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Political Roundup for December 26, 2012

by: shamlet

Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:00:00 AM EST

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy Boxing Day. Anyway, we just can't not keep you abreast of some developments over the Chrismas Weekend...


HI-Sen: It looks like Inouye's replacement will be named today.

ID-Sen '16: Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo (R) was arrested for DUI Sunday morning, with a blood alcohol concentration of .11%, on his way home from visiting his second family. All kidding aside, as a Mormon in a very socially conservative (and Mormon-heavy) state, this may be an issue for the Senator in 2016. Crapo has not faced a seriously contested election since his first campaign for the US House, back in 1992. He also voted for the law mandating a .08 maximum BAC limit for drunk driving.

MA-Sen: Two "no"s this weekend from unorthodox D candidates - Ben Affleck is saying no to a run, as is Connecticut resident and... (well, does he need any other qualifications?) Ted Kennedy Jr.

NJ-Sen: Rep. Frank Pallone will consider challenging Cory Booker in the D primary in the event Lautenberg steps down. Pallone has long coveted a Senate seat, and while he'd start out as the heavy underdog to Booker, NJ Politics can get awful nasty awful quickly.

SC-Sen (Class II): Another Obama appointee being floated means another chance for Lindsey Graham to prove his conservative bona fides, this time by tearing into likely SecDef appointee (and fomer Republican Senate colleague) Chuck Hagel.

IL-Sen '16: Sen. Mark Kirk (R) visited his Capitol Hill offices, telling staffers he is likely to be back at work with the start of the new Congress in January. This is another great milestone on his long road to recovery after a devastating stroke.


MI-11: It's not Christmas without a visit from Santa - and National Review gets a full length interview with him, in the form of his alter ego, Rep-elect Kerry Bentivolio (R).

TN-4: State Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) of Rutherford County is thinking about primarying Rep. Scott DesJarlais. Seeing as the Governor and Senate races are non-competitive, priority #1 for the TNGOP should be clown car management here to make sure DesJarlais is not nominated again.

TX-4: On Christmas Day, Rep. Ralph Hall (R) became the oldest serving House member ever at age 89. Hall shows no signs of slowing down and, though he leaves the door open to a retirement, does not seem particularly likely to hang it up in 2014.

MN-8, WATN: To the surprise of no one, departing Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) will move from Minnesota to New Hampshire once his term ends to be closer to his family.


FL-Gov: RIP, 2002 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill McBride. McBride was a prominent Tampa attorney and the husband of ex-State CFO and 2010 nominee Alex Sink. The 67 year old suffered a heart attack while visiting family in Sink's hometown of Mt. Airy, NC. Needless to say, the sudden loss of her husband may weigh on Sink's decision on mounting a second gubernatorial bid in 2014.

Boston-Mayor: After several months of recuperating from various infections, Mayor Tom Menino (D) is out of the hospital, and is staying at the mayor's ceremonial residence on Beacon Hill for some time to continue his recovery. No word on when he can return to his regular house in Readville or resume full mayoral duties.

MN-LD-19A: State Rep. Terry Morrow (D-St. Peter) is resigning to take a job in Chicago, precipitating a special election in a D-leaning seat. Ex-State Rep. and 2012 MN-1 nominee Allen Quist (R) might run.

MA-LD-28th Middlesex: State Rep. Stephen "Stat" Smith (D-Everett) has resigned after pleading guilty to voter fraud for obtaining and casting fraudulent absentee ballots. It's unclear why he did this as he's in a totally safe seat (which will be filled by special election sometime this spring.) Everett has far and away the highest number of absentee ballots per capita in the state, so this may be a more endemic problem.

shamlet :: Political Roundup for December 26, 2012
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Mormons and booze
I heard this joke many years ago:

If you're on a fishing trip with a Mormon, how do you make sure he doesn't drink all your beer?

Invite another Mormon.

A Mormon who secretly drinks isn't news. I don't think it'll be as devastating as people are making it out to be.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

An anti Mormon joke
is the basis for thinking Crapo won't face alot of trouble with voters?

26, Republican, WA-03 (represented by wonderful Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler).

[ Parent ]
I don't think that
Making fun of religions is for this site.
Even if I agree.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
While I enjoy poking fun at all faiths especially my own, I ask commentators refrain from it here.

In terms of the electoral implications, I think this can play out both ways.  Crapo's problem is that he is such a non-entity that anyone challenging him has a chance if the party establishment gives him less than absolute support.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
That's not an anti-Mormon joke
The joke was told to me by two different Mormons. It's self-depricating humor. I'm not poking fun at another faith. I'm pointing out that some Mormons privately drink alcohol and that it isn't as horrible a transgression as people make it out to be.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
It's not self-depricating if you're not mormon.

(-10.00, -3.49), libertarian socialist, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."

-- Stanisław Lem

[ Parent ]
Hence the sentence before self-depricating
It's a Mormon joke

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Being that anonymous is usually a good thing (as nobody can really fault you for anything) until you screw up. He has nothing else to define him so this could definitely be an issue. This may very well just convince him to retire; as I've said in the roundup the guy has only faced two serious campaigns in his life, in 1984 and 1992 - and I don't think he's ready for one now.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
All joking aside...
Will this lead a credible Republican to primary Crapo in 2016?  

