SSP Daily Digest: 4/5 (Morning Edition)

Welcome to the workin’ week!

  • FL-Sen: Rudy & Rubio, together at last. Giuliani will become the latest johnny-come-lately to endorse Marco.
  • GA-Sen: Johnny Isakson, who had been hospitalized twice in one week, is now back home.
  • KY-Sen: Weirdo Rand Paul is launching a 1,000-point ad buy (that’s big) attacking Trey Grayson as a pro-bailout insider too cozy with DC. The primary is about six weeks away. On the Dem side, The Lexington Herald-Leader reviewed state records and found that Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo has spent four times as much taxpayer money on travel, hotels and meals as AG Jack Conway. Mongiardo has also racked up expenses for the security detail that travels with him (Conway doesn’t have security).
  • NV-Sen: Jon Ralston says that federal investigators are looking to nail John Ensign for “structuring,” which is “a broad term that refers to the crime of creating financial transactions to evade reporting requirements.” Ensign, you’ll recall, had his parents give a $96,000 “gift” to his mistress instead of reporting it as a severance payment. The DoJ is moving very methodically, though, ever-mindful of the wretchedly botched prosecution of ex-Sen. Ted Stevens (which was thrown out on appeal due to prosecutorial misconduct.)
  • SD-Sen: Ugh. Not only did no Democrats file to run against John Thune, but he’s become the first senator in South Dakota history to run without major-party opposition. My advice to John Thune: Save your $6 million warchest for a 2012 presidential run.
  • UT-Sen: Sen. Bob Bennett and his Republican challengers faced off in a debate last Friday, which saw Bennett defend earmarks and get attacked for supporting an individual mandate to buy health insurance. The GOP state convention, which will choose a nominee, is May 8th.
  • AL-Gov: Hah – Artur Davis, fresh off his vote against healthcare reform, is now pushing a petition on his website attacking Alabama state legislators who voted to “obstruct” the new bill.
  • IA-Gov: Republican pollster Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies has a survey of the Iowa gubernatorial race, showing Terry Branstand crushing incumbent Dem Chet Culver 50 to 34. Culver leads Bob Vander Plaats 40-39 and Rod Roberts 38-32. It’s unclear to me whether Magellan was polling for fun or if this was on behalf of a client.
  • MA-Gov: Politico has a piece describing the extraordinary efforts Obama’s political team is making to help Gov. Deval Patrick win re-election. Patrick has visited the White House half a dozen times over the past year, and he’s the only office-seeker so far (other than Harry Reid) to have a fundraiser headlined by the president himself.
  • PA-Gov: The Philadelphia Daily News obtained an interesting strategy memo penned by the campaign of Dem Dan Onorato. Apparently, Onorato was prepared to challenge the signatures of opponents Joe Hoeffel and Anthony Williams. However, since Hoeffel didn’t move to challenge Williams’ signatures, Onorato’s campaign apparently decided it was better to leave both of them alone, figuring it would be better to have two candidates from the Philly region in the race rather than one. (Onorato hails from Western PA.)
  • UT-Gov: Salt Lake County Mayor and Dem gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon says he raised more than $360,000 since the start of the year. No word yet on GOP Gov. Gary Herbert’s haul.
  • AL-03: Dems found someone to replace Josh Segall on the ballot at the last minute: Montgomery native Steve Segrest, who lost to GOPer Kay Ivey in the Treasurer’s race in 2006. Segrest comes from a political family: His father served in the Alabama House and his grandfather, Napoleon Broward, was elected governor… of Florida… in 1905. In some other Alabama news, state Sen. Jim Preuitt, who had long been on the outs with the Democrats, switched parties to the GOP.
  • FL-08: GOP Bruce O’Donoghue says he raised $300K since joining the race, and has a similar amount on hand. O’Donoghue’s camp says that this sum does not include any self-donations.
  • NH-01, NH-02: Dem Ann McLane Kuster, seeking Paul Hodes’ open seat in NH-02, says she raised $285K in Q1, and apparently has made a record haul from New Hampshire residents. Supposedly Katrina Swett will announce a bigger haul, but no numbers yet. Meanwhile, GOPer Frank Guinta, running in NH-01, supposedly raised $250K, including $100K of his own money. (Guinta’s fundraising had been pretty sucky prior to this.)
