As might be expected in the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, there is very little campaign news on the docket for this Monday edition of the Wrap. One poll (and not even a campaign poll), and only a small handful of campaign stories are on tap for this Monday evening...
NATIONAL: The Winners and Losers of 2009
In one of what will undoubtedly be a series of year-end reflective pieces that will get launched this week, Gallup went into the field earlier in the month to ask voters who they thought were the "winners" and the "losers" of 2009.
There were four "winners", according to Gallup. All of them had close connections to President Obama, and the President himself even snuck into the category, with significantly more U.S. voters identifying him as a winner rather than those identifying him as a loser:
First Lady Michelle Obama: Net +52 (73/21)
Sec. of State Hillary Clinton: Net +45 (70/25)
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Net +33 (57/24)
President Barack Obama: Net +20 (58/38)
Gallup also identified five "losers" for 2009. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's status as the #1 target of the GOP this year cost her dearly, as she is the only Dem-affiliated entity that lands on this list. You can click on the link above if you want to know who the biggest loser was. I am choosing not to include them, because (A) they aren't necessarily political, and (B) their fifteen minutes should have expired last month.
In the field of actual politics, here were the four biggest losers, according to Gallup:
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford: Net Minus 51 (12/63)
Republican Rep. Joe "You Lie" Wilson: Net Minus 32 (29/61)
Republicans in Congress: Net Minus 14 (38/52)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Net Minus 11 (39/50)
Interestingly, the folks at Gallup polled the "Republicans in Congress" but NOT the "Democrats in Congress".
A handful of folks did not earn a majority either way, and thus were not classified as winners or losers. Three of them (Senate leader Harry Reid, talk show mouth Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin) had net negative ratings, while the fourth (Ben Bernanke) had a slightly net positive rating.
IN OTHER NEWS....
- I haven't mentioned in the last 72 hours that you can find me on Twitter. So, golly, I should probably refresh your memory.
- LA-Sen: Could formaldehyde be politically toxic for Louisiana Senator David Vitter? It is becoming more and more of possibility, as the Louisiana Democratic Party is raising hell about Vitter's apparent effort to tie up the EPA just as it is about to issue new regulations on formaldehyde. Vitter argues that his machinations, which include placing a hold on the nomination of assistant EPA administrator Paul Anastas, are because he wants to make sure the EPA has all of its facts straight before issuing new regulations. Vitter's critics are quick to point out that it might also be owed to the campaign checks he has cashed from the formaldehyde industry. This issue has immense local political consequences, since tens of thousands of Louisiana natives were housed in FEMA trailers where formaldehyde was present. Some have claimed that they contracted illnesses from their exposure to the trailers.
- PA-06: The Democratic field in this open seat contest, located in the Dem-friendly suburbs of Philadelphia, keeps getting more and more complicated. Once thought to be a given for former Inquirer editorial board member Doug Pike, it is now a legitimate three-candidate contest. Pike had already been in the middle of a whale of a fight with physician Manan Trivedi, and now he is going to get a second major primary opponent. Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon has jumped into the fray, as well. The GOP side is also a messy one, as there are now a half-dozen candidates eyeing the race on the Republican side.
- NY-01: In a fairly clear sign that the GOP is deadly serious about reclaiming this seat on Long Island, Republican businessman Randy Altschuler has already taken to the air in his campaign against four-term Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop. Bishop has won re-election in this swing district (Obama won here 52-48 in 2008) with between 56-62% of the vote. Altschuler may well be the most well-funded Republican to contest this district since Bishop wrested the district away from Felix Grucci.
- AL-05: Pity poor Parker Griffith. Not only is it looking more and more likely that Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks will move from the governor's race to a challenge against Griffith next year, but it is also looking more and more likely that Griffith is going to struggle to survive the Republican primary. Les Phillip, who along with Mo Brooks refused to stand down as GOP candidates when Griffith announced he was crossing the aisle, is releasing a mailer smacking Griffith around for his campaign contributions to Howard Dean and Harry Reid.
- In what will be a long series of year-in-review columns, super-pundit Stu Rothenberg lays his '09 picks on the table. By and large, his choices are pretty solid, although I will admit I am stunned that he didn't even nominate Doug Hoffman for Worst Campaign of 2009. It was Hoffman, after all, whose own ego and mouth snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and put a Democrat in the House for the first time in that corner of upstate New York since the age of Lincoln.
Given the paucity of campaign news during this week, it is entirely possible that this week's editions of the nightly Wrap might wind up heading in the same direction.