SSP Daily Digest: 2/7

AZ-Sen: One more fundraising number to report from Q4: Republican #2 and potential retiree Jon Kyl raised $106K, leaving him with $682K CoH. That’s a difficult number to assess as a tea leaf: it’s too much for him to look like he’s clearly about to hang it up, but also not enough to make it look like he’s actively engaging his race yet.

CT-Sen: Rep. Chris Murphy looks like he can count on a lot of hometown backing in his bid for the Senate (where the real challenge may be getting out of the Dem primary). He just rolled out the endorsement of 60 Democratic leaders from around CT-05, including three state Reps.

IN-Sen: State treasurer Richard Mourdock confirmed over the weekend at the Tippecanoe County Republican Women’s Club that he’ll be challenging long-time incumbent Richard Lugar in the GOP Senate primary in 2012, although he didn’t serve up much tea-spiked red meat in doing so, instead ladling on the praise of Lugar but touting the need for competition of ideas. He specified Feb. 22 as the official date of his campaign launch, though.

MI-Sen: Saul Anuzis (who I’ve just noticed is one typo away from being the Egyptian jackal god… maybe getting tough on grave robbers will be at the top of his agenda) is now the subject of a draft website, encouraging him to get into the Michigan Senate race.

MN-Sen: Buried deep in this article about Amy Klobuchar is some pretty clear indication that Rep. Michele Bachmann isn’t going to run for Senate in 2012; the GOP state party chair says that Bachmann was “very emphatic” to him that she wasn’t going to run. (Does she have any mode other than “very emphatic?”)

MT-Sen: In case you were hoping that all those leaks and rumors last week about Denny Rehberg announcing for the Senate were some sort of gigantic miscommunication, sorry, no such luck. The Republican Rep. officially announced his bid against Jon Tester on Saturday.

NJ-Sen: That Woody Johnson-for-Senate rumor a few weeks ago is continuing to get some continued oxygen, with revelations that the New York Jets owner dined at Drumthwacket (sorry, I just like saying “Drumthwacket”) with both Chris Christie and Mitt Romney several weeks ago. To me, this seems more like Johnson, a big Republican donor (although a John McCain backer in 2008) being there on Romney’s behalf than a Senate tea leaf. (Just found out he’s actually “Robert Wood Johnson IV,” as in the do-gooding Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and big pharma company Johnson & Johnson.)

SC-Sen: Lindsey Graham — not up until 2014, so this is mostly academic at this point — is sporting some rather Olympia Snowe-ish approval numbers in the way they break down. He’s at 40/37 overall in PPP’s South Carolina sample, but at 31/38 among Democrats and only 43/36 within his own party. He’s looking better positioned to win the general in ’14 than to win his own primary.

UT-Sen: Orrin Hatch is grinning and bearing it: eager to avoid the fate of fellow Senator Bob Bennett, who ignored the tea partiers at his own peril, Hatch will participate in an online town hall sponsored by Tea Party Express (whose Sal Russo offered Hatch some rhetorical cover last week). He’ll be the establishment odd-man-out, sharing face time with Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, and Steve King.

KY-Gov: Republican state Senate president David Williams, the establishment canddiate in the Kentucky gubernatorial GOP primary, looks to be pretty safe from a teabagging, if his own internal poll is any indication. A poll from Got Focus shows him at 47, with Bobbie Holsclaw at 10 and tea-flavored businessman Phil Moffett at 9.

PA-Gov: Here’s an intriguing rumor, although one that doesn’t have much to it beyond eavesdropped rumblings at the state Democratic committee meeting: ex-Rep. Joe Sestak for governor in 2014. Can he be the one who stops the state’s clockwork alternation between the parties for 8-year gubernatorial terms?

WV-Gov: You can count Republican zillionaire John Raese, who lost the 2010 Senate race by an unexpectedly wide margin, out from this year’s gubernatorial special election; he said “no thanks” (after already having declined a 2012 senatorial rematch against Joe Manchin). And the election dates are finally official, with acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signing off on the compromise legislation that set the primary on May 14 and general on Oct. 4.

FL-25: The hits just keep coming for freshman Rep. David Rivera. On top of the $500K in mysterious dog track money and the $60K in mystery expenditures while a state legislator, now the AP is reporting on an entirely separate $150K paid from the Miami-Dade Republican Party to a key ally of Rivera (to consultant Esther Nuhfer for “media” expenses) without any of the usual paper trail. $35K was used to purchase radio ads, but the whereabouts of the remainder is anybody’s guess.