  • NY-19: The Republican field to take on Dem Rep. John Hall still seems very unsettled. Ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth has gotten a lot of love from the NRCC, but a broad swath of the GOP establishment in the 19th CD doesn’t seem to feel similarly, and she faces several strong opponents. One of them, former Pentagon analyst Kristia Cavere, says she raised $200K in Q1 & will soon convert her exploratory committee into the real thing. Meanwhile, ex-Tuxedo Mayor David McFadden says he’s raised about $100K. He also says that if he doesn’t win the party’s nomination at the May convention, he’ll drop out.
  • PA-07: Dem Bryan Lentz is challenging the validity of GOP opponent Pat Meehan’s signatures. As we noted previously, Lentz is also questioning the impartiality of the investigator, which happens to be Republican AG Tom Corbett’s office. Lentz now has a new arrow in his quiver: Some of the same people who circulated petitions for Meehan also did so for Corbett. Even better, it looks like some local GOP leaders may have signed false affidavits saying they personally gathered signatures, even though others may have actually carried the petitions.
  • SD-AL: Physician Kevin Weiland had planned to challenge Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in the Democratic primary after she voted “no” on healthcare. But Weiland pulled out at the last minute, after receiving calls from Steny Hoyer, and Chris Van Hollen. He also spoke with Herseth Sandlin herself, and reportedly “negotiated an assurance from Herseth Sandlin that she would reconnect with her Democratic base in South Dakota and never vote for a repeal of the health care plan.” Doesn’t sound like much. He also apparently cheesed off one-time Obama strategist Steve Hildebrand, who declined to run himself but worked overtime to help Weiland gather signatures (he only had a week in which to do it) to qualify for the ballot.
  • TN-06: Another veteran is entering this open-seat race on the Democratic side. Brett Carter, an attorney and TN National Guardsman who served in Iraq, joins Marine Capt. Ben Leming in the Dem field.
  • TN-08: Things are really starting to get hot in the GOP primary in Tennessee’s 8th CD. The Republican establishment isn’t just stumping for agribusiness magnate Steve Fincher – they’re actively attacking his opposition. Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, whose trip to Fincher’s district we noted in an earlier digest, slammed physician Ron Kirkland for allegedly being wobbly on the healthcare reform bill and for his past support of Democrats. (Kirkland previously said he liked most of what was in the bill, except for the public option – and when he was chair of the American Medical Group Association when they made donations to Max Baucus.) Kirkland is no random teabagger pushover, which is why he’s drawing fire. This could be an unusually interesting primary.
  • TX-17: The Texas Tribune takes a look at the two Republicans in a run-off for the privilege of facing Dem Chet Edwards in the fall: 2008 nominee Rob Curnock and oil exec Bill Flores. Here’s an interesting detail: Flores voted in the Democratic presidential primary in 2008, supposedly “casting his ballot against Barack Obama.” That’s some cute spin, but if he voted for Hillary Clinton (he won’t say), I don’t really see how that helps him. But in any event, Flores outraised Curnock by a huge margin, $214K to $16K, in newly-filed pre-runoff FEC reports.
  • WA-03: Ex-state Rep. Denny Heck (D) says he raised $350K in the first quarter (including $150K of his own money), leaving him with $530K on hand.
  • Census: There’s a bill pending in both houses of the NY state legislature that would require counting prison inmates as part of their home communities, rather than upstate, where most prisons are located. Given how dysfunctional the lege is, though, there’s no telling if this badly-needed reform will actually see the light of day.
  • Fundraising: GOP bigs are hitting the trail on behalf of their brethren during the congressional recess. John Boehner is helping Californians Mary Bono Mack and Ken Calvert, Pete Sessions is helping Illinoisans Randy Hultgren and Adam Kinzinger, and a bunch of other top Republicans are also putting their backs into things.
  • Redistricting: Former DCCC nat’l field director Casey O’Shea will replace Brian Smoot as head of the National Democratic Redistricting Trust. Smoot is leaving to head up the DSCC’s independent expenditure arm. (And O’Shea and Smoot are consulting partners.)
  • WATN: Dede Scozzafava says she’s working on a memoir about last year’s special election race. Can’t wait to read it! She also says she’s unsure about whether she’ll seek reelection to her seat in the Assembly this year.
  • Site News: Thanks for helping us reach 1,500 followers on Twitter and 400 fans on Facebook!
  • Please Welcome Jeffmd to the Front Page!

