SSP Daily Digest: 4/15


FL-Sen, FL-Gov: Suffolk University does a little poking around in the Sunshine State and finds that Sen. Bill Nelson winds up with rather good 43-24 favorables (including strong 30-39 marks among Republicans). Rick Scott, though, not so good… he’s gasping at 32-47 overall. (President Obama stands at 48-44.) Suffolk also tested the GOP Senate primary (see Q.14 on p. 3), but no one scores higher than 7% in their kitchen sink head-to-head hypothetical, so I can’t say it’s worth very much.

NE-Sen: Dem Sen. Ben Nelson says he raised over $1 million in Q1 and has $2.3 million on hand.

NJ-Sen: Dem Sen. Bob Menendez apparently raised $1.6 million in Q1 and had about $4 million on hand.

NV-Sen: Interesting: Aaron Blake is telling his WaPo colleague Felicia Sonmez that the DSCC is formally endorsing Rep. Shelley Berkley in her bid for Senate. This is probably a message to Byron Georgiou that he might want to think about finding something else to do.

PA-Sen: Dem Sen. Bob Casey took in $1.1 million in Q1 and has over $2.1 million on hand.


PA-Gov: Tom Jensen loves the re-do polls, and so do we, of course. This time, it’s Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who would lose in a hypothetical rematch to Dan Onorato by a 49-44 margin. Corbett’s job approvals are at a sucky 34-44, which is interesting because unlikely the other Republican governors PPP’s been testing, Corbett hasn’t been caught at ground zero in labor-related disputes or (ala Rick Scott) in endless conflagrations with legislators in his own party.

RI-Gov: Brand-new Gov. Lincoln Chafee says he might run as a Dem if he seeks re-election in 2014 – and also says he might not endorse President Obama for re-election. At first I imagined he was trying to preserver wankerish “moderate” credentials, but if you read the linked article, you’ll see he actually criticizes Obama from the left for giving away too much in the recent government shutdown showdown.


IA-03: Could the truly crazy Rep. Steve King really be scoping out a potential run in the proposed new 3rd CD? King, as you know, would be thrown into a new 4th CD with fellow Republican Tom Latham if Iowa’s new maps pass into law, as expected. That’s not a particularly appealing choice, but would a matchup with Dem Rep. Leonard Boswell in the new 3rd be any better? Blogger desmoinesdem, who lives in the 3rd, says she received a robocall from King asking if she supported a “total repeal of Obamacare.” Another commenter at Bleeding Heartland says he, too, received the same call – but he’s in the new 2nd, so it may just be that King is trying to raise money from Obama haters throughout the state. (The call included options for offering to donate to King.)

LA-03, LA-07: With Louisiana’s new maps becoming law (see bullet below in Redistricting Roundup), the big issue now is what happens between Republican Reps. Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry. The CW has long been that Landry, a teabagger who beat an establishment GOPer for the seat, would be left out in the cold. But I’m starting to wonder if maybe the knives will be out for Boustany instead. Boustany, you’ll recall, very nearly derailed the entire redistricting process late in the day, prompting all five other Republican congressmen to ask that mapmaking be delayed for an entire year. An angry state legislature refused to entertain that possibility, but there was still a lot of ill will toward Boustany. Indeed, Rep. John Fleming said of Boustany last week: “I don’t feel like I can trust anything he says. Everything he told me, he reneged on.” In any event, Boustany says he raised a not-especially-impressive $230K in Q1. I’ll be very curious to see what Landry took in.

MT-AL: Republican businessman Steve Daines announced he raised almost $200K and will report $330K on hand as he pursues Rep. Denny Rehberg’s open seat. Dem state Rep. Franke Wilmer said she’s only raised $10K so far, but adds that she hasn’t been able to fundraise as much as she’d like because she’s in the middle of the legislative session.

NV-02: Now things are getting interesting. Retired USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold officially announced his entrance into the race for Dean Heller’s open seat, making him the second Republican to get in. I say it’s interesting because we might soon have at least three serious (well, “serious”) candidates in the race, giving Sharron Angle a plausible shot of capturing her party’s nomination. (The other expected entrant is Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who said he’ll wait until the legislative session ends in June to announce.)

NY-26: Dem Kathy Hochul has a new ad up touting her leadership in the War on Tollbooths. It’s actually her third ad; her second is an attack ad, going after Republican Jane Corwin for being a phony on spending cuts. NWOTSOTB.

PA-11, PA-17: Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien, who staged a rather unsuccessful primary challenge to now-ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski last year in PA-11, basically ruled out another run for Congress, and said he definitely won’t challenge Rep. Tim Holden in a primary if Lackawanna gets drawn into Holden’s 17th CD.

