Posts tagged with "Nevada"

Democrats test a midterm strategy: Meddling in G.O.P. governor’s races

May 11, 2022

Democrats are investing millions of dollars to meddle in Republican primaries for governor—either to elevate their preferred competitors in November or toweaken their biggest threats, reports NBC News.

Next week’s messy G.O.P. battle in Pennsylvania is the most blatant example. State Senator Doug Mastriano (R) is ahead in recent polls—and his would-be Democratic opponent wouldn’t mind if it stayed that way.

Democrat Josh Shapiro, the state attorney general running unopposed in his party’s primary for governor, is airing an ad that brandishes Mastriano’s conservative credentials, making sure to say a Mastriano victory is a win “for what Donald Trump stands for.” That’s all but an endorsement in a GOP primary, but it could hurt later in a race where even some Republicans have doubts about Mastriano’s electability.

That a Democrat is behind the ad underscores the lengths to which the party will go to engineer an easier general election in what’s expected to be a volatile environment this fall.

“Both public and private polling indicate that Doug Mastriano is poised to become the Republican nominee on May 17—and our campaign is prepared to start the general election now and make sure Pennsylvanians know his real record,” Shapiro spokesperson Will Simons said in a statement to NBC News.

Shapiro’s efforts mirror those by the Democratic Governors Association and affiliated groups that could hamstring Republicans in three other states currently led by Democrats.

As of Monday, according to the ad-tracking firm AdImpact, the DGA had already spent $4 million on advertising in Illinois, where the organization is attacking Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. Backed by hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, Irvin is seen by many as Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker’s toughest potential rival, but he must first win a crowded June 28 primary.

In Nevada, the group, A Stronger NV, which registered with the state using the DGA’s telephone number in Washington, D.C., already had spent $500,000 on ads, with at least another $111,000 reserved through the June 14 primary. There, Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak and allies of his re-election bid are focused hard on Joe Lombardo—the Clark County sheriff who has Trump’s endorsement and is leading a crowded GOP field that includes former Sen. Dean Heller and retired professional boxer Joey Gilbert, who has the state party’s endorsement.

“If he doesn’t make it through the primary, then we’ve knocked out what is seen as the front-runner,” a Democrat familiar with the DGA strategy said of Lombardo.

And although the strategy doesn’t involve a primary, an Oregon group backed by DGA donations is preparing a campaign that will brand nonaffiliated gubernatorial hopeful Betsy Johnson—until recently a Democratic state senator— as a conservative.

The early interference amounts to what Democrats see as a viable path to keeping their statehouses blue as they enter a tumultuous campaign season during which inflation and gas prices are on the rise and President Joe Biden’s favorability is stubbornly low.

Of the four states where the DGA is playing defense, Pennsylvania and Nevada are expected to be the most competitive this fall, with Illinois and Oregon being harder lifts for Republicans. But, buoyed by a bloc of deep red counties downstate Illinois, well-funded Republicans have managed to win statewide. Whether the Democrats are pushing the right buttons to be victorious in the general elections remains to be seen.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Senate GOP super PAC books $141 million in TV ads

April 19, 2022

The Republican super PAC tied to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell  has reserved $141 million in television advertising across seven states—offering an early hint at what GOP leaders see as their path back to a majority, reports The Hill.

The Senate Leadership Fund said on April 15 that it had reserved airtime in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, three states where Democratic incumbents are fighting for re-election.

The PAC will air advertising in Alaska and Wisconsin to defend Republican incumbents; as well as in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, two states where incumbent Republicans are retiring.

The largest investment is reserved for Georgia, where Senator Raphael Warnock (D) is seeking a full term after winning a special runoff election last January. The Senate Leadership Fund will drop $37.1 million there, likely to bolster former NFL running back Herschel Walker (R), who still faces a Republican primary later this year.

The PAC plans to spend $14.4 million against Senator Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) and $15.1 million against Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada). It has reserved $27.6 million to defend retiring Senator Richard Burr’s (R) seat in North Carolina, and $24.6 million to secure retiring Senator Pat Toomey’s (R) seat in Pennsylvania.

The group has reserved $7.4 million for Alaska, where Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) faces a challenge from a candidate who has the backing of former President Donald Trump. That money will come after the August 16 all-party primary; the top four contenders in that primary advance to the November general election.

