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Udall on the rocks in Colorado

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U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. (AP)

Buzz Cut:

  • Udall on the rocks in Colorado
  • Watch Fox: Netanyahu talks to Bret Baier
  • Hillary: “Women have to support other women”
  • Poll shows danger for Dems in looming Virginia shutdown
  • George Will flies first class on Colbert 

 

UDALL ON THE ROCKS IN COLORADO

Why did incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., take the risky step this week of making his first television ad of the cycle a social issue attack? A new Quinnipiac University poll tells us why. The race, previously considered a safe Democratic retention, is now dead head. Udall, who led all challengers in February, is in a statistical tie with Republican Rep. Cory Gardner. When asked whether Udall should be re-elected, 46 percent of respondents said no and 40 percent said yes. That number was tied at 42 percent two months ago. Udall’s early move to launch a scary spot about abortion reflects a candidate concerned about his political base. Udall leads among women 52 percent to Gardner’s 35 percent, while Gardner leads among men, 53 to 38. Udall has consistently low favorability with Colorado voters while most voters haven’t made up their minds about Gardner. Launching this attack now will surely drive up Gardner’s negatives among pro-choice voters, but won’t do anything to help Udall enhance his own droopy digits.

About ObamaCare - Whatever they know or don’t know about the candidates in the race, voters seem to have formed clear attitudes about the contestants’ positions. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they were opposed ObamaCare, including 62 percent of independent voters. Voters supported Gardner’s health care policies over Udall’s 57 percent to 36 percent. They preferred Gardner’s stance on the economy 53 percent to 40 percent for Udall.

[KDVR reports that Americans for Prosperity will remove an image of President Obama and Udall from its newest ad after it was revealed that the picture came from remarks given after the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colo.]

Pipeline of votes - A new ad from conservative group American Commitment called the “Colorado Steyer Infection” focuses on green-energy billionaire Tom Steyer bankrolling of Udall’s campaign. “Now Mark Udall is helping Steyer kill the Keystone Pipeline…even though Coloradans strongly support it” and that it’s “a cold slap in the face of American workers.” No Democrat finds himself in a trickier position than Udall when it comes to the stalled Keystone Pipeline project. Unlike red-state Democrats who can symbolically bash the president’s delay of the project with little fear of angering home-state constituencies, Udall has to keep Denver and Boulder liberals on board. But the project seems to be overwhelmingly popular among more moderate voters in the energy-rich state. Udall has not taken a public stance on the project. It’s understandable. Liberal groups are beginning to punish Democrats who do not toe the line on opposing the pipeline and Steyer stands ready to jump in against those who do not conform.

[WaPo editorial: “Keystone XL’s continued delay is absurd”]

MASSIVE OBAMACARE SUIT FILED IN NEVADA

KLAS: “Confidential documents which appear to be from a Nevada Health Link employee may reveal huge problems within the state health exchange. What could be internal memos seem to show the former health exchange CEO knew early on there were problems with premium pricing and  tried to hide them from the public. Now, one local law firm is planning a class action lawsuit against Nevada Health Link and Xerox, the company in charge of running the website.”

Meet the plaintiff - Washington Times: “Lawrence Basich is on the hook for $400,000 in medical bills that would have been paid by his insurer had his application been processed correctly by Nevada’s Obamacare exchange.”

[Kill switch in Oregon? - AP: “After weeks of deliberation, a committee is poised to make a final recommendation Thursday on what to do with Oregon's botched health insurance exchange portal. The technology committee will decide whether Cover Oregon should ditch its glitch-filled website and replace it with the federal government's health insurance marketplace, or try to fix the existing system with the help of a new IT contractor.]

Obama adviser Immelt blames GE losses on ObamaCare - Daily Caller: “General Electric is telling its investors that Obamacare is to blame for recent losses in the company’s health care division, The Daily Caller has learned. ‘Hospitals and clinics appear to be delaying purchases and responses to the ACA [Affordable Care Act],’ stated GE senior vice president and CFO Jeffrey S. Bornstein in the company’s first-quarter earnings call. General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, an outside economic adviser to President Obama, confirmed at a shareholder meeting Wednesday that the health sector is experiencing uncertainty. Asked at the meeting about Obamacare’s impact on the company’s earnings, Immelt responded, ‘I think there’s still a lot of uncertainty in health care and we’ll just have to see that over time.’”

