SSP Daily Digest: 7/21

Election results: Last night’s Georgia primary election went pretty much as expected. The main surprise was the collapse of John Oxendine in the GOP gubernatorial primary, who had the most money and led most polls, but his collapse was plainly foreseeable via polls over the last few weeks. He finished fourth, behind Karen Handel and Nathan Deal (who’ll advance to the runoff, where the Palin-backed Handel will attack Deal for being corrupt and the Gingrich-backed Deal will attack Handel for being a RINO), and Eric Johnson. Ex-Gov. Roy Barnes locked down the Democratic nomination without a runoff. Labor Comm. Michael Thurmond easily advanced to face GOP incumbent Johnny Isakson in the Senate race.

In the House races, Dems in two of the three potentially competitive races in Georgia know who their opponents will be: Mike Keown in GA-02 and Austin Scott in GA-08 won without runoffs. John Barrow — who beat back a challenge from the left from Regina Thomas in GA-12 (with a final score of 58-42, as Thomas’s Savannah stronghold reported late) — will need to wait for a runoff between Ray McKinney and Carl Smith. Hank Johnson in GA-04 escaped his three-way primary against Vernon Jones and Connie Stokes without a runoff, too. Finally, two dark-red seats will feature GOP runoffs: GA-09’s newly-elected Rep. Tom Graves will face off yet again against Lee Hawkins, who lost the special election, while the GA-07 race features a runoff between Rob Woodall and Jody Hice.

AR-Sen, AR-Gov: That internal poll from Blanche Lincoln didn’t seem to do anything to stem the gusher of bad polls. One additional poll came out yesterday, from Ipsos on behalf of Reuters. It finds John Boozman leading Lincoln 54-35. On the plus side, it also looks at the Governor’s race and finds that the Zata|3 poll finding only a 9-point lead for incumbent Dem Mike Beebe may have been a bit pessimistic. They find Beebe leading Republican challenger Jim Keet 57-35, more consistent with other polling.

IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth is out with a new introductory TV ad in the Indiana Senate race. It focuses on his blue collar roots and his experience as Sheriff; there’s nary a mention of his time in Congress.

LA-Sen: It turns out David Vitter may actually be a better family-values role model than his newly minted GOP primary opponent. Faulkner character State Rep. Noble Ellington says that Chet Traylor was “significantly involved” in his divorce from his ex-wife Peggy McDowell, who then married Traylor. Traylor is currently romantically involved with the estranged wife of one of his stepsons via McDowell. The two stepsons have also filed a lawsuit against Traylor, accusing him of hiding information about his financial assets, as part of their probate case concerning McDowell’s recent death without a will. (If someone wants to call me classist in the comments, please feel free, but I can’t help but notice that Traylor’s name is a homonym for a certain type of dwelling whose residents are stereotypically and often unfairly associated with such behavior.)

WV-Sen, WV-Gov: As expected (at least as expected since late last night), Shelly Moore Capito announced this morning that she won’t run in the Senate special election in November, despite the nice Capito Carveout specifically designed by the legislature to facilitate her doing so. This leaves self-funding businessman John Raese the likely candidate. (In fact, he’d sounded likely to run in the primary with or without Capito, which may have been a major deterrent for Capito. She cited not wanting to run for two things at once, though, and the potential legal challenges to her doing so.) The primary is Aug. 28, so someone will need to fill the gap soon. West Virigina political analyst Hoppy Kercheval seemed to be the first to correctly diagnose the situation earlier yesterday, pointing out her risk-averse past.

There was one surprise, today, though: Joe Manchin drew a primary opponent, theoretically from the left. He was recently in the news for his staunch opposition to Mike Oliverio in WV-01; it’s former SoS and former Rep. Ken Hechler. Hechler, by the way, is 95 years old, older even than Robert Byrd was, so, well, take that for what it’s worth. Most of the speculation today instead seems to involve what happens with the Governorship. Succession laws aren’t very clear (and there’s no Lt. Gov.), but apparently State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will be acting Governor in the event of a Manchin move to the Senate. The bigger question is when the election to fill that job would occur: in a 2011 special election, or in 2012 when Manchin’s term would end anyway? Any discussion of GOP candidates for that begins and ends with Capito, but the Dem list is endless, ranging from temp Sen. Carte Goodwin to SoS Natalie Tennant, but almost certain to include state Treasurer John Perdue and state Sens. Jeff Kessler and Brooks McCabe.

AL-Gov: Following the lead of Artur Davis on the Democratic side, Bradley Byrne finally got around to endorsing Robert Bentley, sticking his knife in his back a few more times along the way for good measure. His parting shot was that Bentley still needs to answer questions about his relationship with the teachers’ union, the Alabama Education Association.

