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Leading Off:

MD-04: Wow, this is big news—and unexpected, to say the least. On Wednesday, which was Maryland's filing deadline, former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey announced he was dropping his primary challenge to Dem Rep. Donna Edwards. Ivey had looked like a strong opponent, with connections throughout the district and, it appeared, access to money. But labor unions and progressive groups quickly rallied around Edwards, and Ivey wasn't able to raise as much money as he hoped—only $160K, he said, before deciding to bow out. What's more, an Edwards internal poll from November showed her leading 52-16, and Ivey never responded with one of his own. A couple of minor candidates did file, so Edwards will formally have some opposition for the Democratic nod, but Ivey's departure more or less locks this election up for her.

4Q Fundraising:

IA-01: Rep. Bruce Braley (D): $327K raised, $627K cash-on-hand

IN-Sen: Sen. Richard Lugar (R): $750K raised, $4 mil cash-on-hand

MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D): $5.7 mil raised, $6 mil cash-on-hand; Sen. Scott Brown (R): $3.3 mil raised, $12.8 mil cash-on-hand

MD-06: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R): $100K raised; Rob Garagiola (D): $330K raised

WA-Gov: Rep. Jay Inslee (D): $340K raised, $2.1 mil cash-on-hand (Dec. only, and note that Republican AG Rob McKenna is now forbidden from raising money because the legislature is back in session)


FL-Sen: It turns out that Quinnipiac did test head-to-heads in the Florida Senate race, and their latest numbers are almost identical to what they saw in November: Dem Sen. Bill Nelson leads GOP Rep. Connie Mack 41-40, little changed from Nelson's previous 42-40 lead. Mack, meanwhile, continues to dominate in the Republican primary, while Mitt Romney maintains a slight edge in the presidential race. Click the link for our complete analysis at Daily Kos Elections.

NV-Sen: Can't really say I see this going anywhere, but whatevs. Wealthy businessman Barry Ellsworth says he plans to go up against Rep. Shelley Berkley for the Democratic Senate nomination, and adds that he'll spend "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to that end. Another rich guy, attorney Byron Georgiou, already tried that and ultimately thought better of the idea, after Harry Reid threw a few sharp elbows his way. Ellsworth specifically cited that incident, saying it "really angered" him and that he "want[s] the incumbents out of office," but I can't imagine him getting any further than Georgiou did.


FL-Gov: I don't think I'd even heard these rumors, but the point is moot now: Former Dem Sen. Bob Graham says there's "no way" he'd run for governor in 2014, adding that he's already run his "last campaign" (which would be his short-lived presidential bid in 2003). This isn't exactly surprising, though: Graham would be 78 by the time of the next gubernatorial election.

NC-Gov: Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is one of those candidates who everyone "knows" has been planning to run for ages and who has his party's nomination sewn up in advance, but believe it or not, he actually hasn't formally declared for the race yet. That will apparently change on Jan. 31, when the Republican McCrory finally (and officially) kicks off his challenge to Dem Gov. Bev Perdue.


AZ-04: As expected, state Sen. Ron Gould just announced a bid for Arizona's redrawn 4th Congressional District, setting off a multi-way GOP primary between himself, 1st District Rep. Paul Gosar, and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. The traditional framework suggests that a crowded clown car hands an advantage to Gosar, the incumbent, but given that he only represents just a third of the 4th CD, I don't think the usual rubric applies, and I figure this race could be anybody's game.

AZ-09: Businessman and military veteran Travis Grantham just announced that he's switching from Arizona's heavily-red 5th CD, where the GOP primary is hotly contested, into the swingier 9th, where he's the first Republican to enter the race. The linked article also says that yet another name on the Dem side is considering: wealthy attorney Jon Hulburd, who ran against Ben Quayle last cycle in AZ-03. (In a tough district in a tough year, Hulburd held Quayle to 52%—though he only took 41% himself—and managed to raise $1 mil, in addition to chipping in half-a-mil of his own money.) So far, the Democratic field consists of just ex-state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, but state Sen. David Schapira and 2010 Treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny may join soon.

CA-01: GOP Rep. Wally Herger's retirement announcement on Tuesday was a little unusual, in that he endorsed a successor, state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, before we'd ever even heard from LaMalfa himself. But there won't be a Bill Belicheck situation: LaMalfa is indeed forging ahead with a run.

