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SSP Daily Digest: 12/31

by: James L.

Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 3:55 PM EST

Redistricting: Just a reminder to anyone who wants to reach for the golden babka -- the last day to submit entries in SSP's redistricting contest is January 10th.

MA-Sen: Sean Trende at RCP has an interesting "what-if" analysis, trying to game out what the Massachusetts senate election results would look like if turnout and voting patterns shifted there in the same way they did in the 2009 VA and NJ gubernatorial races. A lot of caveats, of course, but the bottom line number is interesting - if ultimately implausible. (D) Republican Scott Brown, meanwhile, has raised $600K in December for his bid. (Update: Martha Coakley raised $1 million between November 20th and December 31st, according to a press release from her campaign.)

MD-Gov: In a fundraising letter, Dem Gov. Martin O'Malley raises the specter of a comeback attempt by the man he defeat in 2006, ex-Gov. Robert Ehrlich. Of course, we don't know if O'Malley actually thinks Ehrlich will run, or if he's just using the possibility as a way to scare up some scrilla. (D)

AL-07: Former Selma Mayor James Perkins has dropped out of the Democratic primary for Artur Davis' seat, citing health reasons for his decision. That leaves the primary as a three-way contest between state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr., attorney and ArturD2 protege Terri Sewell and Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Smoot.

TX-10: Attorney and one-time TV judge Larry Joe Doherty, the 2008 Dem nominee for this seat, declined to run a second time. In an email to supporters, he said he felt it would be wrong to ask his friends to donate to him, since a victory here could be "snatched away in redistricting," depending upon the outcome of the governor's race. (D)

MN-State Sen: SSPer MinnesotaMike gives us a rundown on the candidates who are lining up for the special election to replace retiring GOP Sen. Dick Day (of "Dick Day Afternoon" fame).

NY-State Sen: The New York Daily News says that a Senate report is likely to recommend expulsion for Democratic state Sen. Hiram Monserrate.

Maps: This cool site has maps showing the presidential vote by county for every election dating back to 1836. Go get your Van Buren on.

Fundraising: Today's the last day of the quarter to donate to your favorite House or Senate candidates. If you're thinking about donating to someone, now would be a good time to do it.

James L. :: SSP Daily Digest: 12/31
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MA-SEN: The 54 to 46 prediction is rediculous
The last time a republican won statewide in Massachusetts was Mitt Romney in 2002 and he won with 49.77% of the vote. Bill Weld wasn't even able to crack 45% against John Kerry in 1996. Thus RCP is crazy in its analysis especially. First Coakley has extremely high favorables and has already won a statewide election with 73% of the vote. Second, Brown's ad about JFK is likely to turn more and more people off. This is my prediction.
62% Coakley
35% Brown
3% Kennedy

Don't freak out
it was only conjectural. I'm sure RCP knows that there is a 99.9999....% chance that Coakley will win. In fact they should of done the special election like how they used to do it in Louisiana.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
Coakley wins, although it's not quite a Kennedy-style blowout...
I'm thinking...

Best Case Scenario:

Coakley - 62%
Brown - 35%
Kennedy - 3%

Worst Case Scenario:

Coakley - 55%
Brown - 44%
Kennedy - < 1%

Most Likely Scenario:

Coakley - 59%
Brown - 40%
Kennedy - 1%

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]
If I was a Republican
I would be realistically hoping to get within single digits to cause some shockwaves.

[ Parent ]
Not sure that it would
The Dems only won MA-5 in a special election in 2007 by 6.  It didn't really make much of a wave.  

[ Parent ]
Why was it so close?
Was Ognowski a strong candidate or Tsongas a weak candidate, or was it just a product of low turnout?

[ Parent ]
Tsongas was weak
as I recall, nobody was enthusiastic about Niki Tsongas. Progressives either went with Jamie Eldridge or Eileen Donoghue, while conservative Dems went with Jim Miceli and Barry Finegold. Tsongas just kind of squeaked through the primary since the vote was so split up.

Ogonowski wasn't a strong candidate -- remember, he tried to run against Kerry in 2008 and couldn't even make the signature requirements.

[ Parent ]
He was actually quite strong
Just the fact his brother was who he was made a huge difference. And Tsongas was very weak. Biggest difference between then and now would be that the closeness didn't fit the media narrative of Dems being strong and the GOP stuck in a hole. If Coakley underperforms the media will be all over it because it would reinforce everything the pundits have been saying and in "Taxachusetts" to boot.

[ Parent ]
Major Difference
There's a major difference between a D+8 congressional seat formerly held by Marty Meehan (according to a quick Wikipedia search, making it third least Democratic in the delegation) and a statewide Senate seat that only months ago was held by Ted Kennedy.

The GOP would easily frame it along the lines of "being within single digits of taking Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat".

So yes, it's reasonable to conclude that the GOP losing the seat by single digits would be a huge plus for them.

[ Parent ]
I could see Kennedy getting to 5%
Purely from people assuming he's part of the dynasty.

[ Parent ]
Well, if that wound up the case (which it won't)...
I imagine it'd detract from Coakley's vote instead of Brown. Of course, Kennedy's a libertarian, so it would be far more conceivable that he draws from Brown. At BEST, I personally see the guy pulling 1-2%. Keep in mind that supposed third-party savior Chris Daggett fizzled out completely by election night.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]
Some links about MN State Senate 26
Some links to give a much better rundown of the MN state senate race than I gave.

"Where free Unions and collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost." - Ronald Reagan

I actually share Doherty's viewpoint; maybe it's a good thing that TX-10 is ceded this time around.  I don't know if this has been said before, but there is no telling what will happen to that district come redistricting.  In its current form it contains East and North Austin, the Western suburbs of Houston, and a whole lot of rural land in between. Delay's hijinx aside, is there ANY sort of community it's drawn for?

In fact, that's the exact comment that's frequently made on the 10th, that it combines a lot of disparate communities and interests. But it kind of has to be drawn that way, because McCaul lives in Austin, and would obviously be screwed without the reflexively Republican Houston suburbs.

[ Parent ]
was this district drawn specifically for McCaul, then?  If Travis County (already blue) and maybe Bastrop County (bluing along with the rest of the Hill Country) were excluded, then I could see it making more sense.

[ Parent ]
Although in reality
if the political climate got to the point where Doherty were to win, Bill White probably has a good chance of winning too.

[ Parent ]
We should contest every District - full stop.

2010 Race Tracker Wiki

[ Parent ]
Oh I agree
But at the same time it is understandable that top-tier targets don't want to run in such a bad environment.

[ Parent ]
Good luck with that.
No one wants to be a sacrificial lamb.

[ Parent ]
Agreed, but I see the reservation
In MN, we've got three suburban based districts and all three are winnable in the right situation.  In 08 there was an article about how MN could go the way of MA and have an all Dem delegation as we had a pretty decent candidate in MN-2 as well.  But then it's like, gah, we could win all of these seats only to have to figure out who to shore up and who to screw over.

Granted, MN has a lot less to work with than TX-10, and by winning now, you get your foot in the door, or totally screwed over I guess.  But you'll certainly be able to hold onto a much harder district as a Congressman than winning one as a former celebrity judge or whatever.

[ Parent ]
I'd like to have candidates, anyway

just to collect the protest or Party line votes.  Districts without opponents always screw up the national House vote split percentage somewhat, which is a useful number.

[ Parent ]
County maps
Here's a better set of maps I found by fishing around a bit.  The French ones were just a bit too small for my liking....
(c/o )

20, Dem, NY-14

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