SSP Daily Digest: 2/23

AZ-Sen: One more endorsement for John McCain, as the GOP establishment circles the wagons around him in the face of a primary challenge from J.D. Hayworth. Today, it was former presidential rival Mitt Romney’s turn to boost McCain.

FL-Sen: Rasmussen follows up with a look at the Senate general election in Florida, and pretty consistent with its last few polls, gives double-digit leads to both Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio over Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek. Crist leads 48-32, while Rubio leads 51-31. It’s looking dicier for Crist to make it to the general, though, and that’s reflected with an increasing number of staffers seeing the handwriting on the wall and bailing out. Political director Pablo Diaz announced his departure, and new media consultant Sean Doughtie is already out.

IN-Sen, IN-08: Dem Rep. Baron Hill, still apparently mulling a Senate bid, says that he probably will make a decision “this week”. Meanwhile, presumptive Dem nominee Brad Ellsworth has officially removed his name from the 8th CD Democratic primary ballot, leaving state Rep. Trent Van Haaften as the consensus Democratic choice. (J)

MA-Sen: Unless you were under a rock yesterday, you know that the Senate jobs bill cleared the cloture hurdle with the aid of five Republicans, most notably Scott Brown, who actually seems to be thinking ahead to getting re-elected and, in doing so, has royally pissed-off his nationwide base of teabagging donors. On top of that comes another revelation that ought to further take the bloom off his status as living embodiment of angry-white-guy rage: that truck that signified he was an average blue-collar guy? Turns out he owns it in order to haul his daughter’s horse.

NV-Sen: One more data point in the Nevada Senate race, this one not looking so good for Harry Reid. Research 2000 polls the race again, this time on behalf of the PCCC, and finds Reid trailing Sue Lowden 53-39 and Danny Tarkanian 54-40. The real point of the poll, though, is to try to show him that his support would go up if he successfully got a public option into the health care reform bill, with 31% saying they’d be likelier to vote for him if so (with 15% saying less likely and 51% saying no difference). Bear in mind that this poll, unlike the interesting POS poll from yesterday, doesn’t factor in the sudden emergence of a 3rd party Tea Party option.

CT-Gov: After some brief flirtations with the idea, ex-Rep. Chris Shays has decided not to run for Connecticut governor after all, saying he couldn’t make it work financially. Although he didn’t address the also-rumored possibility of running again in CT-04, the same logic may apply there too.

FL-Gov: The seeming dwindling of the Alex Sink campaign continues apace, at least if you go by Rasmussen’s trendlines. Republican AG Bill McCollum is up to 13-point lead against the Democratic CFO, 48-35.

GA-Gov: More Rasmussenny goodness in neighboring Georgia, where they take their second look at the general election in the gubernatorial race. While Democratic ex-Gov. Roy Barnes led several of the GOP contestants in the previous Rasmussen poll, trailing only Insurance Comm. John Oxendine, this time he doesn’t fare as well. Barnes loses to Oxendine 45-37, to Rep. Nathan Deal 43-37, to SoS Karen Handel 45-36, and ties state Sen. Eric Johnson 37-37.

IL-Gov: The GOP primary contestants are still waiting for the last ballots to trickle in today, the last day for counties to submit their numbers to the state. (The state has until March 5 to announce official results.) Estimates last week were that there were fewer than 2,000 votes, mostly provisional votes, to count. State Sen. Kirk Dillard, currently trailing by a little more than 200 votes, doesn’t plan to make a decision on whether to concede or keep fighting until after the 5th. On the Democratic side, the search for a Lt. Governor goes on. Pat Quinn had publicly said that his top choice would be current Deputy VA Secretary Tammy Duckworth, but she has taken herself out of consideration today.

MI-Gov: Looks like Genesee County Treasurer Dan Kildee is in the gubernatorial race for the Democrats; he’s skipping right over the exploratory phase and filing as a candidate for governor. He joins Lansing mayor Virg Bernero and state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, with state House speaker Andy Dillon likely to enter soon.