CA-09: Not a bad get for Ricky Gill, the 24-year-old Republican fundraising phenom: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush just headlined a San Francisco event for Gill that netted $60K. (Of course, it's okay to raise money in San Fran when they do it.) Gill is looking to challenge third-term Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney in the redrawn 9th CD.

CT-04: State Sen. Toni Boucher says she's considering a run for Congress against sophomore Rep. Jim Himes, which suggests to me that the GOP isn't thrilled with their current field, since state party chair Jerry Labriola is among those trying to recruit her. Republicans have a trio of businessmen in the race: Steve Obsitnik, David Orner, and Chris Meek, and a recent post at the site Only in Bridgeport suggests they've mostly been invisible so far. I'm not sure how much better of a get Boucher is, though: Her claim to fame is being extremely hostile to even the most minor of marijuana reform laws, and she crossed Dem Gov. Dan Malloy last year when she suggested his support of a decriminalization bill was due to his own son's legal run-ins with the drug.

IN-06: Bartholomew County Coroner Allen Smith is joining the extremely crowded Republican field hoping to succeed Rep. Mike Pence, who is running for governor. Like several other congressional candidates in recent years (such as Sean Duffy in Wisconsin and Kevin Powell in New York), Smith has achieved some notability thanks to an appearance on reality television, in this case "The Biggest Loser." Also, if you're thinking "Coroner? Zuh?", it's actually an elected position in many places in Indiana, and indeed, another coroner, John McGoff in Marion County, very nearly unseated 5th District Rep. Dan Burton in the GOP primary in 2008.

KY-04: Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie, who had been considering the race pretty much since this seat became open, says he'll join the GOP field seeking to replace retiring Rep. Geoff Davis. Massie is described by the AP as a "Tea Party darling" and, interestingly, is also said to be wealthy. Typically, your average tea-flavored candidate is neither an office-holder nor especially rich, so Massie might have a much bigger impact on this race than someone with his ideological profile ordinarily would.

MA-04: Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, who only recently began his second term as mayor, will not join the Democratic field looking to succeed Rep. Barney Frank, and neither will state Sen. Marc Pacheco, who endorsed Joseph P. Kennedy III for the nod. By my count, that's at least five Democrats so far who have declined to run since Kennedy announced he was creating an exploratory committee.

MA-09: Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, who had been mentioned as a possible congressional candidate as soon after the ink was dry on the Bay State's new congressional map, announced he's forming an exploratory committee to look at a run in the redrawn 9th CD. The difficulty for Sutter is that an incumbent congressman, freshman Bill Keating, is seeking re-election here, and he already represents 59% of the constituents of the new 9th. That would mean a very uphill fight for Sutter in the Democratic primary, which is probably why he's taking the time to mull things over. (Incidentally, Sutter was also suggested for the open 4th District, but apparently that's of less interest to him.)

MI-06: Super-conservative ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk had been considering a rematch against Rep. Fred Upton in the GOP primary at least since November, and now he will reportedly pull the trigger next week. Though he only spent $62K against Upton's $2 mil, Hoogendyk held the incumbent to just 57% in 2010. This time, the Club for Growth is also helping to soften up Upton, since they recently started running ads attacking him as a "liberal." If the CfG can help engineer an upset, it could create an unexpected opportunity for Democrats, much like their 2006 ouster of "moderate" GOP Rep. Joe Schwarz in neighboring MI-07 helped pave the way for Democrat Mark Schauer to defeat Schwarz's much wingnuttier replacement, Tim Walberg, two years later.

NH-02: An interesting test-case: The PCCC re-aired an old ad accusing GOP Rep. Charlie Bass of wanting to "end Medicare" on account of his support of the infamous Ryan budget. The Bass campaign howled in protest and, in trying to get two TV stations to drop the ad, repeatedly cited PolitiFact's embarrassing assertion that this claim was the "Lie of the Year." Both stations rebuffed Bass, which is good news for anyone else planning to run ads along these lines this election cycle.

NY-13: Democrat Mark Murphy, a politically well-connected aide to NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, has resigned his job, a likely prelude to a run against freshman GOPer Mike Grimm. Murphy's name has been circulating since at least August, when he reportedly met with the DCCC about joining the race. A lot of other possible candidates have been floating around—including ex-Rep. Mike McMahon, who held this seat for a single term before losing in 2010—but Murphy, the son of former Rep. John Murphy, could potentially clear the field if he gets in, especially since McMahon hasn't sounded very excited about a rematch.

