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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stone Me, I Must Be Dreaming: Why My New Idea for CNN Programming is a Sure Winner

Much speculation has abounded in recent days that CNN will hire Comedian Jon Stewart to fill the yet-to-be acceptably filled 9 PM time slot, which has been in total disarray since Piers Morgan was sacked in 2013. Why they don't hire Morgan back on I don't know, but I digress. As you may well have heard, Stewart announced late last week that he is departing Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." In an era where the 'trusted' likes of Brian Williams and Dan Rather are lying to you through their teeth, comedians have had the thankless task reporting the news to you with their humourous, slightly(or not-so-slightly) twisted spin on things. But why Stewart, and why on CNN? It seems to me that he would be better suited for, if we're going to go the cable news route, MSNBC, where he can replace Chris Matthews' second, needless, 7 PM hour. Or maybe even that comically, misleadingly titled network called 'Headline News.' Now to CNN's quandary. If they wanted to make a more even schedule, they would consider replacing Wolf Blitzer's(who I hear is on his way out, anyway) needless second, 6 PM hour. They used to have, from 6:30-7 PM, a modernized re-constitution of "Crossfire," which was some comedy in its own right. So what I'm thinking is two hosts whose main purpose it is to crack jokes at news stories, politicians, celebrities, fellow on-air talent, and even themselves. This is so genius I don't know why I didn't think of this one earlier. Really, I ought to just smack myself. As for the hosts, well, I cannot think of a better pairing than...

Donald Trump, host of "The Apprentice" and former host of "Saturday Night Live."


Andrew Dice Clay, comic impresario of "Nursery Rhymes" fame.

The Donald & The Dice Man---Comic duo for the ages?? You decide.

While ratings have improved in recent months, CNN has still needed a ratings kick in the ass for a good long while now, and what better an idea than this one to get those ratings up(Seriously, how's over-exposing The Blitz workin' out for you?). Two eminent, revered entities in their fields going at it on national television, and at dinner time, no less. How can you possibly lose(though, knowing CNN, they just might find a way)? Now there's the matter of show titles. Every good show(and this one's a born classic) has to have a good title, am I right? There may well be better show title ideas out there, but these which I came up with are, IMO, the very best:

1. Dice Trump
2. CNN Newsroom with Donald Trump & Andrew Dice Clay
3. Donald & Dice(and everything nice)
4. In the Ring with the Donald and the Dice Man

Ideal theme music: Dee Dee King's "The Crusher."(works best with the #1, #3, and #4 title ideas--CNN Newsroom is its own separate entity)

And let's just imagine, for a moment, the witty repartee that would ensue in such a dynamic:

Donald: "I'd HIRE her!"
Dice Man: "Yeah, I'd do her...for laffs. Ya know, as a little palate cleanser on my way to the big leagues."

Donald: "Wasn't that just the most biased, slanted, pathetic, awful interview you've ever seen, Dice Man?"
Dice Man: "With the way Andy's kissin' up to Obama, you have to wonder, and the way Obama smiled at him and laughed with him, jeez...Should we start calling Obama's place the "Ovarian Office"? I mean, with all the riotous sex those two fagalas are havin', you have to wonder, don't we, Donny?"
Donald: "Yes, I dare say we do."

Dice Man: "That Erin Burnett, she's a real hottie. Yeah, I'd take her out back for a little 'rendezvous with destiny.' That rich, white husband of hers ain't got nothin' on the Dice Man! Ow!"
Donald: "I gave that girl her big break. I made her what she is today. I'll take you out back and beat you like a little boy if I ever hear you say that again."
Dice Man: "Sheesh, what are ya, Donny, sleepin' with her?"
Donald: *wry facial expression*
Dice Man: "Donny and Erin sittin' in a tree..."

Dice Man: "I tell ya, Donny, this Miss America they got goin' here just ain't cuttin' it for me. Not only is my cheese not whizzin', but she also looks and walks like a MAN! I mean, seriously, who runs this crap chute?"
Donald: "I do, Dice Man."
Dice Man: "Really!? Then why dont'cha try givin' us some sexier, more jigglesome broads. Ya know, somethin' I can get myself worked up over. Or how about ya start out by givin' us some REAL broads to look at?"
Donald: "Why, I oughta..."

Dice Man: "In the news today, an Oregon man was hospitalized after using too much hair-regrowth product. And here to talk about this is our resident hair growth expert Donny Trump. Hi, Donny!"
Donald: "Where do you of NO hair get off joking about MY hair?"
Dice Man: "I'll show ya REAL hair, Donny!"
*(Turns his back to the camera and drops his pants)*
Donald: "I'm...impressed."

