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. just saying

    there is nothing wrong with trying to save your country from leftist democrats that are in the process of destroying it. the man is a patriot and i salute him. i wish there were millions more just like him.

    July 20, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Lizzie

    Anonymous, what I don't like is that one side gets portrayed as the only one who uses his money to buy political influence, and the other side gets a pass.

    July 20, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. bigdoglv

    I'll be waiting for the article about the unions gazillion dollar gamble.

    July 20, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Steve R

    Another disastrous move that the Roberts Supreme Court will be remembered for. Allowing the super rich to buy elections.

    July 20, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    @just saying - the man is a patriot and i salute him. i wish there were millions more just like him.

    There's never been any doubt what and who you idolize. Too bad you will never reach that millionaire stage in life and instead will always find yourself forced to sit on the sidelines cheering on those who use you to their benefit and will likely always pass you by with nary a glance.

    July 20, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. cielo62

    Rick McDaniel

    All true patriots of America are working to stop the corruption and criminal behavior, of the Democratic Party. That political party has become subversive to this country, in every possible way.
    ************
    OMG! By getting everybody health insurance and hence health coverage, trying to introduce jobs bills, trying to reform our broken education system, insuring equal rights for ALL people, trying to solve our immigration problem... the DEMS are at least ATTEMPTING to make America better! The GOP has done NOTHING but obstruct ANY progress at all! Tell me again WHO are the "subversives" in our country?

    July 20, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Mike

    You know when the GOP is selling out when the donor is a zionist and a casino mogul and belongs to the 1%.

    July 20, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. just asking

    ThinkAgain – Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.
    If Dems and their policies are so bad, then why has our country ALWAYS done better economically under Democratic administrations?
    --

    record unemployment for record time with little to no economic growth for 5.5 years is 'better economically'??? are you posting from colorado while puffing on weed? obama and the democrats have kept the country down so long now that this miserable job and economic environment is becoming the new norm and they are selling it as great. but the american people know better and aren't buying their endless lies.

    July 20, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. luckytwo

    Another one missed the oven

    July 20, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    So much for one person, one vote. What a travesty the supreme court has poisoned our democratic process. Republicans are Taliban Light Weight, and given the power would become Taliban extra bold! We do not need a Christian Taliban controlling this country.

    July 20, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Sam

    I have heard it said that the 99% should not complain because they get more votes than the 1%. The trouble with that is that the 99% get to vote for the ones that the 1% bought. I think that elections for national office should be paid for by the government and each side gets the same amount of money unless one is the incumbent. Then the other should get additional money to offset that. There should also be term limits. No one should get to spend a lifetime in the same public office.

    July 20, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Januari

    Incredible... what a pathetic way to run a country... elections for sale. I love the people calling this man a patriot. I'm curious what are the people on the other-side trying to bribe politicians? Are you truly SO wrapped up in the game they have you playing that you can't see the US government is bought and paid for...

    July 20, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Neo

    So much for one person, one vote. What a travesty the supreme court has poisoned our democratic process. Republicans are Taliban Light Weight, and given the power would become Taliban extra bold! We do not need a Christian Taliban controlling this country.

    July 20, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. OrmondGeorge

    It's his money to spend (LOSE). We've shown more than once in recent contests that money is NOT the most important factor.

    July 20, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Lizzie
    Anonymous, what I don't like is that one side gets portrayed as the only one who uses his money to buy political influence, and the other side gets a pass.
    --------------

    It is extremely doubtful that had this been an article about Steyer - and yes CNN has covered him as well - you would have bothered mentioning how unfair it was that CNN did not mention Adelson in the article.

    July 20, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. dick E. Normus

    George W. MORON was hands down the dumbest President in my lifetime.
    He begged his father to keep him out of the military because he is a coward.
    Then he invaded Iraq for oil money for he and his father.
    The only President in my lifetime who was worse was Richard Nixon, who you might recall got kicked out of office over a building called Watergate.

    July 20, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Edward

    I find this unconstitutional as the constitution says you may not own a person. These politicians are owned.

    July 20, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Greg in Arkansas

    At least the "100 million" spent on the elections is a "100 million" pumped back into the economy that would have just been sitting in some old rich dude's bank account.

    July 20, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Richard Miller

    Yep, when you got money you can buy anything. America is one sick country when the wealthy can get away with murder, rape, etc...

    July 20, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. drake mallard

    No More Games in Government," they've created a system based completely on bribery. Now, if we do bribery, it's hypocrisy. If we do bribery in the private sector, we go to jail.

    Yet, their entire political system is based upon bribery. Who can bribe and give the most money to the politician and now, thanks to our illustrious Supreme Court that ruled that corporations have the same right as individuals and that money is free speech, well, we're now being inundated with so much money from the corporations buying the Democrats and Republicans, both sides, that - look at this hypothetically, a foreign country could now control our elections, because all they would have to do is form a corporation, start pumping money into the super PACs.
    make it an enforceable felony for any lobbyist to give assets in any form to a politician. That way, we speak with our tax dollars and we make sure that Congress represents US.

    Plus there's no - they don't have to say where the money comes from, which is criminal. Every candidate should have to state openly, open disclosure where they get every dollar. You're not getting that now. So the whole system is corrupted now.

    July 20, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. wolf

    This isn't a bet. It's a bribe to try to make his 1 vote count more than an entire state.

    July 20, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    When you lie down with dogs....Really can't wait to see Adelson and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. Straight no chaser. Hillary will drink to that!

    July 20, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Kenneth Newman

    I'll be looking for ward to someone bumping off this sick idiot. Maybe he might turn the mob against him. That would be sweet!!!

    July 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Tampa Tim

    Justafool – you don't read much, do you?

    July 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Yeah, it is the bad unions throwing 100's of millions to buy a senate seat . 11.3% of workers are unionized. How do you see that as being powerful? 14 million members trying to make a living don't have that kind of money.

    Only the one percent and those who drank the cool-aid that they want to idolize them.

    What are the republicans going to do for the typical southern poor white religious republican families? (You do know that there are many more white families in poverty than non-white, don't you?)

    Let's kill the minimum wage, repeal child labor laws, and start the company store again to give them the easy life of working the cotton fields.

    Then the companies can make more money and the government can pick up the tab for their food and shelter.
    Oh no, let's cut food stamps and ACA to cut taxes! Those families can get their kids out in the fields, save on education expenses and grow a garden behind their trailers.

    Here is a test question for one of you smart republicans. Why would a candidate spend millions of dollars for a seat that only pays less than $200,000 a year? It is not to represent you. (unless you are the 1%er)

    Let's make this a one person, one vote nation, not a one dollar one vote nation. If corporations are people, let's send one to jail for a change when they break a law.

    July 20, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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