SSP Daily Digest: 4/19

HI-Sen: Both Rep. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa have confirmed to Roll Call that they are looking at the Dem primary to replace retiring Sen. Dan Akaka, and Hanabusa says she’s meeting with the DSCC, presumably soon. She also says that the DS “has made it known it wants to speak with anyone interested in running, but it is not actively recruiting any one candidate” (Roll Call’s phrasing).

IN-Sen: So GOPer Richard Mourdock raised $157K, not much better than the $125K or so he predicted (in an obvious attempt to ensure he “exceeded analysts’ estimates,” as they might say after a Wall Street earnings call). But I flag this item because Roll Call says Mourdock plans to “raise money from a national donor base starting next year.” Does this mean he’s going the Sharron Angle/Michele Bachmann/Allen West BMW Direct-type direct mail scammery? (See related bullets below.) If so, then perhaps Dick Lugar is in better shape than he might have hoped.

MO-Sen: This is news to me: Sophomore GOP Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer is apparently thinking about a Senate bid, and has reportedly even met with the NRSC about his intentions. Dave Catanese says that “uncertainty about redistricting” is spurring Luetkemeyer to consider other options, but I’m not sure I buy that, seeing as the new maps being considered by the Republican-held legislature offer him a very comfy seat. The real puzzler is why he’s doing this when six-term Rep. Todd Akin seems to be gearing up for a Senate run, since there’s almost no way the two would want to fight it out in a primary. Maybe Lute thinks he can be Plan B if Akin demurs.

Another reason cited by Catanese (which applies equally well to both congressmen) is ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman’s crappy fundraising. She pulled in just $186K in Q1, which would be unimpressive for a supposedly serious candidate in almost any state. If Akin gets in, I think there’s a non-zero chance that she’d drop out.

MT-Sen: Nice: Sen. Jon Tester (D) raised $1.2 million in Q1 and has $1.5m on hand. His Republican opponent, Rep. Denny Rehberg, raised less than half that, $580K, but has $932K in the bank.

NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Nelson raised $1 million in Q1 and has $2.3 mil on hand. His chief Republican rival, AG Jon Bruning, raised $1.5 million and has $1.2 in the bank, but Nelson pointed out that $600K was transferred from Bruning’s 2008 Senate account (when he briefly sought to primary Chuck Hagel; after Hagel announced his retirement, Bruning was squeezed out by former Gov. Mike Johanns).

OH-Sen: Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin, whom we’d mentioned previously as a possible candidate, has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee, joining Treasurer Josh Mandel in this in-limbo category in the GOP primary.

TN-Sen: I feel like there’s an alternate universe not too dissimilar from our own where a Republican dude named Bob Corker is also freshman in the U.S. Senate, and he’s also up for re-election, except Corker Prime is actually vulnerable. Here on Earth, though, it really seems like Corker is well out of reach for us. He raised an impressive $1.9 million in Q1 and has over $4 million in the bank – and there are no Democratic candidates on the horizon.


MO-Gov: Gov. Jay Nixon lapped his likely Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, on the fundraising circuit, pulling in over twice as much money over the last six months, $1.7 million to $770K. Nixon also has a big cash-on-hand edge, $2.1 mil to $900K.

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show? Well, pretty terrible, actually – Kinder’s had just an awful few weeks in the press. After the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed his penchant for spending taxpayer money to stay in luxury hotels to attend baseball games and society balls, Kinder promised to reimburse the state $35K… but two weeks later, he still hasn’t. That nimbus definitely isn’t moving anywhere just yet, and it’s his own damn fault. Let’s hope he runs the rest of his campaign the same way.

NC-Gov: This just doesn’t seem good. Gov. Bev Perdue, whose public image has already suffered enough damage, was out-of-state Saturday afternoon when a series of deadly tornadoes touched down in North Carolina. She was attending a horse race in Kentucky and didn’t make a public appearance back home until 11pm that night. I’m not going to predict what this will mean for Perdue, but it can’t be helpful.

WV-Gov: SoS Natalie Tennant’s first ad is a hokey spot set on a farm, in which she decries politicians wasting money… and a cow can be heard to moo. (Or a bull. I don’t know. It has horns. But small ones. So maybe still a cow? Do bulls moo? I’m from the city – sue me.) Tennant is generally seen as the candidate with the greatest appeal to liberals (yes, there are some in West Virginia), so she’s clearly trying to play against type here.


AZ-08: Rep. Gabby Giffords raised $358K in Q1 and has $556K in the bank.

CA-19: Freshman GOP Rep. Jeff Denham (I admit it – I had already forgotten who he was and had to Google him) is already making a name for himself. That name is “idiot.” He staged a mega-lavish DC fundraiser in January when he was sworn in which featured singer Leann Rimes and spent an amazing $212,250 on the event. Total raised? $212,900 – which means he netted exactly $650. That’s quite the feat. It’s even more amazing when you consider it was all supposed to benefit a joint fundraising committee for 11 GOP frosh. To rub it in, Michael Doyle of the Modesto Bee archly observes: “If the $650 netted from outside contributors were to be divvied up evenly, each of the 11 GOP lawmakers would receive $59.”

CA-36: Janice Hahn outraised Debra Bowen in Q1, $273K to $195K, and has about double the cash-on-hand, $171K to $93K. Surprisingly, Marcy Winograd managed to raise $50K. (And if you care, Republican Craig Hughey lent his campaign $250K.)

Bowen also put out an internal from the Feldman Group. In a test of apparently all the candidates who have filed, she and Hahn tie for 20, with Republican Mike Gin the next-closest at 8 and Winograd at 6. The memo also says that in a two-way runoff, Bowen leads 40-36 with 16% undecided. The poll also claims that Hahn’s unfavorability rating is “double that of Bowen,” but a self-respecting pollster really shouldn’t include such tripe, because the refusal to release actual numbers means we’re talking about something like a 12-to-6 comparison (i.e., meaningless). As mi hermano G.O.B. Bluth would say, “COME ON!”

FL-08: Hah! Does Daniel Webster want to lose? The GOP freshman raised just $30K in Q1, but the really funny part is that the guy he defeated, Alan Grayson, raised more! Grayson took in $38K, apparently from small donors who hope he’ll make a comeback bid.

FL-22: Allen West raised a seemingly-impressive $434K in Q1, but as you know, he’s a major practitioner of the churn-and-burn style of shady direct-mail fundraising, and it really shows in his burn rate. He spent an amazing $266K last quarter, which both as a raw total and a percentage rate is exceedingly high… but see the MN-06 and NV-02 items below.

IA-04: Interesting, though not surprising: Politico says that DCCC chair Steve Israel warned Christie Vilsack off of challenging Dave Loebsack in the new 2nd CD, assuring her that the D-Trip would back the incumbent. He also apparently promised to support her if she took on Rep. Steve King (as she supposedly might do), though who knows what kind of $ that might translate into.

IL-03: Insurance exec John Atkinson, who is apparently challenging Rep. Dan Lipinski in the Democratic primary, raised $535K in Q1, including $312K from his own pockets. Lipinski raised just $138K but has $637K on hand.

MN-08: Freshman GOPer Chip Cravaack raised just $121K in Q1 – so why are we having such a hard time finding a Dem willing to take this guy on?

MN-06: Michele Bachmann raised a MIND-OBLITERATING $1.7 million in the first quarter… and yes, I’m being sarcastic, because she also managed to spent $756K. Of course, netting a million bucks ain’t bad (and she has $2.8 mil on hand), and if she truly pulls the trigger on a presidential run, I’ll bet the spigots will open even wider. But that’s still quite the burn rate.

NV-02: Sharron Angle makes Allen West look as parsimonious as Scrooge by comparison. Everyone’s favorite nutter (okay, it’s a multi-way tie, but you know you love her) raised an amaaaaaaaaazing $700K in Q1, but spent an actually amazing $550K, mostly to BaseConnect, the scam artists formerly known as BMW Direct. She has only $176K in the bank.

NY-26: Republican Jane Corwin is not fucking around: She raised just $102K in Q1, but gave her own campaign a whopping million dollars. Yow. Meanwhile, Crazy Jack Davis has raised zilch, but has loaned himself $1.5 mil and already spent $1.4 mil.

Other Races:

Denver Mayor: SSP commenter Kretzy has a really good run-down on the May 3rd Denver mayor’s race, necessitated by John Hickenlooper’s ascension to the governor’s mansion. I won’t try to summarize it – you should just click through. Timely, too, because SUSA has a poll out on the race, showing James Mejia and Chris Romer tied at 22, with Michael Hancock next at 18. Again, read Kretzy’s summary if you want to know more about these people.

Wisconsin Recall: Signatures were filed yesterday to force a recall election for a third Republican state senator, Luther Olsen, and Dems expect to file petitions for Sheila Harsdorf today. (Number of Dem state sens who’ve had petitions filed against them so far: 0.) Also, the state’s Government Accountability Board says it will try to consolidate the recalls into as few elections as possible.

Grab Bag:

DSCC: In an item about Herb Kohl raising $0 last quarter (he can cut himself a fat check any time he pleases, so this isn’t meaningful), Dave Catanese says that DSCC chair Patty Murray said “she was confident all of the remaining incumbents were running for reelection.” Kohl is the most obvious candidate for retirement, and of course Murray could be wrong, but maybe this is it.

Fundraising: The NYT has a list of fundraising by freshman Republicans, and also notes that IN-08 Rep. Larry Bucshon took in just $45K. Not really wise for a guy whose district is likely to be made at least a bit more competitive. The Fix also has a fundraising roundup.

LCV: The League of Conservation Voters is launching a $250K radio ad campaign targeted at four members of the House who voted in favor of a bill that would bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The ads are hitting two Republicans running for Senate, Denny Rehberg and Dean Heller, as well as Energy Cmte Chair Fred Upton (R) and Jason Altmire (D). Here’s a sample ad (targeted at Heller), which I actually find kinda weird and confusing.

Passings: Former Rep. Harold Volkmer, who represented mostly rural northeastern Missouri’s 9th CD for ten terms, passed away at the age of 80.

Redistricting Roundup:

Colorado: Now this at least is a fight that makes sense: Republicans control the Colorado House, while Dems control the Senate – and tempers have already exploded with the release of proposed redistricting plans from both sides. (See yesterday’s digest for the maps.) Speaker of the House Frank McNulty flipped out, accusing Democrats of drawing districts that would benefit two legislators in particular: Senate President Brandon Shaffer and Sen. Morgan Carroll.

