SSP Daily Digest: 6/1

PA-Sen: Gov. Ed Rendell confirmed in his usual inimitable style that he’s backing new-found Dem Arlen Specter in 2010. He did go out of his way to praise Rep. Joe Sestak but to encourage him to remain in the House, warning Sestak that he would “get killed” (metaphorically, I’d assume) and that “we will lose a terrific Congressman and when he loses to Arlen, he fades into political obscurity.” Sestak did pick up his first big-name endorsement, though: MontCo Commissioner and former Rep. Joe Hoeffel, who lost to Specter in the 2004 general election.

CT-Sen: Here’s an inauspicious start to Merrick Alpert’s primary challenge to Chris Dodd: the Democratic party committee in his home town, Groton, voted a resolution of support for Dodd. It also issued a pretty transparent slap at Alpert, deploring any hypothetical primary challenger’s use of “echoing right wing talking points or by utilizing the conservative media echo chamber to slander Dodd.” (Alpert’s already done that.)

FL-Sen: State Sen. Dan Gelber made it official (via Facebook) that he’s dropping out of the Senate race, giving Rep. Kendrick Meek a clearer path. He’s now considering the AG race against a crowded field including fellow state Sen. Dave Aronberg, or, more interestingly, joining the ticket as Alex Sink’s Lt. Gov. candidate.

MN-Sen: It was Minnesota Supreme Court hearing day in The Senate Race That Won’t Die. Five of the court’s justices heard an hour of oral arguments. Rick Hasen‘s interpretation of how the individual justices responded to the lawyers’ arguments suggests a quick and possibly unanimous decision in favor of Franken.

NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo did it again — he publicly denied that he’ll be running for Governor and maintained that he “plans” to run again for AG. (He did concede that primaries can be productive for the party.) While the idea of Cuomo giving up an almost-free shot at the governor’s mansion seems ludicrous, maybe there’s a kernel of truth to Kirsten Gillibrand‘s cryptic comments from last week that there would be no primary; at some point, if Cuomo says it enough times, we have to start taking him seriously.

AL-Gov: Hangin’ judge Roy Moore made it official this morning; he’s running for Alabama governor. He joins four others in the hunt for the GOP nod.

TN-Gov: Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey officially launched his gubernatorial campaign at midnight this morning (to kick off the third quarter of fundraising). He seems a bit overshadowed by Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam, Rep. Zach Wamp, and Shelby Co. DA Bill Gibbons, but has a solid base of support of northeast Tennessee.

LA-03: Republicans seem to be making a full-court press on newly R+12 LA-03, even though Rep. Charlie Melancon (who didn’t even have an opponent in 2008) seems likelier to remain in the seat than run for Senate. The NRCC has been courting state Rep. Nickie Monica, who has obliged by offering some public criticisms of Melancon. Ascension Parish sheriff Jeff Wiley was also on the wish list, but has taken himself out of contention.

PA-11: Nobody’s taking the heat off Rep. Paul Kanjorski in the 12th. First came news that Lackawanna Co. Commissioner Corey O’Brien and Scranton mayor Chris Doherty were interested in primary challenges; now it sounds like Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta, who came within 3% of Kanjorski in 2008, may be back for a third try. Barletta was seemingly considering the Lt. Gov. slot in 2010, but assuming AG Tom Corbett wins the gubernatorial nomination that job may go to someone from the Philly suburbs for purposes of ticket-balancing.

DCCC: The DCCC launched an ad blitz against six vulnerable House Republicans today, hitting them with radio ads and robocalls for voting against the stimulus package by focusing on specific shovel-ready projects in each district. Targets are Don Young (AK-AL), Brian Bilbray (CA-50), Tom Rooney (FL-16), Thad McCotter (MI-11), Peter King (NY-03), and Charlie Dent (PA-15).

Demographics: A new Gallup poll finds that only 11% of Republicans are Hispanics, African-Americans, or other non-whites. Considering that we’re a few decades away from a country where whites no longer hold the majority, The Math seems to indicate a Republican Party that doesn’t dramatically change its message is on the brink of permanent irrelevance.

34 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 6/1”

  1. Somehow I don’t think “Don Young isn’t bringing enough pork to Alaska” is an effective ad to use against him.

  2. then have Smith run for AG and Aronberg for FL-16. Then the three most competitive statewide races will have mostly clear fields and the top congressional race will have a top-tier candidate.  

    Also, please god let Roy Moore be the Republican nominiee for Alabama governor. Will the large field let him sneak in? Let’s hope so.  

  3.           He’s going to wait and hope that Paterson’s numbers remain in the gutter, and that he’ll be pushed out by the party. He already got burned once before when he tried to run against AA Carl Mccall in the 2002 democratic primary. If it looks like Paterson is going to recover, and his approval ratings start to eak up, which dosen’t look very likely right now. He won’t run, and he’ll run for attorney general again.And wait until 2014.

  4. You mean TN – Gov, right?

    Regarding NY:  if not Cuomo, who?  It’s clear that Patterson can’t win, so someone relatively high-profile needs to be the nominee.  

