SSP Daily Digest: 11/15

AK-Sen: As it gets more and more apparent that victory isn’t going to come on the write-in-challenges front, the Joe Miller camp seems to be admitting as much. However, they aren’t preparing to concede, as they see one last ace in the hole: absentee ballots, which are still trickling in. The last to arrive (ahead of Wednesday’s deadline) will be the military overseas ballots, which Miller expects will break heavily in his favor (seeing as how many military members nearing the end of their commitment are probably looking forward to a profitable career on Miller’s paramilitary goon squad). With Lisa Murkowski’s lead holding at 40-35, though, it’s unclear whether military ballots would show up in sufficient numbers to turn the tide even if they broke widely for Miller.

DE-Sen, WV-Sen: Congratulations today to Chris Coons and Joe Manchin, both of whom are being sworn into the Senate this afternoon for the lame-duck session. It’s also the first day on the job for Earl Ray Tomblin, who becomes the new West Virginia Governor in Manchin’s absence. If you’re wondering about Mark Kirk, he’ll be sworn in next week thanks to vagaries of Illinois law. (If I may be allowed a brief moment of alma mater pride, Coons appears to be the first Amherst alum elected to the Senate since the ill-fated Thomas Eagleton.)

MA-Sen: You may remember a boomlet that peaked last week for Senate speculation concerning Setti Warren, the “rock star” mayor of Newton. Well, that’s over, as he’s now saying his “intent” is to finish his term, which runs through 2013. However, a different young up-and-coming mayor of one of the Bay State’s larger cities is now poking the Senate race with a stick: Will Flanagan, the 30-year-old mayor of the much more blue-collar Fall River, is gauging the race.

TX-Sen: The Fix has a look at possible primary challengers to Kay Bailey Hutchison, who, with her bungled gubernatorial run and her TARP vote, seems to have painted a big target on her back aimed at Texas tea partiers looking for a promotion. Former SoS Roger Williams and former Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones are already in the race (dating back to when it was expected that KBH would be on her way to the Governor’s Mansion at this point), but the bigger names to watch are Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. Dewhurst is establishment but has the personal wealth to get a foothold here, while Williams has no money but is the favorite of the tea party set. Dallas mayor Tom Leppert is also mentioned as a wild-card. One Dem who won’t be making the race is former Houston mayor Bill White, who in wake of his gubernatorial loss says he won’t pivot to a Senate race. That probably frees up the Dem Senate slot for former comptroller John Sharp, who was going to run in the hypothetical special election that never happened and already has a big stack of cash saved up for the race.

CT-Gov: If you’re hearing zombie lies from Republican friends about the Connecticut gubernatorial race being stolen by the urban machines, here’s a handy debunking point: exit polls show that the huge falloff in votes in Bridgeport neatly tracks the statewide falloff in Dem crossover votes for the Republican candidate in general from 2006 (when the broadly-popular Jodi Rell ran) to 2010.

KY-Gov: One more Republican to keep in mind as a potential challenger in next year’s off-year gubernatorial election: Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw. That’s kind of a big step up to Governor, so it seems like she might be starting with a high negotiating position with the party to try to worm her way into the SoS slot instead (assuming Trey Grayson follows through on plans to run for AG instead).

NC-02, TX-27: Here are updates on two of our outstanding races: recounts have been officially approved in both of ’em. Six counties in the 27th will be recounted, per Solomon Ortiz’s request, as he trails by about 800. In the 2nd, the canvass was officially certified with Bobby Etheridge trailing by 1,489, but he’ll be pursuing a recount as allowed under state law. While neither of these prospects looks that hopeful, we can take some solace in that the likely victors, Blake Farenthold and Renee Elmers, are some of the most amateur-hour entrants into the new House and hopefully likely to help define the new face of the Republican Party.

NY-29: Best wishes for a quick recovery to soon-to-be-sworn-in Tom Reed, who literally just arrived in Washington and was immediately sickened by it. He was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lungs and says he’ll be released in one or two days, ready to get to work.

WA-01, WA-03: I’d hoped that Brian Baird was going to take his unique variety of douchiness to the private sector for good, but it looks like his strange retirement decision may have been an inspired case of district-shopping instead. He’s moving to Edmonds in Seattle’s northern suburbs, which just happens to be in the 1st District. Assuming that Jay Inslee follows through on his widely-known plans to run for Governor, lo and behold, the 1st will be an open seat in 2012. The 1st (which is a pretty safe district in its current configuration, and will probably keep similar lines in redistricting) has to be more appealing than the 3rd, which redistricting will probably move from a true swing district to a light-red one, as liberal Olympia will probably have to be exchanged for a Columbia Gorge-centered district that’s based in Vancouver but that runs east into conservative Yakima County. (Which, unfortunately, would be tailor-made for Jaime Herrera, who’s Latina but living in the Vancouver burbs, and will make her much harder to dislodge.) For more detail on Washington’s likely 10-district map, see here.

NY-St. Sen.: Here’s an update on the three races that are holding New York State Senate control in the balance. Dem incumbent Craig Johnson trails by only 427, and seems to be gaining at a rapid clip as absentee votes get counted, so the trajectory indicates he might pull ahead by the end. Things seem more locked in with two more Dem incumbents, though: Suzi Oppenheimer leads by 504, while Antoine Thompson trails by 597. Wins by Johnson and Oppenheimer would set up a 31-31 tie.

Chicago mayor: The election’s been over for two weeks, and it’s already time for the first new edition of SSP TV: Rahm Emanuel kicked off his mayoral bid with his first TV spot already. Rep. Danny Davis also made it official this weekend, launching his bid and dubbing himself the “grassroots” candidate. (He looks like he’ll be giving up his House seat only in the event that he wins the mayoral race.)

DSCC: After some hopeful signs that Michael Bennet might be willing to take on the role of DSCC head, he said “no thanks” late Friday. At this point, Beltway pundits seem to think that the shortest straw has Patty Murray’s name on it.

RGA: Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed on for another cycle at the helm of the Republican Governor’s Association. I’ve seen speculation that he’s doing it mostly to shut down rumors that he’s really running for President, although it should be a pretty sleepy gubernatorial cycle and he might be able to juggle both tasks (since most big states elect governors during the midterms, and only a few open seats loom… Indiana, North Carolina, and Washington may be the highest-profile races).

Redistricting: The Wall Street Journal has a good overview of what to expect with redistricting, and they seem to come to the same conclusion that I have: that the downside for the GOP of their strong performance in Dem-held red districts is that it means there are a lot fewer opportunities to turf anyone out through aggressive gerrymandering, and instead their efforts are going to have to more defensive, oriented toward shoring up the deadwood that washed ashore. Meaning, of course, that predictions of another large redistricting-driven gain in the House for the GOP aren’t likely to come to pass, although it will still make it harder for the Dems to regain significant ground.

A couple articles are also out today dealing with the biggest redistricting prize of all, California, although whether it’s a prize or not has much to do with what happens with the newly-created (by Prop 20) congressional redistricting commission; this week, out of the pool of 36,000 applicants, 36 finalists for the commission’s citizen slots will be picked. Of particular interest is what exactly happens with the seats in northern Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley, where there’s a push underway to get a Hispanic district. (Worth noting: CA-28 already has a Hispanic majority, although Howard Berman seems pretty primary-proof there, and there don’t seem to be enough parts and pieces elsewhere in the Valley to create another neatly-shaped one.)

Demographics: Here’s a big surprise, on the demographic front: there are reports that there are 100,000 fewer Hispanics in Arizona than there were when SB 1070 passed. That may not have a big impact on voting behavior (since those emigrants are probably unlikely voters), but a big impact on redistricting, where the possibility of a third VRA district in Arizona looms. Or maybe not… since the census only cares where you were on April 1, much of that fleeing may not have happened yet at that point.

Dave’s App: Exciting news from over in the diaries: version 2.0 of Dave’s Redistricting App is available. You can check out all the details at the link, but two major improvements including use of street maps (making urban work much easier) and ability to save JPGs. Redistricting is going to be one of Swing State Project’s main preoccupations over the next year, and Dave’s App is one of the best tools we have in our arsenal.

287 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 11/15”

  1. He’s beloved by the Tea Party crowd, had the support of DeMint and Gingrich when he was earlier exploring a run for this seat (when Hutchison was in the gubernatorial race), and the fact that David Dewhurst may run will only further splinter Hutchison’s establishment base. I don’t think Roger Williams or Elizabeth Jones have any real shot. It’s MW’s to lose, unless Hutchison can draw more Tea Party challengers.

  2. Don’t knock Eagleton.  Most people don’t realize he was twice reelected to the Senate after his Vice Presidential nomination.

    Our highest ranking current alum remains His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, Class of 1981.

  3. It’s interesting, as a Philadelphian and former Chicagoan, to hear Rahm speak of Chicago as “a great city”.  Because it aspires to be, and is, a world-class city.  Makes me sad about Philadelphia, because we don’t have that kind of aspiration or self-esteem anymore, and am not sure when we ever did.

  4. According to WaPo, Rep. Dean Heller (R-Reno) has quite a bit of juice with House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner. This can cut both ways policy wise, as either it means Heller is in a position to stop Boehner from following through on slashing Nevada earmarks and reviving Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste dump, or it just means Boehner is co-opting Heller and shutting him up on those matters by keeping him so close.

    But either way, I have a feeling this is VERY GOOD politically for Shelley Berkley. If Boehner keeps Heller in The House, this makes Shelley’s path to The Senate that much easier. Who knew Boehner could end up doing Nevada Democrats a favor? 😉

  5. Also, they preview Montana & Virginia and say Huckabee and Romney are running well ahead of Gingrich and Palin in both states. Should get Tester numbers tomorrow, Webb numbers Wednesday.

