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News Monday, May 21 2018

Senate Brief: GOP Gone Wild

May 21, 2018

Week of Monday, May 21

IN BRIEF: Dysfunction reigns supreme across Republican Senate campaigns. From lackluster performances by party leadership’s hand-picked candidates to infighting still plaguing GOP ranks, the prospect of a strong Senate map isn’t looking so assured for national Republicans.

  • A week after the Pennsylvania Senate primary, GOP candidate Rep. Lou Barletta’s campaign came under fire – from fellow Republicans –  as “lackadaisical” and “disorganized.”
    • According to the Washington Examinersenior Republicans raised red flags about Barletta, even after he won the GOP primary with the last minute addition of a robocall from President Trump.
    • One Republican strategist said of Barletta: “the sense is, nobody knows what the fuck he’s doing.”
  • Meanwhile, Nevada’s Dean Heller just can’t seem to do anything right.
  • And in West Virginia, a certain notorious ex-con is back to wreak more havoc in the GOP.
    • Don Blankenship announced this morning that he was planning to mount a third-party Senate bid after losing the May 8th primary.
    • From Politico: “Since the primary, the Republican Party has moved to prevent Blankenship from waging a drawn-out battle that could damage Morrisey’s prospects…Senior Republicans had long argued that a Blankenship primary win would essentially destroy their prospects of unseating Manchin.”


  • Getting compared to Joe McCarthy is probably a sign that it’s time to tone down the rhetoric, but Wisconsin’s Leah Vukmir is doing no such thing.
  • In a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic, Governor Rick Scott took thousands of dollars from drug makers, owned nearly $300,000 in Johnson & Johnson stock, and awarded millions of dollars in incentives to pharmaceutical companies for doing business in Florida.
  • Martha McSally’s election year back and forth on immigration is catching up to her. Last week, her about-face on DACA was front and center in the Arizona Senate primary. With the House locked in an immigration stalemate, will McSally stand by her “painfully obvious shift” on immigration?


  • 19.6%: the projected increase of healthcare premiums for Hoosiers in 2019.
  • 19.8%: the projected increase of healthcare premiums for Montanans in 2019.
  • 20.8%: the projected increase of healthcare premiums for North Dakotans in 2019.

ONE FOR THE ROAD: We’re still shamelessly basking in the glow of the Royal Wedding. Congrats, Harry and Meghan.

AND HAPPY MONDAY from American Bridge. Follow us at @JoshuaKarp @AmeliaPenniman@EmmaBeckerman1

Published: May 21, 2018

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