SSP Daily Digest: 7/31

AR-Sen: Here’s a tea leaf that state Sen. Gilbert Baker may be interested after all in getting into the Senate race: he issued a press release today going after Democratic health care reform and Blanche Lincoln in particular. He’d probably be the favorite to win the GOP nomination if he got in, if only by virtue of the rest of the field being gaffe-prone wackos.

CT-Sen: Best wishes to Chris Dodd, who has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer and will undergo surgery over the August recess. He said he’ll be back at work after several weeks of recuperation at home, and that he still plans to run for re-election in 2010.

IL-Sen: Add one more GOP Twitter fail to the increasingly long-list. Rep. Mark Kirk, who is also a Naval Reservist, tweeted his location (the National Military Command Center) while on duty. The DoD is now investigating, as it’s a problem on two fronts: one, the prohibition against using the media to give away your position, and two, the prohibition against, while on military service, updating a website established prior to the beginning of service. Complicating the legal question even further: it may have been a staffer tweeting on Kirk’s behalf. Because, y’know, it’s so hard to think up 140 characters of content on your own.

NY-Sen-B: The confusion over the Carolyn Maloney campaign has reached epic proportions. Yesterday, CQ reported that Maloney had no fixed timeline for officially getting into the Senate primary, but that early August seemed likely. But today, Politico’s Glenn Thrush is reporting that Maloney is “leaning heavily against” making the race at all, according to several prominent Dems.

ND-Sen: The NRSC is flogging a new internal poll which claims Gov. John Hoeven has a 53-36 lead over Sen. Byron Dorgan. Both men are very popular, with Hoeven with an 86% approval and Dorgan with a 69% approval. A public poll from R2K in February found the numbers almost exactly reversed, with Dorgan beating Hoeven 57-35… but Hoeven hasn’t taken any public steps to get into the race, so we may never find out who’s right.

AK-Gov: Local pollster Hays Research looked at in-state approvals for Alaska’s incoming and outgoing governors, and found Sarah Palin leaving in net negative territory: 47/48. Sean Parnell looks bulletproof for the moment, at 67/8, but, having been in office for less than a week, hasn’t had the chance to screw anything up yet.

TX-Gov: A bit more egg on the Kay Bailey Hutchison campaign’s face today, as the Austin American-Statesman found that her website had over 2,200 hidden phrases on it designed to steer traffic, including “rick perry gay.” (This wasn’t mere meta-tagging, but blind keywords invisibly put into the site’s code, something of a search engine-optimization no-no.) A spokesperson said they’d remove “rick perry gay,” although it sounds like the other 2,199 phrases stay.

KS-04: Businessman Jim Anderson got into the overflowing GOP field in KS-04 to replace retiring Rep. Todd Tiahrt. He seems like he might get a little lost in the shuffle, in a field that already includes local GOP heavyweights RNC committeman Mike Pompeo and state Sen. Dick Kelsey, along with state Sen. Jean Schodorf, who recently began exploring the race.

MO-04: Ike Skelton, who’s held down the fort for Dems in dark-red central Missouri since time immemorial, has drawn a more serious opponent than usual (not hard, since his usual opponents are nobodies or no one at all). Vicky Hartzler is a former state Rep. who has also written a book called “Running God’s Way,” apparently a how-to guide to campaigning for Christian right candidates. CQ also mentions several other still-in-office legislators who could also take on the 77-year-old Skelton (especially if he hears the siren song of retirement): state Rep. Tom Self and state Sen. Bill Stouffer.

DCCC: The DCCC has responded with its own ad offensive on the health care front, a day after the RNC targeted 60 districts. The DCCC’s radio buy and robo-call package is a bit more targeted, focusing on 8 GOPers (not coincidentally, maybe their 8 most vulnerable incumbents running in 2010): Michele Bachmann, Joseph Cao, Charlie Dent, Dan Lungren, Thad McCotter, Erik Paulsen, Dave Reichert, and Pat Tiberi.

Where Are They Now?: Former GOP Rep. Anne Northup found her way into the Obama administration, as a commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This initially seems very odd — she already lost KY-03, so there’s no sense in appointing her to facilitate a Dem pickup — but it’s because the Senate GOP leader has a say in picking a Republican for one of the five commissioners, and Mitch McConnell opted to give the job to his long-time protege, who, having lost three races in a row, is probably finished with electoral politics.

50 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 7/31”

  1. If she can put up “rick perry gay” on her website, I suppose it’s OK with her if people put up titles like this. What a totally bush league move by her; for shame! Not that there’s anything wrong with people actually being gay, of course, but as we all know, for Republicans, “gay” is still pretty much of an epithet and an attempt at personal character assassination.

  2. Just out of curiosity, do we have anything vaguely resembling a base here just in case Skeleton retires in the next few terms? I know we don’t have any State Senators and I don’t think we have any State Reps, but maybe there are some County Commissioners, Mayors, a university towns that could produce a scrappy college professor, uhh even a niece or grandson of Skeleton?

    I’m having trouble thinking of an open seat that would be harder to hold than MO-04. Even MS-04 has a few Dem legislators running around (not that I’m under the impression that an open seat there would by any stretch be easy).

  3. Looking at Baker’s recent electoral history and his district may give some clues to how well he could conceivably do.  He won about 55% of the vote in 2008 in a district which takes up a lot of Faulkner County.  Faulkner County was more Republican than the state in Blanche Lincoln’s 2004 reelection: she won the county about 51.48% to 48.5%, versus 55.9% to 44.07% in the whole state.  So Baker’s pretty popular in one of the state’s more Republican leaning counties.  (Faulkner County was also more Republican than the state in 2006’s governor race and 2008’s Presidential race).  Doesn’t really demonstrate that he has the wide crossover potential among Arkansas Dems who may be ready to vote Republican.  

  4. That POS poll not accurate at all. R2K had Dorgan beating Hoeven by 22 points. In addition remember POS last poll of NY-20 (Tedisco 50% Murphy 29%). POS polls are never accurate.

  5. Having said that:

    I was pissed off when Dodd and Biden announced there candidacy for the Dem nomination. It was somewhat hilarious and the same time stupid. Did Dodd really think he was going to beat Hilary Clinton? Or later on Obama? He was not going to be picked as the running mate. Everyone (except perhaps Dodd) knew that.

    Whenever I hear about Maloney’s run for the senate, I cannot help thinking about Dodd’s run. Dodd maintained his dignity though. Maloney has been running like an empousai out to get Perseus Jackson.


    Okay, not a big deal for GA-09 or Hawkins’ state senate seat (the 49th), at least in the general election.  We have only a microscopic shot at winning here and would be stuck with another nearly worthless Blue Dog anyways.  I will say that Hawkins might have a geographic advantage in the primary as he represents, in its entirety, the largest county in the district (Hall)

    However, it does create an opportunity for us in the State House.  One of the potential successors for Hawkins is State Rep. Carl Rogers (R), whose 26th district is VERY Hispanic, has a state college, and has seen some decent showings by Democrats before.

  7. I may not have agreed with all of Sen. Gillibrand’s stances while she was in the House but she was representing perhaps the most conservative district in New York. She’s taken more progressive positions since she became senator.

  8. Here’s Kasich’s cash-on-hand in his campaign finance report he quietly filed today: $451,292.78.

    Compared to Strickland’s cash-on-hand: $4,015,716.49

    I wish they would have posted the total raised, but oh well.  

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