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Leading Off:

SC-Gov: For whatever reason, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's come up a bunch in the comments over at Daily Kos Elections in recent days, with a lot of people wondering if she might be vulnerable to a challenge in 2014. Despite running in a very red state in a very red year, Haley only first won office with a four-point victory over Democrat Vincent Sheheen in 2010, and Sheheen (just 41) may well run again. But has Haley managed to recover her mojo—to the extent she ever had any? Maybe not, according to a new Winthrop University poll, which has her job approval rating at a rather mediocre 38-41. That's actually down a touch since April, when she stood at an even 37-37.

But why is Haley down in the dumps? I'd wager there are a number of reasons. Both sex and race could both be playing a role (Haley's parents are immigrants from India). But she also came into office as the protégé of disgraced ex-Gov. Mark Sanford, who alienated a lot of his fellow Republicans and of course departed office in humiliating fashion. While Haley's not quite the lone wolf Sanford was, like her predecessor, she's often had a rocky relationship with the legislature, and those ugly spats don't tend to play well for either side. A recent article in The State sums things up well:

Critics say Haley has adopted an insular management style, surrounding herself with a small group of 20-something former campaign staffers, led until recently by a young chief of staff, with limited state government experience. She also employs an "us vs. them" mentality against her perceived foes.

The result?

Haley has alienated some former allies, made powerful enemies and damaged relationships with legislators who could have helped pass her agenda. A list of the bruised extends from Tea Party elements and the libertarian Policy Council, both of which once championed Haley, to fellow Republicans, including House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

The piece goes on to add that while Haley has managed to secure the support of the state's business community, lots of observers think she's more interested in national aspirations than what's going on back home. That's the sort of line of attack that could be extremely potent in a general election, since it would allow someone like Sheheen to go after Haley over a decidedly non-partisan issue—the kind of thing a Democrat running on red turf needs to be able to do. Haley has lots of time to turn things around before election day, of course, but without a course correction, she could indeed find herself in trouble.

P.S. Want one more bad sign for Haley? Obama somehow has a 48-41 approval score in this same Winthrop poll. Now, maybe that's a sign this survey perhaps leans a bit too Democratic, but regardless, for a Republican governor in South Carolina to chalk up a worse rating than a Democratic president ... well, that's pretty awful.

Senate:

IL-Sen: Heh. If Michelle Obama were to pull a Hillary Clinton and run for Senate in the final year of her husband's presidency, PPP finds that she'd beat GOP Sen. Mark Kirk 51-40. While we often caution that two years is a long time in politics and things can change, I am of the opinion that polls taken four years in advance of a race are absolutely dead accurate, Nostradamus-like predictions of the future, so take this one to the bank, Senator-elect Obama!

P.S. Illinois voters support gay marriage by a 47-42 margin—interestingly, quite a bit narrower than in New Jersey (see below).

KY-Sen: Not that this was ever going to happen, but Dem Gov. Steve Beshear confirms he will not run against Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014. Says Beshear, who once unsuccessfully challenged McConnell in 1996 (losing 56-43): "I have no interest in running for that or any other office."

NM-Sen: Businessman and former state GOP chair Allen Weh says he's considering a bid against Sen. Tom Udall and hopes to decide by next spring. Weh ran in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, coming in second with 28 percent in a five-way field. (The winner, now-Gov. Susana Martinez, cleared an outright majority.) You might also recall Weh, a Marine Corps vet, from his involvement in the tawdry U.S. Attorneys firing scandal—he advocated pushing out U.S.A. David Iglesias because he had refused to indict a Democratic legislator on voter fraud charges. Weh, 70, is wealthy and could self-fund his campaign, but he says he doesn't want to. He's far from a perfect candidate, but if he were to open up his checkbook, he could wind up being New Mexico Republicans' best bet, since they don't exactly have a top-flight bench.

