SSP Daily Digest: 4/1


AZ-Sen: The NYT has a piece about Dems tip-toeing around the Senate race as they wait for Gabby Giffords to recover (and make a decision), but I think it adds very little to the conversation. There isn’t really any new information in the piece, so you can probably skip it.

MA-Sen: Wow, the DSCC is doing a bang-up job on MA-Sen this week. A couple of days ago, they conned Roll Call into writing a piece which argued that the lack of a Democratic candidate was actually a good thing and all part of some devious plan. Now comes word that they’ve managed to leak a poll that shows Scott Brown with a ridiculous 73% approval rating and supposedly beating all comers by double digits. Aren’t they supposed to only leak polls when they’ve got good news to share? Sheesh. This is just so sloppy. (Also, 73% approval? Really? Might want to think about hiring a new pollster for this race.)

Anyhow, another Dem is feeling out the race: Gerry Kavanaugh, who was once Ted Kennedy’s chief of staff and is now a political consultant, says he’s “thinking about” a run. Kavanaugh has never run for office before.

MO-Sen: This is pretty weird. Tons of documents, including a lot of emails, generated during GOPer Sarah Steelman’s tenure as state treasurer have disappeared, and the new treasurer (who is a Dem) is saying in response to freedom of information requests that they simply can’t be found. As Catanese says, this ought to give Steelman’s primary opponents some good fodder… especially if any of the missing docs ever turn up.

NV-Sen: Rep. Shelley Berkley’s leaked a poll (taken for her by the Mellman Group) which shows her up 42-38 over Republican Rep. Dean Heller in a hypothetical Senate race. The more I think about it, the more I feel this really is Berkley’s moment and that she should definitely go for it. I think Obama’s going to run a very strong campaign here, and I just think the timing is right.


MI-Gov: Republican-linked pollster Marketing Research Group gives Gov. Rick Snyder the best numbers he’s seen so far, with a 42-38 job approval rating. But spiderdem shows just how implausibly favorable to Snyder the sample composition is.

UT-Gov, UT-01: Interesting: GOP Rep. Rob Bishop refused to answer a question about whether he plans to challenge Gov. Gary Herbert, instead seeming to make some crack about ex-Gov. John Huntsman’s run for president. Herbert has raised some teabagger ire for signing an immigration reform package that would, among other things, allow for guest workers (the nutters call it “amnesty”) – basically, the opposite approach from Arizona. I’m not sure if Bishop’s expressed his views on this legislation, but he’s definitely a hard-core anti-immigrant zealot.

WV-Gov: Treasurer John Perdue is out with his first ad – and it’s a two-minute long (!!) behemoth.


AZ-01: This is an old (May 2010) but interesting article on ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s relationship with Apache Indians in her former district, who constitute an important voting bloc. I highlight it because, of course, she just announced her intention to seek a rematch against Republican Paul Gosar. Apache leaders, who supported her first election bid in 2008, felt betrayed over her support of a controversial copper mine on what they consider to be sacred land and walked away from her last year. However, as sacman701 points out, Kirkpatrick’s vote drop-off in Apache County in 2010 was very minimal.

MN-08: Here’s something else interesting (okay, every bullet in the digest is an unparalleled gem and I love them all equally): Dem Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, who used to be a state Senator, is supposedly considering a run against freshman GOPer Chip Cravaack, according to a Politics in Minnesota source. One problem, as the piece notes, is that if she won, Republican Senate President Michelle Fischbach would become the new Lieutenant Governor. As someone who lived through the near-death experience of having Pedro Espada half-a-heartbeat away from the governor’s mansion, I wouldn’t blame Minnesota Dems if they wanted Prettner Solon to stay put!

NY-01: I think a key reason why Dem Rep. Tim Bishop was able to hang on by the skin of his political teeth last year was because of the exceptionally nasty three-way GOP primary on the other side of the aisle – one which took place very late (September) to boot, giving eventual winner Randy Altschuler little time to recover. So it’s very heartwarming to see that another 2010 candidate, George Demos, is already slagging Altschuler for failing to win “in a year Republicans couldn’t lose.” Both men are considering rematches, and according to Dave Catanese, are meeting with the NRCC. Cat fud comin’!

