SSP Daily Digest: 1/31

AZ-Sen: Could we actually see a retirement from the GOP’s #2, Jon Kyl? Seems hard to believe, but there seems to be increasing chatter about it, at least to the extent that it’s now a “real possibility.” Local sources refer to his fundraising as being in a “holding pattern.” Kyl promises a February deadline for deciding whether or not to run again.

FL-Sen: He doesn’t have the name rec of ex-Sen. George LeMieux or Rep. Connie Mack IV, but don’t discount former state House majority leader Adam Hasner as a potential force in the GOP Senate primary. While he’s little-known, insiders point to him having the best-built network for fundraising and activist mobilization among the GOPers. (Also worth noting: his wife just finished running Meg Whitman’s campaign. Although I don’t know if, at this point, that’s a plus or a minus.)

IN-Sen: Seemingly having learned from the 2010 Republican Senate primary, where two candidates split the hard-right vote and let warmed-over establishmentarian Dan Coats stroll to the nomination, Indiana tea partiers seem to be trying to coordinate their efforts better this time in order to beat Richard Lugar. 180 leaders met to summon three potential candidates (the already-oft-mentioned state Sen. Mike Delph and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, but also 2010 IN-02 loser Jackie Walorski) to appear before them so they can unify behind one of them. (The article’s worth reading too for some provocative pushback from Lugar’s camp, including some thoughtful mention from them of the Latino vote, a growing demographic even in Indiana.) Meanwhile, faced with redistricting-related uncertainty in his House district, Rep. Joe Donnelly is continuing to “look at his political options” regarding a statewide run (where, theoretically, a Senate run could be more appealing, if odds are starting to look like the Gov. opponent will be Mike Pence and the Sen. opponent will be a little-known teabagger).

MA-Sen: Cat fud doesn’t get any better than this: the National Republican Trust PAC, which spent $95K on IEs to get Scott Brown elected in 2010, is now vowing to defeat Brown in the next Republican primary in order to “protect its brand.” The last straw for them? START, of all things. While I can’t see such a primary likely to succeed (especially since these guys seem like kind of small-ball players… I mean, $95K?), the prospect of angry right-wingers staying home in November makes the general election that much more interesting. Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Capuano, who lost the special election Dem primary, still sounds like the Dem likeliest to make the race, although he’s now saying he won’t have a formal decision until summer. Another potential candidate, Rep. Stephen Lynch, is out with some comments that somehow don’t seem likely to endear him any more to the party’s base, saying that liberal activists should steer clear of primary challenges in 2012 (Lynch, of course, was recipient of one of those challenges). He stopped short of saying that they should steer clear of primary challenges to him in the Senate race, though, so that doesn’t give much insight into his 2012 plans.

MI-Sen: With Peter Hoekstra having made some vague noises about being interested in the Senate race last week, now it’s Terry Lynn Land’s turn. The former Republican SoS says she’s “considering it,” but interestingly, plans to meet with Hoekstra next week before making a decision.

TX-Sen: This isn’t much of a surprise, but west Texas’s three interchangeable Republican House members (Mike Conaway, Randy Neugebauer, and Mac Thornberry) announced en masse that they weren’t interested in running for the Senate seat. Makes sense… why give up the safest job in the nation (GOP House backbencher in a district that’s R+25 or more) for the chance to get flattened in a primary by David Dewhurst and/or a teabagger to be named later?

VT-Sen: Republican State Auditor Tom Salmon seems to have an amazing new quantitative scheme for gauging his interest in running for Senate: currently he says he’s “65 percent in,” and that “when I hit 75 percent it will commence exploratory.” He also lets Politico know (I’m not making this up) that he “needs to be an authentic self-utilizing power along the lines of excellence.” I guess he switched from being a Democrat to a Republican last year because he felt more welcome in the GOP, given their long-standing tolerance of Sarah Palin’s gift for word salad.

WI-Sen: This seems like a pretty good indicator that long-time Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl, who prefers to write his own checks rather than work the fundraising circuit, is planning another run in 2012 rather than retirement. He just loaned $1 million into his campaign account in the fourth quarter of 2011.

WV-Gov: PPP is out with the primary election portions of its gubernatorial poll from last week. On the Dem side, there are two clear favorites but they’re neck and neck: acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (at 25) and SoS Natalie Tennant (at 24). Further behind are state Treasurer John Perdue at 16, state Sen. Jeff Kessler at 7, state House speaker Rick Thompson at 6, and state Sen. Brooks McCabe at 4. On the GOP side, if Shelley Moore Capito does show up (which she says she won’t), she’s a shoo-in, at 72, with ex-SoS Betty Ireland at 10, state Sen. Clark Barnes at 5, Putnam Co. Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia at 1, and state GOP chair Mike Stuart at 1. They also try a Capito-free version, in which Ireland becomes the heavy fave at 46, with Barnes at 11, Sorsaia at 9, and Stuart at 4. There’s also word of one more GOPer who isn’t interesting: former astronaut and 1996 gubernatorial candidate (who lost the ’96 primary to Cecil Underwood) Jon McBride says he won’t run this time.

IN-01, MI-14: Two Democratic old-timers who may be faced with less favorable districts after redistricting (or at least dark-blue districts that contain a lot of new territory) and have some ethical problems hanging overhead both announced that they’re running for re-election. Peter Visclosky and John Conyers both are looking to get an early start on their races.

WA-08: Here’s a new House filing from a fairly prominent local Democrat to go against perennial target Dave Reichert: state Rep. Roger Goodman has set up a committee to run in the 8th. This requires some reading between the lines, though, because a Goodman/Reichert matchup is highly unlikely in the end; Goodman just needs a federal committee set up for, well, somewhere. Goodman lives in Kirkland, which is about a mile to the north of the 8th’s boundaries; he actually lives in WA-01, where he probably doesn’t want to look like he’s mounting a primary challenge to Jay Inslee, although it’s widely-assumed that Inslee will be vacating the 1st to run for Governor in 2012. That doesn’t mean that Goodman running in the 1st is a done deal, either; under the likeliest redistricting scenario, Kirkland is likely to be part of a new Dem-friendly district that’s based on the true Eastside (whether it’s the 8th or 10th remains to be seen), with Reichert, who’s based down in Auburn, getting his own friendlier district based in SE King County and eastern Pierce County. So, I’d say, it’s likelier than not that we’ll see both Reichert and Goodman in the House in 2013; the main question is the district numbers.

DCCC: Here’s something we like to see; not only is the DCCC is getting an early start on offense this year, seeding the ground to try to get some early momentum going against the most vulnerable House GOPers, but they’re explicitly doing some progressive framing here, highlighting the links between infrastructure spending and job growth. They’re running radio ads in 19 districts, most of which aren’t a surprise by virtue of their swinginess: targets include Lou Barletta, Charlie Bass, Ann Marie Buerkle, Steve Chabot, Chip Cravaack, Bob Dold!, Sean Duffy, Blake Farenthold, Mike Fitzpatrick, Nan Hayworth, Joe Heck, Robert Hurt, Patrick Meehan, Dave Reichert, David Rivera, Jon Runyan, Joe Walsh, and Allen West. The wild card? Thad McCotter, whose continued presence in the House seems to have more to do with his ability to not draw tough opponents than it does with a connection to his district.

Redistricting: The Fix has an interesting look at Virginia redistricting, where the Dem control of the state Senate probably means an 8-3 compromise map protecting current incumbents. There’s one wrinkle, though: congressional redistricting could be pushed back until after the 2011 legislative election in the hopes that the GOP takes back over the state Senate, which would give them the trifecta. (Obviously, they couldn’t delay legislative redistricting, though, meaning the GOP won’t have the leverage over the map that would shape the results of the 2011 legislative election.) Although it’s hard to see what they could do to VA-11 that wouldn’t cut into VA-10, the GOP could conceivably push for a 9-2 map if they got that advantage. (The Rose Report is out with a much more in-depth series on Virginia redistricting this month that’s worth a look.) Meanwhile, in New Jersey (another early state where the work is done by bipartisan commission), there’s already some disagreement within the commission over whether or not they need to have an 11th, tie-breaking member appointed so they can move forward. (H/t to Taniel for noticing the delightful headline: “N.J. redistricting commission argues over whether it is at an impasse.”)

Census: Speaking of Virginia and New Jersey, and their early redistricting efforts, the Census Bureau will be rolling out the first big batch of complete, detailed data from 2010 for the first four states that need it early (for 2011 legislative election purposes)… Louisiana and Mississippi as well. They don’t have a specific date set, but keep watching this link because they’ll be available at some point this week.

259 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 1/31”

  1. on the three West Texas Reps.  As far as I know, there’s never been a Senator from West Texas, although I guess you could throw John Tower (who lived in Wichita Falls) in there.

  2. Hotline talking up Kyl retirement rumors had this nugget;

    “But according to recent data from the Arizona’s Secretary of State’s office, the number of registered independents has eclipsed the number of registered Democrats in the state, illustrating the uphill climb Democrats still face in the predominately red state.”

    Hmmmmmmm, AZ hispanic population grows, but percentage of Dems falls. Exactly what the heck is going on down there?

    From the AZ SoS release mentioned;

    “Independent voters in Arizona now outnumber registered Democrats. The latest statewide registration report puts the number of independents at 1,010,725 as of Jan. 1. That’s about 2,000 more than the Democratic registration total of 1,008,689. Republicans still account for the largest registration category at 1,142,605 registered voters.”