Grab Bag:

DCCC, NRCC: Despite having gotten its ass kicked last year and having sixty fewer members to lean on for donations, the DCCC had a monster first quarter, raised $19.6 million and cutting its debt by more than half, from $17.3 million to just $8 mil. By comparison, the NRCC took in just $18.1 million and has the same amount of debt – but it started off with much less. Republicans have twice our cash-on-hand, though ($9 mil to $4.6 mil). We’ll bring you a full chart with all the committee numbers once they all report.

VETO: I don’t really have a good place to put this, but you just gotta click the link and check out the pics of Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoing a bunch of Republican legislation. Pure awesome.

Redistricting Roundup:

Iowa: Both houses of the state lege have now approved Iowa’s new maps by very broad margins, and they go to Gov. Terry Branstad for his signature – or veto. He has three days to decide, but it would be quite the bombshell if he chose to nuke things at this stage, especially since he’s said he hasn’t heard a “compelling reason to reject” the plans. Also, a great data point from Greg Giroux:

Braley now reps 48% of population in proposed CD1, Loebsack 54% of CD2, Boswell 57% of CD3, Latham 50%/King 47% of CD4

Louisiana: Gov. Bobby Jindal signed his state’s much-fought-over new maps into law yesterday, and now they go to the Dept. of Justice for pre-clearance. The Legislative Black Caucus says it will oppose the maps (citing problems with all three: state House, state Senate, and congressional) and ask the DoJ to deny approval. However, the chair of the Legislative Democratic Caucus says ” “Nothing jumps out at me and says [preclearance] will be a problem.” Needless to say, quite a lot of folks at SSP disagree! Once the maps are submitted (likely in the next few weeks), Justice has 60 days to make a decision.

Missouri: New redistricting plans, crafted by the Republican-controlled legislature, are getting closer to Dem Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk, but he hasn’t yet said whether he’ll veto them. Republicans sound divided as to what they think Nixon will do. To over-ride a veto, they’d have to bring a few wayward members of their own team back into the fold, and buy off a couple of Dems. I suspect they can pull that off.

Oklahoma: Just call it No Drama Oklahoma – so far, anyway. A state House committee passed a new map (PDF here), and the district lines for OK’s five CDs have barely changed. (Helpfully, the map shows both the old lines and the new boundaries, so you can see just how minimal the differences are. It’s still possible, though, that the Senate or the governor could try to push a plan which screws the state’s lone Dem, Dan Boren. But it seems like legislators are more concerned with re-doing their own maps.

Texas: They might be our mortal enemies, but the folks who draw the lines in the Lonestar State share our penchant for ruthlessness when it comes to map-making. Like a mother eagle shoving her own babies out of her nest, Republicans in the legislature are dealing with the problem of unwanted teabaggers by drawing them out of their districts – and into districts with one another. Indeed, a plan by the chair of the state House redistricting committee would pit no fewer than 14 Republicans against one another, allowing the GOP to create a whole mess of new open seats in other areas. This isn’t cat fud so much as it is the cat stuffing her mangiest kittens into the dryer herself.

Virginia: Bill Bartell of the Virginian-Pilot takes a detailed look at what the Democratic plan to turn the 4th CD into a majority-black district would mean, particularly for the seat’s current inhabitant, GOP Rep. Randy Forbes.

231 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/15”

  1. The problem for Landry is that the new LA-03 only consists of about 25% of his current district. Money isn’t going to matter much when Boustany has been representing the overwhelming majority of the district for six years, while Landry has only been in office for a few months.

    1. And only one doesn’t like Gov. Schweitzer, and it’s pretty much just because of the gray wolf hunting issue (she loves animals more than people, I think).

      He’d win Iowa for sure, which is a big deal.

  2. rumblings about State Senator John Flanagan running for Suffolk County Executive. Should he run, and win, this would open up a seat held in the 32-30 split in the state senate. Unfortunately, since four dems currently caucus as the Independent Democratic Caucus, should a Dem win the election to replace him it wouldn’t tip the power balance.

  3. Man, I love that map (the design, not all the Republican districts).  Having the old and new district lines on the same map is so helpful.  Plus, the whole thing is clean and easy to read, not like some of the other maps we’ve seen (like the almost illegible VA maps).

    1. You think Marshall would beat Angle or Lippold in a normal environment? My guess about the new NV2 would be that it’ll be sort of like Arizona’s swing districts in that a moderate Dem would typically lose to a mainstream Reep but beat a wingnut Reep.

