July 6th, 2014
08:47 AM ET
3 months ago

The ‘Inside Politics’ Forecast: Hillary Clinton’s European road test

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.

Washington (CNN) – This week’s final trip around the "Inside Politics" table unearthed some glimmers of Democratic hope this midterm election year, a potential replay of sorts in Kansas and a glimpse at Hillary Clinton’s hopes for the Europe leg of her book tour.

1. Hillary Clinton’s European road test

Hillary Clinton spent her Fourth of July across the Atlantic, selling “Hard Choices” to a European audience and, as Politico’s Maggie Haberman shares, looking to move past some of the rocky moments of her book roll out tour.

Clinton has a few more interviews where her allies expect she's going to continue cleaning up a lot of the fallout from the dead-broke gaffe and some of her other missteps.

Then she's going to disappear for most of the summer - in the Hamptons.

And the hope from her allies, according to Maggie, is that she has learned something from what went wrong in the last couple of weeks and will demonstrate that in the fall.

2. Will more incumbents fall?

Leading strategists in both parties say no, or not many, anyway. The question is a hot one since the surprising defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his primary.

From the Democratic side, leading officials suggest no Democratic incumbents still facing primary challenges are at risk.

One race the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is keeping close tabs on is in Massachusetts, where Rep. John Tierney has a crowded primary. At the moment, though, a top Democrat involved in House strategy says polling and other indicators suggest Tierney will survive the September primary.

On the GOP side, there are long shot challenges to a couple of Senate incumbents still to come – in Kansas and Tennessee. On the House GOP side, there are some concerns raised about two or three incumbents facing challenges in Michigan and Tennessee.

One other wildcard: a looming Florida court ruling on a suit by Democratic leading groups challenging the congressional district lines drawn by the GOP-controlled Florida legislature. That conceivably could reshape a race or three.

3. Will Kansas replay in 2016?

The Kansas Senate GOP primary still to come pits incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts against conservative challenger Milton Wolf.

As of now, odds are Wolf loses next month. But Manu Raju of Politico, just back from Kansas, tells us Wolf is unlikely to go quietly – and that could impact the 2016 re-election bid of the other Kansas senator, Jerry Moran, who also happens to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

One of Wolf’s “red meat” tweets evoking Mississippi:

milton wolf

4. The Democrats’ secret 2016 strategy

Beyond the battle for control of the House and Senate, it is the governor’s races that will get the most attention this year.

But CNN’s Peter Hamby suggests we look down the state ballot a notch or two – at races for secretary of state in key 2016 presidential battlegrounds.

Peter reports the Democratic National Committee and a couple friendly Super PACS are quietly getting involved in secretary of state races in places like Iowa, Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado.

“The goal here obviously is to protect what they see as the rights of voters,” said Hamby. “But also those are all very important states for 2016 to have friendly secretaries of state running elections in big battleground states next year.”

5. All politics is local

Molly Ball of The Atlantic took us inside another down ballot Democratic strategy: looking for gains at the state legislative level.

“Democrats have really gotten their butts kicked in state legislatures in the last couple of cycles,” said Ball. “And that was a lot of what led to the redistricting gains that the Republicans were able to make because of course it is the state legislatures who draw those maps.”

Many of the party’s flip targets are in blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and their fundraising is up about 25 percent over the last cycle so they think they can finally turn the tide.

But the GOP is confident that the Democrats’ goals will be an uphill climb in an midterm election year.


Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Sara

    Let us review...for years the Democrat party railed against the Republicans, branding them all kinds of 'nasty' things (ostensibly to 'prove' they aren't regular Americans), like: "Too Old; too rich; too elitist; too white; too out of touch....." –

    Fast-forward to today and Hillary Clinton represents ALL of those 'nasty' things Democrats didn't like about Republicans......Karma is a you know what! Isn't it?

    July 6, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Simian-POTUS

    interesting, Hillary was beaten 6 years ago by the worst president since WWII. doesn't sound like she's got much of a chance....

    July 6, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    The biggest lie of the century was by Bush to get us into a war with Iraq. Worst president in history honors go to Little Bush.

    July 6, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Marcus (from...?)

    'Simian-POTUS – interesting, Hillary was beaten 6 years ago by the worst president since WWII. doesn't sound like she's got much of a chance....'

    Since many righties have opened that door WIDE OPEN.
    Who made that poll again?
    Oh yeah, the same guys that came up with 'Romney will win by a landslide' con-game right?

    July 6, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. rs

    just asking
    rs
    but foreign policy is much harder than it looks
    -–

    yes, obviously way too much for the community organizer in chief to grasp, comprehend and handle.
    _______________
    Well, Just, what about for a 14 year Constitutional scholar teaching at a Research Level 1 university, with ivy-league degrees? Just because you stupidly refer to him as only being "a community-orgainzer" doesn't diminish the man's ability one wit. You might also want to notice that the "community organizer" beat the pants off of the sorry GOP candidates- twice. Doesn't speak well for you guys now does it?

    July 6, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Thomas

    John McCain joked that he hopes CBS does not air in the Grand Canyon state so that his constituents don't hear what he has to say next: "I respect Hillary Clinton."

    July 6, 2014 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. airjackie

    Well as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary was welcomed to all countries around the World. Now some question will it be the same after her new book was released. Time will tell but one person we know is Persona Non Grata in Italy and not welcome in France and that person is Mitt Romney who was openly told by both countries. England likely does not want to see him after he publicly insulted their Olympics. One insane lawmaker said Hillary could not be Commander-in-Chief as she never served in the US Military. Oops Mitt Romney Dodged the US Draft and right of the plane married Ann to stop the Military MP's from arresting him.

    July 6, 2014 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. rob

    @tampa Tim.
    That "lie" your talking about was told by a few Dems, including but not limited to Bill Clinton, Mrs. Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Al Gore.
    Just because CNN doesn't report it doesn't make it true. You are too far gone to ask you to look at the facts.

    July 6, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. Thomas

    @Harry Howzen
    Hillary is a bigger liar, is more devious, and is a much more power-hungry Alinsky-ite than Barack has ever dreamed of being. As bad as Obama has been for America...another Clinton in the WH would be much worse.

    ========

    Harry ,
    When you find those WMD's in Iraq let us know .

    Until then , turn the channel to Fox News , take your meds and relax .

    July 6, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. brownbuttonglutton

    Romney by a landside was never predicted. Only in lefty lala land. All polls had 0bama winning.

    July 6, 2014 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  11. Sip That Kool Aid, It's All You're Good For.

    Pathetic polls, brought forth by pathetic people. Every poll foist upon the potential voter has some underlying agenda. Hope the masses see through the smoke screen, even if those who projected a Robme win in 2012 can't see through it.

    July 6, 2014 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
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