SSP Daily Digest: 6/23 (Afternoon Edition)

KY-Sen: The Louisville Courier-Journal has something of a compendium of Rand Paul’s Greatest Hits, selecting the dodgiest bits from his public appearances from the last decade. While the whole thing’s worth a look, the highlight most likely to attract the most attention is his criticisms of the current health care system and how it “keeps patients from negotiating lower prices with their doctors.” Bwack bwack bwack bwack bwack bwack…

LA-Sen: A key David Vitter aide has resigned after his long rap sheet was revealed, perhaps most significantly that he pled guilty in 2008 to charges associated with a “knife-wielding altercation” with an ex-girlfriend, as well as that he’s still wanted on an open warrant in Baton Rouge on DWI charges. Perhaps most disturbingly, this was an aide that Vitter had been assigned to “oversee women’s issues.”

MO-Sen: I’ll bet you’d forgotten that Roy Blunt had a teabagging primary challenger, in the form of state Sen. Roy Purgason (I had). Well, Purgason wants you to know that, despite complete silence from the DeMint/RedState/CfG/FreedomWorks axis, he’s still hanging in there; he just rolled out an endorsement from one of his Senate colleagues, Matt Bartle.

NV-Sen: Well, this doesn’t look good for John Ensign. Staffers, in depositions, have told the Senate Ethics Committee that, yes, they knew that the one-year lobbying ban was being broken when they helped set up former Ensign staffer and cuckolded husband Doug Hampton with a cushy lobbying gig.

NY-Sen-B: After Quinnipiac didn’t even bother polling him this week, Joe DioGuardi (who holds the Conservative ballot line and its trying to petition into the GOP primary) wants you to know he’s still in this thing. He released an internal poll from the ubiquitous POS showing that he’s within 11 points of Kirsten Gillibrand (49-38), and, more plausibly, that he has a big edge in the GOP primary, at 21 against Bruce Blakeman’s 7 and David Malpass at 3.

OR-Sen: Rasmussen has been working hard to convince people that there just might be a competitive race in Oregon for Ron Wyden, against little-known law professor Jim Huffman. Looking to head that off at the pass, Wyden rolled out an internal poll today from Grove Insight that should be a bucket of cold water for the Huffman camp: Wyden leads 53-23.

CA-Gov: I’m not sure how much of this is Politico just, as is its wont, looking for drama where there isn’t much, and how much of this is genuine discontent. But they have an article today about an increasing sense among Dem insiders of wondering when Jerry Brown is going to drop the Zen approach and, if not attack Meg Whitman, at least work on some of the infrastructural aspects of the campaign.

CT-Gov: Ned Lamont got a key labor endorsement, from the state’s largest teachers’ union, the Connecticut Education Association. Lamont and Dan Malloy have split the endorsements from the various trade unions. Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Tom Foley got an endorsement that may help him with that all-important demographic bloc of Massachusetts expatriates; ex-Gov. William Weld gave Foley his backing.

MI-Gov: Peter Hoekstra got an endorsement from his next-door neighbor in the House, outgoing (and considerably more moderate) Rep. Vern Ehlers, who had earlier said he wouldn’t endorse but qualified that by saying “If there is an exceptional candidate that appears to be lagging” he’d endorse. Hoekstra in fact does seem to be lagging, facing a seeming surge from AG Mike Cox in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

MN-Gov: This seems odd; when she pulled the plug on her campaign after the DFL convention, Ramsey Co. DA Susan Gaertner said she didn’t want to get in the way of the historic prospect of a female governor and didn’t want to be a spoiler for Margaret Anderson Kelliher. So what did she do today? She endorsed Matt Entenza in the DFL primary instead.

NM-Gov (pdf): Magellan (a Republican pollster, but one who’ve started releasing a lot of polls where they don’t have a candidate) is out with a poll of the New Mexico governor’s race, and like several other pollsters are finding the Diane Denish/Susana Martinez race to be in tossup territory. They find the Republican Martinez leading Denish 44-43. There’s a huge gender gap here: women support Denish 48-36, while men support Martinez 53-36. One other item from the crosstabs, which either casts some doubt on the findings or else is the key to why Martinez may win this: while Martinez is losing in Albuquerque-based NM-01, she’s actually winning in NM-03 (45-41), the most liberal of the state’s three districts but also the most-heavily Latino.