    Some very exciting news for the Swing State Project: Longtime diarist and community member jeffmd will be joining us as our newest Contributing Editor. SSPers know Jeff from his excellent data analysis, in-depth number crunching, and of course, his awesome maps. Jeff will be contributing the same sort of stuff he’s always written, except now he’ll be posting directly to the front page. And with redistricting heating up, he’s a perfect addition to the team.

    So please extend a warm welcome to Jeff!

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    SSP Daily Digest: 1/19

    Believe it or not, the world continues to turn today, even outside Massachusetts…

    Site News: A minor site change: We’ve had to disable HTML on user bio pages (like this one). We apologize if this winds up killing your links or spewing ugly HTML characters in your bio, so you may want to edit yours if so. You can still post links – they just won’t be HTML-ized. The reason we did this is because spammers have been exploiting the bio pages to post links to their own sites. It’s easy for us to catch them when they post comments or diaries, but harder to stop them from creating new accounts. This takes away their incentive. Suck on it, spammer scum! (D)

    NV-Sen: I don’t know what you envision when you see “probe” and “John Ensign” in the same sentence, but this is rich: the FBI is getting involved in the investigation, indicating this may go beyond the Senate Ethics Committee, headed in the direction of a criminal inquiry. The Feds have been contacting former aides about the Hampton affair.

    NY-Sen-B: Ex-Rep. Harold Ford Jr. just seems to be digging his self-inflicted hole deeper, as he runs damage control from the NYT profile that portrayed him as a helicopter-riding, pedicure-getting richie-rich. For his new interview with the Daily News, he insisted that it be limited to his rationale for running, not “issues” (issues, of course, are for the little people). Still, that contrasts with his defense of the pedicure thing, about which he said: “This race isn’t about feet, it’s about issues.” Meanwhile, observers are wondering if Al Sharpton (who has endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand) is telegraphing a potential switch in sides.

    IA-Gov: Ex-Gov. Terry Branstad is out with an internal poll showing him in commanding position in the Republican primary as he seeks to regain his old job, despite the discomfort some social conservatives have with him. Branstad polls at 62%, followed by Bob Vander Plaats lagging at 18%, with Christopher Rants at 4 and Rod Roberts at 2.

    IL-Gov: Next door in Illinois, though, where things don’t seem quite as settled in the Republican primary, three different candidates are citing polls that claim to have them in the lead. State Sen. Kirk Dillard has an internal that has him leading at 22, with state party chair Andy McKenna at 14 and ex-AG Jim Ryan at 10 – which is odd, since the Chicago Tribune’s poll several weeks ago gave Ryan a substantial lead and saw Dillard in fourth place. McKenna also claims to have a poll with him in the lead, although he didn’t even bother giving any details. Dillard seems to be the “moderate” horse in the GOP race, with endorsements from ex-Gov. Jim Edgar, Rep. Judy Biggert, and even the Illinois Education Association (hopefully only as far as the primary goes).

    TX-Gov: Rasmussen is out with fresh polls of the Texas governor’s race, and this time, they’re even doing the general, now that it got competitive, with the entry of Democratic Houston mayor Bill White. As one might expect, both incumbent Rick Perry and GOP primary rival Kay Bailey Hutchison lead White, and KBH overperforms Perry. Hutchison leads White 52-37, while Perry leads 50-40. (In the unlikely event White faces off against Paulist activist Debra Medina, he wins 44-38.) More interestingly, Medina seems to be getting a serious foothold in the GOP primary, which seems like it has the potential to push the Perry/Hutchison battle to a runoff, keeping Perry below 50%. Perry leads Hutchison and Medina 43-33-12.

    MI-Gov, MI-13: The amazingly brief gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Hansen Clarke ended yesterday, after about one week in existence. It seems like party insiders steered him in a different direction, saying that he’s been offered big financial support if he takes on vulnerable (in a primary) Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick instead, and he says he’s strongly considering that race now. Kilpatrick (mother of embattled former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick) nearly lost a 3-way primary in 2008.