RI-01: It looks like the GOP won't shoot itself in the face after all: Former state Rep. John Loughlin will not seek a rematch against freshman Dem David Cicilline, which clears the way for Republicans to nominate the more electable Brendan Doherty, a former state police chief. The RI GOP had for quite some time treated Doherty as a leper, and even considered rules changes to help deny him the party's nod, but Loughlin never really kicked off his campaign and hadn't raised jack.

Other Races:

Special Elections: Yeah, there were actually some non-New Hampshire elections on Tuesday night. Johnny recaps:

Connecticut HD-24: Democrat Rick Lopes won the three-way race with 44%, while Republican Peter Steele came in second with 33%, and independent Thomas Bozek was third with 23%.

Minnesota SD-59: No surprise here, DFLer Kari Dziedzic beat Republican Ben Schwanke by a 79-19 margin.

Minnesota HD-61B: This one was surprisingly close, though; DFLer Susan Allen prevailed, but independent Nathan Blumenshine, whose party label was "Respect," performed respectably. Allen won 56-43.

Grab Bag:

WATN?: Well, at least John Ensign's got that goin' for him, which is nice: The disgraced former Republican senator just renewed his veterinary license in Nevada, so maybe he plans to practice again. I sort of wonder, though, how he got along with Bill Frist back in the day.

Redistricting Roundup:

CA Redistricting: Thanks to some enterprising work by user DCal, we now have what I feel are a pretty reliable set of Obama-McCain numbers for California's new congressional districts. The Statewide Database at UC Berkeley (an entity which consulted on the state's redistricting process) computed the new results using the two-party vote, which you can find here ("g08_sov_aggr_blk_by_congressional_2011.xls"). A Republican consulting firm, Meridian Pacific, also calculated the numbers, including the minor-party vote. DCal compared the two sets and found that Meridian's data tied out to within 1% of the SWDB's numbers, so we're comfortable using them. Anyhow, you can find all of the results at the first link, and you can bookmark our complete Pres-by-CD data set here.

KS Redistricting: This article about Kansas redistricting actually pertains to the state's legislative line-drawing process, rather than congressional goings-on, which is our usual focus. But it's unusual and therefore interesting, because of the extraordinary (and very real) split in the Kansas Republican Party between the so-called "moderates" and the conservatives. These two very different groups have been at each others throats for quite some time, and unlike the situation in just about every other state, there really is a separate and distinct band of self-professed moderate Republicans. Indeed, one poli sci prof says that "the Kansas Senate is the one place where the old moderate Republican-slash-Democratic coalition remains very healthy."

But ten years ago, Democrats sided with conservatives to push through maps that would protect their own at the expense of the moderates, who obviously are capable of eating into both sides. And now, reports Andy Marso of the Topeka Capital-Journal, "Eight to 10 conservative Republicans have already lined up to challenge moderate incumbents in the next election, even though they don’t have district maps yet." So it sounds like the minority Democrats may be the wildcard here once more, and it'll be interesting to see whom they side with.

KY Redistricting: Well, here we are. Kentucky's Democratic-controlled state House just passed a new congressional map (which you can view here), but the GOP-held Senate obviously has other ideas. Democrats, understandably, want to protect Ben Chandler in the 6th (who very narrowly escaped with a victory last cycle), and, to a lesser extent, John Yarmuth in the bluer 3rd. Republicans, of course, want to do the exact opposite. I really have to wonder whether it was wise to defer redistricting until 2012, because it sure feels like a lawsuit might be the only way to resolve this—and time is running short: Kentucky's primary is May 22.

NH Redistricting: William Tucker at Blue Hampshire has an excellent post offering PVIs for New Hampshire's proposed new state Senate map. As enormous as the state's House is (400 members), the Senate is tiny (just 24), and it's currently held by Republicans, 19-5. But as recently as 2010 it was in Democratic hands, 14-10, so control could bounce back. That's especially so since three GOP senators have announced retirements: Jim Forsythe, Gary Lambert, and Ray White, all freshmen swept into office in 2010, oddly enough.

White's district is heavily Republican, though it would become less so under the new map. Lambert's district, however, is extremely winnable, as is Forsythe's, which would swing wildly from being lean-R to strongly D. The problem, of course, is that this is a GOP gerrymander, so they've packed existing Democratic districts and tried to improve performance of Republican seats where incumbents are seeking re-election. Still, New Hampshire has been prone to big swings of late, so I wouldn't rule anything out.

