2005, 2006, 2008 Electoral & Campaign News, Notes & Analysis for 7/23 to 7/29
Paul Hackett:

I’m going to try and write more of my own analysis in these campaign news compilation diaries. Campaign news (2005, 2006, and 2008), election laws, voting issues, etc. are covered. Items via a variety of sources (i.e. The Note, National Journal, etc.), diaries at various blogs, or found by me through Google News.  Unless otherwise noted, opinions in links aren’t mine (nor do I necessarily endorse them).


  • Democratic Party Branding, Electoral Issues, Party News, Shifts in Voting Pref, etc.
  • 2005 races
  • State/Local/Regional News, Analysis, and Organizing
  • 2006 House of Rep. Races
  • 2006 Senate Races
  • 2006 Gov. & Lt. Gov. Races
  • 2008 Presidential Race

Democratic Party Branding, Electoral Issues, Party News, Shifts in Voting Pref, etc.


OH-2 Special election: 8/2/05


NYC Mayor



State & Local Races; State/Regional News, Analysis & Organizing

House of Representatives 2006

General, Regional

AZ-05 Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R)
* Larry King to run against JD Hayworth in AZ-5

CA-50 Rep. Duke Cunningham (R)

  • Hotline: ” The Hot Sheet reports that Assemblyman Mark Wyland (R) will enter the race to replace Rep. Duke Cunningham (R). Wyland has hired Sheri Lee Norris, fundraiser to Reps. Bill Thomas (R-22) and Dan Lungren (R-03) (7/28).”
  • Francine Busby (D) is running in this race.

CT-02 Rep. Rob Simmons (R)
* CT-2 Watch (Rob Simmons)

CT-04 Rep. Chris Shays (R)

CT-05 Rep. Nancy Johnson (R)

FL-22 Rep. Clay Shaw (R)
* State Sen. Minority Leader Ron Klein

IL-06 Open seat currently held by Henry Hyde.
* Christine Cegelis (IL06)

IL-08 Rep. Melissa Bean (D)
* Rep. Melissa Bean for Congress

IL-14 Rep. Dennis Hastert (R)
* Ruben Zamora for IL-14

LA-03 Freshman Rep. Charlie Melancon (D)
* Hotline has an Anzalone-Liszt (D) poll of likely voters. Melancon’s re-elect is at 52%. Remember that Melancon won this run-off election last year. It was a close race. Melancon’s got a favorable/unfavorable that’s good: 62%, 12%. It’ll likely be a close race again, but Melancon should come out on top. He’ll still need money and grassroots support.

LA-07 Freshman Rep. Charles Boustany (R)
* Hotline: “Former Rep. Chris John (D) said he is “thinking about running for his old seat” but “hasn’t made up his mind yet.” Though Rep. Charles Boustany (R) has $577,000 on hand, John said, “I know how to raise money…. I have better name recognition than he does.” John still has $255,000 in campaign debt from his failed 2004 Senate bid and recently “refinanced a bank loan” to repay himself the $70,000 he loaned the campaign. John, who has been working at a D.C. law and lobbying firm, “will decide in early fall” whether to challenge Boustany.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune.)

MN-01 Rep. Guknecht (R)
* Tim Walz for MN-1

MN-02 Rep. John Kline (R)
* Coleen Rowley (D) for MN-2

NC-08 Rep. Robin Hayes (R)
* Robin Hayes: Flip-flopper extraordinaire, by kismet

NC-11 Rep. Charles Taylor (R)

NH-02 Rep. Charlie Bass (R)
* There are so many targets for ’06, so I’ll wait and see if Dems come through with the big money. Hotline: “Rep. Charlie Bass’s (R) friends and strategists “saw all the negative comments about him by Democrats and political ‘experts’ after his plan to offer a liability waiver for the gasoline and oil industry producers of MtBE fell through.” […] The Dems “are licking their proverbial chops over this one” saying that “the Bass race will now definitely be ‘targeted’ with big money aimed at defeating him” in ’06.”

NJ-07 Rep. Mike Ferguson (R)
* NJ-7 Mike Ferguson

NV-03 Rep. Jim Porter (R)
* Las Vegas Review-Journal (via Hotline) reported that LA Atty. Stan Hunterton got a call from Harry Reid about a challenge to Jim Porter. Here’s the important stuff from HRH: “Porter has won his last two election by a margin of 19% and 14% respectively. Hunterton: “I’m a moderate Democrat, and most people in this country, whether Republicans or Democrats, are moderate. Most are a few points from the center line. I believe this adminstration has gotten way outside that moderate core that most people occupy.” Hunterton said: “The end goal is not to end up in Congress. The end goal is to assist a lot of people to put an end to war and keep Social Security Secure.””

