SSP Daily Digest: 2/3

Election Results: With 99.1% of precincts reporting (97 remain, apparently mostly in Cook County), both sides of the governor’s race remain too close to call. Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn has declared victory, sitting on a 7,000 vote lead (50.4%-49.6%) and with the remaining precincts in Cook County likely to go his way, although Dan Hynes hasn’t conceded yet. On the GOP side, we’re looking most likely at a recount, as state Sen. Bill Brady leads fellow state Sen. Kirk Dillard currently by a 751-vote margin (20.3%-20.2%), as they both squeaked past the two presumed frontrunners, former state party chair Andy McKenna and former AG Jim Ryan. The fact that the remaining votes are from Cook County, however, may be poised to help the moderate suburbs-based Dillard, though, rather than the conservative downstate Brady, so this race seems likely to get even closer (Nate Silver actually projects a one-vote victory for Brady based on broader Cook County trends). Recount procedures make it sound like a protracted process – an initial vote tally won’t happen until March 5, and then the process “could take months to complete” – giving Quinn a big headstart on whoever the GOP victor turns out to be.

As expected, Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk are the Senate nominees, although both won their races with somewhat underwhelming percentages (39% for Giannoulias, and 57% for Kirk, who could have been in more trouble had the teabagging right coalesced behind one person in particular). Conservatives did triumph over establishment candidates in several GOP House primaries, though, as Bob Dold! beat state Rep. Beth Coulson in the 10th, and state Sen. Randy Hultgren beat Ethan Hastert in the 14th.

In Florida, as expected, state Sen. Ted Deutch easily won the special election primary to succeed Rep. Robert Wexler, beating former Broward Co. Commissioner Ben Graber 86-15. It looks like he’ll face Republican Ed Lynch (the 2008 nominee), who defeated Joe Budd by only 46 votes (but with only 8,000 total GOP votes, that’s outside the margin for an automatic recount). And here’s a surprise out of Kentucky: Democrats picked up a state House seat in the dark-red HD 24, which was recently vacated when Republican Jimmy Higdon got promoted to the state Senate in another special election. Terry Mills won, 54-46, based on an overwhelming edge (89-11) on his home turf of Marion County, reminding us that, at the end of the day, all politics is local.

Finally, last night was caucus and straw poll night in Minnesota. Only 80% of precincts have reported yet – I guess they go to bed early in Minnesota – but the straw poll in the Democratic governor’s race points to only a lot of chaos at this point. Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak led with 21.8%, followed closely by state House speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher at 20.2%. However, “uncommitted” is a solid 3rd at 15%, there are five other candidates who managed to break 5% (John Marty, Tom Rukavina, Paul Thissen, Matt Entenza, and Tom Bakk), and ex-Sen. Mark Dayton doesn’t even seem to be bothering with the whole process, planning on going straight to the primary, so there’s not much clarity on how the field will shake out. The GOP field seems much more clear-cut, where former state House minority leader Marty Seifert beat state Rep. Tom Emmer 50-39, with the rest of the field in the low single digits.

AZ-Sen: With the imminent entry of ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth into the Republican primary against John McCain, we’re already looking at dueling internal polls. McCain offers up a poll from POS, giving him a 59-30 lead over Hayworth. Hayworth has his own poll from McLaughlin, which, not surprisingly, shows him much closer, trailing 49-33.

FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek, NASCAR dad? Meek plans to call attention to his campaign by shelling out to be the lead sponsor of Mike Wallace’s car in an upcoming race at Daytona.

IN-Sen: With the surprising announcement by ex-Sen. Dan Coats last night that he’s interested in a comeback and would start seeking the signatures to qualify for the Indiana GOP nod, the oppo pretty much writes itself. For starters, Coats can’t even sign his own petition – he’s been a registered voter in Virginia for more than a decade, not Indiana. And what’s he been doing for much of that time? Lobbying… for King & Spalding, on behalf of nice people like the Carlyle Group and Bank of America. The Plum Line also points to Coats accusing Bill Clinton of “wagging the dog” when he started going after al-Qaeda in 1998, allegedly to distract the press from his peccadilloes… and we all know how that turned out.

ND-Sen: Democrats have, well, somebody ready to go if ex-AG Heidi Heitkamp doesn’t get into the Senate race to replace retiring Byron Dorgan. State Sen. Tracy Potter, who represents Bismarck, will be announcing his candidacy on Friday. Other potential candidates seem to be holding back, waiting to see what Heitkamp does; she’s been strangely silent since initially expressing interest in the seat last month.

