AZ-Sen: McCain Leads Hayworth by 11

Public Policy Polling (4/23-25, Republican voters):

John McCain (R): 46

J.D. Hayworth (R): 35

Jim Deakin (R): 7

Undecided: 12

(MoE: ±5%)

McCain isn’t in hot shape here, sporting a 44-45 approval rating among primary voters, and losing conservatives to Hayworth by a 46-38 margin. However, the big reason why McCain is in charge, it seems, is that Hayworth is having trouble extending his appeal beyond the righter-than-right clump of the party, attracting a terrible 13-59 approval rating from moderates.

Also, the Behavior Research Center released their general election numbers of this race today, finding McCain up by 46-24 over Democrat Rodney Glassman, and Hayworth ahead of Glassman by 37-30. (Keep in mind the usual caveat with BRC polls, namely that it was conducted over an unusually long two-week period.)

AR-Sen: Halter Gains Some Ground

Research 2000 (4/26-28, likely voters, 4/12-14 in parens):

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 43 (45)

Bill Halter (D): 35 (33)

Other: 7 (6)

Undecided: 15 (16)

(MoE: ±5%)

Halter has made a bit of an ascent over the past couple of weeks, pulling within single digits of Lincoln for the first time after previously stalling at a gap of 12 points. Pay close attention to that “Other” number, which presumably are the votes that tea-flavored Democrat D.C. Morrison is targeting. If no one wins 50% on May 18th, this sucker is going nuclear to a runoff on June 8th. In that event, this could be a race where time may be on Halter’s side.

And for the general election match-ups:

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 42 (43)

John Boozman (R): 52 (50)

Undecided: 6 (7)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 40 (41)

Gilbert Baker (R): 47 (48)

Undecided: 13 (11)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 40 (42)

Kim Hendren (R): 50 (49)

Undecided: 10 (9)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 42 (43)

Curtis Coleman (R): 46 (46)

Undecided: 12 (11)

Bill Halter (D): 42 (41)

John Boozman (R): 47 (48)

Undecided: 11 (11)

Bill Halter (D): 43 (43)

Gilbert Baker (R): 44 (45)

Undecided: 13 (12)

Bill Halter (D): 43 (43)

Kim Hendren (R): 45 (46)

Undecided: 12 (11)

Bill Halter (D): 43 (44)

Curtis Coleman (R): 41 (43)

Undecided: 16 (13)

(MoE: ±4%)

Rasmussen also has some numbers that, while not looking anything quite like this, at least corroborate the idea that Halter is less of a general election liability than Lincoln.

OH-Sen, OH-Gov: All Democrats Lead

Quinnipiac (4/21-26, likely voters, 3/23-29 in parens):

Lee Fisher (D): 40 (41)

Rob Portman (R): 37 (37)

Undecided: 21 (21)

Jennifer Brunner (D): 40 (38)

Rob Portman (R): 36 (37)

Undecided: 21 (23)

(MoE: ±2.5%)

Ted Strickland (D-inc): 44 (43)

John Kasich (R): 38 (38)

Undecided: 17 (17)

(MoE: ±2.5%)

There’s been very little change in Ohio over the last month according to Quinnipiac; the needle barely budged in the Ted Strickland/John Kasich and Lee Fisher/Rob Portman races. Jennifer Brunner improved her position in the Senate race slightly, but if yesterday’s poll of the Democratic primary is any indication, that’ll be a moot point starting next week.

The most movement seemed to occur in Barack Obama’s approval, down to 45/50 from 47/48. It’s encouraging to see the local Dems slightly overperforming Obama’s so-so ratings, although, if anything, that may have to do with the mismatch between Kasich and Portman’s Wall Street leanings and the economic realities of hard-hit blue-collar Ohio.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/29 (Morning Edition)

  • AZ-Sen: The Behavior Research Center has a poll out on the AZ-Sen Republican primary, but it was apparently taken over the course of two weeks, which is deeply odd. (This seems to be par for the course for the BRC.) Also, the sample size is just 315. Anyhow, John McCain beats J.D. Hayworth by 54-26, a bigger margin than pretty much any other poll I can recall.
  • FL-Sen: Richy rich-guy Jeff Greene has the perfect profile for these troubled times, wouldn’t you agree? He made half a billion (with a b) betting on the housing collapse and wants to run in the Dem primary against Kendrick Meek. (He’ll have to make up his mind by Friday.) Also, he’s being advised by none other than Doug Schoen and Joe Trippi. Joe Trippi is a Jedi? More like Jar-Jar.
  • PA-15: Muhlenberg College for the Allentown Morning Call (4/19-27, likely voters incl. leaners, no trendlines):

    Charlie Dent (R-inc): 45

    John Callahan (D): 33

    Other/undecided: 22

    (MoE: ±6%)

    Another long survey period and small sample size, but independent polls of House races are rare things. Obama has 55% favorables. Dent is at 53-29, Callahan at 43-13.

  • Blogosophere: As part of their revamped politics section, the Washington Post says it’s creating a fifty-state blogger network. But get this: They are asking bloggers to provide content to the Post for free. What a crock. Incidentally, the Hartford Courant tried something like this a few years back (in the midst of staff layoffs), but has since pulled the plug.
  • Census: Five states on the cusp of either losing a seat (CA, NY, TX) or gaining one (AZ, FL) are at risk of losing out because of poor Census response rates. A big part of the problem is the low participation among Latinos. I didn’t know this, but apparently, Clinton halted immigration raids during the 2000 Census, something Obama refused to do. That seems really unwise to me.
  • DNC: Of the $50 million in plans to spend on the midterms, the DNC says that $20 million will be direct investments in individual races, presumably in the form of independent expenditures.
  • Maps of Virginia Elections

    By: Inoljt,

    To follow up the series on Virginia, I’ve posted a few recent presidential elections in the state (courtesy of the New York Times). Each map comes with some brief analysis.

    Maps of Virginia Elections

    Capitalizing on a decade of Democratic movement, Senator Barack Obama becomes the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia since 1964. The Senator performs best in eastern Virginia, especially the fast-growing northern Virginia metropolis. Western Virginia is not as enamored; parts of it even vote more Republican.

    More below.


    Maps of Virginia Elections

    Nobody pays attention to Virginia in 2004, and for good reason: incumbent George W. Bush cruises along to a comfortable victory. Amid all the hoopla in Ohio, Republicans fail to notice a disquieting trend. Fairfax County, the populous heart of Northern Virginia, goes blue in the first time for decades.


    Maps of Virginia Elections

    Governor George W. Bush sails to an 8% victory. He artfully weaves together a classic Republican coalition: wealthy suburbs combined with Republican-trending rural Virginia.


    Maps of Virginia Elections

    Expecting to win the state, incumbent Bill Clinton is surprised to see Virginia slip from his grasp. He does better than in 1992 – performing well amongst Democratic constituencies in the Appalachian west, the black southeast, and the rich inner-core suburbs of Northern Virginia. But it’s not enough: a strong Republican vote in Richmond’s suburbs denies Mr. Clinton his victory.


    Maps of Virginia Elections

    Another presidential election, another Republican victory in Virginia powered by suburbs and small towns. Yet Governor Bill Clinton does relatively well. Compared to the 20.5% beating George H.W. Bush gave to Democratic nominee Mike Dukakis in 1988, a 4.4% loss ain’t nothing.