  6. Please consider cross-posting your four-district Iowa maps to Bleeding Heartland. I will promote all good redistricting diaries to the front page. Bleeding Heartland runs on the same software as Swing State Project.

    Key points from Iowa redistricting guidelines:

    Iowa’s Legislative Services Bureau (LSB) must produce three sets of redistricting plans. Each set contains three individual plans: one each for the state house, state senate, and congressional districts. In drawing these plans, the LSB is expressly barred from using partisan criteria (the addresses of incumbents, voters’ party affiliations, etc.). The LSB is instead limited to the use of four neutral criteria, in descending order of priority: population equality; contiguity; unity of counties and cities; and compactness.

    The criterion of population equality must be observed to conform with the judicial “one person, one vote” principle, which requires states to justify even slight variations of population between districts. The LSB determines the “ideal” population size for a district by dividing the total population by the number of districts. The LSB’s plans cannot have state senate or house districts which deviate by more than 1% from this ideal, and the disparity between the largest and smallest district can be no more than 5%. Like many midwestern states, Iowa has counties which are mostly four-sided and few large population centers. The LSB’s criteria seeks to limit the number of cases in which district lines do not conform with county lines. Crossing counties is occasionally permissible, on the condition that if a city is to be split by a district line, larger cities must be split before smaller ones.

    Contiguity and compactness are two criteria which address the shape of a district. Districts which are not contiguous or compact are those which are often called “bizarre” or described in the manner that one describes the shape of clouds in the sky. Contiguity requires that a district be all in one piece; in other words, a person should be able to travel through all parts of a district without needing to cross through another. (In Iowa, a district in which two of its parts meet only at the corners is not considered contiguous).

    Compactness is more difficult to measure. The Iowa LSB considers compactness to be the ratio of length to width as measured from the “centroid” of a district, which is determined by adjusting the geometric center for the distribution of population.

  7. Republicans elected their House and Senate leaders last week; Democrats did so yesterday and today.

    The new Iowa House will have a 60-40 GOP majority. Republicans elected the same leadership team they’ve had for the last couple of years–no challenges. Incoming speaker will be Kraig Paulsen (formerly minority leader), and the new majority leader will be Linda Upmeyer. Upmeyer will be the first woman Iowa House majority leader. Her late father served in the chamber for more than two decades, rising to the speaker’s chair.

    Outgoing House Speaker Pat Murphy didn’t seek the position of Democratic minority leader. Today Democrats elected Kevin McCarthy minority leader going forward. He was majority leader for the last four years under Speaker Murphy. It’s not clear whether anyone challenged McCarthy today. I would have preferred to see new blood in the House Democratic leadership.

    Two recounts are pending in the Iowa Senate, but the likely outcome is a 26-24 Democratic majority. Democrats are sticking with Mike Gronstal as majority leader. It doesn’t sound like he was challenged.

    Senate Republicans didn’t change their leadership either; Paul McKinley remains minority leader. One of his five assistant leaders is failed IA-03 candidate Brad Zaun, incidentally.

    Gronstal continues to insist that he will not allow any floor vote in the Senate on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. McKinley’s leadership team includes the two Iowa Senate Republicans who have been most involved in fighting marriage equality. David Johnson has circulated petitions demanding a floor vote on a marriage amendment. Merlin Bartz tried to get county recorders to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2009. More recently he has fought any attempt by state agencies to rewrite rules in a way that extends benefits to same-sex couples. For instance, Bartz took a brave stand against a DNR rule that would let gay couples pitch more than one tent at a campsite.

  8. Harris added 18764 ballots, Cooley just 5099. That’s a huge margin, better than the 66%-25% margin by which Harris was leading the county.

  9. “(seeing as how many military members nearing the end of their commitment are probably looking forward to a profitable career on Miller’s paramilitary goon squad)”

    I know this was just an attempt at humor but it seems kinda insulting to military personnel and I don’t like it

  10. Buried in this article about redistricting is this little tidbit:

    Brown runs for re-election in 2012. Most Republicans think his opponent will be either State Auditor and Lt. Gov.-elect Mary Taylor, or Rep. Jim Jordan of Urbana, just elected to a third term representing west central Ohio.

    But (Steve) LaTourette is also mulling a Senate bid

  11. Do you agree or disagree that these are likely targets for Democratic turnovers in 2012, depending on redistricting? Here’s the list of names:

    1. Blake Farenthold (Texas-27)

    2. Allen West (Florida-22)

    3. Robert Dold (Illinois-10)

    4. Renee Ellmers (North Carolina-02)

    5. Charlie Bass (New Hampshire-02)

    6. Tim Walberg (Michigan-07)

    I know there has been a lot of discussion here about Farenthold as an “accidental congressman” who’s very likely to be a one-termer, and also that Allen West is likely to do and say a bunch of extremist things that, along with a higher Democratic turnout in a presidential election year, will be likely to defeat him. Dold is a likely candidate for redistricting. But might Ellmers benefit from redistricting, in the hands of the Republican Legislature in North Carolina? And what of the former and once-again Congressman Charlie Bass, whose loss in the 2006 wave was a surprise to most people? As for Michigan, might the Republicans find a way to make his district safer?

    Any others in the top 10 of your likely 1-termer list?

  12. I agree the seat will probably be open as Inslee runs for Governor, but I have a hard time seeing Baird taking over.

    Inslee did relocate after his 1994 loss and ended up taking over WA-1, but he also had elevated his name reocgnition by running for Governor in 1996 (losing the primary to Gary Locke).  Baird really won’t have a chance to do that before the 2012 race…plus his somewhat erratic voting record while in the House probably won’t endear him to the Dem electorate. I’m sure there are lots of local politicians eyeing a potential open seat.

  13. After appointing a former moderate Republican Lt. Governor as a special advisor, and the current Democratic Speaker of the House the state treasurer, Governor-elect Rick Snyder has appointed Dennis Muchmore his chief of staff.  He was a lobbyist, but he’s also served as the director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs for two years and came to Lansing in the 70’s to work for Democratic state senator John Bowman.  Most recently, he’s worked as a management consultant.  He’s considered a moderate.

    So far, this is really the best outcome for Dems given the conservative Republican wave in the state.  It seems that Snyder’s talk of leading with a moderate team aren’t all talk.  To have a conservation guy as CoS certainly won’t hurt when it comes to protecting the environment.  I’m proud that Michigan has continued to turn down neo-cons and christian conservatives for it’s governor’s office, even when presented with the choice.

  14. Getting rid of both of them.

    Hard to really do this without partisan data, and I only made an outline.

    I carve a 4th Dem district in the center of Columbus/Franklin County.

    Pink = Bob Latta

    Red = Kaptur

    Blue = Latuorette

    Dark Purple = Renacci. This is a full population district per the app.

    Green = Fudge. 49% black, I couldn’t really do much better.

    Yellow = Tim Ryan. Youngstown to Akron.

    Slate green = Pat Tiberi. Goes to the center of the map.

    Grey = Bob Gibbs. Take that in whatever direction you want to go.

    Light Purple = Bill Johnson. Take that down the coast.

  15. 1. I get that each state has certain areas that usually trend one way or another, but wouldn’t it take a truly ridiculous amount of gerrymandering to prevent Democrats from taking back these districts in the event that the national environment was good and good candidates ran competitive campaigns? I get that it’s hard to unseat an incumbent, even when there’s a wave election, but I sense an almost defeatist attitude setting in.

    2. I really, really want the Democrats in the Senate to get their shit together, find a head for the DSCC, and start thinking about candidates not just for Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, but also for Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, Mississippi, and maybe even Wyoming and Utah. The Republicans look ready to shoot themselves in the face again, and nothing would please me more to be ready to take advantage of it. I don’t know how likely it is that the Democrats can win a seat in Texas or in Tennessee, let alone Wyoming, but there do appear to be at least a few candidates who have won statewide in each of those states. As limited as the opportunities are in 2012, they look to be even more limited in 2014, so we might as well try to make the best of what chances we have.  

  16. What happens if Murray says no and everyone else who has said no does not change their minds? Who else is left that has yet to say not and is not up in 2012/too old? I can think of:








    Johnson (health problems?)



  17. Darth Jeff covered this on Friday, but the state rep (Walker Hines) that became a Republican is in a majority-black district in New Orleans. Kind of strange he would change. However, his switch may have opened to door for Caroline Fayard to run for SoS. Hines on Thursday said he was considering a run for SoS, and Democrats were relieved, knowing they would have a strong candidate if Fayard and Sen. Willie Mount did not run. He has a profile similar to Fayard, a father who is a wealthy political donor, who could funnel money to his campaign and the Dem party. However, on Friday, he announced he was becoming a Republican, so now Dems will probably turn to Fayard for the SoS race. If she is smart, she will hold her fire. Now is not the best time for her to run and she still has another 30 years to run for office. Her father and the state Dem party are under investigation for him illegally earmarking contributions to the state party for his daughter’s campaign, so that may harm her in a race in the next year. Better for her to let that die down before running again. Many people believe that is why she lost the Lt. Gov race by such a big margin.  

  18. (1) San Diego went from having 60,000 ballots left to just 45,000 – and Cooley netted just 700 votes (6894-6160).

    That’s 52% of the two-way vote versus 57% in the county up until now.

    (2) Kern County, a huge Cooley county (63%-27%), only had 10,000 ballots left and just counted about 4,000. Cooley won that vote 2377-1569 – which is much much smaller than 63%-27%.

  19. (This was mentioned upthread, just reposting it.)


