AR-Sen: GOP Smurfs Beating Lincoln in New Poll

Rasmussen (9/28, likely voters):

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 39

Gilbert Baker (R): 47

Undecided: 8

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 41

Curtis Coleman (R): 43

Undecided: 11

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 40

Tom Cox (R): 43

Undecided: 11

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 41

Kim Hendren (R): 44

Undecided: 10

(MoE: ±4.4%)

Back in August, Public Policy Polling put out a release with Lincoln in tossups with some of these same names. Research 2000, more recently, had a somewhat healthier diagnosis: she was ahead of all of these guys by anywhere between 7 and 19 points, but she only did so while scoring in the mid-40s — well under that magical 50% line. Whether or not Rasmussen is painting an exaggerated picture (and, arguably, they’re not that far out of line with PPP) is questionable, but the fact remains that Lincoln hasn’t posted a higher showing than the low or mid-40s in any poll we’ve seen this year.

RaceTracker: AR-Sen

VA-Gov: Rasmussen Poll Has McDonnell Bouncing Back

Rasmussen (9/29, likely voters, 9/16):

Creigh Deeds (D): 42 (46)

Bob McDonnell (R): 51 (48)

Undecided: 7 (5)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

In the great “Is it tightening or not?” debate of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Rasmussen has come down on the side of SurveyUSA after showing a tight race in their previous poll. PPP, InsiderAdvantage, the Washington Post, and Research 2000 have all shown narrowing margins in their most recent polls, but SUSA and Rasmussen are the freshest out of the oven. I don’t think we’ll have to wait long for yet another batch of Virginia polls to be released, though.

RaceTracker: VA-Gov

SSP Daily Digest: 9/30

NH-Sen: Joe Biden will be on duty to help Paul Hodes (who hasn’t set the world on fire with his fundraising so far) at a DC fundraiser on Oct. 5.

SC-Sen: Democrats appear to have a candidate with some financial heft to take on Sen. Jim DeMint next year. The Indigo Journal writes that Rock Hill attorney Chad McGowan recently told local Democrats that he’ll be running full-time for the Senate nomination beginning in early October. (J)

CA-Gov: Looks like the period of meditation on the Governor’s race that Jerry Brown promised us didn’t take very long: he’s opening his exploratory committee today. Meanwhile, Meg Whitman managed to poach another member of the Steve Poizner camp; former state GOP chair and former Assembly minority leader Bob Naylor dropped his Poizner endorsement and switched to Whitman.

NJ-Gov: Yet another pollster sees the same story developing in New Jersey (this time it’s Quinnipiac). The race is tightening to within the margin of error, but it’s not because Jon Corzine is getting much better (he’s still not breaking 40); instead, Chris Christie is slowly deflating, while moderate independent Chris Daggett gains. Today’s poll has Christie up 43-39-12, a definite improvement over last month’s 47-37-9.

VA-Gov: Creigh Deeds is finally playing one of his aces in the hole: Sen. Mark Warner, who generally polls as by far the most popular political figure in the state, cut an ad for Deeds and will be campaiging for him on weekends. Deeds also got an endorsement which, superficially, seems like a big coup, but isn’t, really: former GOP governor Linwood Holton. (The moderate Holton is father-in-law to Tim Kaine and endorsed Barack Obama in 2008.)

NH-02: It looks like ex-Rep. Charlie Bass is getting off the fence and moving closer to an effort to reclaim his old seat, which he lost to Paul Hodes in 2006 but will be an open seat in 2010. He’ll be opening his exploratory committee tomorrow. (Although — maybe this is a possible sign of ambivalence — he says he’s opening the committee because he needs somewhere by quarter’s end to put all the unsolicited checks he’s received lately, or else he’ll have to return them.) He’ll probably still face a primary against the more conservative 2008 candidate, Jennifer Horn, assuming he runs.

NY-23: As expected, Gov. Paterson has set Nov. 3rd for the NY-23 special election, the same day as other elections in the state (such as the NYC mayoral race), and of course the gubernatorial races in NJ and VA. GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava also got an endorsement that falls into the “as expected” category: from the Main Street Partnership, the ideological caucus for the dwindling ranks of moderate House Republicans.

PA-04, 08: Two sophomore Democrats in Pennsylvania both got Republican challengers. In the Pittsburgh suburbs’ R+6 4th, Keith Rothfus, a Republican lawyer and former Dept. of Homeland Security official, will challenge Rep. Jason Altmire. (Apparently the NRCC’s top recruit, state House minority whip Mike Turzai, has been balking so far.) Meanwhile, in the less challenging 8th in the Philly burbs, computer consultant Jeffrey Schott is slated to run against Rep. Patrick Murphy.

Ohio Redistricting

Welcome.  This is my first diary of any kind here on SSP, and it’s about a topic that’s both geographically local to me and very relevant on a national scale.  Ohio is perhaps the most pre-eminent swing state in the nation, rivaled only by states like Missouri, Florida, and Iowa.  Ohio is important because of it’s wealth of electoral votes, 7th most in the nation.  In 2002, the Republicans were in complete control of redistricting, and drew a map that they hoped would produce a 12-6 split in their favor.  Due to demographic changes, scandals, and a national wave of strength for the Democrats in 2006 and 2008, the Democrats now lead in the Ohio congressional delegation by a 10-8 margin.  I have seen many maps made for Ohio redistricting, and they all seem to be quite similar in nature, involving incumbent protection.  What I wanted to do was create a compact map, where most counties wouldn’t have to be split apart, and one that would result in lots of competitive districts.  As such, the map you’re about to see may not make sense to you, and would certainly anger people on both sides of the aisle.  I’m not sure it’s entirely realistic, but this is what I would do if I was drawing Ohio’s congressional map.  

