SSP Daily Digest: 2/22

CT-Sen: In almost a parody of Republican fat-cattery, not-very-likely GOP senate challenger Scott Frantz loves to race his million-dollar antique yacht down to Bermuda, while at the same time extolling the virtues of companies that patriotically avoid American taxes by moving their operations offshore to the very same island.

IN-Sen: Treasurer Richard Mourdock is officially kicking off his primary challenge to apostate Sen. Dick Lugar today, and he’s announcing that a majority of local Republican party leaders in the state are backing him. The thing is, while Lugar may well get teabagged, Mourdock really isn’t a teabagger. The establishment might be trying to get out in front of Lugar’s political demise by rallying around the most acceptable alternative, but while Mourdock’s no Charlie Crist, even conservative guys like him don’t often assuage the true movementarians. We’ll see.

MA-Sen/Gov: Fresh off his victory last fall, Deval Patrick is opening a federal PAC that, the Boston Globe says, “will pay for his expenses as he travels the country as a prominent spokesman for President Obama’s reelection campaign.” But Patrick insists that he’ll finish his second term, and then “return to the privates sector.” That was actually the Globe’s typo… man, I hope it was a typo. Meanwhile, Scott Brown insists he’s running for re-election, not president.

NV-Sen: Guy Cecil, the executive director of the DSCC, is heading to Nevada this week, reports Politico’s Molly Ball, to meet with three potential challengers to Sen. John Ensign: Secretary of State Ross Miller, Treasurer Kate Marshall, and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. (The DS has already met with Rep. Shelley Berkley.)

RI-Sen: Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian says he’ll probably decide by June whether to seek the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Warwick is considered a “moderate” (whatever that means), and could face an impossible primary against a more conservative candidate. Recall that now-Gov. Lincoln Chafee came very close to losing a primary in 2006 against Steve Laffey while he was a sitting senator.

VA-Sen: Former Dem LG (and current ambassador to Switzerland – and Liechtenstein!) Don Beyer says he’s enjoying life abroad too much to contemplate returning home for a senate run. And hell yes he gave a shout out to Liechtenstein!

WI-Sen: Your state becomes ground zero for the future of organized labor in America, drawing attention from around the country and around the world, and the stakes are huge. What do you do if you are Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl? You basically disappear and issue the most anodyne statement possible, saying that you “hope these matters can be settled in a respectful and balanced way.” Eh, maybe we’re better off like this – it’s not like Kohl would be a big asset in this fight anyway.

IN-Gov: Mark Bennett of the Terre Haute Tribune Star has an interview with former House Speaker John Gregg, who reiterates he is giving the governor’s race “real serious consideration” (as we mentioned yesterday) but hasn’t offered any timetable about a decision. The piece is mostly interesting as a backgrounder on Gregg, who has been out of politics for almost a decade.

Meanwhile, Brad Ellsworth says he won’t be running for anything at all in 2012 (so that would include IN-Sen as well), but veteran state Sen. Vi Simpson says she is “thinking about” entering the race.

NY-10: City Hall News has a good, in-depth look at the situation in the 10th CD, where we noted recently that Rep. Ed Towns’ son Darryl, thought by some to be interested in his father’s seat, is instead taking a job in the Cuomo administration. This could be a resume-burnishing delaying tactic, but with the elder Towns teetering, several big names who aren’t heading off to Albany could make the race, including Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and NYC Council Members Charles Barron and Tish James. Jeffries is publicly saying he won’t make a decision until Towns does, while the more pugnacious Barron is convinced Jeffries won’t primary the incumbent – and says he’s “cut from the same cloth” as old Ed. If you’re a fan of juicy ethnic, racial, religious, machine, big-city politics, set against the backdrop of redistricting and the VRA, this race is one to watch.

PA-St. Sen.: How common is this? In the potentially bellwether-ish special election to replace deceased Dem state Sen. Michael O’Pake, Democrat Judy Schwank is going on the air with television ads. Her Republican opponent is reportedly set to follow. NWOTSOTB, but do state legislators commonly advertise on TV in your area?