    An objective ranking of competitive Democratic House seats.

    Below is an objective ranking of SSP’s competitive Democratic House seats.  This is similar to SSP’s “Vulnerability Index,” but adds cash on hand as a third factor in addition to PVI and 2008 margin of victory.  I ranked the 96 Democratic seats identified by SSP according to these three categories, and averaged the rankings.  It fits my intuitive sense of these races pretty well.  The most important two factors it fails to consider are (1) polling and (2) candidate strength/name recognition.  The rote application of my criteria created two obvious outliers: MS-04 (Taylor), which is way too high at 33, and NH-02 (OPEN), which is way too low at 85.  Otherwise, it seemed to work pretty well.  Here they are, with the two current, best-funded challengers for each party listed:

    1. TN-06 – OPEN – Leming (D) v. Black (R) – Republicans have a massive $450K CoH head start, in addition to the district’s R+13 lean.

    2. MD-01 – Kratovil (D) v. Harris (R) – Kratovil’s CoH advantage is only 1.47X in this R+13 district, which he won by <1% in 2008.  Harris internal has Harris up big.

    3. AR-01 – OPEN – Causey (D) v. Crawford (R) – Currently Dem and Rep CoH is very close, but that is only because Crawford has been in the race much longer than the Dems.  R+8 district.

    4. NY-29 – OPEN – Zeller (D) v. Reed (R) – Zeller starts off nearly $300K behind in CoH in this R+5 district.  

    5. AR-02 – OPEN – Wills (D) v. Griffin (R) – Griffin has a 1.82X CoH advantage, mostly because he has been in the race much longer than Wills.  R+5 district.  

    6. LA-03 – OPEN – Sangisetty (D) v. Landry (R) -Sangisetty actually has a 1.43X CoH advantage, which would probably surprise most people.  R+12 district.  Still no announcement from Hunt Downer.

    7. IN-08 – OPEN – Van Haaften (D) v. Bucshon (R) – Van Haaften has a 1.19X CoH advantage, but Bucshon has been in the race much longer.  R+8 district.

    8. AL-02 – Bright (D) v. Roby (R) – 3-to-1 Bright CoH advantage keeps this from being higher.  Bright won this R+16 seat by <1% in 2008.  Bright internal shows Bright way ahead.

    9. ID-01 – Minnick (D) v. Ward (R) – 3-to-1 Minnick CoH advantage keeps this from being higher.  Minnick won this R+18 district by 1% in 2008.  

    10. KS-03 – OPEN – Moore (D) v. Yoder (R) – Stephene Moore starts off with a nearly $500K CoH deficit in this R+3 district.

    11. TN-08 – OPEN – Herron (D) v. Fincher (R) – Herron has 1.25X CoH advantage, but Fincher has been in the race much longer.  R+6 district.

    12. MI-01 – OPEN – Saltonstall (D) v. Benishek (R) – Neither of these will be their parties’ candidates.  FWIW, Benishek has a 1.27X CoH advantage in this R+3 district.

    13. NY-23 – Owens (D) v. Doheny (R) – Doheny has a 2.13X CoH advantage.  Owens won this R+1 district by 5% in a 2009 special election.

    14. OH-15 – Kilroy (D) v. Stivers (R) – CoH is dead even in this D+1 district, which Kilroy won by <1% over Stivers in 2008.

    15. VA-05 – Periello (D) v. McKelvey (R) – Massive fundraising quarter gives Periello a 3-1 CoH advantage in this R+5 district, which he won by <1% in 2008.  PPP shows tossup race with Hurt.

    16. MS-01 – Childers (D) v. Nunnellee (R) – Childers has a 2.38X CoH advantage in this R+14 district, which he won by nearly 11% in 2008.  Weird poll showed Childers slightly ahead.

    17. NY-24 – Arcuri (D) v. Hanna (R) – Arcuri has only a 1.38X CoH advantage, even though Hanna only got into the race recently.  Arcuri beat Hanna by 4% in 2008 in this R+2 district.

    18. VA-02 – Nye (D) v. Rigell (R) – Nye has a 1.71X CoH advantage in this R+5 district, which he won by 5% over incumbent Thelma Drake in 2008.

    19. NM-02 – Teague (D) v. Pearce (R) – Teague has a 1.31X CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which he won by 12% in 2008.  Multiple polls show this race neck-and-neck.

    20. PA-12 – VACANT – Critz (D) v. Burns (R) – Burns has a 1.18X CoH advantage in this R+1 district.  Polling shows a toss-up in the special election.

    21. PA-03 – Dahlkemper (D) v. Huber (R) – Dahlkemper has a 2.87X CoH advantage in this R+3 district.  Her slim, 2.5% margin of victory over incumbent Phil English in 2008 keeps this high on the list.

    22. AZ-05 – Mitchell (D) v. Schweikert (R) – Mitchell has a 2.27X CoH advantage in this R+5 district, which he won by nearly 10% over Schweikert in 2008.

    23. MI-07 – Schauer (D) v. Rooney (R) – Schauer has a better than 3-1 CoH advantage in this R+2 district, which he won by 2% in 2008.  Walberg internal has Walberg up.

    24. OH-01 – Driehaus (D) v. Chabot (R) – Driehaus has a 1.14X CoH advantage in this D+1 district.  Driehaus beat Chabot by 5% in 2008.  Weird FDL poll showed Chabot up big.

    25. WV-01 – Mollohan (D) v. McKinley (R) – CoH is dead even in this R+9 district.  Mollohan was unopposed in 2008.  Recent polling shows Mollohan has his hands full in the primary.

    26. NH-01 – Shea-Porter (D) v. Guinta (R) – Shea-Porter has a 1.38X CoH advantage in this D+0 district, which she won by 6% over former Rep Jeb Bradley in 2008.  Shea-Porter is lucky that Guinta is as poor a fundraiser as she is.  PPP shows a tossup.

    27. TN-04 – Davis (D) v. Bailey (R) – Davis has a 2.21X CoH advantage in this R+13 district, which he won by 21% in 2008.  Davis’s fundraising is poor.

    28. NY-19 – Hall (D) v. Hayworth (R) – Hayworth has a 1.19X CoH lead over Hall in this R+3 district, which Hall won by 17% in 2008.  Hall’s fundraising is pathetic.

    29. CO-04 – Markey (D) v. Gardner (R) – Markey has a 2.32X CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which she won by 12% over incumbent Marilyn Musgrave in 2008.

    30. NC-08 – Kissell (D) v. Johnson (R) – In spite of dreadful fundraising, Kissell has a 1.87X CoH advantage in this R+2 district, which he won by 11% over incumbent Robin Hayes in 2008.  PPP showed Kissell way ahead.

    31. PA-07 – OPEN – Lentz (D) v. Meehan (R) – Meehan has a 1.45X CoH advantage in this D+3 district.

    32. TX-17 – Edwards (D) v. Flores (R) – Edwards currently has a 29-to-1 CoH advantage, but only because Flores drained his resources on the primary/runoff.  R+20 district, which Edwards won by 7.5% in 2008.  

