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Leading Off:

AL & MS Primaries: Incumbents won all around in the Alabama and Mississippi congressional primaries last night, but not all victories are created equal. Some were quite sizable: In MS-02, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson absolutely demolished former Greenville mayor Heather McTeer, 87-13, and in AL-05, Rep. Mo Brooks handily turned back turncoat chump Parker Griffith in the GOP primary, 70-30.

But several other Republican representatives escaped much more narrowly. Reps. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01), Jo Bonner (AL-01), and Spencer Bachus (AL-06) all managed around just 57-58% apiece. Some people will take the mistaken view that "anti-incumbent sentiment" is only a meaningful force if a given incumbent loses. But soft primary wins in the 50s against considerably weaker opponents (as was the case in all three races here) should not be ignored as a portent. While these guys may have survived, the next batch of incumbents may not be so lucky.


AZ-Sen: Not a surprise, but that Don Bivens ad attacking GOP Rep. Jeff Flake & Rush Limbaugh was reportedly backed by just a puny $7,000 buy. As long as there's politics, there will be video press releases.

MD-Sen: Maryland's primary is fast approaching on April 3, and Sen. Ben Cardin is leaving nothing to chance, even though his challenger for the Democratic nomination, state Sen. C. Anthony Muse, hasn't even filed a single fundraising report. Nevertheless, Cardin is going on the air with what is reportedly a "six-figure" ad buy, backing a spot that mostly features African American faces and is narrated by a young black girl. (You can watch it at the link.) Muse is black and has explicitly made his race a focus of his campaign; when he first launched his bid, he offered this explanation for why he was running: "There is something to be said about the fact that we don’t have an African American serving in the United States Senate."

Muse has also run decidedly to Cardin's right: He spoke at an anti-gay marriage rally earlier this year, while Cardin has come out in favor of including pro-marriage equality language in the Democratic Party's national platform.

ME-Sen: That Angus King interview with WLBZ-TV we mentioned in the previous digest actually contained a few more good quotes that we missed the first time around:

Former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) has made no deal with Democrats and will seek to avoid caucusing with either party if elected to the Senate, he said in an interview where he called himself "the two parties' worst nightmare." [...]

"The whole notion of what I'm trying to do here is get down there and shake things up," King said. "If I said I'm going to caucus with the Democrats or caucus with the Republicans, I'd be giving the game away."

King said he had made no decisions and hadn't discussed the matter with either Pingree or the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He said if at all possible, he won't caucus with either party.

"If the numbers work out in such a way that it would be beneficial to Maine, that's the basis upon which I'm going to make the decision," he said.

Great, now King's the Freddy Krueger of politics? Groan.

ND-Sen: These franking scandals—you know, where a member of Congress abuses the budget he's given to send mailers to constituents about his official duties, but which perform double-duty as campaign literature paid for by taxpayers—are sort of the common cold of the political world. (Well, we already used that metaphor to describe tax liens the other week. So let's say strep throat.) But in this case, the swelling in the pharynx is a bit larger than usual: GOP Rep. Rick Berg, who is running for Senate, has spent $190K on mailings, a huge number for a small state like North Dakota and also a full 15% of his $1.2 million budget. Even with figures like this, though, it's rare for the condition to grow much worse, so I wouldn't bet on this story having much staying power.

NE-Sen: Democrat Bob Kerrey is already going up on the air in Nebraska, reportedly for about $100K, according to Dave Catanese. There are two ads, both of which are available on Kerrey's extremely minimalist website. One touts his willingness to "work with both parties" and finishes with him saying "it's good to be back"; the other begins with a couple declaring, "Welcome home, Bob!" and runs through his connections to and service on behalf of the  state. Clearly Kerrey's polling says he has to confront his long sojourn in New York City head-on, to inoculate himself against charges that he's gone libruhl and to re-establish his cornhusker bonafides. It's almost like you're reading the first page of Kerrey's long checklist of "things I need to do in order to have a prayer here."

Meanwhile, Karl Rove's American Crossroads is moving through its checklist of "things we're going to do to make sure Kerrey has no prayer here." Mostly, though, it's a pretty short list: keep on bringing up the fact that Kerrey spent ten years living in NYC and told the world that the "longer I live here, the further to the left I get on healthcare." That's just one of two damaging quotes featured in Crossroads' new $80K radio ad buy (and one they've used before); in the other, Kerrey says he won't talk about whatever deal he allegedly cut with Harry Reid in exchange for running for his old seat. (For what it's worth, Reid's denied that any such agreement exists.) Kerrey truly must be an oppo researcher's dream.

NY-Sen: Oh man. You really can follow politics just for the lulz and seldom be disappointed—though this is unusually good, and I swear it's not some early April Fool's stunt. GOP Rep. Bob Turner, who of course just won a special election last September to replace Anthony Weiner and then saw his district dismantled in a new court-drawn congressional map, has announced that he'll run for Senate against the well-nigh unbeatable Kirsten Gillibrand.

