'Pretty long digest as its been a while since I've put one together!NC-Sen:
ICYMI, there was a debate last night with another set for tonight. Overall, there weren't any serious quarrels/meltdowns and it wasn't a game changer by any means.
The trend that emerged: Brannon would contrast himself to Tillis (by quoting the Constitution or staking out the farthest right position) and then Tillis would bash Hagan. A theme in their exchanges was the battle of gun endorsements. Tillis has the NRA in his corner but Brannon pointed out that the 'more conservative' Gun Owners of America (and one or two others) back him. Tillis also brought up his endorsement by the NRLC, but Brannon's background as an obstetrician neutralizes that somewhat.
Grant had a solid performance and I thought she was the most specific when it came to actual policy. She also can across as the most genuine, IMO. I know this is cliche as hell, but she can probably connect the most with the 'average voter.' In her closing statement, she cast herself as 'true, real leader.'
If I had to pick the worst performer, I'd say Harris. He didn't have any gaffes, but was pretty bland throughout. I know he's had a lot on his mind recently (with the death of his father last week) and I certainly sympathize with him, but I think he can do better. Look for him to play up his socon credentials in the next debates. NC-02:
We have ads from all three major candidates here. The link is to the one Yankee and I were talking about. Perhaps taking a hint from Nikki Haley,
Crisco is going full-negative on Aiken. Aiken missed all the meetings for a commission he sat on for special needs children. The commission was under George W. Bush; Aiken even touted it in his campaign announcement video.
Akin has his own ad running.
Its an abbreviated version of his announcement video, which was very well-received.
Finally, Ellmers is also up on the air.
She mentions her efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. As she's favored in the primary, its a bit odd to see her spending on ads beforehand, but I guess insurance is good.NC-03:
Very interesting outside spending here. The Koch Industries PAC gave $5K to Griffin while AFP has run ads for Jones.NC-06:
The Democrat, Laura FJeld is (I think) the first candidate here to go up with an ad. Its a biographical spot focusing on her history with education issues. NC-12:
As you would expect, all the Democrats support raising the minimum wage. The difference is a matter of the degree:
He called President Barack Obama’s proposal of a $10.10 minimum “a good start.” Brandon and Osborne said it should be $15. Adams, a Greensboro lawmaker who touts her efforts to raise the state minimum wage, would put it at $12. And Graham, a state senator from Charlotte, said he’d raise it to $12 to $15.
Alma Adams went after Brandon on his support for the GOP's school voucher plan. I'm not counting in Brandon making the runoff, in part because his support for vouchers has been an albatross for him the entire campaign.
Cassidy says if the race goes toa runoff, world leaders will be watching LA, one of the most notable being Putin. If I didn't know any better, I'd say Putin would want Landrieu to lose, on account of Russia designating her for sanctions.
Cassidy has a different take:
For 30 days the entire world will be looking at Louisiana and that sounds a little bit like rhetoric but think about it. You don’t think Vladimir Putin is going to look to see if the Senate remains Democrat which is to say a rubber stamp for Barack Obama or if there is a Republican senate which would insist upon a strong military? The Chinese, the Iranians, the Israelis, they’re all going to be watching Louisiana for those 30 days.
If the LAGOP is smart, they should be trying to bribe the Russian government into adding Cassidy's name to the sanctions list More LA-Sen:
Not one to run from here record, Landrieu continues embracing the ACA, specifically the Medicaid expansion. Proponents are pushing for a statewide referendum, which the legislature is set to consider this week. If nothing happens, the (popular) issue will still be on the table for Landrieu to push. One of the biggest risks for Cassidy here is that Democrats will be able to tie him to Jindal. More LA-Sen:
Sugar may again be an issue here. The feds are investigating reports that Mexico illegally sold sugar to the US at below-market costs, and thus hurting farmers in LA. If this gets more attention in the press, I'd say Landrieu is the beneficiary, as the sugar issue helped her beat Terrell in 2002. LA-Sen/LA-06:
The Tea Party Express will be hosting a rally for Maness and Dietzel this week. I was considering going to 'cover' this, but I've already heard them each speak and I don't feel like scraping the Claitor sticker off my car ('ya know, so they wouldn't identify me as an intruder