WATN?: So Arlen Specter’s hung out a shingle. Unlike a lot of dudes in his position who become rainmakers in big DC lobbying firms, the almost quaint name of Specter’s new law firm is “Arlen Specter, Attorney-at-Law,” and he’s practicing in Philly. Meanwhile, Specter’s primary conqueror, Joe Sestak, sure is busy – he’s been going on a 67-county (that’s all of `em) “thank you” tour in the wake of his narrow defeat last year. While the pace is probably less punishing than on the campaign trail, this kind of perambulation is usually the sort of thing most politicians are relieved to give up after they lose – so obviously people are speculating that Sestak wants to get back in some day. Sestak himself says he wants “to stay in public service of some sort,” and won’t deny rumors that he’s interested in a 2014 gubernatorial run., but I just can’t see Sestak as gov material.

Polltopia: You know how in a WWF tag-team match, there are those moments when one dude taps out and his partner comes in, but for a few seconds, they’re both kinda in the ring at once, wailing on their hapless opponent at the same time? Just watch here as Stone Cold Mark Blumenthal puts Scott Rasmussen in a headlock and Nate “Superfly” Silva busts out the folding chair. When the bell sounds, we know pretty much what we did before: you can trust the outcomes of a Rasmussen poll and a pro-wrestling match just about equally.

Redistricting: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has releases his “Redistricting Reform Act of 2011,” which would create a non-partisan commission that would draw both state lege and congressional district lines. The members of the commission would still be political appointees, though, with the governor apparently holding the final card. Cuomo has threatened to veto any old-style gerrymanders, but it’s not clear to me that this bill has much of a chance, particularly since other reports say Cuomo is willing to trade this for a much bigger priority, like property tax reform.

Meanwhile, Politico has the unsurprising news that many members of Congress have recently started making generous donations to their home-state legislatures, in order to win a little love during the redistricting battles ahead. I do wish they would just post the full chart of their analysis, rather than pick out tidbits. We’d never do that to you!

Census: Bunch more states a’comin’ this week: Alabama, Colorado, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington will all see redistricting data by Feb. 25th.

Dave’s App: Version 2.1 has been released, with all sorts of new features. Dave is also adding new 2010 census data as he is able.

Special Elections: SSP’s own Johnny Longtorso, keeper of the special election flame, files this report:

We’ve got a whopping nine state legislative races in Connecticut on Tuesday. Eight of the nine are Democrats who resigned to join the Malloy administration, while the ninth (also a Dem) resigned due to a misdemeanor conviction. One race of note is HD-36, where CT-02 loser Janet Peckinpaugh is the Republican nominee. A couple of these races were close in 2010 (HD-99 and 101), so we may see some flips on Tuesday.

Also, in Missouri, there’s an open State Senate seat in Kansas City, which should be an easy Dem hold.

And last Saturday, Republican state Rep. Jonathan Perry defeated Democratic businessman Nathan Granger in a special election that decided control of the Louisiana state senate. The chamber had been split 19-19, but now the GOP has the edge. Of course, it would only have been a matter of time before the next Dem party-switcher changed the equation, but this was actually a close, hard-fought race.

Brad Miller Decision July 1 (NC-Sen)

Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Miller has stepped up his exploratory effort in recent days as he nears a self-imposed deadline of July 1 to decide whether to take on Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008.

Last week, Miller and his wife, Esther Hall, met for more than an hour with New York Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

All of this is from the News and Observer

This was added to in this morning’s paper…

This morning’s version of the same story adds a few good quotes from people who want Brad to run and people who don’t.

State Representative Deborah Ross (who could end up becoming our first ever Female Speaker in the next few years) said that she thinks Brad will run if he can be assured of the money.

His treasurer from his past campaigns thinks that he shouldn’t run, because he is building a great career in the House.  I disagree with her conclusion, but it is very true that Brad is doing a great job in the House.

In a conversation about money, Brad added:

“I am convinced if I make the decision to run it will be one of the top targeted races nationally by the Senatorial Committee and by Democratic constituency groups,” he said. “The support is there for a serious run.”

