Kansas Senate Video Contest

Hello my fellow SSPers.  As a matter of full disclosure, I should mention that I have recently taken a top-level staff job with the David Haley for U.S. Senate campaign in the state of Kansas.  

I am in a quandary.  I just reserved a fairly large cable buy in important media markets here in Kansas.  As we have been talking about the content of our 30-second ad, I came to the realization that almost every web video I’ve seen has been better this cycle than production ads (except for Dale Peterson of course).   I would like to petition any and all of my fellow SSPers to ask anybody who is interested to submit a 30-second video to my gmail (jeffesparza@gmail.com).  My favorite video will be used as an ad in advance of our August 3rd primary (it should be noted that our target audience are primary voters).  Our website is under construction and should be up early this week (www.haleyforsenate.com).

I understand that this does not really fall inside the mission of SSP, but as a longtime commenter (and a lurker since long before that), I was hoping that David and James might cut me a little slack.

The rest of this diary is the majority of the content that will be up on our website.

The rest of this diary is the majority of the content that will be up on our website.

Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/haley4…

Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/haley4senate

Contact us at 913-396-1314 or info@haleyfor senate.com

About David:

Kansas City, Kansas native Senator David Haley is in his 16th year in the Kansas Legislature, having served six years in the Kansas House and ten years in the Kansas Senate.  David serves as the Ranking Democratic Member of the Senate Health Care Strategies Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. He is also a member the Senate President’s Task Force on Health Care, the Child Protective Services Task Force and several standing committees, including: Senate Judiciary, Senate Redistricting, Joint Health Policy Oversight, Joint Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Joint State-Trial Relations, Joint Children’s Issues, State Trauma Board, Criminal Recodification, and Aging Advisory.

During his time in the legislature, Senator Haley has focused intently on living-wage job creation.  Whether working for STAR bond development for the Legends development in western Wyandotte County, helping the state update its antiquated minimum wage law, or preventing state and local governments from seizing private property, Senator Haley has a consistent record of supporting robust, sustainable private sector job growth.

David has fought hard to end illegal profiling practices. In 2005, he co-sponsored legislation that officially banned profiling of motorists by law enforcement officers. As an appointee to the newly-created Kansas Racial Profiling Task Force, David continues to protect Kansans from this illegal practice and has been instrumental in increasing the number of Kansans who have reported instances of such crimes.  In addition, his work on the Kansas criminal law recodification has helped make the Kansas criminal justice system more innovative, progressive, and fair; his recodification work will help reduce crime in Kansas over the long term making our cities and rural areas safer for businesses and families.

David continues to champion for a variety of other issues, including abolition of the death penalty, ending cruelty against animals, and finding viable solutions to the many health care challenges facing Kansas.

The proud father of four, David is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and of Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C.

David serves as the Ranking Democratic Member of the Senate Health Care Strategies Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. He is also a member the Senate President’s Task Force on Health Care, the Child Protective Services Task Force and several standing committees, including: Senate Judiciary, Senate Redistricting, Joint Health Policy Oversight, Joint Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Joint State-Trial Relations, Joint Children’s Issues, State Trauma Board, Criminal Recodification, and Aging Advisory.

David Haley on the Issues:


Senator Haley believes that choosing to have a child is one of the most difficult decisions of a woman’s life.  This choice should be made with the best information available and is a choice that involves family, religion, and personal believes; this choice should not be made by the government.

Civil Rights

Senator Haley has worked for his entire career on issues of civil rights.  Criminal recodification, fighting illegal profiling, raising the standard of personal rights, and reforming our death penalty laws have been issues that David Haley has built real bi-partisan support around.  He also supports the Employment Non-Discrimination act.

Economy and Jobs

Governor Sebelius, David Haley, and a number of leaders across Kansas came together to help with the Legends and Speedway development in Wyandotte County.  With Haley’s leadership, Kansas can grow its economy with new private sector jobs like these along with new green-collar jobs all across Kansas.  As a moderate Kansan, David Haley has proven his ability to help drive economic development without wasteful spending or cuts in important programs like education.  This is why the MAINstream coalition has endorsed David Haley’s candidacy.

Financial Reform

When commercial banks and investment banks are allowed to securitize people’s hard earned money without any consumer protections, money will be traded at too great a risk.  The people of Kansas deserve to know how their money is invested; David Haley supports financial reform.

Gun Control

David Haley fully supports 2nd Amendment rights.

Health Care

Insurance companies should not be allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.  David Haley has been a supporter of an option to allow private citizens to buy the same plan congress and government employees are allowed to purchase.


There has not been a more tireless supporter of labor organizations, working people, and Kansas small businesses than David Haley.  When David Haley becomes a United States Senator, working people will have a voice in Washington.


David Haley supports the troops.  Unfortunately, our government does not do nearly enough for our nation’s veterans.  As a United States Senator, David Haley will work tirelessly to improve our VA hospitals and veteran job-training programs.

Our record:

Elected to the State Senate in 2000, Senator Haley has earned a reputation as an effective steward of tax dollars. He serves as ranking member of the influential Public Health and Welfare Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee; and is also a key member of the State Tribal Relations; Recodifaciation; Rehabilitation and Restoriation; Early Childhood Coordinating Council; and the Corrections and Juvenile Justice committees. His previous committee service ¬ includes Senate Assessment & Taxation; Redistricitng; and the Kansas Sentencing Commission. He is the author of more than 40 bills in the Senate.

While a member of the House, Representative Haley was the only Wyandotte Countian serving on both the House Health & Human Services and the House Judiciary Committees (which held major impact for local and state residents) and a member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Reform. A third Committee assignment was Governmental Organizations & Elections. During this brief legislative tenure, Representative Haley advocated lower real/personal property taxes and stronger representation between elected official and their constituencies. He introduced more than 25 bills in the House.

A fiscal conservative, David has championed measures to curb waste and abuse in state government in order to save taxpayers money and guarantee continued funding for public education, criminal justice, health care, and other vital services. He has sponsored a wide range of critical legislation, from ending racial profiling of motorists to increasing penalties against those who are charged with extreme cruelty to animals. Senator Haley has fought for campaign finance reform, affordable housing, and individual development accounts to encourage personal savings among low-income families. He has led the charge against allowing the government to seize private property via unfair eminent domain laws and in favor of proven programs for non-violent ex-offenders to help them find jobs and re-enter society. His legislative and community advocacy have been chronicled on The Montel Williams Show (extreme animal cruelty); HBO (27th Street/Quindaro documentary); C-SPAN (37th Anniversary/March on Washington 2000); on numerous metropolitan broadcasts and in printed news accounts (view the Media page).