Navy – District 1 (Cincinnati – Steve Driehaus/Democrat) – This district is now totally within Hamilton County.  It doesn’t change a whole lot, but should be friendlier to Driehaus.  It loses the Butler county portion and adds some of Cincinnati’s eastern suburbs, while keeping his base in downtown and Cincy’s west side.  His old district went 55/44 for Obama, and I have this version standing at a PVI of about D+3 or D+4.  It’s a district that the Rs could still win with the right candidate, but it Leans Democrat.

Hamilton West – Obama 180,665 (56.5%), McCain 136,054 (42.5%)

District 1 total – Obama 180,665 (57.0%), McCain 136,054 (43.0%)

Dark Green – District 2 (Southwest – John Boehner/Republican vs Jean Schmidt/Republican) – This is the first of 2 R vs R fights under this proposal, and it’s a good one.  House minority leader Boehner against dirtbag Jean Schmidt.  I have to believe that Boehner would win such a contest, thus ridding Ohio’s delegation of their arguably worst member.  Schmidt would have a better shot moving into the new 7th and challenging freshman Steve Austria.  This district would be Safe Republican.

Hamilton East – McCain 52,192, Obama 28,137

Butler – McCain 101,537 (60.9%), Obama 62,871 (37.7%)

Warren – McCain 69,741 (67.6%), Obama 32,272 (31.4%)

District 2 total – McCain 223,470 (64.4%), Obama 123,280 (35.6%)

Purple – District 3 (Dayton – Mike Turner/Republican) – Competitiveness, along with compactness, was a major goal of my redistricting map.  One person that certainly won’t like my ideas is Mike Turner.  I’ve paired Montgomery County with Clark County to create what amounts to a closely contested district in the Dayton area.  To do this I removed Republican havens Warren and Highland counties.  Turner’s fairly entrenched in the Dayton area, and has a strong base of support, so he’d be fine, but this configuration did go narrowly for Obama in 2008.  If it were to be an open seat, it’d be a Toss Up.

Preble – McCain  13,340 (64.7%), 6,846 (33.2%)

Montgomery – Obama 136,110 (51.8%), McCain 123,040 (46.8%)

Clark – McCain 31,821 (51.3%), Obama 29,122 (46.9%)

District 3 total – Obama 172,078 (50.6%), McCain 168,201 (49.4%)

Red – District 4 (West – Jim Jordan/Republican) – Jim Jordan’s district shifts south and west a bit, taking in chunks of John Boehner and Bob Latta’s old territory while giving up some land in the north central part of the state.  No big deal for Jordan though, this is a Safe Republican district.

Paulding – McCain 5,204 (54.6%), Obama 4,043 (42.4%)

Putnam – McCain 12,855 (70.1%), Obama 5,169 (28.2%)

Hancock – McCain 21,898 (61.0%), Obama 13,357 (37.2%)

Hardin – McCain 7,553 (59.3%), Obama 4,847 (38.0%)

Allen – McCain 26,167 (60.2%), Obama 16,575 (38.1%)

Van Wert – McCain 8,993 (62.7%), Obama 5,046 (35.2%)

Mercer – McCain 14,730 (71.3%), Obama 5,636 (27.3%)

Auglaize – McCain 15,938 (70.0%), Obama 6,492 (28.5%)

Darke – McCain 17,226 (68.4%), Obama 7,456 (29.6%)

Shelby – McCain 15,005 (67.7%), Obama 6,777 (30.6%)

Logan – McCain 13,440 (62.6%), Obama 7,615 (35.5%

Miami – McCain 22,217 (66.0%), Obama 10,739 (31.9%)

Champaign – McCain 10,919 (59,2%),  Obama 7,161 (38.9%)

Union – McCain 15,049 (63.2%), Obama 8,348 (35.1%)

District 4 total – McCain 191,694 (63.7%) – Obama 109,261 (36.3%)

Yellow – District 5 (North – Open) – This is one of two open districts I have created, since I have primary fights occurring in every corner of the state.  It’s a fairly compact district and one that’s fairly closely contested as well, combining Democratic strongholds in Lorain and Erie counties with Republican areas in Wyandot, Crawford, and Marion counties.  The district went for Obama in 2008 but went for Bush in 2004.  It’s a definite Toss Up, as it’s PVI is right around even.  A lot would depend on who runs here for both sides.  

