SSP Daily Digest: 12/16

CA-Sen: Despite getting only a small vote share in the GOP Senate primary this year (as conservatives decided to go with the slightly-more-electable Carly Fiorina), Chuck DeVore is talking Senate again, for 2012, when Dianne Feinstein will presumably run for re-election. Or is he? All he’s saying is that he’s likely to run in 2012, but hasn’t decided what office. Senate is the only thing that’s available, though, which makes his statement seem kind of strange (unless he’s talking about trying to rejoin the state Assembly). If Barbara Boxer could still win by 10 points in a terrible year, the more-popular Feinstein in a presidential year is an even more daunting target, meaning that DeVore may be the only prominent GOPer crazy enough to take on the task.

MA-Sen: Nobody really has any idea whether or not Vicki Kennedy plans to run for Senate — she’d probably have a massive field-clearing effect in the Dem primary if she did — but Joan Vennochi is seeing some signs of the groundwork for a run, looking at Kennedy’s stepped-up routine of public appearances around the state.

OH-Sen: Rep. Jim Jordan had probably been the GOPer most associated with a potential run against Sherrod Brown this cycle, but now he’s publicly saying that he’s “leaning heavily against” the run. He has a plum job coming up as head of the right-wing caucus (the Republican Study Committee), which is often a leadership springboard, and given his ultra-safe district, that may be a more appealing track than rolling the dice on a Senate run. Auditor and soon-to-be Lt. Governor Mary Taylor (who you may recall got a few weeks of Senate speculation in 2009 when conservatives were casting about for someone more charismatic and less wonky than Rob Portman) may be next in line.

PPP is out with its primary numbers for the GOP side, too, and they find that Jordan was actually in first place among those few people who actually know him. It’s one of those everybody-but-the-kitchen-sink fields where the guy with the name rec winds up winning out: Incoming AG and ex-Sen. Mike DeWine (who’s quite unlikely to run, given his new job) leads at 27, with ex-SoS Ken Blackwell at 17, new SoS Jon Husted at 11, Jordan at 10, Taylor at 7, Rep. Steve LaTourette at 6, new Treasurer Josh Mandel at 5, and state Sen. Kevin Coughlin at 2.

PA-Sen: Quinnipiac’s new poll of the Pennsylvania Senate turned out to not be that revealing, seeing as how they only testing Bob Casey Jr. against Generic R. (Although they can be forgiven, given the paucity of GOP candidates willing to reveal themselves yet.) At any rate, Casey is in good shape, although the percentage of people with no opinion seems strangely high, maybe reflective of his low-key nature. He beats Generic R 43-35, and has an approval of 39/29 (55/16 among Dems, 28/42 among GOPers, and 36/30 among indies).

House: Politico has another list of possible rematches among the ranks of defeated Dems. Some of these you’re probably already familiar with (Frank Kratovil, Glenn Nye, Phil Hare, and Alan Mollohan(?!?)), but other names now weighing another bid include Dina Titus, Steve Driehaus, Carol Shea-Porter, and Bobby Bright. Mark Schauer says he’s waiting to see what the GOP-held Michigan legislature does to his district, and Ron Klein is waiting to see how his district responds to Allen West.

NY-St. Sen.: Craig Johnson lost his case concerning the result in SD-7 (in which the balance of the state Senate hangs) at the Appellate Division level, who found there wasn’t a basis for a full hand recount. Johnson is still planning to appeal to the Court of Appeals. (In New York, for some screwed-up reason, the Supreme Court is the court of general jurisdiction and the Court of Appeals is the highest appellate court. Also, hamburgers eat people.)

Switchers: Courtesy of the Fix’s Aaron Blake, here’s a list from GOPAC of all the state legislators who’ve switched parties in the last month, if you’re having trouble keeping track. There’s a list of 20, although almost all come from three states (Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana). Also an interesting note: we’ve actually found someone who just switched from the GOP to the Democrats, although you have to go even further into the weeds: Luzerne County (in Pennsylvania) Commissioner Steve Urban. Before you get too excited, though, the move seems to be mostly driven out of personal pique stemming from Urban’s recent loss in a state Senate race.

