SSP Daily Digest: 3/2

FL-Sen: A group of Holocaust survivors – now very elderly, of course – plan to protest Sen. Bill Nelson’s fundraiser with Barack Obama this week. The survivors say that Nelson promised to push legislation which would allow them to directly sue insurance companies who have withheld payments on life insurance policies sold before World War II. Nelson claims he only promised to hold a hearing on such a bill (which has been introduced in the House in the past).

MA-Sen: I really have to believe Deval Patrick just shot his mouth off in that National Journal interview, and has probably earned himself a few glares from would-be Democratic challengers to Sen. Scott Brown the next time they see him. Now Alan Khazei, whom Patrick said was “for sure” in the race, is – like Newton Mayor Setti Warren – saying that he’s merely “looking at it carefully” but hasn’t made a decision yet. Meanwhile, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll tells the Boston Phoenix that she is at least several weeks away from a decision, and that a Warren entry wouldn’t impact her.

And speaking of another Warren, some top Republicans have been saying kinder things about Elizabeth Warren’s chances of becoming the permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Of course, House Financial Services chair Spencer Bachus doesn’t get a vote, but he thinks that “the Senate may approve” a Warren nomination (if one were to be made). If this came to pass, it would almost certainly remove Warren from any possibility of running for the senate.

ND-Sen, ND-AL:  Freshman Rep. Rick Berg hasn’t ruled out a run for Kent Conrad’s now-open senate seat, and Eric Cantor seems to think he might make the leap. The House’s no. 2 Republican said of Berg: ” “I’m trying to convince him to make sure he stays in the House right now.”

NM-Sen: From the horse’s mouth – which is where I prefer to get my news: Dem state Auditor Hector Balderas confirmed reports that he is looking at Jeff Bingaman’s open senate seat, saying he’s been talking to the DSCC and is “strongly considering entering” the race.

VA-Sen: Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart (god that is a mouthful) sounds like he’s dialing himself out of any possible senate run. He says he’s going to seek re-election to his current post this fall, and will “possibly” make a decision on whether to seek Jim Webb’s open seat “early next year.” He’s seriously going to enter a competitive primary against Felix Allen no earlier than January of 2012? Shah.

NC-Gov: Tom Jensen tells me something I always love to hear: an establishment Republican might have tea-related problems. In particular, PPP’s latest poll has 43% of GOPers saying they’d prefer someone more conservative than former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, while 29% firmly support him. Of course, I think probably 20% of Republicans would say they want someone more conservative than Republican Jesus. But McCrory does have something of a libruhl track record (like I’ve said, it’s hard to be a super-conservative mayor), including support for socialist, freedom-destroying light rail for his hometown. Tom points out that McCrory won his 2008 primary with less than 50% of the vote “against a weak field” – but this time around, no one’s really emerged from the woodwork to challenge him. Yet.

WI-Gov: Tom also has the rest of the goods on PPP’s WI-Gov poll, which consistently shows small pro-labor margins on a variety of unions vs. Walker questions (and larger margins on questions of general collective bargaining rights). On the question of recall, it’s an exact 48-48 split.

AZ-06: We missed the news a couple of weeks ago that former GOP state senate majority leader Chuck Gray said he was entering the race to succeed Jeff Flake (who of course is running to succeed Jon Kyl). One other Republican name considering the race is the current Speaker of the state House, Kirk Adams.

CA-36: AFSCME’s California political arm, called “California PEOPLE,” is endorsing Janice Hahn, making them the latest in a string of labor unions to do so. Meanwhile, Debra Bowen tweeted that she could fit into her daughter’s jeans.

IL-01: Roll Call takes a detailed look at the personal finances of Rep. Bobby Rush, who has been the defendant in nearly two dozen mostly debt-related lawsuits since the 1980s – and who has somewhat questionably left off all of these cases and debts from the financial disclosure forms he’s obligated to file as a member of Congress. While this isn’t the first time the media has examined Rush’s finances, this strikes me as the sort of thing that could make the incumbent vulnerable to a primary challenge, especially since his district will have to take on a bunch of new territory to compensate for population loss.

