Swing State Project Changes Ratings on Four Races

The Swing State Project is changing its ratings on two Senate and two gubernatorial races. Our writeups for all of these are below. You can find our complete ratings here: Sen | Gov.

Senate races:

  • IN-Sen (Open): Safe D to Tossup
  • SSP was reluctant to change its rating on this race when Dan Coats announced, in part because he started off hedging about his intentions, and in part because the DSCC landed so many solid hits on him in such a short time, we could plausibly believe he might reconsider his decision to un-retire. Now, of course, we’re waiting for the dust to settle from Evan Bayh’s collossal retirement announcement. Dems have a good shot at retaining this seat, especially if they nominate someone like Rep. Brad Ellsworth. But until we know more about who either party’s nominees will be, the future is too hazy to rate this race as anything other than a Tossup. (D)

  • WA-Sen (Murray): Safe D to RTW
  • Optimistic Republicans seem to be reading a lot into Dino Rossi’s three words regarding this race: “Never say never.” (While ignoring the statement from the same article that he has “no plans to run for any office at this point.”) The two-time gubernatorial loser has disassembled the campaign apparatus he had in place between 2004 and 2008, and returned to the private sector – but who knows. With enough encouragement from the NRSC, and from folks like Rasmussen (who gave him a 2-point lead against Patty Murray), he might feel motivated to give it one last shot. Murray is a more likable and better-funded figure than Chris Gregoire (who beat Rossi twice), but with the possibility of a Rossi (or Rep. Dave Reichert, although that’s unlikely too) entry, we’ll need to keep one eye on this race. (C)

    Gubernatorial races:

  • IA-Gov (Culver): Tossup to Lean R
  • Man, it’s hard out there for a gov. Chet Culver was looking pretty good for much of last year, especially since he faced a mostly third-tier crowd of wannabes. But along came former Gov. Terry Branstad looking for his old job back, which drastically changed the equation. Branstad’s long and somewhat rocky tenure doesn’t seem to have hurt him, but all-too-familiar economic woes seem to be pounding Culver, along with so many other incumbent governors. The polls have been especially unkind to him. If it were just Rasmussen showing him down big, we’d be slower on the trigger. But respected pollster Selzer & Co. has now pegged Culver at twenty points behind in two consecutive surveys. That’s brutal, deep hole, which makes this race Lean R. (D)

  • TX-Gov (Perry): Likely R to Lean R
  • Despite a national headwind that can only be described as atrocious, Democrats appear to have their best shot at winning back the Governor’s mansion in Texas in over a decade. A series of new polls have placed incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in the precarious position of facing a possible run-off after the state’s March 2nd primary. A run-off would tack on another five weeks to the primary process and would drain the GOP of even more resources. Meanwhile, former Houston Mayor Bill White has been raising money at a prodigious clip and trails Perry by only mid-single digits in many recent polls. There’s no question that Republicans still hold a clear edge in a state as red as this, but White has pushed this race into a more competitive stratum. (J)

    254 thoughts on “Swing State Project Changes Ratings on Four Races”

    1. I am soooo glad to see that you did not change IN senate to lean R that would just be stupid at this point.

      If Dino Rossi runs then it will be a race, although I would like some more polling before we get too scared about him.

      I do not see how Culver could turn this around. Even Vander Platts leads him at this point, and his approval rating is falling fast.

      Honestly I think Texas should be tossup, but I am sure you have your reasoning behind that one.  

    2. Texas is probably the race for me this cycle, outside of Michigan.  To see a Democrat in the State House down there would be incredible.

      The ratings all seem fair.  I think once the dust clears in Indiana, we’ll see a competitive race that’ll lean retention.  If we get Ellsworth (as it looks like we will,) I like our chances in the long run.

    3. Why open up another Republican leaning House seat for a Senate race that will likely be lost anyway?  Have you seen how Republican this environment is?  Democrats are having a tough time holding overwhelmingly blue states like California, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachussetts.  Why would Ellsworth be able to survive the Republican tidal wave in Indiana?  Democrats need to go with a businessperson who doesnt cost the party yet another crucial House seat.  

    4. Amazingly, there have been no public polls of the GOP primary since Branstad entered the race. The Branstad campaign leaked some numbers from an internal poll that supposedly showed him leading Vander Plaats 63 percent to 18 percent, but they released very little information about the sample, what questions were asked, etc.

      I assume Branstad will run away with the primary, but some smart people think Vander Plaats has a real shot. It would be helpful if Selzer polled the GOP primary in this race. It’s possible that she did and the Register will release those numbers later in the week.

      I think Vander Plaats could only win if it were a caucus, and it doesn’t help that Branstad has about seven times as much cash on hand. But if Vander Plaats did upset Branstad in the primary, then IA-Gov is at least lean D. If Vander Plaats loses by a little and does a lot of damage to Branstad in the meantime, it could go back to tossup.

      For now, though, I agree with your rating change.

    5. You have yet to answer what state you live in yet. I assume not Indiana, and let me tell you something I know Indiana politics. I have personally met Brad Ellsworth, Baron Hill, John Hostettler, and Dan Coats. My grandparents used to play bridge with Lee Hamilton, Frank and Judy O’Bannon, before they where elected to anything. My grandmother went from being a secretary at a local agriculture office to being the state director of agriculture. Indiana politics is in my blood and I know there is no way Hostettler beats Ellsworth. Nothing you tell me will make me think otherwise. I hope that wasn’t too descriptive but I really wanted to get my point across because anka is really getting on my nerves.  

    6. Ellsworth or Hill >>>>> Coats as a candidate. As long as the Democrats can get one of them to run, all this doom and gloom surrounding IN-Sen is unjustified.

    7. There were about 5 posts before Anka put his or her original post here. That is over double what the weekly open thread was in the course of a couple of hours. I have to say to anka, bravo bravo!!! Love anka or hate anka you can’t help talking to him.  

    8. I think Rossi will not run, like Thompson or Pataki, but while that becomes definite I think they are races to watch.

      Look to all the ratings is interesting. I agree about the ratings for senate races. I think Nevada can be going towards a Toss-Up and Iowa towards Leans R, but im not totally sure about the change.