For those worried about such things, the paper lists four potential challengers to save Brad’s House Seat should he run.  I know 2 of them, one of whom would be an amazing candidate for this.  His website is here.

All of this is very important, because we must get rid of Liddy Dole.  You can find out more about her record by checking out the Draft Brad site.  Or you can just click on my name and sort through all my diaries on her.

Brad is very close to making a decision, and we have a fantastic opportunity to convince him to run.  I hope you will join me and send him a very small donation (even as little as 2 dollars) to show that you still want him to run, and would be there volunteering, phone calling, and blog swarming on his behalf.

New Poll NC Prez Dem 47 Rep 42

On national maps North Carolina is often colored red.  We havent voted for a Democrat for the White House since Carter in 1976.  But that might be changing.

In a new poll by Public Policy Polling, when asked who they would vote for in the 2008 Presidential election, 42 percent of voters said a Republican.  But, in a huge surprise, 47 percent of voters said a Democrat.

PPP has been doing a lot of tracking polls lately, and I have a large amount of respect for them and their sister company, On Point Polling.  This poll was done with 606 voters.  The way PPP does their sampling, these were people who will be voting in 2008.

This poll (PDF) has some incredibly interesting results within it.  The question that will get the most media attention is the matchup question between Elizabeth Dole and Roy Cooper.  In that race, Dole is under 50 percent, and has a lead of 46 to 36.  That means that so far Dole has polled at 45 and 44 against 2 Democratic Congressman, 40 percent against our governor, and 46 percent against our Attorney General.

She is in a ton of trouble.

Her approval rating is plus 4, 45% to 41%.  President Bush’s numbers are also ugly, with a negative 11 rating.

The poll also asked if people would be more or less likely to vote Democratic based upon specific nominees.  Surprisingly for me, Hillary does a lot better on this question that I would have expected.  The details though are not all that surprising.  Obama would give huge motivation to black voters, and Hillary is hated by Republicans.  Nothing really shocking.

This poll also contained some very interesting crosstabs.  For instance, we are home to both Ft Bragg and Camp Lejeune, among other bases.  Both of these massive installations are within the 910 area code.  In that area code, Bush’s approval rating is 47 to 45 (plus 2).  On the generic ballot, a Democratic Presidential candidate leads 46 to 42.  The best part is that those numbers are before we start showing ads like this for the third Senator from Virginia.

In addition to this poll, a new poll by Conservative, Non Partisan Republican think tank Civitas shows even worse results for Bush and national Republicans.  I take all of their results with a grain of salt, but their poll showed Bush with a 39 percent approval rating, with 57 percent disapproving (43% strongly disapprove).  Even more telling is their question about the surge strategy:

Do you think the President’s new strategy in Iraq along with the troop surge is:
Improving the Situation 19%
Not making much difference 34%
Making things worse 36%

That is right.  In “Red” North Carolina, the most military friendly state in the country, 70% of voters think the surge is either useless or counterproductive.

Dole has been an unapologetic supporter of Bush.  In fact, in February there was an article in the Charlotte Observer talking about how she was taking a stand separate from most of her fellow NC Republicans to support the surge loudly in public.  Sadly, I cant find that article without paying big bucks for it.

Add on top of all of these polls an article written by Stuart Rothenberg prior to these results about Texas and North Carolina.

In contrast, Democrats have won the past four gubernatorial elections in North Carolina, and the party last won a Senate seat in 1998. While Republicans hold all of the most high-profile statewide offices in Texas, Democrats hold the top offices in North Carolina. And while Republicans hold both chambers of the Texas state Legislature, Democrats have solid majorities in both chambers of the North Carolina Legislature.
On the other hand, Rep. Brad Miller and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper reportedly are considering a challenge to Dole, and Tar Heel State Democrats are in a far stronger position to recruit a candidate against the Republican Senator.
Dole isn’t much more vulnerable until Democrats get a formidable candidate in the race, but if and when they do, the state’s dynamics, at the very least, offer them a scenario for success.

North Carolina, therefore, bears watching.

