The Swing State Project Is Now Daily Kos Elections

The Swing State Project is now Daily Kos Elections. Please update your bookmarks to this link:

Going forward, you’ll find all of SSP’s great content at DKE. Archives will remain available here at SSP, but comments, diaries, and new account creation have been disabled.  For more information on this transition, please check out this diary.

We look forward to seeing you at Daily Kos Elections!

Canadian Election Results Thread #2

12:00am: SSP is gonna wrap it up for tonight.  The implosion of the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois were quite remarkable…as was the vote splitting that allowed Harper to grab his majority.

11:51pm: The NDP may have done well in Quebec, but it didn’t do so hot in the Prairies.  Aside from Edmonton-Strathcona, the NDP was shut-out in the Saskatchewan and Alberta; the NDP lost two in Manitoba, one each to the Grits/Tories.

RESULTS: Elections Canada | CBC | Globe & Mail

Canadian Election Results Thread #1

11:30pm: SSP’s home riding of Edmonton-Strathcona is held by the NDP…the only non-Tory seat in Alberta.

11:21pm: Almost two hours after polls closed in Quebec, the Bloc finally has its first seat, Haute-Gaspesie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapedia. (jeffmd here – I think I figured out why I like Quebec riding names, it lets me pretend I stil know French!).

11:13pm: Harper should be grateful for ridings like Bramlea-Gore-Malton (37 Con-32 NDP-27 Lib) and Scaborough Centre, 36 Con-31 NDP-31 Lib.  Notably, the Tory vote actually dropped 1% from 2008…but the NDP/Lib split hands the seat to Harper.

10:54pm: The decimation of the Grits and Bloc is stunning.  Libs elected/leading in 31 ridings; the Bloc is leading in only 4.

10:51pm: CBC is now calling a Conservative majority for Stephen Harper.

10:50pm: Moving further west, Green Party leader Elizabeth May is out to an early lead in Saanich–Gulf Islands over Tory incumbent Gary Lunn.

10:45pm: Tories now leading or elected in 165 ridings.  Tory majority looking more and more likely.

10:37pm: Tories are leading or elected in 158 ridings now; 155 is the magic number for a majority.

10:34pm: In my home riding of Edmonton-Strathcona, incumbent NDPer Linda Duncan is leading by a 53-40 margin, but a lot of votes are outstanding.

10:33pm: The power of vote splitting! Brampton/Mississauga could go from 7/8 Liberal to an 8-0 Tory shutout.

10:29pm: Tories are now leading in 150 ridings; NDs in 104. Liberals in just 32, BQ 4.

10:28pm: Hah — in just Toronto alone, the Tories are leading in 9 of 23 Toronto seats, up from 0.

10:22pm: Michael Ignatieff is losing to a Tory, and Gilles Duceppe is losing to a New Democrat. Interesting times.

10:18pm: Things are just moving so fast right now, but we’re really on the cusp of a Conservative majority government with an extremely robust NDP opposition.

10:12pm: CBC has projected that the NDP will overtake the Liberals as the official opposition in Parliament. Harper has a government, but we’re still unsure whether or not he’s won a majority.

10:07pm: Checking in on the party leaders, Grit leader Michael Ignatieff is leading by 1 vote in his Toronto riding of Etobicoke–Lakeshore.  A few ridings east, in Toronto–Danforth, NDP leader Jack Layton has 64%.  With just one poll reporting in Laurier–Sainte-Marie, Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe finds himself in 3rd!  Nothing yet from Harper’s Calgary Southwest or Green Party would-be Elizabeth May’s Saanich–Gulf Islands.

10:00pm: Results in from the Atlantic provinces:

  • PEI: steady at 3 Lib, 1 Con.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Contrary to earlier reports, the Tories didn’t get shut out here. 4 Lib, 2 NDP, 1 Con.  Net shift of two from the Grits to NDP.  Libs do hold Avalon, though.
  • Nova Scotia: 4 Con, 3 NDP, 2 Lib, with two more Libs leading.  Would be a shift of one from the Libs to the NDP.
  • New Brunswick: 7 Con, 1 Lib, 1 NDP, with one more Tory leading.  Would be a net shift of two Lib>Con.

