SSP Daily Digest: 12/13

AK-Sen: Everyone’s watching Joe Miller’s next move, as tomorrow is the day he has to decide whether or not to appeal a trial court decision in order to keep fighting his largely-hopeless fight with Lisa Murkowski. On Friday afternoon, a state superior court judge ruled against Miller’s lawsuit, and in pretty withering fashion, saying he presented no evidence of fraud or malfeasance, only “hearsay, speculation, and… sarcasm.” This comes on top of other comments on Friday by state elections director Gail Fenumiai strongly disputing one of Miller’s cornerstone issues, that there was a strange sudden influx of felons voting in the state.

CT-Sen, CT-04: Rep. Jim Himes confirms that he isn’t going to run for Senate in 2012 against Joe Lieberman (if Lieberman even decides to stick around). It’s also pretty clear confirmation that Rep. Chris Murphy is ready to run on the Dem line, as Himes said he’s deferring to his slightly-more-senior colleague and might consider running if Murphy changed his mind. (The article also mentions that Rep. Joe Courtney is “considering” the race. Ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz’s interest is well-known as well, although I doubt she’ll be able to manage to file her candidacy papers successfully.)

HI-Sen: Sometimes the Beltway media’s parsing of every innocent word from a potential candidate gets a little maddening, but this throw-away line from Linda Lingle’s website flagged by David Catanese is actually pretty suggestive of a future run (probably against Dan Akaka in 2012): the site is titled “Looking Back, and Forward,” and her first blog post is “Continuing the Journey.”

MD-Sen: Contrast that with Bob Ehrlich, who seems ripe to fall into the Dino Rossi trap but has just made it pretty clear that he won’t be running for anything else again. He says a Senate run would be “very highly unlikely.”

ME-Sen: The only story that seems to be here is that the viable Tea Party candidate that has been promised to emerge to take on Olympia Snowe is starting to look like more of a mirage. A must-read (for sheer hubris and wtf?ness) interview with the state’s self-appointed head teabagger, Andrew Ian Dodge, makes it sound like the candidate that Dodge is allegedly talking to is either imaginary, or else is Dodge himself (seeing as how he’s from southern Maine and has his own money).

MI-Sen: PPP includes a GOP primary portion in their Michigan Senate poll, and like a lot of other polls this far out, name rec seems to rule the day. Ex-Gov. John Engler, despite eight years out of the picture, has the lead (in fact, that may be good news, as the general electorate doesn’t remember him fondly; he underperforms Debbie Stabenow, losing by 7, compared with Peter Hoekstra, who loses by 1). It’s Engler 31, Hoekstra 24, with 12 for ex-AG Mike Cox, Terri Lynn Land (who may be interested in this race after all) at 7, Candice Miller at 5, Mike Rogers at 4, Thad McCotter at 3, and Tim Leuliette (the most-interested candidate so far) at 0.

NJ-Sen: The Hill has an article that’s mostly about how no GOPers are stepping up to express their interest in an uphill fight against Bob Menendez, but it does include the obligatory list of possible contenders. Top of the list is a rematch from state Sen. (and gubernatorial progeny) Tom Kean Jr., but also mentioned are Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, Anna Little (a small-town mayor who was competitive against Rep. Frank Pallone this year), state Sen. Jennifer Beck, former state Sen. Bill Baroni, and state GOP chair Jay Webber if all else fails.

NY-Sen: Rep. Peter King does some coulda-woulda-shoulda in a recent interview, saying he definitely would have run in 2010 had Caroline Kennedy been the appointee. As for a run in 2012 against Kirsten Gillibrand (when she’s up for election for her first full term), he’s only “keeping his options open,” apparently leery of her fundraising prowess.

PA-Sen: Rep. Charlie Dent is usually at the top of the list for Senate race speculation, but a recent interview has him sounding rather un-candidate-ish: he’s about to land a plum spot on Appropriations, and speaks of it in terms of “one never rules anything out,” which to my ear sounds a few steps down the Beltway-ese totem pole from “considering” it. One other interesting rumor bubbling up is that ex-Gov. Mark Schweiker is being courted to run. The question is whether anybody even remembers Schweiker; he spent less than two years on the job in the early 00s after getting promoted after Tom Ridge moved to the Bush administration, and declined to run for his own full term.

VT-Sen: Could Bernie Sanders see a real opponent? While he isn’t specifically threatening to run yet, State Auditor Tom Salmon is taking to Facebook to attack Sanders over his anti-tax deal agitating (including attacking Sanders for being a socialist, which doesn’t quite have the same effective power with Sanders as with most Dems since he’s likely just to say “guilty as charged”). At any rate, going after the entrenched Sanders seems like an odd move if it comes to pass, as Peter Shumlin, who narrowly won the open gubernatorial race, seems like a much easier target in a blue state that’s willing to elect Republican governors but has sworn them off at the national level.

