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SSP Daily Digest: 1/21

by: Crisitunity

Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 4:00 PM EST

AR-Sen: Talk Business Net has occasionally polled Arkansas for approvals of its local political figures, and they see Blanche Lincoln sinking further into oblivion: she's currently at a 38/56 approval, down from 42/46 in October. One Arkansas Dem who isn't suffering is Governor Mike Beebe, who's at an inhuman 82/9. Beebe obviously plans for re-election and isn't in a position to relieve us of Lincoln in a primary, but Accountability Now is looking a little further down the totem pole and launching to try and get Lt. Gov. Bill Halter into the race (although he's been sounding more interested in the open seat in AR-02).

AZ-Sen: This is good news! For John McCain! However, it has to be bad news for the hordes of teabaggers who had about one day of thinking they'd elected one of their own to the Senate before finding out they'd gotten just got another New England RINO. Newly-elected Scott Brown's first act was to record a robocall in favor of the insufficiently zealous McCain, who may or may not field a challenge from the raving right from J.D. Hayworth. Believe it or not, this wasn't even Brown's first endorsement (the guy's doling out the political capital without having even been sworn in yet). The Hill had a piece this morning titled "Brown's First Endorsement May Backfire," which I assumed was about McCain - but it turns out his first endorsement was of William Hudak, a nobody running in MA-06 against John Tierney. Hudak is a loud-and-proud birther, and now Brown's camp is already trying to figure out how to walk that one back (and getting blasted by Hudak for doing so).

IN-Sen: With rumors flying about Rep. Mike Pence checking out a possible Senate race against Evan Bayh, key Pence ally Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council) said that he doubts there'll be a Pence run for the Senate, and he alluded vaguely to the "possibility" of a 2012 presidential run instead. The Club for Growth, seeing a kindred spirit in Pence, though, has been joining in the chorus pushing him to run.

NC-Sen (pdf): Not much change in the North Carolina Senate race since PPP's last visit, although there's some fluctuation upward in Richard Burr's head-to-head numbers. The faceless Burr's approvals are still very ho-hum, at 36-33 (with 31 still not sure), but he's still holding his own against Generic D (45-36, up quite a bit from a one-digit gap last month, which was probably too optimistic). Encouragingly, though, SoS Elaine Marshall is starting to overperform Generic D; she trails 44-37. Ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham trails 45-36, and attorney Kenneth Lewis (who was recently endorsed by Rep. G.K. Butterfield) trails 46-34.

NY-Sen-B: Harold Ford Jr.'s Senate campaign-type-thing seems ill-timed to coincide with the Democrats' belated and tentative moves to try and tap into anti-bankster anger. Sensing some trouble on that front, he's been refusing to say exactly what kind of work he's been doing for Merrill Lynch. Politico previously described his role ("senior policy adviser") as sort of a nothing-and-everything job: "rainmaker and image buffer, there to impress clients, make connections and put a politic foot forward in public settings."

AL-Gov: More general douchery from Rep. Artur Davis as he tries to run to the right of Ag Comm. Ron Sparks in the Democratic primary, saying of health care reformer supporter Sparks: "Ron Sparks, who supports the flawed health care legislation in Washington, should realize that he is not only out of touch with the state he wants to lead, Ron Sparks would even be out of touch in Massachusetts."

CO-Gov: Here's one sign that the John Hickenlooper camp was caught flat-footed by Gov. Bill Ritter's retirement announcement: they don't own Wanna buy it? It'll only cost you $995, and the Hickenlooper camp doesn't seem to have plans to try to buy it.

IL-Gov: Dan Hynes, who's been running some hard-hitting (some might say "Willie Horton-esque") ads against incumbent Pat Quinn in the Democratic primary, is now touting an internal poll that has him quickly closing the gap to within 7, down 44-37. (Quinn is also getting hit from the right by anti-tax ads from GOPer Andy McKenna.) Hynes's poll also claims that Quinn's approval is down to 36/60 among primary voters - if that doesn't turn around for Quinn after the primary once he isn't getting squeezed from both sides (if he even survives, as his trendline is pointing down), that would certainly bode ill for the general. One other plus for Hynes: he has a cash advantage of more than $1 million against the incumbent.

NY-Gov: The NYT reports on mounting impatience among New York Democratic leaders for AG Andrew Cuomo to get over it and declare his gubernatorial bid already. Insiders say he's already made up his mind to run and is waiting possibly as late as April to announce, though - and already holding a $16 million to $3 million funds edge over David Paterson, he doesn't have to hustle. Still, Stuart Applebaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, is publicly endorsing Cuomo today, as a subtle nudge to get him off his butt.