Polls are finally closing in all of Canada at 10pm Eastern; we’ll soon get our first verified election results at that point. Hang Hold on to your butts!

RESULTS: Elections Canada | CBC | Globe & Mail

DRA: Election data for IL, MN, NV, AZ

Thanks to rougemapper, we have election data for Illinois (presidential). He’s sent me data for a couple more states, so I’ll be looking at those in the next couple of days. And now, also from rougemapper, AZ, MN, NV!!

Also, DE,ME and NH have block groups.

A couple of people have had trouble with the app not launching, even though they have the correct version of Silverlight. If you run into this, try deleting the Silverlight application storage. If you load any Silverlight app, right click to get to a Silverlight dialog box. Go to the Application Storage tab and delete storage for

Thank you to everyone who has contributed. And thank you so much, DavidNYC!!!

Canadian Election Predictions Thread

Polls have closed in Newfoundland, but we likely won’t hear any concrete results for a little while yet — so we still have plenty of time to discuss your predictions for Canada’s 41st federal election.

Later on, we’ll be blogging live from Edmonton-Strathcona! Stick around; this could get pretty crazy. As mentioned in the comments (terje in particular explains the situation well), Canada has a rather draconian election reporting law that prevents media outlets from reporting results until polls have closed in all parts of the country — that means that we won’t see any official results until 10pm Eastern. Stuff may leak out on Twitter about the Atlantic and Maritime provinces, but little else until that magic hour. Wikipedia has a list of contentious ridings here.

Per Wikipedia, here’s a breakdown of seats in the current parliament, by party and province:

CA: Columbia Law Plans Mapped and Reviewed

Columbia Law School announced last week that they were releasing state-by-state redistricting plans that would include Non-Partisan, Legally Defensible Maps That States Can Use.  These maps were released and Redistricting Partners dove right in to see how useful or legally defensible they were.

The results were a mixed bag.  Some districts showed interesting choices of how to pair communities of interest, and some addressed real problems already being discussed at commission hearings.  However there were significant data shortcomings – mirroring some concerns raised the last time a group outside of California tried to draw our districts.

visit http://redistrictingpartners.c… to see the maps.

Ethnic Concerns

The greatest concern with the Columbia Plan is the lack of sophistication when dealing with Latino VRA concerns.  Instead of using the Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) figures they used the more readily available 18+ Latino numbers.  This, however, artificially inflates the eligible voter population within districts that require preclearance or could be the subject of lawsuits.  In fact, the Department of Justice has already released a federal register stating that they will consider a district to have retrogressed if they fail to maintain the same minority percentage of overall population, 18+ population, and CVAP.

The Columbia Law media release boasted 14 majority minority seats under their plan.  In fact, they have 17 districts with more than 50% overall Latino population, but looking at CVAP the number plummets to 3 with an additional two more within the margin of error.[1]

While the Latino concern is a significant flaw, the Columbia Plan did reconnect communities that had been divided in previous decades and create a single majority-minority African American Congressional seat in Los Angeles.  This could be a double-edged sword as creating this seat could cause another African American held seat to move into more Latino territory.

Incumbent Displacement

In this plan 18 incumbents are paired in districts creating 9 newly vacant seats.  Without residency restrictions these members are portable, but the larger question for them is finding a nearby vacant district with an appealing partisan advantage.  Incumbent Republicans Lungren, Gallegly, Calvert and Hunter find themselves in seats with a new Democratic majority, while Loretta Sanchez finds herself in a Republican seat.

In the attached data table the incumbent who lives within the district is listed, but an “ALT” field shows the likely member of Congress who will move into this district.  This is done only in cases where the member has been moved out of a majority of their current district and that district is now vacant.

