Sunday, May 4, 2014

Weekly round-up: Senate races

I apologize, I haven't been posting as much lately.  I have been looking for a new job, don't have my own computer, and am still working at my current job.  I'll try to make it up to all of you.

ANYWAY...I had some high hopes for this election year but my time is being cut short.  At the very least, we will do at least a weekly look at three Senate Races and three Gubernatorial races until Election Day. For the first three, I just went in alphabetical order.

Alabama: Senator Jeff Sessions was the only candidate who filed prior to the filing deadline.  Because of this, he is running unopposed in both the primary and general election.  This past week, Senator Sessions made remarks indicating that President Barack Obama is making it harder to stop drug abuse when President Obama said that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol.  Senator Sessions has warned us that marijuana is not a non-dangerous drug.  Additionally, Senator Sessions has written a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) concerned that non-English speakers are being fast-tracked for disability payments. The conservative Washington Free Beacon obtained the letter stating with their editorial flourish that immigrants who do not bother to learn English should not be given priority over American citizens.  It's not surprising that a Senator from Alabama would bring this up, as Alabama has an immigration law that is stricter than Arizona's infamous SB1070 law.

Alaska: The primary date for both the Democratic and Republican Party is August 19, 2014.  In the Republican primary, there are three main candidates, Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, former Alaska Attorney General Daniel S. Sullivan, and former magistrate judge Joe Miller.  The most recent poll from Moore Information has Daniel S. Sullivan leading the three-way race.  Miller wrote a pithy op-ed in Politico complaining about his loss in 2010 to Lisa Murkowski.  The Anchorage Daily News wrote about Miller's failed candidacy in 2010 labeling it as a campaign full of lies and irrationality.  Instead of complaining about the vested interests in Alaska, perhaps Miller should take a look at his falling polling numbers and lack of money being raised.  Miller, being the gracious loser that he has proven himself to be, has already stated he would not endorse the Republican primary winner if he loses.  During a meet-up for the party, Treadwell announced he would focus on federal budgetary reform stating that he would not vote for any legislation that increases the debt without a balanced budget vote.  Senator Mark Begich's campaign was criticized for an advertisement attacking candidate Dan Sullivan.  The advertisement claimed that Sullivan did not care about the closing of the Flint Hills Refinery.  Sullivan countered with an advertisement accusing Begich of not caring about the closure of the factory.  Like many states, the advertisements in these races have focused on the credentials of the candidate and if they are really from the state they are running in.  Begich recently ran an advertisement showing his support for abortion rights.  Additionally, Begich is trying to run against President Obama's low approval ratings in Alaska.  The Anchorage Daily News writes that Begich has been trying to take credit of any positive things that have taken place but conveniently passed the blame for problems to other people.  Begich might want to be concerned as he has been outraised by Sullivan, according to fundraising numbers.

Arkansas: First-term Representative Tom Cotton is running as the Republican candidate against incumbent Senator Mark Pryor (D).  This seat was initially seen as a place where Republicans could win against a vulnerable Democrat. The most recent poll, from Public Policy Polling (PPP), shows a very tight race, with Pryor having a slight lead.  Cotton spent $70,000 on lawyers following an ethics complaint based off a Huffington Post article.  Cotton has co-sponsored the REDUCE Act which would cut the Pentagon's civilian workforce by 15%.  Pryor has opposed the bill.  Cotton was one of five Republicans who voted against the farm bill which doesn't play well in Arkansas.  Voters in Arkansas know Pryor, which is important.  Perhaps even more importantly, Pryor has worked for bipartisanship in the Senate.  An effort that is endorsed by voters in Arkansas, who are increasingly fed up with partisan gridlock.  Pryor is opposed to same-sex marriage, widely considered pro-life, and voted against background checks for firearm purchases.  Issues that help Pryor more than the political party mentioned next to his name.


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