PA-Gov: Businessman Tom Knox got a lot of early attention in the Democratic governor's primary, but hasn't made much an impression in the polls since then. Rumors have been abounding that Knox was about to drop out of the race and endorse rival Dan Onorato instead, after meeting with Onorato this week. Knox's campaign manager has been tamping those rumors down, today, though.

TX-Gov: With Dick Cheney already offering his endorsement (of questionable value), another Bush administration veteran is about to endorse Kay Bailey Hutchison too in the Texas gubernatorial primary: George Bush himself. Now before you start sputtering, that's Bush the Elder (aka 41, aka Poppy, aka H.W.).

AR-01: In a piece on Rep. Marion Berry sounding pessimistic about passing health care reform, there's also an even more unsettling tidbit buried, saying Berry sounds "a little unsure" about whether he'll even bother running for re-election this year, even though he's not facing much in the way of a GOP challenge (yet). The quickly reddening 1st is not somewhere we want to be defending another open seat.

NY-19: Conservative Republicans who've been looking for an alternative to the country-clubbish Nan Hayworth as a challenger to Democratic Rep. John Hall may have found someone to fit that bill. Thomas DeChiaro, owner of a local winery, says he'll run. As an indication of where he's coming from, he said he's already met with Conservative Party leader Michael Long and "plans to" meet with Republican party leaders soon.

PA-06: It's official: Steven Welch is staying in the GOP primary in the 6th, despite Rep. Jim Gerlach pulling his gubernatorial ripcord and plummeting back into his old seat. Welch may be motivated by nothing more than sunk costs at this point, but he claims he's bolstered by a decent 40% showing at a recent insider straw poll. Looking for an angle in a moderate-vs.-moderate duel, he's also been reaching out to the local teabaggers, but they may be very suspicious of his past support of Democrats.

PA-08: Ex-Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick had sounded kind of coy about a rematch with 2006 victor Rep. Pat Murphy, but all signs are now pointing toward a 2010 run. He's scheduled a Saturday press conference in the district to talk about his plans.

MA-AG: Martha Coakley, now that she has some time on her hands, is planning to run for re-election as Massachusetts Attorney General. It remains to be seen whether she'll draw any primary challengers, now that it's been exposed that she has a glass jaw and turned off a lot of former supporters; some of the county DAs who'd been planning to run to succeed her may be interested in forging ahead anyway.

Governors: Josh Goodman looks at the link between what happened in gubernatorial races in midterm elections where there was a wave at the congressional level. As you'd expect, the party gaining in Congress gains state houses too, although seemingly mostly through open seats.

Filing deadlines: Don't forget to check out our handy SSP calendar, which covers filing deadlines and primary election dates. Kentucky and West Virginia have filing deadlines next week - and then Illinois has its freakishly-early primary in just two more weeks.

Crisitunity :: SSP Daily Digest: 1/21
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Not even through reading this but I gotta comment now
Artus Davis can go to hell.  Thanks for rubbing salt in most of your party's wound, jerk.  Even if there were any lingering who to support, Ill officially say, Ron Sparks!  Ron Sparks!

I agree
It would be sweet irony if Davis not only lost to Sparks in the Dem primary, but lost the African American vote, which would benefit the most from HCR.  

[ Parent ]
The only way I will forgive him... if Davis does what I think is the impossible and actually wins not just the primary but the governor's seat. In my mind, it would make the party-damaging BS he spews at least somewhat worth it.

Otherwise, he'll have voted conservatively in a liberal seat, destroyed a candidate who could've actually won the race (Sparks), and just generally been a giant blot on the already-blotto state of Alabama. But man, Davis does seem to grow more dickish by the week.  

Kansan by birth, Californian by choice, and Gay by the grace of God.

[ Parent ]
Stop the Spark Silliness
Let's talk seriously about this (most Democrats in Alabama already know these):

- Ron Sparks is the least progressive of any of the candidates in the last few cycles, not to even mention this cycle.
- Ron Sparks is against extending unemployment benefits (have you seen the statistics for Alabama?). Makes no sense.
- Ron Sparks is against reforming Alabama's outdated 1901 constitution (which is why we are in many of these situations).
- Ron Sparks OPPOSED healthcare then he changed his mind for political points ( check this out: )

All in all, Sparks didnt even know if he wanted to be lt governor, governor, congressman ( AND check this out )

Its time to stop this silliness.  Democrats in Alabama are NOT supporting Ron Sparks.  Even the polls show that. Even the office talk shows that.

People want a needed change in the state.  Artur Davis actually has a plan and is consistent on the issues.

