SSP Daily Digest: 2/23

AZ-Sen: Former GOP Rep. Matt Salmon says he’s considering getting into the senate race. Salmon held current candidate Jeff Flake’s seat in the House before losing the 2002 gubernatorial race against now-DHS chief Janet Napolitano. Speaking of Flake, he was one of only three House Republicans to vote against the GOP-backed spending bill which contained $60 billion in cuts. Teabagger eyebrows were raised, but Flake claims he voted against it from the right, saying it didn’t go far enough.

MA-Sen: Speaking of teabaggers, Scott Brown, when directly asked if he was one (okay, he was asked if he was a “tea partier”), said “No, I’m a Republican from Massachusetts”(and I drive a truck!). I maintain that a tea-fueled primary challenge to Brown is still possible.

MO-Sen, MO-02: GOP Rep. Jo Ann Emerson says she won’t try to challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill. Dave Catanese thinks that Emerson’s “moderate profile” would have made it hard for her to win a primary. Also, former MO GOP chair Ann Wagner says she’s still considering the race – but, interestingly, says she also might primary Rep. Todd Akin in MO-02.

NV-Sen, NV-02: Major bummer, sports fans: Sharron Angle says she is NOT running for president, repeat NOT running for president! Hopefully, though, this means she’ll go for the senate again, or possibly the 2nd CD.

RI-Sen: Cranston Mayor Allan Fung says he won’t seek the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, citing the huge fundraising hurdles he’d face.

VA-Sen: Attorney David McCormick becomes the latest Some Dude to enter the GOP nomination battle for Virginia’s open senate seat.

WI-Gov: By now you may have already gotten wind of the AFL-CIO poll conducted by GQR on the battle in Wisconsin. It was actually two separate polls taken a few days apart, combined into one. The topline numbers for Gov. Scott Walker don’t look good – 51% job disapproval, and underwater unfavorables to the tune of a 39-49 spread.

CA-36: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) released a poll on the Dem primary in the race to succeed soon-to-resign Rep. Jane Harman. The numbers, from PPP, show SoS Debra Bowen leading LA city councilor Janice Hahn 33-29, and just 21-20 without leaners. Obviously there are still tons of undecideds.

Hahn also released a poll of her own, taken by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. She refused to release toplines, claiming only that she has a “five-point lead.” Misleadingly, her poll memo says that “Hahn’s lead is larger than the survey’s margin of error.” The MoE is ±4.9%, so technically, yes, her lead is literally “larger” than the MoE, but it’s not “outside the MoE,” which is the metric people are usually concerned with. The press release accompanying the memo also repeats an amusingly idiotic line of attack on PPP, saying the PCCC survey “is not reliable given the fact that it was conducted by a robo call, rather than by an actual researcher.”

One other detail: Hahn also just picked up the endorsement of new state Sen. Ted Lieu, who won a special election last week. Lieu’s name had briefly surfaced as a possibility for the CA-36 race, too.

CA-41: GOP Rep. Jerry Lewis, seventy-six years old and skipped over for key leadership roles after the GOP takeover of the House, won’t say yet whether he’ll seek an 18th term. Redistricting may play a big role here, as Lewis won’t benefit from another incumbent protection plan, thanks to the new independent redistricting commission CA voters approved last fall.

NY-14: Biden alert! The VPOTUS is in New York City today, doing a fundraiser to benefit both Rep. Carolyn Maloney and the DNC. A little surprised to see Maloney benefitting from this largesse, since Reshma Saujani said she won’t try to primary Maloney again this cycle. (Then again, Reshma’s already flip-flopped on that, so maybe she’ll change her mind yet again.) I suppose it’s possible that this district’s lines will change enough to offer the possibility of a different primary challenger emerging, so this could be a defensive maneuver. Or it could just be a reward to a loyal backer.

NY-24: Did Rep. Richard Hanna plagiarize a Cato Institute paper for an op-ed of his own in the Syracuse Post-Standard? Check it out and decide for yourself.

NY-26: Carl Paladino, already on record as backing Jane Corwin’s candidacy before she was tapped as the nominee, officially (re-)endorsed her. Some teabagger, Lenny Roberto, also endorsed Corwin, but there’s always People’s Front of Judean/Judean Popular Front splits between these guys.

