SSP Daily Digest: 2/7

AZ-Sen: One more fundraising number to report from Q4: Republican #2 and potential retiree Jon Kyl raised $106K, leaving him with $682K CoH. That’s a difficult number to assess as a tea leaf: it’s too much for him to look like he’s clearly about to hang it up, but also not enough to make it look like he’s actively engaging his race yet.

CT-Sen: Rep. Chris Murphy looks like he can count on a lot of hometown backing in his bid for the Senate (where the real challenge may be getting out of the Dem primary). He just rolled out the endorsement of 60 Democratic leaders from around CT-05, including three state Reps.

IN-Sen: State treasurer Richard Mourdock confirmed over the weekend at the Tippecanoe County Republican Women’s Club that he’ll be challenging long-time incumbent Richard Lugar in the GOP Senate primary in 2012, although he didn’t serve up much tea-spiked red meat in doing so, instead ladling on the praise of Lugar but touting the need for competition of ideas. He specified Feb. 22 as the official date of his campaign launch, though.

MI-Sen: Saul Anuzis (who I’ve just noticed is one typo away from being the Egyptian jackal god… maybe getting tough on grave robbers will be at the top of his agenda) is now the subject of a draft website, encouraging him to get into the Michigan Senate race.

MN-Sen: Buried deep in this article about Amy Klobuchar is some pretty clear indication that Rep. Michele Bachmann isn’t going to run for Senate in 2012; the GOP state party chair says that Bachmann was “very emphatic” to him that she wasn’t going to run. (Does she have any mode other than “very emphatic?”)

MT-Sen: In case you were hoping that all those leaks and rumors last week about Denny Rehberg announcing for the Senate were some sort of gigantic miscommunication, sorry, no such luck. The Republican Rep. officially announced his bid against Jon Tester on Saturday.

NJ-Sen: That Woody Johnson-for-Senate rumor a few weeks ago is continuing to get some continued oxygen, with revelations that the New York Jets owner dined at Drumthwacket (sorry, I just like saying “Drumthwacket”) with both Chris Christie and Mitt Romney several weeks ago. To me, this seems more like Johnson, a big Republican donor (although a John McCain backer in 2008) being there on Romney’s behalf than a Senate tea leaf. (Just found out he’s actually “Robert Wood Johnson IV,” as in the do-gooding Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and big pharma company Johnson & Johnson.)

SC-Sen: Lindsey Graham — not up until 2014, so this is mostly academic at this point — is sporting some rather Olympia Snowe-ish approval numbers in the way they break down. He’s at 40/37 overall in PPP’s South Carolina sample, but at 31/38 among Democrats and only 43/36 within his own party. He’s looking better positioned to win the general in ’14 than to win his own primary.

UT-Sen: Orrin Hatch is grinning and bearing it: eager to avoid the fate of fellow Senator Bob Bennett, who ignored the tea partiers at his own peril, Hatch will participate in an online town hall sponsored by Tea Party Express (whose Sal Russo offered Hatch some rhetorical cover last week). He’ll be the establishment odd-man-out, sharing face time with Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, and Steve King.

KY-Gov: Republican state Senate president David Williams, the establishment canddiate in the Kentucky gubernatorial GOP primary, looks to be pretty safe from a teabagging, if his own internal poll is any indication. A poll from Got Focus shows him at 47, with Bobbie Holsclaw at 10 and tea-flavored businessman Phil Moffett at 9.

PA-Gov: Here’s an intriguing rumor, although one that doesn’t have much to it beyond eavesdropped rumblings at the state Democratic committee meeting: ex-Rep. Joe Sestak for governor in 2014. Can he be the one who stops the state’s clockwork alternation between the parties for 8-year gubernatorial terms?

WV-Gov: You can count Republican zillionaire John Raese, who lost the 2010 Senate race by an unexpectedly wide margin, out from this year’s gubernatorial special election; he said “no thanks” (after already having declined a 2012 senatorial rematch against Joe Manchin). And the election dates are finally official, with acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signing off on the compromise legislation that set the primary on May 14 and general on Oct. 4.

FL-25: The hits just keep coming for freshman Rep. David Rivera. On top of the $500K in mysterious dog track money and the $60K in mystery expenditures while a state legislator, now the AP is reporting on an entirely separate $150K paid from the Miami-Dade Republican Party to a key ally of Rivera (to consultant Esther Nuhfer for “media” expenses) without any of the usual paper trail. $35K was used to purchase radio ads, but the whereabouts of the remainder is anybody’s guess.

LA-03, LA-07: While we reported on Friday that Jeff Landry was considering a state AG run as a way out of his likely redistricting-related demise, it looks like he’s still fighting to keep a viable House district for himself too. He and LA-07’s Charles Boustany are publicly at odds over the state’s new redistricting map. Landry wants a district that spans the whole coastline of the state (which would put him on a collision course with the Lafayette-based Boustany), while Boustany says there needs to be one district for the New Orleans suburbs (which would probably wind up pitting Landry against Steve Scalise in current LA-01 instead).

MI-09: It sounds like Democratic Rep. Gary Peters may also have a Plan B in the event of the elimination of his district via redistricting. Based on the war of words emerging between Peters and Republican Oakland Co. Executive L. Brooks Patterson, it’s possible that Peters is eyeing a 2012 run to become head of the state’s second largest county. Oakland Co. is one of those prototypical mostly-affluent inner-ring suburban counties that has moved pretty solidly into the Dem column at the presidential level but still has a lot of Republican strength further down the ballot; MI-09 currently occupies most of the county.

