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As we reach mid-week, we get some interesting Senate numbers out of Utah, but aside from that, it is a pretty quiet day, on balance. A few campaign headlines are of note, but the number crunching is at a minimum for this Wednesday:

UT-Sen: Bennett Hurting, According to Latest Deseret News Poll
It would be something of a stretch to suggest that he is vulnerable in 2010, but longtime Republican Senator Bob Bennett cannot be comforted by the new numbers coming out of his home state of Utah. In a basic re-elect query, only 27% of voters are committed to his re-election, while 58% want to give somebody new a chance. If there is good news for the GOP veteran, it is that he has a substantial lead over any prospective opponent. In a ballot test placing candidates of both parties on one ballot, he has a solid lead (31-14) over his nearest rival, Democratic businessman Sam Granato. One interesting note--despite getting throttled in the state (62-34), Utah is one state where Barack Obama's job approval (which stands at 38%) is actually better than his 2008 vote total.

NY: Same Sex Marriage Slightly Favored in New York State
Coming on the heels of today's deeply disappointing decision by the NY State Senate to continue the status quo of marriage discrimination, we get interesting and timely data from Marist on the issue. Now, bearing in mind that phone polls on same-sex marriage can occasionally skew a few points, it is nonetheless worth noting that 51% of New Yorkers polled favored the legalization of same-sex marriages, as opposed to 42% who were opposed. Of course, this is only relevant as a pressure point on the legislature--unlike most other states, New York does not have a direct initiative process.

IN OTHER NEWS....

  • A reminder that I can now be found speaking my mind from time to time over on Twitter. Stop by for commentary on politics. Oh...and college football. And, occasionally, the weather.
  • TN-08: The Democrats got a rare piece of good news this week. Less than a day after they lost an incumbent upon the announcement of the retirement of longtime Rep. John Tanner, they got their #1 recruit for the seat to commit to a House bid. Roy Herron, a state Senator who had been gearing up for a gubernatorial bid, turned his attention instead to a bid for Congress. The likely GOP nominee is farmer/entertainer Stephen Fincher, who has already raised over a quarter-million dollars for his bid.
  • FL-Gov: The DGA is throwing some fairly legitimate money around to take down some GOP gubernatorial wannabes right at the outset of the 2010 election cycle. One of their targets, to the tune of a million bucks, is Florida Republican  Bill McCollum. McCollum is one of several targets of what is known as the GOP Accountability Project, whose other high-profile targets include Meg Whitman in California, Terry Branstad in Iowa, and John Kasich in Ohio.
  • OH-Sen: Is it possible that George Voinovich's departure from the United States Senate may not be the end of his political career? It's possible, if Ohio GOPers get their way. Some of them are hoping that Voinovich will seek a political second act by running for Cuyahoga County Executive. Meanwhile, in the Senate race to replace Voinovich, Democratic candidate Jennifer Brunner is trying to draw some clearly defined lines in the race, framing herself early as an opponent of the Afghan troop increase proposed last night by the President.
  • FL-10: Could the dean of the Florida delegation about to be Scozzafava'ed out of Congress? It looks like Bill Young, who has been in Congress since 1970, is about to get primaried by a political neophyte whose political christening came from the twin altars of the Tea Party Movement and the Glenn Beck show. The upstart Republican's name is Eric Forcade, and he might well succeed in softening Young up before a stronger-than-usual general election challenge from Democratic state legislator Charlie Justice. Young's district is not exactly tea-party territory, it was competitive politically even in the 2004 Bush-Kerry election.
  • CO-07: Democrat Ed Perlmutter, who cruised in his first re-election bid last year, is getting a lot of attention this time around. Former Senate candidate Ryan Frazier, an Aurora city council member, is already in the GOP field, and he is apparently about to be joined by a former staffer in the McCain '08 campaign--Lang Sias. The district was created as a fair-fight district, but leaned Democratic in both 2006 (when Perlmutter won the open seat with ease) and 2008 (when both Perlmutter and Obama led here with little difficulty).
  • CT-Gov: Lots of movement in the Nutmeg State today, but virtually all of it was predictable. First of all, as expected, it now appears a done deal for former Ambassador Tom Foley to jump from the U.S. Senate race to the open-seat gubernatorial election. By the way, the link is worth a click alone for the comments section, where the Ron Paul Revolution proves that it is alive and well by ripping the folks at Hotline On Call for not mentioning Paulite Peter Schiff as a legitimate GOP threat to claim the nomination. In the other big piece of gubernatorial news, the state's Republican Lt. Governor, Michael Fedele, also announced that he would seek the governorship. The leading Democratic candidate has been Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, although 2006 Senate nominee Ned Lamont is also now eyeing the race. The race became an open-seat affair when GOP Governor Jodi Rell retired last month.
  • TX-Gov: Obviously, Governor Rick Perry and his allies in the Texas Republican Party got the news that Houston Mayor Bill White is now looking at a gubernatorial bid rather than a Senate bid. They launched a web video attacking White, in an attempt to claim that White's reputation as a moderate Democrat amenable to the business community is undeserved. This led White spokeswoman Katy Bacon to observe: "Apparently some people in power see Bill White as a threat. Texans are tired of the strident, negative, partisan attacks though."
  • PA-11: We will know in exactly one week whether or not two-time Republican challenger Lou Barletta will be making a third bid for Democrat Paul Kanjorski's House seat in the Pennsylvania 11th. Amid the high-profile retirements of Dennis Moore and John Tanner, CQ noted that Kanjorski has not officially announced his 2010 plans. A Kanjorski spokesman, however, reassured that although Kanjorski has not made a binding pronouncement, he has been raising money as if another race was in the offing.
  • KY-03/MN-01: A pair of sophomore Democratic incumbents got new announced challengers today. In the Louisville-based Kentucky 3rd district, Republican Jeffrey Reetz, a local businessman who owns a few dozen Pizza Huts in the region, is announcing a challenge to John Yarmuth. Meanwhile, further north, former GOP staffer Jim Hagedorn becomes the latest Republican to join a growing field to challenge Tim Walz in the southern Minnesota-based 1st district. Both Walz and Yarmuth were rather easily re-elected in 2008 after their freshman terms.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:40 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Tanner retirement is terrible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qwertyuiop

