Inside Todd Young's historic haul—Weinzapfel's final appeal— Tied in Vigo County
It all comes down to turnout.
Days until Election Day: 1
The Republican Senate majority may be at risk in tomorrow’s elections, but U.S. Sen Todd Young’s reputation as a historic fundraiser for his party is not.
Young, who helmed the National Republican Senatorial Committee this cycle as its chair, will have raised more than $275 million, “dwarfing” the previous record of $151 million set in 2018, according to a source familiar with his involvement.
Young was selected for the difficult task of defending incumbents this time around—and was the only candidate for the job. Democrats are slightly favored to retake control of the Senate, according to POLITICO.
Young is expected to run for re-election in 2022, announcing his bid sometime after November. His chairmanship connected him to an expanded network of donors nationwide. Young has been tasked with fundraising duties as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell focused on political decisions.
“Under Chairman Young, the major donor program raised more than any previous cycle—all while not being able to travel or host events for the vast majority of the year due to Covid-19 restrictions,” this person said, adding that the “NRSC made strategic investments in growing the digital operation with remarkable results, raising four times more than the previous cycle through digital efforts. Most importantly, under Chairman Young, the NRSC has doubled its highest ever total for political spending for candidates, spending more than $120 million between coordinated and independent expenditure spending.”
Good Monday morning, and welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE. One hundred years ago today, on Nov. 2, 1920, women voted for the first time in Indiana.
WHERE’S VEEP? He’s in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, for an 11:30 a.m. Make America Great Again Victory Rally, and then hits Erie at 1:50 p.m., before heading to Traverse City, Michigan for a 4:45 p.m. rally. He finishes up with a 10 p.m. rally in Grand Rapids.
WHERE’S SPARTZ? The Republican candidate for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District voted early at 10 a.m this morning in Noblesville. Her Democratic opponent, Christina Hale, voted early last Thursday.
WHERE’S GOV. HOLCOMB? He’ll campaign in Evansville, Jeffersonville, and Columbus.
WHERE’S PETE? Buttigieg campaigned for Biden in Pennsylvania and Michigan over the weekend. He’ll be doing local hits in key states on Tuesday, and on Fox News and CNN tonight.
INSIDE WEINZAPFEL’S LAST-MINUTE PUSH FOR AG
Jonathan Weinzapfel is angling to become perhaps the only Democratic candidate to hold statewide office in Indiana, as the attorney general candidate has surpassed gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers in fundraising and national political support.
And he’s getting a late push from the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Two weeks ago, the campaign did a tracking poll that showed him trailing Republican Todd Rokita by single digits, according to a source familiar with DAGA’s strategy. DAGA fueled $300,000 into the race, allowing Weinzapfel to be on the air with twice as many points as Rokita—meaning more exposure—for the final 10 days of the race.
“We feel good about where we are,” Weinzapfel said in the middle of a five-stop Friday. “Obviously, we are running through the tape and we're continuing to get out there and talk to folks.”
Weinzapfel scored headlines last week for coming out in favor of legalizing marijuana. But he’s focused his campaign on protecting pre-existing conditions and ending Indiana’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. Last week, Rokita called him out “for deliberately lying to the public on the guaranteed protections for pr-eexisting health conditions already in state law,” according to a release from the campaign.”
“He’s out to lunch on the issue and at the last second trying to argue that he’s protecting people with pre-existing conditions, but his actions speak louder than words,” Weinzapfel told me on Rokita. “He’s voted more than 50 times, as a member of Congress, to kill it, he supports the lawsuit that’s ongoing, and now he wants to try to tell people that he wants to protect their healthcare and protect those who have preexisting conditions. I think he thinks Hoosiers are stupid.”
Rokita’s campaign did not respond to messages seeking an interview or comment.
In America’s most accurate bellwether county, Indiana’s own Vigo County, President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden are tied, each with 48% support.
Ben Terris, The Washington Post: “So, while we’re waiting . . . will Mike Pence ever be president?”
Olivia Troye remembers a time when she wished Mike Pence were president. Troye, a Department of Homeland Security official, had been working with the vice president on the coronavirus task force. He had impressed her: working hard, staying late, speaking to Democratic governors about the need to keep politics out of the government’s response to the deadly pandemic. “Once I said to him, ‘I wish it was you in the Oval Office. It would be a lot different,’ ” she says. It was more a commentary on President Trump’s poor leadership than an endorsement of Pence, but still — “It was pretty blunt,” she says. “He stayed quiet and did the Mike Pence smile, a smile he has when he is just genuinely being himself.”
Pence’s ability to just be himself, however, has been greatly hampered by being Trump’s wingman. The president has undermined his government’s public-health message by contradicting its scientists, sowing doubt about mask-wearing and social distancing and claiming that the virus was mostly harmless and forever on the brink of disappearing. For his part, Pence wrote an infamous newspaper op-ed declaring there would be “no second wave” of the novel coronavirus. That was four months and 100,000 deaths ago. Cases were spiking at that time and now are spiking again. The White House has been the site of several outbreaks — including, most recently, a rash of infections among Pence’s own staff.
“I watched him try to do the right thing,” says Troye. “But also constantly have to pivot to stay in the good graces of the president. He was still trying to remain on the ticket, that’s reality.”
That’s all for today. I’ll be back in your inboxes tomorrow.