SSP Daily Digest: 9/16

DE-Sen: Delaware AG Beau Biden will be returning from his service in Iraq later this month, meaning it’s time for him to decide whether or not he runs for his dad’s former Senate seat. One journo (National Journal’s Erin McPike) already tweets that he’s “definitely in,” which could serve to scare off the already seemingly gun-shy Rep. Mike Castle.

MA-Sen: There are reports that there are enough votes in both chambers of the state legislature to give Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint a short-term replacement Senator. Republicans can use procedural tactics to stall it for a week, but would be out of options after that, meaning a new Senator could be in place by late next week.

MO-Sen, MO-07: Former state Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Sarah Steelman’s 2010 cycle is ending with a whimper, not a bang: after starting out looking like a strong primary challenger to Rep. Roy Blunt in the Senate race, she gradually faded from view, then re-emerged to explore a race for Blunt’s old seat in the 7th. Now she’s confirming that she won’t run for anything, at least not in 2010.

NJ-Sen (pdf): PPP has some extra info from their sample from their gubernatorial poll. As usual, New Jerseyites don’t like anyone: not Barack Obama (45/48 approval), Robert Menendez (27/40), or Frank Lautenberg (38/44). As a bonus, they also find that even in well-educated, affluent New Jersey, there’s still a lot of birtherism (64-21, with 16% unsure) and even a new category: people who think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. 8% are… let’s just call them anti-Christers… with another 13% not sure.

MD-Gov: Maryland Republicans have found, well, somebody to run for Governor: businessman Lawrence Hogan, Jr. Hogan says he’ll run but he’ll get out of the race in case his friend ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich shows up, although that’s not looking likely. Hogan ran unsuccessfully against Steny Hoyer in 1992. A better-known figure, State Delegate and radio talk show host Patrick McDonough, also expressed his interest in the race in August, although he too would stand down for Ehrlich.

MN-Gov: As expected, state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher officially announced that she’s running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. She joins (taking in a really deep breath here first): Ramsey Co. Attorney Susan Gaertner, former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, state Senators John Marty and Tom Bakk, state Reps. Tom Rukavina and Paul Thissen, and former legislators Matt Entenza and Steve Kelley, with Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman also expected to enter the field soon. Also looming on the horizon, according to the article: a possible run by Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley, who broke into double-digits in last year’s Senate race.

NY-Gov (pdf): Yet another poll of the New York Governor’s race, this time from Marist. As always, Paterson is in disastrous condition, with an approval rating of 20/76. Paterson loses the Dem primary to Andrew Cuomo 70-23, and, if Cuomo happens to die in a bizarre gardening accident before the primary, Paterson loses to Rudy Giuliani 60-34 (although he still manages to tie Rick Lazio, 43-43). Cuomo defeats Giuliani 53-43 and Lazio 71-21.

PA-Gov: This might pique Joe Hoeffel’s interest. The ex-Rep. and MontCo Commissioner has been considering the gubernatorial race (where there isn’t much of a progressive option in the Dem primary), and now he won a straw poll of 1,000 progressive activists done by Keystone Progress, picking up 35%. Auditor Jack Wagner was at 22, with Allegheny County Exec Dan Onorato at 14, Scranton mayor Chris Doherty at 11, and businessman Tom Knox at 7. Of course, the caveats about generalizing this sample to the larger population are obvious here; the actual Democratic electorate contains a lot of pro-life Catholic voters and ex-GOP suburban moderates.

SC-Gov: Here’s some very good news out of the Palmetto State: Superintendent of Education Jim Rex is officially in the Governor’s race. Rex had previously expressed his interest and his candidacy started looking likely when he said last week that he wouldn’t run again for his current job. Rex is the only Dem holding statewide office in South Carolina, so despite the state’s dark-red hue may be able to get some traction here thanks to the GOP’s descent into chaos over the Mark Sanford affair (and their reluctance to get behind his Lt. Gov, Andre Bauer). Rex’s new website is here.

VA-Gov: Creigh Deeds has to be pleased with the new poll from Clarus, an independent pollster whose first poll of the race finds a 42-37 lead for Bob McDonnell, a narrower gap than most pollsters are seeing. They also find 48/43 approvals for Obama, 47/23 for Jim Webb, and 61/21 for Mark Warner. Meanwhile, new fundraising numbers for the race are available. Deeds raised more than McDonnell for the July/August period, $3.5 million to McDonnell’s $3 million. McDonnell still has more cash on hand, $5.8 million to Deeds’ $4.3 million. Also an advantage for McDonnell: the RNC is pledging to spend up to $7 million on behalf of McDonnell (although that figure includes $2.4 million they’ve already spent).