Senator Ron Johnson (R) will get a boost from the $15.2 million the PAC plans to spend in Wisconsin. Johnson will face the winner of the August 9 Democratic primary.

“It will be a battle for every inch, but we are putting everything we have into delivering a Republican Senate majority that will put a stop to Joe Biden’s worst policies,” the group’s communications director Jack Pandol said.

The group’s one notable omission is in New Hampshire, where Senator Maggie Hassan (D) is seeking re-election. Several Republicans are vying for the nomination to face Hassan in a primary that takes place September 13.

According to The Hill, the nine-figure ad buy is the largest initial purchase the Senate Leadership Fund has made. Two years ago, the PAC’s first round of television advertising amounted to $67 million; it raised and spent nearly half a billion dollars in 2020.

Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show the group has raised nearly $75 million already this year and ended April with $72 million in the bank.

Political groups can reserve advertising time even before they have the money to pay for it; they do not have to send money to the television stations that will air the ads until shortly before those ads run.

The Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic counterpart to the Senate Leadership Fund, had $36 million in the bank at the end of February.

Research contact: @thehill

Democrats move closer to dropping Iowa’s early slot in presidential nomination process

April 15, 2022

Democratic Party officials approved a resolution on Wednesday, April 13, that would allow up to five states to hold presidential nomination contests before the first Tuesday in March 2024, based on new criteria that could strip Iowa of its first-in-the-nation status for one of the two major parties, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Republicans have shown no sign of changing an early lineup that has traditionally started with Iowa, followed by New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Democrats in 2020 followed a similar schedule, but with Nevada going ahead of South Carolina.

The resolution approved by the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee calls for an early calendar schedule that stresses racial, ethnic and geographic diversity; as well as union representation, competitiveness in general elections, and ability to run a “fair, transparent and inclusive nominating process.”

The committee will hold listening sessions this spring and summer on the proposed changes and also hear presentations from states that want to win an early slot. The deadline for application is June 3, and all four of the traditional early states will have to audition to keep their spots.

Any changes will have to be approved by the full DNC, likely in the late summer or early fall. Some committee members have said the changes are needed to better reflect the party’s diversity and values.

The Iowa caucuses, which have been first since 1972, have also long been criticized for being held in a state that is more rural and has a larger proportion of older and white voters than the nation as a whole. Iowa’s population is 85% non-Hispanic white, compared with a national average of 58%.

Iowa has in the past received international attention—and tens of millions of dollars in TV ads, hotel reservations and more—from being the initial stop on the road to the White House. That makes other states envious, and every four years Iowa is forced to defend its status.

“Caucuses are going to be a hard sell for me,” said Mo Elleithee, a member of the Rules and Bylaws Committee. “States that don’t offer some diversity are going to be a hard sell.”

Iowa has clung to its caucus tradition in large part because that has allowed it to keep peace with New Hampshire, which has a state law that requires it to hold the first primary.

Research contact: @WSJ

Creepy crawlies: If you live here, prepare to see thousands of tarantulas

August 6, 2021

Catching an unexpected glimpse of a daddy longlegs spider in your home can make even folks who’d barely call themselves arachnophobes jump. A wolf spider sighting outdoors can frighten even the most intrepid explorers. And encountering a hairy tarantula can cause virtually anyone to freeze up.

Unfortunately for folks of one particular area of the United States, there’s about to be an influx of not just a few or a few hundred, but thousands of tarantulas in the very near future, Best Life reports.

Starting in August, Colorado—particularly the southeastern part of the state—will see a sudden uptick in its tarantula population.

The sudden influx of thousands of tarantulas, which typically begins between late August and September, according to the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences (via The Gazette), is part of the arachnids’ annual migration.

For the Aphonopelma vogelae tarantula, more frequently found in the southwestern portions of the state, migration peaks in October.

But take heart: While seeing thousands of tarantulas descend on your area may be disconcerting, their presence is typically short-lived.

According to the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences, following their migration, the tarantulas are active for a short period of time, but “all normally perish within a couple of months.”

And you won’t be the only one watching where you walk and sit. The Colorado-based tarantula migration isn’t the only major shift in habitats these furry arachnids may be making this year, however.