    Reid has decided to merge the Sen Dem Policy Committee and the Sen Dem Communications Center into one office and has asked Schumer to chair it with Stabenow as the Vice Chair.

    Senator Begich was chosen to lead the Steering and Outreach Committee should Schumer and Stabenow accept.

    The whole letter:



    Baird is moving to Edmonds, Wash., in the 1st Congressional District north and east of Lake Washington currently represented by Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee. If Inslee were to run for governor in 2012 as many expect, the congressional seat would be open.

    Inslee lost in an eastern WA district in ’94 before moving to WA-01 and taking that seat in ’98.

    Baird’s also put out some ugly markers:

    Baird said he doesn’t expect the Democrats to regain control of Congress for a decade, as Republicans will get credit for an economic recovery they had little to do with.

    “I told people we would screw it up,” Baird said of the Democrats. “You should never underestimate the power of liberals to shoot themselves in the foot.”

  21. But asked about who will lead the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) responded, “Well, it’s Bennet.” Asked if that meant Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet had accepted the chairmanship, Feinstein answered, “Yes.”


  22. He’s actually started raising money over the summer in anticipation of Pence retiring. Also considering runs are former state Rep. Luke Messer, who ran in the IN-05 primary, financial adviser Don Bates, Jr. who ran in the IN-Sen primary and is also considering a primary challenge to Lugar, and former Rep. David McIntosh, who lost the 2000 gov race.

  23. Johnson (D) now trails by just 180, having gained another 66 votes in the count of emergency and absentee ballots this morning.

    Got the news from the intro to a Newsday article. Can’t read the whole article, as it’s subscription-restricted. Can anyone view the rest?

    The Republican spin is that the Republican-leaning areas will be counting later, so Martins’ lead should be safe. But I read elsewhere that 65% of all the ballots to be counted post election day were from Dem registrants. So I’m not sure whose spin is more credible.

  24. GOP Senator Sam Slom will indeed be serving on every committee, being the lone Republican in the 25 member body.  Earlier I had wondered whether some committees might simply have only Democrats on them…but that is not the case.  However, the article does point out that Slom can’t possible hope to make the meetings of every committee.  I actually feel a little bad for him, it’s going to be a very busy, yet very unrewarding job.

    I would be curious if any other state legislative body has ever lurched so far towards one party as to leave the minority with a single seat, or even no seats if that has ever happened.

  25. up in 2012?  I have no hopes at all for a statewide TX Democrat. There will come a day though (shakes fist at sky)!

  26. Look at what happened in the GOP primaries this year. Because there are more (and more expensive!) media markets, it’s harder for groups like Tea Party Express and Club for Growth to dominate the ad wars like they did here in Nevada, and in Alaska & Delaware.

    But OTOH, TX GOP primary voters have already been proven to love them some flaming teabaggers, so perhaps Dewhurst and Hutchison will have plenty of problems in the coming months, especially if they split the establishment vote and the teabagger vote isn’t split too much.

  27. I thought that if White lost, it’d at least be close but considering that Perry has been in office since 2000 in a state as large as TX, White’s loss was the real “shellacking”!

  28. The current democrat is John Sharp and he has a pretty strong record. But who knows, two years is a life time

  29. Really seems to have been a solid policymaker. I’m sure Chris Coons will do a good job, but Kaufman will be missed on issues like financial regulation.  

  30. two new Senators (Portman and Hoeven) and two new Congressmen (Bass and Carney) this year!

    What year are you, Zeitgeist?

  31. I’ve still got the “96” jersey I was wearing when I ran around the fire. I got a first degree burn for my trouble.

    Nobody I saw was unclothed. Since I am far more attractive in that state at 35 than I was at 18, it was for the best in my case.  

  32. Portman became active in the early stages of Bush Sr.’s 1980 Hew Hampshire primary campaign, and he has been very tight with the Bush family ever since.

  33. Throw in Dinesh D’Souza and Laura Ingraham and we’ve got a lot to be embarassed about.

    Recall that Hanover is the most liberal and most Democratic town in New Hampshire though, and when they poll the outgoing class for Presidential elections (which the Alumni Magazine does every Presidential year) the Democratic nominee always cleans house.  

  34. Poppy has always seemed like one of those guys who thought not, “I want to be President so I can use the office to accomplish A, B, C & D” but rather, “I want to be President so I can sit in the Oval Office and fly around on the 747 with ‘United States of America’ on the side.”

  35. will be a five minute walk from my family’s house.

    If the attitude changes, Philly is well-equiped to be world class.  

  36. His resume. But that’s where the admiration stopped so after Clinton got elected, I became a Democrat.

  37. Could be scared by the prospect of US Rep. Sharron Angle. I know I am.

    I never thought of that. As long as Heller stays put in NV-02, it will be harder for Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron to run there (again). In that case, she’ll probably jump into the Senate race (again).

    Still, without Heller, the NRSC will have a much tougher NV-Sen race on their hands. Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki might try, but then again he’s pretty close to Ensign and he’s already become damaged goods himself with the corruption trial. Absent Governor-in-waiting Brian Sandoval jumping ship (yet again) to run, the primary field is full of such glorious also rans as John Chachas, Danny Tarkanian, and of course Ensign and Angle themselves. Against any of them, Shelley is probably to be favored to win.

  38. Then her chances of running rise exponentially. He’s been her biggest concern, but if Boehner actually keeps Heller in The House, then this may be Shelley’s one best shot at becoming a US Senator.

    But in the case of Shelley actually deciding not to run, Secretary of State Ross Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto both have the family history, political pedigree, and more than enough establishment juice to give the GOP also rans some serious run for their (whatever) money (they can beg from their teabagger fans).

  39. Should we be rooting for Sharron Angle to make a comeback? Positive is that she is damaged goods, very popular with the base and is not likely to win. Negatives is that if the unthinkable happens well we know what that is. I almost think we’re better off without her ever appearing in public again.

  40. Of all of the Senate GOP, he’s the one I respect the most.  He’s the best chance for START II and is an expert on foreign policy that the Senate GOP will never have again for a generation.

  41. If the GOP retakes the Senate, he’ll get that honorary title. I’m sure that would mean a lot to him, seeing as he’s been around so long, and may have been a factor in his decision to run again.

  42. who’s going to teabag Lugar because we all know you can’t have free thinkers in the GOP? (Though I’m sure lots of Dems would crossover and vote for Lugar if he was in risk of being teabagged.)

  43. he’d become Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. Which wouldn’t be that bad, in fact I’d rather have Lugar chairing that committee than Kerry. Mainly because Lugar’s expertise on foreign affairs is second to none. (But don’t interpret that as a statement of me wanting a GOP senate.)

  44. He’d get some more money, a car and driver, a nice office in the capitol building, and a higher staff budget.

    BTW, Lugar outranks Hatch in seniority only because Indiana had a higher population than Utah, as of the 1970 census.

  45. Mourdock is my US Senator then I may just move over to Louisville. Sigh, then Rand Paul would be my Senator. I just can’t win. In all seriousness Mourdock could and probably would win the GE so I’ll probably be voting in the Republican primary in two years.  

  46. And I just laugh whenever the tea-nuts here claim SEIU “stole” the election for Harry Reid. If that’s the case, then why didn’t they also “steal” it for Rory Reid and Dina Titus? And why can’t they also “steal” their own elections for union contracts??!!

  47. …were undocumented.

    I don’t doubt there are Hispanic U.S. citizens in AZ who were and are scared, and some of them are among that 100K, and with my own brown skin, even without being Hispanic, I’d certainly be apprehensive about visiting Arizona now and wouldn’t go unless I absolutely had to.  So I get it that Hispanics who are lawfully present are scared.

    But even with all that, moving is a big deal.  You’re pulling up roots, it’s a big pain in the ass logistically, you’re leaving friends and maybe family behind and tearing your kids away from all they know.  I don’t think many U.S. citizens are going to go to all that trouble, afraid or not.  But undocumenteds will, they have the incentive.

    So I don’t think many of those people who moved are voting anywhere.  That’s the last thing they care about.  They’re here to make a living, if they cared about civic participation they would find a way to get legal or would have entered legally in the first place.

    Reid and Bennet won on the strength of Hispanics who always were there in those states.

  48. Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron proved she can’t win statewide, even in a midterm year favoring her party against a not-well-liked incumbent and with many millions of GOP dollars fueling her campaign! 2012 likely won’t have the same dynamics of 2010, and having Obama on the ballot will probably help Shelley (or in the case she doesn’t run, Miller or Masto) get even more Democratic votes.

    Now if she runs in NV-02, that will be tougher… But because she’s so unpopular and she lost Washoe County, she may actually make it into a competitive race in the general.

  49. VT-Gov was a race I was not following.  What were the key differences between Shumlin and Dubie and what caused Shumlin to surge to victory in the end?

  50. and he won in 2008 by 20 points despite Obama losing the state. Although the race is likely competitive, I wouldn’t see him as “vulnerable”.

  51. Back in ’80, the Dartmouth Review set the standard for other Ivy Buckleyites to follow. As it coincided with cuts in Pell Grants during the Reagan administration, it was the precursor of a conservative resurgence at various Ivies.

    My alma mater (Cornell) certainly has their share of idiots, like Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Hadley, and of course, Ann Coulter….

  52. …in the mid-90s scarcely anyone on campus even read “The Review”, despite the fact that it was ubiquitous. For a number of years they couldn’t get anyone local to advertise in it. And almost everything I hear from there suggests the place is getting more liberal rather than less, so I can’t imagine support from it went up, though there’s possibly more of a siege mentality amongst the right-of-center up there these days.

    This thread is bringing back memories.

    What does this have to do with electoral politics? Not much.