    His retirement along with Dennis Moore shows that Democrats are in a world of trouble.  

    •  The Moore retirement is terrible. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, Micheline

      Tanner?  Won't miss him.

    •  Tanner's running for Senate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades

      And he's a Blue Dog.

      Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:22:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now THAT'S a gross exaggeration (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, kat68, Micheline

      Sometimes it seems like this place has been infected with despair dust and no one's got an inch of spine or an ounce of fight. We have a trainwreck of a situation here in Ohio where we should be coasting, and I plan to get in the face of the state party about it. I'm not giving up until I know it's over.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

      by anastasia p on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:44:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ohio just shows how terrible the environment.... (0+ / 0-)

        has gotten for Democrats.  In most other years, Portman wouldnt have a chance.  Same with Kasich.  

        •  Look who's here to again drag the discussion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew

          down and purposely discourage people. You've had at least 7 HRs today and I'm sick of your doom and gloom. Your sole purpose here seems to be sowing bitterness and discord.

          •  You're right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, kat68

            I checked. A classic doomster, here to discourage everyone and make defeat a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ohio doesn't show "how terrible the environment is for Democrats." We have a particular set of issues here that aren't being addressed properly by the state Democratic party and we have one of the worst economies in the country. We also have a government who has dramatically outraised his opponent, who is a wily campaigner, who once again appears to have outfoxed the  Republican no-nos in our state Senate and who has dealt diplomatically with a range of virtually intractable issues. His opponent's only issue was his plan to eliminate the income tax – and a third of state revneue. Since what people are pissed about here is the draconian cuts in services, that never would have flown and he was forced to retract it. Now he has NO issues. Well, he wants to end the "death tax" but wealthy communities are panicking about that because some of them get a significant share of income from that. All is far from lost.

            Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

            by anastasia p on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:46:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for explaining the particular issues (0+ / 0-)

              and challenges in Ohio. I really hate this "we're losers no matter what" attitude that is taking hold around here...and encouraged by posters like Mr. Krebbs.

              Good luck and be sure to let us non-Ohioans know what we can do to help elect (good) Dems in your state.

        •  Kasich doesn't have much of a chance (0+ / 0-)

          The Portman situation is delicate. No, there's no way an unrepentant free trader should be electable here. But one of our two Democratic primary candidates pretty much refuses to take definitive stands on ANYTHING. And he's the one with all the money so the media and party regulars have annointed him. Problem: he has WAY WAY WAY less money than Portman so he's going to need issues and ... he is avoiding issues like the plague.

