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Rubio Can?t Seem to Shake Off Saturday Night?s Debate Flub
(from: Washington Wire @ February 9, 2016, 12:30 PM)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is having a hard time moving beyond his much-derided debate performance Saturday night. On Tuesday everyone seemed to have words of advice or condolence for the Republican presidential contender.

LP-Texas presidential debate invitations: Johnson, Feldman, McAfee, Petersen, Sterling
(from: Independent Political Report @ February 9, 2016, 11:48 AM)

From the Libertarian Party of Texas:

Thank You to everyone who participated in the LPTexas Vote With Your Dollars Straw Poll. Not only have you expressed your preference and helped LPTexas make a great and productive Presidential Debate Forum, but you have also helped give LPTexas additional resources to make the entire convention an even bigger showcase for liberty!

Read more ...

3 Things Political Strategists Are Watching in New Hampshire Primary Results
(from: Washington Wire @ February 9, 2016, 11:34 AM)

Think Tank asked political strategists to tell us three things they're watching for in the New Hampshire primary results.

U.S. District Court Judge Says She Will Issue Opinion in Libertarian Party Illinois Case Today or Tomorrow
(from: Ballot Access News @ February 9, 2016, 11:32 AM)

On February 9, U.S. District Court Judge Andrea Wood said she will issue an opinion in Libertarian Party of Illinois v State Board of Elections within 24 hours. This is the case, filed in 2012, that challenges the unique Illinois law that says newly-qualifying parties (but not old parties) must run a full slate of candidates.

For example, if a new party wants to petition for statewide office, it must run nominees for all the statewide offices. If it wants to run candidates for county executive office, it must run for all of them. Some of the offices require that the nominees be attorneys, so the law effectively requires a new party to have attorneys who are willing to be candidates. No other state has ever had a law like this Illinois law. The Illinois law has existed since 1933.

Donald Trump?s Election-Day Insults: ?Evil,? ?Confused,? ?Nasty,? ?Loser?
(from: Washington Wire @ February 9, 2016, 11:28 AM)

Republican Donald Trump offered some harsh final words for his rivals in both parties as New Hampshire voters began heading to the polls on Tuesday.

Clinton Shows Good Cheer Encountering Voters ? and Carly Fiorina?s Husband
(from: Washington Wire @ February 9, 2016, 11:07 AM)

Hillary Clinton?s campaign is bracing for a big loss tonight, but you wouldn?t know it to listen to her greet voters -- and the husband of a Republican candidate who has made personal attacks on her central to her campaign.

Drawbacks to the Saudi Offer to Send Troops to Syria to Fight ISIS
(from: Washington Wire @ February 9, 2016, 10:24 AM)

Aaron David Miller: The Saudis have long been more concerned about removing Iranian ally Bashar Assad from power in Syria than they have been about directly fighting ISIS.

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 2/9
(from: Swing State Project @ February 9, 2016, 09:01 AM)

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

? New Hampshire Primary: The first in the nation primary is tonight, and Daily Kos will be liveblogging both parties' contests! Most polls will close at 7:00 PM ET, and we'll begin our liveblog at Daily Kos Elections then; we'll also be live tweeting from our Daily Kos Elections account. Join us for what should be an exciting night!

Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016 · 4:23:31 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

IL State House: Illinois Democrats hold a 71 to 47 majority in the state House, exactly the number they need to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner?s vetoes (Team Blue has a stronger edge in the state Senate). However, state Rep. Ken Dunkin, who represents a safely blue Chicago seat, was the one Democrat who broke ranks on a key budget vote that would have reversed Rauner?s cuts to social services. State Democrats, especially Speaker Mike Madigan, were infuriated, and they?re openly supporting attorney Juliana Stratton?s campaign against Dunkin in the March 15 primary.

The Chicago Sun-Times? Andy Grimm takes a look at the very nasty contest, which has turned into a nasty proxy war between Rauner and Madigan. The GOP-allied Illinois Opportunity Project has contributed $500,000 to Durkin?s campaign, and the group IllinoisGO has spent $140,000 supporting him. Durkin is also running against Madigan, arguing that the ?Mike Madigan slave mentality of his plantation politics is real,? and calling Stratton the speaker?s puppet (Durkin and Stratton are both black, while Madigan is white). Durkin also called his Democratic colleagues ?monkeys? on Monday, before changing his description to ?minions.?

