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Leading Off:

TX-Sen: Republican Sen. Jim DeMint continues to pick up the pace in the new year. His Senate Conservatives Fund just rolled out a half-million buy on behalf of former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz, whom they endorsed all the way back in July. (You can watch the ad here.) A couple of weeks ago, DeMint threw down $210K in support of Treasurer Don Stenberg's Senate bid in Nebraska, so he's finally putting his money where his mouth is.

And speaking of Cruz, PPP has a new batch of primary numbers which show some good news for him:

Things are getting a little bit more interesting in the Republican primary for Senate. David Dewhurst still holds a large lead over Ted Cruz, but it's down from 29 points in September to now just 18. Dewhurst is at 36% to 18% for Cruz, 7% for Tom Leppert, 4% for Craig James, 2% for Joe Agris, 1% each for Glenn Addison and Lela Pittenger, and 0% for Charles Holcomb.

Since our previous poll Dewhurst's support has declined from 41% to 36%, while Cruz's has increased from 12% to 18%. Dewhurst continues to have far superior name recognition, with 60% of voters familiar with him to only 29% who have an opinion about Cruz. Here's a finding that signals the potential of this race to get very interesting though: among those 29% familiar with Cruz, whether they like him or not, he leads Dewhurst 34-31. That speaks well to his ability to make things competitive once he becomes better known and really starts spending money.

4Q Fundraising:

CO-04 (?): Brandon Shaffer (D): $112K raised

CO-06: Perry Haney (D): $352K cash-on-hand (no word on $ raised, so may include self-money)

KY-Sen: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R): $1 mil raised, $4.25 mil cash-on-hand (not up until 2014)

MI-Sen: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D): $1.2 mil raised, $5.9 mil cash-on-hand

MO-Gov: Dave Spence (R): $375K raised (since Nov. 23, plus $2 mil self-money), $2.3 mil cash-on-hand

NY-19: Rep. Nan Hayworth (R): $350K raised, $1.1 mil cash-on-hand

TX-Sen: David Dewhurst (R): $1.5 mil raised

TX-AG (last six months of 2011): Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott (R): $2.1 mil raised, $12 mil cash-on-hand (presaging a 2014 gubernatorial run?)

Senate:

AZ-Sen: There's a little color here in this AP piece on Richard Carmona's views on several issues of the day, which is kind of helpful since he really didn't have to address topics like these in his prior stint in public life as U.S. surgeon general from 2002 to 2006. There's also a preview of the kind of campaign former state party chair Don Bivens plans to wage in the Democratic primary: A new video of his says voters can choose between Bivens, "who stood with us in opposing the Bush administration," or Carmona "the guy who worked for the Bush administration."

ND-Sen: Well, those were some weird rumors. A spokesman for retiring Dem Sen. Kent Conrad says he's "made a commitment" to "serving out his term," and Conrad himself denied speculation that he would be tapped to serve as President Obama's director of the Office of Management and Budget. More importantly, Obama has already selected Jeff Zients, a deputy director of the OMB, to fill the top spot (at least on an interim basis).

Gubernatorial:

MO-Gov: I hope this is true. In a super-lengthy post-mortem on Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's disastrous non-campaign for governor, Rebecca Berg offers this tidbit:

Those close to Kinder say they haven't ruled out a go at the governor's mansion in 2016—if Kinder is elected to a third term as lieutenant governor. But they admit that it's tough to look forward when the ink on this campaign's eulogy isn't yet dry.

NC-Gov: Another month, another set of disappointing polling numbers for Bev Perdue from Public Policy Polling. The election is now less than 10 months away. Does anyone think she can turn it around?

WA-Gov: SurveyUSA is out with its bi-monthly poll of the Washington gubernatorial race, and they find the best numbers Democrat Jay Inslee has seen since June of last year. Click the link for our full post at Daily Kos Elections.

WI-Gov: Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, one of several people who'd been publicly mulling a run in a gubernatorial recall, just became the second Democrat to join the race on Wednesday. That means (for now) we can expect a recall primary, because state Sen. Tim Cullen declared his interest back in December. It'll be interesting to see if further candidates get in (such as Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett or ex-Rep. Dave Obey), and/or if there are any attempts to reach a consensus and avoid a primary.

