John Hughes dead at 59

Movie writer producer, and director John Hughes who turned out a huge number of pictures about growing up in the 80s and 90s and being an out-of-place adult died at 59.  Hughes’ work included Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, the original National Lampoon Vacation (and the Griswolds), Only the Lonely, and the Home Alone sequels.

Hughes was an incredibly prolific writer.  Many of his movies were based in the Chicago suburbs.  They starred Molly Ringwald, John Candy, Chevy Chase, Ally Sheedy, and Steve Martin among others.  Over the last ten years, Hughes has been writing under another name (Edmund Dantes, IIRC) and the material has lacked some of the spark of his original fare.

From what I can tell, Hughes has been a recent donor to Democrats Barack Obama, Joe Biden (separately) and Dan Seals.  At least a John Hughes “writer” from the Chicago suburbs was a donor.  The same individual earlier gave money to Colorado Republicans Ben Nighthorse Campbell (after the party switch) and Tom Tancredo.  In one of those entries he was listed as being associated with Castle Rock (presumably the movie company).

Maine approves gay marriage bill

The Portland Press Herald reports:

“Democratic Governor John Baldacci today signed into law a bill allowing gay marriage making Maine the fifth state to allow same sex marriage.

The Governor’s signature came barely an hour after the measure won final approval in the legislature, with a final 31-8 vote in favor in the Maine Senate.”

Baldacci, formerly an opponent of similar bills, noted that churches will not have to perform marriages for same sex couples under the legislation.  Maine becomes the fifth state to currently allow same sex marriage.  Four of the states are in the six state New England region (CT,MA,VT,ME) with the fifth being Iowa.

Opponents of the legislation appear to be aiming for a referendum on the issue.  Hope they lose big time.

Can New Hampshire be far behind?

Progressive Punch Schocker and more

Last night I was checking out the Progressive Punch scores for the new GOP House members.  Much of it was expected and depressing.  Seven of the new GOPers had a Progressive Punch score of zero.  That’s right Pete Olson (TX-22), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Blaine Leurkemeyer (MO-9, winner by 8,000 votes), Duncan Hunter (CA-52, son of that Duncan Hunter), Gregg Harper (MS-3),Brett Guthrie (KY-2) and John Fleming (LA-4) all had yet to cast a single “progressive” vote.

Eight others were not far behind with seven at 3.23 (Glenn Thompson, Tom Rooney, Tom McClintock, Lynn Jenkins, Mike Coffman, Jason Chaffetz, and Steve Austria) and one at 3.33 (Bill Posey).  Jenkins is a disappointment here.

Four showed at least a hint of moderation:  Phil Roe of TN-1 (6.45), Christoher Lee of NY-26 (9.68), Joseph Cao of LA-2 (12.90) and the positive surprise wonderkid Aaron Schock of IL-18 (16.13).  Lee is an improvement over the man he replaced, Tom Reynolds.  He might be harder to displace than I hoped.

I started counting Republicans by the year they were elected from information I had collected but found that the Washington Post lists representatives by class (the year first elected).  The results mainly “agreed” but the Post disregards gaps in serevice.  Ciro Rodriguez, for example, is shown as 1997 not 2006.  Dan Lungren, who served ten years and then left the House for 14 years is shown as 1978.

The Post lists 36 classes (they don’t list the class of 2008.  Republicans win 10 of the 37 classes (we know how 2008 turned out); 2 classes are tied and Democrats win 25 of the 37 classes.  The largest Republican class is the class of 2002 with 24 Republicans (and 13 Democrats).  The largest Democratic class is the class of 2006 with 37 members.  The famous class of 1974 where Democrats picked up 49 seats is reduced to just four members, all Democrats.  The Newt “Contract ” class of 1994 has been beaten down to 23 members, 16 Republicans and 7 Democrats.  There are more Republican House members left from the class of 1992 (18) than from the “revolutionary” class of 1994.  The Revolution is over.

The Republican years are 1973, (1-0), 1978 (3-0 including Lungren), 1979 (1-0, Tom Petri IIRC), 1980 (5-1), 1989 (1-0), 1994 (16-7), 2000 (17-12),2001 (5-1), and 2002 (24-13) and 2005 (2-1).