This comes just a day after his name was first floated for this bizarre race, which features a tragi-comic Republican field of Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, conservative activist Wendy Long, and hedge fund manager Joe Carvin. It also comes after repeated promises by Turner to seek re-election to the House. What's even more ridiculous, though, is that he had another, much better escape hatch, since Turner's fellow Republicans are proposing to redraw Democrat Joe Addabbo's 15th state Senate district in a way that should have been very appealing to him. Oh well, no one repeat that too loudly, because this Senate contest ought to be quite fun!

Indeed, the fun began before yesterday even let out. Conservative Party chair Mike Long says that his party is unlikely to support Turner and instead strongly prefers conservative activist Wendy Long. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, Turner's chief Democratic backer in last year's NY-09 special, ex-NYC mayor Ed Koch, says that he, too, isn't getting behind Turner. Ah, nothing like being stuck hopelessly in the middle in a race where even if you win, you lose.

WA-Sen: There had been occasional percolations of rumors of Port of Seattle Commissioner (and George Lucas lookalike) Bill Bryant getting in to the Senate race, but on Monday Bryant confirmed that he won't run. Bryant, as befits his status as an official who's elected by all of King County, is quite moderate, meaning he'd have little likelihood of getting past more conservative state Sen. Michael Baumgartner in the primary. That leaves Baumgartner (and perennial candidate Art Coday) as Maria Cantwell's only challengers, as former Bloomberg Asia news anchor Phillip Yin seems to have disappeared from the map after announcing his run last September. (David Jarman)


NH-Gov: Ovide Lamontagne's makeover—from Tea Party-fueled insurgent outsider to acceptable establishment choice—is now all but complete. The final trim-and-blowout comes courtesy of Rep. Charlie Bass, who is very much the picture of the classic Republican insider and just gave Lamontagne his endorsement. (Bass is a longtime faux-moderate whose father represented the same seat and whose grandfather was governor 100 years ago.) But this just means that Lamontagne now has to deal with a pesky outsider himself: conservative activist Kevin Smith, who hopefully will play the same role in this race that Lamontagne did in the 2010 Senate contest, albeit just a little more successfully.


FL-03: Ah, the perils of a three-way primary. After Clay County Clerk Jimmie Jett accused Rep. Cliff Stearns of trying to bribe him out of the race—and alleged that the FBI was investigating the matter—Stearns predictably denied all of Jett's claims and, in standard fashion, tried to frame the issue as a classic political smear perpetrated by a rival. At the very least, in a normal race, Stearns might be able to partially defuse the matter by turning it into a he-said/he-said debate.

But now state Sen. Steve Oelrich, the other legitimate contender in the GOP primary, is also making hay of Jett's accusations, sending out a fundraising blast excoriating Stearns and moaning that he's "tired of seeing the rampant corruption in Congress." With a somewhat more neutral third party ready and willing to make use of Jett's claims, it's going to be a lot harder for Stearns to make them go away.

IL-02: Back in January, ex-Rep. Debbie Halvorson released one of those rare internals showing her trailing, but with an "if everything goes right" clause that, as per usual, claimed she had a "path to victory." Well, everything definitely hasn't gone right, because all of the usual metrics—fundraising, endorsements, polls—since then have tilted decidedly toward her opponent in the Democratic primary, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. The latest is a new JJJ internal from Lake Research, which shows him increasing his lead to a monster 59-23, up from 44-30 in December. If those numbers are accurate, that would represent a rather remarkable downward trend for Halvorson, who has been on the receiving end of several negative ads. With just a week left, this race simply isn't looking very competitive.

IL-10: Businessman Brad Schneider is out with a new negative TV ad attacking activist Ilya Sheyman, claiming he's "funded by out-of-state special interests." Amusingly, Schneider doesn't identify those "interests" by name, probably because having the support of a bunch of progressive organizations is typically a positive thing in a Democratic primary. As per usual, there's no word on the size of the buy, though Roll Call previously reported that Schneider's first ad was backed by just $20K a week, a pittance in Chicago. In any event, you can watch the ad at the link or below:

IL-13: With a week to go before the primary, physician David Gill is now on the air with a radio ad touting his progressive credentials. You can listen at the link.

IL-16: There's nothing newsy here, but The Hill's Cameron Joseph takes a good, long look at the bitter fractures that have emerged in the incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary between Republican Reps. Don Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger. There's so much juicy infighting here that I'm really sad this race will be over in just a week!

MD-06: I guess I didn't realize that the United Auto Workers had much of a presence in Maryland's 6th Congressional District, but they say they have 1,400 members there, and—more importantly—they're endorsing state Sen. Rob Garagiola in the Democratic primary. Interestingly, in Garagiola's press release, a UAW official specifically takes a swipe at Garagiola's main opponent, financier John Delaney, something you don't usually see in this kind of announcement.

