SSP Daily Digest: 10/21

ME-Sen: PPP looked at Olympia Snowe’s approval ratings in the wake of her bipartisan-curious explorations of the last few weeks. Her overall approvals are 56/31 (not red-hot, but still in the top 5 among Senators PPP has polled recently), but interestingly, she’s now doing much better among Dems (70% approval) than GOPers (45% approval), with indies split (51% approval). Still, only 32% of voters think she should switch parties (with no particular difference between Dems and Republicans on that question).

NH-Sen: A $1,000 check is usually just a drop in the bucket in a Senate warchest. But when you’re Kelly Ayotte, and you’re trying to offer up as uncontroversial and substance-free an image as possible, the fact that that $1,000 check is from Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum speaks a little more loudly than you might want it to.

NV-Sen: Research 2000 has new poll data out for Nevada, although it’s on behalf of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, not Daily Kos. At any rate, they find numbers pretty consistent with other pollsters, with Harry Reid sporting 35/54 favorables and trailing Sue Lowden 47-42 and Jerry Danny Tarkanian 46-41 (both of whom might as well be “generic Republican” at this point). The poll also finds 54% support for a public option (including 84% of Dems and 55% of indies), and finds that 31% of all voters, including 46% of Democrats, less likely to vote for him if he fails to include a public option in health care reform.

MN-Gov: One fascinating piece of trivia about Minnesota DFL nominating conventions is that, like the national convention, there are delegates, and then there are superdelegates. Minnesota Progressive is compiling a whip count among the superdelegates in the Governor’s race. So far, the leaders are tied at 14 each: state House speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state Sen. Tom Bakk.

NJ-Gov: Rasmussen takes another look at the New Jersey governor’s race; their purported topline result is 41 for Chris Christie, 39 for Jon Corzine, and 11 for Chris Daggett, which is an improvement over last week’s 4-point spread for Christie. However, you may recall that last week they released two sets of results, an initial read (which found a tie) and then a re-allocated version that asked Daggett voters (and only Daggett voters) if they were really sure, which gave Christie a 4-point lead and which they flagged as their topline. This week, Rasmussen just toplined the version with Daggett voters re-allocated, without saying a peep about voters’ initial preferences. TPM’s Eric Kleefeld contacted Rasmussen and got the initial preferences version, which, lo and behold, gives Corzine a 37-36-16 lead. Would it kill Rasmussen to just admit that, sometimes, Democratic candidates actually lead in some races?

Meanwhile, as things further deteriorate for Chris Christie, New Jersey’s senior senator, Frank Lautenberg, has called for a federal investigation into Christie’s politicization of his U.S. Attorney office (starting with his election-year investigations into Bob Menendez). It’s not clear whether that’ll go anywhere (especially in the next two weeks), but it certainly helps keep doubts about Christie front and center. And if you’re wondering why Christie‘s campaign is faltering, it may have something to do with his own admission that he doesn’t really have that much to do with his own campaign strategy:

“That’s what I hire other people to do for me, is to help to make those decisions for me,” Christie replied. He added, “I’m out there working 14, 15, 16 hours a day. So the strategy decision is not something I’m generally engaged in.”

NY-Gov: You could knock me over with a feather, but there’s actually a poll out today showing that David Paterson is in trouble (with an approval of 30/57). Quinnipiac finds that Paterson loses the general to Rudy Giuliani 54-32, and ties woeful Rick Lazio 38-38. Andrew Cuomo, on the other hand, beats Giuliani 50-40 and Lazio 61-22. The primaries are foregone conclusions, with Cuomo beating Paterson 61-19 and Giuliani beating Lazio 74-9.

OR-Gov: A lot of Oregonians are scratching their heads wondering where Jason Atkinson, the purported Republican frontrunner in the governor’s race, is. Atkinson has raised only $2,000 and hasn’t been updating his campaign blog or social media sites. Atkinson’s legislative aide also tells the Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes that she doesn’t know what’s happening with his candidacy.

SC-Gov: Contrary to reports earlier in the week, it looks like impeachment of Mark Sanford can’t come up during the one-day special session in the South Carolina legislature (which was called to patch the state’s unemployment compensation system — using those stimulus funds that Sanford fought against). Looks like he’ll survive at least until the full legislative session next year.

VA-Gov: Three items, none of which are any good for Creigh Deeds. The first is the new poll from SurveyUSA, which has usually been the most Bob McDonnell-friendly pollster but has never shown Deeds so far down: 59-40. Even if this is an outlier (and it probably is, as it shows McDonnell pulling in 55% in NoVa and 31% of all black voters), it can’t be so much of an outlier that Deeds is anywhere near close. This is bolstered by today’s PPP poll, which finds McDonnell leading Deeds 52-40 (up from a 5-pt lead post-thesis-gate). And during last night’s debate, Deeds may have shut the door on any last-minute progressive interest in his campaign, when he said he’d consider having Virginia opt out of an opt-out public option. Of course, his camp is backpedaling today, saying that he “wasn’t ruling anything out” — but as any student of politics will tell you, every day you spend explaining what you really had meant to say is another day lost.

