SSP Daily Digest: 4/26

AZ-Sen, AZ-Gov: The signature by Gov. Jan Brewer (which may have helped her survive the GOP primary, but may also hurt her in the general) of Arizona’s new aggressive anti-immigrant law was the key motivating factor in a new Democratic candidate getting into the Senate race: civil rights activist Randy Parraz. He’ll face Rodney Glassman in the Democratic primary. (Why not the, y’know, Arizona Governor’s race instead? Apparently Glassman looks like easier primary opposition than AG Terry Goddard in the governor’s race… and at any rate, John McCain and J.D. Hayworth have both been beating the war drums on immigration.) And here’s an interesting take on the immigration law: ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo just came out in opposition to it, saying, “I do not want people here, there in Arizona, pulled over because you look like should be pulled over.” If even Tom Tancredo thinks you’re doing it wrong… you’re probably doing it wrong.

CT-Sen: Linda McMahon’s campaign doesn’t seem to be doing anything illegal here, but there’s still no good way to spin this: the campaign has been offering students an extra $5 bounty (on top of a flat hourly rate) for every Republican registered during a Univ. of Connecticut voter registration drive. It’s a practice that the DOJ has frowned upon.

IL-Sen: In the wake of the seizure of the Broadway Bank, Alexi Giannoulias wasted no time in getting an explanatory ad on the air, laying it out in easy-to-grasp points: one, he hadn’t worked there in years and when he left it was fine, two, the broader economy took the bank down, and three, speaking of that economic downturn, don’t vote for unemployment-benefits-denying Mark Kirk.

MD-Sen: OK, maybe all those Barb Mikulski retirement rumors will finally go away. She just had her campaign’s official kickoff event on Friday. She has 24 times the cash of her likeliest Republican opponent, Queen Anne’s Co. Commissioner Eric Wargotz.

NC-Sen: Elon University’s out with another poll; they still aren’t doing head-to-heads, but have some assorted other numbers that Richard Burr would probably rather not see. His approvals (among flat-out everybody, not even RVs) are 28/37 and 26% say he “deserves re-election” with 44% saying “time for a new person.”

NV-Sen: A poll for the Nevada News Bureau performed by PMI finds Sue Lowden leading the pack in the GOP Senate primary, at 41. Danny Tarkanian is at 24, Sharron Angle is at 17, and “someone else” is at 18. The poll was taken on the 22nd, shortly after Lowden laid out her support for trading chickens in exchange for poultices and tinctures.

NY-Sen-B: Long-time Rockland Co. Exec Scott Vanderhoef has decided not to pursue a run against Kirsten Gillibrand, after having spent a month in exploratory mode, saying the money’s just not there. Vanderhoef probably found he didn’t have the name rec outside of Rockland Co. to have an advantage against the odds and ends in the GOP primary, let alone in the general.

UT-Sen: Another poll of GOP delegates for the convention in Utah isn’t as bad for Bob Bennett as the one leaked to Dave Weigel last week, but it still looks pretty bad for him. Mike Lee leads the way among first-choice votes at 31%, followed by Bennett at 22% (and then Tim Bridgewater at 17% and Cherilyn Eagar at 10%). 41% of delegates say they will “absolutely not” vote for Bennett, so even if Bennett picks up the other 59%, he still can’t nail down the nomination at the convention (as there’s a 60% threshold).

WA-Sen: Everyone seemed a little taken by surprise by Friday’s SurveyUSA poll of the Washington Senate race, which has non-candidate (for now) Dino Rossi leading Patty Murray 52-42 (and leading the various no-name GOPers actively in the race by 2 or 3 points). Even the Rossi camp is downplaying it, saying that their internal polling places Murray in the lead – which is an odd strategy for someone who got gifted an outlying poll, unless either he’s trying to rope-a-dope Murray into complacency or privately cursing the results saying “aw crap, now I have to run for Senate.” One of the no-namers, motivational speaker Chris Widener, got out of the race on Friday, which may also portend a Rossi run (or just having taken a stark look at his own finances). Murray’s camp may have gotten advance warning of the SurveyUSA poll, as on Friday they leaked their own internal from Fairbank Maslin giving Murray a 49-41 lead over Rossi, very consistent with R2K’s recent poll.

IL-Gov: Oh, goody. Scott Lee Cohen, having bailed out/gotten booted off the Democratic ticket as Lt. Governor nominee after his criminal record became news, still has a political issue that needs scratching. He’s announcing that he’s going to run an independent bid for Governor instead. Considering how thoroughly his dirty laundry has been aired, he seems likely to poll in the low single digits; I have no idea whether his candidacy (which now appeals mostly only to the steroid-addled pawnbroker demographic) is more harmful to Pat Quinn, Bill Brady, or just the world’s general sense of decency.