The three House members with the most seniority are all midwestern Democrats: John Dingell (1955, I kid you not), John Conyers (1964) and David Obey (1969, I remember his surprise election as an anti-war candidate).  The two Republicans with the most seniority are both named Young (Bill was elected in 1970, Don in 1973).  The other Republicans from the 70s are either from Wisconsin (Sensenbrenner and Petri) or California (Lungren and Jerry Lewis).

A narrow majority of Republican House members came in with George W. Bush.  2004 was the electoral high point for Republicans since 1928 when Herbert Hoover was elected along with 270 House members.  Since the election of 1932, Republicans have had the Trifecta for six years and five months.  The first spell lasted from early 1953 to early 1955.  Eisenhower was pretty moderate and the Republican legislative edges were about as slim as possible with 221 House members and a 48-47-1 edge in the Senate.  With the stolen Presidential election of 200, Republicans regained the trifecta from January 20,2001 to Jun 6,2001.  Their edge was 211 House seats, a 50-50 Senate vote with Dick Cheney as the tie-breaker and that is what Cheney did.  By obnoxiously leaning on Jim Jeffords and sonstantly denigrating him and threatening milk supports for Vermont Vheney pushed Jeffords to caucus with the Democrats.  Way to break the tie, Dick.  From January 2003 through January 2007 the Republican glory years broke out.  Following the 2002 election Republicans had a modest 229 seats in the House and 51 in the Senate.  With the elction of 2004 it spread to 229 House seats and a 55-45 Senate edge.  Then came Katrina.  And Iraq’s death toll mounting.

Since then, it’s been our time.

Senate losses, retirements send GOP rightward

Fortynine Senate Republicans entered the 2008 elections and 41 or 42 will be left.  The result seems to have triggered a mini-boomlet of retirements from the class of 2010: Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Chuck Grassley, and George Voinovich.  Kay Bailey Hutchison may also be adding herself to this list.

The combination has had a profound effect on the political composition of the remaining Republicans.  Sure, the three most noderate Republican Senators are still there in the persons of Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Arlen Specter but the ground behing them has moved a lot.  Ten of the next twelve Republicans (based on Progressive Punch scores from the 2007/2008 session) are either gone or have announced their retirements.  By contrast, only four of the bottom thirtyfour will be gone and one, Larry Craig, was replaced by a similarly conservative Republican.

The list of the departed or departing includes Gordon Smith (43.85), Norm Coleman (possibly, 33.42), George Voinovich (31.37), Ted Stevens (26.63), Chuck Hagel (23.84), John Warner (23.31), Pete Domenici ((22.62), Chuck Grassley ((16.27), John Sununu (15.95), and Mel Martinez (15.32).  Overall, the ten from 2008 had an average Progressive Punch score of 21.18 while those staying for the next session average a paltry 12.63.  Retirements and defeats will continue to drive that number even lower.

By comparison, 13 new Republicans were elected to the House in 2006.  The 13 had a combined Progressive Punch average of 4.58.  Three of the 13 were defeated for re-election either in a primary (David Davis) or the general election (Bill Sali, Tim Walberg).  Twenty new Republicans were elected to the House and two were elected to the Senate in 2008.  The new blood is pretty likely more conservative than the members who are replaced.

The once dominant Republican House class of 1994 has been reduced to 15 members.  Two of them, Todd Tiahrt and Tom Latham, are likely candidates for the Senate vacancies just announced.  John Shadegg and possibly Frank LoBiondo are targets for 2010 House races.  The times, they are a-changin’.  

Fields of Opportunity: Cook PVI, Wave Elections, and Recent Results

The elections of 2006 and 2008 bore many of the aspects of the “party system” changes that happen every 36 to 40 years in American electoral politics.  There was a change in electoral control (in the House, Senate, and White House) and two strong gains by one party in consecutive elections.

