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Guy Benson - Colorado Senate: Gardner Touts Major Newspaper Endorsements, Leads in New Poll
Posted: 10/13/2014 2:12:00 PM EST

Colorado Republican Cory Gardner leads hapless Democratic incumbent Mark Udall by four points (46/42), according to a new poll from SurveyUSA and High Point University:


Fox News' survey of likely voters in the state released late last week gave Gardner a six point advantage. Team Gardner is seeking to build momentum off of a string of newspaper endorsements, including the Denver Post's blockbuster nod that dropped on Friday. Money quotes:

[Washington] needs fresh leadership, energy and ideas, and Cory Gardner can help provide them in the U.S. Senate. In every position the Yuma Republican has held over the years — from the state legislature to U.S. House of Representatives — he has quickly become someone to be reckoned with and whose words carry weight. An analysis on ABC News' website, for example, singled out Gardner a year ago — before he declared for the Senate — as one of the party's “rising stars” who represented “a new generation of talent” and who had become a “go-to” member of leadership. And this was about someone who wasn't elected to Congress until 2010. Nor is Gardner a political time-server interested only in professional security. He is giving up a safe seat in the House to challenge a one-term Senate incumbent, Democrat Mark Udall, in what is typically an uphill effort. It's time for a change...Rather than run on his record, Udall's campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman's call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.

The campaign released the following ad that lets others do the talking:


If Gardner pulls off this upset, Ellen Carmichael argues at the The Federalist that his focus and discipline will have played a significant role:

Message discipline matters. Gardner’s consistency and restraint give Udall few openings for attack. When asked about his positions on birth control and abortion, Gardner responds clearly, calmly and with conviction. It’s obvious that he means what he says: one can support expanded access to contraception without forcing taxpayers to pay for it and without supporting abortion. We also know there’s no better way to frustrate a bully than to refuse to be bothered by him. Gardner’s disinterest in even entertaining Udall’s wild accusations demonstrate a political maturity. He knows he doesn’t have to fight every battle or feed a troll—even if that troll is a sitting U.S. senator.

Republicans haven't won a major statewide race in Colorado since 2004, so it would be premature and foolish for conservatives to dance in the endzone before this race is over. The Obama campaign's get-out-the-vote operation in Colorado was highly efficient two years ago, allowing the president to carry the state relatively comfortably in spite of close polls. But sometimes actions speak louder than words:

National Democrats are canceling more than $1 million of planned commercial airtime for Colorado congressional candidate Andrew Romanoff — a sign of waning confidence in his prospects. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had reserved $1.4 million for TV spending to boost Romanoff in the final two weeks of his race against Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. But a DCCC aide said Friday that those funds would be distributed to other races.

If the DCCC is pulling the plug in a marquee House race in the Denver suburbs, while Senate Majority PAC reduces its ad buy in the state, they can't be looking at particularly bright trends in their internal polling.
Daniel Doherty - It Begins: Pryor, Cotton Prepare For Two Big Debates
Posted: 10/13/2014 1:35:00 PM EST

Incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Republican challenger Tom Cotton (R-AR) will trade barbs twice over the next 48 hours.

The first debate will take place this afternoon (all four candidates vying for the seat will participate), which can be viewed live on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) website at 2:00 PM CST. (According to the Arkansas Times, it will later air on the same network's television channel at 8:00 PM). Tomorrow’s debate, however, will be televised in real time across the state starting at 7:00 PM. We will watch and analyze both.

The Associated Press reports that special interest groups have poured more than $32 million into the race. It is therefore one of the most expensive and closely-watched contests in the country. And unsurprisingly, it has been marred by mudslinging and outrageous attack ads. Tom Cotton, for example, has been characterized as entitled and being pro-Ebola. Pryor, on the other hand, has been branded an Obama rubber stamp (not entirely true) as well as “weak and unsteady.”

I expect, then, both candidates will try to set the record straight and make their opponent look weak and out of touch. Interestingly, too, this is the only debate that will address foreign policy issues, according to the Associated Press. I suspect Tom Cotton, therefore, won't let this opportunity go to waste.

I’ll leave you with two new ads before the fireworks begin. The first (released by Team Pryor) takes Cotton to task for his voting record:

The second (released by Team Cotton) burnishes their guy's military service and credentials:

Be sure to stay tuned for our post-debate analysis. These are two debates you won’t want to miss.