LA-03, LA-07: While we reported on Friday that Jeff Landry was considering a state AG run as a way out of his likely redistricting-related demise, it looks like he’s still fighting to keep a viable House district for himself too. He and LA-07’s Charles Boustany are publicly at odds over the state’s new redistricting map. Landry wants a district that spans the whole coastline of the state (which would put him on a collision course with the Lafayette-based Boustany), while Boustany says there needs to be one district for the New Orleans suburbs (which would probably wind up pitting Landry against Steve Scalise in current LA-01 instead).

MI-09: It sounds like Democratic Rep. Gary Peters may also have a Plan B in the event of the elimination of his district via redistricting. Based on the war of words emerging between Peters and Republican Oakland Co. Executive L. Brooks Patterson, it’s possible that Peters is eyeing a 2012 run to become head of the state’s second largest county. Oakland Co. is one of those prototypical mostly-affluent inner-ring suburban counties that has moved pretty solidly into the Dem column at the presidential level but still has a lot of Republican strength further down the ballot; MI-09 currently occupies most of the county.

MO-05, MO-06: In that one or two weeks where it looked like Rep. Sam Graves was going to run for Senate (thus opening up the 6th), that prompted Republican state Rep. Jerry Nolte to officially throw his hat into the ring for the presumably open seat. Now that he knows Graves is sticking around, though, Nolte apparently isn’t going to let his newly-opened federal account go to waste. He says he might run against Emanuel Cleaver in MO-05 instead. (Nolte lives in Gladstone in the KC suburbs, currently in the 6th but a possible inclusion in the 5th after redistricting, as the 5th will need to gain a lot of population.)

Redistricting: The Fix’s ongoing series of profiles on state redistricting turns to Pennsylvania this week, the state whose 2002 map became almost synonymous with one of our favorite words here: “dummymander” (i.e. a map that looks like a coup at first but is so flimsy that it blows up in your face the minute the political winds turn against you). The state GOP, in charge of the process again in 2012, seem to have learned from their mistakes and don’t plan to get so “greedy” this time. As we’ve mentioned here, the likeliest approach to lose the one seat will be to draw western PA Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz into one district. The alternative would be to try to take out the seemingly-indestructible Tim Holden in PA-17, although reddening his already GOP-leaning district would probably make things even worse for Lou Barletta, whose PA-11 is currently D+4.

2012 Prez: Jake McIntyre’s presidential cattle calls have been a rich tradition over at Daily Kos for years now, and this one is no exception. (It’s so good we’re actually breaking the first rule of Swing State Project: no talking about presidential politics.)

163 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/7”

  1. Have I been somehow skirting around this rule, or have I been breaking it consistently?

    Well, before I get my answer, I will post this. I came across it last night from a blog, Balloon Juice, I used to read far more frequently than I do now. I’m obviously not averse to election coverage, no matter what the type–why else would I be here every possible second of my day? But the way in which our media somehow needs to see every possible action of any notable person in Washington as relating to running for the presidency (i.e. “Obama ate fried green beans, so clearly he’s not only trying to appeal to farmers in Oregon, he’s trying to connect with the working classes that love fried foods and football as well as show his independence from his wife in order to win votes from white men…”) is pretty ridiculous. It’s not often so few words can encapsulate these sentiments, but these three lines manage to do it:

    David Gregory: “Will you run for President?”

    David Gregory’s Mailman: “I’m just trying to deliver the mail here, sir.”

    Gregory: “I ask you again, will you run for President?”

    Anyway, one of the people at the White House Superbowl party was State Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas. I get the invitations for Reid Ribble, Bob Casey, and Pat Toomey, but why him? Might he run for the senate seat, or am I making nothing into something?


  2. With all the Missouri redistricting talk centered on if Carnahan will draw the short straw there has been little talk about what will happen to MO-5.

    The most obvious thing to do would be to extend the 5th east to take in all of Jackson County and then whatever urban-ish areas best fit from North of KC (or just add more of Cass county which is already partially in the 5th), but another route is possible.

