The Montana special election race for the House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is "closer than it should be," said the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte.
In what is turning out to be "a recurring nightmare" for Republicans, Democratic challenger Rob Quist is doing unexpectedly well in the deep red state, Politico writes. The special election will be held Thursday, and while Gianforte has led the polls, Quist recently cut the distance between them to single digits.
"The fact that we're talking about Montana — a super red seat — is amazing," said John Lapp, the former director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "It's also amazing how much money Republicans have to pour into these seats to defend them. It's still a steep climb in Montana, but we know that the reaction there means that there's a tremendous amount of Democratic energy across the country, a tremendous amount of fundraising that will then feed into races that are much fairer fights."
The state is an uncomfortable repeat of close, but ultimately Republican-won, special elections in Kansas and Georgia (in the latter, a second run-off, favorable to Republicans, will be held in late June). "Gianforte has an edge, but it's not going to be a slam dunk," a national GOP strategist told Politico.
And while Gianforte, a multimillionaire, has vowed to "work with Donald Trump to drain the swamp and make America great again," his rival has campaigned in recent days with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). "We're already eating ramen in a 500-square-foot family housing apartment, the four of us," one Quist supporter, Mychiel Rauch, 27, told The New York Times. "Gianforte doesn't represent me at all."
"Special elections shouldn't be taken in a vacuum," writes Paul Blest at The Week. "These elections help build the framework of a progressive movement in places long ignored by the national party, are a litmus test for the power of the base, and can be an indicator of where efforts should be focused for the next general election." Jeva Lange
Following new misconduct allegations, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls for delay in Kavanaugh hearing
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent Sunday night, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked for an "immediate postponement of any further proceedings" regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
On Sunday, The New Yorker published an article where Deborah Ramirez, a classmate from Yale University, said while they were at a party, Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis in her face. Earlier this month, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they were both teenagers. Ford is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
In her letter, Feinstein, the committee's ranking Democrat, also asked that "the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims." Should the White House not ask the FBI to launch an investigation, then the Senate Judiciary Committee "must subpoena all relevant witnesses," Feinstein added. "It is time to set politics aside. We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward." Catherine Garcia
Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship on Sunday, giving the golfer his 80th career PGA Tour victory and his first since 2013.
Woods won by two shots over Billy Horschel, and with this win, is now second in the FedEx Cup standings, behind Justin Rose. He will receive $3 million for his second place finish, and on Monday, will enter the top 15 in the world rankings.
"I had a hard time not crying on the last hole," Woods told reporters. "I just can't believe I pulled this off. It's been tough. Not so easy the last couple years. I've worked my way back, and I couldn't have done it without the help of everyone around me." In April 2017, Woods had spinal fusion surgery, and was arrested for DUI a month later. Catherine Garcia
Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, The New Yorker reported Sunday night.
Deborah Ramirez, 53, was one of Kavanaugh's classmates at Yale University, and told The New Yorker that during their freshman year in the early 1980s, they were at a party where both were inebriated. Kavanaugh allegedly put his penis in Ramirez's face, causing her to touch it without consent as she pushed him away. She also remembers him laughing and someone yelling in the hallway what Kavanaugh did. Kavanaugh told The New Yorker this "did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so."
At least four Democratic senators received information about the allegations from a civil rights attorney, and at least two have started investigations, The New Yorker reports. Ramirez was contacted by the magazine, and said she was reluctant to discuss the alleged incident because she could not fully remember the party, as she had been drinking. Ramirez spent six days going over her memories and speaking with an attorney, then shared her story with The New Yorker. The magazine contacted dozens of classmates, and one, who asked to remain anonymous due to the controversy surrounding Kavanaugh, said he heard about the incident after it happened and was "100 percent sure" he was told it involved Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh's roommate freshman year, James Roche, was one of Ramirez's close friends, and said she was "exceptionally honest and gentle. I cannot imagine her making this up." He said he never saw Kavanaugh engaging in sexual misconduct, but he was "frequently, incoherently drunk," and it is "definitely" believable that Kavanaugh could be part of a "group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like" Ramirez. One of the classmates Ramirez said was at the party told The New Yorker he didn't think the incident happened and another said, "I have zero recollection." Other Kavanaugh friends from Yale released a statement saying "with confidence" the incident did not happen because "we would have heard about it." Read more at The New Yorker. Catherine Garcia
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham seems to have made up his mind about Christine Ford's testimony before it even happens
Christine Ford isn't expected to testify about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until Thursday — but Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) already seems to have made up his mind.
"You can't bring [her allegation] in a criminal court; you would never sue civilly; you couldn't even get a warrant," Graham said on Fox News Sunday. "What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?"
"Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this," Graham continued, before adding that Ford "should have her say" and will be "respectfully treated." Watch Graham's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley broke with President Trump and many of his supporters Sunday to argue that Christine Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, "deserves respect and deserves to be heard."
"Accusers go through a lot of trauma. Some handle it one way and some handle it another way," she said on CNN's State of the Union, answering a question about Trump's tweeted response to Ford. "Regardless, it's not something we want to do to blame the accuser or try and second-guess the accuser. We don't know the situation she was going through 35 years ago. We don't know the circumstances."
Haley argued for a responsible but swift examination of Ford's claim by the Senate for the sake of both families involved. Watch an excerpt of her comments below, or read them in full here. Bonnie Kristian
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News Sunday to talk trade war, Iran, and Friday's report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has proposed ousting President Trump from office using the 25th Amendment.
"To the extent one wants to call this a trade war, we are determined to win it," Pompeo said of Trump's escalating tariffs on Chinese imports. He ignored a question from host Chris Wallace about how long the administration would maintain this course, repeating, "We're going to win it. We're going to get an outcome which forces China to behave" in accord with "fundamental principles of trade around the world, fairness, reciprocity."
Though Pompeo, like Trump, has cast U.S. tariffs as a punishment for poor behavior from Beijing, the cost of the taxes is absorbed by American consumers, not Chinese producers. China's trade surplus with the United States has hit record highs since Trump's tariff scheme began.
Turning to Iran, Pompeo pushed back on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's angry response to Saturday's attack on an Iranian military parade. "When you have a security incident at home, blaming others is an enormous mistake," Pompeo argued, calling for Tehran to focus on domestic security "rather than causing insecurity around the world."
And he slammed those, allegedly including Rosenstein, who have considered undermining the Trump administration from within. "If you can't be on the team, if you're not supporting this mission," Pompeo charged, "maybe you've got something else to do."
Watch Pompeo's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
At least 44 people have died since Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas more than a week ago, and though the catastrophic rains have finally ceased, flooding continues to hit North Carolina especially hard.
The Cape Fear River will crest this wkd. while the Lumber River will crest again. The Neuse will rise until Mon. Additionally, new areas are flooding with little warning. Due to this, travel isn’t recommended south of US 64. See flood levels https://t.co/xPLtIKVMoY #FlorenceNC pic.twitter.com/ATypLvVZTm
— NCDOT (@NCDOT) September 21, 2018
As some rivers continue to rise, tens of thousands remain without power, and many roads are still submerged or covered in debris. "I know we sound redundant, but it bears repeating," tweeted South Carolina's emergency management department. "Turn around, don't drown!"
Floodwaters have receded from Interstate 40, leaving behind a glut of dead fish. See firefighters hosing fish off the blacktop below. Bonnie Kristian
— USA TODAY Video (@usatodayvideo) September 23, 2018