CA-Gov: Steve Poizner sounds likely to make another run at the governor’s mansion in 2014, publicly telling various people that he would have made a much better candidate than Meg Whitman. Poizner will have to step it up on the financial situation next time, though; self-funding only to the tune of eight digits, instead of nine, was pretty weak sauce.

IN-Gov: With Evan Bayh apparently out of the gubernatorial sweepstakes, Brad Ellsworth seems to be jockeying to the front of the line today, although with some of the requisite hedging. The other main contender, of course, is Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, although the impact of redistricting changes (at the hand of the now-GOP-held legislature) could drive Reps. Joe Donnelly or Baron Hill into the race. Two lesser Dem names who’ve been bandied about, Hammond mayor Thomas McDermott and former state House speaker John Gregg, are already taking their names off the table, lining up behind others for now: McDermott backing Ellsworth and Gregg backing Weinzapfel. One final new Dem name to keep an eye on: Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez.

MS-Gov: For now, the Democratic side on the Mississippi governor’s race seems to be between two men: Hattiesburg mayor Johnny DuPree (that city’s first African-American mayor) and businessman Bill Luckett, who has his own money (and the backing of Morgan Freeman… apparently for real, unlike with NC-04’s B.J. Lawson).

WA-Gov: Here’s a good take from Joel Connolly (dean of the local press corps) on the 2012 gubernatorial election in Washington state, which the Beltway press seems to treat like an open book but everyone local knows is going to be between Rep. Jay Inslee and AG Rob McKenna, who’s probably the best shot the GOP has had in decades of winning the governor’s race. (Chris Gregoire can, by law, run for a third term, but, in practice, that would be unheard of even if she weren’t already too unpopular to do so feasibly.)

NY-15: Is the Charles Rangel era actually coming to a close? He’s not ruling out another run in 2012 but saying he’ll have to think about retirement. And in public comments he is actively pointing to a generation of successors, citing state Sens. Adriano Espaillat and Robert Rodriguez, and state Assemblyman Keith Wright. (Although Harlem is the core of the district, it now has more Hispanics than it does African-Americans… and the wild card is that the fastest growing group in this district is white regentrifiers.)

LA-St. Leg.: The hemorrhaging of Dem state legislators to the GOP in Louisiana continues apace, with one of its most prominent state Reps., the mellifluously-named Noble Ellington, sounding about ready to pull the trigger on a switch. He’d follow two state Sens., John Alario and John Smith, who also recently crossed the aisle.

Philly mayor: You’d think that at age 80, you’d want to think about retirement, but not if you’re Arlen Specter, apparently. There’s word of a poll making the rounds (from Apex Research, with no mention of who paid for it or why) that not only links the outgoing Senator to a mayoral run (in the city where he got his start generations ago as the DA) but actually has him in the lead. The poll has Specter at 28, with incumbent Michael Nutter at 19, Sam Katz at 9, Anthony Hardy Williams at 8, Tom Knox at 7, Bob Brady at 6, and Alan Butkovitz (anybody care to let me know who he is?) at 6.

WATN?: Try as he may, Artur Davis just can’t get the douchiness out of his system. On his way to the private sector, he’s still taking the pox-on-both-your-houses approach on his way out the door, writing an op-ed calling for an independent party as the solution to all of Alabama’s woes. Meanwhile, Mariannette Miller-Meeks has landed on her feet, after losing a second run in IA-02 in a rare setback for the Ophthalmologists (who elected at least two more of their own to Congress this year): Terry Branstad just named her head of Iowa’s Dept. of Public Health.

Census: Finally, this may be the most exciting news of the day: we have a reporting date for the first real batch of 2010 Census data. Dec. 21 will be the day the Census Bureau releases its state population counts, which also includes reapportionment data (i.e. how many House seats each state will get… at least prior to the inevitable litigation process among the most closely-bunched states).

SSP Daily Digest: 10/22 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen (Mason-Dixon): Blanche Lincoln (D-inc) 34, John Boozman (R) 55
  • CA-Sen (Tarrance Group for NRSC): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 44, Carly Fiorina (R) 44
  • CT-Sen, CT-Gov (PDF) (Suffolk): Richard Blumenthal (D) 57, Linda McMahon (R) 39; Dan Malloy (D) 49, Tom Foley (R) 38 (PDF of crosstabs)
  • Rather unusually, Suffolk included Blumenthal & Malloy twice in their head-to-head questions: once as the Dem candidate, and once as the Working Families Party candidate. Each got about 3-4% as the WFP candidate. I’ve never seen a pollster do this in New York, where the practice of fusion voting is best known.

