LA-02, LA-04: Primaries to Be Delayed?

Voters in Louisiana were set to head to the polls for their state’s primary elections this Saturday, but with Hurricane Gustav hitting the Gulf Coast, it’s looking like the primaries could be delayed by a week:

Although Louisiana election officials said Monday that they aren’t optimistic about being able to hold the state’s primaries on Saturday as scheduled, no official decision is expected until after Hurricane Gustav moves out of Louisiana later this week.

Even though the storm made landfall with less intensity than originally expected on Monday, it still had the potential to wreak widespread damage across Louisiana. And even if the storm dissipates quickly, the mass evacuations that took place in coastal areas would make it tough to hold an election by Saturday in several districts.

“Sept. 6 does not look likely,” said Jacques Berry, spokesman for Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne (R). Berry said that as of Monday afternoon, Dardenne had not made any official recommendation about postponing the election to Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who has the power to make that decision.

Obviously everyone’s first concern is the safety of lives and property (and on that score, Gustav so far seems mercifully tamer than most expected), but we’ll also be keeping an eye on the evacuation’s impacts on the state’s primary schedule. Stay tuned.

AL-02: Love Posts Huge Lead in New SUSA Poll

SurveyUSA for Roll Call (8/26-28, likely voters):

Bobby Bright (D): 39

Jay Love (R): 56

(MoE: ±4.0%)

Alright, on its face, those are some nasty and disappointing numbers. They’re also way out of line with all the polls we’ve seen of this race so far; internal polls released from both the Bright and Love camps show a dramatically different race. Bright’s polling (by Anzalone-Liszt, a firm with a hot streak this year) from earlier this month showed the Democrat leading by 10 points, and Love’s latest poll from late July showed the Republican leading by a mere two points. A Capital Survey Research Center poll from earlier this month also showed Bright leading by ten points.

So what gives? The poll’s innards give us a big clue. While Alabama’s 2nd CD is 30% African-American, SUSA has pegged the black vote at only 16% of the survey’s sample. Now, I’m not sure what pollsters like Anzalone, CSRC, or even McLaughlin peg the black vote at, but do we really think that the African-American vote is going to be that depressed this year?

Bright wins the black vote by 82-11, and Love wins the white vote by 66-30. If you re-weight this poll to bring the black vote up to 30%, Love’s lead shrinks to 50-46. That’s still a much brighter picture for Love since the early August polls, but it’s unclear what’s happened since then that would boost his numbers so dramatically (ALFA and the peanut farmers endorsing him?), especially given that Bright got a big boost from Dothan GOP Mayor Pat Thomas’ endorsement a week before this poll was in the field.

I like SUSA’s work a lot, but I suspect they’ve made a misfire here.

SSP currently rates this race as a Tossup.

NC-11: Too Much Mumpower

Mumpower overload:

The son of Asheville City Council member and Republican congressional candidate Carl Mumpower was involved in a fight Thursday night in Asheville.

Matt Mumpower, 24, who worked for his dad, has stepped down from the campaign.

“He is no longer with us,” Carl said.

Matt was at the Wild Wings Cafe just after midnight when Chris Roberts of Candler allegedly “danced up on him in a mocking fashion,” according to the incident report.

In an interview with the Times-News on Friday, Matt said he was “shocked” at Roberts’ actions and pushed him away. Roberts allegedly came back and Matt “struck him with a closed fist in the head/face,” according to the report.

And so ends another storied day for the legendary campaign of Carl Mumpower. Sadly, police report jargon-ese has limited us to just the phrase “danced up on him in a mocking fashion.” I turn it over to you, dear readers, to speculate on exactly what this means. Prizes for most creative entry in comments.*

(Note: No prizes to actually be awarded.)

ME-Sen: Collins Mau-Maus Allen Into Denouncing VoteVets Ad

VoteVets, which produced last cycle’s amazing body armor ads, released this ad hitting Susan Collins for her obeisance to George Bush on Iraq:

Predictably, Collins’s campaign flipped out, denouncing the ad as somehow unfair:

Spokesman Kevin Kelley said the ad is false, noting legislation Collins sponsored that shifts the costs of reconstruction projects to the Iraqis.

“The ad that is currently airing on Maine television stations ignores Senator Collins’ efforts to change the mission in Iraq and to force the Iraqis to pay more of the costs of securing and rebuilding their own country,” a press release from the Collins campaign stated.

