Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran likely to win reelection — and now running strong with black voters after GOP runoff
After his narrow victory in last month's very divisive Republican primary runoff, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran is on track to win his re-election this November. However, the actual shape of the electorate now looks very odd, to say the least, as Mississippi is a state where party politics are often drawn sharply along racial lines.
In the new survey from Democratic-aligned firm Public Policy Polling, Cochran leads for the general election with 40 percent of the vote, followed by former Democratic Rep. Travis Childers with 24 percent, and Reform Party candidate Shawn O'Hara with 5 percent — leaving an immense 31 percent of voters saying they are undecided. The poll was conducted from July 10-13, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.
Quite notably, the poll even shows Cochran with a one-point edge among African-American voters, who typically vote Democratic: Cochran has 37 percent support, and Childers has 36 percent. Among white voters, Cochran has 42 percent, and Childers has 17 percent. Among all voters, Cochran's approval rating is 47 percent, with disapproval at 37 percent; among white voters he is underwater at 40 percent to 46 percent, while black voters now approve of the Republican incumbent by a whopping margin of 59 percent to 20 percent.
Cochran won his GOP runoff with 51 percent of the vote due to an unorthodox strategy of reaching out to the state's African-American community and encouraging them to cross over into the Republican primary in order to defeat his Tea Party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel. Since then, McDaniel has been attempting to contest the outcome, alleging that voter fraud was involved. Among all voters, though, this poll shows 58 percent of respondents saying that Cochran was the rightful winner, compared to 29 percent who are still holding out for McDaniel. Eric Kleefeld
Gov. Paul LePage reminds John Lewis of what Republicans have done for civil rights: 'A simple thank you would suffice'
Before he called President-elect Donald Trump an illegitimate president in an interview last week, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) suggested Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) should've taken a "look at history" and all Republican presidents have done for civil rights. "It was Abraham Lincoln that freed the slaves. It was Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant that fought against Jim Crow laws. A simple 'thank you' would suffice," Lewis said during an interview on WVOM Maine radio's George Hale and Ric Tyler Show, while discussing Lewis' comment that he believes Russian interference undermined the legitimacy of Trump's presidency.
Beyond just being inflammatory, the Portland Press Herald pointed out that LePage's claims about 19th-century Republican presidents' contributions to civil rights simply weren't accurate. While Grant did oversee the Republican Party's efforts to end slavery and protect African Americans' rights, Hayes "oversaw the end of the Reconstruction era, giving rise to the enactment of Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation," the Portland Press Herald reported.
Lewis spokeswoman Brenda Jones said LePage's "mean-spirited comments" were not something Lewis "feels the need to defend himself against." "The facts of history refute that statement," Jones said.
A spokesman for LePage did not immediately respond to the Portland Press Herald's request for clarification.
Catch LePage's remarks below. Becca Stanek
Actress Betty White turns 95 on Tuesday, which is pretty old. Here's an idea of what that looks like as charted by Atlantic hurricanes:
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) January 17, 2017
But despite being just five years away from the big one-zero-zero, White is still even hipper than many (let's face it — most) young people. Unlike Paul Ryan (a measly 46), for example, she knows how to properly dab:
From Golden Girls to SNL to the Super Bowl, celebrate White's birthday with seven of her best on-screen moments below. Jeva Lange
Here's a perhaps little known fact: It's actually illegal to idle your car in certain states, even if it's parked on your own property.
A Michigan man was given a ticket for warming up his car by leaving it running in his driveway, a local Fox affiliate reports. "I thought it was some kind of a joke," said Taylor Trupiano of the $128 fine. "Every person warms up their car. We live in Michigan." But the local police chief said the practice drives up crime rates: "We have five to 10 cars stolen this way every winter."
The laws about idling cars vary from state to state, and some particularly cold states even make exceptions if the temperature drops below a certain number. In Michigan, you're allowed to use a remote starter, because the key isn't in the car. If your key is in the car and it's running, it's a state and local violation, because somebody could steal the car. [Good Housekeeping]
"This is purely a public safety issue," the chief said.
