US to fill border wall gaps at open area near Yuma, Arizona
The Biden administration on Thursday authorized completion of the Trump-funded U.S.-Mexico border wall in an open area of southern Arizona near Yuma that has become one of the busiest corridors for illegal crossings. Biden had pledged during his campaign to cease all future wall construction, but the administration later agreed to some barriers, citing safety. The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday the work to close four wide gaps in the wall near Yuma will better protect migrants who can slip down a slope or drown walking through a low section of the Colorado River.news.yahoo.com
Rapinoe, Giffords, Denzel Washington to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Biden is awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to 17 people, including Simone Biles, Denzel Washington, Gabby Giffords and, posthumously, inventor Steve Jobs and John McCain.washingtonpost.com
Biden administration border plan poses midterm danger for Democrats
In a preview of the midterm attacks Republicans plan to intensify this fall, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attacked Biden over the border in a speech on the Senate floor. “They should not wait nearly two months before ending Title 42 in its entirety, but rather start doing so in phases.”The plan the White House is expected to adopt would not fully lift Title 42 until late May, which critics point out is roughly tantamount to another 60-day renewal. CBP has used Title 42 to carry out more than 1.7 million expulsions over the past 24 months, records show. “It’s an abomination that the Biden administration did not lift Title 42 a long time ago,” said former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro. The Biden administration’s dependency on Title 42 deepened as border crossings soared during the spring of 2021.washingtonpost.com
No Senate run for Arizona Gov. Ducey, blow to GOP recruiting
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has notified Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell that he will not enter his state's high-profile Senate contest, a disappointing development for establishment Republicans who saw Ducey as their best hope to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly this fall. Ducey's decision was confirmed Thursday by a person with direct knowledge of the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private talk. Ducey, who is barred by term limits from seeking a third term as governor, also notified donors of his decision in a letter, as first reported by The Arizona Republic.news.yahoo.com
Arizona AG threatens Maricopa County funds over election audit
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is threatening to withhold millions in state funds from Maricopa County if it doesn't comply with the state Senate's partisan audit of the 2020 election, according to a new report sent to the County Board of Supervisors reviewed by Axios.Why it matters: Nine months after Election Day, this represents an escalation of a fight by Donald Trump-aligned Republicans — in this case, backed by state laws involving taxpayer funds and the power of the Attorney Generanews.yahoo.com
Lindsey Graham gathered with lawmakers on Joe Manchin's houseboat prior to positive COVID-19 test
Sen. Lindsey Graham reportedly gathered with fellow lawmakers on Sen. Joe Manchin's houseboat in Washington, D.C., last week, days before the South Carolina Republican announced a positive COVID-19 test on Monday.news.yahoo.com
Facing a Stalled Agenda in Washington, Democrats Talk Up American Rescue Plan
Hillary LaSever-Ceja, was getting ready to buy a new home in Tempe, Ariz., when her $4,200 stimulus check made its way from Washington to her bank account. The money Biden had delivered as part of his American Rescue Plan covered the closing costs that she had planned on just rolling into her mortgage. “During Biden’s campaign, he made that promise that we would all get a third round of stimulus checks and he delivered on that promise,” LaSever-Ceja told me last week by phone.news.yahoo.com
Democrats urge Biden to support more student loan debt forgiveness
One of President Biden's campaign promises was tackling the high cost of education. Matt Carpenter, the CEO of College Funding Services, joins Elaine Quijano on CBSN's "Red & Blue" to discuss the rising amount of student loan debt.news.yahoo.com
Ignore the hype of Republicans threatening to ‘break away’ over Trump
Anti-Trump Republicans get lots of media attention. That doesn’t mean they are relevant within the Republican party ‘It is great that at least some former prominent Republicans are willing to stand up to Trump and for liberal democracy. But they are not serious competitors to the current Trumpian Republican party.’ Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images “Over 100 Republicans, including former officials, threaten to split” from the Republican party, the New York Times declared on Tuesday. The next day the Washington Post upped the ante, headlining that the 100 Republicans were vowing “civil war”; the columnist Jennifer Rubin proclaimed the beginning of “the stampede away from the GOP”. Sounds exciting, but what has really happened? On Thursday, a group of some 150 former Republicans published “A Call for American Renewal”, a manifesto with the stated aim of “building a common sense coalition for America”. The call itself reads mostly like the US constitution but with a distinct anti-Trump undertone. While the former president is never named, the manifesto warns against “forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism”, opposes “the employment of fear-mongering, conspiracism, and falsehoods”, and rejects “populism and illiberalism”. It emphasizes the importance of the constitutional order, rule of law, and pluralism, while implicitly supporting immigration and explicitly celebrating “our diverse nation”. So far, so good; but is this anodyne statement worth all the hype? Active office-holders, with power and relevance, are conspicuously absent from the signatories The document’s signatories include many of the usual suspects of the Never-Trump right, including people associated with the Lincoln Project, like George Conway and Jennifer Horn. It also includes a lot of “formers”: the former US representative Charlie Dent, the former secretary of transportation Mary Peters, the former governor Tom Ridge, and the former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. But while these former office-holders express support for current Republican “rebels” like Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney, people such as Cheney and Romney themselves – active office-holders, with power and relevance - are conspicuously absent from the signatories. I doubt they will go much further than a non-committal positive reference, when asked or pushed by journalists. For all the media spin about “influential Republicans” or “Republican leaders”, none of the 150 signatories currently holds a significant position within the Republican party. In fact, the vast majority are people past their political career or who never were politicians. Many of them are probably better known to Democratic voters than Republican ones. During the Trump presidency, figures such as Max Boot and Michael Steele became liberals’ favorite “Republicans” largely by featuring primarily in liberal media. This is probably why this manifesto is vague about the concrete actions its signatories hope to achieve. Despite hints and recent media speculation, the document makes no explicit call for a third party. In fact, one gets the sense that the organizers are internally divided over strategy – and, for that reason, leaving all options open. Under the subheading “What’s the Call?”, the document reads: “That’s why we believe in pushing for the Republican Party to rededicate itself to founding ideals – or else hasten the creation of an alternative.” In essence, the whole manifesto is a real-world extension of the largely online Lincoln Project. Like the Lincoln Project, it offers a psychologically reassuring but ultimately questionable narrative frame for anti-Trump Republicans: the “soul” of the Republican party, which has been stolen or crushed by Trump and his wannabes, is at stake, and honorable Republicans must restore it. This is grounded in an elitist view of the Grand Old Party that rests on very loose empirical and historical grounds. As I’ve argued many times before, Trump did not hijack the party, at least not in ideological terms. In fact, for several decades the views of the Republican base had much more in common with Trump than with the signatories of this manifesto. That empirical fact will not change, no matter how hard the Lincoln Project and Never-Trump Republicans try to whitewash the Republican past – a whitewashing the liberal media happily amplifies. This is the Republican party of an imagined past, harkening to a moderate, noble era that never really existed Evan McMullin, who gained some media prominence by running as an independent candidate against Trump in 2016 – he won a whopping 0.54% of the vote – seems to at least acknowledge the current reality. In an interview with Fox News, he estimated that just “a fourth to a third of the party” wants a new direction. He added, rather optimistically: “Obviously that’s still a minority of the party but it’s a significant number.” Even assuming that all these people want to move the party in the same direction as the signatories of the “Call for American Renewal”, a fourth to a third of Republicans would be a mere sliver of the general population. While this would be more than enough to start a new party in the proportional electoral systems common in other countries, it is, under the United States’ two-party system, nowhere near enough to challenge the Republican party, let alone the Democratic party. Don’t get me wrong. It is great that at least some former prominent Republicans are willing to stand up to Trump and for liberal democracy. But this initiative is not a serious competitor to the current Trumpian Republican party and it will not be the Republican party of the future. It does not even reflect the Republican Party of the past. Instead, it is the Republican party of an imagined past, harkening to a moderate, noble era that never really existed. Amplifying the anti-Trump Republicans’ message uncritically, as many liberal media and politicians are doing, will not make them more relevant within the Republican party. However, it might help them further whitewash their own pasts as well as that of the Republican party. Cas Mudde is Stanley Wade Shelton UGAF professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia, the author of The Far Right Today (2019), and host of the podcast Radikaal. He is a Guardian US columnistnews.yahoo.com
Lin Wood’s plan to take over SC GOP fails, Drew McKissick wins another term
Lin Wood’s attempt to sway enough delegates to make him the next SC GOP chairman over incumbent Drew McKissick largely failed Saturday, though the pro-Trump attorney won the majority of delegates in two of the state’s more conservative strongholds.news.yahoo.com
Can ‘Never Trump’ Republicans gain party control – or is it a lost cause?
