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SSP's Competitive Senate Race Ratings: Final 2010 Changes & Chart

by: DavidNYC

Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:11 AM EDT


Barring any unexpected last-minute developments, below you will find our final senate race ratings changes and a complete chart of all of our ratings. To see how much things have changed since we issued our first ratings of the cycle in January of 2009, please click here.

Final Senate Race Ratings Changes:

  • IN-Sen: Likely R to Safe R
  • KY-Sen: Tossup to Lean R
  • NH-Sen: Lean R to Likely R
  • NY-Sen-B: Likely D to Safe D
  • OH-Sen: Likely R to Safe R
  • WA-Sen: Lean D to Tossup

Final Senate Race Ratings Chart:

Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R
DE (Open) CA (Boxer)
CT (Open)
AK (Murkowski)
CO (Bennet)
IL (Open)
NV (Reid)
PA (Open)
WA (Murray)
WV (Open)
KY (Open)
MO (Open)
WI (Feingold)
AR (Lincoln)
FL (Open)
LA (Vitter)
NC (Burr)
NH (Open)

Safe R:

     IN (Open)
     ND (Open)

DavidNYC :: SSP's Competitive Senate Race Ratings: Final 2010 Changes & Chart
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Teabaggers saved the Senate for the Dems...
Castle would have won in a walk, Lowden would be up double digits and saved GOP a lot of money to spend elsewhere, Grayson in KY would have saved the GOP a lot of money to spend elsewhere, Norton would be a Lean R.  Is Raese a teabagger or establishment?

Of course Dems did themselves no favors with Marshall and Giannoulias or spending $10M to primary Lincoln.



Lowden
Not at all sure about Lowden and I think Buck is doing better than Norton would have.  Raese is establishment - ran 3 times before.  Just glad IL-Sen primary was early, or there might be an unelectable candidate in that race.  I expect you are right about KY-Sen, though not sure where the GOP would spend the extra money - CA-Sen perhaps?

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
PPP's last poll tested Norton in the race
She would have been leading by four points, instead of one.

24, male, African-American, CA-24, Democrat. Chair of the SSP Black Caucus.

[ Parent ]
But . . .
these counterfactual history polls are BS.  The alternative "candidate" has not been subject to months and millions of dollars of attack ads, has not been subject to media scrutiny and has not been subject to the rigors of a months long campaign.  

Of course they will run better than the real candidate.  

Do you really think that Reid & Co. would not have bloodied up Lowdon over the course of the summer and fall.  Please.  Had she been the nominee, she would, at best, be a couple point above where Angle is now.  

And I doubt that Norton would be performing any better than Buck.

The two big missed opportunites for the GOP were, of course, Delaware and Connecticut (maybe).  Simmons would have been a more appealing candidate than McMahon but I'm not sure that he would have had the funds to stay competitive.  But with outside interest groups dumping in funds, who knows?  


[ Parent ]
If the millions thrown at Angle hasnt done anything
then I doubt it would have mattered at all if directed at Lowden.

[ Parent ]
That scares me most of all
about this election. So much time, money, and effort was used to inform the voter about the craziness of Angle and yet she is in a statistical tie.  

19, Self Appointed Chair of the SSP Gay Caucus (I claimed it first :p), male, Dem, IN-09 (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09)

[ Parent ]
You're right about counterfactual polls, but you're very wrong to dismiss differences between candidates......
Just like an election itself has fundamental macropolitical factors that steer it in a particular directon, either a little (small break toward one party), or a lot (a "wave" year), or no direction at all (a "neutral" year), candidates themselves have fundamental qualities that directly factor into their chances of success.

And the reality is Angle is fundamentally weaker than Lowden.  Yes Lowden proved in chickengate that she was weaker than people first imagined, but that was one big gaffe that ultimately would've run its course.  Lowden wasn't making NEW mistakes over and over again in countless ways in countless areas.  But that's exactly what Angle has done, with one disaster eclipsed only by the next one and then the next one after that, and so on.

Same with Buck, he's fundamentally weaker than Norton.

That Lowden and Norton lost primaries just means their strengths were the wrong strengths before a conservative electorate.  But Buck's and Angle's weaknesses are amplified before a much more resistant general electorate.

Candidates certainly matter, very much so, and to pretend Lowden and Norton would be in the same boat today as Angle and Buck is to ignore that reality.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
There is an unelectable candidate in the Illinois race....
Alexi is in deep trouble.  Hoffman would probably be ahead right now.

[ Parent ]
How is
he in deep trouble?  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
He can't get above 42%....
....that's a big problem.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps,
although Kirk has only had two polls that have shown him over that mark in the last few weeks. Given the state's Democratic leanings and the ground game in it, I still think Giannoulias will pull this out, although it will be close.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
He's going to lose the seat by 4-5%
He's smarmy as hell, but I think what really hurts him is his age.  He's too young, doesn't have experience or a track record in politics to run on.  

I think Hoffman would be leading given his anti-corruption cred.  But he was painted as a conservadem and primary voters wanted the progressive.  


[ Parent ]
I doubt anti-corruption gets votes this year
Quinn claimed to have a record against corruption, but he's still losing.

Primary voters don't seem to mind voting for a conservative Democrat if they feel he's the better choice. If Hoffman couldn't win against a flawed Gioullanis then I don't see how he would have won against the GOP money and machine.


