FLASHBACK FRIDAY: VULNERABLE REPUBLICANS UNDER FIRE FOR ANTI-MINIMUM WAGE PAST. The Hill reports that Democrats are making minimum wage a “primary issue against vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection in 2016.” Ron Johnson, Richard Burr, Chuck Grassley, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk and Roy Blunt have all consistently and callously voted against increasing the minimum wage that would help hardworking families make ends meet. Here’s a flashback to some of their choicest words about raising the minimum wage and helping hardworking families:
Ron Johnson called the push for an increase in the minimum wage “disturbing,” and claimed good workers “don’t stay at minimum wage.”
Richard Burr has indicated that he doesn’t even think there should be a federal minimum wage.
Chuck Grassley has said that the minimum wage is one of those economic policies that “either fail to address the root causes of inequality or are nothing more than a temporary band-aid.”
Rand Paul has indicated that he’s not sure there should be a federal minimum wage, and that “the least-skilled people in our society have trouble getting jobs the higher you make the minimum wage.”
Despite voting 12 times to increase Congressional pay, Roy Blunt has consistently opposed an increase to the minimum wage.
Pat Toomey, Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk and Rob Portman have all consistently opposed an increase in the minimum wage.
FLORIDA REPUBLICAN RECRUITMENT FAILURE UPDATE. I know it feels like we talk about this every week, but just yesterday the sixth Republican passed on the Florida Senate race. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Rep. Vern Buchanan decided against a Senate run, “leaving the Republican Party still searching for a top-flight contender to replace Sen. Marco Rubio.”
ICYMI – April has been a rough month for the NRSC in Florida.
While Republicans struggle to find a candidate to run for the seat, the Sun Sentinel reports that there’s a groundswell of support for Rep. Patrick Murphy’s campaign. This week, 25 state legislators threw their support behind his Senate campaign.
GOP’S TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD SENATE MAP. National Journal released their Senate race rankings this week and confirmed once again that the GOP faces tough odds as they try and defend their fragile majority. Twelve of the top fifteen seats ranked most likely to flip are all held by Republicans. Some key takeaways:
On Ohio: Strickland “is still better-known and –liked than the current senator.”
On Florida Republicans: “A number of their heavy-hitters… have already decided to sit it out.”
On North Carolina: “Burr isn’t especially popular in North Carolina…”
On Illinois: “Democrats landed their top candidate when Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced she was running…”
THESE SENATORS MAY WANT TO TRADE RACES. The Washington Post reports that rust-belt Republican Senators will face a difficult time defending their votes for trade agreements back home. The story suggests Senators like Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt, and Ron Johnson will have a “tough sell” in their home states where manufacturing jobs have taken big hits.
IN THE STATES:
NORTH CAROLINA – BAD POLLS FOR BURR. An Elon poll this week had Burr with just 33% approval ratings. As PPP noted, this is the third poll in the span of a month that had Burr with negative approval ratings.
MISSOURI – BLUNT’S BLOATED BUDGET. A look at Congressional office budgets show that Roy Blunt spends the most money of any member of Missouri’s Congressional delegation.
IOWA – DES MOINES REGISTER SLAMS GRASSLEY FOR OBSTRUCTIONISM. The Des Moines Register editorial boardthis week slammed Chuck Grassley for needless obstructionism on confirming Loretta Lynch.
WASHINGTON – MURRAY FIGHTS FOR WORKING FAMILIES. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Patty Murray is leading the charge to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour over the next several years.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet comes from Sabato’s Kyle Kondik on another major problem for Ron Johnson: @kkondik: “Republicans privately badmouth Ron Johnson all the time.”