Good Polls for GOP Challengers in Texas, South Dakota
Republican Francisco Canseco released an internal poll Thursday that shows him with a slight lead over Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, filed a complaint charging his opponent with accepting illegal campaign contributions — a charge the Canseco campaign called a “fishing” expedition.
An internal poll of 400 likely voters in the congressional district, conducted by Washington, D.C.-based On Message Inc., found Canseco favored by 45.3 percent of those surveyed, compared to 39.3 percent for Rodriguez.
The poll — conducted Oct.19-20, with the results released Thursday — showed other candidates with 9.6 percent of the vote and 6 percent undecided. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
“It’s very clear that people are looking for different representation in Congress,” said Scott Yeldell, a Canseco spokesman.
Meanwhile, I suggest South Dakotans adopt the slogan, “To Noem Is to Love ‘Em.”
Republican Kristi Noem has moved slightly further ahead of incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin in South Dakota’s election for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Noem, a state legislator, picking up 49% of the vote, while Herseth-Sandlin draws support from 44%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are still undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Earlier this month, Noem moved to a 47% to 44% edge after slipping behind in September. Since winning the GOP Primary in June, Noem has been slightly ahead of Herseth-Sandlin in every survey but one with 45% to 53% support. The incumbent has earned 41% to 47% of the vote in that same period and held a slight lead only once, 47% to 45% in early September, following news reports about Noem’s driving record.
Noem Retakes a Small Lead in South Dakota
South Dakota Democratic incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin’s lead in last month’s Rasmussen poll had a lot of readers nervous.
It didn’t last:
Republican Kristi Noem has edged back into the lead over incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin in South Dakota’s U.S. House race.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in South Dakota finds Noem with 47% support, while Herseth-Sandlin earns 44% of the vote. Six percent (6%) like another candidate in the race, and three percent (3%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
It remains a very close race. Noem fell slightly behind Herseth-Sandlin last month 47% to 45% for the first time since winning the Republican Primary in early June.
Noem, it appears, is beginning to overcome the impact of news reports about her questionable driving record. Herseth-Sandlin was elected to Congress in 2004 following the resignation of GOP Congressman Bill Janklow who was convicted of manslaughter after he killed a motorcyclist while running a stop sign at high speed.
Can a Kristi Noem win be guaranteed? No, Herseth Sandlin has won in this increasingly deep-red state before. But the past two cycles have had energized Democrats and grumbling Republicans; this cycle, that is reversed. If Stephanie Herseth Sandlin isn’t beaten in this cycle, she will probably represent South Dakota in that seat for as long as she likes.
Noem? Then How Can You Endorse ‘Em?
The NRA’s pro-incumbent instincts work out to the benefit of another endangered Democrat: The NRA-ILA has just endorsed Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota.
This might be a good time to check out my interview with Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
I didn’t want to berate Cox; there’s a great deal of logic to the organization’s aim to establish allies on both sides of the aisle, and there’s something principled about sticking with endangered lawmakers who stick with them. But it seems like a lot of rural Democrats who represent districts that voted for Bush and McCain have figured out that when they’re accused of being liberals, as long as they never vote wrong on guns, they can always point to their NRA endorsement and use that as cover. I’d hate for America’s foremost gun rights organization to turn into a life preserver for a bunch of liberal lawmakers who give lip service to the rest of our Constitutional rights.
The Republican challenger for this seat, Kristi Noem, is a solid supporter of the Second Amendment and she won’t vote for the stimulus or vote to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker.
Noem is touting her own key sportsmen and Second Amendment supporters from across the state.
Vote freedom first? Well, I want somebody who will free us from Obamacare.
The Things You Learn From a Roomful of House GOP Candidates
Things I learned at a recent meeting of the “Young Guns” at the National Republican Congressional Committee:
In West Virginia, Gov. Joe Manchin, who is likely to be the Democrats’ nominee in the race for the Senate, cannot use the $140,000 left in his gubernatorial campaign fund in a Senate campaign. So he’s effectively starting from scratch. His most likely rival, Republican John Raese, ran against Robert Byrd in 2006 and spent $1.5 million of his own fortune. Manchin is still a favorite, but this is a complication.
