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George Jepsen

SSP Daily Digest: 3/3

by: DavidNYC

Thu Mar 03, 2011 at 3:31 PM EST

AZ-Sen: Arizona Dems could see a big name get into the senate race: 4th CD Rep. Ed Pastor says he's considering the race, but wants to see how Rep. Gabby Giffords's recovery goes before making any decisions. (He also says he hasn't spoken to the DSCC yet.)

CT-Sen: Chris Murphy just scored a trio of big fat endorsements: state Attorney General George Jepsen, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, and Comptroller Kevin Lembo all just gave their backing to the 5th CD rep. Notably, Merrill succeeded Murphy's primary opponent, Susan Bysiewicz, as SoS this year.

NM-Sen: Couple of developments in the open-seat New Mexico race. First, Dave Catanese says that Heather Wilson is starting to staff up for a potential run. Second, Steve Pearce says that he's spoken to Republican Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and says that Sanchez is "thinking about" running. Pearce, who earlier was urging NM Republicans to reach a consensus pick, is sounding more and more like he's interesting in playing the role of fixer rather than running himself - not too surprising, given that he's 63 and just ran tough campaigns two cycles in a row.

OH-Sen: Actual retail value of a Drew Carey senate run? $0, apparently. The Price Is Right host's publicist says that Carey "does not plan to run for office," despite a movement trying to draft him to run against Sen. Sherrod Brown. Does this remind anyone else of talk about recruiting Jerry Springer on our behalf in the 2005 timeframe? God that was sad.

VA-Sen: Ex-Rep. Rick Boucher tells the National Journal that while he isn't ruling out a senate run, he isn't "giving any active thought" to one, either. Based on the linked NJ item, it sure sounds like Boucher is heading for a second career as a lobbyist. Anyhow, Boucher also says that Tim Kaine is the "obvious Democratic candidate."

WI-Gov: So now the RNC, like the RGA, is putting up an ad in support of Darth Walker. No Word On The Size Of The Buy (in case you aren't familiar with that phrase, it means "NWOTSOTB"), or whether it's cable or broadcast, but The Hill does say it will run "in Milwaukee and Madison through the end of this week."

NY-26: Though he met with teabagger David Bellavia for over an hour, Conservative Party chair Mike Long says he "made it very clear" that Republican nominee Jane Corwin has "a leg up on" Bellavia in terms of getting the Con endorsement. Long said his party's executive committee may meet later this week or early next week to make a final decision. With any luck, Bellavia will pursue his plan to petition on to the ballot if he gets passed over.

Tampa Mayor: The city of Tampa, FL had a mayoral election the other night, and Republican Rose Ferlita (26%) and Dem Bob Buckhorn (24%) will proceed to a run-off. All of the other candidates in the first round were Dems, though former Mayor Dick Greco (who was trying to return to office) was definitely more of a DINO.

MS-Gov: Four Democrats filed for the gubernatorial race: Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, attorney Bill Luckett (who seems to have some money), and  Some Dudes Guy Shaw and William Compton, who also ran in 2007 and took just 12% in the Dem primary. But the rest of the picture is pretty brutal. Not a single Dem will be on the ballot for the positions of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, or auditor. As for the Republicans, five candidates qualified for the gubernatorial race: Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, businessman Dave Dennis, Pearl River County Supervisor Hudson Holiday, Some Dude Ron Williams, and teabagger James Broadwater.

Special Elections: Unsurprisingly, in Florida's SD-33, Dem Oscar Braynon routed his Republican opposition in his bid to succeed Frederica Wilson (who replaced Kendrick Meek in the House). Dems also lost a very Republican state house district in Maine, HD-11, where the GOP candidate got all of 697 votes to the Democrat's 557.

WI-St. Sen.: The Wisconsin Democratic Party is launching an effort to recall the eight Republican state senators who are legally subject to the recall process. (As you probably know, WI elects half its senators every two years, so only those who won in 2008 can be recalled right now.) The SEIU has also announced that they are backing the effort.