Correction: The debate is at 2:00 PM CST -- not EST.

Cortney O'Brien - Awesome: Pro-life Candidate Has Huge Lead in NYS Senate Race
Posted: 10/13/2014 1:15:00 PM EST

You’d think a hard line against abortion is one way to not get elected in a deep blue state like New York, but Republican State Senate candidate Rich Funke is proving otherwise. A new Siena poll shows him up by 25 points over the incumbent Democrat Ted O’Brien in the state's 55th district.

Specifically, Funke is campaigning against the tenth point of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which would expand abortion access in the state. Funke told a local New York news station why he cannot support such legislation:

“I can't support the notion that abortions could be performed up to the day of birth,” said Funke. “I can't support the notion that abortions could be performed by non-doctors. This is a health issue, this isn't pro-life or pro-choice. this is a health issue to me.”

O’Brien said Funke is merely trying to distort the act’s language.

Funke only finds fault with this specific section of Cuomo’s plan, yet that didn’t stop pro-abortion protesters from picketing outside of Funke’s campaign office in Rochester. A quick count from this local news report shows a whopping eight people showed up, some representing Planned Parenthood, others the National Organization for Women, to wave their “Women are Watching” signs. The Executive Director of Planned Parenthood for Central & Western New York, Betty DeFazio said Funke needs to “explain his rhetoric.”

Despite these protesters' efforts, Funke is winning. Perhaps that's because he's not afraid to answer these "war on women" accusations, insisting that he is for women’s rights. More Republican candidates need to take Funke's approach this election season.

Abortion has devastating consequences not just for the unborn baby, but for the mother involved. Studies have proven that post-abortive women often deal with alcohol and drug abuse, or struggle with feelings of guilt and depression. Considering these dangerous effects, it looks like it’s Cuomo and O'Brien who need to do some explaining.

Katie Pavlich - After Horrendous Wheelchair Attack Ad, Wendy Davis Uses Disabled People as Props
Posted: 10/13/2014 1:00:00 PM EST

As Guy extensively detailed last week, Wendy Davis released an ad attacking her disabled opponent Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott by featuring an empty wheelchair. As a reminder, Abbott is paralyzed from the waist down due to a tree falling on him during a run in 1984.

After extensive backlash and outrage by the left and the right over the weekend, including the far-left media outlet Mother Jones, Team Wendy is digging deeper and doubling down with human props. 

Absolutely shameless. I for one am looking forward to watching Davis lose on election day.

Ky Sisson - Millennial Voters Say They Want Paul Ryan, Hillary Clinton in 2016
Posted: 10/13/2014 12:30:00 PM EST

A new poll by Fusion.com says that Millennials are ready for a Paul Ryan, Hillary Clinton brawl in 2016. Considering the overwhelming support for President Obama in 08' and 12', votes from twenty/thirty-somethings are an important voting bloc.  

Hillary was a shoe-in for Democrat Millennials with 48 percent saying she would get their vote. Those findings are somewhat obvious, but what is a little frightening is the poll found second and third place going to Joe Biden at 13 percent and Elizabeth Warren (didn't see that one coming) at nine percent. 

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) leads the poll amongst Republican voters. 16 percent would vote for Ryan, eleven percent chose Jeb Bush, and 9 percent chose Rand Paul. What about Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)? He might be a little too conservative, considering that many Millennials are swayed by social issues, particularly same-sex marriage. This is part of how President Obama got elected and reelected.

Paul Ryan is enthusiastic. He's a strong leader with ideas that are hard to object to regarding poverty and growing the economy. He's young -- or at least younger, I should say. If he wins the presidency, he would be 45 years old. Hillary, on the other hand, would be 69 years old at her inauguration.

The poll was consistent with Millennial's liberal views on social issues that distract from problems such as terrorism and the debt crisis:

  • 84% of young voters think marijuana should be legal for medicinal purposes.
  • 68% of millennial voters support gay marriage.

This coming midterm election, 47 percent of likely Millennial voters say they’ll choose Democrats, 32 percent say they will vote for Republicans, and 21 percent are undecided.

