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SSP Daily Digest: 4/22 (Afternoon Edition)

by: DavidNYC

Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM EDT

House:

CA-26: More eliminationist rhetoric from the right (not that they'll ever cease): Anthony Portantino, the Democratic Assemblyman running against Rep. David Dreier, is featured on some second amendment-related Old West-style "WANTED" poster.

LA-02: Daily Kingfish says that Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere III (son of a former state senator of the same name) is rumored to be interested in a primary challenge to Rep. Cedric Richmond in the newly-redrawn 2nd CD. The post points out that Bossiere's PSC district has a lot of overlap with the new borders of the 2nd, including a dog-leg up to the Baton Rouge area. (Bossiere, like Richmond, is also African-American.)

NH-02: It's nothing like the town hall craziness of 2009, but it's nice to see idiots like Charlie Bass take heat in public forums for voting for Paul Ryan's Medicare-killing budget. Pretty pathetic political instincts on the Bassmaster's part. This vote will haunt him - and it's already haunting several other colleagues, like Bob Dold!, Lou Barletta, and Paul Ryan himself.

NM-01: Oh no. I really had hoped we were done with Marty Chavez, but the maddening former Albuquerque mayor is apparently considering a run to replace Martin Heinrich, and is even supposedly meeting with the DCCC. The good news, though, is that ex-LG (and 2010 gubernatorial nominee) Diane Denish is also thinking about entering the race. This could be a very crowded primary.

NV-02: You know Jon Ralston is enjoying this one. After a report came out in the Las Vegas Review-Journal (which Ralston not-so-affectionately refers to as a "newspaper," in scare quotes every time) that state GOP chair Mark Amodei was planning to seek the 2nd CD seat being vacated by Dean Heller, Ralston spoke with Amodei who says he didn't announce anything. In the LVRJ piece (which oddly quotes Amodei himself, so I don't know how they got the story wrong), Amodei also said that Republican state Sen. Greg Brower told him he also planned to join the race (and Ralston confirms via Twitter.)

Of course, who knows what's going to happen with this seat, given the unsettled legal questions about how a special election should be conducted if Gov. Brian Sandoval taps Heller for John Ensign's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.

TN-06: I wonder what's up with Diane Black. The GOP frosh gave her own campaign two-thirds of a million bucks in Q1 - not a loan, an outright donation. I'm guessing that she's trying to ward off a potential primary challenge, given that she won the open-seat Republican primary last year with just 31% of the vote (her two nearest competitors both got 30%, so there must have been much gnashing of teeth).

Other Races:

NJ-St. Sen.: An administrative law judge ruled that Olympian Carl Lewis, who is running as a Democrat, does indeed meet state residency requirements. However, it sounds like Republicans plan to appeal this ruling.

WI Recall: All sorts of recall news. First up, Dem state Rep. Fred Clark says he'll challenge Luther Olsen in the expected recall election, another strong get for Team Blue. Democrats also filed a huge 30,000 signatures against their fifth recall target, Alberta Darling. That leaves just three eligible Republicans left: Rob Cowles, Glenn Grothman, and Mary Lazich, the latter two of whom are in very red districts (so I wouldn't be surprised if they don't get hit with a recall).

Republicans also finally filed signatures against three Democrats: Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin, and Robert Wirch. Democrats, though, charged that the GOP's petition-gathering efforts were sloppy and flawed, and vowed to challenge the signatures.

Redistricting Roundup:

California: California's new independent redistricting commission is set to release a draft set of maps by June 10th, with final maps due on August 15th (after a period of public comment).

Colorado: Things don't seem to be going so swimmingly in Colorado's attempt to go back to the redistricting drawing board, with a special committee begging for more time to finish a new set of maps. The Republican co-chair says he thinks they can produce new plans in 10 days, but as Al Swearengen says, announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh.

Meanwhile, Gov. John Hickenlooper sounds like he has no intention of vetoing any map that the legislature sends him. Since Dems control one body and Republicans the other, this means they'll have to produce a compromise map - or no map at all, and kick it to the courts. I think Hick's hands-off approach (which is totally in-character for him) increases the likelihood of the latter, because it eliminates a key piece of Dem leverage which could be used to force an agreement.

Missouri: Utterly embarrassing: Barely more than a day after finally agreeing to a conference committee to resolve differences between Republicans in the state House and Senate, work has ground to a halt, and nothing more will happen until Tuesday. One state Rep. offered this hilariously nonsensical assessment: "I think we're close, but obviously we're far." Meanwhile, the House passed a new map this morning that supposedly tries to address some Senate concerns, but given that there is no actual agreement, I'm guessing this is just a negotiating tactic.

New Jersey: Teabaggers are suing to block implementation of NJ's new legislative map. It's not quite clear what the grounds are, but WNYC summarizes: "The suit alleges that the commission over-packed the southern half of the state and 'illegally split Newark and Jersey City from three districts each to two.'"

Louisiana: The state House submitted its own map to the DoJ for pre-clearance, which I believe makes it the first such plan to go before Justice this cycle. The hotly-contested congressional map, though, has yet to be sent in.

Victims: Dave Wasserman and Julia Edwards try their hand at the most likely redistricting victims this cycle, with separate lists for the 10 most endangered Democrats and Republicans.

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SSP Daily Digest: 4/14

by: DavidNYC

Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 8:02 AM EDT

Senate:

FL-Sen: Dem Sen. Bill Nelson said he raised over $2 million in Q1 and would report somewhere between $4.5 and $5 million on hand. Republican Mike Haridopolos said he raised $2.6 million and would show $2.5 mil in the bank.

HI-Sen: So that weird SMS poll we showed you yesterday which only pitted Ed Case vs. Mufi Hannemann in a Dem primary had another, more useful component. They also included favorables for a whole host of Hawaii politicians. Mazie Hirono was best (62% fave), while Linda Lingle was worst (44% unfave). Click the link for the rest. (And no, we still don't know who SMS took this poll for. They're just saying it was a private client.)

MI-Sen: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) raised $1.2 million in Q1 and has $3 million on hand.

MO-Sen: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) raised over $1 million in Q1 and has about $1.8 million on hand.

NM-Sen: Teabagging businessman Greg Sowards raised $150K in Q1... but it sounds like that's all his own money. The writeup is unclear, though - it's possible he raised $150K from outside sources and threw in an equal amount on his own.

NV-Sen: Wealthy Dem attorney Byron Georgiou raised $1.1 million in Q1, with $500K of that coming from his own pockets.

Gubernatorial:

ME-Gov: We previously mentioned a proposed constitutional amendment in Maine that would require gubernatorial candidates to receive 50% of the vote (a hurdle almost no one has reached in recent decades). That proposal just died in the state Senate, so it's basically dead for this term.

MT-Gov: Democratic state Sen. Larry Jent officially announced he is running for governor. He faces fellow state Sen. Dave Wanzenried in the primary. State AG Steve Bullock may also run.

House:

AZ-06: Ex-Rep. Matt Salmon, who served in a similar seat in the 1990s, says he's now thinking about running for Jeff Flake's open seat. Salmon previously said he was considering a run for governor.

CA-03: Dem Ami Bera, seeking a rematch against Dan Lungren, says he raised over $230K in Q1. If this haul only dates to the time of his official announcement (just two weeks before the end of the quarter), it's nothing short of un-fucking-believable. However, he gets a demerit for emailing me a press release without putting it on his website so that I can link to it directly. Boo!

