SSP Daily Digest: 1/15

MA-Sen: With last night’s Suffolk poll, there really can’t be any doubt any more that the Massachusetts Senate race qualifies as a “Toss Up,” so we’re changing our rating to reflect that. There’s still room for skepticism on whether Scott Brown can in fact pull it out, given not only the difficulty of pinning down a likely voter universe in a rapidly-fluctuating special election, but also the Democrats’ structural advantages on the ground in the Bay State. (The Democrats have the advantage of labor and local machines long-skilled at rousting out voters and getting them to the polls, while it’s questionable whether the Republicans have, given their long neglect of the state, any ground troops to deploy here, or even up-to-date, refined voter databases.) Nevertheless, given what can actually be quantified, right now the polls balance out to more or less a tie, and that’s how we have to treat the race.

The breaking news du jour is that Barack Obama has finally agreed to head up to Massachusetts and stump for Martha Coakley on Sunday. Also, the Coakley campaign is rolling out a second ad for the weekend, to go with their ad showcasing the Vicki Kennedy endorsement; they’re also running a populist-themed ad on Wall Street regulation (specifically, the rather narrow issue of the proposed bonus tax on banks). The ad deluge is being bolstered a League of Conservation Voters ad buy for $350K; on the third-party front, that’s being countered by a pro-Brown ad buy for $500K from Americans for Job Security.

CA-Sen: Yesterday I was musing about whether ex-Rep. Tom Campbell’s entry into the GOP Senate primary hurt Carly Fiorina or Chuck DeVore more, and we already seem to have an answer. The Campbell camp is touting an internal poll showing them with a sizable lead over both Fiorina and DeVore in the primary: Campbell is at 31, with Fiorina at 15 and DeVore at 12. The few polls of the primary so far have shown Fiorina and DeVore deadlocked in the 20s, so maybe it’s safe to say that Campbell hurts them each equally.

FL-Sen: Which of these is not like the other? There’s a new multi-candidate GOP fundraising PAC called the U.S. Senate Victory Committee, which benefits seven different Republicans: Kelly Ayotte, Roy Blunt, Jane Norton, Rob Portman, Rob Simmons, Pat Toomey… and Marco Rubio? Six establishment candidates, and one insurgent. Or is Rubio the new establishment?

PPP (pdf): PPP looks all the way to 2012 as part of their wide-ranging Nevada survey, and finds that John Ensign may weather his whole giving-a-patronage-job-to-the-cuckolded-husband-of-his-mistress thing, if he runs again. Ensign trails Las Vegas mayor (but probable 2010 gubernatorial candidate) only Oscar Goodman 43-41, but leads Rep. Shelly Berkley 49-40 and SoS Ross Miller 47-36. Of course, Berkley and Miller aren’t that well-known yet and would presumably gain ground in an active 2012 race, but again, more food for thought on the idea that Republicans really don’t get the vapors over sex scandals after all, so long as they’re perpetrated by Republicans.

MN-Gov: The St. Paul Pioneer Press is out with a poll of Minnesota voters (by a pollster I’ve never heard of, Decision Resources Ltd.). The poll seemed most focused on the question of whether there should be public funding of the new Vikings stadium, but it did throw in (almost as an afterthought) something we haven’t seen before: general election head-to-heads in the Governor’s race. The numbers are pretty encouraging for the Democrats: ex-Sen. Mark Dayton leads ex-Sen. Norm Coleman 41-31, and state Rep. Marty Seifert (who, assuming Coleman doesn’t get in, is the likeliest GOP nominee) 41-25. State House speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher beats Coleman 33-31, and Pat Anderson (who dropped out of the race this week) 33-23. There weren’t any numbers for Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, another strong contender for the Dem nod. And yes, if you’re wondering, this does take into account the potential spoiler role of Minnesota’s Independence Party; IP candidates account for 11 to 13 percent of the vote in each of these trial heats. (H/t alphaaqua.)

