Archive for the ‘US Senate Races’ Category

US Senate Primary results

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Obscured  by the media circus in Wisconsin, some states had primary elections.

California had this strange non-partisan primary where the two top vote getters in the primary will face each other in November, even if they were both Democrats or a Demkcrat and a Green party candidate.  To nobody’s surprise, Diane Feinstein easily won, with 49.3% of the vote.  The #2 vote getter  was Elizabeth Emken, who got 12.5%

Elizabeth Emken is a relatively young Republican – she has never held elective office and the focus of her life and her campaign is to siphon more money out of the U.S. Military budget to treat children with Autism.

So if you’re keeping track of the balance of power in the Senate, put this race in the “no chance in hell” column

In Montana, the Democratic incumbent is Jon Tester.   President Obama only got 47% of the vote in Montana, so in theory the Republicans have a chance.  Denny Rehberg won the Republican Primary.  In the past, he was lieutenant governor and currently sits in the US House.

Noteworthy is that 14% of the Republicans still “wasted” their vote on Ron Paul.   Rehberg got 75% of the Republican primary vote – he was opposed by only one person – Dennis Teske – a farmer and businessman, pro-life, pro-family candidate with no prior political experience.

In New Jersey, Bob Menendez (D) is running for reelection for the first time.

Menendez was unopposed and got about 235,000 votes.

The Republicans running:

Joe Kyrillos   – 161,146
David Brown – 18,671
Bader Qarmount  – 12,637
Rudy Rullo – 16,690

Kyrillos is a NJ State senator currently.   He wants to repeal Obamacare and is an ally of Chris Christie.   He’s been in the NJ State government since 1988 – basically your life long “public servant”, aka “Republican Establishment”.

If you look at this list and think “One of these names is not like the others”, Bader Qarmount is apparently from the Jordanian American branch of the Republican Party.  He’s an Arab American whose Christian family fled Jordon to come to America.

In New Mexico, it’s an open seat.   In the Senate, a seat from a state with a small population counts just as much as the seat from California.

The Republicans chose a Diverse Woman candidate Heather Wilson.   She appears to be the social butterfly of Social Media.   I can’t find any useful information beyond the annoying popups wanting me to sign up for her newsletter, join here on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for text messages on my cell phone.

She’ll face Martin Heinrich.   Martin is just barely old enough to run for Senate.   He replaced Heather in the US House after the 2008 Obama election, and has done nothing with his life other than “public service”.

New Mexico has a very large Native American population, which has been largely pandered to by the Democrats.   Obama won big in 2008, and substantially more people voted in the Democratic primary than the Republican.     If you’re keeping score, this goes into the “Very Unlikely to go Republican” column.

The return of Mark Davis

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Salem Radio’s frames the arrival of Mark Davis  (perhaps more accurately than they intended) that they “just sat back and waited for their competition to screw up”.

You probably have heard Mark Davis a number of times filling in for Rush Limbaugh – he was working for KLIF-AM, the Dallas / Fort Worth station that at one time was owned by ABC Radio, and is now owned by Cumulus Media.   The new owner Lew Dickey didn’t think Mark Davis was worth what Mark Davis thinks he is worth – so Mark’s contract was not extended and he became a free agent.

His guest this hour is Ted Dewhurst, the “establishment” candidate for US Senate in Texas – who started by blaming his failure to get 50% in the Republican primary (forcing a runoff) based on the 30% of Republicans who “threw their vote away” voting for Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

It’s primary day in Texas

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Expect the National Media like Fox News to blather on and on about how Texas concludes the nominating process for Mitt Romney, but completely ignore the much more nationally significant race for US Senator.

Kay Bailey Hutchison is retiring, making her seat an open seat and one that Republicans could (in theory) lose.   No matter who wins as President, each US Senate seat will be critical in the balance of power following the election.   Keep in mind how massively Dick Lugar lost in Indiana putting a “Safe” Republican seat at risk in November and how Deb Fisher in Nebraska came out of nowhere to win – you can’t assume that just because a candidate has a huge lead in a poll that he is sure to win on election day.

So who is competing today in the US Senate primary in Texas?  There are 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats on the ballot.

KERA Voter guide

The “Establishment Republican” is  Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst – he has a big lead over Ted Cruz, the state’s first Latino Solicitor General (that’s the lawyer who represents the government in court cases).   Dewhurst has the backing of Mike Huckabee and the anti-abortion folks, and supportive news stories from CNN and NPR – which did no good at all for Dick Lugar in Indiana.