Dice Man: "The President gave a news conference today...Say, Donny, weren't you gonna run for President last time, and the time before that?"
Donald: "I would have if those tabloid trash-talkers hadn't threatened to release pictures of my Grandson's circumcision. SAD!"
Donald: "Yes, Dice." *scowls*

Donald: "I have HAD IT with your jokes about my hair and my manhood, Dicey! If I had run for and been elected President, carrying all 50 states, I wouldn't have to deal with this. I'd be making life MISERABLE for Kim Jong Un, China, the Islamic State, and Iran right now! But NO, I have to deal with all THIS bullshit!"
Dice Man: "Calm down, Donny! Don't flip a wig. All I said was it takes some serious nads to put yourself through the ringer the way these guys do."
*The Donald plows into the Dice Man, in the process knocking CNN's cameras over, causing millions of televisions across America to go to black*
Erin Burnett: "Out front tonight, President Gilmore issues a press conference calling on Congress to pass a declaration of war against the Islamic State. Will they act on his request? Let's go out front!"

This is CNN? You bet!

A sure-fire ratings success, perhaps even netting ratings unseen since the Gulf War. CNN would be stupid to pocket veto(or otherwise veto) this idea. This, and not the third hour of Wolf Blitzer, is how you leave Fox Noise, MSNBC, Headline 'News,' and the major networks in the dust! News with a comic twist always wins with today's key demographics. Just ask Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore, Bill Maher, and John Oliver. These comic paragons have made their livings on funnily reporting the news.

Your thoughts.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

NOVEL Idea--NBC Nightly News with Donald Trump?

With brickbats flying at Brian Williams over numerous allegations of his over-blowing stories on late night television, the time has come to consider a replacement for him in the event that he permanently steps down from the nightly news(as of this afternoon, he has temporarily stepped down). NBC News has a barn stable of talent who would be clamouring for such an opening as this one, but here's a question to ponder: Have any of these reporters really proven themselves to be anchor-material? Savannah Guthrie is nice to look at and she did all right interviewing the President, but I don't think she's ready for the big leagues. Matt Lauer is seen as too much of a cable news bad boy to be seriously considered for the Nightly News. Al Roker? Hoda Kotb? Please. Here's a novel idea: How about taking the host of one of the highest rated shows and one of the most visible faces on and of your network and put him in the anchor slot? He's a man who has a long history of showing fairness and balance in handling people, which would translate well in reporting the news and lending credibility to your network. Who is this man, you ask?

Donald J. Trump, Sr., host of NBC's "The Apprentice" and perhaps the ideal candidate for anchor of the NBC Nightly News?

Someone who has made the news for over a quarter-century really should be given a chance to report on it, especially a man of such journalistic and otherwise integrity as Mr. Trump. In his hosting duties on "The Apprentice," he has shown the ability to be fair and balanced in his decision making(Fox News could learn a thing or two from The Donald). He has had to deal with many of the big names from Hollywood and television on his show and in person(professionally & personally), which gives him a background in the entertainment side of things. His business dealings outside the network give him an edge over most others in domestic and world affairs(political and non). NBC could also use a man who bursts with personality and connects with the people(a quality lacking since Tom Brokaw exited stage left in December, 2004), and Donald Trump is nothing if not bursting with personality and richly and uniquely able to connect with the average American. Since he doesn't need the money(he can more than handle the pay cut), NBC News executives need to be prepared to give him anything he wants, even if it involves laying brick or doing roof work at one of his many mansions, hotels, and/or casinos.

If hired, transitioned, or whatnot, the Trump era at NBC Nightly News would be one for the history books for the way it re-defined the modern newscast and simultaneously the modern Presidential campaign & debate. He would be the first man to both run for President and host a major nightly network news program. In such a position, he could prosecute his Primary and his General Election case to the American people via newscast. He would not have to go down in the trenches and actually stump and greet people who may or may not actually end up voting for him, and he would be able to reach more people in that medium. He could interview the other candidates for President on any given night's airing. He could moderate the debates featuring the other candidates for President and grill them on their positions, consistent and /or evolved. No candidate could duck either an interview or a debate with him, lest they look as though they were hiding something. He could also, after the inevitably smashing electoral success, continue to anchor the Nightly News out of his executive residence in either the White House or, in the likelier scenario, out of Trump Tower in Downtown Manhattan, New York City, and, in doing so, pitch his legislative and executive goals to the public and give his critics a blasting the likes of which are unseen in the modern era of politics. The ratings would be HUGE!

Here's hoping that NBC is serious enough in their pursuit of new talent in the as of now prospective post-Williams era to take my idea into serious consideration...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Thoughts on Mitt Romney and the Republican Race Going Forward

Last Friday morning, former Governor of Massachusetts, 2008 GOP Presidential Primary runner-up, and 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney stunned the political world by announcing that he would not be throwing his hat into the 2016 ring. The nomination had seemed his for the taking, what with his rocketing to the top of the pack upon his initial expressment of interest in the race, leading his closest opponent, Dr. Ben Carson, 2:1(20%-10%) in national polling. His folding, like his non-entrance before it, seriously shakes up an already stirred GOP field.