MO-05, MO-06: In that one or two weeks where it looked like Rep. Sam Graves was going to run for Senate (thus opening up the 6th), that prompted Republican state Rep. Jerry Nolte to officially throw his hat into the ring for the presumably open seat. Now that he knows Graves is sticking around, though, Nolte apparently isn’t going to let his newly-opened federal account go to waste. He says he might run against Emanuel Cleaver in MO-05 instead. (Nolte lives in Gladstone in the KC suburbs, currently in the 6th but a possible inclusion in the 5th after redistricting, as the 5th will need to gain a lot of population.)

Redistricting: The Fix’s ongoing series of profiles on state redistricting turns to Pennsylvania this week, the state whose 2002 map became almost synonymous with one of our favorite words here: “dummymander” (i.e. a map that looks like a coup at first but is so flimsy that it blows up in your face the minute the political winds turn against you). The state GOP, in charge of the process again in 2012, seem to have learned from their mistakes and don’t plan to get so “greedy” this time. As we’ve mentioned here, the likeliest approach to lose the one seat will be to draw western PA Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz into one district. The alternative would be to try to take out the seemingly-indestructible Tim Holden in PA-17, although reddening his already GOP-leaning district would probably make things even worse for Lou Barletta, whose PA-11 is currently D+4.

2012 Prez: Jake McIntyre’s presidential cattle calls have been a rich tradition over at Daily Kos for years now, and this one is no exception. (It’s so good we’re actually breaking the first rule of Swing State Project: no talking about presidential politics.)

163 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/7”

  1. Have I been somehow skirting around this rule, or have I been breaking it consistently?

    Well, before I get my answer, I will post this. I came across it last night from a blog, Balloon Juice, I used to read far more frequently than I do now. I’m obviously not averse to election coverage, no matter what the type–why else would I be here every possible second of my day? But the way in which our media somehow needs to see every possible action of any notable person in Washington as relating to running for the presidency (i.e. “Obama ate fried green beans, so clearly he’s not only trying to appeal to farmers in Oregon, he’s trying to connect with the working classes that love fried foods and football as well as show his independence from his wife in order to win votes from white men…”) is pretty ridiculous. It’s not often so few words can encapsulate these sentiments, but these three lines manage to do it:

    David Gregory: “Will you run for President?”

    David Gregory’s Mailman: “I’m just trying to deliver the mail here, sir.”

    Gregory: “I ask you again, will you run for President?”

    Anyway, one of the people at the White House Superbowl party was State Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas. I get the invitations for Reid Ribble, Bob Casey, and Pat Toomey, but why him? Might he run for the senate seat, or am I making nothing into something?


  2. With all the Missouri redistricting talk centered on if Carnahan will draw the short straw there has been little talk about what will happen to MO-5.

    The most obvious thing to do would be to extend the 5th east to take in all of Jackson County and then whatever urban-ish areas best fit from North of KC (or just add more of Cass county which is already partially in the 5th), but another route is possible.

    For instance, say Nixon tells the GOP redistricting leaders he’s willing to “play ball” on a redraw of the 5th district to make it a swing CD in exchange for a more favorable draw for the old 3rd? I’m not saying this is likely, but perhaps rather than cutting a deal with the AA state reps in STL to protect the 1st district the GOP negotiates with the governor to creat 2 swing districts?

    A favorable map for Carnahan might keep most of his STL city & South STL county base while drawing him in with Emerson (especially if this is an open seat), or even more radical keep the 3rd & 8th in more or less their current lines and draw Hartzler and Cleaver together in a district that runs from KC, SE through Lee Summit and into the hinterlands. You’d probably have to draw Independence into the 6th, but the end result would likely be Cleaver winning in ’12, but a GOP likely winning in ’14.

  3. I see Rasmussen crying for attention by claiming Romney leads. I won’t link because you all know the bridge under which he lives.

  4. This doesn’t surprise me. Her primary-state adventures have her sights a lot higher than Senate. I think she is either looking to be president, or more likely, vice president. If she is one of the also-ran candidates in the primary, she would also set herself up for a high-level cabinet position. This would be particularly true if either Palin or Pawlenty won the nomination and the general election in 2012.

    As far as Republicans in general in Minnesota, the legislature is really doing their best to NOT fix the problems they promised to fix. If they keep NOT doing the things they promised, with Obama and Klobuchar at the top of the ticket, the Republican ranks will be thinned immensely. If the Republican POTUS candidate does’t contest Minnesota, and Klobuchar is allowed to skate free to reelection without serious opposition, this thinning will be an obliteration.  

  5. The problem for Democrats will likely be that Mourdock doesn’t look like on planning to run a full-fledged teabag campaign, only to tap in to general Lugar distaste among GOPers (they are much more than only the teabags) and hook up the tea partiers on the way because he’s acceptable to them, he doesn’t look like a bomb-thrower.

    Mourdock actually won by the widest margin last year, although part of it is that there were libertarians in other races where they sucked up an amazing about 100,000 votes per race.

  6. In a past life Bruning was very very liberal. He even bashed conservatives (including Ronald Reagan) in an op-ed for a newspaper during law school. Wonder if this will provide an opening for a more conservative candidate during the primary.

