NY and ME: Population by CD

Today’s the last day of Census data releases, meaning we have the complete set of all 50 states now. The Census Bureau released some data summarizing the entire nation, including what you’d think was the single most important bit of all, considering the way they hyped the announcement: the new population center of the U.S., still in south-central Missouri, but moving 30 miles to the southwest, now near Plato, MO. Perhaps more interestingly, they summarized the country’s demographic change as a whole: that starts with the nation’s Hispanic population crossing the 50 million mark, now up to almost 17% of the nation’s population. Hispanics and Asians both grew at a 43% rate, and people checking “2 or more” races rose at a 32% rate. The non-Hispanic white share of the population fell from 69% to 64%. They also found a country that’s more urban than ever before, with 84% of the country living in metropolitan areas now.

I know you’re all champing at the bit to find out what happens in Maine, but there’s this other state called “New… Something” that we should probably get through first. New York is one of only two states to lose two seats, from 29 down to 27. (Ohio was the other one.) New York’s new target is 717,707, up from about 654K in 2000. Thanks to a few hundred votes in a couple of state Senate races that tipped that chamber’s balance, the GOP managed to hold on to one leg of the redistricting trifecta, meaning that instead of a shot at a 26-1 Dem map, there’s probably just going to be a shared-pain map instead with a GOP loss upstate and a Dem loss in the NYC metro area. That’s despite the fact that New York City itself actually grew a bit, to 8.175 million, still by far the nation’s largest city. (There are moves afoot toward an independent redistricting commission, but this doesn’t seem likely to happen.)

In general, the heaviest losses were in the western part of Upstate, with the state’s two biggest losers the Dem-held 27th (Buffalo) and 28th (Rochester). On the other hand, losses also popped up rather patchily in parts of the outer boroughs (especially the 11th in the black parts of Brooklyn… without much seniority, Yvette Clarke may wind up with the shortest straw among the NYC delegation) and Long Island (Peter King’s 3rd… which would be a prime target for the 2nd seat to evaporate, if only the Dems controlled the trifecta here). The big gainers were both urban (Jerry Nadler’s 8th, probably fueled not so much by growth in Manhattan as among Orthodox families in Borough Park in Brooklyn) and exurban (Nan Hayworth’s 19th, at the outermost reaches of the NYC metro area).

While none of the districts in New York seem to be undergoing the kind of rapid demographic transformation that threatens the red/blue balance in any place like we’ve seen in Texas or California, a few districts are worth looking at just as an indicator of what an interesting tapestry New York City is. Take the 5th for instance (another possibility for wipeout, given its strange position straddling Nassau County and Queens, and Gary Ackerman’s non-entity-ness): it’s moved from 44% non-Hispanic white, 5% non-Hispanic black, 24% non-Hispanic Asian, and 24% Hispanic, to 36% white, 4% black, 33% Asian, and 26% Hispanic, close to an Asian-plurality, thanks to growth in the Asian community in Flushing. A few districts in New York City are getting whiter, thanks to hipsters and gentrifiers: the 11th moved from 21% white and 58% black to 26% white and 53% black, while the 12th moved from 23% white and 49% Hispanic to 27% white and 45% Hispanic. The Harlem-based 15th went from 16% white, 30% black, and 48% Hispanic, to 21% white, 26% black, and 46% Hispanic, while the remarkably complex, Queens-based 7th went the other direction, from 28% white, 16% black, 13% Asian, and 40% Hispanic to 21% white, 16% black, 16% Asian, and 44% Hispanic.

District Rep. Population Deviation
NY-01 Bishop (D) 705,559 (12,148)
NY-02 Israel (D) 679,893 (37,814)
NY-03 King (R) 645,508 (72,199)
NY-04 McCarthy (D) 663,407 (54,300)
NY-05 Ackerman (D) 670,130 (47,577)
NY-06 Meeks (D) 651,764 (65,943)
NY-07 Crowley (D) 667,632 (50,075)
NY-08 Nadler (D) 713,512 (4,195)
NY-09 Weiner (D) 660,306 (57,401)
NY-10 Towns (D) 677,721 (39,986)
NY-11 Clarke (D) 632,408 (85,299)
NY-12 Velazquez (D) 672,358 (45,349)
NY-13 Grimm (R) 686,525 (31,182)
NY-14 Maloney (D) 652,681 (65,026)
NY-15 Rangel (D) 639,873 (77,834)
NY-16 Serrano (D) 693,819 (23,888)
NY-17 Engel (D) 678,558 (39,149)
NY-18 Lowey (D) 674,825 (42,882)
NY-19 Hayworth (R) 699,959 (17,748)
NY-20 Gibson (R) 683,198 (34,509)
NY-21 Tonko (D) 679,193 (38,514)
NY-22 Hinchey (D) 679,297 (38,410)
NY-23 Owens (D) 664,245 (53,462)
NY-24 Hanna (R) 657,222 (60,485)
NY-25 Buerkle (R) 668,869 (48,838)
NY-26 Vacant 674,804 (42,903)
NY-27 Higgins (D) 629,271 (88,436)
NY-28 Slaughter (D) 611,838 (105,869)
NY-29 Reed (R) 663,727 (53,980)
Total: 19,378,102

Now for the maine event! (Rim shot.) Maine’s a lot like Rhode Island and New Hampshire in that the long-standing boundary between its two districts rarely seems to budge much, and this year won’t be any different. Maine’s target is 664,181, up from 637K in 2000. The disparity of a little more than 4,000 people means things won’t change much; the Republicans control the redistricting process this year but there’s not a lot of fertile material here for them to try to make swingy ME-02 much redder.