NY-10: The New York Observer offers an interesting profile of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who hasn’t ruled out a primary challenge to Rep. Ed Towns (D), and who apparently has been ramping up his political activity of late.

OR-01: Steny Hoyer (still the no. 2 Dem in the House) says it’s “premature” to talk about a David Wu resignation. But surely he wants this problem to go away, right? Also of note, The Hill observes that Wu only had $7,500 in campaign cash at the start of the year, versus $61K in debt. Can’t imagine he’s finding a lot of willing donors these days.

PA-04: PA state Dem chair Jim Burn says he thinks Rep. Jason Altmire could face a primary challenge from the left next year, but admits he hasn’t heard of any actual, you know, names being circulated. Anyhow, who even knows what this district will look like.

Las Vegas Mayor: Jon Ralston has obtained a poll taken for a group of realtors showing Carolyn Goodman (I) at 30%, Larry Brown (D) at 17%, and Chris Giuchigliani (D) at 11%, with other candidates in the single digits. Note that this poll asked a TON of issue-y questions before finally getting to the horserace in Q15. Also, as Ralston pointed out on the Tweeter, this poll was taken a few weeks ago, before the TV air wars were joined.

Census: Couple of cool census-related mapping widgets. The Journal Star of Nebraska lets you drill down to see population change by county for each state where data’s been released so far. The Chicago Tribune offers a Google Maps-based interface which lets you drill down to see individual census blocks across the entire state of Illinois.

Crossroads: Announcing fundraising goals is easy, which is why I usually don’t remark on them. But when Crossroads GPS/American Crossroads, the satanic spawn of Karl Rove, says it plans to raise $120 million to destroy America, I pay attention – and I worry, because they probably really, really mean it.

Votes: There’ve been a couple of interesting votes with Republican outliers in the House recently. One was the stopgap spending bill that cut $4 billion in spending over the next two weeks; six Republicans defected on that one, including freshman teabagger Justin Amash, Michele Bachmann, and a few other true believers. (Walter Jones was probably the exception there.) On the flipside, seven GOPers voted against denying funding for Planned Parenthood – click the link for the list.

On the same topic, Politico has an interesting-looking vote study out on the GOP freshman, seeing how often they vote together as a group. Unfortunately, as per usual with the likes of Politico and similar organizations, I can’t see that they’ve posted the full list anywhere – they just offer a few tidbits. (Why go to all that trouble if you don’t even want to share all your numbers?) Anyhow, the aforementioned Justin Amash, who I guess really wants to take teabagging to new heights, has voted against his class more often than anyone else, 30% of the time. But the next three guys on the list are all semi-moderate New Yorkers – Chris Gibson, Mike Grimm, and Richard Hanna.

WATN?: Sometimes I just need to channel my inner Holden Caulfield and declare: what a phony. After flatly saying the one thing he wouldn’t be doing after retiring from the senate was lobbying, ex-Sen. Chris Dodd just took a job as… a lobbyist, for everyone’s second-favorite intellectual property goliath, the MPAA. (I’m gonna assume the RIAA is still first.) Anyhow, check out the amusing Twitter hashtag #ChrisDoddMovies for some lulz.

Polltopia: Go tell PPP where to poll. Don’t let the Paultards win!

Redistricting: A Columbia Law School class is trying to create “an internet depository for nonpartisan congressional maps for the entire country.” I thought the SSP diaries section already was one! Anyhow, click the link if you are interested in submitting your work.

NJ-12: I have seen the last, best hope of mankind, and his name is Rush Holt. In a major blow against Skynet Watson, the rocket scientist-turned-congressman defeated the Jeopardy-playing robot by a score of $8,600 to $6,200. The losing contestant, Rep. Jim Himes, was seen being turned into fuel to power the Matrix.

207 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 3/2”

  1. Let’s all trundle over to PPP and vote for Maine. I’m anxious to see what numbers Rep. Michaud posts against Lord Andrew Ian Dodge.

    Secy. Bowen really, really doesn’t seem to be taking that special election very seriously, does she? Right now, I expect Hahn will be California’s newest congresswoman when all is said and done.

