DE-Sen: The Castle Amendment – Bend Over!

Mike Castle is toast. Not only did he cast his vote against the Health Care Bill and for the anti-choice Stupak Amendment, he also drafted an amendment to allow health insurers to raise your premiums if you don’t sign up for a Wellness Plan.

Here is the amendment Mike Castle added to the GOP “Die Quickly” Health Insurance Bill.

   ”In applying subparagraph (B), a group health plan

   (or a health insurance issuer with respect to health

   insurance coverage) may vary premiums and cost

   sharing by up to 50 percent of the value of the benefits under the plan (or coverage) based on participation (or lack of participation) in a standards-based

   wellness program.”.

   (2) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made

   by paragraph (1) shall apply to plan years beginning

   more than 1 year after the date of the enactment of

   this Act.

(cross-posted at Delaware Liberal.

So Mike Castle’s contribution to the bill is to allow your health insurance company to raise your premiums 50% because you didn’t adhere to their strict-as-hell wellness program (which probably requires you to report to them your diet and exercise habits).

I’m serious, that’s Mike Castle’s plan – letting your insurance company raise your rates for not exercising enough. The goal is to generate profits for the health insurance monopolies that contribute huge sums of money to his campaign (an industry generating record profits at the expense of bankrupting consumers). This isn’t your typical “weak-tea” Castle spinelessness, this is the real Mike Castle finally showing it’s evil, crooked face and telling you to “bend over” in the name of profit.

The next time you hear someone suggest they might vote for Castle, or that he’s some kind of “moderate”, remind them that Castle wanted to raise our health insurance premiums 50%.

What a sick fucking crook.

Stick a fork in him folks, this is all the ammunition Beau Biden needs to destroy this schmuck. And Beau Biden will run, mark my words, and he will announce it this Tuesday at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. And I will be there, and so will papa Joe Biden and the Big Dog Bill Clinton.

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NE-02: Tom White Launches Exploratory Bid

State Sen. Tom White filed papers today to form an exploratory committee to run for congress in Nebraska’s second district as a Democrat against Republican Lee Terry. He sent out an email to supporters and posted a diary at DailyKos announcing the filing, putting an emphasis on health care reform and jobs. Senator White was previously mentioned here on SSP which seems to have caught White’s attention – it’s the first post listed in his candidate website newsroom, followed by stories from Roll Call, the Omaha World Herald, and the progressive blog New Nebraska Network (where he also posted an announcement diary today).

White’s official press release lists his legislative accomplishments as follows:

Passed the Taxpayer Transparency Act, which will cut wasteful spending by putting Nebraska’s checkbook online for taxpayers to monitor spending and tax incentives.

Passed legislation to add screen names and email addresses to sex offender registry, giving parents important tools to keep their kids safe online.

Passed legislation to create quality jobs by increasing the research and development tax credit for research conducted at colleges and universities in Nebraska.

Passed legislation to increase access to affordable healthcare by allowing 20-somethings to stay on their parents insurance.

As a member of the Revenue Committee, was involved in eliminating the marriage penalty in the state income tax and the state estate tax.

Passed the Military Family Leave Act to help spouses and families of those on active duty. It also bars employers from discriminating against those called to active duty.

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GOP Internal: Russell leads Murtha 48-35 in PA-12

Heinous wingnut Michelle Malkin is breathlessly reporting a leaked GOP internal poll in PA-12 showing incumbent John Murtha (D) losing by approximately 13 points to GOP challenger Bill Russell.

Dane and Associates (R) (10/22, 800 likely voters)

John Murtha (D-inc): 34.8

Bill Russell (R): 47.6

Update: I should point out that we don’t have a full press release on this, and as one commenter pointed out, for all we know this could be a message-testing poll. In other words, they might be preceding the poll question with negative information about Murtha and/or positive info about Russell. If more info is released, I will update further.

Murtha had a reverse-Macaca moment recently when he called western Pennsylvania a “racist area” and said that the area until recent years used to be “really redneck”. Predictably, these comments have not been received well, much as Michelle Bachmann’s “anti-American” comments changed the dynamic in her district. Another poll by Republican pollster Susquehanna Polling & Research conducted a day prior for consevative rag the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (the Mellon Scaife outfit) showed Murtha up by 5 points but very vulnerable.

