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SSP Daily Digest: 8/24

by: Crisitunity

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM EDT

AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln is getting yet another challenger, except this time it's a Democrat: Bob Johnson (no, not that Bob Johnson... he's the Arkansas Senate President, and former Arkansas House Speaker). Surely the netroots will rejoice that conservadem Lincoln, known for her foot-dragging on EFCA, is getting a primary challenge. Um, except there's the small fact that Johnson would be running against Lincoln from the right. (Johnson held a fundraiser for Republican state Senator Gilbert Baker last fall, who may well be the Republican Senate nominee.)

FL-Sen: One more fossil got unearthed by Charlie Crist as he seeks applications for potential Senate replacements for Mel Martinez: former Representative Lou Frey, a 75-year-old who served in the House from the Orlando area from 1968 to 1978. Crist is still planning to interview current Rep. Bill Young, as well as former Reps. Clay Shaw and Mike Bilirakis. Follow the link to see all 10 current possible replacements.

IL-Sen: With the Democratic Senate field suddenly down to two candidates, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and local Urban League president Cheryle Jackson, there's still some of the inevitable casting-about for someone else going on. An unnamed "top Dem" is reportedly encouraging Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to make the race. Dart is a former state legislator who made big news recently for suspending foreclosure evictions.

MO-Sen: Michael Steele just referred to Roy Blunt as crap. Well, not in the most literal sense. There was an extended toilet metaphor on a conservative radio talk show and Steele went along with the host's anti-Blunt anti-insider arguments. Still, the Carnahan ads write themselves.

NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand got yet another endorsement from her House colleagues, from freshman Rep. Eric Massa. Siena is also out with a new New York poll. Gillibrand trails the unlikely-to-run ex-Gov. George Pataki in a hypothetical head-to-head, 42-39 while whomping the only slightly-less-likely-to-run Rep. Peter King, 46-24. (They didn't poll the Dem primary, where Jonathan Tasini is Gillibrand's last challenger standing.)

CA-Gov: Meg Whitman's campaign strategy seems to be to duck debates and let her money do her talking for her instead. Here's another eyebrow-raising development, that's potentially a good line of attack for Dems (or her primary challengers): Whitman didn't register to vote in California til 2002 (or as a Republican until 2007), and has missed voting in more than half the elections since then, including the 2003 recall.

MA-Gov: Rasmussen looks at the Massachusetts Governor's race, and finds I-turned-R Christy Mihos leading incumbent Dem Deval Patrick 40-35, up from a 41-40 lead in June. Patrick leads Republican Charlie Baker 40-39. The utility of this poll is close to zero, though, seeing as how it leaves out likely D-turned-I candidate Tim Cahill, whom polls have found either absorbing enough anti-Patrick votes to let Patrick squeak through, or else winning outright.

NY-Gov: There's a certain role about holes, shovels, and not digging that David Paterson seems to be forgetting. He lashed out at critics saying he should stand down for re-election, accusing them of racial bias, and even launched into the media for their coverage (which I don't think has ever ended well for a politician). The aforementioned Siena poll finds Paterson losing the Dem primary to Andrew Cuomo 65-23, and the general to Rudy Giuliani 56-33 (although he does beat Rick Lazio, 38-37). Cuomo beats Giuliani 53-40, and beats Lazio by a hilarious 66-16 (OK, that's not as hilarious as the GOP primary, where Giuliani beats Lazio 73-6, with 8 for Erie Co. Exec Chris Collins).

SC-Gov: Cue up the "frequent flier" jokes. Turns out Mark Sanford, already known for his little jaunt to Argentina and his overeager use of state planes, has also failed to disclose at least 35 flights on private planes that should have been listed on ethics forms or campaign disclosures as 'things of value.'

IN-09: Could we really see Hill/Sodrel 5.0? American politics' most repetitive rivalry may well continue on into 2010, as GOP ex-Rep. Mike Sodrel says he'll weigh another bid against Rep. Baron Hill in the 9th as soon as he's done with the book that he's coloring writing.

MI-13, 14: Detroiters are feeling surly about their Representatives, it seems. A poll by Deno Noor Polling finds both Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and John Conyers with negative re-elect numbers: 27/58 for Kilpatrick and 40/44 for Conyers. Not a surprise for Kilpatrick, whose son got bounced out as Detroit's mayor and who barely survived a primary herself last year, but it's a new development for Conyers, the second-longest-serving House member; assumedly, this has a lot to do with the conviction of his wife, ex-city councilor Monica Conyers, on bribery charges.

OR-04: I'd be sad too if I was watching my once-promising House bid crash and burn more than a year out from the election. Republican Springfield mayor Sid Leiken teared up repeatedly during a news conference where he finally announced that he didn't have documentation for the $2,000 in cash that somehow found its way from his campaign to his mother. He'll repay the $2,000 out of pocket, he says, but the Sec. of State investigation continues.

PA-07: Here's a good photo op for Dem state Rep. Bryan Lentz, running to succeed Rep. Joe Sestak. He's appearing at the White House to discuss energy policy with Obama administration officials and other energy policy leaders.

VA-05: Conventional wisdom seems to be coalescing around state Sen. Robert Hurt as GOP nominee; one GOP operative says he's "60% leaning toward the race." His state Senate district overlaps about one-quarter of the 5th. State Del. Rob Bell, who was frequently mentioned earlier, seems hard-pressed to win his off-year re-election this year and turn around and take on Rep. Tom Perriello. Two other state Senators sound interested, Frank Ruff and Steve Newman, but sound likely to defer to Hurt if he gets in.

