SSP Daily Digest: 1/6

FL-Sen: Here’s one late-30-something, telegenic conservative helping out another: WI-01’s Rep. Paul Ryan just endorsed Marco Rubio in the Senate primary. Ryan (who’s actually been getting some dark-horse presidential buzz lately) may in fact be the real beneficiary here, since it may direct some of Rubio’s healthy glow among the teabag set in Ryan’s direction, bolstering his future credentials. Speaking of the teabaggers, despite having claimed the scalp of Florida GOP chair and key Charlie Crist ally Jim Greer, they still aren’t happy with the annointment of John Thrasher as the new chair; apparently he too is insufficiently crazy, or at least part of the same backroom process. Finally, take this with a huge hunk o’ salt, but ex-Rep. Mark Foley is highlighting a rumor on his Facebook page (yes, Mark Foley is on Facebook, and I’m not eager to think about what else might be on his page) that Charlie Crist is on the precipice of pulling his FL-Sen bid altogether and running for another term as Governor instead.

NY-Sen-B: Lots of walking-things-back going on in New York’s Senate race. Republican Rep. Peter King is now saying he’s “leaning against” a Senate bid. Taegan Goddard rightly invokes both Mario Cuomo and Hamlet in ridiculing King’s protracted public vacillations. And ex-Rep. Harold Ford Jr. also may be dialing things down too, in regards to a possible primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand. An operative working with Ford is now saying that Ford is “unlikely to take the plunge,” and seemed more interested in “creating buzz” for himself. (Why am I not surprised?)

AZ-Gov: The GOP primary field in Arizona is getting even more scrambled, with the entry of Some Dude who claims to be bringing $2.1 million to the table with him. Owen Buz Mills’ campaign report was the first anyone has seemingly heard of him. He’s a member of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, and owner of a company called Gunsite (which operates a 2,000 acre weapons training site). Current Gov. Jan Brewer said she wouldn’t be deterred by Mills’ presence, as did former state regent John Munger (who probably has more to lose by Mills’ entry, as he’s sort of the de facto non-Brewer for now, at least until or unless state Treasurer Dean Martin gets in the race).

CO-Gov: While much of the speculation, in the wake of Gov. Bill Ritter’s surprise decision not to seek another term, has focused on Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, or a switch from the Senate primary by former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff, there’s one other high-profile possibility: Interior Secretary, and former Senator, Ken Salazar. Salazar, however, is staying mum, for now. PPP’s Tom Jensen is skeptical of a Salazar candidacy, though, pointing out that Salazar didn’t have strong favorables (39/36 in late 2008) even before he joined the Obama administration, and Colorado has seen one of the biggest drops in Obama approvals of any state, making his time in the Cabinet something of an anchor for him.

CT-Gov: Three sort-of prominent local officials are all scoping out the already-crowded Governor’s race in the Nutmeg State. On the Dem side, the First Selectwoman of Simsbury, Mary Glassman, said she’ll seek the nomination (she was the 2006 Lt. Governor candidate). On the GOP side, Shelton mayor Mark Lauretti says he’s considering the race; he’s banking on his nearly 20 years of experience running the city, although he is currently the target of a federal corruption probe. (Although what Connecticut mayor isn’t?) Also, the Republican mayor of the much larger city of Danbury, Mark Boughton, says he’s reached a decision on whether or not to enter the race. The weird thing is, he doesn’t plan to let anyone know what that decision is for another month.

AL-02: Businessman Rick Barber made it official today: he’s launching a teabag-powered primary challenge to the NRCC-crowned establishment favorite, Montgomery city councilor Martha Roby. He owns several “billiards facilities” in the area, as well as organizing tea parties in his spare time. The primary winner will face freshman Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright.

AR-02: Another GOP establishment fave, former US Attorney Tim Griffin, just got bumped up a notch in the NRCC’s three-tiered fundraising pyramid [scheme]. He was promoted to “Contender,” leaving him just one step away from coveted “Young Gun” status.

CA-19: With a big three-way brawl already brewing in the GOP open seat primary between ex-Rep. Richard Pombo, state Sen. Jeff Denham, and former Fresno mayor Jim Patterson, ex-SoS and 2004 Senate race loser Bill Jones has decided to give the race a pass.

NJ-03: One possible alternative to Jon Runyan as the GOP nominee in the 3rd said “no thanks” yesterday. State Sen. Christopher Connors was apparently the first choice of the Ocean County Republican party; Runyan is the Burlington County party’s pick, so it remains to be seen whether Ocean County unites behind Runyan or pushes someone else (like Toms River city councilor Maurice Hill).

