Redistricting Roundup: 11/10

Redistricting will undoubtedly be a top – if not the top – topic around here over the next year or so. To get your engines started, here are a few early items from around the nation:

  • Indiana: Gov. Mitch Daniels released his list of legislative priorities for 2011, and it looks like he’s trying to burnish his bi-(or non-)partisan cred with this plank:
  • “Indiana must have a fair redistricting based on geographic and community of interest lines – not politics. And I’ll only sign one that meets that test.”

    Daniels’ commitment will be seriously tested on this part of his platform, seeing as the GOP now controls both houses of the state lege (in addition to the governor’s mansion, of course). Incoming House speaker Brian Bosma also claims he’s a supporter of such reforms. We shall see.

  • Alabama: Meanwhile, down in Alabama, Republicans also control the trifecta – and seeing as it’s their first time, they’re licking their chops. As the Birmingham News puts it:
  • The likely result is a new congressional map that protects all six Republican congressmen and keeps intact the majority black district home to the only Democrat, according to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks.

    Here’s one stab at such a map. Can you do better?

  • Illinois: The upper hand is on the other foot in Illinois, one of the few redistricting bright spots for Dems. With Team Blue in charge of the trifecta here – and the Prairie State on track to lose a seat in reapportionment – the only question is which Republican freshman will get tossed in the woodchipper. Sadly, we have quite a few to pick from: Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling, Jim Walsh, and Bob Dold! But it’ll still be satisfying to see one of these guys get axed. (And if we’re really lucky, two of `em will get tossed into a single district together.)
  • New Jersey: For whatever reason, New Jersey chooses to be a freak state, holding its state-level elections in odd-numbered years. This is good news for horserace bloggers, but probably a pain in the ass for the folks in charge of drawing state lege district lines. They have to produce a map by Feb. 1 – which is barely a month after the Census Bureau will releases its state-level population data, and a month or so before they release redistricting-level data. In any event, I suggest you read the linked story, which details how Dems succeeded in getting a very favorable map ten years ago – circumstances which are unlikely to obtain this time around.
  • Dave’s Redistricting App: I realize there are quite a few new SSP members these days, so it’s possible not everyone is familiar with the awesome (and free!) Dave’s Redistricting App. It does exactly what it sounds like it ought to do – you can draw and re-draw maps to your heart’s content. The eponymous Dave often stops by in comments and with diaries of his own, in case you ever have questions. He’s also always looking for assistance in compiling partisan data for the app, so if you want to help improve the program, please click the link to find out how!
  • SSP Daily Digest: 5/28 (Afternoon Edition)

    CA-Sen: For a brief shining moment there, Tom Campbell had some good news: in the April 1-May 19 reporting period, Campbell actually outraised Carly Fiorina from outside donors. Campbell pulled in $990K while Fiorina got $909K. Fiorina’s response? She wrote herself another seven-figure check.

    FL-Sen: Charlie Crist’s 7-word-long Google ad attacking Jeff Greene (almost haiku-like in its simplicity: “What has Jeff Greene done? Experience matters.”) prompted a 300-word press release from the Greene camp landing some solid hits on Crist.

    KY-Sen: In terms of rocking the political boat, this probably isn’t as eye-opening as his comments about the Civil Rights Act or the NAFTA Superhighway, but it’s one more weird, sketchy act by Rand Paul: in 1999, he created a whole new certifying body for ophthalmologists, the National Board of Ophthalmology, in order to compete with the establishment American Board of Ophthalmology. The NBO has looser certification requirements than the ABO.

    NH-Sen (pdf): Republican pollster Magellan has been really active lately in GOP primaries where they don’t have any skin in the game; they’re back to looking at the New Hampshire Senate race. They find the real race here between Kelly Ayotte, at 38, and Bill Binnie, at 29. Ovide Lamontagne is lagging at 9, with Jim Bender at 4.

