Abandon Ship!: GOP on the run in Oregon

This diary is a fun one for me to write.  Simply put, it is about how the Republicans are absolutely losing faster than I even thought possible in my home state.  Be confident of a win in Oregon folks.

Cross-Posted from Loaded Orygun: http://www.loadedorygun.net/sh…

This diary will consist primarily of three examples of how the GOP appears to be giving up on the Beaver State:

What McCain Campaign?:

Oregon was always at best a marginal swing state for John McCain.  However it appeared for a while that he might at least try and make a show of force to at least divert some of our efforts.  As a result of that he opened an office in Oregon City (which is a fairly competitive area in Clackamas County, the least blue county making up the Portland metro).  That office now appears to have closed and the McCain campaign has officially turned over all of its efforts to the state GOP’s small group of field offices.  If there was any doubt before, McCain has now basically conceded Oregon’s 7 EVs to Obama.

Gordon Smith’s New Ad shows he has trouble with his base:

In the new ad posted below, Gordon Smith takes aim at the longstanding criticism of rural Oregonians of the role Portland plays in controlling much of the state’s politics.  This is an ad that can only be truly seen as a panicked move spurred on by weak polling among his base.  Given that Smith, and other Republicans,  now face a 9% D vs. R registration gap (which was around 3-4% when Smith last ran), the fact that he is having trouble speaks volumes about how much Jeff Merkley is surging.

The ad:

The Oregon Dems aim for five state house pickups:

Just six years ago, after the 2002 election, the Republicans held the state house by a 35-25 margin, after 2004 it was 33-27 and the Democrats took control in 2006 by a narrow 31-29 edge.  This year, sensing GOP weakness in many areas of the state, the Oregon Democrats aim for a minimum of two to three pickups this year, with hopes for more.  The GOP is not offering much resistance, as their spokeperson said a recent article (linked below), “Right now, our focus is on keeping every single seat that we have.”

Link to recent article: Democrats hope to add numbers in Oregon House

Let me know what you think.

IN-Gov: Daniels Leads by 16 in New SUSA Poll

Not looking so hot. SurveyUSA (9/28-29, likely voters, 8/16-18 in parens):

Jill Long Thompson (D): 37 (38)

Mitch Daniels (R-inc): 53 (52)

Andy Horning (L): 6 (3)

(MoE: ±3.8%)


But at least these numbers from the same poll are trending in the opposite direction:

Barack Obama (D): 45 (44)

John McCain (R): 48 (50)

(MoE: ±3.8%)

I’d be freaking out if I were a McNap fan right now.

(Thanks to Blue Indiana for flagging these nums.)

Nevada: Up Close & Personal

(Proudly cross-posted at C4O)


Last weekend, I was lucky enough to see the state of the race for myself. I traveled to the heart of Battleground Country. Because Nevada’s 5 electoral votes are up for grabs and two Nevada Republicans may lose their House seats this fall, I wanted to do something to help. That’s why I packed my bags, took some spare change for my favorite slot machines (NOT!), and made sure my family in Henderson had an extra bed for me to crash on.

I went to Vegas, baby, and I’m giving you the full report on what’s happening there!



Luckily for me, my cousin’s house is in the eye of the electoral storm. She lives in the 3rd Congressional District, the part of Nevada where Obama needs to win to carry the state… And the district where a Dina Titus win will give Democrats the majority in Nevada’s Congressional Delegation. So when I left my house on Friday, I was thrilled to go to a place where I can double the impact with the same amount of time!

When I arrived in town on Friday night, the Presidential Debate was just ending. I had listened on the radio while my friend Harriet and I were driving up the 15, and I was personally impressed by Obama’s performance. Still, I was anxious to find out what my moderate-conservative Republican cousin in Henderson thought about it. And to my surprise, she was also impressed!

Believe it or not, my Republican cousin will be voting for Democrat Barack Obama this fall. Why? Believe it or not, she may be upper middle-class… But she and her husband are still only a couple paychecks away from losing their home. Their house has now lost about $80,000 of its value while they still have to pay an “interest only mortgage” that’s now after the “interest only” period. They consider themselves blessed that they have a beautiful house in a great neighborhood just down the hill from the most exclusive estates in the Las Vegas Valley, but they still fear what would happen to them and their two kids if one of them were to have a health scare or lose a job. That’s why both my Republican cousin and her Democratic husband are voting for Obama.

And you know what? This isn’t an isolated case. In fact, I would find more of this the following two days when I strapped on my tennies and hit the pavement.




On Saturday morning, I regrouped with Harriet and joined with all the other California Obama volunteers who drove to Nevada for the weekend. Before we were sent off to knock doors, we were given the lay of the land. In just four years, Nevada has turned from a Republican plurality state into a state with 80,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans! In the 3rd District alone, Democrats now have a 29,000 voter registration edge! And now in previously GOP friendly Vegas suburbs like Henderson, voters are afraid of losing their jobs, losing their health care, losing their houses, and losing the middle-class American Dream they thought they had achieved. That’s why it was critical to get volunteers like us on the ground here to explain to voters what Democrats like  

Barack Obama and Dina Titus will do to help working people.