          But these are local issues. They have nothing to do with "everybody hates Democrats" or anything like that. Our worst issue is the anti-choice extremist who could drag down the whole ticket.

          Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

          by anastasia p on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:38:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    One interesting note--despite getting throttled in the state (62-34), Utah is one state where Barack Obama's job approval (which stands at 38%) is actually better than his 2008 vote total.

    I leave it to others to interpret this particular metric.  I'm gonna take a break for the rest of the night.

    I SO want to believe it's 11DC.

    by WisePiper on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:45:34 PM PST

  •  It's pretty funny that both the GOP congressmen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    with the last name Young are over 70. Of course, I guess that is young for the GOP. Hopefully the teabaggers will help us defeat at least one of them in 2010.

  •  Coming Soon: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kat68

    The Blockbuster Disaster Epic of All Time:

    Twin Purges

    Watch in rapt disbelief as Both Major US Political Parties Destroy themselves, and the Nation!

    Watch as "DINOs" and "RINOs" are Identified and pushed to the EDGE OF EXTINCTION!

    Geeze, I SOOOO do Not want to watch this.

    Compromise is a an essential element of Civilization.

    "We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

    by Dixie Liberal on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:55:35 PM PST

  •  You know that Marist Poll is really annoying (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that we can't seem to get the right combination in any one state.  

    There are so many hurdles thrown up by the fundamentalist bigots to gay equality and same-sex marriage in particular.  And it seems like in our momentum for this movement, we have bits and peices in so many different states but we can never quite get the result we want.  This is frustrating.  

    I mean, in New York and Rhode Island, majorities of the population actually support marriage equality but there is no direct ballot proposition system.  The Rhode Island legislature won't allow legislation to come to a vote and the governor opposes.  In New York, we have a supportive governor and we've passed it through the Assembly several times (three this year alone) but we can't get it through the State Sentate.  In California, we actually got the state legislature to pass same-sex marriage twice but both times had the measure vetoed by the governor.  Then, unlike in New York (who's state Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage bans didn't discriminate because gay men could still marry women and lesbian women could still marry men), the California Supreme Court issues a landmark decision striking down the legislation as unconstitutional.  The governor finally supports only to have a narrow majority of the voting public overturn the decision (well only the marriage part but still, we no longer have same-sex marriage as an option in California).  In Maine, we actually got the legislature to pass and the governor to sign only to have a people's veto.  

    It'd be nice if we could find the right combination in a state.  Hell we're almost there in D.C.  We just need the D.C. courts to dismiss the suit against the election board and have Congress not intervene.  

    However, if Congress does intervene and they pass a bill to overturn the legislation, the president's signature is required.  And if Obama signs such legislation into law, gays and lesbians will have to rise up.  

    •  We've seen similar results in other polls (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalLiberal

      Eric Adams and other Senators mentioned it on the floor before the vote. The rules of the game get rewritten for teh gays. Majority support comes with an asterisk if it requires voting progressive.    

      •  Yes it's frustrating (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think they care about polls because polls have been off before.  These polls are different though because actually having majorities support same-sex marriage is different from majorities saying they oppose discriminatory amendments.  I think they don't want to deal with well organized and well financed fundamentalist organizations.  

        I don't understand why Malcolm Smith couldn't have held open the floor continuously until the Senators neccessary had switched their votes.  This isn't a New England legislature, this is the New York State Senate.  And frankly, Christian fundamentalists and anti-gay bigots must be dealt

        •  They don't care about state wide polls (0+ / 0-)

          The only poll that matters is their district. Plus, the ones who got elected on the GOP or as a conservative Dem don't care about their left-leaning constituents AT ALL. Particularly when you consider what percentage of the electorate would consider no support for marriage equality a deal breaker? Maybe 20%? That may even be high.

          •  Hmmmm (0+ / 0-)

            Often legislators are not doing what people really want.  Boston legislators found this out the hard way.  They were all screaming for a same-sex marriage ban in their state constitution in 2004 and yet a lot of the biggest screamers wound up getting turned out of office either in primaries or the general election.  There was one old screaming Catholic crazy who was defeated by an openly gay man for his seat.  I think he lost by a large margin too.  

  •  What's Utah's beef with Bennett? (4+ / 0-)

    Doesn't make much sense.

    Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

    by KingofSpades on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:59:50 PM PST

  •  Run, Bill, Run! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat, KingofSpades

    I'll admit I don't know as much about White as others, but dear god, Texas needs a governor who actually takes the job seriously. Houston seems to be in better shape than Texas as a whole, so he must be doing something right.

