SSP Daily Digest: 10/12

CO-Sen: Here’s an amateur-level mistake from the Bennet campaign: electioneering in the Denver public schools (where Michael Bennet used to be Supernintendo before being appointed Senator). The campaign sent mailings to a school asking for the principal’s support and fliers were given to principals at a district workshop.

FL-Sen: The Kendrick Meek campaign is touting its own fishy poll that says that Meek leads Charlie Crist… among voters who know both of them. The lead is 45-43 for Meek among those 25% of the sample who know who the heck Meek is. In the larger sample, Crist is up 47-31.

KS-Sen: Kansas Senate news three digests in a row? I’m as surprised as you are. Anyway, retired advertising executive and journalist Charles Schollenberger confirmed that he will run for the Senate. With seemingly no Dems higher up the totem pole interested in the race, Schollenberger may wind up carrying the flag.

NC-Sen: It’s not quite confirmed, but the rumor mill is churning up stories that youthful former state Senator and Iraq vet Cal Cunningham is moving to formally jump into the North Carolina Senate race. SoS Elaine Marshall is already in the Democratic primary field.

PA-Sen: There’s an unexpected fourth Democratic participant in the Senate primary all of a sudden: Doris Smith-Ribner, a recently retired Commonwealth Court (which apparently is one of two intermediate appellate courts in Pennsylvania; don’t ask me why there are two) judge for two decades. Her presence could prove nettlesome to Rep. Joe Sestak, by eating a bit into his share of liberal anti-Arlen Specter votes in what’s likely to be a close primary. (“Fourth,” you say? State Rep. Bill Kortz is running too, and has been for many months.)

AZ-Gov: He was probably seeing the same terrible polls that everyone else was, and ex-Governor Fife Symington decided to put the kibbosh on a gubernatorial comeback. Instead, Symington endorsed not the current Governor, Jan Brewer, but one of her minor opponents, former state GOP chair John Munger.

CA-Gov: Meg Whitman scored a victory of sorts with the publication of a story titled “Meg Whitman’s voting record not as bad as originally portrayed.” It turns out she was registered at several points in California in the 1980s and 1990s, but there’s still no indication that she actually voted during this period.

Meanwhile, Whitman’s primary rival ex-Rep. Tom Campbell may get a big leg up: rumors persist that he may get picked as California’s new Lt. Governor (once John Garamendi gets elected to CA-10). I’d initially thought that was a way of scraping him out of the gubernatorial primary and giving him a door prize, but it could give him a higher profile and bully pulpit to compensate for his vast financial disadvantage as he stays in the race. Campbell was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Finance Director for a while, and they operate in the same centrist space, so maybe Ahnold would do him the favor? (Of course, he’d still have to survive confirmation by the Dem-controlled legislature, who might be reluctant to promote Campbell, who they rightly see as the most dangerous general election opponent.)

FL-Gov: It had seemed like state Sen. Paula Dockery, who threatened repeatedly during the spring to run in the GOP gubernatorial primary, had faded back into the woodwork. However, she’s front and center again today, saying that she’s “leaning toward” running and giving herself a three-week timeline (she put off the decision because of her husband’s surgery this summer). Another minor embarrassment for her primary opponent, AG Bill McCollum: the co-chair of his campaign, former state GOP chair Alex Cardenas, had to explain that, no, he didn’t actually host a fundraiser for Democratic rival Alex Sink. (It was hosted by Democratic partners in Cardenas’s lobbying firm.)

NJ-Gov: Jon Corzine and Chris Christie have sufficiently reduced each other’s statures that the state’s largest newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, took what may be an unprecedented step, and endorsed the independent candidate in the race: Chris Daggett. I still can’t see this giving Daggett the momentum to break 20%, but more Daggett votes are good, as they seem to come mostly out of the Christie column. Meanwhile, Chris Christie got an endorsement he may not especially want in the blue state of New Jersey — from the Family Research Council (who also just endorsed Conservative Doug Hoffman over Republican Dede Scozzafava in the NY-23 special election). Also, Christie is living large after getting an endorsement that may carry more weight, from the New Jersey Restaurant Association.

