WINS PENNSYLVANIA; DEM LEADS AS MS CD-1 SPECIAL HEADS TO RUN-OFF;
NC GOV & US SENATE PRIMARY POLLS.
- DEMS. Hillary Clinton rolled to victory in Pennsylvania
on Tuesday. Clinton defeated Barack Obama by a vote of 55% to
45% (note: identical to our prediction of two days ago). While
Obama ran strong in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and surrounding areas,
Clinton swept nearly everywhere else in the state. While both
sides are spinning this is a victory, the race played out almost
exactly as most pundits had long expected. The race now moves
on to Guam on May 3 and Indiana and North Carolina on May 6. Obama
leads in Indiana and North Carolina according to recent polls,
and holds a massive advantage in money according to FEC filings.
Here are the congressional primary results from Tuesday. CD-3:
Businesswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (D) won the four-way primary to
face potentially vulnerable Congressman Phil English (R). He was
re-elected with a surprisingly unimpressive vote two years ago.
Race rating: GOP Favored. CD-5: Congressman John Peterson
(R) is retiring and Dems see a longshot pickup opportunity here.
Nine Republicans and three Democrats competed for the open seat.
Centre County GOP Chair Glenn Thompson -- Peterson's endorsed candidate -- won the Republican primary with 19.5%. Wealthy developer Matt Shaner, the Club for Growth's candidate, finished third with 17%. On the Democratic side, Clearfield
County Commissioner Mark McCracken won the three-way primary by edging favored Iraq War veteran Bill Cahir by a 5-point margin.
Race rating: GOP Favored. CD-10: Republicans want to recapture
this traditionally GOP seat, currently held by freshman Congressman
Chris Carney (D). Two wealthy businessmen -- Chris Hackett and
Dan Meuser -- engaged in a very nasty, expensive and close primary
battle. Hackett won by a 52% to 48% vote. Race
rating: Leans DEM. CD-18: Businessman Steve O'Donnell (D)
defeated two others to win the right to face Congressman Tim Murphy
(R) in November in this swing district. Race rating: Leans GOP.
The CD-1 special election contest appears heading towards a run-off
on May 13, in what is a major embarrassment for the Republicans
in this overwhelmingly GOP district. In an upset, Prentiss County
Clerk Travis Childers (D) finished ahead of initial frontrunner
Southaven Mayor Greg Davis (R). The numbers: Childers - 49%, Davis
- 47%, Others - 4%. The folksy Childers fell just 700 votes shy
of an outright win in his surprise first place finish. Both men
are social and fiscal conservatives, but they differ sharply on
the Iraq War. Davis strongly supports the war, while Childers
advocates a swift withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. While the
NRCC and DCCC both spent money here in the primary, look for both
to dump even more money into this suprisingly close race.
CAROLINA: WTVD-TV/SurveyUSA are out with polling numbers on
the upcoming primaries for US Senate and Governor. The Democratic
primary US Senate: State Senator Kay Hagan - 38%, investment banker
Jim Neal - 16%, attorney Marcus Williams - 6%, physician Howard
Staley - 4%, truck driver Duskin Lassiter - 3%. The winner will
face US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) in November. In the gubernatorial
contest, both parties have hotly contested races because Governor
Mike Easley (D) is term-limited. The Democrats: Lieutenant Governor
Bev Perdue - 43%, State Treasurer Richard Moore - 39%, retired
USAF officer Dennis Nielsen - 2%. The Republicans: Charlotte Mayor
Pat McCrory - 35%, State Senator Fred Smith - 24%, former State
Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr - 9%, attorney Bill Graham - 8%.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.23.08 | Permalink
VOTES; OBAMA'S BUCKS VERSUS CLINTON'S DEBTS; MS CD-1 SPECIAL.
- DEMS. On the eve of Pennsylvania's Presidential primary,
polling numbers are all over the map. In nearly all polls, Hillary
Clinton leads -- but the agreement ends there. Depending upon
which pollster you trust, Clinton is leading by anywhere from
5-10 points. Here are the latest polls:
Clinton - 48%, Obama - 42%.
Clinton - 49%, Obama - 44%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Public Policy
Polling): Obama - 49%, Clinton - 46%.
Advantage): Clinton - 49%, Obama - 39%.