WATCH FOX: NETANYAHU TALKS TO BRET BAIER

Bret Baier will interview Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today to discuss the stalled effort by the Obama administration to broker a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority as well as the implications from Iran’s nuclear program, the ongoing civil war in Syria as well as the overall security outlook for the region. “Special Report with Bret Baier” airs at 6 pm ET on the Fox News Channel.

OBAMA SAYS DISPUTED JAPANESE TERRITORY JUST A ‘ROCK’

President Obama today broadly reassured anxious Japanese allies that, if necessary, the United States would back Japan if China were to seize a cluster of islands in the South China Sea. But, speaking at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama spoke dismissively of the longstanding territorial dispute that has intensified in recent weeks. “My hope is that China will continue to engage with us and other countries in the region – where we do not take a position on the particular sovereignty of this piece of land or this rock – but we do take a position in making sure that all countries are following basic international procedures in resolving these disputes.”

BAIER TRACKS: AFGHAN LOSSES MAY CREATE POLITICAL PRESSURE FOR WITHDRAWAL…

“The sad news this morning that three U.S. doctors were killed in Afghanistan brings the number of Americans killed so far this month to five. In all, more than 2,300 Americans have given their lives in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war in 2001. There is now a growing chorus of Republicans and Democrats who say that if the U.S. is going to draw down to fewer than 10,000 troops in the country, then it would be better for all American forces to come home. Today's attack, like many before, involved an Afghan soldier in uniform – or someone pretending to be an Afghan solider – opening fire. Administration critics point out that President Obama hardly ever talks about Afghanistan and, frankly, as polls show, people have forgotten why we're there.  As the November midterm elections approach, be on the lookout for more calls from both parties to bring everyone home.” – Bret Baier  

THE JUDGE’S RULING: LIFTING THE VEIL

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano considers a court’s ruling that the Obama Administration must reveal its secret legal rationale for killing Americans believed to be part of overseas militant groups: “Welcome to the strange new world of Barack Obama’s War on Terror, in which there are no declarations of war against countries that foment or harbor enemy activities, as the Constitution authorizes, and in which the president claims the powers of a king by killing whomever he wishes under a rationale that his lawyers wrote for him and that he has desperately tried to keep secret. The Obama administration is probably right to fear the revelation of this so-called legal way to kill. The appellate court decision is a profound and sweeping rejection of the Obama administration’s passion for hiding behind a veil of secrecy.”

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova takes a deep dive into why and how to tell when someone is lying. “Hardly anyone refrains from lying altogether, and some people report lying up to twelve times within that time span. I might open a conversation, for instance, by saying how nice it is to meet someone—when I’m really not at all happy about it… Trust me: we often lie without giving it so much as a second thought…Some lies are small (‘You look like you’ve lost a bit of weight’) and some bigger (‘I did not have sex with that woman’). Sometimes they are harmless, and sometimes they are not.”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

POLL CHECK

Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve –  44.3 percent//Disapprove – 51.2 percent

Direction of Country: Right Direction – 30.8 percent//Wrong Track – 61.6 percent 
Generic Congressional Ballot:  Democrats – 41.8 percent// Republicans 40.2 percent

HILLARY: “WOMEN HAVE TO SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN”

Boston Globe: “Hillary Rodham Clinton urged hundreds of women business executives in Boston to ‘dare to compete,’ in a speech Wednesday that was part pep talk and part political call to action… The speech in Boston was closely watched because it was on the home turf of Senator Elizabeth Warren, [D-N.H.,] a fellow Democrat who many on the left hope will run for president in 2016, despite her repeated declarations that she will not do so. Clinton made one reference to Warren, when she noted that only 20 percent of US Senate seats are held by women. She said, ‘Your great senator, Elizabeth Warren . . . has joined the women of the Senate,’ and added, ‘Women have to support other women.’…”

