NV-Sen, WI-Gov: Porter, Kind Not Running

There’s one common thread today between the Nevada Senate race and the Wisconsin gubernatorial race: two prominent would-be contenders confirmed that they aren’t running.

In Nevada, the news earlier this week that ex-Rep. Jon Porter (who was defeated by Dina Titus in 2008 and is currently a “policy adviser” with a K St. lobbying firm) was once again considering running against Harry Reid was a cause for some alarm. Porter has probably the highest profile of any potential candidate, and a fairly moderate reputation capable of appealing to swing voters, unlike most of the third-tier liliputians threatening to overwhelm Reid. However, it looks like it was never more than a trial balloon:

Squelching rumors that he’s reconsidering a Senate campaign against Harry Reid, former GOP congressman Jon Porter definitively said Wednesday night that he’s not running.

“I am not running,” Porter told Nevada political guru Jon Ralston, as he reported on his Flash blog tonight.

Meanwhile, over in Wisconsin, Rep. Ron Kind was rumored to be very interested in the open seat governor’s race, left vacant by Jim Doyle’s decision not to seek a third term. However, Kind will announce today that he will run for re-election in WI-03 instead.

That may be for the best, as the GOP fielded a fairly strong candidate, state Sen. Dan Kapanke, probably on the belief that the 3rd would be an open seat; having Kind in the race will make this a much easier hold. And the ambitious Kind is in his early 40s, so he’ll still have plenty of shots at a promotion. Without a statewide profile, Kind may not have liked his odds at getting out of the primary; Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton is already in the Dem field, plus ex-Rep. and current Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett may get in and, if a recent Republican internal poll is to be believed, would have the inside track on the nomination.

RaceTracker: NV-Sen | WI-Gov

47 thoughts on “NV-Sen, WI-Gov: Porter, Kind Not Running”

  1. Means that Barrett is almost certainly in. Kind could win a one-on-one race against Lawton because he’s a better campaigner than she is. But in a 3-way against two candidates with much higher name ID, he really didn’t have much of a chance.

    I think we’re looking at a Milwaukee race with Milwaukee Co. Executive Scott Walker vs Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

  2. I don’t want Republicans smelling blood on my home turf.  Kind shuts them down for another two years.  I’ll take it.  

  3. “Policy Adviser,” and similar titles, are used for non-attorneys employed by law firms. Indeed, not only is Porter not an attorney, he doesn’t even have a college degree.

  4. Barrett won’t run for gov and Lawtwon will get the nomination and that Barrett will try and run for the senate if Kohl retires. However, I think that Lawton can win.

  5. considering that the polls indicate Reid will lose to anybody with an (R) after the name.

    I think it’s possible Porter may get his arm twisted a bit in the coming weeks. But he’s probably content raking in the $$$ lobbying.

  6. Has a candidate even won a senate race being outspent 5-1?  If Reid makes his 25 million dollar mark, and say the repub gets 5 million, which I think is a fair ammount… that’d be five to one… Has it ever happened?  I know Ron Paul spent a ton of money and so did Howard Dean in the presidency but in a general election has the underfunded candadite ever won when it was a huge disparity like that?

  7. is that there is a lot of polling out today.  MA Gov… decent news, VA Gov, better news but we still need work, NJ Gov, better news but still need work.  Arizona Senate is kinda crappy and it is probably good that we got Napolitano out of AZ so that way she can preserve her brand til there is an open seat there.

  8. If Barrett is in, with the recent news of getting beat with a pipe while trying to help someone, it’s an easy hold (especially considering the 2 Rs in right now seem fairly impressive, even if they are currently holding low level offices).

    Heck, I’m thinking of doing a candidate a week profile donation think of FB, if Barrett gets in, I may profile him.

  9. Besides being heroic, he was also a good congressman and mayor. He’d have my vote were I a Wisconsinite (too cold for me).

  10. When Kohl is rumored to be retiring.  A loss in the 2010 governors race would have been a huge blow to his career.  

  11. I know a former Wisconsin senator, William Proxmire, who only spent around $200 on his last campaign in 1982.

  12. Lawton is not the type of candidate that really scares people especially for someone like Barrett who basically starts with 30% of the vote.

  13. Deeds Closes On McDonnell

    A new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll in Virginia finds Creigh Deeds (D) has pulled to within four points of Bob McDonnell (R).

    McDonnell leads Deeds, 48% to 44%, with 7% having no opinion.