According to Christopher Vitek, PhD, an associate professor of biology at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley during their mating season between March and October, tarantulas frequently emerge from their usual habitats in states including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

While tarantulas are unlikely to do harm to most humans, it’s wise to give them a wide berth if you encounter one in the wild.

“Their venom is of no medical significance, and contrary to popular belief, nobody has ever died from such a bite; most people compare the bite to that of a bee sting and experience no lasting ill-effects other than mild to moderate pain and slight swelling at the site of the bite,” Brent Hendrixson, PhD, chair of biology at Millsaps College, recently told Best Life.

Hendrixson says that if you do find a tarantula somewhere it shouldn’t be—inside your home, for example—and don’t feel comfortable picking it up, gently coax it into a jar with a soft-ended object like a paintbrush and remove it from the premises.

Research contact: @bestlife

Trump orders advisers to ‘go down fighting’

November 6, 2020

As Election Day turns into election week, Donald Trump has delivered a simple message to his closest political and legal advisers as they began charting a plan to challenge results in several key states: Give them a court fight that “they’ll never forget.”

The president’s remarks, relayed by two people familiar with them, came as election results seemed trending Joe Biden’s way. And for Team Trump, it was meant as a clarion call to use every possible legal resource and bit of political organizing to help re-tip the balance of the scale, The Daily Beast reported.

Trump told his advisers that, even if Biden were to claw the presidency away from him, he wanted them to “go down fighting” harder than they ever had before, one of the sources with direct knowledge said.

Goaded by White House messaging, his base responded:

The Michigan Republican Party did not return a request for comment from The Daily Beast.

Trump’s legal team—including George W. Bush campaign veteran Mark “Thor” Hearne—asked a court in Michigan to halt absentee ballot counts because it alleged its observers had not been granted full access to the tally, and were not permitted to watch video footage of “remote and unattended dropboxes.”

It brought a similar suit in Pennsylvania, fighting to stop the tabulation on the grounds that its overseers had not been allowed within 25 feet of the counting effort.

Further, Trump’s lawyers filed to enter an ongoing Supreme Court case, hoping to convince jurists on the highest bench to overturn a state policy that would allow counties to count votes postmarked on Election Day and received as late as Friday. Jay Sekulow, a personal attorney and confidant of Trump’s, is overseeing the Supreme Court effort.

“Lawyer city,” Joe Grogan, formerly a top domestic policy adviser to President Trump, said, describing the situation on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s going to be really ugly.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Warren, now the frontrunner, plans $10M+ digital and TV ad buy in early states

September 25, 2019

According to the latest Des Moines Register polling, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has surged—narrowly overtaking former Vice President Joe Biden and distancing herself from fellow progressive Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

Indeed, Warren now holds a 2-percentage-point lead over the previous frontrunner, Biden, with 22% of likely Democratic caucus-goers saying she is their first choice for president. And she “has a plan” to keep their votes—and build on that growing base.

On Tuesday, September 24, Warren’s presidential campaign announced that it planned to spend at least $10 million on a  TV and digital ad campaign in “early-states” including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina

The campaign told Politico  that a digital ad campaign would begin immediately and that the entire buy will ramp up over the next few months. The campaign declined to say when its spending on digital and TV ads would reach eight figures.

“Right now, our biggest expense as a campaign is our staff, but as the campaign heats up, it will be on media to reach potential voters,” Campaign Manager Roger Lau wrote in a memo emailed to supporters Tuesday morning. The campaign “will be more digital than old-school broadcast television.”

The campaign also released three ads on Tuesday—15-second30-second, and 60-second— which highlight Warren’s policy plans and her intention to crack down on corruption in government, Politico reported.

The shorter ads both end with: “I’m Elizabeth Warren. I know what’s wrong. I know how to fix it. And I’ll fight to get it done.”

The longest one finishes with footage from Warren’s recent rally in New York City and concludes with her saying, “It’s corruption: pure and simple. We must root it out and return our democracy to the people. And yes, I got a plan for that.”

 “We have built an in-house staff to produce videos and ads rather than adopt the consultant-driven approach of other campaigns (and the big commissions and fees that come along with it),” Lau wrote, according to the news outlet.