SD-Sen: I really don't think these new comments are very meaningful, seeing as Dem Sen. Tim Johnson had already made it quite clear that he hadn't reached a decision about whether to seek a fourth term in the Senate. So his remarks on Wednesday are not at all a surprise: "If I run again," said Johnson, "I will run a strong campaign is what I meant. But only if I run again, and it's far too soon to make that statement."

This is just tea leaves 101: Yes, Johnson said last week that "I fully intend to put together a winning campaign," but that was not at all dispositive. If Johnson wanted to put to rest any talk about a possible retirement, he could have done so at that time. Put another way: If a candidate does not definitively say, "Yes, I am running for re-election," then you should make no assumptions either way.

Gubernatorial:

PA-Gov: Interesting: Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor says he's thinking about challenging Gov. Tom Corbett... in the GOP primary. Castor ain't some Some Dude, either: He served as MontCo DA for two terms, and in 2004, Keegan Gibson notes, he lost the attorney general primary to Corbett by just five points. Of course, it would be quite a thing to knock off an incumbent governor in a primary, but at least Castor has something of a profile. (One other Republican, businessman Scott Wagner, has also expressed interest, but it's not clear how much mojo he's got.)

VA-Gov: Ah, too bad: Former Congressman and progressive hero Tom Perriello says he will not run for governor next year, following a few hazy reports that suggested he was considering a bid. Instead, he's endorsing former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe, which makes it seem increasingly likely that T-Mac will have a clear primary field. As for Perriello's future, he says: "I do not feel called to serve in elected office at this time, but I do not need to have my name on the ballot to be part of the fight." Hopefully he'll run for something again in the near future, though, but at just 38 years of age, he has a lot of time to plan his next steps.

House:

CA-35: We've talked a lot about the unusual race in CA-35 since election day, which I think may have produced the most remarkable upset of the cycle. But I'm still going to recommend you read Dan Morain's piece in the Sacramento Bee discussing the contest between soon-to-be-ex-Rep. Joe Baca and state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, because I think it's the best analysis of the entire race I've seen to date.

In particular, Morain explains why exactly NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's PAC, which is pretty much the only moneyed force in politics that's focused on advancing gun control, went after Baca—and how Baca was cut loose by the NRA despite asking for their help because he didn't vote to censure Eric Holder over "Fast and Furious." (A smart sacrifice for them: The NRA can point to Baca's loss and failure to support their entire agenda next time someone comes to them cap-in-hand.) Interestingly, Morain says Negrete McLeod "hardly is an anti-gunner," but Baca was evidently so offensive to Bloomberg that it didn't matter. In any event, as I say, the entire piece is worth a read.

IL-02: Uh, whoops? State Sen. Donne Trotter, who just announced he'd make a bid for ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s now-vacant seat was... just arrested at O'Hare for trying to bring a handgun and bullets through security? WTF? Well, yeah, apparently this did indeed happen. Some local reports have suggested Trotter might be a frontrunner in the crowded Democratic primary field thanks to his insider's game, but something like this definitely ain't gonna help him.

P.S. If this sounds at all familiar, here's why.

LA-03: If you'd like some more background on the issues being fought over in the all-GOP LA-03 runoff between Reps. Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry, the Times Picayune has a very good, detailed summation. The two congressmen are going after each other on things like energy exploration (Landry says he's the only one with an oil background) and, believe it or not, "death panels" (Boustany, a heart surgeon, supports end-of-life counseling). Much more at the link.

Other Races:

NJ-LG: GOP Gov. Chris Christie's campaign is now confirming that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno will remain a part of Christie's re-election ticket, even though just a week ago, Christie told reporters "I don't know what she wants." It seems odd to me that a matter like this would in any way get aired publicly—you'd think Christie's team would prefer to handle this entirely in private, lest anyone wonder whether there's dissension in the ranks. In any event, this probably takes Guadagno out of the running for a Senate bid, since New Jersey's gubernatorial election is in Nov. 2013. (Then again, I don't think anyone had seriously considered the possibility that she might run for federal office—PPP simply tossed her into their recent poll as a stand-in.)

