SSP Daily Digest: 2/25

AR-Sen: Here’s one way in which Blanche Lincoln can breathe a little easier: she’s not getting a primary challenge from the right (as if there were any room on the right of her within the Democratic electorate). State Sen. President Bob Johnson, who floated the idea in August, said he won’t run against her. However, she’s drawing heat on her left from African-American groups; the state’s NAACP is upset that she hasn’t done more to appoint African-American federal judges. With Lincoln already on environmentalists’ hit list and organized labor unenthused about her, there isn’t much left of the Democratic base she can afford to tick off. A primary from the left from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is still possible – although if there’s one guy whose support Halter can’t count on, it’s retiring Blue Dog Rep. Marion Berry (saying it was a fluke Halter got elected LG in the first place, and that Halter “is only of consequence in his own mind”).

CO-Sen: Former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff is counting on labor backing in the Democratic primary, but Michael Bennet got a key boost; he got the endorsement of the SEIU. (That public option letter is already paying dividends.) Meanwhile, Romanoff seems to be staking his hopes on a strong showing in Colorado’s party insider-dominated caucus and convention process that begins next month, in order to catapult him into contention. (It’s non-binding, and candidates can still win the primary without winning at the convention, with Ken Salazar as Exhibit A.) On the GOP side, former LG Jane Norton is getting slammed from the right by former state Sen. Tom Wiens for her support (following the lead of Republican Gov. Bill Owens) of Referendum C, which passed and lifted certain spending limits imposed by a previous TABOR initiative.

FL-Sen: We’ll have to see if this does anything to tarnish that conservative halo that’s gleaming over Marco Rubio’s head. Revelations came out (via Jim Greer, the Charlie Crist ally who recently got bounced out his place as state GOP chair) that Rubio charged $13,900 in personal expenses to a party-issued credit card over the course of several years. I don’t see this as a game-changer, but it’s the first hard blow the Crist camp has been able to land in a while.

GA-Sen: Rasmussen finds that the anti-incumbent blues are even weighing down super-safe Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson a bit, as he’s below 50%. Too bad the Democrats don’t have a top-tier candidate to go against him (although it seems like they have a few spares in the gubernatorial race who might consider making the jump). Isakson beats Generic Dem by 49-36.

NY-Sen-B: Harold Ford Jr.’s big night out at the Stonewall Dems didn’t quite go according to plan. He was repeatedly heckled and shouted down as he attempted to explain his convenient road-to-Damascus conversion on matters such as gay marriage. It also turns out that Ford’s former House colleagues from the New York delegation aren’t much more enthused about his run, either. The majority of the delegation has already endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand, and no one has backed down from that, with Ed Towns, Greg Meeks, Jerry Nadler, Tim Bishop, and Carolyn McCarthy all offering public statements discouraging his run.

UT-Sen: Wow, yet another Republican is going to get into the primary against Bob Bennett, who has a bullseye on his back because of occasional acts of cooperation instead of lockstep obstructionism. This one is actually a step above the rest of the field… or maybe not. Ex-Rep. Merrill Cook says he’s going to get in the race. An ex-Rep. is nothing to sneeze at (especially when none of the other contestants have gotten elected to anything before), but on the other hand, Cook was kind of an eccentric who frequently ran for office until lucking out in 1996. His hotheadedness got him primaried out in 2000 (and Jim Matheson went on to pick up the seat for the Dems that year).

NY-Gov: The blowback from yesterday’s NYT article is already hitting David Paterson’s inner circle, suggesting he isn’t going to be able to shrug this off. Paterson’s Criminal Justice Coordinator, Denise O’Donnell, resigned in protest over having been lied to by the state police.

OR-Gov: Local Republican pollster Moore Insight takes a look at the gubernatorial race — and they find ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber doing a lot better than Rasmussen did. They find Kitzhaber has identical 45-33 leads over the two GOPers they judged the strongest, Allen Alley and Chris Dudley. (Rasmussen actually found long-forgotten ex-state Sen. John Lim fared the best against Kitzhaber of the four GOPers, but apparently Moore didn’t think Lim was worth polling; Rasmussen had Dudley within 6 of Kitzhaber and Alley trailing by 8.) Moore didn’t poll the primaries, or how Democratic ex-SoS Bill Bradbury would fare.