NY-Sen-B: Quinnipiac’s first poll of the New York Senate race after the Harold Ford Jr. boomlet began finds, well, pretty much what everyone else has found: Kirsten Gillibrand beats him by a wide margin but doesn’t break 50%. Gillibrand beats 36-18, with Jonathan Tasini at 4. Quinnipiac also tests general election matchups against Republican port commissioner Bruce Blakeman (they don’t even bother testing ex-Gov. George Pataki, who doesn’t seem to be making any moves to get into the race). Gillibrand beats Blakeman 44-27, and Ford beats him 35-26. Gillibrand is slowly gaining some more name rec, up to a 42/28 approval. Blakeman may not have the GOP primary to himself, though, as a strange blast from the past is re-emerging to say he’s interested in the race: ex-Rep. Joseph DioGuardi. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, DioGuardi served in the House representing Westchester County from 1984 to 1988, when he was defeated by Nita Lowey.

NY-Gov: The same Quinnipiac sample looks at the governor’s race, finding huge approval gaps between Andrew Cuomo (54/16) and David Paterson (34/49). Cuomo wins the Democratic primary 55-23. Cuomo beats Rick Lazio 57-25, while Lazio manages to get past Paterson 40-39. There’s also one other bit of good news for Cuomo (who’s seemed gunshy about taking on Paterson, perhaps out of bad memories of his race against Carl McCall). The poll asked if his candidacy would be “racially divisive,” and respondents answered “no” by an 80-14 margin, including 73-22 among African-Americans. Marist (pdf) also just released the gubernatorial half of its recent Senate poll, finding generally similar numbers. Cuomo wins the primary 70-23. Cuomo beats Lazio 64-27, while Lazio edges Paterson 46-43.

TN-Gov: Add one more candidate running for higher office who’s publicly copped to being birther-curious: Lt. Gov. (and GOP gubernatorial candidate) Ron Ramsey. Not having made much of an impression in terms of polling (where Rep. Zach Wamp has an edge) or fundraising (where Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam is cleaning up), this seems like the most attention Ramsey has gotten so far.

TX-Gov: Here’s more evidence that the Texas GOP gubernatorial primary may be headed for a runoff: the new Rasmussen poll of the primary doesn’t have anyone coming even close to 50%. Incumbent Rick Perry leads at 44, with Kay Bailey Hutchison lagging at 29, and Paulist insurgent Debra Medina all the way up to 14 on the strength of some buzz coming out of her debate performances. KBH may be counting on a runoff as her only way left to salvage this race, but somehow it seems like, in a runoff, Medina votes are a lot likely to gravitate toward the secession-invoking Perry rather than consummate DC insider Hutchison. In the general, all three defeat Democratic ex-Houston mayor Bill White, although, as one would expect, KBH puts up the biggest margin: 49-36. Perry wins 48-39, while Medina wins by only 41-38.

AR-02: One of the non-Tim Griffin candidates in the Republican field, David Meeks, dropped out of the race today, probably realizing he was in over his head with the kind of attention open seat races get. One other candidate, restaurant owner Scott Wallace remains, and he may well carry the teabagger flag against Beltway creature Griffin. Realizing the best way to win this is by painting Griffin as insider, the DCCC is turning their attention to Griffin’s past as GOP behind-the-scenes fixer, calling attention to his efforts at voter suppression. Over in the diaries, ARDem takes a look at the developing Dem field, which currently contains state House speaker Robbie Wills, liberal state Sen. Joyce Elliott, and retiring Vic Snyder’s chief of staff, David Boling. It won’t contain, however, Little Rock mayor Mike Stodola, or Public Service Commissioner Paul Suskie, who had seemed to be laying the groundwork for a run.

CA-12, CA-AG: False alarm: Rep. Jackie Speier is staying put in the 12th District, where’s she been in place for only a couple years. Rumors that she was about to move over to the state AG’s race had many of the state legislators on the Peninsula angling to replace her.

GA-04: In the wake of an internal from Rep. Hank Johnson showing him crushing his three opponents in the Dem primary in this solidly-blue district in Atlanta’s suburbs, one of those opponents got out of the way: DeKalb Co. Commissioner Lee May. May is an ally of former DeKalb Co. CEO Vernon Jones, so it’s possible that he’s getting out of the way primarily so that Jones can get a bigger share of the non-Johnson vote.

MA-10: With the general sense that this is the most vulnerable district in Massachusetts (as seen with its votes in the Senate special election last month), Republicans are taking more of an interest in challenging Rep. William Delahunt in this usually-ignored seat. Former state treasurer Joe Malone is probably the biggest name to express interest, but at least one other credible contender, state Rep. Jeffrey Perry, is already announcing his candidacy. State Sen. Robert Hedlund is also expressing some interest.

NJ-07: One big hole in the Dems’ recruitment schedule has been the 7th, narrowly won by freshman GOP Rep. Leonard Lance in 2008. They’ve managed to fill the gap with Ed Potosnak, who’s elevated slightly above Some Dude status by the full Rolodex he brings with him after working for a number of years as a Hill staffer for Rep. Mike Honda.

