SSP Daily Digest: 4/27

MO-Sen: After last week announcing that she was “in no hurry” to begin her campaign for the GOP nomination in the Missouri senate race, former treasurer Sarah Steeleman has done an about-face and is setting up her exploratory committee right away. Apparently she’s striking while the iron is hot (i.e. while everyone is suddenly second-guessing Roy Blunt). She’s enlisting Ben Ginsberg, GOP beltway power-broker and fixer extraordinaire, to help. (H/t ccharles000.)

CO-Sen: Ken Buck, the Weld County District Attorney and an immigration hard-liner, has, as expected, formally announced his candidacy for the Colorado senate seat held by appointee Michael Bennet. He’ll face Aurora city councilor Ryan Frazier, and possibly ex-Rep. Bob Beauprez, in the GOP primary.

NV-Sen: As the GOP searches for a dark-horse opponent to Harry Reid, they could go two routes: go with an underfunded conservative activist who can mobilize the boots on the ground (see Sharron Angle), or go with some self-funding rich guy nobody’s heard of who can saturate the race with money. The latter option has materialized, in the form of Wall Street investment banker John Chachas, who’s been meeting with party leaders. There are two slight problems: one, the nation’s ire toward all things Wall Street, and two, that Chachas is a New York resident who hasn’t lived in Nevada since high school.

MN-Sen: Even polite, stoic Minnesotans have only a finite amount of patience. A new Star-Tribune poll finds that 64% think Norm Coleman should concede right now, and only 28% consider his appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court “appropriate.” 73% think he should pack it in if he loses in front of the state supreme court.

NY-Sen: Kirsten Gillibrand has her first official primary opponent. It’s not Steve Israel, it’s not Carolyn Maloney… it’s Scott Noren, an oral surgeon and “fiscally conservative” Dem from Ithaca who’s urging supporters to “donate modestly.” Uh huh. Good luck with that.

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Democratic chair T.J. Rooney has a simple goal: to “come together as a party” and have no primary fights in 2010. Uh huh. Good luck with that.

TX-Gov, TX-AG: Former Travis County DA Ronnie Earle (otherwise known as the guy who secured the indictment of Tom DeLay) tells the Austin American-Statesman that he is considering a statewide run, for either governor or attorney general. (J)

WA-03: A Republican candidate against Rep. Brian Baird has already announced: financial advisor David Castillo. He’s never held elective office, but was a deputy assistant secretary at the Bush administration VA, and ran state senator Don Benton’s 1998 campaign against Baird. This district’s PVI is ‘even,’ and Baird routinely wins with over 60%. (UPDATE: Uh huh. Good luck with that.)

WA-08: One question that’s been on the lips of the blogosphere lately is: where in the world is Darcy Burner? It’s been tweeted about for a while but now it’s been made official: she’s going to DC to be executive director of the American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation (the ideas arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus). With fellow MSFT vet Suzan DelBene in the 2010 race already, this seems to indicate Burner won’t be making a third attempt at WA-08.

75 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/27”

  1. You’ve made the Urban Dictionary.

    Coleman, to pull a  

    To pull a Coleman: to be a sore loser.

    “Coleman, to pull a.”

    As in Larry King’s usage on CNN, referring to Norm Coleman’s endless delaying tactics after having lost the Minnesota Senate race to Al Franken.

    The object to keep Franken from serving as long as possible, so that Republicans can block legislation in Congress.  

  2. This is exciting. I live in WA-3 and have never, ever liked Baird. I think hes arogant and a slimy politican. But the last two elections the GOP nominees have been less than stellar, and sadly those are the only two elections I have been old enough to vote in. In 2006 Michael Messmore was horrible on the trail and in debates and it was embarising. Last year Michael Delavar was a Ron Paul clone and I even voted for Baird.

    But now we might have a possible confident nominee. I know Castillo wont win, but it will be nice to have someone who would try and I could proudly vote for.

