Friday, 17 August, 2018

Polls open for Kansas primary

Troy Balderson Danny O'Connor Poll ‘Dead Heat’ in Ohio-12 Special Congressional Election Campaign Handouts 6 Aug 2018
Ellis Copeland | 08 August, 2018, 09:07

Voters on Tuesday are choosing would-be successors to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who can not run again due to term limits, and a GOP nominee to face third-term Democratic Sen. After the polls closed at 7:30 p.m central (8:30 p.m. eastern) the early voting results gave O'Connor more than a 2 to 1 lead, but that differential was anticipated by both sides.

An early supporter of Trump's candidacy and the former chair of the president's now-shut down federal commission on voter fraud, Kobach is best-known nationally for his hardline stance on illegal immigration and for advising the Trump administration on immigration, non-citizen voter registration and the 2020 Census.

With all precincts reporting, Balderson, an OH state senator who closely linked himself to President Trump - appearing with him at a rally last weekend - held a 0.9 percent lead over O'Connor, a county recorder and moderate Democrat.

Cook ranks the race between Republican Katie Arrington and Democrat Joe Cunningham among 10 districts that could flip between the parties if an expected "blue wave", favoring Democrats in the midterm congressional elections, swells into a "blue tsunami".

Tuesday's elections carry high stakes for Democrats, too - with races in Kansas, Michigan and Missouri, where the progressive left hopes to defeat more moderate candidates.

It's unclear how much Trump's support helped or hurt Balderson. This was a particularly thorny issue in the home district of John Kasich, the popular Republican governor of the state who has remained an unabashed critic of Trump.

But it's a bad sign for Republicans that they keep having to fight this hard to hold onto seats that are normally slam dunks for their party. Described by campaign operatives as a "Whole Foods" district, the largely suburban region features a far more affluent and educated voter base than the typical Trump stronghold.

The tight race comes as President Trump on Monday endorsed Kobach for the position, calling him a "fantastic guy" who would "be a GREAT Governor".

Gates Admits Embezzling From Manafort, Helping Hide Fraud
Ellis repeatedly clashed with prosecutors about the relevance of such testimony and once again urged them to speed things along. Gates told jurors that he siphoned off the money without Manafort's knowledge by filing false expense reports .


[BREAKING] Dead baby found aboard plane at LaGuardia airport
A dead fetus was found in the bathroom of a commercial American Airlines plane on Tuesday morning. An autopsy is being performed on the fetus to determine cause of death.


Elon Musk considers taking Tesla private in tweet, shares rise
The company is now valued at just over $60 billion, with Musk holding an nearly 20 percent stake in the company. That price would represent a 22.8 percent premium to Tesla's closing price on Monday.


Democrats, meanwhile, have been attacking Balderson by casting his support of tax cuts as threats to Social Security and Medicare.

In Michigan, three mainstream Democrats in suburban Detroit were among those vying for a chance at retiring Republican Rep. Dave Trott's seat in November.

The Republican Party has held the OH 12th District seat for more than three decades, so the very fact that it's so close is significant.

His favored candidate for MI governor, state Attorney General Bill Schuette, defeated Lt. Gov. Brian Calley to claim the GOP nomination.

Schuette will face Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer in November, who claimed the nomination in one of Democrats' top pick-up opportunities this fall.

On Tuesday night, he appeared to take credit for the Culberson win amid the congratulations.

"Josh Hawley has established himself as a conservative champion for Missouri families, and we have no doubt he will beat Claire McCaskill this November", said Chris Hansen, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Hours before polls opened, Trump again weighed in on Twitter, casting James as "a potential Republican star".

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