At this time, there is no clear front-runner in what looks to be even more of a clown-car fight than most see 2012 as being(it wasn't, but whatever). Former Florida Governor and political dynast Jeb Bush leads in Primary polling, but his lead is tepid, holding at 16%, less than Romney's 20% a few weeks ago and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 25% in late 2013. Bringing up the rear are Christie and former Arkansas Governor, 2008 GOP Presidential Primary contender, and television and radio talk show host Mike Huckabee, plus such Conservative flash candidacies as Carson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. This is the kind of weaksauce opposition Romney would have utterly obliterated on his way to the nomination, which leads this author to believe that there is something more to his decision to fold than just exhaustion and family concerns after a full decade of campaigning. The tenor of his announcement made it clear that he wants anybody but Jeb Bush to be the nominee, but who of the niche, uninspired field is there to stop him? Based on social networking posts made in the past few days, there can only be one man on Romney's mind who he would have taking the extraordinary step of deferring to in the hope of beating Bush...

Donald John Trump, Senior--Billionaire Real Estate tycoon, Chairman and namesake of Trump Enterprises, and perhaps the GOP's saviour in 2016?

Donald Trump is one of the most visible and revered men in business, in America, and in the world, which puts him in a unique position apart from any other prospective GOP candidate(especially more than, say, Jeb Bush). His is a name and brand that is regarded as embodying the very best of the American way. Donald Trump, as a man of business, has seen the world as few others have, and his positions and concerns about America are informed accordingly. His business trips to China have given him a unique perspective on not only the Communism-based Chinese economy, but also on matters pertaining to how the Chinese treat the workers who are only barely keeping their unsustainable economic train from de-railing. His dealings with foreign leaders on matters of business gives him insight into various free trade agreements and the positives and negatives that entail them. He has been very vocal about our pressing need to stamp out the scourge that is ISIS, al-Qaeda, and China. His leadership of one of the world's biggest and most recognized chains of resorts and casinos makes him more than qualified to be President, which is more than can be said for many of the candidates who comprise the present 2016 field. Also, having brought many children into this world, Trump knows the value and importance of protecting every human life from Liberal and Libertarian encroachments in the shape of a coat hanger.

Mr. Trump has made many previous noises about running for President, most notably in 1988, 2000, and 2012. However, every indication I have gotten from closely watching him this time around tells me that he is very serious in pursuing a bid. He has been going to key Primary states and giving speeches to packed venues and to riotous applause and acclamation. He has sat down with local and national television, radio, and print news stations for interviews pertaining to his views on key policy issues of the day, and in doing so becoming a lightning rod for controversy due to his characteristic, but needed, bluntness. The icing on the cake was a tweet he posted just after Romney folded: “Now that Mitt is gone, all we have to do is get Bush to drop out and Trump to run." Hmmmmm...

Trump has the visibility and the resources to clear the field of most comers, but one doesn't even need to use either of those as barometers of his ability to clear the field once he jumps in. Just look at the weak, flash-in-the-pan nature of all the other candidates considering a run. John McCain, even in his worst moments, could consistently put up better GOP Primary numbers than Jeb Bush can in his best moments. Chris Christie's too scandal tarred to be seriously considered as a nominee. Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword for Todd Akin's book, and, if nominated, would be just one foot-in-mouth moment away from political oblivion for both himself and his beloved party, not to mention that his having pardoned people who went on to kill police officers will take a none too small bite out of him(then again, who would notice if it did?). Marco Rubio's going nowhere--he's essentially just loitering on the 2016 scene. Everyone else is over-hyped, base Conservative wet dreams which will never happen in one million years. There's nobody who really inspires, or is even particularly inspired about running. When Trump inevitably takes the plunge, the likes of Bush, Ben Carson, Christie, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rubio, and Scott Walker will soon be out of the race(their predictable protestations to the contrary notwithstanding--they may last a debate or, if they're masochistic enough, two before sulking off in total humiliation) and solidly in Trump's corner. Oh yeah, Huckabee and Paul might linger for a while. They'll always appeal to their niche audiences. Combined, they probably won't even get double digits in any Primary or Caucus against The Donald. In short, Trump's the only man who can unify both the establishment and the grassroots in their efforts to win back the White House. His General Election prospects will be discussed in a later posting.

So that's pretty much where things stand as of February 4, 2015, and given Trump's time proven brand-durability and his uniquely positive standing with the citizens of America and the world, such is not likely to change at any point between now and when the GOP Primary process is wrapped up in Spring, 2016. The only real contest regards who he will pick as his VP, which I will also detail in a later posting. The Democratic nominee(I don't care what ANYBODY says, it will not be Hillary Clinton. It remains to be seen if she even bothers with an almost certainly futile bid) is sure to be a nervous shambles as he prepares to go headlong into the buzzsaw known to one and all as 'The Donald.'

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/3/14 AL, IA, MS, MT, NJ, NM, & SD Primary Preview


AL Governor GOP: Governor Robert Bentley is favoured to win over State Correctional Officer and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George.