  3. in PA. That might prevent Democrats from switching over to vote for Specter.  (Although I will still be switching over to vote for Toomey.)

  4. As others have said, Crist won’t be too bad in the senate and it means an open race for governor.

  5. Well, if we get the governorship, we ought to get several congressional gains in 2012 from a map that isn’t ridiculously gerrymandered.  Florida is the only one of the great GOP gerrymanders of 2002 that actually worked long-term.  In Pennsylvania they bit off way more than they could chew, and in Michigan and Ohio they just couldn’t deny increasing Democratic strength across the board.  The maps in those three states don’t seem terribly unfair now even though they were originally designed as GOP power grabs.  But Florida, that one held.

    A bipartisan map will yield a bunch of new Florida districts that Obama won or came close in.

    btw, not that I think it’s even remotely likely, but wouldn’t it be funny if the Club for Growth somehow beat Crist in the Senate primary?

  6. in that it’s good news for the NRSC: less money spent on Florida means more money to try and save Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, etc. But what he doesn’t say is: bad news for the RGA, because an open Florida governor’s seat would suddenly become their most expensive tossup defense (assuming Alex Sink got in), eating up their Michigan and Pennsylvania money. And since much of the GOP’s master plan for clawing back into power revolves around successful gerrymandering in 2012, that’s a very big long-term problem.

  7. Sorry, but our chances of taking the Senate seat were well below 50% even without Crist running.  Meek and Gelber are at best low 2nd-tier candidates.

    I’d be absolutely shocked if Sink doesn’t jump at this chance and run for Governor, giving us at worst a 50/50 shot at this very critical Governorship.  

    And as conspiracy mentioned, Crist won’t be a half bad Senator.  My guess is he’ll be a tad right of someone like Specter and give Mitch McConnell fits.

  8. A friend of a friend is very close to Alex Sink and says she’s almost certain to run if Crist goes for Senate.  The only reason she backed out originally is because she thought Crist was running for re-election.

  9. 1. Crist won for governor by 7 pts. (not a blowout).

    2. Martinez won by less than 90,000 votes in a big Presidential year (’04).

    3. Crist may not be used to fundraising restrictions for Federal elections.

  10. but I’m not sure that lack of GOP funds was so critical to our 6 seat gain in 2006 and 8 seat gain in 2008.  The seats the NRSC cut loose to save money were so far gone anyway that I’m not even sure millions of extra dollars would have budged the final results much.  I’m talking about Santorum, Chafee, and DeWine in 2006, and the open seats in Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado in 2008.

    They still spent heavily to keep Burns, Talent, and Allen in 2006, and on Sununu, Brown, Coleman, and Dole in 2008.  We just had the better candidates, the wind at our backs, and favorable demographics as well.

    I’m guessing this time around that the NRSC will bail out of  Pennsylvania after Specter loses the primary, and New Hampshire (will they even make a token effort?) fairly early.  They will probably also drop Kentucky once Bunning wins his primary.  But they are going to drop millions on Ohio, Missouri, and North Carolina regardless.  The GOP candidates in those races can also be expected to raise massive amounts of money.

    Still, less money to spend in Florida (a very expensive state to advertise in) does save them one headache.

  11. The converse of that point is, if the race really isn’t competitive, then the Dems won’t spend money there either, and can move their resources to the same states. If the DSCC still has a money advantage (Does it?), it can still press that advantage of Bunning, Portman, Blunt, etc.

  12. There’s no such thing as a good or even a not “half bad” Republican anymore.  Crist came out for the stimulus and he’s been okay on the environment from what I understand but that’s it.  The same can be said for Specter and Collins and both of them worked overtime to carry Bush’s water and go out of their way to push a moderate image while quietly screwing everyone and everything over.  So, first off, let’s not get comfortable with Crist.  Frankly, I’ll be damned to the fiery pits of hell itself before I ever sing the praises of a Republican for not being half bad and turn my back on any Democrat in a tough race.