    33. MS-04 – Taylor (D) v. Palazzo (R) – This is way too high.  Taylor has a 1.85X CoH advantage in this R+20 district.  However, he won by 49% in 2008.  Sloppy fundraising by Taylor.

    34. NY-20 – Murphy (D) v. Gibson (R) – Murphy has a 12-1 CoH advantage in this R+2 district, which he won by <1% in a 2009 special election.

    35. CA-11 – McNerney (D) v. Goehring (R) – McNerney has a 2.27X CoH advantage in this R+1 district, which he won by 11% in 2008.

    36. FL-08 – Grayson (D) v. O’Donoghue (R) – Grayson has an awesome 5-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+2 district, which he won by 4 over incumbent Ric Keller in 2008.  Dan Webster will have a lot of catching up to do.

    37. FL-22 – Klein (D) v. West (R) – Klein has a 2.36X CoH advantage in this D+1 district.  Klein beat West by 9% in 2008.  West internal shows a tossup.

    38. VA-11 – Connolly (D) v. Fimian (R) – Connolly has a 1.69X CoH advantage in this D+2 district.  Connolly beat Fimian by 12% in 2008.  Fimian internal has Fimian up 5.

    39. MA-10 – OPEN – Keating (D) v. Perry (R) – The Scott Brown-backed Perry has a 1.12X CoH advantage in this D+5 district.

    40. PA-10 – Carney (D) v. Marino (R) – Carney sports a 13-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+8 district, which he won by 13% in 2008.

    41. AZ-08 – Giffords (D) v. Paton (R) – Giffords has a 5-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+4 district, which she won by 12% in 2008.

    42. PA-04 – Altmire (D) v. Buchanan (R) – Altmire has an impressive 12-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which he won by 12% in 2008.

    43. FL-24 – Kosmas (D) v. Miller (R) – Kosmas has a 3.3X CoH advantage in this R+4 district, which she won by 16% over incumbent Tom Feeney in 2008.

    44. AZ-01 – Kirkpatrick (D) v. Gosar (R) – Kirkpatrick has a 4.68X CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which she won by 16% in 2008.

    45. SD-AL – Herseth-Sandlin (D) v. Curd (R) – Herseth-Sandlin has a 2.38X CoH advantage despite unimpressive fundraising.  She won this R+9 district by a whopping 35% in 2008.  Rasmussen has Herseth-Sandlin ahead.

    46. OH-16 – Boccieri (D) v. Renacci (R) – Boccieri has a 6-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+4 district, which he won by 11% in 2008.

    47. NV-03 – Titus (D) v. Heck (R) – Titus has a 3.51X CoH advantage in this D+2 district, which she won by 5% over incumbent Jon Porter in 2008.  Mason-Dixon has Titus down.

    48. GA-08 – Marshall (D) v. Hicks (R) – Marshall has a massive 17-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+10 district, which he won by 14.5% in 2008.

    49. ND-AL – Pomeroy (D) v. Berg (R) – Pomeroy has an impressive 4.77X CoH advantage in this R+10 district, which he won by 24% in 2008.  Rasmussen shows Berg ahead.

    50. HI-01 – VACANT – Hanabusa (D) v. Djou (R) – Djou has a 1.47X CoH advantage in this D+11 district.  Bizarre, jungle special election complicates matters in this district.  Multiple polls show that the special is a tossup.

    51. WI-08 – Kagen (D) v. Trager (R) – Kagen has an impressive 5.66X CoH advantage in this R+2 district, which he won by 8.1% in 2008.

    52. IA-03 – Boswell (D) v. Gibbons (R) – Boswell has a 2.18X CoH advantage in this D+1 district, which he won by 14% in 2008.

    53. NY-01 – Bishop (D) v. Cox (R) – Bishop has a 2-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+0 district, which he won by 17% in 2008.  Weird FDL poll showed a tossup race.

    54. SC-05 – Spratt (D) v. Mulvaney (R) – Spratt has a 4-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+7 district, which he won by 25% in 2008.  PPP showed Spratt ahead.

    55. NJ-03 – Adler (D) v. Runyan (R) – Adler sports an enormous 12-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+1 district, which he won by 4% in 2008.

    56. CT-04 – Himes (D) v. Debicella (R) – Himes has a 4-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+5 district, which he won by 4% over incumbent Chris Shays in 2008.

    57. MO-04 – Skelton (D) v. Stouffer (R) – Skelton has a 4.5X CoH advantage in this R+14 district, which he won by a whopping 32% in 2008.

    58. NY-13 – McMahon (D) v. Grimm (R) – McMahon has a 2.57X CoH advantage in this R+4 district, which he won by 28% in 2008.

    59. MI-09 – Peters (D) v. Goodman (R) – Peters has a 4-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+2 district, which he won by 9.5% in 2008.

    60. PA-11 – Kanjorski (D) v. Barletta (R) – Kanjorski has a nearly 6-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+4 district.  Kanjorski beat Barletta by 3% in 2008.

    61. KY-06 – Chandler (D) v. Barr (R) – Chandler has nearly a 5-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+9 district, which he won by 29% in 2008.

    62. IN-09 – Hill (D) v. Young (R) – Hill has a nearly 6-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which he won by 19% in 2008.  Sodrel internal has the race a tossup.

    63. PA-08 – Murphy (D) v. Fitzpatrick (R) – Fitzpatrick closed the fundraising gap fast.  Murphy has a 2.79X CoH advantage in this D+2 district, which Murphy won by 15% in 2008.

    64. OH-18 – Space (D) v. Gibbs (R) – Space has a huge 14-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+7 district, which he won by 20% in 2008.

    65. OH-13 – Sutton (D) v. Ganley (R) – Highly unusual race in which the challenger has a 7-to-1 CoH advantage.  The district is D+5, and Sutton won by 29% in 2008.  Sutton needs to pick up the fundraising pace.

    66. NM-01 – Heinrich (D) v. Barela (R) – Heinrich has a 2.66X CoH advantage in this D+5 district, which he won by 11% in 2008.

    67. CO-03 – Salazar (D) v. Tipton (R) – Salazar has an impressive 6-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+5 district, which he won by 23% in 2008.

    68. TX-23 – Rodriguez (D) v. Canseco (R) – Rodriguez has a 21-to-1 CoH advantage, but only because Canseco drained his resources on the primary/runoff.  Rodriguez won this R+4 district by 14% in 2008.

    69. OR-05 – Schrader (D) v. Bruun (R) – Schrader has a 3.44X CoH advantage in this D+1 district, which he won by 16% in 2008.

    70. WA-03 – Heck (D) v. Herrera (R) – Heck has quietly amassed a nearly 4-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+0 district.  My sense is that the vulnerability of this district is overstated.

    71. UT-02 – Matheson (D) v. Philpot (R) – Matheson has a 162-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+15 district, which he won by 29% in 2008.

    72. PA-17 – Holden (D) v. Argall (R) – Holden has an 8-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which he won by 27% in 2008.

    73. CT-05 – Murphy (D) v. Greenberg (R) – Murphy has a 3-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+2 district, which he won by 20% in 2008.

    74. NC-11 – Shuler (D) v. Eichenbaum (R) – Shuler has a 16-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which he won by 26% in 2008.