AL-07: Local African-American organizations (the same ones who threw their backing to Ron Sparks in the gubernatorial primary) seem split on what do to in the runoff in the 7th. The Alabama New South Coalition (who’d backed Earl Hilliard Jr. in the primary) has now endorsed Terri Sewell, while the Alabama Democratic Conference is backing Shelia Smoot.

OH-05: Rep. Bob Latta languishes as one of the GOP’s most obscure back-benchers, but he’s in the news because of two different things that happened at a town hall meeting. First, he went birther-agnostic at the meeting in response to a participant’s questions, only to try to walk that back later when talking to a reporter. And second, he didn’t immediately respond to another participant’s suggestion that the President be “shot in the head.”

OK-02: State Sen. Jim Wilson is challenging Rep. Dan Boren in the Democratic primary in the 2nd; he’s out with an internal poll from Lake Research with a dismal topline (Boren leads 62-17) but with better numbers on the “informed ballot.” The topline numbers aren’t that different from Boren‘s own internal poll released last week. Still, between Boren releasing an internal, airing an anti-Wilson ad, and rolling out an endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it’s clear Boren is taking the threat seriously.

Census: The Census Bureau is out this week with its 2009 population estimates of the nation’s cities, the last estimate it’ll provide before releasing the numbers from the actual 2010 count. Perhaps most notably, they found the population of New York City is up another 45,000 over the last year. NYC’s growth over the last decade accounts for two-thirds of the state’s population growth over the last decade; as we’ve discussed before, this means that in the next round of redistricting (Congressional, but especially legislative) the city is going to continue to gain strength at the expense of dwindling Upstate.

138 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 6/23 (Afternoon Edition)”

  1. Dan Boren trying to capture some of the Dale Peterson magic by wielding a gun at the end of the ad? He should of said that Jim Wilson doesn’t give a rip about Oklahoma!

  2. Is a flaming, lying, scumbag sonofabitch asshole.  I was in school at Bowling Green State University in 2007 during the special election to replace the late Paul Gillmor, and the guy completely lied out his rear about his opponent the entire race.  His smear campaign was found to be just that, a smear by the Ohio Attorney General’s office.  Unfortunately, he just barely snuck by in the primary race, and then in the general election, despite losing his own home county (Wood County), he still defeated Democrat Robin Weirauch, who in a sane district would have run away with the race.

    Basically in the general election, Weirauch was cast off by Latta in his television ads as “the dreaded liberal”.  Every single one of his ads ended with the same line! “Oppose liberal Weirauch, Bob Latta, the conservative candidate for Congress”.  Apparently that’s a winning message still in OH-5 even though Obama moved the needle here quite a bit in 2008.  I remember the DCCC getting involved in the race in the late going and that told me that national democrats thought they had a great shot at a pickup.  It was an extremely dissapointing result, and quite frankly, much of rural northwest Ohio is struggling today while representative Latta sits on his hands as a backbencher.  He’s done nothing, and provides horrible constituent services.  

    It makes me happy to be rid of him, and be back safe within the confines of Betty Sutton’s OH-13.  Even if Tom Ganley somehow beats her in November, at least he would be upstanding and conscientious representative even though I would disagree with his politics.

  3. Sean Tevis formally kicked off his campaign with a speech on the steps of the Capitol building in Topeka. There’s a decent article and some good video on Kansas Watchdog. There’s also video with some press Q&A’s, too.

    I couldn’t watch the whole thing (work, ugh, always getting in the way)–but from what I did watch, he’s not the most polished public speaker, but he’s reasonably charismatic and comes across as a completely normal, everyday guy (especially in the Q&A’s).  

  4. Branstad will tour the state with his lt. gov pick tomorrow. Conflicting leaks say it’s going to be either former State Senator Jeff Lamberti or current State Senator Kim Reynolds. Lamberti is fairly well known in central Iowa after running for Congress against Boswell in IA-03 in 2006. Very few people have heard of Reynolds. A few weeks ago I might not have recognized her name as a current member of the Iowa Senate (she’s halfway through her first term and hasn’t done anything notable).

    Culver has a new negative ad up on Branstad.

  5. Surprisingly, NM-03 (which is D+7) is actually the least Latino district in the state, at 36 %.  NM-01 is 43% Latino and the most conservative district, NM-02, is actually the most Latino at 47%.

