TX-22: What Do You Think They’ll Call Her Now That They Really Know Her?

I’m on a leave of absence, but I couldn’t just stand idly by and not post this gem from Texas.  I’m STILL cracking up!  From the Houston Press:

Having a name like “Shelley Sekula-Gibbs” and deciding to run a write-in campaign is, in a word, genius. It called to mind the immortal jingle sung by The Simpsons’ Schwarzenegger character, Rainier Wolfcastle: “Mein bratwurst has a first name, it’s F-R-I-T-Z. Mein bratwurst has a second name, it’s S-C-H-N-A-C-K-E-N-P-F-E-F-F-E-R-H-A-U-S-E-N.”


J.R. Perez of the Fort Bend County elections office says voters were pretty inventive in spelling Sekula-Gibbs’s name. Fort Bend is only one of four counties in District 22, but the list of spellings that were accepted as write-in votes (by a bipartisan panel who ruled on voters’ intent) is 28 pages long.

Voters cast their write-in ballots for, among others: Kelly Segula Gibbs, Snelly Gibbr, Schikulla Gibbs, Sheila Gibbs, Shelly Schulla Gibbs, Shelly Gibkula and, by someone who obviously never wanted the joy of using the machine to end, ShelleySkulaGibbsssss.

The name “Sekula” was spelled as Sektula, Sukla, Sequila, Sedoko and Sedoka (by puzzle fans?), Meklua, Sekluda and Shecola.

One voter couldn’t be bothered, just putting in SSG. (It counted.) Another, for some reason, entered Sekula Smith.

Another voter entered “Shelle Sekula Fibbs,” which might have been a hidden political message. Not so hidden, but counted as a vote just the same, was “Shelly DraculaCunt Gibs.” (We like to imagine the bipartisan discussion on that entry: “Well, they misspelled the first and last name, but that’s definitely a Shelley vote.”) [emphasis added]

Since soaring to a special election victory based on votes not marked as “DraculaCunt” or “Snelly Gibbr”, Shelley Hyphenated-Name’s abbreviated term in the House of Represenatives has gotten off to a rocky start, as I’m sure you’re aware: temper tantrums when she didn’t receive a personal visit from the President, driving away her entire congressional staff and demanding their (apparently routine) activities to be investigated, all on top of messianic pledges to solve illegal immigration and other pressing problems in her one-month term.  It all makes you wonder what colorful names the voters of TX-22 might write on their ballots in 2008 if the Gibster gives it another go (please, please, please).

(Hat tip to Wonkette.)

Senate ’08: SUSA Popularity (Nov ’06) – Final Update

(I just like this diary. – promoted by DavidNYC)

The November approval numbers are out from SurveyUSA. Let’s see how the class of 2008 is faring.

How unpopular is Frank Lautenberg this month? All numbers represent net spproval (approve minus disapprove).

100. DeWine -25%
99. Talent -22%
98. Santorum -21%
97. Burns -15%
96. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) -5%

Picture a huge cliff. Now picture Santorum, Talent, Burns, and Dewine being thrown off of it by angry voters. Lautenberg is hanging on the edge of that cliff, but at least he’s a long way from those other four guys… so far. And the vibe of the ’06 election seems to be helping – he’s climbed 7 points since last month. It’s a good start, Frank, but you’re going to have to build it up from there.

95. Mel Martinez -3%

OK, I feel better now. Kudos to the brilliance of the GOP for making their least popular senator the face of their party. Wow.

94. Bunning -3%
93. Kyl -2%

OK, you can get re-elected at -2%. There hope for you, Frank.

92. John Kerry (D-MA) -2%

Presidential bid’s not looking good, John. At this rate, you might not even win the presidential primary in your own state. The infamous gaffe, repeated ad naseum by the media just like the Dean Scream, drops Kerry a whopping 16%. Ouch. No matter what happens, his seat will stay in Democratic hands, though. It’s Massachusetts.

91. Dayton -1%
90. Menendez 0%

Some more hope for Frank – a little proof that New Jerseys are willing to hold their nose and vote for a Democrat they don’t much like. While Dewine and Talent nosedived 8% and 17% respectively this month, Menendez soars 13% and gets re-elected.

