SSP Daily Digest: 1/6

NE-Sen: After a few months in exploratory committee purgatory (and after screwing up many of the documents associated with said committee), Republican AG Jon Bruning has made it official. He’s now upgraded to Candidate, against Ben Nelson in the 2012 Senate race.

TX-Sen: Local insiders seem to think that Kay Bailey Hutchison is increasingly moving toward another run for Senate in 2012 (after having postponed her resignation a number of times amidst the gubernatorial race, and then having dropped the subject altogether). That speculation seems based mostly on her sheer silence on the issue, though.

IA-Gov: On his way out the door, outgoing Gov. Chet Culver talked up state Sen. majority leader Mike Gronstal as a possible 2014 gubernatorial candidate for the Dems. Culver said Gronstal won’t suffer for his reluctance to put gay marriage up for a statewide vote, which seems to be one of the state’s big flashpoints right now.

WA-Gov, WA-08: This is very unexpected, considering that GOP AG Rob McKenna has had the 2012 gubernatorial nomination staked out for about six years now, but Rep. Dave Reichert is publicly expressing some (or at least not ruling out) interest in a gubernatorial run (a race he’d been encouraged to run in 2004 back when he was King Co. Sheriff, although he ran for House instead). I’m sure local GOPers would prefer he run for Senate, where no viable GOP nominee seems to be on the horizon, rather than creating a fractious gubernatorial primary that might hobble their best shot in decades at winning the governorship. Actually, I’m sure they’d prefer he continue to hold down WA-08 rather than open up the 8th while embarking on a fool’s errand against Maria Cantwell, and with redistricting likely to give him a safer district in Seattle’s southeastern exurbs while opening up a solid-blue WA-10 on the true Eastside, that’s probably what he’ll keep on doing.

CO-03: New Gov. John Hickenlooper just appointed recently-defeated Rep. John Salazar as the state’s agriculture commissioner. Salazar has already said he was open to a rematch with Scott Tipton; the question is whether this makes a rematch less likely or if it’s designed to keep him in the public spotlight. (Speaking of Hickenlooper, if you haven’t read the NYT Magazine section’s long profile of him, it’s worth a read.)

FL-25: Add one more mysterious bit of financial information to the mounting pile of sleaze that’s engulfing David Rivera in his first week on the job: he sold a condominium to his mother’s marketing company (the same company that’s under criminal investigation for its relationship to the Flagler Dog Track) in November, shortly before he paid off $137K in undisclosed loans… also to that same marketing company.

IA-03: Buried in an article on the Iowa redistricting conundrum, which will see the state compacted to four House districts, is an important piece of unexpected news: septuagenarian Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell, who’s been a prime candidate for retirement for a number of cycles now, tells Roll Call that he will be running again in 2012, regardless of what district he gets stuck into. Tom Latham, Bruce Braley, and Dave Loebsack all plan to “plow ahead” as well; only Steve King didn’t comment, although his district, by virtue of geography (having the state’s western half pretty much to itself) seems least likely to get messed with. A collision between Des Moines-based Boswell and Ames-based GOPer Latham seems likeliest to me, but with a commission making the decisions, almost any configuration seems possible.

NC-07: Rep. Mike McIntyre — already in the news today as one of only two Dems who voted against HCR to also say that he’d go ahead and support Republican repeal efforts — is now about to draw a Democratic primary challenger from the left, although one who seems kind of on the Some Dude end of the spectrum. Business counselor Del Pietro says he’ll take on McIntyre.

California: This piece is mostly about House redistricting in the Golden State, but has some thoughts about potential retirements too, given the possibility that redistricting via commission may result in less incumbent protection and various House members getting stuck together (and also given the advanced age of many of California’s long-timers). Jerry Lewis and Pete Stark are listed as most noteworthy possibilities, along with Elton Gallegly (who’s waffled about retirement before), Lois Capps, Gary Miller, and Howard Berman… and Bob Filner is mentioned as a possible San Diego mayor candidate in 2012.

House: This Roll Call piece is mostly a grab-bag of vague quotes and speculation (of course, what article in the Beltway press isn’t), but it does do some useful handicapping on which sought-after House members are likely or unlikely to make the jump to running for Senate in 2012. New York’s Peter King says “I really don’t expect it,” Pennsylvania’s Charlie Dent says he hasn’t “been actively pursuing it,” and Ohio’s Jim Jordan is “leaning against it.” Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan didn’t comment, but has repeatedly said he isn’t looking for higher office anytime soon (and here’s some further confirmation on that from today), while Florida’s Connie Mack IV seems to be moving definitely moving in a Senate direction and Montana’s Denny Rehberg remains studiously vague.

DCCC: DCCC head Steve Israel announced his team of lieutenants for the 2012 cycle, which includes the two other likeliest chairs who got passed over, Joseph Crowley (in charge of fundraising) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (incumbent retention and redistricting). Also on board are Allyson Schwartz (recruitment), Keith Ellison (community partnerships), and Puerto Rico’s Pedro Pierluisi (constituency mobilization).

Mayors: State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (last seen barely hitting the double-digits in the Democratic gubernatorial primary) has a new gig in mind: he’s publicly expressing his interest in running for Philadelphia mayor, one of the many mayoral races up in November. The only other person to have actively looked into challenging fairly-popular incumbent Michael Nutter is wealthy businessman Tom Knox, who also made a brief appearance in last year’s governor’s race Dem primary.

Twitter: We made it over the 4,000 mark on Twitter; thanks to all our new followers. We’re still taking new applications, though, so we encourage any other fans of microscopic bits of political wisdom to sign on, too.

SSP Daily Digest: 10/12 (Afternoon Edition)

WI-Sen, WI-Gov: Russ Feingold and Tom Barrett are both out with internal polls today, both from the same pollster (Fairbanks Maslin), both showing tied races. The Senate poll (Oct. 7, and 10-11) shows Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson tied at 48-48. The gubernatorial poll was an entirely separate sample, Oct. 5-7, showing Tom Barrett and Scott Walker are at 47-47.

GA-Gov: InsiderAdvantage (10/10, likely voters, 9/27 in parens):

Roy Barnes (D): 41 (37)

Nathan Deal (R): 49 (45)

John Monds (L): 3 (5)

Undecided: 7 (13)

(MoE: ±4%)

If you’re wondering about downballot races, IA also has GOPer Casey Cagle leading Carol Porter in the LG race, 50-36, and GOPer Sam Olen leading Ken Hodges in the AG race, 50-40. Also, if you’re wondering how Nathan Deal seemed to regain his footing after a few rocky weeks where the race was seemingly tied, a lot of that seems to have to do with the RGA pouring money into this race ($3.2 million worth), as they’ve tacitly made this race one of their top priorities.

AZ-05: Although this is an internal poll that has the GOPer leading the incumbent Dem, it’s a little on the lackluster side. David Schweikert responds to the DCCC internal giving Harry Mitchell an 7-point lead with his own poll showing him up by only 2, 45-43. (The poll was taken 10/5-6 by National Research.) An incumbent at 43% is no good, of course, but averaging the two polls out (for whatever that’s worth) gives Mitchell a small edge.

NY-20, TN-08: What do these two races (one with a Blue Dog incumbent who seems in control of his race, the other an open seat with an aspiring Blue Dog not likely to win) have in common? In both races, the Dem said he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Scott Murphy’s decision (granted, he’s more of a waffle than a flat-out “no”) is much more surprising than Roy Herron‘s; we’ll have to see if this becomes more of a trend in the closing weeks.

OH-13: Tom Ganley has pulled his broadcast television advertising for the remaining weeks of the campaign, although he will be focusing on less-expensive cable and radio buys instead of going dark completely. He says that’s how he’s going to “cut through the clutter,” but somehow methinks the self-funder (savvy businessman that he is) realized that he shouldn’t throw his own money down the hole in a race that just got considerably more difficult once sex assault accusations started to fly. (H/t LookingOver.)

PA-13: Here’s an unremarkable internal from a race where we shouldn’t even have to be looking at one: Allyson Schwartz, in the D+7 NE Philly district, leads Dee Adcock 57-32 in a 10/5-6 poll from Cooper & Secrest. Apparently this was released to combat rumors of a Republican internal showing it a single-digit race.

