Whilst the Massachusetts Senate Special and a series of dodgy house polls have Democrats convinced that the November midterms will be apocalyptic; the fact is that a number of Republican held House districts are in fact vulnerable to a takeover from Democratic challengers.
Below the fold for all the details and hey go check out the 2010 Race Tracker Wiki over at Open Congress for all your House, Senate and Gubernatorial needs.
***This diary should be read in conjunction with the diary by Silver Spring***
There are 5 groups of races that are or might become or potentially should be competitive in November. They include Obama Republican districts, districts with very good candidates and districts of a Republican PVI of R+4 and less.
The first ten races below are ranked in order of probability of takeover. These races WILL be competitive in November.
1. DE-AL (Castle) – D+7,
Stick a fork in this one it is done.
With Castle running for the Senate does anyone really think there is a Republican in Delaware who can hold this district for the GOP? Especially as the Democratic Party currently leads in voter reg – 288,380 to 180,620.
With Carney sitting on a 100/1 Cash on hand advantage as at the end of December and the only poll available showing Carney with a 23 point lead this 62% Obama district is certain to end up in the Democratic column in November.
2. LA-02 (Cao) – D+25,
Incumbent GOP Rep Anh Cao has one thing and one thing alone going for him – a Cash on Hand advantage of $91K as at the end of December – $316K-$225K.
Every other indicator tells us that presumptive Democratic nominee State Rep Cedric Richmond will steamroll his way through this race in November.
After all Obama got no less than 75% of the vote in this D+25 district. Also there are 237,103 registered Democrats and only 39,753 registered Republicans. And lastly of course, we can all remember how Cao only won in 2008 courtesy of an awfully corrupt Democratic incumbent – Bill Jefferson.
Cao is toast.
3. IL-10 (Kirk) – D+6,
With Republican Dold and Democrat Seals emerging from competitive primaries this open District race is definitely on the radar for 2010.
Dold leads in COH $198K/$145K (as at 13th January) but Seals has the rolodex to crank up the fundraising on his 3rd attempt at the district, particularly if supporters of his vanquished primary opponent – Julie Hamos – circle the wagons and pitch in (she did raise over $1 mill). To this point Seals has outraised Dold too.
Seals will win here for two interlinked reasons:
1) Obama got 61% of the vote here in 2008.
2) Dold is just not moderate enough to attract crossover votes the way Mark Kirk did.
– I should note I volunteered for Seals in 2008 and am ridiculously biased.
Presumptive nominee Doug Pike has more than $1 Mill COH as at 31st December, although it is largely self funded. BTW at this stage in 2008 Gerlach had raised almost $1.5 mill and still almost lost 52%/48% over a 2nd tier candidate.
This D+4, 58% Obama district (that also voted for Kerry like all of my top 6 races) is at worst a 50/50 pick up chance.
5. PA-15 (Dent) – D+2,
For the first time Dent has a serious top tier opponent. Having dispatched a serious of 2nd tier candidates Dent is in for the race of his life in 2010. Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan seems to be the real deal. As well as already being a public official Callahan has in the last quarter outraised Dent and they are basically equal in
Dent must be worried as his campaign released a very dodgy internal poll showing him leading 58%/27% but refused to release the internals to go with it (a sure sign of bodgy polling)as is the claimed Obama approval rating of 41% compared to a Pennsylvania wide 57% (According to Gallup). Obama won this district in 2008 56%/43%.
Callahan has a shot here. Either way it will be competitive.
6. WA-08 (Reichert) – D+3,
Washingtons’ 8th congressional district is one of a handful that are on the perennial target list for Democrats that we didn’t win in 2006 or 2008. Will 2010 be the year? Yeh quite possibly.
Obama carried this one 56%/42% in 2008 whilst Reichert was held to 52.78% by Darcy Burner.
So far so good.
As at the end of December Democrat Delbene led the COH race $773,327/$477,149 and had raised to that point $1,047,873 to Reicherts’$985,665. Whilst almost half of Delbenes’ total came from a loan from herself to the campaign she has shown herself to be adept at fundraising from others. Yep we have a self funder who can also fundraise.
Watch this one on election night – very closely.
7. CA-03 (Lundgren) – R+6,
Well whoever would have thunk it; CA-03 as a competitive race!
Democrat Amri has just come off a $249K fundraising quarter and has more COH than Republican Lungren ($739K/$526K), who only raised $138K. At this point in the cycle Amri has outraised Lungren as well ($871K/$732K).
Add to this the facts that Obama won the district 49.3%/48.8%, Lungren only won in 2008 by 49.49%/43.93% and the voter registration advantage for the GOP has decreased from 6.6% in 2006 to near parity (38.46%/39.04%)as of the start of 2010 and we have a race on our hands.
This one will be very interesting come November.
8. NE-02 (Terry) – R+6,
Yep hard to believe that a congressional district in Nebraska could be competitive but the 2nd shall be so. Remember that Obama carried this Omaha based district 50%/49% and the makings are there for a good race. State Senator Tom White is quite an adept fundraiser for a challenger too. After a 180K December quarter he has $343K COH compared to incumbent Republican Terry’s $543K COH. Given that challengers rarely lead the COH chase this one is set for a great race in November.
9. SC-02 (Wilson) – R+9,
SC-02 will be know as the 2010 Moneybomb District! Why? because at the end of December incumbent Republican Joe “you lie” Wilson and his Democratic challenger Robert Miller have raised a breathtaking $5.5 Million between them. Wilson has $2,341,915 COH and Miller has $1,678,436 COH! To be honest Millers’ COH should by itself make this one competive.
However when you consider that Wilson was held to 53.74% in 2008 and that whilst McCain won easily 54%/45%, that is only 1% better than the neighbouring 5th, held by Democrat John Spratt and you have a barn burner in the making.
This race will be fascinating on election night – no doubt about it!
10. KS-04 (Tiahrt) – R+14,
Despite its’ heavily Republican nature (McCain won here 58%/40%) this race will be competitive in November – absolutely.
Democrat Goyle is fundraising up a storm having raised $656K as at the end of December. His closest rival – Republican Pompeo – has only raised $429K. Last quarter Goyle managed a staggering (for a Kansas Democrat) $253K for the quarter and currently has $583K COH; a fair effort to say the least. Pompeo meanwhile managed only $78K for a COH total of $318K. Republican Kelsey FWIW, despite an impressive 233K quarter, has only $40K COH!
Love to see a poll here but definitely one to watch on election night.
This second group of Districts are likely to be competitive in November but are not there yet:
AL-03 (Rogers) – R+9,
Democrat Joshua Segall had a $100K December quarter and is behind in COH by only $216K/$392K.
He ran in 2008 and kept Rogers to 46%/54% as McCain carried the District 56%/43%.
Not a friendly district for Democrats but if Segall can file some 6 figure fundraising quarters then this race could well be up there in November.
CA-45 (Bono Mack) – R+3,
Democratic candidate (and Palm Springs Mayor) Stephen Pougnet is on the cusp of a very competitive challenge to GOP incumbent Mary Bono Mack – finally a top tier candidate here.
Obama carried this district 51.5%/46.9% and the GOP registration gap has shrunk from 10% to 3.48% between 2006 and the start of this year – 38.02%/41.50% currently.
The only fly in the ointment (apart from the national political environment!) is of course fundraising. Whilst Pougnet has outraised Bono Mack in two of the last three quarters and has slightly then than half as much COH as her $402K/$893K his COH actually went backwards by 10K last quarter despite a $150K quarter. Pougnet just needs a good solid $200K March Quarter IMHO to cash him up for the stretch and make this race definitely competitive.
FL-25 (Diaz-Balart OPEN) – R+5,
With Mario Diaz-Balart bolting to run in the 21st to replace his retiring brother Lincoln this race will be one to watch.
McCain carried this one 50%/49% whilst Diaz-Balart was held to 53%. The Republican Voter registration advantage is only 3364; 137,913/134,549 as at the 2008 election. This is down from 21818 at the 21006 midterms.
Diaz-Balart had only $178K COH as at the end of December too BTW. Expect a top tier Dem to jump in here, maybe 2006 nominee Joe Garcia, and at that point this one should become competitive. The only Democrat currently running, Luis Rivera has yet to file a fundraising report having jumped in only a month or so ago.
MN-03 (Paulsen) – R+0,
Despite missing out on our preferred candidate State Sen Terri Bonoff there is every chance that this district that Obama carried 52%/46% in 2008 will be competitive. Democratic presumptive nominee Maureen Hackett only got into the race in October and self funded $103K of her $138K quarter ($129K COH). The March quarter will be telling but if as I suspect she has a really good go at fundraising up a storm this one will be competitive. The cloud on the horizon, of course, is incumbent Republican Paulsens’ $943K COH!
MN-06 (Bachmann) – R+7,
As luck would have it we have two viable candidates in this district that McCain carried 53%/45%.
Maureen Reed has 388K COH after a $208K December quarter.
Tarryl Clark (who I think will be the nominee) has yep $388K COH after a $294K December quarter. These are great numbers for both candidates. The only reason this one isn’t yet on the competitive list is batshit crazy Michelle Bachmanns’ $1 million COH!
If either Democrat can manage another $250K March quarter then this race is on for young and old despite its’ Republican bent.
OH-12 (Tiberi) – D+1,
Democratic candidate Brooks has her work cut out running against incumbent Republican Tiberi. He and his $1.2 mill COH! And his $449K December quarter haul. Brooks must we wondering what more she needs to do after her 4th quarter haul of $231K, leaving her with $328K COH – a very respectable set of numbers. Will this district that Obama carried 54%/44% be competitive in November? Dunno – but another 200K quarter will at least make Brooks (already a top tier challenger) quite viable.
Time will tell.
The third group of Districts are those that may, but are unlikely, to become competitive:
CA-48 (Campbell) – R+6,
Obama won this district 49.5%/48.6% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined from 22% to a still whopping 15% as at Jan 1. That stat and Republican Campbells’ $1.031M/$171K COH advantage over Democrat Krom makes it unlikely that this race will become competitive. But it may. After all Krom has raised $299K so far this cycle including a reasonable but not great $90K in the December quarter. Campbell’s $500K December quarter makes it very tough though.
CA-50 (Bilbray) – R+3,
A 60K odd December quarter does not a competitive race make, especially when the COH only increases by $10K!. Busby has been beaten twice before by the current incumbent, and unfortunately seems headed that way again. Working in her favor is the fact that Obama carried the district 51.3%/47.1% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined from 14% in 2006 to 7.58% (39.91%/31.33%) as at the start of this year. However this will be a what might have been IMHO.
MN-02 (Kline) – R+4,
With former Democratic State Rep Shelley Madore only jumping in at the start of January this race has yet to solidify. On the down side is the fact that McCain carried this district 50%/48%. On the upside incumbent Republican Kline has (only!) $358K COH after a modest $152K December quarter.
Wait and see but it may be a bit late in the cycle for this one to fire up.
NJ-07 (Lance) – R+3,
Yet another district where the Democratic candidate (Potosnak) has only just got into the race so it may take some time for things to play out. Obama carried this district 50%/49% and Leonard has only $347K COH (not a lot for a congressional race in New Jersey) and raised only 60K in the December quarter. Interestingly enough the Democrats have a 16K voter registration advantage here as at November 2009 – 121,553/105,943.
TX-32 (Sessions) – R+8,
A $151K 4th quarter and $114K COH should be a promising start. Unless your opponent is the head of the NRCC and has $1.075 million COH. Oh dear.
