SSP Daily Digest: 4/14


FL-Sen: Dem Sen. Bill Nelson said he raised over $2 million in Q1 and would report somewhere between $4.5 and $5 million on hand. Republican Mike Haridopolos said he raised $2.6 million and would show $2.5 mil in the bank.

HI-Sen: So that weird SMS poll we showed you yesterday which only pitted Ed Case vs. Mufi Hannemann in a Dem primary had another, more useful component. They also included favorables for a whole host of Hawaii politicians. Mazie Hirono was best (62% fave), while Linda Lingle was worst (44% unfave). Click the link for the rest. (And no, we still don’t know who SMS took this poll for. They’re just saying it was a private client.)

MI-Sen: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) raised $1.2 million in Q1 and has $3 million on hand.

MO-Sen: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) raised over $1 million in Q1 and has about $1.8 million on hand.

NM-Sen: Teabagging businessman Greg Sowards raised $150K in Q1… but it sounds like that’s all his own money. The writeup is unclear, though – it’s possible he raised $150K from outside sources and threw in an equal amount on his own.

NV-Sen: Wealthy Dem attorney Byron Georgiou raised $1.1 million in Q1, with $500K of that coming from his own pockets.


ME-Gov: We previously mentioned a proposed constitutional amendment in Maine that would require gubernatorial candidates to receive 50% of the vote (a hurdle almost no one has reached in recent decades). That proposal just died in the state Senate, so it’s basically dead for this term.

MT-Gov: Democratic state Sen. Larry Jent officially announced he is running for governor. He faces fellow state Sen. Dave Wanzenried in the primary. State AG Steve Bullock may also run.


AZ-06: Ex-Rep. Matt Salmon, who served in a similar seat in the 1990s, says he’s now thinking about running for Jeff Flake’s open seat. Salmon previously said he was considering a run for governor.

CA-03: Dem Ami Bera, seeking a rematch against Dan Lungren, says he raised over $230K in Q1. If this haul only dates to the time of his official announcement (just two weeks before the end of the quarter), it’s nothing short of un-fucking-believable. However, he gets a demerit for emailing me a press release without putting it on his website so that I can link to it directly. Boo!

CA-06: Activist Norman Solomon became the second Dem to file in Lynn Woolsey’s district, in the event that she retires this cycle.

CT-05: Dem Dan Roberti, a 28-year-old public relations exec whose father Vincent was a state rep, officially announced his entrance into the race to succeed Chris Murphy. On the GOP side, businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley, who sought the Republican nomination for Lt. Gov. last year, also said she was getting in.

FL-22: Lois Frankel announced she raised $250K in Q1. Previously, we mentioned that fellow Dem “no not that” Patrick Murphy said he raised $350K.

IN-02: Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly announced he raised $363,288 in Q1, his best single quarter ever. Dude’s not going down without a fight.

NM-01, NM-Sen: An unnamed advisor to state Auditor Hector Balderas says he won’t seek Rep. Martin Heinrich’s now-open House seat (something that insiders apparently were encouraging him to do, in the hopes of avoiding a contested primary). According to this advisor, Balderas is still considering a Senate run. Personally, I think it was a mistake for Balderas to say he was almost definitely going to run, only to be upstaged by Heinrich, who of course said he was actually going to run. I think Heinrich has the advantage in a primary, but Balderas needs a way to save face here if he doesn’t want that fight any longer.

NY-19: Freshman GOPer Nan Hayworth announced she raised $330K in Q1 and has a similar amount on hand. Question of the day: Do you think Hayworth could get teabagged to death?

NY-26: Dem Kathy Hochul announced she raised $350K for the special election coming up on May 24th.

OR-01: It took a little time, but Dems are now finally drawing out the knives for Rep. David Wu in earnest. Oregon Labor Commissioner (an elected position) Brad Avakian is putting together a team of political advisors and is likely to challenge Wu in the Dem primary. Another Dem elected official, Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, also apparently became the first Democrat to openly call for regime change (though he says he isn’t interested in running). All eyes will certainly be on Wu’s fundraising report, due on Friday.