NH-Gov: One other gubernatorial poll has good news for Democrats, and it even comes from Rasmussen. They find incumbent Gov. John Lynch in safe position with 58/38 approvals and, against his no-name opponents, leading social conservative activist Karen Testerman 53-30 and businessman Jack Kimball 51-32.

OH-Gov: Who knew that John Kasich had the power to transcend the boundaries of space and time? In an effort to court the GOP’s restive base, Kasich said “I think I was in the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party.”

WY-Gov: One more big-name Republican (by Wyoming’s small standards) is getting into the gubernatorial race, banking on the assumption that incumbent Dem Dave Freudenthal won’t jump through the legal hoops necessary to run for a third term. Auditor Rita Meyer is getting into the race, where potential GOP primary rivals include former US Attorney Matt Mead and state House speaker Colin Simpson.

AL-05: Rep. Parker Griffith is showing his true colors. The party-switcher has been turning away requests for refunds of contributions that don’t meet the requirements buried in the fine print: he says he can’t refund donations for the 2008 cycle, only the 2010 cycle, because the 2008 contributions were spent long ago.

AR-02: Rep. Vic Snyder is in pretty dire shape, if a new poll from SurveyUSA is to be believed: he trails Republican candidate and former US Attorney Tim Griffin by a 56-39 margin. You may want to take this poll with a grain of salt, as it was paid for by Firedoglake, who seem to have an axe to grind in the health care reform debate, and the Snyder numbers seem to be less the main point than engaging in strangely-right-wing-sounding message-testing. The good news is that, even after a variety of anti-HCR arguments have been offered (and Nate Silver does a fine job of picking apart the survey), Snyder doesn’t fare much worse (at 58-35); the bad news, though, is that the 56-39 topline question was asked before any of the litany of anti-HCR talking points, suggesting that, HCR or no, we have a major problem in Arkansas.

AZ-03: Despite Jon Hulburd’s surprising cash haul, he may have bigger company in the Democratic primary to replace recently-retired Republican Rep. John Shadegg. Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon is the subject of speculation; he had briefly considered a 2008 run against Shadegg before ruling it out, saying his post-mayoral future would be in the private sector, but all eyes are on what he does now. (Gordon lives slightly outside the district’s boundaries.) On the GOP side, there’s no clear frontrunner at all. State Rep. Sam Crump has already said he’s running. Possible other candidates include state Treasurer Dean Martin (who would have to drop down from the gubernatorial bid he just launched this week), state Sens. Pamela Gorman and Jim Waring, Phoenix city councilor Peggy Neely, former ASU football star Andrew Walter, and, in a shocker, the co-founder of Taser International Inc., Tom Smith. Former state House speaker Jim Weiers has taken himself out of the running.

NC-11: Businessman Jeff Miller has reversed course and will run against Democratic Blue Dog Rep. Heath Shuler in the 11th. Miller had been recruited to run, but decided against it; he’ll have to face a primary against Hendersonville mayor Greg Newman, who got in after Miller initially declined.

OH-15: The Ohio GOP is still searching for an Auditor candidate after Mary Taylor decided to run for Lt. Governor instead of re-election. Former state Sen. Steve Stivers has been asked to run for Auditor, but made clear he’ll be staying in the race in the 15th (where he might actually have better odds, considering how close he came to Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy last time).

84 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 1/15”

  1. Isn’t there an adage about American politics that the results of an election are pretty much locked in by the last Friday of the campaign?

    It’s going to be a long, long 2010.

  2. But this paragraph from the New York Times is just amazing:

    A senior Democratic official on Friday described Ms. Coakley’s chances as “within striking distance,” and in a special election that many voters may not even know is taking place, the attention that comes with a presidential visit could increase turnout.

    Whew. A Dem Senate candidate is within “striking distance.” In Massachusetts! This is a proud moment.  

