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Analysis: Democrats have more money, Republicans have financial sense



Analysis Democrats have more money Republicans have financial sense

A great deal of financial information on campaigns is made available and easy to navigate courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics. I have analyzed data from the CRP on the 14 battleground Senate races occurring in this midterm election. Perhaps you’ve seen many headlines about Democrats doing well with fundraising, most notably as of late Beto O’Rourke’s fundraising feat. In fact one of the first findings was how much the Democrats have raised despite the rhetoric that Republicans are the “party of the rich”. But it is well known, or at least it should be, that money alone doesn’t win elections. Candidates do.

In analyzing the data I sought to see whether the devotion of funds by Democrats and Republicans would give insights to predicting the midterm results. Instead, I found that Republicans are generally more strategic with their donating. In my earlier piece, Mapping the Senate in the midst of midterm elections, I analyzed 14 battleground races setting up the stage for further exploration and analysis. Here I analyze the same data from those same 14 races to see if the money can bring some clarity to the various toss ups.

Republican Best Case Scenario

In an absolute best case scenario, the Republicans hold on to all of their seats and flip 9 Senate seats from blue to red. Those seats are identified in pink. The pink states in addition to the red would give the GOP a massive legislative advantage if also matched by a good day for their House candidates. 9 seats is a red tsunami, but netting 3 or 4 is still a fantastic day that will surely crush Democrat expectations of a Blue Wave.

Best Case Scenario For Democrats

This is the absolute best case scenario for Democrats, 51 seats. This would give the Democrats just enough power, if united, to control the Senate. It requires the Blue Wave to maintain all of its seats and win over an additional 3 seats from Republicans. Note: the race in Texas is not close enough to be considered in this scenario and while we’re at it neither is North Dakota, but if Democrats are to control the Senate every incumbent is in a must win.

The Republican Financial Disadvantage

The Democrats have far more seats to defend and far more seats to lose. So with having incumbents, generally means having more money. A few incumbents, however, are being outspent such as Bill Nelson (D-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dean Heller (R-NV), and even Ted Cruz (R-TX). There are two vacant seats held by Republicans where Democrats have the financial advantage (Arizona and Tennessee). Is money a huge advantage or have the Democrats discovered the concept of diminishing returns?

It is very possible Democrats are putting more money than necessary in campaigns. Take Ohio where they have a $23 million dollar advantage in a race where the Republican candidate is a longshot. This graph is particularly meaningful in measuring the efficiency of each party with campaign funds. Republicans, like Ted Cruz, have demonstrated a deal of business sense when it comes to managing campaigns in the past.

Most Skilled Democrat Campaigners

The largest slice of the blue money pie is gong to Beto O’Rourke. Despite being a longshot, Beto has accomplished great feats in fundraising. Conservatives aren’t as intimidated by O’Rourke’s fundraising and media attention as one might think. This 61 million dollar campaign is loaded with funds that otherwise could have gone to more competitive Democrats.

Overall the Democrats’ breakdown is a reflection of the most savvy campaigners. But even Phil Bredesen is a solid candidate who only received 5.11% of the pie. Heidi Heitkamp is shorted in her struggling incumbent bid. And almost nobody wants to help out Bob Menendez who received the smallest slice. The Democrats are after the bigger states in both size and population. They want Ted Cruz out of the Senate badly. They want to hold on with a Democrat in the swing stat of Florida.

There also appears to be a certain amount of over spending among the Democrats. Sherrod Brown is likely going to win in Ohio and enjoys a insurmountable financial advantage. Of all the Democrat funds he should have received around what was dedicated to the campaign in Michigan.

The distribution of Democrat funds shows ambition but little coherence to an overall strategy. The slice of the pie seems dependent on the gravitation of their candidate. It’s less about flipping seats and keeping the GOP at bay rather than supporting popular candidates.

The Republican Triage

In contrast, the Republican distribution of funds shows an obvious triage. Longshots like John James in Michigan and Jim Renacci in Ohio are getting little. The effort in Florida, on the other draws the most attention. Florida receiving 18% shows a disproportionate vested interest in the state. This can be attributed to Rick Scott, a party favorite and a formidable candidate to oust Bill Nelson. The Senate race is also nicely aligned with the gubernatorial race. The Republicans, if smart, will want to tilt Florida red keeping it from being a swing state in 2020 and beyond. A big election win here would help in that effort. Another factor at play is redistricting in 2020. Florida is anticipated to be awarded 2-3 congressional seats. At number two is Ted Cruz. Texas being a larger state and the Democrats bringing a more enthusiastic candidate are the reason for that. At three and four are Missouri and Arizona.

The Republicans aren’t throwing money at lost causes. The highest risk for Republicans in a conventional sense appears to be Bob Hugin in New Jersey. Yet the staunch blue state will likely see difficulty in reelecting a scandal ridden incumbent. Republicans sense blood and are investigating in the race at a rate comparable to Indiana or Tennessee.

The most effortless win in the election may in fact come from the ousting of Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. The Republicans throwing less than 3% behind a challenger is a bargain of a return. All signs in North Dakota point to a GOP victory, and the Republicans will achieve that despite being outspent. Another interesting contrast is that the Republicans aren’t overspending in any of these battleground Senate races. The largest argument for overspending may be found in Texas, but while Cruz is slated to win, he will still have to work for that win.


In contrast, the Republican distribution of funds is more economical. They reflect both the size of the state and the chances of winning. This takes away from what previously, in Chart 3, could have suggested that the GOP underfunded its Senate candidates in various states. Instead the Republicans are revealed to run their campaigns like a business or investment.

Meanwhile, the Democrats finance their campaigns as a whole like a popularity contest that is a reflection of how popular their candidate is along with how unpopular the Republican candidate is, to them. And while this overall trend is drawn from the donations of many individuals and organizations, that is the source of the significance. Republicans, both individuals and organizations, are very economical about their financial contributions.