CA-06: Activist Norman Solomon became the second Dem to file in Lynn Woolsey's district, in the event that she retires this cycle.

CT-05: Dem Dan Roberti, a 28-year-old public relations exec whose father Vincent was a state rep, officially announced his entrance into the race to succeed Chris Murphy. On the GOP side, businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley, who sought the Republican nomination for Lt. Gov. last year, also said she was getting in.

FL-22: Lois Frankel announced she raised $250K in Q1. Previously, we mentioned that fellow Dem "no not that" Patrick Murphy said he raised $350K.

IN-02: Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly announced he raised $363,288 in Q1, his best single quarter ever. Dude's not going down without a fight.

NM-01, NM-Sen: An unnamed advisor to state Auditor Hector Balderas says he won't seek Rep. Martin Heinrich's now-open House seat (something that insiders apparently were encouraging him to do, in the hopes of avoiding a contested primary). According to this advisor, Balderas is still considering a Senate run. Personally, I think it was a mistake for Balderas to say he was almost definitely going to run, only to be upstaged by Heinrich, who of course said he was actually going to run. I think Heinrich has the advantage in a primary, but Balderas needs a way to save face here if he doesn't want that fight any longer.

NY-19: Freshman GOPer Nan Hayworth announced she raised $330K in Q1 and has a similar amount on hand. Question of the day: Do you think Hayworth could get teabagged to death?

NY-26: Dem Kathy Hochul announced she raised $350K for the special election coming up on May 24th.

OR-01: It took a little time, but Dems are now finally drawing out the knives for Rep. David Wu in earnest. Oregon Labor Commissioner (an elected position) Brad Avakian is putting together a team of political advisors and is likely to challenge Wu in the Dem primary. Another Dem elected official, Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, also apparently became the first Democrat to openly call for regime change (though he says he isn't interested in running). All eyes will certainly be on Wu's fundraising report, due on Friday.

PA-07: Republican frosh Pat Meehan raised $325K in Q1.

WI-07: Former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow has formed an exploratory committee for a possible challenge to freshman GOP Rep. Sean Duffy. Kreitlow served a single term in the Senate after defeating a Republican incumbent, before losing in last year's red tide. This could be a pretty good get for us if he goes through with it (which seems likely, just reading this article).

Other Races:

NJ Lege: Johnny Longtorso has a good summary of the candidate filing for New Jersey's legislative races this November. Out of 120 seats, only four total are unopposed (though there may be signature challenges).

Suffolk Co. Exec.: Will seriously no one hire Rick Lazio? Perennially a contender for Saddest Sack of the Year, Lazio is apparently considering a run for Suffolk County Executive, now that the seat will be open in the wake of Steve Levy's unusual plea agreement with law enforcement (which involved him not seeking re-election).

Grab Bag:

Dark Money: Dems are finally starting to play catchup with the David Kochs of the world. Ali Lapp, a former DCCC official (and wife of one-time DCCC ED John Lapp) will head up a new "Super PAC" called the House Majority PAC. Such groups are actually not all that shadowy - they do have to disclose their donors. But they can raise and spend in unlimited amounts, and engage in direct "vote for/vote against" advocacy.

EMILY's List: EMILY announced four new GOP targets: Bob Dold (IL-10), Frank Guinta (NH-01), Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), and Steve Stivers (OH-15). The group only endorses women, and there are no declared Dems in any of these races yet, but I note with interest that they claim "there is major Democratic female talent waiting in the wings." In NH-01, they could be expecting a rematch from ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, and I guesss maybe Debbie Halvorson in IL-11 and Mary Jo Kilroy in OH-15, but those seem very unlikely. Any ideas?

Redistricting Roundup:

Iowa: It looks like Iowa's new maps will indeed pass into law very shortly. A state Senate committee approved them unanimously, and now the full body is deliberating. The state House will take the issue up today. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't yet said whether he'll support the new plans, but it'd be pretty explosive if he nuked the maps in the face of widespread backing among legislators. This has all been a very interesting process to watch, especially since after the initial federal map threw both Republican congressmen together, it was easy to imagine that the GOP would want to go back to the drawing board. But the fear of the unknown has pushed politicians to accept what they have before them, rather than risk something worse.

Indiana: With the new GOP maps looking very much like reality (how Bobby Jindal must envy Mitch Daniels), the state legislator shuffle is set to begin. The AP notes that the new state House map "has three districts that put two current Republican legislators together, three districts with at least two Democrats and four districts with a Republican and a Democratic incumbent," which doesn't sound so bad, but Democrats point out that "five of their House members from Indianapolis were drawn into just two districts."

Michigan: The MI lege is about to start the redistricting process. State law says maps have to be drawn by Nov. 1st.

Texas: Republicans in the lege have introduced a bill that would require any new maps (or voter ID bills) to get litigated before a three-judge panel in D.C., rather than go through the DoJ for pre-clearance. Rick Perry apparently is already interested in this alternative. As I've speculated before, he may be hoping for a more favorable hearing from potentially conservative judges. However, I'll note that you can still sue even after the DoJ renders a pre-clearance decision, so I'm not sure why you wouldn't just take the (cheaper and easier) free shot first.

Also of note, the Latino civil rights group MALDEF released two proposals for nine majority-minority districts in Texas. (They deliberately did not offer a map that covered the entire state.) MALDEF is no random organization: They were part of the LULAC v. Perry litigation in 2006, in which the Supreme Court forced Texas to redistrict yet again because Tom DeLay's map had improperly diluted Hispanic voting strength.

Virginia: So what's going on with this supposed deal? In a rather public bit of horse-trading, Dems (who control the state Senate) and Republicans (who control the state House and the governor's mansion) agreed that each body would get to gerrymander itself (that sounds kind of dirty, huh?), and would also agree to an incumbent protection map for congress, which would of course lock in the GOP's 8-3 advantage. But now Republicans and Democrats have each produced separate federal maps, and they are quite different, with the Dems deliberately trying to create a second district likely to elect a minority.

The oddest part of this deal is that the legislative parts of the deal have already passed - the congressional map is now an entirely separate beast, which I don't really get, since they each seemed to constitute one leg of a three-legged stool. I guess that's why the Senate Dems felt free to reject the House's federal plan, which suggests that the agreement has fallen apart. But Republicans don't seem to be howling that the Dems have somehow reneged, so maybe we didn't understand this deal properly in the first place. In any event, we're very much at an impasse here, but sometimes these logjams break apart very abruptly (see Louisiana and Arkansas).

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SSP Daily Digest: 1/31

by: Crisitunity

Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 3:49 PM EST

AZ-Sen: Could we actually see a retirement from the GOP's #2, Jon Kyl? Seems hard to believe, but there seems to be increasing chatter about it, at least to the extent that it's now a "real possibility." Local sources refer to his fundraising as being in a "holding pattern." Kyl promises a February deadline for deciding whether or not to run again.

FL-Sen: He doesn't have the name rec of ex-Sen. George LeMieux or Rep. Connie Mack IV, but don't discount former state House majority leader Adam Hasner as a potential force in the GOP Senate primary. While he's little-known, insiders point to him having the best-built network for fundraising and activist mobilization among the GOPers. (Also worth noting: his wife just finished running Meg Whitman's campaign. Although I don't know if, at this point, that's a plus or a minus.)