    AZ-03: One aspiring House Republican didn’t wait long to announce her run to fill the recently-vacated seat of Rep. John Shadegg. State Sen. Pamela Gorman announced her campaign.

    MI-07: One more race that hasn’t drawn much scrutiny yet but where it looks like Dems will have to play hard defense is in the 7th. Freshman Rep. Mark Schauer faces a rematch with ex-Rep. Tim Walberg, who is now promoting his own internal poll showing him with 46-37 edge over Schauer. There’s been some establishment skepticism over whether the polarizing Walberg is “electable” enough, which may really be the point of the poll: it also shows attorney Brian Rooney, the supposedly more palatable (but currently less-known) GOPer, trailing Schauer 39-31.

    PA-04: Republicans are banking on former US Attorneys to get them back a few House seats in the Keystone State, and they got one of their desired recruits. Mary Beth Buchanan, one of the chief enforcers among the “loyal Bushies,” has apparently decided that she’ll take on Rep. Jason Altmire in the GOP-leaning 4th in Pittsburgh’s suburbs, and may announce her candidacy later this week.

    WV-01: The NRCC had hoped to put a scare into longtime Democratic incumbent Alan Mollohan, frequently drum-beating his name as a potential retirement. Unfortunately for them, Mollohan has filed his paperwork to seek a 15th term in Congress. (J)

    OH-Lt. Gov: Ted Strickland announced today that he’s tapping ex-Franklin Co. Judge Yvette McGee Brown to be his running mate. Brown is the president of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, a Columbus organization based at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. (J)

    Mayors: Another election to keep an eye on is a runoff for Birmingahm’s next mayor. The seat became vacant in October upon the conviction of Larry Langford on corruption charges. Langford and other insiders have endorsed William Bell (who currently holds Langford’s former seat on the county conmission). Naturally, Patrick Cooper is running against Bell on a change platform. The campaign has been full of nasty accusations and innuendo with many glad it’s coming to an end. (T)

    Polltopia: Mark Blumenthal looks at the rapidly reducing cost of polling, and only sees even more of a proliferation of it in the near future as robo-calling gets within the reaches of the masses, even the crazy bloggers. Even Rasmussen is getting into the act, with plans to spin off a new service that will allow anyone to poll on anything for a fee of $600. That leaves Blumenthal wondering how to screen in the future for proper quality and against abuse of time-honored standards.

    Suspensions & Bannings

    I’m pretty sad and disappointed that I once again have to perform my least favorite activity. After the derail in this thread, I’ve suspended several users for a week. Those accounts will have access restored next Saturday. Also, one user who had received repeated warnings not to engage in derails (and promised me several times that he would stop doing so) has been permanently banned for his participation in this latest derail.

    I will at some point put together an FAQ of some sort outlining my vision for the site. But everyone involved in that thread was a longtime user who knew exactly what was and wasn’t okay here. There weren’t many political sites you could go to during the 2007-2008 presidential primaries and avoid the ceaseless wars between competing factions. SSP was one of those few. And this site will remain a haven for all its days, whether it’s healthcare or some other contentious, emotional issue that crops up.

    The Great SSP Redistricting Contest (Round 1)

    Now that we’ve finally been able to name a winner in our 2009 predictions contest, we’re ready to open up some new frontiers. Check it out:

    The Short Version: Redistrict New York state so that your map would likely elect at least 26 Democrats and no more than two Republicans. Post your plan as a diary. Win babka.

    The Long Version: Dave (of Dave’s Redistricting App) and Jeffmd have been hard at work implementing partisan political data for New York, and the results have recently gone live. So you have from now until Sunday night, January 10th, at midnight Eastern in which to post a diary containing your maps & descriptions. Jeff, who has graciously agreed to judge this contest, will then decide which plan he deems “best.” There are a few criteria which I’ll detail below, and those have to be met in order for your plan to be eligible. But as far as what constitutes the “best” plan, well… this is going to be something like an art contest, and the judge’s sense of aesthetics will rule the day. After all, redistricting is as much art as it is science!

    Here are the criteria to follow:

    0) Not that we would expect anyone to do otherwise, but you have to use Dave’s Redistricting App.