KY-06: Republicans seem to have a candidate ready to go up against Rep. Ben Chandler in the 6th, who hasn’t faced much in the way of opposition in this GOP-leaning district. Lexington attorney (and former Jim Talent aide)Andy Barr has formed an exploratory committee.

NJ-07: Woodbridge mayor (and former state Treasurer) John McCormac has turned down the DCCC’s overtures to run against freshman GOP Rep. Leonard Lance in the 7th. (Woodbridge mayor may not sound like much, but it’s one of the largest municipalities in New Jersey and was Jim McGreevey’s launching pad to Governor.)

NM-02: The race in the 2nd may turn into a clash of self-funding rich oilmen, as GOP ex-Rep. Steve Pearce says he may dip into his own cash to augment his bid to reclaim his seat from Democratic Rep. Harry Teague (who Roll Call says is the 10th richest member of Congress, and put more than a million of his own money into his 2008 bid).

OR-04: Here’s one campaign that’s already in crash & burn mode: Springfield mayor Sid Leiken’s bid against Rep. Peter DeFazio. Remember Leiken’s tearful apology over the undocumented $2,000 that went to his mother’s real estate company, ostensibly to paying for polling? Now the state elections board is opening an investigation to see if any poll ever actually got taken, after widespread skepticism by polling experts about the poll’s conclusions (most notably that they got 200 respondents out of 268 calls).

PA-06: The arrival of physician Manan Trivedi to the Dem field in the 6th, where Doug Pike seemed to have everything nailed down, has scrambled things a bit. Trivedi has already announced the endorsement of 2008 candidate Bob Roggio, and a more prominent insider, Berks County Recorder of Deeds Frederick Sheeler, switched to neutral from a Pike endorsement.

VA-05: It looks like the Republicans have landed their first “real” candidate to go against Rep. Tom Perriello in the 5th: Albemarle County Commissioner Kenneth Boyd. Boyd is the only Republican on the board that runs the county that surrounds Charlottesville, home of UVA and the district’s liberal anchor; this may help Boyd eat a little into Perriello’s Charlottesville base, but he’s unknown in the rest of the district and may not make it out of the primary against state Sen. Rob Hurt, if Hurt gets off the fence and runs.

Mayors: Amidst all the hullabaloo in New York City last night, there was also a big mayoral contest in Buffalo. Incumbent Dem Byron Brown has essentially been re-elected, beating Michael Kearns 63-37 in the Democratic primary. There is no Republican challenger on the November ballot and Brown controls the minor party lines.

Votes: There seems to be absolutely no pattern behind who did and didn’t vote to reprimand Joe Wilson in the House. Although (sadly) the vote was mostly along party lines, 12 Dems and 7 GOPers broke ranks. Among Dems, the “no” votes were a mix of Blue Dogs and some of the most outspoken liberals: Arcuri, Delahunt, Giffords, Hinchey, Hodes, Kucinich, Maffei, Massa, McDermott, Gwen Moore, Gene Taylor, and Teague. Among the GOP, it was a few moderates and some of the more mavericky hard-liners: Cao, Emerson, Flake, Walter Jones, Petri, Rohrabacher, and maybe most notably, Bob Inglis, already facing the wrath of the teabagging wing of the party. Five Dems also voted “present,” the best you can do when you can’t vote “meh:” Engel, Foster, Frank, Shea-Porter, and Skelton.

56 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 9/16”

  1. With due apologies. This one is more leaning towards state and national.

    1. Maria Baez’s defeat is a shot in arm for Al Sharpton. He endorsed her opponent. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I read an article (probably NYT) that reflected very poorly on Baez.

    2. I cannot find a good analysis of the council results.

    3. Mark Green’s awfully important post election statement can be found on Liz Benjamin.

  2. A couple of thoughts on PA-6:

    1. I don’t think the Recorder of Deeds should be considered a major “get” for Trivedi.  From the article, it sounds like this is a close family connection and has nothing to do with politics or any kind of change in the race.  Pike is still the heavy favorite.

    2. The GOP primary is much more interesting with whacko right winger State Rep. Schroder vs. socially moderate businessman and political neophyte Steve Welch.  Expect some entertainment on the GOP side

  3. I think Hoeffel actually has a decent shot if he gets in, not just because he’s further left than some of the Dems running, but he’s probably the only Dem (besides Tom Knox) that anyone in Philly and SE-PA has ever even HEARD of.

