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Leading Off:

MT-Sen: PPP's new Montana poll may actually offer the worst picture so far for any Democratic incumbent the firm has tested this cycle. What makes this so notable is that I wouldn't really have expected Max Baucus to be faring worse than Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich, and Kay Hagan, three other vulnerable Dem senators PPP has found in reasonably hale shape. But Baucus's numbers against a variety of potential opponents don't look particularly awesome:

• 47-37 vs. state Rep. Champ Edmunds

• 45-38 vs. ex-state Sen. Corey Stapleton

• 46-43 vs. state AG Tim Fox

• 44-49 vs. Rep. Steve Daines

• 42-47 vs. ex-Gov. Marc Racicot

The good news for Baucus is that Stapleton, who finished second in last year's gubernatorial primary with just 18 percent, is the only declared candidate, and Edmunds is the only other person who has even expressed interest. But don't get too excited: Both are unknown to voters (Edmunds has just a 4 percent favorability rating!). If a higher-profile opponent were to get in the race, Baucus could really be in trouble. Even brand-new freshman Rep. Steve Daines has just a 35-31 job approval score yet leads by 5, showing just how partisanized elections have become—whether you have a (D) or an (R) after your name is by far your most important characteristic.

As they've often done, PPP also decided to see how ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer would fare, both against Baucus in a primary and in his stead in a general. I've sort of wondered why Tom Jensen keeps bothering, seeing as Schweitzer has made it extremely clear how much he despises the idea of going to Washington, but here's a new wrinkle: After this poll came out, Schweitzer linked to it to his Facebook page without comment. Could he be interested? Well, the numbers definitely look better for him, especially since he leads Baucus 54-35 in a hypothetical nomination fight, similar to what PPP's found in the past. Here's how he fares against Republicans:

• 52-37 vs. Edmunds

• 49-39 vs. Stapleton

• 49-43 vs. Fox

• 48-45 vs. Daines

• 45-46 vs. Racicot

That's certainly an improvement over Baucus's scores, which is not too surprising seeing as Schweitzer has a 56-37 favorability rating versus 45-48 job approvals for Baucus. Still, I think Schweitzer would still face a serious dogfight, and aside from that lone Facebook post, there's no real suggestion he might run. (Hell, he probably linked to PPP knowing that it would just stir shit up, because no one except Schweitzer himself has any idea what's in the guy's mind.)

Assuming we're stuck with Baucus, he has to seriously pray that no top-shelf candidates decide to jump in, though numbers like these have to make the race more tempting for Republicans. But maybe Daines isn't eager for a promotion and prefers being in the majority; hopefully Racicot is still enjoying the private sector at age 64; and with any luck, Fox's corporate overlords who installed him last year at great expense will demand he remain in his current position to carry out their dark commands. Still, hope is not a plan, and neither is prayer. If Baucus is to have a chance, it'll be because this race gets extremely ugly, and because he makes it ugly first. Hey, it's politics.

Senate:

NE-Sen, -Gov: In a new radio interview, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler wouldn't rule out a run for either of Nebraska's top-shelf open seat races (governor and senator), but he doesn't sound particularly likely to do either, saying "It would be very difficult to make a change at this moment." Beutler would one of the most attractive candidates Democrats could field in either contest, but he's 68 years old and undoubtedly mindful of how hard it is for a Dem to get elected statewide.

Another guy who knows the same thing, ex-Sen. Bob Kerrey, is also in the same camp as far as the Senate seat goes—saying he's "considerably less likely" to run—but I thought he'd already taken a pass. Not that it really matters, though, since it's almost impossible to see how Kerrey could win after his 16-point drubbing in last year's failed comeback bid. Checking in with one more Dem, state Sen. Steve Lathrop, he says he hasn't considered the Senate race but is still looking at the gubernatorial contest.

Meanwhile, on the GOP side, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn tells Roll Call he is "undoubtedly interested" in a possible Senate bid, but like many other Republicans, it seems like he's waiting to see what outgoing Gov. Dave Heineman does. (A Heineman spokesman says he's "taking a very serious look" at the race.)

