SSP Daily Digest: 4/15

Special Teabaggers’ edition of the digest…

NY-20 (pdf): The morning update on the NY-20 absentee count finds Scott Murphy padding his skimpy lead a bit, up to 168. There was a partial report of absentees from Warren County (one of the strongholds of the Murphy clan), and the expected report from Saratoga County (Tedisco country) didn’t materialize, so this may be only a temporary surge. Democratic number crunchers, starting with Nate Silver, are sounding increasingly sanguine about the direction the absentee ballots are taking, though. Nate projects about a 500-vote margin for Murphy when all is said and done.

The Albany Project has been all over the sudden increase in ballot challenges by the Tedisco camp (who’ve moved to challenge second-home voters and student voters in the last few days). In the battle of perceptions, however, the GOP may have gone a fridge too far with their latest step, challenging the absentee ballot of NY-20’s favorite resident, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand visited the Great Orange Satan and HuffPo to blog about her experience.

MO-Sen: Polls have given SoS Robin Carnahan a commanding position in the open Missouri senate race, and now she has fundraising numbers to match, posting $1,048,000 in the first quarter.

OH-Sen: There’s one other SoS running for an open senate seat who didn’t fare so well, though. Jennifer Brunner pulled in a surprisingly low $200,000. That may pick up once she gets the expected EMILY’s List endorsement, but it leaves her lagging behind Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who raised more than $1 million and is already wearing the mantle of ‘establishment’ Dem candidate.

PA-Sen: Joe Torsella, who’s never held elective office before but is well-connected in Philadelphia’s corridors of power, reported a solid $584,000 in an abbreviated Q1 (only since mid-February).

OK-Sen: Are you there, God? It’s me, Tom Coburn. I can’t decide whether or not to run for re-election. (He says he’s not playing games; it’s a “spiritual thing.”) The Club for Growth, in their first act since Chris “Count” Chocola took over, endorsed Coburn today, though.

TX-Gov: Kinky Friedman, who got 12% of the vote as an independent in the chaotic 2006 Texas governor’s race, is doing it again, and this time he’s running in the Democratic primary. It’s unclear whether this will work to Friedman’s advantage, since a lot of his support comes from Paulists, Naderites, and other assorted weirdos who may not be registered Democrats, and Tom Schieffer gives Dem voters a ‘normal’ option.

FL-10: Bill Young is always on ‘most likely’ to retire lists, but the 78-year-old is giving a little more fodder for that mill with today’s fundraising report. He raised only $7,100 in the first quarter, sitting on $412K CoH. (He only raised $15K in Q1 of 2007, though, and won easily in 2008.)

MI-09: Joe Knollenberg won’t be back for a rematch against Gary Peters, who unseated him in 2008, but his former chief of staff will. Paul Welday, who’s also a former Oakland County GOP chair, will challenge him in 2010. Welday lost a race for the state house in 2008.

91 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/15”

  1. Uggg.  What a depressing choice we face between Kinky and Scheiffer.  Presumably Scheiffer does less damage at the top of the ticket.  I’ll probably be voting in the R primary for Hutchison.

  2. I thought it was odd Cook moved that one from safe to likely R.  He must be getting the feeling Young is retiring.  He also moved DE-AL to likely R, just days before Carney officially got in the race.

  3. I think Peters is safe.  He’s a good fit for the district, and a good pol, too.

    I like Schieffer.  His interview on Burnt Orange Report won me over.

  4. In fundraising!

    Blunt announced that he raised $542,000 in the first quarter – about half of Democrat Robin Carnahan’s $1.04 million fundraising total. He ended March with $673,000 in his campaign account after transferring $336,000 from his House campaign account.

    Carnahan reported $928,000 in her campaign account at the end of March.

    Blunt’s transfer from his US House account (no money for NRCC) kept the pain from turning into heartburn.  

    1. Are Murphy votes being contested by Tedisco.  Tedisco’s people are launching far more frivilous challenges across the board in every county.

    2. Which is overwhelmingly Murphy country.

      Murphy is going to be congressman-elect by this time next week.

    3. Of those already counted in Saratoga, Tedisco is winning about 57-43.  Even assuming that all 700 ballots are counted and that they’ll break at the same ratio of those already counted, Tedisco would pick up a little less than 100 votes.  Considering that there are many, many more votes still out from counties where the absentee votes are favoring Murphy and that all the reports are that the vast majority of challenged ballots are being challenged by Tedisco (and thus likely to favor Murphy), I’m feeling very good about this one.

