Ford Won’t Rule Out Independent Bid

First Read notes that Harold Ford was asked about our speculation about “whether he’d run as an indie, and he didn’t completely knock it down.”

Said Ford: “I’m a proud Democrat, and I think I’m going to remain that. I think Democrats are looking for a stand-up, independent guy to represent them in this race… So, in that sense, I would run as an independent.”

Miscalculation On Health Care?

Charlie Cook: “Honorable and intelligent people can disagree over the substance and details of what President Obama and congressional Democrats are trying to do on health care reform and climate change. But nearly a year after Obama’s inauguration, judging by where the Democrats stand today, it’s clear that they have made a colossal miscalculation.”

“The latest unemployment and housing numbers underscore the folly of their decision to pay so much attention to health care and climate change instead of focusing on the economy ‘like a laser beam,’ as President Clinton pledged to do during his 1992 campaign. Although no one can fairly accuse Obama and his party’s leaders of ignoring the economy, they certainly haven’t focused on it like a laser beam.”

House Democrats Target 36 Races

“In an effort to show they are playing offense in what is expected to be a tough year politically for the party, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a list Thursday of more than two dozen “Races to Watch” in 2010,” Roll Callreports.

Read more…

Brown Edges Past Coakley in New Poll

A new Suffolk University/7News poll in Massachusetts shows Scott Brown (R) ahead of Martha Coakley (D), 50% to 46% with only 1 percent of voters remaining undecided.

The internals have Brown winning 17 percent of Democrats, and 51 percent of voters saying they oppose the “national near-universal health-care package.”

Said pollster DAvid Paleologos: “It’s a Brown-out. It’s a massive change in the political landscape.”

Axelrod vs. Rove

David Axelrod takes to the pages of the Washington Post to blast Karl Rove’s assertion that congressional Democrats “will run up more debt by October than Bush did in eight years.”

“During eight years in office, the Bush administration passed two major tax cuts skewed to the wealthiest Americans, enacted a costly Medicare prescription-drug benefit and waged two wars, without paying for any of it…. To put the breathtaking scope of this irresponsibility in perspective, the Bush administration’s swing from surpluses to deficits added more debt in its eight years than all the previous administrations in the history of our republic combined. And its spending spree is the unwelcome gift that keeps on giving: Going forward, these unpaid-for policies will continue to add trillions to our deficit.”

“There’s an old saying that everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. The next time Karl Rove would like to offer us some advice, I’d urge him to take that to heart.”

Is Ford Planning an Independent Bid?

Former Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) may be planning an independent bid in New York for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Two key factors:

  • Ford is primarily being advised by close advisers to independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • Ford’s recent rhetoric of being “independent” from Democratic leaders makes little sense in a Democratic primary.

However, it was a conversation with someone in Ford’s inner circle that convinced me this might be his ultimate strategy. If New York Republicans run a weak candidate, he could essentially follow the Joe Lieberman path to the Senate.

An interesting side note: Both Lieberman and Ford were heads of the Democratic Leadership Council.

80% of Competitive House Seats Held by Democrats

The latest Cook Political Report finds 50 House seats are currently competitive, and another 60 are potentially competitive.

“Of the 50 currently competitive seats, Democrats occupy 40 (80 percent), exactly the number of seats Republicans need to gain to steal the House majority. Of the 60 potentially competitive seats, Democrats occupy 45 (75 percent), a figure that underscores Democrats’ overexposed position in the House today.”

“It is important to note that while one party has never won all of the competitive races in any given election cycle (currently Republicans would need to win all 50 competitive seats to win 218 seats in the House), the likelihood of one or two dozen potentially competitive Democratic seats entering the danger zone at some point in this cycle is high. We don’t see the Democratic majority in immediate danger, but our current outlook projects a Republican net gain of 20 to 30 seats. Additional retirements or erosion in Democratic incumbents’ standing could push that forecast higher.”

Hoeven Looks Likely to Take Senate Seat

A new Dailykos/Research 2000 poll in North Dakota shows Gov. John Hoeven (R) leading all of his likely opposition by 20-plus points in the race to fill the state’s open Senate seat.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) is polling the strongest among Democrats. Pomeroy is seeking his 10th term as North Dakota’s lone congressman, and is unlikely to risk his seat by challenging the popular Hoeven.

CQ Politics rates the race as “likely Republican.”

Massachusetts Senate Race Called a Toss Up

Charlie Cook: “This race call is one of the toughest we’ve had in a long time. The modern electoral history of federal statewide races in Massachusetts argues strongly that while state Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee, could have a close race, at the end of the day it’s unlikely that she ends up losing. After all, no Republican Senate candidate has won in the Bay State since 1972.”

“But the non-quantitative arguments are quite strong. Republican Scott Brown has been the superior candidate with, by a long shot, the better campaign… To the extent Coakley may still have a tiny advantage, it appears not to meet the normal standard we have for a ‘lean’ rating: a competitive race but one in which one party has a clear advantage. We see no clear advantage.”

Stuart Rothenberg: “Democratic desperation and other compelling evidence strongly suggest that Democrats may well lose the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat in Tuesday’s special election. Because of this, we are moving our rating of the race from Narrow Advantage for the Incumbent Party to Toss-Up.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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