MI-07: Here's a huge potential get for Democrats: Ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz confirmed a report that came out earlier on Tuesday which said the DCCC is trying to recruit him to run against Rep. Tim Walberg, the proto-teabagger who defeated him in the GOP primary in 2006. Yep, you read that right: The D-Trip is hoping to get Schwarz to switch parties—and knowing Schwarz, it's not impossible to imagine. Schwarz is certainly too liberal for today's Republican Party: He only narrowly won the GOP nomination in a crowded 2004 primary, and of course his various apostasies were why the Club for Growth used Walberg to target him just two years later.

But ideology is not the only reason Schwarz might take the bait: He's simply the kind of guy who'd want to exact revenge on Walberg, or at least seriously fuck with him. Indeed, in 2008, he endorsed Democrat Mark Schauer, who defeated Walberg that year (only to lose to him a cycle later). The biggest problem, though, is that Schwarz's home base of Battle Creek was moved out of the 7th—a move actually designed to keep Schauer from running again, since he lives there, too. He's also 74 years old, but that may be something of a positive, seeing as he truly has nothing to lose here and would probably relish the thought of tearing Walberg to shreds.

In any event, Schwarz says he's considering the possibility, though as you'd imagine, he also says he's "not certain" if he'll do it. However, Schwarz did say he thinks he's "the strongest candidate" to take on Walberg and has promised to decide "in the next few weeks." Here's hoping he jumps in—Congressman, the water is just fine on our side of the aisle!

MT-AL, MT-Gov: Montana's filing deadline passed on Monday. Of note: Seven Democrats and three Republicans submitted paperwork to run in the state's open at-large House seat. Also, in the governor's race, as expected, a Some Dude ticket filed on the Democratic side at the last minute, which means that AG Steve Bullock will be able to raise money for both the primary and the general election, just like his Republican opposition. (If you're interested, there's also a full list of legislative filings here.)

NC-08: Republican John Whitley is out with another ad, this time relying on his credentials as a neurosurgeon to attack "Obamacare" as a "monstrosity." Amusingly, he claims he's read the legislation cover-to-cover.

NJ-05: Passaic County Freeholder Terry Duffy never sounded all that excited about a run against GOP Rep. Scott Garrett, saying at various points that he was ready to defer to not one but two stronger candidates (Harry Carson and Jim McQueeny). So I can't say I'm surprised that he's dropping out, even though both of those alternatives decided not to make the race. In any event, Duffy's departure leaves Democrats with Teaneck deputy mayor Adam Gussen and Marine Corps. vet Jason Castle still in the contest.

NJ-09: Rep. Steve Rothman is trying to change the subject away from the crap that's dominated this race (namely, his decision to seek re-election in this district and not in the 5th CD) with the aim of trying to out-progressive his rival for the Democratic nomination, fellow Rep. Bill Pascrell. It takes a while to get to the meat in this Bergen Record piece, but about halfway through, you'll hit Rothman's litany of issues where he says he's to Pascrell's left: abortion (he opposed a parental notification bill that Pascrell supported); the Wall Street bailout (Rothman: nay, Pascrell: aye); and immigration (Rothman claims Pascrell voted in favor of a border fence). Pascrell doesn't offer much of a response (except to once again try to claim that Rothman "ran from a fight"), though as the Record notes, Rothman did recently fund a letter sent to Republican Jews (signed by 15 synagogue presidents) which encouraged them to switch parties to vote for him in the Democratic primary.

NY-02: This would be an absolutely game-changing recruit: According to Celeste Katz at the Daily News, DCCC chair Steve Israel is trying to recruit Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice to run against GOP Rep. Peter King. King's 2nd CD (the old 3rd) would get considerably bluer under the proposed new map, going from 52-47 McCain to 51-48 Obama, a net change of eight points. On top of that, Rice is a strong campaigner and good fundraiser; if you recognize her name, you probably remember her from her 2010 run for state attorney general, where she lost the Democratic nomination by two points to state Sen. Eric Schneiderman (who went on to win the whole thing). King is no pushover, of course—and as Katz points out, he has $2 million in his campaign coffers. But this has the makings of an epic race should Rice get in.

NY-27, NY-26: I wasn't even aware that this notion had been broached, but in case you were concerned that Dem Rep. Kathy Hochul might try to primary fellow Dem Rep. Brian Higgins in the much-safer proposed 26th CD rather than seek re-election in the now-decidedly-redder 27th CD, don't worry. Hochul says she has no plans to run anywhere but the 27th.

