NM-Sen: A Photo Finish

SurveyUSA (5/30-6/1, likely and actual voters, 5/12-14 in parens):

Steve Pearce (R): 48 (49)

Heather Wilson (R): 47 (46)

Undecided: 3 (2)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

Wilson leads among early voters by a point, but that’s well within the margin of error. With polls closing tomorrow night, this one is looking like a nailbiter.

But it sure isn’t looking like a nailbiter in November (registered voters):

Tom Udall (D): 60 (60)

Steve Pearce (R): 35 (36)

Tom Udall (D): 60 (61)

Heather Wilson (R): 36 (35)

(MoE: ±2.3%)

IL-11: Halvorson Leads Ozinga in New Poll

Anzalone-Liszt Research for Debbie Halvorson (5/18-22, likely voters):

Debbie Halvorson (D): 43

Martin Ozinga (R): 32

Jason Wallace (G): 6

Undecided: 18

(MoE: ±4.4%)

Despite this being an R+1.1 district, Democrats hold a 44%-33% generic ballot advantage over Republicans, and a 41%-35% advantage in partisan self-identification.

Certainly not a bad place to start for Halvorson. Full memo below the fold.

SSP currently rates this race as Leans Democratic.

A Democratic bench…in Wyoming?!

(This was posted in reply to Andy Dufresne in the recent WY-AL topic, but I thought this topic might merit its own entry.)

In order to build a bench in Wyoming, we’re going to have to start helping Democrats (fundraising and otherwise) to build strong positive reputations in the state, even if they have no chance of winning.  I seriously doubt that Rothfuss can win against Enzi short of a scandal (and even with a scandal it’d be hard as heck), but I believe he’s the kind of fresh new Democrat that the party could use.  Running for Senate as a scientist and policy wonk concerned about science policy–that’s an admirable goal.  It’s almost guaranteed to be insufficient to put him over the top, sure, but we’ve gotta start building a Democratic brand somewhere.

Trauner’s strong chance at the House seat and Freudenthal’s popular governorship are a good groundwork on which to start.

As for Nick Carter and Keith Goodenough (running against Barrasso) and Al Hamburg (also running against Enzi), I don’t know enough about them.  But–no offense to them–and I’d love to hear about anything interesting that they’re doing!

(Granted, I’d rather people who aren’t lawyers or career politicians to run for office, because (1) I think legislatures deal with very practical issues that people of other professional backgrounds might be better suited to manage, and (2) I don’t like it when the Republicans can point at us and say that we’re a bunch of trial lawyers, even if they’ve got their own load of trial lawyers on their side anyway.)

And just ’cause I think it’s worth posting here:



PA-05: McCracken for Congress — Progress Report — June 2nd, 2008

The upcoming week is going to be a busy week of listening and learning.  I have 3 important meetings to attend that will give me the chance to discuss important issues in the north central region.

On Monday June 2nd, I am scheduled to meet with Kirk Johnson to discuss issues surrounding the Allegheny National Forest.  Mr. Johnson is the founder of Friends of Allegheny Wilderness and he contacted me several weeks back to request a meeting to discuss the future of the Allegheny National Forest.  I have been a supporter of the PA Wilds tourism promotion initiative and I recognize that the Allegheny National Forest is large attraction for tourism in the PA Wilds region.  I look forward to speaking with Mr. Johnson and learning more details about the ANF.

On Wednesday, June 4th, I will be meeting at the Clearfield Hospital with members of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania to discuss the important issue of healthcare.  While comprehensive healthcare reform has been discussed for almost 20 years, the federal government has been consistent on only one front – the failure to enact meaningful legislation to solve the problem.  The meeting with the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania will be very valuable to learn what their association feels will be necessary to help achieve healthcare reform.

On Friday June 6th and Saturday June 7th I will be in Harrisburg attending the Democratic State Committee Meeting.  I look forward to meeting with county chairs, state committee members and other people from the 5th congressional district that will be in attendance at the meeting.  