As Liz Cheney’s defiance turns her into one of the movement’s leaders some insist the party was their home long before Trump while others say it’s time to move on Liz Cheney went down swinging, telling reporters: ‘I will do everything I can to ensure the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.’ Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters Sixteen minutes and out. The purging of Liz Cheney from Republican leadership in the House of Representatives did not even go to a secret ballot. Instead a voice vote was all it took to confirm the party’s capitulation to Donald Trump and his “big lie” about a stolen election. But Cheney went down swinging, vowing to reporters on Capitol Hill: “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” then using a high-profile TV interview to say of would-be challengers for her seat in Wyoming: “Bring it on.” The public defiance instantly turned Cheney into one of the leaders of the “Never Trump” movement of disaffected Republicans. But it also raised strategic questions over the future direction of that movement and whether it can still regain control of the party – or should now abandon it as a lost cause. Some insist that the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan was their home long before Trump’s populist-fantasist invasion and they will fight to drive him out. Others believe that it is time to abandon ship and their future lies as independents or Democrats or even, perhaps, in a breakaway party. “We’re torn,” said Joe Walsh, a former congressman from Illinois. “I left the Republican party a year ago. Liz Cheney isn’t there yet. [Congressman] Adam Kinzinger, who I know well, isn’t there yet. They want to still try to reform and save the Republican party; I don’t think it can be saved. “So there’s a split in the Never Trump world and most Never Trumpers still agree with Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger: let’s try to reform the party from within. I just don’t think it’s reformable. They still harbour ideas that the Republican party can be wrestled away from Trump; it can’t be.” Liz Cheney speaks to reporters after she was removed from her leadership role at the US Capitol on 12 May. Photograph: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Walsh, who mounted a long-shot challenge to Trump for the Republican nomination last year, believes that a third party is now the only solution. “We’re at a weird moment in American history where, because the Republican party has become a cult, there’s an opportunity to start something new. I think eventually that’s where everybody’s going to get to.” On Thursday a coalition of more than 150 anti-Trump Republicans started a “political movement” urging the party to turn its back on extremism and lies. Members of A Call for American Renewal include lawyer George Conway, husband of former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, and Anthony Scaramucci, ex-White House communications director, as well as 27 former members of the House. The group stopped short of proposing a new party – for now. Co-organiser Evan McMullin, who ran for president as an independent in Utah in 2016, said: “We definitely don’t rule it out but our preference is to reform the Republican party, not necessarily from within. I think most of us believe that the only way to reform the Republican party at this point is to act independently of it. “It means that we will support good Republicans who are upholding the rule of law and defending and promoting truth and the constitution, but we’ll also support viable independents where they exist. If we have to support a unifying Democrat in order to defeat an extremist Republican, we’re going to do that. If it’s Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona running for re-election against extremist Kelli Ward, then we’re going to be for Captain Mark Kelly.” McMullin, a former CIA operations officer, added: “I think in this next cycle we’ll have people who will run under our banner, people who are in office now, people who are capable of mounting credible campaigns for public office. We will invite all to associate with our principles regardless of their party registration and to run as a part of this effort.” Adam Kinzinger during a House foreign affairs committee hearing. Photograph: Reuters Other initiatives in the Never Trump universe include the Lincoln Project, Principles First, the Republican Accountability Project and the Bulwark website. Kinzinger, who with Cheney was among 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment after the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol, launched a group called Country First to recruit and back anti-Trump Republican candidates. Cheney herself now has a platform guaranteed by her family name (her father was George W Bush’s vice-president, Dick Cheney) and looks set to be a more prominent voice than retired senators such