PA-03: This is also interesting (there I go again!): Ex-Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper is considering a rematch against GOP frosh Mike Kelly. I say “interesting” because I wouldn’t have considered her among the likeliest batch of people to seek a comeback, and I don’t think I’d really heard her name since last November. Anyhow, Dahlkemper says she’s spoken with the DCCC, and while she wouldn’t announce a timetable for a decision, she doesn’t want to wait until the fall (as she did in 2007 when she first ran). The same article also mentions another potential Dem candidate whose name has come up in recent days but apparently hasn’t ruled anything out: Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott.

WI-07: Sean Duffy’s handlers seem to have a very 19th century understanding of the Internet: They’ve demanded the already-infamous video of him moaning about getting by on $174K a year get removed on copyright grounds. This is sure to make the story go away. Actually, I’ve changed my mind: They have a decidedly 21st century appreciation of the ‘net: After they sent a takedown letter to Talking Points Memo, TPM re-posted a shorter version of the video – which now, in a reverse Breitbart claim, Duffy’s people are saying was selectively edited. Of course, this is bullshit, but they’ve succeeded in getting CNN to repeat it as fact.

Other Races:

Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: This is really interesting (wow, I just can’t help myself today): Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out that there are two key special elections in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties on Tuesday, which of course coincide with the Supreme Court race. One we’ve mentioned before: In Milwaukee, voters will replace their former County Exec, who was none other than Scott Walker. The Dem there, Chris Abele, has devoted his campaign to linking his Republican opponent with Walker. Meanwhile, in Dane County (home of Madison), the exec decided last year to leave in the middle of her term, prompting a new election. While Dane is reliably liberal, Milwaukee isn’t always, but given the contours of this year, Gilbert thinks the voter surge in Milwaukee is more likely to be left-leaning. But you should really read the whole piece, as there’s a lot of interesting data (and a cool chart) that I can’t convey in one short bullet.


PPP: Politico has a feature-type piece about our buddies at Public Policy Polling, with some details about the deal with DK/SEIU, and a longer discussion of how PPP really has not becomes viewed as a left-leaning Rasmussen… mostly because their numbers are actually, ya know, good.

Redistricting Roundup:

Arkansas: Despite strenuous GOP opposition, Arkansas Dems are moving ahead with their so-called “Fayetteville finger” plan that moves the city into Dem Rep. Mike Ross’s 4th CD. They did pass a new, somewhat modified plan (you can see a map at the link), but it still preserves the extension into Fayetteville. (Several Republicans plans have gotten voted down as well.)

Indiana: State Senate Democrats have released a couple of proposed maps, including one for their own body (PDF) and one for Congress (PDF).

Louisiana: Hah! Remember that fucker Michael Jackson, who ran as an independent in 2008 and cost Dem Rep. Don Cazayoux his hard-won seat in Congress? Well, in his role as state Rep., he’s put out a propose congressional map that would create two majority-minority districts in Louisiana. I assume they have no chance of seeing the light of day, though. You can find it here.

Missouri: The first proposed congressional redistricting plan has emerged from the Missouri state House, and it looks pretty much exactly like what you’d expect: Russ Carnahan’s district has been flushed down the oubliette. (Map at link.) The state Senate plans to release a map soon, too.

Mississippi: Mississippi has a serious redistricting logjam, and with the end of the legislative session fast approaching, no one seems inclined to give in. The article I’ve linked says that Gov. Haley Barbour could call a special session, but Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (who after a big initial setback seems to have reasserted himself as the GOP’s point man on redistricting) seems almost eager for the impasse to continue. If it does, that would mean two sets of elections: one this year under the old maps, and one next year under new maps. Bryant is really starting to warm to this, because Republicans would very likely take control of the state House this November under the existing lines, which would then give them a free a hand. But if a new plan (with a Dem gerrymander in the House) goes into place this year, it gives Democrats at least something of a chance of holding the House – which is why House Speaker Billy McCoy’s over-reach was really so stupid.