    Said pollster Matt Towery: “The race has definitely tightened. Virginia is still very much a state that is up for grabs.”

    “The poll showed stronger party support for Deeds than McDonnell. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats said they back Deeds, compared to 79 percent of Republicans who would vote for McDonnell. Among Independents, McDonnell leads by a significant margin, 55-33 percent.”

    Also it is of registered voters… makes me think that Deeds is overpreforming among dems in this poll and Bob among Indies.  Just a hunch but.

  14. Kohl’s seat belongs to Kind unless he screws up somehow.  He’s easily the best match for the state, and most importantly, matches up much better against Ryan than Baldwin does.

  15. Kind is the best match for the state: true

    Kind stands the best chance against Ryan: true

    Kind is the best match for the democratic base in the primary: unknown, likely false.

  16. she does bring that to the table but nothing else.  A large number of voters choose who is more likely to win.  If Ryan was not running, or the Reps were sure to settle on a circus geek anybody could beat, she’d have a better chance, but Dem fortunes in Wisconsin are determined by the 3rd, 7th, 8th, 6th and 1st districts.  To offset Ryan’s advantages in the 1st, we need 3-7-8-6 to come in stronger.  Both average voters and part regulars in these areas will prefer Kind.  (Ryan has no special appeal to these voters at all, except in contrast to Baldwin, or someone from Milwaukee.)

    I don’t see Baldwin with a chance unless she annihilates Kind in Milwaukee, the area neither particularly really appeals to.  I don’t see that happening unless Kind does/says something stupidly anti-Milwaukee.

  17. Or voters in general think like that. They vote based on what candidates share there values, and personal factors. Who is the better general candidate, I don’t know how many people vote based on that.

    The other factor that your not accounting for is money. Kind is a very conventional candidate, not to say he’s bad but he’s conventional. Baldwin is not. She’s going to have an essentially unlimited supply of money because of the money she gets from Emily’s List but also all of the national money she’ll get from the GLBT community.

  18. I don’t think electoral considerations weighs in on most primary voters’ minds.  That said, I am curious if she could win enough votes outside of her base in Dane County (which houses Mad-town).  She’s never had to appeal to centrist Democrats before as she always had the liberal Madison crowd to back her, whereas Kind has the type of profile to win the downstate/Chicago exurban Democratic voters.  My question is, would socially conservative labor voters be comfortable voting for an out lesbian?  I’m not here to say that these folks are rabidly anti-gay, but it is a huge leap for most people politically (sadly).  Women in general already have a tough time winning statewide in Wisconsin.  But I could be wrong – Wisconsin was the first state to pass an anti-discrimination law for gays in the workplace way back in 1982 so maybe they’re more accepting than at first glance.

    That said, my friends who’ve worked in Wisc politics are dead assured Baldwin will run in 2012 for Kohl’s seat, and that Lawton will go all in for the Governor’s race (if she loses in 2010 she won’t primary a fellow female candidate in 2012).  That would open up a great primary for her seat.  

  19. not likely in 2012.  Democratic primary voters now want the best Democrat, not the one who is just likely to win.  That might be Kind or that might be Baldwin.  The big question, as you correctly mentioned, is whether Milwaukee Democrats warm up to a lesbian.

    Also given how well Obama did in Wisconsin (it was probably the only place where Obama showed great improvement among rural voters), I think 2012 will be the best time to force rising star Paul Ryan into a statewide race and end his career.  

    Paul Ryan is dangerous, and he reminds me most of Mark Kennedy from Minnesota, whom in 2005 looked like a future star.

  20. The Arizona budget crisis is one of the worst in the nation thanks to the real estate bust in Maricopa County, and we should be thankful that Republican Jan Brewer will be forced to raise taxes and cut services and not Napolitano.  She hasn’t really lost her popularity from what I’ve seen.  Do you have a poll that shows otherwise?

  21. Most voters don’t know a damn thing about either candidate, beyond broad strokes.  There isn’t a meaningful difference between Kind and Baldwin that 95% of the voters will care about (with the unfortunate exception of lesbianism).

    People choose who they like and who can win.  “like” is a tossup here, but win is a slam dunk for Kind.

  22. Milwaukee is the key, but I don’t think lesbianism will make much difference there.

    Wisconsin is 1) Milwaukee, 2) Madison, 3) Jaba’s Milwaukee 9th red exurbs, 4) the rest of the state.

