WTF Community

2020 General Election - Senate and House

We don’t have a thread any longer for this, since the primary election thread is shut down and the other GE thread really focuses on Biden and Trump, so I am starting one here.

McConnell Refuses To Appear in Debates With Female Moderator

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to participate in debates that include women journalists as moderators, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

McConnell is refusing a debate on KET, the statewide public affairs channel that would be moderated by a black woman, Renee Shaw. And it appears after accepting a debate hosted by TV stations owned by Gray TV, McConnell’s campaign worked to get a woman proposed to co-moderate the debate — WAVE3’s Shannon Cogan — removed. The debate is now moderated only by a man.

It’s a trend that McConnell has carried for 25 years, the newspaper reported, noting that the last time McConnell participated in a debate with a female moderator was in 1996.

Furthermore, McConnell has explicitly refused to join any debate that has Liberatrian candidate Brad Barron, despite Barron qualifying for the KET debate.

In a statement, Kentucky Democratic Party spokesperson Marisa McNee said McConnell’s decision to avoid any debates with women as moderators is disgusting.

“It’s no surprise that the same person who is blocking renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, equal pay for women in the workplace and so much other legislation that would help Kentucky women is refusing to appear in a debate moderated by a woman,” McNee said. “Mitch McConnell has been in the Senate for 35 years. It’s time for him to step into the modern world where women are equal, and, stop forcing last minute changes to avoid accountability.”


Well we could have had him as a candidate for president :scream:

1 Like

A surge in ad spending and campaign dollars will hopefully make the difference for these
Democratic candidates in this Blue Wave. :ocean:

Democrats are trouncing Republicans on the airwaves in the battle for the Senate, outspending them in nine of the top 10 competitive Senate races.

Why it matters: Even before President Trump’s COVID diagnosis, Republicans were growing increasingly concerned that Democrats’ money advantage could flip control of the Senate.

  • While some outside super PAC money for the GOP is starting to even it up, Republican candidates have been outspent for the year, according to data provided to Axios by Advertising Analytics.
  • Democrats need to pick up four seats to win the majority — or effectively three if Joe Biden wins the presidency, because his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would break a 50-50 tie as vice president.

The big picture: Traditionally, incumbent senators have a fundraising edge, but it’s different this cycle thanks to unlimited contributions from Democratic super PACs as well as highly-motivated small donors.

  • Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court helped feed that bump.

By the numbers: In North Carolina, the most expensive Senate race this year, Democratic groups have outspent Republicans $116 million to $78 million.

  • Democrat Cal Cunningham was leading incumbent Thom Tillis by 6 percentage points in the average of polls tracked by Real Clear Politics — though that data was compiled before reports of texts between Cunningham and a woman who’s not his wife.
  • In Iowa, incumbent Joni Ernst has been collectively outspent by groups supporting Democrat Theresa Greenfield, $87 million to $66 million, with polls giving the challenger a slight lead.

What they’re saying : “I’m getting overwhelmed,” South Carolina Republican and incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham said on Fox News last week. “ Help me. They’re killing me, money-wise. Help me. You helped me last week — help me again.”

  • Tillis charged in a debate: “Within 48 hours of Justice Ginsburg’s death Cal Cunningham had $6 million channeled to his campaign from some of the most radical left organizations who expect him to use the rubber stamp to confirm activist judges."
  • Republicans acknowledge their fundraising deficit, but are criticizing Democrats for relying on super PACs like the Senate Majority PAC, which has spent some $127 million on TV ads this year, according to Advertising Analytics.
  • “All cycle Democrats have relied on dark money and special interest groups to attack Republican senators while candidates disingenuously bemoan their existence,” said Jesse Hunt, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Rep Harrison is giving Sen Graham a tougher run than expected…close race.

It’s a jump ball at this point,” said one South Carolina Republican strategist. “Jaime is peaking at exactly the right time and he’s got a deluge of money. [Harrison] is blocking every pass there is from Republicans.”

