SSP Daily Digest: 2/28

AZ-Sen: Maybe, just maybe, this will be the last time we’ll hear ridiculous speculation about, Joe Arpaio, the thug sheriff of Maricopa County, running for higher office. The 78-year-old Arpaio said he won’t seek Arizona’s open senate seat, following his announcement a few weeks ago that he won’t seek re-election as sheriff, either. I’m wondering if the two developments are not unrelated – Arpaio can silence the senate gossip because he no longer needs to use it to raise money for his next local race. Anyhow, I’ll be glad to be done with this guy. UPDATE: My mistake. I misread a line in the link and thought Arpaio was finally retiring, too – but only Kyl is, unfortunately. Still, Arpaio did say that he will not seek Kyl’s seat.

In other AZ news, what if you threw a teabagger convention and the Republican senate candidate didn’t come? Jeff Flake was a no-show at the Tea Party Patriots’ confab in Phoenix this past weekend, and the ‘baggers seem happy he stayed away. Unlike, say, Maine’s Olympia Snowe, Flake doesn’t appear to be interested in making nice with the nutters. I’m convinced that a more suitable (to the movement conservatives) candidate will emerge.

FL-Sen, FL-13: Not quite sure what to make of this – John Boehner was just down in Sarasota, FL, headlining a high-dollar fundraiser for a guy who hardly needs the money, super-rich car dealer Vern Buchanan. Is this Boehner trying to convince Buchanan to seek re-election to the House and avoid a throw-down with fellow Rep. Connie Mack? Or just the Speaker earning chits while playing a few rounds of golf during a Congressional recess?

HI-Sen: This piece on the Hawaii senate race is worth reading in full. The nominal hook here is Sen. Dan Inouye’s comments that, as Chair of the Appropriations Cmte. (and President Pro Tem of the senate), he won’t have as much time to raise money for his old buddy Dan Akaka, who is facing re-election next year. But there are a whole host of other questions implicated here: Is this just Inouye trying to kick Akaka’s ass into gear? (Akaka only has $66K on hand and faced a serious primary challenge from Rep. Ed Case in 2006.) Will Akaka (88 yo in 2012) actually even run again? Is former Gov. Linda Lingle going to run? If Akaka steps aside, who might take his place on the Dem side? Again, click the link to see the state of play.

ME-Sen, ME-Gov: Eliot Cutler, the independent candidate for governor last year who came in just a couple of points behind the winner (Republican Paul LePage), says he is “unlikely” to challenge Sen. Olympia Snowe, proclaiming he has “no desire to live in Washington.” He also says he isn’t ruling out another gubernatorial bid in 2014. Also, one possible Dem candidate, former AG Janet Mills, just joined a law firm, suggesting she probably isn’t interested in a senate race. (Mills became the first woman AG of Maine in 2009, but because the position is selected by the legislature, she was replaced by a Republican after the GOP swept into power last fall. NB: This is how you avoid Kelly Ayottes.)

MI-Sen, MI-15: Rob Steele, last seen losing to Rep. John Dingell by 17 points in 2010, says he’s considering a challenge to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (who lacks any real high-profile opposition at the moment). Steele also says he doesn’t think he’ll run again Dingell again, whose district might get re-drawn to still include heavily blue Ann Arbor.

MO-Sen, MO-02: I thought Rep. Todd Akin had definitively said “no” to a senate bid, but in response to some renewed chatter about a possible run, he would only say: “Some people want to draft me for Senate but you know engineers. It’s just one thing at a time.” You know engineers! Anyhow, if there’s a chance Akin might get in, this could help explain former state GOP chair Ann Wagner’s recent remarks that she might run for MO-02. (Wagner, of course, is also in the mix for the senate race.)

RI-Sen: State GOP chair Gio Cicione says he won’t take on Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, citing (like Cranston Mayor Matt Fung before him) the high cost of a race. These guys think a Rhode Island senate race would be expensive? They ought to check things out a state or two to the west. Anyhow, Dave Catanese caught up with former Providence mayor (and well-known felon) Buddy Cianci, whose name surfaced in PPP’s most recent poll of the race. Cianci hasn’t completely ruled out a run, but says it’s not “realistic.” Also of note, PPP has a report card out on Rhode Island politicians’ job approval ratings.

TX-Sen: Former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, who resigned just a few days ago, made it official: He’s running for senate.

VA-Sen: The already-painful Tim Kaine watch – is it a pimple or a boil? – will soon be over: the DNC chair promises he’ll make a decision in a week, according to the AP’s Charles Babbington. (I predict “gummy bear.”) On the other side of the equation, ultra-far-right insano-Republican, state Delegate Bob Marshall, says he’s considering another run. Marshall almost stole the GOP nomination for VA-Sen in 2008 from the super-sad Jim Gilmore, but that near-upset took place at a Republican convention – this time, the party’s nominee will be selected in a primary.