      1. Those dunces almost all voted for the GOP gerrymander, simply because “there was a deal” that would let Dems keep the opposite chamber.  Of course state Senate GOPers didn’t reciprocate, they all voted “no” on the Dem state Senate map.  So McD has cover that the Assembly plan was “bipartisan,” the state Senate plan was a partisan Democratic plan, and thus the state Senate plan is unfair and demands the whole thing be vetoed.

        If the House Dems had all voted “no,” then McD wouldn’t have this argument.  He still might veto and say both plans are unfair, and we still might be screwed, but at least he wouldn’t have the cover he wants.

        Now I bet we’ll end up forced to try to keep our state Senate majority under the current map, which will be tough.  Maybe we can persuade our oldest state Senators in sure-to-be-lost districts to stay in it, and not retire, for one more year until there’s another election with new maps in 2012; that’s a modest commitment compared to a 4-year term, and maybe our guys can be persuaded to hang on for a little longer for the team.

      2. must be completed by the next election. Doing otherwise would be a legal nightmare.

        If something doesn’t come soon, a court must draw the lines, which would actually be good for the Democrats.

    1. I think it’s great to see someone actually push against Obama from the left (who isn’t someone you’d expect to do so). I’m sure Chafee will come around in the end, especially if he wants to run as a Dem in 2014. (He can’t very well do that if he doesn’t support Obama.) But for now, having him act as a critic of Obama from the left is a good thing for progressives.

      1. …shows a guy who is a liberal, who shares our values, and ultimately can be counted on to stand with us.  We forget that in the midst of necessary political compromises, but Obama is playing the long game.  So I think we’ll see a campaign hammering Republicans for their social darwin budget, all the elements of it that are disastrous to most voters, and so many other things Republicans are doing (e.g., heavy focus on abortion) that most voters just don’t like.

    1. were less contrasting figures than Schweitzer and Gillibrand. Sure, Biden was an bland establishment figure and Obama was a fiery, young upstart, but, ideologically, there wasn’t much space between them. Both were Senate liberals. Of course he needed someone with tons of foreign policy experience, but moreover Obama needed a safe choice to play second fiddle to him and reassure independents the next administration wasn’t going to be all change, that some “politics as usual” would remain. Also, from what I’ve read, Obama wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of picking Biden, but rather felt he was his only viable option and that they were stuck together.

      It’s hard to conceptualize a ticket being more radically opposed than an old, dull white guy and an energetic, youthful black guy, but I think Schweitzer-Gillibrand relies too heavily on the craven model of pairing “a little bit country and a little bit rock n’ roll.” Voters can see right through that stuff. A rural populist from what would be the smallest state to send a man to the Oval Office in I don’t know how long and a New York liberal elitist (as she’ll be painted)? I don’t see it happening.  

      1. Based on the same political reporting that said Obama’s speech earlier this week was going to endorse Simpson-Bowles?

        The FY11 spending bill’s details have been picked apart and revealed to involve a lot less pain than was advertised.  The teabaggers got rolled.

        And the debt limit reporting has been based on the smallest of tea leaves.

        Our President has been playing it smart and on priciple the whole time, as we keep finding out after the fact.  I’m confident he’s setting things up nicely for the 2012 election, not just for real-time policy.

  4. He’d win today by a larger margin.  Onorato was weak in Sept and is weaker today.  Corbett ahs done nothin in particular to change a single person’s mind (literally nothing happens in PA state govt most of the time) so I have no idea what is going on with this poll.

    My guess is they could have tested Corbett against just about any non-incumbent and the non-incumbent would win.


    Besides current state Labor Commish Brad Avikian,

    The rumor mill has also mentioned that State Representative Brad Witt is considering entering the primary fray. In addition, Clatsop County Commissioner Dirk Rohne, who recently party-flipped to join the Democrats, may also wade in.

    Both alternatives are from more rural parts of OR-01. (Clatsop Co includes Astoria).

    btw, nothing online yet, but the morning news reports Wu raised $250k this qtr.

    1. have become.

      The PPP poll found a sizable birther base within the party, as 23% of respondents said they’d be “unwilling” to vote for any candidate who says Obama was born in the U.S. Additionally, only 38% said they would be willing to vote for such a candidate, while 39% were unsure.

      I really think Trump ends up running and there is no way Pawlenty or Romney stands a chance against him. Obama, however, will have no problem crushing the 4-time bankruptcy declaring, married 3x tool.

      On a birhter related note, the Arizona legislature passed a birther law that is waiting for Gov Brewer’s signature, there is a chance Obama won’t be allowed on the 2012 ballot in Arizona.  