SD-AL: This was the day’s big fundraising story until Sharron Angle showed up: the reason Kristi “Leadfoot” Noem was driving so fast was because she had to get to so many different donors’ houses. She raised $1.1 million for the quarter, compared to $550K for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. That actually gives Noem the CoH edge, $770K to $500K.

TN-03: Here’s one more place I wouldn’t think I’d be seeing an internal, considering that this GOP-held open seat in a dark-red district should be a slam-dunk this year, but I guess Chuck Fleischmann feels like he needs to look busy. The GOP nominee is leading Dem nominee John Wolfe by a 50-20 margin, in a poll (no dates) by Wilson Research.

DCCC: More news on the triage front, on what’s apparently the last day to cancel ad reservations without taking a big financial hit. Having thrown Steve Driehaus overboard yesterday, the DCCC followed up today with Kathy Dahlkemper in PA-03 and Suzanne Kosmas in FL-24, who won’t get any more ad cover according to the NYT. Aaron Blake also tweets that open seats KS-03, IN-08, and TN-08 got the axe.

AGs: You probably know Louis Jacobson of Governing magazine for his handicapping of state legislative chambers, but he also works the state AG beat (that’s often short for “Aspiring Governor,” so it’s a key bench-building step), and is out with handicapping for all the Attorney General races up this year. As you might expect, Dems should brace for some losses, especially in open seats.

Gerrymandering: If there’s any place where people would be psyched to sit down and watch a movie about gerrymandering, it’s here at SSP. The movie’s creator is up with a diary here that lists all the theaters where it’s opening over the next month (including where he’ll be hosting Q&As). Some of them are one-night engagements, starting as early as tonight, so check out the listings ASAP!


CO-Sen: The DSCC hits Ken Buck for his craptastic tenure working for the local US Attorney’s office

KY-Sen: The DSCC goes back to the $2,000 Medicare deductible issue yet again to hit Rand Paul

WA-Sen: I’m not sure why Washington Dems always wait until the last minute to remind voters that Dino Rossi is pro-life (that’s what happened in both gube races) — maybe they figure it’s their trump card — but they’re doing it again; meanwhile, the American Action Network hits Patty Murray by whipping up a second version of that weird Fred Davis ad with the tennis shoes walking on people

WI-Sen: One of Russ Feingold’s myriad problems is that Ron Johnson actually comes up with some effective ads: this one’s a bio spot

GA-Gov: Nathan Deal’s new ad hits Roy Barnes for having once said that “Mexican workers were good for Georgia”

SC-Gov: The suddenly resurgent Vince Sheheen’s out with another spot, this one equating Nikki Haley to protégé Mark Sanford

TX-Gov: Lone Star First (a DGA-backed group) hits Rick Perry on the HPV vaccine and links to Big Pharma

OH-13: EMILY’s List steers clear of the sex assault allegations of Tom Ganley, going with a humorous spot on outsourcing and his 400 civil lawsuits at his car dealerships


IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 44%, Mark Kirk (R) 43%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 34%, Rob Portman (R) 57%

TN-Gov: Mike McWherter (D) 31%, Bill Haslam (R) 59%

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 45%, Ron Johnson (R) 52%

Rasmussen (as Fox/Pulse):

CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 45%, Tom Foley (R) 41%

CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 49%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%

DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 54%, Christine O’Donnell (R) 38%

NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 42%, John Kasich (R) 47%

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 35%, Rob Portman (R) 52%

WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 46%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%

Angus-Reid: Another reason to be suspicious of Angus-Reid in addition to their Dem-friendly internet samples: they seem to have neglected to poll the actually interesting Senate race in New York…

NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 63%, Carl Paladino (R) 32%

NY-Sen: Charles Schumer (D) 67%, Jay Townsend (R) 27%

SSP Daily Digest: 3/8 (Afternoon Edition)

AR-Sen: Local publication Talk Business has polled Blanche Lincoln’s approval on a regular basis for the last year, and she’s in the worst shape yet, they find: her approvals are down to 38/56, down from 45/45 three months ago.

CO-Sen: After Rasmussen showed him in not-so-good shape over the weekend, Michael Bennet is out with his own internal poll from Harstad Research showing him up (barely) over Jane Norton. He leads Norton 41-40, and claims a 41-31 edge among independents. (If that disparity doesn’t seem to pencil out, that’s because the poll includes more registered Republicans than Democrats, reflecting the state’s registration balance.) The poll’s a little weird, though: it’s a combination of two different surveys, one in January and one in February, and there are no details on his primary matchup with Andrew Romanoff.

FL-Sen: John Cornyn is sorta-kinda walking back the NRSC endorsement of Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate race, saying that was made before anyone had an inkling it would turn out to be an actual race. He didn’t rescind the endorsement, but made clear the NRSC wouldn’t be spending any money trying to affect the primary between Crist and Marco Rubio.

NJ-Sen: Here’s some welcome news: after receiving treatment for stomach cancer, Frank Lautenberg is back on the job. He was back on the Hill late last week, and participated in a St. Patrick’s Day parade over the weekend.

NY-Sen: Good news for Chuck Schumer, I suppose. Conservative pundit Larry Kudlow confirmed that he isn’t currently planning to challenge Schumer in the Senate this year. So, Schumer goes from a race against a guy he was beating by 40 points, to having no opponent at all.

OH-Sen: There will be only two Democrats on the ballot for Senate this year: Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner. The other two random interlopers who popped up several weeks ago, TJ Johnson (a former Fisher underling whose presence briefly aroused some suspicions of shenanigans) and Charlena Bradley, didn’t have the signatures to qualify for the ballot.

OR-Sen: Law professor Jim Huffman, who most people became aware of only when Rasmussen polled him against Ron Wyden, went ahead and made it official: he’s running for Senate. Blue Oregon has a nice rundown of his strange campaign kickoff at a heavy machinery dealer (shades of Carly Fiorina?), intended to showcase how the stimulus hasn’t worked (except for the little detail that the same machinery dealer credits the stimulus for saving jobs there…).

WI-Sen: Another Tommy Thompson acquaintance is fanning the flames, saying he’s “very seriously considering” a Senate bid and “could” soon form an exploratory committee. I’m not sure “could” is very newsworthy, but we’ll continue to keep an eye on the situation.

AK-Gov: Appointed Gov. Sean Parnell’s GOP primary opponent, former state House speaker Ralph Samuels, raised some eyebrows with his prodigious fundraising. However, it looks like Parnell is still in good shape as far as the voters are concerned, at least according to an internal poll taken by Republican firm Basswood. They find Parnell with a 71/8 favorable and leading Samuels in the primary 69-9 (with 4 for Bill Walker).

CA-Gov: Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner has been making some strong moves to the right lately in order to differentiate himself from Meg Whitman, even flip-flopping on abortion. (He got a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood six years ago, but now he’s against any government funding for abortion.) While he still lags in the polls, it’s at least gaining him some traction on the endorsement front, as he got the nod from the California Republican Assembly (which also endorsed Chuck DeVore on the Senate side) and from Rep. Tom McClintock.

NY-Gov (pdf): Two more polls on David Paterson’s standing find voters fairly split on whether he should stay or go. Siena finds 55% think he should serve the rest of his term while 37% say resign (and only 21% saying he should be impeached if he doesn’t resign), while SurveyUSA finds 45% say he should remain in office and 50% say resign. (He has a 25/66 approval according to SurveyUSA and a 21/67 favorable according to Siena.) Siena also looks at November’s race, finding Andrew Cuomo leading Rick Lazio by an unsurprising 63-25 margin.

OR-Gov: The state Republicans held their annual Dorchester Conference, which included a gubernatorial straw poll after appearances from the candidates. In a bit of a surprise, Allen Alley (considered the old-school moderate in the race, to the extent that he used to be deputy chief of staff to Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski) dominated, winning with 225 votes to 165 for substance-less former NBA player Chris Dudley. (Former state Sen. John Lim got 47, and antitax weirdo Bill Sizemore got 1.) Meanwhile, over on the Dem side, a lot of big labor endorsements got rolled out, and the two candidates both got their fair share. John Kitzhaber got the muscle – AFL-CIO and Teamsters – while Bill Bradbury got the brains: the Oregon Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. Finally, Oregon lost a well-liked political figure who briefly ran for Governor in 2006: Republican state Sen.-turned-Democratic state Treasurer Ben Westlund, who died from a recurrence of lung cancer over the weekend.