  • IL-Gov (PPP): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 41 (35), Bill Brady (R) 42 (42)
  • FL-22 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Ron Klein (D-inc) 44, Allen West (R) 47
  • MA-04 (Fleming & Associates for WPRI): Barney Frank (D-inc) 49, Sean Bielat (R) 37
  • MD-01 (Monmouth): Frank Kratovil (D-inc) 42, Andy Harris (R) 53
  • MI-03 (EPIC/MRA): Pat Miles (D) 37, Justin Amash (R) 46
  • MN-01 (Grove Insight (D) for Project New West): Tim Walz (D-inc) 50, Randy Demmer (R) 34
  • MS-04 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steven Palazzo): Gene Taylor (D-inc) 41, Steven Palazzo (R) 43
  • NC-11 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for DCCC): Heath Shuler (D-inc) 54, Jeff Miller 39
  • NM-02 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steve Pearce): Harry Teague (D-inc) 41, Steve Pearce (R) 50
  • NY-20 (Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Chris Gibson): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42, Chris Gibson 44
  • OR-05 (SurveyUSA for KATU-TV): Kurt Schrader (D-inc) 41, Scott Bruun (R) 51
  • Note: Among the 10% who have already voted, Schrader leads 47-46. This continues a pattern we’ve seen in other SUSA polls (and also some, but not all, of the early voting numbers by party registration).

  • PA-06 (Monmouth): Manan Trivedi (D) 44, Jim Gerlach (R-inc) 54
  • PA-17 (Susquehanna for ABC27 News): Tim Holden (D-inc) 58, Justin Argall (R) 28
  • TX-23 (OnMessage (R) for Quico Canseco): Ciro Rodriguez (D-inc) 39, Quico Canseco (R) 45
  • VA-02 (PDF) (Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Scott Rigell): Glenn Nye (D-inc) 41, Scott Rigell 46 (R)
  • VA-05 (Benenson Strategy Group (D) for Tom Perriello): Tom Perriello (D-inc) 46, Rob Hurt (R) 47
  • WA-08 (SurveyUSA for KING-TV): Suzan DelBene (D) 45 (45), Dave Reichert (R-inc) 52 (52)
  • SSP Daily Digest: 9/20 (Morning Edition)

  • AK-Sen: This is pretty lulzy – Lisa Murkowski is busy reassuring people that she’ll still have the support of K Street as she pursued her write-in bid. In a year like this, that’s the message you want to run on? It’s even sadder that she probably feels like she has to reassure her corporate masters that she’s still there for them.
  • DE-Sen: Merry meet and blessed be! Bill Maher unearths a 1999 clip of Christine O’Donnell (a frequent guest on his show), and promises there’s more where this came from:
  • I dabbled into witchcraft – I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. … I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I’m not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. […]

    One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s little blood there and stuff like that. … We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.

    Yesterday, though, O’Donnell decided to skip visits to some other satanic altars, namely Sunday talk shows “FOX News Sunday” and CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Dissing Bob Schieffer I can understand – I mean, that’s straight out of the Sarah Palin/Sharron Angle hide-in-a-deep-underground-bunker playbook. But the friendly confines of FOX? How will she get a job there when she moves on to her next gig in the grifter’s circuit?

  • AK-Gov: Last week we learned the disappointing news that Republican Bill Walker, who scored 30% running against Gov. Sean Parnell, would not make a third-party gubernatorial bid. But now he’s saying that Lisa Murkowski has inspired him and he might yet wage a write-in campaign. Godspeed, good buddy!
  • IL-Gov: GOP-affiliated robopollster We Ask America has their first survey of the race, finding Republican Bob Brady at 42, Gov. Pat Quinn at 32, and everybody’s favorite, Scott Lee Cohen, at 5.
  • NY-Gov: Speaking of SLC, it looks like the NY GOP has a reverse Scott Lee Cohen situation on their hands. Basically, the less-crazy guy – Greg Edwards, who was supposed to be Rick Lazio’s running-mate, won the Republican Lt. Gov. nomination. Revolting meat-bucket (and, dear lord, gubernatorial nominee) Carl Paladino preferred many-time loser Tom Ognibene instead. There’s chatter now that Edwards may stay on the ballot but not really run, or will try to drop out (a somewhat tricky proposition in NY). If he does successfully bail, the state GOP would appoint a replacement (presumably Ognibene, if Paladino’s in charge). Anyhow, I suggest you click through for Celeste Katz’s full story, because there are so many layers and permutations to this story that I simply can’t summarize them all.
  • Ognibene may be the only guy actually not running away from Paladino as fast as he can. GOP comptroller nominee Harry Wilson has refused to endorse Paladino, and attorney general nominee Dan Donovan is basically saying the same thing. Haven’t seen any word yet as to whether senate nominee Joe DioGuardi feels the same way.

  • CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is now saying he’s no longer a Seventeenther (you know, a maniac who wants to get rid of the direct election of United States senators), despite having answered a teabagger survey on that very question in the affirmative. He’s also claiming that he doesn’t want to abolish the Department of Education. Live by the yes-no question, die by the yes-no question.
  • MO-04: Another day, another Dem gets endorsed by the NRA. This time, it’s veteran Ike Skelton.
  • NY-15: Adam Clayton Powell, who took just 25% against Charlie Rangel’s 53% in a fractured field, is saying he already has plans to run again. Of course, this district’s lines (and even number) could change substantially before 2012.
  • NY-19: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton did a fundraiser for Rep. John Hall in Cortland Manor this past weekend. Of course, Clinton lives (“lives”) just outside the 19th CD in Chappaqua (in the 18th).
  • PA-10: In a previous digest, we related the story of then-U.S. Attorney Tom Marino providing a personal reference for “businessman” Louis DeNaples’s bid to get a casino license – while DeNaples (euphemistically described as “having possible ties to organized crime”) was under investigation by Marino’s office. These dealings led to Marino’s resignation in 2007 (and, surprise surprise, he soon wound up with a nice sinecure as DeNaples’s in-house counsel). Marino claimed in April that the Department of Justice gave him permission to serve as a reference to DeNaples (then why did you resign?), but has never provided any proof. Now the AP is saying that a DoJ source tells them that there is no evidence that Marino ever received such authorization. The heat is on.
  • DCCC: The D-Trip has added Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Bill Keating (MA-10) to Red to Blue.
  • DC-Mayor: Deposed incumbent Dem Adrian Fenty says he won’t try to run in the general as a Republican. Given that there are probably 19 registered Republicans in the entire district, I’m not sure how this was even an idea in the first place.
  • Polltopia: Go tell Public Policy Polling where to poll next.
  • SSP-TV:

    • DE-Sen: DSCC ad says Christine O’Donnell will “fit right in in Washington,” thanks to her personal fiscal irresponsibility. Uh, do they remember who is in charge in DC?
    • IL-Sen: CQ reports that the DSCC is set to go up here this week for a quarter mil, but no links to actual ads yet
    • PA-Sen: Joe Sestak’s new ad compares his navy service to Pat Toomey’s service on behalf of Wall Street

    • FL-Gov: Two Alex Sink ads, one dinging Rick Scott for harping on endlessly about Obama, the other talking about schools
    • NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo’s second spot, featuring an endorsement from a former state Republican Party chair
    • MA-10: Fresh off his primary win last week, Dem Bill Keating is up with an ad on a good issue: his pledge not to raise the retirement age for Social Security (contrasting with his Republican opponent’s desire to do so)
    • MI-07: SEIU spot hitting GOPer Tim Walberg for failing to support the auto industry and wanting to eliminate Social Security (CQ says buy is for $250K)
    • NC-11: Two spots from Heath Shuler: the first a touching ad about his efforts to build new veterans’ health clinics, the second hammering Jeff Miller for supporting the bad kind of SSP
    • NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter’s first ad, a mostly positive spot emphasizing that “whether it’s popular or not,” she “always fights for what she believes in,”
    • NY-19: George Pataki’s PAC Revere America has a spot hitting John Hall with scaaaaary music over his vote in support of healthcare reform
    • NY-23: Bill Owens’ first ad, which redistricting geeks will appreciate, emphasizing just how big the district is physically
    • NY-24: Richard Hanna personally narrates a negative ad attacking Mike Arcuri for his support of the stimulus and bailouts – I think it’s pretty effective
    • OH-13: GOPer Tom Ganley’s spot touts his work with the FBI (as a civilian) to bring down some mob extortionists
    • NRCC: CQ rounds up ads targeting Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), Bryan Lentz (PA-07), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) and John Adler (NJ-03) (click here for Adler ad)

    Independent Expenditures:

    • Americans for Job Security: The right-wing front group is launching some huge buys: $443K against Mike Arcuri (NY-24), $526K against Larry Kissell (NC-08), and $712K against Heath Shuler (NC-11)
    • NY-19: Curses! Those meddling ophthalmologists! The (non-rogue) American Academy Of Ophthalmology, Inc. Political Committee (aka OPHTHPAC) is throwing down $143K on behalf of one of their own, Republican eye doctor Nan Hayworth (NY-19)

    SSP Daily Digest: 4/12 (Afternoon Edition)

    CO-Sen: The nomination process in Colorado has worked its way up to the county-level assemblies now, and former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff still has an edge over appointed incumbent Michael Bennet in the race for Democratic Senate primary delegates. Romanoff has a 57-42 edge over Bennet, bolstered by strong numbers in the urban Denver and El Paso Counties.

    CT-Sen: This may not turn out to be much, but it’s another drip-drip hurting Linda McMahon’s credibility. It’s been revealed that in 1989, she gave advance warning to a doctor, George Zahorian, of a pending federal investigation; Zahorian was later convicted of selling steroids to WWF wrestlers. (Only Zahorian was convicted; the government’s case against the WWF fell apart.)

    IN-Sen: Take this with as much salt as you’d like, as it’s a leak of an Indiana GOP Senate primary poll to a right-wing blog and the leak doesn’t even say which candidate’s camp it came from, let alone who the pollster is. Nevertheless, it shows a tight race between Dan Coats and John Hostettler: Coats leads 29-26, with Marlin Stutzman not to be counted out either at 18.

