SSP Daily Digest: 2/17

AZ-Sen: Ex-Rep. and FreedomWorks honcho Dick Armey decided not to endorse in the Arizona Senate GOP primary, which may be good news! for John McCain, seeing as how Armey (currently trying to manage the herd of cats that are the teabaggers) lines up stylistically more with Hayworth. Armey apparently doesn’t think much of Hayworth at a personal level, though, as he followed up with a postscript referring to Hayworth’s “fairly short, undistinguished congressional career.” McCain did bag a few more endorsements from two guys who served with Hayworth in the House in the 90s: Jim Kolbe and Matt Salmon. McCain himself is off campaigning in support of Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire today, making a little clearer where the ideological fault lines lie in that primary.

IL-Sen: The Alexi Giannoulias camp has released another internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, which has the Democratic state treasurer leading Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, 49-45. That margin is very consistent with GQR’s last couple polls prior to the primary, which would suggest that Giannoulias weathered the nasty primary all right (although, of course, it doesn’t jibe with how Rasmussen sees the race; they most recently gave Kirk a 46-40 lead).

KY-Sen: Another internal poll, this one from Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo, by way of Garin Hart Yang. It gives Mongo a mondo edge over AG Jack Conway in the Democratic Senate primary, 43-25. No numbers are given for the general election, though.

NC-Sen (pdf): PPP’s release for their newest NC-Sen poll is titled “Same Old Story in Senate race,” and that pretty much sums it up. Richard Burr is still sitting on mediocre approvals and high unknowns (35/35), but thanks to the national environment and second-tier Democratic challengers, he’s still looking to survive in November. He leads SoS Elaine Marshall 43-33, ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham 44-32, and attorney Kenneth Lewis 44-31. “Generic Democrat” loses to Burr 42-35 (which was 45-36 a month ago).

AK-Gov: Here’s a bit of a surprise out of Alaska, where appointed Gov. Sean Parnell is somewhat lagging his most prominent GOP primary opponent, former state House speaker Ralph Samuels, on the fundraising front. Parnell still brought in a little more last year ($215K to Samuels’ $179K) but Samuels raised all of his money only in December, with a lot of Samuels’ money coming from in-state big-money real estate and mining interests. Former state House minority leader Ethan Berkowitz leads fundraising efforts in the three-candidate Democratic field.

CA-Gov: I don’t know how many times Dianne Feinstein has said that she isn’t running for Governor, but she said it again yesterday. This time it seems to be truly official and she seems to be getting it to stick.

IL-Gov: State Sen. Kirk Dillard seems to have closed the gap in the Illinois GOP primary, with the count of absentee and provisional ballots, but it’s not clear whether it’ll be enough to turn it around, or even enough to merit a recount. Dillard says he cut Bill Brady’s 420-vote margin “in half,” but he’d previously said he wouldn’t look into a recount unless he was within 100 votes. (You do the math.) There’s no recount required by law in Illinois regardless of the margin, so it’s up to Dillard.

KS-Gov: State Sen. Tom Holland confirmed that he’s in the Kansas gubernatorial race, filling a glaring hole that has bedeviled Kansas Democrats for a year. He’ll still be a long shot against retiring Sen. Sam Brownback, but Holland has proven resilient in beating Republicans in the rural/exurban turf between Kansas City and Lawrence.

NV-Gov: The Nevada Education Association (the teacher’s union) commissioned a poll, by Grove Insight, that focused mostly on policy questions but also asked about the gubernatorial race. In line with other pollsters, they find Democratic Clark Co. Commissioner Rory Reid trailing Republican former AG Brian Sandoval 44-35, but whomping Republican incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons 49-33. Time for the Dems to start running pro-Gibbons ads?

NY-Gov: This is way too meta, where a non-story becomes a story simply by virtue of its non-story-ness. Nevertheless, that promised scandal that was about to erupt about David Paterson has turned out to be pretty much a non-issue: it concerns his advisor (or body man, really) David Johnson, who it turns out has a nasty-sounding rap sheet from his distant past.