The next question is: are they just as economical with their campaign spending as they are with their giving? This question can only be answered in full after the midterm election, but North Dakota appears to be evidence of that answer being yes.

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16 states hit 9th Circuit to sue President Trump, as expected



16 states hit 9th Circuit to sue President Trump as expected

It was one of the most replayed parts of President Trump’s announcement regarding his national emergency declaration last Friday – a sing-song moment as the President predicted the declaration would be made, Democrats would sue, they’d go through the 9th circuit, and their decision will hopefully be overturned by the Supreme Court. So far, he’s been absolutely correct as 16 states have filed against the declaration.

New York, California, 14 other states sue Trump in Ninth Circuit over emergency declaration attorneys general of California, New York, and 14 other states on Monday filed a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit against the White House’s recent national emergency declaration over border security, claiming President Trump has “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”

President Trump sarcastically had predicted the lawsuit last week. He’s slammed the Ninth Circuit multiple times as “disgraceful” and politically biased.

My Take

This is their right, and while it may annoy those who support building the border wall, it would be a mistake to condemn these states for trying to stop it. This is part of the way our nation is intended to operate. If one or more states feel the need to challenge the authority of Washington DC, they should be able to make their case before the courts. If the courts make decisions based on the Constitution, then the end result will be the accurate and righteous one.

That’s how this was all intended.

I’m not suggesting the 9th Circuit is going to treat this fairly, nor am I confident the Supreme Court will make its decision solely on the Constitution, but until things are changed, this is what we’ve got. Attempts to subvert any component of this system from the President’s right to declare the emergency to the states’ rights to challenge it to the courts’ responsibility to make a ruling about it all would be to denounce the foundation upon which this nation was built.

There was a way this could have been avoided. Had the President and the GOP decided to have the debate over the wall while they had power over the House, Senate, and White House, they would have been in better position to get the wall going by now. Unfortunately, they an improper political calculation to hold off on the wall debate until after the midterm elections, and now it’s costing the American citizens. It costs us money to sit here through the shutdown and the legal battle over the national emergency declaration. It’s costing us time; the wall should be much further along by now. It may end up costing us the wall altogether if they aren’t able to make a strong case before the Supreme Court.

We are in the midst of a crisis at the border, one that has been going on for decades. Let’s not exacerbate the crisis by adding a Constitutional crisis on top. This needs to play all the way out.


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Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism



Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism

It’s been an up-and-down couple of weeks for proponents of the Green New Deal. Before details were released, it was already being heralded as the greatest thing since President Obama’s election. Then, the details came out and even many on the left were taken aback by the ambitious and incoherent provisions of the deal as detailed in a FAQ section on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s government web page.

But that was just a draft. They took it down. At least that was the story.

Unfortunately for proponents, they were caught a little flat-footed as questions started pouring in about, well, all of it. Even if we dismiss the less-draconian concepts such as eliminating air travel or the less-sane ideas like taking care of those who are unwilling to work, the left is still stuck with a proposal that the most frugal estimates put at costing around $7 trillion while other’s consider the decade-long cost to be in the HUNDREDS of trillions of dollars.

This is, of course, ludicrous. There’s not enough money in the entire world to pay for the proposal if its cost is somewhere between the lowest and highest estimates, but that hasn’t stopped leftist media from regrouping. Now that the dust has settled a little bit, they’re doing everything they can to recommit to this concept. It’s not that they suddenly believe in this fairy tale. It’s that they don’t want this to be the issue Republicans attack in the 2020 elections.

One article in particular that I read from CNN (yes, sometimes I need to see what the other side is thinking) really struck me for its honesty about the situation. Though I stopped reading it in paragraph two when it referred to “non-partisan” PolitiFact, I went back to it just now to digest the awfulness fully (see the sacrifices I make for our readers!).

To be clear, much of what this article says is correct. It asserts the GOP will take the tenets of the Green New Deal and use it to scare voters into thinking it’s even worse than Obamacare. From 2010 through 2016, Republicans attacked Obamacare incessantly and it worked, giving them the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. Unfortunately, they stopped there and didn’t actually go after Obamacare with the same fervor they held in their campaign rhetoric and now the Democrats have turned the issue on its head.

But here’s the thing. Obamacare may have been bad, but the Green New Deal truly is worse. It’s not even close. Even if we take at face value the notion that the Green New Deal is simply an ambitious framework around which real legislation can be forged, we have to look at the core issues entailed in order to see the true damage it can do. This is a socialist document. It’s a call for the same levels of insanity that drive the Medicare-for-All movement. Within its frivolous attempts to change perceptions of air travel, cows, and job creation is a deep-rooted desire to convert Americans to needing more government.

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The Green New Deal represents the far-left’s desire to make more American dependent on government. At the same time, it aims to increase the levels of dependency for those who are already in need of assistance. It wants Democrats to latch their wagons on the notion that if we become a militantly environmentalist nation, that will serve the dual purpose of giving us fulfillment while saving the planet.

I believe most leftist journalists understand this, but they see in the ridiculous framework a path through which Republicans can be defeated wholesale in 2020 as long as the left can control the narrative surrounding the Green New Deal. They fear another Obamacare counterinsurgency that would wipe out the anti-Trump gains they made in 2018, so they’ve adopted a stance that the Green New Deal isn’t as bad as Fox News says it is. Meanwhile, they’re doing everything they can to say, “look over here and not at the Green New Deal.”

The politics behind what the Green New Deal represents is more in play than the tenets of the proposal itself, at least in the eyes of leftist media. It’s not that they want to promote the concept. They simply don’t want the concept to derail their party in the next election.


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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage



Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.


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