However, Carroll said she has no plans to run for Congress, while the Dem point-man on redistricting, Sen. Rollie Heath, pointed out that the new 4th CD (which McNulty thinks Shaffer wants to run in) has a 10 percent GOP registration edge… in other words, not the kind of seat you’d drawn for yourself if you were an ambitious Democrat. So either McNulty is just a garden-variety moran, or he’s just trying to cast fact-free aspersions against the other side. We’ve seen a lot of this kind of crap from Colorado Republicans already, so door number two is a definite possibility (but of course, it’s not mutually exclusive of door number 1).

Missouri: Trying to unlock a stalemate that seems remarkably picayune to outsiders such as myself, Republican power brokers in Missouri met yesterday to talk things over. Among the participants were most of the Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation, the heads of the state House and Senate, and the chair of the MO GOP. No sort of deal has been announced as yet.

Virginia: Hah – so much for lawmakers racing back to work to deal with Gov. Bob McDonnell’s veto of their redistricting plans. Legislators had planned to be off this week, so rank-and-file members declined leadership’s entreaties to show up.

315 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/19”

  1. Bulls bellow or snort, cows moo. Gender actually matters here as to what sound the species makes.  

    1. Nice to have those leads but I think his job approval is still the most important number. Normally I would be slightly concerned that they sampled adults and not registered voters but Rasmussen’s likely voter model shows basically the same picture.

      1. There’s just a huge difference between something bad, like $5 a gallon gas, and something truly awful, like $9 a gallon gas.  

          1. Walker would still lose even if he took every single swing state outside the midwest (CO, NV, NM, AZ, NH, VA, NC, FL).

          2. What his first few months as Governor show is that he’s in over his head.  He’s really screwed up politically in every possible way, constantly throwing more gasoline on to the fire.

            It’s not that anything he’s done pisses off Republicans.

            It’s that what he’s done shows he lacks political sense now that he’s at this high level.  And that lack of political sense would carry over into a Presidential campaign, where I’m confident we would see a neverending string of screw-ups of all kinds.

            That’s the thing about all these people who various factions of Republicans pine over, I actually don’t think any of them could win the nomination.  They are either too green to have the political chops to run a competent campaign, or they just don’t have the motivation to do what they’d have to do (see Fred Thompson), or they just wouldn’t catch fire with primary voters.

            That last point is key:  there’s really no evidence that Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels or Scott Walker would catch fire with rank-and-file Republicans.

            That’s the problem their party has:  no one catches fire.  They don’t have any good choices period, either among actual candidates, prospective candidates who are actually thinking about it, or fantasy candidates.

          3. He has his own little fiefdom there, following in his father’s footsteps.

            Quintessential dickwad.

      2. The popular memory is that the economy was terrible throughout Carter’s presidency and that plus the hostage crisis killed his presidency. In truth, the economy was actually quite good during the first half of Carter’s term. Unemployment dropped to 5%, inflation fell to high but manageable levels, high but far lower than the double-digit highs of the mid-70s, and economic growth was strong.

        What killed Carter was the Iranian Revolution. The supply disruptions from the conflict caused a massive oil spike which both killed the economy and caused inflation to spike dramatically upwards over the course of ’79 and ’80.

        Without Iran imploding, Carter would probably have still defeated Kennedy for the nomination (very hard to defeat a sitting president), then would probably have gone into the election with middling-but-not disastrous numbers (mid 40s) and beaten Reagan by about 5 points. There may still have been a subsequent Volcker-instigated recession in ’81, but without the massive inflation spurred by the oil crisis, interest rates would have been raised more gradually and less sharply, producing a milder recession overall.  

        1. These guys are probably going to try to rush the bill through before the Recount Commission starts working on the White challenge again. I’m sure it will pass the House, but I wonder if there’s a chance of Daniels vetoing it.  

  2. The bullet point is not a complete sentence. Who were the participants? Akin, Emerson, Luetkemeyer, House Speaker Tilley, Senate Pro Tem Meyer, and Hartzler over the phone.

    1. I’m pretty sure fucking cows neither moo nor bellow, but kind of groan. Then again, I live in the city, so what the hell do I know?

      1. Huckabee is probably the worst fundraiser imaginable.  Even in late 2007/early 2008 when he surged in Iowa polling and then national polling afterward, he never translated that to $$$.

        It’s as if he’s got Jeff Denham as his fundraising consultant.

        And running for President, you simply can’t win without a lot of money.  McCain won a few early states on to propel him when he ran on what was considered a shoestring budget, but his “shoestring” budget was still a lot more money than Huckabee ever raised.

      2. From there, though, I can’t fathom how Huckabee improves upon his ’08 performance, sans perhaps winning Texas. I think Romney would win Florida and, with that, become a solid front-runner. And Pataki wouldn’t have a prayer in New York…he’d need to prevail in New Hampshire first. (It doesn’t look like Pataki’s running, anyway.) If Giulaini ran, though, and placed 2nd in NH/FL, I suppose he could triumph in New York. And nowhere else.

  3. Do they not know his seat is going to be collapsed…and that he’ll probably be out anyways?

    Reminds me of Homer Simpson…”Impeach Churchill”.

  4. “If the $650 netted from outside contributors were to be divvied up evenly, each of the 11 GOP lawmakers would receive $59.”

    That will buy about three yard signs per candidate. Great work, team.

    1. Tennant grew up on a farm.  For real.  So I think it’s quite easy for her to pull off “farm girl.”

      I thought it was a good ad.  Nothing awesome, nothing memorable, but most good ads aren’t memorable.  She was trying to reach a rural audience, and it probably helps her.

  5. Well to my knowledge all cows can “moo”.  I’ve yet to figure out if its an actual form of communication as it seemed to do nothing.  The only “mooing” that ever seemed productive was when the momma cows (as opposed to momma grizzlies) were calling their carlves.  The rest of the time it seemed like gibberish.

    Both cows and bulls “mmoed” on our farm, though we had Holsteins.  Cows and bulls can both have horns too, if Holsteins are any proxy.

    The cows in that pic are white-faced herefords I believe.  

    But I prattle on….lol

  6. This Thursday, and I suspect this is just the start of him “reintroducing himself” to Nevada. The stakes are incredibly high here: 6 Electoral Votes, an open US Senate seat, and 3 open US House seats!

      1. By inviting them to sit in the front row while he told them what he thought of their plan. And Chuck Todd says that is why his job approvals are down.

    1. Perdue has been crucified everywhere she turns in this state…be it adding a surtax to the wealthiest taxpapers (which really accounts for very little) or cutting government to cover a budget shortfall.  

      If anyone tries to use this crap against Perdue, it will blow up in their faces.  Perdue has done a helluva good job in handling this disaster.

    1. was actually conducted from the White House, but your point is taken.

      The bits about Messina sealed it for me, though. Until I specifically hear they won’t be targeting the state, I will be convinced they will do just that. I just hope we hear about this stuff sooner rather than later. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I know I’d feel much more inclined to throw money to the campaign if I could see what it was going towards.

  7. I think Natalie Tennant’s ad will play pretty well in WV but you’re missing the point. She pauses, deliberately, after saying “that’s a lot of…” and the BULL moos, whereupon she substitutes a more “ladylike” word. Again, I think WVians will get it while perhaps New Yorkers and Los Angelenos don’t. As to all the debate about which gender moos and which bellows… the bovine in the image is a steer so I’ll let you all hit the googlemachine to figure the rest of it out.

  8. At the end of an…interesting interview, the newsman says that Texas Republicans keep bringing up that he’s targeting the state, and Obama said they are clearly not. As I’ve said more than a few times over the last few days, I think the campaign will be there based on the decision to try for the Senate seat. So either this was a lie, a frank admission of the truth, or it was based on the idea of “targeting Texas” in the sense of not supporting Houston and the space program, which the interviewer brought up. I would think it’s the latter, but it’s not clear from this heavily edited clip.

    Anyway, it’s kind of a weird interview. The President is right to be annoyed that the guy kept interrupting him–and seriously, how much of a douche do you have to feel like when the President of the United States criticizes you for being rude, as Obama does at the end of the clip? You can see the look on the interviewer’s face as evidence he’s slightly embarrassed. Also, there’s no better question to ask than “Why are you so unpopular in Texas?” Really, nothing at all?

    1. an investment for the current period and a bigger one for the future. If we happen to see some big electoral successes while we are there, that’s fantastic, but if we simply see a closer race for most of the contests and only a few wins (think one or two House seats versus a presidential and/or senate win plus more House seats), we will be doing ourselves a lot of good. Obama knows this, I think, and that’s why he will be there.  

      1. He has a sketchy history, but he was one of the few Bush-era military officials to later come out strongly against the Bush torture programs.

      2. It keeps managing to slip my mind that there was a lot of activity in untraditional states because of the extended primary. It’s still not the same as a full fledged general election, I think, but it’s a lot different than nothing.  

  9. The N&O, once a liberal bastion has HATED the NCDP now for a few years and has gone after Bev and anybody else they can find even if it adds up to nothing.  This story is nowhere outside the paper’s online political blog and half the comments, usually very bad, are “don’t care.”  What happened is that her press team screwed up by trying to cover it even though her schedule was public.  Thats where the screwup occurred.  My biggest concern is that regardless of the truth this will be an add next year that will just be one more thing people pile on her.

  10. According to the Star-Advertiser, Honolulu’s daily newspaper, Rep. Mazie Hirono raised more than 100k and has almost 300k on-hand, much of it raised after Senator Daniel Akaka announced he was retiring.

    Here is the link:

    1. Republicans jump back to “Drill Baby Drill”, and certain Democrats get weak-kneed… Until the next big oil spill happens, entire coastlines are trashed, and all of sudden Americans don’t want offshore drilling again.

      What really needs to be done IMHO is continue pushing for fuel efficiency and renewable energy by explaining the best way to lower gas prices is by reducing demand. There’s only so much oil left off California’s coast, and ANWR at most has about a year’s worth of oil there. What happens when all that oil runs out? Basically, we’re screwed all over again.

    1. Think Clinton signing an Executive Order in December 2000 abolishing the electoral college. Yes, I know that is impossible but you take my point.

