–Focusing on social issues, including promises to defund Planned Parenthood and defend Kim Davis, helped drive the conservative base to turn out. I wrote here Monday about Bevin’s focus on energizing evangelicals in the final days, and it clearly paid off. Kim Davis called herself “ecstatic” about Bevin’s victory in a statement released by the nonprofit representing her: “He is such a genuine and caring person. I will be forever thankful that he came to visit me while I was in jail. At a clerks’ meeting he hugged me and said he was praying for me. I am looking forward to his leadership as our new Governor.”
–The South is becoming even redder, and the realignment that began a half century ago is nearly complete. President Obama is toxic, even in non-federal elections. Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant easily won reelection, too, and the GOP increased its majority in that state’s House from 67 to 73 (of 122 members). That’s nearly a super majority. Republicans even toppled the House Minority Leader, per the Clarion Ledger.
–Pressure will let up a little bit on Rand Paul to drop out of the presidential race to focus on his 2016 Senate reelection campaign. The incumbent state auditor, Adam Edelen, who national Democrats hoped would challenge Paul in next year’s Senate race lost in a stunning upset, David Weigel and Paul Kane note in a smart take. “What this election shows is that people who’ve been promoting Democrats on the rise in Kentucky have been completely wrong,” Paul told The Post last night. “Not only has President Obama destroyed the party in Kentucky, he’s destroyed the bench. The bench that was supposed to rise up and run for office — that’s gone.”
Paul celebrated Bevin’s win, even though Bevin had said during the campaign Ben Carson is his favorite candidate in the presidential race…
–The Republican win is another big nail in the coffin for big labor unions in the South. Bevin’s top economic priority is making Kentucky a Right To Work state.
–Bevin will be a bull in the china shop, but he is unlikely to govern as radically as many of the stories you’ll read today suggest. I’ve spent more than 24 hours with the governor-elect going back to January 2014, when I profiled him for Politico. Bevin is certainly an ideologue, but I’ve seen him show signs of a profound pragmatic streak. He told me last week that he’ll lead in the tradition of a former KFC CEO, a moderate Democrat, who was not beholden to anyone and cleaned up state government in the ’70’s. His efforts to make nice with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who attacked him fiercely last year, show that he’s capable of becoming a serious politician.
–There should be more soul searching among pollsters, who once again got it wrong. Every survey of Kentucky showed Conway ahead, which meaningfully altered perceptions of the race.
— But, but, but: Turnout was VERY low across the country. Republicans could over interpret the results at their own peril. The presidential election, exactly one year way, will have dramatically larger and more diverse turnout, which works against the GOP. Serious structural problems persist: the Grand Old Party is still too white, too male and too old. Hillary Clinton’s political director, Amanda Renteria, tweeted a photo of a “Vote Here” sign overnight and wrote: “Wish more people did this today.”
There were also some bright spots for the left on an otherwise dark night:
–In a stinging rebuke of Chris Christie, undercutting one of his rationales for seeking the presidency, New Jersey voters ousted at least three Republicans from the state Assembly. Alexander Burns in the New York Times: “Republicans had hoped to build on Mr. Christie’s political successes and cut into the Democratic majority in the chamber, where Democrats currently hold 48 of the 80 seats. Instead, the election became a sharp reality check for allies of the governor, who only two years ago won re-election by a towering margin. Democrats battered Republicans for their affiliation with Mr. Christie, sending paid political mail accusing them of aiding the governor’s presidential ambitions at their constituents’ expense. Perhaps mindful of his diminished popularity, Mr. Christie appeared at private events to raise money for Republican candidates, but he never hit the campaign trail as a public spokesman for his party.” Dems now have their biggest majority since the 1970’s.
Other notable election results from last night:
- Salt Lake City elected Utah’s first openly gay mayor and only the second female top executive in the capital city. (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Democrats won mayoral races in Charlotte and Indianapolis.