House:

CA-26: As expected, state Sen. Tony Strickland officially entered the race for the open 26th CD on Tuesday, joining Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks in the GOP primary.

CA-31: Awesome! Republican state Sen. Bob Dutton seemed very interested in running in the 31st, particularly because it looked like the seat would become open with Rep. Jerry Lewis's retirement. But when another Republican congressman, Gary Miller, decided to seek re-election here after Lewis hung up his spurs, Dutton did not sound deterred in the least—and now he's followed word with deed, formally announcing his candidacy on Wednesday.

Miller, as we've noted, is carpetbagging into the district and doesn't currently represent any of its constituents. Dutton's state Senate seat, on the other hand, has significant overlap with the new 31st: Indeed, he already represents 53% of the district's constituents. If Dutton can raise the money he needs, this should be one hell of a matchup—and a prime generator of cat fud for the next several months. And the more these two whale on each other, the better chance Democrats will have of picking this seat up in November.

CT-04: Former state Sen. Dan Debicella, who came up short against Dem Rep. Jim Himes in 2010, says he won't seek a rematch. Debicella had been mentioned as a possible GOP candidate by state party chair Jerry Labriola back in October, but he never said anything that made him sound interested in a second run. That leaves Republicans still searching for a standard-bearer who satisfies them, since the power brokers don't seem too thrilled with the current field.

FL-22, TX-20, WA-01: So a new super PAC called "American Sunrise" says, according to Politico, that it "plans to raise between $1.5 million and $2 million to support several young, pro-business congressional candidates who are also 'socially progressive.'" On their initial list are three Democrats: FL-22's Patrick Murphy, TX-20's Joaquin Castro, and WA-01's Andrew Hughes. Except there's one rather big problem here: Hughes dropped out of the race on Tuesday, the day before this story appeared. You'd think American Sunrise would have realized that before they emailed Politico, no?

NC-11: Businessman and 2010 GOP nominee Jeff Miller, who said last summer that he was unlikely to run again, has indeed decided against a rematch and will instead endorse real-estate investor Mark Meadows in the crowded Republican primary. Miller lost to Dem Heath Shuler by a 54-45 margin last cycle, though the 11th District was made considerably redder in redistricting, so Shuler will almost certainly face an even tougher fight this year.

NH-01: Just a little detail to keep in your back pocket if you ever see any surveys from Virginia-based Republican polling firm OnMessage in the future: The company just agreed to pay the state of New Hampshire $15,000 for violating state laws that require pollsters to announce whom they're calling on behalf of. In this particular case, OnMessage failed to tell people that they were conducting research on behalf of Republican Frank Guinta in Sept. 2010, and indeed, adds the AP: "The script used during the poll specifically instructed the pollsters to disclose Guinta's name only if asked directly by the call recipient."

NY-22: Dem Rep. Maurice Hinchey will announce his retirement on Thursday, an unsurprising move given his age (73) and the fact that he's been treated for colon cancer over the past year. (Fortunately, Hinchey says he's cancer-free.) Usually in such situations, speculation centers around possible replacement candidates, but in this case, chatter immediately turned to redistricting. With New York slated to lose two seats this year, the newly-open 22nd is now on the chopping block. Click the link for our full post on this story at Daily Kos Elections.

MD-06: Democrat John Delaney is out with a pair of new minute-long radio ads touting his candidacy which you can listen to here and here. If you actually listen into the second half of each of them, I think he does a pretty decent job reframing his own business background as "guy who helped make loans to small businesses" instead of just "wealthy financier." Delaney's main opponent in the primary is State Sen. Rob Garagiola.