  5. That’s pretty damn paultry.  Although, Fischer has more to start from and Brunner has more to build on.  

  6. Have any solid Dems stepped up yet to run in that open race?  It’s a damn important race to win for many reasons.  I still wish Brunner would just run for re-election.

    Fantastic fundraising by Carnahan!

  7. Brunner’s no quitter.  We should know that by now.  The dye on this one has been cast from the start with Fisher running as the establishment candidate with the lock on fundraising.  Brunner’s numbers this cycle are disappointing sure, but she’s been running as the grassroots candidate from the start.  If she’s going to beat Fisher, who’s a rather dull figure on the stage, its going to be in organizing and messaging.  But I agree, she’s going to need some money, so let’s quit whinning, whipe our noses, and THROW HER SOME CASH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 1) Young is about $20 K behind where he was two years ago.  Considering, he never has built a huge war chest and never really spends so much.

    2) Young is nowhere near Jeff Miller in FL-1.  Miller has $6,011 cash on hand.  And he’ll probably win re-election easily.  The Florida money bags among Republicans remains Cliff Stearns ($2,292,358).  Stearns is the leader among Republican House members who have filed, just edging out Ron Paul ($2,265,477).

    3) A number of endangered incumbents are “off the floor”, but barely.  Don Young raised $103 K and sits at $120,674.  Judy Biggert is up to $190,416 in IL-13.  Peter Roskam, at $158,096 doesn’t seem too viable for a state-wide run in Illinois.  Walter Jones is at $9,170 in NC-3.  

  9. I’d love to hear his explanation for moving LA-02 from Likely D to Tossup.  Does he have insider sources pointing to another run by Dollar Bill Jefferson?  Or Nostradamus-like abilities in predicting Katrina II to hit New Orleans in 2010?

  10. Cook is Nostradamus.  He occasionally screws one up so we don’t know it.  If he says a hurricane is coming, you get the hell out of New Orleans.


  11. Bill Jefferson or a relative or accmplice of Bill Jefferson wins the Dem primary then Cao just cant win. If Cao wants a political future hed just not run for re-election and then bide his time until Jindal gets out of office or try and take on Mary Landrieu in 2014 (wouldnt be easy, though).  

  12. for those us (such as myself) who didn’t know already.  He beat Jim Martin in 2006.

  13. I want to what Fmr. Rep Jim Turner (D-East Texas) is doing with that pile of cash he retired from the House with.

    I think this is the guy with the profile to win statewide.

  14. Given his hard right stance on immigration i cant see how hed win a Dem primary. And I saw him in a debate once and he was just god awful. He looked like he had no business even being in the race. If he wants to be Gov. he should just try and work his way up.  

  15. because you cant switch money from federal races to state races.  But why the hell havent any of those ousted Dems run for anything except for Lampson and Bell.  It’s a good suggestion.  He was ranking member on the Ag committee and had been there for a long damn time right?

  16. I believe Sandlin’s moved to North Dakota (the at-large representative there’s last name is “Herseth-Sandlin”), Nick Lampson’s name has been floating around for heading up NASA, and that the rest have become lobbyists.  That, and I think Turner’s mantle as one of the original Blue Dog Democrats has been successfully passed on to Henry Cuellar, now that the only Democrat I can think of who was endorsed by the Club for Growth has been let in to that particular ideological caucus.

    Random aside: for some reason I read “Jim Turner” but spent about five seconds thinking “Pete Laney.”  Not that either of them would be all that satisfactory candidates for primary voters, myself included, but man, talk about appealing to independents and moderate Republicans – of the few West Texan Republicans I’ve met who’ve ever voted for a Democrat, Pete Laney was it.

    Anyway, what with John Sharp running for the Senate, I think Jim Turner running for Governor would be one of the old guard too many.  I posted a redistricting diary on Texas that I think shows that if I could, I’d send Chris Bell and Nick Lampson back to Washington somehow.  But as for the rest of the DeLaymandered Democrats?  As much as I admire what I’ve read of New Deal politics, especially compared to Nixon’s transmogrified version based on cultural divides, I don’t think it’s productive to attempt to bring that era back – and that’s what I think a Turner candidacy would be, ultimately.