    2. But they’re only interested in changing them because the weirdness of the current laws has become a danger to them. It’s transparently a move by people who couldn’t care less about good government, and the proposal should be rejected by the governor and brought up again when there isn’t a legal dispute already in progress that the bill is obviously targeted at.  

      1. If you going to design the perfect GOP candidate as you’ve described it to be sans female and non-beltway characteristics, it would be Haley Barbour.

      2. I don’t think there’s any Palin Derangment Syndrome going on. Palin has done a lot to alienate a wide spectrum of people, including some Republicans but especially Democrats and independents. It’s not just the perception of her as a cultural warrior, but the perception that she’s frankly not all that smart and does inexplicable things like quit the governorship of Alaska after two years.

        It’s true that Reagan wasn’t all that respected among some folks, but he was still a two term governor of California and a good speaker who never made the missteps in the years before 1989 that Palin has.

        This statement:

        “I think an attractive Pro-Life female candidate, from outside the beltway, who could unite the Tea Party/ Club for Growth econ wing with the culturally conservative Social Con wing would be it.”

        is absolutely true except that it describes a generic candidate, not Sarah Palin, whose image is much more complicated, and negative, then what you described.


    3. Clearly they screwed up big time with White. They should pay the consequence with curent Indiana law.

    1. But then I might argue our side isn’t exactly helping by holding his feet so closely to the fire all the time. No, I’m not suggesting people shut up and blindly follow, that is what the other side does. What I am saying is there is something to this…

    2. that Americans are looking for a fighter. They seem to be looking for a conciliator.

      Actually, I don’t have a f*cking clue what this country is looking for anymore and I suspect neither do they.  

      1. Or which R candidate has “political sense?”

        My money is still on Romney, as a 1:4 to a 2:5 shot.

          1. I get what you’re saying now… The first post really didn’t impart your point very well.  

          2. He isn’t going to go out there in public to announce that he isn’t running, unless his name is Tommy Thompson.

        1. Huck will suck up the moderate likable nice guy vote that Huntsman is hoping to peel off from the hatefest that is currently the rest of the GOP primary field. I don’t think Huck is going to run though.  

          1. I was an intern on the Carson campaign back in 2004 but I haven’t really live in OK since and was too young at the time to know much more about Jay Parmley than the name but it is an interesting connection. I will say that the early oughts were the last time that the Oklahoma Democratic Party was an effective and coherent force in the state — with the victory of Brad Henry, relative lack of collapse in state houses etc.

          2. We should give him a shot.  I had a friend express concern about the hire but I remember hearing about Parmley from his days in Oklahoma and, not knowing all the details, was impressed.

        2. Huntsman is a total RINO. All he has going for him is the far-right implodes, Romney putters off, and Rs turn to someone who might still be breathing

  11. Yesterday, a group of Republicans in the state Senate inserted an amendment into a house bill that would change election law in the Hoosier State. Just how would it change election law? It would change the state legal provisions that account for the replacement of a statewide official after they are removed from office. And how would it change them?

    Currently, if a statewide elected is removed from office, (let's just say, hypothetically, SoS Charlie White was to be kicked out of his job by the State Recount Commission), the candidate that won the second highest amount of votes in the last election for that office would replace them (so, in our hypothetical scenario, Democrat Vop Osili would replace Republican Charlie White). What the Republicans want to do is instead change this so that a removed officeholder would instead be replaced by a person selected by the governor.

    It's very easy to conclude that this is just coincidental timing by Republican legislators concerned about the strangeness of some of Indiana's election laws, and is not at all related to the possibility of one of their own being removed from office and replaced by a Democrat. Obviously.

    In fact, the bill is so clearly not motivated by any sort of partisan considerations that it even includes a provision (27-B) for ensuring that the removal of disqualification of an SoS candidate, post election, would not effect the use of that election's vote numbers for the purpose of defining major and minor parties!

    Kudos to Jim Shella, who appears to have originated the “Charlie's Law” term, and who also notes that IN Dem big boss Dan Parker (as he so often does) is talking about filing suit if this thing's actually signed into law by the governor. 

  12. From the Texas Tribune:

    A proposed map for redrawing Texas House district boundaries could help fortify the Republicans’ majority in the lower chamber in 2012.

    Plugging in the returns from the last presidential election shows how the changes in the new map, proposed by Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, reshape numerous House districts across the state in a way that could protect most of the Republicans’ two-thirds majority.

    Under Solomons’ proposal, which will likely by changed this week by amendments proposed by his House colleagues, GOP presidential nominee John McCain would have won 98 of the 150 seats in the House, a six seat improvement over 2008, according to a Tribune analysis. (Republicans currently hold 101 of the seats).

  13. Interesting story on politico today about how Lacy Clay refused to do anything to stop the Republican gerrymander of Missouri because he liked his uber-Democratic vote-sink too much.

    Btw… I know this is old news, but I thought commenters might be interested in a refresher about Rep. Clay’s “progressive” views w/r/t race and Congressman Cohen

    Clay made headlines in early 2007 when, as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (co-founded by his father), he objected to the possible inclusion of U.S. Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, a Caucasian who represents the majority-African American district in Memphis and had made a campaign promise to attempt to become the first white member of the CBC. Although it is not part of the CBC’s bylaws that members must be black, all members so far have been black.[4] Clay told Cohen “that he could not collaborate with the Congressional Black Caucus for the benefit of his black constituents ‘until your skin turns black.'”[5] In response to press inquiries, he said, “Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He’s white and the Caucus is black. It’s time to move on. We have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It’s an unwritten rule. It’s understood.” In response to the decision, Cohen stated, “It’s their caucus and they do things their way. You don’t force your way in.”[4] Clay issued an official statement from his office in reply to Cohen’s complaint: “Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept – there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it’s our turn to say who can join ‘the club.’ He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives.” Some have said that since Cohen represents a district with 60 percent of African American voters, that he has a legitimate interest in helping the goals of the CBC, and the decision should not be solely based on skin color.[4]

  14. Well the GOP has finally found a couple Pols willing to at least look at challenging Amy Klobuchar, but they are both B- Listers who were last seen losing statewide last fall.

    Lawyer Chris Barden told The Associated Press that he has been approached by several people about running after an unsuccessful bid for attorney general and is weighing the prospect. He gave no timetable for a decision….

    ….Dan Severson, who lost his secretary of state race, is “seriously considering” entering the race and will decide sometime in May, said Kent Kaiser, a political adviser to Severson.

    1. Although I could be wrong.

      Rep. Paul is of course immensely popular with a certain voting bloc, but he’s also rather old – older than Sen. McCain, actually. And Sen. Paul just filed for reelection to the Senate, which suggests that he’s just posturing and preening (as you might expect) with this presidential hinting.

      It wouldn’t stun me if Ron Paul goes ahead and runs anyway, arguing that Johnson is too focused on the drugs issue and is too liberal on immigration policy. That would, of course, virtually wreck any chance the libertarians have of breaking through in Iowa (not likely, but if Huckabee runs, it’s open), New Hampshire (not likely, but if Romney falters or has his base cut into by Pawlenty, Trump, Gov. Daniels, or [even less likely] Gov. Christie, it’s open), or Nevada (more likely, though I expect Romney to romp here if he’s not too badly damaged), though I don’t know what effect it would have on fellow unorthodox, hey-look-I’m-hip Republican Ambassador Huntsman’s viability – or lack thereof, as it may be.

      Ultimately, this is all just fun and games unless one of them starts really making some noise in the polls.

  15. What the heck is lowkell’s issue with Favola?  I can’t quite pick it up as he is kinda vague.

  16. This statement from his website suggests he is going to be the candidate or why would the contact person be someone from the State party and why would he make a public announcement?

    I believe he would be the strongest opponent, so if true another solid recruitment by the state Dems.  While I do worry about the ability to keep the seat next year, his district can easily be made much more favorable by moving southwest.  

  17. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned yet, but there are strong rumors that the Vilacks have bought a house and are planning to move to Ames, Iowa in Story County which happens to be in the 4th Congressional district.  


  18. If I had to bet money, I’d say that Altmire will be getting a better seat. Republicans will find it a bit difficult to take out Altmire and Critz.  

  19. I still think they try to take both out.  Its still an odd buy before knowing the details of re-districting.

  20. Bellaring isn’t a word.

    Words matter. They’re how we descrive the world around us. If you can’t describe something accurately, then you aren’t communicating effectively. In this case there is clearly a linguistic distinction in English between the sound that a female makes and the sound that a male makes.  

  21. I don’t know, I don’t know how environment-friendly a Dem they’re going to get in Western PA these days.  People see the end of coal and its impact on economies, they are going to bend over backward to get the EPA otu of the way and let the nat-gas industry in West PA develop.

    Its their money, just not sure what bang their getting for the buck

  22. Same with humans.  Its still called talking though.

    And you spelled describe wrong.

    Sheesh, grab a sense of humor at the next linguistics meeting.  

  23. I love linguistics. I got a waver to take linguistics courses instead of an actual language for my degree.  

  24. to drive home for Easter, and he’s in 2016.  I should get his campaign team to manage my life.

  25. Lest the Raul-bots swarm this site for a mass trolling. It must be bittersweet for them. Maybe they really wanted to rally around Pand, but at least now the path is clearer for Pon (to go nowhere fast yet again!).

  26. finally had a regular guy for senator who isn’t always looking to the next election.  

  27. He can always raise money for his re-election in 2016 and then move it to a Presidential run if he wanted to.

    Love him or hate him Sen Paul has a following and those Paulites need some place to send their checks to. Now they got his 2016 re-election campaign.

    Watch him build up a huge warchest fast.

  28. But there’s basically nothing else IN western Nevada except for Reno, so it’s probably close enough to set him off.  

  29. Not BY 16%. Rather, Mittens only gets 16%, with “None of the Above” at 12%. The GOP Primary looks to be very volatile, and there’s certainly room for someone to step in and sway the teabaggers.

  30. Absolute killer. And not likely to get better until at least the fall. Just as the employment picture was picking up too. Dammit.

  31. Not Likely Voters or even registered voters. Just a poll of a bunch of adults in the US. Not very useful.

  32. I know everyone hates Ras, be has the Democrats with the highest numbers they have had in 18 months on the generic ballot at the same time Obama’s strongly approve is tanking.

