SSP Daily Digest: 4/28


FL-Sen: George LeMieux is unsurprisingly trying to distance himself from the label “Charlie Crist Republican,” but all I can say is… good luck with that. The Miami Herald has a lengthy look at just how close the two men were, and while Crist himself won’t say a word against LeMieux, other former staffers are more than happy to detail just how tight their working relationship was.

MA-Sen: Hey, Richie Neal: Shut the fuck up. Seriously. What is it with Democratic congressmen from Massachusetts who love to crack out of turn? First Barney Frank, and now this crap. And yeah, you’ll have to click the link if you want to know what I’m worked up about.

TX-Sen: Over at Burnt Orange Report, Karl-Thomas Musselman, a long-time friend of SSP, has a good piece about Democrats’ flawed strategies in Texas statewide races over the last decade, and how Team Blue should approach things differently going forward.


IA-Gov: In a way, this might be the roughest “do-over” poll of all. Former Dem Gov. Chet Culver lost by double digits last fall, the worst performance of any incumbent governor, yet even he now beats Terry Branstad 48-46 in a hypothetical PPP rematch.

PA-Gov: GOP Gov. Tom Corbett’s disapproval rating has soared in the past couple of months. He was at 39-11 in February, and is now at 39-37, according to Quinnipiac. I guess this means not a single new person in the state of PA grew to approve of Corbett in two months!


AZ-06, AZ-Sen: It’s getting hard to keep track of what Republican Russell Pearce’s plans are. The author of Arizona’s notorious immigration law supposedly was out of the running for the open Senate seat, was heavily talked up for the open 6th CD, then was talked down for it, and is now saying he’s leaving both doors open. He says he wants to stay on through the end of the 2012 legislative session, though, and Arizona has a resign-to-run law, so who knows.

On the other hand, House Speaker Kirk Adams just announced that he will resign from the legislature, which can only mean he’s gearing up for a run in the 6th. (We’ve mentioned his name a couple of times before as a possibility.) It’s going to be a crowded GOP primary, as the field already includes ex-Rep. Matt Salmon (who used to hold this seat, more or less) and former state Senate majority leader Chuck Gray.

IA-04: These are statewide numbers, but still interesting: Steve King is the least-popular member of Iowa’s congressional delegation, with 27-34 favorables. Christie Vilsack, meanwhile, is at 38-23. Certainly these scores within the new fourth district would look different, but unless there is some wild base of support for King in northwest Iowa, I can’t see how you wouldn’t prefer to have Vilsack’s numbers.

NC-11: Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell says he’ll challenge Rep. Health Shuler in the Democratic primary next year. Shuler, thanks to his vote against healthcare reform, took just 61% in a primary last year against Aixa Wilson, who did not even file any FEC reports.

ND-AL: With a Rick Berg run for Senate looking likely, people are starting to look at filling his at-large House seat. On the Republican side, state House Majority Leader Al Carlson said he’s considering a race.  Other possible names, according to the linked piece, are state Sen. Tony Grindberg and Tax Commissioner Cory Fong. I wonder if PSC Commish Brian Kalk might slide down from the Senate race, too.

NV-02: Oh well, I can’t always be right! Sharron Angle shot down an unsourced rumor in the LVRJ that she’d run as an independent in the special election to replace Dean Heller if she isn’t chosen as the GOP nominee. (She won’t be.)

NY-13: Now it’s Mike Grimm’s turn to tell his side of the story about his instantly notorious nightclub incident from 1999. Meanwhile, NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio is calling on the NYPD and DoJ to release their records from their investigations of the matter. Not really sure why DeBlas, of all people, is inserting himself into this one, except perhaps to try to take a GOP scalp as he eyes the 2013 mayoral race.

OR-01: Here’s another interesting bit of sub-text to the whole David Wu saga: Nike. The sneaker company has apparently never forgiven Wu for his vote against a bill that would have expanded trade with China back in 2000, and Nike’s chairman endorsed Republican Rob Cornilles last year. (The company also donated to him via their PAC.) It’ll probably be easier to get rid of Wu in the Democratic primary, though, so Nike may decide to get involved yet again.