IN-Sen: Seemingly having learned from the 2010 Republican Senate primary, where two candidates split the hard-right vote and let warmed-over establishmentarian Dan Coats stroll to the nomination, Indiana tea partiers seem to be trying to coordinate their efforts better this time in order to beat Richard Lugar. 180 leaders met to summon three potential candidates (the already-oft-mentioned state Sen. Mike Delph and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, but also 2010 IN-02 loser Jackie Walorski) to appear before them so they can unify behind one of them. (The article's worth reading too for some provocative pushback from Lugar's camp, including some thoughtful mention from them of the Latino vote, a growing demographic even in Indiana.) Meanwhile, faced with redistricting-related uncertainty in his House district, Rep. Joe Donnelly is continuing to "look at his political options" regarding a statewide run (where, theoretically, a Senate run could be more appealing, if odds are starting to look like the Gov. opponent will be Mike Pence and the Sen. opponent will be a little-known teabagger).

MA-Sen: Cat fud doesn't get any better than this: the National Republican Trust PAC, which spent $95K on IEs to get Scott Brown elected in 2010, is now vowing to defeat Brown in the next Republican primary in order to "protect its brand." The last straw for them? START, of all things. While I can't see such a primary likely to succeed (especially since these guys seem like kind of small-ball players... I mean, $95K?), the prospect of angry right-wingers staying home in November makes the general election that much more interesting. Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Capuano, who lost the special election Dem primary, still sounds like the Dem likeliest to make the race, although he's now saying he won't have a formal decision until summer. Another potential candidate, Rep. Stephen Lynch, is out with some comments that somehow don't seem likely to endear him any more to the party's base, saying that liberal activists should steer clear of primary challenges in 2012 (Lynch, of course, was recipient of one of those challenges). He stopped short of saying that they should steer clear of primary challenges to him in the Senate race, though, so that doesn't give much insight into his 2012 plans.

MI-Sen: With Peter Hoekstra having made some vague noises about being interested in the Senate race last week, now it's Terry Lynn Land's turn. The former Republican SoS says she's "considering it," but interestingly, plans to meet with Hoekstra next week before making a decision.

TX-Sen: This isn't much of a surprise, but west Texas's three interchangeable Republican House members (Mike Conaway, Randy Neugebauer, and Mac Thornberry) announced en masse that they weren't interested in running for the Senate seat. Makes sense... why give up the safest job in the nation (GOP House backbencher in a district that's R+25 or more) for the chance to get flattened in a primary by David Dewhurst and/or a teabagger to be named later?

VT-Sen: Republican State Auditor Tom Salmon seems to have an amazing new quantitative scheme for gauging his interest in running for Senate: currently he says he's "65 percent in," and that "when I hit 75 percent it will commence exploratory." He also lets Politico know (I'm not making this up) that he "needs to be an authentic self-utilizing power along the lines of excellence." I guess he switched from being a Democrat to a Republican last year because he felt more welcome in the GOP, given their long-standing tolerance of Sarah Palin's gift for word salad.

WI-Sen: This seems like a pretty good indicator that long-time Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl, who prefers to write his own checks rather than work the fundraising circuit, is planning another run in 2012 rather than retirement. He just loaned $1 million into his campaign account in the fourth quarter of 2011.

WV-Gov: PPP is out with the primary election portions of its gubernatorial poll from last week. On the Dem side, there are two clear favorites but they're neck and neck: acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (at 25) and SoS Natalie Tennant (at 24). Further behind are state Treasurer John Perdue at 16, state Sen. Jeff Kessler at 7, state House speaker Rick Thompson at 6, and state Sen. Brooks McCabe at 4. On the GOP side, if Shelley Moore Capito does show up (which she says she won't), she's a shoo-in, at 72, with ex-SoS Betty Ireland at 10, state Sen. Clark Barnes at 5, Putnam Co. Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia at 1, and state GOP chair Mike Stuart at 1. They also try a Capito-free version, in which Ireland becomes the heavy fave at 46, with Barnes at 11, Sorsaia at 9, and Stuart at 4. There's also word of one more GOPer who isn't interesting: former astronaut and 1996 gubernatorial candidate (who lost the '96 primary to Cecil Underwood) Jon McBride says he won't run this time.

IN-01, MI-14: Two Democratic old-timers who may be faced with less favorable districts after redistricting (or at least dark-blue districts that contain a lot of new territory) and have some ethical problems hanging overhead both announced that they're running for re-election. Peter Visclosky and John Conyers both are looking to get an early start on their races.

WA-08: Here's a new House filing from a fairly prominent local Democrat to go against perennial target Dave Reichert: state Rep. Roger Goodman has set up a committee to run in the 8th. This requires some reading between the lines, though, because a Goodman/Reichert matchup is highly unlikely in the end; Goodman just needs a federal committee set up for, well, somewhere. Goodman lives in Kirkland, which is about a mile to the north of the 8th's boundaries; he actually lives in WA-01, where he probably doesn't want to look like he's mounting a primary challenge to Jay Inslee, although it's widely-assumed that Inslee will be vacating the 1st to run for Governor in 2012. That doesn't mean that Goodman running in the 1st is a done deal, either; under the likeliest redistricting scenario, Kirkland is likely to be part of a new Dem-friendly district that's based on the true Eastside (whether it's the 8th or 10th remains to be seen), with Reichert, who's based down in Auburn, getting his own friendlier district based in SE King County and eastern Pierce County. So, I'd say, it's likelier than not that we'll see both Reichert and Goodman in the House in 2013; the main question is the district numbers.

DCCC: Here's something we like to see; not only is the DCCC is getting an early start on offense this year, seeding the ground to try to get some early momentum going against the most vulnerable House GOPers, but they're explicitly doing some progressive framing here, highlighting the links between infrastructure spending and job growth. They're running radio ads in 19 districts, most of which aren't a surprise by virtue of their swinginess: targets include Lou Barletta, Charlie Bass, Ann Marie Buerkle, Steve Chabot, Chip Cravaack, Bob Dold!, Sean Duffy, Blake Farenthold, Mike Fitzpatrick, Nan Hayworth, Joe Heck, Robert Hurt, Patrick Meehan, Dave Reichert, David Rivera, Jon Runyan, Joe Walsh, and Allen West. The wild card? Thad McCotter, whose continued presence in the House seems to have more to do with his ability to not draw tough opponents than it does with a connection to his district.

Redistricting: The Fix has an interesting look at Virginia redistricting, where the Dem control of the state Senate probably means an 8-3 compromise map protecting current incumbents. There's one wrinkle, though: congressional redistricting could be pushed back until after the 2011 legislative election in the hopes that the GOP takes back over the state Senate, which would give them the trifecta. (Obviously, they couldn't delay legislative redistricting, though, meaning the GOP won't have the leverage over the map that would shape the results of the 2011 legislative election.) Although it's hard to see what they could do to VA-11 that wouldn't cut into VA-10, the GOP could conceivably push for a 9-2 map if they got that advantage. (The Rose Report is out with a much more in-depth series on Virginia redistricting this month that's worth a look.) Meanwhile, in New Jersey (another early state where the work is done by bipartisan commission), there's already some disagreement within the commission over whether or not they need to have an 11th, tie-breaking member appointed so they can move forward. (H/t to Taniel for noticing the delightful headline: "N.J. redistricting commission argues over whether it is at an impasse.")

Census: Speaking of Virginia and New Jersey, and their early redistricting efforts, the Census Bureau will be rolling out the first big batch of complete, detailed data from 2010 for the first four states that need it early (for 2011 legislative election purposes)... Louisiana and Mississippi as well. They don't have a specific date set, but keep watching this link because they'll be available at some point this week.