    Oh..every so often a Dartmouth student runs for one of Hanover’s four General Court seats. (This is the 400-seat lower house of the legislature – 400 people for a state of about 1.2 million. Hanover, not a big town by any means, sends four people to this body.) For some reason it’s always a conservative Republican, always someone not from the Granite State (and there are always a decent number of NH native students, more than you’d think) and they always get talked up in the Review… and they always get their ass kicked. (One such person was future thankfully defeated Maryland State Senator Alex Mooney ’94 of Frederick, MD.) OK, so the incumbents are usually all Democrats and older folks largely unknown to students, and a primary presents some logistics challenges….can’t they find a moderate old-fashioned Yankee Republican from NH to give it a shot? This is seemingly where all these folks from all over the state aspire to go to college, so you know that at any given time there are dozens of these people.  

  53. Like John Ashcroft, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Bork, and Jim Talent (whose apparently jerky son goes here now). Ah, the wonders of Wikipedia.

    But we also have Amy Klobuchar, David Axelrod, Bernie Sanders, Carol Moseley Braun, John Paul Stevens, Jack Markell, and Jon Corzine. Oh, and this random Illinois state senator who everyone keeps talking about for some reason used to teach at Chicago Law. I think his name was like…Barach Obomu? or something like that. 😉

  54. I find it curious that LaTourette would be willing to give up his seniority on a tough U.S. Senate bid, but ya never know. Jordan’s a favorite of the religious right, and Taylor’s cruised through three different offices in less than a decade, so I guess she’s possible too.  

  55. Who is the GOP’s best challenger to him? In the right year there is no reason why he wouldn’t be vunderable. Just get ready for the attack ads of “the most liberal Senator”.

    He better hope Obama does well in OH. I am confident that Obama is going to be contesting OH. If Obama doesn’t contest Ohio this would be terrible news and would mean a GOP blowout.  

  56. Such a House, or Assembly, belongs in California! 400 Assembly seats would mean just about 95,000 people per district, much better than the ludicrous 400,000+ we have now with 80 seats.

  57. Legislators in NH don’t get paid. (Well, they got $100 and they might get some expenses comped, but essentially it’s a volunteer position.)

    Obviously California is a different story. A member of the California Senate represents more people than a member of the U.S. House. (I think that might be true for the Texas Senate as well.)

  58. I’ve heard the democratic field organization in NH is pretty good. There might be a correlation.

  59. Walsh will probably be too much an extremist and I hear IL-17 is on the chopping block.  

    I can also see Mike Pompeo getting primaried by some ambitious GOPer who gambles Pompeo will piss off everyone.  

  60. That’s a VRA district and they can’t do anything to really strengthen him without violating the law.

    Most the new Illinois Republicans will be out, a Democratic trifecta will see to that.

  61. I expect a few of those(Ellmers definitely, maybe West and Farenthold) to be saved by redistricting. Bass will definitely face a rematch from Kuster and will be a top target for the Dems, Dold could be redistricted out of existence/winning by the Dems in IL. I don’t know about Walberg.  

  62. His district is really probably going to be redrawn by the dems in the md state leg to give Kratovil a comeback (I know from playing with the redistricting app that it’s fairly easy to do).

    Also maybe Joe Heck in NV-03, although that one is more of a wild card because redistricting could turn out in a number of ways there.

  63. Austin Scott in GA-08. That district is MUCH more friendly to D’s in presidential years than in midterms due to increased turnout from black voters, and the effect should be especially large with Obama on the ballot. Seeing as Scott won 53-47 this should be a good pickup opportunity, although Scott has more of a chance than someone like West or Farenthold, IMO.

  64. Farenthold and Ellmers are probably going to be given safer districts because GOP will have total control of the gerrymanders in those states.

    IL Dems may just make Dold’s reelection impossible.

    Bass and Walberg, yes, they’ll be targeted for sure.

  65. Walberg’s days are already numbered.  I can’t stress enough that he keeps sneaking back in to this seat, but that the district is changing around him.  He only holds that seat if they remove Lansing’s western suburbs in the redistricting.

    And, Schauer will be his most likely opponent, who is a far better fit for the changing district.  Schauer — even with incredibly depressed Dem turnout this year — won Eaton County.  Were it not for the even more depressed Dem turnout in Jackson County, Schauer would have held his seat.  Yeah, this district is flipping back Democratic in 2012 barring some crazy redistricting.

  66. The MI redistricting attempts have all agreed that the 7th district is particularly hard to shore up.  

    I think it could be done if they were willing to give up on at least one other Republican incumbent, but probably not short of that.

  67. Harris’ take goes from 66% to 79%. That’s a serious swing, suggesting these late-breaking ballots might be even more Kamala-leaning than expected.

  68. nonpartisan redistricting. And that region of the state is too Democratic to make a “safe” GOP district, especially for someone like West. West is easily vulnerable in a better year for Dems.

    West is the equivalent of Alan Grayson; elected to a district way out of his ideological stance in a wave election, and unlikely to survive.

  69. They can’t dismantle the VRA district, but could they take the most Republican areas of the district and join it with other similar areas that other districts will shed, making a new district for Farenthold while leaving most of TX-27 intact and VRA compliant? Or does geography make that close to impossible?

  70.    I believe he was chief of staff to the previous senator, now V.P. Joe Biden. He certainly has the experience to help out a new senator.  

  71. but all you’d do is make one of the other districts more like Ortiz’s district.  And with a new district being put in south Texas, making the new one the more GOP one would also make it harder to carry.  Although Obama turn-out should take care of that.

  72. and the FL court would probably throw out any attempt at making something like the current FL-22.  The thing is a god damn eye sore and the law will do it’s job, I’d hope.  And he will not win in a normal looking South FL district.  

    And I gotta say I love FL-22 for having voted 52-48 for Obama, Kerry, and Gore.  How weird.  But that number has gotta jump to at least 55-45, right?  Anyone with first-hand knowledge?

  73. Oh come on.  She’s totally hot.  I’ll admit that she doesn’t help our cause because she galvanizes the left just as much (or more) than our side – but she’s smokin’.

  74. The Republicans are going to strengthen him up but putting Bibb County into Sanford Bishop’s district.  

  75.     The CA SoS website now has her leading over Cooley by almost 31,500 votes (4,127,981 to 4,096,498). The unprocessed ballots report seems to show more ballots still waiting to be counted from Kamala leaning counties. I don’t see how Cooley makes up that big a vote margin based on what is left. It isn’t mathematically impossible but seems very unlikely.

       It isn’t over until the skinny lady announces it, but it is almost over. (Secretary of State Debra Bowen is not fat, and I don’t know if she can sing, but we will have all the votes counted eventually and the election certified around the end of this month.)

  76. I think the consensus is that no one is too sure what’s going to happen to FL.  Badly gerrymandered districts would probably get thumbs down from a court – but it’s going to be hard to make the boundaries look nice and neat while at the same time upholding VRA disctricts for minorities.

    My understanding is that on balance the new rules might help Democrats – but probably not by all that much.  I have no idea specifically what’s going to happen to FL-22 – but I do know that according to NYT, Alcee Hastings in adjacent district 23 has a constituency that is 54 percent black.  Maybe someone better versed in VRA regulations can speak here, but if the idea is that Hastings’ district needs to be majority AA.  Fredrica Wilson (replacement for Kendrick Meek) also has a 56 percent AA district.

    If the idea is to make the districts less convoluted…at the same time as upholding current majority minority districts…its not going to be an easy task.

  77. No one knows what will happen, but the VRA trumps the new fair districts law.  FL-23 goes right down the railroad tracks and makes it impossible to draw a ‘compact’ seat to the east of it.  None of the south Florida seats look normal because there are several VRA districts there.  West won by a decent margin because he was accepted by the seniors, who are the key voters in the district.  Assuming that older voters continue to trend GOP, West has a very good shot at retaining his seat.  Obama might bring out more young and black voters when he is at the top of the ticket, but there are very few black voters in FL-22 and it’s not got a big state university to bring in a lot of young people, either.  

  78. Murdock, Bates, the state senator guy, and some other teabaggers could divide up the field enough that Lugar wins? I worry that since Murdock is a statewide office holder he could consolidate tea party support and win. I really hope a lot of Dems crossover to vote Lugar.  

  79. In the second paragraph of my last post, I meant to type, “But….I think the idea is that Hastings’ district needs to be majority AA”

  80. is vulnerable at this point. Gillibrand and Dodd looked like they would cost the party their seats. Things changed in the end.

  81. wasn’t CoS directly after Biden’s election. He hadn’t been CoS for years. I bet he regrets not running this year. Kind of wish he had because I like him but Coons will have a long future, plus I like how he’s not afraid to be bald. Seriously though I think Coons will be a great Senator.  

  82. She can’t raise money though. I remember OH Republicans praising Kasich for taking her out of the Auditor’s race since she was being outraised and the state party was going to have to spend on her. They got a much stronger fundraiser. Supposedly, state Treasurer-elect Josh Mandel, who fundraisers about as good as Rob Portman, along with SoS-elect Jon Husted are also considering it. Mandel is my fav. He’s 33, Jewish, a very good candidate, and he outraised an incumbent by atleast 2-1, and beat him by 15 pts.  

  83. He’s someone to watch in my book. I’d love to see him on a presidential ticket someday. I’d love to see Erick Erickson’s head explode.  

  84. Snyder has also appointed many former members of the Engler administration.  I don’t believe Snyder will governor as a moderate.  I think he would sign most conservative legislation if it comes to his desk (right to work, “partial birth” abortion bans, anti-gay rights, etc).  Even if he does govern as a moderate on social issues, he’s a corporatist and will enact Reaganomic economic policies.  

