SSP Daily Digest: 1/3

AK-Sen: Last Friday, Joe Miller finally pulled the plug on continued legal challenges to Lisa Murkowski’s win in the 2010 election, despite earlier comments that standing down was not an option. (Apparently it actually was an option if no one could be found willing to foot the legal bill for a trip to the 9th Circuit.) So now the 2010 election really, truly is over. And in case Miller was going to get any bright ideas about what do to in 2012, Rep. Don Young (no stranger to primary challenges from the right, having barely survived a CfG-led purge in the 2008 primary) is already firing some shots over Miller’s bow with his rusty old harpoon gun.

FL-Sen: Depending on who you listen to, George LeMiuex either is or isn’t about to launch a Senate bid. Roll Call’s Steve Peoples says no, pointing to not only LeMieux’s weak poll numbers and ambivalent-sounding statements but also his new cushy job as chair of the board of directors of one of the state’s largest law firms (a decidedly different role from being there just as a part-time rainmaker/show pony). Other observers have noticed he’s been sounding out potential consultants for a run, though, including GOP ad impresario Fred Davis, fresh off such smashing successes as Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” ad and the anti-Patty Murray tennis shoe ad. Meanwhile, Rep. Cornelius McGillicuddy IV (or Connie Mack, as he’d prefer you call him) is gearing up for a run, if a recent fundraising letter citing a run against Bill Nelson sent around by Mack (and Jeb Bush) ally Jorge Arrizurieta is any indication.

ME-Sen: Affordable-housing developer Rosa Scarcelli got some good buzz during her run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary last year, and now she’s talking a bit about a Democratic run for the Senate in 2012. However, she seems to be reserving judgment, waiting to see whether the promised teabagging against Olympia Snowe ever happens, saying any decision would depend greatly on that.

OH-Sen: In what’s certainly not a surprise, Mike DeWine (perhaps compelled to say something after faring pretty well in one of PPP’s recent let’s-test-everyone Senate polls) says he won’t consider running for his old Senate seat in 2012, having just successfully hit the ‘reset’ button his career with an election to the state AG slot. Newly-elected Lt. Governor Mary Taylor seems to be the top GOP option here, but for now she’s simply saying it’s too early, but isn’t ruling out the possibility (and also saying that no one from the national party has contacted her about it, which stretches the boundaries of credulity).

PA-Sen: Remember back in the spring of 2010, when the DC press corps, for a couple slow news days there, actually willingly ran with the idea that the allegation that a political job offer was sorta-kinda relayed from the Obama administration to Joe Sestak was the Watergate-esque moment that was going to bring the entire Obama edifice down? Um, yeah… now that it’s not an electoral talking point and now that Darrell Issa’s is actually in charge of Oversight, he’s admitting that that isn’t a line of inquiry that he’s going to pursue, seeing as how, in his own words, Republicans “did the same thing.” (Sighing loudly and walking away shaking head.)

RI-Sen: Keep an eye on outgoing Gov. Don Carcieri, who while not saying anything tangible about a Senate run, said a number of candidate-ish things in a recent interview, including “I’m not going away” and “I have views, national as well, so I intend to be visible.”

UT-Sen: Here’s an interesting take on the redistricting issues surrounding Utah’s new fourth House seat: one possible outcome would be the Republicans packing all the state’s Dems into one seat in order to avoid weakening any of the other three. And while superficially that might seem to benefit Rep. Jim Matheson, that could actually hurt him by making the district too liberal for Matheson (one of the remaining high-profile Blue Dogs) to win a primary (the article cites former SLC mayor Rocky Anderson as a potential rival). The article also suggests that could instead push Matheson into a Senate run, especially if it’s against the more polarizing Jason Chaffetz instead of Orrin Hatch (although I’d think a gubernatorial run might be likelier, seeing as how that’s up in 2012 again and Utah is one of those red states that’s more forgiving of Dems at the state level than for federal office).

IN-Gov: Rumors are bubbling up that Democratic Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is making moves to be the first to declare his candidacy for the 2012 gubernatorial race, mindful of the advantages that accrue to early declarers.

MS-Gov: Today Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is finally making official his candidacy for the 2011 Mississippi gubernatorial election, an open seat as his boss hogg Haley Barbour is termed-out. While Bryant’s stiffest competition will probably occur in the GOP primary (where possible opponents include the delightfully-named SoS, Delbert Hosemann), businessman and Democratic candidate Bill Luckett also appears to be making it official today.

WV-Gov: I’m wondering if maybe Shelly Moore Capito has let people know that she’s not running for Governor? It seems like the floodgates have suddenly opened for lesser GOPers to declare their interest in the race, starting with ex-SoS Betty Ireland last week, but now the state’s GOP party chair, Mike Stuart, is also publicly talking himself up for the role. Of course, no one has any idea yet whether that special election will happen in 2011 or 2012.

AZ-08: Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Gabrielle Giffords in November, is rumored to be moving toward a rematch. His odds would seem to be slimmer in a rematch, as Latinos and youth voters are likelier to show up in a presidential year, but he may figure he has an ace in the hole, in the form of the likely presence of a Kelly ally, Christopher Gleason, on Arizona’s ostensibly independent redistricting commission, who might be able to tinker with the boundaries in a more GOP-friendly direction.

NV-04: Cue the hordes of screaming fans, weeping with joy and fainting from sheer ecstasy: Rory Reid, fresh off his domination in the Nevada gubernatorial race, is the subject of speculation that he might be bringing his own special brand of dynamism and excitement to the open House seat that will be created in the Las Vegas suburbs. (For his part, Reid won’t confirm or deny it yet.)

