A Democratic Mississippi

This map creates two Democratic districts with a PVI of at least D+10 and two Republican districts with a PVI of at least R+30, which would be the two most Republican in the country.

The districts are contiguous, even when they don’t really look like it, including a narrow strip along the gulf shoreline for the fourth district.

As always I crunched the actual precinct data to produce these maps. However in this case, to my horror, I could have saved a week of transcribing scanned county records and just maximised the minority districts since they produce almost exactly the same map. Nevertheless at least this way we have precise voting totals for each district.

1st(Blue): 63.2% Obama 37.8W 57.3B

2nd(Green): 66.2% Obama 36.1W 59.1B

3rd(Dark Magenta): 22.4% Obama 79.6W 16.0B

4th(Red): 22.3% Obama 78.8W 15.1B

Redistricting outlook: Miss.-N.H.

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 Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

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

Previous diary on Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, and Maryland

Previous diary on Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota

The rest below the fold…



Districts: 4

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

Is that important? Nope

The legislature is engaged in moderately high-stakes drama over legislative redistricting, which must be done before the state’s qualifying deadline later this spring. Congressional remapping will, by contrast, be quite simple, with a plan that expands Bennie Thompson’s 2nd to pick up as many majority-black areas as possible and protects newbie GOP incumbents Alan Nunnelee in the north and Steven Palazzo in the south.



Districts: 8 (down from 9 in 2002)

Who’s in charge? Split (Dem Governor, GOP Legislature)

Is that important? Yes

I have long expected the legislature — which has almost enough Republicans to override a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon — to dismantle Russ Carnahan’s suburban St. Louis 3rd District and split it up between Lacy Clay’s 1st, Todd Akin’s 2nd, and Jo Ann Emerson’s 8th, since Clay’s district must expand and the two Republicans are safe enough to accommodate a few new Democratic voters. However, renewed chatter about Akin running for the Senate against Claire McCaskill is muddying things a bit. With a 6-2 map feasible — all major areas of Democratic strength concentrated into the 1st and the Kansas City-based 5th — it’s hard to believe Republicans won’t go for it, but it may be too early to declare Carnahan odd man out after all. If Akin does seek a promotion to the Capitol’s north side, the legislature will still probably draw a less hospitable seat for Carnahan, to make that 6-2 split plausible.



Districts: 3

Who’s in charge? Republicans (de facto; legislature is officially nonpartisan)

Is that important? I suppose

Jeff Fortenberry’s Lincoln-area 1st and Lee Terry’s Omaha-based 2nd will contract in area to accommodate the slow-growing rural 3rd, but that is the height of drama here. The only notable thing about Nebraska’s congressional districts in 2012 is that electoral votes will probably no longer be apportioned by CD, denying Obama that Omaha electoral vote he won in 2008.



Districts: 4 (up from 3 in 2002)

Who’s in charge? Split (GOP Governor, Dem Legislature)

Is that important? Very

Here we have a very ambitious legislature that would love to carve up Nevada as never before, with one rural/suburban Republican vote-sink for Joe Heck and three Dem-leaning seats (two in Las Vegas and environs, one stretching from Reno down to northern Clark County). The congressional delegation is deeply in flux, with Dean Heller running for the Senate, Shelley Berkley contemplating a Senate bid, and a new seat being added that will almost certainly lean Democratic. I have to assume Gov. Brian Sandoval will veto any plan that does not preserve two Republican seats, one in the north where Heller used to be and one for Heck, but with state Treasurer Kate Marshall considering a run for the 2nd, even that former stipulation is up in the air. The upside here will be for the Democrats, regardless.

New Hampshire


Districts: 2

Who’s in charge? Split (Dem Governor, GOP Legislature)

Is that important? Not a bit

New Hampshire’s congressional districts really haven’t changed much in living memory, simply trading towns based on Census figures every ten years. The GOP legislature may try to draw very friendly lines for itself, but as we saw in the last decade, New Hampshire politics functions as a series of tidal wave pendulum swings, if I may mix metaphors. Independents are unpredictable and fickle, and tend to break hard against one party or the other.

