SSP Daily Digest: 2/15

AZ-Sen: This is good news! For J.D. Hayworth! The right-wing anti-immigrant vote in the GOP primary isn’t going to be split. Minutemen co-founder Chris Simcox ended his bid and endorsed Hayworth, not having gotten much traction on the polling front even before Hayworth’s entry. In a close race, though, Simcox’s few percentage points could make all the difference for Hayworth. Bad news, for the GOP, though, is that Hayworth and John McCain are planning to go all Mutually Assured Destruction on each other in the primary, with Hayworth threatening that if McCain brings up Abramoff, he’ll bring up the Keating 5. Dems really need a marquee candidate here to be poised to seize the smoldering ruins.

CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff is rolling out more endorsements, as he seems to be finally getting his primary challenge to Michael Bennet into gear in the wake of recent polling showing him outperforming Bennet in the general election. He’s claiming the endorsement of more than two-thirds of the Democrats in the state House, including current majority leader Paul Weissman, as well as state Senate majority leader John Morse and former House speaker Ruben Valdez. Romanoff, of course, is a former House speaker himself, so he’s got an ‘in’ with the legislative types.

NV-Sen: I wonder if this is the break that’ll save Harry Reid’s butt in November? (Especially if Sue Lowden winds up winning the GOP nomination, as she’s public enemy number 1 to the state’s Paulists.) The “Tea Party” has filed a “Certificate of Existence” (where can I get one of those, for whenever people doubt that I exist?) in Nevada, and will have its own candidate on the ballot in November. Jon Ashjian will reportedly be their candidate; the question still remains just how big a bite he takes out of the Republican column, though. In addition, there will also be a Reform Party candidate on the ballot and as many as five independents.

NY-Sen-B: Mort Zuckerman? Really? Maybe he’s taking a page from friend Michael Bloomberg and realizing that, with enough money, any political office is within reach for a restless billionaire. The 72-year-old Daily News publisher and real estate baron is considering a race against Kirsten Gillibrand, although there’s no indication of which party label he’d use. He’s known as a Democrat, but it seems likely he’d pursue either an independent or Republican bid to avoid the Democratic primary (where Harold Ford Jr. already seems to be occupying the turf Zuckerman would need in order to win).

CT-Gov: Here’s the top facepalm news of the day: Ned Lamont has hired a campaign manager as he officially kicks off his gubernatorial campaign, and he hired Joe Abbey, last seen… wait for it… helming Creigh Deeds’ campaign.

FL-Gov: This doesn’t sound very promising either, as the St. Petersburg Times looks at the growing sense of torpor surrounding the Alex Sink campaign. Sink has had little trouble fundraising and a so-so GOP opponent, but operatives are starting to worry she’s walking a Martha Coakley-ish line on focusing on insider connections and with a lack of interest in mixing it up with voters or even developing a resonant message.

PA-Gov: The GOP state party endorsements came with a lot less drama than the Democrats’, seeing as how they’ve had their candidates locked down for most of a year. AG Tom Corbett easily got the endorsement for governor over state Rep. Sam Rohrer, which was widely expected although it still piqued Rohrer’s handful of right-wing supporters. The most drama was actually for the #2 slot; Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley managed to win the Lt. Governor endorsement on the second ballot out of a crowded field. On the Democratic side, Philadelphia-based state Sen. Anthony Williams is still expressing some interest in the race, although he’s set a very high bar for entry for himself. He’s sitting $1 million already, and he says if he can get that figure up to $4 million in the next few weeks, he’ll jump in.

TX-Gov (pdf): There’s yet another poll out of the Texas gubernatorial primaries, from a coalition of newspapers, most prominently the Austin American-Statesman. It’s right in line with the other polls out recently, with Rick Perry at 45, Kay Bailey Hutchison at 29, and Debra Medina at 7. (They don’t poll runoff matchups, or the Dem primary.) Houston mayor Bill White continues to make this a competitive race for the Dems in the general: he trails Perry 43-37, and Hutchison 42-34. Meanwhile, Debra Medina (who recently seemed to blunt any late momentum by revealing her truly kooky side) may have some good company, in the form of Democratic candidate Farouk Shami: he came out with some statements putting him in truther-curious territory as well. Shami is also about to announce the invention of a blow dryer that actually grows hair. (Why aim low, for merely Governor, if that’s true? If it’s really true, he’s about to become a trillionaire.)

