MN-Sen Judges to count no more than 400 votes

It looks like the 3 judge panel will only be counting up to 400 more votes.

“The order is seen as a setback for the Coleman campaign, which had asked the panel to review about 1,300 ballots.”

If my math is correct, that would mean that Coleman would need 313 (79%) of those 400 votes to over take Franken.

It looks like this phase of the count may finally come to an end.

“Once the ballots are delivered, the court will determine which of them should be opened, sorted and counted. That will occur in open court on Tuesday, April 7.”

Hopefully the MN Supreme Court will uphold these results and Franken will be certified and seated while the Republicans continue to drag this this to the US Supreme Court.


NY-20: County Benchmarks

As you probably know, it’s Election Day in the NY-20, where there’s a special election afoot to replace Kirsten Gillibrand. The most recent public poll gave a small lead to Democrat Scott Murphy, but this is a low-turnout special election in a district with a large GOP enrollment advantage, and ground game is going to make or break it for both parties.

Jim Tedisco actually pulled an all-nighter last night, glad-handing graveyard shift workers and convenience store clerks, but back in DC, John Boehner sounded a cautious, expectations-dampening note:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the outcome of the election shouldn’t be seen as a referendum on the GOP leadership in Congress.

“It’s between those two candidates in New York,” Boehner explained to reporters. “I hope Jim Tedisco wins.”

Before the November election, I put together some benchmarks to meet in major counties of what the minimum expectation in each county would be to get the Democratic candidate over the 50% mark. Thanks to our New York pres-by-congressional district database, we can perform the same sort of analysis for tonight. Barack Obama won NY-20 in November by a 51-48 margin, so we barely even need to adjust the numbers to find one potential route to victory for Murphy (assuming the counties vote in the same proportions they did in November):

County % of 2008
districtwide vote
What we need to
break 50% districtwide
2008 Pres.
Districtwide 100.0 50/49 51/48
Saratoga (pt.) 32.3 50/49 51/48
Dutchess (pt.) 15.0 52/47 53/46
Rennselaer (pt.) 9.8 48/51 49/50
Warren 9.7 50/49 51/48
Columbia 9.5 55/44 56/43
Washington 7.8 49/50 50/49
Greene 6.7 43/55 44/54
Delaware (pt.) 5.5 46/52 47/51
Essex (pt.) 2.0 54/44 55/43
Otsego (pt.) 1.7 47/52 48/51

Bear in mind, though, that these candidates have regional connections, so the actual numbers may vary a bit. For instance, Murphy is from Glens Falls in Warren County, and seems well-connected in the communities there (in fact, his gigantic extended family may make up several percent of the electorate there). Siena broke results down by region and showed Murphy polling well ahead of these benchmarks in Warren and Washington Counties (at 58%)… but the flipside is that he was lagging in Saratoga and Rennselaer Counties (at 43%). Saratoga (Albany’s northern suburbs) is the most populous part of the district, and it’s also Tedisco’s base. (Tedisco can’t actually vote for himself, being from Schenectady, but he represents part of Saratoga County in the Assembly.)

So, when watching results tonight, you may want to mentally adjust those counties accordingly. The real swing counties, and the ones requiring no adjustment, may be the ones further south in Hudson Valley (Columbia and Dutchess). Here’s a district map, for a bit more context:

VA-Gov: Moran & McAulliffe Swap Places in PPP Polling

Public Policy Polling (3/27-29, likely voters, 2/28-3/1 in parentheses):

Brian Moran (D): 22 (19)

Terry McAuliffe (D): 18 (21)

Creigh Deeds (D): 15 (14)

(MoE: 3.6%)

PPP takes its monthly look at the Democratic primary in the Virginia governor’s race. Ex-delegate Brian Moran and former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe have swapped places, with Moran moving into a small lead. Considering that nearly half the voters are still undecided, this looks more like normal fluctuation than a trend… although one item from the fine print suggests that McAuliffe’s negatives may be increasing. His favorable/unfavorable is 32/29, up from 31/24 last month. (Moran and Deeds are less-known but have more upside, at 34/15 and 31/12 respectively.) There’s no head-to-head poll against likely GOP nominee Robert McDonnell.

