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SSP Daily Digest: 6/25

by: Crisitunity

Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 1:48 PM EDT

AR-Sen: There seems to be a competition among Arkansas Republican Senate candidates to see who can make the biggest ass of himself. It was businessman Curtis Coleman's turn this time; yesterday, in reference to southeast Arkansas (where most of the state's African-American population is), he said you "might as well get a visa and shots" before heading down there. Not content to stop digging his own hole, today he explained that what he meant was "accentuate or maybe even celebrate the enormous diversity we have in Arkansas.... I love Southeast Arkansas and meant it only as a metaphor." Oh, well, if it's only a metaphor, I guess that makes it OK.

DE-Sen: After Rep. Mike Castle made an inartful comment a few days ago ("They've asked me to run for Senate as a Republican. I don't know if I'm going to do that."), he went ahead and clarified that he isn't intending to switch parties.

FL-Sen: Marco Rubio picked up a potentially useful endorsement in the GOP Senate primary: Rep. Jeff Miller, who represents FL-01 in the dark-red Panhandle, an area of the state where Rubio is little known so far but where his hard-right conservatism is likely to play well. Miller endorsed Charlie Crist in the 2006 governor's primary.

MO-Sen: Here's another minor tea leaf that former Treasurer Sarah Steelman won't be getting into the Senate primary: prominent Missouri political operative Gregg Keller, who was reportedly set to work for Steelman, instead went to Connecticut to manage Tom Foley's CT-Sen campaign.

NC-Sen: Here's some good news out of North Carolina: former state Senator and Iraq vet Cal Cunningham seems to be moving to get into the Senate race for the Dems. Cunningham described his efforts to put together a campaign in a post to his Facebook supporters group.

NH-Sen: With establishment figures dithering on whether to get into the GOP Senate primary, businessman Fred Tausch is jumping into the void, launching a TV spot promoting his fiscal-discipline advocacy group, STEWARD of Prosperity. He says he's interested in the Senate race, although not ready to publicly declare.

VT-Sen: It wasn't a done deal that 69-year-old Pat Leahy would be back for another term in the Senate, but he confirmed yesterday he'll be back for a seventh term.

AZ-Gov: Former Democratic state party chair and 2006 Senate candidate Jim Pederson said today that he won't run for Arizona governor, despite earlier statements of his interest. This leaves AG Terry Goddard (who has said he "intends" to run) with a pretty clear shot at the Dem nomination; it remains unclear if Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, armpit-deep in a frustrating fight with her GOP-held legislature, will run for a full term.

CA-Gov: Rep. Loretta Sanchez announced she won't be running for Governor but will seek another term in the House; she naturally became a topic of conversation with LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's exit from the race, leaving the Dem field without a SoCal, Hispanic, or female candidate. On the GOP side, Rep. John Campbell's defection from the Steve Poizner camp to the Meg Whitman camp was just the tip of the iceberg: three state legislators and a county chair just flipped.

SC-Gov: State Rep. Nikki Haley has been the subject of breathless conservative hype over the past few months as the anti-spending candidate to replace Mark Sanford (and also Sanford's preferred choice for the job, if you read the tea leaves). See this pre-Sanford-implosion Politico piece from earlier this week to see what I mean. But with revelations that Sanford hasn't been able to keep it in his pants or on this continent (a snap SUSA poll finds 60% of state residents think he should resign, with only 34% saying stay in office), Haley has moved to distance herself from Sanford, scrubbing all traces of him from her website where he was once prominently featured. (J)

UT-Gov: Soon-to-be Gov. Gary Herbert looks like he won't have a free ride at the nominating convention in the 2010 special election. Univ. of Utah professor Kirk Jowers, who reportedly had been offered the role as Herbert's Lt. Gov., is the subject of a draft movement and may challenge Herbert for the top job instead -- with Josh Romney (son of Mitt) as his LG. Rep. Jason Chaffetz appears to be in their corner.

