Political Animal


February 05, 2013 4:09 PM Purge This, Karl!

By Ed Kilgore

PPP has a new survey of Iowa that supplies additional evidence of the folly of American Crossroads’ announced plan to make sure Rep. Steve King isn’t the Republican nominee for the open Senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin.

Among Iowa Republicans, King leads every conceivable configuration of primary candidates by a minimum of 19 points. In a straight-up contest with the “Establishment” favorite, Rep. Tom Latham, King leads 50-27. I seriously doubt Latham is going to give up a House seat on those odds, particularly given King’s well-known campaign skills and his ability to attract the kind of national wingnut money that could match anything Karl Rove can throw in.

PPP also shows King losing a general election to every named Democratic possibility, and trailing the most likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Bruce Braley, by eleven points. Iowa Republicans know King is a tough sell. But they’d probably rather lose the seat than to take dictation from Karl Rove. At some point American Crossroads donors may even begin to smell the coffee and retire the former Boy Genius from his major role in national politics.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • ET on February 05, 2013 4:28 PM:

    After spending the past 10 or so years driving out the moderates - who would be the voters for an establishment candidate like Rep. Tom Latham in the primaries? Those that are left - and most of them aren't voting for the Tom Latham's. So good luck with that Rove.

  • c u n d gulag on February 05, 2013 4:34 PM:

    King is leading in Republican polling, but losing when he's compared to Democrats.

    And popcorn futures just shot up!

    And, has it occured to Republicans that Karl Rove ain't exactly really great at this vote-getting thing?

    The only races he won, involved W.

    And yeah, sure, he won two elections in TX, but he lost the popular vote in Bush's first national election in 2000, and, either cheated to win by manipulating voting machines in key states, or basically scared the population half-silly into voting for Bush in 2004.

    Let the rich Conservative fools give him their money to try to defeat the Frankenstein monster of their own creation.
    I'll be chompin' on some popcorn.
    THIS, should be FUN!!!

  • sick-n-effin-tired on February 05, 2013 4:49 PM:

    The crazy has come home to roost ....meanwhile in other news Cantor is rebranding or as we say in the trade , "Polishing the Turd " We are reminded of the last great rebrabding ... remember the listening tour 2009 ?

    How'd that work out for you GOP?

    Oh I see, you got your ass kicked again in 2012

    They are doomed to be disabled by the CRAZY WING

  • Peter C on February 05, 2013 5:54 PM:

    I fully support King's candidacy ... given he does the honorable thing and resigns his house seat to run. Afterall, it is not fair to his current constituents if he spends his time running for Senate instead of doing his job in the House.

    Bachmann should follow his lead and run against Al Franken (given she resigns her House seat too!)

    To pass up these opportunities would be to hide their lights under bushels!

  • AfGuy on February 05, 2013 7:29 PM:

    Along with any positive accomplishments, the Bushes (both Senior and Jr.) will have to wear the albatross of inflicting Karl Rove on the American voting public because, at a certain point in their campaigns, just WINNING became more important than how it was accomplished.

    Turdblossom is THEIR political legacy.

  • Doug on February 05, 2013 7:36 PM:

    As it seems unlikely we'll soon see Eisenhower marginal rates any time soon, I say let Rove's backers keep spreading their money around.
    Every little bit helps...

  • dbtexas on February 05, 2013 11:08 PM:

    Seems all that is necessary to defeat King is to simply repeat his mantra stating that workers are just pawns, use as necessary, dispose when not. How people like this are continually re-elected is beyond my comprehension.

  • esaud on February 06, 2013 8:48 AM:

    Once, Jerry Seinfeld asked Elaine who would win in a fight, he or George. Elaine replied George, of course, because he fights dirty.

    Rove may be somewhat smart, but any edge he ever had was that he is a dirty fighter.

    The only thing astonishing about him is that he brought GOP ratf&&&ing into the open, perhaps with an assist by his adoring fan, Sally Quinn.

  • DRF on February 06, 2013 10:49 AM:

    Rove is certainly not the genius he was reputed to be; his reputation has been tarnished because of some stupid things he's said and some foolish strategies he's pushed.

    But he's not a stupid guy, and he's absolutely correct to zero in on the fact that the Republican Party has shot itself in the foot on several occasions in the last two election cycles by nominating bad candidates. Of course, the GOP has other, more fundamental problems, but that's no reason for them to not try to address their weakness in picking viable candidates.

    Whatever his faults, Rove has consistently been an advocate for expanding the reach of the party, and finding candidates who are conservative but have some appeal to moderates is key to that. King may well be unstoppable in the Iowa primary; the polling numbers srongly suggest that this is the case. Therefore, it may well be that the Iowa Senate primary isn't a place for Rove's group to make an investment. But conceptually what Rove and his group want to do would be a good thing for the Republican Party, even if the hard-core activists don't realize it.

    As a Democrat, I hope that Rove spends a ton of money, unsuccesfully, to defeat King in the primary. That can only help the Democratic candidate.