89. Wayne Allard (R-CO) 1%

Allard gains 5% this month despite the national trends.

88. Burr 2%
87. Sarbanes 2%
86. John Sununu (R-NH) 3%

Sununu dives 8% from last month. The mood in NH has gotten quite frosty to the GOP.

85. Frist 3%
84. John Cornyn (R-TX) 3%

Cornyn gains 6% this month. Still makes a good target.

83. Allen 4%
82. Voinovich 4%
81. Norm Coleman (R-MN) 5%

Coleman stays the same as he was last month, which is 3% better than recently re-elected governor Pawlenty. But remember, there’s nobody out campaigning against him yet, so this is still a good position for us to start from.

80. James Inhofe (R-OK) 5%
79. Chafee 6%

Inhofe gains 14% this month, but he’s not out of the woods yet as Chafee’s ranking shows. Chafee gains 5% himself, possibly for his post-election declaration that he wasn’t sure if he was a Republican anymore.

To be updated tomorrow. Wow, I got front-paged! I better finish this now…

78. Bond 8%
77. Reid 9%
76. Lieberman 9%
75. Gregg 11%
74. Specter 11%
73. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) 12%
72. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) 12%

Lieberman gains 4% and is re-elected, so we probably want to see our targets move below 9% net approval. Landrieu is our lowest-rated red-stater, so it’s good to see her above the Chafee line; with all the positive Dem mojo, however, her gain of merely 2% this month is underwhelming. A rough campaign could easily bring her down into the danger zone, so Schumer will need to invest here. Dole is our next target, and you can see we’ll need a good challenger (or some Macaca-like gaffes, or retirement) to bring her down in reddish NC. Momentum is on our side at the moment – she falls 8% from last month, and is down from a high of +30% in July.

71. Coburn 12%
70. Murkowski 13%
69. Tom Harkin (D-IA) 13%
68. Richard Durbin (D-IL) 15%

A presidential election year in Iowa – expect Harkin to get a strong challenger who declares early, because every GOP wannabe-prez will be helping him raise money. Harkin gains 6% this month – that’s a good thing. Durbin’s pretty safe in blue Illinois but gains only 1% this month as Dems fail to pick off Mark Kirk or Hyde’s open seat in the House.

67. DeMint 15%
66. Pat Roberts (R-KS) 15%
65. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 15%

Roberts and McConnell are basically in pre-Macaca George Allen territory. In order to pick them off, we’d need two out of three factors: A strong candidate (Sebelius, Chandler), a memorable gaffe or scandal, and/or retirement. Before we get too optimistic, remember that the Tennesee race had all these three factors (Frist retires and is clouded by scandal, Corker had the 911 call fiasco and his abortion flip-flop, and Ford, a sitting congressman, ran a very strong campaign) and we still lost. Roberts gains 10% this month (ouch) and McConnell gains 3.

64. Isakson 15%
63. Brownback 16%
62. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) 16%
61. Gordon Smith (R-OR) 17%
60. Russ Feingold 17%
59. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 17%

Beating Chambliss would feel pretty damn good, and his numbers aren’t unreachable. On the downside, he gained 9% this month – we need momentum going the other direction. Smith gains 5%, another trend we need to reverse – Oregon ain’t as blue as Rhode Island. Alexander gains 13%, probably on the vibes of the GOP noise machine that pushed a turd like Corker into Frist’s open seat. When you consider how much lower Frist’s numbers are, this does not look like a first or even second tier opportunity.

58. Akaka 17%
57. Murray 18%
56. Lincoln 18%
55. Carl Levin (D-MI) 18%
54. Mark Pryor (D-AR) 19%

Stabenow’s re-election brings positive vibes in Michigan, as Levin gains 12%. This seat’s safe unless he retires. Too bad Beebe doesn’t seem to have done the same for Pryor, who actually drops 6% this month. He’s still in pretty safe territory for Arkansas, however, which is looking reddish in presidential elections but bluish for everything else.