Sorry, even if we graded this an “E” for effort, meekly trying (and failing) to apply a few band-aids to the mess she’s created does not get Collins off the hook. Collins had a little more success, though, in browbeating Democrat Tom Allen to denounce this ad, too:

“Tom Allen is the only candidate to denounce false, negative tv and radio ads by third parties. He knows there is too much at stake for outsiders to disrupt the conversation he is having with Mainers on the important issues of energy, health care, the economy and Iraq,” Andrews wrote in a release.

Jesus Christ. This ad is eminently reasonable – for Allen to attack it is just ridiculous. But taking orders from Susan Collins is far worse. When you let Republicans boss you around, you wind up looking pathetically weak. And if Tom Allen really thinks that going after a left-wing organization will inspire the right-wing groups currently blasting him over his support of the Employee Free Choice Act to back down, then he’s sadly mistaken.

FL-13, FL-21, IL-18, PA-10: Internal Pollapalooza

Lot’s of internal polls to digest in recent days. Let’s kill ’em all in one post.


Public Opinion Strategies for the NRCC (8/23-24, likely voters, July in parens and 3/5-6 in brackets):

Christine Jennings (D): 30 (30) [37]

Vern Buchanan (R-inc): 48 (44) [53]

(MoE: ±4.9%)

Woof. That’s not a spread that I like to see, but at least Buchanan is under 50%. After being hit by a new lawsuit every week for the past month and a half (or so) on allegations of consumer fraud and illegal campaign fundraising, Buchanan’s camp released this poll to ensure folks that everything is hunky-dory. We haven’t seen numbers from this race from any other source than Buchanan’s campaign, so I’m inclined to believe these ballpark figures. However, with so many legal headaches, I wouldn’t say that Buchanan is out of the woods yet.


Hill Research Associates for Lincoln Diaz-Balart (6/19-22, likely voters):

Raul Martinez (D): 36

Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-inc): 48

(MoE: ±4.9%)

Diaz-Balart pumped out this somewhat moldy poll in an attempt to refute a recent SUSA poll showing Martinez leading D-B the Lesser by two. Given that a Bendixen poll of this race from June showed Martinez trailing only by four points, I’m inclined to believe that the numbers are much tighter than Diaz-Balart’s cherry-picked poll suggests.


Public Opinion Strategies for Aaron Schock (8/18-20, likely voters):

Colleen Callahan (D): 27

Aaron Schock (R): 56

Sheldon Schafer (G): 2

(MoE: ±4.9%)

Ugh. Crazy Aaron Schock doesn’t deserve this.


Momentum Analysis for Christopher Carney (8/19-21, likely voters):

Christopher Carney (D-inc): 54

Chris Hackett (R-inc): 27

(MoE: ±4.9%)

Yeah, I dunno, dudes. SurveyUSA also recently tested this R+8 district, and found Carney only holding a 49-45 lead. I’m a little more inclined to believe that this race is closer to SUSA’s estimate than Carney’s poll, but I still feel pretty good about his chances.

PA-05: McCracken for Congress — Jobs and the Economy in the 5th District — August 31, 2008

This week, I had the opportunity to participate with my fellow 5th district candidates in a forum sponsored by WPSU TV to discuss job creation and economic conditions in the 5th Congressional District.  As we fielded questions on the various issues, I paid close attention to how my views on job creation and retention along with overall economic development strategy differed from my opponents.   What I heard from my Republican opponent was numerous statements about “incentives” and “tax credits” to entice businesses to locate or expand in the 5th district.  

When government provides “incentives” they give funding to a business through grants / loans, while “tax credits” grant certain exemptions that allow a business to omit paying some taxes by writing off eligible expenses.  Regardless of what form they take, “incentives” spend federal government funds and “tax credits” decrease revenue coming to the federal government.   While this may be a reasonable plan when the federal government is fiscally strong with a surplus, it is impractical to suggest at a time when the federal budget has a $482 billion deficit and $9.6 trillion in debt is owed to foreign countries including the likes of China and Saudi Arabia.  