  3. They had teabagger candidate Joe Kennedy getting 0% of the republican vote and getting 3% of the dem vote. There will definatly be some republican voting for Joe Kennedy so this poll definatly has its flaws. Suffolk has had its blunders before. (Corzine winning by 9). They also had Christy Mihos leading Charlie Baker for MA-GOV and there is a snowballs chance in hell of Mihos winning this primary. While this does not mean that Coakley will definatly win, I do believe that Coakley can pull this out if people show up to vote on Tuesday. Call everyone you know in Massachusetts and get them out to vote on Tuesday. Massachusetts is full of tons of democrats who don’t even know an election is taking place.

  4. Not sure if focusing on how Coakley will raise taxes (even if it is on banks) is the right strategy going into the final few days.

    Also can’t see how including a picture of the World Trade Center in the attack on Scott Brown for his closeness to Wall Street is at all helpful.

    (The politico story I refer to is here:… )

  5. If she pulls this out after the misspelling ad, the WTC ad, dis on the Socks and Catholics, it is only because of the registration advantage.

    Why could she not just run a generic campaign after she won the stupid primary, instead they let this guy define himself for 2 months?

    Obove all the waste of time and money on this seat is nothing but an epic disaster and an embarrassment.

  6. I have not actually talked to anyone voting for Brown but I have seen many signs for him. I did however talk to someone who usually vote democratic but splits the ticket many times. For example, he voted for Romney, Celluci, and Weld and even voted for Weld when ran against Kerry. I feel as though this is the type of voter Brown would need to get to win, however, he and his whole family are vote for Coakley. However, does anyone have or remember any polls from when Weld ran against Kerry.

  7. I'm going to assume Masschusetts' population is the average of the national population in general, so there's a lot of female voters in the state. And while the Democrats thought they could lock down the women vote with the argument of electing the Bay State's first female United States Senator, they certainly didn't count on this factor from the Republican, Scott Brown, working against them:


    I mean, let's face it. Sure, the first female senator, that's tempting. But what woman could look at this steaming hunk of beefcake and not say “Yes” to that? And considering that at age 50, Brown looks about the same as he did in the photo, which was taken in his 20s. There's a very strong chance that those gorgeous muscles still reside underneath that teabagger of an empty Republican suit.

    No wonder why Brown's been closing in these last few days.

  8. Their are tons and tons and tons of democrats who have no idea that this election is taking place. Get them out to vote and we will win. Call your friends neighbors, use facebook, twitter, e-mail, whatever it takes. We can do this!!!!!!!

  9. Press release just issued.


    January 15, 2010

    Washington D.C. – U.S. Representative Vic Snyder (AR-02) issued the following statement today:

    “2010 will be a robust election year during which great forces collide to set the direction for our country for another two years.  Over the last several weeks Betsy and I have had discussions with family and friends including other members of Congress (Rep. David Price, Rep. Susan Davis, and our own Sen. Mark Pryor) regarding the appropriate balance between family and Congressional service when a family has very young children.  I have concluded that these election-year forces are no match for the persuasive and powerful attraction of our three one-year old boys under the leadership of their three-year old brother, and I have decided not to run for re-election.  It is the greatest professional honor of my life to represent Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives, and I am so grateful to the people of Arkansas to have had this wonderful opportunity.  That honor will now pass to someone else at the conclusion of this term.”

    “This decision has not been an easy one.  Two weeks ago my campaign manager came on board, but that first morning I advised him to do nothing to begin the campaign because of my doubts regarding running.  The onset of the new year, the time I always begin organizing my campaigns, did nothing to remove these doubts.”

    “I have put very little thought into what the work side of my life will look like at the end of this term, although it is clear from observing how much our four little boys eat that I will be working for a long, long time.”

    – END –

  10. Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

    In a radio interview, Martha Coakley (D) claimed that Red Sox great Curt Schilling was a Yankee fan.

    While Massachusetts Democrats can disagree with Schilling’s political views, they have to respect him as the person who brought the Red Sox their first World Series championship in 86 years. Calling him a Yankee fan is a huge insult to an entire state.

Comments are closed.