OR-SEN: State’s Biggest Paper Endorses Novick

From  Sunday’s Oregonian, the state’s largest paper–serving about 1 in 10 Oregonians:

For Democratic Senate nominee: Steve Novick

Oregon Democrats have long coveted the seat of Sen. Gordon Smith, the only Republican currently holding statewide office. They consider him vulnerable because of the way he has supported the policies of an unpopular president while managing to rile many in his party. And in a year in which Democrats are expected to gain ground in Congress, they just may be right.

We think the candidate they should send to face Smith is, in some ways, the unlikeliest one of all: Steve Novick, an Ivy League lawyer who stands 4′-9″ and has a hook instead of a left hand.

This choice is unorthodox not just because of Novick’s remarkable personal characteristics and history, but because the Democratic Party establishment is supporting another solid candidate, Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley. Merkley launched his campaign after other prominent Oregon Democrats decided not to undertake the rigors and risks of a race against a well-heeled incumbent.


{ the closer, below}

Merkley has been everything Oregonians could want in a House speaker. Even his opponents harbor him little ill-will, crediting him with restoring a measure of civility to a divided chamber. But watching this campaign, Democrats may want to take a sharper course.

Novick is an unusual man with an unusual resume — characteristics that some suggest aren’t suited to the U.S. Senate. But we think his passion, his intellect and his personal style give him an intriguing combination of qualities that most senators don’t possess.

We think Novick represents a bold choice for Democrats who seek to dislodge a veteran incumbent. He has the potential to press Smith as he has done Merkley. And, should he pull off what would be a major electoral upset and go to Washington as the new junior senator from Oregon, he has the potential to make Oregonians proud.

Whatever you may think of The O’s board, the value of their endorsement, or their winning percentage, they certainly understand what Steve’s approach is and why it looks so appealing to a lot of people. “Passion, intellect and personal style” is a good way to wrap it up.

They also recognize the strange and magnificient electoral cycle we’re in, and the possibilities for a more sweeping change that brings us better Democrats, not more Democrats. More straight talk, less parsing. A return to greater equity between work and wealth, people and corporations. A decency towards all men and women, and a fierce revival of the keystones of our American goverment–privacy, freedom, peace through defensive strength and strong diplomacy, and economic justice.

For Democratic Senate nominee: Steve Novick

You bet your ass. One can never tell what the impact of a newspaper endorsement will be, and I think most would agree that their influence has steadily declined over the years.

However, The O is still the Pacific Northwest’s largest circulating paper according to Wikipedia, and stands as the established media’s preeminent presence in the state. Had the paper chosen Merkley I think most would have written it off as the expected move; that they were seemingly so impressed by Novick during his interview (and I did hear from witnesses that he absolutely crushed it) is rather more notable. It’s always more of a story when the nontraditional candidate gets the nod, and this endorsement is no different.

By my count, that gives Novick:

*The most coveted individual (fmr gov Kitzhaber)

*The most coveted organization (Oregon Education Association)

*The most coveted newspaper (Oregonian)

*The coolest endorsement to “the kids” (Michael Stipe of REM, Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, and a number of others)

With just a week until ballots are delivered, and less than a month until they are counted, Novick appears to be gaining momentum for victory.  

LA-06, MS-01: More DCCC Expenditures

The DCCC’s been keeping busy.

Saturday night:

  • LA-06: $8000 in field organizing for Don Cazayoux; $8800 in media production.
  • MS-01: $8000 for a media buy against Greg Davis and for Travis Childers; $3000 in media production.
  • And today:

  • LA-06: $4000 in field organizing for Don Cazayoux; $29,000 in direct mail against Woody Jenkins; and $1300 for media production.
  • MS-01: $17,000 for direct mail against Greg Davis.
  • Total spent to date by the DCCC in these races: $747,110 in LA-06 and $401,364 in MS-01 (with roughly $250K of that coming after the April 22nd special primary).

    Will Bardwell has the audio clip on YouTube of a DCCC radio ad hitting Greg Davis for his support of Bush’s disastrous policies in Iraq and at home.  Obviously this ad is carefully targeted, but it’s reassuring to know that the big boys are delivering some well-placed punches here.

