Apologies for the lack of a weekend edition. Unfortunately, your intrepid Wrap author got waylaid by a track meet that ran two-plus hours behind schedule, and dead batteries on both the mobile phone and the laptop. It was the perfect storm of suck, I can assure you.
Fortunately, it allows for a heaping helping of political entertainment on this, the Monday edition of the Wrap, with a shiny new feature. At the behest of many, I have elected to place the Ras-a-Palooza in their own little pen at the close of the Wrap. After all, there's only so many ways to say "The GOP looks amazingly good in this new Rasmussen poll"...
NV-Sen: Tea Party Candidacy Challenged In Court
When Tea Party candidate Jon Ashjian launched into the Nevada Senate race, several Republicans (including one candidate--Dany Tarkanian) bitterly noted that they thought he was a plant, presumably part of a nefarious Democratic plot. Alas, it is Ashjian's recent status as a Republican that might wind up unraveling his Senate candidacy. Another candidate in the field, Tim Fasano of the right-wing IAP, filed the challenge in Carson City earlier today. His argument is that when Ashjian filed as a member of the Tea Party, he was still a registered Republican. Interestingly, Jon Ralston is noting that an affiliate of the National Tea Party movement, Debbie Landis, may join Fasano's complaint.
NY-Sen: Only Pataki Can Save GOP Against Gillibrand
Siena College is out with their latest poll of the Empire State (they poll here on around a monthly basis). They continue to poll a potential Senate matchup between incumbent Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former Governor George Pataki, even though Pataki has not made any serious overtures towards making the bid. For what it's worth (PDF file), they have Pataki up six (45-39). Against candidates that are actually in the field, Gillibrand is up on Bruce Blakeman by a two-to-one margin (48-24). On the actual candidate front, it now appears that one candidate recruitment rumor in New York is about to come across--former Bush advisor Dan Senor (aka Mr. Campbell Brown) is pretty much a go, according to the NY Daily News.
CA-19: Tight GOP Primary in Radanovich Seat
In the battle to replace retiring GOP Rep. George Radanovich, it is a tight battle on the GOP side, while undecided has a big lead on the Democratic side. So says a new poll from SurveyUSA, which shows Radanovich's endorsed candidate, state legislator Jeff Denham, with a lead of a single point (26-25) over former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson. Congressman Richard Pombo, who used to rep the neighboring 11th district, lags well behind at 13%. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, the majority of the voters are still undecided on their choice, with John Estrada pacing the field with 24% of the vote.
GA-09: Special Election Date Now Set For Deal Seat
After GOP Congressman Nathan Deal beat a fast exit out of town after last night's health care vote (he resigned shortly after the vote), Georgia's GOP Governor (Sonny Perdue) quickly set a date for the election to select his replacement. The special election to replace Deal will be on April 27th. Deal's resignation was not abrupt, he had announced it a few weeks back, choosing to focus on his campaign for Governor, where he is challenging state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and Sec. of State Karen Handel.
MA-10: Is A Three-Way Contest Pending On the Cape?
Here is an interesting pickup from James L. at Swing State: former Democratic state legislator Maryanne Lewis has left the Democratic Party, perhaps as a prelude to running for Congress in the open 10th district as an Independent. According to James L, this one could truly cut either way. Being a former Dem could siphon off Dem votes, but Lewis had a rep as a conservative, which means she could drain conservative votes from the potential GOP nominee. Speaking of the GOP in the 10th, one longstanding rumor got confirmed, as former state treasurer Joe Malone made it official that he will be a candidate for Congress.
SD-AL: Hildebrand Elects To Pass On Herseth-Sandlin Primary
Less than a week after he made overtures towards engaging fourth-term conservative Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, former Obama top campaign official Steve Hildebrand decided to forgo a primary challenge to the Congresswoman. This comes despite Herseth-Sandlin following through on a pledge not to vote for the health care reform package last night. Hildebrand's rationale? It passed by enough votes that Democrats might have "released" her and let her vote strategically against the bill.
VT-AL: Welch Draws GOP Opposition For 2010 Election
Sophomore Democratic Congressman Peter Welch will experience something in his second bid for re-election that he did not have to deal with in the first go-round: an actual Republican opponent. His name is Keith Stern, and he has a run for Congress in his recent past history. He challenged for the seat as an Independent in 2006, and notched three-tenths of one percent of the vote.
MI-Gov: Pair of Polls Heartening to GOP In Michigan Guv Race
A new poll (PDF) from Inside Michigan Politics by MRG says that the GOP Primary is an almost unbelievable toss-up, with three candidates within a single point. The survey has state AG Mike Cox and Congressman Pete Hoekstra tied at 21%, with businessman Rick Snyder a single point behind at 20%. Undecided is the big leader on the Democratic side, as state House Speaker Andy Dillon leads with 21%. Two-thirds of voters, however, remain undecided. Perhaps not surprisingly given the relatively low name recognition of the candidates on the Democratic side, the polls give clear leads for the GOP candidates, with leads ranging from 15-22 points (which seems rather generous to the Red Team, when compared with other pollsters).
Interestingly, the same pollster (MRG) conducted a separate poll for the Detroit Free Press, measuring the impact of a potential Independent candidacy for former GOP Congressman Joe Schwarz. The impact, when compared to the other MRG poll conducted for Inside Michigan Politics, is minimal: they only tested one matchup (Hoesktra-Dillon-Schwarz). While Hoekstra led by 16 points in the two-way tab for IMP, he leads Dillon by thirteen (35-22) in the three-way tab, with Schwarz nabbing 14%.
NY-Gov: Siena Poll Has Cuomo Up Huge over Old or New GOPers
Whether the Republican nominee is longtime Republican Rick Lazio (the former Congressman and Senate aspirant) or potential nouveau Republican Steve Levy (the Suffolk County Executive), Democratic state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a massive lead in the battle to be the state's Governor. So says the latest poll from Siena College. Levy, from the poll, clearly has work to do both in the primary and general elections: he trails Lazio by a 45-16 margin in a prospective GOP primary, and goes on to be blasted by Cuomo in a prospective general election by a 63-16 margin (with 4% for potential Indy candidate Warren Redlich). Lazio only does marginally better against Cuomo, there the margin is a mere thirty-eight points (59-21-3).
In further bad news for the potential Levy candidacy, the state's Conservative Party elected by a 13-5 margin to endorse Lazio, setting up a potential peril for Levy. Lazio has already made it clear that he will run on the Conservative line, with or without a placement on the GOP line.
Time to recap the wave of Rasmussen data that has accumulated over the past several days. Most of them, as would be expected, are pretty rosy for the GOP. In other news, the sun is expected to set in the West this evening, and ice is still cold.
AZ-Sen (R): John McCain 48%, J.D. Hayworth 41%
AZ-Gov (R): Dean Martin 21%, Gov. Jan Brewer 20%, Buzz Mills 19%
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio (R) 42%, Kendrick Meek (D) 25%, Charlie Crist (I) 22%
GA-Gov: Nathan Deal (R) 43%, Roy Barnes (D) 40%
GA-Gov: Karen Handel (R) 42%, Roy Barnes (D) 39%
GA-Gov: John Oxendine (R) 41%, Roy Barnes (D) 41%
GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 40%, Eric Johnson (R) 38%
GA-Sen: Johnny Isakson (R) 52%, Generic Democrat 31%
IA-Sen: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 55%, Roxanne Conlin (D) 36%
IA-Sen: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 57%, Bob Krause (D) 31%
IA-Sen: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 57%, Tom Fiegen (D) 28%
VT-Sen: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) 58%, Generic Republican 33%