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Senate:

ME-Sen: It's stuff like this which have me convinced that Olympia Snowe is definitely not out of the woods. Her fellow Maine senator, Susan Collins, said she won't support Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare-killing budget plan, which seems to put the screws to Snowe. It's a pretty classic problem: If she sides with Ryan, she damages her standing with normal people, and if she sides with Collins, she'll enrage the teabaggers. It may not matter in the end, but it doesn't help—and with Collins speaking out, that makes it a lot harder for Snowe to simply avoid the question.

NV-Sen: Gov. Brian Sandoval says he'll tap a replacement for John Ensign by the time Ensign resigns in early May, though apparently some Republicans would prefer he name someone other than Dean Heller. That would let the GOP avoid a potential gong-show in NV-02, but Jon Ralston says that a Heller appointment is already a "done deal."

OH-Sen: It sounds like Ken Blackwell wants to decide whether he'll seek the GOP nomination some time in May, after his new book comes out.

TX-Sen: Robert Paul, son of Ron and brother of Rand (son of Byford, brother of Al!), says he won't run for Senate this cycle, but says he could possibly run for office at some point in the future.

Gubernatorial:

IN-Gov: Rep. Mike Pence, whom everyone seems convinced will run for governor, raised a pretty meh $283K in Q1. And yes, he can transfer that money over for a gubernatorial race, so it's not unimportant. I can't really imagine Pence declining this chance to seek the statehouse—he won't have an open-seat opportunity again for quite some time. However, he is in the top run of GOP leadership in Congress, so maybe he's just feeling ambivalent.

LA-Gov: Uh, well, this certainly takes the cake for first quarter fundraising. Wealthy businessman John Georges wrote his campaign committee a ten million dollar check (in the form of a loan), to be used for an unspecified statewide office. I'm filing this under "LA-Gov" because he ran as an indie for that job in 2007. No word yet if he'll run again, or if he'll do so as a Dem, but if he does, at least his cash would give Bobby Jindal a little heartburn.

NH-Gov: Dem state Rep. Jim Splaine, writing over at Blue Hampshire, takes a broad look at the playing field for next year's gubernatorial race. He wants Gov. John Lynch to run again, but if he doesn't, Splaine offers a ton of other possibilities. One name that stands out is former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, who ran for NH-Sen in 2008 before stepping aside for Jeanne Shaheen. Marchand's been talked about as a possible challenger to 1st CD Rep. Frank Guinta, but he's talked with Splaine about his ambitions, and it sounds like he's more interesting in a gubernatorial bid.

Also, if you want to keep your finger on the progressive pulse in the Granite State, BH has started running straw polls for next year's key races. Marchand wasn't included in their gov test, but Mark Connolly (whom we mentioned here the other day) led the way with 31% of the vote.

House:

AZ-08, AZ-Sen: The Arizona Republic has a lengthy profile on Gabrielle Giffords and her recovery and rehabilitation, which is worth reading in full. Also, her husband, astronaut Mark Kelley, said that Giffords has been cleared to attend the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour this Friday. Kelly will command this mission, Endeavour's last.

NY-13: According to the New York Observer, a new potential Dem name to take on Rep. Mike Grimm has emerged: Robert Diamond, a Navy veteran and investment banker. Diamond has roots on Staten Island, but Brooklyn-based blogger Colin Campbell dug up a donation to the DNC which shows that Diamond lived on the Upper East Side as recently as last year. Not sure how great a fit that is culturally... but in any case, Diamond didn't return a call to the Observer seeking comment, so who knows how real this is.

NY-22: Our thoughts go out to upstate Rep. Maurice Hinchey, who was just diagnosed with colon cancer. Fortunately, his doctors say that his cancer is curable and they expect a full recovery. Hinchey is 72.

NY-26: Dem Kathy Hochul was just endorsed by EMILY's List. The special election is just a month away, May 24th.