PA-07: Republican frosh Pat Meehan raised $325K in Q1.

WI-07: Former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow has formed an exploratory committee for a possible challenge to freshman GOP Rep. Sean Duffy. Kreitlow served a single term in the Senate after defeating a Republican incumbent, before losing in last year’s red tide. This could be a pretty good get for us if he goes through with it (which seems likely, just reading this article).

Other Races:

NJ Lege: Johnny Longtorso has a good summary of the candidate filing for New Jersey’s legislative races this November. Out of 120 seats, only four total are unopposed (though there may be signature challenges).

Suffolk Co. Exec.: Will seriously no one hire Rick Lazio? Perennially a contender for Saddest Sack of the Year, Lazio is apparently considering a run for Suffolk County Executive, now that the seat will be open in the wake of Steve Levy’s unusual plea agreement with law enforcement (which involved him not seeking re-election).

Grab Bag:

Dark Money: Dems are finally starting to play catchup with the David Kochs of the world. Ali Lapp, a former DCCC official (and wife of one-time DCCC ED John Lapp) will head up a new “Super PAC” called the House Majority PAC. Such groups are actually not all that shadowy – they do have to disclose their donors. But they can raise and spend in unlimited amounts, and engage in direct “vote for/vote against” advocacy.

EMILY’s List: EMILY announced four new GOP targets: Bob Dold (IL-10), Frank Guinta (NH-01), Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), and Steve Stivers (OH-15). The group only endorses women, and there are no declared Dems in any of these races yet, but I note with interest that they claim “there is major Democratic female talent waiting in the wings.” In NH-01, they could be expecting a rematch from ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, and I guesss maybe Debbie Halvorson in IL-11 and Mary Jo Kilroy in OH-15, but those seem very unlikely. Any ideas?

Redistricting Roundup:

Iowa: It looks like Iowa’s new maps will indeed pass into law very shortly. A state Senate committee approved them unanimously, and now the full body is deliberating. The state House will take the issue up today. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad hasn’t yet said whether he’ll support the new plans, but it’d be pretty explosive if he nuked the maps in the face of widespread backing among legislators. This has all been a very interesting process to watch, especially since after the initial federal map threw both Republican congressmen together, it was easy to imagine that the GOP would want to go back to the drawing board. But the fear of the unknown has pushed politicians to accept what they have before them, rather than risk something worse.

Indiana: With the new GOP maps looking very much like reality (how Bobby Jindal must envy Mitch Daniels), the state legislator shuffle is set to begin. The AP notes that the new state House map “has three districts that put two current Republican legislators together, three districts with at least two Democrats and four districts with a Republican and a Democratic incumbent,” which doesn’t sound so bad, but Democrats point out that “five of their House members from Indianapolis were drawn into just two districts.”

Michigan: The MI lege is about to start the redistricting process. State law says maps have to be drawn by Nov. 1st.

Texas: Republicans in the lege have introduced a bill that would require any new maps (or voter ID bills) to get litigated before a three-judge panel in D.C., rather than go through the DoJ for pre-clearance. Rick Perry apparently is already interested in this alternative. As I’ve speculated before, he may be hoping for a more favorable hearing from potentially conservative judges. However, I’ll note that you can still sue even after the DoJ renders a pre-clearance decision, so I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just take the (cheaper and easier) free shot first.

Also of note, the Latino civil rights group MALDEF released two proposals for nine majority-minority districts in Texas. (They deliberately did not offer a map that covered the entire state.) MALDEF is no random organization: They were part of the LULAC v. Perry litigation in 2006, in which the Supreme Court forced Texas to redistrict yet again because Tom DeLay’s map had improperly diluted Hispanic voting strength.

