SSP Daily Digest: 4/26


ND-Sen: North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk will announce his formal entry into the Senate race to replace Kent Conrad tomorrow. Kalk, a Republican, raised a really lame $32K in Q1.

NM-Sen, NM-03: Facing an already-crowded primary field and the prospect of giving up a safe House seat, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan said yesterday that he won’t seek the Democratic nod to replace Jeff Bingaman in the Senate.

OH-Sen: I think we didn’t spot this mid-April poll from GOP pollster Wenzel Strategies until now… but definitely take it with something stronger than mere salt. For one thing, they’ve regularly done polls for WorldNetDaily (I mean, seriously?), and for another, they released a seriously weird-ass poll last cycle that purported to show Rep. Norm Dicks losing to a perennial candidate. (Dicks won by 16.)

But even if you didn’t know all that, you’d have to laugh at their absurd spin: They call Sherrod Brown’s favorables “dangerous” and his re-elects “disastrous”… even though his head-to-head margin is 49-36 over Ken Blackwell, 50-36 against Mary Taylor, and 48-33 paired with Josh Mandel. In a Republican poll! Anyhow, if you want to chase this one all the way down the rabbit hole, Wenzel also had a component testing the anti-union legislation called SB5, which will very likely appear on the ballot this fall (people want it repealed by a 51-38 spread).


WI-Gov: Another recall poll from another not-especially-prominent pollster. Republican polling firm Etheridge & Associates (based out of Tennessee) found 44% in favor of recalling Walker and 51% opposed. They also put Walker head-to-head with a real candidate (which is what would happen in a recall election) and found him tied with Russ Feingold at 48 apiece.


ND-AL: This is a very good report from Kristen Daum, who writes the “Flickertales” blog for the Fargo-Moorhead Forum. She nails freshman GOP Rep. Rick Berg on two counts: First, last year Berg ran heavily on the theme that Earl Pomeroy was mostly relying on out-of-state money while he, Berg, was raking it in from North Dakotans. Well, with the Q1 reports in, Daum observes that about 80% of Berg’s campaign cash is now coming from interests outside of ND, including quite a bit from DC. Better still, Berg’s staff claimed he hasn’t held any fundraisers or solicited contributions… but the Sunlight Foundation’s “Party Time” website scrounged up a copy of an invite to high-dollar event held on Berg’s behalf by Eric Cantor and a couple of PACs. Whoops!

NY-13: I’m not even going to summarize what’s at the link, except to say it’s a truly explosive story about GOP freshman Mike Grimm. Just click and read it.

WI-01: Businessman Rob Zerban is already running against Rep. Paul Ryan, but The Fix suggests another possible Democratic name: state Sen. Chris Larson.

Grab Bag:

Americans United: That Americans United for Change ad buy against four Republicans we mentioned yesterday apparent totals $35K. That’s at least in the ballpark of real money, and I’m very glad to see groups like AUFC and House Majority PAC start doing these thousand-papercuts sort of campaigns early.

Polling & Demographics: Ben Smith has an interesting little exchange between a couple of pollsters with experience in working with the Latino community. One, André Pineda (who has polled for Obama, among others), says he thinks that pollsters who gather Hispanic samples by relying on surnames miss a lot of Hispanics who don’t have such names, typically because their families have lived in the US longer. These voters, says Pineda, lean more to the right than newer immigrants. But Matt Barreto of the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity and Race says that Pineda’s estimates are “way off base.” Barreto says only 5-10% of Hispanics do not have Hispanic surnames, whereas Pineda’s memo suggests that the number is far higher.

Town Halls: Want to see if your member of Congress is having a town hall during this recess so that you can go and give them what for? MoveOn has a tool that lets you plug in your ZIP code and find town halls near you.

Voter Suppression: Unsurprisingly, the Florida legislature is moving forward with a big election law bill that’s principally designed to suppress the Democratic vote, as always in the name of preventing VOTER FRAUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111. Changes include shortening the early voting period, adding onerous restrictions on third-party groups which register voters, and preventing voters from changing their addresses at the poll (something which Florida has allowed for forty years). Republicans are also moving forward with bills that would eliminate payroll deductions for union dues, force unions to get each member’s permission before spending money on elections, and make it harder for trial lawyers to bring medical malpractice cases. In short, as one Democratic lawmaker put it, it’s the entire GOP wish list.

Redistricting Roundup:

Florida: This is sorta interesting. One Florida lawmaker on the legislature’s redistricting committee is telling his fellow legislators not to talk to him about redistricting – at all. The new “Fair Districts” law says that districts can’t be drawn to favor or disfavor incumbents, so mapmakers are concerned that if their colleagues start telling them about how they’d like to see the lines crafted, that could later be used as evidence in court.