There Goes the Mississippi Senate

The Mississippi Senate is now in control by the Republicans.  I know this article is a few days old (it’s been a crazy week, y’all), but I wanted to share the news.  The filing deadline is March 1 so any party switchers have, now, five days remaining to make up his or her mind.  For those keeping score, in the Mississippi Senate, the breakdown is now 27R, 24D, 1 Vacancy of a Republican-vacated seat (now-Congressman Alan Nunnelee).  The Mississippi House is barely hanging onto its Democratic majority.


LA, MS, NJ, VA: Population by CD for First Four States

As devoted Swingnuts are aware by now, the Census Bureau has produced its first batch of redistricting-level data. Because Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia all have state-level elections this year, they get bumped to the head of the line. So that means we now know the current population of each congressional district as presently drawn. While the Census Bureau didn’t exactly make this data available in the most accessible format, the greasemonkeys down in the Skunkworks at SSP Labs have crunched the numbers, and here’s what they look like. Note that the “Deviation” column means how far off each current district is from the new ideal (and in the case of LA and NJ, we divided by their new seat totals of 6 and 12 respectively):

District Population Deviation
LA-01 686,961 (68,601)
LA-02 493,352 (262,210)
LA-03 637,371 (118,191)
LA-04 667,109 (88,453)
LA-05 644,296 (111,266)
LA-06 727,498 (28,064)
LA-07 676,785 (78,777)
Total: 4,533,372

District Population Deviation
MS-01 788,095 46,271
MS-02 668,263 (73,561)
MS-03 756,924 15,100
MS-04 754,015 12,191
Total: 2,967,297

District Population Deviation
NJ-01 669,169 (63,489)
NJ-02 692,205 (40,453)
NJ-03 680,341 (52,317)
NJ-04 724,596 (8,062)
NJ-05 666,551 (66,107)
NJ-06 668,806 (63,852)
NJ-07 672,885 (59,773)
NJ-08 660,424 (72,234)
NJ-09 661,379 (71,279)
NJ-10 634,343 (98,315)
NJ-11 674,349 (58,309)
NJ-12 701,881 (30,777)
NJ-13 684,965 (47,693)
Total: 8,791,894

District Population Deviation
VA-01 786,237 58,871
VA-02 646,184 (81,182)
VA-03 663,390 (63,976)
VA-04 738,639 11,273
VA-05 685,859 (41,507)
VA-06 704,056 (23,310)
VA-07 757,917 30,551
VA-08 701,010 (26,356)
VA-09 656,200 (71,166)
VA-10 869,437 142,071
VA-11 792,095 64,729
Total: 8,001,024

More Mississippi Party Switching

Looks like the Democratic Party’s fight in Mississippi just got a little more difficult today.  Two State House members switched to the Republicans, bringing the Democrats majority to only 16 seats.  One seat in the House is still vacant, as Steven Palazzo vacated his State House seat to succeed Congressman Gene Taylor in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.


Mississippi Party Switchers

It looks like we have a few more party defections to report.  A state senator and state representative have jumped to the Repuglicans.  My guess is that Senator Hyde-Smith is going to throw her hat into the open Ag Commissioner seat in the 2011 races.  The Democrats now have a razor thin majority in the state senate; however, the Senate is controlled by Republican Lt. Governor (and 2011 Gov. candidate) Phil Bryant.  The House still has a Democratic majority for the time being.  Check out the article below.


AL, MS & NM Results Thread #2

2:30am: It looks like we won’t have any resolution tonight on AL-Gov (R). The good people of Cleburne County have apparently gone home for the night, leaving that county’s 17 precincts unreported. Those are the only precincts outstanding in the state. So, until then, Bentley and James are at 25% each, but Bentley is leading by 140 votes. We’ll see if they figure this out tomorrow.

1:48am: I want some of what they’re smoking down in Cleburne County, Alabama. It’s been six freakin’ hours, dudes!

1:25am: So now that the AP has accounted for empty precincts in Mobile, our projection has shifted to Dr. Rob Bentley by 97 votes instead of Fob James by 2500+ for the second runoff ticket.

