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Tags: Brad Ellsworth

Yet Another Democrat Turns Down a Statewide Bid



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It continues: Jeff Bingaman in New Mexico, Joe Courtney in Connecticut, Jonathan Weinzapfel in Indiana, and now, Brad Ellsworth.

Former U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth withdrew his name from Indiana Democrats’ list of prospects for next year’s ballot on Monday.

“I will not be a candidate for any office in 2012,” he told the Courier & Press. Though he did not elaborate on his plans, he said he intends to pursue other opportunities.

These guys may all have legitimate reasons to choose to not run for statewide office in 2012. Bingaman is 67. Weinzapfel has small children. Courtney already has a day job in the House and would face a contested primary. But it seems reasonable to think that at least part of their decision calculus was the national political environment and outlook for Democrats in 2011. At this point, early as it is, that outlook seems not so cheery.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth

A Trio of Interesting Polls From Rasmussen



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Interesting bits and pieces from Rasmussen in the past 24 hours . . .

In Indiana’s Senate race, Republican Dan Coats leads Brad Ellsworth, 50 percent to 34 percent. That’s actually good news for Ellsworth, who previously trailed, 50 percent to 29 percent. A Coats victory isn’t surprising; what is a bit surprising is that the Democrats further endangered a House seat by persuading Ellsworth to make this Senate bid, and Coats could well help create coattails for three Republicans in House races in this state.

In New York’s governor’s race, Democrat Andrew Cuomo leads Republican Carl Paladino, last seen pledging to clean Albany with a baseball bat, 54 percent to 38 percent. While I wouldn’t bet money on a Paladino win, that’s a bit closer than I think most expected this race to be.

It’s the same margin — 54 to 38 — in Maryland’s Senate race, where longtime incumbent Barbara Mikulski leads Republican Eric Wargotz. In Mikulski’s past four elections, she has won 64.7 percent, 70.5 percent, 71 percent, and 60.6 percent. Obviously, she’s heavily favored in November, but she may be a useful indicator; well-established Democratic names in deep-blue states can expect to run six points or so behind their previous all-time worst.

Tags: Andrew Cuomo , Barbara Mikulski , Brad Ellsworth , Carl Paladino , Dan Coats , Eric Wargotz

Tough Year to Be a Pro-Life Democrat



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Did you think that (allegedly) pro-life Democrats would be in trouble this cycle after the health-care vote?

A new poll from the Susan B. Anthony List, taken in districts of “pro-life” Democrats who voted in favor of the health-care bill allowing for taxpayer funding of abortion, says you’re right!*

Actually, there’s a smidgen of good news for Kathy Dahlkemper and Joe Donnelly, in that they’re not trailing yet, at least in this poll . . .

IN-Sen Brad Ellsworth

Head to Head: 50% Dan Coats, 35% Brad Ellsworth, 14% Undecided

79% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions (63% strongly oppose)

73% are less supportive of the new healthcare law knowing that it will lead to taxpayer funded abortion (51% are much less supportive)

66% believe Brad Ellsworth was wrong to betray his “pro-life” principles and vote for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (48% believe he was definitely wrong)

49% will be less likely to vote for Brad Ellsworth after he voted for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (34% are much less likely) 

 

PA-03 Kathy Dahlkemper

Head to Head: 46% Kathy Dahlkemper, 42% Mike Kelly, 11% Undecided

74% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions (60% strongly oppose)

69% are less supportive of the new healthcare law knowing that it will lead to taxpayer funded abortion (50% are much less supportive)

66% believe Kathy Dahlkemper was wrong to betray her “pro-life” principles and vote for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (49% believe she was definitely wrong)

47% will be much less likely to vote for Kathy Dahlkemper after she voted for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (34% are less likely)

 

OH-01 Steve Driehaus

Head to Head: 51% Steve Chabot, 41% Steve Driehaus, 7% Undecided

79% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions (59% strongly oppose)

69% are less supportive of the new healthcare law knowing that it will lead to taxpayer funded abortion (50% are much less supportive)

67% believe Steve Driehaus was wrong to betray his “pro-life” principles and vote for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (52% believe he was definitely wrong)