Roggio seems to be quite a credible candidate but without a monster March quarter he just isn’t going to be in a position to be competitive in November.
McCain carried this district 53%/46% too btw – red but not ruby red.
And fourthly these districts have either 3rd tier candidates or candidates whose fundraising precludes a competitive race at this stage:
CA-24 (Gallegly) – R+4,
A 15K December quarter for leading Democrat Tim Allison means this one can’t be competitive; the resources simply aren’t there. This is all the more so given that Gallegly has $836K COH to Allison’s $35K . Pity because Obama carried this one 50.5%/47.7% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined from 10% to 5.75% (41.53%/35.78%) between 2006 and the start of this year.
CA-25 (McKeon) – R+6,
Our candidate, 2008 nominee Jackie Conaway hasn’t even registered with the FEC – Game over.
Pity as Obama carried the district 49.4%/48.3% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined to 2% over the last 3 years!
CA-26 (Dreier) – R+3,
2008 Democratic challenger Warner had a poor December quarter raising only 37K and his COH is only $123K compared to incumbent Republican Dreier’s $1.025 million! Obama won the district 51/47 and the GOP voter reg advantage has dropped from 11% to 4.5% as of the start of 2010.
Despite that the COH gap and Warners’ poor December fundraising means this one is unlikely to be competitive this November alas.
CA-44 (Calvert) – R+6,
Obama won this district 49.3%/48.6% and the GOP voter reg advantage has decreased from 15% in 2006 to 8% as at Jan 5th 2010. Competitive race right? Wrong. Democrat Hedrick who only lost in 2008 48.8/51.2 just can’t seem to crank up the fundraising. Having raised only 29K in the December quarter he now trails in the COH race $95K/$519K.
Such a shame.
FL-10 (Young) – R+1,
State Sen Charlie Justice – what a great name for a congressional candidate – is the best candidate that the Democrats have run against republican incumbent Bill Young in years and years. It is such a pity then that Justices’ fundraising is so poor – $59K last quarter and $91K COH.
This is a District that should be competitive; Obama carried it 52%/47% and the Repub voter reg advantage declined from 169,982/153,728 in 2006 to 170,749/164,400 in 2008.
Alas but for that poor fundraising.
FL-12 (Putnam OPEN) – R+6,
Democrat Lori Edwards won’t make this a competitive election with a $26K December quarter ($60K COH). This is all the more so given that presumptive Republican nominee Dennis Ross has $273K COH as at the end of December after an admittedly poor December quarter; raising only $76K himself.
This is a pity given that McCain only carried the District 50/49 and the Democratic voter reg advantage INCREASED from 2006 – 2008 from 153,189/166,794 to 164,780/192,958. WOW
As an open seat this one will almost certainly be a what might have been in November unless Edwards can seriously step up her fundraising.
FL-15 (Posey) – R+6,
The Democratic candidate Shannon Roberts has not filed a fundraising report despite filing to run over a year ago. Game over.
Pity as this 51%/48% McCain district, with it s’ repidly decreasing GOP voter reg advantage (189,872/158,363 – 2006 199,669/183,100 – 2008) should really have been competitive. Oh well.
IL-06 (Roskam) – R+0,
The race has not yet really taken shape in this district that Obama carried 56%/43%. Democratic challenger Ben Lowe filed for the race halfway through November and raised a scant $14K. Republican incumbent Roskam on the other hand after a $350K December quarter is sitting on $547K.
We really won’t know whether this will be competitive or not until after the March fundraising filings come in. I suspect it won’t as both parties will be focused on tussles in the 10th, 11th and 14th.
Maybe in 2012.
IL-13 (Biggert) – R+1,
2008 Democratic nominee Harper is back in 2010 in this district that Obama carried 54%/44%.
Unfortunately a $42K December quarter ($90K COH) does not cut the mustard against Republican incumbent Biggert who had a $142K December quarter ($637K COH).
Harper is a good, credible candidate who kept Biggert to 53% in 2008. Unless he has a monster March quarter this one just isn’t going to be competitive in November.
IL-16 (Manzullo) – R+2,
Whilst Obama carried this district 53%/46% this one only just scraped in as a potentially competitive race. And it won’t be with Democrat Gaulrapp raising a scant $14K ($7K COH) in the December quarter. Manzullo raised $150K ($355K COH) in the same period.
IA-04 (Latham) – R+0,
This race is really still just coming together. However that Democrat Maske managed to fundraise only $12K in the last 2 months of 2009 I think we can safely predict another cakewalk for Republican Latham in this district that Obama won 53%/46%. BTW as at Feb 1st the Democrats had a 8000 voter registration advantage 126503/118484.
Incumbent Republican McCotter has been on Democratic target lists for years in this 54%/45% Obama district. He was even held to 51% in 2008. Despite this the Democrats have always failed to get a top tier opponent against him. Will 2010 be the year? It is hard to tell honestly but i doubt it. When Democrat Mosher declared at the start of 2009 she struck me (and the party) as being at best 2nd tier.
And this turns out to be the likely case with Mosher raising only $37K in the December quarter ($44K COH) compared to McCotters’ $118K December quarter ($579K) COH. Lets see what the March quarter reports bring but don’t hold your breath.
OH-14 (LaTourette) – R+3,
With McCain just shading Obama by less than 1% this District should be competitive. But it is unlikely. Whilst 2008 Democratic candidate O’Neill is back for another shot he did get thumped by alomost 20% in 2008. The other Democrat in the race – Greene – hasn’t even registered with the FEC to fundraise despite being in the race since November. Whilst LaTourette only has a modest $447K COH as at the end of November this race is highly unlikely to be a show stopper.
VA-10 (Wolf) – R+2,
Another perennial Democratic target sees no less than 4 Democrats running here in 2010. And it is no wonder as Obama carried the district 53%/46% and this part of Virginia is rapidly bluing. Incumbent Republican Wolf has nothing to fear here though, as none of his putative opponents have more than $6K COH as at the end of December compared to Wolfs’ $346K COH. A really disappointing miss for team blue.
WI-01 (Ryan) – R+2,
Democratic challenger Garin has $546 COH as at the end of December; incumbent Republican Ryan has $1.565 million. Game over in this 51%/47% Obama district.
The last group of Districts are those that at this stage do not seem likely to competitive.
as we do not have declared Democratic candidates as yet!
FL-18 (Ros-Lehtinen) – R+3,
MI-04 (Camp) – R+3,
MI-06 (Upton) – R+0,
MI-08 (Rogers) – R+2,
NJ-02 (LoBiondo) – D+1,
NY-03 (King) – R+4,
VA-04 (Forbes) – R+4,
WI-06 (Petri) – R+4,
So in summary:
10 competitive races.
6 races that should become competitive.
5 races that may become competitive.
15 races that should be competitive but are highly unlikely to be so.
8 races that should be potentially become competitive but won’t be unless we find a candidate.
Not a particularly pretty scenario for Democrats but not nearly as terrible as the GOP and the traditional media would have you believe.
On to November!
• Redistricting Contest: A reminder – if you haven’t sent in your .DRF.XML file to Jeff, please do so ASAP – jeffmd [at] swingstateproject [dot] com. Please be sure to include your SSP username and a link to your diary. Thanks! (D)
• AR-Sen: Alleged United States Senator Blanche Lincoln is whinging that actually doing her job in December cost her $300,000 in fundraising receipts. This is probably her way of saying her numbers will be lighter than expected this quarter. Why on earth would you go public with this, though? This is not exactly the kind of message you want to communicate to the public – or your opponents. (D)
• CA-Sen: A lot of Republicans seemed dismayed by Carla Fiorina’s suggestions a few months ago that she wasn’t going to be dipping into her personal money in order to fund her Senate bid – I mean, that was the whole point of her running, wasn’t it? At any rate, she’s just reversed course, with her latest finance report, which reveals that she loaned her campaign $2.5 million. Having burned through most of her outside donations, that leaves her with $2.7 million on hand.
• FL-Sen, FL-Gov: Charlie Crist’s message discipline seems to be gotten completely unglued, as he searches for the just-right pitch that’s moderate enough and yet conservative enough. Today, he’s acknowledging support for the stimulus package and “being nice” to Barack Obama, and not apologizing for either one. Meanwhile, there’s still that persistent rumor out there involving Crist bailing on the Senate race and going back to another term as Governor. That’s not happening if GOP AG Bill McCollum has anything to say about it; he says he won’t stand down for Crist.
• MA-Sen: Everyone’s still milling around waiting for that rumored close Boston Herald poll, but in the meantime, a new Democratic internal poll floated to the surface this morning, and it seems to give some credence to that Boston Globe/UNH poll that gave a solid 15-point margin to Democratic AG Martha Coakley. The internal, conducted by Mark Mellman’s firm, gives Coakley a 50-36 lead over Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, with Libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy (no relation to the Kennedy clan) pulling in a surprisingly-high 6 (which may be coming out of Brown’s share). If Brown has internals showing the race a dead heat like he claims, now would be the time for him to lay them on the table. Also today comes word that Barack Obama has no plans to campaign for Coakley, although I don’t know whether to interpret that as a sign of Democratic confidence, or of Obama not wanting to risk political capital on something that’s less than a slam dunk.
• ND-Sen: Gov. John Hoeven had said he needed a few weeks to get some stuff out of the way before saying anything official about the Senate race, but it looks like the stuff was more easily cleared away than anticipated: he’s now expected to announce his candidacy at an appearance at a GOP district convention in Bismarck tonight.
• NY-Sen-B: Republican Rep. Peter King announced, for something like the third or fourth time, that he is no longer considering running for the Senate, and instead will run for another term in NY-03. Stay tuned for next month, when King will at some point remember that he hasn’t been on cable news for a while and will reveal that he’s considering a run for the Senate. Meanwhile, the political establishment is continuing to take seriously the possibility of a Harold Ford Jr. primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand, going all the way up to the White House, which today confirmed that it will back Gillibrand over Ford. Ford, meanwhile, is doing some serious remodeling of his image to better comport with New York codes: he’s now done a complete 180 on gay marriage, which he’s now for, and on abortion, where he claims that when he said he was pro-life, it was to “take back” the term from its right-wing appropriators. Finally, the Republicans will have to look elsewhere than ex-Rep. Susan Molinari for their nominee; after a brief flirtation, Molinari (who’s making big money consulting and probably doesn’t want the pay cut) just declined.
• UT-Sen: This should come as no surprise, but the NRSC, tasked with defending incumbents, confirmed that it’s supporting Bob Bennett in his re-election bid against several right-wing primary challengers. The Club for Growth has painted a bullseye on Bennett’s back, although they haven’t settled on which challenger to support.
• CO-Gov: Denver mayor John Hickenlooper hasn’t leaped as quickly into the Governor’s race (following the withdrawal of Bill Ritter and demurral of Ken Salazar) as many had expected; he’s saying he’ll make a decision within the next five days, so stay tuned. Former House speaker Andrew Romanoff, currently an invisible presence in the Senate primary, has also been consulting with Democratic officials about getting in, although it sounds like he’d do so only if Hickenlooper didn’t. Another rumor getting bandied about: Romanoff joining forces and running as Hickenlooper’s Lt. Gov. candidate; at any rate, it sounds like Romanoff is looking for an exit from the Senate race. Hickenlooper’s decision may get helped along by a certain Barack Obama, who apparently called Hickenlooper to encourage him to get into the race (Hickenlooper says that doesn’t change his decision, though).