    75. VA-09 – Boucher (D) v. Griffith (R) – Boucher has a 22-to-1 CoH advantage, but Griffith only got into the race recently.  Boucher was unopposed in this R+11 district in 2008.

    76. GA-02 – Bishop (D) v. Keown (R) – Bishop only has a 2-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+1 district, which he won by a whopping 38% in 2008.

    77. IL-11 – Halvorson (D) v. Kinzinger (R) – Halvorson has a 4-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+1 district, which she won by 24% in 2008.  Kinzinger internal has him up.

    78. NJ-12 – Holt (D) v. Sipprelle (R) – Holt has only a 1.65X CoH advantage in this D+5 district, which he won by 28% in 2008.  

    79. IL-14 – Foster (D) v. Hultgren (R) – Foster has a 12-to-1 CoH advantage, partly because Hultgren used most of his resources on the primary.  Foster won this R+1 district by 15.5% in 2008.

    80. MO-03 – Carnahan (D) v. Martin (R) – CoH is dead even in this D+7 district, which Carnahan won by 36% in 2008.  Pick it up, Russ!

    81. NY-25 – Maffei (D) v. Bitz (R) – Maffei has an 11-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+3 district, which he won by 13% in 2008.

    82. CA-18 – Cardoza (D) v. Berryhill (R) – Cardoza has a 2.15X CoH advantage.  Cardoza was unopposed in this D+4 district in 2008.

    83. OR-01 – Wu (D) v. Brodhead (R) – Wu has only a 1.68 CoH advantage.  Wu was unopposed in this D+8 district in 2008.

    84. WV-03 – Rahall (D) v. Maynard (R) – Rahall has a 42-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+6 district, which he won by 34% in 2008.

    85. NH-02 – Swett (D) v. Bass (R) – Leftovers from a prior run give Swett a 4-to-1 CoH advantage, which is why this is so low on the list.  D+3 district.  PPP showed a big Bass lead.

    86. WI-07 – Obey (D) v. Duffy (R) – Obey has a 4-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+3 district, which he won by 22% in 2008.

    87. CO-07 – Perlmutter (D) v. Frazier (R) – Perlmutter has a 3.3X CoH advantage in this D+4 district, which he won by 27% in 2008.

    88. OH-06 – Wilson (D) v. Johnson (R) – Wilson has an 8-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+2 district, which he won by 29% in 2008.

    89. IN-02 – Donnelly (D) v. Walorski (R) – Donnelly has a 5.5X CoH advantage in this R+2 district, which he won by 37% in 2008.

    90. IL-08 – Bean (D) v. Walsh (R) – Bean has a 22-to-1 CoH advantage, partly due to Walsh’s use of resources in a competitive primary.  Bean won this R+1 district by 21% in 2008.

    91. WA-02 – Larsen (D) v. Koster (R) – Larsen has a 7-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+3 district, which he won by 25% in 2008.

    92. WI-03 – Kind (D) v. Kapanke (R) – Kind has a 6-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+4 district, which he won by 29% in 2008.

    93. MN-01 – Walz (D) v. Demmer (R) – Walz has a 31-to-1 CoH advantage in this R+1 district, which he won by 31% in 2008.

    94. RI-01 – OPEN – Cicilline (D) v. Loughlin (R) – Cicilline has quickly built a 4-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+13 district.

    95. CA-47 – Sanchez (D) v. Tran (R) – Sanchez has a 3.45X CoH advantage in this D+4 district, which she won by 44% in 2008.

    96. GA-12 – Barrow (D) v. Smith (R) – Barrow has a 29-to-1 CoH advantage in this D+1 district, which he won by 32% in 2008.

    SSP Daily Digest: 4/28 (Afternoon Edition)

    AR-Sen: Maybe it was yesterday’s performance in front of Carl Levin by all those Goldman Sachs execs, but Blanche Lincoln saw the handwriting on the wall and reversed course on her Goldman contributions, which she’d previously said she was keeping. She’s giving all that money to the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.

    LA-Sen: Having tried to hammer David Vitter on all sorts of approaches (most of which seem to relate back to formaldehyde somehow — FEMA trailers, the dry cleaners’ lobby, and so on) and not gotten much traction, the Louisiana Democratic Party is going back to the well, to focus on the really easy-to-understand, obvious stuff: his patronizing of prostitutes. They have a new site up called “Forgotten Crimes” that revisits that sordid business.

    NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall is about to go on the TV airwaves starting Thursday, her first spot with less than a week to go before the primary. One of her advisors, Thomas Mills, also seems to have had a bit of a Homer Simpson moment of not saying the say-out-loud part and shouting the keep-it-in-your-head part; he said that opponent Cal Cunningham doesn’t have a chance in the general “because he’s a white male.”

    PA-Sen: An ill-timed Arlen Specter quote today is raising a few eyebrows; he told Allentown’s newspaper that “I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.” Of course, all the selective quoting misses the meat of his statement, which is that he says he would have voted for HCR regardless, and was musing whether he would have been in a better position to bring aboard Republican moderates from within that camp. Meanwhile, it seems like people are only just now waking up to the fact that Pat Toomey isn’t unopposed on the GOP side; he still faces off against underfunded pro-life activist Peg Luksik. Luksik is finally getting in the news today, calling attention to Toomey’s pro-choice statements in the past.

    WI-Sen: When Tommy Thompson decided not to run for Senate, many eyes wandered over to conservative state Senator Ted Kanavas as a possible Republican candidate against Russ Feingold. Kanavas declined a bid today; the only potential candidate that the GOP seems to be waiting on is wealthy businessman Ron Johnson, who still seems to be making up his mind.

    MA-Gov: The RGA is taking a page from its successful race in New Jersey, where they spent a ton of money neutralizing independent candidate Chris Daggett. They’re facing an even bigger problem in Massachusetts in the form of Dem-turned-indie state Treasurer Tim Cahill, who’s not only spoiling the race for Charlie Baker, but in 2nd place ahead of Baker. With that in mind, the RGA is launching the first big ad buy of the race, and it’s an anti-Cahill, rather than anti-Deval Patrick, salvo.

    ME-Gov: The winner of the money chase in the Maine governor’s race is Republican businessman Les Otten; he says he’s raised $106K for his campaign, but also loaned himself $1.2 million. Republican Bruce Poliquin seems to have raised the most from others, among all the candidates; he’s raised $600K. The money issue may be less relevant in Maine than most states, though; the more-or-less frontrunners on each side of the aisle, Democratic state Sen. Libby Mitchell and Republican state Sen. Peter Mills, are both relying on public funding through the Maine Clean Election Act.

    WI-Gov: In the jostling to be Democrat Tom Barrett’s running mate in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race, there was a lot of action yesterday. Milwaukee alderman Tony Zielinski got out of the race and at the same time, state Assembly majority leader Thomas Nelson got in. Nelson is from Kaukauna (near Appleton); there may have been a push by Barrett (the Milwaukee mayor) to get some geographic diversity on the ticket.

    IN-05: Republican Dan Burton is one of Big Pharma’s least favorite Republicans; no surprise, as he’s one of the leading voices in the House for autism/vaccination crackpottery. Money from health and drug executives and PACs has been flowing into the campaigns of his primary opponents (especially state Rep. Mike Murphy and former state GOP chair Luke Messer). Unfortunately for Big Pharma, the badly-fractured opposition means that Burton looks poised to survive the May 4 primary even with a small plurality (as Indiana doesn’t have runoffs).

