Morning Bits

Scared? “Senate Majority PAC, a prominent Democratic super-PAC, is extending its ad buy in the Massachusetts Senate race to run through the end of the election.”

Gabriel Gomez

Gabriel Gomez (courtesy of Gomez campaign)

Very nervous. “With a Republican victory in a 2010 Senate special election still fresh on the minds of Democrats in a state that usually favors them, Obama spoke at a rally in Boston and with patrons at a locally famous sandwich shop to try to boost Markey’s bid. Polls show the lead held by Markey, a veteran U.S. congressman, over Republican challenger Gabriel Gomez is narrowing ahead of the election for the Senate seat vacated when Obama picked John Kerry, a Democrat, as his secretary of state.”

VP Joe Biden is so angst-ridden, he has begun begging traditional Dem constituencies to turn out for the lackluster Rep. Ed Markey: “There’s a big difference in this race. Barack Obama’s not at the head of the ticket. And that means those legions of African Americans and Latinos are not automatically going to come out. No one has energized them like Barack Obama. But he’s not on the ticket. So don’t take this one for granted.” Umm, that might be a problem in 2016, huh?

There is good reason for Markey to be fretful given that the liberal Boston Globe is effusive in its praise for Gabriel Gomez’s debate performance. “Gomez did a good job portraying himself as a centrist with bipartisan inclinations. A $2 hike in the minimum wage? Sure. Support for equal pay for equal work? Yes — and with an expression of regret that something like that takes a law. The budget deficit? He’d go into with no preconditions and would be open to generating new revenues by closing loopholes.”

The Supreme Court will do what it pleases, but this should make Democrats edgy as a political matter. “Americans overwhelmingly oppose race-based college admissions and support extending federal benefits to same-sex couples, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that finds broad public agreement on issues awaiting Supreme Court decisions this month. Three quarters of Americans, 76 percent, oppose allowing universities to consider race when selecting students, the key element in affirmative-action programs in universities nationwide.”

The White House might be a bit anxious over this one. “Certain Americans will be able to get tax credits through the ACA [Affordable Care Act] to help purchase health insurance through state-run insurance exchanges. So far, so normal. But what’s not there is also key: There’s no mention of getting tax credits to help buy insurance through the federal exchanges. . . . While that could be a major sticking point, considering that two-thirds of the states have opted out of running the exchange themselves, the IRS has said it doesn’t matter. Under the agency’s proposal, subsidies will be available nationwide. But Halbig et al v. Sebelius – and an earlier lawsuit filed by Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt v. Sebelius — are challenging the IRS interpretation of the law.”

Ken Cuccinelli is trying to make Dems jumpy. “Yesterday, just over 140,000 Virginians went to the polls and voted in the statewide Democratic Primary. While the final number of votes cast may change slightly once the results are certified, what is certain is the abysmal enthusiasm level that Terry McAuliffe has seen across the state the past few months was clearly evident again yesterday. As it stands today, just 2.6 percent of Virginians voted in yesterday’s Democrat primary, which would be one of the worst primary turnout percentages in more than 15 years.” Well that’s about 132,000 more than Cuccinelli, who chose a convention to make sure hardliners could  give him the nomination.

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