County / City Choices

While it is inevitable that the final plan will include city and county splits, this plan seems to avoid splits as long as possible, resulting in fewer splits.  However, when splits are made they are horrific.  Long Beach is split into three parts (it is less than one district in population).  The Ventura County border is crossed in three districts.  There are a few seats that include multiple districts in the area of LA, Orange, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino.  Because of the unavoidable population patterns, a line drawer could chose to make a nice plan with a couple really ugly districts, or make all districts a tiny bit ugly and avoid any major violations of the Prop11 and Prop 20 principles.  This plan chose the former, creating a few districts that do not pass the smell test.


The ability to understand these maps is slightly undercut by the sometimes random numbering.  This, however, could give us practice before the commission plan is revealed as they could number in a completely different fashion.  For these maps and district tables it is best to think of the incumbent or cities in the plan, not the district number.

Maps and Data

The first set of maps are overviews of each region of the state.  The data tables go through the demographics and political data for each district.

to view the maps visit: http://redistrictingpartners.c…

NV-02: It’s a Ballot Royale

Great news for us, straight from Jon Ralston:

.@rossjmiller “law is very clear….no primary election…how are candidates picked, by people or small group… Open to all candidates.”

What are the chances that Sharron Angle can resist this juicy opportunity? (Update: Another notable tidbit — there will be no filing fee. Also, Ralston reports that Dem state Treasurer Kate Marshall will run in the special.)

UPDATE (David): More here. The GOP unsurprisingly says it may sue. Miller’s formal legal opinion is here (PDF).

WA-Gov: McKenna (R) Leads Inslee in SurveyUSA Poll

SurveyUSA for KING5 (4/27-28, registered voters, no trendlines):

Jay Inslee (D): 41

Rob McKenna (R): 48

Undecided: 11

Jay Inslee (D): 44

Dave Reichert (R): 46

Undecided: 10

Chris Gregoire (D-inc): 40

Rob McKenna (R): 52

Undecided: 7

Chris Gregoire (D-inc): 44

Dave Reichert (R): 48

Undecided: 8

(MoE: ±4%)

No doubt most media outlets are going to run this poll with a “OMG! Rob McKenna beats Chris Gregoire!” headline. Pardon my French, but Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break. While Gregoire is legally entitled to run for a third term, that just isn’t done in Washington (no one has attempted it since Dan Evans back in the 1970s), and she isn’t fundraising, but keeping a vague air of mystery about her plans to ward off lame duck-itis in her dealings with the legislature. Even if she wanted to, her approvals would sensibly preclude her from running (37/61 in this poll), as she’s shed considerable support on her left with recent actions (an annual budget heavy on education cuts, and just last week a partial veto of a medical marijuana dispensary bill). Add all that up, and anyone in Washington with two brain cells to rub together knows she isn’t running.

Well, with that said, the other numbers from this poll confirm my suspicions that this is going to be a difficult hold for the Democrats, as both AG Rob McKenna (who’s been running for this job for about eight years) and Rep. Dave Reichert (who just poked his head up about this job in the last week) have leads over likely Dem nominee Rep. Jay Inslee. I suspect the McKenna/Inslee disparity may be largely because of name rec (although SUSA doesn’t provide approvals on anybody other than Gregoire, so I can’t compare). Inslee also has an avenue of attack that he’s only just started using, concerning the one flagrantly partisan thing that the otherwise blandly non-controversial McKenna has done as AG, which is to sign onto the multi-state lawsuit against health care reform. Even taking those factors into account, though, McKenna is the GOP’s best shot in decades at recapturing the governor’s mansion, given that he’s one of the last of a dying breed: a quasi-moderate from the suburbs of King County. (And, no, although Reichert also meets those criteria too, I just don’t see him running for this; the party establishment wouldn’t stand for it.)