In the Media:

Kansas Free Press

David Haley: My Choice for Democrat in U.S. Senate Primary

By Marty Keenan

Opinion | June 8, 2010

GREAT BEND, Kan. – The fact that four Kansas Democrats are competing this year for a chance to run for a U.S. Senate slot is encouraging. Kansas hasn’t sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in over 70 years, and the number of Democrats who want a shot at this is a sign of a growing, vibrant and optimistic party. The four candidates: David Haley, Charles Schollenberger, Lisa Johnston and Robert Conroy would all acquit themselves well in the general election.

But Haley is the only candidate who currently serves in elective office. He’s a fantastic public speaker. He has experience in running a statewide campaign. He has paid his dues to the Kansas Democratic Party.

Haley is not just the only candidate to hold political office, he’s a State Senator. And that’s a big deal. There are only 40 State Senators in Kansas, as opposed to 125 members of the Kansas House of Representatives. The title of “state senator” is shorthand for political success, a proven commodity. U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who snared Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat from the Democrats in Massachusetts, was a state senator. And that gave him credibility.

And he would help energize Kansas Democrats most faithful constituency: the African-American community. Haley’s family name (he’s the nephew of “Roots” author Alex Haley) would be sure to snare some national attention if he becomes the nominee. Kansas nominating an African-American to replace Sam Brownback? Now that’s a good story.

But I have a personal reason for supporting Senator Haley. You see, loyalty and friendship are #1 with me. Maybe it’s a blind spot I have. But in 2001, when I organized a film festival for Oscar Micheaux, the first African-American movie maker, who is buried in Great Bend, Senator David Haley was there for me.

Senator Haley not only traveled to Great Bend to speak at the event in 2001, he introduced a Senate resolution honoring Oscar Micheaux. Some of Oscar Micheaux’s cousins and I got to sit in the State Senate chambers when the resolution was introduced.

Our efforts to honor Micheaux must have paid off. This month the U.S. Postal Service is rolling out the Oscar Micheaux Black Heritage Series Stamp, with a special ceremony in Great Bend and other places, like Brooklyn, Atlanta and other cities around the country.

When my mother died unexpectedly on May 27, 2002, David Haley contacted me. I was floored. “How the did you find out about this?” I asked. “Marty, I always read the obituaries, ALWAYS,” he said. He offered words of comfort to me in a difficult time.

Christian musician Dallas Holm once said: “A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument.” And many might argue with me about whether Haley is the best nominee. But, you see, I’ve had personal experiences with Haley that cause me to favor him. Politics is about people, about helping those who have been there for you. It’s always been that way.

But Democrats throughout the state don’t need a personal reason to vote for Haley. They should vote for him because he’d be the best nominee for the party in November.

First, Haley has paid his dues. In 2002 when Kathleen Sebelius was running for her first term as governor, the Kansas Democratic Party basically drafted David Haley to run for secretary of state. Haley didn’t win, but his presence on the ticket helped energize the African-American constituency statewide, and they went to the polls and helped Sebelius become Governor.

Haley ran again for secretary of state in 2006, this time on his own volition. Although Haley lost again to popular Republican incumbent Ron Thornburgh, Governor Sebelius was reelected by a larger margin in 2006 than she got in 2002, plus Democrat Paul Morrison ousted Republican Attorney General Phill Kline by a comfortable margin. Also, Democrat Nancy Boyda upset incumbent Congressman Jim Ryan. It would be hard to argue that Haley on the ticket did anything but help other Democrats in both 2002 and 2006. Kansas hasn’t elected a Democrat for Secretary of State since 1948, but at least Haley tried.

Former State Senator Billy McCray was the first African-American to run for statewide office in 1982. He ran for secretary of state, at the request of Democratic Governor John Carlin, who was running for reelection that year. McCray ran a good campaign. Although he lost, he knew he helped turn out the African-American votes for the party.

I know and respect both Haley and McCray, and they ran for statewide office because they wanted to win and be secretary of state. But in the back of their minds, surely they suspected they were, at some level, being “used” by the Kansas Democratic Party to spike black turnout on election day.

I abhor the “use” of African-American candidates simply as a tool to help white Democrats turn out the black community on election day.

I want black candidates to run to WIN, and to serve. And Haley wants to be a U.S. senator, and he would be a good one.

This year, the state Democratic establishment is not pushing Haley to run. But of all the candidates, he’s the one who has paid his dues. Serving in the legislature, attending hundreds of rubber chicken Democrat dinners, running for secretary of state. Haley has paid his dues in a thousand ways.

A Democrat winning a U.S. Senate race in Kansas is a long shot. But whoever survives the Republican primary (Moran or Tiahrt) will have an empty campaign kitty on August 3, and both have run so far to the right as to scare many Kansas voters.

“Hope Springs Eternal” with Kansas Democrats, and David Haley is getting my vote on August 3. He’s been there for me. But most of all, he’s paid his dues.

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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Maryland: One More Map

OK … this is probably my last attempt at redrawing my home state of Maryland.   I feel that this is my best plan yet.  I create eight solid Democratic districts (58% or more Obama each) while making each district as compact as possible.

There’s just one problem — Steny Hoyer may not be happy (?).  However, the best way to get 8 Democrats out of Maryland AND to create very compact districts at the same time is to draw the map this way, where parts of the current MD-4 and MD-5 are combined.  The new MD-4 combines much of Prince George’s Co. with southern Maryland and is majority black.  It is drawn for Donna Edwards; African-Americans would comprise approximately 63% of the Democratic primary vote there (white voters about 32%).  Hoyer (who lives in St. Mary’s Co.) can move and run in the new MD-5 which includes much of northern PG Co. and northern and central Anne Arundel Co.  Northern PG was Hoyer’s home base in the past and, at one point or another in his career, Hoyer has represented about 43% of the new MD-5, so it would not be a stretch for him to run there.  The new MD-7 also remains majority black, and African-Americans would comprise approximately 60% of the Democratic primary there.   Other than Hoyer, the plan keeps the home of each incumbent in their district.  The population deviation ranges from 4 to 848 persons per district.







District 1

60% Obama, 39% McCain (currently 40% Obama, 58% McCain)

61% white, 33% black

All of Eastern Shore; southern part of Anne Arundel Co.; central part of Prince George’s Co.