Virginia: And so it goes: A week after saying he wouldn’t change a thing about his party’s map, Dem Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw now says of Gov. Bob McDonnell: “We are talking to him. We are trying to meet all of his concerns.” I can’t see how this is going to end well for Democrats, who now seem to face a choice between a crappy gerrymander in the Senate and a court-drawn map… and I guess would prefer the former, based on Saslaw’s hints. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Republicans are apparently pretty pissed at McDonnell for vetoing their plans, supposedly with almost no warning, but there’s a lot that doesn’t add up here. For one, the article says that the legislature doesn’t have enough votes to over-ride McDonnell’s veto, but that’s simply not true. If House Republicans really wanted their map badly enough, they could have prevailed on their counterparts in the Senate to vote for the package deal, ensuring it was safe from McDonnell’s veto pen.

For the governor’s part, he’s also full of shit. His spokesman said that he would have preferred the House and Senate maps had been sent to the governor in separate bills, but jeez, this is classic “born yesterday” crap. There’s no way the Senate would have given away its one piece of leverage like that. Still, it does sound like the Republican anger at McDonnell is quite real (and not just limited to redistricting), which means a serious derail is not impossible. So maybe there’s still a way for Saslaw to snatch something other than defeat from the jaws of… defeat.

Utah: The state will apparently make redistricting software available to citizens on its website, but the linked article isn’t very clear where that will happen. Any ideas?

SSP Daily Digest: 6/15 (Morning Edition)

(Note: The content of this post was written entirely by DavidNYC.)

  • FL-Sen: If there’s one small upside to the terrible tragedy unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s that the drill, baby, drill brigade is being made to squirm painfully. Larry Kudlow, of all people, beat it out of Marco Rubio that he “opposes a moratorium on offshore drilling, opposes forcing BP to stop paying dividends to shareholders, and supports continued drilling off Florida’s coasts in the long run.” I like it when clear lines are drawn.
  • KY-Sen: This reminds me of C3PO’s advice to R2D2 after the latter beat Chewbacca in chess: “I suggest a new strategy – let the Wookie win.” Rand Paul’s new defeatist strategy is to only take questions from reporters in writing. I just hope libertarian whackjobs don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose.
  • NV-Sen: Like Hyman Roth introducing Michael Corleone to his network of gangsters, John Ensign is putting his arm around Sharron Angle’s shoulder and shepherding her to a lunch today with Republican senators. (Actually, if anything, Ensign reminds me of Senator Geary, also of Nevada.) Meanwhile, Harry Reid’s streak of good fortune continues: Mitch McConnell announced that he won’t campaign against the Majority Leader. Does anyone really believe that McConnell is doing this to restore the supposed “comity” that Bill Frist allegedly shredded when he campaigned against Tom Daschle in 2004? If it would even give the GOP the slightest edge, I’m sure Mitch would be in Vegas tomorrow. Nah, I think even McConnell must sense the tide turning in this race.
  • AL-Gov: The recount to see who gets to make the GOP runoff is set to get underway. Tim James trails Robert Bentley for second place by 167 votes (almost half a million total were cast in the primary). James has had to mail checks to every one of Alabama’s 67 counties to pay for the recount, totally some $200,000. Officials expect results either Thursday or Friday.
  • SC-Gov: It looks like Henry McMaster has a little more sense than Andre Bauer: the state AG is going to endorse front-runner Nikki Haley today in the runoff, while the Lt. Gov. previously endorsed Gresham Barrett, widely seen as a no-hoper at this point.
  • FL-08: At the link is what will supposedly be Alan Grayson’s first TV ad of the cycle. It’s not up yet – he’s busy flogging it to push people to donate so that he can air it, since he only has $1.5 million in the bank. Pretty weird, disjointed ad if you ask me, with a garbled message.
  • GA-04: Shirley Franklin, who was mayor of Atlanta until this year, endorsed Dem Rep. Hank Johnson in his bid for re-election. Johnson faces a primary challenge from DeKalb County Commissioner Connie Stokes, and former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones.
  • NM-03: Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, and Dale Peterson – step aside. Tom Mullins has officially come up with the most insane Republican idea of the cycle: he thinks we could put land mines (!!!!!) along the US-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration. I love it when Republicans get all eliminationist with their rhetoric.
  • MS-01: The Tarrance Group (R) for Alan Nunnelee (6/8-9, likely voters, March in parens):

    Travis Childers (D-inc): 42 (51)

    Alan Nunnelee (R): 50 (42)

    (MoE: ±5.6%)

    Nunnelee favorables: 44/8. Childers favorables: 49/30. Obama approval: 36%.