as Bob Corker and Jeff Flake. She is reportedly planning more travel and media interviews and a political operation to support candidates who share her contempt for Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said: “Liz Cheney has positioned herself to be a prominent spokesperson for the old style Republican but also a very conservative party that does not kneel before an authoritarian, which is what the others are doing. “She deserves the position that she has has just earned. Now, that’s not to say she’s going to be elected president: she’s pretty far to the right. But how can you not admire her for sacrificing the power she has now and maybe her seat?” I think most of us believe that the only way to reform the Republican party at this point is to act independently of it Evan McMullin There are some signs that Trump’s sway over the party is not what it was. His favourability rating among Republicans in December was 91%, with 74% holding a very favourable view, an Economist/YouGov poll found. This month the same survey showed him at 78% favourability, with 58% very favourable. But congressional Republicans appear to have concluded they cannot fight next year’s midterm elections without him. Kevin Madden, a former adviser to Mitt Romney, now a senator for Utah and outspoken Trump critic, is in no doubt that a long haul lies ahead for Never Trumpers. “What is the plan to mobilise and grow that movement and is that best done inside the party or outside the party?” he asked. “What is the calendar of action on that? “Anybody who thinks that this is going to be waged between now and the midterms or now and 2024 is probably being very unrealistic. The more realistic scenario is that, if Liz Cheney is to be believed about her dedication in this respect, today is the first day of what is probably a decades-long battle for the direction of the party.” A breakaway remains unlikely with the odds stacked against anyone trying to shake up America’s two-party system. Competing with Democrats and Republicans’ vast fundraising machines would be daunting. In the first-past-the-post electoral system, a third party would struggle to convince people that their vote would be not be wasted in hundreds of districts. Madden, who became an independent last year and wrote in the name of Lynne Cheney, mother of Liz, on his presidential election ballot, added: “The work of building the infrastructure to compete across 50 different states or 435 different congressional districts? That is a monumental undertaking.”news.yahoo.com
Victims in 2011 Giffords attack see parallel to Capitol riot
“As I sat waiting for information about @SenMarkKelly’s safety today, I couldn’t stop thinking about what you must have gone through 10 years ago this week,” Giffords wrote on Twitter on Wednesday after it was clear lawmakers were unharmed. Gabe Zimmerman, Giffords' community outreach director, was the first congressional staffer killed on the job in the United States. She went to see her congresswoman with a child’s optimism and a belief that public service is exciting and hopeful. A decade later, in the aftermath of an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, his words carry new meaning. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”
Senator Mark Kelly, other former astronauts condemn storming of US Capitol building
This unpatriotic attempt to overturn our election — and silence the voices of Arizonans — will fail," Kelly said via Twitter on Wednesday . Retired NASA astronaut Terry Virts, who flew to space as part of spaceflights STS-130, Soyuz TMA-15M, Expedition 42 and Expedition 43, also shared his thoughts about the events over social media. America is better than this- now let’s show the world how our democracy will prevail," Virts said on Twitter. For instance, retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, who flew as part of the missions STS-129 and STS-122, shared a peaceful message on Twitter. Much Peace #lrz🐾 pic.twitter.com/bS9dPd4hrhJanuary 7, 2021Editor's Note: This piece was updated on Jan. 7, 2021 to include additional statements from other astronauts.space.com
World's space achievements a bright spot in stressful 2020
The European and Russian space agencies skipped the 2020 Mars launch window, their life-sniffing Mars rover grounded until 2022 because of technical issues and COVID-19 restrictions. Three weeks later, SpaceX launched its biggest cargo shipment yet to the space station for NASA. If the repairs work and the capsule finally reaches the space station, the first Starliner astronauts could be flying by summer. The actor was in talks with NASA this year about filming a movie at the space station. “Whatever else can be said about the four years of the Trump administration, they have been positive for the U.S. civilian space program,” noted John Logsdon, professor emeritus at George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute.
