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We got one piece of big news in the political game today, but that is not all that happened on Monday. Let's take a look at the other news making headlines on the campaign trail.

KY-Sen: Assessing The Senate Race, Post-Bunning
As Jim Bunning exits the stage, it is worth looking at the political landscape in this newly open-seat race.

Bunning's retirement, of course, makes it a matter of certainty that Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson will end his "exploratory" Senate campaign and jump into the race for good. Grayson was re-elected easily in 2007 to his post, and had been raising money at a clip far exceeding Bunning in the first two quarters of 2009. He had previously stated that he would only get in if Bunning elected to retire. Some past Bunning donors have already warmed to Grayson, which certainly played a role in Bunning's decision to hang them up.

Democrats, meanwhile, have two viable candidates. Both Attorney General Jack Conway (who doubled up Grayson in 2nd quarter fundraising, raising $1.3 million) as well as Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo (who took Bunning down to the wire in 2004 before falling 51-49) are in the mix.

Both Research 2000 (polling for Daily Kos) and PPP polled Grayson and the Democrats earlier in the year. PPP's numbers were a bit more optimistic, with Conway leading Grayson by four (37-33), while Grayson led Mongiardo by the same four-point margin (40-36). In our polling, Grayson had leads of a single-point over both men.

MA-Gov: Democratic Incumbent Struggles In New Poll
Heading into a campaign cycle that will likely include a three-way contest, these are not the poll numbers that you want to have: Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick would be in a dead heat with Democrat-turned-Independent Tim Cahill, according to a new Boston Globe poll conducted by UNH. Against either presumptive Republican rival (Christy Mihos or Charles Baker), Patrick is even with Cahill. When the race is measured only between the Democratic incumbent and his Republican challengers, the Republicans take a small lead (one point for Mihos, six points for Baker). This means, quite counterintuitively, that Cahill is actually taking his support disproportionately from Republicans, despite the fact that the state treasurer was a member of the Democratic Party until last month. For his part, Patrick told The Boston Herald that although he was disappointed in his slumping polling numbers (which included a 36% job approval rating), he felt that they were the price of leadership and having to make tough decisions for the state.

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE: CQ Early Study Projects Slight Dem Gains
Congressional Quarterly released their first electoral map for 2010, with accompanying ratings for each race. Interestingly, only six races were cited either as toss-ups or leaning to the other party. Four of the six seats were Republican-held, including three (IL-10, LA-02, and PA-06) that CQ projects as either leaning Democratic or likely Democratic. The three tossups were a pair of Democratic seats (MD-01 and ID-01), as well as one Republican seat (NY-23). The map and analysis can be found here.

NY-Sen: Gillibrand Goes For Base Appeal, But Will There Be A Primary?
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand put repeal of DADT front and center today, announcing that she had secured a commitment from Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin to hold hearings on the matter. The only question now is one raised by Taegan Goddard today--will there be a primary challenge at all? Apparently, Carolyn Maloney was expected to announce her challenge to Gillibrand this week, and hasn't yet. In itself, this probably means nothing--several candidates have delayed announcements, and subsequently followed through on them (Mark Kirk is a recent example). But given that the White House has already actively tried to dissuade one potential Gillibrand challenger, the delay takes on slightly increased meaning.

MS-01: Childers Gets 2010 Challenge From GOP State Senator
This has long been rumored, but was made official today: Democrat Travis Childers, who won a stunning special election victory to take this solid-red Congressional district in NE Mississippi, has his first official challenger for 2010: Republican state senator Alan Nunnelee. Nunnelee made President Obama a talking point in his announcement, declaring that the region needed a Congressman that would hold Obama "responsible". Such rhetoric is probably a high-percentage play in the Mississippi 1st, a district that went for John McCain by a 62-38 margin.

VA-05: Former Congressman Thinks Comeback Would Be No Goode
His incredibly meager FEC report already tipped his hand (raising a whopping $154 in a quarter will raise eyebrows), but Virgil Goode made it official: he is not going to seek a rematch with Democrat Tom Perriello in 2010. This swing district will certainly see a viable Republican challenger, but Goode's vacillation on the subject might have bought Perriello some time--he will have, at least at the outset, a significant funding edge over whomever emerges from the Republican side.

VA-Gov: Obama Willing To Go To Bat For Deeds
Interesting news out of the Virginia Governor's race, as Barack Obama will be stumping for, and raising cash for, Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds. The event will take place late next week in Northern Virginia. The event, in McLean, will be a public rally, followed by a private fundraiser. (Hat tip for above two items: Crisitunity at Swing State Project).

