SSP Daily Digest: 12/15

CT-Sen: You know you’re in trouble when the trade publications that cover you start asking what your exit strategy is. CQ has an interesting piece that delves into the how, when, and where of how Chris Dodd might excuse himself from his not-getting-any-better Senate race, and it also asks who might take his place.

DE-Sen: CQ has another speculative piece about another troublesome seat for Dems: what happens if Beau Biden doesn’t show up for his planned Senate race (he’s been mum so far, although most people expect him to run). The uncomfortable truth is there just isn’t much of a Plan B there, but options could include New Castle County Exec Chris Coons, or elbow-twisting Ted Kaufman to actually stand for re-election.

CO-Gov: Considering how deep a hole Michael Bennet was in vis-a-vis Jane Norton, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Rasmussen’s gubernatorial numbers from last week’s Colorado sample aren’t very appetizing either. Republican ex-Rep. Scott McInnis leads incumbent Dem Bill Ritter 48-40, despite Ritter having 50% approval. (The thing is, he also has 50% disapproval. Rasmussen still managed to find 1% of all likely voters who don’t know. Which, of course, adds up to 101%.)

HI-01: Rep. Neil Abercrombie is saying he’ll resign in a matter of weeks, not months. He still wouldn’t give a specific date, citing the uncertainty of timing of major votes coming up in the short term (not just health care reform, but also the locally-important Native Hawaiian recognition act).

IA-03: Another Republican is getting into the field against Rep. Leonard Boswell, who’s never quite gotten secure in this swing district. Retired architect Mark Rees will join state Sen. Brad Zaun and former wrestling coach Jim Gibbons in the GOP primary; Rees seems to be striking a lot of moderate notes, in contrast to the rest of the field.

IL-10: With state Rep. Julie Hamos having gotten the AFSCME’s endorsement yesterday, her Democratic primary opponent, Dan Seals, got his own big labor endorsement today, from the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

MS-01: Despite having a painstakingly-cleared field for him, state Sen. Alan Nunnelee is still getting a primary challenge, apparently from the anti-establishment right. Henry Ross, the former mayor of Eupora, made his campaign official. Eupora, however, is tiny, and nowhere near the Memphis suburbs; remember that Tupelo-vs.-the-burbs was the main geographical fissure in the hotly contested and destructive GOP primary last year that paved the way for Democratic Rep. Travis Childers to win.

NJ-03: Here’s another place where the Republican establishment got hosed by a primary-gone-bad last year, and where they’d like to avoid one next year: New Jersey’s 3rd. This is one where the county party chairs have a lot of sway, and candidates aren’t likely to run without county-level backing. Burlington County’s chair William Layton is already backing NFL player Jon Runyan, so the real question is what happens in Ocean County. Other possible GOP candidates include Toms River councilman Maurice Hill, assistant US Attorney David Leibowitz, Assemblyman Scott Rudder, and state Sen. Chris Connors.

NY-19: Another report looks at the discontent brewing in the 19th, where Assemblyman Greg Ball bailed out, leaving wealthy moderate ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth in command of the GOP field. Much of the discontent seems to be less teabagger agita and more about a personal dispute between the Orange Co. GOP chair and Hayworth’s campaign advisor, but there are also concerns that Hayworth’s country-club positioning won’t work well in the blue-collar counties further upstream from her Westchester County base. Alternative challengers being floated include Tuxedo Park former mayor David McFadden and Wall Street guy Neil DiCarlo, as well as state Sen. Vincent Leibell, who may be unethused about running a GOP primary to hold his Senate seat against Ball and looking for something else to do.

TN-06: The newly-open 6th may not be as much of a lost cause as everyone thinks; despite its dwindling presidential numbers, Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen won the district in both 2002 (with 52%) and 2006 (with 67%). The article also names some other Republicans who might show up for the race, besides state Sen. Jim Tracy and former Rutherford Co. GOP chair Lou Ann Zelenik (both already in): businessman Kerry Roberts, state Sen. Diane Black, Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Dave Evans, and real estate agent Gary Mann. One other Dem not previously mentioned is former state Sen. Jo Ann Graves.