District Rep. Population Deviation
ME-01 Pingree (D) 668,515 4,334
ME-02 Michaud (D) 659,846 (4,335)
Total: 1,328,361

Redistricting outlook: Kansas-Maryland

Now that it’s 2011, the redistricting games will soon begin in earnest, with more detailed Census data expected in the coming weeks and some states holding spring legislative sessions to deal with drawing new maps. Long ago I planned to do state-by-state rundowns of the redistricting process as soon as 2010 election results and Census reapportionment were clear. Now that time has arrived, and it’s time to look at Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, and Maryland.

Previous diary on Alabama, Arizona, and Arkansas

Previous diary on California, Colorado, and Connecticut

Previous diary on Florida, Georgia, and Hawaii

Previous diary on Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa

The rest below the fold…



Districts: 4

Who’s in charge? Republicans

Is that important? Nope

With an all-Republican delegation, GOP mapmakers may simply try to ensure that Kevin Yoder avoids a close race in the next decade.



Districts: 6

Who’s in charge? Split (Dem Governor and House, GOP Senate)

Is that important? Perhaps

I have heard rumors that Republicans hope to stall the redistricting process past the 2011 state elections, expecting to topple both Gov. Beshear and the Democratic House majority this November. But assuming a continuation of the status quo, Ben Chandler should get a slightly more favorable district than the one he nearly lost in 2010.



Districts: 6, down from 7 in 2002

Who’s in charge? Split (GOP Governor and House, Dem Senate)

Is that important? Not really

The outcome of reapportionment in Louisiana has scarcely been in doubt since Jeff Landry was elected last November. He will be forced against fellow Republican Rep. Charles Boustany in a coastal district. Meanwhile, Cedric Richmond’s VRA-protected seat will have to absorb a lot of new population near Baton Rouge, and Rodney Alexander’s underpopulated northern seat will expand southwest a bit.



Districts: 2

Who’s in charge? Nonpartisan commission

Is that important? No

Maine does not even traditionally redraw its maps before the election year ending in 2. Sometime in 2013, the commission will make some boundary adjustments, and both Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree should remain reasonably secure should they still be in office two years from now.



Districts: 8

Who’s in charge? Democrats

Is that important? Perhaps

The question here is how aggressive Democrats perceive they can afford to be. They already constructed a master gerrymander in 2002, moving the delegation from a 4-4 split to a thoroughly safe 6-2 Democratic edge. Now, some are pushing for a 7-1 map that remakes Andy Harris’s Eastern Shore seat for a moderate Dem like Frank Kratovil. However, such a map presents serious issues: how to maintain VRA-mandated black majorities in the 4th (represented by Donna Edwards) and 7th (Elijah Cummings)? How to keep the four other Dem incumbents completely safe? With today’s redistricting technology, it can probably be done, but the 1st cannot be made securely Dem lest other districts be jeopardized…only politically competitive enough for Kratovil to stage a comeback.

AR, CA, IA, ME & NV Results Thread

4:00am: Props 16 and 17 look like they’ll fail tonight, 51.8% No on 16 and 50.7% No on 17. If they follow the trajectory they’ve been taking over the course of the night, expect those numbers to go up. Harmer’s still nursing his 10 point lead over Goehring in CA-11. After nine hours, SSP is signing off!

3:51am: Fortunately for Gary Miller, California’s not a runoff state! He’s now just under 50%! Both props continue to slip now at over 2/3rd reporting; our punch cards say 51.7% No on 16, 50.6% No on 17.

3:45am: Have we crossed the Rubicon? Prop 16 looking headed towards failure with 51.4% opposed. No’s running ahead of yes by 107,000 right now, which in light of what we’re estimating to be 600,000 or so votes left isn’t trivial to overcome. Prop 17 has tipped the balance and is now projected to fail by 0.2%, but No’s 25,000 lead is much more tenuous.

3:30am: No love for Prop 15 (public financing of SoS campaigns); the AP’s finally called ‘No’ with 57%.

3:25am: Looking at Props 16 and 17 now with 57% reporting, both Props’ support continue to weaken. Prop 16 is now on track for 51.2% opposed, and Prop 17 passing by 0.5%. There are a few Prop 16 strongholds left, notably, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and Orange Counties, but there are plenty of smaller NorCal counties there to offset – half of Santa Clara, Yolo, and Alameda; three-fourths of Santa Cruz, and a third of Sonoma. Even Placer’s contributing to the No-on-16 effort,  where it’s failing 53-47 right now.

3:10am: It’s now past midnight Pacific Time, and the big action is left in Props 16 and 17. (Prop 15 hasn’t been called yet, but looks well on target for failure). Prop 16’s fate has changed quite a bit since an hour and a half ago, now looking on track for failure with 50.9% against. What’s changed? More anti-Prop 16 areas in Southern California are reporting: LA County, which had been supporting Prop 16 with 56%, is now down to 52% in support; Santa Barbara which was in support is now against. Prop 17 is doing better, looking on track for passage with about 50.4%.

3:00am: Is Busby the new Sodrel? Busby declared the winner in CA-50, setting up Busby v. Bilbray round 3.

2:56am: In an odd show of moderation by the California GOP, appointed incumbent Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado gets the nod for re-election over conservative challenger State Senator Sam Aanestad.

2:53am: CA-36 (D): Jane Harman has fended off Marcy Winograd for the second time with about 61% of the vote.