  •  HotDamn! Mrs. Bill Young is gonna be pissed! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, KingofSpades

    and she's so much fun to irritate on the locall blogs.  Hot damn but good times to be had while we're supporting Charlie Justice!

    btw, I'm a proud supporter of the "Justice League"

    see Charlie here!
    2008’s winner for Best Politician, Sen. Charlie Justice

  •  Ohio GOP is desperate (3+ / 0-)

    They have no one except Voinovich to run for their newly created position of Cuy Co executive?  He's old and frail.  

    Lucky for the county, Democrats will still be in charge, though expect the GOP and their corporate pals to fight hard to gain control so they can return the BOE to touchscreen voting.  

    Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:12:05 PM PST

    •  "Some" may be "hoping" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      that this tired, beaten-up old man could run for the overwhelming post of county executive – a crushing workload, compared to being in the Senate.

      The GOP, with the help of their pals over at the Plainly Republican (Plain Dealer) and big corporate mone, railroaded county "reform" through but they forgot to "fix" one thing: there are still partisan primaries for the county executive. So the corporate types looking for their puppet have to gamble: do they put up their stooge in the Demcratic party and risk losing there if people see through him? Or do they run a Republican in the overwhelmingly Democratic county and run the risk of losing the general election? And yes, their choices are limited in this county which is why we've been hearing that state legislator Matt Dolan from GEAUGA COUNTY is talking about moving into the fringes of the county and running so he can rule the inner-city peons from his exurban manor. I sense that plan might not work. At least, Voinie actually lives in the inner city.

      Touchscreen are gone for good. They failed; they're in a warehuse where they are now out of date. And there's no money or incentive to buy new ones. And when it comes to the BoE the real problem will be our new Secretary of State Jon Husted, so extreme a partisan he will make us long for the days of Ken Blackwell. Expect him to destroy our election system again which Jennifer Brunner worked so hard to rebuild. What has me really seething these days is that the Ohio Democratic Party has not only basically ceded this race to Husted already but are doing so with an anti-choice raidcal who could bring down the whole ticket.

      Betty, please help. Call the ODP in COlumbus and tell them this isn't acceptable.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

      by anastasia p on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:29:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The ODP's number: (0+ / 0-)

        614-221-6563 or 877-Ohio-Dem. Tell them that running Jennifer Garrison, an anti-choice, anti-gay extremist, as a Democratic candidate for secretary of state is self-defeating and unacceptable. If we're going to lose to Jon Husted anyway, we should at least go down with our principals intact. Garrison cannot win — she'll alienate women as well as good progressive men. My fear is she'll be a weight on the rest of the ticket.

        Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

        by anastasia p on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:39:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm going to a meeting (0+ / 0-)

          later this week to talk about some of this stuff with other Dems.  We can't afford to lose the SOS seat.  

          Also, good luck to the GOP in bringing someone from Geauga Co. to run for county exec.  Playing the name game doesn't work like it used to.  I suppose that's why they're trying to talk Voinovich into running.  They must have convinced him he won't have to do much, just let the corporate bigwigs run the show.

          I'm surprised with all the money they spent to pass Issue 6 they're so unprepared to take over.

          Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

          by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:25:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hagedorn: "The Only Good Indian's a Dead Indian" (4+ / 0-)

    The Republicans just digging themselves into a hole against Tim Walz in MN-01.

    They didn't take him seriously in 2006, and he won by six.

    They didn't take him seriously in 2008, and he beat their candidate like a GONG.

    Now, they're running two more Clown Car candidates against Walz, Quist and Hagedorn.

    Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:21:18 PM PST

  •  The Tanner retirement is definitely bad news (0+ / 0-)

    No matter how you look at it Tanner's retirement and Moore's retirement are terrible.  Both were safe incumbents.  It doesn't matter if Tanner was a Blue Dog.  Without the Blue Dogs the Democrats wouldn't control the House of Representatives.  It is very likely that we will lose Moore's seat in 2010.  While it is good news that we have a top-tier candidate to run for Tanner's seat and the likely Republican candidate is a farmer/entertainer, I'm still worried.  I don't know what the political climate will look like in 2010 and Tennessee has become more Republican since 2008.  I really hope Tanner's and Moore's retirements are not the start of a trend.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:22:00 PM PST

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