SSP Daily Digest: 3/23

KY-Sen: Lolz.

OH-Sen: This is about as far from the horse’s mouth as you can get (paging Goldy?): The Columbus Dispatch is simply asserting that Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel “is leaning toward a run for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and will make an announcement this spring.” They don’t even say, “according to sources”-is that supposed to be implied or something? Anyhow, I’ll wait for Young Master Josh to confirm, seeing as no one else is reporting this.

In other Ohio news, PPP has their miscellaneous report card available… and this time, it’s extremely miscellaneous.

CA-Gov (PDF): The Field Poll has preliminary job approval ratings for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has a pretty sharp-looking 48-21 score in the early going. But don’t get too excited: Guess who had 54-15 approvals at the same point in his first term? Yep, that’d be Gray Davis (scroll down to p. 3 for the completely historical picture).

NC-Gov (PDF): I’ll be honest, PPP’s regular NC-Gov polls were starting to all run together in my head, but this time, Tom Jensen & the gang tried something different: they tested a bunch of alternatives to the very unpopular incumbent Dem, Bev Perdue. The sad news for Team Blue, though, is that even our best hope, AG Roy Cooper, still trails likely GOP nominee Pat McCrory by a 43-35 margin, though that’s better than Perdue’s 50-36 gap. State Sen. Dan Blue (trailing 48-28) and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (trailing 47-27) don’t change the equation, either. I also seriously doubt that Cooper would run; he was courted for Senate in 2009 but declined early on. He seems pretty happy where he is and, at age 53, can still wait a bit before deciding to move up. (I’m guessing 2016 vs. McCrory would be a good matchup.)

WA-Gov: This is kind of meh, but if you like your tea weak, drink up.

FL-26: No, that’s not a typo! It’s just another super-genious catch by Greg Giroux. Lunatic Karen Diebel, last seen losing the FL-24 GOP primary to now-Rep. Sandy Adams, has filed to run for Congress once again. What’s awesome about this is that Diebel has kicked her DeLorean up to 88 miles per hour, since her paperwork says she plans to run in the as-yet-uncreated twenty-sixth congressional district. Click the PDF for the documentary proof. This should be great. (Click here if you need a refresher on Diebel’s batshittery, including the infamous Snakes in a Pool incident.)

IN-02: Former Republican state Rep. Jackie Walorski, best known as Wacky Jackie, surprised no one in formally announcing she’d seek a rematch against Rep. Joe Donnelly, something she’d been toying with ever since her narrow loss last fall. (Walorski blames Donnelly’s one-point escape on the five percent a Libertarian Party candidate managed to snag.) Of course, two huge, inter-related questions remain here: What will the 2nd CD look like after redistricting, and will Donnelly seek re-election or try his hand at higher office? Stay tuned… for a while.

NY-26: Janie’s got an ad: Republican Jane Corwin is out with a second spot (her first was a bio ad) that hits themes as old as the hills: Dem Kathy Hochul wants to raise taxes, and she’s a clone of Nancy Pelosi. NWOTSOTB, but the Corwin campaign claims that the ad is “is airing districtwide on broadcast,” according to The Hill.

OH-10: With his seat potentially headed for the carving board, Dennis Kucinich is obviously trying to win over as many friends as possible before the state legislature starts up the redistricting process. Kucinich said in an interview on Monday that President Obama’s decision to order air strikes on Libya “would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense.” (By the way, check out that PPP item up above – Kucinich has 27-40 favorables statewide.)

PA-07: Now this is damn interesting. At that recent DCCC fundraiser in Philly we mentioned the other day, Steve Israel reportedly met with former Safe Schools Advocate Jack Stollsteimer about a potential run against freshman Rep. Pat Meehan, who took over Joe Sestak’s old seat last cycle. Stollsteimer confirms he met with “party leaders,” and says he’s giving the race “serious consideration.” But what makes all this so unusual is that Stollsteimer served as Meehan’s press spokesperson for many years while Meehan was Delaware Co. DA and later U.S. Attorney! It’s only been a few months, but Stollsteimer says he has “serious problems with what [Meehan]’s already done as our Congressman.” Could be good!

PA-08: That don’t impress-a me much: the NRCC put out a press release attacking ex-Rep. Patrick Murphy for something or other, perhaps because they’re concerned he might run for his old seat again. (That’s possible, though he might also run for state AG.) But press releases are cheap, and who knows how many carbon-copy releases the NRCC put out, seeing as they don’t put them all up on their website.