Chicago mayor: It looks like the African-American community may actually be coalescing around a single non-Rahm candidate in the mayoral race, with the dropout of Rep. Danny Davis from the race. He (along with state Sen. James Meeks, who also dropped out several weeks ago) lent his support to ex-Sen. Carol Mosely Braun, the last one standing. (Note that this is the second time Davis has tried to run for municipal office and then done a U-turn back to his House seat in the last year.) Don’t start writing the saga of an Emanuel/Braun runoff just yet, though, as ex-schools chief Gerry Chico is a major wild card here, and now it looks like he has the money to back that up: he reports he raised $2.5 million for the race last quarter, a number that would be boffo even in many Senate races.

History: The Univ. of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog occasionally comes up with real historical gems like this one, using the possibility of a Russ Feingold run for Herb Kohl’s seat as a springboard for looking at Senators throughout history who’ve leapt from one state’s seat to the other. Only two current Senators (Kent Conrad and Frank Lautenberg) meet that criteria, although some other famous names have done so (including Hubert Humphrey and Barry Goldwater). However, neither Conrad nor Lautenberg did so because of a loss (the most recent example of that would be Washington’s Slade Gorton, though UMN finds nine other historical examples).

Photos: This is one of those precious photos that’s worth a thousand words, one that Eric Cantor probably already wishes he’d re-thought. (H/t to Brian Valco for this and several other of today’s links.)

172 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 1/3”

  1. Up until 1-1-11, there were no limits on contributions to candidates for office in Illinois.  Now it’s $5000/cycle for individuals, $10,000 for corporations and unions, $50,000 per PAC.

    So everyone front-loaded.

  2. I can see Reps. Heller and Berkley running for Sen. Ensign’s seat, while 2010 statewide superstars Sharron Angle and Rory Reid seek election to NV-02 and NV-04 respectively (I’m pretty sure NV-01 is going to be turned into a VRA seat, as Latinos make up at least a quarter of Nevada’s population and it is quite easy to draw a compact Latino-majority seat based in North Las Vegas; Ruben Kihuen, a Las Vegas-area state senator, would then be a likely candidate).

    As for Maine: I’d much rather see Rep. Michaud run than Rosa Scarcelli. Nothing against Scarcelli from where I’m standing, but she’s another ultra-liberal Portlander who won’t be able to capture moderates or contest the rural vote. And even though I think she’s admirable, she’s the wrong candidate. I wish her luck in the private sector or maybe a future Democratic administration in Maine.

    And as for Utah: I’m of the opinion Republicans will draw a district for Rep. Matheson that is liberal enough to make him sweat in a primary against the likes of Claudia Wright, but moderate enough to give a progressive like Wright heartburn against a Republican opponent in a general election. I don’t think they want to risk two or three districts becoming competitive if urban growth and blueing in Salt Lake County continues to outpace the rest of the state. (It would be an interesting thought experiment to crunch the numbers and try to figure out how long it will take before Utah is a swing state, assuming no change in party ideology or composition.)

  3. While it was led by the Palinistas and CfG, the primary challenge was also fueled by the rampant corruption allegations against Rep. Young.  The Florida highway thing, Bridge To Nowhere, etc…Not the typical CfG purge, where just being a non-ultra Conservative is good enough to warrant the challenge.  In fact, this would have been one time that they would have ended up with the MORE electable candidate if they won their primary.  Young barely survived in ’08, and I don’t think Parnell would have had similar problems.  

  4. Whitehouse, while under 50, still has a 46% approval rating, while Carcieri is languishing at 36%. (As of last July – I’m assuming little has changed since then).

    In arguably one of the most Democratic states in the country in a Presidential year, good luck with that.

    But then, nobody said that Don Carcieri also wasn’t an arrogant ass.  

  5. If some Dems join Reps next week to vote to repeal HCR, will they face any punishment in the Dem caucus? I can’t see them voting to repeal Obama’s signature policy and get away with it.  

  6. Tea-party moron and a fashion victim?  She’s too much.  The one thing I loathe most about Michele Bachmann is seeing her internet ads all over the place and having to think, “god she looks she fabulous, that yellow coat is so damn cute.”

    And Bachmann has been stepping up her internet and media presence.  Even if you subtract out the stupid stuff, I have seen her quoted and used as the talking head in the Twin Cities area much more since the election.  She is not running for Senate, she is gunning on being a big time player in the House and she probably pissed her pants at seeing MN keep it’s eighth seat.

    Oh well, at least I can celebrate the crazy branch of the GOP being lead by women.  Feminism!, or something….

  7. *Includes people who have not yet taken office, but will this month

    Who is the youngest_____:

    US Senator?

    Female US Senator?


    Female Governor?

    US Rep?

    Female US Rep?

    Statewide office holder?  

  8. With Goodwin and LeMeiux gone, I believe the youngest female senator is Gillibrand. She was briefly the youngest overall, but then LeMeiux was appointed, who was then unseated by Goodwin, and now it will be Mike Lee of Utah. Bobby Jindal is still the youngest governor, no? I know for a fact Aaron Schock (R) is the youngest congressman, not sure about congresswoman though. And I definitely have no idea about youngest statewide office holder, I’m interested to find out.  

  9. So I’m trying to figure out how to exempt SSP and the Republican SSP (Launching January 18th!!) from Adblock plus. The Adblock plus website is no help, so I figured I’d ask here. I know someone knows.  

  10. Where did the idea that Utah is more favorable to dems at the state level than the federal? Utah hasnt had a Democratic governor since 1984 when Scott Matheson Sr. left office. In 1992 the Democratic nominee for governor came in 3rd with 23% in an open seat contest. Utah currently has no Democrats elected statewide. Utah currently has no State Senators outside of Salt Lake County and only three State Reps outside of Salt Lake County. Utah Dems havent done much better on the federal level but Jim Matheson is now serving his 6th term. And in the 90’s Utah had Dem reps Bill Orton, Wayne Owens, and Karen Shepherd.