PA-11: Lackawanna Co. Commissioner Corey O’Brien has a compelling argument for why he should win the primary in the 11th: he says Rep. Paul Kanjorski has “zero” chance of defeating Republican Lou Barletta in their third face-off, citing Kanjorski’s low approval ratings. O’Brien has been fundraising well ($180K last quarter, not far from Kanjo’s $237K) and recently hit the airwaves with a small cable buy for his first TV spot.

CA-LG: Is San Francisco mayor (and gubernatorial race dropout) Gavin Newsom actually thinking about a run for the dead-end job that is California’s #2? Officially he’s not interested, but he hasn’t said no, and a new public poll from Tulchin gives him a big lead in a hypothetical LG primary, with Newsom at 33 against the two declared candidates: Los Angeles city councilor Janice Hahn at 17 and state Sen. Dean Florez at 15. Meanwhile, the state Senate this week takes up the issue of filling the current vacancy in the LG’s chair (vacated by now-Rep. John Garamendi); there’s actually talk of blocking Ahnold appointee state Sen. Abel Maldonado, despite that getting the moderate Republican Maldonado out of his seat would open up his Dem-leaning district for a takeover and help push the Dem edge in the Senate toward the magic 2/3s mark.

CT-AG: The story of Susan Bysiewicz just gets stranger and stranger; she decided that rather than run for governor, she’d prefer to run for AG, but now the job’s current occupant, Richard Blumenthal, says that possibly she can’t. An AG opinion interprets state law requiring ten years of legal practice as unclear and urges a declaratory ruling on Bysiewicz’s case from a court. Bysiewicz, for her part, said she won’t seek the declaratory ruling and is simply plowing ahead with her AG campaign, although it’s possible one of the other candidates in the race might force the issue in the courts.

Polltopia: The skepticism toward those SurveyUSA polls commissioned by Firedoglake continues to grow, this time from political science professor and frequent contributor Alan Abramowitz. His gravest concerns are with the leading questions in the issues portions of the poll on health care reform, but he also points to serious problems with the samples’ compositions that we were quick to flag. He observes that the samples deeply underrepresent younger votes, and that the youth subsets are so small that there’s no good way to “weight up” younger voters to a more proportionate level.

106 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/3”

  1. I like how the Republican emailer equates more Republicans saying it as making the claim somehow alright. And yeah Specter is still a douche. But I still hope he gets re-elected.

    And I’m willing to give SurveyUSA the benefit of the doubt.

  2. I’ll come on out and say that I am a NASCAR fan.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.  It’s better watching the race on TV than watching it at the track.  The people are nice, but it’s a smelly proposition!  

    Anyway, Mike Wallace is the brother of Rusty Wallace.  In the past when Rusty has won races, he will shout to the crowds something to the effect that the Democrats can go to hell because they want to outlaw guns.  My ole college roomie (a conservative Republican) used to be a sportswriter for a local newspaper, and he got to meet all the drivers.  Even my ole roomie says that Rusty Wallace was a prick.

    Mike Wallace, OTOH, is somewhat respected by all.  It’s pretty damn gutsy for a NASCAR driver to promote a Democratic candidate.  It’s not the first time:  Bob Graham sponsored a car back in 2003 for his soon to be aborted Presidential run.

  3. Has him up 12 points.

    There is no way Obama is at just 51% approval in Illinois. The national polls suggest 50-50 at worst so this would be impossible in his home state. Makes me very skeptical of the whole thing. Still, Alexi clearly has work to do.

  4. Worst career decision ever. Instead of running for the higher office that she was a strong favorite to win, she decided to run for an office which she isn’t legally qualified for. What was she thinking?

  5. Just when you think they can’t get any worse, they do.

    On a different note, the best outcome for us in IL-Gov is if Dillard barely beats Brady after the recount. Imagine the tea bagger fury!

  6. The big winners look to be Rybak, Kelliher, and Dayton.  Rybak posted a monster showing given that his campaign has only been active for a couple of months; Kelliher finally managed to show her support among activists despite her dismal performance in primary polls.  Dayton made the right call in pulling out of the caucuses altogether; look at Entenza’s lackluster showing if you can’t see why.  Entenza damaged himself severely by entering a contest he couldn’t even come close to winning, while Dayton preserved his strength.  Bakk, Rukavina, Thissen, Kelley, and Gaertner are done.  Marty’s strong third-place showing is very impressive and shows the strength of progressives overall, but I expect most of those votes to go to Rybak when all’s said and done.

    Overall, Rybak comes out of this in the catbird seat.  He’s the favorite to win the caucus, has the funds to compete with Dayton in the primary, and performs the best against Seifert in the general.  A great night for Rybak.

  7. “ex-Rep. Joseph DioGuardi. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, DioGuardi served in the House representing Westchester County from 1984 to 1988, when he was defeated by Nita Lowey. ”

    I called this in December.