SC-Gov: Winthrop University polled South Carolina without doing gubernatorial head-to-heads, but that may not matter as they also found that few people know anything about anybody who’s running; only LG Andre Bauer came close to 50% name rec. They did find 43 61% approval for Jim DeMint, 39 45% approval for Lindsey Graham, and a surprisingly high (for SC) 48% approval for Barack Obama.

AK-AL: Businessman, blogger, and gadfly Andrew Halcro (who ran as an indie in the 2006 gubernatorial race) sounds like he’s backing down from his planned Republican primary challenge to Rep. Don Young. He cited other developments (all positive) in his business and family life.

HI-01: It looks like Hawaii’s election officials found enough change under the couch cushions to throw together a special election to replace retiring Rep. Neil Abercrombie, after all. They’ve tentatively set a May 22 date for the all-party winner-take-all election. All three candidates plan to run again in the September primary for the regularly-scheduled election.

NJ-03: It looks like NFL player and gentleman farmer Jon Runyan may have a less tortuous path to the GOP nomination than Chris Myers did in 2008 (which helped contribute to Rep. John Adler’s victory that year). Toms River Committeeman Maurice Hill (the dreaded rear admiral who was the favorite of the Ocean County GOP) decided that he won’t run, meaning that all of the county organizations are likely to coalesce around Runyan. Runyan already has the support of the Burlington County party.

PA-12: After recently deciding not to run, Joyce Murtha weighed in with an endorsement in the battle to replace her deceased husband. She endorsed Murtha’s former district director, Mark Critz. The state party will choose a replacement candidate on March 8. On the GOP side, they’ve pretty much struck out on finding an upgrade from the two guys who were already running, businessman Tim Burns and Bill Russell. And now there’s growing worry that Russell — who claims to be the choice of the conservative grassroots, although mostly that’s because he’s been able to churn and burn through millions in direct mail fundraising through BaseConnect (the company known until recently as BMW Direct) — may pull a Doug Hoffman and get on the ballot as an indie if he doesn’t get chosen by the party poohbahs. Even RedState has had to weigh in, praising establishment fave Burns and warning Russell not to bolt — the total opposite of their NY-23 stance, of course, although Burns, who’s tried to reach out to the teabaggers, is no Scozzafava-style moderate.

SD-AL: This is encouraging; even Rasmussen can’t find a way to show Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in grave peril. Herseth Sandlin, who has three different credible GOP candidates fighting it out in the primary to take her on, leads all three, two of them by double digits. Herseth Sandlin beats SoS Chris Nelson 45-38, state House assistant majority leader Kristi Noem 49-34, and self-funding state Rep. Blake Curd 51-33. In fact, these numbers are extremely close to the ones put up by PPP back in December.

IL-LG: Well, here’s a nice solution to the Dems’ woes in trying to find a Lt. Governor candidate in Illinois: just eliminate the position. State House speaker Michael Madigan is bringing to the House floor a plan to altogether eliminate the non-job that is Lt. Governor in 2015 (and save millions). Unfortunately, that still means the Dems need to find someone to fill that slot (vacated by Scott Lee Cohen’s implosion) for one term.

Polltopia: Nate Silver performs a nice deconstruction of the myth that won’t die: that incumbents polling below 50% in early polling are going to lose. He finds there is no consistent tendency for challengers to pick up the bulk of the undecideds. Moreover, a majority of incumbents polling below 50% in the 2006-09 cycles went on to win anyway. (It’d be interesting to extent this study, though, beyond the 06 and 08 wave years to see if it holds true in more neutral cycles.)

62 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/25”

  1. I could check out the results from 2 of the 4 Hawaii special elections by driving and photocopying. But i’m not driving 70 miles in February. Even if it could shed light on the “Abercrombie wins special election, loses primary” oddity (Hawaii had open primaries too, so it might be a GOTV failure involving voters voting for Abercrombie in the special election and not voting in the primary)

    Don’t tell the Teapartiers about this one, because they’d fly to Hawaii. If they’re willing to go to New York in October, they’re guaranteed to bother Hawaiians.

    And Utah is a bit weirder, as I think Bennett has to win 60% or 66% in a convention to avoid a primary, and the voting will keep going and going until that happens. Although, in theory, he could lose his seat and have no way to run for re-election through the same convention process.