    134k registration advantage is significant. Assuming an equal turnout among all voter blocks & equal vote breakdown by party (a huge assumption I admit, but worthwhile as a jump off point) a Dem would need to win 64.7% of Independents to win get 50%+1.

  3. And obama up between 9-24 in nebraska’s second district.

    That’s pretty awesome. Need to recruit a good Dem in the 2nd looks similar after redistricting.

  4. And obama up between 9-24 in nebraska’s second district.

    That’s pretty awesome. Need to recruit a good Dem in the 2nd looks similar after redistricting.

  5. A week ago I would have passed this “push off to 2012” talk as bluster to force a somewhat favorable compromise on the legislative maps, but now? I think the GOP state house majority is playing with fire, and for what? Even if they win out they can maybe get a state Senate majority out of ’11 anyway and as for the Congressional map, is trying to target Connolly (and likely endangering either Wolf or Wittman is the process) worth blowing up the legislature? Plus you set a very dangerous precedent for future redistricting efforts…not good guys, not good at all.

  6. But it’d still be a disappointment.

    Heck, I’ve spent the last three months making fun of Brad Ellsworth but I think I’d prefer him to Donnelly.  

  7. in another thread, but it’s worth repeating here, and not just because more people will see it:

    Perhaps I’m giving them too much credit, but these people really are path breakers when it comes to having tons of gall. They send a five-term senator a letter asking him to resign because they don’t like his votes on a few pieces of legislation, as if he’s been a thorn in the side of his party for decades?

    It’s not clear how this will affect the races in different states, but I could see it opening up some real opportunities for us. I just hope Patty Murray is standing strong and not approaching the next cycle in a defeatist mindset.  


    I was wondering how long their tolerance would last for his moderation.

    Could he be forced to move right for the R primary?

    But still it’s kind of odd that the “bridge too far” (according to Hotline article) supposedly was the vote for the New START Treaty with Russia.  I thought that was kind of a bipartisan issue with all previous SoS’s, both Repub and Dem, in favor of it.

  9. he “needs to be an authentic self-utilizing power along the lines of excellence.”

    That reads like a line from a Chinese self-help book that got mangled in translation.

  10. The quote in the Politico article about Tom Salmon provides a pretty good taste of what the guy sound like every time he opens his mouth. The people I know in the media in Montpelier say that his press events are unbelievably painful, rambling, and often embarrassing insights into his personality.

    Salmon is a severe egotist, probably an alcoholic. He won election (as a Democrat) as state Auditor in 2006 in a very narrow upset, only winning after a statewide recount overturned the election night totals showing a Republican victory. He defeated a Republican incumbent because of family name (his father was Governor), the fact that he was a CPA and put that on all his campaign signs, and because it was a strong Democratic year.

    In 2008 he ran without any real opposition, and coasted to victory because he was deployed to Iraq with the National Guard.

    After he switched parties in a snit (because Democratic legislative leaders wouldn’t let him intervene on budget negotiations where he was siding with the Republican governor), he tried to position himself to run for Governor in 2010 as a Republican, but was quickly rebuffed. Republicans were so unenthusiastic about him that party leaders tried to get his predecessor to challenge him in the primary, but he ultimately backed out. He won re-election in 2010 against an extremely under-funded and unknown opponent who gave him a strong challenge – had his opponent been better known, it is likely he would have lost.

    The highlight of his public career is the videotape of his 2009 DUI arrest, including the priceless moment when he tries to get out of it by citing his state office and demanding of the arresting office “Do you know who I am?” Had that tape come out a few weeks earlier in 2010, he would have lost re-election.

    Bernie Sanders will overwhelm this guy if he runs. Part of me is thrilled with the idea of seeing his political career put to a merciful end, and part of me dreads the idea of having to listen to his sniveling self-important delusions for a whole year of a Senate campaign.

  11. Rehberg will announce for Senate on Saturday and Daines will downgrade to House. Just rumors, mind you, but from people I respect.

  12. Is here:

    Couple of observations:

    1). I’m actually pretty confident about Dem chances in their most competitive race, Virginia. I think Allen is old news, and will lose to either Webb, Kaine, or heck, even Periello

    2). Interesting (and unconfirmed) nugget about Montana – it says Denny Rehberg is “an all but certain entrant,” into the race.

    3). One of the confusing things about this list for me is how you rate “competitiveness.” For example, I think Ben Nelson will likely lose in Nebraska, and I expect Scott Brown to lose in Massachusetts. But I don’t know how competitive either of those states will actually be. In contrast, while I think Claire McCaskill is a slight favorite in Missouri, I would expect that race to be competitive.

    I think it’s easier when races are rated on the most likely to switch parties.  

  13. Hopefully this isn’t too off topic.

    Let’s just say worst comes to worst, Kennedy votes like the Conservative Justice h actually is and HCR is found to be Unconstitutional (I realize this may be unlikely, just go a long for the question).

    If that happens, how big off an affect will it have on Obama and the Democrats that voted for it Electability wise?  Is it likely to severely hurt someone like Matheson who just recently didn’t vote to repeal it?  Or Is it unlikely to have any juice amongst the Swing Voters in 2012?

    Again, I’m only asking about this in regards to electability and how it might affect our candidates in 2012.

  14. That Land is going to converse with Hoekstra isn’t the least bit interesting if you know the lay of the political landscape, here.  Geographically and socially, Hoekstra and Land’s base of support almost completely overlap.  They literally live a few dozen miles apart.  Both of them know it’d be stupid to damage the other in a primary.  The differences between Land and Hoekstra are style.  He’s harder edged, and she speaks with a more moderate tone.

  15. The only real political angle I could find on this is that it probably makes it less likely Bayh will run for office again. Hooray! But mostly, it gives me another chance to call him a soulless evil hacktastic whore whose douchiness is practically unparalleled in modern politics.

    Seriously as far as nominally-Democratic politicians go, I actually think I hate Evan Bayh more than I hate Joe Lieberman.


  16. Just saw the debt figures for the NRSC & DSCC; each is in the hole about $6M and $8M respecively.

    Adding up each sides bottom line

    DNC -$9M

    DSCC -$8M

    DCCC -$18M

    Total = $35M in the red

    RNC -$21M

    NRSC -$6M

    NRCC -$8M

    Total = $35M in the red

  17. Coleman out against Klobuchar, doesn’t rule out future run.

    Norman would get CRUSHED by Amy. But, I think this means that Coleman will either challenge Dayton or Franken in 2014. My money is on Franken, as Dayton has the ability to spend a larger fortune against any opponent. I see a Franken/Coleman rematch in 2014, personally, but a lot can change in 4 years.

    As for Amy Klobuchar, I really do think that Republicans will struggle to find an opponent (depending on redistricting). If Klobuchar doesn’t get a strong (or any) opponent, and the Republican presidential candidate cedes the state to Obama (not a dumb move, from an elctoral-vote perspective), I see Republicans getting thwacked statewide. If there is no top-notch Republican candidates for any statewide race, the newly elected legislative majorities will be hung out to dry. It is also quite possible that the Republican congressional delegation could be in danger as well, because other than the 6th, there are no really Republican stronghold districts. I am curious to see how badly national Republicans screw their Minnesota brethren.

  18. Jon Kyl 47-40 approve

    Terry Goddard 43-35 favorable, Kyl leads 50-40

    Janet Napolitano 40-55 unfavorable, Kyl leads 53-41

    Ann Kirkpatrick 24-21 favorable, Kyl leads 51-35

    Phil Gordon 19-37 unfavorable, Kyl leads 54-33


    Anyone else?

  19. I don’t think Palin will run. She is making way too much money right now to give it all up on a presidential run. If she wanted to run for president she would of stayed as governor until her term was up.

  20. idea but its going to be hard for a Democrat to win statewide in Arizona for a while. Until the backlash over SB 1070 registers itself in the polls which is going to take longer than the backlash of Pete Wilson riding the “Illegal immigrants GTFO out of our state” wave in 1994. Mainly because California was already trending Democratic at that time thanks to immigration from Asia into the Bay Area and other coastal counties and the population boom resulting from the Dot-Com bubble.

  21. Of course, our best prospect for Kyl’s seat had been Gabrielle Giffords, who is in no position to run.

  22. Newer Hispanics to the US are probably by far the most likely to be illegal and probably aren’t registering at all.  And you also have it slightly wrong; while Indies are going up, that doesn’t mean Democrats are going down.  In fact, with both of these two things put side-by-side, one could even guess that the rise in Independents is a plus for Democrats.  If the population growth is based on solid-Dem voting demographics and these people are also the least likely to register, where the hell are all of these indies coming from?

    This is based on the info you gave; you didnt link to the article and I cant find it.

  23. are there to be broken. Besides I’m sure Cantor is pushing the legislature to make as much GOP leaning districts as possible in Virginia. They did that in Texas and mostly got away with it.  

  24. with an 8/3 redistricting as is.  In a state that went 53-46 Obama, a map that goes 73-23% GOP Congressionally should be viewed as optimal.

  25. I had been 50/50 on it, but Bachmann giving signs as to running for President is all I needed to know.  Bachman is certainly the tougher of the two; Bachmann can handle the MSM while I think Palin literally has nightmares of Katie Couric.