PA-Gov: State Sen. Anthony Williams didn’t meet his very high $4 million fundraising bar, but he seems to feel heartened enough by the $2 million he has to officially pull the trigger on a gubernatorial run. With Chris Doherty and Tom Knox both out of the Democratic field now, it seems like there’s room for one more SE Pennsylvania candidate in the field; Williams, from Philadelphia, will be the only African-American in the race.

WI-Gov: One more Rasmussen gubernatorial poll to look at, featuring (surprise!) the Republican in the lead. Milwaukee Co. Exec Scott Walker leads Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett 49-40, while ex-Rep. Mark Neumann has a much smaller lead over Barrett, 44-42. That’s actually a smidge better than last month’s Rasmussen poll.

AR-03: State Sen. Cecile Bledsoe got the endorsement of one of her predecessors in the 3rd, ex-Rep. and former DEA Director Asa Hutchinson. A wide cast of characters, including Rogers mayor Steve Womack, is either already in the hunt for the GOP nod or considering it, in this dark-red district.

AZ-05: Rep. Harry Mitchell can probably consider this to be good news: another divisive Republican primary, which helped him to a comfortable victory in 2008, is brewing this year. Former state Rep. Susan Bitter Smith jumped into the GOP field yesterday, which pits her in a rematch against former Maricopa Co. Treasurer David Schweikert (who won the 2008 primary). Businessman Jim Ward and his ability to self-fund is in the mix too, as something of a wild card.

AZ-08: State Sen. Jonathan Paton has resigned from the state Senate, in order to focus full-time on running against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the 8th. He leaves behind one piece of legislation underway that’s actually a pretty cool idea: instituting “question time,” a la the UK’s parliament, where the Governor has to show up for a biweekly grilling in front of the legislature. Paton becomes the third Republican state Senator to resign in the span of a few weeks, with Pam Gorman and Jim Waring both having bailed out to pursue the open seat in AZ-03.

FL-24: Former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses CEO Craig Miller went ahead and got into the GOP field in the 24th, despite already having taken on some damage from preemptive salvos fired by the DCCC over statements opposed to stronger drunk-driving laws. Potentially self-funding Miller has become the NRCC’s new fave in the race, after state Rep. Sandy Adams and Winter Park city councilor Karen Diebel have floundered at fundraising.

FL-25: Joe Garcia, the Democratic 2008 candidate who almost knocked off Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, met with the DCCC’s Chris Van Hollen yesterday. This only serves to increase speculation Garcia will try again, now that the 25th is an open seat. The DCCC has also been interested in Miami-Dade Co. state’s attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

KS-03: Republican State Sen. Nick Jordan, who lost in the 3rd to Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore, looks to be on track to succeed the retiring Moore. Jordan’s own internal poll from POS shows him ahead of state Rep. Kevin Yoder 27-9, with former state Rep. Patricia Lightner and Charlotte O’Hara both at 5 (leaving about half of the voters undecided). Jordan’s poll didn’t look at the general, but there’s nothing to see there yet, seeing as how the Dems haven’t, um, found an interested candidate yet.

MA-10: In the event of a retirement by Rep. William Delahunt, state Senate majority leader Therese Murray says she won’t try to succeed him. On the GOP side, possible candidate ex-Treasurer Joe Malone may come with more liabilities than were initially apparent when he first started touting himself for the race. After Malone’s tenure ended in 1999, it was discovered that several of his top aides had stolen over $9 million from the state. Malone himself was never accused of being involved, but reminding voters about it will inevitably lead to questions about his judgment.

NM-02: Ex-Rep. Steve Pearce has released an internal poll performed on his behalf by the Tarrance Group that gives him a small lead over Democratic Rep. Harry Teague, 48-44. The good news for Teague is that R beats D in a generic ballot test 47-37, showing that the conservative Teague overperforms the Democratic brand despite his vote in favor of cap and trade in this heavily oil-dependent district.