  8. I’m in Texas and I call an uber southwestern fajita style BS on Medina beating White. White hasn’t even started to run and Medina is to the right of Ron Paul and crazier than Lyndon Larouche. White may be a slight underdog vis a vis Perry but he’ll trounce Medina by at least 40 points: you can take that to the bank.

  9. The poll asked if his candidacy would be “racially divisive,” and respondents answered “no” by an 80-14 margin, including 73-22 among African-Americans.

    (from the diary)

    Excellent news. Obviously, if Patterson pushes in this direction, a mistake by Cuomo could be costly. But a racial appeal by itself won’t make any difference in the NY-Gov race.

  10. Bronx-born, moved to Westchester, Fordham Grad

    1. narrowly won an open seat in Westchester in 1984 vacated by Richard Ottinger

    2. defeated Bella Abzug in 1986. I’m pretty sure that Abzug’s lack of ties to the area helped him out.

    3. Lost to Lowey in 1988

    4. Lost to Lowey again 1992

    5. Lost to Sue Kelly in the 1994 primary for another district

    6. Lost to Sue Kelly but won 10% as a Conservative in the 1994 General election

    7. Lost to Sue Kelly again in the 1996 primary

    8. Lost to Sue Kelly again in the 1996 general (winning 12% as a Conservative)

    9. Lost to Sue Kelly again in the 1998 general (winning 3.5% as a Right to Life candidate)

    10. His daughter is a judge on American Idol.

    Obviously the only candidate who can stop him in the primary is Sue Kelly.

  11. Brady’s lead has dropped from 751 to 509.  If that continues, Dillard will win by about 100.  Of course, I haven’t checked to see where these new 25 precincts are from.  Just 72 precincts left.

  12. Say Charlie Crist decides to switch parties and becomes a Democratic candidate for Senate.  Could he conceivably get LeMieux to switch too?  Could that get us back to 60 for HCR?

  13. If there is a run off hopefully it fractures the GOP support for the nominee, who I still think will be Perry.  I saw Bill White earlier this week in Dallas and he had the best line “We need to be the state that leads the union, not the state which leaves the union!”  It got a great laugh out of everyone for the obvious reasons.

  14. He’s one of those faux moderates like Mark Kirk, the kind everyone falls over themselves for because they’re “so moderate” even though they’re almost as conservative as the “conservatives,” just a lot more temperate in manner.

  15. I’m not sure what they’re doing that’s “worse” than what they’re already doing – which, by the way, is pretty damn good.  Despite all the shit Democrats are in nationally, there’s not a single Democratic incumbent House member in California that’s in any real danger of losing their seat.  They have comfortable majorities in both state leg chambers, and hold almost every statewide office except Governor and Insurance Commissioner.  Not to mention, they’ve almost entirely swept Republicans out of Los Angeles County and have made huge gains in Orange County, which had long been deemed an impenetrable fortress for Republicans.  Most state parties would kill to have that kind of success.

  16. Ultra-liberal Democrats always perform best in caucuses, because ultra-liberals comprise basic part of participating in caucuses. The same with ultraconservatives and Republican caucuses. Mad system – a few thouthands very radical (to be politically correct, usually i use much harsher word) voters determining who will be party candidates. I greatly prefer “normal primaries”

  17. It is toally possible Obama is at 51% with the likely electorate this year in Illinois.  Democrats are NOT turning out.

  18. and doesnt want to run halfway through a term as Governor, that looks bad.  This all changed with Blumenthal no longer go against Lieberman, and she wanted to position for that.

    Shouldve just stuck with SoS, though.

  19. By the way, I don’t know if you ever noticed that I credited you with seeing that Coakley was not the brightest bulb. You deserve a lot of credit for having compared her silly answer about knowing about Europe because her sister lives there (I think that was the beginning of her answer) to Palin’s answer about Russia.

    Now, about DioGuardi: He was quite an extreme right-winger, in the context of the 1980s. That is, he was a down the line Reagan Republican, including being a loud promoter of a new ban on abortions and other Religious Right positions, and a supporter of all manner of murderous right-wing governments and militaries (e.g., El Salvador) and guerrilla/terrorist movements (e.g., the Nicaraguan Contras). It wouldn’t be accurate to call his politics then the same as the Tea Party now, because even really hard-right Reagan Republicans weren’t as extreme in various ways as the Tea Party folks are now, but there is a good reason why he was narrowly defeated in 1988 and Nita Lowey has romped to lopsided victories ever since: New York is a very culturally tolerant state, pretty supportive of government spending, and otherwise rather moderate politically.

    DioGuardi’s politics were similar to Al D’Amato’s, but he seemed more strident and divisive; I’m not sure that impression was fair, but no-one with politics as far right as D’Amato has won statewide in New York for a while, in any case. Note that the most recent Republican former Governor, George Pataki, was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and had a good environmental record, though he was definitely right-wing in his fiscal policies (e.g., cut taxes for the wealthiest, screw the cities).

