GOP Candidates Explore Middle Move Ahead Of Election
Democrats, in the meantime, try a new tactic -- talking up their commitment to Social Security and Medicare. Elsewhere, Sens. Kay Hagan and Mark Warner face campaign fights centering largely on the health law.
The Washington Post: In Heated Midterm Contests, GOP Candidates Explore A Move To The Middle
Buoyed by President Obama’s deep unpopularity, the Republican Party is positioned to reclaim a national governing majority for the first time in nearly a decade by winning control of the Senate. But Republicans have little margin for error, and most key races remain tossups. That’s in part because many of those same polls show that voters favor Democrats on several issues, including pocketbook economic concerns and women’s reproductive health issues. This has led many Republican candidates to take steps -- some only in recent weeks -- to project a more moderate image and try to inoculate themselves from attacks portraying them as extremists (Rucker and Wilson, 9/21).
The New York Times: To Win Back Older Voters, Democrats Talk Up Social Security
While the [Democratic] party by necessity is focused on motivating its dispirited base of women, Latinos, African-Americans and young people, lately the number of television ads mentioning Social Security and Medicare in places with close congressional races testifies to the battle for retirement-age voters. In the first half of September, one in five Democratic ads dealt with either a candidate’s commitment to the programs or, more often, the threat from Republicans, according to Kantar Media CMAG, a nonpartisan media monitor. By comparison, one in 10 Republican ads mentioned the programs, typically to answer Democrats’ assaults. Many Democratic candidates, party committees and allied groups are drawing a link between Republican plans to overhaul Medicare and Social Security and cut taxes for wealthy Americans, on the one hand, and Republicans’ support from the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch (Calmes, 9/20).
The Associated Press: GOP Holds Hagan To Standard She Used In 2008
But [North Carolina Sen. Kay] Hagan can’t completely shake the 95 percent figure, which [GOP challenger Thom] Tillis’ campaign considers the capstone of a narrative that Hagan said one thing in 2008 but did another in Washington. Her vote for Obama’s signature 2010 health care law and her Obama-like assertions that people could keep their doctor and insurance plan under the overhaul reinforce the difficulty. The president “is not real popular in North Carolina and has the potential of making a vote for her less attractive than it might otherwise be,” said Duke University political science professor David Rohde (9/19).
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Health Care Law Remains Focus Of U.S. Senate Race
Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., and GOP challenger Ed Gillespie wrangled over what may be the biggest issue of this campaign -- the Affordable Care Act -- at a candidates forum in Herndon on Friday. The Republican wants to repeal the law, but Warner once again urged lawmakers in Washington to come together and fix it (Schmidt, 9/19).
Meanwhile, at the Supreme Court -
Los Angeles Times: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Signals She Has No Plans To Retire Soon
Earlier in her court career, Ginsburg was cautious and restrained, voting with the liberal bloc but rarely raising her voice. But in recent years, she has spoken out against what she has called conservative activism. … In June, she delivered another sharp dissent when the court, by a 5-4 vote in the Hobby Lobby case, ruled Christian business owners had a religious-liberty right to refuse to pay for the full range of birth control methods that were made part of health insurance by the Affordable Care Act. The five men who formed the majority had a "blind spot," Ginsburg said in one interview, and did not see the importance of these contraceptives for working women (Savage, 9/20).