AZ-03: I’m not sure if this is the family name you really want, when running for office, but a new candidate is in the GOP field in the open seat race in the 3rd: Ben Quayle. The 33-year-old attorney, who hasn’t run for office before, is the son of former VP and frequent punchline Dan Quayle.

FL-24: With the former CEO of the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse chain, Craig Miller, planning to run in the 24th, Democrats are spotlighting his opposition to tougher laws on drunk driving. (As a restauranteur, he would have a financial interest in getting that extra drink into his guests.) “Once 0.08 becomes law, why not 0.05 or 0.02?” he asked in a 2000 interview.

MA-10: The William Delahunt retirement rumors aren’t going away, and now Glenn Thrush points to a Delahunt-out/Joe Kennedy III-in/Delahunt-endorses-Kennedy master-plan in the works. Kennedy, a Barnstable County prosecuting attorney, isn’t the only Kennedy of his generation who’s a possible House candidate; Politico helpfully provides a scorecard of various other Kennedys who might run for higher office in the future. At any rate, even if Joe III doesn’t wind up in the next Congress, it’s likely Congress won’t stay Kennedy-free for very long.

OK-05: There’s one less Oklahoma Republican in the primary for the open seat in dark-red OK-05. Corporation Commissioner Jeff Cloud cited non-life-threatening health concerns in dropping out of the race, although he plans to keep serving in his current job. Six different GOPers are in the field (perhaps most notably, former state Rep. Kevin Calvey), but no Dem has gotten in yet.

PA-03: One other dropout from a crowded GOP field, this time for the right to take on Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper in the 3rd. Tom Trevorrow, an ophthalmologist who made a splashy entrance recently with a big serving of self-funding and some expensive consultant hires, ended his bid just as quickly, citing his father’s illness.

RI-01: A couple big names have already gotten into the race to replace retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the biggest possibly being Providence’s mayor David Cicilline (who surprised many by turning down a gubernatorial run this year). Cicilline would be the fourth openly-gay member of Congress, if elected. He’ll have to get past William Lynch in the primary, though; Lynch, the brother of AG and gubernatorial candidate Patrick Lynch, just resigned as the state’s Democratic party chair in order to run. Pretty much every prominent Democrat around is also listed as a possible candidate: Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts (who also decided against a gubernatorial run), ex-Rep. Bob Weygand (of RI-02, who lost the 2000 Senate race to Lincoln Chafee), ex-LG Charles Fogarty, and even state Rep. Betsy Dennigan, who’s currently running a primary against Rep. James Langevin over in RI-02. (Rhode Island seems like Hawaii, where the boundaries between the two districts seem like they’re of little practical importance.) On the GOP side, state Rep. John Loughlin is already in, while former Cranston mayor and Senate candidate Steven Laffey and state party chair Giovanni Cicione are also mentioned.

TN-08: Everyone has pretty well coalesced around state Sen. (and until recently, gubernatorial candidate) Roy Herron to try to hold retiring Rep. John Tanner’s seat. Democratic state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh just announced that he wouldn’t run, and in a somewhat encouraging sign, said that his own polling showed that he wouldn’t have trouble getting past the various Republicans seeking the seat in the R+3 (but historically Democratic) district. Instead, he didn’t see a way past Herron in the primary.

VA-05: PPP has some follow-up on its previous general election poll of VA-05, looking at the GOP primary, which has the potential to be one of the biggest flashpoints in the establishment/teabagger schism. For now, chalk this one up to the establishment: state Sen. Robert Hurt leads at 22 (leading among both moderates and conservatives), with Albemarle Co. Commissioner Ken Boyd at 12. The various members of the teabagging rabble all poll in the low single digits. With 51% still undecided, though, this is still anyone’s game once the ad wars begin.

CA-LG: So, Arnold Schwarzenegger dialed down his banana-republic dictator act from last week, deciding to resubmit Republican state Sen. Abel Maldonado for appointment as Lt. Governor, rather than deciding to swear him in despite not getting enough votes in the Assembly to confirm him. The legislature has another 90 days to decide what to do with him.

79 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/15”

  1. With the primary not until August, there’s plenty of time to wait and see whether Hayworth actually gets traction.  And the presumptive Dem candidate, Jim Pederson, has statewide name recognition and can dump tens of millions of his own money into the race at a moment’s notice.  Dems really are better served waiting and seeing here.