Hillary hints at red line for Ukraine - AP: “Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she believes the outcome of the standoff in Ukraine will be a bad one for Russia. Speaking at a University of Connecticut issues forum, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state said she believes the sanctions against the Russian government must be ‘tightened and widened’ to prevent the crisis from escalating. ‘I think Russia will pay a big price for this,’ Clinton said. ‘But that is an endpoint that we've got to get to as peacefully as possible without seeing the total disintegration of Ukraine as a country with territorial integrity and opportunity to have the relationship it wants with the West.’ …”

HILLARY SLIDES IN COLORADO

The Quinnipiac University poll out today finds former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton falling behind Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. “U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is the strongest candidate in Colorado in the 2016 presidential race, topping former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 48 - 43 percent. There is a huge gender gap as men back the Republican Paul 55 - 35 percent while women go with the Democrat Clinton 50 - 40 percent. Independent voters back Paul 48 - 37 percent.” The survey also showed Clinton leading, albeit narrowly, in matchups with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

RAND RIPS ON AXELROD OVER GLOBAL WARMING

WaPo: “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says in a new interview that people who cite recent hurricanes as proof of climate change are ignorant. Paul was speaking Tuesday with former senior [President Obama] adviser David Axelrod at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He said evidence of man-made climate change being a problem remains inconclusive and that many activists are ‘alarmist.’ ‘They all predicted the poor Statue of Liberty was going to drown within a hundred years, and the polar bears and all this stuff,’ Paul said. ‘That alarmist stuff, I think, really detracts from the case that we shouldn't pollute.’ Axelrod then asked Paul about the New York City subway system moving to insulate its system after superstorm Sandy. ‘What I would say is that someone is an ignoramus who would say that, ‘Oh, we had three hurricanes this year. This proves that somehow the climate is warming,’’ Paul said.”

[Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will headline the Republican Party of Maine’s convention this weekend in Bangor.]

NO FLIRTATION FROM THUNE THIS TIME

WaPo: “Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) on Wednesday said he isn’t running for president in 2016, telling radio host Hugh Hewitt that he's not angling for the job. ‘I am not running for president,’ Thune said. ‘I know a lot of my colleagues are [running for president],’ Thune told Hewitt. ‘And I think that you have to be  -- you probably have to, if you're gonna get serious about it, get going pretty early.’

POLL SHOWS DANGER FOR DEMS IN LOOMING VIRGINIA SHUTDOWN

After weeks of gridlock in Richmond over Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s effort to force the expansion of the commonwealth’s health insurance program for the poor, the chance of a state-government shutdown is looming larger. A new poll from Christopher Newport University shows that 53 percent of Virginia voters oppose McAuliffe’s plan to expand Medicaid. When asked who would share the blame if the government shut down 78 percent of Virginia voters say their new governor would share “a lot” or “some” of the blame. However, voters also said the Democratic led senate and Republican held house would share the blame equally.

Gillespie pitches - Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee and now Senate candidate Ed Gillespie gave his first TV interview to Richmond’s NBC12 Wednesday. Gillespie, aiming to grab the GOP’s nomination at the party’s June convention, touted his strong conservative background. He lamented “too much spending, too much government intrusion in our economy, too much debt, not enough if we look at our personal freedoms if you look at health care…[Sen.] Mark Warner, [D-Va.] cast a deciding vote.”

ERICKSON GETS A HANDEL ON GEORGIA SENATE RACE

Influential Georgia conservative blogger Erick Erickson (also a Fox News contributor) endorsed Republican Georgia Senate hopeful Karen Handel to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. Former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, also threw her support behind Handel this month. The former Georgia secretary of State faces a crowded field of GOP candidates seeking the nomination, including David Perdue and Jack Kingston in the May 20 primary. The top two finishers will head to an August runoff. Democrats have settled on Michelle Nunn, the daughter of longtime Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn.