    NM-03 is nearly 20% Native American, however, and has a lot of white liberals in the Santa Fe area.

  6. They have Obama job approval upside down for the first time, 45-48.  And GOP leads generic ballot 45-43.

    Gallup daily track today has Obama upside down again at 45-46.

    I’m noticing in recent weeks that Obama is much more consistently sub-50, and upside down in more polls than anytime in the past.  There’s a real trend here.

    I have no doubt it’s the oil spill.

    And I don’t know how we turn this around.  The BP escrow and GOP reaction helped a little, but the messaging needs to get a lot better.

    Obama has governed well under exceptionally tough circumstances.  But he’s not getting credit for that.

    Time is running out.

  7. This can’t be happening

    Obama approvals:

    NBC/Wall Street Journal- 45%

    Gallup- 45%

    RASMUSSEN- 48%

    Wow, Scotty actually produced a believable poll. He has Obama better than Gallup. Wow.  

  8. http://voices.washingtonpost.c

    Here’s a cool breakdown in WaPo about the popularity of HCR amongst different age demographics. Basically, every group besides seniors are favorable to the bill, but seniors really hate it. How can we fix this? Hmmmm…..

  9. I just found out I used to live a few blocks away from him. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t live there anymore though.  

  10.   If Rand Paul did get elected, and he could be, his mouth would keep his colleagues  wincing.  Some might even have to hide under their desks now and then as his more crazy sophistries.  Viewed in that light his election would not be a total loss.  

  11. He;s the only, ONLY, House democrat I’m ok with primarying form the left at the expense of the seat in the general.

    If any of you are wondering why, just watch the ad and it should tell you all you need to know.

  12. Seeing that ad, if I didn’t know any better, I would think he was a Republican Congressman getting teabagged from the right.

  13. Because we failed to recruit a strong candidate. Wilson would win a general election b/c of the weak Republican field, which includes at least one birther.  

  14. Boren should really just go off and run for Governor because his voting record prepares him for a statewide race.  He is the only Democrat who should be primaried from the left.  

  15. If OK-02 is not more than 68% registered Dems then Wilson can win the primary if he gets everyone who voted for Obama.

  16. Republicans still have virtually no bench in that part of Oklahoma.  The one time they won that seat was with Tom Coburn, who at the time was just “some dude.”

    Of course, this also explains why Boren is running to the right in the primary… since the Democratic primary is the only election that matters in local races in that part of Oklahoma and a lot of people who normally vote Republican are still registered Democrats, Boren doesn’t have a whole lot to fear from a challenge from the left.

  17. Most prominently Sen. Randy Brogdon, who is going to lose the GOP primary for gov. The NRCC missed the boat not getting him into the race.  

  18. The days of semi-reasonable Republicans (Chris Shays, Jim Leach, etc.) are long gone. As bad as Boren is, he is far better than any of today’s Rethugs.

  19. When you got a trillion dollars to spend, there is never a moment too soon to spend on ads.

  20. I was looking at Wikpedia and it looked like it was in the 2nd. Maybe he represents part of the district?  

  21. But, yeah, none of Tulsa County is in the 2nd, but I think part of his Senate district may overlap with the 2nd district.  By my count, there are no Republican state Senators who live in the 2nd, though a couple of them represent part of it.

  22. watch her spend another 20 million dollars of her money on a preemptive attack ad campaign and then see if it has any affect. Surely she has to stop spending money sometime, or is she seriously unconcerned with the financial loss of some 150 million dollars? At what point does her self-spending turn into a media-theme that hurts her campaign? I mean you can’t pour 100 million dollars out into a campaign during a recession and expect voters to be sympathetic to you.  

  23. He might not be an ideal candidate but he’d be better than anyone in right now. He ran for mayor of Muskogee this year, but lost to the 21 yr old incumbent. He lost with only 29% though, but he came in 2nd place.  

  24. the district has the largest population deficit of Ohio’s districts already and people and companies are leaving it.  The unemployment rate is a horror and Latta isn’t liked much by his colleagues or Party.

    I pretty sure he’s going to get redistricted out.  

  25. was name recognition. His father Del Latta (Gillmor’s predecessor) had occupied the seat for 15 terms (1959-1989).