TX-17: Although they didn’t get the state Senator they wanted, Republicans seem pleased to have lined up a rich guy who can pay his own way against Rep. Chet Edwards: businessman Bill Flores. Flores has also made a name as a big contributor to his alma mater Texas A&M, a big presence in the district. 2008 loser Rob Curnock also remains in the GOP field.

WA-03: Lots happening in the 3rd. One official entry is no surprise, given what we’d already heard this week: young Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera is in. On the Dem side, as I expected, state Sen. Craig Pridemore is telling people he’s in, although hasn’t formalized anything. (H/t conspiracy.) Pridemore, who’s from central Vancouver, is probably one or two clicks to the left of state Rep. Deb Wallace (who’s already running), as befits his safer district; in recent years, he’d been the recipient of lots of arm-twisting from local activists eager to find someone to primary the increasingly uncooperative Brian Baird. Speaking of local activists, someone named Maria Rodriguez-Salazar also plans to run; she sounds like she’s on the moderate side of the Dem equation, though. Finally, for the GOPers, there have been persistent rumors that conservative radio talk show host Lars Larson is interested, although he may have debunked that.

WV-01: Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan is already facing state Sen. Clark Barnes (whose district has little overlap with the 1st), but that’s not stopping other GOP entrants: today, it’s Mac Warner, a lawyer and former West Point grad.

DCCC: The DCCC is playing some offense against vulnerable GOP House members, with radio spots in five districts: Charlie Dent, Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack, Lee Terry, and Joe Wilson. The ad attacks the GOPers for voting for TARP last year but then voting against financial services reform now. The DCCC is being coy about the actual cost of the ad buy, though, suggesting it’s more about media coverage of the ads than the actual eyeballs.

House: Bob Benenson has a lengthy piece looking at House retirements, finding that the pace really isn’t that much different from previous years, and talking to a variety of Dems who can’t decide whether or not it’s time to panic. The article suggests a few other possible retirees, some of whom shouldn’t be seen as a surprise (John Spratt, Ike Skelton) and a few more that seem pretty improbable (Baron Hill?).

NRSC: The NRSC is doing what is can to shield its hand-picked establishment candidates from the wrath of the teabaggers, often by denying their transparent efforts to help them fundraise. Here’s one more example of how the NRSC isn’t doing so well at hiding those ties, though: they’ve set up joint fundraising accounts for some of their faves, including Kelly Ayotte, Trey Grayson, Carly Fiorina, and Sue Lowden, which is sure to fan more teabagger flames.

AK-Legislature: Alaska’s tiny legislature (20 Senators and 40 Reps.) is looking to grow (to 24 and 48), hopefully before the next redistricting. As you can imagine, the small number of seats leaves many districts extremely large, geographically, and also stitching together many disparate communities of interest.

Redistricting: I know everyone here likes to play redistricting on their computers, but for Californians, here’s an actual chance to get your hands on the wheel! California’s new redistricting commission is soliciting applications from members of the public to become members. Anyone who has worked for a politician or been on a party’s central committee is excluded, but there are seats for 5 Democrats and 4 “others” (including decline to state), so there are lots of slots that need progressives to fill them.

Polltopia: PPP wants your input yet again. Where to next? Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, or Massachusetts? (Although it looks like the poll has already been overwhelmingly freeped in favor of Kentucky by Rand Paul supporters…)

79 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 12/15”

  1. If Rand gets elected will it be the first time a father and son have served together in Congress with the son being in the Senate and dad in the House?  

  2. If Dodd drops out and is replaced by Blumenthal and Susan Bysiewicz gets the nomination for governor Rob Simmons will go from being favored to win to being roadkill on election night. Richard Blumenthal got 74% of the vote in 2006 and Susan Bysiewicz got 70%. Top priority right now should be to get Dodd not to run.  