In light of all the polling that we have seen in this race, I would say Rothenberg’s analysis is actually pessimistic.  But, he is obviously correct in saying that we need a top tier challenger.  I personally want to see Brad Miller take up the banner.  But no matter who runs she is vulnerable.

For more info on this race, and on a Brad candidacy please visit this website.

I got some press for the Draft Brad website yesterday.  It is only online for now, but its a start.

NC-SEN: Roy Cooper Asked to Run

If Brad Miller runs for the Senate, he may have some company.

Many “Democrats in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., are beginning to zero in on state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) as a particularly strong pick” to challenge Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and “are urging him to enter the race,” according to Roll Call.

Other possibilities include Rep. Brad Miller, Gov. Mike Easley, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Hugh Shelton, state Sen. Kay Hagan and state Rep. Grier Martin — “though Easley is unlikely to run.”

This may be the best option as I do not know how easy or difficult it will be to hold Miller’s seat should he be nominated against Dole. Anyone from North Carolina want to comment.

But Can He Win Statewide? (NC-Sen)

As always, crossposted at BlueNC and DailyKos.

One of the most commonly asked questions about Brad Miller running for Senate against Elizabeth Dole is from people who dont think Brad Miller can win statewide. 

How can I answer this question?

I could wax poetic about Brad’s abilities to appeal to voters statewide.  Or I could tell you things about him that make me think that he can talk to rural voters and voters in a big city.

And then you could give me all the reasons you disagree.  But where would that leave us?

The only way I can think of objectively answering this is to offer an analysis of Brad’s past election results.  For reference I have included a map of Brad’s district.  This district was drawn for a Democrat to win, but it is only slightly Democratic.  Cook has its PVI as D+2.

As you can see, NC-13 contains all of Caswell and Person counties.  It also encompasses large portions of Granville and Rockingham counties.  All 4 of these counties are rather rural, and Republican.  Although the most Republican areas of the county are excluded from NC-13, they do not add up to many people.  These 4 counties are especially important because their rural nature means they are very similar to other areas throughout the state that Brad must be competitive in to beat Dole.

To the numbers.

For this analysis, I looked at Brad’s results in these 4 counties in 2002 compared to the numbers from the Bowles v Dole race in 2002, and Brad’s results in 2004 compared to both Bowles and Kerry/Edwards.

Granville County
Brad Miller 4,236
Carolyn Grant 3,759

Erskine Bowles 6,146
Elizabeth Dole 5,511

Person County
Brad Miller 5,054
Carolyn Grant 4,589

Erskine Bowles 4,444
Elizabeth Dole 5,873

Caswell County
Brad Miller 4,113
Carolyn Grant 2,320

Erskine Bowles 3,615
Elizabeth Dole 3,049

Rockingham County
Brad Miller 12,005
Carolyn Grant 9,965

Erskine Bowles 12,062
Elizabeth Dole 13,899

Granville County
Brad Miller 7,184
Virginia Johnson 5,955

Erskine Bowles 9,806
Richard Burr 8,447

George Bush 9,491
John Kerry 9,057

Person County
Brad Miller 8,399
Virginia Johnson 6,291

Erskine Bowles 6,701
Richard Burr 8,212

George Bush 8,973
John Kerry 6,198

Caswell County
Brad Miller 5,737
Virginia Johnson 3,374

Erskine Bowles 4,737
Richard Burr 4,559

George Bush 4,868
John Kerry 4,539

Rockingham County
Brad Miller 16,580
Virginia Johnson 15,525

Erskine Bowles 15,435
Richard Burr 21,224

George Bush 22,840
John Kerry 14,430

So, what does that all mean?
Personally, I think the numbers speak for themselves.  In these 4 counties, the combined vote totals for 2002 show Brad winning by about 4800 votes.  Dole won those same counties by a little over 2000 votes.  In 2004, Brad won these 4 counties by 6800 votes.  Bowles lost them by 5800 and Kerry lost by almost 12,000 votes.

These are not tiny little swings.  Brad won his race by about the same percentage as Dole beat Bowles.  Yet, in these specific rural areas, he did even better Dole did.  Obviously the differences between all of these races is rather large.  Bowles v Dole garnered national attention, and was incredibly expensive.  By comparison, Brad spent under a million dollars in 2002 with his opponent spending about 400,000 dollars.