Susquehanna POlling & Research (R) (10/21, 400 likely voters)

John Murtha (D-inc): 46

Bill Russell (R): 41

(MoE: ±4.9%)

It should be noted that Russell used BMW Direct for fundraising, a scam company that raises huge amounts of money for longshot candidates and keeps most of the money for itself. In the 3rd quarter, Russell raised an eyebrow-raising $1.592 million, and “spent” $1.529 million (ie, about 95% went to BMW Direct from the looks of it). Murtha, on the other hand, raised $457k and spent all of it presumably on defending his seat. The CoH picture is not really confidence-inspiring – Murtha reported $591k to Russell’s $333k. The PVI of this district is D+5, so if we do lose this seat, it will become a top priority challenge next cycle. Bill Russell is way more conservative than this district (Malkin has been pumping for him all year), but his millitary-hero story is likely to win him some points.

Unfortunately for Murtha and Kanjorski, the fierce anti-incumbent mood that has been playing in Pennsylvania since 2006 (causing huge turnover in state legislative races) can topple Democrats as well as Republicans.

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WI-08: GOP Internal Poll Shows Close Race

(From the diaries – promoted by James L.)

New GOP internal poll in WI-08, h/t Politico, from Public Opinion Strategies (7/8-7/9, likely voters):

Steve Kagen (D-inc): 46

John Gard (R): 42

(N=400, MoE=±4.9%)

There’s reason for concern in this district; Gard’s a former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker and very narrowly outraised Kagen last quarter. The poll also shows Gard with very high name recognition (88%). McCain leads Obama in the district 46-41.

Kagen, however, has plenty of cash on hand and personal wealth he can dig into if necessary.

SSP currently rates this race as Leans Democratic.

Latest Senate Polls – leading in 7, close in 3-6 more

cross-posted from Election Inspection

Latest Senate Polls for 2008:

State Incumbent Poll Dem Candidate % Rep Candidate %
AL Sessions Rasmussen 5/27 Figures 29 Sessions 62
AK Stevens Research 2000 5/12-5/14 Begich 48 Stevens 43
CO Allard Rasmussen 5/19 Mark Udall 47 Schaffer 41
GA Chambliss Strategic Vision (R) 5/9-5/11 Vernon Jones 29 Saxby Chambliss (i) 58
GA Chambliss Strategic Vision (R) 5/9-5/11 Dale Cardwell 27 Saxby Chambliss (i) 57
GA Chambliss Strategic Vision (R) 5/9-5/11 Rand Knight 25 Saxby Chambliss (i) 58
GA Chambliss Strategic Vision (R) 5/9-5/11 Josh Lanier 24 Saxby Chambliss (i) 57
GA Chambliss Rasmussen 3/20 Jim Martin 33 Chambliss 51
ID Craig Robinson Research 11/26-12/12 LaRocco 27 Risch 46
IA Tom Harkin Research 2000 4/21-4/23 Tom Harkin 57 George Eichorn 28
IA Tom Harkin Research 2000 4/21-4/23 Tom Harkin 58 Steve Rathje 23
IA Tom Harkin Research 2000 4/21-4/23 Tom Harkin 59 Christopher Reed 20
KS Pat Roberts Research 2000 6/2-6/4 Slattery 38 Roberts 50
KY McConnell Rasmussen 5/22 Bruce Lunsford 49 McConnell 44
LA Landrieu Rasmussen 5/28 Landrieu 47 Kennedy 44
ME Collins Rasmussen 5/14 Allen 42 Collins 52
MA Kerry Rasmussen 5/29 Kerry 63 Jim Ogonowski 29
MA Kerry Rasmussen 5/29 Kerry 63 Jeff Beatty 25
MI Levin Rasmussen 5/7 Levin 54 Hoogendyk 37
MN Coleman Rasmussen 5/22 Franken 45 Coleman 47
MS-A Cochran Rasmussen 5/27 Fleming 35 Cochran 58
MS-B Wicker Rasmussen 5/27 Musgrove 47 Wicker 46
NE Hagel Research 2000 5/19-5/21 Kleeb 31 Johanns 58
NH Sununu Rasmussen 5/20 Shaheen 50 Sununu 43
NM Domenici SUSA 5/30-6/1 Tom Udall 60 Steve Pearce 35
NC Dole PPP 5/28-5/29 Kay Hagan 39 Dole 47
OK Inhofe 12/16-12/19 Andrew Rice 19 Inhofe 60
OR Smith Rasmussen 5/7 Jeff Merkley 42 Smith 45
SD Johnson Rasmussen 3/4 Johnson 63 Joel Dykstra 28
TN Alexander Rasmussen 4/3 Bob Tuke 30 Alexander 59
TN Alexander Rasmussen 4/3 Mike Padgett 31 Alexander 58
TX Cornyn Baselice & Associates (R) 5/20-5/25 Noriega 33 Cornyn 49
TX Cornyn Research 2000 5/5-5/7 Noriega 44 Cornyn 48
VA John Warner Rasmussen 5/8 Mark Warner 55 Gilmore 37