47% will be less likely to vote for Steve Driehaus after he voted for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (36% are much less likely) 

 

IN-02 Joe Donnelly

Head to Head: 52% Joe Donnelly, 35% Jackie Walorski, 11% Undecided

76% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions (59% strongly oppose)

69% are less supportive of the new healthcare law knowing that it will lead to taxpayer funded abortion (46% are much less supportive)

67% believe Joe Donnelly was wrong to betray his “pro-life” principles and vote for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (52% believe he was definitely wrong)

43% will be less likely to vote for Joe Donnelly after he voted for a healthcare bill including taxpayer funded abortion (26% are much less likely) 

* I tend to phrase blogs in this question-and-response manner after Little Guy Number One makes me watch a lot of “Dora the Explorer,” i.e., “Do you think Swiper should face the maximum sentence for grand larceny? . . . Me, too!”

UPDATE: 

“For the Susan B. Anthony List, this election cycle has turned out to be dramatically different from the one in which we began.  Members of Congress we thought were our allies have now become our top targets for defeat,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “Before the health care vote, we conducted polling and launched a media tour in these Democrats’ districts in an effort to support the pro-life convictions of these Democrats.  Then, they voted for the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.  This latest polling shows that five months of a long, hot summer have not burned off any voter intensity on the issue.  Our Votes Have Consequences bus tour will ensure that voters understand exactly what their Members of Congress did to undermine their convictions and those of their pro-life constituents.”

Tags: Brad Ellsworth , Joe Donnelly , Kathy Dahlkemper , Steve Driehaus

Indiana’s Senate Race Remains Close, at Least by Blowout Standards



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In Indiana’s Senate race, Republican Dan Coats clings to a 21-point lead over Democrat Brad Ellsworth, 51 percent to 30 percent.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats

I Guess Brad Ellsworth Just Isn’t That Big a Deal



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On the veep’s schedule today: “At 12:30 p.m., the Vice President will attend an event for Representative Baron Hill in Jeffersonville, Indiana.”

A fan of GOP Senate nominee Dan Coats notices that either Biden is avoiding Democratic Senate nominee Brad Ellsworth, or Ellsworth is avoiding Biden.

UPDATE: That’s strange. Another Democrat running for Senate says he’s busy:

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Louisville Monday to discuss how federal stimulus dollars have benefited the state, but his party’s candidate for Kentucky senator will not attend.

Biden will speak at 11 a.m. at the headquarters of GE Appliances & Lighting. Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville are expected to join him.

However, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway has a scheduling conflict and will not be at Biden’s visit, Conway’s campaign manager, Jonathan Drobis, said.

Tags: Baron Hill , Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats , Joe Biden

A ‘Senior Obama Aide’ Makes It Up as He Goes Along



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Via Jay Cost, I see the White House is attempting to make the argument that the anti-incumbent atmosphere will hurt Republicans as well as Democrats. Cost rightly points out that you can count the number of vulnerable incumbent Republicans in Congress on one hand.

But here’s the quote that makes me wonder if anybody at the White House is paying any attention at all to the House elections:

“Dan Burton got less than 30 percent of the vote and the only reason he survived is because there were six people in the race with him,” said one senior Obama aide. “Dan Coats was the choice of the party and a former United States senator and he barely got 40 percent of the vote. The Republican Party is in fact marginally less popular than the Democrats.”

Dan Burton’s an example of a vulnerable Republican incumbent, hmm? Let’s take a look at his Democratic challenger, Tim Crawford. For starters, his campaign logo rather clearly evokes a Christian cross. Here are his self-described positions: “Pro-life, anti-big-government, pro-gun, anti-national ID, pro right-to-work, anti-cap and trade, anti-mandatory health insurance.” If he and Burton debate, the moderator may have to look hard for a disagreement.