Of course the classic change election occurred in 1932.  After gaining 50 House seats in 1930, Democrats swept the White House and added 97 more in 1932.  And they kept adding to both the Senate and House numbers although at a lesser rate in the House, in both 1934 and 1936.  That, of course begs us to ask a key question: how long do waves last.  If you look at the waves around the election of 1800, 1860, and 1932 the answer is clear and surprising.  Waves seem to last for four elections.  In the case of 1860, much of the strength came with the tail after Lincoln and the war were clearly successful.

With a Senate class that is Republican heavy and untouched, the wave would seem to have a minimum of one more act and another six or eight Senate seats to go.  What about the House?

Despite a lot of talk about very Republican districts turning blue, most of the gains in both 2006 and 2008 have come from either Democratic or weak Republican districts won by Democrats.  In 2006, 17 of the 30 seats that were gained had a Cook PVi of R+3 or less aand 24 had a Cook PVI of R+7 or less.  In 2008, 15 seats won by Democrats had a Cook PVI of R+3 or less and 21 had a Cook PVI of R+7 or less.

That raises several issues.  How many of these field of opportunity remain to be plucked?  Well, 26 House seats still held by Republicans are in the prime R+3 or less category.  Why am I harping on R+3?  Above that point, Republicans hold a majority of seats.  Up to R+3, we hold the edge.

Over 95% of House seats with a Democratic PVI are held by Democrats.  The number of these seats held by Republicans has been sharply falling from (if my calculation is right) 24 to 15 to 9 in just two quick elections.  Some of those nine have been hard fought continued battlefields that Democrats keep losing (or Republicans keep winning): IL-10 (Mark Kirk vs. Dan Fields), WA-8 (Dave Reichert vs. Darcy Burner), and to a lesser extent PA-6, PA-15 and IA-4 fall under this category.  DE-At Large (D+7), NY-3 ((D+2), FL-10 (D+1), and NJ-2 (D+4) have been largely passed over.  Yes, we “expect” that Bill Young or Mike Castle might retire sometime but they need to be challenged.  As things stand, we only have one more crack at them under the present districts.  In most of these districts, the Republican has had his weakest showing in an off-year election rather than a Presidential election year: DE-At Large, 2006 (57%), IL-10 2006 (53%), IA-4 2002 (55%), NY-3 2006 (56%), PA-6 2006 and 2002 (51-49, also 2004 and only 52-48 in 2008), WA-8 2006 (51-49).FL-10 actually was weakest this year at 61-39 when Bob Hack was a credible opponent (local mayor) in a high turnout year.

R 0 to R+3 districts are represented by 25 Democrats and just 17 Democrats.  We have picked up 17 of these seats in the last 2 election cycles.  They are, in fact turning blue.  Part of this is the switch over in many traditional suburban districts from Republican to Democratic.  These districts are more ethnically and culturally diverse and educated professionals in many fields trend at least mildly Democratic (teachers, nurses, lawyers, creative types).

It may have been a once in a lifetime thing but in California, Democrats gained 5 House seats in 2000 that had been slowly trtending Democratic.  There were eight Republican House seats IIRC in California alone that were won with under 60% of the vote.

The number of Republican seats in the R+4 to R+7 range is way, way too high due to gerrymanders in many states (Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia in particular.  There are 63 seats with a PVI of R+4 through R+7 (25 held by Democrats) vs. only 31 seat that are D+4 through D+7 (28 held by Democrats)  These seats are also opportunities.

As for the long shots with Cook PVIs over R+7, well we hold 10 of them.  And that’s more seats than the Republicans hold in the D+0 to D+7 range (or all D ranges) at nine.

From 2004 to 2008: The impact on the House and Senate

A lot has been made about the increase in electoral votes earned by Barack Obama from John Kerry’s totals.  Obama’s number while a significant increase is slightly lower than what Bill Clinton won in both 1992 (370 EV) and 1996 (379 EV).  Clinton started from a far lower base (Michael Dukakis’ losing total in 1988).  The real improvement for the Democratic Party came in the House and Senate results.  In 1992, Clinton may have won big but Democrats won 9 fewer House seats than in 1990 and 2 fewer than in 1988; Senate seats increased by 1 over the few year time slot.