  20. But when the random names Liz Feld, Bruce Blakeman, etc were beginning to pop up, I asked the question who would be the next random person to consider a challenge to her. I said DioGuardi, but he wasn’t the next, but he did.  

  21. I’d like to give you credence, as a Texan reporting from the state, but that kind of exaggeration can’t help but damage your credibility. Care to dial that back a bit?

  22. Why the hell are there question marks at the end of so many phrases, and why isnt the person reading off the script doing question mark intonation?

    F-C-I-N-O?  A FCINO?  Like seriously?

    They dont even show Carly Fiorina, they show brief side glimpses and allude to Carly.  There is no, Im Carly Fiorina and I approve this stupid 3 and a half minute long disaster.  As far as I know, the woman they are showing is some power lesbian with a buzz cut and not a woman running for Senate and recovering from cancer.  

    Easily the worst ad Ive ever seen in my entire life.  Although since Im only 23, I sure hope something comes along that beats this.

  23. however as polls show blades of grass ready to turn out in unprecedented numbers, her opposition to grazing by evil sheep will probably be a net plus for her.

  24. I also love how it seems to suggest that fiscal conservatism means refusing to fill massive budgetary black holes.

  25. I didn’t see before.

    And I agree, there is little chance DioGuardi is getting elected, unless Ford really bruises Gillibrand.  

  26. It’s been my hunch that racial appeals can only go so far, and that includes racial appeals to minorities.  For one, the “out” group is going to be pissed and vote against you, and many in the “in” group will be disgusted/uneasy about it, too.

  27. is squandering an opportunity to get 2/3 in the Senate by confirming Maldo as LG, opening up his Senate seat to a very likely Dem takeover along with a likely takeover in the 12th Senate district.

  28. Holy moly.  They are an abject disaster of incompetent governing by utterly mediocre career job-hopping polticians first, last and always concerned with covering their own butts.

    Some snarkers want them to oppose the AG appointment because don’t want the 2/3 majority and the clear responsibility that comes with it.

    Opposing a logical, qualified choice for LG is sleazy and stupid.  Their incumbentmander(TM) protects their do nothing butts though.  

  29. I’m not really sure why them winning majorities in a blue state is evidence of electoral competence though. Its not like they orchestrate demographic changes.

  30. Crist switches parties, then talks LeMieux into switching, then LeMieux does a 180 and changes his position on HCR…yeah like thats gonna all happen

  31. Last 72 precincts have report, and he didn’t lose as many as indicated by the previous 25.  Brady wins by about 400.

  32. She better hope this ad doesnt hurt the cougar vote!  Out of all the states in the country, the cougar vote is certainly most important in CA.  So many boob jobs and puckered lips, yikes, dont screw up the cougar vote honey!

  33. However, it sure as heck would make life complicated for him. Not that his endorsement would mean much either way, but still, LeMieux would be pretty much sidelined for the duration of the campaign – I cannot conceive him possibly endorsing Rubio against his old friend and benefactor.

  34. Please Tek enough of the bull you spread. I’m skeptical of any poll turned out by a candidate. I agree in IL there’s no way he oly got 51 percent.

  35. Jason Plummer, a lumber company executive and Tea Party candidate (he seems like one at least), is claiming victory in the race, and has a small lead over the GOP front-runner, State Senator Matt Murphy (although not that small).

    Bad news on the Democratic side though–Scott Lee Cohen, the self-funding pawn shop owner, won by about four points over State Representative Art Turner. Apparently there’s talk that he’s a LaRouchie, and he has a rather troubled past…

    Regardless of who ends up the GOP winner, if Quinn’s unpopularity continues, Cohen could completely fuck things up for the Democrats in the Governor’s race…not good. Not good at all.

  36. Why Pat Quinn is suddenly unpopular. I was reading through the comments in the IL results threads we had here last night and everyone was pretty much facepalming the fact that Quinn was beating Dan Hynes. I thought Quinn was popular what he do? or was it all the negative ads Hynes ran that ran Quinn’s popularity into the ground?

  37. So the Democratic candidate for LT Governor of Illinios is a confirmed domestic abuser who was arrest in 2005 for beating is girlfriend and he is also a possible LaRouchie!

    Don’t worry I am sure Pat Quinn can handle it. After all the guy ran and won on a ticket with Blagojevich last time. How much worst could a woman beating LaRouchie be?

  38. plus 9 republicans running negative adds about him. It will be a tough fight especially with his new LG and the economy in crisis, but maybe a nice long republican recount will help. Also Brady is too little to conservative for Illinois, he opposes abortion even if the mother’s life is at risk.      