CA-47: Businessman and veteran Quang Pham was mounting a strong challenge, at least on the fundraising front, in the GOP primary to Assemblyman Van Tran, to the extent that the NRCC took notice and put him “On the Radar.” However, he bailed out of the race on Friday, citing the need to get back to his day job, although he may also have been concerned that the three Vietnamese candidates competing in the primary might split the vote to the extent that it would let no-name Anglo Kathy Smith with the primary.

IA-03, MO-04: Two old guys who’ve been on everybody’s retirement watch lists despite continuous reassurances that they’re running for re-election made it about as official as can be. Leonard Boswell and Ike Skelton have both filed to run one more time.

KS-04: State Sen. Dick Kelsey, one of half a dozen Republicans fighting for the open seat in the Wichita-based 4th left behind by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, has suspended his campaign. He cited his wife’s health problems, and reserved the right to get back in the race later.

MA-10: Some comings and goings in the Democratic field in the now-open 10th: as expected, Norfolk County DA William Keating is confirming he’ll run for the Dem nod. However, oft-mentioned state Rep. Ron Mariano said he’ll pass on the race.

PA-12: As we wait for a verdict from the state Democratic Party’s executive committee, here’s some interesting scuttlebutt. Pa2010 cites an unnamed high-level party insider as saying it’s “highly unlikely” that Mark Critz (former John Murtha district director) gets picked by the state committee, which has the final decision despite the local party’s choice of Critz over the weekend. He cites concerns over Critz’s electability stemming from tax problems at a company he’d helped run. Pa2010 also hears rumors that Cambria County Controller Ed Cernic Jr., who made little impact at the local convention, could wind up being the compromise pick, as he fits the district’s blue-collar pro-life pro-gun mold better than Barbara Hafer but without Critz’s possible baggage. We’ll know soon whether this is actually happening, or the source was just a guy with an ax to grind.

DCCC: The D-Trip has named Bruce Braley, Allyson Schwarz, Patrick Murphy, and Donna Edwards as chairs of this cycle’s Red to Blue program. While the DCCC has announced some “races to watch,” it hasn’t officially named anyone to R2B yet. Also, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel “will take on additional responsibility this cycle with Democratic incumbents who are not on the DCCC’s Frontline Program.” I don’t know if this means helping folks like Ike Skelton who are vulnerable but not on Frontline, or harassing the crap out of safe members who haven’t fulfilled their dues payments. Hopefully both. (D)

Fundraising: With Bill Russell back in the news with the PA-12 special election, TPM’s back on the case of shady GOP fundraising firm BMW Direct, which raises big bucks for gullible candidates with high-profile opponents and keeps almost all of the money for itself. They’ve changed their name to BaseConnect, but are up to the same old tricks. And I actually feel a little bad about this… Rep. Joe Cao looks like he’s gotten tangled up in their web, which explains his fundraising “success” and his near-total burn rate.

State legislatures: In the diaries, Johnny Longtorso has a comprehensive look at the legislatures that the Dems control and are defending in the 2008 election. There are major redistricting stakes at issue in many of the races, including some where the odds don’t look too good, especially Pennsylvania’s House.

SSP Daily Digest: 7/2

NC-Sen: Republican pollster Civitas poked at the Senate race, not doing head-to-heads but looking at favorables for Richard Burr and two of his likeliest challengers, SoS Elaine Marshall and Rep. Mike McIntyre. Marshall and McIntyre are little-known, with 12/7 favorables for Marshall and 13/10 and McIntyre (although he was at 38/12 in his district). The bad news for Burr? He’s barely doing better than them, with 31/19 favorables (meaning 50% don’t know him or have no opinion).

NY-Sen-B: Marist dribbles out the Senate half of its newest New York poll today (Gov was yesterday), and it finds a super-tight race in the Dem primary in wake of yesterday’s sorta-kinda entry by Carolyn Maloney: Maloney leads Kirsten Gillibrand, 38-37 (compared with a 36-31 Gillibrand lead in May). Gillibrand wins against both George Pataki (46-42, up from a 46-38 deficit last time) and Peter King (48-32). Marist doesn’t do general election head-to-heads with Maloney, although for some reason they poll a GOP primary between Pataki and King (51-36 for Pataki) despite the decreasing likelihood that either of them run.

Also of interest: Bill Clinton will be appearing at a Maloney fundraiser scheduled for July 20. Clinton isn’t wading into the race with an endorsement at this point, though; this was in the works long before Maloney announced her run, as payback for Maloney’s 2008 primary support for Hillary Clinton, and he also headlined a Gillibrand fundraiser in March.

PA-Sen: Pat Toomey got another endorsement from one of the more conservative members of Pennsylvania’s House GOP delegation: PA-09’s Bill Shuster.

AL-Gov: The Democratic field in the governor’s race in Alabama seems to be solidifying; the last question mark, Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, announced that she won’t be running. With a lot of establishment figures waiting on the fence to see if an alternative to Rep. Artur Davis and Ag Comm. Ron Sparks shows up, expect them to start choosing sides soon. Davis, meanwhile, has been staffing up with some key political players, adding Joey Ceci and David Mowery to his team (who managed the successful campaigns of freshman Reps. Parker Griffith and Bobby Bright).

CA-Gov: Sure, California’s an expensive state, but Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman have reported gigantic hauls even by the Golden State’s outsized standards. Brown raised $7.3 million in the year’s first half, while Whitman raised $6.5 million. Steve Poizner and Gavin Newsom raised huge sums and are still far behind — Poizner raised $1.3 million and loaned himself another $4 million, while Newsom raised $1.6 million, much of it online.

MN-Gov: The tradmed seems to be intent today on talking up Norm Coleman’s next logical step as being running for Governor of Minnesota, although Minnesota reporters and politicians in the know are trying to point out the sheer ridiculousness of that idea. (If Norm’s going to be doing any running soon, it’s running away from the FBI, as they investigate his links to Nasser Kazeminy.)

RI-Gov: The Democratic primary for the open Rhode Island Governor’s seat was looking to be a three-way slugfest, but Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts yesterday announced that she would run for re-election instead of for Gov. Although she had started staffing up for the race, she couldn’t have been encouraged by poll numbers which showed her at a disadvantage with likely opponents Treasurer Frank Caprio and AG Patrick Lynch.

SC-Gov: Gov. Mark Sanford seems to have taken a few steps backwards this week. A snap poll from yesterday by SUSA now finds 69% of South Carolinians saying resign, as opposed to 28% saying stay. 63% say they have “no trust” in Sanford. Here’s an interesting red flag: only 20% say Lt. Gov/party boy Andre Bauer is “completely prepared” to become Governor, with 38% saying “somewhat prepared” and 34% saying “not prepared.”

WI-Gov: Real estate developer and ex-Rep. Mark Neumann, who held WI-01 from 1994 to 1998 before losing narrowly to Russ Feingold, announced his gubernatorial candidacy yesterday. Neumann’s entry had been widely anticipated; he’ll face off against Milwaukee Co. Executive Scott Walker in the GOP primary.

CA-45: With Rep. Mary Bono Mack having defected on the cap-and-trade vote, the rightosphere has been calling for her head. Their favored replacement, term-limited state Senator Dennis Hollingsworth, quickly said “no” to a primary challenge, so their wish-list has turned to ex-state Sens. Jim Battin and Ray Haynes and ex-state Rep. Bonnie Garcia.

IL-14: A second GOP challenger got into the race against Rep. Bill Foster, although this guy doesn’t sound like he’ll pose much of a threat to Ethan Hastert for the nom. Jeff Danklefsen hasn’t run for office before and is “maintenance manager for a property management company.”

LA-03: The Hill reported last week that Democratic efforts to find a replacement to Rep. Charlie Melancon have focused on state Rep. Gary Smith, who was going to run for the open seat in 2004 but deferred to Melancon. State Rep. Fred Mills was also interested, but state Rep. Damon Baldone, who might be the highest-profile candidate, is about to run in a special election for a state Senate seat and is unlikely to follow that with a U.S. House run.

PA-06: With the 2nd quarter just wrapped up, look for lots of financial reports to start getting leaked. Here’s a nice place to start: Doug Pike, in the 6th, is looking at a haul of over $500K for the quarter, thanks a recent D.C. fundraiser starring Allyson Schwartz and Patrick Murphy.