Here are some other findings from Fusion:

  • Only 15% of young black voters and 17% of young Hispanics are likely to support Republicans in the midterms.
  • 60% of young voters—and 69% of young Hispanic voters–want to allocate more resources to address the border crisis of unaccompanied minors.
  • In the wake of Ferguson, a majority of young voters oppose the militarization of: 56% say military weapons are unnecessary for police.

Paul Ryan may be a candidate who could attract compete for significant support from Millennials. He has a sincere desire to change the direction of the country for the better and is passionate about the things Millennials care about and should care about. The only thing he may want to avoid doing is another exercise photo shoot where he looks, well, awkward. Though, nothing could out do Hillary's hilarious Russian "reset button" blunder

Katie Pavlich - MSNBC Host to 'Wingers': Ebola Was Spread at a Private Hospital in a Red State, You Know
Posted: 10/13/2014 12:20:00 PM EST

Ladies and gentlemen, MSNBC host Joy Reid has a statement to make: 

A few thoughts. 1) Private hospitals in the United States unselfishly provide healthcare to millions of Americans each year. According to the American Hospital Association, there are 5,723 registered hospitals in the United States. Out of those 5,723 hospitals, 1,025 are for-profit  and 2,903 are nonprofit. Just 1,045 are government hospitals. Here is a handy chart: 

*Registered hospitals are those hospitals that meet AHA's criteria for registration as a hospital facility. Registered hospitals include AHA member hospitals as well as nonmember hospitals. For a complete listing of the criteria used for registration, please see Registration Requirements for Hospitals.

**Community hospitals are defined as all nonfederal, short-term general, and other special hospitals. Other special hospitals include obstetrics and gynecology; eye, ear, nose, and throat; rehabilitation; orthopedic; and other individually described specialty services. Community hospitals include academic medical centers or other teaching hospitals if they are nonfederal short-term hospitals. Excluded are hospitals not accessible by the general public, such as prison hospitals or college infirmaries.

Medical personnel at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas graciously provided Ebola patient Thomas Duncan, who died last week, with care despite great risk to themselves and other patients 

2) How exactly did Ebola get into the hospital, into the "red state" of Texas and into the United States for that matter, in the first place? Why not hold Thomas Duncan accountable for traveling to Liberia, lying on a medical form about Ebola exposure and landing in Dallas after trouncing through multiple airports with thousands of people? 

3) The other alternative for Duncan would have been for the hospital to reject him as a patient and refuse treatment all together. Instead, men and women working at the private hospital put their own lives at risk in an effort to save his. A nurse who tried to save him, is now suffering from the disease as a result.

4) Should we have sent Duncan to a government hospital like Veteran's Affairs? Where thousands of have died just waiting for care?

Naturally after much backlash, Reid is attempting to walk things back. 

Never change MSNBC, never change.

Conn Carroll - Ernst Gains Support in Iowa as Dems Fall Further Behind 2012 Ballot Pace
Posted: 10/13/2014 11:00:00 AM EST

Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst jumped from 44 percent to 47 percent in the latest Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa voters, maintaining a slim one point lead on Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) who also improved from 38 percent to 46 percent in the latest poll. 

Ernst continues to be viewed more favorably than Braley. Just 44 percent of Iowa voters have a favorable opinion of Braley compared to 43 percent who don't. Meanwhile, 47 percent of Iowa voters have a favorable opinion of Ernst, compared to just 43 percent who don't. The same poll found that while a similar 47 percent of Iowans have a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton, 49 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the former-First Lady of the United States.

Also worrisome for Democrats, according to Ace of Spades HQ Decision Desk, Democrats are far behind their 2012 lead in early voting. By this point tin 2012, Iowa Democrats had turned in 115,280 ballots compared to just 62,152 Republican ballots, giving them a 53,128 ballot lead. Obama went on to win Iowa 52 percent to 46 percent that year.

But this year, Democrats have turned in just 55,879 ballots so far, compared to 44,192 for Republicans, netting them a 11,687 ballot lead. Not only is that far smaller margin than in 2012, but it also is much smaller than the 2010 Democratic ballot advantage at this point (Dems +21,942) when Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad went on to crush his Democratic opponent 53 percent to 43 percent.