TN-08: The NRCC, based purely on their own fantasies, has been attempting to “gay bait” Dem Roy Herron. And of course, the tradmed has dutifully transcribed whatever bullshit the NRCC has spewed out. Funny, then, that the kid spokesbot responsible for this smear enjoys attending “GOB festivals.” No, Arrested Development fans, this has nothing to do with erstwhile ne’er-do-well George Oscar Bluth. Just click the link and John Aravosis will tell you all you need to know. (D)

VA-05: The teabagging right keeps coalescing behind businessman Laurence Verga as the Republican primary alternative to state Sen. Robert Hurt (who apparently voted in favor of a tax once)… and now Verga is getting the endorsement of one of their iconic figures: Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher. Could a Chuck Norris endorsement be far behind?

UT-03, UT-Sen: Freshman Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz is expected to announce today that he’ll run for another term in the House. He’s been occasionally associated with a potential primary challenge to Senator Bob Bennett, but has more recently said he’s likelier to seek re-election to the House.

WA-St. Sen.: This is getting way down in the weeds, but remember attorney Randy Gordon? He was briefly the leading Democratic candidate in the 2006 race in WA-08, before standing down in the primary in favor of a Camp Wellstone classmate with better fundraising chops: Darcy Burner. Well, it looks like he’s secured the temporary appointment to take over the vacant state Senate seat in the 41st LD, left vacant by Fred Jarrett’s move to become Deputy King Co. Executive; he should have a fairly easy time retaining this Dem-leaning seat based in suburban Bellevue.

Mayors: Here’s a wild rumor (with Sally Quinn as its source): ex-Rep. and current CoS Rahm Emanuel isn’t planning on a long-term stay in the White House. Emanuel is reportedly eyeing a run for Chicago mayor in 2011. Also on the mayoral front, Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon is leaving office; she offered her resignation and an Alford plea on a count of perjury in order to settle a number of charges against her.

DCCC: Chris Van Hollen offered some boilerplate reassurances today that few, if any, Democratic retirements in the House are in the offing. He said there would be a “couple more,” if that. (With almost all the troublesome seats accounted for, that’s not a surprise; SC-05’s John Spratt seems to be the biggest question mark outstanding in a difficult seat.) (UPDATE: Ooops, I missed Spratt‘s re-election announcement over the holidays. So now I don’t know who’s vulnerable and unaccounted for.)

RNC: By now, readers should be familiar with the NRCC’s cash crunch, which severely hampers its ability to capitalize on recruiting successes and the favorable environment. But anyone thinking they might turn to the RNC for a bailout may be surprised to hear that the once-flush RNC is in almost equally dire shape. After a spending spree under Michael Steele’s leadership (to the tune of $90 million last year), the RNC is only sitting on $8.7 million in the bank. That’s down from $22.8 CoH at the start of Steele’s tenure. That’s the party of fiscal discipline at work for you, right there.

72 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 1/6”

  1. The Republican Governors Association unfortunately has plenty of cash on hand even after spending in NJ and VA.

    The Republican Governors Association raised $30 million in 2009 and has $25 million in the bank. The Democratic Governors Association raised $23.1 million and enters 2010 – with 37 gubernatorial campaigns in play – with $17.5 million on hand.

    The figures are records for the groups, which begin the year with more cash than any other national campaign committees.

    Good news about pathetic RNC numbers, though.

  2. I just finally read The Thumpin and after reading it, I certainly didnt imagine Rahm staying on WH CoS for all 8 years as his attitude and fuck em all attitude makes him much more suited to an executive position.

  3. It is very surprising to see the fundraising difficulties of the GOP versus the Democrats.  Is the dollar margin right now even wider than at this point in ’06 or ’08?

  4. Dailykos did an article today asking Blanche Lincoln to step aside. I think Bill Halter would win. Blanche Lincoln has way too much baggage and horrible approvals. Not to mention that she is far for being a progressive. I complained and complained on this site that Dodd should drop out and so did others and than it came true. Let’s push out Lincoln, get Bill Halter, and save this seat!

  5. … do you believe someone to the left of Lincoln could hold this seat, when Obama and HCR are so unpopular?  