WI-08: We’re building up a backlog of Republicans trying to take on Rep. Steve Kagen. Businessman Reid Ribble jumped into the field, joining Door Co. Supervisor Marc Savard and Brown Co. Supervisor Andy Williams.

WV-02: With some prodding from the DCCC, Gov. Joe Manchin’s former general counsel, Carte Goodwin, is looking into challenging Rep. Shelly Capito Moore in the Charleston-based 2nd.  

PA-Sen: Schwartz Won’t Challenge Specter

Not that it’s a surprise, but we can now officially cross off Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz from the open seat watch:

Aides to Rep. Allyson Schwartz say the third-term Pennsylvania Democrat will not seek her party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Schwartz was among those widely talked about as a possible candidate, and had considered a Senate run. But after Arlen Specter’s party switch, Schwartz plans to support him and will focus on having a larger role in health-care policy in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania GOP, apparently unhappy-to-fearful with the idea of a Toomey general election candidacy and the havoc that it might wreak downballot, is searching fiercely for an alternative. The Hill mentions ex-Gov. Tom Ridge and current Reps. Jim Gerlach, Charlie Dent and Tim Murphy as possibilities. I’m not sure if any of those guys (particularly Ridge, who isn’t exactly a popular figure within the GOP’s base himself) would be interested in that kind of fight, but who the hell knows anymore.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/16

NY-20 (pdf): There’s light at the end of the tunnel in the NY-20 count, and as we get closer, Scott Murphy’s numbers keep going up. This morning’s BoE tally gives him a lead of 167, following the addition of more votes from Columbia, Dutchess, and Warren Counties (all of which Murphy won on Election Day).

Apparently all Saratoga County votes are accounted for, except for 700 challenged ballots, which, thanks to yesterday’s court ruling, will be counted. (While Saratoga County in general is Jim Tedisco’s turf, the Tedisco camp’s heavy use of challenges of student votes suggests that these votes may include a lot of votes from artsy Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, which one would expect to lean Democratic.)

CO-Sen: Finally, a GOPer commits to the Colorado senate race against appointee Michael Bennet. It’s Aurora city councilor Ryan Frazier, who made his announcement while teabagging in Grand Junction. Frazier is 31 and African-American, so he brings an interesting backstory to the race, but it’s unclear whether his strength among conservative activists can overcome his otherwise low profile in the GOP primary (assuming anyone else bothers to show up).

FL-Sen: Quinnipiac takes another look at the Florida senate race; not much has changed since last time, although one noteworthy finding is that Floridians would prefer to see Charlie Crist remain as governor rather than jump to senate, by a 42-26 margin. That doesn’t stop him from crushing in the senate primary (Crist beats Marco Rubio and Vern Buchanan 54-8-8). Buchanan leads a Crist-free primary, while on the Dem side, Kendrick Meek narrowly leads Pam Iorio (16-15, with 8 for Ron Klein, 5 from Dan Gelber, and a whole lotta undecideds).

PA-Sen: John Peterson isn’t a make-or-break endorsement, but the former GOP representative from rural PA-05 said that he won’t support Arlen Specter’s re-election bid in 2010. He stopped short of endorsing Pat Toomey (Peterson supported Specter in the 2004 primary), but said it was time for Specter to retire. In other completely unsurprising endorsement news, the Club for Growth (of which Pat Toomey was president until several days ago) today endorsed Toomey’s bid. Laugh all you want, but Toomey will need all the financial help he can get; Specter hauled in $1.3 million in Q1 and is sitting on $6.7 million CoH.

TX-Sen: Our friends at Burnt Orange Report have a nice graph showing Bill White and John Sharp dominating the fundraising chase so far in the hypothetical Texas senate race. (The chart doesn’t include GOP heavyweights Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and AG Greg Abbott, who haven’t taken formal steps for the race, but whose cash stashes are state-specific, putting them back to fundraising square one if they ran for senate.)

CT-Sen: If Chris Dodd is going to win again in 2010, it’s going to be on the back of money, not popularity. Luckily, he still has lots of the former, as big-money donors aren’t being scared off by his poll numbers: he raised $1 million in the first quarter, with $1.4 million CoH.

MN-Sen (pdf): Minnesotans would like the madness to stop, and would like to have a 2nd senator. PPP finds that 63% think that Norm Coleman should concede right now, and 59% (including 54% of independents) think Tim Pawlenty should sign Al Franken’s certificate of election right now. (This should give Pawlenty some pause as to whether or not to create further delay in the name of partisan politics, as he’s about the only person left who can drag this out.)

MO-Sen: Roy Blunt raised $542K in the first quarter, only about half of what Robin Carnahan raised. Our JeremiahTheMessiah came up with the best possible headline for this story:

Carnahan Smokes Blunt… In Fundraising

GA-Gov: As reported in the diaries yesterday by fitchfan28, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle dropped out of the gubernatorial race, citing health concerns. Cagle was more-or-less front-runner, and his departure leaves SoS Karen Handel and Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine to slug it out for the GOP.

IL-10, PA-07: Two huge fundraising hauls (by House standards) from two candidates who may be looking to move up. Mark Kirk, who pulled in $696K in the first quarter, is supposed to decide soon whether or not to try for IL-Sen. (He has only $597K CoH, though, after burning through all his cash defending his seat in 2008. So he may just be raising hard in expectation of another top-tier challenge in 2010 in this blue district.)

Joe Sestak raised $550K in the first quarter, leaving him sitting on a mongo $3.3 million. Could this… plus his suddenly increased media presence, as he talks the defense budget and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… be tea leaves that he may be the Dem who jumps into PA-Sen after all? (Sestak has previously declined, and he’s always been mentioned as an afterthought in this race after Allyson Schwartz and Patrick Murphy. But neither of them have made any moves, leaving Joe Torsella the only Dem challenger so far.)

Numbers: California’s Secretary of State office finally released its Supplement to the Statement of Vote, heaven for nerds. Now you can look up Presidential and Prop 8 votes not just by congressional district, but by state senate or assembly district or even Board of Equalization district.

PA-Sen: The Potential Democratic Primary Pool

{Originally posted with poll at my blog Senate Guru.  Head over to vote in the poll.}

With conservative former Congressman Pat Toomey set to challenge incumbent Arlen Specter in the 2010 Republican Senate primary, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see a bloodbath in which Specter is labeled a convictionless flip-flopper and Toomey is dubbed an unelectable right-winger.  No doubt both Specter and Toomey will spend the bulk of their resources just to get through the primary, leaving the eventual Republican nominee politically battered and financially near-broke, having to re-build a bankroll from almost scratch.

Naturally, this raises the question: who do you want the Democratic nominee to be?  With the Republican nominee starting the general election in rough shape from a bloody primary, and with Pennsylvania Democrats continuing to grow their voter registration edge over Pennsylvania Republicans, Democrats are in the driver’s seat.  Without further ado, here is the cattle call of potential candidates, in alphabetical order:

District Attorney Lynne Abraham

During late-December of last year, both KYW Newsradio 1060 Philadelphia and CBS-3 Philadelphia reported that District Attorney Abraham was considering a bid.  As for bio, she was head of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in the 1970’s and subsequently a judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.  She has been District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia since 1991 and has won four elections during her tenure – but she has already announced that she is not running for re-election to the post this year.  A knock on her as a candidate, though, is related to the strength of her resume: in 2010, she will turn 69-years-old.  I don’t imagine she’d plan on seeking several six-year terms to build her seniority.

State Representative Dwight Evans

The 54-year-old State Representative is a powerhouse in the state Legislature as the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, having served in the state House for nearly thirty years, but has also had his share of electoral losses.  He finished third in the 1986 Democratic primary for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor, finished third in the 1994 Democratic gubernatorial primary, and had fifth-place showings in two crowded Philadelphia Mayoral runs in 1999 and 2007.  Still as the Democrats’ Appropriations chief for nearly twenty of his thirty years in the state House, he has wielded considerable power for a long time.  The Executive Director of the PA-Dems was talking Representative Evans up this past January as a possible 2010 Senate candidate.  Representative Evans has done a great deal to improve Philadelphians’ lives, but has had difficulty translating that success in bids for higher office.

