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Pres-by-CD: We weren't going to let you make empty LD jokes two days in a row, now. David is benevolent like that...but I am not. We're adding the nine remaining Pennsylvania districts today (seven provisionally), as well as updates to all 13 North Carolina districts.

PA-03 and PA-05 are "official"; the remaining seven districts are provisional, pending our receipt of better information. All these results confirm our notion that Pennsylvania Republicans really did a number on the state: the previously Dem-held seats of PA-03, PA-10, and PA-11 are now all just out of reach at 43.0, 38.4, and 44.5 percents Obama respectively. On the flipside, PA-01 (82.3% Obama) and PA-17 (55.4% Obama) are obvious Dem vote sinks, though his relatively weak showing in the latter does show the extent to which Obama's numbers softened in the state. The only "swingy" district, PA-07, may be in reach at 50.3-48.5 Romney, but we'd need to step up our recruiting game here.

North Carolina has finished allocating absentee, early, one-stop, and provisional votes by precinct, and put them all in a nice statewide file. This allocation process has reduced what had been 907,975 unallocated votes (in the 40 split counties) to a mere 7,636; the incidence of unallocable early votes affecting our calculations has dropped from a whopping 20.36% of all votes cast to just 0.17%. (The number of votes cast in split precincts has increased, from 78,041 to 131,480, but split precincts are substantially less problematic.) Unallocable votes had accounted for more than 70% of votes in some counties (Durham was especially problematic at 73%), but now, unallocable votes are always 2.5% of a county's total votes or fewer. (Mecklenburg makes up 6,371 of the 7,636 left unallocable.)

Armed with this new information, we're making the following changes to vote counts and percentages:

District Obama Romney Total Obama% Romney%
NC-01 +1,531 +686 +2,212 -0.01% +0.02%
NC-02 -1,985 +734 -1,253 -0.45% +0.45%
NC-03 -2,717 +1,022 -1,667 -0.64% +0.62%
NC-04 +8,797 +1,376 +10,258 +0.42% -0.41%
NC-05 +8 +183 +192 -0.02% +0.02%
NC-06 +419 -945 -535 +0.17% -0.17%
NC-07 -598 -328 -920 -0.07% +0.06%
NC-08 +746 +144 +879 +0.13% -0.12%
NC-09 +9,428 +16,239 +25,869 -0.46% +0.47%
NC-10 -942 -1,842 -2,816 +0.06% -0.06%
NC-11 +965 +1,783 +2,781 -0.03% +0.03%
NC-12 +5,723 +2,899 +8,685 -0.36% +0.35%
NC-13 -8,292 -3,870 -12,263 -0.73% +0.73%

All in all, I'd been fairly pessimistic about our early vote allocation formula, but they held up fairly well under this fairly extreme circumstance. As you can see from the following table, three districts changed less than 0.05%, another 2 less than 0.1%, and all but two districts less than 0.5%. The two districts that were adjusted by more than that, NC-03 and NC-13, each yielded a revised Obama percentage lower than previously estimated.

Initial Revised
District Obama Romney Obama Romney Swing
NC-01 71.2% 28.2% 71.2% 28.2% -0.02%
NC-02 42.2% 56.8% 41.7% 57.3% -0.45%
NC-03 41.6% 57.4% 41.0% 58.0% -0.63%
NC-04 71.0% 27.8% 71.4% 27.4% +0.41%
NC-05 39.8% 59.0% 39.8% 59.1% -0.02%
NC-06 41.2% 57.8% 41.3% 57.7% +0.17%
NC-07 39.9% 59.2% 39.9% 59.2% -0.07%
NC-08 40.9% 58.2% 41.0% 58.1% +0.12%
NC-09 43.3% 55.7% 42.8% 56.2% -0.47%
NC-10 40.8% 58.1% 40.9% 58.0% +0.06%
NC-11 37.8% 60.9% 37.8% 60.9% -0.03%
NC-12 78.9% 20.4% 78.5% 20.8% -0.35%
NC-13 44.4% 54.5% 43.7% 55.3% -0.73%

All in all, I'm fairly satisfied with the robustness of our early vote formulas, at least when it comes to calculating percentages. (It performs less well when it comes to raw vote totals.) I'm working on an alternative method that works better, but the going is a bit slow on that front.

Looking ahead, what's left? Well, we're still waiting on several jurisdictions in Alabama, New York, Ohio, and Texas, which account for 14 of the 26 districts currently with no estimates. The remaining 12 are New Jersey, which we'll try to bring you sometime over the next few days. (jeffmd)

9:47 AM PT: Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso wraps up Tuesday night's action:

Georgia HD-71: The lone Democrat in the race, Cynthia Bennett, was shut out of the runoff; of the five Republicans in the race, David Stover came in first with 43% of the vote, followed by Thomas Crymes with 20%. Bennett and Darryl Marmon both pulled in 17%, with Marmon getting two more votes than Bennett. Michael Farbo, Jr. and Richard Weisser pulled up the rear with 3% and 1%, respectively.

Mississippi SD-28: This one turned out to be a close race for the two runoff slots. Marshand Crisler came in first with 25% of the vote; Crisler previously ran unsuccessfully for Transportation Commissioner and Mayor of Jackson. Second place appears to have gone to Sollie Norwood, a former member of the Jackson school board. He pulled in 23% of the vote. In third place was Tamarra Grace Butler (the niece of the previous incumbent, the late Sen. Alice Harden), with 22% of the vote, but turnout was so low, the difference between the two candidates was only 11 votes. None of the other candidates broke 10% of the vote.

12:08 PM PT: VA Redistricting: The second diabolical Virginia GOP scheme to aggrandize electoral power to themselves has gone down in flames in as many weeks. First, their electoral college-rigging shenanigans died in committee. And now, as expected, Republican leaders in the state House nuked a plan promulgated by their Senate colleagues in the shadiest of fashions, a plan which would have re-drawn the district lines for the upper chamber so as to maximize GOP chances and disenfranchise Democratic voters.

If you've been following this sordid affair, then you know that the new map was passed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, when an African American senator and civil rights leader, Henry Marsh, was in Washington, DC to attend Barack Obama's second inauguration. That allowed the GOP to sneak their legislation through on a 20-19 vote in the evenly-divided body, a move that a number of Republicans decried, including Gov. Bob McDonnell. Indeed, McDonnell repeatedly made clear his distaste for the manner in which the measure passed, and numerous reports over the past several weeks made it sound like Republican leaders outside the Senate wanted this thing to die.

The only question was how: Would it make it through the House, where the GOP dominates by a wide majority, only to be vetoed by McDonnell? Or would the House itself do the plan in? In the end, Republicans opted for the latter, a decidedly lower-profile move, using procedural means to send the map to a watery grave. (In practical terms, House Speaker William Howell ruled that the Senate, which had unexpectedly amended an entirely different bill and grafted its new map into the shell of that gutted piece of legislation, had added material that was "not germane" to the original bill.)

So Democrats can definitely breathe a sigh of relief, though don't imagine for a moment that the Virginia GOP has suddenly reformed itself. But there's also something we can do here: This fall, the lieutenant governor's seat will be open, and Democrats can win it back. That means we'd earn the tiebreaking vote in the Senate. If we can reclaim the governor's mansion as well (and we have a strong shot at that), we'll be able to keep a lid on the GOP's worst excesses. And if the past few weeks have taught us anything, it's that we damn well need to, because next time, don't expect Republicans in the Old Dominion to show any restraint.

1:00 PM PT: IL-02: If former state Rep. Robin Kelly's fresh batch of internal polling from GBA Strategies is accurate, then it looks like we've got an entirely new race on our hands in the special election to succeed ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. The survey, of 400 likely Democratic primary voters, was conducted on Feb. 4-5, but importantly, take note of the trendlines from early January:

Robin Kelly: 26 (15)
Debbie Halvorson: 22 (25)
Toi Hutchinson: 20 (16)
Anthony Beale: 10 (10)
Mel Reynolds: 5 (8)
Joyce Washington: 2 (2)

That's a serious surge for Kelly, and there can be no doubt about the reason: Halvorson's gotten absolutely pummeled over her stubborn support for the NRA and the "A" ratings she's earned from the group in the past. Kelly, meanwhile, has repeatedly touted the "F" grade the group has awarded her, saying she "could not be more proud" of it. Indeed, in a poor district stricken by gun violence, it's the only sane message.

But despite Kelly's advance in the polls, it's still an incredibly competitive race, with the top three candidates all bunched together. In particular, Kelly's memo notes that while Halvorson has gotten beaten up on badly for her relationship with the NRA, Hutchinson has avoided similar scrutiny. Hutchinson, says GBA, "is currently benefitting from relatively low awareness of her A-rating from the NRA and her efforts to keep her questionnaire responses from the public."

That means job number one for Kelly now is to focus on Hutchinson. She can afford to do so because NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's PAC, Independence USA, is keeping its boot pressed firmly on Halvorson's neck. On Wednesday, they just filed a new report with the FEC detailing another $382,000 in television ad purchases targeting Halvorson, doubling their previous buy which powered this spot.

Right now, the thing I'm watching for most closely is whether Halvorson or Hutchinson (her former chief of staff, incidentally) release their own numbers to counter these. If they don't, that'll be "the dog that didn't bark." But as I say, there are only a few weeks left until the Feb. 26 primary—and this is still anyone's race.

1:50 PM PT: NM-Sen: Phew! Barack Obama isn't raiding the Senate yet again for someone to head up the Department of the Interior. There had been talk he might tap Sen. Tom Udall, but instead, he's nominated Sally Jewell, the CEO of sporting goods company REI. Jewell is known as a conservationist, which is interesting given that she worked for many years at Mobil Oil, but the real news here for horserace purposes is that Udall, who is up for re-election next year, isn't going anywhere.

2:00 PM PT: Senate: Handy: Roll Call has a chart of Senate fundraising numbers from the fourth quarter of 2012, for all senators and possible candidates in potentially competitive seats that are up for re-election next year. The Republican with the most cash-on-hand is, by a country mile, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, with $7.4 million in the bank. For Democrats, Virginia's Mark Warner has $3.7 mil, though I don't expect that race to be particularly contested. Montana Sen. Max Baucus is next in line with $3.6 mil, though.