PA-04: Some more names are emerging on the GOP side in the newly-open 4th CD, where Republican Rep. Todd Platts just announced his retirement. Shira Toeplitz mentions that NRCC deputy political director Brock McCleary is interested (way to cut out the middle-man), while Keegan Gibson says York County Commissioner Chris Reilly is is likely to run. The York Dispatch adds that that another county commissioner, Steve Chronister, is also looking at the race. So is businessman Mike Smeltzer, who took 30% in the GOP primary against Platts in 2010. Police sergeant Ted Waga, who had hoped to do this year what Smeltzer could not a cycle ago, says he's staying in the contest even with Platts out.

And even though this is a very red seat, York County Democratic chair Bob Kefauver says he expects an unnamed Dem candidate to announce on Saturday. Platts' last opponent in the general election, Ryan Sanders, also adds that he's considering another attempt. (Sanders scored just 23% in 2010.)

VA-02: We hadn't really heard much about wealthy investor Paul Hirschbiel since he announced plans to take on GOP freshman Scott Rigell last July, but he's planning to formally kick off his campaign on Monday—and Sen. Mark Warner, whom Hirschbiel's worked with before, will be on hand to offer his endorsement. This will be a challenging district for any Democrat to win, but at least Hirschbiel is unlikely to lack for resources.

Other Races:

Honolulu Mayor: Huh. Democrat Ben Cayetano, who served as Hawaii's governor for two terms from 1994 to 2002 (right before Linda Lingle), says he plans to run for Mayor of Honolulu this year. Cayetano is 72 years old, and has been out of office for a decade, but perhaps he's taking inspiration from Neil Abercrombie, who reclaimed the governor's mansion for Team Blue in 2010 at the same age.

WI Recall: Now that petitions have been filed to force the recalls of several Republican state Senators, chatter about potential Democratic candidates is getting underway. Former state Sen. John Lehman says he's "seriously considering" a run in the 21st District against Van Wanggaard, who defeated Lehman in 2010 by five points. In the 23rd, former state Rep. Kristin Dexter called a campaign against Terry Moulton an "interesting option." (Dexter very narrowly lost her re-election bid last cycle by less than half-a-percent in a recount against Republican Kathy Bernier.) And finally, state Rep. Donna Seidel isn't ruling out a bid against Pam Galloway in the 29th.

Grab Bag:

DCCC: The D-Trip, as planned, announced its first round of Red to Blue candidates for the 2012 elections on Wednesday, though their approach this time is a little different in years past. The top category (known, of course, as "Red to Blue") is divided into two groups: Actual candidates the DCCC is backing, and then districts where the primary is still unsettled and the D-Trip is candidate-agnostic but expects or hopes will be competitive regardless of who the nominee is. They've also divided their second-tier group, "Emerging Races," in the same fashion. And there's a separate third category, called "Majority Makers," which highlights Democratic candidates running in open blue seats. We'll bring you a more detailed look at the new list soon.

Election Law: This must-read piece by Rick Hasen clarifies how Citizens United gave birth to super PACs, and how they changed the landscape compared to what came before.

OFA: Mazal tov to longtime friend of Daily Kos Elections/Swing State Project Lis Smith, who, after a very successful run as communications director for the Democratic Governors Association, is taking a new job as director of rapid response for the Obama campaign. Mitt Romney, be very afraid: Lis will wreck you.

Pres-by-CD: We've updated our chart of presidential results for the new congressional districts to include incumbent names and party control information. With redistricting still incomplete and re-election plans unsettled in many cases, some of this data represents judgment calls and best guesses, but we think we've come about as close as you can possibly get. (There is one guy not on the list at all: California Republican David Dreier, who's all but impossible to shoehorn into the chart.)

Redistricting Roundup:

AZ Redistricting: Arizona's redistricting commission has posted maps and related data files for the final plans that it just passed on Tuesday.

CA Redistricting: It's easy to forget that California is subject to preclearance under the VRA, at least as far as changes to statewide voting procedures are concerned. But indeed, four counties are so-called "covered jurisdictions": Kings, Merced, and Monterey in the middle-ish part of the state and Yuba toward the north. So anything that would affect voting in these counties—such as new redistricting plans—has to get Dept. of Justice approval. But no biggie: The DoJ just gave the thumbs-up to the state's new legislative and congressional maps. There are, however, still legal challenges and a possible referendum pending.