While we're on New Jersey, PPP is back with their usual sports-n-gay-marriage miscellany. (Not exactly the most obvious combination of question topics, but Tom Jensen is a polling iconoclast!) While it will likely never happen as long as Christie occupies Drumthwacket, New Jersey voters support same-sex marriage by a wide 53-36 margin. Democrats, who have big majorities in both chambers of the legislature, also lead 49-36 on the generic legislative ballot. (All seats will be up next year at the same time as the gubernatorial election.)

WA-St. Sen, Seattle Mayor: When we last checked in on Washington's state Senate, there wasn't one-tenth the dysfunctional drama as in New York, but there was still complete uncertainty: Ed Murray had just been elected majority leader by the Dem caucus, but that was in the face of a potential coup by two wayward Democrats who might give some level of control to Republicans. We still don't have any resolution on that front (especially while we wait on a recount in SD-17, where GOPer Don Benton appears to have survived by less than 100 votes), but now there's a whole 'nother wrinkle in the story: Murray has announced he's going to run for Seattle mayor in 2013.

It's hard to tell what the implications are as yet. It may seem like Murray's feeling a lot less confident about becoming majority leader and is looking for Plan B. But Murray has also been talked about as a potential mayoral candidate for many years and may have been planning to forge ahead even if he was to be leader this cycle, so it may mean nothing as far as the Senate is concerned. (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

DGA: The Democratic Governors Association have elected Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who just won a second two-year term in November, as their new chair. He succeeds Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who will remain on as finance chair. Executive Director Colm O'Comartun is also staying on for another term as ED.

NY-St. Sen: Watch New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wriggle like the snake he is. From a Wednesday press conference:

[Cuomo] had harsh words about how his fellow Democrats ran the chamber in 2009 and 2010, when they held the majority. The conference leaders at the beginning of that period—Sens. Malcolm Smith of Queens and Jeff Klein of the Bronx—are now members of the IDC, poised to play major roles in the chamber.

Cuomo wriggled when asked if he was criticizing those men: "I don't think it's important to figure out who or why or how. But I think it's almost inarguable—it's as close to inarguable as any premise in this building—that that was not a good period of government."

So Cuomo's being all kind toward this new coalition of Republicans and their renegade Democratic enablers because (as he wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday) "the past two
years" of GOP control "evidenced higher levels of successful activity than the State Senate had previously produced in years." And in the same piece, he also said: "The Democratic Conference was in power for two years and squandered the opportunity, failing to pass any meaningful reform legislation despite repeated promises."

But it's obviously very inconvenient that two of the people responsible for the dysfunction in 2009 and 2010—Klein and Smith—are now at the heart of the new power-sharing structure. So Cuomo wants to blame an amorphous "Democratic Conference" for screwing things up two years ago as the reason he isn't supporting his own freakin' party (which holds a majority of seats in the chamber), but he also says it's not "important to figure out who or why or how" things got utterly derailed back then. That's a pretty naked admission that he doesn't want to point a finger at Klein and Smith, even though he knows he ought to. And if it's "not important to figure out why" things went wrong, then how can the mistakes of the past be avoided?

By the way, this is all a new tune for Cuomo. In the fall of 2010—even after the two painful years of Democratic quasi-control of the Senate—he was still saying:

I support a Democratic majority in the State Senate.
So what changed between then and now? Did Cuomo feel he had to say that because he was running for governor and needed to make sure the Democratic Party was consolidated behind him? Perhaps, but he won in such crushing fashion that I doubt this would have mattered. The only plausible explanation is that Cuomo, whose economic ideology is very right-leaning, grew to feel much more comfortable with Republicans in control of the Senate than Democrats. And this guy thinks he can win a presidential primary?