    2. He can lead in every single GOP national primary poll, but if he doesn’t win Iowa (where the religious right will never embrace him), New Hampshire (where Romney’s a shoo-in) or South Carolina (where the Iowa winner will prevail), he’s done. Like his pal, Rudy Giuliani, I suspect Trump would be misguided and run a lazy national-based campaign.  

    3. He likely won’t win, but this boomlet just puts Team Red in greater disarray.

      And if he does get the nomination, Obama stomps him everywhere.

      And if he did win, he’s better than most of the Republicans running.


  6. First, because there apparently there just isn’t enough nonsense being spouted in congress, we have word that Dr. Robert Paul may be jumping into the Senate race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Depending on how he markets himself, could he be a dark horse that both steals support from the more establishment Republicans like Shapiro, Dewhurst, and Leppert, as well as Teabagger types like Michael Williams? And if he won the nomination, would he give an opening to the Democrat?

    On that note, yesterday, I mentioned how Patty Murray specifically mentioned Texas as one of the six Republican seats she plans to heavily target (the others being those in Massachusetts and Nevada, obviously, and those in Indiana, Maine, and Arizona). That was from Roll Call, but a National Journal blog post also mentioned her saying that had a candidate identified. She declined to say who, but I am curious, who might it be? And what effect will the DSCC’s endorsement, if this is what it is, have on the race?


  7. I’ll admit the DCCC did a great job on fundraising first quarter, but it’s a bit of hyperbole to say the NRCC raised “just” 17.3M, 2.5M over a quarter is nothing to sneeze at but still.

    Also, lost in the D-triple-C’s self congradulations was that their GOP counterparts are the first committee to get themselves in the black (9M CoH minus $8M debt = +$1M vs 4.6M CoH – $8M = -$3.3M).

    It will be interesting where the whole committee stuctures CoH to debt ratio is when we get all the numbers, it’s important to note that all the on each side share a large portion of the same people, so the NRCC’s success was in large at the RNC’s expense…  

    1. For sending over $400,000 to fake non-profits controlled by her family.

      Although Wilson and Sampson could also go down for their crooked shenanigans.

      Heck I think it would be harder to find a State Senator not in danger of being indicted than one that is!

  8. Who Kirk Lippold hurts the most by running. As I’ve said before, his entry can cut either way. Either Sharron Angle is hurt by Lippold splitting the tea-nut vote, or Brian Krolicki is hurt by Lippold splitting the “Anyone BUTT Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron” vote… OR Lippold gets so many “NO Career Politicians!!!” votes that he manages to slip through the primary. Whatever the case, Kate Marshall and the DCCC must be smiling now. 😉

  9. Barack Obama is an asshole, but in this case, it’s a good thing. Apparently, he invited three Republicans–Camp, Hensarling, and our buddy Paul Ryan–to his big speech on Wednesday. Ryan was sitting in the front row as Obama threw some digs his way, and now, they are whining to The Washington Post.

    More, please.

  10. Chaffee had better endorse the President. Not only are they close friends, Obama is the reason Chaffee still has a career in government. I respect Chaffee a lot, but this is a strike against him in my book. Besides, we’ve seen what a great idea it is to run away from Obama in Rhode Island even in an awful year for liberals.  

  11. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo

    Panic ensued. In the House, legislation passes by a simple majority of members voting. The Dems took themselves out of the equation, leaving Republicans to decide whether the House should adopt the more-conservative RSC budget instead of the one authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. As Dems flipped to present, Republicans realized that a majority of their members had indeed gone on the record in support of the RSC plan — and if the vote closed, it would pass. That would be a slap in the face to Ryan, and a politically toxic outcome for the Republican party.

    So they started flipping their votes from “yes” to “no.”

    In the end, the plan went down by a small margin, 119-136. A full 172 Democrats voted “present”

  12. Rather than summarize, I’ll simply copy and paste:

    A new Democracy Corps poll finds the Republican deficit reduction plan gets only 48% support, “but when voters learn almost anything about it, they turn sharply and intensely against it.”

    Key findings: “When the budget is described — using as much of Paul Ryan’s description as possible — support collapses to 36% with just 19% strongly supporting the plan. The facts in the budget lose people almost immediately — dropping 12 points. Putting the spotlight on this budget is damning. A large majority of 56% oppose it, 42% strongly. The impact is much stronger with seniors where support erodes from 48% to just 32%, with 57% opposed. Support with independents drops from 55% to 43%.”

    And to think these guys are going to vote on this plan! If the Democratic strategists don’t bludgeon them with this, they need to find a new line of work.

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