Posts tagged with "NBC News"

Failed GOP candidate arrested in string of shootings at New Mexico Democrats’ homes

January 18, 2023

On Monday, January 19, police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, arrested a former Republican candidate for the state House of Representatives in connection with multiple shootings at local Democratic politicians’ homes, reports HuffPost.

Solomon Peña is accused of conspiring with and paying four other men to shoot at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said. He was arrested after a brief standoff with a police SWAT team.

The department has been investigating at least six shootings between December 4 and January 5. Four of those have been linked to Peña, police said, and two others are still under investigation.

“It is believed that he is the mastermind behind this,” Medina said at a news conference Monday, per NBC News.

During one attack on Decembver 11, at least 12 bullets were fired at a county commissioner’s home, the Albuquerque Journal reported. On January 3, multiple shots were fired at State Representative Linda Lopez’s home—including three bullets that went through her ten-year-old daughter’s bedroom.

Peña launched an unsuccessful bid for New Mexico’s 14th House District in 2022, losing by 47 percentage points to his Democratic opponent, State Representative Miguel Garcia. The Albuquerque Journal notes that Peña has continued to dispute the results of the race, claiming election fraud.

Peña faced criticism during his bid after Garcia filed a suit to disqualify him from office over a 2008 conviction for stealing in a “smash and grab” robbery. Peña served seven years in prison, but a judge ruled that laws barring convicted felons from office were unconstitutional.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Yahoo takes minority stake in digital ad network Taboola

November 29, 2022

Yahoo is deepening its push into digital advertising, even as its competitors warn that the market is faltering, reports The New York Times.

The Internet pioneer, which was taken private in a $5 billion deal last year, is taking a roughly 25% stake in Taboola, the company known for serving up attention-grabbing links on websites, the chief executives of the companies said in an interview.

The deal is part of a 30-year exclusive advertising partnership that allows Yahoo to use Taboola’s technology to manage its sizable business in native advertising—ads that have the characteristics of traditional news and entertainment content.

Shares of Taboola have fallen nearly 80% over the past year, amid broader doldrums in the public and advertising markets—giving it a market capitalization of $455 million. Last January, when Taboola struck a deal to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, it was valued at $2.6 billion.

Executives at companies like Meta and TikTok have warned that advertisers skittish about the economy have pulled back on their spending. But Jim Lanzone, the chief executive of Yahoo, said in an interview that the deal with Taboola puts both companies in a good position for when the ad market revives.

“I’m thinking, you know, five, ten, 30 years,” Lanzone said. “Digital advertising has huge wind at its back over the long term.” He added that while the company will continue to try to bring in money in other ways, such as expanding its subscription business or investing in e-commerce, “we have hundreds of millions of people consuming news and sports and finance on market-leading properties that are heavily monetized through advertising — and will continue to be.”

Yahoo, a giant of the early internet, was eclipsed over the years by tech rivals like Alphabet’s Google and Meta’s Facebook. The company endured a messy power struggle and shaky leadership as it matured, leading to layoffs and shifts in strategy.

The company was taken private by the investment firm Apollo Global Management in the hopes that new leadership and a respite from the public markets would give it a chance to grow. Yahoo says it has about 900 million monthly users of its properties, which include AOL, TechCrunch, and Yahoo Sports, making it one of the largest destinations on the web.

oola, founded in 2007, specializes in native advertising, operating a sprawling advertising network over thousands of well-known websites, including CNBC, NBC News, and Insider.

The deal with Yahoo gives Taboola the exclusive license to sell native ads across Yahoo’s sites, and the companies will share revenue from those ad sales. The companies did not disclose the terms of the revenue split.

Yahoo, which will become Taboola’s largest shareholder, also will get a seat on the company’s board.

Research contact: @nytimes

Georgia Supreme Court denies G.O.P. bid to halt early voting starting November 26 in Senate runoff

December 28, 2022

On Wednesday, November 23, the Georgia Supreme Court denied the state Republican Party’s bid to block early voting in the hotly contested Senate runoff from moving forward on Saturday, November 26, reports NBC News.

