SSP Daily Digest: 1/3

AK-Sen: Last Friday, Joe Miller finally pulled the plug on continued legal challenges to Lisa Murkowski’s win in the 2010 election, despite earlier comments that standing down was not an option. (Apparently it actually was an option if no one could be found willing to foot the legal bill for a trip to the 9th Circuit.) So now the 2010 election really, truly is over. And in case Miller was going to get any bright ideas about what do to in 2012, Rep. Don Young (no stranger to primary challenges from the right, having barely survived a CfG-led purge in the 2008 primary) is already firing some shots over Miller’s bow with his rusty old harpoon gun.

FL-Sen: Depending on who you listen to, George LeMiuex either is or isn’t about to launch a Senate bid. Roll Call’s Steve Peoples says no, pointing to not only LeMieux’s weak poll numbers and ambivalent-sounding statements but also his new cushy job as chair of the board of directors of one of the state’s largest law firms (a decidedly different role from being there just as a part-time rainmaker/show pony). Other observers have noticed he’s been sounding out potential consultants for a run, though, including GOP ad impresario Fred Davis, fresh off such smashing successes as Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” ad and the anti-Patty Murray tennis shoe ad. Meanwhile, Rep. Cornelius McGillicuddy IV (or Connie Mack, as he’d prefer you call him) is gearing up for a run, if a recent fundraising letter citing a run against Bill Nelson sent around by Mack (and Jeb Bush) ally Jorge Arrizurieta is any indication.

ME-Sen: Affordable-housing developer Rosa Scarcelli got some good buzz during her run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary last year, and now she’s talking a bit about a Democratic run for the Senate in 2012. However, she seems to be reserving judgment, waiting to see whether the promised teabagging against Olympia Snowe ever happens, saying any decision would depend greatly on that.

OH-Sen: In what’s certainly not a surprise, Mike DeWine (perhaps compelled to say something after faring pretty well in one of PPP’s recent let’s-test-everyone Senate polls) says he won’t consider running for his old Senate seat in 2012, having just successfully hit the ‘reset’ button his career with an election to the state AG slot. Newly-elected Lt. Governor Mary Taylor seems to be the top GOP option here, but for now she’s simply saying it’s too early, but isn’t ruling out the possibility (and also saying that no one from the national party has contacted her about it, which stretches the boundaries of credulity).

PA-Sen: Remember back in the spring of 2010, when the DC press corps, for a couple slow news days there, actually willingly ran with the idea that the allegation that a political job offer was sorta-kinda relayed from the Obama administration to Joe Sestak was the Watergate-esque moment that was going to bring the entire Obama edifice down? Um, yeah… now that it’s not an electoral talking point and now that Darrell Issa’s is actually in charge of Oversight, he’s admitting that that isn’t a line of inquiry that he’s going to pursue, seeing as how, in his own words, Republicans “did the same thing.” (Sighing loudly and walking away shaking head.)

RI-Sen: Keep an eye on outgoing Gov. Don Carcieri, who while not saying anything tangible about a Senate run, said a number of candidate-ish things in a recent interview, including “I’m not going away” and “I have views, national as well, so I intend to be visible.”

UT-Sen: Here’s an interesting take on the redistricting issues surrounding Utah’s new fourth House seat: one possible outcome would be the Republicans packing all the state’s Dems into one seat in order to avoid weakening any of the other three. And while superficially that might seem to benefit Rep. Jim Matheson, that could actually hurt him by making the district too liberal for Matheson (one of the remaining high-profile Blue Dogs) to win a primary (the article cites former SLC mayor Rocky Anderson as a potential rival). The article also suggests that could instead push Matheson into a Senate run, especially if it’s against the more polarizing Jason Chaffetz instead of Orrin Hatch (although I’d think a gubernatorial run might be likelier, seeing as how that’s up in 2012 again and Utah is one of those red states that’s more forgiving of Dems at the state level than for federal office).

IN-Gov: Rumors are bubbling up that Democratic Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is making moves to be the first to declare his candidacy for the 2012 gubernatorial race, mindful of the advantages that accrue to early declarers.