    On our end, while the Swing State Project is striving to raise $2300 for Travis Childers by May 5th, we’re only $15 short of our daily goal of $200 (or $1500 total).  Will a hero emerge?  If you haven’t done so already, please consider making a donation today — anything you can manage will help a great deal.

    MS-01: Racist Attack Ad

    Greg Davis is further showing the racist tent of the white suburbia Republican party. They are going back to their old tatics, scaring people. I have to wonder why they are a party, if they only way they feel they can ever win an election is not on the merits of their own positions or ideas, but on scaring people with misleading attacks on their opponents.

    In this ad he slams Childers for not speaking out against Obama and not rejecting his nomination, pointing Obama’s preacher, and his bitter comments, trying to use the bitterness of the National Democratic Primary to hold on to seats. But it’s hard not to miss the underlying racism in it, and from Greg Davis, who accepted an award from White Leadership Council we can expect no less.

    This ad makes me think two things. One, is that this could really back on Davis. It could fail to stoke up his conservative base completely, and it could, (and I see it going down this way), get the black vote stirred up this time and out to the polls. Last time Childers failed to win before the runoff because the black vote failed to come out, Davis won a county with a population that was almsot 50% black, and that normally leans Democratic.

    It also makes me more frustrated over the negative nature of the Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton’s attacks are getting so vile and false that McCain is starting to repeat them to hurt Obama. She’s splintering our base into pieces, hurting our likely candidate with moderates, and at the same time ensuring that if she is the nominee many Obama supporters will not likely stomach voting for her, she would depress Democratic turnout. So she’s doing herself no favors, she’s not even looking ahead in the long run, and just trying to scrape through the primary no matter what the costs.

    Here’s the ad as it was posted on Chris Cillizza’s “The Fix”, which is a really good blog, but I would only suggest checking it every month or so because he doesn’t post profolicly. http://blog.washingtonpost.com…

    I, as a white, southern male, the most suspect group, found that the it was sly bit of racism, and a fear ad. An ad trying to tie the local candidate to some scary, offensive outta town guy trying to destroy your way of life, ad. My thought, though, is just how much people will buy into this one, trying to connect Childers to a retired Pastor living a thousand miles to the north of the district, a man he’s never even met, is suspect at best, and an accusation he easily defend. Mississippi has come a long way since 1959, when everyone from Memphis to Jackson called Faulkner “nigger lovin Willie”, for saying that we should gradually integrate, starting with the next generation, and when white men got away with murdering black teenagers for absolutely no reason. But Davis has shown as candidate, that’s there’s still a big place for it, especially in the wealthy white suburbs of Memphis.  

    IN-Gov: Two New Polls Offer Mixed Signals

    SurveyUSA (4/25-27, likely voters, 4/11-13 in parens):

    Jill Long Thompson (D): 48 (46)

    Jim Schellinger (D): 36 (38)

    Undecided: 16 (16)

    (MoE: ±4%)

    This Indianapolis Star-WTHR poll has a different take (4/23-4/24, likely voters):

    Jill Long Thompson (D): 26

    Jim Schellinger (D): 28

    Undecided: 46

    (MoE: ±4.2%)

    General election match-ups:

    Jim Schellinger (D): 41

    Mitch Daniels (R-inc): 45

    Jill Long Thompson (D): 44

    Mitch Daniels (R-inc): 43

    NV-03: Daskas Drops Out (Updated)

    Whoa.  Is the top Democratic candidate challenging GOP Rep. Jon Porter on the verge of dropping out of the race?  That’s what the Ralton Flash says.  Here’s the House Race Hotline (sub. NOT req’d, for now) summary:

    Clark Co. prosecutor Robert Daskas (D) is “on verge of dropping out of race” against Rep. Jon Porter (R), according to NV analyst Jon Ralston. An announcement is “expected soon,” but he’s likely to cite “personal reasons” for dropping the race. The DCCC is “already courting” state Senate Min. Leader/’06 GOV nominee Dina Titus (D).

    If accurate, this would be a big setback for Democrats.  Daskas’ fundraising pace has been decent, and he’s sitting on $450K cash-on-hand as of April 1st (good enough to earn him a 44% CoH competitiveness rating), and any late-entering challenger would start out well behind the curve in the money race.