Throughout this campaign, I have made the case to the voters in the 5th district the federal government cannot help revive our failing economy, much less deal with other important domestic issues, until the federal budget is balanced, a surplus is growing and the debt to foreign nations is paid down.   It is irresponsible when a candidate for federal office proposes creating new “incentives” or offering “tax credits” to corporate America while we have record deficits and debt at the federal level.   Sadly, this is more of the same failed fiscal policies we’ve seen during the last 8 years.

The same day as the WPSU forum, the Centre Daily Times printed a story about the recent unemployment rates released by the PA Department of Labor and Industry.  Throughout the 5th Congressional District, unemployment and economic conditions are some of the worst in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.   In fact, the 2 counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state were here in the 5th district with Cameron County at 7.6% and Forest County at 8.4%.   Perhaps even more troubling was the fact that 15 of the 17 counties in the 5th district are above 5% unemployment with the only exceptions being Warren County just slightly under at 4.8% and Centre County at 4.2%.

Not only do we have the highest unemployment rates, but the US Census Bureau reports that median family incomes in the 5th district are, on average, almost $12,000 less than the rest of the nation.   The US Census Bureau — 2006 American Community Survey lists the Median Family Income for the 5th Congressional District of Pennsylvania at $46,863 versus the U.S. average of $58,526.   Worse yet, while we are averaging significantly less in income than other areas of the country, we are paying the same rising costs for food, gas, energy, automobiles, clothes and other necessities that we need in daily life.  During the WPSU forum the issue of young people leaving the 5th district after graduating from high school and college was discussed.   It is obvious the difference in income levels plays a huge role in the departure of our young people from rural central Pennsylvania.

Of course, the question still remains, how do we create jobs, lower record unemployment rates and increase income levels in the 5th Congressional District and spur the economy at the national level?   The federal government isn’t going to fix this for us because they don’t have the financial resources to do so.   The time has come for certain sacrifices to be made by those who have profited in recent years.  

We need our business leaders to realize there are no more handouts for them if they are running a profitable business.   Too often, businesses on solid financial ground want the government to provide incentives and tax credits before they will expand and create new jobs.  We need corporate America to voluntarily reinvest their profits to rebuild our nation’s economy without the expectation of incentives and tax credits.  

And to the wealthiest citizens, the time has come to stop complaining if you have to pay a little more in taxes to get us out of the fiscal mess from the last 8 years.  To accomplish this, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans must expire as scheduled in 2011.  Once we get the fiscal mess straightened out, then a new set of tax cuts for poor and middle class, roughly 90% of the working population, can be put in place.

At the federal government level, a strong, stable fiscal policy that balances budgets, builds surpluses, pays down the debt and stops borrowing from foreign governments will eventually allow the federal government to get back to supporting economic development and job creation.   This can only be accomplished if voters send fiscally responsible people to represent them in Washington.  Contrast my message of fiscal responsibility to that of my opponent who continues to voice support for failed fiscal policies that will continue to threaten our national security through higher deficits and more debt to foreign sources.

2008 Continues to be Historic

When I decided to enter the race for the US Congress, I did so with a slight thought in the back of my mind that, in some small way, I might be involved in an election that was historic.   Now, with September upon us and just over 2 months until Election Day, it is obvious that history will be made in 2008.  We could see the first African American elected President of the United States in Barack Obama, whom I support,  or we could see the first woman elected Vice President in Sarah Palin (as part of the McCain ticket, I’m not so excited about that prospect).  At the DNC Convention in Denver, the speech by Barack Obama on Thursday was one of the greatest presentations I’ve ever watched.  He was flawless in his presentation and he showed the country and the world that he is the strong, articulate leader we need to solve the problems facing our country.  

And the announcement on Friday by Senator John McCain that his choice for a running mate was the first term Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was a gutsy call to say the least.   It will be interesting to watch the rest of the campaign and learn more about Governor Palin.  

Happy Labor Day and Prayers for the Gulf Coast.

On behalf of the McCracken for Congress campaign, I want to offer a Happy Labor Day to the working people in the 5th district.  People in rural Pennsylvania are known for their strong work ethic.   All they ask for in return is a fair wage and benefits that will allow them to care for their families and put food on the table.

Finally, we all need to be sending our prayers to the people and communities on the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Gustav moves across the Gulf of Mexico.  We never want to see a replay of the destruction and despair that we saw during Hurricane Katrina.

