, the two candidates faced off in their first debate in Phoenix. At the debate Carmona said he would not have supported ObamaCare the way it was pushed through by the President. Although he supports the ideas in the Affordable Care Act, he did not support it in that form. Carmona did his best in this debate to distance himself from President Obama and the sitting Democrats. On the other hand, Representative Flake did his best to point out the similarities between the President and his competitor. During the debate Flake even brought up the fact that Carmona was leaving the debate to attend the rally with Bill Clinton. This further connected Carmona to the establishment Democrats and made it hard for him to combat the idea that he lines up with the Dems on almost every issue.
With more debates to come over the next couple weeks, and more ad buys sure to arise, this race is too close to call. Now that there are only 3 weeks until Election Day, make sure to stay tuned here for the latest news on this race.
There was one reported shot at the Denver Obama campaign headquarters. Police tell reporters that no one was injured. A campaign official confirmed these reports. The shot shattered one window of the office, but no reports of injuries.
The Obama campaign has over 30 campaign offices across the state of Colorado, which we all know is one of the highly contested battleground states.
Colorado has been no stranger to gun violence lately, with the deadly shooting at the Aurora movie theater this past summer. Denver was also host to the first Presidential debate last week.
Stay tuned for updates as the information continues to come in.
Earlier this week Roll Call took a deeper look at the most highly contested House races across the country. They ranked the top 10, starting with the most likely to flip. Between redistricting, rematches, and Freshman flubs, these are the most important races to watch until the election.
1. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
2nd full term (68 percent)
Richardson is the only Member on this list who faces a member of her own party - and a fellow Member - on the ballot. Her race against Rep. Janice Hahn, created by California's new "top-two" primary system, was mostly over before it began. The state party and powerful California Labor Federation are with Hahn. Throw in the persistent ethics trouble Richardson has found herself in since she came to Congress, including being officially reprimanded on the House floor in August, and the result is a Member who is all but certain to lose.
2. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)
10th term (61 percent)
The 86-year-old Congressman's district underwent one of the biggest partisan conversions of any in the country as a result of redistricting. The bottom line is it was drawn to elect a Democrat, and it will in November: businessman John Delaney. If national Republicans or their aligned outside groups had seen evidence that this race was winnable, they might have reserved TV time. But none of them seems willing to gamble in the very expensive Washington, D.C., media market. Bartlett should have retired, as many expected him to do.
3. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.)
2nd term (53 percent)
Kissell has been on all three Top 10 Vulnerable Member lists we've done this cycle. But with a month to go until Election Day, there is the best tangible proof yet that his chances of winning a third term are slim. National Democrats recently pulled their TV reservations in Kissell's district - a big sign the former teacher and textile worker is viewed as a political goner. To be clear, Kissell had little control over his predicament. GOP-led redistricting was meant to decimate Democrats in the Tar Heel State. Kissell would need a miracle to overcome the partisan slant of his new district.
4. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.)
1st term (49 percent)
Walsh would be ranked higher on this list except that national Republicans recently reserved TV time in the Democratic-leaning suburban Chicago district where he is running for re-election. That indicates they have seen - and believe - polling that shows Walsh might actually still be in the race against Democrat Tammy Duckworth. Still, it is more likely Walsh will not return to the 113th Congress. If he were to somehow pull out a victory, it would be almost as much of a surprise as his 2010 victory. Almost.
5. David Rivera (R-Fla.)
1st term (52 percent)
By most accounts, Rivera is someone capable of defying political odds. But if the freshman lawmaker, reportedly under investigation by the FBI, somehow pulls off his re-election, it will be beyond miraculous. Rivera has been under an ethical cloud since he entered Congress. The national party won't spend any money to help him against Democrat Joe Garcia, who is also a flawed candidate. How bad have things gotten? Last week, the Miami Herald ran a story naming the GOP candidates looking to try to win the seat back in 2014. The message was sent to Rivera: Good riddance.
6. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.)
1st term (50 percent)
Buerkle, like four other Republicans on this list, was swept into Congress by the strong GOP tide in 2010. Like most of her freshman colleagues listed here, she probably would not have won in a neutral political environment. Now she's attempting to win re-election in a district that will no doubt vote for President Barack Obama. That climb is steep enough. But she also faces the man she barely unseated in 2010: former Rep. Dan Maffei (D). Democrats insist that given the presidential turnout and voters' buyer's remorse, there's really no path to victory for Buerkle. However, the intensity of Buerkle's supporters is such that she could get a boost Election Day if it's close. But right now she looks to be a one-term wonder.
7. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.)
1st term (52 percent)
Benishek won in 2010 with a GOP wind at his back. He won't have that this year, but his bigger problem is that he hasn't ingratiated himself with voters during the past two years. Recent polls have shown Democrat Gary McDowell with a small edge but with a large number of undecided voters - not a promising sign for the incumbent. The race against McDowell is a rematch from 2010. While the district is conservative, it voted to send Democrat Bart Stupak to Congress for years. Right now, Benishek seems to be the slight underdog. But the race isn't over, yet.
8. Charles Bass (R-N.H.)
1st term (48 percent; previously served six terms)
Bass is a veteran of competitive races and the wave elections of 2006 and 2010 - the years he got swept out of and then back into Congress. This year there is no political tide moving in one direction and Bass' political skills will be tested in a neutral environment. His district favors Democrats, making him a top target from the very beginning of the cycle. He faces a rematch from 2010 with Ann McLane Kuster, who never stopped running after her loss two years ago. Much has been written about the demise of the New England Republican. Next month, Bass wants to prove the old Mark Twain adage true.
9. John Barrow (D-Ga.)
4th term (57 percent)
Barrow is the most battle-tested Member on this list. He has found ways to win in districts that he wasn't supposed to cycle after cycle. And he could still pull off a victory next month. What makes his task even more complicated this year is that he's running in a more Republican district - in a presidential year - than he has ever run in before. Barrow is good on the stump and is a pretty gifted retail politician. But he's got to convince more voters than ever to split their tickets. Republican Lee Anderson isn't regarded as a stellar recruit. But it might not matter.
10. John Tierney (D-Mass.)
8th term (57 percent)
Is the power of innuendo strong enough to end a long political career? For Tierney, the answer looks to be yes. The Congressman has been accused of no wrongdoing, but his proximity to his wife's family's trouble with the law over an offshore gambling ring has been politically toxic. He faces Republican Richard Tisei in a comfortably Democratic district. In a presidential year, Tisei will have to outperform GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney by a big margin. But the wind's not at the incumbent's back, with recent polls showing Tisei ahead. Tierney could still win, but it will be ugly.
Obviously it is quite possible that there could be a big shake up in the House after this election in November.