SSP Daily Digest: 4/13


HI-Sen: Sen. Dan Inouye says in a new interview that he “will not take sides in the primary,” and Politico ads that his “top aides insist” he won’t be lending quiet, behind-the-scenes support to any candidates either. I hope that’s true, since I was concerned Ed Case might have mended things with Inouye to the point that the latter might get behind the former. But without some special help, I think Case will have a hard time. Also, SMS Research took the most useless poll imaginable, pitting Case against former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in a primary… and absolutely no one else. Whatevs.

ME-Sen: Olympia Snowe said she raised over $877K in Q1 and has over $2 million on hand.

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown said he raised $1.3 million in Q1 and has $2.5 million on hand.

VA-Sen: George Allen said he raised $1.5 million in Q1 and has $1.25 million on hand.


KY-Gov: TX Gov. Rick Perry, current chair of the RGA, says his organization won’t decide how heavily it’ll get involved in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race until after the May 17th primary. He also declined to endorse frontrunner (and establishment choice) David Williams, saying he’s “got a really good feeling about all the men and women who are running.”


CO-04: Republican Rep. Corey Gardner apparently raised over $300K in Q1.

CT-04: Dem Rep. Jim Himes estimates he took in over $300K in Q1.

IN-06, IN-05: Luke Messer, a former official with the state GOP who nearly beat Rep. Dan Burton in a primary last year, now finds himself living just outside Burton’s 5th CD, according to new maps proposed by Republicans in charge of the state lege. Messer is now in the 6th, which is likely to be vacated by Mike Pence, who everyone thinks will run for governor. Messer says he’s buddies with Pence and will consider running to replace him if Pence makes the leap for the statehouse, but he wouldn’t rule out a rematch against Burton (though he says he wouldn’t move in order to do so).

MN-08: This is pretty wild: Former Rep. Rick Nolan (D) says he’s thinking about staging a comeback. It’s wild because Nolan left office in 1981 and is now 68 years old. It’s also rather strange because Nolan represented what was then the 6th CD, which is accurately represented in the map Joe Bodell presents. (His reader update is incorrect.) At the time, Nolan’s district covered the southwestern and central portions of the state; today’s 8th is in the northeastern corner (though they share one county in common, Mille Lacs). And to cap it all off, Nolan was touting himself at a Dem meeting in Bemidji, which is in the 7th CD. Actually, no – the real capper is that Nolan was a practitioner of the ’60s & ’70s fad of “Transcendental Meditation” (whose practitioners claimed they could levitate) and earned a mention in Time Magazine for it.

MO-03: Not going gently… or padding the warchest for a different race, or perhaps something else down the line? Russ Carnahan raised $333K in Q1, his best first quarter ever, and has $286K on hand. Dave Catanese notes that Lacy Clay raised just $17K (though he has $222K in the bank). Would Carnahan really go up against Clay in a primary? What do you think?

MS-02: Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer Hudson said she plans to challenge veteran Rep. Bennie Thompson in the Democratic primary next year. She also announced she’s hiring pollster Celinda Lake. Hudson had previously said she wouldn’t seek re-election to her current post. Thompson, meanwhile, ended last year with $1.7 million on hand and has warded off primary challengers before (most recently in 2006, in the form of Chuck Espy, son of former Rep. Mike Espy).

SD-AL: Though it seems all but certain that ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin won’t seek a rematch this cycle (among other things, she just accepted a teaching position at South Dakota State University, where she once worked), she did say she’s open to the possibility of seeking office again at some point in the future. She didn’t specify what post, so you can mentally flag this item as something other than just SD-AL if you like. Speaking of SD-AL, Rep. Kristi Noem (the woman who beat Sandlin) announced she took in $396K in Q1.

Other Races:

LA-AG: Former Rep. Joe Cao says he plans to challenge Dem-cum-Republican AG Buddy Caldwell this fall. Cao specifically cited Caldwell’s party switch (which only happened in February) and questioned his Republican bona fides – sort of an unusual move in a state where party switching has been very common. We’ll see if he Cao actually has the chops to make a race of it. (Side note: A proud moment in SSP in-the-weeds history: Live-blogging the LA-AG runoff in 2007, when control of the state House was also at stake.)

MS-AG: A rare bright spot for Mississippi Dems: Attorney General Jim Hood leads Republican Steve Simpson by 49-32 margin in PPP’s latest poll.

Special Elections: From Johnny L-T:

Two of the three elections last night were landslides; in South Carolina’s SD-16, Republican Greg Gregory trounced Democrat Keith Brann and Libertarian Stan Smith by a 77-18-5 margin, while in Minnesota’s SD-66, DFLer Mary Jo McGuire beat Republican Greg Copeland 80-20. In Connecticut’s HD-128, Democrat Dan Fox won with 39%, while Republican Charles Pia (not Antonacci, my mistake) came in second with 24%. Independents John Mallozzi and Monique Thomas both made strong showings, pulling in 23% and 13%, respectively, and Green Rolf Maurer brought up the rear with about 1%. Note that Mallozzi failed to win the Democratic nomination, so he petitioned his way onto the ballot.


Pay-to-Play: MaryNYC, the First Lady of the Swing State Project (aka my wife), has an interesting backgrounder on the SEC’s new regulations which attempt to curtail Wall Street from engaging in “pay-to-play” with elected officials. What’s interesting about the rules is that they make it very difficult for employees of financial firms to donate to state and local officeholders who have a stake in municipal investment decisions, but generally speaking doesn’t affect donations to federal officeholders. So, in a hypothetical example, New Mexico state Auditor Hector Balderas, who is weighing a run for Senate, might find Wall Street’s doors shut, while Rep. Martin Heinrich, who is already in the race, would face no such problems.