VA-Gov (pdf): There’s one new poll of VA-Gov to report today: Mason-Dixon, and they come in with a 48-40 edge for Bob McDonnell over Creigh Deeds, closely tracking today’s average of 51-43. The poll finds Deeds getting only 81% of the African-American vote (with 9% to McD), far too little, especially in combination with what PPP‘s Tom Jensen is seeing, as he teases that he’s projecting abysmal black turnout of 12% in the coming election. At any rate, Deeds is now touting his underdog status in fundraising e-mails, and is alluding to more possible visits from Barack Obama in the stretch run.

FL-20: Here’s an understatement: Republican candidate Robert Lowry, hoping to defeat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in this D+13 district, conceded it was a “mistake” to shoot at a target labeled “DWS” while at a Southeast Republican Club gathering at a gun range.

MN-06: As state Sen. Tarryl Clark seems to be building a fundraising and labor endorsement edge, her primary opponent for the Democratic nomination, Maureen Reed, says she won’t follow traditional decorum and abide by the DFL endorsement. Reed (a former member of the Independence Party) says she’ll keep open the option of taking the fight all the way to the primary, a reversal of her position from months earlier (although from before Clark got into the race and Elwyn Tinklenberg left). (UPDATE: The Reed campaign writes in to say that the Minnesota Public Radio story that underpins this story is incorrect and that Reed never stated whether or not she would abide by the DFL endorsement.)

NC-11: One reddish southern district where the Republicans are still at square one on recruitment is the 11th. Businessman Jeff Miller said that he won’t challenge sophomore Dem Heath Shuler.

NY-15: As ethics allegations take a toll against long-time Rep. Charlie Rangel, he’s getting a primary challenge… from his former campaign director. Vince Morgan, now a banker, says “it’s time for a change.”

OH-17: Republicans may have found someone to run in the 17th against Rep. Tim Ryan: businessman and Air Force vet Bill Johnson, who’s now exploring the race and will decide in December. Ryan probably isn’t too worried, as he’s won most of his races with over 75%, in this D+12 district.

PA-04: Pennsylvania Western District US Attorney Mary Buchanan is reportedly considering running as a Republican against Dem sophomore Jason Altmire. (Hopefully she isn’t violating the Hatch Act too much while she considers it.) Buchanan was one of the USAs who weren’t fired in the Bush-era purge (in fact, she allegedly helped consult on the list of those who were fired). State House minority whip Mike Turzai has been reputed to be the GOP’s desired recruit here, but Buchanan’s flack says that Turzai is focused on winning back GOP control of the state House in 2010 instead.

PA-11: Attorney and hedge fund manager Chris Paige is the first Republican to take on Paul Kanjorski (or Corey O’Brien, if Kanjorski goes down in the Dem primary). Still no word on whether Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta is interested in yet another whack at the race.

Supreme Courts (pdf): News from two different state supreme court races? Sure, why not. In Pennyslvania, there’s another Dane & Associates poll out, of a hotly contested 2010 race for a state supreme court seat; Democrat Jack Panella leads Republican Joan Orie Melvin 38-35. Also, in Texas, Democrat Bill Moody, who came close to winning a seat in 2006 (better than any other Dem statewide candidate that year), will try again in 2010, and he has an interesting new campaign gimmick: he’s going to tour the state in a big orange blimp.

43 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/12”

  1. The Meek poll is very specious — which voters would know who he is except constituents and Democrats? 47-31 in the general is a little more heartening though, and Meek’s narrow window of opportunity probably hinges on Crist getting beat up beyond recognition in the primary, or even straight out losing the nomination.