Congressman Patrick Murphy

At only 35-years-old, Congressman Murphy, an Iraq War veteran now serving his second term in Congress, is considered a rising star in the Party.  Some of his pluses are quite obvious: his military experience brings unique perspective and his relative youth would allow him to build seniority over the years for Pennsylvania.  According to the National Journal’s 2008 Vote Ratings, Congressman Murphy was the 187th most liberal member and the 240th most conservative member – in other words, he was fairly centrist.  Given the political carnage that is expected at the end of Specter-Toomey: The Sequel, PA-Dems may want to elect someone more liberal than Congressman Murphy has been.  Also, while Congressman Murphy appears to be a more-than-decent fundraiser, as of the end of 2008, he had just under $150,000 on hand, with just over $100,000 in debt, which means he’s starting from nearly scratch on the money front.

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz

Now serving in her third term, Congresswoman Schwartz is one of only two women in Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation.  Her bio includes: executive director of the Elizabeth Blackwell Center, a Planned parenthood clinic in Philadelphia, ’75-’88; acting Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, ’88-’90; State Senator, ’91-’04; Congresswoman, ’05-present.  According to the National Journal’s 2008 Vote Ratings, Congresswoman Schwartz was the 112th most liberal member and the 316th most conservative member, i.e.she was a bit to Congressman Murphy’s political left.  Also, known for being a strong fundraiser, she closed out 2008 with just under $2 million on hand and no debt.  On Election Day 2010, Congresswoman Schwartz will be 62-years-old, suggesting perhaps only a tenure of two-terms tops if she ran.

Congressman Joe Sestak

The 57-year-old military veteran is in his second term in Congress.  After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974, Congressman Sestak picked up an M.P.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard before embarking on an impressive naval career.  According to the National Journal’s 2008 Vote Ratings, Congressman Sestak was the 150th most liberal member and the 277th most conservative member, putting him in between Congressman Murphy and Congresswoman Schwartz in the ranking.  Also a very solid fundraiser, Congressman Sestak ended 2008 with over $2.9 million on hand and no debt.  Back in December, Congressman Sestak’s office suggested that he wouldn’t be a candidate for Senate in 2010; however, with the new political dynamic of the combative Republican primary, perhaps Congressman Sestak might reconsider.

State Representative Josh Shapiro

Like Congressman Murphy, Representative Shapiro is only 35-years-old.  He is in his third term in the state Legislature, and was named Deputy Speaker of the House in his second term.  Prior to his time in the state Legislature, Representative Shapiro spent about eight years on Capitol Hill working for several elected officials, including service as Chief of Staff to Congressman Joe Hoeffel, Arlen Specter’s last Democratic opponent.  Representative Shapiro has met with the DSCC to discuss a possible bid; and, he has begun an aggressive outreach campaign to determine whether or not he’ll run.

State Board of Education Chairman Joe Torsella

The 45-year-old Torsella has worn many hats: state Board of Education Chairman, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, and Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning for the City of Philadelphia under then-Mayor and now-Governor Ed Rendell.  He also ran for Congress in 2004 and narrowly lost the Democratic primary to now-Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who won her first term in that election cycle.  He is also the only announced candidate for Senate in 2010 on the Democratic side, though he has yet to launch a campaign website (that I can find, anyway) despite having announced two months ago.  It is rumored that Torsella enjoys the support of Governor Rendell’s political machine behind the scenes.  Through contacts from his numerous civic roles and possible assistance from the Rendell machine, Torsella was able to raise a respectable $600,000 in Q1 (having only started campaign fundraising in mid-February).  The amount is enough to demonstrate capable fundraising, but far from strong enough to scare off primary challengers, especially members of Congress with seven-figure campaign bankrolls.

State Auditor Jack Wagner

Auditor Wagner began serving as a statewide official in this capacity in 2005, succeeding Bob Casey Jr., who, of course, defeated Republican Rick Santorum for Senate in 2006.  Prior to his tenure as Auditor, Wagner spent a little over a decade in the Pennsylvania state Senate.  Auditor Wagner is also a Purple Heart recipient from his time with the Marine Corps in Vietnam.  Auditor Wagner is the only person on this list from western Pennsylvania, which could provide a geographic advantage.  On Election Day 2010, Auditor Wagner will be 62-years-old, like Congresswoman Schwartz, suggesting a limit to his possible tenure in the Senate.  Additionally, it’s been reported that Auditor Wagner has told friends that he will not run for the Senate seat.

Former State Treasurer Robin Wiessmann

Former Treasurer Wiessman had a largely financial services background before filling the remainder of Bob Casey’s Treasurer term after he ascended to the U.S. Senate.  She spent the 90’s as President of Artemis Capital Group and went on to serve as a Vice-president at Goldman Sachs.  She also put in a stint as Deputy Director of Finance for the City of Philadelphia.  If Wiessman was interested in a prolonged political career, one suspects that she would have run for Treasurer last year instead of ceding the office, though.  If she does decide to run, fundraising won’t be as difficult as it would be for other first-time candidates as her husband is reportedly a major Democratic fundraiser.

With Governor Ed Rendell serious about retiring from electoral politics and with current state Treasurer Rob McCord in only his fourth month in the role and having expressed no interest in a Senate bid thus far, this appears to be the pool from which a Democratic nominee will arise.  You’re encouraged to make your case for your candidate in the comments.  If there is someone you would like to see as the Democratic nominee in PA-Sen who hasn’t been listed, share your thoughts in the comments, as well.

Jurassic Park IV, or Redistricting Pennsylvania

(From the diaries with minor edits – promoted by DavidNYC)

As I’d promised in my diary on New Jersey, Pennsylvania would be the next state I’d tackle. This would  have been done a lot sooner, but those things called work and exams kind of got in the way….

My goal, flat out, was to carve more Democratic districts. I’m all for compactness when it comes to suitcases and mp3’s, but not when I’m gerrymandering states. Again, I kept Democratic Congresscritters in their homes.

Unlike New Jersey though, Pennsylvania is probably maxed-out when it comes to Democrats (save Gerlach and Dent, whose districts are certainly Democratic.) Pennsylvania is also losing one seat (most likely) in 2010, so I drew 18 seats on 2008 population estimates. I didn’t “merge” two districts per se, but more like took the 16th, 17th, and 19th and produced two districts from them.

I had the following goals in mind:

  • Dislodge Gerlach (6th) and Dent (15th) by increasing Democratic performance in their districts.

  • Give Dahlkemper (3rd), Altmire (4th), Murtha (12th), and Holden (17th) more favorable territory. They represent McCain districts now, I wanted to change those to Obama districts.

  • Maintain strength for Sestak (7th), Patrick Murphy (8th), Kanjorski (11th), and Schwartz (13th). They have decently strongly Democratic districts, which I wanted to maintain at their current levels.

  • Keep Brady (1st), Fattah (2nd), and Doyle (14th) in strongly Democratic districts, but perhaps not as absurdly strong as before. Obama scored 88%, 90%, and 70% respectively, I felt this could afford to be lowered somewhat. A corollary to this goal is keeping Fattah’s district majority Black. I didn’t bother with Brady’s currently plurality Black district, though it may still be.

Here’s the new map (click for full-size version):

Much more below the flip.

Again, to start, I used this map of Obama’s performance across the state, by municipality. As before, lightest shade is a margin of less than 5%, then 5 to 15, 15 to 25, 25 to 35, and the new uber-dark, which is a margin of 35+.

Going district by district, here’s what we’ve got. As a sidenote, I didn’t bother renumbering districts to make sense (which they don’t right now). I think it’s easier to keep core areas the same when numbering, since I think most of us automatically relate, for example, “PA-14” to Pittsburgh.

Summary statistics are: County, Population, Obama Votes, McCain Votes, Total Votes, Obama%, McCain%.

I’m going to go Northwest to Southeast, as opposed to in order by non-sensical district number. I think that makes the most sense.