Discuss :: (259 Comments)

House Seats to Target for a Democratic Majority

by: Merlin

Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 6:45 PM EST

If Democrats are to regain the majority in the House in 2012, these are the seats they must target:
There's More... :: (64 Comments, 242 words in story)

SSP Daily Digest: 12/17

by: Crisitunity

Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 3:45 PM EST

AZ-Sen: There have been vague rumblings that maybe Jon Kyl, the GOP's 68-year-old #2 in the Senate, may not be running for another term... but that seems to be coming into sharper relief all of a sudden. Kyl has refused to publicly discuss his plans, the GOP's state chair is saying Kyl is not likely to run again, and people are starting to notice that he's sitting on only $620K CoH and hasn't engaged in any fundraising yet. (Although it's likely, once he decides, that he could quickly do whatever fundraising was needed to win.)

CT-Sen: Ex-Rep. Rob Simmons sounds torn about another Senate run in 2012, and refuses to rule it out. However, he sounds unenthused, not so much because of his odds in the general as the likelihood of butting heads with the NRSC in the primary, whom he thinks has a fixation on Linda McMahon and her self-funding ability. Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Murphy is busy framing his "no" vote on the tax compromise in populist terms, clearly trying to set up some contrasts with Joe Lieberman.

NE-Sen: I'd thought AG Jon Bruning was supposed to be some sort of killer-app for the local GOP to go against Ben Nelson, but you wouldn't know it by the way they've kept casting about for more talent. Local insiders are still publicly airing their wish list, adding a couple more prominent names to it: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and state Auditor Mike Foley. One lower-tier option is also floating her own name: state Sen. Deb Fischer, who represents that big empty north-central part of the state and says she'll decide on a run once the legislative session is over.

OR-Sen: Best wishes for a quick recovery to Ron Wyden, who will be undergoing surgery on Monday for prostate cancer. While it sounds like he'll be back on his feet soon, he'll be unable to vote for anything next week, which could complicate the final rush to wrap up stuff in the lame duck.

TN-Sen: Bob Corker occasionally gets mentioned, at least in the rightosphere, as the possible recipient of a tea party primary challenge in 2012. The Hill finds that this may be fizzling on the launching pad, for the very simple reason that no one seems to be stepping forward to consider the race.

WI-Sen: PPP is out with its poll of the 2012 GOP Senate primary, with another one of those let's-test-everyone-and-their-dog fields, but unlike some of the other states they've looked at in the last few weeks, a U.S. Rep. wins, rather than a statewide figure. Paul Ryan (who probably gets enough Fox News attention to trump the disadvantage of representing only 1/8th of the state) is far in the lead at 52. Ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson (who if he didn't run this year surely isn't going to in 2012) is at 14, ex-Rep. Mark Green is at 9, AG JB Van Hollen and new Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch are at 6, new Rep. Sean Duffy is at 5, and already-forgotten 2010 contender Dave Westlake is at 1.

IN-Gov, IN-09: Baron Hill says he most likely isn't going to be running for anything in 2012, not Governor, and not his old seat in the 9th, saying he's looking into private sector jobs for now, though also leaving the gubernatorial door "slightly open." Interestingly, he seemed more enthused about a run for Governor in 2016 (which may be a tougher road to hoe, if there's an entrenched GOP incumbent then instead of an open seat like 2012), although he also commented that "I don't know if I'll be alive in 2016."

MO-Gov: In case there was any doubt, Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon confirmed that he'll run for re-election as Governor in 2012. Nixon also said that he's raised $1 million for that race just since November; he'll need it.

WV-Gov: For what it's worth, two of the state's largest unions would like to see an expedited special election to replace Joe Manchin. Democratic House Speaker (and likely gubernatorial candidate) Rick Thompson agrees with them, saying there's a constitutional conflict of interest in acting Gov./Senate president Earl Ray Tomblin's dual position. In what may not be a surprise, Tomblin disagrees, saying that the law is clear that the special will be held in 2012.

CA-06: Rep. Lynn Woolsey is seeming like she may be one of the first retirements of the cycle, if the flurry of activity among lower-level Marin County politicos jockeying for position is any indication. The 73-year-old is publicly weighing retirement, and state Assemblyman Jared Huffman has already formed an exploratory committee to run in her stead. State Sen. Noreen Evans, Sonoma Co. Commissioner Shirlee Zane, and Petaluma mayor Pam Torliatt are also listed as possible replacements.

FL-25: It certainly didn't take newly-elected Rep. David Rivera to get in legal trouble, and it's something completely new, instead of anything having to do with that whole let's-run-that-truck-off-the-road incident. He's under investigation for an alleged $500,000 in secret payments from a greyhound track that he helped out to a marketing firm that's "run" by his septuagenarian mother.

ID-01: Don't count on a rematch from Walt Minnick (or a run for higher office in Idaho, either): he says he's done with elective politics. An oft-overlooked fact about Minnick: he's a little older than your average freshman, at 68. He wasn't going to be in the seat for much longer or look to move up anyway.

NY-14: Remember Reshma Saujani, after losing the Dem primary in the 14th, said "I'm definitely running again" and "There's no way I'm going to be ones of those folks who runs, loses, and you never see them again." Well, fast forward a few months, and now she's definitely not running again, although she may be looking toward a run for something in 2013 at the municipal level.

DCCC: The DCCC held its first real strategy session of the cycle yesterday, and the list of top-tier targets that emerged is pretty predictable (Dan Lungren, Charlie Bass, Charlie Dent, Bob Dold!) except for one: Leonard Lance, who's proved pretty durable so far. They may be counting on Lance's NJ-07, which occupies roughly the middle of the state, to get tossed into the blender in the redistricting process.

Votes: Here's the vote tally from yesterday's vote in the House on the tax compromise. It was a very unusual breakdown, with Dems breaking 139 yes/112 no and the GOP breaking 138 yes/36 no, with the "no"s coming generally from each party's hard-liners, in a manner vaguely reminiscent of how the TARP vote broke down. (Also, some defeated or retiring Blue Dogs still voted "no," like Allen Boyd, Gene Taylor, and Earl Pomeroy... while Dennis Kucinich was a "yes.")

History: Here's an interesting story about the end of a little-known but important era in North Dakota politics: the effective end of the Non-Partisan League, a vaguely-socialist/populist farmers' party that cross-endorsed Democrats for many decades, and had an outsized influence on the state (as seen in their state-owned bank and similar enterprises). With Byron Dorgan retired, most NPL stalwarts dead or aging, and agribusiness having replaced the family farm, it looks like the end of the NPL's line.

Redistricting: Dave Wasserman is out with a preview of next week's reapportionment, and he's rightly treating it like the NCAA playoffs draw, in that there a bunch of states on the bubble of getting or losing seats. Here's how that plays out:

Georgia, Nevada, and Utah are all but certain to gain an additional seat in the House, while Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are all but certain to lose a seat and Ohio is all but certain to lose two seats.... the ten states in contention for the "last five" seats in the House (in order of likelihood to make the cut) are South Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Washington, Texas, New York, California, Arizona, North Carolina, and Illinois.

He's also been tinkering around with Dave's Redistricting App, and has some maps that you'll want to check out. Maybe most interestingly, there's a solution to the IL-17 problem that actually makes it more Democratic while letting Aaron Schock and Bobby Schilling get much better acquainted with each other (the Fix also takes a look at Illinois today, coming up with similar ideas). Also worth a look: a good 10-district Washington map that gives Dave Reichert a heaping helping of eastern Washington.