TN-03: Lightning Rod For Controversy Seeks GOP Nod
The potentially crowded GOP primary to succeed Zach Wamp in the Chattanooga-based 3rd district just got a lot more interesting. Former state GOP chairwoman Robin Smith will throw her hat in the ring. Last year, she raised eyebrows (and more than a few shouts of protest) with some of her hyperpartisan antics, including firing off a press release proclaiming Barack Obama as an anti-semite, including the use of a photograph of Obama in Muslim garb. That particular release was so incendiary that many prominent Republicans (including John McCain and homestate senator Lamar Alexander) chose to disassociate themselves from it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 07:46 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When do we start fundraising (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, Answer Guy, tberry

    on dailykos for the 2010 races?

    Now would be a very good time.  

    It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

    by dotalbon on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 07:56:47 PM PDT

    •  Jim Sensenbrenner (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Answer Guy, alizard, Scioto

      (R-Wis) is shamefully my representative.  Nutbag and shill.  Famous for shutting down the microphones in a committee he chaired in the House during the Bush/Cheney nightmare.

      Well, old Jim Senselessbrenner held a town hall meeting this weekend.  He always heads to a nice, safe Republican stronghold when he talks to constituents so he avoids the Democratic areas of the district as if they were a contagious disease.  This weekend he showed up in nice, safe, Republican part of his district.  Places he gets lots and lots of votes.  

      So he comes in smiling, knowing that the room is filled with Republicans.  And he starts in with the anti-tax bullshit and fear mongering about socialism and that government shouldn't stand between your doctor and you.

      Then he got his ass handed to him.  Big time.  Yup - I saw that great big smile just fall off his kisser as angry people confronted him about the need for real health care reform.   These were people in previously "safe" jobs with previously "good" insurance who are finding their jobs in jeopardy and their insurance disappearing.  And finding themselves trying for private insurance and being denied because of their age or pre-existing conditions.

      I'm hoping this happens everywhere these Republicans show their faces.  

      Jim Sensenbrenner is ripe for the picking unless he seriously changes his tune and his voting record.

      Those who yell do so because their arguments are so weak they can only be supported by massive amounts of hot air. Sue, West Allis, Wisconsin

      by Puddytat on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 10:55:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Kentucky pick up? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, dotalbon

    A 61 vote majority sounds great.  But I fear we'll need a 70 or 75 vote majority before we can ever have a safe 60 votes on anything.  Wouldn't it be great if we could run a Democratic primary opponent agains Sen Harry Reid next time?

    It's time for a Progressive Party.

    by mdgarcia on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 07:57:21 PM PDT

    •  I'd be satisfied if Reid gets booted (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdgarcia

      out of any leadership role in the Senate.  The new Prez Pro Tem can give Harry a couple of meaningless Committee assignments and the broom closet for an office.  

      It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

      by dotalbon on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:02:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unlikely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdgarcia

      Grayson is strionger then Bunning. Substantially. And, in addition, there will be very difficult race in Mississippi. Nunnelee comes from Lee county (rather rural part of district), where Childers did very well in 2008, but that was against "suburban slicker" Davis. It will be more difficult this time. I hope that conservative Childers will be conservative enough for this essentially very conservative district

  •  Given the contempt with which (0+ / 0-)

    our fantastically corrupt (s)elected public officials treat the citizens of this nation, I really don't give a fuck anymore.

    •  I do care--to an extent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard

      Honestly, I can understand why so many Kossacks are feeling deeply cynical these days. The way I look at it, though, we have to try to change things. I love my country too much to give up.

      Your Cell phone has more IQ points than the entire GOP caucus in the House. --JML9999

      by pine on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 09:17:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish Bunning hadn't retired (0+ / 0-)

    We had a good chance of winning the seat if Jack Conway or Daniel Mongiardo ran against Bunning.  Trey Grayson will be a much more formidable opponent and will be running as a Republican in a Republican-leaning state.  We need a couple new polls to see how Bunning's retirement affects the race.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:06:26 PM PDT

    •  lets get him on the ballot then. nt (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

      by jalapeno on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:49:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is Bunning a dead fish? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm just curious.  Now that Bunning is a lame duck, is he also going to be a dead fish?  As we all know from the former Governor of Alaska, once you have announced your intent to not seek re-election, your only purpose is to "just kind of hunker down and go with the flow."

      The quitter's way out is not to quit.  So, will Jim Bunning be resigning anytime soon?  Sarah Palin has pretty much set the pattern.

  •  The 2010 MA governor's race will be interesting (0+ / 0-)

    Massachusetts is completely dominated by Democrats and is the home to some of the most liberal Democrats in America.  But before Deval Patrick, the state hadn't elected a Democrat for governor since Michael Dukakis.  Patrick's first term has been controversial and he's made some stupid mistakes.  The economic crisis hasn't helped his numbers either.  But at least David Plouffe is running his reelection campaign.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:11:04 PM PDT

    •  I'm not from MA (0+ / 0-)

      but I've got friends from there who are  REALLY pissed off about the MA mandatory insurance 'solution' for the health care problems of its residents.