- Voters in suburban Denver recalled three conservative members of a school board who had worked to weaken the local teachers union, Lyndsey Layton reports.
- Maine passed a good-government campaign finance referendum. (Bangor Daily News)
- Manchester, N.H. Mayor Ted Gatsas, a Republican, narrowly won re-election. (Union Leader)
- The four-term mayor of Alexandria, Va., fell far short in a write-in campaign to retain his job. (Patricia Sullivan)
- Loudoun County Board Chairman Scott K. York (I) was defeated by Democrat Phyllis J. Randall in a three-way race. (Rachel Weiner)
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— The Supreme Court halted a Missouri execution in the 11th hour. Mark Berman: “Ernest Lee Johnson was sentenced to death for killing three people with a claw hammer in 1994. Johnson’s attorneys wrote in filings asking the Supreme Court to stay the execution that Johnson had brain surgery in 2008 to remove a tumor, but that part of the tumor could not be removed. He is missing between 15 and 20 percent of his brain, the attorneys wrote. As a result, Johnson has brain damage and a doctor cited as a medical expert believes he could suffer seizures due to the lethal injection. The office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster argued in court filings that the execution should proceed, writing that Johnson waited too long to make his argument. In an unsigned order, the justices said they were granting the stay request pending an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.”
— Bill Simon, one of Jeb Bush’s most prominent boosters, is okay after parachuting out of his crashing private airplane. The former U.S. CEO of WalMart crash-landed the single-engine plane in Fayetteville, Arkansas. “The Fayetteville police reported that the plane experienced oil pressure problems during its flight from Bentonville to Waco, Texas,” per NBC. “The plane hit a truck that was traveling on the road. The plane’s passengers (there were two others onboard) and the truck driver were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.” Simon texts our Ed O’Keefe: “We were all very fortunate.”
— The Defense Department suspended the missile defense system known as JLENS after the military surveillance blimp that is at the heart of the program floated away and crashed last week. (Los Angeles Times)
— Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama – in that order — are ranked No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff in-season rankings. (Chuck Culpepper)
GET SMART FAST:
- President Obama will decide Keystone XL’s fate before he leaves office, rather than suspend the review process as the pipeline’s constructor requested. Many expect he’ll kill it to boost his environmental legacy. (Juliet Eilperin)
- “More than half of the nonprofit health insurance co-ops formed through (Obamacare) are now off the market for the coming year, with the last-minute departure of a plan in Michigan,” per Amy Goldstein.
- Investigators searching for clues in the crash of the Russian plane that disintegrated over the Sinai Peninsula are now looking into who on board might have been responsible. (NBC News)
- The presidents of China and Taiwan will meet this weekend, the first time leaders of the two nations have had face-to-face relations since the Chinese Communists took power 66 years ago. (Associated Press)
- Honda cut ties with Takana after the airbag manufacturer was fined $70 million by the Federal Highway Administration for failing to disclose defects in its products. (New York Times)
- “The National Geographic Society will lay off about 180 of its 2,000 employees in a cost-cutting move that follows the sale of its famous magazine to a company controlled by Rupert Murdoch,” per Paul Farhi.
- An armed Idaho rancher was fatally shot by police after he confronted authorities who were trying to shoot his bull after the animal charged them (Fox News)
- Chipotle’s E.coli outbreak in the Pacific Northwest has now affected 37 people, and the chain has closed 43 locations.
- A Mississippi man tried (unsuccessfully) to bomb a Wal-Mart because the retail giant stopped selling the Confederate flag.
- It turns out that an Illinois cop whose death sparked a massive manhunt actually committed suicide. (Chicago Tribune)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart inked a four-year production deal with HBO. He’ll start by making short-form videos and gave them a “first-look option” for other film and TV ventures. (Hollywood Reporter)
- Hillary Clinton said the federal minimum wage should be $12 an hour, which would match what it was in 1968, when adjusted for inflation. It’s currently $7.25. She also went up with a new ad outlining her support for tougher gun laws. (Anne Gearan in Coralville, Iowa)
- Montana freshman Sen. Steve Daines endorsed Marco Rubio on Bret Baier’s Fox News show last night, following Colorado’s Cory Gardner.