3 689,046 169,632 139,373 314,100 54.01% 44.37%
Cameron 5,974 879 1,323 2,257 38.95% 58.62%
Centre 96,991 33,113 21,090 55,022 60.18% 38.33%
Clarion 11,906 2,701 2,626 5,432 49.72% 48.34%
Clearfield 38,795 7,372 7,835 15,582 47.31% 50.28%
Clinton 27,232 5,557 5,070 10,767 51.61% 47.09%
Crawford 88,880 16,780 20,750 38,134 44.00% 54.41%
Elk 32,914 7,290 6,676 14,361 50.76% 46.49%
Erie 279,255 75,775 50,351 127,691 59.34% 39.43%
Forest 4,946 1,038 1,366 2,468 42.06% 55.35%
McKean 20,003 3,579 3,628 7,370 48.56% 49.23%
Mercer 16,892 2,842 4,191 7,184 39.56% 58.34%
Venango 24,009 4,169 4,782 9,169 45.47% 52.15%
Warren 41,249 8,537 9,685 18,663 45.74% 51.89%

Sad to say, this district probably isn’t much more gerrymandered than its current counterpart. It contains the entirety of Erie and Crawford counties in the northwest, and starts a slow march towards State College. I’d hate to leave those Democratic votes behind, and plus they’re a good way to shore up Dahlkemper’s district, which Obama lost by 17 votes. It takes in the Democratic parts of Centre and Clinton counties on the east end, with some arms into Clarion and Venango. I’d like to think I succeeded, since Obama scored 45% in the 3rd’s part of Venango and 50% in Clarion, compared to 35% and 33% in the parts not in the 3rd. All in all, a 54% Obama district – a 6% increase from its current form.

4 689,397 182,724 168,763 356,152 51.31% 47.39%
Allegheny 389,960 110,152 102,177 214,148 51.44% 47.71%
Beaver 149,042 36,109 35,781 73,326 49.24% 48.80%
Lawrence 75,681 17,041 16,670 34,362 49.59% 48.51%
Mercer 74,714 19,422 14,135 34,316 56.60% 41.19%

Altmire is pretty much in the same boat as Dahlkemper, except with a district that Obama lost 44-55. There’s no need to complicate this by including any parts of Butler County, so this district sticks along the Ohio, Beaver, and Shenango Rivers up from Pittsburgh (but not including) to Sharon, through Allegheny, Beaver, Lawrence, and Mercer counties. It’s a point of pride for me that Obama won each county component. Specifically in Allegheny County, Altmire swaps out a bunch of Republican northern suburbs for friendlier stuff east of the city, notably Monroeville and Penn Hills. Obama scored 44% in the Allegheny portion of the old 4th, compard to 51% here. If Altmire didn’t live in Republican-leaning McCandless, there could have perhaps been more improvement. Anyways, this works out to a 51% Obama district – an improvement of 7%.

18 689,231 136,738 218,177 359,372 38.05% 60.71%
Allegheny 127,747 30,252 41,789 72,634 41.65% 57.53%
Beaver 24,444 4,390 7,114 11,706 37.50% 60.77%
Butler 181,082 32,260 57,074 90,761 35.54% 62.88%
Greene 13,925 2,072 2,748 4,892 42.35% 56.17%
Lawrence 16,216 2,670 5,181 7,987 33.43% 64.87%
Mercer 25,909 4,147 8,239 12,668 32.74% 65.04%
Washington 82,349 18,019 27,503 46,141 39.05% 59.61%
Westmoreland 217,559 42,928 68,529 112,583 38.13% 60.87%

This district is what happens when you try to strip all the Republican territory out of the 3rd, 4th, and 12th districts and pack it together. Butler County has no place in a Democratic district, nor does the large chunk of Westmoreland County which is quickly trending away from us. Throw in some the northern Pittsburgh suburbs stripped out of Altmire’s district and the core of Tim Murphy’s old district, and you get this 38% – an 8% drop in Democratic performance.

14 688,540 227,685 124,055 355,158 64.11% 34.93%
Allegheny 688,540 227,685 124,055 355,158 64.11% 34.93%

The 14th doesn’t change much – it keeps the entirety of the city of Pittsburgh and suburbs to the east like Swissvale and Doyle’s home in Forest Hills. Instead of reaching southwest, the new 14th looks south to the southern Pittsburgh suburbs like Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park. Arguably, this district is actually more compact than the current 14th. No worries for Mike F. Doyle though, since Obama still won 55% in the non-Pittsburgh part of the district.  Combine that with the 75% Obama scored in the city, and you get a 64% Democratic district, a drop of 6%.

12 689,579 146,095 143,358 294,030 49.69% 48.76%
Allegheny 19,931 4,385 3,865 8,347 52.53% 46.30%
Armstrong 26,485 5,114 6,186 11,454 44.65% 54.01%
Cambria 131,716 29,955 28,623 59,705 50.17% 47.94%
Fayette 135,292 24,805 23,726 49,108 50.51% 48.31%
Greene 25,794 5,757 5,141 11,084 51.94% 46.38%
Indiana 55,368 12,477 12,254 25,068 49.77% 48.88%
Somerset 26,108 5,709 6,599 12,656 45.11% 52.14%
Washington 122,958 28,100 23,199 52,318 53.71% 44.34%
Westmoreland 145,927 29,793 33,765 64,290 46.34% 52.52%

It’s no secret Obama didn’t do all that hot in Southwest PA, and it’s painfully obvious here. Kerry won the old 12th, which Obama lost by about 1,000 votes. Trying to create an Obama district required some creative districting and ends up being more like connect-the-dots between traditionally Democratic Fayette and Greene counties, Johnstown (Murtha’s residence), Washington, the college town of Indiana, and Lower Burrell in Westmoreland. The old 12th pretty much packed all the Democratic votes in the area, so the increased population requirement really made me stretch. I think again, I have a strong case for this being more compact than the old 12th. Either way, it’s a slight improvement to a district Obama won by 3,000 votes, an improvement of 0.5%.

9 689,087 102,284 191,267 298,149 34.31% 64.15%
Adams 5,926 1,018 1,671 2,739 37.17% 61.01%
Armstrong 42,940 6,024 12,356 18,627 32.34% 66.33%
Bedford 49,650 6,059 16,124 22,508 26.92% 71.64%
Blair 125,593 19,813 32,708 53,298 37.17% 61.37%
Cambria 14,271 2,496 3,372 5,965 41.84% 56.53%
Clarion 28,186 4,045 8,111 12,435 32.53% 65.23%
Clearfield 33,268 5,672 8,599 14,588 38.88% 58.95%
Cumberland 19,402 3,428 4,426 7,976 42.98% 55.49%
Fayette 9,667 1,090 2,054 3,172 34.36% 64.75%
Franklin 139,459 21,169 41,906 63,641 33.26% 65.85%
Fulton 14,261 1,576 4,642 6,306 24.99% 73.61%
Huntingdon 45,552 6,621 11,745 18,730 35.35% 62.71%
Indiana 32,520 4,588 7,473 12,236 37.50% 61.07%
Jefferson 45,151 6,447 12,057 18,904 34.10% 63.78%
Somerset 52,087 7,169 15,087 22,712 31.56% 66.43%
Venango 31,154 5,069 8,936 14,312 35.42% 62.44%

Moving into the ‘T’ now, this is the first of two extremely Republican districts. Arguably, there are two population centers, one in Altoona in Blair County and the other in Chambersburg in Franklin. From there, it moves northwest, picking up the parts of Somerset, Cambria, Indiana, and Armstrong not packed into Murtha’s 12th, and then the parts of Venango and Clarion not in Dahlkemper’s 3rd. At 34% Obama, this is the most Republican district in Pennsylvania and a 1% drop from the current 9th.

5 689,043 114,992 195,836 315,767 36.42% 62.02%
Berks 9,899 993 2,312 3,366 29.50% 68.69%
Centre 46,567 8,837 11,902 21,089 41.90% 56.44%
Clearfield 9,696 1,511 2,228 3,839 39.36% 58.04%
Clinton 10,002 1,540 2,434 4,024 38.27% 60.49%
Cumberland 199,164 43,028 57,531 102,130 42.13% 56.33%
Dauphin 43,419 8,423 15,149 23,834 35.34% 63.56%
Juniata 23,163 3,068 6,484 9,819 31.25% 66.04%
Lebanon 53,875 9,202 16,904 26,528 34.69% 63.72%
Lycoming 49,426 7,076 15,691 23,131 30.59% 67.84%
McKean 23,852 2,886 5,596 8,645 33.38% 64.73%
Mifflin 46,609 5,375 10,929 16,502 32.57% 66.23%
Montour 3,868 590 1,167 1,771 33.31% 65.89%
Northumberland 22,909 3,245 6,360 9,734 33.34% 65.34%
Perry 44,850 6,396 13,058 19,745 32.39% 66.13%
Potter 18,080 2,300 5,109 7,583 30.33% 67.37%
Schuylkill 10,533 1,776 3,294 5,139 34.56% 64.10%
Snyder 23,134 2,499 6,442 9,069 27.56% 71.03%
Tioga 24,641 3,610 7,527 11,305 31.93% 66.58%
Union 25,356 2,637 5,719 8,514 30.97% 67.17%

The is the other Republican district taking in a large chunk of the T. More packing of Republicans here, as this district on the east side swaps many tentacles with Chris Carney’s new 10th district. Any pockets of even-remotely Democratic friendliness are pulled out, including Williamsport and Sunbury. What’s left is expansive Republican space, centered in Cumberland County moving north towards the Northern Tier. At 36% Obama, this is a drop of 8%.

