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House Republicans close money gap with majority at stake

House Republicans spent the last four years drowning under an avalanche of Democratic campaign cash. Now they’re staging a fundraising comeback — just in time for a run at the majority.

Over the past three months, GOP incumbents have largely matched Democrats in the money race. The winning formula: a full embrace of digital fundraising, the maturation of their fledgling WinRed platform and donor optimism after a successful showing down-ballot in 2020. All that combined has allowed them to begin erasing the massive financial advantage that Democrats have enjoyed since the rise of former President Donald Trump.

At least 49 Democrats and 43 Republicans each raised more than $ 500,000 in the second quarter of 2021 — a fairly even split — according to a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance reports filed this week. That’s a stark contrast with the second quarter of 2019, when roughly 50 Democratic candidates cleared that threshold, but only some 30 Republicans reached that mark.

“Our leaders are setting records. And our members — especially these freshmen — you’ve got these $ 500,000 to $ 1 million reports that are coming out just a couple years after a big report for Republicans was typically around $ 250,000,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The GOP had some prolific fundraisers last quarter: Reps. Young Kim (R-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) both cleared $ 1 million. Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) raised over $ 850,000. All but Fitzpatrick are members of the 2020 freshman class.

To be sure, House Democrats are still posting massive quarterly totals. And the redistricting process makes it more difficult to know which incumbents will need large war chests. But Republicans are seeing a new groundswell of financial support in the off-year and, as Democrats realized in 2018, that’s often one of the earliest signs of base enthusiasm and a successful drive for the majority.

“In 2018 we put a significant emphasis on candidate development, candidate money and giving candidates the ability to go out and tell their stories,” said Dan Sena, the former executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It was a central reason we were able to win back the House.”

“What should be of note to Democratic strategists and the Democratic campaigns going forward is that it now seems the Republicans are doing the same thing,” Sena added.

Another sign of GOP momentum: The National Republican Congressional Committee has lapped the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in fundraising, outraising the DCCC by $ 8 million in the first six months of 2021. At this point the 2020 cycle, House Democrats had outraised Republicans by over $ 17 million.

The NRCC credits that success, in part, to their painstaking and long-running efforts to build a digital operation.

In interviews, Emmer often recalls a moment in early 2019, when a top digital strategist at the committee wrote him a memo, urging a heavy investment in small-dollar fundraising. That strategist, Lyman Munschauer, predicted the NRCC would suffer a net loss on that investment of 3 to 5 percent after one year before reaping gains.

But the benefits came even more quickly: The NRCC began making money within a year, and it has continued to flow in.

In the second quarter of 2019, the NRCC raised $ 3.3 million online. Over the same period this year, it raised more than $ 14.1 million.

“This time, we’re being even more aggressive,” Emmer said. “Yes, that investment is paying off.”

Meanwhile, WinRed, the GOP online fundraising platform created as a counter to the Democrats’ ActBlue, has taken off at a similar clip, bringing in $ 2.3 billion since its created in 2019.

“Your average Democrat who runs is now all about digital money,” said WinRed president Gerrit Lansing, noting ActBlue was founded in 2004. “We’re just having to complete that 15-year cultural shift and just condense it down into a couple cycles to try to catch up.”

For the GOP, this windfall comes at a crucial moment. When corporate PACs announced they would scale back their donations after the Jan. 6 insurrection, there was some concern that would disproportionately impact Republicans, who sometimes rely more heavily on those gifts.

“We’re all online-based now,” Lansing said of his party. The shift happened years ago, but the “fruits of that labor are really coming to fruition now. And it just so happened to coincide with this huge corporate PAC sort-of cage-rattling situation. So it’s ironic.”

Perhaps more importantly, WinRed has helped Republicans redirect the wealth toward new candidates, particularly downballot. Of the $ 131 million raised on the platform in the second quarter, almost 40 percent of that came from first-time donors to a single campaign.

Some of the party’s most adept fundraisers are able to nudge their supporters toward other candidates. For example, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who has raised over $ 1 million every quarter since she shot to prominence during the first Trump impeachment trial, has shared 150,000 donors since the start of the 2020 cycle.

All of this has spurred a digital-first mentality among Republicans that has long been prevalent in the Democratic political ecosystem, which some in the GOP attribute to their current freshman class, which is younger, more tech-savvy and less accustomed to in-person fundraising than longer-term incumbents.