By contrast, the final number of Democratic House seats is likely to be 258 or 259 (per Chris Bowers).  The Senate total ios likely to be 58 or 59.  That’s a gain of 56 or 57 House seats and 14 or 15 Senate seats from 2004 totals.

Regional and statewide totals tell the story best.

The Northeast is the most Democratic part of the country.  Both John Kerry and Barack Obama won all 117 electoral votes from this region.  In the interim, however, the Republicans moved from an important minority at the federal level to an insignificant one.  In 2004, House seats ran 56 D,35R, and 1 Democratic leaning indy (Bernie Sanders).  Republicans lost nearly a third of their seats in 2006 falling to 24 and repeated the feat by falling to 17 in 2008.  Over the two cycles, they lost more than half of their House seats in the region (18 seats).  Or if you prefer percentages, the GOP dropped from 38% to 18.5% of Northeast House seats. That included a loss of 6 seats in NY, 5 in PA, all 3 GOP in CT and all 2 GOP in NH.  At leasat half of the remaining GOP seat are still vulnerable.  Senate seats fell from 7 of 22 to 4 of 22 (also 18%).  Two of the four are up in 2010 and one will be represented by an 80 year old probably facing a stiff primary challenge.  The other (Judd Gregg, NH) is also on the chopping block.

The Great Lakes states are six industrial (and to a lesser extent farm) states that all touch on the Great Lakes.  Four of the six went to both Kerry and Gore.  Obama added IN and OH to win all 89 electoral votes.  Over the four years, the region became substantially more Democratic at the House level going from a 32-45 Republican edge to a 45-32 Democratic edge (if MaryJo Kilroy wins OH-15).  Democrats picked up one Senate seat in MO on 2006 and may pick up another in MN in 2008.

Gerrrymanders in Il, OH, and MI were overcome to and Democrats now lead IL 12-7, OH 10-8 (or 9-9) and MI 8-7.  Both WI and MN went from 4-4 splits to a 5-3 D lead and IN zoomed from 2-7 to 5-4.

The Mountain region went from a Republican 20-8 lead in 2004 to a solid 17-11 D edge.  Democrats picked up 2 seats in CO, 3 in AZ, 2 in NMand single seats in Nevada and Idaho.  They also gained Senate seats in MT (2006) and CO aand NM (2008).

The south didn’t turn blue but it did become considerably less red.  Here three seats are still listed as unsettled but VA-5 seems clearly ours and LA-2 (New Orleans, Dollar Bill Jefferson) is also pretty clear.  LA-4 (Carmouche) is an open seat where two conflicting polls would seem to indicate that (overall we have a single digit lead.  If it’s ours, the 52-88 chasm of 2004 is down to 65-75 with the bulk of the problem being Texas (20-12 in favor of the GOP).  VA and NC not only voted for Obama but elected majority D House delegations (6-5 in VA; 8-5 in NC).  FL went from an awful 18-7 GOP edge to a respectable 15-10.  Remember when we used to wish for a delegation that reflected the state (13-12 or 14-11 at worst).  Well, barring Mahoney’s stupidity we would have had 14-11.  Democrats also picked up 3 Senate seats here with two in VA and one in NC.  At the least, three GOPers look endangered as the Senate cycle ends in 2010: Jim Bunning in KY, Richard Burr in NC, and Mel Martinez in FL.

Obama won 3 southern states compared to 6 for Clinton in both 1992 and 1996 and none for Gore and Kerry.

That leaves two regions that went pretty much unchanged.  Democrats picked up only one seat in 2006 and probably none in 2008 in the Pacific (CA, OR, WA, AK, HI)Pretty bad  They did add 2 Senate seats this year (OR, AK).  CA Republicans scored under 60% in 11 of 19 wins in 2008 (I’m giving them CA-4).

The Plains remains a Republican stronghold but it;s tiny and not gtowing.  Democrats gained two House seats in Iowa and one in Kansas in 2006 but gave back the Kansas seat this year and fell by 8,000 votes in MO-9 and 12,000 in NE-2 (carried by Obama by 3,000 votes so there must be at least 15,000 Obama-Terry voters).  They gained only one Senate seat in MO in 2006.