Please help in any way you can to help the residents of the Gulf. You can donate to the Red Cross at this link:…

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

MN-03: SUSA Poll Shows a Tight Race

SurveyUSA for Roll Call (8/26-28, likely voters):

Ashwin Madia (D): 41

Erik Paulsen (R): 44

Other: 10

(MoE: ±4.0%)

These numbers are pretty much the spitting image of a GQR internal poll conducted for state Sen. Terri Bonoff earlier this year. In that poll, Paulsen was leading Madia by 43-40.

While GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad held this district with ease for many years, it’s a tightly-contested district on the presidential level. In 2004, Bush edged Kerry by three points here, and in SUSA’s polling, Obama is squeaking past McCain here by 48-46.

One finding from SUSA’s crosstabs is pretty, well, unique:

Despite the fact that Obama is 47 years old and Madia is just in his 30s, it was Republican candidates who had the slight edge among younger voters in the district. Among voters 18-49, Paulsen led Madia, 45 percent to 38 percent. Madia was preferred by voters 50 and older, 44 percent to 42 percent.

The same trend held true in the presidential matchup. McCain led among the younger set of voters, 48 percent to 46 percent, while Obama was ahead among those 50 and older, 50 percent to 45 percent.

Madia has just gone up on the airwaves with a soft introductory ad, but it’s worth pointing out the incredibly frenzied fundraising pace of both Madia and GOP state Rep. Erik Paulsen. This one could be a tight battle all the way to the finish line.

SSP currently rates this race as a Tossup.

Senate Rankings Update: Labor Day Edition

Things have changed around a little bit in my Senate rankings. But instead of an analysis of which seats are more likely or less likely to switch from red to blue, it has simply become now just a matter of which seats are more likely to flip.

1. Virginia: No Change. There is just nothing more to say here than Mark Warner gave a very senatorial speech last Tuesday night.

2. New Mexico: Pearce has stronger Republican backing which was reflected in recent polling. Too little too late, it’s in the bag.

3. Alaska: This one moves up from fifth place. Stevens was already in enough trouble prior to the indictment, but now he’s doomed. Now that he won the primary, exoneration, removal from the ballot or Palin’s selection can save the Republicans now.

4. New Hampshire: No change. Shaheen’s continued strong showing in polls tells me there is a deep dissatisfaction with Sununu that goes beyond the Republican brand. I’m not sure even McCain can save him now.

5. Colorado: Previously third. Even though Shaffer seems to be on his feet now, the only reason that this race dropped is the fact that Republicans grew so much weaker in Alaska and New Hampshire. Colorado will be hard fought on all levels, but Mark Udall remains the favorite.

6. Oregon: No change. The fact that Gordon Smith has attached himself so closely to Obama tell me that his polling is showing a very strong blue trend. Will he be washed out? Stay tuned.

7. Minnesota: Al Franken is showing signs of life. He’s pounding away on Norm Coleman and it’s taking effect.

8. North Carolina: Elizabeth Dole is showing the political community that she has a glass jaw. Never before in her life did she have to fight for anything and got by against a weak opponent in 2002. Kay Hagan is no wilting flower and the DSCC is putting up the cash to back her up.

9. Mississppi B: What does it say about this year when the top 9 seats on my list are true pickup opportunities for us? Republicans are fighting deep in red territory now and even though Musgrove has faded a bit, this one is going right down to the wire.

10. Kentucky: McConnell knows he is in for a race.

After looking over these seats, I am now revising my projection to a net gain of 6-8 seats.

Independent Expenditure Round-up: 8/24-31

Studious readers of the Swing State Project know that we keep daily tabs on House race independent expenditures in our IE tracker. But now that election season truly is in full swing, we’ll also be rounding up the money spent in the last seven days by the party committees and independent groups each Sunday night on the front page.

District Incumbent Group Last Week Total
CA-11 McNerney DCCC $24,280.69 $51,024.07
IL-11 Open DCCC $74,644.32 $325,713.20
NJ-03 Open DCCC $43,385.90 $65,034.31
NJ-07 Open DCCC $13,110.32 $93,106.34
NM-01 Open DCCC $42,975.97 $87,156.76
OH-15 Open DCCC $54,973.42 $180,632.68
OH-16 Open DCCC $59,398.96 $161,292.82
PA-11 Kanjorski NARPAC $192,532.00 $192,532.00
TX-22 Lampson DCCC $78,622.28 $285,518.76
VA-11 Open DCCC $23,119.64 $52,268.73

NARPAC is the National Association of Realtors’ political arm. More often than not, they support Republicans, but on occasion they spend cash to defend a Democratic incumbent (such as Melissa Bean in 2006). Looks like Paul Kanjorski is getting the Bean treatment this year.