OH-02: This is pretty remarkable: Not only was soon-to-be-former Rep. Jean Schmidt in Washington, DC, rather than on the campaign, on the very day of last week's primary—already an extremely clueless move—but she was meeting with none other than the ambassador for Turkey and representatives of the Turkish-American Council. That's especially notable because her too-close relationship with Turkish interests got her in trouble with the House Ethics Committee, who ordered her to repay half a million dollars' worth of legal fees that the very same Turkish-American Council tried to give her for free. What's more, the guy who beat her in the Republican primary, Brad Wenstrup, made a big issue out of this serious lapse on the campaign trail. All this reminds me that even though I'll miss Schmidt's big mouth and penchant for gaffes, it'll be good to have one of Congress's chief apologists for the Turkish genocide against Armenia gone next year.

OR-04: This is a weird story reminiscent of the Francis M. Powers vs. Francis H. Powers episode in NY-13 back in 2008: Republican Art Robinson is seeking a rematch with Dem Rep. Peter DeFazio... and his son Matthew is challenging DeFazio in the Democratic primary. Before you start wondering about the Oedipal aspects to this, it's definitely a put-up job: The younger Robinson only recently changed his party affiliation from R to D. And have no fear: Both Robinsons are exceedingly unlikely to prevail.

PA-12: PoliticsPA reports that both Dem Reps. Mark Critz and Jason Altmire are going on the air, each for about $150K. Altmire has two spots—one biographical, and the other an attempt to showcase his Democratic bona fides, however slim they might be. Critz, meanwhile, touts his efforts to save a coal mine (and with it 700 jobs), but as Gibson notes, unfortunately for Critz, the mine is no longer located in the district. In any event, you can watch all the ads at the link.

SD-AL: Here's a trivia question: Who is the oldest living candidate to appear on a major party's national ticket? The answer: former U.S. Sen. George McGovern who of course was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972. Yet despite his 89 years of age, McGovern has taken the time to endorse former Tim Johnson staffer Matt Varilek for Congress. Varilek faces a race against Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth in the Democratic primary for the right to take on freshman GOPer Kristi Noem in November.

WA-06: Maria Cantwell's campaign manager is leaving her re-election campaign in order to go work for state Sen. Derek Kilmer and his bid to succeed retiring Norm Dicks. I'm not sure if that's a reflection on recent turnover—her chief-of-staff has also left—at Cantwell's office, which seems to be National Journal's Beltway-insider spin on it, or on Kilmer's increasingly good odds in the WA-06 race and general up-and-coming-ness, though.

"Increasingly good," in part, is due to state Sen. Jim Hargrove, who just announced that he wouldn't run here, leaving Kilmer the only declared Dem after more than a week. (Hargrove, though more conservative than Kilmer, is a longtime force in this area; he's been the state Senator from the Port Angeles-area LD-24 for 20 years.) (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

California: We mentioned yesterday that the California GOP was stuck taking Elizabeth Emken to the dance in the Senate race, but they also issued a whole bunch of endorsements at the House and legislative level over the weekend too. In most cases, the House endorsements were no-brainers (either for the incumbent, or for the sacrificial lamb), but a few in the state's few competitive districts are worth discussion. Maybe most notably, they endorsed a Long Beach city councilor, Gary DeLong, over an ex-Rep. Steve Kuykendall, in Dem-leaning, but open, CA-47. (DeLong has his own money, and Kuykendall hasn't been in office for a decade and is pretty moderate, so that probably explains that.) They also picked sides in CA-31, where they went with the carpetbagging Rep. Gary Miller over state Sen. Bob Dutton.

Most of the races where they didn't endorse weren't surprises either (like the solid-GOP open seats in CA-01 and CA-08, where there are multiple credible candidates, or in CA-03, where there are two decent candidates vying to take on John Garamendi). One, though, is: Dem Rep. Lois Capps' CA-24, where ex-Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado didn't gain the GOP endorsement vs. Chris Mitchum, who's managed to consolidate party support after several other candidates backed out. That's pretty telling that the state GOP is unenthused with the moderate Maldonado, since they gave their backing to Rep. Brian Bilbray in CA-52 in a similar situation; Bilbray faces John Stahl, who not only has teabagger backing but his own money. (Bilbray, by the way, is sporting a pretty tepid 35/39 favorable in a new SurveyUSA poll of the race... which was approvals only, no head-to-heads.) (David Jarman)

Texas: As promised, Katherine Haenschen has a super-comprehensive roundup of the candidate filings for all 36 congressional races in Texas. She's even got a homebrew "heat index" that rates races according to how hot she expects them to be, ranging from "green bell pepper" up through "habanero" and "pepper spray" (with "peppermint patty" for the duds). Tremendous work, and a great post to bookmark for future reference.

WATN?: Dem ex-Rep. Lincoln Davis, who represented TN-08 for four terms before getting badly turfed in 2010, is back in the news, with a lawsuit alleging the state improperly purged thousands of registered voters from the voter rolls. Why is Davis suing? Turns out it's personal: He had his own voter registration cancelled, albeit under complex circumstances.