In case you’re wondering about methodology, the usually autodialer-only SurveyUSA did include a cellphone user sample as part of the poll. You may recall that they did this several times in their polling of WA-Sen last year to account for problems with reaching landline-free younger voters, a problem which has seemed particularly pronounced in tech-savvy Washington. It didn’t seem to help much in 2010, though, as SurveyUSA, like the other robo-callers, still saw the Murray/Rossi race as a tied game, while local traditional-method pollsters at UW correctly spotted the 5-point margin.

SSP Daily Digest: 5/2


MT-Sen: TPM’s headline says it all: “23rd Richest Member Of Congress: I’m ‘Struggling Like Everyone Else.'” Those words were indeed uttered by Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is worth anywhere from $6,598,014 and $56,244,998. It’s not quite Fred Heineman, but it’s not exactly far off, either.

NM-Sen (PDF): Republican robo-pollster Magellan has a new survey out for the GOP primary. They find ex-Rep. Heather Wilson at 59, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez at 17, teabagging businessman Greg Sowards at 2, 11 other and 11 undecided. The supposedly RINO Wilson has what seems like preposterously good favorables, 84-12, among members of her own party. The linked PDF has faves for a whole host of other candidates, including some who weren’t tested in the head-to-heads.

NV-Sen: Joe Trippi’s really becoming the go-to guy for rich vanity candidates whom no one wants to see run, isn’t he? Fresh off the vomit-caked Jeff Greene debacle, Trippi’s been hired by wealthy lawyer Byron Georgiou, who so far as refused entreaties to clear a path for Rep. Shelley Berkley. Georgiou’s also arranged to bring on Dan Hart, a local consultant, and pollster Paul Maslin (as in Fairbank Maslin).

WA-Sen, WA-Gov: Republican Rep. Dave Reichert suggested back in January that he might be thinking about a gubernatorial run, something he affirmed in a recent interview with a local tv station. What seems to be new is that he says he’s also thinking about a run against Sen. Maria Cantwell. I can’t imagine that working out well for him, and he’s also quoted as saying that the “hardest part” of adjusting to life in DC was “getting used to sitting on the airplane.” If he’s still grumbling about those transcontinental flights all these years later, then it sounds to me like he’d prefer the governor’s mansion to the Senate.


WV-Gov: Rick Thompson has a new spot specifically noting that “across the country, the rights of workers are under attack” – and promising that he’ll “stand up for workers” in West Virginia.


NH-01: Joanne Dowdell, who is described as a “Portsmouth businesswoman” and has had some involvement in national Dem politics (she was a DNC committeewoman), says she plans to go up against ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the Democratic primary. It sounds like her politics, by her own admission, are pretty similar to CSP’s, so I’m not really sure what the point of this is.

NV-02: Gov. Brian Sandoval has set Sept. 13 as the date for the special election to replace Rep. Dean Heller. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Ross Miller will announce the rules for the special at a press conference later today. Oh, and Sharron Angle’s sent out a fundraising email (decrying the “left wing of the Republican Party”), so she’s obviously hoping Miller’s framework leaves the door open for her.

NY-13: The New Yorker has just about the most fearsome fact-checking department in the English-speaking world, so if you’re going to call them liars, you’re probably going to get your ass handed to you. That’s exactly what’s happening to Rep. Mike Grimm, who called Evan Ratliff’s piece on his FBI days “fiction,” “a witch hunt,” and “a hatchet job.” Ratliff has responded, and in so doing nailed Grimm on a few mistruths of his own. I don’t know that this whole saga is going to have a huge impact in Grimm’s district (I think the Ryan vote is a much bigger deal), but there are still a lot of documents we haven’t seen. We may never see them, but they still loom out there like a sword of Damocles.

NY-26: New ads from Jane Corwin and Crazy Jack Davis. Corwin’s touts her record on creating jobs, while Davis goes on a rampage, talking directly to the camera about how both parties give bailouts to Wall Street, but he “can’t be bought.” NWOTSOTB in both cases. Meanwhile, NARAL is endorsing Dem Kathy Hochul, but also no word as yet if money will follow.