    WV-01: Rep. Alan Mollohan, who tends to keep less money in his campaign warchest than most people keep in their checking accounts, has suddenly turned into a fundraising beast in recent weeks (now that he suddenly has some motivation to do so, facing both a tough primary and some credible GOP opposition). He’s raised $32K in just the last two days after holding a fundraiser. Meanwhile, there’s no clear front-runner as to who his GOP opponent will be, although former state Rep. David McKinley and former state Sen. Sarah Minear are trading punches over their legislative track records.

    CA-LG: Abel Maldonado was sworn in as California’s new Lt. Governor today, finally filling the long-vacant position. On the downside, the Republican can now run for re-election as an incumbent, but on the plus side, his Democratic-leaning Senate seat (not just in terms of registration, but a 59/39 vote for Obama), SD-15, is up for grabs. Der Governator just set the special election date for the summertime (6/22 primary, 8/17 general), though, rather than to coincide with the November election, which may work to Republicans’ advantage in terms of lower turnout.

    Illinois: Hoping to avoid a repeat of the short-lived Pat Quinn/Scott Lee Cohen ticket (and various terrible pairings from the past as well), Illinois Democrats are changing the system so that a Governor and Lt. Governor candidate run together as a ticket even in the primary, rather than getting a post-primary shotgun wedding. The state Senate passed the bill 56-0 (as Republicans seem none too enthused about their 27-year-old dilettante running mate either) and heads to Pat Quinn for his signature. (Gee, I wonder how he feels about the issue?)

    The Celebrity Senate

    So it’s not exactly a secret that most Americans don’t have a positive view of Congress.  Recent polling is showing approval in the twenties, with strong disapproval over 50%.  Some have called for the complete and utter overhaul of the legislative bodies.  

    Which is why I make the following modest  proposal.

    Why don’t we replace all 100 members of the Senate with celebrities and famous people?  That oughta reduce the bickering and get stuff done right?  Yes, in this diary, that is exactly what I’m going to do.  

    Now of course, there are some minor rule changes, like the constitutional age limit.  I’ve done away with that, and since most celebrities live in a cluster of a few states and big cities mostly, when necessary we will also use their childhood homes and birth states as a substitute for proper residency.  In general, I have aligned the partisan breakdown for electability reasons, though there are some senators that are questionable.  They’ll probably jump out at you as we go along.  

    Some celebrities are very outspoken about politics, while others are not.  I had to do a lot of digging, and even some guesswork on some of them.  If you notice I’ve gotten one wrong, be sure to point it out in the comments.  I have compiled below, what I think is a 57 Democrat, 41 Republican, 2 Independent body, just like the Senate we have today.  Enjoy!

    Maine – Stephen King (D-Portland), Joan Benoit (R-Cape Elizabeth) – Maine is a somewhat democratic state but is one that likes moderate republicans, particularly those that are female.  But I think a liberal can win here.  Stephen King, the extraordinary author, is an outspoken liberal that supports most mainstream Dem positions.  Joan Benoit, the 1984 olympic marathon champion, her views are a little tougher to uncover, but I think she’s a moderate that would probably caucus with the R’s.  She’d be a gettable vote on many issues though, similar to Olympia Snowe.

    New Hampshire – Seth Meyers (D-Bedford), Sarah Silverman (D-Bedford) – New Hampshire, in particular the town of Bedford, is very big on comedic talent.  The state’s leftward lean lately makes it possible that 2 democrats could take the delegation, and who better than Meyers and Silverman, who are both liberal stalwarts.  Silverman is jewish as well, which helps balance religious demographics.

    Vermont – Jim Cantore (D-White River Junction), Lindsey Jacobellis (D-Stratton) – I had to do some digging on this one, as there is a fair lack of famous people from Vermont.  Jim Cantore, the famed meteorologist of the Weather Channel, known by some in hurricane alley as “the angel of death” whenever he shows up on their coast, is a solid choice.  He’s a bit moderate by Vermont standards, but fairly reliable.  I went with snowboarder & winter Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis on the other seat, and she’s pretty much a down the line vote on everything democratic.

    Massachusetts – Conan O’Brien (D-Brookline), Uma Thurman (D-Boston) – This is probably one of the most liberal delegations in the Senate, as the outspoken O’Brien and the shapely Thurman both bring bonafide liberalism on most all issues.  Really not a shock from a state that, outside of a rather large aberration last January, is extremely liberal.

    Rhode Island – John Cafferty (D-Providence), Elisabeth Hasselbeck (R-Cranston) – I had a bit of trouble with this state, as there is a notable lack of famous people from RI.  Here the republicans pick up one of their most conservative voices from an unusual spot.  Hasselbeck, who once made the final 4 on Survivor, is extremely conservative.  She’s rather outspoken too, she’d probably be the Michelle Bachmann of the group.  I was very close to declaring her unelectable, but with the huge lack of available candidates I let it go. John Cafferty, who is a personal friend of Bruce Springsteen and shares his love of music, is nearly as liberal as Hasselbeck is conservative, necessary in a blue state like RI.

    Connecticut – Paul Levesque (R-Greenwich), Seth McFarlane (D-Kent) – With CT being home to World Wrestling Entertainment, I go to the wrassling well and come up with Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H.  Probably the most politically astute member of WWE aside from John Bradshaw Layfield and Mick Foley, Levesque would be fairly conservative for this state but might be gettable on labor and working class issues due to WWE’s horrific record there.  Seth McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, is a down the line liberal vote, one of the most liberal in the democratic caucus.

    New York – Barbara Streisand (D-Brooklyn), Jennifer Lopez (D-Manhattan) – Streisand, one of the older members of the Senate, is a huge supporter of minorities and most things democratic.  She hails from the NYC area and would be hugely popular with just about everybody there.  I wanted to throw a younger person in to balance the delegation out, and J-Lo certainly fits that bill.  As a Hispanic, she holds a seat for a minority group that I had some trouble with filling seats in this legislative body.

    New Jersey – Bruce Springsteen (D-Asbury Park), Jon Bon Jovi (D-Perth Amboy) -This state was easy.  Bruce is one of music’s most famous people, and he’s an outspoken democrat and fighter for the working class.  He’d be a great voice in the Senate, and in this group would likely be right up there in the voting for majority leader.  Jon Bon Jovi is almost a carbon copy of Bruce politically, and would be virtually identical in his voting record.

    Pennsylvania – Taylor Swift (I-Wyomissing), Will Smith (D-Philadelphia) – Now this is a cool, hip pairing indeed.  Taylor Swift, the 2nd youngest member of the Senate, is about as apolitical as they come and probably is still just feeling her way out as far as her political beliefs go.  I didn’t find any leanings in my research, so she enters the body as an Independent, which is fine since she hails from swingy Berks County anyway.  Will Smith on the other hand, is a staunch liberal voice hailing from the most liberal part of the state.  The actor/musician was a strong supporter of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

    Maryland – Michael Phelps (D-Baltimore), Tom Clancy (R-Baltimore) – Arguably one of the most popular figures in Maryland, Phelps really keeps his leanings close to the vest and seems somewhat detached from the political process.  Yet from what I have researched it seems that he leans democrat.   How far he leans, that I don’t know.  My guess is that he could be somewhat independent/blue dog-ish.  The other  seat goes to author Tom Clancy, who is an outspoken conservative.  Like fellow northeastern conservative hawk Elizabeth Hasselbeck, he barely skirts the line of electability.  Arguably this is a bad delegation politically for MD, probably one of the least representative in the body.