Christopher Waller confirmed as Federal Reserve governor; Judy Shelton nomination likely dead
Economist Christopher Waller has been confirmed as a Federal Reserve governor, following a party-line vote Thursday in the Senate. At the same time, the previous controversial nomination of Judy Shelton for a similar position is likely over now that she has lost key Republican support and the Democrats have officially gained another seat. At the same time, the seating of Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly, who unseated Republican Sen. Martha McSally, likely sealed Shelton's fate. Republican senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine opposed the Shelton nomination. Shelton is the latest Fed nominee from President Donald Trump to fall flat, despite Republican Senate control.cnbc.com
Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly sworn into Senate, cutting into GOP majority
Former astronaut Mark Kelly attends his swearing-in ceremony as Democratic U.S. senator for Arizona as his wife Gabby Giffords, former U.S. Representative from Arizona, listens in Washington D.C., December 2, 2020. Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly was sworn into the Senate on Wednesday, cutting into the Republican majority in the chamber. "Arizona trusted me with an important job, and I'm ready to get to work," Kelly tweeted before his swearing in. In the short term, Kelly's presence in the Senate makes some matters more difficult for the Republican majority. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not again attempt to confirm Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve, as Kelly could join his party and three Republicans to sink her nomination.cnbc.com
Arizona's Kelly is sworn into Senate, narrowing GOP edge
(Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – Arizona Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly was sworn into the Senate on Wednesday, narrowing Republican control of the chamber and underscoring his state's shift from red to blue. Kelly, 56, defeated GOP Sen. Martha McSally in last month's election, making her one of only three incumbents to lose. Kelly's Arizona colleague, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, held the Bible on which he took his oath. In what was one of the country's most expensive Senate races, Kelly raised $89 million. That was second only to the $108 million collected by defeated South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Arizona certifies Biden's narrow victory over Trump
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, left, and Arizona Gov. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)PHOENIX – Arizona officials certified the state's election results on Monday, formalizing Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow victory over Donald Trump even as the Republican president's attorneys continued to make baseless claims of fraud about the state's vote count. In the final tally, he beat Trump by 10,457 votes, or 0.3 percent of the nearly 3.4 million ballots cast. Nine Republican state lawmakers attended the meeting. A judge in Phoenix has scheduled a Thursday trial in Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward’s lawsuit that seeks to annul Biden’s victory in the state.
The Latest: Graham: Trump should attend Biden's inauguration
'”But Graham says after the Electoral College formally confirms Biden as president-elect on Dec. 14, Trump should agree to attend the new president's inauguration. I hope Biden would come to his.”___HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN'S TRANSITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE:President-elect Joe Biden will have an all-female senior communications team at his White House. __1:50 p.m.Arizona officials have certified Joe Biden’s narrow victory over President Donald Trump in the state. The inaugural committee works in coordination with Congress’ planning group around arrangements for the Capitol ceremony, and organizes inaugural balls and other events surrounding the swearing-in. In a statement Monday, the inaugural committee said it will work on “prioritizing keeping people safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 while engaging all Americans” in the festivities.
