POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/9

Another Busy Political Week

There are some great primaries this week in Colorado, Connecticut, and Minnesota, as well as the GOP gubernatorial run-off in Georgia.

Stay tuned to Political Wire for the latest and tell us in the comments what you’ll be watching.

Freshman Democrats Face Tough Races

The Boston Globe notes the tough races the newest House Democrats face this fall: “The freshman Democrats face a conundrum: They have few of the trappings of incumbency (longtime name recognition and a list of accomplishments) but many of its downsides (being portrayed as part of a broken system in Washington).”

Is the Senate Really Broken?

Jill Lawrence counters the growing perception that the U.S. Senate doesn’t work — argued best by last week’s New Yorker piece — by listing everything the chamber has done in the last 18 months.

“Since President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, the Senate has confirmed two Supreme Court nominees, revamped the student loan system and removed obstacles to women and others pursuing equal pay. The Senate also has approved three laws – the economic recovery act, the health care overhaul and financial regulatory reform – that contain within them scores of achievements.”

Democratic Pollster Raising Money for Crist

Democratic pollster Mark Penn is hosting a $4,800-per person fundraising reception for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s (I) U.S. Senate bid at his Washington home this week.

Adam Smith: “Ironic that Kendrick Meek worked his tail off for John Kerry — whose media consultant Tad Devine is now helping Jeff Greene — and Hillary Clinton, whose top consultant is helping Crist.”

Gingrich Ramps Up Iowa Activity

Newt Gingrich is “starting to put in real legwork on the ground in Iowa, giving political insiders there plenty of reasons to believe he’s finally serious about running for the White House,” CNN reports.

“On Friday, Gingrich will make his sixth visit to the state in recent months to attend the Iowa State Fair, a traditional stomping ground for presidential aspirants.”

McMahon Cruising to Senate Nomination

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Linda McMahon (R) way ahead of on-again, off-again challenger Rob Simmons (R) in the Republican U.S. Senate race, 50% to 28%, with Peter Schiff (R) way back at 15%.

The winner will face Richard Blumenthal (D) in the general election.

Connecticut Primaries for Governor Tighten

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Ned Lamont (D) just edging Dan Malloy (D) for the Democratic nomination for governor among likely primary voters, 45% to 42%. There are still 12% undecided and 30% of those who choose a candidate say they might change their mind.

In the Republican race, Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele (R) continues his surge among Republican likely primary voters and now trails former ambassador Tom Foley (R) by just eight points, 38% to 30%, with Oz Griebel (R) at 17% and 14% still undecided. However, 47% of those who choose a candidate say they might change their mind.

Quote of the Day

“I figured out early in the race I was taking a risk by being unwilling to call the President a socialist. I’d get asked a question and they’d all wait to see if I’d use the word — socialist — they were throwing around. I wouldn’t. Because I don’t think that’s what he is.”

— Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), quoted by the New York Daily News, on why he was ousted in his re-election bid.

Handel Holds Slight Lead in Georgia

Georgia Newspaper Partnership poll finds Karen Handel (R) with a slight edge over Nathan Deal (R) in the run off for the Republican nomination for governor, 47% to 42%, with 11% still undecided in Tuesday’s race.

An InsiderAdvantage poll last week showed the race tied.

The winner will face former Gov. Roy Barnes (D) in November.

Obama Heads to Texas

President Obama visits Texas today to raise money for Democrats, though theTexas Tribune notes “many Democrats are finding their schedules too full to make it to Obama’s events.”

Dallas Morning News: “Texas has mainly provided a thorn in Barack Obama’s side. The governor taunts him. The senators defy him. He lost the state by nearly 1 million votes in 2008. When the president lands today to raise campaign cash in Austin and Dallas, even the Democratic nominee for governor will make himself scarce. Yet many Texas Democrats are thrilled.”

August 08, 2010

Colorado Deal in the Works?

There could be some interesting last-minute developments ahead of Tuesday’s primaries in Colorado.

Colorado Pols: “There is some thinking in GOP circles that gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis could indeed be persuaded to exit the race following a victory on Tuesday — if he has a say in his successor, and if he were provided with a ‘suitable’ career landing. If that happens, the story we’ve heard is that Jane Norton would very much like to be selected as a replacement gubernatorial candidate.”

