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Leading Off:

KY-Sen: Epistemic closure? We has it! That's what GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign is all too proud to announce, in response to PPP's new survey showing the Minority Leader with crappy poll numbers. From a new fundraising email that McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton just sent out:

The partisan PPP polling company, which has been used as a tool for Obama Democrats to manufacture circumstances that don’t exist all across the country, descended upon Kentucky to proclaim that Senator McConnell has a 37% approval rating. The poll is laughable. But, the liberal press is gobbling it right up. [...]

On the first day of Republican Campaign Manager School, they teach us to ignore PPP polls. You see, PPP is a partisan Democrat polling firm, and they make their living giving the Democrat Party numbers they want to see.

I really hope Republicans keep ignoring PPP as hard as possible in their lessons at Republican Campaign Manager School. P.S. Joe Sonka offers a seriously thorough smackdown of McConnell's embarrassing spin.

Gubernatorial:

FL-Gov: On behalf of an undisclosed client who supposedly does "not have a dog" in the gubernatorial fight, Democratic pollster ClearView Research just put out numbers for a hypothetical 2014 Dem gubernatorial primary. In a two-way matchup, ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (who only formally joined the Democratic Party days ago) beats 2010 nominee Alex Sink 55-34, with a rather high 79 percent of respondents saying they have a favorable view of Crist versus 58 for Sink.

The poll apparently also asked about another half-dozen (potential) contenders but it sounds like ClearView didn't release numbers for their because their name rec is so low. But the list, in case you are curious: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, former state Sen. Nan Rich, former AG Bob Butterworth, outgoing party chair Rod Smith, and former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio. Only Rich has formally announced a challenge to first-term GOP Gov. Rick Scott, though.

SC-Gov: While it seems like everyone expects Vincent Sheheen to run against GOP Gov. Nikki Haley again, he hasn't really said much publicly about a possible rematch. But there are a couple of tea leaves in this new piece from Politico's Dave Catanese. Referring to PPP's new survey that had him leading Haley by two points, Sheheen somewhat vaguely told Catanese: "The poll numbers were encouraging in that South Carolina wants to go in a different direction whether or not I run." Obviously you can read that either way, but DGA Executive Director Colm O'Comartun said he's met with Sheheen, calling him a "great candidate," and according to Catanese, "indicated his committee is prioritizing the race this time."

TN-Gov: I'm not sure how he'd have a path to victory, but state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh says he's not ruling out a run for governor, and the Nashville City Paper reports (citing unnamed sources) that Fitzhugh is indeed planning to make a bid. That would make him the first Democrat of any note (or really, the first Democrat at all) to consider a challenge to first-term GOP Gov. Bill Haslam. As I say, though, Haslam will be incredibly tough to beat: He has a 68 percent job approval rating according to a new Vanderbilt University poll (conducted by Princeton Survey Research), including 60 percent from Democrats, and Mitt Romney just carried the state of Tennessee by over 20 points.

VA-Gov: How odd: Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell can't run for re-election thanks to Virginia's super-strict one-term limit, but he may very well harbor national ambitions, which probably explains why he just released a new internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies showing how awesome his job approval rating is (67-24). That's not the odd part, though. What's weird is that on the last page of their presentation, POS included a ballot test for next November's likely gubernatorial matchup between state AG Ken Cuccinelli and former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe. Even that isn't inherently odd—politicians do occasionally put out numbers on races they aren't directly involved in.

No, what's strange is that McDonnell would want to publish head-to-heads that have the Kooch trailing T-Mac 43-42! If the best that Cuccinelli can do right now in a Republican poll is a one-point deficit to McAuliffe, well, I wouldn't feel too thrilled about that—especially since McDonnell himself won in 2009 by a towering 59-41 margin. I suppose these figures are a touch better than the 41-37 McAuliffe edge that Quinnipiac recently put out, but still, I wouldn't have released this poll. Though... it's not possible that McDonnell's actually looking to undermine Cuccinelli, is it?