  13. If Crist wins the primary he’ll win the seat.  Sorry, but Meek or Gelber would lose by double-digits to Crist.  

    But the primary wouldn’t be a lock for Crist, especially so if someone like Rubio stays in the race.

  14. ALL OF THEM.

    haha, seriously though, this is great that it’s happening so fast.  Makes the speed bumps in New Hampshire and New York more bearable.

  15. I was hesring Newt Gingrich, of all people, complaining about gay marriage the other day. Doesnt he realize his movement is better served by having the vocal gay marriage opponents, in the media, be someone who hasnt made a mockery of the name marriage? What an awful representative of their movement. I have no problem with him being a spokesman for 99% of his causes…but not this one.  

  16. It was something like 49% for, 43% opposed.  Another good sign.  Not sure if the issue has come up yet in that state.  

  17. That right there puts him to the left of 38 of the 41 GOP Senators.  I’m going to like seeing the analysis of how the GOP was saved from losing yet another Senate seat in a swingy state by recruiting a popular moderate, whereas going with hardline conservatives have cost them dozens of other races.

  18. He strongly supported it as Governor.  I’ll bet he would have been part of the group negotiating along with Collins, Snowe and Specter on it.  But it’s hard to say for sure.  

  19. It’s good to see support starting to approach Democratic performance in each state.  Once it’s considered a mainstream Dem position, it will become as uncontroversial as non-discrimination laws.

  20. to be the next Senator from Florida, but reality is, they’re both underdogs and if they have to lose, I’d much rather they lose to a Charlie Crist than a Vern Buchanan.  

  21. The key is the Governorship, which is going to have a HUGE impact on 2012 redistricting in Florida.  With Crist as Gov we get another horrendous gerrymander.  With a Dem as Governor we get a compromise map.

    The Governorship is more important in this case than a Senate seat.  Noone here WANTS Crist as Senator, but I’d take a Democratic Governor/Senator Crist combo in a heartbeat.

  22. I’m still trying to find a link but I’m pretty sure the Governor does not have a veto over STATE legislature redistricting.  Only for congressional redistricting.  Unfortunately Florida’s biggest problem is the state house and senate maps that give the GOP nearly a 2-1 natural edge in seats.

  23. Perhaps youre right. I would think a natural base for Crist would be moderate Cubans (especially young ones) but they may support Rubio (even if Crist is more ideologically in sync with them).

  24. the state leg maps are terrible too.  And while we will get a better congressional map under a compromise, the GOP will keep having stronger candidates as long as they have such a ridiculous number of state legislators to pull from.

    Is there no check on the power of legislatures to draw their own maps?

  25. Surely that must be a fairly weak gerrymander? Getting a 2-1 advantage out of a 50:50 seat requires making a lot of weak Republican seats. Is there any indication that it could be turned into a dummymander?

  26. And it hardly matters anyway if Hodes and Carnahan win, hopefully Cooper and probably Fisher and Conway.  

  27. isn’t it also true that a horrendous Republican gerrymander isn’t even a guarantee with Crist, who’s been known to complain that there are too many blacks in a district?

  28. Theres definitely alot the Dems can accomplish in FL redistricting. Such as shoring up Grayson, Kosmas, and Klein’s seats. Since I would assume a redistricting plan would be a compromise then certain GOP seats will also be shored up, although theres really not much you can do with Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz Balart bros. seats. If Bill Young stays on and wins re-election in 2010 then i wonder how much the Dems would fight to make Young’s seat more GOP-friendly.

  29. So yes, the Governor can only veto the Congressional plan, not the state legislature plans.  

    In most states the Governor can veto staate legislature plans in addition to congressional plans.  Sadly Florida isn’t one of those states.  Still, a fair congressional map would be nice to have.

    FYI – back in the early 90’s republicans in Florida made a push for independent redistricting in the state which democrats rejected.  So Florida dems share a lot of the blame for getting us to where we are.