  26. Maybe CA is so big that $100 doesnt get to the point where saturation is so high that it turns people off.  And has it ever even been proven that over-saturation can have the opposite desired affect?

  27. The 1-minute attack ad on Brown isn’t bad at all.  It’s long, but it keeps a viewer’s attention.  I can see it working.

    Can Brown run a modern campaign up to today’s requirements?  I don’t know.  He didn’t have to do anything in the primary.

  28. But look at how much McClintock got attacked for living outside the district, and how narrowly he won.  In a less GOP-friendly district, a carpetbagger like McClintock would have lost.

  29. NM-02 is a lot more like Texas as a whole in that the Hispanics there are a lot more likely to be recent immigrants than in the northern part of the state (there’s a bit of a mix of that in the Albuquerque area).

  30. They use a likely voter screen, just not a super-rigorous one, but their sample voted for McCain by a point when Obama won by 10, so that’s plenty reasonable a turnout model.

  31. Thanks for the explanation, “recent immigrants” explains why those other two districts aren’t safe Democratic now.  Assuming those folks stay, and citizenship and voting registration follows, in another decade or two the state will be safe Democratic.  That assumes Republicans don’t reverse course fast in their ideology and their embrace of many millions of racist and xenophobic party faithful, but there’s sure no sign of their making that needed correction.

  32. And while NM-03 may have the lowest percentage of Latinos in the overall population, I would be willing to bet that it has the highest percentage among the voting-age population.  Northern New Mexico has a lot of Hispanics who have been living there since around the 1600s.

  33. Namely, run a barrage of negative advertisements that only increased  her own unfavorable ratings. She ran an ad accusing Brown of rape  for gods sakes!  

  34. wish we had a limit on how much you can spend for your own campaign. It is disgusting to me that you can essentially buy an election. Disgusting.  

  35. The more she attacks, the more people hate her for invading their Tvs.

    The best thing Brown can do is not answer attack ads.  Meg knows she is in a desperate situation because attack ads won’t work and neither will positive ads.

    Her only hope is Brown attacks her in a way that brings him down to her unpopular level (which Poizner did).

  36. Whitman would have to go dark until mid-October to “make the same mistake” as Coakley.

    If anything, my fear is that Brown, not Whitman, mimics Coakley.  He needs to step it up and get control of his public image before Whitman shreds it.

  37. know but I thought he was a leading candidate for LG. That was what I was referring to.  

  38. know but I thought he was a leading candidate for LG. That was what I was referring to.  

  39. Being from the Tulsa area, even if he actually did live in the district, would probably hurt him.  It would be similar to the MS-01 election(s) in 2008, when the Republican nominee was from the Memphis suburbs and that turned out to be a severe handicap in the rural parts of the district.  It’s probably no coincidence that the one Republican who’s won in that district, Coburn, was from Muskogee.

  40. It’s not just the oil spill, which (fair or not) is being blamed on Obama.  This is about the point in Obama’s Presidency that a lot of people are starting to blame him for not having fixed all the problems left over from the Bush administration (Iraq/Afghanistan, the economy, etc.)

  41. the oil spill. For some reason people seem to think he is not doing something he could be. Do they want him to take Biden over there with bendy straws or something? It goes with the job though, people expect action even when all you can possibly do is not enough. I think once the spill is under control you will see his ratings improve. Let’s hope so at least.  

  42. I think the administration is dying from a thousand paper cuts with some oil thrown in them.  HCR, the economy, the national debt and foreign policy are all hurting Obama in differing ways and would be without the spill.  The spill is something that adds to a general sense of malaise in the country.

    Actually I feel sorry for Bush and Obama as the public expects the President to do everything, but it is painfully clear that the President and the government at all levels cannot do everything.  

  43. was a Democratic stronghold for some reason.

    Still the guy seems like a sane and reasonable Republican at that; he raised the sales tax, put more cops on the street, and suggested people read 1984 and Shakespeare.  

  44. …at the earliest… pretty much too late to make a comeback for our downballot congresscritters.

    I got very depressed reading that, too… We need some real good news real quick…

  45. changes its partisan split.

    The Democrats/Democrat leaners have led Republican/Republican leaners by around 8-10 all year, including the most recent poll.

    I’m stunned that Obama is struggling in a poll with that type of sample.

