477 thoughts on “Weekly Open Thread 3.0”

  1. I just posted this at the very end of the last thread, so I thought I’d re-post it here.  On Meet the Press this morning, Chuck Todd said that the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies did a one-night poll in VA-05.  I think he said it was on the night of Obama’s visit.

    Hurt (R) – 45%

    Perriello (D) – 42%

    Clark (I) – 6%

    If the poll was on the night of Obama’s visit, I doubt they got in touch with any of the ~10K at the rally.  On the other hand, I’m not sure Clark will really end up with 6%.

  2. Amid generally crappy news (Branstad up 50-38, Grassley up 61-30, Supreme Court justices likely not to be retained), the Des Moines Register’s poll finds Attorney General Tom Miller leading Steve King’s longtime chief of staff Brenna Findley, 45-34. He supposedly leads by 20 points among independents. This poll was in the field from October 26-29, so respondents would have been exposed to the heavy advertising against Miller by Findley and outside groups.

    Findley’s campaign has received about $800,000 from Gillespie’s Republican State Leadership Committee, a 527 group that gave money to the Iowa GOP, which in turn transferred it to Findley. The American Future Fund and a related 501(c)4 group called the Progress Project have spent about $600,000 on tv ads attacking Miller, according to the Iowa Democratic Party.

    The Register didn’t report numbers for Iowa’s Congressional races, because the sample sizes weren’t high enough in each district, but they asked all respondents whether they were likely to vote for the D or the R in their U.S. House race. Based on the responses, Selzer concluded that Boswell and Loebsack are at risk.  

  3. and backing Murkowski’s write-in campaign, it seems that Palin is having a mini-meltdown of sorts ranting against the “corrupt bastards” in the media who are doing everything they can to help Murkowski win.  

    Breitbart has the tape, it’s an audio – no wonder why Fox wouldn’t run with it.  Supposedly the CBS folks called the Miller campaign for something and got voicemail and after they think they hung up they start trashing the Miller campaign, which of course was left on the Miller staffer voicemail.  

    I wonder if this could ultimately help McAdams, if this is legit, folks might get fed up with it all.  Miller’s skeletons and the push to sign up 100+ write-ins, Murkowski having the media and courts bending over backwards for her.  

    All the while a likable Scott McAdams keeps trucking along.  

  4. Florida’s anti gerrymandering amendments look like they may have a tough time getting the needed 60% of the vote.

    The Amendment 5 is for state districts and amendment 6 is for legislative districts.

    Districts could not be drawn to deny racial or language minorities the equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect representatives of their choice. Districts must be contiguous. Unless otherwise required, districts must be compact, as equal in population as feasible, and where feasible must make use of existing city, county and geographical boundaries.


    Mason Dixon poll

    Amendment 5

    Yes 48%

    No 32%

    Undecided 20%

    Amendment 6

    Yes 46%

    No 27%

    Undecided 27%

    Besides just being good public policy if amendment 6 passes it would probably put several more currently Repiblican seats in play in 2012.

  5. What’s going on here?  A month ago, the conventional wisdom was he would be safe.  Now, even though I haven’t seen any public polling that would indicate trouble, the consensus seems to be he’s in big trouble.  Which is it?

    I gotta figure if Strickland pulls it out or else comes as close as current polls suggest, Space’s prospects would improve as at least part of Space’s current district is in Strickland’s old stomping grounds (pre-2002).  And speaking of Strickland, if he wins I expect it would be an old-fashioned Democratic baseline in Ohio (the “inverted C” model) with the Democrats winning the stretch from Toledo to Cleveland, down through Youngstown and Steubenville, and across southern Ohio to Portsmouth and Chillicothe.  Meanwhile Kasich will probably either win or narrowly lose his Columbus home base and win big in Cincinnati and Dayton.

  6. http://www.wicz.com/news2005/v

    So says Joe DioGuardi.


    DioGuardi says Tea Partiers are lying to pollsters, in order to give Democrats a false sense of security.

    “As I go around people are whispering in my ear, the Tea Party people, ‘Joe don’t believe those polls. Guess what we’re doing when they call us. We’re saying we’re voting for Democrats, because we want the Democrats to get arrogant and stay home.”

  7. The paper, which is historically solidly Democratic, backed Democrat Steve Grossman for Treasurer and Republican Mary Connaughton for Auditor. The Connaughton endorsement was a big surprise and has gotten press, and she’s already run a TV ad touting the endorsement (which was published Wednesday.)