NY-11 Open seat. Major Owens (D) is retiring.

NY-13 Rep. Vito Fosella (R)

  • Hotline: “Vice President Dick Cheney “delivered a brief speech” to about 800 people at $200 per plate fundraiser for Rep. Vito Fossella (R). The Excelsior Grand Hotel event raised about $250,000 for Fossella (Butler, AP, July 25).”
  • Is there a challenger for this seat? Fossella got 59% of the vote in 2004. I think a strong challenger can knock that number down.

NY-29 Freshman Rep. Randy Kuhl (R)
* Eric Massa for NY-29

NY-29 Republican-held district
* Massa for NY-29

OH-15 Rep. Deborah Pryce (R)
* Mark Losey for Congress OH15

PA-06 Rep. Jim Gerlach (R)

  • Hotline: “From a DCCC release, Even though 44K PA workers have lost their jobs “as a direct result of NAFTA and other trade agreements like CAFTA,” Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA 08) “voted last night in support” of CAFTA, “meaning thousand more” PA jobs “may disappear.” DCCC Comm Dir Bill Burton: Gerlach “chose his party over the people the is supposed to represent” (7/28).”
  • Lois Murphy for PA-06

PA-07 Rep. Curt Weldon (R)
* Paul Scoles for Congress (PA-7)

PA-08 Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R)

PA-10 Rep. Don “Accused of Choking His Mistress” Sherwood (R)
* Hotline: “Dept/Defense counter-terrorism advisor/ Penn State prof Christopher Carney (D) “hopes to win” the Dem primary “in his bid to unseat Rep. Don Sherwood (R). Carney hopes that Sherwood’s 5-year “affair with Cynthia Ore undermines the congressman’s credibility as a traditional family values candidate.” At the Troy Fair 7/26, Carney spoke on Iraq, and “said US troops need to stay in Iraq until the Iraqi troops can take over for them.” Carney on the war on terror: “We need to engage with moderate Muslims and encourage them to work within their own communities to head off the kinds of disaffection that drives 19- and 20-year-olds to carry out suicide attacks” (Daily & Sunday Review, 7/27).”

PA-13 Rep. Alyson Schwartz (D)

  • Allyson Schwartz May Have Tough Re-Election, by smm401 Reply by looking Italian is generally where I stand on this.
  • Hotline has a different article and summary: “Montgomery Co DA Bruce Castor (R) “is a hot commodity” for the GOP. They see him “as a legitimate challenger to freshman” Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D). Castor is “not sure” but “wont come out and say no.” Castor: “First I have to decide do I want to be a congressman, and right now I don’t feel like I do. I am unconvinced it’s the right move for me personally. I think I can be most effective as” DA (Allentown Morning Call, 7/27).”

* Byron Miller 2006 Congress PA-16

PA-18 Rep. Tim Murphy (R)
* Barbara Hafer officially forms Congressional campaign committee. Her intent to enter was confirmed a one or two weeks ago.  Now, she’s officially in.

* Lee Ballenger (D) website

* Ted Anrkum for TX-10

TX-22 Rep. Tom DeLay (R)

VA-11 Rep. Tom Davis (R)
* Andrew Hurst for Congress

WA-08 Freshman Rep. Dave Reichert (R)
* Darcy Burner for WA-08

WI-05 Rep. Sensenbrenner (R)

WI-08 Open seat; Rep. Mark Green (R) is running for governor.

  • 2004 results: Green (R, Incumbent) 70%; Le Clair (D) 30%.
  • Hotline has a poll of likely voters commissioned by Emily’s List and conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research. It was conducted in May, but just released. In an ’06 general election matchup between Assembly Speaker John Gard (R) and Nusbaum (D), Gard was at 46% and Nusbaum was at 45%.
  • I think this could be a pick-up if it’s played right. Bush approval ratings: excellent/good 44%; fair/poor 55%. Generic Congressional ballot: both parties tied at 43%. This district appears to be slightly to the right of the country as a whole.
  • Hotline: “Former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum (D) last week announced her candidacy for the 8th District. Nusbaum “served as mayor of De Pere for more than seven years” (’88-’95) before serving two terms (’95-’03) as Brown County executive. She’s “spent the last two years with the Office of Crime Victim Services” in the Department of Justice, “where she advocated for the rights of victims in the criminal justice system” (Gannett News Service, July 26).”

