SSP Daily Digest: 10/29 (Afternoon Edition)

FL-Sen: File this under half a year too late and a few million dollars too short. Charlie Crist, as quietly as possible through an advisor making a leak to the Wall Street Journal, says he’d caucus with the Democrats if elected. If he’d said that many months ago, he would have probably had a clearer shot consolidating the Democratic vote and turning it into a two-man race. This comes shortly after a day of conflicting reports on whether or not Bill Clinton tried to get Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race, as recently as last week. Clinton and Meek have offered partial rebuttals, but at any rate, it’s kind of a non-story at this point with only a few days left.

LA-Sen: Too bad there isn’t time left in the cycle to turn this into an ad: David Vitter’s verbal gymnastics at the last debate as to direct questions as to whether or not he actually broke the law when he was engaging in “very serious sin,” apparently for pay. The short answer is, of course, yes (assuming that his involvement with a prostitution ring occurred in Washington DC and not Reno).

NV-Sen: Those of you following Jon Ralston’s tweets of the early voting in Nevada with bated breath probably already know this, but thanks to the movement of the mobile voting booths into some Dem-friendly areas, Democrats have actually pulled into the lead (at least by party registration) among early voters, up by 20,000 in Clark County.

CO-Gov: My first question was why Tom Tancredo would even bother running for office if he felt this way, but then I remembered that he’s running for an executive position this time, not a legislative one. Apparently he’s a believer in a strong executive. Very, very, very strong.

There is a sort of an elitist idea that seeps into the head of a lot of people who get elected. And they begin to think of themselves as, really, there for only one purpose and that is to make laws. And why would you make laws?

IL-Gov: Oooops, ad buy fail. A round of Bill Brady ads were pulled from the air on Thursday because the appropriate television stations didn’t get paid first. It appears to have been a “glitch” (their words) rather than a cash flow problem, though, nothing that a Fed-Exed check won’t fix: the ads will resume running tonight.

PA-Gov: Ah, nice to see that a Republican briefly acknowledge that the fewer people vote, the better Republicans do. Tom Corbett, at a Philadelphia appearance, said that he wanted to keep Democratic participation down, saying “we want to make sure that they don’t get 50 percent.”

OH-13: Sensing a pattern here? A second woman is coming forward to accuse Tom Ganley of sexual harassment. She filed a police report stating that in 2005, while in the middle of a car transaction, Ganley groped her and later propositioned her. This race, despite Ganley’s money, is seeming increasingly like one of the House Dems’ lesser worries.

RGA: I’m not sure what you can do with $6.5 million in half a week, but the RGA is determined to find out. They put that much money into four governor’s races in some of the nation’s largest states: Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and (interestingly, since they haven’t sweated this one before) Pennsylvania. (While the other three are for TV ads, in Florida it’s for GOTV… seemingly something that Rick Scott forgot to purchase.)

Election night: This may be the most shocking news of all today, for the obsessive number crunchers among us. This will be the first election where the powers that be (mostly the AP) will be doing away with precinct reporting. Instead of giving specific numbers of precincts in, they’ll be expressing it as “percentage of expected vote.” The change in longstanding tradition has mostly to do with the increasing prevalence of mail-in votes and early votes, best seen with some locales dumping all their early votes all at once and calling it one precinct, messing with people like us who build complicated models ahead of time.


IL-Sen: Mark Kirk’s last ad calls Alexi Giannoulias “too immature” for the Senate (um, has he actually seen the Senate in action?)