Redistricting Roundup:

FL Redistricting: As it did before, the Florida House plans to defer to their brethren in the Senate, who will have a free hand to redraw their own map, since that the state's highest court has ordered them to do so. More interesting, though, is the description of the serious cat fud that's been flying in the upper chamber. Indeed, says the Miami Herald's Mary Ellen Klas, referring to the recently-concluded regular legislative session: "In the last week of session, it seemed as if Senate leaders couldn't round up 21 votes for anything controversial, raising doubts about how easy it will be to pass a new map that doesn't protect all the incumbents."

And that's really the nub: The court cuffed the Senate on the ear for improperly trying to protect incumbents, and now an already-fractious body will somehow have to round up a majority in favor of a plan that will undoubtedly shove a few penguins off the iceberg. This could be more fun than we anticipated—and if the Senate can't get its act together, then the court will draw a new map for them.

NH Redistricting: At long last, we finally have some action on congressional redistricting in New Hampshire—and the lengthy delay is made all the more absurd by the fact that the plan just passed by a state House committee moves all of 250 people from NH-02 to NH-01 (leaving a deviation of just two people). As boring as this is, there was actually a bit of an interesting backstory here. Rep. Charlie Bass, who sits in the slightly bluer 2nd District, had wanted to snag some redder turf from the 1st District in order to shore himself up. Of course, that would have meant hurting fellow Republican Frank Guinta, this being very much a zero-sum game. So this stand-pat map, assuming it gets signed into law, constitutes a win for Guinta. Given that Bass appears to be the mover vulnerable of the two, though, Republicans may regret this decision. (Hat-tip: William Tucker)

NY Redistricting, NY-08/09: Late on Monday night, the magistrate judge charged with drafting a new congressional map for New York State issued her final "report and recommendation" to the three-judge panel hearing the case. You can find the entire ruling, including maps, the report from the court's technical expert, and all other attachments at the link, but the PDF you'll be most interested in is this one. These maps show the changes made between the first draft and this version—there were only three, and two of them were very minimal.

One was quite important, though: The magistrate restored the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill to the proposed new 8th District from the 9th. That's key because these areas constitute the home turf of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who is challenging Rep. Ed Towns in the Democratic primary in the 8th. In the original plan, Jeffries' base was moved into Dem Rep. Yvette Clarke's 9th, which would have seriously undermined his chances against Towns. But now things are back to the way they once were.

Meanwhile, on the legislative side, CUNY, which has done the work of angels during this dismal redistricting season in New York, has updated their interactive maps. Now you can compare the newest state legislative proposals published on Sunday night with the first set of plans that were released last month.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Political Director, Daily Kos

    by David Nir on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:00:03 AM PDT

  •  Wow, for once the diary is not blank. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    18, Male, MD-8. Fan of University of Virginia athletics.

    by Danny Ricci on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:09:00 AM PDT

  •  Q PA poll (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, itskevin, askew

    Obama by 1 over Santorum.  6 over Romney.  47/49 job approval.  1200 registered voters.

    "We calmly accept our uncertain position." Joey Rathburn

    by Paleo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:20:46 AM PDT

    •  Santorum leads by 23 points in primary. (0+ / 0-)

      Casey at 46-27 job approval, Toomey at shockingly high 42-28 job approval.

      (-7.62, -6.31), Blood type "O", Democratic-socialist, social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

      by Setsuna Mudo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:31:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Santorum wouldn't break 43% here... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell I'm not sure who they spoke with.

      But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

      by Rich in PA on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:37:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)

        Also, like I said yesterday, the other thing to remember is that Pennsylvania typically has the same range for margins, no matter what the overall result is. The last time it went out of the ten or 11-point range was 1972. Obama's win last time was bigger than Reagan's in 1984, for instance, so I think it's fair to say it was atypically good and that if it goes to eight points this time, it means nothing in particular.

        •  Ummmm... (0+ / 0-)

          2004? 2 points for Kerry.
          2000? 4 points for Gore.
          1988? 2 points for Bush.
          1980? 6 points for Reagan...

          22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

          by wwmiv on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:20:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obams win in Pa (0+ / 0-)

          Was based on working hard to get out the union vote, based on a promise to work on EFCA, which was dumped almost first thing after the election.  How many of those union voters do you think are going to be real happy with him this time around?

          •  I Don't Think Obama's Wins.... (0+ / 0-)

   the furthest reaches of exurban Philadelphia had much to do with the union vote or EFCA.  

            •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

              He wins in Philly with AA's (union or not, won't matter), the Philyl brubs (not highly unionized) and did well with young voters in a lot of college areas.  not to mention decent strength in Allentown, Pittsburgh, etc.

              He simply has 0 worries in AP in 2012.

