May 18th, 2014
09:02 AM ET
5 months ago

The "Inside Politics" Forecast: For Democrats, optimism is spelled M-A-R-K

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. FOR DEMOCRATS, OPTIMISM IS SPELLED M-A-R-K

Still a tough year for Democrats, but Julie Pace of The Associated Press shared word that the party feels a bit better about the prospect of retaining its Senate majority because of two incumbents who share a first name.

Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska are both looking stronger in recent polling, lifting Democratic spirits. Neither of these incumbents is out of the woods. Hardly. But Democrats like the current trend line in both races.

In Pryor’s case, Julie reported that his team feels it recently did a good job navigating the “Obama factor” by appearing with the president when he went down to Arkansas to survey the tornado damage.

“This was a smart move by Pryor,” said Pace. “It allows him to push back against critics who say that he’s running away from the president but also appears with him in a setting that will make it tough for his opponents to use it against him.”

2. JEB COURTING EVANGELICALS

Robert Costa of The Washington Post noted that Jeb Bush appeared to be thinking about 2016 when he scheduled his one commencement address this spring.

Grove City College is a small Christian liberal arts school about 65 miles north of Pittsburgh. Former First Lady Laura Bush gave the commencement address there in 2011.

“It is a Republican area and it’s also in the Rust Belt in Western Pennsylvania,” said Costa. “And for him to pick that strategic area is perhaps an interesting sign of what’s on his mind.”

While Jeb was speaking to evangelicals in Pennsylvania on Saturday, he was tweeting about the Brown vs. The Board of Education anniversary:

3. McCONNELL LIKELY TO GET HIS “CRUSH” BUT NO LONG PARTY

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell appears headed for a big win Tuesday over Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin, according to private but reliable polling and conversations with several GOP operatives closely involved with the Kentucky race.

It would be a key personal milestone as McConnell pursues his promise – made a while back to Carl Hulse of The New York Times – to “crush” the Tea Party “everywhere” this midterm year.

But don’t expect too long of a McConnell victory lap. He would immediately launch into a tough campaign against Democrat Allison Grimes. Sensing an opportunity to defeat a sitting GOP leader, Grimes is getting a lot of help and interest from Democratic leaning organizations.

Strategists in both parties say total spending on the race could surpass $100 million, which would make it by far the most expensive House or Senate campaign in history.

4. GEORGIA BRACES FOR POSSIBLE TEA PARTY VS ESTABLISHMENT WAR

Politico’s Manu Raju, fresh back from Georgia, laid out the potential for another internal GOP family feud in the state after the upcoming Tuesday primary.

There’s a packed Senate GOP field, and the top two candidates will then wage a nine-week runoff campaign.

Atop the field at the moment are businessman David Purdue, GOP Rep. Jack Kingston and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel.

The Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Kingston, and launched TV ads on his behalf, while also making clear it could support Purdue if he emerged as the GOP candidate.

Sarah Palin is a backer of Handel, and Manu reported that if she makes the runoff, several anti-establishment conservative groups are planning to jump in and give her campaign a spending boost and make this another Tea Party vs. Establishment war.

One of the Chamber of Commerce ads supporting Kingston:

5. FOOD FIGHT COMING TO A LEGISLATURE NEAR YOU

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball shared reporting about a political food fight that is about to go national.

Genetically modified foods are at issue, and Molly reports on a grassroots movement seeking state laws requiring labeling and other notices when foods contain GMOs – genetically modified organisms.

Vermont was the first state to pass such a labeling law this month, and Molly reports there are now some 84 different versions of similar proposals being considered in 29 state legislatures. Not to mention proposals in Congress.

A Reuters photo of GMO food protestors at a march in New York from Molly’s article:

food protest


Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Hi, I'm on here after getting sick looking at the Cheney BAFOONS on Fox News and getting sick to my stomach, both of these teaparty GOP CLOWNS are DETESTED by most Americans . These GOP LOSERS like to pass themselves off as American ROYALITY , but actually are the GARBAGE and SEWAGE of the UNAMERICAN GOP.

    May 18, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. king

    why would a country collectively send a bunch of people to congress when they know their only reason to go there is to stop this government from going forward. i look around on china and all these up and coming countries, and their government is investing none stop gaining on america like a freight train. the repubs have made a conscious in the box decisions to tear this president down, and seize to look out the box window back on china who is blazing up the rear, while they stop our country in its tracks. lesson folks the president is almost useless if congress refuse to write laws and put it on his desk for him to sign. he has been going it alone signing executive orders, but executive order can go so far. will the repubs be happy when china passes us by, just to blame the president. i know alot of right wingers will be happy as hell, but will the rational thinking repubs will.

    May 18, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Lizzie

    Name..... When you have no valid point, then you use every name you can think off, you must be one ugly individual.

    May 18, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Barb Peters

    When hope and change fails, we can now turn to optimism. How optimistic.

    May 18, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Independent Thought

    We were all 'MARKS' for the ObamaCare promises. 'Tough year' comes from years of Democratic party lies and the loss of credibility.

    May 18, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Gunderson

    Well,
    WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOUT!!! If you have nothing to offer Cheap Shots will suffice. I recently heard the reason Romney wasn't elected was he was going to make people actually work!! Perish the thought !! While the Liberal Horse isn't quite dead yet it is on it's last legs. Change is coming, and it isn't pretty. But you knew that, didn't you?

