US Mid-Term Election Campaign Reader


Colorado GOP Looking to Replace Dan Maes in Governor's Race
Colorado Pols, a Colorado political news site, reports that Republican "emissaries" met on Friday with Republican Gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes in an effort to persuade him to drop out of the race for Governor.

According to an anonymous Republican source, GOP Chair Dick Wadhams is not among those involved in the meeting in an effort to keep some official distance from the process. The message from Republicans is that there will be no outside money and no fundraising assistance for Maes if he stays in the race, but if he drops out there could be support for him for future opportunities.

Republican leaders have been conspicuous in their public silence about Maes, and that silence was apparently part of the plan leading up to today's meeting. Top Republicans wanted to let Maes have a few days to himself after the election, hoping that their lack of attention would show him that he doesn't have the support he would need to win in November.

From what we have heard over the last 24 hours, however, Maes is unlikely to agree to any terms that would see him remove himself from the race for Governor because he truly believes that he has earned the nomination. As part of a last-ditch effort, top Republicans may try to get Maes to agree to their choice for a running mate, in hopes that a stronger Lieutenant Governor could be in a position to take over the ballot at some point.

It's important to keep in mind that these discussions are not really about finding a candidate who can win the governor's race in November. As we first reported in mid-July, Republicans recognize that their chances at beating Democrat John Hickenlooper are close to zero. What they want now is to find someone who can excite the GOP base and not be a drag on the ticket -- both for Ken Buck's U.S. Senate bid and for the downballot races. Maes can't win, and neither can a potential replacement; but at least a potential replacement isn't regularly being mocked both locally and nationally as a joke of a candidate. Maes' much-discussed "U.N. Bicycle Plot" is bad enough when he's just one of several candidates running in a Primary, but now it's the Republican candidate for Governor saying these things. That's a lot different.

Portman Holds Narrow Lead in Ohio Senate Race
Republican Rob Portman holds a narrow lead over Democrat Lee Fisher, the current Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, in the race to succeed Senator George Voinovich according to a poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos. Portman, director of the Office of Budget and Management and the U.S. Trade Representative under former President George W. Bush, leads Fisher 43 percent to 36 percent among likely voters.

In the Ohio Governor's race, former nine term Republican Congressman John Kasich leads incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland by 48 percent to 39 percent among likely voters. Meanwhile, the Ohio Democratic Party has just released a 60 second spot hitting Kasich for running from his Lehman Brothers background. In 2008 Kasich was proud to state, "I work on Wall Street." In 2010, Congressman Kasich has been seeking to downplay his eight years as managing director at Lehman Brothers, claiming he operated out of a two-man office in Columbus.

There's more...

Fisher Wins in Ohio, A Run-Off in North Carolina

Here's what we know: Lt. Governor Lee Fisher has won the Democratic nomination for the US Senate in Ohio beating back a challenge from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. With almost 50% of precincts reporting when the Associated Press called the race at 10:15 p.m. ET, Fisher had just over 193,000 votes (56%) to Brunner's 169,600 (44%). Fisher now face Republican nominee Rob Portman in November for the right to replace retiring Republican George Voinovich.

In North Carolina, neither Elaine Marshall, the Secretary of State nor Cal Cunningham, an Iraq War veteran and a former state lawmaker, cleared the 40 percent threshold required to claim victory. The two will square off in a run-off on June 22nd.

In Indiana, former right wing Senator Dan Coats has won the GOP nomination. He's likely to face Representative Brad Ellsworth in the general election. The race is to fill the seat of the retiring Evan Bayh. Coats served in the U.S. House from 1981 to 1989 and the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 1999 when he retired. He has been a registered lobbyist since retiring from Congress and represents everything that's wrong with the revolving door in Washington politics. 

More primary coverage from the New York Times.

Jennifer Brunner & the Courage Express in Ohio

I've not had the time to pay much attention to US politics which to be frank has been very disheartening as of late but if there's a breath of fresh air it is in Ohio and her name is Jennifer Brunner, the Democratic candidate for US Senate.

The video is courtesy of Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll of New Left Media. Learn more about Jennifer Brunner on YouTube or become a fan on Facebook. You can also visit her website for more information.

Where's Paul Hackett When You Need Him?

Remember how DCDems wanted Paul Hackett to bow out and leave Sherrod Brown unopposed in the Ohio Democratic Senate primary? Remember how they not only strong-armed him personally, but contacted and discouraged his donors? Remember how they got what they wanted and Hackett bowed out?

Well, they've also gotten the result predicted by many. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

It has been 20 years since a Democratic candidate for Ohio governor has led Republicans in one of the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Polls, but the first of this campaign season shows Democrat Ted Strickland leading Republican Ken Blackwell.

In Ohio's U.S. Senate race, the same poll shows incumbent Republican Mike DeWine with a 10-point lead over Democratic challenger Rep. Sherrod Brown.

A primary contest between Brown and Hackett would not only have allowed the people to choose their candidate for the fall, but honed and strengthened the ultimate platform and message of the winner. If candidates debate the issues and refrain from assassination (which isn't too much to expect), primary contests are GOOD for the party.

Thanks DCDems for blowing it yet again. Is it to late for Hackett to get back in?

There's more...

Paul Hackett - Obligated to Help Win Ohio

Paul Hackett has been an inspiration to many of us in the Democratic Party. Because of this, it is shocking to see him treated so callously by the party establishment. What is so crystal clear to many of us is that he is an asset that should have been carefully nurtured and cultivated. No one needs a reminder about how important turning Ohio blue is to the fortunes of the Democratic Party. Yet here we witness, dumbstruck, the foolish squandering of this talent by manipulators at the highest echelons of the party.

What strategy can they possibly be pursuing that would lead to helping the Democratic Party as a whole? It's not hard to understand why they'd prefer no primary, but what is inexplicable is the shameful way they have mangled the shepherding of Hackett's career. The most charitable explanation is that a tradeoff was deemed necessary in which Hackett was broken so that Brown and Ohio could better prosper. Perhaps, but other explanations seem more likely.  It may have been the result of incompetence in not seeing the value of Hackett, or of malicious intent in which the good of the party of the whole is a lesser priority than personal ambition. I wouldn't fault Brown for this but party leaders who stepped in to boss the primary are most certainly culpable. Regardless of blame, the fact remains that Hackett as a Democratic politician has been diminished if not entirely destroyed.

This indictment of the party bigwigs notwithstanding, we've got to move forward and cannot let this incident result in the re-election of the Republican DeWine. To me it seems clear that Paul Hackett owes it to the citizens of Ohio to endorse Sherrod Brown and furthermore to talk to his Ohio supporters about the importance of unseating Mike DeWine. Hackett shouldn't have trouble making the case against DeWine on principal alone. DeWine is enabling all that Hackett is fighting against. Pragmatically, Hackett shouldn't have trouble seeing that Sherrod Brown is a much better man for the job of Senator from Ohio than is DeWine. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees Brown can win in Ohio and Hackett needs to help win that election for the Democratic and progressive candidate.

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