    Missouri note: Still no candidates for the 2nd, 6th, and 9th. But the Democratic candidate for Roy Blunt’s seat (Tim Davis) has a PhD in Economics and a law degree from Oxford. So he’s very qualified, he’s jut not particularly likely to win (short of the Republicans blowing their primary epically).

    All it takes is a receipt for a $100 check to the party to run for Congress in Missouri. So someone is likely to show up before March 30th. Because it’s very rare for the major parties to completely pass up a Congressional seat in Missouri.

  2. Well, is there any magic number at which half of incumbents polling at that number are expected to win and half to lose?

  3. didn’t know what Lawrence v. Texas was.  Maybe because I’m gay I feel like everyone should know that decision, but I guess not.

    Also, is Madigan next in line if there’s no Lt. Gov.?  Isn’t that how IL got its current governor?  (Yes.)  Doesn’t that mean the position has some worth?

  4. Halter’s spokesman took a shot back that clearly drew lines between Halter and the establishment, saying:

       “Congressman Berry’s comments are not surprising to us. After all, he did not support Halter’s campaign for lieutenant governor which beat the insiders and has now resulted in a scholarship lottery that will help thousands of Arkansans afford a higher education.

       If getting under the skin of the insiders is the price for helping Arkansans, he’ll do it time and time again. Should he run for federal office Arkansans can look forward to more of the same because Washington is broken and it needs more people like Bill Halter who aren’t afraid to stand-up to special interests and insiders.”

    A lot of people here are reading that as a hint that Halter’s about to jump in…He has until the end of next week to decide.

    If Halter does get in though, don’t expect any backing from the state party or major endorsements.  The machine isn’t going to break away from Lincoln, but it can still be beaten.

  5. Ugg, seriously, GA-sen looks like it could be a pickup IF WE GET A GOOD DEM IN THERE, but for some reason, no one is looking at this race.  WHY!?!?!  WHY I Ask!?!?!

  6. by allegedly making an intimidating call to the victim.

    She told the police that Mr. Johnson, who is 6-foot-7, had choked her, stripped her of much of her clothing, smashed her against a mirrored dresser and taken two telephones from her to prevent her from calling for help, according to police records.

    How did that thug bodyguard get promoted into a top position anyway?

    And how is AG Cuomo going to investigate this guy he’ll be running against in a few short months without seeming conflict of interest?

    Paterson just needs to resign and go away.

  7. As I’ve mentioned before, the fact that all three candidates will be on the same ballot works to our advantage.  Ed Case and Charles Djou will split the same voters…moderate to conservative, independent to Republican, mostly male voters.  Colleen Hanabusa will get everyone else and win easily.

    I predict:

    Hanabusa 45%

    Case 30%

    Djou 25%

  8. The Sun Sentinel: “Two highly placed and independent sources, speaking strictly on background, tell me that Gov. Charlie Crist is preparing to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent in the race for the U.S. Senate.”

    H/T Political Wire.

  9. What do they have on her?  Does she have some wild secret that could cause a scandal for her state?

    I bet money the GOP must threaten to close a military base on her in Maine.  I am tired of parties treating their members like this, witholding funds and committee assignments.  Olympia Snowe was elected to represent Maine, not the GOP.  She should just go indy, heck that’s what Arlen should have done as well.  

  10. That’s an important caveat. In fact, that State article is much clearer than that incoherent Charlotte Observer article I linked to; I’ll switch the links.

  11. But I think the point is that the figure is a guide to potential vulnerability not a steadfast prediction of what will actually happen.

  12. But the line of succession is; Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Illinois has not filled the vacancy left for Lt. Governor.  

  13. He has a JD from the University of Michigan (although it might explain why he failed the bar exam).

    And it’s worth mentioning that this wasn’t a small case either, it was a huge win for not only gay rights, but for privacy rights (and for the record, I’m not gay and I think everyone should know about Lawrence v. Texas :))

  14. Funny, isn’t that Madigan’s daughter.  Oh it is.

    I dunno, I just see moves to get rid of Lt. Govs as self-serving considering everything other states have gone through.  I know AG is different from, say, the Senate President, but I think it’s still not good to have important posts open.