    On Gun Control:  “I believe in gun control. I think the National Rifle Association is wrong in supporting hollow-pointed bullets and every other device created purely for killing humans that has ever been invented. Their premise that a ban on any type of gun or ammunition will eventually limit those of us who want to hunt wild game is ridiculous. I love to hunt and I plan to do so throughout my lifetime. There is no need, however, for a porcelain handgun or armor-piercing bullet when I’m trying to bring down a pheasant or a goose. If the government wanted to ban shotguns, I’d be the first one in line to protest. Many types of handguns and ammunition, however, need to be regulated.”

    On Gays:  “I believe homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else. They ought to be able to be Boy Scout leaders, soldiers and anything else they want to be. Just because a person is gay doesn’t mean they’re a pedophile or a bad soldier. While I’ve only known two people in my life who were admittedly gay, I’d be happy to fight side-by-side with either of them if the United States went to war.”

  7. Run, Saul, run!

    Saul is the “Michael Scott” of Michigan politics.  He’s earnest as hell, but doesn’t get that everyone’s laughing at him and not with him.  Actually, he’s like the “Michael Steel” of Michigan GOP politics, but without the actual personal electoral success (which Steele didn’t have a lot of to begin with).

  8. Kalk says he won’t run for House if Berg runs for Senate.

    Not sure if this keeps Rick Berg in the house or not. On one hand you have an almost slam dunk re-election for life if you stay in the house, on the other hand it possibly a once-in-a-lifetime shot at an open Senate seat, but also a contested primary that he could theoretically lose and then where is he?

  9. with her lack of animosity towards teh gays (is that the proper term?)

    Sarah Palin did not say she supports gay marriage. She hasn’t celebrated the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But she also did not say that a gay Republican group should be banned from participating in a big Republican conference, and for that, social conservatives are begging her to “clarify.”

  10. with her lack of animosity towards teh gays (is that the proper term?)

    Sarah Palin did not say she supports gay marriage. She hasn’t celebrated the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But she also did not say that a gay Republican group should be banned from participating in a big Republican conference, and for that, social conservatives are begging her to “clarify.”

  11. This rule was put into place when the Obama-Hilary primary battle was in full swing. the Swingnuts saw that the Republicans were eating their young, and were full of infighting. This site’s moderators decided that instead of dividing the readership, or have this place turn into Daily Kos, or HuffPo, or anything like that, they decided to find their own niche with down-ballot races. Occasionally, when another race is related to the presidential election, comments are made. But anything purely presidential is generally considered a no-no. I have personally noticed a few exceptions to this, but they are few and far between. Also, if people get off on tangents regarding presidential politics, a moderator comes in and breaks it up.

  12. to be the next Rep. from TX-35 starting in 2012 (or insert whatever number you’d like here for the DFW-area Hispanic-majority seat soon to be created). He already has “next big thing” penciled in all over him by those in the know, so I guess this was designed to help him along.

  13. They served beer made from the honey from Michelle’s beehive.  All of a sudden I’m imagining running into some alternate-timeline version of her on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

  14. I think it is unavoidable now because of this. Obama winning or losing could well be the difference between breaking even and losing up to 6 seats or so.

  15. If Obama loses the election, the Democrats will more than likely lose the senate. But I don’t think that individual states will reflect that. I truly believe that Manchin will win in WV handily, and Obama will get obliterated in that state. Obama won’t win Nebraska, but Nelson very well may. Brown has a coin-flip situation in Massachusetts, and Obama will win by a lop-sided margin there. Obama will probably carry Maine, but Snowe will win if she is the nominee. There  isn’t a strong correlation between the senate races coming up and presidential results in that individual state this cycle.

  16. Palin, of course (though if Palin’s running, Bachmann isn’t, so…), and perhaps Huckabee and Gingrich, too. I think you’ll rather quickly find that Bachmann isn’t much of a serious threat if she delves into this race. She’ll be about on-par with Santorum and Cain, and probably find herself posting Gary Bauer-esque numbers in Iowa. I mean, on that note, she has no future outside of Iowa. New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada…this isn’t prime Bachmann territory. She needs a statewide electorate that’s as much as lalaland as the Republicans from her district are.

  17. I tried to draw what I think a court would do there and MO5 was easy enough. To hit its population target it just has to take the rest of Jackson county and keep the few precincts it currently has south of it.

    The hard part was the St. Louis area, which isn’t quite big enough to support 3 districts. As I understand the VRA you have to try to make MO1 at least 50% black, and the only way to do that was to take the bluest parts of MO3–but MO3 still had part of St. Louis. I don’t see a court drawing a district that goes from St. Louis to the bootheel, so I had MO3 take a few nearby rural counties. This pushed MO8, which was way under its target to begin with, well to the northwest. MO4 ended up disappearing because unlike the other 4 “rural” districts it doesn’t start in one of the corners. I’m pretty sure my map was 5-2-1 because my new MO3 wouldn’t be anywhere near D+7. It ended up even whiter than MO2. The VRA definitely works against the Dems there, because so much of their vote is concentrated in St. Louis and its inner suburbs.      

  18. Hard to see Democrats losing in Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey if Obama is carrying those states.

  19. After his disasterous performance last year, I no longer trust him. I think he’s the equivalent of an internal pollster.

    Maybe he’ll redeem himself this time around. I used to defend the guy, so I don’t think he’s beyond hope, but I need to see some evidence.  