    1) You must have 28 districts of equal population size, within ~±1% of the ideal district size of 700,334 (i.e., any district between 693,331 and 707,337 will work).

    2) You must draw seats for at least 26 Democrats – 26-2, 27-1, and 28-0 plans are all acceptable.

    3) Assume that all current incumbents are re-elected in 2010. You will therefore have to eliminate at least one incumbent’s district.

    4) Your over-arching goal should be to shore up all Democratic seats which are potentially vulnerable. If you choose to eliminate an incumbent Democrat’s district, the trade-off should mean bluer districts for remaining incumbents.

    5) Not a requirement, but bonus points for screwing Peter King in some fashion

    6) Water contiguity is permitted (bonus points for connecting along bridges).

    7) Touch-point contiguity is not permitted. (Touch-point contiguity occurs when two geographical units only meet each other at a single point. Think of the famous “Four Corners” in the American southwest: Arizona and Colorado share touch-point contiguity, as do New Mexico and Utah.)

    8) VRA compliance is required. VRA-compliant districts should be centered around the geographic areas covered by the the present-day districts listed below. These districts may be re-numbered and re-shaped however you see fit, so long as your final plan includes districts which meet the criteria below. They may also be combined & re-fashioned, especially in the case of NY-10 and NY-11.

    We won’t require strict adherence to any particular set of numbers, but these are probably pretty decent guidelines:

         • NY-06 area (Jamaica, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway): 50%+ African-American

         • NY-10 area (Bed-Stuy, Canarsie, East New York, Downtown Brooklyn): 50%+ African-American

         • NY-11 area (Crown Heights, Brownsville, Park Slope, Flatbush): 50%+ African-American

         • NY-12 area (Greenpoint, Bushwick, Glendale, Lower East Side): 48%+ Hispanic

         • NY-15 area (Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Upper West Side, Washington Heights): Majority-minority

         • NY-16 area (South Bronx, Morrisania, High Bridge, Port Morris): 60%+ Hispanic

    9) All 28 districts must be described in your writeup. Each district writeup must include:

         • A list of any current incumbents whose homes are in that district. If more than one incumbent lives in a district, you must describe whom you think the district “belongs” to.

         • A brief narrative summary of major counties, cities, towns, and/or neighborhoods encompassed by the district. This list need not – and should not – be exhaustive. It should just hit the high points.

         • Demographic information about racial breakdowns by percentage.

         • 2008 presidential election results, both for the new district and the old district (to the extent there is a corresponding old district).

         • Total population.

    10) Your writeup must include maps sufficient to show all 28 districts with reasonable detail. Use zoomed-in maps for densely populated areas. Please make maps no more than 590 pixels wide – any larger and they break the site’s formatting on many monitors. But by all means link to full-size images.

    11) Your map can be as gerrymandered or as compact as you wish. Bonus points for creativity.

    12) Only one entry per user – but you can post your diary at any time during the contest period (again, until midnight Eastern time on Sunday, Jan. 10th).

    13) Please email your saved .DRF.XML to Jeff (jeffmd [at] swingstateproject [dot] com). Dave has instructions for locating your file in his help file (scroll down to the section “Saved Files”), for Mac OS, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Do not post this file online.

    If you have any questions or need any clarifications, please feel free to ask in comments. To the winner goes the babka!

    P.S. To assist you, a list of each represenative’s area of residence is below the fold. If you have more detailed information about any of them, please let us know in comments.

    UPDATE: Please put the phrase “Contest Entry:” at the start of your diary title, and please also put the tag “redistricting contest” in your tags.

    Also, here’s a helpful map of NYC neighborhoods (warning: large PDF).

    UPDATE 2: There are special instructions for turning on the political (Obama vs. McCain) data:

    To access this new data, you need to check the “Use Test Data” checkbox in the upper right corner of the app before selecting New York State. (Because the data format is different than I have been using, I’ve separated it into a separate directory on the server.)

