10:27 AM PT: NJ-02: State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who had been considering a bid against GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo, has ultimately decided against running. Democrats, however, have a credible candidate who's been in the race for a few months, attorney Bill Hughes, Jr., the son of ex-Rep. Bill Hughes, Sr.
10:43 AM PT: IA-Sen: The pro-Democrat Senate Majority PAC is running its first TV ads in Iowa this cycle, with a spot defending Rep. Bruce Braley against the Koch brothers' Obamacare assault. The ad is on to something when the narrator says Braley "knows we can't go back to letting insurance companies deny coverage for pre-existing conditions and kick people off their coverage when they get sick." If you want to fight back against bogus attacks, this is where to focus your fire, because even Republicans say they support these provisions.
But overall, the spot lacks punch. The messaging needs to be a lot tighter and more emotionally compelling. Instead, it drifts to a bland statement about "job creation in Iowa" at the end. I'd redo this by featuring a sympathetic figure aided by the Affordable Care Act thanking Bruce Braley for making sure she has insurance and warning that Republicans want to take it all away—from her, and everyone else. The buy is for a reported $225,000, which Jennifer Jacobs notes is less than half what the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity has spent so far on the race.
11:14 AM PT (Darth Jeff): President-by-LD: We're in an Empire State of Mind today. Since Grand Moff Tarkin isn't available, we'll be doing the next best thing and taking a look at the New York state legislature. We've calculated the 2012 presidential and U.S. Senate results for both the state Senate and state Assembly, and you can find even more detailed calculations here.
Democrats have held the Assembly for decades and aren't in danger of losing it anytime soon. The party has a 100 to 40 majority in the chamber, with one independent and nine vacancies. Barack Obama carried 114 of the 150 seats: 10 Republicans and independent Fred Thiele come from Obama districts, while four Democrats were elected districts Mitt Romney won. Interestingly, Romney's best district, Brooklyn's AD-48 (where he won 76-24), is represented by a Democrat. However, Assemblyman Dov Hikind is extremely conservative and tends to make the news for all the wrong reasons. The median of the chamber is 62-37 Obama, about three points to the right of the state.
The Senate is far more complicated. On paper, Democrats have a 32 to 29 edge, with one vacancy for each party. However, in practice, Republicans run the show here, as they have for generations aside from a brief period between 2009 and 2010. Four rogue Democrats formed the Independent Democratic Conference and are partnering with the Republican minority. A fifth Democratic senator, Simcha Felder, outright caucuses with the GOP, while two other Democrats who've been indicted on corruption charges (it's New York, after all) currently are not welcome in any conference.
The map below, created by Stephen Wolf, visualizes all 63 Senate members as well as which presidential candidate won the district. The two vacant seats are assigned to the party that held them last. Dark blue represents Dems in Obama districts, while dark red is for Republicans in Romney districts. Light red is for Republicans in Obama districts, while yellow represents the IDC. Gray is for the two Democrats without a conference, while gold represents Felder.
Of the IDC members, all four come from Obama districts. Only David Carlucci represents a competitive district, with Obama winning SD-38 54-45. The remaining three come from districts that went for Obama by at least 62 percent. Indeed, at 74 percent Obama, IDC leader Jeff Klein might be particularly vulnerable to a challenge from a mainstream Democrat. Neither of the two conference-less Democrats are in any danger of seeing their seats go red, either. Obama won John Sampson's district 89-11, and Malcolm Smith's 93-7.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was also on the statewide ballot in 2012, winning 72-26. Gillibrand carried every single one of New York's 240 Congressional, Senate, and Assembly districts, a very impressive feat even in a heavily Democratic state.
1:02 PM PT (Darth Jeff): Via Stephen Wolf, we also have an interactive map of the Assembly.
1:18 PM PT: AZ-01, 02: The House Majority PAC is re-upping their buy on behalf of two Arizona Democrats they've been airing ads for. In AZ-01, they're adding another $67,000 for their spot touting Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, on top of the $125,000 they've already spent. Meanwhile, they're putting in another $30,000 for their ad hammering Republican Martha McSally, Rep. Ron Barber's likely opponent in AZ-02; previously, they'd laid out $49,000 in that district.
1:36 PM PT: MD-Gov: Jesus, him too? Just a few days after Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger finally said no to an eleventh hour bid for governor, another Democratic congressman is cagily suggesting he might join the race. This time it's freshman Rep. John Delaney, who says that it's his "expectation" that he'll "continue to serve in Congress," which means he's not ruling out a gubernatorial run.
Delaney doesn't have a lot going for him other than his personal wealth and perhaps geography, as his 6th District stretches into Maryland's far western reaches. But as a first-term representative, his name recognition isn't high, and the locus of power in a Democratic primary won't be found in Hagerstown or Frederick. So would Delaney really want to risk throwing his newborn congressional career away for a difficult battle with well-financed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown? Well, this is politics, after all, and stranger things have happened.
2:23 PM PT: FL-13: A new survey from the DCCC's in-house robopolling operation (first obtained by The Hill) shows Democrat Alex Sink leading Republican David Jolly 49-44 in the March 11 race to replace the late Rep. Bill Young. Unfortunately, no demographic breakdowns are provided for the one-day poll's sample, so there's not much else to be said about it.