    MA-Sen: Here’s more evidence that Scott Brown is intent on trying to have a long career as a moderate New England Senator, rather than flaming out in half a term of teabagging glory. He said thanks but not thanks to appearing with Sarah Palin at a teabagger rally on Boston Common on Wednesday.

    OH-Sen: Another big quarter for Rob Portman, who’s started to fall behind in recent polling against his Democratic opposition but who will have a huge cash advantage over whoever his opponent is. He pulled in $2.3 million last quarter, bringing his CoH total to a ridiculous $7.6 million.

    WA-Sen: Here’s what may be a tea leaf that Dino Rossi isn’t likely to run for Senate this year: state Sen. Don Benton, who’s already in the race for the GOP and is a friend of Rossi, says “I don’t believe Dino would allow me to sacrifice my family time and my business if he was going to run for the U.S. Senate,” and “If he had serious plans, I really believe he would have told me that.” Of course, this may also be a shot across Rossi’s bow, especially since Benton also points out that his fundraising ($130K last quarter) has suffered as everyone watches Rossi instead.

    PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): I don’t know why so many small schools in the Northeast feel the need to have their very own polling operation, but now Muhlenberg College is getting in on the act too. Their apparently first look at the Senate race uses a likely voter model, so as you might expect, it gives a bit of a lead to Pat Toomey. Toomey leads Arlen Specter 47-40 and leads Joe Sestak 33-22 (with leaners). There’s a whole lotta undecideds in the gubernatorial race, but Tom Corbett has a clear advantage among those who’ve decided: he leads Dan Onorato 42-18, Jack Wagner 44-16, and Joe Hoffel 45-11.

    GA-Gov: Ethics questions are continuing to follow around ex-Rep. Nathan Deal even though he’s left the House now, in order to pursue his gubernatorial bid. Turns out he spent $20K from his state campaign account to pay for legal fees related to the House Ethics inquiry into his car inspection business. The state’s ethics board says it’s unclear whether or not it’s a violation, as it’s a situation they’ve never dealt with before.

    NY-Gov: With his teabag-flavored gubernatorial campaign only a few weeks old, Carl Paladino’s campaign manager is already in damage control mode, acknowledging today that, yes, his boss send out some e-mails to political and business contacts that were “off-color” and “politically incorrect.” If, by politically incorrect, you mean including an African tribal dance photo entitled “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal,” and hardcore bestiality photos.

    PA-Gov: Two House members endorsed in the Democratic governor’s primary, and given their geographical connections, neither one should be a surprise. Pittsburgh-area Rep. Mike Doyle endorsed Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato, while PA-01’sBob Brady (who just happens to be chair of the Philadelphia City Democrats in his spare time) backs state Sen. Anthony Williams. Getting the Philly machine officially behind Williams, currently lagging his opponents, may help him gain a little ground on his competition.

    SC-Gov: AG Henry McMaster had a strong fundraising quarter in the race to replace Mark Sanford, pulling in $464K and sitting on $1.4 million CoH. He’s almost caught up with Rep. Gresham Barrett, who was last year’s fundraising leader; Barrett raised $427K and holds $1.5 million CoH.

    HI-01: Looks like it’s turning into the DCCC vs. everybody else in the 1st. The AFL-CIO and Longshoremen, undeterred by the D-Trip’s preferences, are both weighing into the race with mailers on behalf of Colleen Hanabusa, pointing out Ed Case’s anti-labor record.

    MI-01: More local politicians are starting to jump into the race in the 1st, with last Friday’s sudden departure of Bart Stupak. Democratic State Rep. Joel Sheltrown said he’ll get in the race (joining Connie Saltonstall, who had been challenging Stupak in the primary). One problem for Sheltrown, though, is that he’s a “troll” (i.e. from under the bridge, instead of from the Upper Peninsula, where the district’s center of gravity is). One other sorta-big-name possible contender who doesn’t quite live in the district, ex-Rep. Jim Barcia (who’s got gerrymandered out of MI-05 in 2002, dropped down to the state Senate, which he’s now term-limited out of), confirmed he wouldn’t run. Roll Call also has the names of a few other potential Dems that we haven’t mentioned yet, including state Reps. Jeff Mayes, Judy Nerat, and Steve Lindberg, and state Agriculture Director Don Koivisto. Other possible GOPers include state Sen. Jason Allen, former state Rep. Tom Casperson (who lost by a wide margin to Stupak in 2008), and former state Rep. Scott Shackleton.

    NY-24: Republican repeat challenger Richard Hanna raised $350K in the first quarter for the race against Rep. Mike Arcuri; that’s on top of the $600K he loaned himself.

    PA-04: The growing scandal surrounding the Orie family (centered on state Sen. Jane Orie, who allegedly had staff in her office working on campaign work on the state’s dime) spilled over into the 4th. Mary Beth Buchanan’s campaign manager, Kurt Acker, resigned on Friday after it came out that he was one of those Orie staffers participating in the violations.

