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Republicans Look Poised to Maintain Edge in Governors’ Mansions

Republicans Look Poised to Maintain Edge in Governors’ Mansions

The 11 gubernatorial races this year continue to be shaped by the coronavirus pandemic, with governors becoming unusually influential and high-profile policy figures.

In nine of this year’s 11 races, an incumbent governor is seeking another term: Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. The other two – Montana and Utah – have open seats.

In general, the party that currently controls the governorship has an edge at the moment, except in Montana, a red state that currently has a Democratic governor and that we are rating as a pure toss-up. In several of this year’s races, an incumbent’s aggressive efforts to rein in the coronavirus have boosted their electoral prospects, including Republicans Phil Scott in Vermont and Chris Sununu in New Hampshire and Democrat Roy Cooper in North Carolina.

With this update to our gubernatorial ratings – our first since early July – we’ve moved Scott from Likely Republican to Safe Republican, and we’ve moved Sununu from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic. In Indiana, we’re moving Gov. Eric Holcomb from Safe Republican to Likely Republican, while in Washington state, we’ve shifted Gov. Jay Inslee from Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic.

Beyond Montana, we see only two other seats as fully competitive between the parties: the Democratic-held seat in North Carolina, which we rate Lean Democratic, and the Republican-held seat in Missouri, which we rate Lean Republican.

Because the GOP currently controls 26 seats nationally and the Democrats control 24, the Democrats would need to hold on to their seats in Montana and North Carolina and flip Missouri to pull even with the Republicans at 25 seats. That’s possible, but it’s equally possible that the GOP could expand their lead slightly.

Our ratings are based on reporting with political observers in the

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‘Green tsunami’: Inside Senate Republicans’ financial freak-out

‘Green tsunami’: Inside Senate Republicans’ financial freak-out

The online fundraising edge that Democrats have enjoyed for years has mushroomed into an overpowering force, with small-dollar donors smashing “donate” buttons over the last three months to process their disgust for President Donald Trump, fury with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and grief for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Propelled by the wave of money, Democrats have suddenly expanded the Senate battlefield to a dozen competitive races, burying long-contested states like Iowa and Maine in TV ads while also overwhelming Republican opponents in states like Alaska, Kansas and South Carolina that are suddenly tightening.

Where most of the top Democratic Senate candidates two years ago raised $4 million to $7 million in the third quarter of 2018, their contenders this year are multiplying those totals. Colorado’s John Hickenlooper raised $22 million, more than six times what his presidential campaign raised before he dropped out of that race in 2019. Iowa’s Theresa Greenfield and North Carolina’s Cal Cunningham each cleared $28 million.

And on Sunday, South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison announced a record $57 million third-quarter haul for his race against GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, where the most favorable public polling for Graham in the last month has shown him leading by a single point. Altogether, the money has given Democrats a TV spending edge in 12 of the 13 most expensive Senate races.

“The money is indicative [of] how much energy there is on their side, and the lack thereof on our side,” said Mike DuHaime, a Republican consultant. “I think we’re finding that Trump — the energy for Trump — is not always transferable, the same way it wasn’t transferable for Democrats from Obama.”

GOP operative Corry Bliss, who coined the “green wave” warning about House Republicans getting swamped by Democratic cash in 2018, said of 2020:

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Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

President Trump’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Sunday that Senate Republicans will “go along with” the $1.8 trillion White House stimulus proposal despite their vocal pushback.

Lawrence Kudlow wearing a suit and tie: Trump economic adviser: Senate Republicans will 'go along with' White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

© Aaron Schwartz
Trump economic adviser: Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

Kudlow told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the White House expects GOP support from Republicans in the upper chamber. A source told The Hill on Saturday that several senators expressed “significant concerns” about the proposal’s cost in a call with administration officials.

The White House economic adviser said on Sunday he does not think the coronavirus stimulus bill is “dead.”