[ Parent ]
it's very easy to see...
it's the Dems, not the GOP, that have a machine in Illinois. and you can't compare a primary to a general election in a state where Dems have an advantage by default.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami." http://www.redcross.org/


[ Parent ]
The Democratic advantage
pretty much why I think he'll win. Both Kirk and Giannoulias seem to be unliked right now. Kirk might have a small edge in the fact that he's not a Democrat, but is he like Toomey, let alone someone like Angle? It doesn't seem like it, so is he really going to motivate the base that much?

Basically, it seems like a draw, or a race where there's a very slight edge to the Republican. But it's in Illinois, not Colorado or Nevada, and it's a race that covers the whole state, so you have to figure the Democrats would be working over time to ramp up their efforts in Cook County and other very blue places. And isn't that what they are doing?

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
This year the GOP has a machine too
They may not be able to coordinate through the RNC, but with all the money Rove and others are throwing at candidates, I can't imagine there isn't a strong base being built in each competitive state. It may not be the same as the juggernaut Democrats have built, but it would be enough to help get the job done.

[ Parent ]
That's a good question.
But then again, American Crossroads and its sibling GPS are still pretty new, and I find it hard to believe they could build an extensive ground game effort in such little time without piggybacking off the efforts of some other group. Did they do that? Maybe, but I am honestly not sure.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
No they can't, and no they didn't.......
Sure they'll tout the number of doors knocked and phone calls made, but really a good field campaign needs an early and well-organized start with good voter lists, and is very hard to do from scratch.  These groups are akin to the independent groups that helped Kerry in '04, and while it's a LOT better than nothing, it's not as good as a top-down program run by a national committee, a state party, or a headlining campaign.

But Republicans this year have organic excitement on their side, that actually will offset the lack of a field program.  It just doesn't matter as much when your people decided long ago to vote, without prompting.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
At least
they don't have that advantage over us.

As far as organic excitement, I wonder how much that will help in true tossup districts if it's not so much for the Republican candidate as it is against the Democrats. I'm sure there will be some positive effect for the Republicans regardless, but how big? After all, John Kerry wasn't able to harness the anti-Bush sentiment in 2004 as much as Bush was able to channel positive feelings towards him (and towards social issues like gay marriage).


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Not this cycle
but I could believe this is a dry run for their '12 GOTV.

[ Parent ]
I'm just curious
about how they could get all of that voter contact information. They could, of course, start from scratch, and with a lot of money at their disposal, the group leaders could certainly pay to build up a registry. But still, that would take a lot of time. Unless they are getting this information from some other source, which isn't necessarily possible, I am just not sure how they make a huge difference in ground game operations.

But then, do they need to? Why can't they simply focus on the advertising and let other outside groups, as well as the RNC and the campaigns themselves work on the ground games?  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Not comparable to 2004, "organic excitement" is enough this time......
A Presidential election is ALWAYS a CHOICE, voters never just vote against the incumbent.  The assumption so many of us made, myself included, that undecideds would break against the incumbent was foolish.  It was true for a President who was truly UNpopular, but Dubya was a 50-50 Prez at that point, neither popular nor unpopular, and it was a turnout election.  And his side just did a better job at turnout than ours.

This House election is different, these people don't care what names are on the ballot, only the "R" and "D" next to each name.  Hostility toward our side is enough to get them out.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Yes, but
is it enough to get those who would be Republican voters but who aren't part of the base to vote? I have to think Republicans need those people to vote in order to win a lot of these races. The Teabaggers, to the extent they are a part of the Republican base, and others don't need motivation, as you said, but how much of the electorate are they?  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
We're getting crushed with independents, and that answers your question right there......
Yes would-be GOP voters who aren't part of the base are voting, and they're voting against us.  All the data says that.  It's a given.

They're upset the economy isn't better and they think "the stimulus failed" (they're wrong but they think that) and they hate the health care reform law (it's much better than what we have but we lost the argument during the battle to get something passed) and they wrongly think Obama spent a lot of money and raised their taxes (the latter an outright falsehood that many swing voters actually believe to be true).

So they're voting against us.

Thank God we got done we we did these 2 years, because we'll get nothing done the next 2 years.  The next 2 years will be a battle exclusively over appropriations.  Any battle over health care will be waged through appropriations.  And battle over spending by definition goes through appropriations.  The tax cut battle is separate, but we have leverage there in both the Senate and White House, so a deal will be cut so as to get something done.  But appropriations will be the mother of all battles, with a possible shutdown.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Perhaps.


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
I asked this before:
if they aren't coordinating with the RNC, they have to be building off of the past efforts of ideologically similar groups. Building from scratch is probably too much work to do in such a short amount of time.

And that's assuming they aren't simply focusing on ads. It wouldn't surprise me if Crossroads and other groups are working on such efforts--Karl Rove is involved, after all--but where's the evidence of it?  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Giannoulias beat Hoffman with style...
not substance. He's young and charismatic, but all he had against Hoffman was "I'll talk about my family's bank after the election" and "Hoffman is running a Republican campaign against me".  

Alexi has all these great progressive ideas, but that is all they are because he has no track record in getting anything done.  Talking about starting a progressive caucus in the Senate was assenine and showed he really didn't know the Senate but was pandering to the net roots.  Candidates rush to the middle after primaries, Alexi wanted to hang out on Daily Kos because they sent him money and said good things about him.  


[ Parent ]
Nothing against Alexi, but
I haven't really seen this charisma when I have watched clips of him. Maybe it's different in person. I also think charisma can be a double-edged sword, especially with an electorate like IL who have seen so many different politicians go down in flames.

I doubt Alexi talking about progressiveness made much of a difference one way or the other in a general election. It's just that type of year in Illinois. He had a scandal, he's tied to Obama when a lot of voters are wary of Obama, and he is younger and greener than Kirk, who should have, on paper, been a very tough opponent.