MO-Gov: Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says he’ll make an announcement “this spring,” and if it’s anything other than, “I’m running for governor,” I think people will be shocked. Anyhow, mark your calendars – this means Kinder might open his trap again any time between March 20th and June 21st!

NC-Gov: Since North Carolina is their home state, it looks like PPP will be testing NC-Gov just about every month. Incumbent Dem Bev Perdue trails almost-certain opponent Pat McCrory 49-37. (Last month it was 47-40.)

CA-36: 2010 and 2006 primary candidate Marcy Winograd announced she’s entering the special election for departing Rep. Jane Harman’s seat. The CW says Winograd is likeliest to hurt SoS Debra Bowen, but I’m not really sure she’s capable of making any material difference in this race.

CT-05: Former one-term state House Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced she’s running for Chris Murphy’s now-open house seat. Esty (not to be confused with the DIY craft-selling website) narrowly lost a rematch in 2010 after narrowly winning a traditionally Republican district in 2008.

NJ-06: Teabagger Anna Little, who won an upset primary victory in 2008 but lost to Rep. Frank Pallone by 11 points in the general election, says she’s back for a rematch. The woman Little beat for the GOP nomination last year, richie rich Diane Gooch, is also weighing another bid.

NM-01: Dem state Sen. Eric Griego says he’d “seriously consider” running for Rep. Martin Heinrich’s seat if Heinrich makes the jump to the open-seat senate race.

NY-26: Well, that explains that. In other news, Conservative Party chair Mike Long seems to be tipping his hand that his party will in fact support GOP nominee Jane Corwin.

MO-SoS: MO SoS Robin Carnahan says she’s running for re-election to her current post. Republican state Sen. Bill Stouffer, who lost a primary last year to Vicki Hartzler (who went on to beat Ike Skelton in the general), also says he’ll run for the post.

Census: Our friends across the pond in England and Wales will take their census this year. What makes this interesting is that for the first time, Britons will be able to submit their census forms online.

Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso has the goods on tomorrow night’s special elections:

After the excitement of last week, this week is a bit of a letdown. There are three seats up: Florida’s SD-33, formerly held by Frederica Wilson, is merely a formality, with the Democrat likely going to win 80-20 or so. There’s also a formerly Dem-held Senate seat in Mississippi, SD-12; despite no party ID being on the ballot, I’m pretty confident in guessing all three candidates running are Dems (it’s along the Mississippi River, so in heavily-Democratic territory). And in Maine, HD-11, an extremely Republican seat, is up. It would be helpful if Dems picked this one up, as the Republicans only have a slim majority in the House, but this was a seat that went 3-1 for the incumbent in 2010. There was apparently a split among Republicans, so there’s a Republican running a write-in campaign, but it would still be one hell of a long shot.

111 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/28”

  1. I’m actually digging this one more…

    At least Carolyn Goodman is talking more about her own merits, which IMHO she shouldn’t be afraid to do… Even if she has to use Oscar to get attention. 😉

  2. I’m sure you guys have studied polling enough to realize there is no statistical difference between 49-37 and 47-40. Please stop pretending this means something.


    SSP Posters for Responsible Poll Reporting (SSPFPRPR)

  3. Asked whether because of a retirement, a primary challenge or eventual succession who would be strong contenders, Inouye listed in this order: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, Rep. Mazie Hirono, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann. Asked about former Congressman Ed Case, Inouye said him, too, and added Veterans Affairs Department Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth.

    Did Inouye suggest a possible primary of Akaka? Sorta doubt it personally (did the reporter get it wrong?), but that’s the surprising part of the paragraph.

  4. Oh hell yes on Akin getting in on MO-Sen. He’d be a strong opponent against McCaskill, to be sure, but as an inveterate earmarker, he’d get blasted to high hell by Sarah Steelman in the primary. If he survives that onslaught, he’d be hard-pressed to match McCaskill’s fiscal conservative cred, which should enable her to outperform Obama by just enough to score a second term.

    Also, if Akin runs, then the redistricting plan is a cinch. Clay’s VRA district is in inner-core St. Louis, Carnahan would get the inner suburbs and Dem-leaning rural patches, while the new MO-02 would take the outer suburbs and exurbs and much of Luetkemeyer’s 9th (which would in turn probably drop Jefferson City and/or Columbia). Luetkemeyer would then face off against Wagner, presumably, but as a sop to him, he’d have a lot of the territory he currently represents and would be favored….depending on the final configuration of the seat.

  5. There are some rumors circulating that Same Locke may be interested in replacing Dan Parker as Indiana State party chairman. This is not a shocker to me as it is pretty clear he is still wanting to be in the game. Check out his face bookpage, he’s throwing anti Young statements and been going to tons of fundraisers. He was very active in the protests in Indy. He sounds very candidate-ish, don’t take my word for it, check out his facebook. Question, if I post a link to his face book page will it show my account info? That is the only reason why I’m not posting it. Anyhow a former SoS candidate actually encouraged the rumor about party chair on there yesterday on Locke’s FB page. I like Parker but we took a real bashing and a fresh face could be good. What is clear to me is that he is planning something, what I’m not sure.  