ID-01: Idaho pollster Greg Smith tested the approvals of local politicians, and Idahoans just like their politicians, gosh darn it, even that Demmycrat Walt Minnick (whose approval is 47/20, good news heading into a potentially very tough re-election). Governor Butch Otter has the most troublesome numbers, and even he's at 47/35.

IL-07: Here's a potential open seat, although at D+35, not one we're going to have to sweat very hard. Rep. Danny Davis, who had been vaguely associated with the IL-Sen primary, now looks to be taking concrete steps toward running for President of the Cook County Board, forming an exploratory committee. Davis was runner-up in that race three years ago. This time, he says he has a poll giving him a 7-point lead over county commissioner Forrest Claypool, who was presumptive frontrunner but pulled out of the race last week. With over 5 million constituents, it seems like a pretty good gig.

NY-23: New York county Democratic leaders set an initial timeline for finding a nominee for the upcoming special election to replace Rep. John McHugh. July 17 is the deadline for declaring interest.

PA-03: With no GOPer left to challenge freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, Elaine Surma formed an exploratory committee to consider a bid. With no elective track record, she's a senior agent with the state Attorney General's office.

PA-15: Bethlehem mayor John Callahan's seeming change of heart about running against Rep. Charlie Dent comes after having been called by Joe Biden last week with promises of White House support in the race.

VA-02, VA-05: Roll Call looks at the prospects for the Virginia freshmen. Ex-Rep. Virgil Goode is apparently close to making a decision on whether to try to wrest the 5th back from Rep. Tom Perriello, with state Del. Rob Bell or state Sen. Rob Hurt as backup plans. In the 2nd, none of the local elected GOP officials seem to be moving toward the race, and the GOP field is more a hodge-podge of various businessmen/veterans: Chuck Smith, Ed Maulbeck, Ben Loyola, and possibly Scott Rigell.

Crisitunity :: SSP Daily Digest: 6/25
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ID-01 and general comments
That is incredibly good approvals for ID-1. Amazingly good name ID as well for being only 6 months in on his first term. I just think Walt Minnick might get re-elected after all.

I kinda have the feeling that the entire Cook County delegation (both US Reps and Cook County administration) needs a thorough cleaning. New representation across the board. The guy that replaced Obama in the state senate seemed impressive enough, send him to higher office.

As a comic book nerd, I am thrilled that the senate's comic book fan (go see The Dark Knight and Batman and Robin for cameos) will be around for another 6 years in Pat Leahy.

PA-15 - I'll be a little shocked if there is a big race both here and in PA-6. Just the waiting game now.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

You probably should be banned
For suggesting anyone should see "Batman & Robin."

[ Parent ]
There is one way to watch it
Audio Commentary on, drinks in hand.

Take a shot every time Schumacher tries to justify it.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
Uma Thurman looks fantastic
Well, I tried...

[ Parent ]
Ah yes...
I've heard lots about that commentary, though I've never listened to it myself (and NO, I will not buy B&R just to hear a commentary).

I remember Leahy in TDK, but was he really in B&R?  

[ Parent ]
Sure it's good news that he's popular, but I'm sure you'll agree that definitely is no guarantee he'll be reelected. The eventual Republican candidate might be more popular, especially when voters' party preferences are taken into account. One precedent is the defeat of Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island. Exit polls showed that his popularity was around 60%, but his membership in the Republican Party was unacceptable to more than half the voting public in the state at that time. As a total non-expert on Idaho, I suspect that the state of the economy and the identity of the Republican candidate will have a lot to do with the final result. If the economy is good and the candidate is Bill Sali, Minnick may well be reelected. Otherwise, the jury is out.

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

[ Parent ]
Good point
Though in the case of Chafee, control of the Senate was at stake.  If the Democrats had a clear majority, they may have been more willing to elect a liberal Republican.

In the case of Minnick, with the GOP having no chance at taking back the House, Idahoans may wish to keep a voice in the Majority, even if it means voting Demmycrat.

[ Parent ]
That's possible. I don't know what kind of reasoning they will engage in, but I do see how the likelihood of a close division could have a psychological effect on voters.