Lesson learned: Don't heat and run, folks.
Wilbur Ross, President-elect Donald Trump's commerce secretary nominee, has had a hand in sending an estimated 2,700 jobs overseas since 2004, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing previously unreported Labor Department data. When the billionaire was working as an investor, buying struggling companies and pulling them back from the brink of failure, some of the textile, auto-parts, and finance businesses he controlled resorted to shipping production abroad.
In the grand scheme of things, those 2,700 jobs "amount to a small fraction of the U.S. economy, which sees employment fluctuate by the tens of thousands of jobs each month," Reuters reported. Ross' supporters also pointed out he's saved thousands of jobs. Still, the numbers show a different side to Ross' story. "He is not the man to be protecting American workers when he's shipping this stuff overseas himself," Don Coy, who used to work at an company Ross created before the automotive parts manufacturer closed its factory in Ohio and moved production to Mexico, told Reuters.
Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly threatened to impose a "big border tax" on automakers that decide to manufacture in Mexico instead of in the U.S. When asked for comment on Ross' record, a Trump spokesman told Reuters that Ross' decisions to move jobs overseas were "driven by the need to put operations near customers and keep U.S. plants competitive, echoing arguments made by other auto industry executives who face pressure from Trump."
President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of presidency Friday with his hand on his 60-year-old childhood Bible, CBN News reports.
Trump has shown off his Bible at campaign rallies before, declaring: "I believe in God, I believe in the Bible, I'm a Christian, I have a lot of reasons." He was given the Bible on June 12, 1955, two days before his 9th birthday, when he graduated from Sunday Church Primary School at First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, New York:
"[Trump's] mother, Mary Anne, presented it to him and he's kept it ever since," CBN News reports. "The Bible is a Revised Standard Version with his name imprinted on the front cover. The inside cover is signed by church officials with his name inscribed."
Trump will also reportedly use the Lincoln Bible to be sworn in, which was also used by Obama in 2009 and 2013. Obama was the first president to use the Lincoln Bible since Lincoln's own inauguration in 1861. Jeva Lange
A three-day weekend apparently wasn't long enough for President-elect Donald Trump to get over the fact that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) doesn't see him as a "legitimate president" because of Russia's meddling in the presidential election. Trump had already tweeted about Lewis on Saturday, suggesting the civil rights leader was "all talk, talk, talk — no action or results," but he had more to say on Tuesday morning, this time about Lewis' claim that Trump's inauguration would be the first he'd ever skipped in his nearly 30 years in Congress:
John Lewis said about my inauguration, "It will be the first one that I've missed." WRONG (or lie)! He boycotted Bush 43 also because he...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017
"thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush's swearing-in....he doesn't believe Bush is the true elected president." Sound familiar! WP
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017
As it turns out, Trump's account of Lewis' attendance record is in fact more accurate than Lewis'. Though Lewis said in an interview last week that he had never before missed an inauguration, an article published in The Washington Post on Jan. 21, 2001 reports Lewis did not attend former President George W. Bush's inauguration. His reason: He didn't think Bush was the "true elected president" because he hadn't won the popular vote. Becca Stanek
Malia and Sasha Obama's giant swing set was donated to a family shelter in southwestern Washington, D.C., after being turned down by Barron Trump, CNN reports. Installed at the White House in 2009, the swing set was originally intended to help make the new residence feel like home for Malia and Sasha, who were then just 10 and 7 years old, respectively. The set even bears a plaque declaring the structure "Malia & Sasha's Castle."
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had a chance Monday to watch kids at the Jobs Have Priority Naylor Road Family Shelter try out the set, after it arrived at its new home Jan. 5:
Barron Trump, 10, was offered the play set first, but the Trump family turned it down due to the fact that he is remaining in New York with his mother, Melania Trump, through at least the spring — where his replica Mercedes with its custom BARRON nameplate presumably entertains him. Jeva Lange