• KS-Gov: Kansas Democrats are getting way, way down the totem pole as they look for a gubernatorial candidate, with Tom Wiggans’ recent withdrawal. Board of Regents chair Jill Docking, whose name frequently appears as Democrats’ Plan B in a variety of races, said she won’t run, and now the fickle finger seems to be pointing at Lawrence-area state Sen. Marci Francisco. (H/t Campaign Diaries.)
• MA-Gov: The Boston Globe/UNH poll of the Senate race also asked about 2010’s gubernatorial race, and it’s more confirmation for the apparent trend that Dem incumbent Deval Patrick seems bolstered by the presence of state Treasurer Tim Cahill’s independent bid (despite Patrick’s 39/50 favorables and Cahill’s 39/15). Rather than Cahill dominating the middle, as he may have expected, instead he just winds up splitting the anti-Patrick vote, leaving the race’s GOPers a distant third. A Patrick/Cahill/Charlie Baker ballot plays out 30-23-19, while Patrick/Cahill/Christy Mihos is a similar 32-23-19.
• CA-11: The GOP hasn’t quite found a top-tier candidate to take on Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney, the only Golden State Dem who’s even remotely vulnerable. But they might get something of an upgrade with the newly-announced candidacy of David Harmer, the Republican attorney who acquitted himself fairly well in the special election last year in much bluer CA-10. He can bring residual name rec and fundraising connections to the race, and one of the race’s lesser lights, former San Jose city councilor Larry Pegram, is already moving to get out of the race. Still, Harmer doesn’t live in the district, and he exposes himself to the same carpetbagging charges he brought to his race against John Garamendi in the 10th.
• CA-19: Kevin McCarthy looks a little flaky after this whole incident: it was reported last Friday that the Bakersfield-area Republican was sticking with his earlier endorsement of state Sen. Jeff Denham in the 19th while admitting a bit of a man-crush on ex-Rep. Richard Pombo. But now the Fresno Bee is reporting that McCarthy has gone all the way, spurned Denham, and is now endorsing Pombo.
• HI-01: The local political establishment weighed in heavily on the side of state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa in the upcoming special election to replace resigning Rep. Neil Abercrombie. The decision of Sen. Daniel Akaka to endorse Hanabusa over his nemesis Ed Case should be no surprise, but this was accompanied by endorsements from the state’s other Senator, Daniel Inouye, and a variety of labor leaders as well. Case does have one endorsement which he’s touting in ads, though, from ex-Governor Ben Cayetano.
• NY-23: Doug Hoffman won’t have the GOP primary field to himself in the 23rd after all. He’ll face a fight with a fellow conservative, albeit more of a team player: Assemblyman Will Barclay, who passed on a run in the special election in the 23rd, says he’s begun exploring the general election race.
• OK-02: Rep. Dan Boren can always be counted on to say something douchey, and today’s no exception. He tells the Tulsa World (in an article titled “Boren: Democrats May Lose Congress”) that Dems are likely to lose seats in Congress, and that’s good news for Oklahoma and especially for him personally. “”In the 112th (Congress), I probably will have the most influence I have ever had, no matter who has the majority,” he says.
• TN-08: It remains to be seen how much of an impact this will have on the race to succeed retiring Dem Rep. John Tanner, but the Republican primary just shrunk by one: computer consultant Donn Janes has announced that he’s going to run instead as a Tea Party-aligned independent. (J)
• Mayors: That Rahm Emanuel-running-for-Chicago-mayor thing seemed to last a whole couple days. Emanuel yesterday praised Richard Daley and backed him for another term starting in 2011.
• Florida: For all the general black clouds hanging over the Democrats regarding 2010, there’s always a lot of nuts-and-bolts numbers that somehow still look favorable, such as party committee fundraising and registration numbers. In Florida, both are actually advantage Team Blue, as the state Democratic party is sitting on $2.6 million cash on hand, $1 million more than state Republicans. Democrats have also built up their registration advantage over Republicans in Florida, to a margin of more than 800,000.
• Tea Partiers: TPM has an interesting look at the civil war growing within the Tea Party movement, a microcosm of the larger civil war within the Republican party. Front and center today is the big teabaggers’ convention in Nashville (with Sarah Palin as keynoter), which is too expensive for many of the teabagging rank and file to attend, leading some to question whether there’s a usurpation of the movement by the Republicans’ Beltway professional class. Meanwhile, Think Progress has some new additions to its ongoing compendium of teabagger primary challenges to establishment GOPers.
Here’s my contest entry, creating a 27-1 redistricted map for the State of New York.
I had several goals in mind, most lining up with the contest rules anyway.
Here were some of my guiding principles:
* Keep incumbents’ homes in their current districts where possible.
* Pay special attention to good Democrats in bad or mediocre districts.
* Don’t get greedy and gamble too much; don’t repeat the mistakes the GOP made in Pennsylvania and Ohio 10 years ago and turn safe districts into vulnerable ones.
* Comply with all VRA mandates, but don’t overpack minority-majority districts.
I didn’t, in most cases, pay a lot of attention to keeping counties together. I kept most cities, other than NYC obviously, in one district most of the time. (I think whoever posted that comment in someone else’s contest entry that Staten Islanders would be angry at whoever approved a plan to split Staten Island was dead on.)
I tried to stay away from ridiculous gerrymanders for the most part, but had to succumb in a few instances. With the exception of placing Rikers Island (accessible by bridge from Queens but not the Bronx, even though it is considered part of Bronx County) in the Bronx-based NY-16 I did not create any district whose parts whose only contiguity was open non-bridged/tunneled water.
NY-28 (Pale Pink)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-29: McCain 51-48
New NY-28: Obama 51-47 (+4D)
Demographic Data –
Old NY-29: 93% White, 3% Black, 2% Asian, 1% Hispanic
New NY-28: 92% White, 3% Black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian
Incumbent: Eric Massa (D-Corning)
Description: Running along a narrow strip the Southern Tier along the Pennsylvania border from Delaware to Cattaraugus County, then including all of Chautauqua and parts of Erie County. Essentially replaces the current NY-29.
Comments: Yeah, this one is a bit unwiedly. Most of the smaller towns of the Southern Tier are so intensely Republican that this district had to run a long way to become a Democratic district. Most of that strength comes from the opposite ends of the district’s length – one end that includes most of the Binghamton metro area and another end covering certain southern and western suburbs of Buffalo, particularly strongly Democratic portions of Lackawanna, West Seneca, and Cheektowaga. In between the pickings are slim; there’s the whole of Chautaqua County, notably less hostile to Democrats as a whole than the counties between there and Binghamton. NY-28 seeks out the more Democratic cities and towns in an otherwise Republican area, including Alfred, Wellsville, Elmira, and, conveniently enough, Eric Massa’s home of Corning. The big change is the new NY-28, unlike the old NY-29, goes nowhere near Rochester. Nearly 25% of the district’s population is in Erie County.
Bottom Line: Still a marginal district, but a little better given that any Republican challenger is going to have to make himself known in both the Binghamton and Buffalo markets. Of course, so is Massa. He’s been a terrific Congressman, so hopefully he can hold on.
NY-27 (Seafoam Green)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-27: Obama 54-44
New NY-27: Obama 62-37 (+8D)
Old NY-27: 91% White, 5% Hispanic, 4% Black, 2% Asian
New NY-27: 76% White, 16% Black, 4% Hispanic, 2% Asian
Incumbent: Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo)
Description: Contains portions of Erie and Niagra counties, including the entire cities of Buffalo, North Tonawanda, and Niagra Falls.
Comments: This district shifts northward, taking in all of Buffalo and most of the inner suburbs, such as Amherst and Tonawanda, that are not in NY-28. The old district went south of Buffalo instead and included a fair amount of hostile territory, because it was created for Republican Jack Quinn. The Democratic numbers here improve dramatically due to the inclusion of the whole of Buffalo rather than losing the most Democratic parts to the notorious “earmuffs” of the current NY-28.
Bottom Line: Given Democrats’ trouble in parts of the decaying industrial Rust Belt, the old district could have been vulnerable, but this new district seems pretty safe for Higgins and his successors.
NY-5 (Golden Yellow)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-26: 52-46 McCain
New NY-5: 57-41 McCain (+5 R)
Old NY-26: 93% White, 3% Black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian
New NY-5: 95% White, 2% Black, 1% Hispanic
Descriptions: Containing all of three counties, and portions of eleven more, this sprawling (and yet reasonable-looking) piece of territory covers the most Republican portions of the Buffalo and Rochester suburbs, the largely Republican turf between them, and most of the strongly GOP rural Southern Tier…you get the idea. [Note: I labelled this district as “NY-5” because, well, it seemed the best color contrast with the other districts in the area; in my first draft of this map, the 5th and 18th districts had a long border, which was annoying since they were similar shades of yellow.]
Incumbent: Chris Lee (R-Clarence)
Comments: All the Republicans in western New York (with a few from Central New York thrown in for good measure) had to go somewhere, and this is where I stuffed as many of them as I could. For the price of keeping other Democrats safe, I wrote this one off. It didn’t make any sense to me to have as many 50-50 Buffalo and Rochester suburbs in there as the current 26th does.
Bottom Line: Safe Republican. You can’t win ’em all.
NY-26 (Dark Gray)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-28: Obama 69-30
New NY-26: Obama 59-40 (-10D)
Old NY-28: 64% White, 30% Black, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian
New NY-26: 78% White, 13% Black, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian
Incumbent: Louise Slaughter (D-Perinton)
Description: No more earmuffs; this district is now firmly in the Rochester orbit as the portions in and around Buffalo are gone. It includes all of the city of Rochester and the majority of its suburbs, excluding the most Republican areas to the west and a few eastern suburbs that are in NY-25. It’s mostly in Monroe County, with some portions of Wayne, Ontario, and Livingston in there as well. Basically replaces the existing NY-28.
Comments: This is a signifcantly weaker district for Democrats without Buffalo, but I’m not too worried. The two appendages to the south are one into Livingston County to grab college town Geneseo and the other into Ontario County to get the city of Candindiagua.
Bottom Line: Slaughter trades a less Democratic district for not having to cover Buffalo anymore. She and her Democratic successors should still be fine. There are a lot less wasted votes here now.
NY-25 (Salmon Pink)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-25: Obama 56-43
New NY-25: Obama 56-43 (unch.)
Old NY-25: 88% White, 7% Black, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian
New NY-25: 88% White, 6% Black, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian
Incumbent: Dan Maffei (D-DeWitt)
Description: The current NY-25 is very close to the existing district. Anchored now as before by Syracuse, it includes most of Onondaga County, including all of Syracuse; to the east it includes portions of Oswego, Madison, Oneida, and Lewis Counties, while to the west it includes northern Cayuga County, most of Wayne County and a few Rochester suburbs in Monroe County.
Comments: Few changes. All districts had to expand a little bit, so the new NY-25 takes in a few rural areas in Lewis and Madison as well as a few Republican communities in the Rome-Oneida area so as to help NY-24. It includes fewer and different Rochester burbs from the old district.
Bottom Line: Pretty much the same. Maffei should be fine here absent a strong challenger.
NY-24 (Dark Purple)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-24: Obama 51-47
New NY-24: Obama 52-46 (+1D)
Old NY-24: 93% White, 3% Black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian
New NY-24: 91% White, 3% Black, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian
Incumbent: Michael Arcuri (D-Utica)
Description: Containing all or part of 14 counties, it’s based around the cities of Utica, Rome, and Oneida. It includes most of Oneida and Madison Counties and the whole of Tompkins, Cortland and Chenango Counties. It also includes most of Seneca and Cayuga, small parts of northern Tioga and Broome and southern Onondaga, the southern (more populated) half of Herkimer County and the western (less populated) halves of Fulton and Montgomery Countes, the area around Geneva in Ontario County and the Town of Hector in Schuyler County.