University): Clinton - 51%, Obama - 44%.
University): Clinton - 52%, Obama - 42%.
In related news, the AP reports Obama started April with $42 million
cash-on-hand -- while Clinton's campaign is essentially broke.
Clinton eported $9.3 million cash-on-hand, but owed $10.3 million
in unpaid debts to her pollster, phone bank firm, and advertising
Much overlooked because of the high-profile Clinton-Obama fight
are other important races on Pennsylvania's primary ballot. The
primaries worth noting are the Democratic contest for State Treasurer
and several congressional races. CD-3: Four Dems believe
Congressman Phil English (R) is vulnerable. Erie County Councilman
Kyle Foust and attorney Tom Myers appear to be the Democratic
frontrunners. Race rating:
GOP Favored. CD-5: Congressman John Peterson (R) is retiring
and Dems see a longshot pickup opportunity here. Nine Republicans
and three Democrats are seeking the open seat. Peterson has endorsed
Centre County GOP Chair Glenn Thompson, but Thompson's fundraising
has lagged far behind several other GOP hopefuls. Former Congressman
Bill Clinger and several top GOP leaders are backing wealthy financial
consultant Derek Walker -- although Walker was unexpectedly charged
with two felonies and two misdemeanors last Thursday for an alleged
incident which took place at his girlfriend's home last summer.
Walker says the timing of the indictment was politically motivated.
Hotel developer Matt Shaner loaned himself $1.2 million, and is
also one of the top contenders. Shaner, a one-time aide to former
US Senator Rick Santorum, is backed by the Club for Growth. Former
Woodward Township Supervisor and wealthy businessman Jeff Stroehman
rounds out the first-tier of GOP frontrunners. On the Dem side,
Iraq War veteran Bill Cahir appears to be the likely primary winner
over two local elected officials. Race rating: GOP Favored. CD-10:
Republicans want to recapture this seat, which freshman Congressman
Chris Carney (D) handily won in a 2006 upset. Two wealthy businessmen
-- Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser -- have engaged in a very nasty,
expensive and divisive primary battle. No matter which man wins,
we'll rate this race: Leans DEM. CD-18: Three Dems are
competing for the right to take on Congressman Tim Murphy (R)
in November in this swing district. Race rating: Leans GOP.
Republicans find themselves in an unexpectedly competitive open
seat race to defend the CD-1 seat left vacant by the elevation
of US Senator Roger Wicker (R). The contest is hot enough that
both the NRCC and DCCC are spending money here. Southaven Mayor
Greg Davis (R) and Prentiss County Clerk Travis Childers (D) are
facing off, although the names of two Republicans and one Democrats
who lost in the regular election primary last month also remain
on the ballot. The reason the race is so competitive is because
of the unhealed wounds from the divisive GOP primary run-off.
The Democrats, by comparison, are totally united behind Childers.
Restaurant owner Wally Pang (Ind.) and college professor John
Wages (Green) are also running. Davis enjoys a 4-to-1 spending
advantage and is still likely to win this race. But, if Childers
scores an upset win in this usually safe GOP district, it could
be an ominous harbinger of a cataclysmically devastating year
for the GOP on a par with 1932 or 1974.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.22.08 | Permalink
FINANCE CHAIR PLAYED MAJOR ROLE IN SPITZER'S DOWNFALL; CLINTON
HOLDS PA LEAD.
YORK.A Politics1 Exclusive. John McCain's National
Finance Co-Chairman played a key role in the recent downfall of
former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D). Reliable sources informed
Politics1 that DC super-lobbyist Wayne
Berman -- a longtime confidant of insurance executive Maurice
Hank Greenberg -- authorized a private Investigation that discovered
the links between Spitzer and a Florida escort service ring. Operating
under the alias code-name "Wallace C. Bernheim," Berman
directed an 18-month effort that cost en estimated $2.2 million.
