**Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
• Tsunami alert: New poll shows ObamaCare driving voters
• Could the House really arrest Lois Lerner?
• Hillary booster Sandberg pushes hard on gender bias
• Rally lifts curtain on 2016 N.H. primary
• British nobles get the vapors over beans
TSUNAMI ALERT: NEW POLL SHOWS OBAMACARE DRIVING VOTERS
How big is ObamaCare in this year’s midterms? More than 80 percent of respondents in a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for USA Today said that a candidate’s stance on the troubled health law is important to them, with 54 percent saying it is “very important.” The worst news for Democrats is that among the majority of registered voters who said the law was “very important,” there were twice as many opponents as there were supporters. Overall, support for the signature Obama initiative, which pairs expanded welfare and entitlement programs with far-reaching regulations on health insurance, fell to 37 percent. That’s the lowest level since the summer after the law was passed in 2010 when incumbents’ town halls across the country erupted with ObamaCare outrage. The takeaway: The electoral climate this year is defined by ObamaCare and the forecast is getting worse for Democrats.
[“If you don’t care about Obamacare, you’re less likely to vote. If you think Obamacare is good, it’s not a big issue for you. But if you think it’s bad, it's an intense one.” – Republican Senate campaign committee Chairman Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., talking to USA Today.]
Dems need to scare up a stampede - Some race watchers may deduce from the poll that the constant efforts by President Obama and his fellow Democrats to frighten and mobilize base voters will be inadequate in the face of an overall political climate as dire as the one described by the Pew/USA Today poll. But the survey actually shows the importance of efforts to provoke a stampede of liberals to the polls. With centrist voters trending away from Democrats and a majority of independents beyond the reach of Democratic pleas for more mercy on the law, an agitated Democratic base could make the difference between just losing the Senate majority and a rout. If the GOP gets a major wave going, it could Republicans in a place to actually pass legislation rather than just blocking Obama’s efforts.
[King will choose sides after seeing who wins - The Hill: “Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, will decide after the midterm elections whether to switch sides and join the Republicans.”]
Obama to use civil rights anniversary to make campaign pitch - WSJ previews President Obama’s speech today to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin. “The president's speech will celebrate Mr. Johnson's signing of the landmark civil rights law, which outlawed discrimination based on race, religion or gender. Mr. Obama also is expected to make the case for equality in economic opportunity. ‘Civil rights in 2014 is all about equal opportunity for everybody,’ a senior Obama administration official said.”
[Only two House Democrats, Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Jim Moran, D-Va., backed President Obama’s budget when Republicans offered it up.]
ObamaCare sites trap welfare applicants - National Journal: “Some applications sent from the exchanges never make it to the state Medicaid offices. Of those that do, jumbled or missing data can make the applications impossible to process in any kind of automated way. In the meantime, these individuals are without coverage as they wait for their applications to be reviewed, and their prospects for getting insured soon are dimming as backlogs build.”
COULD THE HOUSE REALLY ARREST LOIS LERNER?
Washington Examiner: “House Ways and Means Committee Republicans aren’t ruling out the use of the chamber’s ‘inherent contempt’ authority if Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to act on the panel’s accusations against former IRS official Lois Lerner…the House’s ‘inherent contempt’ authority under the Constitution…was initially exercised in 1795 during the First Congress and on multiple occasions thereafter. Lerner could be held until January 2015 when a new Congress is seated, which could issue another subpoena and throw her in the clink again if she still balks at testifying.”
[JudgeAndrew Napolitano argues that the unwillingness of members of Congress to hold Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responsible for alleged abuses in connection with the NSA’s domestic surveillance program makes them responsible as well.]