Ottawa – Obama 11,760 (52.1%), McCain 10,417 (46.1%)

Sandusky – Obama 15,101 (51.0%), McCain 13,935 (47.1%)

Seneca – McCain 13,588 (50.6%), Obama 12,751 (47.5%)

Wyandot – McCain 6,190 (57.3%), Obama 4,362 (40.4%)

Marion – McCain 14,840 (53.9%), Obama 12,016 (43.7%)

Crawford – McCain 12,050 (58.4%), Obama 8,045 (39.0%)

Erie – Obama 22,277 (55.7%), McCain 17,080 (42.7%)

Huron – McCain 10,001 (50.2%), Obama 9,461 (47.5%)

Lorain – Obama 77,719 (57.5%), McCain 55,031 (40.7%)

District 5 total – Obama 173,492 (53.1%), McCain 153,132 (46.9%)

Turquoise – District 6 (Southeast – Zach Space/Democrat vs Charlie Wilson/Democrat) – Here’s the first D vs D primary fight, and it occurs between these two sophomore reps in the southeast.  I combined these two because let’s face it, there’s just not enough territory to protect every Democrat in the east even if I wanted to.  The district runs all the way from the southern tip of the state up north into Tuscarawas, Carroll, and Columbiana counties just south of Canton and Youngstown.  Years ago this was a safe D seat, but Obama’s poor performance here has left the door open for the right Republican.  This is probably the toughest seat in Ohio to rate because of it’s democratic history coupled with Obama’s very poor performance.  I give it a rating of Leans Republican, just because no Dem candidate since Clinton has carried it.

Lawrence – McCain 15,055 (56.8%), Obama 10,956 (41.3%)

Jackson – McCain 7,837 (58.9%), Obama 5,108 (38.4%)

Gallia – McCain 8,047 (62.1%), Obama 4,616 (35.6%)

Meigs – McCain 5,891 (58.2%), Obama 3,990 (39.4%)

Athens – Obama 19,258 (66.5%), McCain 9,107 (31.4%)

Washington – McCain 16,638 (56.9%), Obama 12,082 (41.3%)

Monroe – Obama 3,623 (53.2%), McCain 2,973 (43.7%)

Noble – McCain 3,387 (56.0%), Obama 2,419 (40.0%)

Guernsey – McCain 8,950 (53.2%), Obama 7,369 (43.8%)

Belmont – Obama 15,986 (50.3%), McCain 15,127 (47.6%)

Tuscarawas – Obama 20,957 (50.1%), McCain 19,940 (47.6%)

Harrison – McCain 3,717 (50.0%), Obama 3,495 (47.0%)

Carroll – McCain 6,952 (50.7%), Obama 6,302 (46.0%)

Jefferson – Obama 17,266 (49.0%), McCain 17,216 (48.9%)

Columbiana – McCain 24,891 (52.8%), Obama 21,222 (45.1%)

District 6 total – McCain 165,728 (51.1%) – Obama 158,318 (48.9%)

Gray – District 7 (South – Steve Austria/Republican) – Nobody’s going to be more thrilled about this proposal than Steve Austria.  He ends up taking in a district that encompasses much of southern Ohio, stretching from his Greene County home to the Cincinnati exurbs, then far eastward through cities like Chillicothe and Portsmouth.  It takes in a lot of Jean Schmidt’s old territory along the Ohio River.  Although some of the counties in the east part of this district are swingy in nature, Austria should have no problem in the new 7th, which I would classify as Safe Republican.

Greene – McCain 39,252 (58.4%), Obama 27,162 (40.4%)

Clinton – McCain 12,037 (64.6%), Obama 6,267 (33.6%)

Fayette – McCain 6,931 (61.3%), Obama 4,199 (37.1%)

Clermont – McCain 60,287 (65.8%), Obama 30,124 (32.9%)

Brown – McCain 11,873 (60.7%), Obama 7,280 (37.2%)

Highland – McCain 11,390 (62.5%), Obama 6,437 (35.3%)

Adams – McCain 6,725 (60.8%), Obama 4,041 (36.5%)

Ross – McCain 16,027 (53.0%), Obama 13,636 (45.1%)

Pike – McCain 6,005 (49.5%), Obama 5,833 (48.1%)

Scioto – McCain 16,472 (52.2%), Obama 14,470 (45.8%)

Vinton – McCain 2,962 (53.6%), Obama 2,405 (43.5%)

District 7 – McCain 189,961 (60.9%) – Obama 121,854 (39.1%)

Lavender – District 8 (Northeast/Central – Patrick Tiberi/Republican) – Patrick Tiberi gets a nice break here, as his district moves entirely out of Franklin county, and picks up a new region in the northeastern-central part of the state.  This district runs from his Delaware County base to Zanesville in the east, up north to Mansfield.  I classify this is as a Safe Republican District.

Delaware – McCain 53,670 (59.3%), Obama 35,848 (39.6%)

Morrow – McCain 9,787 (60.7%), Obama 5,960 (37.0%)

Richland – McCain 32,590 (55.8%), Obama 24,473 (41.9%)

Knox – McCain 16,207 (59.0%), Obama 10,702 (39.0%)

Licking – McCain 30,545 (59.6%), Obama 19,768 (38.6%)

Holmes – McCain 7,590 (69.6%), Obama 3,074 (28.2%)

Coshocton – McCain 8,583 (51.5%), Obama 7,580 (45.5%)

Muskingum – McCain 20,174 (52.9%), Obama 17,209 (45.1%)

Morgan – McCain 3,387 (52.1%), Obama 2,921 (44.9%)

District 8 total – McCain 182,533 (58.8%) – Obama 127,535 (41.2%)

Teal – District 9 (Northwest/Toledo – Marcy Kaptur/Democrat vs Bob Latta/Republican) – I’m extremely proud of this district, which covers the northwestern corner of the state.  It also produces our first D vs R battle royal.  Luckily for Democrats, it shouldn’t even be a contest, as Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, Ohio’s longest running representative, takes on Bob Latta, a redshirt freshman out of Bowling Green.  Latta’s a lying scumbag, which is why I wanted to take him out.  In this map, he doesn’t even really have a base to counter Kaptur, considering that his home Wood County went 53/46 for Obama in 2008, and even the rural counties out west of Toledo took hard swings to the left.  In an open seat, I’d call this district Likely Democrat, which in this battle means that Kaptur will probably cruise.  I suppose Latta could move into the neighboring 5th, but that district would still be a much tougher win than his current district.