    OH-Sen, OH-Gov (pdf): The Ohio Poll, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, is out today with pleasant results for Democrats (perhaps doubly so, considering they have a reputation for producing GOP-leaning results). They find Dem Lee Fisher with a one-point lead over GOPer Rob Portman in the Senate race, 47-46. They also find incumbent Dem Ted Strickland looking OK in the gubernatorial race, leading John Kasich 49-44 (and sporting a surprisingly high 55/35 approval, suggesting that whatever he’s been doing lately has been working).

    FL-Gov: Ad wars are reaching a fever pitch in the GOP primary in the Florida gubernatorial race; Rick Scott placed a sixth major media buy for another $2.9 million, taking his total to $10.9 million. We’ve also found out more about that mystery group that’s planning to spend nearly a million hitting Scott (primarily on the issue of the fraud charges against his company): it’s the Alliance for America’s Future. While it’s not clear what their interest in Bill McCollum is, the group is headed by Mary Cheney (daughter of Dick).

    HI-Gov: After many months of operating in running-but-not-running limbo, Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann made it official yesterday: he’ll run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary against ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

    NM-Gov: Former state GOP chair Allen Weh, who’s turned into the main GOP primary opposition to Susana Martinez by virtue of his money, just loaned himself another $600K for the home stretch, on top of $1 million he’s already contributed. Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is unopposed in the Dem primary, but watching Martinez catch up to her in polls of the general, has launched into a fundraising frenzy as of late; she’s raised $464K from donors in the last three weeks.

    SC-Gov (pdf): Two different polls are out in South Carolina: one, from Insider Advantage, continues the trend of giving an advantage to Nikki Haley (and the survey period was May 25, after the current imbroglio broke). Haley is at 31, Andre Bauer at 21, Gresham Barrett at 14, and Henry McMaster at 13. On the Dem side, Vince Sheheen leads at 26, with Jim Rex at 17 and Robert Ford at 12. SCIndex didn’t look at the primaries, but had some rather heartening numbers for November: Generic Republican leads Generic Dem only 46-44 in the gubernatorial race, while in the Senate race, Jim DeMint leads Democratic challenge Vic Rawl only 50-43.

    IN-03: Mitch Daniels made it official today, setting the date for the special election to replace resigned Mark Souder on Nov. 2, at the same time as the general election. (So the special election’s winner will only serve during the House’s lame duck session.) The state GOP will pick its candidates for both elections at a June 12 caucus; presumably, they’ll choose the same person for both.

    MO-08: Where’s the New York Times when you need them? Rep. Jo Ann Emerson just lied big-time about her Dem opponent Tommy Sowers’ military record, saying that her opposition to DADT repeal was based on talking to actual commanders, as opposed to Sowers, who “never commanded anybody.” Um, yeah… except for that platoon of combat engineers that Sowers led in Kosovo.

    MS-01: Wow, even Mississippi Dems are now taking a page from the Gray Davis playbook. A Dem 527 called “Citizens for Security and Strength” is hitting presumed Republican frontrunner state Sen. Alan Nunnelee prior to the primary as a “hypocrite on taxes.” Apparently they too are sensing some late-game momentum by Henry Ross, a teabagger whom they’d much rather Travis Childers face in the general than financially-flush establishment figure Nunnelee, and would like to facilitate a Ross victory (or at least a runoff).

    NC-08: Thinking that Barack Obama is a Kenyan secret Muslim? Check. Wanting to repeal the 17th Amendment? Great! Thinking that there’s a 1,000-foot-high pyramid in Greenland? Sorry, that’s a fridge too far even for the teabaggers of North Carolina. Six leaders among the local Tea Partiers publicly switched their allegiances to Harold Johnson in the runoff in the 8th, following revelations of just how off-the-rails their one-time fave Tim d’Annunzio is.

    NY-23: Determined to relive the NY-23 special election over and over again, the Concerned Women of America are sticking with their endorsement of Doug Hoffman, who seems on track to pick up the Conservative Party line while the GOP line goes elsewhere (like Matt Doheny, most likely).