      About the ratings for governor I would not put Wyoming as Likely Republican while D Freudenthal decide if he will challenge the state term limits. Republicans will challenge when they need. D Freudenthal is still a popular incumbent what can run again. This is my bigger difference with SSP ratings. I think would be a Race To Watch. D Freudenthal is giving smart steps until now.

      I think too, IL-Gov and MN-Gov races are more Leans D than ME-Gov. I would move this races to Leans D. And the last poll from Rasmussen about GA-Gov maybe enough for give to this race a Toss-Up. Barnes seems enough strong for win. He is now the democrat polling better in a purple or red state after M Beeve (I know not polls for D Freudenthal).

    9. I think Rossi will not run, like Thompson or Pataki, but while that becomes definite I think they are races to watch.

      Look to all the ratings is interesting. I agree about the ratings for senate races. I think Nevada can be going towards a Toss-Up and Iowa towards Leans R, but im not totally sure about the change.

      About the ratings for governor I would not put Wyoming as Likely Republican while D Freudenthal decide if he will challenge the state term limits. Republicans will challenge when they need. D Freudenthal is still a popular incumbent what can run again. This is my bigger difference with SSP ratings. I think would be a Race To Watch. D Freudenthal is giving smart steps until now.

      I think too, IL-Gov and MN-Gov races are more Leans D than ME-Gov. I would move this races to Leans D. And the last poll from Rasmussen about GA-Gov maybe enough for give to this race a Toss-Up. Barnes seems enough strong for win. He is now the democrat polling better in a purple or red state after M Beeve (I know not polls for D Freudenthal).

    10. On the same day that Rossi told the Seattle Times “Never say never”, he told KING% and the Seattle PI “never”. In fact, it was only after Benton confirmed that Rossi would stay out of the Senate race that Benton jumped in. Washington voters won’t see Rossi on the ballot.

      Strategists also know that Rasmussen polls in this state tend to weigh 3 to 5 points too favorablely Republican. My guess if a problem with the likely voter screen since this problem developed in Rasmussen polls only after WA went to vote by mail. Democratic turnout percentage bumped up with that change and has not dropped since. In 2009 elections onlly one county, Pierce, still had any in-person voting. By November even my home county will be entirely vote-by-mail.

      Reichert would probably like to challenge Murray but Republicans don’t want him to vacate a House seat they couldn’t hold without him.

      Given those ttwo factors, I rate my state Senate seat as safely Democratic.

    11. except for IA-Gov.

      IN-Sen we almost certainly have Ellsworth, who can win easily if he doesn’t totally Coakley up, which I don’t think he will.

      WA-Sen, honestly, is just Ras trying to bait a fairly mediocre Republican with high name-rec into the race. Rossi is a pretty sad candidate whose main issue was a grudge match against Gregoire because King County allegedly cheated him out of the Governor’s mansion. I don’t see him doing better than, say, Mike McGaverick in a Senate race.  Plus, demographic trends in the Northwest are still working in our direction.

      TX-Gov I agree with the Lean R for now, but it’ll be a tossup by election day if White plays his cards right. Having the 4th largest city in America as your constituency vs. a guy who’s been around for so long that he’s managed to piss off everyone at least once is a good combination, even in a Democrat-resistant state like Texas.

      IA-Gov on the other hand….well, it sucks to be an incumbent governor in this environment, and doubly so if you’re a Midwestern Democrat. (Like the Republicans will fix the economy?)  

    12. Even in 2008 the Democratic wave didn’t sweep everywhere. This year, the wave is anti-Democratic but also anti-incumbent; the Republicans aren’t exactly popular. And Tamyra d’Ippolito is just a joke.

    13. Control is now on the line. And the GOP doesn’t have perfect candidates. Ellsworth has as good a profile as you will get in Indiana. New Jersey?

    14. Do you work for John Hostettler or something? The republicans have horrible canidates right now. Coats and Hostettler are both jokes. I am not saying this is a safe race or anything, but we have a GREAT shot. I mean Coats has not been elected to anything since 1992 and has been giving the dems ammo like mad, and he will probably get teabagged to death by Hostettler, who was a horrible canidate that never got above 55% of the vote in a safe republican district, and who tried to take a loaded gun on a plane. He is nuts!!! Also who did he lose to? Oh yeah, Brad Ellsworth by 20 points! Also food for thought Obama has a 55% approval in Indiana right now. We would probably lose his seat but we will keep the Senate seat.

    15. Ellsworth’s district is IN-08, which I believe includes Evansville. I assume he/seh is a Democrat. Perhaps the mayor of Evansville might run to replace Ellsworth in the House. That would be pretty strong.  

    16. You never know what will happen.  You never know what the environment will be months from now.  So you put in place the pieces you need to pounce when or if there is an opening.  As we learned with Webb in 2006 and Wellstone in 1998 when races no one expected to be races opened out of nowhere due to fumbling from their opponents.

    17. It was basically an aftershock of 2006.  I have seen anti-incumbent waves and this isnt one of them.  1978 was an anti-incumbent wave.  1992 was an anti-incumbent wave.  If this was an anti-incumbent wave, David Vitter and Richard Burr would be trailing their Democratic opponents.  If it is a difference between having Mitch McConnell as majority leader and Harry Reid, Indiana will vote for the Republican in 2010.  

      Here is another example.  In 1994, were any Democratic Congressman able to hold open Democratic Senate seats?  No, even incredbily strong Democratic Congressman running for Senate got blown out of the water that year.  

    18. Id like to see that poll.  2006 was a fantastic Democratic year.  You cannot compare a race in 2006 to 2010.  Ellsworth will lose to any Republican statewide by 10 points.  

    19. Salazar won in Colorado despite Bush carrying the state. 2002 was a GOP year and Mark Pryor defeated a Republican incumbent in Arkansas.

    20. Do you live in Indiana? I do, and their is no way we elect a nut like Hostettler over a well liked and ultra conservative democrat like Ellsworth. Honestly you have NO idea what you are talking about.    

    21. Just like 1996, 1998 and 2000 were both slight tilt Dem.  2002 was lean GOP.  In years like 1974, 1994, 2006, and 2010, you dont get a Senate race or two in a state favoring the other party going your way.  

    22. In all fairness the GOP candidates in those respective elections were pretty flawed. One had a sex scandal and another is a beer baron who wanted to lower the min. drinking age to 18 (i actually agree with it on libertarian principles but its not the politically wisest thing to say). But still I definitely get what youre saying…especially with CO (as his comment was harmful to his campaign but not a end-all, be-all killer).  