A quick update on events from the past week.  Kelly, Amanda and I visited Centre County on Monday to attend the Memorial Day celebration in Boalsburg.  While it was a humid day, many people were out enjoying the festivities.  

On Wednesday, I traveled to Reynoldsville to attend the monthly meeting of the Jefferson County Democratic Committee.  

On Thursday, I traveled to Wellsboro, Tioga County to attend a fundraiser for PA Senate candidate Don Hilliard and later, the monthly meeting of the Tioga County Democratic Committee.  

Finally, yesterday Kelly and I made a trip to Lock Haven in Clinton County to attend a fundraiser for State Senator John Wozniak.  While at Senator Wozniak’s event, Kelly and I spent some time speaking with Rick and Marie Vilello.  After the event was over, at Rick and Marie’s urging, Kelly and I took some time visit the riverfront area and walk along the levee.  Throughout the primary campaign I listened to Mayor Rick speak with such pride about his community of Lock Haven.  After our visit today, I can see why Rick is so proud and excited about his town.

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

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NY-26: Clusterfudge Primary Gets Nuttier

With the ongoing meltdown in NY-13 in spectacular display, it’s easy to forget that there are at least three other GOP-held House seats in New York that are on the chopping block this year. In NY-26 (the seat being vacated by ex-NRCC chair/Mark Foley enabler Tom Reynolds), however, we have a crowded primary to get through before focusing our fire on the Republican, and that primary just got more crowded.

Erie County Legislator (a position equivalent to county council or county commission in most states) Kathy Konst has announced her intention to officially announce her campaign for this seat later this week. Designating petitions to get on the ballot begin circulating this week, so she’s a little late to the game, but she’s committed to spending at least $100,000 of her own funds on the primary.

“I’m beyond the exploration stage of this,” she said. “I’ll be making the decision shortly.”

There are already three candidates on the Democratic side of this primary. Jon Powers is a substitute teacher and Iraq War veteran who has already secured the endorsement of the local Democratic committees in all of NY-26’s counties and enjoys netroots backing (although I noted Matt Stoller voicing some misgivings about Powers last week).

Jack Davis was the 2006 candidate, and was basically responsible for wresting defeat from the jaws of victory against the scandal-plagued Reynolds with a tepid campaign that focused almost exclusively on trade issues and those damn kids who are always on his lawn. (Davis is in the news these days for his legal quest to overturn the “millionaire’s amendment,” in order to bring his plan to spend $3 million of his own money to win the primary to fruition.) No word on whether he plans to seek cross-endorsement from the Crazy Old Man Party this cycle. The other candidate, Alice Kryzan, is an environmental lawyer, which sounds good until you realize that she was an environmental lawyer on the side of the polluters in the Love Canal disaster.

I don’t know of anything to suggest where Konst falls in the liberal/conservative spectrum; the Buffalo News says she’s “proud of her independent reputation,” but, geez, everyone from Bernie Sanders to David Duke is proud of his independent reputation. Another question might be from whom she’ll draw votes: she’s the only elected official in the race, so she has that base of support to draw on, but the other three candidates are all also from nearby towns in the Buffalo suburbs portion of the district (she’s from Lancaster, Powers and Davis are from Clarence, and Kryzan is from Amherst), even though this district encompasses a lot of rural terrain and Rochester suburbs as well. She and Kryzan might well split the “women’s” vote, but I’m more worried about Powers and Konst splitting the “party establishment” and/or “sane” vote, allowing one of the other ones to slip through. Hopefully some polls soon will provide some clarity to this situation.

On the Republican side, Rothenberg is reporting that Iraq war vet David Bellavia will be dropping out of the race soon. This allows a clear path to the nomination for businessman Chris Lee.

CA-04: Brown Leads Ose and McClintock in New Poll

Benenson Strategy Group for Charlie Brown (5/14-15, likely voters):

Charlie Brown (D): 38

Dough Ose (R): 34

Undecided: 27

Charlie Brown (D): 42

Tom McClintock (R): 40

Undecided: 18

(MoE: ±5%)

Ose and McClintock are giving each other an absolute shellacking over the airwaves, so these are some nice numbers for Brown. Also of note — on the generic congressional ballot, Democrats and Republicans are at a 43%-43% parity, with 15% undecided. Those are dramatic numbers from an R+10.9 district.