NY-01: Despite the NRCC’s seeming preferences for rich guy Randy Altschuler, he’s already in a difficult primary, and now he may be facing a three-way contest with a local elected official too. State Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick says he’s exploring the race.

OH-06, OH-17: Ex-Rep. Jim Traficant didn’t meet the filing deadline to file as a Democrat for any race in Ohio, but now he’s saying that he’s planning to run as an Independent instead (which would require filing by early May). He’s still not saying where he’s going to run, although neither of the two possibilities look terribly promising: either the strongly-Democratic 17th (which he used to represent), or the swingy 6th, where he’d have to introduce himself to most of the voters

PA-06, PA-07: Here’s a big get for Manan Trivedi, as he seeks the Democratic nomination in the 6th. He got the endorsement of the Chester County Democrats. With Trivedi already strong in Berks County and Doug Pike strong in Montgomery County, suburban/exurban Chester County is somewhat the pivotal county in the district. (They also endorsed Bryan Lentz over his minor primary opposition in the 7th.)

PA-12: This is another solid break for the Dems in special election in the 12th: Republican businessman Mark Pasquerilla, with deep pockets, seemed to be one of the few GOPers who could make this race competitive. Something of a John Murtha ally, though, he had previously said he wouldn’t run if Joyce Murtha got in. She didn’t, but Pasquerilla still didn’t bite; instead, he’s endorsing Murtha’s district director, Mark Critz, who announced his candidacy yesterday. This basically moves the GOP back to square one, with the candidates who were already in place for the regularly scheduled election: businessman Tim Burns (who doesn’t seem quite as able to self-fund), or veteran/BMW Direct frontman Bill Russell.

WV-01, WV-03: Worries have been emanating out of West Virginia’s governor Joe Manchin about the re-election prospects of Reps. Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall, who despite their no votes on cap-and-trade often get tagged as not being sufficiently pro-coal. The United Mine Workers have no trouble supporting the duo, though; they endorsed both of them this weekend.

DSCC: There have been some rumblings about DSCC chair Bob Menendez’s lackluster ways, at least by comparison to his manic predecessor, Chuck Schumer. Here’s a telling quote:

“Chuck – wow – he would call all the time, three, four times a week, when he needed something, but I don’t ever hear from Menendez unless I initiate the contact,” said a Washington-based donor who has bundled tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to the committee. “You just don’t have the same level of energy from Bob; he just doesn’t push you like Chuck would,” the source added. “And that makes it a lot easier to say no.”

DCCC: The DCCC is trying to get some mileage out of fanning the flames in some of the most divisive GOP primaries between the GOP establishment and teabagger-powered movement conservatives (which they’re cheekily calling “Palin’s primaries”). Targets include MS-01, VA-02, VA-05, NH-01, CA-11, and TN-08.

Polltopia: Mark Blumenthal takes another look at Rasmussen, asking if they’ve been “flooding the zone” and thus shaping the overall narrative by sheer numeric dominance of the data that get released. (Sound familiar? He gives a shout-out to a diary here by our own spiderdem that first raised the point.) It’s quite true that Rasmussen has done many more Senate polls this cycle than last (45 vs. 13 at this point in the cycle), but so too have some of the other new players (especially PPP, 21 vs. 5). (He also notices what we’ve noticed, that SurveyUSA is polling less this cycle; they poll only when hired to do so, and he speculates that TV stations and newspapers have cut back their polling budgets.) Interestingly, he also points to why Rasmussen is able to do so: a “major growth capital investment” from private equity firm Noson Lawen. (Noson Lawen, and what their potential agenda might be, sounds like an interesting topic for enterprising investigative bloggers…)

50 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/23”