53. Boxer 20%
52. Bill Nelson 20%
51. Stabenow 20%
50. Dodd 20%
49. Salazar 21%
48. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 22%

Graham gains 12% this month. Unless the Club For Growth or some ultrareligious 3rd party candidate intervenes in the primary, this seat stays red.

OK, I’ll finish the rest when I get home tonight. Thanks for front-paging me, David!Stupid internet connection problems. Here goes.

47. Ensign 22%
46. Mikulski 23%
45. Hutchinson 24%
44. Feinstein 25%
43. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) 25%
42. Thune 25%
41. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 25%

Hagel drops 4%, but it doesn’t matter. He’s sharp, polished, willing to be a maverick, politically savvy, and besides which, he owns the voting machines. And it’s Nebraska. All we can do is hope he runs for president and vacates his seat. Sessions gains 7% this month. If you decide to run, Artur, good luck – you’ll need it.

40. Bennett 25%
39. Wyden 26%
38. Schumer 27%
37. McCain 27%

08′ hopeful McCain loses 2%, victorious DSCC chair Schumer gains 11%. Nice.

36. Cantwell 28%
35. Ted Stevens (R-AK) 28%
34. Larry Craig (R-ID) 29%

Incidentally, Cantwell jumped 23% in the past month. Now that’s a damn fine endgame. Stevens drops 3%, but his approval ratings aren’t like a truck you can dump on – it’s a series of tubes! No, it’s a series of numbers that never dip below 26%. Just retire, you old bastard! Stop teasing and do it – spend some time with your family before you hop on the metaphorical Bridge to Nowhere. Craig drops 6%, but seriously… Idaho. If we can’t defeat a guy like Bill Sali… Craig’d have to dropkick Santa Claus to lose this race.

33. Shelby – 29%
32. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) – 29%
31. Joe Biden (D-DE) – 29%

Not even Shelley Moore Capito could beat Rockefeller without a good scandal, even though he drops 6% this month. No one will mount a credible campaign against Joe Biden – in Delaware, the only thing safer than a popular incumbent is a popular incumbent Democrat. He gains 10% this month on his son’s coattails, or maybe vice versa. Of course, there’s that whole presidential run to think about…

30. Hatch 30%
29. Kennedy 31%
28. Bayh 31%
27. John Warner (R-VA) 32%

OK, seriously, when’s the last time a very popular senator was beaten by a very popular governor? Why is everyone so excited about the prospect of Mark Warner running here? George Allen lost because he’s a dickhead, always has been, always will be. John Warner’s not going to make those kind of mistakes. He gains 1% this month, but seriously, whatever. Maybe he’ll retire, but I heard he won’t.

26. Crapo 32%
25. Jeffords 34%
24. Thad Cochran (R-MS) 36%

Cochran gains 3%, and hasn’t said anything about retiring yet. No sense in thinking about this now when Barbour will be up for re-election in ’07.

All right, I need to get to bed. I’ll finish tomorrow – dumb internet problems prevented me from finishing tonight. Let’s do this.

23. Vitter 38%
22. Grassley 38%
21. Kohl 39%
20. Mike Enzi (R-WY) 39%
19. Jack Reed (D-RI) 39%

Nothing to see here. Move along. Kohl shows us what happens to Senators with approval this high – they get re-elected without any trouble. Enzi gains 12%, Reed gains 1% (and pretty much never dips below 35%).

18. Lott 39%
17. Byrd 40%
16. Lugar 41%
15. Inouye 42%
14. Ben Nelson 42%
13. Carper 43%
12. Thomas 43%
11. Pete Domenici (R-NM) 43%
10. Tim Johnson (D-SD) 44%

Domenici gains 12% – if he runs, he wins, and he says he’s gonna run. Maybe he wants to be Senate President Pro Tem someday, if Stevens retires and the Democrats lose the Senate. Johnson gains 2% – why would anyone want to even try to seriously challenge this guy? I expect top tier challengers to stay away for now. Johnson’s numbers are stellar and stable.

