SSP Daily Digest: 6/10

HI-Gov: Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann looks like he’ll be running against Rep. Neil Abercrombie for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination; he launched an exploratory committee yesterday. Hannemann and Abercrombie actually faced off once before; Hannemann defeated Abercrombie in the 1986 primary for HI-01 (but lost the general to GOPer Pat Saiki). Either one would seem to have an edge over Republican Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona in the general, based on the state’s lean, although Aiona’s fundraising has been impressive so far.

NJ-Gov: Quinnipiac may be finding a bit of a post-primary bounce for Republican challenger Chris Christie; he leads Jon Corzine 50-40 in their newest poll. (Last month was 45-38 for Christie, although this poll is a switch from registered voters to likely voters.) Corzine’s favorables are his worst-ever at 35-53; Christie’s are 36-16, but with 46% “haven’t heard enough,” allowing some room for Corzine to define him if he hits hard with his new ad blitz.

NY-Gov: How’s this for an unsurprising headline: “Poll Finds Paterson Deeply Unpopular.” The NYT polled Paterson’s favorables (no head-to-heads, though) and found that Paterson has an approval of 21%, compared to a finding of 26% approval of ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer in the same poll.

MN-Gov: CQ comes the closest I’ve seen to consolidating the name of every single person planning to run for Minnesota governor in one place. I count 10 Democrats and 11 Republicans, which I won’t bother trying to reproduce here.

IN-08: Rep. Brad Ellsworth finally has a Republican opponent, auto worker Dan Stockton. Stockton hasn’t held office, but he is active in community theater and “heavily involved in motorcycle rights.” Well, I’m glad someone is willing to take a courageous stand for those oppressed motorcycles.

MD-01: State Sen. Andy Harris may not get a clear path to the GOP nomination in his rematch with Rep. Frank Kratovil. State Sen. E.J. Pipkin is considering a face off with Harris again in the primary. (Pipkin finished third in the 2008 primary, getting 20% of the vote to 43 for Harris and 33 for then-Rep. Wayne Gilchrest. In fact, Pipkin may have thrown the election to BaltCo resident Harris, by vacuuming up more conservative votes on the Eastern Shore that may have otherwise gone to Gilchrest on the basis of geography.) Pipkin has the advantage of self-funding; he spent $2 million of his own money en route to racking up 34% against Sen. Barb Mikulski in 2004. While Pipkin isn’t as conservative as Club for Growth favorite Harris, he isn’t as moderate as Gilchrest. Other Republicans interested in the primary include Anne Arundel County Exec John Leopold and former state House minority leader Al Redmer.

NH-02: The field to replace Rep. Paul Hodes got a third Dem contestant: former state Senator Mark Fernald got into the race yesterday. Fernald may retain a bit of name rec from his 2002 loss in the governor’s race (he lost to Craig Benson, who then lost in 2004 to John Lynch).

NY-23: One GOPer is already launching his “campaign” for the nomination to replace John McHugh (in the sense that he’s publicly saying that he’s going around and talking to the right kingmakers on all the county party committees). It’s a guy who wasn’t on anybody’s list: Franklin County legislator Paul Maroun, whose day job is counsel to state Senator Betty Little (who doesn’t sound likely to run, especially since she lives in NY-20).

Census: We’re less than a year away from the 2010 Census, and we’re still short a Census director, as the GOP has put a mystery hold on Obama’s nominee for the job, Robert Groves. The Census is also facing an appropriations fight in coming weeks, as it requested a 135% increase in funding for next year (seeing as how 2010 is the year when it does most of its work, but try explaining that to a Republican). A leaderless, underfunded Census isn’t likely to put together an accurate count, and an inaccurate count is likely to undercount traditionally Democratic harder-to-count groups.

DC Voting Rights: The bill to give the District of Columbia a fully functioning representative in the U.S. House (and give an extra seat to Utah, increasing the size of the House to 437 and the Electoral College to 539) seems to be stalled for now, according to Steny Hoyer. Nobody seems to know how to get around the GOP-added poison pill attached to it that will strip DC’s gun laws, so it’s just going to sit.

40 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 6/10”

  1. If more voters knew what those are then Congressmen would stop doing it. Just like a year ago most voters didn’t know what an earmark is. Either that or the rules committee should find a way to ban holds and poison pills.

  2. The Republicans need to be overcome on the Census pronto.  Squeeze whoever is using the hold (probably Coburn).  It is easy enough to do.  Yes LBJ did it all the time in both the Senate and Presidency.  Grab hold of Coburn’s favorite projects and de-fund them.  (Or whoever it is)  Yhey will scream but the voters will scream loudest and thew word will go out in a hurry that it is nit nice to screw with the big priorities.

  3. I’m still an advocate for DC joining Maryland, even though I know it’s an unpopular idea and never going to happen. Obama won 61.4% of the vote in Maryland, he would have won 64.3% of Maryland+DC. It would give Maryland a 9th district, taking up DC, with no mutual concession to Utah. It would also give Maryland enough black voters to give black candidates a decent chance at getting elected to the Senate or Governor.

  4. Fernald might be a weak candidate in NH-02.  

    When he ran for governor in 2002 he made his advocacy for a state income tax a centerpiece of his campaign and got soundly beaten by Benson — who was otherwise pretty unimpressive — for it.  

    I volunteered for Jeanne Shaheen that year, and my sense was that Fernald’s taxy presence at the top of the ticket hurt Democratic candidates, including Shaheen, who were running downballot.  Of course it’s difficult to know whether Shaheen might have made up the couple of percentage points that separated her and Sununu if there’d been a more attractive Democratic gubernatorial candidate running to replace her, but Fernald was certainly no help.  

    Whether Fernald’s better than Katrina Swett (no relation, username wholly coincidental in this instance) or whoever else is running in the district is a different matter, since Swett also ran poorly when she ran against Bass in 02.  To both Fernald and Swett’s credit, the 2002 campaigns in NH were of course really rough across the board for Dems, though, with the phonejamming scandal & really nasty advertising, etc…

    Hopefully, though, NH Dems will find someone fresher than either of those two to put forward.

  5. Do we have anyone good to replace Abercrombie yet?  I was hoping the Mayor would run there so we wouldn’t have to deal with Case again.

  6. PR has always voted against statehood.  Guam and AmerSamoa are way to small to merit full statehood status.  

  7. But I can’t wait for another “What Races Are You Interested In?” thread.  What can people tell me about the 21st CA AD and Ira Ruskin, its occupant?  So, you’re thinking, “this poster is crazy.  It’s a solid Dem district in and north of Silicon Valley where nothing interesting politically could ever happen. Why pay attention to it?”  I know that, but something interesting, on a personal level, just did.

    My best guy friend from college (not that many years ago, the guy’s young, ambitious, progressive, and really good) has just set up fundraising and announcements for a candidacy.  He’s a former Roosevelt Institution leader out of Mountain View/Menlo Park. Would this be a primary challenge?

  8. is a cookie-cutter Republican hack if ever there was one. I’d be surprised if he gave up his State Senate seat to run, since he likes to run in Presidential years so he has nothing to lose (except more of his dignity).

  9. Leopold is in no shape to run for Congress.  He has a major sexual harassment scandal that will make it very hard for him to be re-elect as County Executive.

  10. of winning and losing an election on the same day.  Cecil Heftel, who had been the Congressman for the First District, resigned to run for Governor.  Although Abercrombie lost the Democratic primary for 1987-88 term, he won the election to serve out the remaining months of Heftel’s term.

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