    23. I’ll have no problem watching him lose in the single digits.  Murray will win this race.  I think “RTW” is wise based on this political climate, but I’m just not worried about Murray.  She’s a good fit for Washington.

    24. My mother, whom is a diehard Republican (and whom usually hates Dem politicians) thinks Bill White has gone a good job as Mayor. She probably wont vote for him as she also really likes Rick Perry…but its still a good sign for White! And if alot of other suburban Republicans like her (although she lives in downtown now) like White…then he probably wins the election. I believe he is pro-gun control (unless he flipped during the gov. campaign) so that will probably kill him amongst rural whites but he can win TX without them. He just needs to do extremely well, for a Dem, with white suburban voters and really really get out the latino base.

    25. I don’t believe that 2004 was a “slight tilt”.  Maybe in actual votes, but we lost 6 Senate seats and only picked up 2.  We lost NC, SC, GA, FL, LA, and SD while only picking up CO and IL, and that’s because we had strong candidates and the Republicans had weak candidates.

      Coats and Hostettler are damaged goods.  I’ll take my chances with Ellsworth or Hill.  This is a good calculated risk for either man to take.

    26. Even Charlie Cook, the most brilliant prognosticator around, puts this seat at lean GOP.  Dont throw away House seats for a longshot Senate race.  We already did that in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana.

    27. Simple math – House control is very unlikely to come down to one seat while the result in Indiana could very well determine whether Lieberman becomes kingmaker or not.

    28. Charlie is a nice guy but I’d take both Rothenburg and Sabato ahead of him every time. And New Hampshire is not a long shot. It definitely wasn’t when Hodes announced.

    29. calling NH and PA long shots is ridiculous. And we did not “throw away” house seats…both NH-02 and PA-07 have D+ PVIs. In NH neither party has a stellar candidate; in PA the reverse is true (both have strong candidates).

    30. I don’t agree with his analysis of IN-Sen, but I saw him on the local news the other day talking about this race. He had an interesting point. Maybe this is all a moot point, since who says the Indiana Democrats will get a good candidate?

      In this environment, it’s a very risky prospect running for federal office as a Democrat, particularly one who has connections to Washington.

      Moreover, it’s not as though there are a lack of opportunities for Ellsworth and Hill. Despite Obama winning the state in 2008, the DNC’s bench has been decimated in recent years. They have no statewide officials left and no rising stars in the General assembly.

      With Lugar probably retiring in 2012 and the Governor’s mansion being open, Hill and Ellsworth are probably asking themselves- why run now?

    31. Bob Deig – State Senate District 49

      Lindel Hume – State Senate District 48

      Timothy Skinner – State Senate District 38

      Clyde Kersey – State House District 43

      Nancy Michael – State House District 44

      Dale Grubb – State House District 42 (His district is I think is in IN-08)

      Vern Tincher – State House District 46

      Paul Robertson – State House District 70

      Dennis Avery – State House District 75

      Trent Van Haaften – State House District 76

      Gail Riecken – State House District 77

      So obviously lots of state legislators if Ellsworth wants to move up.  

    32. only a toddler when 1994 swept over Washington DC, but I don’t think this year will be like 1994. For one, polls weren’t taken as frequently as 1994. So we won’t be shocked if a three term Democratic senator loses to a well funded doctor, which was the case with Bill Frist. Second, 1994 followed a wave of redistricting which tilted heavily towards the GOP, Democratic congressman suddenly found themselves redistricted into hostile territory in a hostile year. Third, 2008 was favorible for Democrats across the ballot. Democrats had a net loss of 5 in the house and neither party gained seats in the senate in 1992. It was only because of Perot that Clinton was able to win. Four, Democrats in especially the house learned that you cannot force everyone to walk off the plank and vote on something that is a no no in their district. I’m sure Pelosi could squeezed a few no votes into yeses, but she knew they would lose reelection if they voted yes on something like the Health Care bill.

    33. I don’t think it’s like 1994 at all.  Maybe 1978 or 1982, but 1994 is a bit of a stretch.  In 1992, we elected a President who only received 43% of the vote.  Obama had over 50% of the vote.  Clinton’s administration was dogged by bogus scandals and with the Republicans questioning Clinton’s integrity.  Obama’s biggest crapload he’s received is from a bunch of bigoted birthers.  In 1994, the Democrats had held the House for 40 years!  This group has held power for less than 4 years.  The American public doesn’t trust this breed of “NO” Republicans.  The Democrats will lose seats in the House and the Senate, but it won’t be close to the magnitude of 1994.

    34. Didnt realize Dems had that strong of a bench. I think Hill’s district is ‘traditionally Dem’ so i wouldnt be surprised if his district does…but Ellsworth’s? Although maybe much of it is and certain areas are where those legislators are located.

    35. Heck, it should be SAFE REPUBLICAN.

      When the Democrats do find a candidate, I’m sure the rating will change (based on whom the select).

    36. 1) the typical political lean of the state; and

      2) the political environment of the cycle.

      Republicans would have to nominate their own Martha Coakley to lose.  

    37. You can’t do ratings like that else you’d never stop shifting them. And they will find a candidate.

    38. Because Evan Bayh just announced his retirement andthe party is busy right now picking a candidate and likely it will be Ellsworth. When that happens I dump that safe GOP crap because Ellsworth would be facing off againist weak candidates.

    39. Then why are Republicans tied with Democrats in the generic ballot.  In 1978, Democrats consistantly held around a 15 point lead in the generic ballot and Democrats were trusted on every issue over Republicans including taxes.  

    40. is because the GOP candidate will be weak and the fact the Indiana Democratic party hasn’t yet selected a CREDIBLE candidate in this race.  I’m not worried about this seat because retreads like Coats usually don’t fare too well (First person comes to mind is Fritz Mondale) and because Hostettler is a loose cannon.  Add the fact that Obama isn’t damaged goods in Indiana, and we’ve got a good chance of retention.

    41. McCain won Louisiana by nearly twenty points. Obama won Indiana. Now, sure, it is still conservative at heart but also remember an open seat is very different than trying to knock off an incumbent. This defeatest attitude is very bad.