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SSP Daily Digest: 5/19

by: Crisitunity

Wed May 19, 2010 at 4:36 PM EDT

CA-Sen: Good news for Tom Campbell, in the form of the Senate half of M4's poll of the California GOP primary: he leads Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore, 33-28-15. (Of course, with his plans to briefly go dark to conserve funds, that gives Fiorina a chance to play catchup when the margin's not that big.) Bad news for Campbell, though: the NRA has him in its metaphorical crosshairs, sending out a mailer to members attacking Campbell and, while not endorsing, offering kind words for Fiorina and DeVore.

CT-Sen: This is going to make it a lot easier for Richard Blumenthal to make the case that the "in Vietnam" controversy is something of a cheap shot. A longer-form video release of the appearance (provided, ironically, by the Linda McMahon campaign, undercutting their own hatchet job) where the offending phrase occurred have him correctly referring to having "served in the military, during the Vietnam era" in the very same speech. That's not stopping Vietnam vet Rob Simmons, who, sensing an opening, has rolled out web advertising with "Blumenthal Lied About Vietnam" in very large letters.

Blumenthal is getting more explicit backing from Democratic bigwigs now, as his mea culpa/attempt to get back on the offense seems to have had the desired effect. Rep. Chris Murphy, the likeliest guy to pick up the pieces if Blumenthal had to bail out, offered his unqualified support; so too did Howard Dean. And here's one thing that's actually good about Rasmussen's one-day, no-callback samples: they can strike fast. They polled Connecticut, and while the trendlines aren't appealing, they find Blumenthal still beating McMahon even in the heat of the moment before the story has had time to digest, and beating the other, unmoneyed GOP opponents by pretty wide margins. Markos has some really nice pushback against Rasmussen in general, today, asking why they always poll quickly when there's the potential for a good Republican narrative but not when the narrative doesn't fit (as seen in their failure to poll the Sorta Super-Tuesday primaries).

FL-Sen: Charlie Crist has been trying to woo union support, starting with a speech at the state AFL-CIO convention this weekend. It's another indication that he's trying to move squarely onto Kendrick Meek's turf and monopolize as much of the left-of-center vote as he can, now that he's free from his GOP shackles. Meanwhile, quixotic Democratic candidate Jeff Greene has apparently been seen wooing Ukrainian strippers, in 2005 on his 145-foot yacht while cruising the Black Sea. Not so, claims his campaign spokesperson; he was busy traveling with his rabbi at the time instead.

KY-Sen: In case you needed one more data point on how thin-skinned Rand Paul and how likely a meltdown from him is at some point before November, here's an anecdote from last night: he refused to take the customary concession call from Trey Grayson, at least according to the Grayson camp.

NC-Sen: Here's a big score for Elaine Marshall: Third-place finisher Kenneth Lewis gave his backing to Marshall in her runoff against Cal Cunningham. This move isn't so surprising, given that Lewis's supporters, like Rep. Eva Clayton, were already gravitating toward Marshall, but it ought to steer much of Lewis's African-American and youth base in her direction as well.

NV-Sen: Three items, all of which are very, very bad for Sue Lowden. First, the Club for Growth finally weighed into the Senate primary, and they backed right-winger Sharron Angle (maybe not that surprising, since they backed her in the 2006 primary for NV-02). That ought to give Angle a further shot of adrenaline, though, on top of her Tea Party Express endorsement and polling momentum. Lowden is also still bogged down in controversy over her luxury bus, doubling-down on her claims that use of the $100K vehicle was leased despite also having stated elsewhere that the bus was "donated" (which means it would have needed to be reported as an in-kind contribution). That's nothing, though, compared to the (by my count) quintupling-down on Chickens-for-Checkups, simultaneously trying to fight top Nevada journo Jon Ralston on the fact that, yes, people are bartering for health care while trying to claim that she never actually said anything about Chickencare at all.

NY-Sen-B: The only GOP big name left who hadn't said anything definitive about participating in the GOP Senate primary for the right to get creamed by Kirsten Gillibrand finally said a public "no." Orange County Executive Ed Diana said he'll stick with his current job, to which he was elected in November to a third term.

UT-Sen: Looks like that teabaggers' victory in Utah might be short-lived. Bob Bennett seems to be more interested than before in running as a write-in in the general (where, despite the complex dynamics of a write-in campaign, he faces better odds with the broader electorate than with the narrow slice of extremists running the GOP convention). We may know tomorrow what his plans are, as he emphasized "Stay tuned tomorrow."