  15. But it might be better simply to end the weird system where Lt. Governor candidates run separately in the primary and join the ticket in the GE. Even when it doesn’t result in an embarrassment to the ticket like Scott Cohen or, god forbid, Mark Fairchild, it often results in a Blago/Quinn mismatch where the two executives don’t like and can’t work with each other. Since the Lt. Gov has no constitutional duties (they don’t even break ties anymore), that basically relegates them to sitting around waiting for their boss to drop dead or go to prison. (Of course, given how often the latter happens… 😉 )

    If the candidates chose their running mates after nomination, as with the VPOTUS, the Lt. Gov could at least serve as an effective deputy to the Governor, and justify the expense of keeping the office around.

  16. Because everyone has been buying into the line that 2010 is going to be a train wreck for Democrats, and as a result, the DSCC isn’t recruiting for races like this, potential candidates aren’t being encouraged, donors are telling candidates they can’t count on help, and every thing else that comes from being too wedded to the conventional beltway wisdom of Cook, Rothenberg, etc. It is hard to convince good candidates to run when everyone is telling them it is a lost cause.

    There are lot of reasons to think Georgia Senate isn’t a promising pick-up possibility. Look at 2008 and the drop-on in the run-off without Obama drawing infrequent, African-American and new voters to the ballot. Look at how Georgia performed even in good Democratic years of 2008 and 2006.  Looking at the every recent US Senate election in the state, it is hard to feel too optimistic.

    Personally, I suspect that the only likely way to win the seat would be a major incumbent scandal (no signs of that on the horizon) or a tea bagging challenger winning the primary (not likely, although Isakson isn’t beloved by the far right, and Paul Braun still hasn’t ruled out a primary challenge).

    But even with all those caveats, there is no excuse for not putting up a strong challenger – who knows how much the political environment may change in the next few months, or lightening could strike for some reason in this particular race.

    Who should run? There are a surfeit of promising Democrats currently in the race for state offices who should be encouraged to look at this race. Assuming that Ray Barnes is going to be the nominee for Governor, shouldn’t Thurbert Baker, DuBose Porter, and David Poythress all be thinking about switching? Anyone of them would be a very credible candidate. Further down the ballot, Rob Teilhet and Ken Hodges are both good AG candidates with promising statewide futures – either one would bring strengths to the Senate race. Likewise, Secretary of State candidate Gail Buckner, State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond (who always makes noise about running for higher office but never does it), Insurance Commissioner candidate ex State Senator Mary Squires (who lost one Senate primary before), and a bunch of other candidates for lower offices all could be presentable candidate.  

    But while any of those candidates would be good, the most serious candidate would probably have to be a self-funder willing to spend their own money.

    But if any of this is going to happen, the DSCC and the Georgia Democratic Party need to make finding a candidate a priority, and they (and we) need to be willing to put resources into the race — money and volunteer time.

    Georgia is a state that has potential to be turned from red to purple — with a huge African-American population, a large persuadable pool of voters in metro Atlanta, and enough other pockets of Democratic strength, and a growing population, it is the kind of state we need to be competitive in to keep from having to write off the entire south. It is definitely worth seriously contesting every possible contest there.


  17. I don’t like the idea of an un-elected person moving into the Governor’s position.  Especially becaue it was a divided court which allowed there to be a Lt. Gov. appointment in the first place.

    But he should definitely not run again.

  18. If he didn’t decide on a rematch against Saxby Chambliss in 2008 (a great opportunity to exact revenge in a Democratic wave year), it seems very unlikely he would run against Isakson in a far less favourable political environment.

    But I’d love to see Cleland back in the Senate.  

  19. I worry that Case has stronger name recognition that could lead many less informed Democratic voters to opt for him over Hanabusa, without knowing much about ideology.

    Of course the hope is that Case has pissed off the party regulars so much that  they (Inouye/Akaka machine, unions, liberals & progressives, environmentalists, feminists, etc) deliver the vote for Hanabusa, bringing her a win in what will probably be a fairly low turnout election.

    I find it hard to believe that Djou could sneak through for a win, but lots of strange stuff can happen in a special election.  

  20. We found out two days ago in Tuesday’s SSP Daily Digest that Bob Menendez apparently sucks at his job leading the DSCC compared to his predecessor Schumer in fund-raising.

    “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.”

    Is it fair to assume that Menendez would also suck at recruiting candidates compared to the aggressive Schumer?

    If Schumer doesn’t get to be the majority leader replacing Reid next session, perhaps he could be persuaded to chair the DSCC again for another term.

  21. He polls in single digits, and he is up against an ex-Gov and an AG… even if one implodes, the other has a history of holding high state office.

