Politics Top Trump nemesis might join GOP Senate primary
McConnell says it's 'important' for Lisa Murkowski to win reelection and defeat Trump-backed opponent
"We're going to do everything we can to make sure she's successful," McConnell said of Murkowski in an Axios interview.Both Democrats and Republicans have their eyes on the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin. All are considered competitive by the Cook Political Report, which tracks congressional and presidential races, as well as operatives and pollsters from both parties.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared in January 2021 that he was “” focused on his current job and uninterested in a bid for Senate. But speculation among state political insiders that Ducey is plotting a late entry into the Senate race has escalated in recent weeks — a development that would scramble a contest that is pivotal to the battle for the Senate majority.
The term-limited Republican governor, now in his last year of office, has not said anything publicly that suggests he has changed his mind. The Aug. 2 GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly is well underway as state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, venture capitalist Blake Masters, solar power executive Jim Lamon and state emergency leader Mick McGuire compete for the nomination, a race that has already generated millions of dollars in Republican ad spending.
McConnell says Republicans will 'make sure Joe Biden is a moderate' if the party regains control of Congress in 2022
"Obviously, we will have to work with the administration to see what we can agree on," McConnell said about the prospect of divided government.Both Democrats and Republicans have their eyes on the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin. All are considered competitive by the Cook Political Report, which tracks congressional and presidential races, as well as operatives and pollsters from both parties.
Ducey’s final State of the State address on Monday, however, left the Arizona State Capitol Complex abuzz after the governor used the speech to repeatedly criticize the federal government. His address included six mentions of Washington, D.C., along with sustained attacks on President Joe Biden and his administration — the kind of broadsides more likely to come from a candidate for federal office than a governor outlining his final state legislative agenda.
To many Arizona Republicans, he didn’t sound like a man who believes his political career is winding down this year.
National Republicans havethat the governor would reconsider his decision. Ducey has won statewide office three times, including as state treasurer. He also has across-the-board name recognition and a well-oiled campaign infrastructure. Just as important, as Kelly starts the year with nearly $20 million on hand, Ducey has honed his fundraising skills and amassed a network of national donors after serving the last year as chair of the Republican Governors Association.
Marco Rubio touts his COVID response record in new Senate campaign attack ad against Val Demings
A campaign ad for the incumbent Florida senator blasts his Democratic challenger Val Demings over the pandemic response. "While Val focused on politics, Marco got to work," the new ad says.Rubio's latest attack strategy as he seeks reelection in the battleground state is to tout his work co-authoring the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program, a coronavirus rescue measure that allowed small businesses to borrow forgivable loans from the federal government to keep workers on the payroll.
“These are all the kinds of metrics that the professional watchers look for in a prospective candidate, and he checks every box,” said Kirk Adams, Ducey’s former chief of staff. “Just because he can do it doesn’t mean he will do it.”
In the last several months, Ducey has brought on four new staffers who previously worked for Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, including two who were state directors, according to a POLITICO review of the governor’s office’s staff announcements.
Ducey’s campaign spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment for this story,
With a filing deadline of April 4 to collect and submit thousands of petition signatures, Ducey doesn’t have much longer to decide. A Ducey for Senate announcement, if it comes, would likely take place by the end of February, according to a source familiar with the governor’s circle.
Video: Biden says he and Manchin are 'going to get something done' (Reuters)
Mitch McConnell is betting Sinema's opposition to rolling back the Trump tax cuts will sink Build Back Better's comeback
Sinema has opposed raising tax rates on wealthy Americans and large companies. McConnell says that will stymie Democrats."Sinema is unenthusiastic about tax hikes," he said at a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce event on Tuesday. "Hopefully that will be enough to keep this thing underwater permanently.
Former President Donald Trump looms as a powerful force in the race. Trump, who has a rally scheduled Saturday in Phoenix, has made Ducey a frequent target of abuse, criticizing him over the last year for his refusal to embrace election fraud conspiracies. In June, the former president said that the Ducey “could not get the nomination” for Senate, if he ran.
Despite endorsing in the state’s 2022 gubernatorial and secretary of state races, Trump has yet to get behind anyone in the Senate primary, where Brnovich, the current frontrunner, has struggled to command a significant lead as nearly half of primary voters remain undecided, according to recent polling.
Like Ducey, Brnovich has faced Trump’s ire for not seeking to overturn Biden’s Arizona victory. The two statewide Republicans who were first elected to their posts in 2014, however, have a frosty relationship dating back years, and have not worked particularly closely together while in office.
In November, the former presidentheld at a Mar-a-Lago for Masters.
McConnell told Republican senators they've 'got to stay focused on Georgia' immediately after Trump told them that he could overturn the 2020 presidential election: book
"I've been calling folks in those states and they're with us," Trump told Republican senators in a December 2020 call, according to a new book.Both Democrats and Republicans have their eyes on the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin. All are considered competitive by the Cook Political Report, which tracks congressional and presidential races, as well as operatives and pollsters from both parties.
“I think he’s self-perpetuating it to keep his name out there and to keep himself relevant,” Arizona Republican strategist Chuck Coughlin said of the Ducey rumors. “I just don’t see why he does it. It’s masochistic. He’s definitely not that guy.”
Following reports this week that Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is still being courted for and is considering a Senate run this year, a person involved with national Senate races said Ducey is “certainly more likely than Hogan” to get in, and that there has been an uptick in conversations in recent weeks about a Ducey run.
Spokespeople for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the National Republican Senatorial Committee declined to comment on the prospects of Ducey getting into the race.
Adams said the governor would be the “prohibitive favorite to be the next United States senator” if he became the Republican nominee.
But even Arizona Republicans who believe Ducey would be the top candidate in the race are skeptical of the notion that he has changed his mind.
“The rumors never stop,” said Sean Noble, a GOP political consultant in Arizona. “There continue to be rumors. There are capable people running in the Senate race right now, most of which would be strong opponents” against Kelly.
Ducey’s statewide approval rating this fall was 42 percent, on par with Kelly’s, according to polling conducted by HighGround, Coughlin’s political consulting firm in Phoenix. Roughly 65 percent of Republicans in the state had a favorable view of the governor, the firm found, despite Trump’s criticism.
Chad Campbell, a Democratic political consultant in Arizona and former state House minority leader, was among those who were struck by how Ducey’s speech Monday stood in contrast to his last seven.
“I think a lot of people heard that and said to themselves, ‘He’s looking at jumping in the Senate race still,’” Campbell said. “At the very least, he’s wading into the water and testing the temperature. If he’s going to do it, he will have to do it soon.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley suggests GOP won't attempt to repeal Obamacare if the party retakes control of the Senate .
When asked further by a constituent about whether Republicans were on board with his position, Grassley said he could only speak for himself. Grassley spokesperson Taylor Foy told The Washington Post that Grassley was simply making a prediction about the law."While noting that he can't speak for all of his colleagues, he predicted that the law wouldn't be repealed in its entirety," Foy told the newspaper in a statement. "In previous county meetings, Grassley has also noted that the focus should be on how to improve the existing health care system, including reducing the cost of prescription drugs.