John's Feed
May 20, 2014

McConnell coasts to Kentucky win over Tea Party rival

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell easily dispatched a Tea Party challenger in Kentucky on Tuesday to win nomination to a sixth term, setting up one of November’s most expensive and hard-fought Senate races against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

McConnell’s decisive victory over conservative businessman Matt Bevin was one of the highlights of the busiest election night of the year so far, as voters in six states picked candidates for November elections that will decide control of Congress.

May 20, 2014

Tea Party faces uphill battle in latest round of U.S. Republican primaries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Voters in six states will choose candidates on Tuesday for some of November’s top congressional election races, including another round of crucial U.S. Senate primaries between the Republican establishment and Tea Party favorites in Kentucky, Georgia and Oregon.

Tea Party candidates are fighting an uphill battle in all three U.S. Senate contests, which could be vital to Republican hopes of picking up the six seats they need to recapture control of the chamber from Democrats in November.

May 7, 2014

For Rand Paul, a stumble on road to 2016 White House bid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Kentucky Senator Rand Paul bet on a long-shot and lost in North Carolina’s contentious Republican Senate primary, raising new questions about the Tea Party hero’s bid to woo the party establishment on his way to a 2016 White House race.

While many Republicans celebrated Tuesday’s Senate primary win by North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, Paul scrambled to save face after the candidate he backed, Greg Brannon, finished a distant second in the battle for the right to challenge vulnerable Democratic Senator Kay Hagan.

Apr 2, 2014

Obamacare numbers offer glimmer of hope for Democrats in elections

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A rare burst of good news on President Barack Obama’s healthcare program has given Democrats their first glimmer of hope in months on an issue that has helped drag the party down ahead of November’s U.S. congressional elections.

A better-than-expected enrollment of 7.1 million people in healthcare exchanges under Obamacare gives Democrats a positive argument to counter relentless Republican calls for repeal of the law, and could help them change the topic to the bread-and-butter economic and job issues Democrats prefer to talk about.

Mar 8, 2014

Republicans gain momentum in close fight for U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight months before the November 4 elections, Republicans have expanded the number of competitive races for U.S. Senate seats and have a growing chance of gaining control of that chamber and stalling Democratic President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda.

Public dissatisfaction with the president, concerns about his healthcare overhaul and a sluggish economy, and a series of retirements by key Democratic senators in conservative states have made a rugged year for Democrats even more so, analysts and strategists in both parties say.

Mar 8, 2014

Factbox: Inside the key races for the U.S. Senate in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans must pick up a net of six seats from Democrats to regain control of the U.S. Senate in the November 4 elections. The key battles are likely to play out in these 13 states:

ALASKA – Democratic Senator Mark Begich is running for a second term in this conservative state, and three Republicans will compete in an August primary for the right to challenge him. Former state attorney general Dan Sullivan is the early favorite, and his fundraising has far outpaced that of the other two Republican candidates, Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and 2010 nominee Joe Miller.

Mar 7, 2014

Rand Paul urges conservatives to elect ‘lovers of liberty’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Rand Paul, a potential 2016 White House contender, on Friday accused President Barack Obama of restricting civil liberties and urged conservatives to “stand with me” in electing a president who would protect personal rights.

In a starkly libertarian speech, the senator from Kentucky condemned National Security Agency electronic surveillance, detention without trial programs and what he said were other encroachments on civil rights under the Obama administration.

Mar 6, 2014

Christie calls on conservatives to focus on ‘what we’re for’

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged conservative activists on Thursday to talk about what they are for, not just what they are against, and said Republicans need to focus on winning elections in addition to promoting their ideology.

In his first major appearance before Republicans since he was engulfed in a home-state scandal over political retribution in January, Christie led a parade of potential 2016 presidential contenders who laid out their visions for activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Mar 1, 2014

Documents show 1990s effort to ‘humanize’ Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Aides in former President Bill Clinton’s White House crafted a strategy to “humanize” then-first lady Hillary Clinton and work around her “aversion” to the national media, according to documents released on Friday.

The documents also detailed the first lady’s struggles in the early 1990s with her healthcare task force, including worries about resistance on Capitol Hill and an aide’s warning the plan could not meet a pledge to allow patients to pick their doctors, a promise that also came back to haunt President Barack Obama.

Feb 25, 2014

Analysis: In Florida, early test of Obamacare’s potency in 2014 elections

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – The November midterm elections are more than eight months away, but a battle for an open congressional seat in Florida has become a high-stakes test of a crucial question for the fall: how the Republican assault on President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul will play at the polls.

The race to succeed the late Republican Bill Young in a March 11 special election will not dramatically alter the balance of power in Congress, where Democrats face an uphill battle in November to gain the 17 seats they need to reclaim a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    • About John

      "John Whitesides has covered U.S. politics, elections and Congress for 13 years, based in Washington. He joined Reuters in Asia, where he worked as an editor and correspondent in Hong Kong."
    • Follow John