    I’d like to see the difference when it goes to registered voters, rather than adults or if the Hart and McInturff change it on their own.

    My sense is that the split is way too favorable to Obama and the Democrats if you believe that we’re back to 2004 in terms of party identification and how indies lean (that’s my opinion).  I could be wrong though and the split may just be that favorable to the Democrats and Barack Obama.

  46. definitely deserve the lion’s share of the blame. But part of the blame arguably should be shared by President Obama because his Administration approved BP’s laughable application to drill the Deepwater Horizon, and he called for more deep water exploration and said that it’s safe within 2 weeks before the shit hit the fan.

  47. Rasmussen has had some interesting numbers if you look at their statewide approval ratings for Obama and other Democrats.

    Rendell and Obama performed better in the latest Rasmussen polls compared to the PPP poll taking last weekend.  PPP has Rendell in the mid-30s and Obama in the low 40s in Pennsylvania while Rasmussen has them in the mid-40s.

  48. are attacking Whitman on the air, and I heard a pro-Jerry Brown radio ad on Sunday, so I know Whitman won’t have the airwaves to herself like Scott Brown did up until the week before the election. That’s what killed Poizner, they waited until Whitman began attacking him to go on the air. Its hard to leave a positive impression on the voters when they already have a negative impression about you. At least Whitman isn’t doing those annoying 15 second attack ads you see 3 times in one commercial break.

  49. one of which was going dark for the fall. Still, I would contend that she still would have won ( albeit by a small margin) if she didn’t air those awful negative ads that nobody believed and only made people (including me)  more sympathetic to Brown

  50. Brown’s minimum floor is probably around 47%, but if he runs a lifeless campaign, Whitman could surely break 50%. I’ll be shocked if Whitman doesn’t attempt to paint herself as the outsider and Brown as the career politician – as long as he performs a solid counter-attack, he oughta prevail. Unfortunately, I do worry Brown may not have it in him to run the exciting campaign that’s necessary…

  51. Actually, if the U.S. team goes far, that could provide a bigger boost of optimism nationwide…  America likes winners!

  52. He contrasts supporting a French-style health care system with protecting Medicare? Both systems are single-payer, you lying asshole! He is spreading damaging Republican talking point bullshit. Therefore, he is deliberately damaging his own party.

  53. Something is telling me he regrets it. I would hope so at least. Although at the time off shore oil drilling was hugely popular and it looked like a politically smart move.  

  54. I do not think so. They are usually right on line with Gallup and I see no evidence to distrust them or there methods. Also surprisingly these are basically the same as Rasmussen.    

  55. If the Republicans don’t hold the trifecta (ie: if they don’t win the Ohio House AND the governorship) in 2010, then I think considering the population situation in northwestern Ohio, Latta is history.  They’ll probably throw him into the same district as Marcy Kaptur.  That wouldn’t be hard seeing as Latta is from Bowling Green and Kaptur is from Toledo.  

    Alternatively, Latta could be thrown in with Jim Jordan, although Jordan is from further downstate in Bellefontaine, so I’m not sure how that would work.  FWIW, in my compromise redistricting diary I had Kaptur/Latta getting combined together in one DvR battle, the other contraction put Steve LaTourette and Tim Ryan in the same district in the northeast.

  56. It will not be like the 2008 electorate.  The 2008 electorate was a fluke that may never be replicated again.  This actually could be said about Pennsylvania from election cycle to election cycle.  If the 2004 electorate showed up in 2006, the Republicans might have only lost 1 seat, but ended up losing 4 because of the electorate that showed up.

    Really the worst case scenario has never been seen before, but could plausibly happen.  Imagine if the Republicans took at least 2 of the 4 suburban counties and ran well out west with weak turnout in Philadelphia.  The closest we have seen this in recent years was the 2008 Attorney General race.  If you had midterm election turnout patterns, Corbett probably would have won by double digits.

    In reality, I think the map we will see for the Governor’s race will resemble the 2000 US Senate map, which was the last time we had two candidates from western Pennsylvania running against each other.  Pre-insanity Santorum cleaned house in the eastern part of the state with the exception of Philadelphia County and Klink held metro Pittsburgh.  Corbett is far more moderate than Santorum ever was so his voter appeal could be stronger in the southeast as shown in the AG’s race last cycle.