2:19 PM PT: GA-Sen, GA-10: GOP Rep. Paul Broun, Democrats' best hope for making the open Georgia Senate race competitive, formally launched his campaign on Wednesday afternoon, as expected. But while he's the first notable Republican to enter the race, he definitely won't be the last: Several other congressmen are also considering and are likely to join the field as well. Beyond that, the GOP establishment badly needs someone who can beat Broun in the primary, since his the strain of crazy he's infected with is particularly virulent.

Sean Sullivan notes one important fact, though: Candidates need to clear 50 percent of the vote in order to secure their party's nomination in the Peach State, or else they face a runoff, so Broun can't slip through with a mere plurality. That said, tea partier Ted Cruz handily defeated "mainstream" conservative David Dewhurst in Senate runoff in Texas last year, so I certainly wouldn't count Broun out no matter who else gets in.

Meanwhile, Broun's move also opens up his House seat, Georgia's ultra-conservative 10th Congressional District. GA-10 is punishingly red: Not only did it go for Mitt Romney by a 63-36 margin, no Democrat even filed to run against Broun last year (who originally won in a 2007 special election). That led to progressives in the liberal college town of Athens (stranded in the northern end of this district) to write in 4,000 votes for Charles Darwin, thanks to Broun call evolution "lies straight from the pit of hell." That also tells you that all the action here will be on the GOP side, but we'll be keeping track of it all like we always do.

2:33 PM PT: FL-Gov: If detested Republican Gov. Rick Scott is to have any chance at re-election, there's probably only one reason: money. A new Politico report says that the ultra-wealthy Scott plans to budget $100 million in an anticipated showdown with the man who held the governor's mansion right before him, Charlie Crist. Scott spent $73 million of his own funds in 2010, but as the piece alludes, a large portion of that went to nuking establishment choice Bill McCollum in the GOP primary, which Scott won by only three points. So now we're talking 25 percent more cash, all directed toward the general election. I'd say "yikes," but given how damaged Scott is, even that may not be enough.

2:52 PM PT: MA-Gov: My first reaction was "meh," but I suppose this would preclude a gubernatorial run if true: Ex-Sen. Scott Brown, who recently turned down another Senate bid, is reportedly in talks with FOX News to land a job as a talking head. In any other state, you could imagine a one-year gig as a prelude to a statewide bid, but even if the governor's race is the easier play for Brown, associating himself with FOX is not really the right way to burnish his "moderate" profile in liberal Massachusetts.

3:18 PM PT: MN-Sen: Man. GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen really is a piece of work, particularly for a candidate Minnesota Republicans like to view as "serious." Last month, he told Minnesota Public Radio that "no," he wouldn't run for Senate against Al Franken, then turned around the next day, claimed he'd been taken out of context (he wasn't—I listened to the complete audio), and insisted that he wasn't ruling out a bid for higher office.

Now, it's the same damn thing all over again. A local polisci prof who visited Paulsen in Washington with a group of students tweeted after the meeting that Paulsen told them he wasn't running, and MPR ran the story as an item. But lo and behold, Paulsen's campaign manager emailed the station to insist, yet again, that his boss "has not ruled anything out related to 2014." As we might say in Brooklyn, "This fuckin' guy!"

3:36 PM PT: MT-Sen: Looks like Max Baucus's first Republican challenger is decently legit: ex-state Sen. Corey Stapleton just announced on Wednesday that he'll take on the longtime senator next year—that is, if he gets the chance. Stapleton ran in last year's extremely crowded GOP primary for governor, finishing a distant second in a seven-candidate race with 18.1 percent of the vote to Rick Hill's 34, and the field to take on Baucus could be similarly super-sized. And with any luck, it will be, as I'm convinced the nasty gubernatorial primary (in which Stapleton was a key player) helped weaken Hill, the eventual nominee, allowing Democrat Steve Bullock to pull off a narrow win in the general. I'd imagine Baucus is rooting for the same thing to happen once more.

3:47 PM PT: IA-Gov: PPP's also out with the gubernatorial portion of their new Iowa poll, and it looks like GOP Gov. Terry Branstad is in pretty decent, but definitely not dominant, shape for re-election—if he chooses to run again. Branstad's job approvals are a mediocre 45-44, but he hasn't announced whether he'll seek another four years in office, which would be his sixth (non-consecutive) term. Here's how he fares against an array of potential contenders, some plausible, some very unlikely:

• 50-40 vs. ex-Gov. Chet Culver

• 48-33 vs. state Sen. Jack Hatch

• 47-31 vs. Democratic Party chair Tyler Olson

• 47-46 vs. ex-Gov. Tom Vilsack

• 47-41 vs. Rep. Bruce Braley

• 48-38 vs. Rep. Dave Loebsack

Only the first three names on this list really appear to be possible candidates, but the one thing that gives me hope is that Branstad clocks in at 47-48 percent against everyone but Culver, whose favorability rating is a very poor 34-36. Culver's been talking comeback against the guy who beat him two years ago, but I suspect Democrats would be better off with someone else. If some, and if Team Blue's standard-bearer can actually raise some money, this race could be competitive—though Dems' best hope is almost certainly for Branstad to retire a second time.

3:52 PM PT: NYC Mayor: Jesus, Dean Skelos is full of it. Begged by New York City election officials to move the city's primaries from September to June to give them more time to prepare for inevitable runoffs and the general, the GOP's state Senate leader has told them to bugger off. Amazingly, Skelos claims that a June primary would "negatively impact the end of the legislative session" (in the Daily News's phrasing), which is an insane lump of bullshit seeing as we're talking about primaries for municipal office, not the legislature. What a crock.

4:06 PM PT: GA-12: In a piece that's mostly about whether Dem Rep. John Barrow might run for Senate, Roll Call's Joshua Miller also briefly runs through the names a few potential Republicans who could challenge Barrow for re-election next year (or make a bid for his seat if it's open). Miller mentions 2010 candidates Rick Allen and Wright McLeod, as well as state Sen. Tommie Williams, but adds that August Mayor Deke Copenhaver says he has no interest in running.

4:12 PM PT: In an aside, Roll Call mentions two possible Republicans who could seek to replace Broun: state Sen. Bill Cowsert and ex-Rep. Mac Collins. Collins actually considered a challenge to Broun last cycle, but the Club for Growth warned him off; with an open seat, he might be eager to jump back in.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:00:10 AM PST

  •  The excellent news this morning (13+ / 0-)

    is that Obama isn't again pointlessly raiding the Senate of more popular incumbents by appointing Tom Udall as Secretary of the Interior.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Sally Jewell is an interesting choice. I'm glad, on one hand, to see at least one prominent woman appointed to Obama's 2nd term cabinet. And I also, despite myself, like the fact Obama has broken the mold of the Interior position as where western politicians get sent to end their political careers.

    But I also have my doubts an outsider will be able to deal with the administrative nature of a government bureaucracy. In any case, she should get through the Senate just fine, and she seems if anything more conservationally minded than Salazar, and perhaps better at selling those kinds of initiatives than him.

    So what's left to fill now? Obama had a pretty huge number of vacancies come up, and I really think he should have had one more with Eric Holder.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:29:08 AM PST

    •  Jewel is an engineer by trade (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, gabjoh, Newt, MichaelNY, bumiputera

      I believe that having more engineers in high levels of government is vitally important. This isn't always easy, as a lot of engineers view politics as beneath them and their skill sets, and have little interest in engaging in the petty bickering that comes with the political realm.

      •  As a liberal arts person (5+ / 0-)

        I tend to be skeptical of engineers in the public sector.

        But Jewell at least is someone who has strong environmentalist beliefs to go with her background in engineering and business. She could be a very effective advocate.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:11:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why skeptical? (0+ / 0-)

          Absolutely everything ingrained into engineers' beings is logical and can be easily defended. What is not to trust?

          •  Heh! That sounds so creepy (9+ / 0-)

            and exactly the reason why I, too, am skeptical of engineers in the public sphere. :)

            In short, values matter. If policy were all just a matter of "logic," we could just let the robots take over. In my experience, scientists usually have more of a grounding in humanist values, but engineers tend to have an inordinate faith in our ability to, well, engineer solutions to complex problems without acknowledging the full complexity of what they're doing.

            •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              So you mistrust engineers because you fear Eugenics?

              I will say that while I understand your fear of the robots, etc. But I couldn't disagree more with engineers not understanding complex situations. If there is one group of people required to understand troubleshoot and solve complex problems, its engineers.

              •  I trust engineers (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Englishlefty, MichaelNY, bumiputera

                to understand, troubleshoot, and solve complex technical problems. They're great at that sort of thing! But - at least in my experience - they tend to have a sort of hubristic sense of their own ability to control circumstances which is ignorant of the complexity of the consequences, including the human and social costs, of what they're doing.

                •  a problem is a problem (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  I think people that come from other schools of thought see people or things or places as somehow exempt from being categorized and being handled logically. Does this mean people act logically? Certainly not. But through proper research, reactions can be predicted and handled accordingly. Emotional decisions are almost always bad decisions, especially when they conflict with logical decisions. People that are emotionally driven are the types that give us terrible policy and even worse candidates. See the fervour over "build an electric fence along the border" and the love for candidates like Michele Bachmann on the right. We see this as crazy emotional right wingers, which is what they are. The problem is there is a faction of those on the left that do exactly the same thing on the left, but they don't see themselves as an problem. They see themselves as a crusaders and true believers. These people are the main reason I avoid the FP here.

                  As an engineer, my political passion and skill set really is electioneering. I am very good at it. And I have worked almost exclusively on winning campaigns, with the one huge black mark on my political resume is R.T. Rybak's 2010 gubernatorial run. Now, this doesn't mean I have any interest in being a politician, quite the opposite actually. If I were in a position of authority, I would likely not be popular, which would ultimately weaken my ability to govern/legislate.