If there's any surprise in this race for me it's that Kirk is doing so horribly. Even in Illinois, this race shouldn't be so close. Kirk ended up being like Peter Fitzgerald, who probably took away a lot of potential votes by not being a very good politician.


[ Parent ]
Sexy Lexi
I just find something...false about Alexi.  Like he's playing a part or something.  He's lucky Kirk buggered it up so badly with lying about his military record.  Took what should have been a big positive and turned it into his biggest negative.  I would like to think that politicians going forward learn from him and Bluementhal, but I have my doubts.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Roscoe is right. It's a given that...
...Angle is worse than Lowden.  Angle has made 10 times as many mistakes as Lowden made, and the only reason Angle won the primary is that everyone, the media included, completely ignored her until it was too late.  Reid easily would be down 10 now.

The notion Buck is doing than Norton would have is a poorly analyzed one by many people.  People looked at the pre-primary horse race polls and concluded that, but that was not valid because general election voters had no familiarity with the candidates to KNOW how much they'd like or dislike the Republican choices come November; they just weren't paying close attention.  Norton made more primary mistakes than Buck, but ultimately she had a better profile and didn't put her foot in her mouth nearly as much as Buck.  Buck's issues didn't hurt him in the primary because primary voters don't care or even agree with him.  In the general election, different story.  I don't doubt for a moment that Norton would be up comfortably right now.

And regarding "where" to spend extra money, there's always another worthwhile investment out there, virtually never does anyone have "too much" money.  The only time I can remember someone having "more than they needed" was Obama '08, where he actually paid ALL his campaign staff a month's(!) salary as a bonus after the election because of leftover campaign cash.

You're right, though, about IL-Sen, the early primary really did save the Rs there.  If it were a few months later, Kirk would have lost to somebody, and Giannoulias would be cruising right now.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Bennet is attacking Buck as anti-woman...
Of course he would have had another attack point for Norton, but I don't think it would have been as easy.  Norton is more moderate than Buck as well.  

Lowden's "chickens for check-ups" seems so little and harmless, almost cute at this point of the Angle/Reid attack campaign.  And Lowden is much better looking, which counts for a ton these days.  


[ Parent ]
On that note,
if you look at a picture of Angle, you'd find it hard to believe that she says all of the things that she does. She really does look like a grandmother, with her small frame and big smile. You'd expect her to look like, oh, Amy Winehouse given her insane statements during the campaign.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Honestly
Perhaps the press finds the most unflattering pictures of Angle to run, but I have tended to think she looks rather freaky.  Something about her grin...I mean, if I were to have picked any candidates who I thought might be a witch, it wouldn't have been O'Donnell.  

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Maybe it's
because it's exceedingly unlikely she is going to win, or maybe it's just because Bill Maher has said that despite her nutty statements, she's actually a nice person, in contrast to someone like Sarah Palin, but I don't hate O'Donnell. I'm not bothered by her. Not that she's going to win, but if she did, I can't see her making nearly as much trouble as a Senator Angle might make.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
O'Donnell
I just think she's in it for the money.  Were she to win, I expect she'd be a fairly conventional GOP senator.  She doesn't care that she cost the GOP a seat, she just wants a job after the election as a host on talk radio or something.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
O'Donnell is dumb as rocks.
Does that make her a fairly conventional GOP senator? The Dem in me might agree.  She'd be utterly useless in the Senate, other than a vote for whichever way Jim DeMint was voting.  

She'd be the Bachmann of the Senate.  


[ Parent ]
But she's been
at this thing for a long time. Maybe she has only had the chance to cash in on her celebrity status because of this race, and maybe she will actually do it once she loses, but I suspect she is serious about doing something on behalf of her bizarre beliefs.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Hard to tell
Of course, no one can say how things would be if things had turned out differently, I just think Buck is better at motivating the base than Norton would have been.  That probably matters less in NV-Sen as it's Reid himself who is really motivating the GOP base in that state.  I just felt Tarkanian would have been the strongest GOP candidate of those running.  DE-Sen is the major piss-off for me because once that seat is lost, it's lost for a long time.  Even if Alaska somehow is won by the Dems, the GOP has a reasonable chance to get it back in six years.  Overall, I see the Tea Party as a net plus for the GOP, but there is no question in some places there have been negatives to offset other positives.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
You
guys need a Howard Dean like figure that could tame the tea party and make it into a positive force like the progressives were in 2006 and 2008. Right now the tea party is running around like a mad animal, striking down anything in its way including fellow Republicans.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
I agree
Not sure who that figure is.  I'm hoping Barbour shows up to head the RNC (and not run for Prez, he'd be a lousy candidate for that) but directing the tea party in a specific direction would be a hard task for anybody.  I really think it depends on if the GOP really does try to cut spending/shrink government and not go all Tom Delay on us.  I just HATE that man for what he did to the party.  I really think he did more damage than Bush Jr.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
I think it was all Bush
Most people don't even know who Delay is.

[ Parent ]
Somewhat agree
It's not that most people know who Delay was, but I blame him for the focus on social issues and the busting of the budget.  People didn't like the results, even if they didn't know who caused them.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
With your cut spending belief...
Is cutting DOD spending a priority as well, or is that sacrosanct?  I think it would be a great place to find $300B yearly.    

[ Parent ]
I'm all for that...
Healthcare, welfare, public education, infrastructure, and border security are good things we need. Painful cuts may very well be in order, but the clever fiscal conservative has his eye on that whopping great military budget, and all those programs from the Cold War we'll never need...

