Check out the website:  Political Note #221 Mark Kelly US Senate Arizona, Political Note #275 Dan Whitfield (Ind) US Senate Arkansas,  Political Note #269 Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock US Senate Georgia (B), Political Note #262 Barbara Bollier Kansas, Political Note #239 Mike Espy US Senate Mississippi, Political Note #279 Steve Bullck US Senate Montana, Political Note #311 Abby Broyles US Senate Oklahoma, Political Note #291 MJ Hegar US Senate Texas, Political Note #217 Jaime Harrison US Senate South Carolina, Political Note #316 Marquita Bradshaw US Senate Tennessee


091520           Political Note #320   Paulette Jordan US Senate Idaho

2020               General election

Paulette Jordan has antecedents to be proud of.  Moses, for one.  Chief Moses of the Sinkiuse-Columbia tribe, a pragmatic leader from 1859 to 1899 who preserved his people through accommodation.  Kamiakin is another.  He organized his people, the Yakama, Palouse, and Klickitat plus fourteen other tribes in the Yakama War of 1855-1858.  Still another antecedent is Lucy Friedlander Covington.  As a member of the Colville tribal council, she fought termination of federal recognition of tribes and the consequent assimilation effort of the 1950s.

Paulette Jordan is a 6 foot tall Native American who played some basketball. She was good enough at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane to be offered a full scholarship to Washington State.  She chose academics instead and accepted a full non-athletic scholarship to the University of Washington.

Paulette Jordan has political experience.  She remained in Washington state after graduation, was active in community affairs and served as an advisor to the President of the University of Washington.  She is a citizen of the Coeur d’Alene tribe and served on their tribal council.  While in that role, she became co-chair of gaming for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.  She has also been the Senior Executive Board representative and Finance Chair and Energy Chair for the National Indian Gaming Association.

Returning to Idaho, Paulette Jordan was active in state politics. She was a member of Idaho’s House of Representatives from 2014 to 2018 and the Democratic candidate for Governor in 2018.  She lost the governor’s race, gained name recognition, and is now the Democratic nominee for the US Senate.

Paulette Jordan is not a perfect candidate in a perfect place.  She has had trouble with campaigns.  Staffers left her campaign when she ran for governor and in the current campaign.  More to the point, Idaho is not a great place for a Democrat.  Almost half the state’s population are Evangelical Christians or Mormons – groups that have become identified with the Republican Party.  You might expect Native Americans to be a substantial part of Idaho’s population. Not so, perhaps because they are not counted.  Native Americans in Idaho were described as having a 20% response rate for the last census.

There is no reason to think Idaho’s Native Americans register to vote at a higher rate than they register for the census.  The voting population in Idaho is overwhelmingly white in a state which, according to the census, is 91% white.

This is not to say that Jim Risch, the incumbent Republican Senator, is popular.  It may be better to be rich than popular.  He has combined politics and his lucrative law practice beginning at a young age.  He was elected a county prosecuting attorney when he was 27.  Four years later he was elected to the Idaho state senate.

Then he had a couple of setbacks.  He lost a State Senate election to a Democrat, then lost the primary when he tried to come back.  Appointments worked better.  The governor named him to fill a state senate vacancy and then to head of the state commerce department.  In a position to run statewide, he was elected Lt. Governor in 2001 and served briefly as Governor when the governor became US Secretary of the Interior.  He returned to the role of Lt. Governor and was elected to the US Senate in 2008 and 2014.

Here’s an oddity.  While Jim Risch worked his way successfully and unsuccessfully through his political career, he made enough money to have a net worth of $20 million.  He became one of the wealthiest members of Congress. He has critics.  The critics don’t seem to address how Risch made his money through his law practice while he was in politics.

Jim Risch’s critics comment on his political character.  They say and he says that his state Senate loss was good for him, that it matured him, that it mellowed him. His critics do not find him mellow.  When Risch described how well he worked with Cecil Andrus, a four-term Democratic governor of Idaho, Andrus responded. “Worked against me is more like it,” and added “Risch is one of the most partisan people I’ve ever had to deal with. During his time in legislative leadership, cooperation across the aisle and with the governor’s office reached a new low.”

Adam Wetherby, a political scientist at Boise State University, would not describe Risch as mellow either.  “He was feared, .…He knew how to count votes, and he knew how to move legislation. … His leadership style was very effective. Some people appreciated it – others who were on the losing side didn’t, and thought it was dictatorial.”

