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SSP Daily Digest: 9/15

by: Crisitunity

Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 3:07 PM EDT

CO-Sen: Former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton is set to launch her bid for the GOP nomination for the Senate today; however, not every prominent Colorado Republican is on board. Ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo lit into her, saying she's "not ready for prime time" and that he would have less of a problem with her if she'd worked the regular behind-the-scene channels in preparing for the race instead of parachuting in at the last minute, apparently at the urging of family friend John McCain. Those on the left, however, are casting a dark eye toward her lobbying past: she used be the head of government relations for a for-profit health care lobbying shop.

KS-Sen: The GOP primary in Kansas is commonly understood to be an establishment/movement duel between Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt. However, the endorsements in the race are scrambling that a bit, as South Carolina's Jim DeMint, maybe the nuttiest guy in the Senate, has endorsed Moran (the 'moderate' in the race, who surprisingly also got Tom Coburn's endorsement this spring). The somewhat more mainstream figures of John McCain and Richard Burr will also headline Moran fundraisers in DC.

NH-Sen: Instead of linking to that Populus poll (with a bizarre sample that's way off state party composition) that shows Rep. Paul Hodes losing 54-39 to a generic Republican, I'll just direct you to Dean Barker's authoritative takedown of the poll and of Populus in general.

NY-Sen-B: As suspected, that Rudy Giuliani-for-Senate thing that happened yesterday was just cloud talk. Via right-hand-man Tony Carbonetti, the word is that Giuliani doesn't see himself as a Senator, and only belongs in chief executive positions instead.

CA-Gov: Here's about as big an endorsement as SF mayor Gavin Newsom could have hoped for in his bid for California Governor, where he has been sinking into underdog status in the Dem primary against AG Jerry Brown. Bill Clinton will appear at an Oct. 5 event for Newsom. (Payback for Brown staying around in the 1992 presidential primary after it had been sorted out?) The popularity of the Clinton brand, especially among Latinos, may give Newsom a boost among the state's Latinos, who haven't shown much interest in Newsom yet.

NJ-Gov: PPP, like most pollsters, shows a narrowing edge for Chris Christie in New Jersey but Jon Corzine still standing at the bottom of a hole. Christie leads Corzine 44-35 (improved from 50-36 last month), with independent Chris Daggett pulling in his strongest performance in any poll yet, at 13%. Corzine just isn't gaining, but Christie seems to be leaking votes to Daggett, suggesting there are a lot of Dems and Dem-leaning indies who hate Corzine but can't bring themselves to vote for a Republican (Corzine is polling at only 64% among Democrats). Also similar to other pollsters, there seems to be a big enthusiasm gap at work on the Dem side: among those who fit into PPP's likely voter screen, Barack Obama won only 48-46 in 2008 (despite his actual 15-pt edge last year).

VA-Gov: This bodes ill for Creigh Deeds: one of his electability assets was that he was the most gun-friendly of the Democratic candidates. However, the National Rifle Association -- who, in the 2005 Attorney General's race endorsed Deeds over Bob McDonnell -- turned around and endorsed McDonnell over Deeds in the Governor's race.

IL-10: State Rep. Julie Hamos got a key endorsement in her primary fight against 06/08 nominee Dan Seals, from EMILY's List. That gives her a national fundraising profile that may help counteract Seals' netroots backing.

NH-02: It seems like there has been an endless supply of "Charlie Bass is weighing his options" stories out of New Hampshire, but the ex-Rep. now says he's "leaning toward" a run to get back his old seat. However, the moderate Bass would first have to survive a primary against conservative radio blabber Jennifer Horn, who was the 2008 candidate against Rep. Paul Hodes and has said she's back for another try.

PA-03: John Onorato made it official: he'll be running against freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper. He's currently general counsel for the Manufacturer and Business Association, but he used to be Erie County Solicitor, an elected office with a constituency that makes up almost half of the district.

SC-04: I might as well just start the "Bob Inglis Deathwatch" series today. The South Carolina Republican, who used to be one of the most conservative House members but has been sounding increasingly moderate (and sick of Republican hypocrisy) lately, Twittered a suggestion for neighbor Joe Wilson to apologize on the House floor for his outburst. This is the same Inglis who voted for TARP and against the Iraq Surge, and who told town hall screamers to turn off the Glenn Beck; he faces several serious primary challengers in this mega-evangelical R+15 district.

VA-05: Cordel Faulk, the former spokesperson for Larry Sabato's Univ. of Virginia Center for Politics, said that he won't run for the GOP nod to oppose Tom Perriello after all. Still no top-tier (or even second or third-tier) GOP candidate in this district that presents, on paper, one of their best pickup opportunities.