AL Governor DEM: Based soley upon name recognition, former Congressman and legendary turncoat(he started out Democrat before switching to Republican, to Independent, and back to Democrat again) Parker Griffifth is modestly favoured over former pro-Basketball player Kevin Bass, though an upset cannot be ruled out.

AL Secretary of State GOP: This race features former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney, Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue, and State Representative John Merrill. Based upon geography alone, McKinney would seem to have an edge, but I'll cop to having no clue the true dynamics behind this one.

AL Auditor GOP: This race features colourful businessman Dale "cattle prod" Peterson, former Public Service Commissioner Jim Zeigler, former Assistant State Conservation Commissioner Hobbie Sealey, and Secretary of State Aide Adam Thompson. My hunch is that there will be a Runoff between Peterson, who has both enthusiasm and name recognition(for better or for worse) propelling his campaign, and Zeigler, who has mere name recognition behind his.

AL-5 GOP: Incumbent Republican Mo Brooks faces a challenge from former Athens, AL, City Councillor Jerry Hill. Brooks is heavily favoured going into tonight.

AL-6 GOP: The leading contenders for the seat of retiring Republican Spencer Bachus are Tea Party-backed Surgeon Chad Mathis, Corporate Executive Will Brooke, State Representative Paul DeMarco, and former State Senator and 2012 runner-up Scott Beason. This race will head to a certain Runoff, with Mathis and either DeMarco or Beason advancing.

AL-7 DEM: Incumbent Democrat Terri Sewell is facing a challenge from former Birmingham City Attorney Tamara Harris-Johnson. Sewell will win, but with maybe a little more difficulty than most expect.


IA Senate GOP: This competitive Primary features State Senator Joni Ernst, Energy Executive Mark Jacobs, Radio Talk Show Host Sam Clovis, and former US Attorney Matt Whitaker. If no one candidate gets over 35% of the vote, the Primary will then be decided at a Convention, a scenario which is unlikely to transpir, as Ernst has the momentum and recent polling has her only just short of the pivotal 35% threshold. Prediction: Ernst 39%, Clovis 28%, Whitaker 17%, and Jacobs 14%.

IA Governor GOP: Governor Terry Branstad is heavily favoured over Conservative activist Tom Hoefling.

IA-1 DEM: This one is a multi-car pileup between former State House Speaker Pat Murphy, former US Labour Department Official and 1988 nominee Dave O'Brien, Cedar Rapids City Councillor Monica Vernon, State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic, and former State Utilities Board Member Swati Dandekar. Murphy has the narrowest of advantages going into tonight.

IA-1 GOP: This one's a 3-way fight between 2008 Senate candidate and gun rights activist Steve Rathje, Software Company Owner Rod Blum, and Marshalltown School Board Member Gail Boliver. Rathje must be considered the favourite.

IA-2 GOP: This race appears to be a fight between State Representative Mark Lofgren and former State Public Health Director and 2008/2010 nominee Marianette Miller-Meeks. This one is very much a coin flip.

IA-3 GOP: The three main contenders for this race are State Senator and 2010 nominee Brad Zaun, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and former Chief of Staff to Senator Chuck Grassley David Young. I give Schultz an advantage based on name recognition, though Zaun cannot be completely counted out.


MS Senate GOP: The battle royale of the night pits six term US Senator Thad Cochran against Tea Party-backed State Senator Chris McDaniel. Recent polling has shown both men exchanging narrow leads, whilst remaining mired in the low forties. In comes the third, and perhaps defining, factor: The candidacy of Realtor Tom Carey. While he is a sure loser tonight, he has been drawing a high enough level of support that he could trigger a Runoff. At this point, a Runoff seems very likely. Prediction: McDaniel 46%, Cochran 43%, Carey 11%.

MS Senate DEM: This is a decidedly low-key affair, but it has the potential to be interesting nonetheless. This race pits former Congressman Travis Childers against Tea Party Democrat, former Republican, and 2010/2012 MS-2 nominee Bill Marcy. This one could get interesting if there are enough Conservatives so disillusioned with both Cochran and McDaniel that they choose to vote for Marcy in the Democratic Primary. It is doubtful such will take place, though, and Childers is a solid favourite going into tonight.

MS-4 GOP: Centrist Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo faces a challenge from the Right in Hancock County Port Commissioner and former Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor. There is a decent likelihood that this race goes to a Runoff, as there are quite a few other Republicans running. Prediction: Taylor 47%, Palazzo 44%, Others 9%.


MT Senate DEM: The main contenders are interim Senator John Walsh and former Lieutenant Governor(and Walsh's predecessor in that office) John Bohlinger. Prediction: Walsh 52%, Bohlinger 43%, Rancher Dirk Adams 5%.

MT Senate GOP: This race pits Congressman and 2004 Gubernatorial nominee Steve Daines against State Representative Champ Edmunds. While Edmunds may poll formidably(read: 30s), Daines is still the solid favourite.