  11. 9 people.

    Rep. Clarke (who defeated Carolyn Kilpatrick in a primary) will be the first Bangladeshi-American in Congress.  I hope he makes a name for himself unlike the tainted one of his predecessor.

    Rep. John Carney hopes to make friends through basketball.

    Rep. Cicilline wants to start a nonpartisan dinner party social caucus.

  12. Perhaps I am reading this incorrectly, but why is it a surprise that DeWine said he’s not running? Is it just that soon? Or does he doesn’t want his old job?  

  13. I didn’t watch the election coverage this year on TV, but would it be possible to do what BBC does on election day, interview a couple thousand people throughout the country and when the polls close in Indiana/Kentucky project which party controls the senate and house and project the approximate number of seats each party holds? Or is that not possible for various reasons not to mention the polls don’t close all at the same time like in England.

  14. Not a surprise, Republicans are thinking of changing the state back to a winner take all allocation of the state’s electoral votes. They don’t only want to prevent Obama from snatching away Omaha’s electoral vote again but also they don’t want Omaha dragging Ben Nelson across the finish line if the race is close by then.

  15. When will some SSPers stop with the bs that Utah Republicans need to even shore up 4 GOP districts! They can easily make 4 about R+20 districts, they can also weaken Matheson at zero expense for other GOP Reps.

  16. According to our NV source, they will try to do everything to prevent this race from happening.  Although they are in different parties, they come from basically the same team.

  17. I just looked at it. And funny enough, it’s probably among the most realistic DRA maps of Nevada I’ve seen so far. Because of VRA, NV-01 and/or NV-04 will likely be majority-minority. And as long as either Dean Heller stays put in NV-02 or the NV GOP Establishment succeeds in blocking Sharron Angle or one of her loyalists from grabbing the nomination, that seat can certainly stay in GOP hands with your map. All is well…

    Well, except for that little issue I mentioned in your diary about Shelley Berkley’s house being put in NV-04 in your map. It probably won’t be an issue if she runs for Senate, but if she doesn’t, she won’t like being separated from The Strip.

  18. Rep. Matheson is solid proof of that.

    If you’re cutting Salt Lake County into quarters and putting a quarter into each congressional district, you’re weighting each district heavily with a piece of a fast-growing, largely urbanized county on a Democratic trend. In most states, that is what we like to call a stupid thing to do, because if Democratic-tending city voters turn out at a better clip than Republican-tending rural voters, or if a rural Democrat wins the nomination and is able to hold down margins in the cow counties while racking up a solid margin of the vote in the significant urban part of the district, you’ve got a competitive race on your hands. The Utah Republican Party doesn’t want that to happen.

  19. is unwelcome and unnecessary. The comments section here is not a place for you to lecture others about what they supposedly need to stop doing.

  20. It’s Utah Republicans who control redistricting who feel the need to shore up districts. If Utah Republicans are scared about their electoral prospects, I’m inclined to think there’s probably something for them to be scared of.

    Also, Matheson vs. Chaffetz would probably be Team Blue’s best shot at capturing a Utah Senate seat for a generation.  

  21. However, I do think it is interesting exercise to draw a district with a liberal Dem primary electorate to beat him but then include enough Republicans for them to still be able to win the general.

  22. UT-1   64-33% (McCain)

    UT-2   57-39%

    UT-3   29-67%

    The state over-all was 62-34%, so you can definitely carve out four districts so that they are all 62-34% if you want to be ugly about it.  And why not, all the current districts swoop into the main SLC vicinity already.  And with four districts, it doesn’t end up looking that gerrymandered in the end.  Eight would be ridiculous and not work, four, eh, you can make the argument that we should make them all similar for the sake of having everyone’s interests be represented by several members of Congress.

    Someone had done a fun redistricting of Utah that made three extremely compact districts and one big rural one.  After seeing the current map for so long, it was downright funny to see what a non-gerrymandered Utah looked like.  These people are urbanized, you would just never know it from the map.

  23. would never happen, but, if the Republicans in the state redistricted in the way some say they could and ended up screwing themselves, and then Democrats won a few, if not all, of those seats, even just for one congressional session, can’t you imagine how pisssssseeedddddddd the Republicans nationally would be?  

  24. Well, Dan Boren wins in a 66% McCain district like Matheson, if they retire no other Dem has a chance of hitting 45% and in Boren’s case 35%

  25. asked you this before, so forgive me if I have, but what, exactly, is happening that is making Salt Lake County so Democratic? And in what ways is it changing? I don’t expect it to become another Berkeley, it has a huge chunk of the state’s population, and if it becomes Democratic, so does the state, no? Of course, in the end, the rest of the state doesn’t move in the same direction, it might not make a difference, but it’s kind of amazing to think that in 15 to 20 years, Utah might be dramatically different.  

  26. I would have guessed Burr’s seat, because of all the talk about the curse.  But it was probably solid D before Sen. East.  Though I think if you were going to talk about just the last 30 years, that seat went D-R-R*-D-R-D-R.  It flipped 5 elections in a row!  (80/86/92/98/04)

    *appointed after East committed suicide

  27. Do they have magic special superpowers that make them the only two Democrats in the entire country who can possibly win in very conservative districts?

    Rep. Minnick may have only served one term, but he still got elected in a very conservative district as recently as 2008. You really think the Utah Republican Party wants to see how many Minnicks and Mathesons the Utah Democratic Party can find? You really think the National Republican Congressional Committee wants to spend a lot of money on Utah?