So that’s what we did over the next two days. We knocked doors. We talked to voters who still had doubts about Obama. We urged Obama voters to vote early. We reminded everyone not to forget Dina Titus and the state legislature candidates.

Oh yes, and we also listened. We listened as retirees told us about their health care worries. We listened as young people were telling us about their plans to finish college and get a real career. We listened to parents telling us about how they want to leave to their kids a better nation and a healthier planet. We listened to Democrats thrilled about a chance for us to make history (in a good way!). We also listened to Indpendents and Republicans, who have never voted for a Democrat before in their lifetimes, tell us that Barack Obama is the only candidate who they can trust with our nation’s future.

And believe it or not, I could count the number of McCain supporters we encountered on our walks with one hand. Even though we were mainly walking middle-class and upper middle-class neighborhoods in leafy (for the desert) suburban Henderson, hardly anyone on our lists turned out to be McCain supporters. This just goes to show how Southern Nevada’s changing and how much the people who live here are yearning for real change.

Now I know my experience in Las Vegas last weekend was only a snapshot of what’s really happening in Nevada right now. However, I must admit came back on Sunday feeling more confident of the Democratic operation in Nevada. We have a real chance of winning and winning BIG here… But only if we support our Democrats!

There’s plenty we can all do to help Democrats win this year. We can drive. We can walk. We can call. And yes, we can give. So please join us in helping in any way you can. The stakes are too high, and we can’t afford to lose this time. Let’s win, and let’s take our country back!




NC-SEN: Final Nail in Dole’s Coffin?

Some people like Chuck Todd, others don’t. I remember his days with the Hotline and always found him to be a straight shooter when talking about House, Senate and gubernatorial races. And that is why I found this article in today’s First Read so interesting. Even though he is not declaring her dead, it does not sound as though he likes her chances.

Down the ballot in North Carolina, the Democratic hit that Elizabeth Dole spent just 20 days in the Tar Heel State in 2005 and 13 days there in 2006 might very well have been the final nail in her coffin in her race against Dem challenger Kay Hagan. Could the end of the Bush era also bring us the end of the Dole era? There has been a Dole in the Senate for nearly 50 straight years — and either a Bush or a Dole on the national ticket going back to ’72. Will Liddy Dole’s potential defeat signal the true end of the two most powerful Republican families of the last 50 years?

I am sure Bob and Elizabeth Dole love each other very much, but s far as their record in the Senate, she cannot hold a candle to her husband’s, which is remarkable by any standard. North Carolina elected Jesse Helms for many years and they gave us Faircloth and Burr as well, so I would not write off any Republican, but it’s fair to say Dole is in a lot of trouble and fast running out of time. If she does not find a magic bullet soon, she won’t have to step inside North Carolina ever again.

MI-09: Peters Leads by 4 in Slightly Dusty Poll

Grove Insight for the DCCC (8/17-19, likely voters):

Gary Peters (D): 41

Joe Knollenberg (R-inc): 37

Jack Kevorkian (I): 8

Undecided: 14

(MoE: ±4.9%)

This poll has been sitting on the shelf since August, and an EPIC-MRA poll from the same time showed GOP Rep. Joe Knollenberg ahead by a 43-36 margin.

Knollenberg, who held back a challenge from underfunded challenger Nancy Skinner by a 52-46 margin in 2006, now faces a stiffer challenge from former state Senator Gary Peters. Knollenberg’s been hit hard in recent weeks by the DCCC and Patriot Majority, though he was given a big boost from the National Association of Realtors, who have spent over $530,000 on his behalf.

The poll also finds that Obama is leading McCain by 52-35 in this district, which seems like it may be a bit optimistic (Kerry lost this district by two points in 2004). EPIC-MRA found Obama leading by a slimmer margin of 43-39 here in their August poll.

GA-Sen: Chambliss and Martin Neck-and-Neck in New SUSA Poll

SurveyUSA (9/28-29, likely voters, 9/14-16):

Jim Martin (D): 44 (36)

Saxby Chambliss (R-inc): 46 (53)

Allen Buckley (L): 5 (8)

(MoE: ±3.8%)

When we saw this internal poll for the DSCC yesterday that showed Chambliss leading by only three, many of us were rightly skeptical. Now SurveyUSA is out with a poll confirming a tight race.

I took a quick glance at the crosstabs and couldn’t find any significant demographic differences between this poll and SUSA’s last one (in terms of the sample’s composition), but it’s worth noting that the same poll finds McCain ahead of Obama by 52-44 — a much more respectable margin than the 57-41 blowout of two weeks ago.

SSP currently rates this race as Likely Republican, but it definitely is worth watching.

Update: Here’s one tidbit that I missed — of those who have already voted (9% of likely voters), Martin leads Chambliss by 61-36 an Obama leads McCain by 64-35.

NV-03: Rothenberg Calls it “Tilt Democratic”

Sturart Rothenberg just released the latest House rankings and there is a lot of moving in our direction. The one that stands out for me is the move of NV-03 to “Tilt Democratic”. More below the fold.

Here are our latest House ratings. Our latest estimate is a Democratic gain of 10-20 seats.