2:47am: Gary Miller’s 53% is good enough for the AP to declare him the winner. It’s better than Bob “28%” Inglis, but still weak.

2:45am: CA-36 (D) is looking similar to 2006 at 62-38 for Harman. Laura Richardson was also declared the winner next door in CA-37 with a surprisingly weak 65%.

2:41am: CA-19 (R) called for Denham. Marsden still trailing Goodwin 53-47 on the (D) side.

2:39am: Few more precincts rolled through in CA-42, Gary Miller is now to 53%, in one of tonight’s worst incumbent showings.

2:37am: Kamala Harris gets the Dem nod for Attorney General; matchup will be SF DA Harris vs. LA DA Cooley.

2:32am: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? More quickly now, it seems, enough that the AP has called the Dem Lt. Gov nod for Gavin Newsom and the GOP Att. Gen nod for Steve Cooley.

2:30am: The statewide races aren’t the only thing seemingly standing still. CA-11 is still 35-28 for Harmer, while CA-19 has moved a bit to 37-30 Denham over Patterson, with the odious Dick Pombo back at 20. Gary Miller continues to underwhelm in CA-42 at 54%. Also in a bit of a surprise, California Democratic Party-endorsed candidate Les Marsden is down 47-53 to Some Dude Loraine Goodwin. The only major movement is on the Prop 16 side, which is now slated to fail narrowly with 50.12% against.

2:10am: The sky is still blue, as well, it seems! 36% in now, same holding pattern: 57-31 Newsom for LG (D), 47-28 Maldonado for LG (R); 33-17 Harris for AG (D), and 49-32 Cooley for AG (R). Here at SSP Labs, we are now taking bets over whether Kamala Harris will clear the one-third mark. (Signs pointing to no and a finish around 32%). Prop 16 is now looking at a 50.4% passage.

1:58am: Things are looking a little comfier for David Harmer in CA-11, much to the NRCC’s pleasure, I’m sure. He’s at 36, with Brad Goehring at 27. Amador’s at 19 and Emken at 18.

1:55am: Watching California’s been like watching grass grow, but bring on the Miracle Gro! A cool 1,000 precincts just rolled in, bringing us to 29% reporting. But, alas, grass is still green, 58-30 Newsom for LG (D); 47-28 Maldonado for LG (R); 33-18 Harris for AG (D); and 50-31 Cooley for AG (R). Prop 16 still on track to pass with 51.8%.

1:47am: Prop 16’s back down narrowly in California by less than 2,000 votes. For what was assumed to be a Democrat-Republican issue, this is seriously breaking the usual patterns: the “new Orange County” of Placer County and conservative Kern County (Bakersfield) are voting this down, while normally Democratic SoCal areas like LA and Imperial County are voting yes. Some good old back-of-the-envelope math says passage is likely with 51.8%.

1:42am: Here’s an odd tidbit I missed: the SC-03 Republican runoff is going to be between state Rep. Jeff Duncan (as expected) and businessman Richard Cash (totally unexpected, with state Rep. Rex Rice finishing 3rd), but Cash actually wound up pulling ahead at the end. It was 25 Cash, 23 Duncan, 19 Rice, and 19 for John Grimaud (who’d planned to challenge Joe Wilson in the 2nd, but decided at the last minute that the 3rd would be better).

1:40am: Two special elections in CA today. One for Assembly District 43 (Glendale, Burbank) to replace now-LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian (D), where after 6 precincts, the Dem is up 54-46. AD-43 went for Obama 70-28. The other’s in Senate District 37 to replace now-Riverside Co. Supervisor John Benoit (R). Dems didn’t expect to have a shot, but the Dem nominee’s losing 57-32 in an SD that gave Obama 50.3%. The more exciting special election – to replace now Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado is in two weeks.

1:30am: Still a holding pattern in the four big CA statewide races left, though we’re at 22% reporting now. Newsom still up on Hahn 57-30 for Dem Lt. Gov; Maldonado up 47-28 though Aanestad’s doing well in Orange County. Dem AG remains 33-18-15-12, Harris-Kelly-Torrico-Lieu, and Rep AG is also still at 50-31-19 Cooley/Eastman/Harman. Prop 16 is leading narrowly now and could be extrapolated to it passing 52-48.

1:20am: Things are still a little slow in CA-42; with 6% reporting, Gary Miller’s at 55%, which I think is the 2nd most underwhelming House incumbent performance tonight (ahead of only Bob Inglis). Phil Liberatore is at 32.

1:10am: The last outstanding race in Arkansas looks like it’s been put to bed. In the R primary runoff in AR-03, the AP has called it for Steve Womack, 52-48, over Cecile Bledsoe. Another endorsement fail for Sarah Palin. At least Terry Branstad’s keeping her percentage up.

1:00am: In CA-47, it looks the Vietnamese vote splitting problem never materialized. Van Tran leads the GOP primary at 52, with Kathy Smith at 29 and Tan Nguyen at 19.

12:57am: The Cal SoS seems to be further along than the AP (up to 15% in), and they have a whole different take on CA-11. They have Harmer at 34, not that far ahead of Goehring at 30, with Amador at 18 and Emken at 17.

12:55am: Geez, add even another one to the list. In CA-41, Jerry Lewis (rounding out the trio of Inland Empire GOPers under ethical clouds for weird real estate deals) leads his opposition 66-34.

12:52am: In CA-44, Ken Calvert also looks poised to join the very large club of incumbents not breaking 70% in their primaries. He leads his opposition 69-31. Up in CA-11, establishment pick David Harmer has gained more ground; he’s at 48, with 21 for Emken, 20 for Amador, and 10 for Goehring. And in CA-19, establishment guy Jeff Denham also leads 41, with Patterson at 25 and Pombo at 20, with about 40% reporting.