    42. You have nothing to go on except talk about the bad environment the dems are in now. Obama won Indiana and is still popular there; mainly do to many jobs he has created through the stimulus. Try driving down i64; you can’t go 10 miles without construction. Also the state party will pick the strongest candidate now, and they will have much more time to prepare. While the republicans are going to have a nasty primary until May. Also did I mention that the frontrunner on the GOP side TRIED TO BRING A LOADED GUN ON A PLANE! The republicans have HORRIBLE candidates, if Pence or Daniels where running I would agree with you, but we have the upper hand.  

    43. He is a culturally conservative Cajun Democrat. Exactly the kind of Democrat Louisianans like. Unfortunately for him theres the combination of wrong environment and the voters, for some reason, not hating David Vitter.  

    44. but polls show both Republicans AND Democrats in Congress to be unpopular. At least in 2006 and 2008, the polls were positive for Democrats, not just negative for Republicans.

    45. The Democratic party runs real life candidates.  I think the generic ballot is more of a gauge on how an average Republican will run against an average Democrat.  Coats and Hostettler are below average.

      1978?  Really?  Remember the Panama Canal?  Didn’t set very well with the US.  Also, the Democrats had 290+ seats to defend in 1978, and we only lost (net) 15 seats.  The house was a “dead cat” bounce.  We also had a fillibuster proof majority before the 1978 elections.  We lost 3, which still allowed us quite a bit of control.

    46. I just don’t do rankings without some tangible evidence. Though I do assume the GOP will get somebody in WI and WA hence I have them at favored only. And only have Gillibrand at leans.

    47. If they are from the right party.  I think you need to remember how Hostettler got to Congress in the first place in 1994.  

    48. For the lottery. You seem so certain of what will happen in November. Candidates and campaigns matter. Until this shakes out I thin tossup is fair.

    49. It’s way too early to predict what the environment will be in November. For all we know, we could be looking at another 1998 or 2002.

    50. You see the candidates they have, that all have Coakley tatooed on them. One if a ex-Senator who hasn’t won a election since ’92, out of office since ’98 and it a whore for the lobbying industry and the other is a ex-Congressmam who in a beat Red district couldn’t get more than 55 percent in his 12 years in office not to mention a lunatic who even brought a loaded on a place. Yeah you have to take in the nature of the state and environment but that don’t mean nothing when a strong Dem faces a bunch of weak and Coakley like GOPers.

    51. Or Hostettler. It may end up that way but until we see who the Dem candidate is and then some polling I think anything but tossup is premature.

    52. Louisiana has drifted away from the Democrats.  Indiana has drifted from “Safe R” to “Tossup” in Presidential elections.  Comparing Indiana and Louisiana is like comparing apples and oranges.

    53. Then after that he held office for 12 years in which he couldn’t get entrenched because of his deep conservativetism, could only get 55 percent of the vote then lose to Ellsworth in ’06 by 20 some points, the highest loss percentage wise for a GOPer that was defeated.

      Try Again Troll.

    54. Strong candidates beat weak candidates in naturally unfriendly territory. I have already pointed out two examples. Sure, it may end as you suggest but to not even try does nothing but guarentee that result.

    55. And it’s not that way anymore.  The Democrats have made serious progress in eroding the Republican grasp of this state.  Indiana is a conservative state at heart, but they don’t trust neocons anymore.  If the Republicans had a candidate in the mold of Lugar, a traditional conservative, we would be in a heap of trouble.  Coats is no Lugar (and Quayle is no Jack Kennedy).

    56. ads from 2006 are still up on Youtube. His ad attacking Ellsworth on Immigration was so over the top it sounded like Hosteller was trying to shoot a flying bird while blindfolded.  

    57. Why? they don’t even have anyone credible yet to take on Murray and Feingold or were you talking about the incumbents?

    58. 2010 is a year where the Republican base is inflamed and Democrats are depressed and heartbroken, just like in 1994.  Another point is that in 2002 and 2004, Democrats didnt have to answer for their President’s performance.  

    59. And Hostettler barely won it, winning it by two points by the guy who’s curently the Mayor of Evansville. The guy in a deep red district who even win in a walk, his biggest victory came in ’00 and ’04 when he won with only 53 percent of the vote, not impressive.

      Try Again Troll.

    60. Hooiserdem, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t IN-08 gain some territory after the 2000 census because you lost a seat?  I think I’m right.

      The 8th district of 1996 and the one today isn’t the same anyway.  So even if Clinton won the 8th in 1996, which I don’t believe happened, but I’m not sure, it doesn’t even matter.

    61. And know Ellsworth’s district isn’t swing unless R plus 8 is the new swing districts this year lol.

    62. He resigned from Mayors against illegal guns, or I think that’s what it’s called. Honestly in Texas I can’t blame the guy.  

    63. 1994 was so horrible partly because many Democratic Congressman ran for Senate(and lost).  A way to avoid 1994 is to try to keep things from dominoing by opening up so many seats to hold or win unwinnable Senate seats.

    64. It’s changed and it’s bigger

      Based in Evansville, it was widened when Indiana lost a seat after the 2000 Census to include much of the former 5th and 7th Districts. At that time, Bloomington (the home of former representative Frank McCloskey) was moved into the 9th District, while the 8th was extended northward to include much of the former 7th district in west-central Indiana, including Terre Haute. As a result of this expansion, the district is the largest in area in Indiana with all or part of 18 Indiana Counties.

      Redistricting after the 2000 census theoretically made the 8th friendlier to Hostettler. Heavily Democratic Bloomington was cut out of the district and replaced with more conservative-leaning Terre Haute

    65. 1994 Democratic House members running for the Senate whose seats we lost:

      Sam Coppersmith, AZ-01

      Thomas Andrews, ME-01

      Bob Carr, MI-08

      Dave McCurdy, OK-04

      Jim Cooper, TN-04

      That’s only 5 seats.

      Now here is the kicker, we picked up 3 seats from the Republicans that year who ran for the Senate.

      Rick Santorum, PA-18

      Olympia Snowe, ME-02

      Rod Grams MN-06

      So we lost (net) 2 seats.  That’s not a lot of seats, dude.