Seattle Mayor: Primary elections in Seattle were last week, and in typical Washington fashion, ballots from the all-mail-in election are still being counted. In a serious surprise, two-term mayor Greg Nickels won't be coming back, as he finished third in the top-two nonpartisan primary at 25%. No worries, as he'll be replaced by someone just as, if not more so, liberal, although someone who's never held elective office before: the top 2 are local Sierra Club president Mike McGinn (at 28%) and T-Mobile VP and big-time Obama bundler Joe Mallahan (at 27%).

Meanwhile, the King Co. Executive race is down to two. It's the first time it's been an officially nonpartisan position (after a GOP-led initiative to change it to nonpartisan passed, as this is the only way a Republican will ever get elected), but everyone still knows that former news anchor Susan Hutchison (who got 37%) is the Republican and county councilor Dow Constantine (who got 22%) is the Democrat. That looks daunting at first, but there were no other major Republicans and three other top-tier Dems in the race (county councilor Larry Phillips, state Sen. Fred Jarrett, and state Rep. Ross Hunter). The four Dems put together got 56%, so, no, King County isn't going to elect a Republican in November.

Polltopia: Where should PPP poll next: New Jersey or Virginia? You decide. (Tom Jensen says they'd planned to do New Jersey but skipped it to do Arkansas this week, where he hints at some blood-curdling numbers.)

Discuss :: (46 Comments)

SSP Daily Digest: 7/27

by: Crisitunity

Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM EDT

CA-Sen: Sorry none of us could be bothered to talk about this poll on Friday: Rasmussen polled the California Senate race again and found former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina gaining some ground on Sen. Barbara Boxer. Boxer leads 45-41 (it was 47-38 in March). Interestingly, though, Fiorina, who quite publicly drove HP into a ditch, already has negative favorable ratings (30/35, with 35% unsure), which has to be a bad sign for any challenger. Boxer is still in positive territory (50/47), so I have no idea to square those results with the head-to-head.

IL-Sen: State treasurer Alexi Giannoulias had his official campaign launch this weekend, where he name-dropped Barack Obama at every opportunity.

NY-Sen-B: Is this a sign that Rep. Carolyn Maloney may be backing away from the Senate race, or is she just sidetracked by the chaos in the House? She had been scheduled to announce her primary campaign against Kirsten Gillibrand today or tomorrow, but now Maloney tells the New York Post that the timetable is no longer in effect, and didn't say anything about a new timetable, other than to say that "This week we are confronting health care."

AK-Gov: If the world seems a slightly lighter place today, it's because it's our first Sarah Palin-free day in a while; she turned the keys to the state over to Sean Parnell yesterday. I guess now I and other members of the media can, in honor of the American soldier, quit makin' stuff up about her.

MA-Gov: The Boston Globe polled Deval Patrick's prospects and found he's still in trouble. (The poll was conducted on the Globe's behalf by often-clueless UNH, so take with the requisite spoonful of salt.) His job approvals are 35/56, and he narrowly loses head-to-heads with both prospective GOPers, 41-35 to Charlie Baker and 41-40 to Christy Mihos. If Dem-turned-Independent treasurer Tim Cahill gets in the race as planned, though, the Republicans fade into the background, as Cahill seems to vacuum up the anti-Patrick votes. Patrick and Cahill tie both matchups: 30-30-20 with Baker, and 31-31-18 with Mihos.

NJ-Gov: Jon Corzine picked his Lt. Gov. running mate: state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a 74-year-old granny from Bergen County noted for pushing for ethics reform. This comes instead of, as rumored, Apprentice winner Randal Pinkett. Those in the know seem to think that Corzine may have been motivated to pick her in order to emphasize ethics in the wake of the federal arrests of a swarm of lower elected officials, including some Corzine allies. The New York Times presents a dark picture of Corzine's campaign, framing the corruption sweep as one more blow that he can't handle, and actually starts speculating on what Dem might replace Corzine at the top of the ticket should be back out (it mentions Newark mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone). The NYT says Corzine still has no plans to bail, but state machine boss George Norcross is making no secret that he wants Corzine out of the race.

VA-Gov: Barack Obama will be coming to Virginia to stump for Creigh Deeds, with both a public rally and private fundraiser on Aug. 6. This comes as GOP candidate Bob McDonnell has been seeking to increasingly go after Deeds on national issues, as at their first debate where McDonnell challenged Deeds on cap-and-trade and EFCA. Deeds may need some outside help, as he's had trouble nailing down some of the local big names, most prominently former Gov. Douglas Wilder.

IL-10: State Rep. Julie Hamos says she'll officially announce tomorrow that she's running for the Democratic nod in the now-open 10th. She had been planning to run for AG until Lisa Madigan surprised everyone by deciding to run for another term. Instead, she joins a top-drawer field with state Sen. Michael Bond and 06/08 candidate Dan Seals already in.

NY-23: We'll have to wait until tomorrow for Democrats in the 23rd District to have even a plan for picking a candidate, let alone have a candidate, as they seem to have not had much of a Plan B in the event that Darrel Aubertine didn't run. The Dems say they've received about 18 applications; Watertown Daily Times gotten confirmations from 06 nominee Michael Oot, 94 nominee Danny Francis, attorney Stuart Brody, attorney Keith Caughlin, and state assistant inspector general for Medicaid John Sullivan that they are among the 18. Meanwhile, Jim Kelly (no, not the quarterback) sounds like he's gearing up to run on the Conservative line.

VA-05: Ex-Rep. Virgil Goode made it official that he won't be running against Tom Perriello to get his seat back. (Now maybe he can stop running around the district handing out oversize checks.) Speculation turns to GOP state Senator Rob Hurt and delegate Rob Bell, who don't have the name rec or fundraising power of Goode, but don't have the polarizing reputations either.

Discuss :: (25 Comments)

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.

Discuss :: (24 Comments)

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