  • SC-04: Bob Inglis has a week left in his runoff against Trey Gowdy, but it sounds like he’s already playing his swan song. Inglis has dropped all negative attacks on his opponent and instead is launching a final ad which takes swipes at Washington, DC – a tough move for an incumbent to pull off, to say the least. Politico speculates that perhaps Inglis is trying to win over supporters of the also-rans, but that seems like a fridge too far at this late date. P’co also notes that Inglis isn’t revealing the size of the ad buy. Also curious to me is the fact that the NRCC doesn’t seem to have done anything to help one of their own here.
  • Polltopia: It’s that time again: Head over to Public Policy Polling’s website to vote on your favorite place to poll.
  • NM-01, NM-02, NM-03: Teague Trails Pearce By 2

    Public Policy Polling (2/18-20, registered voters):

    Martin Heinrich (D-inc): 45

    Jon Barela (R): 36

    Undecided: 19

    Harry Teague (D-inc): 41

    Steve Pearce (R): 43

    Undecided: 16

    Ben Lujan (D-inc): 40

    Adam Kokesh (R): 32

    Undecided: 28

    Ben Lujan (D-inc): 42

    Tom Mullins (R): 36

    Undecided: 22

    (MoE: ±4.9%)

    PPP’s NM-Gov sample comes with an added bonus: results for each of the Land of Enchantment’s three House races. The big ticket item here is NM-02, where Rep. Harry Teague is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents going into November. That’s not so much because of the district’s lean (it’s R+6 and has a Hispanic plurality — Walt Minnick and Bobby Bright would kill for R+6) but because Teague is facing off against ex-Rep. Steve Pearce, who held the district for a number of years until his ill-fated 2008 Senate run, and is still well-thought-of here (as seen by his 43/31 favorables). While I’d certainly prefer to see Teague leading, all things considered, the 43-41 lead for Pearce feels not-that-bad. Like Tom Perriello in VA-05, Teague seems to have been already written off as a casualty by mainstream media pundits, not only having won a superficially-fluky victory in a reddish district but also having voted for cap-and-trade instead of cowering with the Blue Dogs. And yet (just like Perriello) PPP finds him in a dead heat.

    The race in the 1st — between freshman Rep. Martin Heinrich and Jon Barela, the former head of Albuquerque’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce — is one that, even before this poll, I’d have classified as “Likely D,” given the district’s lean (D+5) and Heinrich’s convincing 2008 victory. The Republicans will have to make a serious dent in the currently “Likely D” seats in order to retake the majority, but it’s looking like NM-01 isn’t on track to be one of those seats where they do.

    In fact, the Republicans actually come a little closer in the 3rd, which is the state’s traditionally most Democratic-friendly district at D+7 (although this was briefly held by a Republican in the 1990s after a surprisingly strong Green Party performance in a special election). Part of the problem may lie with its Rep, Ben Lujan (the only one of the three to sport negative approvals, at 31/40 — Teague, by comparison, is at 41/36), but I suspect the 3rd is also a very difficult district to poll. It’s a rural, impoverished district where a sizable number of the Democratic base voters may not speak English or have landlines, which may give more weight to the district’s Republicans clustered around Farmington.

    RaceTracker Wiki: NM-01 | NM-02 | NM-03

    Rep. Rahm Emanuel Visits All Three NM Districts

    Rahm Emanuel in New MexicoCrossposted at New Mexico FBIHOP

    Click on photos for larger versions.  More available on my Flickr page, as always.

    Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois was in the state and saw a good chunk of it in a short period of time — at least up and down I-25.  

    I’m not quite sure where he met up with Second Congressional District candidate Harry Teague for a fundraiser, but Emanuel stopped by Gabriel’s Restaurant north of Santa Fe for a fundraiser and quick talk with the press (which is to mean myself and Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican).  

    Emanuel spoke about the big year Democrats had in 2006 and how we won; it wasn’t just the war.

    Yes, the war was a big factor. But the deteriorating economic condition in the middle class was a big factor in the fact that the Democrats took back the House and the Senate.  And it will again be a contributing factor because people realize that under the Republican Party stewardship, the middle class has been hurt.

    Rahm and Ben RayAfter the Ben Ray event, it was time for Emanuel to hop in his rented car (I assume) and head down I-25 to Albuquerque for a press conference with Martin Heinrich, Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano, Captain Ahren Griego IAFF Local 244 and other firefighters from IAFF Local 244.  

    “We can fund our labs, and create new jobs, and we can fund our police departments across the United States,” Emanuel said in his short speech. “I’m going to be here to help Martin because it’s time for a change.”

    President Bush took a beating — not a good sign for his staunch supporter, Darren White.

    I got to speak to Heinrich for a few minutes after the event.  “It was a proud day to stand up there with them and to say I’m going to stand with them on these issues where we’ve seen President Bush and his allies cut back the COPS program dramatically, cut things like the Byrne Grants, do things that directly impact our first responders in a negative way.”

    Byrne Grants help fund drug enforcement for the police.116

    But the cuts went deeper for Solano.  After all, he has to deal with the cuts to the funding; he’s a sheriff and knows firsthand what they do.

    “Santa Fe County used to get enough money to get about 10-15 bullet proof vests a year.  Which wasn’t enough,” Solano told FBIHOP. “We have a department of about 90 officers, it wasn’t enough to fund it all — but it helped a lot.  Last year, we got funding for one vest, $500.  This year, we don’t expect any funding at all.”

