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What's Coming Up in 2013?

by: shamlet

Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 16:00:00 PM EST

With the thanksgiving week upon us, there's little immediate news to discuss - so today we're going to take an early baseline look at next year's races in lieu of a second roundup.


The dynamics of this race can go in two different directions, based on one man: Sen. Mark Warner. If he does run, there's almost no way for him to lose. His 2001-2005 term as Governor was remembered extremely fondly, and a recent Q poll had him with over 50% support. LG Bill Bolling and AG Ken Cuccinelli are the big names of the Virginia GOP, but they most likely can't hold a candle to Warner, and Virginia Democrats would be in strong position to break the "Win the white house, lose VA-Gov" curse. On the other hand, if Warner does not run (as the CW is currently suggesting) Democrats will probably be left with a decidedly lackluster nominee in Terry McAuliffe, whose 2009 campaign flopped in the primary. We can't count McAuliffe out entirely with recent polls showing the race close, but it's a pretty safe bet that whoever the Republicans nominate starts out as a slight favorite if Warner is not in the picture due to McAuliffe's poor campaign skills. On the Republican side, there is much less drama; Cucinelli, a slightly weaker and more polarizing candidate beloved by the grass roots, is favored to take the nomination. If Bolling pulls a convention upset it might make the race an easier hold against McAuliffe or another generic D. But the difference between Bolling and Cuccinelli is nowhere near the difference between Warner and any other Virginia Democrat. RRH rates this race Likely D if Warner runs and Lean R if Warner passes.


Like Virginia, Democrats' issues in this race come down to one man and his decision: Newark Mayor Cory Booker. And like Warner in VA, the conventional wisdom suggests that he will not pull the trigger on a run, due to his close working relationship with Christie and a strong overlap in big donors between the two. Booker would make this race close to a pure tossup against the popular Christie, but he would not be the favorite - a status he would clearly enjoy in any future statewide race without Christie in the picture. Without Booker, lists of possible candidates usually start with State Sen. Barbara Buono and State Reps. John Wisnewski and Lou Greenwald, and may also include State Sen. (and former interim Gov.) Richard Codey, US Reps. Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone, and Senate President Steve Sweeney (who is thought to be more interested in the 2014 Senate race). While unions will undoubtedly want dearly to give Christie a tough race, the governor's popularity makes him a heavyweight in any matchup. RRH rating - Likely R (though that will adjust if Booker enters.)


Because of the immense size of New York City and its municipal government, the mayor of New York is more like a Governor in power and prestige. As such, the mayoral races often attract national attention and we will be following the 2013 contest closely. Both sides have hotly contested primaries. On the D side, the main clash is between Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose support comes from business interests and the LGBT community, and ex-Comptroller and 2009 nominee Billy Thompson, who has the backing of most Black and many Hispanic community leaders. The other names in the contest on the D side are Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, who is couning on white progressives, and Comptroller John Liu, whose ethics issues have hampered his attempts to expand his support beyond his base in the Asian community. On the Republican side, the only declared candidate is recent party switcher and newspaper publisher Tom Allon; however, 4 other candidates have been exploring runs - charity founder George McDonald, businessman John Catsimatidis, Bronx Borough President Alfonso Carrion, and Dem State Senator Malcolm Smith. Catsimatidis is considered the most formidable candidate, and has recently taken steps towards a run; if he doesn't run most Republican bigwigs seem to be supporting Carrion. Carrion and Smith would each need waviers (called Wilson-Pakulas, or WPs) from 3 Republican county chairs in order to run, as neither is a registered Republican. Smith's most likely route to a WP is if his caucusing with Republicans gives them control of the State Senate. Of the Republican candidates, Catsimatidis is likely the only one who likely has the resources to tangle with the D front-runners on such a tilted and expensive playing field. However, with Democrats 0 for 5 in the mayoral races since 1990, the possibility of electing a non-D mayor as a check on Democratic power in almost every other office cannot be discounted. RRH rating - Likely D.