  6. I have a feeling he is only waiting a month so that he can round up a few hundred illegal immigrants in Danbury to burnish his craziness credentials to carve out a niche among the hard rightists (as opposed to Wall Street types who employ said immigrants) in what’s left of Connecticut’s Republican Party. I’m actually surprised he isn’t running for Senate instead; it’s a national issue and his city has about 75,000 people but about 10,000 illegals so he’s been very vocal on the issue (the issue being somehow kicking them all out).

    He tends to run his mouth so if he runs he’ll give everyone here a few laughs.

  7. The previous Daily Digest discussed the GA-SOS race.

    Perdue's top choice, State Rep. Jim Cole, did not accept the nomination, instead he announced he'd be retiring from the State House at the end of the year due to a job promotion (GA legislators are part-time lawmakers). Cole's seat is one we might be able to win back.

    Instead, Perdue appointed one of the current GOP SOS candidates, former State Senator and '06 Agriculture Commissioner candidate Brian Kemp. Kemp accepted the appointment along with endorsements from Governor Perdue and Lt. Gov Casey Cagle. Here is a link to the Kemp flyer with info on the endorsements. He's still facing a Primary battle against Sandy Springs Councilman Doug MacGinnitie. Needless to say Perdue's actions are making the GOP grassroots angry.

  8.   I’ll tell you why they’re in the poor house.  They’re sending “voter surveys” to everyone who ever had a Republican affiliation.  These surveys are just printed push polls.  But they look expensive to produce, and the postage must cost a lot as well.

     I was a registered Republican for about 2 seconds when I turned 18.  I guess that’s why I got their stupid survey.  I checked off most of the answers like any generic Republican reactionary would.  I dutifully sent the letter back = less money for RNC.  The next time they send me a letter, I’m going to return it with an old computer battery inside.  

     I hate Republicans.

  9. I wonder if Mr. Seré is an illegitimate grandson of an alligator.

    Y’know, just wondering.  That’s all.

  10. Hell, Pryor, whose roughly where Lincoln is and quiet, ran unopposed and will probably hold that seat forever if he wants to.

  11. Lincoln would probably lose narrowly, and the margin could be just general anti-incumbent sentiment.

    At the same time, Beebe is on top of the ticket and would win in a landslide, a “new” Democrat could win, but would probably have to run from Obama to do it, with some fancy political manuevering where he paints Obama as too liberal on healthcare, while arguing his more conservative positions are liberal or something.

  12. Bill Halter having beaten Jim Holt (R) for the Lt. Governor’s position in 2006 by over 15 points, even when the voters knew of Halter’s support for same-sex marriage.

    And be careful not to confuse the Senate bill with health care reform or the public option in general.  Last month’s polling showed 53% of Arkansans support a public option, with 52% of Independents supporting it.  And Obama’s favorable rating there is 42%, which is actually an improvement on the 39% of the vote he got there last year.

  13. who give her large campaign contributions and unresponsive to the needs and opinions of the people of Arkansas? Note that the public option is popular in Arkansas, but the hash of a health bill Lincoln had a big role in making in the Senate is, understandably, unpopular. So it might work to run against her as a sleazy tool of corporations who bought her to act as their agent against the popular interest, with your slogan being that you will represent no-one but the people of Arkansas and fight for them every day. In other words, a populist, anti-establishment campaign.

  14. I wouldn’t put too much into Arkansans saying they support the public option, there were polls back when the public option WAS in the bill that showed they opposed the bill while support the public option.

    I think it’s pretty clear the view on this bill would be very different if the President’s skin was of a different hue.  

  15. Halter wins by 15 in a Dem wave year in an off-election.  Halter also had Beebee coattails plus the D wave wind at his back.  Lincoln has a GOP wind in her face.

    At best I would call that a Lincoln advantage. At worst, I would call that a wash.

    Plus Lincoln has 12 years of seniority and constiuent service to run on.  

    Not enough to convince me to toss an incumbent overboard.  

  16. people don’t know what the bill is or what it does.

    People support the Public option and basically everything in the health reform bill, but they oppose the bill as a whole because they don’t have a clue about it.

  17. “he plans on running”.  Such bs wishy washy language.  

    He hits the nail on the head later in the article about how proponents of health care reform lost the messaging.

  18. Or watch all of his fundraising and support evaporate. Simmons is fighting against the tide though, he’ll lose and lose badly.

  19. Again, I think this race is more “likely Dem” than “solid Dem.” Odds are, Simmons and/or McMahon will bloody Blumenthal up and drive up those currently-non-existent unfavorables. At worst, I feel like either Republican can get 35% in this race.