Democrat Mark Kelly projected to win Arizona Senate race, flipping a seat
Mark Kelly will win Arizona's Senate race, NBC News projected Friday, flipping the second seat of the 2020 election for Democrats. Kelly has won 1,600,332 votes thus far, an advantage of 103,133 votes over McSally, whose total stands at 1,497,199 votes. The expected victory would make Arizona the third state where a Senate seat changes hands this year after Democrats won GOP-controlled Colorado and Republicans carried Democratic-held Alabama. By Sept. 30, Kelly had raised a total of $82.8 million for his campaign, compared with $50.9 million by the McSally campaign. Throughout his campaign, Kelly touted his political independence over any ties to the Democratic Party.cnbc.com
Senate control hangs in balance with a few races undecided
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with reporters during a press conference in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. “We’re waiting — whether I’m going to be the majority leader or not,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday. There already is a Jan. 5 runoff in the state's other Senate race. Securing the Senate majority will be vital for the winner of the presidency. John Hickenlooper defeated GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, and Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly beat Republican incumbent Martha McSally.
Democrats win big in Arizona, now a former GOP stronghold
The outcome delighted Democrats and was sure to bring a reckoning for Republicans who have enjoyed decades of dominance in Arizona politics. In turning toward friendly territory for Democrats, Arizona is following a path blazed by its neighbors Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. It’s also the Democrats’ brightest light among the Sun Belt states they tried to flip from the GOP this year. A decade of work organizing Latinos to vote helped Arizona Democrats outperform other states where Democrats came up short, Gallego said. President Bill Clinton won Arizona in his 1996 reelection bid.
Democrats' Senate drive halted by GOP; key races undecided
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s campaign helped his GOP allies, but that state election officials were still counting ballots. Key Senate races in North Carolina, Alaska and Georgia remained undecided. Democrats contested seats from New England to the Deep South and the Midwest to the Mountain West, reaching deep into GOP strongholds. North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has struggled against Democrat Cal Cunningham, despite the married challenger’s sexting scandal with a public relations strategist. GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democrat Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor at the church where the Rev.
With Senate win, Mark Kelly becomes 4th astronaut elected to Congress
Former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, seen addressing supporters on Tuesday night (Nov. 3) in Tucson, has been elected by the state of Arizona to the U.S. Senate. Mark Kelly has won a seat in the U.S. Senate, making him only the fourth NASA astronaut to be elected to Congress . From being in the space shuttle simulator and flying and training, two years of focusing on the details. Nelson, who later was elected to the Senate, flew on Columbia with the STS-61C crew. Skylab and space shuttle crew member Jack Lousma won the Republican primary, but lost the election to be a senator from Michigan in 1984.space.com
Senate Latest: Kelly win gives Arizona 2 Democratic senators
The former astronaut defeated Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat after McCain’s death in 2018. Daines’ first election in 2014 broke a Democratic lock on the Senate seat that had lasted more than 100 years. The six-term congressman from northern New Mexico defeated Republican Mark Ronchetti, a former television meteorologist, and Libertarian Bob Walsh. Reed cruised to victory over Waters, an investment consultant who mounted earlier unsuccessful campaigns for state Senate and U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Warner defeated Republican challenger Daniel Gade in a low-key race in which the incumbent had a massive cash advantage.
Democrats losing paths to Senate control as GOP hangs on
Republican Senate candidate Sen. Mitch McConnell, second from right, and his wife, Elaine Chao, right, look on as aides show him the election results in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)WASHINGTON – Hopes fading for Senate control, Democrats had a disappointing election night as Republicans swatted down an onslaught of challengers and fought to retain their fragile majority. Democrats contested seats from New England to the Deep South and the Midwest to the Mountain West, reaching deep into GOP strongholds. The Democrats' gains were in Colorado and Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly beat GOP incumbent Martha McSally. Republican Cynthia Lummis, the former congresswoman from Wyoming, won the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mike Enzi.
GOP tries to save its Senate majority, with or without Trump
Republican senators are fighting to save their majority against an onslaught of challengers in states once off limits to Democrats that are now hotbeds of the backlash to President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans are fighting to save their majority, a final election push against the onslaught of challengers in states once off limits to Democrats but now hotbeds of a potential backlash to President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill. With it, a reelected Trump could confirm his nominees and ensure a backstop against legislation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. With the chamber now split, 53-47, three or four seats will determine Senate control, depending on which party wins the White House. Swooping in to fill the gap for Republicans is the Senate Leadership Fund, tapping deep-pocketed donors.
