Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GOP Advantage in Iowa and Colorado

Quinnipiac has a couple polls out today.  In the race the race for the retiring Tom Harkin's Senate seat, Republican Joni Ernst leads Democrat Bruce Braley 50-44.  Much of the polling taken in late August or early September suggested that this race was nearly tied, with Braley having a slight edge.  We'll have to see if this is a sign of the momentum shifting.

In the Colorado governor's race, Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper lags his Republican challenger, former Congressman Bob Beauprez, by ten points (40-50).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sessions Strikes

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions's recent speech attacking the special interests backing the White House immigration agenda continues to reverberate through the media.  Defending the interests of the average American worker played a major role in his remarks:
In effect, the entire Senate Democratic conference has surrendered the jobs, wages, and livelihoods of their constituents to a group of special interests meeting in secret at the White House. They are surrendering them to executive actions that will foist on the nation what Congress has refused to pass and the American people have rejected. They are plotting at the White House to move forward with executive action no matter what the people think and no matter what Congress — through the people’s House — has decided.
Politico reports that “White House officials conducted more than 20 meetings in July and August with legal experts, immigration advocates and business leaders to gather ideas on what should be included in the order.”
So who are these so-called expert advocates and business leaders? They are not the law-enforcement officers; they are not our ICE officers; they are not our Border Patrol officers; they are not the American working man and woman; they are not unemployed Americans. They weren’t in the room. You can be sure of that. Their opinions weren’t sought.
See also these points by John Hinderaker.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Divisions in America

Earlier this week, I wrote up some thoughts on Joel Kotkin's new book, The New Class Conflict, for NRO:
What do government-induced spikes in energy prices, ideological purges at major American universities and companies, and the “Life of Julia” slideshow from the 2012 Obama reelection campaign have in common? According to demographer Joel Kotkin, aspects of class politics in the contemporary United States explain these three things — and many more. In his latest book, The New Class ConflictKotkin turns his demographer’s eye to the crisis of the middle class in the 21st-century United States. Kotkin argues that the hollowing out of the middle class is a central political, economic, and social issue of our time, and the disruption brought about by the crisis of the middle class could scramble the political coalitions of both Republicans and Democrats.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Executive Action Delayed

Fearing a backlash, the White House has decided to delay announcing any executive actions on immigration until after the midterm elections in November:
Two White House officials said Obama concluded that circumventing Congress through executive actions on immigration during the campaign would politicize the issue and hurt future efforts to pass a broad overhaul.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the president's decision before it was announced, said Obama made his decision Friday as he returned to Washington from a NATO summit in Wales.
They said Obama called a few allies from Air Force One to inform them of his decision, and that the president made more calls from the White House on Saturday.
The officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.
Proponents of executive action like Frank Sharry have expressed their frustration with the White House for refusing to act.  Meanwhile, skeptics of executive action (such as Mark Krikorian) have argued that the president is trying to avoid democratic accountability by not announcing his decisions on unilaterally rewriting immigration policy until after the midterms.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Five Sleepers

In addition to the Senate races that generate most headlines (such as Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina), James Hohmann draws attention to five races that could get very interesting.  Hohmann suggests that analysts should keep an eye on Virginia, Minnesota, Oregon, New Jersey, and Kansas.  Four of those five (excepting Kansas) would be Republican pick-ups.

UPDATE: Hohmann's piece has proven somewhat prophetic, as Kansas has now indeed become more interesting.  The official Democratic candidate has dropped out, throwing his support to former Democrat (and current independent) Greg Orman, a businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Pat Roberts.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Executive Options

At NRO, I look at some of the potential options that President Obama may be considering for his executive orders on immigration:
The president’s rumored decision to legalize and grant work permits to millions of illegal immigrants has dominated media discussions of the administration’s potential executive fiats on immigration. However, decisions to revise the legal-immigration system could also be consequential. The prospect of the legalization of illegal immigrants combined with a revision of the legal-immigration system suggests that the Obama administration’s potential executive orders on immigration would go far beyond tiny administrative tweaks and minor exertions of prosecutorial discretion; they might instead be major and unilateral revisions of U.S. immigration policy.
You can read the rest here.