Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: 6/17/11

By David Nir

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir
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Senate:

• MA-Sen: If there was ever any hope that Scott Brown could get teabagged to death, Tom Jensen says to forget it. Only 25% of MA Republicans say they’d support a more conservative challenger in a primary, and 70% says he’s ideologically “about right.”

On the Dem side, Newton Mayor Setti Warren just scored the endorsement of eight fellow mayors from some decent-sized cities, including Worcester, the state’s second largest. Meanwhile, the other Warren — Elizabeth — met with Chuck Schumer for dinner in DC earlier this week. A Schumer aide refused to say what the two discussed.

• MO-Sen: Interesting: Republican ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman came out in opposition to the Ryan plan, a move aimed at putting some distance between her and Rep. Todd Akin, who not only voted in favor of it, but even appeared on stage with Paul Ryan when he announced his budget, as PoliticMO reminds us. Considering how totemic the Ryan plan is among movement conservatives, I would think that Steelman risks further damaging her image with a base that already suspects her of serious apostasies. (At one point, she was pretty friendly with organized labor.) More to the point, I just don’t see how acting semi-sane in a GOP primary can possible help. UPDATE: Ah, so predictable. When pressed, Steelman refused to actually say whether she’d vote for or against the Ryan plan. To me, as far as the base is concerned, this is just as bad a move as saying “no.”

• UT-Sen: Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks says they’re launching a program to oust GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch from office, but there’s no word on how much they plan to spend. FreedomWorks likes to act as though they were a major player in taking down Hatch’s former colleague, Sen. Bob Bennett, last year, but their PAC spent piddly amounts (see here and here — look for “Mike Lee”). Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite hope to take on Hatch, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, continues to play footsie, calling himself a “definite maybe” on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show.

Gubernatorial:

• IN-Gov: Mike Pence has raised $388k since announcing his candidacy in early May. However, thanks to the lack of individual contribution limits, Pence has been free to rack up the large donations… including $100k (or 26%) from just one donor!

House:

• FL-26: Karen Diebel, whose political second act has been rumored for months, has made it official: she is running for Congress again. This time, the loser of the GOP primary in FL-24 in 2010 is heading to one of the new districts in the Sunshine State, which is going to be based in Central Florida.

• IN-06: Democrats added another candidate to the open-seat 6th district being abandoned by GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence. Lane Siekman is an attorney and Chamber of Commerce guy who rises just an inch or two above “Some Dude” status. Siekman’s entry to the race has been mulled for about a month now. Siekman joins college professor Jim Crone for the Dems, with a host of Republicans already vying to replace Pence.

• NV-02: Democrats in DC are laying down their marker in the 2011 contest in Nevada’s reddest congressional district. State Treasurer Kate Marshall was hosted in DC this week by two of the party’s heaviest hitters: Senate Majority Leader (and Nevada colleague) Harry Reid and the DCCC. While Marshall doesn’t have the Democratic field entirely to herself, she is considered a considerably stronger candidate than University of Nevada regent Nancy Price.

• OH-02: Mean Jean Schmidt is getting primaried. But before you slap your forehead at the thought of Schmidt getting primaried from the right, it appears that the challenge from 2009 Cincinnati mayoral candidate Brad Wenstrup is more about attitude than ideology. Wenstrup, who took a surprisingly high 46% for the GOP in that 2009 mayoral race, is quoted as saying his “skill set and leadership potential” are better fits for the district than those of Schmidt. Translation: I have all of her political views, but I’m less filling when it comes to the batshit crazy stuff.

• WA-??: Darcy Burner is returning to her home state after a brief stint in DC, and is coy about a potential bid for Congress upon her return to the state. Burner, of course, gave Dave Reichert tough races in both 2006 and 2008, losing by six points or less in both races. Burner is currently in Minnesota, where she is participating in the Netroots Nation Conference.

Other Races:

• AZ-St. Sen.: Recall signatures have almost been approved against Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), perhaps best known as author of SB1070, Arizona’s immigration law. After signatures are approved, Governor Jan Brewer would have 15 days to call for an election, which would either be scheduled for November 2011 or March 2012. The GOP currently has a 21-9 majority in the Senate, but knocking off the Senate President would be an accomplishment nonetheless.

• WI Recall: The Wisconsin GAB approved the recalls against Dem senators Dave Hansen of Green Bay, Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie, and Jim Holperin of Conover, but the Democratic Party of Wisconsin sued in Dane County Court to get them tossed. The DPW raised similar issues as it had before the GAB itself, alleging irregularities in the petition circulation process.

Grab Bag:

• Census: We’ve been playing around plenty with the PL94-171 summary files (and it’s what states have been using for redistricting purposes), but the Census Bureau will be releasing Summary File 1 for Alabama and Hawaii. New information will include age, household relationships, and additional racial breakdowns.

 

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