VA-07: A local real estate developer, Charles Diradour, has announced that he'll run as a Democrat against Republican whip Eric Cantor in Richmond's suburbs. He'll need to bring a lot of developer money to the table if he's going to have a chance at Cantor, the House Republicans' biggest fundraiser, in this R+9 district.

CfG: The Club for Growth is havnig a busy day. They just announced endorsements in the area where they can do the least harm, in open-seat GOP primaries in super-red districts. They endorsed state Sen. Tim Huelskamp in KS-01, and state Rep. Tom Graves in GA-09. Interestingly, they're also interviewing both Rand Paul and Trey Grayson to see if they want to get involved in the Kentucky primary.

NYC: It's primary election day for New York City's elective offices, and the final SurveyUSA poll (sampled the 11th through the 13th) is out today. In the mayor's race, Comptroller William Thompson, at 46%, seems clear of the 40% mark that necessitates a runoff. We're seeing momentum in two different directions below that, though. Former PA Mark Green is losing steam in the Public Advocate's race, down to 33%, making a runoff likely against city councilor Bill DeBlasio (who's at 23%). Meanwhile, city councilor John Liu is making a break for the 40% line; he's at 37%, while David Yassky and Melinda Katz are fighting for 2nd (at 22% and 21% respectively).

Crisitunity :: SSP Daily Digest: 9/15
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KS-Sen, NH-Sen:
KS-Sen: It really looks like Moran has this one locked up.

NH-Sen: Dude, is there something in NH state law that requires all NH-based independent pollsters to suck? We get more wonky numbers and bad methodology out of that state than any other.  

Moran has it locked up because he has the endorsements of some politicians no one in KS has ever heard of?

[ Parent ]
because his CD already overlaps more than half of the state's land area, and he's absurdly popular in his own CD - in 2008 he won by a ridiculous 82-13, 79-20 in 2006, and 92-0 (unopposed) in 2004. He's led in fundraising for most of the cycle. By contrast, Tiahrt is only really well know in Wichita and would have to introduce himself to a large block of the state that already enthusiastically likes Moran. If you assume that most of CD1 goes to Moran and most of CD4 goes to Tiahrt, that leaves the eastern part of the state near Kansas City, which is traditionally Mod country - there are way more votes for a candidate like Moran (actual conservative who opposed NCLB and Medicare Part D, among other things) than a candidate like Tiahrt (single-issue anti-abortion empty suit).

[ Parent ]
Moran has the establishment support
...but establishment support doesn't necessarily translate into a win with the primary electorate. (Not necessarily, but usually.)

[ Parent ]
is not going to buck Republicans on a major public race. Of course not. Never. They're not even going to bother endorsing both candidates, which is hypocritical because both candidates are nearly equally pro-gun.

However I wouldn't worry about it much. Deeds record is highly pro-gun, nothing they can run against him and the base of people who tend to really care what the NRA thinks are very conservative hard right voters anyway, the vast majority.

The only unfortunate thing is the media and casual pro-gun activists getting pushed perhaps unfairly in one direction. A poor movement by the NRA, national Democrats should return the favor.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

The Rudy for Senate thing was just Fred Dicker dreaming.

Lately Dicker has turned into a giant Andrew Cuomo shill. Gov. Paterson called him out on it when he went on his the NY Press is out to get me (and racist) rant.

Dicker was probably jsut throwing the Rudy for Senate trial ballon out there to hurt Rudy & help Cuomo.

I still think it makes more sense for Andrew Cuomo to run for US Senate.

Why anyone other than a Rudy Giuliani (or Elliot Spitzer) type would delusional enought to think that they could fix the mess in Albany is beyond me.

If I was Cuomo and looking at a lifetime of prestige in the US Senate (and a possible Presidential run) vs. dealing with the likes of Pedro Espanda in Albany the decision would be a no brainer.

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A lot of Dean Barker's criticisms were good
But did he really have to include, as a criticism, that Populus uses IVR polling? I mean seriously, there are plenty of pollsters (SUSA and PPP, just to name two) who use IVR and are perfectly legitimate.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

This is ok for Deeds. He needs a big turnout in Northern Va to win, not having their endorsement won't hurt him. He needs the prez's numbers to continue to go up, and then he can barnstorm NoVa, Richmond, and Hampton Roads with Deeds.

State Sen Robert Hurt R-Chatham is likely to run against Perriello. He's probably a 2nd tier candidate.