    On the other hand, as an AG, Baker’s cred and focus is all state-based, not Federal.  Poythress’ resume at least suggests a lot more easy-to-get national credibility.

    The only reason I can see for not switching is he has literally zero interest in being a Senator.

  22. Failed at getting the best candidates in Delaware, Florida, Kansas and Georgia. He also should have prevented retirements in Indiana and North Dakota (I think Dorgan could’ve survived). He also sucks at fundraising, and I am fed up with the guy.

  23. he is not even a team player. He has tried to blackmail Obama on his Cuban policy by placing holds on nominees.  This is unacceptable from a member of the leadership.

  24. However, Hanabusa’s fundraising has been well above the other two and will hopefully make up for that.  

  25. The closest example I could think of is Olympia Snowe. But she was serving as a congresswoman at the same time the state’s first lady.

  26. He would probably have to caucus with the Democrats. If this does happen (still a very big if), the national and state Republicans are going to go after him with all they’ve got. There’s no way he could defeat the conservative darling as an indie and then make nice with the Senate GOP. I don’t even care if he wins as an indie and not a full-fledged Dem. As long as Marco Rubio is kept out of the Senate, I will be happy.

    This has been a great instructional lesson (along with the pummeling Scott Brown took when he voted for the jobs bill this week) to anyone who thinks there is a place for moderates (or anyone who is willing to negotiate with the opposing party) in today’s GOP. I hope this spectacle has shown other moderate Republicans (esp. Snowe/Collins aka the Bangor Sisters) that this can happen to them too.  


    “I think the world of Olympia Snowe. She’s got incredible courage, and the Republican leadership is brutal in the way they apply pressure. Much more so than the Democrats… They bring the hammer down on her, and I’m not going to say how.”

    — Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), in an interview with Ezra Klein, on where the Maine senator stands on health care reform.

  28. It’s possible he doesn’t know, and won’t decide until elected. If he does run and win as an Indie, don’t think the GOP would be stupid enough to reject him; they courted Lieberman, and they successfully got Griffith to switch, even without the support of the local GOP. Both parties will try and recruit him in November if he wins.

    FL-Sen with Crist as an Indpendent will probably shape up roughly the same way the 2006 CT race did- that’s the nearest point of comparison we have. Meek will be Schlessinger, little-known and with only a tiny fraction of partisan support. Meanwhile, many, if not most, of the Dems will rally to Crist as the lesser-of-evils, and he’ll also get Independents and moderate Republicans. Meanwhile, Rubio will be stuck in the same position Lamont was in, stuck with only his partisan base and unable to exceed 40%, given that both centrists and much of the other party would be aligned against him. Bare in mind that in the 2006 campaign, Lieberman promised consisently to caucus with the Dems, and although he briefly flirted with the GOP once elected, he did side with Dems in the end, handing them the majority over the GOP. Nevertheless, GOP voters still knew that Lieberman, even if he chose to caucus with the Dems, was closer to their views than Lamont and wouldn’t be subject to the party whips anymore, so they did the pragmatic thing anyway. Again, could be the same here- Rubio is a conservative, he will be under the whip even if he ever considered straying from the line, but not that he ever would anyway, given how right-wing he is anyway. Crist, even if he caucuses with the GOP, might have the same deal Lieberman had- to vote GOP for procedural control, but free of the whip on actual issues. Even if he promises to side with the GOP on control, Dems are still best off backing him.

  29. I’m with you, I don’t get it.  Poythress seems to be going nowhere in the gubernatorial race, and with two major players in the race unlikely to implode, not sure where he thinks his opening is. And his military background and similar things probably make him better positioned for a Senate race than a gubernatorial one. Maybe he just doesn’t like DC.

    I also agree that Baker has a state focus, but holding statewide office of any sort is still a good jumping off point for a federal race if someone is interested – and while he’s a bit conservative for my taste, unless he really thinks he can beat Barnes in the primary, his political future would probably be better served by a Senate run (win or lose, as long as he runs a credible campaign) than losing a primary for Governor.  While he’s not huge in the charisma department, he still might produce some excitement with the potential to be the first African-American Senator from the south since reconstruction – with close to 30% of the Georgia electorate being African-American, he might produce the kind of turnout that could help both his campaign and the Democratic slate overall.

  30. I’ve heard bad things about him. He would be the strongest candidate, but at the same time would be probably be another Dan Boren.

