Lincoln (NE) Primary: Beutler Comes Out On Top

Final Results from today’s primary:

  Ken Svoboda (R).  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  9,664  34.78
  Chris Beutler (D) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  13,213  47.55
  Roger Yant Sr. (I).  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3,961  14.26
  Mike Deal (I) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  830 2.99
  WRITE-IN. .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  117   .42
  Total . . . . .  .  .  .  .  27,785

Beutler and Svoboda advance to the general election on May 1. This is the most important race in Nebraska this year. The mayor’s office in Lincoln is in Democratic hands right now, but the current mayor Coleen Seng has come under a lot of fire and has generally been ineffective. Beutler’s got a long progressive history in the Nebraska legislature, and getting him elected mayor of Lincoln will be a big step for Democrats in Nebraska. Today was a huge step in that direction.

GA-10: Dems Rally Around Marlow

Another Democratic candidate has stepped up to compete in the June 19th special election to fill the vacant seat of the late Republican Rep. Charlie Norwood: James Marlow.  From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Political Insider:

Just before 10 a.m., we got a call from James Marlow, the new Democratic candidate for the 10th District congressional race in east Georgia.

He’d just finished breaking the news of his candidacy to the hometowners in Lincolton at the steps of the county courthouse. He counted nearly 60 witnesses, which in a town with four stoplights constitutes a throng.

“I just feel a calling to serve. I know that sounds a little corny,” Marlow said.

He’s a 46-year-old native, whose father served as mayor of Lincolnton. The son rode the Internet. You might remember the younger Marlow as the founder of, which was to be a way to get information on, well, anything Southern – food, religion, entertainment, the works.

The site was one of the many dot-com bubbles that popped.

Most recently, Marlow was a sales director for Yahoo Inc. He’s now a full-time candidate.

While four other Democrats are currently in the special election pool, Marlow has attracted the backing of local and state Democratic leaders, according to CQ Politics:

Marlow obtained the backing of 13 Democratic county chairmen at a meeting held March 31 in the 10th District city of Clarksville, according to Marlow spokesman Emil Runge.

Although this is the candidate’s first foray into politics, his name is not unknown in local Democratic circles. His father, Buddy Marlow, served as mayor of Lincolnton. The campaign staff Marlow has assembled, including Jeff DiSantis, former executive director of the state Democratic Party, and Runge, former state Democratic Party communications director, likely will bolster his rookie political effort.

As for campaign issues, Marlow told the AJC that he won’t shy away from Iraq on the campaign trail:

He’s eager to talk about health care, education, and the creation of good jobs. “Iraq is obviously an issue,” he said.

As we said yesterday, it’s clear that Democrats think it’s to their advantage to talk about the Middle East in this race.

Marlow says he’s an eager defender of America, but is also a defender of American troops. In the latter category, he places decent treatment for wounded soldiers and armor for those in battle.

It also means – and this may become his catch phrase – “not putting troops in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong numbers.” Competency, in other words.

While Bush won this district twice by hefty margins (63% and 65%, in that order), but Clinton was able to win it twice in the ’90s.  And, according to the Marlow, the district has had no trouble voting for Democrats on the state level:

As for those who think the Tenth too Republican to elect him, Marlow points out that Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, Attorney General Thurbert Baker, and Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond all carried the district. All, of course, were Democrats.

Georgia hasn’t been a bright spot for Democrats recently, but special elections have the habit of producing unpredictable outcomes.  The upcoming race to fill Georgia’s 10th could be worth keeping an eye on.

On the web: Marlow for Georgia

Race Tracker: GA-10

The Draft Brad Miller Movement Continues (NC-Sen)

As always, crossposted at BlueNC, and kos.

On January 23rd I announced a movement to try and convince Brad Miller to run against Elizabeth Dole.  That led to my first reccomended diary on dailykos.  That thread (and my signature) has led to over $500 in donations to Brad.  While that may seem like a small amount in terms of what is needed to run for Senate (and it is), it is a sign to Brad that we want him to run, and that we think he can win.