Virginia: So what’s going on with this supposed deal? In a rather public bit of horse-trading, Dems (who control the state Senate) and Republicans (who control the state House and the governor’s mansion) agreed that each body would get to gerrymander itself (that sounds kind of dirty, huh?), and would also agree to an incumbent protection map for congress, which would of course lock in the GOP’s 8-3 advantage. But now Republicans and Democrats have each produced separate federal maps, and they are quite different, with the Dems deliberately trying to create a second district likely to elect a minority.

The oddest part of this deal is that the legislative parts of the deal have already passed – the congressional map is now an entirely separate beast, which I don’t really get, since they each seemed to constitute one leg of a three-legged stool. I guess that’s why the Senate Dems felt free to reject the House’s federal plan, which suggests that the agreement has fallen apart. But Republicans don’t seem to be howling that the Dems have somehow reneged, so maybe we didn’t understand this deal properly in the first place. In any event, we’re very much at an impasse here, but sometimes these logjams break apart very abruptly (see Louisiana and Arkansas).

155 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/14”

  1. of money raised by Haridopolos; especially when Florida donors know there are still two other major candidates likely to jump in. Luckily he’ll have to spend most of it on astronomical primary, but still, the guys doing pretty well for someone whose been portrayed so badly on SSP. He could actually give Nelson a run for his money.  

  2. Republicans aren’t howling because they (and Ben Tribbett of Not Larry Sabato) think they have a good shot of taking over the Senate, and can then draw whatever maps they want (subject of course to the VRA).

  3. then it’s time for Hirono to run for Senate.

    The fact that they give Case 51/25 numbers makes me wonder, though.  I’m a little skeptical.

  4. As usual, Ralston broke the news

    Rep. Shelley Berkley will run for US Senate, source close to her confirms.

    Of this official announcement, but for several weeks all the chatter here has been about this. Really, it would have been shocking if Shelley had decided to give into DSCC pressure and NOT run. And btw, now that Shelley is in and she has Harry Reid’s blessing, The DSCC would be wise to cancel any further meetings with Ross Miller and Catherine Cortez Masto. Neither of them will challenge her, and Byron Georgiou is running nothing but an insanely expensive vanity campaign.

  5. Ralston is also tweeting that Kirk Lippold is set to announce his NV-02 candidacy today. This certainly makes the GOP primary there even more uncertain! You can look at this one of three ways:

    1. Lippold splits the teabagger vote with Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron Angle, helping Brian Krolicki win in a crowded field.

    2. Lippold splits the anti-Angle vote with Krolicki, Mark Amodei, and others, helping Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron win in a crowded field.

    3. GOP voters desperate for “a change from the career politicians” are revolted enough by all the other choices to give Lippold a surprise win.

    I guess it all really depends now on how hard Chuck Muth (Nevada’s biggest “Tea Party, Inc.” mouthpiece) pushes for him.

    1. overtly racist. You’ve got it right that putting a “the” in front of it makes it sound odd. He just sounds…very antiquated in his speech. He sounds like an old guy that refers to someone merely by their ethnicity–i.e. “I go to my Jew accountant for my taxes.”  

    2. It’s been my experience that anyone speaking in that manner is trying to convince people that they don’t have race issues, when they really do.

  6. Before anything else, I just wanted to comment on the Obama percentages in the new Indiana congressional districts. Some are of mindset that 2008 was almost too good to be true and that it’s unlikely to be repeated again, yet I can’t help but think that it might represent something closer to the new normal should Democrats choose to contest the state regularly. At worst, like I keep saying, there’s clearly no huge aversion to Democrats. But seriously, the worst district in the state is now a 42.9 Obama district? If the Obama campaign contests the state again, I think they all but have to try for every congressional seat. No, it won’t be easy, especially if there’s an incumbent, and it won’t be cheap, but the ability to flip two or three Republican held seats would be incredible. It’d get us that much closer to taking back the House.