CHALLENGER’S AD WINS ACCOLADES IN OREGON

The Hill: “Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby features a patient whose child she helped as a pediatric neurosurgeon in a new emotional television ad. The ad… highlights the story of Lexi Liebelt from Gresham, Ore., whose daughter needed reconstructive surgery on her spinal cord shortly after she was born. In the ad, Liebelt tells the story of how Wehby helped her daughter that day…‘Dr. Wehby would make an incredible senator. She will always do the right thing. She will act with integrity. All of Washington needs to be full of people like Dr. Wehby,’ she says.… It’s the latest in a spate of new ads from Wehby in her race against Sen. Jeff Merkley (D), and will run statewide on broadcast and cable through the May 20 primary, according to her campaign.”

BRALEY MUM ON WHY HE URGED IRS TO SCRUTINIZE CONSERVATIVES
Watchdog.org: DES MOINES, Iowa — Four days after the head of the Internal Revenue Service denied the agency was targeting conservative social welfare organizations applying for tax exempt status, Rep. Bruce Braley signed a letter urging a probe into the political activities of social welfare organizations. … The House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee published the letter, included in a group of documents released as part of the committee’s investigation into whether members of Congress tried to pressure the IRS into investigating certain conservative groups…. Braley, the only Democratic candidate in this year’s U.S. Senate race in Iowa, has long complained about ads run by 501(c)(4) groups.”

PICK SIX

Republicans are hoping to pick up an additional six seats to gain control of the Senate this November. Which Democrat-held seats will prove to be the most likely flips for the red team? The current consensus among Fox News First readers: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.

HEY, ABOUT THAT NAZI TWEET…

Free Beacon: “Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is in some hot water with the Jewish community after his campaign tweeted—and then quietly deleted—several messages urging backers to read an article comparing black Republican voters to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis. Chicago Sun Times readers were stunned last week to find that writer Neil Steinberg has penned a column comparing black supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis against their brethren.…Quinn’s camp praised the piece and tweeted it out to supporters several times. The tweets were deleted after local Jewish community officials quietly communicated their outrage to the governor.”

GEORGE WILL FLIES FIRST CLASS ON COLBERT 

George Will appeared on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” to talk about his new book on baseball. The host of the show, liberal satirist Stephen Colbert, tried to razz Will on having come to the Fox News Channel after decades at an establishment news outlet, but Will wasn’t having it. When Colbert said “Really?” to Will’s assertion that he “love[s]” being at FNC, Will replied “Fox News is like getting on a Southwest Airlines plane. Everyone’s happy, they’re at the top of the heap and they feel like insurgents.” Colbert said “that sounds almost dangerous.” Will deadpanned: “I hope so.”

Man at work - George Will: “Seven times [President Obama] asserted that [ObamaCare] ACA is ‘working.’ That is, however, uninformative because it is ambiguous. The ethanol program is ‘working’ in the sense that it is being implemented as its misguided architects intended. Nevertheless, the program is a substantial net subtraction from the nation’s well-being. The same can be said of sugar import quotas, or agriculture subsidies generally, or many hundreds of other government programs that are, unfortunately, ‘working.’”

MAYBE THEY’LL CALL IT ‘BLUTO SYNDROME’

One boozy night out can add 2 pounds to your weight, according to a new study cited in the Daily Mail. But it’s not just from the alcohol bingers drink, but the food they eat. A survey found there’s a “tipping point” – a time when you start to drink and eat more than you intended. For men, that’s after about four drinks. For women, it’s after two or three. Of course, after all that alcohol, what you eat might be the least of the regrets you have in the morning.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…

“If it were just [clemency] alone, you would say ‘Yes, on the merits it's not a bad idea.’… But we know what he's done with immigration reform, what he's done unilaterally is enact the Dream Act, which the Congress had rejected, not supposed to do. The constitution is very, very specific, legislation comes from Congress, it doesn't come from the White House. Why can't the president obey the Constitution, execute the laws faithfully, and let Congress change them? Which is what he ought to be doing.” Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier

 

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C.  Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First” political news note and hosts “Power Play,” a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”  He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.