  20. I can’t find anything on his page.  I can’t imagine anyone showing Romney beating Obama right now.  

  21. Nebraska and North Dakota would be certainties, Missouri and Montana probables and Ohio and Virginia likely. Florida would be touch and go and West Virginia, Michigan and New Jersey dicey. Not to mention possible open seats in Wisconsin and New Mexico. And no winning NV and MA in this scenario.

  22. that far down-ballot.  The Obama administration is a confusing bunch.  They clearly are excellent at politics at a nationwide level and they know their shit.  But when it comes to furthering their political goals through also being in charge of governance, clueless.  (Even though I say that, I’m still an optimist for Obama.  He sucks at translating governance to politics, and that is exactly what he told us he would be when he ran for President.  I’m still waiting and seeing.)

    I love reading things from GOPers on how they think we are such high-money interest controlled, high consultant paying monsters who will do anything to win.  HA!  If true, then it wouldn’t be a battle to repeal DADT and increase the minimum wage when over 2/3rds of the country agree with those positions.

  23. that are easily identifiable with the Tea Party, or his difference not only in style but in ideology? He’s won statewide before, but is he known to the point where he can’t be defined by someone else?

  24. rooting for Lugar here. It would be a loss to both parties if the senate lost his sage like wisdom on foreign affairs and nuclear weapons. Plus he’s one of those senators who beats to his own drummer when he wants. He’s not moderate, but at the same time he isn’t out there just to throw bombs at the Democrats.  

  25. But more on topic I’m curious as to what Mike Pence does here. Overtly supporting Lugar or Mourdock, or staying neutral… any choice will frustrate at least some of the people he needs for his very probable gubernatorial campaign.  

  26. But far from impossible. Having said that I do think the map is tougher for them than Republicans dare to admit. PPP teased a six point Obama lead over Romney in Colorado today. If he is winning there I have a hard time seeing him lose. Indeed he can cede Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida and still break 270.

  27. I mean, sure, if the Democrats were to win eight out of the ten seats currently held by Republicans, that’d be a wave, but that’s exceedingly unlikely. But what if they win the seats in Nevada and Massachusetts, and two of the seats out of the five in Maine, Indiana, Arizona, Texas, and Tennessee, even as they lost either North Dakota or Nebraska? We’d increase the majority by three seats, assuming all of the others were held, but it wouldn’t be anything incredible. In other words, at least in the Senate, it might not be a wave only because we hold most of the seats that are up.

    In the House, what if we have a net gain of 20 seats? That’s a pretty sizable figure, but not enough to win us back the House. While I personally can’t see anything close to 60 seats changing hands, something around 30 wouldn’t surprise me if Obama wins big, if only because while I can envision a scenario where he wins but by a much smaller margin than last time, I think it’s much likelier that he wins by a lopsided margin. And if that’s the case–if he doesn’t have to worry about Michigan or Minnesota or even Colorado or Virginia–why wouldn’t he focus on the down ballot races?  

  28. Plus you’re overlooking Lugar’s vote for organizing the Senate is a vote for putting the Rethugs in charge of every Senate committee.

  29. Between rooting for one Republican against another and Republican posters cheerleading for their candidates against Democrats.

  30. One of the difficult balancing acts of the D party is the influx and influence of independent voices. People who are independents but vote mostly D will root for Rs on occasion, if only to assert their independence.

    The Democratic party is inclusive President Obama does include two Rs in his main cabinet.

    I think the moderators here face a similar challenge. While on DK, the users (and perhaps some of the moderators) try to enforce party and ideological discipline, I don’t think it’s appropriate for the D party as a whole.

    Nevertheless, this is a D site. It is a difficult balancing act.

    So I believe occasional rooting for Rs (especially moderate Rs) should be (and is) tolerated (though not encouraged) here.

  31. Personally I would peg it at 5+ and 20+ I think. In terms of the presidential election I think it will be a decisive result – 55-45 either way.

  32. Would constitute a Dem wave. I actually think your +3 Senate scenario would be a bit of a surprise – maybe not a wave, but pretty darned close given all the seats Dems have to defend. I’m predicing 0-2 for Dem gains, tops, even with a big Obama win.

    If you look at historical trends, elections that are landslides, especially second term landslides, don’t neccesarily produce waves (see Nixon, Reagan, and even Clinton – his second election was a landslide in the electoral college). This is because the same winds that lift the incumbent president lift the incumbent Congress as well (i.e. economic recovery). But, that said, your scenario of a Dem wave election is not an impossibility at all – there’s some evidence that voters lately have been pulling single ticket levers more often than they have in the past.

    I’m still skeptical, but I’ll say you could be right as much as me, at this point.  

  33. If Republicans nominate a shit candidate like Palin or Gingrich, Obama will put up FDR-like numbers across the board. I’d say that we could easily look at massive gains in the House if that happens.

  34. and believe that you should be allowed to say what you did.

    One reason why I hang here is the ideological discipline frequently enforced at DK. I hope the moderators here continue allowing opposing viewpoints, while maintaining this as a D site.

    However, I am not a moderator, and I would not root for Lugar, unless say the D candidate were someone like Lyndon Larouche.

  35. definitely going to get the shaft during redistricting. Hell they’ll probably cannibalize his district to strengthen Allen West’s swingy district which he cannot hold in a more neutral year.  

  36. I mean what are the chances a Democrat may run who could beat Mourdock? Absent that we might be all better off rooting for Lugar. But I certainly hope Patty Murray is at least looking into the possibility. Same goes for Maine and to a lesser extent Tennessee.