OR-01: State Rep. Brad Witt has been upgraded from "rumor level" to "considering level." Blue Oregon mentioned the other day that he was a possible contender to challenge Rep. David Wu in the Dem primary; now, according to Jeff Mapes in the Oregonian, some of his advisors are saying he's definitely interested. He'd be the second Democrat (well, other than Wu himself) to get into the race—Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian is already running, setting up a battle of the Brads. There are also still several other people in the more nebulous stages of candidacy, so I hope that we don't (as some have suggested in comments) wind up with David Wu turning into the Dem version of Dan Burton and winning the primary with a bare plurality.

Other Races:

KY-St. House: It's not the biggest news in the world, but it's unusual enough to merit a quick note: Kentucky state Rep. Wade Hurt is switching parties… from Republican to Democrat. Hurt won office last year under unusual circumstances when his Democratic opponent was declared ineligible to run because he filed improper paperwork. (Believe it or not, Dem Jeffrey Donohue needed all of two signatures on his nominating petition, but managed to screw up one of them.) Dems were not permitted to replace Donohue, so Hurt won the ancestrally Democratic 37th district by default. Hurt claimed he wasn't switching out of self-preservation and says he received no inducements, but the district is 62 D, 29 R by registration, and even in Dixiecrat territory, that still means something. (UPDATE: Johnny L-T reminds me that the district is in Louisville, so not really Dixiecrat territory - which makes these registration numbers all the more dangerous for a Republican.)

WI Recall, WI-Gov: I'm usually not a big fan of polls from colleges with short track records, but YMMV with this St. Norbert poll testing recall numbers. They find Scott Walker at 48% "keep" and 47% "remove." They also tested state Senate Republicans and Democrats, with Wisconsinites saying "keep" for the GOP by a 53-35 margin and "keep" for the Dems, 57-33. Mind you, this was a statewide poll, and it also had a super-long field date, April 5 through April 18.

Grab Bag:

House Majority PAC: Greg Giroux breaks down the independent expenditure reports from the House Majority PAC's Medicare-related attack on ten House Republicans. Turns out that unlike the DCCC's "tuppence a bag" efforts, it's a legit buy, ringing up at $116K. Click the link for the full breakdowns.

Americans United: Speaking of which, the progressive group Americans United for Change is targeting four GOPers over the Ryan vote: Ryan himself, as well as Sean Duffy and Chip Cravaack (both also on the HMP's list—see item just above), and, most interestingly, Steve King. TPM calls the buy "significant," but also notes that it's for five figures… so we could be taking anywhere from $10K to $99K here. Americans United is also doing robocalls in a bunch of districts.

Redistricting Roundup:

Colorado: It sounds like attempts to go back to the drawing board and produce a compromise map in Colorado have failed (why am I not surprised?). Democrats say they'll introduce a new map of their own next week, but I can't possibly imagine it will be appealing to Republicans (and vice-versa for anything the GOP might do). Unless the GOP decides it's more scared of what a court might draw, then we'll stay locked in a stalemate. And I say the GOP because they're the ones who have the most to lose—Colorado is already pretty close to a Republican gerrymander by accident (the last map was court-drawn, too), which you can see because the new GOP proposals seek to change it only minimally. (Ironically, Republicans originally hated the map, and tried to pull off a mid-decade re-redistricting that got tossed by the courts.) In any event, the writeup at the link is quite detailed and worth a read if you're interested in drilling down on this one some more.

Missouri: Things have really fallen apart in Missouri, with the state House Speaker openly lambasting his counterparts in the Senate for a lack of "leadership." The Senate adjourned on Friday without reaching any kind of agreement with the House, which means lawmakers have all but missed a deadline which would allow them to send a map to Gov. Jay Nixon before the end of the legislative session. Now, even if they do finish a map soon, if Nixon vetoes, any chance at an over-ride won't take place until the fall.

Mississippi: Oral arguments were heard in the lawsuit over Mississippi's redistricting impasse, with Dem AG Jim Hood making the interesting argument that elections should be held this fall using maps that passed by each body of the state lege but weren't voted on by the other (nor, of course, signed into law). Hood also argued against the judges drawing their own maps, and against the idea of holding elections this fall under the old lines and new ones next year with new maps (as happened in 1991/92). Republicans, predictably, took the opposite view.

Timelines: Ballotpedia has a good list of timetables for each state to start and complete its redistricting process (though many are pretty flexible and some states have no specific deadlines).