10 688,967 134,946 156,456 296,409 45.53% 52.78%
Berks 8,704 1,724 2,167 3,995 43.15% 54.24%
Bradford 61,626 10,306 15,057 25,884 39.82% 58.17%
Columbia 64,663 13,019 14,255 27,838 46.77% 51.21%
Dauphin 5,728 823 1,231 2,073 39.70% 59.38%
Lackawanna 44,778 13,784 10,806 24,913 55.33% 43.37%
Luzerne 11,637 2,044 3,020 5,153 39.67% 58.61%
Lycoming 67,880 11,305 14,589 26,316 42.96% 55.44%
Montour 14,368 2,757 3,388 6,216 44.35% 54.50%
Northumberland 68,307 11,083 12,655 24,201 45.80% 52.29%
Pike 57,102 11,493 12,519 24,285 47.33% 51.55%
Schuylkill 108,170 20,758 23,247 44,766 46.37% 51.93%
Snyder 14,849 2,883 3,458 6,410 44.98% 53.95%
Sullivan 6,556 1,233 1,841 3,131 39.38% 58.80%
Susquehanna 41,388 8,381 10,633 19,383 43.24% 54.86%
Tioga 16,194 2,780 3,799 6,679 41.62% 56.88%
Union 17,997 4,696 4,140 8,961 52.40% 46.20%
Wayne 51,139 9,892 12,702 22,932 43.14% 55.39%
Wyoming 27,881 5,985 6,949 13,273 45.09% 52.35%

You can’t win all of them, and this is the one district that wasn’t to my liking. I really wanted to protect Carney a bit more, but the territory simply wasn’t there to do that and protect the Democratic strength of Kanjorski’s 11th. I chose to hedge a bit and to keep the 11th strongly Democratic. It might be a waste to protect Kanjorski like that, but he’s got to retire eventually and we can definitely get a good Democrat out of Scranton. Thus, this district starts in Wayne and Pike counties, before moving through Susquehanna (Carney lives in Dimock) and northern Lackawanna counties. Lycoming County outside of Williamsport is stripped out as much as possible, and it gains Columbia County and a large chunk of Schuylkill County freed up from Holden’s 17th. Surprisingly, I still managed a gain of 0.5% to 45.5% Obama. Carney should be fine here regardless.

11 689,582 177,101 128,039 309,934 57.14% 41.31%
Carbon 62,326 13,464 12,957 27,050 49.77% 47.90%
Lackawanna 164,442 53,736 28,682 83,626 64.26% 34.30%
Luzerne 300,203 70,448 58,107 130,815 53.85% 44.42%
Monroe 162,611 39,453 28,293 68,443 57.64% 41.34%

Kanjorski was probably saved in 2008 by Obama’s coattails, and shoring up the 11th was one of my major goals. Surprisingly, this actually becomes more compact, too, it seems. What we get is a district centered on the Lackawanna Valley. 43% of this district is Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County, and another 23% each for Scranton/Lackawanna County and Monroe County. All in all, a 57% Obama district, up 0.3% from the old 11th. Also a rare victory for compactness.

17 689,314 176,601 148,808 329,673 53.57% 45.14%
Berks 52,440 11,062 13,461 24,959 44.32% 53.93%
Cumberland 6,969 1,850 1,782 3,719 49.74% 47.92%
Dauphin 199,854 59,866 40,264 101,138 59.19% 39.81%
Lancaster 229,139 60,406 52,477 114,386 52.81% 45.88%
Lebanon 72,551 14,108 17,410 32,035 44.04% 54.35%
Schuylkill 28,135 5,938 7,418 13,522 43.91% 54.86%
York 100,226 23,371 15,996 39,914 58.55% 40.08%

Connect the dots version 2.0 here, as we string together the cities of York, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Tim Holden’s home in St. Clair in Schuylkill County, all of which are strongly Democratic. They’re counterbalanced by the Republican outlying portions of York, Dauphin, and Lancaster counties, though. However, 59% Obama performances in the 17th’s parts of Dauphin and York and a 53% showing in Lancaster anchor this 54% Obama district on balance, an improvement of 6% from the current 17th.

16 688,715 118,510 197,429 320,910 36.93% 61.52%
Adams 93,986 16,615 24,678 41,924 39.63% 58.86%
Berks 9,821 2,245 3,260 5,596 40.12% 58.26%
Chester 1,059 243 552 806 30.15% 68.49%
Dauphin 5,275 759 1,576 2,362 32.13% 66.72%
Lancaster 264,774 39,180 74,091 114,863 34.11% 64.50%
York 313,800 59,468 93,272 155,359 38.28% 60.04%

This is what remains of the old 16th and 19th districts once the Democratic cities are stripped out. There’s really not much to say about this district based in York and Lancaster, except that it’s the last “Republican” district we have to talk about, it only gets better from here. At 37% Obama, it’s a drop of 6% from the old 19th and 10% from the old 16th – which was intentional, of course.

15 688,754 177,367 136,903 318,961 55.61% 42.92%
Berks 65,559 15,023 14,970 30,535 49.20% 49.03%
Lehigh 333,423 87,089 63,382 152,473 57.12% 41.57%
Northampton 289,772 75,255 58,551 135,953 55.35% 43.07%

Starting with the Lehigh Valley, the 15th continues to have the entirety of Northampton County. Lehigh County did have a bite taken out of it by the old pterodactyl of the 6th, but the Lehigh in its entirety stays here too. Instead of reaching into MontCo with two rods hugging the MontCo-Berks and MontCo-BucksCo line, it goes for Bucks County instead. At 56% Obama, this is a slight improvement. Charlie Dent should be gone as soon as we get a good challenger anyway.

Southeast PA is definitely (in my mind, anyway), the coup de grace of this map. Here’s an inset of that:

Each district is colored by county component: all greens are the 6th or 8th, blues are the 7th or 13th, red is the 1st, and yellow is the 2nd.

First, the boring stuff (i.e. the 1st and 2nd):

1 689,174 266,010 78,010 347,098 76.64% 22.47%
Delaware 208,267 65,596 42,719 109,675 59.81% 38.95%
Philadelphia 480,907 200,414 35,291 237,423 84.41% 14.86%

Bob Brady’s district remains anchored in South Philly with an arm into Delaware County. The composition of this arm, however, is significantly different. Brady swaps with Sestak some cities (notably strongly-Democratic Chester city) for some Republican leaning parts of the Main Line. Brady’s old 1st had a 89% Democratic section of DelCo, the new 1st has a 60% Democratic section. This lowers Democratic performance by about 11%, down to 77%. Brady need not be concerned.

2 688,659 303,286 34,983 339,990 89.20% 10.29%
Philadelphia 688,659 303,286 34,983 339,990 89.20% 10.29%

No significant changes for Chaka Fattah. His district still contains most of West Philly. Cheltenham in MontCo is removed, substituted for an arm into Northeast Philly. The changes aren’t all that significant, the district is only down 0.85% in Obama performance.

8 686,233 199,224 162,328 365,625 54.49% 44.40%
Bucks 619,093 179,031 150,248 332,924 53.78% 45.13%
Montgomery 27,576 7,460 5,533 13,168 56.65% 42.02%
Philadelphia 39,564 12,733 6,547 19,533 65.19% 33.52%

Consistent with tradition, Bucks County remains in the 8th in its entirety. The old 8th had an odd-looking protrusion into MontCo (where Obama got 63%), and took a section of Northeast Philly where Obama barely edged McCain with 49%. We flip the roles here, instead taking Wards 41 and 65 of the city, where Obama got 65%. We also take a few municipalities (funnily, Hatfield Twp, Hatfield Boro, and Hatboro Boro) in MontCo, where Obama got 57%. Overall, Obama got 54.5%, up 0.5%.