    The legislature is responsible for drawing all districts. In the senate it is handled by the Select Committee on Apportionment and Redistricting, and in the house by the Committee on Reapportionment. The Florida state constitution requires that redistricting be done in the 2002 session of the Florida Legislature, or in a special session called by the Governor if districts are not drawn by the end of the regular session. The state Supreme Court will step in if the legislature fails to meet the candidate-qualifying deadline. The Governor has veto power over the congressional plan but not the state legislative district plan; that plan is adopted by joint resolution of the legislature.

  30. I plan on doing whatever I can to get Meek or Gelber elected.

    Remember that many said something similar about McCain, but then did whatever we could to get Obama elected.  

  31. It’s certainly possible that Crist would rebuff a GOP gerrymander that goes too far.  He’d be under a LOT of pressure to go along though.

  32. “FYI – back in the early 90’s republicans in Florida made a push for independent redistricting in the state which democrats rejected.”

    I didn’t know it was THAT bad on our side.

  33. that’s exactly what I would have done.  The Repubs had never held the Florida legislature, and if I were the Dems, I’d want to draw maps to make sure that they never did.  

    It backfired, but I do not fault the Dems at all for rejecting independent redistricting in Florida.

  34. They don’t know who their candidate is, but Hodes isn’t necessarily a juggernaut, merely a strong candidate, and NH may not be a cheap place for media, but it’s not an expensive state either.

    If they give up on anywhere, it’ll be Missouri if Blunt wins the primary and the opposition research pushes his numbers through the floor.

  35. I’m interested, theoretically and ideally, in community-coherent representation.

  36. Back in the early 90’s it seemed like Democrats still had a good hold on the state legislature.  It wasn’t until 1994 that Dems lost the FL State Senate and 1996 when Dems lostthe State House.  At the time it may have seemed the logical thing.

    Heck, even before the 2002 gerrymander the Republicans extended their State House majority to 77-43 and State Senate majority to 25-15.  And that was essentially with a Democrat-drawn map.

  37. The State Senate is 26-14 Republican and the State House is 76-44 Republican.  Since 2006 Democrats have only gained 8 seats in the State House and no change in the State Senate.

    The Republican drawn congressional map may have seen some collapse since 2002, but their state legislature maps are among the best gerrymanders in the nation.  There are countless state legislature seats with what amounts to somewhere between a R+1 and R+4 lean.  Just big enough that we can come somewhat close but not pick many off.

    In the last two elections only four Florida State Senate seats have even been decided by less than 10 points.  Our only pickup has been Charlie Justice winning an open seat in 2006.  Ya, the same guy challenging Young (FL-10) in 2010.

  38. Crist attracts the more suburban white collar republicans in a primary while a more conservative opponent would fare better with the more rural north and to some extent central Florida republican crowd.  His “marriage” might have helped him shore up support with that crowd as well.  I’m shocked he went ahead with the marriage even after he didn’t get VP.

  39. Itll quickly become accepted. These kind of hot button issues always are once it becomes legal. We’ve seen it happen in NV with legal brothels, in OR with doctor assisted suicide and in the many states with medical marijuana. The hardest part is getting it legal.  

  40. the Obama campaign propaganda had some merit, the Democrats really collapsed in the state legislatures under President Clinton’s administration.

    Those numbers are just awful.  Pathetic, considering that Clinton and Gore (if the votes were counted) won the state.

  41. Bill Young’s seat is ours once he retires as I dont think there is much they can really do to help his district anymore than they already have.

    I assume his seat when he was first elected was a Republican one wasn’t it?  It just changed underneath him and we’re just waiting on retirement.

  42. longer than whoever in New Hampshire simply because of state demographics, they are still competitive in Missouri, whereas the last two cycles have been brutal to New Hampshire Republicans.  Bass, Bradley, and Sununu had done nothing to warrant being tossed out of office, but they all lost (Sununu and Bass to retread candidates).  I don’t think they have anyone who can hold an open seat in New Hampshire nowadays.  The names they are floating are terrible.  Sununu again?  After he got 45% last year?  Please.