MT-AL GOP: The main contenders for this wide open race are former State Senate Minority Leader 2012 Gubernatorial runner-up Corey Stapleton, former State Senator Ryan Zinke, and State Senator Matt Rosendale. Stapleton probably is favoured based on name recognition.

MT-AL DEM: Former State House Speaker, former Public Service Commissioner, and 2008 nominee John "backpacking to nowhere" Driscoll and former Congressional staffer John Lewis are battling it out for this race. Driscoll seems to be the favourite based on name recognition.


NJ Senate GOP: The leading candidates are Consultant and 1978 nominee Jeff Bell and Professor, Ron Paul activist, and 2008 Senate candidate Murray Sabrin. This one is a coin flip, as Bell's been out of the scene for over 3 decades and Sabrin may have residual name recognition from his 2008 run, though Republicans are usually pretty averse to nominative Libertarian types.

NJ-1 DEM: In the race to succeed resigned Democratic Congressman Rob Andrews, State Senator and political scion Donald Norcross is the solid favourite over Logan Mayor Frank Minor.

NJ-1 GOP: Locally-renown Sportscaster Gary Cobb is in a tight fight with former Collingswood School Board Member Claire Gustafson for the right to lose to Donald Norcross in both the Special Election and the General Election.

NJ-2 GOP: Centrist Republican incumbent Frank LoBiondo faces a Primary challenge former Absecon School Board Member Mike Assad. LoBiondo is a certain victor.

NJ-2 DEM: Attorney and political scion Bill Hughes Jr. faces a test from former Obama White House Aide Dave Cole, a test he should pass with only marginal difficulty.

NJ-3 GOP: This one is trench warfare between two carpetbaggers: Former Bogota, NJ, Mayor, 2013 US Senate nominee, and 2009 Gubernatorial Primary runner-up Steve Lonegan and former Randolph, NJ, Mayor Tom MacArthur. This one is going to be really tight. Name recognition and enthusiasm favours Lonegan, while advertising and polling would seem to favour MacArthur.

NJ-12 DEM: This free-for-all for the seat of retiring Democrat Rush "my Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist" Holt has centred around two State Legislators: 2012 NJ-7 nominee Upendra Chivukula and Linda Greenstein. Given that it takes a stinker of a campaign to lose a center-left district in a Liberal banner year the likes of 2012, I would say Greenstein has the edge going into tonight.


NM Senate GOP: Former State GOP Chairman and 2010 Gubernatorial runner-up Allen Weh and former Dona Ana County GOP Chairman David Clements are running for the right to defeat Democratic Senator Tom Udall in November. This race may be somewhat close, but Weh has an advantage due to residual name recognition from his 2010 campaign.

NM Governor DEM: This bloody brawl pits Attorney General and political scion Gary King against State Senators Howie Morales and Linda Lopez, former Magazine Publisher and racist Alan Webber, and former Albuquerque, NM, Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael. The two leaders of the pack are King, with his own name recognition plus that of his father, the late former New Mexico Governor Bruce King, and Webber, with his self-funding capabilities. This one could be an all-nighter.

NM-1 GOP: This race, between Businessmen Mike Frese and Richard Priem for the right to take down Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, is hard to call one way or another. We'll just wait and see.


SD Senate GOP: Former Governor Mike Rounds is heavily favoured over State Senate majority Whip Larry Rhoden, State Representative Stace Nelson, and Physician Annette Bosworth.

SD Governor GOP: Governor Dennis Daugaard is solidly favoured to win over former State Representative Lora Hubbel.

SD Governor DEM: This race, for the right to lose in November, pits State Representative Susan Wismer against carpetbagging retired State Wildland Fire Suppression Director and former Mission Viejo, CA, Mayor Joe Lowe. Wismer is a modest favourite.

SD Secretary of State GOP: This race features State Senate Majority Whip Shantel Krebs and Deputy Secretary of State and former First Lady Pat Miller. Miller is at least a narrow favourite going into tonight.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5/20/14 Primary Roundup(AR, GA, ID, KY, OR PA)


Arkansas Governor: Republican Asa Hitchinson and Democrat Mike Ross easily won their respective primaries.

Arkansas Lieutenant Governor: Republican Congressman Tim Griffin easily blew out his opposition and is favoured in November.

AR-2: Republican Businessman French Hill won his Primary by a surprisingly large margin and is favoured in November.

AR-4: Republican State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman prevailed by a modest margin and will most likely win in November.


Georgia Senate: As was expected from looking at the polls, Millionaire Businessman and political scion David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston will advance to a costly(and, judging by their respective advertisements, a childish and tacky one at that) Runoff which will determine who stares down Democratic political scion Michelle Nunn in November.

Georgia Governor: Incumbent Republican Governor Nathan Deal easily beat back two minor opponents for the right to take on Democratic political scion Jason Carter in November.