- Terry McAuliffe, working with the University of Virginia, attempted to influence the Department of Education’s investigation into sexual violence at the school, with the hope of shielding the school from negative publicity. (Nick Anderson)
- National Review pushed back firmly and convincingly on Ben Carson’s claim that a rival campaign got the magazine to write about his relationship with Mannatech, the sketchy supplement company. Reporter Jim Geraghty explained in a blog post how he found the story on his own.
- Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued a round of subpoenas for emails and documents to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association after the agency released a study that said that the global surface temperature has been steadily increasing over time. (BuzzFeed)
- “One-quarter of the ‘Hillblazers’ who bundled $100,000 or more for Clinton work at lobbying firms or public affairs agencies that lobby at the state level or otherwise make their living from influencing the government … For Bush, 58 of the 342 people who raised at least $17,600 are advocates and operatives linked to the influence industry.” (Politico)
- Hillary took a 3-point lead over Bernie in Monmouth University’s New Hampshire poll (48-45). In September, she trailed him by 7 points (43-36).
- John Kasich proposed eliminating the Department of Commerce. (Fact sheet)
- Michelle Obama and Conan O’Brien visited U.S. troops in Qatar.
— “Uneven Justice,” by Marc Fisher, Scott Higham and Derek Hawkins: “Two bad shootings, two guilty cops. One family sues and gets a million dollars; the other sues and collects not a penny. … Though the spread of smartphone cameras has turned police-civilian confrontations into fodder for popular analysis, society remains reluctant to send police officers to prison for killing people. For the grieving families of the victims, civil lawsuits have proven far more likely to produce results. But the system dispenses uneven justice. As part of a year-long investigation of fatal shootings by police, The Washington Post examined the cases of 59 officers who were charged over the past decade for fatally shooting someone while on duty, allegedly crossing the line between enforcing the law and breaking it.”
- In criminal court, 11 of the officers were convicted and served time.
- But when 46 families of those shot and killed by police sought justice in the civil system, 32 received monetary awards. Settlements ranged from $7,500 to $8.5 million. The median settlement was $1.2 million. Seven families have not filed suit.
- When officers were criminally convicted, families won settlements in all but one case, The Post found. But when the officers were acquitted or had criminal charges dismissed, families were just as likely to win civil settlements.
- The review also found that families collected more money if they settled before the criminal cases were resolved. When families accepted settlements before criminal charges were resolved, they received a median award of $2.2 million. When the settlement came after criminal proceedings ended, the families received $500,000.
— “The Republican field has a new target: Marco Rubio,” by Jenna Johnson and Sean Sullivan: “The freshman Florida senator has seen small but steady gains in the polls, attention from major donors and a growing collection of endorsements, especially after a well-received performance in last week’s GOP debate. That has quickly made him a prime target for criticism from his rivals, especially Trump and Bush.
- “During a news conference Tuesday in Manhattan, Trump called Rubio ‘overrated,’ accused him of being ‘a disaster with his credit cards’ and attacked him as ‘very weak’ on immigration.
- “At the same time, Bush — whose campaign has disparagingly labeled Rubio as a ‘GOP Obama’ — doubled down on criticizing Rubio for missing more than a third of his Senate votes this year. ‘People that are serving need to show up and work,’ Bush said on CNN. ‘Period. Over and out.'”
- Jeb got just 7 percent of Florida GOP primary voters in a new poll, 30 points behind Trump and less than half of Rubio’s support.
“For months, Rubio has avoided direct confrontations with his rivals. His top aides have long worried about peaking too early, preferring to crest just before the first nominating contest on Feb. 1 in Iowa. The latest attacks bring a new level of attention and scrutiny to the 44-year–old senator’s below-the-radar campaign that could throw off his timeline.”