    Dina Titus has already declined a chance to run against Porter this cycle, so I’m not sure if she’d be a willing replacement here.

    If confirmed, this would be a disturbing turn of events in this D+1 district.

    UPDATE: Yup, he’s definitely out.  Here’s the statement from the Daskas campaign:

    Citing family considerations, Robert Daskas has announced his decision to withdraw his candidacy for Nevada’s Third Congressional District.  The Daskas campaign has every confidence that another strong, viable candidate will enter the race and unseat incumbent Jon Porter.  Daskas thanks everyone for their support and asks supporters to stay focused on the common goal of changing our representative in the Third Congressional District.  Democrats now hold a 22,500 voter registration advantage over Republicans in the district.

    Nevada’s filing deadline: May 16

    Later Update: The Politico says that Titus is in:

    Democrats have already recruited a new candidate, Nevada Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, who may announce as soon as tomorrow that she’s entering the race. Titus has statewide name recognition, and Democrats hope that she can raise enough money quickly to challenge Porter in November.

    “Dina Titus would be an excellent candidate with unparalleled experience and support from people in Nevada’s 3rd congressional district,” DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). “Her vision, strength, and ability to get things done for Nevada would make her a powerful voice for change.”

    PA-05: McCracken for Congress — Progress Report — 4/28/08

    The last 4 months have been exciting and rewarding to travel around the 5th district campaigning.  I’ve learned a lot about the district, the people and myself in the process.  It all came to a climax on Tuesday, April 22nd as the voters in the 5th district went to the polls to select who would be the 2 remaining candidates to continue on to the November 4th general election.

    From a personal standpoint, I learned that in politics, the best thing you can do is plan your strategy and stay the course.  You have to be honest with the people, explain where you stand on the issues important to the people you want to represent and trust their instincts when they go to the polls.

    As Kelly, Amanda and I watched the election returns on Tuesday evening I couldn’t help but wonder if I had done enough to get our message out to the voters in the 5th district.  Kelly was nervous and Amanda’s only concern was “Is daddy winning?”  At the end of the evening, just after 11:00 PM, both of the area TV stations called the election in our favor.  A short time later, both of my opponents called to offer their congratulations and I gave them both thanks for the positive, clean campaigns they both ran.  

    Waking up on Wednesday, I have to admit I was still overwhelmed by results from the night before.  The day found many people calling and stopping in the office to offer congratulations.  In the evening, I traveled to Reynoldsville for the monthly meeting of the Jefferson County Democratic Committee.  It was fitting that I was making my first appearance as the Democratic nominee for 5th district at the same meeting I attended as my first event as an official candidate back in January.  

    Of course, the reality is that for everything we accomplished on Tuesday, the real work began on Wednesday morning.  It is going to be busy between now and November 4th.  I’ll continue to keep everyone updated on how the campaign is going.  If you know of any events that we should be attending, please email the campaign and let us know.  Also, if you have any ideas to help reach out to the voters please forward them to the campaign.  

    I’ll conclude with this.  Most of the media interviews I had on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning all asked “Can you win this seat in November?”  After about the fifth or sixth time I got the question, I finally responded “We can and we will.

    Mark B. McCracken

    Your Candidate For Congress


    This diary is cross-posted at McCracken’s campaign blog, PA’s Blue Fifth

    Mark McCracken for Congress

    ActBlue page

    SSP Cash Power Rankings: 1Q Senate Edition

    Just as we did yesterday for the House race scene, SSP has ranked the Senate races this year in terms of their cash-on-hand competitiveness. This measure reflects the ratio of the challenger’s cash-on-hand to that of the incumbent. The only difference is that this time, in the interest of comprehensiveness, we’ve included several candidates who are defending open seats currently held by their party (marked in italics) and slotted them in the incumbent column — because, hey, we had to stick ’em somewhere. So without further ado:

    Rank State Candidate Party CoH Incumbent* Party CoH Rating
    1 VA Mark Warner D 4,384,294 Jim Gilmore R 208,133 2106%
    2 NM Tom Udall D 2,582,990 Steve Pearce R 855,203 302%
    3 NM Tom Udall D 2,582,990 Heather Wilson R 1,196,053 216%
    4 CO Mark Udall D 4,236,533 Bob Schaffer R 2,160,863 196%
    5 ME Tom Allen D 2,687,701 Susan Collins R 4,511,493 60%
    6 MN Al Franken D 3,491,480 Norm Coleman R 6,960,913 50%
    7 NJ Rob Andrews D 2,232,312 Frank Lautenberg D 4,702,249 47%
    8 NH Jeanne Shaheen D 1,837,539 John Sununu R 4,313,762 43%
    9 LA John Kennedy R 1,623,391 Mary Landrieu D 4,564,082 36%
    10 ID Larry LaRocco D 253,707 Jim Risch R 935,876 27%
    11 OK Andrew Rice D 597,478 Jim Inhofe R 2,221,848 27%
    12 NE Scott Kleeb D 281,095 Mike Johanns R 1,335,390 21%
    13 AK Mark Begich D 204,207 Ted Stevens R 1,318,722 15%
    14 IL Steve Sauerberg R 1,074,982 Richard Durbin D 7,567,277 14%
    15 MS-B Ronnie Musgrove D 337,249 Roger Wicker R 2,765,229 12%
    16 KY Greg Fischer D 854,557 Mitch McConnell R 7,741,422 11%
    17 NE Tony Raimondo D 140,720 Mike Johanns R 1,335,390 11%
    18 NC Kay Hagan D 312,000 Elizabeth Dole R 3,200,000 10%
    19 KS Jim Slattery D 286,125 Pat Roberts R 2,986,794 10%
    20 OR Jeff Merkley D 473,833 Gordon Smith R 5,149,251 9%
    21 GA Jim Martin D 333,132 Saxby Chambliss R 3,637,392 9%
    22 KY Bruce Lunsford D 666,373 Mitch McConnell R 7,741,422 9%
    23 TN Bob Tuke D 217,093 Lamar Alexander R 2,874,512 8%
    24 SC Buddy Witherspoon R 257,911 Lindsey Graham R 4,777,019 5%
    25 OR Steve Novick D 197,007 Gordon Smith R 5,149,251 4%
    26 TX Rick Noriega D 329,294 John Cornyn R 8,688,954 4%
    27 WY-B Nick Carter D 26,743 John Barrasso R 1,139,381 2%
    28 MA Jim Ogonowski R 186,929 John Kerry D 9,323,486 2%
    29 AL Vivian Figures D 44,628 Jeff Sessions R 4,033,195 1%
    30 SD Joel Dykstra R 20,393 Tim Johnson D 2,523,586 1%
    31 MT Kirk Bushman R 8,097 Max Baucus D 6,394,024 0%
    32 SD Sam Kephart R 2,107 Tim Johnson D 2,523,586 0%
    33 MT Michael Lange R 1,976 Max Baucus D 6,394,024 0%

    A few notes:

    • There are several incumbent Senators who have either not drawn challengers, or their opponents have not filed FEC reports: Biden (DE), Cochran (MS-A), Enzi (WY), Harkin (IA), Levin (MI), Pryor (AR), Reed (RI), and Rockefeller (WV).
    • These numbers were compiled from the National Journal and the Senate Guru.

    MS-01: What a Childers Win Means for Iraq

    You already know the basics: Travis Childers supports withdrawing our troops from Iraq in 12 to 18 months, a timeframe that every serious analyst acknowledges is safe and reasonable. Large majorities are in favor of withdrawal, so it’s especially heartening to see a Democrat in a red district embrace this stance. And it’s one of the many reasons we’re supporting him.

    But a Childers win will reverberate far outside MS-01 when it comes to Iraq. Other potentially vulnerable Democrats in conservative areas will be able to look at this race and conclude that if Childers can succeed in an R+10 district running (at least in part) on Iraq withdrawal, they can, too.

    This is crucial because Dems are planning to vote on withdrawal once again this year. I think we know Bush won’t budge, but DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen says nuts to that:

    “There are some people who would say, ‘OK, why are you going through this exercise again, if the president is going to veto this?’ We have a responsibility to do everything we can to follow through on the changes we say we want made,” Van Hollen said. “I think it is a question of demonstrating where you stand, and what you will do, and continue to push to do, if you are elected in November.”