  17. I hope Walter Jones sticks around as long as possible.  It’s an unwinnable district for any Democrat and Jones is of of the better Republicans in the House.  He’s very good on foreign policy and some economic issues.

  18. And they’ve seen Lampson and Bell get their tails kicked time and time again.  Why fight to win in a state like Texas (nearly impossible for a D to win) when you can make millions as a lobbyist or DC lawyer?

  19. But why the hell havent any of those ousted Dems run for anything except for Lampson and Bell.

    Being a Congressman in Texas makes you one of 30 something.  IOW, you basically have zero name recognition statewide.  And, unless you’re a terrific fundraiser or self-financed, there’s not much chance of raising your profile enough to overcome the generic R advantage.  Big city mayors, statewide office holders (of which Sharp was the last D about 10 years ago), someone famous outside of state politics, or multi-millionaires are probably our best shot right now.  

  20. Turner was winning a 65% R district before redistricting and it became 72% R (Woodlands changed his district from being conservative rednecks in the woods to white suburbanites in mansions).

    Lampson was winning 55% R, Bell was winning a solid Dem district.

  21. I can vouch for how conservative The Woodlands/Spring area seems. Upper middle class and wealthy conservatives all over the place. Including many conservative retirees.  

  22. sees Toomey in, and reevaluates his position. I’m kind of high on getting the first Iraq veteran in the Senate. Plus Murphy is a strong campaigner and he draws support from a wide variety of areas and interest groups and has a profile that plays statewide. Not to mention he has a solid base in Bucks county, the most conservative of the Philly suburbs and would murder Toomey in the Philly suburbs as a whole.

  23. Anyone could beat Toomey.  I’m just concerned about the possibility he might implode (say something racist on TV, I dunno) and Specter might squeak past him again.  We need to be preparing to run against Specter, that’s the only race we might lose.  Can Torsella beat Specter?  Maybe.  I’d feel more confident with someone like Alyson Schwartz in the race.

  24. I remember him nearly blowing his race in 2006 because he could not answer a simple question about the war on Hardball.  

  25. Well, as far as Lampson you might be right, although it’s worth keeping in mind that he over-performed Obama by 4%, and that as far as I can tell – and the Republican political mind is as clear as a mudslide to me, so this might not be much – Pete Olsen ran as a moderate, too, so the overall Republican edge in Texas would’ve won the race for him.

    But as far as I know Chris Bell lost because he never had a realistic chance to win unless the election was won on Election Day.  Chris Bell was going to win on Obama’s coat-tails, or not at all – or perhaps better put, if he couldn’t win even with Obama’s coattails, he definitely wasn’t going to win once that boost in the Democratic turnout stopped being a factor.

  26. If she were, state rep. Shapiro would be running for her seat.  Instead he is running for senate.  

  27. I never got the feeling he was like that.  Ya, he’s a demagogue, but he just doesn’t seem the George Allen/Trent Lott type.

  28. It looks like Warren also still has quite a few outstanding absentees to be counted.  All three counties went for Murphy on election day and the partial absentee votes thus far are even more in his favor.  Given all the reports that the vast majority of challenged ballots are likely Murphy votes, I think it is finally safe to say that Murphy has it won.  And, given the current trend, he’s probably got it won by enough so that it won’t be tied up forever in litigation.

  29. There is apparently 700 contested votes in Saratoga. We should see the breakdown before declaring anything…

  30. But I believe several hundred ballots being challenged are not included in those totals.  And most of the challenges are frivilous Tedisco challenges of Murphy votes.  So Murphy is probably ahead by much more than 86 votes.

  31. The repub leadership decided this was another “stolen election” before the votes were even cast.  They’ll fight on even if Tedisco doesn’t want to.

  32. Walter Jones is as good as we can get from that district (in some ways a Gene Taylor or Bobby Bright in Republican clothes).

    As of this morning, 52 incumbent Republicans had filed first quarter FEC reports.  Two had $2 million plus (Cliff Stearns and Ron Paul), three had $1 million to $2 million (Shimkus, Candy Miller, Paul Ryan), 11 had $500,000 to $999,999, 26 have $100 K to $499,999 and 10 have under $100,000.

    Many of the newbies are pretty strapped: Leonard Lance ($121,037), Steve Austria ($65,661), Erick Paulsen ($190,960), Bill Posey ($70,753) and Duncan D, Hunter ($52,517) are all under $250 K.  Cassidy at $292,586 is the best funded of the new guys who have reported.