NV-Sen: Obama! Fear! Tyranny! Aaaghh! And apparently the Carmina Burana playing the background! (Sharron Angle’s closing statement, in other words)

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold puts on a plaid shirt and faces the camera, touting his accomplishments and newspaper endorsements

TX-Gov: Bill White also rolls out his newspaper endorsements, as well as lobbing “career politician” at Rick Perry one last time

MN-06: Taryl Clark’s last ad is a look at real people with real problems in the 6th, and the myriad ways Michele Bachmann blew them off


CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 49%, Meg Whitman (R) 45%

CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 47%, Dan Maes (R) 5%, Tom Tancredo (C) 42%

KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 41%, Rand Paul (R) 53%

MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 46%, Charlie Baker (R) 44%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%

OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D-inc) 53%, Jim Huffman (R) 42%

PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 50%

YouGov: The English pollster is out with a slew of polls; the numbers seem very plausible, but they’re conducted over the Internet (probably using at least some sort of rigor, but that alone is enough for relegation to the end of the digest)

CA: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%; Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 45%

FL: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 41%; Kendrick Meek (D) 18%, Marco Rubio (R) 42%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%

NY: Andrew Cuomo (D) 57%, Carl Paladino (R) 27%; Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 57%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 33%; Charles Schumer (D-inc) 59%, Jay Townsend (R) 35%

OH: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 45%, John Kasich (R) 48%; Lee Fisher (D) 40%, Rob Portman (R) 53%

PA: Dan Onorato (D) 41%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%; Joe Sestak (D) 44%, Pat Toomey (R) 50%

167 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/29 (Afternoon Edition)”


    Along with their paychecks there was a letter saying that if they liked their jobs they should vote Republican, because Democrat policies will hurt their business.

    Of course this is illegal – but when it comes to the law, Republicans think it doesn’t apply to them.  

  2. in YouGov’s polling is the strong support for marriage equality in the California poll. Perhaps that’s a reflection of selection bias?

    Otherwise, the numbers in the crosstabs look right. Worryingly, the CA congressional ballot numbers are a bit tight. On the other hand, the current map should alleviate most concerns about that (except for in the 11th district).

    YouGov has a pretty good track record. I think, given the cell phone effect, that this is the way to go in the future. However, I wonder how well it scales down to Congressional districts?  

  3. to look reasonable and balanced, even if skewed one way.  His stuff isn’t fluctuating as bad as some other pundits and he has his narrative and is sticking to it in most cases but not showing himself to be clinically insane or erratic like nearly everyone else.

    Kind of sad really when you think about it.

  4. Have been meaning to post, but the NRCC made its first expenditures against Minnick in ID-01 on Thursday.  A pretty modest $50K.  Also made its first expenditures against Tim Bishop in NY-01, but it was very little.

    More importantly, DCCC just put another $1MM into IL-SEN, on top of the $1MM+ they’ve already put in this week.

  5. Biggest surprise in our final round of polling so far: Ted Strickland. He really might pull this out.

    Everything else I’ve seen gives Kasich a small lead, so it’s nice to see some surprise good news for a change.

  6. I dont even get what her clips of Obama are about, so he mentions Nevada?  I get the message, but who is she paying for this?

    The MN-6 Tarryl Clark ad is fantastic.  I really do think it could be one of the shockers as MN DFLers only have two races to focus on, the gubernatorial which has been a total snooze the past month and then MN-6 where you’ve got one of the star DFLers of the state versus the most odious Congresscritter today.  And one of Clark’s main target GOTV areas are two suburbs that are about 1/6th of the population, who HATE Bachmann, and are within 15-20 minutes from most points in Minneapolis/St. Paul down the freeway.  I would assume the MN DFL Coordinated Campaign is hitting these two suburbs (Blaine and Woodbury) extremely hard as they’d hate Emmer as if they hate Bachmann, they’d hate Emmer even more.  (Only more because his statewide effect will be much more dictating than nationwide effects.)  There is one competitive race for county Sheriff for St. Paul but I’d assume all Minneapolis activists are driving up 35W for Clark and Dayton.

  7. Terrorists – they hate us for our freedom…to hear talking heads on TV giving us info and commentary about elections between 5-8 on weeknights.  I’m very glad no one was hurt and it’s petty on the face of it, but this is just one more reason to hate them.  CNN has ditched their political shows to talk only about this.  The next time one gets blown to smithereens by a drone, I will say, that was for taking over The Situation Room 5 days before the election, b*tches!