More 2013 races are over the fold...

shamlet :: What's Coming Up in 2013?

Los Angeles-Mayor:

In LA, the preliminary election is coming right up on March 5. As incumbent Villaraigosa is term-limited, the field is extremely muddled. The top two finishers in March will almost certainly advance to a May run-off, as no one is likely to crack 50% in the first round. There are 4 major candidates in this non-partisan race: City Comptroller Wendy Greuel, Councilors Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, and fomer federal prosecutor/talk show host Kevin James, the lone Republican-affiliated candidate. James recently became the beneficiary of a new SuperPAC run by strategist Fred Davis, which aims to raise $4M in support of his run. As for the 3 Democrats, Greuel and Garcetti are running pretty standard liberal campaigns and differ very little on the issues; the main difference seems to be that Greuel is favored by the IBEW union while Garcetti is favored by the SEIU union. Perry, a Jewish woman of African American heritage, is running as a more moderate business-friendly Democrat and is similar to Michael Bloomberg on the ideological spectrum. Most observers agree that the current horserace order is clearly Greuel > Garcetti > Perry > James, but the field is fluid enough that any two could advance to a runoff.


With this race single-handedly deciding control of the State Senate, both parties are likely to see crowded fields. Republicans already have a crowded field; the front-runner is generally considered to be Prince William County Exec. Corey Stewart, but State Sen. Stephen Martin, Del. Scott Lingamfelter, Stafford Co. Exec. Susan Stimpson, and ex-State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (Tom Davis's wife) are all considered credible candidates. Democrats' lone declared candidate is Obama administration official Aneesh Chopra, but he is likely to be joined by other candidates including some or all of: State Sens. Ralph Northam and Kenny Alexander, Roanoke Mayor David Bowers, and former State House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong. Early guesses place Armstrong as the front-runner for the D nod if he runs. The general election outcome of the race depends highly on who is atop the ballot. If Warner runs bet on Democrats to take this easily; otherwise the Republican can be considered a slight favorite.


State Sen. Mark Herring of Loudon County is Democrats' likely nominee here, giving Democrats a strong candidate. Republicans' choice is likely to be State Sen. Mark Obenshain, though State Del. Rob Bell is also running and could pull an upset at the convention. Similarly to the LG race, this one's general election outcome depends a lot on who is atop the ballot.

NYC Downballot:

New York will elect two other citywide officials in 2013, the Public Advocate (a do-nothing post similar to a very weak Lt. Governor) and City Comptroller. Both seats will be open due to their incumbents running for mayor. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (D) is considered the favorite for the Comptroller post, though Councilman Dan Garodnick (D) is also running. For the PA post, State Sen. Dan Squadron (D) and Councilwoman Letitia "Tish" James (D) are considered the front-runners. It's very unlikely that Republicans will field more than a sacrificial lamb for either post; the last Republican elected to either office was Newbold Morris (as City Council President, the PA's predecessor) in 1941. The entire 51-member city council is up; Republicans have a chance to pick up a fifth seat on the council, in South Brooklyn, with the expected campaign of ougoing State Sen. David Storobin for a conservaitve district.


New Jersey and Virginia have legislative elections next year. Both houses in NJ are up but not expected to see significant change. The closely divided VA Senate is not up (except in the tie-breaking LG office) and Republicans are expected to easily keep their majority in the VA House even if Warner gives Democrats coattails to run on.

Other Mayors:

There are a lot of mayoral elections in 2013, most of which have fields that not taken shape yet.  Some of the more important ones where jockeying as already begun include Boston and Detroit:

In Boston, Mayor Menino is seen as a retirement possibility after suffering from a string of back ailments that have kept him in the hospital for several weeks. The jockeying in this race has not begun, but potential candidates include 2009 loser Michael Flaherty and councilors Ayanna Pressley, John Connolly, John Tobin, and Rob Consalvo. As you'd expect, all are Democrats.