  6. Matt Fung (well, Fong, actually) is a CA Republican who ran against Barbara Boxer sometime back.

  7. All I really know about him is his colorful past and personality, but was he a good mayor — and how good of a mayor do you think she would be?

  8. But also, the second poll falls outside the MOE so that is definitely a difference from the first poll.  Also, PPP needs to release polling on a consistent basis to report on trends in the future, which they probably want to do.

  9. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.8% (please note the MoE is for each number given, not the margin), thus 37% could be 40.8% or 32.2% making the change between the 3 polls statistically insignificant.

    I have no problem with them polling consistently and trying to identify trends, but as I said, which a 3.8% MoE going from 49-37 (Nov) to 47-40 to 49-37 (Feb) does not signify any change in public opinion, which is exactly what they imply when they say:

    After getting a little boost in January, Governor Bev Perdue’s standing

    against likely 2012 GOP challenger Pat McCrory has receded to the same 49-37 deficit

    she faced last November

    The polling info they have provided does NOT back up a claim of Perdue either having a “bump” or having “receded” and they should know better than to say so.

  10. Mcrory’s floor is higher than perdue’s ceiling in the second poll by far.  It confirms a solid Mcrory lead that the first poll could not.  A 7 point spread and a 12 point spread are meaningful changes.  Pride trails outside moe on second poll, but not the first.  This is significant.

  11. My issue is with the reporting of the poll data within PPPolling’s memo. There simply is no statistical basis for the quote I gave from the memo. And they should know better.

  12. BTW I don’t agree with your statement that this is significant, to be clear what the poll say is that a 47-40 McCrory lead with a MoE of 3.8% means he could be up as much as 50.8% or actually be TRAILLING 43.2-43.8%, thus the lead is no outside the MoE. The 49-37 lead could actually be a 52.8-32.2% lead or a 45.2-40.8% lead, thus that poll IS outside the MoE.

    However, the difference between a 47% to 49% return for McCrory is NOT statistically significant and the 37 or 40% return for Perdue is not a statistically significant change since her 37-40-37 return could be an “actual” return of 40-37-40 making PPPollings statement completely baseless.

  13. She has been a residence of IL since 2000 or so?  She ran for congress there in 2006 and is now in DC in Veterans department.  

    I think in the last ten years Michelle Obama has been in HI more then Duckworth.  Not a knock on her or Michelle but I would not list either as being in the top ten for US senator from HI.

  14. I sort of missed that part. You’d think Inouye would say something like, “No one’s going to try to primary Dan again,” as a bit of boilerplate, and we don’t actually know exactly how the reporter phrased the question… but maybe that was deliberate on Inouye’s part, trying to put some fear into Akaka.

  15. Sen. Inouye is sort of a mentor to Hanabusa. So out of anyone he would probably want her. I would have thought Rep. Hirono would have been the more likely of the two to run this time, but Hanabusa seems more ambitious.

  16. Say it would be the parts of northwest Wayne County that are currently in McCotter’s MI-11, which would be the logical choice under Michigan’s redistricting standards. I think the drop would only be to about D+7 or D+8, but that’s just a guess.

    I thought it was weird that DavidNYC would imply that Ann Arbor isn’t in the district already, so I figure something it the linked article would give him that impression:

    He also strongly suggested he would not take another shot at the southeastern 15th Congressional District if in includes Ann Arbor after the new maps are drawn.

    Michigan will lose one of its 15 seats after the redistricting process and some in the state have speculated that an emboldened GOP legislature could draw lines that radically alter the demographics of Dingell’s district.

    That’s actually talking about talking Ann Arbor out of Dingell’s district, not putting it in, but I could see how it could be seen otherwise.

    As a practical matter, it’s very, very difficult to come up with a satisifactory arrangement of districts for the Republicans that doesn’t continue to weld Ann Arbor to the southern Detroit suburbs (at least under the various census estimates). There’s a reason the district is a part of the current Republican gerrymander.

  17. “She’s a fellow graduate of McKinley, graduate of the University of Hawaii, so she has legitimate footprints in Hawaii,” Inouye said.

    I think Inouye is such an institution in HI — when coupled with the landslide that President Obama will get in that state in ’12 — if he endorsed you for HI-Sen in ’12, and you agreed to move to HI, you could become the next Senator from HI.

  18. He’s often in the running for “Most Beloved” and “Most Hated” politician in The R-J’s annual “Best of Las Vegas” awards. I think that’s because a number of locals are enthralled by Oscar’s martinis, showgirls, and all around larger-than-life playful persona, while others seeking a more serious problem solver are disgusted by Oscar’s wild antics, which have ranged from talking up the virtues of booze to elementary school students to “banning” President Obama from the city. When times are tough and people are losing their jobs and their homes, it gets annoying to see Mr. Mayor constantly swilling gin, having a ball, and pursuing a new city hall as the city shuts down parks, fires public servants, and sometimes fails to provide the most basic city services.