The edge in the House is still a hefty 11-17 rather than the 9-19 margin of 2004.

Of Time and the Tarheels: GOP delegation is incredibly old

This year, NC voters were confronted witha Republican ticket headed up by a 72 year old white man running for President and a 72 year old white woman running for the US Senate.  I guess they call that diversity but it was pretty indicative of the seven incumbents (plus McCain)

Republicans running for Federal office in North Carolina (I’m excluding Sarah Pallin as she was essentially a tag a long).

The Congressional loser for the Republicans was 63 year old Robin Hayes.  Hayes was bested by 57 year old Democrat Larry Kissell.  That’s part of the story as 47 year old Barack Obama and 55 year old Kay Hagan whipped the aging Dole and McCain, each 72.

The Congressional winners for NC Republicans included 77 year old Howard Coble, 67 year old Sue Myrick, and two 65 year olds in Walter Jones and Virginia Foxx.  Foxx looks a good deal older than her age having the traditional old grandma look.  Only Patrick McHenry, 33, is younger than the traditional retirement age and even he got an age “Schock.”  McHenry is no longer the youngest House member being badly overtaken by 26 year old wunderkid/brat Aaron Schock of Illinois.

By contrast, two North Carolina Democrats are also clearly agingin 68 year old David Price and 67 year old Bob Etheridge.  GK Butterfield is getting there at 61.  and so is Mel Watt at 63.  Larry Kissell (57), Brad Miller, Mike McIntyre (52) and Kay Hagan (55) are in what would seem prime age for a legislator.  Heath Shuler at 36 is still young and hardly has the ambitious brat reputation of McHenry.

Makes one think of the two curmudgeons from Alaska (Don Young (73?) and Ted Stevens (84).

SEIU spends 750 K in NH, 400 K in OR

The nightly compilation will come but I couldn’t help noting that the SEIU just spent $750 K in NH and $400 K in OR to help Shaheen and Merkley (or oppose their opponents).  That’s a substantial chunk of change.  The Union is by far and away the largest source of Independent Expenditure in Presidential politics spending an incredible $22 million plus on Obama.  That’s right $22 million.  SEIU affiliate, Local 1199 is listed as spending $3.8 million.  The UAW at $3.9 million ranks second for Obama.

And yes, Grigsby was at it big time again spending against Don Cazayoux.  Wouldn’t you love to know the back story of that one.

One other item of interest.  The Painters Union spent $37,850 on Obama/Biden T shirts.  Wonder if it is for a rally?  What they should have gotten was painter’s caps.

Independent expenditures: one key to a landslide

Federal Election Commission data excludes “independent expenditures” for candidates .  Include that, however, and the picture looks much better for Democrats who are dominating Independent Expenditures by a large margin.  Combining data from SSP’s IE Tracker with 3rd quarter FEC exenditures and the oicture gets clearer and happier.

Take NY-25 where Alice Kryzan won a surprising primary win.  Kryzan has been outspent about 2-1 by Christopher Lee (1,062 K to 528 K).  Lee is one of the larger self funders among GOP House candidates furnishing $650 K.  And yet, the advantage of Mr. Moneybags is eliminated if one counts the huge 884 to 77 Democratic lead in independent expenditures in the district.  It is Lee who has been outspent by a 1412 k to 1139 k margin.

Other NY House seats show a similar trend.  Eric Massa has outspent the increasingly desperate Randy Kuhl by a solid 1261 K to 883 K margin.  But Kuhl also faces a 182 k to 87 K deficit for independent expenditures putting him behind 1446 K to 970 K for double barrelled expenditures.  Dan Maffei in NY-25 stretches his lead from 1364 K to 197 K to 1509 K to 197 K.  I didn’t even record NY-13 because I only followed competitive money races.

Jim Himes may have less reserves but he’s clearly outspent Chris Shays to date by a combines 3288 K to 1987 K.  One reason why I think Shays will go down this time.  Another reason would be Shays assinine statements in support of torture.  There is no moderate torture Chrissy.