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:49:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  considering Romney is going to be the nominee (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, dufffbeer, jncca

      I will take a 6 point lead in PA

  •  Altmire (7+ / 0-)

    "I'm no conservative!  I wanted that border fence made with American steel!"  God, I love politics.  Who needs Jon Stewart when you have reality?

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:22:26 AM PDT

  •  Wisconsin Born Callista Gingrich Thinks She Can (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walja, MartyM, conniptionfit

    help Newt do well in Wisconsin? Is that what this paragraph means from thisarticle means?

    The Gingrich advisers argued that the campaign would compete in places like the District of Columbia — where Santorum is not on the ballot — Maryland and Callista Gingrich’s home state of Wisconsin, even though Gingrich has fared poorly outside the South.
    Go Packers!
  •  speaking of Obamacare -- (0+ / 0-)

    Rightwingers are gleefully posting this CBO report claiming Obamacare will cost more than projected.
    But for some reason, my puter can't access it.

    Republicans have the 1% vote locked up.

    by MartyM on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:19:20 AM PDT

    Recommended by:


    Rmoney isn't conservative enough = religious bigots don't like him

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:26:15 AM PDT

  •  Has it ever occurred to anybody (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Norm in Chicago

    ...that the only people who want to see Romney get the nomination, besides Romney and his people, is the MSM media? Every time they say Willard will get the nomination, Santorum creeps out from the rearm and Gingrich grabs another southern state.

    On the personal front, sometimes lightning does strike twice. A liberal/progressive blogger who's been in the trenches for over 7 years needs your help.


    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:28:15 AM PDT

    •  This hints at what I was talking about last night. (0+ / 0-)

      I have no doubt Romney will get the majority of these people if and when he is the nominee, but that's what happens with most candidates in most parties. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some drop off as far as turnout, but unless there's a strong right wing third-party challenger, he's going to scoop up most of these people.

      Of course, at what point do these people ever accept fate and realize that Romney is going to be the nominee? Isn't that what we usually see at some point?

  •  Using latest poll numbers effectively to our (0+ / 0-)

    fundraising this email this morning.

    Mitt Romney won't win the Republican nomination today. Neither will Rick Santorum.

    But here's a fact: According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, if the general election were held today, we would lose to Mitt Romney.

    Let me say that again: According to this poll, if the general election were today, we would lose.

    Now, many other polls put the President on top, but all point to the same reality: We're looking at a race that will be tighter than you think. And the other side has groups ready to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to tear down President Obama.

    It may be fun to point and laugh at the spectacle on the other side, but we have a massive amount of work to do and a dwindling amount of time to get it done.

    We've got to step this up now.

    Donate $10 or more today:

    •  I got the same email last night (0+ / 0-)

      (only mine said $3 or more, I guess they adjust it based on how rich they think you are). It's amusing because Obama is actually riding high in the polls and ABC/WaPo was a clear outlier, personally I would think this might discourage or overly worry uninformed voters who would then think "If even they're admitting he's down, he must be really down. Maybe I should save my money." But I'll trust they did proper message testing.

      (-7.62, -6.31), Blood type "O", Democratic-socialist, social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

      by Setsuna Mudo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:33:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos to Kochul (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer, R30A, JBraden, askew

    Unlike some others, she put party and the good of the country over personal ambition.  

    "We calmly accept our uncertain position." Joey Rathburn

    by Paleo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:42:39 AM PDT

  •  I like it (0+ / 0-)

    Parker Griffith CAN lose.

    It's about time I changed my signature.

    by Khun David on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:48:41 AM PDT

  •  I GAVE 20 (0+ / 0-)

    Looks like they had over 83,000 donations. That e-mail was a little misleading because the polls are all over the place. Reuters has Obama way ahead. Again once they start a one on one campaign Obama will pull ahead.

  •  ME-Sen races shaping up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    With the announcement that Sen. Olympia Snowe will not seek re-election, a mad dash to fill that seat ensued.

    Both of Maine's House members toyed with the idea of a run, but both thought better of it. The primary field now includes:


    Matt Dunlap, former Sec of State, submitted signatures today.
    State Sen. Cynthia Dill, still collecting signatures
    State Rep. Jon Hinck, still collecting signatures
    Ben Pollard, no visible campaign


    Scott D'Amboise, submitted signatures, refers to other five potential opponents as "carpet baggers"
    Rick Bennett, former Maine Senate president, submitted
    Sec. of State Charlie Summers, submitted
    State Sen. Debra Plowman, still collecting, told me she is nearly there
    State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, still collecting, hired gatherers at $4 a signature
    State AG Bill Schneider, still collecting, I'm told he has enough

    Unenrolled (independents)

    Andrew Ian Dodge
    Angus King, former governor of Maine

    Unenrolled have until 15 June to submit signatures.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 07:28:29 AM PDT

    •  ME-01 and ME-02 (0+ / 0-)

      ME-01 race will feature a race between incumbent Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) and State Sen. Jon Courtney (R). Pingree should win this race in a walk.