House:

IL-02: Cook County Democrats are set to gather on Saturday to issue a formal endorsement—known as a "slating" in local parlance—in the crowded primary field to replace ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson. Thornton Township Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli is apparently the most influential player (he controls 29 percent of all votes to be cast), and he's in favor of state Sen. Donne Trotter—even though Trotter was recently arrested for trying to carry a handgun and ammunition through security at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. (Zuccarelli reiterated his support for Trotter after the incident.)

But what does slating net you? Well, beyond the official imprimatur of the local party, probably not a whole lot in tangible terms—though go-along types in heavily machined Cook County may be more likely to expend some effort on behalf of slated candidates. Usually, though, slating matters more for obscure races (like, say, water reclamation board) because rank-and-file voters often follow party endorsements. But for a congressional race, if other candidates can raise sufficient money and get their name out, then a slating may not be as big of a deal. However, if Trotter gets the party's seal of approval, donors and operatives might become more reluctant to help his opponents, which is probably the most important aspect of slating, and likely what Trotter is hoping for.

Grab Bag:

DCCC: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee just announced its new leadership for the 2014 cycle, and a few names pop out. Two members of Congress who've been talked about as possible gubernatorial candidates in their home states—Allyson Schwartz in Pennsylvania and Gary Peters in Michigan—have both been tapped to help run various committee functions, Schwartz as national finance chair and Peters as recruitment vice-chair. Presumably the demands of these roles (particularly Schwartz's) would make runs for higher office less likely, though the DCCC could always pick replacements.

Also interesting is that Tim Walz (MN-01) is running the Frontline program for endangered incumbents. Walz represents a swingy district and had been targeted by the GOP in the past, but I guess he must figure he's out of the crosshairs and has the time and resources to help others who now face the kind of challenges he did in the past.

DLCC: While the folks on this list aren't household names, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee—which is responsible for helping elect Democratic legislators nationwide—also selected its leadership for the upcoming cycle. Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal will remain as chair of the DLCC's board of directors, and Michael Sargeant, who is coming off a very successful 2012 campaign, will stay on as executive director. A full list of board members is at the link.

Senate: With South Carolina set to have two Senate elections in 2014, Geoffrey Skelley at Larry Sabato's place has a look at every prior occasion when a state hosted double Senate contests, going all the way back to 1914. There's a ton of stuff at the link, including a complete chart and a lot of historical tidbits, but here's the nut of Skelley's findings:

In what may be a good sign for whomever Haley picks for DeMint's seat, 18 of the 49 special elections in the chart have featured appointees who successfully held onto their seats; in only four cases did an appointee lose in November. But the greater challenge seems to be surviving to Election Day: There were six instances where the general election winner defeated an appointee for the party nomination en route to taking office. In most of the 21 other cases, either the appointee did not seek election or no one was appointed to the vacancy before the special election.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Minnesota 2014 (6+ / 0-)

    This is going to be a busy cycle in the Land if 10,000 Lakes.

    1. The state GOP absolutely MUST get their act together in order to get back on track. The million-dollar debt simply isn't doing to encourage donors. Sutton's tenure really did put a dagger in the heart of the party, and it will take several years to right that ship, at minimum.

    2. The Republicans really are going to have to hope the DFL shoots themselves in the foot. The DFL controls absolutely everything in the state except the supreme court. If the DFL is seen as overreaching their mandate after being given all the keys in the first time in decades, that will open up a gap for the Republicans to exploit. But really the Republicans can't so anything right now but watch and grumble as the DFL gets to pass their agenda, and hope it either doesn't work, or upsets voters.

    3. There are 5 statewide offices up for election in 2014. The DFL dis a good job staving off retirements and office hopping, but that means that all of the incumbents are on retirement watch. Franken is certainly going to run again, and he has kept his head down and his approvals up, so he may not garner a top-tier challenger from an exceptionally thin GOP bench. Dayton's reelection chances are going to be based on what the agenda is over the next 2 years, and how effective he is at enacting it. Lori Swanson is a shoo-in for a third term if she wants it, but she deeply wants to be governor, and that job is already taken. Swanson is the unquestioned #1 statewide prospect for the DFL for governor or senate. Mark Richie has been high-profile as SOS, but has been seen as effective and generally fair in a position where partisanship is easy and dangerous. Richie, if he runs, will be the prohibitive favorite for a 3rd term. Rebecca Otto is far and away the weakest of the statewide office holders. Yes, she won in 2010, but only just. I think the Republicans have a good shot at breaking the 15-1 losing streak statewide if she runs again. For the DFL, it'd be better if she hung it up after 8 years.