If we're lucky, though, we could watch Republicans help themselves to a heaping serving of cat fud. The Senate Conservatives Fund is already signalling their displeasure with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who has indicated his own interest in the race. No one is ever extreme enough for these maniacs, who sent out an email attacking Fortenberry for his votes "to increase the debt limit, raise income taxes and congressional pay, and ban incandescent light bulbs." Light bulbs! This is what the future of the Republican Party hinges on. Just awesome.

WV-Sen, -02: Well, there goes that idea: Former Sen. Carte Goodwin, who served out the remainder of the late Sen. Robert Byrd's term as an appointee in 2010, will not run either for West Virginia's open Senate seat or for the 2nd Congressional District, which GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is vacating for her own Senate bid. A lot of folks imagined (myself included) that Goodwin's brief appointment was designed to set him up for a future opportunities just like these, particularly since he's only 38. But I can't say he personally excited me for either contest, as I don't think running as a bland "business-friendly" Democrat is the way to hold back the Mountain State's red tide—I think you need to go a little bolder and more populist.

Still, Goodwin at least would have started out with a good measure of credibility, and Democrats still don't have anyone notable running to replace retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller (or for Capito's seat). I personally think any West Virginia Democrats who prefer to bide their time are fooling themselves: With each passing year, it'll become harder and harder for Dems to win in the state, especially on the federal level. Indeed, the window may have already closed, but who wants to wait a few more cycles to find out for sure? Get in while you still can.

Gubernatorial:

GA-Gov: Georgia's now-open Senate seat has attracted a ton of attention, of course, but don't forget that first-term GOP Gov. Nathan Deal is also up for re-election. Actually, it's okay if you want to forget it, since Deal likely won't face much of a challenge despite his weak standing in the polls. The always-thorough PPP has the rundown:

Only 36% of voters approve of him to 41% who disapprove. That's nearly identical to the 37/40 spread we found for him in early December. Nevertheless Deal looks like a favorite for reelection. He would lead Jason Carter 46/38 and John Barrow and Kasim Reed 48/38 in hypothetical match ups. This may be a situation where Deal's unpopularity would let a strong Democratic candidate make the race competitive, but it would be hard for a challenger to actually get to 50%.
Sorta makes you wonder how ex-Gov. Roy Barnes would fare in a rematch with Deal.

LA-Gov: Hey, everyone. We have our first candidate for Louisiana governor... in 2015. The seat will be open then (Gov. Bobby Jindal is term-limited), so it's not entirely crazy to announce this far out, but it is a little unusual given how late candidates often declare in Louisiana. Anyhow, in a radio interview on Wednesday morning, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, who serves as caucus chair of the House Democrats, said that he plans to run, even though he knows such a bid will not "be easy." I will give him points for this: "Edwards said he had not intended to formally announce his candidacy Wednesday but wanted to answer honestly when asked about his potential ambitions." More candor like that from politicians interested in higher office would be quite welcome.

NJ-Gov: Thanks to the quirky fact that New Jersey is just one of two states that holds gubernatorial elections in the year right after every presidential race, their contests get more attention—and are the subject of more polling—than they probably otherwise would be. That's particularly true this year, where GOP Gov. Chris Christie has just been rolling in the polls ever since Hurricane Sandy, and Quinnipiac's newest is no exception. Not only does he crush Democrat Barbara Buono as always, but his job approval rating hasn't even budged from its sky-high perch in the four months since Sandy devastated the state.

PA-Gov: Ex-Rep. Joe Sestak, memorably dubbed the Honey Badger of Pennsylvania politics, is 61 years old, so I figure we'll have to endure "Will he run?" stories for another 10 or 15 years or so. That's because Honey Badger don't care—he don't care about communicating his intentions in any reasonable way, or giving his fellow Democrats time enough to make their own plans. Indeed, Sestak drove his party nuts last year by refusing to say whether he'd seek his old seat back in Congress, and we honestly only found out for sure that he wouldn't run when the filing deadline passed.

And now Pennsylvania Dems have to endure this same shtick all over again, because Sestak is being ridiculously coy about whether he wants to run for governor. Asked directly by the Delaware County Daily Times, Sestak weirdly said that his current teaching duties are "permitting me to ensure my decision is right as I have long drives to think, and youth in class to invigorate me," then added that "I want to serve again, and want to do it right." Apparently, Sestak thinks he's running for Zen Master. Hopefully, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who reportedly is likely to make a bid of her own, will just forge ahead and simply won't care about the Honey Badger. After all, that's what he'd do.