    Delaware – Johnny Weir (D-Newark), Valerie Bertinelli (D-Wilmington) – Admittedly, there are a bunch of Olympians in the Senate, but let’s face it, Weir is a character.  Although he’s never come out about it, he’s probably in the LGBT crowd, an obviously underrepresented group of American society.  Politically, he matches the state, as does the other senator, actress Valerie Bertinelli.  Bertinelli contributed to Barack Obama’s 08 campaign and should be a down the line vote.

    Virginia – Dave Matthews (D-Charlottesville), Sandra Bullock (R-Arlington) – Here’s a fairly diverse and mixed pairing in a decidedly purple state.  Matthews, an outspoken yet calm liberal voice, hails from the liberal hub of Charlottesville, while Bullock is from another liberal bastion, Arlington.  The latter though, is generally wary of big government, which likely puts her into the R caucus despite her dedication to charitable causes and helping those in need.  Yep, I can hear the chants of “RINO!” already.

    North Carolina – Chris Paul (D-Winston-Salem), Jim Nantz (R-Charlotte) – Basketball is huge in North Carolina, so this delegation makes a lot of sense.  Paul, the star point guard for the Hornets who is from NC and went to college there (at Wake Forest) is a solid liberal vote in a state with a large black population.  The other senator, legendary CBS announcer Jim Nantz, will bring his rather eloquent tone to the legislative body.  He’s fairly conservative though, which balances the NC ticket.

    South Carolina – Stephen Colbert (D-Charleston), Vanna White (R-Myrtle Beach) – South Carolina is very conservative, but if any democrat can penetrate it, it’s Colbert.  Hugely popular because of his nightly television program, he’s perfect for this.  The other seat goes to Vanna White, the mistress of the puzzleboard on Wheel of Fortune.  GOPers, you’re going to be sick of this by the end, Vanna is another of those pesky moderate female senators.

    Georgia – Jeff Foxworthy (R-Atlanta), Herschel Walker (R-Wrightsville) – Probably one of the most conservative stalwarts in the Senate, comedian and show-host Foxworthy is a self-proclaimed redneck, and is noted for his place on the Blue Collar Comedy tour.  He probably would be a good candidate for minority whip.  The other seat goes to football star turned MMA freak Herschel Walker.  He’s a conservative African American, which in this day in age is almost an oxymoron.  The GOP caucus is really getting a makeover!

    Florida – Chris Evert (R-Boca Raton), Hulk Hogan (D-Tampa) – One of my goals here in compiling this list was to increase the amount of women and minorities in the republican caucus.  Former tennis star Chris Evert fits that bill.  As with many women republicans she would probably stray on women’s rights issues and certain social issues, but elsewhere she’d be a down the line vote.  The other seat goes to none other than Hulk Hogan, who much to my surprise, is actually a democrat.  With the support of all those Hulkamaniacs, he’d be fit for a leadership position in the Dem caucus I think.

    Alabama – Charles Barkley (R-Leeds), Nick Saban (R-Tuscaloosa) – This is another obvious pick, on both accounts.  There is some concern that Charles could be a party switcher, as he’s really mavericky in nature.  He would certainly give us some great soundbites at least.  In return for Charles’s craziness, the other seat is held by a down the line conservative, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.  One of the most popular figures in the state, Saban would be one of the body’s most conservative members.

    Mississippi – Brett Favre (R-Kiln), Britney Spears (R-McComb) – Talk about a pair of divas.  Mississippi’s delegation is anchored by two conservative voices.  Favre, I could’ve conceivably put in two other states, but he goes here for electability reasons, as something tells me that he wouldn’t be welcome in either Wisconsin or Minnesota.  My guess is that both Favre and Spears would be solid conservative votes on most issues.

    Tennessee – Hank Williams Jr. (R-Memphis), Miley Cyrus (I-Nashville) – Tennessee is a conservative state in general, and the Senate gets one of it’s most politically astute and conservative voices in Hank Williams Jr.  The country singer of Monday Night Football fame was a huge supporter of John McCain’s candidacy and would be extremely conservative.  In the other seat we have Miley Cyrus, the body’s 2nd Independent as well as the youngest member of the Senate.  For some reason I really thought Miley was republican, but actually she’s about the least political person in the whole world.  Come to think of it, she might really hate this job.  Maybe it’s not too late to get Billy Ray on the hotline?

    Kentucky – George Clooney (D-Lexington), Ashley Judd (D-Ashland) – Who would have ever thought that one of the most liberal delegations in the Senate would come from Kentucky?  Actor George Clooney hails from liberal Lexington and is a fervent supporter of democratic candidates.  Ashley Judd, who holds the other seat, is pretty much a down the line liberal as well.  I’m not sure this is realistic, but in KY, they pretty much support democrats unless their last name is Obama, so we’re good.

    West Virginia – Lou Holtz (R-Follansbee), Jennifer Garner (D-Charleston) – Here’s a balanced delegation for WV.  Lou Holtz, former college football coach, was actually recruited to run for Congress by the NRCC earlier this year.  He’d represent the older, white man part of the GOP delegation.  The other seat is held by actress Jennifer Garner.  She’s a fairly outspoken liberal, although I think I’m still looking for this Senate’s Alan Grayson to go up against Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

    Ohio – Lebron James (D-Akron), Jim Tressel (R-Columbus) – Ohio is a big sports state, and who better to lead the delegation than King James of the Cavaliers, who is probably one of the most liberal senators.  He’s a major proponent of social programs and a fighter for the lower class, particularly minorities.  The other senator is Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel.  A smart, very astute man, Tressel would be a reliable republican vote most of the time but would side with Dems on some of the common sense items, a la George Voinovich.

    Michigan – Marshall Mathers (D-Detroit), Madonna Ciccone (D-Bay City) – After trudging through many states, we reach the Democrats’ resident loudmouth.  Mathers, better known as Eminem, is a full-out liberal and is quite outspoken about it.  He also comes from a place that is rather angry in general.  In the other seat is another progressive voice, Madonna, who surprisingly hails from the northern part of the state to give Michigan a delegation that is at least geographically balanced.

    Indiana – John Mellencamp (D-Seymour), Peyton Manning (R-Indianapolis) – Like New Jersey, I had to start Indiana off with its prominent musical voice.  Mellencamp was actually mentioned in some circles to succeed Evan Bayh this year, and for this state his views are quite liberal actually.  But his immense popularity I think would allow him some leeway.  Now the other seat isn’t even a question.  Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, would take this one to the house easily.  Politically he’s pretty much in line with the state as well.

    Illinois – Oprah Winfrey (D-Chicago), Eddie Vedder (D-Evanston) – Another liberal state, and another set of down the line progressive votes.  Oprah is probably one of the most progressive members of the Senate, although like Barack Obama can be a bit of a pragmatist as well.  I wanted to get a downstate resident in the other seat but that meant a republican, which is unrealistic, so Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam gets the other seat.  He’s slightly more moderate than Winfrey, but still quite acceptable for Illinois.

