Ellison’s Election Tip Sheet

Ellison Barber election tip sheet
• September 12, 2014 12:00 pm



Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is attacking Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy for his opposition to a fence on the Mexican border … a fence Landrieu previously called "dumb" and a mistake to vote for.

Real Clear Politics reports:

Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is running a new TV ad that accuses her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, of being soft on border security for opposing a fence on the Mexican border.

The problem? Landrieu herself called the fence "dumb" in a speech on the Senate floor last year, when she expressed regret for her earlier vote in support of it.  […]

"I voted for the dumb fence once," she said at the time. "I’m not going to do it again because I learned my mistake when I went down there to look at it and realized that we could build two dumb fences or three dumb fences, and it’s not working. So I am simply not going to waste the money to do something that I know will not work."

This isn’t the first time one of Landrieu’s ads has been called into question. Early in the campaign she was criticized for running an ad where she re-enacted a congressional hearing.

Critics, myself included, argued the ad opened her campaign up to valid question of authenticity. This one does the exact same thing. At best we can say this is a flip-flop, and Landrieu should probably explain her changing opinion (she voted for it, then regretted it, and it was dumb, now she’s back on board?). At worst, this ad is a blatant lie crafted by a campaign that is struggling to stay ahead.

It looks like it’s the latter.

Landrieu is a top target for Republicans in November, and right now the race is one of the closest. A Rasmussen poll from the beginning of September places Cassidy three points ahead, and on average Cassidy leads by roughly one point.


Two new polls place Democrats ahead of Republicans in the North Carolina Senate race.

Five Thirty Eight notes:

In North Carolina, a Rasmussen Reports poll found Democrat Kay Hagan ahead of Republican Thom Tillis 45 percent to 39 percent. Tillis had led in the previous Rasmussen survey by 5 percentage points. Another North Carolina poll released Thursday, by SurveyUSA, gave Hagan a 3-point lead (46 percent to 43 percent).

The two polls together moved Hagan from a 45 percent underdog to a 61 percent favorite. With Hagan now leading, the FiveThirtyEight model does not project a single state in which President Obama won in either 2008 or 2012 to switch from Democratic to Republican control.

Both polls are noteworthy, but Real Clear Politics, which keeps an ongoing average of polls, has the race much closer with Hagan leading by 1.8—and that average includes the results of the Rasmussen and SurveyUSA polls.

North Carolina is a key state that Republicans hope to turn in their effort to pick up six seats and take control of the Senate. The state is considered a "toss up."

Romney barely won North Carolina in 2012, and Obama won it in 2008. The state has voted Republican in five of the last six presidential elections.


The New Georgia Project, a voter registration group with ties to Democratic Senate hopeful, Michelle Nunn, is being investigated for voter fraud.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, complaints of the group’s activities came from six counties. The secretary of state claims, that upon further investigation, they found illegal activities from "forged voter registration applications" and "voters being told they were legally required to re-register to vote," to applications with faulty information

The group’s founder and CEO, Stacey Abrams is considered an "ally" of the Nunn campaign.

The National Review Online detailed the connection:

Although the New Georgia Project describes itself as "a non-partisan effort to register and civically engage the rising electorate in our state," Abrams has emphasized efforts to increase voter registration and turnout specifically in the context of Nunn’s bid for the red state’s open Senate seat.

"With Michelle’s race, there will be a concerted effort to register and mobilize and turn out voters," she told the Roll Call in April.

Abrams’ involvement in the Nunn campaign was mentioned in leaked documents previously revealed by National Review Online. At one point, Abrams was included as a part of the Nunn policy team’s "kitchen cabinet," which would meet with the team once a week. Later, her name appears on a list of "anchors" to help lead fundraising efforts among women donors.

Abrams herself donated $500 to Nunn’s campaign, and her group Friends of Stacey Abrams donated another $1,000. Nunn herself gave $1,250 to Abrams’s campaign since 2006.

Nunn is in a close race to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss.