Where are college students and who represents them?

I’ve been doing some research on college students and politics for my political action committee (and wrote up a post for our blog here)–since I don’t know enough to contribute much to the discussions about redistricting, I thought I’d share what I’ve found. Maybe this is just pointless demographic trivia, but bear with me…

The district with the most college and graduate students – by far – is Mike Capuano’s MA-08, which includes Harvard, MIT, and Tufts, to name a couple schools. College students make up 16.9% of the district; in no other district are they more than 14.3%.

The only other district with more than 100,000 college students is Jason Chaffetz’s UT-03, which is expansive enough to include both Utah State Utah Valley University and BYU. Since UT-03 has been growing so rapidly, though, it ranks only 12th in the proportion of residents who are college students.

10 of the 25 districts with the most college students (as a percentage of residents) are represented by Republicans. Chaffetz’s district is the only one among these that is totally hopeless for Democrats, although now that Chet Edwards is gone TX-17 probably falls into that category.

8 of the 10 districts with the fewest college students are represented by Republicans. Nine of those are in the Sun Belt; the district with the 10th fewest, Bill Shuster’s PA-09, is the northern district with the fewest students. Gene Green is the Democrat representing the fewest college students, and Scott DesJarlais has the very fewest college constituents.

Not surprisingly, Republicans are much more likely to represent young people than college students. They hold 8 of the 10 districts with the largest proportion of 15-24 year-olds.

I’d started this project because I was curious about the districts of a couple of candidates that my political action committee had endorsed, only to watch them lose heartbreaking races. I figured that Mary Jo Kilroy and Tom Perriello–representing OSU and UVA–would figure high on the list. But it turns out that Kilroy’s OH-15 is only 19th, while Perriello’s VA-05 is all the way down at 136th. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the dropoff in college turnout didn’t contribute to their defeats. Anecdotally, at least, I’ve heard that UVA’s turnout was terrible in 2010.

In any case: I’ll be interested to see where some of these student populations end up after redistricting, since campuses are convenient blocs of low-leverage voters who can be shuffled around districts.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that my source is the American Communities Survey, available online here: http://fastfacts.census.gov/ho…

SSP Daily Digest: 10/19 (Morning Edition)

What better way to celebrate SSP’s seventh birthday than to give you another firehose blast of polls?

AL-02: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for the DCCC (10/9-12, likely voters, 9/26-28 in parens):

Bobby Bright (D-inc): 51 (52)

Martha Roby (R): 39 (43)

(MoE: ±4.9%)

AR-01: Anzalone Liszt for the DCCC (10/11-13, likely voters, 9/13-16 in parens):

Chad Causey (D): 44 (46)

Rick Crawford (R): 42 (44)

(MoE: ±4.9%)

AR-01: Talk Business Research and Hendrix College (PDF) (10/14, likely voters, 8/17 in parens):

Chad Causey (D): 34 (32)

Rick Crawford (R): 42 (48)

Ken Adler (G): 4 (4)

Undecided: 20 (20)

(MoE: ±4.7%)

AR-02: Talk Business Research and Hendrix College (PDF) (10/14, likely voters, 8/17 in parens):

Joyce Elliott (D): 38 (35)

Tim Griffin (R): 50 (52)

Lance Levi (I): 3 (3)

Lewis Kennedy (G): 3 (1)

Undecided: 7 (9)

(MoE: ±4.6%)

AR-03: Talk Business Research and Hendrix College (PDF) (10/14, likely voters, 8/25 in parens):

David Whitaker (D): 21 (31)

Steve Womack (R): 59 (55)

Undecided: 20 (14)

(MoE: ±4.2%)

AR-04: Talk Business Research and Hendrix College (PDF) (10/14, likely voters, 8/25-26 in parens):

Mike Ross (D-inc): 52 (49)

Beth Anne Rankin (R): 34 (31)

Joshua Drake (G): 3 (4)

Undecided: 11 (16)

(MoE: ±4.2%)

CA-47: Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Van Tran (10/13-14, likely voters, no trendlines):

Loretta Sanchez (D-inc): 39

Van Tran (R): 39

Ceci Iglesias (I): 5

Undecided: 17

(MoE: ±5.7%)

FL-Sen: Suffolk (10/14-17, likely voters, no trendlines):

Kendrick Meek (D): 22

Marco Rubio (R): 39

Charlie Crist (I): 31

Undecided: 6

(MoE: ±4.4%)

FL-Gov: Suffolk (10/14-17, likely voters, no trendlines):

Alex Sink (D): 45

Rick Scott (R): 38

Undecided: 13

(MoE: ±4.4%)

Misc.: In the AG race, Pam Bondi (R) leads Dan Gelber (D), 38-30. Also, a poll by Voter Survey Service (aka Susquehanna) for the right-wing Sunshine State News site has Adam Putnam (R) leading Scott Maddox (D) in the Ag Comm’r race, 40-35. Tea Party candidate Ira Chester takes 14%.

MA-Gov: Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Charlie Baker (10/11-13, likely voters, no trendlines):

Deval Patrick (D-inc): 35

Charlie Baker (R): 42

Tim Cahill (I): 10

(MoE: ±3.5%)

MA-10: MassINC Polling Group for WGBH (10/13-15, likely voters incl. leaners, no trendlines):

William Keating (D): 46

Jeffrey Perry (R): 43

Other: 5

Undecided: 4

(MoE: ±4.9%)

MI-Gov: Foster McCollum White and Baydoun Consulting (D) (PDF) (10/7, likely voters, no trendlines):

Virg Bernero (D): 37

Rick Snyder: 50

Undecided: 13

(MoE: ±2.1%)

MO-Sen: Public Policy Polling (D) (PDF) for Robin Carnahan (10/17-18, likely voters, 8/14-15 in parens):

Robin Carnahan (D): 41 (38)

Roy Blunt (R): 46 (45)

Jerry Beck (C): 3 (5)

Jonathan Dine (L): 3 (3)

Undecided: 7 (9)

(MoE: ±3.9%)

NM-Gov: SurveyUSA for KOB-TV (10/12-14, likely voters, 5/23-25 in parens)

Diane Denish (D): 42 (43)

Susana Martinez (R): 54 (49)

Undecided: 4 (8)

(MoE: ±3.9%)

Note: Among the 13% of respondents who say they have already voted, Martinez has a 60-36 lead.

NY-25: Siena (10/10-12, likely voters, no trendlines):

Dan Maffei (D-inc): 51

Ann Marie Buerkle (R): 39

Undecided: 10

(MoE: ±3.9%)

Note: Maggie Haberman tweets that Karl Rove’s American Crossroads plans to get involved here.

NY-Gov: New York Times (PDF) (10/10-15, likely voters, no trendlines):

Andrew Cuomo (D): 59

Carl Paladino (R): 24

Undecided: 12

(MoE: ±3%)

OR-04: Grove Insight (D) for Peter DeFazio (10/11-12, likely voters, no trendlines):

Peter DeFazio (D-inc): 53

Art Robinson (R): 39

(MoE: ±4.9%)

OR-05: Moore Information (R) for Scott Bruun (10/13-14, likely voters, no trendlines):

Kurt Schrader (D-inc): 40

Scott Bruun: 44

(MoE: ±5.7%)

PA-15: Muhlenberg (PDF) (10/5-13, likely voters, 9/11-16 in parens):

John Callahan (D): 32 (38)

Charlie Dent (R-inc): 49 (49)

Jake Towne (I): 5 (3)

Undecided: 13 (10)

(MoE: ±5%)

UT-Gov: Dan Jones & Associates for the Deseret News/KSL-TV (10/11-14, “active voters,” 10/7-13 in parens):

Peter Corroon (D): 33 (31)

Gary Herbert (R-inc): 58 (52)

Undecided: 6 (13)

(MoE: ±4%)

Note: The Deseret News says that Dan Jones has also done polling for Herbert. Should we be regarding them as an (R) pollster?

UT-Gov: UtahPolicy.com/Western Wats (9/30-10/3, likely voters, no trendlines):

Peter Corroon (D): 27

Gary Herbert (R-inc): 58

Undecided: 12

(MoE: ±4%)

Note: Dan Jones also has UT-Sen numbers. UtahPolicy.com also has UT-Sen, UT-01, and UT-03 numbers.

VA-05: Roanoke College (10/5-14, likely voters, no trendlines):

Tom Perriello (D-inc): 40

Rob Hurt (R): 46

Jeffrey Clark (I): 1

Undecided: 13

(MoE: ±4.1%)

WI-Gov: St. Norbert College (PDF) for Wisconsin Public Radio (10/12-15, likely voters, 3/23-31 in parens):

Tom Barrett (D): 41 (28)

Scott Walker (R): 50 (44)

Undecided: 6 (17)

(MoE: ±5%)

Margins & Errors: The Fix publishes an alleged WA-Sen poll without either field dates or sample size… Bill Kristol (yeah, that Bill Kristol) claims he has his hands on an OH-10 poll – he has the n, but won’t say the pollster’s name, who paid for the poll, or when it was taken… Pollster.com has a PDF from ccAdvertising with numbers for WV-Sen, WV-01, and WV-03 – but not only does ccA report to hundredths of a percent, they get taken to the woodshed by Mark Blumenthal for refusing to divulge the poll’s sponsor

SSP Daily Digest: 1/7

AR-Sen: The news that the guy who held Blanche Lincoln to within about 10 points last time (in 2004) is getting back in the race this year seems like it should be a bigger news story than it is, but there’s an already filled-to-capacity GOP field and the establishment seems to have already picked favorites. At any rate, former state Sen. Jim Holt, closely linked with the state’s religious right, officially launched his bid today.

AZ-Sen: It’s look more and more like ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth is serious about pursuing a Republican primary challenge to John McCain and not just looking to fundraise his way out of some lingering legal debts. He’s been contacting consultants and pollsters about strategy, and he’s also made some high-profile appearances recently, including headlining a fundraiser for controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In response to the possible challenge, John McCain is launching two different radio ads full of right-wing language pretty transparently aimed at the teabagging crowd, saying Barack Obama is “leading an extreme left-wing crusade” and calling himself “Arizona’s last line of defense.”

CT-Sen: Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, but it’s looking likelier that starting in 2013, Richard Blumenthal will be Connecticut’s senior senator. PPP finds that Joe Lieberman’s numbers, not good before his HCR sabotage, have gotten even worse. His approval is a mind-blowing 14/81 among Democrats (probably ending any plans by him to seek the Democratic nomination in 2012). He fares least worst among Republicans, who give him a 39/48 approval; it’s good for a 25/67 approval over all, along with a 19/68 approval of his actions on health care (which pissed off Democrats while still leaving Republicans unhappy when he voted for final passage). While the Hill’s piece on Rep. Chris Murphy seems to be based mostly on a vague sentence by Murphy, it does point to a suddenly congealing CW that Murphy (with Blumenthal already engaged) will be the person to tackle Lieberman in 2012.

FL-Sen, FL-Gov: You know you’re in trouble when you’re spending valuable time fighting rumors spread on Facebook by thoroughly discredited ex-Rep. Mark Foley. Charlie Crist today said there’s no truth to the rumors that he’s about to drop his faltering Senate primary bid and try for re-election as Governor instead.

IL-Sen: Patrick Hughes, who’s been seeding his right-wing insurgent bid with some of his own money, is seeking to break out of the single digits in the GOP primary polls against Rep. Mark Kirk by upping his name recognition. He’s out with a TV spot today.

MA-Sen: Martha Coakley is shifting her sleepy general election campaign into overdrive today with the special election several weeks away, launching her first general election TV ad. She’s also receiving the endorsements today of most of the key figures in the Kennedy clan, including Ted’s widow Vicky and ex-Rep. Joe (along with honorary Kennedy and temporary Senator Paul Kirk).

ND-Sen: As we parse the comments from various potential Democratic candidates in the newly-open Senate race in North Dakota, it sounds like former AG Heidi Heitkamp is “very interested” and “very much looking into” the race, while talk show host Ed Schultz is “at this point… not even considering.”

NY-Sen-B: Here’s an interesting possibility surfacing, as the GOP seeks anyone who’s willing to take on Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate race: ex-Rep. Susan Molinari, who was considered a rising star back when she represented NY-13. She’s started floating her name out there (or more accurately, her dad, Staten Island GOP leader Guy Molinari), but one key point from the article is that Molinari — currently employed at the firm of Bracewell & Giuliani (yes, that Giuliani) — “left Congress in 1997 and currently lives in Virginia.” Meanwhile, as the potential Harold Ford Jr. candidacy is still the “wtf?” heard ’round the blogosphere, The Albany Project takes a deeper look at the mysterious forces pushing the idea front and center.

IL-Gov: Desperately needing to make up some ground on incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn in the last month before the Democratic primary, Comptroller Dan Hynes is going hard negative against Quinn from the apparent right in a new TV spot, painting him as a soft-on-crime tax-raiser. Meanwhile, Quinn got the endorsement from the Chicago Sun-Times.

MA-Gov: State Treasurer Tim Cahill’s independent candidacy for Governor hasn’t really seemed to have its desired effect for Cahill, as it mostly has allowed Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick to move ahead in the polls as Cahill splits the anti-Patrick votes. Cahill looks to be trying to lure some more GOP voters into his camp to become the definitive anti-Patrick candidate, though, with his running mate pick, GOP former state Rep. Paul Loscocco. It doesn’t sound like Cahill or Loscocco are very enthuasiastic about taking each other to the prom, though; Cahill already got turned down by four previous people he’d asked to be his running mate (including current Senate candidate Scott Brown), and Loscocco had previously been lobbying to be GOP candidate Charlie Baker’s running mate but missed the cut on that one.

MD-Gov: Incumbent Gov. Martin O’Malley seems to have a fairly clear path to re-election, but for the time being he has higher-profile opposition in his own primary than from the Republicans. He’s facing a challenge from the right from George Owings, who officially launched today. Owings was a conservative Democratic state Delegate for many years and then picked by GOP Governor Bob Ehrlich as the state’s veteran affairs secretary (who was then sacked by O’Malley once he took office); Owings is attacking O’Malley’s tax raising and opposition to the death penalty.

NE-Gov: Democrats are back to square one in the Nebraska gubernatorial race against GOP incumbent Dave Heineman, after Douglas Co. Commissioner (and former Omaha mayor) Mike Boyle — who’d sounded likely to run last month — decided against a bid. Democratic state Sen. Steve Lathrop has also ruled the race out.

CO-03: Martin Beeson, the Republican DA for an agglomeration of small mountain counties, has pulled out of his bid for the GOP nod in the 3rd to challenge Rep. John Salazar. Beeson’s hopes dimmed when state Rep. (and 2006 loser) Scott Tipton got into the GOP field a few months ago.

IL-10: Moderate Republican state Rep. Beth Coulson got a big (if unsurprising) endorsement, from fellow GOP moderate ex-Rep. John Porter. Porter held the seat for 20 years, until he made way for his former chief of staff (current Rep. Mark Kirk) in 2000.

MN-01: Apparently John Wade, the president of Rochester’s Chamber of Commerce, had been interested in a run in the 1st against Democratic sophomore Rep. Tim Walz. He just decided against it, although a lone business conservative seems like he might have a shot at winning the crowded GOP primary, split between a number of loudmouthed social conservatives (most notably ex-state Rep. Allen Quist).

MS-01: Good fundraising has propelled Republican state Sen. Alan Nunnelee up a tier in the NRCC’s framework for challengers. Nunnelee, who’ll likely face off against Rep. Travis Childers and his mighty ‘stache, is now a “Contender.”

TN-06: Democrats are having trouble recruiting to fill the slot left behind by Rep. Bart Gordon’s retirement. State Rep. Henry Fincher just said no; he follows fellow state Rep. Mike McDonald in declining. It can’t be that appetizing, given the district’s reddening hue, several strong GOPers waiting in the wings, and the likelihood of GOP gerrymandering making the district even less hospitable in 2012.

UT-03, UT-Sen: I’d be surprised if anyone were on pins and needles about this, but if you missed yesterday’s announcement, yes, Rep. Jason Chaffetz will be returning for another term in the House rather than getting into the primary against impermissibily sane GOP Sen. Bob Bennett.

EMILY’s List: Stephanie Shriock, chief of staff to Sen. Jon Tester, will take over as head of EMILY’s List from Ellen Malcolm. It marks the first change in leadership at the top for the prolific PAC.

RNC: After a revolt by what remains of its moderate wing, the RNC has backed down on its purity test (which would require 8 of 10 agreements on right-wing positions, and probably would have cut loose Mike Castle, Mark Kirk, Rob Simmons, and Charlie Crist loose from RNC funding). Now they’re simply requiring that nobody endorse any Democratic candidates in 2010. Meanwhile, Michael Steele continues to overshadow the rest of the RNC’s operations with his gift of saying odd things, with today’s installment a riposte to intraparty critics intent on withholding RNC donations because of Steele’s leadership: “get a life” or “fire me.”

Gay marriage: It’s been flying under the radar with everything else going on this week, but New Jersey’s state Senate is currently debating gay marriage, with a vote possibly later today. Only 13 Senators have definitely committed to it so far though, short of the 21 needed for passage. (Dems are already short 1 vote with the absence of Dana Redd, who resigned after becoming mayor of Camden.)

Census: Here’s an interesting conundrum for the Census Bureau — how to deal with the issue of the nation’s legions of sunbirds: retirees who live in the south for winter and the north for summer. It’s especially an issue for Minnesota as it seeks to stave off elimination of one of its Congressional districts, and it’s making special efforts to make sure long-term travelers list themselves according to their Minnesota addresses.

SSP Daily Digest: 1/6

FL-Sen: Here’s one late-30-something, telegenic conservative helping out another: WI-01’s Rep. Paul Ryan just endorsed Marco Rubio in the Senate primary. Ryan (who’s actually been getting some dark-horse presidential buzz lately) may in fact be the real beneficiary here, since it may direct some of Rubio’s healthy glow among the teabag set in Ryan’s direction, bolstering his future credentials. Speaking of the teabaggers, despite having claimed the scalp of Florida GOP chair and key Charlie Crist ally Jim Greer, they still aren’t happy with the annointment of John Thrasher as the new chair; apparently he too is insufficiently crazy, or at least part of the same backroom process. Finally, take this with a huge hunk o’ salt, but ex-Rep. Mark Foley is highlighting a rumor on his Facebook page (yes, Mark Foley is on Facebook, and I’m not eager to think about what else might be on his page) that Charlie Crist is on the precipice of pulling his FL-Sen bid altogether and running for another term as Governor instead.

NY-Sen-B: Lots of walking-things-back going on in New York’s Senate race. Republican Rep. Peter King is now saying he’s “leaning against” a Senate bid. Taegan Goddard rightly invokes both Mario Cuomo and Hamlet in ridiculing King’s protracted public vacillations. And ex-Rep. Harold Ford Jr. also may be dialing things down too, in regards to a possible primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand. An operative working with Ford is now saying that Ford is “unlikely to take the plunge,” and seemed more interested in “creating buzz” for himself. (Why am I not surprised?)

AZ-Gov: The GOP primary field in Arizona is getting even more scrambled, with the entry of Some Dude who claims to be bringing $2.1 million to the table with him. Owen Buz Mills’ campaign report was the first anyone has seemingly heard of him. He’s a member of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, and owner of a company called Gunsite (which operates a 2,000 acre weapons training site). Current Gov. Jan Brewer said she wouldn’t be deterred by Mills’ presence, as did former state regent John Munger (who probably has more to lose by Mills’ entry, as he’s sort of the de facto non-Brewer for now, at least until or unless state Treasurer Dean Martin gets in the race).

CO-Gov: While much of the speculation, in the wake of Gov. Bill Ritter’s surprise decision not to seek another term, has focused on Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, or a switch from the Senate primary by former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff, there’s one other high-profile possibility: Interior Secretary, and former Senator, Ken Salazar. Salazar, however, is staying mum, for now. PPP’s Tom Jensen is skeptical of a Salazar candidacy, though, pointing out that Salazar didn’t have strong favorables (39/36 in late 2008) even before he joined the Obama administration, and Colorado has seen one of the biggest drops in Obama approvals of any state, making his time in the Cabinet something of an anchor for him.

CT-Gov: Three sort-of prominent local officials are all scoping out the already-crowded Governor’s race in the Nutmeg State. On the Dem side, the First Selectwoman of Simsbury, Mary Glassman, said she’ll seek the nomination (she was the 2006 Lt. Governor candidate). On the GOP side, Shelton mayor Mark Lauretti says he’s considering the race; he’s banking on his nearly 20 years of experience running the city, although he is currently the target of a federal corruption probe. (Although what Connecticut mayor isn’t?) Also, the Republican mayor of the much larger city of Danbury, Mark Boughton, says he’s reached a decision on whether or not to enter the race. The weird thing is, he doesn’t plan to let anyone know what that decision is for another month.

AL-02: Businessman Rick Barber made it official today: he’s launching a teabag-powered primary challenge to the NRCC-crowned establishment favorite, Montgomery city councilor Martha Roby. He owns several “billiards facilities” in the area, as well as organizing tea parties in his spare time. The primary winner will face freshman Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright.

AR-02: Another GOP establishment fave, former US Attorney Tim Griffin, just got bumped up a notch in the NRCC’s three-tiered fundraising pyramid [scheme]. He was promoted to “Contender,” leaving him just one step away from coveted “Young Gun” status.

CA-19: With a big three-way brawl already brewing in the GOP open seat primary between ex-Rep. Richard Pombo, state Sen. Jeff Denham, and former Fresno mayor Jim Patterson, ex-SoS and 2004 Senate race loser Bill Jones has decided to give the race a pass.

NJ-03: One possible alternative to Jon Runyan as the GOP nominee in the 3rd said “no thanks” yesterday. State Sen. Christopher Connors was apparently the first choice of the Ocean County Republican party; Runyan is the Burlington County party’s pick, so it remains to be seen whether Ocean County unites behind Runyan or pushes someone else (like Toms River city councilor Maurice Hill).

TN-08: The NRCC, based purely on their own fantasies, has been attempting to “gay bait” Dem Roy Herron. And of course, the tradmed has dutifully transcribed whatever bullshit the NRCC has spewed out. Funny, then, that the kid spokesbot responsible for this smear enjoys attending “GOB festivals.” No, Arrested Development fans, this has nothing to do with erstwhile ne’er-do-well George Oscar Bluth. Just click the link and John Aravosis will tell you all you need to know. (D)

VA-05: The teabagging right keeps coalescing behind businessman Laurence Verga as the Republican primary alternative to state Sen. Robert Hurt (who apparently voted in favor of a tax once)… and now Verga is getting the endorsement of one of their iconic figures: Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher. Could a Chuck Norris endorsement be far behind?

UT-03, UT-Sen: Freshman Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz is expected to announce today that he’ll run for another term in the House. He’s been occasionally associated with a potential primary challenge to Senator Bob Bennett, but has more recently said he’s likelier to seek re-election to the House.

WA-St. Sen.: This is getting way down in the weeds, but remember attorney Randy Gordon? He was briefly the leading Democratic candidate in the 2006 race in WA-08, before standing down in the primary in favor of a Camp Wellstone classmate with better fundraising chops: Darcy Burner. Well, it looks like he’s secured the temporary appointment to take over the vacant state Senate seat in the 41st LD, left vacant by Fred Jarrett’s move to become Deputy King Co. Executive; he should have a fairly easy time retaining this Dem-leaning seat based in suburban Bellevue.

Mayors: Here’s a wild rumor (with Sally Quinn as its source): ex-Rep. and current CoS Rahm Emanuel isn’t planning on a long-term stay in the White House. Emanuel is reportedly eyeing a run for Chicago mayor in 2011. Also on the mayoral front, Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon is leaving office; she offered her resignation and an Alford plea on a count of perjury in order to settle a number of charges against her.

DCCC: Chris Van Hollen offered some boilerplate reassurances today that few, if any, Democratic retirements in the House are in the offing. He said there would be a “couple more,” if that. (With almost all the troublesome seats accounted for, that’s not a surprise; SC-05’s John Spratt seems to be the biggest question mark outstanding in a difficult seat.) (UPDATE: Ooops, I missed Spratt‘s re-election announcement over the holidays. So now I don’t know who’s vulnerable and unaccounted for.)

RNC: By now, readers should be familiar with the NRCC’s cash crunch, which severely hampers its ability to capitalize on recruiting successes and the favorable environment. But anyone thinking they might turn to the RNC for a bailout may be surprised to hear that the once-flush RNC is in almost equally dire shape. After a spending spree under Michael Steele’s leadership (to the tune of $90 million last year), the RNC is only sitting on $8.7 million in the bank. That’s down from $22.8 CoH at the start of Steele’s tenure. That’s the party of fiscal discipline at work for you, right there.

SSP Daily Digest: 8/21

CA-10: Lt. Gov. John Garamendi’s candidacy for Ellen Tauscher’s old House seat received a boost this week from the editorial page of the San Francisco Chronicle.

FL-Sen: The Corrine Brown for Senate exploratory train is chugging along, but Brown says that she’ll need to raise “several million dollars” to be seen as a legitimate contender. The longtime Democratic lawmaker says that she hopes to raise $500,000 by the end of September.

FL-13: A man who claims that he was coerced by business associates into making illegal donations to GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan and the Florida Republican Party says that key evidence was stolen from his home earlier this month. Police are investigating the burglary, and have sent unidentified DNA evidence to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for further analysis.

IL-11: Joe Biden’s been on a tear lately, hosting fundraisers for vulnerable House Democrats as “part of a White House effort to safeguard about 70 House seats” targeted by the GOP. After helping out Florida Reps. Alan Grayson and Suzanne Kosmas earlier this week, Amtrak Joe made an appearance at a luncheon fundraiser yesterday for Debbie Halvorson, who’s being challenged by upstart Iraq Vet and ex-McLean County Commissioner Adam Kinzinger.

LA-Sen: When asked, by a constituent, why he favors prescription drug re-importation from “countries that have socialized medicine”, GOP Sen. David Vitter responded by saying that his goal was for re-importation to “implode” Canada’s cheaper perscription drug regime by swamping it with excess demand from the States. David Vitter sure is one breathtakingly cynical son of a bitch.

NV-Sen, NV-01: Las Vegas Rep. Shelley Berkley says that she would “take a good look” at a run against disgraced GOP Sen. John Ensign in 2012, but she wouldn’t be eager to give up her safe seat and committee assignments in the House. Needless to say, if Ensign does try for a third term next cycle, I don’t think his non-aggression pact with Harry Reid can stop a serious Democratic opponent from emerging.

NY-Lt. Gov: Bummer for David Paterson. A four-justice panel from the Second Judicial Department of the Appellate Division unanimously decided that his appointment of Richard Ravitch as the state’s Lt. Governor was unconstitutional. The panel did grant leave for the case to be argued before the Court of Appeals, but it’s not expected that Paterson will find that court, which is still dominated by Pataki appointees, to be a friendlier venue for his arguments.

TN-04, TN-06: GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Lynn Westmoreland touched down in Tennessee earlier this week to meet with prospective challengers to two Democratic incumbents in reddening seats, Lincoln Davis and Bart Gordon. Rutherford County Republican Chairwoman Lou Ann Zelenik and state Sen. Jim Tracy are both in the mix for challenging Gordon, with Zelenik, who lost a primary race for a state legislative seat last year, “seriously, seriously considering” the race. Already challenging Lincoln Davis is South Pittsburg physician Scott DesJarlais, whom McCarthy and Westmoreland met with in order to screen him for fleas.

UT-Sen, UT-03: GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz says that he’s “focused on the House” for now, but that didn’t stop him from registering ChaffetzForSenate.com. The freshman Chaffetz, who hasn’t ruled out a challenge to incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Bennett, says that he merely reserved the domain name (as well as similar URLs for several other offices) as a precautionary measure against cyber-squatters, and will make an announcement on his 2010 plans “shortly after the new year”. It looks like ChaffetzForZoningBoard.com and ChaffetzForDogcatcher.com are still available, though.

WI-Gov: Milwaukee’s Democratic mayor, Tom Barrett, who was recently assaulted by a creep with a tire iron after he attempted to break up a domestic dispute at the state fair, is still staying mum on the question of whether or not he’ll run for Governor next year.

UT-03 Open Thread

Utah holds its congressional primaries tonight. The only contested race is UT-03, where perennially unpopular Rep. Chris Cannon faces a challenge from former gubernatorial aide Jason Chaffetz, who might well pose a serious threat – at least according to one poll. While at most we’d be swapping one wingnut for another, SSP Contributing Editor Cristitunity observes that Cannon hails from the “cheap labor conservative” wing of the Republican Party, while Chaffetz is from the “hate the immigrants” wing, hence the origin of this beef. Pick your poison, I suppose.

Polls close right about now – 10pm Eastern time/8pm local. Click here for results.

UPDATE by Crisitunity 1 am edt:

I assume the east coast-based folks have gone to bed, so I’m going to go ahead and call this one. With 497 of 621 precincts reporting (80%), it’s

Chaffetz     18,960 (60%) *

Cannon      12,539 (40%)

Another Clinton impeachment manager bites the dust.

UT-03: Cannon Leads Chaffetz By Four

Dan Jones & Associates (6/19, registered voters, 5/19 in parens):

Jason Chaffetz (R): 40 (37)

Chris Cannon (R-inc): 44 (39)

Undecided: 15 (19)

(MoE: ±5.5%)

Cannon leads among GOP voters by 49-37, while indies split for Chaffetz by a 46-31 margin. Chaffetz’s success tomorrow will depend entirely on getting independent voters to the polls. Still, it may not be wise to base expectations on a primary poll of registered (as opposed to likely) voters.

While it’s always fun to see Republicans lose, Chaffetz is somehow running on Cannon’s right, which hardly seems possible.

Primary: June 24

June Election Preview: Races Worth Watching

Another month, another round of elections. Once again, the Swing State Project brings you the month in races worth watching:

June 3: This is going to be a big day.

  • AL-02: With Rep. Terry Everett (R) retiring at the end this term, the GOP field is large and noisy to replace him. The players include: State Rep. Jay Love, state Rep. David Grimes, oral surgeon Craig Schmidtke, TV station executive David Woods, and state Sen. Harri Anne Smith. With such a crowded and well-funded field, a 7/15 runoff is all but inevitable. Watch for Smith and one of Love or Woods to advance to the next round.

    I’m hoping that Smith is the GOP victor here, if for no other reason than the fact that she’s dumber than a sack of hammers.

    On the Democratic side, Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright will face off with Alabama NOW President Cheryl Sabel and dentist Cendie Crawley. Bright’s campaign has been slow to get started, whereas Sabel has won a number of endorsements. Still, Bright should probably be okay based on name recognition.

  • AL-05: Another open seat here, this one left behind by retiring Democratic Rep. Bud Cramer. State Sen. Parker Griffith of Huntsville is the Democratic front-runner and won’t have any problems in his primary.

    Republicans will decide between insurance executive and ’94/’96 candidate Wayne Parker, businesswoman Cheryl Baswell Guthrie, former state Rep. Angelo Mancuso (a turncoat Democrat), ’06 candidate Ray McKee, and a number of also-rans. Parker is thought to be the favorite, but Guthrie has invested a significant amount of her own resources on the race.

  • CA-04: This one should be interesting. With John Doolittle being put out to pasture, Republicans will choose between conservative icon Tom McClintock, a state Senator from southern California, and former Rep. Doug Ose. This has been a bloody and expensive primary, but the winner will still have a big advantage over Democrat Charlie Brown in this R+10.9 district.
  • IA-03: Democrats will go to the polls to decide the fate of longtime Rep. Leonard Boswell, who is receiving a primary challenge from former state Rep. Ed Fallon. In a low-turnout affair, anything could happen, but keep in mind that the lone public poll of this race — from Research 2000 in late April — showed Boswell ahead by a wide margin.
  • NJ-Sen: A big event. Not content to “wait his turn”, Rep. Rob Andrews is waging a rough primary challenge against Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). A recent Rasmussen poll gave Lautenberg a 30-point lead here.

    Republicans will choose between ex-Rep. Dick Zimmer, crypto-fascist state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, and college professor Murray Sabrin, a Ron Paul acolyte.

  • NJ-03: Republicans were initially very high on Chris Myers, a Lockheed Martin VP, to replace retiring GOP Rep. Jim Saxton in this South Jersey distrct. However, Myers’ primary against Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly has descended into a squabbling mess, and neither candidate has been able to match the fundraising juggernaut of the Democratic candidate, state Sen. John Adler. I’m rooting for Kelly to win here, but I like Adler’s chances against either Republican.
  • NJ-07: The GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. Mike Ferguson appears to be up in the air between state Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance and Kate Whitman, the daughter of former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. It’s unclear to me which candidate would be stronger in the general election. Ex-Summit Councilwoman Kelly Hatfield and Scotch Plains Mayor Marty Marks will also have their names on the ballot.

    State Assemblywoman Linda Stender will be carrying the Democratic banner once again in this tossup district.

  • NM-Sen: This open seat race has caused a domino effect all over New Mexico politics, with all three of the state’s House members throwing their hats in the ring.

    Republicans will decide between Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce. Because of Pearce’s more conservative profile, he would probably be the easier candidate for Democrat Tom Udall to beat in November. Still, the most recent polls show Udall crushing either Republican, so the outcome of the GOP primary may not matter a whole lot for Tom Udall’s chances this November.

  • NM-01: With Heather Wilson out of the picture, Democrats are hopeful that they can finally put this D+2.4 district in the bag. The choices: Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich, former state Health Secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham and former New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. A a recent poll gave Heinrich a slight lead over Vigil-Giron, but Lujan Grisham has raised and spent a respectable amount.

    Republicans will choose between Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and state Sen. Joseph Carraro. White, a rare strong recruit by the mostly hapless NRCC, is the overwhelming favorite for his party’s nomination.

  • NM-02: I’ll be relieved when the roster of players vying for Steve Pearce’s open seat is cut to two. On the Democratic side of the playing field, voters in this district will choose between Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley and former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague. McCamley is an impressive orator and campaigner, but Teague, a wealthy oil man, has drawn on his personal wealth to give his campaign a big financial edge here. The buzz I’ve heard is that Teague is well-placed to win the nomination, a fact that seems to be confirmed by Bill Richardson’s recent endorsement of Teague.

    For what it’s worth, Roll Call quoted an anonymous New Mexico GOP strategist who believes that a Teague victory in this R+5.7 seat is “likely” in November — as long as he makes it out of the primary. I take such things with a heavy grain of salt, though.

    The Republicans have a football team-sized field here, including Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman, restaurateur and ’02 candidate Ed Tinsley, retired banker Aubrey Dunn Jr. (a former Democrat), local GOP Chairman C. Earl Greer, and businessman Greg Sowards. Tinsley was regarded as the early front-runner, but the National Association of Realtors PAC has dumped around $1 million in support of Newman, and Dunn has also spent over half a million of his own money on the race. With no public polling, the outcome of this one could be anyone’s guess.

  • NM-03: The race to replace Tom Udall in the House is a two-way affair between Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Ray Luján and wealthy home developer Don Wiviott. Wiviott (and other third-string candidates) have been going hard negative on Luján, who appears to have the edge here. Indeed, a recent poll showed Luján with a six-point lead over Wiviott, and Richardson gave him his stamp of approval earlier this week.

    I don’t know or care who the sacrificial GOP lamb is in this D+5.5 district.

June 10:

  • ME-01: With Tom Allen hoping to graduate to the Senate, a posse of Dems are vying to replace him, including: Former Common Cause President Chellie Pingree, York County District Attorney Mark Lawrence, former state Senate Majority Leader Michael Brennan, Iraq War vet Adam Cote, and state Sen. Ethan Strimling. Who is the strongest pick here? It beats me. Cote seems to be the most conservative choice, and could sneak in if progressive votes are divided.

    Republicans will pick between former state Sen. Charlie Summers and businessman Dean Scontras, but the Democratic nominee will be heavily favored in the general election in this D+6.2 district.

  • SC-02: This is a bit of an oddball race. At a PVI of R+8.9, it’s certainly not on many prognosticators’ radar screens. However, Democrat Rob Miller, an Iraq vet who entered this race in March, has raised $200K and loaned himself another $100K, according to the latest FEC filings. That’s an extremely respectable amount for a Democrat in a red district like this one.

    Miller will face off against retired Air Force officer Blaine Lotz.

  • VA-11: A big one. With Tom Davis out of the picture, Democrats are finally making a play for this Dem-trending district. But first, the primary: Fairfax County Chairman Gerry Connolly vs. ex-Rep./ex-state Sen./’05 Lt. Gov. candidate Leslie Byrne. Depending on who you talk to, this race is either neck-and-neck or will go decisively to Connolly.

    The winner will take on Republican Keith Fimian, a political neophyte, but an impressive fundraiser.

June 17:

  • MD-04: Grab your popcorn, it’s time for another edge of your seat special election! Oh wait; Donna Edwards is going to win by 50 points.

June 24:

  • UT-03: A recent poll shows GOP Rep. Chris Cannon leading former gubernatorial aide Jason Chaffetz by only two points. Cannon has had his share of close calls in the past, but it’s unclear whether we’ll actually get to do the wingnut shuffle in Utah this year.

UT-02: Nothing to See Here, Folks

Dan Jones & Associates for Deseret News/KSL-TV (5/13-19):

Jim Matheson (D-inc): 67

Bill Dew (R): 20

Undecided: 11

(MoE: ±7)

Matheson gets 93% of Dems, 77% of Indies, and 49% of Republicans.

Dew is notable only in the sense that he has self-funded his campaign to the tune of $250,000 (and raised $65).


Also of note: in nearby UT-03, Rep. Chris Cannon only leads former gubernatorial aide Jason Chaffetz by 39-37 in the GOP primary.