  3. First Bobby Bright’s strongest opponent and now Travis Childers’ are getting teabagged. If the teabaggers can at least put up a fight, the incumbents can probably defeat the weakened candidates who make it through the primaries.

    On a related note, I would likely to officially nominate Travis Childers’ mustache as the best facial hair in Congress.

  4. Governor Bredesen’s electoral success needs to be viewed as an outlier and should in no way be viewed as representative of the inclination of the 6th District. The down-ballot decimation of good solid Democratic incumbents and open seat challengers in the 6th over the last decade should indicate that Bredesen and Gordon were exceptions to the strong Republican trend of this region.

  5. What does that refer to? Uncooperative how, with whom? I realize this is a tangent, but you posted that phrase and I don’t know what it means.

  6. Collin Peterson is not retiring .

    Peterson also released a statement today ridiculing rumors of his retirement:

    “I don’t know why anyone would give credibility to these Republican rumors,” he said in the statement. “I’m running for re-election and anyone who knows me knows that what I’m doing right now is what I’ve always done. My paperwork is on  file and in February I’ll make an official announcement. I think political campaigns are already too long (and my constituents agree) and so I wait and do what I can to make mine. as short as I can . this retirement rumor is being ginned up by the natinal Republican party in Washington, D.C., who don’t know anything about Minnesota’s 7th District. As for why they are working so hard to circulate this baloney, I think they’re just trying to stir things up because they don’t have a candidate to run against me.”

  7. It is very strange he finds Ritter and Strickland down so far yet round 50% approval. This isn’t like Chafee being popular and going down in a blue state because of his party label in a federal election. You would think gubernatorial elections would always be a referendum on the job the incumbent is doing.

    And on the PPP request – Connecticut would be good to see Blumenthal. I imagine if he blows Simmons et al a way it may help Dodd to make the right call.

  8. With Barry Goldwater in the Senate and Barry Goldwater Jr. in the House.  

    I can’t think of an example of the situation in your question.  It probably has happened but not in modern times, just a semi-educated guess though.  

  9. Staches are severely underrepresented in Congress.  We need a concerted effort to foster and encourage candidates with staches.

  10. are a reasonable indication of how well a TN Dem could possibly do in a district.  I believe Ford won three districts the 5th, 8th, and 9th.  That’s why the 8th is a tossup, and the 6th safe Republican.  And the 4th with Davis running is also a tossup, IMO.

  11. with regard to federal elections. It’s a completely different animal. McDonnell got 55% in VA-11 this year, but I don’t see it as a likely Republican takeover.

  12. I’d imagine there are a few other instances of the dad being the Senator and son the Congressman.  But for it to be reversed seems like it would be a lot rarer if it ever happened.

  13. And interestingly, in all of these cases, the father and son ran in different states. Maybe they were/are consciously trying to avoid an appearance of nepotism?

  14. Ford’s numbers are probably the most recent competitive contest that one could garner a good feel for the base-line lean of the 6th, and for that matter the other TN CDs. It was an open race with neither candidate having a state-wide institutional name like both Lamar Alexander and Bob Clement had in 2002 for example.

  15. teabags Crist in the primary. Meek’s chances of winning the general will skyrocket and Big Bad Cornyn will be forced to spend money to prop up Rubio instead of using it to try to knock off Democrats everywhere else.

  16.      Rubio has definitely gotten closer. But Tied? I mean the campaign hasn’t really begun yet. And it’s not like Rubio has big name recognition. I also think that it’s not a forgone conclusion Rubio gets the nomination. Based on the fact that I think that he’s peaking way to soon and the fact that Florida Republicans are not ultra conservative. In any event, unfortunately I do think Christ or Rubio will end up beating Meek, unless democrats get a better candidate.  

  17. According to Wikipedia, only CT, NY, VT, and IA don’t have a sore-loser law or its equivalent, which is a law mandating simultaneous registration dates for the primary and the general.

