Help a Howard Dean Democrat Win Scott Brown’s Seat

Beltway political pundits are pointing to Scott Brown’s recent U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts as a sign that Republicans nationwide should be excited about their prospects in November.

You know what would be a terrific rebuke to that false logic: a progressive Democrat winning the historically Republican state senate seat that Scott Brown gave up upon his election to the U.S. Senate.  Turning the Scott Brown seat from dark red to bright, progressive blue would make a resounding statement with these political pundits and be a big victory for progressive change.

Dr. Peter Smulowitz is that progressive Democrat!

Dr. Smulowitz is a health care expert and progressive Democrat, very much in the proud, progressive tradition of Dr. Howard Dean.  He will bring to Massachusetts government innovative ideas on reducing health care costs while focusing on primary and preventative care – ideas that can be duplicated in states across America.  Dr. Smulowitz will fight for economic growth and job creation, particularly by easing the tax burden on small businesses and promoting investment in green industries.  He will fight to make government more transparent and responsive to its citizens.  And he will always fight for civil rights and privacy rights, including protecting marriage equality for same-sex couples and reproductive rights for women.

The primary in the special election to fill Brown’s old state senate seat is in just a few weeks, on Tuesday, April 13.  Dr. Smulowitz needs your help in the Democratic primary to make sure that a Howard Dean progressive can succeed the conservative Scott Brown.  Dr. Smulowitz has a primary challenger, a hack in the state legislature who was formerly a member of the state House leadership under two consecutive House Speakers, Tom Finneran and Sal DiMasi, who both eventually became convicted felons and who both represent what is wrong with Massachusetts state government.  This hack’s ties to the convicted felon former Speakers make her completely unelectable in a general election.

On the other hand, Dr. Smulowitz can help champion progressive change by winning conservative Republican Scott Brown’s old State Senate seat.  But we need your help in the progressive blogosphere!

Please join our fight to help a progressive Democrat, rather than an establishment hack, win the primary and have the opportunity to turn the Scott Brown seat blue.  Please make a contribution today via ActBlue!

The pundit class thinks that Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat going to Scott Brown is a big, bad omen of what is to come for Democrats in November.  Electing a Howard Dean Democrat, Dr. Peter Smulowitz, to succeed Scott Brown would turn that omen on its ear and send a poweful message of its own.  Please join our fight!

On the web:

*Dr. Peter Smulowitz for State Senate campaign website

*Contribute to Dr. Smulowitz’s campaign via ActBlue

*Become a fan of Dr. Smulowitz on Facebook

*Follow Dr. Smulowitz on Twitter

MA-09: Stephen Lynch switches to “No” on HCR. Any primary opponents for this DINO-posing-as-lefty?

Rep. Stephen Lynch, in MA-9, voted for the health care bill in November but announced today that he’s voting against the new compromise bill — supposedly from the LEFT.

That is, he says he won’t back the new bill because it’s weaker than the original House bill, doesn’t do enough to constrain insurance companies and doesn’t allow for a public option.  In other words, we’re supposed to believe Lynch is to the left of Kucinich on this issue.  This is wildly implausible.  Lynch is a DINO, and his opposition to the bill is from the right.  Who does he think he is fooling?

My larger question is: Is there any possibility of a labor-backed primary opponent for Lynch — from the actual left?  MA-09 (South Boston) is not the bluest of MA districts, but my hunch is that labor is pretty strong there.  It might be important for the larger project of keeping wavering “Yes” votes in line on this bill for some plausible primary opponent to at least begin to get talked about for Lynch.

The filing deadline in MA is not until 6/1…

Despite pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston said today that he will vote against President Obama’s health care overhaul when it comes to the House floor, contending that it doesn’t put enough pressure on insurance companies to reduce costs.

The move is a switch for Lynch, who voted in favor of the House health care bill in November. But he said the current version, which was approved by the Senate, is not as strong as that measure.…

Lynch goes on to criticize the raw deal Massachusetts gets financially from the bill because it’s already so far ahead of other states in covering the uninsured, but the main line of his critique is that this bill is weaker than the House bill (not surprising, since he has to justify his vote switch).