    And it would be in-line with what PPP is finding if Congressional Republicans(and Republicans generally) and Obama personally were tanking simultaneously. I realize it is odd in the present partisan environment, but I get the impression there is a share of the electorate that wants absolutely nothing to do with the GOP on policy matters, but finds Obama personally weak or ineffectual as President.

    At the moment we have the Congressional GOP pushing extremely unpopular budget proposals, while everything both internationally(Libya, Oil, Europe) and domestically seems to be going to hell. The former is causing the GOP to tank, but the latter is being blamed on the person who is in charge, ie. Obama.

    I truly believe that the 2012 election will be determined by who this voter group ends up going for. Its also why I am wary of non-campaign coattails predictions this far out, because its exactly this sort of demographic that would be most likely to split ticket.

    I also would not put much stock in polls. This is exactly the sort of environment(ala 1980 or early 2000) where the opposing candidates are being dragged down by the unpopularity of their party, and well by the unpopularity of everyone and everything. If things continue as they are(a big if?) I would expect a really late break, likely in late September of 2012, having little or nothing to do with the two candidates or the campaigns they run.

    I used to be in the close 2012 election boat, but I am now doubting that 2012 will be particularly close at all. Environments like the current one do not tend to produce close results, they tend to produce wild swings, swings that sometimes cancel each other out, but as a general matter, will probably overwhelm all but the sturdiest campaigns and GOTV efforts.

  33. One (minor) issue with PPP’s polling is they ask ‘approval’ about an incumbent and ‘favorable’ about challengers.  This always hurts the incumbent, in this case Obama.

    In this poll Obama has 47/50 “approve”, but 52/45 “favorable”.  

    While this poll is only one data point, going forward I’d start adding 5% to any PPP (or other) poll that only asks for ‘approval’ of the incumbent but ‘favorable’ of challengers, if you want to actually compare the candidates apples-to-apples.

  34. The machine will beg if they have to. He’ll want a strong VP candidate as part of his deal for coming in, I could see a Christie/Pence ticket.  Pence gets the teabaggers without being an overt bagger, and Christie gets the non-bagger Republican base to swoon.

    The current cast offers nothing and could kill down ticket races for the GOP.  We’re now less than nine months from the Iowa caucuses – somebody has to get in and soon.  

    I think the strategy could be to show the field lacking terribly, and then jump in to rescue the party.  Christie is the only guy who could make that splash.  

  35. I don’t mean to sound dickish to you, atdleft, but we keep hearing that someone, somewhere, will step in to fill the void. I’m waiting, and I imagine I’ll still be waiting at this point next year. Aside from perhaps Mitch Daniels, who looks to be undecided at this point, and Rick Perry, I’m struggling to come up with a name.  

  36. What is Tennant’s point, exactly? That she’s more ladylike? My point is that she’s the candidate of the liberals (EMILY’s List, and it’s just her pedigree), and this reminds me a bit of Harold Ford in the hunting cap. I don’t think she has the cred to pull off “farm girl.”

  37. You won’t find me saying many nice things about Karl Rove, but one thing I will give him and people like him that worked for Bush credit for was their ability to do stuff like this effectively. Back when all of the nonsense about Michael Steele’s incompetence came out, some information about Rove was described, too. Specifically, I am referring to how, while not being cheap, he made sure to be kind of frugal with the little things when it came to fund raising. This would include not putting flowers out on a table just to save money. It may seem like a small thing, but enough small things add up to something big.  

  38. In some ways, that’d be a good thing. Maybe it takes Indiana off the table–although I imagine Obama will have so much money he will force them to buy it at a premium–but it won’t make much of a difference in New Jersey. I doubt it does much of anything anywhere else, either. And at the same time, if he fails badly enough, he’ll be taking himself out of consideration in 2016.  

  39. He’s been burned before when he’s tried to move up too fast, and if he gets in it’s going to be when he wants to, not some national figure.  Plus, he would have some serious liabilites as a national candidate at this point.  I think he knows that he needs time to soften his brand for that.

  40. He simply doesn’t want to be a 2012 Presidential candidate.

    And no one ever runs because others pine for him.

    The mere fact people are pining for non-candidates to become candidates establishes how slim the GOP’s odds are of beating Obama, which in turn is why these people being pined after won’t give any consideration to running.

  41. Switching to a VP campaign would be hilarious, though, since no other major Rs have entered the race here as they’re afraid of him.  

  42. Or a couple of the teabaggers will have to drop out/stay out so that one of them can consolidate the tea-nut vote, or several of the not-as-unhinged candidates will have to drop out so that Mittens or T-Paw or Huckster has a better shot.

    The way it is now, the primary field is a giant hot mess. And if it doesn’t get cleaned up soon (either by someone “filling the void” or current candidates being forced out to strengthen one left standing), there may be a contested GOP convention next year.

  43. but I am not sure what he’d run on. And as much as he would galvanize the right, he’d do it twice as much to the left.  

  44. You don’t want your Presidential nominee to be someone deeply underwater and under siege in his own state.  Especially a purple state!

    All this throwing around of names of people who aren’t running makes me laugh.  The GOP nominee will be a usual suspect, i.e., someone who is either already running or publicly contemplating running.  In other words, you’re better off betting Herman Cain or Michelle Bachmann than the likes of Chris Christie or Scott Walker.

  45. Although admittedly I did not consistently visit this site until 2010. However, I visit less consistently with modding duty over at RRH now.

    Still, it means you must tread carefully. At any moment I could summon a storm of Paulbots, a small cadre of acne-stricken middle-aged men who, spamming in their mothers’ basements,are ready to unleash a frenzy of “End the Fed!” and “Ron Paul 2012!” comments upon anybody who dares to question them.

  46. If it happens, I think that would become the dominant issue in American politics.

    That would make it especially difficult to turn suburban voting back towards ’08 levels of D support.

    OTOH, there are potential positive bits that could burst the bubble of gas prices, starting with Gadaffi going away.

  47. with all of them except Romney. Not exactly terrible, all things considered.

    And why do you think they are likely to not get better until the fall? People driving in the summer?

  48. But if gas prices spike up over $4 or even get to $5 it will create big problems for Obama and could IMHO give Sara Palin (of all people) an opportunity.

    Oil and gas development (Drill Baby Drill) is her issue. It’s the one issue that she is really knows and has experience in. If it’s costing $100 to fill up your car a fmr Gov of an oil producing state running on a platform of expanding oil production in the US could be a political winner.

    The only way I could see Palin having a shot is with really high gas prices.

  49. I love Chuck Todd, he’s as good as there is, but he and his First Read crew on are trying to say in addition to gas prices and economic worries that these numbers mean Obama’s speech hurt him.  They’re trying to say he was “too partisan” and that more importantly the speech went into the deficit and debt at the expense of jobs and the economy, which is what voters really care about.

    In reality, I’m pretty confident nobody cares about Obama’s speech in the larger voting universe.  We liberals loved it, and conservatives hated it, but honestly this is all among political junkies, and I suspect even among the more partisan of rank-and-file voters, most people are indifferent.  That speech wasn’t a big deal as speeches go.  Even I missed it, I got wrapped up with the kids and chores that night and forgot about it until after it was over.  Probably the only speech Obama has given in a very long time that anyone cared about was the Tucson speech, since the shootings were an emotional heart-tugging incident for ordinary people.

    People aren’t going to care about the Ryan budget or Obama’s response except over time.  The messaging has barely begun.

    Obama’s recent job approval dip is real, but it’s entirely about the economy.  You can see that in all the polling internals that show pessimism about the economy increasing again.  I only hope this isn’t an indication that job growth already has slowed down; if it’s just gas prices and other general unease, that’s fleeting and inconsequential, either economically or politically.

  50. (though perhaps one could be found)

    My understanding is that a “supply disruption” to oil supplied to the US is required, and Libyan oil goes mostly to Europe.

  51. First, what everyone is missing is that there has been NO interruption in oil supplies!  This oil price spikes are all speculation!  You don’t tap the reserve over market speculation, you tap it to deal with actual supply problems (and then subject to legal requirements, I presume).

    Second, I can easily see tapping the reserve as backfiring in the economy.  It can be seen as a sign of panic by the government, a hint that we’re in even more trouble than we thought.  The markets tumble, businesses freeze up, etc.  In other words, double dip.  Granted I’m purely speculating here, but it’s the first thing that crosses my mind, that tapping the reserve isn’t likely to restore any confidence.

  52. Hereford bulls DO moo (I raised herefords as a kid).  The animal doesn’t have the muscular development around the neck and shoulders that a bull would have, and the short horns suggest a young animal, likely a yearling.  Since an animal that young would not yet have calved, it would be a heifer rather than a cow.  Oddly, cattle might be the only animal species for which there is no generic singular word in the English language (“a head of cattle” is so awkward!).

    Now wasn’t that enlightening?  Amazing what you can learn on SSP!

    By the way, pretty lame ad!

  53. Because I plan to get nothing accomplished today, I did a quick Google News search and found this:

    President Obama’s political advisers often talk about how population shifts in the country could create new electoral battlegrounds, pointing specifically to Arizona, Georgia and Texas.

    There are several signs that aides to the president have Texas on their minds. Jim Messina, the manager of Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, toured three Texas cities last month during his coast-to-coast listening tour. And the president is eying Texas for a fund-raising visit this spring.

    This makes me think they are targeting the state. Why would Messina be there if they weren’t?


  54. is exactly why anyone who says this President has a bully pulpit is delusional.

    Besides the fact that the networks won’t even carry his speeches unless he schedules them around their prime time lineup and some affiliates cut to commercial halfway through, he can’t even sit down with a local reporter without being treated like he’s on trial for something  

  55. Arizona is close enough to tipping Blue that I’m still annoyed that the national party didn’t go all in there in ’08.  IMHO that’s the only state the Obama campaign can get electoral votes where it didn’t in ’08.  And they might need them.  Oh, and those awful current state legislature majorities need to get voted out.

    National D performance in Texas is in the low to mid forties percentages.  It’s not realistic to expect statewide wins, of course.  But to take back the U.S. House there’s a need to win back one or both south Texas seats lost last election and Democratic leaning seats being added/conceded around Houston and Dallas.  The state party seems to have shed most of its remaining conservative officeholders and generally bottomed out in numbers in state government this November.  Which is to say that it’s probably a healthier/less corrupt and less divided and more Latino party than before.  Now it needs a boost of money and morale and organization, registration drives, etc.