[ Parent ]
not unless
There's more such instances;
2016 is a long ways away.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
My best guess is probably not, but it's possible. If it looks like someone serious is going to mount a primary, I think Crapo probably just retires.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Medical Marjuana DOA in PA Legislature
You got to love the PA Democrats.  They almost enjoy stifling progressives as much as the Republicans.

State Rep. Mark Cohen (D., Phila.), who unsuccessfully sponsored medical-marijuana bills in the last two legislative sessions, said that he would introduce similar legislation in the next session, but that he was not optimistic about its prospects.

Cohen said the proposal lacked support among his fellow Democrats and had no support from the Republican majority. Unless that changes, he said, "it's obvious we don't have the votes to pass it."

28, Republican, PA-6

HI-Sen Candidates
Serious candidates (also some indication of who may be interested in HI-1)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
LG Brian Schatz
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
ex-Rep. Ed Case
Attorney Esther Kia'aina
Labor Attorney Tony Gill
State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim
State Sen. Will Espero
Abercrombie CoS Blake Oshiro

Random Some Dudes:
Timothy Hogan
David Tarnas
Kurt Lajala
Earl Winfree
Antonio Gimbernat

I think the committee gives Abercrombie Hanabusa and two Some Dudes to tie his hands.

R - MD-7

AR-GOV/Sen; Womack will be the key domino

I think with Hutchison likely to run for governor, I think Womack runs for the senate and Darr runs for Womack's seat like the article speculates. If Womack doesn't, the artcle speculates Cotton will likely be pushed into running with Darr probably running for reelection.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

Gov is almost a Lean R race
no matter who's running. Unless we get a weak candidate you can probably drop the "almost" too. I think it safe to say we won't have a clear primary field there, and might even get a 3-way+ affair with Womack, Hutchinson, Darr, and maybe others all jumping in. Senate on the other hand is a much tougher nut to crack - any strong candidate (Womack, Cotton, even Darr) that wants it probably has the primary field to himself.

I think re-election is probably the last thing Darr does, because if he goes for a second term he'll be termed out in 2018 with nowhere to go but down. And he doesn't seem like a guy who would be content with playing musical offices for the rest of his life.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
As this article says, it really revolves around Womack. I do not think Cotton runs unless Womack declines. A Cotton vs Womack primary is akin to Cotton throwing away his career, since a majority + of the votes come from Womack's home base. If both Womack and Cotton decline (which I really don't see happening), then you guys should look at Kim Hendren, Gilbert Baker, Jonathan Dismang or Jason Rapert.

On Darr - if he runs for Lieutenant Governor now, he can increase his name recognition for a potential run for Boozman's seat in 2022, for Governor in 2022 or for Pryor's seat if he isn't defeated in 2014. Remember, he has about 10% name recognition within the state.

[ Parent ]
There so some other potential candidates
State Senator Johnny Key, Businessman Curtis Coleman, State Senator Missie Irvin and soon to be former State Representative Loy Mauch have all been talked up by the Arkansas establishment. Mauch and Coleman would be disasters in a general election. Irvin and Key are interesting candidates but come from North Central Arkansas.

What would be really interesting is if a conglomeration of northwestern candidates get in and hand the race to someone from the Delta or South Arkansas. That would annoy the heck out of a lot of Republicans, and the state party who believe all of their candidates should come from the Northwest. I think Doyle Webb's followers want Womack in against Pryor because of the whole geographical base thing. Running as a Republican from Southern Arkansas or the Delta can be tricky.  

I still believe Darr will try to get rid of Dustin McDaniel. There's bad blood there - McDaniel refused to sign onto the Obamacare lawsuit. Darr did instead, but there was a question of whether Lieutenant Governor can actually represent the state of Arkansas (and not the Attorney General).  

[ Parent ]
What do people think of Jim O'Hara as a prospective unorthodox candidate for this race? If you remember him, he's the obscure County Commissioner who ran a shoestring campaign for Governor last year that was based on putting up billboards in every county. He got 12% in the primary, respectable for somebody with no name rec, and has a bit of a Schweitzer-esque biography.

We need somebody who can run a populist, anti-Washington, anti-politician, "Walkin' Lawton" style campaign here. If he can raise some money, he might just be the guy.

R - MD-7

*I* barely remember him, and I'm really into MT politics.
Getting 12% in a primary isn't that impressive in MT. That's generally how large the "I don't want anyone else" vote is.  

[ Parent ]
I think he raised something like $10K
over his whole campaign, and the only news he made was one human-interest story. For a total non-factor 12% and 4th of 7 is not bad.

Regardless, unless Fox wants to turn right around and run, we probably need to be looking at more unorthodox candidates against Baucus.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Oh, that Ruben
Malcolm Smith is now an Uncle Tom for cooperating with Republicans, which is something Ruben Diaz would never do.