    1. Black Al Gore and Black John Kerry were certainly not surprised to also get 90%+ of The Blacks’ vote.

      But don’t worry, everyone, I’m sure it’s okay because some of his best friends are The Blacks.

  7. “Given the enormity of the situation and the length of time these districts will be in place, the governor is taking a careful, thoughtful approach before coming to a decision,” Albrecht said.

    Apparently Gov. Branstad (or at least his spokesman) feels that redistricting is a great moral evil.

  8. Supposedly on voting rights grounds, that is, the Dems would claim that the new maps are harmful to maintaining minority representation. However, I can’t find anything to source this beyond an offhanded mention on Abdul Hakim-Shabazz’s Indiana Barrister blog. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any actual activity on this front.  


    Cue laugh track.

    In a “Newsmax Exclusive”

    on the May 15 episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, he’ll be announcing a press conference to be held a few days later. And at that press conference, says Trump, he’ll officially declare his intentions to run for president in 2012.

    Run Donald, Run!

    Despite recent speculation that all of Trump’s birther talk might be alienating people of color, he confidently declared in an interview this morning: “I have a great relationship with the blacks, I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

    as noted dryly in the article:

    And there’s no quicker way to earn the goodwill of the black community than by referring to them as “the blacks.”

  10. I thought that’s how they managed to finagle him off the ballot to save face. Was the nomination a complete sham, just to get him off the ballot, or did he manage to lose that race too?

      1. But, realistically, Bredsen was the only candidate that had a shot with Obama on the ballot (unless there is a super-mega wave against the GOP–and I still don’t think that TN would be affected by such a wave).

  11. While it’s not entirely clear how bad this Social Security proposal is compared to Ryan’s plan for Medicare and Medicaid, it’s still ballsy to propose reducing benefits for people who aren’t making all that much to begin with. Will it hurt them a lot? I could easily imagine that being the case.

    It’s almost as if the Republicans in the House decided to help the Democrats with one entitlement and the Republicans in the Senate decided to help the Democrats with the others, without a care in the world about how it might affect them. It probably wouldn’t hurt someone like Lee, but if Lindsey Graham is the Republican candidate in 2014, wouldn’t he vulnerable to attacks on this?

    1. OH, NJ, and MI are is good shape for us at the moment.  No major challengers have emerged and Obama will contest the states and have coattails in most of them.  I suspect that the same feeling goes with VA.

      Too bad about Bredsen, but not a surprise, really…

      Contesting Texas?  That could turn out to be interesting, but boy will it be expensive to operate a GOTV network out there.  I would normally be very suspicious of such an effort, but Plouffe was very bullish about Florida in 2008 when I thought that Florida was fools gold for us.  So, he knows better than I do.  It would be nice to force the GOP to spend money there, though.

    2. He should only burn the money on voter registration for a “long-term investment”. Texas is far too expensive to hit with airwaves for the heck of it as it is a little big bigger than Montana.  

    3. Especially since none of the Republicans look like the second coming of Debra Medina. They’re Tea Parties, but they’re probably sane and gaffe-free at that. I think Ted Cruz and Michael Williams are wholly capable of garnering upwards of 60 percent of the vote. If a moderate like Tom Leppert or Roger Williams wins, you’re probably looking at 65 percent and up.

  12. In the article from Roll Coll where she describes the supposed changing forecast for Democrats in 2012, I noticed three things. First, when talking about vulnerable seats, she only mentioned those in Missouri, Florida, Nebraska, and Montana. If there was some sort of slip here, it’s interesting she left off the seat in Virginia and Ohio in particular, but also supposedly vulnerable seats in New Jersey and Michigan. If it meant nothing, which is probably the case, then fine, but perhaps she thinks those are the four most vulnerable seats. Second, there was some hilarious spin from the Republicans that Democrats will be sunk by their extreme rhetoric, which indicates they are desperate, in red states next year, in addition to the supposed notion they are happy to run on the Ryan plan. If they are, I am more than happy to let them. They will probably suffer badly for it, to put it kindly.

