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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 137536

Reported Deaths: 2421
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34657994
Ramsey14342362
Dakota10027138
Anoka9039151
Washington608972
Stearns599144
Scott349634
Olmsted331430
St. Louis307970
Wright260915
Clay236243
Nobles230916
Blue Earth20667
Carver18477
Kandiyohi17535
Sherburne173322
Rice167410
Mower153517
Winona127819
Chisago10832
Crow Wing106222
Lyon9966
Benton9769
Waseca9379
Beltrami9147
Otter Tail9017
Todd8656
Steele7823
Morrison77610
Itasca76317
Nicollet74718
Douglas7283
Polk7244
Freeborn6914
Le Sueur6456
Goodhue62511
Martin61518
McLeod6104
Becker5884
Watonwan5794
Isanti5715
Pine5540
Chippewa4663
Carlton4622
Mille Lacs42715
Hubbard4103
Dodge4040
Wabasha3970
Cass3905
Pipestone35917
Rock3484
Meeker3453
Brown3333
Yellow Medicine2926
Roseau2900
Murray2893
Cottonwood2860
Redwood28411
Fillmore2640
Sibley2603
Renville25812
Wadena2553
Faribault2390
Kanabec22510
Jackson2171
Houston2121
Swift2091
Pennington2071
Unassigned19353
Lincoln1890
Stevens1871
Aitkin1862
Koochiching1725
Pope1650
Lac qui Parle1443
Big Stone1431
Wilkin1404
Marshall1311
Lake1260
Norman1210
Mahnomen1172
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake812
Traverse580
Kittson490
Lake of the Woods441
Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117876

Reported Deaths: 1666
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19173289
Woodbury728597
Johnson590630
Black Hawk5727101
Linn5692132
Dubuque529558
Scott466241
Story403918
Dallas348544
Pottawattamie326744
Sioux247017
Buena Vista226812
Marshall204436
Webster189115
Plymouth167831
Wapello154162
Clinton150227
Muscatine148758
Des Moines140910
Cerro Gordo140227
Crawford136314
Warren12737
Carroll116813
Jasper112334
Henry10745
Marion103211
Lee95910
Tama95837
Delaware80213
Dickinson7529
Wright7341
Boone7269
Mahaska70924
Bremer6879
Harrison67315
Washington66711
Jackson6463
Benton5982
Lyon5568
Clay5414
Louisa52515
Winnebago50219
Hardin4837
Winneshiek4839
Hamilton4784
Cedar4777
Kossuth4770
Buchanan4625
Poweshiek46211
Jones4544
Clayton4503
Floyd44011
Emmet43520
Iowa4189
Page4130
Guthrie40715
Cherokee4062
Mills4053
Sac4034
Cass4023
Butler3883
Fayette3844
Franklin38218
Shelby3812
Allamakee3809
Chickasaw3641
Madison3643
Clarke3573
Humboldt3383
Hancock3314
Grundy3186
Palo Alto3162
Calhoun3124
Osceola2890
Mitchell2831
Howard2749
Monroe26211
Union2524
Taylor2482
Jefferson2451
Monona2452
Appanoose2333
Pocahontas2322
Fremont2091
Lucas2066
Ida1962
Greene1880
Van Buren1812
Montgomery1807
Davis1794
Adair1771
Keokuk1641
Decatur1530
Audubon1511
Worth1460
Wayne1323
Ringgold922
Adams830
Unassigned150
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