However, we can take a look at the DCCC's 2012 track record, as we did for the other two firms that have released polls here, St. Pete Polls and McLaughlin & Associates. The D-Trip didn't release as many late polls, but they stacked up quite well, especially compared to the awful St. Pete and McLaughlin:
FL-22: DCCC: Frankel (D): 49-39; actual: Frankel (D) 55-45; error: 0A small sample, but only one real miss and four that basically nailed the final margin. That's not too shabby. But don't get too comfortable. All of the surveys from last cycle were conducted closer to Election Day than the current one, and with both sides spending heavily here, a lot can change over the next six weeks, especially since we're dealing with a special election.
IL-08: DCCC: Duckworth (D) 52-42; actual: Duckworth (D) 55-45; error: 0
IL-10: DCCC: Schneider (D) 44-43; actual: Schneider (D) 51-49; error: +1 R
IL-13: DCCC: Gill (D) 43-37; actual: Davis (R) 46.6-46.2; error: +6.4 D
NE-02: DCCC: Terry (R) 48-44; actual: Terry (R) 51-49; error: +2 R
2:49 PM PT: PA-Gov: When your campaign is coming up short on the fundraising front, I'm not sure that issuing a video press release is the best way to signal strength. Former state environmental department chief Katie McGinty trails the pack in the Democratic primary as far as money is concerned, so it makes sense that she'd want to generate a little buzz by releasing the "first ad" of the race. It's a pretty basic biographical spot, mentioning how McGinty's parents—cop dad, waitress mom—taught their 10 children the value of hard work. But the size of the buy is a mere $6,400—enough only to earn a few writeups, and perhaps tick off reporters for wasting their time.
3:05 PM PT: NJ-07: Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach, who had been publicly considering a bid against GOP Rep. Leonard Lance since earlier this month, announced this week that she will indeed run this fall.
3:15 PM PT: OK-Sen-B: GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine, who would have been the favorite of the Club for Growth and their ilk had he run, has reportedly been telling supporters that he won't seek Sen. Tom Coburn's Senate seat in this fall's special election. Bridenstine hasn't publicly said anything on the record yet, though.
3:21 PM PT: UT-04: Holding retiring Rep. Jim Matheson's seat will be next to impossible for Democrats this fall, but at least they have someone willing to try. Attorney Doug Owens says he's ready to run, and it so happens that his father, the late Rep. Wayne Owens, held a congressional seat in Utah on two separate occasions, giving it up both times to wage unsuccessful Senate bids. But the elder Owens last served over two decades ago, meaning little name recognition will redound to his son.
3:30 PM PT: MI-Gov: Here's that new DGA ad, backed by a reported $1 million buy, which features Democratic ex-Rep. Mark Schauer taking Gov. Rick Snyder to task on education cuts. The spot has very high production values and is narrated by Schauer, who stands in a school lab and mentions that his father was a science teacher. He then castigates Snyder for slashing money for education in order "to give tax breaks to businesses even if they send jobs overseas." The harsh, negative reaction to education cutbacks has damaged other Republican governors badly, especially Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, so this is probably a strong, poll-tested message for Schauer to kick things off with.
3:42 PM PT: OK-05: Rep. Jim Lankford's House seat may have gone for Mitt Romney by a wide 59-41 margin, but by that measure, it's actually the bluest in Oklahoma. So while a bunch of Republicans have piled into the race since Lankford announced he'd run for Senate, several Democrats are looking at bids, too, and they're not of the Some Dude variety. They include state Sen. Al McAffrey, state Rep. Anastasia Pittman, former Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, and state House Minority Leader Scott Inman. McAffrey says he's even met with the DCCC and has created an exploratory committee. A serious longshot, though, to be sure.
4:09 PM PT: More generally, we've made a few changes to how we present our data. For starters, we've republished all our data in spreadsheet form, for easier viewing, scrolling, and downloading. We've also highlighted our home-grown metric called Combined Average Performance, which you'll find right next to the presidential numbers on every summary chart. (Here's the North Carolina Senate, for example.) CAP simply averages Democratic and Republican performance in all statewide races for a given district.
In four chambers (the senates in Alaska, New York, and Washington, plus the Alaska House), some wayward Democrats caucus with Republicans. Those who do are now marked with a red "D" and an asterisk in our summary sheets, except for the members of New York's IDC, who are noted as such in purple. (The conference-less corruptocrat Dems in New York get a starred green "D.")
In addition, we've revamped our main resource page (i.e., the one you want to bookmark). At the top, you'll now find a summary table that, as you might imagine, offers links to our summary sheets. If you're looking for detailed calculations that include county breakdowns, you can click on each state's abbreviation in the summary table, or just scroll down, to find separate tables for every state.
Finally, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Johnny Longtorso, our special elections maestro. Johnny graciously updated the names of all the legislators in our summary charts (turnover is constant at this level), so everything is now up-to-date and will remain so.
4:22 PM PT: 4Q Fundraising:
• OH-Sen: Rob Portman (R-inc): $1.3 million raised, $4.4 million cash-on-hand (note: Portman is not up for re-election until 2016)
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D-inc): $1.1 million raised (in 2013), $800,000 cash-on-hand (Republican challengers at the link)
• HI-01: Stanley Chang (D): $126,000 raised, $325,000 cash-on-hand
• PA-09: Bill Shuster (R-inc): $550,000 raised (no word on how much was spent on love and touches)