13 688,902 224,312 140,834 368,302 60.90% 38.24%
Montgomery 443,652 144,765 100,434 247,223 58.56% 40.62%
Philadelphia 245,250 79,547 40,400 121,079 65.70% 33.37%

The 13th remains a MontCo-Philly hybrid. It takes in more of MontCo now, consistent with the increased population constraint, reaching all the way to the Berks County Line. Instead of reaching through the city, the new 13th no longer touches the Delaware River, stopping short by grabbing Northeast Philly taken from the 8th. Centered in Abingdon (it’s the largest municipality), the new 13th’s section of MontCo is 59% Obama, up from 57%, and the new 13th’s section of Philly is 66% Obama, up from 60%. Together, this makes for a 61% Obama district, up from 58%.

7 689,283 219,653 154,096 377,651 58.16% 40.80%
Chester 211,997 66,693 57,071 125,146 53.29% 45.60%
Delaware 345,246 113,274 72,554 187,835 60.31% 38.63%
Montgomery 132,040 39,686 24,471 64,670 61.37% 37.84%

The new 7th stays composed of ChesCo, DelCo, and MontCo. Since more of DelCo is given to Brady’s 1st, this district becomes more Chester County heavy, reaching further north and west into the county. It, incidentally, takes Jim Gerlach’s home in West Pikeland Township here. Even so, the new ChesCo portion is 53% Obama, up from 50%. The DelCo section gets a healthy boost from the city of Chester while keeping in Radnor, Haverford, and Upper Darby along the Main Line. The New DelCo section is 60% Obama, up from 56%. The MontCo part remains mostly the same, taking in Norristown, Upper Merion, and Lower and Upper Providence Townships. Combined, this is a 58% Obama district, up 2.5%.

6 688,652 198,024 136,472 338,576 58.49% 40.31%
Berks 251,731 66,000 44,343 112,060 58.90% 39.57%
Chester 265,765 70,897 56,798 129,300 54.83% 43.93%
Montgomery 171,156 61,127 35,331 97,216 62.88% 36.34%

My favorite district. The pterodactyl is back (hence the title, get it?), and it’s leaner and meaner (to Republicans, anyway). The body remains majority Chester, but it swaps out a large swath of eastern ChesCo for townships along the Lancaster County line freed up from the 16th. It still, however, keeps Democratic centers in Downington and Coatesville, and adds West Chester proper, which was gerrymandered into the 16th before. Obama performed roughly the same in the old and new Chester part.

As before, the left wing reaches into Berks County, but before, Reading was cracked three ways between the 6th, 16th, and 17th. Now, Reading and its 81% Obama goodness are kept whole in this district, raising Obama’s performance in Berks from 54% to 59%. The right arm is still my favorite. Originally, Republicans conceived of this as a way to crack MontCo into two Republican (PA-06, PA-07) and one swing district (PA-13). This is best termed, I think, an EPIC FAIL. The old right arm was 64% Obama, and this new version is 63%. I maintained the anchor in Lower Merion Township and Narberth, since their combined 71% Obama goodness is just too good to give up. Combined, this raises Obama’s performance here by another 1% to 58.5%.

So there you have it, a new, 18-seat map for Pennsylvania. Comments? Questions? Which state should I do next? Please share what you think the districts look like, also!

SSP Daily Digest: 3/20

Committees: Fundraising numbers for the committees for the month of February came out yesterday and today:

The NRSC raised $2.87 million, ending with $1.05 million CoH and $2.7 million in debt (down from $4 million in debt last month).

The DSCC also raised $2.87 million, ending with $3.07 million CoH and $10.9 million in debt.

The NRCC raised $2.03 million, ending with $1.85 million CoH and $6.4 million in debt.

The DCCC won the month, raising $3.5 million, ending with $2.9 million CoH and $15 million in debt.

MN-Sen: Is there finally a light at the tunnel at the end of the interminable legal battle? Norm Coleman’s attorney said in a radio interview that he’s “done,” and that when the three-judge panel is done reviewing the count, Franken is still likely to be ahead, although he still plans on a “quick appeal.”

CA-10: More clarity in the field in the upcoming special election: assemblyman Tom Torlakson, who was considered one of the two likely contenders for the seat, won’t run. He was already in the process of running for state superintendent of public instruction, and will continue with that instead. This leaves a clearer path for state senator Mark DeSaulnier, although assemblywoman Joan Buchanan is also interested.

MI-Gov: Venture capitalist (i.e. rich guy) Rick Snyder is looking to join the crowded GOP field for the 2010 governor’s race. At least six names have been floated for this race or are already running. (D)

SC-Gov: Inez Tenenbaum, the highest-profile Dem considering the South Carolina governor’s race (she was superintendent of public instruction for two terms and was competitive against Jim DeMint in the 2004 Senate race), has declined to run for governor. State senator Vincent Sheheen is the only Dem in the race so far, although others interested include state house minority leader Harry Ott, state senators Brad Hutto and Robert Ford, and Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod.

SC-03: Republican state senator Shane Massey is the first to jump into fray to succeed Gresham Barrett, who’s running for the open SC governor’s seat. No Dems have stepped up yet in this dark-red district.

PA-15: Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan met with Allyson Schwartz in Washington this week to discuss a possible bid against GOP Rep. Charlie Dent. Unfortunately for Democrats, Callahan says he’s “not interested” in the race at this point. And so the search for a viable candidate in this competitive district continues… (J)

SSP Daily Digest: 3/13

CT-Sen: The new lovefest between Joe Lieberman and the Democratic Party seems to be reaching the point where they need to get a room. In the wake of yesterday’s endorsement of Chris Dodd, Lieberman is today floating the idea of running in 2012 in the Democratic primary, instead of just as an independent. (Of course, unless Connecticut passes a sore loser law in the next few years, what’s the downside? If he loses the Dem primary again, he can just switch back to CfL one more time.)

NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The GOP is running out of options for a good challenger to Harry Reid. Former state senator Joe Heck (who lost his Las Vegas-area seat last year) has decided to run in the GOP primary against chronically embattled governor Jim Gibbons instead. (Although if Heck is going against Gibbons, what is Rep. Dean Heller planning to do then?) With ex-Rep. Jon Porter taking the K Street route and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki under indictment, the GOP’s Nevada bench is nearly empty.

PA-Sen: Joe Torsella won’t have the Democratic primary in the Pennsylvania senate race to himself. State Rep. Josh Shapiro, a 35-year-old reform-minded legislator from the Philadelphia suburbs, is now exploring the race. This may be a tea leaf that Rep. Allyson Schwartz isn’t getting in the primary, as Shapiro (who’s in PA-13) would likely run for Schwartz’s seat instead if it were going to be open.

CA-32: EMILY’s List has weighed in in the CA-32 primary, and they’re endorsing… believe it or not… the woman in the race: Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu. Chu’s main competition is state senator Gil Cedillo, who comes in with the endorsement of nearby House members like Xavier Becerra, Linda Sanchez, and Grace Napolitano (Hilda Solis, who used to occupy CA-32, hasn’t endorsed). The district is about 65% Hispanic and 20% Asian.

NH-01, NH-02: We’re looking at a crowded field for Republican opponents to Carol Shea-Porter: John Stephen, who barely lost the primary last time to ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley, is eyeing the race, as is Manchester mayor Frank Guinta. Businessman Jim Wieczorek also plans to run. Meanwhile, next door in the open NH-02, radio host Jennifer Horn says there’s a good chance she’ll run again in 2010.  

FL-22: State house majority leader Adam Hasner has been launching a series of attacks on Rep. Ron Klein over EFCA… is this a preview of the 2010 race? (It’s a Dem-leaning district, but Klein’s 2008 victory margin wasn’t impressive.)

Votes: Also on the EFCA front, Campaign Diaries has an impressively thorough chart head-counting the positions staked out by all the Democratic senators (and potential GOP votes).

Blue Dogs: After lifting their self-imposed 20%-of-the-Dem-caucus cap to expand to 51 members, the Blue Dogs are talking about growing again, to 56 members. No word on who that might be (although the door’s apparently open to Scott Murphy if he wins).

NRSC: Roll Call is running a story today with the banner headline “McConnell Criticizes GOP for Lack of Diversity.” What’s next? “Sanders Criticizes KFC for Serving Chicken?”