Follow below, as I once again lay out the case for Brad.

First, Elizabeth Dole is Vulnerable.  If you dont believe me, here is my case:
She is below 50 percent in three different polls.  She is down to Easley.  She is under 50% against Etheridge.  And, her overall numbers are questionable at best.

She doesnt live in North Carolina.

At the beginning of this year she had under 250 thousand dollars in the bank.

She has been happily complicit in the Navy’s plan to steal land from family farmers, destroy one of the great bird refuges in the nation, and put our pilots’ lives at risk.

Next, Brad Miller is not only a great representative, he gets the netroots:
He has been blogging longer than I have.

He posts on other people’s threads.

He will be at YearlyKos (for the second time?)

Brad is part of the middle class.  Even while in Congress, where many people expand their wealth, Brad is worth between 60 and 260 thousand dollars.

He now has subpoena power, and is using it to do things like investigate Google on behalf of New Orleans.

Brad isnt a BlueDog.  He isnt a this, that or anything else.  He is a representative of his constiuents.  In fact, the only caucus he is a member of (as far as I know) is the one he founded, the Community College Caucus.

What else can I say…
Well, Brad was outspent in his last congressional race, but because his opponent was so loved, Brad won an overwhelming victory.

North Carolina is slowly trending Blue.  We now have a lead in the congressional delegation, and will be adding at least one seat to that lead in 2008.  But, more importantly, in 2008 in North Carolina we will elect our governor and council of state.  On the Democratic side we have two amazing candidates in the Lt Gov and State Treasurer.  The Republicans have two self financed wing nuts and a former judge who has sold himself to a man whose job is destroying the NCGOP from within.  To say that this will aid our turnout is an understatement.

In 2008, if Obama or Edwards wins the nomination, there will be a presidential campaign in North Carolina.  I cant stress enough how important a true 50-state strategy will be here.
More to the point about Brad, I believe that his strengths position him perfectly to unseat Dole.  North Carolina is in a state of transition right now.  We have a large number of people moving to the state from across the country.  While many of these people call themselves Republicans, they are often union friendly and middle class Republicans.  The type that have been increasingly voting for the Whitehouse type of candidate instead of the Chafee type.  The type of voter that supports raising the minimum wage, increasing health care, and doesnt appreciate corruption.

Elizabeth Dole has voted against the minimum wage at every oppurtunity.  She has voted against accountability on the Iraq War.  She doesnt support a change in our health care system.  She is a strong supporter of the Every Child Screwed Over act.  And, she is thrilled to take on the mantle of Jesse Helms.

On the other hand, Brad Miller has been one of the most consistent voices against the Iraq War.  He has used his time in the house to support the working class, to support people who arent asking for anything more than an oppurtunity to succeed through hard work.  He has been a strong voice for education.
Let me give you some quotes from Brad:

But if President Bush really listened to parents and teachers he would know already that without funding to close achievement gaps, No Child Left Behind is just one more mandatory test. His failure to provide the promised funding for education is leaving every child behind

I think Republicans know their party is in serious trouble over the failed policies in Iraq. But the Republicans in Congress have no plan except to give the president everything he wants with no strings attached. I hope at some point they can prevail upon President Bush to change policy.

Some of the interest group ratings for Congressman Miller (All from Project Vote Smart):

Never below 100% from NARAL or Planned Parenthood
He has never scored below 90% for the NAACP.
He was endorsed by EqualityNC in his NC legislature races.
While in Congress he has gotten ratings of 100, 95 and 100 from the NEA.  While in the NC Legislature he got ratings of 88 and 100 from the NCAE.
He has scored 95 percent or better from the League of Conservation Voters.
His scores from Union groups are consistently above 85%

To be honest, I am struggling to pull all of this together into one single sentence that sums up why I want Brad Miller to run for the Senate.  On every issue, Brad has a better position from my point of view.  Even if that wasnt true, Brad has taken stands on what he believes, while she has voted the Bush line without question.  To put it bluntly, I cant imagine anyone who is reading this (except the Republican lurkers) not understanding why Brad is a better choice for our country.  You might not agree that he can win, and I would be more than willing to argue that out, but replacing Dole with Miller would allow North Carolina to do a great service for our nation’s future. 