FL Redistricting: Florida's state Senate passed its new congressional proposal on Tuesday, with a majority of Democrats shamefully joining the GOP in favor of the map. That kind of "bi-partisan" cover is probably exactly what Republicans were looking for, especially when it comes time to defend the final map in court. (How much you wanna bet the Democratic votes in support get raised then?) The real question now is what the state House does: They've been working on their own congressional plans, so will they now just decide to go along with the Senate's? Or will each chamber pass separate maps and then have to reconcile them?

ID Redistricting: Add Idaho to the growing list of states that have had legislative redistricting plans struck down by the courts. (Off the top of my head, Colorado, Hawaii and Missouri belong on the list, and other states like Alaska, Texas and Wisconsin are in jeopardy of joining.) In any event, the Idaho Supreme Court just found that the state's new legislative map impermissibly split counties in violation of the state constitution, so now the redistricting commission has to start all over again.

NY Redistricting: The powers that be have teased us since forever when it comes to redistricting in New York, and I trust state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos about as much as I trust any Republican. But for whatever it's worth, he's claiming that "next week we will be able to release the maps." Believe it when I see it.

OH Redistricting: There aren't any good guys here, and who even knows who's telling the truth, but state Rep. Sandra Williams, the head of the Legislative Black Caucus who was all too willing to parlay with Republicans during redistricting time, claims that Dennis Kucinich threatened to run against Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio's lone black member of Congress) in the 11th District Democratic primary if lines weren't drawn to his liking. Kucinich allegedly wanted Williams to convince the legislature to revert back to an earlier map which put Kucinich on fairer footing in the 9th CD against another fellow Dem, Rep. Marcy Kaptur. (Kucinich had even paid for robocalls exhorting legislators to support that plan.) In the end, of course, Kucinich stuck with his plans to seek re-election in the 9th.

Kucinich, of course, denies all of this, though back in December, rumors did surface that he was looking at the 11th. And it's also worth pointing out that the original map which Kucinich robocalled for was supported by none other than Williams herself, who crossed the aisle to vote in favor of it. So like I said, no good guys in this story, whatever the story may be.

TN Redistricting: Oh, this is just priceless!

State lawmakers are going to have to hold a re-vote on the redistricting bill for the Senate after the version approved last week left out a major portion of Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris’ district.

The text of the final district map approved by the legislature left West Tennessee’s Tipton County (population 61,081) off the list of precincts in Norris’ 32nd Senate District. Earlier versions of the bill did include Tipton, but staffers apparently forgot to name the county when they moved about 10 precincts in and out of the 32nd in a shuffle of neighboring Shelby County.

The majority leader, no less! Believe it or not, this kind of thing is not a particularly rare occurrence. Lawmakers in West Virginia and North Carolina also had to re-pass plans that suffered from alleged "technical" errors, and even worse, Wisconsin Republicans forced through maps so flawed that in many cases, they literally cannot be complied with. At least the Tennessee situation is readily fixable. Wisconsin's mess is much worse.

TX Redistricting: There's nothing particularly newsy here as yet, but just wanted to let you know that the long-awaited preclearance trial over Texas's new maps has finally begun in Washington, DC. As always, you'll want to keep up with Michael Li for the latest developments.

VA Redistricting: Unsurprisingly, Virginia's new Republican-drawn congressional map passed through committee in the state Senate (which is newly back in GOP hands) and will likely pass the full chamber soon. The state House already passed the same map, so the redistricting process, which was stalled for all of 2011, is close to finished in the Old Dominion.

WV Redistricting: While the legislature attempts to come up with a new congressional redistricting plan that passes constitutional muster, the parties fighting over the map that was recently overturned by a district court are currently hashing it out in front of the U.S. Supreme Court over an emergency motion to stay the lower court's ruling. The map's challengers oppose such a stay, of course, saying that it's unnecessary given how quickly the legislature is moving to draft a new one. All briefing has been submitted, so the SCOTUS should decide relatively quickly—though it took a lot longer than expected when the Texas redistricting defendants asked for a similar stay.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's putting his money in ALEC's arse? (0+ / 0-)

    After all, that's where his mouth is: kissy-kiss-kiss!