  1. opened today, 13 filed for the Senate, 35 filed for the 9 US House seats

    Senate candidates

    Democrats: Sec. of State Robin Carnahan and Francis J. Vangeli

    Republicans: US Rep. Roy Blunt, Davis Conway, Hector Maldonado, RL Praprotnik, St. Sen Chuck Purgason, James H. Schmidt, Deborah Solomon, and Mike Vontz

    Libertarian: Jonathan Dine

    Constitution Party: Jerry Beck and Joe Martellaro

    House incumbents who haven’t filed yet: Lacy Clay, Todd Akin, Ike Skelton, Jo Ann Emerson, Blaine Luetkemeyer

    Contested House Primaries

    For the Dems: 1st, 3rd

    For the Reps: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th

    For the Libertarians: 1st

  2. I am posting this because we democrats need some good news. Quinnipiac has now polled the Ohio gubernatorial election with some decent news for Ted Strickland. Strickland has gotten his lead back over Kaish. Strickland now leads Kaish 44-39. Those are fair numbers when you look at previous polling. Strickland still has a tough job ahead of him though.… Strickland has gotten his lead  

  3. I wounder if he would steal enough votes from the dem candidate to make it possible for a republican to win in the 17th.

  4. is getting some attention from the big boys.  First Daily Kos then  I sense that something at least slightly pernicious is going on with Ras – kind of the polling anologue of Fox News’s impact on TV news.

    That diary was something I banged out in half an hour on a Saturday night.  When I get some more free time, I hope to develop it further and encourage others who are so inclined to do the same.  The subliminal (and not so subliminal) messages being sent by de facto media arms of the Republican Party is something that needs to be fought.

  5. You are needed in Kansas–we’ve got two competitive seats (KS-3 & KS-2) and no one to even try for them. Gah!

    And no, you cannot helicopter in Harold Ford.  

  6. Bitter Smith is the most ridiculously vicious candidate I’ve ever seen.  Last cycle, she destroyed Schweikert through high-profile attack ads even after it became clear she couldn’t win the primary.  Back in 1998, when she ran in what’s now AZ-06, she attempted to torpedo the entire Republican field by giving incriminating documents about another candidate to a third candidate and urging the latter to leak them.  (It didn’t work — the other two Republicans met and burned the documents together.)

    So Bitter Smith’s presence in this district is excellent news for Mitchell.

  7. The Sierra Club is out with their first batch of 2010 endorsements.  What’s interesting is that they basically have endorsed only incumbents running for re-election, and Paul Hodes (a sitting Congressman running for Senate in NH).

    And then they endorsed ONE challenger, Bill Hedrick in CA-44, running against Ken Calvert.  So good job Hedrick, I guess.  :-)

  8. Because it looks like one half of that famous duo is supporting upstart Democrat Tommy Sowers in MO-08 with campaign cash.

    That’s kinda one of the most hilarious endorsements ever…


    And I’d look out, incumbent JoAnn Emerson. According to the STL Dispatch:

    “In a year in which guys in trucks do well, I’m a guy in a truck with a dog,” Sowers said.


    An adorable dog! Eat it, Scott Brown.

  9. Despite your criticism of the Rasmussen polls as a recruiting tool, you guys have left out the first poll that contradicts Rasmussen…the Quinnipac Ohio Poll which shows Strickland ahead of Kasich and Portman in near tie with Fisher and Brunner.

  10. Strickland (D) 44% – Kasich (R) 39%

    Sure this poll will have his threat but good news from Ohio.

    Very different of Rasmussen previous polls.

  11. in 2002. Traficant ran as an I in the open seat race in the 17th despite having been expelled earlier in the year. Tim Ryan still won, 51 to 34 (for the R) to 15 (for Traficant). Of course, it didn’t help matters for Traficant that he was already in prison at that point and unable to campaign in the usual sense.

  12. It looks like with so many nutbags looking to take on Roy Blunt in the primary, it’s gonna be hard for Chuck Purgason to consolidate the anti-Blunt vote well enough to perform a miracle and knock him out.  Sorry, Ms. Carnahan, it looks like you’ll have a race after all.  

