Students and former students with loans to repay

Remember this in November 2014. I just saw a TV ad for Kay Hagan. She will have a rough path to re-election next year. The following is a report on a vote July 1:

Student Loan Interest Rates – Cloture - Vote Rejected (51-49)

Senators failed to broker a temporary deal to maintain federal student loan interest rates, which rose automatically on July 1 to 6.8 percent. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could not muster the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on a bill that would have extended the previous interest rate of 3.4 percent for subsidized undergraduate loans for one year. Proposed by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the plan would have cost $4.25 billion, offset by changing the tax treatment of certain inherited IRAs and 401(k)s. The bill received no Republican support, ensuring under current Senate rules that it would not receive a final vote for passage.

Sen. Richard Burr voted NO
Sen. Kay Hagan voted YES


Hagan re-election

I don't see it being a rough road. The only Republicans who can win in a primary are extremists who can't win in the general.

I could be totally wrong, but it seems to me that 2014 is shaping up to be a wave election with a coalition of unaffiliated voters and Democrats stomping the crap out of GOPers. Tillis may be able to win in a gerrymandered district, but statewide? Never happen.

Berger? He's happy being king of the mountain in Raleigh. Virginia Foxx? Seriously?

I just don't see it.

I generally agree...

...but keep in mind that there will be tens of millions of dollars pumped into this race from national interests, such as the Koch brothers and others, in addition to the Pope machine, and Kay will get slimed to an extent that will make Ghostbusters look like a light misting. And that tend to tighten up races, although many people profess that they don't like the negative ads (but they work).

Kay's got the edge and there's no reason she shouldn't keep it. But sadly, there are enough tea party wing nuts and people who lap up their lies that it could be a competitive race. But Kay's likely opponents range from pathetic to deluded.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

They work most of the time,

but sometimes they backfire like crazy. Liddy Dole learned that lesson the hard way, and methinks the GOP might be leery of attacking Kay too hard lest that happen again.

This time I Disagree...

...I agree with your premise that they can backfire (and there's SOME evidence that people are growing weary of negative ads...but still plenty of evidence that by and large, they work).

But I have a very hard time believing that today's GOP will spend more than a nanosecond considering that in this race...they've shown that when they have virtually unlimited funds they come out with both guns (and cannons and flamethrowers and grenade launchers) blazing. Maybe they just delight in it, and maybe they skew the poll numbers in their little minds, but I firmly believe that they (especially the SuperPAC attack dogs) will be throwing mud and slime by the tanker load. But I do agree they'll have a hard time making it stick.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

A rare prediction on the Hagan for Senate race

I don't usually make predictions on elections this far in advance, but I will in this case. I think the RNC will pick a woman to back, and the most likely suspect is Congresswoman Renee Ellmers. She is not a good Congresswoman, but she is a better candidate to appeal to moderates than any of the legislative leaders. All of them are tainted by the low regard of the NCGA among NC voters.

I think one reason the NC Democrats got shellacked (to used Obama's word) in 2010, was in part overconfidence and lack of preparing for the opposition.

Ellmers has been a good foot soldier in the US House, and she does what she is told by House leaders. If she wins the primary, which I think she will, she will be competitive. I am a fan of Kay Hagan, and I don't underestimate her appeal. But it is hard to fight all that anonymous money that will flood into state for GOP in 2014.

I am cautiously optimistic about Hagan, but I am only optimistic only if Randy Voller and NCDP get their act together in fundraising and grassroots organizing to turn out the vote. Issues matter, but feet on the ground and headed to the polls matter, too.

If I were one of those highly paid consultants everyone listens too, and I am not, I would concentrate on local issues where the GOP has pissed off voters repeatedly. The airport in Charlotte, the water supply first in Asheville and now all over, the rules on Jordan Lake, annexation rules. People who vote will split on abortion and other social issues, but they need to be repeatedly reminded of the overreach of the legislators in Raleigh.

Martha Brock

I was happy to see

I was happy to see her vote for immigration reform, vote for LGBT employment non-discrimination, and support marriage equality as well. She also voted to close gun show background check loopholes, which some thought would hurt her, but I seem to remember the polls getting better for her afterward. She's also been big recently on taking stands for women's rights and against assaults in the military. And now there's this support of keeping higher education accessible by fighting increases on student loan rates.

As someone who spent a lot of my early political life working for her opponent in the primary, I feel that she's come a long ways, especially compared to some potential challengers in our regressive General Assembly.