Politics Column: The little-known Senate race that could make a big difference for Democrats
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If Democrats can keep control of just one chamber of Congress in November’s midterm elections, as many analysts have long predicted, it’s best that the house they’re favored to hold is the Senate.
The Senate has the power over a president’s judicial nominees. God forbid that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell gets another turn at blocking a Democratic president’s picks for the federal bench, and thus ends President Biden’s effort to offset the right-wing tilt to that third branch of government.
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"Off the record, he's not running again," Rep. Maloney said during a New York Times interview. "On the record? No, he should not run again."President Joe Biden has been clear that he plans to run for a second term in 2024.
All year Democrats have despaired of keeping their House majority, though a few politicos inare starting to sound optimistic, given a spate of and the backlash against the Supreme Court’s overturning of abortion rights. The Senate, however, has been another story all along: Democrats have been cautiously confident — and Republicans fretful — that they could hold their 50 seats and perhaps even add to them.
To that end, it’s fitting that one of the candidates who could help keep Democrats in power to confirm judges is herself the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Cheri Beasley.
Beasley is running against North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd, a gun store owner who won former President Trump’s endorsement last year. “A lot of you don’t know him well,” Trumpof Budd when he conferred his blessing. “He will fight like hell.”
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Democrats are feeling bullish about their chances for an upset in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race if scandal-tarred former Gov. Eric Greitens becomes the Republican nominee. But they’re divided on which of their two top candidates is the best bet for a victory in November. Lucas Kunce brings a Marine swagger and a grassroots populism that appeals to some, particularly in outstate Missouri. He's raised more money than any other candidate — Democrat or Republican — in each of the last four quarters. (David Carson/St.
Fight like hell — just what Trump told the crowd on Jan. 6, 2021. Indeed, after that day’s Capitol rampage, Budd voted against certifying Biden’s election. Hethe insurrectionists were “just patriots standing up.”
Trump was right about Budd’s low profile. Beasley, too, isn’t well known. She’s, well, judicious rather than provocative, and he’s been merely a backbench belligerent for Trump in Congress, overshadowed by blowhards like his fellow North Carolinian. That’s one reason this contest hasn’t gotten more national attention.
That should change. If Beasley wins, it would be a Democratic pickup: She and Budd are vying to replace retiring GOP Sen. Richard M. Burr.
Beasley, who would be the only Black woman in the Senate if elected, is a proven vote-getter. She was first appointed to the state judiciary in 1999 by a Democratic governor and then twice elected to the district court seat. In 2008 she won election to the state Court of Appeals, defeating an incumbent judge.
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Manchin signed onto the largest climate bill that Congress ever put together after blocking the Democratic agenda for months.That quip from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York in early March summed up the depth of Democratic frustration with perhaps its most stubborn member: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. As winter turned to spring, Democrats were rudderless. Their economic agenda was shattered and they hadn't truly begun sorting through the wreckage of their Build Back Better plan. Russian troops pouring into Ukraine sent gas prices soaring, compounding their political problems.
Another Democratic governor named Beasley to a vacancy on the state’s Supreme Court in 2012, and two years later she won statewide election to the seat. In 2019, the current Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, appointed her as chief justice. While she lost reelection by just 401 votes in 2020, Beasley still got about 11,000 more votes than Biden received in North Carolina.
The bigger Senate attention-getters have been races in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and, to a lesser extent, New Hampshire, where incumbent Democrats — Mark Kelly, Catherine Cortez Masto, Raphael Warnock and Maggie Hassan, respectively — are fighting to keep their seats. Kelly, Cortez Masto and Warnock all lead in the polls over their weak Trumpist rivals.
Then there’s Wisconsin, where MAGAt conspiracist Sen. Ron Johnson is one of the few Republican incumbents who’s endangered.
Also higher-profile than North Carolina’s Senate contest are the open-seat races in Ohio and Pennsylvania, which feature Democrats with records as populist champions of the working class — Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman — against celebrity converts to Trumpism, bestselling author J.D. Vance in Ohio and TV personality andMehmet Oz.
GOP's Senate outlook grows dimmer, polling shows
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell had recently raised concerns over "candidate quality" of certain GOP nominees for Senate. How are those candidates polling?During a stop in Kentucky on Thursday, McConnell conceded that the House has a better chance of flipping red than the Senate - a statement that, while in line with election forecasts, shows just how concerned Republicans are becoming about races in the upper chamber less than three months before the midterm elections.
As PoliticoThursday, “Republicans’ hopes of retaking the Senate rest on a slate of Donald Trump's hand-picked nominees. And, across the board, they appear to be struggling.”
Budd has struggled less than the other Trumpian Republicans, yet he still has just a slight lead in the fewon the race; Beasley . Analysts call the contest a toss-up. North Carolina is no red state; the governor has been a Democrat for 26 of the last 30 years.
As usual, however, Democrats in North Carolina and elsewhere have a bigger challenge than Republicans in getting their voters out for non-presidential elections, especially those who are young and Black. The party's recent gains may help send more Democrats to the polls — enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, with its healthcare benefits for lower drug costs, insulin price caps for Medicare recipients and Obamacare subsidies; as well as new laws providing care to veterans exposed to toxins and making unprecedented, job-creating investments in the computer chip industry.
As crucial as what Democrats have done is what Republicans are doing to themselves: opposing those popular measures, taking extreme antiabortion positions and keeping the unpopular Trump front and center.
Trump said Dr. Oz will 'lose' the Pennsylvania Senate race without a course correction and questioned how the longtime TV personality could be lagging in polls: report
Trump said it would be "embarrassing" for Oz to lose to John Fetterman, whom the ex-president reportedly refers to as "that guy," per Rolling Stone.Oz, like Trump, is seeking to follow his success on television with a career in Washington, D.C. The celebrity doctor announced on Tuesday that he's running for US Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican for the open seat currently held by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, who is retiring in 2022.
The bombshells from the Jan. 6 House select committee’s hearings have contributed to the party’s stench of antidemocratic extremism. The year’s shooting massacres have turned many voters against pro-gun politicians; Budd voted against the bipartisan gun control law, even as both sitting Republican senators from North Carolina backed it.
Still, inflation remains high and Democrats know an onslaught of well-financed Republican attacks are coming. Beasley, for example, already has weathered, much like those Senate Republicans leveled against Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her confirmation hearing; in each case, Republicans distorted the Black jurists’ records and prior careers as public defenders to paint them as soft on criminals.
But here’s the thing: Jackson won confirmation. And Beasley can win election. It’s indicative of the improved climate for Democrats that they can, in fact, look to a place like North Carolina for a possible Senate win. The state deserves better in the Senate, and so do we.
This story originally appeared in.
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