                  •  Yes, but (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BeloitDem, gabjoh, MichaelNY

                    if you had read your Hume, you would know that reason itself is motivated by the passions. :)

                    Or to put it another way: the problem with people who wanted to build the border fence isn't that they're illogical. It's that they lack compassion and have a cramped, nativist, fearful view of the world. The border fence was a "logical" enactment of those values. Likewise, we don't oppose the border fence because we're logical, we oppose it because we believe America should represent tolerance, openness, and diversity - i.e., because those are our values.

                    Technical competence is important, but it doesn't do any good without a grounding in values. After all, it was engineers who designed the border fence...

                    •  So engineers don't have values? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ArkDem14, Audrid, MichaelNY

                      Seriously? If I didn't have values, I would certainly not be politically inclined. I think you have a gross misunderstanding about how engineers function. Its not like engineers are mindless robots walking around with an abacus and pocket protectors with no goals ojbectives or moral compass

                  •  That's the thing (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    OGGoldy, MichaelNY

                    Most engineer-like people end up in positions of campaign workers, not politicians.

                    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                    by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:11:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I share ArkDem's mistrust frankly (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gabjoh, Englishlefty

                Even though I have a lot of engineers in my family. But my mistrust is more based on the fact that a lot of engineers don't necessarily have the best people / media skills, and a lot of the job of a cabinet secretary is being the public face of policy.

                •  Stereotypes (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  abgin, ArkDem14, MichaelNY, bumiputera

                  Just like stereotypes for any other group, there are some engineers that confirm the stereotype, and many that don't.  Not all engineers have ISTJ as their Myers-Briggs type.  (I, for one, score off the charts as a P).  And yes, there are many of my fellow engineers who wouldn't do well as a cabinet secretary - but they also wouldn't succeed as a CEO of a major corporation.  

                  I'll reserve judgement, for now, until I can learn more.

                  Republican, MI-11, Member of the DKE Engineering Caucus, SSP: Bort

                  by Bart Ender on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:43:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I think you are not understanding the nature (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OGGoldy, MichaelNY

              of the solutions that an engineer give to the problems. And also I think you are not understanding the nature of the current science.

              without acknowledging the full complexity of what they're doing
              This part of your comment is full wrong. To talk about knowledge of the full complexity... who has it? No-one in the scientific world. All the science runs around models that catch not a perfect description of the reality. An scientist know it and an engineer also know it.

              An engineer try to give enough good solutions to achieve the requirements applying the necessary level of science for it.

              The scientists and the engineers use the same way for solving the troubles. It is not different.

          •  I'm skeptical of purely technical minded, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chachy, MichaelNY

            logical people. Many of the folks I've known like that, lacked self-awareness, and were the least objective people I've ever met because they were honestly not even aware of their personal assumptions. Sometimes, especially in the public sphere, engineers can be tone deaf and narrow-minded in perspective.

            Jewell though looks like a pretty promising candidate, and of course some engineering majors I know have pretty well-grounded backgrounds in humanism and the literary arts, and are open-minded.

            "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

            by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:57:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tone deaf I can agree with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ArkDem14, MichaelNY

              Although the truth lies somewhere between some people seeing it as inflexible and tone deaf, and engineers ignoring people that should be ignored in that particular case. Rarely do you see engineers in industry dismiss input of a valid nature, and so not whimsically dismiss factors, but once they are 100% identified as unimportant or inapplicable, they are not reconsidered. This is why engineers don't tend to like being politicians, because on both sides of the isle, the most obnoxious people always seem to have the least important things on their minds.

              To quote the Scarecrow "People without brains do an awful lot of talking"

        •  what worries me is the fact that she (0+ / 0-)

          was an engineer for Mobil oil (before it merged with Exxon)

      •  Engineering background is basically required (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        abgin, OGGoldy, MichaelNY, bumiputera

        to serve in high government office in China.

        •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          abgin, Englishlefty, MichaelNY

          East Asian cultures put much more emphasis on technical competency than Americans and even Europeans do.

          •  I'm not sure that's the reason (5+ / 0-)

            China has a long history of imperial examinations.  They used to focus on the classics, though by the late 19th century the system was seen as an impediment to getting competent people into office and was eventually abolished. In the Maoist era, political loyalty was seen as paramount, and being too much of an expert in anything was suspect.  The current focus on engineering I see as more of a reassertion of the imperial system, all be it with a different focus.  The purpose is the same though, ensuring that all of the government officials have similar training and thinking.

          •  And look how well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            their planning is working for them vis a vis environmental problems.

            "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

            by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:15:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is just China and India (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              Japan also puts emphasis in this area, and they are environmentally aware. Heck Kyoto is IN Japan

              •  liar (4+ / 0-)

                kyoto is most definitely NOT in Japan.

                (in all seriousness, japan is very idiosyncratic about energy use. they stress energy conservation and are probably more into alternative energy than the US, yet the amount of paper they waste is ridiculous. when you buy a bag of chocolates, does every individual chocolate reaaaally need to be wrapped?)

                Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

                by sapelcovits on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:32:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Plus I've read about the legendary (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  amounts of paper Japanese offices waste. Despite a very high tech culture in the major cities, the major corporations are still run by people in their 50s and 60s, and even middle-management are mostly in their mid-40s or older, and they are adverse to change. So many Japanese companies don't use fax machines, don't use email, use Windows98, and keep multiple copies of just about every file. I read an article way back when I had a class on Japan about the extraordinary paper use on a week to week basis by these offices, haha.

                  "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                  by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:08:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  my girlfriend buys Japanese (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, ArkDem14

                  tea cakes, crackers, candies, & everything is individually wrapped.

                  ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                  by James Allen on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:37:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I was alluding to what I really meant earlier (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                Rather than trying to stereotype or insult engineers, I was more talking about my political experience with engineers as too focused and biased towards "hard" results, to the point where they often downplay or fail to account for "soft" results, that don't match "logic" of efficiency and in many cases "development". Sorry for the over-use of quotation marks. I think soft costs and results, those that don't necessarily have a numerical quotient, or a stable equation for viewing and understanding, are exceptionally important when it comes to politics and especially in this kind of office.

                "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:06:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but they don't have a democracy. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DCCyclone, MichaelNY
    •  I think he goes by order of precedence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      The following step would be the Secretary of Commerce. But I would not expect new appointments until the confirmation of J Lew.

    •  Since Obama is apparently all about (8+ / 0-)

      handing out gifts, and Jewell is the CEO of REI, does this mean we are all getting free hiking gear? ;)

      Seriously, though, Jewell does look like a good pick.

      I dont think Udall was seriously considered. He was Salazar's suggestion for a successor.

      I think there are four more cabinet departments left to fill: Labor, Energy, Transportation, Commerce.

    •  It's an interesting pick (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, MichaelNY

      Secy.-designate Jewell has an engineering background as well as executive experience, and she has a background in conservation as well. I think it's a good choice. Republicans and Democrats from energy states will want to hear where she stands on permitting, but they'll be heartened by her brief stint at Mobil.

      Keeper of the DKE glossary. Priceless: worth a lot; not for sale.

      by SaoMagnifico on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:19:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disappointed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, MichaelNY, gabjoh

      I was hoping it would be Gregoire. But if Obama is going to make Cabinet selections from the world of business, since its primarily a managerial position, Interior is one of the least bad places to make that selection.

      (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

      by Setsuna Mudo on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:13:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  vacancies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, MichaelNY

      Sec. of Commerce
      Sec. of Transportation in a few months

      there might be a cabinet spot or two that is vacant soon or is vacant now

      Also, Ambassador to the Bahamas is vacant if any donors or recently retired politicians want an ambassadorial gig. Same for the Netherlands, Vatican, Trinidad/Tobago and Ireland. I think the rest are FSO-Ambassador openings (most Ambassador spots are filled by Foreign Service Officers, some in more prestigious countries or harmless island countries are filled by political appointees).

      The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

      by RBH on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:16:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reposting it from last night (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Graly, Englishlefty, MichaelNY

    NC State Senate:

    Composition:
    Republicans: 33 (66%)
    Democrats: 17 (34%)

    Total Votes:
    R: 2,055,049
    D: 1,854,358

    Two-Party Vote Share
    R: 52.57%
    D: 47.43%

    Quite the gerrymander. Republicans overperformed by 13.5%.

    Additionally, the discrepancy between statewide vote share and number of seats would have been greater had both parties contested every seat: Democrats didn't field a candidate in 12 seats, and Republicans didn't field a candidate in just 7.

    District 50 got the number to 25 (the LG is a Republican now that Dalton left). The Republican got 57.11% of the vote there. District 18, where the Republican got 55.92% of the vote put the number at 26.

    This is assuming two-party vote FYI. The Democrats would need more than a 7% uniform swing in 2014 to recapture the Senate.

    I haven't looked at the House yet, but the web site I'm getting the vote totals from is here.

    My question for you: is there a better gerrymander? I.E., is there a state legislature body  that either has bigger overperformance by one party of more than 13.5%, or would require a larger uniform swing to recapture?

    •  Probably Florida (0+ / 0-)

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:52:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hawaii, easy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, lordpet8

      Hawaii's Senate is 96% Democratic.

    •  today (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, BeloitDem

      I read this morning that the Rs in NC will dismantle, rename, and newly appoint state commissions to insure they are just as crazy as are the state legislators/governor.   This is not democracy with checks and balances--when a party that gets 47+% of the vote ends up without any influence at all.  

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:10:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just for fun I did Massachusetts State Senate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, bumiputera

      The Democrats here control 90% of State Senate and received 78.67% of the two party vote, so a smaller difference than NC.

      Just to copy your format:

      MA State Senate:

      Composition:
      Democrats: 36 (90%)
      Republicans: 4 (10%)

      Total Votes:
      D: 2,012,117
      R: 545,523

      Two-Party Vote Share
      D: 78.67%
      D: 21.33%

      A couple things going on here.

      1) MA is, to some extent, a natural Gerrymander.  There are very few Republican strongholds anywhere in the state.

      2) Tons of uncontested seats.  The Democrats only contested 1 of the 4 Republican held seats.  The Republicans only contested 12 of 36 Democrat held seats.