TX-Gov: With Democrats' two top choices for next year's gubernatorial race declining to run (state Sen. Wendy Davis and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro), Ben Sherman at Burnt Orange Report takes a look at some other potential candidates, including state Sen. Kirk Watson and state Reps. Mike Villarreal and Rafael Anchia.

VA-Gov: Quinnipiac's new Virginia gubernatorial poll is pretty stand-pat, which is exactly what you'd expect given that the race hasn't really been engaged yet. In a two-way matchup, former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe ties Republican state AG Ken Cuccinelli at 38 apiece, virtually unchanged from T-Mac's 40-39 edge last month. And in a hypothetical three-way race, with GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling running as in independent, he takes 13 percent while McAuliffe edges Kooch 34-31; in January, it was 34-34-13.

The real mystery still seems to be why so many polls have shown Bolling apparently hurting McAuliffe just as much as Cuccinelli, when you'd imagine that, as a lifelong Republican, Bolling would take away more votes from his fellow party member than from a Democrat. But I think I have a possible answer. Bolling, as it happens, is almost entirely unknown. Indeed, his favorability rating is a mere 18-10, meaning that over 70 percent of Virginia voters don't even have an opinion about the guy.

So when Quinnipiac asks about him in their head-to-heads, he's described merely as "Bill Bolling running as an independent," and I'm willing to bet that the limited support he garners is due at least as much to that ersatz "independent" label the pollster has to slap on him. In a real race, I suspect that if it suited the well-funded McAuliffe, he'd make sure to remind voters of Bolling's true party affiliation. In any event, Bolling is still a month away from a decision (according to his own timeline), and the more salient fact is that no poll shows him with anything resembling a legitimate path to victory. Will he con himself into thinking otherwise? Tune in on March 15.

House:

VA-10: Looks like turncoat Artur Davis will have to wait a bit longer to get his crack at fellow (LOL) Republican Frank Wolf's seat. Kyle Trygstad reports that the veteran Wolf looks set to run for yet another term, though his chief of staff somewhat cagily says only that his boss has "filed the necessary paperwork to run for re-election." Obviously plenty of pols have "filed the necessary paperwork" only to bail later, though, so Wolf, who is 74 and serving his 17th term, still bears watching, though for now, everyone else will have to wait, including ol' Artur.

Other Races:

Special Elections: A quick recap of Tuesday night's action from Johnny:

New Hampshire HD Hillsborough-31: Pam Brown held the seat for the Democrats, defeating Republican Elizabeth Van Twuyver by a 203-167 vote margin.
Amazing raw vote totals, but not atypical for the comically oversized New Hampshire state House.

Grab Bag:

Demographics: Props to Gallup for doing something useful: filling in a gap that the Census Bureau won't. They've issued poll results from all 50 states on what percentage of residents identify as LGBT. (The closest the Census comes is asking if you share a household with somebody of the same sex, which is only partially helpful.)

With the exception of the District of Columbia, by far the highest at 10.0 percent, every state falls into a narrow band between 5.1 percent and 1.7 percent, clustered around the national average at 3.5 percent. Hawaii, Vermont, and Oregon top the list, Mississippi, Montana, and North Dakota are at the bottom. (Though beware of the false accuracy of those tenths of a percent.)

Note that those are all smallish states that also have particularly permissive or traditional reputations. Large states, even ones with notably gay-friendly cities, all tend to revert toward the mean, by virtue of their size and diversity. This is one topic where it'd be much more interesting to have a finer-grained sort, like counties or CDs... a problem, again, where we'll need the Census to step up and enter the 21st century. (David Jarman)

Ideology: National Journal is out with its traditional annual report on the most conservative and liberal members of Congress based on last year's votes; the full numbers for both chambers will be published on Thursday, but they've released teasers on the superlative members. (NJ scores are, of course, no substitute for the more rigorous DW-NOMINATE system, but they serve as something of a Beltway conversation piece.)