New Jersey: Things are coming to a head in the Garden State, with the final vote on a redistricting plan by the members of the state’s bipartisan commission scheduled for noon on Sunday. What the maps actually will look like is anybody’s guess, as the panel’s leader/tiebreaker, Alan Rosenthal, has ordered repeated revampings. (Chris Christie has also been seen leaning heavily on the panel members.) Leaked maps (we haven’t actually seen copies of them, but apparently everyone is willing to describe them to reporters) seem rife with intra-party intrigue, with several Dem state legislators who’ve fallen out of favor (including ex-acting Gov. Richard Codey) getting the short end of the redistricting stick. At the Congressional level, the same dynamic is playing out, with rumors that Rep. Frank Pallone of NJ-06 is the House member likeliest to get dealt the worst hand. Apparently he’s also out of favor with the currently ruling Dem power brokers, who’d like to derail him from an anticipated statewide run. (The whole story is worth a read, for a guided tour of the byzantine behind-the-scenes working of New Jersey politics.)

Virginia: The Virginia Public Access Project has some cool interactive charts you can play around with which show how the various redistricting proposals would affect the state legislature.

91 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/1”

  1. Worth noting that when Kirkpatrick was first elected to Congress, she won her primary by a not particularly impressive margin (46-33) over a underfunded opponent – Mary Titla, a former newscaster and a member of the San Carlos Apache band.

    Kirkpatrick also initially won her state legislative seat by ousting a Navajo incumbent in a Native American majority district – something that some tribal officials still carry some resentment about.

    There is no way to know for certain what the new district lines will look like, but it is likely that northeast Arizona will continue to have a Flagstaff-based district that is at least 20% Native. There is no guarantee that if she tries for a comeback as a non-incumbent that Kirkpatrick will have an unimpeded path to the Democratic nomination. A strong Navajo or Apache candidate could attempt to win the nomination by building on a Native American vote base.  

  2. that Democrats will win back the Minnesota Senate in 2012 anyway, so Solon’s resignation wouldn’t be an issue because the new Lt. Governor would be the new Dem Majority Leader? Or does she have to resign before the election?

  3. The Democratic map of Congress looks bizarre to me. They split Monroe county? The only way a Baron Hill (or other Dem) comeback takes place in the 9th is if all of Bloomington is located in the district. Why would they split it?

  4. I assume the part of Jackson county that’s attached to the 6th is conservative?  The three rural counties, while all McCain voting, didn’t do so by a large margin (41, 47, and 48% Obama).  If so, I could see the dems agreeing to something like this.  Cleaver’s district is going to need to expand somewhere, so if he is kept safe, they might throw Carnahan under the bus.

  5. And I read that Republicans are complaining that it’s a gerrymander.  Well, no duh!  Ever heard of the spoils system?  You would do it too if you were in power.

  6. My only experience of her was at a town hall she stopped by last year at my college. I was not impressed with her speech at all and thought she was overshadowed by McCollum and some of the local Democratic candidates there (which I don’t think should happen with your Lieutenant Governor).

    Then again, Dayton wasn’t the best speaker by any stretch of the mind and he won.

    1. it is close enough to the truth to be believable. Someone floated this rumour earlier in the year.

      Damn, it would serve John McCain right to have to deal with Sarah Palin running his own state after he foisted her on us in the first place.

    2. There are reports quoting his statement in full that he’s not running.

      If this really was April Fool’s by him, it’s a disaster for Franks.  You just don’t do something like this, it’s not funny.  People want to know for real who’s running and who’s not, this isn’t a game to play fast and loose with something like this.  If he announces he’s actually running tomorrow, he’s screwed.

  7. is a joke as they split the city of Elkhart plus Monroe county is split. In both cases it done to maximize D chances.

    I don’t mind a good gerrymander but calling it “good government” is a bit much for me.

    On a MO note. Cleaver and Clay should be very happy with their districts in the house GOP plan.  Cleaver gets the heavily D portion of Clay county (which is exactly Kansas City MO part of Clay county) plus he uses the R portion of Jackson county.  The rural or surburban counties added on are fairly insignificant and less D ones around.  Clay gets the lottery in his map as he gains AA voters in city and county.  

    The GOP needs three house members to sign on to this plan but if Lacy Clay says yes the deal is done.  In an election year Nixon will not try to mess over Clay on house lines.  If Clay wants this map he gets it.  Its not clear yet,however, what AA legislators from St louis are saying yet

  8. Only a small part of one the two Apache Reservations in AZ-01 is in Apache County. They rest are split up between Navajo, Graham and Gila Counties. Apache County, AZ is actually majority Navajo. I haven’t crunched the numbers to see if she had any drop-offs there.