Site news: Due to holiday travel, other time commitments, and hopefully what will be a very slow news week, the Daily Digest will be on hiatus all next week. Don't worry, though: I'll make sure to be around on the 21st for the Census reapportionment data release (hell, maybe I'll even liveblog the news conference), and if there's any important breaking news, someone will get it up on the front page. In the meantime, happy holidays from the whole SSP team!

Discuss :: (84 Comments)

Redistricting Roundup: 11/10

by: DavidNYC

Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 8:19 AM EST

Redistricting will undoubtedly be a top - if not the top - topic around here over the next year or so. To get your engines started, here are a few early items from around the nation:

  • Indiana: Gov. Mitch Daniels released his list of legislative priorities for 2011, and it looks like he's trying to burnish his bi-(or non-)partisan cred with this plank:
  • "Indiana must have a fair redistricting based on geographic and community of interest lines - not politics. And I'll only sign one that meets that test."

    Daniels' commitment will be seriously tested on this part of his platform, seeing as the GOP now controls both houses of the state lege (in addition to the governor's mansion, of course). Incoming House speaker Brian Bosma also claims he's a supporter of such reforms. We shall see.

  • Alabama: Meanwhile, down in Alabama, Republicans also control the trifecta - and seeing as it's their first time, they're licking their chops. As the Birmingham News puts it:
  • The likely result is a new congressional map that protects all six Republican congressmen and keeps intact the majority black district home to the only Democrat, according to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks.

    Here's one stab at such a map. Can you do better?

  • Illinois: The upper hand is on the other foot in Illinois, one of the few redistricting bright spots for Dems. With Team Blue in charge of the trifecta here - and the Prairie State on track to lose a seat in reapportionment - the only question is which Republican freshman will get tossed in the woodchipper. Sadly, we have quite a few to pick from: Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling, Jim Walsh, and Bob Dold! But it'll still be satisfying to see one of these guys get axed. (And if we're really lucky, two of `em will get tossed into a single district together.)
  • New Jersey: For whatever reason, New Jersey chooses to be a freak state, holding its state-level elections in odd-numbered years. This is good news for horserace bloggers, but probably a pain in the ass for the folks in charge of drawing state lege district lines. They have to produce a map by Feb. 1 - which is barely a month after the Census Bureau will releases its state-level population data, and a month or so before they release redistricting-level data. In any event, I suggest you read the linked story, which details how Dems succeeded in getting a very favorable map ten years ago - circumstances which are unlikely to obtain this time around.
  • Dave's Redistricting App: I realize there are quite a few new SSP members these days, so it's possible not everyone is familiar with the awesome (and free!) Dave's Redistricting App. It does exactly what it sounds like it ought to do - you can draw and re-draw maps to your heart's content. The eponymous Dave often stops by in comments and with diaries of his own, in case you ever have questions. He's also always looking for assistance in compiling partisan data for the app, so if you want to help improve the program, please click the link to find out how!
  • Discuss :: (34 Comments)

    Weekend Poll Round-up: House Edition

    by: James L.

    Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 5:58 PM EDT

    All the latest House polls in one place.

    IL-09: Magellan for Joel Pollak (10/12, likely voters):

    Jan Schakowsky (D-inc): 48
    Joel Pollak (R): 30
    (MoE: ±3%)

    IL-10: We Ask America (10/15, likely voters):

    Dan Seals (D): 39
    Bob Dold (R): 50
    Undecided: 11
    (MoE: ±2.9%)

    ME-01, ME-02: Critical Insights (10/10-11, likely voters, 9/27 in parens):

    Chellie Pingree (D-inc): 48 (54)
    Dean Scontras (R): 33 (36)

    Mike Michaud (D-inc): 43 (44)
    Jason Levesque (R): 30 (32)
    (MoE: ±5.7%)

    MN-01: SurveyUSA (10/12-14, likely voters):

    Tim Walz (D-inc): 47
    Randy Demmer (R): 42
    Steven Wilson (IP): 4
    Lars Johnson (I): 2
    Undecided: 5
    (MoE: ±4.1%)

    MO-05: Pulse/Rasmussen for Jacob Turk (10/5, likely voters):

    Emanuel Cleaver (D-inc): 52
    Jacob Turk (R): 43
    (MoE: ±4%)

    NH-01, NH-02: University of New Hampshire (10/7-12, likely voters, September in parens):

    Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 36 (39)
    Frank Guinta (R): 48 (49)
    (MoE: ±5.3%)

    Ann McLane Kuster (D-inc): 43 (38)
    Charlie Bass (R): 36 (43)
    (MoE: ±5.1%)

    PA-04: Public Opinion Strategies for Keith Rothfus (10/6-7, likely voters):

    Jason Altmire (D-inc): 47
    Keith Rothfus (R): 36
    (MoE: ±5.7%)

    PA-07: Franklin & Marshall College (10/5-11, likely voters):

    Bryan Lentz (D): 31
    Pat Meehan (R): 34
    (MoE: ±4.9%)

    PA-08: Monmouth University (10/11-13, likely voters):

    Patrick Murphy (D-inc): 46
    Mike Fitzpatrick (R): 51
    (MoE: ±3.9%)

    PA-10, PA-11: Critical Insights for the Times Leader (dates unspecified, likely voters):

    Chris Carney (D-inc): 38
    Tom Marino (R): 44

    Paul Kanjorski (D-inc): 41
    Lou Barletta (R): 43
    (MoE: ±4.9%)

    RI-01: Quest (10/4-6, likely voters, 9/15-17 in parens):

    David Cicilline (D): 47 (49)
    John Loughlin (R): 36 (26)
    Undecided: 13 (25)
    (MoE: ±6.2%)

    SC-02: Anzalone Liszt Research (10/7-10, likely voters, 5/3-6 in parens):

    Rob Miller (D): 39 (34)
    Joe Wilson (R-inc): 46 (49)
    (MoE: ±4.4%)

    TN-04: Public Opinion Strategies for Scott DesJarlais (10/12 & 14, likely voters, 9/27-28 in parens):

    Lincoln Davis (D-inc): 40 (42)
    Scott DesJarlais (R): 45 (42)
    (MoE: ±5.7%)

    VA-09: SurveyUSA (10/11-13, likely voters, 9/27-29 in parens):

    Rick Boucher (D-inc): 51 (53)
    Morgan Griffith (R): 41 (38)
    Jeremiah Heaton (I): 4 (5)
    Undecided: 4 (4)
    (MoE: ±4%)

    WA-03: SurveyUSA (10/10-12, likely voters, 9/12-14 in parens):

    Denny Heck (D): 42 (43)
    Jaime Herrera (R): 53 (52)
    Undecided: 6 (4)
    (MoE: ±4.1%)
    Discuss :: (91 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 10/14 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 4:13 PM EDT

    AK-Sen: The story of how his employment with the city of Fairbanks ended is one of the key reasons why Joe Miller suddenly clammed up and said he wouldn't answer questions about his personal background anymore. Now the city's former mayor, Jim Whitaker, is offering his version of the story, saying Miller is "not truthful" about it. Whitaker says Miller's use of borough resources for political purposes (namely, for gaming an online vote for state party chair in a Sarah Palin-orchestrated party coup) was a violation of borough ethics policy and it would have been a cause for termination if they hadn't been so understaffed. Miller eventually resigned in 2009 anyway, partly because his request to go elk hunting got denied.