CO-Gov: OK, so it’s looking like if Scott McInnis does get kicked to the curb, no one is going to rally behind Dan Maes. His vaunted financial small-business acumen turned out to be a lot of inflated boasting, as newly-released tax returns reveal that his credit reporting business turns out to be a small operation and one that paid him earnings that put his family below the poverty line in 2005 and 2008. When asked how he made ends meet, he responded, “there are other ways to pay yourself than salary,” without further elaboration. Well, that’s true… are those ways legal, though?

HI-Gov: After padding things out as long as he could, Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann finally resigned his day job today and launched his gubernatorial campaign in earnest. Hawaii has a “resign to run” law, so Hannemann wasn’t officially running until now, despite having been transparently campaigning for many months in the Dem primary against Neil Abercrombie.

MA-Gov: Massachusetts Citizens for Life endorsed ex-Dem indie candidate Tim Cahill, rather than Republican Charlie Baker. Baker, from the moderate blue-blood side of the party, is pro-choice.

NV-Gov (pdf): PPP’s Tom Jensen finds it ironic that somehow the Nevada GOP managed to pick the strongest possible Republican for the gubernatorial race and the weakest possible one for the Senate race. The telegenic and inoffensive Brian Sandoval is somehow managing to avoid having his GOP predecessor Jim Gibbons’ unpopularity (25/63) rub off on him (Sandoval is at 42/31). Sandoval leads Rory Reid (who’s at 34/48) by 52-38 in the general election.

RI-Gov: Bill Clinton will be appearing in Rhode Island on behalf of Democratic candidate Frank Caprio, last man standing in the Dem primary, on July 29. Caprio backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary.

WI-Gov: Fundraising numbers in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race are out. Democrat Tom Barrett raised $2.39 million in the period of January through June, while GOPers Scott Walker and Mark Neumann raised $2.59 million and $1.96 million respectively (although some of Neumann’s money seems to be out of his own pocket). In terms of CoH, it’s Barrett (with no primary opposition) with $2.89 million, Walker with $2.57 million, and Neumann with $1.05 million.

IA-02: Marianette Miller-Meeks, the ophthalmologist who lost severely to David Loebsack in 2008, is back for a rematch, and seems to be in better shape this time (better, even, than Raul Labrador), if her own internal is to be believed. Her poll from Susquehanna Polling & Research gives Loebsack a 46-41 lead.

NJ-03: The Courier-Post wonders aloud “who the heck is Peter DeStefano?” That’s because no one really seems to know. He’s the independent Tea Party candidate in the 3rd, who hasn’t done anything to promote himself and whose main claim to fame was polling in the double-digits in John Adler’s recent internal poll where he was dominating Jon Runyan. This led, naturally, to GOP claims that DeStefano was some sort of plant from the Adler camp. DeStefano denies that, but isn’t helping matters with his pattern of ducking publicity, not just among the teabagging rank and file but even with the Courier-Post too.

PA-11: Naturally, it’s never a sign of strength for an incumbent to go negative on his challenger this early… but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Paul Kanjorski is in a heap of trouble in his rematch against Lou Barletta. But Kanjorski may feel he’s not only better served by localizing, not nationalizing his race, but also that he has a target-rich environment for hits on Barletta, given Barletta’s tenure as mayor of city of Hazleton, which has the highest unemployment in the state and whose local government is in danger of going into receivership.

TX-06: I suppose this is an example of karma at work. Rep. Joe Barton’s campaign fund took a loss of $154K over the last three months because of hits to its investments… perhaps most significantly, because of losses at BP.

RNC: It seems like Michael Steele can say all the dumb things he wants and keep his job (fo shizzle), but could financial mismanagement be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? The RNC has had to report new debts that were kept off the books by staffers loyal to Steele, and treasurer Randy Pullen (not a Steele ally) is going public alleging that the debts go much deeper than what was reported to the FEC, claiming that more than another $7 million in debt is out there. The dispute is likely to dominate matters at the RNC’s annual meeting in two weeks. This also leads to speculation that American Crossroads, the Karl Rove 527 operation that finally seemed to kick into high gear last month, will be the de facto main source for independent expenditures this year while the RNC sputters.

House: Well, it looks like we’re stuck with 435 for the foreseeable future. A federal district court ruled against the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that claimed that only 435 seats was unconstitutional under 14th Amendment grounds, because of malapportionment between different states (i.e. Montana and Wyoming each getting one Rep., despite their population differences).


KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 41%, Rand Paul (R) 49%

MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%

MN-Gov: Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 35%

MN-Gov: Matt Entenza (D) 37%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc): 43%, John Kasich (R) 48%

140 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 7/21”

  1. Probably because, unlike WI, the nominee of the unpopular gov’s party is not running in an opens seat race. Sandoval primaried Gibbons, so he has been able to distance himself from him.  

  2. Keeping in mind PPP polled both NV-Sen and NV-Gov using the same sample in one poll, it’s interesting to compare racial demographic breakdowns.