    Votes: The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell cleared the House by a 234-194 margin yesterday, with 5 GOPers voting yes and 26 Dems voting no. The GOP ‘ayes’ were Judy Biggert, Joe Cao, Charles Djou (in his first week of work), Ron Paul, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Dem no votes were — no surprise — mostly vulnerable members in culturally conservative areas: Berry, Bishop (GA), Boucher, Bright, Carney, Childers, Costello, Critz, Davis (TN), Donnelly, Edwards (TX), Etheridge, Green (TX), Lipinski, Marshall, McIntyre, Ortiz,  Peterson, Pomeroy, Rahall, Ross, Shuler, Skelton, Spratt, Tanner, and Taylor.

    Polltopia: Somebody must have slipped some Red Bull into Nate Silver’s Ovaltine lately, as he’s just landed his third hard hit on Rasmussen in as many days. Today, it’s their Wisconsin Senate race poll showing the unknown Ron Johnson competitive (and known by 68% of likely voters) that’s drawing Nate’s ire.

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/24 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: The SEIU is looking to finish the job, throwing down another $450K on behalf of Bill Halter. The union has spent almost $2 million dollars on this race so far.
  • AZ-Sen: Perhaps sensing some vulnerability on John McCain’s part, ex-state Rep. and former AZ health department chief Cathy Eden is jumping into the Democratic primary, where she’ll face former Tucson city councilman Rodney Glassman. Eden served in the state House in the early 1990s, then ran a brief campaign for the Dem nod for Arizona’s open Senate seat in 1994, dropping out before the primary. She’s also apparently tight with Janet Napolitano.
  • CT-Sen: So it turns out the NYT did have in its possession a copy of the full video of the Dick Blumenthal speech where he first said he served “during Vietnam,” only later to cloud things by saying he served “in Vietnam.” Yet despite having the entire video, the Times only posted a truncated clip showing the latter bit. Sheesh.
  • FL-Sen: The normally Dem-friendly Florida Education Association endorsed both Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek for Senate on Friday, as a thank-you to Crist for his veto of a controversial teacher “merit pay” bill. Crist tried to parlay that victory by attempting to steal another endorsement from Meek, enthusiastically courting the backing of the AFL-CIO. Unfortunately for Crist, the union decided to endorse Meek and only Meek. (J)
  • KY-Sen: You probably saw that Rand Paul abruptly cancelled a “Meet the Press” appearance scheduled for yesterday. What you may not have known is that the only other people in recent history to do so are Louis Farrakhan and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar. Also, if you check out that first Politico link, you’ll see exactly how uncomfortable Paul’s post-primary “unity” roll-out has been. Even Trey Grayson couldn’t stay on-message long enough to avoid admitting to reporters that the whole thing has been “awkward.”
  • NV-Sen: This is the chicken that laid the golden egg: Nevada election officials have banned people from wearing chicken suits into polling places on primary day. Though Dems have been sending people in chicken costumes to Sue Lowden campaign events, no one had any apparent plans to do electioneering while so garbed. But what this means is another day of chickens in the news. I think that calls for some Chicken Dance!
  • PA-Sen: Weird – Joe Sestak repeated his claim that the Obama administration offered him a job so that he’d drop his challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter. The weird part is that White House press secretary Bob Gibbs, in response, said only that  “nothing inappropriate” happened, but didn’t confirm or deny Sestak’s claim.
  • WI-Sen: This is a surprise: One-time beer baron Dick Leinenkugel has dropped out of the race after less than a month. He endorsed teabaggy businessman Ron Johnson, which seems like an odd fit, since the Kugel had worked in Dem Gov. Jim Doyle’s administration (a pretty big and obvious knock against him in a GOP primary). Hey, Beer Man – we hardly knew ye! Meanwhile, Johnson picked up the GOP’s endorsement (by a wide margin) at the state Republican convention this past weekend. Terrence Wall and David Westlake are apparently still staying in the race, though.
  • FL-Gov: God bless chrome-domed creep Rick Scott. He’s blasting McCollum on the airwaves for failing to support Arizona’s new “papers, please” immigration law with sufficient gusto. Though I usually complain when tradmed accounts fail to detail the size of ad buys, since it’s Scott, we can probably assume there’s plenty of money behind it, as he’s already spent approximately eight zillion dollars on the race. You know McCollum is sitting at home with his head in his hands, just wondering, “What the hell did I do to deserve this shit?”
  • Meanwhile, third wheel state Sen. Paula Dockery said she wouldn’t put her personal wealth into her campaign – and also opined that she’d veto an abortion bill she voted for if she became governor. I’m not even sure John Kerry could come up with something that good.