The brief unanimous ruling by the state’s high court upheld last week’s decision by a Fulton County judge blocking a directive from Georgia’s secretary of state prohibiting counties from voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, had argued that changes to Georgia voting laws meant that there could be no early voting November 26—the only Saturday when it would have been possible for Georgians to cast an early vote in the December 6 runoff election between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.

Early voting is required to be available statewide Monday through Friday of next week.

“The Court finds that the absence of the Saturday vote will irreparably harm the Plaintiffs, their members, and constituents, and their preferred runoff candidate,” Judge Thomas A. Cox wrote in a ruling last Friday.

The state Republican Party appealed the decision, arguing it was allowing “illegal advance voting.”

The dispute centered on a provision of Senate Bill 202, signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp in March 2021, which stipulates that early in-person voting must not be held on any Saturday that follows a “public or legal holiday” on the preceding Thursday or Friday. Raffensperger contended that meant there could be no early in-person voting November 26, the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Attorneys for the Democrats and Warnock’s campaign argued the section of the law Raffensperger cited applied to primaries and general elections, but not to runoff elections. Cox agreed.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Warnock campaign, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and the state Democratic Party called the state Supreme Court ruling “a victory for every Georgia voter.”

Early voting opened in at least one of the state’s 159 counties on Tuesday. In a court filing, Democrats said that at least 19 counties with a total of more than 4 million residents were planning on offering early voting Saturday.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Boebert is locked in unexpectedly close race, as some constituents say they’re tired of a ‘mini Trump’

November 15, 2022

In the heart of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, a rural region spanning much of the southwestern part of the state, some people who voted for Republican U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert two years ago said they were fed up with what seemed like her desire to grab the national spotlight instead of fighting for them, reports NBC News.

The Donald Trump loyalist’s surprisingly close race against little-known Democrat and former Aspen city councilman Adam Frisch has become one of the nation’s most closely watched midterm election battles over a seat most political observers thought Boebert would win easily.

As of Friday morning, November 11, Frisch trailed Boebert by 1,122 votes in the U.S. House race. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report had rated the district as solidly Republican ahead of Tuesday’s election. Trump won the district twice—capturing 53.1% of the vote in 2016 and 52.9% four years later.

The results of the Boebert-Frisch showdown are likely to lead to a recount as control of the House hangs in the balance. Under state law, an automatic recount is required when a margin of victory in an election is less than or equal to 0.5% of the winner’s vote. Losing candidates may also request a recount at their own expense.

Apple Gibson, 69, of Pueblo County, who is registered as Independent, said she usually votes Republican but not this time around: “Her loud mouth; she’s a mini Trump. That was a turnoff,” Gibson said when asked why she switched her vote this time. Gibson said she believed Boebert wanted to create jobs at the expense of the Rocky Mountain region’s natural beauty and landscape.

Boebert could not be reached for comment Friday.

Observers said Frisch has gotten this far by running a steady campaign as a moderate Democrat who sometimes spoke out against President Joe Biden’s policies, got a head start on fundraising, and took advantage of a polarizing Republican incumbent who turned some voters off.

“He was just kinda written off,” said Steve Welchert, a Colorado-based Democratic political consultant, referring to how local and national Democrats never gave Frisch much of a shot to win. “The truth is, he did this by himself.”

Boebert, who was voted into office after besting five-term incumbent Scott Tipton in the 2020 primary, has helped Frisch by being an unwavering Trump loyalist and one of Congress’ most conservative members, some said.

“What she really cared about was being a television star,” Welchert said.

Frisch said on MSNBC on Friday that the race’s closeness can be partly attributed to citizens’ frustration. “Our country has been harmed by our current representative,” he said. “Our veterans have been harmed by our current representative. And our district has been ignored for two years while she’s been on this entertainment national circus.”

On the campaign trail, he vowed to improve medical care for military veterans, protect natural resources, and support abortion rights.

“I trust women and believe each woman deserves the freedom to choose what is best for her, her body, her family, and her future,” Frisch wrote on his campaign site.