LA-St. Sen.: They switch parties in Louisiana like Denny Hastert changes underwear-which is to say, not every day, but perhaps with some frequency. It should come as little surprise that the latest state legislator to don a not-so-fresh pair of tighty-whities is moving from D to R. But a diarist at Daily Kingfish points out that Norby Chabert (great name) isn’t exactly some crusty Dixiecrat playing out the string-he’s a freshman who has said publicly he voted for Obama, and was relentlessly attacked on that score during his first election campaign in 2009. It’ll be interesting to see if the whole mess of recent converts like Chabert wind up getting teabagged to death.

Philly Mayor: A judge denied Mayor Michael Nutter’s request to remove wacky opponent Milton Street from the ballot, and Nutter said he would not appeal. (Nutter said that Street violated the city’s residency requirements, which say you have to live in Philadelphia for three years before seeking office, because Street was serving out a sentence in a federal prison in Kentucky.)

Wisconsin Recall: The RSLC-that’s the Republican State Leadership Committee, the GOP equivalent of the DLCC-is going up with new television ads against Democratic state Sens. Jim Holperin and Dave Hansen, who sit in the two most Republican districts held by Dems and are the target of recall efforts. Neither district is really red, though-they were both lost by Kerry but won by Obama, making them more swingish than anything else. Politico notes that the RSLC has already been running ads against Holperin, and that the new buy is expect to cost $50K a week, while the anti-Hansen campaign will run “six figures over several weeks.”

How is this for awesome, though? One Wisconsin totally busted the RSLC for using stock footage so fake, it was actually watermarked with the words “FILE FOOTAGE” in the bottom corner!

Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: It was only a matter of time-and not that much. The WMC-Wisconsin’s version of the Chamber of Commerce-is preparing to run ads in support of Republican David Prosser’s campaign to stay on as justice. (I’m guessing these will be attack ads against JoAnne Kloppenburg.) Progressive groups are already on the air with a spot that equates Prosser with Gov. Scott Walker.

Meanwhile, in a candidate forum yesterday, Prosser’s already infamous “I’ll destroy you, bitch” comments of course came up-and he once again repeated his defense that, well, a bunch of women made him do it, by (as the AP put it) “ganging up on him.” He also apparently failed to apologize for his remarks.

Polltopia: You know what to do.

Redistricting Roundup:

Alaska: Yes, Alaska! While the state obviously doesn’t have to worry about congressional redistricting, it does have to re-do its legislative maps. And believe it or not, the state actually has something of a Democratic gerrymander, since last time around, Dem Gov. Tony Knowles controlled key appointments to the panel responsible for producing new maps. This time, of course, Republicans control all the levers of power, so payback is expected.

Maryland: MD has long been a popular target at SSP for redistricting plans, so I’m not sure there’s much new here in Aaron Blake’s latest state-by-state installment. But you geeks tell me!

Mississippi: Dems in the state House voted to join that NAACP lawsuit I mentioned yesterday, which is seeking to enjoin the state from holding elections this year under the old district lines-something which could happen if the legislature stalemates on new maps, which is looking increasingly likely.

NC-Sen: Burr Under 50 Against All Comers

Public Policy Polling (PDF) (5/19-21, “North Carolina voters,” Shuler trendlines from January). I’ve put each of the Dem candidates’ favorables in brackets.

Elizabeth Edwards (D): 35

Richard Burr (R-inc): 46

Walter Dalton (D): 29 [24-29]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 48

Dan Blue (D): 33 [24-31]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 44

Richard Moore (D): 34 [36-25]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 47

Bob Etheridge (D): 31 [31-27]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 47

Heath Shuler (D): 28  (28) [25-25]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 44 (39)

Cal Cunningham (D): 34 [46-16] ‡

Richard Burr (R-inc): 42

(MoE: ±3.5%)

‡ Cal Cunningham is a one-term state Senator & Iraq veteran (more here). PPP tested him using a positive two-sentence bio as a lead-in, to compensate for his otherwise low name rec – hence the high favorables. A February poll without the bio showed Cunningham with a 10-23 approval rating (sort of odd, huh?), but still holding Burr to a 46-27 margin.

Here’s how Tom Jensen of PPP sums up the situation:

Pulling together all the information we have, here’s the state of the race: when Roy Cooper decided not to run Democrats lost the only candidate who would have made this an instant tossup. But Richard Burr is still in a vulnerable position pretty comparable to where Elizabeth Dole found herself at this time two years ago. But whoever the Democratic standard bearer ends up being will have to be molded into a formidable candidate, as Hagan was, rather than just inherently starting out as one.