  28. that makes holding a district like that once a long-serving Representative retires very difficult.  

  29. the party doesn’t have to spend any money defending it though.  we have enough seats to defend as is

  30. that they waste some money trying to unseat Whitehouse. One e-mail alone from President Obama asking to send money to Whitehouse (or something similar if that, exactly, isn’t legally allowed) would probably raise all of the money the Democrats need to defend the seat.  

  31. If, say Dan Boren, were to vote for repeal and be stripped of his committees, would he become a Republican, stay a Democrat with no power, or would take Phil Gramm’s path, resign, become a Republican, and run in the special election?  

  32. After all many dems voted against enactment and received no retribution except from some of the unions. (eg. the “Skip a Space” campaign in Ohio and the threats from the Working Families party in New York)

  33. if they’re Dan Boren or Heath Shuler, then no because Dems aren’t stupid. If someone in a blue or swing district did, like say Stephen Lynch or Dan Lipiinski, then the will be primaried but probably not stripped of committees or anything.  

  34. The GOP are clearly just getting the vote out of the way and done with to appease the tea party.  There is no way it will ever become law, will ever be voted on in the Senate, it’s a waste of time and that’s that.

    And I highly doubt any Dem will vote for this repeal bill who also voted for the bill in the first place.  And without that, there really isnt any news story to make this an issue or something to talk about.  The GOP will vote for repeal, it’ll be a three-day thing and then we’ll be onto serious governing.

  35. She should have ran for Congress this year. She might be competitive in an open seat. But with Bingaman it shouldn’t be that close.  

  36. But I guess he is all revved up to be president. I wonder if after getting his name up he might not switch back to run for senate against Bingaman.

  37. No one has answered the really fun question: how Democratic of a district can you make in Utah? It’d be all-SLC, presumably … maybe a tendril out to Park City?  (which, btw, would be a perfect fit for a former SLC mayor like Rocky Anderson)

    The corollary is: how Democratic would it have to get for Dem primary voters to jettison Matheson and go with Anderson? Considering they almost dumped Matheson in 2010 in his current district for a lesbian women’s studies professor with no money (aka-guaranteed loser) I would guess the answer to that one is: less Democratic than you might think.

  38. I have no idea. It’s experiencing dramatic population growth, and big cities tend to vote Democratic at a greater rate than mid-sized or small cities. I’m anxious to see the Census data; one theory is that young people are growing less likely to identify as socially conservative (and I’m wondering if there’s a correlation with whether they identify as religious and/or whether they attend a religious college), and another theory is that Salt Lake and Summit counties (among others) are experiencing a quick rise in Latino population.

    It’s a long way from Berkeley, obviously, and I don’t really see Salt Lake City becoming a “liberal bastion” anytime soon (except relative to the rest of Utah, perhaps), but if it’s really big and blue (right now, the rest of the Wasatch Front’s blood-red status is keeping Utah a staunchly conservative state), interesting things could happen.

  39. Rubio

    Either Ayotte or Gillibrand (leaning toward the former)



    Amash (just read article on this)


    no idea

  40. Apparently Rubio is like a week older than Lee. Haley is younger than Jindal though, so unless there was someone else I’m forgetting that’s younger than her elected this year, she holds the spot of youngest governor, male or female.

  41. Lee is the youngest, and he, along with Rubio, are the first Senators elected who were born in the 1970s. Aaron Schock is the youngest also, he is about a month younger than Amash. The youngest female Senator is not Gillibrand, and Jindal is no longer the youngest gov.  

  42. I think one factor that could either help or stunt the Democratic growth of Utah is how Democratic the suburbs are. For liberal cities, I see a few different models: Cincinatti (Democratic core city with a sharp Republican turn once one exits the city limit), San Francisco Bay Area(almost the whole metro area is Democratic, including many suburbs), and Chicago (where there’s a difference in the main city and the suburbs, but it’s gradual, with some suburbs still being relatively safe for Dem. Representatives). My random guess would be that SLC is mostly in the first category, but I could be wrong, and since the metro area is booming in population, this could definitely change.

    Also, if anyone is from Utah, I’m wondering… are Ogden and Provo view by most residents as suburbs, or as cities in their own right? Are they growing much as well, for that matter?

  43. Simple as that. Not too long ago, SLC wasn’t too far off from the rest of Utah, in that it was lily white and overwhelmingly Mormon. But now, SLC is no longer majority Mormon… And yes, SLC and nearby suburbs are now more ethnically diverse as well as religiously diverse. Obviously as “outsiders” have been moving to Greater SLC in the last 20 years from other places looking for good jobs and (relatively) cheap housing, they’ve been bringing their politics with them.

  44. If Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Anthony Kennedy retired in the next congress, how about nominating Sheldon Whitehouse to fill that seat on the SCOTUS?

  45. Haley is the youngest gov (or will be) and Ayotte will be the youngest female Senator, and third youngest Senator overall, with Lee and Rubio being the only ones younger.  

  46. But I could be totally wrong about that.

    I expect you’re right about the Salt Lake City suburbs. West Jordan’s new mayor is a Republican (and a rising star in the party, too, apparently, as is Mayor Mike Winder of West Valley City).

  47. Wasn’t it just fairly recently that a lot of the Chicago suburbs were pretty damn red themselves, at least to the point of counteracting the vote from Chicago and other urban areas in Illinois? What changed to make the state so blue in such a relatively short amount of time? Was it a matter of people moving from the cities into the suburbs in addition to new growth? It wouldn’t surprise me if that is the case.