  39. I don’t think Thompson was the biggest worry here. He would be dead with the base b/c of his support for HCR.

    Mark Neumann may look into it now. Thats bad for ya’ll in many ways.

    One, he frees Walker of a Gov primary.

    Two, he is a self-funder

    Three, he almost beat Feingold once already

    Plus, he’s a candidate that will turn out the base.  

  40. In fairness, California voters are the reason they have to job-hop so much. We approved the term limits in the first place and voted down several attempts to change and/or loosen them.

    And the “incumbentmander(TM) protecting their do nothing butts?” It’s gone after 2010, thanks to the new citizens’ redistricting commission.

    And hey, remember that time when Gov. Gray Davis and mostly Democratic legislators balanced the budget with a tax increase and Californians went apeshit and put Arnold effing Schwarzenegger in the governor’s office? And remember how the Gubernator has been totally unable to get any Republicans (other than Maldonado) to vote for anything he puts forward ever? Or vote for a budget that doesn’t contain only cuts? Or any budget at all, really, that any number of Democrats could support?

    I’m not saying Cali Dems are blameless, but there’s plenty of blame to pass around–Arnie, local Repubs, and yes, we can blame ourselves, the voters.

  41. Since 1980, Democrats have held the Governorship for all of 5 years in the state.  Fucking 5!  How is that our fault?  Not to mention, considering that California had to endure the collapse of the defense industry, the dot-com bubble, and the real estate crash, the fact that it survived and was doing realtively well until Schwarzenegger speakers volumes.  Plus, every state is having budget issues.  Why is California to be blamed – I don’t see you complaining about other states being an “abject failure” when they have the same goddamn fiscal problems.  We have a multi-billion dollar shortfall.  Guess what?  We operate a budget the size of most countries, so our deficits will always be bigger on paper than elsewhere.  I’m really tired of everyone piling on California when every other goddamn state gets a free pass.

    Tommy, I get real tired of your diatribes and how much everyone sucks and is an idiot.  Apparently, you’re the only one that knows what’s what and how things can get done.  If that’s the case, go run for office yourself and stop being such a smartass.

  42. (not Massachusetts)

    However, I don’t (yet) see an office that he’s running – nevertheless, Gov is the most logical option. MD-Sen would be much more difficult.

  43. Plus from what I read the guy a nutcase like his sucessor and already lost to Russ. Tommy would be more of a threat then a msn who hasn’t held office since 1998.

  44. Feingold can and will hopefully turn out our base, and I’ll take a base vs. base election in a blue state over running against someone who’s been elected statewide multiple times and could make headway with the center.

  45. with all 3 Democrats joining one Republican.  The other Republican abstained because he is also running for LG.

    Maldonado would become LG if he is confirmed by the full Senate and the Assembly.  But, here is another possibility:

    Maldonado would assume the post automatically if the Legislature fails to act by Feb. 21.

  46. With Brown barely over Whitman AND Boxer barely over Campbell i wouldn’t speak about any takeovers with such confidence. What will ypu say if Democrats lose BOTH Governorship and Senate in California, and that’s not impossible now?

  47. and who knows what will be results of it. Remember Coleman – Franken recount? Or Gregoire – Rossi?

  48. Only about 19,700 participated in the GOP, and once the voters are all in, about 23,000 will be in for the DFL.

    That means only 42,700 people participated, and then from there, the number gets cut down drastically to people going to Senate conventions.  Although I think they just based it off last years numbers, which had record turn-out.  So just about everyone from my precinct went on to be delegates to the senate convention.

    This is just not even close to being proportional to the state vote at all, I mean the vote total was just over the population of a state house seat.  That’s why Im glad this is going to a primary, lets make sure we get someone that people will go and vote for, not just who did the best out of 23,000.  We need like a million.

  49. In a low turnout election often the side with the most enthusiastic volunteers wins. That is why I like caucuses. I want the side that has volunteers that will go out and knock on doors and win over more voters. Remember GOTV efforts can gain candidates up to 5 points in CD and small states and 3 points in big states. How nice would that have been in Massachusetts 3 weeks ago or in the NJ Governor’s race?

    Lazy campaigns often get killed. Once again look at the Coakley campaign or for an even better example look at the 3 Democratic candidates in Virginia. My Poly Sci professor from Arlington, Virginia never had her door knocked on before the primary. Not only does she live in the most populous area of Virginia, not only does she live in the area with the most Democratic candidates, not only does she vote in every primary and general, and not only is she a political consultant in the state of VA (and all 3 campaigns knew it) but she also confirmed to every campaign via the phone that she was uncommitted 2 weeks before the primary. When the candidates are that bad they deserve to lose. I’m not saying Deeds got crushed because the campaign didn’t activate the base but I knew the election was over for any Dem by then.

