SSP Daily Digest: 4/6 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: The Communications Workers of America, a union supporting Bill Halter, is firing back with an ad on black radio to combat Blanche Lincoln’s bullshit spot claiming she “stood with our president to pass healthcare reform.” CWA’s ad is in heavy rotation around the state, running “50 times a day” around Little Rock. They also have a new TV ad out, but no word on the size of the buy.
  • AZ-Sen: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has given its first endorsement of the 2010 cycle to Sen. John McCain – but apparently cash ain’t attached. I guess the CoC, the grand doyenne of “cheap labor conservatives,” doesn’t believe Johnny Mac’s nativist turn is for real. Given what a fraud McCain has shown himself to be from top to bottom, I guess this makes sense.
  • CA-Sen: No, the reason John McCain can’t be found in Arizona isn’t because they took him “to a farm upstate.” He’s out in California, campaigning with Carly Fiorina.
  • IN-Sen: It’s not just that Dan Coats has an unsavory record as a lobbyist – his voting record seems pretty out-of-step with the crazies who make up the modern GOP base. John Hostettler is hitting Coats (albeit in the form of a web video) for things like his votes in favor of the assault weapons ban, the Brady Bill, and the Clinton crime bill – a set of votes tradmed analysts usually like to ascribe many 1994 Dem losses to.
  • UT-Sen: While they haven’t picked a specific horse to back yet, the Club for Growth has nonetheless spent $133K against Sen. Bob Bennett.
  • AZ-Gov: Democrat Terry Goddard has finally made his gubernatorial bid official.
  • AL-02, AL-05: GOP State Sen. Harri Anne Smith, who endorsed Dem Bobby Bright for re-election, has been kicked off her own re-election ballot by the Alabama Republican Party in retaliation. Smith lost the GOP primary in 2008 to Jay Love and apparently is still smarting over that – but this has to sting quite a bit more. Smith hasn’t decided if she’ll run as an independent instead. (Switch! Switch!) Meanwhile, the AL GOP said that turncoat Parker Griffith could stay on the Republican ballot, despite a challenge thanks to his party-switching ways.
  • FL-08: I’ve totally lost track of how many Republicans are trying to challenge Rep. Alan Grayson, so what’s one more? Wealthy businessman Ross Beiling, owner of a medical parts supplier, is throwing his shrimp on the barbie.
  • MI-07: While two Michigan Republicans have endorsed ex-Rep. Tim Walberg in his comeback bid, five others are staying neutral in the primary, which also includes Brian Rooney, younger brother of Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16).
  • NY-05: Dan Halloran, a Republican who won a Dem-held seat on the NYC City Council last year, is weighing a challenge to Rep. Gary Ackerman. Halloran, a practicing Theodist, thinks he can make Ackerman pay a price for voting in favor of healthcare reform. Ackerman, for his part, has $1.1 million on hand and the support of the Queens Independence Party. This district also went 63-36 for Obama (but notably, that’s the same percentage that Kerry got, suggesting there was something of a “conservative white ethnic New Yorkers for McCain” effect here).
  • NY-13: The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 is backing Rep. Mike McMahon, in spite of his vote against healthcare reform, citing his support of the Employee Free Choice Act. Speaking of the CWA again, though, a day ago, its local vice president, Chris Shelton, called McMahon “the Judas from Staten Island.” Personally, I think that phrase is overused, and I’m going to start calling traitors “Brutuses.”
  • Across the Pond: Our friends in the U.K. have scheduled their elections for May 6th. Imagine if we only had one-month campaigns here!
  • 37 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/6 (Morning Edition)”

    1. continues to spend money like no tomorrow. She’s donated ANOTHER $20 million to her campaign.

      We need to give a catchy nickname to Whitman’s money machine. Reid has the “vaporizer” what catchy name should we give Whitman?

    2. I wonder what the Brits do differently w/r/t redistricting. Per 538 –

      That said, I’m no expert on U.K. politics, and if it’s really true that the Conservatives could win a 10-point plurality in the popular vote and still win fewer seats that Labour–and I’ll take Renard and Dan’s word that this is not just an oddity of multiparty voting but also caused in part by districting–then, yes, that sounds like a problem.

      They have “non-partisan” redistricting commissions, and yet Labour still gets more seats if they lose by a plurality of up to 10 points.