PPP also takes a look at the crowded Democratic primary for Lt. Governor, finding that 67% of voters are undecided. Among those who have decided, former Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner has a comfortable lead with 21%. Other candidates Jon Bowerbank, Pat Edmonson, and Michael Signer each poll at 4%.

SSP Daily Digest: 3/31

NH-Sen: The scurvy dogs at ARG! take their first reading of the 2010 New Hampshire senate race since Judd Gregg announced his retirement, finding that Rep. Paul Hodes beats ex-Sen. John Sununu 42-36. Hodes leads Sununu 38-31 among independents. (MoE ±4.2%)

KY-Sen: In the days leading up to 1Q fundraising reports, Jim Bunning has publicly admitted that his fundraising has been “lousy,” although he says “Surprisingly, we’ve had pretty good success the last month.” He’s looking forward to some April fundraisers starring such luminaries as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and fellow baseball celeb Tommy Lasorda.

GA-Gov: Roy Barnes is sounding very interested in another try at the governor’s race. Barnes got bounced by Sonny Perdue after one term in 2002, but populist anger plus demographic changes in Georgia may make a Barnes comeback feasible. (Insider Advantage found earlier this month that Barnes would defeat several of the likely GOP candidates.)

LA-02: Joseph Cao is signaling he may actually break ranks and vote for the Obama budget this week, telling The Hill that his constituents are “split.” (In the sense that they are likely to “split” his head open if he keeps voting the party line.)

History: Roll Call takes an interesting look back at the spate of special elections during the 1993-1994 session of Congress, and the structural reasons we aren’t likely to see a repeat of the disastrous 1994 election again.

PA-12: Murtha: “If I’m corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district.”

Mr. Murtha, a 76-year-old Marine veteran schooled in the blunt-knuckle deal-making that defined politics here, is contrition-free when it comes to his success.

“If I’m corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district,” Mr. Murtha said. “My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it’s Republican or Democrat. Those bureaucrats would like to control everything. Every president would like to have all the power and not have Congress change anything. But we’re closest to the people.”

Murtha’s remarks recall another one of CREW’s most corrupt lawmakers, Rep. Don Young (R-AK), who defended his controversial earmarks on the House floor in 2007. “I was always proud of my earmarks. I believe in earmarks, always have, as long as they are exposed. But don’t you ever call that a scandal,” said Young.…

Anyone think this could cause him trouble in 2010?  I’m sure his district has known he was corrupt for a long time, but could this be the final straw?  I really wish he and Kanjorski would save us the trouble and retire in 2010.

Anomalous congressional districts, part 1: New pickup possible

Thanks to David here at Swing State Project, we now have data on how every congressional district voted for POTUS for the last several elections.  This is a treasure trove for geeks like me.  That list is here.

Today, I look at districts where a Republican is the representative, but Obama won, and Obama did markedly better than Kerry.  I call these “new pickup possibles”.  I give some details about each district, along with the rank of the current rep from 1 (most liberal) to 435 (most conservative) per nominate data.

In these districts, Obama got 50% or more,  Kerry less than 45%.  I put the barrier lower for Kerry because he did about 5 points worse than Obama in the average CD.

CA 24 CA 25 CA 26 CA 44 CA 45 CA 50

IL 16

MI 4

NE 2

VA 4  VA 10

WI 6

Look at all those CA districts!  

Going one by one

CA-24 is Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, except for a tiny strip along the coast.  Current rep. is Elton Gallegly, ranked 341; in last 3 elections he got 58% (2008), 62% and 63%.  Obama got 51%, Kerry and Gore each got 43%. It’s a wealthy district (median income $61,400) with almost a quarter of the population is Latino.

CA-25 is a weirdly boot-shaped district, with the leg part along the Nevada border and the toe in Santa Clarita, near LA.  Current rep is “Buck” McKeon, ranked 356; last 3: 53, 58, 64.  Obama got 50, Kerry 40, Gore 42.  Over 1/4 Latino.

CA-26 is a blob shaped district of suburbs of LA.  Current rep is David Dreier, ranked 366; last 3: 53, 57, 55.  Obama got 51, Kerry and Gore got 44 each.  It’s another wealthy district (median income $58,968) with about a quarter Latinos.