District 2

58% Obama, 40% McCain (currently 60% Obama, 38% McCain)

69% white, 22% black

All of Harford Co.; northern part of Baltimore Co.; northern and central parts of Baltimore City

District 3

58% Obama, 41% McCain (currently 59% Obama, 39% McCain)

63% white, 25% black

All of Howard Co. and Carroll Co.; western part of Baltimore Co.; one precinct in PG to maintain equal population of districts

District 4

75% Obama, 24% McCain (currently 85% Obama, 14% McCain)

50%+ black, 39% white

All of southern Maryland; southern and central parts of Prince George’s Co.

District 5

59% Obama, 40% McCain (currently 65% Obama, 33% McCain)

57% white, 24% black, 12% hispanic

Northern part of Prince George’s Co.; northern and central parts of Anne Arundel Co.; most of Takoma Park in Montgomery Co.

District 6

62% Obama, 36% McCain (currently 40% Obama, 58% McCain)

59% white, 15% black, 12% asian, 12% hispanic

Northern part of Montgomery Co.; northern and central parts of Frederick Co.

District 7

67% Obama, 31% McCain (currently 79% Obama, 20% McCain)

50%+ black, 44% white

Eastern part of Baltimore Co.; most of Baltimore City

District 8

61% Obama, 37% McCain (currently 74% Obama, 25% McCain)

69% white, 11% black; 10% hispanic

All of western Maryland; southern part of Frederick Co.; southern part of Montgomery Co.

(PS.  In my last diary, I indicated that I was working on a very compact plan for California in which as many Democratic districts as possible are created.  I did come up with a plan with 48 Democratic seats for the state (each district is at least 55% Obama) with very compact districts that adhere to county lines and actually have less county fragments than even the bipartisan, commission-drawn map of the 1990’s  However, I will not post my plan as I strongly believe that the resulting map is in effect a “dummymander”; 55% Obama districts are just not strong enough to assure Democratic representation in California.)  

Texas Redistricting: The Return of the Jedi

If you can’t tell by the title, this is strictly a Democratic gerrymander with the goal being how many Obama districts can be squeezed out of Texas while pretty much following current VRA’s and not severely weakening current incumbents.  I purposefully had ignored all other possible VRA’s, such as a Hispanic plurality/majority district in Dallas.  However, since the voting is so polarized, an Obama district in TX almost automatically means it’s going to be heavy on the minority population.  So even while the intention isn’t there, this map still naturally makes two new majority-minority districts in Dallas, a solid Hispanic plurality district in Houston, two new majority-minority seats in Houston and a Hispanic majority seat in Southern TX.  

The question becomes, what would happen in a majority-minority district that’s a swing district, because the primary vote would be mainly minority voters and they’d need to pick up some white vote to account for drop-off in voting habits to get to 50%+1.  Id like to think though that the suburbs of Dallas and Houston aren’t that racial charged and we’d do okay.

I did a 36-seat map.  TX may gain either three or four seats; I just picked one and went with four as having an extra seat to work with seemed more fun.  The four new seats ended up being one in South Texas to reflect the booming Hispanic population, two in Dallas as roughly 1.3 million people have moved into the area since the 2000 census, and the fourth is another Houston area seat with my gerrymandering resulting in a north suburban Houston seat.

The map is 22 Obama districts and 14 McCain districts and I hope you enjoy!



Greater Dallas


Only explanation about relay of information is that in the 2nd line in initial description of district, after Presidential results the order is White%/Black%/Hispanic% of population.

Red: TX-32  Pete Sessions R

34%-65% McCain     80/4/10

District now becomes much more like the current TX-26 but instead of combining suburban and exurban areas with Democratic areas in the Dallas-core, it now picks up the heavily GOP portions of north Dallas.  Sessions would be much happier here.

Green: TX-3 Sam Johnson R

35%-64% McCain     79/5/10

Sam Johnson may actually live in TX-32 or the new TX-33 but I have a feeling he’d rather run for this open seat that contains most of his old territory.  Safe GOP, gerrymandering to only take in GOP precincts in the inner-Dallas area.

Lime Green: TX-4 Ralph Hall R

28%/71% McCain     78/13/7

Pretty much the same district for Ralph Hall already represents, he’ll be happy.

Periwinkle: TX-1 Louie Gohmert R

29%/70% McCain     72/16/9

He got lucky as well (as lucky as one can get in a pretend redistricting) and Gohmert’s district stays pretty much the same.

Pink: TX-6 OPEN

26%/73% McCain     83/6/9

This district is very similar to Joe Barton’s current district so he’d probably opt to run here instead of against Bernice Johnson in a black plurality district.  Kay Granger may also be looking for a new district to run in (if she doesn’t pull the trigger on a statewide run) and this district contains her old suburban and exurban territory.  



Here’s with city lines and here is with no lines.

Redistricting Dallas was easily the most fun, so much damage can be done to the GOP gerrymanders there.  What I found is that you can squeeze out 6 Obama districts, however, most of them will be extremely swingish, Hispanics get no plurality or majority district, it is heavily gerrymandered, and the AA district now has a tail.  Making 5 Obama districts would be an extremely solid Dallas area map and would pretty much guarantee us all 5 of those seats and could provide a district where a Hispanic can easily get elected (mine it’s 50/50).  But I’ll save that for the Democrats in TX to make because Im going for 6.

Peach: TX-24 Kenny Marchant R

31%/68% McCain     84/3/9

Merchant’s home gets thrown into what looks like TX-26 with Michael Burgess, however Burgess gets put into a different district.  So while Merchant is the only resident incumbent, Burgess may want to run here as well instead of try his hand at an Obama district.

Cyan: TX-26 Mike Burgess R

52%/47% Obama      59/12/19

As previously stated in the last district, this is a newly made Obama district that he won by 5%.  In the north Democratic Denton, then some McCain districts to snake down to more suburbs that are starting to swing our way, and then picks up strongly Democratic areas in Dallas and Tarrant counties.  This is also the 2nd most white Obama district in the state, with the two Austin based districts ranking 1st and 3rd.

Yellow: TX-33 OPEN

51%/48% Obama      53/14/24

New district formed out of blue precincts in northeast/northcentral Dallas county with it picking up the Democratic precincts in the booming city of Plano north of that in Collin county.