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 05:09:26 AM PST

  •  I still think Hochul's and Turner's districts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    will be eliminated.  And NY-22 will remain.

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

    by Paleo on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 05:25:53 AM PST

  •  Weekly jobless claims 325K....Holy crap (12+ / 0-)

    Wow, there is no way the GOP can spin this as bad news.  That number is way below expectations (i.e. very very good for the job market)/

  •  How will Lis Smith wreck the Romney campaign? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc1000

    Please give us some details. I'd love to here about this stuff and how she might add to the X-Men like qualities of the Obama campaign.

  •  As you can see by my recent diaries (3+ / 0-)

    I've been playing around with giving a 6th district to Oregon and checking out the possibilities.  One of the more intriguing ones for OR-04...

    Photobucket

    Add in just Jackson County (the one Obama won by a mere dozens of votes) and take out all of Linn, Benton (the only Democratic County in teh current 4th other than Lane), Coos, Curry, and Josephine Counties, and also remove the coastal parts of Douglas & Lane for a coastal district.  Current population deviation from 6 district norm: +11.  PVI?  D+2, same as the current district.  And Jackson County is trending Democratic, or appears to be.

    This was first conceived by me as part of a conceptual map in which I drew what could be 6 winnable districts.  One was based in Washington County, another got it's Democrats from Corvallis, Salem, and the inner Clackamas County suburbs, one from Lane & Jackson like pictured above, and 3 divided Portland.

    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 19, 2012 at 05:46:32 AM PST

  •  Fundraising...gay marriage...NY St Sen (7+ / 0-)

    This is certainly deep in the weeds, but since I read my original hometown newspaper each night on the way home from work and saw this article, I though I'd post it here.

    NY state senator Roy McDonald, SD-43, raised $448K in the last 6 months of 2011, a non-elections year.  McDonald is one of 4 (I think?) GOP senators who voted for New York's gay marriage bill.  His district, while not abject poor, also isn't the wealthiest in NY by a long-shot, so I found this total stunning.  Also, he's not facing a real huge challenge that I know of and he is personally quite popular in the area.

    http://poststar.com/...

    http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/...

    Even more stunning is the money was coming from all over the country (and the UK?), and even includes money from one of the Koch brothers.

    For those of you not familiar with McDonald's vote, here is a comment attributed to him around the time of the vote:

    You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this.
  •  NC-Gov - Dead Gov Walking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc1000
    Another month, another set of disappointing polling numbers for Bev Perdue from Public Policy Polling. The election is now less than 10 months away. Does anyone think she can turn it around?

    Perdue somehow managed to beat McCrory in 2008 by 145,000 votes - largely thanks to Obama's coattails and voter registration efforts.

    Maybe she thinks Obama will save her again this year, but I don't see it happening. Obama may win NC again, but Perdue? Nope.

  •  Jobless claims miracle!!! (9+ / 0-)

    Wow, first-time unemployment claims down to 352K!

    That's down 50K from the revised 402K from the week before!

    So it turns out the previous week's number was a post-holiday temporary worker dump.

    But even so, getting down close to 350K is shocking and should make everyone downright giddy!  If this holds and we orbit 350K going forward, the unemployment rate will decline steadily.

    This is the biggest political news of the day.

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

    by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:04:18 AM PST

    •  This is excellent news. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, DCCyclone, itskevin

      I don't want to get my hopes up but it seems that the economy is turning a corner here. Hopefully, that will lead to increased voter optimism about the economy (doesn't that measurement tend to lag a couple months behind the employment #s?)

      President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

      by askew on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:19:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I dont know if it was you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone

      but when I saw that, I remember someone last week posting here about the increase, and was very concerned about it.

      Yeah, this week's numbers are pretty good news, it looks like that lower trend seems to generally be intact.  

      •  I did post concern, but then followed up... (0+ / 0-)

        ...with a comment linking a story that made me feel better, because economists were dismissive of the hike as just seasonal and reflecting a failure of the seasonal adjustment.

