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Politics

What We Learned: The Clubbing Scene

July 30, 2011
-- This week, Jon Huntsman's campaign seemed more like Tim Pawlenty's campaign than Mitt Romney's operation. Reacting to his low poll ratings in New Hampshire, Huntsman kicked off the week by using a more aggressive tone against his Republican rivals -- particularly Romney. Also mirroring Pawlenty's push in Iowa, Huntsman ramped up his New Hampshire campaign, hiring nearly two dozen Granite State staffers. The move furthered the narrative that Huntsman must perform very well in New Hampshire in order to compete in the GOP race. -- Maryland Democrats have recently been musing that they could turn MD-01 and MD-06 into competitive seats via creative redistricting. To be sure, there are Democratic votes to spare, since the six Democrats in the delegation routinely win re-election with at least 65 percent each year. That said, the catch is that some of these Democrats may resist attempts to water down their districts by more than a couple points. Case in point: Dutch Ruppersberger, who sits in MD-02 with a Cook PVI of D+7. Republican State Delegate Patrick McDonough recently said he might challenge Ruppersberger, depending on how the state's district lines are ultimately drawn. GOP Rep. Andy Harris should send McDonough a thank-you card, because nothing is more likely to keep Harris in a Republican-leaning seat than this well-timed effort to convince his Democratic neighbors that they should lobby to keep their own seats staunchly uncompetitive. -- Former Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii, sounds like a candidate in the Aloha State. The bigger question, if he runs for office again, seems to be whether he will be a Senate candidate -- should former Gov. Linda Lingle pass on a run -- or a House candidate against Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who launch a Senate bid of her own. There is a lot of buzz about Djou and Lingle, the two most well-known Republicans in the state, but don't lose sight of the fact that a presidential year in Hawaii with President Obama at the top of the ticket is a very unpleasant scenario for Republicans.
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