    66. IN-8 was made more GOPish by taking out friendly Dem areas like Bloomington and replacing it with conservative areas like Terre Haute. It’s not even the same district Clinton won back in ’96 the GOP changed it so Hostettler more safe and he still couldn’t even get 55 percent.

      Try Again Troll.

    67. but it was definitely made more republican after 2001. They took Bloomington out to make things easier for Host.    

    68. Clinton won it with less than 45%.  Ross Perot was on the ballot!  Most of these voters would have gone to Dole and not for Clinton.

    69. Democrats controlled redistricting and wanted to draw IN-08 for a Democrat so they added Democratic Vigo county(Terry Haute) and Vermillon counties.  

    70. And Martha Coakley can’t run in Indiana. But sure it proved you can lose anywhere. But not campaigning for a month will do that.

    71. that the Republicans will win that Senate seat in IN, but if you’re guaranteeing it, I suggest you also tell us who to bet for on the Kentucky Derby – without even knowing the names of the horses that will run.

    72. And made it more Republican by adding TERRE Haute and taking out friendly Dem areas like Bloomington.

      Once again, try again troll.

    73. So GOP win Melancon and Ellsworth/Hill, Hodes and Sestak could go either way and Dems win Kirk and Castle. Fair deal.

    74. And he ended up losing his last election, statewide, by over 20 pts. How the mighty have fallen…

    75. Democrats had the state House and the governorship and Indiana has the two out of three rule.  They redrew the map to eject a Republican Congressman, help Hill in IN-09 and then make IN-08 a more Dem freindly seat while conceeding four seats to Republicans.  

    76. And once again i’ll say this they made IN-8 more friendly to the GOP by cutting out bloomington and adding Terre Haute and Hostettler still couldn’t get entrenched.

      Try again Troll.

    77. That its county went 57%-41% for Obama and came within a couple of points from even going for John Kerry.  

    78. And its the smart thing to do when running statewide in Texas. Maybe he is going the Giuliani route on gun control…saying whats good for the place you governed isnt necessarily good for the place youre now running to govern. I think Giuliani used a ‘whats good for NYC isnt good for Wyoming’ while I guess White could say ‘whats good for Houston isnt good for the Panhandle’.

    79. We have dozens of incumbents who are already far behind in polling.  If we lose the House, it is OVER.  It aint coming back for another 25 years.  

    80. But again, it is irrelavant. Do you think the GOP would have persuaded Coats to run if they though Hostettler could cut the mustard?

    81. Er no. I said very clearly it could very well turn out to be a loss but on the flip it is defeatist to say anything definitively until the candidates become clear.

    82. Must be that crytal ball of yours telling you that because I don’t see that from on here and 25 years? You seriously pulled that number from your ass didn’t you because it’s hard to see the GOP today hold Congress for 25 when theyt could only hold it for 12.

    83. really don’t see how we could not get it back in 25 years. How did you get that number? Honestly I hate to be mean but you really are a troll, I am sorry but it had to be said.

    84. If the Republicans win back the House so recently after losing it (winning back 40 seats in a year) will probably set up a scenario where the Democrats and Republicans switch control every 4-6 years.  

    85. And Coats lobbying career won’t plat well this year with IN voters that and the fact he hasn’t held office since the 90’s.

    86. Or part of December ’09 she would have won. And as far as I know this Indiana race will be decided in November not last month, this month or next month.

    87. The crash and burn of healthcare reform has many key Democratic voters sobbing in tears and independents see Democrats as a crew of bumbling idiots.  Ellsworth will have to defend the instition and the President’s failed effort.  

    88. My ex-gf lives there (or lived, think she moved to Indy a while back) and could definitely tell it was conservative.

    89. It could flip but it Ellsworth runs and the GOP candidates become even more shitter, we can hold it. But I agree it wouldn’t be wise to say something clear until we know on our side who’s taking the plunge.

    90. If you can’t call an open seat in Indiana anything other than “tossup,” you shouldn’t be throwing around terms like “defeatist.”  

    91. and monumental blunders from a Republican President to get it back in 2006.  I dont see Republicans ever making that mistake again.  

    92. hate both dems and republicans right now. It is an anti DC year. Scott Brown won because he paged Coakley as a Washington insider who knew nothing about the state.  

    93. They finally pass it. Jobs get created from spring onwards. The GOP still pick up seats in November but not as many as you think.

    94. The HCR isn’t dead and the President is spotting a 55 percent approval rating in IN, there not exactly sobbing in their tears or thinking the party is a bunch of bumbling idiots and Ellsworth won’t have to defend shit so stop pulling these rediclous things out of your ass.

    95. so for me it’s not at all personal. I could have been nicer and said “overly-optomistic.”

      Believe me, I hope I look like a fool come November.  

    96. Hill needed it badly because he wasn’t in office yet.  Tim Roemer had been able to hang on to a blood-red district because he was a conservative entrenched incumbent.  Hill needed at least a bit more Democratic territory to win the open seat, but he still won a Red district in a Republican year.

    97. That’s a joke, with extremeists like Demint, Palin and Bachmann running the show it’s a forgone conclusion they’ll fuck it up.

      Yeah Bush fucked up and we won, Clinton screwed up and they’s how we lost. That’s what it takes to take back a body of Congress. Also Obama won not because of Bush, McCain and Palin because unlike Gore and Kerry Obama had a staff that knew how to run a good campaign and was able to attract a viriety of voters and new voters to his side.

      Try Again Troll.

    98. Here I am being you bud and supporting you, and now you call me John McCain.

      Why don’t you insult my wife and kick my dog next?  :)

    99. The Democrats won 5 seats in the House that year and 0 in the Senate.

      I call 1998 a status quo election year.  Very neutral.

    100. You held your own and supported your opinions fairly.  I’m brimming with optimism that we will do fine in Indiana in 2010.

    101. The crazy presumptions being made on this thread are really getting out of control, not to mention the notion that we should completely cede the Senate seat (which is very easily winnable) just because we might lose a House seat to do it.

      It burns!!!

    102. So far I have seen polls that show Steve Dreihaus, Frank Kratovil, Baron Hill, Carol Shea-Porter, and Mark Schurer far behind.  I suspect there are similar polls for Mary Jo Kilroy, Betsy Markey, Harry Teague, Alan Grayson, Bobby Bright, Earl Pomeroy and Walt Minnick.  That is thirteen right there.