      Could this be part of Deval Patrick's problem? If so, should this be a warning to Democrats in DC about just how voters are going to react for a not so good national health care plan?

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 11:15:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am not from MA, (0+ / 0-)

      but if i would - i would vote for anybody, but Patrick. Cahill, Baker, even Mihos will, probably, be better. Massachusetts will NOT elect a far-right conservative and Patrick is a disaster as a Governor

    •  Yes and no, the legislature is full (0+ / 0-)

      of DINOs because even though some of them have pretty conservative views they knew the only way to get anywhere in the state's power structure is to be a Democrat. I always balk when people suggest that Massachusetts is so liberal, in fact I think quite the opposite.  Its just has a strong active minority of really educated activists due to its higher percentage of colleges and universities that influence state policy.  But the population as a whole is 50-50.  

      I'm a Leftist Radical and I am going to Netroots 2009!

      by HGM MA on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:21:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heh, could you turn you eye to the Ohio Senate (0+ / 0-)

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:12:01 PM PDT

  •  The only way we make gains in the house.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer

    ....is with a good health care bill...  Surely, they know this!!

    DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
    LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

    by LordMike on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:15:42 PM PDT

  •  Winning more House seats is nice but... (0+ / 0-)

    winning Senate seats and governorships is better.  We need more Senate seats so we can ignore Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and Joe Lieberman (who will lose reelection in 2012).  We need to win more governorships to control redistricting and show how we can govern well even in the most red states.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:25:28 PM PDT

    •  Governors will be very important for 2010 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Answer Guy, pademocrat

      We need to hold New York, Ohio, and Michigan and pick up California in order to compensate for Republican gerrymanders in Texas, Georgia, and probably Florida.  If things get really bad, Republicans may even be able to gerrymander Pennsylvania.  

  •  Anyone seen any polling on MD-GOV? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, Answer Guy

    My impression is that a lot of Marylanders are not happy with Martin O'Malley's job performance (NB: I'm not one of them) but I don't see a viable candidate on the GOP side unless former Gov Bob Ehrlich decides to go for a rematch, & "Bobby Hair" lost some cred when his handpicked wingnut tool Andy Harris bounced Wayne Gilchrest in the MD-01 GOP primary last year only to lose the seat to the relatively unknown Frank Kratovil.

    This state isn't as deep blue as it looks to outsiders--two huge blobs of it around DC & Bawlmer & the rest a pale purple at best. Might be useful to poll a MOM-Ehrlich rematch.

    May I bow to Necessity not/ To her hirelings (W. S. Merwin)

    by Uncle Cosmo on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:42:00 PM PDT

    •  hard to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pademocrat

      If he decides to go for a re-match, I think that Marylanders may decide that they like Ehrlich less than O'Malley. It's hard to say.

      FWIW, I'm not crazy about O'Malley. He strikes me as wishy-washy and not very clear in his agenda. But I'll take him over any Republican any day.

      Your Cell phone has more IQ points than the entire GOP caucus in the House. --JML9999

      by pine on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 09:14:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  MD-01 (0+ / 0-)

      Someone on here said they heard a rumor that Ehrlich was interested in MD-01, which wasn't really his original district (his MD-02 included a few parts of what is now in MD-01), doesn't include his original hometown (now in MD-03), but AFAIK does include his post-Governor residence in northern Baltimore County.

      He'd be somewhat vulnerable to carpetbagger attacks generally, and people on the Shore are going to be more likely to support one of their own in either a primary or a general regardless of party. But Ehrlich cleaned up in pretty much every part of MD-01 in both gubernatorial campaigns so they're very used to voting for him. He'd probably be a favorite in the GOP primary and would probably also be favored in a general election.

      Although interestingly enough, if E.J. Pipkin, who so badly wants to get to Capitol Hill somehow, decides to try again, he'd have a decent shot in a three-way race like this where he'd be the only Shore guy and the most moderate guy in the race. Since he negates some of Kratovil's assets vs. a guy like Harris, and is also made of money, he'd also be a tough foe for Kratovil.

      MD-01 as currently drawn will be very tough for any Democrat to hold. It took a perfect storm to win it in the first place. I did not know this until I looked it up....but McCain actually did even better in MD-01 than he did in MD-06, which I had long assumed was the more Republican district.    

      Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

      by Answer Guy on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:24:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Deval Patrick Lesson.... (0+ / 0-)

    ... FIX THE FUCKING POTHOLES... and your approval ratings will stay above 50%.

    Ive been driving in MA for 35 years, and it is now the worst ever...in fact worse than I could ever imagine it getting.