    •  Illinois St. Senate (6+ / 0-)

      Popular Vote
      D: 2478352 (55%)
      R: 2027652 (45%)

      Seats
      D: 40 (67.8%)
      R: 19 (32.2%)

      While that's only a 12.8% overperformance, the Republicans would require a 9%+ swing to take the majority. The 30th seat is SD 40 @ 59.8% D.

      It would likely take more than that as the tipping point seats are fairly inelastic. SD 40 @ 24.5% AA, SD 57 (seat 31) @ 33.5% AA, SD 19 (seat 32) @ 26.25% AA.

      BRadogno would have to win seats that voted in the low to mid 60s D this year to take the Senate over the next two cycles. And, as only 1/3 of seats are up next year she would have to win four seats Republicans didn't even bother to contest this year. It would require a ~13-15% swing to simply break the Democratic supermajority in 2014.

      Not bad at all.

    •  This is great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, MichaelNY

      And funny, we (DKE staff) were talking about exactly this topic. We've seen a lot of analyses like this on the congressional level, but haven't really seen it on the state legislature level.

      It would be nice to see it systematically done for all 99 legislatures, but I think counting up the actual legislative vote in each state would be hard. Instead, you could just try comparing the # of legislators of each party to the presidential vote, which ought to be a decent proxy. Certainly Florida will come out looking outrageous as a result.

      Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

      by David Nir on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:14:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think the gerrymander... (0+ / 0-)

      is particularly impressive by that metric--for example, their congressional gerrymander was "better"--Dems received ~50% of the statewide congressional vote, but only 30% of the districts (and it was nearly only 23% by for a couple hundred votes for McIntyre).

      But the NC constitution actually places very strict restrictions on how the state legislature maps may be drawn, so the gerrymander is actually very impressive to be so successful within those limitations. Of course, those restrictions also create a kind of natural gerrymander for the Republicans, and it's actually very difficult to draw a perfectly safe Dem gerrymander.

    •  I really wonder (0+ / 0-)

      If you could control these kinds of analyses with some kind of measure of partisan distribution. If we could do that, we could prove that gerrymandering is statistically significant for partisan advantage.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:58:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  KY-Sen: American Crossroads already attacking Judd (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JGibson, atdnext, itskevin, MichaelNY

    Judd hasn't even entered the KY-Sen race yet!

    Link to report

    Friend of the Wisconsin Uprising from East Central Illinois! IL-15

    by DownstateDemocrat on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:09:59 AM PST

  •  Montana - Senate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, LordMike, lordpet8, MichaelNY

    Max Baucus has drawn his first official Republican foe.  Corey Stapleton announced.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:29:27 AM PST

  •  FL-Gov (5+ / 0-)

    Rick Scott plans to vaporize Charlie Crist (if he does run) with a $100 million dollar campaign.

    Rick Scott is preparing to defend his Florida governorship with the most expensive reelection campaign in state history, drawing up plans for a battleship-sized political operation aimed at overcoming the Republican’s deep personal unpopularity.

    The anticipated price tag, according to sources familiar with Scott’s plans: $100 million.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/...

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:06:05 AM PST

  •  Moderate Republicans: Remember them? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, LordMike, JBraden, MichaelNY

    Apparently, the Main Street Partnership is rebranding.

     http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    It wants to keep funding GOP candidates... But it won't use the GOP label any more. Huh?

    When was the last time this group was relevant? And who ever thought we'd one day refer to KARL ROVE as the left flank of the GOP?!

  •  AZ Repubs want open process in 2022 redistricting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, BeloitDem, MichaelNY

    so they're setting up a committee to address the issue...a committee that I'm sure won't be secretive:

    http://atr.rollcall.com/...

  •  Pennsylvania Redistricting. (8+ / 0-)

    There are two things that can break the Republican gerrymander in Pennsylvania:

    1. Run Corbett and the Republican legislature out of Harrisburg in 2014 and do mid-decade districting.

    2. A Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy in 2016.

    Hillary remains very popular all across the state, and I believe she could win every close district that Obama lost (PA-06, PA-07, PA-08, PA-15).

    http://www.snappac.org/ Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:23:56 AM PST

  •  IA-3 (7+ / 0-)

    If Latham runs for senate and we get an open seat, is there any reason to run anyone besides Senate Speaker Mike Gronstal? He'll have lots of national institutional fundraising connections from his time with the DLCC, and his courage in blocking attempts to repeal marriage equality will earn him netroots support and probably help with the volunteer base. Plus, Republicans will probably fixate on the issue, but this being 2014, swing voters won't care. The only drawback is the Council Bluffs isn't exactly the center of gravity of the district (over half the population is in Polk County), but he might be able to win in some places that Democrats usually don't.

    With Gronstal and without Latham, I'd have to think that this race is lean D.

    •  Is it worth risking control over the Iowa SS (5+ / 0-)

      To get one more seat in the U.S. House?  

      •  Fair point (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoUBears, gabjoh, ArkDem14, jncca, MichaelNY

        The district's D+1 or 2ish, which puts it in the potentially competetive range. But we'd still probably be favored to hold. Although not being from Iowa, I view the U.S. house as being more important than the Iowa Senate. I'm sure Steve Israel is on the phone with him, though.

      •  In a must-win seat where incumbency is huge, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marcus Graly, ArkDem14, MichaelNY

        absolutely. Iowans have a particular affinity for incumbents, as seen with Harkin, Grassley, Latham, Leach, Nussle and even Boswell (I was actually impressed in 2010), incumbents generally have their seats as long as they like. If Latham vacates, we need to put every effort into winning the seat, as I would say an incumbent could count on at least a 7% boost simply from their incumbency. And with Branstad potentially heading out the door, Gronstal is worth the gamble.

        ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -9.85, -3.85

        by GoUBears on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:58:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jim Leach lost... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

          by jncca on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:49:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In a huge wave (4+ / 0-)

            Leach was a long-standing incumbent in a moderately Democratic seat.

            23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

            by wwmiv on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:53:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  and genuinely moderate (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, GoUBears

              and his loss was a surprise.

              ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

              by James Allen on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:08:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually Loebsack was polling tight in September (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Allen, MichaelNY, KingofSpades

                It felt like a surprise that Loebsack actually pulled it off, but there was public polling in September that showed him actually ahead.

                The only 2006 seat that a Democrat stole that was completely off the radar was Carol Shea-Porter over Jeb Bradley.  All the other "upsets" had public reports somewhere in polling or campaign media reports indicating the GOP incumbent was in deep trouble.

                44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:14:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What made CSP's win such an upset? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, DCCyclone

                  Were there any polls?

                  "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

                  by KingofSpades on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:29:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There were no polls, and... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KingofSpades, MichaelNY

                    ...my obsessive daily search of campaign stories never mentioned NH-01 as a seat at risk of flipping.

                    I remember looking at prognosticators' lists, and the rankings and ratings of National Journal, Charlie Cook, Stu Rothenberg, and others never identified NH-01.  Nor was there ever a blurb in a campaign blog post or other article mentioning it.

                    Literally all the other pickups we had showed up somewhere, even if only once.  The Loebsack race got an eye-opening public poll in September by "Majority Report" or some such name conducted by an independent outfit doing RBS polls.  Those polls proved to have dubious accuracy, but they did at least identify what races looked close...but NH-01 was never polled.

                    44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                    by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:25:04 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It snuck up from behind. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY, DCCyclone

                      He spent 3X the amount she did and I guess people assumed NH would naturally stay the last Republican bastion in New England and that CSP was a fringe candidate (she had no party organization backing or money).  But the state was hit by a massive wave that flipped both chambers of the legislature Dem for the first time in over a century.

                      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

                      by KingofSpades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:37:37 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I wasn't following things as closely then, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  but yes, despite the district, few people thought he could do it.  He didn't have the right profile, for one.

                  ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                  by James Allen on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:48:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I know (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              but I'm saying Iowa clearly isn't that deferential to incumbents.

              20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

              by jncca on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:26:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  same for Neal Smith (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jncca, MichaelNY, DCCyclone

              RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

              by demographicarmageddon on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:36:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  One more seat in the US House (8+ / 0-)

        Is everything. IA-03 is not just a good target for us; if Latham runs for higher office, it's an absolutely crucial target.

        Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

        by David Nir on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:42:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess I just think... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          There has to be a deeper bench, and his state Senate Seat is crucial.  If we lost the State Senate either in the special election last session, or in 2012, Iowa would be seeing a raft of right-wing legislation similar to Michigan and Wisconsin.  

          •  Also, gay marriage might be at risk. (0+ / 0-)
            •  Not immediately (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, DCCyclone

              They need to vote on it for two consecutive sessions.

              •  Yes it's possible that we gain seats in the senate (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, BeloitDem

                this cycle with the 2010 class being up, and we're only a few seats away from recapturing the House, so even if they did vote on it and it passed this session, it isn't guaranteed to pass the next.

              •  Yeah, it's VERY tough to change... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Audrid, BeloitDem, MichaelNY

                ...the Iowa Constitution, both because of the legal requirements to do so, and Iowa voters' demonstrable reluctance to vote for a change when one is on the ballot.  I don't remember the topics or years offhand, but I know for a fact there have been Iowa constitutional amendments rejected in state referenda in my adult life, including on issues where what was rejected otherwise looked popular.  People just don't want to mess with the state constitution.

                I'm as confident as anywhere that gay marriage in Iowa is there to stay.  And it will be a longtime historical point of pride in the state among ordinary Iowans in the future, when the right of gays to marry is an unquestioned civil right no less than black southerners voting is today.

                44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:17:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think we've made it long enough (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, jncca, gabjoh, askew, DCCyclone

                  that same-sex marriage will not be overturned in Iowa.  Had Republicans completely taken over the state in 2010, they might have attempted it, but thankfully we narrowly held the senate.  Even if we lose it next year or after, the anti-gay forces have gotten markedly weaker just in the past couple years.  Polling has shown we are at the point now where even middle of the road states like Iowa have pluralities in favor of same-sex marriage.

                  I agree, in the future Iowa will look back with pride that it beat states like New York, California, and Illinois, just as Wyoming today is proud of being the first state to let women vote.