WA-Sen: If Dino Rossi really is still interested in running for Senate, this isn't a particularly good way of showing it. Rossi is scheduled to make a blockbuster appearance on May 25... to give opening remarks at a dinnertime seminar for local real estate investors focusing on strategies for profiting off foreclosures. Because nothing says "I'm a man of the people" than knowing all the ins and outs of how to profit off the people's misery.

AL-Gov: Artur Davis is out with an internal poll, that seems mostly oriented toward countering the sense that he's losing ground among his African-American base. The poll shows Davis leading Democratic primary rival Ron Sparks 46-33. It also shows Davis leading 50-25 among African-Americans (despite the defections of some prominent local black groups), while trailing Sparks 42-41 among whites.

FL-Gov: Bill McCollum is going to have to start taking moneybags Rick Scott seriously, and he's striking hard, sending out a press release calling him an "embarrassment" and a "fraud," presumably in reference to allegations leveled against Scott's health care firm. Scott's ginormous introductory ad buy is now estimating at $6.3 million.

KS-Gov: Sam Brownback is drawing some heat for taking things out of context. Now, politicians take things out of context all the time, but his sleight-of-hand in attempting to fight efforts to more tightly regulate the business of car loans to military members may be a fridge too far.

"CNN Money on May 13 reported that 'Raj Date ... agreed that the additional (Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection) regulation might cause some dealers to stop arranging loans," Brownback said in the letter.
But Brownback's letter did not include the rest of Date's comment, which was this, "There will be some dealers who say, 'If I have to play by an honest set [of] rules, then I can't be in this business anymore.' I'm not going to shed any tears for these dealers."

MA-Gov: You may recall last week's Rasmussen MA-Gov poll where, in an effort to find some sort of good news, they found that, if liberal activist Grace Ross somehow beat incumbent Dem Deval Patrick in the primary, she would lost to GOPer Charlie Baker. Well, it's looking like Ross is in danger of not even making it onto the ballot. The state SoS says she has only a little more than half of the 10,000 signatures she needs; Ross promises an announcement tomorrow morning on her next step. (The upside for Patrick, if Ross qualifies for the primary though, would be $750K in public financing for his campaign, which he wouldn't be entitled to if he were running unopposed.)

ME-Gov: There's been some ongoing controversy in the sleepy Maine governor's race about how Republican candidate Steve Abbott (former CoS to Susan Collins) wound up with GOP voter lists, but this is a strange turn: the state Republican party chair, Charlie Webster, is now saying that Abbott's camp flat-out "stole" it.

GA-09: The special election to replace Nathan Deal (where GOPers Tom Graves and Lee Hawkins are in a runoff) seems to have winnowed the Republican field for the regularly-scheduled GOP primary, too. Former state Senate majority leader Bill Stephens has dropped out of contention in that field.

HI-01: Even if something incredibly dramatic happens between now and Saturday's drop-dead date in the special election in the 1st, things are still pretty much cast in stone. In the all-mail in election, now 43% of all ballots sent out have been returned.

IN-03: State Sen. Marlin Stutzman (whose name rec is sky-high right now after running fairly well in the GOP Senate primary against Dan Coats) says that he's going to strike while the iron is hot, and get into the race to replace resigning Rep. Mark Souder. Other GOPers confirming that they'll run include state Rep. Randy Borror, Ft. Wayne city councilor Liz Brown, and recent primary loser Phil Troyer. Another recent primary loser, Bob Thomas, is a potential candidate.

OH-16: After having found an excuse to hide behind the door the last time Barack Obama came to Ohio, Rep. John Boccieri was proudly with him when he visited Youngstown yesterday. Perhaps he can sense a bit of a turning of the tide? Troublingly, though, Senate candidate Lee Fisher wasn't present.

PA-12: PPP digs through the data from their last pre-election poll in the 12th and finds what may really have done the Republicans in. There's one entity in the district even more unpopular than Barack Obama (who had 30% approval), and that's Congressional Republicans, who were at a miserable 22/60. In nationalizing the election, Tim Burns tied himself to the nation's least favorite people of all.