Here are a few select favorability ratings from the poll:

McCain: 58/35
Obama: 57/34
McClintock: 39/29
Bush: 38/58
Brown: 36/18
Doolittle: 32/48
Ose: 27/28

It’ll be tough for Brown to get those few extra points that he needs to clinch a win here, but the numbers suggest that it’s certainly not impossible.

Who Am I? What Am I Doing Here?

Well, I’m Crisitunity. David and James were kind enough to ask me to write for the front page when I see fit, so you’ll be seeing more of my contributions. I have no paid connection to the world of politics, and in fact I haven’t since the summer of 1990, which I spent trudging around OR-05 canvassing for Mike Kopetski’s campaign (which, if you do the math, means I’m officially getting to be middle-aged).

As for the “What am I doing here?” part of the question, I’ll mostly be doing more of the big-picture quantitiatve stuff that I’ve been diarying about lately, although I’ll pick up any breaking polls or Republican sex scandals that otherwise fall through the cracks. I’m obsessed with all things demographic, and as we gradually get closer to 2010 and census time, I’ll be focusing more on issues of redistricting and something we need to start worrying about now: state legislature control.

Also, I’d like to keep tinkering with the PVI/Vote Index that many of you are fond of; I’ve been really blown away by the work Poblano (aka Nate Silver) has been doing lately, and would really like to start developing a more comprehensive sabermetric approach to predicting what kind of representative a district can elect and how they might vote once they’re elected. (Unfortunately, I might need something more sophisticated than Excel to make any headway on that! I’m not a professional statistician or demographer or anything close to that, just a dabbler.)

Anyway, SSP has one of the most informed and focused readerships of any blog out there, and I really look forward to hashing things out with you guys. As always, I welcome questions and comments about whatever it is I’m doing.

By the way, if you’re wondering about my handle, it’s a Simpsons reference:

Lisa: Look on the bright side, Dad. Did you know that the Chinese use the same word for ‘crisis’ as they do for ‘opportunity’?

Homer: Yes! Crisitunity.

NC-Sen: Dole Expands Her Lead in New Poll

Public Policy Polling (5/28-29, likely voters, 5/8-9 in parens):

Kay Hagan (D): 39 (43)

Elizabeth Dole (R-inc): 47 (48)

(MoE: ±4.2%)

The poll shows Hagan at 50-23 among African-American voters (with 28% undecided), down from 62-21 (with 17% undecided) earlier in the month.

Dole’s recent statewide ad blitz might have something to do with her growing margin. She’s still under 50%, but that’s the advantage of having a ten-to-one cash-on-hand advantage while your opponent refills their coffers.

Please Welcome Crisitunity!

We’re delighted to announce that long-time Swing State Project community member Crisitunity is joining us as a contributing editor. As many of you know, Crisitunity’s specialty is longer-form quantitative analysis, examples of which include the home-grown “PVI-Voting Pattern Index” and this excellent diary comparing the racial/ethnic characteristics of members of Congress and their districts. Expect to see more pieces along these lines right here on the front page.

I’ll give our newest contributing editor a chance to introduce himself, but for now, please welcome Crisitunity aboard!

NM-Sen: Pearce Leads Wilson By Six

Research & Polling Inc. for the Albuquerque Journal (5/27-29, likely voters):

Steve Pearce (R): 45

Heather Wilson (R): 39

Undecided: 16

(MoE: ±4%)

The last time we checked the pulse of this primary, Pearce was leading Wilson by three points in a SurveyUSA poll from earlier this month.

One important thing to note, however, is that this poll was taken before Pete Domenici’s last-minute endorsement of Wilson, his long-time political pupil. That may sway a few undecideds, but will it be enough?

Primary: June 3rd

(Hat-tip: NM FBIHOP)