  33. That in one county, I think it was Columbia, there are 194 outstanding ballots challenged by Tedisco, compared to just 19 by Murphy.


  34. Perhaps I should say, Old Guard for me.  The Blue Dog Coalition only formed in 1994, after all, and I think it’s safe to say that the trends that organization’s founding epitomized changed the political landscape for good.

    Although when I say “Old Guard,” I don’t mean “very old in years” but simply “of the previous political era.”  It’s hard to pinpoint the point at which Texas became a one-party Republican state rather than a one-party Democratic one – though I would argue that in either case the establishment was dominated by conservatives.  What makes it harder is that the old Democratic establishment was so successful at self-preservation, and deserves more credit than it gets for how long it survived the rising tide of first the Reagan Revolution, then the 1994 midterms.  But it’s hard to deny that sometime between Ann Richards’ gubernatorial campaign and George Bush’s, the political landscape of Texas underwent a massive shift – and everything before it counts as the ancien regime.

    As for being all Dems have left, there’s a reason why the Texas Democratic Party, despite getting a huge shot in the arm during the Democratic primary, still isn’t taken seriously as a statewide player – though much of the dismissiveness is Republican affectation as part of the spin war, I’ll grant.  Sure, we’re winning over the older suburbs and the urban counties.  And sure, demographic trends are on our side.  Don’t get me wrong – our surge in the Texas Lege definitely isn’t nothing, and our wins in municipal/county elections build the bench for the State Legislature, Congress, and the statewides.  But unless a Brian Schweitzer or Mark Warner comes along and sweeps the state off its feet, we’re just not there yet.

  35. My guess is he will soon discover he has a family and will retire to the private sector.  Assuming he still knows what the private sector is after getting a fat government paycheck for nearly 30 years.

  36. was the least likely of the three Philly Democrats to win. He ahd the most Republican district, the strongest, undamaged incumbent, and no previous political experience. He learned quickly, won a contested primary easy and then upset the incumbent in a race most people expected to Stay Republican because of Fitzpatricks base in Buck county.

  37. and a majority of the 700+ challenged ballots in Saratoga county (‘Disco stronghold) are from Saratoga Springs, which is actually Murphy country.

    Murphy will win this thing by the low triple digits.

  38. for that blue leaning district and Murphy only beat him by around 1,000 votes in a heavily Democratic year.  Im almost certain he wouldnt beat Specter(dont think anyone can).  If the district is the most Republican of the three Philly districts, wouldnt we want to keep him there?

  39. Fitzpatrick has an ACU score of something like 60.  It put him as one of the more moderate republicans in Congress.  A good deal moderate than Weldon (PA-07) and Hart (PA-04), who were defeated the same year in PA.

  40. The DCCC needs to play in that race majority. We can outspend them easily and win this seat.  

  41. solid conservative, the most right wing of the three philyl people. Fitzgerald was teh second most liberal Republican, he was just a principled pro-lifer who was also very pro-union and good on economic issues. He was lso a very well known figure in the districts population anchor, Bucks. It was a big upset that Murphy won despite the attack of his inexperience and youth.

  42. You can’t expect to elect a liberal like Brown in a neutral year election.  Besides, Fisher is a good Dem, he’s not THAT moderate.

  43. The NRCC had a few fundraisers for Cao just to make it appear they aren’t abandoning one of their own congressmen.  They won’t make more than a token effort on his behalf in 2010.

  44. Don’t give me the “you can’t elect a liberal blah blah blah crap”.  Unless there’s some voodoo witch doctor with a bone through his nose dancing with a beheaded chicken to cast a curse that will magically keep Brunner from raising more money next quarter, coming up with a message that resonates with voters, build a strong organization, and at the same time magically turns Rob Portman into an invincible radioactive lizard, then that tired old argument is nothing but horse shit.  Liberals can get elected anywhere if they show up to fight and know what they’re doing.

  45. I wonder if hed run again if Murphy runs for the Senate. Or maybe hed be like Rob Simmons and run for the Senate (but im sure he only would if Specter retires).

  46. Even if Bill Jefferson does run and wins the primary he’ll beat Cao by 15 points minimum.  Had last year’s run-off been on general election day Jefferson would have won easily.  Jefferson could beat Cao running from a jail cell.

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