12:46am: The four Lt. Gov and Attorney General races are still uncalled. For LG (D), Newsom’s up 57-31 on Hahn winning plenty of SoCal locales like San Diego. In the Republican primary, Maldonado’s keeping his edge over Sam Aanestad, who’s even losing stalwart conservative areas like Placer County. For Atty Gen (D), Kamala Harris is keeping a narrow 32-18 lead over Chris Kelly; Torrico in 3rd at 15 and Lieu in 4th at 12. Not enough cat fud in GOP primary; moderate Steve Cooley still up 50-31 on Eastman with Tom Harman back at 19.

12:44am: Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass wins her primary in CA-33 with 85%, will likely be the next congresswoman from this D+35 district.

12:36am: Sue Lowden can now set up that bartering post she’s always wanted; NV-Sen called for Angle by the AP.

12:33am: No, rly. AP calls the Republican SoS primary for Damon Dunn. Orly Taitz can go back to filing groundless lawsuits as a private citizen. In between pulling teeth.

12:32am: AP has called Proposition 14 (top two primary system) as a ‘yes.’ Take that, third parties!

12:29am: Here’s one GOP moderate who survived a teabagger challenge with little trouble. Mary Bono Mack leads Clayton Thibodeau 74-26 with more than half in, in CA-45. In CA-42, only about 1% is in, but it points to Gary Miller — who we’d thought was most vulnerable to his teabagging opponent, seeing as how he (Liberatore) actually had some money — surviving, albeit unimpressively. Miller leads 58-28.

12:28am: In CA-50, it looks like it’ll be Francine Busby 3.0. With more than 10% in, she’s leading Tracy Emblem 64-36.

12:25am: Switching back to the East coast, there’s one New Jersey race still uncalled. In the GOP primary in NJ-06, 99.6% are in, and Little leads Gooch (the moneybags lady who was On the Radar) by about 100 votes.

12:22am: Joe Heck easily dispensed with the teabag remnants he faced in the GOP primary in NV-03, winning with 70%. There is, however, a barnburner between two guys I don’t know in the Dem primary in NV-02, for the booby prize of going up against Dean Heller: K. McKenna and N. Price are both at 45.

12:19am: Since we last looked, Sharron Angle really turned on the afterburners. Now she’s at 38, with Sue Lowden at 29 and Tark at 22 (oh, and carpetbagging investment banker John Chachas at 4). We’re closing on on half reporting. Angle has pulled into the lead (36-33) in Clark County, where over half the votes are.

12:16am: Bass masters her opposition. Karen Bass, former state Speaker, is at a whopping 85% against minor opposition to succeed Diane Watson in CA-33.

12:14am: In CA-26, David Dreier’s at 78% against minor opposition, much better than a lot of other insider Reps tonight. If anyone knows how to survive a teabagging, it’s him.

12:10am: AP calls CA-Sen for Carly Fiorina. 54 for her, to 26 for Campbell for 17 for DeVore. Campbell heads back to the pasture to resume frightening sheep.

12:09am: Only 2% in in CA-11, but David Harmer is breaking away. He’s at 39, with Tony Amador and Elizabeth Emken both at 24, and liberal huntin’ vintner Brad Goehring at 12.

12:07am: Here’s one more totally unexpected teabagging underway in dark red CA-02. With 10% in, Wally Herger (R) is at only 62% against Some Dude.

12:05am: Holy crap! CA-Sen (D) has been called for Barbara Boxer. The ghost of Paul Wellstone has struck down Mickey Kaus.

12:02am: Here’s a race that was on nobody’s radar screen: Laura Richardson (D in a safe blue district, but associated with foreclosures and a general sense of being out-to-lunch), is at only 65%, although against scattered opposition.

12:01am: Less than 5% reporting, but CA-36 (D) may turn out to be something of a non-event; Jane Harman leads Marcy Winograd 65-35.

12:00am: Onto the Cali House races. In CA-19 (R), with about 23% reporting, Jeff Denham leads Jim Patterson and Richard Pombo 44-23-20. Looks like that poll surge for Patterson didn’t pan out.

11:58pm: Back to South Carolina for a minute, where it’s been confirmed that in SC-01, we’re headed to a GOP runoff between CfG protege Tim Scott and legacy candidate Paul Thurmond. Sorry, “Tumpy.”

11:55pm: Initiatives! Prop 14 (top two primary) passing, 60-40. Peace & Freedom Party heads for dustbin of history. Prop 15 (public financing of elections) failing, 43-57. Prop 16 (electric company tyranny) passing, 53-47. And Prop 17 (auto insurance) also passing 55-45.

11:53pm: AP calls CA-Gov (R) for Meg Whitman. $80-odd million and counting; how much will she spend by November?

11:50pm: For LG, it’s Newsom 52, Hahn 35, and for the GOP, it’s Maldonado 48, Aanestad 28. For AG, Harris leads at 28, with Kelly at 19, Torrico at 15, Lieu at 14, Delgadillo way back at 8. And among GOPer AGers, Cooley 52, Eastman 30.

11:48pm: And in the Senate, Carly Fiorina is leading Tom Campbell and Chuck DeVore 58-23-17. Barbara Boxer leading Mickey Kaus (does that rhyme with Mickey Mouse? never noticed that till now) 78-5.

11:46pm: Quick non-California update: AR-01 called for Chad Causey. Not much love for public hanging, even in West Memphis (home of the West Memphis 3!).