  26. At leas on the Congressional map, they could probably bullu the state Senate into aLlowing them to shore up VA-2 (and VA-5 if you really think it’s necessary, which I don’t) without going to such extreme measures, it’s not like they left a ton of seats on the table like the GOP did in Texas in ’02.

  27. IIRC, the local TX pols weren’t all that interested in attempting that mid-decade redistricting at first. It was the powerful DeLay pushing for it that did it.

    Does Cantor have the same clout and chutzpah that the Bugman did?

    Maybe. The GOP is sure feeling its oats nowadays.

  28. Would you say SB 1070 brought even more voters that approved of it to the polls than would have otherwise come out in the last already very conservative-friendly election? If not, then maybe it was just the year itself that sunk a lot of Democrats in Arizona.

    Perhaps it presents an opening for Democrats to occupy the entire space that’s left besides the extreme right when it comes to immigration.  

  29. On Lugar…

    “He may have been a conservative at one time, but he definitely leans to the left now.”

    On being the anti-Obama…

    “Heartland America doesn’t feel the same way as people in the cities,” he said. “We do believe in religion, we go to church all the time, we shoot and fish, and love our families. Some of the time you wish folks in the cities would come live with us and see how we live.”

  30. I don’t think the tea parties are going to be as much of a factor in 2012 as they were in 2010. I think as the economy gets better, the anger that drove so many of them to the polls is going to dissipate, and they will be left with fringe candidates.

    I don’t even think Lugar is in much trouble, owing to the fact that Indiana has open primaries and independents can vote for him. Snowe might be in more, but (contra to some people on this blog), I think LePage endorsing her does help her to some extent.

    That’s my prediction – no Christine O’Donnells this year. We’ll see if it comes true.  

  31. 32I



    2008 turnout was…




    And the president carried indies 51-46. I think it is winnable with a top-tier Democrat.

  32. (Warning!  Some horrible insensitivity to follow.)

    I’m no doctor and obviously a bullet through the brain is devastating, but the timeline for this micro-Senate situation is the most ideal.  She has a lot of time to recover, for a movement to build around her, for that call to serve to be realized and for her to do that press conference and file the paperwork.

    Although in her macro-Senate situation, the time line is probably the worst.  Harder to run for 2012, 2014 would be the most ideal capitalization of this into a Senate run but there isn’t a seat up then.  And 2016, when McCain’s seat is up and with him looking very wrinkly, it’d be six years and 11 months since her attempted assassination.  But attempted assassination attempts are hard to forget and I think she’d cruise in 2016 in an open-seat.

    Regardless, I just cant wait for that first press conference.  MassGOP, I believe it was, called her America’s Congresswoman on the day of the shooting and that totally blew mind.  What a story, such horrible tragedy but with Gabby, such triumphant.  Shot in the head…. Damn….  If I believed in a god, I would believe this was a miracle and meant she was destined to be President.  But with my beliefs, instead, she has now been marked for greatness with it being unfortunate that the mark is a bullet wound.  If she wants it, she’ll need to bust her ass in rehabilitation.   And I’m confident she will.

  33. If Giffords continues to make progress at the same remarkable rate we’ve seen thus far, and with her stay in that rehab hospital in Texas projected for about a year, she could be back to work by say, January 2012 if not before. That’s still plenty of time for her to get into the race. After all, she’s got to have nearly universal name recognition now, and as a sitting Congresswoman and national hero, money shouldn’t be a problem, plus her moderate, consensus-building reputation would serve her well in the general election.  

  34. Napolitano could very easily jump into that and I think would be a slight favorite against an establishment Republican. Against a fringe tea-party type like the guy she pounded in 2006, she’d be a heavy favorite. AZ Reep primary voters aren’t the most strategic bunch. They went into the primary season with 4 House seats that looked to be seriously in play and served up knuckleheads for 3 of them. (I know Gosar and Quayle won, but I’m not impressed with them.)

  35. Perhaps the state’s politics are fucked for the next cycle or two, but I wouldn’t rule it out at this point in the game.  

  36. I don’t see any sort of credible opponent emerging. The only person that could give SB heartburn from the right is the other SB (Bielat). But he has the possibility of a real political future (I think he could be LG someday), so if he has any political sense he won’t want to blow it on a fool’s errand.

    I’ve said this before, but there are only 3 Republicans of any mild prominence who are A) to the right of Brown and B) have the cajones to challenge him in a primary: Bill Hudak, Keith Davis, and Jack E. Robinson. And in terms of candidate quality – well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t put them in the same league as Christine O’Donnell because that be grossly underselling her abilities.

  37. Call me cynical, but I can’t help but wonder whether this conservative/GOP “opposition” to Brown is really a calculated effort to enhance his general election chances by allowing him an opportunity to brandish his moderate bona fides against some hapless, right-wing loser.  

    A GOP primary would provide Brown with months-long free media exposure through which he could criticize extreme Tea Party positions and argue that he is a centrist that can represent the views of a majority of Massachusetts voters.  

    Meanwhile, the Dem primary will probably be a contest between liberal Democrats (including Capuano) trying to appeal to a relatively liberal primary electorate.  

  38. And I think he’d be able to take out Sen. Scott Brown in a primary if the Tea Party groups get really involved.

    Still think Bob Massie could win the general against Brown, though. But it does come down to money.

  39. She could be milking this for all its worth, or she could be so stupid in her approach to the race that she feels she could jump in at any point and still win, both the primary and the general.  

  40. I suspect she realizes, and rightfully so, that, despite rather high favorables among conservative Republicans, even her base may not actually pull the lever for her in a GOP primary. Any sane Republican realizes she’s poison in a general election. She’d probably wind up the next Gary Bauer in Iowa.

  41. pisses me off more than anything because it combines the alleged superiority of the part of the country that isn’t the northeast or the west coast with the victimization of that goes along with it, as if the people that don’t live in the middle of the country are constantly trying to make everyone else suffer.  

  42. guess what baggers: I live in southern Indiana, on a farm, I own guns, I hunt, I fish, I go to church, you better believe I love my family and I’m a textbook, pro choice, pro marriage equality, single payer wanting liberal.  

  43. But I just don’t think it would happen, for the simple reason that nobody with anything to lose would undertake such an endeavor. There’s no way a conservative primary challenger to Brown would be a Senator. So any credible candidate would be flat-out destroying any political future they may have.

    The 2014 Gov field is wide open (though Bruce Tarr seems to be laying some groundwork) so I think anybody with any political sense would wait for that opportunity where they actually have some hope of winning.

  44. the biggest threat comes from, I think. And while there’s nobody on the radar right now, at least one guy, Scott Wheeler, is looking. He may have a pet cause rather than a broad list of complaints, but that’s hardly a big problem. There’s no guarantee that it will make any difference, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this caused some trouble for Scott Brown.  

  45. Some modicum of political sense exists in these Tea Party types. They think defeating Snowe in Maine would mean an easy win in November because LePage got elected with 38% of the vote.

  46. from some unknown person coming from out of nowhere and then winning the primary, not winning the general. I believe you and everyone else that says anybody who isn’t obscure wouldn’t challenge him in a primary, but I’m not sure I want to dimiss the possibility of Brown losing a primary to some ideologue. Maybe this won’t matter in Massachusetts because of the unique characteristics of its Republican voters, but at this point, I’m not willing to rule anything out.  

  47. He’ll probably get a more serious challenge than usual–by which I mean, he’ll win with ~56-58% of the vote as opposed to 65%.  

  48. I really think he is the best MA Republicans can run in a race there. Is he interested in running for something in the future, maybe against Tierney in 2012?

  49. is that the population is shrinking in their part of their country and growing in the cities.  

    At least I can look at it and kind of chuckle at the irony of being called small minded by people who are defending their small minded culture and who outwardly saying they have no intention of ever branching out from their small minded culture by visiting a larger city.  I’ve done small-town living where the only thing to do is drive-around, now I live in one of the most densely populated areas of Minneapolis for a reason.

  50. know I’ve been overly positive before but I can say with much confidence that if Wacky Jacky is the nominee Vs. Donnelly or Ellsworth then we will probably win.  I did hear, and this is pure gossip that is not verifiable at all so take it with a big grain of salt, that Richard Young has spoken with some people about a run if no one else is interested. He would be a decent back up candidate, C list for sure but better than no one. He’s more conservative than Ellsworth mind you but he is a genuinely nice guy and not a dick like Donnelly. I’m surprised the baggers aren’t trying to recruit Stutzman, I was sure they would. Also I don’t know if you saw this in the open thread but do you think Sam Locke might run in IN-9? I was also thinking a good candidate would be Vi Simpson, though she would never do it. All depends on the district. Heck maybe even Robertson, though I think he’ll probably run for his house seat again and I hope he does, he has a much better shot of winning that back than beating Young. I know he took his loss really bad, when I briefly ran down to the courthouse to get local results I met him and it was not a pretty sight.    

  51. I had always figured he was done with statewide politics after 2008 didn’t pan out that well, especially after barely managing to get reelected last year. If he did run, though, assuming Lugar is primaried out… that could work. Young’s got the profile to do well in the rural parts of Southern Indiana that are moving away from the Dems, and he’d be a great contrast to some nutty right winger. He’d probably give some parts of the party base even more heartburn than Ellsworth did, though.