1:08am: And the AP finally gets off the pot and calls AL-05 (R), despite that one outstanding precinct in Jackson Co. Mo Brooks wins it without a runoff, at 51%.

12:51am: AP finally brings some closure to AL-02 (R). Runoff for Roby and Barber. Roby just missed the cutoff at 49%.

12:47am: Wow, Bentley moves back into 2nd place in AL-Gov (R). Only a 150 vote lead, though.

12:40am: Our model has James taking the 2nd spot in the runoff, with his lead over Bentley projected to edge up to 2,700.

12:37am: AP has Byrne definitely making the R Gov runoff. In the 2nd place scramble, Tim James is edging ahead of Bentley. They’re tied at 25, but now James has a 150 vote edge. 95% reporting.

12:35am: AP calls AL-07 as runoff for Sewell and Smoot.

12:28am: 100% have reported in the 7th, although no call from the AP yet. Still Sewell 37, Smoot 29, with Hilliard missing the runoff at 27.

12:22am: It’s over in AL-05 as Parker Griffith has conceded to Mo Brooks. Brooks will face Dem Steve Raby in November. What a monumentally stupid idea this party switch was — and kudos to DavidNYC for his astute post on this idiocy back in December. Parker Griffith Can Lose.

12:11am: SSP Labs’ mainframe is spewing out punch cards telling us that we can call a Sewell/Smoot runoff in AL-07. Right now it’s Sewell 37, Smoot 29, Hilliard 27.

12:02am: Bradley Byrne is putting a little distance on the rest of the crowd in AL-Gov (R). He’s at 28, with the real battle, to make 2nd and get into the runoff, between James and Bentley at 25 apiece. Bentley has an edge of about 1,400. 91% are reporting.

11:59pm: In AL-02, with 93.5% in, Martha Roby has climbed up to 49.1% thanks to the Montgomery vote coming in. I’m not sure if there’s enough out there to get her over the hump outright tonight, though.

11:55pm: Some downballot local color: George Wallace Jr. loses the GOP Treasurer primary to a fellow by the name of Young Boozer.

11:43pm: A big clot of Sewell votes showed up in AL-07. She’s up to 37 now, with Smoot at 29 and Hilliard at 27. So the real battle here is whether Smoot or Hilliard makes the runoff. (And hopefully Smoot/Hilliard consolidates all the non-Sewell votes.)

11:41pm: Another seesaw in AL-Gov. Bradley Byrne is back on top at 27, and now Bentley is in 2nd at 26. Tim James is at 25, and only 700 back from Bentley. Roy Moore’s at 20. Good thing or bad thing? (Byrne is probably the toughest GOP opponent for the general, but also the least crazy, as far as actual good governance goes, if he wins the general. Also, would the James and Moore backers go to Bentley in the runoff, helping him to complete the upset?)

11:39pm: Man, even if you thought that Artur Davis would lose tonight, I don’t think that him losing by over 20 points was on anyone’s mind.

11:29pm: The AP has called the MS-01 primary for state Sen. Alan Nunnelee, who narrowly avoided a runoff with 51% of the vote. Nunnelee faces Travis Childers and his mighty ‘stache of doom in November.

11:27pm: The D AL-07 primary is a great horserace too. Right now Smoot and Sewell are both at 32, with Hilliard at 28. Smoot’s edge is 300 votes over Sewell. With about three-quarters reporting, Hilliard is back another 2,000, so making the runoff is looking less likely.

11:22pm: The R primary in AL-Gov just keeps being the most exciting race of the night. With 2057 of 2843 in (72%), it’s James at 26, Byrne at 25, and Bentley at 25. James up 2,000 over Byrne, who in turn is up 300 over Bentley. Hangin’ judge Roy Moore not that far back at 21%.

11:20pm: Looks like the polls were right about AL-AG, at least. Challenger Luther Strange is whomping troubled incumbent Troy King in the GOP primary, 61-39.

11:16pm: Only county outstanding in MS-01, which will tell us whether Nunnelee clears 50%, is Clay County. That’s only one county over from the county where Eupora (the town where Ross was mayor), but with only 14 precincts, I can’t see that being the tipping point.

