SSP Daily Digest: 7/29 (Afternoon Edition)

CT-Sen: Now that was fast. Only days after his bizarre and probably hopeless parachuting back into the long-abandoned Connecticut Senate race, Rob Simmons just got the primary endorsement from the state’s largest newspaper, the Hartford Courant. That’s a pretty clear indicator of how they feel about Linda McMahon. Meanwhile, out in Crazy Town, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes weighed in, giving an endorsement to Paulist economist Peter Schiff.

KY-Sen: Rogue ophthalmologist Rand Paul is certainly a glass-half-full (or mountain-half-still-there?) kind of guy. He’s come out in favor of the environmentally destructive mountaintop removal method of coal mining, justifying it, true to form, with economics gobbledygook: “the land is of enhanced value, because now you can build on it.” In fact, it’s really just a branding problem: “I think they should name it something better.”

WA-Sen: Here’s a rather unexpected endorsement: hard-right kingmaker Jim DeMint is coming out in favor of Dino Rossi, who was very much a moderate back when he ran for governor in 2004. I suppose Rossi taking the plunge as the first major Senate candidate to call for repeal of financial reform was enough for DeMint’s satisfaction. I still have to wonder why Rossi would seek out this kind of endorsement, as it’s certainly not going to help matters in the general election in this blue state; is he actually feeling enough heat from Sarah Palin-backed Clint Didier in the primary that he needs to go to the right-wing well?

WI-Sen: If you’ve been following the Wisconsin Senate race, Ron Johnson has been vacillating all week on whether or not to sell his hundreds of thousands of dollars in BP stock and plow it into his campaign, move it into a blind trust, or just tape all his stock certificates together and use them to club baby seals. Now he’s just saying he’s going to sit on it and sell when market conditions are favorable — not because it’s the right thing to do, just because he wants a better profit on it.

NH-Gov: PPP also has gubernatorial general election numbers are part of their New Hampshire sample. We’d been wondering if John Lynch, whose previous PPP numbers were kind of lukewarm, might be ready to sneak onto the list as Likely D, but today’s numbers seem to suggest otherwise. (In fact, the once-unassailable Mike Beebe may now be likelier to fill that role.) Lynch’s approvals are up to 52/36, and he leads his likeliest GOP opponent, ex-state HHS director John Stephen, 51-34. He also leads Jack Kimball 52-29, Karen Testerman 52-28, and Frank Emiro 48-28.

NV-Gov: Rory Reid just got gifted some serious help in the Nevada governor’s race (and having seen him on the stump at Netroots Nation, he’s going to need all the help he can get…), via a gaffe from Brian Sandoval. Sandoval has denied previous allegations that he’d said on TV that his kids didn’t look Hispanic, but now Univision has dug up the tape. Perhaps even more troublesome for Sandoval: he said that in the context of his kids’ appearance being why he was not worried about his kids being racially profiled under Arizona’s new law.

NY-Gov: Unfortunately, Carl Paladino has confirmed that no cat fud will be served in the general election in November (not that Andrew Cuomo, polling over 60%, needs any shenanigans to win). Paladino says he won’t puruse a third-party bid on the yet-to-be-named teabagger ballot line if he loses the GOP gubernatorial primary to newly-minted Islamophobe Rick Lazio.

AZ-03: John McCain waded into the overstuffed GOP primary field in the race to replace retiring Rep. John Shadegg to flag a favorite. He’s backing state Sen. Jim Waring. McCain had his choice of endorsers to pay back (Waring, as well as Vernon Parker and Ben Quayle, are supporting McCain, while Sam Crump is the only out-and-proud J.D. Hayworth backer in the field).

CA-47: While there’s nothing really newsworthy going on the 47th, Politico has a very interesting look below the surface at this forgotten race in a demographically-complex district. Both Loretta Sanchez and GOP challenger Van Tran seem aware that the Vietnamese minority in this low-turnout Hispanic-majority district is the district’s electoral linchpin.

DE-AL: Michelle Rollins was supposed to be the moderate in the GOP field in Delaware, but the wealthy philanthropist seems to be going the full Sharron Angle. She joined the swelling Republican ranks of candidates saying that extending unemployment benefits just takes away people’s motivations to go out and get real jobs.

FL-08: The main story here may be that Zogby, the pollster ubiquitous in 2004 and once though to be in the Dems’ pocket, is now reduced to doing internal polls for low-priority GOP House candidates? Anyway, they did a poll on behalf of attorney/talk show host Todd Long (the guy who almost successfully primaried Ric Keller in 2008). Long’s poll gives him a 46-38 lead over Rep. Alan Grayson. Of course, Long isn’t a likely bet to emerge from the primary (which he shares with ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, state Rep. Kurt Kelly, and rich guy Bruce O’Donoghue), and there’s no mention of primary numbers.

IN-03: If this were two years ago, an open seat in the 3rd (especially with 2006 candidate Tom Hayhurst on board) might have been a good pickup opportunity. Not so this year, apparently. GOP nominee state Sen. Marlin Stutzman is out with an internal from American Viewpoint giving him a 56-29 lead. Hayhurst has the financial advantage, though, and may be able to use that to make up at least some of that ground.

KS-04: SurveyUSA has one last pre-primary look at the primary races in the 4th. There’s a lot of movement in the 4th, where businessman Wink Hartman seems to be rapidly deflating (as the carpetbagging issue may have gotten some traction) and moderate state Sen. Jean Schodorf is quickly gaining (as people realize the other candidates are all wackos). RNC committee member Mike Pompeo is still in the lead, though, at 31. Schodorf is at 24 (up 8) and Hartman at 21 (down 8), with 13 for Jim Anderson. On the Dem side, state Rep. Raj Goyle’s ad blitz seems to have had its desired effect, which was to raise his name rec and prevent him from getting VicRawl’d. (Ah, sweet memories of 2008.) Having trailed Some Dude Robert Tillman in the previous SUSA poll, Goyle now leads 63-19.