Stratton is asserting her independence from Madigan, but isn?t hesitating to portray Durkin as Rauner?s ally. Stratton has the support of some key local Democrats, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Teacher?s Union President Karen Lewis. There?s no guarantee that Team Blue will net enough seats they need in November to override Rauner?s vetoes without Durkin, and the March 15 primary will be closely watched.

Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016 · 4:46:52 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer

NC-02: The Club For Growth endorsed businessman Jim Duncan?s campaign against GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers a little while ago, and they?re now backing up their press releases with action. Roll Call reports that the Club is spending $400,000 to support him ahead of the March 15 primary for this safely red Raleigh-area seat; the buy, which includes some online advertising, will last about two weeks. 

The Club?s TV spot argues that Ellmers has become part of the problem in Washington in just five years, hitting her on votes ?for massive corporate giveaways,? and her support for the ?sheep industry improvement center in Maine.? Of course, there?s the obligatory picture of a cute sheep and a bahhh sound effect. Ellmers herself was a tea party activist who came to Congress in 2010 by upsetting an entrenched Democratic congressman, but quickly became close to the House leadership. Ellmers turned back a 2014 primary challenge from underfunded foe Frank Roche by a weak 59-41, and she has her work cut out for her if she wants to survive next month?s primary.

Ellmers isn?t an incredibly strong fundraiser: In the fourth quarter of 2015, she brought in a meh $175,000. Duncan took in only $75,000 from donors during that time, but he?s wealthy enough to do some-self funding. Ellmers posts a $415,000 to $212,000 cash-on-hand lead, but it?s unclear if any outside groups will follow the Club?s lead and spend on her.

Ellmers has three other primary opponents, which could end up saving her. In North Carolina, the top two vote-getters only advance to a runoff if no one takes more than 40 percent. Neither Roche, former state party spokeswoman Kay Daly, or freakazoid part-time ark hunter Tim D'Annunzio have so much as $50,000 between them. But if they take enough anti-Ellmers votes away from Duncan, they could secure her one more term here.

Morning Digest: North Carolina's congressional map gets struck down, but Dems shouldn't get excited
(from: Swing State Project @ February 9, 2016, 08:00 AM)

Leading Off:

? NC Redistricting: Late on Friday afternoon, a federal court hearing a challenge to North Carolina's congressional map found that Republicans drew two districts, the 1st and the 12th, in violation of the constitution because they'd impermissibly used race as the "predominant consideration" in creating both seats. (The full opinion is available here.) The court ordered that this year's elections cannot take place under the current lines and gave lawmakers until Feb. 19 to enact a remedial plan, but Republicans are going to appeal. Rick Hasen thinks the Supreme Court is likely to stay the ruling, since absentee voting has already begun for the state's March 15 primary, though he believes it's "fairly likely" the decision will ultimately be upheld.

But for partisan purposes, will it matter either way? Stephen Wolf concludes the answer is no. Tar Heel Republicans drew the most fiendish gerrymander in the nation this cycle, giving them 10 of North Carolina's 13th congressional districts, even though the state virtually split its vote in the last two presidential elections. But the public record they left behind made it clear that race was their foremost?indeed, only?consideration in constructing the 1st and 12th Districts, and that was their undoing in court.

However, as Wolf explains, Republicans can simply redraw the map along strictly partisan lines (which is perfectly legal) and retain their 10-3 advantage. (Rick Hasen agrees.) Democrats were able to prevent this from happening after a similar redistricting ruling in Virginia because they hold the governor's mansion; in North Carolina, however, Republicans control all the levers of power, thanks to huge majorities in the legislature?which they also secured thanks to some diabolically clever gerrymandering. So while this ruling curbs one form of anti-democratic excess on the part of the GOP, other, equally pernicious avenues are still open to them.

Capital Journal Daybreak: Today on the Campaign Trail
(from: Washington Wire @ February 9, 2016, 07:50 AM)

What to watch for in the New Hampshire primary results; today on the campaign trail; and more of the biggest news stories and exclusive features from Washington on politics, policy, financial regulation and defense.

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