      ME-02 race will feature incumbent Rep. Mike Michaud (D) and the winner of the Republican primary between Maine Senate President Kevin Raye and Blaine Richardson, a Tea Party extraordinaire.

      Michaud beat Raye in 2002 when the seat was open.

      Richardson will be holding a rally this Saturday in which he will call for Sec of Defense Leon Panetta to be tried for treason.

      Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

      by Spud1 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 07:32:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Ya feelin' down baby?" (9+ / 0-)

    Pew has Obama up by twelve over Romney (54-42), and eighteen over Santorum (57-39). 50-41 approval spread.


    (-7.62, -6.31), Blood type "O", Democratic-socialist, social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

    by Setsuna Mudo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 07:33:12 AM PDT

  •  I actually think the Kerrey ads (0+ / 0-)

    ... are pretty good.  He does clearly have to try to neutralize the "he's not from here anymore" charge, and while I'm a bit skeptical if he can, the ads are pretty good.

  •  Gay marriage will be on Maine ballot in November (5+ / 0-)

    The Maine Legislature has sent LD1860 directly to the voters in November.

    The bill is very similar to the law that was overturned in 2009, and NOM has already pledged to work to defeat this ballot question.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 07:50:19 AM PDT

  •  The British Finally Helping in Ohio? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xenocrypt, bumiputera, itskevin

    Does anyone remember the well intentioned but ultimately bizarre and hairbrained scheme from 2004 where Brits were writing letters to voters on Ohio telling them to vote for Kerry over Bush? I would be astonished if that didn't hurt more than it helped.

    On the other hand, this is probably going to help, or at least not hurt. I also think it's an indication that, whatever else you can say about him, Obama is a skilled politician and should be a formidable opponent against any Republican. The fact that he's doing this while the Republicans are still fighting it out at this point is only going to help him down the line.

  •  File this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico, Marcus Graly, askew

    in the "GOP Primary procedures that are just plain odd."

    Ray LaHood told POLITICO he tried to vote early for his son, state Sen. Darin LaHood, a Gingrich delegate, in his hometown of Peoria, Ill., last week, but the local election commission gave him an incorrect ballot.

    "They had me in the wrong district," LaHood said. "I looked at the ballot and (17th District Rep.) Bobby Schilling's name came up. I said, 'This cannot be. I live in the 18th District.'"

    Under Illinois law, presidential primary voters vote directly for delegates, not for the presidential candidates themselves. Illinois ballots do have a line for voters to select a presidential candidate, though that election is strictly a beauty contest. Delegates are awarded through direct voting.

    "Viewing time at the zoo!" - America on the GOP Presidential primaries

    by ehstronghold on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 07:59:57 AM PDT

    •  Is PA similar? (0+ / 0-)

      I vaguely recall the option of voting for a particular delegate, and I remember Atrios or someone was suggesting people vote for so-and-so.

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:18:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a pretty bad fuck-up (0+ / 0-)

      How the hell do you give someone the wrong ballot?
      Maybe he lives in some a precinct that's split between the too districts?  Or, since he's voting early, maybe they consolidate it in some county office where they have multiple ballots?

      29, (new) MA-7, Unenrolled

      by Marcus Graly on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:28:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah it's a county/municipal office (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marcus Graly

        with multiple ballots. They get your ballot by entering your name (and address??) into a computer and create the electronic ballot card. I'm not sure how they messed it up though...seems pretty hard to mess up because there should be two checks.

        Source: I early voted last week.

    •  Could he possibly be confused? (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, he's certainly lived in the 18th until now, but the 17th now pokes into Peoria. It's possible he was redistricted to Schilling's district.

      27, Male, MA-08 (hometown MI-06)

      by bumiputera on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:05:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WI-Recall: It's Official. Election Day=June 5th (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden, askew, itskevin

    Primary day=May 8. If there's no primary, of course, the general election will be on May 8th. So far the only race that has enough announced candidates for a primary is the Governor's, but I assume that will change soon enough.

    •  Woo hoo! (0+ / 0-)

      I just hope this schedule gives Peter Barca enough time to launch a campaign.  Let's face it, if our only viable option is Kathleen Falk, it's going to be a tough race.

      •  It would be tougher for Barca (0+ / 0-)

        Regardless of the merits of the candidates, the one who's been in the race, raising money, hiring staff, locking down endorsements, and introducing herself to voters for seven months is going to better than the one who's been doing it for two, especially when the latter was starting in a deeper hole.

  •  Pew Poll: It's all good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, itskevin

    Obama by 12 over Romney.  50/41 job approval rating.