    I don’t know enough about Sam Locke to have an opinion on him, but I think Paul Robertson would be as close to a dream candidate as we could get in IN-9. I don’t think Vi Simpson would do that well outside of Bloomington to be honest. I agree with you, though, Robertson would be good but I don’t think he’d go for it. If Locke is all that there is (and given the near total destruction across S Indiana last year, he probably is) he’s still better than Some Dude.  

  52. I sound like a little school girl, but she has done so much. I really wish she would try. She is my state senator so I am biased.

  53. and that is what Young is. He isn’t just a some dude, he’s been in the senate for 24 years and was minority leader and briefly ran for Governor in 08. He would be a good backup just in case Wacky Jacky or some other nutcase is the nominee.  

  54. I’m saying there’s no personal incentive for anyone credible to run – they won’t be a Sen (either by losing the primary or the general) and they won’t have a political future because they’ll have antagonized almost everybody in the MAGOP.

  55. thinking is being thrown off by the lack of the formal, official moves of the Republicans. A lot of them are doing the usual stuff like writing books and making visits but little else.  

  56. Hell, this is the main point of picking Palin as VP for the McCain campaign, according to “Game Change”.  They knew they were losing, either go big with Palin or go home with Pawlenty.  This is what the GOP faces with Palin; big risk in defying her and pissing off tea-partiers, big reward in ensuring she isn’t the nominee and it isn’t a 55%-44% blow-out.  It’s a reverse of 2008, although I don’t think Palin will run so it’s moot.

  57. But he might be able to position himself as more conservative on certain issues – for example, abortion and certain tax issues.

  58. where he’s based. I just mentioned him because he’s the one behind the PAC that is angry with Brown over his Start Treaty vote.  

  59. I’ve got an evil plan to destroy America, it involves a giant robot with Nixion’s head (anyone get the reference?). Want in?  

  60. and nice catch on not saying you love America.  I mean come on Hoosierdem, people even have that painted on the back of their Ford pick-ups.

  61. Scott Brown was a major game-changer for the state GOP, which is now more aggressive about running candidates in races that Democrats often won unopposed. Of course, the Republican candidates for everything other than the state House failed miserably in 2010, but the fact that most of our statewide candidates and many of our Congressional candidates scored in the mid-40’s will give the state party reason to come out swinging again.

    Kerry, specifically, has never been beloved in the way Kennedy was, and his approval ratings have actually been lower than Brown’s in the last few polls I’ve seen. Some Democrats here have gotten a little sick of him after 2004 (a nobody got 32% against him in the 2008 primary.) We’re not going to beat him in 2014, but I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t get his best challenger since Bill Weld in 1996.

  62. I never got into that show.

    I’ve actually started watching “King of the Hill” repeats more and more. It’s prevented me from getting the right amount of sleep, but at least it’s funny. Plus, it helps satisfy my fascination with Texas.  

  63. That’s what I like about Republicans: they don’t let one or two bad elections keep them down. I wish my party were more like that.  

  64. While Democrats don’t want a messy primary on their side, if it is contested it could hurt Brown.  In Mass. you can pick any ballot you’d like in the primary if you are unaffiliated.  If the Democrats don’t have a contested Senate election, then all of those indys will surely pull a ballot for Brown on Primary day.  While Brown can’t get REGISTERED Democrats to vote for him in the Primary, he certainly can get Democrats that like to remain “moderate” and don’t register.  It’s not like the Delaware primary.  I think that’s a key point.  Castle would have won a semi-closed or open primary.

  65. … but I don’t think he could win a general after running a conservative primary campaign. And Bielat is somebody who can win a general under the right circumstances.

    I think Bielat is ideally suited to be Lt. Governor. LG is the one place a Gov candidate can (and in some cases should) throw a bone to the grassroots, and Bielat is a pretty good way to do it. He’s conservative, but not unelectable (especially in tandem with somebody more moderate like Tarr), and has shown some real campaign skill.

    So I can’t think of a good reason why he’d want to give up the real possibility of big things for something that would inevitably lead to him losing and subsequently being ostracized from the MAGOP (see Mihos, Christy).

  66. don’t have any inside knowledge, but I almost think something else is going on. What, I don’t know, but Huntsman has to be (a) convinced the economy will be a lot worse by the time of the election and/or (b) that his association with Obama and somewhat less than conservative stances on some issues won’t sink him in a primary if he runs. I’m not sure what would give him either of those impressions, however.

  67. if he thinks he has a chance to win a Republican primary. Romney might be able to get away with basically being a liberal for a couple years then converting, but Huntsman just worked for an administration that a majority of the GOP electorate thinks is somewhere Hitler and Stalin.

    I think Obama realizes that Huntsman is a strong candidate, I heard Obama say how Huntsman was integral to the success of this administration or something like that. Clearly intending to sink him in the primaries.

  68. don’t have any inside knowledge, but I almost think something else is going on. What, I don’t know, but Huntsman has to be (a) convinced the economy will be a lot worse by the time of the election and/or (b) that his association with Obama and somewhat less than conservative stances on some issues won’t sink him in a primary if he runs. I’m not sure what would give him either of those impressions, however.

  69. rather than Utah after his return from China.

    Probably a mistake. I’d have thought he’d want to try to re-establish non-beltway credentials.  

  70. … (and, it seems, virtually every political commentator on the Web):

    Can someone sketch me out an even moderately plausible scenario in which a moderate Republican governor who broke with his party on civil unions and cap-and-trade and then joined the Obama administration wins both the GOP nomination and the presidential election in 2012?


  71. vote for Huntsman in 2016 to be honest with you. Depends who Democrats put up. But he’s stupid to run this year especially since the GOP electorate is so fucking polarized they would produce someone to the right of George Wallace. He’s better laying low until the tea party gets bitch slapped by the GOP for ruining one too many elections.

  72. but what if The Huntsman thinks romney could win, costing him his chance to be prez, so he’s trying to sabotage romney?  as a mormon, four year governor he drinks a lot of romney’s milkshake, plus he has foreign policy experience, making him the only non-insane potential with FP experience )Bolton is the insane one OFC).  

  73. could help us in a couple of ways:

    1) the usual weeding out of weaker candidates and campaigners,

    2) additionally by attracting the indies voters to participate in the Dem primary, making the overall Repub primary voter aggregate more conservative and thus increasing Scott Brown’s chance of defeat (assuming he has a conservative opponent).  


  74. is what I want. Tester runs for Governor and the Governor runs for this seat. That would make me sleep a lot easier at night.  

  75. The Politico article below on the top 10 Sen races says Rehberg is near an announcement. Daines has raised a lot of money, and the House race would be a much easier race for him to win. I don’t know much about MT Politics but would someone in the Gov race also drop out to run for House, particularly Corey Stapleton?  

  76. That PPP poll showd it with Rehberg ahead 48-46.  Rehberg has had small-fry candidates almost every time he ran for re-election.  Tester, on the other hand, defeated an entrenched incumbent in a tight race.  I give the edge to Tester based on his campaigning prowess.

  77. – Republicans get a strongest possible candidate for Senate and seat, most likely, goes “Lean Republican”. Though Obama will do better in Montana in 2012 then local democrats did in 2010

  78. two different people with these statements–“but I don’t think he could win a general after running a conservative primary campaign. And Bielat is somebody who can win a general under the right circumstances.”–or am I misreading you?

  79. Is how blase the White House has been in the face of this speculation. Aside from some mild teasing – aimed more at how far right the GOP is than at Ambassador Huntsman himself – they really haven’t indicated any sort of irritation or concern at all. If I were president and I thought someone in my administration was getting ready to run against me, I wouldn’t laugh off the media speculation and talk about what a great guy he’s been in the job.

  80. This is to build name rec and cred for 2016 in a hopefully post-Tea GOP.  He will never win 2012 nom, especially with Romney in the field, and he has to know that.

  81. … Bielat can win a general, but only with the wind at his back as an establishment-backed consensus choice. Running against Brown in a primary is going to force him to position himself much further to the right than say, being Tarr’s running mate. Perception can matter as much as reality, and Bielat would be perceived as far more conservative in the former scenario.

  82. Would only make Republican primary voters like him more. If you assume Obama doesn’t want the Republican candidate to be someone that could actually beat him (Huntsman, Daniels) there’s no reason to help Huntsman’s nascent campaign out, especially when you can say nice pleasantries instead and convince fringe bloggers that the Ambassador is a Democratic plant or something like that.  

  83. White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal, but know that any public criticism would be likely to benefit Huntsman

  84. Obama’s style to vent publicly. But if all of the articles about this are correct, White House officials are pretty pissed.

    Part of me likes the suggestion I saw in the comments from one article: treat him like they would in the corporate world by giving him an hour to gather his crap and then toss him out on his ass. Maybe that’s not possible based on his position, but if it is, there’s really no reason not to do it.  