  • ID-Gov: This is interesting – Dem Keith Allred raised $240K since January, outstripping Gov. Butch Otter’s $193K. Otter has $201K CoH while Allred has $130K.
  • WI-Gov: Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker was forced to return $44K in illegal contributions for an amazingly simple reason: a railroad exec used company money to reimburse employee donations to Walker! Talk about shady – and dumb.
  • HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa made it clear she’s going to run again after Saturday’s lost to Charles Djou, but Ed Case sounded surprisingly non-committal, saying only that on Monday, he planned to “wake up, go body surfing and cut the lawn. We’ll figure out the rest of it later.”
  • IN-03: Ala NY Gov. David Paterson and the NY-29 race, Gov. Mitch Daniels is reportedly considering holding the IN-03 special election in November, on the same day as the regular general election, in order to save the state money.
  • VA-09: Morgan Griffith, majority leader of the state House of Delegates, won the GOP nod at a district convention this past weekend on the first ballot. I’m not sure if there even would be a primary here on account of the convention, but in any case, it sounds like the other Republican candidates are rallying behind Griffith, who will take on Dem Rep. Rick Boucher in the fall.
  • NY-State Sen.: New York Dems seem to have landed a good recruit against the 78-year-old Sen. Hugh Farley in the 44th district upstate. Susan Savage, chair of the Schenectady county lege, is entering the race in this 50-48 Obama district.
  • Fundraising: The WaPo has a great interactive graphic illustrating corporate PAC giving to Dems vs. Republicans, dating all the way back to 1989.
  • Polling: A new Pew study shows that question responses in landline + cell phone surveys are starting to differ from landline-only answers, sometimes as much as four or five points (and in one case, seven). In general, landline-only surveys tend to underestimate Democratic support.
  • Passings: One-time GOP Rep. Donald “Buz” Lukens died on Saturday at age 79. He was best known for his conviction for paying a 16-year-old girl for sex, which led to his 1990 loss in the GOP primary to none other than John Boehner.
  • WATN?: Former senator and general d-bag Bob Kerrey may go and head up the Motion Picture Association of America. He’d follow in the footsteps of another former member of Congress from the middle of the country, Dan Glickman.
  • Indiana Governor 2012: Roy Dominguez voices plans already

    Happened across this while skimming Blue Indiana.  Apparently, the Sheriff of Lake County, Roy Dominguez, announced when addressing a gathering of law school students his hopes to run for Governor of Indiana in 2012.…

    I’ll be the first to say I know absolutely nothing about Indiana, the distant gubernatorial race, or Dominguez.  I take that back…I know I’d like to see Evan Bayh swallowed and then spit out by an anaconda…but that’s all!  This guy may turn out to be a gadfly or for all I know he could turn out to be an underdog we can root for, I don’t know.

    What I do know is that the guy seems interesting:


    He also didn’t fall flat on his face with his choice of venue.  He apparently tied the announcement in very nicely with the speech topic of overcoming racism and prejudice and following your dreams, so it sounds like the guy can weave a narrative and impress people:…

    Also of interest, there’s polling out on the favorability ratings of Bayh and Lugar as well as Obama:…

    I’m surprised Obama has such high favorables to be honest, and if he can keep them at that level in 2012 then maybe there’s a chance we can drag some Dems into the governorship and Lugar’s seat if he retires.  It may be a little too early to think about this, but it’s out there so we might as well do so.  Personally, I’m hoping to hear from someone who can provide more information on this than me.