  20. and more to do with fatigue amongst the US populace of hearing about health care reform.  Like I posted in the open thread for the holiday weekend, there is scientific research that shows that the American populace does not want to hear about a piece of legislation for months on end.  People want results, not contemplation.

    Lincoln screwed herself over by grand-standing and following public polls.  These polls only represent the fickle nature of the electorate.  She shouldve kept low and cruised to re-election instead of tying herself to so many pieces of legislation.

  21. Pryor has a pedigree name, and isn’t up this time, plus he has kept a low profile on these unpopular issues. Thus he has been spared the firepower.

    Lincoln would have been better off keeping a lower profile, but her race is being nationalized. The arrows have been shot at her because she is up for re-election  and she has put herself in the thick of the debate.

    Connecticut/Blumenthal is totally irrelavent, IMO.  Dodd’s baggage is UNrelated to HCR, and is based on corruption (whether perceived or genuine).  He isn’t unpopular BECAUSE of HCR. Blumenthal isn’t popular BECAUSE of HCR.        

    Lincoln is unpopular BECAUSE of HCR and Obama, how will replacing her with someone even MORE supportive of HCR than she is, help the seat stay Democratic?  

  22. people are fed up of the whole discussion.  The American attention span is too small for this stuff.  Sad to say, but true.    

  23. I don’t see how a democrat is helped by attacking Obama.

    On health care all the new democrat has to do is say they support the Public option, and the subsidies.

    When you pick the health care bill into pieces and poll it every piece is popular.

  24.   He is criss-crossing the state like a madman.  He visited every county in the state and talk to (mostly) party functionaries.  Now he is having “kitchen calls” (to cover kitchen-table issues) frequently. I imagine that this strategy will pay off later when he drops his millions of stashed cash into TV adverts.

  25. Sestak’s angry:

    I think the Ben Nelson comment was funny. I can see the reasoning behind it, but, the way he words it, it makes it seem like he wouldn’t go to bat fully for his constituents for any special exceptions. That’s unfortunate.

    When he first ran for Congress, I was a big fan, now, not so much. Specter might not be the best Democrat in the world, but he’s better than Sestak.

  26. Being a good politician is knowing when to keep a low profile and when to stick your neck out.

    I doubt she’d have these problems if she would’ve just followed Pryor’s lead, she’d probably be in much better shape.

    It’s not about getting someone who is more supportive of HCR, it’s a matter of getting someone who knows how to play the game.

  27. Once Specter moved to the left, it became really hard for Sestak to justify his run. His only real argument can be “Will Specter stay that way?” and honestly, the same could be said for Sestak.

  28.    I think Sestak is going to win the primary the same way that Hillary won the Pennsylvania presidential primary. Sestak is going with lunch-pail issues and I think we’re going to see him also play the out-of-touch oldster card on Specter.  

     Sestak’s going to get most white, Catholic Democrats, and it’s going to be a battle for Black Democrats.  I honestly think the primary will be decided in Philadelphia county.  I cannot think of another race where Philadelphia was the swing county.

     The air-war for this primary is going to be UGLY.  Both candidates are armed to the teeth.

  29. Because of Sestak’s hunger for power or disdain for Specter (whatever the case), his House seat is now vulnerable and the GOP has a decent shot at picking it up.

    One would think that Sestak, being such a loyal Democrat, would prefer a Democrat in both the House seat and Senate seat.

    (The reason I say the part about loyal Democrat is because Sestak’s been using that type of rhetoric)

  30. How about the fact that Specter is about 500 years old, and has been in, or running for, elective office for about 400 of those years?  How about the fact that Sestak would be stronger against Toomey than Specter?

  31. It hasn’t exactly been the type of one which Socially moderate, economically liberal working-class Democrats would support (which has been to his benefit in the Philly suburbs, but not to a statewide run).

    Plus, it’s the case that Hillary Clinton had the benefit of the Pennsylvania machine (including the support of the Mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the governor) which is something Sestak doesn’t have. It’s also not clear that Sestak will be able to appeal to anyone outside of the Philadelphia suburbs.

  32. Sestak gets die-hards and union voters, especially if he plays up EFCA. Specter gets machine votes and moderate areas outside Philadelphia. The Philly suburbs will be a swing area, but Sestak’s going to have to fight dirty – health rumours and such – to get close. Black areas come down to a) the health of the machine, b) Obama and c) Clarence Thomas.