These details about the nature of these races can explain a lot of this.  However, to me these results show that Brad can win over rural voters.  In fact, I wont just say that Sherrod Brown proved you can win a swing state while being proud about your progressive values.  I will say that Brad himself has already proved that a progressive who doesnt hide from his record can win in rural North Carolina.

Now, I understand that many will not be convinced by these results.  Some will say that Brad cant win votes in rural areas until November 4th.  However, I hope that those that are unsure will find my collection of data convincing.  If you do, please think about sending 5 dollars to the draft page on ActBlue.

Convince Brad Miller to Challenge Liddy NC-Sen

Wow.  It has been a crazy few days in North Carolina.

It started Wednesday with a tiny little story saying that Rep. Brad Miller was thinking about running against Elizabeth Dole.  That was followed up by matching articles in the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer on Thursday.

Later Thursday Public Policy Polling conducted a poll, which showed Brad behind Dole, but only 33 to 44.  While that poll is an amazing result, it shows a lot of room for improvement.  For starters, 26% of Democrats are currently undecided.

Friday saw this poll get a plethora of responses, and even got us into a tie for 10th most likely seat to flip over at the WaPo’s The Fix.

Before I start in with the pitch let me give you two reasons why I think Brad would win this race:

“I think she will be judged on her record as a politician in 2008 and not judged as a celebrity, as she was in 2002,” he said. “And she has simply been a down-the-line partisan Republican on every issue from Iraq to privatizing Social Security to opposing the minimum wage increase and supporting CAFTA [the Central America Free Trade Agreement].”

That is Brad from the Charlotte Observer Article.

“I think the advantage I’d have — and any Democrat would have — is I will never have to be briefed on which state I represent in the Senate.”

That is Brad from the Raleigh N&O Article.

One of the easiest ways for the media to measure support is to see how much money a candidate has raised.  The Obama campaign, even as it took in huge sums of money, attempted to upend this mindset by talking about the amount of people that gave money, and not how much money was given.

We are going to do the same thing.  I am asking each and every one of you to donate to the Draft Brad Miller movement.  But, I am not asking for us to raise a thousand or ten thousand dollars.  I am asking for donors.  I do not care if you give 2 dollars and 8 cents.  I would be thrilled if you gave 20.08 or even 200.80  However, we are all on limited budgets.

I am looking for donors.  I am looking for people to put their money where their mouth is and say, “I want Brad Miller to run for US Senate.”  I hope that everyone is able and willing to give 5 dollars to help convince Brad to run.  He needs to know that the netroots will do everything in our power to launch him into office.

Right now we are at 17 donors.  14 of those donations occured before Brad said he was even thinking about running.

By Monday morning I would like to see us at 50 donations.  I would also like to see us at 100 by the end of the week.  We can do this.  I would be much happier to see us at 100 donations with 800 dollars than I would be to see us at 2000 dollars and only 25 donors. 

Brad will need our help fundraising if he decides to run.  However, even he raises double what Jim Webb did in 2006 online, it will only be a small part of what he needs to win this seat.  He is still going to have to spend a large amount of time raising the funds that will be necessary to beat Dole.

BUT, there is one thing that money can not buy.  Committed Volunteers.  By giving 5 dollars you say to Brad, I believe in you, and I will do everything that I have the ability to do to help you out.  Your hours as a volunteer are worth much more than any amount of money you are legally allowed to give to campaigns.  Tell Brad that you are willing to spend them! 

For those of you who still dont believe Brad can win (as if the poll isnt convincing enough!), please stop by either this diary, or this one.  Thank You.

Let me close with another quote, from fellow blogger momaizo of BlueNC

Won’t it be nice to have a Senator that actually represents North Carolinians?

NC-Sen: Brad Miller Considering a Run Against a Weakened Dole

(From the diaries with minor editing. Should Brad Miller take the plunge and challenge Dole next year? – promoted by James L.)