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

[ Parent ]
Yes
I think that DOD spending should be cut as well.  Some of those big ticket items are more about pork than fighting the sort of wars that we've been called on to fight recently.  I don't see any big wars in the near future between the US and China or Russia.  Not that I think you should disarm or anything stupid, but spend more on the basics and not these shiny, expensive toys that the generals love so much.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
I think the Tea Party will implode soon
Most of the base will just go back to Republicans. The Tea Party is already generally co-opted by the GOP. Races like DE-SEN are the exception to the rule.

[ Parent ]
It's happening already.
Teabaggers are doing nothing to get out the vote.  Also Rove is already attacking Palin to diminish her, because the GOP knows that teabaggers have outlived their usefulness heading into a Presidential campaign cycle.  

They were used to gin up issues, create an anti-Dem/anti-Obama storyline and control the media coverage, now that they've helped get 8 GOP senators elected for the next six years - it's time to move onto the GOP grown-ups.  


[ Parent ]
you cant tame the tea flavored people
Well, I suppose Sarah Palin is the only who could and she isn't in this for movement, she's doing it to be a fame whore and to make enough money to shop at Saks.

[ Parent ]
Lowden would have been a shoe in
If it weren't for Chickengate.

[ Parent ]
PPP: Sink still has lead, but by only one point...
http://publicpolicypolling.blo...

I was expecting her to be losing, since PPP has been pretty much crushing us all night....


KY and NH are safe R


And
And I was thinking that DE-Sen was safe D, but I guess it depends where you draw your lines.  I suppose there is a very slight chance in each of those races for the other party to win, though given the year, I'd say NH-Sen would be the most shocking to me at this point.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Honestly SSP moderators should jettison caution and just make the calls!......
It's the day before the election, there are no "lean" or "likely" outcomes.  Someone's gonna win, all others lose, in every race.

The moderators oughtta just call 'em with a projected margin for each race!

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Likely R
We've had only one recent poll of Paul breaking a 10% lead.  Ayotte has had a couple of more.  But I'd want 20% leads to call a race Safe.

[ Parent ]
I love it - but that's far too friendly to Dems
AK a tossup? I wish. Lean R maybe. What poll supports a toss-up?

KY only lean? MO only lean? The poll margins there are much wider than the lean D's.


AK-Sen
I suspect they mean tossup between R and Ind candidates.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
I think Tossup is the only appropriate word for AK-Sen
We have polling there but because of the dynamics of the race I'm not putting too much stock in any of it. Any of the three candidates could win and win by a wide margin at this point. Along with NV-Sen, it's one of two races where I can't predict what's going to happen with any degree of comfort.  

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08

[ Parent ]
I think in the case of AK
"tossup" is a euphamism for "no frekin' clue,"

given
- the vagaries of polling AK
- the unknowns w/r/t the right way to phrase a question where there's a major write-in candidate
- the unknowns w/r/t potential challenges to write-in votes
- the Palin effect
- unknown floor of support for Joe Miller even when he's absolutely hated by some substantial majority of voters.


[ Parent ]
ok, so this election is officially depressing...
getting to sleep tonight and tomorrow night with all this anxiety is going to be awful. I am preparing for Wednesday to be awful (first polls close at 7 AM my time). most importantly I feel helpless that I can't do any phone banking or volunteering from Japan.

I love having a passion for electoral politics but at this point please just make it end.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami." http://www.redcross.org/


Time
It's amazing how fast things change in politics.  There isn't a thing that you wrote in your initial ratings last year that I would have had much disagreement with at the time, but it's so different now.  This is why I am not bothering to think much about the 2012 Senate races; things will look vastly different then.  Several surprise candidates appeared who were on nobodies radar and there were unexpected retirements.  This is actually a bigger danger for the Dems next cycle because they just has so many more seats to defend.  But two years away...who knows.  The GOP nomination for Prez is actually a lot closer as those people will start running the day after tomorrow and the first contests will be in Jan '12.
I'll make only one prediction for 2012 Senate races; Scott Brown holds on in MA.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

What makes you say that?
Brown seems like a good fit for Massachusetts for a Republican, but he's got a MASSIVE target on his back.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
He's way too conservative for MA
nevertheless, he has considerable political skill. We'll see.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami." http://www.redcross.org/


[ Parent ]
Because he'll vote with the Dems a helluva lot...
Especially with the Dems being down to 51-52 seats, they'll need 8-9 Republican votes on every bill and you can be sure he'll always be one.  

Brown is a pretty likable guy.  And as the economy improves, folks will be more willing to keep the incumbents in.  


[ Parent ]
He's ditched us on
things this year like DADT and unemployment benefits. It's pretty clear he's following the Dave Reichert playbook of throwing Dems a bone every now and then but is Generic R at heart.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami." http://www.redcross.org/


[ Parent ]
Never
ever doubt the ability of the Dems in Massachusetts to screw up a sure thing. Independents and moderate Dems might split their ticket, voting for Obama but sending Scott Brown back as a check against him. Sometimes I think the party needs a good kick in the face right now in the Northeast because they've become fat and complacent these last few years.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
Because
Because is IS a good fit for MA and I don't think he'll give the voters a reason to throw him out.  He's been almost perfect in walking the line as a moderate so far; crossing the aisle on some things but not on those that would just be too much for his GOP base.  There is no doubt that he'll attract strong opponents, but they will likely face a rough primary whereas he'll be able to stockpile cash.  If he gets a tea party challenge in the primary (horror) that would change the game, but I really don't expect that.  Of course, I could be wrong, but that's my call from two years out.  I may look really dumb by then!