    •  IA-03 (0+ / 0-)
      With Gronstal and without Latham, I'd have to think that this race is lean D.
      What? Seriously? You're telling me an R+0 district (that was R+1 in 2008) leans D in a midterm year when we'll probably see a competitive Senate race and we'll even more likely see a solid Republican victory in the gubernatorial race? Republicans have a solid bench in IA-03. I think that race would, at best, be a toss up for you guys with Gronstal in the race.

      Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

      by IllinoyedR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:49:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who do you have in the district (7+ / 0-)

        That's built up the same kind of institutional stature and connections as Gronstal? Plus, if King is your nominee for Senate (which seems to be the most likely result to me, with him now saying that he's more likely to run than not and romping in the polling) I'd find it somewhat dubious to call the Senate race "competetive."

        •  Branstad (0+ / 0-)

          Even if we have King running for Senate, we have Branstad, who will receive a higher vote share than Braley would against King, running for reelection. Additionally, institutional stature does not necessarily lead to more votes. Great, he's the Speaker of the State Senate but a strong candidate, and I'd rather go the Polk County businessman route in this race, can outperform him.

          CT Rs were licking their chops at the prospect of facing Speaker Chris Donovan instead of then former State Rep Elizabeth Esty in CT-05, even before his campaign finance scandal. Connections aren't everything.

          Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

          by IllinoyedR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:01:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And by the way... (0+ / 0-)

          Latham's not going to run if King does. If King tells Latham he's going to run, I think Latham steps aside and runs for reelection. At the same time, I think King would be amenable to running for Senate when Grassley steps aside in 2016, especially when he realizes there'll be a good chance of a Republican President he could serve under.

          Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

          by IllinoyedR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:08:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you so sure about that? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BeloitDem, SaoMagnifico, askew, MichaelNY

            Your establishment wants nothing to do with King. I would think Latham would be the first choice to take him on in a primary. I'm sure he's being pressured as we speak.

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

            by ndrwmls10 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:12:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  But I doubt the national GOP would want (6+ / 0-)

            King as the nominee in 2016. Iowa will be,  at worst, a toss up in the presidential race. And King would be a very polarizing Senate candidate.

            I would think the GOP would want Latham in 2016, and someone other than King next year. But if King has to run, better to have run in a midterm election year.

            •  People are badly overstating... (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje, R30A, jncca, BeloitDem, MichaelNY

              ...midterm vs. Presidential turnout differentials.  This is happening widely in the political media and among political junkies.

              It's not that huge a difference.  If it was, we'd see a pattern of Democrats consistently doing better in Presidentials than in midterms.  But we don't.  It doesn't happen.  We don't do any better in Presidential years.

              What's happened is that we had a couple bad wave elections in midterms, in 1994 and 2010, and especially after the latter people have an exaggerated notion of when Democrats are and are not willing to show up and vote.  A few anomalies are distorting perceptions.

              There is not a big difference running in 2014 vs. 2012 or 2016, unless there is a wave election in either of the next couple cycles, in which case the issue is the political environment causing a wave, not that there's a midterm.

              44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:50:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair point (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DCCyclone, MichaelNY

                I think my view is skewed by the fact that we've had two straight midterm wave elections.

                But still, I dont see why King would choose 2016 over 2014.

                •  You're right on the latter point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  But it's for the same reason Latham wouldn't wait for 2016 instead of 2014, that the opportunity is there now, and it's folly to count on a future opportunity that's nothing more than conjecture, and when there's no way to know whether the chances of winning then will be any better than now.

                  44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                  by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:30:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Totally agreed (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DCCyclone, MichaelNY

                The idea that Democrats are fundamentally disadvantaged in mid-terms (and therefore have a fundamental advantage in presidential years) is a correlation that has never existed in history.

                It's not like you even have to go that far back to find contradictions...2006 was a lot better for Democrats than 2004.   2000 wasn't significantly better than 2002.

                Now, there are correlations about mid-terms leading to losses for the president's party, which pretty much invalidates the idea of Democrats always being disadvantaged in mid-terms, unless a Democrat is always president!

                •  Just because something isn't the only thing (0+ / 0-)

                  doesn't mean that it isn't something.

                  Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                  by tommypaine on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:15:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Even that latter correlation is weak recently (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sacman701, Skaje, jncca, MichaelNY

                  Two of the last four midterms, in fact two in a row in 1998 and 2002, were favorable for the President's party.

                  And the two subsequent midterms were wave elections that went against the President's party for known episodic reasons, not for any fatigue-for-its-own-sake against the President's party.

                  It's folly to assume anything about 2014, either in turnout or the environment toward one party or the other.

                  If anything, my view is that 2014 is as likely to be like 1998 as anything, given that we have very little left to lose after the 2010 shellacking, that the fact of a GOP House means their party shares ownership with Obama of whatever happens these two years, and the fact that Obama so far has outflanked the GOP on the major issues in the news......although that can and does change in a hurry.

                  44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                  by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:34:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Grassley's grandson might run for his seat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, NMLib

            It's been widely assumed by many, although denied by Chuck, that Chuck wants his grandson Pat, a state legislator, to succeed him.  I think that won't sit well either in his own party or with a general electorate, but it's one thing any wannabe in 2016 must contend with.

            And if Latham doesn't run this time, I wouldn't count on him running to succeed Grassley.  There's an open seat now, and pols usually are smart enough to realize they can't game out the future to delay dreams and deferring opportunities.

            If Latham doesn't run for the Senate seat now, the best guess is he's a House lifer.

            44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

            by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:45:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  King is going down by ~12 points, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        and the governorship is hardly a done deal. If anything, Dems have an advantage at this point.

        ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -9.85, -3.85

        by GoUBears on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:01:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A good Democratic candidate would be favored (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordpet8, Englishlefty, MichaelNY

        Polk County carries a large proportion of the district's electorate, a strong Democratic candidate could run up score there, which is an advantage. It's closer to an even PVI and Democrats can win those districts.

        26, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

        by DrPhillips on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:05:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I like Gronstal if Latham's seat does open up (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Christopher Walker, MichaelNY

          There are two disadvantages, first the possibility of losing his state senate seat (which I do think is a big deal, given that he and his majority has been one of the only things standing in the way of Republicans doing anything they want, including possibly amending the constitution to appeal marriage equality.). Second, the fact that he's 63, and wouldn't necessarily have time to become a major player in the House. But a solid decade of a Democrat in that seat still sounds good to me, and I'd be willing to take the risk if Gronstal has the fire in the belly to do it.

          Of course, I agree Latham may well see the handwriting on the wall and stay in the House, and if anyone is going to wait for Grassley's seat in 2016, it's going to be Latham, not King, especially since King's only real shot at winning (if he even has one) is in a mid-term, not a presidential year. Also, Boehner probably won't be speaker past 2014 or 2016 at the latest, and Latham could find himself on the outs with whoever the new leadership is.

          Bottom line: I love Mike Gronstal and if he runs for Congress, you can bet I'd be tempted to drive over to Iowa and canvass for him.

          •  I think Boehner will be speaker as long as (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            the following are true:
            1. He wants it.
            2. Republicans control the house.
            3. There is a Democratic President.

            I don't think Cantor wants the speakership until he has a Republican President to work with.

            •  I'd say the right amount of ideological control (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              is also necessarry for your second point. If the dems had managed to pick up another 8 seats and really narrowed down the R house majority, there is no telling if Boehner could survive an intraparty challenge.

              In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

              by lordpet8 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:26:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I still don't see Boehner as Speaker past 2016 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              at the latest. By that point, #1 may well be in doubt, #2 unfortunately will probably still be true, and #3 is probably only slightly better than a 50/50 proposition, especially since, if Hillary doesn't run, we're likely to see wide open races on both sides where anything could happen. House Republicans in general don't seem to be terribly fond of keeping their leadership in place for more than a couple of cycles, and that extends to their use of term limits for committee chairs. I also don't think it's a given that Cantor succeeds Boehner. He has to play his cards very carefully to stay loyal, but not be so loyal that when it's time for a chance, they decide to change him too. I just think there are enough different variables that Boehner is not likely to be Speaker through the end of the decade, even if gerrymandering means Republicans are likely to control the House through the end of the decade.

      •  Well Latham is far more moderate than (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        King is. So it really may depend on if the GOP can find someone who matches Latham's views. Otherwise if they run a typical conservative Republican in the district it would be a tough hold for the GOP.

        In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

        by lordpet8 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:05:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No he is not. Not at all. (5+ / 0-)

          This is a fiction that Latham effectively sells.

          Latham is just as ideologically conservative as King.  Not even slightly less so.

          The differences are that Latham is even-tempered while King is a hothead, and Latham hasn't displayed any signs of the racism and xenophobia that deeply possess King.

          But yes Latham successfully markets to his voters the perception of moderation, which apparently can fool even DKEers.

          44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:54:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm trying to think (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DCCyclone, MichaelNY

            of a single bill in which King and Latham have voted differently.

          •  The concept of moderation includes the tone (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lordpet8, WisJohn, jncca, MichaelNY, bumiputera

            views are expressed.

            And also, voting patterns are not how you compare people.  Just because they voted the same on health care, something that came up for a vote, doesn't mean one person thinks all immigrants should be deported and the other one does to.

            In American politics now, votes tend toward the middle of the spectrum, but views of those voting yes or no can vary wildly.

            Obvious point, a lot of those who voted in favr of health care favor a public option, and many do not.  These people though didn't have a vote to display their differences.  There are a bunch of things that King would like to do that mainstream Republicans would not, but they will never come to a vote.

            Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

            by tommypaine on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:10:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Voting patterns are the best tool to compare... (0+ / 0-)

              ...when comparing two people whose voting patterns are virtually identical on everything, all the time.

              And that is the case with Latham and King.

              It means nothing to say they might not share exactly the same opinion on a particular cherry-picked issue, when in fact they vote the same on all things always.

              On your citation to immigration which I didn't quite follow the way you wrote it, I noted myself that King is racist and xenophobic while Latham has never displayed that.  That's a stylistic difference.

              You seem to conflate style with substance in defining "moderation."  I am not, and neither do I think did the comment to which I responded......I viewed the term as used ideologically.

              Yes I agree that to most voters, who don't care too much about politics, style matters as much as substance.  Hell, my wife keeps voting for Frank Wolf for that reason, the only Republican who has gotten her vote since I've known her.