If all of this has convinced you…
I would ask that you think about donating.  If you are unwilling to do that, please contact the DSCC, and tell them why you believe in Brad Miller.
The letter that I sent to the DSCC about 2 weeks ago, when Senator Schumer asked for names, said this:

Brad Miller would be a great candidate to put forward against Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina.  The 2006 election cycle showed that candidates who understand the middle class can win no matter where they are.  From Red Montana to Purple Ohio we saw candidates with strong, progressive messages win.  Elizabeth Dole is the most vulnerable Republican currently running.  She is already having to beg for cash from her fellow Republican Senators.  We have a chance to put a nail in her coffin, while giving our party’s nominee a great shot at an extra 15 electoral votes.  I know that there has been an effort to run Mike Easley against her.  I also know that he has said no.  I would reccomend walking away from him.  We can win in the south with Democrats without acting like Republicans.  All it needs is a strong candidate with a good message.  Brad Miller understands the middle class.  He understands North Carolina.  If you convinced him to run he would  instantly become the favorite netroots candidate, ensuring hundreds of volunteers from across the country.  I hope you will consider him.

House 2008: Open Seat Watch (April)

Another month, another opportunity to pause and take stock of all the potential retirements by some of the sun-ravaged mummy husks currently occupying the House of Representatives. Like last time, I’ve put together two charts: one tracking definite retirements and the other potential retirements, listing each district by its incumbent, PVI, and the representative’s age on election day in 2008. With a fresh batch of House retirement speculation straight from Karl “MC” Rove himself, the potential open seat playing field has expanded considerably.

Definite House Retirements

District Incumbent Party PVI Age Notes
CA-52 Hunter R R+9.3 60 Running for President
CO-02 Udall D D+8.1 58 Running for Senate
IL-04 Gutierrez D D+30.7 54 Retiring

Since last time, there’s been only one addition to the definite list of retirements (Hunter), and one subtraction: an astute reader sent us this Roll Call link from last December, which indicates that Elton Gallegly is intending to run again in 2008. Still, he was marked by Rove as a potential retirement in the GSA Powerpoint, so he won’t be going from our other watchlist anytime soon:

Potential House Retirements

District Incumbent Party PVI Age Notes
AK-AL Young R R+14.3 75 Speculation*
AL-02 Everett R R+13.2 72 Speculation/Rumors
CA-24 Gallegly R R+4.8 64 Botched a retirement attempt in 2006*
CA-25 McKeon R R+7.1 70 Speculation*
CA-41 Lewis R R+9.0 74 Speculation*
DE-AL Castle R D+6.5 69 Health issues*
FL-10 Young R D+1.1 78 Age issues/Speculation*
IL-14 Hastert R R+4.8 67 Hastert issues*
IN-07 Carson D D+8.7 70 Health issues
IA-03 Boswell D D+1.4 74 Health issues
IA-04 Latham R D+0.4 60 Possible Senate run
IA-05 King R R+8.4 59 Possible Senate run
LA-01 Jindal R R+18.5 37 Running for Governor*
LA-06 Baker R R+6.5 60 Possible Senate run
MD-06 Bartlett R R+12.8 82 Age issues*
ME-01 Allen D D+6.2 63 Likely Senate run
MI-03 Ehlers R R+9.0 74 Speculation*
MI-09 Knollenberg R R+0.1 75 Speculation*
MT-AL Rehberg R R+10.8 53 Possible Senate run
NC-09 Myrick R R+12.2 67 Speculation*
NE-02 Terry R R+9.0 46 Possible Senate run
OH-16 Regula R R+3.6 84 Age issues/Speculation*
TX-04 Hall R R+17.1 85 Age issues
VA-11 Davis R R+0.6 59 Possible Senate run*
WY-AL Cubin R R+19.4 61 Speculation*

All districts marked with an asterisk* were identified as possible open seats in the Rove-generated GSA presentation.