      Now how do we get a similar result here?

    3. This may be the only state in the Union where hitting a Republican for supporting things that normally bring Dems down in defeat might actually work.

      Between this, the usual teabagger crusades against establishment candidates, Coats’ epic campaign fail, and the fact that people in general here are really bothered by the carpetbagging, I think Hostettler’s chances of pulling off a primary upset are pretty good. Which is fine, because Ellsworth already beat him once, and can hit him harder than any other Dem we could’ve run, including Bayh. If Host ran a pseudo-populist, anti-big money campaign against Bayh downplaying Host’s kookiness on social issues, he might’ve actually won, or at least made it closer than it should have been despite Bayh’s huge money advantage. He can’t do that against a law and order conservadem who’s only been in Congress four years and voted against the bailout. Also, unlike any other candidate running, if Host makes personal attacks on Ellsworth, it’s automatically interpreted as a vindictive assault on the guy who beat him by 30 points four years ago. If he made the same attacks on Bayh or Hill, people would still say they were outraged, but deep down I think a lot of them would be nodding in agreement.

      Once mainstream Hoosiers figure out that Ellsworth is the kind of guy they like to vote for and Hostettler is an unhinged whackjob, Ellsworth will win easily.

      What kind of completely screwed up year is it when I’m more worried about losing the big-ticket races in California than I am about both competitive Senate seats in red-purple states like Indiana and Arkansas? (Not to mention the competitive Governor’s races in TX, GA, and SC).  

    4. I’ll be very generous and give him a nice fat 10 percent overperformance, and that’s still 46-53.  As long as Ackerman does not act like Coakley, it’ll be hard to lose.

      “Shrimp on the barbie”?  Business card in the restaurant lobby fishbowl?  Ten-dollar bill in the betting pool?  Slip of paper with one’s name in the hat?

    5. Although I wonder if that NYC councilman made the mistake of aligning himself with one of the racist varieties of Theodism.

      Also, wouldn’t calling someone Brutus be a compliment?

      Judas should be subject to his own Godwin’s Law though; it’s basically never appropriate to compare anyone to Judas, if only because it compares your own cause to that of God Himself.  Benedict Arnold is plenty enough a traitor for most purposes, especially political contexts.


      Unfortunately, Bachmann out-raised that with 591k, and this week is her rally with Palin which also has a big-dollar fundraiser at night.  But, Clark’s amount came prior to being the endorsed candidate, so she should even be able to pick up pace.

      It’ll be a good race!  Clark is going to run an appropriately negative campaign, which Tink completely neglected to do.  Same with the DCCC, none went for the jugular.  The attack ads were just, terrible, so stupid and stale.

    7. Can someone please explain this comment?

      This district also went 63-36 for Obama (but notably, that’s the same percentage that Kerry got, suggesting there was something of a “conservative white ethnic New Yorkers for McCain” effect here).

      I gather New York State on average voted for Obama at a higher percentage than we voted for Kerry 4 years earlier? How much higher?

    8. It’s a combination of things, I think — one of the guys who blogs at Lawyers Guns and Money is a UK political scientist and has discussed it. If I remember correctly, it’s:

      1) Scotland. The Tories are basically not a viable party in Scotland, which has a certain number of guaranteed seats in Parliament.

      2) First-past-the-post (the same system we have in the U.S.) tends to cut against the Tories in areas where the Lib Dems are strong; it’s like if the Minnesota Independence Party skewed results in 20 states, but hurt Republicans.  (The LibDems have said they will back either party in a hung Parliament if they get a referendum on voting reform that would abolish FPTP.)

      3) Partisan-blind communities of interest districting tends to pack Tory votes in much the same way that it does Democratic votes in the U.S.

    9. The Conservative Party need about an 11 point victory over the ruling Labour party to take power due to the lack of a two party system. Uk politics is dominated by the big two parties but up to 90 seats out of c500 are from minority parties, mainly the Liberal Democrats and regional parties.

      The Conservatives could beat Labour handily yet still gain only a plurality and not a majority of the seats resulting in a hung parliament. PM Gordon Brown could in this instince form a coalition Government with the Lib Dems and stay in Power. In this instance, the Lib Dems would be King Makers and would likely form part of the next Government, but they have yet to give any asuurances they’d form a Government with either Labour or the Conservatives.