MS-Gov: Today Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is finally making official his candidacy for the 2011 Mississippi gubernatorial election, an open seat as his boss hogg Haley Barbour is termed-out. While Bryant’s stiffest competition will probably occur in the GOP primary (where possible opponents include the delightfully-named SoS, Delbert Hosemann), businessman and Democratic candidate Bill Luckett also appears to be making it official today.

WV-Gov: I’m wondering if maybe Shelly Moore Capito has let people know that she’s not running for Governor? It seems like the floodgates have suddenly opened for lesser GOPers to declare their interest in the race, starting with ex-SoS Betty Ireland last week, but now the state’s GOP party chair, Mike Stuart, is also publicly talking himself up for the role. Of course, no one has any idea yet whether that special election will happen in 2011 or 2012.

AZ-08: Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Gabrielle Giffords in November, is rumored to be moving toward a rematch. His odds would seem to be slimmer in a rematch, as Latinos and youth voters are likelier to show up in a presidential year, but he may figure he has an ace in the hole, in the form of the likely presence of a Kelly ally, Christopher Gleason, on Arizona’s ostensibly independent redistricting commission, who might be able to tinker with the boundaries in a more GOP-friendly direction.

NV-04: Cue the hordes of screaming fans, weeping with joy and fainting from sheer ecstasy: Rory Reid, fresh off his domination in the Nevada gubernatorial race, is the subject of speculation that he might be bringing his own special brand of dynamism and excitement to the open House seat that will be created in the Las Vegas suburbs. (For his part, Reid won’t confirm or deny it yet.)

Chicago mayor: It looks like the African-American community may actually be coalescing around a single non-Rahm candidate in the mayoral race, with the dropout of Rep. Danny Davis from the race. He (along with state Sen. James Meeks, who also dropped out several weeks ago) lent his support to ex-Sen. Carol Mosely Braun, the last one standing. (Note that this is the second time Davis has tried to run for municipal office and then done a U-turn back to his House seat in the last year.) Don’t start writing the saga of an Emanuel/Braun runoff just yet, though, as ex-schools chief Gerry Chico is a major wild card here, and now it looks like he has the money to back that up: he reports he raised $2.5 million for the race last quarter, a number that would be boffo even in many Senate races.

History: The Univ. of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog occasionally comes up with real historical gems like this one, using the possibility of a Russ Feingold run for Herb Kohl’s seat as a springboard for looking at Senators throughout history who’ve leapt from one state’s seat to the other. Only two current Senators (Kent Conrad and Frank Lautenberg) meet that criteria, although some other famous names have done so (including Hubert Humphrey and Barry Goldwater). However, neither Conrad nor Lautenberg did so because of a loss (the most recent example of that would be Washington’s Slade Gorton, though UMN finds nine other historical examples).

Photos: This is one of those precious photos that’s worth a thousand words, one that Eric Cantor probably already wishes he’d re-thought. (H/t to Brian Valco for this and several other of today’s links.)

172 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 1/3”

  1. Up until 1-1-11, there were no limits on contributions to candidates for office in Illinois.  Now it’s $5000/cycle for individuals, $10,000 for corporations and unions, $50,000 per PAC.

    So everyone front-loaded.

  2. I can see Reps. Heller and Berkley running for Sen. Ensign’s seat, while 2010 statewide superstars Sharron Angle and Rory Reid seek election to NV-02 and NV-04 respectively (I’m pretty sure NV-01 is going to be turned into a VRA seat, as Latinos make up at least a quarter of Nevada’s population and it is quite easy to draw a compact Latino-majority seat based in North Las Vegas; Ruben Kihuen, a Las Vegas-area state senator, would then be a likely candidate).

    As for Maine: I’d much rather see Rep. Michaud run than Rosa Scarcelli. Nothing against Scarcelli from where I’m standing, but she’s another ultra-liberal Portlander who won’t be able to capture moderates or contest the rural vote. And even though I think she’s admirable, she’s the wrong candidate. I wish her luck in the private sector or maybe a future Democratic administration in Maine.

    And as for Utah: I’m of the opinion Republicans will draw a district for Rep. Matheson that is liberal enough to make him sweat in a primary against the likes of Claudia Wright, but moderate enough to give a progressive like Wright heartburn against a Republican opponent in a general election. I don’t think they want to risk two or three districts becoming competitive if urban growth and blueing in Salt Lake County continues to outpace the rest of the state. (It would be an interesting thought experiment to crunch the numbers and try to figure out how long it will take before Utah is a swing state, assuming no change in party ideology or composition.)