  85. This teasing from the WH is only hurting Huntsman more in the primary. If they had been angry, as Bob said below, it would only make him more liked in the primary. Obama picked Huntsman because he was by far the best challenger for Obama. He doesn’t want to help him in the primary

  86. will be 70 in 2012 as well. So it would be a bit of a stretch for him to run. He would be a great candidate for Congress if he wanted to, he’d carry Harrison, Crawford, Floyd and Bloomington will come out for Obama so he could very well win. But then there is the 70 year age. Also while I know it was Dday for Harrison dems (only Young, a longtime county council member and the county treasurer won) he barely defeated someone who literally did not campaign at all, just put his name on the ballot, no experience. But like I said many great dems with even better profiles than him went down to similar opponents in Harrison so him winning is still impressive. Robertson is the best besides Young, but like I said if I had a choice between him running for his state house seat and Congress I’d chose the state house, I don’t want a Sharron Angle clone as my state rep for too long. He would cream Rhodes if he runs again, she got lucky this time. Then again most all of what I said about Young above would also be true for Robertson. A dem that can carry those three counties would lead to one hell of a race.  

  87. do you think she would be more viable as a congressional candidate for the 9th district. I realize she’s pretty liberal, but stranger things have happened.

  88. Rehberg would have to give up his new Appropriations Subcommittee Chairmanship, which is highly coveted in MT.  Also, I get the impression that Rehberg and Tester are united on key parochial issues like the Forest Bill and aren’t bitter rivals.

  89. I remember correctly Boozman announced his Senate run then as well, Coats run was leaked that he was running the night of the superball and Cohen dropped out of LG. The superball is actually kind of a popular political time.  

  90. That’ll get worse as their interest rises (they’re negotiating with the bank to delay a major payment, which isn’t cheap).

  91. Also kind of funny I just noticed Locke liked SSP on facebook. He can’t be too bad if he’s a SSPer. Mr. Locke if you are reading this do you care to give any of your 2012 plans?

  92. It was only a strong performance in Perry County (I know, a Dem doing well in Perry, big surprise there) and narrowly managing to hold on to Crawford that saved him. I was very shaken to see him in a dogfight on election night; the state house race in my district was a pretty sure loss by that point and I knew Robertson’s race could go either way but Young’s weak margin was shocking.

    Rhonda Rhodes definitely needs to be a top target for the IN Dems this cycle. Someone whose campaign basically boils down to “OUTLAW TEH GAYZ” shouldn’t be anywhere near state government. If Robertson makes a comeback bid he’d have a great chance, I think.

  93. I was Obama I’d be pissed as well. If he does run then he’s a giant dick. Turning his back on his boss. What a jerk. Obama took a chance on him.  

  94. Unless Huntsman actually runs and finishes 2nd or maybe 3rd in delegates.

    Otherwise, he’s just another some dude for Rs. Reagan, Bush I, Dole, McCain were serious contenders before they got the nomination.

    I see no evidence that Huntsman would be a serious contender this cycle.  

  95. to the DCCC and DSCC. I’ve gotten a bunch of e-mails over the last few days, most of them from today, urging me to pony up. I have no idea if there’s some sort of correlation between the number of e-mails they send out and how well or how poorly they are collecting money, but if there is, they are either doing really well or it’s turning out to be awful for them.

    I hope they end up with nice totals. It’d be nice to gain some sort of advantage on the Republicans, if possible.  

  96. …not that they like this law, but the idea that anything can be done on health care would seem utterly hopeless.  Since health care is a huge issue among the dem base, they may just give up altogether.

  97. I don’t think it makes a lick of difference. If it is struck down it will be too early for anyone to remember or care during the 2012 election. HCR is already pulling higher than even with most people. It’s really not a big issue anymore. All of this said I don’t think Kennedy would vote repeal. But that’s for a different blog.  

  98. until the Supreme Court does, inevitably, strike it down…or part of it. What it’ll mean then is that the U.S, will never have universal healthcare until we get a SCOTUS that allows it again.

    So it could be, and likely will be, demoralizing, but only because Democrats tend not to be proactive about things. If they were, they’d treat HCR like abortion and fight tooth and nail to change the judiciary instead of staying home for voting for Nader over hissy fits.  

  99. It wouldn’t much surprise me if Bernie Sanders’ approval rating isn’t especially hot, perhaps somewhere in the high-40s/low-50s. Of course, Salmon cannot win against an Obama-led Democratic ticket, but he’s about the best the GOP could hope for here. He’ll break even with Indies and probably siphon-off a double-digit # of Democrats. Of course, that still only gets him to about 45% here.

  100. Salmon’s the worst kind of political dynasty, the unnecessary kind. Democrats didn’t need him for higher office because they had better candidates practically everywhere, while Republicans one don’t trust him and two have Brock, Dubie, Scott and arguably Douglas as potential candidates for office.  He offers nothing but a self interested douchebag who wants power, regardless of what he has to do in attaining it.  I hope Bernie decimates him (figuratively speaking of course)

  101. Her popularity might have dropped after quitting the governorship and joining the Obama admin. I really have no idea.

  102. w/r/t their yelling on “activist judges”.

    If Rs have any control over this, they won’t want to overturn HCR in the courts. In fact, they probably want the Supreme Court to say “no” to overturning HCR, so they can preserve their use of Supreme Court nominations as a rallying point.

    Otherwise, Ds would get the green light w/r/t overturning other things in the courts.

  103. The fact that he’s basically given the Teabaggers a big middle finger since the primary seems to me to indicate that he’s going to pull a Murkowski. Since it’s an open primary, he may just openly encourage Democrats and Indies to vote for him there, and if he loses then run a write-in.

  104. I think he’s sabotaging romney. either that, or is just amazingly arrogant or stupid.  I could see him winning by getting a surprisingly close second in NH, ala clinton in 92 and catapulting from there, but it seems unlikely.  

  105. He said in a Globe interview he’d be interested in running for Congress. I’d be willing to wager the 6th won’t change that much, and a Tisei-Tierney match in that district would probably be quite competitive. (See my MA redistricting diary of a few weeks ago for some more analysis of that.)

  106. 2012 will be tougher and who knows if he’ll even be in the sixth anymore.  I wouldn’t but it past the legislature to  put Wakefield in Markey’s district for the sole reason of making life harder for Tisei.

  107. I love Conyers line for his re-election:

    “It’s understood that I’m going to be running again,” Conyers said. “I mean, I always have.”

    They can (and will) drag his as far westward as they’d like (though, it’s a VRA district).  So long as the district is based in Detroit, he ain’t going to be Clarked out of a primary, I’ll tell you that.  This guy has a street organization in Northwest Detroit second to none.

  108. These things take time.  It’s not going to zoom through the court system.  Heck, the SCOTUS probably wouldn’t hear it for a year or two.  All I can say without trying to diverge from the mission statement is that I hope the DOJ is taking notes and learning how to build a powerful defense at the Circuit Courts of Appeals (the 11th and the 4th).  This case and the one in VA last December were clearly examples of the “virtues” of venue shopping.  The score is currently 2-2.

  109. Only the court’s two most conservative members have a history of favoring a very narrow interpretation of the commerce clause. Even Roberts has expressed an expansive view in the past. Roberts is also a very political individual. I think he’d rather uphold the current healthcare version than see Democrats push a Medicare-for-all option and knows that such efforts would stop if current healthcare reform law were upheld.

  110. the 4th circuit is fairly liberal (9 Dem appointments to 5 Rep appointments).  The 11th is more conservative, at 7-9, but it’s not impossible to draw a favorable panel from that.  Let’s hope!

  111. They need to play 3D chess.  Be pissed, but only say nice things about him…give him a grand send-off, complete with a “Crist Hug”.  And what can Huntsman do, not attend?  Then he will REALLY look like a jerk.

  112. more about the potential candidates you mentioned and any others, what they bring to the table ideologically, and how they might perform. You said that one of the guys would do very well in three or four important counties, for instance, and I’d like to know why.

    My gut tells me that this particular race will be a lot more interesting then most are anticipating. (Now that I said that, of course, Lugar will go on to win the primary and won’t even face a Democratic opponent.)

  113. try. These are base voters, who are far more motivated than everyone else.  Whether they will succeed is another thing entirely, but they seem to be acting a little more strategically than last time, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a few primary upsets.  

  114. of him was that he was already pretty damn far to the right. What makes him electable under anything but the most extremely Republican year ever?  

  115. I agree that his campaign outfit may be a bit rusty because he hasn’t faced serious opposition in quite some time, but then again that factor is often a bit overhyped. Look at Sherrod Brown, Roy Blunt, and John Boozman for example–none of whom had to break a sweat in their House districts but all of whom ran winning Senate campaigns.

    Unless Schweitzer has his eye on the Presidency in 2016, I think he will run for, and be favored to win, the open MT-AL seat. Barring a Baucus retirement in 2014 (when he’ll be “only” 72), it might be the last opening for a federal office in Montana for quite some time.

  116. Not surprisingly that throws the election to Rehberg.  Is there any real talk of Schweitzer doing that?  I know he’s not the most liberal of Democrats but I know of no reason why he’d pull something like that.  

    Also, in the one on one match-up, the Rehberg internal shows their man leading Tester 49-43.

  117. Sadly I think you have to give the edge to Rehberg here.  Yes I know one single PPP poll showed Tester within the MOE, but I will be shocked if her can keep this within 10.

    Tester will not get any Netroots money this time around (Say what you will be about how effective the netroots is, but their money is important).  Yes MT is cheap, but he got a ton of it last time around.

    I hope Tester can pull this out, but I am not optimistic at all.  I get the feeling MT is going to Pull a Dakotas in 2012.

