Fighting onwards (John Hostettler, R-IN)
His primary is coming up on May 4th. However, former Representative John Hostettler is having a headache he probably doesn't want to have again. His fundraising is anemic, hauling in only $37,000 and having only $10,000 on hand. For the record, one day of statewide advertising in Indiana is ~ $30,000. Hostettler's campaign has launched a money blitz in the hopes of solving this massive problem.
This contrasts with his opponents. Though still weak for a candidate with high-profile connections, former Senator Dan Coats hauled in $379,000, far more than all 3 major candidates. In addition, Coats got the best endorsement you can get in Indiana: Mike Pence.
Meanwhile, the weakest candidate in the race, Marlin Stutzman, secured the endorsement of arch-conservative Jim Demint. This will help the upstart tea partier and state Senator with fundraising, something Hostettler really does not need. Stutzman and Hostettler both have close tea party connections, so if the split the anti-establishment vote Coats could slide into victory (despite having the most baggage). And without that money, Hostettler cannot break past Stutzman and Coats.
Coup and conflict (Rand Paul, R-KEN)
Mixed stories for Rand Paul tonight. On the plus side, Rand is launching an ad buy featuring Sarah Palin before the Kentucky primary (a boon in conservative Kentucky politics). On the negative, Dr. Paul has had a conflict with Kentucky Right to Life over a questionnaire. Apparently, the original copy excluded an answer to one question, but the campaign produced another copy with an answer (although apparently not the one submitted). Still, the Paul campaign maintains it is 100% pro-life.
Civil War (Mike Lee, R-UT)
Normally, Republican Senator Bob Bennett would be sitting high and dry. But Utah has an unusual electoral system that causes most of the primary action to occur in each party's state convention.
Instead, a candidate can win the nomination with 60% of the vote in a 2 way race at the state convention. Suddenly, Bennett must watch out on his right flank. Many Tea Partiers are angry that Bennett voted for TARP. Now, those Tea Partiers appear to be trying to seize control of the Utah GOP. The candidate that the greatest number of these people appear to back is Mike Lee.
Mike Lee is the Utah Attorney General. He polls competitively for the convention and appears to be the frontrunner, but it all depends who makes it to the 1 on 1 with Bennett if he wins the nomination or another Tea Partier, like self-funding businessman Tim Bridgewater. Lee stands out for recent comments on Afghanistan coming out against nation building in that country.
For the record (Bob Smith, R-FL)
The former New Hampshire Senator has officially ended his bid for the Senate in Florida. He did not get the necessary fundraising or press to compete against Tea Party upstart Marco Rubio or incumbent Governor Charlie Crist in the Republican primary. He has abortively run for Senate in Florida in the past.
Missed a frontrunner (Justin Amash, R-MI-03)
My bad. I completely forgot about one of the most viable bids a liberty-lover could find, that of Justin Amash. Justin is currently a state representative. He is also an open Ron Paul supporter and a Tea Party favorite.
Justin helped clear the field in this district when he launched a primary bid against incumbent Republican Vern Ehlers. The incumbent soon retired, breaking this conservative district wide open.
Amash is leading in the fundraising (for both the Republicans and Democrats) and has been campaigning hard. He has raised $116k and has $66k on hand.
Back to '94 (Adam Kokesh, R-NM-03)
Adam Kokesh has signed onto the Tea Party's Contract From America. The document, pushed by groups like Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks, is an attempt to repeat the Contract With America from 1994.
The Club For Growth, the group that is apt to intervene in Republican primaries in favor of fiscally conservative candidates with huge ad buys, has released its ratings for congressmen for the year. Coming in first is Jeff Flake, the anti-earmark crusader. Flake just recently endorsed John McCain in the Arizone Senate race.
Politics as the game is played (Kristin Davis and Warren Redlich, L-NY)
Wow. Warren Redlich has leaked a large amount of correspondence with conservative New York politico Roger Stone, and there is lots to take in there. Essentially, Stone asked Redlich to jump into the Attorney General race and let Davis get the Libertarian Governor nomination, and in exchange he could work with Paladino to get on the Republican primary ballot and cover petitioning costs. If not, Stone with take Redlich to court over the name Libertarian. I highly suggest skimming through the emails.
1) Stone's association with the Davis campaign appears to be a strategy to emphasize the socially liberal side of libertarianism to take votes from Andrew Cuomo (the Democrat) and get them to Tea Partier Carl Paladino.
2) There is talk of Larry Flynt jumping onto Davis' ticket in some role.
3) Davis WILL NOT be attending the LP Convention in New York. Instead, she will petition to make her own party (which doesn't bode well for Redlich or Davis, having to compete for votes in the general election).
4) Stone mentioned the Republican, Lazio, could be offered a judgeship to clear the way for Paladino. Paladino, for his part, is preparing a massive ad buy for his self-funded campaign.
WHEW. Welcome to New York politics.
Upstart debater (Eric Cooper, L-IA)
Debates can have a powerful impact on elections. For Libertarian Eric Cooper, he must surely be thankful for his performance recently. Cooper apparently dominated a recent gubernatorial debate in an audience filled with conservatives, sparking some press. The article notes that the rhetoric employed focused more on limited government and fiscal conservatism than personal freedom.
More polling (Ron Paul, R-TX)
Somehow Ron Paul always has something to earn a place in the Liberty Ticker. PPP has just released a new poll on the Republican Primary in New Hampshire. Paul runs better than he did in 2008 with a showing of 7% at the moment (in 2008, he pulled in ~4% of the vote).
Also of note, PPP is soon to add Ron Paul to its nationwide polling for president next month, along with Newt Gingrich. Currently, it looks as if Mitt Romney is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination to take on Obama.