    Most significantly, as I suspected could happen, Sandoval, being Hispanic, is waaaaay outperforming with Hispanics for a Republican, tied at 43-43 with Rory.  I won’t be shocked if Sandoval wins the Hispanic vote outright.

    Meanwhile, Harry is up 62-38 among Hispanics against Angle.  And I won’t be surprised if that significantly understates Harry’s actual performance with Hispanic voters on election day, as I could easily see him breaking 70%.

    On Sandoval, he does better with every racial group than ticket-mate Angle, but the gap with Hispanics is the widest.

  3. For the Sen race, I’ve seen a few Melancon and Vitter bumper stickers. I’ve seen a bunch of signs. I haven’t seen signs for those 2, Traylor, or Wooten. I was surprised that the only signs I have seen were for Democrat Cary Deaton. I have no idea who she is.  

  4. to see some fight from Kanjorski.  He’s in a tough spot and he knows it.  He knows he ran a bad campaign last time and almost blew a pretty sure thing.  And he has HUGE cash advantage over Barletta.

    I’m normally not one to care about ads/campaigns in July.   But this is a good line of attack to start with and he needs to go on the air…this is a scenario where I think it works:

    1.  Strong challenger

    2.  Lots of CoH

    3.  Relatively inexpensive media market

    4.  An issue that might work and become more favorable as we get closer to the election.

  5. like the demographics of the sample and the question wordings. I read the memo and it said Miller-Meeks led once respondents were “informed” about both candidates. I’m curious to know what kind of push-poll questions they used.

    MMM is a hard worker, but Loebsack is going to campaign harder this year than he did in 2008, when he was tied up working on flood relief issues for most of the fall.

  6. seem to remember hearing someone say that Ed Case was thinking of running for Mayor of Honolulu. Is there any truth to that and would he be the frontrunner.  

  7. Sheirl Fletcher is running. She was a two-term state rep as a Republican, and run as a Democrat v. Rockefeller in 2008 emphasizing the War in Iraq. She lost 77%-14%

    The one thing that should make Manchin’s victory county map a bit more fun is that West Virginia lists home counties on primary ballots.


    “”There is no way left to do it as a Republican,” Tancredo said, explaining, “I have to get so many things in order, but believe me there’s an option.” The former congressman said he’d have an announcement within the next couple of days. According to other sources, he’s interviewing potential running mates for an Independent bid.

    But even an Independent bid would take some maneuvering.

    The filing deadline for third-party candidates passed on June 15, but according to one Colorado political source, Tancredo is exploring the possibility that he may be able to get on the ballot if a currently filed third party candidate drops out. In that case, Tancredo may be able to get his name on the ballot as a replacement.”

    Seems a bit unlikely to me, but who knows.

  9. Ken Hechler turned 70 on September 20th, 1984. Since then, he was elected Secretary of State four times (last time at age 82 in 1996), he won 43.85% in a Congressional primary in 1990 (at 75) losing to Nick Rahall. He lost another primary in 2000 at 85 (finishing 3rd with 24.55%). He won the Secretary of State’s primary at 89 (with 25.74%) and lost the election at 90 (51.9% to 48.1%)

    A pretty interesting political career after the age of 70.

    We’ll see if he can run for anything after turning 100

  10. This is a bit ridiculous:

    Schumer, a former two-term DSCC chairman, showed $23.8 million on hand at the end of last month, and public polls have shown he is up by at least 20 points in a race that Republicans are not contesting. Meanwhile, the DSCC had $21 million in the bank June 30 and a growing list of vulnerable seats.

    Really Schumer has no need to spend more than say, 10 million dollars on his reelection campaign. His campaign coffers…that’s where the DSCC’s normal cash advantage has been going.

  11. The daughter of the last DFL Gov in MN, Sue Perpich endorsed Matt Entenza.  Not quite the spouse endorsement but it’s up there.  

  12. “The main surprise was the collapse of John Oxendine in the GOP gubernatorial primary”

    Actually, the biggest surprise of the night would be Mark Butler dominating the GOP race for Labor Commissioner.

    Everson losing is a shocker.

    Whoever was advising Butler should have no problem finding a job with other campaigns in the future.

  13. Man, he needs to become a Republican. If he did, he has the potential to be a star. I watched him speak at the Rally for Economic Survival, and, though he looks like a boring man, he is a powerful speaker. He’s waaay to Conservative to become a Democratic star though.  

  14. Very, very, very bad news with first-time unemployment claims skyrocketing to 464K for the past week, up a shocking 35K from last week’s 2-year weekly low of 429K.

    Alas, job growth will be tepid after all for July.

    Methinks the economy will remain stagnant heading into November.  And, we can only hope that such an expectation is already baked into voting intentions, rather than making things even worse.


    IDK where politico gets that he spent 15 million in 2006. Every other article, the FEC, and Open Secrets says 3 million.

    Sen. Clark Barnes, the minority leader, is still interested in running and not worried about the primary. Betty Ireland is not interested.  

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