Passings: Former Democratic Texas Rep. Jack Brooks has died at the age of 89. The AP's lede offers a capsule summary of his career:

Jack Brooks hounded government bureaucrats, drafted President Richard Nixon’s articles of impeachment and supported civil rights bills in a congressional career spanning 42 years. But for most of the country the Southeast Texas politician is frozen in a photograph, standing over the left shoulder of Jacqueline Kennedy as Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as president.

Brooks, who died Tuesday at age 89, was in the Dallas motorcade on Nov. 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Hours later he stood behind the grief-stricken widow in the cabin of Air Force One as Johnson took the oath of office.

The iconic photo is here.

Pres-by-CD: We've got 28 more districts today, mostly thanks to a large dump from Los Angeles County (and the 17 districts that it allowed us to complete):

California (23 more: CA-14, 17-20, 24-30, 32-35, 37-40, 43, 44 & 47)

Illinois (1 more: IL-17)

Mississippi (statewide)

Consistent with the pattern we've seen, minority-heavy districts swung towards Obama.  Republican Gary DeLong kept it respectable in the Long Beach-based CA-47, but with Romney lagging by more than 22, there wasn't much of a chance for him. Elsewhere, there was some, but not substantial, softening. (Obama got 61% in the Westside/South Bay-based CA-33, but Henry Waxman lagged substantially with his 54% performance.) Outside of L.A. County, Obama saw a slight drop in the Central Coast-based CA-24 and the Silicon Valley-based CA-18, but also saw improvements and mostly held the line in the other San Jose-based districts. (jeffmd)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Concerning gun loving politicians and airports (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    I'm a bit disappointed:

    How could you forget this guy?

    The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who never viewed the world - Alexander von Humboldt

    by germanliberal on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:14:22 AM PST

  •  I don't know that SC can be considered a VERY red (0+ / 0-)

    state any more. Isn't it trending just a smidge blue?

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:15:30 AM PST

  •  De Mint also needs to go (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fineena, wishingwell

    as soon as possible.

    •  Would be nice.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fineena, OGGoldy, sulthernao, itskevin

      ... but not going to happen.

    •  You know (4+ / 0-)

      Half of me says he's got to go for the sake of his constituents, no matter how much they may deserve him.  But, another part of me wants to make sure he stays so Dems keep winning Senate seats. lol  This man is so self-destructive to his party's chances that he might as well be on the DNC's payroll.

      •  Him and Grover and Rush! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike
      •  Is there anyone else like him or (0+ / 0-)

        someone who would take over for him if he were defeated? An an ideal world, we'd be able to knock him off and he'd be replaced by someone in a much redder state.

        I'm a corporatist McGovernite Atari Democrat...I think.

        by bjssp on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:20:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mike Lee or Ted Cruz will be his heirs, I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OGGoldy

          28, Male, MA-08 (hometown MI-06)

          by bumiputera on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:01:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lee based on seniority (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            Cruz hasn't even taken office yet, remember.

            •  Sure, but he's popular among that crowd (0+ / 0-)

              It's not like DeMint needed to amass a ton of seniority to get where he is. He was elected in 2004.

              28, Male, MA-08 (hometown MI-06)

              by bumiputera on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:27:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, but... (0+ / 0-)

                Remember, Texas is going to be a purple state in another ten years or so. That's less than two Senate terms, so if Cruz wants to stay where he is, he'll have to curb the wingnuttery sooner or later. Mike Lee will never have to worry about that. Quite the opposite, actually - remember how he got to the Senate in the first place!

                Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

                by RamblinDave on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:01:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I highly doubt that (0+ / 0-)

                  Some Democrats always scream that its trending blue, but I simply so not see it. Yes, the Hispanic population in Texas is growing, but that doesn't mean anything by itself. Hispanics in Texas are not like the Hispanics in Colorado or Nevada. A lot of these Hispanics have ancestry that goes way back before Texas was annexed from Mexico. They vote Democratic, but only by a much narrower margin than Hispanics elsewhere. It takes a huge population disparity for Hispanics voting 55% D to counteract 80% R white Texan voters. And anyone who thinks Democrats have hit rock bottom in places like Texas is lying to themselves. White voters in Texas are still moving away from us. If you don't believe me, look at what's happening in places like Kentucky or West Virginia. The Democratic floor for white voters is right around 10%, as evidenced by places like Mississippi and Alabama. If White Texans vote 90-10 against us, we need a HUGE Hispanic population voting 55-45 for us to make up the vote margin.

                  Texas is not worth our time at the moment, and won't be for the foreseeable future.

                  •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RamblinDave

                    Sure, a lot of Hispanic Texans' families have been there since before Texas was a state.

                    But that's not who we are talking about. We are talking about new Hispanics and they are trending Democratic just like hispanics in other states. And I would imagine that some of these folks are coming from California where the name Pete Wilson still resonates amongst Hispanics.

                    Plus there's the whole issue of the Dream Act. If it's passed it will hasten more Hispanics becoming voters. If it's killed it will almost certainly cause Hispanics to dislike Republicans even more.

                    And then there's the growing city of Houston, which is much more progressive than many in the south, what with it's openly lesbian mayor. White Texans are not the same as white Mississippians nor do I think they will become that way either.

                    •  The proof is in the pudding, as they say (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jncca

                      Electorally, Democrats aren't doing better there than thy were 4, 8, 10 years ago. There is no evidence that this trend away from Democrats will reverse itself. Assuming (i.e. hoping) that the influx of new Hispanic voters are more Democratic than the current Hispanic voters currently in Texas is simply intellectually dishonest.

                      Yes, Houston has a lesbian Democrat for mayor, so what? Texas is like a lot of other states where there are blue pockets in a sea of absurdly red suburbs and rural areas. Sure, there are Democrats in Falls, Houston, El Paso, and Austin. But the percentage of the state population residing in those cities is jot nearly enough to counteract the rest of the state, which is alarmingly red, even by national standards. Not many states have R+30 congressional districts, and Texas has multiple.

                      •  No one said we were there yet (0+ / 0-)

                        I don't believe I have heard anyone "screaming" that Texas is trending our way. What I have seen is suggestions that the tide will begin to turn in the near future. If you look at where Texas is politically now, it's a bit like California in the '80s. Easy as it is to forget now, the Golden State was dependably Republican in presidential races from 1968-1988, and the GOP won its share of Senate and gubernatorial races there as well. Things changed there, and they can change in Texas as well, especially with its fast growth.

                        Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

                        by RamblinDave on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:05:05 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That'd be nice (0+ / 0-)

                          I just don't believe anything based on a hope and a prayer. Until I see some sort of sign electorally that suggests Democrats are gaining ground, I am not going to waste time or energy thinking about competing there. The trend lines are in the wrong direction, and simple Demographic changes do not amount to a pile of spit when you're talking about swing a huge state THAT far when the voting patterns in the state are strongly against us. The assertion that Texas will be a swing state in a decade, or even two is a pipedream.

        •  South Carolina is full (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inkan1969

          of jackasses like Jim DeMint.

          Every redneck with a Tea Party sticker on his truck thinks he knows all about Obama's 39 Social Security numbers and can be a Senator just by obstructing anything that looks like governance.

          Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

          by trevzb on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:32:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  just announced his retirement (8+ / 0-)

      going to take over Heritage in January

    •  Was that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumiputera, jncca

      soon enough for you?

  •  I see a few more... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    California congressional districts had their info posted last night.  

    CA-10 is interesting.  Obama got 51.85% of the two-party vote in 2012, which was an absolute improvement on his 2008 vote totals.  2012-only PVI is EVEN.  Cook PVI (averaging with 2008) is R+1.  So far, it is the fourth-most Obama seat held by a Republican (following CA-31, FL-27, and IA-03).  