Gray: TX-5 Jeb Hensarling R

52%/47% Obama      48/16/32

Jeb’s district now takes in much more of Dallas county, snaking in a little bit to pick-up left over Dem precincts from Johnson’s district moving into rural areas.  A Hispanic would stand a decent shot at winning here; they’ll make up a strong plurality/majority of the Dem primary so the real challenge will be getting a Hispanic legislator elected in such a white district that only went for Obama by 5%.

Blue: TX-30 Eddie Bernice Johnson D vs Joe Barton R

66%/33% Obama      39/41/18

For this district, I cut out much of the Hispanic population in Dallas county and replaced it with white dominated areas in suburban and exurban areas south of Dallas, thus giving those Hispanic Dem precincts to other districts that can use them.  With the Hispanic population plummeting from 34% to 18%, Johnson actually get’s safer and this district will have no chance of going from AA to Hispanic in representation.

Turquoise: TX-34 OPEN

51%/48% Obama      47/12/35

Another new Obama district, this one also is majority-minority and a tinge more Hispanic and less white than TX-5, but also 2% more Republican.

Violet: TX-12 Kay Granger R

53%/46% Obama      50/17/28

Fort Worth no longer gets screwed out of having a Democratic representative and the district now covers only the city of Fort Worth and a few inner-suburbs that are surrounded by it’s city limits.

West Texas


Purple: TX-13: Mac Thornberry R

23%/77% McCain     72/5/20


Pink:TX-19 Randy Neugebauer R

27%/72% McCain     67/6/25


Sea Green: TX-11 Mike Conway R

23%/76% McCain     71/4/22


West Texas Hispanic Districts


Orange: TX-16 Silvestre Reyes D

65%/34% Obama      18/3/76

Same El Paso based district for Reyes.

Purple: TX-28 Henry Cuellar D

52%/46% Obama      22/2/74

This district looks much like Ciro Rodriguez’s, save for he lives in Bexar County which now has enough population for two separate Hispanic districts.  And with Cuellar’s voting record, he seemed like a perfect fit for this district rather than stick him in what would be an extremely strong Obama district next-door.  So his home of Laredo in the SE extreme of the district is put into the district.

Central Texas


Maroon: TX-23 Ciro Rodriguez D

56%/42% Obama      30/5/61

There’s Ciro!  This district is much Democratic, and will be much easier for campaign stops on Rodriguez.  Congrats man, sit back and enjoy the incumbency, but still work hard.  (This is pretty much guaranteed to happen regardless of whose in charge of redistricting in TX.  They can probably gerrymander two Hispanic district enough here in the county to make one one really swingy though.)

Cyan: TX-20 Charles Gonzales D

58%/41% Obama      33/10/53

His district does get less Democratic and that’s because he now has to share his blue territory with another Dem in Bexar county.  He’ll live.

Brown: TX-21 Lamar Smith R

33%/66% McCain     75/3/19

Smith’s district takes on a different shape, but covers most of the same exurban/rural territory around San Antonio and Austin.

Lime Green: TX-31: OPEN

56%/42% Obama      62/5/29

New Austin based district for any Dem who wants it.  

Olive Green: TX-25 Lloyd Dogget D

60%/39% Obama      58/12/24

Dogget’s district gets a little bit more Democratic and a helluva a lot smaller.

Light Blue: TX-17 Chet Edwards D

53%/45% Obama      56/19/20

This district is now a pair of legs connected to Edwards home of Waco.  The right leg picks up AA precincts through small cities and rural areas while the left leg takes in the Democratic city of Killeen and then on down to pick up some suburbs and a couple of precincts in Austin.

Southern Texas


Yellow: TX-27 Solomon Ortiz D

53%/46% Obama      27/2/69

This district stays surprisingly the same as I figured it’d get smaller.

Green: TX-15 Ruben Hinojosa D

59%/40% Obama      20/2/77

Hinojosa’s district trades around some precincts in Central TX with the new Hispanic district and with another GOP district to maximize Democratic performance, which was lacking after the city of McAllen was completely taken out for population purposes.

Pink: TX-35 OPEN

60%/40% Obama      18/1/80

New Hispanic district centered around McAllen on the border and then takes in much of Cuellar’s old territory in Central TX to create a solid progressive Hispanic Congresscritter.  Also the most Hispanic district in the state.

Greater Houston


Salmon: TX-14 Ron Paul R

29%/70% McCain     73/8/7

Ron Paul’s district is re-shaped and all Democratic areas in the district are removed (Galveston and it’s surrounding areas), suburbs closer into Houston are added, and then the rural areas inbetween Houston and Austin are dolloped on.  A bit more Republican, pretty gerrymandered and with no central focus as this district really was just the left-overs.

Gray: TX-36 Ted Poe R vs Kevin Brady R

25%/74% McCain      81/4/11

This district is the one I deemed the new one.  Montgomery county is estimated to have grown by just over 50%, or roughly 150,000 people.  So now there is a district centered around the county.  A couple of precincts of Poe’s hometown are in other districts but he probably lives here, and Kevin Brady does for sure as well.  But he may want to run next door.

Moss Green: TX-8 OPEN

28%/71% McCain      78/8/10

Here’s where Kevin Brady would probably run as it consists of most of his old territory and he’d have an easy win.

Merrygold: TX-2 OPEN

53%/46% Obama      45/22/29

My favorite district on this map and the one I started with first when mapping, which I had never done before and is why I finally got it perfect over the many tries (could never get it to be an Obama district because Id start with TX-22).  In the east it picks up all the Democratic areas in the Beaumont/Port Arthur metro, moves west to Baytown, snakes through the suburbs in Houston  (and missing Republican areas to boot) on down to Galveston, and then to Freeport.  It’s a minority-majority district  and probably strong enough Dem to elect one.  

Violet: TX-22 Pete Olson R

52%/48% Obama      46/20/22/12%(Asian)

Much less gerrymandered before, this district is now a very Fort Bend-centric district that expands from there to pick up as Democratic of precincts as possible.  A chunk of Houston does extend into Fort Bend that I’d estimate at 85% AA and the surrounding areas from there in the county also contain many heavy minority areas.  This higher AA population is what makes it majority-minority and Democratic.

Inner Houston


Here’s with city lines and here’s with no lines.

Pink: TX-10 OPEN

30%/69% McCain     74/4/15

This district is open and takes on TX-10’s numeration because it got split up three ways and was my left-over number.  McCaul could run here because the district contains his base of the Houston suburbs, as may Culberson because he now has an Obama district.  Solid GOP regardless.