Any seats not listed are currently considered to be at limited risk for the incumbent party. For our race-by-race analysis, you must subscribe to the print edition of the Report.

# = Moved benefiting Democrats

* = Moved benefiting Republicans

^ = Newly added


AL 5 (Open; Cramer, D)

FL 8 (Keller, R)

FL 21 (L. Diaz-Balart, R) #

FL 24 (Feeney, R)

MN 3 (Open; Ramstad, R)

NH 1 (Shea-Porter, D)

NJ 7 (Open; Ferguson, R)

NM1 (Open; Wilson, R)

OH 15 (Open; Pryce, R)

PA 10 (Carney, D)


CT 4 (Shays, R) #

LA 4 (Open; McCrery, R)

LA 6 (Cazayoux, D)

MI 7 (Walberg, R) #

NM 2 (Open; Pearce, R)

NY 26 (Open; Reynolds, R)

NY 29 (Kuhl, R)

NC 8 (Hayes, R)

WA 8 (Reichert, R)


AZ 1 (Open; Renzi, R)

CA 11 (McNerney, D)

CO 4 (Musgrave, R)

FL 16 (Mahoney, D)

GA 8 (Marshall, D)

IL 11 (Open; Weller, R)

KS 2 (Boyda, D)

NJ 3 (Open; Saxton, R)

NV 3 (Porter, R) #

OH 16 (Open; Regula, R) #

PA 11 (Kanjorski, D)

WI 8 (Kagen, D)


AL 2 (Open; Everett, R)

FL 25 (M. Diaz-Balart, R) #

IL 10 (Kirk, R)

KY 2 (Open; Lewis, R) ^

MI 9 (Knollenberg, R)

MO 6 (Graves, R)

OH 1 (Chabot, R)

OH 2 (Schmidt, R)

PA 3 (English, R)

TX 22 (Lampson, D)

VA 2 (Drake, R)


AZ 5 (Mitchell, D)

AZ 8 (Giffords, D)

KY 3 (Yarmuth, D)

OR 5 (Open; Hooley, D)

PA 4 (Altmire, D)

VA 11 (Open; Davis, R)


CA 4 (Open; Doolittle, R)

FL 13 (Buchanan, R)

ID 1 (Sali, R)

IL 6 (Roskam, R)

MD 1 (Open; Gilchrest, R)

MN 6 (Bachmann, R)

MO 9 (Open; Hulshof, R)

PA 6 (Gerlach, R)

WV 2 (Capito, R)


AK A-L (Young, R)

IL 14 (Foster, D)

IN 9 (Hill, D)

KS 3 (Moore, D)

MS 1 (Childers, D)

NY 13 (Open; Fossella, R)

NY 20 (Gillibrand, D)

NY 25 (Open; Walsh, R)

Dropped : MN 1 (Walz, D) #

TX-Sen: John Cornyn to donors: Be very afraid


I found this and just thought it was so cute. Cornyn isn’t getting much money form donors so he is trying to scare them with:

It would be bad enough if Barack and Biden get elected, but imagine if they had ‘rubber-stamp Rick’ there too.

The answer from the Noriega campaign:

“Rubber stamp Rick? That’s like getting called unethical by Ted Stevens.”

I’m still hoping this one can come from under the radar. Guess we’ll know more when the 3rd quarter filings come.  

FL-24: SSP Moves Race to “Tossup”

The Swing State Project has updated its rating of the race for Florida’s 24 District from “Lean Republican” to Tossup.

A number of factors have contributed to our decision to adjust our rating, but GOP Rep. Tom Feeney’s decision apologize for taking a golf trip to Scotland on corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s dime in his first TV ad of the general election was the deciding factor. Talk about losing your poker face.

Feeney’s apology for his own corruption is both an admission of his own electoral worries and a risky play to prevent his image from being corroded by weeks of attack ads from Kosmas and the DCCC. But judging by the local press reaction to Feeney’s gambit, it’s clear that he made a tactical blunder by raising unresolved issues. Just check out this editorial by Florida Today:

What Feeney doesn’t say is that he remains under investigation by the FBI for his Abramoff ties and has refused to publicly answer detailed questions about the probe since it began in 2007. That includes repeated requests from FLORIDA TODAY’s editorial board.

Meanwhile, a press release his campaign e-mailed Wednesday is a tired rehash of previous Feeney statements on the subject and does nothing to clear the air.

Feeney owes voters a full public accounting of his actions, with every question asked and answered.

Hiding behind a warm and fuzzy TV ad and canned press release won’t cut it.

The St. Petersburg Times went a step further, dubbing Feeney the “loser of the week”.

While the optics of an incumbent apologizing for his ties to a jailed lobbyist are dangerous for the GOP here, Democrat Suzanne Kosmas, a former state Representative, will still face a challenge in overcoming the 24th District’s Republican lean (it went for Bush by 10 points in 2004, and 6 points in 2000). However, a recent internal poll for the Kosmas campaign showed Feeney’s lead dropping from double digits to a single point over the last several months, and she won’t be lacking for DCCC assistance.

This one is a real barn burner.