    FL-Sen: There are so many Kennedys I really can't keep track which one is allied with who, but any time one leaves the reservation it's interesting. Robert Kennedy Jr. announced that he's backing Charlie Crist for Senate, saying that Kendrick Meek can't win and the most important thing is blocking Marco Rubio. Meanwhile, with the current race not looking very interesting anymore, PPP has its eye on 2012 (which seems like it could be close, especially if Jeb Bush gets involved). They ran two other hypotheticals, one not very likely: Bill Nelson beats Rush Limbaugh 50-36 (if Limbaugh for whatever reason decided to take the huge pay cut). More plausibly, he also beats Rep. Connie Mack IV by 42-33.

    LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon is out with an internal poll from Anzalone-Liszt. Public pollsters have generally seen this as a double-digit race, but his poll, taken over Oct. 9-12, gives David Vitter a not-overwhelming 49-42 lead. The campaign says that's a major improvement (no specific numbers, though) over their September poll.

    FL-Gov: The Florida Education Association (obviously a Democratic-leaning organization) polled the gubernatorial race, and found numbers very close to PPP's results yesterday. The poll from Tom Eldon, taken Oct. 9-12, gives Alex Sink a 47-41 lead over Rick Scott. Scott's faves are down to 33/50.

    IL-Gov: This is quite the screwup: Green candidate Rich Whitney's name will appear as "Rich Whitey" on electronic voting machines in nearly two dozen wards in Chicago (half of which are predominantly African-American). And that leads inevitably to the question (to quote the Illinois Nazi Party): "Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey?" Apparently, he can't do much, as there isn't adequate time left to reprogram and test the machines, although he's looking into various legal options.

    AZ-07: I don't know if there's any hard evidence other than a Magellan poll and a McClung internal to prove there's a real race here, but judging by efforts by some organizations on both sides, something's going on. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee had members make 21,000 phone calls to the district to shore up Raul Grijalva, while Americans for Tax Reform is going to spend $230K on advertising in the district, hitting Grijalva with an ad for encouraging a boycott of his state in the wake of SB 1070.

    CA-44: Like CA-03, this is one offense opportunity in California that still seems to be alive and kicking. The Bill Hedrick campaign, short on cash but facing an underwhelming opponent that he nearly knocked off last time, is out with a Zata|3 internal poll showing Hedrick trailing GOP incumbent Ken Calvert by only a 48-43 margin (improved a 49-38 showing in September).

    GA-08: He made it implicit with his most recent ad (distancing himself from Nancy Pelosi, even going so far as to show 60s-era San Francisco hippies), but Jim Marshall is now explicitly joining Bobby Bright in the camp of incumbents saying they won't support Pelosi for Speaker in the next Congress (if they're there for it).

    IA-03: I didn't think I'd be saying this a few months ago, but Leonard Boswell is starting to look like he's in healthy shape for the election, thanks in large part of a variety of damaging details about Brad Zaun that went public. Boswell leads Zaun 47-38 in an internal from his campaign, taken Oct. 3-5 by Anzalone-Liszt.

    IL-10: Bob Dold sure can rake in the fundraising dollars, even if Bob Dold can't seem to come up with a lead in the polls, in what's looking like one of the Dems' few pickups this cycle. Bob Dold raised $843K in the third quarter and is sitting on $979K CoH, enough to start running two broadcast ads this week, while Bob Dold's opponent Dan Seals has yet to release any numbers. Bob Dold!

    MD-01, VA-02, VA-05: Another testament to the unpredictability of elections: even a few months ago, who'd have thought, that at this point, the DCCC would have cut loose Debbie Halvorson and Steve Kagen, but would be keeping on pumping money into the races of Frank Kratovil and Tom Perriello? Those two, along with Glenn Nye, are among the survivors of the triage process and will receive continued ad buys.

    NH-02: This race is also turning out to be close, and this can't help Charlie Bass this close to the election: questions are emerging about a stock buy (in New England Wood Pellet, his nephew-in-law's company) that he made while in Congress the previous time. He then set up a meeting between company officials and Bush administration officials, which is a potential House ethics violation.

    OH-01: Credit Steve Driehaus for having some fire in the belly. After having gotten thrown onto the bring-out-your-dead cart by the DCCC, instead of just shrugging and starting to look for a lobbying job, he's doubling down on his fundraising efforts, using it as an incentive to ask for more from his supporters. In particular, he's pissed that the DCCC let him go even while giving money to various Reps. who voted "no" on health care reform.

    OR-04: Well, here's one more race to add to the watch list. Peter DeFazio hasn't faced credible opposition in... well, ever. And he's still not facing credible opposition this year (Art Robinson is kind of a clown; his main action item seems to be the elimination of public schooling, which would kind of help him out considerably, since his day job is selling curriculum supplies for home schoolers). Nevertheless, the mysterious group Concerned Taxpayers (who've also made a six-digit ad buy against DeFazio) is out with an internal poll from Oct. 4-5 from Wilson Research showing a single-digit race, with DeFazio leading Robinson 48-42. (MoE is a hefty 5.6%.)

    PA-10: Chris Carney is on the wrong end of a Critical Insights poll of his district (which will be in our Poll Roundup later), but he's already getting out in front of it with an internal poll. The Oct. 12-13 poll from Momentum Analysis has Carney leading Tom Marino 48-41. With both candidates able to point to leads not just in internal polls but public polls too, this is quite definitely a "Tossup."

    TN-08: Whew! One last internal. Not much surprise here... GOPer Stephen Fincher has an internal out giving him a double-digit lead in the open seat race against Roy Herron, very similar to yesterday's 47-37 Penn/Hill poll. The Tarrance Group poll from Oct. 11-12 gives Fincher a 47-36 lead (with 3 to indie Donn James).

    FL-AG: This is one of the higher-profile downballot races around, and it gets a fair amount of polling attention too. This time, it's Susquehanna's turn (on behalf of Sunshine State News), and they give a lead to Republican Hillsborough Co. Prosecutor Pam Bondi, who leads state Sen. Dan Gelber 50-42.

    Money: Zata|3 is out with more of their super-helpful charts on the behind-the-scenes money game, which is where the Republicans are really winning this cycle, even more so than the polls. Compared with 2008, spending on Senate races (from both sides) has nearly doubled, and it's up more than 50% on House races. And Republican groups are leading the way: the top 5, and 8 of the top 10, outside groups, spending-wise are GOP-leaning. That starts with the cash-flush RGA ($12 mil so far), followed by the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.

    Polltopia: You may have already seen the new Pew study on cellphone use, but it's a real eye-opener, one that should cast some measure of doubt on the accuracy of current polls or even the whole sense that polls can tell us anything. Pew, which in 2008 found a certain amount of pro-Republican bias in polls because of the exclusion of cellphone-only users, is out with a new round of polling showing that bias has only increased. At this point, nearly 25% of adults are "cell-only." Pew finds a 5-point Republican increase would have occurred in their most recent generic ballot test if they hadn't polled cellphones.

    Also, on the polling front, Daily Kos is taking a page from PPP and asking where readers what gubernatorial and House race they'd like to see polled in the coming weeks.