Even Democrats in and outside of the Palmetto State are surprised such a typically red state is truly in play. Many Republicans have privately voiced frustrations that Graham’s campaign didn’t take the challenge from Harrison — a charismatic 44-year-old African-American former state party chairman who tells a compelling story of growing up with a teen mother and being raised by his grandparents in impoverished Orangeburg — seriously enough from the get-go.

Harrison first went up on TV back in April with positive bio spots, and hasn’t gone dark since. That allowed Harrison to set the tenor of the race. And since then, he’s had a series of ads that are very clearly aimed at who they hope will be Graham’s Achilles Heel — white women. In several spots, middle age or senior women talk about how they were once longtime Graham voters but now see that he’s changed on health care and how Harrsion’s “values” now more closely reflect their values. Harrison has made this race about character and in other Democratic ads they turn the tables and paint Graham as part of the “swamp,” and that seems to be working.

Harrison started out the year by posting impressive fundraising totals each quarter — $7.37 million and $14 million respectively — and outraising Graham each quarter too. Democrats expect a historic third-quarter fundraising haul from Harrison too, who’s been raising money at a fast clip ($10.6 million in August alone) even before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last month where ActBlue donations poured into campaigns across the board.


Republican strategies 101 - Suppress the vote, Gerrymandering, and scare voters.

Here’s a supreme example of one of Kansas State’s Senate President discussing carving out Republican districts, aka Gerrymandering just to secure the Congressional Republican leaders.

WTFery in the making.


Cross Posting


South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham painted a grim picture for Republicans if they lose control of the White House and Senate next month.

Graham said he believes Democrats would extensively change the rules when it comes to nominating appointees to the Supreme Court and would also impose other changes to the makeup of the country that would help them stay in power.

If we lose the House, the Senate, and the White House, they’re going to change the rules of the Senate, Maria, so you only need a majority," Graham told Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo. "Anything coming out of the House goes to the Senate. They’re going to expand the Court from nine to whatever number they need to make it liberal. They’re going to abolish the Electoral College, which means New York and California pick our president. They’re going to change America.

Several election forecasters suggest Republicans are not only at major risk of losing their Senate majority but that Democrats may even pick up more seats in the House, which they already control.


cross posting


Graham and McConnell both providing devastating sound bites against themselves.

Lindsey Graham: “… the good old days of segregation…”

McConnell: laughing at his COVID-19 response.

She’s calling BS…


Huge differences in fund raising for Dems in Senate races.

The Democrats’ advantage was even wider than former vice president Joe Biden’s edge over President Trump in just-released numbers for September, when Biden pulled in $383 million to Trump’s $248 million.

Twelve of the 15 Democratic candidates raised at least double their opponents’ haul, eight raised triple, and six raised at least quadruple.

Here are the most lopsided tallies:

  • Gideon’s $39.4 million more than quadrupled Republican Sen. Susan Collins’s $8.3 million.
  • Iowa Democrat Theresa Greenfield’s $28.7 million quadrupled Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s $7.2 million.
  • North Carolina Democrat Cal Cunningham raised $28.3 million, compared with Republican Sen. Thom Tillis’s $6.6 million.
  • Democrat Barbara Bollier outraised Republican Rep. Roger Marshall $13.5 million to $2.9 million for Kansas’s open seat.
  • Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock raised $12.8 million compared with appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s $2 million. (Loeffler has spent an additional $5.5 million of her own money. She is also fighting for a place in a likely runoff with Republican Rep. Douglas A. Collins, who pulled in $2.3 million.)
  • Alaska independent Al Gross (who has said he would caucus with Democrats), outraised Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan $9.1 million to $1.7 million.

Well, there’s a good sign.


WSJ wraps up the story…


NPR’s statement on this:

Analysis: Questionable ‘N.Y. Post’ Scoop Driven By Ex-Hannity Producer And Giuliani

Also, those two stories you posted are not the same. The first is a hit job by Kimberly Strassel, a Trump partisan who came up with the whole Spygate conspiracy theory:

How Right-Wing Media Creates a Conspiracy Theory Out of Thin Air

The second is the actual news article that clears Joe Biden.