MI-Gov: When I heard a few weeks ago that Geoffrey Fieger (the trial lawyer best known for defending Jack Kevorkian and second-best-known for his awful turn as 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee) was pondering another gubernatorial run, I laughed it off. The new EPIC-MRA poll makes it seem a bit more serious, though… which, in turn, if he won the primary, would pretty much foreclose any Democratic shot at winning the general. They only polled the Democratic primary and find, thanks to name rec within the Detroit metro area, Fieger is actually comfortably in the lead at 28%. Andy Dillon is at 20, Virg Bernero is at 13, Alma Wheeler Smith is at 8, other is at 2, and 29% are undecided. Fieger hasn’t moved much to act on his interest, though, and has only three weeks to collect the necessary 15,000 signatures to qualify.

FL-24: Karen Diebel earned the backing of Tom Tancredo in the GOP primary in the 24th, focusing on (with Tancredo, what else?) in the immigration issue. It seems less of a pro-Diebel endorsement than more of a slap against her GOP opponent Craig Miller, though; in a 2006 Miami Herald op-ed, Miller (who was at that point chairman of the National Restaurant Association) came out pretty solidly on the “cheap labor” side of the Republican split on immigration.

GA-12: Democrats looking for an upgrade from ex-state Sen. Regina Thomas (who raised $10K last quarter and has $4K CoH) for a primary challenge to recalcitrant Blue Dog John Barrow are going to have to keep looking. State Sen. Lester Jackson decided to take a pass, and will stay neutral in the Barrow/Thomas race. He’ll focus instead of supporting the Senate bid of Labor Comm. Michael Thurmond (another rumored, but no-longer, challenger to Barrow).

LA-03: Bobby Jindal just appointed Scott Angelle, the state’s Sec. of Natural Resources, to the vacant position of Lt. Governor. Why is this filed under LA-03? Angelle was rumored to be one of the top contenders to run for the 3rd (although it was unclear whether he was going to do it as a Dem or a GOPer… Angelle was a Dem in the legislature, but appointed by GOP Gov. Jindal to his cabinet). With Angelle saying he’ll return to his job at Natural Resources after a permanent replacement is elected, that means that former state House speaker Hunt Downer is pretty well locked-in as the GOP nominee in the 3rd, and the Dems aren’t likely to get an upgrade from attorney Ravi Sangisetty, making this open seat a very likely GOP pickup. (H/t GOPVOTER.)

NY-01: Randy Altschuler got the endorsement from the Suffolk County Conservative Party on Friday, which guarantees him a place on the ballot if he wants it. He’ll still need to overcome Chris Cox and George Demos in the competitive three-way moneybags duel in the GOP primary (where the county GOP recently switched its endorsement from Altschuler to Cox). It’s unclear whether he’d keep the Conservative line if he lost the GOP primary, as that would create a NY-23 type situation and pretty much assure Rep. Tim Bishop’s safety. (Unlike the patchwork of counties in the upstate districts, all of the 1st is within Suffolk.)

NY-29: The GOP would really, really like to have a special election in the 29th, despite David Paterson’s apparent intention to play out the clock until November (and prevent a possible GOP pickup, given the difference in strength between the likely candidates). Several GOP party chairs within the district are preparing a lawsuit that would force a special election; the state GOP plans to assist.

OH-02: Bad news for Jean Schmidt: although she got the Hamilton Co. GOP’s endorsement in the previous two elections, she’s going to have to proceed without it this year. They’re staying neutral as she faces several primary challengers, most notably Warren Co. Commissioner Mike Kilburn.

PA-12: In battling independent expenditures in the 12th, the GOP went large, as the NRCC plunked down $235K on media buys. The DCCC also spent $16K on media buys.

SC-04: The dean at Bob Jones University (the crown jewel in the buckle of the Bible Belt, in Greenville in the 4th), Robert Taylor, has announced he’s supporting Trey Gowdy in the GOP primary instead of incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis. The occasionally-moderate Inglis (more stylistically than in actual voting substance, though) faces at least three right-wing competitors in the primary, but could run into trouble if he doesn’t clear 50% and gets forced into a runoff with one of them.

WV-01: There are dueling internal polls in the 1st, in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Mike Oliverio was first to release a poll, saying he led Rep. Alan Mollohan 41-33. (One caveat: Oliverio’s pollster is Orion Strategies, owned by Curtis Wilkerson, who also just happens to be Oliverio’s campaign manager.) Mollohan struck back with a poll from Frederick Polls giving him a 45-36 lead over Oliverio, with the primary fast approaching on May 11.

MA-AG: Despite it now being widely known that Martha Coakley has a glass jaw (or what’s something more fragile than glass? what do they make those fake bottles out of that they use in bar fights in the movies?), she may actually get re-elected Attorney General without facing any GOP opposition whatsoever this fall. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that the GOP’s entire bench in Massachusetts just got elected to the Senate.

Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia Inquirer has an interesting look at the changes in registration in Pennsylvania over the last decade. The Democratic Party grew substantially in the state’s east, gaining 550,000 registrations up to 4.3 million voters. The GOP shrank by 103,000 registrations down to 3.1 million votes. The Dems lost 20,000 voters in the state’s southwest, though; in 2002, 27.8% of the state’s Dems were in the Pittsburgh area, but that’s down to 23.8%. Contrast that with the Philadelphia metro area: in its five counties, the number of Republicans dropped 13.5%, from a million to 873,000.

