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Campaign 2006: Last Week's Winners & Losers

After spending the last week away from politics, The Fix is back and ready to go. But before we move forward, let's recap some of the winners and losers from the past seven days to get you (and me) caught up.


* Rep. Mark Green (R-Wisc.): Green benefits mightily from Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's decision to drop from the gubernatorial contest last week. Walker cited Green's considerable financial edge as his main reason for bowing out. His decision leaves Green in a one-on-one fight with Gov. Jim Doyle (D). Other than the open seat race in Iowa, the Wisconsin contest is now Republicans' best chance at a pickup opportunity. In the last Friday gubernatorial line, we ranked it as the seventh most likely race to turn over.

* Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.): Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth's victory -- albeit narrow -- in the Illinois 6th district primary was a major win for Emanuel. He personally recruited Duckworth into the contest and helped her raise cash from a variety of national sources. The open seat remains a difficult challenge for Democrats as President George W. Bush carried it with 53 percent in 2004 -- nine points better than his showing statewide. Although Rep. Henry Hyde (R) is retiring after sixteen terms, Republicans are confident that state Sen. Peter Roskam (R) will hold the district.

* Ex-Safeco CEO Mike McGavick (R-Wash.): McGavick's Senate bid got a nice boost from Arizona Sen. John McCain last week who hosted a fundraiser for the Washington State candidate. McGavick's campaign proved its savvy by webcasting both men's speeches live. McGavick is trying to present himself as a populist outsider and an appearance with McCain is sure to further that idea. So, too, will McGavick's latest television ad. " I don't think all the people in Congress are bad folk," McGavick says. " I just think somehow being back there they have lost touch -- lost touch with our anxiety about these issues and lost touch with the fundamental optimism that we can do this together."


* Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.): Lieberman became the talk of the liberal blogosphere last week after he decided to call into a radio show to respond to a columnist criticizing him in the Hartford Courant. Lieberman's comments are sure to drive dollars to the campaign of his primary race opponent, Ned Lamont. The challenger scored another victory by winning the support of 16 of the 22 Greenwich Democratic Town Commiteemen. While the results are non-binding and also took place in Lamont's base of support, they give some credibility to his challenge to the powerful incumbent.

* Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.): The decision by state Sen. Bob Keenan (R) to challenge Burns in the June 6 primary adds another complication to the incumbent's chances at winning re-election. While Keenan's announcement was certainly strange (he emailed the Associated Press while on vacation), it is likely that he will make Burns' ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff a major issue over the next few months. Keenan has said he is running so that Republicans have a "viable option they can be proud of."

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 27, 2006; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  Governors , House , Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Post Politics Hour: Wonky vs. Warm From the Bully Pulpit
Next: Va. Senate: George Allen's Tough Balancing Act


VB: quoting your post isn't spinning it. Scroll up and read what you wrote.

Saying "I don't need no stinkin' polls to prove any of my points" suggests a disconnect with reality. No matter how many people you meet (do you keep a running tally of who they are going to vote for?) you'll always keep an eye on the polls.

I agree we should keep a close watch on Rasmussen but you need to decide whether you are only going to believe it when it's good news for your side. If the latter is true then why post to this blog?

I have some doubts about how much "meet and greet" you do with a representative cross-section of bonafide D's in any area of OH. Politicos don't count. Nevertheless, I'm sure the broad consensus is that this is Strickland's year. I doubt that the D's will underestimate the Scary Republican wing, that component of the GOP that is perfectly comfortable with ripping up the US Constitution, beginning with the First Amendment.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 30, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Don't spin my post Crater, never said anything about trumping any other polls. Polls are merely snapshots in time.

I don't know where you reside but I am on ground zero here in Ohio and an active campaign field general.

In other words, in comparison to all of you sitting behind a screen, I am actually pressing the flesh, talking with voters and candidates from both parties.

I don't need no stinkin' polls to prove any of my points.

Six week old polls are meaningless in a fluid campaign. Hey did you notice that Rasmussen has Bush at 45% today. Still the MSM will continue to talk about Bush's poll ratings in the 30's. It's been awhile since Rasmussen has done anything with Ohio. Let's see his latest and check back.

Here's the feedback I get from OH Dems in NEOH: While they would love to face Petro, they know he is dead man walking. Petro's dead, just doesn't know it.

Dems fear that a very charismatic Blackwell has the chance to pull Black voters, voters who are majority Dems. Nonetheless, they are still confident that this is their year and they will beat either Blackwell or Petro, pick up seats in the US House as well as the Ohio legislature.