  37. I’d rather both lose.  Besides, FL-25 is even further away from where West lives and the Cuban-American GOP establishment there will be loathe to let him have a free ride in that area.

  38. you’ll see that not only was he a down-the-line liberal on hot button issues, but that he was quite provocative about it.

    I would like to think that I would have the integrity to never do a 180 like that.  

  39. Apparently, liberalism is some sort of adolescent infatuation that one moves on from when you have kids and get a real job. Or something.  

  40. wold love to persuade you that trickle-down economics was a farce or that Ronald Reagan was incapable of understanding complex policy arguments.

    A lot of Democrats don’t have the balls to say this. This will be an interesting primary.

  41. I’m going to play devils advocate. He was younger, people change ideology all the time. When I was in high school I wrote and published an article in the school newspaper bashing abortion, I am pro choice now. I doubt this will affect anything. He should use the Winston Churchill quote about how to be young and conservative is to have no heart, to be old and liberal is to have no brain. Not saying I agree with that but just it would be a good part of his defense.  

  42. It could be trouble for Bruning in the primary if it was played up right and Nelson would have a better chance at winning against another candidate.

  43. That said, it’s gold for a primary challenger.

    Bruning can try to wave it off as writings of a young man, but that stuff is so night and day from now.

    It will put Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt in the minds of primary voters if they really want him as their candidate.

  44. I believe in affirmative action. If a woman or a black person takes the place of a white male in a law school entering class, we’re all better off. Women and people of color have perspectives that white men could never have, and the learning environment is better if the class is diverse. If law schools consisted solely of white males they’d look like the Republican Party.

    Wow! He certainly has a way with words – and what’s more, the last sentence is totally true!

    Just not good for a Republican to say.

  45. mead is filtered after the mash (much line wine) is completely fermented. beer is fermented very very differently. Beer must be boiled, fermented slightly, then sealed before fermentation is complete (this is why there is carbonation). With beer there is no mash to speak of, whereas it is an integral part of the mead making process. A more apt comparison would be mead-to-wine. Making honey-based beer is like making beer from barley, hops, wheat, etc, except instead of using cereal grains, you use a honey-water blend. Honey by itself, does not, and cannot ferment.  (interesting factoid of the day)

  46. than some other Republican? He won his reelection by a huge margin, but that could easily be a reflection of Indiana’s center-right status and it being a bad year for Democrats.

    Obviously, having an experienced, perhaps high profile candidate is preferable, but if no one is available, it’s not the end of the world. I’d say it’s far more important to have a candidate that runs a competent campaign by communicating well, raising enough money, and being able to outrun their opponent on the campaign trail. Indiana’s a fairly big state, and while there are fewer Democrats there than there were just a year or two ago, there are still a lot of them before we even get to candidates that lost their seats. It’s more of a problem, I think, finding a candidate in North Dakota than it is in Indiana or Tennessee, based on nothing but the size of the states.

    Take this for what it’s worth, but if I were Patty Murray, I’d worry more about finding a candidate that might be appealing to the electorate, even if they aren’t electrifying. I wouldn’t worry about how obscure this person was, but rather that they were up to raising his or her profile. And I’d worry far more about whether the resources will be there, at least at this point. Can the Democrat running count on the support of the party from all levels? Can he or she have help with fund raising, at least at the beginning, if need be? What about a visit from the president? I’m sure the White House can think of any number of reasons to schedule a visit to Indiana or Arizona to make a no-name state senator or county executive into something. He’s the president, for Chrissake, and if he hosts a rally in Muncie, Indiana, attended by a huge crowd and puts his arm around someone who isn’t Evan Bayh and promises to fight like a dog to win the seat for the Democrats, people will notice. More than a few of them will donate, particularly if the party as a whole looks like it has a fighting spirit.

    Anyway, I imagine I will be saying something similar whenever I get around to writing my letter to Sen. Murray. Because, I mean, she’s been waiting with baited breath for it, right?  

  47. The only reason it wouldn’t be considered one in this cycle is because we are defending Democratic seats in Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri…  

  48. and then you start hating gays, and wanting to put automatic weapons with hollow points in the hands of everyone who wants one.  

  49. hell, my dad’s best friend is a tea partyer who once worked on RFK and McGovern’s campaigns and use Reagan’s face as a dart board.

    The only different between now and then is the amount of zeros in his paycheck.  

  50. Strange, I got married, we had a daughter and son, we moved to a nice house in the ‘burbs, I’ve had a real, even professional(!), job for many years, same as my wife, and neither of our politics has become the slightest bit more conservative in a quarter-century of adulthood.  If anything, I’ve actually moved further and further to the left.  I deal with crime by keeping a close eye on my kids in public (rather than turning to elected officials), but I need my fellow taxpayers and government leadership to help with making sure the public schools my kids soon will enter are good.

    In reality most evidence shows people form their politics relatively early, within a decade of turning voting age, and don’t change them later.  Marriage and children don’t really change anything.  There is a correlation between marriage and having underage kids and voting more Republican than Democratic, but that’s a correlation without causation, explained by other things rather than aging or marriage or children.  That’s a separate comment, even a full diary, all by itself, but some of the factors include unmarried people being disproportionately people of color, and parents including increasingly large numbers of single parents who need more government help, among other things.