Redistricting: Here’s the last redistricting resource you’ll ever need: a handy map showing congressional and legislative redistricting procedures for all 50 states. There’s also an accompanying document (pdf) which goes into remarkable detail about the various processes, and even contains an appendix of some of the ugliest current gerrymanders.

122 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/26”

  1. I almost feel sorry for Bennett, I just can’t understand why he’s being primaried. I could not see this happing a few years back. Any chance he is primaried and just as a final screw you becomes a Democrat? Not run in the election as one, but finish out his term as one. I could see him at least endorsing the Democratic nominee. Just to double check, it’s still too late for him to go Indie correct? Thanks in advance to whoever answers my questions.  

  2. Nelson votes with the GOP or the PON (Party of NO) against cloture for the Wall Street Reform Act.

    Is Nelson really naive enough to run for re-election as either a turncoat Republican or a “Lincoln” Democrat? Hopefully he just choices to retire after his term ends and just lets the GOP take over his seat without much headaches for the Dems.    

  3. And frankly, ads like that make me feel right in believing that he’ll be fine in November.

    Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but even with a candidate like Mark Kirk, I don’t think the GOP wins this seat.

  4. I’m not that surprised that we didn’t put up a Republican to run against Coakley this year, but I’m shocked that she hasn’t found herself a serious primary challenger. Right now, she’s the Bill Buckner of the MA Democratic establishment, and there are lots and lots of people who will never forgive her for letting Ted Kennedy’s seat roll under her glove. After she lost, I assumed that either a State Sen. or a County DA would challenge her and roll to victory with the state party’s backing.

    What do you think is more unlikely–a comeback by Coakley or Spitzer? (or Palm Beach mayoral candidate Mark Foley, for that matter!)

  5. seriously.  they have the edge in the state, must have at least a bench, and almost half the state says someone else.  Given all of the incumbents being primaried this year, why not him?

  6. witness the mcMahon story.

    The endorsement in SC-4 is significant.  Gowdy’s base is in the smaller of the twin cities/counties that make up this district, Spartanburg.  Whereas BJU is in Inglis’ base of the larger Greenville County.  BJU has many alumni living in the area and they are a considerable voting block.

    A Inglis-Gowdy runoff in this race is a pretty good bet.


  7. Is Oliverio running to the right of Mollohan or is he just trying to exploit Mollohan’s ethical issues?

  8. KING 5 provided polling results to both Rossi and Murray before broadcasting. Neither Murray nor Rossi are taking the poll that so contracts their own results seriously. It is interesting that Murray’s campaign released their Fairbank Maslin poll results but Rossi did not release the results of the Moore poll they commissioned.

    Supposedly, Rossi is going to base his decision on the results of that Moore poll. According to rumors among Thurston County Republicans, the Moore poll shows Murray with a bigger lead over Rossi than the Fairbank poll. My friend told me she expects Rossi to run a confirming poll and if the results mirrow the one conducted April 17-19, Rossi will announce that he will not enter the race and endorse Sen. Benton.  

  9. has a rather big part (played by Danny Huston) in HBO’s new biopic You Don’t Know Jack that just premiered, and he comes off rather well in it I thought.

    The movie even briefly mentioned Fieger’s 1998 drubbing by John Engler

    Good movie. Al Pacino was fairly amazing playing the role of Kevorkian.

  10. say highly unlikely simply because Bennett is no Specter and has no personal gain to becoming a Dem even if it is only to say “F$CK You GOP”. If anything he’d become an Independent after losing his nomination just to piss off the Republican leaders. But even this I’d say is unlikely simply because his voting record has always been conservative and him leaving the party would mean nothing to anyone, especially if he’s not going to run for re-election as an Independent.    

  11. First, you’re someone who is able to hold his own in a blog site populated mostly by progressives.

    Second, as someone who has an opposing viewpoint, you do more than most to break down any sort of herd mentality w/r/t election projections.

    Third, by your continued presence here, you show us that there are at least some in the GOP who value real dialogue, even if it’s just w/r/t horse race stuff.

    And with rare exceptions, you’ve presented your opposing viewpoint with good grace.

    So I believe that a hat tip to you is more than just a hat tip on the specific contribution at hand.

  12. For a potential party switch. He’s trying to make nice with Republicans in case he wants to switch parties in 2011 to give us the majority in the Senate, or join the Republican majority (less likely).  

  13. really worried he flips soon. I would say he will probably go Indy and caucus with the R’s if he does. Sigh, I don’t want him to lose, but in all reality he is really pissing me off right now. If he does retire, we have almost no chance of keeping this seat. Nelson did not used to be this bad, ever since HCR, he just seems to be mad at the world.  

  14. Schumer had to twist his arm to get him to run for re-election in 2006, even when Mike Johanns passed up a run against him to become W.’s agriculture secretary. The popular Republican governor Dave Heineman is probably going to pick up that seat in ’12. I can’t see him wanting to face an uphill re-election battle when he’s 70.