You can read Guy Benson's coverage of Saturday night's Ernst Braley debate here and read the joke Mitt Romney made about President Obama while campaigning for Ernst here

Guy Benson - Video: Braley Links Ernst Gun Ad in Iowa to Unrelated California Shooting
Posted: 10/13/2014 10:24:00 AM EST

Iowa's Senate race is as tight as ever, according to a new Des Moines Register survey, with Republican Joni Ernst holding a slim one-point edge (47/46) over Democrat Bruce Braley. Ernst led in this polling series by six points last month, albeit with far more undecided voters. With three weeks to go, the contest is a dead heat. Ernst and Braley met in a televised debate on Saturday night, at which the Democrat tried to draw a bizarre connection between one of Ernst's GOP primary television ads and a terrible shooting in California:


"She was asked about her ad that she ran in the primary, where she was shooting a pistol into the camera, and saying 'let me take aim at Obamacare.' It came out right before the tragic shooting in Santa Barbara. She was asked if she regretted [the ad], and she called it an unfortunate accident. And I don't think it was an accident to the victims and their families."

This is, to put it charitably, revolting and demagogic garbage.  Ernst's ad was uploaded to YouTube on May 4, and it's just about the least menacing thing you'll ever see.  The Santa Barbara spree occurred weeks later, halfway across the country, and was perpetrated by a mentally unsound 22-year-old consumed by deadly misogyny.  Braley's ghoulish effort to connect the two was as clumsy as it was nonsensical.  A lighthearted political ad featuring an Iowa candidate shooting at the range had absolutely nothing to do with a deranged person's murder spree in California.  Of course the timing was an unfortunate, unrelated accident.  "Bruce Bailey" evidently disagrees, or he's at least willing to recklessly imply some sort of correlation here, in order to scurrilously link his opponent to bloodshed.  Truly vile stuff.  At another point in the evening, Braley was challenged on his views on guns.  He asserted that he's never met anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.  Republicans immediately began circulating one of Braley's own press releases touting his appearance at a 'No Labels' conference, where he was "joined by" Bloomberg:


Braley supporters quickly shot back that Bloomberg hadn't attended that event. The evidence disagrees:


Geraghty allows that perhaps Braley and Bloomberg were both at the same meeting but never actually crossed paths. That's plausible. But so far, Team Braley is oh-for-two regarding this little tale.  I'll leave you with Ernst pointedly reminding Braley of his demeaning comments about Sen. Chuck Grassley and Iowa farmers:

Townhall Magazine - A Conservatarian Summer
Posted: 10/13/2014 9:20:00 AM EST

The nation is not becoming libertarian, but the pendulum is swinging back toward liberty. HotAir.com's Noah Rothman reports for Townhall Magazine. 

In August, New York Times reporter Robert Draper asked if America’s “libertarian moment” had finally arrived. Citing voters’ increasing trepidation about overseas interventionism and the apparent popularity of a laissez faire approach to divisive cultural issues, Draper observed that just such a “moment” was upon us.

The aestas horribilis of 2014 did advance the ball for libertarianism, but the complex American civic psyche often frustrates political taxonomists. It was more a form of conservatarianism—a synthesis of center-right philosophical approaches to unique sets of challenges—that was ascendant.

In late August, the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer set the city of Ferguson, Missouri on fire. The suspicious circumstances of the teen’s death prompted familiar protests to erupt in the state and around the country. Unlike the response to racially charged incidents in the recent past, however, the civil unrest that followed this shooting was characterized by rioting, attacks on police, and the wonton destruction of property.

The response from the police was authoritative, but it was also indiscriminate. Peaceful demonstrators, rioters, and members of the press alike all felt the heavy hand of a militarized police force. The political reaction was astonishing; Right and Left, liberal and conservative, Americans of disparate racial and social backgrounds were alarmed. They did not recognize responders in Ferguson as the servants of a self-governed people.

Libertarian-leaning conservatives had long warned of a disturbing trend in which American police forces had adopted a pseudo-military posture. Suddenly, on the streets of Ferguson, the theoretical threat to American civil liberties materialized.

Openly libertarian leaders like Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed their revulsion over the warlike response of the police to protests without regard to their level of unruliness. Tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), while also expressing his appreciation for the dangerous work in which law enforcement professionals engage, condemned the unexplained detention of reporters covering the unrest in Ferguson.