  118. that November PPP poll showing a 48-46 race in Rehberg’s favor.  But I think that Tester can turn that around, especially if the economy improves.

  119. but he also has some pretty good campaign skill; his “Barney Shuffle” ad was well-recieved and he won praise for his retail politics. And he got 43% in a D+14 district. Even in a year like 2010, that’s a pretty good performance. I imagine he would’ve won if he were running in the 10th, and if he lived in Boxford rather than Brookline he’d have the makings of a solid state legislature candidate.

    I wouldn’t suggest he’d ever beat John Kerry, for example, but in a lower-profile statewide race like LG his issue positions can be somewhat glossed over as long as they’re not so conservative as to embarrass the nominee.

  120. Keep in mind, Tester won by 3,500 votes in ’06, while the libertarian Stan Jones garnered over 10,000. In ’08, Ron Paul and Bob Barr combined for about 12,000, which was less than McCain’s margin over Obama. I think Rehberg’s a good candidate and, in all likelihood, Obama won’t win here (though Huckabee might well provide an opening), but Tester probably outperforms him by 3-5 points. It really depends on how consolidated the right is.

  121. Montana is actually a pretty good state for the President, as far as rural, normally-red states go. He did much better there in 2008 than in neighboring Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

    Tester, for his part, has also voted for almost every major piece of the Democratic legislative agenda, the lone exception being the Dream Act. I think Rehberg will try to campaign on Tester=Obama, and that Tester can only win this race if Obama gets ~49% of the vote.

  122. that IMHO he’s not much more conservative than Peter Torkildsen or Jeff Perry. Now those two are far-right by MA standards, but Torkildsen won two terms in congress and Perry probably could have won were it not for his scandal.

  123. Tester can win.  Rehberg has baggage and was very rude to some firefighters not too long ago.  At least it’s not Racicot.  That would be uphill for sure.

  124. I mean they didn’t get hit nearly as bad as most states.  Their unemployment never got above 8% during the recession.  Their budget has been pretty much balanced in recent years and only show relatively small defiicts in projections for 2012 and beyond.  The state also is/was heavily reliant on natural resources which held up better than stocks or real estate.

    I wonder if an improving economy might give people more of a reason to vote for non-economic reasons…

  125. Tester wins.  And apparently Tester is not forgetting the parochial interests there.  He is pushing a Forest Bill, although I think it would be bad (it opens up more land for logging).

  126. Richard Young- He has been a state senator since his appointment in 1987. He is very popular, in fact he was one of the very few Harrison County dems who actually survived. He is your typical pro-life, pro gun conservadem. He was Minority Leader of the Senate for a few years, he is a fairly powerful Senator. He briefly entered the gubernatorial campaign in 08 but made no traction and dropped out early. He is the strongest candidate and 2012 would be a free run if he wanted it. He is from the right area, Harrison is sort of a benchmark for the district and winning Harrison, Crawford and Floyd would be a good thing. His biggest flaw is he will be 70 years old  and he is a Democrat.

    Paul Robertson- He is my former state rep and one of my favorite ex teachers. He served in the state house for 32 years and served two years as Majority whip. Blue dog haters you’d hate this guy. He runs as a pro-life pro family and stresses his anti immigration views. He’s a nice guy though and a good public servant. People talk to him simply as Paul. He represents the same critical area as Young. Problem is he just lost re-election and I suspect he’ll seek a rematch. Every dem in my area lost, seriously it was a blood bath. I think the straight R votes were in the high forties. He had a twenty five year old beat an award winning prosecuting attorney. Is was bad so Robertson losing was fairly expected if you look at what they spent to defeat him. Also he is no spry chicken either. He’d be 65 on election day.  

    Connie Snipes- A great former state senator. She was minority whip at one point I believe. She’s a sweet lady who is probably a tad liberal for the district. Before that she was a school principal for a number of years. She will be 63 on election day.  She is from Floyd county. She would have no trouble in Clarke and Floyd, she could be competitive elsewhere as well IDK. She retired last year and it wasn’t political (she would have been safe) so she probably is not interested.      

    Tom Galligan- Longtime Jeffersonville Mayor. He is the Richard Daley of southern Indiana. He doesn’t add a lot geographically but he could pull in the dough and get a fairly decent operation together. He is facing a tough race this year but he’ll probably win. He is a risky choice, one who could go either way. I don’t really care for him much but would vote for him.

    Vi Simpson- The flaming liberal- Rachel Maddow type liberal state senator from Bloomington. I love her but she ain’t winning the 9th. Maybe if Bloomington got added to Carson’s district but by the time he got sick of Congress she’ll be way too old. She’s Senate Minority leader and would get plenty of money and would build a great team. Turnout in Bloomington would be sky high. But she’d get crushed in the rest of the district.

    Some self funding dude. There are some rich lawyers in the district. I know Gordon Ingle is big in Corydon. I’m sure there are other self funders. This is probably what we’ll end up with. Maybe not a self funder but a rich dude or lawyers seems likely.

    Sam Locke. He is the former nominee for state auditor. He did as well as a dem could do in 2010. He is still in his twenties I think. I know he lives in Floyd county, the knobs specifically which is a very rich area so maybe he could self fund IDK.

    John Mellancamp- He isn’t running but I can dream can’t I?  

  127. The idea of running someone like Richard Young isn’t really to specifically win counties like Harrison or Floyd. Winning them would be great, sure, but they’re not exactly major population centers, and they’re still moving towards the Republicans besides. The trick of it would be that a guy like Young could avoid losing 70-30 in rural Southern Indiana and could probably win swing counties like Vanderburgh, while Obama at the top of the ticket would guarantee strong margins in the usual Dem strongholds that otherwise wouldn’t necessarily turn out strongly for a conservative Dem Senate candidate.  

  128. As much as I support the DREAM Act, it is strongly opposed in Montana.  I think he is capable of running fully on his own.

    Rehberg has baggage, as I’ve said.  And Tester is not Ben Nelson.  That PPP poll has the most legitimacy to me and seems the most accurate.

  129. that the GOP poll showed the race with a gap of 6, not 10.  MT-AL is a statewide race too, so he’s a known product all over.

  130. one positive thing to point out is that his approvals aren’t at Blanche Lincoln levels….yet. And Tester isn’t as erratic as Feingold is. But ya, this is going to be a tough fight especially since Rehberg nearly knocked off Max Baucus in 1996.

  131. not receiving outside money may be more of a boon than a liability for Tester. I remember notanothersonofabush, who briefly lived in Montana, mentioning that Tester receiving all that outside money (“Hollywood”, etc.) made the race closer than it should have been.

  132. probably won’t be in Indiana for much longer. Considering he’s getting divorced from his wife and has been living in New York. But I love his politics.  

  133. Just for the sole purpose of having a national political figure who shares my last name other than Pat Robertson.

  134. Since it’s a fairly big state, my guess is there are still a lot of Democrats holding office, even if a lot of them are obscure and even if there are now a lot fewer of them than there used to be. I’m starting to feel it’s less about finding someone that has experience and more about finding someone who will campaign hard, who isn’t a nut, and who isn’t dead on arrival when it comes to ideology of the area or state, but it never hurts to have people with a base of some type.

    Also, I assume your area is the type where Democrats don’t do particularly well to begin with. Is that right?

    Anyway, thanks for the run down.  

  135. the whole running against Obama thing will not nearly be as effective as it was in 2010.  Just like running against Bush was not effective past 2008.  And I think that Tester can and probably will overperform Obama by 3-5% points.

  136. is still in for a tough fight, but the Obama GOTV machine and the fact its a presidential vote should bring out voters that were noticeably absent last year out to help Tester.

  137. The goal for Rehberg is going to be to minimize the number of GOP President/Tester voters. I agree that running directly against Obama isn’t a winning strategy for 2012, but in races like this one, it might be.

    In SD-Sen-2004, for example, the Republican argument was that a vote for George Bush meant nothing unless it was accompanied by a vote for John Thune, as Daschle was the “chief obstructionist” to the GWB agenda. Here, Rehberg can argue that a vote to change Presidents means nothing unless you also vote to change Senators.

  138. He might have a good deal of crossover appeal to conservatives despite being more liberal than your average rep from California. He’d be by far the best thing we could ever hope to get out of Indiana. Ditto for Kinky Friedman in Texas.

  139. Daschle was Minority Leader and Bush was very popular in that area at the time.  Imagine if McConnell represented PA and ran in 2008.  Yeah, wouldn’t have ended well either for the incumbent.  Also, Thune was more skilled as a candidate than Rehburg most likely.

  140. Perry and Brown are good friends from their time in the state leg. Perry was one of the first candidates Brown endorsed. Brown endorsed him in the primary over Malone and campaigned heavily for him. Perry is very loyal to Brown.  

  141. It’s not just that it’s Massachusetts. It’s 2012, a Presidential election year where Tea Party is being spent on either beating Democrats or against Republicans on friendlier (to them) turf than the Bay State. The GOP primary electorate will be bigger thanks to the Presidential contests (yes, I know they’re months apart but there will be more people registered Republican in the state than there are now) and the GOP electorate will therefore be broader and not as limited to the true believers.