    It’s strange, really. Fremont Street is looking better than ever, but just a couple blocks north are poverty stricken slums reminiscent of a third-world country. New projects are being pursued Downtown, but in The Northwest there aren’t even sidewalks and stop lights in some newer neighborhoods.

    For me, the jury is still out on Carolyn Goodman. It doesn’t seem like she’s some “carbon copy” of her husband, and she’s even gone against him on consolidating city and county government. But when she says she’s running to “see through Oscar’s vision for Downtown”, I’m wondering what that really means.

  19. I can’t imagine that the talk of pulling Ann Arbor out of Dingell’s district came from a Republican. You can’t legally attach it to the Detroit districts and skip the intervening area, and it would turn any of the other neighboring R-held districts deep blue.

  20. There was no diff between 47-40 and 49-37, and now you seem to agree with my statements that there is a difference.  I couldn’t care less about each persons minor changes but the overall spread is clearly significant.  I also already pointed out poll 1 was within moe but poll 2 was not, and now you’re trying to explain now to me.  I’m not sure I have a clue what you’re trying to explain, seems you agree with me on every numerical point but don’t like ppp’s wording.  But your initial post was clearly in a different vein…..

  21. I was working on a Republican Michigan plan this weekend that eliminated Dingell’s district. I added Ann Arbor to the rest of Washtenaw County in MI-7, sacrificing that district.  I took the bulk of the Wayne County portion of MI-15 into MI-13 and MI-14, and added the most Republican portion of MI-15, Monroe County, to McCotter’s MI-11, completely moving it outside of Oakland County.  By adding this portion of MI-11 to MI-9 (and moving the bluest portions of MI-9 to MI-12), I tip MI-9 away from Peters and towards the Republicans without eliminating the seat.

  22. There is no significant differnece between the results of the 3 polls, all the them fall within the MoE. You can say the latest shows a lead outside the MoE, whereas the middle poll does not, but that does not mean that there is any statistical evidence to proclaim any change over the period of the 3 polls.

    Logically you can deduce that McCrory does hold a lead, but to proclaim a change in voter’s opinion based on these results is to ignore the mathmatics of polling, which shockingly PPPolling seems to do in their own poll memo.  

  23. Your new MI9 and MI11 would still be swingy if somewhat more red than they are now. McCotter might not be happy about picking up a bunch of marginal territory where people don’t know him well.

  24. I just said it was difficult to find a satisfactory arrangement that didn’t include it. Most Republicans, to the best of my knowledge, are looking to do a 10-4 map. 9-5 wouldn’t be “satisfactory”.

    Personally,  I think they’d probably be smartest to work out an 8-6 map, raising their floor instead of their ceiling. But political parties don’t generally think that way.

  25. If two results are within the margin of error, that means that you cannot say that the results are different with 95% confidence.  If it is close to the MoE, then perhaps you can say that they are different with 85% or 90% confidence.  Within the margin of error is not “mathematically identical” it just means there is a greater than 5% chance that difference is due to random variation. Even if a poll result is outside the MoE, it still could be due to random variation, the probability is just less than 5%.  

    More importantly, none of this deals with other sources of error due to the non random nature of all polling. Errors due to poor sampling methods frequently eclipse statistical error and are not reported at all.  PPP is fairly good at correcting for these though and as a result scores highly in pollster ratings.

  26. The MOE of possible results do overlap in both polls, so this poll would be meaningless if the “true” results fall into that category.  But the MOE median shifting further into the GOP’s favor I think is important.  The electorate being polled hasn’t changed, and the median MOE has gone from +7% GOP to +12% GOP.  So while the results could be the exact same, there is a greater likelihood of the “true” number being more in the GOP favor compared to the last poll.

  27. If that’s true, I assume they’re planning to repeal the redistricting law and replace it with “anything goes”. (Would there be any political fallout if they did this? Would Snyder even be ok with it?) Even then, I suspect that 7 or 8 of the 10 “Republican” districts would actually be swing districts.  

  28. When I wrote my comment, I was thinking that the current split was 10-5 rather 9-6. Which means what I actually meant to write was

    I just said it was difficult to find a satisfactory arrangement that didn’t include it. Most Republicans, to the best of my knowledge, are looking to do a 9-5 map. 8-6 wouldn’t be “satisfactory”.

    Personally,  I think they’d probably be smartest to work out an 7-7 map, raising their floor instead of their ceiling. But political parties don’t generally think that way.

    Since sacrificing MI-07 to try to flip MI-09 and “strengthen” MI-11 would be 8-6, so far as I can imagine.