  85. get a lot of crossover support, especially if there is no contested D races. Think of the R primary for Governor this year in Michigan. I don’t think Bates or the state senator guy will get more than a combined ten percent of the vote. After that IDK about Mourdock, Lugar is definitely vulnerable against Mourdock but I think he can win. I don’t think he’d break 50 against Mourdock though but Bates and the state senator may very well bring him a win.    

  86. maybe? Even though he lost to Brown big in 2006 that was only because of the pro-Dem wave and the implosion of the Ohio GOP that year. And he wouldn’t have to give up his gig as attorney general. Also seniority wise he would outrank all the incoming freshman senators in 2013 if he won.  

  87. I’m sure there’s precedent for someone getting elected to state office than running for Senate/ Gov just two years later but I doubt it happens that often.    

  88. really worried about him. Seriously I think he’d be a strong candidate. From a dem leaning state, personally popular and moderate, that’s a good profile.  

  89. is a policy wonk to be sure…I mean he put a section on his website dealing with urban planning and mentioning we have to plan the way we build cities and suburbs better. Which no one seems to talk about except for transportation nerds like me….

  90. They can tweak it, but nothing that violates the law, therefore making it next to impossible for him to have a favorable seat.  Apparently, Ortiz lost for 2 reasons according to a few from Dkos who live near there: A. latino voters not voting. B. Ortiz is personally disliked by Democrats for a reason I forgot.

  91. TX is going to get four new seats with reapportionment.  It won’t be too tough to extend one of them to south Texas, taking in the predominantly white areas around Corpus Christi.  Then the leftover majority Hispanic turf can be put into one of the remaining new districts.

  92. Looking at his voting record, he seems to be a fairly boring backbencher (he’s been in office for nearly three decades!), except that he’s pretty socially conservative (pro-life, anti-gay rights).

    Farenthold is a complete outsider. I can’t imagine he has much, if any, connection with the Texas Republican establishment. If he turns out to be an embarrassment, I wouldn’t be surprised if they let him hang out to dry.

  93. His district can be dismantled, and all its red counties can be parceled out to the Columbus area Republicans. That would make their life a lot easier, as they’d then be able to combine two Cleveland-area Dems. Of course, Johnson, Renacci, and Chabot still need shoring up. But it will at least be easier than Pennsylvania, which will be a fool’s errand.

  94. You’re clearly right about Latinos staying home though.  Republicans would not have won that seat with high turnout – although Bush carried it by ten points in 2004.

  95. The thing is, I’m not sure DeWine, a pro-choice former “Gang of 14” member, could survive a GOP primary in this climate. He also won this year by a smaller margin than Kasich, suggesting he’s hardly a beloved statewide darling, even in a GOP-friendly cycle. If, however, the GOP could clear the field for him, I suspect he’d at least prove competitive vs. Brown. In fact, Brown’s hopes would probably hinge largely on Obama’s performance atop the ticket, which, for my money, might be a daunting position. (My hunch is Obama probably loses Ohio by 6 vs. “generic R.”)

  96. He doesn’t seem to be too popular. the state treasurer candidate is a 33 yr old state rep, who has only been serving for 3 years and he beat an appointed incumbent by 15 pts, while DeWine, a former US Senator and Lt. Gov, beat an appointed incumbent by only 2%.  

  97.   but sometimes Senators are on a different calender than most of us (working well into old age). Also he looked fairly young and vital on the Daily Show recently; I would have guessed he was in his early 60’s.  

  98. There is no way Snyder will ever be a president or vice president.  He doesn’t have the stomach for it nor the charisma.  I don’t know how much it can be stressed that the guy is not a politician.  He’ll do what he has to do, and then he’ll happily move back to the private sector, and I’ll be happy for that.  He has a skill set that seems suited for a particular time in this particular state; I don’t know how anyone sees him as a national candidate for anything.  This guy is a department head, not a president.

  99. I really don’t think he has any national potential.  He may be popular now but that’s because he’s not in office yet.  It’s easy to be popular when you haven’t had to make any tough decisions.  

  100. but the general consensus is that dubie went too negative.  Vermont is not a state where you can win by going mainly negative, at least not if you’re a republican.  It was mentioned on the VPR post mortum of the election that Dubie had almost no ads stating why you should vote for him, aside from the “i’m your guy” ad.

  101. While McConnell stays in the Senate, and in 2016, Republicans have a majority. McConnell is serving as majority leader, can he also serve as pro temp?  

  102. Is going to be a one-term Representative unless if his opponent seriously implodes. He is an unapologetic conservative and will be running with Obama on the ticket in a district that takes in some liberal DC and/or Baltimore suburbs. Kravitol would be perfect here his obstacle would be a challenge from the left. His record was fairly blue dog and in a Democratic primary against an ambitious MD State Senator/Rep in the DC suburbs it may be a hard sell. Either way it is highly likely that seat goes blue in 2012.

  103. I just finished doing Maryland in DRA. And while it wasn’t exactly my intention, it looks like I ended up with essentially an “incumbent protection map”. MD-01 ended up as a 57-41 McCain district mostly based on The Eastern Shore… But then again, that may still help Kratovil should he decide on a rematch against Andy Harris.

    And unless 2012 ends up being far better for Obama than 2008 and Dems essentially gain back everything they lost this year, Joe Heck will probably be set in the new NV-03. Most likely, The Nevada Legislature will agree to make the new NV-03 more GOP leaning while designing the new NV-04 district to be as Dem friendly as possible.

  104. Kaufman was a Clinton appointee to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Radio Free Europe, Radio Marti, etc.–but not domestic entities like PBS and NPR.

  105. It sounds nice to say we need to focus on our cities but he still hasn’t provided a plan achieving those goals.  I would refer to him more as a vague talking-point wonk

  106. contesting Ohio? It’s been a swing state since at least 1992. I could see him losing Ohio while still winning reelection, but he’s going to contest it regardless.  

  107. There’s nobody there. The Democrats took a “beating” in the Senate and House. Worse than I had ever feared. To my complete surprise, (though I heard the day before election day from my parents who live here that he was likely to lose but not by much) Lincoln Davis lost TN-04 by 20 points! I don’t think anyone projected that. Roy Herron didn’t manage to top 40%, in a district that Democrats have controlled in every year but 8 since 1871.

    As for Indiana, Lugar wins if he survives the primary. There’s really nothing to it. If he loses the primary, well, we should have a Democrat there just in case. Maybe Joe Donnelly if his district is going to be merged with IN-01.

    Who do the Democrats run in Mississippi that can win? Black turnout will be up here in 2012, but Bernie Thompson won’t run. I guess Gene Taylor could run, but Wicker seems pretty secure. Ronnie Musgrove is not an acceptable candidate and neither is Travis Childers.  

  108. Run candidates everywhere but try to get the best Dem in close races!

    Many of the new GOP HOuse members won simply because they showed up and had an R next to their name. Who knows when the next wave will be but I have a feeling waves will be more common now (like European parliamentary elections). Gone are the days when we vote person not party, which is good b/c now we’ll have some uniformity in policy, not wishy-washy namby-pambism!

    As per the deep South, one word: fugghedabouit (sp!). If Roy Barnes a good’ol southern white boy could not beat a crook like Deal in GA, it’s over!

    But so what? We’ll still have a foothold in the cities and among blacks, but other than FL, NC and VA, I won’t really invest much in those states. TX won’t be competitive for another 20 yrs at least (should have been sooner but the Hispanics here are not as politically active or educatedas those in CA, NV and CO, thanks in part to the defacto segregated public education system the GOP keeps in place that has pretty much condemned Hispanics to economic servitude).

    They key to victory is in CO, NV and to some extent FL. If we get those states to be like CA, we are good on the electoral college even as I expect that soon OH will slip away from us and become like Indiana.  

  109. I believe he still chairs the congressional panel that supervises TARP. Though I heard the last of the banks had paid back their loans recently, so I don’t know how important a job that is.  

  110. Not that you implied there was, but there’s zero chance he beats Lugar. I don’t know whether he could pull off a win even against a damaged non-Lugar candidate… but I’d almost feel more confident with Andre Carson or some random state legislator (not that there’s many of those left!).  

  111. gone. Remember even in 2006, with a pro Dem tide and an almost flawless campaign, Harold Ford Jr. lost by three points against Bob Corker. We’re not picking up a house or senate seat in the deep south for a long time…

  112. that aren’t Republicans? I don’t know how much appeal the mayor of Nashville or Mephis would have outside of those cities, but unless there’s a really big divide, those don’t sound like awful starting points.

    I don’t know anything about Davis’ or Herron’s races and the candidates they faced, so I can’t speak to why they lost. But it sounds, generally speaking, like they were simply overwhelmed by more Republicans showing up to vote than Democrats. Or maybe their districts are just changing rapidly. But anyway, when you say the Democrats were wiped out in the House and Senate, did you mean the state legislative chambers? Regardless, are there any statewide legislators who are willing to look into it?

    As far as Indiana, I agree that Lugar probably won’t go down if he wins the primary. But isn’t there a pretty decent shot he won’t win it?

    In Mississippi, I am not really sure who could run. Someone mentioned that Hattiesburg mayor Johnnie Dupree was running governor. I don’t know how that is going to go, but someone said it’s a mostly half black, half white city. Maybe it’s the exception to the rule, but if he can win white votes there (didn’t he have to?), maybe he can win them in other parts of the state, while still taking advantage of the increased black turnout because of Obama being at the top of the ticket.