His plan to remain competitive in a congressional race that includes rural Pueblo in southern Colorado and Grand Junction along the state’s western slope has worked, said Seth Masket, a Political Science professor at the University of Denver.

“A lot of this is about Boebert,” he said. “She’s been all about drawing a lot of attention to herself. Her style may have cost Republicans a seat that they should not be losing.”

Research contact: @NBCNews

In races for governor, few states change control

November 10, 2022

Gubernatorial elections resulted in few changes of control on Election Day, as Democrats held off challengers in several races that polls showed could be close—including Wisconsin, New York, and Michigan—while Republican incumbents won decisively in Florida and Texas, according to the Associated Press.

Democrats also prevailed in the only two states to flip, Maryland and Massachusetts, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In Maryland, The New York Times notes, Wes Moore, a celebrity author and nonprofit executive, is projected to take back the governor’s office for Democrats after eight years under Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who has reached his term limit. Moore, who will become the first Black governor of his state, faced up against Dan Cox, a far-right state delegate.

In Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey, with more than 63% of the vote as of Wednesday morning, November 9, has fended off gubernatorial candidate Republican Geoff Diehl (with 35%), the Times reports.

One of the most hotly contested races in the nation was in Wisconsin, where incumbent Democrat Tony Evers is projected to have fended off Republican businessman Tim Michels. Evers ran on a platform of investing in education and infrastructure—opposing gerrymandering and supporting abortion access—while Michels said he would do more to fight crime and touted his support from former President Donald Trump.

In New York, incumbent Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, according to the AP. Zelden gained on her in recent polls, which gave Republicans hope he could become the first candidate from their party to win statewide office in two decades as he focused on voter concern about rising crime. Hochul campaigned on her record from her year in office, including new gun-control laws, COVID-19 pandemic management, and rebate checks for taxpayers. She will become the first woman elected as governor in New York history.

Robust victories for Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott put the two men into strong positions as they both prepare for possible presidential runs in 2024, according to political analysts.

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer defeated conservative political commentator Tudor Dixon, who criticized the incumbent for the length of COVID-19 shutdowns and pledged to expand the state’s economy and stop the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Whitmer focused on her record repairing roads and increasing education spending.

New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham defeated former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, a Republican, according to the AP, in a race focused on issues including crime and abortion access.

In Maine, Democratic Governor Janet Mills won re-election over former Republican Governor Paul LePage. LePage hammered the incumbent over energy costs, while Mills touted her efforts to diversify the state’s energy sources.

Pennsylvania Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro beat Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial race, according to CNBC. After focusing his campaign on law-and-order issues and protecting abortion access, Shapiro will succeed departing Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.

Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp defeated former State House minority leader Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, according to TIME magazine. Kemp largely ignored attacks from Trump over President Joe Biden’s win in the state in 2020 and focused on his efforts to promote business development, loosen gun laws, and open the state quickly following COVID-19 lockdowns.

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom easily won re-election, NBC reports, in the nation’s most populous state, after a campaign in which he spent much of his time feuding with Republicans and promoting liberal positions on such issues as climate change and abortion access.

Races that were too close to call in the early-morning hours on Wednesday, November 9, included Kansas and Nevada, where Democratic incumbents sought to keep their seat; and Alaska, where a Republican governor is campaigning for reelection.

Research contact: @WSJ

Democrats catch up to GOP on enthusiasm in final NBC News poll before midterms

November 9, 2022

The final national NBC News poll of the 2022 midterms finds a highly competitive campaign landscape ahead of Election Day. While Democrats have pulled even with Republicans in enthusiasm, President Joe Biden remains unpopular and voters express deep dissatisfaction about the state of the country.

NBC News reports that 48% of likely voters say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress as the outcome of Tuesday’s elections, while 47% prefer a Republican-controlled Congress. 

That’s a reversal from October, when 48% preferred a GOP-controlled Congress versus 47% who wanted Democrats in charge—although the shift is well within the poll’s margin of error.

Among all registered voters, congressional preference is tied at 47%-47%—essentially unchanged from last month, when Democrats held a narrow 1-point edge, 47%-46%.

