● MI-Sen: Democratic Sen. Gary Peters' team announced Friday that an ad from the conservative group Better Future Michigan was pulled from some TV stations after the campaign notified them that its core claim was "objectively and unquestionably false." Better Future Michigan said that evening that the spot was still airing on TV elsewhere in the state.
The commercial said that Peters "endorsed Medicare for All" and "supports the Green New Deal," but the campaign issued a release saying it "incorrectly claim[ed] he backs Medicare for All and the Green New Deal - two policies the Senator does not support."
● SC-Sen: The Democratic pollster Change Research is out with a new survey for the Post & Courier that gives GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham a surprisingly slim 47-45 lead over former state Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison. Change's late September poll, which was done for Harrison's allies at Collective PAC, found Graham ahead by a larger 50-43 margin.
We've only seen one other poll here in the last few months, and it found a very different result. An October survey from the GOP firm Benchmark Research for the pro-Graham Security in Strength PAC gave the incumbent a wide 53-30 lead against Harrison.
● FL-03: Kat Cammack, a longtime congressional and campaign aide to retiring Rep. Ted Yoho, announced Friday that she would enter the August GOP primary to succeed her boss.
Cammack was Yoho's campaign manager and only paid employee in 2012 when he waged what appeared to be a longshot primary bid against Rep. Cliff Stearns. Yoho ended up defeating Stearns 34-33, though, and Cammack soon became his deputy chief of staff. Cammack remained Yoho's campaign manager while still working for him in Congress.
Cammack joins a GOP primary that includes one familiar rival, businessman and 2018 candidate Judson Sapp. Yoho defeated Sapp by a wide 76-24 margin last year, but Sapp's second bid looks like it's off to a stronger start. Sapp, who was running again before Yoho retired, recently picked up endorsements from Rep. John Rutherford, who represents the neighboring 4th District, as well as Rep. Vern Buchanan.
● GA-14, GA-06: Republican Marjorie Greene, a wealthy construction company owner who has a habit of spreading far-right conspiracy theories about the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, announced Friday that she would drop her campaign against freshman Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath in the 6th District and run instead for the open and safely red 14th District.
Greene was the last notable Republican running against former Rep. Karen Handel in the primary, so her departure from the 6th District is good news for the former congresswoman. However, Greene herself may have a tough time gaining traction in the May primary to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Graves in the 14th District.
To begin with, the 14th and 6th Districts not only don't border one another, they're also very different seats. While McBath's constituency is a seat in Atlanta's affluent northern suburbs, Graves' district is very rural turf. Greene is based in Alpharetta, which is located about 20 miles from the nearest community in the 14th District, though her team said earlier this month that she'd move if she ran to succeed Graves.
Greene's own passion for conspiracy theories may also give her some unwelcome attention in her new race, though it remains to be seen how much this will actually hurt her in a GOP primary. In early October of 2017, four days after a lone terrorist named Stephen Paddock murdered 58 people at a concert in the deadliest mass-shooting in American history, Greene put out a video where she wondered if the attack was part of a government plot to try to pass anti-gun laws.
Greene asked, "Is that why the country music festival was targeted—because those would be the people that we would relate to? Are they trying to terrorize our mindset and change our minds on the Second Amendment?" She continued by saying she didn't believe Paddock acted alone and told her audience, "I know most of you don't, either."
Greene kept this up five months later when she shared a post on her Facebook page that accused the FBI of taking part in a cover-up and added, "Every American knows we have been lied to." Greene told the AJC in July of this year that she now accepts the official version of events and is satisfied that Paddock acted alone, and she insists she just "had questions and demanded answers." However, Greene's old Facebook post still remained up by the time the paper's article was published on what is now her own campaign's fan page, though it was removed sometime over the following months.
What Greene does have, though, is money. Greene self-funded $500,000 earlier this year for her campaign for the 6th District, and she had about that much in the bank at the end of September. Greene will be able to use all of that cash for her campaign for the 14th District, while her primary foes will be starting from scratch.
Greene doesn't have any primary foes at the moment, but that may change soon. State Sen. Jeff Mullis says he is interested in running here, and that he expects to announce his plans by Jan. 2. Mullis, who chairs the powerful Senate Rules Committee, has represented a seat in the Chickamauga area since 2001, and his constituency makes up a quarter of the 14th District.