      Other polls show Perriello, Tim Bishop, Bill Delahunt and Dina Titus running no better than even.

      Polls show Herseth-Sandlin and John Spratt under 50%.  

    103. This thread has become insane and delusional with the presumptions being made here, mostly by one person.

    104. Is from Driehaus, which is a FDL funded poll to make him look bad. The others I haven’t seen and believe me every poll taken is shown here. You suspect there polls out there for the candidates you mentioned. Show them to us otherwise your talking out of your ass like you have all night.

      As for Perriello, him running even is good not bad since everyone has written him off since the day he was sworn in.

      Try Again Troll.

    105. So you changed your criteria. A grand total of five are behind by more than five not “dozens”. And you “suspect” similar numbers for eight? Well, people suspected that of Periello which only goes to prove my larger point – until we see actual polling this is all speculation.

    106. that is just ridiculous. and where exactly is this poll for Schauer (not Schurer)? and if there were polls showing Grayson “far behind” why did it take the Republicans so long to recruit a serious candidate?

    107. He says 13, but he only lists 5 that he actually saw a poll and listed only 7 others that he was suspicious of.

      Tarheeman’s math shows that 5+7=12.  13 sounds like some fuzzy math to me.

    108. No wonder he gave John Hostettler such a savage beating. The man is a savvy politician. Surely he can give crusty old Dan Coats a run for his money.

    109. They tend to run away from winnable fights rather than slugging it out for long-term gain. Case in point, health care.

    110. “We have dozens of incumbents who are already far behind in polling.”

      “Dozens” as in plural. 24? He barely reached 1 dozen and had to use polls he suspected would show bad news. Fuzzy math indeed.

    111. Espically agree with Tarheelman, they do love to stay in there till there old and ripe because you get six year terms and if you get entrenched you can have that seat until you die. Plus Being a Senator, you’ll have more power than being a Congressman.

    112. The environment could very well prove too much for either to overcome. I just don’t see how anybody can be so certain either way without any evidence.

    113. Remember Dave McCurdy?, the longtime Democratic superstar Congressman from Oklahoma who was supposed to be Dave Boren’s replacement in 1994?  He got smashed 55%-39% by Jim Inhofe, who never won more than 55% of the vote in a heavily Republican district.  Sounds very similar to a Hostettler/Ellsworth Senate race.  

    114. Because OK is by far more conservative than and Inhofe wasn’t damaged goods like Hostettler or a rethread and lobbyist tied like Coats.

      Try Again Troll.

    115. Apparently because a Republican won a race in Oklahoma sixteen years ago, the Republican will also win a race in Indiana. Keep on trollin’

    116. was trending away from us. It was a very conservative state that frowned upon Clinton pushing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Brady Bill and stuff that drove those conservative Democrats crazy. But of course you’ll keep popping up examples of 1994 races so I can’t change your opinion, but I personally believe we aren’t in for a massacre (yet).  

    117. just read that now, and really wish I would have read it before I posted it. I sound like a liberal elitist know it all, which I promise you I am not. I just got really annoyed at Anka, I mean saying we have no shot at Indiana is really stupid. Even InRepublican says that we will likely keep the seat. I am just really ughh tonight. Sorry and good night  

    118. Clinton contested it heavily and actually did nearly as well here as he did in Indiana.  Inhofe was damaged.  He almost lost reelection to his House seat in 1988 and 1990 because of a corrupt land deal involving his brother.  

    119. And Republicans are extremeists, we can name call all we won’t but it dosen’t mean shit. Plus it looks likely Ellsworth will get in so your point on this race will be moot. You know it was Kos that written in his column for the Hill, that Dems shouldn’t take advice from Republicans. I think I know why.

    120. And IN by most standards is not, atleast the Dems can win one county in IN, can’t say the same for OK. And for the love God stop comparing things for when Clinton was in office, political climates and aras has rapidly changed since the 90’s.

    121. BECAUSE ALOT HAS CHANGED SINCE 1994. OK has become more conservative since Inhofe was elected and in the past two pres years, the Dems have failed to win a single county, Indiana they are competitive there. So no you can’t compare them.

      Try Again Troll.

    122. And really only got 34% of the vote there (compared to 36% in Indiana at the time). And despite everything, Indiana really has a lot more in common with Ohio or Missouri than it does with Oklahoma.

    123. Democrats had a very strong presence in Oklahoma then and usually carried the rural areas overwhelmingly.  I think we are looking at a very similar scenario to Oklahoma 1994 in Indiana.  

    124. We all know how pesmissitic I can be, but this Anka dude is crazy.  IN at worst is a Toss up right now.

    125. Clinton carried more electoral votes than even Obama did yet he was still 6 and 8 percent short in both states two years before 1994. Obama actually carried Indiana.

    126. Because OK while supported Dems like David Boren, the state was very conservative and shifted very far to the right by the mid 90’s, IN hasn’t and atlrast in Indiana the Dems can win a county there, never in OK.

      If you going to go on about OK you really have ran out of lame talking points.

    127. That probably wont be replicated again.  Can Ellsworth turn out every possible black voter in Marion and Lake counties?  Can he turn out every young voter in Bloomington?  Can he win over independent voters who overwhelmingly want a Republican Congress?

    128. Because Ellsworth style and appearence can appeal to the youth and his positions can really win over indy voters and since he’s running againist damaged goods also helps. Yeah he can win it believe it or not. And they don’t OVERWHELMLY want a GOP Congress, there you go pulling numbers out of you ass.

      Obama winning IN was not a fluke, he campaigned the state very hard to win it. Fluke would be winning ND or AK even with Palin on the ballot.

      Agsin, Try Again Troll.

    129. We had the Governor’s mansion 16 out of the last 20 years, not to mention having 5 out of 9 of the states Congressional districts, and the state house. OMG, why can’t I stop typing?

    130. Obama is toxic in Missouri and Ohio.  Just look at what happened to strong candidate like Ted Strickland and Robin Carnahan.

    131. But I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that most Democratic politician are scared of tough races and political controversy. Look at how many of them have fled in the last three months, even as they were on the cusp of passing universal healthcare and transforming the political landscape permanently in their favor.