    The GOPers in these races–Connaughton and State Rep. Karyn Polito–are much stronger candidates than the GOP usually puts up for these races but are at a disadvantage because most voters who don’t closely follow elections reflexively vote Democratic. Connaughton may pull an upset because of the press she’s gotten from the Globe endorsement, but Grossman has to be considered a solid favorite over Polito, who I think should have instead run against Jim McGovern in MA-03.

    Surprisingly, the Globe did not endorse for Governor or AG today (the Sunday before Election day is the traditional day they endorse.) Those columns must be coming on Monday and Tuesday, and they will almost certainly be for incumbents Deval Patrick and Martha Coakley.

  8. can I suggest a title video: Europe’s “The Final Countdown”?

    That song’s been stuck in my head this morning, and it feels somewhat appropriate in this last week.  

  9. I am not sure if there is already a discussion of the AK-Sen race (I am sure there is, but I’m too lazy to sift through the threads). I wanted to comment on the new anti-McAdams ad:

    I think this anti-McAdams ad was actually meant to hurt Lisa. Here’s my thinking: most McAdams voters are going to be Democrats– Alaska probably is legitimately 35% Democratic. But, up to a third of these Democrats are going to go Lisa’s way, which will put her ahead of Joe Miller. By attacking McAdams for Democratic things like the stimulus, maybe the NRSC is hoping that Democrats will return to McAdams, which would take votes from Murkowsky. I doubt that the NRSC is seriously worried that McAdams will receive Republican/conservative votes over the two Republicans in the race.  

  10. http://www.rbj.net/article.asp

    Note that this is a poll of only Rochester voters. Paladino won here 3-to-1 in the GOP primary, and it’s an area any New York Republican would need to win by double-digits to have any shot at prevailing statewide. They’ve got DioGuardi up 51-46, Schumer up 50-48, Donovan up 59-37, and Wilson up 70-27.

  11. I was thinking that since the Dems hold the State Senate, they get a seat at the table for redistricting.  Do you think the State House and the Gov would agree to a plan that would make VA-05 safer for Perriello should he win and give some of the excised hostile territory to GOPers to shore them up?

  12. Dems keep the senate but lose the house I got to thinking about when was the last time voters gave republicans the house and the Democrats a legitimate Majority in the senate.

    When I say legitimate majority( I mean to exclude the brief tie-breaking power of Al gore after the 2000 elections and the party switch of Jim Jeffords)

    When I do that I can’t think of a time in the last century where this occurred. Generally the Democrats have always had an easy time winning the house over the senate.

    We’ve often seen the republicans in control of senate but not the house(I.E 1980’s,1918 election  1870’s etc)

  13. Michael Steele denies the magnitude of debt the RNC will have after this cycle, even though the truth is easy to find out.


    At Chairmanship re-election, the delegates will be in a pickle.  Either they re-elect Steele and get 2 more years of malfeasance or they swap him for someone competent, but lose their first AA Chairman.

  14. says PPP polls show Democrats will not lose control of the Senate. Means they are up in California, and some arrangement of Nevada, Washington, West Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Alaska.

    Also says that WV, PA, IL, WA, NV, CO, CA, FL, NC, and AK polls are coming tonight or tomorrow.

  15. KS SoS Chris Biggs with mustacheI consider myself a failure for missing this story, but even though it’s 2 weeks old, I just had to share it, as it is the definition of SSP bait:

    Salina Journal: Kansas Secretary of State Ponders Re-Growing Mustache

    Yes, KS SoS Chris Biggs, a Democrat locked in a tight race against Republican haterade enthusiast Kris Kobach, shaved his mustache around the time he was appointed SoS (March 2010) and asked his supporters to contribute funds based on whether or not they wanted him to grow it back.

    Pre-shave, I would say that Biggs had among the best mustaches in American politics. So obviously, I am adamantly pro-mustache.

  16. While having thousands show up to your rally is good, I think everyone was expecting a lot more.  A lot of it has to do with Halloween and stuff (we couldn’t make the trip because of that), but still.. I bet Strickland was expecting a lot more in a venue that holds 12,000.

    When I told my wife, she was like, “That’s it?  Shit!”

    Again, had we not had family obligations, we would have made the trip, so I bet that there’s a lot like us, but the national media is dogging Obama on this one.  Fortunately, the local media is talking it up.  

