Politics

Rahm Emanuel is Sworn in as Chicago Mayor 5/16/11

Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
May 16, 2011, 9:02 a.m.

NYC May­or Mike Bloomberg (I) “may have re­peatedly and em­phat­ic­ally ruled out” run­ning for WH ‘12, but the VA Green Party “is pre­fer­ring not to take his word for it.”

The Greens have re­vamped their “Draft Bloomberg” Web­site from ‘08, adding just a few tweaks to turn it in­to a ‘12 push to get the in­de­pend­ent bil­lion­aire to re­con­sider.

VA GP vice chair Gail Park­er: “This is a grass-roots ef­fort to con­vince Mr. Bloomberg to lead in cre­at­ing Amer­ica’s third ma­jor party. Bring to­geth­er in­de­pend­ents, the In­de­pend­ence parties and the vari­ous Green parties.”

The Draft Bloomberg Cmte “is plan­ning to hold a press con­fer­ence” on 10/14 at the Na­tion­al Press Club’s Bloomberg Room. Ac­cord­ing to the Web­site, “Bloomberg will be there to reach out to Greens and ad­voc­ate build­ing rail with Found­a­tion for Amer­ica’s Fu­ture.”

In ‘08, the VA Greens “cir­cu­lated pe­ti­tions” to get Bloomberg onto the WH bal­lot in their state (Ben­jamin, “Cap­it­al To­night,” 10/8).

Re­pub­lic­an strategists and the GOP es­tab­lish­ment wer­en’t breath­ing that much easi­er on Wed­nes­day, the day after Mitt Rom­ney’s pres­id­en­tial primary vic­tor­ies in Ari­zona and Michigan, than they had been the day be­fore. But at least they were breath­ing. Many had been hold­ing their breath after Rick San­tor­um’s wins in Col­or­ado, Min­nesota, and Mis­souri on Feb. 7. (Of course, hold­ing your breath might be bet­ter than be­ing apo­plect­ic, which is what they were after Newt Gin­grich’s 13-point vic­tory in South Car­o­lina.) It’s not that party prag­mat­ists have any par­tic­u­lar af­fec­tion for Rom­ney, but they have grown in­creas­ingly con­cerned about the GOP’s pro­spects in Novem­ber from top to bot­tom. They see a San­tor­um nom­in­a­tion as dis­tinctly un­help­ful and a Gin­grich nom­in­a­tion as an out­right dis­aster. Now, a Rom­ney nom­in­a­tion is once again a lot more likely than not. This race, though, seems destined to go much longer than many of us ex­pec­ted.

It’s hard to get a good read­ing of the polit­ic­al cli­mate. We are a little more than eight months away from the elec­tion. It’s fair to say that the Demo­crat­ic Party and the gen­er­ic “Demo­crats in Con­gress” have bad num­bers in the na­tion­al polls. For the Re­pub­lic­an Party and “Re­pub­lic­ans in Con­gress,” however, the num­bers are even worse. Wheth­er the gap between the two is widen­ing is open to dis­pute. Re­cent polling by Stan Green­berg’s firm, Green­berg Quin­lan Ros­ner Re­search, for both the Demo­cracy Corps and the Wo­men’s Voices Wo­men Vote Ac­tion Fund sug­gests that the “Re­pub­lic­an brand is in deep trouble.” Green­berg’s polling shows that Demo­crats saw a drop in their num­bers over the course of much of last year, but, un­like the GOP, they have re­covered some­what dur­ing the past three months.

Look­ing at the Gal­lup Or­gan­iz­a­tion’s two Feb­ru­ary sur­veys that tested voters’ fa­vor­able and un­fa­vor­able at­ti­tudes to­ward the parties (the ques­tion wasn’t asked in Janu­ary), the Re­pub­lic­an Party av­er­aged a 42.5 per­cent fa­vor­able and 51.5 per­cent un­fa­vor­able rat­ing, a net minus 9 points. In the three 2011 sur­veys that fea­tured the ques­tion, taken in Janu­ary, April, and Septem­ber, the av­er­age was 44.7 per­cent fa­vor­able and 47.7 per­cent un­fa­vor­able, a net minus 3 points. On a net basis, the GOP brand has dropped 6 points from last year.

Con­versely, in the two Feb­ru­ary sur­veys, the Demo­crat­ic Party av­er­aged a 48 per­cent fa­vor­able and 47 per­cent un­fa­vor­able rat­ing, a net plus 1 point. Its av­er­age in the three 2011 sur­veys was 44 per­cent fa­vor­able, 50.3 per­cent un­fa­vor­able, a net minus 6.3 points. The Demo­crat­ic brand has im­proved 7.3 points since last year.

 

It’s pos­sible that Re­pub­lic­ans will pick up only two seats in the Sen­ate.

