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Tuesday, October 7, 2014
28 Days Until Election Day 2014
763 Days Until Election Day 2016
Throwback to my Yom Kippur "sermon" Obama to Indiana, Sept. Jobs Report to be released, 2014 Polling Roundup, Thanksgiving, 2012 debate, the Clinton brand, and more: It's Tuesday, October 7, 2014, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about WUTP, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or read my tweets: twitter.com/Wakeup2Politics.
- Supreme Court Declines Petitions, Permitting Same-Sex Marriages in Up to 11 States The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear from seven petitioners challenging appeals court decisions allowing same-sex marriage in five states.
- By declining to review the petitions, the Court refused same-sex marriage it day in court, meaning lower court decisions stand, and same-sex marriages can begin in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, many of which are deeply conservative states.
- The Nine’s action could also affect an additional six states, which are under the jurisdiction of the same appeals court as one or more of the five states listed above. These additional states are Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming are covered by the 10th Circuit, which struck down gay marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah, while North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia are part of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which declared the Virginia ban unconstitutional.
- But those six states could be weeks away from same-sex marriage, where Republican officials are still fighting against the tide. Gov. Matt Mead (R-WY) said Monday that the Supreme Court decision has no effect on his state’s gay marriage case, with state Attorney General Alan Wilson (R-SC) echoing the same statement, saying he would continue to defend South Carolina’s ban in court.
- The decision from the Justices came in seven, one-line orders, and without an explanation or say how each of the Nine voted. The action came as a complete surprise to most Supreme Court analysts, who had not expected the High Court to do anything Monday, or to even take up more than five of the petitions.
- With the June 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court merely struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This was a historic decision, but it still came short of declaring a constitutional right for marriages that fell outside of that definition.
- On Monday, the Court upheld appeals court decisions finding bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, opening the way for more states to begin gay marriage, and perhaps the whole nation.
- --- LINK: A great interactive map from the Washington Post on the status of gay marriages in each state, updated to Monday’s Supreme Court action.
- Today in Court: Holt v. Hobbs Today, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Holt v. Hobbs, where Arkansas inmate Gregory Holt is challenging a state policy that only allows prisoners to have quarter-inch long beards. Holt says a beard this short conflicts with his religion (he is a devout Muslim), and cites the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which says, “[n]o government shall impose a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person residing in or confined to an institution,” such as a prison.
- Polling Roundup With just four weeks to go until Election Day 2014, Wake Up To Politics presents a polling roundup in eleven competitive Senate races:
- Alaska: Lean Republican Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is one of the most vulnerable senators on the ballot this November. Alaska is a heavily Republican state, and Begich won his seat be just 3,953 votes in 2008. The incumbent faces Republican Dan Sullivan, former Commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources, who won a three-way GOP primary.
- Recent polls show Sullivan with a 3-5 point lead over Begich, and a poll out last week from CBS News/New York Times/YouGov put the race at 48% to 42%, favoring Sullivan.
- Arkansas: Lean Republican Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is running for a third term against Rep. Tom Cotton (R), a 36-year-old rising star. In the course of Pryor’s second term, the environment in Arkansas has slowly turned more and more red, a much different scene than the 2008 election – where Pryor won re-election unopposed, with 80% of the vote.
- Now, most polls show Cotton with a slight lead over Pryor, although this is still a very close race. Cotton usually has a lead of just 2-4 points, and there are rare outliers where Pryor has a miniscule lead. Therefore, the race is just outside a tossup, instead trending towards Cotton, with the possibility of a Pryor win – and the certainty of a close election to continue watching.
- Colorado: Tossup Democratic Sen. Mark Udall runs for a second term in a usually blue-leaning state, although he faces a formidable opponent in Rep. Cory Gardner, whose fundraising numbers are great, and is capitalizing on Udall’s support for Obamacare, and opposition to the Keystone pipeline.
- Polls are all over the place in this race, some showing Gardner on top, and others giving Udall a lead, although the margin is never very close. A recent poll in the state from Rasmussen resulted in Gardner with 48%, and Udall with 47%, just one example of why this is a tossup race.
- Georgia: Lean Republican Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring from this seat, making way for an open race in November. The GOP nominee is David Perdue, a businessman and first-time candidate, who Democrats believed to be vulnerable based on a trail of gaffes by Perdue, and outsourcing on his business record. To face Perdue, Democrats fielded Michelle Nunn, daughter of popular former Sen. Sam Nunn (GA) and former CEO of Points of Light (an organization founded by George H.W. Bush).
- Polls show Perdue with an edge over Nunn, varying in size, but usually with a margin of around 5 points.
- This has been Part One of a series highlighting races to watch as we near Election Day 2014. Currently, the focus is on Senate races, where 11 states will be rounded up. This was the first four, the rest will come in upcoming issues. Hopefully, after Senate, we will look at gubernatorial races as well!
- --- LINK: Another great chart from the Washington Post, this one a history of the party control for each U.S. Senate seat. Or in other words, a political junkie’s dream world.
Question of the Day
- Yesterday’s Answer The Monday trivia question was: What was the first Supreme Court case to declare an Act of Congress unconstitutional?
- The answer was Marbury v. Madison, which set the precedent of judicial review, and struck down Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which gave the Supreme Court the power to issue writs of mandamus (ordering an appointee to properly fulfill their duties) “…to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States.”
- In his Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the Court could strike down the Judiciary Act on the grounds that it gave the Supreme Court powers not spelled out in the Constitution, and Congress could not pass a law contradictory to the Constitution. Marshall wrote the Supreme Court did, however, have the power of judicial review, meaning it could declare a law unconstitutional.
- GREAT JOB…Randy Fleisher, Joe Bookman, and Jordan Ottenstein!