    Clearly a top pickup opportunity, although we might need presidential turnout in 2016 to cinch it.  

    •  2008-2012 PVi is R+1 (0+ / 0-)

      https://docs.google.com/...

      The data is there, why not be as accurate as possible?

      There were also other additions last night in IL and MI, none of which really mattered from a competitive standpoint.

      I think the fact that the PVI moved to R+1 really speaks against Hernandez's candidacy as he fell flat in a district which moved further toward the president in PVI than both Ruiz and Gallego (which both started at R+5 and then moved to R+3) who had much less top of the ticket pull, and especially Gallego who had something more akin to a headwind because Romney won his district.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:04:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wwmiv, Woody, sacman701

        PVI (as defined traditionally, averaging together 2008 and 2012) was R+1.  

        That said, I'm mostly looking at 2008 only PVI.  Basically because it's clear if you sort seats by only their 2012 results, you get a much better model.  

        Right now I have data for 225 seats.  Out of the seats Obama got better than 50.67% of the two-party vote, Democrats won all but five.  Of seats below this, Republicans won all but seven.  So only 5.33% of seats are not behaving as expected based upon strict partisan alignment.

        I agree that the seats that did not flip it appears more due to weak candidates on our part, rather than the strength of the incumbents.  A few just had some dudes/some dudettes running against them.  Hopefully we vigorously contest this handful next time.  

        •  I mean 2012 only PVI... (0+ / 0-)

          Damn typos.  

        •  CA10 (0+ / 0-)

          In most cases, I think that looking at the trend from 2004 to 2008 to 2012 gives a better indication of where the district is now and where it is going than just averaging 2008 and 2012.

          This result isn't great for Hernandez as it means he lost by 5 in a district that Obama won by nearly 4, but the district's strong blue trend is good for Dems as it makes it more likely that they will be able to pick it up in 2016 or 2020.

          SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

          by sacman701 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:30:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  SC-Gov - state tax computers hacked; PA-Gov (5+ / 0-)

    Isn't Gov Haley losing support because an unknown party hacked into the state's computer records and gained access to ALL of the information and tax forms filed by millions of state income tax taxpayers for the last 10+ years (SSNs, addresses, birth dates, number of children, employers, income, etc.)  State is offering state-paid credit monitoring for a year to all state residents at taxpayer expense.

    As for PA-Governor - As indicated in yesterday's detailed comment, Bruce Castor and Gov Tom Corbett have a blood-feud dating back to at least 2004, which also involves the ex-con (a year in prison for bribery and racketeering), Bob Asher, who has served as the Republican National Committeeman from PA.  If you check out the wikipedia article on Bob Asher, it gives background on this blood feud between Corbett and Cantor.  They apparently hate each other.

    •  Among many other things.... (0+ / 0-)

      This Haley story was posted last night and had 60 plus comments including mine that I am reposting here:
      "She has been a disaster from the beginning.  In addition to the latest tax hacking disaster, she (1) sold the Jasper and Charleston SC ports down the river by causing a board she appointed to approve a dredging permit that would give the Savannah Ga port an insurmountable competitive edge as the southern deepwater port, (2) replaced a long time USC woman board member, who had made sizable endowments to the school, with one of her local male political cronies, who donated to her campaign, (3) appointed a bunch of unqualified agency heads whose primary goal is to dismantle the government, (4)  appointed and hired more staff than her predecessors with sizable salary increases; and (5) completely pissed off the legislature by making and reneging on deals she negotiated. All of this in addition to the various ethics charges and hearings.  I seriously  dispute the notion that her unpopularity is based on her Indian heritage or her gender.  From what I can tell, living in SC, she is disliked by tea party and progressives alike for what she has  and hasn't done.  She will have serious primary challenges and, yes, Vincent Sheheen will be a contender if she makes it out of the primary."

      Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. (attributed to) Greg King

      by scyellowdogdem on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:08:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Word is (0+ / 0-)

      that they know who the party in question is but won't say. There is scuttlebutt that it involves a former staffer at the DOR, who was fired the day before the revelation of the hacking.

      Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

      by trevzb on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:34:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nikki Haley reported in the Economist last week (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, wishingwell, askew, itskevin, madhaus

    about the hacking of SC tax returns.

    Economist:

    A huge theft of unencrypted data infuriates taxpayers

    expected to announce next summer that she will seek a second term in 2014. But her chances may be crippled by the fact that, in October the news broke that an international computer hacker had stolen from the South Carolina Department of Revenue’s data base the tax records of every South Carolinian who has filed a state tax return online since 1998

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:42:49 AM PST

  •  So bummed about Perriello not running for VA-GOV! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, bjssp, wishingwell, askew, jncca

    I REALLY preferred him.  Damn!

    27, male, gay, living and voting in IN-7. Joe Donnelly for Senate and John Gregg for Governor!

    by IndyLiberal on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:31:28 AM PST

    •  If there's an upside to this, (0+ / 0-)

      it's that we can now be sure he's not interested in running for anything for the next few years, at least. I'm bummed about that, too, since he's great, but at the same time, we can now focus on rebuilding our bench in the state.

      I'm a corporatist McGovernite Atari Democrat...I think.

      by bjssp on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:36:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Me, too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, wishingwell, jncca

      I just in no way can get excited about Terry McAuliffe.  Who knows, he might have the potential to be a good governor, but I just see him as a big money professional politician that has no appeal to me whatsoever.  I'll of course support him in a general election, but would favor just about any other viable candidate in the primary.

  •  MI: Right to Work (4+ / 0-)

    The Detroit News is reporting that Governor Rick Snyder will hold a media event with House Speaker Bolger and Senate Majority Leader Richardville in about an hour-and-a-half where they are expected to announce Right to Work legislation that they are trying to ram through before the end of the year.  Protests are already underway, continuing from yesterday.  Apparently, the Republicans are going to resubmit the same bill they tried to introduce yesterday.

    •  Do we know any details of the bill? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000

      What's in it?  Are there any dirty tricks to try and make it immune from referendum?  Is it a blanket bill, or does it carve out "divide and conquer" exceptions?

      GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

      by LordMike on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:57:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brian Austin (a WI pro-labor activist) (0+ / 0-)

        ...said that police and fire unions were exempt from the proposed legislation. Sounds like Rick Snyder and his cohorts want to play the "divide and conquer" game.

        Elizabeth Warren on the Senate Banking Committee is a BFD!

        by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:53:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Finally some insider info... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000, madhaus
      Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, was the governor's designated blocker to avoid dealing with right-to-work in the lame-duck session. But Richardville learned this week that supporters of the proposal were lining up the 14 GOP Senate votes needed to dethrone him, and planned to mount a leadership challenge in January.
      From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/...

      So, there's the explanation... I love how the right wing media is blaming prop 2 for the whole thing.  That's bullshit, of course.  At least this author acknowledges the real "revenge" factor--the union's involvement in electing a black man to the presidency and saving the auto industry.

      GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

      by LordMike on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:04:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Michigan's problem is that there are few (3+ / 0-)

      notable, much less electrifying, Dems running for office in the past few years.  Gretchen Whitmer is an exception.  Michigan politics have been in the doldrums which has allowed a total rethug takeover, that and all the rightwing money available here.  A few well timed labor strikes might juice things up and allow some new leaders to emerge.  Michigan has been making gains after a long dig out of the John Engler economy Jennifer Granholm inherited.  Everyone is just grateful to be working which tends to stifle risk taking.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:07:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Haley is just not popular (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, a2nite

    She's pissed off even the bright red folks in the state legislature. When even they're vetoing cuts in arts and wellness by large margins you know there's opposition. I have no doubt she will not only have strong Dem opposition but Republican opposition as well come election time.