KY-03: This race seemed to move onto the map (albeit just barely) with Republican Todd Lally having narrowly outraised Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth last quarter. Yarmuth seems to be acting quickly to squelch any sense that he’s in unusual trouble, though, rolling out an internal from Cooper & Secrest that gives him a 58-32 lead over Lally.

OK-05: Everyone in the Beltway seems to be wondering a) what the heck went wrong with state Rep. Kevin Calvey, who was deemed frontrunner in the GOP primary in the 5th based on his Club for Growth and American Conservative Union backing, but finished second, and b) who the heck is James Lankford? The youth camp director and newbie to politics won thanks to grassroots mobilizing in the social conservative community. At any rate, this sets up a GOP runoff that’s similar to a number of others we’ve seen in southern states: a faceoff between the CfG and Mike Huckabee (a Lankford endorser) sub-wings of the right wing.

DCCC: Here’s an interesting piece from National Journal that runs the DCCC’s list of 60-some districts for ad buys through some demographic sifting. It’s based on “quadrants” developed by Ronald Brownstein (which are pretty simple, really, just education and racial diversity — we’ve been working behind the scenes here at SSP on something similar but more sophisticated, which hopefully will see the light someday soon). As you might expect, most of the vulnerable seats, and the DCCC’s ad buys are in the low-education, low-diversity (i.e. mostly white) districts, which is where Obama tended to perform the weakest in 2008.


IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 37%, Bill Brady (R) 44%

MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 49%

OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D-inc) 51%, Jim Huffman (R) 35%

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 46%, Ron Johnson (R) 48%

On the Rasmussen front, it’s also worth checking out Chris Bowers‘ latest Senate projections at Open Left. He ran separate Rasmussen-free and Rasmussen-included versions, and the difference is remarkable.

69 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 7/29 (Afternoon Edition)”

  1. Sweet baby Jeebus, KS Dems, you had me scared for a second there with that Robert “Who?” Tillman BS. Thank goodness people started paying attention enough to realize Goyle is the man with the plan (and the money).

    Btw, Jean Schodorf, if she does win the GOP nod, is a notoriously bad fund-raiser. And not really all that moderate, frankly. If it’s Schodorf-Goyle, Goyle will have a MASSIVE financial advantage. As red as this district is, with Goyle running a top-notch campaign and Schodorf a crappy one, and Goyle dominating the airwaves, I could see Goyle actually winning. Pending the results of the primary, I could see this one moving from Likely R to Lean R pretty quickly.  

  2. Kitzhaber releases first commercial of fall campaign

    I don’t know the size of the buy, but it’s reportedly running statewide on network and cable TV.

    After weeks of ceding the airwaves to Republican Chris Dudley, Democrat John Kitzhaber on Thursday started airing his first television ad of the general election.

    The 60-second spot (somewhat long for the genre) seems aimed at countering some of the criticisms leveled by the Dudley campaign while also making the point that Kitzhaber, like Dudley, will be focused on creating more jobs.

  3.     Republicans screamed the word “experience” nonstop for all of 2008 and now have forgotten all about it.

    Nevada: Angle was a state representative.

    New Hampshire: Ayotte is attorney general, but appointed.

    Pennsylvania: Toomey was a Congressman but left in 2003.

    Ohio: Portman was a Congressman but left in 2005.

    Wisconsin: Johnson has no political experience

    Kentucky: Paul has no political experience

    Missouri: Blunt is in Congress.

    California: Fiorina has no political experience

    Indiana: Coats is a former Senator

    Illinois: Kirk is a Congressman.

    Delaware: Castle is a Congressman.

    Washington: Rossi was a state senator, but left in 2003.

    Connecticut: McMahon was an appointed member of the state    board of education.

    North Dakokta: Hoeven is governor.

    Arkansas: Boozman is a Congressman.

    Florida: Rubio was speaker of the state house.

    Colorado: Buck is a county district attorney.

    West Virginia: Raese was the State GOP chairman.

    Not very impressive.

  4. This article from The Hill makes me dislike Evan Bayh even more. He’s only given $15K to the DSCC since announcing his retirement (the spokesman points out he gave $1 million to the Indiana Dems) while he sits on a warchest of $10.8 million. I know he’ll run for governor in 2012, but can he transfer any of his Senate account to a state campaign?

    The Indiana Dems need to remember his shennanigans when he comes around looking to be governor again.

    Dodd and Specter have both only given $15K while they have around $1 million and $2.7 million respectively (Specter claims he refunded most of his $$$ since it was raised for the general). Even Joe Lieberman gave $240K!

    Interestingly enough, buried deep down in the story, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) is hitting the exits and notes he might run for TN attorney general or secretary of state if those offices are filled by direct elections, a change that is currently before the state legislature.

  5. I noticed today on Vitter’s radio ad, he identifies himself as “David Vitter, candidate for Senate”. I know Harry Reid is doing the same thing. What other incumbents are doing this?  

  6. Has anyone put this yet?






    Anyone’s ballgame. Well not Bouchard but the other three.




    Who should we be rooting for again? I know Dillion seems to be unpopular among netroots but is he any less electable?

  7. I did not expect this from Conway of all people. This has Dr. Dan written all over it. Well I guess it is not that bad, he did not use a whole bunch of right wing talking points at least, and he did not expressly say he would not support him. Still….

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