Williams – McCain 9,618 (53.9%), Obama 7,892 (44.2%)

Defiance – McCain 9,334 (54.7%), Obama 7,394 (43.3%)

Henry – McCain 8,091 (55.7%), Obama 6,163 (42.4%)

Fulton – McCain 11,414 (53.3%), Obama 9,627 (45.0%)

Wood – Obama 32,956 (52.5%), McCain 28,819 (45.9%)

Lucas – Obama 134,729 (64.5%), McCain 70,865 (34.0%)

9th District Total – Obama 198,761 (59.0%), McCain 138,141 (41.0%)

Pink – District 10 (Cleveland West – Dennis Kucinich/Democrat) – Another member of Ohio’s delegation I dislike is Dennis Kucinich.  I didn’t go all out to take him out, which would have been impossible anyway seeing as he’s from Cuyahoga County, but in the name of competition and fairness to the Repubs I did weaken his district significantly as it now includes R-leaning Medina County.  This seat still Leans Democrat, but it would certainly make Dennis the Menace sweat things out a bit more, and in an open seat situation, it’s not out of the question that the Republicans could win it with the right candidate.

Cuyahoga West – Obama 177,318 (56.8%), McCain 124,135 (42.7%)

Medina North – McCain 25,460 (55.9%), Obama 19,037 (41.8%)

District 10 Total – Obama 196,355 (56.7%) – McCain 149,595 (43.3%)

Light Green – District 11 (Cleveland East – Marcia Fudge/Democrat) – Still a plurality black district in Eastern Cuyahoga County and little changed, Fudge would have no problem in this Safe Democrat seat.  I didn’t bother to make it over 50% black as that would require some serious gerrymandering, probably down into Akron.

Cuyahoga East – Obama 264,518 (78.0%), McCain 72,234 (21.3%)

District 11 Total – Obama 264,518 (78.4%), McCain 72,234 (21.6%)

Light Blue – District 12 (Columbus East – Open) – I don’t think it’s asking much to get 2 Dem representatives out of the Columbus area, and since the Republicans are so hell bent on splitting Columbus apart, here’s your 2nd new district in the state.  It’s composed of the Eastern half of Franklin County and extends into Hocking and Perry Counties, which are swingish.  Despite the presence of R-leaning Fairfield County, I think that the Democrats would have the advantage here, as it went narrowly for Kerry in 2004 and went big for Obama in 2008 as the entire Columbus area took a hard swing to the left.  I rate this as Leans Democrat.

Perry – McCain 7,585 (50.1%), Obama 7,128 (47.1%)

Hocking – McCain 6,201 (49.2%), Obama 6,083 (49.2%)

Fairfield – McCain 40,708 (57.9%), Obama 28,487 (40.5%)

Franklin East – Obama 137,360 (60.0%), McCain 88,029 (38.4%)

District 12 Total – Obama 179,058 (55.7%) – McCain 142,523 (44.3%)

Peach – District 13 (Akron – Betty Sutton/Democrat) – One of the oddities of this map is that Betty Sutton, my representative, wouldn’t be my rep anymore, it’d be Kucinich.  Ugg.  I guess I’m just taking one for the team.  Anyway, Sutton’s district is now centered around Akron and contains all of Summit and Portage Counties.  With her popularity and the district’s partisan leanings, she’ll have no problem.  In an open seat situation, it’d probably rate as Likely Democrat.  Not having to slice up Akron three ways and giving it a district of its own was one of my goals, and this district accomplishes that.

Medina South – McCain 6,325 (52.3%), Obama – 5,577 (46.1%)

Summit – Obama 151,932 (57.7%), McCain 107,937 (41.0%)

Portage – Obama 32,160 (53.3%), McCain 26,959 (44.7%)

District 13 total – Obama 189,669 (57.3%) – McCain 141,221 (42.7%)

Brown – District 14 (Northeast – Steven LaTourette/Republican vs Tim Ryan/Democrat) – And now we come to the battle of the titans, Latourette vs Ryan in Ohio’s northeastern corner.  This district stretches from Lake and R-leaning Geauga counties on Cleveland’s east side over to Youngstown and D-leaning Trumbull county along the Pennsylvania border.  When the PVI comes out, it’s probably Democratic by a point or two, but its close enough that I consider it to be a Toss Up in an open seat situation, or in this case, a contraction battle for the ages.