Case in point: Iraq vet (and teabagger) David Bellavia’s been calling local Conservative Party chair Ralph Lorigo, trying to scarf up the Cons’ nomination. Crazy Jack Davis has been doing the same, but Lorigo didn’t speak highly of him. Lorigo is responsible for Erie County, which carries the most weight in the 26th district. His Monroe County counterpart, Tom Cook, is the second biggest cheese, and says he’s also gotten calls from Bellavia, Corwin, and, believe it or not, nominal Dem frontrunner Kathy Hochul. Cook didn’t have kind words about Bellavia, but he noted the obvious truth: state party chair Michael Long is going to make all the decisions, and he appears to be leaning hard toward Corwin.

OR-01: Rep. David Wu apologized for his behavior and said he’s getting treatment (including medication) for whatever ails him… but that he has no plans to step down. Meanwhile, 2010 GOP challenger Rob Cornilles (who lost by 13 points last year) is being talked up for another run but hasn’t decided yet.

UT-02: The NRCC has an ad up (yes, already) attacking Jim Matheson over spending, but NWOTSOTB, so I’m guessing this is what Nathan Gonzales would call a “video press release.”

Philly Mayor: Wealthy businessman Tom Knox says he won’t challenge Mayor Michael Nutter – and in fact, went ahead and endorse Nutter. It looks like the incumbent is probably set to cruise in the Democratic primary.

Crossroads GPS: The Karl Rove dark money front group is launching a $450K radio ad buy, attacking a dozen Dems on spending and supporting ten Republicans. Full list at the link.

135 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/23”

  1. retired in 2000. He actually kept his 3 term pledge from 1994. And if he were to run it would seriously eat away into both Flake’s geographic base, but also his ideological base. I think Salmon or Frank would be weaker candidates however.  

  2. Crossroads buys an average of $15k in radio? Snooze.

    NRCC does probably less in UT-2? Snooze.

    NY-26, getting on the ballot in NYS is extremely difficult so if there is no readily available ballot spot (ie CP’s) then I think the challenge from the right gets nowhere. Sans a 3 way race I don’t see this special being any more competitive than CA’s.

    VA-Sen – David McCormick’s 15 minutes was up before I even reached the end of his stupid press release. Say goodnight Gracy…

    MO-Sen – No surprise on Emerson, I honestly saw no path to victory for her in a GOP primary. As for Ann Wagner challneging Akin in the primary? Makes no sense, why run against a very strong incumbent in a primary instead of an open seat statewide? I think someone was talking out of their ass, which makes me doubt the whole piece.

  3. I don’t understand going after Michaud. He won easily in 2010, and Obama will easily win his district in 2012. They may be trying to dissuade him from running for Senate, but Maine’s other district is even more blue and I doubt that linking him to Obama will get much traction statewide. For that matter I think it’s silly to go after Heinrich and Larsen even though they had closer races in 2010.

    Interesting that the NRCC was going after McIntyre and Kissell but not Shuler, who currently has the reddest district. Are the NC Reeps planning to screw the first two in redistricting but leave Shuler more or less alone?  

  4. http://publicpolicypolling.blo

    Not bad at all. I think Obama wins this one at 47/48 approval, at least vs. Generic R, though a southerner like Huckabee would definitely create problems. I don’t think VA/NC will prove prime Romney territory, and, despite the polls, I actually think Gingrich performs a bit better than him.

  5. Stenberg to run for Senate according to politico;

    This is a shock to me personally. I was convinced that Stenberg would bid his time and run for Heinemann’s open seat in ’14.

    This could potentially get ugly, but Nebraska primaries have generally been pretty gentile fights, neither Heinemann nor Johanns were significantly wounded by their tough primary fights for Governor, but neither was facing an incumbent either.

  6. I am wondering why Hahn is picking up the overwhelming majority of endorsements so far.  In fact, does Bowen have any major endorsements at all yet?

    Certainly, Hahn entered the race slightly before Bowen, but Bowen was rumored to be a possible candidate from the very beginning.

    Another explanation may be that Hahn has remained in the area while Bowen has been in Sacramento, but Bowen represented the area for 14 years.

    Aside from these factors, is there something going on behind the scenes that is preventing Bowen from winning key endorsements?

  7. For those who need details, the following article is excellent (though long)

    It includes a key insight on Wu’s appeal in the district

    He’s long been known as a geeky, low-key and, at times, awkward politician.

    “That’s part of his charm,” says Jim Moore, a political science professor at Pacific University in Wu’s district. “He’s basically a nerd. He admits fully that his social skills are not very well developed. He admits that he’s not that great at glad-handing, but he’s a hard worker.”

    Sh*t. That describes me too.

    Viscerally, I now want Wu to stay, to hang on, if only to properly represent the nerds of the world.

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