In Detroit, Mayor Dave Bing has drawn siginificant enemies over his radical restructuring of the failed city and may not seek re-election; he's liable to have a tough time gaining a second term if he does run. Two candidates, State Rep. Liza Howze and (white) former Wayne County DA Mike Duggan, have already declared their candidacy. Other potential candidates include State Rep. Fred Durhal, Council President Charles Pugh, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, and soon-to-be-former Rep. Hansen Clarke. All are, of course, Democrats.

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Richard Codey could be a threat to Christie
His tenure as Acting Governor after the McGreevey meltdown was well received and he's an older affable type. His agenda's pretty much generic Democrat so the voters would need to be in a firing mood in the first place for him to win; but he would not get in the way of that decision. The other hacktastics on this list would  

Codey might make this Lean R
but I don't see him giving up his State Senate seat to take on Christie.

Ultimately I'm feeling a Buono-Greenwald ticket here, which will produce a lot of sound and fury from the left and lose to Christie 55-45.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
after the coup against him
I'm surprised Codey even cares to be in the State Senate any longer.  Sheesh he's been there for 30+ years!  I don't think his decision will have anything to do with losing his seat in the Leg.  He'd be happy enough coaching his grandkids if it came to that.  Losing the seat would be much more impactful for someone like Greenwald.

[ Parent ]
Codey didnt run back when he was acting Gov because he didnt want to give up being Senate President. Now that he's been deposed and is bascially a back bencher he might be more inclinded to cap his career with a run for Governor. But I doubt he's got the fire in the belly or the ambition to do it. If he did he would have run for Gov before.

[ Parent ]
Bowling V. Cuccinelli.
As I study this race, I'm starting to lean toward supporting Bowling. Cuccinelli has electability issues here in Northern Virginia, which Bowling doesn't, and despite Cuccinelli's vocal and confrontational tendencies, Bowling's really not any less conservative. I actually think Cuccinelli might have a difficult time against McOlef.

Also, I'm irritated that the VAGOP picked a convention to decide the nominee.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

Early thoughts
VA-Gov is likely McAuliffe v. Cuccinelli; a toss-up, though I suspect the energy will be on the latter's side. If Bolling wins the primary, Lean R.

NJ-Gov is probably Christie v. not-Booker; Likely R, especially given the governor's visibility during Sandy. If Booker runs, toss-up, with Christie modestly favored.

NYC-Mayor looks like a Quinn v. Thompson run-off, which the former would be favored in; she faces a real Republican - Catsimatidis or McDonald - in the fall, and that race is Likely or maybe even Safe D. If Thompson wins nomination vs. either of those Republicans, Lean D. If Kelly runs for anything, Likely K. Actually, I think if Kelly runs as an independent, Quinn might be tempted to step aside, ditto any real Republican, which means Thompson is the Democratic nominee and Carrion or Parker is the Republican nominee. Which would an amazing comedy of errors.

25, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Jeb 2016. Visit me at

I think you hit the nail on the head with Sandy.  Just about everyone has commended Christie for his handling of the storm, both before and after it actually hit.  Barring something shocking coming out, I don't think Christie will have much trouble getting reelected at all.  I don't think Booker will run, because I think he would lose.

A year ago though I would never have thought that, and obviously a lot can change in the coming year as well, but I actually think toss-up is generous to Booker.

Male, 25, NJ-12

[ Parent ]
Just curious...
Where is the conventional wisdom that Cuccinelli wins the convention coming from? Just the conservatism of convention delegates? I ask because I'm thinking of applying to be a delegate.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

[ Parent ]
On NYC Mayor....
1) If Kelly runs he gets the GOP nomination. So forget Carrion or Parker scenarios.