Georgia Secretary of State: Democrat Doreen Carter easily won the right to lose to incumbent Republican Brian Kemp in November.

Georgia School Superintendent: In very crowded fields, Republicans Mike Buck and Richard Woods and Democrats Valarie Wilson and Alisha Morgan will advance to a Runoff.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner: Democrat Liz Johnson easily won the right to lose to incumbent Republican Ralph Hudgens in November.

Georgia Public Service Commissioner: Incumbent Republican Lauren 'Bubba' McDonald beat out his nearest Primary opponent by a nearly 3-1 margin, and is the heavy favourite in November.

GA-3, 4, 9, 13, 14-Incumbent Republicans Lynn Westmoreland, Doug Collins, and Tom Graves, as well as incumbent Democrats Hank Johnson and David Scott, easily defeated their Primary opposition. They are all unopposed in November.

GA-1: Republican State Senator Buddy Carter and Physician Bob Johnson will advance to a Runoff in this dark red district.

GA-2: Republican Greg Duke easily won the right to face Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop in November.

GA-10: Republican Minister Jody Hice and Trucking Executive and political scion Mike Collins will advance to a Runoff in this dark red district.

GA-11: Republican State Senator Barry Loudermilk and former Congressman and 2008 Libertarian Presidential nominee Bob Barr will advance to a Runoff in this dark red district.

GA-12: Rick Allen won the Republican Primary without a Runoff and will face Democratic Congressman John Barrow in a competitive November election.


Idaho Senate: Incumbent Republican Senator Jim Risch and Democrat Nels Mitchell easily won their respective Primaries. Risch is heavily favoured for re-election.

Idaho Governor: Incumbent Republican Governor Butch Otter won by a narrower than expected margin of 51-44. Given the deep red hue of Idaho, Otter is heavily favoured for re-election.

ID-2: Incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Simpson easily beat back his Tea Party-fuelled Primary opposition, and he has a sizable edge over former Democratic Congressman Richard Stallings in November.


Kentucky Senator: Senate Minority Leader and leading 2016 VP prospect  Mitch McConnell handily defeated Tea Party-backed opposition 60-35, and will go on to face a bitter and costly battle with Democrat Allison Grimes.

KY-6: Democrat Elizabeth Jensen easily won her Primary, and will face Republican Congressman Andy Barr in what could shape up to be a competative race in November.


Oregon Senate: In spite of recent scandals, Republican Monica Wehby prevailed 51-37 and will face vulnerable Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley in November/

OR-1: The latest Republican Primary tallies, with 170/199 precincts reporting, show Jason Yates ahead of Delinda Morgan 43-40. The winner will face Democratic Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici in November.

OR-2: Republican Congressman Greg Walden steamrolled a Tea Party-backed challenger, and will face little difficulty holding his seat in November.

OR-5: Republican Tootie Smith romped in her Primary and will face vulnerable Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader in November.


Pennsylvania Governor: Tom Wolf creamed all of his Democratic opposition and will go on to face vulnerable Republican Governor Tom Corbett in November.

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor: Democrat Mike Stack blew away his nearest opposition by a 3-1 margin. He will face incumbent Republican Jim Cawley in November.

PA-8: Democrat Kevin Strouse narrowly won his Primary and will go on to face Republican Congressman Mike FitzPatrick in November.

PA-9: Republican Congressman Bill Shuster won re-nomination over Tea Party-backed opposition by 18 points, a narrower than expected margin. He is a lock for re-election.

PA-13: In an upset, Democratic State Senator Brendan Boyle blew away all his Primary opposition and is a lock in November's election.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5/20/14 Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, & Pennsylvania Primaries: Races to Watch


AR Governor GOP: This race features former Congressman and 2006 Gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson and Businessman and 2010 US Senate candidate Curtis Coleman. Hutchinson has a decent edge going into tonight.

AR Lieutenant Governor GOP: Congressman Tim Griffin faces State Representatives Debra Hobbs and Andy Mayberry. While we cannot rule out the possibility of an upset, Griffin should be considered the favourite as of now.

AR-2 GOP: The big contest out of this state tonight pits self-funding Banker and the NRCC's choice cut French Hill against the more Conservative State Representative Ann Clemmer and Tea Party-backed retired Army officer Conrad Reynolds. Hill may have a financial edge, but the outcome is anyone's to guess.

AR-4 GOP: State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman is facing off against Energy Executive Tommy Moll for the right to run in Arkansas' most Conservative district. Westerman has a distinctive edge going into tonight.


ID Governor GOP: This cartoonish Primary features incumbent Governor Butch Otter going up against State Representative Russ Fulcher, retiree and street preacher Walt Bayes, and Engineer and Motorcyclist Harley Brown. The four of them recently met for a debate, which was largely memorable for its striking resemblance to an audition for 'The Village People on Broadway.' Fulcher will poll formidably(as the only serious alternative to Otter), but Otter will still win 57-31.