    132. reason why Clinton won so many states in 1992 was because Perot’s votes came from H.W. Bush’s hide. It’s a remarkable feet among Obama that he was able to win Indiana and North Carolina, states Clinton could never win. Only lose Montana and both the Dakotas(!) by single digits.  

    133. But until then…

      And Strickland’s numbers are plaguing all gubernatorial candidates, but both Democrats in the senate race have been at least reasonably competitive (at least as far as polling goes).

      Not to mention that both Hoestettler and Coats are atrocious candidates and Ellsworth/Hill are actually very good at what they do.

    134. Toxic my Goddamn ass, come back to me when he Bush like numbers. Toxic is when Republican don’t want their President to campaign for them because he’s so horrible, the same can’t be said about Obama or Biden. I haven’t seen toxic numbers in either state and Obama pulling 49 in OH isn’t bad not to mention 55 in IN.

      Try Again Troll.

    135. I wanted to post earlier, but thought better of it. Seems everyone else handled it just fine, though. Heh.

    136. When nutjobs start hammering over crap like “1994 Oklahoma is like 2010 Indiana” or “we will lose the House for 25 years!”, you know that the Republicans realize that they have a need to deflate our base because they have no new ideas, have no strong candidates, and have no realistic chance of taking over the House or Senate.

    137. Strickland can pull it out. Sure it won’t be a blowout, but I think he’ll be able to pull it out. Missouri’s gonna be a nail biter to the end though.  

    138. The senate seat is far more important. Seriously, are you Dan Coats himself terrified of the prospect of Brad Ellsworth spoiling your masterplan? Sorry, but we don’t have the pull to stop him from running.

    139. He did say he would calm down on the pessmisism but still when Tek says your wrong, just give it up and go to bed because your definetly in the wrong.

    140. Democrats giving people more access to healthcare would have linked millions of voters to the party.  That is what the failure of reform stings all the more.  

    141. Scott Brown won and things change but HCR isn’t dead. Plus it wouldn’t of helped us permentatly in our favor, just cushion the blow. As for the pols retiring, sorry if guys like Byron Dorgan don’t want to tough it out and campaign hard for the rest of the year and still lost by 20 points to John Hoeven. There haven’t been that many that retired and alot have stayed in like Gene Taylor, Ike Skelton and John Spratt. So no you wrong on all of that.

    142. Afraid of his chances againist someone strong like Ellsworth. It has happened before…wikipedia

      For example, in 2006 Tad Furtado, a top staffer for then-Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH), was caught posing as a “concerned” supporter of Bass’s opponent, Democrat Paul Hodes, on several liberal New Hampshire blogs, using the pseudonyms “IndieNH” or “IndyNH.” “IndyNH” expressed concern that Democrats might just be wasting their time or money on Hodes, because Bass was unbeatable

      And we all know what happened to Hodes, i’ll give you a hint, he didn’t lose.

      Here’s the whole thing on concern trolling from Wikipedia

      A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user’s sockpuppet claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group

      For example, James Wolcott of Vanity Fair accused a conservative New York Daily News columnist of “concern troll” behavior in his efforts to downplay the Mark Foley scandal. Wolcott links what he calls concern trolls to Saul Alinsky’s “Do-Nothings,” giving a long quote from Alinsky on the Do-Nothing’s method and effects:

      ” These Do-Nothings profess a commitment to social change for ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, and then abstain from and discourage all effective action for change. They are known by their brand, ‘I agree with your ends but not your means.'[15] ”

      In a more recent example, The Hill published an op-ed piece by Markos Moulitsas of the liberal blog Daily Kos titled “Dems: Ignore ‘Concern Trolls’.” Again, the concern trolls in question were not Internet participants; they were Republicans offering public advice and warnings to the Democrats. The author defines “concern trolling” as “offering a poisoned apple in the form of advice to political opponents that, if taken, would harm the recipient.” [16]

    143. But the odds of the House resting on Brad Ellsworth are significantly lower than the Senate. This isn’t like Earl Pomeroy in North Dakota. The IN GOP don’t have a John Hoeven.

    144. When you got a troll comparing IN to 1994 OK and pointing out polls that don’t exist, you got nothing left.

      Actually the GOP had a leader, Jon Huntsman but Obama appointed him to be Ambassador to China so yeah they do got nothing.

    145. We will lose seats, but we will retain congress.  Don’t listen to the trolls that tell you otherwise.  Good things will happen by November.

    146. what ticked Cornyn off. Bayh announced he was retiring so close to the filing deadline the NRSC couldn’t get Mitch Daniels to jump in. Now their left with a state senator, a former congressman who got beat bad, and a former US Senator who handed the DSCC an mountain load of ammo to use against him.

    147. But it’s not like it’s out of the Democrats’ control. If they actually pass some goddamn legislation that creates enough jobs to reduce the unemployment rate significantly, and pass the damned health bill already, they are likely to stanch the bleeding quite a bit.

    148. Daniels said when his term is up in ’12 he’s done with politics so I think yo mean Cornyn wouldn’t have a chance to get Mike Pence to run.

    149. don’t let Michael Steele know or he’ll throw a hissy fit. Or say something trying to be “hip.”

    150. Politics can be fun but unpredictable at the same time, not to mention addicting. I’m 22 1/2 and i’ve been addicted to politics since 1996…no that’s no a joke i’m being serious.

    151. That was funny last year when Michael Steele was on everyone’s shitlist. Oh he can throw a hissy fit at me, but Rush will for him to apologize once again lol.

    152. Not to mention that they will likely lose another vote for Healthcare if Ellsworth runs for Senate.  He will likely pull a Charlie Melancon and run to the far right on everything to try to look like a conservative to win statewide.  

    153. Your talking about races that have nothing to do with IN, OK, Bill Clinton or 1994 YOU CAN’T DO THAT IN THIS THREAD!!!! It has to solely be about IN-Sen and IN-Sen only lol.

    154. They will pass it and Melancon won’t beat Vitter and even if Ellsworth wins, he won’t be a Senator until 2011 and if HCR and the Jobs bill were to be passed it would be pass this year but honestly this policy debate is the wrong place to have it. And sorry to mention it to you but ConservatDems win statewide in IN.

      Try Again, Troll.

    155. Melancon would have voted for healthcare if he wasnt running for Senate.  If healthcare is to be passed, it has to be done before the elections.  2011-2012 will be a do nothing Congressional session.  If anything is to get done for the rest of Obama’s term, it must be rammed through now.  

