Katie Pavlich - Abbott Stikes Back With Devastating Ad: Wendy Davis is Unfit to Be Governor
Posted: 10/13/2014 4:30:00 PM EST

Democrat and liberal hero Wendy Davis is facing enormous backlash after an ad featuring an empty wheelchair was released last week by her campaign in an effort to attack her disabled opponent Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. This week, she's doubling down on the ad and even gathered people in wheelchairs to use as human props during a campaign event Monday. 

Now, Abbott is hitting back with a devastating television ad of his own which features a slew of liberal media clips condemning the ad and Davis' campaign as a whole. At the end of the ad, the statement is made that Davis is a "unfit" to be governor.

"Despite receiving near-universal condemnation from all sides of the political and media spectrum, Sen. Davis continues to defend her desperate and despicable ad. Sen. Davis’ decision to double down on her severe error in judgment is shameful and shows that she is unfit to be their governor," the caption of the ad states.

Exit question: Abbott is up by eight points. Who are the people still willing to vote for this woman?

Guy Benson - Anti-GOP Ad on Ebola: 'Republican Cuts Kill'
Posted: 10/13/2014 4:15:00 PM EST

Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor raised eyebrows and invited scorn in August when he released a television ad tying his Republican opponent to the Ebola crisis. Although the spot was roundly mocked as hyperbolic and flailing, a Democratic group has decided to take Pryor's concept several steps further with a new commercial called 'Republican cuts kill.' It features, well, actual footage of Africans dying of Ebola. Just watch:

Somewhere, MSNBC's Joy Reid is wondering why she didn't think of this attack first. Rebutting the new ad may not be worth my time, but it fails on several levels.  First, it grossly violates the 'ick' test.  Many Americans have concerns about the government's competence to contain Ebola cases inside the United States; very few will squarely, or even glancingly, blame a political party's ideology for the current scare. On a related note, there is zero nuance in this ad. It ponderously draws a straight line from Republicans' desire to rein in federal spending to people dying of Ebola.  That linkage is so ridiculous on its face that I can't even summon any real indignation over it.  Second, in spite of CDC and NIH officials' complaints, Jim Geraghty notes that the latter group's budget has doubled since 2000 , and Gov. Bobby Jindal questions the CDC's spending priorities:

In recent years, the CDC has received significant amounts of funding. Unfortunately, however, many of those funds have been diverted away from programs that can fight infectious diseases, and toward programs far afield from the CDC’s original purpose. Consider the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new series of annual mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare. Over the past five years, the CDC has received just under $3 billion in transfers from the fund. Yet only 6 percent—$180 million—of that $3 billion went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity. Especially given the agency’s postwar roots as the Communicable Disease Center, one would think that “detecting and responding to infectious diseases and other public health threats” warrants a larger funding commitment. Instead, the Obama administration has focused the CDC on other priorities. While protecting Americans from infectious diseases received only $180 million from the Prevention Fund, the community transformation grant program received nearly three times as much money—$517.3 million over the same five-year period.

The Left attempted a similar diversion during the VA scandal. So...yeah, basically:

The only way to fix wildly expensive government failures is to suck even more money out of the economy and hand it over to the government. Another important reality check:  Republican budget "cuts" simply slow down the overall rate of spending increases.  Even the dreaded sequester -- which was President Obama's idea, changes to which he vowed to veto -- barely dented spending at all. Reason's Nick Gillespie has an excellent post full of facts and charts to refute the DEADLY CUTS! hyperventilating. To put things in perspective, President Clinton's last budget (FY 2000) called for $1.77 trillion in federal spending.  A decade-and-a-half later, we're steadily marching toward $4 trillion in outlays, having accrued well over $17 trillion in debt, with tens of trillions more looming in unpaid-for promises.  The notion that the federal government is spending every single one of those dollars responsibly is laughable. The federal budget is rife with waste, inefficiencies and reckless long-term math. John Hayward's apt summary:  "We don't have an under-funded government.  We have a bad government."  Republicans are right to fight for needed reforms and restraint -- and doing so does not entail far-fetched side effects such as aiding and abetting Ebola.  And by the way, if that insane Ebola ad reminds you of this startling smear of Paul Ryan in 2011, it might be because both spots were produced by the same group.
Leah Barkoukis - Chicago Tribune Endorses Republican Challenger in Illinois Governor's Race
Posted: 10/13/2014 4:12:00 PM EST

After months of attack ads, and their first televised debate last week, the Chicago Tribune has weighed in on Illinois’ toss-up gubernatorial race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.

In an op-ed published Friday evening, the editorial board began by listing the state’s current troubles:

“Some $200 billion in taxpayers' public debts. Including $100 billion in unfunded pension obligations. Even now, more billions in unpaid bills. Nation's weakest public retirement system. Nation's worst credit rating. And, five long years after the June 2009 end of the Great Recession, one of the worst job creation records in America.”