  17. While having thousands show up to your rally is good, I think everyone was expecting a lot more.  A lot of it has to do with Halloween and stuff (we couldn’t make the trip because of that), but still.. I bet Strickland was expecting a lot more in a venue that holds 12,000.

    When I told my wife, she was like, “That’s it?  Shit!”

    Again, had we not had family obligations, we would have made the trip, so I bet that there’s a lot like us, but the national media is dogging Obama on this one.  Fortunately, the local media is talking it up.  

  18. Talking about how there’s enough uncertainty in the forecast that Republicans could do substantially better than expected.

    Dawn breaks over New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 3. Democrats catching the early train to work are thinking about adding a little whiskey to their morning coffee. For the headlines they are reading are truly terrible.

    Not only did Republicans take over the House, but they did so going away – winning a net of 78 seats from Democrats. Seven seats in New York State changed hands; so did six in Pennsylvania, five in Ohio, and four in North Carolina. Party luminaries such as Jim Obertsar and Raul Grijalva were defeated. Barney Frank and Dennis Kucinich survived, but they did so by just 2 points apiece, and their elections weren’t called until 1 a.m. Democrats picked up just one Republican-held seat – the open seat in Delaware – but Joseph Cao somehow survived in his very Democratic-leaning district in New Orleans. Virtually every race deemed to be a tossup broke to the Republican.

    The news isn’t much better in the Senate. The Democratic candidates in North Dakota, Arkansas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois all lost, flipping those seats to red from blue. So did Harry Reid in Nevada and Joe Manchin in West Virginia; both of them lost by 7 points, in fact. Washington State isn’t finished counting its ballots, but Dino Rossi has about a 30,000-vote lead over Patty Murray, and looks likely to prevail. California isn’t done counting either, and the race between Barbara Boxer and Carly Firoina remains too close to call. It might not matter anyway: Joseph I. Lieberman has scheduled a press conference for later that afternoon, and is expected to announce that – after seeing the strength of the mandate the voters have given the G.O.P. – he’ll begin conferencing with Republicans when Congress reconvenes in January.

    Gubernatorial races provide little respite. Jerry Brown beat Meg Whitman in California – one of the few positives that Democrats can take out of the night. But Democrats lost the close races in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and Connecticut, and were blown out in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Rick Perry, while expected to win in Texas, did so by a surprisingly large margin – nearly 20 points – and is making the rounds on the morning shows; the whispers are that he could be a Presidential contender.

    Pundits are running out of metaphors to describe what just happened. Not just a wave; a hurricane. Not just a hurricane; a tsunami! Not just a tsunami; a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.5 earthquake. Or by a meteor strike!


    I just want Nov. 2 to be over. I just want to know how bad it’s going to get.  

  19. Frantic GOTV that didn’t really matter because it was too late.  

    GOP strategy won.  Too much money driving the narrative against the Dems.  Press is bought and paid for.  

  20. The gloom and doom on this thread, and frankly on this site in general, is really getting to be too much. Tuesday is going to suck, and we’ve all KNOWN THAT IT IS GOING TO SUCK for quite some time. I mean, come on — the SSP readership is far more sophisticated than this.

    I don’t get it. Nate Silver posts one obnoxiously worded prognostication about the possibility — one we’ve probably all entertained recently, especially in light of Mark’s charming commentary — of a huge GOP wave, and we go freaking apoplectic, casting recriminations against the media and our own candidates, the same ones we have heretofore been cheering for. If he had posted his ‘Dems Defy All Odds And Pull It Out!’ piece first, we’d all be dancing in the streets right now. Same goes on hearing news of a poll with a five point Toomey lead — sorry, but this isn’t Dino Rossi or John Raese we’re talking about.  Pretty much everyone here has professed an understanding that Sestak’s odds of winning at this point, even with the recent tightening, are uphill, yet when a poll comes out illustrating that very point, we dissolve.

    I apologize for going off. My nerves are just as frazzled as everyone else’s. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I, and I think most people, come to Swing State Project because the community here is so genuinely savvy and keeps everything within proportion and perspective.  This is what we need, now more than ever.

  21. That’s 2 polls in a row they give it to Manchin by a decent margin.

    Based on the totality of polling, Cook’s latest comments on Senate races, and other tea leaves, I think Manchin has this.