Other Races:

Wisconsin Recall: A local judge agreed with the Government Accountability Board that eight recall elections (so not including one for GOPer Rob Cowles) could get consolidated on July 12. Democrats had asked that the recalls against Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper be certified right away, since those petitions were turned in first, and they’re the two most-vulnerable Republicans, but the request was denied. Things may still get delayed if there are petition challenges, which are all but certain – indeed, Dems have already discovered the signature of a Democratic state Rep.’s long-dead father on one. (Republicans amusingly accused Democrats of planting the sig.)

The Journal Sentinel also has a look at state Assembly members who may run in these recalls, on both the Republican and Democratic sides. It’s a tempting proposition because it’s a free shot: These folks don’t have to give up their current seats in order to run. Some of these names have already announced, while others are still considering. And finally, WisPolitics has a roundup of fundraising numbers for all the recall targets.

Grab Bag:

Dark Money: Democrats have finally followed the GOP’s lead and decided to create organizations to counter Karl Rove’s American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS. Former Obama aide Bill Burton and former Rahm Emanuel aide Sean Sweeney will head up “Priorities USA” and “Priorities USA Action,” with a goal of raising $100 million to help President Obama. These groups will be allowed to take in unlimited undisclosed donations. No word yet if they also plan on getting involved downballot.

Redistricting Roundup:

Colorado: Election lawyers out west looking for work now have at least one redistricting battle they can probably look forward to. Steam is coming out of Republican ears now that they’ve seen the Dems’ new map, and I can’t imagine any sort of compromise taking place now. The map the Democrats are going with is one that they’ve released before, called “City Integrity 4”; you can find a PDF of the bill as formally introduced before the legislature here.

Missouri: Finally, the Dems do something right in redistricting: Gov. Jay Nixon just vetoed the legislature’s last-minute compromise map, almost right after it landed on his desk. The CW said Nixon would wait until the very end of the legislative session to veto, to make an over-ride that much more difficult (or possibly push it into September), but it looks like Nixon chose instead to look publicly magnanimous. He’s asked the GOP to send him a new map before the session ends, which makes him look gracious. I suspect that he also knows they can’t over-ride, and his veto letter offered no specific complaints about the map, so he’s cleverly made it impossible for the Republicans to satisfy him.

The GOP could try to make Nixon look bad by forcing a second veto, but given how difficult it was to hammer out a deal between the House and Senate, I think they’d have a hard time sending him a map that looked any different from the one he just axed. So it would look like silly gamesmanship if they tried to put forward the exact same plan. (That didn’t exactly work out for Dick Saslaw in Virginia.) As long as the over-ride fails and Nixon sticks to his guns, this map will end up in court, which would count as a big win for Team Blue.

Mississippi: I have to say, I never imagined this would work – but here we are. A three-judge federal court says they are “inclined” to agree with Democrats and the NAACP that state legislative elections should be held this year under maps that were approved in each chamber but not the other (and hence never signed into law), in order to correct serious one-person, one-vote imbalances. The court could still choose to allow elections under current lines, or draw its own map, but this seems to be the path of least resistance. Note that in VRA cases which go before three-judge trial court panels, appeals are taken directly to the Supreme Court – and the SCOTUS must rule on the case (they can’t kick it by declining certiorari), which is a real legal rarity.

Nevada: Nevada Democrats have released their congressional map, but we can’t seem to find a copy of it online. If you see it anywhere, please let us know in comments.

Virginia: Well, it’s a done deal. Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the new legislative maps into law. (You can see them here.) Now we move on to the congressional map. The GOP could (and I guess will) probably try to wait until 2012 to do that, since they’ll have a chance at re-taking the state Senate this fall. My view is that Democrats would be idiots to compromise and should take their chances with the voters this fall so that they can kick the map-making to the courts next year. Even if we get rocked this year, what’s the worst the Republicans can do to us? Draw an 8-3 map? That’s the only “compromise” they’ll accept now anyway, and even that might not pass VRA muster. So there’s no reason not to wait.

Site News:

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