This is not the first time a conservative Democrat has characterized skepticism about HCR as being from the left when it is actually from the right.  (Isn’t that the trick Massa tried to pull before his spectacular recent flameout?)

AR State Senate Pro Tem Considering Primary Challenge to Lincoln

[Edited by mgmt. DO NOT copy-and-paste entire news articles. Also, diaries should contain original content.]

LITTLE ROCK – State Senate President Pro Tem Bob Johnson, D-Bigleow, said Friday he is considering challenging U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the 2010 Democratic primary.

“I’m at a very early stage right now of trying to determine whether or not it’s right,” Johnson told the Arkansas News Bureau.

Johnson, 45, said others have urged him to run.…

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Helping the CfG help us

for a good laugh, I set myself up on the Club for Growth e-mail list.  I love to see what Democrats they target and I especially love to see them promote primary challenges to Republicans….especially when they are Republicans that we are targetting…like Mark Kirk.  

Recently, the CfG sent out an e-mail complaining about 8 RINO’s who voted in favor the “dangerous cap and trade bill” last Friday.  They are looking for viable candidates to run primary challenges against these 7 (McHugh is the 8th vote but he’s retiring)

Bono Mack, Mary (CA-45)

Castle, Mike (DE-AL)

Kirk, Mark (IL-10)

Lance, Leonard (NJ-07)

LoBiondo, Frank (NJ-02)  

Reichert, Dave (WA-08)

Smith, Chris (NJ-04)

I can’t help but notice that Democrats ran strong challenges in several of these districts and are primed to do so again.  It would certaintly work to our benefit if we gave the CfG a little boost in helping to find some viable primary challengers to these Republican candidates.  

Does anybody have any knowledge of potential Republican candidates in these races that we could give some encouragement to get into these races or give the CfG some encouragement to try and get them in themselves??

Proposal For 2012 Primaries

From December 2007 to March 2008, I wrote various drafts of a proposal on how our political parties — starting in 2012 — might adopt primary election procedures that would better serve our country in selecting presidential candidates. I originally drafted a hypothetical calendar for 2008, based on general election results from 2004. Now that we have the results for 2008, I can now propose a calendar specific to 2012.

The system by which our parties choose their presidential candidates has proven itself to be, at best, highly questionable — at worst, severely flawed.

The primary calendar we need most is one that is built on an orderly and rational plan — one that is based on mathematics and on recent historical outcomes — and not on an arbitrary, publicity-driven, system of one-upsmanship. The change I propose would provide for a more effective, equitable process than the one we have now.

The following factors are the key ones to consider:

Margin of Victory

– The state primaries would be placed in order according to the leading candidates’ margins of victory in the preceding general election — with the states registering the closest margins of victory going first.

For example, John McCain won Missouri by 0.1% and Barack Obama won North Carolina by 0.4%; conversely, McCain won Wyoming by 33%, and Obama won Hawaii by 45%. Therefore, the primary calendar I propose would commence with primaries being held in states such as Missouri and North Carolina — and would close with such states as Wyoming and Hawaii.

– The purpose of ordering the states according to the margin of victory is to help the parties determine which candidates can appeal to those states that have found themselves most recently on the Electoral Divide. A narrow margin in the general election is reflective of an evenly divided electorate. In this scenario, a candidate who appeals to, say, Florida and Montana is more likely to appeal to a greater number of Americans on the whole.

Iowa, New Hampshire, and Fairness

– Iowa and New Hampshire might object to this new system, given their longstanding tradition of being the first states to cast their ballots. However, so long as Iowa and New Hampshire retain their record of being fairly bipartisan states, they’ll maintain their position towards the front of the primary schedule.

– Just because a state should have its primary later in the season does not mean that that state will prove invaluable to the process. Indiana and North Carolina weren’t held until May 6th, but those two states might have very well decided the fate of the 2008 Democratic nomination.

