Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Will Kay follow Specter to the Dems? Not likely...

CQ Politics picks up on Paul Burka's suggestion that Kay follow Arlen Specter and join the Democratic Party (link). Excerpt follows...

Burka's argument, in a nutshell: Hutchison would be welcomed by the state's Democrats as their nominee for governor against incumbent Republican Rick Perry, and -- as a more moderate Republican in a state where conservative Christians dominate her party -- she'd find beating Perry a far-sight easier in a general election than she would in a Republican primary election.

Despite the overpowering logic of his argument, even Burka recognizes that Hutchison's departure from the GOP is not imminent, and it's clear Burka was writing with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The very conservative and Republican Texas Fred echoes Paul Burka on his well read blog, but not in a tongue in cheek way (link). Excerpts follow...

America is in a dangerous position. We have no discernable differences in the parties running this nation. Other than their given names, it’s often impossible to identify the players without a game card. We have 2 U.S. Senators from Texas that have an (R) behind their names, that (R) stands for RINO. Our U.S. Senators voted FOR the socialization of America, they both voted FOR the 1st bailout, doing so against the express wishes of their constituents.

One of those Senators, Kay bailey Hutchison, is retiring from the Senate to come home and run for Texas Governor. Many of us here in Texas are planning on making sure that Hutchison enjoys a nice, quiet retirement, OUT of public office. There is a great candidate vying for the Hutchison seat, Michael Williams, and hopefully, when John Cornyn comes up for reelection again in 2014, we can replace his RINO/Socialist self with a REAL Conservative! If there’s still a USA worth working with that is!

I am hoping the American people send a message to D.C. in 2010, and again in 2012, but NOT by sending more RINOs! We need real Conservatives serving this nation, in local, state and federal positions, not Repubs, not RINOs and not Dem hacks, Conservative American patriots!

There is a lot of anger out there in the GOP base, and there is a real willingness to turn that anger against incumbent "RINO" Republicans.

While Kay may not be the clear favorite among hardcore Republicans, she does remain rather popular overall. Burka's blog created some buzz in political circles, but I just can't see Kay switching to the Democrats.

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News posted a blog about this (link). Excerpt follows...

So will Hutchison quit? No, she's staying, says Hutchison adviser Todd Olsen. "There's always a two to six-vote swing, some Republicans and some Democrats. The pressure to stay remains constant."

Hutchison will face Perry in next March's GOP primary. So far, the incumbent governor has been busy trumpeting himself as the more conservative in the race - support for a "Choose Life" license plate, meeting with politically involved evangelical pastors, extolling state's rights, bashing Washington and expressing sympathy for Texans who want to secede. Look for Hutchison's team to reinforce the idea that Washington needs all the conservatives it can get. Olsen notes her 89 percent ranking by the American Conservative Union.

UPDATE: Hutchison campaign manager Rick Wiley clarified in a subsequent conversation that Specter's actions don't change the senator's intention to decide on her own about resigning. "Senator Hutchison has said she will decide when she will leave the Senate, but that decision won't come until later this year."

The "UPDATE:" is interesting. It looks like one of Kay's spokesmen was saying one thing... namely, that Kay is staying put because there is a swing of 2 to 6 votes in the Senate, while another spokesman said that the first spokesman misspoke. The clarification from Rick Wiley was important for Kay, because she doesn't want to be boxed in one way or the other.

A source close to Kay's team sends along some information about Kay's voting record in the American Conservative Union over the years, information that undermines Paul Burka's argument. Kay has a solid B+ rating from the ACU for her career...

American Conservative Union (ACU) Lifetime Ratings of Members of U.S. Senate at the end of 2008 (includes votes of members that seved in U.S. House)