    There will always be people willing to run, and in a lot of these states, it’s probably not that expensive to campaign, at least compared to what it would be in, say, New York. Is it that hard to find good candidates? I’m always willing to admit that these races are uphill battle. If it’s a bad cycle, we are going to lose anyway, but it’s an average to good cycle, we must just make it a race. After all, if nothing else, we could very well catch some of these candidates napping throughout the campaign until the fall. We have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain, by doing nothing but forcing the Republicans to defend these seats. And man, if we somehow won a senate seat in Mississippi or Texas, wouldn’t that be something?    

  113. She’s smoking…several packs of cigarettes a day, from what I’ve read. She’s not hot, she’s what? 6’3 and 120?

    Now Sarah Palin is hot, although politically I have as little use for her as I do for Coulter.

  114. I can imagine Gene Taylor, who’s still very popular in MS-04 maybe regaining that seat in 2012. I don’t see Bright running again. I also think that we will pickup a Charleston area seat eventually.

    But other that, you are right.

  115. but it is the South, and Democrats should spend their time trying to win urban areas in TN instead of the rural areas that supported McCain by very wide margins.

  116. But this is true. When Chet Edwards loses by the margin he does and Gene f’ing Taylor actually loses it’s pretty clear that the days of the conservative White southern democrat are numbered,  

  117. say the same thing about Missouri. After all, after only losing the state by a few points in 2004 running Mr. Massachusetts Liberal John Kerry, the Democrats still lost the state by a point even though they won other Midwestern states by double digits. Even in wave years, some random people win.

    Did you know that, if exit polls can be believed, there was basically the same (actually a point less) black turnout in 2006 that there was in 2008, despite Obama being at the top of the ticket? I wonder what would happen if there was a candidate that could get similar levels of white support from Tennessee voters while benefiting from increase black support.

    Let’s play with the numbers from the exit polls. In 2008, there were about 2,592,000 voters. Let’s say that number increases by 10 percent to 2,851,200. But instead of whites making up 84 or 85 percent, they make up 82 percent, and instead of blacks making up 12 or 13 percent, they make up 15 percent. Now let’s assume that this Democratic candidate gets 38 percent of the white vote (two points less than Ford) but 95 of the increased black vote (the same as Ford). That would be 888,434 white votes and 406,296 black votes. If they split the rest of the vote, which was three percent, down the middle, that would be 42,678 more votes. All together, that would be about 46.9 percent of the vote. But let’s say that this Democratic candidate would get the same 40 of the white vote that Ford got. That brings his total up to 935,194 white votes, for a total of 1384168 votes, or 48.5 of the vote. Close, but no cigar.

    I have no idea whether it’s possible that conditions can be created to get this Democratic candidate, whomever he or she is, over the hump. But even Obama got 34 of the white vote in 2008, and there’s what appears to be a decent chance that Corker could be Teabagged. Let’s say they nominate someone who makes Rand Paul look like Olympia Snowe (or at least her reputation). Imagine the opening that would presents a Democrat who would carry the big cities, not get killed in the other areas, and excite black voters.  

  118. I’m not fan of Snyder, but he’s already said that he has no intention of signing any legislation that make Michigan Right-to-Work (that’s really a bridge too far for him), and despite having to go the the right in the general, he’s said in the past that he’s fully in support of civil unions.

    Now, on a partial-birth ban, I could see him signing something like that.  But, we’ve been through this before.  If he and the legislature want to stomach going through a court fight, again, one they are likely to lose, they can, but I’m not sure.

  119. I would vote for him in the R primary assuming there’s not a significant primary on the D side, and then probably vote for him in the general. Lugar is too important a figure both as part of the state’s congressional power and in specific policy areas to risk seeing him lose, especially to a guy like Mourdock.

    Caveat: This is open to change depending on how events pan out. If we have something like this year’s election in Alaska, then I’d probably go for that scenario’s McAdams-like candidate.  

  120. A lot of the top GOPers surprised me.  I guess we hear more about the Dems since they’ve served 50 years or are 100 years old.  Since Storm.died the GOP has no one with a unique story .

  121. Landrieu, Pryor, Baucus, and Johnson are all basically Blue Dogs. Murray and Wyden have the charisma of a block of wood. Boxer campaigning in Ohio and Virginia is like sending Palin out to campaign in Rhode Island and New York. I suppose Harkin and Kerry make the most sense, at least if you’re thinking of leaders in the vein of Schumer and Menendez, but they’re probably among the ten busiest U.S. Senators in their party.  

  122. and it’s obvious what is going on here.

    (1) Cornyn is right that a GOP Senate needs at least 2 election phases to happen(would have been much easier if Raese, Angle and Buck had been slightly better candidates). Phase 1 is done and Phase 2 is 2012. The Dems will play defense but as anyone with a brain knows, 6 weeks is an eternity in politics, let alone 2 yrs.

    (2) Schumer wants to be the Democratic leader so bad he is willing to sabotage his own party to do it. He had hoped Reid would lose (which is why in part he sat on his milions of $$ even though he was facing a nobody in deep blue NY), but when Reid not only got Angle but aggressively attacked her so NV went from Lean R to Lean D at best, Schumer decided to throw some breadcrumbs in $$ late in the game.

    (3) Now that even though Reid won and there is no Schumer v. Durbin race for Dem leader, there is still a chance of 2012 Dem Senate loss because NE, MO, MT,WV,ND, VA and possibly MI and FL are on defense while Dems are mostly on offense in MA and NV, and possibly ME if Snowe is teabagged out of the R nomination. Virtually all of the Dem defenses are cheap states that the GOP nominee should win, so the GOP need not raise too much $$ to take them form the Dems.So right there is your GOP Senate, even if Obama is reelected.

    (4) The DSCC head has to be someone who (a) can raise $$ (b) is young enough to travel around, (c) is not running for reelection in 2012 and (d) ambitious and smart enough to manage campaigns if need be. Schumer fit all those in 2006 and 2008 and only Bennet, Whitehouse and Warner fit it now. Bennet has said no and Warner and Whitehouse are Schumer allies.

    (5) Most of the 14 Dem Senators (inclduing Whitehouse and Warner) who came since 2006 owe their victory in part to Schumer and are probably loyal to him, so since Schumer wants to be Dem leader but not take on Reid, he’s waiting for Reid to fall before he makes his move and the only way Reid falls is if Dems lose the Senate in 2012.

    Ergo, it is in Schumer’s interest the Dems lose the Senate in 2012 and so he gets to be Dem leader. So he is indirectly signalling to the caucus that noone take the DSCC slot because he wants to be Dem Leader.

    Selfish and Pathetic!


  123. I agree she should just let it blow over and at the very least work to avoid Fayard fatigue.  I don’t know who else Dems could run for SoS but there may be some charismatic state legislature or random rich guy out there willing to give it a shot.

    I’m betting Hines runs for SoS as a Republican rather than seek reelection.  I don’t think he’ll win but in a fairly low profile race weird things happen so who knows.

  124. She fell short, losing 57%-43%.  However, she impressed a lot of people.  She also has a lot of money, so she may very well be a candidate again sometime in the future.  There’s a lot of talk of her running for SoS as GOPVOTER pointed out.

    As for non-corrupt NOLA politicians: actually we do have some very good ones, especially on the city council.  Biggest problem is none of them have much of a statewide profile except for Mayor Landrieu, but he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.  Fayard I believe is from New Orleans and is clean.  

  125. They have some bright stars on it now. New Orleans has really gotten its act together with some offices. I wonder if any of the city council members would be interested in a run for SoS? Fielkow maybe? He considered runs against Cao and Vitter, but didn’t want to give up his mayoral run. Well, he didn’t run for mayor and can run for free in 2011, since his council seat is not up until 2014.  

  126. It could look a little weird if he left in the middle of a term with the city still in recovery.  Of course he can always argue he can do more, especially as Governor.  He seems more the executive type so I’m guessing if he ran for anything it would be Governor.  Of course no New Orleans mayor has been elected Governor at least in a very long time if not ever, so he may just decide not to risk it.  But really I have no idea: he’s proven he can get elected statewide so hew may well try again.

  127. While he has wanted the job for awhile, someone eying a run for Gov does not raise taxes. As for running for the senate if Mary retires, I can’t see any Democrat getting elected to federal office in a non-VRA district for a while. He may still have a shot at gov if the Republicans nuke each other enough in the primary, but not for Senate.  

  128. For Lake Charles. She is a former mayor of Lake Charles also, is being talked about for Dems. Hines is the one Republican who will make the more conservative wing of the LA Republican party support Interim SoS Tom Schedler, who many conservatives do not like. Hines move just reeks o opportunism. I know many conservatives are hoping Angelle, who’s party switch seems much more sincere, or Suzie Terrell (she’s rebranding herself like Ann McKlane Kuster) runs. Supposedly Terrell wants it bad. Angelle is less motivated to run for elected office again, because he does not want to take the pay cut. I wonder if Jim Bernhard might consider a run for SoS? SoS makes much more sense than running against Jindal.  

  129. They don’t campaign for candidates (unless you think that senate candidates were busting down doors for the opportunity for an NYC pol like Schumer to campaign with them in Ohio and Virginia).  

  130. He still draws the raves even from rural OR, ref

    If the applause Sen. Ron Wyden drew from constituents during Friday’s town hall meeting at Coos Bay City Hall was any indication of his popularity, it’s easy to see why he was re-elected.

  131. I didn’t either. Thats why I said unless Reps nuke each other in the primary. Even if he ran in 2015 or 2019, he would still be attacked for raising taxes. There is no statue of limitations on that.  

