IN-03, KY-02: County Baselines

Two of the first House races that will begin reporting this evening are Indiana’s 3rd District and Kentucky’s 2nd. These are two incredibly tough districts — IN-03 is R+16, and KY-02 is R+13. If Democrats can defeat GOP Rep. Mark Souder in Indiana or pick off the open seat in KY-02, tonight is going to be a huge night. If we fall short in either, well, it still could be big.

Just as Crisitunity did yesterday in his county-by-county baseline analysis of key statewide battlegrounds, let’s take a look at how the Republicans fared in each of these districts in 2006. Here’s IN-03:

County Souder % Hayhurst %
Allen 41,901 50 41,163 50
Elkhart 15,644 61 9,887 39
Kosciusko 11,882 64 6,656 36
Noble 6,243 54 5,247 46
DeKalb 5,630 54 4,890 46
Whitley 5,300 54 4,503 46
Steuben 4,716 52 4,351 48
LaGrange 3,613 55 2,986 45
Total 94,929 54 79,683 46

And KY-02:

County Lewis % Weaver %
Daviess 13,936 49 14,378 51
Warren 15,666 58 11,198 42
Hardin 14,629 57 10,901 43
Bullitt 10,679 55 8,712 45
Shelby 7,046 56 5,637 44
Barren 6,784 57 5,073 43
Nelson 5,087 47 5,792 53
Taylor 5,720 65 3,020 35
Grayson 5,435 63 3,183 37
Meade 4,566 54 3,941 46
Breckinridge 4,256 59 2,925 41
Marion 2,353 40 3,544 60
Spencer 3,268 59 2,294 41
Green 3,338 71 1,374 29
LaRue 2,565 58 1,871 42
Hart 2,372 55 1,972 45
Edmonson 2,414 58 1,717 42
Ohio 2,225 61 1,414 39
Washington 1,902 53 1,708 47
Jefferson 1,603 46 1,868 54
Hancock 1,580 49 1,669 51
Total 117,424 55 94,191 45

As the early returns come in, these baselines should be helpful in order to determine just how strong of a shot Democrats Mike Montagano and David Boswell have. For what it’s worth, I’m expecting a 2006-style defeat in KY-02, but that shouldn’t get us too down — Boswell hasn’t run a particularly impressive race.

KY-02: Guthrie Posts 10-Point Lead in New SUSA Poll

SurveyUSA for Roll Call (10/27-28, likely voters, 10/15-16 in parens):

David Boswell (D): 43 (42)

Brett Guthrie (R): 53 (51)

Undecided: 4 (7)

(MoE: ±4%)

My friends, this does not look good. National money has been pouring into the district at a furious clip in recent weeks, and it doesn’t seem to have done Boswell much good (remember, back when this race was not engaged, Boswell lead by 3 points in late June). A recent DCCC poll may say otherwise, but it’s getting hard to ignore this string of consistently disappointing SurveyUSA polls.

Bonus finding: McCain leads Obama by 62-35 in this district. More details on the poll’s internals are available here (pdf).

KY-02: Boswell Holds Six Point Lead in Dem Poll

Benenson Strategy Group for the DCCC (10/20-21, likely voters):

David Boswell (D): 47

Brett Guthrie (R): 41

(MoE: ±4.9%)

The last couple of polls we saw of this race didn’t give us much reason for optimism. SurveyUSA showed Guthrie pulling ahead by nine points after trailing Boswell earlier in the year, while a Boswell internal showed Guthrie erasing Boswell’s seven point lead and replacing it with a dead heat.

Both the DCCC and the NRCC are spending considerably on this R+13 open seat, but I’m gonna remain skeptical about this one, especially given all the blowback surrounding the DCCC’s ads.

KY-02: Guthrie Up Big in New SUSA, Dead Heat in Dem Poll

SurveyUSA (10/15-16, likely voters, 9/24-25 in parens):

David Boswell (D): 42 (43)

Brett Guthrie (R): 51 (49)

(MoE: ±4.2%)

This is one of those few races where the DCCC’s involvement has seemed to have done more harm than good. Just check out this recent Bowling Green Daily News editorial to see what I mean.

On the heels of this rough SUSA poll, Boswell has released his own internal poll. Garin Hart Yang (10/8-9, likely voters, 8/23-25 in parens):

David Boswell (D): 41 (40)

Brett Guthrie (R): 40 (33)

(MoE: ±4.9%)

It’s never a great sign when your own internals show the other guy with the big mo’.

