SSP Daily Digest: 9/17

CO-Sen: Former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff officially kicked off his primary challenge to Michael Bennet yesterday, with appearances in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver. Romanoff, however, wasted no time in demonstrating that he won’t be running to Bennet’s left, saying that he’s opposed to the card-check portion of EFCA. If he isn’t going to run to Bennet’s left, that leads to the question of: what other kind of an angle can he work, other than just “it’s my turn?”

IL-Sen: Here’s an interesting development in the Illinois Senate race: EMILY’s List has weighed in, endorsing (surprise) Cheryle Jackson. EMILY’s List isn’t always a magic bullet in these type situations (see Tinker, Nikki), but it does expose Jackson to a nationwide base of donors. Politico does observe something odd, though: EMILY’s List hasn’t endorsed a female Senate candidate who seems to have at least somewhat better odds of making it out of her primary… Jennifer Brunner.

NY-Sen-B (pdf): Some leftovers from yesterday’s Marist poll of NY-Gov: Kirsten Gillibrand is still having some growing pains, with an approval of 26% excellent or good, 38% fair, and 9% poor (with 27% not sure) and losing a head-to-head against ex-Gov. George Pataki, 48-44 (Pataki has been completely silent on the issue, but you’ve gotta wonder if the consistent numbers are getting him more interested). For yucks and giggles, they also matched Gillibrand up against Eliot Spitzer in a Dem primary, which she won 57-29. (Spitzer also loses a primary to David Paterson 60-31, and receives a general “no” on the issue of running again, 27/69.)

IL-Gov: State GOP chair Andy McKenna, who briefly provoked a Mark Kirk temper tantrum when he said he’d run in the Illinois senate primary, has decided he still really wants to run for office, and instead has headed over to the Governor’s race, where there was no top-tier candidate or even clear frontrunner. This seemed to spook one of the candidates, suburban state Sen. Matt Murphy, who bailed out of the race and signed on as McKenna’s running mate. While McKenna has the fundraising connections and can self-fund as well, McKenna has never won a race (he finished 4th in the GOP Senate primary in 2004, meaning he lost not only to Jack Ryan but also Jim Oberweis), and he’ll still have to face DuPage County Board Chair Bob Schillerstrom (who has at least 900,000 constituents) as well as a gaggle of other state Senators. (H/t GOPVOTER.)

MI-Gov: SoS Terri Lynn Land has signed onto Oakland Co. Sheriff Michael Bouchard’s ticket as his running mate. Land, you’ll recall, was widely expected to run for Governor but surprised everyone by endorsing Bouchard instead. (There was a brief rumor that she’d run in MI-03 after a Vern Ehlers retirement, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.)

NH-Gov: Rasmussen throws in gubernatorial numbers as part of its sample from Sep. 14 that found Kelly Ayotte up on Paul Hodes by 8 in the Senate race. The results help cast a little more doubt on the composition of that particular sample, as the state’s widely popular Democratic Governor, John Lynch, leads former Senator John Sununu (who I’ve never seen mentioned in connection with that race) by only 48-43. Lynch beats the only announced candidate, businessman Jack Kimball, 52-31, and vaguely interested state Senator Chuck Morse 51-29.

NJ-Gov: PPP tried out some alternate scenarios in New Jersey involving replacement Democrats for Jon Corzine (although Corzine hasn’t made any moves to get out, and it’s unclear why he would at this point, with his numbers improving somewhat). The bottom line is, it wouldn’t help anyway; Rep. Frank Pallone loses big-time to Chris Christie 43-23 (with Chris Daggett at 15). Newark mayor Corey Booker doesn’t fare much better, even though he has very high approval ratings: he loses 41-33-13.

OR-Gov: We’ll definitely have a contested primary on the Democratic side, despite the entry of heavyweight ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber. Former SoS Bill Bradbury is staying in the race, preparing to announce today, and yesterday releasing a video endorsement from his most prominent backer, former Gov. Barbara Roberts, who preceded Kitzhaber in office. Meanwhile, Kitzhaber released a literal shitload of endorsements yesterday, with many of the state’s key Democrats (AG John Kroger, Treasurer Ben Westlund, Superintendent of Education Susan Castillo, Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler, ex-Portland mayor Vera Katz, ex-Rep. Darlene Hooley) and some names who’d been bandied about as possible candidates (state Sen. Mark Hass, Portland city counilor Randy Leonard) on board — not a lot of oxygen left for Bradbury, or for Rep. Peter DeFazio, if he still wants to get in.