CA-11: Not one but two more penny-ante Republicans got into the race against Democratic sophomore Rep. Jerry McNerney: construction company owner Robert Beadles and the former VP of Autism Speaks, Elizabeth Emken. That brings to a total of 8 the number of GOPers, with former US Marshal Tony Amador the only one with a competitive profile.

CA-47: Audio has been released of Assemblyman and Congressional candidate Van Tran’s brush with the law when he got involved in a friend’s DUI traffic stop. Tran has denied that he was interfering with the police, but the audio doesn’t exactly leave him sounding cooperative.

FL-08: Yet another Republican backed off from the prospect of facing off against the suddenly mighty Alan Grayson — although this is a guy I didn’t even know was running: Marvin Hutson. Hutson instead endorsed Todd Long, the radio talk show host who nearly defeated incumbent Ric Keller in the 2008 GOP primary — who, to my knowledge, doesn’t actually seem to be running, at least not yet (and that could change, given the GOP’s glaring hole here).

IL-16: Here’s a Democratic recruitment score (well, of the second-tier variety) in a district where Barack Obama won last year but the very conservative Republican incumbent, Don Manzullo, has skated with minor opposition for nearly two decades. George Gaulrapp, the mayor of Freeport (a town of 25,000 at the Rockford-based district’s western end), will challenge Manzullo.

NYC Mayor: Incumbent Michael Bloomberg continues to hold a sizable but not overwhelming lead over Democratic comptroller William Thompson in the New York mayoral race; he leads 53-41. Thompson doesn’t seem likely to make up much ground without full-throated backing from Barack Obama, though, and he certainly isn’t getting that; Obama gave Thompson no more than a “shout out” at a New York fundraiser last night.

Mayors: The New York Times has a good profile of the Atlanta mayor’s race, where the long string of black mayors may be broken. White city councilor Mary Norwood, from the affluent white Buckhead portion of the city, seems to be the frontrunner to succeed outgoing mayor Shirley Franklin, with the African-American vote split among city councilor Lisa Borders and former state legislator Kasim Reed (although polling indicates Norwood pulling in a fair amount of black support). This seems consistent with changing demographics, where GA-05 (which largely overlaps Atlanta city limits) has seen declining black and increasing white populations while the suburbs become much blacker.

Census: Democratic Rep. Joe Baca has introduced legislation of his own to counter David Vitter’s amendment to require the census to ask citizenship status. Baca’s bill would require all residents to be counted in the census, regardless of legal status.

46 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/21”

  1. From the fact both Repubs already have high unfavorables. Those will likely only go higher once his campaign is in high gear. Could be redux of New Jersey this year.

  2. What a sad turn of events in the Virginia gubernatorial election. Suddenly I don’t care whether Deeds wins or loses–and this is from a former contributor.

    It’s amazing to me that Blue Dog Democrats are so slow to realize the popularity and importance of the public option. Their mistake is having, and will continue to have, a brutal impact on their futures.

  3. I’ve always figured Illinois would be the next New York in terms of us quickly overwhelming longtime GOP seats that have since become competitive.  We could probably knock them down to only a couple seats in Illinois, especially with a good map.

  4. Deeds is a horrible candidate. He managed to isolate NOVA voters with his idiotic Deed’s country plan so that only republicans are turning out to vote. This race was absolutely winnable and Deeds managed to ruin it. I really hope this is the end of Deeds’ political career because he is one of the worst candidates ever.

  5. I’m baffled as to how they keep getting these odd results out of NYC.

    I buy most of the internals, until the regional results. They’ve got Bloomy up by 29 in Manhattan and Thompson up by 13 in Brooklyn. Anyone who knows the slightest hint about NYC politics can understand how completely implausible such results are.

    If Bloomy’s winning by 29 in Manhattan, he’s beating Thompson by 30+ points on election night. If Thompson’s winning by 13 in Brooklyn, he’s beating Bloomy by 10 points.

    I can believe that Bloomy’s up by 12% in this race (I suspect it’s more like an 8-10% lead), but I’d like to see other pollsters look at it. SurveyUSA is producing a lot of odd likely-outliers lately.

  6. Via AP:

       CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Former Wyoming governor and U.S. Sen. Clifford Hansen has died at his home in Jackson. He was 97.

       Peter Hansen says his father, who suffered from ailments including respiratory problems, died Tuesday.

