Republicans are losing 2018 midterm money wars

Here are the stories our DC insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a gli...

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 2:58 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 2:58 AM

Here are the stories our DC insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1) GOP's $$$ worries

When it comes to fund-raising in key 2018 races, new reports show Republicans are falling short

Macron and Merkel are expected to talk Iran deal details with President Trump as the leaders both visit this week

There is considerable grumbling among senior Republicans about the midterm elections prognosis, and in this case it has little or nothing to do with President Trump. At least not directly.

CNN's John King reports that for months, more seasoned members of the party's leadership have been warning younger members about what's needed when running in such a difficult climate. Those warnings include urgent appeals to raise more money; resources for ads and research and staff are always important, but all the more so in a midterm climate where Republicans know the wind is in their face.

But a new wave of fund-raising reports filed in recent days show way more Republicans on the short end of the money chase, especially in races viewed as critical to the 2018 battlefield.

On the Senate side, Missouri was one source of GOP grumbling.

Josh Hawley is the GOP candidate against Sen. Claire McCaskill -- one of the Democratic incumbents viewed as vulnerable this year.

"Hawley has $$ problems, as do all of the challengers," one veteran GOP strategist said in an email exchange. "Ted Cruz is the #1 GOP fund-raiser and [he] has been out-raised the last three quarters."

The GOP grumbling isn't limited to Senate races.

In the 88 House races CNN ranks as the most competitive, consider this significant difference:

*40 Republican incumbents in these races have been out-raised by their Democratic challengers.

*Only two Democratic incumbents in this group were out-raised by GOP challengers.

The numbers are feeding talk, even at this late date, that there could be a few more GOP House retirements in the offing.

A second well-placed GOP source said he knows of a handful of House Republicans who are "on the retirement fence. The only way to separate (those seriously considering retirement) from jittery nervous nellies is [to] look at cash on hand."

2) Pruitt's lobbying problem

The bad headlines keep coming for embattled EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. The latest is from POLITICO, where Eliana Johnson is reporting on Pruitt's latest involving lobbying, his landlord and his place of employment.

"Contrary to Pruitt's public denials about the lobbyist who was giving him a cut rate deal on rent, [he] had business before the EPA during the time [Pruitt] was living in the home," Johnson reports. "The lobbyist firm filed a report on Friday that indicated that that lobbyist was lobbying the EPA during that time. So Pruitt looks like he's caught in another difficult situation at a time that his leadership of the agency is already under scrutiny. I'm not sure how long this can last, but the Trump administration already has three nominees before the Senate that need confirmation so it would be really difficult for them to add a fourth."

3) Iran deal deadline looming

The Trump administration is facing a May 12th deadline. The White House has to decide whether it will walk away from the deal altogether. Big factors in the decision may be discussions President Trump will have with two world leaders, French president Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Bloomberg's Margaret Talev tells us those aren't the only two to watch.

"Between Macron's visit and Angela Merkel's visit Friday, a lot of ground will be covered in terms of the European leaders. There are a couple other things I watch for: any phone calls from Theresa May and interaction with the Israelis and Saudis, perhaps the Chinese, and any of that paperwork that the European political directors and national security advisers have been trying to put together with the US," Talev says.

4) CIA director nominee dilemma

President Trump's pick to become the next CIA director is facing many questions from senators about the destruction of CIA tapes from 2005 that show terrorism suspects being waterboarded. The CIA has declassifed a memo that absolves nominee Gina Haspel of responsibility for the destroying of the tapes -- but as CNN's Manu Raju explains, the controversy isn't a closed chapter just yet.

"She has not alleviated concerns from Republicans and Democrats alike on this committee. She said she was simply ordered to carry out the destruction of the tapes. She wrote a cable that she did not think would be sent to CIA field officers to destroy the tapes. She thought it was going to go through the proper channels, but her superior at the time moved forward without her knowledge. The CIA is trying to push back declassifying sections of a report from 2011 to say that she did nothing wrong. But nevertheless, members still have a lot of questions," Raju reports. "They want more records declassified and it's going to be a big sticking point [at] her confirmation hearing next month to determine whether or not she gets the job."

5) Trump's tariffs -- good or bad?

One of President Trump's big campaign promises was all about trade and putting tariffs in place to try to level out the playing field against international competitors like China. But these proposals have some people worried about a trade war. Internally, there are a few different schools of thought inside the White House. The Weekly Standard's Michael Warren explains:

"Publicly the White House is saying, 'Look, these [tariffs] are a tool, a means to an end in order to get China to behave properly.' Fair but free trade is the line, publicly, but there is a view within the White House -- Peter Navarro is sort of the loudest voice in the White House on this -- that tariffs are actually good, that they can help reduce foreign investment and increase domestic investment," Warren explains. "That is not a view held by the vast majority of people in the White House. But there is one issue here: one very important person is receptive to [this], and that's President Trump."

Huntsville
Few Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 63°
Florence
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 64°
Fayetteville
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 61°
Decatur
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 60°
Scottsboro
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 59°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
Calhoun416059
Etowah412249
Morgan400033
Houston365532
DeKalb325428
Elmore312852
St. Clair283842
Limestone273630
Walker269993
Talladega259135
Cullman231024
Lauderdale212540
Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
Blount187325
Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
Conecuh55613
Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 235861

Reported Deaths: 2970
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34739553
Davidson30155328
Knox1208187
Hamilton11289104
Rutherford11165107
Williamson670751
Sumner5715107
Wilson445553
Putnam423054
Montgomery393351
Out of TN376135
Unassigned37554
Madison366579
Bradley344722
Sullivan332146
Sevier322421
Washington318244
Blount317032
Maury311236
Robertson251040
Hamblen236543
Tipton223522
Gibson207838
Dyer207126
Hardeman180432
Coffee178320
Trousdale17447
Obion166420
Bedford160620
Anderson159613
Fayette159622
Dickson159119
Greene157551
Wayne15697
Loudon156610
McMinn154232
Cumberland153624
Lawrence150518
Jefferson148320
Weakley145325
Carter143932
Monroe138227
Henderson137325
Warren136810
Lauderdale134517
Hardin133619
Macon126924
Franklin123416
Roane12247
Haywood120026
Overton115211
White112214
Hawkins111724
Johnson11157
Carroll110724
McNairy109626
Marshall10638
Rhea105916
Bledsoe9944
Cheatham98211
Lake9763
Smith95412
Cocke95212
Giles91134
Campbell8997
Fentress8698
Lincoln8302
Crockett80221
Henry75310
Hickman74513
Chester71514
Marion7159
DeKalb68616
Decatur64511
Grainger5464
Grundy52510
Union5142
Claiborne5066
Polk47613
Jackson4225
Humphreys4194
Morgan4167
Benton3969
Houston39215
Cannon3902
Clay37913
Unicoi3732
Lewis3582
Scott3444
Sequatchie3304
Stewart3128
Meigs2975
Perry2531
Pickett2505
Moore2492
Van Buren1951
Hancock1123

Community Events