CA-44 is mostly Riverside county.  Current rep is Calvert, ranked 318; last 3: 52, 60, 62.  Obama got 50, Kerry 40, Gore 44. It’s just over half White, and just over 1/3 Latino.

CA-45  is exurbs of LA, the “inland empire”.  Current rep is Bono, ranked 291; last 3: 57, 61, 67.  Obama got 52, Kerry 43, Gore 47.  This district has some very wealthy places (e.g. Palm Springs), but the median income is only $40,468, and 15% are in poverty; it’s also 38% Latino (41st most in the USA).

CA-50  is San Diego and some suburbs. Current rep is Bilbray, ranked 371; last 3: 50, 53, 54.  Obama got 51, Kerry 44, Gore 43.  Median income is almost $60,000, about 10% Asian and 19% Latino.

IL-16  is the northwest corner of IL.  Current rep is Manzullo, ranked 345; last 3: 61, 64, 69.  Obama got 51, Kerry 44, Gore 43. IL-16 is not distinctive, demographically.  

MI-04  is farmland in the center of MI.  Current rep is Camp, ranked 327; last 3: 62, 61, 64.  Obama got 50, Kerry and Gore 44 each.  This is the 20th least urban district in the USA, and the 46th “whitest” (93% White).  

NE-02  is Omaha and its western suburbs.  Current rep is Terry, ranked 373; last 2 elections: 52 and 56 (elected 2006).  Obama got 50, Kerry 38, Gore 39. Only 4 districts had bigger swings to Obama from Kerry (HI-01 and 02, IN-04 and 07).  NE-02 is not distinctive, demographically.  

VA-04 is Tidewater country.  Current rep is Forbes, ranked 339; last 3: 60, 76, 64 (no Dem in 2006).  Obama got 50, Kerry 43, Gore 44.  VA-04 has the 48th most Blacks (33%), the 5th most Blacks of any district with a Republican rep. (the other 3 are all in Lousiana (02, 04, 05, and 06).

VA-10 is northern VA, including the Beltway.  Current rep is Wolf, ranked 266; last 3: 59, 57, 54.  Obama got 53, Kerry 44, Gore 41.    VA-10 is the 10th wealthiest district (median income = $71,560).

WI-06 is central WI.  Current rep is Petri, ranked 390; last 3: 64, 56, 53 (the only district in this list where the rep is increasing his lead).  Obama got 50, Kerry 43, Gore 42. Per the Almanac of American Politics, it has the highest percentage of German-Americans.  It’s also the 22nd ‘Whitest’ (94%), 94th most rural, 30th least Black, and 38th fewest in poverty (although median income is only about $44,000).  

Where conservative Democratic reps come from

Thanks to David here at Swing State Project, we now have data on how every congressional district voted for POTUS for the last several elections.  This is a treasure trove for geeks like me.  That list is here.

Today, I look at districts with conservative Democrats as representatives

Perhaps the best way to rate the liberalness of a representative is that taken by Jeff Lewis, Keith Poole, and their associates in the nominate data.  They rank the House, from 1 to 435.  I’ve provided the list of districts, and their ranks (1 is most liberal, 435 most conservative).

The most conservative Democrat is ranked 241.  Here are the 42 most conservative Democrats (from least to most conservative), with the election results for POTUS :

Dist    Rep          Obama %  Kerry %    Gore %

TX 17   EDWARDS       32        30       32

CA 18   CARDOZA       59        49       53

CA 20   COSTA         60        51       55

FL 22   KLEIN         52        52       52  

CO 7    PERLMUTTER    59        51       50

FL 2    BOYD          45        46       47

OH 6    WILSON        48        49       47

CO 3    SALAZAR       47        44       39

MO 4    SKELTON       38        35       40

TN 6    GORDON        37        40       49

AL 5    CRAMER (now Griffith - D)

                     38        39       44        

KY 6    CHANDLER      43        41       42

KS 2    BOYDA      (now Republican)

AR 4    ROSS          39        49       49

MN 7    PETERSON      47        43       40

SD AL   HERSETH       45        38       38

TX 28   CUELLAR       56        46       50

OH 18   SPACE         45        43       41

LA  3   MELANCON      37        41       45

MS  4   TAYLOR        32        31       33

TN  8   TANNER        43        47       51

TN  4   DAVIS         34        41       49

FL 16   MAHONEY       (now Republican)