Orange-Red: TX-7 John Culberson R

57%/43% Obama      34/19/40

Culberson’s district is now transformed into a bird-shaped district that has a strong Hispanic plurality and with a strong 14% Obama showing.

Green: TX-18 Sheila Jackson-Lee D

71%/29% Obama      33/37/26

Her district gets much more white, 9% less Hispanic, and a little bit more Republican.  However, like Johnson in Dallas, even though the district seems less friendly on the surface, by eliminating much of the Hispanic population, Jackson-Lee won’t be threatened in a primary and all subsequent representatives would be AA as well.

Pale Yellow: TX-29 Gene Green D

55%/45% Obama      31/15/50

The district loses Baytown, which makes it less Democratic and less Hispanic.  However, Green’s pain is the Democrats gain so he’d just have to suck it up.  He can win here just fine.

Blue: TX-9 Al Green

63%/37% Obama     30/26/32

This Green wont be very happy either with his district as it no longer has a black plurality but rather a Hispanic one.  This is due to the district losing it’s AA precincts in Fort Bend county, which was needed to create that Dem district.  He can probably win, and if not, it’d still be a progressive Democrat and be Hispanic then.

THE END.  Expect a Revenge of the Sith version in 28 years.

IA-Gov news roundup

I’ve been posting less often at Swing State Project lately because Iowa campaign news is keeping me busy at my home blog, Bleeding Heartland. From time to time I will keep SSPers up to date on our highest-profile races: Roxanne Conlin’s bid against five-term Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Democratic Governor Chet Culver’s re-election campaign against four-term former Governor Terry Branstad.

After the jump you’ll find lots of links on the Iowa governor’s race since Branstad won the June 8 primary with about 50 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Bob Vander Plaats and 9 percent for Rod Roberts.

Vander Plaats ran to Branstad’s right during the primary, slamming the former governor’s record of growing government while feeding on wingnut anger about government-run health care, immigration and of course same-sex marriage rights in Iowa. Although Branstad spent several times more money during the first five months of the year, Vander Plaats was able to outperform his poll numbers on June 8. A post-primary meeting between the two candidates reportedly “did not go well,” as Branstad rebuffed Vander Plaats’ desire to be on the ticket. Consequently, Vander Plaats still hasn’t endorsed Branstad and is leaving the door open to running for governor as an independent. (Iowa is one of the few states without a sore loser law.) I doubt Vander Plaats will take the plunge for reasons described here, but if he does, he may help Culver by drawing some Republican votes away from Branstad.

Immediately after the primary, Iowa politics-watchers hashed out who was and wasn’t on Branstad’s short list for lieutenant governor. Some well-connected Republicans thought he would choose former State Senator Jeff Lamberti, who was the 2006 GOP nominee against Congressman Leonard Boswell in IA-03. Two days before the Republican state convention, Branstad picked little-known first-term State Senator Kim Reynolds, signaling that he plans to focus on fiscal issues during the general election campaign. I covered reaction to that pick here. Normally the state convention vote on the governor’s running mate is a formality, but Branstad must have been worried about how Reynolds would go over with party activists, because his campaign hit convention delegates with robocalls and e-mails emphasizing Reynolds’ social conservative credentials. On June 24, a sitting state legislator put Vander Plaats’ name in nomination for lieutenant governor, and delegates picked Reynolds over Vander Plaats by a surprisingly narrow margin of 56 percent to 44 percent. I discussed the divisions in the Iowa GOP here.

Branstad has stayed up on television since the primary, running this ad that glosses over his own record and lies about how Culver has managed state finances. It’s notable that Branstad bashes so-called Democratic “overspending” but never explains how he would have balanced the state budget during a recession without dipping into reserve funds or using federal stimulus money. Lieutenant Governor candidate Reynolds also criticizes teacher layoffs and Democratic budget policies, never acknowledging that education cuts would have been far worse without the federal stimulus bill all the Republicans opposed.

Meanwhile, Culver has run two television commercials since the primary. One covered Branstad’s dismal record on fiscal issues, which is “not worth repeating.” The other started a conversation about Branstad’s values, noting that he sought pay raises multiple times while cutting spending on things like foster care.

Culver picked up a couple of endorsements this month that should help his ground game in the general election. The Planned Parenthood PAC’s support was never in doubt, but Branstad reportedly tried hard to discourage the Iowa State Education Association from backing Culver. (The state’s largest teacher’s union had backed Branstad during his third gubernatorial campaign in 1990.) Branstad’s call for eliminating the state-funded preschool program probably hurt him with the ISEA.

The only public poll since the Iowa primary was conducted by Rasmussen, which found Branstad enjoying his largest-ever lead, 57 percent to 31 percent. Most Iowa Democrats believe the race is closer than that, but Culver is clearly in a hole.

Revenues for the fiscal year that just ended were better than expected, but that hasn’t stopped Republican zombie lies about a “budget deficit.”

Branstad started running a new tv ad this week, promising “honest, open and scandal-free government.” Culver’s campaign responded by releasing 400 pages of documents showing how Branstad and his top aides did campaign work on the public’s dime while he was governor. I discussed the document dump at Bleeding Heartland.  It will be interesting to see what other material the Culver campaign uncovers in the 1,000 boxes they’ve been going through in the state archives.

Jonathan Narcisse is running for governor as an independent after flaking out on plans to challenge Chet Culver in the Democratic primary. I don’t think he will be a factor.

Share any thoughts about the Iowa governor’s race in this thread.

SSP Daily Digest: 7/2 (Afternoon Edition)

AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth is still trying to spin away his shilling for free-grant-money seminars, saying that, in his defense, those grants really do exist. No, they don’t, say the folks at Grants.gov, who would be the ones to know. Meanwhile, the Hayworth camp is attacking John McCain for his association with Republican bundler and convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, a guy McCain has claimed not to know. The Hayworth camp unveiled video of McCain and Rothstein together at a fundraiser, while the McCain camp answers that he can’t be responsible for remembering every single donor he met over the course of a presidential bid.

KS-Sen: Here’s an interesting split in the endorsements of the various right-wingers jetting around the country playing kingmaker. You might recall that Sarah Palin recently added Todd Tiahrt to her list of Mama Grizzlies in the Kansas GOP Senate primary; today comes news that Jim DeMint will be stumping on behalf of rival Jerry Moran.

LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon seems to finally realize he’s been handed a prime opportunity to go on the offensive, in David Vitter’s hiring and later defending of his repeatedly in-trouble-with-the-law aide Brent Furer. Melancon is now publicly asking why he “protected” Furer for two years.

NH-Sen: You’ve gotta wonder about the sanity of a candidate, lagging in the polls and trying to capture Tea Party support, who looks at Dale Peterson and Rick Barber’s viral video notoriety and thinks “Hey, that could be me!” Jim Bender, the distant fourth-wheel in the New Hampshire GOP primary, is out with a bizarre new ad that involves a crazed-looking, frosting-covered Uncle Sam actor devouring cake slices decorated like banks and cars.

MA-Gov: Tim Cahill, currently lying in the middle of the street with RGA tire tracks all over his back, is trying to get back up on his feet. He’s out with a second TV ad (his first one was back in January), a positive spot focusing on his time as state Treasurer.

MD-Gov (pdf): Republican pollster Magellan just keeps churning out gubernatorial polls; while most of them have seemed right on the mark, this one’s a little surprising. They find Republican Bob Ehrlich leading Dem incumbent Martin O’Malley 46-43. While O’Malley’s approvals are plausible for a current incumbent (41/45), the fact that they have Ehrlich, who got bounced out of office in 2006, at 51/32, is perplexing. O’Malley did get one piece of welcome news today, though: you might remember that he was facing a quixotic but not entirely trivial primary challenge from the right from former state Del. George Owings. Owings dropped out of the race today, citing health problems.

NE-Gov: Via press release, we’ve just learned that businessman Mark Lakers, the Democratic nominee, is dropping out of the gubernatorial race. He cites fundraising woes and family unhappiness in his decision. Apparently, there’s a replacement candidate ready to be substituted by the state Dems (the uneventful primary was held May 11), although no word yet on who that is. We’ll update with a link once we know more.

NM-Gov: Fundraising numbers in New Mexico are out, courtesy of Heath Haussamen. It was a strong reporting period for GOPer Susana Martinez, who raised $611K, compared with Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who banked $188K. You might think the disparity has to do with Martinez facing a major primary while Denish was uncontested, but Denish actually spent more than Martinez in that same period. Denish still has a huge cash on hand disparity: $2.2 million, compared with $300K for Martinez. (Expect to see a whole lotta RGA money flowing Martinez’s way, though.)

WI-Gov: Here’s a surprising endorsement for Milwaukee mayor and Democratic candidate Tom Barrett: he got the backing of NYC mayor and well-known independent Michael Bloomberg. Apparently the two know each other from the big-city mayors community, and Bloomberg is a fan of Barrett’s attempts to stop gun violence.

TN-08: The state GOP chairman had to step in, weary-parent-style, to the squabble between Stephen Fincher and Ron Kirkland, saying that he loves them an equal amount. Actually, Chris Devaney said that they’re both, as far as he knows, bona fide Republicans. (No mention of the primary field’s red-headed step-child, George Flinn?) Today the battle between Fincher and Kirkland has already moved on to TARP, each trying to hang it around each other’s necks despite neither one having voted for it. For fans who want more of this decidedly drama-filled primary, Reid Wilson had a thorough history of the race yesterday, focusing on why the NRCC has buddied up with Fincher so much.

MI-St. Sen.: We always like to see state-based bloggers handicapping their state legislative races, as that’s too far down in the weeds for even us know-it-alls at SSP to make educated guesses. Michigan Liberal’s pbratt looks at the Michigan Senate – one of the few places where we’re on the offensive this cycle, thanks to a whole lot of open seats – and foresees Dems falling just short, with 20-18 Republican control of the chamber after November.

DGA: Also via press release, we’ve just gotten fundraising numbers from the DGA. While they aren’t in the same league as the RGA (who’ve doubled up on the DGA in terms of both this quarter and cash on hand), it shows they’re revving up for a huge gubernatorial year, too, with $9.1 million in the second quarter and $22 million CoH.

SSP Daily Digest: 7/2 (Morning Edition)

  • IL-Sen: That’s some good money for a nursery school teacher: Mark Kirk raised $2.3 million in the second quarter and has $3.9 million on hand. But don’t bust out the milk and cookies just yet: Reid Wilson points out that Kirk has raised $9 million to date, meaning he’s burned through $5 million already, despite having had a pretty easy primary.
  • KY-Sen: Rand Paul took in $1.1 million in Q2, but didn’t release cash-on-hand figures. Nothing from Jack Conway yet.
  • GA-Gov: Ah, this is the kind of thing every lawyer dreads: being called on the carpet by a judge you’re litigating in front of. It’s a little worse when it comes out on the campaign trail during your gubernatorial run, but GOP Ins. Comm’r John Oxendine is just going to have to take his lumps for this:
  • The transcript of McConnell’s comments read, “If I knew I could suspend you from practicing law in the state of Georgia for the rest of your life I would do so. You’re an abomination as far as I’m concerned.”

  • AL-02: John McArdle reminds us that pre-primary reports are available in Alabama, where there’s one interesting federal runoff between Martha Roby and Rick “The Barber” Barber. Roby raised $100K from May 13 to June 23 and has a similar amount left on hand, while Barber took in only $50K and has about half that in the bank. The runoff is on July 13th. Remember, you can find our sortable primary calendar here.
  • CA-37: The House Ethics Committee cleared Rep. Laura Richardson of any wrongdoing in connection with allegations that Washington Mutual gave her an improper benefit with regard to her mortgage on a home that the bank had repossessed but later returned to Richardson. However, Richardson has a history of problems with home payments, with the LA Times noting she’s defaulted on three homes. I wouldn’t be surprised if she faced a primary challenge at some point soon.
  • ID-01: Remember a little while back when Mike Simpson was claiming that Walt Minnick was ready to be part of a Blue Dog revolution that would displace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker if Dems only narrowly controlled the House in 2011? Well, he admitted yesterday that his idea was about as legit as BPGlobalPR, saying that he’s “just lobbing hand grenades.” More like spitballs.
  • Fundraising: Given all the fundraising bullets above, it’s obviously FEC report season again. Reid Wilson has a bunch more numbers we haven’t reported here – LA-Sen, ND-AL, and NH-02. Meanwhile, Steve Singiser unearths some numbers for RI-Gov. Follow the links and enjoy!
  • Ridiculous 2012 Speculations (The Senate, Part 1)

    I thought as me first diary I should take a look at what lies ahead in 2012. Take in mind, while I do take in mind facts in each state, these are purely speculative and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, I do put in mind three factors which I think would affect state by state results:

    1.) Obama on the ballot: With Barack Obama most likely running for reelection, his presence on the ballot should increase Democratic turnout that was not present in Virginia or New Jersey in 2009, and will definitely have an impact of key states.