  13. the first day filers get a random number and are listed from lowest to highest number, the people who file from February 24th to March 30th are listed in the order of their filing.

    Ballot orders:

    US Senate, Democrat: Vangeli, Carnahan

    US Senate, Republican: Praprotnik, Schmidt, Maldonado, Kristi Nichols, Roy Blunt, Solomon, Conway, Vontz, Purgason

    US Senate, Constitution: Joe Martellaro, Jerry Beck

    Russ Carnahan was listed 3rd of 4. Akin, Clay, Emerson, Luetkemeyer didn’t file and got primary opponents. Skelton didn’t file and got no primary opponent.

    MO-4 ballot order for the Republicans: James Scholz, Arthur John Madden, Vicky Hartzler, Roy Viessman, Brian Riley, and Bill Stouffer. Hartzler and Stouffer are the two most prominent candidates.

    MO-7 ballot order: Jeffrey Wisdom, Gary Nodler, Bob Schanz, Mike Moon, Darrell Moore, Jack Goodman and Billy Long.

    Long was the first of those 7 to file… and gets #7 with the likelyhood of not having the bottom spot on March 30th.

    417 candidates filed on the first day. 224 Republicans, 170 Democrats, 17 Constitution Party candidates and 6 Libertarians. 14 filed for the Senate, 3 for Auditor, 37 for Congress, 39 for 17 Senate seats, 308 for 163 State House seats, and 16 for Circuit Judge.

  14. He’s running against the establishment, he’s pro-life (though that would be mitigated against Ryan), and he’s been hitting a lot of the same cords as the tea baggers.  

  15. Not that terrible news. It had been telegraphed the last few days that he was probably getting in. He’s a high profile contender, but it sounds as if he’s going to have a fairly substantial name recognition gap to overcome given that he lives outside the district.

  16. Jane Hamsher must force Boucher to retire in her quest to destroy the Democratic Party and remake it in her own image!

  17. he was saying we have no candidate in KS-02 (since Laura Kelly dropped out) while we do have one in KS-04 (Raj Goyle).

  18. outside of the leaders that I had to memorize for a high school government test in 2000, that I heard of when I got interested in politics in late 2001/early 2002, though that was when he was convicted and later expelled.

  19. Blunt losing would be nice, since the winner would be underfunded and would need to torch parts of the countryside to do it. But then again, there’s so much on Blunt that someone else may not have his liabilities.

  20. At this point, I’ll take a non-embarrassing warm body. Tevis, state Sen. Kultala, Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach, or one of the JoCo state Reps would be nice, but I don’t friggin’ care. Hey, in 1996, pre-Moore, when we had no one, we ran Random Lawyer Lady, Judy Hancock, and she kept it close.

    As for KS-02, what about former state rep and former (’97-’01) Topeka Mayor Joan Wagnon? She was appointed by Sebelius as “Secretary of Revenue” in 2003, and still holds the job. She’s a little old, but again, at this point, beggars can’t be choosers…

  21. We’ve got a great candidate (Goyle) in the toughest district of the three competitive ones, while no credible candidates in the less tough KS-02 and KS-03.  

  22. Eyeliner wearing English pop bands from the 80’s are now suddenly endorsing obscure congressional candidates from Southeast Missouri?

    It is indeed a Mad World…

  23. The only connection I could find was that Oleta Adams, whom they discovered, has connections to Kansas City, which is in Missouri, although on the other side of the state from MO-8.

    But maybe they’re just sowing the seeds of love for Democrats nationwide.

  24. what a great diary.  But if you post something that geeky on Daily Kos, it get a measly 13 comments.  I’ll follow that guy’s next submission.  This is clearly someone far better able to work with these numbers than me.

    It’s great that there are stat geeks out there vetting Rasmussen like that.  I hope some of this breaks through to the higher levels of both old and new media at some point.

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