  22. Kamala Harris on the last word. Wow, I think she could be the first female President. 100% serious, amazing. How does that race look right now? How’s Cooley’s threat of suing over HCR going over? I think she has a real future.  

  23. I have a feeling many of you won’t like this

    Joe Miller is favored heading into the final two days of the US Senate campaign in Alaska. 37% of voters say they’ll pick him while 30% plan to vote for Scott McAdams and another 30% plan to write in Lisa Murkowski.

    Miller is winning despite having the worst personal favorability numbers of the three candidates. Only 36% have a positive opinion of him while 59% view him in a negative light. McAdams is by far the most popular with 50% rating him favorably to only 30% with an unfavorable one. Voters aren’t very enamored with Murkowski either, giving her a 37/53 approval rating.

    How can McAdams be so much more popular than Miller yet still be trailing the race? It’s because 92% of the small group of voters that does like Miller is planning to vote for him. But only 56% of the voters with a positive opinion of McAdams are intending to cast their ballots for him, while 31% of them are going for Lisa Murkowski.

    The high number of voters who like McAdams, dislike Miller, and are voting for Murkowski place the race in a whole different light than has been thought of the last few months. Murkowski’s campaign, rather than propping herself up at the expense of Miller, may actually end up propping Miller up at the expense of McAdams. You never know how things would have unfolded in a two way race but Murkowski seems to be taking a lot more voters away from McAdams than she is from Miller.

  24. I’m feeling good tonight. Giants won game 4 of the World Series, their only 1 way from clinching. Too bad we have to wait until Wednesday for the Giants to possibly to clinch.

    1. …good news is better than none. we are going to have to start thinking who is going to step forward in ’12 and beyond. any thoughts on who may not win this cycle but still be viable in the future?

    1. With people down on government right now, hopefully that will be enough to pull these across the line.

  25. Until May I was registered in New Orleans.  While there I voted in the Mayors race in February and a city Council race in March.  In may I switched back to California: I voted in the statewide primary in early June, the Senate District 15 primary in late June, the Senate District 15 in August, and now the general election by mail.  So, I’ve voted 6 times in two states in ten months.  In five of the races I was volunteering for at least one candidate (I used OFA’s phone bank tool to call Californians from NOLA a week ago), and in all the races I had met at least one person on the ballot.  

  26. Ralston is back, and he’s suggesting that the early vote here in Clark County may ultimately be the deciding factor in the biggest races in the state.

    When those Clark County early voting and mail ballots pop up Tuesday night — between 7 and 8, we hope — that will essentially cement the results for Southern Nevada in the U.S. Senate race, if the last two cycles are a guide. That means when we see those numbers, we can reasonably extrapolate in major races what the margin is in the county that will make up about 70 percent of the state vote.

    In 2006, the last midterm, Election Day made little difference in the U.S. Senate and governor’s contests. As you can see from the numbers below, the results in both those races changed very little. In 2008, after a huge early voting turnout by the Democrats, the Republicans gained a bit of ground on Election Day, as you can see. In 2006, the Republicans had a slight edge in early voting (2.1 percent) and performed slightly better on Election Day than the Democrats — but John Ensign’s margin over Jack Carter changed little (nor did Jim Gibbons’ deficit to Dina Titus). In 2008, in both the presidential and CD3 races, Election Day had a slight impact (about 4 percentage points) in the presidential and congressional races that were clearly decided in early voting. But 2008 is not the right analogy, unless Democrats surge on Election Day to make up for the GOP turnout edge in early voting — it would be a reverse of 2008.

    In the last two general elections in Southern Nevada, a nearly identical percentage of voters (26 percent) cast ballots on Election Day. With turnout higher two years ago, that meant two-thirds cast ballots before Election Day; four years ago, it was just over half. The interesting questions is whether this year is different because an unusually high percentage of voters have voted early — or so it seems. Will the Republicans still enjoy an edge on Election Day — two years ago that enabled Rep. Jon Porter to cut Dina Titus’ margin in half, so it could affect the CD3 race? Or will the Democratic surge that took place at the end of early voting carry over to Election Day?

    Now I won’t say just yet that Reid is “set”, but I do have a good feeling that the early vote put him in a good position for Tuesday. Honestly, I’m more concerned about Dina Titus at this point. I’ve heard she probably just barely won the early vote. Even if Reid doesn’t have to worry too much about Tuesday turnout, Titus needs it and some down-ticket Dems really need it.

