The Cycle 3/12/2012

The Cycle 3/12/2012

POTUS

Mitt Romney Collects Huge Chunk of Delegates

One of the advantages of organization is the ability of compete in areas like Guam and the other U.S. territories who send delegates to the Republican National convention. Romney snagged 25 delegates from the territories and used them to mitigate a poor showing in Kansas. His ability to accumulate delegates, even when conditions are not favorable, are why neither Santorum or Gingrich will be able to make up the ground on him.

Rick Santorum Wins Kansas 

He cleared 50% in a state favorable to his socially conservative, blue-collar message but wasn't able to hold Mitt Romney to under 20% of the vote statewide. It was a good win for him, but it wasn't a great win and realistically Santorum needed a shutout in delegates to get some real momentum out of this.

Ron Paul Wins Virgin Islands, Gets One Delegate

He finally won a caucus. Check out the vote totals. Unfortunately, Romney took seven of the delegates and Ron Paul only got one, while the ninth remains undecided. Nevertheless, a win is a win is a win is a win is a win. He earned it, so good for him.

Senate

ME-SEN: Baldacci Would Give D's Top Tier Candidate

I'm on the record as saying I believe former Gov. Angus King will caucus with the party who controls the Senate should he win as an Independent. As such, Democrats and Republicans would be wise to attempt to win this seat. 

Former Governor John Baldacci understands this dynamic and has his people are circulating petitions to get himself on the ballot. He won't be able to officially announce until his Pentagon contract expires later this month, but I suspect he hops in. A three way race would be unpredictable to say the least, and would be one of the wackiest races in the nation. If either the Republican or Democratic candidate fades, would their supporters rally around King in an attempt to deny their major party rival the victory? This is shaping up to be the most entertaining race of the cycle.

NE-SEN: Democratic Field Settled

This is mostly housekeeping, but Bob Kerrey avoided a primary when his lone challenger decided to drop out of the race for Senate. Chuck Hassebrook said "I came to the realization I would not succeed" and endorsed Kerrey. 

Gubernatorial

WA-GOV: Inslee Resigns to Focus on His Race for Governor

Congressman Jay Inslee asked himself how he could best represent the people of Washington State and decided to step down from Congress. The people of Washington's 1st Congressional District feel better represented already… 

In all seriousness, Inslee's resignation will allow him to devote time to fundraising and campaigning. He's trailing Attorney General Rob McKenna in the polls and local Democrats are very concerned about his chances, which kind of makes this a no-brainer. As a Washingtonian, I can tell you Inslee is a pretty weak candidate. There is no enthusiasm behind his campaign and Christine Gregoire's two terms have left voters open to a change. Inslee is, however, a Democrat in a state where a Republican hasn't won the Governor's mansion since 1980. Consider this race a toss up.

House

AL-6: Spencer Bachus Facing Competitive Primary

It's rare for the chairman of a powerful congressional committee to be in trouble, but Spencer Bachus was been hounded by ethics investigations. He'll be difficult to unseat, partially because he is an institution locally and partially because most voters are in the habit of voting for him. Fear not foodfight fans: The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a non partisan organization determined to throw the bums out, is running ads against him. Even if he wins on Tuesday, Bachus's congressional days are numbered.

FL-9: Alan Grayson's Courage

Attempting to win the Bill Janklow award for safe driving, former Rep. Alan Grayson courageously defied a red light in his Benz and was disappointed when public transit didn't have the decency to get out of his way. I'm sure this was a Republican conspiracy to keep him away from a high dollar fundraiser in his honor featuring Robert Kennedy Jr and actress Cheryl Hines.

Hopefully the two people who went to the hospital don't sue the millionaire Grayson, who was only trying to help these folks by getting elected to Congress. It would be quite ungrateful of them.

The new 9th district was only a 60% Obama district and I'm starting to think this might be a large enough margin to ensure a Democratic victory if Grayson is the nominee. The GOP just needs a solid recruit.

FL-22: Penthouse Publisher Considers Congressional Bid

This is probably a publicity stunt, but it's way to interesting not to mention: Marc Bell, known for his work for Penthouse and other adult services, is considering a run in the redrawn 22nd district. He says he'd run as a Democrat. Should he win the primary, and he probably won't, Republicans would stand an excellent chance at defeating him in the general election.

IL-2: Jesse Jackson Jr. Plays Race Card

H/T: Daily Kos Elections

At first I found this ad by Jesse Jackson Jr. a little odd. Why focus on a, pardon the pun, dead issue like gun control? Then I watched the ad again. We have a black woman talking about how her black son was gunned down outside a church before choir practice. Then we have an images of Debbie Halvorson, made to look as white as humanly possible, siding with Republicans and it is implied neither cares about the death of black youth. 

The issue of the "Pam" spot isn't gun control, it's skin color. 

IL-16: Adam Kinzinger Gets Backing of Eric Cantor

Dan Manzullo has had a great congressional career, but Adam Kinzinger is a political rockstar. He's important to the party nationally and could make a good statewide candidate someday. It comes as a surprise, but not an enormous one, to see Eric Cantor backing the wunderkind Kinzinger. Politico has the glowing write up by the House Majority Leader.

MN-8: Clark Forges Ahead To Primary

Democrats, or as they call them in Minnesota: "DFL'ers", are concerned by Tarryl Clark's decision to skip the DFL convention and advance to the primary. Gov. Mark Dayton used the same strategy to win the nomination and eventually the governorship last year but there are two major differences: 1) the Republicans nominated an exceptionally weak candidate in Tom Emmer, who barely lost. 2) Dayton had been elected statewide and towered over the field with the general public, he was simply viewed as weak by party activists and 3) Dayton's victory didn't come over an incumbent.

Competitive primaries aren't necessarily a bad thing, but Clark is new to the district and she's not the favorite to win.

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