Yet what has changed in the poll is that Democrats have caught up to Republicans in election interest. An identical 73% of Democrats and Republicans express high interest, registering either a “9” or “10” on a 10-point scale. 

In October’s NBC News poll, Republicans held a 9-point advantage in high voter interest, 78% to 69%, after Democrats had previously closed the enthusiasm gap following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June.

Still, the overall political environment remains grim for Democrats. Only 44% of voters approve of President Biden’s job performance, while 53% disapprove; more than 70% think the country is headed in the wrong direction; and a combined 81% say they are “very” or “somewhat” dissatisfied with the U.S. economy.

What’s more, 47% of all voters say they want a “great deal” of change in direction from the way in which Biden has been leading the country — higher than what the poll showed for the first midterms for Donald Trump (44%), Barack Obama (41%) and Bill Clinton (36%), all of which resulted in midterm election drubbings for those past presidents.

“President Biden and the Democrats are in for a miserable election,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt and his team at Hart Research.

“The Democrats have to run way ahead of the president to win a statewide race,” said McInturff. “I would expect to see to see a large number of losses in the House and possibly a switch in control of the Senate.”

But Horwitt counters that, despite those traditional midterm fundamentals, Democrats have made this election competitive, which could save Democrats in some contests.

“In January, if you told me that the national political dynamics would not improve but Democrats had a fighting chance to avert a typical first midterm shellacking, I’d take it,” he said.

“And here we are,” Horwitt added.

Other findings

  • 38% of all voters say they’ve already voted, either by mail (19%) or early in person (19%); another 13% say they plan to vote early, and 45% say they will be voting at the polls on Election Day.
  • Former President Barack Obama is the most popular figure measured in the poll (at 51% positive, 37% negative)—followed by President Biden (42% positive, 50% negative), the Democratic Party (38% positive, 47% negative), the Republican Party (35% positive, 48% negative) and former President Donald Trump (35% positive, 55% negative).
  • Voters are divided on their choice of the bigger concern about the upcoming election: 47% are more concerned that Republicans will take control of Congress and make the wrong kinds of changes, versus 45% who are more concerned that Democrats will continue to control Congress and not make enough change.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Obama barnstorms Midwest in play to salvage Democrats’ ‘Blue Wall’

November 1, 2022

Barack Obama did the unthinkable in his 2008 presidential bid—turning out voters in droves to solidify a “Blue Wall,” with decisive wins in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Now, 14 years later, Democrats are desperate to capture even a scintilla of Obama magic if they’re to hold the U.S. Senate on November 8; as well as make certain governorships in battlegrounds remain in Democratic hands, even as they’re locked in one dead heat race after another, reports NBC News.

“Barack Obama is still the most popular figure in the Democratic party and the most credible messenger right now, especially when we’re trying to remind base Democratic voters what’s at stake in this election,” said Sachin Chheda, a Wisconsin-based Democratic strategist.

On Saturday, October 29, NBC News reports, the former president riled crowds in Milwaukee and Detroit—acting part statesman and at times, part stand-up comic—knocking Republicans with slights over what he described as their extremism and contradictions. 

Hundreds of people streamed into North Division High School in Milwaukee, hoping for a peek at Obama as he rallied for all of the statewide candidates, including the marquee races in the state: Mandela Barnes for Senate and Governor Tony Evers’ reelection.

He delivered a searing criticism of Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson for handing over tax breaks to donors who benefited at the same time he suggested Medicare and Social Security funding should be reexamined every year.

Obama needled Johnson for helping usher tax breaks for private planes, noting his grown children own “not one, not two, but three private planes—because carpooling was apparently not an option,” he said to laughter.

He then grew fiery, shouting as the crowd cheers and whistles grew, saying that Johnson understood getting tax breaks for private jets “more than he understands that seniors who worked all their lives are able to retire with dignity and respect.”

In Detroit, Obama similarly attacked Republicans and said the party had failed to uphold basic standards of democracy. At one point, Obama was interrupted by a protester who attempted to shout over him.