While the NRCC can’t afford to engage in any real spending just yet, the DCCC is using their head start to ramp up the negatives of Republican candidates in key open seat races — a “kill ’em in the crib” approach, if you will.

For more specific details, please consult SSP’s Independent Expenditure tracker.

Oregon’s Republican Delegates: Who are these fools?

The following is a brief summary of whom the Oregon Republican delegates are that are supposedly going to Minneapolis/St. Paul this week for their convention.  Obviously, I send along my most fervent prayers (even though I’m a Unitarian) for the victims of Hurricane Gustav not only those in the US who are yet to be hit but those throughout the Caribbean.  Still, they should at least nominate McSame and I thought it would be fun to discover who these people are.

Cross-Posted from Loaded Orygun:…

I will admit that I know more about the McCain delegates than the Ron Paul ones so bear with me.  Where I don’t know much and can’t find much I write “political activist”.  These profiles ARE slanted and so I am a bit aggressive perhaps (like calling people xenophobes) in the name of fun….

Statewide McCain:

Bob Avery — Junction City-Legislative Assistant to State House Minority Leader Bruce Hanna (R).

Russ Walker — Keizer-Head of Oregon FreedomWatch, Oregon’s own Grover Norquist spinoff.

Tim Nashif — Portland-Leader of the yes on Measure 36 (Gay Marriage Ban) campaign in 2004.

Gregory Wooldridge — Portland-Former Naval Officer and head of OR Veterans for McCain.  You may remember him because he was a front person for McSame in the Wesley Clark response.

Donna Cain — Rogue River-Republican party fundraiser and fake PUMA (she gave $225 to HRC early this year according to Open Secrets).

Kevin Mannix — Salem-Former multiple-statewide loser and mandatory minimum activist.

Marylin Shannon — Brooks-Former State Senator, current leader of an organization that just tried to overturn Oregon’s new domestic partnership and equal rights for GLBT laws…

Jeffery A. Grossman — Beaverton-Drill, drill drill activist and software security specialist.

Ron Paul At Large Delegates

Elaine Smith — Prairie City-Attorney.

Ivan Cermak — Selma-Political Activist.

Keith Kaiser — Wilsonville-Political activist.

Marc Lucca — Stayton-Former state rep candidate and legislative aide.  (Personal Note: When I worked in the legislature I worked next to the office he was then working for, he’s a good guy if really conservative).

Congressional District 1 Delegates

James L. Ellison — Portland-Political Activist.

Sherri L. Grossman — Beaverton-Schools activist, believes strongly that modern society is breaking down the “family unit”.

Barbara Tennent Anderson — Portland-Political Activist.

Congressional District 2 Delegates

Jeannetta Garner — Nyssa-2nd District OR GOP Leader.

Ron Maurer — Grants Pass-State Rep.

Dennis Tooley — Redmond-Member of Board of Directors for Dorchester (OR GOP annual conference).

Congressional District 3 Delegates

Linda Flores — Clackamas-St. Rep/Anti-immigrant activist.

Jay Kushner — Portland-Multiple time loser candidate in deep blue Portland.

James Anderson — Troutdale-GOP Fundraier.

Congressional District 4 Delegates

Nina Avery — Junction City-Former Campaign Worker for Jim Feldkamp (who lost OR-4 to DeFazio in 2004 and 2006).

Jeff Osanka — Eugene-Neighborhood Activist in the Fairmont neighborhood in Eugene.

Melyssa Swartz-Baxter — Eugene-Wife of a soldier who was injured by an IED in Iraq.

Congressional District 5 Delegates

Wayne Brady — Salem-Retired Aerospace Engineer and regular contributor to multiple OR conservative blogs….

Greg Leo — Aurora-Parks activist (as in actually pro-Parks).

Andrea Hofmann — Keizer-Oregon Federation of Republican Women Leader.

Automatic Delegates

Vance Day — Salem-State Party Chair.

June Hartley — Nyssa-Committeewoman.

Solomon Yue — Salem-Committeeman.