Notes from Norm
Back in July, I told you about the Senate race in Georgia that pits incumbent David Perdue, a major business leader before he became a Senator, and Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old filmmaker best known for losing a prior congressional race. I noted the contrast between Perdue's strong record of support for Israel and opposition to the Iran deal with Ossoff's support from J Street.
In previous messages in this space, I've told you about Senate races where the GOP is fighting to retain seats we currently hold. For a change of pace, let's examine a race where Republicans are on offense - the Alabama contest pitting Democrat Sen. Doug Jones against former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville
One of the few races where the GOP is on offense in this year's battle for the Senate is in Michigan. First-term Sen. Gary Peters enjoys the dubious distinction of being the Senator least known by his constituents. The minority of Michiganders who are familiar with Peters' record know that he is a party-line Democrat who has marched in lockstep with his party on impeachment, opposing tax relief, and supporting the Obama Iran deal.
If you watched the proceedings of the Republican National Convention last night, you saw one of the GOP's rising stars - Senator Joni Ernst. Senator Ernst's infectious optimism and her obvious dedication to serving her Iowa constituents made her speech one of the evening's highlights and illustrated how important it is that she win a second Senate term this November. Iowa is much more competitive than it was in 2014 and 2016, and polls show this is a very close race - one that may determine which party controls the Senate next year.
Even in a legislative body filled with accomplished people, Martha McSally stands out as someone extraordinary. During a 26-year career in the US Air Force, she was a trail-blazer - the first woman to fly in combat and the first to command a fighter squadron. She first came to national attention when she successfully challenged a military policy that required women serving in Saudi Arabia to wear body-concealing Muslim garb when travelling off base.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently likened the fight for control of the Senate to "a knife fight" in an alley, and there's no race that better illustrates the heated nature of the contest than the showdown in Montana between first-term Sen. Steve Daines and Gov. Steve Bullock. Democrats pulled out all the stops to recruit failed presidential candidate Bullock, knowing it was their only chance to make this race part of the Senate battlefield.
As a close friend of Lindsey Graham who was sworn in alongside him in 2003, I'm proud of what a great Senator he has become. Now Lindsey is facing the toughest challenge of his career. Why? Because he's fought for us time after time.
One of the toughest Senate races this year is in North Carolina, where Thom Tillis is seeking a second term. Back in 2014, Tillis edged out incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan by 1.5%, and North Carolina is even more closely divided today.
Every Senate race this year is critical to the battle for control of the chamber, but Susan Collins' bid for a new term representing the state of Maine may be the most consequential in its impact on the future of our democracy.
I’ll be back next week with my regular “Notes from Norm” about important House and Senate races, but today I want to encourage you to join us for the RJC Town Hall this Sunday night at 7:30 pm ET. You’ll hear Nikki Haley, Mark Levin, the RJC’s Matt Brooks, and me discuss the critical issues facing the Jewish community in 2020.