“Look, listen — hey, hold on, hold on — hold on, hold up — hold on a minute! This is — listen everybody — hey, you all over there, pay attention,” Obama said to the protester. “Not only is this an example of what I’m talking about, but it’s also an example of how we get distracted …. We get distracted instead of focusing on what’s important.”

In both Wisconsin and Michigan, Obama discussed reproductive rights for women.

“In Michigan, who will fight for your freedom? Is it a bunch of Republican politicians and judges who think they should get to decide when you start a family or how many children you have, who you marry or who you love? Or is it leaders like Gretchen Whitmer who believe that the freedom to make these personal decisions belong to every American, not politicians in Washington?”

The Michigan governor is facing a re-election bid by Republican challenger Tudor Dixon.

Obama dominated Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2008 and 2012, only for Donald Trump to capture those same states in 2016. In 2020, President Joe Biden reclaimed the states but by the narrowest of margins—winning Wisconsin, for example, by less than one percentage point. Today, Biden still struggles with a lack of favorability as evidenced by his absence in battlegrounds like Wisconsin.

A crumbling of that “Blue Wall” in 2022 has implications for a presidential contest in just two years, if Republicans assume power in top statewide offices in critical states, particularly if election results come under question.

“Only two counties flipped back to Biden after Trump in 2016, Sauk and Door,” Marquette Law School Polling Chief Charles Franklin said. “Turnout in Milwaukee in the midterms often drops a lot from presidential years so Democrats are especially anxious to maximize turnout there, hence Obama’s visit.”

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler told the crowd at the Milwaukee high school Saturday evening to remember that four of the last six presidential elections came down to less than a percentage point.

“The other two were Obama landslides,” Wikler said to an exuberant crowd. “These elections are tied. The governor’s race is tied. The attorney general’s race is tied. The Senate race is tied. Which means that you can tip the balance.”

Barnes said watching Obama as a then-state senator from neighboring Illinois give a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 changed his life.

“Seeing Barack Obama on that stage, it inspired me and it made me realize that maybe if I worked hard enough that I can have the power to make a difference,” Barnes said.

In remarks on Saturday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, said even though Obama isn’t on the ballot on November 8, issues and policies he fought for, like healthcare, factor into the election questions voters in Wisconsin ultimately will answer.

“If Wisconsinites vote in this election,” Kaul said, “we win.”

Research contact: @NBCNews

Amazon schedules a second Prime Day sale for October 11-12

September 27, 2022

Amazon is hosting another Prime Day-like deal bonanza next month—marking the first time it will hold two such events in the same year, reports NBC News.

The company announced on Monday, September 26, that the event, which it’s calling the Prime Early Access Sale, will take place October 11-12. The event is only open to members of Amazon’s Prime subscription program and will feature “hundreds of thousands” of holiday deals, said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Prime, in an interview.

CNBC previously reported that Amazon began contacting sellers about the event in June.

Prime Day, which started in 2015, is typically held once a year during the summer. But Amazon tweaked the timing of the event in 2020 and 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic strained its operations. The company also has experimented with other discount events, such as an apparel sale, a pet-focused event and a fall beauty event.

Ghani declined to say whether Amazon plans to host more than one sales event for Prime members moving forward. By setting a deal event for October, Amazon is playing into a trend that’s gained momentum in recent years. Major retailers have started announcing promotions well ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in large part because more sales are moving online.

The new sales event could help jumpstart holiday shopping for Amazon as the company stares down slowing e-commerce sales and a host of economic challenges—including a potential recession, soaring inflation, rising interest rates and the excess expansion it undertook during the pandemic.

Holiday sales are expected to grow from last year, but much of the increase will likely be driven by higher prices, according to a Bain & Co. forecast. Shoppers will likely be on the hunt for discounts more than usual as their wallets feel the strain.

“These days, it’s not lost on you or me that folks are trying to make their dollar stretch,” Ghani said.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Want to buy canned whipped cream in New York State? Don’t forget your ID!

September 1, 2022

A little-known New York State law has prompted stores to start carding customers and ban the sales of canned whipped cream to those under 21, reports NBC News.