    Wisconsin – Frank Caliendo (D-Waukesha), Danica Patrick (D-Beloit) – The Badger State has one of my favorite delegations in the Senate.  The first seat is held by comedian Frank Caliendo, who could probably impersonate just about anybody else on this list.  His politics are very liberal.  The other seat is taken by race car driver Danica Patrick.  A generally apolitical yet outspoken person, Danica would really frustrate the democratic leadership.  It’s probable that she would be a member of the Blue Dog Caucus.

    Minnesota – Vince Vaughn (R-Minneapolis), Jessica Biel (D-Ely) – Actor Vince Vaughn’s inclusion means that the Republicans avoid being totally shut out in the Upper Midwest.  A down the line conservative, Vaughn would likely be one of the strong voices of the Republican delegation, and perhaps a candidate for the leadership.  The other seat is taken by Jessica Biel, who is about as liberal as Vaughn is conservative.  Coming from the rural part of the state it’s interesting how she’d be viewed by urban DFLers, who would be without one of their own.  

    Iowa – Ashton Kutcher (D-Cedar Rapids), Shawn Johnson (D-Des Moines) – Now here’s a guy that might surprise you politically.  Kutcher, of Punk’d fame, is an unabashed social liberal but would undoubtedly be a blue dog because he is also a fiscal conservative.  Really that’s not a bad mix for a purple state like Iowa.  I planned on having a split R/D setup here, but in a surprise, the 2nd seat goes to Shawn Johnson, gymnast and 4-time medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  A voice of the younger generation, Johnson would likely be a champion of social tolerance and economic populism.  In 2008, Kutcher and Johnson actually co-sponsored a fundraiser to help victims of flooding in Iowa, so they already have some experience working with one another.

    Missouri – Albert Pujols (D-St. Louis), Bob Costas (D-St. Louis) – Here’s another state without geographical or interparty balance, but it was hard to get away from these two.  Pujols, the MVP and world champion slugger for the St. Louis Cardinals, is arguably one of the most popular figures in the state and is the Senate’s 2nd Hispanic member.  He’d be a down the line liberal, but the other senator, broadcaster Bob Costas, would not be.  A largely independent voice, Costas would be one of the more frustrating members of the democratic caucus, but that’s the price you pay to get 2 D’s from Missouri.

    Arkansas – Billy Bob Thornton (D-Hot Springs), Maya Angelou (D-Stamps) – This is one of the oldest delegations in the Senate.  Thornton, who has contributed to many democratic candidates in the past, is about as liberal a senator as you could possibly get out of Arkansas these days.  He’d defect on some fiscal issues, but otherwise he’d toe the line.  Writer Maya Angelou is the 2nd seat, and she’d be one of the Senate’s oldest members. Regrettably,  I have concerns about her electability as a black woman in Arkansas, but at her age, she’d probably be a caretaker until the next election cycle.  Oh yeah, she’s very liberal and would be a civil rights and social justice champion.

    Louisiana – Ellen Degeneres (D-Metairie), Drew Brees (R-New Orleans) – Alright, now this is quite ridiculous, the idea of an LGBT democratic candidate winning in Louisiana.  We’ll assume that the R candidate had a scandal before the election (not a stretch in LA by a longshot) and that Degeneres will bring her progressive views and her almost militant support for marriage equality to the Senate.  The R’s do get the other seat with the squeaky clean, unbelievably popular quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees.  Unlike the other 2 QBs in the Senate though, Brees is a bit more independent and could stray on some economic and labor issues, most notably because of New Orleans’s recent struggle.

    Texas – Beyonce Knowles (R-Houston), Matthew McConaghey (R-Uvalde) – Admittedly, the inclusion of Beyonce is a strange choice because there are few celebs more apolitical than the pop/R&B star.  She’s said to lean republican but officially she’s hid her affiliation quite a vehemently.  My guess is that she’d be an economic conservative but would side with democrats on certain social issues, especially those dealing with equal pay for women or other women’s issues.  The other seat is held by actor Matthew McConaghey, who is an ultra-conservative voice.  He’d be a down the line vote for the R’s on just about everything.

    Oklahoma – Chuck Norris (R-Ryan), Phil McGraw (R-Vinita) – Alright, shut down the internet, the race for minority leader is over.  Norris takes it easily, being extremely conservative, from the reddest state in the nation, and being totally kick-ass.  Unfortunately for the Democrats, he’d probably be a good vote-whipper, although certainly his work would be cut out for him with all those girly women running about the R caucus now.  The other seat is taken by Dr. Phil McGraw, the psychologist gone tv celebrity.  He’s conservative, and it’s a good thing, because he better not think about voting against the R’s with Chuck Norris breathing down his neck!

    Kansas – Melissa Etheridge (D-Leavenworth), Tom Watson (R-Stilwell) – If you thought the Democratic caucus would get their 2 most prominent LGBT voices from Louisiana and Kansas, raise your hand.  Yup, republican civil war in Kansas strikes again, sending the extremely liberal and openly lesbian Etheridge to the Senate.  The other seat is held by champion golfer Tom Watson, who like most golfers in the pre-Tiger Woods era is fairly conservative, matching the state as a whole.  Still, this one has to sting for the R’s.

    Nebraska – Daniel Whitney (R-Omaha), Tom Osbourne (R-Hastings) – Now I’m cheating here as Osbourne is the only member of this body who has actually served in Congress before, representing Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district from 2000-2006.  But he’s arguably still a hugely popular figure in the state.  Daniel Whitney, also known as Larry the Cable Guy, is one of those “redneck comedians”, and would also be a staunchly conservative vote.

    South Dakota – Brock Lesnar (R-Webster), Tom Brokaw (D-Webster) – I never thought I would get such a high-profile delegation from South Dakota, but here it is.  Brokaw, the former anchor of NBC Nightly News, leans democratic but has a bit of an independent streak to him as well.  I’m not sure exactly how he would vote, if he’d be a down the liner or a blue dog type.  Former WWE superstar and current MMA champion Brock Lesnar holds the other seat.  His brash, tough persona would be tough even for Chuck Norris to handle, err, maybe not.  But he’d be an intimidating minority whip!

    North Dakota – Phil Jackson (D-Williston), Ed Schultz (D-Fargo) – 9-time NBA world champion coach Phil Jackson leads off an all-democratic delegation in ND.  He’d be a rather calming voice to a lot of the more serious debate thanks to his reliance on meditation and zen.  The other seat is taken by Ed Schultz, who was asked to run against John Hoeven this year.  

    Montana – Brent Musberger (R-Billings), Levi Leipheimer (R-Butte) – Here’s a very unsightly delegation, all republican and not very visible as I had a very tough time picking out famous people from MT.  Announcer Brent Musberger, who is a very pompous and outspoken type, should be a perfect fit in the republican caucus.  Champion cyclist Levi Leipheimer is the other representative, and while he is usually conservative, he’d be gettable on issues dealing with the environment and transportation.

