SSP Daily Digest: 12/8

CT-Sen: Following his loss in the CT-Gov primary after leading the polls almost all the way, I hadn’t heard much discussion about Ned Lamont making a repeat run against Joe Lieberman for the 2012 Senate race. Lamont confirms that, saying he’s “strongly disinclined” to try again.

FL-Sen: Here’s a dilemma for temp Sen. George LeMieux, as he gave his farewell speech from the Senate floor. Acknowledge the man without whom he’d be utterly unknown and thus not in a position to run again for Senate in 2012… or invoke said man, whose name is utterly mud in Florida GOP circles, thus reminding everyone of those connections that can only hurt in a 2012 primary? In the end, basic human decency prevailed, and LeMieux thanked Charlie Crist for appointing him.

ME-Sen: This is pretty big news, as everyone has been treating newly-elected Gov. Paul LePage’s imprimatur as a make or break for Olympia Snowe’s hopes in a GOP primary in 2012. LePage, of course, was the tea party choice in the primary, and his say-so would go a long way toward either encouraging or discouraging a teabagger challenge to Snowe. LePage just came out with a statement of support for Snowe in the primary, saying he’d back her in the face of a possible primary challenge.

MO-Sen: Sarah Steelman continues to rack up support from the GOP’s far-right, as she girds for a possible GOP primary showdown against ex-Sen. Jim Talent. Steelman met with Jim DeMint, the Senate’s de facto kingmaker of the tea party set, and those involved expect DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund to back Steelman shortly (which would be his first endorsement of the 2012 cycle).

PA-Sen: Moran gets brain? Perhaps sensing the steep uphill climb of a challenge against the Casey name brand in Pennsylvania in a presidential year, random rich guy John Moran has done an about-face on a threatened possible Senate run that first emerged last week. Another central Pennsylvanian, though, state Sen. Jake Corman, seems to be interested in taking on Bob Casey Jr.

UT-Sen: In case there was any doubt about Orrin Hatch running again — in his 70s and facing a likely difficult primary/convention — well, he is. He released a statement this morning saying “I intend to run, and I intend to win.” That comes in the face of the formation of a new leadership PAC by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which would likely point to stepped-up fundraising efforts in the face of a intra-party challenge. (Hatch is sitting on $2.32 million CoH, while Chaffetz has $179K. If the targeted audience isn’t all Utahns but a few thousand nuts at the state convention, though, money is less of an issue.)

IN-Gov: Soon-to-be-ex-Sen. Evan Bayh is issuing something of a timeline regarding whether or not he runs for his old job as Governor again in 2012. Bayh says he’ll make a decision by the end of the year, and is saying it’s a “possibility but [not] a probability.” (Rep. Baron Hill and Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel are other fallback options.)There’s no timeline, though, from Rep. Mike Pence, who probably would be the strongest candidate the GOP could put forth, but seems more interested in going straight for the Presidency. One GOPer who isn’t waiting for Pence’s decision is Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who has moved forward on fundraising although she hasn’t officially declared anything. Soon-to-be-Rep. Todd Rokita warns not to underestimate Skillman.

MN-Gov: This is kind of a moot point in view of his concession this morning, but in case you’re wondering what suddenly motivated Tom Emmer to drop his challenge to Mark Dayton and move on, this was probably the last straw: yesterday the Minnesota Supreme Court denied his petition asking for all counties to perform a reconciliation of number of voters with number of ballots cast. With the recount already done, the reconciliation would have been the only practical way of even stringing this thing out for a while longer, let alone finding an extra 9,000 votes.

MO-Gov: In marked contrast to the recent PPP poll giving Jay Nixon a clear edge, Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (now looking more like a candidate than ever) is pointing to an internal poll by American Viewpoint taken way back in late September that gives him a 47-38 lead over Nixon. The poll finds Nixon still popular, though, with 51% approval.

ND-Gov: Today was the first day on the job for North Dakota’s new Governor, ex-Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who took over as John Hoeven resigned in order to join the Senate soon. Hoeven is the first-ever North Dakota Governor to resign voluntarily. Taking over as Lt. Gov. is ex-US Attorney Drew Wrigley. Dalrymple will be watched carefully as to what happens in 2012: he could either run for election to a full term, or move over to a Senate run against Kent Conrad.

MN-08: Newly-elected Rep. Chip Cravaack will have one of the tougher re-elects of any of the new House Republicans (he’s in a D+3 district that includes the Dem stronghold of Duluth), but one of the bigger-name Dems in the district is saying he won’t be the challenger. State Sen. Tom Bakk (one of the 5,589,358,587,568,120 people who ran for the DFL gubernatorial nomination this year) is staying where he is, especially since he’s about to become minority leader.