    This caused Solano to do something he “never would have imagined” doing a year ago — backing the opponent of a law enforcement officer for a Congressional seat.  

    “You would think that Darren White, with his connections to Bush would have spoken up for us,” Solano said.  “And I’ve never heard of him doing so.”

    New Mexico Results Open Thread

    Polls close in New Mexico at 9pm Eastern.  We’ll use this thread to follow the results in a number of hot congressional primaries:

    • NM-Sen (R)
    • NM-01 (D & R)
    • NM-02 (D & R)
    • NM-03 (D)

    Results: Associated Press

    4:34AM: Pearce wins. Time for sleep. What a great evening.

    3:42AM (James): 99% in, and Pearce still holds a 2300 vote lead. The AP still hasn’t called it, but with 11 precincts outstanding, I see no way for Wilson to make up the difference.

    3:05AM (James): Harry Teague pulls this one out of the fire with a 53-47 win according to the AP (95% reporting). Pearce has a 2350 vote lead over Wilson with 97% in.

    2:14AM (James): 92% of the vote is in now in the 2nd CD, and Teague has expanded his lead to 53-47 (1800 votes).

    2:13AM (James): 96% in, and Pearce is holding on to a 2400 vote lead over Wilson.

    1:36AM (James): This could be bad news for Harry Teague. According to Heath Haussamen, results from Doña Ana County are being delayed due to problems with a rental truck.  The ballots won’t be counted for “some time”, according to local officials. Doña Ana is the home base of one Bill McCamley, who is a county commissioner there. As Samuel L. Jackson would say, hang on to yer butts.

    12:53AM (James): Tinsley wins with 31%, according to the AP. In the Senate race, Pearce is holding on to his 52-48 lead with 91% reporting.

    12:38AM (James): With 89% in, Pearcey is sitting at 52-48. In the 2nd CD, Teague is up by the same margin with 87% reporting.  And the AP has called NM-03 for Lujan.

    12:35AM (James): The AP calls NM-01 for Martin Heinrich! I would expect a similar call for Ben Ray Lujan in the 3rd CD soon.

    12:23AM: With 85% reporting, Pearce has moved back out to a 52-48 lead. It may not sound like much, but it is – Wilson would need 60% of the remaining votes to pull into a tie. That’s almost 24% better than what she’s been garnering all night. Meanwhile, in NM-02 (D), Bill McCamley also trails Harry Teague by 52-48, but faces an almost identical situation to Wilson’s.

    12:03AM (James): With 80% in, Pearce is still up 51-49.  COME ON, PEARCEY!  Teague is clinging to a 51-49 lead with 83% in.

    11:48PM (James): With 71% in, Pearce is up by 51-49. In the 2nd CD, with 76% reporting, Teague is clinging to his 52-48 lead, while Tinsley enjoys a 10% lead on his closest competitor. In the 3rd CD, Lujan has surged ahead big-time: he now leads Wiviott by 41-28 with 85% in.

    11:22PM (James): With 55% in, we’re at 52-48 for Pearce. In the 2nd CD, Teague is also up by only 52-48.

    11:07PM (James): With 44% in, Pearce is holding onto his 52-48 lead.  Heinrich is holding comfortably, but Teague only has a 53-47 lead over McCamley in 59% lead. Tinsley has some breathing room, and Wiviott has pulled to a 5% lead in the 3rd district with 60% in.

    10:45PM (James): With 30% in, Pearce leads by 52-48. In the 2nd CD, Teague leads McCamley by 56-44 with 42% in. In the GOP primary, Tinsley has a slight lead. In the 3rd CD, Lujan has taken a 10% lead over Wiviott with 26% in.

    10:31PM: With 17% in, Pearce has a 57-43 lead.

    10:02PM (James): With 8% in, Wilson leads Pearce by 53-47. In the 2nd CD, Newman has taken a small lead over Tinsley and Dunn with 20% in, and Teague has a big lead in the Democratic race. In the 3rd CD, Wiviott leads by 2% over Lujan with 2% of precincts reporting.

    9:50PM: Fifty minutes after polls have closed, and very few precincts have reported in. (Remember the problems NM had in tallying its presidential primary results?) Anyhow, with just a handful of votes in, Wilson leads Pearce 61-39. In the 1st CD, Heinrich has a sizable early lead over Vigil-Goron and Grisham. In the 2nd CD, Teague has a twenty-point lead over McCamley on our side, while there is a tight battle for first place between Tinsley and Dunn for the GOPers. Other results are either not in or too minimal to be worth relaying.

    June Election Preview: Races Worth Watching

    Another month, another round of elections. Once again, the Swing State Project brings you the month in races worth watching:

    June 3: This is going to be a big day.

    • AL-02: With Rep. Terry Everett (R) retiring at the end this term, the GOP field is large and noisy to replace him. The players include: State Rep. Jay Love, state Rep. David Grimes, oral surgeon Craig Schmidtke, TV station executive David Woods, and state Sen. Harri Anne Smith. With such a crowded and well-funded field, a 7/15 runoff is all but inevitable. Watch for Smith and one of Love or Woods to advance to the next round.