Report: IRS employees unabashed about Obama support - Fox News: “IRS workers in several offices have been openly supporting President Obama, including by donning pro-Obama paraphernalia and urging callers to reelect the president in 2012, according to allegations contained in a new government watchdog report”
[Watch Fox: Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel provides a close examination of the agency tasked with enforcing ObamaCare and looking into your finances.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
George Will takes a deep dive into the Compact for America balanced-budget proposal which, “would use the Constitution’s Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution’s Framers thought their document guaranteed. The Compact for America is the innovation of the Goldwater Institute’s Nick Dranias, who proposes a constitutional convention carefully called under Article V to enact a balanced-budget amendment written precisely enough to preclude evasion by the political class. This class has powerful and permanent incentives for deficit spending, which delivers immediate benefits to constituents while deferring a significant portion of the benefits’ costs.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 43 percent//Disapprove – 52.5 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 30.3 percent//Wrong Track – 61.5 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 41 percent// Republicans 39.7 percent
HILLARY BOOSTER SANDBERG PUSHES HARD ON GENDER BIAS
Hillary Clinton enthusiast and Facebook boss Sheryl Sandberg used her exclusive interview with Megyn Kelly to call for broad action on equal pay for women. Sandberg, who is pushing an effort to ban the use of the word “bossy” for girls, called for government intervention and social pressure to force companies to treat women differently. “We don't just need public policy reform. We need corporations to have the right policies and look how they are paying men and women and we need women to negotiate for themselves,” Sandberg said on “The Kelly File.” Sandberg added that women need to advocate differently for themselves in the workplace adding, “When men negotiate for themselves, everyone is fine with it because we expect men to advocate for themselves, but when women negotiate they can face a backlash because we don't expect it… When women get more successful and powerful, they are less liked. Men don’t have that trade off. They can negotiate and become CEO.” Watch the interview here.
[Ruth Marcus: “I’d vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act in the unlikely event that someone elected me to Congress. But the level of hyperbole – actually, of demagoguery – that Democrats have engaged in here is revolting.”]
HILLARY SOAKS UP MORE DEM DOUGH
Despite repeated warnings from Team Obama that the Democratic fixation on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy is harming the party’s midterm chances, Planet Hillary will not be denied. NYT: “Ready for Hillary, the independent group devised to build support for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s potential 2016 presidential campaign, said Thursday that it had brought in 22,000 new donors and raised more than $1.7 million in the three-month period that ended March 31. The group aims to build grass-roots support with small donations solicited over the Internet, which was something of a struggle during Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. But it said that 98 percent of the contributions in the first three months of the year were for $100 or less, and 9,500 donations were for $20.16, a popular option at Ready for Hillary’s events nationwide.”
IN HER ORBIT
Bubba warms up the base - AP: “Former President Bill Clinton [used] the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act to criticize efforts in several states to create new restrictions for voters, saying they threaten to roll back a half-century of progress. The former president spoke Wednesday night at the Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential Library in Austin.”
All in the family - Bubba will be in Philadelphia today to stump for Democratic Congressional candidate Marjorie Margolies, the mother-in-law of daughter Chelsea Clinton.
Top of the scrap heap - Las Vegas Sun: “Hillary Clinton... presumed favorite for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, will visit Las Vegas on Thursday during a tour of three West Coast states…. Clinton’s Thursday speech will be at the annual convention hosted by the Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries Inc….”
Silicon Valley’s favorite - San Jose Mercury News: “When she takes the stage at San Jose State University’s Event Center on Thursday evening… the man conducting Clinton’s Q&A -- Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone, a longtime friend of Bill Clinton’s -- knows she wouldn’t answer, and is already sure what she would say if she did blurt out her plans. ‘Of course she’s going to run,’ Stone says.”
Campaign text - AP: “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new book on her time as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state will be released on June 10, her publisher says.
WEEKEND RALLY WILL LIFT CURTAIN ON N.H. 2016 RACE
New Hampshire Journal editor John DiStaso posits: “When the New Hampshire presidential primary is history sometime during the first few months of 2016, the political observers, the strategists, the media and even the voters can look back on April 12, 2014 as the day the campaign was launched… The ‘Freedom Summit’ to be held on Saturday by the conservative advocacy groups Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Citizens United is a Republican event…this ‘cattle call’ (if you will) will be the first event at which anywhere from three to possibly six possible presidential candidates gather in one place on one day for the first time… The big draws on the presidential front are Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky as well as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. There will be no Jeb Bush and no Chris Christie. No one conventionally identified with the more moderate (relatively speaking) GOP ‘establishment’… Sen. Kelly Ayotte will be the first elected official to speak…Also speaking are Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Tennessee U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn… the focus will be on Cruz, mostly because it’s his de facto New Hampshire debut. How will his Tea Party brand, so well-known and controversial nationally, translate to New Hampshire?”