    If I had to guess, some state legislator would be the best they can do.

  43. Their records were at least somewhat moderate.  But Sununu didn’t even try to hide his batshit crazy right-wing voting record.  I hope they nominate that clown again so he can get his ass kicked a second time.

  44. I have the feeling the problem with Blunt is more about his name and partisanship and lack of leadership skills than his ideology. As MO has been known to elect really conservative Republicans statewide.

  45. Florida’s districts are much smaller now than they were way back in 1970 when Young first won his seat.  Back then his district was much bigger and stretched out into rural areas outside Pinellas.  Even back in the 70’s Young always won with >65% of the vote despite most of Florida being overwhelmingly democratic.

    When Young was first elected to Congress in 1970 republicans had only 3 of the 12 Florida seats.

  46. Guy just seems to keep on going.  On paper it’s a tossup district, but he’s entrenched pretty deep.

  47. Gingrich speaking against marriage equality is as bad as Rush Limbaugh saying drug addicts should be locked up.

    Newt has strangely enough rehabilitated his public image to the point that he’s a sought after guest on political shows, and has even become an object of presidential rumors, but his personal life always threatens to be brought back up.

  48. 1994 was of course the year the big slide started for democrats in Florida.  Losses went like this.

    Between 1994 and 2004:

    35 state house seats lost

    6 state senate seats lost


    8 state house seats lost

    1 state senate seat lost


    4 state house seats lost

    2 state senate seats lost


    12 state house seats lost

    1 state senate seat lost

    Jeb Bush won his first term in a landslide in 1998, after narrowly losing his 1994 race to Gov Chiles


    4 state house seats lost

    1 state senate seat lost


    4 state house seats lost

    1 state senate seat lost


    3 state house seats lost

    no change in state senate

  49. I really thought we’d pickup about another half dozen state house seats.  We gained a net total of ONE f’n seat.  Even a relative of Allen Boyd’s almost lost her seat.

  50. There are a lot of districts like that one that look competitive on paper but aren’t in reality thanks to incumbency.  DeFazio’s district in Oregon is like that.  

  51. Hard to believe a nutter like Linda Smith held that seat for a few terms.  Baird came within 1,000 votes of beating her in 1996 before she vacated the seat in 1998 and Baird won the open seat by nearly 10 points.

  52. The breakdown was:

    Senate: 20D/20R – Dems had the tiebreaker

    House: 71D/49R

    I recall reading somewhere that going into election night 1994 the general thinking was that Dubya would lose to Richards in the Texas Governor’s race and Jeb would win the Florida Governor’s race.  Of course the opposite happened.  Had Jeb won in 1994 instead of Dubya it’s very possible he would have become President instead.

    Like I said, 1994 was close.  Gov. Chiles was very popular despite the national tide against Democrats.  He only won 50.8-49.2%, or around 60,000 votes.

    Here’s another fun fact many don’t know.  Charlie Crist was the Republican nominee for Senate back in 1998.  He got destroyed.

    Bob Graham – 62.5%

    Charlie Crist – 37.5%

  53. I think his past mistakes should be forgotten…but only if he doesnt involve himself in things like an anti-gay marriage crusade.  

  54. The district actually use to be very heavily Democratic. I read a newspaper artical from the last 80’s talking about how the district was the second most Democratic after McDermott’s in the state. Its been growing by leaps and bounds in the last 15 years or so so it, along with the steep decline in union jobs here, probably fueled its decent from strong Democrat to swing area.

    Linda Smith is one of my political heros. I have a picture of me with her as a little kid. I would like to see her in office again, but shes doing important work now outside of office.

  55. Florida does have term limits.  But the districts were drawn so well by republicans that even when a seat becomes open we usually can’t pick them off.

    And like California we have a lot of hop scotch due to term limits.  When a state house member is term limited they usually just switch to the state senate.

  56. Term-limits don’t have all that big of an effect on seat turnover between parties.  Just look at Florida and California and you can see it.

Comments are closed.