— The Tampa Bay Times looks back on Rubio’s lavish spending with a GOP credit card, noting that some transactions remain secret. Marco’s murky financial history while holding political office emerged when he was a Senate candidate in 2010, but questions still remain about his spending over a two-year period when he was a member of the Florida House. Rubio’s campaign has yet to release those records, despite multiple requests from the Tampa Bay Times. Some of the transactions Rubio made with a GOP credit card, as noted by reporter Alex Leary:
- Movie tickets
- Repairs on a van
- Double billing plane tickets to both the GOP and the taxpayers
Big picture: This will become a problem for Rubio. The question is A) when? and B) how big? While it may seem like old news to those of us who covered his 2010 race or know Florida, it’s certainly new information to 99.9 percent of Iowans. And it is easy to imagine pretty brutal TV ads using some of the spending as fodder, especially if connected to the broader frame that Rubio is bad at managing money.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ, Curated with Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck):
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Though his front-runner status may be gone, the media still loves talking about Donald Trump more than anyone else. A graph of mentions from yesterday illustrates the traditional media and social media’s continued fascination and interest in the reality TV show star. Via our analytics partners at Zignal Labs:
–Pictures of the day:
This picture of “Good Morning America” anchor Lara Spencer and Donald Trump made big waves online. Spencer and ABC maintain she was standing next to Trump, not sitting on his lap:
Paul Ryan ventured to the Senate side of the Capitol for the first time as Speaker, meeting with Mitch McConnell and addressing GOP members.
Here’s a shot of the Ryans and their three kids on the speaker’s balcony:
Scott Walker want you to know he’s just a regular guy. “In honor of National Sandwich Day, I am having my usual lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches,” he wrote, posting this photo:
–Tweets of the day:
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said what we were all thinking after Twitter changed its “favorites” to “likes”:
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) wished Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) a happy birthday:
–Instagrams of the day:
Scott Brown prepared to host an event for Jeb Bush in New Hampshire:
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) made Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) a donut cake to celebrate his 12,000th vote:
Speaking of Iowa, that’s where Mike Huckabee just went pheasant hunting:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— Pew Research Center study finds “U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious”: “An extensive new survey of more than 35,000 U.S. adults finds that the percentages who say they believe in God, pray daily and regularly go to church or other religious services all have declined modestly in recent years. The recent decrease in religious beliefs and behaviors is largely attributable to the ‘nones’ – the growing minority of Americans, particularly in the Millennial generation, who say they do not belong to any organized faith.”
- “The share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God, while still remarkably high by comparison with other advanced industrial countries, has declined modestly, from approximately 92% (in 2007) to 89%.”
- A growing share of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, including some who self-identify as atheists or agnostics as well as many who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” Altogether, the religiously unaffiliated (also called the “nones”) now account for 23% of the adult population, up from 16% in 2007.
- Fewer people say their religion is “very important” to them. And, in 2007, 71% said they were “absolutely certain” that God exists. That’s dropped to 63 percent now.
— New York Times, “Neuropolitics, where campaigns try to read your mind,” by Kevin Randall:
“In the lobby of a Mexico City office building, people scurrying to and fro gazed briefly at the digital billboard backing a candidate for Congress in June. They probably did not know that the sign was reading them, too. Inside the ad, a camera captured their facial expressions and fed them through an algorithm, reading emotional reactions like happiness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear and sadness. With all the unwitting feedback, the campaign could then tweak the message — the images, sounds or words — to come up with a version that voters might like better. All over the world, political campaigns are seeking voter data and insights that will propel them to victory. Now, in an increasing number of places, that includes the contentious field known as neuromarketing — or in this case, neuropolitics. Technologies like facial coding, biofeedback and brain imaging have long been used by companies in the hope of pushing the boundaries of marketing and product development. But their use by political parties and governments is a growing phenomenon, evoking futuristic scenes from the movie ‘Minority Report,’ in which eerily well-informed billboards scan commuters’ eyes and call out to them by name.”