    TN-08: Looks like we’ve got a good case of the dueling rich guys in the GOP primary in the 8th: physician Ron Kirkland is reporting $607K raised last quarter. Throw in the $250K he lent himself, and he’s already drawn almost even with Stephen Fincher, who’s already gotten the NRCC’s imprimatur based on his own fundraising.

    VA-05: Freshman Rep. Tom Perriello also put up excellent fundraising numbers this quarter, and that seems to have more to do with getting the base excited about him (with his tough vote in favor of HCR) rather than dipping into his own wallet. Perriello raised $600K in the first quarter, leaving him with $1.4 million CoH for what’s sure to be a bruising general election campaign.

    WV-01: There have been some indications that Rep. Alan Mollohan was on the outs with the West Virginia Democratic establishment (starting top-down with Gov. Bob Manchin), but here’s an interesting clue that suggests otherwise: Mollohan’s primary opponent, state Sen. Mike Oliverio, complained at a candidate forum that he’d requested registered voter files from the state committee and hadn’t received them, and he wondered if Mollohan’s influence had anything to do with that.

    Polltopia: Mark Blumenthal has some added nuance on the issue of the House generic ballot, which pundits have been pointing to lately as evidence of possible huge Republican gains in the House in November. The Gallup generic ballot poll does have some predictive value… but that’s only the final Gallup poll before the election, making it a not-terribly-reliable measure at this point in time.

    SSP Daily Digest: 3/1

    AZ-Sen: Tensions between John McCain and Arizona’s state GOP chair Randy Pullen (who’s more linked to the conservative grassroots than McCain’s camp) are reaching a head; Pullen pulled his endorsement of McCain after the two scuffled over money for party GOTV efforts. McCain is planning a weird end-run around the state party involving funneling money through the Yuma County GOP. It remains to be seen whether J.D. Hayworth will benefit from the inside-baseball civil war; Hayworth, meanwhile, is finding that birtherism doesn’t play as well once you’re on the big stage instead of the AM-radio fringes: he’s trying to walk back his previous birther-curious remarks, just saying he was trying to “provoke conversation.”

    FL-Sen: There might be some legs to the Marco Rubio expenses story that go beyond his use of the GOP state party’s credit card. Now he’s admitting that he double-billed both state taxpayers and the state GOP for eight different flights he took while state House speaker.

    KS-Sen: Here’s one less thing Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt has to worry about: the Appropriations Committee veteran was cleared by the House Ethics committee over his links to sketchy lobbying firm PMA. Rep. Jerry Moran won’t be able to use that against him in their Senate primary, but regardless, Tiahrt is still having trouble keeping pace with Moran in the polls.

    KY-Sen: Here’s a strange exchange between the Trey Grayson and Rand Paul camps. After Paul accused Grayson of having voted for Bill Clinton, Grayson responded that Paul voted for known whackjob Ron Paul for President, to which Rand said “It’s hard for me to imagine anyone not voting for his own father.” Meanwhile, Grayson is also still hitting Paul hard over the coal issue, and that could be an issue that, assuming Paul wins the primary, his Democratic nominee could keep getting a lot of mileage out of.

    MD-Sen: Rasmussen actually bothered polling the Maryland Senate race, although they only used “Generic Republican” as Barbara Mikulski’s opposition. She still wins easily, 54-36. Queen Anne’s County Councilor and wealthy physician Eric Wargotz is moving toward entering the race, and former state Del. Carmen Amedori has already filed, so why the use of Generic R, though?

    NY-Sen-B: Harold Ford Jr. keeps bumping back his timeline on announcing his plans on whether or not to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary (ostensibly because he doesn’t want to do so while David Paterson is dominating the news). Given the unprecedented badness of his campaign rollout — which may have just gotten worth with the news that his Merrill Lynch salary is $2 million, exclusive of bonuses — he may be mulling whether or not go through with it after all.

    OH-Sen: Rob Portman is drawing fire for his plans to address Cincinnati-area anti-tax group COAST and raise money for them, which has a history of inflammatory statements. COAST’s website refers to Ohio’s General Assembly as “Nazis.” They also referred to Ted Kennedy as a “shovel-ready project.”

    PA-Sen: I’m not sure voters care much about this kind of process stuff, but Arlen Specter is landing some hard blows on Joe Sestak for paying his staffers so poorly (effectively below the minimum wage), especially while Sestak’s three siblings (who are effectively the topmost tier of his campaign) make much more. Still, the rate at which the Sestak campaign is shedding staffers suggests something’s amiss at camp Sestak.

    WI-Sen: Politico is reporting that Tommy Thompson seems to be taking some serious steps toward a Senate run against Russ Feingold, at least to the extent of securing financial pledges and attempting to round up former staffers. Some insiders remain skeptical that the 67-year-old Thompson, who put forth a rather doddering image amidst the crash and burn of his 2008 presidential run, will actually pull the trigger.