    I think Sestak wins if its vitriolic and low-turnout, although I don’t think Specter concedes gracefully, so Toomey might get a brief boost before the lunacy outs itself.

    Specter wins if it isn’t too nasty or if turnout is high.

  33.    Polls show that Sestak does best with conservadems  (mostly westerners).  If anything, Sestak needs to shore up the Philly suburbs where Specter has been popular.

  34. Neither Sestak nor Specter seems to have shored up an overly-enthusastic base, especially with Specter so quick to move to the left. I’m starting to think Toomey could beat either of them.

  35.    If a candidate wants to run for higher office, then he must be power-hungry.  That makes no sense.  Sorry, if Sestak wasn’t running for Senate, the health bill would be much crappier.  You can be sure of that.  The health bill ALONE is more important than one piddling house seat.  Even if it happens to be my district.  

     In any case I share whatever disdain Sestak has for Specter.

  36. Because the best I can find as far as cross-tabs go is to show Sestak’s favorability by region in Quinnipiac’s most recent poll, and no body outside of Philadelphia and it’s suburbs seem to have any opinion of him (especially in the west).

  37. And it’s not clear that Specter is weaker than Sestak, especially given that Specter has won statewide while Sestak has not.

    Then again, I don’t have much of a dog in this race, I don’t really think that Sestak would be any better than Specter (insofar as voting goes).

  38. against Sestak.  He has no chance against Specter.

    Here’s why.

    *Sestak said he genuinely likes Toomey; in September, the two held a cordial health care town hall at Muhlenberg College, near Allentown, and drank beer together afterward.* But he noted that he and Toomey have clear differences politically: “Pat Toomey voted for the same savage and regressive tax policies that favored the well-to-do. And he voted to deregulate Wall Street and let them gamble.”

    Sestak is clearly unwilling to go down and dirty against Toomey, which is what needs to be done.  Toomey needs to be compared to Rick Santorum, and it needs be explained that Santorum is the moderate in that comparison.  Specter, OTOH, is well known for running very ugly and nasty negative campaigns, and is very effective in doing so.  (Another one who runs effective negative campaigns is Barbara Boxer, her come from behind victory against Matt Fong in 1998 is a classic example).  

  39. He’s done a surprisingly-effective job at veering to the left, so the Dems should be there for him come November, but on the flip side, his numbers among Indies still don’t appear so hot, and that could be trouble with a fake-moderate like Toomey. I’d actually like some new polling on this one.  

  40. But I view this one as similar to Illinois – fine in the end. Toomey being more conservative than Kirk but IL being more Democratic than PA.

  41. I’m not sure whom I would vote for if I lived in PA.  But I certainly believe that Specter is the better candidate against Toomey.  

    My biggest problem with Specter is not his former Republicanism or even his opportunism put his age.  I’m very concerned that that Specter might not serve out his term, and a Republican might get to appoint his successor.

  42. he’s about where Jim DeMint or Tom Coburn is.  Toomey is the kind of candidate appropriate for a state which McCain won by 10, not one Obama won by 10.

    If Specter is the nominee, the people of Pennsylvania will know this clearly.  If Sestak is the nominee, I’m not so sure.

  43. and that could be trouble with a fake-moderate like Toomey.

    Against Sestak, Toomey may get away by positioning himself as a fake-moderate.  Sestak personally respects Toomey and will argue on the issues generally.  Specter, OTOH, won’t let him get away with it.

    Specter hates Toomey’s guts, and will eviscerate Toomey’s fake moderation, and my election day, the electorate will conclude that Rick Santorum was more moderate than Toomey.  

  44. But in the end, a D primary is and should be an intramural thing…. so if it has to be Specter, so be it.

  45. Sestak comes out looking bad to me. However, I won’t base my views about Sestak on one interview – especially as one could cite all kinds of statements from Specter that would be damning in a Democratic primary.

  46. To me it’s not a good thing to just come out and say it the way he did. Someone like Specter can easily twist it into “Sestak will not fight hard for you and will certainly not fight for the interests of Pennsylvania”.

    After all, Sestak is not running for President, he’s running to represent the citizens of Pennsylvania. Do you really want someone in office who admittedly might not be willing to go to bat for your state when needed?

  47. and Republicans would desperately back Lieberman instead.

    So it all comes down to the indies.  Or if the Republicans run a half-competent candidate.

    If the indies break for Dodd, or if the Republicans run a half-competent candidate, then Dodd would win in a race against Lieberman.

Comments are closed.