11:11pm: More like the Land of Disenchantment for Allen Weh. He’s conceding the R gube primary in New Mexico, after spending $1.6 mil on it.

11:09pm: The SSP Labs model is calling MS-01 for Nunnelee without runoff (looks like that last-minute Sarah Palin endorsement for McGowen [sic] didn’t pay off). And, it’s saying AL-02 will come down to Roby/Barber runoff.

11:06pm: This will no doubt change, but at this instant in time, 2 (two) votes separate Tim James (84,497) and Bradley Byrne (84,495) in 1st and 2nd. Bentley is back in 3rd, trailing by 2,000 more. It’s 26-26-25, with 1887 of 2843 in.

11:04pm: The AP has called the R primary in NM-Gov for Susana Martinez. She’ll face Diane Denish in November.

10:57pm: Based on our model, SSP Labs is feeling confident to call AL-05 without a runoff in favor of Brooks. Griffith’s party switch goes down with the Edsel and New Coke in the pantheon of bad ideas.

10:55pm: Pretty much simultaneously, AP calls AL-Gov D primary for Sparks, and Davis concedes. Running to the right doesn’t win you a Dem primary, even in Alabama.

10:53pm: Not much change in New Mexico, although we’re up to almost one-third reporting. Martinez leads Weh 51-29.

10:50pm: AP calls AL-05 for Steve Raby, who crushed Taze Shepard 62-22.

10:41pm: The people who don’t give a rrrrip about Alabama are out in force tonight. Dale Peterson is deep in third at 26%, with a McMillan/Grace runoff likely.

10:37pm: Bradley Byrne just found a bunch of votes. He’s up 700 over Tim James, and about 2400 over Bentley with nearly 50% of precincts reporting. Meanwhile, Sparks leads Davis by 65-35.

10:34pm: SSP Labs update: In AL-05, we’re projecting brooks with 50.5%, 709 over a runoff. In MS-01, we’re projecting Nunnelee to escape a runoff with 51.2% of the vote.

10:30pm: Over in MS-01, with 88% reporting, Alan Nunnelee is still hovering at 51.1% of the vote.

10:29pm: The AP calls AL-06 for Spencer Bachus. Wasn’t close at all in the end.

10:23pm: Here’s one more bad sign for Artur Davis: Macon County, which is 84% black, is now all in. Davis only won 47% of the vote there tonight.

10:21pm: Another lead change in AL-07, where it’s neck and neck and neck. Shelia Smoot has moved ahead at 34%, with Terri Sewell at 32, and Earl Hilliard Jr. at 27 (and Bozeman a non-factor at 8). But, as we close in on halfway reported, the runoff could be any combination of the 3.

10:19pm: In AL-05, we’re projecting Brooks with 50.6%, 764 over a runoff. Keep in mind this is something of a crude model, though. It should be close.

10:18pm: The AP has called the R primary in MS-04 for Steven Palazzo.

10:15pm: Over in the Land of Enchantment, it’s a good night for Susana Martinez. She’s at 50%, with 101 of 1509 reporting. Allen Weh is in 2nd at 32%. Pete Jr. is at a whopping 6%.


Alabama, Mississippi & New Mexico Results Thread

10:15pm: Let’s move this party over here.

10:08pm: With not quite a quarter in, on the GOP side of the AL-Gov primary, Bentley has actually pulled into the lead at 27%. James is 2nd at 26, with Byrne at 25. Can’t quite count Byrne out yet, but that Dem 527 meddling in the GOP primary may have had the desired effect (i.e. taking out Byrne, ostensibly the toughest general election opponent). And Roy Moore’s at 18: what’s up with his collapse?

10:05pm: We’re now up to 48% in AL-05: Brooks leads Griff by 51-34, and Raby leads Taze by 62-23.

10:03pm: As expected, Luther Strange is kicking Alabama AG Troy King’s ass by a 60-40 margin.

10:02pm: 70% reporting in MS-01, and Nunnelee is resting at 51.3%.