“We started building our digital program early,” said Hinson, who was a TV news anchor in Cedar Rapids before flipping a seat in 2020. “I do enjoy doing digital fundraising. I’m a direct-to-camera person.”

Filming online ads has helped her connect with constituents and donors, Hinson said. “We use Facebook ads a lot for our digital fundraising, and we have great feedback from the comment sections of those ads.”

And like the NRCC, GOP campaigns appear to be becoming more comfortable with the idea of spending money to make it. Hinson, along with some of the party’s biggest fundraisers like Kim, Steel and Mace, spent well over $ 300,000 last quarter — a higher sum than is typical a year-and-a-half before the election.

All made significant investments in fundraising consulting, digital marketing and web ads, according to their FEC reports.

Still, Democratic incumbents retain a significant cash-on-hand advantage, especially those like Reps. Josh Harder (D-Calif.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.), who did not face particularly competitive reelections in 2020 and have well over $ 4 million in the bank. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) has a staggering $ 12.9 million stashed.

And some operatives were privately relieved at the small hauls of some highly touted Republican challengers. GOP state Sen. Jen Kiggans of Virginia only raised $ 286,000 for her run against Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.). And Marine veteran Tyler Kistner raised just $ 279,000 for his rematch with Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) Though those challengers didn’t launch until mid-April, both incumbents raised well over twice as much.

Yet some of the money has also begun to trickle down to GOP challengers. Republican Derrick Van Orden outraised incumbent Rep. Ron Kind in Wisconsin, $ 754,000 to $ 409,000.

In the coming quarters, however, Republicans are facing an additional roadblock: enticing prospective challengers who are dragging their feet, waiting for the delayed redistricting process to start.

“I hope more candidates jump in soon and not wait for new district lines,” said Dan Conston, the president of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a top GOP super PAC. “Because that compressed calendar is going to present a significant challenge for them for online fundraising and for big-dollar fundraising.”

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This post originally posted here Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta makes transfer declaration as Gunners close in on two more deals

Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli is also on the club’s radar, with Granit Xhaka likely to leave for Roma.

Meanwhile, Arteta was impressed with the first sighting of Tavares in an Arsenal shirt on Saturday.

Tavares took his goal calmly with his weak foot to equalise in the first half.

“A great debut with his right foot as well!” Arteta reflected.

“He’s only been with us a few days but you can already see his qualities, his physicality and then the quality on the ball that he has.

“He’s integrating with the lads really well, so it’s a good start.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

Azerbaijan, Brazil close to signing agreements in education, agriculture sectors – ambassador

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 6

By Jeila Aliyeva – Trend:

Azerbaijan and Brazil are close to signing agreements on education and agriculture, Ambassador of Brazil to Azerbaijan Manuel Adalberto Carlos Montenegro Lopes da Cruz told Trend.

“We have such enormous talent in advanced technology in Brazil, which makes all sense for Azerbaijan. Our solutions are usually not expensive, so now we’re very competitive on the world’s stage, with no need for subsidies because we learned how to make it happen,” added the ambassador.

The ambassador noted that the other possible cooperation between Azerbaijan and Brazil, is course scientific exchanges.

“Our impact of publications [impact factor – how many times a research paper gets referenced by other researchers] individually, is, let’s say around 1 percent, but when we do joint publications with Azerbaijan, it goes up to 3.8 percent. From this point of view this is very good partnership,” added the ambassador.

Follow the author on Twitter: @JeilaAliyeva

Read more here >>> Trend – News from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey.

Marks and Spencer to close 29 in-store banks today – full list

Marks and Spencer has 29 banks, all located in stores across the country. All banks are closing for good today with the retailer aiming to focus instead on its credit cards, insurance, savings, and loan products.

“We’re now firmly focused on supporting both our customers and colleagues through this change, and the delivery of our transformation plans, which will create new and rewarding payment solutions for M&S shoppers, both in-store and online,” Mr Spencer added.

The closures will undoubtedly affect both M&S staff and customers.

The retailer has previously said it would redeploy branch workers where possible, but it has not confirmed since how many redundancies will take place.

As for customers, the bank will shut their existing current accounts on August 31.

If there are still funds in place in the bank account by August, they will remain frozen, and customers will need to contact M&S to transfer the money elsewhere.

Following the bank closures, Marks and Spencer’s banking services will now move to online, mobile, and telephone channels only.