    Georgia is perhaps a similar story.

  56. I read he was going to Dallas at some point though. Anyway, I imagine they are laying the groundwork to see if it is feasible. At the moment he looks like being in a battle just to hold what he already won.

  57. It says the same as everyone else whatever the sample, slightly underwater approvals with a decent lead on potential opponents.

  58. And Hanabusa waits for Inouye. The last thing the party needs is to split the anti-Case vote.

  59. where Hirono and Hanabusa run against each other, not with Case already in.  The two women are team players and in good standing with the local Dem establishment…someone will defer to the other.  And there are no idealogical conflicts between them like those between Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce that prompted the latter to get in after the former.

  60. I did laugh a bit at that, but really I think people underestimate what $4.50 or $5 gas would mean. The entire political climate would change overnight, and it could vault  almost any Republican into the lead just by backlash.

    The economy really could bury Obama and the Democrats in the end, no matter how shitty the Republican candidate is. And gas prices are especially important since they are felt by everybody, including the non-politically active and are a potent weapon. The Democrats in 2006 used $4 gas to great effect against the Republicans.  

  61. I mean, in all fairness, I don’t think many Americans think of Palin as an energy expert. They look at her more as a passionate culture warrior, which wins her disdain from the left/middle and adoration from the right.

  62. 1. I agree. I probably wouldn’t ever vote for Jan Brewer if I had the chance to, but I am almost starting to respect her, despite her ridiculous statements concerning immigration and SB1070. There’s clearly a limit to politics for her, as we can see with her veto, and I have to give her credit for that.

    2. Arizona’s birther bill is really something. It occurred to me last week that the bill in Arizona could also be interpreted as something designed to indicate he’s not a Christian, but instead a Muslim. Circumcision is obviously fairly common in the United States, but it’s even more common, if not obligatory, in Jewish and Muslim culture.

    Of course, it’s entirely possible that this is just a coincidence, but I wouldn’t assume this is the case. I think it’s intentional, and if it is, fuck them even more.

    3. Last week, while realizing the flight of young voters from states like Ohio was worse than I thought, it made me think that over the long term, it might not matter. There could indeed be a temporary blip in our fortunes as older, whiter voters become more powerful, and younger, presumably non-whites don’t go into the system just yet, but as these people grow up and continue to reproduce at a rater higher than whites, eventually the situation would be different. National immigration policy is obviously a huge factor here, but assuming there’s relative freedom of movement, I could see a situation where states like Louisiana continue to make immigrants feel less than welcome with stuff like this (and no, it’s not directly related, but it contributes to a negative atmosphere) while others roll out the welcome mats and reap the benefits. This could mean that they are screwing themselves from every direction, since states like Texas and Colorado but also those in the Deep South will continue to get less and less white and presumably more Democratic, while the same thing happens in the Midwest.  

  63. I agree about the second part, but I imagine they are in a “expand now, contract later if necessary” mode. They can always pull out if there’s no movement, but it’s probably insanely hard to make up for lost time.  

  64. he came off particularly poorly in the interview. He just looked annoyed, and rightfully so. Like you said, it was like he was on trial for something. I get that the interviewer didn’t want to make this entirely a softball interview, but there’s a big difference between that and something hostile just to be hostile.  

  65. The way that Obama has been treated is so far beneath the way that people have treated Presidents in the past. Even Bush got respect from citizens who disapproved of him when they were in the same room (foreigners not so much…).  

  66. what would have happened if, when Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” during one of the State of the Union speeches, President Obama asked back, in a firm but not incensed manner, “Does the coward who has to heckle me want to stand up and say that so we can all know who he is?” and, after waiting a few seconds, said, “No? I didn’t think so.” I doubt Wilson would have said anything back, and it would have looked entirely bad ass, but in a good way.

    Also, did you know that when Wilson called the White House to apologize, the switch board operator put him through to Rahm Emmanuel’s office? Either Rahm ran that place with more of an iron first than we thought, or the operator had a very, very good sense of humor. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that conversation!

  67. The First Read guys at MSNBC cited the old deodorant commercial tagline, “never let ’em see you sweat.”

    I think that’s right.

    No matter how disrespectfully he’s treated, he’s gotta keep his cool.

    Part of the reason for that is because he’s disrespected so much.

    The truth is much of the white public SUBconsciously holds him to a double standard because he’s black.  This is NOT akin to the overt racism of birthers and the like.  Rather, this is the very subtle influence of what a lifetime in America conditions us to internalize about race in our subconscious; and one way we’re conditioned is that people frankly are more scared away from a black man with a temper, than by a white man with a temper.

    Ta’Nehisi Coates on his blog at The Atlantic pointed to this once many months back.  He pointed out that for all the talk in the months before the midterms from liberals that Obama needed to be more emotive or animated, “feel your pain” like Bill Clinton, the reality was had Obama done that, he would’ve been painted as an uppity, angry black man.

    Obama’s strength with the public is as a calming influence.  With Democrats in particular, of all races, he has a second strength as an inspiring influence, and that lets him give his soaring campaign speeches like his nomination acceptance in Denver.  But in governance, with swing voters, they want to see him calm.  That is, they never want to see him sweat.  His Tucson speech was calming that way.

    The Dallas TV station interview was a bust.  I suspect the interviewer probably was doing what he always does, he’s probably a tough questioner as a rule, perhaps a poor man’s Tim Russert.  I suspect whoever prepped Obama failed to do proper research on the interviewer, or did the research but failed to brief the President.  That’s not to say Obama’s not at fault, because he himself should’ve asked about the interviewers for each station, assuming he didn’t know this was coming.  But ultimately what Obama and the White House do everyday is extremely hard, the hardest jobs in the world, a billion balls in the air at once, and inevitably a few get dropped here and there.

  68. Being scared and respect are emotional responses to an authority figure. Either way, people recognized Bush as an authority figure. Being combative and argumentative is a sign that someone believes they are either on the same level or slightly above you. The fact that this guy feels he has the ability to interrupt the President speaks volumes.  

  69. besides “Who dat?” candidates is stepping up the plate says all we need to know about how competitive they think it will be. Never say never, but I’m confident that we can hold the seat, even facing the potential onslaught of millions.

    Besides, just how rich is this guy? His compensation is a few million per year, but there’s a huge difference between that level of rich and Meg Whitman money. The latter is essentially limitless, while the former means you need to go beyond your own wealth. That alone limits what he might be able to do.  

  70. Remember the big-budget Hollywood movie Extraordinary Measures with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser?  I never actually saw it myself, but it’s the movie where the the promos show the parents of sick and dying children getting an eccentric research doctor help them find a cure for their kids.

    That was a dramatization based on this guy John Crowley.  Fraser played Crowley.  Crowley in real life when into the biotechs business specifically to get a company to find a treatment to save his own dying children in real life.  Crowley succeeded.

    Crowley is the kind of no-name candidate people will love.  That doesn’t mean he’ll win.  Voters ultimately vote for what they think is best for themselves, not out of sympathy for a candidate.  But a sympathetic candidate gets a foot in voters’ doors before other candidates do.

  71. I feel like OH is a state people worry about on a national level, but then you realize Rs don’t even have a candidate yet and Brown’s doing fine in the polls and $ race and it’ll be ok.

  72. When you look “you lie” up on wikipedia, one of the options it gives you is “a quote by Joe Wilson”.

  73. and it would have looked entirely bad ass, but in a good way.

    Obama gave one speech attacking Paul Ryan’s budget and David Brooks responded in saying the President went overboard and whined that he didn’t even invite Ryan over for lunch.

    The media would crucify him if he did this and no one would defend him.  

  74. and the only way I ever would’ve acted like that is if I’m interviewing a child rapist or something.

    I’ve interviewed thug politicians who were being indicted and even I didn’t act like that.  

  75. more drilling = more oil, more oil = more gas. It doesn’t take into account the amount of time it takes to get the oil, refining, etc., but people make the initial connection and see the argument.

    Also more drilling here = less Arab oil

    These things make sense to people, even if it doesn’t work that way. Opponents have to explain how the logic doesn’t work, but like they say, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    Most Republican arguments are that way, they make logical sense if you don’t take account the millions of caveats. It’s why they win.  

  76. I agree. The 2012 field for Republicans is probably set with those already running or considering runs. Surprise entries are probably not going to happen.  

  77. …we had the occasional blip showing jobless claims drop dramatically, but those blips were just outliers and there wasn’t serious job growth yet.

    Now, fortunately, it’s going the opposite way, with the blip being the occasional sharp spike in jobless claims, but sub-400K is the norm.

    But ultimately your broader concern is the only thing that worries me about gas prices:  if it leads to job growth stagnation.

    The gas prices themselves, and public anxiety over them, don’t concern me as far as Obama’s approvals and reelection are concerned.  Gas prices will fall again and go back to normal well before 2012.  They go up and down, this is all normal stuff that’s inconsequential for an election so far away.

    But if job growth stagnates because of energy fears, that’s a bigger problem.

  78. Agree with DCCyclone on all points. However, I’ve got to point out that gas prices, when adjusted for inflation, aren’t bad at all:

  79. This was always my fear when the Arab spring well, sprung. Until that point Obama’s approval rating was trending up into majority territory. The mess it has made of gas prices is a big question mark on the recovery of the job market which was beginning to pick up steam. But as you say, hopefully this is a blip.

  80. it’s about “Obama vs. reporter” and “Obama’s political standing in Texas”

    it’s another diversion and no matter how much Obama tries to reach out to the American people, the media will always put up another diversion.

    I don’t know if any Democrat can really be a person who can turn the tide, I do know that it isn’t going to be a President 1/3 of the country doesn’t even believe was born here.  

  81. mentioning his name. Like Voldemort, Pon Raul’s supporters are busily searching The Google for new mentions of his name.  