The investigation was allegedly paid for by a highly-secretive
shadow committee Berman directed, informally nicknamed "The
Group." Sources tell Politics1 that The Group included Greenberg,
Home Depot founder Ken Langone and former New York Stock Exchange
Chairman Ken Grasso -- all high-profile targets of Spitzer when
he was Attorney General. Key players in funding the anti-Spitzer
effort also included wealthy New Jersey businessman Joseph Jingoli
and Florida sugar mogul Pepe Fanjul Jr. Berman also retained veteran
Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone to transmit the information
to the FBI five months ago. The Group also funded an on-going
effort by Stone to challenge Spitzer on the "Troopergate"
and illegal immigrants drivers license issues. Berman and Stone
were previously partners in the Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly
consulting firm, whose former clients included Philippine President
Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerilla Jonas Savimbi , US Sugar, Phillip
Morris Tobacco, and developer Donald Trump. Stone also had a very
public sexual scandal in that past, as he was fired by Bob Dole's
1996 Presidential campaign when it was reported that Stone and
his wife were advertising for other couples in sex magazines and
participated in swingers sex parties. Stone also organized the
so-called "Brooks Brothers Riot" in November 2000 that
shut down the Miami-Dade Presidential recount. The funders decided
against giving the money to the coffers of New York Senate Majority
Leader Joe Bruno (R) -- a sharp Spitzer foe -- because of lack
of confidence in Bruno strategist John McArdle.
- DEMS. For both
camps, Tuesday cannot come soon enough. After the millions of
dollars spent on Pennsylvania TV spots, and weeks dedicated to
campaigning in the state, the primary finally comes tomorrow.
Here are the latest polls:
Clinton - 46%, Obama - 43%.
Post-Gazette): Clinton - 48%, Obama - 43%.
Clinton told ABC News on Sunday that "I have to win"
the state. Editor's Prediction: Despite polls showing the race
narrowing over the past two weeks, I don't buy it. I expect Clinton
to win Pennsylvania by a margin of at least 10-points, maybe 55%
to 45% (or better). But it won't much matter as, in terms of convention
delegates, Clinton will win only a few more than Obama.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.21.08 | Permalink
NUNN, BOREN ENDORSE OBAMA.
- DEMS. Former US Senators Sam
Nunn (D-GA) and David Boren (D-OK) -- both prominent Southern
Democratic conservatives and national security "hawks"
-- endorsed Barack Obama on Friday. "Based on my conversations
with Senator Obama, reading his book and his speeches and seeing
the kind of campaign he has run, I believe that he is our best
choice to lead our nation," said Nunn. The two men issued
a joint statement and will both serve as foreign policy advisors
to the Obama campaign. Nunn and Boren were part of the now defunct
Unity '08 movement, which wanted to organize a viable Independent
Presidential ticket. The endorsement also puts to rest any of
the rumors that Nunn was still planning to make an Independent
run for President this year. In related news, Clinton family friend
for 40+ years and former Clinton Cabinet member Robert Reich (D-MA)
endorsed Obama. "Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid
and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more
so ... He offers the best hope of transcending the boundaries
of class, race, and nationality that have divided us. His life
history exemplifies this, as do his writings and his record of
public service. For these same reasons, he offers the best possibility
of restoring America's moral authority in the world," explained
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.19.08 | Permalink
FROM ABROAD: DR. HANS-CHRISTIAN STRÖBELE, MdB, PARLIAMENTARY
VICE CHAIR OF THE GREEN PARTY (GERMANY).
STRÖBELE, MdB, Parliamentary Vice Chair of the BÜNDNIS
90/DIE GRÜNEN (Green Party). Born in 1939, Ströbele
became active in the leftist German student movement of the 1960s.
He began practicing law in 1969, after studying at Heidelberg
and Freie Universität Berlin. A member of the Socialist Lawyers'
Collective, Ströbele was an aggressive defender of those
facing politically-related crimes. His past clients included notorious
members of the Baader-Meinhof Group/Red Army Faction urban guerrillas.
Originally active in the mainstream SPD -- the ruling Socialists
in West German -- Ströbele co-founded the "Alternative
List for Democracy and Environmental Protection." The ALDEP
later became the Berlin chapter of the Greens. Ströbele was
elected to the Bundestag (West German Parliament) in a 1985 by-election,
and served until 1987. In 2002, Ströbele was returned to
the Bundestag from Berlin's Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district.
He was reelected in 2005. Ströbele currently serves as a
Vice Chair of the
Green caucus in the Bundestag and is among the most prominent
politicians belonging to the "Fundi" wing of the party.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL RACE TO DATE?