2) Might want to keep in mind Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota in anay Mayoral talk. After his stellar response to Sandy he's getting a lot of buzz and presure to run for Mayor as a Republican

3) Dont count Carrion out in a Democrat primary. I believe Carrion didnt change his registration to Indy after the deadline so he should be eligable to run as a Democrat in 2013. With all the Dem Mayoral candidates rushing to the left to curry Muni Union & special interest group favor Carrion could have a shot at making it into a runnoff in the Dem primary. He's got a big base with Latinos and there is always a good chunk of conservative Dem voters in NYC. Carrion could come in 2nd in the Dem primary, lose the run off and then win the general as the GOP/Indy candidate. This 3 election thing happened in 1977 in the Cuomo vs Koch race.

[ Parent ]
Mississippi will be having legislative elections, if memory serves.

22, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

LA and MS have 4-year legislative terms elected concurrently with the governor.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Right... Memory doesn't always serve.

22, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Effort on the right to damage Christie
Definitely seeing some scattered articles attacking Christie for appointing a Muslim to the NJ Supreme Court, praising Obama during Sandy, and even going on SNL weekend update on Saturday while people are still out of power.

Expect there to be a significant flank on the right ready to soften up Christie for the 2016 presidential primary, by attacking him during the 2013 re-election race. They might be ok with him winning, but they don't want a 60-40 coronation that boosts Christie's image even further.  

34, R, CO-1 (Degette)

Ironically in NJ these might help him
By making Democrats less motivated to campaign against him and taking away the Warren v Brown "nationalized race" strategy  

[ Parent ]
I would say
Thats probably true.  I view Christie much more positively now than I did before Sandy and even just before then with the behind the scenes Mitt/Christie "drama".

I'm not sure I could ever vote for Chrisite, especially against a Booker (But if Democrats ran a meh or bad candidate I might), but I respect him and actually like him now.

34/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
A bunch of idiots
Is all I can say. The failed people in the Mitt campaign are conveniently and crazily shifting the blame to Christie.

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

[ Parent ]
We have seen that picture before
with Stephe Schmidt et al in the aftermaths of 2008 against Sarah Palin.

It was pathetic then and it is pathetic now.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
No Muslim on the Supreme Court
He did appoint a Muslim to a lower judgeship.  He tried to appoint the first Gay African-American Republican and the first Asian to the Supreme Court, but the bigotted Democrats did not allow the nominations out of committee because they are racists clearly.

[ Parent ]
NJ Unemployment
I think that Christie is the favorite for reelection but I am concerned about this one statistic.  Compared to most states, we are worse off in terms of unemployment and that never looks good for a campaign looking for reelection.  

I actually do think that Codey is a threat.  His "nice-guy" image is actually more significant than what people think it is.  And as a Democrat in NJ, you really only need to pass some minimal tests of competence and temperament.  I personally thought that Codey doubled down on McGreevey/Corzine type economic liberalism but I am the minority by far.

The reality is that state gov't has improved quite a bit with Christie and his policies have shifted the cost curve down (which no one has done).  But I think the Dems will try and hit him over the head with the Unemployment rate even if it's somewhat unfair.  NJ has been hit hard by restructuring in the pharmaceutical business.  I saw one stat that we had 45K jobs in that industry in 2007 and it is close to 30K now.  That is very tough to absorb.

37, Republican, NJ-11  

Also some interesting elections going on over the world
I can think of Israel, Italy and Germany as main countries having elections next year.

True that
Although it is pretty sure at this point, that the CDU/CSU will stay the strongest party. They'll either form a coalition with the Greens (first time ever), or another Great Coalition with the SPD - if the latter is the case, it'll be a recipe for disaster.

As for Israel, I hope that Bibi stays in power, I have great admiration for that man.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
Hope you're right about Germany
In every poll I've seen CDU is the largest party but SPD+Greens get more seats so I fear they somehow manage to form a coalition (though you don't seem to be too worried about the possibility), the fall of FDP hurts our conservative allies.

In Israel you shouldn't worry, Netanyahu is the clear favourite (though I have to say I'm confused by your admiration. He's nothing more than the lesser of two evils as far as I'm concerned, sometimes not even that).