  51. seems to be ample evidence to support almost any sort of claim. Does it sound unreasonable that liberals were the big problem when it came to health are and the stimulus? How about the Blue Dogs? What about the alleged moderate Republicans? What about the president himself, clearly a liberal, but likely a moderate, cerebral one that is more likely to want to win on the merits and by the process than by simply winning?

    One reason why I suspect they will focus on down ticket races is that they will want a majority that they can work with, or simply steam roll, if need be. Before the elections, I said that if the Democrats kept the House, we’d almost certainly see another stimulus package, because they’d tell their remaining members that this was their second chance–that it was like they were in high school, there was a paper due on a Thursday before a big break, but that a snowstorm that shut down the school gave them extra time to finish it–and do everything possible short of shipping them off to a labor camp to get them to vote for such legislation. I imagine similar thinking would be on the minds of the Democrats in congress and in the White House and that they would view this as a chance to make sure the recovery was sped up even more to try to limit losses in 2014 and set the stage for Democratic success for 2016 and beyond.

  52. Most winning nominees bring in some of their fallen primary opponents into their administrations. Obama has Biden and Clinton.

  53. I think there is a huge difference between going from Center-Left to Center-Right.

    This guy moved from outright Liberal to outright Teabagger.  I don’t think that will be as easily explained.

  54. Baron Hill was an obscure state representative from Seymour (a small city in the south of the state) when he polled 46% against Dan Coats in 1990.  

  55. too early to know if this will hurt Bruning, but seeing how perfectly conservative Republican senators were teabagged for the most trivial reasons last year, anything’s possible.  

  56. depends on how big of story it gets made. I don’t think it will do much. I remember that story about O’Donnell’s thesis was supposed to be a game changer and it ended up not being that big of deal, it did slightly tighten but it was just noise and did not last. So we’ll see.  

  57. But like I figured the last time I sold a house, I only needed one serious offer.

    Assuming President Obama seriously contests Indiana in ’12 (which I believe is almost certain, unless Daniels is on the R ticket) I think any legit D can make at least a good race against Mordock.

  58. But how legit is “legit” I wonder. Tough to get somebody to run when there is a good chance Lugar will still be waiting. I guess the best model is somebody who could build name rec for a future run and maybe get lucky. Weinzapfel would fit the bill but he probably has other fish to fry. Though maybe Pence running for governor could be used to persuade him to switch races if Mourdock gets traction. Still plenty time.  

  59. I don’t see why he wouldn’t run here. It wouldn’t be easy, for sure, but it certainly wouldn’t be harder than his other options (Primary vs. Visclosky, Gov vs. Pence, Run in a R+10ish district.)

  60. McCain was not short on experience. The knock on him was his age. The selection of the youthful Palin was to energize the base in order to get them to turn out in case McCain didn’t live through his term as president. Bachmann is also substantially more qualified to be President than Palin. Bachmann has at least finished out more than half of a term as something. I just don’t see Romney would take Bachmann. Palin I see as loyal enough to her crazy friends to pick Bachmann as her running mate. Pawlenty could also do that, but he would have to change his residency to another state, which would be kind of awkward, considering he has no roots anywhere else (Unlike the Cheney situation in 2000).  

  61. This has been discussed here and on PPP’s blog hundreds of times. Robocalls are illegal in IN and ND, and it cost a lot more money to have a live caller introduce the polls, so PPP does not poll there.  

  62. with any certainty what might happen until we see what the districts look like.

    That said, it’s not that it’s impossible, but rather that it doesn’t seem likely the gains could go that high. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s heavy ticket splitting if Obama were up against someone like Palin, especially in districts that are gerrymandered for Republicans. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised to see House candidates to run against the nominee if it were someone like Palin. Stuff like that, but also local factors and the quality of the candidates and so on, places a natural limit on the gains.

    Of course, in a situation like the one we are talking about, Obama will have a lot of money to throw around, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him invest in deeply red areas.  

  63. The only way I see a mainstream Republican picking Bachmann as a running mate would be if it’s the only way to prevent a well-funded tea partier from running a Perot-type independent campaign, which would be a bigger drag on the ticket than being stuck with Bachmann as veep.

  64. So there is a precedent for this. Gingrich is supposedly all but ready to pull the trigger. I don’t know what Palin wants to do but if both of them ran, Gingrich sucking the technocratic vote, Palin sucking the anti-establishment vote there would be little room for others. I’v said repeatedly, Romney is too much of a douchebag to ever be elected president. I don’t think Huckabee will run.

  65. Internal polling is usually pretty good on both sides…not always, but usually.  Certainly they have to be the best as a matter of their very survival, since their clients are people who need them to be right in order to have a chance to form a strategy that can win.

    Rasmussen is all about trying to drive the public poitical narrative in favor of conservatives and Republicans.  You don’t have to be right to do that, you just have to have a bias with plausible deniability.

    But it blew up in Scotty’s face last year, and now he’s thoroughly discredited.  The political media never completely trusted him, and some of them (Chuck Todd for one who I’ve respected for years more than anyone in the political media) not at all.  But now he really looks bad.

    I think it’s no coincidence that Rasmussen is avoiding flooding the zone with trial heat polls right now.  He can get away with occasional national GOP primary polls, since he’s singing to his own choir, but even there he obviously finds himself at direct odds with PPP who has polled extensively both nationally and in a lot of states the past 3 months.

    PPP is the new shiny object in polling.  Until they, too, have a bad cycle…but at least they’re honest.