    If something like that were to happen in Utah, who knows how that might change the state’s political leanings. The cities would have to become so large and a lot more Democratic when voting for federal candidates than they are now, but if growth rates continue to be high or get even bigger, well…

  48. is actually her middle name! Just learned that on ABC news tonight, her name is actually Jamie Herrera Beuler(sp).  

  49. I know he desperately wants to be a Republican, but his 2010 primary opponent won 40% of the vote without spending a dime.  He will be target #1 if he keeps acting like an ass, and his next primary opponent won’t be so poorly funded.

  50. but that’s fairly common when the Dems are in the minority. Gene Taylor never voted for Pelosi until they won the majority. I think he cast his vote for Murtha

  51. I get the whole “protest vote” thing but I’ve disliked how he’s continually tried to act as the anti-Pelosi while presenting himself as a mere figurehead. I don’t think anyone buys that.

    Gee, me disliking something Heath Shuler does. Imagine that.  

  52. district may not even be there in two years. I think he’s positioning himself for a gubernatorial run.  

  53. Honestly, some of the indignation on here makes no sense at all.

    He isn’t voting for the Republican, and this vote is easily the most unimportant vote they will take.  Why the hell would anyone give a crap?

  54. I dont want to lose his House seat, but him moving onto governor would be a great choice for himself.

  55. But if Buncombe County (Asheville) were taken out it could become very difficult for Shuler (or any Democrat.)


  56. Going for –better– Democrats comes after we restore a stable House majority, perhaps in ’16.

  57. But apparently as of late December 2010, she’s taken her husband’s last name, which makes her Rep.-elect Jaime Herrera Buetler.

  58. He’ll never have to worry about being tied to Pelosi again, assuming that that will be a liability in 2012.

  59. I spent forever trying to find her on Wikipedia until I realized she took her husband’s name.  

  60. Not asking for names, obviously – I know how it works – but what camp is he/she in, and how would he/she be in a position to know?

  61. So basically, Salt Lake City is the New York City of Utah. And it’s growing. Fast. Now I no longer wonder why Republicans are thinking that maybe they should just try to quarantine it instead of gambling on each taking pieces that could end up outgrowing and outvoting the attached conservative areas.

  62. Nevada will have four seats, of which two are currently held by Republicans: Heller & Heck. Heller basically has the non-Vegas seat (the 2nd), while the newly-elected Heck holds the suburban-Vegas 3rd. Even if Democrats in the Legislature were inclined to do so, could you really shore up both Heller & Heck? I guess if you pack the liberal parts of Vegas into the 1st and 4th, it could work, giving Heck a big ring of suburbs and exurbs around the city and everything else to Heller. And giving Nevada 2 liberal Democrats in the House. But that doesn’t really help Heller all that much, because everything outside Vegas is conservative except swingy Reno. But Reno is far removed from Vegas, but it is the population center and primary base of Heller’s district.


    Okay, if Berkley and the Nevada Democrats could make this deal… Berkley gets Heller to run for re-election instead of for the Senate, and in exchange, Heller gets favored over Heck in the redistricting as far as Democrats are concerned. Freshman Heck, meanwhile, gets thrown to the wolves into a fair fight district…perhaps somewhere between R+1 and his current D+2, while Heller gets something at least a smidge more conservative than his current NV-02, in which Obama & McCain basically tied despite Obama’s double-digit statewide win.

    Honestly, they could make a good case to Heller. Instead of a nasty primary with Ensign followed by a nasty battle with Democrats, Heller ducks 2012’s big race. He earns plaudits by being a relatively sane Republican member of Congress fightin’ hard for his district and paying attention to its people. Then he’s viable in 2014 for Governor if Sandoval stumbles or in 2016 for Reid’s seat, which Reid can’t think he’ll get for another term….can he?

  63. Given his other judicial appointments (not just for the Supreme Court), I think Obama is probably looking toward an Asian male to be his next nominee.

  64. We have to get Obama to renominate him to the 9th Circuit first!

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Liu will be on SCOTUS anytime during Obama’s term. The earliest he would be there would be well after 2016, so he’d have to replace Breyer or Scalia maybe (the latter would be a shame, though, because Scalia is exactly the guy I’d want Liu to humiliate when he gets there).

  65. I definitely don’t see Koh getting 60 votes, which is unfortunate, because I like him too.

    I’m thinking Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, and D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland are the top three right now in case of a retirement or incapacitation on the U.S. Supreme Court, with Sears probably being favored if the vacancy is for the gavel of Justice Ginsburg and Thomas probably being preferred if it’s Justice Kennedy.

  66. I haven’t lived in Chicago long enough to understand historical trends, but I do know that there’s been Hispanic growth both to the west (Pilsen, the Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, was originally Czech IIRC) and the north (Lake County is more Hispanic than your average suburban county).

  67. What would it take to move the LDS bloc into the Democratic camp? Friction between the Mormons and evangelical Christians in the Republican Party have been well documented, perhaps best exemplified by Mitt Romney’s underwhelming performance with Republican primary electorates in states like Iowa and South Carolina three years ago (holy shit, it’s been that long, hasn’t it?).

    Roman Catholics and Jews wound up moving into the Democratic camp; in fact, Mormons are really the only major non-evangelical bloc of voters in terms of religious identity who remain solidly Republican. Is there a way Democrats can peel them away?

  68. And it’s from someone who isn’t Mayor Avedisian (or maybe Mayor Fung), he has a big trump card: Gov.-elect Chafee.

    Whitehouse beat then-Sen. Chafee in 2006. Chafee famously suggested he was kind of glad about losing because he thought Republicans deserved to lose control of the Senate.

    If Whitehouse is challenged by a conservative Republican like Gov. Carcieri or John Robitaille, I’ll bet he can get Chafee to endorse him and do a couple events with him. And that’s basically game over.