Cross posted from Dailykos

On the heels of a quick scoop in the Charlotte Observer last night was a full length article in the Raleigh News & Observer this morning.  That story centered around Rep. Brad Miller (D) contemplating a run against Elizabeth Dole.

“I’m at least going to talk to folks in North Carolina and get a sense of what people are thinking,” Miller said Wednesday.

Following that, Public Policy Polling has released a matchup poll.

Dole 44%
Miller 33%
Undecided 22%

Dole’s Job Approval numbers?
43 Approve
40 Dissaprove

Now with crosstabs (PDF!)
Numbers that can only improve:
Amongst Democrats Brad leads 48 to 26 with 26 undecided.  Considering Liddy’s -20 approval rating amongst Dems, this number should shoot up very quickly.
30% of African Americans are currently undecided, and 26% say Dole.  If Brad cant get above 75-90% support by election time I will literally eat my shoe.

Numbers that are already strong:
Dole is as about as high as can be expected amongst Republicans.  70-15.  She wont get much of a boost from her base.
Brad already leads amongst independents, 38-33

As for Brad, and his big decision:
Brad is enjoying his time in the US House, so this is a difficult decision for him:

“There is plenty enough for me to say grace over,” Miller said. “But there is no doubt it would offer a chance to be more involved in more issues.”

However, he had this to say:

“I don’t think it will be an easy race for anybody,” Miller said. “I think a Democrat can win that race. I think the advantage I’d have — and any Democrat would have — is I will never have to be briefed on which state I represent in the Senate.

Later in the article, Senator Dole’s strategist had this to say: “When you have someone like Senator Dole, who enjoys broad popularity”  Oh really?  Im just gonna post a few tiny little “anecdotes” now:
In January she was at 36 approve and 36 dissaprove
In a February poll, she was up to 43 approve and 31 dissaprove.
In a DSCC poll she managed a lofty 49 approve to 46 dissaprove rating, which was matched by her reelect numbers:

Looking ahead to the next election for U.S. senator, will you vote to reelect Elizabeth Dole, consider voting for someone else, or vote to replace Elizabeth Dole with someone new?
Reelect Dole 35%
Consider someone else 26%
Replace 23%
Depends 9%
Not sure 7%

So, what can you do to turn up the heat?
You can give money here
You can contact the DSCC and ask them to help Brad! 
And, you can contat Brad by emailing: brad (at) bradmiller (dot) org

The Draft Brad Miller Movement Continues (NC-Sen)

As always, crossposted at BlueNC, and kos.

On January 23rd I announced a movement to try and convince Brad Miller to run against Elizabeth Dole.  That led to my first reccomended diary on dailykos.  That thread (and my signature) has led to over $500 in donations to Brad.  While that may seem like a small amount in terms of what is needed to run for Senate (and it is), it is a sign to Brad that we want him to run, and that we think he can win.

Follow below, as I once again lay out the case for Brad.

First, Elizabeth Dole is Vulnerable.  If you dont believe me, here is my case:
She is below 50 percent in three different polls.  She is down to Easley.  She is under 50% against Etheridge.  And, her overall numbers are questionable at best.

She doesnt live in North Carolina.

At the beginning of this year she had under 250 thousand dollars in the bank.

She has been happily complicit in the Navy’s plan to steal land from family farmers, destroy one of the great bird refuges in the nation, and put our pilots’ lives at risk.

Next, Brad Miller is not only a great representative, he gets the netroots:
He has been blogging longer than I have.

He posts on other people’s threads.

He will be at YearlyKos (for the second time?)

Brad is part of the middle class.  Even while in Congress, where many people expand their wealth, Brad is worth between 60 and 260 thousand dollars.

He now has subpoena power, and is using it to do things like investigate Google on behalf of New Orleans.

Brad isnt a BlueDog.  He isnt a this, that or anything else.  He is a representative of his constiuents.  In fact, the only caucus he is a member of (as far as I know) is the one he founded, the Community College Caucus.

What else can I say…
Well, Brad was outspent in his last congressional race, but because his opponent was so loved, Brad won an overwhelming victory.

