GOP STRUGGLES WITH 2016 MAP. Washington Post released their Senate race rankings this week, outlining the tough map Republicans face as they try and defend their fragile majority. Eight out of the top ten seats and four out of the top five seats ranked most likely to flip are currently held by Republicans.
One of the biggest problems for Republicans in a tough election year? Their recruitment failures in competitive and open seats. The Washington Post highlights that “Republicans have big holes to fill in the two competitive open seats, in Florida and Nevada, where, despite weeks-old retirements, no major candidates have jumped in.”
TEA PARTY CANDIDATE SETS OFF FLORIDA GOP “BLOODBATH.” After six Republicans passed on the Florida Senate race, Tea Party extremist Ron DeSantis entered the race this week, setting the scene for the damaging and messy primary that the GOP has feared all year. Grab your popcorn, folks!
“The Republican race for Florida’s soon-to-be open Senate seat has the potential makings of a primary bloodbath, pitting the establishment wing of the party and insurgent movement conservative groups against each other as they prepare to pick sides…”
Washington Post: Welcome To The Florida GOP’s Worst-Case Scenario
“GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced that he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016, teeing up a possible intra-party fight for the Florida GOP that some Republicans fear could weaken them ahead of a competitive general election.”
While Republicans live their “worst case scenario,” Democrats have a strong candidate in Rep. Patrick Murphy. The DSCC endorsed Patrick Murphy this week, and his track record of fighting for Florida’s working families, seniors and the environment make him the strongest candidate to win the Florida Senate race.
Roll Call: DSCC Endorses Murphy in Florida
RON JOHNSON CONTINUES BIZARRE CRUSADE AGAINST STUDENTS. After claiming that college students are taking longer to graduate because they “don’t feel any urgency to get to work” and that student loans are “too easy to get,” Ron Johnson took things one step further this week when he said at a town hall that he would “sure love to” eliminate the Department of Education. It’s almost as if Ron Johnson is trying to convince us all to get an education so we don’t sound like him.
Talking Points Memo: Sen. Johnson Would ‘Love’ To Abolish The Dept. Of Education
PORTMAN FEELS THE HEAT ON TRADE. Rob Portman is feeling the heat in Ohio over his position on trade, which promises to be a major issue in Ohio’s senate race.
TROUBLE FOR MCCAIN: ARIZONA VOTERS ITCHING FOR A NEW CANDIDATE. A Public Policy Polling poll shows John McCain’s reelection bid in big trouble as Arizona voters are anxious for a new candidate. Fifty percent of Republican primary voters disapprove of the job John McCain is doing, and more than half would prefer a ‘more conservative’ candidate.
The Hill: Poll: McCain Ripe For Primary Challenge
Arizona Republic: Poll: McCain Potentially Vulnerable In Primary
Arizona Capitol Times: Poll: McCain More Vulnerable In 2016 Than 2010
IN THE STATES:
MISSOURI – KANDER DELIVERS FOR MISSOURI COUPLE. KFVS reports that Jason Kander delivered for a Missouri couple who was preyed upon by misleading insurance agents and returned $57,000 from an agent who had improperly invested their savings.
IOWA – DES MOINES REGISTER EDITORIAL BOARD KNOCKS GRASSLEY FOR OBSTRUCTIONISM. For the second week in a row, the Des Moines Register’s editorial board slammed Chuck Grassley for obstructionism. The editorial notes that despite growing bipartisan support for sentencing reforms, Grassley is standing in the way.
WASHINGTON – GOP AFRAID OF PATTY MURRAY. Roll Call reports that Republicans are failing to find a candidate to challenge Patty Murray in Washington because “Republicans with higher political aspirations don’t think they can beat her.”
NEVADA – GOP INFIGHTING IN POTENTIAL NEVADA PRIMARY. Republican infighting has already started in Nevada, where failed 2010 Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian responded to an op-ed by state Sen. Michael Roberson with a scathing letter to the editor.