ID Senate DEM: This race, for the right to lose to Republican Senator Jim Risch, features Attorney and frequent multi-state candidate William Bryk(who will also lose his Primary to Senator Jeff Merkley in Oregon tonight), Attorney Nels Mitchell, and Website Developer Jeffrey Anderson. Mitchell is the probable favourite for tonight.

ID-2 GOP: This one will get the most attention of all the Congressional races tonight. Incumbent Congressman Mike Simpson faces the fight for his political life against Tea Party-backed Trial Lawyer Bryan Smith. This is the Congressional Primary where outside groups have spent the most, indicating the closeness of the race. Right now, I give Smith the advantage going into tonight based on grassroots enthusiasm.


KY Senate GOP: The marquee contest of the night features Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell going up against Tea Party-backed Investment Executive Matt Bevin. Polls have indicated McConnell is ahead by modest margins, and he is indeed the favourite tonight. That said, do not be surprised if this turns into a sleeper race.

KY-6 DEM: Non-Profit Education Group CEO Elizabeth Jensen is facing 2012 State Representative nominee Geoffrey Young for the right to take on freshman Congressman Andy Barr. Jensen is heavily favoured.


OR Senate GOP: Surgeon Monica Wehby and State Representative Jason Conger are the main contenders duelling it out for the right to face vulnerable freshman Senator Jeff Merkley in November. Wehby has been hit in recent days with accusations stating that she harassed her husband during divorce proceedings. Normally this would help Conger, but it has also come to light that he was a proud supporter of Cover Oregon(the failed statewide exchange for ObamaCare) and a local bridge project which went nowhere after many millions of taxpayer dollars were spent promoting and planning it. Given the nature of Oregon voting(the state does vote by mail), Wehby should still retain enough of an edge to beat Conger. I'm thinking around 40-37 Wehby.

OR-1 GOP: This race features Vineyard owner Delinda Morgan, Mechanical Engineer Bob Niemeyer, and Pest Control Service Manager Jason Yates. Sources on the ground tell me that Yates has decent odds going into tonight.

OR-2 GOP: Congressman and NRCC Chairman Greg Walden faces a Primary challenge from Tea Party-backed Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum. Walden should be able to hold on.

OR-5 GOP: This race features a brawl between Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith and former Congressional aide Ben Pollack for the right to take on Congressman Kurt Schrader. Smith has name recognition on her side, while Pollack has grassroots support. This will be very close.


PA Governor DEM: This one will be the most closely watched Gubernatorial Primary of the night. Former State Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, State Treasurer Rob McCord, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, and former State Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty are in the running to take on unpopular GOP Governor Tom Corbett. Wolf has maintained a sizable lead in the Primary, and should win with ease tonight. Prediction: 48% Wolf, 25% McCord, 16% McGinty, 11% Schwartz.

PA Lieutenant Governor DEM: This race features 5 heavyweights vying to take on GOP Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley. Former Congressman Mark Critz, Harrisburg City Commissioner Brad Koplinski, State Representative Brandon Neuman, Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith, and State Senator Mike Stack are all running. Everything I've heard says Critz and Stack are the leaders of the pack, and that Critz is the narrow favourite for the nomination.

PA-8 DEM: This race features Publishing Company Executive Shaughnessy Naughton going up against Afghan/Iraq War Veteran Kevin Strouse, the choice of national Democrats, for the right to take on GOP Congressman Mike FitzPatrick. Strouse has maintained fundraising advantages, and should be able to put this one away.

PA-9 GOP: Congressman Bill Shuster is facing a Tea Party-backed challenge from Businessman Art Halverson. Shuster is heavily favoured to win.

PA-13 DEM: This one is a 4-car pileup, with former Congresswoman and Clinton in-law Marjorie Margolies, State Senator Daylin Leach, State Representative Brendan Boyle, and Physician Val Arkoosh running to replace Gubernatorial hopeful Allyson Schwartz. The Clinton association should be enough to guide Margolies to a narrow win in this Suburban Philadelphia district.

5/20/14 Georgia Primary Rundown

GA Senate GOP: This is where all the statewide and most of the national action will be taking place tonight. In the running are Congressmen Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston, self-funding Businessman and political scion David Perdue, and former Secretary of State and 2010 GOP Gubernatorial Primary runner-up Karen Handel. This race has been very fluid and the 'battle lines' rather muddled. Kingston started out the frontrunner, with the more Conservative candidates(Broun/Gingrey) polling formidably. Since then, Perdue has gained a solid foothold and seems likely to coast to a Runoff. Kingston, who seems to be imploding, and Handel, who is remarkably incapable of selling her product to a Primary electorate, are bashing each other to pieces for the coveted second place slot, which leaves open the possibility of one of the more Conservative candidates(again, Broun/Gingrey) slipping into the second slot. The only guarantee is that there will be a Runoff with David Perdue and his many millions of dollars on July 22.