  5.     I’m surprised he took it to Sestak so hard, but I guess that’s what happens when someone challenges his supreme authority over the PA Democratic party.  He chose our last senator, but we’re going to let him choose both.

  6. I’d view an FL-16 candidacy as the short end of the stick. I really can’t blame him for wanting to go for AG.

  7. Moore might get in a runoff but I doubt he’d win one.  We know there are runoffs because Harri Anne Smith fought with Jay Love for AL-02, and Bright eventually took that race.

  8. of the days it was solid Democrat and that was the only way to really decide a winner as there’d be multi-person primaries and couldnt really be determined who would be the majorities choice as it’s split 5 ways by 20?

  9. Steve Israel might be the guy, as Obama can’t really stamp him down twice (although he doesn’t really have the right committees – he’s a foreign policy guy.)

    But it doesn’t really matter who, provided somebody does. And if nobody high profile does, you’re going to have to deal with Jonathan Tasini as the Democratic nominee.

  10. All this talk of pushing him into FL-16 focuses solely on what’s convenient for those who don’t like primaries, not on what’s in Aronberg’s best interest. If they’d both be tough races (and winning FL-16 over Rooney is a tough path to office), why shouldn’t he run for the office he wants?  

  11. Because we haven’t seen a track record of people getting into scandals around that part of Florida.

  12. why don’t we look at it this way.  Aronberg can do whats good for him, or he can do whats good for the people as a whole, not to mention the Democratic party.  

    Aronberg already has to face off against Smith and now it looks like he’ll have to deal with Gelber too.  The logic states that it will be difficult for him to win, so instead of doing what he wants to do, and possibly hurting the chances of a Dem taking the AG slot, thus saddling Floridians with a Republican, he can take on a role in Florida 16, and do whats best for the nation as a whole…because he’d definelty doing the nation a favor by getting rid of Rooney.  

  13. that’s asking a lot from someone when the cost is killing your career.  Taking one for the team I believe is quite noble but at the same time, it’s his life and the people decide, not the party.

  14. I believe it was to ensure that an African-American never won with a plurality in a crowded field.

  15. would be Tom Suozzi (Nassau Co. Exec). He ran against Spitzer in the last gubernatorial primary, and he’s already planning to run for AG if Cuomo runs for Governor, so he probably wouldn’t hesitate to step up to Gov if the Cuomo family legacy of vacillation past the point of no return continues.

  16. If he loses against Rooney (very possible) it could very well kill his career. He’s out of office and bloodied with a stained record and has just put himself, his family and his supporters through a grueling few years for naught. If he wins he’s one of twenty-something members of Congress – a path which hasn’t often led to statewide wins by Florida Democrats.

    Given that, an open AG race looks pretty good in comparison. In terms of issues, is there some reason to favor Smith or Gelber over Aronberg?

  17. won’t running for AG and losing the primary take him out of a job and leave him out of office and bloodied with a stained record too??

    I have no reason to support Smith or Gelber over Aronson myself, but we do have reasons to support getting him into the congressional race.  

    I see no reason Gelber or Smith wouldn’t be just as strong statewide as he would and he lives in the district with Rooney.  

    I personally don’t think Aronson has a shot at beating Gelber or Smith and that Congress is his best shot.  

  18. But if your career is on the line, I’d think you’d want to put it on the line for the job you actually want. We know he wants to be AG. We don’t know that he would want to be in the US House. And they are very different jobs. Apart from where he happens to live, I don’t see why he’s drawing “the short straw” in this case. I’d like to know more about the issue positions of these men before it’s decided that a primary is a bad thing.

  19. Because a general will almost assuredly involve lots of negativity directed at him.

  20. for House races (2 year terms)?

    for Presidential races (4 year terms, but the highest-profile shit ever)?

    for Senate races (6 year terms)?

    for gubernatorial races (varying term length)?

  21. We’re about 13 and a half months away from the primary here in Georgia and we already have much of our field decided for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state, for example.  We already have our probable Senate candidates in high-calibur races such as NH-Sen, OH-Sen (whoever it may be), MO-Sen, KY-Sen (whoever it may be), FL-Sen, etc.

    I would imagine the farther down the ballot you go (especially once you start to limit the geographic area one wishes to represent), the later of a window you have do to a lower money threshold and a lighter campaign requirement.  Hell, Pat Dooley declared for a state house race here in Georgia by filing to run.  She ended up unseating a Repubican incumbent (she did, however, used to represent the district before said Republican unseated her, so this may not be the best example.

    You ask a good question.  Maybe if I make it to grad school, I’ll look and see, if it hasn’t already been studied.

  22. That Paterson is likely to step down. Cuomo obviously doesn’t want to make it look like he pushed the Governor into it.

  23. Helped to break Nassau’s Republican machine, willing to fight against the state legislature and he’s ambitious.

    I don’t get why he ran against Spitzer in 2006 and the fact that Republicans wanted to draft him may not make him the doyen of the party base, but he ought to completely destroy Patterson.

    To be honest, I just have no faith in Cuomo anyway. Somebody who takes this long to make an obvious decision and enables the Republicans by his vacillation is a bad candidate.

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