    Michigan’s redistricting law is still on the books, but the MI Supreme Court won’t enforce it. See here. (pdf) The gist of the MI SC decision behind that link is that Michigan’s redistricting standards are statutory, as are redistricting plans. So if the legislature passes a plan that doesn’t conform with the standards, all they’ve done is indirectly obsoleted the standards rather than broken them. They’re still part of Michigan’s political culture, and I imagine the Republican plan will roughly conform with them, but they’re not justiciable.

  29. One can only wonder why the individual mandate, which I am sure is the reason behind most of his (recent) opposition, wasn’t the scourge of humanity when Clinton was president.

  30. “Orrin Hatch, the introverted conservative.”  Now we have “Orrin Hatch, on a race to the bottom to meet up with McCain.”

  31. That’s the wrong idea.  Stabenow is a powerful fundraiser and she leads all opponents.

  32. Who do Dems have to run that would be better? Remember, if she retires, it would also probably attract a stronger Republican, like Miller or Rogers, into the race.  

  33. I’d have to see the details before beginning to sweat.

    What’s interesting about this polling is that Romney actually leads Obama here. I find that very, very hard to believe, but let’s say that it’s true. We still have Stabenow leading Hoekstra.

  34. The IN Dems are, at least in my, hurtling towards decrepitude… I don’t know how much of that is Dan Parker’s fault, or whether Sam Locke is the man to replace him, but they desperately need compelling leadership, both in elected officials and in the party.

  35. thinking Congress now. He actually liked a status on his FB asking if he was running for Congress, I think that is probably pretty telling. Also I just got done texting people and they all agreed that Congress is more likely than party chair. I am just guessing he announces at this fundraiser he is headlining this week since it is probably going to be fairly big and he has been bagging everyone to come for a while now.  

  36. is a nice guy. I wish I would have voted for him. It was a mistake on my part. I met him at a fundraiser and had a nice talk. He is a real guy. Really nice. I don’t know if that makes him potential state party chair material or not. I mean I’m a pretty nice guy but that doesn’t mean I’d be able to lead the state back into victory. We need a good leader as this election is crucial to us. If we can get either race or keep close it proves the overall longevity of the party.  

  37. Her numbers suck. Leading by 2 points against a nut like Hoekstra? 44? That is awful. It’s not Nelson territory but it ain’t good. She is much lower than Obama. Michigan has a decent bench, surely there is someone better.  

  38. And the Republicans may be brazen enough to nominate him in 2012.  Having our incumbent 2 points ahead of a nutter doesn’t comfort me.  I think Stabenow will win in 2012, and probably in double digits, but I’m not feeling too good about her now.

  39. But their polls in Michigan tend to lean a little Republican. This sample, which can be found here:

    Has Obama at a 44/55 approve/dissaprove, Stabenow at 42/50, and Romney beating Obama in a prospective presidential contest 46/41. That means she’s actually doing better then Obama in Michigan, which no poll I can find has ever found. By contrast, PPP had Obama’s approval in Michigan in December at 50%, and even Rasmussen had it at an average of 48-51%. They don’t include partisan breakdown or any demographic questions at all in their released topline.

    Also, instead of doing “Approve/Disapprove” or “Strongly Approve/Disapprove” or “Approve/Disapprove,” they do “Excellent, Pretty Good, Fair or Poor” as their choices, and group the first two in as approve and the last two as disapprove. This has bugged me about them for years; I don’t think anyone thinks of “fair” as being outright disapproval; it may be damning with faint praise, but its different than saying bad. It may be oversensitive, but the PPP/Gallup or Rasmussen method makes more sense to me.

    Would an employer fire a “fair employee without a good reason, for example?

    As for Stabenow stepping aside, if Peters/Levin’s districts get thrown together I’m sure Democrats in the state would love Peters to run if she didn’t (Schaeur would probably rather want his congressional/state senate seat back, but who knows), but any other Democrat wouldn’t, I don’t think, start out any better then Stabenow would. Democrats control no statewide offices right, and because of term limits/retirements their legislative leadership is entirely new.

  40. Methinks you’re having a bit of panic attack, you’re smart enough to realize you don’t want an incumbent to retire unless s/he has become unelectable.  Dodd had become unelectable.  Blanche Lincoln had become unelectable.  Specter had become unelectable.  The primaries were worthwhile in these cases, as Sestak at least made it a tossup and Halter at least wouldn’t have been any worse than Lincoln.

    Stabenow is in Bennet/Reid territory, not Dodd/Lincoln/Specter territory.  She is very electable.  And it’s early, she’s not likely to get worse.

    Michigan’s economy happens to be worse than almost everyone’s except Nevada’s, so that’s a heavy burden for electeds there right now.  But slowly the public will shift the burden to the new GOP Gov, and slowly the economy probably will see a natural improvement even if it’s a little slower in Michigan than elsewhere…or maybe not any slower than elsewhere, thanks to the wildly successful auto bailout.