Lake – Obama 54,786 (49.3%), McCain 54,441 (49.0%)

Geauga – McCain 28,314 (56.9%), Obama 20,692 (41.6%)

Ashtabula – Obama 24,233 (54.2%), McCain 18,464 (41.3%)

Trumbull – Obama 62,254 (59.8%), McCain 39,319 (37.8%)

Mahoning North – Obama 24,960 (66.4%), McCain 12,056 (32.2%)

District 14 total – Obama 186,925 (55.0%), McCain 152,594 (45.0%)

Orange – District 15 (Columbus West – Mary Jo Kilroy/Democrat) – This district is little changed, and includes the western half of Franklin County along with Madison and Pickaway counties, losing Union to Jim Jordan’s 4th.  I rate the district as Leans Democrat, just like the neighboring 12th.  I think Kilroy should still be fine with the way Columbus is rapidly turning blue, but in an open seat, like so many other D-leaning seats I’ve created, the R’s would have a good shot at a pickup.  

Madison – McCain 10,178 (61.0%), Obama 6,193 (37.1%)

Pickaway – McCain 13,087 (60.3%), Obama 8,229 (37.9%)

Franklin West – Obama 167,784 (58.1%), McCain 117,309 (40.6%)

District 15 Total – Obama 182,206 (56.4%) – McCain 140,574 (43.6%)

Green – District 16 (East Central – John Boccieri/Democrat) – John Boccieri should be a happy man as well.  His district doesn’t change a lot, but it does lose Medina County and instead adds in most of Youngstown’s Mahoning County suburbs, which lean heavily D.  In an open seat situation, this is definitely a Toss Up, but a strengthened Boccieri would have no problem securing re-election in this Canton-based district.

Mahoning South – Obama 51,396 (59.6%), McCain 33,283 (38.6%)

Stark – Obama 66,712 (50.2%), McCain 63,283 (47.6%)

Wayne – McCain 28,730 (56.4%), Obama 21,144 (41.5%)

Ashland – McCain 14,788 (60.3%), Obama 9,027 (36.8%)

District 16 Total – Obama 161,626 (53.5%) – McCain 140,084 (46.5%)

So to recap, if all 16 seats were open in a given election, here’s the ratings:

Solid R – 4 seats (2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th)

Likely R – 0 seats

Lean R – 1 seat (6th)

Toss Up – 4 seats (3rd, 5th, 14th, 16th)

Lean D – 4 seats (1st, 10th, 12th, 15th)

Likely D – 2 seats (9th, 13th)

Solid D – 1 seat (11th)

And there you have it.  Comments, reactions, complaints?

Edit:  I’m planning on doing maps for the Ohio House and Ohio Senate as well.  

Colorado Redistricting

I am worried about the Colorado Governorship but the Democrats should still control one part of the State Legislature. They have large majorities in both houses. This calls for an incumbent protection plan even though I already expect one because the Democrats want to protect Betsy Markey and John Salazar. Salazar seems pretty safe but I decided to protect him anyway because eventually, the Republicans will find a strong challenger. The two other Republicans should have no problems under this plan. Here are the maps:

Northwest Colorado

Northeast Colorado

Southeast Colorado

Southwest Colorado

District 1 Diana De Gette (D) Blue

This district resembles Betsy Markey’s current district a bit because I extended it out into the heavily Republican prairie. Even though these counties are heavily Republican, they have barely any people. Since Denver is so Democratic, Republicans have no chance at this district. To satisfy minority politicians, this district is also minority majority. Obama probably won 69% of the vote here. Demographics are 8% Black, 38% Hispanic and 48% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

District 2 Jared Polis (D) Green

Okay, I did not make everyone stronger. I sent Polis’s district out to the Utah border to include Mesa County (Grand Junction) which McCain won by 20,000 votes. Polis should not worry because Boulder County (Boulder) went for Obama by 80,000 votes. Excluding the slice of Jefferson and Adams Counties, the vote results for the new 2nd district were Obama 174,567 and McCain 116,890. I estimate Obama won about 56% of the vote in the Jefferson and Adams County portions so Obama probably won 59% of the vote in the district.  Polis is a Boulder Liberal and the district should be Democratic enough to protect him. Demographics are 13% Hispanic and 81% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

District 3 John Salazar (D) Purple

I removed Grand Junction and nearby Republican counties in return for more ski resort counties in the Rocky Mountains like Eagle County. The Jefferson County part I added should not interrupt the district because it only has about 14% of the district’s population. Overall, Obama probably won 55% of the vote here. Salazar won here easily but now, I am sure he will win reelection here until he retires. Demographics are 22% Hispanic and 72% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

District 4 Betsy Markey (D) Red

Obama barely lost the old district because it had most of the heavily Republican counties to the east. I took those out and exchanged them with some Democratic territory in Adams County. The 4th district still has Republican Weld County but its votes should be offset by Adams County. Obama probably won 53-54% of the vote here, enough to protect Freshman Betsy Markey. Demographics are 19% Hispanic and 75% White. Status is Safe/Likely Democrat.

District 5 Doug Lamborn (R) Yellow

This district was already heavily Republican, even though Obama did much better here than Kerry. Those eastern counties needed to get into a district so I chose this one. Since it retains its base at Colorado Springs, Lamborn should be here indefinitely. McCain probably won 61% of the vote here. Demographics are 5% Black and 14% Hispanic. Status is Safe Republican.