NC  7   MCINTYRE      47        44       48

NY 20   GILLIBRAND    (to be decided)

                     51        46       44

OK  2   BOREN         34        41       47

IL  8   BEAN          56        44       42

UT  2   MATHESON      39        31       31

IL 14   FOSTER        55        44       43

IN  9   HILL          49        40       42

AZ  5  MITCHELL       47        45       43

AZ  8  GIFFORDS       46        46       46

NC 11  SHULER         47        43       40

IN  8  ELLSWORTH      47        38       42

PA 10  CARNEY         45        40       41

IN  2  DONNELLY       54        43       45

PA  4  ALTMIRE        44        45       46

GA  8  MARSHALL       43        39       42

GA 12  BARROW         54        49       52

MS  1  CHILDERS       38        37       40

LA  6  CAZAYOUX       (now Republican)

TX 22  LAMPSON        (now Republican)

Personally, I am on the left edge of the Democratic party.  I very much like my representative, Jerry Nadler, who, per Nominate data, is the 50th most liberal (I’d have to look to find where he differs from the top few); I also like that NY-08 gave over 70% to all three Democratic POTUS candidates.  But not every district is like mine.

More Democrats; better Democrats.   Not better Democrats, fewer Democrats.  Only a few of the above seem to be in districts that could remotely be called ‘safe’.  Many are in Republican strongholds.  Would you rather have Cazayoux or Cassidy?  Mahoney or Rooney?  And those two didn’t even face primaries.  

If we want to replace blue dogs with red Repubs, we can primary them and put up liberals.  If we want to replace blue dogs with better Democrats, we need to educate the people.  

Are there people to primary?  Yes.  Of this list, I’d say Cardoza, Klein, Costa and Perlmuter are candidates.  Barrow, in GA-12, might be also, but not by a liberal, just by someone more in the middle of the Democratic party.  

Pres-by-CD: The Margins

I’m going to be doing some slicing-and-dicing of our dataset of 2008 presidential election results by congressional district in the coming weeks. Let’s start out with some of the basics: the most Democratic and Republican-leaning districts, as well as the most narrowly divided districts. (I’m measuring this in terms of the three-way margin, rather than Obama or McCain percentage.)

State CD Member Party Obama % McCain % 3-way
NY 16 Serrano (D) 94.8 5.0 +89.7
NY 15 Rangel (D) 93.2 6.2 +87.0
NY 10 Towns (D) 91.0 8.7 +82.3
NY 11 Clarke (D) 90.5 9.1 +81.4
PA 02 Fattah (D) 90.1 9.5 +80.5
IL 02 Jackson (D) 89.7 9.9 +79.8
NY 06 Meeks (D) 89.0 10.7 +78.4
CA 09 Lee (D) 88.1 9.9 +78.3
PA 01 Brady (D) 88.0 11.5 +76.5
IL 07 Davis (D) 87.8 11.6 +76.5

State CD Member Party Obama % McCain % 3-way
CA 44 Calvert (R) 49.5 48.6 +0.9
CA 48 Campbell (R) 49.3 48.6 +0.7
CA 03 Lungren (R) 49.3 48.8 +0.5
PA 03 Dahlkemper (D) 49.3 49.3 -0.006
NV 02 Heller (R) 48.8 48.8 -0.03
OH 14 LaTourette (R) 49.1 49.4 -0.2
PA 12 Murtha (D) 49.1 49.5 -0.3
MI 03 Ehlers (R) 48.7 49.2 -0.5
CO 04 Markey (D) 48.7 49.5 -0.9
FL 25 Diaz-Balart (R) 49.2 50.2 -1.0

State CD Member Party Obama % McCain % 3-way
TN 01 Roe (R) 28.8 69.8 -41.0
TX 19 Neugebauer (R) 27.4 71.9 -44.6
OK 03 Lucas (R) 27.2 72.8 -45.6
LA 01 Scalise (R) 25.7 72.7 -47.0
TX 08 Brady (R) 25.5 73.8 -48.2
TX 11 Conaway (R) 23.7 75.5 -51.7
GA 09 Deal (R) 23.5 75.3 -51.9
AL 06 Bachus (R) 23.3 75.9 -52.6
TX 13 Thornberry (R) 22.7 76.5 -53.83
AL 04 Aderholt (R) 22.5 76.3 -53.84