WV Redistricting: With the parties appealing to the Supreme Court, the three-judge panel which found West Virginia's congressional map unconstitutional has lifted its Jan. 17 deadline for the legislature to enact a new plan. (The court was going to implement a map of its choosing if the lege couldn't reach agreement.) However, the judges refused to stay their ruling pending the appeal, which means the state cannot use the map it passed last year for this fall's elections. Despite the appeal, though, it sounds like the lege might nonetheless pass a new map, particularly since they have more time to do so with the court-imposed deadline now gone.

TX Redistricting: This is starting to feel like déjà vu all over again: During oral arguments in the redistricting case, the Supreme Court asked why Texas couldn't simply push its primary even later than it already has, which would help avoid a lot of the issues caused by the litigation (and, let's not forget, the SCOTUS's stay of the court-drawn interim maps). GOP state party chair Steve Munisteri says that's impossible, though, since both Democrats and Republicans have scheduled their statewide conventions for June, and even a May primary, he claims, would be too late. (It's now scheduled for April 3.) So Munisteri is once again arguing that the primary should be split in two—something a handful of Republicans favored back in December, but which the vast majority of elected officials and local election boards vehemently opposed. This time, though, the Supremes might force the issue.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  HI-Sen: Mazie Hirono raised $624,000 (6+ / 0-)

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:01:05 AM PST

  •  NJ 3: Adler or Sacks-Wilner (5+ / 0-)
    Now Dems face the prosepct of backing Shelley Adler of Cherry Hill, wife of the late U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-3), deprived of her husband's district; or Dr. Thomas Sacks-Wilner of Medford, a big-time party bundler.

    Area establishment Democrats like Adler.

    That's a longtime relationship. She has political cred in her own right as the member of the local governing body in Cherry Hill. Plus, there's a story there. The plot line's simple, digestable. Her husband lost to Runyan, so she comes back and beats Runyan, or so Democrats hope.

    But she would have to move back into the district,

    . . . .

    Sacks-Wilner, meanwhile, expects to show that he can raise money, sources tell

    There are rumors that he's already put together a sizeable warchest to throw at Runyan.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:17:00 AM PST

    •  That's not entirely accurate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, HoosierD42
      But she would have to move back into the district

      It would certainly help (and I don't see NJ-3 flipping in its current form given how Democratic Cherry Hill is), but you need only reside in the same state as your congressional district. You don't have to live in the district.

      Unapologetic Obama supporter.

      by Red Sox on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 01:07:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Insider Advantage SC poll (8+ / 0-)

    Romney   23
    Gingrich   21
    Santorum 14
    Paul          13
    Hunstman   7
    Perry          5

    When you're behind Huntsman in SC, I think it's time to start thinkin' about  headin' home pardner.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:23:53 AM PST

    •  This would be the logic of Perry staying in. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Let's say Romney wins South Carolina.  And after Super Tuesday Santorum and Gingrich pull the plug after middling performances.  You're Rick Perry and you see Texas coming up and a large opening on the right with the party still not liking Romney.

      Only one small problem of course.  Gingrich has lined up a ton of money and may stay in this thing through March.  Santorum on the other hand I can't see staying in too much past South Carolina.

      Proportional delegates means everyone is potentially in it.  The problem of course is they can't be in it with so many candidates dividing the right.  Two or maybe three opponents to Romney can deny him the nomination by just slicing the pie in so many directions.

      But if you have four (and if you count Huntsman five) you risk some and perhaps ALL the Romney challengers falling below the minimum vote threshold (sometimes 10%, sometimes 15%) and Romney getting most or all the delegates.  Like what in fact happened in New Hampshire.

      •  I've always thought (0+ / 0-)

        Perry should stay in through Texas.  I don't think he logically has a shot, but i figure once Santorum is out it becomes easier for Newt and Perry to become serious in Southern states where Huntsman and Paul aren't huge concerns.

        I'm still wondering if Huntsman can hurt Romney in any of the February states.  I sincerely doubt it, but I also don't know that denying Mitt some delegates here and there might be the strategy everyone is undertaking.

        Hypothetically, if all of the remaining candidates won their home states and the non-home Super tuesday states weren't a sweep for Romney, that Romney couldn't actually win the nomination.  A lot of "if's" but its a strange cycle :-)

      •  That would make sense, but for the timing (0+ / 0-)

        If Texas had it's primary on Super Tuesday then Perry could reasonably expect to win there and have some clout even though he had no chance at the nomination.  Now Texas may get pushed back to last in the nation.  That changes the dynamics considerably.

