The places that will decide the 2018 midterm elections
- Virtually all analysts in both parties agree that the epicenter of vulnerability for the House Republican majority is in what could be called red pockets: These are the predominantly white-collar suburban seats the GOP still holds in big metropolitan areas that are otherwise solidly Democratic.
- One is what I call Romneyland: white-collar suburban seats in purple and even red states where Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, almost universally performed better than Donald Trump did in 2016.
- The red pockets will likely be the most reliable source of gains for Democrats because they compound two sources of Republican vulnerability: They are white-collar districts in areas with large numbers of Democrats, who appear motivated to turn out at higher-than-usual levels next fall.
- The big question is how far Democrats can reach into places where only one of those advantages is present: white-collar seats in traditionally Republican-leaning areas, or seats in Democratic states that are more rural and blue-collar.
Trump endorses Mitt Romney for Senate
- Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump said Monday he supports Mitt Romney's bid for the US Senate from Utah, endorsing a former rival and major figure within the Republican Party.
- Romney was among the top Republican critics of Trump's behavior during the 2016 campaign, and Trump fired back in return, mocking Romney for his loss in the 2012 presidential election.
- The former Massachusetts governor announced February 16 that he would run for the Senate seat currently occupied by GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch, who said earlier this year that he would retire, and thereby cleared the path for Romney in the heavily Republican state.
- Trump responded by calling Romney "one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics," and the two continued to exchange barbs.
Small banks inch closer to a big win they argue will help stimulate the economy
- No significant changes are expected, but protections could be strengthened for consumers against credit agencies like Equifax, and provisions could be added to help businesses get access to capital, according to those familiar with the process.
- With no plans to run for re-election, Hensarling has limited time to hold up the process and make big changes to the Senate bill.
- Last summer, on a party-line vote, the House passed the Financial Choice Act, which would undo much of the 2010 regulations and give the president the power to fire the director of the consumer bureau.
- Since then, Hensarling, a Texas Republican, has worked to advance several bills with strong bipartisan support that would give consumers greater access to credit and cut red tape on businesses and banks.
President Trump Celebrates Presidents' Day With a Huge Sale on MAGA Merchandise
- President Donald Trump and the Republican party are getting into the Presidents’ Day spirit – with a huge sale with a sale on MAGA merchandise at Trump’s online store.
- The Trump reelection campaign sent out an email over the weekend, advertising a 30 percent discount on official merchandise, according to the New York Post.
- The email included a link to the official reelection website.
- Among the deals advertised are T-shirts featuring “Make America Great Again” and “LGBTQ for Trump” slogans, “45” baseball caps, and “USA Thank You Tour” cups.
- The proceeds from sale will go to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.
- The Trump reelection campaign has previously advertised sales on merchandise, including on Black Friday.
Trump has a lot in common with Andrew Johnson, whose presidency failed spectacularly
- Like Trump, Johnson followed an unconventional path to the presidency.
- Like Trump, Johnson entered the White House with a mixture of skepticism and support among Republicans who controlled Congress.
- Because African-Americans were excluded from the process, these regimes were controlled by Southern whites, most of whom had been loyal Confederates.
- For example, in July 1866, New Orleans police participated in a massacre that left 37 African-Americans and white Unionists dead and more than 100 wounded.
- A states' rights Democrat and proponent of white supremacy, Johnson rebuffed Republicans' efforts at compromise.
- By refusing to seat senators and representatives from the reconstructed states of the former Confederacy, he charged in 1866, congressional leaders were riding roughshod over the Constitution.
- While lauded by white Southerners, he was reviled by African-Americans and most Northerners for disgracing the office of the presidency.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: The 25 candidates for president in 2016
- Webb has maintained a low profile since ending his campaign, though he has criticized the Democratic Party for moving "very far to the left" and, though he has not admitted it, has certainly made it sound as if he voted for Trump over 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
- Former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee — a one-time Republican — also led a short-lived bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
- Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was an early favorite for the party's 2016 presidential nomination in the years leading up to the campaign.
- He later endorsed Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the party's nomination, and called on Trump to step down from the campaign after the "Access Hollywood" "grab them by the p----" tape was revealed.
Mitch McConnell predicts Republicans will lose seats in the midterm elections
- In an interview with The New York Times published Saturday, the longtime Kentucky senator sounded pessimistic about the midterm elections coming up later this year.
- McConnell pointed to the GOP's fundraising gap ahead of the elections, which he said was spurred by a large number of Democratic challengers for seats that had previously been deemed safe.
- Anti-Trump women in particular have stepped up to the plate in 2018 to challenge Republican incumbents.
- According to TIME, a potentially record-doubling number of women, 79, are considering running for governor in 2018.
- Although McConnell had previously seemed optimistic about the GOP's chances and said Republicans have "a pretty good map," he has since grown more cautious.
- But despite the apparent setbacks he's worried about, McConnell was still encouraged by several key senators who had previously wanted to retire now saying they would run again.
Mueller targets Russia, the memo war stalls, and a top DOJ official resigns — here's the latest in the Russia probe you may have missed
- Special counsel Robert Mueller's office dropped two bombshells on Friday.
- First, it charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities with conspiring to interfere in the 2016 US election.
- Shortly after, Mueller's office released a plea deal with a previously unknown player in the Russia investigation: 28-year-old California resident Richard Pinedo, who pleaded guilty to one count of identity fraud in connection to the probe.
- Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats continued butting heads over a series of controversial memos that are in the process of being released.
- But things came to a standstill after President Donald Trump declined to declassify a Democratic memo countering Republican claims of corruption and anti-Trump bias at the FBI and the Department of Justice.
- Sonam Sheth contributed to this report.
Donor threatens to withold GOP campaign contributions, unless the party takes a stand against guns
- A prominent GOP campaign donor has issued an ultimatum to Republican leaders: Introduce gun control legislation, or lose his support, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
- Bush and Congressional Republicans, has vowed to halt all donations to the party unless leaders pass legislation to restrict access to guns and ban assault weapons, the publication said.
- Hoffman issued his ultimatum via email, addressing half dozen Republican leaders.
- Those included Florida Gov. Rick Scott, whom he has supported in the past and who may seek a Senatorial seat in 2018, the Times reported.
- Representatives for Scott did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.
- Republican leaders have shown little interest in new gun legislation, following the Feb. 14 attack at a Parkland, Florida, high school, according to the Times.
- However, the Times reported that certain donors, including Bush family ally Mel Sambler, have already expressed that they likely won't.
Romney picked the perfect state to be an anti-Trump Republican
- Romney couldn't have chosen a better state to be an anti-Trump Republican than Utah.
- In the 28 states with an exit poll, Trump's performance among Utah Republicans was by far the worst among Republicans.
- Of course, it's not just the fact that Utah Republicans aren't the biggest fans of Trump that makes the state friendly territory for Romney.
- Over the course of 2017, Republicans and independents who lean Republican made up 57% of Utah adults in Gallup polling.
- Trump had a net approval rating of just +1 percentage point in Utah during 2017, according to Gallup.
- And while Trump tended to underperform the party identification in most states, he averaged just a 9-point difference.
- Anti-Trump Republican John Curtis won a primary and a general election in a special House election in Utah in late 2017.