[ Parent ]
the one thing that pisses me off about Artur Davis is that he's running a scorched Earth campaign. I can understand if he votes against HCR if it helps in his campaign. But the campaign Artur Davis is running is unacceptable. I haven't heard anything positive from Artur Davis, all I've heard is attack attack attack after attack. What's next, is he going to accuse Ron Sparks of being a member of the KKK? Democrats are fighting an uphill battle here, the last thing they need is the kind of primary Artur Davis is hellbent on having that will leave either him or Sparks bloodied with high disapproval ratings and empty campaign treasuries.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
If I worked for the Artur Davis campaign
or if I worked on the GOP campaign, I would say the same thing.

I don't, so I'll say "Go Ron Sparks"!

40, male, Democrat, NC-04

[ Parent ]
dude who only signed up to write that comment, I'll make sure to take your word for it.  You get paid by the Davis campaign per word or per post?

And Id much rather support someone who supports HCR for the wrong reasons than someone who blatantly trashes his own party over it.  

[ Parent ]
Andrew, that comment cracked me up.  Thanks, I needed it!

40, male, Democrat, NC-04

[ Parent ]
Sparks has no chance
There's a reason Davis is killing Sparks in the polls. Sparks is pandering to the base on HCR in a hail mary attempt to win the primary.  Sad truth is he has no chance in the primary, and certainly can't hold a flame the the R field were he to be the nominee.

[ Parent ]
Not that Davis has any chance in the general either

[ Parent ]
I suspect Richard Burr winds up pulling a Mary Landrieu
He'll be the only sitting GOP Senator the Dems believe they can unseat, but he still prevails by about 7%.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

though Burr has the fight the one term curse on his seat though.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
Burr has a horse shoe up his ass
Roy Cooper would have cleaned his clock.  Bob Etheridge could defeat him.  Heath Shuler could have given him a challenge.

I love my state.  North Carolina is the only place I ever want to live.  But the thought that we could reelect Burr reminds me of how we kept on fucking re-electing Jesse Helms.  In defense of Burr, he's not nearly as offensive to me as Helms, but on the flip side, he's so fucking stupid.

Ugh!  I think I'm going to pour myself a drink.

40, male, Democrat, NC-04

[ Parent ]
today I realized that after redistricting the pterodactyl district is going to be gone...which is a true shame...even though it was drawn as part of a GOP gerrymander it really is a beautiful piece of work.

speaking of which, regardless who wins in 2010, won't PA-06 probably be made more Democratic in redistricting in order to shore up PA-16?

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

Bush endorsements
It is interesting that the Bush crowd is endorsing KBH, it won't help her, but it's interesting to me.  

Please donate to to help build more after school centers in the Miami area.  

23, Democrat, IA-2

I dont think Bush and crew were really ever wing nutty as Perry
They just played it to win in 2004.  I think they've always been more from the Republican wing that KBH is in.

[ Parent ]
KBH has been a longtime Bush backer
this is just repaying the favor

[ Parent ]


Still not on board the Barnes bandwagon though.

Im sold if he can win
Winning GA cuts our losses in another gubernatorial somewhere else so Im down if it makes the headlines look better Wednesday morning!  Hell, that really goes for just about any of our Democrats.  I wont go as far as welcoming Griffith back to the party, however.  ;)

[ Parent ]
I just don't believe the polls with this one. Barnes is hugely responsible for destroying the Democratic Party in Georgia.

He has made numerous stops throughout Middle and South GA in the past few months, so maybe he realizes the Metro Atlanta only strategy is a failed strategy.

[ Parent ]
Not enough Democratic strength in metro Atlanta to rely on quite yet and still plenty of rural Democrats to wrangle up that 50%+1.

[ Parent ]
Not really.
Obama's huge gains over Kerry came almost entirely from the cities and suburbs.  The rural areas will not vote Democratic at any level sufficient enough to tip the balance.

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

[ Parent ]
"The rural areas will not vote Democratic at any level sufficient enough to tip the balance."

That is a flat out lie.

[ Parent ]
Show one piece of evidence
that white rural Georgians would vote Democratic today.  

The Unknown is completely correct.

[ Parent ]
"that white rural Georgians would vote Democratic today."

You do realize there are rural counties that have a black majority, right?

[ Parent ]
It's the truth

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

[ Parent ]
General Questions & Comments
Does anyone know if Hynes is a good IL-GOV candidate who could win the general or is just a good primary candidate?

I hope Sparks kicks Davis' ass. Davis is a district that is like D+14 and he is one of the most conservative Dems. I really hope that we find a good progressive candidate for that seat to replace him.