    DSCC is going up with an ad buy in the (apparently very cheap) Anchorage media market on behalf of Mayor McAdams.

    Their tracking must be close to the Hays poll, I’m thinking. It’s not a huge buy, but still, it’s $165,000 through Tuesday in an inexpensive media market.

  9. the odious group that ran ads saying you can go to jail for not having health insurance spending big.

    in terms of media time:

    MA-10: $790K

    PA-07: $644K

    IL-10: $600K

    some crushing buys that effectively cancel out DCCC spending in the districts.


    AR-01: $75K

    interesting this was their fourth choice to spend money in.  race remains closer than CW, I guess.

  10. Is there a way that if Lynch wins that he can influence the redistricting to make both NH districts have the same PVI?

  11. Split ticket voting is what’s going to keep Lynch in office.

    You could probably trade Manchester for Concord and make NH-01 a little bit more Democratic, but neither seat will be safe for either party unless you do something really extreme.

  12. It may make the difference in Harry Reid and Joe Sestak winning on Tuesday. I know quite a few folks here voting Reid Sr. and Sandoval, and it’s looking increasingly obvious that Sestak will need support beyond the Dem base locked with Onorato to win.

  13. When you use the name Razzy and commend him for being reasonable without an “un” in front of it, polling has truly jumped the damn shark.

  14. Nh-2 is a bit more liberal but not enough to matter given the statewide numbers: ayotte up 15 and Obama at an amemic 39/55 approval statewide.  CSP has defied the polls before, but it would be an even more incredible upset than 2006 if she can pull this out.  Kuster will need voters thinking about Bass and his recent difficulties rather than the national climate to win. The tide looks strong.    


  15. because she is essentially running against an incumbent (Bass held the seat for years).  Moreover, Bass was a RINO to some extent – precisely the type of candidate who would struggle with the Tea Party crowd.

  16. for marriage equality in California, but a lot of those people are “soft” supporters instead of fully committed to it. If you banned all campaigning on the issue, they’d probably vote for marriage equality. If you, say, spend tens of millions of dollars on a dishonest statewide campaign to convince those people that marriage equality = their children being taught about butt secks in kindergarten, then enough of them will freak out and vote against something they would otherwise be for.

    That’s why I’m pessimistic about public votes on marriage equality even in states where it polls well. A good fear campaign will turn a lot of those voters temporarily against it, and the haters are very good at fear campaigns.

  17. I’m coming to believe (wishful thinking?) that current robo-polling has problems capturing the true mood of the electorate.

    But anyone who takes current polling at face value can only come to the conclusion that D losses in the House will be difficult — especially if there’s a wave factor that goes beyond the current trend in a lot of polls.

    If so, early voting is one of the saving graces for us — it should save some Reps/Sens who would otherwise be swept out in a last-minute ’94 style surge.

  18. Seemed to be contradicted by the Poll that has Murray doing better with people that haven’t voted yet, rather than the ones that already have, where Rossi was up 1.  But who knows anymore…

    “I throw these polls up in the air sometimes…saying ayyyy ohhhh…Young voters?  Tooooooooo lowwwwwwww”

  19. by this data from the national Bloomberg/Selzer poll yesterday:

    Reflecting how some state-level polls on specific races have tightened in recent days, Democrats are seeing some success in the home stretch. Among those who say they waited until October to make their voting decision, Democrats have the advantage, 52 percent to 37 percent.

    Now, it’s possible that late-late deciders could break the other way, but that’s basically supposition. And the Republican brand isn’t exactly burning up the charts. If these folks even just break 50/50, we won’t see a wave beyond that which is already reflected in current polling.

  20. They were already down to a once every six months basis anyway so I’ll take my business to Burger King.  Shit, I forgot about breakfast.

  21. If it was just one location, it was probably just something the franchise owner did on his/her own initiative and wasn’t sanctioned by the corporate HQ. I don’t think their HQ would be dumb enough to do something like that.