  18. A Senator Rubio would be the front runner for the presidential nomination in 2016. I don’t want to risk that.

  19. But I’d rather the teabaggers not spend all their money on one big race like the FL Senate race.  I want them to blow their cash on un-electable house candidates which allows our Blue Dogs to squeak out victories.

  20. only considerably conservative on gun issues as opposed to hard-right? Can the teabaggers stomach someone who’s “only” 99.9% conservative? It would be hilarious if Rubio himself got teabagged.

  21. House Democratic leadership. I.e. Bush’s Iraq surge (not just voting for it, but selling it on the tv), Terri Schiavo, and now health care reform.

  22. Rubio offers very little to the GOP on a nationla stage.  He’s not even mainstream enough for Hispanics to vote for him.

  23. Why do you think Senator Rubio will be the front runner in the GOP primary against President Palin in 2016?

    Now before anyone has a conniption fit I am not saying this will happen I am just pointing out the difficulty in making Presidential predictions 7 years too early.

    I am sure if I told you in December 2001 that the winner of the Presidential election in 2008 would be an Illinois State Senator named Barak Hussein Obama you would have thought I was nuts!

  24. Arnold’s comfortable wins of districts CA-10, CA-11, CA-15, CA-18, CA-20, CA-23, CA-47, and CA-53 do not mean Republicans will win here anytime soon, except maybe a very outside shot at CA-11, though even as Arnold was trouncing Angelides 65-31 in 2006, McNerney defeated Pombo.

  25. I just moved from the 11th to California this summer and lost touch with some of my Deeds acquaintances on the ground.  I had no idea Creigh did that poorly in the outer Washington suburbs.  No wonder why we lost – what a wasted absentee vote…

  26. Crist is getting hammered by the state GOP.  All the establishment are lining up for Rubio these days.  Doesn’t help being Governor of a state with almost 11.5% unemployment either.

  27. Childers and Faulkner were both born in connecting counties in northeastern MS.  Bonneville and New Albany look like they are no more than 50 miles apart.

  28. but my current line of work would likely preclude me from joining, since I work at a law firm that has multiple Democrats (as well as a couple redistricting ballot measures) as clients.  Not directly working for a politico, but close enough :-/

  29. Obama is to the left of a majority of Americans, and that didn’t stop him. Rubio is closer to a majority of Americans than Obama. People like politicians with principle, not people who vote moderately (or “maverick” if you prefer) to become President.  

  30. to label anyone who hasn’t won their Senate race yet a Presidential frontrunner in 2016.  So much can change by then it’s impossible to know what will happen.  Plus, while Obama’s meteoric rise certainly changed quite a bit of the rules, he should still be viewed as the exception and not the norm.  Thus, calling Rubio a Repulican savior or future Presidential prospect seems a bit off.  History is rife with politicians who were once considered White House material, only to fall by the wayside.

  31. That is fantasically absurd.  Comical actually.

    Rubio (with his current positions) has no chance of being President of the United States, in part because he couldn’t even win the nomination of his own minority party.

  32. that Deeds lost because the Democratic base simply had no reason to vote for him, as judging from his campaign in the waning days he’d be little different from McDonnell. So they stayed home. If there was a third party candidate on the ballot, especially from the left-of-center, I bet turnout in VA-11 and other Dem areas would have been higher, and that candidate would have overperformed traditional third-party numbers in VA.

  33. And more moderates are Democrats. All subjective opinion on where individual politicians fit on the scale.

  34. So what?  Total non-sequitur.

    Rubio is way out of step with the mainstream, while Obama was the mainstream choice just a year ago.

    The difference between moderate and liberal in this country is relatively small, while the conservative spectrum is far more broad, as is evidenced by the primaries of “conservatives” by “more conservatives”.

  35. Conservative is a generic label just like liberal is.  I know many liberalss who call themselves moderates or conservatives and conservatives who call themselves liberals.  Remember, the word liberal originally meant “classic liberal” which actually meant conservative in the old days.  liberal and conservative are generic words that can mean a wide variety of things.