    For instance, say Nixon tells the GOP redistricting leaders he’s willing to “play ball” on a redraw of the 5th district to make it a swing CD in exchange for a more favorable draw for the old 3rd? I’m not saying this is likely, but perhaps rather than cutting a deal with the AA state reps in STL to protect the 1st district the GOP negotiates with the governor to creat 2 swing districts?

    A favorable map for Carnahan might keep most of his STL city & South STL county base while drawing him in with Emerson (especially if this is an open seat), or even more radical keep the 3rd & 8th in more or less their current lines and draw Hartzler and Cleaver together in a district that runs from KC, SE through Lee Summit and into the hinterlands. You’d probably have to draw Independence into the 6th, but the end result would likely be Cleaver winning in ’12, but a GOP likely winning in ’14.

  3. I see Rasmussen crying for attention by claiming Romney leads. I won’t link because you all know the bridge under which he lives.

  4. This doesn’t surprise me. Her primary-state adventures have her sights a lot higher than Senate. I think she is either looking to be president, or more likely, vice president. If she is one of the also-ran candidates in the primary, she would also set herself up for a high-level cabinet position. This would be particularly true if either Palin or Pawlenty won the nomination and the general election in 2012.

    As far as Republicans in general in Minnesota, the legislature is really doing their best to NOT fix the problems they promised to fix. If they keep NOT doing the things they promised, with Obama and Klobuchar at the top of the ticket, the Republican ranks will be thinned immensely. If the Republican POTUS candidate does’t contest Minnesota, and Klobuchar is allowed to skate free to reelection without serious opposition, this thinning will be an obliteration.  

  5. The problem for Democrats will likely be that Mourdock doesn’t look like on planning to run a full-fledged teabag campaign, only to tap in to general Lugar distaste among GOPers (they are much more than only the teabags) and hook up the tea partiers on the way because he’s acceptable to them, he doesn’t look like a bomb-thrower.

    Mourdock actually won by the widest margin last year, although part of it is that there were libertarians in other races where they sucked up an amazing about 100,000 votes per race.

  6. In a past life Bruning was very very liberal. He even bashed conservatives (including Ronald Reagan) in an op-ed for a newspaper during law school. Wonder if this will provide an opening for a more conservative candidate during the primary.

    On Gun Control:  “I believe in gun control. I think the National Rifle Association is wrong in supporting hollow-pointed bullets and every other device created purely for killing humans that has ever been invented. Their premise that a ban on any type of gun or ammunition will eventually limit those of us who want to hunt wild game is ridiculous. I love to hunt and I plan to do so throughout my lifetime. There is no need, however, for a porcelain handgun or armor-piercing bullet when I’m trying to bring down a pheasant or a goose. If the government wanted to ban shotguns, I’d be the first one in line to protest. Many types of handguns and ammunition, however, need to be regulated.”

    On Gays:  “I believe homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else. They ought to be able to be Boy Scout leaders, soldiers and anything else they want to be. Just because a person is gay doesn’t mean they’re a pedophile or a bad soldier. While I’ve only known two people in my life who were admittedly gay, I’d be happy to fight side-by-side with either of them if the United States went to war.”

  7. Run, Saul, run!

    Saul is the “Michael Scott” of Michigan politics.  He’s earnest as hell, but doesn’t get that everyone’s laughing at him and not with him.  Actually, he’s like the “Michael Steel” of Michigan GOP politics, but without the actual personal electoral success (which Steele didn’t have a lot of to begin with).

  8. Kalk says he won’t run for House if Berg runs for Senate.

    Not sure if this keeps Rick Berg in the house or not. On one hand you have an almost slam dunk re-election for life if you stay in the house, on the other hand it possibly a once-in-a-lifetime shot at an open Senate seat, but also a contested primary that he could theoretically lose and then where is he?

  9. with her lack of animosity towards teh gays (is that the proper term?)

    Sarah Palin did not say she supports gay marriage. She hasn’t celebrated the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But she also did not say that a gay Republican group should be banned from participating in a big Republican conference, and for that, social conservatives are begging her to “clarify.”

  10. with her lack of animosity towards teh gays (is that the proper term?)

    Sarah Palin did not say she supports gay marriage. She hasn’t celebrated the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But she also did not say that a gay Republican group should be banned from participating in a big Republican conference, and for that, social conservatives are begging her to “clarify.”

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