      •  The longer he stays in, the more embarassing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin, MichaelNY

        his campaign will become.  That has to factor in.  If he can't even finish ahead of Hunstman in SC, I think he'll get out.  Just to save whatever face he has left.

        “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

        by Paleo on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 09:18:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How reliable is Insider Advantage? If it is, then (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Setsuna Mudo

    Willard may be in trouble.

    The former Massachusetts governor’s lead is so small in the Palmetto State that he’s essentially tied with Newt Gingrich, according to a poll conducted for The Augusta Chronicle by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research.

    Romney’s 23 percent and Gingrich’s 21 percent fall within the 3.6 percent margin of error. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who came in second in the Iowa caucuses is in third place in South Carolina with 14 percent, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the runner-up in New Hampshire, is effectively tied with him at 13 percent.

    Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has 7 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry has 5 percent, while 17 percent are undecided or favor a candidate not offered as a choice in the survey.

    •  They do a lot of polling in the south (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, Setsuna Mudo, itskevin, MichaelNY

      Not the best.  Not the worst.

      Romney has to worry that Santorum will sink and that his votes will go to Gingrich.  If Santorum manages to stay in double digits, it could be enough for Romney.

      “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

      by Paleo on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:37:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's not in trouble at all (6+ / 0-)

      Romney was losing in all South Carolina polling almost all through 2011, and only recently has he held leads in the states' polls.

      If he does lose to Gingrich, though, that's good news for us, as it strings out the nomination fight a small bit longer, but more importantly it will cause the political media to declare attacks on Bain and attacks on Romney's integrity to be great successes.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:52:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Note that no GOP candidate has won... (5+ / 0-)

        ...nomination without winning the SC Primary.

        There's a first time for everything, but if he loses to Gingrich in SC, it may be more than just stringing out the inevitable.

        Occupy Wall Street AND K Street!!!!

        by Egalitare on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 06:11:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, Romney already established a big "first"... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacman701, Xenocrypt, MichaelNY, jncca

 winning both Iowa and NH.  No non-incumbent Republican had ever pulled that off before.

          Oh, and no one in anyone's living memory won the Presidency without carrying Missouri...until Obama last time.

          These sorts of data points are of very limited value, they reflect superficial coincidences that don't carry much predictive weight.

          Somehow I won't be surprised if Romney narrowly loses SC and then blows out everyone in Florida.  And then of course he coasts, SC goes down the memory hole in addition to being dismissed forever more as a picker of nominees.

          I still expect Romney to hang on and win SC because he's now got the biggest ad buys of anyone going, between him and his superpac.  Ron Paul is helping by doing dirty work against Santorum, even though Paul himself doesn't register at all in this state.  But Paul has obviously focused on being the last man standing Romney alternative, so he's left Mitt alone trained fire on Newt and Santorum.  All this helps Mitt immensely, and if he loses it's because Newt's and his superpac's attack ads stick.  But I don't expect the Bain attacks to stick with Republicans, that's the problem I see for Newt.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 09:05:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  So Mitt's coronation is delayed for 10 days (5+ / 0-)

      if he loses SC, he should still win FL.

      Though clearly the Bain pain has hurt the presumptive R king a bit. (Of course, that's 10 days where Mitt could still make more mistakes, and the lessons of Ed Muskie '72 come to mind.)

      "I hope; therefore, I can live."
      For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

      by tietack on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 06:07:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Florida (5+ / 0-)

        Romney can nail it down with a win in either state, I think.  But if he should lose both, to Gingrich, watch out.  He hath no fury like a Newt scorned.  He know this is his swan song in electoral politics if he doesn't win.  So Gingrich would stay in till at least June.

        “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

        by Paleo on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 06:11:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If he loses, that would be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        another historical event in GOP politics. No Republican has won the nomination without winning SC

        23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

        by HoosierD42 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 09:46:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Bain pain is purely November-based (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think Newt and his superpac are barking up the wrong tree in the primaries, I don't think GOP voters are going to be persuaded by this.

        But yes, these Republicans are making our job easier for the general.  Team Obama is giddy that the Bain attack now has bipartisan cred, that makes it an easier sell to swing voters.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 11:00:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're missing a split in the R party (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The Wal-mart voter, for lack of a better description, isn't sold on certain excesses of capitalism. We saw it during the '08 primaries in the support for Mike Huckabee. I'd argue that it made it's first appearance in '88 in the support for Pat Robertson. I suggest it comes from those same socially conservative voters who have relied on some level of government largesse. To some extent, the same morality that makes them socially conservative also makes them repulsed when they look at the ultra-wealthy.