105 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/28”

  1. has always been a douchebag. Pro-life, voted for DOMA, typical MA conservadem. Honestly, there’s not that much of a difference between him and Stephen Lynch.

  2. I agree he should shut up, but in his defense he may be trying to subtly encourage a tea party challenge to Brown. Neal’s rhetoric about Brown moving away from the hardline conservative views that helped him energize his base a year ago might make the crazies more angry than they already are with the senator. And although I think any challenge to him in a Republican primary would have almost no chance of success, it might make him move too far to the right for the general election with Obama at the top of the ticket.


    “U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, provided the map this morning and said he believes it is the map that congressional Republicans, including the two GOP members who represent part of Austin, have submitted to leaders of the Texas Legislature.”

    map is here:

    and Travis County close-up here:

    it’s ugly as hell and I have a suspicion it wouldn’t hold up in court, though someone who knows more about the history of TX gerrymandering should weigh in.

  4. What the fuck is the matter with Massachusetts? Between dissolv–er, “limiting” bargaining rights to establish themselves as just to the right of Scott Walker, and the fawning over Scott Brown. Anyway Thanks for the post DavidNYC.

  5. Tim Roemer resigned the India ambassadorship today, citing “personal, professional, and family reasons.”

    It may well just be burnout or a desire to cash-out his connections for a lucrative corporate position. But any chance this means he’s looking at, say, a Senate bid in Indiana?

  6. Also in Indiana news, Howey Politics had this item about John Gregg speaking at a Washington Township (Indianapolis) Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

    Obviously, the big news is that he announced an exploratory campaign. But at least from the text, he seemed to be taking confronting Pence head-on, though granted it was a friendly – and liberal – audience.

    Gregg turned to abortion. “I want to share with you something you may already know,” he began. “I’m in the minority of our party on a social issue dealing with choice. I am one of those pro-life Democrats. The great thing about our party is we invite everybody in regardless of where we are on that issue. We agree on about 85 percent of the issues. But they want to talk about that issue. And now they want to talk about Planned Parenthood. The problem in America isn’t Planned Parenthood, it’s unplanned parenthood.

    The crowd of about 100 laughed and applauded.

    “It’s unplanned parenthood,” Gregg repeated, taking aim at U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, his probable opponent. “For those who don’t know, have you ever looked and seen about Planned Parenthood? Have you seen what they do? They do health screenings, birth control, counseling. They do cancer screenings for women and men, a preventative measure. I’m going on seven years of being cancer free due to early detection.”

    “Frankly,” Gregg continued, “I’m insulted they want to take away preventative health care from people. That’s just not right. We don’t do that. These are for people who can’t afford to go anywhere else. That’s not an opportunity. We need to be concentrating on jobs. But they don’t want to do that because it’s the same old wedge issue that they’ve had for years. They don’t want a lot of these wedge issues to go away.”

    Asked if he would push anti-abortion laws, Gregg said that as speaker he did not hand down a single abortion bill. “The U.S. Supreme Court has made it the law of the land.”

    Gregg talked about the GOP “attacks” on unions and public education.  

    “They want to make it a Right to Work state,” he said. “They are settling old scores. They were doing the wedge, the fear, the divide, the conquer.”

    As for public education, Gregg appeared to evolve.  “We’ve been a little lax at time,” he said of Democrats. “I’ve got to be candid.  Some of our public school systems have some major problems and we’ve probably been a little wrong not to admit that and not to look at ways to solve that. I truly think we have been. But they want to dismantle it with a voucher system and solve it with a charter system. They only serve 2 percent of the students. We need to concetrate on education. We need to take that great teacher and we need to empower them. We need to get them more involved. We’ve got to help the poor teachers. And you know what? If they can’t get better they need to go somewhere else.”

    Then Gregg described a culture of fear. “They always do fear, they always do wedge. They demonize us. We’re not going to let them do that anymore. I’m not going to let them define me and I’m not going to let them define you.”