  36. I don’t think you are representative of the rank and file. My personal view is he is left on center. Sitting in the UK he is about as bang in the middle as anybody could be.

  37. He is left of center in the U.S. and would be considered right of center is almost any European country/Australia or Canada.  In those countries the republican party would be considered in the same breath with the British fascists or Le Pen’s French National Front party.  

  38. As far as I’m aware there isn’t an issue he could be perceived as moderate on.  He’s even a strong supporter of the “Fair Tax.”

  39. never suggests any dismantling of the generous French welfare state, to my knowledge. A majority of their support is from poor white Christians in the banlieus (working-class suburbs), who ironically used to support the Communists. And I’ll bet the British Fascists are much more concerned with deporting immigrants and making anti-Muslim statements than ending the National Health Service.

  40. Unlike Obama all three major parties are supporting spending cuts so it is much more complicated than that.

  41. Much of their policies, in fact most, would be far right in Europe…absolutely. But rhetorically, and even on certain issues, they are nowhere near as extreme as Le Pen’s National Front or the main British fascist party. Immigration rhetoric being the most obvious example. But I would venture to guess that on issues like abortion the National Front, at least, is to the left of the GOP. Maybe just with the rank and file voters, though, as those voters tend to be secular I believe.  

  42. While I am not sure if most of the fascist party supporters there are ex-Communists (in ideology, i mean)…i do know that a great deal of them wish East Germany was a country again because of economic stability reasons. East Germany is basically the German equivalent of the U.S. Rust Belt. But much worse, actually. Ex-communist countries like Czech Republic and Slovenia are doing better than them economically (and i know Czech Rep. is from personal experience as my ex-gf is from there and i was over there several times this decade) even though East Germany had the best economy of all the communist European countries during the ‘Cold War’. Id be willing to bet many of the fascist party members are socialist or marxist in their economic stances.  

  43. I saw something about the British National Party on PBS I believe it was.  Scared the crap out of me.  Especially since the party seems to be growing in strength.  Far from power but still growing.

  44. Are these new parties radical like the National Party?  Because that sort of thing has a history of working out badly for Europe…

  45. Back in May in the elections for the European parliament but it was entirely down to low turnout in the Labour base vote – white working class people in inner city areas. And because of the loony proportional system where they won something like 10% of the vote in each seat. Seriously. Much of the little support they do have isn’t because people are racist its just because they are tired of mainstream politicians ignoring their sometimes valid concerns about immigration. Its funny because when Pan mentioned the European far right not exactly callling for an end to public investment it was so right because one of the BNP arguments is Muslims coming into the country and destroying the NHS. All in all it is worth following but they’ll still do well to get over 1% total at the general election next year. UKIP (UK Independence Party) will do better. Their platform is primarily get out of Europe. They are likely to get a bit of a boost from the Conservatives moderating their image.

  46. But as we saw during the primaries last year for president, they can’t walk the walk.  Rand Paul won’t be winning any senate seats any time soon.

  47. Exclusively on SSP, I would like to officially announce my candidacy for the position of Commissioner of the Citizens Redistricting Commission of the Great State of California.   :)

    And just like that, I win!  Almost immediately after my submission of the initial application, I got a lovely auto-generated email indicating that I am indeed eligible for Phase 2 of the process. I’m just glad I won’t need to attend a whole bunch of fundraisers like actual politicians do.

    By the way, it’s ridiculously easy to apply, if you’re thinking about it…

  48. “just trying to stir things up because they don’t have a candidate to run against me.”  

    Translation: Bring it, bitches, and I will knock that hapless Republican’s ass halfway to Montana.

    Man, Democrats are so much more fun when they’re not cowering in the corner.

  49. I’d take republican control of government over Paulite control.  At least wit hrepublicans we still have a mildly functioning government with some degree of a social safety net.  It’s better than the extreme anarcho-capitalist Paul government (or lackthereof) would provide.

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