    That’s not to say he might caucus with the Republicans if they manage to get enough seats to either win an outright majority or come close enough to the edge that they need one more vote. I’d say he would just become an independent rather than make an outright switch to the GOP.

  15. guess he’s just being realistic in terms of the GOP realignment of the SOuth and certain parts of the West. As long as we maintain a good majority in the Senate after 2010 (55-57 I’d say) we should do fine without him. After major changes are major changes are made realignment is only inevitable (New Deal, Great Society, Fair Deal, and the Civil Rights Era all pushed the South away from us). It does hurt losing support from once winnable areas but if we truly are to make progress then we’ll have to shallow the fact that we’re going to lose support of once Democratic areas and politicians.    

  16. after the 2010 midtermsis probably what he will wind up doing, especially if the GOP picks up 9 seats and needs the extra vote. That gives him the best chance at re-election in 2012: hope that Nebraska Republicans either accept him as their guy or nominate a right-wing challenger obscure enough that he can squeak through in a 3-way race.

  17. His wounds are self-inflicted. He shouldn’t have made such a smelly deal that it ended up hurting his state, nor should he have made so much noise about the health bill. He should have worked quietly behind the scenes and produced things that benefited his state under the radar but sufficiently for him to claim credit for them later. It may be that he wouldn’t be able to win again, no matter what, given the Republican lean of his state, but his loud, clumsy machinations have pretty clearly hurt his chances.

  18. to Howard “Commi” Dean  and voting for Pelosi to be Speaker can really hurt your chances in a southern GOP primary. I expect Griffith to lose though to who I do not know.  

  19. way the GOP wins 9 seats in 2010 alone. I count a maximum GOP gain of 6 seats maximum (given they lose none) in 2010. The GOP cannot win back the Senate until 2012 IMHO. If Nelson switches then it would give the GOP a maximum of 48 seats after 2010.  

  20. is how the White House is dealing with it. At the moment they are very cool to him and his campaign.

    At the moment, the White House seems open to the idea of losing Obama’s old seat rather than putting the president’s prestige on the line for Giannoulias, the brash and boyish Illinois state treasurer – and onetime Obama basketball buddy – whose campaign has been rocked by the financial meltdown of his family’s bank.

    Durbin said Emanuel was sympathetic to his pleas [for White House help] but ultimately noncommittal, telling him that the White House was “considering the race, weighing their options and weighing a decision on what to do.”

    The White House declined to comment on Durbin’s conversation with Emanuel. But an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the White House harbors deep concerns that Giannoulias’s campaign will implode if the family business, the financially strapped Broadway Bank, collapses as many analysts anticipate.

    That’s from a weekend Politico story White House leaves Dick Durbin hanging (so add the appropriate grains of salt).

    But I’ve revised my opinion and think now that Giannoulias should to “pull a Chris Dodd” and step aside.

    He’s young. There will be other opportunities in the future for him. Also, from his own self-interest, if he loses Obama’s old seat due to his stubbornness, he won’t have much of any political future.  

  21. I know its Illinois but really? The guy’s bank just got taken over by the Feds!

    Not to be crass but usually when that happens the guy running the bank ends up committing suicide not getting elected to the US Senate.

    There was all kind of shady dealings going on at that bank. Wont be surprised to see more dirt (and even charges against people at the bank) surface when the FDIC starts poking around through the books. We will hear a lot more about all those loans to mobsters.

    Plus IL voters get to spend all summer and fall watch good old Blago throw mud on everyone during his trial.

    I’m sorry but the whole thing looks ugly in IL.

  22. but he did get elected twice over conservative Republicans, which means there’s a coalition out there of Democrats, independents, and centrist Republicans that have been willing to vote for him in the past. I’m not saying it will be easy for him in 2012 by any stretch, but if he can find a way to rebuild some of his goodwill with the voters he would have a shot at earning 40% or so of the vote as an independent.  

  23. I’d say that 9 D-held seats are in play right now: ND, DE, NV, AR, PA, CO, IN, IL, and CA. Now, I don’t think it’s likely that the GOP sweeps all 9 (especially not CA) while holding onto all its open seats, but if the environment gets worse for Democrats it’s possible. And as we saw in ’06 (VA, MT, MO, RI) and ’08 (OR, MN, AK, NC), the close races have a tendency to all swing the same way.

  24. I think its very possible we get 8. Remember, in wave elections, usually all targeted Senate sits go with the party with the wind at their back. So, say AR, DE, ND, NV, CO, IL, IN and PA as toss-up or lean-likely R, with ND safe R. Thats 8. Then, add in 2 of the 5 wild cards at this point: CA, where we have the potential to win if the climate stays the same and Fiorina or Campbell win the primary, WA where Dino Rossi is more likely to get in, and there are good opponents if he doesn’t, Wisconsin, where Ron Johnson is about to enter with 10 million of his own money, NY, Gillibrand faces 2 self-funders, and CT where Dick Blumenthal is unproven and will likely have Linda McMahon’s 50 million to run against (I don’t see Simmons winning the primary, his fund raising fell off a cliff after Dodd dropped out, could run for House seat).