PA-19: After having surviving his primary last night despite publicly seeking another job, it looks like Rep. Todd Platts exposed himself to all that danger for no reason at all. Platts announced yesterday that the Obama administration had let him know that he wasn't going to be selected for the Government Accountability Office job he'd been angling for.

CT-AG: Here's one of the weirdest career crash-and-burns I've seen lately: SoS Susan Bysiewicz went in a few months from likely next Governor to somehow not even eligible to run for the lower-tier job she dropped down to. Connecticut's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that she didn't meet the criteria for legal experience required to become AG, reversing a lower court's decision. Former Democratic state Sen. George Jepsen now has the AG job pretty much to himself. At any rate, with Bysiewicz now combing the "Help Wanted" section, that gives the Connecticut Dems a fallback plan for the Senate if Richard Blumenthal does need to bail out (although Bysiewicz may be seriously damaged at this point too).

OR-St. House: Here are a couple races with interesting implications that I forgot to watch last night: two Republican state Reps. from the high-desert parts of Oregon (the state's Republican stronghold) committed the unthinkable heresy of not only bipartisanship but supporting tax increases to close the state's budget gap. Both Bob Jenson and Greg Smith survived their primaries, though, after teabaggers, right-to-lifers, and even their state House minority leader turned their wrath against them.

Arizona: One other election result from last night that most people, us included, seemed to overlook was Proposition 100 in Arizona. In a surprise, at least to those people who think that it's a rabidly anti-tax year (which would be those people who didn't pay any attention to Measures 66 and 67 earlier this year in Oregon), the people of this red state voted by a fairly wide margin for a temporary sales tax increase as part of a package of changes to close the budget gap. It's a victory for Jan Brewer, actually, who backed the plan (perhaps feeling safer to do so, having solidified her position with her support for the "papers please" law).

1994: When you have a wave, a lot of dead wood washes up on the beach. Prompted by '94 alum Mark Souder's mini-scandal and resignation, Dana Milbank looks back at the wide array of scoundrels and rogues who were swept in in 1994.

History: History's only barely on the side of Blanche Lincoln when it comes to runoffs. It turns out that the person who finishes first in a runoff wins 72% of the time, but when that's limited only to runoffs in primaries, the success rate is only 55%... and Lincoln's victory over Bill Halter last night was a particularly close one.

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SSP Daily Digest: 3/23 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 3:07 PM EDT

NC-Sen: The newest Elon University poll of North Carolina finds that, as with most pollsters, that Richard Burr is strangely anonymous for a Senator: he has a favorable of 34/17. His best-known Democratic competitor, SoS Elaine Marshall, is at 18/8. The poll doesn't contain head-to-heads, and also, bear in mind that it only polls "residents," not even registered voters, which would explain the super-low awareness.

TX-Sen: 20 of Texas's Republican House members wrote a letter to Kay Bailey Hutchison, asking her to reconsider and stay on as Senator. (Recall that she planned to resign once she was done "fighting health care.") I wonder if the letter was signed by Joe Barton, who was pretty public about his desire to take over that seat back when a resignation seemed likelier.

UT-Sen: Tonight's the night we get our first hard impression of what degree of trouble Bob Bennett is in. Tonight are neighborhood caucuses, where delegates to the state convention are elected. A particularly ultra-conservative-skewing convention could pose some trouble to Bennett, although with so many GOP challengers, it seems likely no one will hit the 60% mark at the convention needed to avoid a primary.

CT-Gov: You might recognize these numbers from last week; we've been waiting for Quinnipiac to release general election numbers in the Governor's race but they just don't seem to be forthcoming, so here are their primary numbers. On the Dem side, Ned Lamont is leading at 28, followed by former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy at 18, Mary Glassman at 4, Rudy Marconi at 2, and Juan Figueroa at 1. (Susan Bysiewicz has a big edge over George Jepsen, 54-10, in the AG primary, despite concerns about her eligibility for the job.) On the GOP side, Tom Foley is dominating at 30, followed by Lt. Gov Michael Fedele collapsing down to 4, Danbury mayor Mark Boughton at 4, ex-Rep. Larry DeNardis at 2, and Oz Griebel and Jeff Wright at 2.