REPUBLICANS GET JUMP BALL FOR 2016 IN IOWA
While Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton stands more than 50 points ahead of her potential rivals in a Suffolk University poll of Iowa Democrats, there’s no such stratification on the GOP side. Des Moines Register: “Among Republicans who said they’ll go to the [2016 presidential] caucuses, 11 percent liked Mike Huckabee best as their nominee; 10 percent said Jeb Bush; 10 percent, Rand Paul; 9 percent, Ted Cruz; and 7 percent, Chris Christie. Six other potential candidates – Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker – each had 6 percent, the survey found.” Ben Carson was the top pick of 9 percent of potential caucus goers.
GOP BUZZ BUILDERS
Rubio, Ryan collaborating on ObamaCare replacement - Washington Examiner: “Sen. Marco Rubio [R-Fla.] and Rep. Paul Ryan [R-Wis.] are collaborating on an Obamacare alternative and could announce the proposal as early as this month, according to Republican sources…”
Jeb goes back to his roots - Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., will appear in Connecticut tonight to present two-time Republican Senate candidate and former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon the state GOP’s annual Prescott Bush Award, named for the former Florida governor’s grandfather.
Ryan building bank - Politico: “Paul Ryan has raised just shy of $1.4 million so far this year, the biggest quarterly haul in his career, according to a campaign aide. …The campaign will also report it has more than $4 million in the bank, an eye-popping sum for a House Republican with no real race on his hands.”
Walker way out in front in re-elect - According to a Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College poll, Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., leads Democrat Mary Burke 56 percent to 40 percent in his re-election bid.
Former Christie aides can skirt subpoenas - AP: “Two former associates of Gov. Chris Christie , [R-N.J.] do not have to hand over documents to a legislative committee investigating the traffic jam scandal engulfing the governor, a New Jersey judge ruled Wednesday.”
NEBRASKA SENATE FRONTRUNNER OSBORN DELIVERS SOME JABS IN FINAL DEBATE
Columbus (Neb.) Telegram: “At one point, former State Treasurer Shane Osborn took an indirect shot that appeared to be directed at [Midland University President] Ben Sasse when Osborn pointedly said: ‘I haven't evolved’ in opposing Obamacare. ‘I have always had the same position,’ Sasse said, believing from the beginning that Obamacare was ‘a bad idea.’ Unlike the other candidates, Sasse said, he has proposed a comprehensive, private-sector alternative to provide health care. … Sasse said the United States is underfunding the defense budget and, because of the leadership of the president, is beginning to look like ‘a big insurance company that just happens to own a Navy.’”
[A group of 50 Nebraska conservative activists denounced the decision by grassroots group Freedom Works to withdraw its endorsement of GOP Senate frontrunner Shane Osborn and back rival Ben Sasse. While the signatories don’t endorse Osborn, they attack Sasse and Freedom Works. More from the Omaha World-Herald.]
LITTLE BREATHING ROOM FOR BRALEY
In Suffolk University’s first poll on the Iowa Senate race, frontrunner Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, holds a 6-point lead over his top potential GOP challenger, less than half of what it was in a similar Quinnipiac University poll a month ago. Braley, once considered very likely to retain the seat for Democrats following the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin, stumbled badly when a video surfaced of him belittling Iowa farmers. Among potential Republican primary voters, state Sen. Joni Ernst led businessman Mark Jacobs 25 percent to 23 percent. The poll shows Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, ahead of Democrat Mary Burke, 42 percent to 32 percent in his re-election bid.
PICK SIX: PETERS IN PERIL?
Republicans need to gain six seats to take control of the Senate. Which six Democrat-held seats are the most vulnerable? The current consensus among Fox News First readers: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia. But reader Craig Beachum sees a close contest between Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and former secretary of state Terri Lynn Land and says, “add Michigan to the list.”
Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.
DSCC outraises NRSC - Washington Examiner: “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had its best fundraising month of the midterm election cycle so far in March, bringing in $8.1 million and outpacing Republicans, who raised short of $6.4 million for Senate races during the same period… The DSCC finished the month with $22.2 million and having eliminated its debt; the NRSC, meanwhile, finished March with nearly $15.9 million on hand and also without debt.”