District 6 Mike Coffman (R) Teal

Coffman gets a boost too under the new map. He loses small portions of Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties which lean Democratic. Since Douglas County is the fastest growing county in Colorado, the 6th district does not need much new territory to balance population. I also added heavily Republican Teller County. Overall, the district becomes more Republican. In the later part of the 2010’s, the district might become shaky as more Democrats move into the suburbs. For now, Coffman is safe unless he faces an extremely hard challenge. McCain probably won 55% of the vote. Status is Safe/Likely Republican.

District 7 Ed Perlmutter (D) Gray

I kept the district mostly the way it was. The changes I made were taking out Republican parts of Adams County, a bit of Jefferson and I added a touch of Denver. These changes should make the district even more Democratic, ensuring Perlmutter’s safety. I decided it was too risky to try to swap some territory with the 6th district to weaken Coffman. It would not be worth it because there will be Republican years. The Democratic incumbents need to be as safe as possible. Obama probably won 62% of the vote here. Demographics are 7% Black, 23% Hispanic and 62% White. Status is Safe Democrat.  

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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VA-Gov: PPP Says Race Tightening, SUSA Does Not Concur

Two new Virginia polls out today. Let’s cut ’em open while they’re still fresh on the table.

Public Policy Polling (9/25-28, likely voters, 8/28-31 in parens):

Creigh Deeds (D): 43 (42)

Bob McDonnell (R): 48 (49)

Undecided: 8 (9)

(MoE: ±4.1%)

More, from Jensen:

Deeds appears to have more room to grow. 53% of the remaining undecideds are Democrats while only 7% are Republicans. Although the fact that Deeds has not locked up those votes yet does show some degree of lukewarmness toward his campaign, those voters are still more than likely going to end up ‘coming home.’ […]

Bob McDonnell’s thesis is having a mixed impact on the race. Only 2% of people who say they supported him a month ago now say they’re going to vote for Deeds, so the extent to which the thesis is changing people’s minds is limited. But it may be playing a role in increasing Democratic turnout. In our last poll those planning to vote this year had voted for John McCain by a 49-45 margin. Now the likely electorate voted for Barack Obama by a 48-45 margin, indicating intended Democratic turnout is now pushing closer to what it was last year. The thesis may not have turned McDonnell votes into Deeds votes, but it looks like it is helping to turn non-voters into Deeds votes.

Jensen goes on to say that if the electorate looks like the one that turned out last November, “Deeds will probably pull this one out by the skin of his teeth”. The idea that Deeds would need an Obama-style turnout operation to win is at least moderately disturbing, but it’s nothing new. However, PPP’s release was the more optimistic of the two polls released today.

SurveyUSA (9/26-28, likely voters, 9/1-3 in parens):

Creigh Deeds (D): 41 (42)

Bob McDonnell (R): 55 (54)

Undecided: 4 (4)

(MoE: ±4%)

That’s an ugly spread for Creigh, but SUSA is looking at a pretty starkly different voter universe than PPP is. PPP’s sample voted for Obama over McCain by a 48-45 margin (up from 49-45 McCain in late August), while SUSA’s last two polls have had 51-44 McCain samples. All other pollsters have shown a tightening race in the past few weeks, so SUSA is either in error or they’ve caught on to something that everyone else has missed:

RaceTracker: VA-Gov

Results Open Thread (NYC Runoff, PA SD-24)

10:20PM: (Crisitunity) Yeesh. Final result in Pennsylvania was 66-30 in favor of Mensch (R), with the balance to the Libertarian.

9:52PM: As for Pennsylvania, I’m not going to manually add up the various county totals, but suffice it to say, we got crushed there.

9:48PM: These races are totally over. With over 80% of the vote counted, Liu has racked up almost 57% of the vote while de Blasio utterly pounded Mark Green with 63% of the vote.

9:36PM: Half the vote is in and it’s looking pretty solid for Liu & de Blasio. When was the last time in NYC that a candidate who led after the first round of voting didn’t win the runoff? If we really do have to keep runoffs (this one cost $15 million), at least adopt instant runoff voting (IRV) for primaries.

9:31PM: A quarter of the vote has been counted, and de Blasio is up to 61% while Liu is doing well at 58%. Both men had the endorsement of the Working Families Party, whose GOTV strengths probably played a big role in this low-turnout affair.

9:28PM: 15% in, and Liu and de Blasio are both in the high 50s. If this holds, I’ll be a happy camper.

9:24PM: 9% in now – Liu 55, de Blasio 59. Don’t know what’s wrong with NY1’s website, but that’s why you’ve got SSP!

9:21PM: With 4.6% in, both Liu and de Blasio are at about 58% apiece.

9:19PM (David): NY1’s website hasn’t updated yet, but on TV, they just flashed some very early nums. With 2% of precincts reporting, both de Blasio (54%) and Liu (58%) have leads.

Two elections going on tonight, in New York City and the suburbs of Philadelphia. Polls close at 8 pm eastern in Pennsyvlania, and at 9 pm eastern in NYC.

In New York, there are primary runoffs between the top two Democratic candidates in two of the three citywide offices. In the Public Advocate race, ex-PA Mark Green and city council Bill DeBlasio face off. In the Comptroller race, city councilors John Liu and David Yassky meet. (DeBlasio and Liu came out of the primaries with narrow edges.)

You can follow the NYC results at NY1.