Comments: Formerly Republican turf, it’s now a swing district. Adding all of Tompkins County, including Ithaca (NY-22 no longer needs it, as I’ll explain below) helps Democrats, and the small towns in the Finger Lakes region are less hostile to Democrats than similar towns to the north and west. NY-24 was a frustrating one to draw for me for a variety of reasons. Rome-Utica is a weak basis for a Democratic district to begin with, adding Ithaca only helps so much, and because, again, all the upstate districts had to get bigger (this one even more than some) there was really nothing available to add to it apart from Republican rural areas. So the best I could do without endangering better Democrats than Arcuri has been is to improve it by one point and hope that and incumbency are enough.
Bottom Line: A little better. Still a tough district for Democrats, even a conservative one like Arcuri. Should a Republican prevail here in 2010, it’d be a good candidate to carve up.
NY-23 (Pale Blue)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-23: 52-47 Obama
New NY-23: 53-46 Obama (+1D)
Old NY-23: 94% White, 3% Black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Native American, 1% Asian
New NY-23: 93% White, 2% Black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Native American, 1% Asian
Incumbent: Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)
Description: Contains most of what is known as the North Country. The big changes are that it stays further away from Syracuse and Rome but that it now includes most of the Saratoga Springs area as well as all of Essex County and most of the land area of Warren County. (Glens Falls is still out so that it can still be in Scott Murphy’s NY-20.)
Comments: Looks mostly the same as before except that as NY-24 and NY-25 have expanded a bit to the north and east, NY-23 has had to dip down into the Capital Region. This change has the nice side effect of making it slightly more Democrat-friendly.
Bottom Line: Bill Owens is still going to have a challenging district, but some fairly hostile turf has been replaced by some decent territory around Saratoga Springs. Nonetheless, should a Republican win here in 2010, it’d be a good candidate for carving up.
NY-21 (Dark Brown)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-21: Obama 58-40
New NY-21: Obama 57-41 (-1D)
Old NY-21: 87% White, 8% Black, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian
New NY-21: 86% White, 7% Black, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian
Incumbent: Paul Tonko (D-Amsterdam)
Description: Includes most of the Albany-Troy metro area, including all of Albany, Schenectady, and Schoharie Counties and portions of Rensselaer, Saratoga, Greene, Fulton, and Montgomery.
Comments: Essentially it’s the same district. It’s a little weaker than the current district because it had to expand and only had hostile Republican turf (new portions of Greene, Fulton, and Saratoga on the periphery) available to add.
Bottom Line: Should still be a reasonably safe district for Tonko and his Democratic successors.
Hudson Valley Region
NY-22 (Light Brown)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-22: Obama 59-39
New NY-22: Obama 57-41 (-2D)
Old NY-22: 83% White, 8% Black, 8% Hispanic, 2% Asian
New NY-22: 80% White, 9% Hispanic, 8% Black, 1% Asian, 2% Other
Description: Now mostly a Hudson Valley district, at least population-wise, it includes the cities of Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and Kingston, the latter of which is incumbent Hinchey’s home base. Including all of Ulster, Sullivan, and Otsego, it also includes portions of Orange, Dutchess, and Greene, as well as most of Delaware County.
Comments: I reclassified both this district and NY-20 out of the “Upstate” category for a reason. The arm of the existing district that runs out to Binghamton and Ithaca was originally the product of a compromise whereby Hinchey got a safer district (that didn’t include much of then-mostly Republican Delaware County) while the various upstate Republicans didn’t have to worry about representing either of those Democratic cities. However, all those aforementioned Republicans are gone now and replaced by Democrats, and Democrats’ fortunes in Ulster, Sullivan, and even Delaware County have improved to the point where the district doesn’t need to be shorn up in that fashion. As a consolation prize, NY-22 adds the very Democratic city of Poughkeepsie and while Delaware County and the new portions of Orange and Greene Counties are Republican, the new turf in Otsego County (with Cooperstown and college town Oneonta) is surprisingly Democrat-friendly.
Bottom Line: If current trends continue in the Hudson Valley, with the diversification of the periphery of the NYC metro area, this should say a safe Democratic seat even without Binghamton and Ithaca.
NY-20 (Rose Pink)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-20: Obama 51-48
New NY-20: Obama 55-43 (+4D)
Old NY-20: 95% White, 2% Black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian
New NY-20: 81% White, 8% Black, 7% Hispanic, 3% Asian
Incumbent: Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls)
Description: A long thin strand that mostly follows the Hudson River from Lake Champlain down almost to the Tappan Zee. It avoids most of the bigger cities upstream which are in either NY-21 or NY-22. Contains parts of 10 counties, just as the current NY-20 does, but cuts out the Catskills region and instead runs further downstream into Orange, Putnam, Westchester, and Rockland Counties. (The Rockland/Orange section is connected to the rest of the district via the Bear Mountain Bridge.)
Comment: This might be the district I changed more than any other and it’s even more different than it looks on a map. It still contains most of the northern Taconic region as well as incumbent Murphy’s home town of Glens Falls. However, the current district doesn’t go below Poughkeepsie on the Hudson River whereas the majority of the new district lives in its new southern portion in Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and southern Dutchess Counties, and the racial diversity has increased dramatically. The Rockland and Westchester sections of the district are strongly Democratic, which pulls the district from a true swing district into one that leans significantly towards the Democrats. This is another district that looks kind of unwieldy. I certainly did not set out to design something that both borders Vermont and comes within a couple miles of bordering New Jersey.
Bottom Line: The good news for Scott Murphy, assuming he survives 2010, would be a district that’s significantly more Democratic than the one he has now, making a Republican challenge much harder. The bad news is that he may well have to worry more about a Democratic primary challenge from a resident of the lower portion of this district, not to mention needing to worry about the expensive NYC media market.
Presidential Data –
Old NY-19: Obama 51-48
New NY-19: Obama 58-41 (+7D)
Old NY-19: 88% White, 8% Hispanic, 5% Black, 2% Asian
New NY-19: 72% White, 12% Hispanic, 10% Black, 4% Asian, 2% Other
Incumbent: John Hall (D-Dover)
Description: A north-south piece of territory that covers the eastern half of Dutchess County, the eastern-two thirds of Putnam County, and the majority of Westchester County.
Comments: A “musical chairs” situation where no upstate districts are eliminated creates a downstate pull on everything else, and that’s very much manifested here. NY-19 now stays entirely east of the Hudson, more or less following Metro North’s Harlem Line and the Taconic Parkway from the northernmost reaches of Dutchess County down to the borders of the Bronx. As one might expect, subtracting mostly Republican turf in Orange County and a mixed bag of stuff in Rockland County while adding all of White Plains and portions of New Rochelle and Mount Vernon is a huge boost to Democratic numbers. These changes would likely remove NY-19 from the list of swing districts entirely and into “Likely Democratic” if not “Safe Democratic” territory.
Bottom Line: This map should make John Hall a very happy man.
NY-18 (Bright Yellow)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-18: Obama 62-38
New NY-: Obama 68-30 (+6D)
Old NY-18: 67% White, 16% Hispanic, 10% Black, 5% Asian, 1% Other
New NY-18: 50% White, 22% Hispanic, 21% Black, 4% Asian, 2% Other
Incumbent: Nita Lowey (D-Harrison)
Description: Sort of a “Long Island Sound” district, it covers a stretch of lower Westchester along the Sound and the Connecticut border (Pelham, Eastchester, part of New Rochelle, Rye City and Town, Mamaroneck, and Harrison), eastern and central portions of the Bronx (a mixture of white, black, and Hispanic neighborhoods), then over the Throgs Neck Bridge to Queens. NY-18 contains portions of the Bayside and Flushing areas and moves into the Great Neck section of Nassau County.
Comments: A lot has changed here as Rockland County is out entirely and Lowey’s home town of Harrison is in the far northern edge of the new district as instead NY-18 gets pushed downstate, into the Bronx and Queens and even onto Long Island. Note that in the 1990s, Lowey’s district actually included portions of Queens and the Bronx so this isn’t entirely new to her. The upside for an incumbent Democrat is obvious – even though I tried to include as many Republican areas as I could (the Queens and Nassau portion together is about even between Obama and McCain) the district still moved 6 points towards Team Blue, thanks mostly to the Bronx. Note also than non-Hispanic whites are now just barely a majority of the new district.
Presidential Data –
Old NY-17: Obama 72-28
New NY-17: Obama 67-32 (-5D)
Old NY-17: 49% White, 32% Black, 20% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 1% Other
New NY-17: 46% White, 28% Hispanic, 19% Black, 4% Asian, 3% Other
Incumbent: Elliot Engel (D-Riverdale,Bronx)
Description: This district contains mostly northern parts of the Bronx (Wakefield, Woodlawn, Riverdale) with some portions down near Fordham University, takes in parts of the cities of Mount Vernon and Yonkers in Westchester County, and then crosses the Tappan Zee Bridge to include portions of Rockland and Orange Counties, mostly along I-287 and, appropriately enough, NY Route 17.
Comment: The biggest change here is that this new district stretches out into Orange, cutting out the more Democratic precincts in Rockland County formerly in the district and leaving in mostly the ones which voted for McCain. Furthermore, by the 2008 Presidential vote NY-17 is now 5 points less Democratic, but that’s likely somewhat misleading as a large number of those ostensible Republican votes were in precincts that consisted largely or wholly of Hasidic or other Orthodox Jews, who strongly preferred McCain to Obama but have voted for plenty of state and local Democrats and who should have little trouble supporting Engel, one of the more prominent Friends of Israel in Congress. The remainder of Rockland is now in NY-20, where it helps boost Democratic vote totals. The new Orange County portion of NY-17 also leans toward the GOP…but the Bronx and Westchester portions are so heavily Democratic that it hardly matters. The demographics change a little bit as NY-17 gains more Hispanic residents by cutting deeper into the Central Bronx while losing African-American residents to the downward movement of NY-18 and NY-19.It remains a minority-majority district, albeit one with no clear majority.
Bottom Line: Still safe for Democrats, especially for Engel.
New York City
NY-16 (Lime Green)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-16: Obama 95-5
New NY-16: Obama 94-6 (-1D)
Old NY-16: 63% Hispanic, 36% Black, 20% White, 2% Asian, 6% Other
New NY-16: 63% Hispanic, 28% Black, 5% White, 1% Asian, 2% Other
Incumbent: Jose Serrano (D-South Bronx)
Description: Most of the southern and central Bronx, plus the far northern portion (Inwood, Washington Heights) of Manhattan. Also includes Rikers Island.
Comment: Despite being a Voting Rights Act mandate, NY-16 was a pretty easy district to draw; it’s not like one needs to look too hard for Hispanic precincts in the Bronx. Because NY-18 got pushed into the Bronx and NY-17 got pushed further into the Bronx, my choices were either to push NY-7 out of the Bronx entirely or send NY-16 into Manhattan. Because I wanted NY-7 to absorb some Republican parts of Long Island (I’ll get there eventually, I promise), I chose the latter option. Far northern Manhattan is mostly Hispanic as well. Rikers Island is in here because while there are residents there, there are no votes (it’s a jail) and NY-7, where the island would otherwise have been, needed actual votes more.
Bottom Line: Somehow one point less Democratic, not that Serrano or anyone else will notice much, given that this remains the most Democratic district in New York and in the nation as a whole.