M&S Bank’s credit cards, general insurance, savings, and loan products will remain the same.

Therefore, customers who have one or more of these products will be unaffected by the changes.

M&S Bank is not the only bank to shut its doors for good in 2021.

Lloyds Banking Group confirmed last month that it will shut another 44 branches in November, meaning it will have closed a total of 100 banks by the end of the year.

Full list of M&S Bank closures

Aberdeen – St Nicholas Street

Birmingham – High Street

Bristol – Cribbs Causeway

Bromley – High Street

Cardiff – Culverhouse Cross

Dartford – Bluewater

Edinburgh – The Gyle

Ellesmere Port – Cheshire Oaks

Exeter – High Street

Gateshead – Metro

Glasgow – Argyle Street

Glasgow – Braehead

Leeds – Briggate

Lisburn – Sprucefield

London W12 – Westfield White City

London – Marble Arch

Manchester – Market Street

Milton Keynes – Saxon Gate East

Norwich – Rampant Horse Street

Oxford – Queen Street

Pudsey – Stanningley

Sandhurst – Camberley

Sheffield – Meadowhall

Shoreham – Holmbush Centre

Southampton – Hedge End

St Albans – London Colney

Tipton – Merryhill

Warrington – Gemini

Wilmslow – Handforth

Author: Mared Gruffydd
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style
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‘Have to close it down' Jeremy Clarkson reveals plan to shut farm shop over council demand

In a column for Sunday Times back in March, Jeremy recounted the many demands he’s received from the council since opening his shop.

He penned: “My shop had only been open a few days when we received a stern letter warning us that our rather lovely ice cream had been made from the juice of cows that lived eight miles away, in Gloucestershire, and that this contravened a clause that said that we could only sell produce from West Oxfordshire.

“Since then we’ve been told that the roof is the wrong colour, that the sign is 0.3 of a metre too wide, that we aren’t allowed to sell teas and coffees, that the gingham covering on the straw bales contravenes Covid regulations, that the car park is a road safety hazard, that the sausage rolls are wrong in some unfathomable way, and that if we were allowed to sell beer, yobbos would come and urinate in the graveyard.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

'From Space with love!' UK actress lands intergalactic lover after close encounter

Abbie Bela claimed that she was recently abducted by a group of five aliens from her Canary Wharf apartment. In a frank admission, she said she immediately connected with one of her intergalactic visitors, describing him as her “soul mate”. Ms Bela opened up about her extraordinary adventure with her cosmic hosts in an interview with the Daily Star’s Lucy Notarantonio.

She said: “I am sick of men from Earth.

“I joked online about wanting an alien to abduct me.

“I then started dreaming every night of a white light.

Ms Bela views herself as a pioneer for women on earth, as she looks to challenge social norms.

She said there should be no stigmas attached to dating an alien and that she wanted to be the first to “normalise” such relations.

“I’m willing to give it a go – I’m going to be one of the first to normalise it,” she declared.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

Tottenham close in on Gennaro Gattuso appointment as Paulo Fonseca talks break down

He was appointed on May 25 but has been locked in a dispute with his new club regarding transfer targets ever since.

But the 43-year-old has now sensationally quit his post after just 23 days with reports suggesting he had a falling out with club owner Rocco Commisso.

Fiorentina said in a statement: “ACF Fiorentina and Mister Rino Gattuso, by mutual agreement, have decided not to follow up on the previous agreements and therefore not to start the next football season together.

“The Company immediately set to work to identify a technical choice that will guide the Viola team towards the results that Fiorentina and the City of Florence deserve.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Gareth Bale takes cheeky dig at Aaron Ramsey as Wales close in on Euro 2020 knockout stage

Bale was also grateful to play in front of a crowd in Baku and paid tribute to the small number of visiting Welsh fans.

He said: “Yeah [the atmosphere] actually helped because playing in front of no fans is difficult to get your adrenaline going and really push to get to the levels that you need to get to.

“So the fans were fantastic, I know most of them were Turkish, but the Welsh fans were incredible again.

“There weren’t many but they made it loud and they made us keep going.

“They’re the Red Wall, obviously we want to thank the fans at home for supporting us as well and I’m sure they’ll be cheering in their millions tonight.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Gap announces plans to close UK stores – 19 shops affected

The retailer Gap has today announced plans to shut 19 stores across the country. The retailer has decided not to extend the store leases on July 31 due to a strategic review underway. It comes as the latest blow to UK high-streets due to the pandemic.