[ Parent ]
there is some talk about the current SPD candidate for Chancellor morphing into a "Romney character" and it is true, his campaign opening experienced some bumps in the roads. IMHO, the SPD nominated the best canidates they could get out of those that were available, which doesn't mean much.

The fall of the FDP is justified - I voted for them in my first ever election in 2009 and I will never cast another ballot for them. The "old FDP" is dead, safe for a few characters who don't seem to have much of a hold against the "wild boys" that seem to be running the show.

I think in the end, Merkel's high favorabilities (although I do not get where they come from, I certainly won't cast my ballot for the CSU out of love for either the party, or Merkel, but because it's the lesser of two evils) will save the day for them.

I admire Netanyahu because of his determination. I see him as a strong leader in challenging times which Israel is experiencing.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
Perhaps it's a case of neighbour's grass is always greener
with regards to Merkel and Netanyahu.

[ Parent ]
Propably true
as it might be with pretty much everything :D

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
Although, if I may
hit back, I would challenge the assumption that Merkel is a strong leader. She never has been a strong leader, imho, and she never will be.

And I blame her directly for some of the things that have happened since 2005 and are diametrically opposed to my own beliefs of what a "self-proclaimed conservative" party should stand for.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
where would she fit in America?  Main Street Republican?  Blue Dog Democrat?

34/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Tought question
which I can't give a definite answer to and which would be answered by many people very differently, I suppose.

If you want to go in the absolute, most general terms, you'd say that

Left/SPD/Greens = Democratic Party
CDU/CSU/FDP = Republican Party

However, the waters are very blury in these times and I think it's almost impossible to compare German and American parties (although most of my CDU/CSU friends are always surprised when I tell them that you'd actually say that Democrats are more like Social Democrats - it's a dirty tactic to throw them off balance when discussing American politics :P)

As for Merkel, she is very ... let's call it "adaptive" to circumstances. In most cases, she'll wait for where the wind's blowing from and then turn her coat accordingly.

If forced to make a decision, I'd propably consider her a Blue Dog Democrat.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
Well I didn't say she was strong, said Bibi's weak
He's known to waffle and accept the suggestion of whoever last exited his room. He's also far too lefty in both foreign affairs and budget issues. There's no way I'll vote for him after these last 4 years.

[ Parent ]
If I may: Do you mean by saying "too lefty" that he should have taken a harder stance on for example Iran, Gaza, Arab Spring, ect?

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
No, I don't have a quarrel on these issues
though some would say he should've been more harsh with Hamas in the last 4 years. I mainly speak of him blocking further construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem which is absolutely shameful, not only from a symbolic point of view but mainly by stripping citizens of their rights and treating them as second class because foreign leaders have a tough time understanding geography, history and international law. He caved and he shouldn't have.

[ Parent ]
Who is running as a viable alternative to him, in your opinion?

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
For PM? none
He's the only candidate from the right. The left is stil not sorted out (as we don't know whether Olmert and Livny will pull the trigger. Both see themselves as viable PM candidates) but Yechimovich of Labour is the main candidate, getting more than 20 seats in the polls. The day after Bibi will be an interesting day but I'm not expecting a good result for my political ideas (which are quite rare in Israel, not extreme, just rare).

[ Parent ]
BTW, leadership elections a few days ago
were held in France. Jean-Francois Cope was elected the leader of the UMP, a non-practicing Jew.

[ Parent ]
Problem for Christie is that a good deal of the Barrier Islands were heavily damaged....
due to Hurricane Sandy.

Ocean County, the Barrier Island population is part of Christie's base and I doubt many of the population displaced will be back there 11 months from now adding to his vote totals.

I doubt many are leaving NJ
It may be logistically challenging to find em, reregister them in inland towns & turn em out; but they weren't sent out of state like Katrina refugees were  

[ Parent ]

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