    We don’t want incumbents to retire, period.  We don’t have anyone who looks unelectable right now except maybe Ben Nelson, but he’s still more electable than all other Democrats in Nebraska.

  41. The Republicans know Stabenow will bring in the $$$ and will be difficult to beat with presidential turnout.  It’s not a coincidence that there is hesitation to get in.  You’re not seeing much of that on the Republican side in other swingy states.

  42. So it’s a moot point anyways. This is probably the sleepiest major Senate race of 2012 in the country (the exception maybe being Ohio).

  43. The approve/disapprove question wasn’t the usual wording. Instead of the standard “do you approve or disapprove”, they used a scale of excellent/good/fair/poor with “fair” and “poor” counted as disapproval. I suspect that a decent number of people who said “fair” would have said that they approve of his performance. I was very surprised to see him behind Romney, though. Maybe Romney does especially well among older voters who remember his father as governor. I would be shocked if Obama ended up losing that state barring another severe recession, as he would be able to plausibly claim that his administration’s actions saved GM and Chrysler (although Bush took the first steps in his lame duck period) whereas the Republicans wanted to let them die.

  44. He just made a total ass of himself on PBS news, ranting and raving about how the health care bill is “idiotic”, the secretary of HHS doesn’t know what she’s talking about, etc. I used to have some respect for him, but now he’s just become a pathetic joke. Chaffetz would be a better senator.

  45. will probably be the central issue in that state, no? What would happen if the Republican candidate said they didn’t support it? Would funding dry up besides that coming from the official campaign committees? Is it possible a Teabagger tries to make this an issue in a primary to steal the nomination?

  46. Which is why I pointed that out in my post. I actually have another gripe with their wording in that instead of even saying “fair” they say “just fair,” which is definitely NOT the same as pure disapprove. And I don’t think Obama is going to lose Michigan even if he loses reelection, but my main gripe is with EPIC/MRA’s shoddy wording, not really anything else with their poll, though I find it hard to believe that so many people have an opinion on a Hoekstra/Stabenow race (since Hoekstra is fairly obscure statewide), but have no opinion on Snyder’s job approval.

    I also agree with you on the auto bailouts; I think that’s going to be a trickier mine field for Republicans to navigate than people realize right now. Most Republicans in Michigan actually ran on being more aggressive with using TARP funds to help the auto industry (aka some of the guidelines the Obama administration set for viability, etc.)

  47. Romney got bold and suggested to just let the car industry go under and hope they can reorganize on their own.  Never mind the fact that GM’s CEO at the time was incompetent and had his head in the ground.

  48. Member of Michigan’s house delegation (including Tim Walberg, Pete Hoekstra and Bart Stupak, even though the last two don’t even have a large number of auto manufacturing plants in their districts) voted for the auto bailout in 2008. Every Republican running for governor but Mike Bouchard (he of “spend all his money at the last minute running ads in favor of right-to-work) in 2010 supported it (Snyder, as far as I know, never released a statement for or against it). Hell, Mike Cox even wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post supporting it – that liberal rag on the Potomac!

    My guess is that since even conservative business groups like the Chamber of Commerce supported it, a tea partier or conservative running against it, if nominated, would go nowhere in a general election and most outside/business groups would throw their hands in the air aand double down on efforts to protect the state house/freshman house members. Every pension, auto dealership, local commercial bank and creditors, community’s equity, etc. are invested in the auto industry – which is why I think the Republican nominee for president will have no chance in hell of winning Michigan in 2012.

  49. I skimmed your post and clicked on the link. I wouldn’t have just reiterated what you said if I had been paying closer attention.  

  50. not saying she can’t win. I do not think she is DOA and I think Obama will pull her through in the end. I am just speculating over whether a fresh face might do better. Let’s be honest another Democrat probably would have done better than Reid. Perhaps I am underestimating Stabenow, I just really think she should be performing better than she is now. 44% against the turtle fence guy? It’s just not good. Incumbency can be a burden as well as an advantage and maybe someone with a clean slate might be able to make a better run of it.  

  51. 2010 wiped out most of the elected Dems in the state legislature that aren’t from the cities, there are no statewide Democratic officeholders, the blue team is very likely to be down to two out of nine House seats after 2012, and Evan Bayh, the guy who had been more or less the kingpin of Democratic politics here (at least officially), is out of the picture. Brad Ellsworth was supposed to fill his shoes, but you saw how that turned out.

    Brian Howey wrote an article last month that offhandedly mocked the Dem leadership in the state House last year as having “crazy-quilted a patchwork of mailers assailing Republican challengers as abortion pill pushers, polluting coal miners and friendly to child predators”, which is probably an accurate description of overall strategy by the Dems in general here. The Democrats, from what I can see, have no real leaders and at this (early) point no real strategy moving forward. They’re reduced to talking up John Gregg for Governor, a guy who hasn’t held office in years and is completely unknown to probably 80% of the electorate.