Gap is said to be closing 19 of its stores across the country, although the locations are yet to be disclosed.

The remaining 50 standalone and outlet stores across the UK and Ireland are still under review.

The stores will therefore continue to operate until a decision has been made.

As part of the fashion retailer’s review, it is aiming to secure store partnership for each European country it operates in, including the UK, France, Italy and Ireland.

READ MORE: Garden pests: How to get rid of insects on your plants

Last year he said: “One of the options being explored is the possible closure of our company-operated Gap stores in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Italy at the end of the second quarter in 2021.”

Back in December, the retailer said it would close one of its two Oxford Street shops in London.

Today’s announcement puts the risk of more redundancies on the line.

At its height, the retailer was one of the most recognised clothing brands in the world, with stores across the world.

However, a shift in consumer behaviour as well as stores being closed for several months at a time mean many retailers have had to close down.

A Gap spokesperson said: “We are proposing to close 19 Gap stores that have leases ending at the end of July 2021.

“These leases are not being extended due to the strategic review that we have underway.”

Debenhams announced in May that it would be closing its remaining 15 stores, closing the door on more than 200 years of trade on UK high streets.

In February, Topshop and three other Arcadia brands permanently closed their doors as Asos confirmed it would takeover the brands,

At the time, Asos chief executive Nick Neighton said: “We are extremely proud to be the new owners of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands.”

Chocolatier Thorntons also closed all of its UK stores and John Lewis has also taken a hit, with the retailer closing down multiple stores.

John Lewis permanently closed eight of its stores since March due to them being “financially challenged prior to the pandemic”.

The chain has now axed around a third of its stores in less than a year.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Secret Android 12 gaming features will help close PlayStation and Xbox gap

The Android 12 beta has revealed some interesting new features that could help close the gap between phones and leading consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.

Gaming has always been popular on Smartphones, and there is a lot of work being done to bring bigger and better experiences to the small screen.

This includes new streaming apps which make it possible to play franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Halo without the need for a big download.

Then there are the leading ports of popular games, with Fortnite Mobile, PUBG Mobile and League of Legends: Wild Rift leading the charge.

But even though things are slowly becoming easier for those who like to play via their Samsung or Pixel device, there is still a lot missing.

Not much can be done about the size of the screen, and most AAA games require a controller to play.

READ MORE: Great new lineup of PS Plus free games revealed for June 2021

However, other features that gamers like and expect from a console or PC look to be coming soon.

This includes the small improvements that can help you when playing online, or managing your time.

A new report out this month suggests that a Game Mode is being worked on for the Android 12 update.

This has been found by multiple sources and shared online, including what the new mode does.

Android Authority has revealed that new Android gaming options include being able to take a screenshot, record the screen and viewing FPS.

As an example, all of these features can be found on an Xbox console and are seen as very standard settings.

So providing a new mode where all of these options can be chosen would provide some welcome improvements in the world of Android.

Saving footage and sharing it with friends is a very popular social feature, and Reddit is littered with this kind of content.

And being able to take screenshots would certainly help when it comes to reporting bugs or even spotting cheaters.

Some of these features can already be found in some Android games, but having a dedicated option where they can be found as standard would help close the gap with PlayStation and Xbox.

The FPS screen is another gamer-only feature that could prove very popular, especially when playing first-person shooters.

And AA even reports that Android 12 will include something that isn’t available as standard on consoles.

This includes being able to record both game audio and the microphone, meaning your recording will contain your own commentary on what is happening on-screen.

This isn’t something that comes as standard on console, and while it’s possible to use third-party apps to achieve this, having it bundled in with your Android device would be very helpful.

Tapping the gear icon takes you to the game mode menu (image on the right), showing six options in total. The four options at the top are taking a screenshot, recording the screen, presumably viewing the frames per second, and activating/deactivating Do Not Disturb.

Another option will reportedly allow gamers to share directly via YouTube Live, although it’s unclear if this functionality will make it into the final build.

Google lifted the lid on Android 12 when the huge mobile operating system upgrade was showcased at Google IO 2021 earlier this month. The upcoming Android update, available to download as part of a public beta test right now, is the biggest refresh for the market-leading software in years.

A release date for Android 12 hasn’t been announced yet, but judging by past launches, it’s likely to land around September. So there’s plenty of time left for Google to announce this new gaming-centric feature.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed