SSP Daily Digest: 8/13

FL-Sen: Charlie Crist barely survived another county-level GOP censure vote, this time in heavily-Democratic Palm Beach County, where one would expect the GOP faithful to be Chamber of Commerce types and not run-of-the-mill teabagging rageaholics. The censure bid failed on a 65-65 tie. The party member who led the bid referred to Crist as “nothing more than Arlen Specter with a tan.”

NV-Sen: Rep. Dean Heller, who recently declined to run for Senate, laid his cards on the table, confirming what many suspected, that the John Ensign scandal contributed to Heller’s decision not to run against Harry Reid. Any Ensign support for Heller would have been a distraction rather than an asset. In the same interview, Heller also encouraged Ensign to answer remaining questions about payoffs to the former staffer he had the affair with. (One other interesting question raised here… does Heller calling out Ensign mean Heller is trying to help push Ensign out the door and then run for the open Senate seat in 2012? Because that would mean Heller wouldn’t run in the primary against Jim Gibbons in 2010, making it likelier that Gibbons survives the primary — and I know Democrats would rather face Gibbons than Heller in the governor’s race.)

Also, CQ is reporting that, bolstered by an internal poll giving her a small edge over Harry Reid (and also by Heller’s decision to stand down), state GOP party chair Sue Lowden is getting more interested in making the race, and she’s testing the fundraising waters.

PA-Gov: Rep. Jim Gerlach got another endorsement from Pennsylvania’s GOP House delegation, Bill Shuster from PA-05 (coming on the heels of endorsements from Todd Platts and ex-Rep. Phil English). Of course, House colleagues tend to stick together, and their endorsements are of questionable value since they generally don’t bring local machines along with them, but these endorsements are at least interesting to the extent that they’re coming from the rural, most conservative parts of the “T,” not from Gerlach’s moderate southeastern suburban base.

VA-Gov: There’s been some shuffling of personnel on the Creigh Deeds campaign, which has seemed kind of listless for the last month. Larry Sabato reported that campaign manager Joe Abbey, who engineered the primary victory, had been shoved over in favor of Mark Warner ally Monica Dixon. Dixon, however, says that Abbey’s still in charge but that she and some other new additions are there to bolster the ranks.

KS-04: One more random wealthy Republican to add to the ever-expanding field in the open seat race in the Wichita-based 4th: oilman Willis “Wink” Hartman. State Sen. Dick Kelsey and RNC member Mike Pompeo are considered the GOP frontrunners.

NY-23: GOP nominee for the special election, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, had temporarily put her campaign on hold to tend to her father, who is recovering from heart surgery. Without a John McHugh Senate confirmation or a set election date, though, this isn’t likely to be much of a setback. (Stuart Rothenberg, as part of a good overview of the race, says it’s likely it’ll be held on Election Day in November, meaning that the significance of whatever happens may be subsumed by NJ-Gov and VA-Gov.)

OH-SoS: The Secretary of State field for the Democrats may keep growing, with a potential new entrant with an impressive resume. Paul Gains is the Prosecutor in Mahoning County (where Youngstown is); he says he’s leaning toward the race. (His biggest claim to fame is surviving a mob hit upon first taking office in 1996.) Ohio SoS is one of the most important lower-tier statewide offices in the country, given the state’s narrow divide and the SoS’s role on the legislative apportionment board. Franklin Co. Commissioner Marilyn Brown and State Rep. Jennifer Garrison are also likely to run for the Dems.

40 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 8/13”

  1. A few days ago, Obama went to NOVA with his entourage to help Deds. There was a brief mention of the traffic jam it caused (I am guessing here) in Not Lary sabato. He thought it a prescription for losing votes. I have not seen any other post. I will appreciate if anyone can throw some light on this.

    I am hoping the staff change works for Deeds.

    I do not want to harp too much on Leslie Byrne. Somehow I feel that Deeds would have gotten those 200 odd votes ( and elected AG over McD) had she not been on the ticket. Then it would have more difficult for the republicans to win this election. I have no proof for this. Just I was not happy about running Byrne for LG.

  2. I was looking at the new rasmussen poll which had Toomey leading Specter, so I decided to look at Spector’s electoral history. Apparently his last close race in a general election was in 1992 against someone named Lynn Yeakel and beat her 49% to 47%. Does anyone know who Lynn Yeakel is and why that race was so close.

  3. “A new survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Stan Greenberg and James Carville’s organization Democracy Corps puts Governor Corzine within striking distance of Republican Chris Christie. The survey shows that Corzine now trails Christie by just 5 points in a three-way race and 6 points in a two-way matchup. Christie leads Corzine 40 to 35 percent, with Independent candidate Chris Daggett attracting 10 percent of the vote. In a two-way trial heat, Christie leads Corzine 43 to 37 percent.”

  4. It was his attempted murder in 1996 that finally forced Youngstown to take organized crime seriously. It was in the aftermath that mob boss Lenny Strollo was caught, and his trial lead to the arrests and convictions of multiple elected officials: Mahoning County sheriff Phil Chance, the previous County prosecutor James Philomena (who was notorious for fixing cases and may have been involved in the gains hit job), and eventually Jim Traficant.

    One potential drawback is Gains’ appearance. He looks like a deranged Donald Southerland.

    Here’s a video of him:

  5. State Sen. Kirk Watson is not running for Governor, instead choosing to seek re-election to the State Legislature.

    TX Dems live to suck another day! Schieffer, Kinky or (likely) Ronnie Earle who would be the most politicized candidate we could nominate.

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