    If we get 2 of those, plus the first 8, we win. Even if we only get the toss-up, lean, likely, Safe R D seats, we can flip Liberman and Nelson and have the majority. I think atleast 3 of the wild cards will become competitive (most likely CA, WA, WI). I think out of those 5, the least likely to become competitive is NY.  

  25. think she will finish her second term as AG, and that will be it. I don’t know if she is a good AG, but unless she isn’t then I don’t see we should deny her a second term. I think the shame of fucking up a safe seat and always being remembered for it will be punishment enough for her. Plus she doesn’t even have opposition, so we don’t have to worry about the general.

  26. He was prepping for an AG run to replace Coakley until the January disaster happened. He’s running in the open seat MA-10 race instead.

    Of course he doesn’t have much of a connection to MA-10 beyond owning a Cape house and his DA territory including Quincy, Weymouth, and Cohasset; he was a State Senator from a district that has no overlap with MA-10. He’d be a natural (if inferior) successor to Barney Frank, but Barney’s not going anywhere yet.  

  27. Spitzer will attempt to make a comeback, but I think it’s going to be very short-lived. I’m frankly surprised he hasn’t announced for state comptroller yet since he apparently really wants the job. The problem is that patronizing a call girl ring is a highly embarrassing way to be bounced from office. Not to mention the fact that his approval ratings were abysmal even before he resigned. No way he ever gets elected to anything statewide again.

    I think Martha Coakley has seen the writing on the wall. She’ll do a second term as attorney general then retire to be a footnote in history. The difference between the two is that Spitzer has an enormous ego that keeps him from fading into obscurity.  

  28. it’s abject incompetence that the Republicans found no-one to run against her. And like you, I’m shocked that she had no primary opposition.

    As for a comeback, if Spitzer wanted to have a chance at one, why did he attack Attorney General Cuomo? I didn’t even read the substance of the attack, just a description on Politicalwire, and that’s enough to remind me what a vindictive prick he can be. I think it’ll be a cold day in Hell before he wins another election.

  29. still never seizes to amaze me with his ability to screw us over. Even with all his past threats and moves against our party and progressive values I still have a hard time believing that he will actually become a full-time GOPer. Lieberfu$ck’s hawkish war stances and his ever so slow movement toward the GOP on domestic issues is in fact making him more friendlier to the GOP but I honestly don’t see him becoming a member of the GOP. I have no fact’s to back up my argument but just feelings. Hopefully he’ll stay on the liberal aisle until he’s voted out come 2012  

  30. I think he would stay an independent, but caucus with us, if he got a guarantee from Jodi Rell that she would not run.  

  31. I worry that he will see the polls, and decide he will be more viable caucusing with Republicans (staying Indy though). Let’s hope I’m wrong though.    

  32. can see the GOP winning Penn (though I don’t believe so), Delaware (probably), Arkansas (most likely), North Dakota (defiant), Colorado (maybe), and Nevada (most likely). Illinois I see as a tossup but IMO will become a Dem hold. California I see no where near electing either Campbell or Fiorina over Boxer and Indiana will come down to whether or not Ellsworth can define himself as a moderate law and order type of guy. Still this doesn’t account for possible Dem gains in Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, and FLorida.  

  33. And if anything, the South probably threw their hands in the air and said, finally, a Democratic president!

  34. NE, KS, and OK all looked promising at various times for various reasons and then once Fall hit, reality set in and the polls got to where they logically should have been.

    But we’ll see.  I cant imagine things getting any worse for the Democrats.

  35. I’m not worried about Ron Johnson.  Feingold has faced down the super-rich-guy-in-a-bad-Dem-year thing before, and has done quite nicely for himself.  Honestly, I think he’d be a softer target for someone like Scott Walker who can at least demonstrate a measure of competence.

  36. Johnson will spend most of that $10 million fighting off Wall, Leinenkugel, Kanavas and maybe a few other dudes in the primary.

  37. I would say, Boxer has a 40% chance of losing right now. She has survived some pretty tough elections though, she only won by 2% in 1992 and that was only because her opponent was another right wing hypocrite caught attending strip clubs close to the election and was expected to lose in 1998 but won by double digits. My mom, who’s registered Democrat, but is more of the “I don’t vote for the person based on political party” is voting for Meg Whitman and absolutely hates Boxer and will most likely vote for Tom Campbell.

    The way Fiorina or Campbell will have to win is to do what the Democrats did in Ohio in 2006 and what happens in Virginia alot. Run as a ticket, not as individual candidates. Fiorina and Campbell will have to tie themselves to Meg Whitman to minimize ticket splitting. Because in 2006, even though Schwarzenegger was winning almost every county in the state except San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, my home county of San Mateo, Marin, and Alameda, the GOP lost the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Richard Pombo’s seat by narrow margins. If Schwarzenegger and the GOP candidates had ran as a ticket, we might of seen a GOP sweep of Sacramento…well and Tom McClintock would of been lieutenant governor (shutter at the thought).