RI-Gov: There’s a whole new centrist party in Rhode Island, the Moderate Party. And despite the fact that there’s already a prominent centrist independent running in the governor’s race (Lincoln Chafee), somehow the two aren’t getting together. Instead, the Moderate Party just announced it’s running its own centrist independent, party founder Kenneth Block. (Weirdly, he’s running instead of former US Attorney Robert Corrente, who’s becoming the new party chair in Block’s absence. Corrente might have the name rec to actually make an impression in the race.) If centrist state treasurer Frank Caprio winds up the Dem nominee, I have no idea how the votes will split — we’ll just have a whole buncha moderates trying to out-moderate each other.

TX-Gov: Kay Bailey Hutchison has gotten the lion’s share of the establishment endorsements in the GOP gubernatorial primary in Texas, but Rick Perry landed a big name: former Gov. Bill Clements, who in 1978 was the first Republican elected governor since Reconstruction.

AR-03: DeLay to run for the House again! Don’t worry, though, it sounds like The Hammer is sticking with Dancing with the Stars. Instead, it’s Gunner DeLay, a Republican former state Senator for Ft. Smith (which apparently puts him at a geographical disadvantage, as the district’s center of gravity is around Bentonville and Fayetteville). DeLay lost the 2006 AG race to Dem Dustin McDaniel, and lost the 2001 GOP primary in the AR-03 special election to now-Rep. John Boozman, finishing second.

CA-33: As expected, term-limited state Assembly speaker Karen Bass just announced her candidacy to replace retiring Rep. Diane Watson in the dark-blue 33rd. She also secured Watson’s endorsement; between that and Bass’s prompt entry, the real question is whether anyone else even bothers contesting the race.

NH-02: Maybe there’ll be two Basses in the next Congress? Republican ex-Rep. Charlie Bass made it official today, shedding the exploratory label and kicking off his campaign. Most people had been treating him as a candidate already, but he’d included some odd hedges when he announced his exploratory fund (saying it was just a place to stash old contributions) that seemed to leave him an out. With a recent UNH poll giving him the lead in the open seat race to reclaim his seat, he seems to feel confident enough to pull the trigger.

NY-19: Ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth got a promotion in the NRCC’s Young Guns framework, moving up to the middle tier of “Contender.” However, the interesting story (buried at the bottom of the article) is that Hayworth, whose money seemed to drive Assemblyman Greg Ball out of the GOP primary, is getting a different more-conservative challenger: former Tuxedo Park mayor David McFadden, who’ll officially announce his candidacy on the 27th. Wall Street guy Neil DiCarlo is also already in the race, and Orange Co. GOP chair William DeProspo, who’s had some withering public statements about Hayworth’s qualifications, now is exploring the race as well. Cat fud, anyone?

OH-02: Despite his celeb-reality status, former Apprentice contestant Surya Yalamanchili seems to be getting the local Democratic establishment to take him seriously. He just got the endorsement of the last two Democrats to lose close elections in this seat (which is deep-red, although Jean Schmidt’s continuing presence here makes it competitive): Vic Wulsin and Paul Hackett. He also got the endorsement of Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory a few weeks ago. Looks like David Krikorian’s path to the nomination isn’t so certain anymore.

PA-04: After people were starting to wonder what was with all the foot-dragging, former US Attorney (and, in that position, loyal Bushie) Mary Beth Buchanan officially entered the race for the GOP to go against Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire. She’d been a rumored candidate since October.

PA-12: As was almost universally expected, it was decided to hold the special election to replace Rep. John Murtha on May 18, the same day as the primaries. Ed Rendell’s office justified this by saying it would cost an extra $600K to have it any other day, but this also bolsters Dem hopes here by having it on the same day as the hotly-contested Dem Senate and Governor primaries (and the barely-contested GOP primaries).

RI-01: Two big names decided not to get into the Democratic field in the 1st (which already contains Providence mayor David Cicciline): most significantly, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, who says she’ll run for re-election instead. Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, who’d publicly considered a run, confirmed he won’t run either.

SC-03: The Club for Growth weighed in in the GOP open seat primary in the R+17 3rd, where the choices are basically wingnut or super-wingnut. Apparently, state Rep. Jeff Duncan is the super-wingnut, as he got the endorsement over fellow state Rep. Rex Rice (who has Mike Huckabee’s endorsement, but is out because he apparently voted for a cigarette tax once).

VA-05: How many teabaggers can they fit into the phone booth that is the GOP field in the 5th? Contractor Scott Schultz joined the quest to take on Rep. Tom Perriello, making him the 8th GOPer in the race.