    It’s worth noting that Kirkpatrick was actually born in McNary, on the Fort Apache Reservation, and she was traditionally seen as having a lot of support out there, so it’d be interesting to see if the local “Native Daughter” effect (pun not intended) was compromised.

    It looks though like she generally held up quite well with American Indians in the district last time, which is good because Renzi did well with Navajos and other groups in 2004 and 2006. He actually managed to win the Navajo Nation in 2004!

    Somebody claimed above that Kirkpatrick has a riff with Navajo leaders because she defeated Sylvia Laughter in 2004, but I don’t think that really holds up, at least at the congressional level. She got lots of endorsements from Navajo leaders last year. There are tensions between majority-White Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation in LD-02 because both want to dominate the district, and often times candidates with a strong base in one half will just kind of ignore the other half, but again, I don’t think those really transferred over to the AZ-01 race.

  9. That would suggest near-universal approval among Indies and Republicans, with about a third of Democrats giving a thumbs-up. That’s not to say every Independent and moderate Democrat will back Brown, but the article seems to suggest that even negative info on Brown won’t alone drag him down. I think Brown would need to stage a serious gaffe here. The Dem branch just isn’t impressive at all; it’s about on-par with their selection for the 2002 gubernatorial race, which Romney eventually won.

  10. could have leaked the poll as a way to make party activists and others realize defeating Brown, while certainly possible, isn’t going to be easy (something he knows, I might add, based on how much money he plans to raise) and that they need to get off their asses now to work to defeat him…right?

    Regardless, that approval number is almost certainly inflated due, in part, to what BenjaminDisraeli was saying yesterday in the Daily Digest: his presence in St. Patty’s Day events and just great press in general. Also notice how the post said that as more negative information was revealed, the margins came down.

    Now, is there any chance Tim Murray might jump into the race? If he’s a strong candidate, why wouldn’t he do it? Even if he wants to stay in Massachusetts, wouldn’t he score a lot of points with the party if he took down Brown and then ran for governor in a few years?  

    1. I make it a point to swing by most every politicians booth at the state fair. I think john Kline is one of the nicer ones. Pawlentt d of reminded me of a nerdy accountant, but he seems to genuinely care about people. I ain’t like ellison at all, but klobuchar is probably my favorite politicians I have eve spoken too, along with rybak.

  11. The title of this Politco article, via Jon Chait, says a lot, but this part says it all:

    “Who are these evil teachers who teach your children, these evil policemen who protect them, these evil firemen who pull them from burning buildings? When did we all become evil?” said Canterbury, whose union endorsed Bush in 2000 and 2004 and John McCain in 2008.

    There are other key parts:

    In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich and his Republican allies decided against giving police and firemen special treatment, and tried to appeal to their conservative instincts and win them over to the cause.

    Since then, Mark Sanders, president of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, said he’s had Republican members “apologize” for backing Kasich. “They are never voting that way again,” said Sanders, a Cincinnati fire department lieutenant.

    According to a November Hart Research poll, 55 percent of all union members said they were Democrats, and 25 percent were Republicans. Among building trade unions, however, just 47 percent were self-described Democrats, and 25 percent said they were Republicans.

    But by the time the new House Republican majority arrived in Washington in January shouting a mantra of spending cuts rather than the campaign slogan of jobs, the percentage of trade union members who called themselves Democrats jumped to 63 percent while the self-described Republicans fell to 18 percent – and that was before the Wisconsin and Ohio collective-bargaining fights went from rumors to the nation’s front pages.

    Some police officers are talking about running in Republican primaries, others are switching party labels, and all of them are now pressuring state lawmakers to kill the bill or gut it through the amendment process, said Gary Wolske, vice president of police union.

    Wolske, an independent, said he won’t hold the collective bargaining fight against all Republicans. “No local Republican did anything to me,” he said. But, his state Senate representative now is a Democrat and “if a Republican candidate came along, he’d have to really knock my socks off.”