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Comment Preferences

  •  NM-Sen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, gabjoh, terjeanderson

    Hector Balderas is in.  Worth mentioning, because there's a fairly good chance he'll end up being Senator.

    exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

    by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:20:49 AM PDT

    •  Both he and Heinrich seem fine to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Land of Enchantment, gabjoh

      I just worry about a messy primary. Someone else from NM replied to me that they are both gentlemen and wouldnt let that happen. I hope that is the case, because with two strong Dem candidates, a nasty D primary is one of the few things that could the GOP a chance to win in this race.

    •  I did a stand-alone post on this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Land of Enchantment, gabjoh

      Here. It's always an art, not a science, deciding what to put in the digest and what to do as a stand-alone, but I try to put the bigger announcements in their own posts.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:09:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I missed yours (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gabjoh

        I did a diary of my own later on Friday.  Remarking on yours:  Ethnicity will definitely play a role.  It played a role in getting Tejana Susana, a Republican, elected governor, too.  It's New Mexico, and it's probably not entirely wrong for it to be so.  The state's something like 44% Hispanic - if not a Chicano Senator there, then where?  But better when the Hispanic's got really stands on issues, like Ben Ray Lujan.  I'm hoping my representative stays in the House, because he looks like a great prospect for leadership there.

        I like Heinrich a little better, because of issues.  But Hector's damned good, and I wouldn't have any trouble getting behind him in the general election if it comes to that.  (As long as we don't get Heather!  If figure some oppo blasts at her will definitely be in order, regardless.)

        exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

        by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:22:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure ethnicity will play (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Land of Enchantment, gabjoh

          At least some sort of a role. But I just don't want people concluding, "Oh, the Dem primary electorate is overwhelmingly Latino, ergo Balderas has this one."

          Political Director, Daily Kos

          by David Nir on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:13:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh

            I just hope the primary's run in such a way that it won't draw too much blood.  I'm not as worried about the candidates as their supporters.  The local machine in my area, for example, prefers intimidation and suppressing voter turnout.  It helps them in local elections, but hurts Democratic candidates in larger contests.  (The Taos School Board has been a mess for years because of how it was used in ethnic identity terms to bolster someone else's ambitions - half a dozen years after the precipitating incident, there's still shrapnel and fallout flying around.)

            Arguably, they're the ones that brought us Republican Redmond back in the 1990s.  Yeah, there was a Green candidate that got 17% of the vote.  But that was, in good part, because the Dem candidate (chosen by party committee insiders, not primary, when Clinton appointed Bill Richardson as UN Ambassador) was awful.  Time has held that perception up, as he ended up indicted as state Insurance Commissioner.

            The candidate who emerged in the next primary, where voters got to choose, was Tom Udall.  Way better than Eric Serna would have been.  In retrospect, it's almost good that we had the Green spoiler in the special, because Udall's way better.  

            I don't mean to suggest that Hector's got the problems Serna had - he doesn't.

            exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

            by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:35:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  BTW, Ben Ray Lujan... (0+ / 0-)

            ... did an excellent job of winning over supporters of other candidates in the 2008 primary.  Even in the Hillary/Obama split - he declared early for Obama when most of the machine people went for Hillary.  I figure he'll be good in this Senate race as well.  (I really like my Congressman.)

            exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

            by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:36:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lujan? (0+ / 0-)

              He just said he won't run. Or do you mean, you expect him to act as a peacemaker after the primary?

              Political Director, Daily Kos

              by David Nir on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 11:00:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right, peacemaker. (0+ / 0-)

                No, he's not running for Senate.  I'm glad for that.  I want him to stay in the House on a leadership track.  If he went for Senate, there'd be money probably in the 8-figures thrown at him from Texas.  With his dad as Speaker of the State House, there'd be endless shit thrown at him.

                Martin Heinrich got hit with "pals around with terrorists" in the 2008 race for House, because in his role at State Lands Trustee office, he'd had dealings with wilderness activist Dave Foreman who did some jail time (for Earth First! vandalism.)

