POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/3

Pence to Run for Indiana Governor

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) will run for Indiana governor in 2012, WANE-TV reports, according to staffers for the congressman.

The Indianapolis Star notes Pence “declined to say what his plans are, but he has been talked about as a potential presidential and gubernatorial candidate.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

It feels bad.”

— President Obama, at his press conference on the midterm elections, referring to the “terrific public servants” who do not have the opportunity to serve anymore.

Record Number of Gay Candidates Win

Gay Politics notes that more openly gay candidates won election to public office in 2010 than in any year in America’s history.

At least 106 of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund’s record-breaking 164 endorsed candidates were winners as of this morning, including Providence Mayor David Cicilline (D) who will become the fourth openly gay Member of Congress when the House convenes in January.

However, as the Des Moines Register reports, all three Iowa Supreme Court justices who voted to approve gay marriage in the state were defeated.

Looking Ahead

Marc Ambinder: “The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged ‘scientific fraud’ behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.”

 

How Safe is Reid’s Leadership Post?

While Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) may have fended off a tough reelection challenge, there has been growing chatter about the safety of his position as majority leader.

First Read: “Despite his big win last night, is Harry Reid’s position in leadership totally safe? On ‘TODAY’ this morning, he sounded as if he was trying to send a message to the Democratic incumbents who are up in 2012 that he’s received a wake-up call and he can lead the Democratic Senate in these tumultuous political times. But remember: Many of the 2006 Dem Senate class have ties to Chuck Schumer.”

Will the close friendship between Schumer and Reid prevent a leadership battle? Or will the urge to scapegoat win the day for Senate Democrats?

Bachmann May Seek Leadership Post

Republican sources tell NBC News that Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) may try to run for GOP Conference Chair, now that Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has stepped down.

What’s Next for Feingold?

William Kristol: “Russ Feingold, now freed of his Senate responsibilities, is liberated to consider a Gene McCarthy-like run against the president in the 2012 primaries on an end-the-war platform — pre-empting Howard Dean, who is undoubtedly also considering such an effort.”

Interestingly, Ben Smith notes that at the conclusion of Feingold’s concession speech, he says, “It’s on to our next adventure. It’s on to 2012! Forward!”

Worst Poll of the Year?

Rasmussen survey in Hawaii showed Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) leading challenger Cam Cavasso (R) by 13 points two weeks ago, 53% to 40%.

The final results showed Inouye winning re-election by 51 points, 72% to 21%.

Murray Likely to Prevail in Washington

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) leads challenger Dino Rossi (R) by about one percent, “but the electoral math seemed to favor the three-term incumbent,” the Seattle Times reports.

The reason: “She captured 62% of the votes counted Tuesday night in King County. It’s estimated nearly 350,000 additional votes remain to be counted there — more than a third of the total uncounted votes statewide.”

Nate Silver: “An extrapolation of county-by-county results would have Ms. Murray eventually winning by about 1.5 points; she leads by 1 point now.”

Scott Wins in Florida

Rick Scott (R) rode a Republican wave to victory over Alex Sink (D) in the Florida governor’s race, the Miami Herald reports.

“In a year when Republicans slaughtered Democrats in Cabinet and congressional races, Scott’s razor-thin margin reflected a level of distrust among voters who were bombarded with mailers and television ads that featured the record Medicare-fraud fine that his former hospital company paid.”

Sink is expected to formally concede later this morning.

Minnesota Faces Another Recount

Minnesotans “woke up to a repeat of their long nightmare — a statewide race with a margin that leads straight into the depths of a recount,” the Minneapolis Star Tribunereports.

Mark Dayton (D) leads Tom Emmer (R) by less than one half of 1 percent — 43.67% to 43.24% — within the margin for an automatic recount like the one faced two years ago when Al Franken (D) defeated Sen. Norm Coleman (R).

Bennet Wins in Colorado

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) will be elected to the U.S. Senate after pulling ahead of challenger Ken Buck (R) this morning, the Denver Post reports.

“Long after most Coloradans — including the candidates and their supporters — had gone to bed, returns from Denver and Boulder moved Bennet past Buck and into the lead, 47.5% to 47.1%. A recount would be required if the difference between the two candidates’ vote totals is less than one-half of 1 percent of the highest vote total, or about 3,900 votes based on current tallies.”

Bad Night for Sarah Palin?

Josh Marshall: “It makes sense to be pretty careful in judging how things will affect Sarah Palin. But there’s a decent argument that this is not a great night for her. Think about if Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell hadn’t won their primaries. There’s a decent chance Dems would have lost the Senate tonight. That’s a pretty big deal. She also made a late endorsement of John Raese in West Virginia. He got crushed. And perhaps most importantly, she went to war in a big way with her state’s senior senator, Lisa Murkowski. She got her beat in the Republican primary. But now it’s looking like Murkowski’s quite likely to win as a write-in, which is usually pretty much impossible to pull off.”

Shushannah Walshe: “If there was a silver lining for the former Alaska Governor, it came in the form of Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Susana Martinez in New Mexico, and Mary Fallin in Oklahoma — the first time women won governorships in those three states.”