The only story that I can find from Fox news

Ted Cruz is backed by the Dick Armey Freedomworks, Rick Santorum, Jim DeMine and the Koch brothers backed Club for Growth.

The Fox news story contains this little tidbit which might fly over people’s heads who are younger than about 60 years old – “Cruz’s father fought against Cuba’s Batista regime in the late 1950s”.

Batista was the President of Cuba from 1940-1944 during World War II, and then led a coup in 1952 with backing from US organized crime and businessmen – and ran the country as dictator until 1959, when a fellow named Fidel Castro took over Cuba.  The information from his campaign apparently says his dad was imprisoned by Batista and fled to Canada in 1957, where Ted Cruz was born.   It would be interesting to hear if his father supported Fidel Castro.

Ted Cruz organized the case for District of Columbia vs Heller which decided that the Second Amendment really is about people owning guns, not militias.  He also was a law clerk for William Rehnquist.

Craig James is the Conservative candidate – he is a former NFL player, sports announcer and real estate developer.

If the winner doesn’t get 50%, then there will be another runoff election on July 31st.

On the Democratic side, the media are completely ignoring the story, dismissing the chance that any Democrat could ever be elected from Texas.   The Democrats running with any chance are former state Rep. Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard.

Paul Sadler is 57 years old and a “Traditional Democrat” endorsed by the Houston Chronicle
Sadler was a long serving Texas House member who left after his son was injured in a serious car accident.  Sadler is a friend and long time political associate of George W Bush, working together on Texas issues.   He is pro-Energy and pro-defense.

Compared to Sadler, Sean Hubbard is a child.   He was an Obama supporter and organizer in 2008.  He’s only 31 years old, has never held any political office, but apparently came across very well on the TV debate.  (You have to be 30 years old to be a US Senator)

Texas is the only primary today – next week is when a number of states hold their primaries.


California’s Screwy election law change

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Many American trends start in California, so it’s worth paying attention.

On June 5th, voters will be going to a primary election like no other – it will be a non-partisan primary.  Dianne Feinstein is running for reelection to the US Senate.   The changes took effect in 2011, but this is the first Congressional election since the change.

When entering the voting booth, voters will be given a list of all candidates running for each office and then can vote for anyone they want for each office, regardless of their party affiliation.   This change was a “gift” from  Arnold Schwarzenegger with a voter initiative called Proposition 14.   When the votes are counted, the top 2 vote counts will face a runoff in November (even if one candidate got a majority in June)

Note this is not the top two, one from each party – it’s the top two, period.  In theory, if enough Republicans run and fragmented the Republican vote into enough pieces, the November election could be between two Democrats, or Ms Feinstein and a “fringe” Republican or perhaps a Green Party candidate.

Stay tuned.   More mischief ahead.

2012 US Senate Race

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

With Dick Lugar losing and Mitt Romney locked in as the Republican candidate for President, it’s time to look at the US Senate race more closely.   If Romney wins, but loses the Senate or only has a 1 or 2 vote majority, he is in a weak position to make significant changes, like repealing RomneyCare…..  errr  ObamaCare.  You may remember in the past, Jim Jeffords of Vermont decided in 200 that it wasn’t safe for Republicans to control the Senate and switched to become Democrat after the election, giving effective control of the Senate to Democrats in 2001 with a 50/50 tie.

With squishy Republicans like Susan Collins (ME) and the ever likely possibility of Democrats funding legal election dispute witch hunts and recall elections, it’s important not to allow one senate seat to be the margin of victory.  Ideally, Republicans would control 60 seats to prevent the filibuster being used to block Republican initiatives.

Looking over the list, it’s striking what a watershed year 2006 was, when the country strongly repudiated George W Bush in the middle of his second term, switching control for the US Senate from Republican to Democrat with 6 seats going Democrat.    Those Senators are up for their first reelection challenge, having served 3 of their 6 years without even being able to pass a budget resolution.   11 of the 33 up for reelection are retiring (7 Democrats, 4 Republicans) and 1 (or possibly 2) Republicans getting forced retirement in the primary elections.