Democrats currently lead in all Democratic-held seats and in 7 GOP-held seats (AK, CO, KY, MS, NH, NM, VA) – although there is considerable skepticism about Rasmussen’s Kentucky poll. That would mean ousting 4 GOP incumbents (Stevens, McConnell, Wicker, Sununu), although Wicker is merely an appointee to an open seat. The GOP has only one good pickup opportunity – Louisiana, where Landrieu is up by only 3. We are within 5 points of defeating incumbents in Minnesota, Oregon, and Texas (I don’t count GOP internal polls). This means we are less than a 5 point swing away from a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority, which relegates the GOP to the back seat where legislation is concerned.

Beyond that, we trail by only 8 points in North Carolina, 10 points in Maine, and 12 points in Kansas. Remember what the Virginia race looked like at this point in time last year.

57 – in hand. 60 – within our grasp. 63 – within reason.

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Latest Governor Polls for 2008

(From the diaries.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call MO-GOV a “safe Democratic pickup” just yet, though. – promoted by James L.)

Cross-posted from Election Inspection, here are the latest Governor polls:

State Incumbent Poll Dem Candidate % Rep Candidate %
IN Daniels Research 2000 4/21-4/24 Jill Long Thompson 45 Mitch Daniels 45
MO Blunt SUSA 5/16-5/18 Jay Nixon 57 Kenny Hulshof 33
MO Blunt SUSA 5/16-5/18 Jay Nixon 58 Sarah Steelman 33
MT Schweitzer Mason-Dixon 5/19-5/21 Brian Schweitzer 55 Roy Brown 30
NC Easley SUSA 5/17-5/19 Bev Perdue 52 Pat McCrory 45
UT Huntsman Dan Jones & Assoc. 5/13-5/19 Bob Springmeyer 13 Jon Huntsman 77
WA Gregoire Rasmussen 5/12 Christine Gregoire 52 Dino Rossi 41

Thus far, Missouri looks to be a Safe Democratic pickup, while Indiana is a toss-up. Vermont is currently unpolled, but State Speaker of the House Gaye Symington (D-VT) could make the race against incumbent GOP Gov. Jim Douglas a competitive one. North Carolina and Washington look like likely Democratic retentions so far. I don’t expect Utah, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana, or New Hampshire to become competitive, and the only question in Delaware is which Democrat will win the primary.

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GOP Ethics Chair cheats on wife – support Vietnam Vet Bill O’Neill for Memorial Day

I know Rob already diaried this, but I really want to help Bill O’Neill turn OH-14 blue – so here’s a little more information about this race and our Memorial Day Donor Bomb

Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio is scum, but his opponent, Bill O’Neill is a Vietnam veteran we can really get behind. Summary of this Diary:

1. Support Bill O’Neill, winner of Election Inspection’s Memorial Day Donor Bomb contest to support a veteran running for Congress.

2. Why O’Neill is good for Veterans, Labor, Civil Rights, Small Business, and restoring the rule of law.

3. The sordid tale of GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette, a phony moderate, a corrupt scumbag who is literally in bed with his lobbyist, and a toothless ethics chair who made a mockery of the job and was still yanked by Tom DeLay for the smallest ounce of insubordination.

Please donate to Bill O’Neill for Memorial Day! Let’s give our veterans and the families of the fallen a congress that understands them and will vote to end the Iraq War.

Ohio’s 14th district is in the suburbs of Cleveland – exactly the kind of place where Democrats have been making inroads in the past two cycles. The PVI of the district is R+2 – a very winnable district. Steve LaTourette has a scandal against him and an opponent who’s both a Vietnam Vet and an elected Judge. We need to send O’Neill money to help get this race onto the DCCC radar and attract attention from VoteVets as well. That’s right, the only barrier to this race becoming competitive is money, the one thing nearly any of us can help with. Send a lot or a little to a veteran running for congress this Memorial Day.

Bill O’Neill is a Vietnam veteran who received a Bronze Star – that’s patriotism that no flag pin can match. He’s also been a civil rights lawyer, a small businessman, and a union organizer – a man who understands the economic challenges faced by Ohioans who’ve felt the brunt of the Bush Economy. In more recent years, he’s been one of the most respected appellate judges in Ohio – a man of integrity who can be trusted to make sure that no man, even the President of the United States, is above the law. He stepped down from the bench in June 2007 to run for Congress, because he knows a judge cannot be compromised by the trials of campaigning. Learn more about O’Neill.

