SSP Daily Digest: 11/16

AK-Sen: Nothing has really changed with the overall trajectory of the Alaska Senate race, but this is the first day that Lisa Murkowski has been able to claim a “lead” over Joe Miller (even though her victory has become increasingly clear each day). At the end of yesterday’s counting, she had 92,164 votes to Miller’s 90,448. 7,601 were subject to challenge but counted for her anyway (and, if Miller’s lawsuit succeeds, could get reversed), but based on Murkowski’s success at avoiding write-in challenges, is on track to win with or without those challenged ballots.

FL-Sen: George LeMieux, whose year-and-a-half in the Senate is about to expire, is leaving with more of a whimper than a bang, if PPP is to be believed: his approvals are 11/28 (with 61% with no opinion), including 14/24 among Republicans. He’s not looking like he’d have much impact in a challenge to Bill Nelson in 2012, which he’s threatened (which isn’t to say that Nelson is out of the woods, as a stronger Republican will no doubt come along). Among all the appointed Senators, he’s still faring better than Roland Burris (18/57) but worse than Carte Goodwin (17/22) and Ted Kaufman (38/33). (Oh, and if you’re still feeling like we lost out by not having Charlie Crist win the Senate race, guess again: Bob Dole! is reporting that Crist promised him he’d caucus with the GOP if he won the 3-way race. This comes after leaks in the waning days of the race that he’d caucus with the Democrats. Somehow, I expect any day now that Ralph Nader will reveal that Crist promised him that he’d caucus with the Green Party if he won the race.)

IN-Sen: Richard Lugar made it official; he’s running for re-election one more time. Lugar, who’ll be 80 in 2012, probably has more to worry about in the Republican primary than he does in the general election, where aspiring Democrats would probably be more interested in the open gubernatorial seat.

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown will probably have a tougher re-election than his initial election, but it’s unclear which Republican he’ll face. The two who’ve gotten the most press are Mary Taylor, the current Auditor and newly-elected Lt. Governor, or Rep. Jim Jordan (a religious right fave from the state’s rural west), but another possibility that the article broaches is long-time Rep. Steve LaTourette, one of the House’s more moderate GOPers left. Either way, if Jordan or LaTourette were to try for the promotion, that would help the state GOP decide which of their seats to vaporize in the redistricting process (although LaTourette’s, in the northeast corner and surrounded by Dem seats, would be much harder to work with). Ohio’s losing two seats, though, and one more Dem seat is on the chopping block, especially since the biggest population losses have come in the northeast — the likeliest outcome seems to be consolidation of districts that sets up either a Dennis Kucinich/Marcia Fudge or Dennis Kucinich/Betty Sutton mash-up.

PA-Sen: The GOP feels like they have a shot against Bob Casey (who won by a near-overwhelming margin in 2006), given the state’s turn toward the red this year. The big question, though, is who? If Tom Ridge didn’t do it this year when it would have been a gimmee, he certainly isn’t any likelier to do it in 2012. Hotline mentions a couple current suburban Reps., Jim Gerlach and Charlie Dent, both of whom have tenaciously held down Dem-leaning districts that would be prime open seat battles if they left. Failing that, the bench looks pretty empty; they cite state Sen. Jake Corman as interested, as well as talk radio host and behind-the-scenes player Glen Meakem, who cited interest in running for 2010 but decided against it.

MN-Gov: Minnesota’s SoS (a Dem, Mark Ritchie) has laid out the timeline for the recount process. The race will be canvassed starting Nov. 23, and presuming a recount is necessary (which it will be unless something weird happens with the canvass, as Dem Mark Dayton leads Tom Emmer by less than one-half of a percent, triggering the automatic recount provision), the recounting will begin on Nov. 29.

MD-01: Nothing like teabagger hypocrisy at work: freshly elected with a mandate to destroy the federal government, Andy Harris’s first act in Washington was to demand all the free goodies from the federal government that he’s entitled to, so long as other people are paying for them. At freshman orientation, Harris was observed expressing dismay that his gold-plated health care plan takes a month to kick in.

NY-01, NY-25: Here are a couple more updates from overtime. In the 1st, Randy Altschuler’s lead over Tim Bishop is currently 383, but there are more than 11,000 absentees to be counted starting today, and since they’re all from one county (Suffolk), your guess is as good as mine how they break. In NY-25, Ann Marie Buerkle gained a tiny bit of ground as two GOP-leaning counties reported their absentees; she’s now up 729. Dan Maffei’s base, Dem-leaning Onondaga County, is about to start counting its 6,000 absentees. He should make up some ground, but he’ll need to average 56% among the remaining absentee ballots, while he’s only got 54% in Onondaga so far, though.

DSCC: Dianne Feinstein told the press that Michael Bennet is, despite his previous demurrals, going to be the next DSCC chair. Does Michael Bennet know this? He’s still saying no. The rest of the Dem leadership in the Senate (and the GOP, too) was elected without a hitch today, but the DSCC job still stands vacant.

CA-AG: Things keep looking up for Kamala Harris in California, after a torrent of new votes yesterday from Alameda County (where the Dem stronghold of Oakland is). That batch broke 18,764 for Harris, and only 5,099 for Steve Cooley, which may be a decisive moment in the count.