Presidential Data –
Old NY-15: Obama 93-6
New NY-15: Obama 91-8 (-2D)
Old NY-15: 48% Hispanic, 35% Black, 28% White, 3% Asian, 5% Other
New NY-15: 36% Hispanic, 29% Black, 29% White, 4% Asian, 2% Other
Incumbent: Charles Rangel (D-Harlem, Manhattan)
Description: Uptown Manhattan, including Harlem and East Harlem, as well as portions of the Upper East and Upper West Sides, plus Ward’s/Randall’s Islands.
Comment: The smallest Congressional District in America in area, now even smaller. It’s been pushed downtown some by the incursion of NY-16 into Manhattan. It’s now almost evenly split among white, black, and Hispanic voters.
Bottom Line: Less Hispanic than before, NY-16 contains a few more affluent whites than the old district did. Not sure whether this will make a primary challenge to Rangel amidst his ethical lapses more or less likely.
Presidential Data –
Old NY-14: Obama 78-21
New NY-14: Obama 78-22 (unch)
Old NY-14: 73% White, 14% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 5% Black
New NY-14: 65% White, 14% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 7% Black, 3% Other
Incumbent: Carolyn Maloney (D-East Side,Manhattan)
Description: Most of the East Side of Manhattan, from the 90s down to the Williamsburg Bridge, plus most of Midtown as well as Roosevelt Island. In Brooklyn it includes portions of Williamsburg, Downtown, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, and Borough Park.
Comment: Since NY-12 now stays out of Manhattan completely, the Lower East Side is in here. The Brookyn parts are entirely new to this district, as Maloney’s current district instead crosses the East River into Queens. There’s none of Queens in here but there’s not much to complain about as these are, other than heavily Orthodox Borough Park, the most Manhattan-like parts of Brooklyn in terms of demographics and voting patterns; they’re here because most of these precincts (i.e. mostly white and liberal) are poor fits for VRA compliant districts.
Bottom Line: No real changes.
NY-08 (Lavender Blue)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-08: 74-26
New NY-08: Obama 80-20 (+6D)
Old NY-08: 75% White, 12% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 6% Black, 2% Other
New NY-08: 56% White, 19% Asian, 17% Hispanic, 4% Black, 3% Other
Incumbent: Jerrold Nadler (D-West Side, Manhattan)
Description: In Manhattan, this district starts on the Upper West Side and then runs downtown to cover much of Lower Manhattan including most of Chinatown, though it gives up some of Lower Manhattan up to shore up NY-13. It crosses the Brooklyn Bridge and then runs all the way down to Bath Beach , taking in all or part of Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bensonhurst in between.
Comment: This is one of many districts used to cover Republican-leaning parts of South Brookyn, overwhelming the GOP voters of Borough Park, Bay Ridge, and Bensonhurst with Manhattan liberals. It probably shows up as being more Democratic due to my effort to give the district more of northwest Brooklyn (which is heavily Democratic) to make the district look less gerrymandered than before. Interestingly enough, since this district now includes most of Chinatown as well as someparts of Brooklyn with large Asian-American communities, NY-8 would become the district in the state, and probably the nation outside of the West, with the highest percentage of Asian-Americans.
Bottom Line: No real changes.
NY-13 (Peach Tan)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-13: McCain 51-49
New NY-13: Obama 55-45 (+6D)
Old NY-13: 77% White, 11% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 7% Black
New NY-13: 64% White, 16% Hispanic, 10% Black, 7% Asian, 2% Other
Incumbent: Mike McMahon (D-Staten Island)
Description: This district includes the whole of Staten Island, then crosses the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn, where it becomes a thin forked line. One brach runs down along the water to Coney Island while the other branch stretches narrowly through Bay Ridge and Sunset Park up into Gowanus and Red Hook, then crosses the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel into the southernmost part of Manhattan, including the Finanical District, Tribeca and SoHo.
Comment: What a huge difference those 30,000 Manhattanites (mostly white, mostly highly educated, many of them gay/lesbian) make! Specifically, they by themselves move this district 3 points toward the Democrats. Staten Island of course leans Republican and the Brooklyn portions of the old district weren’t much better, so most of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst have been excised in favor of more favorable parts of Brooklyn, namely Coney Island at one end and Red Hook at the other. That pushes the district over the 50-50 line but the Manhattan portions make for a more solidly Democratic district.
Bottom Line: Mike McMahon should breathe a little easier.
NY-11 (Bright Green)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-11: Obama 91-9
New NY-11: Obama 81-19 (-10D)
Old NY-11: 61% Black, 25% White, 12% Hispanic, 4% Asian
New NY-11: 50.05% Black, 29% White, 11% Hispanic, 6% Asian, 3% Other
Incumbent: Yvette Clark (D-Prospect Gardens, Brooklyn)
Description: Entirely in Brooklyn, mostly in the central part of the borough.
Comment: The northern portions are heavily African-American (e.g Bedford-Stuyvesant) and/or Afro-Caribbean (e.g. Crown Heights) in nature. Much of the predominantly white southern portion, including parts of Borough Park, Midwood, and Homecrest, have strong Republican leanings. It’s 10 points weaker than the old NY-11, mostly because the black vote is less concentrated and because heavily Democratic non-black precincts in Red Hook and Park Slope were replaced with Republican-voting ones further south. Due to some moving around of other districts, Brownsville and East Flatbush were mostly removed from NY-11 while Bed-Stuy and portions of the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene area were added in their place.
Bottom Line: Hardly much of a cause for concern.
Presidential Data –
Old NY-10: 63% Black, 21% White, 17% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 2% Other
New NY-10: 51% Black, 32% White, 11% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 3% Other
Old NY-10: 91-9
New NY-10: Obama 78-21 (-13D)
Incumbent: Edolphus Towns (D-East New York, Brooklyn)
Description: Mostly in Brooklyn, with a portion in Queens on the westernmost parts of the Rockaway Peninsula. Includes all or part of Flatbush, East Flatbush, East New York, Brownsville, Canarsie, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, and Gravesend.
Comment: Same idea as NY-11 above. In this case, the north and east sections are heavily black (Brownsville, East New York) and constitute a majority while the mostly white sections to the south or west (Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Rockaway Park) vote Republican. The Democratic performance dropped dramatically, but that’s good news in a case such as this because it just means fewer wasted votes.
Bottom Line: Should be no real change.
NY-12 (Robin’s Egg Blue)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-12: Obama 86-13
New NY-12: Obama 82-17 (-4D)
Old NY-12: 48% Hispanic, 39% White, 16% Asian, 11% Black,
New NY-12: 51% Hispanic, 24% White, 12% Asian, 9% Black, 4% Other
Incumbent: Nydia Velasquez (D-Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Description: Split between Queens and Brooklyn.
Comment: It’s a miscellaneous collection consisting primarily of predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn but including most of Valasquez’ home neighborhood of Williamsburg. It’s changed a bit though as it’s much more compact than before; it no longer includes any of Manhattan and leaves the bayfront portions of Brooklyn such as Red Hook and Sunset Park behind. Instead NY-12 moves east and north and takes in parts of Queens such as Long Island City and portions of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona as well as the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Bushwick. These changes were made mostly because sending three districts via bridge from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn required getting NY-12 out of their way. (It looked better before I discovered that Joe Crowley’s home in Woodside was right in it’s path. )
Bottom Line: Obviously still a safe Democratic district for Velasquez or any other nominated Democratic candidate. There is now a Hispanic majority here.
NY-07 (Light Gray)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-07: 45% White, 36% Hispanic, 19% Black, 13% Asian, 2% Other
New NY-07: 48% White, 24% Hispanic, 16% Asian, 9% Black, 4% Other
Old NY-07: Obama 79-20
New NY-07: Obama 66-33 (-13D)
Incumbent: Joseph Crowley (D-Woodside, Queens)
Description: Geographically, mostly a long thin strand running from Astoria and Woodside in Queens out Northern Boulevard and then the North Shore out to portions of Huntington, including portions of northern Nassau and Suffolk Counties, with another branch going into southeastern and central sections of the Bronx via the Whitestone Bridge.
Comment: NY-07, being a rare district in this part of the state not presently subject to VRA constraints, figures prominently in removal of Peter King and his district from the delegation. With the exception of a few more diverse areas, the North Shore area leans Republican from one end to the other, one reason that much of it is in the current NY-03. One key to keeping this district from falling into swing territory is that the relatively small section of the Bronx actually represents about 20% of the district’s population, and that the predominantly white precincts in that borough that would be of limited help to a Democrat (many of which actually are in the current NY-07) were placed elsewhere, leaving overwhelmingly black or Hispanic precincts who collectively gave Obama 86% of their votes. The Queens portion of the new district also leaves out some of the whiter and less Democratic parts of that borough that had been in NY-07 before. 66% leaves plenty of Democratic margin, even if the 2008 turnout numbers represent something of a ceiling – in part because Long Island figures to continue to diversify.
Bottom Line: Crowley might be the most ticked off Democrat in the delegation as he gets a mostly new set of constituents and one less friendly than he is used to. But someone has to take those Republican votes on Long Island and every other candidate for that task is limited either by already being something of a swing district or by VRA compliance requirements.
NY-06 (Teal Blue)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-06: Obama 89-11
New NY-06: Obama 72-27 (-17D)
Old NY-06: 54% Black, 19% White, 17% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 4% Other
New NY-06: 50.01% Black, 36% White, 9% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 3% Other
Incumbents: Gregory Meeks (D- St. Albans, Queens); Peter King (R-Seaford)
Description: Built around a primarily black section of Eastern Queens, it has one branch that runs west to pick up parts of Brownsville and East New York in Brooklyn, taking in Broad Channel and portions of Howard Beach along the way and another that runs to the east along the south shore of Long Island’s Nassau County, including most of the Five Towns area but growing narrower until reaching the Nassau County border near Massapequa.
Comment: I’m pretty sure King’s not actually going to run here. When I was drawing this map, I didn’t know where exactly his home was; I’d have actually guessed it was in the NY-03 I drew with Carolyn McCarthy around, which is probably the district he’d choose to run in anyway. Someone else’s contest entry pointed out the precinct, I looked it up, and what do you know, his precinct’s in the (barely) black-majority NY-06.
Even more than the two Brooklyn districts NY-10 and NY-11, this is NY-06 a classic “blacks and Republicans” district, avoiding any significant areas predominantly white precincts where Obama did well, since those voters don’t help this district comply with the VRA and are more needed elsewhere. The Nassau portion of the district is mostly strongly Republican; diverse areas in southern Nassau County, such as Freeport, where Obama performed well were put into NY-3. I’m a little scared of “blacks and Republicans” districts in some contexts (for fear that the racial turnout gap could become large enough to produce some unpleasant Election Day surprises) but this one is a bit different in that most of the predominantly black neighborhoods in this area are middle-class and well-educated (and thus less likely to suffer from extremely low turnout) and that incumbent Meeks seems like the kind of African-American politician perfectly capable of winning over some white votes (and even Obama’s worst precincts in here were in the 30s rather than the single digits) if he needs them.
Bottom Line: Probably another unhappy incumbent, even if he’s still safe.
NY-09 (Sky Blue)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-09: Obama 55-44
New NY-09: Obama 68-31 (+13D)
Old NY-09: 71% White, 15% Asian, 14% Hispanic, 4% Black, 2% Other
New NY-09: 40% White, 26% Hispanic, 17% Asian, 9% Black, 7% Other
Incumbent: Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills, Queens)
Description: Now almost entirely in Queens, it’s based, just like the current NY-09 in a group of mostly white Queens neighborhoods such as Maspeth, Middle Village, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, most of Howard Beach, and incumbent Weiner’s own home turf in Forest Hills. It’s become a no-majority district now because it’s border areas in the east and south, particularly the small portion in Brooklyn, have many largely black and Hispanic precincts, and because the Asian-American population has been increased slightly.