Liberal commentators who feared that civil rights had taken a backseat amid efforts to impose order welcomed their sentiments. Few on the Left dared to oppose the emerging consensus between Left and Right, and those who did were not rewarded. Utterly missing the moment, civil rights leader and Democratic icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) determined that the proper response to the unrest in Ferguson was to ask the president to “declare martial law” and “federalize the Missouri National Guard.” Perhaps hoping not to offend, Lewis’ ideological comrades largely ignored his comments.

“There’s a big difference between our military and local law enforcement and we don’t want those lines blurred,” President Obama finally conceded as violence between police and protesters continued to escalate. “That would be contrary to our traditions.”

This was a libertarian moment, but the summer was not wholly one of victories for those in favor of a smaller government footprint. Overseas, Americans bore witness to the fruits of a policy of benign neglect. Crises on three continents exploded, culminating in the rise of the worst threat to human dignity in generations.

In Europe, a revanchist Russia reacted to the imposition of economic sanctions in response to the invasion and annexation of the Crimean peninsula with an even more brazen campaign to destabilize Ukraine. The mirage of insulation enjoyed in the West was shattered in July when nearly 300 civilians, most of them Western Europeans, were blown out of the sky after pro-Moscow militants fired a sophisticated Russian missile at a pas- senger plane.

In Libya, where the president had celebrated the conclusion of a brief campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi just three years prior, Islamist militants sacked town after town and encircled the capital.

And in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State established a caliphate and engaged in a campaign of horrors the likes of which the world has not witnessed since the mid-20th century. There, the United States was made to pay for its inaction in 2013.

A year ago, most Americans regularly told pollsters that they objected to the president’s plan to execute airstrikes in Syria aimed at containing that conflagrating conflict. Obama relented to public pressure then, and the cancer in Syria metastasized. After months of dithering even after it became clear the Syrian civil war had developed into a regional conflict, Obama was forced to act. When the president finally ordered airstrikes in Iraq in order to relieve the pressure on American diplomatic and military personnel and to prevent the extermination of Iraqi minorities, he did so with the support of bipartisan majorities. Americans had once again internalized the bloody lessons of disengagement.

The message of the summer of 2014 is not so much that a libertarian moment had dawned, but that the American political pendulum is finally swinging—as it does with predictable regularity—back toward a conservatism of the late 20th century: Federalism at home; engagement, not adventurism, abroad; deference to the Constitution above all. It may not be a tectonic political shift, but America emerged from this past summer changed. The effects of that change have only begun to be felt. • 

Katie Pavlich - Will U.S. Troops Be Protected From Ebola During Deployment to West Africa?
Posted: 10/13/2014 7:15:00 AM EST

Three weeks ago President Obama announced he would be sending thousands of U.S. troops and military personnel to West African countries in an effort to combat Ebola. 

The White House said Obama will travel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta -- where US Ebola victims were treated -- to make the announcement, meant to spur a global effort to tackle the outbreak that has already killed 2,400 people.

It comes as alarm grows that the worst-ever Ebola epidemic which spread through Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea before reaching Nigeria, is out of control. A separate strain of the disease has appeared in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Most of the US effort, which will draw heavily on its military medical corps, will be concentrated in impoverished Liberia -- the worst hit nation -- with plans to build 17 Ebola treatment centres with 100 beds in each.

But as troops get their boots on the ground in countries devastated by the disease, many are asking how the health of U.S. soldiers will be protected. Last week we learned military personnel will be handling Ebola infected blood samples and now some experts say it's inevitable some troops will contract the deadly disease. 

ABC News medical expert Richard Besser told This Week Sunday morning that there was a “very real” possibility one of the 3,000 U.S. troops being sent to west Africa to help fight the ebola outbreak could contract the virus.

The Pentagon insists troops deployed to combat Ebola will be safe.

"Let me assure you, by providing predeployment training, adhering to strict medical protocols while deployed, and carrying out carefully planned reintegration measures based on risk and exposure, I am confident that we can ensure our service members' safety and the safety of their families and the American people," Commander of U.S. Africa Command Gen. David Rodriguez said last week. "We will do everything in our power to address and mitigate the potential risk to our service members, civilian employees, contractors, and their families." 

Time will tell. 

Meanwhile in the United States, new screenings for temperatures have been implemented at some international airports and over the weekend it was confirmed a nurse treating Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week, caught the disease despite being in full protective gear.