    When one Tea Party group closes a door (VA-Sen), another Tea Party group opens a window (NC-Gov). Huzzah.

    I’m curious as to whether Mayor Driscoll is trying to raise her profile in preparation for a congressional run (depending on redistricting) or whether she actually thinks she could be the next senator from Massachusetts. She certainly doesn’t seem as miffed about being talked up for the job as Khazei.

    And Reps. Rush and Wu should really just take a hike already.

    Congratulations, though, to Rep. Rush Holt! of New Jersey, a true blue geek. We’re proud of you. Rush Holt!

  2. Polis, Hayworth, and Cassidy also lost to Watson and Holt.  As a CT-04 “native” (technically I was born in Lowey’s district) I guess I am proud that Himes was asked to participate.  I wonder how they picked those 5?  A Jeopardy champion, a Rhodes Scholar, a Princeton Internet gazillionaire, Hayworth went to two Ivy League schools…who else could they have picked?  Maybe they should do a Senate edition…

  3. According to that piece on the Republican freshmen he’s voted “present” several times. Does anyone know if he’s got some set pattern (or reasoning) behind that?

  4. to stay in the House?

    Who else on the R side interested in the seat? Sure they have a deep bench there, given their current dominance of statewide offices.

    But without Berg, I think ND-Sen moves from likely to lean R.

  5. Looks quite good for Goodman. But when one looks closer, one can see Carolyn Goodman can’t take this election for granted. Her name ID is quite strong, but her support is fairly soft. And if the electorate ends up skewing as older and conservative as SGS expects it to be, then that could spell trouble for Goodman… And for Chris Giunchigliani as well. Victor Chaltiel’s only hope of making the runoff is motivating teabaggers to flock to the polls, and Larry Brown’s best shot at maintaining his position to make the runoff is to run up the margins in his Summerlin base.

  6. A DRA map that’s actually done, but I still need to tabulate the partisan numbers for two more districts. I’m hoping to have it up here this weekend.

    In case you’re curious, here’s a sneak peek:

    – There are two majority-minority districts, one of them having a Latin@ plurality.

    – Dean Heller will remain safe should he decide to stay in The House, but NV-02 may cause serious heartburn for the Nevada GOP should primary voters take “the wrong Angle”.

    – NV-04 may just get a wild primary ride after all, as all four leading rumored Democratic candidates are drawn into this district… But Steven Horsford won’t be one of them. (But can he win the primary in his own new district?)

  7. http://publicpolicypolling.blo

    This definitely gives me pause over Huckabee’s supposed leg-up over Romney in the south. Most of the polls I’ve seen lately seem to hint at Huckabee performing McCain numbers and Romney performing just a tad better. Gingrich is in Dukakis territory and Palin in Goldwater.

  8.…  Do you think this sort of thing will become more prominent in the coming years?  I know twitter kinda blew up for representatives, but actually going on a site like reddit, where people are more interested in news and things of that sort is a little different than sending out updates into the ether that is twitter.

  9. If Sec’y of State Bowen in Ca. thinks that all she had to do is drop her name into this contest and she’d win, she’s sorely mistaken.  Her opponent rolls out more endorsements all the time.  I know endorsements aren’t everything, but, Hahn is creating quite a buzz in this area, especially since not much else is being talked about in this contest.  Bowen’s latest public comment is that she fits into her daughters jeans?  Not impressive, when she hasn’t said much else.  Bowen is weakening her name and reputation and leaving herself open to being primaried in her next election.    

  10. Some SSPers may recognize the name Jeff Lamberti. He was a state senator from Ankeny (Des Moines suburb) and the GOP candidate against Leonard Boswell in 2006. That was the last time the NRCC spent heavily in IA-03, but Lamberti fell short in the Democratic wave year.

    Governor Terry Branstad just named Lamberti to the state Racing and Gaming Commission.

    Bruce Rastetter, who provided the early seed money for the 501(c)4 American Future Fund and was the top individual donor to Branstad’s gubernatorial campaign, just got appointed to the Board of Regents (oversees three state universities).