    NC-Gov, IN-Gov: Good News, Terrible News

    PPP (10/18-19, likely voters, 10/11-12 in parens):

    Bev Perdue (D): 48 (45)

    Pat McCrory (R): 44 (44)

    (MoE: ±2.8%)

    This week’s PPP snapshot of the North Carolina governor’s race gives Bev Perdue a bit more breathing room. While PPP has generally been the most favorable pollster to Perdue, remember that they had her down by 3 at the start of the month. It seems like some of Obama’s momentum is finally transferring to Perdue, though, as PPP observes that she’s now leading among the under-30 crowd by 55-33; in previous polls, she had lagged Obama and Hagan in the young demo.

    UPDATE: Civitas (R) also released governor’s race data today; Perdue and McCrory are tied at 43 each (last month, McCrory led 43-41). That’s sort of good news, too, as Civitas tends to be more favorable to McCrory and Perdue hasn’t led in a Civitas poll since August.

    PPP (10/18-19, likely voters, no trendlines):

    Jill Long Thompson (D): 36

    Mitch Daniels (R-inc): 57

    (MoE: ±2.6%)

    Man, this Indiana race is a tease. Thompson will occasionally pop up within the margin of error, and then the next poll will always be something like this one. (PPP says Thompson’s problems start with her pulling in only 64% of Democrats.) This poll, however, isn’t much worse than the overall Pollster composite, which is now at 52-37. Bear in mind this is the same sample that just gave Obama a 48-46 edge in freakin’ Indiana, so coattails aren’t helping JLT at all.

    IN-Gov: Signs of Life

    Research 2000 for South Bend Tribune/WSBT (9/28-30, likely voters):

    Jill Long Thompson (D): 46

    Mitch Daniels (R-inc): 47

    (MoE: ±4%)

    The Indiana governor’s race was starting to slide off the map, with GOP incumbent Mitch Daniels leading Democratic ex-Representative Jill Long Thompson by double digits in most polls over the last few months (with the exception of a 4-point spread in a Selzer poll several weeks ago). However, R2K’s first poll of this race shows a dead heat.

    Is it an outlier? Is it another indication that the economic chaos is lifting every Democratic boat, even JLT’s leaky dinghy? Or is it a sign that Obama’s uncontested ground game in Indiana is not only turning Indiana into a swing state but generating strong coattails (the same sample gives McCain a lead of only 46-45)?

    IN-Gov: JLT Trails by 18 in New Poll; SSP Moves Race to “Likely Republican”

    Howey-Gauge (8/30-31, likely voters, 4/23-24 in parens):

    Jill Long Thompson (D): 35 (36)

    Mitch Daniels (R-inc): 53 (55)

    (MoE: ±4.1%)

    This is the fourth consecutive poll since June showing Daniels with a big lead. A couple of years ago, My Man Mitch seemed like a juicy target to be taken down by an aggressive populist Democratic campaign. However, Daniels has turned around his once-sagging job approval ratings and has put some serious daylight between himself and JLT.

    While we don’t base our ratings system entirely on polls, you can’t outrun the trend lines. SSP is shifting its rating of this race from “Lean Republican” to Likely Republican.

    On the bright side, this latest Howey-Gauge poll shows McCain leading Obama only by a 45-43 margin. Can McCain afford to continue to write this state off as a guaranteed GOP win?

    (H/T: Blue Indiana)

    IN-Gov: First Poll of the Race Shows Incumbent Daniels In a Tough Fight

    Indiana’s Republican Governor Mitch Daniels has had a bit of a bumpy first term.  Controversy surrounding his initiative to privatize Indiana’s toll road, his efforts to push the state into following daylight savings time, and his clashes with the state legislature over tax increases wore down his approval rating dramatically.  In fact, Daniels’ disapproval ratings were higher than his approval ratings for all but one of SurveyUSA’s monthly tracking polls during 2006. 

    Research 2000 has released the first poll of Daniels’ re-election race, and of the Democratic primary between state Senator Richard Young, businessman Jim Schellinger, and former Rep. Jill Long Thompson.  The results are not pretty for Mitch.