Independent Expenditures give big edges to Linda Stender and John Adler in NJ but have yet to kick in to either Dennis Shulman or Josh Zeitz.  Stender’s 1045 to 106 edge in ie gives her a combined 2685 to 856 k edge in cycle to date expenditures.  Adler leads bya combined 2-1 at 1849 to 911 over Myers.  A late half million would seal the deal for Shulman and might move Zeitz over the complacent, slow spending Christopher Smith.  Shulman has already raised more money than any Garrett opponent (911 K) and although outspent he’s staying in the game.  A late hammer ala Nancy Boyda in 2006 would do the job.

Two PA Democrats are benefiting big time from independent expenditures but others have not.  Phil English has badly outspent Kathy Dahlkemper, 1631 K to 456 k but the IE bucks have kept Kathy in the game and kept Philly the Hutt to a modest 2250 to 1795 overall edge.  He’s on the verge of coming down despite a big fund raising effort.  Just like Leia choking off Jabba in on eof the Star War movies.  Paul Kanjorski, the embattled Nanticoke Democrat, has added a humongous 1894 to 68 IE edge to his already massive bucks.  Kanjorski has an overall 3663 to 745 spending edge and still trails.  

Then there are those PA Democrats still on the outside looking in: Sam Bennett, McCracken, and Roggio.  Bennett is circling around Charlie Dent with a 970+574 deficit in expenditures.  It’s winnable but it may take a little help.  Clearly a good call to bring in the outside help here.  The PA-5 race has seen 1950s style spending with McCracken at 40 k and still trailing by only 190-40 K.  I wonder how $500 K would be spent in this district with two weeks to go.  Roggio appears out of the game with Gerlach outspending him by 1483 to 367 K.  If he wins it will be a coat tail ride with the D by his name bringing him home.  Talk about a generic Democratic victory.

Three other races show outside expenditures keeping Kratovil in the race for MD-1 with extremist Club For Growth puppet Harris.  Winnable for sure with the overall 2156 to 1842 Harris edge due to primary spending.  With outgoing Republican WQayne Gilchrest supporting Kratovil, Frank can pull this one off.  In MD-6. the aged Roscoe Bartlett has outspent Jennifer Dougherty by a pathetic 98 K to 89 K margin.  The old boy is saving it for a few more terms?  DE-At Large is another story.  Mike Castle had a 30 point lead in the only poll I’ve seen and a bigger 1381 to 17 K edge in expenditures.  

Ohio was a disappointment in 2006 with lots of close losses and a confortable win by Zach Space to replace scandal ridden Bob Ney in OH-18.  Outside expenditures are playing a big role for the Democrats in three Ohio districts.  In OH-1 Steve Dreihaus is usinga 1104 to 643 bulge over Chabot to hang competitively overall (1879 k to 1888 k for Chabot).  Mary Jo Kilroy is using a bigger 1323 to 319 K edge in IE to drown Steve Stivers by an overall 2849 to 1468 K margin.  In Oh-16 Boccieri’s blankingof Schuring in IE (1780 K to 0) adds to a small edge in campaign spending (1035 to 992) for an overall 2815 to 992 pasting.  Surprisingly little IE money has gone to defeat the queen of mean, Jean Schmidt (163 K to 74 K for Schmidt).  Vic Wulsin has a solid spending edge to date of 1354 to 816.  No IE spending at all for Jane Mitakides, Sharon Neuhardt or Bill O’Neill in other OH races where they trail Republican opponents in the spending wars.

In Michigan, Gary Peters has gotten 950 K in IE expenditures to 0 for Joe Knollenberg putting him in the drivers seat.  Schauer’s 1283 to 789 IE edge over Walberg boosts a narrow edge in campaign expenditures to a comfy margin. In IN, Baron Hill is the big gainer (725 K to 5 for Sodrel) and is safe.  Mike Montagano has a modest 167 K in IE which gives him a 2-1 edge in spending to date over Mark Souder.  Nels Ackerson and Brad Ellsworth haven’t received IE help.  Ellsworth is safe and Ackerson is battling incumbent Steve Buyer on even terms so far.