  57. What a waste.  Talk about someone having the right skill set, but not being able to use them in an ethical or legal manner.  It is sad for Detroit.

  58. an astronaut, a firefighter, or a zoologist instead of a politician.  Fool threw his life away so he could be an elected official, waste of a life.

  59. Seniors vote early and often (not in the same race, but they vote in every race).

    Obama honestly should have given them the middle finger politically speaking seeing they would have hated the bill regardless.

  60. …all the cuts in spending came from Medicare, and the very popular Medicare advantage program was gutted as well.  That IMAC thing was the icing on the cake.

    A $250 check this month isn’t going to alleviate that…

  61. First off, it was a precapitulation to the right… You think they would have learned by now that you don’t give them anything until the end.

    Worse, it made Obama untrue to himself, and now he’s paying a horrible price for it… Huge mistake… very Rahmlike, which is why that advice should have been ignored, since everything Rahm touches turns to garbage.

  62. Granted, Albuquerque just elected a conservative Republican mayor who decided to start scapegoating Hispanics, but that had a lot more to do with local politics (a combination of Albuquerque’s insane non-partisan election, stupid runoff rules, and the fact that Marty Chavez tried to pull a Bloomberg but wasn’t nearly as popular nor had as much money basically gave the Republicans what they needed to win), but the area has become steadily more Democratic as time has passed (this is based largely on the Hispanic population as well as the college vote at the University of New Mexico).

    NM-02 is a whole other ballgame though, it’s a lot more conservative than the rest of the state, and frankly, it’s the reason why the Republicans have been reasonably competitive in the past (I was pretty shocked that Obama won 49% of the vote in the district, in fact).

  63. Taking 10 hours to respond to an attack ad is forever these days. It is not a good sign that he is running a modern campaign.  

  64. I wonder how many of them were actually scared into believing the whole death panel crap.    

  65. With two being a Dem and a GOPer from the state house and senate, regardless.  Then Gov, SoS, and Auditor are the other three that vary depending on elections.

    Only someone who reads SSP three times a day knows that off of the top of their head!

  66. a ton. I was surprised when PG&E was trying to sell their power grab (Prop 16) they didn’t try to say that public power would pull the plug on granny and nursing homes.

  67. A lot of what will turn these border states blue in the future wont be future immigration, because much of it is illegal and they can’t vote.  It’ll be from the children born that are born who get automatic citizenship.

    This seems like a project for 538 and that’s taking estimates of illegal immigration, birth rates, number of voters added, and when that’ll equal NM a solid blue state, TX a swing state, AZ lean blue, etc.

  68. On the House floor Paul Broun said that climate change legislation would force grandma to turn off the AC and die from hyperthermia.

  69. Bush is the one who set Obama up for all of this shit.  As my one poli sci prof was telling my class leading up to the 2008 election, “who on earth would want to be president at a time like this?”  In all reality, we could have elected any single one of the candidates for president, GOP or Dem, and each one of them wouldn’t have done any better.

    George Bush is like herpes.

  70. this President has let the opposition frame the argument for him. Karl Rove would of never let that happen with Dubya.  

  71. And does a terrible job at balancing being thoughtful and exploratory vs being indecisive and slow.

  72. …most of his candidates lost… Had we followed his strategy of only contesting 18 seats the GOP would have still controlled congress.  His strategy was NOT to run against the war, if one can believe that!  He spent $3 million on Tammy Duckworth, a vet who lost limbs in Iraq, yet Rahm said don’t speak bad about the war.  Surprise, surprise, she got crushed…  The few guys that Rahm recruited who did win have been the most recalcitrant bluedogs in the congress and a torpedo against the Dem agenda.

    We won in 2006 in spite of Rahm not because of him. It was all Howard Dean and the 50 state strategy that got us the big wins we needd. (which Rahm opposed VEHEMENTLY).  Rahm’s been more lucky then good.  His idea of having Democrats voting like Republicans has been a disaster from day one.

  73. Not to pry but please do not tell me you ever supported him in any of his political pursuits.  

  74. I was only 16 last time he ran in 1999. And no, I wouldn’t have. Some family members did though, only because they knew him personally and said he was a very nice man.  