PA-Gov: Scranton mayor Chris Doherty is almost certain to run for the Democratic nod for Governor, insiders are saying. He’s staffing up (including some heavy hitters, including media pro Tad Devine) and polling.

TX-Gov: Rasmussen’s new poll of the Texas governor primary on the Republican side has a big surprise: it’s the first poll in ages (since May) to give a lead to Kay Bailey Hutchison. KBH leads incumbent Rick Perry 40-38, with somebody named Debra Medina, who’s from the Ron Paul wing of the party, pulling in 3% of the vote… apparently pulling in enough of Perry’s base of teabag/secession nuts to flip the race to KBH. Rasmussen’s May poll had Perry up 42-38.

CA-42: Republican Rep. Gary Miller has drawn a wealthy primary challenger, Lee McGroarty, an executive with an investment firm. Ethical clouds related to real estate deals have followed Miller, but he’s probably more vulnerable to an anti-insider primary challenge than a Democrat in this R+10 Orange County district.

NY-23: After Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts dropped their barely-explicable holds on the confirmation of Rep. John McHugh for Secretary of the Army, the New York Republican was confirmed last night. The three candidates — Democrat Bill Owens, Republican Dede Scozzafava, and Conservative Doug Hoffman — now are waiting to see when the special election is scheduled. State law requires David Paterson to schedule the election between 30 and 40 days from his announcement of the date, so in order to schedule the election on the regular election day of Nov. 3 (like everyone expects will happen), he’ll need to delay the announcement for at least another week.

Campaign Finance: Last month, a federal judge ruled that Connecticut’s relatively new campaign matching fund system violated the First Amendment, saying it impermissibly put unfair burdens on “hopeless” minor party candidates that it did not also place on equally hopeless major party candidates running in uncompetitive districts. (The decision was in part based on the Supreme Court case that struck down the federal Millionaire’s Amendment last year.) AG Dick Blumenthal is appealing to the Second Circuit. Meanwhile, some folks in Arizona are concerned that this ruling might implicate their own public financing system. (D)

29 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 9/17”

  1. I could certainly see Jackson taking down Giannoulias in a primary, but I have a pretty hard time seeing her prevail over Kirk. Granted, Carol Moseley-Braun won in ’92, but let’s face it – she had a dreadful GOP competitor in Richard Williamson, the Anita Hill controversy was still hot (Braun won 59% of women), and Clinton helped her big time in the suburbs. Here, you have a strong Republican and no Obama on the ballot.

  2. If Romanoff is going to run a campaign by being indistinguishable from Bennett, then my enthusiasm for him (Romanoff) may start to wane. I honestly don’t see him using the slogan “It’s my turn” as a very good one.

    As for New Hampshire, I still can’t believe Republicans have such a solid lead among Democrats. Isn’t this the state where the Dems defeated an incumbent Republican last year? Hopefully, this is just a residual effect from all the teabagging protests over the summer.

  3. This is a couple days late, but RJ Hadley, the now former Chief of Staff to the Rockdale County Commission, has filed with the FEC to take on Johnny Isakson (or Paul Broun if the rumors are true and he successfully primaries Isakson).

  4. Tossup, baby!

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Virginia voters finds McDonnell attracting 48% of the vote while Deeds picks up 46%. Two weeks ago, McDonnell held a nine-point advantage. In August, McDonnell was up by eight.

    The survey two weeks ago was conducted shortly after The Washington Post ran news stories about a thesis paper written by McDonnell in 1989. The thesis reflected very conservative views on the role of women in society and other topics. Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters now say the writings are at least somewhat important in terms of how they will vote. That’s up from 36% in the previous survey. The number of unaffiliated voters who consider the writings important is up to 47%.

    The thesis looks like a game-changer.

  5. LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (sister of the former mayor and current Superior Court judge Jim Hahn and daughter of the long-time LA county supervisor Kenneth Hahn) is exploring running for Lieutenant Governor in 2010. It’s pretty much a do-nothing job, but it’s a heartbeat away from the big time. And it involves her in Sacramento politics and douses the possibility of her running for mayor, which I had always thought was in the offing for her.

  6. Independent and third-party candidates have to meet the same qualifying requirements as major-party candidates — which I think was the problem in Connecticut.  Ironically, the qualifying requirements are so arduous in AZ that they have forced top-tier candidates out of races before (State Senate President Randall Gnant passed on a gubernatorial run in 2002 because he couldn’t meet the qualifying requirements) and to my knowledge they have only ever been met by one independent or third-party candidate: former statewide elected official Richard Mahoney in 2002.