    When I go there (or any other fast-food burger chain) I like to get the $1 chicken sandwiches but instead of mayo I put barbecue sauce on them. It tastes pretty good and doesn’t sit in your stomach for 2 years.  

  22. Heh, I had to sign up to post this – the ‘Ronald McDonald’ arrested in the police car in the picture on thinkprogress (… ) is actually a member of parliament in New Zealand. His name is Gareth Hughes & he’s from our Green Party; he’s the youngest member of our parliament at 28. I think the protest in the picture was about genetic engineering in the early 2000s. Cool dude.  

  23. Is a complete and total black hole of death.  Kirk’s going to win because nobody likes Giannoulias.  

    The DSCC should have put this money into Colorado and Pennsylvania, two races that aren’t in any way set in stone that Team Blue could still pull out on Tuesday.  

  24. That guy was dead in the water back in June. But I haven’t heard from him since, which makes me think he’s muzzled the crazy and has actually run a decent campaign. Minnick is still the favorite despite the district, but Labrador might just pull an upset that would be overlooked because a Republican winning in Idaho is almost never an upset.

  25. That suggests to me that either Malloy still leads, albeit by a surprisingly small number; Gov. Strickland has an outright lead; or Strickland is close and yesterday’s results for CT-Gov were “canceled out” by the results from today.

  26. oh please let this be right. Judging from the way he wrote it, it means Strickland is ahead. That would go against all other polling but PPP is the best.  

  27. His only stop that day, so it must be really close and in play.  

    In Pa, Ct and Il tomorrow with Nov 1st open.  

  28. I’m not sure how Ohio does it, but if Strickland is governor, it should at least give dems a hand in redistricting.

  29. has him close. Closer than Sestak. It all depends on GOTV. You are right no one likes him but the question is do they suck it up and vote for him. I agree that Colorado is more likely to stay D but they are going to try and do everything they can to keep this seat in team blue’s column. This is Obama’s former seat after all and this and Nevada would be the two most embarrassing loses of the night. We may not win here but it is still worth a try.  

  30. Nevada, Colorado, Illinois and to a lesser degree PA are all states where the candidates are basically even and the race will be decided by GOTV. I think Sestak is down a few points.

    You’re right that Giannoulias isn’t popular but Kirk’s not Mr. Popular himself. With a good GOTV effort and the people who vote for the Green Party candidate do come home I think Alexi pulls this out.

  31. Dude … you have a personal beef with the guy, or do you know stuff the rest of us don’t? Makes a big difference. Hard enough to track all the cheesy polls without this kind of unsubstantiated claim added to it.

    Last I heard (and granted, I’m mostly obseses with CO) they were both below 45 with AG’s internals showing tied race, no public polls outside the MoE, no incumbent, and both national parties pouring money by the truckload. Plus Obama’s coming.

    Now’s your chance to wow us with your inside info …

  32. He could mean the final round as in those states that will be released last. Meaning not those released tomorrow including CT. Anyway, I’ll ignore my own advice and despite how wary we have to be about Jensen I think Malloy will be still be uo albeit by a very small margin.

  33. — but taking the SUSA data at face value, if true, would confirm user BenP’s suspicions that Murray has run a poor campaign. Numerous other major D candidates seem to be taking full advantage of early voting.

    OTOH, traditionally, WA voters who are just opening their ballots (sent by mail) tend to be more D, if I remember right.

  34. don’t think him winning would really be an upset. It would all be thanks to the district’s PVI and the D by Minnick’s name. Him winning would probably be solely because of the R by his name and despite him and the campaign he has ran. Really nothing special or upset like about that. If this was a D+15 district then yeah but not in such a historically Republican area.  