    First, the Governor’s approvals:

    Q: How would you rate the performance of Mitch Daniels as Governor; excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

    Excellent/Good: 45
    Fair/Poor: 47
    Not Sure: 8

    MoE: ±3.5%

    Next, the straight-up re-election numbers:

    Q: If the election for Governor were held today, would you vote to reelect Mitch Daniels, would you consider voting for another candidate, or would you vote to replace Daniels?

    Re-Elect: 39
    Would Consider Another Candidate: 21
    Would Not Re-Elect: 37

    Interestingly, 14% of Republicans polled would consider voting for another candidate, and 12% would vote for someone else.  In a general election match-up poll against Jill Long Thompson, Daniels isn’t exactly sitting in a position of strength:

    Mitch Daniels (R-inc): 46
    Jill Long Thompson (D): 38
    Undecided: 16

    That’s a surprisingly strong showing by Thompson, who served in the House from 1988 to 1994, and narrowly lost a comeback attempt against Republican Chris Chocola in Indiana’s 2nd District in 2002.  The poll also shows her in a strong position to win the Democratic primary:

    Jill Long Thompson: 41
    Richard Young: 16
    Jim Schellinger: 10

    Daniels still has over a year to turn this ship around, but he’s showing a great deal of weakness this far out.  Perhaps Indiana voters are realizing that Bush’s man is not theirs.

    (Hat-tip: Blue Indiana)

    IN-Gov: Jill Long Thompson (D) Considering a Run at Daniels

    So far, the Indiana Governor’s race has been on the quieter end of 2008’s potential gubernatorial battlegrounds.  Incumbent Republican Governor Mitch Daniels was elected after a 2004 campaign that emphasized his close working relationship with President Bush as former director of the Office of Management and Budget.  Daniels even went so far as to adopt “My Man Mitch”–Bush’s nickname for him–as his campaign slogan.  And while Daniels handily beat incumbent Democrat Joe Kernan for control of Indiana’s gubernatorial office by a 10 point margin, he did perversely manage to follow in Bush’s footsteps during his term as Governor–that is, he perfectly mirrored Bush’s descent into an indefinite slump in the polls.  According to SUSA, Daniels only had a net positive approval rating (of 1 point) once during the 14 month span ending in November 2006.  (More recent polling seems harder to come by.)

    Nevertheless, despite Daniels’ obvious weaknesses, the few big names from the state’s Democratic bench have been reluctant to throw their hats in the ring.  Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, who was regarded as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination should he decide to pursue it, declined to enter the race last month.  So far, the only names in the race have been State Senate Democratic Leader Richard Young and Indianapolis architect and political neophyte Jim Schellinger.  However, the local media reports that a more familiar name in Indiana politics is gearing up for a challenge to Daniels:

    Former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson wants to run for governor of Indiana. A Democrat, Thompson served three terms in Congress before losing in the Republican landslide of 1994. She came to Indianapolis Monday seeking support for a bid to take on Republican Mitch Daniels in 2008.

    Thompson met with union leaders to spell out her plans for the 2008 governor’s race. She began calling Democratic party leaders a month ago and says she hopes to make up her mind before summer.

    “Not only am I getting a good response, but we’re optimistic that its going to be a good year for us in 2008,” said Thompson.

    Jill Long Thompson, as you may recall, represented the 4th District in Congress from 1988 to 1994, when Republican Mark Souder defeated her in the so-called “Republican Revolution”.  She then served as an Under Secretary for Rural Economic and Community Development at the USDA in the Clinton Administration until 2001.  In 2002, she made a comeback attempt against Republican Chris Chocola in the 2nd District, losing by a close 46-50 margin. 

    I’m not going to hold Long Thompson’s 2002 loss against her–a four point loss in an R+4.3 district in a bad year for Democrats nationwide is a pretty strong showing, if you ask me.  She might make a compelling candidate for Governor.  Certainly, she’ll have the appropriate fundraising connections to mount a strong challenge.

    Another point of interest here is that by knocking out Daniels, Democrats will gain more ground in the state’s redistricting process, allowing the current map, which is quite favorable to Democrats, to survive (assuming Democrats hold their ground in the State House).

    Race Tracker: IN-Gov