10:35 AM PT: Babka: With the Virginia recounts finally concluded, we are, at long last, able to announce the winner of our 2013 election prediction contest. So congratulations to BK in the HV, who should email me to collect his prize of delicious, delicious babka. You can also click through to see how you did, and how contest entrants overall fared in their prognostications.
10:49 AM PT: NJ-02: State Sen. Jeff Van Drew will announce his plans about a possible congressional bid against GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo "in the next few weeks"—whatever that means—according to his chief of staff. Attorney Bill Hughes, Jr. (the son of ex-Rep. Bill Hughes) is already running, but Van Drew's indecision is forcing local Democratic leaders to wait before making endorsements. However, it seems like they are happy to wait, since a half-dozen county chairs recently penned a joint letter praising Van Drew.
11:02 AM PT: VA-10: Outgoing state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was mentioned as a possible GOP candidate for retiring Rep. Frank Wolf's seat, but in a new exit interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Cuccinelli reaffirmed that he's "not running for anything for a while."
11:16 AM PT: SeaTac, WA: The ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the small Washington city of SeaTac narrowly succeeded in November, and then it survived a recount as well. Now, though, it's under attack in the courts, and opponents have won a sizable victory. A judge has agreed that the new law does not apply to workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport because it's run by the Port of Seattle rather than SeaTac itself, meaning that the wage increase will only affect a quarter of those it was intended to help. Supporters of the hike are filing an appeal.
11:38 AM PT: MA-06: In a new fundraising email for Iraq vet Seth Moulton, the progressive veterans organization VoteVets labels the man he's hoping to unseat in the Democratic primary, Rep. John Tierney, "a corrupt incumbent." That's an ugly, negative move that plays right into Republican attacks on Tierney, particularly since no one has ever produced a single piece of evidence tying Tierney to the tax evasion scandal that sent his wife to prison for a month back in 2011.
And earlier this fall, the House Ethics Committee declined to open an investigation into Tierney's finances. So I don't understand why VoteVets feels the need to "go there," particularly when there's no there there. (Notably, their ActBlue page leaves off any reference to Tierney.)
VoteVets also refers to Moulton as a "progressive," but that doesn't seem to be how Moulton regards himself; rather, Moulton has called himself "fairly centrist." He also considered running as an independent in 2012 (though he did say he'd caucus as a Democrat).
12:06 PM PT: MT-Sen: The headline here is a bit overblown, but this piece is not a positive one for Lt. Gov. John Walsh, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Montana's open Senate seat. In a 2010 report, the Army's inspector general said that Walsh used his position as adjutant general of the Montana National Guard to pressure subordinates into joining a private lobbying organization called the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), because Walsh was running for vice-chairman of the group. (He was ultimately elected to the post.)
The original report and the article describing it say Walsh engaged in improper activity for "private gain," but Walsh didn't have his hand in the till—it looks like Walsh's aspirations were entirely limited to ascending the leadership ranks at the NGAUS. However, here's an example of an email Walsh sent to further his ambitions:
"I was disappointed to see that you have decided not to support the NGAUS especially after my previous memo outlining the significant contributions of NGAUS over the past several years," Walsh wrote in one such email to subordinates who hadn't joined the group. "I am concerned that as an officer and leader in our organization you do not support my priorities which is to improve the readiness of MTNG which NGAUS clearly does."I certainly would hate getting an email like this from a superior, and indeed, several officers complained, saying they felt like they were being "bullied" and subject to "coercion." Walsh, in response, is disputing the whole "private gain" notion and argues that the NGAUS helps ensure National Guard readiness through its lobbying efforts.
Will this story matter? It's hard to say. Walsh can argue that he was just looking out for his troops, and if he was kind of a dick in doing so, well, you don't become a National Guard general by being Mr. Nice Guy. We'll soon see how Walsh's opponents react, though. He faces a primary against ex-Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, while Rep. Steve Daines has the Republican nomination all but locked up.
1:04 PM PT (jeffmd): The Census Bureau is out with new population estimates (measuring the population as of July 1, 2013), which largely show a continuation of the same pattern: population losses in the Northeast and Midwest, counterbalanced with gains in the West and South.
We can cut the data a few different ways to get a sense of the reapportionment picture (which Sean Trende does as well). The following table shows a few different scenarios, depending on how you want to model the growth from here until 2020 (only states with projected changes are shown).
|Projected in 2020 Using:|
|State||In 2010||In 2013||10-13 Growth||11-13 Growth||12-13 Growth|
If reapportionment were to happen today, only one seat would change hands: Minnesota would lose its 8th seat, while North Carolina would gain a 14th seat. However, if you project forward to 2020, we see a few more changes. In the simplest formulations, we can use the growth rates from 2010 through 2013 to project forward, from 2011 through 2013, or from 2012 through 2013. Regardless of method, we see (largely) the same changes: Texas gains 2 seats; Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia each gain one seat; and Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia would each lose 1.
There are a few states right on the edge, with different projected numbers of seats based on which model you use: California and Montana may each gain a seat, while New York may lose a seat, and Minnesota may hang onto its 8th seat.
Of course, there's plenty of time left before the next Census and all of this is subject to change, but these early estimates give us a sense of what's to come.
2:40 PM PT: P.S. Despite projections to the contrary, New York still narrowly remains the third-largest state in the nation, but is fewer than 100,000 people ahead of Florida. But given the trends, Florida will surpass New York very soon.
3:27 PM PT (jeffmd): How would reapportionment in 2010 have looked based on the 2003 population projections (using a linear projection of 2000-03 changes to the rest of the decade)?
The answer: slightly different from how it actually turned out. California would have gained two seats, and Michigan and New Jersey would each have kept the seat that they lost. Alabama would have lost a seat, Texas would have gained only 3 seats, and South Carolina and Washington would not have gained the new seat that each did.
This all makes sense, given the demographic changes that occurred in the mid-aughts before the recession. Hurricane Katrina, of course, happened in 2005 shifting the balance between Louisiana and Texas. The Census Bureau knows what it's doing, but unforeseeable events can always throw a wrench into even the best models.