    And I thought DeMint was stepping down in '14 to go have a Tea Party/FOX "News" golden parachute.

    "I chose to change facts, reality, and the meaning of words, in order to make a much larger point." - Paul Ryan John Oliver

    by SC Lib on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:31:59 AM PST

    •  Who will be her Republican opposition (0+ / 0-)

      I get the sense she very well may be challenged, but would it be from someone less conservative?  Less establishment?  Or just less incompetent?  In this Republican party now, it is just so hard to primary somone unless you're pitching yourself as more conservative and/or more of an outsider.

      •  Probably (0+ / 0-)

        S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis. Conservative, but not stupid about it. I think he's been a pretty effective custodian of South Carolina's money, assuming he figures out how to unwind the Retirement System's investments and figure out what happened to the lost $17 billion.

        Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

        by trevzb on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:41:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  whoa, Jim Demint reportedly leaving the Senate (7+ / 0-)

    to lead the Heritage Foundation.

    link.

  •  So would a senator Haley win election in 2014? (0+ / 0-)

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:49:49 AM PST

  •  2014 SC-Sen Special (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know if South Carolina law allows Gov. Nikki Haley to appoint a replacement senator until a special election or not, but, assuming it does and Haley appoints herself, I would say a 2014 SC-Sen Special election would probably be Tossup/Tilt R if it's Niki Haley vs. Vincent Shaheen. South Carolina's state tax computers were hacked under Haley's watch, and that would he hanging over her in any future campaign that Haley runs.

    Also, there may be a general election (I'm not 100% sure if this is the case or not) for Graham's seat and a special election for the last two years of DeMint's seat a the same time.

    Elizabeth Warren on the Senate Banking Committee is a BFD!

    by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:09:56 AM PST

  •  PA-Gov (0+ / 0-)

    On the Democratic side John Hanger a guy few people have ever heard of has already announced. But a Republican primary would be interesting.

  •  The reason is (0+ / 0-)

    She's truly god-awful.

    A political succubus.

    Her idea of philosophical reflection is posting Poison lyrics on her Facebook page. The same Facebook page from which she blocks constituents that speak out against her.

    Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

    by trevzb on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:29:50 AM PST

  •  Haley's going down . . . (0+ / 0-)

    The numbers in the Winthrop poll, if anything, are actually rather charitable toward her. It always makes me laugh when I see her name dropped among the conservative punditry as a "rising star" or "talented up-&-comer". As a previous poster spelled out in detail, her reign as governor has been marked by one political misstep after another, along with truly breathtaking arrogance & political tone-deafness. In 2 short years she's managed to alienate just about everybody here in S.C. - state legislators (both Dem & Rep), USC boosters, state employees, arts advocates, port advocates, just to name a few.

    That President Obama has a higher approval rating in S.C. is no real surprise to anyone who knows this place. As another poster noted, for a red state, Democrats in S.C. have a relatively high floor in terms of electoral support, because of the black vote, but also have a ceiling that, for now, remains below 50%. Yes, we may be trending (slowly) blue, but at the moment S.C. remains essentially a 55-45 red state. Republicans don't rack up the huge margins that they do in, say, Kentucky or Oklahoma or Idaho, but they do win consistently. The immediate problem is that Democrats have been so decimated in statewide elections recently that they have no bench of credible candidates to draw on to mount successful challenges.

    But here lies the exception. Haley IS vulnerable: she defeated Vince Sheheen 51-48 even with the political winds at her back in 2010, & she's done nothing but piss people off ever since taking office. Sheheen IS a credible candidate with high name ID, crossover appeal (which he'll need in order to win), & high esteem among the state's political establishment. If there's a rematch in 2014, SHEHEEN WILL WIN. He would attract significant Republican support. Nikki Haley is absolutely atrocious, but we CAN take her down. That is, as long as we can raise enough funds. For Democrats trying to get up off the mat in S.C., this would be a great place to start.

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