    IA-Gov: I wonder if this was who Ed Fallon had in mind when he said someone should primary Chet Culver in the gubernatorial race. Jonathan Narcisse announced that he’ll take on Culver in the Democratic primary, focusing on educational issues. Narcisse, as a former Des Moines school board member and publisher of several independent newspapers, seems at least one step up from Some Dude status (although there’s still a strong whiff of gadflyishness here).

    IL-Gov: This Friday, March 5th, is the deadline for the Illinois State Board of Elections to certify the results of February’s Republican gubernatorial primary. According to unofficial tallies (not disputed by either campaign), Bob Brady has a 247-vote lead on Kirk Dillard. Dillard’s camp doesn’t sound very optimistic – they seem to be holding out hope that a previously-unknown error will crop up in their favor. A spokesman says that Dillard might consider seeking a recount if the margin is less than 100 votes, but even that, they say, is not a “magical number.” (D)

    KS-Gov: Rasmussen has been nothing if not thorough in the last few months, and now they’re the first pollster to look at a race that everyone has regarded as a foregone conclusion: the Kansas governor’s race. They find Republican Sen. Sam Brownback leading Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland 55-33. Given the source, that’s actually better than I would have expected.

    MN-Gov: While state House minority leader Marty Seifert has taken on something of presumptive GOP frontrunner status, his closest competition, state Rep. Tom Emmer, is far from dead. Emmer just got the backing of two local Republican heavyweights, former Rep. Vin Weber, and RNC committee member and former gubernatorial candidate Brian Sullivan.

    NY-Gov: Even though he’s already pulled the plug on his re-election bid, there’s still a lot of pressure on David Paterson to resign in the wake of the scandal involving a domestic violence allegation against a top aide. He’s refusing, though; when asked whether resignation was off the table, he responded “I don’t even know why it’s on the table.”

    TN-Gov: One more Democrat pulled the plug on a gubernatorial bid today: state Senate minority leader Jim Kyle. Kyle cited poor fundraising (as he can’t raise during the legislative session), as well as long odds in both the primary and general. With state Sen. Roy Herron already out (to pursue TN-08), this leaves only two contestants for the Democratic nod: former state House majority leader Kim McMillan, and businessman and gubernatorial progeny Mike McWherter.

    AL-05: Rep. Parker Griffith is up with his first TV ad already, trying to portray the former Howard Dean supporter as opposed to the “radical Obama-Pelosi liberal agenda.”

    GA-07: With the retirement of Rep. John Linder, all sorts of conservative state legislators are being considered as potential candidates in suburban Atlanta, most prominently state Sens. Don Balfour (who just confirmed his entry) and David Shafer. This is also outgoing SoS Karen Handel’s turf, but she’s apparently not interested in abandoning her stalled gubernatorial campaign for the House. Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Jon Smoltz has already ruled out a bid, but one other blast from the past whose name is floating up is former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed.

    HI-01: It’s official: Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s last day on the job was yesterday. Today he’s filing his papers to run for Governor instead.

    MA-10: Maybe this is an indication that Rep. William Delahunt is sticking around for another term, as his rumored successor (in the event of a Delahunt retirement) Joe Kennedy III said today that he won’t be running for Congress next year. Kennedy says he plans to focus on his day job as assistant district attorney in Barnstable County, but is interested in a future run.

    NY-01: In case the race in the 1st wasn’t complicated enough, with three different credible Republicans jostling in the primary and an Assemblyman considering joining them, now there’s news that a Suffolk County Legislator (i.e. county councilor) is considering the race, as an Independent. Jay Schneiderman is a former Republican who’s now in the county legislature on the Independence Party line. Initially this seems positive, as a third party might split the anti-Tim Bishop vote, but Bishop has been elected in the past on the Independence as well as the Democratic Party line, so it could actually complicate things for Bishop if Schneiderman secures the IP line.

    PA-06: Those cryptic comments by Lower Merion Twp. Commissioner Brian Gordon about dropping out seem to have panned out: he pulled the plug on his short-lived bid for the Democratic nod without endorsing. Gordon seemed to have gotten in too late to pose much of a threat to Doug Pike and Manan Trivedi.

    Filings: Campaign Diaries looks at the results from the close of the filings period in North Carolina. There’s really not much of note here: the Republicans didn’t seem to score any top-tier candidates in any Dem-held districts (although Tim d’Annunzio, in NC-08, at least seems to be willing to spend his own money). Also, it looks like Rep. Walter Jones, an iconoclastic Republican in a deep-red district, has avoided a major primary challenge (although he is still facing a GOP primary challenge from the Democrat he easily defeated in 2006 and 2008, Craig Weber).

    Polltopia: I’m not really sure who to cheer for in a fight between Stu Rothenberg and Scott Rasmussen, but it’s still on. Rothenberg started it with his dissection of Rasmussen’s WI-Sen poll, wondering how the hell a majority of voters could have an opinion about unknown candidate Dave Westlake; Rasmussen fires back, saying look at the “strong” opinions instead of the “somewhat” favorables or unfavorables.