              But there is no transitive property of Wolf's temperament to the legislation he votes on.  It's the same effect on me and my wife and kids whether he casts his vote with a smile or with a frown.

              44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:40:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Racism is not "stylistic" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sacman701, MichaelNY

                I assume you wrote something there you didn't intend, unless you believe Latham is silently a racist.

                You are making a point that from a practical standpoint, they vote the same, so they are as conservative as each other.

                But you ignore the point which is key in modern politics.  In short, if the House had 220 people who thought like King (or Santorum or Bachman), there would be some things that would come to a vote that Latham would not vote for.  Some of those things would be hysterically/divisively phrased, and some would just be unacceptable ideologically.

                It's not sensible to think a House of 220 Lathams would pursue/pass similar legistaltion as one of 220 Kings.

                There is a difference betwee Bob Dole! Republicans and Sharrrron Angle Republicans, even if they would vote the same on most legislation that would come up these days.

                Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                by tommypaine on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:16:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That line was an awkward word choice, but... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BeloitDem, abgin, James Allen

                  ...going to the more important point at issue, I disagree with you strongly that Latham vs. King is somehow akin to Dole vs. Angle.  It is not.  Latham is further right than you think.  He just doesn't bellow about it from the rooftops.

                  Dole actually departed from his party's majority on a number of issues that got serious media play, most notably the ADA but also other things.  

                  Latham never does that, except to defect from the right or, more recently, to stay loyal to Boehner when a majority of the caucus votes "no."  These are not moderating defections like Dole's were.

                  I don't disagree that style matters to voters.  It does.  That's why Latham is easily more electable statewide than King.  And yes voters conflate an even temper with "moderation."

                  But that's not true, an even temper doesn't make one "moderate" except in the loosest sense of the term, and not in the sense that term is recognized in politics, which is ideologically.

                  44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                  by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:23:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Dole has also been out of Congress for a long time (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DCCyclone

                    Some Republicans talk more moderate when they're out of power. I'll bet Olympia Snowe would have sounded more moderate if she had retired earlier, but she stayed in the Senate and her "moderate Republicanism" moved to the right with the party.

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:12:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think he means Bob Dold (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY, DCCyclone

                      not Bob Dole.  And don't forget, Dold is also pro-choice.  Latham isn't.

                      20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                      politicohen.com
                      Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
                      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

                      by jncca on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:21:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well tommypaine typed "Dole" as in... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MichaelNY

                        ...the former Senator, and compared him to a GOP Senate nominee, so I'm not sure there's any mistake there by me.

                        But either way, the point holds, since as you pointed out Dold departed somewhat from conservative orthodoxy in his own right.

                        And that's just it, Latham never has.

                        44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                        by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:12:44 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Latham ACU 85 King ACU 97 (6+ / 0-)

            there is proof that Latham isn't as conservative.

            RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

            by demographicarmageddon on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:31:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  solid GOP bench? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        both parties are pretty evenly distributed throughout the district.

        RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

        by demographicarmageddon on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:23:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  IA-04 and IA-03 (0+ / 0-)

      Both seats must be contested. From a research for this state I think two women can become frontrunners if they are considered:

      IA-03: Sally Pederson

      IA-04: Bonnie Campbell

      I think both seats will be very interesting for this cycle. IA-04 because can be open, and IA-03 because T Latham performed weaker than the people think in 2012. I would challenge T Latham even being an incumbent.

      •  Are they both state legislators? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:27:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And what do you mean by this? (0+ / 0-)
        T Latham performed weaker than the people think in 2012
        He didn't perform weaker than we think. We have the figures on the margin he won by.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:28:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand now why the people think T Latham is (0+ / 0-)

          as strong comparing with the other US House Representatives from Iowa.

          He is one of the 8 republican winners that can not win a 50% of the vote in his house race. He is one of the weakest Republicans even as incumbent. This is a fact from 2012.

          He should be strongly challenged even as incumbent.

          Of course the seat would be easier if he retires. But I see not him as strong.

          •  I understand not (sorry) (0+ / 0-)
          •  He's won repeatedly (0+ / 0-)

            in a district that's slightly Democratic.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:02:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  He was running against another incumbent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            Only Jim Renacci could say that.

            20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

            by jncca on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:10:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well many Republicans performed better (0+ / 0-)

              being not incumbents, even running vs incumbents, some of them was defeated.

              To be under a 50% is not a sign of strength.

              He was not able to force the retirement of L Boswell. He was not able of avoid a competitive race.

              He performed only some point better than Romney.

              And there are more Democratic potential candidates in the district that can even overperform Boswell, like Sally Pederson.

              •  He was not under 50% (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                I have no idea where you are getting this false impression.

                The two party vote for the house race was 54.5-45.5.

                He performed about 13 points net better than Romney (who lost 52-48), or 6.5 points pure.

                23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

                by wwmiv on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:34:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  What??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            He won 52.3% against another incumbent in a district that Obama won and is PVI EVEN. Everything you've said here is absolutely wrong. He's one of the strongest Republican incumbents in the country.

            23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

            by wwmiv on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:25:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I disagree about his strength (0+ / 0-)

              Strongly. He is one of the Top-20 targets for the DCCC.

              You are right about the percentage, I mixed some data, but the idea is the same.

              •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                He isn't one of the top 20 targets for the DCCC because his seat is going to be open.

                But even then, if it wasn't going to be open, saying that he's a top target has less to do with his weakness (because he isn't; he's a damn strong incumbent) and more to do with lack of legitimate Democratic targets for 2014.

                23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

                by wwmiv on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:36:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  because his seat is going to be open and (0+ / 0-)

                  because his district is one of the most Democratic seats in republican hands plus his performance is one of the weakest between the Republican incumbents.

                  It is not only Boswell. There is a bench of Democrats in the District that would be at least in single digits. Boswell, Pederson, Culver, Miller, Fitzgerald, all are from this district, and this talk not well about T Latham's strength. This is not something that you can find in other cases, as example NJ-02.

                  Also the polls about a primary for the senate are showing him losing badly vs S King. This is not the kind of data that talk about strength.

                  At this point I would tell this district will not be open, but will be contested.

                  T Branstad is strong, T Latham is significantly weaker.

  •  Virginia redistricting (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, jj32, atdnext, KingofSpades, lordpet8

    A bit of nonpartisan commonsense from the GOP House speaker?  Remains to be seen, but this article is promising:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

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

    by Mike in MD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:47:58 AM PST

    •  Keep an eye on that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn

      It must be killed lest they revive it in a lame duck session.

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:49:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NJ-Gov: Buono has hired top OFA staffers. (11+ / 0-)
    As many as five former OFA officials have signed up for Buono's campaign: David Turner, who ran Ohio for the president, started Friday as the state Senator's communications director; and John Del Cecato, the ad man behind Obama's infamous "America the Beautiful" spot, is leading Buono's account with AKPD Message & Media, the Chicago-based consulting firm founded by David Axelrod, the president's senior campaign adviser.
    Other former OFA staffers working for Buono include D.C.-based pollster Diane Feldman and campaign senior advisor Aaron Pickrell, who is now working in the same capacity on the N.J. governor's race.
    Del Cecato said it was Buono's commitment to operate "outside politics as usual" — she lost her state Senate majority leadership last year after breaking with Senate President Steve Sweeney on a pension package — that drew AKPD and other Obama staffers to her campaign.
    "Those are a lot of the same qualities that Barack Obama introduced in 2008 as a presidential candidate," Del Cecato told BuzzFeed. "Barbara personifies a lot of the insurgent qualities that the Obama campaign engendered in its early stages. She is not willing to accept the status quo and will take on political fights that aren't always popular."
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/...

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

    by ndrwmls10 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:28:21 AM PST

  •  PA-12 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, WisJohn, MichaelNY

    I found it interesting that JeffMD left PA-12 off the list of seats that are out of reach for you guys when he mentioned how PA-03, PA-10, and PA-11 trended right in 2012. Obama did better in PA-03 and PA-11 than he did in PA-12.

    At R+10.495 in 2012, PA-12 now sits at R+9 overall. What are y'all's thoughts on your chances of taking that seat back? I heard some chatter across the internet about Critz being able to run again and win back the seat. I have my own opinions on Rothfus' hold on the district going forward, but I'm curious as to what you guys think.

    Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

    by IllinoyedR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:39:41 AM PST

  •  KY-Sen: PCCC ad against McConnell. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, MBishop1, WisJohn, itskevin

    It's a small ad buy and will air in the Louisville and Lexington media markets, as well as DC.

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

    by ndrwmls10 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:16:11 AM PST

  •  Can Lex Luther buy Fla. governor reelection with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, BeloitDem, MichaelNY

    100 million dollar campaign?

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:39:59 AM PST

  •  VA Redistricting Dead. (11+ / 0-)

    Republicans look extreme and don't even get new maps to show for it. Victory.
    http://www.timesdispatch.com/...

    •  Great news & a huge sigh of relief for me (10+ / 0-)

      I didn't share this here before, but a Democratic Delegate from Fairfax County told me just a couple weekends ago that he thought the Assembly GOPers would pass the new Senate re-map.  He was very skeptical they wouldn't pass it.  I approached him at an event specifically to ask about it and left the brief conversation dejected.  I'm glad his cynicism was discredited...and I am sure he is just as glad.

      This means the Assembly GOPers badly want to help McDonnell's agenda on transportation and taxes to make it.  That still will be very tough in the state Senate, I think, but doable.  I don't fully support McDonnell's plan which, among other things, would take money from cops and schools to help pay for roads and bridges.  But some of what he wants to do actually looks sensible.

      Meanwhile, the important thing here is that the L.G. race now will be the most important it's ever been in Virginia.  Since the L.G. breaks state Senate ties, for the first two years the next L.G. will decide a lot, and that matters bigtime almost as much as winning the Governorship.

      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:59:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and it's dead for good, right? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, MichaelNY

        "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

        by KingofSpades on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:54:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, HoosierD42

          nm

          44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:47:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good because (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            someone on RRH was under the impression that it can be brought up again without repassing the Senate.  That wouldn't make sense since it was an amendment that was tossed and presumably into oblivion.