RNC rakes in over $10 million in March - The Republican National Committee brought in $10.2 million in March to bring its quarterly fundraising total to $25.2 million. After spending heavily to upgrade its tech outreach, the RNC has $12.3 million on hand.
House Majority PAC hoists huge cash haul - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s House Majority PAC announced it raised $5.2 million Wednesday.
Colorado - AP: “Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner’s campaign is reporting it raised $1.4 million during the first three months of the year, almost all of it in March, following his surprise announcement he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. … Udall raised more than $2 million during the first quarter of the year and has $5.9 million available. But the senator was raising funds for the full three months.”
Georgia - Roll Call: “Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, one of a handful of Republicans vying for the state’s open Senate seat, raised $1.1 million in the first fundraising quarter of 2014… Kingston ended March with $2.1 million in cash on hand… In the May 20 primary, Kingston faces fellow Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey, along with former Dollar General CEO David Perdue and former Secretary of State Karen Handel. Broun raised $345,000 in the quarter and had just $230,000 on hand… Gingrey raised $326,000.”
Montana - AP: “U.S. Sen. John Walsh [D-Mont.] raised $946,000 in the first three months of 2014 in his bid to keep the seat he was appointed to in February…”
Virginia - WaPo: “Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) raised $2.7 million during the first three months of the year, his campaign announced Wednesday, more than $1 million better than the number he posted in the previous quarter. Warner ended March with more than $8.8 million in his campaign account.”
CONTROVERSIAL DEM DONOR DOCTOR TOP MEDICARE BILLER
Daily Caller: “The Florida doctor who entangled Sen. Robert Menendez [D-N.J.] in an FBI investigation also turns out to be the nation’s No. 1 recipient of Medicare funds. Dr. Salomon Melgin, the Florida eye surgeon, charged the government $320 for giving 37,075 injections of an eye-drug to 645 patients. That’s an average of 57 injections per patient, costing the taxpayer $21 million in 2012. The wealthy doctor lives in a palatial house in in North Palm Beach, and donated heavily to Menendez. He’s now the target of at least one FBI investigation, which included raids on his offices in January and October 2013. Menendez got entangled in the doctor’s finances when he used Melgen’s private plane to fly Menendez to various locales, including vacation sites in the Dominican Republic. Menendez took at least three trips on the doctor’s airplane in 2010.”
[The Hill breaks down how millions of Medicare dollars have been sent to doctors under investigation for fraud.]
DEMS PLACE GOP DONORS AHEAD OF PUTIN ON ENEMIES LIST
National Journal: “The good folks at the Sunlight Foundation have created a tool, CapitolWords, to show just how much [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] and his fellow Democrats are pushing the ‘Koch brothers’ message…in March 2014, their names were called out 79 times—and no one cited them more than Reid. Already, the Koch brothers have been name-dropped 38 times in April…The volume of the Democrats' Koch brothers messaging is cranked so high that its rise rivals congressional mentions of Russian President Vladimir Putin… so far in April, Sunlight's data show that ‘Koch brothers’ has been said more than ‘Vladimir Putin.’’’
[Washington Examiner reports that the Federal Elections Committee conceded it cannot stop sham political action committees that trick voters into believing they are supporting individual candidates.]
NO RE-ELECTION DECISION YET FROM KISSING CONGRESSMAN
The Hill: “[The chief of staff for scandal-soaked Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.] said while McAllister has no plans to resign, he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run for reelection this fall.”
BRITISH NOBLES GET THE VAPORS OVER BEANS
The global warming debate took a foul turn in the British House of Lords as Baroness Verma warned bean-loving Britons to reduce their intake of baked beans because of the impact that human flatulence could have on the earth’s climate. From The Mirror: “…Labour peer Viscount Simon raised questions in the House of Lords about the impact of human eating habits. Viscount Simon, 73, said: ‘A programme on the BBC stated this country has the largest production of baked beans and the largest consumption of baked beans in the world. ‘Could you say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the Government as a result of the smelly emission?’ Lady Verma replied: ‘You raise a very important point, we do need to moderate our behaviour.’” Their lordships may wish to consider calling Mel Brooks to testify on the topic.
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I think you have to go after Syria, the Iran negotiations, the Crimea, Ukraine, what’s happening in Eastern Europe. I mean this really is a collapse of America’s stature in the world.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Click here to watch.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.