  38. add into the mix a very old Byrd(in what is now a red state with top-tier Capito rearing to go), Lautenburg(with GOP control of Gov and a decent bench) and both Inouye and Akaka(with still popular Lingle waiting in the wings).

    For various reasons these senators may be forced to resign based on age/health within the next term. Adding in these variables, Majority Leader McConnell dosen’t seem such a far-fethched idea in the near future (although I’m praying someone challanges him for the leadership before we get the majority and he’s thrust into the limelight).

  39. Look at McCain and Bob Bennett. In the past (certainly not now), they have worked with Democrats on big pieces of legislation. The inevitable compromises they’ve made lead to cries of them abandoning their “conservative values” by the grassroots. Richard Burr hasn’t been high profile or worked with Democrats on anything of substance. Thus the grassroots have kind of left him alone. He’s not a big hero of the teabaggers like Jim DeMint, but he doesn’t offend their consciences either.

    The GOP doesn’t have the edge in this state at all, unless you mean an edge as far as the current climate goes. It’s difficult everywhere right now though. The Democrats have a substantial registration edge over the GOP. I still think Burr is in real danger, not because of the strength of Elaine Marshall or Cal Cunningham, but because of general anti-Washington sentiment.

  40. And I agree, this seat is Lean R and we’ll need Madigan to step-in and correct this.  Alexi was chief financing officer and the bank went down due to overextending on mortgage loans.  Even if Alexi can blame it on the economy, any person can figure out that a giant problem like this took years to brew and that Alexi was actually in charge right when all of the terrible decisions to go into sub-prime mortgages began.  Is he at fault, fuck if I no, but no voter is going to investigate if he’s really at fault.  All they will hear are a bunch of buzz words in ads that in combo will probably be the most damaging of any in the cycle.

    This rivals Rob Portman to me, save for Portman wont find himself in this deep of shit until it’s too late.  (Im really going out on a limb here in OH-Sen.  If the Dems have the resources to advertise like they need to, the ads really should win the race all on their own.)

  41. I think Cook is being extremely hasty with his ratings change (I mean really, he calls this race Leans Republican, but still insists on calling Florida Likely Republican given the insanity going on there). I don’t think that this bank thing is good news, but I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as people think.

  42. The shame she must have is probably punishment enough.  Granted, I personally thank her because if she hadnt lost, we could still be debating health care reform.  She saved us months of Democratic infighting between the House and Senate.  She gave us our one option and we begrudgingly had to take it.

  43. was the 60 vote for the Senate healthcare bill, so Nebraska Republicans don’t want him.  He would lose a primary on that vote alone.  Now DC Republicans wanting to rent another vote might be a different story.

  44. Griffith will be forced into a runoff against Mo Brooks, a Madison County Commissioner, after neither gets 50%. Griffith will lose the runoff when Brooks consolidates the anti-Griffith vote, and because he’s an inveterate schmuck, will petulantly decline to endorse Brooks.

    Ultimately, I predict that Brooks, who’s a very mediocre fundraiser and has some baggage from decades as a local politician, will ultimately lose in a nail-biter to either Steve Raby or Taze Shepard. Political consultant Raby’s the better fundraiser and has somewhat better connections, but Shepard has electoral experience (state board of education) and a famous grandfather (ex-Sen. John Sparkman) and can at least partially self-fund. I’d say Shepard’s the better candidate by a hair, but either is capable of defeating Brooks.

  45. How many seats did Dems lose in 2006 and 2008? None. In wave elections, partys don’t lose seats too often. They gain most, and sometimes all, the seats they are competing for.  

  46. Just curious, do you see Alexi dropping out? If stays in I don’t see the race getting any better than tossup for the D’s.  

  47. Mary Landrieu won. If you mean the House, I’m talking about the Senate. And ya’ll lost two in LA 😀

    I know, we rock in LA. We also won one in Texas.  

  48. New Deal and especially the nomination of urban catholic AL SMith in the 1928 election started the sift from the SOuth to the urban cities for Democrats.  

  49. PS- For the mustache enthusiasts out there, every candidate in AL-05 is clean-shaven with the exception of Steve Raby, who boasts what I’d call the “Chuck Todd” but less ginger-y and more brown in hue.  

  50. His ads (and there are lots of them) do 2 things – throw as much dirt as possible at Mollohan, and promise that he’ll disclose his tax returns. He doesn’t talk issues. Though sure, as a general matter he’s basically a right-wing Republican on everything but … well, I can’t think of any exceptions.

  51. as an eminence grise who will appear as such on the Sunday news talk shows and make money as a consultant or lobbyist if he wants to. As GayTeen says, he is quite conservative and nowhere close to a centrist.

  52. did win a statewide Democratic primary. He is also very rich to boot. Also he does have high name recognition, although not the best kind. Their are probably some Dems who won’t vote Quinn who may go over to Cohen. Although most upset with Quinn will vote Green I’d think. Never the less I think he will get around 5 percent.  

