July 20th, 2014
09:52 AM ET
4 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. foundstar

    One day America will ban the ability of mega donors and corporations buying their power and ruining our country. There will be a limit as to how much people ( not corporations) can give and the people will have the voice of choice. May the best candidate win...not the most expensive...

    July 20, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. JohnnyKay

    There aren't enough millions for Adelson to buy every member of Congress it will take to keep him out of prison once all his shenanigans are brought to light and a courtroom. Owning just a third of them already won't cut it. He wouldn't have as many millions had he paid the workers he screwed over to build his casino, but why would a Republican care about that?

    July 20, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. givemeglenn

    Once again, we have clear evidence the wealthiest 1% is doing everything in their power to buy influence with the national legislature by heavily funding hand-picked candidates to the point that advertising is totally saturated. It doesn't matter if the ads are truthful or not (usually, based on fact checks, there are knowingly blatant lies), but the PAC's don't care about facts, only their own best interest.

    July 20, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. MBATH

    I thought we already covered the fact that Sheldon Adelson isn't playing with a full deck these days. His dropping hundreds of millions on Mitt Romney while he was nosediving was case in point years ago. even before then, the demographics and electoral votes were a known given in the Dems column, just as they will be in 2016.

    July 20, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Dave - Phx

    Anyone who approves of this no matter which side does it, is a complete idiot. Politicians who are bought and paid for and do not represent their district should be hung as traitors.

    July 20, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Donny

    So basically Adelson is buying the Senate. Goodbye America.

    July 20, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. jkantor26712

    If Lies don't work, if Hate doesn't work, if disenfranchising voters doesn't work – try money.

    July 20, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Belseth

    These mega rich 1%ers are literally buying our government. We should all be terrified Liberals and Conservatives alike.

    July 20, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Kimo

    Instead of invading foreign countries, how about spreading a little democracy here at home? I'm a little confused though. Are we technically a Plutocracy or an Oligarchy or do both terms apply?

    July 20, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. DC Johnny

    For all of you anti-First Amendment leftists out there, would you also call for people like Oprah not to endorse a candidate, as precious time on her show and even more fundamentally, her influence as a public figure, are worth countless tens of millions of dollars?

    How about newspapers or online publications, and their endorsements? Should those be illegal as well?

    I'm just curious where your devotion to representative government ends and your hypocrisy begins.

    July 20, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Ima Right

    George Soros and Warren Buffett have been doing this for years for the Democrats. Nobody seems to have had a problem with it in 2008 or 2012.

    July 20, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. frank thomas

    all registered democrats in every state should make sue they vote on election day,People who listen to hate radio daily are the ones who vote, We need a democratic majority in both the house and with Obama and soon Hillary will get something done for this country.

    July 20, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Victor Maffei

    It's in the bag! And yes, both sides do it! From my side, I'd like to see Adelson's gambler/suckers' money be as successful as it was with Ginrich!

    July 20, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. OCCUPY WALLSTREET

    This is how the job creators use their money.

    July 20, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Robert the Robot

    We will just vote against these sucks and the TV stations will thank him for $100 million bucks!

    July 20, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. BigSir

    This is a big part of whats wrong with our political system. At least the person trying to buy influence is out in the open.

    July 20, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. garymac

    The anti-American racist supporting republican arty is a disgrace...if America doesn't stop these maniacs via the vote, this country is doomed...

    July 20, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Mark

    DC Johnny

    For all of you anti-First Amendment leftists out there, would you also call for people like Oprah not to endorse a candidate, as precious time on her show and even more fundamentally, her influence as a public figure, are worth countless tens of millions of dollars?

    How about newspapers or online publications, and their endorsements? Should those be illegal as well?

    I'm just curious where your devotion to representative government ends and your hypocrisy begins.
    ----------------------------------------
    Your no better and you presume to think you know what anyone believes. In what universe is ANY mega donor good for any democracy???

    July 20, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Norma jean

    It quite literally makes me sick to my stomach to read about people like this man thaT HAS SO MUCH MONEY HE CAN AFFORD TO THROW It IN ALL KINDS OF LOONY DIRECTIONS... SOME OF US ARE WORKING SOOOO HARD JUST TO KEEP OUR HEADS ABOVE WATER.....I have three educated {and always had a good job} family members now unemployed who are literally sick trying to get back into the job market.... I for one have lost my faith in just about everything.....o.k. I'll shut up!!

    July 20, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. woodlander2

    No matter how much money an individual or a corporation spends on political campaigns, it always boils down to one thing that determines the outcome of an election, that is how people vote. You can't buy votes, you can't, intimidate voters with your money, all you can do is advertise your candidate. If voters do their due diligence on a candidate before they vote, the amount of money is irrelevant.

    July 20, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Joemo

    Also the KOCH brothers are using there millions here in Louisiana in the efforts to get a Republican elected to the US Senate. What a waste of money, feed the poor children.

    July 20, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Dallas

    How much longer are we going to allow our elections to be bought? SCOTUS really screwed all of us. Democrats and Independents please get out and vote in November. Don't let Adelson and the Koch brothers buy our elections!

    July 20, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Save the lecture, DC Johnny

    DC Johnny
    For all of you anti-First Amendment leftists out there, would you also call for people like Oprah not to endorse a candidate, as precious time on her show and even more fundamentally, her influence as a public figure, are worth countless tens of millions of dollars?

    How about newspapers or online publications, and their endorsements? Should those be illegal as well?

    I'm just curious where your devotion to representative government ends and your hypocrisy begins.
    ----------

    At worst, you will soon find out first hand what it is to live in a corrupt society. At best, you will learn to understand that the very corruption our American forefathers spent 200 plus years defending against is the very same corruption you and others are now endorsing.

    July 20, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Jacob Farmer

    We need more tax breaks for the wealthy so that they have more money to use to influence elections.

    July 20, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. okiejoe

    A $100 million slush fund for bribing Senators. The right wing billionaires have declared open war on the Constitution. We may need a UN poll watching team this year.

    July 20, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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