“Don’t forget, Republicans in the Senate put up their own bill a few weeks ago and got 53 votes, I think it was, so they united,” he said. “I think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”

Kudlow also criticized Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for their “intransigence” over funding unemployment assistance, small business loans and stimulus checks in individual bills or an overall bill.

“Well, I’m not talking about your Democratic friends,” CNN host Jake Tapper pushed back. “I’m talking about 20 Senate Republicans who were mad at Secretary Mnuchin and saying that the proposal of $1.8 trillion was way too much.”

The White House economic adviser noted the president would “go beyond” the cost of the current proposal to fund assistance for unemployed people, small business loans and stimulus checks.

“I think if we could get this thing settled on the Democrat side, we will get it settled on the Republican side,” he said. “There will still be further efforts of negotiation perhaps today but certainly this coming week.”

“The D’s are holding this thing up,” he added.

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A Significant Majority Of Democrats And Republicans Support Strong Consumer Protection Regulations And Tougher Rules For Wall Street

A Significant Majority Of Democrats And Republicans Support Strong Consumer Protection Regulations And Tougher Rules For Wall Street

It has been ten years since the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was signed. Given the complex nature of rule writing and the fact that fifteen regulators were involved, not all rules were finalized or implemented. Since Trump came into power, many of the rules that were finalized have been tailored and watered down. Yet, in the vast majority of both Democratic and Republican voters want strong consumer financial protections and tough regulation of the financial services industry.

Yesterday, in an Americans for Financial Reform and  Center for Responsible Lending sponsored-event, Lake Research Partners presented polling data, which shows that when in comes to a desire for tougher regulations for Wall Street, the word bipartisanship still exists.

Lake Research Partners’ key findings were:

·      Over nine in ten voters (91%) say it is important to regulate financial services and products to ensure they are fair to consumers, including 68% who say it is very important.

·      Nearly three-quarters of voters (74%) believe that Wall Street financial companies should be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement, while only one in ten (10%) believe that their practices have changed enough that they don’t need further regulation.

·      More than half of voters feel that Wall Street and big corporations have gotten too much help from the government in response to the COVID-19 crisis (56%), while less than one in ten (8%) believe that they did not get enough help. Less than a quarter (23%) of voters feel that Wall Street received about the right about of aid.

·      Three-quarters (75%) of voters also believe there should be more government regulation of financial companies, such as Wall Street banks, mortgage lenders, payday lenders, debt collectors,

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Consumer Confidence Dips, But Republicans Still Notably Optimistic

Consumer Confidence Dips, But Republicans Still Notably Optimistic

As the White House battles a coronavirus outbreak that includes the president being diagnosed with Covid-19, Americans’ overall confidence in the economy has taken a slight dip. But confidence is still holding fairly steady in spite of widespread health concerns about the pandemic.

Overall consumer confidence measured at 52 this week, according to the Ipsos U.S. Consumer Confidence Weekly Tracker. That’s a decrease of 2.6 points from last week.

Ipsos, which surveyed 921 respondents online on Oct. 6 and 7, provided the results exclusively to Forbes Advisor. The survey is conducted weekly to track consumer sentiment over time, using a series of 11 questions to determine whether consumers feel positively or negatively about the current state of the economy and where it looks to be going in the future. 

Each of the subcategories Ipsos tracks to measure overall confidence, including current financial situation, financial outlook, investment confidence and job security confidence, decreased from last week. Only one of them exceeds pre-pandemic levels. 

The expectations index, which measures how respondents view their personal financial situation and local economy, was down 1.5 points this week, but remains nearly two points above its early-March 2020 levels. That number is above the pandemic average by about two points, and above the historical average (since 2002) by more than four points.

A majority of Americans continue to believe that reopening the economy is the right thing to do, with 52% of respondents agreeing the economy will recover quickly once pandemic restrictions are relaxed. Meanwhile, 47% said the economy should be reopened even if the coronavirus isn’t contained—a decrease of two points from last week.

Republicans Consistently More Confident in Economy Than Democrats

During the pandemic, people identifying as Republicans have been the most confident, while Democrats have been the least confident, with as

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