August 9, 2012 •
Eye on the Races – August 9, 2012
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was selected last week as the keynote speaker for the DNC convention. Castro is being touted as a rising star in the party and the DNC is looking to garner latino support with his selection. First Lady Michelle Obama will open the event on Tuesday, September 4, while her husband will close the event accepting the party’s nomination on Thursday. Former President Clinton has also been given a prominent role and will speak at the convention and likely place President Obama’s name formally into nomination. Other speakers include Former President Jimmy Carter and Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren.
While the RNC has not yet named a keynote speaker, Chris Christie is widely believed to be chosen for the slot. Additionally, as more speakers are announced, Gov. Romney’s Vice Presidential list grows shorter. Already announced speakers include Condoleezza Rice, Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Current Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. Noticeably absent from the list are potential VP’s Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, Marco Rubio and Rob Portman. Both former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush declined invitations to the convention, as well as former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Other notes from the trail:
- Representative Todd Akin won the Missouri Republican Primary Tuesday and will face Senator Claire McCaskill in November. The race was tightly contested with Akin receiving 36% of the vote defeating businessman John Brunner and State Treasurer Sarah Steelman who received 30% and 29% respectively. Steelman was a favorite of the tea party and received a late endorsement from Sarah Palin. Democrats worked hard to elevate Akin, who they see as the weakest of the three candidates, by spending approximately $1.7 million on the race attacking both Brunner and Steelman.
- Ted Cruz won last Tuesday’s Texas republican primary to replace retiring Senator Kay Baily Hutchison (R). Cruz is a tea party backed candidate and defeated current Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Dewhurst had support from a number of established members of the GOP including Texas Governor Rick Perry while Cruz earned support from the likes of Sarah Palin, Rand Paul (R-KY), Glenn Beck and others. Cruz’s victory is seen as a major win for the tea party as a Republican is likely to succeed Hutchison in her senate seat.
- Polls show a very tight race for the Virginia Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb. The race pits two former Virginia Governors, Tim Kaine (D) and George Allen (R) against each other for the seat formerly held by Allen. Rasmussen’s latest poll shows the race tied with each candidate receiving 46% support. Virginia is vital to the presidential election as well and both President Obama and Gov. Romney will campaign with Kaine and Allen in the coming weeks.
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