In any event, the most liberal senator is a tie between New Mexico's Tom Udall and Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal; the most conservative senator is also one of the most obscure: Idaho's Jim Risch. The most conservative representative is now an ex-member: Missouri's Todd Akin, now unemployed after his failed Senate bid. And there's a titanic 14-way pileup among Dems for the title of most liberal Rep (that list contains no surprises, with usual suspects like Donna Edwards, Mike Honda, and Barbara Lee). (David Jarman)

LCV: The League of Conservation Voters, one of the more active outside groups on the left in recent election cycles, has released a new set of environmental scorecards for every member of the House and Senate going all the way back to 1971 and running through 2012. (I'm presuming there just haven't been enough votes yet to rank the freshmen of the 113th Congress.) It's all put together in a well-done interactive site, so if you'd like to see where your elected officials stand on important votes related to the environment, check it out.

Maps: Last week, we linked to a fun map from artist and urban planner Neil Freeman, who refashioned the United States into fifty states of equal population size. Freeman's stated "goal" (bear in mind that this was an art project, not a serious proposal) was to rectify the fact that small states are given disproportionate power in the electoral college. But the New Republic's Nate Cohn actually crunched the numbers (as best he could) and determined that Freeman's map would have actually made things worse, not better, for democracy, since Mitt Romney would have actually prevailed in the electoral college despite losing the popular vote by four percent.

But why? The answer has a lot to do with a key reason Democrats have such a hard time capturing the House of Representatives: Democratic voters are more heavily packed into urban areas, and Freeman's map tries to preserve the integrity of cities rather than splitting them across multiple states. Indeed, you can see how visually pleasing and "compact" Freeman's states are; for Dems to have a shot (either at the House or in this fantasy presidential scenario), we need to split up urban voters, not group them together. Cohn goes into detail:

But Democrats win cities by a larger margin than Republicans win rural areas, so any map that divides states or districts along lines of urbanization will work to the relative advantage of Republicans. For instance, Obama would have won the city-state of New York with more than 80 percent of the vote, and more than 70 percent in the states of Chicago, Los Angeles, and what Freeman has named "Yerba Buena"—the San Francisco Bay Area, naturally. Romney, in contrast, wouldn't have won a single state with more than 70 percent of the vote. [...]

In effect, candidates "waste" votes by winning more than 50 percent of the vote in a state. In the new equally populated states, the same wasted-vote bias that discourages regional candidates works strongly to the disadvantage of Democrats, who would instead waste votes in the city-states. The results of Freeman's experiment are a reminder that the Democratic advantage in the Electoral College is a product of luck—only a few quick changes would give the GOP an edge.

None of this is a knock on Freeman—his map provoked a ton of interesting discussion, and it's delightful to think about such things. But I'd love to see him try a more "gerrymandered" version as well, that directly takes political considerations into account.

WATN?: Ex-Rep. Kathy Hochul, who lost a squeaker last year in a district that a federal court improperly made more Republican, was just hired by M&T Bank to serve as a lobbyist. Typically, accepting a lobbying gig is the end of the electoral line for former elected officials, but in this case, Hochul is remaining in Buffalo, where M&T is headquartered. So while I don't think she'd try a comeback against GOP Rep. Chris Collins given how unjustly her old district was manhandled, by staying close to home, Hochul at least leaves open the door.

WATN?: That's it for ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., who pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges that he improperly used some $750,000 in campaign funds for personal purposes. Jackson, who resigned last year shortly after winning re-election, could face up to five years in prison and will be sentenced in June. His wife,  former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, also pleaded guilty to a related charge of tax fraud and could be sentenced to three years behind bars.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

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

    by David Nir on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:00:09 AM PST

  •  What about...? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Woody

    Do you think sometime about Baucus as Secretary in the Cabinet?

    This time some appointment can help.

  •  Schweitzer supposedly to have "big announcement" (4+ / 0-)

    www.buonoforgovernor.com

    by Paleo on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:04:59 AM PST

  •  Not surprised Baucus is unpopular (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, bdop4, askew

    after he did his best to bugger health care reform--not only opposing the public option but dragging out the process for an entire year, allowing the teabaggers to savage it and Democrats in general to run scared and compromise with themselves.

    In fact, it took Blue Shield of California announcing a 50% rate hike in 2010 to make Senate Dems wake up and realize, "Oh yea. We're the MAJORITY party. And we have reconciliation. Why didn't I think of that!"