    4. Last and most importantly is retirement and open-seat watch. Will Kline want to stay in the house after his 3 terms as Education chairman are up? Will Paulsen smell blood and challenge Franken/Dayton? Will Peterson call it quits after 24 years in Washington? lots of questions...

  •  Sen. Ashley Judd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynChi, CwV, pelagicray

    It has a nice ring to it.

    •  Especially considering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV

      Senator Ashley Judd would be replacing the joke of a senator Mitch McChinless.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:03:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  say it now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden

      because you won't be hearing it much in the future.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:41:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember Rush said the Unabomber was a liberal (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe, LordMike, shoeless, JBraden

    because he was a mathematician. So that fact that PPP is more accurate than Ras means they're better at math. That must be because they are more closely aligned with terrorist!  

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:36:21 AM PST

  •  "they teach us to ignore PPP polls" (8+ / 0-)

    Yes, because that worked out so well for us in the recent elections. You can spare yourself the trouble of writing a concession speech.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:41:27 AM PST

  •  GOP in complete denial. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Mostel26, tuma, JBraden

    The only question is how long they will pay for their stupidity of the last two years.

    I believe, that as the years go by, the Bush administration will be forgiven its transgressions long before the current Congress.

    This Congress, however, rode in on a wave of very unhappy voters and decided boldly to -- completely ignore them.

    OK -- it's always tempting to believe that people are voting for the things you said you would do, but...smart politicians should look a little deeper than that.  We Americans are a pretty cynical lot when it comes to politicians, with very low expectations.

    A smart politician after a wave election really should try to understand the why of the wave -- in 2010 it was extreme pain from a bad economy that Democrats were ignoring -- and acknowledge it.

    Republicans?
    Nope.

    2012 was the well-earned result.
    Will 2014 be more of the same?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:42:50 AM PST

  •  "Democrat Party"--what passes for wit among (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, litho, vet, skillet, LordMike

    Republicans.

    Never been able to stand McConnell. I'm sure he's cagy as all get-out, but that stupid face.....

    •  And about four years ago they were (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tuma, JBraden

      seriously debating whether they should call Democrats the "Democrat Socialist Party."  

      Debating using something like the "Stinky Poopie Head Party" would have been about as mature and shown about as much seriousness in leading the country.

      37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:53:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here at the Creation Museum near Petersburg, Ken. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, singe, LordMike, pelagicray, JBraden

    we don't hold with all that there fancy Democrat polling math. Anyway, Adam and Eve got along jest fine with dinosaurs and they were home schooled (not too sure by whom, but...). We're jest hopin' and prayin' here Governor Haley appoints that fine Conserveetive Stephen Colbert as senator.

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:45:05 AM PST

    •  Pre-Adamites (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      singe

      "Anyway, Adam and Eve got along jest fine with dinosaurs and they were home schooled (not too sure by whom, but...)."  

      Folks down there have a word for the home schoolers of Adam and Eve: Pre-Adamites.  That's the polite description.  The colloquial description used by some of these folk ain't too pretty.

  •  Just like the "liberal press" was tooootally (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe, pelagicray, tuma

    cooking the presidential polling numbers to cover up how badly President Obama was losing.

    President-Elect Romney was unavailable for comment.

  •  McConnell is lying (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe, LordMike, JBraden

    Ignoring PPP isn't the first they learn at Republican Campaign Manager School.

    The first thing they learn is to ignore the difference between adjectives and nouns...

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:57:05 AM PST

  •  But But But.....McTurtle has his finger on the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe

    pulse of the Merician pipples.

  •  epistemic closure? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skipbidder

    ...seems a weird mis-use of an esoteric philosophical term whose meaning is actually just about opposite of how being used here.