No IL GOPer has received IE funding but two Democrats have.  Dan Seaks 479 K in IE moves him slightly ahead of Mark Kirk in expenditures to date in a free spending 3049 to 2963 race.  Debbie Halvorsen has used 1028 K in IE to a comfy 2607 to 1269 lead over Marty Ozinga.  Say bye bye Marty.  Melissa Bean needs no help against Greenberg in IL-8 but GI Jill Morgenthaler lkags ex-De Lay aide and current congressman Peter Roskam 1290 to 540 in IL-6.  Aaron Schock has a 1839 to 390 edge over Colleen Callahan but a deficit in common sense and probably IQ.

Two seats look good in MN.  Ashwin Madia is using a 1289 to 39 edge in IE to crush wonder boy Erik Paulsen by an overall 2285 to 1179 in spending.  Bye bye Erik.  El Tinklenberg added 1.7 million to the listed 646 K and Michelle Bachmann (1106 combined will be going home.  Sarvi has gotten no help vs. Kline in MN-2.  Kagen has gotten a small edge vs. Gard in IE and a bigger edge in CTD campaign expenditures.  Overall, looks good.

One of the few races where IE favors the Republican is WV-2 where Capito has used a 681 K to 0 IE lead to build a million dollar edge in CTD expenditures overall.  Time to hit back.  In KY-2, Boswell used 601 K in IE to build an overall 920-337 lead over Guthrie,  No money to Yarmuth who looks good for re-election anyway.  Heather Ryan has been outspent 494 K to 5 K by Exxon Eddie Whitfield.  Heather has gone further on 5 K than anybody would think possible.

Elsewhere in the south, Gerry Connally used a 1153 to 0 IE lead to put his race for VA-11 to bed over Keith Fimmian.  Connally has a narrow edge in campaign expenditures.  JudyFeder and TomPerriello hold narrow spending edges and Glen Nye the VA-2 opponent to Thelma Drake uses a stout 522 to 197 k in IE to hold even in overall spending 91029 to 1274).  Larry Kissell’s 1.301 M in IE gives him a small overall lead to Robin Hayes.  Carter and Johnson remain real long shots vs. Foxx and McHenry.  

Linda Ketner (SC-1) has used her private fortune to outspend Brown 1346 to 467 k with no IEs on either side. Alan rayson has similarly outspent Ric Keller by a 1678 to 572 margin in FL-8.  Incumbent GOPer Vern Buchanan has outspent Christine Jennings by a 3336 to 1963 K margin.  IE totals are not significant.  OTOH, Suzanne Kosmas has used a 697-183 IE lead to build an overall 1899 to 1373 spending lead over Tom Feeney.  Bye bye.  Lincoln Diaz Ballart benefits from a 622-124 edge in IE to lead Raul Martinez 2165 to 662 in expenditures to date.  Brother Mario is locked into an overall 1288 to 1188 edge over Joe Garcia. Ros-Lehtinen leads Taddeo by 2-1 (1655 to 805 yet Annette is climbing in name ID rapidly and scrapping very hard.  The Alabama trio of Bright, Segall and Griffith remain competitive with Jay Love holding an overall 1799 to 1364 expenditure edge; Mike Rogers leading 1139 over the neophyte Segall and Griffith holding off Parker at 1513 to 899.  Griffith and Bright benefit from IE leads.

IEs don’t factor in LA so far.  Don Cazayoux has an early but sizeable lead over the vaunted Cassidy and the non-moonwalking Michael Jackson.  Gorman and Fleming each have more money than Carmouche (LA-4).  Self funder Harlan is competitive with Steve Scalisae in LA-1, at least monetarily.  Ousiders Michael Skelly (1511 to 677) and Larry Doherty are outspending incumbents McCaul and Culberson in TX-7 and TX-10.  In TX-22, Nick Lampson is only competitive with Pete Olson.  Not a ghood sign.  Ciro Rodriguez is home free (2685 to 480).