        This week's number is unambiguous good news.

        Of course, we have to hope the seasonal adjustment for monthly unemployment isn't off, or else we could see January unemployment rising from December in the February 3rd report.

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

        by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 10:20:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It seems that Romnney lost Iowa after all. (9+ / 0-)

    I know it means nothing, but so much for being the first non-incumbent Republican to win both IA and NH.
    http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/...

    'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

    by KingofSpades on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:36:44 AM PST

  •  John Nichols for Gov (0+ / 0-)

    After seeing John Nichols give a fantastic speech at the recall party on Tuesday night I think we should convince him to run for Gov.  He is a true progressive and his family has lived in Wisconsin for 7 generations.

  •  NC (0+ / 0-)

    Here in North Carolina, ads are running bashing Obama over the money wasted n Solyndra (sp?).   The ads claim that it was all political--payback for campaign contributions.  I doubt the Dems will try a counter attack--and will then wonder why they lose NC in November.

    BTW, talking up the success of GM and Chrysler would make a good ad.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:53:38 AM PST

  •  Perry's out: (7+ / 0-)

    (-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 Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:54:08 AM PST

  •  Ted Cruz (9+ / 0-)

    ...may become the second US Senator I know personally.

    Like Chris Coons and myself, Ted was an APDA debater in College (Chris was at Amherst, Ted at Princeton, I was at Harvard).  Chris was a year ahead of me.  Ted several years behind.

    Unlike Chris, who was a thoughtful and pleasant guy even in his early college years when he was pretty conservative, Ted was always small minded and deeply unpleasant.  This probably has something to do with politics, but that's not the whole picture.  

    Kris Kobach, a debate teammate of mine at Harvard and now Attorney General of Kansas, has become a real force for evil in American life as one of the chief advocates of voter ID laws designed to disenfranchise the poor and minorities.  But on a person-to-person level, Kris was always a very nice guy.  I'd love to see him out of political life.  But I'm sure he'd be a fine neighbor.  Not so Ted.  He's just very bad news.  Let's hope he doesn't make it to Washington!

    Tunis...Cairo...Tripoli...Wall Street

    by GreenSooner on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:56:52 AM PST

  •  One has to wonder how much (0+ / 0-)

    of Nan Hayworth's $350K raised in Q4 was from the financial services industry (one of her largest donors in 2010).  Since she is on the House Financial Service Committee, I don't doubt that they have been beating a path to her door, laden with checks.

    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 19, 2012 at 07:01:38 AM PST

  •  Ashamed Of My State..... (5+ / 0-)

    Iowa may have finally given its critics the ammunition needed to take away its first-in-the-nation caucuses now that no winner can be definitively declared in our caucus thanks to eight precincts that LOST THEIR VOTES!  What are we a Latin American banana republic?  What's the point of having an election if a winner can't be declared?

    •  Since a winner doesn't matter (5+ / 0-)

      No one will care, it's all about the process.  I mean the caucus results were to elect delegates to a convention that would choose delegates to a convention and so on.  

      It's not like they can't figure out who is governor.

      •  If They're Losing Votes In This Election...... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        ....why would anyone trust they'll get the next one right?  Whether the outcome matters or not, it's an embarrassment and puts a huge question mark on the competency of the election officials.  This is not Venezuela....we should not be losing votes.

        •  I think you assume (0+ / 0-)

          That people felt they got 100% accuracy in the past.  After seeing Florida screw up with actual ballots in 2000, people don't trust elections 100%.  

          The way Iowa does it with paper ballots, handwritten (is that right?) is likely to have error and I think it probably meets expectations that 99.9% of votes were counted and certified.

          Votes get lost, misplaced, found in every election.  How many times are votes found late in close elections (i.e. Wisconsin has that 1 county that constantly finds late votes).  It's not really something that matters to the majority of people and certainly doesn't reflect any worse on Iowa than any other state.