    Unfortunately, too little, too late; not only did the 2010 election happen but Dems had already used their one shot of reconciliation for the year--allowing those damned Bush tax cuts to extend and let the good times roll for the 1%.

    A spectacular flameout all too familiar to Democrats. A lot of folks blamed Obama but hell, look what he had to work with.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:28:02 AM PST

    •  It was worse than that. (6+ / 0-)

      Democrats hated him for dragging out and watering down health care reform and Republicans hated him for voting for it.  He's lucky he wasn't up in 2010 or he would have lost spectacularly.  He's had a lot of time to mend and his 45% approval rating is actually an improvement.

      White Male, 36, New FL-14 (Castor), proud father of a 4-year-old daughter. "This is Wendy's guys! This is Wendy's!" - Mitt Romney, October 9, 2012.

      by spiderdem on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:31:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  'Am really liking Brian Schweitzer. (6+ / 0-)

    I like his ties, I like his energy, I like a Western Democrat.

    Senate?  White House?  I like him here, there, and the other place too.  

    •  Unless something very negative about him (3+ / 0-)

      comes to light (ala John Edwards),  I am very supportive of his political goals. And yes I, too, think that, as a Western Dem, he's very good for our party on a national level.

      •  Yes. He got my attention with (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B, R30A, LordMike, Christopher Walker

        things like this:

        = = = =  
        Mont. gov. speaks at commencement for class of one
        Sat May 17, 9:46 PM ET

        GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Jeff Greenwood is in a class by himself.

        He was the only student to graduate from Opheim High School this year, but the small event Friday drew a big name. Gov. Brian Schweitzer gave the commencement address.

        Greenwood, who plans to attend Dickinson State University in North Dakota, said the high school is the "hub of activity" for rural Opheim, a town about 10 miles south of the Canadian border.

        "The student-to-teacher ratio is pretty good," said Greenwood, who is the student body president and, of course, the senior class president.

        Greenwood had a few classmates before high school, but his last remaining classmate moved to Utah during freshman year. He took some classes alone his senior year while sharing others with juniors at the school.

        "You get to know everybody and you're friends with everybody," Greenwood said. "At the same time, you can't get away with anything."

        Principal LeRoy Nelson, who has also been school superintendent, said he thought this was the first time the school graduated just one student. Six students graduated last year and 12 are on track to graduate in 2009.

        Nelson said he thinks single-member classes will become more common as enrollment drops at rural schools. Last year, one other Montana school had one graduate. Schweitzer spoke there as well.

        = = = =

      •  All Schweitzer has to do is hold up some wolf (0+ / 0-)

        skins and coasty libs will go all weak in the knees.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:05:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am, as well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, Remediator, wishingwell

      Schweitzer is one of my favorite current politicians.

  •  As much as I despise the practice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    of Dems leaving office to accept a high-paying job with a company they regulated and oversaw, if this is the only way we can get the truly odious Baucus out of the senate and replace him with Schweitzer, I'm all for it. For all I care Baucus can go work for Aetna or the Koch brothers so long as we get him out of the senate, where his only useful role is to keep Dems in the majority.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:30:19 AM PST

  •  Baucus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christopher Walker, itskevin

    Baucus has never been popular, but he'a been about as lucky as any Senator in drawing weak opponents for reelection. His 2008 GOP opponent was a perennial candidate for office (under the Dem and Green labels) who was completely disavowed by the GOP and who ran to Baucus' left (!). His 2002 opponent withdrew from the race after Baucus backed groups ran an ad implying that he had been a gay hairdresser, and then reentered the race at the last minute. Polls at the time showed Racicot beating Baucus by 20 points if he had been substituted for the actual nominee. Baucus' only real race was in 1996, when he beat Rehberg with just 50% of the vote. Baucus' 1990 opponent was a joke as well if I recall. If Baucus would have run in 2010 he would have lost by a Blanche Lincolnesque margin.