The age limit was enacted nine months ago to curb teens’ possible abuse of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. The nitrous oxide found in whipped cream canisters, when it is abused as a narcotic, is commonly referred to as “whippits” or “whip-its.”

Meghan Massey, 43, couldn’t understand why she was being carded this month at her Hannaford Supermarket in Watertown.

“I thought: ‘What is going on?’ I was looking in my cart. What am I being ID’d for? I was so confused,” a laughing Massey said Monday. “I was mortified. Why am I being ID’d? What is going on right now? I’m 43 with gray hair.”

While Massey was having a laugh, Kent Sopris, the president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, or NYACS, isn’t so amused about the regulation, which he claimed is burdening members. “Requiring age verification when purchasing whipped cream is another classic compliance burden placed on convenience stores in New York State,” he said in a statement, adding, “”We hear constantly how important small businesses are to New York politicians but quite frankly laws like this prove otherwise.”

The age requirement for nitrous oxide cartridges went into effect  on November 25, 2021. But Sopris said it wasn’t until recent weeks that his members became aware of it. “We did not receive any notice that the bill had been acted upon by the governor—nor did any of our business colleagues,” he remarked “When NYACS realized the law was in effect, we immediately alerted our membership and advised them of the change in the law.”

State Senator Joseph Addabbo (D), sponsor of the bill that became law, said on Monday, August 29, that stores shouldn’t be carding for canned whipped cream.

He said the law targets cartridges sold separately from typical whipped cream cans.

In theory, a youngster could buy a can of Reddi-wip, break it open and remove the cartridge of nitrous oxide, he said—but that’s not his target.

“It’s actually the cartridge or charger” that’s being banned from sale to young people, Addabbo he told NBC News. “It’s a small 2-inch charger or cartridge. Those are the words in the bill.”

He said of stores carding over canned whipped cream: “That was never the intent of the bill.”

Erica Komoroske, a spokeswoman for Stewart’s Shops based in Ballston Spa, said her company took action in recent weeks only when employees noticed signs on display over canned whipped cream at other stores.

The chain now has hand-drawn signs educating customers about the 21-and-over whipped cream policy.

“I know it does seem silly,” Komoroske said Monday. “But we definitely see that there are certain teenagers[who] are abusing cans of whipped cream. So on the flip side we see that, as well.”

Research contact: @NBCNews

McConnell says Republicans may not win Senate control, citing ‘candidate quality’

August 22, 2022

On Thursday, August 18, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) downplayed expectations that Republicans would control of the Senate in the fall midterm elections—describing “candidate quality” as an important factor, reports NBC News.

“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different: They’re statewide [and] candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” he said in Florence, Kentucky, at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon when asked about his projection for the 2022 election.

“Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly.”

Even though history strongly favors the party out of power—in this case, the GOP—to make gains in midterm races, McConnell has long worried that subpar candidates could play into Democrats’ hands.

While he didn’t mention any names, there are examples across the country, NBC says. In Pennsylvania’s open Senate race, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed its rating Thursday from “toss up” to “lean Democrat” as GOP nominee Mehmet Oz, a celebrity doctor, struggles against Democrat John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, who leads in recent polls.

Apart from Oz, Republicans have nominated numerous first-time candidates backed by former President Donald Trump in states such as Georgia, Arizona, and Ohio to run against seasoned Democratic politicians. The Senate Leadership Fund, a group aligned with McConnell, recently bought $28 million worth of airtime in Ohio to support Republican nominee J.D. Vance

The Republican Party establishment also failed to recruit preferred candidates in other states, such as New Hampshire.

McConnell may be feeling déjà vu from 2010 and 2012—when his party fell short of capturing control of the chamber in part due to weak candidates such as Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada. and Todd Akin in Missouri.

But, despite their woes with candidates, Republicans still have opportunities to add to their ranks. They need a net gain of just one seat to seize control of the Senate from the Democrats and effectively gain veto power over President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda and nominees for top administration positions and judgeships.

Research contact: @NBCNews