Election results: Democrats lost two legislative special elections last night, although neither one was on particularly favorable turf. While it was a hold for the Republicans rather than a GOP pickup (Dems still have a 14-10 Senate edge), the margin in New Hampshire’s SD-16 (a traditionally Republican area located in part of Manchester and its suburbs) may still leave NH Dems nervous. State Rep. David Boutin defeated Democratic state Rep. Jeff Goley 58-42. In Alabama’s HD-40, though, Republicans picked up a Dem-held open seat (in rural NE Alabama, which has been dark-red at the presidential level and blue at the state level for a long time but where the red is starting to trickle down downballot). Funeral home owner K.L. Brown defeated teacher Ricky Whaley 56-42. Dems still control the Alabama House (for now), 60-45.

20 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/17”

  1. I haven’t been following the family bank scandal too closely. Are there other shoes left to drop later in the year? If not, then I feel a little better about the race. But if it’s going to be drip, drip, drip for months, I’m a lot more worried.

  2. R2K for wcax:

    Markowitz leads 43%-41%.  The good news is that Democrats are fairly undecided while Republicans are mostly for Dubie, 82%-10%, while Dems are only for Markowitz 63%-12%.  Indies are 45%-43% for Markowitz.

    Dubie leads the other Democrats by varying margins.  He leads 2002 nominee Doug Racine 43%-38% (once again, Dems fairly undecided, though we’re losing Indies).  Dubie leads other Democrats in high single digits at the minimum.  

  3. A few Democrats in Nevada, faced with a dull primary (the Reids have the Senate and Gov spot all sewn up), have suggested that Democrats change registration and vote in the GOP primary for Jim Gibbons because he’ll be so easy to beat.

    The group is called Nevada RIROs (Republicans in Registration Only)….

  4. Seventy-two percent (72%) believe the federal government has become a special interest group. The identical number (72%) say government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.

    What purpose can you get out of those questions?  

  5. But I still doubt it. The only way I could see him under 50 would be if it was against Gordon Smith. Even then, I could see him polling very well.

    And seriously Oregon GOP? They are so bad off that a professor at Oregon State is considered their strongest candidate? Why have they not been in talks with Gordon Smith or Greg Walden recently? Or atleast some state senator?  

  6. at Lewis & Clark, not Oregon State. Oregon State doesn’t have a law school per se, although they may be interested in trying to teach cows how to practice law.

  7. State Sen. Holland is probably the best KS Dems could hope for (with the exception of current Gov. Parkinson, who has resolutely refused to run). He’s a reasonably credible alternative to Brownback and could get some moderates to vote against Brownback (and perhaps against the rest of the Republican ticket).

    The best hope for KS Dems is that Republicans get complacent–example: turnout is way low in November in their stronghold of KS-01, since its next Rep. will likely be whomever wins the Republican primary. And then they’d need relatively high turnout everywhere else. We could get that, too, with all the open seats and KS-02 (freshman Jenkins) expecting a fight….except for the fact that Goyle is our only credible candidate between the three seats….

    Plus, Brownback would have to run a crappy campaign (unlikely) or the media (or Dems) starts dredging up his various crazy antics from the Senate (somewhat more likely). That could cleave off enough suburbanites from the other districts (especially KS-03) to make Holland competitive.

    As for Goyle, he’s running a great campaign, and just needs a solid guy at the top of the ticket. Holland fits that bill. If anything, Goyle will help Holland by making KS-04 much more competitive than it usually is.  

  8. Any chance Goyle and his subcontinent connections could help the rest of the Kansas Democrats with some fundraising?

    Supporting statewide KS Dems (especially Holland) makes it more likely Goyle will pull off an upset in KS-04. And Kansas is cheap to run in….just sayin’.

  9. He can raise a million dollars, and for a Democrat in Kansas, that’s up there with water into wine, at least.

  10. He chairs the Homeland Security Advisory Council for instance, and has done some trade missions.  Maybe he’s just better known because of Vermont’s small size.  

    He may also benefit from connections to the still popular (I assume) Douglas.  They’re elected separately but Dubie may be able to argue he’ll consider Douglas’ legacy.

  11. position in Vermont is a…how do I describe it? It’s job you don’t even have to show up for most of the time because its so useless. Dubie I believe is a commercial airplane pilot and when Howard Dean was Lt. Gov, he continued being a doctor.  

Comments are closed.