9:59pm: Over in MS-04, state Rep. Steven Palazzo leads businessman Joe Tegerdine by 58-42 with 59% in.

9:56pm: Hah, Spencer Bachus leads his teabagger opponent, Stan Cooke, by only 59-41 with 13% in. It’s a TARP!

9:54pm: We’re now up to 37% of precincts reporting in AL-05, and Mo Brooks leads Griffith by 53-31. (Raby still cruising.)

9:51pm: SSP Labs doesn’t take an election night off, and here is our model for Alabama. It’s based on the usual back-of-the-envelope stuff, but also incorporates the racial composition of each county. (jeffmd)

9:47pm: Checking in with New Mexico, Susana Martinez has a 16-point lead over Allen Weh in the early vote.

9:43pm: 21.5% of the vote’s now in in AL-05, and Brooks leads Griffith by 49-38. Raby is up over Taze Shepard by 65-21.

9:41pm: Terri Sewell has now pulled into second place (just 200 votes behind Shelia Smoot) in AL-07, but only 12% of the vote’s been counted.

9:39pm: With 11.7% in, Sparks leads by 63-37. On the GOP side, Tim James leads with 28%, followed by Rob Bentley at 26%. Front-runner Bradley Bryne is in third at 23%.

9:35pm: We’re up to 41% reporting in MS-01, and Alan Nunnelee is dangerously flirting with a runoff at 49.7%.

9:30pm: Big swing in Jeffco, where Sparks now leads Davis by 54-46. Overall, Sparks is up by 61-39 with 7% in.

9:24pm: Check out AL-07, where the three front-runners are separated by just 170 votes. Smoot has 31, Hilliard’s at 30, and Sewell checks in at 27 with 11% reporting.

9:20pm: Almost 10% of Jeffco is in, where Artur Davis is cleaning up. The Gov race has tightend to 60-40 for Sparks. And, in AL-05, Mo Brooks leads Griffith by 58-28 with 8 precincts in.

9:11pm: It looks like Dick Shelby will survive an attempted teabagging from Clint Moser.

9:08pm: We’re now at 4/326 in AL-05, and Brooks has pulled ahead of Griffith by 48-36. Whoa baby!

9:03pm: Over in AL-05, with just three precincts in, turncoat Parker Griffith has fallen just barely under 50%. Mo Brooks has 33%.

9:00pm: Alan Nunnelee is now flirting with 50%. He leads Ross by 51-37. McGlowan is a huge non-factor here.

8:44pm: We also have our first precinct reporting in MS-01, and Alan Nunnelee has 56% to teabagger Henry Ross’ 26%. Sarah Palin’s late pick, Angela McGlowan, is in third.

8:41pm: 9/2843 in so far, and Sparks leads Davis by 73-27. On the GOP side, it looks like a three-way fight for second place between Tim James, Robert Bentley, and Roy Moore.

8:36pm: Now Barber is up on Roby by two votes. In AL-05, Parker Griffith has 62% of the very early vote.

8:23pm: In the AL-02 primary, teabagging businessman Rick “The Barber” Barber only trails NRCC-crowned favorite Martha Roby by 40-37. Just three precincts in there so far, though.

8:20pm: We’re up to three precincts in Alabamer, and Sparks leads by a 71-29 spread. Over in the Ag Comm’r primary, American Hero Dale Peterson is in third.

8:09pm: We’ve got one precinct out of the oven in Alabama. Sparks leads Davis by 12 votes to 5.

Polls will close in Alabama and Mississippi in about fifteen minutes, and in New Mexico an hour later. We’ll be using this thread to follow the returns — and if you have any additional results links, please share ’em in the comments.


Alabama, Mississippi & New Mexico Predictions Thread

Polls close in Alabama and Mississippi at 8pm Eastern, and in New Mexico at 9pm. SSP will be liveblogging these races once the first returns start rolling in, but let’s get the pre-game party started with a predictions thread. And in case you missed it, here is our preview of the key races to watch tonight.

Alabama, Mississippi & New Mexico Primary Preview

In lieu of our usual morning digest, here is a roundup of all the killer primaries from outer space that we’ll be liveblogging tonight. Get your scorecards ready!