  35. feeds poison to their customers anyway. Makes sense they support the party that supports corporations running wild and taxpayers footing the bill for their mess. (Like the BP spill)

  36. Obama made that statement twice in an attempt to encourage fiscal responsibility, but it obviously did not play well in Las Vegas. I had forgotten about it already, so it’s not really a winning issue. Angle’s done worse but her closing ad could have been better–Harry Reid has given her many quotes to work with if she wanted to go negative, but I would have gone positive.

  37. what the point of running for a seat that is likely to be gone when redistricting occurs? I mean, if this is a stepping stone, fine, but is it? What are her plans if she wins but then doesn’t have a district in which to run in a few years?  

  38. He has it.  He put in 500K.  Put in a similar amount for the primary.  I’m going to guess he’s pretty well off.

  39. I realize it helps him generate interest and media coverage for their polls, but if you’re invested in a race, it can feel a little like a mind game.

  40. I have never understood Angle’s ad strategy.  She didn’t need to drive up Reid’s negatives, they were already sky-high.  She needed to do more to make herself likable.  Show an ad with her Hispanic grandkids, for example.

    I’m sure the people in NV hadn’t forgotten Obama’s ‘Don’t go to Vegas’ comment and the reminder probably didn’t hurt, but still, I would have closed with a positive.

  41. Monday I’ll probably want to cry, Tuesday, I’ll be nervous, Wednesday I’ll say fuck it, drink too early in the day and say at least I’ve got Dayton.

    Where do you live Conspiracy?  What race can you latch onto for happiness?

  42. I have been surprised by minnick’s staying power. Given the district, his opponent should just need to avoid screwing up too badly.  This could be a part of the head-to-heads starting to converge with the generic ballots numbers. It is happening elsewhere, I am bot sure why minnick’s would be immune, and Labrador can run pretty far behind a generic R and still win that district in this climate (some pollster inexplicably polled ID-2 and the republican was up by 50!).    

  43. It’s Cincinnati.  I’m just gonna go check another blog and come back in 20 minutes, this is getting embarrassing.

  44. Anyway this makes it almost worthless…

    “295 likely voters yields a margin of error of plus or minus 5.7%”

  45. The worst part is if you look at the trend, the Dems have both been stagnant – somewhere around 45.  

    I don’t like what those numbers suggest.

    I took a look at the Cook ratings.  Here is the part that scares me: there are 31 seats he rates as Leaning Democratic.  Right now the Democrats lead in 13, the GOP in 4 and 1 is tied (13 have no public polls).  The average in those races is 47 to 41.5.  If the incumbents in these races are unlikely to win many of the undecided, the GOP might take 2/3’s of those seats.

    Were that to happen the GOP would be close to winning 70 seats.

  46. As for the poll, I’d need to see confirmation in another one to believe that Strickland can win this.  Reminds me too much of the Corzine-Christie race.

  47. However he used McDonalds logo on the letter and said “we” instead of “I”, and I believe he is the sole owner.  Unless he was writing as management.  

  48. He jumped the gun exactly like that. “Corzine is doing surprisingly well!” Then the actual poll showed nothing of the sort.

  49. I think every party should do that every year.  I thought Dean’s 50 State Strategy was great for Dems and I’ve yet to understand why it was abandoned; especially when, to my eyes, it was successful.

  50. The last two cycles, they targeted way more Republican seats than that. But of course, it all depends on funding.

  51. Get a Democratic Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.  Get a hundred million or two from anywhere possible including overseas and we’re in business!

  52. So the DNC could be a “reelect Obama” organization.  Just look at the Democratic record losing elections since Obama was elected.  

  53. is that they’re spending so much money defending Democratic seats that they didn’t have enough left over to run a comprehensive 50-seat strategy. If there’s any other reason, I would probably consider a decision not to be as aggressive as possible to be idiotic.

  54. really have to listen to this shit all the way up to election day?  You are a broken record.  We get it.  Obama is the worst thing ever.  Now STFU.

  55. I guess he really does not care.  That is why Obama, Michelle (leaving her small kids), and Biden are out campaigning until they are losing their voices because they do not care.