CA-Gov: Wondering how Meg Whitman pulled into a huge lead in the primary and a small lead in the general in California governor's race? She's spent a mind-boggling $27 million on her race so far this year (for a total of $46 million), compared with Steve Poizner's $3 million and Jerry Brown's $142K.

OR-Gov: Former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley is the first candidate to hit the TV airwaves in the Oregon governor's race so far, touting his "outsider" credentials.

PA-Gov: AG Tom Corbett, who oh just coincidentally happens to be running for Governor this year, finally got a conviction in the Bonusgate investigation, against former state Rep. Mike Veon and several of his staffers. The timing is certainly helpful to Corbett, for whom the investigation has been dragging out and the possibility of mistrials (or no convictions before November) was starting to loom. Trials against several other former Democratic House leaders, including GOPer John Perzel and Dem Bill DeWeese, are still in the pipeline.

WY-Gov: The Democrats are about to land a gubernatorial candidate: attorney Paul Hickey, who plans an announcement later this week. If the name is familiar, he's the son of former Governor J.J. Hickey. Democratic State Sen. Mike Massie hasn't ruled out a run yet either, although he may run for one of the statewide offices.

IL-11: Here's one more district that hasn't been high on people's watch lists but will need to be monitored, at least if a new internal poll from Republican pollster POS is to be believed. They find their patron, Adam Kinzinger, leading freshman Rep. Debbie Halvorson 44-38.

MA-09: With primary challenges moving onto the radar against HCR "no" votes Jason Altmire and Mike Arcuri, another one may be taking shape: Needham Town Meeting member (and, well, college classmate of mine) Harmony Wu has pulled papers for the race and is gauging local sentiment for a primary run against Stephen Lynch.

NY-01: Whoever faces off against Tim Bishop for the Republicans is going to have to fight through an arduous primary to get there. Any hopes of an easy coronation for Randy Altschuler seem to have vaporized, as now Chris Cox (Republican party insider and Nixon grandson) is setting his own Wall Street-powered fundraising operation in motion. And a 3rd option, former SEC prosecutor George Demos, has had his own fundraising success.

NY-20: One more Republican, Queensbury town supervisor Dan Stec, bailed out of the field today, suggesting that the GOP is finally coalescing behind retired Col. Chris Gibson as a standard-bearer against freshman Dem Rep. Scott Murphy, in what's one of their slowest races to take shape.

OK-05: Finally, we have a Democrat on tap for the open seat race in Oklahoma's dark-red 5th, where there's already a half-dozen GOPers jousting. Tom Guild is secretary of the Oklahoma County Democratic Party, and was a poli sci professor at Univ. of Central Oklahoma for many years.

PA-11: Things got easier for Lou Barletta in the race in the 11th, where his Republican primary challenger, Chris Paige dropped out, citing family concerns. Paige, an attorney, was underfunded but had delivered some surprisingly-hard hits to Barletta, especially on Barletta's signature issue of immigration.

SC-01: The Club for Growth weighed into another GOP primary in a reddish open seat, endorsing state Rep. Tim Scott. Scott faces off in the primary against several well-known last names: Carroll Campbell III and Paul Thurmond.

HCR: The Republican pivot from health care reform to health care repeal has some implications in the gubernatorial races. Rep. Peter Hoekstra is going full-on repeal, stopping by Sunday's teabagger rally to pledge to fight that battle. It's also showing up in a number of races where the Republican AG is running for Governor and joined the multi-AG suit against HCR on easily-rebuttable 10th Amendment grounds (hint to teabaggers: read Scalia's opinion in Raich) - many in dark-red states where it probably helps more than hurts (like Henry McMaster in South Carolina). There are a few blue state AGs involved, though, like Tom Corbett (although he probably feels like he has a safety cushion to do so, thanks to his Bonusgate-related popularity). Most puzzling, though, is Washington's Rob McKenna, who got where he is only by acting moderate. Throwing off his well-maintained moderate mask and joining forces with the wackjob likes of Ken Cuccinelli seems like a weird gamble for his widely-expected 2012 run, where success is utterly dependent on making inroads among suburban moderates.

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