Silver emails

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee emails featuring Nate Silver.
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Elspeth Reeve
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Elspeth Reeve
March 12, 2014, 5:16 a.m.

When Nancy Pelosi an­nounced she would try to hold on to the top lead­er­ship spot among House Demo­crats des­pite their crush­ing losses in the midterm elec­tions, Mi­chael Steele said, “My breath is taken away.” Her deep un­pop­ular­ity would only help the op­pos­ing party. What Steele failed to ac­know­ledge is that many Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers feel the same way about him.

Jim Ruten­berg and Jeff Zeleny

  • Bar­bour’s Com­plaints Are the ‘Tip of the Ice­berg’ Er­ick Er­ick­son at Red State re­ports. “I’m told by sev­er­al people close to mul­tiple 2012 con­tenders and also some present elec­ted of­fi­cials that Re­pub­lic­an com­mit­tee­men began re­ceiv­ing phone calls at the end of last week mak­ing the case that it is time for a change at the RNC.” A po­ten­tial pres­id­en­tial con­ender emailed Er­ick­son, say­ing, “Who­ever the nom­in­ee is [in 2012] will con­trol the RNC, but un­til that point someone needs to be there who every­one has con­fid­ence in. That per­son is not there now.”
  • No Single Strong Can­did­ate to Re­place Him, Chris Cil­lizza ex­plains at The Fix that even Steele’s “most ar­dent op­pon­ents ac­know­ledge that he is held in high­er re­gard by the 168 RNC mem­bers than he is by the gen­er­al GOP polit­ic­al class. … Es­tim­ates of Steele’s strength with­in the com­mit­tee vary but there is a gen­er­al con­sensus that he has between 50 to 60 sol­id votes. He would need 85 votes to win.” Po­ten­tial chal­lengers in­clude “former Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee chair­man Mike Duncan, who lost his bid for a second term to Steele in 2009, Con­necti­c­ut Re­pub­lic­an Party Chair­man Chris Healy, Cali­for­nia com­mit­tee­man Ron Nehring,former Nevada gov­ernor Robert List,” and per­haps former Min­nesota Sen. Norm Cole­man.
  • Be­cause the Best Guy Has the Worst Name, the Daily Caller’s Jon Ward re­ports. Ward talked to Katon Dawson, who was Steele’s biggest chal­lenger in 2009 and who’s called for Steele to be fired. Dawson said, “They’re not go­ing to co­alesce be­hind one per­son be­cause that one per­son has not shown up yet. … That one per­son has just got the wrong last name and it’s Bush. The one per­son is Jeb Bush.”
  • Let’s Not For­get Tues­day’s Vic­tor­ies, BooMan urges at Booman Tribune. “I’m not say­ing that Mi­chael Steele isn’t a clown and a gaffe-ma­chine, but he did just preside over a huge elec­tion night vic­tory for the Re­pub­lic­an Party. Sure, he had Cit­izen’s United and Amer­ic­an Cross­roads do­ing all the heavy lift­ing, but can’t a broth­er catch a break? There were even two Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans elec­ted to Con­gress as Re­pub­lic­ans in the Deep South. Doesn’t that count for something?”
  • Secret Weapon: Sarah Pal­in, Paul West re­ports at The Bal­it­more Sun. Many RNC mem­bers think Pal­in will back Steele for a second term, giv­en that Pal­in ap­peared with Steele dur­ing his “Fire Pelosi” bus tour, and Steele de­fen­ded Pal­in from an­onym­ous Re­pub­lic­ans who said she shouldn’t run for pres­id­ent. Pal­in would be a valu­able as­set, but if “Mama Grizzly em­braces Steele as her kind of out­side-the-Belt­way, anti-es­tab­lish­ment Re­pub­lic­an, the anti-Steele forces are likely to por­tray it as pay­back for gen­er­ous fin­an­cial help Pal­in got from the RNC earli­er this year. About $250,000 from the party treas­ury was used to pay her leg­al bills dat­ing from the 2008 cam­paign. The story got re­l­at­ively little at­ten­tion, but a Pal­in en­dorse­ment in the chair­man’s race could give it wider cur­rency.”
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