    2.) Tea Party: Just as Obama’s presence will mobilize the left, I expect the Tea Party to have the same impact on the Republicans as they are currently having during the current primary calendar.

    3.) 2011 Redistricting: I suspect by the time the states redraw their Congressional Districts, a number of House members may be drawn out of their old districts and may be seeking greener pastures of higher office.

    So here’s my completely speculative predictions for 2012. I’ll look at the Senate first:

    Arizona: Jon Kyl, once looking like a dead duck, seems to have gotten a second wind with immigration reform once again front and centre. Gabrielle Giffords is probably the most likely challenger, however at this point it doesn’t look like Kyl will be unseated.

    Kyl 51%, Giffords 47%, Others 2%

    California: Dianne Feinstein will be 79 years old, and while normal people expect someone that age to retire, this is after all the United States Senate, so I’m working with the assumption that Feinstein is running for reelection. Schwarzenegger is the only statewide Republican who’s won statewide, so I’ll use him as a template.

    Feinstein 55%, Terminator 41%, Others 4%

    Connecticut: Three words: Murphy vs. Lieberman. Republicans won’t even run a candidate to give Joementum a better chance to win.

    Murphy 52%, Lieberman 48%

    Delaware: I actually think Tom Carper will retire. Beau Biden, after recovering from his health scare, will make up for not running for his father’s seat. Republicans will pick a sacrifical lamb.

    Biden 56%, Republican 44%

    Florida: I’ve got three different scenarios for this one. George Lemieux might run, and possibly Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio does NOT win in 2010, and tries to take on Bill Nelson.

    Nelson 53%, Lemieux 46%, Others 1%

    Bush 57%, Nelson 40%, Others 3%

    Rubio 51%, Nelson 48%, Others 1%

    Hawaii: At 88 years in 2012, I’m guessing Akaka’s going to retire. Linda Lingle is going to run. In case Akaka doesn’t retire:

    Lingle 51%, Democrat 49%

    Indiana: I think Lugar’s got one more term in him, but this time the Dems aren’t letting him get away unopposed like last time; I’m just going to pull Baron Hill out of my arse here. Look for the Tea Party to make some kind of third party bid here.

    Lugar 60%, Hill 30%, Tea Partier 10%

    Maine: Tea Party makes good on its threat. Snowe faces a primary challenge and LOSES. Shockwaves are felt for about a week before people focus on the race. Mike Michaud runs for the Democrats and gets easiest pickup ever.

    Michaud 58%, Republican 42%

    Maryland: I think Cardin’s pretty weak. If the GOP finds another Michael Steele type candidate (I mean Steele before he became RNC Chairman), namely a black Republican, they might have a chance.

    Black Republican 49.8%, Cardin 47.2%, Others 3%

    Massachusetts: Pretty sure everyone is going to be watching this one come election night. Brown is popular now, but with Obama on the ballot and strong Democratic turnout this isn’t going to be the lucky break he got with Martha Coakley. Let’s just use Michael Capuano as the expected candidate.

    Brown 51%, Capuano 49%

    Michigan: This might be Stabenow’s last stand. The popularity of Dems in Michigan has gone down because of the economy, but with Obama on the ballot there is still a chance she could be saved. But this would depend if the GOP nominates a Tea Partier or a moderate Republican. Let’s use Dick DeVos as an example.

    DeVos 50%, Stabenow 49%, Others 1%

    Minnesota: I don’t see Amy Klobuchar losing at all.

    Klobuchar 62%, Republican 36%, Others 2%

    Mississippi: Same thing with Roger Wicker I see with Klobuchar.

    Wicker 61%, Democrat 39%

    Missouri: This is most likely going to be a McCaskill/Talent rematch.

    McCaskill 52%, Talent 48%

    Montana: Montana only has one Congressional district, so it’s not going to be changed anyway. Still, Denny Rehberg might be interested in running against a less stronger candidate like Jon Tester, who squeaked past the hapless Conrad Burns by a hair.

    Rehberg 54%, Tester 44%, Others 2%

    Nebraska: a Rasmussen poll last year showed Gov. Dave Heineman leading Ben Nelson by 31 points. Heineman’s very popular and could be seeking higher office after reelection this year. Either Nelson’s going to retire, or Heineman is going to run against him.

    Heineman 59%, Nelson 41%

    Heineman 70%, Some Other Guy 30%

    That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned for Part 2 of me Ridiculous 2012 Senate Predictions.

    SSP Daily Digest: 7/1

    CO-Sen: Republican candidate Ken Buck has a couple pieces of good news today: one, he’s the recipient of $172K in independent expenditures from mysterious conservative group Americans for Job Security. And two, Jim DeMint‘s coming to town on July 8 to stump on Buck’s behalf

    NE-Sen: Ironically, on the same day that he was the deciding vote in the Senate’s failure to extend unemployment benefits, Ben Nelson announced that he won’t be making an appearance in the unemployment lines himself in 2012. He confirmed that he plans to run for re-election.

    SC-Sen: The profile of Lindsey Graham in the New York Times magazine is well worth a read. While it serves to make me like him a little more, I’ve gotta wonder if he’s even going to bother running (or at least running as a Republican) when he’s up again in 2014, considering it’s just going to tick off the teabaggers even more. He derides the Tea Partiers, saying they’ll be gone in a few years, “chortling” that Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today… and also has a good laugh at the rumors about his sexual orientation, instead of, y’know, punching the interviewer in the nose or something unequivocally manly like that.

    WI-Sen, WI-Gov: PPP rolls out a last batch of numbers from their Wisconsin sample, looking at the Republican primaries in the Senate and gubernatorial races and seeing them as foregone conclusions. On the governor’s side, Milwaukee Co. Executive (and legendary 60’s crooner) Scott Walker leads ex-Rep. Mark Neumann 58-19, while in the Senate race, Ron Johnson leads Dave Westlake 49-11.

    WV-Sen: OK, so the rumor today is that things are still on for a 2012 special election to replace Robert Byrd, not a 2010 one as suggested yesterday. Gov. Joe Manchin and Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin are sending signals that they won’t call for a legislative special session to shift the election date to this year, despite the decision by SoS Natalie Tennant to have it in 2012.