Steve LaTourette is scum – he cheated on his wife with his former chief of staff, who was lobbying his committee, who LaTourette then remarried after getting a divorce. So he’s literally in bed with a lobbyist, and she suddenly got all sorts of new clients. For example, she represents the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, while he’s the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime, a part of the Transportation and Infrastructure committee. This isn’t why the GOP removed him as chair of the Ethics committee, of course – they simply didn’t like his toothless admonishment (with no penalties) of Tom Delay. LaTourette quickly fell in line after that. Salon article on LaTourette by Cliff Schecter. LaTourette has a perfect score on the Family Values card according to the GOP – that is, unless you count his own family values. (Is that why people think he’s a moderate?)

So please – spread the word, and Donate to Bill O’Neill!

This Memorial Day Donor Bomb brought to you by Election Inspection – your source for polls, predictions, analysis, news, and now fundraising efforts. Don’t forget to tip ActBlue for the great work they do!

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House Polls 2008

(From the diaries with minor edits – promoted by DavidNYC)

Below is a handy table of all the verifiable House polls I could find for the current election cycle. Special election polls are only included for upcoming elections, not for those that are already over. Every poll contains a link and an exact date range. Polling for candidates who have dropped out or decided against running is not included.

Cross posted from Election Inspection.

District Incumbent Poll Dem Candidate % Rep Candidate %
AL-02 Terry Everett (R) Anzalone Liszt 10/2-10/4 Bobby Bright 43 Harri Anne Smith 38
AL-02 Terry Everett (R) Anzalone Liszt 10/2-10/4 Bobby Bright 46 Jay Love 27
AL-05 Bud Cramer (D) Capital Survey Research Center 4/1 Parker Griffith 48 Wayne Parker 32
AK-AL Don Young (R) Research 2000 12/3-12/6 Ethan Berkowitz 49 Don Young 42
AZ-08 Gabby Giffords (D) Summit Group (R) 12/3-12/4 Gabby Giffords 36 Tim Bee 30
FL-13 Vern Buchanan (R) Public Opinion Strategies 3/5-3/6 Christine Jennings 37 Vern Buchanan 53
FL-24 Tom Feeney (R) Garin-Hart-Yang 7/9-7/11 Suzanne Kosmas 23 Tom Feeney 42
IL-10 Mark Kirk (R) Garin-Hart-Yang 2/7-2/8 Dan Seals 39 Mark Kirk 46
LA-06 Richard Baker (R) Anzalone Liszt 4/8-4/10 Don Cazayoux 49 Woody Jenkins 42
LA-06 Richard Baker (R) Anzalone Liszt 3/16-3/20 Don Cazayoux 49 Woody Jenkins 44
MD-01 Wayne Gilchrest (R) Moore Information 1/15-1/16 Frank Kratovil 22 Andy Harris 37
MI-07 Tim Walberg (R) EPIC-MRA 2/27-3/2 Mark Schauer 40 Tim Walberg 51
MI-09 Joe Knollenberg (R) Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 10/31-11/02 Gary Peters 35 Joe Knollenberg 42
MS-01 Roger Wicker (R) Anzalone Liszt 4/3-4/7 Travis Childers 41 Greg Davis 40
NM-01 Heather Wilson (R) Public Opinion Strategies (R) 10/8-10/9 Martin Heinrich 33 Darren White 51
NY-25 Jim Walsh (R) Global Strategy Group (D) 2/16-2/20 Dan Maffei 41 Peter Cappuccilli 29
NC-08 Robin Hayes (R) Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 11/13-11/15 Larry Kissell 49 Robin Hayes 47
OH-02 Jean Schmidt (R) Tarrance Group (R) 3/11-3/12 Vic Wulsin 33 Jean Schmidt 51
PA-10 Chris Carney (D) Momentum Analysis 12/6-12/9 Chris Carney 53 Dan Meuser 23
PA-10 Chris Carney (D) Momentum Analysis 12/6-12/9 Chris Carney 55 Chris Hackett 21
TX-07 John Culberson (R) IVR 4/8 Michael Skelly 39 John Culberson 57
WY-AL Barbara Cubin (R) Mason-Dixon 1/18-1/21 Gary Trauner 41 Cynthia Lummis 40

Based on the polling above, Democrats are likely to pick up at least 5-10 seats, and that’s with many competitive races yet unpolled and many campaigns just starting to rev up. Although there are a few seats held by Democrats that are in danger, none yet polled show us losing to the GOP.