      Polls show the Conservatives have about a 8-10 point lead but British elections are notoriously hard to predict and we won’t know the results until the final ballots have been counted. It’ll be an interesting election.

    10. – What’s different about political population patterns in the UK that leads to that result? Do Labourites rarely move to the shires?

      The Scottish effect sounds like the reverse of the effect of US small states.

      – Why are the Tories not viable in Scotland? Are there no right-wingers in Scotland, or are they part of the SNP? Are there lessons from the Scottish Tory experience that we can bring over to our small states?

    11. If your party is completely non-competitive in one part of the country that should increase your number of seats relative to your votes, since you don’t have “wasted” votes there that fail to win you constituencies.  (This is how Lincoln was able to win majority of the electoral college with 40% of the vote. He got narrow majorities in the North and almost nothing in the South. Even if all his opponents votes had combined he still would have won.)  Factors two and three must be really bad if the Tories are looking at a ten point inherent deficit despite not competing at all in parts of the country.

    12. I think Ellsworth will be pretty much considered the next Senator.  The polling is bad but well, our candidate has really zero negatives while there’s are just riddled.

    13. I didn’t mention the strong pro-labour natural constituency bias. It’s definetly a factor. On a national swing I saw on a news report that if labour get 33% and conservatives 37% labour would win the plurality ( those figures come from a poll released this morning btw)

    14. not get too confident here. Indiana is going to be a fight until the end unfortunately.  

    15. What I would be worried about is if Halloran a lot more attention will be paid to Gary Ackerman’s no money down stock deal (or bribe?) story that the NY Daily News broke back in January:

      That could be what puts Halloran over the top if he decides to run. Half the pols in Queens seem to be in jail or under some kind of investigation. (See Hiram Monserrate, Brian McLaughlin, Seminerio, the Hevesi clan, Malcolm Smith, Rep Gregory Meeks, et al).

      You add Halloran shining light on Ackerman’s free stock for access deal and it could spark a backlash.

      Besides for Halloran it is a free run. He’s not up for re-election until 2013 so he’s got nothing to lose by taking a shot at Ackerman now and trying to make a big deal about his scandal.

    16. kind of confused why exactly Moore decided to retire In order to “give some younger people their chance” only to have his wife run in the end

    17. To be honest I was expecting a LOT worse than this. Alexi’s only getting 54% of Democrats, just got hit by some really bad press, and he’s not even trailing by more than the MoE! This actually makes me feel slightly better that if Alexi can overcome the bank story and shore up Democrats, then I won’t have Senator Kirk next year. :)

    18. One thing that bothers me is that it appears that basically everyone in that poll who opposes HCR wants it repealed…which is troubling since I was under the impression that much of the opposition was from the left, and you wouldn’t think public option supporters would be trying to repeal the bill, but rather pass fixes to it in the future.

    19. Scotland is a left-leaning nation with strong trade union sentiment. Further, historically the Tories have been strongly opposed to both devolution and Scottish independence, which are not popular views in Scotland. (I just looked up the numbers — Scotland’s current representation is 38 Labour MPs, 12 LibDems, 7 members of the SNP, and 1 Conservative.)

    20. I’m pretty sure they still get some votes there. If Conservatives win 15% in Scotland but zero (or, um, 1) seats, that’s still a lot of wasted votes.

    21. She is ten years his junior.  :)

      Honestly, though, Moore obviously thought another local Dem would step up (looking at you, Marinovich) but none did. Seeing that Republicans would take–with no real opposition– the seat that he worked so hard to keep for more than a decade would’ve been a bit of a soul-crusher.  

    22. New York went something like 59-40 Kerry and 63-36 Obama, but most of that improvement was from Upstate.

    23. Obama won the state by 27% and Kerry won it by 18%.  So while 4.5% of the population shifts from GOP to Dem, Ackerman’s districts didnt budge a bit.

    24. Are you surpised Weiner’s heavily Jewish district backslid a bit with Obama (and his alledged anti-Israel bias) on the top of the ticket?

    25. that Jews voted for Obama in a higher percentage than any other ethnic group other than African-Americans.

    26. But it’s still noteworthy that Obama can significantly improve on Kerry statewide yet actually do worse in some areas.

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