    A couple of months ago Branstad announced that Mariannette Miller-Meeks was his choice to head the Iowa Department of Public Health. MMM, the ophthalmologist and two-time GOP nominee against Dave Loebsack in IA-02, had her confirmation hearing in the Iowa Senate last week. No Senate vote yet, to my knowledge, but it sounds like her hearing was uneventful. She had previously claimed on her Facebook page that Iowa Senate Democrats were holding up her confirmation.


    Roemer is a former Democrat who became a Republican in the middle of his term. He managed to alienate so many people during his time as governor, in the 1991 governor’s election he came in third place behind David Duke and Edwin Edwards (leading to the famous “Vote for the lizard, not the wizard” campaign). Obviously this guy is going nowhere. But he will be fun to watch.

  12. I think he would fall under ‘true believer’ too. He and Ron Paul are apparently really good friends (both have been screwed for chairmanships by House leadership in the past). However, I know he is more moderate on financial regulation, if not on spending.

  13. The filing deadline has passed. No Democrats are running for lieutenant governor, auditor or secretary of state. They were lucky to get a few last minute filings that let them get 5/8 candidates for the statewide positions though.  

  14. Generally one of the more reliable nationals. Obama job approval 48-46, down from 53-41 post-Tucson. With RV the president leads a generic Republican 45-40, Romney 49-40 and Pawlenty 50-31. As ever, everything depends on the economy.

  15. Actually that is not fully correct. He will be becoming CEO, he will not be a lobbyist. I heard this on MSNBC. The person that was talking said there was a clear difference between the two.  

  16. Who is that jackass on MSNBC? He just said people opposing Walkers legislation are a different breed of humans. He has said it multiple times and called everyone slobs and called unemployed people lesser than most. He concedes some of them our loveable slobs but still lesser people. He needs to be recalled. Any chance he does not represent an uber Republican area? What a freaking stuck up jackass.  

  17. Mirroring a similar poll released a few days ago by another organization (can’t remember which one), this new Free Press-WXYZ shows Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s popularity waning just after a month in office.  This on seems to show an even greater drop than the last one, which, I suspect is a result of the turmoil that’s happening in neighboring states:

    Meanwhile, the huge popularity Snyder had in polls taken in late January sank considerably. Forty-four percent view Snyder favorably, and 27% view him unfavorably. In January, 59% viewed him favorably and 8% unfavorably.

    That was after Republican Snyder’s inauguration and his well-received State of the State address. Since then, he presented his budget plan Feb. 17, which features a sweeping reduction of business taxes and higher taxes for many individuals.

    The poll was conducted Saturday through Monday by EPIC/MRA of Lansing. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    EPIC pollster Bernie Porn said Snyder’s popularity has fallen farther and faster than President Barack Obama’s did after he took office in 2009. Porn said voters’ assessment of Snyder appears to have shifted quickly and sharply, draining from “the reservoir of good will he built up in the campaign…and through the inaugural.”

    The shift was most pronounced among Democrats and independents, who apparently don’t share the governor’s view that his budget and tax plan represent shared sacrifice, Porn said. Snyder’s favorable rating among independents fell from 40% in January to 26%.

    The poll found that while most oppose Snyder’s pension tax plan, an even larger percentage – 58% – want to keep a tax credit for low-income workers that Snyder would scrap.

    Only 36% favor eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit, which gives about 700,000 low-income Michigan families an average $432 credit on their state income taxes. It is 20% of their federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

    Looks like another state caught up in the red wave that’s beginning to regret not looking more closely at the other option(s) during the election, but that’s just my opinion.

  18. For all those who suggest some, like me, place too much emphasis on the possibility of the Teabaggers helping us out via primaries, I give you this:

    In another display of the Tea Party movement turning on its own ideological supporters, the head of one prominent group has said that House Speaker John Boehner looks “like a fool” as House Republicans push spending cuts in their budget proposal. And that leader wants the Tea Party movement to set a goal for 2012: to defeat Boehner in a Republican primary.

    These people are so hellbent on $100 billion being cut because…well, that’s what they were promised. Never mind there’s no reason why $100 billion is so superior to $95 billion or something similar. They want what they want, however illogical. And if they don’t get it, they are going to try to primary the Speaker of the House.


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