11:45pm: We’re getting close to 5% reporting in California statewide, so let’s turn our attention to the Golden State. Meg Whitman is beating Steve Poizner 64-26, outpacing the polls a bit. Y’know, Jerry Brown is too, actually; he leads Richard Aguirre 83-4.

11:40pm: This may turn out to be the weirdest story of the night, about Alvin Greene, the 32-year-old unemployed ex-military guy who lives with his dad and who now happens to be the Dem nominee for Senate in South Carolina (instead of expected candidate Vic Rawl, a Charleston Co. Commissioner). Somehow he came across $10K to file, and has seemed to have run a phantom campaign ever since then. How did he get here? We’ll no doubt hear more in coming days.

11:35pm: And now the news that’ll have everyone saying “Who?” AP calls ME-Gov (D) for Libby Mitchell. She’ll face Paul LePage in the duel of the unknowns.

11:34pm: We’ll start with the bad news; AP calls IA-Gov (R) for Terry Branstad. But only 50-40 over Vander Plaats.

11:24pm: The night is winding down, but CA and NV are just getting cranked up.

AR, CA, IA, ME, NJ, NV, SC & SD Results Thread

11:33pm: Party’s moved next door.

11:31pm: AR-02 has been called by AP for Elliott, now 54-46. She’ll face Tim Griffin… probably not as good a matchup for Dems as Wills.

11:29pm: Angle’s back in the lead in NV-Sen! 35, to Lowden’s 33, with 21 for Tarkanian. 14% in. I’m sure we’ll see lots of back and forth gyrations in this one as different counties report. Lowden has small lead in Clark, while Angle has a much bigger lead in Washoe.

11:27pm: AP has called GOP primary in NJ-12 for Scott Sipprelle, rich guy, over teabagger opposition, but only 54-46. Rush Holt probably not very scared. GOP primary in NJ-06 is still 50-50, with Diane Gooch trailing by 100.

11:25pm: Add a couple more New Jersey races to the list of races where no-name teabaggers held moderates down to so-so numbers. Leonard Lance only racked up 56% in NJ-07, and Chris Smith in NJ-04 held to 69%. Both were ‘yes’ votes on cap & trade.

11:21pm: All the Arkansas House races are super close. In AR-01, it’s Causey 51, Wooldridge 49, with 94% in. In AR-02, it’s Elliot 52, Wills 48, with 91% in. And in AR-03, it’s Womack 50, Bledsoe 50, with Womack up by about 200, although that’s only with 75% in.

11:15pm: ME-Gov (R) called for Paul LePage. Looking like he’ll take on Libby Mitchell in the fall.

11:12pm: Only 1% reporting, but the AP has already called NV-Gov (R) for ex-judge Brian Sandoval. Even the RGA supported him over Jim Gibbons.

11:10pm: Oh yeah, poll closed in California ten minutes ago.

11:01pm: In Iowa, the AP calls IA-03 (R) for Brad Zaun, who will take on Leonard Boswell. In IA-02, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of the dreaded ophthalmologists will rematch against Dave Loebsack.

11:00pm: The AP calls AR-Sen for Blanche Lincoln.

10:51pm: A smattering of precincts and early votes coming in from Nevada, including Clark County (Las Vegas). Gibbons is losing big time to Sandoval in NV-Gov, 57-23. Chicken Lady ahead of Angle 36-33 with Tarkanian at 20.

10:48pm: Ganja break OVER! Maine is now up to 38% in. Libby Mitchell has extended her lead to 34-26 over Rowe, and Paul LePage is cruising.

10:43pm: How baked must they be in Maine right about now? Been at 12% since… whoa… are those Cool Ranch Doritos?

10:40pm: Chad Causey looks like he might hold out over Tim “The Hangman” Wooldridge in AR-01. Meanwhile, Joyce Elliott now has a lead over Robbie Wills in AR-02. And in AR-03, teabagger fave Cecile Bledsoe is beating Steve Womack 54-46. Bledsoe is both a teabagger queen and sort of the establishment choice – I dunno, though, it was a weird race.

10:37pm: We’re pretty confident in calling ND-AL for state Rep. Kristi Noem, who beat the more-or-less establishment choice, SoS Chris Nelson. You only need 35% to avoid a runoff in SD, and Noem has a 41-36 lead with most of the votes in.

10:32pm: Halter took a brief lead for a moment there, but it’s back to where it was.

10:27pm: AR-Sen is 51-49 Blanche, but Halter is still behind where he needs to be, according to our model. If you want a fuller explanation of how our model works, click here.

10:23pm: With 12% reporting, Terry Branstad is up just 51-40 over Bob Vander Plaats in IA-Gov (R).

10:13pm: Can’t wait to see those NV-Sen results start to roll in (soon, I hope). Meanwhile, our friends up in Maine seem to be on the first ganja break of the evening.


AR, ME, NJ, SC & SD Results Thread

10:19pm: It’s a moveable feast – join us in the new thread.

10:09pm: I think I forgot to mention that the AP called SD-Gov (R) for Dennis Daugaard a few minutes ago. He’ll take on Scott Heidepriem in November.

10:06pm: In AR-01, Chad Causey is a little bit behind where he needs to be from round one in order to beat Tim Wooldridge. In AR-02, Joyce Elliott trails slightly, but she’s actually out-performing her first-round share by a lot, suggesting she’ll take the win. See our model for more.