In the Plains states, the action is limited.  Judy Baker leads the polls despite having been outspent by Leutkemyer 1037-739 so far.  MO-6 is the reverse asa Kay Barnes has outspent Sam Graves 2039 to 1698 but she trails.  Becky Greenwald is within hailing distance of Tom Latham (699 to 430 with no IEs).  The odious Steve King has a 510-152 edge in spending over Rob Hubler in IA-5.  Lynn Jenkins has used 146 K in IE to take an overall 1052 to 953 K lead over Nancy Boyda.  Other foul ups seem more important here.  Esch has a 158 to 0 lead over Terry in IE but Terry has a 2-1edge overall at 968-487.

In the Mountains, Minnick has an overall 1926 to 943 edge but it is Salie who leads in IE at 252-111.  Trauner (796) and Lummis (756) are spending evenly in WY with no IE.  Betsy Markey is using a 1607-429 IE lead to fashion an overall 3024 to 2033 spending edge in CO-4.  Dina Titus has a 870-44 IE lead over incumbent Jon Ensign in NV-3 and a slim 1917 to 1860 overall spending lead.  In NV-2, incumbent GOPer Dean Heller has a 1077 to 585 overall lead over Jill Derby.

IEs play a big role in Arizona.  The race to replace Rick Renzi in AZ-1 is over.  Ann Kirkpatrick used a 1241 to 399 edge in campaign spending and a 1343 to 14 lead in IEs to put Sydney Hay away early and permanently. Similarly, over a million (1090 k) in IEs puts John Shadegg on his heels.  Bob Lord has also matched Sgadegg in campaign expenditures dollar for dollar and a little more ( 1247 to 123 for Shadegg).  Mitchell and Giffords look like easy re-elects.

Three seats are open in New Mexico and Democrats lead the money race for all three seats.  In NM-2 Teague has outsoent Tinsley 2-1 (3222 to 1599) with a 747 to 0 bulge in IEs leading the way.  Lujan leads East 1028-129 in NM-3.  In the closely contested NM-2 Martin Heinrich matched 1644 wiof campaign expenditures with 1643 in IE.  Darren White was beaten 2-1 with campaign spending (1644-829) and 4-1 on IEs (1643-390).

Ethan Berkowitz used a 1102-3 edge in IEs to outspens Don Young 2944-2797.  Of cours Young spent a lot of money on his l;egal defense.  In CA, McNerney used 1042 k in IEs for a 2754 to 450 k edge over Andal.  McClintock has outspent Charlie Brown 2486 to 1483 with a lot of the spending coming in primary season for McClintock. Many other races are close in spending including CA-3 (Durston, 364 vs. Lungren,447), CA-4 CA-26 (Dreier 1813 vs. Russ warner at 1107. Chau (160) vs. Gary Miller (214). Cook 241 vs. Rohrabacher  222.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

200,000 Possibly Disenfranchised in Ohio by Fed Court

Ohio Republicans appear to have won a major court “victory” that could throw this year’s election into chaos.  A Federal Appeals Court in Cincinnatti ruled 9 to 6 that the Secretary of State must provide detailed localized lists of newly registered voters whose Motor Vehicle IDs and/or Social Security numbers provided for voter ID don’t match centralized lists.  Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner estimates that at least 200,000 of the 666,000 voters registered this year would fall in this category.

Newspapers in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnatti and Akron reported this matter of factly, largely relying on the AP feed.  Brunner felt that the decision was too late, relied on an incorrect reading of the Federal HAVA (Help America Vote Act) law, and planned to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.

It is totally clear that much of the same obstructionist policy implemented by Ohio Republicans under Ken Blackwekk would return in 2008.  More Republican challenges.  Hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots.  :ong lines and lots of problems in Democratic districts.  Easy times and no challenges in predominantly Republican districts.  

These votes are primarily Democratic and many were triggered by the high intensity Ohio primary.  Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) said that it had 100,000 new voters with 34,000 coming after the primary and the rest coming earlier.

CNN reported that many of these voters participated in the heated Ohio primary.  That would tend to make those results at least suspect.  CNN suggested in its broadcasts that the fairest result would be to clean this up after the 2008 elections are held.