There are several other Republicans who could campaign for this open seat, and the AJC namedrops former state Rep. Charlice Byrd and former Rep. Bob Barr as possibilities. There's no word if either is interested, and Barr could have a tough time gaining traction if he is. Barr badly lost his primary for a fifth term in 2002 after redistricting pitted him against fellow GOP Rep. John Linder, and he went on to leave the GOP and run for president as the Libertarian Party's 2008 nominee. Barr was a Republican again by 2014, but he lost the primary runoff for the neighboring 11th District by a 66-34 margin to now-Rep. Barry Loudermilk.
A few other Republicans seem unlikely to run for the 14th District. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that both state Rep. Eddie Lumsden and state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler "haven't ruled out a bid but said they didn't intend to run for the seat." The AJC also writes that state Sen. Chuck Payne has said that he won't campaign here.
● OH-13: No notable Republicans entered the race to take on Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan during his six-month presidential bid, but two former elected officials are now showing interest in running days ahead of Wednesday's filing deadline.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that former Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and former state Rep. Christina Hagan have both been talking to party leaders about this race, and Taylor soon confirmed her interest. Hagan did not comment to the paper but tweeted Thursday, "Looking for clarity in my decision making ahead."
Ohio's 13th District, which includes the Mahoning Valley and Akron, moved from 63-35 Obama to 51-45 Clinton, but Ryan has never had trouble winning here. Both Taylor and Hagan also likely wouldn't start with much of a geographic base in this seat. Taylor is a former councilwoman from the city of Green, which is in Summit County in the 16th District. (A plurality of Summit is located in the 13th.) Meanwhile, about a quarter of Hagan's old 50th State House District is located in Ryan's seat, but that portion only makes up about 4% of the 13th District's total population.
Both Taylor and Hagan also badly lost primary races last year. Taylor ran for governor with the backing of termed-out incumbent John Kasich, who was her running mate in 2010 and 2014, an endorsement she initially welcomed. However, Kasich had poisoned his relationship with the GOP base by refusing to support Donald Trump in 2016 and continuing to criticize him, and Taylor came to realize that Kasich's support was going to hurt her. Taylor went on to insist that Kasich had actually endorsed her primary opponent, Attorney General Mike DeWine, despite all evidence to the contrary.
The rest of Taylor's campaign against DeWine didn't go any better. Like DeWine, Taylor had spent a long time in Ohio GOP politics, but she still tried to attack him as the "career politician." Taylor likely didn't help herself when she also declared that she wouldn't back DeWine in a general election if he beat her for the GOP nod. Beat her he did, though, and by a wide 60-40 margin. Taylor finally endorsed DeWine a month after the primary, and he went on to win the general election.
Hagan won a seat in the state House at the age of 22, a win that made her the youngest woman to ever be elected to the chamber, and she was a prominent Trump supporter during the 2016 primary. Hagan ran last year for the neighboring 16th Congressional District, and she also would have been the youngest Republican woman ever to serve in Congress.
However, Hagan was soon overshadowed and badly outspent by Anthony Gonzalez, who was a football star at the Ohio State University and later went on to play for the NFL. Hagan pitched herself as a Trump ally and argued that Gonzalez, who worked in Silicon Valley before he came home to run for office, was an insider, but that argument didn't resonate with voters. Gonzalez ended up defeating her 53-41, and he had no trouble winning the seat in November.
Note: This post originally stated that Mary Taylor is from Greene County, Ohio. She hails from the city of Green, Ohio, which is located in Summit County.
● TX-28: Conservative Rep. Henry Cuellar is going up with a 15-second spot focused on health care well ahead of his March Democratic primary. There is no word on the size of the buy.
● United Kingdom: Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a healthy majority in Thursday's general election, which had not been done by his party since Margaret Thatcher in 1987. The Tory majority was won on the back of a swath of longtime Labour strongholds in the country's economically troubled industrial north, which saw massive drops in Labour support to the benefit of the Conservatives and the Brexit Party.
Labour fell to just 203 seats, its worst showing since before World War II, and the party's head, Jeremy Corbyn, announced that he would not contest another election as leader. Labour struggled with both an unclear message on Brexit and the deep unpopularity of Corbyn, which saw the party's share of the vote drop 8 points nationwide compared to the previous elections in 2017. A new leader is expected to be elected sometime next year.
The centrist Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, had little to show despite having the largest increase in vote share, up 4.2% from 2017. They gained and lost a number of seats for a net loss of one, including the loss of party leader Jo Swinson. The pro-secessionist Scottish National Party also saw a significant uptick in support and gained 13 seats. Daily Kos Elections' David Beard delves deeper into the results and what it means for the country's future here.