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.

SSP Daily Digest: 6/5

NY-Sen-B: The speculation about a primary challenge had in the last month mostly shifted over from Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to Rep. Steve Israel and now Rep. Carolyn Maloney, but in case there was still any doubt, McCarthy made it official yesterday that she won’t be challenging Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate primary. Is this another tea leaf that Maloney is, in fact, running? (McCarthy said she’d stand down if someone younger ran, and although it may not be what McCarthy had in mind, Maloney, at 60, is 4 years younger.) Maloney did confirm her phone chat with Joe Biden, but said he didn’t try to push her out of the race. Meanwhile, Gillibrand got two endorsements that are important in the African-American community: Al Sharpton and Rep. Greg Meeks. (All three are key David Paterson allies, so perhaps not too surprising.)

NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall, who’s been Secretary of State since 1996, hasn’t been the subject of much Senate speculation. However, she just publicly expressed her interest (while saying that she’s not actively testing the waters). Marshall ran for Senate once before, finishing third in the 2002 Democratic primary behind Erskine Bowles and Dan Blue.

CO-Gov: Bill Ritter may be facing a tough re-election bid, so the last thing he needs to be doing is turning friends into enemies… so it’s strange to see him so frequently ticking off labor, most recently the firefighters’ union by vetoing a bill that would have given them collective bargaining rights. And on top of that, he’s a terrorist sympathizer… at least according to Rep. Mike Coffman, who doesn’t like that Ritter blocked expansion of a local Army training site.

OR-Gov: Although he’s been reluctant to show any interest in the race, don’t fully rule out Rep. Peter DeFazio yet. Hot on the heels of ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber having his coming-back-out party in front of the state movers-and-shakers at Portland’s City Club, now DeFazio will have his turn addressing them in two weeks. Hmmm… after several months worrying that neither DeFazio nor Kitzhaber would get into the race, now I’m left wondering what happens if both of them get in?

VT-Gov: Democrats have seemed lukewarm about taking on Gov. Jim Douglas the last few cycles, but there seems to be more optimism this time, and it’s attracting more contenders. State Senator Susan Bartlett (who chairs Appropriations) announced her candidacy, joining ex-Lt. Gov. Doug Racine and possibly SoS Deb Markowitz. One item of note that Steve catches: Douglas, who’s been in office since Howard Dean’s 2002 retirement, hasn’t yet announced that he’s running for re-election. There may be a growing sense that the seat could be open.

VA-St. House: Josh Grossman from Progressive Punch, guest blogging at 538, takes an interesting look at Democratic chances for flipping Virginia’s House of Delegates in the 2009 election (the last one prior to Virginia redistricting). It includes a nice chart ranking the swing districts according to 2008 presidential percentage… although it’s dismaying to see how many don’t have a Democratic candidate yet.

WA-Wahkiakum County Clerk: A never-before-elected retired musician by the name of Krist Novoselic has filed to run for the position of county clerk in Wahkiakum County (approx. population 4,000) in the fall 2009 election. Although he’s been involved in Democratic Party politics as a committeman, he’s running as “prefers Grange Party” rather than as a Dem, probably because of his appreciation of the Grange, a populist movement from the turn of the previous century (or else he just misspelled “Grunge Party”).

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.