    •  Iowa is fine, in fact they saved themselves by... (4+ / 0-)

      ...making sure it came down to Romney and Santorum, the two least laughable of the lot.  Had Paul or Newt or Bachmann won the state, the state GOP never would've lived it down.  They would've been OK with Perry, too, as a winner, had he recovered.

      And first-in-the-nation is a bipartisan matter, with Iowa Democrats saving the state regardless of the GOP's lunacy.  Iowa Dems picked the last three Democratic nominees, four if you technically count Clinton '96 although that obviously wasn't contested, and the state Dems can claim to have picked the current President and one previous President (Carter).  Thanks to Iowa Democrats, first-in-the-nation remains secure.

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

      by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 07:25:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The State doesn't run the caucuses (0+ / 0-)

      The Iowa GOP runs them.  They were the ones who lost the votes, not the State of Iowa, (or local election officials).

  •  That rumor about Kent Conrad… (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, James Allen, R30A, dc1000, jncca

    …and the OMB better have originated with Republicans. Because if any Democrats were stupid enough to consider reducing out Senate majority by even a seat they need to quit and get out of politics.

    Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

    by DemSign on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 07:44:57 AM PST

  •  TX Fundraising (4+ / 0-)

    The other day we saw that the Texas State GOP had very little money in the bank (it was part of an article where the moving of the TX primaries was discussed I think), but I think the TX fundraising reports tell us why.  When the AttyGen has $12M cash on hand and the state comptroller (yes, comptroller) has $6M, and both were just elected in 2010.

    When your candidates have that kind of money, even in a big state, and the state has a GOP tilt like Texas, I'm not sure the state party needs any money.

  •  Florida congressional districts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    Neither house has a plan, from the standpoint of living in Polk County, that lives up to the new law. Our County, which I think could be categorized as conservative Dem-leaning but entirely represented by GOP as it was carved into three districts following the 2000 census, grew by 24 percent in population as the state grew by 6 percent. It is roughly 85 percent of thepopulation of a district average (attained by dividing the population by 27).

    What the Senate passed puts the county in four districts, one of only two counties that has so many districts without at least one self-contained district. The other is Broward, and unlike Broward Polk doesn't have a majority in any of its districts.

    There is a good argument that the rural southern part of the county has more in common with Highlands than with the rest of Polk. But the tyree nearby principal cities - Lakeland, Winter Haven and Bartow - are split.

    The point, I think, is to render an Orlando district more red. There is an assumption that this has hurt our freshman Rep., Dennis Ross, who is the guy who gave out all those bonuses to his staff for helping him hold the line against paying federal workers. But I don't really think Ross was hurt. Ross's possible opponents in a fairer drawn district were hurt.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 07:46:50 AM PST

  •  Two new polls show Gingrich with slight lead in SC (6+ / 0-)
    American Research Group: Newt Gingrich 33%, Mitt Romney 32%, Ron Paul 19%, Rick Santorum 9%, Rick Perry 4%.

    InsiderAdvantage: Newt Gingrich 32%, Mitt Romney 29%, Ron Paul 15%, Rick Santorum 11%, Rick Perry 3%.

    Problem for Newt is that IA is biased towards him, and ARG sucks.

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

    by Paleo on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 07:55:06 AM PST

  •  "He wanted an open marriage" (0+ / 0-)

    Marianne on Newt: http://www.wmal.com/...

    "I said to him, ''We've been married a long time,', and he said, 'Yes, but you want me all to yourself.  Calista (Gingrich's current wife) doesn't care what I do,' said Marianne Gingrich in a clip released Thursday morning. "He was asking to have an open marriage, and I refused," she said.

    (-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 Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 07:56:53 AM PST

  •  RCP article omits Carmona point from Tucson (4+ / 0-)

    When  Carmona was in Tucson he covered  issues mentioned in the TCP article, such as his 'independent  thinking', i.e. not tied exclusively to one party line, his experience as Surgeon General,  and  immigration reform.
     however the TCP article neglected to mention a third issue which Carmona clearly took a stand, enough so that it was one of  the main talking points in his local news excerpts.

    Even in his short 'newsbite ' interviews , Carmona advocated for  health care access and especially reproductive rights for women. He was quite open and forthright about it.