    He’s also built up a lot of cred with voters in the area for his work on the MontCo Board of Commissioners by forming a governing alliance of sorts with Chris Matthews’ brother, a Republican, over the prickish Bruce Castor. A lot of folks in the area, from either party, really seemed impressed by Hoeffel after that.  

  4. They said it was going to be close.

    As for Joe Hoeffel: the ex. Republican Montco moderates are his base. He can win them.  

  5. I live in the district, and I was really surprised to find that any part of Woodbridge is in the 7th.  It’s really on the eastern periphery of the district…very little of the district is in Middlesex County.  Anyway, at this point I’m not sure who the contenders for the Democratic nomination are.  I doubt we’ll have a Linda Stender part three; in fact, the rumor is that if Corzine wins re-election he’ll appoint Stender head of the Board of Public Utilities to keep her out of this race.

    To be honest, I’ll probably vote for Rep. Lance a second time; I like him a lot.

  6. I have to say that he is a conservative whom I respect.  I disagree with him on basically everything, but I respect the fact that he has rejected the racism and pro-Confederate flag attitude of his base in South Carolina, and stood up to the teabaggers.

  7. Could someone help me out and explain the draw of the Minnesota Governor’s race?

    I understand it’s an open seat and all, but even in the best of Democratic states I’m hard pressed to remember primaries with this many (potentially viable) candidates.  Usually it’s maybe 3 at the most.

    Former U.S. Senator

    2 State Senators, 1 former State Senator

    County Attorney from St. Paul

    Speaker of the State House

    2 State Reps, 1 former State Rep

    Possibly two mayors from the largest metro area in the state

  8. He’s only 35 and seems pretty liberal (strongly supports PO). If he and Specter win in 2010, we could be looking at him as a Senate candidate in 2016 (he’ll be what, 42?). Lord knows that Pennsylvania needs more young progressives in office.  

  9. It looks like Pike is more progressive than Trivedi when you compare their websites. Pike also has labor coalescing behind him.

    It looks like an extreme long shot for Trivedi in that primary.

  10. As of now, I’m definitely voting for Pike because I think he’s more electable (simply because he will have far more coh) and my best guess is that he’s more liberal.  It’s hard to say because Trivedi is such a wildcard.  His website gives the usual platitudes (i want clean energy, i want small business to grow, etc) but gives no actual statements of policy other than his support of the po.  He gives you a lot of his “principles” but they’re so broad and such stereotypical political bs that there’s no way to know how he’ll actually vote..  Not that I’m in love with Pike, but at least he has taken some concrete stances on the issues.  

    Again, I’m not a huge Pike fan, so I’d be open to voting Trivedi if he did a better job of expressing what he stands for.  

  11. I met Trivedi at an event near Reading (Berks County) and he seemed pretty naive about what it took to run a strong campaign.  

    When I met Pike in Phoenixville (Chester County) he seems to be really running a very professional operation.  Also, he seemed to know all the local officials well.  

    Trivedi was at Phoenixville also, but didn’t impress.  Seemed like he was meeting everyone for the first time.  Didn’t have a strong message.

  12. I live right next to New Jersey and am flabbergasted by these numbers.

    I mean I suppose it’s possible New Jersey is moving back to it’s pre-Clinton Republican roots, but I just don’t see it.

    there still is an element of fiscal conservatism there, but those numbers on healthcare make zero sense to me.  

  13. This is his popularity among likely voters this November. That universe is supposedly much more Republican than normal.

    That might be right or wrong (I hope it’s wrong), but it comports with almost all other polling of this race.  

  14. Some other things too. The Anti-Christ question, or the question about eliminating the federal government…weird stuff.

  15. Hi, I’m Doug Pike’s campaign manager.  I’d love to talk with you more about the race if you have any questions.  You can easily reach me at drew [at] or 610-896-2162.


  16. 53-45 approve.

    Quinnipiac latest is 51-43 approve. FD pegged it at 56-36 approve. PPP seems a bit hit and miss this cycle.

  17. …that if Obama weren’t to stump for Corzine, there’s no way he could get out the vote. But, if Obama’s mysteriously losing popularity in NJ, I cannot possibly imagine a scenario under which Corzine musters the enthuasiasm necessary.

    Also, those New York #’s are just dreadful for Paterson and Lazio, which would of course would make a contest between the two all the more interesting. Still, I feel like it’s gonna be waged between the other two, and Cuomo will probably win, but by a tigher margin than in this poll.

  18. I love how political campaigns have evolved so now that not only do you have pay attention to the MSM, but also the blogosphere.  We’ll cut a bitch!  :)

    Im rooting for Pike solely bc of the fact that after Gerlach retired that the floodgates didnt open with several possible Democrats who could enter. In fact, I was quite surprised I didnt hear of some state reps or senators who we should watch for and I think that was an indication of Pike’s strength.