  69. Is there some aspect of religious “freedom” that Mormons feel the need for that would PO the rest of the religious right? Short of polygamy, of course.

    (Most ideas that comes to mind would violate most D ideals w/r/t separation of church and state, including mine….)

  70. want any success, their best best is to probably start with the younger generations and turn them into loyal voters, if only because they will be around longer and there simply might be more of them.

    On a related note, a few weeks ago, when some big Republican from Colorado bolted from the Republicans to the Democrats–I think his name was Hasan–because of the bigotry against Muslims, the Colorado Independent pictured him standing proudly with Nancy Pelosi. I won’t claim to know his views, but he describes himself as a staunch fiscal conservative, so upon first glance, he might seem like an odd fit in the Democratic party. But Pelosi, who supposedly helped push him towards the Democrats, has the right idea: welcome people like him with open arms, because while he might not be every base Democratic voter’s wet dream, the only way to grow the party is by expanding beyond the base.  

  71. the fact that there are basically no moderate Republicans in the state aside from Avedisian and Fung, meaning no one who could win a federal position in a presidential year.

  72. Then again, Justice Kennedy is in his mid-70s (as is Justice Scalia, actually, although I think he’d literally rather keel over mid-hearing than retire under a Democratic president), and any eventuality is possible.

  73. I’ll play with the app and see what can be done here. But the main problem is that Greater Las Vegas is nearly but not quite 3/4ths of the state population. When I drew my map, I intended for NV-01 and NV-04 to grab just North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, and Spring Valley, with NV-03 taking the rest of Clark County and maybe grabbing Nye and Lincoln counties as well and NV-02 making up the rest of the state, but that doesn’t work out population-wise.

    Short of splitting Washoe County, which I’m sure the legislature won’t stand for, I don’t see a way to shore up both NV-02 and NV-03 for the Republicans. And I think the Nevada Republican Party would rather keep Rep. Heller in NV-02, where his incumbency and political connections (including his alliance with the Reid clan, which could give him a leg up in 2016, as you mention) will keep the seat likely Republican, and find someone else to run against that bastard Sen. Ensign.

  74. Mining and gaming threw their support to Heck, not Titus.  This would mean he’d probably win a fair fight district.  This could have been because of the frosty relations between Reid and Titus, but who knows in that state?  Seems that PVI is going to be less of the be-all, end-all than it is in other places.  It doesn’t sound like Heller needs the shoring up, despite the seemingly competitive PVI of NV-02.

  75. Even if Democrats in the Legislature were inclined to do so, could you really shore up both Heller & Heck? I guess if you pack the liberal parts of Vegas into the 1st and 4th, it could work, giving Heck a big ring of suburbs and exurbs around the city and everything else to Heller.

    That’s what will likely emerge out of “the grand deal”: Heller loses some of the hard-red Vegas suburbs in Clark (like Henderson’s Sun City Anthem), and may have to forfeit the hard-red Vegas exurbs in Clark (like Mesquite) and Nye (like Pahrump), but in turn Heller also need not worry about bluer Clark/Vegas suburbs in The Northeast Valley (and currently in NV-02) as well.

    In turn, Heller hands all that territory to Heck, and all of a sudden Heck now has a friendlier NV-03 to work with. By handing over the deep blue East Side and Silverado Ranch (Southeast Vegas suburbs), along with perhaps some of the more Dem friendly Green Valley (Henderson) precincts, over to the eager Democrat ready to win NV-04 (John Oceguera maybe? Or another Dina Titus comeback?), Joe Heck can stick with the more GOP friendly Henderson precincts, along with the GOP heavy far west suburbs and blood red exurbs. And even if Obama wins NV-03 again, it won’t be by double digits (since again, the Dem heavy areas will have moved to NV-04) and many voters there will be open to ticket splitting for “moderates” like Heck…And Heller, for that matter. (Washoe is used to doing so for him and Brian Sandoval, despite Obama and Reid winning there.)

  76. If you find it click on it and it should give you the option to disable on SSP or this page only. as well as preferences and options]

  77. Salt Lake City isnt growing its suburbs are. Salt Lake City’s population has stayed about the same for the last decade according to the estimates. The Fastest growing cities in Salt Lake County are the republican areas like Herriman, West Jordan, and South Jordan. Also Salt Lake County isnt growing as fast as other counties especially two of the reddest counties Utah and Washington.

  78. To win Salt Lake County since 1964, and performed the best of any Democratic presidential candidate since 1968 statewide.

  79. is trending Democratic but its not because Salt Lake City is growing. Its because Salt Lake City has gone from moderate city to a liberal city. Salt Lake County is becoming less LDS I believe Salt Lake County is now under 50% LDS. Utah politics have always been LDS vs non LDS. Also Obama might have overperformed some people think there was some backlash at McCain from the primary (which Romney won with about 80 or 90%) where he said some remarks about the LDS religion that didnt go over well in Utah.

  80. So, we might be seeing an emigration of Mormon devout and an influx of immigrants, people of color, and the non-religious.

    It’s self-fulfilling, too. As Salt Lake City acquires a reputation for being a liberal outpost in what is really a very beautiful but (to some) unattractively conservative part of the country, it will probably attract more liberals.

  81. While it doesn’t directly affect the outlook for future Dems, but both Matheson and Boren come from political legacies within the states. Matheson’s father was Governor and Boren’s was a Governor and Senator (and his Grandfather was a Congressman as well).

    21, D, KS-03

  82. And that’s provided a leg up for them, it’s true. Family name recognition goes a long way, as President George W. Bush, Rep.-elect Ben Quayle, Sen.-elect Rand Paul, as well as Gov.-elect Rory Reid and Rep.-elect Stephene Moore, can tell us.

