Welcome all! We have a Veepstakes section to keep up with the speculation on Romney's eventual running-mate and lots of Texas and Minnesota news in this morning's edition of the roundup.
Goode: Former Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) won the endorsement of the Constitution Party this weekend. He faced a late-breaking challenge from 2008 Vice-Presidential nominee Darrell Castle, a lawyer from Tennessee. He won on the first ballot with 50.3% of the vote, barely avoiding a second ballot. A good write-up of Goode's positions and approach here at Uncovered Politics. One tidbit: he was part of Ron Paul's small study group in Congress and wants to appeal to his supporters.
Minnesota: Yes, I know, Romney is the inevitable nominee. However, it is still worth paying attention to the primary contest to measure activist approval/disapproval of Romney and how the others (Paul/Gingrich) will impact Romney moving forward. In Minnesota this weekend, Paul won 10 national delegates of 12 up for grabs at congressional district conventions. With all of the congressional districts allocated, Paul now has 20 delegates from the state. It seems almost guaranteed that Paul will have a plurality of delegates here. If Paul gets his five state pluralities to meet the threshold for the RNC, where do they come from?
Missouri: Missouri caucuses also occurred on Saturday, and Romney came out much stronger there. His supporters teamed up with the Santorum crowd to deny Paul a majority of delegates. Romney came out with 12 delegates, Santorum 7, Paul 4, and Gingrich 1. More on the conventions here.
Rubio: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will be stumping with Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania. The Senator recently declined to comment on potentially being selected as Romney's running mate after previously making the effort to dispel such speculation. The joint appearance is seen as a test of how the two work together on the campaign trail.
Huntsman: In a wide-ranging interview with Zeke Miller, former Utah Governor Huntsman expressed regret for opposing tax increases (coupled with spending cuts) while comparing the withdrawal of a speaking invitation from party officials to Communist China. Oh yeah, and he also took himself out of the running for Vice President.
Daniels: If the Indiana Governor were picked, Mitch Daniels recently told Fox News Sunday that he would "demand reconsideration" and send Mitt Romney a list of individuals better for the job. That's one way of removing speculation!
Texas: Tom Leppert has spent "several million dollars" to go up on the air statewide between now and the May 29th. We have not seen much spending yet from Ted Cruz, while David Dewhurst has the largest warchest in the race. Surprisingly, Leppert seems to have finished strong in the only televised debate of the race. While Cruz has his own ads, he also has a stronger ground operation than Leppert; the battle for second (and more importantly, a runoff berth against David Dewhurst if he finishes below 50%) is between them. Ross Ramsey on expectations in the Senate race here.
Florida: State CFO Jeff Atwater took himself out of the running over the weekend in a post on his Facebook page, so no last-minute savior will be entering this race. Rep. Connie Mack is the frontrunner in the primary against former Senator George LeMieux, but Mack has not been fundraising or connecting as well with voters as observers had hoped when he jumped into the race.
Minnesota: Former Vets for Freedom head Pete Hegseth and former State Rep. Dan 'Doc' Severson are more aggressively targeting State Rep. Kurt Bills for his connections to Ron Paul. Paul supporters are expected to be greater than 40% and less than 50% of the voting strength at the state GOP convention (where the pre-primary endorsement will be decisive with all candidates pledging to abide), so Bills is likely the frontrunner here. However, much will depend on how the dropped candidate's supporters break on the second ballot- will Hegseth and Severson delegates unite to deny Bills the endorsement?
TX-21: If you had any doubt Rep. Lamar Smith would have trouble after authoring SOPA, let them die now. He raised $210k in the first quarter to libertarian favorite Richard Mack's $25k and activist Richard Morgan's $7k. Mack has close connections to the RLC and Debra Medina, but he never got the national attention that other Paul supporters have leveraged to raise money. As Rice University political scientist Mark Jones puts it, Lamar Smith's re-election is "100% guaranteed."
PA-17: After Rep. Tim Holden accepted a negative ad ceasefire, this nasty mailer from Matt Cartwright's campaign went out to voters. "Tim Holden's Votes Will Make You Sick!" the mailer reads, with a picture of a hospitalized woman on the side. Apparently it was too late to pull the mailer. In other news, former Governor Ed Rendell issued a last-minute endorsement to Holden before tomorrow's primary.
MI-07: The Eaton County Democrats' Twitter is touting an 'important announcement' from former Congressman Joe Schwarz tonight, a sign he may finally be moving forward with a run.
MN-01: After a marathon 23 rounds of balloting, delegates to the 1st congressional district convention decided to call it quits and reconvene in May to issue an endorsement in the contest to take on Rep. Tim Walz (DFL). Neither State Senator Mike Parry or former State Rep. Allen Quist cracked $50k in their fundraising for the first quarter, so the seat is at least likely Democrat. Other endorsement contests have gone longer in Minnesota history: in 1974 the contest between Senator Tony Perpich and Jim Oberstar went 30-40 rounds, according to the recollection of former State Rep. Joe Begich. However, it is the longest since the 1980s.
LA-03: Good catch from fellow moderator James_Nola:
Several articles on the LA-03 race this week have pointed out that Landry has not officially announced his bid. His website gives it away though. On his logo, the new LA-03 is now highlighted, not the old one:
Maryland: Governor Martin O'Malley told reporters recently that "There are no real winners in redistricting" and if there are, they are only "coincidental or incidental" winners. So just to be clear, politicians drawing the boundaries for their own offices produces a process where nobody wins or loses? Color me skeptical.
Arizona House: Faced with an ethics probe and general dislike from everybody in the legislature, Democratic State Rep. Daniel Patterson recently resigned his seat. However, before he did so he changed his registration to independent. Now the local Board of Supervisors is left in the unprecedented situation of lacking any rules to appoint a replacement. The Board decided to have a five-member committee (2 Democrats, 2 Republicans, 1 independent) select an indepedent to replace Patterson. The replacement will be Arizona's first independent state legislator, after Patterson.
Women: A good write-up from WaPo on myths about women voters. The big one:
When we talk about female voters, we need to be specific about which women we mean. White, married, rural and suburban women have been trending Republican for years. In fact, white women as a whole haven’t gone Democratic since 1964. While for single, highly educated and urban women, the opposite is true; those remain reliably Democratic demographics.