    But most interesting of all is her Six in ’12 campaign. She claims she is aggressively targeting Republican held seats. It’s no surprise she is going after those in Nevada and Massachusetts, nor is it shocking that she will go after those in Indiana, Maine, or Arizona. But she also mentions Texas, while neglecting to mention anything about Tennessee. (It’s not surprising she mentioned nothing about Wyoming, Mississippi, or Utah.) There could be any number of reasons behind this, but here is what I suspect:

    1. She tried to get Bresden to jump in but was turned down, or at best he’s being difficult. And since there’s no obvious candidate, she’s putting it on the back burner for now.

    2. There’s some movement in Texas that nobody is talking about. I’m not sure what this could be. Perhaps some candidate nobody is thinking about will jump in, or perhaps there’s polling indicating someone like John Sharp is in a lot better shape than people might imagine. Maybe it’s got something to do with mobilization efforts being formed.

    3. She’s gotten word that Obama will indeed contest the state. This is in some ways connected to my previous comment, but if true, it’s huge in its own right. It gives the candidate a boost that he or she would be unable to provide on his own.

    If I had to guess, I’d say the last is the most likely. I could see how she’d want to roll the dice on demographic trends that our side could exploit, but like I said, it’s hard to do that much work on your own, unless you are going to self-fund in a serious way. And it’s easier to do that with a well known figure, who is popular in non-white communities, leading the top of the ticket.

    On a related note, nothing about North Dakota?

    Any thoughts?

    1. was only able to get about 55 percent of the vote in his two races (which did, to be fair, have third-party candidate skewing the percentages down), and he was elected statewide a few times before to higher positions than almost any of these guys besides David Dewhurst. (Yes, Michael Williams was elected statewide, but the Railroad Commission is not the same as being elected Attorney General.) It’s entirely possible that they could do as well as you describe, but it’s far from guaranteed, particularly if the Democratic candidate campaigns vigorously and/or has the support of the national party.  

  13. Nan’s people are said to be very concerned about newly-elected state senator Greg Ball primarying her. Ball was an announced candidate for the seat in 2010 but opted for a state senate race instead after two terms in the Assembly. He constantly sounds tea party themes and attends rallies to that effect, and recently hosted anti-Muslim committee hearings on homeland security – which is obviously more of a federal issue than a state jurisdiction. Chances are good that they’ll be in the same district still, and Ball is a proven primary winner who works harder than Hayworth and possesses far greater charisma – as well as a decidedly unstable personality.

    I think this threat accounts for her basically down-the-line GOP voting thus far in a district where Sue Kelly initially tacked centrist in the 1990s.  

  14. I would have preferred Bonamici, I think, but Commissioner Avakian is a nice guy, he’s senior to her in the Oregon political hierarchy (Bonamici succeeded him in the Oregon Senate when he left office to become labor commissioner), and he’s a good progressive Democrat who cares about his community. I noticed someone concern-trolling the comments section at the link about how he’s too liberal and Columbia County won’t vote for him (the bigger concern is Yamhill County, as I fail to see how a Democrat who isn’t totally asleep at the wheel loses Columbia County next year), but seriously, if Rep. Wu could win in 2004 (against qualified, moderate Goli Ameri, running against the “October surprise” of sexual assault allegations) and 2010 (against somewhat less moderate but highly touted Rob Cornilles, running against his own bizarre and unprofessional behavior on the campaign trail), the preternaturally level-headed Avakian will probably beat the pants off whichever ambitious young Republican sacrifices him- or herself on the altar of blue-enough northwestern Oregon.

    The other news that really strikes me is the raw deal Democrats appear to be getting with these Indiana maps. Not tons to say except for how unpleasant that Democrats are getting two Obama districts out of nine in a state that went for the now-president in 2008. Fortunately, it appears to have some dummymander potential, which would be positively delightful.

Comments are closed.