  27. http://hamptonroads.com/2010/1

    About 950,000 voters have already cast their ballots in North Carolina, according to state data released Sunday that shows an early Republican surge in voting has been matched by late strength at the polls among registered Democrats…..

    …..About 46 percent of ballots cast have come from registered Democrats, while 36 percent are from registered Republicans. The advantage for Democrats has steadily widened since the first days of early voting began about two weeks ago, when Republicans were trailing by just a few percentage points…..

    …..he heaviest voting so far has come in two of the state’s closely watched congressional races. In the 11th District covering western North Carolina, where Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler is trying to fend off Republican challenger Jeff Miller, more than 110,000 have already cast a ballot. The gap between parties in that race is narrow, with 41 percent of ballots coming from Republicans and 37 percent coming from Democrats.

    In the 7th District, where Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre faces Republican hopeful Ilario Pantano, registered Democrats hold a nine-point edge.

    Oddly enough, another race that has seen heavy campaigning and spending, the 8th District covering south-central North Carolina, has drawn comparatively few voters and ranks as one of the state’s lowest turnouts. The campaign between Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell and Republican challenger Harold Johnson has had 53 percent of its 55,000 votes come from Democrats

    and 32 percent come from registered Republicans.

    1. Courtesy of the “top two” primary —

      How many Rs even bother to participate in such elections, even when close?

      I suggest Crist v. Rubio would be no different for many Ds.

    1. i think this, coupled with the polls showing cutler ahead will have momentum, but it depnds on where the voters are going.  now that voters know cutler could win, will some lepage voters change their mind?  how far will mitchell drop?  in most three party races where the indie could win, it ends something like 35 34 33.  with lepage hovering at 40, cutler needs to either siphon some votes from lepage, or have mitchell fall into the low teens.

    1. I must say – I greatly respect Bill Clinton’s all-out campaigning this year. It’s going to make a difference in crucial states like PA. The Dems owe him thanks. But I do get ever so slightly annoyed at how much he seems to treat his campaigning as a rerun of the Hillary/Obama primary.

      I mean, of all the campaigns to prop up in the final days before the elections, he goes to RI to boost crap-Dem Caprio’s chances of .. defeating liberal Linc Chafee? That ain’t right.

  28. Ken Buck leads 49-48.

    BUT Bennet leads 52-46 among early voters. And those make up 66% of sample! Republicans have an edge among early voters breakdown per all the stats we’ve gotten, but polls have repeatedly found Bennet leading by 5-6% among early voters.

    In Gov race, it’s 48-43-8.


    1. AK is much more republican than DE.  It also seems to me that all these events that have happened in DE-sen have happened because the Malinowski campaign was pushing for them.  I really don’t think that those records would have come out if it was only Miller vs McAdams.

  29. Giannoulias- 42

    Kirk- 46

    Jones- 3

    Labno- 3



    My one glimmer of hope from this poll is that PPP completely fudged the early vote numbers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Dems pretty much doubled up on the GOP during early voting and this poll only gives Alexi a 48-44 advantage with early voters. Hopefully the Obama rally was successful in boosting our morale over there.

    1. but i really wish they had thought it out better.  seriously, whenever you plan a hailmary, DON’T use religion for god’s sake.  

    1. In Reagan’s first two years, Republicans had effective control of the House because of the boll wevils, the predecessor to the blue dogs.  After the ’82 election, there were a couple of instances of bipartisan legislation (social security in 1983 and tax “reform” in 1986).  But the parties were no where as polarized as they were then.

    2. because in the 80s, the right end of the Democratic caucas was much more conservative than today.  There were a couple of dozen boll wieval (sp?) Dems, folks like Gramm and McDonald that were de facto Republicans.  Obviously, no such faction exists in today’s GOP caucas, where the least conservative member (Castle) is retiring.  In the next Congress, guys like Gerlach and Upton and Reichert will be the most moderate GOP House members.

      So, at least during 81-83 and 85-87, Reagan was able to assemble a “conservative coalition” in the House, which was able to work with the GOP-controlled Senate and the President to pass legislation.  

      Obama will not be able to assemble a comparable “moderate”  or “liberal” coalition in the House.  He will either have to move to the center and make significant concessions to the GOP or there will be total gridlock.  

    3. and I am not going out on a limb here, that nothing happens much.  Remember, they have already said that they are not compromising. They have stated their goal is to make Obama a one-termer. Not hard to figure out their plan for the next two years.

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