Has Cal Cunningham entered the race? I know he once said no but publicly was re-examining the race. I really hope he runs. Burr is even weaker then Dole was. If Dole can be beat by a nobody who was the Dems 8th option then Cunningham should be able to pound Burr.

What is wrong with SoS Marshall. She is the SoS and she is willing to run for Senate but both in 2008 and in 2010 the DSCC is looking desperately for anyone else. Is she not electable and just won SoS because of a fluke? Has she been awful since being elected? Does anyone know if Perdue's atrocious numbers (18-45 last I heard) is going to hurt the Dems senate race or do people just not like Bev Perdue?  

Cunningham is announced and in.

I dont really know why Marshall seems to be such an unappealing candidate.  My overall feeling is that most just dont think she can pull it off and has the fire in her belly to do it.  

And agree on your optimism with this race.  We are in the exact same position we were in 2008 except we have two excellent candidates vs just one.

[ Parent ]
Yeah I just visited Cunningham's site. Really excited now! I'm a student in DC and I think I might just convince some other college Dems to take the 5 hour car drive down to Raleigh/Winston-Salem/Durham with me and campaign for Cunningham on weekends. That's the great thing about not having class on Fridays!

[ Parent ]
just went to his site now
He reminds of John Edwards back in his glory days.  Yup, Cunningham is going to knock it out of the park.

[ Parent ]
I'm wondering the same thing about Perdue
I'm amazed that recent NC polling has looked as good as it does given Perdue's freefall.  

Independent Socialist & Chair of SSP Cranky Indianian Hoosier Caucus, IN-09

[ Parent ]
Do you know why Perdue is the least popular official in the country right now? Has she done anything wrong or has she not done anything?

[ Parent ]
Perdue's Problems
She has raised taxes to deal with the state's budget deficit and North Carolina has a high unemployment rate.  Plus, she lacks charisma and spent a long time sending conflicting signals in respect to finishing I-485, (Charlotte's outerbelt highway) although now there is a financing program to complete it.  

[ Parent ]
I think the Easley corruption hurts some too. EOM.

[ Parent ]
Another big factor
While she did raise taxes, she made a lot of budget cuts. One of these was cutting the pay of all state employees (including teachers) by .5%, which pissed off the state employees and teachers associations. So she not only angered the Republicans, but also angered much of her Democratic base.

They did a poll a few months ago showing hos Democrats disliked her because they thought that she was too conservative, but Republicans disapproved because they found her too liberal. It's just hard to be a governor right now because of the fiscal choices brought on by the recession.

[ Parent ]
SoS Marshall is not appealing ...
.. because she came in third in the 2002 Senate primary.  SofS is just an elected bureacrat.

Cunningham has the best chance IMO, but given the national mood and the John Edwards comparison (to Cunnigham), I fear Burr will slip by.  But it is still the best shot the D's have to beat a GOP incumbent.    

I just made the John Edwards comparison
And that's because John Edwards won his Senate race.  

[ Parent ]
Cunningham vs. Edwards
I don't think anyone will confuse these two. Edwards sounds like a trial lawyer/car dealer every time he talks. I always feel like I need to really listen to what he says or he'll slide the fine print shit in when I'm not paying attention.

Plus, people in NC did once vote for Edwards so if there is a similarity between the two then maybe it'll be a good thing.

[ Parent ]
I'm worried about Elaine
I have a friend that is close to Elaine, and from what I've heard there may be some issues about Elaine's willingness to put up a big fight in the primary and the general election.  I don't know if her heart is in it.  She recently lost her husband, but I don't know if that is directly the root of the problem.  I hate to assume anything.

The deal is that Elaine is pretty low profile in NC.  She probably got the most publicity when she was first elected in 1996 because she beat Richard "the King" Petty.  Yes, the same Petty that won 200 Nascar races.  NC might be NASCAR country, but the King wasn't electable...

40, male, Democrat, NC-04

[ Parent ]
should retire. I'm sorry, I maybe bitter about the fact that her complacency helped cost us Ted Kennedy's seat and basically killed HCR, but she isn't a good politician. If she runs for governor in the future, I highly doubt she would win because she cannot deal with being under pressure.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

I will be surprised if Coakley doesn't get her ass primaried. I bet 90% of Democrats hate her right now.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

[ Parent ]
I agree
there's a whole bunch of ambitious Mass Dems who are going to say "If you don't want to leave, we'll do it for you."

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
I really don't think HCR is dead at all
Despite what happens but yeah Coakley needs to be primaried hard after what happened she's truely a disgrace to the state after blowing this very important race.