2012 US Senate Races

2008 %
Not up for election37 (R)
30 (D)
Arizona45%John KylRepublican 1994RetiringPrimary August 28th
California51%Dianne FeinsteinDemocrat 1992RunningElizabeth Emken (R)
Autism Speaks
Connecticut59%Joe LiebermanDemocrat 1988RetiringPrimary August 14th
Delaware61%Tom CarperDemocrat 2000RunningPrimary September 11
Florida51%Bill NelsonDemocrat2000RunningGeorge LeMieux (R)
Hawaii72%Daniel AkakaDemocrat1990RetiringPrimary August 11
Mazie Hirono (D)
Linda Lingle (R)
Indiana50%Richard LugarRepublican 1976Defeated in PrimaryRichard Mourdock (R)
Joe Donnelly, (D)
Maine58%Olympia SnoweRepublican1994RetiringPrimary June 12
Maryland61%Ben CardinDemocrat2006RunningDan Bongino (R)
Massachusetts62%Scott BrownRepublican 2010RunningPrimary September 6
Michigan57%Debbie StabenowDemocrat 2000RunningPrimary August 7
Minnesota54%Amy KlobucharDemocrat 2006RunningPrimary August 14
Mississippi43%Richard WickerRepublican 2006RunningAl N Gore, Jr (D)
Missouri49%Claire McCaskillDemocrat2006RunningPrimary August 7th
Montana47%Jojhn TesterDemocrat 2006RunningDenny Rehberg(R)
Nebraska41%Ben NelsonDemocrat 2000RetiringDeb Brown (R)
Bob Kerrey (D) (former Sen)
Nevada55%Dean HellerRepublican 2011Appointed, runningPrimary June 12
New Jersey57%Bob MenendezDemocrat 2006RunningJoe Kyrillo (R)
New Mexico56%Jeff BingamenDemocrat 1982RetiringHeather Wilson (R)
Martin Heinrich (D)
New York63%Kirsten GillibrandDemocrat2009RunningPrimary June 26
North Dakota44%Kent ConradDemocrat 1986RetiringPrimary June 12
Ohio51%Sherrod BrownDemocrat 2006RunningJosh Mandell(R)
Pennsylvania55%Bob Casey, JrDemocrat 2006RunningTom Smith (R)
Rhode island53%Sheldon WhitehouseDemocrat 2006RunningPrimary September 11
Tennessee41%Bob CorkerRepublican 2006RunningPrimary August 2nd
Texas43%Key Bailey HutchisonRepublican 1993RetiringRunoff July 31
Dewhurst/Cruz (R)
Sadler/Yarbrough (D)
Utah34%Orrin HatchRepublican 1976Running
Primary challenge
Dan Liljenquist (R)
Scott Howell (D)
Vermont67%Bernie SandersSocialist 2006RunningH. Brooke Paige (R)
Virginia53%Jim WebbDemocrat2006RetiringGeorge Allen (R)
Tim Kaine(D)
Washington58%Maria CantwellDemocrat 2000RunningMichael Baumgartner (R)
West Virginia42%Joe ManchinDemocrat 2006RetiringJohn Raese (R)
Wisconsin56%Herb Kohl Democrat 1988RetiringPrimary August 14
Wyoming32%Joe BarrassoRepublican 2007RunningPrimary August 21
Who is Running for US Senate in 2012 and do Republicans have a chance?

Regime Change

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

You don’t get more “Republican Estabishment” than Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana. He’s been in the US Senate since 1976, never having a serious challenger in a primary and living full time in Washington DC. When polls showed that he was 10 points behind, Lugar started pleading for Democrats to vote for him, since over the years he has been “bipartisan”, oftèn being a vote giving Democratic presidents what they wanted. Democrats wanted Lugar to lose so they have a chance to win in November.

Out in Utah, Orrin Hatch (also elected in 1976) failed to get a big enough majority in his primary that he faces a runoff in June that he might lose – Glenn Beck had the man running against Hatch as a guest the other – he seemed well prepared, walking the line of explaining why he should be elected without angering people who like Hatch.

Who controls the US Senate and by how many votes is at least as important as the Presidential race. Last election, Tea Party primary winners ended up losing “safe” seats to Democrats.

Having Senate candidates who think Mitt Romney is too moderate is not a good formula for succeed. It’s too late for the Convention to change their mind and pick a different candidate. The 2012 election is turning into a fight of who will control the Republican Party in 2013, not the country.

Republican Senators have a huge problem, in that the media only pay attention to and give positive remarks to the moderates – McCain, Lugar, Hatch, Olympia Snowe, and former Senator Arlen Spector. If you’re a political junky, try this exercise – take a piece of paper and make a column of Democratic Senators and Republicans that you can name without looking it up – see which list is longer.