– This new system allows other states to play a greater role in how the parties select their candidates. For example, Missouri and North Carolina would be two of the states to get the limelight in 2012. Likewise, based on the results to come in November of 2012, a still-different slate of states could have a more significant role come 2016. A rotating system will be healthier and fairer.

Groupings of Five, and Timing & Spacing

– By placing states into groupings of five, no one state will be overly emphasized on any given date.

– Candidates will still need to address the concerns of individual states, whilst having to maintain an overall national platform. For example, a candidate will be less able to campaign against NAFTA in Ohio whilst campaigning for it in Florida.

– Given that each state has its own system for electing its delegates, these groupings of five states will act as an overall balancer. Ideally, caucuses will be done away with altogether by 2012. However — should that not happen — states with caucuses, states with open primaries, and states with closed primaries can all coexist within a grouping, therefore no one system will hold too much influence on any given date.

– Racial and geographic diversity in this process has been a great concern for many. The narrowest margins of victory in 2008 were in a wide variety of regions — the Midwest, the Great Lakes, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, and the West.

– All parties would have an interest in addressing these narrow-margined states early on. The incumbent will want to win over those states that were most in doubt of him in the previous election, and opposing parties will want to put forth candidates who have the best chance of winning over those very same states.

– Primaries will be held biweekly, giving candidates and the media enough time to process and respond to the outcomes of each wave of primaries.

– Washington DC will be placed in the same grouping as whichever state — Virginia or Maryland — is closer to its own margin of victory.

– American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Americans Abroad — not having Electoral votes of their own — will determine their own primary dates, so long as they occur between the first grouping and the last grouping.

Under these guidelines, the proposed calendar for the 2012 primary season is:

January 2012

Tue, 1/10


North Carolina




Tue, 1/24





South Dakota

Tue, 2/7

North Dakota


South Carolina


New Hampshire

Tue, 2/21





West Virginia

Tue, 2/26



New Jersey

New Mexico


Tue, 3/6






Tue, 3/20






Tue, 4/3






Washington DC

Tue, 4/17



New York


Rhode Island

Tue, 5/1






KS-Sen: Poll Shows Moran in Comanding Lead in GOP Primary

(Cross-posted from Kansas Jackass

Two bits of news out of the Republican Primary for the United States Senate seat Sam Brownback is vacating in 2010.

First, Congressman Todd Tiahrt announced the formation of his campaign steering committee.  It includes such Republican notables as State Representatives Kasha Kelly, Lance Kinzer, and Peggy Mast, along with former Speaker of the Kansas House Doug Mays, and Sharon Meissner, who we surmise is the wife of twice-failed Kansas State Board of Education candidate Dr. Robert Meissner.

Lovely, right?  I do appreciate they sent the press release directly to the blog, though.

In the news that actually matters, the Washington Post is today reporting a poll commissioned for the campaign of Congressman Jerry Moran includes much better news for him than it does good ol’ Todder.

Rep. Jerry Moran starts as the frontrunner for the GOP Senate nod in Kansas, according to new polling done for his campaign. Moran, who has held the massive central-western 1st district since 1996, holds a 41 percent to 25 percent edge over fellow Rep. Todd Tiahrt in a poll conducted by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies.

“While it is still very early in the primary campaign, it is currently a lot better to be Jerry Moran than it is to be Todd Tiahrt,” Bolger wrote in the polling memo.

I’m sure people will read that and scream, “But it was a internal poll, so it’s just bullshit.”  While I’m sure campaign-released polls always only include selective information (like, for instance, we bet Moran isn’t telling anyone who he matches up against Gov. Kathleen Sebelius…), just because it’s an internal poll doesn’t immediately make it invalid.  A polling firm won’t get much work if their poll are routinely proven wrong in the press.

So, there you go- while Tiahrt’s busy naming his committee, Moran’s busy winning the election.  Long way ’til August 2010, but the pollster is right- I’d much rather be Jerry Moran today.