  132. but he’s also very careful about how he words his position on right to work.  It’s “not a priority” or “it’s not productive.”  Never a firm “I don’t support right to work.”  If a right to work bill comes to his desk, I think he’ll give into the pressure of his party.  He’ll pass conservative legislation in the hopes that he’ll avoid a primary challenger (unlikely no matter what he does).    

  133. This guy is a Republican.  That he’s even equivacating is heartening.  There’d be no way in hell he could get away with Right to Work in Michigan.  Even in this environment.  Hell, the largest teachers union in the state has donated to both the incoming Republican House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader.  You’re being FAR more pessimistic than you should be, going out of your way, in fact.  

    Perhaps, if this guy right out the box had appointed fire-breathing conservatives to his cabinet I could understand the ultra-skepticism, but I’m willing to trust his word that he is at least not interested or supportive in dabbling in sacred cows that would make him lose his base of independent voters.  

    Snyder already knows he’s NEVER going to fully solidify conservatives.  I think he’s made the calculation to play to trying to keep his independent base and hope that he’s able to actually peel off some Dems down the road when he’s better known and trusted.

  134. if he turns out to be a great mayor during his tenure there, then the negative vibes of that will be mostly negated.

  135. He probably could (although I somehow doubt he’s going to stay party leader that long, especially if Jim DeMint gets his way (and maybe DeMint will get luckier with the Republicans who win in 2012 than he did this time around!)

  136. He was elected AG in 2008 by 18% over the republican, and he was elected Treasurer in 2006 by 15%. Cordray was far stronger than the appointed treasurer.

    I think DeWine can find a rematch, but before he must take his new office.

  137. …that ideological posturing means little in most elections, since DeWine was a center-right incumbent who got blown out in a center-right state (I think Ohio really is that, as opposed to the country as a whole) in 2006.  

    But ideology and tone (i.e., must be a bombthrower) are everything to teabaggers, and DeWine fails on both counts.  He can’t survive a primary for U.S. Senate in today’s Republican Party.

  138. This is a map of every town in New Hampshire by estimated PVI done by someone with far more time on his hands than I have.

    At least by this metric Hanover at D+29 wins and its neighbor Lyme (where most people who live there are connected to Dartmouth in some way too) is tied for second at D+21 with Durham, where UNH is. Keene (D+19) and Portsmouth (D+18) are both up there, as is Plymouth (D+17), where there’s another good sized state college.    

  139. I agree with you about Taylor and Bright.

    Taylor would be a great candidate for Senate or Governor, but his house seat seems to just fit him.

    Bright’s probably done. I actually don’t blame him. He did a great job and almost won re-election to a seat that symbolized the Republican takeover of the South. The fact that he won in the first place showed just how good of a candidate he was. It’s obvious though that he’s not a fan of the party system. I see him shunning both parties and focusing on law or something else.

  140. But now it will take a long time before someone with “D” after his name will win either district. That will require a special (read – “conservative and well-known”) candidate, and special (read – “very strong Democratic wave”) circumstances in the country…

  141. unless you’re talking about embedded SVG, then we’re talking. XML is in essence like HTML as it’s basically text code.

  142. If Johnson can catch Martins, Democrats have a serious chance to lock Republicans out of New York for a very very long time

  143. Ohio has the longest streak of voting for electoral college winners of any state; the last time it voted for a loser was 1960, when it supported Nixon over Kennedy.

    FWIW, New Mexico has the longest streak of voting for popular vote winners of any state; the last time it voted for a loser was 1976, when it supported Ford over Carter. Indeed, That was the only time when New Mexico, which became a state in 1912, voted for a popular vote loser.

  144. I can picture a scenario where he loses Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Virginia, Indiana, and North Carolina, and still eeks out a super-narrow victory (by a low single-digit # of electoral votes). Especially if his approval is lingering around 45-48% (which is where he’s at now) come 2012. If he’s at 42-45%, that’s when New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado start to veer off the cliff. Below that, and Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Michigan go Republican.

    Thankfully, for Obama, I think all of that is a hypothetical against a “generic R,” and most of the likely GOP contenders are even weaker than that. I don’t think Romney plays well in the VA/NC area (though he could win NH and even keep MI close), and Palin’s gonna have a steep climb doing any better than re-taking IN/NC.  

  145. …being a political and policymaking veteran, or for electoral charisma.  Snyder has neither…yet.  He might build up the resume in time, but you’re lookin’ at sometime in the 2020s before he would be looked on as an old hand.

  146. There are much hotter conservative women. Like S.E. Cupp or Amanda Carpenter. I’d even take Michelle Malkin over Coulter

  147. It prevents a worker from having to join a union as a condition of working at a particular firm (i.e. an individual could work on the line at GM without having to join the UAW if he doesn’t want to).

    Snyder won’t sign right-to-work, at least not in his first term. And honestly, I don’t think it would even get to his desk. New Majority Leader Randy Richardville is not particularly conservative, and has already indicated that he’ll chart a more centrist path.

  148. it allows people to enjoy the benefits of a union while avoiding the costs of being a member.  Something for nothing…common in Republican policy.

    Well, I don’t see a second term in Snyder’s future so I hope you’re correct.  His moderate, independent image may have helped him win.  When he tries to balance the need to be moderate and pleasing his party, he’ll run into trouble.  

  149. the appeal of Coulter. Unless she’s very different in person, which is possible but, I’d guess, not likely, she’s a vile wench, and she’s not nearly as attractive as S.E. Cupp, Laura Ingraham, or even Malkin.

    Totally off topic, but did you know that Ingraham briefly dated both Keith Olbermann and Larry Summers?

  150. You have to wonder what would have happened if Clinton had been dispatched to Ohio for Gore. Maybe Gore would have had an easier time winning Arkansas or Tennessee, but supposedly Clinton was broadly popular in Ohio at the time.  

  151. silver lining, politically speaking, in Democrats getting blown out in the Midwest and Pennsylvania this year, it’s that some of the the Republicans that replaced them are probably way too old to be viable contenders in 2016, let alone 2020. Tom Corbett is now 61, John Kasich is 58, and Terry Branstad is 63. That’s not that old, but I don’t see any of them, except for maybe Kasich, trying to run for anything in 2012. Scott Walker is pretty young at 43, but I’d be more worried about Southwesterners Brian Sandoval or Susanna Martinez. Hispanic Republicans from swing states are guaranteed to become similar to Sam Nunn, whose name is brought up every single time a Democrat looks for a running mate.

  152. California is the only state with state legislative constituencies larger than congressional districts (population wise)

  153. to become Appropriations Chairman. Becoming President Pro Tem, which opened up because John Stennis (D-MS, 1953-88) retired, was a nice bonus.

  154. Let’s face reality – TN-01 and TN-02 are not going Democratic anytime soon. TN-03 is extremely socially conservative (there are several fundamentalist colleges here), and Democrats with the right candidate could get some votes from the coal mining areas. TN-04, TN-06, and TN-08 are all moving away from Democrats, as conservative Democrats don’t vote, or start voting off their social issues. In order to win Tennessee, a Democrat would have to carry TN-09 and TN-05 with more than 70% of the vote, TN-08 with at least 55-60, and win or come very close in TN-04 and TN-06. In 50 years, maybe TN-07 will be a little more competitive. The lawmakers that lost in the State House are mainly white conservative rural Democrats from these two districts who were hurt from the loss of John Tanner and Bart Gordon. Tanner’s name was golden in Northern TN; I’m sure he would have won reelection A Democrat with no base outside the city is going to have a hard time winning. Roy Herron lost because he was a bad candidate and let Steve Fincher got ahead of him. Lincoln Davis was overwhelmed by his district’s move to strong Republican over the past few years. This district (along with TN-06) will be impossible for a Democrat to win in 2012.

    For sure we should have good candidates here, but we shouldn’t be putting Steve Cohen or Jim Cooper up in TN or Bernie Thompson in MS. Well, Democrats would probably win their seats in the House, but they’ve been pretty good legislators (not Cooper I guess) so I’d like to see them continue in public service instead of lose a Senate seat.  

  155. Makes MD-01 and MD-06 into 52-47 Obama/McCain districts. In order to remove Bartlett and Harris, I gave MD-01 the Dem precincts of Annapolis as well as College Park via a tentacle sticking into the DC burbs. I then drew MD-06 down into MontCo around Germantown and Rockville. In order to compensate, I gave Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards part of Bartlett’s old district. The only problem is that it makes Dutch Ruppersberger’s district only 52-47 Obama (Meaning someone like Bob Ehrlich, who is from that area, could probably win it, although it would be an uphill battle).

    Zoomed in on the DC/Baltimore area:

  156. But who knows – in the future Republican party may go so far right that there may be doubts about “sanity” of it’s candidates even in that part of the country (admittedly – very conservative, but still – rational)

  157. seems very similar to the Democrats losing Fritz Hollings seat in South Carolina, in that he was able to still win even though his district was changing and becoming more Republican. But then, he lost, and badly because of the year he was running in. In other words, I don’t think Edwards’ loss is indicative of anything special. It might make it very hard to win in that district, but this doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about any other district.  

  158. her impressive (still – unsuccessfull, but that’s, generally, because of extremely serious split between 2 leading Democratic candidates) congressional run in LA-07. But, if i remember correctly, she is mostly an “old school” Louisiana Democrat: very conservative on social issues and rather conservative on economy too. Do you think she has good chances in “jungle primary”?  

  159. It’s not the urban areas that we have to focus on in Tennessee, its the suburbs. We should be competitive in areas around Nashville, Murfreesboro (Rutherford Co) for example, but we aren’t – and that very indicative of the problem Tennessee Democrats face in returning to relevancy in this state.

  160. Anyone remember the Kathy Bates character admitting quietly that she’s a Democrat? And the reactions of the “friends” of the Sandra Bullock character?