Chicago mayor: Rahm Emanuel is certainly looking like the early favorite in the Chicago mayoral race, courtesy of an Anzalone-Liszt poll commissioned by the Teamsters local (who haven’t endorsed yet). Emanuel is at 36, with Danny Davis at 14, Carol Mosely Braun at 13, Gery Chico at 10, James Meeks at 7, and Miguel del Valle at 4. Now you may be noticing what I’m noticing, that there’s significant splitting of the African-American vote here, and if you added Davis, Braun, and Meeks up into one super-candidate, they’d be in a dead heat with Emanuel. Well, don’t forget that this election uses a runoff, so chances are good we’ll see a head-to-head between Emanuel and one of the African-American challengers, and the poll finds Emanuel winning both those contests convincingly too: 54-33 versus Davis and 55-32 against Braun.

252 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 11/16”

  1. He’s just another politician against “big government” who will not miss any benefits or opportunities by the government.  

  2. As in, amazingly bizarre

    The Social Security spot at right was produced by some folks in the Sharron Angle for U.S. Senate campaign but never aired, as some of the “DC handlers” managed to kill it. I can’t imagine why.

    It’s a Windows Media file, so you’ll have to click here to see it.

  3. – Kern County counted about 4,500 ballots out of 10,000 it had left and Cooley netted less than 2:1 despite winning county 66%-27%.

    – Sacramento County, which has gone for Cooley, counted about 14,000 of its remaining 21,621 ballots – and Harris netted votes (less than 1,000, but still)!

    – San Francisco’s latest batch: Harris gains 2687 votes, Cooley gains 868 votes. (Not much left in San Fran, however.)

    Kern & Sacramento were added in SoS count today, San Francisco’s has not.

  4. So Iowa passed same-day registration on a party-line vote in 2007. The system worked great in 2008 and this year. Now the incoming GOP Sec of State Matt Schultz wants to change the system so that anyone registering to vote on election day would have to cast a provisional ballot. I don’t have statistics on what proportion of provisional ballots are ultimately counted.

    Schultz’s top priority will be photo ID requirements for all voters. The Iowa House will pass it–not sure about the Senate.

  5. Harris: 31,669

    Cooley: 19,995

    That means Harris won 61% of the two-way vote in this newest batch; she’d gotten 57% up to now in LA.

    Combine this to Cooley’s big underperformance in places like Kern and Sacramento (see above)…

  6. From Politico:

    Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins resigned from his post Tuesday morning with a stinging indictment of Chairman Michael Steele’s two-year tenure at the committee.

    In a four-page letter to Steele and the RNC’s executive committee obtained by POLITICO, Collins lays out inside details, previously only whispered, about the disorganization that plagues the party. He asserts that the RNC’s financial shortcomings limited GOP gains this year and reveals that the committee is deeply in debt entering the 2012 presidential election cycle.

    “In the previous two non-presidential cycles, the RNC carried over $4.8 million and $3.1 million respectively in cash reserve balances into the presidential cycles,” Collins writes, underlining his words for emphasis. “In stark contrast, we enter the 2012 presidential cycle with 100% of the RNC’s $15 million in lines of credit tapped out, and unpaid bills likely to add millions to that debt.”

  7. If he’s not even able to win votes in San Diego anymore, hard to see how things could change.

    While Cooley won San Diego County by 13%, Harris just netted an impressive 900 votes out of the 10000 San Diego counted today: 5028-4129. That’s 55% of the two-way vote.

    San Diego now has 35,000 votes left – down from 60,000 48 hours ago, and it hasn’t helped Cooley at all.

  8. As the sole responsible Senator for dragging on the health care bill, I guess its fitting that his approval is -15.

    Montana University polled this in November of 2009 and found Baucus’s approval at 44/40. Baucus hasn’t been too helpful in 2010 so I am not surprised that it has dropped more.

  9. I listed the Iowa House and Senate Democrats before and after the election, grouped by Congressional district. We lost legislative seats in all five Congressional districts. Not a pretty picture and doesn’t make me confident about the Iowa Democratic Party’s GOTV program.

    I don’t know what the biggest problem was (lack of money, poor campaign message, poor targeting of voters), but we should have been able to save a few more legislative districts. Yes, it was bad at the top of the ticket, but we lost a bunch of state senators and representatives even in Braley’s, Loebsack’s and Boswell’s districts.

  10. Rahm is essentially a lakefront liberal in the context of Chicago politics, right? Where are the white ethnic candidates (Irish, Polish etc)? It seems like the other groups (Blacks and Hispanics) all have people in the mix. What am I missing?


    Up for re-election in 2012 in what will be New Jersey’s next statewide bonanza, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) now has a 38-41% approval rating, according to this morning’s Quinnipiac University poll.

    “Sen. Robert Menendez is said to be getting into gear for his 2012 campaign,” said Qunnipiac University Poll Director Maurice Carroll. “He’d better. Not only did Democrats lose Bergen County, right next door to Menendez’s Hudson County home, on Election Day; he gets a slightly negative job approval measure.

    There are not too many Republicans in NJ in the bench, unfortunately, but I think he’s beatable even when Obama wins the state.

    Given the likelihood of some Republican losing their congressional district, there’s an obvious opponent there.

  12. The AP has called it for Murkowski this afternoon.

    I think JimAK was the most ferocious Joe Miller supporter on SSP.  And he never relented in insisting Miller would win, even comfortably.

    Biggest prediction fail since Mark’s declaration we’d lose 93 House seats.


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