KY-02: Guthrie Pulls Ahead in New SUSA Poll

SurveyUSA (9/24-25, likely voters, 6/27-29 in parens):

David Boswell (D): 43 (47)

Brett Guthrie (R): 49 (44)

Undecided: 8 (9)

(MoE: ±4.1%)

After David Boswell posted leads in the last round of SUSA’s polling and in a Garin Hart Yang internal last month, Republican Brett Guthrie has pulled ahead in the latest poll. Having the airwaves to himself for over a month is a likely cause, but the DCCC didn’t do Boswell any favors after their attack ad was pulled by a local station, allowing Guthrie to crow about “dishonesty” from Democrats. Not a great start out of the gates here by the DCCC.

SSP currently rates this race as Lean Republican.

DCCC Spends $1.4 Million in 15 Districts

The DCCC filed $1.37 million worth in media buys in support of Democratic House candidates tonight. Here’s the damage:

District Incumbent Group Media Buy
AL-02 Open DCCC $91,520
AL-05 Open DCCC $60,700
AZ-01 Open DCCC $183,679
AZ-05 Mitchell DCCC $168,245
AZ-08 Giffords DCCC $58,462
CT-04 Shays DCCC $119,130
FL-16 Mahoney DCCC $91,081
IL-11 Open DCCC $40,953
KY-02 Open DCCC $88,977
LA-06 Cazayoux OPHTHPAC $49,163
MD-01 Open DCCC $145,851
MI-07 Walberg DCCC $63,040
MI-09 Knollenberg DCCC $47,392
MN-03 Open DCCC $131,894
VA-11 Open DCCC $80,915

Tonight marks the first time that the DCCC has aired ads in AZ-08, FL-16, KY-02, MD-01, and VA-11.

The lone GOP-friendly media buy comes from the bastards at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which is dropping cash in support of Republican Bill Cassidy (himself an MD) in his race against Don Cazayoux. See you in hell, eye doctors!

But don’t get the impression that this is one-sided affair just because the NRCC is holding its musket fire. Freedom’s Crotch is up with some ad buys of its own smearing Democrats:

  • AL-02: $150,000

  • IL-11: $430,000

  • NJ-03: $74,000

  • NJ-07: $500,000

The Crotch is also spending an unspecified amount on NM-01 and NV-03. Ugh.

KY-02: DCCC Sets Aside $840K for Boswell

Well, this is the big break that Boswell needed:

Now, the Democrat has been added to the DCCC’s exploding “Red to Blue” list and estimates he’s taken in another quarter of a million dollars since the May 20 primary. But the best news may be the DCCC reservation of $840,000 worth of ads in the district, with the ads slated to begin at the end of the week.

The DCCC’s ads could be in critical in the expensive Louisville media market, where about three-fifths of the voters reside and where neither Boswell nor Guthrie is particularly well-known. The National Republican Congressional Committee has not reserved time in the district.

Earlier in the summer, Boswell posted a three-point lead over Republican state Sen. Brett Guthrie in a SUSA poll of the race. He followed that up earlier this month with a Garin-Hart-Yang internal showing him leading by eight points. Boswell has been active in Kentucky politics for decades, serving in the state Senate since 1991, and before that, as the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and five years in the state House.

However, with only $45,000 in the bank at the end of June, Boswell was at risk of getting swamped out by the far superior fundraising of Guthrie. With the DCCC on board, Boswell now has a fighting chance.

UPDATE: Here’s the first ad:

KY-02: Boswell Posts Another Lead in New Internal Poll

Garin-Hart-Yang for David Boswell (8/23-25, likely voters):

David Boswell (D): 41

Brett Guthrie (R): 33

(MoE: ±4.9%)

This is a real opportunity, no doubt. An earlier poll this summer from SurveyUSA showed Boswell, a longtime state Senator, leading Guthrie by three points for this open seat. While Kentucky’s 2nd has a PVI of R+12.9, it’s an ancestrally Democratic seat and Boswell has a good deal of name recognition from his long stint in Kentucky politics, including serving a term as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner.

However, if Boswell hopes to win this one, he’s gonna need to bundle some money together, and fast. When we last checked in with the Bos at the end of June, he had only $45K in the bank (compared to Guthrie’s $661K). Former Senate candidate (and richie rich) Greg Fischer has stepped forward in recent weeks to help money find Boswell, and other Kentucky Dems were pushing this race hard in Denver. However, Boswell needs to crank it up in order to seize this opportunity.