Blackwell has his work cut our for him but he has an excellent organization from the grassroots up as well as big money.

I just hope you a Dems underestimate him.

Posted by: vivabush04OH | March 29, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

VB: from Rasmussen
"February 19, 2006--Democratic Congressman Ted Strickland continues to lead his potential Republican opponents in the Ohio governor's race.
Strickland leads Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell 47% to 35%. This is a weaker showing for the Republican than we found in January.
Strickland also leads Attorney General Jim Petro 44% to 37%. That's about the same as our previous Ohio election poll."

No doubt you will now proceed to "slice and dice" this poll BUT it clearly suggests that Blackwell is a weaker candidate. We all realize that you've hitched your wagon to this horse; however, your persistent state of denial doesn't match our perception of your intelligence. Heck, the least you could say is that the jury's still out but NO it's "the Dispatch poll reinforces all other polls" without reference to these mysterious 'other' polls. Lay down the pom-poms for once.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 28, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

And furthermore... who's more out of touch with regular people - Senator Cantwell, who's been representing them in the Senate for 6 years, or, say, a guy who continues to get paid millions by his ostensibly former big insurance company employer.


The sound you hear when the insurance industry asks you to run for US Senate"

Posted by: asdf | March 28, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Re: Cantwell-MaGavick,

Rather than idly speculating that McCain gave McGavick a "boost," show me some evidence in terms of public support. No one doubts that McGavick can raise money; George Nethercutt was well funded against Patty Murray, and look how much good it did him.

Second, if you want to position yourself as a populist outsider, it would help to not be running as a member of the elitist insider party of wealthy special interests, like large insurance and oil companies. The politicians to whom he can only referring when he says, "I just think somehow being back there they have lost touch," are DeLay-Abramoff culture of corruption Republicans. Cantwell could run the same ad.

And does he think that Senator Cantwell has somehow lost touch with a hidden desire the people of Washington have for supertankers in Puget Sound? That's what McGavick ally Ted Stevens (R-Oil) wants.

Finally, how much do you want to bet that McGavick webcast their fat-cat fundraiser using Real Networks software?

Posted by: asdf | March 28, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Aw c'mon 'Mill, you can slice and dice any poll any way you want. Nonetheless, the Dispatch poll reinforces all other polls which have Blackwellahead of Petro by similar margins.

And if it was a mail in poll, that would not bode well for Petro if it is indicative of the motivation of Blackwell voters to act on behalf of their candidate.

Posted by: vivabush04OH | March 28, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

What Viva fails to mention is that this was a "mail-in" poll which skews numbers in favor of those organized enough to coordinate a response.

These types of polls are often unreliable as a true statistical measure of current prevailing senitiments.

Posted by: RMill | March 28, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If Blackwell wins the primary I doubt that the racist fake phoney Christians that make up most of the Republican party in Ohio will vote for a black man. Blacks will also not vote for a radical right winger like Blackwell. Plus do to Republican corruption and incompetence Blackwell is doomed to lose anyway. Strickland wins easy.

Posted by: Larry | March 28, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Rmill fails to mention that Sunday's Columbus Dispatch poll shows Blackwell with a 39-29% lead over Petro.

Talk about loser.

Petro has a long ways to go to reach 51% by May 2 and it ain't going to happen.
Conventional wisdom is that you do not debate an opponent who needs a debate to catch up. Blackwell doesn't need any debate with Petro.

Well, you Dems will get your wish to take on Blackwell.

Posted by: vivabush04OH | March 28, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

You can dismiss Lieberman's critics as hailing from the "liberal blogosphere" all you want, but the dislike of him is spreading rapidly through the party.

Do you really think his recent stint as the latest incarnation of Zell Miller is flying? Think again.

Any major Democratic politician from a blue, Northeasern state, who says that a rape victim should take a "short ride" to another hospital if they are refused emergency contraception after their rape, does not deserve the support of any Democrat.

Personally, I think Sen. Lieberman's prime ambition is to be the next Secretary of Defense.

His monthly stints as a stooge for Sean Hannity should be enough to give him one hell of a primary fight. And I would be willing to bet he loses.

For those who are unaware of Lieberman's 'short ride' comment, the story is posted on my blog at:

Posted by: scootmandubious | March 27, 2006 7:08 PM | Report abuse

JD Hayworth Lose. Last week A real challenger announced Harry Mitchell long time Mayor of Tempe, Arizona Rep. and State Senator and chair of the Party. Will give JD a run for his money

Posted by: don | March 27, 2006 6:41 PM | Report abuse

My stuff keeps getting held for approval when I attach links for proper citation and reference.