From across the Atlantic, the US Presidential race looks very
democratic. Voter participation in the primaries so far has
been very high. My great hopes are with the Democratic candidates,
Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, each for different
reasons. Hopefully McCain will not be the beneficiary of their
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT?
I hope that the next U.S. President will be more peaceful than
Mr. Bush and end the war in Iraq immediately, along with the
other armed U.S. military operations. The Iraq War not only
increases the suffering of the population of that country, but
is increasing the threat to Europe and the United States. The
war has become a recruiting machine for international terrorism.
used some really cool, artistic posters in his last two
campaigns (click to enlarge):
you have a connection to a foreign political leader, elected official
or prominent candidate you'd like to have answer these two questions?
Please email Ron
if you know someone you'd like featured here.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.19.08 | Permalink
OBAMA CLOSE IN PA; WASH GOV POLL; BARNEY FRANK & RON PAUL
PROPOSE MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION.
- DEMS. Just one new Pennsylvania poll released on Thursday.
Here are the numbers from the latest Newsmax/Zogby poll: Clinton
- 45%, Obama - 44%.
A new KING-TV/SurveyUSA poll shows Governor Christine Gregoire
(D) leading for re-election over former State Senator Dino Rossi
(R) by a vote of 50% to 46%.
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced a bill on Thursday
to decriminalize the personal use of marijuana and legalize the
use of marijuana when prescribed for medical purposes. "“I
think it is poor law enforcement to keep on the books legislation
that establishes as a crime something which in fact society does
not seriously wish to prosecute," said Frank. The bill would
remove all federal criminal sanctions for possession of up to
100 grams of marijuana. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is an original
co-sponsor of the bill.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.18.08 | Permalink
DEM POLLS, PLUS "DEM UNITY" DEBATE; SPECTER CANCER RETURNS;
BAUCUS' BIG BUCKS LEAD; UTAH CONGRESSMAN DEFENDS POLYGAMY.
- DEMS. Another day, another
round of primary polls ...
Daily News/Franklin & Marshall Collge): Clinton - 46%, Obama
PENNSYLVANIA (Public Policy
Polling): Obama - 45%, Clinton - 42%.
NORTH CAROLINA (American
Research Group): Obama - 52%, Clinton - 41%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Insider
Advantage): Obama - 51%, Clinton - 36%.
SOUTH DAKOTA (Dakota Wesleyan
University): Obama - 46%, Clinton - 34%.
In Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Clinton held a rally featuring 100
mayors from around the Keystone State who all endorsed her candidacy.
While many had previously endorsed Clinton, it still was an impressive
photo op with each standing behind the candidate and holding a
signs bearing the names of the cities and towns they represent.
In other related news, Obama picked up three more superdelegates
this week: Congressmen Mel Watt (D-NC), David Price (D-NC) and
Andre Carson (D-IN). Clinton picked up a superdelegate last week:
new Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA). Speier did not represent
a numerical gain for Clinton, as she was elected to replace the
late Congressman and Clinton superdelegate Tom Lantos. Finally,
in Wednesday night's debate, Clinton and Obama both vowed they
will ensure party unity behind the eventual nominee. "I will
do everything to make sure that the people who supported me will
support the nominee," said Clinton, who promised to campaign
"anywhere" for the nominee. Likewise, Obama promised
the party will "come together" once the nominee is designated.
Neither, however, made any commitment to select the other as the
Despite being diagnosed this week with a recurrence of cancer,
Senator Arlen Specter (R) vowed that he will still seek re-election
in 2010. He said he was optimistic with the prognosis, and will
begin 12-weeks of new chemotherapy treatment on April 25. "You
deal with it as it comes. I have a good job, my faith, my family
and questions from the news media to keep me on my toes," said
Specter to The Politico. In related news, MSNBC talk show
host Chris Matthews (D) last week -- when asked on his show --
made a point of not denying the rumors he was making inquiries
of party leaders to gauge support for a possible run against Specter
in two years.
New FEC filings out this week show US Senator Max Baucus (D)
has raised over $10 million for his re-election bid -- and has
$6.4 milliona cash-on-hand remaining. By contrast, The Missoulian
reports Baucus' five GOP opponents have a combined cash-on-hand
of just over $10,000.