    Wyoming – Harrison Ford (D-Jackson Hole), Rulon Gardner (R-Afton) – What’s that you say, a democrat from Wyoming?  Yup.  Ford, who retains a residence in Jackson Hole even to this day, would bring a strong liberal streak to one of the nation’s most conservative states.  It’s plausible given Dave Freudenthal’s reign as governor and the R’s difficulty in holding Wyoming’s house seat.  The other seat goes to champion wrestler and all-around lucky bastard, Rulon Gardner.  After his travails, including surviving for days in biting cold pinned under heavy rocks, this should be easy for him.

    Colorado – John Elway (R-Aurora), Lindsey Vonn (D-Vail) – The Super Bowl Champion ex-quarterback of the Broncos, Elway is a very outspoken conservative but hugely popular in Colorado.  He’d probably be in the running for minority leader as his business success would be a positive.  The other seat goes to Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, who was gold medalist in the 2010 downhill competition.  Vonn is one of those surly types that would probably defect depending on the issue, as she is hugely independent in nature.  Definitely a blue dog.

    New Mexico – Demi Moore (D-Roswell), Brian Urlacher (R-Lovington) – New Mexico was disappointing as I wanted to get some minority representation here, but instead, the seats are held by actress Demi Moore and football linebacker Brian Urlacher.  Moore would be a staunch liberal, but Urlacher would be a staunch conservative.  I almost labeled him as unelectable in NM, but with others like Ellen Degeneres and Melissa Etheridge getting through, his election doesn’t sound quite so implausible in a state that wasn’t solid blue until recently.

    Arizona – Phil Mickelson (R-Tempe), Steven Spielberg (D-Scottsdale) – Now this is a cool delegation.  Mickelson, the golfing champion who is perhaps one of the most beloved sports figures in the nation, would quite literally represent the family values wing of the GOP.  Director Steven Spielberg holds the other seat and would be about as liberal as Mickelson is conservative.

    Utah – Karl Malone (R-Salt Lake City), Steve Young (R-Provo) – Not a bad idea to go with two sporting legends here in UT, and both are extremely conservative.  Malone, star forward for the Utah Jazz all those years, would add yet another minority member to the GOP caucus, and Young would vie for the title of most conservative member of the Senate.  It’s unlikely that either of these guys would get Bob Bennetted at a convention.

    Nevada – Andre Agassi (D-Las Vegas), Jenna Jameson (D-Las Vegas) – Who cares about balance?  This is Nevada!  When you have the chance to assemble the most illicit delegation in the nation, you put all your chips on red and hope the wheel stops on your color!  Agassi, the former tennis star, brings a buoyant personality and a surprisingly liberal outlook from a sport that usually breeds conservatism.  The other seat is taken by Jenna Jameson, who earned her keep through even more questionable means.  Not surprisingly, she’d be one of the Senate’s most liberal members.  

    California – Kevin Costner (D-Lynwood), Julie Foudy (R-San Diego) – This is a bitter pill for Democrats, to not have both seats in CA.  Foudy, one of the members of the U.S. women’s soccer team when they won world cups last decade and now a reporter for ESPN, would be highly respected but very conservative.  Unlike fellow white woman GOPer Elisabeth Hasselbeck though, Foudy tends to be more quiet and reserved about her politics, making it likely she can slip by in CA.  The other senator comes from the Hollywood wing of the state, actor Kevin Costner.  A frequent donator to Democratic campaigns and politically astute, Costner would make a strong run at majority leader I think.

    Idaho – Lou Dobbs (R-Rupert), Chris Peterson (R-Boise) – News anchor Lou Dobbs leads off an all-republican delegation in ID, and though he claims to be independent, he has contributed major money in the past to GOPers, meaning that he’s probably sufficiently conservative for this uber-red state.  Boise State head coach Chris Peterson, arguably the most popular figure in the state, is the other senator.  Like Dobbs, he’s very conservative in nature.

    Oregon – Matt Groening (D-Portland), Tonya Harding (R-Portland) – Cartoonist and television producer Matt Groening is a staunch liberal, one of the most liberal senators overall.  Tonya Harding, on the other hand, would be a conservative blowhard on the fringes of electability.  It’s a delegation pretty suitable for OR, which has very liberal democrats and very conservative republicans, with very few moderates.

    Washington – Ken Jennings (D-Redmond), Apolo Anton Ohno (D-Federal Way) – Washington is one of the more liberal states, and here we have a democratic pair, led off by quiz show kingpin Ken Jennings.  Once pressed to run for Senate in Utah, where he used to live, Jennings would be a natural choice for majority leader or majority whip because of his smarts.  Olympic short track skater Apolo Anton Ohno holds the other seat, and like Jennings, he brings a spate of liberal views to the table.  He also makes the list as the only Asian-American in the body.

    Alaska – Curt Schilling (R-Anchorage), Valerie Plame (D-Anchorage) – I had no idea Curt Schilling was actually from Alaska.  His conservative views would be perfect for such a state, so in he goes.  AK’s other seat goes to outed CIA spy turned writer Valerie Plame.  A former conservative, Plame now considers herself a democrat, though she would be far from a down the line vote.

    Hawaii – Nicole Kidman (D-Honolulu), Bethany Hamilton (D-Tunnels Beach) – We finish out the Senate in the Pacific Ocean, and with two democrats.  Kidman, who is actually a duel citizen of the U.S and Austrailia on the basis that she was born in Hawaii, would be largely viewed as a carpetbagger, but her liberal politics would play very well on the islands.  The final seat in the Senate goes to surfer Bethany Hamilton, who once had her arm eaten by a shark, only to come back and become a surfing champion by beating everybody with one arm.  She would be a champion for the rights of Americans with disabilities and with degenerative illnesses and injuries.

    So there you have it.  57 democrats, 41 republicans, 2 independents, and a legislative body that we can all be proud of.  At least until the first after-work party.  

    AZ-Sen: Glassman Beats Hayworth, McCain Under 50

    Public Policy Polling (4/23-25, Arizona voters, 9/18-21/2009 in parens):

    Rodney Glassman (D): 33 (25)

    John McCain (R-inc): 49 (55)

    Undecided: 18 (20)

    Rodney Glassman (D): 42

    J.D. Hayworth (R): 39

    Undecided: 19

    (MoE: ±3.4%)

    Is nothing sacred? It seems that even John McCain is in the doghouse with voters back in his home state, where is approval rating has fallen to an abysmal 34-55 (down from 42-48 in September). Perhaps not coincidentally, PPP also finds that, by a margin of 55% to 28%, voters consider him to be more of a “partisan voice for national Republicans” than an “independent voice for Arizona”. That might actually help John Sidney in the GOP primary, where his job approval is 48-39, but where a plurality of voters still consider him to be “too liberal”.

    We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see where Hayworth stands in the primary.

    OH-Sen: Fisher Opens Up a 17-Point Lead in Dem Primary

    Quinnipiac University Polling Institute (4/22-26, likely voters, 3/25-28 in parens):

    Lee Fisher (D): 41 (33)

    Jennifer Brunner (D): 24 (26)

    Undecided: 34 (40)

    (MoE: ±3.1%)

    That’s the power of actually being able to spend banked cash, folks, as Lee Fisher has basically had the airwaves to himself over the past couple of weeks. Will Jennifer Brunner be able to keep things interesting on election night?