— Yahoo, “Being married to Bernie,” by Lisa Belkin: Bernie Sanders was the only one on stage at the last Democratic debate who didn’t give a bio of any kind in his opening statement. “He started right in with the ‘series of unprecedented national crises’ that prompted his candidacy, and he never spoke of his 27-year marriage, nor the blended group of five children he and his wife consider theirs. Sitting in the audience with two of those children, Jane O’Meara Driscoll Sanders was not the least bit surprised. Accomplished in her own right — she is, among other things, a former president of a Vermont college — she is the people person to his curmudgeon, the one who lives on the ground while he lives in his head. … She remains his closest adviser, and part of her advice, on debate night as always, was that he stay focused on why he decided to run this race in the first place.
Telling quote from his wife that suggests Bernie is not in this to actually win: “He’s doing what he aimed to do… The last election the candidates didn’t talk about inequality, they didn’t talk about fairness, they didn’t talk about climate change. He’s setting the agenda. That’s what it’s about.”
— The Atlantic, “Can Washington’s most interesting egghead save the Senate?” by Molly Ball: Ben Sasse has been quiet for the first year in the Senate, but now that he’s voiced his opinion, he does not plan on letting up. He gave his maiden floor speech yesterday. “I’m a historian by training,” Sasse explained. Until a few decades ago, he said, it was traditional for new senators to wait a year to speak. That that’s no longer the case, he suspects, speaks to the pathology of the modern Senate, where lawmakers deliver stale talking points for the benefit of the C-SPAN2 cameras, often with nobody else in attendance. … “I ask if he’s been biting his tongue all year, listening to speeches without giving any of his own. ‘Oh, for heaven’s sake,’ he says. Since he is 99th in seniority, he’s often tasked with presiding over the floor, which in practice means hoping the C-SPAN2 cameras don’t catch him munching on chocolate-covered pretzels while another senator drones away in the otherwise empty chamber. ‘I sit in this chair all the time, and it just feels like Charlie Brown’s mom talking all the time,’ he says.”
McConnell praised Sasse for being the last of the freshmen to speak:
GOOD HIGH-TECH READS
— Gmail, based on scanning your e-mails, will soon offer up a few draft options of possible replies to incoming messages that you can pick from. It is like auto-complete. The messages will be short and based partly on what you’ve written back to people in the past. Engineers explain more on the Google Research blog. Google also announced it will launch a drone delivery service in 2017, per Brian Fung.
— How to hack Uber surge-charge fares by 10-20%: Uber’s surge-pricing algorithm, which is based on supply of drivers versus demand of rides needed, resets about every five minutes, and changes based on zones that are often close together, according to a new university study. Around 40% of surges only last five minutes, while about 70% of surges last 10 minutes or less.
— Tesla lost $19,810 for every car it sold last quarter, up from $15,975 the prior quarter. (Seeking Alpha)
HOT ON THE LEFT
FBI agent guilty of assault in an incident caught in cellphone video remains on duty. From Dan Morse: “The cellphone video — which would be played repeatedly for jurors — showed a rapidly deteriorating situation outside a high-rise apartment building in Chevy Chase, Md. In the middle of the turmoil was FBI agent Gerald Rogero. He was off duty at the time, wearing civilian clothes, and had just struck a teenager in the chest, sending him backward onto the pavement. The teen got to his feet. Rogero moved to place him under arrest. ‘If I have to shoot you, I will,’ he said. ‘Don’t make me shoot you.’ The video and the audio that went with it were at the heart of the prosecution of Rogero, 46, an agent for nearly 20 years who serves as a chief in the FBI’s counterterrorism division.” He was found guilty last week of second-degree assault. An FBI spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Rogero remains on active duty and said that the bureau is conducting an internal review.