Oh, and Crawford isn’t taking any donations: “This campaign is being funded out of my pocket alone. I am not accepting any donations due to the economic circumstances in our nation and around the world. Whatever you were willing to give, please, take it and make a charitable donation to a reputable not-for-profit organization.” A nice sentiment, but we can interpret this stance to suggest Crawford will compete with no television or radio advertising, no mailers, and an entirely volunteer get-out-the-vote operation. Burton, by contrast, has represented Indiana in the House since 1982 and has $300,000 in the bank in a district that scores R+17 in the Cook PVI. (I wonder if the senior Obama aide who mentioned Burton even knows who Crawford is.)

On the example of Coats, note that the senior Obama aide is arguing that an anti-incumbent wave will help a current member of the House overcome a former senator who left office in 2000. Indiana’s voters are angry at Washington, so they’ll punish the guy who hasn’t been there this decade, by electing the guy who has been there since 2006.

Tags: 2010 , Barack Obama , Brad Ellsworth , Dan Burton , Dan Coats

Fool Me Once, Shame on You; Try to Fool Me Twice, and You Must Be an Allegedly Pro-Life Democrat



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After ignoring the opinion of pro-life groups on the Obamacare vote, Indiana Democrat Brad Ellsworth, a House member who aspires to be the state’s next senator, pledges to listen to them on the nomination of Elena Kagan.

I get the feeling some pro-life groups aren’t all that inclined to offer the benefit of the doubt to Democrats who voted for health-care reform.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth

It’s Not Quite ‘Turn Out the Lights,’ but Maybe It’s ‘Grab Your Coats’



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According to Rasmussen, Dan Coats’s chances of being the next senator from Indiana are . . . healthy:

Newly chosen Republican nominee Dan Coats earns 51% support while his Democratic rival Brad Ellsworth’s attracts 36% in the first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Indiana Senate race following Tuesday’s GOP Primary.

Six percent (6%) of likely voters in the state favor some other candidate. Eight percent (8%) remain undecided.

When I say “healthy,” it’s deliberate:

Ellsworth voted in favor of the recently-passed national health care plan, but 59% of Indiana voters favor repeal of that plan. The Indiana finding includes 48% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose repeal, with 26% who Strongly Oppose it. Those figures are similar to the national average.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats

If Dan Wins Tomorrow, We’ll Have to See if He Has Coats-Tails



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Indiana’s primary day is tomorrow, and for Republicans, the big fight is in the Senate race. I chatted with frontrunner Dan Coats here, and looked at the three leading Republicans here.

As a congressman, John Hostettler never seemed that interested in fundraising, and he’s demonstrating the same aversion as a Senate candidate. But he’s polling respectably, and does quite well in head-to-head matchups with Democrat Brad Ellsworth. We will see tomorrow just how well relying on grassroots activists works in a competitive primary; in the end, it probably helps to run a television ad or two.

Marlin Stutzman has attracted some passionate support, and there’s no shame in a 34-year-old finishing a respectable second or third in a Senate primary. His future in state politics looks bright; if and when Mark Souder retires, the Howe, Indiana resident would seem to be a natural replacement, and one has to wonder how many more terms the 66-year-old Coats would want to serve.

Since he surprised the political world by jumping back into politics, Coats has attracted criticism: that he’s a retread, that he’s spent too much time out of the state in the past years, that his past lobbying work was too lucrative, and so on. We don’t quite know what tomorrow holds, but so far, Indiana Republicans don’t seem too concerned. As Coats said in an interview, the voters know him and his record, and that goes a long way in Hoosier country.

Down-ticket, there’s a very crowded primary on the GOP side in the 4th district, represented by the retiring Steve Buyer: 14 Republicans are competing; the two leading in the money chase are Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita and state senator Brandt Hershman.

In the 5th district, Dan Burton has several well-funded primary challengers, but I would be surprised if the 14-term incumbent was knocked off.

Finally, there is a crowded GOP primary in the 8th district, where Sacrifical Lamb Congressman Brad Ellsworth is leaving to lose compete in the Senate race. Dr. Larry Bucshon is the best-funded candidate.

UPDATE: Over at the Weekly Standard, John McCormick writes about the possibility of Hostettler, whose “foreign policy views are well outside the Republican mainstream,” sneaking through. To be honest, I just don’t know who’s going to win this primary; none of them have knocked over McCormick yet.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats , John Hostettler , Marlin Stutzman

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