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Um, he's actually not a good fit for MA...
at least not ideologically. If elections were decided purely on ideology, Brown would be sweating a lot. (actually, he probably never would have won in the first place.)

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami." http://www.redcross.org/


[ Parent ]
I should clarify
When I say he's a good fit, I mean a good fit for an R.  Things being equal, MA is a blue state of course, but he appeals to the indys that MA is full of.  I think unless he does things that really piss people off, they'll keep him.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Well, he's a very skillful politician, this is true
but he's probably about as good of a fit for MA as Chet Edwards is for TX-17, IMHO. Take that for what it's worth.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami." http://www.redcross.org/


[ Parent ]
True
But it takes a wave election to sweep someone like Edwards out in TX.  In a Dem wave, Brown would be toast, I just don't think 2012 is going to be one.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Quality of candidates
Brown seems to be the typical blank slate candidate, with the bonus of being able to sell himself to voters. He should be beatable if Democrats are able to come up with stronger candidates. MA seems to have a lot of rusty candidates on the Dem side.

[ Parent ]
He's doing very well despite his ideology though
I agree with you that he is in the minority on unemployment benefits and DADT in this state, but the former vote got little coverage and while there were some grumblings on the latter vote, many people respected his position to wait for the DoD to complete its review before taking legislative action. Brown is pro-gay marriage (or at least has no interest in pursuing any gay marriage bans), and I think he will vote for DADT repeal when all is said and done.

On the other hand, he was a key vote on both the jobs bill and financial reform, and got good press for both (the jobs bill had a lot of pork in it for Massachusetts.) So far, he's maintained his everyman demeanor and has constantly been the state's most popular poltician (his approvals are higher than Obama's, Kerry's, or Patrick's in almost all polling.)

2012 is too far away to predict but right now his chances are at least 50/50. Capuano would probably be the toughest opponent for him--most Republicans I know would rather see Marty Meehan, Ed Markey, or John Tierney get the nomination.

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08


[ Parent ]
Speaking as a gay man
his "decision" to wait for the DoD review was a huge mistake. It by no means was a respected decision. It was a lock step right wing decision. He is also not "pro" marriage equality.

19, Self Appointed Chair of the SSP Gay Caucus (I claimed it first :p), male, Dem, IN-09 (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09)

[ Parent ]
I certainly see where you are coming from
But DADT is not going to cost Brown re-election. There is a small segment of voters for whom that is the primary issue, and most of them were never going to vote for Brown anyway. Same for his positions on same-sex marriage: he doesn't favor overturning the court's ruling in MA, and there aren't many people who would otherwise vote for Brown but won't because he isn't a strong enough supporter of gay marriage.

The average, moderate Massachusetts Democrats--who will ultimately decide whether Brown wins or loses re-election--aren't going to heavily consider Brown's position on DADT repeal when they vote in 2012. They will be voting on the economy, jobs, heathcare, trade, foreign policy, etc., all positions that Democrats can attack Brown on, but running on DADT isn't going to do anything but fire up the base that was going to vote Democratic to begin with.

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08


[ Parent ]
I think he will stay with his party on gay rights
I don't think voting against DADT repeal or against other measures that support gay rights will hurt him with voters because I don't think most voters make a vote based on that, unless the person says stupid things, like Santorum did.

I do wonder what will happen when reproductive choice/abortion bills come into play, if they do (I guess they probably won't in the next 2 years), because that's something which gets much more attention from both sides.  


[ Parent ]
the expectation of Brown as a "lockstep" R
maximizes the impact when he does break with his party.

[ Parent ]
Brown has and will vote the party line a lot
It's possible he might not do that in the next session, but I don't see much change. That would play against him in 2012, with a much higher turnout electorate.

24, male, African-American, CA-24, Democrat. Chair of the SSP Black Caucus.

[ Parent ]
The special election...
actually had a 54% turnout. So turnout in 2012 will be higher, but not by more than 10 percentage points. For a special election, the turnout was remarkable.

20, GOP, NH-02

[ Parent ]
Funny
If we lose IL and win AK, I'll still be a little ticked.

i'm going out on a limb (a bit)
and saying manchin loses.  I know most of the polls show him ahead and he could very well win, in fact, he's slightly favored, but i think he's oversold himself as a conservative D.  Note, i am NOT saying he's going to lose b/c he's not progressive enough, I understand that he needs to be appealing to the state.  That being said, I think for a lot of voters who want a check on Obama and/or the senate to be republican they'll go to the polls and figure, "if manchin agrees with so many Republican policies/disagrees with so many democratic ones, why not just vote for R and get 100% of what I want instead of 70%?"  I could easily be wrong though.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

If
If this were for a six year seat, I'd agree with you, but Manchin has very smartly framed this as a trial period since he's up again in 2012.  People in WV like him and I think they'll feel it's fair to give him a shot.  The flip side is that he'll effectively have to act as a GOP senator for the next two years on most big votes.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Against any other candidate...
I might agree.  Moore-Capito would have beat him for example.  However Raese seems to be trying not to win.  I mean some of the things he says would doom a candidate in any other year, and he has 5+ disqualifies now.

What really hurts Manchin is it's only a two year gig before the seat is up again.  That's what's keeping Raese in it.  

Given that Manchin has to run for re-election in two years, he's going to be conservative as hell though - a real pain in the ass.  But with Webb, McCaskill, Conrad, Nelson, Klobuchar, Tester all up for election in 2012, the Senate is going to be VERY conservative anyways.  