WV-02 Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R)
* Mike Callaghan for WV-2

Senate 2006

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D)

  • Hotline: “Rep. Katherine Harris (R) “has been slow to organize her campaign and raise money since announcing” June 7. Sen. Bill Nelson (D) has almost $5 million on hand as of June 30, while Harris had $406,000.”
  • Harris’s fellow House Republicans from FL are endorsing her. So far, Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mark Foley and Tom Feeney have already endorsed her.
  • A number of other FL Republicans look to take on Nelson. FL House Speaker Allen Bense (R) is thinking it over.
  • Speaking of Bense, he’s got a potential Duke-Cunningham-like problem on his hands. Hotline: “FL House Speaker Allan Bense’s (R) company, GAC Contractors, “won its biggest project,” building a $29.7M FL rest area, while Bense “was on his way to becoming speaker.” In ’01, the Legis. “set aside money for the rest area. Bense voted for the bill and was a member of a key committee that designated money for the project.” Bense, “a major stockholder” in the company who was recently listed as its VP, “said he’s gone to great lengths to distance himself from his company to avoid any appearance that he’s benefiting financially from his public service.” Bense: “I never used my influence.” [Newsie’s note: Dude, Americans are skeptical enough to not believe that from any pol.] Bense no longer has the title of VP “and rarely has contact with the company. But Bense is still considered a partner,” and owns about $2.1M worth of stock — up $600K since he was elected to the Legislature in ’98. Since ’00, Bense’s net worth has increased from $7.3M to $9.6M. “Bense said he doesn’t know his title with the company because he’s worked hard to distance himself from the firm’s day-to-day operations. He said he doesn’t go to the office any more and even stopped going to board meetings.” An FDOT spokesperson said GAC was the low bidder on the projects it won, but FL State Univ. prof. Lance de Haven Smith said even if Bense didn’t try to gain special favors for GAC, it’s hard to imagine DOT officials did not know of his relationship to GAC. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 7/29).”
  • FL GOP roll out negative attacks on Sen. Nelson
  • FL Sen: Republican Establishment vs. Katherine Harris, by Eloy
  • MyDD: Harris lock in GOP primary

Maryland Retiring Paul Sarbanes (D)

  • Hotline: “Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie “has pledged to head” a national finance committee for Steele should he enter the race. “The tentative agreement between Gillespie and Steele was struck” in May.”
  • MD Lt. Gov. Michael Steele Loves Karl Rove enough to have him headline a fundraiser for him
  • WakeupCall: “MD Dems criticized ’06 MD SEN candidate/LG Michael Steele for “allying” with Karl Rove and “choosing quick campaign cash … over Maryland values” by allowing him to headline a fundraiser.”

Minnesota Retiring Sen. Mark Dayton (D)

Montana Sen. Conrad Burns (R)

North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad (D)
* Sen. Kent Conrad for US Senate

Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine (R)

  • DeWine is vulnerable according to a Feldman Group (D) poll He doesn’t inspire a lot of support from even OH Republicans. He’s vulnerable himself, but scandals that have engulfed the entire Ohio GOP aren’t helping either. DSCC needs to recruit a solid candidate to run against DeWine, but that would also require a Democrat in Ohio to step up.  One Democrat (Sherrod Brown) always flirts, but says no.  If DSCC doesn’t recruit a top-tier candidate, I won’t believe that it’s because the DSCC didn’t try everything. It’s probably more that whoever they approached wouldn’t have done it no matter what kind of support DSCC offered.
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D) joins the list of potential challengers. He’s expressed interest to OH Dem insiders. Remember, he’s the guy who gave that rousing speech on the House floor about why young people don’t believe the lies about the war in Iraq told by the administration.

Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R)

Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R)

Tennessee Open seat currently held by Sen. Cat Killer (R).

