US Mid-Term Election Campaign Reader
by Charles Lemos, Sat Aug 14, 2010 at 05:20:41 AM EDT
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.
Enthusiasm Gap in Florida
The Sunshine State News reports on a poll conducted in Florida by Hamilton Campaigns, a Jacksonville- and Washington-based Democratic consulting firm. The poll finds that there is a significant gap in the level of interest in the upcoming election held by Democrats vs. Republicans. Almost two-thirds of the electorate say they are very interested in the election (64 percent very interested; 26 percent somewhat interested; 10 percent not interested). Only 58 percent of Democrats say they are very interested in this election, compared to 76 percent of Republicans. Republicans who identify as very conservative are the most interested at 87 percent.
Tea Party Candidate Wins GOP Primary in the Michigan First
In the Michigan First Congressional District that contains the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as part of the Lower Peninsula, a Tea Party candidate has defeated the GOP establishment candidate by a mere 15 votes out of 98,992 cast. Surgeon Dan Benishek beat state Sen. Jason Allen for the right to face Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell in November. While the district leans Republican, Democrat Bart Stupak has held the seat since 1992 and has won by more than 60 percent in each of his elections since 2002. More from Politico.