GA Governor GOP: This one has not gotten the attention it deserves. Not surprising, given that this and every other Primary race has take a back seat to the Senate Primary. This race pits incumbent Governor Nathan Deal against Tea Party-backed Dalton Mayor David Pennington and State School Superintendent John Barge. While Pennington has been running a very issues oriented campaign, Barge's run has been quite inexplicable, seeming mainly to serve as a candidate for that rare breed of Republican educator who dislikes Governor Deal(both Barge and Deal supported and presided over the implementation of Common Core). All this having been said, neither man has caught on with the voting public, and Deal is likely to coast to re-nomination with over 60% of the vote.

GA Secretary of State DEM: This race pits Oglethorpe Mayor Gerald Beckup and former Lithonia City Councillor Doreen Carter. Polling gives Carter a sizable edge, and that it how the race should go tonight. Carter 62-38.

GA State School Superintendent GOP and DEM: This race, on both sides, is an electoral equivalent to a multi-car pileup on Spaghetti Junction. These races is the fluidest of the fluid. The leaders of the GOP pack seem to be Ashley Bell, Mike Buck, Nancy Jester, Fitz Johnson, Kira Willis, and Richard Woods. The seeming leaders of the Democratic pack seem to be Denise Freeman, Alisha Morgan, and Valarie Wilson. Who emerges and advances to the Runoff is literally anyone's guess.

GA Insurance Commissioner DEM: This race pits former State Representative Keith Heard against former DNC official Liz Johnson. Polling has given Johnson an edge, but that edge has narrowed a bit. I expect Heard to pull an upset tonight.

GA Public Service Commission GOP: Incumbent Lauren 'Bubba' McDonald faces strong challenges from Lavonia lawyer Doug Kidd and Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz. Kidd is guaranteed a first place slot, and McDonald might not even make it to a Runoff.

GA-1 GOP: This race pits State Senator Buddy Carter against State Representative and 2010 GOP Gubernatorial candidate Jeff Chapman, former USDA official and 2010 GOP Agriculture Commissioner candidate Darwin Carter, Surgeon Bob Johnson, Physician Earl Martin, and Venture Capitalist John McCallum in a race to succeed Senate candidate Jack Kingston. Buddy Carter is a virtual lock on first place. The question is who will get second place and advance to the Runoff with him. The likeliest bets seem to be Chapman, Johnson, and McCallum.

GA-2 GOP: Former Lee County School Board Member Greg Duke and retired educator Vivian Childs are fighting for the right to take on Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop. Duke appears to be a modest favourite right now.

GA-3 GOP: Congressman Lynn Westmoreland is facing a challenge from Businessman Chip Flanegan. Westmoreland is favoured, but an upset is not out of the question.

GA-4 DEM: Congressman Hank Johnson faces a strong challenge from former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown. Johnson has not been posting impressive fundraising numbers lately, which leads me to believe that Johnson's support going into tonight is softened. I would say there's a slightly better than even chance Brown pulls off an upset over Johnson.

GA-9 GOP: Congressman Doug Collins faces a challenge from retired Army Brigadier General Bernie Fontaine. While Fontaine may get more support than people expect, Collins remains a heavy favourite going into tonight.

GA-10 GOP: This race pits Trucking Executive and political scion Mike Collins against Baptist Minister and 2010 7th district GOP Congressional runner-up Jody Hice, State Representative Donna Sheldon, Attorney Gary Gerrard, Businessman and 2012 Primary loser Stephen Simpson, former Columbia County GOP Chairman Brian Slowinski, and USMC Reserves Colonel S. Mitchell Swan in a race to succeed Senate candidate Paul Broun. The race is essentially a 3-way fight between Collins, Hice, and Sheldon. The only certainty about the runoff is that Collins will be in it.

GA-11 GOP: This race pits former Congressman and 2008 Libertarian Presidential nominee Bob Barr against State Senator Barry Loudermilk, State House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey, former State Workforce Development Evecutive Director Tricia Pridemore, Businessman Allan Levene, and retired Army officer Larry Mrozinski in a race to succeed Senate candidate Phil Gingrey. This race seems to be a 4-car pileup between Barr, Lindsey, Loudermilk, and Pridemore. It is unclear who will emerge for a near-guaranteed July Runoff. My prediction is the 2 will be Loudermilk and Pridemore.

GA-12 GOP: 2012 runner-up Rick Allen is facing off against 2008 nominee John Stone(who, with inflated AA turnout under old district lines, lost 66-34), State Representative Delvis Dutton(the candidate of national Republicans), Businessman Eugene Yu(who dropped down from the Senate race to this one), and Nurse and 2010 Primary candidate Diane Vann for the right to challenge Democratic Congressman John Barrow, a top target for Republicans in 2014. The 2 who will likely advance to the Runoff are Allen and Stone, as neither Dutton nor Vann has caught on and Yu has had some egregious campaign finance violations come to light in recent weeks.