Risch certainly took his opportunities.  During his brief time as Governor, he called a special session of the legislature during which they enacted major tax reforms, wrote a new plan for managing roadless lands, and reorganized the state’s Department of Health and Welfare.

Can Paulette Jordan attack Jim Risch for being an opportunist?  She attacks him for being a friend of Donald Trump.   When she announced her candidacy for the Senate, Paulette Jordan described Trump as dangerous.   “President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened the traditional balance of power between the presidency and the legislative and judicial branches, and Trump actively seeks the power to become the first dictator of the United States. Only if we all work together can this be prevented. The time is now, before it is too late.”

Paulette Jordan has kept her agenda simple:  Health care is inadequate.  There are too many people who are simply left to die, she says.  .Risch only wants to make it worse.   Idaho’s agriculture has been a victim of Trump’s trade wars that Risch has supported, Jim Risch and the Trump administration have been fiscally reckless and unaccountable, she explains, of which the huge tax cut for the wealthy is the most prominent example.

Paulette Jordan is not a likely winner of this election.  She lost the governor’s race by 20 points.  She could do better in the Senate race. At least one commentator described her as a better candidate for being in Washington than in Boise.  Help her out.  Keep the Republicans on the defensive for the Senate.  Jim Risch has been surprised before in an election.  Surprise him again.

There are plenty of Democratic Senate candidates to support (Democrats listed first):


Arizona                      Astronaut Mark Kelly, gun safety leader supported by his wife former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords v. Incumbent and ex fighter pilot Martha McSally. July 15 Cash on hand: McSally $11 million. Kelly $21 million.  Polls: September Kelly 53- 38, 51-45, 48-45, 56-39 July Kelly 53-35, 47-45, 52-36, 51-42, 50-42, 53-41


Colorado                    Former Governor John Hickenlooper v Incumbent attorney and party activist Senator Cory Gardner. July 24 Cash on hand: Gardner $10.7 million, Cash on Hand June 30 Hickenlooper $4.5 million, Polls:  September Hickenlooper 51-46, 48-39 August Hickenlooper 51-42 July  Hickenlooper 48-42 June Hickenlooper 51-39, 58-28


Michigan                    Incumbent Democrat Gary Peters has a tough opponent in African-American Businessman John James.  July 15 Cash on hand: Peters $11.6 Million, Johnson $9.2 Million.  Polls: September Peters 48-40, 50–38, 50-46, 45-41, 44-41, 53- 39, 47-46 August James, 48-47, Peters 47-39, 50-45, 51- 40 July Peters  47-39, 52-35, 41-34, 48 – 44, 49 – 35, 48-38, 47-39, 53-48

North Carolina.         Businessman, environmentalist, and veteran, Cal Cunningham v Incumbent Thom Tillis.  June 30 Cash on Hand:  Tillis $6.9 Million, Cunningham $6.6 Million.  Polls:  September Cunningham 51-44, 42-39, 48-42, 46-45  August Tied 44-44 Cunningham 47-37, 52-42, 48-43 July Cunningham 47-39, 48-39, 47-36, 52 – 40, 46-37, 48-40, 49-42, 47-39, 44-40 . Tied 43-43




Alaska            Physician and Commercial Fisherman Al Gross v. incumbent  Dan Sullivan.  June 30: Sullivan’s cash on hand $5.3 million.  Gross’s cash on hand $3.2 million. Polls: August Tied 43-43 July Sullivan 39-34, 53-40


Georgia (A)               Jon Ossoff v incumbent David Perdue.  Cash on Hand June 30. Perdue $10.7 Million, Ossoff $2.5 Million,.  Polls: September Ossoff 48-47, August Tied 44-44, Ossoff 48-46, Perdue 44-41, July Perdue 45-43, 49-43. 45-42, 48-43, Ossoff 45-44


Iowa                            Businesswoman and civic leader Theresa Greenfield v incumbent Joni Ernst.  June 30 Cash on hand:  Ernst $9.1 Million, Greenfield $5.6 Million, Polls: September Ernst 50-45 August Ernst 48-45, Greenfield 45-43, 48-45 July Greenfield 49-47


Kentucky                    Retired Marine Pilot Amy McGrath and conservative Democrat v Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.    June 30 Cash on hand: McConnell $16.6 Million, McGrath $16.2 Million.  Polls:  August McConnell 49-46, July McConnell 53-36, June McGrath 41-40


Maine                        Speaker of the ME House, Sara Gideon v sometimes moderate incumbent Susan Collins.  June 30 Cash on hand: Collins $5.6 Million, Gideon $5.4 Million   Polls: September Gideon 44-43 July Collins 45-37, Gideon 44 – 39, 47-42, 47-43, 46-42


Montana                    Steve Bullock, Democratic Governor of Montana versus corporate-oriented incumbent Steve Daines.  June 30 Cash on hand:  Daines $7.1 Million, Bullock $7.6 Million. Polls: September Daines 50-47, July Bullock 46-44, 47-43



South Carolina          Former Party Chair Jaime Harrison v incumbent, former moderate Republican Lindsay Graham.  May 20 Cash on hand Graham $15 Million, Cash on Hand June 30 Harrison $10.2 Million.  Polls: July Graham  44-43,  49 – 45, 48-41


Alabama                    Incumbent ex US Attorney and Prosecutor of KKK members Doug Jones v former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. June 30 Cash on hand. Jones $8.8 Million. Tuberville $550,000.  Polls: July Tuberville 52-35 June Tuberville 50-36, Tuberville 47-44


Georgia (B)               Five candidates.  The top two will be in a run off.  Three Democrats: The Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, Businessman Matt Lieberman, ex US Attorney Ed Tarver.  Two Republicans: Incumbent Kelly Loeffler, Congressman Doug Collins. June 30 Cash on hand:  Loeffler $7 Million, Warnock $2.9 Million, Collins $2.6 Million, Lieberman $300,000   Polls: September Loeffler 24, Collins 20, Warnock 19, Lieberman 10, Tarver 7, August  Loeffler 26, Collins 17, Warnock 17, Lieberman 13, Tarver 3, July  Collins 26, Loeffler 24, Warnock 18, Liberman 11, Tarver 9, July Collins 21, Loeffler 20, Lieberman 14, Warnock 9, Tarver 5

Kansas                      Physician and former Republican State Senator Barbara Boliier v. Congressman Roger Marshall. July 15 Cash on hand: Bollier $4.1 Million Marshall $1 Million Polls:  August  46-44, 42-41May Hamilton 42-41

Louisiana                   Mayor Adrian Perkins v Incumbent Bill Cassidy. Beginning of July Cassidy had $6 million.  Perkins has not yet reported.  No Polls.

Mississippi                 Ex Member of Congress and Ex Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy v Incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith.  June 30 Cash on hand: Hyde-Smith $1.2 Million, Espy $680,000.  Polls: August Hyde-Smith 47-42 June Hyde-Smith 49-41


Oklahoma                  Television journalist Abby Broyles v Incumbent Jim Inhofe  June 30 Cash on hand:  Inhofe $2.2 million, Broyles $200,000.  Polls July Inhofe 50-34

Texas                         Military Helicopter Pilot MJ Hegar v Incumbent John Cornyn.  June 30 Cash on hand: Cornyn $14.5 Million, M. J. Hegar $900,000  Polls: September Cornyn 44–40, 39-28, 46-40 July Cornyn 43-42, 44-38,  42-35, 47-38, 44-36, 42-29,



Arkansas                   Independent Dan Whitfield (if he can get on the ballot) v incumbent Tom Cotton  March 31 Cash on hand Cotton $5 Million, Whitfield $5 Thousand. No polls.

Idaho                          Former state senator Paulette Jordan versus incumbent James Risch. June 30: Rish cash on hand $2.4 million.  Paulette Jordan $70,000

South Dakota,           Businessman Dan Ahlers v Incumbent Mike Rounds.  March 31 Cash on hand: Rounds $2 Million. Ahlers (who still has to win a primary) $35,000.  Polls:  None

Tennessee                Memphis-based African-American environmental justice activist Marquita Bradshaw for an open Republican seat in Tennessee.  June 30 Cash on hand: Republicans:  Hedge Fund Owner Bill Hagerty $4.1 Million, Democrat Marquita Bradshaw – no funds reported.  Polls: None

West Virginia            Environmental Activist Paula Jean Swearengin versus incumbent Shelley Moore Capito.  In the middle of July Moore Capito had $1.8 million. At the beginning of July Paul Jean Swearengin had $130,000.  Polls: None


Minnesota                  Incumbent Tina Smith v ex Congressman Jason Lewis. Cash on hand as of July 22. Smith $5.8 million Lewis $1 million.   September Smith 47-36, 49-41, Lewis 43-41, May Smith 46-35