    This is something I’ve been thinking about for about a week, and I’d write a diary in more detail about it if I had more information to work from beyond what I can dig up off the Internet.

    Things seem to be going okay in Marion County, for what that’s worth…

  52. Outside of presidential/midterm election years, which is why I consider them to be completely useless for gauging presidential/senatorial/gubernatorial approval ratings. See also their asinine wording for approval/disapproval mentioned above. They always overestimate the Republican sample of the electorate; their last poll had Jennifer Granholm leading Dick Devos by 7, when she actually won by 14%. Only SurveyUSA had a closer margin.

    (Sorry, dead link for the poll, so Wikipedia will have to do).

  53. something that is almost impossible to reverse for a few cycles? You and hoosierdem would know better than me, but my impression is that it wasn’t as if the elections represented some sort of change in the electorate. It was just that the Republicans did well in a state that is more often than not friendlier to them than it is to Democrats. Perhaps it won’t be easy to unseat some of the Republicans in the statehouse, but they probably aren’t in a particularly bad situation.  

  54. really no chance of a Teabagger winning the general?

    I had suspected that the entire congressional delegation voted for it.  

  55. But I think you’re overestimating how well-known Hoekstra is statewide. As a Republican from the west side of the state, he’s still pretty obscure in the east (where he barely advertised at all during his campaign for governor; I was back in Kalamazoo during the last stretch of the primary and go to college in his old CD, and I never even saw an add by him once the entire election cycle!). The only people who know him outside of the west are probably old white people who watch Fox News and saw him go on there to talk about TERRORISM!!1!

  56. does that make Bill Nelson not doing that well? When matched up against Mike Haridopolos (sp?) it’s 44-32. (PPP)

    Ohio, where Sherrod Brown is between 40-43%?

  57. Keep in mind that in reality Reid won because he had over $20 million to bury any opponent in ads and a campaign team that anyone in their right mind envies, and those known facts chased away stronger Republican competition.

    If Reid retired or looked vulnerable in a primary, we have Senator Dean Heller right now, not any Democrat.

    Elections are not controlled experiments where you change one thing and make it better, you have to be wary that changing one thing can cause a domino effect changing other things that ultimately can make things better or worse depending on the specific circumstances.

    The bottom line is Stabenow isn’t in nearly enough trouble to prefer another nominee.

  58. If Obama is getting like, say, 45% or less of the vote, or Stabenow becomes just horrendously unpopular, sure. But I really have a hard time seeing even some vanilla Republican like Mitt Romney or Mitch Daniels winning the state with Obama getting more then that. Of course there’s other issues that are going to play out, but since opposition to the auto bailouts seems to be a rite of passage for tea partiers, not just a minor inconvenience, I really fail to see how Republicans are going to maneuver around this.

    Also: I use 45% because that’s how much Dukakis and McCain got, and in 1988 Michigan had a PVI of about even or R+. something. In 2008 it had a PVI of D+5. Some of that McCain pulling out? Sure. But it had a D PVI of about +1 in 2000 and 2004, and I fail to see how Obama doesn’t at least keep Kerry and Gore’s numbers in the state.

  59. I meant to say, what chance is there of a Teabagger winning the primary?

    I ask because, while it’s significantly improve our chances in almost any race, I’d guess it all but ensures victory for Stabenow.  

  60. And Orrin Hatch has always been at war with the Individual Mandate, because he loves Freedom, and Liberty, and Being Free.

  61. My eternal gratitude; website bookmarked. Where’d you get the raw county numbers from; I was going to do a diary on changes in Michigan’s counties over time, but didn’t have time to go through our library’s copy of Scammon and finish it?

  62. is thinking looking at what’s happening. I also wonder what Patty Murray and the DSCC are thinking. It would be a steep uphill battle in any event, but when the incumbent is no longer there, a big part of the problem is gone. That looks likely to happen here.  

  63. The same rules apply for the general as in a primary. 2010 really distorts, I think, people’s views of how the primaries are going to shape up in 2012. In Michigan we have open voting and no partisan registration, so with a, most likely, still competitive Republican primary going on unless the field is full of nothing but John Birchers the Republican primary pool is going to be more diverse. I still stand by my prediction that the nominee is going to be a Some Dude businessman/woman, but who really knows. Dick DeVos was, ideologically, unelectable statewide (and as conservative as a Ken Buck or Marco Rubio), but I wouldn’t call him a tea partier, for example. None of the Republicans in the 2010 guber. field called themselves Tea Partiers (though Hoekstra spoke at Tea Party events sometimes), but there was a clear electability gap between Snyder and, say, everyone else running on the Republican side.

  64. that if it didn’t happen this year, we probably won’t get lucky with a Teabagger in 2012.  

  65. I get a little surprised by see not Shinseki in the list and cause of see Hirono back Hanabusa.

    If D Akaka retires I hope see the strongest running for the seat, like in Connecticut. Some democratic leaders have a lesson from the last IL-Sen race.