    Not to rip on Hillary but in Iowa she thought turnout would be normal and Obama’s grassroots, volunteer army was a joke. I’m not saying Obama wouldn’t have beaten McCain without being popular among the base but his volunteers won him Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and the Nebraska 2nd.  Volunteers won those 4 areas not Obama not the economy. And Hillary would never have gotten them.

    So that is why I like caucuses.

  50. I thought the only reason she was polling so well was because she got a bounce from moneybombing the entire damn state. Just like how Terry McAuliffe surged a few months before the primary when he went up on the air.

  51. Both of your aforementioned races have Team Blue comfortably above the margin of error against both candidates, and that’s with those Republicans gobbling up all the press time and before their records have really been scrutizined.  It’s no surprise neither is blowing the doors off – they’re both long-time incumbents and have high negative ratings from Republicans with most independents taking a wait and see approach.  I still stand by my previous statement – the anti-Democratic wave hasn’t really hit California, and the party brand hasn’t taken a beating.  Are we really going to pile on the one state party that hasn’t screwed the pooch but give states like Arkansas, Illinois, and Massachusetts a free pass?

  52. Citizen’s Commission sounds like a fancy way of saying that big business picks the district shapes for legislators, rather than letting legislators do it themselves.

  53. First they elect a insane man to run their state who tries to sell Barack Obama’s Senate Seat then they go ahead and nominate a LaRouchean to be Pat Quinn’s runningmate. I swear to God politics in IL never seazes to amaze me.

  54. “Official police and court records show that the woman alleged Cohen put a knife to her throat and pushed her head against the wall.”

    Of course “public records show that the alleged victim, Scott’s 24-year-old girlfriend at the time, was a prostitute.”

    Unfreak’n believable!

    Not sure what’s worse this guy (whose a Pawn Broker) was living with a prostitute or that he allegedly tried to cut her throat!

    Here is the link:


  55. Dont’ laugh at GOP senate canidates who have daughter with connection to American Idol. We saw how that turned out in MA!

  56. It wasn’t until a day or so before the election I found out that Scott Brown’s daughter was a candidate on Idol.

  57. that the commission will need to comply with:

    a) no partisan data can be used, only general demographics.

    b) no goal/requirement to create as many competitive districts as possible.

  58. but Democrats have controlled the legislature forever, and are thus responsible for their actions.  The one Democratic Governor was so bad he was recalled.  The “replacement” that ran in that recall was crushed by an Austrian.

    California Democrats have not offered any leadership on the crisis the state is in.  None.  They offer no solution to anything.

    Every state has issues.  Is that supposed to be news somehow?  What is news is someone actually saying the California Democratic party has performed “pretty damn good”.  At incumbentmadering and winning elections, yes.  At governing, no.  At offering politicians with fresh solutions to problems, no.

  59. There are 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 third party/unenrolled people on the commission. To pass a map, three from each group have to vote for it. Like that’s ever going to happen.

  60. I think the issues with governance are way too unfairly put on the state Democratic Party.  They’re not the ones who voted in proposition after proposition that wrenched any power over discretionary spending away from the state legislature – that’s the voters’ fault.  And they’re not the ones who wrecked the state budget and covered it up with accounting gimmicks – that was Pete Wilson and George Dukmejian.  And in terms of winning, yes they do deserve credit – they’ve not only won over the lily-white suburbs that used to be solidly GOP, but they’ve been at the forefront of outreach to minority groups.  No group automatically votes for a party just because – the state party has had some good (and yes, very bad) latino leaders who’re responsible for that populace’s loyalty to the party.

    20 years ago CA was as solidly GOP as they came, and now it’s a solid democratic stronghold.  That doesn’t happen by accident.  If democrats were able to accomplish half of that in Texas we’d be singing their praises.  I really do think folks have seriously taken democrats’ success out here for granted.

  61. You make these broad, sweeping generalizations – usually to the effect that x or y is awful, terrible, doesn’t know what the eff they’re doing and anyone who thinks otherwise is, apparently, an idiot.  When someone tries to point out that there’s a lot more nuance to the situation, or that there’s more going on the ground than you realize, you dismiss it or just get even angrier.  And, quite frankly, it’s that type of attitude that epitomizes why so many politicians and campaigns hate dealing with the netroots – everyone’s a bloody expert and nothing’s ever good enough.  You do this all the time, and the constant bitching and self-purpoted omniscience is so very tiring.

    I’m not saying the state party is perfect, and California Democrats have had plenty of screwups.  But many of the problems this state has is not the fault of Democrats and is endemic to the problems of state government.  The state property tax, the deficits run by Republican governors, the proposition system, the term limits law, the economic collapse – all of those severely hamper any ruling party to get the job done out here, regardless of party affiliation.  There’s no magic wand to fix all of that, and any “big ideas” to fix the state would require huge undertakings that will require both parties on board – something that Republicans have been totally unwilling to do.

