July 20th, 2014
09:52 AM ET
5 months ago

The ‘Inside Politics’ Forecast: Adelson’s $100 million dollar bet?

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) - Big 2014 midterm races and calculations, and a 2016 wrinkle or two, filled a trip around our Inside Politics table to close this Sunday's program.

1. A GOP mega-donor mulls a big 2014 play

If you had a big, high-stakes project, think an extra $1 million a day might help?

Well, leading GOP sources focused on 2014 Senate races say such a boost is being contemplated by GOP megadonor Sheledon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino mogul.

Adelson has spent some time of late studying the map, and receiving briefings on state-by-state strategy and candidates. And he is promising to help Republicans target a dozen seats now held by Democrats, with the ultimate goal of picking up at least six - and the Senate majority. The GOP also is defending seats in Georgia and Kentucky.

So watch in the days and weeks ahead to see how much of a Senate play Adelson is prepared to make. One of the sources involved said it could be as much as $100 million. With 107 days to the election from Sunday, that would be an eye-popping bet.

2. Not your father's Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce is already a big player in the 2014 battle, and CNN’s Peter Hamby discussed his in-depth reporting on just how much of a boost the business group's work has been for Republicans.

This aggressive political play outside of the capital is a big shift for the Chamber, and a huge factor in the establishment vs. tea party tug-of-war playing out in the GOP.

“The Chamber of Commerce has really moved away from being just a lobbying organization in DC to being one of the more preeminent political players in campaigns– rivaling American Crossroads,” said Hamby. “So that’s a big deal in American politics.”

3. Exhibit A: the Georgia Senate GOP runoff

Molly Ball of The Atlantic teed up a textbook example of the Chamber's 2014 strategy: next week's GOP Senate runoff in Georgia.

The Chamber backs GOP Rep. Jack Kingston over businessman David Perdue.

It was Perdue who won the most votes in the first round, with Kingston second. But the runoff is needed because neither cracked 50 percent, and Molly reports the Chamber is confident its investment in Kingston will bear fruit Tuesday.

“Although Perdue came in first in the first round, Kingston looks like he is up in the runoff,” said Ball. “If he does win the runoff, it will be another victory for the Chamber of Commerce, which has backed Kingston very aggressively.”

The Chamber of Commerce pushing for Kingston on Twitter this week:

4. Gillespie disappoints some GOP watchers

GOP leaders cheered when veteran operative Ed Gillespie jumped into the Virginia Senate race, believing it would give them a chance, albeit a long shot, to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Warner. Even a competitive race forces Democrats to spread precious resources into the state.

Gillespie's decision was welcomed because of his deep resume: longtime Capitol Hill aide, former Republican National Committee chairman, former top Bush White House adviser, former top Mitt Romney adviser. Add all that up, and the thinking was: smarty guy, with a deeper than deep fund-raising reservoir.

Now there's no GOP panic in Virginia, but Politico's Maggie Haberman shared behind-the-scenes reporting on a development that surprised, and disappointed, some GOPers closely watching the race.

“Ed Gillespie, who is running for Senate in Virginia, has been a pretty effective fundraiser but he was outraised by Scott Brown,” said Haberman.

“He has good cash on hand, but the fact that he got $1.9 million and Scott Brown got $2.34, $2.35 million was not lost on some folks.”

Ed Gillespie’s tweet from this month wishing one of his very famous former bosses a happy birthday:

5. Yes, Virginia you ARE a quadrennial battleground now

Jonathan Martin of The New York Times reminded us once reliably red Virginia is now a presidential battleground - and the 2014 cycle offers a chance for presidential prospects to test the waters, and make some important friends.

President Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012, and it’s hard to map out a GOP White House win without Virginia.

So Jonathan reports that Sen. Rand Paul is looking to deepen his ties in the state.

"On Tuesday, Rand Paul is going to be in Arlington, sitting down with two candidates who ran in Virginia last year—Pete Snyder and Ken Cuccinelli,” said Martin.

And Jonathan also tells us, the aforementioned Ed Gillespie is soon to get some help from another 2016 prospect: Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Jane

    With the amount some billionaires pay the GOP to campaign for lower tax rates, wouldn't it just be cheaper to pay the tax?

    July 21, 2014 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  2. MC

    Its fun when CNN forgets to mention Adelson is a corrupt pimp and loansharking scum owned by the Chinese government and under indictment here in the US – what could he possibly expect for his cash.

    July 21, 2014 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  3. Matt

    When will the middle class wake up and realize that the GOP cares nothing about you? The middle class is an instrument for exploitation. Liberal, moderate, and conservative members of the middle class are all effected when 1% controls 99% of the economic resources. Don't believe what the politicians tell you about trickle down economics and tax breaks. If the politicians theory is to be believed, then unemployment should be much lower and salaries higher. Wall Street is booming yet Main Street is not. Tax breaks for the wealthy have not translated into jobs, it's been a free ride for corporate America. The middle class believe in hard work and do not want or expect handouts. Why do the wealthy expect it?

    July 21, 2014 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  4. Gabbo

    Not HALF of what George Soros and Warren Buffett gives the liberal weenies.

    July 21, 2014 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  5. Matt

    @woodlander2 – That's very true however few Americans bother to adequately research their candidate or just vote along party lines based on views that might be warped by the media. If your voting decision is based only on what you see on TV, then how do you really know what you're voting for?

    July 21, 2014 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  6. justsaying

    @Kimo – It's a "Plutocratic Oligarchy" that a good chunk of the 1%'ers would be quite happy to establish. The Tea Party is their "elite army" and Fox News runs their propaganda machine. With the money, they flood all forms of media with lies and half-truths while supporting and promoting legislation and policies based on xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny coupled with occassional hints of racism and an essence of paranoia – All in an attempt to confuse, divide and ultimately conquer – It's quite easy to understand, unless you are one of the helpless minions fooled by it all. Simply open your eyes and you shall see....

    July 21, 2014 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  7. Jack

    As a former Republican, I will not be bought by the likes of this guy, the Koch bother's, Rove's PAC or any other PAC. Right now, this country needs a group that can govern and the Republican's have no one. As poor as some say President Obama is, the Republican's have no one that comes close! Perry is a joke, Cruz is a fool, Bachmann, Palin are a publicity stunt, Christy causes too much dissention.

    The "Nolabels group is the only sane group out there. The Religious Right are not much better than the Taliban, only without guns. You have to believe their way or not at all. And the neo-pseudo conservative talkingheads/bubbleheads are the defacto leaders of the Republican Party

    July 21, 2014 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  8. Nanners

    What do you think they promised this guy for $100 mil?

    July 21, 2014 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  9. really

    We don't need rich people, and we don't' need poor people, we just need people. Imagine.

    July 21, 2014 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  10. NavyVet

    The Senate and House under GOP control? That would make my day!!

    July 21, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. FactChecker

    A man doesn't "give" $100 million unless he expects a lot more back. He is not a public person or company, so that will all be under the table kickbacks.

    July 21, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  12. yoshimoto

    Adelson scares me...he is not doing this because he is a patriotic American, he is doing this because he wants to play Risk with the world

    July 21, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  13. Serge Storms

    The rich have to do something with all that money. If they get a Republican majority they'll get further tax cuts to buy more elections in the future.

    July 21, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
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