Some lukewarm responses for the GOP in AZ. The polls reflect a Dem lead, but ex Sen. Jeff Flake could be right, the whole state could be moving off the GOP.

As far as demonstrations go, it wasn’t much, just three white women on the side of the road in Scottsdale, Arizona. One waved an American flag. One held nothing at all. But had Donald Trump asked God for a sign of encouragement, he couldn’t have done better than the third woman, who raised above her head a halo of red poster board on which she’d scrawled three words that, for the president and his supporters, amount to the most hopeful message of the campaign: “HUNTER’S LAPTOP MATTERS.”

If Trump is to win reelection, the three women of Scottsdale Road would have to represent an army of clones. There must exist beyond the reach of pollsters many more such voters in places like Maricopa County for whom Hunter’s laptop matters a great deal. The complex tale of Rudy Giuliani, the Democratic nominee’s son, and a device supposedly full of private photos and evidence of potential corruption or certain nepotism in Ukraine and China must outweigh in importance the pedestrian issues that tend to consume Americans as they consider the choice before them on November 3.

I always thought it would be difficult for him,” Jeff Flake, the former senator from Arizona, told me. “Before corona and before the economy went south with the coronavirus, I thought it would be difficult.” A Goldwater Republican and devout Mormon, Flake did not get along with the president for obvious reasons. Flake sees now in Hunter’s laptop the problem that Trump’s personality poses for his party. “Boy, it’s not broadening the base,” he said.

Maybe we can be confident that the Dems have a running start in the battleground states, so this Hawkfish data seems much better for a Dem win. And we all know not to judge the race by polls alone. Hawkfish is funded by Bloomberg, but looks like it is peer reviewed by both Dems and Republicans.

Democrats have opened up a yawning gap in early voting over Republicans in six of the most crucial battleground states — but that only begins to tell the story of their advantage heading into Election Day.

In a more worrisome sign for Republicans, Democrats are also turning out more low-frequency and newly registered voters than the GOP, according to internal data shared with POLITICO by Hawkfish, a new Democratic research firm, which was reviewed by Republicans and independent experts.

The turnout data does not mean Donald Trump will lose to Joe Biden. Both sides are bracing for a close race and a giant wave of Republicans to vote in person on Nov. 3. Yet the turnout disparity with new and less-reliable voters has forced Republican political operatives to take notice.

“It’s a warning flare,” said veteran Republican strategist Scott Reed.

“Some Republicans are stuck in a model that we always run up the score on Election Day to make up the difference,” Reed said. “I think running an election in a superpolarized electorate, you want to win early voting. Let’s go. Let’s stop talking and making excuses.”

The GOP caught an encouraging glimpse in Florida on Tuesday, when more Republicans began casting in-person, early ballots than Democrats in Trump’s must-win state. But Democrats have dominated voting by mail and on Thursday held a historic lead in total pre-Election Day ballots cast of 463,000, or 10 percentage points, according to the state’s Division of Elections. Gov. Ron DeSantis this week urged Republicans to vote early in person, a message Trump plans to echo on Saturday, when he’s expected to call on his base to get to the polls.

At a glance, the top-line Democratic margins also look huge in Arizona (16 percentage points), Michigan (24 points), North Carolina (14 points), Pennsylvania (46 points), and Wisconsin (22), according to the analysis from Hawkfish, which is funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, a Trump foe.

Though the numbers look good for Democrats, they’re not cause for complacency for Hawkfish’s CEO, Josh Mendelsohn, who echoes Republicans in saying that he expects high-propensity Trump voters to increasingly show up in force. Compared with Republicans, Democrats are exhausting far more of their high-propensity voters and the margins are expected to start tightening, as they have in Florida.


Burgess Owens, a Republican House candidate in Utah, accepted at least $135,000 in illegal donations.