    But Rep. Minnick got elected, too, and so did Reps. Heath Shuler, Ben Chandler, and others who found the winning combination to take over very conservative districts. Sometimes all it takes is the right candidate.

  83. …it’s got to be pretty easy to redistrict Utah to make Matheson’s life very hard.  Even if Metro SLC gets bluer over time, the new map is only for a decade, and it can’t be that hard to erase Matheson and make the GOP a prohibitive favorite in all 4 seats.  Utah isn’t South Carolina or Texas…there’s not a large demographic bloc of voters who give an overwhelming share of their votes to Democrats so that it’s impossible hard to make every place solidly Republican.  I realize there’s no sure thing in redistricting, as Chet Edwards proved by surviving the DeLay death trap for as long as he did.  But I can’t imagine Utah Republicans won’t at least try to get rid of Matheson.  If they don’t, and they actually create a Dem-leaning seat, they are fools, to our unbelievable benefit.

  84. The guy from NV that posts here quite a bit.  He posted about the desire to prevent a Heller/Berkeley matchup at all costs.  The thread is probably 3-4 weeks old I’d guess?

  85. He came across as having no ego at all, at least to me.  This was almost 7 years ago at an Indian-American political conference.  Just a very friendly guy.

    I think more House members are like that than people realize.

    Vic Snyder, too, now retired, came off as a friendly guy when I met him once in one of the House office buildings.  We actually walked together trying to find a building exit after-hours.  I didn’t know him by face, he introduced himself simply as “Vic,” and we chatted for awhile before I finally asked him what he does, to which he replied quietly with a smile, “Oh, I don’t really do much of anything, I’m a Congressman.”

    Hansen Clarke, for his part, is part of the new browning melting pot of America:  biracial, since his mother is/was black.  It’s heartening to see people like Barack Obama, Hansen Clarke, and Kamala Harris breaking that barrier in politics; it’s the next step to progress.

  86. who was right about just about everything in NV so far, even when it varied widely with the conventional wisdom. His numbers w/r/t early voting were scary accurate — and he worked on the ground on Reid’s campaign this past year, so he likely has reasonable sources w/r/t the plans of other NV politicos.

    If I remember right, he was pessimistic about Dina Titus’ chances for a new seat to run in ’12, as he described some up and coming state legislators who want to move up.

  87. atdleft has been an excellent poster and clearly does have a powerful sense of the pulse of his state. He did make one incorrect prediction, though: That Dina Titus would be reelected in his district in 2010.

  88. Just 2 months ago, there was Beltway chatter about President Obama being “dead meat” in 2012. But already, his approval ratings are rising and the first 2012 trial heat polls (since the midterms) show Obama beating all the top GOPers. Do Utah GOPers really want to roll the dice on a “clean sweep” play that may backfire on them if Salt Lake and Summit Counties go for Obama again, Dem turnout is better than decent, and the teabaggers wreak enough havoc in the GOP primaries again to allow for candidates who might actually lose to Blue Dog Dems with significant appeal to mainstream Utahns?

    While a 4-0 “clean sweep” may be possible in the near term, it’s not a guarantee. And especially in the longer term, as Salt Lake continues to grow, it may actually make perfect sense for GOPers to throw Utah Dems a bone and make Matheson’s seat more Dem-friendly.

  89. why I find the blurb at the top very confusing. It sounds like he’s ruling it out way too soon.  

  90. skilled at the redistricting stuff that others, but from what I can tell, the choice is, as you indicate, between three extremely Republican seats and one toss up, possible Democratically-leaning seat, or four leaning to very Republican seats. If Utah Republicans are like any others, they will try to maximize returns in the short term and make all four seats Republican.  

  91. the incumbency advantage would certainly last through the next decade for the four GOPers.  And even regardless of that, if you split up the Dem votes evenly between the four to 62%-34%, there is no way demographic changes could get a single one of those within what would be considered “swing” range.

  92. That’s basically the way it always was.  The only thing they didn’t do was release the information until polls closed in each state.  The screw-up with the closeness of Florida 2000 got them more cautious, but at 6 or 7pm ETon 11/2/2010, I’m sure the media could have said, “Republicans take House…50-60 seats likely.”  They just 1. Don’t want to mess with people in line on the West Coast 2.  A more cautious after 2000.  They could have declared Obama the winner at 7 or 8pm ET in 2008 rather than 10pm.

  93. The right opponent in 2008. He never would have beaten a normal Republican, but Bill Sali was an exception.  

  94. And the Utah GOP has been plagued by tea-nut-mania as of late (hell, they might even challenge Orrin Hatch next!!!), so I suspect gouging likely results from 2008 Presidential numbers may be a bit misleading. After all, Matheson is used to winning elections in Presidential years with the likes of Bush and McCain winning easily. The Utah GOP’s last attempt to kill of Matheson in 2002 didn’t work out, so I’m wondering why they think 2012 (which, again, may not be an ideal year for them if Obama makes a big comeback) will work out differently.

  95. Figure that if Obama is winning Omaha, he’s probably already well ahead of what he needs to win in the Electoral College. Also figure that he can probably spend money in the state easily just to try to drag Nelson over the finish line. He spent all of $55,807, an amount he could raise ten times over in the course of just a few hours.

  96. They want a Democrat winning that electoral vote to be a one time thing and not become something that happens more in the future. Other than changing the rules, they would no longer be guaranteed all of Nebraska’s electoral votes.

  97. I’ll admit total ignorance on that one, but if it’s allowed in more places than I thought, then I am surprised it hasn’t happened far more frequently.  

  98. only that they’d try. These aren’t particularly reasonable, rational people, I’m sure you’d agree.  