    AL-Gov: Here’s one more politican trapped in the semantic quicksand that seems to be developing around the issue of stateside service during Vietnam. Alabama GOP runoff contestant Robert Bentley has drawn some heat for the words “Hospital commander” and “Vietnam War” appearing on-screen in one of his TV ads. Bentley was ranking medical doctor at Pope AFB (in North Carolina) during the Vietnam era, although he didn’t serve physically in Vietnam.

    FL-Gov: Now the supposed hero of 9/11 has RINO cooties, too? Rick Scott’s camp sent out press releases yesterday attacking opponent Bill McCollum for having supported “pro-abortion, pro-homosexual” Giuliani for President, back in those heady days of, say, 2007, when it was assumed that Giuliani was going to steamroller everyone else in the Florida primary.

    MD-Gov: Republican ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich picked a running mate for his 2010 campaign, and, no, he’s not giving Michael Steele his old job back. He picked Mary Kane, who was the SoS under Ehrlich (an appointed position in Maryland). She’s from Montgomery County, suggesting he sees the route to 50%+1 through this increasingly-blue suburb.

    OR-Gov (pdf): Republican pollster Magellan is quickly becoming one of the most prolific purveyors of public polls, this time with a look at the gubernatorial race in Oregon. They join the consensus that this is a deadlocked race right now; they find Republican Chris Dudley leading Democrat John Kitzhaber by a paper-thin 41-40 margin. Dudley has 41-27 support among independents. They also offer an interesting breakdown by CD; it’s OR-04 that’s keeping Dudley in this, giving him a 44-38 edge, while predictably, Kitzhaber dominates in OR-01 and OR-03, Dudley sweeps OR-02, and they fight to a tie in OR-05.

    WY-Gov: OMG! Stop the presses! Veteran character actor and widely trusted commercial pitchman for products for old people (and Wyoming resident) Wilford Brimley has made an endorsement in the GOP gubernatorial primary. He’s backing state Auditor Rita Meyer. No word on whether he was won over by her pro-oatmeal stances.

    NJ-07: There’s an internal poll out from a Democrat? Not only that, but it’s from one who’s been totally off the radar, as national Dems seem to have ceded the 7th to freshman GOPer Leonard Lance. While the “informed ballot” numbers are the ones getting promoted (we at SSP think informed ballot questions are good… for us to poop on), there are legitimate toplines in there too, with Lance leading Ed Potosnak by a not-so-imposing 43-30. Lance also has a weak 31/46 re-elect number in the Garin Hart Yang poll.

    NM-02: Construction liens seem to be the common cold of political scandals, but Democratic freshman Harry Teague is in an uphill battle to retain his GOP-leaning seat and probably wouldn’t like any bad PR. He personally, and the four oil and gas industry companies he controls, are facing a civil lawsuit over failure to repay loans to purchase equipment.

    Ohio: PPP has some odds and ends left over from their Ohio sample. Two items are on the bad news side of the ledger, although only barely: a generic House ballot test for Ohio (where there are at least five competitive Democratic holds) has Republicans leading Democrats 44-43, and GOP ex-Sen. Mike DeWine is leading appointed Democratic AG Richard Cordray 44-41 in the Attorney General’s race. (Screw that; what about SoS race numbers?) The good news is that Sherrod Brown’s favorables have rebounded quite a bit since PPP’s last poll; he’s now at 38/38.

    NRCC: More expectations management from the NRCC? After previous pronouncements that John Boehner was looking to pick up 436 100 seats, now he’s sending out a fundraising e-mail that touts a 39-seat pickup as their target.

    RGA: Haley Barbour’s rolling around in a trough full of money today: the Republican Governors Association hauled in $19 million in the last fundraising quarter. Also suggesting that GOP fundraising is kicking into higher gear, American Crossroads, the Karl Rove venture that earned a whopping $200 in May, had a much better June: they raised $8.5 million.

    WA-Sen: Murray, Rossi Look to Advance From Primary

    SurveyUSA for KING-TV (6/25-28, likely voters, no trendlines):

    Patty Murray (D-inc): 37

    Dino Rossi (R): 33

    Clint Didier (R): 5

    Others: 6

    Undecided: 19

    (MoE: ±4.4%)

    SurveyUSA is doing a couple things right with their newest poll of Washington: first, they’re looking at Washington’s “top two” primary, which is the first hurdle that Patty Murray and Dino Rossi have to clear. (Their only previous poll of this race was of the November general election; the only public poll of the race to have shown a Rossi lead, it was declared, pretty much by universal consensus, to be an outlier.)

    In not much of a surprise, considering that Murray is the only legitimate Democrat while Rossi has to fight off a teabagger challenge from Clint Didier, Murray has a single-digit lead. Note that Rossi + Didier is about equal to Murray (although maybe not every Didier voter will shift to Rossi in November, as the state’s movement conservatives seem a lot more lukewarm about Rossi than they did two years ago, when he was the vehicle for their “we wuz robbed” indignation)… presaging a close general election race, though. (They also painstakingly list all 15 candidates, including perpetual perennial candidates like Mike the Mover and the mighty GoodSpaceGuy… who, despite his fondness for things technological, doesn’t seem to have his own website.)

    The other thing that SurveyUSA is doing is adding cellphones to the mix here, despite the added expense of having to use a call center with live callers to reach cellphone users (owing to laws prohibiting auto-dialing cellphones). This is an issue I’ve groused about a lot, and it’s one where the distortion, I’ve always believed, is particularly pronounced in Washington (where the 18-34 year old set is particularly liberal, and also where they tend to be the tech-savvy early-adopters who would be the first to cast off the shackles of their landlines), so I want to offer SurveyUSA props for doing so.

    Interestingly, though, the addition of cellphone users doesn’t seem to make much of a difference in the overall numbers. SurveyUSA offers a variety of different models with varying cellphone composition, and Murray always has a 4 or 5 point lead. With no cellphones in the mix, Murray’s up 39-34, and with cellphones comprising 30% of the mix, she leads 37-32. And most puzzlingly, 18-34 year olds are still the only age group in the crosstabs who favor Rossi (albeit narrowly, 33-28, while even those cynical members of Generation X opt for Murray, 40-26). So maybe, in the same way that they can’t be bothered to fill out their Census forms, Seattle’s urban hipsters still can’t be bothered to respond to phone calls from pollsters either.