  • AL-Gov (D): Rep. Artur Davis has led Ag. Comm’r Ron Sparks in the money race and all polling that’s been made public to date. But a lot of Alabama Democrats – and especially the black political establishment – are unhappy with Davis’s conservative voting record, especially his vote against healthcare reform. This has led to persistent rumors that Davis is “in trouble,” and Sparks (who just scored an endorsement from ex-Gov. Don Siegelman) even claimed to have an internal showing the race tied. But he declined to share so much as a one-page polling memo – and if he’s right, quite a few other pollsters are wrong. (Though Nate Silver notes that polls of Southern Democratic primaries have, in recent years, been off by wider margins than in other regions.) We’ve seen some surprising primaries on the congressional level involving reps who’ve voted against HCR, but no one has yet paid the ultimate price for it. If Davis is the first, it would be a very big deal indeed. Note that there’s no possibility of a runoff, since Davis and Sparks are the only two candidates on the ballot. (D)
  • AL-Gov (R): With seven candidates in a crowded field, this race is certain to be resolved in the runoff to be held on July 13th. Bradley Byrne has been considered the front-runner and is the choice of most establishment Republicans. However, as the moderate amongst his primary foes, Byrne has come under heavy criticism as opponents question his commitment to conservative causes. Interestingly, traditional Democratic interests in the state have spent heavily against Byrne in the primary. Tim James, son of former Gov. Fob James, is likely Byrne’s strongest adversary and has gained national attention with a series of controversial ads. While Byrne and James will most likely face each other again in July, Roy Moore of Ten Commandments fame still has a chance to snag a ticket to the runoff. (T)
  • AL-Ag. Comm’r (R): This is it. The big one. The eyes of the nation, and indeed, the world, will fall upon the Republican primary for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries of Alabama. Dale Peterson, a farmer, a businessman, a cop, a Marine in Vietnam, and an usher in a movie theater one summer will be battling for the GOP nod for this most prestigious office. Little needs to be said about Peterson’s opponents, Dorman Grace and John McMillan, other than the fact that it’s clear that they don’t give a rip about Alabama! The winner of this primary will face Democrat Glen Zorn, a current assistant Agriculture Commissioner and former mayor of Florala.
  • AL-AG (R): One of the most vulnerable incumbents anywhere is Alabama’s Republican Attorney General Troy King. This isn’t a clear-cut establishment vs. movement primary, though; if anything, the state’s GOP legal establishment has soured on the erratic King and is backing his challenger Luther Strange. Polls give a large edge to Strange, who counts Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby and even Gov. Bob Riley — the man who first appointed King to the position — among his backers. (C)
  • AL-02 (R): Four Republicans are on the ballot for the right to challenge frosh Dem Rep. Bobby Bright. Montgomery city councilor Martha Roby is the NRCC-crowned establishment favorite, and the only candidate in the field to raise significant money. Teabagging businessman Rick “The Barber” Barber, an owner of several “billiards facilities” in the area, is next in line, followed by State Board of Education member Stephanie Bell. If Bell ever looked like a threat to Roby, her late entry (in March) and her weak fundraising (just $26K) seem to suggest her chances of making it to a runoff are weak. Former Marine John “Beau” McKinney rounds out the field. Back in February, Bright’s campaign released an internal poll showing him in surprisingly strong shape, but it’ll be interesting to see how he fares once this race becomes engaged.
  • AL-05 (D): After Ron Sparks declined to switch over from the gubernatorial race, four Democrats got into the contest here: attorney and former state Board of Education member Taze Shepard (who also happens to be the grandson of the late Sen. John Sparkman); political consultant Steve Raby, a longtime chief-of-staff to Sen. Howell Heflin (the guy who succeeded Sparkman); attorney and former Air Force JAG officer Mitchell Howie; and physicist David Maker. The race is largely between Shepard and Raby, who have hit each other with negative TV ads in recent weeks: Shepard has attacked Raby for being a “lobbyist,” while Raby fired back that Shepard mismanaged the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (home of Space Camp) during his tenure as a commissioner overseeing the center. Though Shepard leads in the money department, he’s mostly been self-financed. Meanwhile, Raby has secured a good bit of establishment backing, including an endorsement from former Rep. Ronnie Flippo, who held this seat from 1977 to 1991. An internal poll for Shepard had him up 20-14 over Raby, but with 58% undecided. A runoff seems likely here. (D)
  • AL-05 (R): Democrats everywhere will be watching this race closely to see if turncoat Rep. Parker Griffith gets teabagged to death in the wake of his party switch. He faces two rivals in the primary: Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks and businessman Les Phillip. Though Phillip has raised considerably more money than Brooks, his burn rate marks him as a client/victim of BMW Direct. Consequently, most of the “true conservatives” who are unhappy with Griffith’s attempt to bogart their nomination have rallied around Brooks, who has even been the target of a Griffith attack ad – not something you usually see from an incumbent. There’s a good chance we’ll see a runoff here between these two. (D)
  • AL-06 (R): Spencer Bachus isn’t what you’d normally think of as vulnerable; he’s a conservative Republican in one of the reddest districts in the nation, in Birmingham’s suburbs. However, establishment GOPers like Bachus have reason to worry this year because of the GOP’s restive base. He in particular may have a target on his back as ranking House Republican on Financial Services, and as an architect of TARP. Bachus faces teabagger Stan Cooke; leaving nothing to chance, he’s already spent $680K on his primary. (C)
  • AL-07 (D): The Democratic primary in the race to replace Rep. Artur Davis is the only election which matters in this 72% Obama district. The three chief contenders are: state Rep. Earl Hilliard, Jr., the son of the guy Davis primaried out of this seat in 2002, Earl Hilliard, Sr.; Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot; and securities lawyer Terri Sewell. Hilliard and Smoot until recently had the edge in name recognition, but only Sewell, who began as an unknown, has had the money to air TV ads. While early internal polling showed this to be a race between Hilliard and Smoot, Sewell’s spending has almost certainly had an impact, and her own poll had the race a three-way tie a couple of weeks ago. A runoff seems almost certain here. (D)