Quinn has had six years in office to turn things around, they argued, but none of it has been enough to bring economic greatness back to The Prairie State. Moreover, the governor’s treated as an “irrelevant bystander” in the state’s legislative chambers. “As a result, Illinois still overspends, overborrows and overpromises. The winners are union leaders and interest groups sworn to protect bigger state budgets than citizens can afford,” they write.

You can see where they’re going with this:

With that restoration of Illinois' competitiveness as our towering priority, the Tribune Editorial Board endorses businessman Bruce Rauner for governor. We urge voters to grant Rauner the power to revive Illinois.

What does Rauner, the Republican nominee, bring to the job?

From the get-go, Rauner has campaigned on the urgent need to shatter the self-serving political power structure in state government and promote a dramatically different agenda to get Illinois growing again. He knows that the answer isn't more tax increases. Unlike the ruling class in Springfield, he doesn't see employers as enemies useful only to be milked. He wants government to be of a size taxpayers can afford.

When we backed Rauner in the Republican primary, we said he isn't running to be elected Most Popular Pol. He said he would focus like a laser on rescuing Illinois from broad decline and narrow self-interests. He wouldn't have to please anyone but voters. And he'd have nothing to lose but a job he doesn't need.

We believe a Gov. Rauner would explore changes made by governors of other states with balanced budgets, solid retirement systems and lower unemployment rates. He's obviously competitive. He would strive to do what Quinn cannot: Make Illinois competitive again.

We also think a Gov. Rauner would restore state government to solvency — paying bills as they come due — not by raising taxes, as Quinn insists, but by making Illinois a place to grow jobs. Only by getting more people employed and paying taxes can this state help all the people it now cheats — those schoolchildren, university students and cloutless citizens who depend on state services.

The bottom line is that Illinois needs to change directions and they believe Rauner is the best man to lead the state down a better path.

And on the heels of the endorsement, the Rauner Camp is out with a new ad hitting Quinn for planning a massive tax hike after the eleciton.

“Illinois families have been suffering under Pat Quinn’s 67% income tax hike for the last four years,” campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf said in a statement. “Now Quinn wants to hit them with another tax increase right after the election. Illinois families cannot afford four more years of Pat Quinn.”

Matt Vespa - New Ads Slam Hagan For Skipping Armed Services Hearings
Posted: 10/13/2014 3:35:00 PM EST

The battle for the U.S. House and Senate is winding down; we are 22 days away from Election Day. Besides campaigns making sure they have enough volunteers to cover the polls, enough poll watcher certificates, enough clipboards, pens, voter registration lists, and snacks (hey, you have to feed these people); they are also pushing out ads, especially in races where turnout will be the deciding factor.

new High Point University poll, which sampled 584 likely voters, had Hagan and tills tied at 40 percent, with Libertarian Sean Haugh coming in with 7 percent of the vote.

In North Carolina, that’s exactly what Thom Tillis’ allies and Sen. Kay Hagan did last week. Both Crossroads GPS and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee released ads hitting Hagan for skipping an Armed Services Committee hearing to fundraise.

Meanwhile, the Hagan campaign has hit Tillis saying, “Women can’t trust him.” The ads featured his voting to defund Planned Parenthood and his opposition to equal pay legislation. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee took an predictable line of attack against Tillis; they tied him to the evil Kochtopus. 

While Hagan has been able to hobble Tillis more over his reported cuts to education, an Elon poll last month found that most likely voters also have national security and international affairs on their minds due to growth of ISIS:

When asked “what is the most important issue in the United States?” many likely voters mentioned something related to international affairs or national defense. Not since 2007 has the Elon Poll found foreign affairs to be a top issue on the minds of North Carolinians. Tillis and Hagan supporters tend to differ on what is the most important issue. Hagan supporters seem to see education as the most important issue, while Tillis supporters were more likely to mention international affairs and national defense.

With voters trusting Republicans more than Democrats in handling terrorism and foreign affairs issues, this issue seems to be a godsend for Tillis, who’s been hammering Hagan for being a rubber stamp for the Obama agenda. Now, he can add that she’s soft of terrorism. It’s almost as if the ghosts of 2004 are coming back to haunt the left.

Additionally, Tillis’ stumping across the state and talking about his humble upbringing helps carrying himself as an authentic candidate, who faced socioeconomic obstacles and overcame them. This seems to be a narrative that resonates with voters well, especially in a lackluster economy.

As for college campuses, Hagan did a Week of Action tour across campuses in the Tar Heel state last month, but the RNC released this ad today encouraging young Republicans to volunteer as the 2014 cycle comes to a close. Yes, there are not many self-identified Republicans in the millennial generation, but never underestimate the power of a few dedicated volunteers. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and Sen. Ron Johnson will be stumping with Tillis for his youth week of action in events held in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh.

It also helps that he was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce earlier this morning.  Given the appearance that Tillis has closed his deficit in the polls with Hagan 22 days before Election Day, this is turning out to be an insanely competitive–and entertaining–race.  We should all expect to stay up late for the final results. 

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 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.