      I’m hoping that Smith is the GOP victor here, if for no other reason than the fact that she’s dumber than a sack of hammers.

      On the Democratic side, Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright will face off with Alabama NOW President Cheryl Sabel and dentist Cendie Crawley. Bright’s campaign has been slow to get started, whereas Sabel has won a number of endorsements. Still, Bright should probably be okay based on name recognition.

    • AL-05: Another open seat here, this one left behind by retiring Democratic Rep. Bud Cramer. State Sen. Parker Griffith of Huntsville is the Democratic front-runner and won’t have any problems in his primary.

      Republicans will decide between insurance executive and ’94/’96 candidate Wayne Parker, businesswoman Cheryl Baswell Guthrie, former state Rep. Angelo Mancuso (a turncoat Democrat), ’06 candidate Ray McKee, and a number of also-rans. Parker is thought to be the favorite, but Guthrie has invested a significant amount of her own resources on the race.

    • CA-04: This one should be interesting. With John Doolittle being put out to pasture, Republicans will choose between conservative icon Tom McClintock, a state Senator from southern California, and former Rep. Doug Ose. This has been a bloody and expensive primary, but the winner will still have a big advantage over Democrat Charlie Brown in this R+10.9 district.
    • IA-03: Democrats will go to the polls to decide the fate of longtime Rep. Leonard Boswell, who is receiving a primary challenge from former state Rep. Ed Fallon. In a low-turnout affair, anything could happen, but keep in mind that the lone public poll of this race — from Research 2000 in late April — showed Boswell ahead by a wide margin.
    • NJ-Sen: A big event. Not content to “wait his turn”, Rep. Rob Andrews is waging a rough primary challenge against Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). A recent Rasmussen poll gave Lautenberg a 30-point lead here.

      Republicans will choose between ex-Rep. Dick Zimmer, crypto-fascist state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, and college professor Murray Sabrin, a Ron Paul acolyte.

    • NJ-03: Republicans were initially very high on Chris Myers, a Lockheed Martin VP, to replace retiring GOP Rep. Jim Saxton in this South Jersey distrct. However, Myers’ primary against Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly has descended into a squabbling mess, and neither candidate has been able to match the fundraising juggernaut of the Democratic candidate, state Sen. John Adler. I’m rooting for Kelly to win here, but I like Adler’s chances against either Republican.
    • NJ-07: The GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. Mike Ferguson appears to be up in the air between state Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance and Kate Whitman, the daughter of former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. It’s unclear to me which candidate would be stronger in the general election. Ex-Summit Councilwoman Kelly Hatfield and Scotch Plains Mayor Marty Marks will also have their names on the ballot.

      State Assemblywoman Linda Stender will be carrying the Democratic banner once again in this tossup district.

    • NM-Sen: This open seat race has caused a domino effect all over New Mexico politics, with all three of the state’s House members throwing their hats in the ring.

      Republicans will decide between Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce. Because of Pearce’s more conservative profile, he would probably be the easier candidate for Democrat Tom Udall to beat in November. Still, the most recent polls show Udall crushing either Republican, so the outcome of the GOP primary may not matter a whole lot for Tom Udall’s chances this November.

    • NM-01: With Heather Wilson out of the picture, Democrats are hopeful that they can finally put this D+2.4 district in the bag. The choices: Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich, former state Health Secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham and former New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. A a recent poll gave Heinrich a slight lead over Vigil-Giron, but Lujan Grisham has raised and spent a respectable amount.

      Republicans will choose between Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and state Sen. Joseph Carraro. White, a rare strong recruit by the mostly hapless NRCC, is the overwhelming favorite for his party’s nomination.

    • NM-02: I’ll be relieved when the roster of players vying for Steve Pearce’s open seat is cut to two. On the Democratic side of the playing field, voters in this district will choose between Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley and former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague. McCamley is an impressive orator and campaigner, but Teague, a wealthy oil man, has drawn on his personal wealth to give his campaign a big financial edge here. The buzz I’ve heard is that Teague is well-placed to win the nomination, a fact that seems to be confirmed by Bill Richardson’s recent endorsement of Teague.

      For what it’s worth, Roll Call quoted an anonymous New Mexico GOP strategist who believes that a Teague victory in this R+5.7 seat is “likely” in November — as long as he makes it out of the primary. I take such things with a heavy grain of salt, though.

      The Republicans have a football team-sized field here, including Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman, restaurateur and ’02 candidate Ed Tinsley, retired banker Aubrey Dunn Jr. (a former Democrat), local GOP Chairman C. Earl Greer, and businessman Greg Sowards. Tinsley was regarded as the early front-runner, but the National Association of Realtors PAC has dumped around $1 million in support of Newman, and Dunn has also spent over half a million of his own money on the race. With no public polling, the outcome of this one could be anyone’s guess.