    He has been an absolutely useless person, and accomplished nothing.

  •  Kentucky (0+ / 0-)

    Ron Paul's son, Rand Paul, will run for the Republican primary. While he probably cannot beat Grayson, it's possible.

    Rand is an eye surgeon in Bowling Green, and recently raised a couple of hundred thousand toward a primary run. He's well-connected, but not so much in Kentucky like Grayson. It'll be an interesting battle. Rand is a libertarian, which will appeal to Kentucky Republicans. But he's not a great debater, which means that if the primary gets formal, he'll have trouble.

    I will say that he has a reputation as a phenomenal eye surgeon, but a loudmouth boor. Still, he's a smart guy. If Rand is serious about the run, this could be a bloody primary, pitting an establishment insider (Greyson) against a insurgent outsider with base-appeal (Paul). Hold on to your hats.

  •  KY-Sen call to action (0+ / 0-)

    How many signatures does Jim Bunning need to get on the primary ballot in Kentucky?

    That would be a great project.  Think of the $$$$ the republicans would have to spend to defeat him.

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:48:26 PM PDT

  •  mystery poll? (0+ / 0-)

    "In our polling, Grayson had leads of a single-point over both men."

    Ummm... any plans on releasing that mystery poll?

  •  NY-SEN: No Love for Jonathan Tasini? (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.jonathantasini.com/

    Check out all his CNBC debates on YouTube: the guy is great on the issues, great on his feet, and would be a powerful progressive voice in the Senate.

    Join the fight for student power on campus: ForStudentPower.org

    by Liberaltarian on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 11:45:58 PM PDT

  •  Massachusetts is interesting (0+ / 0-)

    It has, of course, no Republicans in its House delegation, but only one of its CDs is overwhelmingly D - that would be MA-08, which is D + 32.  While Obama won every CD in MA, in half of them he got under 60%.

    Several states gave Obama bigger margins -

      HI gave him 72%
      VT gave him 67%
      NY          63%
      IL          62%
      MA          62%

    still, it's weird that they would elect a Republican as Gov.

    OTOH, NYC has had decades of Republican mayors, and NY State has had Republicans in statewide office not all that long ago.

    •  Partially By Design (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      You don't need to work especially hard to make 10 districts in the state, none of which are in any real danger of flipping to the Republicans, but that's part of what they did. There are some red towns but no sizable cluster that's any less favorable than 50-50.    

      The districts look as weird as some of them do in part because the 10 existing incumbents (the current delegation except Nikki Tsongas) don't quite line up with the population distribution overall but strong incentives exist and existed to keep the current delegation around.  

      For instance, there aren't enough people in western Massachusetts anymore for two whole House districts unless one of those includes Worcester, and too many people in southeastern Massachustts for only one House district. But you've got two pretty senior Democrats - Richard Neal of Springfield and John Olver of Amherst - from out west on Ways and Means and Appropriations (always forget which one is on which) and Jim McGovern of Worcester is on Rules, and you don't want to force any of them into retirement if you can help it. So MA-01 and MA-02 both run well into the central part of the state, and consequently Worcester-based MA-03 has a tail that runs south to Fall River; MA-04 (Frank) and MA-09 (Lynch) are mostly Boston-area seats but get pieces of the South Coast region too.  

      Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

      by Answer Guy on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:11:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  lame duck (0+ / 0-)

    Someone should ask Bunning why he doesn't retire now so that he can "avoid the unproductive, typical, politics as usual, lame duck session in one’s last year in office".  

  •  Paula Flowers to replace Zach Wamp in TN (0+ / 0-)

    Robin Smith, the annointed R for TN 3rd, is solidly in the mold of a Karl Rove protege but more willing to overtly play the racist card. Her likely opponent is Paula Flowers, a highly qualified and hard working person who is as competent and personable as Robin Smith is biting and virulent. Smith is firmly rooted in all that is bad in Tennessee politics... Flowers is a superior candidate and will be a superior Congressional Representative for Tn. Rarely is there such an obvious contrast in candidates.

    Paula Flowers is Tennessee's future in a race that has national implications.

  •  Obama an anti-semite... WTF?? (0+ / 0-)

    I need help with this issue.  A distant cousin, whom I don't know that well, has said this.  Our inital contact had nothing to do with poltics, but now the subject reared its ugly head.  He claims to be an expert on the Middle East and has even received mention in the forward of a book on Israel (btw, he is not Jewish).  He says that Obama is an anti-Semite and further, that there is growing concern among "Jewish liberals" in this regard.  I gather this belief stems from the fact that Obama (and others) have made...

    repeated statements against Israeli interests (involving Arab interests)

    Can anyone here tell me what this is really about?

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