“Sources are clear that this does not mean Norton is anticipating a loss in her Senate primary against Ken Buck. What we’re talking about here is strictly a contingency plan, but one that Norton is sufficiently interested in pursuing to have started putting out feelers. As you know, of course, polls do show Buck with an enduring lead after weeks of hard-nosed campaigning.”

Of course, this would only matter if Tom Tancredo stuck to his original offer and dropped his third party bid for governor in favor of a new Republican candidate.

Quote of the Day

“I do believe that — we’ve got to get more money in the hands of small businesses and American families to get our economy going again.  And the only way to — to get that economy going away is to do that, and to get arms around the spending.”

— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), in an interview on Meet the Press, making the case that tax cuts pay for themselves.

Betting on Amnesia

Frank Rich: “Betting on amnesia is almost always a winning, not a losing, wager in America. Angry demonstrators at health care town-hall meetings didn’t remember that Medicare is a government program, and fewer and fewer voters of both parties recall that the widely loathed TARP was a Bush administration creation supported by the G.O.P. Congressional leadership. So many Republicans don’t know Obama is a natural citizen — 41 percent in a poll last week — that we must (charitably) assume some of them have forgotten that Hawaii was granted statehood. The G.O.P. chairman is sufficiently afflicted with amnesia that he matter-of-factly regaled an audience with the counterfactual observation that the war in Afghanistan, Bush’s immediate response to 9/11, began under Obama.”

Florida Official Timed Official Trips with Personal Travel

The St. Petersburg Times reviewed more than 1,500 e-mails from Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp (R) and found they “paint a picture of a man with little reluctance to use taxpayer and Republican Party resources to make life more comfortable for himself and his family.”

Deadlocked in Rhode Island

A new Brown University poll indicates that Frank Caprio (D) and Lincoln Chafee (I) are statistically tied in the race for governor, with each drawing support from more than a quarter of the respondents in a recent survey of registered voters.

Caprio holds a slight lead with 28%, followed by Chaffee at 27% and John Robitaille (R) way back at 8%.

Said pollster Marion Orr: “It’s a close race. It does appear to be a very, very interesting race and a very important one because it’s the future of Rhode Island here.”

August 07, 2010

Johnston May Yet Spill Palin Secrets

Sources close to Levi Johnston tell Rob Shuter his agents are already shopping around a “His Side of the Story”-type interview where he is willing to “reveal the latest secret plans of his almost-mother-in-law for the bargain asking price of $20,000.”

Said one Sarah Palin insider: “It was bad enough that this kid everyone thinks is stupid has already caused Sarah and her family great shame, telling everyone her secrets. Now, she fears he is going to do it all over again. Who knows what family business sweet Bristol told him when they briefly got back together.”

RNC Pushes Back Presidential Primaries

The RNC “has approved a resolution making dramatic changes to the way the GOP picks a presidential nominee, moving primaries to later dates and requiring states to allocate their delegates on a proportional basis,” The Hotline reports.

“The proposal will move the earliest nominating contests — in IA, NH, SC and NV — back from early Jan. to Feb. It will also require states that hold nominating contests in March to award delegates based on the proportion of votes candidates win, eliminating the prospect of an early winner-take-all state that would effectively end the nominating process.”

Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times reports the 2012 Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa.

Palin’s TV Show Will Begin After Midterms

Sarah Palin’s Alaska will premiere November 14 at 9 p.m. on TLC, according to theNew York Daily News.

“The eight-part series, produced by reality king Mark Burnett, will feature the former Alaskan governor, her family, and for at least one episode, Kate Gosselin and her children.”

Quote of the Day

“Nancy Pelosi will be in the back of the bus.”

— RNC Chairman Michael Steele, quoted by NBC News, in remarks rallying supporters to join him on the “Fire Nancy Pelosi bus tour.”

Poll Suggests Photo Finish in Georgia Run Off

A new InsiderAdvantage/ WSB-TV poll in Georgia of likely voters in Tuesday’s Republican run off for governor shows Nathan Deal (R) and Karen Handel (R) tied at 46% each with 8% of those surveyed still undecided.

The winner will face former Gov. Roy Barnes (D) in the general election.

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