[ Parent ]
It's a bad year to be a conservative Dem

and I suspect 2012 will be worse.  If he wins tomorrow he'll be vulnerable and a prime target in '12.


[ Parent ]
it's not a bad year to be a conservative dem
it's a bad year to be a dem and especially a dem in a conservative district and or state.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

[ Parent ]
It's been one of those perfect storm years
Generally if you're a Democrat this year and you want to win reelection, then if your opponent is anywhere above the level of invisible loon, you have to avoid saying or doing stupid things, you have to fight like hell, and you have to avoid seeming two-faced.

I think that's the reason someone like Periello still has something of a chance in a year he probably should have no chance in.


[ Parent ]
It helps that Perriello's actually running on something
I mean, he'll probably lose, but he looks like he's going to do better than he has any right to.

I think most of our problems are structural, but I honestly think the health care bill wouldn't be such an albatross if nearly the entire caucus had voted for it and was able to run on a single message. Instead, we have everybody running on a different message and in huge swathes of the country nobody - even the Democrat - is defending the health care law.  


[ Parent ]
We'll find out whether
within the next 48 hours, no doubt....

[ Parent ]
Dems will move hard to the center...
as candidates in 2012 and going forward.  Fight for the moderate votes because taking one away is a net of +2, with the GOP being down a vote and the Dems being up a vote.

Catering to the progressive wing has the net result of 2.0 for the Dems.  If the Progressive stays home at worst it's a 1 for the Dems.  

This upcoming congress will be dominated by the middle.  I expect a Gang of 12-14 to be formed in the Senate that will be run by the "centrists" serious thinkers - McCain, Graham, Snowe, Collins, Kirk, Hoeven, Corker/Brown on one side and Lieberman, Nelson, Webb, Conrad, McCaskill, Bacaus, Manchin on the other.  

In the House, the GOP will have a 15 seat majority, but now having to vote for something than against everything their caucus will fracture enough that blue dogs and moderate Dems in the House will be needed to get anything passed.  

The newly elected teabaggers will be marginalized, because of Obama's veto pen and the need to get things though both House and Senate.    


The House GOP will find out fast how weak they are without a GOP Senate......
They're going to compromise with Democrats to get stuff done, or they're going to be isolated as obstructionists.  The "obstructionist" meme failed politically these 2 years because in fact Dems had supermajorities, and pointing to Senate Republicans refusing to agree to cloture wasn't the sort of thing that could gain traction when we had 60 Senators for awhile and still 59 for the rest of the Congress.  But there's no denying obstructionism and GOP blame if a GOP-controlled House refuses to compromise with a Democratic Senate and Democratic President.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
They may not have much of a choice
The rank and file won't tolerate compromise and my guess is a lot of those giving them money won't either.

The GOP are masters at obstructionism and blaming Democrats for it. The public for whatever reason tends to nod along with this idea.


[ Parent ]
My guess
The house will pass stuff and then they will try to frame the Dems as the obstructionists.  

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
That's what they'll try. But even in 1995-96...
...much of what Newt et al. passed in the House died without a Senate floor vote.

What will really matter is the stuff that HAS to get done, meaning appropriations first and foremost.  Whatever can force a government shutdown if agreement isn't reached is what MUST be resolved somehow.  And that's appropriations.

I suspect Democrats will be licking their chops on this.  It's one of the few things where Democrats have experience in clearly winning the political battle.  Democrats won it when Bush 41 forced a brief shutdown and was forced to back down, and Democrats won it when the GOP Congress forced a long shutdown and eventually lost in the court of public opinion.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
52 seat majority for Dems...
might be just the same as a GOP majority when it comes to votes.  Will the Dems demand 60 votes for everything now?  That will be interesting to see.  If a simple majority up or down vote is allowed then GOP will get a lot more of what they want.  However if Dems have the guts to force 60 votes for everything then it could be interesting.  

It will be a helluva trip to see McConnell and DeMint demanding a straight up/down vote when they have Nelson, Landrieu and Conrad on an issue giving them 51 votes.  


[ Parent ]
Completely wrong, Nelson and Conrad are still Democrats, and they don't side with Republicans on everything
Plus, even if they did, it doesn't really matter because Republicans can't get a thing from the Senate if Senate Democrats don't even allow a vote (control of the chamber means control of the agenda within the chamber).

The difference between 49 and 50 (plus the VP) is a lot more than the difference between 59 and 60.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
Most of those you named aren't centrists
McCain is hard right. Graham is also quite conservative and has been shown to trash moderate legislation when it suits him. Kirk is right wing. Corker has been very right wing since joining the Senate. Hoeven has little reason to want to work with Democrats -- he will probably do as he is told so he won't face any punishment from McConnell or hostility back home. Brown is right wing. Snowe and Collins compromise sometimes but Snowe may very well lose her 2012 primary and might be cautious.

The Republicans have no reason to work with Democrats. They spent 2 years obstructing and will continue to do so, because they think it works for them. McCain in particular will likely be gleeful about this obstruction.


[ Parent ]
I agree....
But they are the most moderate Republicans I could think of.  

[ Parent ]
FWIW
There are several different degrees to what you call "right wing." Kirk, Brown, and Collins are all right of center but are not "right wing" in the way that DeMint, Coburn, Vitter, and Inhofe are. McCain, Graham, Corker, Alexander, and likely Hoeven are very ideologically conservative, but strike a more cooperative tone than many of their colleagues. They will be willing to work with cooperative Democrats (Conrad, the Nelsons, McCaskill, Pryor, etc.) to shape legislation in a closely divided Senate. Olympia Snowe occupies a sphere of her own in the GOP caucus--definitely right of the ideological center, but much closer to that point than anyone else.