The definition of marriage is becoming an issue in the Utah
CD-3 congressional primary -- and the dispute isn't even centered
around same-sex marriage. Congressman Chris
Cannon (R) -- facing an aggressive primary challenge from former
Juab County Prosecutor David Leavitt, former gubernatorial chief
of staff Jason Chaffetz and two others -- expressed some support
for radical Mormon polygamists. Cannon said the state should not
prosecute polygamists for bigamy solely because they engage in
consensual plural marriage. Further, Cannon said anti-polygamy
laws were largely analogous to the anti-sodomy laws already declared
unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Here is how Cannon explained
it to the Salt Lake Tribune: There are "lots of women
who choose to be in polygamous relationships and who are very
articulate about the benefits they get. I don't think it's the
place of society to prosecute people who choose to cohabitate
responsibly and are responsible for their children as opposed
to men who are licentious or women who are licentious who are
producing children that don't have place or context or male authority
in their lives." Cannon said his views also extended to same
sex couples -- that the relationships should not be criminal,
but the relationships do not get government recognition either.
Leavitt told KNRS radio that the state must aggressively prosecute
polygamists "or it will pave the road to same-sex marriage
... If we allow two consenting women and a consenting man to redefine
what our society says is marriage, then we have opened the door
for the redefinition of marriage for same-gender marriage. This
is a broader scope than just polygamy." Leavitt lost for
re-election by 22 votes in 2002, in what was largely viewed as
a backlash against his successful bigamy prosecution of a vocal
polygamist in 2000.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.17.08 | Permalink
LIKELY TO SPEAK AT GOP CONVENTION; SEVEN NEW DEM PREZ PRIMARY
POLLS; SECOND POLL SHOWS LANDRIEU LEAD IN LOUISIANA.
- GOP. Senator Joe Lieberman
(I-CT) -- the 2000 Dem nominee for VP -- says he is willing to
be a pro-McCain speaker at this summer's Republican National Convention.
"If Senator McCain, who I support so strongly, asked me to
do it, if he thinks it will help him, I will," said Lieberman
to The Hill. Lieberman said it is likely he will be asked
to speak at the convention, but does not expect to be asked give
the keynote address. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV),
a close Lieberman friend, said the Dems would not strip Lieberman
of his committee chairmanship if he speaks at the GOP convo. When
directly asked by The Hill if Lieberman's chairmanship
was "at risk" in the next Congress, Reid responded "No."
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) seemed to echo Reid's
stance. "We have one difference of opinion, maybe two with
Senator Lieberman. As a Whip, I can tell you time and again, he’s
been there when we’ve needed him," said Durbin ...
Just a prediction, but don't be surprised if Congressman Ron Paul
(R-TX) also speaks at a rival party convention this summer. Expect
to see Paul speaking at the Libertarian National Convention next
month in support of former GOP Congressman Bob Barr's third party
candidacy ... In other GOP news, Secretary of State Condi Rice
gave a Shermanesque statement ruling out any interest in being
the VP runningmate. "I don't want to be, don't intend to
be, won't be on the ticket," Rice told the New York Times.
- DEMS. Another day, another round of primary polls ...
PENNSYLVANIA (Los Angeles
Times/Bloomberg): Clinton - 46%, Obama - 41%.
Vision): Clinton - 49%, Obama - 40%.
Clinton - 54%, Obama - 40%.
University): Clinton - 50%, Obama - 44%.
INDIANA (Los Angeles
Times/Bloomberg): Obama - 40%, Clinton - 35%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Los
Angeles Times/Bloomberg): Obama - 47%, Clinton - 34%.
Clinton - 62%, Obama - 26%. Congressional Quarterly performed an interesting analysis
of recent Pennsylvania polls in which they are able to break down
the vote by congressional district -- as convention delegates
are awarded at that level. Based upon this analysis, Clinton appears
likely to edge Obama by a narrow margin of 53 delegates to 50
delegates of those awarded at the district level. The state will
also send 84 additional delegates to the convention. Of those
remaining 84 slots, 55 pledged delegates will be distributed based
on the statewide popular vote, and the remaining 29 seats go to
A new Southern Media & Opinion Research poll essentially
confirms yesterday's Rasmussen poll numbers. Here are the SMOR
numbers: US Senator Mary Landrieu (D) - 50%, State Treasurer John
Kennedy (R) - 38%.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.16.08 | Permalink