                Now, if Martin Chavez would just stay out of everything...  No one outside Albuquerque likes him much, because they figure him for a water grab for his city real estate developer cronies.

                exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

                by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 11:45:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Meanwhile (0+ / 0-)

        I republished yours to NM Kossacks & Latino Kos, both communities of interest that will want to keep an eye on this one.  I guess I'd better follow another tag, eh?

        exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

        by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:28:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  OH-Sen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx

    Kenneth Blackwell is writing a book?  Really?  I'm guessing someone else is writing it, in fact.  At any rate, one can't help but wonder if these political types read "their" books, much less write them.

    exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

    by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:22:13 AM PDT

  •  I don't think Snowe _can_ ruin her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx

    standing with 'normal' people.

    She screws 'em every time, then smiles nice and says she's a moderate and they vote for her again. Why? Because she's the senator, that's why.

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:29:07 AM PDT

    •  I think that the Murkowski deal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, GussieFN, gabjoh

      took a lot of internal pressure off of Snowe to go all super wingnutty. Now that she sees that it can be done I am sure she thinks she can do it too.

      •  It could almost definitely be done if (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizenx

        a) there is no "sore loser" law in Maine; that is, Snowe can run as an independent if she loses the Repub primary. (Unsure about the answer to that; pretty sure it was discussed on SSP before, but I don't remember.) She could try running as an indie from the start, but in that case she's much more likely to get a strong Dem challenger unless she pivots hard to the left.

        b) there is no strong Democrat running who might be able to defeat her.

  •  Massachusetts kogs: Meet Bob Massie this evening (0+ / 0-)

    Headquarters Open House is a chance to meet the candidate in an informal setting, talk to other people who are enthusiastic about the candidate (like me!) and get in on the ground floor of a grassroots progressive campaign with critical national implications.

    send me a dkmessage or an email if you want more info!

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I support Bob Massie for MA-Sen

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:30:23 AM PDT

  •  Are there any credible potential candidates (0+ / 0-)

    that have expressed interest in running against Ryan?

  •  I think Collins provides cover for Snowe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    (On the other hand, Collins may just change her mind; she's done that on a number of issues in the past, when her initial seemingly moderate positions get "revised").

  •  I really hope Harry Reid brings (0+ / 0-)

    the Ryan/House GOP budget to a vote in the Senate. It wouldnt stun me if it got 60 "no" votes.

  •  Recall Survey Correction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, litho, LordMike, David Nir

    The summary of the Wiscosin Survey has an error. On the website it states 47% of Wisconsin supports removing Scott Walker, while 48% supports keeping him.

  •  St. Norbert is a pretty well established (0+ / 0-)

    state polling outfit.  I don't know about their track record, but they've definitely been in the field for a long time.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:58:01 AM PDT

    •  According to their website (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      They do all of two polls a year. They may have been doing so for a decade, but that's not really a very meaty track record in my view. PPP might do as many polls in a month as St. Norbert does in ten years. And their spring poll from last year was just really weird.

      Ultimately, I'm not a huge fan of college polls where the interviewers are students doing an assignment for a class.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:15:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WI Polling? WTF??? (0+ / 0-)

    Those WI polling numbers are awful. We can't come away from this effort empty-handed, but we will if 53-35 is anywhere near the actual level of support. Can't we get PPP or some other outfit up there to see what's going on? The state SC contest was like flying blind in a snowstorm. This is something with national importance, easily more important than any 2012 national race right now. Let's get some better eyes on it.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:06:02 AM PDT

  •  NY-13 Diamond (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gabjoh, David Nir

    Wonder if there is any relation to Sherry Diamond, former Fossella staffer

  •  Emily's List just now endorses Hochul? (0+ / 0-)

    Why not wait till after the election, ferchrissakes?

    This special election has been in the works for months. The Republican candidate is a female super-conservative corporate shill who has been openly romancing the teabaggers and trying to buff her anti-choice credentials.

    And it took Emily's List till now to endorce Hochul?

    What the hell were they waiting for? The recount?

  •  What about voting rights coverage? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gabjoh

    This daily collection of election news seems like the perfect place to put an occasional update on the efforts in over 30 states to suppress the vote -- with voter registration regulations and whatnot, as Kansas recently did.  

    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle

    by not2plato on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:26:32 PM PDT

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