    156. Ellsworth isn’t as spineless as Artur Davis and Harold Ford Jr. Even Baron Hill who’s probably gonna run statewide in 2012 for governor said about health care, “We need to pass something.”  

    157. Well have to wait until the Conference Report to see how he votes for it, I assume he may or may not be whipped hard to vote for it. Depends if the leadership needs him to get 218. I don’t think he will be bad as davis because Ellsworth comes off as a regular moderate while Davis (who unlike Ellsworth reprrsents a D plus 20 district) has constanly voted againist his constituents while gloating about it at the same time. I’m being honest, I don’t see that in Ellsworth or even Hill.

    158. I can see the rationale of somebody voting no then yes because the final bill would be more “conservative” but I don’t see how somebody could credibly argue the other way around.

    159. It must be rammed through now. And as for them voting for it I can’t say. It depends if the leadership really needs them (Ellsworth and Melancon) to get the 218 to pass. I don’t think the next Congress will be do nothing since it will be a Preaidential year and stuff usually gets passed in the 1st Session of Congress.

    160. But I can see them getting 218 because they’ll lose a few liberals but most will vote for it because they don’t want to be blamed for killing HCR in the House and add in a few Blue Dogs and I can see the path to 218.

      It’s a tough call yes and that’s why we got to wait until the report is completed and actually reaches the House to see how the leadership will whip their members because they know they will get no GOP votes outside of Joe Cao.

    161. The American people dont pay enough attention to things like that, hell, I could barely keep track of what was in which bill in which committee.  And switching votes like that is only going to come off like a flip-flopper.  

      My parents voted for Wellstone way back in 1990, they have voted Republican their whole lives and are economically conservative, so I was pretty shocked when they told me that a few weeks ago.  They voted for Wellstone because they knew he wasnt going to pull any politician-like bullshit on them, and that’s why Senators like Lincoln are going to go down in flames, too much triangulation, too much bullshit, too much flip-flopping, not enough honesty and political integrity.  Being a trustworthy politician I think goes A LOT further than finding the right message and language use to say a whole lot without saying anything.

    162. But I really meant tough call for Ellsworth. He may think it in is interest to be against it but he already voted for it so is boxed-in somewhat.

    163. I think if Coats and Hostettler continue to be damaged goods, he just may vote for the Conference Report like he did with the House Bill. Once again this depends on who the leadership will whip their members to get 218 but yeah it could be in his best intrests to vote againist but he could suprise us and vote for it because he dosen’t have a tough opponent who could really beat him to death over it like Hoeven could with Dorgan if Dorgan choosed to run for re-election in ND. But yeah, tough call. Well just have to see what happens.

    164. I think the thread talk about more races too, and the article link to all SSP ratings for senate and for governor.

      If im wrong sorry.

    165. I just said because about 99.9 percent of this thread had to deal with IN-Sen and your one of the .1 percent that wants to talk about other races. No your not wrong go ahead and talk about the other races you brought up.

    166. Dude, how about sending me some of your energy?  I’m turning 39 in 4 weeks, and  I didn’t sleep for crap last night.

      I had some sort of dream, and you, hooiserdem, and conspiracy was there.  We were fighting some enemy combatant named Anka (I’m not making this shit up) who was telling us that the sky was falling.  Even (gasp) Tek came in to defend us.

      It had to be a dream, right?

    167. I’m more of a night man so that’s why i’m able to keep on debateing people time Anka till 3am of course that could change once I get a real job and turn 39.

      And yes, dreams can become reality lol.

    168. And that should motivate Democratic voters big-time. If there are more Republicans in the Senate, all they’ll probably be able to pass will be post office namings and compromise budget bills that maintain the functioning of the government but don’t improve the lives of the people.

    169. With the main take away message being, why on earth are you dragging this out for so long?  It’s just like HCR, we have the public opinion on our side, we have grassroots soldiers who will bust our ass on the streets for this, you have organization support, several LGBT interest groups, etc.  WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DITHERING!  The Democrats need to be a lot more the Republicans are when it comes to legislating, get your ducks in a row, tell the American people about the legislation, and then do it.  Lincoln and Reid would have been just fine if the caucus had worked together and gotten shit done.  But instead the Democrats in Congress have pissed away their opportunity to be in the majority because they arent being leaders, they are being followers who ask for permission.

      Id really like to understand how all of this went downhill so fast.  It 100% started with the town-hall protests, from there everything got out of hand and ridiculous.

    170. He’s getting his ducks in a row so this can get passed with just 59 Dems in the Senate, that’s what’s taking so long. As for the Public Option, move on because the votes and support aren’t there anymore and it isn’t the sticking point to the bill.  As for DADT i’m pretty sure he can’t fuck that up because DADT is more clearer than HCR, you scrap it. End of story on that.

      I think we should refrain from going deeper in this Andrew because were going into policy and this is an election site.

    171. But just one problem with the, Senate dosen’t pass resolutions naming post offices…that’s the House that’s in charge of that.

    172. I can still run a 5K in less than 24 minutes, and I still have all my hair and it is still jet black, but I need sleep.  I crave sleep.  I have a job that makes me get up early in the morning.  I also have a strong desire to correct the Anka’s of the world.

    173. Because you haven’t seen Anka’s shineing face all day? Probally right, after David and James got to work and saw this crap they laid the hammer down on Anka because it’s never announced who gets banned.

    174. You should try some stand-up, if you haven’t already.

      Your line “Try again, Troll” had me laughing uncontrollably.  I think you had to post that line a dozen times.  That dude reminded me of Sarah Palin, for some reason.

    175. his username it gives a message saying to go back to the main page, and you usually see that when someone gets banned.

    176. I was being funny by accident like i’m usually am. I was getting quite annoyed by the poster for going on and on about how liberal IN-8 is because 14 years ago a Dem President won it by two points and the OK-IN comparisions made me want to put my head through a wall.

      If only Anka would of kept saying “You Betcha, he be a shoo-in for Palin”.

    177. Got the same thing as well, guess James and David laid the hammer down today. Looked up JSmith to see if he got banned since I haven’t seen him and his rants on the South and TARP and got the same message as you and I did with Anka so JSmith is banned as well.

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