9. Bingaman 44%
8. Leahy 46%
7. Obama 48%
6. Max Baucus (D-MT) – 49%

Believe it or not, Baucus might not be as safe as these numbers suggest. He gains a whopping 18% on the strength of Montana’s blue wave. Before that though, his numbers were more “great” than “incredible”. If support for Tester, Schweitzer, and the Democrats remains high, Baucus is safe. If our party takes a fall in Montana, however, Denny Rehberg or Marc Racicot might – *might* – make a race of this.

5. Clinton 50%
4. Susan Collins (R-ME) 50%
3. Conrad 54%
2. Dorgan 56%
1. Snowe 62%

Hilary gains 14% – NY luuurrrrvvves her now. That’s a lot of electoral votes in her pocket. Maybe we shouldn’t be working so hard to dis her, seeing as how in less than 2 years we’ll probably be trying to get her elected in the general. I’m not saying we should all support her right now or anything, just that we should stop acting like she’s the boogeyman that the right wants her to be.

So, Susan Collins… Look. Lincoln Chafee’s BEST number this season was 19% net approval. Susan Collins’ WORST number was 41% net approval. Tom Allen has a better chance of being struck by lightning than unseating Collins head-to-head. Here’s hoping she honors her term limit pledge or switches parties. She gains 2% this month.

OK, done at last. But expect a version with color-coded maps soon.

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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Meet the Freshmen

Below is a chart which lists all the incoming freshmen in the 110th Congress. They are listed in order from the most Republican to the most Democratic district, according to PVI.

State CD Member Party PVI Switch Status
NE 3 Smith (R) R+23.6 Open
ID 1 Sali (R) R+18.9 Open
CA 22 McCarthy (R) R+16.0 Open
CO 5 Lamborn (R) R+15.7 Open
TX 22 Lampson (D) R+14.5 R » D Open
TN 1 Davis (R) R+13.9 Open
OH 4 Jordan (R) R+13.6 Open
OK 5 Fallin (R) R+11.9 Open
IN 8 Ellsworth (D) R+8.5 R » D
NV 2 Heller (R) R+8.2 Open
PA 10 Carney (D) R+8.0 R » D
KS 2 Boyda (D) R+7.3 R » D
IN 9 Hill (D) R+7.1 R » D
NC 11 Shuler (D) R+7.1 R » D
OH 18 Space (D) R+6.1 R » D Open
MN 6 Bachmann (R) R+5.1 Open
FL 9 Bilirakis (R) R+4.3 Open
IN 2 Donnelly (D) R+4.3 R » D
FL 13 Buchanan (R) R+4.1 Open
AZ 5 Mitchell (D) R+3.7 R » D
WI 8 Kagen (D) R+3.7 R » D Open
CA 11 McNerney (D) R+3.0 R » D
IL 6 Roskam (R) R+2.9 Open
PA 4 Altmire (D) R+2.6 R » D
MI 7 Walberg (R) R+2.5 Open*
NY 20 Gillibrand (D) R+2.5 R » D
FL 16 Mahoney (D) R+2.4 R » D Open
NY 19 Hall (D) R+1.5 R » D
AZ 8 Giffords (D) R+1.4 R » D Open
MN 1 Walz (D) R+0.9 R » D
NY 24 Arcuri (D) R+0.6 R » D Open
NH 1 Shea-Porter (D) R+0.1 R » D
OH 6 Wilson (D) D+0.4 Open
CO 7 Perlmutter (D) D+2.3 R » D Open
KY 3 Yarmuth (D) D+2.4 R » D
NH 2 Hodes (D) D+2.7 R » D
PA 8 Murphy (D) D+3.4 R » D
PA 7 Sestak (D) D+3.6 R » D
CT 5 Murphy (D) D+3.7 R » D
FL 22 Klein (D) D+3.7 R » D
IL 17 Hare (D) D+4.6 Open
IA 1 Braley (D) D+4.8 R » D
OH 13 Sutton (D) D+6.4 Open
IA 2 Loebsack (D) D+6.9 R » D
MD 3 Sarbanes (D) D+7.1 Open
CT 2 Courtney (D) D+7.6 R » D
VT AL Welch (D) D+9.1 I » D Open
HI 2 Hirono (D) D+9.7 Open
FL 11 Castor (D) D+11.0 Open
TN 9 Cohen (D) D+18.1 Open
MN 5 Ellison (D) D+21.5 Open
GA 4 Johnson (D) D+22.0 Open*
NJ 13 Sires (D) D+22.9 Open
NY 11 Clarke (D) D+39.9 Open

Asterisk = defeated incumbent in primary.