VA-Gov: you're wrong on the NRA impact......
This just doesn't really matter because everyone pretty much saw it coming, and it already was factored into the voting decisions of pro-gun voters.  Since 4 years ago both Deeds and McDonnell have flip-flopped on the one-a-month handgun limit that was enacted long ago under Doug Wilder, with Deeds now supporting it and McDonnell opposing it.  And Deeds now supports closing the gun show loophole, with McDonnell opposed as he's always been.  The Washington Post had a piece some weeks back about a gun show in NoVA where it became obvious to the reporter that everyone was for McDonnell.

The bottom line is that there's no more blood for Deeds to lose on the guns issue, that bleeding clotted awhile ago, and the NRA endorsement really is something of a Johnny-come-lately.

Ben Tribbett at asserts this actually helps Deeds by alerting liberal anti-gun voters that they need to care about supporting Deeds, when they didn't previously like him, and that's plausible but Ben--as he does routinely on so many things--badly overstates the impact.  That Deeds doesn't actually juxtapose himself against McDonnell on guns except very passively limits his ability to motivate on that issue.  But it's possible the NRA endorsement might dovetail nicely with Deeds "McDonnell is scary!" messaging to the Democratic base, and in that way there is mild help.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

Deeds is in pretty weak shape...
...but the NRA endorsement for McDonnell is hardly unexpected.

In California, sure, this is marvelous news for Newsom, but I continue to believe Brown would be an infinitely stronger candidate in the general. Especially if the GOP gets around a moderate like Whitman.

And, in New York City, Thompson is surely running away with the Mayoral nod. For Public Advocate, my suspicion is Mark Green may very well pull off the 40%; his supporters aren't as visible as De Blasio's or Gioa's, but my suspicion all along has been Green handily wins over undecideds on name recognition. For Comptroller, Liu's looking good, but I suspect he doesn't break 40% and winds up in a run-off with Yassky.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

NY-AD38 Special Election
I went and voted this afternoon in the special election for AD38 here in Queens, and then for the citywide primaries;

My candidates were Thompson, Katz and Gioia.

Interesting not for AD38, while Democrats will almost certainly win the seat, I was the 95th person to vote at my polling place (compare that with last year's presidential primary when I was the 124th person to vote at about the same time, indicates pretty good turnout), and one of the election ladies whispered to the other lady as she copied my name out of the book; "not one Republican has come out yet at this precicent"

PPP's NJ poll
13% for Daggett?! Wow! That's completely unexpected, and quite possibly an anomaly. Of course, they're not the first pollsters to place him in the double digits...

Perriello does have an announced challenger, Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd. He just announced yesterday that he'd run. I'd put him as a low-2nd to high-3rd tier challenger. He's just a local officeholder and was only elected in 2007, but he could eat into Perriello's Charlottesville base. Could.

I'd say that the lack of challengers to an obviously-vulnerable incumbent like Perriello indicates the 5th District Republicans were unprepared for this. They must have assumed Goode would sail to re-election, and now they're trying to find a decent challenger. The district is so historically Democratic (Goode is the only Republican elected to the district since the 19th Century, and he started off as a "Democrat") that the Republicans just aren't used to having to field candidates for this seat.

Virginia "blogfather" Waldo Jaquith Summarized it Nicely
in a post here.

Basically he states:

The reason this is all such a mess is that the Fifth District Republican Committee basically consists of Virgil Goode and Tucker Watkins. There was no Fifth District Republican Committee to speak of until Goode switched parties. (What would the point have been?) So the party existed around the concept of getting Goode reelected. (Fun fact: When the prior chair of the Fifth District Democratic Committee retired a few years ago, the guest of honor at the retirement party that he threw for himself was...Rep. Virgil Goode, the very guy he claimed to have been working to unseat.) 5CD Republicans have never had to do anything else, and never prepared for the possibility of doing anything else, other than doing whatever Goode said to do. So now that they're tasked with actually having to run a candidate, they've got no structure, no pecking order, no organization that would allow a Republican in the 5CD to determine if they're a viable candidate or not. The usual rising-through-the-ranks concept doesn't apply. So any dope can up and declare they're running for congress. As they are, in spades, with many more coming, apparently.

Nothing sums it up better.

[ Parent ]
That's surprising
as this district has been voting for Republican Presidential nominees I'd assume for awhile now.  And even though this the South where normal political ideology is a bit screwy, you'd think that they'd at least have some infrastructure to getting a candidate.

What's the ratio to Dems and GOPers that represent state legislature seats in this district?

[ Parent ]
Let's have a look...
These are all the state legislators who live in the district. Some of the districts overlap with VA-05, but the reps don't live in it, so I didn't make note of them.