    May 18, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. Stephen

    Obama passed health care law for the masses. It needs work still but the Republicans had no plans to do anything except for the rich.

    Obama saved the auto industry when Republicans said let it fail. The money has been paid back with interest and America is better for it.

    Obama killed Bin Laden. He obviously bombs the hell out of Muslims.

    Obama stimulated the economy and America is better for it. Sure we have some inflation. But what year doesn't have inflation? Now China's money in their banks are worth less.

    So the next time you say Obama didn't take care of anything for America take your blinders off. Your ego is blind. I have made a lot of money playing poker against people like you. You think you're the best holding two cards. A 6 year old can hold two cards. Your ego prevents the folding of a bad hand. Your ego is invested. That's why.

    Now Obama isn't perfect. But I tell you that President Bush Jr that I voted for was horrible. He bankrupt the country in the name of LOWER taxes will create jobs. There is a good reason why lower income taxes doesn't create jobs. The rich already had and have always had 100% tax write offs for business investment. They got income tax breaks and that made them not need a write off anymore. They took the extra money and invested in China for a 10% gain in growth instead of 2% in America. Then they kept the money in China and didn't have to pay US taxes on it. That's what lower income taxes do for the rich. That's what happened. Bush was losing 800k months a month at one point. He lost millions of jobs 6 years after passing his LOWER taxes will create jobs. BS! We were suckers. He also forgot to repeal abortion when Republicans held both houses of congress. FUNNY. I voted for Bush on the abortion issue as well. But he sure had time for his rich buddies and himself for those disproportionate tax breaks!

    May 18, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. JCBeliever

    JK, I don't care what your political views are. What scares me is the hatred in your heart. These are your countrymen, your fellow Americans. These are human beings. No person should ever be called "garbage" or "sewage." People can disagree on what is best for the country, but can't we all respect one another? Hatred will rip through the fabric of our country much quicker than any political bent.

    May 18, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. plain & simple

    Genetically engineered foods have been around for centuries. Label them if you like but let's focus on some big problems and their resolutions. Grapefruit, tangerines and corn don't fall into my priority list. How about focusing on poverty, hunger, jobs,corporate welfare, care for veterans affordable housing. Let's not fool ourselves by thinking that all the energy spent on side issues makes up for the lack of energy spent on alleviating human suffering.

    May 18, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Vijay

    The two M's will secure democratic party to win this fall... The Two M's are really powerful.

    May 18, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Mc, you got that right, I HATE republican cheats and liers and thrives and Hippocrates !!!

    May 18, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. jc

    who cares what this trailer trash , minus i.q. failed Gov and vp candidate thinks. can't believe she is even reported.

    May 18, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. cobra

    It is apparent from the posts on here that the majority of the left wingers have shown a very low IQ, kind of normal for that bunch.

    May 18, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Don't Hide It Under a Bush

    Jeb wants to court the ultra conservative evangelicals. This is where the TEA PARTY comes from sir. That is NOT working out for your party or for the country. If you want to get more people in the tent quit having revivals. Come up with a larger, more inclusive message.

    May 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. george kamburoff

    Not another Bush until they PAY for the last one!!

    May 18, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. JohnRJohnson

    Palin is watching the Georgia senate race? I bet she can see it from her front porch.

    May 18, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Ralph in Orange Park FL

    I need to know if Sarah Palin is backing anyone in my congressional district, so I will know who to vote against.

    May 18, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Ice2424

    A wise man never argues with a fool....that's why I never argue with Republicans.

    May 18, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. 1776usa2016

    The coal-fired Kentucky Land Tortoise will be going down this November.

    He's being retired to the GOP Zoo.

    .

    May 18, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Williemojorisin

    The liberal MSM sure loves to keep Palin rolling in free publicity. Why is Disqus not here? instead they have a "comment" section where no one can have debates on this crappy forum called sound off

    May 18, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. paofpa

    Jeb,

    You have great loyalty to your beloved Republican Party. And we know that your “Linda la Souris” is a republican. And you will vote her in the general election over any democrat. But since you know her, will you vote for her in the primary?

    Remember, Linda has a deep influence on every day American Life. But will you have a greater problem voting for Linda or call her of female gender?
    We need a poll: “Linda la Souris” vs. “Hillary Clinton”.

    paofpa

    May 18, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. NameFrank Deery

    Both Pryor and Begich have One Big Problem: Obama, whose scandals mount-almost daily now-and whose pull-back in world leadership is allowing for turmoil from
    Europe to Nigeria and just today, the So China Sea. Obama is the albatross over any
    Close Senate races. The VA disaster alone is a vote-loser, and 2014 is off-year. GOP and growing number of angry independents
    rule, not "progressives", if that is what one calls them. Regressives?

    What are the Democrats doing? Blaming the
    Koch brothers and putting their one Hispanic
    Hope-Mayor Castro-in charge of HUD!
    Sebelius 2!

    May 18, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    The fear of GMO's is so totally misplaced, it is almost pathetic, to see how little people know about plants.

    May 18, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Carol

    Palin is poison. I would be embarrassed to have her endorsement.

    May 18, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. Joe

    It's spelled Perdue, idiots.

    May 18, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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