  19. I’ll ask my questions here so everyone can see:

    -Does Doug support a repeal of DOMA?  How about gay marriage?

    -Would he have voted for the cap and trade bill that passed in the house?

  20. a likely voter sample that shows who is voting this year? I could be possible that Obama’s numbers are much higher, but that those approvals come from people who aren’t gonna vote this year for Governor.

    That wouldn’t surprise me. There is a lot of people in Jersey who love Obama, hate Corzine.  

  21. Thanks for the kind words.  The campaign continues to go very well.

    Doug is an extremely hard working candidate and has had nothing handed to him in this race.  He got in the race really early, April 8th, 2005, to beat Gerlach (no easy task, see: 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008).  He is definitely one of the hardest working people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

    And seriously, anyone with questions should feel free to contact me or the campaign directly.


  22. I saw Pike speak at a big Pride festival in Reading, PA.  He was a clear and confident supporter of full equality for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.

    Too many Democrats in this District have run to the center on all the tough fights.  We need to get our base out this year to win.  

    So, I’m glad to see Pike coming out on issues early.

  23. This district has changed more this decade that possibly any other district in the country.  A solid progressive can win here.  I live in a pretty liberal area so I probably have some sample bias, but I think a lot of socially liberal positions are winners.

  24. But I guess I have to give the IL GOP some credit they acctuly got a good candidate for Senate and there at least running someone who has some familiarity with statewide politics for Governor. Though I still expect team Blue will blow them both away by 10 points or more.  

  25. I think that Joe Birkett, Kirk Dillard, Bill Brady, or someone else with more heft on the GOP side will run.

    Unless the GOP promised McKenna the nomination for Governor in exchange for dropping out of the Senate race.

  26. he may come within 10 points, he may not.  The dynamics of this race remind me of another Kirk running an uphill race running in the President’s home state.  

  27. Yeah not on data but hey my off the wall/gut feeling (which is semi good) is 55-43 for the Dem facing Kirk similar to the 02 Texas race you referenced.

  28. since a DFLer won and is the only seat available for any of these people to run for to get a promotion.  Sos, AG, and Audtior are all DFLers.  Already have 2/3rds majority in the state senate, practically have it in the state house, none of the candidates live in CD2 or CD3 so they wont go for Congress, Clark was going to run for Gov but opted for CD6 instead, and no US Senate seats to run for.

    I think when it comes down to it, Gov is the only race left to run for as a DFLer, and it’s the most elusive one out of any statewide position.

    I think if Franken hadn’t gotten into the Senate race and scared off everyone with his huge fundraising totals and celebrity status, Rybak probably wouldve went for Senate in 08.  

    Oh, another thing to note, state legislators dont have to give up their seats to run for Gov.  They will lose the endorsement, file to run in their respective primaries, and then have just taken a shot in the dark at getting the Gov nod for the DFL and not lose their current positions.  Marty, Bakk, Rukavina, Thissen and Kelliher can all still have their old jobs then.

  29. I disagree with the guy, but I respect his guts in calling these nutjobs out. Plus, his “stinking rot of self-righteousness” remark was so on-the-nose that I’ve started using it myself.

  30. Well considering that its mainly just Evangelicals (as opposed to Catholics) who believe Armageddon and the Anti-Christ are imminent…i find it hard to believe that 8% of NJ voters think he is. I bet not even 20% of NJ voters are Evangelical and half of them cant possibly think Obama is the Antichrist. Afterall most of the people who believe in the Rapture, Armageddon, etc. dont say, ‘I know who the Antichrist is’. They just have ‘guesses’. I use to be an Evangelical who believed that the Rapture was coming soon, so…maybe this helps ;). But yeah, about Catholics (and theres many conservative Catholics in NJ I would think), ive really never seen them believe that Armageddon was imminent. Its an Evangelical, or more specifically, a fundamentalist Protestant thing.

  31. And maybe not that long ago ordinary Catholics were very fearful of an impending apocalypse (especially in years like 1666, i bet) but Catholic Church leaders, at least these days, really tamp down on that kind of stuff.  

  32. In theory, they could have run for Sen. in 06 and 08 though itd have been alot harder to win a primary against Klobuchar than Franken.

  33. Youre right…Franken’s fundraising was pretty scary. He wasnt the most attractive candidate (though he will probably make a fine Senator and could very well cruise to re-election) but massive fundraising as well as institutional support can scare potential candidates away.

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