Warren is one of several candidates who have recently announced at least part of their strategy for the final months before the Iowa caucus next February.

The memo highlighted Warren’s tactical choices, such as investing early in organizers and integrating its data and tech teams in-house. Both moves have been praised by Democratic activists in early states and some digital organizers. Politico said

Research contact: @politico

Bud Light promotes special edition alien-themed cans, as ‘raid’ of Area 51 approaches

September 16, 2019

Next Friday, September 20, from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. (PDT), a huge group of alien enthusiasts—close to a million—has agreed to meet up at the U.S. government’s off-limits, heavily guarded  Area 51 in the desert 80 miles north of Las Vegas “and coordinate our entry.”

And just in time for that raid—on a facility at which scientists are rumored to study actual alien bodies and spacecraft—Bud Light is introducing alien-themed cans of beer “for legal drinking age humans;” as well as special wearables, such as caps with alien artwork.

However, Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, have made it clear that they are not necessarily encouraging the attack on Area 51.

Calling itself “the favorite light lager of American Earthlings,” the  Bud Light brand says, “”The way we see it, we’d much rather people crack open a crisp Bud Light with alien visitors rather than storm Area 51. Nothing says ‘we come in peace’ like sharing a beer with friends from another place or another galaxy. We promised to have beer waiting for any alien that wants it and we plan to deliver on that promise. Our hope is that humans stock up, too—because you never know when you might need some Bud Lights to welcome intergalactic neighbors.”

Starting on September 13, the alien cans of brew went on sale in NevadaArizona, and California . The special-edition aluminum cans feature a green alien and black background, as well as a new crest welcoming all extraterrestrials from near and far to crack a cold one.

To bring the fun to fans everywhere, Bud Light also has produced a line of limited-edition merchandise—including not only the caps, but koozies, shirts, and bomber jackets. Legal drinking age fans can purchase items online from the www.abgiftshop.com at prices of $100 or less.

Research contact: @BudLight

GOP to cancel 2020 primaries and caucuses, as Trump rivals cry foul

September 9, 2019

Is the GOP “running scared”? Four states are set to cancel their 2020 Republican presidential primaries and caucuses—a move that would block President Donald Trump’s challengers from even getting on the ballot.

Republican functionaries in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas are expected to announce the cancellations this weekend, three GOP officials who are familiar with the plans told Politico.

According to the political news outlet, “The moves are the latest illustration of Trump’s takeover of the entire Republican Party apparatus. They underscore the extent to which his allies are determined to snuff out any potential nuisance en route to his renomination—or even to deny Republican critics a platform to embarrass him.”

“Trump and his allies and the Republican National Committee are doing whatever they can do to eliminate primaries in certain states and make it very difficult for primary challengers to get on the ballot in a number of states,” former Representative Joe Walsh (R-Illinois), who recently launched his primary campaign against the president, told Politico, adding, “It’s wrong, the RNC should be ashamed of itself, and I think it does show that Trump is afraid of a serious primary challenge because he knows his support is very soft.”

Walsh warned,“W e intend to be on the ballot in every single state no matter what the RNC and Trump allies try to do,” Walsh added. “We also intend to loudly call out this undemocratic bull on a regular basis.”

Former Massachusetts Governor. Bill Weld said in a statement, “We don’t elect presidents by acclamation in America. Donald Trump is doing his best to make the Republican Party his own personal club. Republicans deserve better.”

RNC officials said they played no role in the decisions, the news outlet reported. Trump aides said they supported the cancellations—but stressed that each case was initiated by state party officials.

The shutdowns aren’t without precedent for either the Democrats or the Republicans. South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick noted that his state decided not to hold Republican presidential primaries in 1984, when Ronald Reagan was running for reelection, or in 2004, when George W. Bush was seeking a second term. South Carolina, he added, also skipped its 1996 and 2012 Democratic contests.

“As a general rule, when either party has an incumbent president in the White House, there’s no rationale to hold a primary,” McKissick said.

Officials in several states said in statements provided by the Trump campaign that they were driven by the cost savings. State parties in Nevada and Kansas foot the bill to put on caucuses.

“It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte,” Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald told Politico. “We should be spending those funds to get all our candidates across the finish line instead.”

Research contact: @politico