Florida, North Carolina, & Georgia

Florida: GOP, Dems hit the hustings in high-stakes campaigns.  Over the weekend, US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate, raised money for the GOP, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) campaigned with Gov. Rick Scott (R), and US House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was in Miami to boost GOP congressional hopeful Carlos Curbelo. But the Democrats had the Biggest Name outsider: Former President Bill Clinton campaigned for former Gov. Charlie Crist (D), US Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), and congressional candidate Gwen Graham (D). Meanwhile, Republicans are targeting 7 Democratic state representatives in hopes of replacing at least five of them with GOPers. That would give Republicans a two-thirds, veto-proof majority in the lower chamber.

 

North Carolina: Most expensive Senate race draws top pols. On Saturday, Hillary Clinton appeared in Charlotte to boost US Sen. Kay Hagan (D), locked in a tight reelection battle with state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R). On the GOP side, Govs. Rick Perry (R-TX) was inSmithfield Friday campaigning for Tillis, who got a boost when the Congressional Quarterly reported that Hagan voted with President Obama on 118 of 119 votes in 2014. FYI: The Center for Responsive Politics dubs the Hagan-Tillis race the costliest in the nation, with a combined total of nearly $90 million spent on the two campaigns.

Georgia: Key congressional race bringing in the dough. Fifth-term US Rep. John Barrow (D), who represents the Peach State’s 12th District (Augusta, etc.), is facing a major challenge from businessman Rick Allen. Their 3rd Quarter financial reports show that Barrow raised about $683,000 while Allen took in $328,000, plus a personal loan of $175,000. Barrow had $1.5 million on hand to Allen’s $118,000. The outside money, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway, was about even at $1.5 million each. Then the American Future Fund bought $970,000 in TV time on Allen’s behalf, sending the Barrow camp into a fundraising frenzy. Expect a “win by a nose” victory for either contender.