  53. In ’97, Gov. George Pataki booted Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey from the GOP ticket. In a bid for revenge, McCaughey switched to the Democratic Party and sought that party’s nod to challenge him in the general. She came in second in the primary (behind Councilman Peter Vallone), but not before the Liberal Party had already endorsed her for its’ line. She garnered 2% in the general, and I suspect Cohen would get about the same.

  54. Nebraska Republicans can do a lot better than Nelson. They could probably get someone who is a better strategist, as well as quite far to the right of Nelson.

  55. wait until 2012 to judge whether or not this was actually a good thing for team blue. I do think it actually progressed HCR, rather than killed it. However I want to see if we win this seat back before I make that call. Although getting something major like HCR is worth a Senate seat or two. Let’s just hope Coakley doesn’t try for anything but AG. Well IDK, maybe dog catcher, but let’s make sure it’s in a good year.  

  56. Well, wasn’t Mr. Delahunt the Norfolk DA? So that worked before as a place to win the 10th from (not that I necessarily think Keating will win).

  57. Chief attack dog against Clinton’s HCR bill (and later of “death panels” fame) Besty McCaughey? She got the Liberal party nomination? Gah, little wonder the party folded.

  58. a young politician who thinks he can knock off a weak incumbent or an older politician who thinks it’s his turn and his last chance?

  59. I dare you to name one Senator, Republican or Democrat, who is as good at getting pork for his state as Ben Nelson.  (Okay, we’ll take Byrd and Inouye out of the running to make things fair.)  Nelson is unparalleled at squeezing billions of dollars out of leaders of both parties in exchange for his vote.  He got some crap for it from Mitch McConnell with the health care bill, but he’s done that many times before, most notoriously demanding and getting $100 billion in Medicare funding in exchange for his vote for the last round of Bush tax cuts.  Bush actually had to raise some taxes to make up for the money he gave away to Nelson.

    If you want an ideological conservative, Nelson’s not your guy.  But if you want the most inspired pork buyer in the Senate, you keep Nelson, whatever party he’s a member of.

  60. It’s one thing if he lost in a primary or withdrew during the primaries, but dropping out after securing your party’s nomination will almost certainly kill any chance he has at elected office in the future.

    Not to mention the fact that regardless of whoever actually would be selected as the nominee, they get to run as the candidate who was selected by those evil insiders (even Madigan would probably get hurt by that one).

  61. It makes no sense for her, even if would be a prohibitive favorite. It is a bad cycle and Kirk would start out w/ a big CoH lead. Why not just wait 6 years and kick Kirk’s butt then? Better yet why not run for governor if that is the position she wants. I’m just saying I don’t think she will get in now if she wasn’t going to do it 9 months ago when the cycle wasn’t looking nearly as bad.  

  62. that until reading the news articles earlier this year covering the passing of Doug Fieger, the lead singer/guitarist/songwriter of The Knack, I hadn’t realized the two of them were related.

  63. They endorsed Jacob Javitz over Elizabeth Holtzman in 1980 and Rudy Giuliani in his two winning mayoral bids; if I’m not mistaken, the candidates needed to be a) pro-choice and b) in favor of increased education spending to garner the party’s nod.

    McCaughey’s ’98 campaign was quite a roller coaster. She actually began the race as the clear favorite, with strong name recognition, a surprisingly high favorability among Dems, and the fundraising capabilities of her wealthy husband. Vallone, however, was the candidate of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Carl McCall, and their support eventually pushed their guy over-the-top. McCaughey did get the support of NOW and several Dem county chairs. If I’m not mistaken, she got about 30% of the vote in the primary.

  64. up until FDR.  And Wilson won because of the divide of the GOP vote between Taft and Roosevelt.  Wilson won with 42% of the vote vs their combined GOP vote of 51%

  65. She’s only 43. The jobs of Gov. and Senator are completely different, and she could’ve had the Senate nomination for the taking. So clearly she’s holding out for Governor when Quinn departs.

    And in the meantime, maybe she enjoys the AG job a lot. She could practically be AG for life. (Sort of like CT’s Blumenthal until Dodd resigned))

  66. I doubt he runs. I read on a Wisconsin site that he will announce this week that he is not running, Johnson will form an exploratory committee and officially enter in May. I don’t see Wall or Leinenkugel posing too much of a threat to Johnson. Wall has income tax issues and Leienkugel worked in Doyle’s administration. Westlake is a non factor.  

  67. Hughes might have won had he known California Governor Hiram Johnson was in the same Long Beach hotel as he was. Hughes might have gone to see Johnson so Johnson wouldn’t feel slighted, as he did when he saw that Hughes had stopped by without stopping to meet him. Hughes lost California and its presidency-clinching 13 electoral votes to Wilson by only 3,000 votes.

  68. I prefer focusing on the electoral side of politics, its more pleasant. Except at Red State where sometimes I really want to do physical damage to Erick Erickson’s head.

  69. I’ve been reading over there though, there is like a mini-rebellion going on over Erick’s support of Stutzman/bashing of Coats. About damn time.  