10:03pm: With 12% reporting in Maine, Paul LePage has a 34-17 lead over Les Otten on the R side, while it’s a very tight 31-30 for Libby Mitchell over Steve Rowe on the D side.

10:00pm: It’s ten o’clock – do you know where your polling place is? Well, it’s closed now if you live in IA, MT or NV.

9:52pm: Ayup – the AP calls a runoff between Haley and Barrett. Monster failures on the part of McMaster and Bauer.

9:45pm: We project that Nikki Haley will miss out on avoiding a runoff by about 5,000 votes. Meanwhile, in SC-04, Gowdy is down to 42%, but Inglis is at just 26%, and the AP has called it for a runoff between those two men.

9:44pm: That’s funny – AR-01, AR-02 and AR-03 are all 51-49 right now.

9:39pm: Compared to his round one showing, Halter is doing three points worse in the territory that’s already reported.

9:35pm: Hmm, so, things aren’t really looking so hot for Bill Halter so far. Lincoln’s up 53-47, but much of what’s reported is (narrowly) Halter country.

9:33pm: AP calls it for Jon Runyan in NJ-03 (R). His 56% looks pretty unimpressive, if you ask me.

9:31pm: It seems all but certain that the GOP primaries in SC-01 and SC-03 (both open seats) will go to runoffs. No one has more than 30% in either race.

9:23pm: While NJ-06 and NJ-12 are not high on anyone’s takeover lists, the establishment GOP picks in each race – Diane Gooch and Scott Sipprelle – are both trailing teabaggers, as nj1122 points out.

9:19pm: John Runyan, the establishment choice by a hundred yards in NJ-03, is only up 54-46 on Justin Murphy with about 38% in.

9:15pm: Back in SC-04, Trey Gowdy has 49.6% of the vote with 50% reporting. That rounds up to 50, of course, but he’ll actually need 50%+1 to clear the runoff hurdle.

9:13pm: In SD-AL, establishment fave Chris Nelson only has a narrow lead over Kristi Noem, 41-39 with 25% in.

9:12pm: With 19% of the vote in in SD-Gov (R), Dennis Daugaard has a huge 53-21 lead over Scott Munsterman. Daugaard is generally considered to be the more conservative contender.

9:11pm: Blanche Lincoln up 54-46 with about 2% reporting.

9:09pm: Oy. Let’s hope not.

9:07pm: Note that our model for Arkansas is being thrown off right now by the absentee votes. As more votes come in, it should start to make more sense.

9:03pm: Polls have also now closed in the western part of South Dakota (they closed in the east an hour ago).

9:00pm: The AP has called SC-Gov (D) for Sheheen, who wins the Dem nod without a runoff.

8:56pm: No results in from Maine yet, but we also have a model (more of a back-of-the-envelope projector) that aggregates results by county for ME-Gov.

8:51pm: Meanwhile, in SC-04, our model is predicting a runoff. Trey Gowdy has 44% and Rep. Bob Inglis has a truly feeble 26%. Even if Inglis survives to a runoff, he’ll be in extremely bad shape.

8:50pm: With a little over a third of the vote in, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen is pulling an impressive 58% in SC-Gov (D), while Jim Rex trails at 23 and Robert Ford is at 19. Sheheen might avoid a runoff here. On the GOP side, Nikki Haley is at 46 and Gresham Barrett at 26.

8:48pm: Looks like a handful of votes have shown up in Arkansas, but zero precincts are listed as reporting, so I’m guessing absentees and the like.

8:33pm: We have a bitchin’ model for the AR-Sen runoff, which you can check out here. We’ll keep it updated throughout the night so that you can see our latest projections.

Polls have now closed in Arkansas, and we’re still counting votes in ME, NJ & SC.


Iowans not eager to overturn marriage equality

Marriage equality is here to stay in Iowa, if the latest statewide poll for the Des Moines Register is any guide:

Forty-one percent say they would vote for a [constitutional amendment to] ban [same-sex marriage], and 40 percent say they would vote to continue gay marriage. The rest either would not vote or say they are not sure. […]

The overwhelming majority of Iowans – 92 percent – say gay marriage has brought no real change to their lives. […]

The poll shows that 26 percent of Iowans favor April’s unanimous court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, 43 percent oppose it and 31 percent don’t care much or are not sure.

Despite the 43 percent opposition to the ruling, 61 percent of Iowans say other issues will influence their decision on whether to vote to retain Iowa Supreme Court justices in the 2010 elections.

Selzer and Co. surveyed 803 Iowans between September 14 and 16, and the poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

I recommend clicking through to view the chart showing the breakdown by party affiliation on this issue. Among independents, only 44 percent either oppose or strongly oppose the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision that cleared the way for marriage equality, while 32 percent “don’t care much” and 22 percent either favor or strongly favor it.

Many Iowa Republicans are convinced that they can gain traction in next year’s legislative elections by bashing statehouse Democrats who oppose a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. However, the Republican candidate fell just short in the recent special election in Iowa House district 90, even though the National Organization for Marriage poured nearly $90,000 into ads supporting the Republican because of the marriage issue. (The NOM plans to be involved in next year’s Iowa elections as well.)

A poll commissioned by The Iowa Republican blog in July indicated that two-thirds of Iowans wanted a public vote on same-sex marriage, but that poll framed the question as follows: “The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled gay marriages can legally be conducted in the state. Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, do you think Iowa voters should have the chance to vote on a traditional marriage amendment to the constitution or is the issue best decided by the Supreme Court?” Todd Dorman was right to point out that it would have been more enlightening to ask respondents how they would vote on a marriage amendment.