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Christian ‘buycott’ to back faith-friendly businesses. From the Washington Examiner: “With 70 percent of ‘faith consumers’ eager to shop at Christian friendly stores, a new pre-Christmas campaign has opened to steer them to the right businesses … Called #AddUsIn, the effort from the influential group Faith Driven Consumer, is taking a page from the nation’s LGBT lobby, the Human Rights Campaign, to reward, not boycott, firms that welcome Christians through their policies.”
— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Ben Carson continues his book tour with stops in Sarasota, Ft. Myers and Naples, Fla. In N.H., Donald Trump files for the primary ballot in Concord; Marco Rubio attends events in Manchester and Nashua; Jeb Bush campaigns in Manchester, Hollis, Goffstown, Moultonborough and Wolfeboro; and Lindsey Graham stops in Nashua, Hanover and Lebanon. Martin O’Malley files for the Democratic primary in Concord and later attends a reception in Boston. John Kasich campaigns in Clinton, Mississippi.
–On the Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume work on a water regulations bill.
–At the White House: President Obama participates in a conference call with Affordable Care Act assisters and volunteers. In the evening, Obama delivers remarks and takes questions at a DNC fundraiser.
— The House and Senate released their calendars for 2016, and they allow plenty of time for campaigning. The House plans to leave town on July 15 and not return until Sept. 6. It will then adjourn on Sept. 30 until after the elections on Nov. 14. The Senate plans a similarly light workload, leaving town on July 15 but returning on Sept 6. It will go dark for the elections on Oct. 7 and return for a week of work on Nov. 14. See the House calendar here. And, via Roll Call, see the Senate calendar here.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: President Obama at a DNC fundraiser late Monday: “Have you noticed that every one of these candidates says, ‘Obama’s weak. Putin’s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out’? Then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at the debate. Let me tell you: if you can’t handle those guys, then I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— Today is another nice day, mostly sunny and warm. Highs in the low-to-mid 70s again! Not bad for November! “High pressure should help keep our skies mostly sunny through much of the day, before clouds try to increase from the south late this afternoon,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “By then, though, we’ve already qualified for a rather nice day by most any standard. From wake-up readings in the 40s to low 50s, temperatures reach afternoon highs in the low-to-mid 70s, with very light winds.”
— The Washington Nationals’ hired Dusty Baker as the new manager after contract negotiations with Bud Black broke down. That has left the franchise as the butt of many jokes circulating around Major League Baseball, but it is not surprising, considering the Nats’ awful history in dealing with manager contracts. Read Thomas Boswell’s column about how this imbroglio reflects poorly on the Lerner family here. Baker, who has 20 years of experience leading a clubhouse, is a three-time manager of the year and also claims he once smoked a joint with Jimi Hendrix. Read Chelsea Janes’ profile here.
— The Redskins did not trade Robert Griffin III before Tuesday’s trade deadline. (Master Tesfatsion)
— The Washington Capitals lost to the New York Rangers, failing to exact any revenge on the team that has eliminated them from the playoffs the last three times they have qualified for the postseason. (Isabelle Khurshudyan)
— The District’s first Chick-fil-A, by the Columbia Heights Metro station, opened at 6 a.m.
— D.C. lawmakers voted to shut down the D.C. General homeless shelter and split it into six smaller complexes. (Abigail Hauslohner)
— Three D.C. council members introduced a proposal that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in the presidential election. (Aaron C. Davis)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
BuzzFeed taped people trying to make presidential candidate masks more likable:
Here’s how President George W. Bush reacted when TMZ asked for his thoughts on Kanye West running in 2020:
Seth Meyers poked fun at the Republican debate demands:
Donald Trump talked about Marco Rubio and hosting Saturday Night Live during a news conference:
Ending on a lighter note: A Good Samaritan jumped onto the subway tracks in Times Square to save an infant who had tumbled out of her stroller. The man who came to the 1-year-old girl’s rescue has been homeless and struggled with addiction. He told the New York Daily News that this was “redemption” for him. “My life hasn’t been in vain,” he said. Amen!