    I guess that is why he is not trolling college campuses b/w here and the West Coast because he does not care.  He and Michelle are all over urban radio, and meeting with black ministers urging them to get their members out to vote.  He met with Media Takeout of all blogs (which is a black gossip blog) because he knew that young low info blacks read that damn thing.

    I got an email from Hip Hop Nation urging me to vote and I don’t even listen to Hip Hop because Obama does not care about the Dems.

  56. He was a high-level executive working for the Colorado-based right-wing billionaire Phillip Anschultz (former chairman of Qest, producer of the Narnia movies, owner of the LA Kings, etc.). I believe Bennett served as CEO of Regal, the Anschutz-owned theater chain.

  57. Now, Democrats havent won much of anything other than PA-12, NY-20, and NY-23.  They have lost a net 19 state legislative seats since Obama’s election, NJ-GOV, VA-GOV, and MA-SEN.  I think if the 50-state strategy was still around, Democrats wouldnt have lost all of these.  

  58. If then-Gov. Corzine hadn’t been a corrupt bastard and Atty. Gen. Coakley and Creigh Deeds hadn’t been among the worst campaigners in recent memory, Democrats might not have lost those races.

  59. But Democratic organizers on the ground in Massachussetts and a more active DNC would have saved Coakley in Massachussetts, where any Democrat should be able to win a Senate seat.  Same with New Jersey.  Democrats need organizers around everywhere to be successful.  Tearing down the 50-state strategy is part of the reason we are in the situation we are in now.  

  60. And Massachusetts voters aren’t just programmed to vote the Democratic party line even when the candidate is, frankly, terrible.

    The Democratic Party did everything it could to get Atty. Gen. Coakley elected. And Coakley did everything she could to avoid getting elected.

  61. But ultimately it was down to Coakley for phoning it in. Corzine’s defeat had nothing to do with the lack of effort. Anyway, it is easy to talk about competing in 50 states when you are on the upswing but quite another when you are getting pasted across the country and struggling to hold your own seats with strongly Democratic PVI scores. The current situation has everything to do with a poor economy.

  62. but I have to agree with that Republican strategist. Too little too late. The DSCC should of spent that $165,000 on trying to pull Sestak or Bennett across the finish line, not making a 11th hour attempt to help McAdams.  

  63. How many races are with 5 right now? Colorado, Illinois, Washington, maybe PA, maybe W VA.  

    California has broken for Boxer, Wisconsin is gone, Missouri is gone, North Carolina is gone, New Hampshire is gone.  

  64. which makes me think that establishment Republicans are coming around to supporting Murkowsi – otherwise, I doubt they would have released it.

    The trends here could explain why the DSCC is taking to the air. They might no longer be worried that a push for McAdams will merely benefit Miller.

  65. god that awful woman. Why wasn’t she primaried for pissing away a winnable race?! I heard they have those political machines up in MA, why didn’t they throw Coakley out?

  66. is probably a good return on investment here… more undecideds, more chance of pulling dems away from Murkowski, and they’ve already spent millions in CO, PA, not much more that another $165K can do there.

    if McAdams has say, a 20% shot, this amount in a cheap market is a good play.

  67. I think it will be an attempt to bring the traditional Dem voters over to McAdams by showing he has Dem backing.  

    Right now McAdams loses a lot of would-be voters to “strategic votes” for Murkowski.  

  68. doesn’t mean she’s not a strong AG. It’s a different office entirely, and campaign quality and job effectiveness aren’t the same thing.

  69. Packing the remainder of the stimulus into the first and second quarters of 2010 would have helped as well as jawboning Bernanke to gun up the money supply.  

  70. I’ll let Christine Todd Whitman know.

    Wasn’t that long ago, you know. And it’s not like Democratic politicians have shown their exemplary integrity, skill, and character since voters put them in charge.