Andy Barr’s House race in Kentucky will probably be the first one called on election night; polls in Kentucky close at 6 p.m. Eastern. If Barr beats three-term incumbent Ben Chandler, it will be an early indicator of a good night for the GOP.
A sleeper issue in Arkansas’s 1st congressional district: The Federal Emergency Management Agency is remapping flood zones, and dramatically expanding the number of counties in this district that are defined as within a flood zone. Homeowners in the expanded zone will have to purchase FEMA-approved flood insurance, at a cost of $2,000 per year. Republican Rick Crawford vehemently opposes the expansion; he accuses Democrat Chad Causey of not having a clear position on the FEMA plan.
In Illinois, Randy Hultgren wonders where his opponent, incumbent Democrat Bill Foster, is. He says Foster events are rarely publicized ahead of time, and he rarely if ever does traditional “town hall” meetings. There’s even speculation that Foster doesn’t come back to the district that often; an entire 30 minutes from O’Hare, it’s not like it’s hard to get to from Washington.
Kristi Noem’s early success running in South Dakota’s at-large district against incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has prompted the DCCC to purchase $500,000 in air time in the final two weeks before Election Day. That’s a phenomenal amount of money to spend on one of the least expensive states in the country; a half-million buys a lot of air time in South Dakota.
Mick Mulvaney, running against John Spratt in South Carolina, just wants to keep the spending race reasonably close. “If I have enough resources to get my message out, it doesn’t matter how much he has to get his message out.”
Plenty of Republicans from districts that McCain won handily — like David McKinley in West Virginia’s 1st district — joked that they would love to see President Obama appear on behalf of their Democratic rivals. But Keith Fimian, running against Democrat Gerry Connolly in northern Virginia’s suburban district, said the same thing. He noted that Obama won the district handily in 2008, but then the GOP’s Bob McDonnell won 55 percent in this district in 2009. This year, Connolly won’t have that helpful Obama wave or any top-of-the-ticket help; this year, he is the top of the ticket.
If You Think Politics Is Grubby,
Don’t Bring in Your Hubby
It appears Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, South Dakota Democrat, wants to have it both ways:
Max Sandlin threw some punches this month on behalf of his wife, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Last week, we examined whether Max Sandlin’s job as a lobbyist would be something that Republicans try to exploit, like they did in the 2004 Daschle/Thune contest. Herseth Sandlin emphatically said that her husband should not be attacked in the campaign.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Max Sandlin already had jumped into the battle by sending out a fundraising letter on behalf of his wife. The letter, dated June 1, was sent before Kristi Noem had secured the Republican nomination by beating out two others in the June 8 primary. In the letter, Sandlin, a former congressman from Texas, said he knows what it’s like “to be targeted by the far right.” His wife, he added, puts “policy ahead of partisan politics” and the interests of South Dakota first.
The letter describes Blake Curd as the “darling of the Tea Party circuit,” Chris Nelson as a “birther” — one of those curious persons who thinks Barack Obama was born on Neptune, thus disqualifying him to serve as president and maybe making him an illegal immigrant to boot — and Kristi Noem as “South Dakota’s Sarah Palin.”
I concur with the perspective that spouses with no campaign role (other than, say, smiling and waving at events) ought to be off-limits, but once you bring a husband or wife into the campaign to play the role of an attack dog, you really can’t play the victim card.
Well, I suppose you can, but the electorate ought to dismiss your whining.
There Is Noem Way You Can Ignore This Result
Here is your “whoa” poll result of the day:
South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has a race on her hands. A new poll shows the Blue Dog leader down 12 points to state Rep. Kristi Noem, who defeated two legitimate opponents to win the Republican nomination Tuesday. Noem leads 53 percent to 41 percent in today’s Rasmussen poll. Previous polls by Rasmussen showed Noem down 15 points in April and 3 points in May.
Post-primary bounce? Sure. But that’s a heck of a bounce.