    • NM-03: The race to replace Tom Udall in the House is a two-way affair between Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Ray Luján and wealthy home developer Don Wiviott. Wiviott (and other third-string candidates) have been going hard negative on Luján, who appears to have the edge here. Indeed, a recent poll showed Luján with a six-point lead over Wiviott, and Richardson gave him his stamp of approval earlier this week.

      I don’t know or care who the sacrificial GOP lamb is in this D+5.5 district.

    June 10:

    • ME-01: With Tom Allen hoping to graduate to the Senate, a posse of Dems are vying to replace him, including: Former Common Cause President Chellie Pingree, York County District Attorney Mark Lawrence, former state Senate Majority Leader Michael Brennan, Iraq War vet Adam Cote, and state Sen. Ethan Strimling. Who is the strongest pick here? It beats me. Cote seems to be the most conservative choice, and could sneak in if progressive votes are divided.

      Republicans will pick between former state Sen. Charlie Summers and businessman Dean Scontras, but the Democratic nominee will be heavily favored in the general election in this D+6.2 district.

    • SC-02: This is a bit of an oddball race. At a PVI of R+8.9, it’s certainly not on many prognosticators’ radar screens. However, Democrat Rob Miller, an Iraq vet who entered this race in March, has raised $200K and loaned himself another $100K, according to the latest FEC filings. That’s an extremely respectable amount for a Democrat in a red district like this one.

      Miller will face off against retired Air Force officer Blaine Lotz.

    • VA-11: A big one. With Tom Davis out of the picture, Democrats are finally making a play for this Dem-trending district. But first, the primary: Fairfax County Chairman Gerry Connolly vs. ex-Rep./ex-state Sen./’05 Lt. Gov. candidate Leslie Byrne. Depending on who you talk to, this race is either neck-and-neck or will go decisively to Connolly.

      The winner will take on Republican Keith Fimian, a political neophyte, but an impressive fundraiser.

    June 17:

    • MD-04: Grab your popcorn, it’s time for another edge of your seat special election! Oh wait; Donna Edwards is going to win by 50 points.

    June 24:

    • UT-03: A recent poll shows GOP Rep. Chris Cannon leading former gubernatorial aide Jason Chaffetz by only two points. Cannon has had his share of close calls in the past, but it’s unclear whether we’ll actually get to do the wingnut shuffle in Utah this year.

    NM-01, NM-03: Heinrich, Lujan Lead in New Primary Polls

    Research & Polling Inc. (5/20-22, likely voters):


    Martin Heinrich (D): 34

    Rebecca Vigil-Giron (D): 23

    Michelle Lujan Grisham (D): 10

    Robert Pidcock (D): 4

    Undecided: 29

    (MoE: ±5)

    The big news here is Vigil-Giron’s second place showing. Most had assumed that Heinrich’s more immediate competition would have been Lujan Grisham, as she has far outpaced Vigil-Giron in fundraising. However, Vigil-Giron is a former New Mexico Secretary of State, and her name recognition clearly is counting for something, despite her next-to-nil funding.


    Ben Ray Lujan (D): 29

    Don Wiviott (D): 23

    Undecided: 33

    (MoE: ±4.5)

    There are a few other names in this contest (including the despicable Benny Shendo, Jr.), but apparently Lujan and Wiviott’s numbers were the only ones worth writing about.

    Primary: June 3rd

    (Hat-tip: New Mexico FBIHOP)

    Sunday Evening Round-up

    • IL-14: Novak claims that “important Illinois Republicans are urging” Jim Oberweis to drop out of the general election battle for Dennis Hastert’s old seat.  While not surprising, given Oberweis’ disastrous showing last week, such pleas are not likely to have any effect on the stubborn Oberweis, other than further damaging his credibility.

      It doesn’t help when other GOP candidates in Illinois, such as state Rep. Aaron Schock in IL-18, are giving quips such as this one:

      “Anybody in Illinois who knows Jim Oberweis knows that was not a referendum on the Republican Party; it was a referendum on Jim Oberweis,” Schock said. “The Republicans didn’t lose that race; Jim Oberweis lost that race.

      “The people that knew him best, liked him least.”

    • MN-03: In what is shaping to be a surprising upset, Ashwin Madia, a young attorney and Iraq veteran, is closing in on the DFL endorsement for the nomination to contest the open seat of retiring GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad.  At conventions across the district yesterday, Madia won many more delegates than his rival, state Senator and once-presumptive front runner Terri Bonoff.  Both Madia and Bonoff have pledged to abide by the DFL endorsement, but the math is looking very bleak for Bonoff; Madia is less than 10 delegates away from the 95 he needs to clinch the endorsement.

      An internal poll commissioned by the Bonoff campaign showed Bonoff beating GOP state Rep. Eric Paulsen by a 44%-40% margin in a hypothetical general election match-up, while Madia trails by 43%-40%.  In any event, this will be a top tier contest.