  •  Can't confirm from first hand information, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bdop4, Mr SeeMore

    some years ago I read that when Max Baucus was considering a run for office, he consulted with the PTB of both state parties to ascertain which was the better election bet.  The point of the article was that Max isn't either Democrat or Republican, he's Max Baucus, for and about himself.  Which isn't unusual for a politician.  My belief is that most politicians pick a party affiliation by what's most likely to get them where they want to go.  There aren't too many genuinely philosophically committed party members and you can see that in what they support, where their money comes from, and what they vote for.  Not what they say, what they do.

    Acceleration is a thrill, but velocity gets you there

    by CarolinNJ on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:07:08 AM PST

  •  Prayer for Baucus (0+ / 0-)

    that he get his health coverage through Medicare and not have the $100 a month for doctor coverage.

  •  Hochul's district (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sacman701

    Once again, Hochul's district was not "manhandled".  It was drawn up as a naturally rural WNY district by a judge.  It would have been gerrymandering nonsense to split Buffalo and/or Rochester into multiple districts in an attempt to preserve Democratic advantage.

    •  Court Drawn (0+ / 0-)

      The WNY districts were drawn by a judge, but the urban Buffalo district (Higgins) was vote-sinked. Prior to the 2002 bipartisan gerrymander, the core Buffalo district was always contained entirely within Erie County. There are more than enough people in Erie County to draw a compact district entirely within the county. The court map essentially packed nearly every Democratic precinct in Erie and Niagara counties into Higgins' district. If Niagara County hadn't been split, Hochul's district would have been a couple of points more Democratic, meaning it would still have voted Romney but it would have reelected Hochul.

  •  Once again, this is how Hochul got screwed (0+ / 0-)

    The average population of a New York State congressional district is 717,000 people.  The City of Buffalo only has about 216,000 people and the City of Rochester only has about 210,000 people in it.  So, both Higgin's Buffalo based district and Slaughter's Rochester based district had to take in many other people from suburban and rural areas anyway.  Higgin's district has a PVI of D+13, and Slaughter's district has a PVI of D+5.  Hochul's district has a PVI of R+7, and she sits in the middle of the other 2 districts.  To say that her district couldn't have been made more favorable is naive and that's putting it kindly.  This in not gerrymandering nonsense.  NY has 27 congressional districts and it has 62 counties, so districts crossing county lines are not a big deal.  There is no reason why all of Erie County has to be within one district.  Who cares?  It is far more important that we take control of the US House away from the GOP before they destroy our country.  

    If you want states to make commissions, like they did here in California, that is fine, in fact we added Democrat seats here in California and the same would be true in New York because it is such a Democrat heavy state.  

    Until we do have nonpartisan commissions in every state, we have to be aggressive.  That is the reality.  That is what the GOP does too.  

    Governor Cuomo made it clear he wasn't interested in getting involved in redistricting.  Governor O'Malley in Maryland got involved and we now have 7 of 8 seats in Maryland.  In Illinois, the Dems took the lead and dumped a handful of GOP members of Congress.

    If Cuomo had taken leadership in NY, we could have added a few more seats upstate.  He will pay the price for this if he runs for President and wins, and has to contend with a GOP house.  The US House controlled by the GOP is a vastly different animal than the New York State Senate controlled by the GOP.  (Note: I am not saying he will win and I am not saying I am supporting him).  

  •  Chris Christie's numbers look really good (0+ / 0-)

    Especially in light of the disasterous polling following the rest of the GOP around.  If Christie can stay out of trouble (i.e. no Scott Walker-type initiatives in NJ) for the next two years, all he has to do is pray Hillary doesn't run, and he can be the next president (and the first fat president since Taft - how bout that trivia?).  It also doesn't hurt him if Rubio stays the "Saviour", and takes the heat for the next few years, while Christie keeps his powder dry in NJ.

    A Republican who can win NJ, and he probably can win NJ against anybody but Hillary, can turn the EV map upside down, just like Obama did as a Dem.  A Republican who can win NJ can, and probably would, alos win PA, NH, MI, OH, FL, and all the other Bush states that Obama won.

    Forget about the Tea Party bringing him down.  Any Republican who polls 23% of the black vote, and a majority of women voters, really is the saviour, and can't be stopped in a primary by the Tea Party.  They found out in 2008 that the Tea Party doesn't have any presidential candidates.  Rick Santorum?  Bachman?  Perry?  Really?

    But, is Christie smart enough, and lucky enough to stay out of trouble for two more years???

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