    As for the latter, Rubio is a charismatic pitchman for the right, and I think a Rubio win would make this race pure tossup. I’m wondering what kind of oppo has been compiled so far, because I have yet to encounter any solid lines of attack on Marco from the left. The way I view it right now, Rubio winning the primary would be a double-edged sword: while it would make the race more competitive, a Rubio win in the general would be an unmitigated disaster for everyone but the far right.

  2. Taking bets now on who’s going to do the biggest electoral faceplant in California: Fiorina or Whitman.

    I’d still guess that Fiorina will mess up the most, because she’s just so incompetent at everything she does ever. I do hope she makes it through the primary though, because train wrecks are hilarious if they’re political and not literal.

    But Whitman’s coming on strong with her inability to articulate a position on anything that’s not flag-waving generalities and business platitudes, as well as her lack of voting record and lifelong disinterest in politics.  

    Should be an exciting race to the bottom, though!

  3. Virginia

    54% McDonnell

    46% Deeds

    New Jersey

    42% Corzine

    40% Christie

    17% Daggett

    1% Other


    41% Owens

    40% Scozzafava

    19% Hoffman

    Charlotte Mayor

    52% Foxx

    48% Lassiter

  4. I thought that was really interesting at first until I clicked the link and read why Reed is choosing to do this.  She’s miffed that labor unions aren’t bothering to screen her for their endorsement but are rather just screening Clark and giving it to her.  Reed is pretty much acknowledging that she doesn’t have a shot in hell at the DFL endorsement so instead will be taking it to the primary so she can feel like she has a shot.

    I havent been around for a competitive primary in MN yet (only turned 18 in 2004) and I dont see Reed having a much better chance in the primary.  The drop-off from those voting for Gore in 2000 and those voting in the US Senate primary, which was quite competitive with Mark Dayton, Mike Ciresi, the DFL endorsed candidate and some other woman, the drop off was about 60%.  I was curious to look that up because if it a small drop-off, Reed would stand more of a chance with voters who aren’t the hardcore committed DFLers.  But as the drop-off is rather quite high, the people coming out to vote are pretty much the same people who will be picking Clark for the endorsement.  

    Not to mention, you tell any DFLer that was she the Independence Party Lt Gov candidate in 2006 and that should get their blood boiling.

  5. Yes, PA has two intermediate courts of appeals.  Traditionally, the Superior Court heard all intermediate appeals.  In 1968, the Commonwealth Court was created to hear appeals in cases involving state and local governments.  

  6. Come on Cal!  Please get in this race!  He would make a fantastic candidate.  Cal reminds me a lot of John Edwards, pre-scandal of course.  He is good looking, charismatic, and is a great speaker.  He definitely has my vote in this primary if he jumps into the race.

  7. He’s always been the most likely appointment, with most rumors featuring him.  It’s obviously the perfect launching pad for the Gov race.

    Arnold likes the idea of a legacy, and he doesn’t have a good shaping up now (and mostly its not his fault).  So appointing Campbell is a great opportunity for him to make a statement.

    As the article says, Campbell scares the pee out of the Dem establishment.  I can’t see the Legislature not confirming him, that would be low even by Cal Leg standards, which are pretty darn low.

  8. (1) I’m excited and happy about a primary challenge to Rangel. That district is so Democratic that it’s doubtful a majority would vote for a Republican, no matter what, so to get Rangel out of there, there needs to be a primary. I’m sure my parents, who are still constituents of Rangel, will support his opponent.

    (2) Schuler does have an opponent:

    Republicans have a candidate to face Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) in 2010, and it’s Hendersonville Mayor Greg Newman.

  9. A great article highlighting why Chris Daggett may face an extra obstacle come election day:


    The ballot in Cumberland County, for instance, has Corzine/Weinberg in the “A” slot, Christie/Guadango in the “B” slot, and in the “C” slot…a guy named Gary Steele. You have to veer over to slot “F” to track down the Daggett/Esposito ticket. Daggett made a play for a better ballot slot for a reason…his name is virtually lost in the shuffle here. This is why Chris Christie can still win by a few points.

Comments are closed.