  75. …sitting on a 2-hour plane ride next to a black man or a rabbi and make friendly small talk and smile and laugh together, the same as anyone would.  All this while holding firm his convictions of white supremacy and and Jewish conspiracy.

    I recall learning that in 1930s Germany, there were Germans who had good friends who were Jewish, who they knew personally and liked, and still eventually turned against them while growing increasingly attracted to Hitler and the Nazis.

    Ideology can be seductive.

  76. While camping this past weekend with the family, my parents attacked Obama for not doing enough for the oil spill and my grandparents and I really didnt have much to say to defend that.  I personally believe he’ doing everything he can, but he isnt proving that to anyone because he’s doing the work and not the marketing of the work.

    But in all reality, if I were Obama and thinking from a political standpoint, Id be doing as little as I could politically and executively as well; why tie yourself to a catastrophe you didnt cause and have little chance of being able to solve before the culprits manage to?  Imagine if the US government were the ones proposing using garbage to plug the hole or to lower a “top-hat”.  (And the whole thing really speaks to the anti-intellectualism/ignorance of humans; “it cant be that hard to plug a hole!”  Um, yeah, it can be and it may take ridiculous sounding ideas to do it.)

  77. Obama himself views his obligation as governing itself, the substance of it.

    So he needs his senior advisors to fill in the blanks, which in Obama’s case involve messaging to the public.  Axelrod and Gibbs and others need to coordinate better from the start, on everything, on a credible narrative for every major news event or legislative or executive initiative.  They’re not total failures at this, they’ve done a good job at times, but by nature those instances go unnoticed because everything goes smoothly.  It’s when communication strategy fails that everyone notices.

  78. the 5-member panel only does redistricting of the state legislature. Congressional redistricting is done in the traditional legislature/governor method.

  79. That panel only draws state legislative districts. Federal redistricting is done the usual way.

  80. Obama won PA by 10. If you believe that a “random sample” would have Ds winning by 10, then it suggests that you believe that the PA electorate in 2010 would be the same as the PA electorate in 2008.

  81. There have been 3 distinct attack ads on TV against her and 2 different attack mailers in Nevada, in addition to conspicuously bad press for her on local TV news in both Vegas and Reno.

    And Angle remains silent.

    I’ll be curious to see what non-Rasmussen polling has to say about the state of the race come July.  There’s always the possibility even Rasmussen won’t be able to contrive a poll that fails to show movement in Reid’s favor.

  82. You buy the election with your own money, that’s arguably less bad than taking many millions from rich people who are looking to buy access and will put the heat on you if they don’t get it.

    Elections are expensive, I don’t think there’s any way around it.  It’s just the reality of the electronic age.

    There can be the occasional bad result, maybe even really bad result, for the public good from these rich self-funders, but so far I can’t think of a single instance where a richie “bought” a seat and did a district, state, or the nation harm.  Sharron Angle has no money of her own but would do her state and America far more harm than Whitman, Fiorina, Rick Scott, or Jeff Greene.

  83. Election to election, different people vote.  Some of that is normal turnover from old people dying and young people voting for the first time.  But much more of it is that tens of millions of voters are interested in voting only when the Presidency is on the ballot, and won’t show up otherwise.  And the political reality in America is that those people are disproportionately Democratic voters.

    So in a midterm, the electorate is normally more Republican than in a Presidential election.

    And in this midterm, Republicans are expected to vote in higher numbers than is normal even for a midterm.  That is because they hate Obama and Democrats have supermajorities in both chambers of Congress, and our party favors policies that Republicans hate.

    So the Pennsylvania electorate that actually shows up to vote this November is not going to have the same composition as that which showed up in November 2008.

    Now, it’s possible the electorate will be more Democratic than the PPP poll showed.  After all, going from Obama+10 to McCain+1, an 11-point swing, is pretty dramatic.  It would be no surprise if the swing is less than that this November.  But it will certainly be less than Obama+10.  

    Think of it this way:  PPP’s model is, in my view, our worst case for turnout, at least using the Obama-McCain measure.  And still Sestak is tied and Onorato, who is still merely Some Dude to most voters, is down just 10.  That’s not so bad.

  84. Only at SSP would that name mean anything, and even here among campaign junkies I can only hope that “Terry Nelson” is a recognized figure.  He’s one of the Repubs’ top-level campaign pros, “top-level” as in Presidential campaign-level.