The Register’s poll could strengthen the hand of moderate Iowa Republicans like Doug Gross, who have been saying all year that the GOP should downplay divisive social issues and focus on the economy in next year’s elections. On the other hand, 51 percent of Republicans surveyed by Selzer and Co strongly oppose the Supreme Court decision, while 11 percent just oppose the decision, 27 percent don’t care much and only 10 percent either favor or strongly favor it. Gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats promises to issue an executive order on day one halting same-sex marriages if elected, and he will find plenty of support among the Republican rank and file.

I’ve been telling my friends, “Don’t worry, be happy,” since the Iowa Supreme Court announced its Varnum v Brien decision in April. I figured that with each passing year, more Iowans would understand that no one is harmed and thousands are helped by granting gays and lesbians civil marriage rights. I also felt that Republicans would not be able to win many races on this issue in 2010, let alone in subsequent years. Still, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a poll this year showing majority support for overturning the Supreme Court ruling. Learning that a constitutional amendment on marriage lacks majority support even now makes me that much more optimistic. The constitutional amendment process is lengthy in Iowa.

Now it’s imperative to defeat Proposition 1 in Maine this November. Please help if you can.

Maine Freedom to Marry site launch

On May 6, 2009, the Governor of Maine signed the law ending discrimination in marriage for same-sex couples, but it is already being threatened. Our fight to protect civil rights through marriage equality is just beginning out here in Maine. Almost immediately, national opponents of equality declared they wanted to turn back the clock and are working tirelessly to place a measure on this November’s ballot – modeled after California’s Prop 8 – to take away the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maine.  

The national movement for civil rights is at a critical juncture on the issue of marriage equality.  The phrase as Maine goes, so goes the nation has been used to describe Maine’s bell weather potential and we expect it to ring true on national battleground for marriage equality. When this referendum goes to the ballot in November, Maine could become the first state to successfully defend marriage equality by a popular vote.  

We are very proud to show off our new website to at http://mainefreedomtomarry.com/

Maine approves gay marriage bill

The Portland Press Herald reports:

“Democratic Governor John Baldacci today signed into law a bill allowing gay marriage making Maine the fifth state to allow same sex marriage.

The Governor’s signature came barely an hour after the measure won final approval in the legislature, with a final 31-8 vote in favor in the Maine Senate.”

Baldacci, formerly an opponent of similar bills, noted that churches will not have to perform marriages for same sex couples under the legislation.  Maine becomes the fifth state to currently allow same sex marriage.  Four of the states are in the six state New England region (CT,MA,VT,ME) with the fifth being Iowa.

Opponents of the legislation appear to be aiming for a referendum on the issue.  Hope they lose big time.

Can New Hampshire be far behind?

One Last State Legislature Roundup

Time to check in on the state legislatures one more time before the election (I did a more detailed summary two weeks ago).

This week, the New York Times and the AP both had long pieces that provide good overviews of where the competitive chambers are. Interestingly, both pieces stopped to dwell on the Maine Senate, where, although Obama is poised to dominate at the top of the ticket, Democratic control (by a current 18-17 margin) could be lost. The whole chamber turns on one Dem-held open seat in York County, and public anger over a new alcoholic beverage tax. (Although doesn’t everyone in that part of the state just go get their licka in New Hampshire?)

The biggest prize, and the only state where we’ve seen actual public polling of legislative races, is still the New York Senate. There aren’t any more polls to report here, but one story of note is that Dennis Delano, the one Republican to present a serious challenge to any Democratic-held senate seat, is apparently running for office in violation of the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits municipal employees from running for partisan office (in this case, Delano is currently suspended from the Buffalo PD, but still receiving pay).

Our friends at the Burnt Orange Report have been closely following the Texas House race, which has provided the Democrats with an outside shot of flipping the chamber (Dems are currently down 79-71). They previously highlighted four GOP-held seats that were Lean Dem or Tossup, giving Democrats a route to a tied chamber. Recently, they upgraded one other race to Tossup: Carol Kent vs. Rep. Tony Goolsby in HD-102 in north Dallas. Although retaking the Texas House has been considered a two-cycle project, a table-running here would get it done this year. They also listed a number of Lean Republican seats that could flip with a strong-enough gale (HD-55, HD-101, HD-133, and Sherrie Matula in HD-129, whom I know has a few boosters at this site).

The Ballot Box blog at Governing Magazine has been profiling various legislatures in the past few months, and recently featured a few more, including the Ohio House. This is another one that initially seemed like a two-cycle project needing to be accomplished before 2010 redistricting, but this article seems surprisingly sanguine on a Democratic takeover, giving that a 50-50 shot. (Republicans currently control it 53-46, so four seats need to flip.) Two factors are seen at work: the Democrats’ overall advantages in the ground game here, and the disproportionate impact of term limits on the Republicans, leaving 20 GOP seats open to only 6 Democratic seats open, with particularly strong possibilities in the Democratic-trending Columbus area.

They also profile the Michigan House, which Democrats currently control by a narrow 58-52 margin. The Republicans had early hopes to flip it, what with the unpopular Granholm administration and recall efforts against some representatives including Speaker Andy Dillon. However, the same dynamic in Ohio is playing out in Michigan, on perhaps an even bigger scale: Republicans are hurt by term limits, with 29 GOP open seats compared to 16 Democratic vacancies. And the GOP is reeling from the McCain campaign’s abandonment of the state, leaving downballot operations in a vacuum.

Got any other information or predictions to share about a state legislature near you? Please chip in in the comments.