This guy beats anything Colbert can come up with for sheer hilarity.

R - MD-7

Can't make this stuff up
If Smith is an Uncle Tom, what does that make Kevin Parker?

[ Parent ]
The missing millions
Well it looks like pretty much all the votes have been counted in the 2012 Presidential Election.  There still may be a few more votes that trickle into the total, but it seems that there are about 2.5 million fewer voters in 2012 compared to 2008. In additon, since the population grew about 10 to 11 million from 2008 to 2012, there should have been about 3.5 million additional voters to keep the percentage of voters compared to total population the same.  So in terms of keeping percent voter turnout the same, there should be 6 million more voters (2.5 mil plus 3.5 mil). So a key question is who did not turnout and why didn't they turn out.  We know that the minority share of voters went from 26% to 28% and surprisingly, young voters (18-29) edged up to 19%. So it would appear that the key non-turn-out group or(groups) is located somewhere in the white population aged 30 and older. I don't know the answer but here are some possibilities:

-Superstorm Sandy.  Yes this depressed turnout in NY and NJ, but remember most people had their electricity back by election day and most people do not live in the "devastated areas" by the shore. This may account for a few hundred thousand but not 6 million.  

Some white evangelicals did not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon and stayed home. There may have been a few, but according to the World Almanac Romney did better with evangelicals than McCain.  I don't know what evangelical turnout in 2012 is compared to 2008 that may be an interesting number.  

-The Romney high tech voter turnout operation fizzled on election day.  True, but I suspect we are talking about tens of thousands of potential voters who didn't turn out here not hundreds of thousands.  Plus the Obama people did a great job in getting their voters out. So I don't see this as a major factor in reduced turnout.  

-Some white working class voters sat on their hands because they did not like Obama's performance with regard to the economy but saw Romney as a "Richie Rich" type who wouldn't help them. I suspect there may be some validity to this argument, but I haven't seen any data yet to back it up.  

I suspect there are additional factors others can think of but the above items are what I came up with off the top of my head.

New Jersey might get a gay marriage referendum

They probably missed the boat on that. Christie told them to do so a year ago.

27, R, PA-07.

NJ Congressmen 'live' in PO Boxes
HI-Sen Final 3
Hanabusa, Schatz, Oshiro.

R - MD-7

Definitely Hanabusa
RollCall mentioned in an article that she gained a lot of goodwill by not running in 2012, she has the name recognition and the profile.  

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
Some Hawaiian news outlets...
now consider lieutenant governor Schatz the front runner.

Libertarian Conservative, Norway.

[ Parent ]
Makes sense for Abercrombie
Not necessarily politically. He gets a buddy in the senate.
What's his fault that Inouye made a wish?

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Is pretty independent minded and he will be 76 next election, so he may not run again anyway, hence won't need to weigh public opinion. Schatz is more than 20 years younger than Hanabusa and can therefore build much more seniority long term for the state. Finally, the Dems won't have to fight a tough House battle if they give it to him.

Libertarian Conservative, Norway.

[ Parent ]
Probably makes him more hated among Hawaii Democrats...
to ignore Inouye's wishes and more vulnerable to a successful primary challenge.

He shouldn't mess this up like David Patterson did.

[ Parent ]
Actual Final 3
Schatz, Hanabusa, and Kiaaina

(This is according to twitter)

19, Republican, KS-03
Standing strong with Senator Roberts and Governor Brownback.

[ Parent ]
Hanabusa, Schatz, Kia'aina
Governor Abercrombie is unpopular, so even if we're to believe he's a loose cannon (which I don't think has been evidenced at all), I doubt he has the political clout or will to appoint Schatz. Being the white minority Governor appointing a white minority to the senate seat vacant by the death of the adored and admired Asian-American Senator over his chosen Asian-American replacement would seal his political fate. Even though he's managed to pack a lot of loyalists into the state party, I'd think he'd almost definitely draw an Asian-American primary challenge, and would probably lose. Given how low his approval ratings are, all he really would need would be a credible challenger.

(-10.00, -3.49), libertarian socialist, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."

-- Stanisław Lem

You're disregarding
the fact that at his age he may not wish to run again.

Libertarian Conservative, Norway.

[ Parent ]
HI-SEN: News Conference @ 7 ET
-Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called a 7pm ET (2pm HT) news conference to announce appointment to the U.S. Senate.

19, Republican, KS-03
Standing strong with Senator Roberts and Governor Brownback.

Over under on how long it takes to leak?

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
6:30 and no leak yet.. (n/t)

19, Republican, KS-03
Standing strong with Senator Roberts and Governor Brownback.

[ Parent ]
Nobody gives a hoot
Zero chatter on twitter.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
most of the twitter updates are Germans randomly using "Schatz".

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Or the other Abercrombie

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
And most of the Abercrombie ones
Are teenagers whining about lines to return stuff to the store.

[ Parent ]
Didn't leak

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Seems like
No reporter bothered to even ask.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Live Stream

19, Republican, KS-03
Standing strong with Senator Roberts and Governor Brownback.


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