In Pennsylvania, there’s an open seat in state Senate district 24, which takes in low-density portions of Montgomery, Bucks, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties in between Philadelphia and Allentown. This district does reach up to take the old industrial town of Easton (where they make Crayola crayons), which — having added up precinct-level results — pushes the district a little more to the left than I’d originally thought. Barack Obama won this district in 2008, in fact by a margin that gives this about as close to “even” a PVI as you’ll ever see: he beat John McCain 52.9%-45.8%. (More than one-third of the votes are in MontCo, where Obama won 52-47. Easton and environs are in Northampton, where Obama won 59-40. Fewer votes are in Bucks and Lehigh, both of which Obama won 50-49.)

Unfortunately, Democrats don’t seem poised to capitalize on the district’s lean after higher-profile candidates passed on the race; against a Republican state Representative, Bob Mensch, the Democratic candidate, Anne Scheuring, has only been on the Lansdale city council since 2008. Results can be followed at the SoS website.

SSP Daily Digest: 9/29

CA-Sen: Politics Magazine takes a look at how the blowback from the launch of iCarly Fiorina’s new website continues from all ends of the political spectrum, including a nice dig from SSP’s own Ben Schaffer. As California’s right-wingers sputter, there were also rumors circulating at the state’s recent Republican convention that radio talk-show host Larry Elder — the conservatives’ preferred candidate, and someone who expressed interest in the race — got boxed out by the NRSC, who told him not to run.

IN-Sen: 33-year-old state Sen. Marlin Stutzman launched his long-shot bid against Evan Bayh with some help from Rep. Mark Souder, who introduced Stutzman at his kickoff rally. The race already has some fourth-tier figures in it: businessmen Richard Behney and Don Bates. Grant County Commissioner Mark Bardsley, former state Rep. Dan Dumezich, and self-funding popcorn magnate Will Weaver are also considering the race.

NH-Sen: Kelly Ayotte is taking this whole not-saying-anything-about-her-positions thing to an illogical extreme, refusing to say for whom she voted for Governor in 2006 and 2008. Primary opponents Ovide Lamontagne and Sean Mahoney were quick to announce that they voted for Jim Coburn and Joe Kenney — i.e. the guys who ran against Ayotte’s ex-boss, Democratic Gov. John Lynch.

NY-Sen-B: Ed Cox, having secured his role as New York state GOP chair despite a push from Rudy Giuliani to install one of his own lieutenants in the role, is now trying to make nice with Giuliani, encouraging him to run for the Senate seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand instead of for Governor. Giuliani hasn’t been returning Cox’s calls, and insists via spokespersons that it’s Governor or nothing.

AZ-01: Former state Senate majority leader Rusty Bowers has filed to form an exploratory committee to run against freshman Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the mostly-rural 1st. He’s been out of the legislature since 2001 and has been a lobbyist for the Arizona Rock Products Association since then.

IL-07: Rep. Danny Davis, who previously seemed poised to bail out of his west Chicago seat and run for Cook County Board President, now seems to be dialing that back. Davis says he has the signatures collected to run for Board President “should [he] choose to do so.” He may be having some second thoughts now that he has a key seat on Ways and Means and also because the expected field-clearing for him in the Board race didn’t happen. With Illinois’s super-early February primary, he has until mid-November to  make up his mind. Alderwoman Sharon Dixon says she’s running in the primary in the 7th regardless of what Davis does, though; however, some other likely contenders, like state Rep. LaShawn Ford and state Sen. Rickey Hendon are in a holding pattern to see what Davis does.

IL-14: The field to take on Rep. Bill Foster in the Chicago suburbs just keeps growing, with the addition of GOP state Sen. Randy Hultgren. His best-known opponent in the now five-way primary is lawyer Ethan Hastert.

MI-11: Natalie Mosher is a fundraising consultant who’s the only person with a hat in the ring for the Dems to go up against Rep. Thad McCotter. She’s telling supporters via e-mail that she’s “very close” to being named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program — although that seems to be news to the DCCC, who say that R2B decisions won’t be made for some time and they are still talking to other possible candidates.

NV-03: Yesterday we reported that former state Sen. Joe Heck was content to stay in the GOP gubernatorial primary, rather than switching over to the NV-03 slot vacated by John Guedry’s withdrawal. However, since then, Heck has signaled more interest, saying he hasn’t ruled it out and is discussing it with his family. Heck could turn out to be a step up from the inexperienced Guedry (remember that Rep. Dina Titus was a replacement candidate as well in 2008, who turned out in the end to be a better bet).

NY-13: Here’s a strange rumor: disgraced ex-Rep. Vito Fossella has been making public rounds, leading to speculation that he’s considering a comeback (although there’s no sense whether he’d try again for the 13th, or elsewhere).

NY-23: The Watertown Daily Times has some juicy dirt on Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman, who apparently pledged his support to GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava shortly after he was passed over by the party in favor of her… and then shortly thereafter reached out to the Conservatives and got their nod. His defense is that he didn’t know just how “liberal” Scozzafava really was, despite that having been a main bone of contention even before her selection.