State Legislatures Roundup

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about state legislatures, so here are some bits and pieces on where we stand right now (if you need a primer on where the most hotly contested chambers are and what the margin of seats held is, see my previous diary here). New York remains the big prize, with Democrats within one flipped seat of a tied State Senate and two seats away from taking control. This is the only state I know of where individual races have been polled; over the past month Siena has polled 10 of the 62 races, and with one GOP-held open seat poised to fall to the Democrats, one Dem incumbent trailing a GOP challenger, and one GOP incumbent tied with his Democratic challenger, the outcome is too close to call.

In Texas, the House is possibly the next juiciest legislative target after the NY Senate, which looks more like a two-cycle project but might actually get done this year. Republicans currently hold the House 79-71. Burnt Orange Report recently put together an impressive set of projections, and it seems like a 75-75 split is possible if Dems run the table on the closest races.

They peg two Democratic challengers, Diana Maldonado (open seat in HD-52 in Austin’s northern suburbs) and Chris Turner (against incumbent Bill Zedler in HD-96 in Ft. Worth’s southern suburbs), as “Lean Dem,” with two more potential Democratic pickups at the “Tossup” level (Joe Moody in an open seat in HD-78 in El Paso and Joel Redmond in an open seat in HD-144 in Houston’s eastern suburbs). A Houston Chronicle article from yesterday seems to support this analysis; while it doesn’t delve in to specific seats, it looks at fundraising and general mood to conclude “Climate is ripe for Texas House takeover.”

There’s more over the flip…

Governing Magazine’s Ballot Box blog has, in the last month profiled some of the other most hotly contested state legislature races. One race recently profiled that presents the GOP with a takeover opportunity in an unlikely place: the Maine Senate, based on the Dems’ narrow 18-17 lead and, in an example of all politics being local, an unpopular tax on alcoholic beverages intended to pay for improved health care access. The swingiest district seems to be the 1st district in the state’s southernmost tip, matching a freshman Dem against his GOP predecessor.

The Nevada Senate is another prime pickup opportunity for the Democrats, as the GOP currently controls it by an 11-10 margin. As they point out, this turns on only two races, both involving endangered GOP incumbents, Bob Beers and Joe Heck in the suburbs of Las Vegas. Beers and Heck, if they survive, are both considered possible gubernatorial candidates, seeing as how embattled Jim Gibbons isn’t likely to try again… however, first they have to survive Gibbons’ unpopularity.

One of the Democrats’ toughest holds this year is the Indiana House, where the Dems have a 51-49 edge. This race is hard to handicap because it’s likely the Republicans will pick up a few open seats in rural areas left open by Dem retirements (including ones in West Lafayette and the rural area near Evansville), while Dems pick up a few GOP-held but Dem-heavy seats in Indianapolis (including the seat held by Jon Elrod, whom you might remember getting demolished by Andre Carson in the IN-07 special election).

The Oklahoma Senate is the closest in the nation, as it’s a 24-24 tie, although Democrats maintain control because of the Lt. Governor. Democrats face big trouble in a Dem-held open seat in Stillwater, where a former president of Oklahoma State University is the GOP nominee. However, they feel they have several possible pickups elsewhere, including in the Oklahoma Panhandle, one of the most conservative places in the country but where they’re running a professional bull rider by the name of Bowdy Peach who seems uniquely suited to the district.

In the New Hampshire Senate, Democrats hold a 14-10 edge and are likely to hold on to that. They may even add to that, starting with the seat being vacated by Joe Kenney, the GOP sad sack currently losing the New Hampshire governor’s race by a margin of about 70-10; the Union-Leader projects this seat as “Lean Democratic.”

Both chambers in Florida are heavily Republican right now, but Democrats are optimistic they might pick up a few seats in each, especially a Republican-held open senate seat near Sarasota. However, Florida Dems sound more focused on 2010, when term limits will turf out 21 House Republicans and 8 Senate Republicans.

The Tennessee Senate is one place where the Republicans may take over (despite a 16-16-1 tie, they effectively wield control already; the one independent, who claims to belong to the “NASCAR Party,” generally votes Republican). Several retirements in rural seats held by Democrats may lead to GOP pickups, such as the seat in rural areas just east of Memphis held by long-time Senate leader John Wilder since 1966.

Louis Jacobson at Stateline.org is apparently the only prognosticator who goes so far as to try to assign state legislatures to the “tossup/lean/likely” framework; he published his newest ratings yesterday. They’re mostly in line with what we’ve seen discussed above, and movements that he’s made lately have generally been in the Democratic direction. He forecasts two currently Republican-held chambers, the New York Senate and Delaware House, as being Lean Democratic. He also forecasts seven Republican-held chambers (Alaska Senate, Nevada Senate, North Dakota Senate, Arizona House, Montana House, Ohio House, and Wisconsin Assembly) as being Tossups. He forecasts one Democrat-held chamber, the Montana Senate, as being Lean Republican, and four Democrat-held chambers (Maine Senate, New Hampshire Senate, Indiana House, and Pennsylvania House) as Tossups. Finally, he forecasts the Tennessee Senate and Oklahoma Senate (both tied) as ending up in Republican hands. Some of these choices (NH Senate?) seem to turn merely on the small number of seats needed to flip the chamber, rather than broader trends in each state, but it’s an interesting starting point.

That’s a lot of information to digest… still wondering what to do? Well, the DLCC maintains its own blog, which has been, over the last few weeks, rounding up dozen of Essential Races, focusing on up-and-coming candidates in key races. You can learn more about our Democratic bench as we build it, and there are links for contributions, too.