    WATN?: Here’s one more Republican ex-Rep. heading to the pokey. John Sweeney pled guilty to driving while intoxicated, and faces 30 days in Saratoga County jail.

    Redistricting: Dave’s App (thanks to Dave & Jeff) now has partisan data for Texas and California. There are also a few new features, which you can read more about in Dave’s diary. (D)

    Meta: Can you believe it’s the first anniversary of the Daily Digest? (Pardon me while I laugh sadly at my initial plan to have it be “four or five” bullet points.)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/21

    LA-Sen: David Vitter may get a serious primary challenger after all (Family Research Council honcho Tony Perkins and ex-Rep. John Cooksey have declined, and SoS Jay Dardenne has been laying low). It’s someone we haven’t seen in a while, though: former state Elections commissioner Suzanne Haik Terrell, who let her interest be known last week. Terrell’s last appearance in the spotlight was the 2002 Senate race, where she lost narrowly to Mary Landrieu. Terrell is the only Republican woman to have ever held office in Louisiana.

    NY-Sen-B: Like a giant game of Whack-a-mole, Kirsten Gillibrand jammed a couple potential primary challengers back into their holes last week, but now a new one popped up: Rep. Jose Serrano. The Bronx-based Serrano might be able to make a lot of hay out of the immigration issue, but he may not have the cash to make a race of it (although as an Appropriations cardinal, he’s well-connected). Meanwhile, Gillibrand nailed down endorsements from three other Reps. — John Hall, Mike Arcuri, and Scott Murphy — as well as Nassau County Dem party chair Jay Jacobs (important because he has a lot of sway over Rep. Carolyn McCarthy).

    PA-Sen: Roll Call tried to pin down the Democratic House members from Pennsylvania on whether or not they’d endorse Arlen Specter in a potential Democratic primary with Rep. Joe Sestak. Interestingly, PA’s most liberal Dem, Chaka Fattah, was probably the most enthusiastic and unconditional endorser of Specter, while its most conservative Dem, Jason Altmire, was most reluctant to offer an endorsement one way or the other, although more out of admiration for Sestak than on ideological grounds. Tim Holden also endorsed Specter and Bob Brady came as close as possible to it, while Patrick Murphy took a “wait and see” attitude and the others simply punted the question.

    AR-Sen: State Senator Kim Hendren (having recently shot himself in the foot by calling Charles Schumer “that Jew”) is now vacillating and may not run in the GOP Senate primary after all, despite having announced his candidacy.

    IL-Sen: Here’s some confirmation on what we speculated last week: Rep. Mark Kirk isn’t lost in space; he’s just deferring any decisions on the Senate race because he’s waiting to see what AG Lisa Madigan does. He reportedly won’t run for Senate if Madigan does.

    FL-Gov: Ag Commissioner Charles Bronson will announce today that he won’t run for the open governor’s seat, leaving an unimpeded path to the GOP nomination for AG Bill McCollum. Bronson is term-limited out of his job in 2010 and looking to move up, but couldn’t buck the pressure from state chair Jim Greer — I mean, the guy doesn’t have a Death Wish.

    CO-Gov: Ex-Rep. Scott McInnis officially filed yesterday to enter the Colorado governor’s race, amidst sniping that he started soliciting funds before filing his campaign paperwork. State Senate minority leader Josh Penry also launched into an oblique attack on McInnis, suggesting he might be interested in a primary battle.

    CA-Gov: Dianne Feinstein, occasionally rumored to be interested in what has to be the least desirable job in America (California governor), has said that she “might” run for governor next year, depending on her assessment of the other candidates’ plans for dealing with California’s seemingly perpetual budget crisis. Polls that have included Feinstein have shown her dominating the race if she got in.

    IL-13: 71-year-old Rep. Judy Biggert just confirmed that she’ll be running for re-election in 2010, despite a return engagement with Scott Harper, who held her to 54%, and the district’s shift to only R+1. (Of course, her inclusion in the first round of 10 in the NRCC’s Patriots program Tuesday showed her hand already.)

    AL-02: Republicans have at least one candidate lined up to go against Rep. Bobby Bright as he seeks his first re-election in this R+16 district: 32-year-old Montgomery city councilor and attorney Martha Roby. GOP State Rep. Jay Love, who narrowly lost to Bright last time, may also try again.

    MI-13: Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who narrowly won a 3-way primary in 2008, may have to face off against both of the same challengers again in 2010: state Sen. Martha Scott and former state Rep. Mary Waters. Former interim mayor Ken Cockrel also is mentioned as interested. Kilpatrick may be less vulnerable in 2010, though, as the brouhaha surrounding her son (former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick) recedes in the distance.

    Maps: Here’s another interesting map for the geography nerds out there. It’s a map of which party controls all the state House seats throughout the South. (It’s a lot bluer than you might initially think.)

    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!