Now Democrats are going to have to make a choice – do they get a Shuler or McIntyre who have big bank accounts and a good position from which to raise more or do they go more towards a Cunningham who might need more help raising money but can run as an outsider in an election cycle where not having any Washington taint could be a very good thing? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

That sounds about right to me.

SSP Daily Digest: 5/19

AL-07: Former Selma Mayor James Perkins (who was defeated in his attempt to seek a third term in 2008) is jumping into the open seat race here. He is likely to draw support away from Terri Sewell, Artur Davis’s preferred successor, also a Selma native.

AL-Gov: Speaking of good ol’ Artur, he’s released an internal poll which shows him up 56-26 over Ron Sparks and 54-25 over Sue Bell in the Dem primary. He also purports to lead Republican Bradley Byrne by a 43-38 margin. I’m finding it hard to believe that a congressman has such high name rec (59-6 for Davis among Dems statewide!). But the best checksum: This survey has Obama’s favorables at 58%. Last month, SUSA had them at just 48%. Which do you think is more likely? In other AL-Gov news, state Sen. Roger Bedford (D) says he won’t run.

IA-Gov: State Auditor David Vaudt, one of only two Republicans holding statewide office in Iowa, has declined to challenge incumbent Gov. Chet Culver next year.

NC-Sen: Both Reps. Bob Etheridge and Mike McIntyre are leaving the door open to a Senate bid, with McIntyre sounding more enthused. Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is “not considering” the race, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is “not looking at running,” and state Rep. Grier Martin claims his “decision to decline a chance to run against Elizabeth Dole was also not to run in 2010.”

NV-Gov: Jim Gibbons’ poll numbers are just horrendous – in a new Mason-Dixon survey for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 54% say they would “definitely vote to replace” him. Gibbons’ campaign manager claims things are lookin’ up, because his boss’s approvals were 25-69 in a January Reno Gazette poll but are an awesome 17-52 in this one.

NV-Sen: Meanwhile, the same poll finds pretty lousy numbers for Harry Reid as well, but better than Gibbons’. Reid gets 45% “definitely replace,” but his approvals are “only” 38-50. The big difference, of course, is that the GOP doesn’t really have any strong candidates to challenge Reid, while plenty of folks are lining up to take a whack at Gibbons.

FL-CFO: Checking in with an old friend, it looks like Annette Taddeo is considering a run to replace Alex Sink as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.

Redistricting: CQ has a story on five key races that could affect congressional redistricting. Roll Call has published the second half of its two-part series on the same subject (part one here). And finally, the National Conference of State Legislatures is holding the first in a series of training seminars on redistricting in San Francisco, June 11-14.

NC-Sen: DSCC Looking at Four Potential Recruits

With Roy Cooper out of the running for the Democratic nomination against GOP non-entity Richard Burr, CNN reports that the DSCC is putting out feelers to four potential candidates — including one who previously passed on the race:

Still, the DSCC – which is otherwise staying mum on the recruitment process – is taking four Democratic candidates seriously at the moment, according to a committee source.

Their top candidates are, in no particular order: Rep. Heath Shuler, the former NFL quarterback and second term congressman from western North Carolina’s 11th district; Rep. Bob Etheridge from the Raleigh-area second district; former state Treasurer Richard Moore, who lost in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary last year; and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton.

Shuler, who declined to run for this race back in March, has been receiving encouragement to reconsider the race from Dem groups in DC and North Carolina, according to a spokesperson.

Aside from Shuler, who brings a unique strength in western NC to a hypothetical race, the DSCC appears to looking at candidates with a statewide track record first, and they have a lot to choose from here. Dalton, a former state senator, won the Lt. Governor’s race by a five-point margin in 2008, while Etheridge served for two terms as NC’s Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1988-1996. (Additionally, Etheridge’s Raleigh-area district, which Obama carried last fall, would be an easier hold for Democrats than Shuler’s or Mike McIntyre’s seats.) However, Etheridge is getting a bit long in the tooth for someone looking to join the Senate — he’ll be 69 years old by election day in 2010.

For more details on the long list of potential nominees, the Winston-Salem Journal has a brief rundown on the DSCC’s top four choices and many other possible recruits.

(H/T: Political Wire)