  • MS-01 (R): For a while there, it looked like former FOX News talking head Angela McGlowan posed a threat to the NRCC’s favorite candidate in the race against twice-elected Dem Rep. Travis Childers, Tupelo-area state Sen. Alan Nunnelee. But her campaign has fizzled, bringing in only $85,000 for the primary compared to nearly $650,000 for Nunnelee. However, a Democratic 527 called “Citizens for Security and Strength” recently entered the fray, spending money on mail and robocalls against Nunnelee in the hopes of aiding Henry Ross, the teabagging former mayor of Eupora. Ross hasn’t raised much money either (just $127K), but it’ll be interesting if his outsider message (and the Dem attacks) will stick.
  • MS-04 (R): In a year like this, you’ve gotta keep an eye on old dogs in deep red districts like this one. Republicans have mostly nominated driftwood against Democrat Gene Taylor in the past decade despite his district’s comically insane R+20 Cook PVI. However, it looks like Taylor will have to actually exert himself this year, as Republicans have fielded a bona fide elected official, state Rep. Steven Palazzo, to run against him. Palazzo will first have to get past businessman Joe Tegerdine, though, and the race has already gotten a bit testy, with Palazzo charging that Tegerdine works for a Chinese corporation, and Tegerdine jabbing Palazzo for being too scared and/or lazy to show up to any debates.

New Mexico:

  • NM-Gov (R): The Republican field in New Mexico was left in a sort of second-tier disarray when ex-Rep. Heather Wilson decided to pass on the race. Polling shows the two main contestants here to be Susana Martinez — the Dona Ana County DA, who despite a Sarah Palin endorsement is polling competitively with certain Dem nomineee Lt. Gov. Diane Denish — and Allen Weh, the former state party chair and bit player in the US Attorneys firing scandal, who’s financing his run mostly out of pocket. Pete Domenici Jr. had been expected to be competitive but foundered after offering no rationale for his campaign other than his lineage. Janice Arnold-Jones and Doug Turner round out the field. (C)