House of Delegates:

Charles Poindexter (R-9; Franklin/Pittsylvania - at 67 he's not likely to be aiming for higher office)
Ward Armstrong (D-10; very very southwestern edge of the district and the House Minority Leader)
Danny Marshall (R-14; Danville area)
Don Merricks (R-16; Martinsville/Pittsylvania)
Lacey Putney (I-19; Bedford/Botetourt)
Kathy Byron (R-22; Bedford/Campbell)
David Toscano (D-57; Charlottesville and part of Albemarle)
Rob Bell (R-58; wedge around the eastern side of Charlottesville)
Watkins Abbitt (I-59; pretty much all the territory directly south of Albemarle)
Clarke Hogan (R-60; very south end of the district and he's retiring this year)
Tommy Wright (R-61; southeastern edge of the district)

State Senate:

Frank Ruff (R-15; his Senate district takes in parts of the eastern side of the distric from Mecklenburg up to Fluvanna)
Robert Hurt (R-19; southwestern part of the district and the most likely candidate in 2010)
Steve Newman (R-23; Bedford/Lynchburg area)

It looks like an impressive list, but honestly I can't see most of these people making a successful bid for higher office. The Republican gerrymander of the House map has given them a strong hold on that chamber, but it seems to have cost them in candidates that can appeal to swing voters. Rob Bell and maybe Danny Marshall would probably be their strongest possibilities.

[ Parent ]
CQ Politics article today:

As Senator, Rep. Kirk Would Oppose Climate Bill He Backed

At a Republican rally last weekend in suburban DuPage County, Kirk drew boos from the crowd when he said he voted for the bill "because it was in the narrow interest of my congressional district."

After pausing to acknowledge the opposition, Kirk drew cheers when he said, "As your representative, representing the entire state of Illinois, I would vote 'no' on that bill coming up."

Do you suppose he will try to do a double flip if he wins the Republican primary? What a hypocrite! But it goes to show that, even in Illinois, a Republican doesn't think he can win by running on reality and sanity. The temperatures will continue to rise and the ice caps will continue to melt, regardless of whether Republicans - and many Democrats - ignore it.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

Er dude (Kirk)
The state is more Democratic than your district.

[ Parent ]
Check out the Kirk's rally speech on YouTube (it's linked to in the CQ article that Pan posted above). He seems almost giddy to shed his moderate robes and embrace some extremely conservative messaging and rhetoric which will play well in southern Illinois and nowhere else. Cook and Rothenberg call this race a tossup; I strongly disagree. Kirk is playing far too right for Obama's home state.

[ Parent ]
Although it is only
by 2% more Democratic.

But really, a journalist will need to call him out on that.

[ Parent ]
Emily's List endorsement not news
Emily's List endorsing Julie Hamos over Dan Seals is not news.  When I was a journalism student, I learned that when dog bites man it is not news but when man bites dog, it is news.

I may be supporting Hamos, but Emily's List's endorsement is merely a dog biting man (Seals).  It has little value

Add some more fuel to the Bob Inglis Deathwatch.
He was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote for admonishing Joe Wilson.

Yep, I can't wait to hear the nuts on WORD radio tomorrow
Inglis has shown some REAL growth and integrity the last couple of years.  

He actually puts PRINCIPLE above politics.  He has my vote in the primary.

BTW, SC Supt. of Education Jim Rex announced he IS running for Governor.  He is the only statewide elected Democrat currently.    

[ Parent ]
I hope he wins
But if he loses, don't be too surprised if President Obama offers him some kind of position. Mr. Obama likes non-crazy Republicans he can work with.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

[ Parent ]
Reid down by 10 vs Lowden, 7 vs Tarkanian

Good Analysis Johnny.

Most of those guys on the list have no desire to run for congress, even Watkins Abbitt, whose father was a congressman in the 1960s. Robert Hurt will likely run, but I think Perrielo should be favored for relection as long as Albemarle turns out and he doesn't get killed in the areas Hurt is known in and in Pittsylvania.

Il-10 What netroots backing does Dan Seals have?
He may have had them in his previous races but not so sure he's the netroots candidate of choice this time around.

John Onorato, recently announced Republican in PA-03, is a former Erie County Solicitor.  It has been stated on SSP twice that the position of Solicitor is an elective office in Erie County and serves as a prosecutor.  That is incorrect.  Erie County, like every other county in Pennsylvania, has an elected District Attorney.  The Solicitor is appointed by the Erie County Executive and serves at the pleasure of the Executive.  The Solicitor acts as the County's in-house legal counsel.  I don't know if John Onorato has ever run for public office, but he couldn't have run for Solicitor.

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