  31. Now we don’t have to run every race in Arizona with one of our candidates endorsing all the Republican opponents of our other candidates.

    Jon Hulburd, our remaining candidate in the race, is doing a fantastic job and is (so far) up against a bunch of nobodies.  Yes, I know a lot of them are in the legislature, but in AZ everybody hates the legislature.

    I do think the GOP will hold this seat given the climate this year.  But at least one of their options, State Rep. Pamela Gorman, is probably unelectable.  I think their best bet is Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, but there are also two other state legislators in the mix, plus Dan Quayle’s ne’er-do-well son.  Any one of them, or someone else, could win the nomination.

    As a side note — the GOP is really screwing up in candidate recruitment and primaries in AZ.  A washed-up urban former legislator in rural AZ-01 who can’t raise money, a bunch of nobodies in AZ-03 (though one of them will probably win anyway), being unable to keep Susan Bitter Smith out of AZ-05 or Hayworth out of AZ-Sen, and fairly weak candidates for Governor (given the better ones that were available).  Their only recruitment coup so far is getting Jonathan Paton for AZ-08, and that’s the least winnable of all their targets in AZ.

  32. and be done with it, she doesnt deserve to be reigned in like that.

    Granted, I cant help but think the Dems should be bringing down the hammer a bit harder at times.  Do I think always, of course not.  But Snowe has been quite dead set against HCR lately while voting on it before by saying, when history calls you need to answer.

  33. is one of those Cubans who believe that cutting off Cuba from the rest of the world will somehow force Fidel out of power. I heard his floor speech justifying why the US should still burn millions of dollars beaming in television signals to Cuba that no one in even watches in an attempt to “start a revolution.” The only way Fidel is getting out of power is when he keels over and dies from old age.  

  34. He’s an elected official, is wealthy, has very wealthy constituents who could fund his run, and he’s not in the legislature, and isn’t a Quayle.  Those things seem to me to put him above the rest of the field.

    Here’s something worth noting: the last Republican elected to Congress who was a former state legislator was Trent Franks in 2003, who had served a single term eighteen years earlier.  Before that, it was Matt Salmon, first elected in 1994.  During that period, Republicans elected four other new Congressmen who hadn’t served in the legislature: John Shadegg (Assistant State Attorney General), J.D. Hayworth (sportscaster), Jeff Flake (think tank president), and Rick Renzi (rich dude).  Arizonans hate the Republicans in the state legislature.

    During this same period, three of the four new Democratic Congresspeople were state legislators (Harry Mitchell, Gabrielle Giffords, and Ann Kirkpatrick).

  35. People use 50% as the “magic mark” above which an incumbent is likely safe and below which an incumbent is likely vulnerable.

    So, let’s translate these as likely safe meaning “greaterthan 50% chance of being re-elected” and likely vulnerable meaning “less than 50% chance of being re-elected”.  If we assume that these chances vary continuously (i.e. there are no numbers at which the chances suddenly jump), then that must mean that if an incumbent polls atexactly 50%, then they have exactly a 50% chance of being re-elected.

    Now, I don’t think 50% is the right marker for this.  As the person below says, 45% might be a better marker.

  36. The only one who may have performed better than Meek in Florida was Sink and she decided not to run because Charlie Crist decided to run.  In Georgia, maybe Thurgood Baker could have won, but I doubt it.  

  37. that Sink is a good campaigner, in any case.

    But are you really sure that none of the other Democratic members of Congress from Florida might not have done better than Meek?

  38. probably would of done better, but she’s a rising star in the house and didn’t want to risk that jumping into a senate race where she has a 40/60 chance of winning.  

  39. He still has a sort of father of the nation role.

    And Raul is no spring chicken either. When one or both dies, Cuba could change very fast.

  40. Just nowhere near a majority. However, there is a  Mormon University on Oahu – and when I was there in late ’07, I was surprised by the number of Huckabee signs I saw in yards.

    (The Polynesian Cultural Center sponsored by the Mormons is a wonderful depiction of the various island cultures of the  Pacific.)

  41. I see no way he does anywhere near as badly as “Alan Gold”. A three-way would be interesting. Probably could could eventually go all three ways.

  42. Which proves how useful the punitive sanctions that people like Menendez advocate for revenge or pandering to extremists within the Cuban-American community are.

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