On the face of it, there could potentially be a fair bit of open red turf to play in next year. One district I have my eye on is Richard Baker’s LA-06. While Kerry won only 40% of the vote there in 2004 (and Gore 43% in 2000), the game could potentially be quite different in 2008. Baton Rouge, the population center of this district, absorbed between 50,000 to 100,000 Hurricane Katrina and Rita refugees from New Orleans since 2005. You can bet that Sen. Mary Landrieu will be mining all of the displaced (and presumably Democratic) voters she can in her re-election bid next year; a strong Democratic House challenger would be well-placed to ride on those coattails. Throw an open seat into the mix, and things could get very, very interesting.

AR-Sen Huckabee Will Not Challenge Pryor

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said he will not abandon his presidential campaign to mount a challenge against incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor. Huckabee’s name has often been mentioned as a strong GOP challenger against the first term senator.


Despite modest fundraising that continues to trail well behind Republican frontrunners, Mike Huckabee said Friday he remains focused on his 2008 presidential bid and will not challenge Sen. Mark Pryor next year.

“The rumors have been out there and I need to put them to bed. I don’t see it happening,” Huckabee said of the possibility he would drop out of his run for president to take on Pryor, a first-term Democrat.

“There are no ifs on this one. I have a race I’m in, and I’m committed to it.”

The former Arkansas governor was in Washington on Friday for a flurry of fundraisers and media appearances in advance of today’s deadline for quarterly financial statements.

He said the first quarterly report for his presidential exploratory committee will show he has raised about $500,000, which he said was his goal.


Another Indication of the NRSC Behind the 8-Ball

[Cross posted at my blog, Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Let’s revisit candidate filing for the 2006 cycle.  At this point in the 2006 cycle (i.e. April 1, 2005), 9 of the 28 listed Senate non-incumbent challengers had filed, or just about one-third.  At this point, the Republicans had seen Bob Corker, Mark Kennedy, and Tom Kean Jr. file.  The Democrats saw Amy Klobuchar, Bob Casey, and Sheldon Whitehouse file.  In other words, while there is lots of time left to recruit candidates and to see strong challengers file, both parties should have a couple promising candidates to point to at this point.

The Democrats, right now, can point to Mark Udall well-situated in Colorado for a pick-up.  In New Hampshire, Sprintin’ John Sununu lost in a hypothetical match-up to former Governor Jeanne Shaheen by 10 points, suggesting that she is the #1 potential recruit for the Democrats – though a spirited primary is underway with promising candidates.  In Minnesota, Al Franken went from being down 20 points in mid-February, right after announcing, to being only down 10 points a month later.  Mid-April polling will give us a fuller indication of the direction of this possible trend.  Additionally, strong candidates are considering races in Alabama, Maine, and Nebraska.  There is clearly still much work to be done as the year goes in, particularly in states like Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia if Democrats are to take full advantage of the political opportunities before them.

And how are the NRSC and the Republicans doing?  Well, not so good.  There are twelve Democratic incumbents and one open seat.  Let’s run through all thirteen potential battlegrounds, starting with the open seat.