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

[ Parent ]
It seems as if the Obama crew are really targetting Northeastern Republicans more so than any other ones when it comes to taking over House seats.  

Overall plan to really make the Republican Party into the Southern Party?  It can only have good long-term affects to be able to paint them that way.

Lowest hanging fruit, too
I'm in the Northeast, New York/New England.  All the utility-based rationales for voting Republican are sounding pretty hollow to people wherever I go.  The ego appeals still work, sort of, but there's a real sense that an era has passed.  There are few young Republican politicians worth note, the GOP here is all old white guys with not a whole lot left to say anyone wants to hear and the paycheck is their principal reason not to retire.  They're generating a real political vacuum that Democrats that can easily fill as long as they don't campaign/look 'too liberal'.

Republicans are still holding on in chunks of northern Appalachia (from the Potomac to Lake George to Aristook County) but the attrition in the past couple of elections has been substantial.  And there's nothing to stop it I can see.  I won't be surprised if NY-23 goes Democratic.  (Watertown and Fort Drum give me some hesitation.)

Republicans are doing a stint as the Reactionary White Christian Party now.  My analysis of Culture War issue polling and polling trends (I really should write it all up, but it's long) suggests that in 2016-2018 there's going to be major conservative crackup on a bunch of generational 'religious' and racial issues- abortion is probably the biggest.  And in other Culture War issues national popular support goes over the 50% mark for the liberal view, turning their conservative stances on them into electoral liability.  

That's when they have no choice but to abandon a pile of stances and go over to championing conservative stances on emerging issues.  These are more incoherent with each other, require more revisionist/fantasy social retrogression to link into a conservatopia.  

[ Parent ]
Sounds like Nye is not going to have a top-tier challenger! So glad Drake isn't running again. Seeing her and Goode go down was one of my highlights from election night.  

The two to watch
are State Sen. Frank Wagner and Del. Sal Iaquinto. They're the two most likely in the 2nd to make a bid for higher office.

[ Parent ]
Comments like that aren't uncommon in this state.  There's a lot of contempt held for other parts of the state in various regions, so much so that when Beebe was running for governor he worked in lines on how we're all in this together and things like that.

The Nashville Tennesseean is reporting that the Memphius Mayor, 69 year old Willie Herenton, is resigning his job early to campaign full-time against Steve Cohen.  It certainly seemed from the article that Herenton had one "issue", race.  Shades of Nikki Tinker?

Herenton has been Mayor of Memphis for 18 years.  This sounds like a serious challenge.

He's a joke
From what I understand, Herenton has seen the entire Memphis political community turn on him.

Cohen is going to remain a Congressman, because, despite his skin color, he's an actually GOOD Congressman.  Something beautiful to that.

[ Parent ]
AZ-Gov: What about Gordon?
I thought Mayor Gordon of Phoenix was looking at the governor's race as well.

Big catch vs Dent no?


Holy crap, I almost thought you meant Colleen.
That was a dud.

Speaking of which, do we have anyone viable to go up against Schock?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
GA-Sen: We have a candidate, apparently
The blog Peanut Politics is reporting that RJ Hadley, a former Obama delegate from Rockdale County and chief of staff to someone.  I can't find a website, but he has a Facebook page (where he says he's a Dartmouth alumnus) and an Organizing for America page.

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

Who's Tom Foley?
prominent Missouri political operative Gregg Keller, who was reportedly set to work for Steelman, instead went to Connecticut to manage Tom Foley's CT-Sen campaign.


Are we talking about this guy?  And is he running in SC, not CT?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

Wait, there's some article from the Stamford Advocate linked in that Wikipedia article
but I can't see it.

However, I'm aware that the most famous Stamford is in Connecticut.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's the one
He's running in Connecticut. I can't see him having much of a shot against Rob Simmons in the primary, but (like most ambassadors) he can self-finance.

[ Parent ]
If Danny Davis jumps ship, who will vie for his seat?  It seems like the type of race that would set up for one of those 7 or 8-way bloody primaries.

CA-10: Tauscher confirmed today

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

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