    “You want to talk about a social issue? Here in Marion County tonight there are going to be 25,000 kids who go to bed hungry,” Gregg said. “That’s a social issue. You know another social issue? Nine percent unemployment. They aren’t doing anything about it. The next governor needs to be working with all the people in the state. He needs to make jobs No. 1. The second thing is jobs. The third thing is jobs. We’ve got to work together. We need to have a big table.”

    “They want to talk about radical. I’ll tell you what, I’m radically reasonable. I really am. That’s what we all need to be. We’ve got to work together. The next governor ought to unite us, not divide us.” He noted that during two of his six years as House Speaker, there was a 50/50 split. “For every bill that passed out of the House, we had to have at least one Republican,” Gregg explained. “How did we get it? We worked together. We worked together and we can work together. We’ve got to find our common ground and be radically reasonable with this.”

    “I am convinced I can help people get together. I’ve given it some serious thought and I will announce in May an exploratory committee for governor. I’m excited about it,” Gregg said.

    Indianapolis Democrats were, too.


    Also – THAT’s what John Gregg looks like? That ‘stach is straight out of 1905 or something. Impressive.

  7. The caveat necessarily applies that what is true statewide is not automatically true in IA-04.

    But at least IA-04 is 39 of the state’s 99 counties and 25% of the population, and went about 5 points more Republican than the state as a whole in 2008, so we can still glean something from the PPP crosstabs to some extent.

    The big thing I’m interested in is how polarizing King and Vilsack are.  Matt Strawn tried to make a big deal in his spin on Vilsack’s candidacy that she’ll motivate higher GOP activism and turnout, so it’s worth putting to the test.

    But, alas, at least statewide Christie’s favorability not only is far better than King’s overall, but also not that bad with Republicans.  She’s at 15-37, with 48% “not sure.”  That screams out “blank slate,” not “motivating for the GOP base.”  King, in contrast, is at an awful 5-59 with Democrats, and just 36% “not sure.”  A far worse cross-party image.  Among indies, less of a split, but still a clear Vilsack advantage, at 29-25 positive compared to King’s 26-32 negative; “not sure” is high for both with indies, in the 40s.

    Also looking at age crosstabs, while these are generally the most unreliable crosstabs in any poll due to very small subsamples, it’s worth noting that Vilsack has positive favorability in every bracket including a terrific 40-26 with seniors (65+), while King is negative with every bracket including seniors.  Iowa is an old state, and the senior vote is a bigger deal than in many states, even in a Presidential year.

    I didn’t think it would hold water that Christie Vilsack is in any way “polarizing,” and sure enough she’s not if this poll is right.  Tom Vilsack was a popular Governor and left office on good terms with Iowans.  Christie has no worries.

  8. I’ve seen that before.  David i think you might owe a hat-tip to our resident Texas optimist “b.j.” as I think he’s posted comments about that link before 🙂

  9. QPac’s conclusions seem a lot more sensible than with equal approve./disapprove’s for Corbett, though the trend is awful.

    The detailed questions paint the paradoxical question.  People don’t want tax hikes, believe budgets/deficits are serious issues, but also don’t want spending cuts.  Of coruse we knew all of this already, its just hasn’t previously been the #1 issue in so many states like it has been in 2011.

  10. So I guess he still has an interest in this district. At least he probably figures beating up Grimm a little wont hurt him if he ever decides to pull the trigger and carpetbag to SI again.

  11. …that he’s seen the new compromise state Senate map, and…wait for it…he says it “could be electoral disaster” for Democrats.

    No surprise there, Ben meritlessly said much the same about the first map.

    Ben tweets that the new map is one where McDonnell won 29 of the 40 districts.

    This is where I get angry at him, for intentional dishonesty.  McDonnell won 30 of the 40 districts under the current map!  Ben conveniently leaves out that this compromise map is actually one better for us.

    I’ll wait and see what more honest analyses say about it.

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