    NY-01 Bishop Southampton village NY-16 Serrano South Bronx
    NY-02 Israel Huntington village NY-17 Engel Riverdale
    NY-03 King Seaford (Oyster Bay) NY-18 Lowey Harrison
    NY-04 McCarthy Mineola (North Hempstead) NY-19 Hall Dover Plains (Dover)
    NY-05 Ackerman Roslyn Heights (North Hempstead) NY-20 Murphy Glens Falls
    NY-06 Meeks Far Rockaway NY-21 Tonko Amsterdam
    NY-07 Crowley Woodside NY-22 Hinchey Hurley
    NY-08 Nadler Upper West Side NY-23 Owens Plattsburgh
    NY-09 Weiner Forest Hills NY-24 Arcuri Utica
    NY-10 Towns East New York NY-25 Maffei DeWitt
    NY-11 Clarke Flatbush NY-26 Lee Clarence
    NY-12 Velazquez Williamsburg NY-27 Higgins Buffalo South District
    NY-13 McMahon Staten Island NY-28 Slaughter Fairport (Perinton)
    NY-14 Maloney Upper East Side NY-29 Massa Corning
    NY-15 Rangel Harlem

    Election 2009 Predictions Contest: Results!

    We’ve been patiently waiting for the New York State Board of Elections to certify the results of the NY-23 special election so that we could name the winners of our 2009 predictions contest. Well, the numbers are finally in, so here we are! But first, thanks as always to everyone who participated. We received 110 valid entries, which is about as many as we had in 2008. Not bad for an off-year election!

    If you are listed as a winner, send me an email and I will send you a super-delicious Green’s babka posthaste. Without further ado:

    Congratulations to all the winners! If you’d like to find out how you did, please click here. The average score was 29. KainIIIC, Tiger in Blue Denver, and overall winner Zeitgeist9000 nailed NY-23 exactly (average error: 7). No one got NJ-Gov on the nose, though GoodWellOK and third-place finisher pinhickwv were off by just one point (average error: 9). Six folks got VA-Gov (second-place finisher andyroo312, brownsox, gabjoh, GOPVOTER, PropJoe & Zeitgeist9000, once again), while seven got ME-Init (bennytoothpick, David Kowalski, DGM

    GoodWellOK, Lois, Mark & stevenaxelrod). (Average errors were 5 and 7, respectively.) Also, only one person correctly picked the victors of all four races. NJCentrist rightly named Owens, Christie, McDonnell and “Yes” as the winners of the four big 2009 races. Nice going!

    In any event, props once again to our winners, and thanks once more to all who participated. If you didn’t win this time, have no fear – one thing I can predict is that there will be more babka in the very near future!

    Redistricting Contest Coming Soon!

    Exciting news, folks: Thanks to the hard work of Dave and Jeffmd, Dave’s Redistricting App now has political data for the state of New York. Just like with Maryland, when you create your new New York maps, you’ll be able to see the Obama-McCain percentage for each district.

    With this new feature launched, SSP plans to hold a redistricting contest in the near future. Dave has asked, though, that everyone kick the tires a bit before we officially begin the contest. So head on over to the app and test out the new NY data – and then stay tuned for a more detailed announcement from us soon!

    One-Week Suspensions

    The very off-topic derailment in this week’s open thread forced me to do something I’d never done before on this site – close comments on a post. I really, really did not enjoy doing that. It also made me wary of posting the summary chart of how the healthcare vote went. People did manage to stay on topic and remain civil for the first couple hundred comments. But I was very disappointed that in the end, a few people wound up derailing the thread yet again.

    So we’re giving one-week suspensions to certain users. I’m not going to name names, but I’m posting this as a diary since we do not maintain contact information for our users. If, starting today, you logged in and found you can’t comment or post diaries, you’ve been affected. You’ll be able to participate again in a week. Consider this a serious warning.

    I’m also going to say this once more: It’s a big Internets. If you want to gripe about policy or simply act uncivilly, there are tons of places you can do that. But not here.

    Introducing SSP’s 2010 Sortable Filing Deadline & Primary Calendar

    Click here (and bookmark) this incredibly valuable tool. It’s the Swing State Project’s sortable calendar of filing deadlines, primary dates, and, where applicable, runoff dates in all fifty states. Very useful – try it! (We’ll also permalink it in the right-hand sidebar under “SSP Resources.”)

    I also wanted to take this opportunity to ask: which states have party conventions instead of or in addition to primaries, and how do they each work? I know, for instance, that Minnesota, Connecticut and Utah all have conventions, but their effects on ballot access differ somewhat from one another. Convention experts, please enlighten us.