California: It looks like California’s switch to a Washington-style “top two” primary is a done deal. It survived a court challenge, with the state Supreme Court refusing to block a challenge to two of its provisions. (One of the provisions is one way in which it’ll differ from Washington: in California, party affiliation can be listed only if one belongs to a party that’s officially recognized by the state, while in Washington, you can list yourself as belonging to whatever crazy made-up party you want.)

CfG: The Club for Growth is issuing one of its litmus test warnings, saying that primaries will result for GOPers who defy its will… and it’s over one of the less controversial things on the current docket: the omnibus spending bill (which contains… gasp!… earmarks.)

Votes: The House, as you’re probably well aware, easily passed repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell yesterday (although its Senate future is hazy; ask again later). The 15 Dem “no” votes are mostly Blue Dogs in socially conservative districts (with nine of them not coming back, either via loss or retirement), with one key exception: Artur Davis, still seeming completely intent on maxing out on his frequent douchebag miles before leaving. The 15 GOP “yes” votes are more interesting, a mix of departing moderates (Castle, Djou, Cao, Ehlers), remaining moderates in well-educated (and presumably low homophobia) districts (Biggert, Reichert, Dent, Platts), GOPers with substantially gay constituencies (Bono Mack, Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart… and we can double-count Cao), die-hard libertarians (Paul, Flake, Campbell), and in his own category, David Dreier.

WATN?: Dede Scozzafava, perhaps as a reward for, in her own round-about way, giving us the gift of Bill Owens in NY-23, is in talks to get a job in the incoming Cuomo administration. The exact position hasn’t been defined, but will be something about “streamlining” government.

Demographics: Here’s an interesting piece in the Democratic Strategist that does some demographic slice-and-dice of the House seats where Dems lost. Some of it isn’t a surprise (losses occurred where race and education overlap, as the white working class particularly turned right), but it adds an important variable to the mix that nobody else seems to have noticed: manufacturing. There’s a definite correlation between losses and how reliant the district is on a manufacturing economy.

202 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 12/16”

  1. And, given CA-Sen will be as Safe D as it gets, it wouldn’t floor me if DeVore won the nomination unopposed. I doubt the likes of Maldonado or Poizner opt to run in 2012, though I could see Poizner running vs. Brown in 2014.

  2. It would be one thing if he lost narrowly, but he lost by ten points against some right-wing smurf. This in a district that the president won by 14 points and even John “Dying Tree” Kerry won by three. What kind of egomaniac is he that he thinks he has a mandate to come back?

  3. Platts actually represents a pretty conservative district, entirely out of the reach of metro Philadelphia – not in the same category as the metropolitan districts of Reichert or Biggert or the Miami Cubans or even Dent. (Sometimes people leaving Greater Baltimore settle in York County, and those people tend to be very conservative.) Though we haven’t yet seen a serious primary challenge to Platts, it gets talked about fairly often in wingnuttia. There were even rumors he was being considered for some sort of Obama administration post – who knows whether those had any basis at all in reality….

    Drier, rumors of his own tendencies aside, does represent what’s become a swing-ish part of (outer) metropolitan Los Angeles. He’d be one of the easiest Congresscritters to district out of existence if California Democrats had the ability to do so…


  4. Has 61 votes according to Lieberman. But it depends on getting the tax bill through first. I just hope House Dems grandstanding doesn’t put it in jeopardy along with START and possibly DREAM.

  5. Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY) backed out of race for Ranking Member of House Oversight Committee at the urging of leadership.  The Dem Steering Committee has recommended Rep. Elijah Cummings instead.  The reason for nudging out Towns?  They wanted a Dem who isn’t afraid to stand up to Darrell Issa.