    Sure the last part breaks down too as Racine/Kenosha, La Crosse, Oshkosh/Green Bay metroplex differ from the rural areas, but still, Baldwin’s Achilles heel is not “lesbian”, it is “Madison”.

    Madison just isn’t much like the rest of the state, even if a millworker in Kimberly will vote much like a Madison government worker.

  23. Going to run to his left and that’s going to appeal to a lot of primary voters. Your right that there the same on 95% of issues, but in that 5% the primary electorate will align more with Baldwin.

    If Kind’s strongest argument is electability, he’s gonna have a steep road especially since he’s going to get outspent.

  24. and im a broke law school student who should conserve every penny.  Baldwin will out raise whoever is in the Dem primary.

  25. There is no way around it.  While the rest of the state likes Madison just fine, 8/9ths (or at minimum 7/9ths) of the state would align with Kind on issue disagreements, not Baldwin.

    I also don’t see at all how anyone thinks baldwin will outspend Kind.  That just makes no sense.  Sure she’ll get out of state, agenda-focused money, but Kind will get the establishment money and backing.

    Basically, Baldwin matches up terribly against Kind.  (In contrast, she’d match up better against Tom Barrett.)

  26. the above comment wasnt meant to say, I have no money so I wont donate anything.  More so, Ill skip my weekly chipotle to donate $40 a month for her.

  27. Obama already won by 14%, that’s HUGE compared to how it voted in 2000 and 2004.  I said in a comment and showed the totals for how the deciding factor for Obama in 2008 was the rural counties.  (Check the CD shifts towards Obama versus the other ones.)  

    Kind could hold it down, representing a very rural county in comparison to the others.

    But, Id clearly be supporting Baldwin.  Although if I see some questionable pre-polling numbers, Id certainly have to leave myself open.

  28. That hasnt been mentioned yet.  That’s a great point.  Two terms is very legit and he’s been, hasn’t he?

  29. pretty conclusively said he wouldn’t run back in August. Although he’s perfectly capable of changing his mind, I guess, seeing as how he made up his mind before the wave of bad poll results starting rolling in for Reid.

  30. I hate to do this because it makes me sound conceited, but I know the WI Dem electorate better than you do, and this is a very liberal primary electorate. The people who will show up for that primary are more ideologically alligned with Baldwin.

    Kind’s not going to get the establishment backing. Those people are all going to remain neutral. They may make it clear they prefer Kind at all the cocktail parties, but publically they’ll all be neutral. The people that you alienate by publically opposing Baldwin are an essential constituency. In addition to being a very large group numerically, these are the people who are going to do the grunt work to make sure you win the general.

  31. might cost her votes in the primary among Milwaukee blacks, who might otherwise vote for the more liberal candidate.  Poll after poll has shown that black support of gay rights lags other races.

  32. tommypaine is very similar to the pundits who said that Wisconsin’s electorate was one that was very friendly to Hillary Clinton in the primary because it has lots of blue collar and rural voters, etc.  The problem with that argument was that those Democratic blue collar and rural voters tend to be more liberal that their counterparts in other states.

  33. Your understanding of Wisconsin is limited at best.  the idea that people in Appleton, Wausau and Sheboygan are more “ideologically alligned with Baldwin” is laughably ludicrous.

    First, is the less important sexual preference point.  Liberal Catholics care about jobs, farms and the economy, and are not going to be “more aligned” with a Madison lesbian than the man in the moon compared to Kind.  They are not likely to have anything against her, but Kind is what they look at in the mirror every morning.

    You sound stuck in Madison, and Madison is basically irrelevant here.  It will go heavily for Baldwin, and the 3rd will go heavily for Kind.  That is a wash.

    If you were familiar with Wisconsin though, you would know the 7th, 8th and 6th are very similar to the 3rd in culture and blue collar versus farmer mix.  To assert voters in these districts are more aligned with someone from Madison is totally nonsensical.

    There is no similar area in Wisconsin to Madison… maybe Door County a little, and the Democrats in the heavily Republican 9th.  Baldwin has no secondary base.  Milwaukee is more like Oshkosh than it is Madison.  The black Milwaukee vote is the only thing different, and neither candidate has an in there, though stereotypes won’t help Baldwin there.

    The other comment about Clinton/Obama doesn’t make sense either since ideology is not even an issue here, other than in safi’s misunderstanding of the electorate.  