    Van Hollen gets it – it’s about sending the right message. Childers can help send that message with his own vote, but just as importantly, he can also help make it a lot louder by giving fellow Democrats the courage to take the right stand on Iraq. Remember, only six Democrats hold seats as red or redder than MS-01. A Congressman Childers would offer a whole lot of Dems a whole lot of breathing room.

    What’s more, I think Childers has figured out a devastatingly effective way to sell his position to voters:

    He said he’s amazed more people on the campaign trail haven’t asked about a national debt of more than $9 trillion.

    “We’re spending our money, folks, in Iraq. We need to be spending our money in America.

    “We need to help young people get homes. We need to address the mortgage crisis.”

    By linking withdrawal from Iraq with a populist appeal that addresses deep concerns about the economy, Childers knocks Republicans back on their heels with a one-two punch. This goes right at core GOP weaknesses, and I think it’s an approach that can play in many districts.

    But all of this only matters, of course, if Childers gets elected – which is why we need to do everything we can to help him. Thanks to the generosity of the Swing State Project community, we’ve raised an impressive $1,300 so far. That puts us an even $1,000 away from original goal. But we really have very little time here. The election is only two weeks away, and money received by a campaign in the final week is more difficult to deploy strategically.

    So I would really like to see us hit our target by Monday, May 5th. Can we add another $200 today? Let’s do it for Childers – and for our troops.

    Update (James): Actblue seems to be have had a few server issues this morning, although things seem to be working fine now.  If you have trouble accessing our fundraising page, please try again a little bit later.

    SSP Cash Power Rankings: 1Q House Edition

    Back in 2006, DavidNYC posted a chart tracking the top 50 House challengers in terms of their cash-on-hand competitiveness. In other words, he divided challenger CoH by incumbent CoH to arrive at a “competitiveness” percentage for each race. It’s a useful measure because, as David said at the time:

    If you’ve got $500K, that’s all well-and-good – but your opponent has $2M, then you’ve got a lot of ground to make up.

    So let’s take a look at the top 75 non-open seat House races this cycle in terms of each challenger’s cash-on-hand competitiveness, listed on the far right. You’ll notice that of the top ten challengers, eight of them are Democrats. Only 26 of the top 75 challengers are Republicans.