  82. I’ll feel more confident if I see one or two more months of job growth where we’ve had it for the last few months, especially if there’s a weaker-than-expected first quarter G.D.P. reading. There was a lot of talk about a slowdown in that figure, but there appeared to be confidence it would come back later in the year if it went down. Plus, there was actually some talk of growth picking up in the first quarter. From Calculated Risk:

    Earlier I noted that several analysts have lowered their forecasts for Q1 GDP growth. However, in a research note released this afternoon, Goldman argued that high frequency indicators suggest growth picked up late in Q1:

    At present, the current activity measure carries a clear message: US growth likely had considerable momentum in late Q1 … our “bean-count” model of Q1 GDP suggests growth of 2.5% or lower … [however high frequency indicators] showed growth of 3.6% in February [and] more than 4% [in March] … [this is] consistent with our forecast that GDP growth will accelerate again in the second quarter.

    If you go to that site, you’ll see there are trouble signs, but there are measures that are showing signs of a stronger recovery. I hope they are right.


  83. ref http://publicpolicypolling.blo

    Not only with Republicans

    Walker’s favorability with Republicans is a +44 spread at 55/11. That makes him already more popular with the party base than Mike Huckabee (+42 at 58/16), Sarah Palin (+40 at 63/23), Mitt Romney (+21 at 47/26), and Newt Gingrich (+19 at 49/30).

    But also w/r/t the electorate at large

    Even for the general election Walker’s favorability numbers, though under water, stack up well to the rest of the Republican field. His 5 spread is better than Huckabee’s 7 (35/42), Romney’s 12 (32/44), Palin’s 22 (35/57), and Gingrich’s -31 (26/57).

  84. that’s entirely an artifice of people not knowing who he is to any great degree.

    This pick might be good in the sense that it would fire up Republicans, but it would fire up Democrats just as much, if not more, especially in the Midwest.  

  85. no one wants Democrats to stand up for anything, they want them to compromise, poll after poll showed it and Obama took certain aspects off the table in his speech, he alienated certain segments of the population (Independents)

    Though I suspect gas prices, taxes, and the budget fight are the primary reason for the hit, I wouldn’t be surprised if his speech did backfire some.

  86. Raising taxes on the rich and not gutting social programmes. It can’t be because “he isn’t serious” about the deficit because Chuck Todd says people only care about jobs and the economy! If it wasn’t gas prices I would be amazed.

  87. …the GOP whining about it was successful.  Obama is locked in a “post-partisan” trap, where every time he stands up for something, he gets dinged by the public.  The GOP knows this and attacks him as being “partisan”, even though that’s all they are.

    It presents a big problem for the president, since he’s only popular when he’s “above the fray”, but he also needs to stand for something–when he does he gets dinged pretty hard.

  88. The shots were so thinly veiled that they weren’t really noticeable to anyone who isn’t already paying attention and on one side. It’s not as if Obama blatantly shouted, “Hey, Paul Ryan, you asshole…fuck your and your plan, you little bitch!”

  89. …had her job approvals been, say, in the high 50s when the immigration bill landed on her desk, I wonder if she would’ve vetoed it.

    It’s striking to me that these high-profile bills wind their way through the legislature, and she never says a word.  No one has any idea what she’ll do.  She seems to do nothing to encourage or discourage anything the legislative chambers do, she’s completely silent.  And then these hot-button bills land on her desk, and everyone sits on pins and needles waiting for her to say or do something, like a basketball player with a 60% free throw average at the charity stripe with 2 seconds left in a tie game.

    All that makes me wonder if she’s just measuring the politics of it every time.  The immigration bill, the news coverage suggested no one had a clue which way she’d go before she signed it, and I think she signed it on the last day she had to make a decision.

    Here on the birther bill, she vetoes this and then also the guns-in-school bill, and again no one seemed to have a clue in advance what she’d do.

    That’s not my kind of governor.  I understand that sometimes something lands on a Governor’s desk that the Governor isn’t completely familiar with and can’t speak to immediately, but anything getting play in the news, I expect a Governor to be more closely involved one way or another.

  90. Even if gas prices get out of control and the economy starts going down again, how much of a mitigating factor is it that the Republican field is so weak, and as DC points out, no one else (other than maybe Daniels or Perry) is likely to get in at this point.

    I mean, Pawlenty and Romeny are the only ones who are even viable against Obama at this point, and I use that term loosely (I guess there’s a case for Huckabee, too, but not much of one). Even if the economy gets worse, I can’t believe it’s going to enable a Gingrich or a Trump to beat Obama.  

  91. I think Huckabee would do better against Obama in the electoral vote vis-a-vis Romney. Romney has a higher ceiling against Obama in the popular vote, but can’t win states like North Carolina which Huckabee would win because of their respective religions.  

  92. She does seem to know something about moose and how to kill them.

    I still think I’d vote for Obama though.  

  93. I know what the right would call “Palin Derangement Syndrome” blinds many on the left to the dangers of a Palin candidacy.

    But if you were to design a dream GOP candidate to run against Obama I think an attractive Pro-Life female candidate, from outside the beltway, who could unite the Tea Party/ Club for Growth econ wing with the culturally conservative Social Con wing would be it.

    The CFG HATES Huckabee, evangelicals and Obamacare opponents don’t trust Romney, Gingrich has more baggage than an overbooked flight on Delta, Pawlenty has no appeal to really anyone.

    If she runs I think Palin takes the GOP nomination.

    If gas is $5 or even $6 a gallon I think she even has a shot of winning.

    In this day and age its fairly easy for a candidate to turn their image around if they do the right things. The characture that has been painted of her can be overcome if she appear to be not as dumb as people make her out to be (and yes insert joke here).

    If gas prices is a major issue I think the 1 candidate this helps most is Palin.

  94. I just don’t consider this a big threat. He’s as much a novice to politics, it seems, as Ricardo Sanchez is, but unlike Sanchez, he won’t have the support of a presidential campaign, and he will be going up against an incumbent.

    Also, in the same that you didn’t see the movie, nobody else did, either. It totally bombed, although I will say it looked good.  

  95. But it’s worth noting that if a heartrending life story plus good fundraising was all it took to get elected, Patty Wetterling would be in Congress right now.

  96. It is looking like this seat (pending on what happens with Holperin) is where the majority can tip.   I still would peg this seat as Tossup (rather then Lean Dem with Hopper and Likely Dem with Kapanke) however given that there is no scandal as with Hopper. I am curious to see who steps forward in this seat and Olsen’s.

    Speaking of scandal and Olsen, Olsen may potentially be under some suspicion, if the allegations from “concerned badger” in the comments section of… are true

    Of course I am waiting to see if there is some corroboration.  

  97. I think he could.

    Of the first four states, Huckabee is the odds on favorite to win Iowa and South Carolina. Romney is the favorite in New Hampshire and Nevada. Neither man comes out with much momentum after that. The states after the first four are Minnesota and Wisconsin, which will favor Huckabee. After that you’ve got New York, Delaware, and Arizona., which will favor Romney. If Pataki runs that will totally screw Romney as New York might go favorite son. From then on its a bunch of southern states that won’t warm to Romney’s mormonism. Some of the more moderate states might actually cancel their 2012 primaries (Washington is considering it, for instance). http://frontloading.blogspot.c

    This movement would be the final nail in Romney.  

  98. He may have a better chance then Romney. I never think too hard about him because I still don’t see a viable way he makes it out of the primaries, if he runs at all.  

  99. Walker is a lightning rod in the worst possible way, in the Upper Midwest more than anywhere.

  100. It’s not as if Obama blatantly shouted, “Hey, Paul Ryan, you asshole…fuck your and your plan, you little bitch!”

    I see you don’t know many Democrats who think he should compromise, because that’s exactly how they took it.

    or more realistically, that’s exactly how the media presented it.  

  101. After a certain point, you need to seem like you habe a solution, even if it’s in the vaguest sense of the word, and yet these people are obsessing over a birth certificate.  

  102. he can never earn the trust of this “base.” If he has to EARN the right to have his “base” defend him in times like this, they’re not a base. No wonder liberals lose all the time.

    What does he have to do to get it, immolate himself?

  103. PPP/DailyKos: 83% approval with Democrats; 87% with Liberals.

    He’s bounced between 70-90% approval with Democrats and Liberals since he was inaugurated in almost all polling.

    Obama’s has the trust of Democrats. He doesn’t have the trust of the left pundits and netroots. Luckily, they don’t even make up 1% of the voting public. Unluckily, their minority views take up all the oxygen in the left media.

  104. they can’t win, short of flipping Pennsylvania, Maine, and New Hampshire, or somehow flipping California.  

  105. Your point is sound, but 2008 was a better field. Huckabee looked awful compared to McCain et al. Huckabee looks pretty darn good compared to the current field, which might help a bit with his fundraising problems.  

  106. The irony is I love Harrison Ford, I like Brendan Fraser, and if I didn’t have kids I would’ve seen it.

    But knowing what it was about, and having a daughter and a son myself, I just couldn’t watch it, it would’ve hurt my heart too much.  And this was without knowing it was inspired by a true story (which I learned for the first time only today!).

    Ironically I love horror and sci fi movies.  But that’s because those movies always have some villain that never exists in real life, like a supernatural serial killer (Freddie/Jason/Michael Myers), or alien monsters from outer space, or reanimated dinosaurs, and on like this.  Anything that looks like it could happen in real life, I can’t watch.

  107. I think the biggest thing Obama can do right now is to stay on message with what he said last week and try to reach people locally. As the Republicans continued to stay married to the Ryan Plan and refuse to raise taxes on the rich, they will suffer, especially if Obama appears confident in his plan and reasonable in his views.  

  108. but if it got to be really bad, I’m sure he would consider it, because the markets might be in a panic at that point. But we aren’t close to that point now, I think.  

  109. Then I like our odds of winning the issue versus the Republicans.  Now, we suck at selling a message, but the only one they have is drill here drill now.  The Democrats run the gamut of rhetoric to use on this issue, including bash the hell out of Wall Street and the oil companies, which we can then use to make the GOP defend them and look like assholes.

    I only fill up my tank once a month because I live next to a downtown so I walk or drive less than a mile for everything.  Sorry for all of you, but I’m optimistic about high gas prices.  Obama is President and the House is GOP, so it means we’ll get some off-shore drilling nonsense, but it also means a whole host of other things that can get us headed in the right direction, and we’ll beat down the GOP with this issue if need be.  Don’t blame Democrats, we’ve been trying to stop us from using this shit from the get go.