Comment: Because other districts are used to cover Republican parts of southern Brooklyn, the Democratic share of the vote in this new district shoots way up. There wasn’t quite enough room to get this district out onto Long Island, so I ended up just trying to make sure the more GOP-friendly parts of Queens were in here rather than in NY-04 or NY-07 to the extent possible.
Bottom Line: Anthony Weiner wasn’t and isn’t in any real danger here. The danger is that he has known higher office aspirations, just like his predecessor Chuck Schumer, so I expect this to be an open seat sooner rather than later. A 55-44 open seat is a cause for concern, but an open seat in the new district would not be.
Presidential Data –
Old NY-05: Obama 63-36
New NY-04: Obama 60-39 (-3D)
Old NY-05: 56% White, 25% Asian, 24% Hispanic, 6% Black
New NY-04: 54% White, 18% Asian, 14% Hispanic, 9% Black, 5% Other
Incumbent: Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights)
Description: The new NY-04 most closely resembles the existing NY-05, split between Queens and Long Island.
This district had the highest Asian population of any district outside of Hawaii and California, but they’ve been spread out some more in this map; those areas in Queens are less Democrat-voting than the neighborhoods that have replaced them in this NY-04; note that the black population, mostly in the Queens portion of the district, increased from 6% to 9%. The Long Island portion of the district, about 41% of it’s residents, narrowly voted for McCain, but 72% of the Queens section (a diverse set of neighborhoods such as East Flushing, Oakland Gardens, and parts of Jamaica Estates, collectively 59% of the district’s population) voted for Obama. In North Hempstead in Nassau, Ackerman has a lot of the same constituents he’s used to, including those in his Roslyn home as well as all or parts of Albertson and Westbury, though Great Neck, Port Washington, and most of Manhasset are moved as NY-07 and NY-18 now move into Nassau County. The Oyster Bay and Suffolk County portions would be entirely new to Ackerman and neither, with a few exceptions (Greenlawn and Huntington Station) are particularly friendly towards Democrats. The Oyster Bay portions are mostly in Peter King’s current NY-03. Essentially, this district’s Democratic base in Queens is used to cover some heavily Republican parts of Long Island, including parts of Garden City, and a large chunk of the town of Smithtown.
Bottom Line: Ackerman has more territory to cover and a bunch of new constitutents, which probably won’t make him happy. But he isn’t seriously endangered by any of the changes and his successor here should be a fellow Democrat as well, especially given the long-term trends on Long Island.
NY-03 (Medium Purple)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-04: Obama 58-41
Old NY-03: McCain 52-47
New NY-03: Obama 56-44
Old NY-04: 69% White, 19% Black, 14% Hispanic, 5% Asian
Old NY-03 94% White, 2% Black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian
New NY-03: 68% White, 16% Black, 10% Hispanic, 4% Asian
Incumbent: Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola); Peter King (R-Seaford)
Description: A roughly eliptical swath across Long Island, covering parts of the Town of Babylon in Suffolk County, interior portions of Nassau County, with a handful of precincts in the far eastern part of Queens. It’s mostly a fusion of the current NY-03 with the current NY-04.
Comment: Here’s where things really get interesting. The eastern half of this district is as of now mostly represented by Republican Peter King while the western half is mostly represented by Democrat Carolyn McCarthy. And then there are two entirely new pieces, one in the east in the Town of Babylon and one in the west in Queens. As one might expect from me at this point, 75% of the 23,000 Queens residents of this district are African-American, as are a substantial minority of the eastern portion which includes the African-American majority village of North Amityville. The western half, full of diverse communities like Valley Stream, Uniondale, Freeport, and McCarthy’s own Mineola, predominates, as the demographic numbers clearly indicate; this looks a whole lot more like McCarthy’s district than King’s. In a race between the two, I’d expect McCarthy to be the clear favorite.
Bottom Line: For Peter King, it’s a matter of picking his poison. The current NY-03 has been placed in six different districts, only two of which are halfway plausible places for him to run; NY-07 contains only a few of his old constituents and runs all the way into the Bronx, NY-04 is mostly (population-wise) in Queens and only contains a few of his old constituents, NY-06 contains his house but is mostly in Queens and is majority African-American, and while NY-01 may be the least Democrat-leaning of all his options, that’s almost entirely unfamiliar territory further out in Suffolk County and his obnoxious screeds on TV don’t play well in the Hamptons anyway. That leaves Steve Israel’s NY-02 and Carolyn McCarthy’s NY-03. Of those NY-03 seems the plausible choice as it contains a little more of King’s current turf than NY-02 does and includes most of King’s base in Massapequa, Farmingdale, and Bethpage. Even here he’s a clear underdog against McCarthy.
NY-02 (Dark Green)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-02: Obama 56-43
New NY-02 Obama 56-44 (unch)
Demographic Data –
Old NY-02: 78% White, 14% Hispanic, 10% Black, 3% Asian
New NY-02: 74% White, 10% Hispanic, 10% Black, 4% Asian
Incumbent: Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills)
Description: Shaped a bit like a big-headed lizard with a long tail section. Predominantly in Suffolk County, it covers most of the Town of Brookhaven and southern portions of Smithtown, with a tail through interior portions of western Suffolk (small portions towns of Babylon and Islip and southern portions of Huntington and stretching into a strand running through the middle of eastern portions of Nassau County, as far west as Hempstead Village.
Comments: This district remains about exactly as Democratic-leaning as it was before, but has changed considerably. It loses its North Shore territory but picks up a different part of the North Shore, around Port Jefferson. Only its central portion, around Israel’s own Dix Hills, and Republican-leaning southeast portion in the Town of Islip remain largely intact. The Nassau County portion, expanded considerably from the old NY-02, picks up some of Peter King’s old base around Levittown and Hicksville but also includes heavily Democratic Hempstead Village, which makes up for not having such Democratic strongholds as Brentwood and Central Islip anymore. It probably has more of Peter King’s old constituents than any district save NY-03. This district had to be altered considerably to help take out Peter King and help lock down what would otherwise be a shaky NY-01.
Bottom Line: Israel’s probably not a happy camper as the power of incumbency goes down dramaticallly with brand new constituents, even if the generic Democratic advantage remains the same as it does here. It’s still hard to imagine Peter King winning here as he hasn’t represented many of these people and would have to move inland considerably to belong to this district.
NY-01 (Medium Blue)
Presidential Data –
Old NY-01: Obama 52-44
New NY-01: Obama 55-43 (+3D)
Demographic Data –
Old NY-01: 89% White, 8% Hispanic, 4% Black, 2% Asian
New NY-01: 76% White, 14% Hispanic, 7% Black, 2% Asian, 2% Other
Incumbent: Tim Bishop (D-Southhampton)
Description: Based in eastern Suffolk County, including both the North and South forks and all the Hamptons, and then runs along the South Shore to Bay Shore then over Robert Moses Causeway to Fire Island and along Ocean Parkway through beach barrier islands to Point Lookout, Long Beach, and Atlantic Beach in Nassau County. The tail becomes wider at one point to include Brentwood and Central Islip.
Comments: A marginal Democratic district shorn up somewhat by the shedding of mostly (apart from Port Jefferson) unfriendly portions of the Towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown and their replacement with the barrier islands in Nassau County and heavily Democratic Central Islip and Brentwood (mostly responsible for the significant jump in the Hispanic population) which more than make up for the Republican-leaning South Shore area (some of which is now represented by Peter King)that this new map includes. It’s admittedly bit of a gerrymander as this new NY-01 borders (by water) Queens despite also including Shelter Island.
Bottom Line: This should help keep this seat in Democratic hands.
That the Northeast has been trending blue in recent cycles is self evidently true. Will it continue in 2010?
Below the fold for all the details and hey go check out the 2010 Race Tracker Wiki over at Open Congress for all your House, Senate and Gubernatorial needs.
(Cross posted at Daily Kos, MyDD and Open Left)
Whilst current polls don’t look too good for incumbent Democrats across the Northeast I believe that we have hit the bottom. Now that Health Care reform is done I believe that the polls will rebound for Democrats, particularly in the Northeast.
Thus it is my contention that despite the current challenging environment the Northeast will continue its long term move towards the Democratic Party, despite a sure to be spiteful debate on cap and trade and despite an economic outlook that is improving in fits and starts.
The US Census defines the Northeast region as including 9 states as follows: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. And aggregating across all 9 states the lay of the land looks like this:
States that voted for Obama: 9/9
US Senators: 15/18 (Counting Sanders and Leiberman as Dems)
House Districts: 69/83
State Senates: 8/9
State Houses: 9/9
Where I think a race is a safe Democratic hold I won’t be saying anything about it.
Going state by state then:
Gubernatorial – With GOP Gov Jodi Rell not running again it is very likely to be a Dem pickup.
US Senate – Both Dems. If Dodd runs he may lose for any other Dem it is a safe hold.
US House – All Dem, all Safe (including Himes in the 4th.)
State Senate – 24D/12R – Safe
State House – 114D/37R – Safe
Gubernatorial – Whilst it seems that half of Maine is running for the open Gubernatorial mansion I believe that the Democratic nature of the state will lead to a Democratic retention.
US Senate – Both Repubs! Not on ballot in 2010
US House – All Dem, all Safe
State Senate – 20D/15R – Safe (Margin is growing).
State House – 95D/55R – Safe
Gubernatorial – Whilst Deval Patrick really hasn’t set the world on fire the 2nd tier nature of his potential opponents should see him safely re-elected.
US Senate – Both Dems (at least after the upcoming special election.)
US House – All Dem, all Safe
State Senate – 35D/5R – Safe
State House – 144D/16R – Safe
Gubernatorial – Safe Dem
US Senate – definitely a race to watch. I will be stunned if Hodes loses here. Hodes has almost $1 million dollars COH and there is a divisive GOP primary in the offing also. New Hampshire, whilst less Blue than almost all of the other states in the North East, is not going to elect a Republican as US Senator in 2010.
US House –
NH-01 – There has been a lot of focus on both of the New Hampshire congressional races. I don’t get it to be honest – Shea Porter will win, not by much but she will win.
NH-02 – Again a lot of focus here including a lot of hand wringing about how vulnerable it is to switch. Not gonna happen folks. Gore, Kerry and Obama all won this district – Obama by 13 points – and we have a quality field of candidates running AND a divisive GOP Primary. Lead Dem Ann McLane Kuster has 250K COH as at the end of September.
State Senate – 14/10 – No change in 2008 really locks in our 2006 gains. If this one flips it will be a bad night for us.
State House – 223D/176R – Safe
Gubernatorial – Repub – Not on ballot in 2010
US Senate – Both Dems
US House –
NJ-02 – If State Senator Jeff Van Drew finally steps up and runs this race becomes very competitive. Hopefully he won’t wait until 2012. If State Sen Jim Whelan runs it could also get competitive in this district that Obama won 54/45 and that Bush won by less than 1% in 2004.
NJ-03 – Adler is safe.
NJ-04 – Gore carried this district and Obama lost 47/52 so a good candidate here is a must to get it on the radar instead of the second tier candidates we have run thus far.
NJ-05 – Unlikely to be on the radar in 2010.
NJ-07 – This district is winnable particularly with a freshman GOP incumbent. Obama carried it 51/48 also. Surprising then that there is no declared Dem candidate yet. Potentially a top tier race that will probably be a big miss for the DCCC.