    SSP TV:
    AK-Sen: This is actually kind of funny: Joe Miller spoofs Old Spice ads in an attempt to get voters to not write in Lisa Murkowski
    CO-Sen: Ken Buck's out with a base-rallying ad using speech footage of him getting teabaggers fired up about how they got ignored for the last two years and are now out for blood; the NRSC is also on the air, hitting Michael Bennet over his support for the stimulus
    MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan's new TV spot pushes back against various Roy Blunt negative ads, especially on the subject of an extended family member's wind farm
    PA-Sen: This may be an interesting tea leaf that those Dem internals yesterday may be showing some actual tightening: the NRSC, after letting surrogate orgs do all the work here, is finally having to step in with its own IE ad (a basic HCR/stimulus/cap-and-trade troika)
    WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese again over the minimum wage
    CA-Gov: What is this, the 80s? Meg Whitman's new ad hits Jerry Brown for being soft on crime
    TX-Gov: Bill White's newest ad goes after Rick Perry's seeming habit of steering state contracts to cronies

    Rasmussen:
    AK-Sen: Scott McAdams (D) 27%, Joe Miller (R) 35%, Lisa Murkowski (WI-inc) 34%
    CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
    IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 40%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 4%, Rich Whitney (G) 2%
    NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 52%
    PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 39%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
    WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 42%, Scott Walker (R) 51%

    Discuss :: (331 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 10/1 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 3:36 PM EDT

    CT-Sen: This might get swallowed up by Linda McMahon's minimum wage comments, which are still dominating the coverage of this particular race, but here's a new instance of McMahon getting tripped up by those annoying little facts. At a tea party rally in April, she fended off a question about lobbyists, saying "I have not spent lobbying dollars in Washington." Disclosures show that WWE, between 2001 and 2008, spent $680K on lobbying expenses, including $340K in 2007-2008 during the period when Congress was investigating use of steroids in sports.

    DE-Sen: When asked about his plans for the Delaware race, John Cornyn (after having gotten goaded into giving Christine O'Donnell $42K post-primary) has returned to sounding disinterested: "We will be supporting Christine O'Donnell as appropriate if that race is competitive. Right now it looks like it is not as competitive as other places around the country." (Counting down to another blast of anti-NRSC teabagger fury in 3... 2...) Meanwhile, travel back in time (for the future of mankind) to 2002, and check out this great photo of O'Donnell and friends (which ought to further alarm some of her more conservative supporters worried about her witchcraft past... did it involve bat-head biting too?). Is O'Donnell just Paranoid, or is she really riding the Crazy Train?

    AR-Gov: Here's a poll from the one (count 'em, 1) gubernatorial race in the country where the incumbent Democrat is more or less safe. Hendrix College, on behalf of Talk Business, finds Mike Beebe leading Republican Jim Keet 49-35. That's a bit of an improvement from their previous poll in July, where Beebe led 50-41.

    CA-Gov: Realizing that she's on the wrong end of written evidence, Meg Whitman's trying out a new tactic: blaming her husband (the soap-opera-named Dr. Griff Harsh). Whitman denied knowing about the letter, but now says she "suspects" that the handwriting on the letter regarding her housekeeper's Social Security number is his. Meanwhile, here's a link to that Spanish-language TV ad on the housekeeper issue that we mentioned yesterday, as part of the SEIU's huge cash infusion to this race.

    FL-Gov: With a number of public polls this week showing Rick Scott having moved back into the lead, Alex Sink is leaking an internal poll. She's leading, although by a much smaller margin than the Mason-Dixon poll from just last week that had her up 7. Instead, she's up by only 1, 45-44, in the poll taken over Sept. 23-29 (no word on who the pollster is).

    IN-Gov: Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh, of the eight-digit war chest, just gave $500K to the Indiana Democratic Party (after having given $1 million earlier in the year). Presumably that's to help with the three tight House races there, but many are interpreting it as a sign of goodwill oriented toward bolstering his shot at taking back over as Governor in 2012.

    MA-Gov: I'll just quote DavidNYC on this: "I hope they sell sacks in XXXL size for Tim Cahill to put his sad into." How craptacular is your campaign when not just your campaign manager but then your actual running mate bails on you and endorses your opponent? That's what happened to indie candidate Tim Cahill, whose Lt. Gov. running mate, Republican state Rep. Paul Loscocco, announced that he's leaving the ticket and backing Charlie Baker instead, perhaps realizing that Cahill's presence is the main thing keeping Baker from a shot at winning. (Also recall that Loscocco had originally wanted to be Baker's running mate but got snubbed for that, and accepted Cahill's offer as something of a fallback.) Cahill, pretty much friendless at this point, just announced in a press conference that he's staying in the race, though.

    NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo got an unusual endorsement today, from the always-unpredictable world of Staten Island politics. The Conservative borough president, James Molinaro, threw his backing to Cuomo. (Molinaro is a key ally of Michael Bloomberg. Don't confuse him with ex-Rep. and county Conservative party chair Guy Molinari, who's the real power behind the throne on Staten Island.) Also, the war between Carl Paladino (last seen going ballistic on the venerable Fred Dicker) and the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post seems to be intensifying, if the latest opus from editor-in-chief Col Allen is any indication (note the intentional use of plural form!). If you're a Republican in New York and you've lost the Post, well, you've lost.

    Mr. Caputo should check his facts before making charges against Post personnel. In addition, Mr. Paladino should not be surprised by the media's interest in his families...

    OH-13: Now this is seems like it has some game-changing potential here: Tom Ganley, the moneybags car dealer who's turned the Dem-leaning 13th into a real race, just got sued for sexual assault by a former enthusiastic supporter who says she met him at a Tea Party rally and tried to volunteer for his campaign. Ganley, she says, wanted her to volunteer for some rather different duties:

    While she waited in Ganley's office, the suit says, he made sexually suggestive comments and invited her to join him and his friends at a condominium he owns in Strongsville. Ganley gave her a $100 bill and told her to buy some lingerie and high-heeled shoes, according to the lawsuit.

    Ganley told her he wanted her to dominate her, parade her on a leash and have sex with her in front of his "play friends," the suit says. It accuses him of grabbing her from behind, wrapping his arms around her, kissing her and, despite her resistance, reaching into her pants.

    Naturally, the Ganley camp is calling the suit "extortion" and politically motivated.

    PA-07: Now that primary season is over, we've pretty much stopped reporting on union endorsements, as they shouldn't come as any surprise at this point... except when they endorse the Republican. That's what happened in the 7th, though, as the United Aerospace Workers local gave its backing to Pat Meehan. (They're a major presence in the district, given the large Boeing helicopter plant near the Philly airport.)

    Enthusiasm gap: PPP hasn't been putting out very encouraging numbers lately, but they do offer some cause for optimism that may or may not pan out: with Republican unity pretty much maxed out, the enthusiasm gap can't do anything but shrink. They point out that there are many more Democratic undecideds than Republican ones right now. They show that's especially profound in the Illinois races (and that late coming-home may be what's propelling Pat Quinn all of a sudden), and, although it's not on their chart, I'd guess also in Pennsylvania, where the Dem undecideds have always been strangely high and we may be seeing some gap-closing beginning too.

    Money: If you've noticed that there's a crapload of independent expenditures coming from billionaire-funded 527s and 501(c)(3)s in the last month, pretty much wiping out whatever cash advantage the Democratic congressional committees had over the GOP committees, you're not alone in that realization. Bloomberg calculates that independent organizations have outspent the parties combined in trying to buy shape the election: $33 million from folks like American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce, compared with $20 million from all of the party committees.