    • New Mexico: In a slate of “preprimary” nominating conventions, candidates for federal office in both parties had to cross a 20% threshold to make it onto the primary ballot.  As a result, some of the House primaries are a bit clearer.
      • NM-01: Martin Heinrich won 56% of the preprimary vote to Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s 28%.

        On the GOP side of the aisle, Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White won 85% of the vote, leaving him unopposed on the primary ballot.

      • NM-02: Democrat Bill McCamley won 48.8% of the vote to Harry Teague’s 36.5%.  No other candidates qualified for the primary ballot.

        Rancher and businessman Aubrey Dunn, Jr. won the GOP vote with the support of 30% of delegates.  Businessmen C. Earl Greer and Ed Tinsley both also qualified for the ballot with 24% each.

      • NM-03: Ben R. Luján won 40% of delegates, and will face off against former Senate candidate Don Wiviott, who qualified for the primary ballot with 30% of the vote.
    • MI-09: Jack Kevorkian is running for Congress as an independent against Republican incumbent Joe Knollenberg and Democratic challenger Gary Peters.  Oy.
    • MD-01: The biggest joke of all?  The so-called “moderate” Republican Main Street Partnership is planning on endorsing Andy Harris, the Club For Growth nutcase who successfully dislodged anti-war GOP Rep. Wayne Gilchrest last month.  Gilchrest, on the other hand, plans to administer a written exam to any candidate seeking his endorsement:

      Included in that test would be questions about the history of the Middle East over the past 200 years, the economic and ecological history of the Chesapeake Bay, the importance of paying attention to unemployment and various other subjects, Gilchrest said.

      “I will endorse someone that has knowledge, integrity, is competent and sees the world in a panoramic manner in all its complexities and not through a bent straw,” Gilchrest said.

      Citing a retired Marine Corps general who has been highly critical of the Bush administration’s decision to go to Iraq, Gilchrest went on to say that “we must stop promoting incompetence in return for party loyalty.”

    • IN-07: Andre Carson may be the newest kid on the block in Washington, but he still has a potentially raucous primary contest to clear in May before he gets too comfortable:

      State Rep. David Orentlicher officially launched his campaign Wednesday alongside Martin Luther King Jr.’s nephew, Derek King, while former health commissioner Woody Myers was set to launch television advertisements.

      State Rep. Carolene Mays will also pose a tough challenge to the newest congressman.

    • AZ-03: This looks like fun.  Former state Rep. Steve May has filed to run against John Shadegg in the Republican primary.  May has previously pledged to spend $1 million on the bid.

    Who’s Running in New Mexico? After the Filing Deadline Edition

    Yesterday was the filing deadline in New Mexico. So today, we definitively know who is running for the Senate, First Congressional District, Second Congressional District and Third Congressional District seats on for both the Democratic and Republican nominations.  

    And every single seat has at least one competitive primary for a very simple reason: All three House seats in New Mexico and a Senate seat are all open seats without an incumbent running.  Crazy times in New Mexico.

    So  the final, definitive edition of Who’s Running in New Mexico for 2008, and a little bit of analysis, is below the fold:

    A version of this post appears at New Mexico FBIHOP

    Senate Race

    Tom Udall is the only candidate running for the Senate seat on the Democratic seat.  Leland Lehrman, who expressed his interest in running for the seat even after Udall jumped into the race, did not file in time to run for office as a Democrat.   Tom Udall will face absolutely no primary competition, not that Lehrman was expected to be even a speed bump, let alone an obstacle.  With his impressive fourth-quarter fundraising, Tom Udall has the momentum and looks to be the favorite to win the seat even nine months out from the elections.

    On the Republican side, it will be a battle royale between Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce.  Both currently serve as New Mexico Representatives, and both officially filed Tuesday.  The primary between the two should be very interesting; Steve Pearce has the support of the far-right Club for Growth, but Wilson is an experienced campaigner who has survived tough battles before.  However, she has never faced a tough battle in a primary.  Tom Benavides did not file his papers to run again, surely much to the chagrin of Jay Miller.

    First Congressional DistrictNM-01

    The First Congressional District, currently held by Republican Heather Wilson, is in central New Mexico and contains much of the Albuquerque area.  Albuquerque is New Mexico’s largest city. The district also extends into rural areas of surrounding counties, but the largest voting bloc is in Albuquerque.  It has a PVI of D+2, but has had a Republican Representative for its entire existence.

    Among Democrats, Martin Heinrich, Michelle Lujan-Grisham, Rebecca Vigil-Giron, Jessica Wolfe and Robert Pidcock are all vying for the Democratic nomination.  Heinrich is clearly the frontrunner here, and should win the Democratic primary easily; he has the most money, the most momentum and the most established and visible campaign so far.  Heinrich’s campaign looks to be actually in gear and running, while the others are waiting for something to jumpstart theirs.  In the case of Vigil-Giron and Wolfe, they both only jumped in the race within the last couple of weeks.