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08

[ Parent ]
The Senate seems to change people
Alexander and Corker both seem to be much less cooperative than their records pre-Senate would suggest.

As for McCain, I don't think he will cooperate with any Democrat ever again on a major issue, at least not as long as Obama is in the White House. I think it's become very personal for him.

To me Kirk also seems very party line, and Brown too -- I know Brown voted with the Democrats on some things but other matters like DADT, he was right there with his party.

The message that the base has sent is that if you cooperate, you pay a price, and I think generally McConnell is going to enforce that message, because he probably thinks it will resonate with the public. And sadly I can't say he's wrong, if he does feel that way.


[ Parent ]
That DADT vote was purely election politics...
GOP was going to give the Dems nothing that could start any momentum.  

DOD Report is due in December - we'll see how they vote after that.  


[ Parent ]
That will be interesting
I will be surprised if Republicans vote any differently this time -- this is an issue their base won't let them have leeway on. I guess it depends on how Democrats vote.  

[ Parent ]
Dems had 59 votes for it...
I can't see any of them switching now.  Newly minted 6 yr senators, and the folks who used the "it's the process" excuse will be much more likely to vote for it I think.  

I could see it getting 70 votes+ once the DoD signs off on it.  


[ Parent ]
DADT
I would expect that if the military review comes out and says it's okay, you'll see some significant GOP support for it.  I don't even think that McCain it out of the running as a 'yes' vote under those circumstances.  In the end, I see Obama himself getting little credit for it.

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Obama will get no credit...
Because he didn't sign an XO, even though he went about it in the necessary way to get enough votes by taking away the "It's bad for troops" excuse from Republicans by having the DoD review, and having Gates, Petraeus on board.

I also think pragmatically Obama wanted to have the drawdown in Iraq completed, just in case there was any push back from within the ranks.  


[ Parent ]
I wonder if it will be a test
A lot of the Republicans sent to DC this November are likely against repeal. I wonder if the right wing roots will say "We sent a message, don't mess with us," as a test run for how much influence they'll have come January.

I noticed last week that retired chaplains had come out against repeal because they said it forces chaplains to practice what their beliefs tell them is wrong. I can see this being a front used by a lot of Republicans to try to oppose a repeal.


[ Parent ]
And what makes the Dems in Congress so stupid
is that they set-up their own vote to be used for political purposes and then didnt even try to capitalize on it.

[ Parent ]
Yup
I think McCain's hatred for Obama runs deeper than his hatred for W. Bush ever did. I remember during one of the debates, one the cable talking heads talked about how McCain felt really strongly that Obama had no right running for president.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
Gov. Hoeven...
He can do whatever the hell he wants. He's a senator for as long as he wants to be and upon entering the Senate, he'll immediately have one of the best resumes for a national candidate in the entire Republican conference. He'll be the most powerful freshman GOP senator by far, if he wants it, and it would work to his benefit in some regards to stake out an independent image. He's flown wonderfully under the radar as senator-in-waiting from a small state, but this man is one of the most popular politicians in statewide office anywhere (rivaled only by Gov. Manchin, who is due to become the most powerful freshman Democrat as early as next week) and North Dakota isn't as blood-red as you might think. It's the state with the strongest economy right now, in large part due to its socialist infrastructure (designed to fit the state like a glove), and there's a decent chance it sends both Gov. Hoeven and Rep. Pomeroy to Washington tomorrow.

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

[ Parent ]
He's very moderate, and will be on the Appropriations Committee as well.
In a way, Hoeven might be the best freshman Republican from a Democratic perspective.  

28, Liberal Democrat, CA-26

[ Parent ]
I believe I read how the Dems courted him...
at one point to run as a Dem.  

 


[ Parent ]
They courted him in the past year?


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
He used to be a Democrat-NPL
That was back when he was North Dakota's chief banker, because it's a socialist state and it has those sorts of positions. He decided to become a Republican allegedly because he viewed the GOP as more business-friendly, although I think it's far likelier he simply saw the writing on the wall: Democrats nationally were hurting the Democratic-NPL Party's brand by taking rurally unpopular stances like strict gun control and endorsing the invocation of eminent domain.

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

[ Parent ]
He won't have the same luxuries in the Senate
McConnell enforces party loyalty very strongly. He may also be worried about a bad 2016 primary. Senators aren't as popular as governors.

[ Parent ]
ND
I lived there for 3 years. It's probably the last state left that's dominated by moderate Republicans. Most voters there are somewhat conservative but they aren't very partisan or ideological, and they're perfectly willing to vote for Democrats as long as they aren't too liberal.

I think Hoeven is more likely to be another Voinovich than another Johanns.

41, Ind, CA-05


[ Parent ]
Teabagged
I have a strong expectation that the teabaggers will go after Hoeven eventually.

[ Parent ]
I think they'd lose...
He's just too damn popular, and it's not like North Dakota has a Marco Rubio waiting in the wings. Plus, he's got six years; it's not like he's coming up for election until the end of President Obama's second term.

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

[ Parent ]
The middle will be sidelined.
The middle implies a bargain or a compromise.  What exactly is that compromise going to be?

Extending the Bush tax cuts?  Obama already gave in on virtually everything besides the face saving "we'll exluding people making ridiculous money" thing.  Even if Obama gives away that fig leaf the Republicans will demand it be made permanent.  Even if Obama gives in on that they'll probably filibuster unless the estate tax is eliminated.