  66. But what consists of the “party establishment” for the GOP?  Seems like a lot of their establishment from 5 years ago are gone today.

  67. Big business, members of congress, governors etc. It is one thing to throw away a Senate seat but quite another to throw away everything they gained last year. They will coalesce around somebody. I’ve said for long enough I think Haley Barbour is a darkhorse. Somebody who will lose but won’t get blasted into oblivion taking the whole party with them. Though of course there is a risk in doing so of severe blowback. But they danced with the devil and have to deal with it.  

  68. They just want power, know it’s (probably) not possible with Palin or Gingrich, and will use their money to destroy either one of them, if/when necessary.

    If one of them win Iowa and is still in negative favorability territory overall, expect a double helping of catfud between then and NH.

  69. Except for ’64, they’ve generally gone for the most electable major candidate, since maybe Alf Landon.

  70. How on Earth is Michelle Bachmann more qualified to be President than Sarah Palin? Palin may be vindictive, small-minded, petty, uncurious, and not particularly bright, but Bachmann is an out-and-out loon.

  71. the only people I know personally who dramatically changed their politics from, say, high school, had other deep personal problems.  

  72. But everyone knows that leftist politics are an expression of irresponsibility and rebellion, and have no real grounding in mature, level-headed thinking!

    More seriously, I’m a little amazed at your willingness to patiently deconstruct this kind of nonsense. Me, I just say something sarcastic.  

  73. Where would the Republican votes be coming from? The youth vote has by and large been Democratic for decades now, and if all those young people remained loyal Democrats into middle age and beyond, there wouldn’t really be any Republicans. Of course there are plenty of people who never change their politics, and plenty who move from right to left as they grow up, but that latter category is outnumbered by people who move from left to right as they reach their 30’s and 40’s. I think the transition from college life (where students and academics are heavily Dem) to working life (where there is more balance in the environment) is probably a big factor in the change for many people.

  74. But he certainly has as many weaknesses as (though different from) Romney — in addition Huckabee seems somewhat less likely to run.  

  75. But in terms of winning the nomination I give Romney the edge. Say Huckabee wins Iowa and South Carolina and Mitt takes New Hampshire and Nevada. I don’t think Huck can compete in the big states that follow primarily due to finances. I know they have changed the delegate rules somewhat but that hurts an underfunded campaign even more.  

  76. It is the state bird of Minnesota, after all. Bachmann is not stupid. She graduated from pretty decent schools (William and Mary Law). Palin failed out of 3 colleges. Bachmann served 6 years in the state senate, with the last a stint as Assistant Minority Leader. Come 2012 she will has served 3 full terms in congress. Palin served half of a term as Governor of Alaska (the size of MN-6, and the entire state of Alaska are nearly the same). I want neither of these women anywhere near the white house as they are both certifiably insane, but Bachmann is not nearly as mentally deficient as Palin.

  77. Do the new funding rules (based on what’s that Supreme Court decision that made the new Rove group possible)

    also make it possible for some big fundamentalist fundie funder to back Huckabee? (Even if they can’t back him directly by name?)

  78. told me in mid-2010 that they would “find a way” to poll ND and IN if it became competitive. Obviously, that wasn’t warranted in 2010 as Coats was a shoo-in as was Hoeven. Maybe one way would be to have Kos pay for the poll…

  79. Youth in the 80s were at most closely split between Ds and Rs. They were attracted by the optimism of the Reagan era. I think they make up the bulk of the R party today.

    The bulk of older voters at that time were Ds, people who feared for their social security.

  80. A couple replies to your comment pointed out that the D-R split in the youth vote was about even in the Reagan years, and in fact that remained largely true into the 90s.

    A second factor that I’ve never seen anyone suggest or point out is my deduced hypothesis that people who join the electorate later in life tend to be more conservative and vote more Republican.  Yes you see older voters more Republican than younger voters consistently over decades, but a given age group’s voting composition changes over time.  That’s because where, say, 30% of 20-year olds might vote in a midterm, that same group of 20-year old Americans will have, say, a 50% or even higher midterm participation rate by the time they’re eligible for AARP membership.  Along the way, their numbers grew, as more and more of them started voting.

    This would be an interesting study for an aspiring political science Ph.D. student, or for pollsters.  Collect 1,000 Democrats, all ages, and ask at what age did you first vote?  Collect 1,000 Repubilcans, again all ages, and ask the same.  And the same for a bunch of indies.  And then ask follow-up questions to test regularity of voting, to test if there are young voters who actually drop out of the electorate later, although my guess is there aren’t any significant numbers of them–but it’s still an important related question to study.

    I am guessing one would find that people who started voting only in their late 20s or 30s are more Republican on average than people who first started voting in their late teens or early 20s.  That would explain the disparity in generational voting without the myth that people get more politically conservative with age.

    Finally, throwing race into the study would be interesting, because it is a simple fact that blacks and Hispanics, combined making up most minorities, have substantially lower marriage rates than whites.  That probably by itself explains why married people vote on average more Repubilcan than unmarried people.

  81. count piggybacking on Bob Ehrlich in 2002 electoral success. Then again as a Republican in Maryland you don’t have much to go upon.

  82. people she went to William & Mary Law…  I loved my time there, and perfer not to think about her in those halls.

    (It’s where my user name comes from!)

