Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Last Call For Suddenly, South Dakota

Don't look now, but according to a new Survey USA poll, South Dakota's senate seat is not only in play, the Republican everyone expected to win, former governor Mike Rounds, is in real trouble.

The Senate race in South Dakota is unexpectedly tightening as the former Republican governor who had been leading the polls has been losing ground in a three-way race.

A new poll from Survey USA shows support among likely voters for Republican Mike Rounds falling to 35%, while Independent Larry Pressler is at 32%, and Democrat Rick Weiland is at 28%, according to the Aberdeen News, which commissioned the poll along with two local radio stations. Tea party activist Gordon Howie, who’s also running as an Independent, is at 3%, while 2% remain undecided. The poll surveyed 616 likely voters and has a 4% margin of error. 
Rounds has long been favored to win the seat, which has largely fallen under the radar this election cycle. Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid publicly wrote the race off as a loss,refusing to endorse Weiland, and most previous polls had Rounds leading by double digits. 
But Rounds’s support appears to have fallen amid the growing controversy over a foreign investor visa program known as EB-5, which expanded under his term as governor. Investigators flagged suspicious financial transactions in the program, and the Rounds official who oversaw the program was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before he was called to testify in front of a state grand jury last year.

Survey USA found that 56% of voters believe the former governor needs to say more about the EB-5 program, which gives green cards to foreign investors who sink at least $500,000 into economic development programs, provided that they create a certain number of U.S. jobs.

If these numbers are anywhere close to being true, Rounds is very, very beatable.  In fact, if Democrats pulled a Kansas here and Weiland withdrew from the race, I'm betting Pressler would end up with a big lead the way Independent Greg Orman has in the Sunflower State right now.

It would be a real gamble, but all the "GOP wins the Senate" models have Rounds winning this seat that retiring Democrat Tim Johnson is giving up.  If that's suddenly not the case, November just got real interesting.

The Service's Dirty Secret, Con't

As the Indianapolis Star reminds us, the reason why the recent stories on the US Secret Services many failures are so frustrating is that President Obama regularly faces more threats than any US President in history, and by a significant amount.  This was evident in the President's visit to Evansville, Indiana last week.

President Barack Obama faced threats against his life during a recent visit to Southern Indiana, police have confirmed. 
While verbal or written threats against the president occur with some frequency, a threat preceding Obama’s visit to the Evansville area apparently was considered serious enough to prompt an increased Secret Service presence. 
“We had received information throughout the week (preceding the Oct. 3 visit),” said Indiana State Police Sgt. Jason Allen in Evansville. “There was some intel that was received. I think there was one individual of particular interest to (the U.S. Secret Service). Anything that is said on social media sites or whatever has to be taken seriously and investigated, and some (posts) could definitely be considered a serious threat.” 
Obama flew to Evansville on National Manufacturing Day and spent 90 minutes at Millennium Steel Service in Princeton. The firm is a major supplier for Toyota's auto assembly plant across the street. 
Maj. Craig Titzer of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office also was aware threats were made, he said. 
“We were just given information to be alert and watch out,” Titzer said, adding that multiple area police agencies assisted with security efforts. 
The U.S. Secret Service oversaw the investigation into the individual who allegedly made threats, Allen said. 
We committed well over 200 police officers to the detail,” Allen said. “The vast majority of those were traffic assignments in terms of motorcade support for the presidential limousine. But we also had a lot of different assets on the ground in intelligence-gathering.” 
The intense security surrounding the presidential visit minimized the dangers posed by anyone with malicious intent, Allen said. 
“At no time do we feel the president’s life was in danger,” Allen said.

The rise of Twitter during President Obama's administration really has been a source of serious problems for the White House as far as it being used as a vector for threats.  Before the USSS had to worry about threatening phone calls or letters, but those were things that could be traced.  Now, the Internet allows real time harassment of the President and his family, and we basically demand the USSS has to follow up on these things every time.

Perhaps Republicans shouldn't have reduced funding in last year's sequestration mess.  These guys need all the help they can get.

The Huckster Emerges, Refuses To "Evolve"

Mike Huckabee came out of political irrelevance Tuesday morning to scream how he'll throw himself into political irrelevance unless the GOP gets busy hating LGBTQ Americans, stat.  Speaking on the American Family Association's daily broadcast, The Huckster demanded that the GOP stop same-sex marriages or else.

Incensed by the decision, Huckabee declared that "I am utterly exasperated with Republicans and the so-called leadership of the Republicans who have abdicated on this issue," warning that by doing so the GOP will "guarantee they're going to lose every election in the future."

"Guarantee it," he said before proclaiming that the Republicans are going to "lose guys like me and a whole bunch of still God-fearing, Bible-believing people" if the party does not stand and fight on the issues of gay marriage and abortion.

"I'm gone," Huckabee warned. "I'll become an independent. I'll start finding people that have guts to stand. I'm tired of this."

Oh by all means Huckster, take your wing of the Bigoted Old Party and form a third party, splitting the Republican vote nationally heading into 2016.  Please do that.  I'm all for it.  Put your money where your mouth is and do it already.  Pick up your ball and leave, you bleating simpleton.

I couldn't be happier with that as a Democrat and a liberal.  Make it happen, Mike.


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