  66. His two worst election were 02 and 10. 02 because of redistricting 10 because of a shitty climate. Hes gonna be facing both (however bad/good the climate is will still be tough in Utah). So if you are gonna have to campaign like crazy why not do it for a job that at least has 6 year security.  

  67. But they are both in much less Democratic states and are about were they should be. Stabenow should be higher than this, so yes I am concerned for the seat.  

  68. Reid has a certain level of Harry Truman that I love.  Truman at the time was considered a one-term Senator…1940 should have been his downfall, but he came back.  The 1948 US Election also comes to mind…won’t repeat the results since everyone knows that he defeated the common wisdom at the time by beating Dewey.  The only difference between the two is that Reid always had the money, while Truman was always living day to day in regards to funding.

    I always thought that Reid would be reelected.  It’s hard being the Senate Majority leader in a purple state when times are tough, and times have been tough during his tenure as SML.  If Reid had dropped out, the GOP would have won the seat since an establishment GOPer would have won the nomination, not a half-baked baffoon like Angle.

  69. Bare in mind that MI is one of Romney’s home states, GOP primary voters there helped keep him in the game after losing IA/NH in 2008. On top of his dad’s name, I think he also pledged support to the state auto industry at the time. That’s not to say the poll is right, because I’m not sure even that would overwhelm Obama’s advantage in MI, but if Huck polls less well there then I’d expect it’s a factor.

  70. his decision by? Does he have the luxury of seeing what a new district might look like for more than five minutes?  

  71. It was a bold move by the House Dems but I think in the long run it’s the only card they have left to play, and it’s not going to work forever. Eventually they’re going to have to let the Republicans pass whatever terrible things they feel like passing, since the Rs have a solid majority.  

  72. Some of those seats in the state House will be back in Dem hands eventually, and I suspect IN-8 may be won again in the next few cycles. But those are incremental gains, and they won’t win back a legislative majority or get the Democratic party back into statewide government.  

  73. But I also find it frustrating that the Dems were willing to pull this walkout on behalf of labor, but not to stop the gay marriage ban that some of them actually voted for.  

  74. Title to this op-ed – “‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

    Some context:

    This got a lot of attention within the state.

    And Romney’s father was governor all the way back in 1963-1969; though I’m sure there’s some people in the 45-60 age demographic who remember him as the governor when they were growing up and Michigan was prosperous, older voters in Michigan tend to be some of the most Democratic in the country. Michigan was one of the few states where Obama did better with white voters over the age of 65 then whites between 30 and 65 (Minnesota and North Dakota were others off the top of my head).

  75. State legislative districts I’m less certain on, although the state senate doesn’t even matter at this point.

    I have a gut feeling that the Dems will have a shot at at least one of the three House districts (IN-2, IN-8, IN-9) post 2012, and I think that’s likely to be IN-8. Some folks here have made really aggressive R gerrymanders, but I don’t think the Repubs will go that far. Less certain of that without Rokita around, though.  

  76. I ask because my impression is that there hasn’t been any sort of change to the state to warrant a death notice for Democrats. They lost the House because it was a bad year for Democrats in a Republican state. Maybe they won’t get it back for a while, but that won’t necessarily be because the public has turned against them. The senate, as you said, might be an entirely different case, but then again, you might be able to say that even before this past November.

    Suffice it to say that while it might be a few cycles before good things happen to Democrats in your state, it doesn’t look to be nearly as bad as it is in Louisiana or Mississippi. It’s easier said than done, of course, but my advice is to just keep chipping away at their majority. If they’ve hit rock bottom now (maybe they haven’t, but if they haven’t, they are probably close to it), the only place to go is up. They aren’t swimming against demographic trends or anything like that. And if the state party is as disorganized as it is in other states, improvement in that area will almost guarantee better results. Obama’s likely to contest the state in 2012, and while not all of the legislative seats will be up, a lot of them will be. 2012 is as good a time as any for Indiana Democrats to get their act together and make us of resources to strengthen their party.  

  77. No kidding. You can expect liberal groups to have that one pasted all over the airwaves from Houghton to Dearborn, and that will lock up the state for President Obama single-handedly.

  78. Just wanted to show that the story did pick up steam in Michigan. And the real question is: Why did Mitt Romney choose to make a big stink about it? I know the press would eventually want his answer on the issue (especially since he’s a native of the state, son of a former head of American Motors, etc.), but he choose to publish an op-ed touting to everyone with access to a computer his position on the issue. That’s the context people should be thinking about when wondering what Republican’s chances of winning Michigan/knocking off Stabenow in 2012 are.

  79. One of the reasons McCain withdrew from Michigan was his quote saying the jobs weren’t coming back.

  80. But his numbers in the state (when he led Obama consistently in the spring of 2012) had already started falling by the time of the convention before collapsing in September/October. I’m not sure why national pundits ever thought he had a chance in Michigan in the first place based on such early polling.

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