            "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

            by KingofSpades on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:02:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Speaker ruled it non-germane, so... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, KingofSpades

              ...there would have to be a mechanism, in the Assembly procedural rules and as a practical matter separately in political messaging, for him to reverse his own ruling.  What I've been reading says that there's nothing to worry about, this is dead.

              44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:33:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's good. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, DCCyclone

                Tommy Norment threw a temper tantrum on this and said that the new lines he wants will be in effect for 2015, but I guess he's talking out of his ass in impotent rage.  Obviously, Democrats would be much more cautious going forward and don't turn a head lest they get messed with again.

                "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

                by KingofSpades on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:28:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Follow-up, at our local Dem cmte meeting... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...tonight, I asked our Chair about it, and he said it's dead for the year unless a majority of the House R caucus actually challenge their own Speaker's ruling, which is simply not going to happen.

                  44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                  by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:58:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  This pretty much (8+ / 0-)

      went about as badly as it could for Republicans.  Not sure the average voter is going to remember this by November, but Republicans looked really bad during the whole process.

    •  It's good to see that sunlight is working (4+ / 0-)

      at derailing these schemes. This should add to the momentum against related EV reapportionment plans. The more attention these get and the more GOPers on record admitting that they're beyond the pale, the harder it's going to be to sneak something through.

  •  HI-02: Gabbard has $320,000 COH for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, James Allen

    the current reporting period. The last one she had $33,000. I wonder why she's raising so much money for a district that she doesn't need the money for.

    http://www.therepublic.com/...

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

    by ndrwmls10 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:10:26 PM PST

  •  IL-02: Robin Kelly's poll has her leading (10+ / 0-)

    Taken Feb 4-5(Jan 3-6 numbers in parentheses), the poll by Kelly's campaign shows:

    Kelly-26(15)
    Halvorson-22(25)
    Hutchinson-20(16)
    Beale-10(10)

    Big momentum for Kelly. Even though it's a campaign internal, it does seem right. Hutchinson and Halvorson have gotten increased scrutiny for their past lack of support for gun control measures and Kelly has also led in fundraising.

    From Capitol Fax.

    •  there's some problems in polling urban districts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, MichaelNY

      but if Kelly wins by a solid margin in Cook County, she'll win the primary walking away.

      I think that having Democratic primaries in Calumet City on the same day could help the turnout (not sure if there's one federal/municipal Democratic ballot or separate ballots). I think there's at least one other municipal area in Southern Cook going to the polls on Feb 26.

      Not sure what's going to be voting in Will/Kankakee on Feb 26.

      The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

      by RBH on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:46:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, gabjoh, MichaelNY

      ... the last two leaked campaign internals had Halvorson in the lead, and they weren't even her internals!

      (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

      by Setsuna Mudo on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:37:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  About what I expected of this race (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, MichaelNY

      Halvorson is on a downward trajectory, headed for third (though it will be close), but Kelly is the one to watch.  Beale and Reynolds are not competitive.

  •  Indiana Republican's have proposed a bill (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, drhoosierdem, MichaelNY

    that would deny students who pay out-state-tuition from voting in Indiana.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

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

    by ndrwmls10 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:45:07 PM PST

  •  Marco Rubio will give the official response (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, askew, MichaelNY

    to Obama's SOTU next week. Boehner's office notes the response will be given in both English and Spanish.

    Not surprising that a rising star gives the response, seems like it has been that way for years. Although, best as I can tell, only one future President(so far) has ever given a SOTU response: Bill Clinton, along with fellow governor Bob Graham and Speaker Tip O'Neill gave the response to Reagan's SOTU in 1985.

    •  Mitch Daniels gave it last year, I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      And that was deliberate, he was contemplating a POTUS run.

      But I'm virtually certain Obama never gave it.

      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:57:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  SOTU response is like the Sports Illustrated cover (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, LordMike, askew, MichaelNY

      curse. It doesn't seem to be working out so well lately, unless you count getting to be VP on an embarrassing losing ticket as a plus.

    •  They just can't get enough of Rubio (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, MichaelNY, BeloitDem, bumiputera

      I'd also say this whole push for immigration reform is for him, so he can claim a major accomplishment. I wouldn't be surprised if they try and call it the Rubio Immigration Bill or something.

      •  they (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, jj32, jncca, MichaelNY, bumiputera

        Any bill that passes will need to have votes from both parties by definition, so if it ends up with a typical X-X name it'll be one Republican and one Democrat. Given that the GOP has the House and Dems the Senate, it would probably have the name of a GOP House member and Dem senator.

        SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:46:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I cant see the House passing their own bill (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          They will either pass or modify a bill that has cleared the Senate. Or not vote on the bill at all.

          McCain is part of the gang of 8, and of course, was the main GOP sponsor of the 2007 bill with Kennedy. I think we end up with Schumer/McCain as the immigration bill.

          •  Honestly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY

            I'd be totally fine if it were McCain-Rubio-Schumer. Throwing the Republicans the bone by making it seem as if they were more instrumental may make it easier to pass.

            23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

            by wwmiv on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:05:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY, itskevin

              I was going to add, maybe McCain allows Rubio to get the name on the bill to help him if he becomes the GOP nominee.

              And I'm fine with that, if it helps get a good bill passed. Good bill for me is basically along the lines of the Senate framework, with the southwest commission being only advisory.

              If Rubio gets credit, fine.

              •  I'm thinking we end up with only DREAM Act (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SaoMagnifico, Audrid, LordMike, MichaelNY

                I suspect comprehensive reform with a path to citizenship just won't get a House vote.  Boehner either won't let it come to the floor, or will bring to the floor a Democratic-favored bill that he can count on at least 218 Republicans voting against it.  Republicans are still the party of racists and xenophobes, beholden to their votes and terrified of them.  House Rs won't budge.

                But Boehner, Cantor, and other establishment leaders know that doing nothing is suicide, that there's no way to spin to Hispanic voters a refusal to pass any immigration reform as somehow Obama or the Democrats' fault.  So they will go with DREAM as the fallback.

                That's how I think the House Rs will "moderate" to save themselves.  They'll allow DREAM in lieu of comprehensive reform.  They'll allow some kind of constrained but expanded gun background checks in lieu of anything more.  They'll allow some small crumb in every Democratic issue priority to say they worked cooperatively.  And it will be enough to hold the House in 2014.

                The alternative is they actually don't allow even that much, and then their House control really is in jeopardy.

                44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:40:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's pretty depressing, but you might be right (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  I think it all depends on how many votes a comprehensive bill gets in the Senate. If it gets 70+, I have a hard time seeing Boehner blocking that from a floor vote. In a situation like that, the GOP would clearly be blamed for stopping CIR.

                  •  70 seems unlikely (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jj32

                    65 or so is a lot more likely.

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:13:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm skeptical it gets that many (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY

                      I've said before, I think this legislative push really puts Rubio in a jam.  He either jeopardizes his shot at the 2016 nomination by angering wingnuts, or he walks on the bill and says bye-bye to any argument of being able to win over Latino voters which hurts him in both the primaries and the general.

                      I suspect Rubio ends up walking, simply because the leniency required in a path to citizenship to win over Democratic support is more than wingnuts are willing to bear.

                      Then the GOP decides to support a perhaps watered down DREAM Act as a backup to slow or stop any further bleeding with Latinos.

                      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                      by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:35:15 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Rubio may be willing to show some patience (0+ / 0-)

                        and consider that if he loses the primaries in 2016 over this, he still will increase his name recognition and might win in 2020. In short, I'm not as convinced as you are that some kind of deal, though short of what the Democrats want, might not be passed. And it's not just Rubio; it's also McCain and Graham of SC and perhaps senators from Utah and other states with large Mormon populations. Have we heard from them on what their attitude toward a new immigration reform bill would be?

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:51:22 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  they won't get any credit, though (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, askew, DCCyclone

                  If any reform is passed, Obama will get all the credit.

                  ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                  by James Allen on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:03:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is correct but it still helps the GOP... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY

                    ...by stopping the bleeding by taking the club out of Democratic hands.

                    It really is "heads we win, tails you lose" from our perspective, but there is a clear difference for the GOP in what hurts them more, and it's doing nothing that hurts them more.  Acquiescing to comprehensive reform at least gets them back into the low 30s with Hispanics, they win back some of the center-right folks who were McCain '08-Obama '12 voters.

                    44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                    by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:37:34 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  does it go through Judiciary? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Leahy-Goodlatte if so, right?

          20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

          by jncca on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:59:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  something something of act 2013 (0+ / 0-)

          would seem likely. Maybe immigration act of 2013. This is too big of a bill to have one's name on it, with both sides heavily involved. Esp in the senate with those 8 Senators.

          Moderate Progressive, Born in Cairo, Raised in NY-9 (Clarke), Living in NJ-10 (Payne Jr).

          by BKGyptian89 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:15:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  MA-Gov: Sounds like Brown is done with (10+ / 0-)

    electoral politics for the foreseeable future. He's in talks to join Fox News as a contributor and joined the board of directors of a paper company.

    http://www.politico.com/...

    http://bostonglobe.com/...

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

    by ndrwmls10 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:13:05 PM PST

  •  Jeff where are you seeing the statewide vtd file? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm just seeing the link to the enr by voting district, but not actually seeing where to get the precinct level results from it as one file. I'm only seeing the county by county option.

  •  MN-Sen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    In the University of Minnesota today he took himself out of consideration to take on Franken.

  •  Jim Clyburn for Transportation Secretary? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY

    The CBC is starting to sound desperate with its cabinet suggestions and it seems like the Obama administration isn't even taking their recommendations seriously. Previously, Marcia Fudge, the chair, suggested Barbara Lee for Labor Secretary and Mel Watt for Commerce Secretary and now James Clyburn for Transportation.

    Instead it looks like Penny Prtizker, Obama fundraiser and billionaire for Commerce and the Colorado lt. gov for Labor.