  6. You think we can expect to see Murkowski making more of these kinds of votes? I know conservatives have had it out with her in the past over being too “moderate,” but during this, the Congress of Obstinate Republicans, she’s voted pretty much the party line to help weaken Obama. Now that she’s realized her party base isn’t crazy about her and she won reelection largely on Dem and Indie support, do you think she’ll move slightly toward the center? Or is DADT repeal a one time aberration to vote in favor of something she actually supports?  

  7. Erik Paulsen is going to get it some day.  That would have been an easy vote for Ramstad and if the country supports its repeal with polls Ive seen ranging from roughly 65%-77%, then this district would be damn near 73%-85%.  And it’s not just this vote but several others that make him much more conservative than his predecessor.  He got lucky in 2008, 2010 obviously was never going to happen, and now his 2012 prospects are sunnier because we dont control the entire redistricting process.

    But his day will come, that district is going to slip right out from underneath him some day if he doesnt ever throw a few votes to the Democrats to build moderate cred.  State senator Bonoff is biding her time.  (We’re very lucky she survived 2010, absolute murder in districts like hers.)

  8. Let’s get serious about the coastal South.

    My gut instinct was actually St. Louis so we could boost Nixon and McCaskill, but, on second thought, I’m actually not sure if holding the Convention there would hurt them or help them. The Convention certainly didn’t help Coleman much on the GOP side in ’08. In Charlotte, the only statewide candidate to worry about in NC in 2012 is Perdue, and she seems to be in more trouble than Nixon or McCaskill. If the Convention turns out to be a boost, maybe it will make the difference for Perdue, if it turns out to be an embarrassment, well, she wasn’t looking strong for reelection anyway and she’s less crucial than McCaskill to Obama.

    Besides that, the Midwest went from a battleground to a bloodbath for the Dems between ’08 and ’10. Meanwhile, Dems generally held their own in NC last month. I say we keep making Team Red play defense on their home turf.

    P.S. Apparently the unions are lobbying for St. Louis. North Carolina is a right-to-work state, I believe.  

  9. Governor-elect Dayton, and Senate Majority Leader Koch have promised to work together more than Pawlenty and Pogemiller did. Pogemiller made it very clear that he hated Pawlenty as a person, and the feelings were quite mutual. So any improvement from that would be drastic.

  10. does another exit interview. He reaffirms what he has already said. Hill will not run for Governor. Also will likely not run for Congress again. Flirts with saying he wants a job with Obama, saying he wants to work with the President on his re-election. If he doesn’t get that he’ll probably take a lobbying job like he did after his first loss, which he also alludes to saying he needs to provide for his family.

  11. does some tea leaf reading in Arizona. Apparently there’s a growing consensus among GOP party insiders including the outgoing chairman of the Arizona GOP that Kyl’s retiring in 2012. They do say he could run again and he’s sitting on $620k, not an amount to sneeze at, but he has to give up the whip position in 2014 and McConnell says he’s going to run for reelection in 2014. (Gees, did McConnell really tell Bunning he was too old to run again or he didn’t want to tell the media he said to Bunning he was too insane?)

  12. for our number crunchers here, I’m trying to calculate the vote percentages Boxer, Brown, Fiorina, and Whitman earned in Dan Lungren’s district. Do you know how would I go through that since Lungren’s district only takes in parts of Sacramento and Solano counties?


    Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, a fixture in Congress for the past 18 years, said Thursday she is considering retirement after completing her 10th term in 2012.

    Woolsey, 73, said she was talking about her future now to give those vying to succeed her – in what would likely be a crowded and expensive race – a chance to make their names known to voters.

    State Assemblyman Jared Huffman has already formed an exploratory committee and say’s he’ll run if Woolsey doesn’t.  State Senator Noreen Evans is another potential candidate.  Other possibilities are Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Petaluma Mayor Pam Torliatt.  The district is the North Bay (Boxer’s old district) and is very Democratic.

Comments are closed.