    SSP TV:
    AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski works fast to turn Joe Miller's ill-advised drapes-measuring tweets against him, with a new radio ad
    IL-Sen: Here's another ad with cute babies, this time from Mark Kirk, but this time not about abortion but how DEBT WILL CRUSH US ALL!!1!
    NH-Gov: Wow, the RGA must suddenly sense they have an opportunity here, and they have an ad up hitting John Lynch on spending
    TX-Gov: Rick Perry can't coast to re-election this time and he's up with another ad, this time hitting Bill White on one of his perceived strengths (emergency management during Hurricane Rita)
    FL-08: The NRCC hits back against Alan Grayson for his "Taliban Dan" ad against Dan Webster, calling Grayson "a national embarrassment"
    IL-10: The DCCC does a half-and-half ad, touting Dan Seals' business background and hitting Bob Dold! on pro-life and tea party connections

    Rasmussen:
    FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 41%, Rick Scott (R) 46%
    PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 40%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
    WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Scott Walker (R) 50%

    Discuss :: (58 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 10/1 (Morning Edition)

    by: DavidNYC

    Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 8:04 AM EDT

  • AK-Sen: Another great catch by the Mudflats, and I'm ashamed I missed this one myself. In trying to explain why he applied for an indigent hunting license (for people making less than $8200/yr), Joe Miller claimed he was on a merit scholarship at Yale. Fortunately, Mudflats catches something about my alma mater that managed to slip my mind: Yale doesn't offer merit scholarships. What lie will come next from the Miller camp?
  • CT-Sen: Heartless bastard Linda McMahon said she wants to lower the minimum wage - and even admitted she didn't fucking know what the current minimum wage is! I love it when zillionaire assholes think that the guys on the bottom rung should be shoved down a rung further. Eh, fuck you, Linda McMahon.
  • Connecticut's Working Families Party also took this opportunity to slam McMahon and endorse Dem Richard Blumenthal, who will benefit from having the WFP line. (Connecticut, like New York, allows fusion voting.) In case you were wondering, all five of CT's Congressmembers have the WFP's backing, as does gubernatorial nominee Dan Malloy.

  • DE-Sen: When called on the fact that her LinkedIn page made the extremely lulzy claim that she'd studied at Oxford, Christine O'Donnell claimed someone else had posted the profile. Now a different version has been uncovered at ZoomInfo (which says the profile was claimed - presumably by O'Donnell - through a "double opt-in process"), and it, too, has the Oxford bullshit. I'd say "busted!", but is this even remotely a surprise?
  • KY-Sen: Have you seen Jack Conway's excellent new ad about Kentucky's drug problem? Well, Rand Paul thinks it's "kind of tacky and really dishonest and kind of creepy." Mike Donta, the man featured in the ad who lost his son to drug addiction, said Paul's childish reaction is an "insult," both to him and other families battling this problem.
  • And one other important note: The ad buy that the DSCC supposedly cancelled here has been "bought back," according to Aaron Blake.

  • OH-Sen: The Cleveland Plain Dealer obtained an internal Lee Fisher finance document, which lays out a bunch of different scenarios for keeping the campaign financially afloat in the final month of the race. It's not a pretty picture - one nuclear option involves laying off ten staff members to pay for TV time. And worst of all, Fisher apparently raised less than a million bucks in the quarter. Sigh.
  • WV-Sen: Despite John Raese's efforts to paint him as weak on coal, Dem Gov. Joe Manchin secured the endorsement of the West Virginia Coal Association, which "represents 90 percent of the state's coal producers."
  • HI-Gov: He doesn't sound quite like an anti-vax nutter, but Republican Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona is refusing to get a flu shot himself, saying he's "not convinced that vaccines are more beneficial that harmful," despite encouraging state residents to get vaccinated. Yeah, that's helpful.
  • CO-04: If I had my dream job, newspaper writers would refer to me as "Democratic ratfucker DavidNYC," because really, I love nothing more than a good ratfuck. So kudos to "Our Community Votes," which is running a radio ad "attacking" a conservative independent candidate, ostensibly in the hopes of raising his profile and making him more appealing to wingers. It's not clear who's behind the group, but "public records shows that it shares Washington, D.C., office space with other groups tied to Steve Rosenthal, a longtime labor movement and Democratic strategist and former political director of the AFL-CIO." And there's real money behind this buy, too: $100,000 worth.
  • CO-07: The douchebags at the American Future Fund are spending $560K trying to unseat Ed Perlmutter, and apparently in a first for them, this includes a canvass operation, not just ad buys.
  • IL-10: Another day, another legal hassle for Bob Dold! The FEC dinged him for failing to report a $17,000 expenditure for "a motor coach that was used in Dold's ads as part of a bus tour." Dold submitted amended reports which showed several other expenditures and debts that somehow went missing from his earlier filings. How do you just forget about $17,000? Bob Dold!
  • WA-08: Ugh - this is pathetic. Evidently the League of Conservation Voters - another one of those ostensibly liberal groups that loved to endorse so-called "moderate" Republicans - enjoys getting abused. Earlier this year, Dave Reichert admitted that he occasionally votes a pro-environment line simply to remain in office. Despite this, the LCV is endorsing Reichert on account of his cap-and-trade vote. Glad to see they admire sincerity so much.
  • Site News: The Swing State Project just enjoyed its biggest month ever, with over 700,000 pageviews and more than 350,000 visitors. Here's hoping the trend continues!
  • SSP-TV:

    • MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan attacks Roy Blunt for being a "prodigious pork-meister." Does anyone else think this is as lame and boring as when Republicans try to pin this on us?
    • NV-Sen: Harry Reid has led the way with relentless, hard-hitting, and just plain good attack ads this cycle. Yeah, Sharron Angle provides a lot of fodder, but all Republicans have weak spots. This ad nails her for trying to repeal a law which requires insurance companies to cover mammograms
    • WV-Sen: Joe Manchin hits John Raese with his own words, including Raese's infamous "I made money the old-fashioned way - I inherited it" gem
    • CO-Gov: Dan Maes (yeah, I know!!) has a really boring minute-long intro ad. No word on the size of the "buy," but I doubt he could even afford to run Google ads on SSP
    • FL-25: Two ads from GOPer David Rivera - the first a boring spot about cutting government spending (check out the weird artifacts bouncing off his shirt at 27 seconds - you think YouTube? or is the broadcast version also messed up?); the second, a litany of attacks on Joe Garcia (and the production values are weak here, too). Meanwhile, Garcia has a much better ad hitting Rivera for the infamous "ramming a truck off the road" incident
    • IL-10: Bob Dold! thinks that Dan Seals is a job killer
    • ME-02: Fuck, these veteran ads always make me well up a bit. Another good one on VA health clinics, from Mike Michaud (his first in four years)
    • OH-09: Rich Iott attacks Marcy Kaptur as a "liar" for a supposedly misleading ad (I think this is it) and brings up the 11% unemployment rate in Toledo

    Independent Expenditures:

    • Concerned Taxpayers: $92K for GOPer Art Robinson (OR-04) and $47K against Frank Kratovil (MD-01)
    • FIRST!... Amendment Alliance: $117K against Harry Reid (NV-Sen) (Topic: The First Amendment Alliance doesn't care about the first amendment or alliances. Discuss)
    • Realtors: $1.3 million spread among Bill Foster (IL-14), Pat Tiberi (OH-12), Ken Calvert (CA-44), and Dave Reichert (WA-08), including polls
    • Revere America: George Pataki's band of fuckwits is spending over $400K on ads against Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and over $350K against John Hall (NY-19) (note second buy was made 9/17 but report filed 9/30 in violation of FEC rules)
    Discuss :: (108 Comments)
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