  110. who is going to make things better, even if it’s slowly but surely. They also want someone who is hopeful and optimistic and thinking about the future and ways to make it better. I’d say that being nice is less important than getting things done, but it never hurts to have people think you’re a good guy. The biggest threat to the Republicans right now is a strong(er) economy, but not only because it would give him a victory. It would certainly do that, but it’d give him a massive victory that would probably help him and his party in a lot of ways. People like Obama, even if they don’t think he’s always doing the best job, and if their opinion of his job performance improves, he will steamroll over anyone that stands in his way.  

  111. “I want my sippy cup”

    (hand them a sippy cup)

    “NOOOO!  I don’t want a sippy cup!”

    “But, you said you wanted a sippy cup!”

    “Noooo!  I want a SIPPY CUP!!”

    “I just GAVE you a sippy cup!!!”

    “I want a juice box!”


  112. from voting for a “fresh face” like Walker, especially over the current R field.

    In addition, I think it would be an energized electorate on both sides. Nevertheless, I do agree with the idea that a Walker candidacy would lead to unprecedented turnout among D voters in the Midwest.

  113. He needs to do more interviews and stay on message. That will help him a lot, despite the road blocks set up.

    I also think it’s important to have expectations in check. I’m as optimistic as anyone about the state, but even I realize a victory won’t be huge if it occurs. That’s definitely in part because, as you said, some of the people there, and in other states as well, aren’t in this galaxy when it comes to what they believe. But that’s okay. In the end, you can’t get everyone.  

  114. many Democrats in general. (I seem to be the loner in this area of my life as well :])

    Democrats seem to liked the speech. What are the indications they didn’t? And what are the indications that people besides Democrats didn’t like it?  

  115. I don’t think either of them came across particularly well, but then, I don’t know the interviewer’s history. Maybe he’s well liked in Dallas.

    Whatever the case, this is a minor blip, and something he can easily work on in the future.  

  116. If someone asked me if I approved of Obama, I’d say yes, strongly… even though I was absolutely convinced we were going to get sold out last week.  We still might, but the president has done a lot to reassure the base with that speech.

    I’d say strongly approve to a pollster no matter what Obama said or did ‘cos he’s a Democratic president.  I imagine that most Democrats would, even if they are worried about his commitment to Democratic principles.

  117. If the “base” LordMike describes had stood up behind the president when Republicans were doing their best to attack health care reform, then who knows how many governorships and House seats the Democrats would have saved. Maybe Florida, for instance, would have Alex Sink as governor instead of the man who perpetrated a massive health care fraud.

    Instead they backstabbed him at his weakest, making health care reform even more unpopular than it was by criticizing it from the left.

    With friends like those, who needs enemies?

  118. …Obama’s reaction at the end made me cringe.

    Now, yes, the TV station interviewer was rude.  I swear I thought it looked like he actually rolled his eyes at Obama while responding to Obama saying he lost Texas by a “few” points.  My wife gets mad when I roll my eyes at her, I can imagine how bad it looks for a reporter or anyone to roll their eyes at the President of the United States.

    But the reporter is not on anyone’s ballot, no one is polling his favorability or job approvals.

    Obama is the one who’s on a ballot.

    The key for interviews is preparation.  And preparation includes proper briefing on the interviewer, who they are and what they’re like.  Now, as I said, the White House has a billion balls in the air at a time, and some inevitably will fall, so inadequate prep for this particular interviewer isn’t a big deal in the big picture.  But for whatever this interview meant to achieve, the mission failed.

  119. I actually got in a huge argument yesterday morning with a friend from Austin who had the gall to tell me that Texas was a very even (politically) state. He even told me that Obama barely lost Texas… at which point I started quoting facts ad nauseum about Republican strength in the state…  

  120. curious to see how they handle approaching the state from now on. Like you, I don’t think it means much of anything, but it’s not something we’d like to see more of. I’d actually like to see some sort of presidential visit to the state. He could go to Houston or Dallas and try to talk to voters themselves.  

  121. The dude (or gal) names names there, nothing abstract about it.

    Not that hard to follow-up.

    But why an anonymous blog comment?  concerned badger needs to take his/her concern to local and state media, and the state Dems.

  122. Olsen and his wife were married to other people and served together in the State Assembly. They left their spouses and got married to each other, and his wife now works for CESA 6. All of that stuff is true. It’s a matter of public record.

  123. Because using Rasmussen’s questions I would only say somewhat approve. That may shock people but I think it goes to the fact I’m more of a partisan than an idealogue. And, as I said last week, this always happens – people worry about a big speech for whatever reason and he comes through every time. He deserves more faith than he gets IMO.

  124. onto the entire Democratic base. While I have lots of evidence to back up the base being happy with Obama, you just have your feelings that Obama has disappointed the base.  

  125. I’ve never been to the state, but I get the sense that Austin is considered to be…well, kind of another world. I’m reminded of those lines from “King of the Hill” where someone says something about someone doing something else in a big city, and Hank or one of the guys asks, “Which city? Dallas? Houston?” and responds “Ugh….” when someone says, “No, Austin.”  

  126. It is literally knows as the People’s Republic in the rest of the state. Alot of Austinites think that the state is well balances because they believe that all the recent growth in Austin balances everything out… They’re beyond idiotic.

  127. But agreed, if you wanted to run against Obama, you would’ve started by now.  You can’t waltz your way into a race against a billion dollar turn-out machine.

  128. Sounds bad, but to be fair and objective, it’s a bipartisan affliction. IN Republicans might have only suddenly become interested in the need for this change when it benefited them, but it’s equally hard for Dems to defend their decisions to change Massachusetts senatorial succession law twice in five years based on the political needs of the given moment. It’s an inevitable risk of one-party government, in deep blue and deep red states alike.

  129. Remember that Texas was a primary battleground, Obama and Hillary were in a heated fight there.  They both spent gobs of money and staff time in the state.

    So the Obama people are familiar with the state.  Even if they weren’t targeting non-Democratic voters, the media are all the same, they were getting familiar with the same journalists who would later cover a general election.

    This one interview won’t affect any decision-making regarding Texas.  The first thing they ought to do is look back at this interviewer’s history and see if there’s something about him in particular they missed or forgot about.  Then, just keep on keepin’ on.  It’s not like this is a wake-up call of any kind, they know well Obama’s standing in Texas…I bet they’re already polling this and all other battleground and prospective battleground states.

  130. …everyone else keeps looking sooooo much weaker that he just looks stronger and stronger in comparison.

    But ultimately I still think RomneyCare is his political death.  I just think once the 30-second attack ads are flying, he crumbles.  They’re not flying yet.  I bet not as many voters as you might think are even aware of what Romney did re health care in Massachusetts.  It wasn’t an issue in 2008 so few paid attention or remembered later.  And few voters are paying attention to the GOP primary candidates now, except to notice that no one stands out.

    If the RNC prevails on their calendar, we won’t know much at all about who is likely to have a serious chance to win the nomination until after New Year’s.  If the calendar gets ushered forward like last time, sometime after Thanksgiving the picture will start to reveal itself.

    But regarding Romney, many forget that in 2007, he was the runaway frontrunner in both Iowa and NH for a very long time, until December when his polling collapsed in both states, against different opponents.  And that, too, was against a seemingly disastrously weak field, with again people today forgetting how weak it was.  McCain had imploded from national frontrunner to single-digit and plum-broke also-ran.  Huckabee was a joke.  And no one else mattered.  Fred Thompson was a close McCain ally but jumped in because everyone was so weak.  It really looked like Romney was poised to lap the field.

    But then we know what happened.

    It’s easy to say no one is as “prominent” as McCain was that cycle, but McCain himself was no longer the least bit prominent for a very long time through 2007.

  131. among post-WWII presidents, we have Truman, Ford and Bush II vs. Eisenhower, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton.

    Statistically, there’s a 25% chance of randomly drawing 3 or less out of 9 events.  

  132. was what sealed his fate in my opinion.  He framed it as a state’s right issue instead of just saying it’s not his fault he was governor of taxachusetts and their veto-proof legislature wanted to pass crap like that.  He has a good opening, but instead he thinks state’s right means it’s okay to do things at the state level Republicans hate.  

    You don’t need much substance to be a politician, but you got to have some.  How often will there be as disingenuous of Presidential candidates as Mitt Romney that I’ll have to endure?  Palin at least believes the shit she says.

  133. Right, if you look at poll writeups on the Republican field from late fall ’07, they don’t even mention McCain. They talk about it being a competition between Romney, Giuliani (in hindsight, never a credible GOP nominee), and Thompson, then, later, Huckabee. It was only with the collapse of Giuliani and Romney and Huckabee’s rise that McCain suddenly became last man standing. (And then he still almost lost to Romney after his campaign sputtered post-NH.)

  134. the last incumbent to run for re-election (before ’04) who had a close race was Woodrow Wilson.

    I don’t think there was any incumbent before that who had a close race when running for re-election.

  135. I don’t think if it generally mattered.

    “Hey that’s a great speech, but I’m still paying $4 in gas/my taxes are too high/meh!”

  136. He ain’t getting anywhere with the racial policies he wants to persue deep in the minority.  

  137. The good thing is that the district’s expansion means that it’ll likely become plurality white. I think Carnahan could and should primary him. There’s no room for people like that in Congress.

  138. him in anyway shape or form, but I cam see where he is coming from. I’ve noticed when someone in the minority does this the majority is quick to cry fowl though. Reverse racism is and will never be the same as regular ole’ racism. Cohen should absolutely be in the CBC by the way.

  139. I can’t really feel that sorry for Carnahan. He’s an uninspiring backbencher who’s only gotten where he is because of his last name. He doesn’t have a chance at winning anything other than a safe Dem seat.

  140. Then adds in a signing statement that if Secy. White is removed, he’s going to appoint Vop Osili to replace him.

  141. All he would have to do is insist that some of his liberal white areas in the first rings suburbs and in South St.Louis be given to Carnahan’s district in exchange for some very conservative outer suburban areas.

    I don’t know why he’s so paranoid anyways — There are too many Dem votes in North St. Louis City and County for Republicans to crack the area, and Democrats would never try to crack it on their own for political reasons even if they could.  

  142. The district will become plurality white but the Dem primary will likely be majority black because many of those whites will be registered Republicans.

    Doesn’t matter though since the article says that Carnahan’s going to run in what was Akin’s district since he is going to run for Senate.  

