July 20th, 2014
09:52 AM ET
2 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. MrCredik

    That is some expensive free speach

    July 20, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Simon

    DC Johnny False Equivalence from an anti-democratic Righty.

    Soros gave less than 10M in 2012, while the Kochs and Adelson alone gave close to 500M including quasi anonymous donations. Soros doesn'tdonate along self-interested lines while the Kochs donate to candidates who will gut environmental laws so their conglomerates can make more money–without regard to the safety and health of citizens. The misreading of the First Amendment by this Court of Federalist Society ideologues will be reversed. Only someone with an agenda would give corporations the rights of people and hold that their is a righttso unlimited donations. One person; one vote is democracy, not one person, a hundred million on attack ads so Adelson can avoid jail.

    July 20, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. Mikeed13

    Stop crying Gimmecrats if it was Soros giving you the money you would not be complaining. They aren't buying the senate, you gave it tothem

    July 20, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. independant jim

    Adelson made his first million washing money thru his casino in Asia where black marketers, drug rings, and prostitution rings. took their money and had it returned less 25% now he is the darling of the GOP/TP where he hopes to get banking laws changed so he can make even more Money by turning the Questionable money over faster with less regulations

    July 20, 2014 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  5. sifto77

    Most of the super..rich donors are liberal elites..when will you liberals wake up...get out of your bubble and face reality.

    July 20, 2014 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. TnFL

    If any of the posters here are shocked that the government is bought and sold to the highest bidder. Shame on you and please open your eyes. As far as big bucks Adelson goes, I am confused. You have to give him the credit he deserves for building and maintaining his mega empire. However, he historically backed the wrong horse. I mean, come on, Newt never had a chance and even with millions given to him never will have a chance at being President. I think we the average middle class voter just needs to throw in the towel. It is over before in starts with big money and influential people picking the candidates that we are supposed to support for the dog and pony show. No more for me as I learned through the years it don't matter, government is not for the people any longer and has not been for some time.

    July 20, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. s

    Come on everyone he's doing it to be a patriot. Adleson doesn't expect anything in return for 100 million (sarcasm)

    July 20, 2014 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. ken2112

    Thank you SCOTUS for letting the filthy rich buy our government.

    July 20, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. Grant Jr,

    My wife and I have been saving up for a while and thought that maybe this year we would treat ourselves to a congressman. So my question is ; How much are congressmen going for these days ?

    We only want one so please take your place in line.

    July 20, 2014 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. xx4zu1

    George Washington could have become king of the united states in response to people that wanted this he stated "Ididn¹t fight George III to become George I." He also term limited himself as president. The founding fathers did not want or expect people to become career politicians the expected you to serve your government then return to your job and get on with your life. We no longer have a democracy, our leaders are controlled by their donors and this is even more so the case with the republican party. Unfortunately I agree with the "base" message of smaller government and lower taxes but that is all just a smoke screen. Every republican president in my lifetime has increased overall spending and grown the deficit. The difference with republicans and democrats is that the republicans spend money on defense, wars and foreign aid. Democrats at least create programs that help americans.

    July 20, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. Cannon-Fodder

    We'll get the best president Israel can buy.

    July 20, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Incipio

    The strategy should be simple... First, do not treat the voters as if they are "simpletons" that buy into every bit of garbage and posturing. Do not give us promises > we want possibilities... do not tell us what the other candidates are doing > tell us what you... are going to do... Don't tell us where you have been > tell us where you are going.. It really is simple... do not not become a walking advertisement for what you think we want to hear.. or see in your.. remember that .. millions are spent on commercials > we all use as the opportune time to grab a drink, hit the bathroom and basically.. ignore.

    July 20, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. CF

    Thanks to the right wing fascists on the Supreme Court it is no longer the best qualified but the one with the fattest wallet. They have taken the democratic process out of the average citizens and handed to the ultra wealthy. The top 1% control 37% of the wealth in this country. We are rapidly becoming an oligarchy.

    July 20, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. Larry

    Plenty of money in advertising these days – good – now spend his money and vote against his candidates just like the last presidential election. If it all works out like it should that stupid fool and his money will soon be parted and the country will be none the worse for wear because of it. Actually, we will all be happier:)

    July 20, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  15. ja

    Axels on is a creation of the Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance

    July 20, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. smith1

    the supreme court really screwed everyone. Don't blame the president or the players. The court opened the flood gates. To bad the country is being bought by the 1%. And we all know what their politics are.

    July 20, 2014 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. Petey Isom

    At last check, both democrats and republicans gamble and visit casino's. If you were willing to literally give him your money then why are you so upset. You financed him to be able to buy your vote.

    July 20, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. andy

    I may not like all the things that rich people do with their money, but I tell you one thing– nobody mine like Democrats..

    July 20, 2014 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. bigdoglv

    Like Sheldon has a monopoly on mega campaign funding. How about stories on the other side CNN. You know, guys like Soros and the lefty oil billionaire throwing cash at the global warming pols? There are two sides to the sword, to only hammer one is not exactly neutral journalism.

    July 20, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. Ric

    Nothing different from what Unions do for the left. The outrage from you lefties is ironic..and laughable.

    July 20, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Gary Corriston

    This guy doesn't learn his lesson. Back in 2012 he lost $150 million backing republican candidates including Mitt Romney and lost every single one.

    July 20, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. cbp

    It is time the American people took back the power to influence elections. We are handing over the power to those with the most money and the most access to the media. We have also allowed the media much too much latitude in reporting about candidates. It is not difficult to pick out their favorites.

    July 20, 2014 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. Justin

    If the money was for a presidential campaign or for Nevada senator/governor then fine. But people from outside a state have no reason to dump money in another state unless they are trying to pack the senate and congress with someone that will speak for THEM and not the constituents of the state they are elected to represent.

    July 20, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  24. san

    If you want to live under an Oligarchy much like Russia, ruled by mafia like billionaires and corporations who want to pay you peanuts with no benefits, then vote for a Republican, Tea or Libertarian and you will get your wish..

    July 20, 2014 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. Keith

    It makes perfect sense, someone that lives in La-la land would support people that have no grasp on the reality of life for us in the middle class.

    July 20, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
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