    LINK

    •  I don't like Pritzker AT ALL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      She was a top fundraiser - but those folks usually get ambassador gigs not Cabinet spots.   Hyatt is anti-union and even turned on the heat lamps during the summer last year when unions were picketing outside in 100+ degree heat.  

      Ed Montgomery is also rumored to be in the running for Labor.  But Joe Garcia seems to be the most often mentioned at this stage - sort of like how Jewell's name broke.  

      Clyburn probably wouldn't want the gig anyways.  

      Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:28:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, maybe it's not so rare for campaign ally (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        to get commerce post -

        Bill Clinton made Ron Brown, then chairman of the Democratic National Committee, his first Commerce secretary in 1993. After Brown died in a 1996 plane crash, Clinton next chose Mickey Cantor, chairman of his 1992 presidential run.

        George W. Bush also assigned his campaign chairman, Donald Evans, to the position. Similarly, his father George H.W. Bush appointed a political confidante by picking oilman Robert Mosbacher in 1989.

        Hyatt is still very anti-union.   Probably means clear sailing for confirmation.  

        Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:03:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why isn't Lee for Labor a serious recommendation? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, MetroGnome, MichaelNY

      She has a similar profile to outgoing-Secretary Solis and brings diversity to the Cabinet.

      (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

      by Setsuna Mudo on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:24:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure what particular expertise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      he would bring to Transportation.  I doubt he'd accept it anyway since he is the third ranking Democrat in the House and an asset to his party there.

      Though at least with him, Lee, and Watt we wouldn't have to worry about losing their seats to the GOP, as once seemed quite possible with John Kerry and at least for nearly two years if Tom Udall had been picked for Interior.

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

      by Mike in MD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:49:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Next week will have a few more exciting specials (5+ / 0-)

    KY House 52: Ken Upchurch (R) v. Harvey Shearer (D) in heavily Republican Monticello

    MN House 14A: Tama Theis (R) v. Joanne Dorsher (DFL) in a marginally Republican seat around St. Cloud.

    MN House 19A: Clark Johnson (DFL) v. Allen Quist (R) in a reliably Democratic seat north of Mankato. There's Independence Party candidates in 14A and 19A.

    This week.. remember when Mike Keown lost a Congressional race by under 5000 votes in 2010? he lost yesterday by almost 17%

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:49:52 PM PST

    •  and 4/2/2013 special election update (0+ / 0-)

      MO-HD157 in heavily Republican Lawrence County:

      The Democrats nominated horse veterinarian/former State Rep Charles Dake last week. Dake held the seat for 11 months in 2006 after winning a special election but he lost in November 2006.

      The Republicans nominated Mike Moon last night. You might remember Mike Moon from his Congressional candidacy in 2010 in MO7 when the seat was open or his Congressional candidacy in 2012 when he won 21.7% vs. incumbent Billy Long (losing 60-22)

      So perhaps the Rs nominated the right guy to make the election results somewhat interesting? Or they just found a spot for a guy to make him stop trying to primary Billy Long.

      And the only other MO Special election on April 2nd is in St. Louis' 76th district, where the two committeemembers with the most votes are running against each other for the STL Board of Aldermen in March, but they'll have to find a candidate by late February.

      And in MO8, the Rs are picking someone this weekend, I think and the Ds are picking someone next weekend. The D nominee will likely be State Rep Linda Black of St. Francois County. The Rs will figure out their nominee at some point on the weekend.

      The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

      by RBH on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:57:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Allen Quist? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, DownstateDemocrat

      That is the best they could do was to get Allen Quist?

      MN-GOP is still a party that is in disorder.

      Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -6.75, -3.18, Coya shouldn't have been sent home.

      by WisJohn on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:23:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is anyone watching House of Cards? (0+ / 0-)

    I am very impressed I must say.

  •  Does anyone know where I can find a list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, abgin

    of the membership of the ideological caucuses in the house (Progressives, New Dems, and Blue Dogs for Dems, Main Street Partnership and RSC for Republicans) in the 111th and 112th Congress? It's for a school project.

    •  What's your project about? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY
    •  most of them probably have websites? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

      by jncca on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:39:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blue Dogs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, MichaelNY, BeloitDem

      From wikipedia, because none of the Blue Dogs seem to maintain a list of their own following Mike Ross' retirement.  They count 14 members in this Congress.

      John Barrow (GA-12), Co-Chair for Administration
      Jim Cooper (TN-5), Co-Chair for Policy
      Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Co-Chair for Communications
      Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
      Jim Costa (CA-20)
      Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
      Pete Gallego (TX-23)
      Jim Matheson (UT-4)
      Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
      Mike Michaud (ME-2)
      Collin Peterson (MN-7)
      Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
      David Scott (GA-13)
      Mike Thompson (CA-5)

      That's down from 54 members leading up to 2010.

      As for the New Dems, the organization is so ideologically divergent that I don't know what use their membership is.  You got solid liberals like Colleen Hanabusa, Jared Polis, Karen Bass, and Joe Crowley, as well as some Blue Dogs like Jim Cooper, Mike McIntyre, and John Barrow.  I don't understand what the point of the New Dems is.

      The Congressional Progressive Caucus is made up of 68 regular members (plus 2 non-voting reps).  You can find the list here on Rep. Grijalva's website, or on wikipedia.

      •  The New Democratic Coalition (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        is there apparently to offer a perspective similar to an updated version of the "New Democrat" philosophy that Bill Clinton's administration institutionalized nationally.  That is, pretty solidly liberal on most social/cultural issues and more moderate or compromising on economics, though not to Blue Dog levels.  Most members seem to come from districts that typify that approach; that voted Republican for president in the 1980s and often earlier, swung Democratic starting with Clinton, and remain so but for different reasons than the older, more traditionally Democratic seats.    Evidently considerable diversity of opinion is allowed there, but overall the NDC gives some group strength for those who are not as ideological than the Progressive Caucus but more liberal than the Blue Dogs.

        Regarding the Blue Dogs, I'm not sure what some of the current members are doing there. Mike Thompson, David Scott, and probably Kurt Schrader don't need to stand out as more conservative than their party to hold their seats; at this point probably neither does Loretta Sanchez.  I guess they simply share some true ideological similarity to their counterparts from more conservative districts, particularly on taxing and spending.

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

        by Mike in MD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:46:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think some of it's just inertia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          especially in Sanchez's case - she doesn't have the most conservative voting record.

          In any case. I expect the Blue Dog Caucus to be effectively dead within a decade.

        •  Schrader was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          one of the most conservative Dems in the state legislature, and at least during his last sessions was the most conservative in the state senate.  He was also chair of the ways & means for senate, and is a fiscal hawk.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:34:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        Adam Schiff left the Blue Dogs, finally.  He didn't fit in at all (although neither do Thompson or Sanchez or David Scott)

        20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

        by jncca on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:26:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A good and easy way would be (0+ / 0-)

      to look older versions of the wikipedia pages.

      Every article has a link in the upper side: "View story"

      You can find the version of the article for a concrete data. As example for the 112th you can find one of October 2012 and for the 111th you can find one of October 2010.

  •  anyone have views similar to me? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Audrid

    Although I consider myself very liberal, it seems like I'm often in the minority here. Part of it has to be with me being a naturally skeptical person. I'm strongly opposed with politicians becoming too national and attaining rockstar/celebrity status. If they're running for president, that's one thing but I don't like candidates running for office with a big entourage. This is not singling anyone out and is aimed at both parties. I'm opposed to what I call manufactured candidates whose main base of following is outside the area they're running. To me that shows they care more about an ideology than their district.

    I also don't like excessive hyperbole. All the MSM lines about how "x party is doomed to be a permanent minority because they've alienated y group" is trite and rarely grounded in facts. Sure, both parties have weaknesses with certain voting groups that they should address. But it's more complicated than that. I also don't like breaking people into identities because again it leads to excessive hyperbole and a limiting of the party's appeal

    RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

    by demographicarmageddon on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:25:57 PM PST

  •  Montgomery County, AL AL02, AL03, AL07 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GradyDem

    Montgomery County AL has precinct level results for the November election.  

    Unfortunately, the precincts themselves are split for the congressional districts.

    About half of the split precincts are virtually, or actually, null votes in one or the other congressional district.

    Leaving 10 split precincts which I made an estimate of vote by the proportion of vote in the congressional election.

    Unfortunately this method probably minimizes the actual partisan difference in votes in each portion of the precinct.

    But anyway:

    Montgomery County

                 obama      romney    total
    2nd       33975       31668      66047
    3rd         3727         6280      10060
    7th        24478       1148        25672

    State[ plugging in kos pres by cd figures

    2nd     106137      186921     296086
                35.85%      63.13%
    3rd      100917      171000     274317
                36.79%       61.97%
    7th      229069       85133      315681
                72.56%       26.97%

    •  Montgomery County (0+ / 0-)

      The number of votes in the split precinct is almost 30,000 votes, about 3% of the total votes for the 3 districts, so, in fact, carriing out the percentages to the tentsh and hundreths might be considered misleading.

  •  Sleeper issue for 2014...... (8+ / 0-)

    I'm seeing Ed Schulz cover the Post Office tonight, a backburner story in political news that pops up briefly from time to time.

    I'm thinking that with Saturday delivery a goner, and increasing chatter questioning the Postal Service's future, this could emerge as a real issue for voters next year.  The real key would be whether there develops serious concern among ordinary voters that rural areas might be at risk of losing mail service (which they would be if universal low-cost near-daily mail delivery is jeopardized).

    This might never ripen in the national consciousness, or it might ripen only after the midterm, but tonight for the first time I'm thinking this has a chance to become something that matters sooner rather than later.

    If so, it would play to our benefit. The GOP Congress and Dubya pushed the "reform" that is bankrupting the Postal Service in 2006.  It's very one-sided that only Democrats want to help fix the problem.  So rural Americans would blame the GOP for this.  This in turn has the potential to deliver us some atypical votes, from a combination of non-ideological and center-right swing voters and sporadic voters.  And that can turn a few seats.

    Still way premature to develop any expectations at all about this.  But this is my marker that if the Post Office because an issue next year, you must credit DCCyclone!

    44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

    by DCCyclone on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:30:21 PM PST

  •  Just got a note from Bruce Braley. He's running. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

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