Road to 270: Biden has options, Trump walks narrow path
The former vice president is competitive in all the battleground states Trump carried in 2016 and has put a handful of traditional Republican states, including Georgia and Arizona, in play. They would give Biden 279 electoral votes, as long as he wins all the other states in Clinton's column. Under this scenario, Biden would not need to win any other states Trump won in 2016. Once reliably Republican Arizona, offering exactly 11, and North Carolina, with 15, are states Trump won four years ago that are well within Biden's reach. He's also competing for Ohio, which Trump won by 8 percentage points in 2016; Iowa, which Trump won by nearly 10 percentage points; and Georgia, which Trump carried by 5 percentage points.
The Senate battle between Martha McSally and Mark Kelly shows just how much Arizona is changing
Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Democratic challenger Mark Kelly at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 6, 2020. Kelly's strength also stems from voter disapproval of Republican President Donald Trump, whose platform and positions McSally has wholeheartedly supported in Washington. But it is not just McSally's Senate seat that may be slipping out of reach for Republicans in Arizona. Mark Kelly, U.S. Democratic Senate candidate, and his wife Gabby Giffords, former U.S. Representative from Arizona, speak with an attendee during a roundtable discussion with Latino small business owners in Tucson, Arizona, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Whether or not Kelly wants to talk about it, the reality on the ground is unmistakable: The demographic profile of Arizona voters is changing, and it has been for several years.cnbc.com
McConnell tries to salvage Senate majority with court vote
Confirmation hearings are set to begin Monday for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee giving Republicans one last chance to salvage their Senate majority by wresting attention away from the White House and its COVID-19 response and onto the GOP’s longtime goal of fashioning a conservative court. Only two GOP senators balked at quick confirmation. This time, it's much about securing his own legacy reshaping the judiciary into what allies call the “McConnell Court” as giving his majority a landing pad after a tumultuous four years with Trump. Having already bent Senate rules to allow 51-vote threshold to advance Supreme Court nominees, rather than 60 as was tradition, McConnell is now poised to usher a third Trump justice to confirmation. “It’s not going to be remembered as the McConnell Court,” said Stevens.
Arizona Senate race could impact confirmation of new justice
FILE - In this May 16, 2011, file photo, former NASA astronaut STS-134 commander Mark Kelly, front, waves a he leaves the Operations and Checkout Building with fellow crew members, including Mike Fincke, for a trip to Launch Pad 39-A, and a planned liftoff on the space shuttle Endeavour at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. A Kelly victory would shrink the GOP's Senate majority at a crucial moment and complicate the path to confirmation for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Arizona Senate race could impact confirmation of new justice
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)PHOENIX – If Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly wins a seat in the U.S. Senate, he could take office as early as Nov. 30, shrinking the GOP’s Senate majority at a crucial moment and complicating the path to confirmation for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. “If Mark Kelly comes out on top, HE could block President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee from being confirmed,” she wrote. The Supreme Court vacancy could shake up the race and boost McSally’s lagging campaign by keeping those voters in her camp. Republican and Democratic election lawyers agreed that Arizona law is clear: If Kelly wins, he will take office once the results are official. Arizona Supreme Court precedent favors putting elected officials in elected positions as soon as possible, said the Tim LaSota, the former lawyer for the Arizona Republican Party and a McSally supporter.
Arizona Senate race could play crucial role in confirmation
If Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly wins a seat in the U.S. Senate, he could take office as early as Nov. 30, 2020. A Kelly victory would shrink the GOP's Senate majority at a crucial moment and complicate the path to confirmation for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)PHOENIX – If Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly wins a seat in the U.S. Senate, he could take office as early as Nov. 30, shrinking the GOP's Senate majority at a crucial moment and complicating the path to confirmation for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. “If Mark Kelly comes out on top, HE could block President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee from being confirmed,” she wrote. The Supreme Court vacancy could shake up the race and boost McSally's lagging campaign by keeping those voters in her camp.