       According to his son, the elder Hansen had returned home Monday after receiving hospital treatment for a broken pelvis.

       Clifford Hansen, a Republican, was born in Jackson Hole and lived most of his life there while not serving in government in Cheyenne or Washington, D.C.

       Hansen was elected governor of Wyoming in 1962. He won election to the U.S. Senate in 1966, was re-elected in 1972 and stepped down in 1978.

       Hansen is survived by his wife of 75 years, Martha Hansen, son Peter Hansen, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.


  7. Wow, Pallas Olympia is down to 56% approval? Last I looked she was in the high 70’s. Of course, that was in 2006, but still, if even the Senate’s most inexplicably beloved incumbents have taken a 20 point hit in the last cycle, it’s a rough year for everyone.

    Not that these numbers won’t rebound by 2012 once Maine’s cantankerous old electorate starts being a bit less cranky towards all politicians in general, but seeing Snowe at a vaguely human approval rating gives me a vague hope that she’ll somehow lose her next election (primary or general). I still don’t hate her compared to pretty much any other Senate Republican, but I’m tired of the will of the majority being hijacked by the whims of a handful of so-called moderates because the D leadership has persisted in having a BS “bipartisanship” fetish long after it was reasonable or prudent to do so. Getting Snowe out of the Senate entirely in 2012 would certainly change that little game in the same way that getting rid of Lieberman or either of the Nelsons would, and while I don’t think it’s likely, nobody thought at this time in 2003 that Lincoln Chaffee was going to lose, either. Anything’s possible, especially with an electorate as independent-minded and generally fickle as northern New England’s.  

  8. which I think is the most accurate pollster, among just women voters

    Deeds 42%                                             McDonnell 51%

    Deeds should have been winning woman by double digits after that crazy thesis. This is an epic fail people. Obama, Warner, Kaine, and Webb got dems to show up and vote for them because they campaigned well and earned their vote. Deeds has been such a failure that people just wont bother showing up. PPP has 36% R, 33% D, 31% I. I really thought that Deeds would be a good campaigner and pull this off even up to a month ago but he’s managed to screw it up. Here’s my new predictions for election night.


    57% McDonnell

    43% Deeds


    44% Corzine

    41% Christie

    14% Daggett

    1% Other

    NY 23

    40% Owens

    31% Hoffman

    29% Scozzafava

    Charlotte Mayor

    52% Foxx

    48% Lassiter

  9. Match Reid again Shelley Berkley… see how vulnerable Reid is to a strong primary challenge, or even a lame one.  Poll some LV city councilmember against him.

    Regardless of his money, if berkley beats him by 20 points, and some councilperson or state senator beats him by ten (or thirty), then we would know something interesting.  These redundant polls losing to Lowden or Tark don’t tell us anything.

  10. I think this is the only time I’ve actually made that error, although I have to mentally stop myself almost every time.

  11. Just how few depends on how few seats you can pack all of southern Illinois (minus the current IL-12) and all of the eastern and central (i.e., the rural part of Schock’s district) farmland into.  

  12. With a good map and an inside straight of candidates.

    But it’s not out of the question- We’re probably gonna pick up IL-10, and IL-6 is probably going to be merged with IL-13 (with some of the city districts continuing to creep out into those suburbs). This new district will probably be unwinnable for awhile, but who knows, the ‘burbs have been trending our way.

    The right candidate can win IL-18, especially if Schocky feels like climbing the ladder. 19 and 16 would be tougher, but they’ve each got pockets of Dem affection. 15 is odd- with Champaign-Urbana as a population center, it should be winnable, but from experience, it’s really rough. Maybe when Johnson retires.

    So, assuming we don’t pick up the merged district, but we get lucky in 15 and one of 19 or 16, that’s 2.

  13. Lets start putting these districts into play and focus in GOP-leaning areas in Illinois and California.

  14. Deeds’ campaign has been pathetic, but I’m not sure this race was ever really winnable. McDonnell has led in virtually every poll from last December on, and he’s run probably the slickest campaign of any Republican in Virginia in a decade.

  15. It’s the very definition of an outlier. Every other poll has had him with a lead.

    McDonnell also had the benefit of not having any competition for the nomination, so he was able to bankroll and redefine himself as a faux-moderate.

    Finally, there’s the curse of the Presidency — every Governor of the past 32 years has been of the opposite party of the incumbent President. It’s an uphill fight because the party that loses the Presidency is out for blood, whereas the party that won it is content to rest on their laurels.

  16. … the fact that 2008 was the first time Virginia went Democratic at the presidential level since 1964. It’s abundantly evident that Democratic strength in Virginia is just tapped out right now, particularly for an off-year election.