    As someone else said, there’s not even a Christine O’Donnell on the horizon at the moment. (The Sean Bielat phenomenon, such as it was, was largely a product of a sales pitch to national GOP donors that practically writes itself, namely, “I’m running against Barney Frank.” For a variety of reasons, “I’m running against Scott Brown” carries nowhere near the same resonance.) I mean, I’d love to see the GOP in Massachusetts metaphorically immolate themselves like that, but I see very little chance of it.  

    1. The GOP movers and shakers with serious juice know that Brown is as good as it gets (for them) in that state.

    2. The minor plays who might be inclined to think they can do better have so many other targets.  

  142. the press she’s been getting from this will likely prove to be a huge asset if she runs for president. If the pictures from People and the previews of the Diane Sawyer interview are any indication, she’s going to come across in a highly favorable light to millions of people who aren’t political junkies like you and me. Plus, she did, you know, take a fucking bullet through the head, which makes her sympathetic to begin with. It’s not as nearly as a significant positive introduction on a national stage as Obama’s 2004 convention speech was, but it’s close.  

  143. He has a lot of knowledge on MT races and has lots of contacts there.  I hope he can offer key info and predictions on this race.

  144. everything that you said sounds perfectly believable, because it is. Yet, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see some trouble. Independents may like him, and certainly the majority of Republican voters will realize he’s the best they can get, but will they be enough to override the purists? As many people rightly argue, nobody who has something to lose will challenge him, but there’s always someone. And as we saw this year, being a nobody matters a lot less than it used to matter.  

  145. everything that you said sounds perfectly believable, because it is. Yet, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see some trouble. Independents may like him, and certainly the majority of Republican voters will realize he’s the best they can get, but will they be enough to override the purists? As many people rightly argue, nobody who has something to lose will challenge him, but there’s always someone. And as we saw this year, being a nobody matters a lot less than it used to matter.  

  146. Mass is one of the few states where the pragmatists consistently beat the purists in Republican primaries. For decades there, it’s been the case that moderates have a chance to win there but hardcore conservatives don’t. By now everyone knows this.  

  147. Tisei is, obviously, the best possible Republican candidate in MA-06, a head (at least) above Hudak. But:

    1. Tisei is a social liberal AND gay. That’s, probably, good for general election, but not primary

    2. If i am correct – he lives in Middlesex county, somewhat “on the edge” of the district. What if Democrats redistrict him out of it – somewhere in MA-05 or 07?

    3. 2012 will be a Presidential year, with Obama able to get at least very good percentage in Massachusetts and generally better turnout among Democratic-inclined voters. That will make Republican substantially task more dificult.

    Despite all this – i would love very much for Tisei to run and, most likely, would even root for him. He is my type of Republican…))))

  148. Rehberg is— meh. He hasn’t had a good challenge since 2000, and then he won with a Bush-McCain-SC style whispering campaign that his opponent was lesbian.

    Rehberg has lots of stupid comments just waiting to be ridiculed, and he’s a do-nothing Congressman- so much that his own CoS couldn’t outline ANY significant thing he’s done in 2008 after four terms- when asked in an interview, he listed a few non-binding voice vote resolutions and two earmarks.

    Personally I think Tester will win, but that’s because I’m biased, I hope I get to work on his campaign. Judged objectively it’s probably about as close to a toss-up as it gets.  

  149. He loves being a Senator, and he has super-healthy genes. His mother still lives and to me (never talked to her, but she sometimes shows up at fundraisers on Baucus’ ranch and such) she seems to be doing well at 95 or so.

    He runs super-marathons at, what, 69? He could very well run in the 2026 Senate Election if he doesn’t lose before then.

    I wouldn’t rule out Schweitzer primarying Baucus though, the two have rivalring networks. Both were VERY active in building up the state party, and both have lots of favors to call in. Schweitzer tends to stump a lot for local candidates all over the state and is popular, and Baucus always maintains lots of offices and staffers in his uncompetitive reelection bids and lends them to other candidates because he didn’t need them thus far.

  150. Probably the reason was that Republicans had a real chance to defeat Patrick in 2010. But, as much as i dislike Patrick’s style of governing – he rebounded quite well. Cahill was additional plus for him – without Cahill it would be very close. But for Tisei that could be a plus – no one blames him for ticket loss, he gained experience and viable connections, and so on. Though an ideal year for him to run could be 2014, not 2012)))

  151. Rehberg and Baucus do- Baucus and Rehberg had a competitive campaign that got VERY personal on both sides in 1994, with both sides accusing each other of being bad family fathers (Rehberg’s campaign actually sent out mailers about it, and Baucus was so angry that when it came up in the debate he basically said (in more polite politics-language) ‘Look at yourself and your drug-addicted son you disowned, you fucking asshole’.

    I don’t think either of them has forgotten about it. Tester and Rehberg don’t hate each other that much, as far as I know, but that’s never stopped a Republican and a Democrat from running against each other, no? It’s not like they’re Reid and Ensign, they just don’t hate each others guts or have any kind of close relationship either way, as far as I know.

  152. that he thinks that it is toss-up with Rehberg, but he personally thinks Tester will win.

    Also, Rehberg is a strong candidate, but not the strongest.  That would be Racicot, who is through with MT politics.

  153. I believe that’s the big question for Tester’s chances. (aka, are all politics –at least in Montana– still local)

    If they do mater, then Tester should be favored. He’s a Montanan, focused on the issues of Montana, presumably with some average level of constituency service. He breaks with his party when it serves the interest of Montanans. With such advantages, Tester should run significantly above President Obama.

    I think one of the lessons of ’10 is that they don’t matter as much as we believe, aka, in a wave, or in an election where partisanship lives above all else, the national environment matters more. If that holds true in ’12, then Tester runs even with or just slightly above President Obama. Thus, if the election turns out to be close (which I find unlikely), then Tester could very well lose.

    I think President Obama will either win in a landslide nationally (60-40), or lose convincingly (55-45). In either case, Tester rides or falls with the wave, unless MT politics in ’12 are still truly local.

  154. is based on his approval ratings going out of office. I think lots of voters might have forgotten about him, and even those who haven’t might be put off by his activities since he left office- ie, being a full-time lobbyist. Not the most favorably viewed profession.

  155. The only poll i saw shows Rehberg ahead (by 6?) and Montana went rather heavily Republican in local races in 2010. And i know abour Racicot too, that’s why i didn’t mentioned him..

  156. I don’t know anyone in Montana who thinks he has a chance against Hill, and I think he would lose out to Daines as well. Stapleton isn’t one of the serious tea party candidates, he’s more Mark French-level (Rehberg’s primary challenger in 2010, who was endorsed by the militia radicals and got something like 20-25% in the primary).

    The MT GOP Party seems to be quite firmly in the Daines camp. I don’t really know GOP insiders, but their newsletters talk about Daines all the time and pretend he’s a ‘leader on repealing Obamacare’ (I mean, seriously, he has never held elected office, so how’s he a leader on that?) and I’ve never seen Stapleton mentioned anywhere.

  157. done by some small firm.  The poll I am most inclined to believe was this PPP one done last November that showed Rehberg edging at 48-46.

  158. You could put Wakefield in MA-07, but only if the district being eliminated is not one of the Boston districts (under that scenario, Markey would have to move south to take much of Boston and could not feasibly add towns to the north.)

    2012 will be a tougher year for Republicans in Mass than 2010 was, but the state does vote ideosyncratically sometimes. The best year in the last 30 for Republicans in MA on the Congressional level was 1992, when we defeated two incumbent Dem congressmen. This was the same year Bill Clinton overwhelmingly carried the state.  

  159. about most other states, too? Or rather, couldn’t we used to say that? The Tea Party is still pretty new.

    Besides, Kenneth Chase beat Scott Wakefield in 2006 to take on Ted Kennedy, but he was supposedly the more conservative of the two.  

  160. Democratic Montana State Legislators and local politicians (Public Service Commission and such) were swept aside by the wave except for a few exceptions in 2010. But those are low-profile, and MT has State Legislature term limits (8 years), so these are not people with long-standing records who got elected since 1940 or so.

    On the other side, Montana has a long history of voting for Republican Presidential candidates and Democratic statewide candidates. People thought of Montana as a reddish swing state in 2008, but on a statewide level it was as blue as Massachusetts- granted, that was the Democratic high tide, but still, even right now (because 2010 was no statewide election except for the Congressional seat) Denny Rehberg is the only statewide elected GOP official.

    The Democrats have Governor Schweitzer, Senators Tester and Rehberg, Attorney General Bullock, SoS McCulloch, Superintendent Denise Juneau and Auditor Lindeen, the Supreme Court is Democratic and until 2010, so was the Public Service Commission

  161. And Lugar is so much easier to spell, and he’s so much more of an institution.  I feel confident in thinking he’d win already two years out.

  162. If she wants to protect her income, she risks becoming irrelavnt if she doesn’t run.  So only one this is for sure… she will NOT not run anytime soon.

    She may run from September to January, then withdraw if she isn’t clearly the favorite, which keeps the limelight on her during campaign time, but only costs her four months of income, after which she returns even more high profile, and not a “loser”.

  163. Just got a job as “Special Sheriff” in Barnstable Co.  He’s going to wait out Sheriff Cummings and run for that.  There have been rumblings that that’s what he was gunning for all along, since he was in the MA-10 race before Delahunt announced his retirement (when it was still barely more than “sacrificial lamb territory” anyway.)  And his friendship with Brown is not just political but personal.

  164. After all Tester is an incumbent. So, he must be (in normal situation) at least slightly ahead of even well-known challenger..

  165. but if i remember correctly both incumbent Democrats, defeated in 1992, were involved in some sort of scandal. If i am correct – may be that explains “unexpected republican victories” that year?

  166. but very few people won Harrison. Very few. The only person to win the county itself was our Treasurer who was running against the former substitute lunch lady and janitor and she only barely won. So him losing it isn’t a huge deal for a future run, he could win it again I think. And yes his margin was bad and unexpected but everyone’s was. He was lucky to win when you see people like Robertson and Byrd go down. It was a real bloodbath and honestly Harrison Democrats had one of the strongest set of candidates they have ever put up for county offices and not so much for Republicans. Let me put it bluntly Rhodes is also a real starts with a b ends with an h as well. I tried to talk to her once when she someone got to serve in the county council and she treated me like scum and I have no idea why, I was perfectly polite and just wanted to talk about the building of the new hospital, a very vanilla issue and she acted like I was a freaking TMZ reporter or something. And if you think her gay baiting is bad you should hear her talking about abortion.      

  167. Does anyone have a good link to the debt/CoH status of the 6 National Committees? I think I saw that the DCCC is $19M in the whole, almost as bad as the RNC.

    I’d be curious to see if the debt numbers more or less balance out between each of the 3 parties 3 committees (not counting the DGA/RGA for now).

  168. I couldn’t find any info on NRSC or DSCC debt/CoH, but from Hotline I did see these;

    DNC – $15M net debt

    DCCC – $18M net debt

    RNC – $21M net debt

    NRCC – $8M net debt

  169. Early (lost to Blute in the 3rd) was part of the House Bank Scandal and Marvoules (lost to Torkildsen in the 6th) was taking bribes. (I think- I do know he went to prison.)

    But Tierney has more than a little baggage of his own. Pretty much nobody believes him when he says he knew nothing about his wife’s activities, and the fact that Hudak, a certifiable nutcase, gave him his toughest race in 12 years says a lot about how weak Tierney is now.

  170. Three members of the delegation were ousted in 1992. Two of them, Chester Atkins (MA-05) and Joe Early (MA-03), were among the biggest offenders in the House Bank check kiting scandal. Nick Mavroules (MA-06) had a corruption scandal whose subject matter I forgot, but it was unrelated to the check thing. Also, all three had a bunch of new towns they had never represented before…those districts, BTW, all look very similar to what they look like now.

    Atkins got caught in a one-on-one primary against Marty Meehan in a and lost; Meehan held the seat until resigning in 2009. Mavroules and Early both squeaked in divided primary fields (Early had the benefit of four opponents, all of whom were various flavors of pro-choice, and the pro-life Early had that vote to himself) and both lost to Republicans in the general election.

    1994 being 1994, both Republicans won a second term, only to be wiped out in 1996.  

  171. While they might be tempted to do it, there would probably be some pretty major pushback from politicans from both parties representing the Omaha area who would fight to defend their city’s influence.

    While partisan considerations often guide redistricting, so do more parochial local geographic ones.

    Remember that technically Nebraska’s (unicameral) legislature is non-partisan (although in reality it is overwhelmingly Republican).

    That said, there are definitely things that could be done to make the 2nd district more Republican without going so far as to divide it 3 ways… and I suspect there will be an effort to do so.  

  172. And that’s why i would root for Tisei. In addition – i like “mavericks”, who differ from majority of their corresponding parties. In Democratic case that’s usually means “conservative Democrat”, in Republican – “moderate (or, better, liberal, but there are so few of them) Republican”

    P.S. But i fear that republicans in MA-06 will nominate Hudak again and thus – “ruin all the show”)))

  173. DNC actually has $6.1M CoH giving them a net debt number of $9M add in the DCCC’s debt ($18M) and the Dems are $27M in the hole (again not counting DSCC or DGA numbers which I havne’t seen yet). On the GOP side the total debt number for the RNC & NRCC is $29M.

    For all the doom and gloom press reports about the RNC’s fundraising, as I suspected it looks like the overall numbers between all the committees will have each parties’ debt total more or less on par

  174. from Political Wire noted how the Democrats used the convention as an organizing tool. Perhaps the Republicans will do the same in 2012, or actually did something similar in 2008 and will do so again in 2012, but if not, I believe it’s an under-reported advantage for Obama and the Democrats. It’s not the sort of thing that will save him if he’s about to lose big, but it could make the difference in a lot of close races and/or give him a nice margin in the Electoral College.  

  175. Mostly losing state House candidates from last year. I've got some ideas, though!

    Dennie Oxley, Jr– My former state rep and the Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. back in 2008. Has a lot of experience in the state legislature and is fairly young, as well! On the other hand, he's got more personal baggage than Brad Zaun and I'm pretty sure he went to jail after crashing his car while drunk and telling the police he was a sitting state rep. when he no longer was. He wouldn't win, but we'd find out how many people in IN-9 would vote for a Dem just because of their party affiliation!

    John Bottorff– The current (or former?) chairman of the Dubois County Democratic Party who made a near-invisible attempt at primarying Baron Hill from the left last year. Basically Some Dude, given that the LaRouchite candidate from Corydon got more attention than he did. Don't know if he's interested in another go.

    LaRouchite from Corydon whose name I don't want to look up– See above.

    Mike Sodrel– There hasn't been an election in the past ten years where Sodrel didn't run in IN-9. I refuse to believe he's out for good. Some things are certainties in Indiana politics, and Sodrel running in IN-9 is one of them. 

    Robert R. Robertson- Has no campaign platform and isn't actually a Democrat, but has pledged to join the House SSP Caucus if elected.

    More seriously, I think hoosierdem's list is pretty solid. We're both from the far southern part of the district, however, and I don't know much about how the county-level parties further north are doing. Maybe there's some hotshot young Dem from Jennings County or something. There's a good amount of state reps and so on from Bloomington, but I'm always skeptical of a Bloomington Dem's ability to win outside of the city. 


  176. Organizing in NC (assuming it isn’t confined only to the Charlotte area) can only help Shuler, Kissell, and McIntyre who the Reeps will probably try to screw in redistricting.  


    These vary a bit from some media reports because (I believe) they are using the end-of-year FEC reports while some media reports are using figures released from the committees themselves (some of which, are current status – thus the RNC has reported another $2M in debt to the media, but also has more CoH than the FEC report).

    Regardless the final numbers show the Dems w/ about $4M more CoH and $1M more debt. $3M doesn’t mean much compared to combines total debt of $90M.

  178. pretty sure no one will even bother discussing healthcare reform again. Medicare for all wouldn’t even considered. medicare would be in serious jeopardy.  

  179. If Obama appears likely to win easily, the Reeps should make an effort in MN if only to try to save Cravaack, Paulsen, and probably also Bachmann. If it looks like they might beat Obama, they should probably also contest it because it’s only marginally blue. The one exception might be if Huckabee is the nominee, in which case MN would probably be hopeless but they could make a play for OH, FL, NC, and VA.

  180. While for the rest of the country Bernie may be easily type-cast as an irrelevant leftist, his appeal in Vermont has historically been broad and deep. Most importantly, he manages somehow to appeal to a cross section of voters who are not simply the stereotypical Vermont granola leftie, but has significant support from across the economic, geographic and cultural spectrum. I have neighbours who literally have NRA, Bush and Bernie stickers on their pick-up truck.

    In 2006, he won 65% of the vote running for an open seat (against an opponent who outspent him and ran a pretty intense negative campaign against him). I’m not aware of any recent polling suggesting that his approval ratings have gone down. He remains ubiquitous throughout the state, has great constituent service, pays great attention to symbolic constituencies (like Vermont soldiers, guard, veterans, police, firefighters, dairy farmers, etc), will have all the money he needs to overpower any opponent, and has legions of volunteers who will work their tails off for him. Add in Presidential coattails. Salmon will have none of that.

    I especially don’t buy your idea that Salmon will break even with independents. Even in Republican good year 2010 and a dead-even Governor’s race, Peter Shumlin beat Brian Dubie 51-45 among independents – a bigger margin than he won overall. In 2008, Obama won independents 73-24 over McCain, again larger than his statewide overall margin. In 2006, Sanders won the independent vote 74 to 21 over Tarrant. There is nothing in that history to suggest that Salmon would somehow run even with Sanders among independents.

    Independents in Vermont are to the left of the state’s overall political orientation, not to the right of it.  

    While I wouldn’t suggest Bernie should be overconfident and not take Salmon seriously, I can assure you that Tom Salmon doesn’t have the chops to go up against a skilled campaigner and popular office holder like Sanders and get anywhere close to 45%. Barring a major screw up by Sanders, it is unlikely that Salmon would even break 40% (similarly, the Republican presidential candidate is highly unlikely to break that mark either – that’s just the kind of state Vermont is these days).  

  181. think Oxley spent a good few months in jail, he had a year sentence I know but had he not gone on a Charlie Sheen bender then he would be the perfect candidate. Oh and don’t forget about the underage drunk girl in his car at the time. I blame JLT, I know its not her fault but I’m going to blame her for the hell of it. Maybe Chuck Freiburger, he came closer than I thought against Grooms who had been in elected politics for twenty years. The soon to be former New Albany Mayor could run, he might be good.  

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