    (If it’s an inaccurate stereotype of suburban TN, please tell me.)

  161. The family was very wealthy and hung around other wealthy people. This was also true in reality for the family. Wealthy white southerners are very Republican, more so than wealthy white northerners.

    Therefore, she was ashamed to say she was a Democrat in their bubble of wealthy and religious customs.

  162. it’s very easy to find Democrats in Nashville, even if they aren’t like Democrats from New York. As Wikipedia says:

    Nashville has been a Democratic stronghold since at least the end of Reconstruction. While local elections are officially nonpartisan, nearly all of the city’s elected officials are known to be Democrats. At the state level, Democrats hold all but one of the city’s state house districts and all but one of the city’s state senate districts.

    Democrats are no less dominant at the federal level. Over the past 100 years, Democratic presidential candidates have carried Nashville/Davidson County in 4 out of 5 elections. Normally, Democrats carry Nashville at the presidential level with relatively little difficulty. In the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore carried Nashville with over 59% of the vote even as he narrowly lost his home state. In the 2004 election, John Kerry carried Nashville with 55% of the vote even as George W. Bush won the state by 14 points. In 2008, Barack Obama carried Nashville with 60 percent of the vote even as John McCain won Tennessee by 15 points.

    I get that the family was very wealthy, but unless there’s something that I wouldn’t understand unless I lived in the city, I thought the whole “We never met a Democrat” idea was just a little much.

  163. The dominance of certain “suburban social norms” definitely puts pressure on people to conform to being Republicans as a social norm. Non-conformers stay quite or face negative social push-back from peers/neighbors/etc, which quite naturally a hindrance to Democrats being competitive in these areas. This seems particularly acute in the South due to cultural factors, but is not exclusive to region.

    The challenge for the TNDP is figuring out a way to overcome the pressure of these suburban social norms….which may be out of their hands in the short term, and rather rest the success or failure of Republican Party to maintain the confidence of voters in their brand.  

  164. tries to mirror such behavior — trying to hypothesize our problems there from my years in coastal NC. (“think and vote as if you were a millionaire”)

    It always amazed me how many middle class southerners tried to empathize with the problems of the wealthy.

  165. see New Jersey going Republican unless it’s really, really bad for Obama. It’s always the state that Republicans seem to set their sights on, but it always comes home for the Democrats. The same goes for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and a few others. Despite Bush winning New Mexico in 2004, I’m tempted to say the same thing about it, and to lesser extent Iowa. Perhaps the margins won’t be as high next time, but he won some of these Midwestern swing states by more than 15 points. There’s a lot of room for error.

    Take Michigan, for instance. Obama won the state overall by a whopping 16 points. He even won the white vote in the state at 51 percent. He could see that drop all the way to 43 percent and still get above 50 percent of the overall vote if black voters show up and vote for him like they did last time.

    I could see Ohio and/or Florida flipping while Obama wins the rest of the Midwest, except for Missouri, like he did last time, and also the Southwest, possibly including Arizona. That’s the benefit to expanding the map, and that’s why I want the Obama campaign to invest in Georgia, South Carolina, and Arizona, at least initially.

    I’m not sure who will play better where, but a lot of people seem to be downplaying the fact that the Republicans probably won’t have McCain’s relative strength with Latino voters like they did last time. I wonder how well John Thune, for instance, would do in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and even Texas once his positions on things like declaring English as the national language, building a fence along the border, and voting down guest worker programs are revealed. Sure, some white voters in the state might like him for those views, but my guess is that anybody who lists that as a top priority is already on the Republican side to begin with.  

  166. majority of commenters here but I like Rahm as Mayor of Chicago.  I am going to look at some of the others (besides Moseley Braun who I think is a little worthless) to understand their backgrounds.  Not like I have a vote anyway but…

  167. much about the demographics of the state. There are probably unregistered black voters, and maybe some unregistered young voters, but even then, a Democratic candidate would have to get a sizable portion of the white vote to win.

    I don’t know if there’s any chance that Democrats could win it at the national level, but why not try to run Democrat who have won statewide and/or who have a base in one of the big cities? Unless the state is taking such a sharp turn to the right that it’ll be on the same level as Mississippi, you have to think that someone who is from Tennessee wouldn’t get killed in the same way that someone else, running from another state as a Democrat, might.

    It’s probably easier, although not really easy, to try to win as a Democrat statewide as a Senate candidate, because then turnout can be maximized in the big cities. The same can’t be said for the House seats, so Democrats should try focusing their attention on the statewide contests.  

  168. I think the weakest point of M DeWine is to be a so dirty politician, but this mean not weakness in a republican primary (see D Vitter or J Ensign). Do you know someone teabagged in Ohio? The republican stablishment seems very strong in Ohio.

    The alone sense what I find to M DeWine’s return is to prepare a new bid for senate or governor. And with R Portman and J Kasich recently elected, only get the senate seat of S Brown, and that mean a rematch in 2012 or wait to later with the risk (for M DeWine) of see other republican defeating S Brown (not likely for me).

    The big majority of the republican elected officers in Ohio are recently elected. Only Boehner and LaTourette are in mid level offices since more than 10 years. Here is not Jeb Bush promoting teabaggers.

  169. Benefits those type of candidates. It depends on who runs. I think if Scott Angelle does not run, she would have a good chance b/c she is from a Cajun area that would vote for Angelle. Of course, any Dem one-on-one with a Rep in LA is probably DOA, except for AG Buddy Caldwell.

  170. I worked in Congress and I know how these pols operate, especially the Dems. They are egotistical and in it only for themselves, party building be damned. It’s no wonder we get our assess kicked more often than not.

    You think someone who cares about the party won’t be out there already recruting candidates to keep Dems in control? Nah.

  171. but it still shouldn’t make a difference. Would a city that supposedly has so few Democrats that the Toughy’s never met one elect a black Democrat as mayor? In real life, it elected A.C. Wharton, who is just that.

    On another note, I really need to watch that movie again. Nothing particularly special about it, but man did I like it.  

  172. Another article I can’t view fully:

    Mineola Mayor Jack Martins, the GOP challenger, leads incumbent Democrat Craig Johnson by 180 votes at midday in the 7th State Senate count of paper ballots. It’s Martins 41,725; Johnson 41,545.

    Martins’ people had been suggesting he would start to pull away from Johnson as the count moved toward more areas with a larger Republican presence, but his morning…

    Are Republicans walking back their confidence on this?

    PS. For reference, Martins’ lead last night was 246.

  173. I know virtually nothing about him, to the point of I thought he was a lot older than he actually was until I looked at his Wikipedia page. I could see it being a barrier to overcome, but not a particularly difficult one. I’d say his positions matter far more and that his lack of a college education is only going to make a difference on the margins: it’d hurt him in highly educated areas if voters perceived him as ignorant and/or incompetent (not saying he is, of course). But then again, Jodi Rell didn’t have a problem getting elected in Connecticut, which is a wealthy, highly educated state, and she never graduated from college. The difference is that people liked her and liked the job she was doing.

    Perhaps it could even be a plus amongst certain voters. After all, there are a lot of people who don’t go to college or never finish even if they start. It’s a possible in with this crowd.

    In the end, it comes down the job he does as governor, and the way in which he carries himself on the ticket should he ever be on one. If he acts like Sarah Palin, who comes across as bitter towards anyone who has an education and who tries to gain knowledge, it’d probably hurt him, but other than that, I don’t think it’ll make that much of a difference.  

  174. Many of the best 7-1 MD maps I’ve seen (both my own and those of others) actually put Harris’ home base in the 6th. He’d probably have an advantage against the 80-something Roscoe Bartlett in that he’s been campaigning more aggressively in recent years; I haven’t ever seen a commercial for Bartlett or any of his opponents, and his district even now runs thru many outer Baltimore suburbs.

    Of course the latest thing on Capitol Hill is apparently Harris made quite a stir at freshmen orientation when he angrily wanted to know why there would be a month-long gap in his health coverage after taking office. Now he knows how the rest of us feel when we change jobs. (Except most of us aren’t rich doctors who base our political campaigns on how wonderful the health care status quo was/is before “Obamacare”.)

  175. Memphis is a totally different political, social, and demographic animal than the suburban cities and Shelby County. “The Blind Side” is set primarily in East/SE Shelby County, which leans heavily Republican. There is a literal, and quite stark, divide between the city of Memphis and its neighboring suburban cities and unincorporated county counterparts in terms of economic and political demographics.

    For example, if Memphis turns out the vote it can dominate county elections, but if it does not, as was the case in the August County level elections of this year, the suburban cities and county can elect Republicans across the board via their better turn-out rates. It’s an interesting political dynamic, and differs from Nashville, but that is a totally different analysis and comparison for another topic/thread.

  176. He came within 10 points last time, without even contesting the state in the GE. And he handily won younger voters, won 26% of the white vote (better than even GA), and although it’s been awhile since his approval ratings were measured there, several polls have actually had his approval there in the mid-40s, roughly comparable with a lot of swing states.


    The most recent poll was Rasmussen, which had him at 43% in the state in mid-October.  

  177. At least then he wouldn’t be stuck working on every committee.

    A lot of the Deep South states were 100% Democratic during the Jim Crow era.

  178. The trend is our friend in SC. Even if it’s just party building for later elections, some contesting of SC is an excellent idea.

  179. Exit polls showed Obama at 34 percent approval in the state – but that was with only a 16 percent black electorate.  In 2008, AA vote was 25 percent of the total.

  180. took office in 2009, you know. Just as the winners of the 2010 elections, except where they are also filling unexpired terms, will take office in 2011.

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