    "We calmly accept our uncertain position." Joey Rathburn

    by Paleo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:07:45 AM PDT

  •  PPP versus Rasmussen revisited (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, Mark27, askew

    AL (Santorum 35, Gingrich 29, Romney 29 - Santorum +6%)
    PPP - Romney 31, Gingrich 30, Santorum 29 - Romney +1
    Ras - Gingrich 30, Santorum 29, Romney 28 - Gingrich +1

    MS (Santorum 33, Gingrich 31, Romney 30 - Santorum +2%)
    PPP - Gingrich 33, Romney 31, Santorum 27 - Gingrich +2
    Ras - Romney 35, Santorum 27, Gingrich 27 - Romney +8

    "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

    by conspiracy on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:45:51 AM PDT

    •  so Ras did better in AL (0+ / 0-)

      but failed miserably in MS

      19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at

      by jncca on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:23:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't call 57-58% (0+ / 0-)

    A soft primary win!  These are primary voters, which means they're invested in voting.  The ones who voted for the losers aren't going to slink off whith their tails tucked in, they're going to come out and vote for the primary winner in the general.  Unless turnout and enthusiasm was extremely low, and it doesn't look as if it was,  these guys are going to win their races.

  •  Kathy Hochul is a class act (0+ / 0-)

    Even though her decision to run against the cruel math of the new 27th probably gives her a greater-than-50% chance of losing her seat, I applaud her for not bailing from the fight.

    I'll admit I've loved her ever since her upset victory last May, which couldn't have come at a better time in that it (a.) was a source of comfort to disaffected Dems like myself, and (b.) demonstrated conclusively that attacking social programs would NOT be a winning strategy for Congressional--or, for that matter, Executive--Democrats.  In my humble opinion, Kathy Hochul laid much of the groundwork for the ongoing shift in public opinion back toward the Dems, and regardless of how her election this fall turns out, I highly doubt we've heard the last of her.

  •  How Low Can White Support Go? (0+ / 0-)

    The way the various polls have caused either heartburn or cheers (but mostly the former) over the last few days have made me think about just how long Obama's white support can go before he loses. His non-white support has or should remain rock solid, if not get even better, considering the alternatives, but we can't entirely disregard white support. Even a small decline in the share of the white vote in states like North Carolina or Virginia, for instance, turn them red.

    State by state numbers definitely matter, but the purposes of simplicity, let me use the national numbers. In 2008, CNN had the national racial breakdown at 74/13/9/2/3 for whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and others. Obama's personal percentages were 43/95/67/62/63. Here are a couple of different scenarios:


    I don't think it will stay this way, but imagine if it did. If Obama's split were:

    -40/95/67/62/63, he would get 51.11 percent.
    -38/95/67/62/63, he would get 49.63 percent.
    -40/95/70/62/63, he would get 51.38 percent.
    -38/95/70/62/63, he would get 49.90 percent.


    This is probably more likely, as it shows a good but not ridiculously large increase in Hispanic turnout. If Obama's split were:

    -40/95/67/62/63, he would get 51.65 percent
    -38/95/67/62/63, he would get 50.21 percent
    -40/95/70/62/63, he would get 51.98 percent
    -38/95/70/62/63, he would get 50.54 percent


    This might be a step too far, as it's a very sizable increase in Hispanic turnout, but perhaps something similar will happen. If Obama's split were:

    -40/95/67/62/63, he would get 52.21 percent
    -38/95/67/62/63, he would get 50.81 percent
    -40/95/70/62/63, he would get 52.60 percent
    -38/95/70/62/63, he would get 51.20 percent

    I don't need to do a large write up of these hypothetical results, since people here are sharp enough to figure out the trends. Instead, I will note just a few things. First, I gave all of the drop off in white support to Hispanics. It's certainly possible it could go other groups. If just a point of it went to blacks, Obama would easily benefit, since it would be as if we added almost a full point to his overall total. But if any group is about to expand rapidly, it's Hispanics. Second, I think the biggest drop off, going from 74 percent white turnout to 70 percent, is probably the best we can hope for. I'd love to be wrong, however, since it would certainly benefit our side, but  given the various issues involved, we have to be realistic. Third, notice how his increase with Hispanics is fairly small. McCain had a good reputation with that group, from what I could tell, and while Obama might have as much support from them as blacks, he has to be more appealing to them than to any Republican ticket, no matter who is on it. But it wouldn't surprise me to see if go beyond 70 percent nationwide; it if does, all of the numbers shoot up. Finally, notice how his white support is down from what it was in 2008 in any example. If it simply holds steady, let alone increases, and non-whites, particularly Hispanics, come out at higher rates and give more support to Obama, he wins in a landslide.

    To flesh out that last point, assume a 72/13/11/2/3 racial breakdown, with Obama's percentages being 43/95/70/2/3. In this scenario, he'd win with 54.16 percent, almost certainly good enough to build upon his victories in the Electoral College from last time.

  •  > predictions of Romney win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    > Romney predicting Romney win
    > Drudge predicting Romney win
    > $3.2 million of Super PAC money spent attacking Santorum

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