NYC: With the primary runoff elections set for tonight, SurveyUSA has a final poll of the two races at issue: Public Advocate and Comptroller. For Public Advocate, city councilor Bill DeBlasio leads ex-PA Mark Green 49-42 (although DeBlasio narrowly won the primary, Green led every poll prior to it). And for Comptroller, Eric John Liu leads David Yassky 48-40 (both are city councilors). (Discussion of tonight’s main event is underway in Pan‘s diary.) Meanwhile, it looks like Barack Obama won’t be expending any political capital on the New York mayor’s race, unless it becomes clear William Thompson is closing the gap on Michael Bloomberg.

NY-St. Sen.: The Erie County, NY DA’s office is the latest to join a bipartisan chorus calling for an investigation into the shady campaign finance practices of political consultant Steve Pigeon. As you may recall, Pigeon was the mastermind behind billionaire Tom Golisano’s attempted coup in the New York State Senate earlier this year. Pigeon is also buddy-buddy with Republican-turned-Dem Sen. Arlen Specter, and gets a $150,000 sinecure (completely above-board, I’m sure) as counsel to now-legendary scumbag Pedro Espada, Jr. (D)

PA-St. Sen.: One other race to keep an eye on tonight, in addition to the NYC races: a state Senate election in the Philly suburbs. It’s a seat vacated by a Republican (who left to take a job with the Chamber of Commerce); Republican state Rep. Bob Mensch is considered to have the edge to hold the seat over Lansdale councilor Anne Scheuring (picked after better-known Dems took a pass), although Dems have spent considerably on the race. The district (the 24th) takes a bite out of the corners of four counties that went convincingly for Obama (Bucks, Montgomery, Lehigh, and Northampton) but it’s exurban turf and has a Republican registration advantage — which is exactly the kind of district that has bedeviled PA Dems at the legislative level but that the Dems need to pick up if they’re ever going to take over the state Senate. The GOP currently holds a 29-20 edge, plus this one vacancy.

AZ-Gov: Goddard Leads Second Poll; SSP Changes to Tossup

Rasmussen (9/27, likely voters):

Terry Goddard (D): 42

Jan Brewer (R-inc): 35

Some other: 13

Not sure: 11

Terry Goddard (D): 44

Fife Symington (R): 37

Some other: 9

Not sure: 10

(MoE: ±4.5%)

It’s becoming very clear that Democrats have a good shot at a pickup in the Arizona governor’s race, where appointed Republican governor Jan Brewer is struggling, both in her own primary and against Democratic AG Terry Goddard. Last week’s PPP poll giving a big edge to Goddard (beating Brewer by 10 and Symington by 23) seemed fluky at the time, but now Rasmussen is out with numbers almost as good. Now that Brewer’s seeming weakness has been thoroughly quantified, we’re moving this race to “Tossup.”

Rasmussen finds Brewer laboring under a 37/57 job approval and 42/54 favorable. Compounding her situation, Brewer couldn’t have helped herself with remarks last week dissing Phoenix (calling it a “hell hole”), where most of the state’s voters are, while at a Tucson appearance. Convicted-then-pardoned ex-Gov. Fife Symington, inexplicably looking for a comeback, fares even worse at 36/54 favorable, while Goddard is at 54/38. (Rasmussen doesn’t test state Treasurer Dean Martin, who also seems a likely GOP primary opponent to Brewer.)

RaceTracker: AZ-Gov

Ohio, Part 3

By: Inoljt, http://thepolitikalblog.wordpr…

Like most states, Ohio contains several swing areas. Some lean Democratic; others lean Republican. A good politician will usually pick up most of these regions on his or her way to victory.

Swing Ohio

The following map provides a sense of swing Ohio.


Providing balance, the map encompasses two solid Democratic victories and two solid Republican victories. Bearing this in mind, one can readily make out the structural ‘7’ of Ohio politics. Absent three counties, swing Ohio roughly encompasses the outer edges of Ohio’s northern and eastern borders, creating a shape that resembles the number ‘7.’ Strong Democrats win these swing counties and fatten the ‘7.’ Strong Republicans do the inverse.

Let’s look again at Bill Clinton’s 1996 victory.


As noted previously, Clinton is creating a fat ‘7’ in his re-election.

There are several other things that should be observed about Clinton’s victory with regard to swing Ohio. At the bottom of the state, Clinton is winning a group of thinly populated, Appalachian counties. One of these counties is Athens County, home to Ohio State University; it is reliably liberal due to the college. The rest lean Republican. A strong traditional Democrat can and often will win southeast Ohio; if this happens, his Republican opponent is probably going down to defeat.

Bill Clinton is also winning three counties surrounded by red. One of these – Dayton – is the Democratic equivalent of southeast Ohio: it leans Democratic but will occasionally turn up on the other side. In that case the Republican will soon be receiving a concession call.

The other two counties are moving in opposite directions. In Clinton’s day, Clark County – Springfield – and Columbus were two cities squarely in Ohio’s swing category. Since then, however, Springfield has been drifting right: Gore won the county, Kerry and Obama lost it. Meanwhile, Columbus has been doing a hard swing left, so that neither it nor Springfield are swing regions anymore.

Finally, one may note that many places I define as “swing” are colored light red, rather than purple in the first map. This was because of Barack Obama’s peculiar performance in Ohio. The president won the state with an unconventional coalition: he lost much of swing Ohio and made up for it by performing extremely well in Columbus, Cincinnati, and northern Ohio. Whether this coalition was unique to 2008 or foreshadows a structural shift in Ohio is unknown. Personally, I prefer the former explanation.