Polling and Political Wrap-Up, 7/28/09

A lot to get to on this Tuesday, the last installment of the evening wrap-up for a little while (more on this later):

KY-Sen: McConnell As The Bunning-Slayer
An interesting read from Michael Lindenberger in Time Magazine today, even if all it does is confirm a lot of what we already knew. The bottom line: the one man most responsible for getting Jim Bunning out of the U.S. Senate was his fellow Kentuckian, Senator Mitch McConnell. Also of note: Trey Grayson does not have a clear primary despite Bunning’s ouster. Rand Paul, a western Kentucky physician and the son of Congressman Ron Paul, sounds like a man who is likely to stay in the race. As an aside, the expected became confirmed yesterday, as Grayson dropped the “exploratory” appendage from his Senate committee and confirmed that he is in the race for good.

MN-Gov: Coleman Needs A Little Time, A Little Time To Think Things Over
The day after he finally conceded his Senate seat to Al Franken, the rumor mill ran rampant that Norm Coleman was a top-flight candidate to run for Governor of Minnesota. That may still happen, but Coleman’s crew has now made it clear that it will not happen for quite a while. Saying that the former Senator needs a break after his post-election adventures, the word has now gone out that Coleman will not make any definitive plans on a gubernatorial bid until as late as March or April of 2010. That would seem, in the era of the perpetual election cycle, to be an awfully late entry point, but it would seem as if Team Coleman is convinced that they could raise the money and construct the necessary campaign infrastructure in a short period of time. The field for this race is still incredibly fluid, with what seems like half of the state legislature looking at the race.

NC-Sen: McIntyre Becomes Latest Democrat To Decline Burr Challenge
Usually, an incumbent with poor poll numbers draws political opponents like a bug zapper draws insects. Not so much in North Carolina, where Congressman Mike McIntyre became the latest Tar Heel State Democrat to decline a 2010 challenge to embattled GOP incumbent Richard Burr. McIntyre will seek re-election to his House seat, instead. On balance, this might actually work out for the best both ways: Democrats would have been hard-pressed to hold onto McIntyre’s seat in the North Carolina 7th, and base Democrats might not have been enthusiastic about backing a conservative Dem for the seat. There are still a couple of prominent Democrats considering the challenge, including Sec. of State Elaine Marshall and former state Senator Cal Cunningham.

CA-10: Secretary of State Certifies Candidates For Special Election
The candidates are now official for the September 1st Special Primary Election to replace Ellen Tauscher, who resigned earlier this year to take a position in the Obama State Department. Five Democrats are officially in the field, and given that the district gave both Obama and Tauscher 65% of the vote last year, the winner is likely to come from their primary five weeks away. The Democratic quintet is comprised of (in alphabetical order): state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, state Senator Mark DeSaulnier, California Lt. Governor John Garamendi, former journalist and municipal investigator Adriel Hampton and Iraq War veteran Anthony Woods. The likely Republican opponent will be attorney David Harmer, who easily outraised the other GOP candidates in the field. The article by CQ points out that DeSaulnier, a restaurateur before heading into politics, became the first candidate on the airwaves this week.

SD-Gov: Democrats Get Top-Tier Candidate For Governor’s Race
Now that popular Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin has closed the door on a gubernatorial bid, the Democrats probably got their next best option to agree to run: Scott Heidepriem, who leads the Democrats in the state Senate. Heidepriem, in all likelihood, will have a clear shot at the Republican nominee, which may have to emerge from a crowded primary, as there is no shortage of GOP bench players in a state like South Dakota.

NJ-Gov: Christie Leads By Fourteen Points, According to PPP
A sobering poll from PPP on the New Jersey Governors race, as the pollster gives Republican Chris Christie a 50-36 advantage over incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine. There is little there for Team Corzine to be thrilled about, as a visit from President Obama plus taking to the airwaves against Christie seems to have dented neither the Christie lead nor either candidate’s favorability ratings. One note of hope, however: looking at some of the crosstabs (which PPP is always great about offering), we can see that the bulk of the “persuadable” voters picked Christie right now. Those that have already locked in their votes were considerably more likely to be liberal than either moderate or conservative.

NY-Mayoral: Bloomberg Outed As A Republican, Lead Cut in Half
This is a fun one for the pollster types and the political scientists to play with. A month ago, Quinnipiac did a trial heat between Michael Bloomberg, the Independent, and William Thompson, the Democrat. Bloomberg led by 22 points, and was over the 50% incumbent safety threshold. This month, the Q poll cited Bloomberg as running both as an Independent and a Republican. The result? Bloomberg leads Thompson, but by a much tighter margin: 47-37. Apparently, in deep-blue New York City, just being identified as a Republican will cost you a dozen points.

THE WRAP: “Vacation, All I Ever Wanted…Vacation, Had To Get Away”
Dry your tears, readers, but this will be the last daily installment of the Polling and Political Wrap-Up until Wednesday, August 12th. It is time for the Singiser Clan to load up the family truckster and go dancing across the U.S.A. like the mighty Griswolds (c’mon, admit it: you loved that movie). Enjoy the dog days of summer, and we’ll meet again in two weeks.


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