    On McGroarty, does anyone know whether he’s related to former California Congressman John Stephen McGroarty (D), who served back in the 1920’s?


    Talks about America’s net worth grew by 2 trillion.  Now, it’s hard to spin the whole job loss situation with it losing at a slower pace, job loss is job loss and every voter picks that out.

    This is something legit to promote and discuss about the economy.  When the numbers come out and if we are out of the recession, Obama better do a big speech about the economy or something, telling America himself that the recession is over.

    Im suddenly not getting very worried about 2010.  Im hoping for something to occur in like what I did a diary on.  I hate self-promotion, but go look at what I found doing some research on consecutive bloodless gains in the Senate.  If the economy drastically picks up and gets trucking along again, then we could be looking at a realignment.

  8. From CQ Politics

    O’Brien[…]filed a statement of candidacy and also formed a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, which processed his paperwork on Sept. 16.

    [He] told CQ Politics Thursday evening that he filed his FEC papers “out of an abundance of caution at this point, just to ensure that we’re following all the appropriate procedures with respect to looking very closely at getting into the race.”

    “I have not made a public pronouncement with respect to the congressional race at this point, but I am seriously considering it and looking into it in a very serious way,” O’Brien added.

    “We’ll have more to say about that, certainly before the end of the year.”

    He sounds like a good guy:

    O’Brien[…]suggested that there has been too much focus on shoring up hedge funds and the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and not enough on the everyday struggles of people.

  9. Not sure whether I’ve seen this here before, but if I’m reading this correctly, Sanford charged two charter flights to Europe to the taxpayers, to the tune of $63,000. More ammunition for impeachment?

  10. Had just 2% more Dems and close to a majority independent. Rasmussen has Ayotte leading amongst indies by fourteen points hence the lead with all voters.

  11. I’ll stay consistent. Rasmussen sucks. Hopefully some confirmation will be forthcoming soon from another source.

  12. The 2009 Governship races should about this time be taken

    somewhat seriously about this time.

    If Obama Voters In Northern Virginia come out for Deeds he

    has a chance to win.The Thesis may end up bitting McDonnell

    In the butt.

  13. If the Democrats don’t pass some health care legislation, 2010 will still look pretty bad.

    If the economy recovers and some health care reform is passed, then I think our losses will be mostly limited to the rural South.

  14. As for me, even in the Houston burbs, work is cutting hours like crazy. Sure they usually do this time of year (Im in retail and business slows after the summer) but not this much. It is worse than last year this time.

  15. But only if the South Carolina GOP has the guts to go through with it. (There’s really no reason why they shouldn’t…most everyone wants Sanford out of office, Andre Bauer nonwithstanding.)

  16. He expects his staff and govt agencies to pinch pennies yet he himself is living the high life at taxpayers’ expense. Even if he ends up paying it all back (or his wife does, since shes the rich one in the family. although she may not feel like it right now), for which im not sure he even will, its still hypocritical. Afterall, he probably wont pay it back in a day and theres no 100% guarantee itd even get back paid back.  

  17. As it says in the article TheUnknown285 linked to, he’s the Chief of Staff to the Rockdale County Commission in the Atlanta metro area. He’s resigning effective October, having only been in that position since January. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention last year. He’s an Obama supporter and a fierce critic of Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. Oh, and he’s black.

    Hadley has a blog here.

  18. for when he would pledge to only serve out the rest of Sanford’s term? I believe he said that Sanford needed to resign or be impeached by the end of September, or Bauer would run for governor anyway.

  19. than Political Wire links to a new article clarifying Bauer’s stance on the matter. Now, he’s saying that he plans to announce that he is running for governor “in the latter part of October,” but that Sanford resigning would scrap those plans. Bauer doesn’t make clear that he wouldn’t run if Sanford is impeached but refuses to resign, but since he previously said that, I think that he probably means both. Of course, like any good politician, he leaves himself some wiggle room.

  20. I’m just a regular guy who wants to represent his state in DC. For now, I’ll pass on putting up the same old campaign website with the information that everyone disregards. People are hurting and it’s time to stop playing games. The corporations and special interests can take care of themselves. Let’s build The Bridge Forword for the rest of us.

    If you’ve got reasonable questions, post them and I’ll try to answer or you can just call me below. Also NJCentrist thanks for putting the appropriate label on me, I wasn’t sure until then. This is going to be interesting. rj

    RJ4US – A New Voice for Georgia


    RJ Hadley

    U.S. Senate 2010

    What’s on Your Mind?

    (404) 602-0920

    Google: Vote RJ Hadley

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