    The article by Ron Brownstein from National Journal we were discussing in another thread mentioned how some Democrats were worried white working class voters might be a harder get in some Midwestern states. I’m not sure how big of a problem that is, but it’s not that hard to imagine it being an issue. Still, it seems like the Republicans are doing everything they can to drive these voters right to the Democrats. If these guys aren’t working class voters, just who the hell is? No, Obama won’t win Ohio by 15 points unless Bachmann is the nominee, but if he can match Kerry’s performance on his own, it’s things like this that can help push him over the top.

  12. Just to be a dick, I’m going to assume she cooked the numbers as viably as she could in order to make herself look good and get the DSCC on board.   So even with that, this is still a very good result considering Heller’s “golden boy” status.  

    I didn’t know she had a NY accent before, which certainly gave me a big pause because anywhere outside of the NE cringes a bit at this and maybe the West Coast.  And seeing how Norm Coleman plays off in MN, I still give pause to it even with her numbers.  Coleman truly comes off as the smarmiest guy and he is the definition of douchebag.  Some people suck or are stupid, but he is pure douchebag, and there is something about douchebags that makes them impossible to have any respect for.  I can be embarrassed but cheer on someone like Michele Bachmann because she truly thinks she is doing what’s right for the country and has convictions, and she follows them.  You go be the first female nominee and history can just shake it’s head, whatever.  It would mean you no longer have to be Hillary Clinton to get the nomination so I’m glass half-full and it’s a giant step-up.

    With Berkley, a female with a NY accent could be quite different, and I’ll have to watch some videos of her speaking.  Damn, that really makes you wonder if that would be anti-feminism or anti-masuclism.

  13. http://hotlineoncall.nationalj

    One Arizona Republican strategist said that fundraising was an issue for Franks, and was a factor in his decision not to run. While Franks had the ability to self-fund, he was getting a lukewarm reception from Arizona Republican donors, according to the source. At the end of last year, Franks only had $15,000 in his campaign account, according to his Federal Election Commission filing, while carrying over $264,000 in debt.

  14. Solon would make sense considering how many big-name DFLers have turned down the chance to run.  And the state senate is up in 2012 and considering how shocking it was to lose this chamber and how few seats we need to gain for a majority, and with Presidential coattails, Solon could win and a DFLer still become Lt Gov.  She should go for it, I think.  Usually the Gov puts the Lt Gov as commissioner of a department to make them relevant, but Dayton could completely ignore Fischbach.  As long as he doesn’t die, we’re fine.

    I also have a friend who interns/works for Alamanac, which is the political show for Twin Cities Public Televsion.  She said she has a heard a lot about state Rep. Winkler, of suburban Minneapolis but his hometown being from way up North, eventually moving up and running bigger than state rep.  She said it was more in the realm of a few years, but that doesn’t make sense considering MN-8 as it is now.  She doesn’t have the ear for horse race politics like we do as she specializes in other aspects, so maybe that buzz is based a more current time frame.  It would be interesting, and he’d have a good perch to stand on advocating for the commuter rail from Minneapolis to Duluth with his residency dipping in both pools.  He can say he’ll be like Oberstar and say he’ll ensure he’s on the Transportation committee just like Obertar to get himself in with Iron Range DFLers.  (Why senate minority leader Bakk doesn’t run is beyond me, total cakewalk.)

    One other MN-8 thing I’ve wanted to mention.  An Indian company whose name I cannot recall is in process of building the first mine to ore to steel complex in the country on the Iron Range, which will create 500 permanent jobs if and when completed by 2015.  (The final component of the plant to turn it all into steel has some question marks around it.)  Immediate thought; that’s 500 more union jobs and with the economic development around it, at the very least several hundred more DFL votes in what is a dying area of the state and in a congressional seat we need to secure long term.  Thanks India.

  15. Rep. Lance was thought to be on the chopping block. Why would Democrats rather eliminate one of their own than a party-line Republican? I just don’t understand New Jersey at all, I think.

    The Democrats’ map of Indiana (the congressional one) looks great. Clearly they drew it to be as compact as possible and respectful of communities of interest because there’s just no way Republicans can call that a gerrymander with a straight face. Gov. Daniels has made some noise about being prepared to veto a blatant Republican gerrymander, so that might actually get some consideration in Indianapolis – one would hope.

    I’d rather see Titla or another Native American Democrat run again in AZ-01 than Kirkpatrick.

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