  143. It will fix itself and then he can claim victory even if he had nothing to do with fixing it, either.

  144. That he signed the thing dooms him.

    GOP voters will just wonder why didn’t he just veto and make Dems fully own it?

    He does have to own it, I think “states’ rights” is the only approach he can take.  I actually think he’s doing about as well as can be done with the issue.  He’s just plain boxed in, that’s the problem.

    Now he’s also promising he’ll give every state a waiver from federal health care law requirements.  

    He needs to contrast his state HCR from the federal law, and he’s doing as much as he can do.

    And against such a weak field, it might be enough.

    It really depends on someone else, or a committee of rivals, putting up good TV ads to beat the crap out of him.

  145. Johnson is a libertarian to the bone, Huntsman is a moderate Republican nerd trying to bring the Rick Snyder campaign national. They’re on opposite ends of the Republican spectrum.  

  146. As evidenced by his “Colbert Report” appearances. Ambassador Huntsman is making a hard play for that voter base. They’re also from neighboring states and cultivated similar responsible, likable, bipartisan reputations as governor.

    Either way, neither man will make it out of the primary.

  147. But he positions himself to the center-right whenever he appears on the show and always generates a bit of mini-buzz about how some young voters might cross over to vote for him.

  148. I wouldn’t exactly call him that, considering he is pretty active on the Foreign Affairs Committee, a well as being the ranking member of Oversight and Investigations… Clay is much more a backbencher.

    Besides, they both got where they are today because of their respective names… I’d rather have the one that is less a prick, which happens to be Carnahan.

  149. Job approval and favorability are not the same thing. They ask favorability about both Obama and the challengers, but only ask approval about Obama because only he has a job of which to approve or disapprove.  

  150. Voters evaluate an incumbent, especially a President or other chief executive (e.g., Governor, Mayor) by how their perceive him doing his job.

    But with a challenger or open seat candidates, that metric doesn’t exist, so they use the totality of information they run across to form an overall impression of the candidate.  Thus, “favorability.”  If the candidate is an incumbent in another office, sure they’ll consider whatever comes to their attention about the candidate’s performance in his/her current office, but they’re not really contemplating “job approval.”

    Bottom line, voters don’t evaluate Obama and GOP wannabes the same way, so PPP is right IMO.

  151. He was an incumbent who garnered only 37.5 percent of the vote. 61.9 voted for either Clinton or Perot. Another way of looking at that number is that 61.9 voted against Bush I. He lost massively.  

  152. It was the lowest popular vote percentage ever for an incumbent President in the current electoral vote system. Even Herbert Hoover got more against FDR (39.7%).  

  153. You’re right, but at the same time you’re wrong. The poll you responded to and cited was not PPP, so I’m confused as to why you brought them into the mix.

    Besides, my general point still stands. You shouldn’t just arbitrarily add five points somewhere because they don’t ask approval for both sides. It really doesn’t change the topline at all.

  154. You aren’t making any sense.  I didn’t say anything about toplines, and toplines are totally irrelevant.

    Since you seem unaware, PPP and other pollsters ask a different question about incumbents than they do challngers, which make them uncomparable.  Here we have a nice example of a pollsters asking both, and we can see the both the significant difference between “approve” and “favorable”, and the scale of the difference.  As I said above, it is only one poll, but it offers a useful rule of thumb.

  155. He’s a very petty person and gets inexplicable grudges against individual NOVA Dems all the time. This time it just happens to be less inexplicable then most.

  156. I didn’t mean to besmirch Lowell’s reputation since I actually like him — I guess I just associated unproductive online intra-Dem backbiting with Ben Tribett.

  157. His ceiling in Iowa is particularly low b/c the religious right will never embrace a thrice-wedded candidate like Trump. Him contesting here would be like Rudy contesting it in ’08.

  158. You have to organize Iowa to win Iowa.  Caucuses are just different that way.  You still have to do saturation TV ads and direct mail and all the other stuff, but organizing, and starting early in doing so, is critical.

    Trump won’t do that stuff, so he’ll tank in the state.

    I’m thinking Trump actually ends up pulling the trigger.  He’s actually interviewing top people for campaign manager and campaign consultants, and he supposedly was well-versed on financial disclosure requirements when asked about them in an interview this week.  You don’t do all that for a “publicity stunt.”  Trump actually has done far more prep work for an actual campaign than Palin or Huckabee, and now I’m increasingly thinking Palin might actually run after all, after I thought for months she wouldn’t do it.  (Huckabee I still think won’t run.)

    The thing about Trump is, he will always get free media, more than anyone else.  That’s going to drive everyone in the GOP crazy.  But he’ll get it.  So I think that further incentivizes him to run.  It will kill the chances of a bunch of other candidates, that he sucks up so much oxygen.  But I don’t know who suffers and who survives, that’s impossible to predict.

  159. Look, it’s Romney and MAYBE Pawlenty who are vacuuming up all of Huntsman’s potential support. He’s only favored among moderate RINOs. Not libertarians, not the religious right, not conservatives looking for a “likable nice guy.” His ceiling in Iowa is probably 13 percent.

  160. …that killed Carter.

    Or 2 things or 4 things, depending on how you define terms.

    We had shocking 20% inflation at the same time as equally shocking 20% interest rates, along with gas prices and long gas lines.  You can call that 3 things or lump them together into a single thing as “the economy.”  All of these things separately were traumatic, but together were unspeakable.

    Then the Iran Hostage Crisis was another thing.  Again, very traumatic, and worse politically and for national morale than 9/11 because while 9/11 was a fast event that came and went and we quickly went to work to avenge it, thus channeling the anger and pain into action, the hostage crisis left us feeling completely powerless and helpless for way over a year!

    I posted in another comment thread, in response to SSPer BenjaminDisraeli who was trying aburdly to compare Obama to Carter, a comment about how traumatic the last couple years of Carter’s term really were, and nothing comparable has happened the last 3-plus years in America.  If you didn’t live through it or wasn’t old enough to remember it, you just can’t imagine it.  In hindsight, Carter was doomed, and only because Reagan really was so far right did the polling stay close right up into mid-October 1980.  Against anyone less fearful, Carter would’ve been down by double-digits far earlier, with no chance of recovery–basically he would have been in the same polling condition as, say, Chet Culver last year.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there has been no interruption in oil supply, and that is dispositive that gas prices won’t be a problem heading into 2012.  If that changes, and there are interruptions later, then Obama’s got real trouble.  But honestly I think all these crises will resolve themselves one way or another this year, and by spring 2012 these upsets will be forgotten as a domestic political issue.

  161. I don’t like the Abu Ghraib connection, but yeah Texas voters won’t care.  And if people who know him personally or by reputation will vouch for his character and consider him a guy who doesn’t approve of what happened at Abu Ghraib, then OK, even though I’m uneasy.

    But I’m a cold-blooded realist, and yeah this guy is a good get.  There’s no bench of Democratic officeholders in Texas who have any stature to run for U.S. Senate.  So this quasi-celebrity military leader is as good as we can do.

    That he’s Hispanic is huge.  Combine that with Obama, and you have some potential for real noise in nonwhite turnout.  I know people point to 2002 as an example where that kind of approach (black Senate candidate, Hispanic for Governor) failed, but that’s easily distinguishable because that was the strongly Republican post-9/11 midterm, while this is a Presidential year when it’s a lot easier to get people of color to show up.  Further, it’s a given that black turnout will spike to a record level (higher than 2008, in Texas and everywhere, I’m virtually certain of that).

    And the First Read guys on MSNBC smartly pointed out that Sanchez’s candidacy combined with Obama could raise Hispanic turnout to give us a good chance to flip some U.S. House seats.  Downballot this matters.

  162. It’s fine for PPP to ask whatever it wants, but the reality is the two questions ask plainly different things, and comparing them as equals (which gets done here) is wrong.

    It would be more useful if PPP, like the poll here, asked both questions.  Then we would be able to compare apples to apples.  Obviously it isn’t hard to do, they just ask one more question.

    (Less important, I also disagree with your assertion that voters “evaluate an incumbent, especially a President or other chief executive… by how their perceive him doing his job.”  No way, not this century.  Voters evaluate an incumbent in relative light to his/her opponent.  A huge percentage of voters think all candidates suck, and their voting metric is “which idiot sucks less”.)

  163. People still like their incumbents.  Polling shows this.

    The cynicism you cite doesn’t really show up in polling on individuals voters actually vote for except in wave elections, and even then it shows up only against one party’s incumbents.

  164. which could keep oil prices below $5/gallon

    1) Gadaffi leaves Libya peacefully

    2) The Nigerian situation gets resolved

    3) Yemen gets to a peaceful non-Al Queda transition

    4) Bahrain gets appropriate regime change.

    But there have been interruptions in oil from Libya.

    While that has only affected Europe directly, it has been and still is a problem for that market that affects us.

  165. Word is that they have reached enough for Darling, but are waiting until next week in order to provider for more of a cushion and to provide for more people in terms of GOTV.

    As for Cowles, I do not know.  I have heard that they have had troubles up there, so I think that will take until the last days.

    In terms of whether Clark is the strongest, he is.  He did win his seat least year 51-49, but he was only elected in 08, his district had been represented by Republicans before him, and I believe his challenger was the mayor of Wisconsin Dells so it was a pretty strong challenger.  In addition, I think that the fact he had a tough re-election (and in a district that likely went for Walker) shows that he knows how to campaign and that his campaign machine is not rusty.  

  166. who ran only because people were begging him to. Or at least that’s how the media potrayed it

  167. America can watch the children fight in the playpen while the adults talk about the real issues.

  168. be on the ticket for precisely the reason you mentioned, but he is someone who excites the Republican base, or so it seems, and isn’t a declared candidate.  

  169. …gas lines.  That happened twice in the 70s, although granted those were from organized anti-American embargoes by OPEC.

    I’m skeptical we’d have super-high gas prices for very long, if at all, without interruptions that also cause gas lines.

    And again, all these Middle Eastern countries aren’t going to be in the same condition next year; by Thanksgiving this year I bet we’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Of course, by “light” I’m talking about our own uncertainty, not necessarily that things will be better for the populations of those countries.

  170. Whoever’s president when and if the Saudi regime collapses is going to face a giant sh*tstorm.  

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