    And a word on those congressional districts – realize that when they were drawn after 1990 the state was far more Republican back then.  Los Angeles County was still very Republican in a lot of areas, and it was almost impossible for Democrats to win in places like Ventura, San Diego, or Orange County, not to mention that the Bay Area suburbs still had a lot of moderate GOP voters.  The complaints about the districts are, in effect, a reflection of the success Democrats have had over the last decade in winning over moderate whites and solidifying Latino support.  

    As I said before, most state parties would kill to have the kind of electoral success that the Democrats have had.  And while we pile on, it’s also unfair to place blame for all the state’s woes solely on them – there’s only so much you can do when the legislature is constantly shuffling members in and out and less than half of discretionary spending is now controlled by the government (the rest is via proposition system).  I’ve also seen the kind of vitriol directed towards CA Dems as it is towards those in Illinois, or any number of southern states.

    I’m not looking into getting into a flame war here (and it won’t matter as this week is likely my last at SSP for work reasons).  But realize that it’s easy to criticize, but much, much harder to run, win, and govern.

  62. Amazingly, Kirk might lose because of his pro cap and trade vote and it’s pissing off the southern coal towns. If I was Alexi I’d run ads on local radio in Southern Illinois pushing that. It’d be a great way to cancel the enthusiasm gap for Kirk.

  63. It’s a better move to AG. One, AG is seen with more prestige then SoS. Two, AG is mentioned more in the news then SoS. Three, by running for first Governor then AG her name is being mentioned in the current election. Did you know her name before she got in the Gov race or switched to AG? I didn’t. Fourth, Liberdouche can’t hit her for being soft on crime.Moderates will be the key to the race and it’s hard to use an issue from the SoS position to gain popularity among moderates and conservatives. It’s easy with a law and order field. See Brad Ellsworth.  

  64. Democrats in Texas will be able to accomplish that in 20 or so years, mark my words.

    Look, I’m not assigning all the blame for California’s woes on the CDP. But they have failed to provide any leadership for the state. Condemning voters for making poor decisions when the CDP is too afraid to challenge those poor decisions is idiotic. Blaming Republican governors when their Democratic opponents have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory (see Angelides, Phil and possibly Brown, Jerry) time and time again is as well.

    At the end of the day, California is a center-left state with a far-right system of governance. That may not be the CDP’s fault, but it sure as hell is their responsibility to change it.

  65. My impression – Ds took a hit standing up for principle on prop 187

    But gained longer term loyalty among Hispanics because of it. Hispanics in CA turned D sooner than they did in the rest of the country.

  66. people are much more willing to actually get involved and be hounded by their neighbors to take part in a presidential caucus.  Plus, in presidential caucuses, all you have to do is show up and spend an hour or two.  In MN, it’s attend this caucus and vote in the straw poll.  Then, to actually get a real say because the straw poll is worthless save for some good press, you have to sign up to be a senate district delegate.  That’s going to cost you an entire Saturday, and they start at 8 or 9am and can go into the afternoon.

    At the senate district convention, this is where you get to run around and find your sub-caucus, which you then do some number games to get enough people in your sub-caucus to send one delegate to the state convention, and these people actually pick a winner.

    Id call the senate district convention where you actually start to matter in picking the nominee, and that involves giving up MUCH MUCH MUCH more time than a casual voter is going to be willing to give up  Hell, it’s more time than Id want give up, but duty calls and once you get through the bs of sitting around, it does get fun with doing the run around sub-caucusing and actually saying hi to people.

    But getting Iowa caucus involvement to senate district convention involvement is not really done through door knocking.  And that’s the problem.  Out of the entire state of about 5 million people, only 42,000 people bothered to vote.  And we have the highest turnout in the country in elections, we’re known for it.  42,000 is just downright ridiculous.  And only a number of that goes onto a senate district convention, so that’s worse.  

    (im getting rushed, sorry for not spell checking!  off to play some super smach bros on wii.)

  67. some caucuses require you to show up at a certain time on caucus day, and not everyone can show up at that time due to work, school, travel, or other obligations, while primaries are more flexible with times that are open for voting. So I prefer primaries. (And yes I did vote in the Texas primary and caucus in 2008.)

  68. “the side with the most enthusiastic volunteers” is, usually, by far the most extremist side – either far right or far left. A very “wild eyed” type of persons…

  69. Have you heard the stuff that comes out of her mouth? She has zero $$ and makes anarchists sound like patriots. She carries a gun everywhere, talks about secession, wants to abolish taxation and I can’t remember if she even realizes there are people of color in Texas. If she is the nominee, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY she will win…she is a certified lunatic! She may win a few counties in West Texas where nobody with a brain lives…so no dial back and my  at least 40% landslide loss stands!  

  70. is popular with Republicans in Texas and would be favored if he runs for reelection in the general election. That’s completely insane to me. So pardon me if I’m not counting on overwhelming sanity among Texan voters.

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