Colorado (open seat): The CO-GOP just saw their top candidate back out of the race and back-ups like state AG Suthers have some conservatives less than enthused.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Arkansas (Senator Mark Pryor): Just yesterday, it was reported that former Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, perhaps the only candidate that a weakened AR-GOP could put up to make the race competitive, has ruled out a Senate challenge.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Delaware (Senator Joe Biden): GOP Rep. Mike Castle is perhaps the only Republican who could offer even a somewhat challenging race against Biden, but he seems to have indicated, for yet another cycle, that he isn’t interested.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Illinois (Senator Richard Durbin): The IL-GOP is reduced to begging wealthy conservatives to martyr themselves in a self-funded campaign to prevent Durbin from having a total cake-walk re-election.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Iowa (Senator Tom Harkin): Right now, the IA-GOP Senate primary consists of two token candidates in tongue-tied conservative Steve Rathje and part-time tae kwon do instructor Bob McDowell.  Iowa’s several flawed Republican Congresspeople and former Congresspeople are all still biding their time.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Louisiana (Senator Mary Landrieu): Senator Landrieu is supposed to be the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent.  Then how come nobody has stepped up to her yet?  Bobby Jindal seems to be the state’s most popular Republican.  But he is running for Governor, not Senate.  And against a statewide GOP officeholder and potential opponent, LA Sec. of State Jay Dardenne, Landrieu vastly exceeds expectations, winning 53-38, as some Republican Congresspeople take their names out of the running.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Massachusetts (Senator John Kerry): There are two legitimate challengers (Harvard-Pilgrim CEO Charles Baker and former Governor Paul Cellucci) and one “spectacle” challenger (Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling) that could make a race against Senator Kerry.  Baker and Schilling have taken their names out of the running and Cellucci has indicated no interest, particularly in endorsing Rudy Guiliani for President over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  The rest of the MA-GOP is fairly irrelevant-to-nonexistant right now.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Michigan (Senator Carl Levin): There hasn’t been a single substantial peep of noise from the MI-GOP regarding a Senate challenger; and speculation rests primarily (if not only) on the wives of former Michigan politicians.  In the words of police officers everywhere, “Nothing to see here, folks.”  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Montana (Senator Max Baucus): Despite the redness of Montana in Presidential races, the MT-Dems have had major successes including the races of Governor Brian Schweitzer and Senator Jon Tester, as well as significant shifts in the Montana state Legislature.  Also, Baucus is extremely popular in Montana.  The only candidate who could even give Baucus a challenge is GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, who the NRSC must be courting like crazy, only to get zero sustained interest so far.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

New Jersey (Senator Frank Lautenberg): I expected the NJ-GOP to kick this potential race into gear early, but we’ve heard practically nothing from them.  Lautenberg’s relatively low approvals aren’t as big of a concern as they’d be in another state, as NJ-Dems can get (re-)elected with low approvals (see: 2006’s Menendez v. Kean Jr.).  And the NJ-GOP’s strongest potential candidate, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, has taken himself out of the running, leaving, at best, a B-team for the NJ-GOP and NRSC to look at.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

Rhode Island (Senator Jack Reed): The RI-GOP has been even quieter than the MI-GOP.  In 2006, moderate-to-liberal Republican Lincoln Chafee got bounced primarily for having an R next to his name.  Reed is very popular and the RI-GOP bench is slim.  Again, “Nothing to see here.”  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

South Dakota (Senator Tim Johnson): Senator Johnson is extremely popular and recovering from a serious health malady.  It is unclear how the SD-GOP will approach this race.  A political attack on Johnson while he is recovering could seriously backfire.  Meanwhile, it is unclear if Johnson will run for re-election or not, though indications are that he will, barring a health setback.  Had ultra-conservative Governor Mike Rounds gotten in the race early, he might have stood a chance, but now the SD-GOP and NRSC have to sit on their hands and wait.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

West Virginia (Senator Jay Rockefeller): The WV-GOP has been almost as quiet as the MI-GOP and RI-GOP.  At most, they have rumors, but not a single WV Republican has stepped forward, as they wait to see if GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito wants to take a shot.  As Capito and other WV Republicans expect this term to be Senator Robert Byrd’s last, they’ll likely wait out that seat for an open race than challenge Rockefeller.  NRSC success or failure so far?  Failure.

So there you go.  The Democrats certainly have some recruiting work to do in some key states, but they have also seen some early success with the ball rolling in other states.  Meanwhile, the NRSC is objectively a resounding 0-for-13 so far in challenges to open seats and Democratic-held seats.