Pennsylvania: An Obama Lead?

cross-posted from Election Inspection.

The latest Pennsylvania primary polls show a lot of movement towards Obama:

Pollster Date Obama Clinton
PPP 3/31-4/1 45 43
Quinnipiac 3/24-3/31 41 50
SUSA 3/29-3/31 41 53
Rasmussen 3/31 42 47
ARG 3/26-3/27 39 51

Analysis below the flip.

Compared with the previous result from each pollster, all except ARG show a net gain for Obama:

PPP: Obama net gains 28 from two weeks prior

Quinnipiac: Obama net gains 3 from two weeks prior

SUSA: Obama net gains 7 from three weeks prior

Rasmussen: Obama net gains 5 from one week prior, 8 from 3/12, and 10 from 3/5.

ARG: Obama net loses 1 from 19 days prior.

PPP published an article immediately before they released their PA poll today touting their accuracy in prior contests like Texas and Ohio. Looks to me like they’re trying to protect their reputation in the face of the fact that today’s poll and the prior one in the state are major outliers in opposite directions. In other words, let’s discount PPP for now; and ARG while we’re at it, since ARG polls tend to be way off until the final day of the contest. That leaves a spead of 5, 9, and 12, which is right in line with my analysis from Monday suggesting that as things stand today, Clinton would win Pennsylvania by 5-15 points. However, the trending suggests that the race continues to tighten, and if this continues, Clinton will win Pennsylvania by single digits, if at all.

And as I’ve said previously, a single digit win in Pennsylvania will make any suggestion that she could win this nomination sound mathematically ridiculous instead of merely far-fetched. Clinton’s campaign should be in full panic mode by this point, because this is their last chance and it is slipping away.

Election Inspection’s current delegate breakdown: Clinton 55, Obama 48

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How to Primary a Conservative Democrat?

     My first post here at Swing State!

Donna Edwards major win over Wynn has gotten me and a lot of others talking about the best ways to primary conservative Democrats like the Blue Dogs who undermine Democratic principles and enable Conservative policies.



I wonder if there are projects/groups already in place to help challengers secure endorsements, gain attention and media coverage, and fundraising.

Can anyone here make recommendations? Is anyone interestest in starting such a group/blog?

My apolgogies if this is not a very substantial post. I am still hammering out my ideas and wanted to find out if someone has already taken up this charge before I get too deep.  

OR-Sen: East Oregonian calls debate for Novick over Merkley

The East Oregonian reviews last Tuesday night’s Oregon Democratic Senate primary debate, and although they describe it as a “low key affair” with a lot of agreement between the candidates on policy, they give the edge to Steve Novick for style.

They describe Merkley as coming off “smug … there was a definite lack of emotion in his responses.” By contrast, they call Novick’s answers “spontaneous and less stilted … for those watching closely, it’s apparent he analyzes and thinks quickly on his feet.”

With so little difference in substance, style may influence some voters. And the edge from the first debate seemed – let’s repeat that, seemed – to favor Novick.

That’s because while Merkley seemed confident, he also came off as, well, a bit smug. He kept his focus just above the audience of potential voters. His answers seemed almost memorized from a script, a script closely resembling his thoughtful position statements on his campaign’s Web site. He only glanced at Novick once throughout the debate. There was a definite lack of emotion in his responses, although there also was a momentary rise in feeling when he talked about health care and education.


By comparison, Novick noticeably turned and listened intently whenever one of the other three candidates were responding to the questions the East Oregonian news staff posed. While his answers weren’t overflowing with emotion either, at least they seemed spontaneous and less stilted.

However, he did miss an opportunity to separate his candidacy from Merkley’s. Novick didn’t emphasize distinctions of different solutions to the problems facing Oregon and our great nation. But for those watching closely, it’s apparent he analyzes and thinks quickly on his feet.


Maybe, in the end, the answer for the lack of verbal fisticuffs came from Novick.

“We’re all good Democrats here,” he said.