  71. based on the wackiness of public polls and the quality of their campaigns —

    It’s like Sestak and Bennet are 2nd round draft choices who might just break into (or stay in) the starting lineup — and McAdams is a 6th rounder who is showing unusual promise in a weak area.

  72. This surfeit of polls showing Sen. Murkowski in the lead is good, especially when coupled with some fierier rhetoric from Mayor McAdams, a show of support from the DSCC, and that Hays poll showing him in a fairly close second – as well as the ongoing legal drama over how write-ins will be handled.

  73. She, a Republican, had to veto a ban on partial-birth abortion. And then the legislature overrode her veto. This was in the mid- to late 1990s.

    A real liberal bastion. Truly.

  74. If there was a definition of toss-up, IL would be it. The pollster average is a 1 point Kirk lead, both candidates are well below 50 in fact Kirk hasn’t polled above 45 in a non-Rasmussen poll since May.

    A good GOTV and we should win this race

  75. polls have shown significant support for third-party candidates (5-10% in aggregate), so it’s possible there could be a lot of strategic shifting to D or R in the final few days. And how that happens, and to what degree, could make all the difference.

  76. I don’t have any confirmation, just Jim Gergathy (sp?) at the NRO, said IL Dems majorly botched their absentee ballot efforts. They decided to mail all of their absentee ballot applications out of their Chicago headquarters, and they shipped some out late. Earlier this week was the deadline for mailing them. Since it is such a big state, it takes awhile to ship them all over. On the day that absentee ballots were supposed to be returned (not absentee ballot requests) thousands of absentee ballot requests were still sitting in post offices.  

  77. I mean, ABC News hired Andrew Breitbart to do election coverage.  They’ve been cheerleading and goading a GOP comeback since the inauguration.  The bandwagon effect is hard to overcome in many races.

  78. This is interesting:

    SurveyUSA interviewed 800 adults and out of those it determined 580 were likely to vote or had voted. The poll found that 48 percent favored Kitzhaber while 41 percent favored Dudley, but unlike previous polls SurveyUSA also called individuals on cell phones with a live person. In past SurveyUSA polls, only a recorded voice conducted the interviews on landlines.

    Kitzhaber did far better among cell-phone respondents than those called on landlines. He was 15 points ahead of Dudley among those users but only four points ahead of those called on landlines.

    My biggest concern with SUSA is that they seem to be groping around for how to incorporate cell users. For WA-Sen, they didn’t include cells (as far as I know), though they made some live calls to test how different those surveys would be. Doesn’t seem like a rigorous methodology to me.

  79. Even Tweety was breathless the other night about it. I turned away at that point.  

    Cook said that, if the Republicans don’t take the house, he should be bagging groceries because he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  80. But not as good as when Cook, who is, uh, non-athletic, said he had as much chance as winning the Tour de France as Rudy Giuliani did of becoming the GOP nominee in 2008.

  81. the stuff he used to make his forecast was fundamentally flawed and he didn’t have a chance of getting it right. I mean, I get that we aren’t going to do as well as losing only 15 seats, but if we somehow scrape out an overall 35 seat loss and a bunch of Republican challengers lost by razor thin margins, does that mean he’s incompetent? Or does it just mean that the polls he was using didn’t recognize, say, the supposedly great ground game the Democrats were running in several states?  

  82. That the NRSC will have to say a big thanks to Murkowski if she wins. If she had not run, I think this seat would be in deep danger of being the only Dem pickup.

  83. Has been dogged by her relationship with hedge fund boyfriend and flights on his private jet.

    Now, apparently, the SEC is opening an investigation into his business dealings.  

    Bad optics for the final weekend before the election.  

  84. tend to WIN reelection, regardless of whether they are at or above 50% in polling.

    Per Nate Silver:

    How about House candidates? It stands to reason that, to the extent this effect exists, it would be felt the most among House incumbents, since their opponents – who usually lack the pedigrees that challengers in Senate or governors’ races do – will often have poor name recognition until late in the cycle.

