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 3:58 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 3:58 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."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113337

Reported Deaths: 3530
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20936761
Lake10334319
Elkhart6438109
St. Joseph6226103
Allen6060200
Hamilton4761109
Vanderburgh349430
Hendricks2681122
Monroe251236
Tippecanoe231213
Johnson2279123
Clark215756
Porter209046
Cass19339
Delaware189561
Vigo178524
Madison161075
LaPorte138239
Floyd132161
Howard129063
Warrick122336
Kosciusko120617
Bartholomew115357
Marshall99424
Dubois95918
Boone95646
Hancock91443
Grant89733
Noble89432
Henry78125
Wayne74714
Jackson7429
Morgan70638
Shelby66629
Daviess65428
Dearborn63928
LaGrange63211
Clinton59513
Harrison56424
Putnam53810
Lawrence50628
Montgomery50521
Knox5039
Gibson4894
White48214
DeKalb46311
Decatur45739
Miami4303
Greene41935
Fayette41813
Jasper3862
Steuben3747
Scott35910
Sullivan33112
Jennings31212
Posey3090
Franklin30325
Clay2985
Orange28624
Ripley2828
Carroll27113
Wabash2628
Washington2611
Whitley2556
Starke2537
Adams2523
Wells2503
Jefferson2443
Fulton2352
Huntington2223
Spencer2223
Tipton22022
Perry21513
Randolph2097
Jay1750
Newton17211
Owen1671
Martin1640
Rush1534
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1202
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Brown1033
Crawford1030
Parke961
Benton880
Ohio777
Union770
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 146753

Reported Deaths: 4687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26393606
Cuyahoga17262654
Hamilton12913312
Montgomery7623157
Lucas7205361
Butler5771106
Summit5202250
Marion307547
Mahoning3014280
Warren297848
Stark2790170
Pickaway264144
Lorain229386
Delaware218820
Fairfield205852
Columbiana192380
Licking188362
Trumbull1861131
Clark176439
Wood175272
Clermont166521
Lake159650
Medina144239
Greene139732
Miami139451
Allen139369
Portage111066
Mercer108517
Erie92645
Tuscarawas92020
Wayne91367
Ross86523
Richland81519
Madison79212
Darke78041
Belmont71427
Geauga70948
Hancock67610
Ashtabula65348
Athens6362
Lawrence62722
Shelby59710
Auglaize5769
Putnam56823
Sandusky55820
Huron5387
Union5092
Scioto4826
Ottawa46630
Seneca46414
Preble42515
Muskingum3862
Holmes3787
Jefferson3334
Henry30713
Logan3053
Champaign3003
Perry2929
Defiance28610
Clinton28413
Brown2832
Knox28215
Morrow2552
Washington25523
Hardin25213
Jackson2414
Fulton2391
Coshocton23211
Ashland2314
Crawford2286
Fayette2276
Highland2223
Williams2053
Wyandot20512
Gallia18812
Meigs17410
Pike1740
Hocking1619
Guernsey1608
Carroll1517
Adams1264
Van Wert1143
Monroe11018
Paulding1060
Harrison622
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
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