  3. While it was led by the Palinistas and CfG, the primary challenge was also fueled by the rampant corruption allegations against Rep. Young.  The Florida highway thing, Bridge To Nowhere, etc…Not the typical CfG purge, where just being a non-ultra Conservative is good enough to warrant the challenge.  In fact, this would have been one time that they would have ended up with the MORE electable candidate if they won their primary.  Young barely survived in ’08, and I don’t think Parnell would have had similar problems.  

  4. Whitehouse, while under 50, still has a 46% approval rating, while Carcieri is languishing at 36%. (As of last July – I’m assuming little has changed since then).

    In arguably one of the most Democratic states in the country in a Presidential year, good luck with that.

    But then, nobody said that Don Carcieri also wasn’t an arrogant ass.  

  5. If some Dems join Reps next week to vote to repeal HCR, will they face any punishment in the Dem caucus? I can’t see them voting to repeal Obama’s signature policy and get away with it.  

  6. Tea-party moron and a fashion victim?  She’s too much.  The one thing I loathe most about Michele Bachmann is seeing her internet ads all over the place and having to think, “god she looks she fabulous, that yellow coat is so damn cute.”

    And Bachmann has been stepping up her internet and media presence.  Even if you subtract out the stupid stuff, I have seen her quoted and used as the talking head in the Twin Cities area much more since the election.  She is not running for Senate, she is gunning on being a big time player in the House and she probably pissed her pants at seeing MN keep it’s eighth seat.

    Oh well, at least I can celebrate the crazy branch of the GOP being lead by women.  Feminism!, or something….

  7. *Includes people who have not yet taken office, but will this month

    Who is the youngest_____:

    US Senator?

    Female US Senator?


    Female Governor?

    US Rep?

    Female US Rep?

    Statewide office holder?  

  8. With Goodwin and LeMeiux gone, I believe the youngest female senator is Gillibrand. She was briefly the youngest overall, but then LeMeiux was appointed, who was then unseated by Goodwin, and now it will be Mike Lee of Utah. Bobby Jindal is still the youngest governor, no? I know for a fact Aaron Schock (R) is the youngest congressman, not sure about congresswoman though. And I definitely have no idea about youngest statewide office holder, I’m interested to find out.  

  9. So I’m trying to figure out how to exempt SSP and the Republican SSP (Launching January 18th!!) from Adblock plus. The Adblock plus website is no help, so I figured I’d ask here. I know someone knows.  

  10. Where did the idea that Utah is more favorable to dems at the state level than the federal? Utah hasnt had a Democratic governor since 1984 when Scott Matheson Sr. left office. In 1992 the Democratic nominee for governor came in 3rd with 23% in an open seat contest. Utah currently has no Democrats elected statewide. Utah currently has no State Senators outside of Salt Lake County and only three State Reps outside of Salt Lake County. Utah Dems havent done much better on the federal level but Jim Matheson is now serving his 6th term. And in the 90’s Utah had Dem reps Bill Orton, Wayne Owens, and Karen Shepherd.

  11. 9 people.

    Rep. Clarke (who defeated Carolyn Kilpatrick in a primary) will be the first Bangladeshi-American in Congress.  I hope he makes a name for himself unlike the tainted one of his predecessor.

    Rep. John Carney hopes to make friends through basketball.

    Rep. Cicilline wants to start a nonpartisan dinner party social caucus.

  12. Perhaps I am reading this incorrectly, but why is it a surprise that DeWine said he’s not running? Is it just that soon? Or does he doesn’t want his old job?  

  13. I didn’t watch the election coverage this year on TV, but would it be possible to do what BBC does on election day, interview a couple thousand people throughout the country and when the polls close in Indiana/Kentucky project which party controls the senate and house and project the approximate number of seats each party holds? Or is that not possible for various reasons not to mention the polls don’t close all at the same time like in England.

  14. Not a surprise, Republicans are thinking of changing the state back to a winner take all allocation of the state’s electoral votes. They don’t only want to prevent Obama from snatching away Omaha’s electoral vote again but also they don’t want Omaha dragging Ben Nelson across the finish line if the race is close by then.

Comments are closed.