  • Hotline had a summary of coverage on the GOP side of the aisle. I’ll summarize the summary. ’94 candidate/ex-Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) is a pro-choicer and has contributed money to TN Dems. Conservatives Frist and Rep. Zach Wamp (R-03) have praised Corker. Other GOP candidates for this Senate seat, Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant, are jumping all over Corker for acting too much like a Democrat.
  • Daily Pennsylvanian article on alumnus Harold Ford’s run for US Senate
  • Harold Ford, Jr. for Senate

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R)
* Pete Ashdown for US Senate 06 (UT)

Virginia Sen. George Allen (R)
* Mason-Dixon (R) poll shows Warner would beat Allen 47% to 42% (with 11% undecided). I’ll repeat what teacherken has posted before, and that Warner prefers some kind of executive position over a legislative one.  Everything hinges on the outcome of 2005.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)
* Maria Cantwell for US Senate

West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd (D)

Governor 2006

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D)
* Republicans are less interested in challenging her in part, because she declined a pay raise. She was pretty much unbeatable anyway, but this reason is a pretty lousy one to give for not challenging her.

California Arnold (R)

Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R)

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R)
* Cathy Cox for Governor

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (R)
* Real estate developer Bill Brady (R) entered the race.

Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D)
* Peter Cianchette (R) seeks rematch with Baldacci.

Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R)

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R)
* It looks like Romney isn’t running for re-election (which he’d probably lose anyway.) Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R) has taken the initiative to line up a campaign team.

Nevada Term-limited Gov. Kenny Guinn (R)

  • Hotline: “Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson (D) told city councilors this week that he’ll seek the Dem nod, setting up a 3-way primary. There had been speculation he may file for an indie bid. State Senate Min. Leader Dina Titus (D) has already announced, and Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins (D), also Henderson’s dep. police chief, is expected to announce when he returns from his European vacation. Perkins consultant Sean Sinclair “didn’t waste time” attacking Gibson’s Dem credentials, questioning why he gave $1K to Rep. Jon Porter (R-03). […] UNR prof. Eric Herzik said Gibson’s entry helps Titus because he’ll draw from conservative votes and has the same base as Perkins (Wargo, Las Vegas Sun, 7/28).”
  • Dina Titus for Governor

New York Gov. George Pataki (R)

  • Pataki won’t be running for a fourth term. Spitzer is as close to a lock to win in 2006 as you can get in politics.
  • NYT reported the names that have been thrown around by NY GOP: Potential candidates include Secretary of State Randy Daniels, former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso and Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro. State GOP leaders say they’ve reached out to former Rep. Rick Lazio and former MA Gov. Bill Weld.
  • NY SoS Randy Daniels says that the GOP has to be a “big tent.”  There’s a more extensive list at Hotline than the NYT one above, but needless to say, it’s kinda funny (both in a ha-ha way and in a “that’s odd” way) to see the NY GOP having all the problems that the Democrats have in so many other places.
  • This is from the right-wing rag NY Sun. Anyways, I have a difficult time putting credence on what Sheinkopf (best known to me as the consultant in Stephen Colbert’s hilarious segment with Mary Carey) is saying regarding the millions of negative media coming from another Democrat. Unless it’s money coming from GOoPers who are trying to make life difficult for Spitzer, I doubt that Suozzi would be able to raise those millions. Then again, I’m not all that familiar with Suozzi, so maybe someone can give me the lowdown on the guy? Hotline: “Compt. Alan Hevesi (D) indicated that his “understanding” is that Nassau Co. Exec. Tom Suozzi (D) was planning on running. Hevesi: “I’ve urged him to go in another direction.” Dem consultant Hank Sheinkopf: “Suozzi would be a significant challenger. … Nobody’s opened up on Eliot Spitzer with several million of negative media. That’s when the rubber hits the road” (McGuire, New York Sun, 7/29).”
  • Spitzer got an endorsement from the Teamsters this past week.

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R)
* Hotline: “Former state Democratic Party Chairman Scudder Parker plans to file papers declaring his candidacy “within the next few days.” […] He acknowledged he’d face a tough race. His priorities would be broadening the state’s health care system and attracting more efficient and renewable energy. Douglas “has made clear” he’ll run again, but an official announcement won’t come until after the ’06 legislative session (AP, July 22).”

Senate 2008

* Is John Warner going to retire in 08? What about Domenici? Could be two Dem pickups in 2008, if we play the cards right. Hotline: “A majority of the 33 Senators up for re-election in ’08 have been “steadily stockpiling campaign cash.” 7 Senators showed campaign “war chests” in excess of $1M. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) led the pack with $2M CoH. Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) were the only 2 in the group to raise more than $1M in the first six months of ’05. Kerry raised $2.4M from 1/05 to 6/05 but only has $233K CoH in his Senate account, while Cornyn “showed a balance” of $1.7M CoH.  Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) had more than $1.3 CoH, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has just less than $1.3M. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) showed $1.2M and took in $928K in the first half of the year. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) ended 6/05 with a “modest” $197K CoH. With $1M CoH, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) was the Senate’s “third most aggressive fundraiser.” Sen. John Warner (R-VA) raised just $20K so far this year, while Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) showed the most “meager” campaign fund. Sens. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) also showed “paltry” campaign accounts (Roll Call, 7/28).”