BTW I read that gaffe she made on Afganistan. What a idiot. Seriously, Al-Quida isn't there anymore? Wow, just wow.

[ Parent ]
Are there
any progressive party reformers in the Mass legislature we can run against Coakley? I know it would look bad to anyone outside the netroots, but she has to pay and she needs to be kept away from any important race forever.

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
It appears HCR will be done how I think it shouldve been done
Less ambitious, simpler, and a lot less room for confusion.  They shouldve done it in steps from get-go because doing one giant 2000 pg bill allowed the right wing noise machine to distort the whole thing, confuse people, and completely screw us over.

If they had just done it one issue at a time, insurance reform, expand availability, and then price control, they couldve gotten 3 separate victories, and we would never have been in this mess.

Ive kind of argued both, rush it through and get it done with and now Im arguing take it slow and do it incrementally.  I think when its clear we cant rush a giant complex bill through to not allow the marketing confusion, then we need to do it incrementally and have the transparency people want.  What is clear is that having a giant complex bill and it taking 7 months is the completely wrong option.

[ Parent ]
So you believe it's not dead
Like how I think Andrew. I'm getting mixed signals from your post. I know it sounds like a stupid question but I just want some clearification. Or are you saying that you think it's not dead but now they will be taking a slimplier way to get it done, is that what your saying?

[ Parent ]
I read that
Obama and co. will be making the bill a lot simpler so they can just get something passed everyone agrees on.  Which its time to do, cut our losses, do what needs to be done and just pass something, period.

[ Parent ]
Where you read that at?
Not that I don't believe you, I certainly do I just want thr link. I believe the same thing you do that it should be simple, not lous and to the point. Pass it, cut our losses and move on to the economy.

[ Parent ]
bah, of course now I cant find it
It was the main headline Wednesday morning on either or  Granted, it's kind of a moot point now because I've read several articles stating several different plans for HCR.

Just get it done!

[ Parent ]
"Just get it done! "
Couldn't agree more. In fact you just answered your own questions. By saying just get it done you also stated that there are several different plans for HCR which is good because it shows that there determined to get it done like what both of us obviously want.

[ Parent ]
will roll dead. The only reforms the GOP will go for is tort reform and forking over a tax credit to every person in America, and if you have a preexisting condition, good luck! You must of pissed off god, otherwise he wouldn't of cursed you with cancer. Plus the GOP got Ted Kennedy's senate seat by running against Health Care reform, why change course now?

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
"Plus the GOP got Ted Kennedy's senate seat by running against Health Care reform, why change course now?"
I think you just answered your own question. First we lost that seat because of a crappy candidate who thought no terriorst were in Afghanistan. Second Losing Ted's seat is exactly why we got to change the course the bit because we don't have 60 votes anymore and to pass HCR in the Senate do what Andrew says the Administration wants to do. Pass a simple bill that everyone can agree on for the most part, cut or losses, sign the bill into law, declare victory and move onto the economy.

[ Parent ]
Several overall comments
AZ-Sen:  Not only is Brown endorsing and most likely going to be campaigning for McCain, Sarah Palin has also said she'll be doing some campaigning for McCain.  They aren't the best pair obviously but she owes him her current status.

NC-Sen: Those are some good numbers still and this is so reminiscent of NC-Sen 2008, but with the incumbent even being in a more precarious shape.  Burr needs to start introducing himself now with some tv ads because if he waits for the Dems to introduce Burr to NC, he will not like the results.

NY-Sen B: My thinking is Ford decides against running.  There has been a lot negative press and he has had to cover his ass in just about every news story I read about him.  I imagine he'll see the writing on the wall and that it isnt meant to be.  It's kind of too bad, if he had ran as a liberal from the get go when he was in TN, I imagine many more party stalwarts would at least contemplate him.

IL-Gov: I see an ad for Dan Hynes everytime I go to one of my daily reads, which is a GLBT news blog.  Apparently he's for gay marriage and Quinn is not.  Hynes is working this hard because that is the only candidate ad Ive ever seen on that blog I think.

NY-Gov: My guess is that Cuomo is waiting til as late as possible so to give Paterson as little of time as possible to make this into a huge, ugly brawl.

Harold Ford "slips," tells several people he's officially running
[ Parent ]
By the way
where did the whole "Harold Ford Jr waves at the people from a helicopter" thing come from?

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
That link?
Looks like the Romanoff campaign has already bought it. Take a look:

The whois info points to "private registration"
via DomainsbyProxy, an arm of

[ Parent ]
CA-Gov: GOP nod Whitman's to lose, down 10 against Brown

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