    Rank District Challenger Party CoH Incumbent Party CoH Chal. %age
    1 ID-01 Minnick D 327,909 Sali R 124,191 264%
    2 TX-07 Skelly D 666,506 Culberson R 270,726 246%
    3 NY-29 Massa D 565,320 Kuhl R 365,722 155%
    4 WA-08 Burner D 921,615 Reichert R 698,035 132%
    5 NY-13 Recchia D 325,175 Fossella R 248,496 131%
    6 MI-07 Schauer D 751,359 Walberg R 604,466 124%
    7 OH-02 Wulsin D 212,410 Schmidt R 176,670 120%
    8 FL-24 Kosmas D 580,940 Feeney R 549,237 106%
    9 GA-13 Honeycutt R 206,033 Scott D 195,432 105%
    10 TN-04 Lankford R 201,117 Davis D 199,306 101%
    11 VA-10 Feder D 700,046 Wolf R 715,954 98%
    12 CT-04 Himes D 1,105,211 Shays R 1,137,726 97%
    13 NH-01 Bradley R 516,105 Shea-Porter D 545,837 95%
    14 IN-03 Montagano D 267,771 Souder R 293,000 91%
    15 VA-05 Perriello D 500,274 Goode R 593,133 84%
    16 MO-06 Barnes D 954,363 Graves R 1,132,310 84%
    17 SC-02 Miller D 203,475 Wilson R 255,765 80%
    18 AZ-03 Lord D 632,485 Shadegg R 937,672 67%
    19 KS-02 Jenkins R 486,228 Boyda D 811,225 60%
    20 FL-09 Dicks D 312,402 Bilirakis R 521,511 60%
    21 FL-16 Valeche R 589,380 Mahoney D 1,032,397 57%
    22 KS-02 Ryun R 459,048 Boyda D 811,225 57%
    23 WI-08 Gard R 427,903 Kagen D 760,112 56%
    24 NJ-05 Shulman D 245,549 Garrett R 457,521 54%
    25 CA-50 Leibham D 239,584 Bilbray R 449,284 53%
    26 KY-03 Northup R 428,205 Yarmuth D 811,722 53%
    27 NC-10 Johnson D 166,188 McHenry R 325,663 51%
    28 IL-14 Oberweis R 132,717 Foster D 262,939 50%
    29 OH-01 Driehaus D 567,302 Chabot R 1,132,939 50%
    30 MI-09 Peters D 644,931 Knollenberg R 1,336,212 48%
    31 AK-AL Berkowitz D 287,306 Young R 604,268 48%
    32 NH-01 Stephen R 257,871 Shea-Porter D 545,837 47%
    33 CA-11 Andal R 531,817 McNerney D 1,153,586 46%
    34 AZ-05 Schweikert R 514,092 Mitchell D 1,121,680 46%
    35 NV-03 Daskas D 453,213 Porter R 1,033,693 44%
    36 FL-08 Stuart D 316,211 Keller R 735,113 43%
    37 FL-16 Rooney R 442,345 Mahoney D 1,032,397 43%
    38 FL-25 Garcia D 316,069 M. Diaz-Balart R 747,694 42%
    39 FL-21 Martinez D 592,605 L. Diaz-Balart R 1,451,793 41%
    40 FL-08 Smith D 295,667 Keller R 735,113 40%
    41 FL-13 Jennings D 446,436 Buchanan R 1,123,318 40%
    42 TX-10 Doherty D 122,453 McCaul R 318,097 38%
    43 TN-09 Tinker D 227,629 Cohen D 605,292 38%
    44 VA-02 Nye D 222,936 Drake R 593,620 38%
    45 NY-20 Treadwell R 928,931 Gillibrand D 2,474,445 38%
    46 CO-04 Markey D 376,372 Musgrave R 1,014,007 37%
    47 NY-13 Harrison D 91,131 Fossella R 248,496 37%
    48 KS-03 Jordan R 307,599 Moore D 889,584 35%
    49 GA-08 Goddard R 403,825 Marshall D 1,186,917 34%
    50 IL-10 Seals D 745,275 Kirk R 2,252,039 33%
    51 WV-02 Barth D 305,388 Capito R 926,562 33%
    52 AZ-05 Ogsbury R 353,094 Mitchell D 1,121,680 31%
    53 AZ-08 Bee R 525,439 Giffords D 1,672,821 31%
    54 IN-09 Sodrel R 308,643 Hill D 991,212 31%
    55 IN-04 Ackerson D 149,899 Buyer R 492,373 30%
    56 CA-45 Bornstein D 104,267 Bono Mack R 344,124 30%
    57 PA-04 Hart R 393,396 Altmire D 1,305,875 30%
    58 PA-15 Bennett D 182,829 Dent R 615,534 30%
    59 CT-05 Cappiello R 420,316 Murphy D 1,544,639 27%
    60 NJ-05 Abate D 116,215 Garrett R 457,521 25%
    61 PA-08 Manion R 416,736 Murphy D 1,659,350 25%
    62 FL-16 Harrell R 256,151 Mahoney D 1,032,397 25%
    63 PA-06 Roggio D 168,258 Gerlach R 714,579 24%
    64 AL-03 Segall D 223,616 Rogers R 957,067 23%
    65 PA-18 O’Donnell D 200,485 Murphy R 876,171 23%
    66 IN-02 Puckett R 155,266 Donnelly D 715,526 22%
    67 OH-03 Mitakides D 100,888 Turner R 496,409 20%
    68 IL-13 Harper D 103,463 Biggert R 511,741 20%
    69 NJ-04 Zeitz D 90,770 Smith R 468,385 19%
    70 PA-10 Hackett R 174,569 Carney D 966,458 18%
    71 FL-18 Taddeo D 300,532 Ros-Lehtinen R 1,722,168 17%
    72 IL-06 Morgenthaler D 163,458 Roskam R 967,286 17%
    73 NV-02 Derby D 133,763 Heller R 808,384 17%
    74 IA-02 Miller-Meeks R 68,619 Loebsack D 425,501 16%
    75 IA-04 Meyer D 108,605 Latham R 677,601 16%