NJ-11 – The safest GOP district in NJ and a rarity in the Northeast, (outside Pennsylvania,) a generically safe GOP district. Short of a fantastic candidate this one won’t be on the radar.
State Senate – Up in 2011
State House – Up in 2011
Gubernatorial – Safe for Cuomo.
US Senate – Gillibrand will get over the line against 3rd tier opponents and Schumer is Safe too.
US House –
NY-03 – Unless Suozzi or another top tier candidate emerges then this will be a big miss for the DCCC.
NY-13 – McMahon is safe.
NY-20 – Murphy will prevail – bet on it. He had almost 1 Mill COH at the end of September!
NY-23 – One of two really competitive races in Dem held districts in NY. I think Owens will prevail, especially against Hoffman.
NY-24 – After a scare in 2008 Arcuri will be safe.
NY-25 – Maffei is safe.
NY-26 – Unless a good candidate pops up this will be a big miss for the DCCC.
NY-29 – Massa has his work cut out for him – that’s for sure. But for me Massa by a nose. Why? When was the last time the NY GOP won a District off us? Massa’s 500K COH as at end of September will help too.
State Senate – 32D/30R – A chamber to watch – big time. I expect us to hang onto or increase our majority.
State House – 109D/41R – Safe
Gubernatorial – A real worry this one could flip.
US Senate – 2 Dems – Whoever emerges from the Dem primary will beat Toomey. The good folk of Pennsylvania wouldn’t be crazy enough to sent Toomey to the US Senate would they?
US House –
PA-03 – Dahlkemper will have her work cut out to win this District that Obama JUST lost. Race to watch.
PA-04 – Altmire will be safe.
PA-05 – This central Pennsylvania district will not be on the radar unless we have an ultra conservative candidate. One of 4 super safe districts in the state for the Republicans.
PA-06 – Generic Dem beats generic Rep – Period. Doug Pike’s massive COH advantage (largely self funded) of 750K as at end of September should help him pull this one out.
PA-07 – Not quite sure why so many people are predicting this will flip. Top tier candidates for both parties makes for a tough race but this district was won by Gore, Kerry and Obama. Add in a competitive GOP Primary and it is Dem for me.
PA-09 – One of 4 super safe districts in the state for the Republicans. This central Pennsylvania district will not be on the radar unless we have an ultra conservative candidate. Yep just like PA-05.
PA-11 – Against Lou Barletta Kanjorski will be fine. Tough part of Pennsylvania for Democrats though.
PA-12 – Murtha is vulnerable but i expect him to survive (just).
PA-15 – Like PA-06 Obama carried every county in this one and yep it is also one of only 5 won by Kerry that is occupied by a GOP House Rep. Dem Callahan is a top tier challenger and is fundraising like one (325K COH as at end of Spetember).
PA-16 – Another super safe district for the GOP. Like the 5th and 9th unlikely to be a priority.
PA-18 – In theory could be vaguely competitive in 2010 (Bush only got 54% here in 2004) but unlikely given the low hanging fruit in the 6th and 15th.
PA-19 – Another super safe district for the GOP. Like the 5th, 6th and 16th unlikely to be a priority in 2010, unless Todd Platts lands the Government job he is chasing. Even then unlikely to be competitive.
State Senate – 20D/30R – Safe GOP
State House – 104D/99R – Definitely a chamber to watch.
Gubernatorial – GOP Gov Don Carcieri is term limited so either a Dem or former Repub Sen now Indy Lincoln Chaffee will be elected. The GOP bench here is terrible.
US Senate – Both Dems
US House – All Dem, all Safe
State Senate – 35D/5R Safe
State House – 69D/6R Safe
Gubernatorial – With GOP Gov Douglas not running the GOP have scored their best possible candidate in Lt Gov Brian Dubie; who will lose to a Dem (unless the Progressive Party act as a spoiler).
US Senate – Both Dems
US House – All Dem, all Safe
State Senate – 28D/7R Safe
State House – 95D/48R Safe
So with 10 months until election day it is off to the races!
What do you think?
You may recall that, back in August, GOP Rep. Pete King made one of the mopiest exits from Senatorial consideration in recent memory, kvetching that Gov. David Paterson’s decision to tap Kirsten Gillibrand instead of Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat robbed him of the opportunity to enter a competitive race. Well, it looks like King, at the urging of Rudy Giuliani, may be having second thoughts:
While Mr. Giuliani mentioned Mr. Pataki and Representative Peter T. King of Long Island as potential challengers to Ms. Gillibrand, those who know Mr. Pataki say the odds of his running are remote. (Efforts to reach Mr. Pataki through a spokesman on Tuesday were unsuccessful.)
Mr. King ruled out a race against Ms. Gillibrand in August, but said in an interview on Tuesday that he would give it a second thought, at the urging of party strategists. A run would mean giving up his House seat and his spot as ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, and winning would leave him facing re-election in 2012.
Who knows how seriously King is taking this — if he wants to run, he wasted a hell of a lot of fundraising time in dithering for so long while the industrious Gillibrand has been flooding her coffers. The GOP can’t seem to come to terms with letting this race slip away, but they have nothing substantive to show for this race 11 months after Gillibrand’s appointment.
UPDATE: King tells Politico that it’s unlikely that he’ll run, with the chances that he’ll take the plunge on a scale of 1-to-10 being a “three”.
“I’m not trying to kid anyone,” King said in a prepared statement. “I wanted to be able to run for the Senate.” […]
“The reality is that a statewide Democratic candidate starts the race with a voter registration edge of almost 3 million. To overcome such a large margin, there would have to be intensive media coverage of the race and I would need to raise at least $30 million.”
“That is why I would have run if Caroline Kennedy were the Democratic candidate. Her candidacy would have generated the media coverage and financial contributions necessary for me to run a competitive race. That’s all I would have hoped for. Once the race became competitive, it would have been up to me to win it by contrasting my blue collar conservatism with her Manhattan liberalism.”
“That race was not to be. Senator Gillibrand generates neither strong support nor opposition. This makes it virtually impossible for me to raise the campaign funds I would need to overcome the built-in Democratic registration advantage and the countless millions of dollars which the Democrats will make available to Senator Gillibrand.”
While this is hardly a surprise at all, I can’t think of a more mopey, sorry-for-yourself press release in recent history. Good grief.
RaceTracker Wiki: NY-Sen-B
• MN-Sen: Our long national nightmare is finally over: Senator Al Franken was sworn in today, without any weird last minute gambits by Norm Coleman. Harry Reid announced he’ll be on the HELP, Judiciary, Aging, and Indian Affairs Committees.
• KY-Sen: Jim Bunning, via his regular teleconference with reporters, reminds us that he’s still running for Senate. Bunning also thinks that he won’t outraise SoS Trey Grayson (who raised $600,000 in the 2nd quarter) for the quarter, but it doesn’t matter because Grayson won’t stay in the race if Bunning stays in too.
• OR-Gov: Here’s a surprise: Democratic rising star state Rep. Brian Clem suddenly made his presence known in the Oregon governor’s race, launching an exploratory committee and filling up his coffers with a $500,000 loan from his mother-in-law. The 37-year-old Clem, who has represented part of Salem since 2006, implied that he wouldn’t pull the trigger on a run, though, if former Gov. John Kitzhaber got into the race.
• SC-Gov: Mark Sanford may get to keep his job after all (thanks in part to Sarah Palin creating a distraction). The state GOP voted yesterday to censure Sanford over his doomed tango, rather than call for his resignation.
• HI-01: Roll Call takes a quick look at who might run for the seat being left behind by Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Top of the list is Ed Case, a Blue Dog who used to represent HI-02 but gave up his seat for an ill-fated primary run against Sen. Dan Akaka and pissed off a lot of the Democratic base along the way. They also cite state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, former state House majority leader Kirk Caldwell, state Democratic Party chair Brian Schatz, and also Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who’s currently exploring the governor’s race but conceivably could switch races if he doesn’t get any traction in the primary against Abercrombie. Also, we can’t rule out Republican Honolulu city councilor Charles Djou, who seems well-thought-of but faces a steep climb given the state’s lean.
• IL-07: CQ provides a similar laundry list of potential candidates in IL-07, assuming Rep. Danny Davis leaves an open seat to run for President of the Cook County Board instead. Davis’s former Chief of Staff Richard Boykin tops the list, but there’s also state Reps. LaShawn Ford and Karen Yarbrough, state Sen. Rickey Hendon, and Aldermen Dorothy Tillman and Ed Smith. (No mention of any Republicans here, unsurprising since it’s D+35.)
• NY-03: Here are some folks who’d especially like Rep. Peter King to Beat It, following his Off the Wall remarks disparaging the nonstop coverage of Michael Jackson. They’ve started “Michael Jackson Fans Against Peter King” on ActBlue and have already raised several thousand dollars for whoever steps up to run in the 3rd.
• NY-14: With Rep. Carolyn Maloney looking more likely to follow through on her Senate primary challenge, state Sen. Liz Krueger, whose turf closely overlaps the 14th, has been getting a lot of encouragement to run for the open seat. Krueger sounds politely interested, saying “I’ve never been in Congress so I don’t know if it’s less frustrating. But I suspect pretty much any job in the United States of America would be less frustrating than Albany in the last three weeks.”
• NY-23: A potentially strong candidate for the GOP nomination in the upcoming NY-23 special election has taken himself out of consideration: Assemblyman Will Barclay. Unfortunately for us, this may make the primary path easier for moderate GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who would be a tougher general election foe; the more conservative Barclay, remember, was the loser of the state Senate special election to Darrel Aubertine last year. Two other minor GOPers added their names to the list as well: YMCA director Andrew Bisselle and businessman Bart Bonner.
• OH-15: His candidacy was already well in the works, but GOP former state Senator Steve Stivers made it official today that he’s seeking a rematch against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, who barely won the open seat in 2008. Stivers may have an opening in 2010 if there’s less Obama-driven college turnout in this district dominated by Ohio St., and no pro-life independent candidate siphoning votes from his right flank.
• TN-09: Burned-out Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton seems to have a pattern and practice of delaying his planned resignations whenever things don’t quite go right for him. Herenton, who’d planned to resign in order to devote himself full-time to his primary challenge to Rep. Steve Cohen, pushed back his resignation date (planned for July 11) to July 30, citing some unfinished items of business.
• House: The Hill throws together an interesting catch-all of ten “dark horse” House races, one of which is already threatening to be top tier (TX-10), one of which features an intriguing Dem primary (FL-02), and some of which are interesting because of changing demographics (TX-32) or changing political tides (all three Dem seats in Arkansas).
• DGA/RGA: In keeping with the sense that the real battlegrounds in 2010 are going to be the gubernatorial races, the DGA and RGA are both raising like gangbusters. The DGA raised $11.6 million in the first half of the year, a record for them, but the RGA nosed ahead of them, raising $12.2 million.
• Census: A coalition of Colorado local governments joins New York’s legislature in laying out its own funds to help assist the Census Bureau in putting together an accurate count by reducing undercounting. While Colorado isn’t likely to gain or lose a House seat in 2010, it’s still important in terms of securing federal funds, and with much of the state’s growth coming among Latinos, the risk of undercounting is high.
• Campaign Finance: Florida’s Republican SoS, Kurt Browning, has decided not to appeal a federal court’s ruling that found a state law regulating 527s was unconstitutional. With major implications for the Florida governor’s race, now 527s can operate without disclosure requirements on who they are and who funds them. (Florida has strict $500 limits on individual contributions, so 527s are especially important there.)