    I was Class of ’86 in Marshalltown, Terry a year or two behind me.  His wife, Marci, was in my class and I knew her better than Terry; Terry was a mere passing acquaintance.

  85. I’m not against people self funding their campaigns. I’m a fan of Mark Warner because of how he turned around Virginia, he self funded his governor’s campaign. But what Whitman is doing is horrible, she’s over saturating the radio and airwaves with her ads, and most of her ads are attacking her opponent. You would rarely see a positive ad from her on TV. She’s using a hummer to crush ants on the road to put it bluntly.

  86. You can easily “buy an election” with cooperate money as well. I might be naïve but I think we need much better campaign finance reform, but with the supreme courts ruling it is never going to happen.

  87. She has to win votes to get elected.  Millions of ’em.

    I understand her campaign looks incredibly unseemly, I don’t argue with that.

    But she’s just doing with her own money, and lots more of it than others have, what all candidates do anyway, with less money that’s donated mostly by other people.

    Ultimately the voters judge whether Whitman is “oversaturating.”

    I do think general election voters are less elastic and more resistant to campaigns than primary voters.  There’s not as much to distinguish candidates in a primary, and the voters are largely like-minded partisans, so people like Whitman and Fiorina and Rick Scott can more easily “buy” their nominations.  But a polarized and more skeptical general electorate is always a much tougher nut to crack.

    Remember that Michael Huffington tried this in 1994, under a similarly anti-Democratic national environment, and still he couldn’t beat Feinstein.

  88. California has always been notoriously slow to count all of their absentee ballots. In fact, they frequently stop counting them if the election result is not contested, or at least they used to do that.

  89. I would be shocked if a 48-47 McCain electorate turned out.  I operate off the assumption that PPP’s poll really equates to 52-48 Obama seeing I doubt the undecideds really did not vote in 2008.  I think a more reasonable calculation would be the 2000 and 2004 races.  

    It is plausible that Corbett could win by double digits and Sestak wins too.  PA-7 did go for Corbett by almost 10 points last time while Sestak cruised to reelection for example.  

  90. There is always voter turnover, and people will vote this fall who didn’t vote in 2008.  They either were not yet 18 or not registered to vote or otherwise just didn’t vote, but they’re registered and will vote this time.

    But excluding those people I think a 52-48 Obama electorate in a 2-way comparison is a reasonable guess for a 2010 turnout model.

    And I’ve been thinking all along that Sestak/Corbett is the most likely of outcomes.  If Specter had won the primary, I bet Toomey would beat him this fall, but I think Sestak if he runs a competent campaign will be able to harness the state’s natural Democratic lean toward a narrow win.

  91. And it’s not hard to paint any attempts at something to correct this to be “anti-free speech” much like HCR is a “government takeover of healthcare”.  I can just envision the polling, “Do you support Campaign Finance Reform?” “Nope”  “Do you support limiting the amount of money corporations can spend on campaigns?” “Well yeah.”  “Do you support regulating more heavily political action campaigns and make their fundraising more transparent?” “Of course.”  Etc.

  92. Sestak can win, but he has to run a competent campaign.  He has ran against largely wounded and incompetent campaigns in the past.  Toomey seems to have a far more competent machine compared to Specter or Weldon.

  93. Corbett is substantially ahead of Onorato in the latest filings released last week.  Corbett seems to be getting some money from the types that supported Rendell in 2002 and 2006.

  94. It has probably been one of the biggest surprises of the season. I was very worried about him, but he has run a great campaign so far and raised a ton of money. Hopefully he can get that burn rate down though. It will be a very close race. They are both very good candidates who have run great campaigns.  

  95. We must take into account he was a republican one year before the primary and still he win so high support. Is not easy fight against your own past when you have 80 years old.

  96. I know what T Corbett is fundraising faster last quarters and now I know not who lead in the total fundraising since the race start.

    Surely D Onorato get affected by the need of money for the senate race (Sestak vs Specter, Sestak vs Toomey) in his fundraising, but I mean he is not a some dude. Maybe Onorato was not the top frontrunner what the democrats from Pennsylvania can find for the race, but is a decent-good candidate what win so strong in the primaries.

  97. you would think that a majority of Americans would predict a US victory since, after all, we are the last, best hope of mankind.

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