Trump looms large over campaigns for control of Congress
Standing behind Trump are Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. So far, voters are signaling they want to finish the job they started in 2018 by installing Democrats for House majority control. In battleground Arizona, Republican Sen. Martha McSally is trailing Democrat Mark Kelly, a former astronaut. Gonzales said after GOP losses in 2018 there was an expectation that Trump atop the ticket would bring back Republican voters in 2020. But President Trump continues to drive Democratic energy and turnout, he said.
Democratic convention takeaways: Make history, pound Trump
(Democratic National Convention via AP)There has been one persistent theme in the Democratic National Convention so far: to portray President Donald Trump in highly personal ways as one unsuited for the White House both in skills and temperament. Here are some key takeaways from the third night of the convention. Donald Trump hasnt grown into the job because he cant, Obama said, according to his prepared remarks. Thats been a theme of the entire Democratic Convention, but having the most recent former president make it explicit demonstrates that this time Democrats are taking Trump seriously, and literally. The Democratic party is increasingly dependent on female voters, as a gender gap grows in U.S. politics.
GOP candidates balance pros, cons of running with Trump
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, facing a competitive North Carolina reelection contest, is looking forward to campaigning" with Trump, Tillis' spokesperson said. GOP Sen. Steve Daines tweeted, Montana cant wait to have you back, Mr. President! after Trump promised to help him battle a strong Democratic challenger. Republican candidates are hostages, said Trump critic Tim Miller, an aide to past GOP presidential contenders including Jeb Bush. Anyone who wants to win in November should be running with the president, said Trump campaign spokesperson Erin Perrine. In the House, Democrats hope to use allegiance to Trump that GOP candidates touted in primaries against them in general elections.
Stacey Abrams endorses candidates in 7 US Senate contests
FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2019, file photo former Georgia House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams, speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has already narrowed the field by saying he will pick a woman. Gretchen Whitmer, other names that have been part of the speculation are Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Abrams. On Thursday, Abrams announced that she was backing Democratic candidates in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. For Arizona, Abrams said former astronaut Mark Kelly has a proven record of service to our country. John Hickenlooper, the former Colorado governor and 2020 presidential candidate, is the one to help us cross the finish line for a Democratic Senate majority, Abrams said.
Why Californians are donating millions to Senate candidates in other states
Donations under $200 are not itemized, so it is impossible to know which states they came from based on FEC filings. (Chris Keller/Los Angeles Times)The state has long been a dependable source of donations for presidential candidates of both parties. Several Democratic Senate candidates visited California on fundraising trips this month, notably to headline an event at the Bel-Air home of Walt Disney Studios Co-chairman Alan Horn and his wife, Cindy. One example is Jones, the Alabaman trying to keep the Senate seat he won in a 2017 special election over Roy Moore, a Republican accused of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior with girls. Kelly, a former astronaut, has raised the most from Californians $1.4 million of all the Senate candidates in the country.latimes.com
Kit Harington Says He Still Hasn't Seen the Final Season of 'Game of Thrones'
One of Game of Thrones' biggest stars revealed at the 2019 Primetime Emmys that they haven't yet seen the eighth and final season of the hit show! "I still haven't seen the show," the 32-year-old leading man admitted to laughter from his co-stars when asked about the pushback GoT received from fans over how things ended. I haven't seen the final season." And we knew that it was right for the characters because we lived with them for 10 years. RELATED CONTENT:'Game of Thrones' Cast Had the Most Fun Reuniting at 2019 EmmysEmmys 2019: 'Game of Thrones' and 'Fleabag' Win the Night's Top AwardsPeter Dinklage Sets Emmy Record With Fourth Win for 'Game of Thrones'