Kentucky Races Sizzle

Well, the political season has gotten pretty hot in Kentucky. With a Senate seat, and four hotly contested House seats here, Democrats here are fired up. Despite what any poll has said to this point, all these races are winnable. We have fielded a surprisingly impressive lineup of candidates and we are ready to fight for them. Meeting some of the delegates, and Jennifer Moore, the KDP chairman has convinced me that our party is ready to fight.

Our Senate campaign is first and foremost. Living in Kentucky, I have seen the terrible Mitch McConnell ads. I will not grace Mitch McConnell with their prescense in my diary, but they should be easlily findable on YouTube.

For his part, Bruce Lunsford has been hitting back:

He also recieved a huge endorsement from a formal rival:

DENVER-Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler of Kentucky’s 6th District officially endorsed Bruce Lunsford in his race for U.S. Senate against Mitch McConnell. Chandler made the announcement this morning during a Kentucky Delegation breakfast at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“I am delighted that Ben has publicly expressed the support that he’s been expressing to me privately throughout the year,” said Lunsford, who attended the breakfast. “I’m thrilled to have Ben’s endorsement, and very grateful for it. Ben and I are united in the fight to put an end to the Bush-McConnell policies that have damaged Kentucky and the nation this decade. For many years, Ben Chandler has been an important leader in Kentucky, and I know Mitch McConnell and George W. Bush realize that when Democrats are united behind a cause, it spells trouble for them.”…

Bruce can still win this race and still needs our help. Defeating Mitch McConnell should be as important as expelling Joe Lieberman, and would should get behind it with as much effort.

Now, in Congressional races, we simply must keep John Yarmuth, incumbent in the 3rd District. Anyone can find his record and easily see why. I got the priviledge of sitting next to him during Kennedy’s speech at the Convention. Here is a video he gave the grassroots Progressives at

I don’t think he is in trouble, but we must remain vigilent in this race, because Anne Northup is a Republican sweetheart who will raise a ton of cash. Yarmuth is a fine man, and a great Democrat we need to keep in our U.S. House. Please remember him:…

David Boswell is in a hot race too. There have been hints of a DCCC investment, and Boswell has polled ahead in this race. You can see him here. As a State Senator, he has high name recognition in his district:…

Then we have the two challengers facing the super tough races. You can here what Howard Dean says about them here:

Dr. Kelley is in the Fourth District. See him here:

Help Dr. Kelley here:…

Ah, and finally, we have Heather Ryan!! Yes, this is my home, my race and my friend. Thanks to all who helped us win the Progressive Patriots contest, it was huge for us. Thanks to Jennifer Moore and the KDP for helping us achieve it, and to all the many folks I asked to vote for her that did. You have all our gratitudes.

It seems the Exxon Ed Whitfield people just have something against this fiery grassroots Democrat. Not only do they take money from terrorist, but they hate free speech too. With a million dollars in their campaign account, they continue to rip up our campaign signs, many handpainted ones and two of the fifty printed ones we had donated. With a million dollars in their account they fear us because we speak the truth to power:

They even attacked her for raising money for a foundation that supports battered women in Western Kentucky:

The good news is the Feingold money, that many people were kind enough to help us win will keep Whitfield and his cronies plenty busy yanking up yard signs from now until November so we have time to go on the offensive. We need to run T.V., and we need your help to do it.

One T.V. spot on cable here costs about $6. Please, chip in just $6 to buy us one spot here:…

If enough people give the price of a lottery ticket to take a chance on expanding our Congressional majorities we could well scratch off a winner here. Please help.

Don’t forget Kentucky. Jennifer Moore is providing great leadership here, and we have great candidates!!

KY-02: Boswell Leads Guthrie By 3 in New Poll

SurveyUSA (6/27-29, likely voters):

David Boswell (D): 47

Brett Guthrie (R): 44

(MoE: ±4.3%)

While Kentucky’s 2nd CD is ancestrally Democratic, its PVI is a deep red R+12.9, so this is a pretty strong showing for Boswell — one that might turn some heads in DC. Boswell and Guthrie are both state Senators, but Boswell has been around forever (and even served for a term as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner).

Fundraising has been a bit of an issue for Boswell: his legislative duties have distracted him from putting his full energies into campaigning and raising cash until relatively recently. Guthrie held a nearly 4-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage in the latest filings, which is why the DCCC may have been reluctant to award Boswell with “Red To Blue” status and instead slotted KY-02 in the “Emerging Races” slate for the time being.

However, this result should help grab the attention of donors.

SSP currently rates this race as Likely Republican, but it might be due for an upgrade if Boswell continues to perform strongly in the polls and kick his fundraising into a higher gear.