  99. As someone mentioned earlier. I think if Josh Romney ran against Matheson in 2010 he might have beat him.

    If the GOP makes the district slightly more GOP it could entice someone like Romney to run.

  100. {patlak hits the jackpot!} 😉

    While Dina Titus has developed a sort of resiliency in winning, then losing a race by far less than expected (NV-Gov in 2006, then NV-03 last year), then coming back to win another race, she will probably have a much harder time winning the newly configured NV-03 in 2012, mainly because her East Side base will likely be removed, and maybe even the Henderson neighborhoods that like her will also be gone. And yes, the power players here probably won’t support her over Heck. She’s seen as too independent, as she used to stick up for “rogue” Democrats like Joe Neal and Bob Coffin (who supported higher gaming taxes) while she was in Carson City.

    And yes, you’re also right that Harry and Dina haven’t been the best of friends in recent years. Everyone knew “The Reid Machine” wanted then Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson to be Governor in 2006, but Dina upset that apple cart by upsetting him in the Dem primary. That, in turn, made Jim Gibbons’ rise to infamy possible. (Gaming and mining spent millions to destroy Dina, despite not liking Gibbons all that much.)

    Still, Dina Titus refuses to go away quietly. However, I suspect Dina will probably opt for the new NV-04 seat, especially if that district reunites her East Side base. We’ll just have to wait and see how she plans to defeat the Dem establishment to win the primary.

  101. Certainly not as much as the juice one has among the power players that most often decide elections here in Nevada. If you haven’t done so yet, read John L. Smith’s books and Jon Ralston’s “The Anointed One” to get a better sense of Nevada politics. We’re essentially a machine state. We’re NOT California, and we’re not even remotely close to Arizona or Utah for that matter.

    As I’ve said before, Obama’s coattails will likely help if he scores an easy 2012 reelection… But they won’t guarantee any sort of Dem sweep of the House seats, and the Senate race may end up hinging more on who wins the GOP primary.

  102. That’s the problem… At least for the teabaggers trying to exterminate them in the primary. And that’s something else that may become a huge restricting headache for them.

  103. To some extent, I think the networks also like to keep the outcome in doubt as long as they can to keep the viewers watching.  I didn’t like all the early calls, myself – I like seeing them come in one by one.

  104. And you’ve got to think they believe they can get away with anything in a state like Utah, that is a factor.

  105. or/and other newspapers, and the reason was that many American Muslims are social conservatives, due to their religious beliefs.

  106. Just in case you’re assuming Latinos are unlikely to be LDS, I wouldn’t assume that. The LDS church has proselytized extensively in Latin America and among Hispanic Americans.

  107. the church believes that dark skin is a curse from God for those who “strayed from faith.”

    Also, Mormon missionaries aren’t that effective.  There’s little LDS presence outside of the US compared to, say, the Catholics.  In fact, a lot of missionaries are now pre-occupied with getting inactive members to get back into the faith again.

  108. At BYU-Oahu

    I do have a number of problems with the way Mormons work — however, I gather they consider themselves something of an oppressed minority.

  109. had at least a 1,400-year head start on the Mormons. But from what I understand, there are quite a lot of Mormons of color, nowadays, including a large community in Mexico. Also, at least some of the religious-based prejudice against black skin has been superseded by new revelations. I don’t want to get off track on a long tangent about Mormonism, but what I would generally say is that while most Hispanics are not Mormons, I’m guessing the percentage in Utah is higher, and the percentage of Mormons who are of color is not small.

    Anecdotal: As it happens, a Latina friend of mine from high school, who’s from Brooklyn, NY, went to college at Utah Valley University. I don’t know if she was already a Mormon before going there, but her whole family (I mean she and her children, anyway) are Mormons. However, they don’t live in Utah, and she’s a Democrat.

  110. the Mormon church has “new revelations” at the most convenient times.  Utah is denied statehood because of polygamy so they get new revelations that polygamy is no longer acceptable.

  111. of being violently forced out of one community and state after another in the 19th century (though the non-Mormons would have argued that the violence was not one-sided). Perhaps somewhat of an analogy can be made with the Jews. Both Mormons and Jews have influence disproportionate to their share of their American population, for various reasons, but both communities remember and take to heart their relatively recent experiences of forced exile, bigotry, violent persecution, and discrimination. It’s interesting that the results have been so divergent in partisan and ideological terms, though, with Jews being highly Democratic and liberal with some notable exceptions, and Mormons being on average, quite conservative and Republican, again with some notable exceptions.

    By the way, I’m Jewish, and I hope no-one thinks I’m making some kind of idiotic statement about a “Jewish conspiracy” (or, for that matter, a Mormon one). The disproportionate influence of the Jewish community has largely to do with the traditional Jewish emphasis on learning and arguing points of law, which has resulted in large numbers of Jewish professors and lawyers; the accumulation of wealth among some Jews through a few generations of extremely hard work, frugality, and international family ties (by which I don’t mean to suggest there are not also Jewish white-collar criminals; we all know Bernie Madoff’s name, for example); and the commandment to give to charity, resulting in quite a lot of philanthropy (some of it high-visibility and some of it completely anonymous) among Jews.

    I’m less aware of the bases of Mormon influence (maybe one of you would like to add some information about how they’ve achieved it), but I understand that quite a lot of important businessmen and politicians – including quite powerful ones like Harry Reid – are LDS members. I also remember reading that various Mormon-owned high tech corporations that are headquartered in Utah contract for the Federal government.

  112. Although I am Jewish, my mother’s family is Mormon.  Although my mom is a proud agnostic, she’s told me all about their history, beliefs (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and their rituals.

Comments are closed.