Redistricting Roundup:

• Indiana: We’ll have a lengthier redistricting-only digest later today, but I wanted to bring you this information ASAP. A source involved in Indiana politics informs me that these are the Obama percentages for each CD in the new map proposed by Republicans in the state lege:

IN-01: 63.2

IN-02: 49.4

IN-03: 42.9

IN-04: 44.4

IN-05: 46.5

IN-06: 43.5

IN-07: 66.3

IN-08: 48.0

IN-09: 46.1

205 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/13”

  1. I’m aware that 2008 was a particularly exceptional Democratic year, but if Indiana continues to be competitive, those numbers look rather like a dummymander.

    Especially given that local candidates may well outperform the national vote.  

  2. VA local elections coming up this year are shaping up? I haven’t seen much polling in that area, and in the KY gov race.  

    Seems to me the VA and NJ Gov elections got more attention than any of this years.  

  3. No one seems to have noticed, but the Arkansas legislature is about to give final approval to a congressional map. It makes the 1st more Democratic by extending it down the Mississippi Delta and puts more northern counties in the 4th. The 3rd is mostly Missouri border counties but does have an arm stretching further south. The 2nd doesn’t change much.

    It looks like the initial goal was for Dems to be advantaged in the 1st and 4th, but the defeat of the Fayetteville Finger plan made it hard to protect the 4th much.

  4. Did Clay ever relent and let Coehn into the CBC?  I remember being really really irked by the CBC and Clay for how they handled it when he asked to join.

  5. My recollection is that he didn’t run for reelection to Congress in 1980 after endorsing Ted Kennedy over Jimmy Carter –not a good way to make friends in Mondale’s home state.

  6. IN-01: 63.2 (old 62) nudges up a bit at the expense of IN-02 I assume, but nothing big

    IN-02: 49.4 (old 54) the obvious target, Donnelly is weakened considerably, but not as much as he could have been

    IN-03: 42.9 (old 43) no real change

    IN-04: 44.4 (old 43) a point more Dem probably still safe GOP

    IN-05: 46.5 (40) a big shift.  Looks like it comes at the expense of making both IN-02 and IN-07 redder.  Should still be good for the GOP but I’m not sure Burton will like this.

    IN-06: 43.5 (46) becomes a bit more GOP, not that Pence really needed it.

    IN-07: 66.3 (71) drops considerably but probably more to do with having to expand into swingier suburbs rather than any malicious intent, still we are getting towards a district that Bush might have come close to winning.  I still like our chance here long-term though given the trends of most other districts based around mid-size rust-belt cities and their suburbs (KY-03 comes to mind).

    IN-08: 48 (47) Believe it or not they actually improved it for us slightly.  I think this is because they simply had to put Southern Indiana Democrats somewhere so they couldn’t do much for Buschon.  This district’s competitiveness has gone on for decades under both GOP and Dem maps, nothing really changes here.

    IN-09: 46.1 (49) The GOP wisely tries to prevent another flip here…still looks to be in range of a takeover but they must be counting on the long-term trends of districts like this to move away from us.

  7. My cousin goes to the U of Minnesota and asked me if I knew anything about what’s going on in Wisconsin because she has to write a paper on it.  Um, yeah!

    1. Always bashing their parents.  Do they not realize that SSP are their founders? Without David’s help and encouragement, GOPVOTER never would have started RRH.

  8. is currently a facebook page to draft Brad Ellsworth to run for Congress again in the 8th. It has been up for a day and already has 100 likes.  

  9. Omigod, TPM is reporting, http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo… that the GOP House is set to vote this week on Paul Ryan’s budget, and expected to pass it.

    I’m just stunned.  This is a budget that would abolish Medicare.  They’re really going to stick their necks out on that?

    Charlie Cook,… already said recently that GOP strategists are shaking their heads at this and see it as an opening for the House to flip right back to Dems in 2012.

    I know some people here trashed Charlie Cook for his early 2010 prediction that the Dems would lose the House, but frankly I think the trashing is misplaced.  He based his opinion on what Democratic insiders themselves were telling him, and they and he were right.

    No doubt Republicans will think they’ve got their own sledgehammer against us on taxes, by way of Obama today drawing a line in the sand on extending the Bush tax cuts on income above $250K past next year.

    But I like our posture on this and, looking ahead, would rather be us than them.

    1. There’s some suggestions being floated that Obama simply let all of the Bush tax cuts expire. If that were to happen, and health care reform were to be in place, we’d be in reasonably good shape. We should have tax reform that does some combination of rate lowering and/or base broadening via closing loopholes and deductions, and perhaps rates could be lowered back to where they are now, or even lower for the middle class, were that to happen. But it would happen in Obama’s second term, if he were reelected. And if he keeps holding tight, making small but seemingly significant moves towards “the center,” he might get it because of those moves. It’s hardly the end of the world if we go another few years without higher taxes, so it is more like a downpayment on being reelected. One big key in all of this is the Republican refusal to do much of anything but cut and slash, which they seem to be happy to provide us with.

      This isn’t a perfect theory–indeed, it’s a little clever by half–but there’s something appealing about it. It makes a certain amount of sense, if you assume the key is to get reelected, take back the House, hold the senate–while at the same time, the Republicans are self-destructing. It’d be thinking for the longer-term, which is supposedly what Obama is good at. Which is why I am so partial to this idea.  

  10. Not that we have any hope here anyway. The only reason I even clicked on the article when I saw it is I though the “ex-Ariz. congressman” who was planning “run for his old district” was gonna be Mitchell.

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