Were there any changes in these lists from 2004? Not much change in the most Democratic 10: the only one falling off the list is CA-08 (which was the only white plurality district in the top 10), replaced by IL-07. Four districts get swapped into/out of the most Republican 10: KS-01, UT-01, NE-03, and UT-03 (the second reddest district in 2004) fall off the list, while OK-03, TN-01, LA-01, and AL-04 move on. In fact, AL-04, a toxic mix of Birmingham exurbs and the southernmost tip of Appalachia, moves up from only the 14th most Republican district in 2004 to the single reddest district in 2008.

There’s no overlap between the 2008 and 2004 closest districts; the closest district in 2004 was IA-03. Here’s one more figure that tells the story of the two elections, though: IA-03 in 2004 was the 180th most Democratic district in the country. PA-03 in 2008, on the other hand, was the 243rd. (In other words… Kerry won 179 districts. Obama won 242 of them.)

NY-20: Predictions Thread

Polls close at 9PM Eastern tomorrow night for the whirlwind special election to fill the seat of Kirsten Gillibrand, where Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco are facing off for the big prize. We usually post these kinds of threads on election day, but let’s get started a little bit early this time: In the comments, feel free to share your predictions for this race.

The winner gets named national finance co-chair of DavidNYC’s new campaign for Manhattan Borough Dogcatcher. (What, you think he posted that thread out of mere idle curiosity?)

SSP Daily Digest: 3/30

NY-20: One day left to go in the special election. The district’s most popular politician, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is appearing in GOTV robocalls blanketing the district.

The Times-Union finds that there’s been a flood of money into the race in the last few weeks from Republican third party groups. Of the $1.1 in independent expenditures since last Tuesday, $300K were Democratic, while $800K were Republican.

Also, Libertarian candidate Eric Sundwall, who got kicked off the ballot last week because of a challenge to his petition signatures originated by Republicans, has endorsed Scott Murphy (seemingly more out of spite than out of agreement on the issues). His dozens of supporters may not make a big impact on the election, but it’s yet another news story that’s a black eye for Jim Tedisco.

KY-Sen: Lt. Gov Dan Mongiardo picked up an important endorsement in the Kentucky senate primary: from his boss, Gov. Steve Beshear. (Important in the sense that it would be kind of awkward if he didn’t get that endorsment.)

OH-Sen: Two big endorsements for SoS Jennifer Brunner in the Ohio senate primary: one from a major union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and one from Caroline Kennedy, who hosted a NYC fundraiser for Brunner.

AK-Sen: With the possibility of a Lisa Murkowski/Sarah Palin primary in the 2010 Alaska senate race looming, here are some numbers that might give Palin some pause. A primary against Murkowski wouldn’t be the cakewalk for Palin that some had supposed. Hayes Research didn’t test a head-to-head, but they found that Palin’s approve/disapprove (among all voters, not just GOPers) is 60/35, while Murkowski is even better at 72/21. Palin’s “very negative” is 21%, while Murkowski’s is only 7%.

OR-05: In response to the news that two-time loser Mike Erickson is considering another race, Blue Oregon comes up with a helpful list of somewhat more credible candidates as the GOP tries to dislodge Kurt Schrader before he gets entrenched. Former and current state legislators that get a mention include former majority leader Wayne Scott, as well as Bill Kennemer, Kim Thatcher, Vicki Berger, and Vic Gilliam.

Redistricting: Believe it or not, the state of Ohio is hosting a “redistricting competition” to see who can come up with the best map for the state. Some of the criteria they’re using to judge entrants (like “compactness”) might be anathema to hardcore partisans, but the contest could still be fun nonetheless. The sign-up form is here. (D)

CT-Sen: Looks like Robbie Simmons is going to have some company in the GOP primary for the nod to take on Chris Dodd; state Sen. Sam Caligiuri, the former mayor of Waterbury, is expected to announce his candidacy tomorrow. (J)