North Carolina is slowly trending Blue.  We now have a lead in the congressional delegation, and will be adding at least one seat to that lead in 2008.  But, more importantly, in 2008 in North Carolina we will elect our governor and council of state.  On the Democratic side we have two amazing candidates in the Lt Gov and State Treasurer.  The Republicans have two self financed wing nuts and a former judge who has sold himself to a man whose job is destroying the NCGOP from within.  To say that this will aid our turnout is an understatement.

In 2008, if Obama or Edwards wins the nomination, there will be a presidential campaign in North Carolina.  I cant stress enough how important a true 50-state strategy will be here.
More to the point about Brad, I believe that his strengths position him perfectly to unseat Dole.  North Carolina is in a state of transition right now.  We have a large number of people moving to the state from across the country.  While many of these people call themselves Republicans, they are often union friendly and middle class Republicans.  The type that have been increasingly voting for the Whitehouse type of candidate instead of the Chafee type.  The type of voter that supports raising the minimum wage, increasing health care, and doesnt appreciate corruption.

Elizabeth Dole has voted against the minimum wage at every oppurtunity.  She has voted against accountability on the Iraq War.  She doesnt support a change in our health care system.  She is a strong supporter of the Every Child Screwed Over act.  And, she is thrilled to take on the mantle of Jesse Helms.

On the other hand, Brad Miller has been one of the most consistent voices against the Iraq War.  He has used his time in the house to support the working class, to support people who arent asking for anything more than an oppurtunity to succeed through hard work.  He has been a strong voice for education.
Let me give you some quotes from Brad:

But if President Bush really listened to parents and teachers he would know already that without funding to close achievement gaps, No Child Left Behind is just one more mandatory test. His failure to provide the promised funding for education is leaving every child behind

I think Republicans know their party is in serious trouble over the failed policies in Iraq. But the Republicans in Congress have no plan except to give the president everything he wants with no strings attached. I hope at some point they can prevail upon President Bush to change policy.

Some of the interest group ratings for Congressman Miller (All from Project Vote Smart):

Never below 100% from NARAL or Planned Parenthood
He has never scored below 90% for the NAACP.
He was endorsed by EqualityNC in his NC legislature races.
While in Congress he has gotten ratings of 100, 95 and 100 from the NEA.  While in the NC Legislature he got ratings of 88 and 100 from the NCAE.
He has scored 95 percent or better from the League of Conservation Voters.
His scores from Union groups are consistently above 85%

To be honest, I am struggling to pull all of this together into one single sentence that sums up why I want Brad Miller to run for the Senate.  On every issue, Brad has a better position from my point of view.  Even if that wasnt true, Brad has taken stands on what he believes, while she has voted the Bush line without question.  To put it bluntly, I cant imagine anyone who is reading this (except the Republican lurkers) not understanding why Brad is a better choice for our country.  You might not agree that he can win, and I would be more than willing to argue that out, but replacing Dole with Miller would allow North Carolina to do a great service for our nation’s future. 

If all of this has convinced you…
I would ask that you think about donating.  If you are unwilling to do that, please contact the DSCC, and tell them why you believe in Brad Miller.
The letter that I sent to the DSCC about 2 weeks ago, when Senator Schumer asked for names, said this:

Brad Miller would be a great candidate to put forward against Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina.  The 2006 election cycle showed that candidates who understand the middle class can win no matter where they are.  From Red Montana to Purple Ohio we saw candidates with strong, progressive messages win.  Elizabeth Dole is the most vulnerable Republican currently running.  She is already having to beg for cash from her fellow Republican Senators.  We have a chance to put a nail in her coffin, while giving our party’s nominee a great shot at an extra 15 electoral votes.  I know that there has been an effort to run Mike Easley against her.  I also know that he has said no.  I would reccomend walking away from him.  We can win in the south with Democrats without acting like Republicans.  All it needs is a strong candidate with a good message.  Brad Miller understands the middle class.  He understands North Carolina.  If you convinced him to run he would  instantly become the favorite netroots candidate, ensuring hundreds of volunteers from across the country.  I hope you will consider him.