Let’s get to the point: A Democrat … cannot win a Louisiana statewide election. Twenty years ago, someone like [Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel] Edwards would have been unbeatable. Today, however, a vote for the Amite Democrat is, for all practical purposes, a vote for Vitter.
The man who could be the GOP’s top recruit is, at least publicly, noncommittal. Rep. Dave Reichert, a six-term congressman who’s flirted with statewide office before, told CQ Roll Call in a statement Monday, “My entire career I have always kept my options open. I have considered every possibility that has been put in front of me.”
Reichert isn’t ruling out a Senate bid, but he’s more often mentioned as a gubernatorial contender. He could just as well decide to stay put in Washington’s 8th District, which, thanks to redistricting, is now safer turf for a Republican. But just in case, Reichert’s aides confirmed last year to the Seattle Times that he has owned ReichertforGovernor.com and ReichertforSenate.com since at least 2011.
Republican Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook said Tuesday he’ll leave Congress after his current term expires and explore running for statewide office in 2018.
Gibson said in an interview he wouldn’t be able to effectively represent the 19th Congressional District while running a statewide campaign.
“If I am trying to be a statewide candidate going around 62 counties, I don’t think that in the 11 counties that comprise the district, I would be the kind of congressman they deserve,” he said.
By retiring in 2016 Gibson won’t have to worry about re-election, the NY GOP will have plenty of time to find a replacement candidate, and the Congressman will have effectively two extra years to network. Heck, it even lets him keep his term limit promise. As to whether Chris Gibson can win… well. I would say that Governor seems a somewhat easier path for Gibson that Senator, but both are reasonably within reach. A multi-term Congressman would make for a much stronger candidate than perhaps New York State is used to seeing from the NY GOP lately…
The AP called it: “Republican Dan Sullivan bested Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in Alaska’s Senate race, picking up an eighth seat for the GOP in the 2014 midterm elections, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.” You knew this a week ago, because you were reading AOSHQDD; but the AP waited until the trends in the absentee ballots were clear. Mark Begich is not conceding, of course, but he will start finding that people are already starting to think of him in terms of former Senator Begich. And so it goes.
My congratulations to Senator-elect Dan Sullivan.
PS: The Governor’s race remains too close to call. Realistically, however, incumbent Governor Sean Parnell has to be considered the underdog in that one. Ironically, his current position is not entirely unlike Begich’s in 2008…
Permit me this little amusement. All bolding mine.
The Daily Beast, August 25, 2014 (“The Tea Party Governor Backlash of 2014”): “Wisconsin’s Scott Waker is frequently talked up by RNC types as a leading 2016 contender, but he’s fighting for his political life at home, beset by a tsunami of scandals and running neck and neck with Mary Burke. Walker’s most-favored Midwestern governor status in D.C. is in trouble despite a misguided arrogance born of his surviving a recall attempt. His efforts to rein in the public sector unions have been successful, but his style and tone—and did I mention scandals—could make him an unexpected loser on Election Night.”
NPR, October 28, 2014 (“In Wisconsin Election, Gov. Scott Walker Fights To Hold On”): “[Craig] GILBERT: Well, you know, one thing that we’ve seen in all the public polling is that, as divided as the state was in the middle of that kind of raucous recall fight, it’s even more divided now. It has not got – there hasn’t been a lot of healing in Wisconsin. And Governor Walker hasn’t really added to his coalition, politically, since those elections. And if you think about 2010 being a really conservative wave election, and you think about 2012 – winning a recall where some voters, you know, had reservations about Governor Walker but didn’t like the recall process – you can sort of see how this election really ought to be closer than those two elections and is.”
Politico, October 29, 2014 (“Scott Walker limps toward 2016”): “The politician who confidently lectured Mitt Romney in 2012 (“He has to say that I’m a reformer like Scott Walker,” Walker told The Weekly Standard) has tumbled into yet another fight for his political life. Far from a conservative Clark Kent, Walker is visibly straining in the closing days of his race against Mary Burke, a wealthy former Trek Bicycle executive and member of the Madison School Board.”
The New Republic, October 28, 2014 (“Scott Walker Is Scared He Might Lose—and He’s Already Blaming His Fellow Republicans”): “The polls are generally not trending well for Democrats in the final days before the 2014 midterms, but it’s increasingly looking not inconceivable that the party’s loss of the Senate could be accompanied by a loss for one of the party’s biggest bête noires: Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. If polls showing him effectively tied with former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke weren’t enough, Walker has been giving off the distinct vibe of a man in a bit of a panic.”
Salon, October 30, 2014: (“5 Tea Partyers who could lose reelection next week”) “Walker was never going to glide to reelection in a state that in 2012 elected progressive Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the nation’s first openly gay U.S. senator.”
Slate, November 3, 2014 (“The Most Important Race in America”): “On a portable stage in the parking lot of a strip mall in front of the Eau Claire GOP field office, sandwiched between a Curves and an Office Products Co. store, Gov. Scott Walker is keeping his chin up. After the beating he’s taken, that’s no small feat. Walker, Wisconsin’s incumbent Republican governor, is in a tough statewide contest for the third time in four years, and this one is much closer than it was supposed to be.”
ThinkProgress, November 4, 2014 (“A Pro-Environment Candidate Could Kick Scott Walker Out Of Office Tonight”): “With the final polls showing an extremely close race between incumbent Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) and challenger Mary Burke (D), an influx of last-minute donations and high-profile supporters indicate the importance of the race on a national scale.”
Wonkette, October 25, 2014* (“Scott Walker Gets Some Chris Christie All Over Him, On Purpose”): “With a little over a week to go before Election Day, Scott Walker is increasingly a man in need of a helping hand.”
Keep a real close eye on the Baker-Coakley Massachusett’s governor’s race, assuming that Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker win their respective nominations in a couple of weeks*. If the general election is going to cook off, the first warning signs would start appearing right about now:
[Ohio] Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald indicated Tuesday that he is staying in the race despite the latest revelation that he drove without a valid driver’s license for years.
The FitzGerald campaign has been rocked within the past week as news trickled out about a 2012 incident in which police caught him in a car at 4:30 a.m. with a woman who isn’t his wife and the driver’s license head-scratcher. Meanwhile, a new independent poll shows him 12 points behind Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who just raked in $2.3 million.