The midterms minute: Sheldon Adelson showers cash on Republicans


In todays politics news: ORourke breaks fundraising record; a spiky video in Pennsylvania; Democrats down in Tennessee

Good evening, I’m Ben Jacobs with the latest from Washington and beyond. If you’re not already receiving the midterms minute by email, sign up.

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Adelson invests more in GOP before midterms

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson gave tens of millions of dollars to the two major Republican Super Pacs, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) and the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), this week.

  • Will this help Republicans?: It certainly can’t hurt. However, funneling money into Super Pacs is of diminishing value as the election draws closer. Super Pacs can’t directly coordinate with candidates and pay a premium for television time.

Beto’s big fundraising quarter

Democrat Beto O’Rourke raised $38.1m in the past quarter. This is an all-time record for any candidate and will give more than enough money to flood Texas’s airwaves with ads over the next few weeks.

  • So he’s going to win? Probably not. He is still running in red state Texas and O’Rourke has consistently lagged behind Ted Cruz in the polls. But it does signal the strength of the grassroots network that O’Rourke has built.

  • Does this do anything at all then?It will be very helpful for Democrats running down ballot. Even though O’Rourke is not likely to make it over the top, his strength will help ensure Democrats pick up House seats in the Lone Star State.

‘I’m going to stomp on your face in golf spikes’

Scott Wagner, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor released a bizarre video on Facebook Friday where he threatened his opponent, incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf. “Well, Governor Wolf, let me tell you what, between now and November 6, you better put a catcher’s mask on your face, because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes,” said Wagner.

  • Is this real? Yes, it is. Wagner is upset that Wolf is refusing to debate him and the video, which goes on for several minutes, has other criticisms of Wolf as well.

  • So he’s losing? By a lot. Polls consistently have shown Wagner losing by a double-digit margin in a state that Trump won in 2016.

Poll of the day

In September, Democrat Phil Bredesen had a narrow lead in Tennessee’s Senate race against Republican Marsha Blackburn. Then, Brett Kavanaugh happened. Now, a new poll from the New York Times and Siena has him down 14 points by a 54% to 40%.

  • So, he’s going to lose? Probably but the race was always a tough one for Democrats. Tennessee is a deep red state. However, the popular former governor was their best candidate and gave Democrats a chance until the Kavanaugh fight energized Republicans and refocused the race on national issues.

  • Does this mean Republicans will hold the Senate?: If Bredesen loses, there is almost no real path for Democrats to gain the two seats they need to regain control of the upper chamber.

Ad of the day

Incumbent Republican Mike Coffman faces a tough race in a district that Hillary Clinton won by nearly 10 points. In a new ad, he focuses on how he prevented a four-year-old adoptee from being deported to Peru.

  • So he’s not anti-immigration? No, Coffman is a comparative moderate on immigration who learned Spanish to better represent a diverse district where one in five residents were not born in the United States.

  • Does this mean he will win? Probably not. National Republican groups have already written Coffman off and he represents a Democratic district.

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