Additional winners and losers:

State Rep. Chuck Blasdel, running in Ohio 6 CD- Cheney does fundraiser.

Atty. Gen. Jim Petro- Blackwell won't debate and City Club debate will go on without him.

SD Gov. Mike Rounds- gains national stature with conservatives for signing abortion ban but in-state approval drops from 72% to 58%.


MI Gov. Jennifer Granholm drops into tie with opponent DeVos as GM announces further job cuts.

MA gubernatorial candidates Kerry Healey (R) and Thomas Reilly (D), with independent candidate and wealthy businessman Christy Mihos making things much more interesting.

Posted by: RMill | March 27, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Mike McGavick has not had a "good week" since he started his doomed campaign for the Senate. Any "life" in the campaign seems to come from assorted pundits who are determined to make the Cantwell-McGavick contest into a real race. In 2006 I can promise you that Washington is not going to send an ex-insurance company CEO (who has advocated PRIVATIZING the University of Washington) to the Senate...esp. if he has an "R" after his name on the ballot.

Posted by: T-Bow | March 27, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Other winners and losers:

State Rep Chuck Blasdel, candidate for Congress- OH 6
Vice President Cheney does fundie for Blasdel in heated battle for seat vacated by Democrat Ted Stickland, running for Ohio Governor.

Jim Petro, Ohio Attoprney General and GOP candidate for Governor

GOP opponent Ken Blackwell refuses to debate before the primary, even at the hallowed Cleveland City Club, which refused to cancel. President Bush just made his appearance at the City Club last week. This may prove a bigger deal than Blackwell thinks and Petro can only benefit.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds

(+) Makes big gains with conservatives nationwide in signing the nation's most restrictive legislation concerning abortions.

(-) However, coincidently, his in-state approval rating drops from 72% to 58% (according to Survey USA monthly approval polls).

Thomas Reilly, Democratic candidate for Governor

Kerry Healey, Republican candidate for Governor

Wealthy businessman Christy Mihos is in the race as an independent, taking a lot of air out of the GOP attempt to retain the Massachutsetts Governor's Mansion. Interestingly, Reilly suffered more of a drop in the polls (Rasmussen) with Mihos in, making a slam dunk more interesting.

Governor Jennifer Granholm
Another round of cuts at GM does not bode well for her re-election campaign, which is now a dead-heat according to Rasmussen.

Posted by: RMill | March 27, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick


Posted by: McCainstream media | March 27, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm interested - but not enough to do it myself - to see a tally of how many mentions certain politicians have gotten on The Fix.

Something tells me the leader is John McCain by a mile. Take it for what its worth.

Posted by: corbett | March 27, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Russ Feingold should be included in the winner list because his profile among Democrats nationwide was enhanced and he's cementing his image as an authentic progressive voice with a spine.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | March 27, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't see the Duckworth win as a win for Rahm. Her barely squeaking by despite all the support is hardly a major success story, especially if the Cegelis supporters don't come home by November.

Posted by: Mis-Read? | March 27, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, try to write an article on this subject.

Abramoff Probe Widens to Murder

Sun, 26 Mar 2006 21:39:03 -0800

Boulis was killed in the midst of a bitter dispute over SunCruz, which he had sold in September 2000 to Abramoff and New York businessman Adam Kidan.

Was Abramoff involved?
[Posted By ShiftShapers]
By AP [Unattributed]
Republished from The Washington Post
Court Grants Request to Question Abramoff in SunCurz Slaying Trial

Fort Lauderdale, Flordia – A judge has approved subpoenas for former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and an ex-business partner to answer questions about the mob-style slaying of the owner of a gambling fleet they bought.

Abramoff and Adam Kidan have insisted, through their attorneys, that they know nothing about the slaying of Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis, who was ambushed in his car by a gunman in Fort Lauderdale a few months after the pair bought SunCruz Casinos from him.

A lawyer for Anthony “Big Tony” Moscatiello, one of three men charged in the 2001 slaying, wants to question Abramoff and Kidan, according to court documents. Circuit Judge Michael Kaplan approved the request Thursday, but the subpoenas had not been issued as of Friday.

Abramoff and Kidan are not charged in the slaying. Their lawyers did not return telephone calls or e-mails seeking comment Friday.

Posted by: che | March 27, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

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