  83. in Maryland, most of whom are Republicans from what I can tell. One of whom, my godfather, said how much he liked Michael Steele a few years ago, and I just tried to pretend he never said it. He seems like such a smart, decent guy, and he’s a fan of Michael Steele!?!?!?

  84. Wilson looks weak. Should be fine even in an open seat situation but still hope Bingaman runs to take it completely off the table.

  85. I don’t see Gary Johnson running for Senate. I think that his days as an elected politician are done. He would be an interesting candidate though. He likely polls the best as he has a high name ID but nobody really remembers anything all that specific about him. Pearce is way too conservative to run statewide as Udall’s thrashing of him showed. At any rate I am hearing that Bingaman will be running again so this will be a moot point. With him running he will likely beat “some dude/girl” and Martin Heinrich will have to wait another 6 years to run for the Senate. He is young enough though.  

  86. better, she received her LLM from William & Mary. She received her JD from Oral Roberts, which basically shut down and became the Regent University School of Law. And in case you don’t remember, Regent University was founded by Pat Robertson. Yes, that one.

  87. I’d say it’d be better to get him in now than wait until 2018; who knows what the political landscape would be like then, but NM in a Presidential year should be favorable to the Dems.

  88. I just think it more important not to add even a semi-competitive race that takes finite sums away from the multitude of other races. Besides, in 2018 NM could be very, very blue.

  89. I agree with you but I don’t think that Bingaman wants to give up his committee chair on energy. If President Obama is serious about how he wants to refocus his energy policy Bingaman will have a huge role to play in this and he knows it. While Bingaman is not a camera guy (which is a large part for why he is so well liked) he can definitely get things done behind the scenes. Barring something unusual happening I see Martin Heinrich becoming a Senator at some point in his Congressional career. I don’t think that Bingaman will retire though as it looks like he is gearing up for re-election. I’d be shocked if he called it quits.  

  90. My only concern is that it seems to slightly over sample liberals based on the 2008 exit polls.

    Anyway, if the numbers are as strong if not better than they were in 2008, perhaps we can pick up a few House seats in the process.  

  91. Frankly, if I’m Romney, I probably think a state like New Hampshire is a better bet than Colorado, though both it and Nevada are very much contestable. The other three ain’t winning here, though a Daniels or Thune might be competitive. The thing with the SW is that Nevada’s Dem ground game is so strong, Colorado Indies don’t seem pissed at Obama or the Dems, and New Mexico’s Hispanic population all but ensures a double-digit victory. I don’t think Arizona’s really in play with anyone but Palin.  


    Life may be too firm, but if the Dems can’t mount a challenge to the open Senate seat why would we take seriously a challenger to a incumbent congressman?

    I think this seat is like VA-9, Boucher was living on borrowed time and though he was able to hold the seat despite it’s strong GOP tilt elswhere on the ballot, once the seat is gone it’s likely gone for the forseable future (which is what I mean by “life”)

  93. inclined to say that At Large seats are lifer seats unless there’s been some underlying change in the state’s political dynamics. I don’t there has been any such change in North Dakota, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Berg camp out for a few terms and then be tossed out in a wave.  

  94. w/r/t variations in internals often balancing each other out (e.g., they oversampled whites).

    The CNN ’08 split is 55/29/16, so the gap in party ID does seem high — though the ideology splits are close.

  95. w/r/t variations in internals often balancing each other out (e.g., they oversampled whites).

    The CNN ’08 split is 55/29/16, so the gap in party ID does seem high — though the ideology splits are close.

  96. Let’s say Palin runs and Huckabee doesn’t. Is this kind of think really enough to make all the remaining SCons that would probably be in Palin’s camp defect to, uh, Rick Santorum? I doubt it. If she had gone out and said getting rid of DADT is just a dandy idea or that she’s alright with civil unions (Hey there, Jon Huntsman!) I’d not be so dismissive, but I don’t really think this GOProud thing is going to have a big enough impact to affect balloting a year from now.  

  97. Personally I think Berg stay put in the House (more because of the ill effect running for higher office immediately after being elected to the original, than any “fear” of Kalk’s candidacy). AG Stenjehm will likely run for Senate and be a heavy favorite (he pulled only 6k fewer votes in his AG race than Hoeven did in the Senate, not too shabby…)

  98. Pomeroy may be the only Dem with the stature to beat him in a wave year, but he will be very difficult to dislodge if he gets entrenched. I don’t like the analogy of ND to Boucher’s district. The rural south has been trending red for a long time, and at least the eastern part of ND has been trending purple. ND voters have long been willing to vote for Dems as long as they aren’t too liberal, but they really like their incumbents. That’s why I think Berg will get progressively harder to beat the longer he sticks around.

  99. Pawlenty is running. Take a look at the link below, where he describes how he wants to reverse the decision to end DADT and defund implementation. This sort of backwards, asinine talk should come back to bite these clowns in the ass during a general election, if the Democrats can get their shit together.


  100. She’s too damn hard to predict for me to decisively call her as being in or out. Yeah, she’s got no organization in place, but if she ran I don’t think she’d plan on having one to begin with.  

  101. Honestly, before Steele hooked himself up with the national party, the guy wasn’t all that bad (i.e. free-thinking, fresh, earnest…).  And, yes, he is a likeable goof.  Michael Steele wasn’t and isn’t a sinister villian, and it makes me laugh when I see folks try to paint him as some Karl Rove type.  He’s an honest man with an unconventional style, and particularly unconventional with the stuffy GOP establishment types.

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