April 20th, 2014
09:00 AM ET
8 months ago

The "Inside Politics" Forecast: Another Governor Carter in Georgia?

CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.

1. Another Governor Carter in Georgia?: Republicans are looking to make gains coast to coast this midterm election year, while Democrats are largely on defense. But Georgia – yes Georgia – is one unlikely source of guarded Democratic optimism - in part because of two famous names on the ballot.

A crowded Republican Senate primary field could potentially help Democrat Michelle Nunn. And GOP Gov. Nathan Deal took a hit in the polls after a disastrous response to a big snow storm last year which leaves an opening for state Sen. Jason Carter.

Jonathan Martin of The New York Times shared reporting that while Democrats do believe Nunn has a chance, they are more and more thinking their best hope for a win might well be the governor’s race, where Carter is seeking the office his grandfather, Jimmy, used as a springboard to the presidency in 1976.

2. Boehner's immigration reform timetable: House Speaker John Boehner promised to move immigration legislation earlier this year, then backed off after many of his loyal House Republican colleagues complained a tough vote like that early this year could bring them a conservative primary challenge back home.

And in recent days, the Speaker’s staff has bluntly used the word “chill” to dampen speculation the House GOP might heed President Obama’s repeated calls for action this year.

But, with apologies to Monty Python, perhaps – just perhaps – the issue is not dead yet.

Laura Meckler of The Wall Street Journal reports that the Speaker is still exploring whether there is an opening for 2014 action.

On Easter Sunday, a breakdown of Christians’ support for immigration reform by the Pew Research Center:
IP Pew Christian poll

3. Inside the Heritage Foundation retreat with Cruz and Rubio: CNN’s Peter Hamby took us inside another stop on the so-called “invisible primary” calendar for 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank that has tilted even more to the right under the leadership of former South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint. Peter reports that freshman Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, of Texas and Florida, respectively, stopped by a recent Heritage retreat in Florida.

They say timing is everything in politics: Peter reports that Cruz took the state just as conservative nemesis Kathleen Sebelius was announcing her resignation as President Obama’s health secretary. So Cruz shared the news – and basked in the applause.

4. The Obamacare "red state" vs. "blue state" gap: Fifty states, 50 takes on how the implementation of Obamacare is going. Annie Lowery of The New York Times reminded us of that important factor as we watch to see how the health care law impacts the midterm elections.

And, she noted, that as a general rule, the implementation tends to be going better in blue states – states run by Democrats – and not as well in red states. There are exceptions of course, but Annie’s point is an important reminder that for all the national political talk – and polling – about the health care law, what really matters are voter perceptions in states with the most important races this year.

That’s one factor working against Democrats: a half dozen of the now Democratically held Senate seats on the ballot this year are in states President Obama lost twice: Alaska, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana.

IP Gallup change uninsured rates

5. McConnell to the Granite State: When a big name Republican visits Iowa or New Hampshire and insists it has nothing to do with the next presidential election, it is almost always safe to roll your eyes.

But, in Bedford, New Hampshire this Wednesday, those words will actually pass the sniff test.

Who’s making the pilgrimage? Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP leader, for a fund-raiser organized by New Hampshire GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Safe to say McConnell isn’t running for president in 2016. Also safe to say he is grateful for the help in 2014: McConnell first faces a tea party primary challenge, and if he survives that, then would head into a tough fall campaign against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

That gratitude could work to Ayotte’s benefit; she already is a junior member of McConnell’s leadership team, and loyalty begets loyalty.


Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. okiejoe

    The Republicans continue to pursue a policy of Repeal Obamacare and nothing else. But tell me, if they succeed in killing it what will replace it? I haven't heard a single idea from the Red side of the aisle for something better. That means, to me, that they will have NO medical plan at all. But, maybe after wrangling for five or ten years they will come up with a plan they will call the Affordable Care Act.

    April 20, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. America1stand4ever

    A Governor Carter wearing integrity and honesty over a corrupt politician is a no brainer. Carter will win.

    April 20, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. cbp

    It is funny how we blame the President for all that is wrong during his presidency. The country had financial problems when Carter took over. OPEC made decisions that resulted in oil shortages. Yes, some of the problems can be attributed to Mr. Carter but some of the problems developed because there were people who could not tolerate a southerner as President. Sometimes we do very foolish things.

    April 20, 2014 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. wl30309

    Go Nunn and Carter! Atlanta resident who will be voting for both.

    April 20, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. mickinmd

    The poll question is too vague to mean much. To many of us, reform means severely limiting legal and illegal immigration because America is already short of water, lumber, and many other resources. How will it thrive when the population is tripled in 100 years?

    April 20, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. DC Johnny

    @ The Film Professor

    What's astonishing is that you are oblivious to the actual polling data available to anyone who can use a computer or read a newspaper. Every single Democrat in a tight Senate race is staying away from Obama and the ACA. Like they've literally asked him not to come to their state. They are minimizing their devotion to the ACA as much as possible, in public. By all account, 2014 will be a bloodbath for Democrats. You seem to have missed the reality memo.

    And while we're on the subject, 8 million people signing up for Obamacare makes it a landmark victory? Millions LOST their coverage, and were force nearly literally at gunpoint (thanks to the Supreme Court) to buy a plan or face penalties. 8 million. And not nearly enough of the 8 million fit the profile of the healthy young customers that will be necessary to keep this program sustainable, per the CBO and every other analyst.

    So just to recap: Your two major points are both ill-informed and unfortunately represent the same misconceptions shouted by almost every liberal I've encountered. It's a sad state of events, "professor". Sad, indeed.

    ------

    And it astonishes me that some others of you goobers out there are still thinking running against Obamacare makes some kind of political sense. 8 MILLION people signed up! It's over, you doofbrains. You are really going to now campaign on planning to throw these 8 Million people under the old healthcare bus? Really?

    April 20, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |

    April 20, 2014 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  7. 2L

    I think Michelle Nunn would make a GREAT senator – I remember her father did a good job as chair of the Armed services committee. I even donated to her campaign, and I don't even live in GA! Nunn is a moderate, which is big reason why I like her. Not big on extremists from either side. If we can get more moderates in Congress they might be able to accomplish something!

    April 20, 2014 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  8. Hil

    The name ....Carter.....will have a Hard time winning with those older enough to remember Jimmy Carter....and the older show up to the Polls to Vote...

    April 20, 2014 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. Fed Up

    Nathan Deal said kids who get free lunch should allen the cafeteria afterwards to learn 'there is no such thing as a free lunch.' He hastily apologized saying he didn't mean it. Unforgiveable.

    April 21, 2014 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
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