Gen­er­ic con­gres­sion­al bal­lot-test meas­ure­ments are all over the map, ran­ging from a wash to an 11-point ad­vant­age for Demo­crats. For some reas­on, the ques­tion al­ways seems to skew 3 or 4 points in fa­vor of Demo­crats. The likely elec­tion out­come is still a net loss of House seats for Re­pub­lic­ans; but pre­dic­tions of a 25-seat net shift in fa­vor of the Demo­crats, which would give them con­trol of the cham­ber, still seem far­fetched to me.

My sense is that some head­winds have de­veloped for Re­pub­lic­ans in Con­gress, caused by over­heated rhet­or­ic on the pres­id­en­tial cam­paign trail coupled with ac­tions at the con­gres­sion­al, gubernat­ori­al, and state le­gis­lat­ive levels. The ve­lo­city and ef­fects of those head­winds are im­possible to know at this point. The sur­prise re­tire­ment an­nounce­ment by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, is sure to give GOP strategists some heart­burn (though, no doubt, some tea parti­ers are say­ing “good rid­dance”). It takes a seat that was very likely to re­main in the Re­pub­lic­an column and po­ten­tially shifts it to the tilt­ing-Demo­crat­ic column. Maine is the 12th-most-Demo­crat­ic state in terms of party iden­ti­fic­a­tion, as meas­ured by Gal­lup last year.

My per­son­al view had been that the most likely Sen­ate out­come in Novem­ber would be some­where between a Re­pub­lic­an gain of three seats, turn­ing the cham­ber’s cur­rent makeup of 53 Demo­crats and 47 Re­pub­lic­ans in­to a 50-50 pro­pos­i­tion (with the ma­jor­ity rest­ing on the out­come of the pres­id­en­tial race) and a six-seat net gain for the GOP, flip­ping the Sen­ate to 53 Re­pub­lic­ans and 47 Demo­crats. The most likely out­come seemed to be a Re­pub­lic­an gain of four or five. In re­cent weeks, my gut has told me that I should drop the pos­sib­il­ity of a six-seat gain and just say a gain of three to five seats for the GOP. With Snowe’s seat in Maine now in play, that seems very prudent. The only ques­tion is wheth­er to drop the floor to two seats, say­ing two to five, com­pared with my three-to-six view in past weeks.

The mag­nitude of the GOP gain will hinge on the out­comes in about four states, with each party cur­rently hold­ing two of the seats. Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bent Jon Test­er in Montana and the Demo­crat­ic open seat in Vir­gin­ia are likely to go wire-to-wire in the Toss-Up column. Scott Brown’s seat in Mas­sachu­setts and ap­poin­ted Sen. Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada for the GOP are also Toss-Ups. To be sure, oth­er seats fall in­to the Toss-Up column: namely, open Demo­crat­ic seats in Hawaii, New Mex­ico, and Wis­con­sin. Sen. Claire Mc­Caskill, D-Mo., is also an ex­tremely vul­ner­able in­cum­bent, al­beit with an un­der­whelm­ing trio of op­pon­ents.

The bot­tom line is not wheth­er Demo­crats will lose Sen­ate seats and Re­pub­lic­ans will gain them, but how many. Demo­crats have 23 seats up (read “at risk”) and the GOP has just 10. Demo­crats have to deal with sev­en open seats to just three for the GOP. Demo­crats have 11 seats in danger, and Re­pub­lic­ans have just three. Can the GOP get the three seats it needs with a White House vic­tory, or four seats with a loss? That is a closer call than it seemed a couple of months ago.

What We're Following See More »
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

SAYS THEY CHEATED TESTS
Government Sues Fiat Chrysler Over Emissions
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

The government alleges the company put eight “software-based features” on diesel engines in nearly 104,000 Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 2014 to 2016 model years, which allowed the vehicles to emit fewer pollutants during EPA lab tests than during normal driving conditions.

Source:
KEY ON TRUMPCARE
MacArthur Resigns As Tuesday Group Co-Chair
11 hours ago
BREAKING

Rep. Tom MacArthur resigned Tuesday from his position as co-chair of the Tuesday Group, the House caucus of more moderate GOP members. MacArthur was one of the key engineers in getting an Obamacare replacement plan passed through the House of Representatives, which has caused a rift within the Tuesday Group. "You can't lead people where they don't want to go," MacArthur told POLITICO New Jersey. "I think some people in the group just have a different view of what governing is."

Source:
DETAILS ARE CLASSIFIED
Brennan Saw Russia Intelligence “Worthy” of Investigation
12 hours ago
THE LATEST

At an open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA chief John Brennan said he saw information on Trump-Russia contacts that were worth a further look. "Having been involved in many counterintelligence cases in the past, I know what the Russians do. They try to suborn individuals," Brennan said. "And they try to get individuals, including U.S. persons, to act on their behalf, whether wittingly or unwittingly. And I was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons, and so therefore by the time I left office ... I had unresolved questions in my mind."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login