Rnk Member Rating YOS

1. DeMint(R-SC) 98.40 10

2. Barrasso(R-UT) 98.00 2

3. Coburn(R-OK) 97.80 10

4. Inhofe (R-OK) 97.55 22

5. Kyl (R-AZ) 96.96 22

6. Sessions (R-AL) 95.00 12

7. Allard (R-CO) 94.95 18

8. Bunning (R-KY) 94.47 22

9. Ensign (R-NV) 93.77 14

10. Vitter (R-LA) 93.20 10

11. Chambliss (R-GA) 92.89 14

12. Brownback (R-KS) 92.82 14

13. Craig (R-ID) 92.77 28

14. Crapo (R-ID) 92.29 16

15. Enzi (R-WY) 92.22 12

16. Cornyn (R-TX) 92.00 6

17. Wicker (R-MS) 91.00 14

18. Sununu (R-NH) 90.89 12

19. Burr (R-NC) 90.36 14

20. Graham (R-SC) 89.79 14

21. McConnell (R-KY) 89.40 24

22. Hutchison (R-TX) 89.38 16

23. Hatch (R-UT) 89.18 32

24. Isakson (R-GA) 88.40 10

25. Thune (R-SD) 86.77 10

26. Roberts (R-KS) 86.54 28

27. Dole (R-NC) 85.00 6

28. Hagel (R-NE) 83.70 12

29. Bennett (R-UT) 83.60 16

30. Grassley (R-IA) 83.13 34

31. Corker (R-TN) 83.00 2

32. McCain (R-AZ) 81.43 26

33. Bond (R-MO) 82.16 22

34. Alexander (R-TN) 80.83 6

35. Cochran (R-MS) 80.03 36

36. Martinez (R-FL) 80.00 4

37. Warner (R-VA) 79.19 30

38. Gregg (R-NH) 78.59 24

39. Lugar (R-IN) 77.55 32

40. Shelby (R-AL) 75.01 30

41. Domenici (R-NM) 74.12 36

42. Murkowski (R-AK) 70.56 6

43. Voinovich (R-OH) 69.71 10

44. Smith (R-OR) 68.83 12

45. Coleman (R-MN) 68.83 6

46. Stevens (R-AK) 64.07 38

47. Collins (R-ME) 49.55 12

48. Snowe (R-ME) 47.88 30

49. Nelson (D-NE) 47.26 8

50. Specter (R-PA) 44.47 28

51. Nelson (D-FL) 37.28 18

52. Byrd (D-WV) 28.26 38

53. Landrieu (D-LA) 23.20 12

54. Bayh (D-IN) 20.70 10

55. Conrad (D-ND) 19.57 22

56. Reid (D-NV) 18.96 26

57. Lincoln (D-AR) 18.70 16

58. Johnson (D-SD) 18.36 22

59. Pryor (D-AR) 18.33 6

60. Dorgan (D-ND) 16.57 22

61. Tester (D-MT) 16.00 2

62. Lieberman (D-CT) 15.96 20

63. Salazar (D-CO) 14.25 4

64. Baucus (D-MT) 14.04 34

65. McCaskill (D-MO) 14.00 2

66. Kohl (D-WI) 13.63 20

67. Carper (D-DE) 13.25 8

68. Biden (D-DE) 12.67 36

69. Feingold (D-WI) 12.04 16

70. Webb (D-VA) 12.00 2

71. Bingaman (D-NM) 11.71 26

72. Stabenow (D-MI) 10.50 8

73. Cantwell (D-WA) 10.38 8

74. Obama (D-IL) 10.00 4

75. Klobuchar (D-MN) 10.00 2

76. Wyden (D-OR) 9.32 28

77. Rockefeller (D-WV) 9.11 24

78. Feinstein (D-CA) 9.06 16

79. Brown (D-OH) 8.74 16

80. Menendez (D-NJ) 8.63 16

81. Harkin (D-IA) 8.46 34

82. Clinton (D-NY) 8.13 8

83. Casey (D-PA) 8.00 2

84. Dodd (D-CT) 7.89 34

85. Akaka (D-HA) 6.98 32

86. Innoye (D-HA) 6.85 38

87. Levin (D-MI) 6.80 30

88. Reed (D-RI) 6.65 18

89. Sanders (I-VT) 6.44 18

90. Durbin (D-IL) 6.35 26

91. Mikulski (D-MD) 5.93 32

92. Schumer (D-NY) 5.92 28

93. Leahy (D-VT) 5.82 34

94. Cardin (D-MD) 5.74 8

95. Kerry (D-MD) 5.50 24

96. Lautenberg (D-NJ) 4.96 24

97. Whitehouse (D-RI) 4.00 2

98. Boxer (D-CA) 3.07 26

99. Murray (D-WA) 2.91 16

100.Kennedy (D-MA) 2.33 38

KBH has a higher lifetime ACU voting record than both of the Utah Senators. Utah is the reddest state.

Burnt Orange Report adds that Kay won't switch parties, but that she might be willing to resign sooner rather than later (link). Excerpt follows...

But it does mean that the past rationale for her staying in the Senate is no longer so cut and dry. Rick Perry has been able to consolidate and inspire more support among the most conservative of Texas Republicans, the exact group he will need huge support from to win next March's Republican Primary.

Now that Specter has flipped, could Hutchison resign her Senate seat later this year to come home to Texas to focus on reclaiming the once solid lead she held in the polls?

Kay did seem to have a pretty good lead a few months back, but now the numbers have narrowed and the momentum just feels to be with Rick. Kay might therefore be resigning from the Senate in the next couple of months.

Another Burnt Orange blog opines that Kay may already be running out of time (link). Excerpt follows...
Kay Baily won't beat Rick Perry in a GOP primary because she hasn't flown down from her perch in Washington DC to start building a whole new Republican Party in order to defeat Good Hair and his secessionist followers. Hutchison has to build a new Texas GOP if she has a snowballs chance in hell of beating Perry and last time I checked it takes more than a year to build a political party. Now that Kay, as BOR writer David Mauro rightly points out, doesn't have the pressure to stay in the senate to prevent a filibuster proof, Democratically controlled senate from coming to fruition, she might swoop back to Texas and get to work sooner rather than later.
Politico adds, however that Norm Coleman is not out of it yet, and the GOP is redoubling efforts to help him in his court case (link)...
Another dynamic Dems are watching closely: how Specter’s decision will affect Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is leaning heavily toward a gubernatorial run back home.

The sense, according to one senior Democratic aide, is that Specter’s status as the possible filibuster-proof 60th vote makes it easier for her to brush aside arguments she’s needed in Washington.

Still, if Coleman scores an unexpected legal victory — or drags the process out long enough — Hutchison may come under additional pressure to take one for the team.

And Specter’s claim that he’ll never be an “automatic” No. 60 could keep the pressure on Hutchison too.
As Todd Olsen explained initially, there is a magic number of 60, but whether there are 58, 59, 60, 61, or 62 Senators, those swing votes are all important.

1 comment:

Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.