The Republican leadership will want to deny Obama ANY legislative victory.  Particularly one that allows Obama to run on the "Obama tax cut."  And someone like Snowe is going to be too scared of a primary to go too far off the reservation.  Even if she toys with Democrats.  That goes doubly for Corker who is probably even more terrified of a primary challenge in 2012.  Lindsay Graham knows he dodged a bullet in 2008 and will be looking to make amends.

A compromise on climate change legislation?  Industry would rather there is no legislation at all.  And there won't be.  There will be no immigration reform whatsoever.  There will be no financial disclosure laws for campaign spending.  Don't ask don't tell will remain on the books.

Now there are three areas there could be some compromise.  I can see a number of Democrats supporting the overturning of financial reform.  It's possible enough Democrats may cave to repeal the stimilus.  And I could see a few Republicans not supporting the filibuster of Obama Suprem Court picks just so as not to set a precedent for once the Republicans take the presidency.

That's about it.

Now Mike Lee's threat not to raise the debt ceiling and let the US government default presents a more likely scenario.  A long term government shutdown that at first makes the Republicans look bad but soon collapses Obama's viability as a nation leader as he's made to look powerless and inept.

Particularly since a lot of what the Senate does depends on unanimous consent.  And even filibusters and holds that represent an almost non-existent minority take time to overcome under Senate rules.

The game after 2010 is to get Obama.  This is not 1994.  There is no agenda the Republicans want to enact that they are willing to negotiate to get passed.  And Boehner is no Newt Gingrich.  He's not after history, he has no illusions of being a genius at negotiations, and he's far more scared of all the right-wing knives aimed at his back than anything else.

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...


[ Parent ]
Agree
It's probably going to be ugly and we can just hope it is over with quickly or they eat themselves up.

[ Parent ]
FWIW, Rick Santorum
is buying google ads, some of which just appeared on my version of SSP.

Who
Who is he trying to kid?  He's not even worth thinking about as a VEEP choice, much less Prez.  Perhaps he wants to raise his profile to get paid for speeches later or something?  He does have a lot of kids to put through college.  

43 - Male - GOP/Libertarian - FL 22

[ Parent ]
Maybe it's a late Sestak ad buy...
Unless Santorum thinks he could take Casey in 2012.  

[ Parent ]
That's a crafty possibility...
With a race as close as PA-Sen, every little bit helps...like Christine O'Donnell's infomercials airing in the Philadelphia media market. Thanks, Christine!

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

[ Parent ]
No joke,
Santorum has been traveling to Iowa to look into what appears to be a presidential bid. Because if there's one thing that America wants, it's a wing nut who failed to be reelected by 18 points, right?  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
I think he's counting on a very hard right primary vote
He is hoping to consolidate that, since Palin is so controversial and the others are less known than he is.  

[ Parent ]
SUSA CA-Sen final
Boxer 46, Fiorina 38 (and there is a substantial cell phone effect). Boxer would be winning anyway, but her margin with CPOs is considerably higher.

Also: Brown 49, Whitman 38

WA-07, 34 years old


How the heck
Does a poll taken the weekend before the election find 10% of voters undecided, especially with over a third of the state already having voted? Also, 5% of people who have already voted are undecided. Silliness, although the toplines all look OK.

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08

[ Parent ]
I don't agree
If you look at the internals, a large segment of the CPO sample are "undecided." That means they are non-voters. You could just dump them from the sample and extrapolate the percentages from there.

WA-07, 34 years old

[ Parent ]
But how do you explain
The 5% of people who have already voted who claim they are undecided? And if non-voters are included, what kind of LV screen is SUSA using?

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08

[ Parent ]
My guess: simpler than you think, it's undervotes......
There are people who leave some races unvoted on their ballots.

There were 2 million actual voters in 2008 who did not vote for anyone for President.  Yes, 2 million people showed up to vote but NOT for President.

So some of those "early" voters purposely left blank some lines on their ballots because they don't like any of the candidates.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Good call
Those could be voters who showed up to vote for Prop 19 but could care less about any of the races for office. I bet there were a fair number of those folks this year.

20, CD MA-03/NH-01/MA-08

[ Parent ]
I have an extended family member who...
...in Colorado Springs in the early 1990s, perhaps even the Presidential year of 1992, registered to vote and actually voted for the only time in his life......for a local bond referendum to establish a local animal shelter.  He's a lifelong animal lover but politically 100% disinterested.  He voted for the bond referendum and turned in his ballot.  The lady who took the ballot saw it was almost completely unmarked and let him know he might have made a mistake.  He said no, he did exactly what he intended to do.  He skipped everything else on the ballot.

There are plenty of people like this.  I'm sure there are people who vote only because someone they know is running for something, and they vote for that one person and nothing else.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Yeah, that is strange
I don't know, SUSA is notorious for weird internals.

"Undecided" strikes me here is just a catch-all for people who don't want to admit to one candidate or the other, if they have an intention of voting at all, which I imagine most don't. The only thing with those who say they have already voted is that they just don't want to admit, or maybe they answered the question wrong.

I heard somewhere that you always get 4 or 5% going one way or another because people misunderstand the question or something. So in other words, if you asked the question "is the sky blue?" you'd get 4 o 5% that would say no for these reasons.

WA-07, 34 years old


[ Parent ]
NV-Sen: Roll Call article on Reid's GOTV operation.
http://www.rollcall.com/news/5...

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


If Reid and Whitman's operatives got together, they'd win 90% of the vote
Okay, probably. I am curious, however, to see if GOTV gives Reid and/or Whitman a few extra points tomorrow.

For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]

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