Keep an eye on EI for House and Senate polls updated daily.

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AK-Sen: Tossup

New Rasmussen poll on the Alaska Senate race!

Rasmussen: Alaska Senate 4/7, 500 LV, MOE +/-4.5%

Mark Begich (D): 45%

Ted Stevens (R): 46%

Some other candidate: 4%

Not sure: 5%

Lots of pundits were quick to discount last December’s R2K poll for DKos, but they can’t deny it any longer – this race is officially a Tossup.

More recent polls below the flip!

cross-posted from Election Inspection

Latest Senate Polls for 2008:

State Incumbent Poll Dem Candidate % Rep Candidate %
AL Sessions Rasmussen 4/2 Figures 36 Sessions 57
AK Stevens Rasmussen 4/7 Begich 45 Stevens 46
CO Allard Rasmussen 3/17 Mark Udall 46 Schaffer 43
GA Chambliss Rasmussen 3/20 Vernon Jones 30 Chambliss 56
GA Chambliss Rasmussen 3/20 Dale Cardwell 36 Chambliss 52
GA Chambliss Rasmussen 3/20 Jim Martin 33 Chambliss 51
ME Collins Rasmussen 4/3 Allen 38 Collins 54
MN Coleman Rasmussen 3/19 Franken 46 Coleman 48
NH Sununu ARG 3/14-3/17 Shaheen 47 Sununu 33
NJ Lautenberg Rasmussen 3/27 Lautenberg 54 Joe Pennacchio 36
NJ Lautenberg Rasmussen 3/27 Lautenberg 54 Murray Sabrin 35
SD Johnson Rasmussen 3/4 Johnson 63 Joel Dykstra 28
TN Alexander Rasmussen 4/3 Bob Tuke 30 Alexander 59
TN Alexander Rasmussen 4/3 Mike Padgett 31 Alexander 58
VA John Warner Rasmussen 3/26 Mark Warner 55 Gilmore 39

Today’s new poll is Alaska, where Rasmussen shows a Tossup. Since March, 4 races have been polled as Solid Republican Hold (AL, GA, ME, TN), 2 races are Solid Democratic Hold (NJ, SD), 3 races are Tossups (AK, CO, MN), and 2 races are Solid Democratic Gain. New Mexico hasn’t been polled since February, but it too rates Solid Democratic Gain, while Oregon’s February polls shows it to be Solid Republican Hold at this time. That is regardless of whether Wilson, Pearce, Merkley, or Novick wins their respective primaries. Louisiana has not been polled since December and rated Slight Democratic Hold at that time.

For races where the most recent poll is older than March, check out Election Inspection’s Senate Polls page.

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Pennsylvania: An Obama Lead?

cross-posted from Election Inspection.

The latest Pennsylvania primary polls show a lot of movement towards Obama:

Pollster Date Obama Clinton
PPP 3/31-4/1 45 43
Quinnipiac 3/24-3/31 41 50
SUSA 3/29-3/31 41 53
Rasmussen 3/31 42 47
ARG 3/26-3/27 39 51

Analysis below the flip.

Compared with the previous result from each pollster, all except ARG show a net gain for Obama:

PPP: Obama net gains 28 from two weeks prior

Quinnipiac: Obama net gains 3 from two weeks prior

SUSA: Obama net gains 7 from three weeks prior

Rasmussen: Obama net gains 5 from one week prior, 8 from 3/12, and 10 from 3/5.

ARG: Obama net loses 1 from 19 days prior.

PPP published an article immediately before they released their PA poll today touting their accuracy in prior contests like Texas and Ohio. Looks to me like they’re trying to protect their reputation in the face of the fact that today’s poll and the prior one in the state are major outliers in opposite directions. In other words, let’s discount PPP for now; and ARG while we’re at it, since ARG polls tend to be way off until the final day of the contest. That leaves a spead of 5, 9, and 12, which is right in line with my analysis from Monday suggesting that as things stand today, Clinton would win Pennsylvania by 5-15 points. However, the trending suggests that the race continues to tighten, and if this continues, Clinton will win Pennsylvania by single digits, if at all.

And as I’ve said previously, a single digit win in Pennsylvania will make any suggestion that she could win this nomination sound mathematically ridiculous instead of merely far-fetched. Clinton’s campaign should be in full panic mode by this point, because this is their last chance and it is slipping away.

Election Inspection’s current delegate breakdown: Clinton 55, Obama 48

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