          It's why Rs have pushed the media narrative of the rich out of touch liberal; I suspect George Soros is much more well known then the Koch brothers. Perhaps Trump is the exception that illustrates how much certain groups of voters believe that liberals are backed by the rich.

          As long as the rich are perceived to be backing liberals, Rs can use it in their "us v. them" narrative.

          Newt is taking advantage of the split. While I think it's too late for Newt, I do see that problem for Rs growing by '16 and '20.

          "I hope; therefore, I can live."
          For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

          by tietack on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 11:33:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bartlett: I'm not dead yet... (6+ / 0-)

    Garagiola: Might want to check that pulse again, Roscoe.

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:47:23 AM PST

  •  Unfortunate important news of the day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

    Initial unemployment claims up to 399K for last week.  That's the initial figure, these are almost always revised up slightly, so we're really back to 400K after a good long stretch of improvement.  The revised figure for the previous week was 375K, so this is an increase of 24K as of now and with next week's revision will be a 25K-28K increase.

    I hope it's just a one-week blip and we go back down again next week.

    And in case you're wondering, no this isn't Christmas-related, these are seasonally adjusted numbers that take into account Christmas hiring and post-Christmas layoffs.  As an example, take a look at the chart toward the bottom of this link, you'll see that unadjusted claims rose between the final couple weeks of December, but adjusted claims fell, illustrating the seasonal adjustment for expected post-Christmas layoffs.

    43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

    by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:50:02 AM PST

    •  definitely, unfortunate news, but I would (6+ / 0-)

      wait a few weeks to see the trend. Numbers are pretty volatile around this time of year, and these are the first post-holiday numbers.

    •  Kind of seems like (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

      The adjustments weren't big enough in November/December, hence why the jobs in places like retail and delivery/courier were up so much even on an adjusted basis, in Nov/Dec.  There's little doubt that these increases in the monthly jobs report are heavily seasonal.

      As such, the adjustment downward adjustment post-holidays might also not be big enough, so I'd imagine we'll stay around 400-420K for the next few weeks.

      •  agree on couriers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, MichaelNY

        The assumed seasonal effect that BLS built into its model for couriers clearly was too small, but the spikes in retail still only brought the annual growth rate up to about what you would expect.

        What happens to the claims number in the next few weeks should depend on whether the seasonal workers were let go gradually or all at once. I would imagine that most of them would have been let go all at once.

        SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 08:03:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Considering some of the retail comps for some of the bigger companies, I'd guess by the end of January seasonal workers will be 100% cleared out.  

        •  Some good news to temper my perspective (link) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TofG, askew

          Chris Rugaber, an AP economics reporter who I know personally and does excellent work, provides some solid reporting and perspective here:

          The key takeaway is that the seasonal adjustment in fact might not have been adequate, so that the spike could be merely seasonal and no big deal.  Economists seem to be unconcerned for now.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 09:00:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I hate to be dense, but I am not (0+ / 0-)

          entirely sure what you are saying.

          •  seasonal effect (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The article Clone just linked to has some good background. Basically, it appears that the strictly seasonal hiring that firms did in the last two months was bigger than the seasonal effect that BLS assumed when it converts the raw number to the seasonally adjusted number.

            The same thing probably happened with the claims data. In retrospect they should have expected a bigger drop in the raw claims number last month and built in a bigger seasonal effect, which would have resulted in slightly higher adjusted claims numbers than we saw. The flip side of that is that they should have expected a bigger rise in the raw number last week and thus used a bigger downward adjustment to the claims figure, which would have resulted in a number lower than 399k for this week.

            SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

            by sacman701 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 09:37:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not good, but not that bad. (5+ / 0-)

      Even if it were to go up to, say, 410,000 last week, I wouldn't be that concerned. As long as it's not shooting up to the mid 400,000 range, as from the charts here we can see it did in the earlier part of 2011, we should be okay.

      What's important is that indicators keep moving positive, even if they are below expectations. That's what happened with retail sales.