  17. We don’t needs Deeds costing the dems and house seats or senate seats. NO MORE CREIGH DEEDS, this campaign reminds of the one DS ran against Mark Kirk in 2008. No more crappy candidates and to predict the future I see another one in the making and that one is Lee Fisher in Ohio. Pleassssse we can do better than these people.

  18. I can guarantee that. With two statewide losses under his belt and his pissing off the left over and over, he’s not going anywhere past the State Senate. I like Creigh, but his campaign has just gone completely off the rails this month.

    Looking forward, I’d say two of the most likely contenders for 2013 are Gerry Connolly and State Sen. Chap Petersen. Jody Wagner is another possibility, depending on how well she performs downticket, but she’ll have lost her second election, so she wouldn’t start off with a good track record. Shannon might run for AG again, but I doubt it, considering how poorly his campaign has been run.

    The state senate is not up this year, by the way.

  19. We had a bad draw here from the beginning. Moran would have been a non-starter anywhere outside of NoVa, and McAuliffe would have had ZERO crossover appeal and sky-high negatives. Deeds had the most potential of the bunch (and was the most qualified to be governor, IMHO), but obviously got out-hustled by McDonnell and a fired up Republican electorate.  

  20. And I actually think McDonnell is Jim Gilmore 2.0. He’s riding into office while demagoguing on a fiscally irresponsible idea that sounds good to the voters (eliminating the car tax for Gilmore, privatizing the ABC stores for McDonnell). I suspect McDonnell’s term in office will not go that well, which will disappoint the breathless “McDonnell 2012/2016” crowd.

  21. At least with McAuliffe, you would’ve had a guy who knows how to run a real race. Sure, he would’ve been up shit’s creek with Independents, but he would’ve shored up African-Americans and stirred up much more excitement in the NE. He also would’ve at least tried beating the crap out of McDonnell in the debates.

  22. Where is the evidence that Terry McAuliffe is, himself, overwhelmingly popular in the African-American community? Is it just because of the staunch backing he has had on the part of the Clintons? I mean, the man has never held elective office in his life, so its not like he has some electoral track record or natural base. Honestly, I doubt lasting excitement for him would run any deeper than for Deeds, and the “beating the crap out of McDonnell” routine would wear thin on a whole lot of voters mighty fast. From a first hand perspective I know numerous left-leaning Northern Virginia voters who couldn’t bear the thought of McAuliffe as governor, but are staying loyal to Deeds even now – because I think, frankly, integrity really counts for something.

  23. I suspect that McDonnell is the very best politician that the right-wing has in the country today.

    Watch for him in 2016.

  24. However, when you consider that he flopped despite outspending Moran and Deeds combined, I don’t think he would have done any better than Deeds is doing.

  25. Shannon was the only one I thought had a real advantage going into the general election campaign. It’s appalling that Ken Cuccinelli is going to romp into the AG’s office (and be the starting favorite in 2013, presumably).

  26. Cuccinelli runs against Webb in 2012, because Bolling is next in line to run for Governor. Cuccinelli is too ambitious to wait eight whole years to run for Governor, but the Republicans will put a lot of pressure on them to have another “gentleman’s agreement” like Bolling did in deferring to McDonnell. So running against Webb, where he’ll have plenty of wingnut money thrown at him, is his only outlet for his scary ambition.

  27. California and Illinois are probably going to be the states where Democrats most offset congressional losses in the South.

  28. is almost the entire reason her polls are down is because of Republicans.

    Democrats apparently LOVE her. If she went Dem or Jim Jeffords, she’d be set for life.  

  29. If there was ever an election decided solely by party label that would be Chafee vs. Whitehouse. But I’m not sure Maine’s voters are like RI’s voters in terms of voting Democratic for the sake of voting Democratic, especially if the Senate isn’t at risk of flipping.

  30. I think it would cause (or help) her to vote more liberally. And I don’t think she’s ever been unprincipled like Specter, who has shown everyone he can’t be trusted. She wouldn’t switch and then immediately make several stupid statements, showing that she is untrustworthy.

  31. …run against an incumbent Jim Webb. I guess I don’t know VA politics enough (and am looking for enlightenment), but he’s done such a good job keeping the liberal grassroots on his side without sacrificing his populist image that it’s gonna be tough finding a road in on him.

  32. from an electoral standpoint, anyway, is that he doesn’t like retail politicking. He’s a great Senator and has gotten a lot done in 2 1/2 years, but he doesn’t go out and shake hands/kiss babies at every local event in the state, which blunts his popularity statewide. That’s why his approval rating consitently hovers around 50%.

  33. Maine would support Snowe if she left the GOP caucus.  Indies in Maine have done alright over the years.

  34. than cross over to the Democrats. She believes she’s a traditional Republican and that the party has betrayed its principles. A leap to the Democrats would be psychologically difficult for her.

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