    Tho by some quick googling I see it has been awarded this alternative meaning when assigned to conservatives who reject fact-based knowledge and live in their own info-bubble.

    Bit pretentious in any case, no?

  •  how long 'till Boehner's called on his excuse? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, Janet746

    I can't believe the media hasn't asked the Speaker; if going back to the Clinton tax rates on the wealthy will hurt the economy, why haven't those tax cuts for the wealthy (which in actuality is a loss of revenue to the nation) already shown up as jobs and prosperity?
    We were more prosperous as a country with the higher rates, Mr Speaker. Your excuse is not based in fact or recent history. The nation is seeing who you work for; the billionaires looking to get something from their election losses, by turning on pressure to continue fights against union rights, female rights and election rights during the lame duck sessions in red states.
    We see what these oligarchs do when their taxes are too low, they use their extra money to buy politicians to get their taxes even lower.
    Man, I hope progressive ideas again become prominent in our society, and that we can help foster an intelligent and informed media, that notes hypocrisy rather than spreads it as fact.

    •  Yeah, it's funny how we went into decline (3+ / 0-)

      in tandem with cutting taxes, no? Before Johnson, top tax rates were as high as 90%, estate taxes were 50% and our economy was the engine of the world.
      Since then....They dropped to 70% and stayed there until '81. And the Seventies were still pretty prosperous, we still grew, we still had great education...
      '81-84 under Reagan we dropped to 50% and sh!t started to fall apart. Wages stopped growing, businesses consolidated into megacorporations and started migrating their production to, well, anywhere that offered slave labor.
      By '88 we were down to 30% and all I can remember about Bush the Less Stupid's one term was recession and outsourcing.
      Clinton came in '93 and raised the top rate to 40% and for the next 8 years our economy improved. It didn't fully recover, but it was better for all of us than the previous 4.
      Then came Bush the Really Stupid and his massive cuts. you can see the results.
      3-2=1.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:57:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  if the people of eastern Kentucky could read (0+ / 0-)

    they would know that McTurtle want to cut their #SSI, but that would kill Mitch's base. here's why they vote Republican every year  http://www.nytimes.com/...

    •  this NYTIMES article is heart-breaking... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden

      that parents should pull kids out of school so they get illiteracy payments is just unbelievable...certainly not what was intended...something needs be done..

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:45:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bless the DLCC (0+ / 0-)

    Also annual sponsors of the Netroots Nation Chairman's Quiz Time.

  •  "Leader" McConnell? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    this just in, Janet746

    Jesse Benton keeps referring to Senator McConnell as "Leader" McConnell. When did Kentucky join the Warsaw Pact?

  •  Thanks for the start laugh on a cold morining. (0+ / 0-)
    a partisan Democrat polling firm, and they make their living giving the Democrat Party numbers they want to see
    That was just too funny after the TP/GOP pack swirling into the death trap that was TP/GOP polling in November. May they continue to swirl into it until we can post "EXTINCT" on their political brand.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:27:57 AM PST

  •  Crist will at least ensure FL can vote in 2016, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    regardless of other merits or not.  Its likely to be a must-win D state in Pres race then.

    •  Don't know about a "must win" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itskevin

      but it would definitely help a lot.  For Florida to be make-or-break for a Democrat in 2016, as in 2000, the Republican would have to win several other competitive states such as Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado.  I presume they'll try hard to win such states but it isn't a foregone conclusion they will be successful.

      It's more likely to be an absolute must win for the GOP, given recent population trends elsewhere.

      37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:06:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  After 8 yrs of their ginned up boogeyman, I suspec (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weinerschnauzer

        t many rank and file Thugs will swallow the secret-quiet deals and allow a Christie to be nominated as a not-batshit-crazy and run as a 'moderate' (while the media ignores the obvious secret deals to sell out everyone to the far right and t-vangelicals once elected).  That was the Shrub model after all.

        Still, we can hope you're right rather than my worries.

  •  Well OK, then, y'all do your own f@#$%G polling (0+ / 0-)

    and then compare it to PPP and let's see what it looks like, mcconell.

    This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

    by swtexas on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:03:41 PM PST

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