    In fact, however, the House incumbents in our sample did well: 31 out of 35 of them won their races, or 89 percent.


  85. From the FairVote archives (from 2000, don’t think it’s changed but might be wrong):

    The legislature is in charge of congressional districting, while the Apportionment Board handles state legislative districting. The board consists of five members; the governor, the secretary of state, the state auditor, one appointee of the speaker and majority leader of the senate jointly, and one appointee chosen jointly by the minority leaders in each house…The governor only has veto power over the congressional district plan.

    So Strickland does help for congressional redistricting, but for legislative redistricting we’d need Strickland plus holding onto the State House and either SoS or Auditor, or lose the House and win both offices. Seems pretty uphill on that level.

  86. but many of these incubents are under 45.

    I really wonder if Nate’s observation will hold in this environment.  One thing to remember about Nate’s analysis: he doesn’t have much data pre-2000.  

  87. …any GOP incumbent under 45 in October, even in this environment.

    But here’s the hard part:  what polls do you trust?  They’re all over the map in the same races.  We just had Kanjorski up 9 in the high 40s and down 5 in the low 40s in 2 polls released a day apart.  And these were both independent polls, not internals.

    We really don’t have a good feel for which House polls to trust.  Independent vs. released (as opposed to unreleased) campaign/party internal vs. interest group internal doesn’t have a clear distinction in quality between them.  Nor does Democratic vs. Republican internals…I know some here insist they trust Dem internals more than GOP internals, but I think that’s folly, both sides do the same things in polling.

  88. are crap. In CT, the only independent House polls we’ve seen have been from a rinky-dink organization called the Merriman-River Group. They’re automated pollsters (no cell phones), and Nate Silver says they have a Republican bias this cycle of over 3%. And I bet that lean is even higher for the House races, which tend to be more volatile. This is also the group that polls Hawaii and finds that Abercrombie and Hanabusa have small leads.


  89. on Weds. I wrote in part :

    1. Most House races are never publically polled.  Since September 15th, 99 out of 435 races have had public polls.  Moreover, in more than half of these races, there has been only one public poll.  Of course, many races are never polled because they aren’t competitive, but in fact a large number of races that people like Cook rate have no public polling at all.

    2. This means most forecasters are relying on campaign polls to build their forecasts.  Cook has argued that these polls are more reliable than public polls, and he may be right.  One thing is for certain: basing your forecast on private polling by campaigns absolutely makes your forecast susceptible to spin.  Someone like Cook may be able to sort through that, but fundamentally forecasts of House races are based on far less data than Senate races.  

  90. A lot of them do their best to suggest (but never outright say) that they’re from Democrats, and then they say recommend you vote in totally opposite ways on most of the non-major propositions (aka not 19 and 23), trying to fool Democrats into voting the Republican way on a lot of key propositions. Sneaky, and annoying.

  91. This could have happened two weeks ago. Now, there is less time for it to set in, for Scontras to fundraise off of it, and for the NRCC to hit her on it enough. The story will be drowned out this weekend because of the terror threat, midterms, and World Series.  

  92. Scontras already has been hitting her for it in every interview and article about him all summer.  The terror threat (1) might take away some oxygen, but this IS a midterm (2), and you can’t get closer to a place that doesn’t care about this World Series (3).  New England has no horse in this WS race, and the coverage has been virtually non-existent.

  93. it’s probably right to fall back to the national generic ballot, which generally tells a crappy story for Dems.  

  94. Cook, Rothenberg, and others use generic ballot numbers among other things to estimate what total number of seats will be lost.  And I bet they use them implicitly as a tiebreaker for quite a few individual races.

    Ultimately you just have to evaluate every tea leaf on its own merits and weighed against all the other tea leaves.  And for most races, even that approach leaves most of us just scratching our heads.

    People like Cook and Rothenberg and others have a strong market for their product because they DO have inside access to party and campaign officials and staff.  Their ratings are as good as anything……but even they differ in their ratings!

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