Trying to Launch the SDC

I’ve been trying to launch the Southern Democrats Club, which, while sounding tacky, is a great idea. My idea is to hook the south together, and my dream is to get 100,000 democrats on our mailing list.

The idea is to provide organization for Southern Democrats. Get money for Southern Candidates and State Parties. Have a network across the south and use that to provide institutional support in State House and State Senate Races etc. Not to mention state parties.

We have a website; http://southerndemoc…

Albeit one that’s a little jumbled and jsut thrown together by yours truly. We’re working on another one, well, Keith is, and he actually knows what he’s doing.

Here’s the actual DFA site; http://dfalink.com/g…

Most here should know that the DFA is easy as sin to join, you just put in an email address, state your name, and put in a password. They send you a confirmation email, you click that link, and bang, you’re done.

My point in posting this is to try and get on the blogroll, just to give it some more publicity and maybe help boost the membership.

Happy Thanksgiving! (& Open Thread)

I just wanted to wish each and every one of you a happy Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for, and I hope all of you do as well.

The Swing State Project will be taking something of a break this holiday weekend, so feel free to use this as an open thread. And of course, there’s always the diaries as well. Have a great Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope each of you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is also a time to think of those in need. Please consider volunteering for a charity, visiting a hospital, nursing home, or shut-in, or donating to a charity.

Some worthy charities I support are on ActGive which also lists many thousands of other charities around the country.



Bridge House is a non profit, inpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.

Supplemental food for poverty level people.

Ray Castellani’s Frontline Foundation has given out over 860,000 meals on the desperate streets on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Gateway Rescue Mission has been in the downtown area of Jackson, Mississippi since 1948. We reach the whole man by trying to relieve his or her physical misery. A hot meal, a shower, clean clothes and shelter prepares the ground for the planting of the seed of life.

Memphis Union Mission
Ministers to the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of hurting, homeless men, women and children

What Are Your Favorite Local Blogs?

I think there’s no question that local & regional blogs played an important role in many races this year – and I think this trend is only going to grow. And in many cases, these local blogs didn’t just have an impact on the online community, but they also drove crucial offline coverage as well.

Some good examples would include the folks at Blue Jersey, who busted a staffer for Republican Tom Kean for posing as a concern troll; the trio of NH blue bloggers (Blue Granite, NH-02 Progressive, and Yankee Doodler) who also nailed a concern troll who was Charlie Bass’s no. 2 staffer; and the Virginia bloggers (principally Raising Kaine) who played a big role in getting Jim Webb to toss his hat into the ring.

There are many other great sites I could point to as well (Take19, the Idaho bloggers, the North Carolina bloggers), but I’m just one guy and there are only so many blogs I’m familiar with. So I’d like to ask all of you: What are some of your favorite local blogs, whether they cover a particular state, city, region or Congressional district? Please post links in comments. Even if some of your favorites are blogs I’ve already mentioned, I’d love to know why you like them as well.

And, of course, have a great Thanksgiving!

TX-23: Election Day Set for Dec 12th

The election date has been set for Tuesday December 12th for the District 23 Congressional Runoff between Democrat Ciro Rodriguez and Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla. Early Voting is set to run for just one week from December 4-8. It is the earliest day possible that it could have been called with the intent of giving the advantage to Henry Bonilla.

That’s 3 weeks folks- 2 weeks until people start voting. As soon as ciro.onlinephonebanking.com is up and running, that will be the best way you can help us win in this tight electoral frame. Thousands of people making GOTV calls through this innovative new Texas tool can make a huge impact, especially if you cannot donate or come to the district. Otherwise, you can still donate to Ciro online or sign up to volunteer online.