    For Republicans, things are much more simple.  Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and State Representative Joe Carraro are vying for the Republican nomination.  White has the support from the Republican establishment, but Carraro is a firebreather who could give White headaches throughout the campaign.  Carraro will get significant free press just because he is charismatic and likely to say something… let’s just say not smart.  White is the favorite on the Republican side, however.

    Second Congressional DistrictNM-02

    The Second Congressional District is in the highly conservative Southern New Mexico and is currently held by far-right Republican Steve Pearce.  The district is larger than the state of Pennsylvania and includes population centers like Las Cruces, Alamagordo, Roswell and Socorro.  The district has a PVI of R+6 and has always been held by a Republican.

    There are four Democratic candidates running for the Second Congressional District.  Harry Teague, Bill McCamley, Al Kissling and Frank McKinnon all will run for the Democratic nomination for the seat.  McCamley and Teague are in the top tier while Kissling and McKinnon are in a lower tier.  Teague will have significant institutional and financial support among the oil and gas industry in southern New Mexico, but McCamley has been working hard, traveling throughout the large district, meeting Democrats in every county so far.

    For Republicans… wow, things are crazy.  Even though Bob Cornelius did not file and instead endorsed Terry Marquardt, there are still six candidates running.  Aubrey Dunn, Jr., Ed Tinsley, C. Earl Greer, Monty Newman, Greg Sowards and the aforementioned Marquardt are all running.  Phew. This one should be a doozy.

    Third Congressional DistrictNM-03

    The Third Congressional District is highly Democratic and is currently held by Democrat Tom Udall.  It includes all of northern New Mexico including the capital city of Santa Fe.  It has conservative population centers such as Clovis and Portales in Eastern New Mexico and Farmington in the Four Corners area.  But the rest of the district is a Democratic stronghold, including Taos and Las Vegas.  The district was briefly held by a Republican, but that was a fluke and besides that has been held by either now-Governor Bill Richardson or Udall for the rest of its time as a district.  It has a PVI of D+6.

    Multiple Democrats are vying for the Democratic-leaning Third Congressional District.  Ben Ray Lujan, Don Wiviott, Harry Montoya, and Jon Adams are all running for the seat.  The conventional wisdom goes that Lujan is the favorite to win.  Wiviott and Shendo, Jr should pose a bit of a challenge to Lujan; Adams and Montoya are lower-tiered candidates.

    Among Republicans… well, it doesn’t really matter in this heavily Democratic-seat in what looks to be a heavily-Democratic year. For what it’s worth, Marco E. Gonzales and Dan East are both running for the right to be the Republicans to lose in the general election.

    New Mexico: Who’s Running?

    It seems like it is once again time to take a look at who, exactly, is running for the four open seats (three House and one Senate) here in New Mexico.  The last update was more than a month ago!  Some important dates: the filing deadline is February 12.  The pre-primary nominating conventions are March 15.  The primaries are on June 3.

    On to the races!

    Senate Race


    Tom Udall is the odds-on favorite to win.  Lehrman will have trouble getting his way onto the primary ballot.


    • Steve Pearce

    • Heather Wilson

    These two candidates will be fighting it out.  Both are currently in the House and both are experience campaigners.  And, perhaps best for Democrats, neither are above a little bit of dirty politics — even in the primary.

    For the Congressional races, go below the fold.

    First Congressional District


    Heinrich is the current favorite in this race.  He has the momentum, the endorsements and — this is important — his campaign seems to have a plan.  Lujan-Grisham has been largely our of the public eye.  And Pidcock… well, I really don’t know anything about him.


    • Darren White

    • Joe Carraro

    The two were involved in a PR disaster after their secret debate this weekend.  White is the favorite to win, and has the backing of the Republicans in DC.  But Carraro is outspoken and will make things interesting, if not competitive.

    Second Congressional District


    Harry Teague has the support of the oil and gas industry, which is a big boost in Southern New Mexico.  He’s a conservative Democrat, and will surely have a big bundle of cash.  McCamley will also have a good amount of cash to campaign in Southern New Mexico, and he has been on the campaign trail for a while.  He is going out to communities and speaking to people.  The Kissling and McKinnon seem to be fringe candidates at this point.


    • Bob Cornelius

    • C Earl Greer

    • Aubrey Dunn, Jr

    • Ed Tinsley

    • Monty Newman

    • Greg Sowards

    • Terry Marquardt

    Yes, seven candidates for the Republicans.  I am not even going to attempt to delve into who is the favorite here… but my personal favorite is Greg Sowards, but only because of his campaign slogan.

    Third Congressional District


    Lujan looks to be the favorite here.  He is hispanic and his father, the Speaker of the House, has northern New Mexico support.  But Wiviott has the cash, and has pledged to spend a big chunk of his own money on the campaign.  Benny Shendo, Jr is a Native American, and they comprise 19 percent of the district.  Very interesting.


    • Marco E. Gonzales

    • Dan East

    It doesn’t matter which one wins in June.  This seat will stay Democratic.