  2. Cites Dems not able to come up with a candidate.

    WHAT A LOAD OF  . . . . !!!!!

    Leaves FL-25 at Safe and now moves IN-SEN beyond Toss Up, proof is in the pudding,me thinks.

  3. I’m just having trouble believing this will be a big help in Nov. for Reid as it’s being made out to be in the blogs.

    Whoever will vote that ballot line rather than for the Repub nominee against the truly despised Harry Reid probably would have voted for some fringe right-wing candidate anyway. (or for none-of-the-above).

    And whoever the R candidate is, he/she can likely pander a little  bit and bring many of those votes back home.

  4. Granted, it’s Oklahoma, but OK-5 is the most liberal district in the state…which, yes, is not saying much. But still, we’ve know this would be an open seat for awhile, and we can’t even get an OKC commissioner or state Rep. or something?

  5. So I went and checked out Roy Herron’s website.  When you check out his Accomplishments page on what he’s done as a state legislator, there’s a common theme of fighting for the little guy and the working class, so I definitely sense a populist streak in Herron.

    And on his Issues page, as many have been saying what the Democrats’ message needs to be for 2010, his top priority is jobs, jobs, jobs.  Also good to see, as something I’ve been saying for a while, when it comes to the environment, Herron uses the argument of being good stewards to the Earth by protecting our environment, and uses that theme to support growing green jobs in Tennessee.

    I think this is an excellent way of framing the debate, and Herron can probably make serious inroads with social conservatives, having graduated from divinity school and having written the book God and Politics: How Can a Christian Be in Politics?

    I’m suddenly a lot more confident in Herron’s chances of winning the seat, and of how he’ll act in Congress.

  6. it’s a troofer conspiracy: Shami is secretly working for the Republicans and will sell the secrets of this hair-grower to Rick Perry in exchange for his dropping out. Medina will soak up the teabagger votes. Then Texas will secede and they’ll bring back the gold standard, or something, and Alex Jones will be the press secretary for the United State of Texlandia. The end!

  7. How do we explain politicians who run extremely well state-wide for positions like Attorney General and then are lousy campaigners for higher-profile positions like U.S. Senator and Governor? I really would like some commentary on this. It may even be worth a diary to discuss this separately, if there’s enough interest.

    Mortimer Zuckerman is way too right-wing to win a Democratic primary statewide in New York. When you bring up Bloomberg, first of all, he ran on the Republican line; secondly, his opponent, Mark Green, ran a very bad campaign. I would be shocked if Senator Gillibrand runs a poor campaign, given her extremely hard-working track record in her former Congressional district. Then again, I just got through talking about Alex Sink. This is Gillibrand’s first campaign for Senate, so it’s not completely certain how she’ll do.

    Finally, about 9/11 “truthers”: I think there are plenty of legitimate questions that haven’t been answered, mostly relating to the fate of career employee whistle-blowers, who were ignored if not fired, and the higher-up political appointees, who ignored the warnings and got promoted or/and decorated after the calamity. But that said, I do think that in most cases other than Congressman Ron Paul of Texas (a majority of whose constituents don’t seem to mind any kind of fringe stuff from him), any whiff of “trutherism” is likely to be political death for a candidate, and that, on this site, is the important point.

  8. WA-Sen

    Murray 48, Widener 33

    Murray 49, Didler 34

    Murray 50, Benton 38

    Rossi 48, Murray 46


    Boxer 46, Fiorina 42

    Boxer 47, DeVore 42

    Boxer 45, Campbell 41

  9. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg was taken by ambulance tonight from his Cliffside Park home after suffering a fall, his spokesman said.

    The 86-year-old Democrat was conscious when he was taken to the hospital “as a precautionary measure,” said the spokesman, Caley Grey.

    Sounds like he will be OK but news like this is why I feel politicians really need to really consider retiring at a certain age.  

  10. Right now on my local Fox affiliate, they’re reporting yet another Rasmussen poll just released that shows Barbara Boxer (D) is ahead of Carly Fiorina (R) only by a 46%-42% margin.  Here are the margins.

    Boxer (D) 46%

    Fiorina (R) 42%

    Boxer (D) 47%

    DeVore (R) 42%

    Boxer (D) 45%

    Campbell (R) 41%

    Now, see, this would be more believable had the margin been greater in the Boxer-DeVore matchup.  Something just doesn’t smell right when DeVore and Fiorina get the EXACT same percentage of the vote.  It just doesn’t.

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