      Also, I plan to comment on this later today, but here's an article from Reuters describing how Obama is going to unleash a new series of tax proposals in the coming weeks designed to spur job creation and specifically to break down the advantages might have in creating jobs overseas versus creating them here. It's very vague at this point--it's not clear how much of the overseas stuff is mere rhetoric versus wrapped over a standard job creation package, for instance--but this definitely times well with the attacks on Romney over Bain Capital and will probably time well with the fight over the payroll tax cut extension/expansion. If virtually nothing good comes of it legislatively, it should provide a good contrast politically.

    •  Curious about Wisconsin (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, TofG, itskevin, askew, MichaelNY

      While we all want this to negatively impact Walker, I'm curious what is going on in Wisconsin.  Why are they shedding jobs so quickly.  I'm sure they have so attachment to the auto industry, but it seems like WI shouldn't be leading the nation in job losses.

      What industries/etc are really driving these huge losses?

    •  in other economic news, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

      now that every house in the country has been foreclosed upon, the foreclosure rate is down to the lowest in years.

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 07:16:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My father became unemployed at 86 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, DCCyclone, askew, MichaelNY

    My father worked part time at Syms a clothing store in Md part of the Filenes bankruptcy, so after working over 70 years he is unemployed. He is collecting unemployment for the first time in his life.
    He is healthy but is ready to call it a career but he can collect for quite a few months which will help my octogenarian parents out. Kind of doubt anyone is interested in hiring a guy almost 87!

    •  Wow! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Setsuna Mudo, TofG, MichaelNY

      It's unfortunate that he's unemployed, but if you don't mind me asking, why was he still working? Did he need the money, or did he just need something to do? Either way, I can imagine myself being in that position. I'm definitely becoming a workaholic. My coworkers take vacations and I think to myself, "Just what do they do on them? Don't they get bored after a while?"

      I hope he ends up okay, by the way.

    •  I'll second that motion (6+ / 0-)

      My father, while home for Christmas, had to get his heart checked out and it turns out will need triple bypass.  As my brother (mostly) and I asked questions about the surgery, risks, etc., my father had just one question:

      How long will I be out of work for?

      The look on the Doctor's face was priceless.  He was shocked not only that my father worked 60-70 hours per week with his heart and lungs in their condition, but that his goal was to minimize time off from work.

      Luckily though, my father is union and works for the new york prison system, so I don't think he'll ever get laid off.  

      I feel bad for people laid off in their 50's they are looked at as dead in the job market too, and don't have the Social Security or IRA/401k access that older people do.

  •  My political hero of the day ... (12+ / 0-)

    ... is Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, not only for challenging Haley Barbour for his questionable (at very best) pardons as he was out the door, but calling him Boss Hogg in the process!

  •  David, how dare you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Setsuna Mudo

    misspell the name of the NFL's greatest coach?

    Unapologetic Obama supporter.

    by Red Sox on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 06:58:31 AM PST

  •  Obama Raises $68 Million with DNC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, itskevin, askew

    Here's the article.

    By himself, he raised $24 million, while the DNC raised $24 million, and some victory fund raised $1 million. Added together, this was slightly less than $70.1 million that was raised in the third quarter.

    So, your thoughts on this? How does it compare to what Romney raised? It's a nice sum, and while it's somewhat lower than he raised last time, I am not alarmed. I am not suffering at all financially, thankfully, but I don't remember giving anything at all to any candidates last quarter, despite the endless e-mails. I had other things to pay for, and I figured I would have plenty of time to do it this year. I imagine a lot of other people are like me.

    Also, what's the distinction between this money and the DNC money?

  •   Christie Vilsack IA-04 vs. Steve King (6+ / 0-)

    She raised $400K in the 4th quarter, $750K on hand. Here's hoping she puts nutjob Steve King to pasture.

  •  Even Sarah Palin says Romney should (6+ / 0-)

    release his tax returns.

    I've kind of been a broken record about this, but it's just baffling to me what Romney's thinking is on the tax returns. On the one hand, I feel like there is no way there is anything controversial in there, and there is no way he would go through the campaign without releasing them. So, given that, I've entertained the notion he might be playing 11D chess. He'll release the returns, there wont be anything interesting in them, but let the Dems get worked up over it first.

    On the other hand, is that really a smart move politically? Does he gain much from that, given that you will have Republicans who will also call for him to release the returns? I dont know what to think.

    •  It's weird though (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Setsuna Mudo, TofG, itskevin, MichaelNY

      I mean his tax returns would be just his income, which can't really be that startling.  He hasn't worked in a super high-paying job in about a decade.  I'd imagine his tax return would just be his earnings from dividends, investments held in trust, etc.