Pres 2008

Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia said, “Today’s Washington fiscal conservative is someone who thinks that deficits can go on forever and that you can make the cost of the war go away simply by moving them off the balance sheet.”

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana accused the Bush administration of “false bravado” and “incompetence” in the way it handled the war in Iraq and its aftermath. “It’s obvious that they had no plan for winning the peace,” Mr. Bayh said.

Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa criticized the administration as “not sharing with us the true reasons for going to war or the true price we would have to pay to continue the war.”

But for all the criticism directed at Mr. Bush and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill, some of the prospective presidential contenders warned that Democrats had to offer the public more than criticism of the Republican Party if they hoped to begin winning again.

* Allen makes mistake in NH. He’s not supposed to raise cash for his Senate re-election, just for a Pres08 run.

* Bayh talks about why he’d run for President. It’s a Q&A. If you’re following 2008 closely, this is a must read, because it’s far more extensive than anything else I’ve seen so far.




  • Edwards criticizes SCOTUS nominee. Edwards has been saying a lot of the right things since November, but just keep in mind that he doesn’t have a re-election or a Senate seat to think about. He’s free to do whatever he wants.  
  • Edwards faulted in NC wage hike effort. He should be faulted, IMHO. It is politically a bad move to go to several states talking about the minimum wage when you’re not advocating a minimum wage hike in your home state.  Plus, he’s not helping NC state Democrats any. Yipes.


* Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) will keynote the 8/27 Strafford Co. GOP Picnic, Pig Roast and Family Day, the year’s largest GOP gathering in NH (AP). Three others were invited, but Sen. George Allen, R-Va., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had scheduling conflicts.

* McCain revives Straight Talk America PAC

* Former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato says that pundits and such shouldn’t underestimate George Pataki.  George Pataki wouldn’t even win re-election in NY.  Whether they are liked by their party’s base or not, governors and sitting senators who run for president when they wouldn’t win re-election in their home state generally aren’t seen as credible challengers.



  • Santorum says he has no intention of running in 2008, but will not rule it out.
  • Santorum was on IP 7/28. He said this about 2008: CNN’s Henry: “So unlikely, but a door’s open?” Santorum: “Well, I wouldn’t say the door’s — I mean, OK. It’s not locked and bolted, but the door itself is closed. It’s just not locked.” (Via Hotline.) He flip-flapping-flopping. This from the “says what he means” senator.

* Vilsack’s Heartland PAC website. A word of advice: Use a better photo of Vilsack. There has to be a better photo of Tom Vilsack around.


Perhaps more significant are the high approval ratings for Warner, who finds himself on a national short list of presidential candidates and who is actively campaigning for Kaine.

A whopping 74 percent of the respondents graded the governor’s job performance as either excellent or good. Another 20 percent said he was doing a fair job while only 4 percent rated him as poor.

Those numbers are the highest since Mason-Dixon began tracking chief executives, which began with then Gov. Charles Robb in March 1985.

Links of Interest:

Pease post in the replies of official Democratic candidate websites (esp. those for candidates who will be in tough races come 2005 or 2006) that you know of.  Thanks!

Consider Making a Donation to Democratic Candidates

Donate strategically or based on who you agree with more. Early money is always helpful. Not only does it allow the campaign to get advertising out there earlier, but it also helps the campaign plan expenditures.  Many campaigns end up with money leftover, because so much is donated in the final weeks of the campaign.  They didn’t know they were going to get so much money, and didn’t plan accordingly.  Keep in mind that TV ads are locked in about a week before the day of the election, so ad production ceases around then.  Purchases for ad time tends to happen months or weeks earlier.  Campaigns need flexibility as well.  The best ways for getting the message out to voters are different in different states.  In addition, early money (esp. in House races) helps attract money from DCCC, which has limited resources.  Early money can also send a message to a Republican incumbent.  He/she may not be able to campaign elsewhere if he/she has to deal with a challenge (however minor) at home.
Electoral Politics and Official & Unofficial Democratic Party Campaign Websites and Blogs Look at the categories in the beginning, and go to the section with campaign sites. Sites are listed by state. They are mixed in with blogs focused on the politics in a state or region.

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