GA-St. House: One more D-to-R party switcher to report, and it’s a fairly big name within the confines of the Georgia legislature: Doug McKillip, who was previously #2 among Democrats. Interestingly, he’s not from a dark-red rural district but represents the college town of Athens, and he says he’ll be better able to agitate for the University’s needs from within the majority… although, that, of course, would depend on getting re-elected again from that (presumably blue) district.

269 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 12/8”

  1. By LePage’s actions. He and the Snowe’s go way back, with her husband helping him get into college by pulling some strings for him to take the entrance exam in French.  

  2. I have been trying to read the tealeaves about this race since the day after the election. Bakk taking over as Minority Leader is a strange decision, IMO. I didn’t hear if current Majority Leader Pogemiller ran for leadership again or not. If he hd, and Bakk beat him out, that really says something about Pogemiller (Who was actually my state senator while in college). Tony Sertich, the current House Majority Leader did not run for a leadership position of any kind, however. That is a HUGE signal that he wants Oberstar’s old seat. I had known for several years (I was a staffer for a Sertich ally a couple years ago) that Sertich was eying the seat, and I truly believe that 2012 will be his year, unless the maps are grossly drawn by the courts, and combine’s Peterson with the Iron Range.

  3. Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia, in ascending order of seniority, have all been sworn in over the past few weeks. Aloha.

  4. 2 top Democrats have switched to the Republican party in La. One is former Democratic state house speaker and state senator John Alario, considered the father of the modern Dem party in LA. His move is entirely politically motivated. He plans on running for Senate president in 2012 (A position appointed by Jindal, and Jindal would be unlikely to appoint a D Sen pres if Reps control the Sen). The other is state Sen. John Smith. Dems now control the senate 20-18, with 1 vacancy that is likely to go Republican in January. Then the Senate would be 20-19, and there are likely to be more defections, especially now that Alario has switched.

  5. Terry Branstad plans to appoint Rod Roberts to head the state Department of Inspections and Appeals. Roberts ran for governor and got 9 percent in the GOP primary. I believe he siphoned off votes from social conservatives who might otherwise have coalesced around Bob Vander Plaats. (Branstad got 50 percent, BVP 41 percent)

    Branstad named BVP’s campaign co-chair Jodi Tymeson to head the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Vander Plaats has a new gig as head of The Family Leader, an umbrella political advocacy organization that includes the Iowa Family Policy Center. The IFPC seems to have let go a few longtime staffers to make room for Vander Plaats and his big salary.

  6. PPP has their numbers out for Debbie Stabenow, and she leads all Republican challengers but not overwhelmingly. The strongest GOP contender appears to be Candice Miller, who trails 43-41 but has +15 favorables. Terri Lynn Land also has good favorables but trails by 4. Pete Hoekstra, the likeliest candidate, actually does the best (trailing 45-44) but his favorables are -3.

    Link: http://www.publicpolicypolling

  7. http://publicpolicypolling.blo

    At 49% approval, I definitely think he can prevail in a state like Minnesota, though I think we’re looking at closer to an ’04-style result (mid-single digits) than an ’08-style blowout. Pawlenty simply isn’t viable whatsoever in 2012. If PPP’s correct, Romney is surely looking like the most formidable GOP-er, at least of this field.  

  8. is that there are so few generic republicans.  gingrich, palin, santorum are all likely to under run a generic R on indies D’s and possibly republicans.  Romney and arguably hucvkbee are superior.  all that leaves is thune, pawlenty and pence/daniels (i don’t see anyway two people from the same state and party run).

    Also worth noting it seems like all of the GOP’s talent (jindal, Christie, rubio, arguably mcconnell) is situated for 2016 and beyond.  

  9. we’re debating if Obama just became a persona non grata with the progressive base and MSNBC, new Gallup poll shows the tax cut compromise is very very popular with the public in general.

    Two major elements included in the tax agreement reached Monday between President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress meet with broad public support. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all Americans for two years, and an identical number support extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.

    52% of Democrats, 85% of Republicans, 67% of Independents support extending the tax cuts. Of course only 39% of liberals support extending the tax cuts, but this may of not been a bad play on Obama’s part.  

  10. much more then he ever fought the right. I wish that he would at least try to attack republicans on something instead of always taking this “I’m post-partisan and both parties are equally bad” road. The fact that he seems so eager to avoid a fight that he will do pretty much anything to avoid looking partisan is kind of scary. What if republicans shut down the government or filibuster the debt ceiling extension? I seriously afraid that Obama will just give in to them to avoid a fight and they will come out looking strong and bold and Obama would have just pissed off more of his base.

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