    For this I give him high praise , for raising the issue  front and center, rather than burying it in the 'miscellaneous section' of issues.

    access to abortion, even birth control and basic reproductive  health care has been under assault here in Arizona , as well as in many states  and at the national level. This issue cannot be ignored anymore . If Carmona wants to bring that to the forefront,  he certainly has my ear, though I will have to scrutinize  both he and Don Bivens before I could say who has my vote.

    He might be a strong Dem senator  on health care reform in general. following is an interesting article on his tenure as surgeon general. In one sense you could read it as he was muzzled and handled and subsequently not effective in pushing a science based agenda as Surgeon general, as he wanted. then again, he might have an axe to grind in this area, which is a good thing.  I hope he and Bivens directly address issues in the campaign, so that the best candidate moves forward to take back  the seat our current joke, John Kyl, is abandoning.
    here's the Carmona surgeon general article:
    http://www.ucsusa.org/...

  •  Not a Sabato fan, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    but his race changes are worth a look. The only really good one for us would be AZ-1. The rest are rather debatable I think.

    http://www.centerforpolitics.org/...

    They say that Dentists have the highest suicide rates of all professions. Adding in the fact that I am a Democrat in Indiana to that ratio then it is probably a miracle that I am still alive.

    by drhoosierdem on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:13:50 AM PST

    •  On balance, Sabato's ratings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000

      are a touch too generous to the GOP IMO.  Several of the "Lean Republican" seats should probably be tossups, and some Republican tossup seats are better classified (by other pundits/handicappers) as Leans Dem.  

      (To be fair he's probably overestimating Dems' chances of picking up a few seats as well, though I'm not sure exactly which.)

      36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:47:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, dc1000, DCCyclone

        He has West, Bartlett, Buerkle, and Bass as tossups. Bass might still be able to save himself but West and Bartlett should be big underdogs and Buerkle only has much of a chance if she gets drawn into a much redder district.

        He also has Duffy and Cravaack both favored to win. I think Cravaack is an underdog and Duffy a tossup at best. He has a some of those marginal MI seats safer than I think they are. Benishek, Walberg, and McCotter are all shaky and I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one of them lose.

        The one district where he appears to be overestimating Dems' chances is NC13. Unless the Dems have a ringer lined up there, they face awfully long odds in an open R+10 seat.

        I also don't think that Walsh deserves the benefit of the doubt that Biggert, Dold!, and even Schilling do. Likely D at worst.

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

        by sacman701 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:11:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  West is fair as a "tossup" as long as... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingofSpades

          ...new lines don't exist.  Yes I realize his seat almost certainly gets bluer, but we don't know for sure until we have the new lines, and for an independent analyst like Sabato that's enough to compel caution in rating it.

          Same thing goes for Cravaack although I agree it's absurd to call his seat lean R in its current form.

          And Bartlett is a goner, as his the eventual GOP nominee in that district who will be some dude who beats Bartlett only to turn around and lose in November.

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

          by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 11:27:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I think West (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DCCyclone

            might well be an underdog even if his district were unchanged.  A moderate Republican could be favored there in a presidential year without a major GOP wave; a loudmouthed Tea Partier probably can't regardless of how much out-of-state righties throw his way.

            Bartlett might well win renomination if for no other reason than the opposition is split, but he is an underdog not because of anything wrong he's done but rather due to redistricting.  And with any other nominee the GOP's chances in MD-6 are even lower; I wonder if they even realize the composition of the district they're running in.  They certainly aren't running campaigns so far that can emerge victorious in a district where half the voters are in Montgomery County.

            36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

            by Mike in MD on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 12:17:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  MN-08 Leans Republican According To Sabato..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, DCCyclone, itskevin, jncca

      That's quite a prediction.  Not sure even Cravaack himself would be so bold as to declare himself the frontrunner in any scenario where MN-08 remains a Duluth-based district.

      •  Especially if they cut out (0+ / 0-)

        the south part of MN-08, which is Republican.

        'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

        by KingofSpades on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 10:21:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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