  70. Besides, he can’t run for re-election as an independent:

    But Utah law forbids Bennett from doing what Lieberman did, even though polls indicate Bennett’s popularity with the general public, as opposed to the small delegate pool voting in the state GOP convention May 8, is still fairly high.

    The reason he can’t do it: The J. Bracken Lee law.

    While Bennett is getting hammered from his party’s far-right wing, which seems to have a hold on a good portion of the convention delegates, his lack of options in trying to retain his seat is the result of one of Utah’s original far-right politicians, who was widely popular, and equally controversial, in his day.

    Utah law bans a candidate from being certified on the ballot as an independent after he already has been certified as a candidate by a political party. So, because Bennett filed for re-election as a Republican, he couldn’t refile as an independent and be put on the ballot, even if he had done so before the filing deadline passed in March.

  71. least Fisher could raise more than mere pennies like Brunner does. But Portman is a beast when it comes to fundraising. I expect him to go nuclear on Fisher very quickly.  

  72. over the course of his career, but he really seems to have the reverse-Midas touch lately, not only failing to get pork for his state but having his attempts crash and burn spectacularly.

  73. If the Liberal Party had nominated Liz Holtzman for Senate in 1980 she probably would have won and then she, rather than Ferraro, would have been the VP nominee in ’84. Who knows what would’ve happened, but I’ll bet she would’ve ripped Bush Sr. a new asshole in their debate.

  74. It’s a good ad – except for the “ship jobs to China” accusation (I’m not a fan of protectionism).

    Initially the scandal did sound somewhat damning. Now, after watching the ad, I’m a bit more inclined to let Mr. Giannoulias explain his side of the story.

  75. Even Al D’Amato admitted his victory in ’80 was solely because of the Javitz run. Of course, I doubt even the strongest VP nominee could’ve bolstered Mondale to victory in ’84.

  76. he’s considered the heir apparent to Byrd’s seat, and is still ridiculously popular. My money is on Capito running for Governor in 2012.

    Also, Lingle wouldn’t win in Hawaii. I have to remind people constantly of this rule: just because you’re a governor of a state with opposite partisan inclinations doesn’t mean you can win federal office there.

  77. All this conjecture adds up to about GOP +20! Seriously, Dems didn’t get everything to fall their way in 2006 (Ford lost, AZ and NV didn’t pan out) or 2008 (GA, KY, ME, MS and people talked up NE, AL, ID, KS and TX at one point).

  78. hasn’t elected a Republican for U.S. Senate in quite a long time. If Lautenberg retires, there’s a very strong Democratic bench, and until we know the identities of the candidates on both sides, most any objective observer would have to rate the prospective contest Lean-D.

  79. Manchin is considered a conservative Democrat, probably – more conservative then Byrd. So, his voting record wouldn’t be that far different from Caputo’s….

  80. The overlap between Norfolk County and MA-10 is Quincy, Weymouth, and Cohasset, the far north end of the district. Delahunt was either from or had long been settled in Quincy. Keating is from Sharon, on the opposite side of the county.

    So yeah, it could work, in theory.

    Especially since the “carpetbagger” thing might sound funny to people in the northern part of the district since he’d be quite a more familiar in those towns (which themselves constitute a good third of the district’s population) than a state legislator from the Cape (either Democrat O’Leary or Republican Perry) would be.  

  81. I’d more expect Jay Rockefeller mixed with Bart Stupak.

    A pro-Labor anti-abortion D, perhaps in the mold of Bob Casey.

    But there’s no certainty about that, and I see very little info from his time in the WV legislature.

  82. but i read some time ago that Manchin was rather pro-business and that his brother was in the leadership of some conservative organization (like Christian Coalition). But it was some time ago, so – sorry, no links. I think – some research here is needed…

  83. He is pro-life, pro-gun, lost Democratic Governor primary to pro-labor Charlotte Pritt in 1996, who painted him as pro-business candidate (in turn – he supported winning Republican candidate Underwood in general), and then usually ran as both “friend of business” and “friend of labor” (how did he managed that?) Frequently supported for election and reelection by business groups. And described as “moderate-conservative” on

  84. Business LOVES him (especially Blankenship and company), and yeah, he’s got a Bart Stupak side on health care issues. He’s mostly popular because he has a famous name and has done virtually nothing controversial (so, not a lot) as governor, while doing some minor popular things (like putting pressure on for a WVU vs. Marshall football game). National Democrats will dislike him. He’s unlikely to face off against Capito as he and Capito are buddies. And if Capito would rather be a senator than governor she can always wait until Jay retires.

  85. http://www.swingstateproject.c…   Top item.  Alexi wasnt going to budge from the race so she didnt get into the race.  Also why she didnt jump into the GOv primary Id assume, didnt want to face a primary, as that is where the numbers showed her most likely losing, IIRC.

    And what I also found back in the archives that I forgot was that Kirk kept us all waiting for forever to announce for Senate because he wanted to see what Madigan would do first.  He wasnt going to run against the most popular politician in the state.

  86. being a very liberal and Jewish town, definitely belongs in the 4th. it goes more with Newton/Brookline than it does with any town in the 10th.

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