• Trivia: Wondering who the last Governor to resign in mid-term to focus on a presidential run was? New York’s Nelson Rockefeller, in 1973. He never made it to the presidential run, although he did wind up briefly serving as Gerald Ford’s fill-in vice-president.
• DSCC: Friend of SSP and once-and-future DKos editor Arjun Jaikumar (f/k/a brownsox) is not just the DSCC’s new media guru – he’s also up for The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful in DC. Vote for the good-looking bastard by sending an email. (D)
• IL-Sen: Here’s a fairly big-name entrant to the Illinois Senate: Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson, who just formed an exploratory committee. Jackson had occasionally been rumored to be interested (to the extent that Jan Schakowksy’s internal poll included her, where she got 17% when explicitly substituted for Burris) but hadn’t taken concrete steps. Jackson has two demographic positives: with Schakowsky out, she’d be the only female in the race (unless, of course, Lisa Madigan gets in, in which case the game would be over anyway), and she’d be the only African-American in the race who isn’t Roland Burris. However, she used to be Rod Blagojevich’s press secretary prior to taking over at the Urban League, so the Blago stench may be hard to wash off.
• ND-Sen: All had seemed quiet on the midwestern front, especially after that R2K poll that showed him getting flattened by Byron Dorgan (57-35), but Gov. John Hoeven recently showed at least a peep of interest in running for Senate after all… even if it was just a statement that he was still making up his mind and would decide by September. GOP state chair Randy Emineth said that Hoeven “wants to” run against Dorgan, but we’ll need to actually hear from Hoeven.
• NH-Sen: The swabbies at ARG! pointed their spyglasses toward the 2010 open Senate seat in New Hampshire, and find that Rep. Paul Hodes would defeat ex-Sen. John Sununu 40-36. No numbers for the much-hyped AG Kelly Ayotte.
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov: In the face of relentless wooing from GOP Senators, Rep. Dean Heller has set a deadline of June 30 to make up his mind about whether he runs for Harry Reid’s Senate seat. (Wait a minute… that’s today!) Heller’s other options include staying in NV-02 or running a primary challenge in the governor’s race — where the younger Reid (Rory, the Clark County Commission chair) seems to be staffing up for the race on the Dem side.
• PA-Sen: Joe Torsella, who briefly was running against post-party-switch Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary before dropping out, has endorsed Specter. Not surprising, since Torsella is a big ally of Gov. Ed Rendell, who has pledged his support to Specter.
• CT-Gov: More indications that Ned Lamont is getting serious about running for Governor (probably against incumbent Jodi Rell) in 2010. Lamont is looking at an early-2010 deadline for deciding, but can get away with a shorter timeframe as he can self-fund and won’t need a long ramp-up for fundraising.
• NJ-Gov (pdf): PPP takes their turn at polling the New Jersey Governor’s race and find about what everyone else has been finding: Chris Christie leads incumbent Jon Corzine 51-41, with Christie benefiting from a 60-26 lead among independent voters. Good news, relatively speaking, for Corzine, though, is that Christie’s negatives are rising quickly as he’s starting to get defined in the media, up to 43% favorable and 33% unfavorable.
• SC-Gov: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has publicly floated the idea that he would stand down from running in 2010 if he got to be Governor now, if Mark Sanford would just go ahead and resign (please?). His potential 2010 rivals are looking at this as statesman-like grandstanding, especially since it looks like Sanford is digging in.
• AK-AL: In case there was any doubt, the indestructible Rep. Don Young has announced that he’s running for re-election. Young is 76 and in perpetual danger of indictment, but with the state’s political talent gravitating toward the Governor’s race, may have an easier path in 2010 than in 2008.
• CA-36: Los Angeles City Councilor Janice Hahn has been telling supporters that she’s interested in running for Rep. Jane Harman’s seat. She doesn’t seem to be thinking primary, though; Hahn, for some reason, believes Harman (still under a bit of a cloud from the wiretap incident) is up for appointment to something, maybe Ambassador to Israel, in the Obama administration.
• FL-12: State Sen. Paula Dockery made clear that she won’t be running in the 12th; she endorsed former State Rep. Dennis Ross for the job. She seemed to leave the door open to the Governor’s race, saying in her statement that “my passion for public policy is in state government.”
• IL-07: With Rep. Danny Davis looking to move over to the Presidency of the Cook County Board, Chicago-area Dems are already eyeing the super-safe open seat. Davis’s former chief of staff Richard Boykin (now a lobbyist for Cook County) seems to be the first to make his interest publicly known.
• NH-01 (pdf): Manchester mayor (and NH-01 candidate) Frank Guinta is due for the Bad Samaritan Award, as he watched several of his friends (an alderman and a state Representative) beat up another acquaintance in a barroom brawl, ending with the man’s leg being broken in seven places, and then immediately left the scene without reporting it to the police. Guinta said he was unaware of the extent of the man’s injuries and contacted police at that point. No charges have been filed in the incident; still, not the kind of free publicity a political candidate likes to get.
• NY-03, NY-Sen-B: Rep. Peter King is sounding even iffier than before about running for Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand, having scored a desired slot on the Intelligence Committee.
• NY-23: Investment banker Matthew Doheny anted up with a lot of cash to jump into the Republican side of the race to replace Rep. John McHugh: $500,000 of his own money. Roll Call reports that he’ll need the ostentatious display of cash to get anywhere in the candidate-picking process, as Assemblypersons Dede Scozzafava and Will Barclay are both reaching out behind the scenes to party leaders.
• Redistricting: Regardless of what nonsense happens in the New York Senate this session, it’s looking more and more like the GOP’s toehold on legislative power will be vanquished in post-2010 redistricting, regardless of who controls the legislative redistricting process. Because of growth in the city and declines upstate, 1.2 seats will need to be shifted from downstate to NYC (and, as an added bonus, an extra one-sixth of a seat will shift to the city if the Census Bureau goes ahead and starts counting prisoners according to where they’re actually from rather than where they’re incarcerated).
• Fusion Voting: Here’s one way in which Oregon suddenly became a lot more like New York: the state legislature decided to allow “fusion voting,” in which a candidate can run on multiple party lines on one ballot. This will be a boost to minor parties in Oregon, by letting them form coalitions with the major parties instead of simply playing spoiler.
• Fundraising: It’s June 30, and you know what that means… it’s the end of the 2nd fundraising quarter. If you want to give some momentum to your favored candidates, today’s the last day to do it.
• CT-Sen: Ex-Rep. Rob Simmons needs to look like one of those allegedly-not-quite-extinct moderate New England Republicans in order to get elected in Connecticut, but he’s not doing himself any favors by appearing with Newt Gingrich at the annual Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. With a large Puerto Rican population in Connecticut, Simmons probably doesn’t want to be anywhere near Sonia Sotomayor’s loudest and most toxic critic. Another problem for Simmons: businessman Tom Foley, the former ambassador to Ireland, made his official entry into the GOP primary field today. Foley, unlike Simmons, has deep pockets he can self-fund with.
• MN-Sen: Sources close to Norm Coleman are suggesting he won’t appeal at the federal level if he loses his case with the Minnesota Supreme Court. Republicans still publicly say they’ll try to stop any Dem efforts to seat Al Franken until Coleman has conceded or exhausted his appeals. John Cornyn has sent some mixed signals, though, saying it’s “entirely” Coleman’s decision whether to keep fighting and that he’s “amazed that Sen. Coleman’s been willing to persevere as long as he has.”
• NV-Sen: Wondering why the GOP is having a hard time attracting a challenger to supposedly-vulnerable Harry Reid? Maybe it’s because of his deep levels of support among much of the state’s Republican establishment. The Reid camp released a list of 60 GOP endorsers, including, most prominently, soon-to-be-ex-First Lady (and former NV-02 candidate) Dawn Gibbons, Reno mayor Bob Cashell, and, in a move guaranteed to nail down the key 18-29 demographic, Wayne Newton.
• NH-Sen: Could it be that the NRSC could actually be stuck running Ovide Lamontagne against Rep. Paul Hodes? Just the very fact that the NRSC is talking to Lamontagne (a businessman whose one claim to fame is losing the 1996 governor’s race to Jeanne Shaheen) with an apparently straight face should be a red flag that their top-tier possibilities (ex-Sen. John Sununu, ex-Rep. Charlie Bass) aren’t looking likely.
• NY-Sen-B: Joe Biden reportedly had a sit-down earlier this week with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who may or may not be running in the Senate primary against Kirsten Gillibrand. Presumably the meeting would contain some of the same content as Barack Obama’s now-famous phone call to Rep. Steve Israel.
• OH-Sen: If a candidate falls in the woods with no one around, does he make a sound? State Rep. Tyrone Yates has been exploring the Senate race for several months, and apparently found nothing that would help him overcome Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and SoS Jennifer Brunner, as he bowed out of the race.
• NJ-Gov: Rasmussen has the first post-primary poll of the New Jersey governor’s race. Chris Christie may have gotten a bit of a brief unity bounce in the wake of his primary victory, as he’s up to a 51-38 edge over Jon Corzine now, as opposed to 47-38 last month. There’s one spot of ‘good’ news, as it were, for Corzine: his approval rating is back up to 42%.
• AZ-08: Construction company executive and ex-Marine Jesse Kelly seems to be the establishment GOP’s choice to go against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2010. He announced endorsements from three House members: Trent Franks, Duncan Hunter, and Frank Wolf. (Not quite clear how endorsements from Hunter and Wolf help him in Arizona, though.)
• KS-01: State Senator Jim Barnett got into the race for the seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Moran, who’s running for Senate. Barnett may quickly become front-runner, based on his name recognition from being the 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate (where he lost the state as a whole to Kathleen Sebelius, but won the dark-red 1st). He’s up against a more conservative state Senator Tim Huelskamp, and Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff, Rob Wasinger. The primary is the whole shooting match in this R+23 district.
• KY-01: After the purchase of “whitfieldforsenate.com” got people’s attention yesterday, Rep. Ed Whitfield had to tamp that down, confirming that he’s running for re-election in his R+15 House seat.
• MN-06: Even if this goes nowhere, it’s great to have a GOPer doing our framing for us… attorney Chris Johnston is publicly mulling a primary challenge to (his words, on his website) “‘anti-American’ hurling, malaprop-spouting, ‘they took me out of context'” Rep. Michele Bachmann. He confirms that he and Bachmann share “strong conservative beliefs;” he just thinks the 6th would prefer someone “who thinks before they speak.”
• NH-02: Attorney Ann McLane Kuster is launching an exploratory committee to run for the open seat left behind by Rep. Paul Hodes. St. Rep. John DeJoie is already in the primary field, and they may soon be joined by Katrina Swett.
• NY-03: Dems are scoping out potential candidates in Long Island’s NY-03 (which fell to R+4 in the wake of 2008), thinking that even if Rep. Peter King doesn’t vacate to run for Senate he’s still vulnerable. The biggest fish would be Nassau Co. Exec Tom Suozzi, who seems to have bigger fish to fry (reportedly AG if Andrew Cuomo vacates). The next-biggest fish would Nassau Co. DA Kathleen Rice. Smaller fish listed include Isobel Coleman of the Council of Foreign Relations, and minor league baseball team owner Frank Boulton.
• NH-Legislature: It took a rewrite of a couple sentences that Gov. John Lynch didn’t like, but after a few weeks of back-and-forth New Hampshire finally enacted gay marriage. Both chambers passed the amended bill yesterday (clearing the House 198-176) and Lynch signed it into law on the same day.