Rubio Steps on the National Stage

Perhaps the biggest winner last night was Sen.-elect Marco Rubio (R), who decisively won the three-way Florida U.S. Senate race capturing more than 50% of the vote. Rubio’s acceptance speech shows why many Republicans are confident he’ll become a future leader of their party.

See more…

Quote of the Day

“While our new majority will serve as your voice in the people’s House, we must remember it’s the president who sets the agenda for our government.”

— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), in his speech last night, not exactly grabbing the reins of power.

Attacking the Media Didn’t Work

Brad Phillips: “2010 was supposed to be the year that attacking the media — if not ignoring it altogether — was the winning media strategy. It didn’t turn out that way. Tuesday’s election results are a vindication for media strategists who have long argued that maintaining positive press relations is still the best path to electoral success.”

“That’s not to say that an anti-media campaign strategy can’t work. It can, and it did for a handful of candidates. But the high-wire tactic tends to be horribly overused, unnecessarily crippling otherwise viable candidates.”

Obama Discusses Election Results

President Obama will hold a White House news conference at 1:00 pm ET to discuss yesterday’s midterm results.

What will he say?

Voting for Gridlock

Ezra Klein: “From the perspective of actually getting anything done in the next two years, there was perhaps no worse outcome. Republicans don’t fully control Congress, so they don’t have enough power to be blamed for legislative outcomes. But Democrats don’t control the House and they don’t have a near-filibuster proof majority in the Senate, so they can’t pass legislation. Republicans, in other words, are not left with the burden of governance, and Democrats are not left with the power to govern. Republicans don’t have to be responsible, and Democrats can’t do it for them.”

First Read: “The likely next House speaker, John Boehner, couldn’t have asked for a better result from last night. With Democrats in charge of the White House and the Senate, Boehner’s GOP-controlled House now has the potential to pass legislation at will, but blame the Obama administration and the Senate for the inability to get things done — or to pass THEIR versions of legislation (like, say, repealing health care). Which ever party wins the spin war over the expected gridlock in Washington will have the upper hand heading into 2012.”

Murkowski Nears Write-in Victory

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has “a good chance to become only the second candidate to run a successful write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate in the nation’s history,” the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Preliminary results show that “about 40% of the voters had filled in the write-in oval on their ballot… But it won’t be clear for weeks at least how many of the voters wrote in Murkowski’s name, and how many did it properly enough to be counted.”

Joe Miller (R), “who ran on a tea party platform with the backing of former Gov. Sarah Palin, was pulling in 35% of the vote. Miller was followed by Democratic nominee Scott McAdams, who had about 24% of the vote.”

Republicans Ride Wave Back to Power in House

Washington Post: “Just four years after surrendering power, Republicans recaptured control of the House and made gains in the Senate on Tuesday night, in a major rebuff of President Obama and the Democrats by an electorate worried about the economy and the size of the government.”

New York Times: “A Republican resurgence, propelled by deep economic worries and a forceful opposition to the Democratic agenda of health care and government spending, delivered defeats to House Democrats from the Northeast to the South and across the Midwest. The tide swept aside dozens of lawmakers, regardless of their seniority or their voting records, upending the balance of power for the second half of Mr. Obama’s term.”

Wall Street Journal: “Republicans won control of the House of Representatives as voters dealt a stiff rebuke to President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in a historic wave that swept the GOP to power in states and districts across the country.”

Politico: “American voters Tuesday violently unraveled the complex map of America President Barack Obama proudly displayed after his 2008 victory, driving Democrats from rural and suburban districts, from virtually the entire South and unseating a generation of powerful, centrist Democratic legislators.”

Rasmussen Was Biased

Nate Silver did a quick check on the accuracy of polls from Rasmussen Reports, which came under heavy criticism this year because its polls showed a strong lean toward Republican candidates.

“Indeed, Rasmussen polls quite consistently turned out to overstate the standing of Republicans tonight. Of the roughly 100 polls released by Rasmussen or its subsidiary Pulse Opinion Research in the final 21 days of the campaign, roughly 70 to 75 percent overestimated the performance of Republican candidates, and on average they were biased against Democrats by 3 to 4 points.”

Democrats Retain Control of Senate

Despite losing a significant number of seats — in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, so far — Democrats will retain control of the U.S. Senate.

However, more interesting is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has apparently won re-election despite a very competitive race against Sharron Angle (R).

 

DeMint Takes Aim at Party Insiders

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), writing in the Wall Street Journal: “Congratulations to all the tea party-backed candidates who overcame a determined, partisan opposition to win their elections. The next campaign begins today. Because you must now overcome determined party insiders if this nation is going to be spared from fiscal disaster.”

“Many of the people who will be welcoming the new class of Senate conservatives to Washington never wanted you here in the first place. The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Consider what former GOP senator-turned-lobbyist Trent Lott told theWashington Post earlier this year: ‘As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.'”

Burying Hubris

Marc Ambinder: “In 2008, a New Orleans funeral procession cling-clanged through Studio 47 here at CBS. The Republican Party was dead. It would take at least several cycles before it returned… Such hubris. So we should be wary of hubristic projections tonight. Clearly, a dead party can revivify in two years provided the energy in the electorate is there.”

 

 


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