    Put another way, this is an Upstate NY versus NYC scenario.  Upstaters prefer Upstaters generally, but in the case of Wisconsin, there are far more non-Madison residents than there are Madison residents.

    Kind represents a district almost exactly the same as half the state.  Baldwin represents a district unlike any other in the state.  Kind wins the 3rd, 7th, 8th and 6th easily.  Baldwin wins the 2nd easily and the relatively smaller amount of votes in the 5th, plus maybe the 1st.  Even if Kind loses the 4th, he wins fairly easily.

    Again, if Baldwin was running against someone from Milwaukee, she’d have a shot, but she’s toast against Kind.  The demographics are overwhelmingly in Kind’s favor.

  34. Saying that an area is rural doesn’t mean that the Democrats in the area are conservative. Like I said, the people that are going to show up to vote in a primary even in those areas you mentioned are more likely to be ideologically alligned with Baldwin. I’ve been to those areas, I’ve been to UAW meetings in those areas and the people that will show up in a Democratic primary are going to be more ideologically alligned with Baldwin.

    I’m not denying that the people you describe exist, but the people I describe, when it comes to showing up in a Democratic primary, exist in larger numbers.

    For you to say that the 2nd and 3rd will be a wash, shows that you don’t know quite as much as you think you do. First of all the 2nd has a lot more Democrats than the 3rd, its why Republicans think they have a chance at knocking off Kind this cycle. In addition to this, Kind isn’t nearly as popular in the 3rd as Baldwin is in the 2nd. Kind is sufficiently popular in his district but Baldwin is an institution in her district. Kind will win his district overwhelmingly but probably by a 2:1 margin. Baldwin will get close to 90% in her district and that’s going to be a huge difference. The final reason suggesting the 2nd and 3rd will be a wash is foolish is the passion of each of there supporters. Kind’s constituents like him fine, but its nothing special. But like I said Baldwin is an institution and her supporters are going to work there asses off in a way Kind’s supporters won’t.

  35. You are right when I just arm-waved the wash of the 2nd vs 3rd, but you are way wrong for continuing to talk about what is irrelevant.

    “Liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless.  I never talked about that, and it is not important at all here.

    Again, you are stuck in the Beltway. You act like this is about two wards in Madison.

    Union in Menasha folks, and folks at the Shawano county fair don’t give one crap about whatever tiny shade of difference the two have in liberal/conservative-ness.  

    The issue is, just like in New York upstate/nyc thinking, a liberal in the 7th or 8th or 6th will be far, far more aligned with Kind than Baldwin.  

    The numbers are overwhelming in Kind’s favor.  Only the people in her district will naturally align with a Madison poltician.  People in the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th will naturally align with Kind.  The 1st and 4th could go either way, and the tiny 5th may lean to Baldwin, but the west/north/northeast district numbers overwhelm the Madison numbers.

    It is obviously possible a popular Madison Congresscritter could beat a popular 3-6-7-8 congresscritter, but it is a way, way, way uphill climb given that no part of the state is similar to Madison.

  36. I wish the framing about blacks and gay rights would shift to what the problem really is, and that is support for gay rights having to do with religious attendance and education.  Black people just tend to have higher church attendance and a lower amount of education compared to the rest of the US population.

  37. is something that needs to get examined.  How much of an affirmative action vote will Baldwin get in the Democratic Party primary from voters who throw out ideology (as both are relatively close) and simply go with, it’s about damn time we got a lesbian in the Senate.

    Great Will and Grace episode about ignoring ideology and merely supporting a candidate because they aren’t the straight while male candidate.  Will decides to supports the gay man who ends up wanting to throw out homeless people and Grace the Jewish female who ends up being a white supremacist.  Once they figure out the ideology of their candidates, they decide they shouldnt even bother voting, until they find out there is a black guy running.

    The, us Wisconsites can send the first lesbian to the US Senate, mentality I am sure will add a percentage to Baldwin’s total from the diehard liberals who, when it comes down to voting between either excellent and qualified Congresscritters, may just go with the lesbian because it’s about damn time.

  38. but that still holds in Milwaukee.  Blacks in Milwaukee are still quite religious.  It probably won’t make a difference among Madison blacks because they already know Baldwin well.

    So unless Kind is significantly worse than Baldwin on issues generally for blacks, being a lesbian will hurt her there in a primary.  It wouldn’t matter in a general, since even homophobic blacks know that Paul Ryan isn’t on their side.

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