Afternoon Fix: Newt Gingrich predicts huge GOP gains in 2012
Newt Gingrich sees a historic Republican wave coming, Mitch Daniels doesn’t think anyone cares about his endorsement, Richard M. Daley has a new job, and Susana Martinez won’t endorse.
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EARLIER ON THE FIX:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
* In a CNBC appearance this morning, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted Republicans would make huge gains in next year’s elections. "I think we'll pick up a dozen Senate seats and 30 to 40 House seats," Gingrich said. That would give Republicans their second biggest House majority in history and their third biggest gain in Senate seats ever.
* In his first public appearance since announcing that he would not run for president, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels engaged in some familiar self-deprecation. "What I decided means very little. What happens to me means nothing," he told reporters. Asked if he would endorse one of the Republican contenders, he responded, "I'm not sure who'd care.”
* Former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley is headed to the University of Chicago as a senior fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. The five-year gig starts on July 1st. Daley announced last fall that he would not seek re-election after over 22 years as mayor.
* The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has appointed four members to new leadership roles. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.) will be in charge of candidate services in addition to recruiting. Rep. Jim Himes (Conn.) will chair the ‘Frontline’ program protecting vulnerable incumbents. Reps. Donna Edwards (Md.) and Jared Polis (Colo.) will lead the ‘Red to Blue’ program, a support network for Democrats running against GOP incumbents.
* The United Transportation Union has endorsed Rep. Martin Heinrich in the New Mexico Senate race. “Congressman Heinrich has always been interested in and supported the concerns of railroad workers and our retirees,” said New Mexico legislative director Dennis Baca. Heinrich faces a primary from State Auditor Hector Balderas.
* Kentucky Senate President David Williams has hired Sen. Marco Rubio’s former political director, Luke Marchant, to run his gubernatorial campaign. Scott Jennings, who will move from campaign manager to strategic advisor, said in a statement: “The campaign is expanding. We are adding a talented operative to manage the day-to-day functions of the campaign, including the political and voter turnout operations.”
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:
* Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will vote against the House GOP budget when it comes up for a Senate vote. "I am going to vote no on the budget because I have deep and abiding concerns about the approach on Medicare, which is essentially to privatize it," Snowe told the Portland Press-Herald today, adding that Maine has a high percentage of elderly residents. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who have also announced their plans to vote ‘no.’ Snowe will face a primary from the right in 2012, but it’s not that serious yet.
* George Pataki (R), who served as governor of New York from 1994 to 2006, is wondering if he should get into the presidential field again. "I'm not running now, " Pataki said today, "but we'll see what happens over the course of the next month." The former governor also flirted with presidential bids in 2000 and 2008; both times, he dropped out early in the process.
* New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) responded to Lt. Gov. John Sanchez's (R) Senate announcement by saying she would not endorse either him or former Rep. Heather Wilson in the primary. Then she added, somewhat oddly: "To prevent this race from becoming a distraction, Lt. Gov. Sanchez will not be given responsibilities in my administration beyond the select few provided for in the state Constitution." In an interview with The Fix, Sanchez responded, "You probably would have to ask either the governor or her staff to expound on that," and emphasized that he supports her agenda. Sanchez became Martinez's running mate when he won the GOP primary for lieutenant governor last year.
* Connecticut GOP Chairman Christopher Healy is not running again. “I've done my duty,” he told the Hartford Courant. “On the core missions of the party, it is in better shape than when I came here.” Some Republicans grumbled about Healy after the 2010 elections — the GOP lost all the major races in the state, although the party gained seats in the state House of Representatives. Former state Sen. William Aniskovich has launched a bid for the post.
* There’s a special election going on today in New York’s 26th district. Polls close at 9 P.M. E.T., so you still have a few hours to enter the Fix prediction contest. Some last-minute developments: Republican Jane Corwin has obtained a court order from the state Supreme Court barring a certification of a winner pending a show-cause hearing later this week. The latest Siena poll showed Democrat Kathy Hochul in the lead. Outside groups have spent nearly $2.3 million on the race. We’ll have results as soon as they are out.
THE FIX MIX:
So many great things going on here.
With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake