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This third diary will cover House offense in NM and CO for 2014--I'm re-publishing now that I've updated with CO info.

In my last two diaries
http://www.dailykos.com/...

http://www.dailykos.com/...

I covered our current Congressional holdings in the West, and 14 GOP seats we should seriously pursue as part of an aggressive offensive strategy to take back and hold the House, as well as high level discussion of the 5 top races for offense in CA, and both GOP held seats in NV.

Here's the number of Dem-held seats in each state, and the number of total seats:

AK 0/1, HI 2/2, WA 6/10, OR 4/5, CA 38/53, AZ 5/9, NV 2/4, UT 1/4, ID 0/2, MT 0/1, WY 0/1, CO 3/7, NM 2/3, TX 2/2 (West tip only)=65/104 (27/51 ex-CA, 15/33 ex-PacRim states)

Here is an aggressive gain target:
AK+1, WA+2, CA+5, NV+2, MT+1, CO+2, NM+1=14 seat gain 79/104

See the first diary for a list of all specific seats and a discussion of CA seats.  See the second diary for the 2 GOP held seats in NV (NV-02, NV-03).  This diary will cover the GOP held seat in NM, and the top 2 of 4 GOP held seats in CO.  Currently we have a credible candidate challenging in two of these three seats.

New Mexico 2nd district: One House seat of 3 in NM is GOP-held, the PVI R+5 NM-02 southern half of the state.  Incumbent Stevan Pearce will likely face off against DCCC backed challenger Rocky Lara.  Note: I am a Lara contributor.

New Mexico is a swing state which has been carried by Democrats at the presidential level since Clinton's first election in 1992, with the exception of GW Bush's 2004 re-election, when he carried NM by a margin of less than 1%.  More recently, NM's 3 congressional seats have been trending Democratic.  Currently the 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts have PVI ratings of D+7, R+5, and D+8 respectively.  The 3rd district covering the northern portion of the state, including Santa Fe, has been Democratic since it was created for the 1982 election (with the exception of a portion of one term carried by a Republican at a special election).  Both the 1st and 2nd districts turned blue in open seat elections in the 2008 election when the GOP incumbents quit to run for the open Senate seat.  In the 2nd, however, Steve Pearce returned to run again in 2010 after losing by 23 points to Tom Udall in the Senate race, and retook the NM-02 seat.  Pearce is now serving his 5th term in NM-02 in a 6 term timeframe.

New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanic population of any state at 46.3%, as well as the largest American Indian population (term exclusive of Alaskan and Hawaiian natives) proportion, meaning the Non-Hispanic white population is just 40.5%, despite very low Asian and black populations (3% combined).  The NM-02 district has the highest Hispanic population of the 3 districts at 51.2%, but has the lowest Native American population, meaning this majority-Hispanic district is potentially actually demographically the most challenging for Democrats.  The district is the second largest in the country not comprising an entire state, and borders 8 other districts as well as two Mexican states.  It is the only GOP seat on the Mexican border, and 6 of the 8 bounding districts (AZ-01 and AZ-02 to the west, NM-01 and NM-03 to the north, and TX-16 and TX-23 to the south) are held by Democrats (the eastern edge of the district borders two deep red Texas panhandle districts).   Mitt Romney won the district by less than 16,000 votes, and although Pearce outperformed that level, he faces a potentially stronger challenge in 2014.

Pearce is a 66 y.o. white former owner of a local oilfield services company, who grew up in the district, served as an officer in the Air Force (numerous defense related installations are in the district, including 2 AFB's, and Los Alamos, and White Sands, and Roswell), and is an alumnus (a B.A in economics and an MBA) of two of the state universities which are present in the district (NMSU and ENMU respectively).  He has been well liked in the past, and turnout in this district is historically extremely low for midterms, but he is substantially right of the district politically, and has created controversy via his political statements on the shutdown (furloughed federal employees can just take payday loans), immigration, and healthcare.  Pearce voted against the bill that ended the shutdown.

New Mexico (per Gallup) had the 2nd highest percentage of uninsured in 2009 at 25.6%, ahead only of Texas, however, the state has both expanded Medicaid and created an exchange.  I expect this to create a positive effect for Dems in NM-02, particularly given Pearce's strident opposition to the ACA.

Roxanne "Rocky" Lara, the 38 y.o. DCCC backed challenger, was born and raised in the district (at least 2nd gen) and took her undergraduate degree at local NMSU (her J.D. is from Texas Tech).  She has a private law practice and was chair of the county commission of Eddy County until 2012.  She was runner-up in the state party chair election earlier this year.  Her base in Eddy county represented over 1/3rd of Romney's margin in the district in 2012, despite comprising less than 9% of the two-party vote, which should significantly blunt Republican advantage in the district.  Lara appears to be the first politically credible Hispanic candidate to face Pearce in the general in this majority Hispanic district, in his sixth election for the seat, this may help significantly with minority turnout in the midterm election.  

Lara raised over $100K in the 3rd quarter (primarily from individuals in-state), and continues a strong fundraising performance (based on my observation that her donations on ActBlue have been stronger in the 4th quarter to date).  She had as of 9/30 received PAC donations from PAC's affiliated with Sen. Martin Heinrich (Lobo Pac), NM-03 Rep Ben Ray Lujan (Turquise PAC), State Sen Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, Steve Israel, Nancy Pelosi, and state Rep. Gail Chasey.  I also noted an individual contribution from CO-02 Rep. Jared Polis.  Her primary opponent (Leslie Endean-Singh) has received zero such PAC donations, and has raised significantly less money overall, but as of 3rd quarter had loaned her campaign enough to keep pace with Lara's fundraising.  Emily's List appears not to have yet endorsed either candidate.

Lara should be able to go head to head with Pearce to make this seat competitive this cycle, and if not a winner in 2014, should be the frontrunner for a successful 2016 challenge.

Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM PT: Colorado: The 7 seats Colorado has had since 2002 have varied in partisan composition from 2 Democrats in 2002 to 5 Democrats in 2008.  Currently Democrats hold just 3 seats.  The two seats that are now most Republican have PVI of R+11 (CO-04), and R+13 (CO-05) and are now held by Cory Gardner and Doug Lamborn respectively.  The two seats that have stayed Democratic currently have PVI of D+18 (CO-01) and D+8 (CO-02) and are now held by Diana DeGette and Jared Polis respectively.  The remaining three seats currently have PVI of R+5 (CO-03), D+1 (CO-06), and D+5 (CO-07).  The 7th has stayed in Ed Perlmutter's Democratic hands since a 2006 open election, after Bob Beauprez narrowly claimed it for the GOP in the first two terms of its existence.  The remaining two districts, CO-03 and CO-06, are our targets for 2014.

The 6th has actually been held by Republicans for the entire period since 2002, but was redistricted from a R+8 district in 2010 to a D+1 district today.   Mike Coffman has a serious challenger in Andrew Romanoff, and this looks like one of the DCCC's better bets for 2014.  In 2012, Obama won this district by 5 points but challenger Joe Miklosi couldn't put away a severely damaged Coffman and underperformed by 6 points.  In truth, this was more of a recruiting problem than a candidate problem.  Miklosi was Dem's 3rd choice for the district (after state legislative leaders Romanoff and Shaffer) and a bad fit for the seat.  Note: I was a Miklosi donor.  This cycle, Romanoff has thrown his hat in the ring, and outraised the incumbent in the 3Q ($1.3mil!), over a year before a midterm election.  This is one of only two GOP incumbent held seats Charlie Cook rates at least a tossup for Dems (the other 3 are open or vacant seats).  I am not a Romanoff contributor only because his campaign is too well funded to fit my model.  

Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:48 AM PT: Colorado's PVI R+5 3rd district covers the western half of the state.  Western Democrat John Salazar held this seat from 2004-2010.  Salazar won a majority in a strongly contested 2004 open seat election, where the district was carried by Bush by more than 11 points.  He eventually lost election to rancher Scott Tipton, in the 2010 wave election by a little more than 11,000 votes.  He had defeated Tipton by almost 60,000 votes in the 2006 midterm election, with lower turnout.  The partisan composition of the district has been basically unchanged by redistricting.

In 2012 Democrats made a serious push to take back this seat, but Tipton was able to gain 53.5% of the vote against former Salazar staffer, state legislator and state House Minority Leader Sal Pace.  I was a Pace donor, and would have been ecstatic had he won, but never felt Pace had the right personal narrative for electoral success in the district.  To win this district it helps to have a candidate like Salazar (older, deep roots in the district, big local family, farmer, service veteran, some history of nonpartisan public service, etc).  Pace's birth in New England, and employment as a college instructor did not play well outside Pueblo.  Pace was slightly overspent by Tipton, and also faced significant ~$1.5mil negative outside spending which was unmatched by Democrats.  Tipton is vulnerable to a well funded candidate with the right personal profile, but to date no challenger has emerged for 2014.


Originally posted to benamery21 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 0-)

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 03:58:18 PM PST

  •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

    Do you happen to know off-hand what the NM-02 turnout levels tend to be for midterms and presidentials? If it's quite low even for majority-hispanic districts, that means there's an opportunity for voter registration drives.

    If I remember southern NM right, there are a lot of military-type installations of the kind that make Colorado's house districts so maddeningly stubborn to turn. That could complicate efforts to turn the district blue. Still, if Rocky Lara is as good a candidate as you say, I have hope.

    •  Really low (0+ / 0-)

      and not just because of CVAP.  2010 votes cast (for a competitve race with a Dem incumbent) in NM02 were just 169,762 so probably about 35% of the eligible population.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:11:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tiny.. too tiny (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV

        There's so much room for improvement. That district should be several points in the D direction per PVI, rather than R+5 as it currently stands. Definitely a pickup opportunity with good GOTV efforts (difficult in midterms, true, but it happened in 2006).

        Thanks for your diaries on this subject.

      •  Lara contributor here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        benamery21, lissablack

        Although my zip code indicates NM-2,  my actual residence, 5 miles from my local post office, is just over the County line into NM-3.   So I can't vote for her but I can encourage my mostly Hispanic neighbors to turn out.  

        I am surprised to hear that NM-2 has the highest percentage of Hispanic voters of the 3, as the perception is easily that eastern NM is culturally a part of West Texas in some ways; ranching and  extraction are the two main industries.

        The difference with Hispanics in New Mexico as opposed to Hispanics anywhere else is that New Mexico has ALWAYS been Hispanic home turf;  they are walking around on the  home turf they have had for over 400 years since they moved in on the Natives 1n 1598  without feeling the need to exterminate them.  More productive to breed with them,  and consequently  pure-blood Native or Hispanic (White European immigrants from Spain 400 years ago) blood is actually very rare.  This is especially true in the Pueblo cultures, where one often hears of a Governor or other official of the Pueblo having an apparently Hispanic surname despite holding full tribal membership.

        It is safe to say that many Hispanics are clannish and will vote for Hispanics on principle,  which is part of the reason we have a Republican Governor (Susana Martinez) at the (hopefully brief) moment.

        Lara should be able to rouse the Hispanic voters, but they are either concentrated around Las Cruces or scattered all over the rural areas in enclaves such as the one I live in, one of the old Spanish-Mexican Land Grants.

        Lara will be something of a Blue Dog,  as her bread is probably buttered some by the extractive industries.  Her (unmentioned) primary opponent is Leslie Endean-Singh, a political newcomer from Alamogordo who is likely more progressive but has less of a base to be working from.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:04:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I actually did mention Endean-Singh (0+ / 0-)

          I contrast their fundraising and political endorsements.  I do not expect the primary to present Lara much difficulty.

          It's an R+5 district, I have seen Lara quoted talking about an all of the above strategy on energy and would concur that she is not likely to be a strong critic of oil and gas, nuclear, or potash mining.  Of course, Teague was an oil and gas man, too.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:45:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great Work! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, oceanview

    Its definitely not too early to start planning out our 2014 congressional strategy.  This is a great start!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:03:57 AM PST

  •  50 States, 435 Congressional Districts! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    benamery21, ban nock, oceanview

    We should target every voter, every American with a brain, every thinking American.  I you are not a 1%er, then there is absolutely no reason not to vote against the Republican Party.  

    The Democratic Party can do better, but it can only do better, after Republican obstruction is removed!

    My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

    by NM Ray on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:26:54 AM PST

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deepeco, ban nock

      As I said in the first diary in this series:

      "While any seat can be won under the right circumstances with the right candidate, and every seat should be contested, some results are more likely than others.  Here is a list of 14 pickup opportunities with a more aggressive strategy than typically deployed."

      ....

      "This leaves 25 seats [in the West] where our prospects are minimal, even in a wave election.  Nonetheless, we should run credible candidates in those seats, and organize: to reduce the competitive gap, on the off-chance an incumbent resigns late or scandal arises, to help overlapping candidacies, to build a base for future efforts, etc."

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:48:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for all you do! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM

        Your analysis in NM 2 is spot on!  I have not met Ms. Lara, but she is getting some very favorable press.  Steve Pierce is really a tool of the oil industry.  Whatever Exxon-Mobil wants, Pierce is ready to go to work for them.  Ms. Lara will provide very good representation for Southern NM.  

        Michelle Lujan-Grisham is a tough fighter and we are really proud of the job that she is doing in NM 1

        My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

        by NM Ray on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:53:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bad news. Steve Pearce has gotten worse (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NM Ray, benamery21

          over time. He is now a full-fledged Louie Gohmert protege. His latest idea is that congresscritters should work from home. No need to go to DC with all this new technology. And he used to be able to cover his mean-spiritedness better. Now he just comes off as a mean SOB. People who are accustomed to voting for him need to be informed of the new Pearce.

          More bad news. Rocky Lara has to win a primary first.

          •  Yep! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HappyinNM, benamery21

            It's almost like he is competing with Gohmert and Steve King to see who can make the most idiotic comments. I wonder if state delegations ever meet and discuss what legislation would be good for their constituents, or if the Republican party forbids such social contact with democrats.

            My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

            by NM Ray on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 04:38:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can't imagine he'd want to meet with the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              benamery21

              others in the delegation. What could they talk about?

              I don't know if he's competing with Gohmert, but I saw him speak on the floor of the House, and then realized he and Gohmert were the only ones there. They were playing to one another. That's why I referred to him as Gohmert's protege.

  •  One of our best Democrats just passed away (5+ / 0-)

    Sunday here in Colorado.  Ken Gordon (former state Rep, former state Senator) was going to run a second time for the Colorado Secretary of State office.  He was a fierce fighter for ensuring that all who want to vote have the opportunity and I am very sorry that he lost his first race (leading to Republican manipulation of the voter roles) and very sorry he can't fix things by winning the office next year.

    A couple of news articles in the Denver Post on his passing:

    http://www.denverpost.com/...
    http://blogs.denverpost.com/...

    He would have been able to help Colorado turn blue not because he'd be partisan, but because when people are able to vote in Colorado, Democrats win.

  •  Not that it matters much now, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM, benamery21

    The Democratic challenger to Mike Coffman in CD6 is named Joe Miklosi, not Pete.

    •  Excuse me, I meant to say (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HappyinNM, benamery21

      The challenger in 2012 for CD6.

      •  There was a man named Bill Winter who ran (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        benamery21

        in CD6 in 2006?? (against Tancredo) He was pretty impressive. I don't know if CD6 is still the same district. Do you know what happened to him?

        •  yeah, it was 2006 that Winter ran against (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          benamery21, HappyinNM

          Tancredo.  I'll never forget when the Denver Post came out with its endorsement that year.  The Post said that Bill was a fine many, and enumerated his many good qualities as a candidate, and the endorsed Tancredo- while encouraging Tancredo to be more like Winter!
          I'm pretty sure Bill went back to Lawyering.

        •  Bill Winter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HappyinNM

          is stlll here on Daily Kos (uid 73334).  It's been over a year since his last dairy or comment, however.  The CO-6 is a much less right-wing district since redistricting for 2012.  

          Winter got to almost 40% against Tancredo in 2006.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:46:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fixed--Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        Not quite sure how I managed that, maybe some mental conflation with Pete Gallego.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:24:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How about Andrew Romanoff? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benamery21, nzanne

      He is the challenger to Coffman. Miklosi, a fine politician, lost to Coffman in 2012.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:22:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Andrew Romanoff can win -- Coffman's going down (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shmuelman, nzanne

        "Mike Coffman has a serious challenger in Andrew Romanoff, and this looks like one of the DCCC's better bets for 2014."

        "This cycle, Romanoff has thrown his hat in the ring, and outraised the incumbent in the 3Q ($1.3mil!), over a year before a midterm election.  This is one of only two GOP incumbent held seats Charlie Cook [already] rates at least a tossup for Dems (the other 3 are open or vacant seats)."

        This is probably the 2nd most likely seat to flip in 2014 in the western United States (after CA-31).

        I'm pretty sure Coffman's going down, unless the national political climate gets worse between now and November (I expect it to get better).  I endorse Romanoff, although I won't be contributing to him (I don't live in the district or the state, and there are a lot of challengers who need my $199 more).

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:39:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have made a number of contributions to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nzanne, benamery21

          Romanoff. I saw him the other night at a fundraiser with Ed Perlmutter. The reason I went is that Brian Schweitzer was supposed to be there, but he was delayed.
          I sure hope Romanoff can win it. I haven't looked at the redistricting, but Douglas County is filled with upscale suburban petite bourgeoisie fascists. They are "sensible" Republicans whose grandparents voted for Ike and they are now carrying on the tradition by voting for the likes of Tom Tancredo and other radical tea-party candidates.

          "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

          by shmuelman on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 10:28:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Redistricting (0+ / 0-)

            The 6th district as currently constituted went for Obama by 5 points in 2012, and 9 points in 2008.  It was a big change, we were expected to take the seat last year.

            It now includes ALL of Aurora, and less of Douglas county (just Highlands Ranch).

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 11:10:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I should add on CO-04 and CO-05 (4+ / 0-)

    In CO-04 - Vic Meyers is a strong progressive and seems to be getting attention but not sure if that will be enough to defeat Cory Gardner.  Gardner though is corrupt and I've heard his approval rating is going down.  Need to still see more poll numbers to see if CO-04 is a credible pickup.  My guess is not at this time but I still commend Meyers for his tenacity.

    CO-05 - Irv Halter may be a credible challenger to Doug Lamborn.  He's raised over 120,000 last quarter and that's not bad considering he's running in a red district.  Halter is also a retired Air Force General, which can earn him respect and be more of a straight shooter as opposed to Lamborn, who hasn't served in the military and is rather hypocritical.  We'll have to see what happens in the months ahead.

    http://gazette.com/...

    Problem is in general, there's just not enough polling or barely any polling at all in CO-04 or CO-05 so it would help me to make a better guess as to the real chances for Democrats in CO-04 and CO-05 as opposed to the usual ratings coming out of the Cook Report (which I think are credible but don't reveal much information).

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      We need credible candidates and efforts in every seat--even the longshots.

      I haven't looked into the details of either of these candidates, yet.  

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:33:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's good for party building (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        benamery21

        Should add that even in Mississippi's 4th Congressional District, there's a progressive Democrat Trish Causey running against Rep. Steve Palazzo.  Not sure how much support she'll get in the end vs. Palazzo but it's good she's running.

    •  Doug "teh freedomz" Lamborn is one of those (0+ / 0-)

      idiots who found their niche in an incredibly conservative district. He has a sign in the window at his congressional office in Buena Vista the says "Freedom."

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:18:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are too kind to Mr. Lamborn (0+ / 0-)

      "rather hypocritical"

      Doug Lamborn is the poster child for right-wing hypocrisy.

    •  Any Dem's better than Lamborn for CO-05 (0+ / 0-)

      Money is needed but not sufficient, as demonstrated last cycle, when Lamborn won by 22 points over a primary challenger who outspent him.  Of course, that candidate tried to run to Lamborn's RIGHT.

      Lamborn had only $70K on hand as of 9/30/13.  For most other candidates I would wonder if they were planning to retire.  However, this is not unusual for Lamborn.  

      Halter being an Academy grad and retired two star USAF general should be a big help in the district, which for those of you not from Colorado includes the Air Force Academy, two airbases, and Ft. Carson.  Halter also served as vice-superintendent at the Academy for some time.  However, Lamborn has previously faced runs by ex-USAF brass, in both primary and general elections.  

      Halter is a former Republican, a two-star general, a defense industry executive, and on the board of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.  This is not a profile which I would look for in a Dem candidate for a seat that wasn't where this one is.  This is an R+13 seat, with Matheson gone and Obama off the ticket in WV and NC, that might well be the most conservative seat held by a Dem, if Halter were successful.  Don't expect mainstream party positions on all issues.  Do expect him not to emphasize social issues and to try to run on his military record and on bi-partisanship.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 10:53:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What can you say about CO-05 (0+ / 0-)

        Lamborn first ran for Congress back in 2006 and has since been elected every time.  Don't particularly think he's high on the radar as far as most valuable Republicans but as you point out, like Kevin Cramer who represents North Dakota At-Large Congressional District, he hasn't been particularly impressive.

        However, while you mention Lamborn being challenged by candidates from the Air Force before, he's been on the pro-government shutdown bandwagon and it's definitely going to give Halter something to run by.

        http://blogs.denverpost.com/...

        •  While the shutdown is a good issue everywhere (0+ / 0-)

          having a candidate whose main plank is, or is perceived to be, maintaining military-industrial complex spending, may not be energizing to the Dem base, even in CO-05.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 07:16:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, it's a functional Congress or not (0+ / 0-)

            2014 midterm elections may be different this time around as opposed to say 2006, 2008, 2004, etc.

            I think Democrats in CO-05 know very well it's either voting for Irv Halter, a more reasonable representative, or Doug Lamborn, who panders to conservative base and CPAC like they're his family.  I think more than anything, it's a nothing-to-lose situation for Democrats and everyone may be just damn tired of the GOP.

            Then again, we're 10+ months away.

    •  I read up on Vic Meyers, CO-04 (0+ / 0-)

      I'm happy to have him in place in this longshot district, and would endorse, even in a more competitive seat, but wouldn't give him much chance to prevail, absent more evidence of which I wouldn't contribute.

      I love this guy's website, his issue positions are terrific, with some wonk details I disagree with, but the right big picture answer on everything he talks about (from my perspective, which is sometimes idiosyncratic).  Unfortunately he's not doing so hot on the fundraising side.  He also doesn't say a word about guns or abortion, on neither of which is a litmus test appropriate, in my opinion, for a candidate in this district.

      He's a 45 y.o. longtime local, with a record of public service on the school board, bright, reality-based, degreed (Math/Physics), blue-collar guy (with a white-collar state job in Corrections), who's a veteran, family man (19 year marriage, kids and grandkid), married to a hospital X-ray tech.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 06:12:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's Vic Meyers on abortion and guns (0+ / 0-)

        Abortion:

        http://vicmeyers.org/...

        Guns:

        https://www.facebook.com/...

        We've still got a bit over 10 months so we'll see.  Cory Gardner's not on the radar for DCCC so it's not one of those super competitive races.  If anything, it's really low expectations for Vic Meyers at this point.

        •  THANKS! (0+ / 0-)

          Due to a browser issue I had missed the bottom 3 issue positions on his campaign website.

          I'll amend my comments, where he's at on both issues (abortion and guns) is actually very similar to where I am, and probably left of his district, albeit right of the Party.  Note that I'm well left of the party on many other issues, I mentioned my views were idiosyncratic.

          His two novel proposals (Patriotic American Businesses, and an Amendment on local funding only for political races) are both unworkable as written, but are well intended, address real problems (albeit from approach angles I think are misguided) and would never go anywhere, so I'm not spooked by his advocacy for them.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:17:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, Vic Meyers is definitely knowledgeable (0+ / 0-)

            In a hypothetical, if Vic Meyers was in fact elected to Congress, then he'd then start with the legislative approach to things as opposed to simply being theoretical.

            One thing that definitely wins Meyers instant credibility for Kossacks is his strong opposition to chained CPI.  We need all the support we can get in Congress against this.

            •  Social Security position (0+ / 0-)

              I disagree with some of his analysis (the stuff about spending the trust fund in particular), but agree with both of his prescriptions.  That's true of 3 or 4 other issues as well.  In each case it's something where the rest of his writing leads me to think he would change his analysis if exposed to more info.

              I wonder if it's worthwhile inviting him to introduce himself, explain his positions on Daily Kos, and link to his fundraising on ActBlue?

              It seems like we ought to do that with every challenger in every race, but he's one of the few I might expect to say yes (based on his extensive position statements), and he could certainly use the exposure.

              I don't know policy on this, I know I've seen other candidates here, but I expect there is some policy about details?

              Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

              by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:03:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Vic Meyers would definitely be welcomed on Kos (0+ / 0-)

                He's got a number of progressive views.  What most people here don't care for are corporate Democrats or Democrats-in-name-only.

                I actually interviewed Michael Cole (in TX-36) and Tae Si in OK-04 (running against Tom Cole) some time ago, months before the government shutdown.  What I did was just send both of them a list of questions and they responded.  Easier than having to do a phone or video/in-person interview.  Also saves time.

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                Two candidates I'm going to likely reach out at some point are Branko Radulovacki, who I believe is a much better U.S. Senate Candidate in Georgia than Michelle Nunn (just my personal opinion).  Also, Shirley McKellar, who is making her second run for Congress in TX-01 against Louie Gohmert.  She's likely not to be able to be competitive against Gohmert but what can you say: A squirrel could run against Gohmert and be a better candidate.

                Interviews are a great way to get candidates to communicate to Daily Kos.  A number of Kossacks might prefer if candidates set up their own account and make diary posts as a means of communicating with Kossacks (particularly those in the districts/states which the candidates live in).

          •  On a side note... (0+ / 0-)

            Since you provided feedback in the comments section on my monthly Democratic Challengers to GOP diary, I've added new candidates to the list:  Challengers to Rep. Peter Roskam and Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  dem opponents have free RW radio and dems (3+ / 0-)

    need to start paying attention to it. and making the GOP pay for it.

    in CO it's 850 KOA and a bunch of smaller stations and in NM it's 770 KKOB. both are limbaugh stations. KOA pays CU what might be a pittance (it's confidential) to put a ralphie the buffalo sticker on its megaphone while it attacks and lies about dems, their candidates, and their aims. KKOB rides the UNM lobos in the same way.

    the state think tanks will feed stories and lies and distortions and guests to the local blowhards to attack dem candidates that have a chance of winning. those blowhards will not challenge a GOP candidate's or the think tank guest's or paid caller's lies.

    state dems have no idea it's kicking their ass and pay for it with the letters to the editors, intimidated print, TV, and internet media, and then have to react after it's too late.

    for 25 years the right has been winning elections, passing legislation, swiftboating dems, deciding what dem and GOP candidates are acceptable or not, and distorting state-wide issues merely because RW radio is invisible to dems- they can't read it.

    CO and NM dems will increase their chances many times over by monitoring the main local stations like KKOB and KOA. maybe transcription software can do the job. then respond in real time to the print and TV media. knowing they're being watched and their lies being monitored may or may not inhibit them from continuing but i'll bet it will reduce the amount of repetition in the other media. and when a GOP candidate goes on those stations and lies media should be alerted- at the moment they can say anything they want without consequence.

    giving those think tanks a free speech free ride on those stations continues to be the biggest mistake in political history and is largely responsible for where we are now.

    monitoring those stations and making a public issue of the use of state funded uni sports programs for partisan purposes could make a difference in the next elections. to not at least monitor what they're saying about dem candidates would be continued negligence and very bad strategy.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 03:22:58 PM PST

  •  Thanks for working to elect Democrats in my state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    benamery21, skepticalcitizen

    through this diary. We'll do our part by making an effort on the ground even if the odds aren't in our favor.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:02:51 AM PST

  •  I recently moved temporarily to (0+ / 0-)

    Cory Gardner's district. Though I didn't change my voting because it isn't a permanent address (I am in Perlmutter's district).

    My observations...

    There are more progressive bumper stickers traveling up and down 85 than you would think.

    Weld County just voted down secession

    The northeastern counties that voted for secession did so not because they hate government, but because they want more government. (the people behind the secession movement were right wingers all about teh guns and regulation of their precious oil and gas, but the voters are farmers and ranchers who know darn well which side their bread is buttered on)

    Northeastern Colorado is home to two College towns

    Gardner's district has plenty of hispanics and the grapevine tells me they are willing to ignore social issues that they may feel strongly about in order to vote against those who love to hate on immigrants. Believe me, Gardner hears footsteps.

    So the conclusion is, if they could get a good candidate and on the ground work, Gardner's district is winnable.  Colorado voter registration is pretty evenly split between GOP, Dems and Independents. Not all independents lean right. It is sort of a weird sort of politics here where party is not always the deciding factor in who gets the vote.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 02:50:45 PM PST

    •  Redistricting CO-04 (0+ / 0-)

      When Gardner won the seat in 2010, it was R+6.  That plus the wave was enough to put him over the top against the incumbent.  Redistricting shifted liberal voters out of this district into CO-06, and conservative voters into this district out of CO-06.  The result, it's now R+11.  Unless Gardner is indicted or resigns, this seat is going to be an almost impossible race for even the best Democratic challenger.  

      The 4th district is 73.9% non-Hispanic white, which is actually whiter than the average for the nation(72.4% in 2010) or the state (70% in 2010).  The only slightly above average proportion of Hispanics (21.1% instead of 16% in 2010) is more than offset by a relative dearth of African-Americans (1.2% instead of 12.6% in 2010).

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 05:10:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in District 2 in New Mexico and ... (0+ / 0-)

    campaigned for Evelyn Madrid Erhard in 2012.  I chaired her primary partition drive.

    When I heard of Lara's run I at first was elated, but I have several nagging questions about her environmental stands.  I have heard that she says fracking is not damaging and they it has been done for a number of years safely in the Carlsbad area without any damage to ground water.  I would like to see empirical evidence for this, if she indeed did imply that this was true.  I would also like to hear what she thinks about climate change and what her environmental policies will be, and why they would be better than Pearce's.  

    My support for her will depend on my being impressed with these answers.  I of course will never vote for Pearce, but I may support another candidate in the primary, and I would like to not vote reluctantly for another blue dog.

    •  It's an R+5 district (0+ / 0-)

      with oil and gas, military, nuclear, and mining constituencies.  You really can't expect the ideal candidate on your issues to win that district, especially in a midterm election.  Lara's issue positions on those points are largely irrelevant: if she allows Nancy Pelosi to determine what bills are put before the House, she's better for us than either Pearce, or a Dem who can't win.

      Here's a link to reporting on her fracking comments:

      http://www.capitolreportnewmexico.com/...

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:34:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have answered my question and I thank you. (0+ / 0-)

        Ordinarily I would agree with you, but with the world facing a disaster of major proportions I cannot in good faith support Lara if she believes the extractive industry on these issues. I will probably support Leslie Endean-Singh in the primary and will reluctantly vote for Lara in the general if she wins the primary.

        I understand your reasoning but will respectfully disagree. These trade offs are fine if you are talking about relatively unimportant issues. However, I don't think I can depend on all the Democrats on this (look at how they are bucking the president on Iran peace talks!) In fact in this issue (and this is not a single issue - it is tied to women's rights, poverty, potable water, the extractive industry not paying the government enough for the damage they do, and also extinction, land issues, etc.)  I'm not sure the human race is able to cope at all. Because everything is tied to profit and profit to jobs in this economic system and in the planet's economic system, there may very well be no way to fix this mess.

        •  We don't need every Dem on every important issue (0+ / 0-)

          We do need to set the agenda.  Only 27 House Republicans voted against all 5 of:

          Sandy Aid,
          VAWA,
          Farm Bill,
          Re-opening gov't,
          Budget deal.

          26 voted FOR all 5.  If we do it right we can get enough Republican votes to pass reasonable environmental protections, even if a few Dems bolt ship.  There are Republicans who, if we make them vote on some issues, will either cave or lose their seats.  We can afford to let a few Dems cave on those issues on our side, if we get to set the agenda.  It's political sausage, not a holy war.

          I do see climate change AND peak oil as MUST ACT issues and increased environmental protections (along with sensible restrictions on obstructive use of the same) as badly needed.  On the environmental side one of the things we badly need to do is create change by our trade partners (not that there aren't badly needed improvements at home).

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:45:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The question is not do we need all Democrats. (0+ / 0-)

            I agree with you on that.  The question is how much effort am I willing to spend on helping a Democrat with whom I have a very basic disagreement. I can compromise on a lot of issues, but in my gut I know that this is not one of them.  We have compromised again and again, and where are we?  Nothing has changed and the oil companies are getting worse, if anything.

            Lara could have not commented at all on fracking, but since she has, I cannot support her.

            •  Given that I have no position (0+ / 0-)

              with the Lara campaign, and do have some familiarity with lousy reporting, I would ask that you not make that decision without making inquiries of Lara herself.  I shouldn't like to think I have done appreciable harm to our efforts in the district.  I do not think Lara has indicated that she is unwilling to consider reasonable regulation, or even a vote for a climate bill ala Blue Dog oilman Harry Teague.

              Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

              by benamery21 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 12:09:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I doubt that my voice will have much impact. (0+ / 0-)

                Lara will probably win the primary, only to be defeated by Pearce. Oil money talks!

                I was already somewhat unlikely to support Lara in the primary.  This just solidified my opinion, and I quite well know that she has to believe as she does in Carlsbad. It's too bad, but the majority of people in the SE of New Mexico think global climate change is a hoax and would almost certainly vote for a self-important Tea Party type like Pearce as long as he feeds them the Fox News talking points.  I know - I lived in Hobbs for several months.

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