      I actually think he'll hide behind the fact that the trusts have been transferred to his kids and that he doesn't want to invade their privacy and never release them.  But it is a very odd issue to let gather steam.

      •  tax rate (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, bumiputera, TofG, itskevin, MichaelNY, jncca

        Wouldn't Romney's returns highlight what Warren Buffett has been saying?  His tax rates are probably lower than a lot of average folks since I'd guess a lot of his income is taxed at capital gains rates instead of normal income tax rates.  

        And don't hedge funds get a sweetheart deal of getting capital gains rates and earnings that weren't really at risk?

        So it might look really bad politically.

        •  I guess I don't see how (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davechen, jj32, MichaelNY

          I mean its all pretty well known stuff.  I'd be more interested to see how slight his charitable giving is to be honest :-)

          I don't think most people know their income tax rate anyways.  I find that whenever I hear my co-workers complain about tax rates that they really don't understand their rates, and this is amongst a lot of accounting and finance people.

        •  Yeah, that's the consense, I think, on why (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, davechen

          Romney isnt going to release his returns.

          But I'm still not convinced that's a compelling reason to not release them. Yeah the campaign tries to promote a regular image for Romney(I'm unemployed too, I was worried about losing a job), but at the same time, a lot of his appeal is that he is a successful business, and Obama is socialist class warrior. So I dont know if they should be that afraid to show that he is wealthy.

      •  Doesn't it hate to be the carried interest (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        loophole? Like you said, there's no doubt he's a very wealthy guy, which by itself isn't necessarily going to hurt him. And if I understand his proposals correctly, he himself stands to benefit greatly from his source of income being taxed far less.

  •  With respect to the NH redistricting, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Answer Guy, itskevin, askew, MichaelNY, jncca

    can someone please show me where those maps are found in the Magna Carta?

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 07:22:18 AM PST

  •  Hey, I missed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, MichaelNY

    the thing about Boucher.  She's my state Senator back home.  Thanks to one weird district: "Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, Wilton".

    There's a Google maps version at the bottom of the page.  It really doesn't make any sense.  Anyway, Boucher was initially elected in 2008.  Her district went 56% for Obama (2-party vote) so it's probably Dem-leaning, but probably significantly less so than the rest of the district.  

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

    by Xenocrypt on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 07:33:53 AM PST

    •  Actually, some or most of Weston (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is in McKinney's district next door (which similarly stretches up from the coast)--I don't know how much, but since Weston is way more Democratic than the rest of the district (the highest Obama percentage in the district outside of my hometown of Westport) that can only lower Boucher's district's PVI.

      She's probably a pretty good politician if she won a Dem-leaning district in 2008 (even if it probably has a Republican tradition at the state legislative level, I'd guess) but she hasn't had to climb a hill as steep as CT-04.

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

      by Xenocrypt on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 07:41:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Argh, New Canaan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is split too--and that's the most Republican town in the district.  I thought they didn't like splitting towns in CT?  Ok, I don't know then.

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

      by Xenocrypt on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 07:45:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rasmussen Florida primary poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has Romney up big:  41 to Gingrich 19, Santorum 15, Paul 9, Huntsman 5.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 08:15:35 AM PST

    •  There's a very good chance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that either Gingrich or Santorum will be out by Florida. That would make the race much tighter, though there's no doubt Romney's doing well.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that Florida polls have been extremely volatile, so I would guess there's still some fluidity here. Of course, as we get closer, preferences will start to harden.

      •  I don't think it would make it tighter (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, jncca, bumiputera

        Those non-Romney voters aren't all anti-Romney voters.  Some from dropout candidates go to Romney.

        And if Romney wins SC, he'll destroy everyone in Florida no matter how few are left.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 11:10:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm pretty sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          it would make it tighter, as Santorum's and Gingrich's profiles are more closely matched than either man's is with Romney's.

          Now, it might not tighten enough for it to matter (maybe, say, going from Romney +22 to Romney +10), but I can't imagine it wouldn't become at least a little more competitive.

  •  As interesting as these Digests are... (0+ / 0-) all their awesome state by state and race by race detail, the sheer volume of information is kinda...mind boggling, in terms of assessing where things now stand on a national level.

    I keep looking for, but not finding, a summary of such data, into a more succinct analysis of our overall prospects for 2012, as nebulous as such projections may be, with so much in flux.

    Oh well, anyway...thanks for the huge amount of work in producing these excellent reports!

    Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle.

    by Radical def on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 08:59:00 AM PST

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