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SSP Daily Digest: 3/16

by: DavidNYC

Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 8:02 AM EDT


AZ-Sen: Is Mike Lee hoping to turn into Jim DeMint 2.0? The Utah Republican and teabagger extraordinaire announced his second out-of-state endorsement, this time of Rep. Jeff Flake, running to succeed Jon Kyl. (Last week he endorsed Ted Cruz in TX-Sen.) Flake's an interesting choice for Lee: his extreme anti-earmark rhetoric is probably appealing to teabaggers, but many of his other views are anathema to them. (In fact, he didn't even show his face at a local teabagger convention a few weeks ago.) As for Lee, unless he starts backing up his words with real money (like DeMint does), then I'm going to stop caring about him very soon.

CT-Sen: Rep. Chris Murphy just rolled out the Honeycomb™ of endorsements - as in, it's not small, no no no. All four of his fellow members of Congress - Rosa DeLauro, John Larson, Joe Courtney, and Jim Himes - gave Murphy their backing yesterday. His opponent in the Democratic primary, Susan Bysiewicz, offered a weirdly churlish response, saying "There is no doubt that Congressman Chris Murphy has a lot of support in the inner hallways of Washington." Uh, does she really want to be dissing well-regarded figures like caucus chair Larson et al.?

FL-Sen: Jebus, this is really getting down into the weeds here: ex-Sen. George LeMieux is considering (considering!) hiring a pollster! WOW! Slow news day doesn't begin to describe it.

HI-Sen: Is there anyone other than Haley Barbour who doesn't think that working as a lobbyist is now a huge 20-lb. goiter around the neck of anyone who wants to seek elective office? Well, Charles Djou seems to be hoping Barbour is right. A Bloomberg News report that he and ex-Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho have started a lobbying firm is only "sort of" true, says Djou. He goes on to add that he's not moving back to DC and that "I am only serving as an advisor with Congressman Minnick and really haven't done much of anything other than give him occasional advice." Uh huh. Well, look, I'd rather live in Hawaii, too, but this namby-pamby b.s. is not really going to cut it if Djou is actually staying home because he wants to run for the Senate this cycle.

On the other side of the aisle, here's a new name in the mix: State Senate Vice President Donna Mercado Kim (D) says she's forming an exploratory committee so that she can poll the race, explaining she'll decide at that point whether she wants to get in. While no Democrat has taken the plunge yet, Kim would almost certainly face a field of serious heavyweights.

MA-Sen: Guy Cecil alert! Okay, yeah, this is nothing like a Biden alert! - Cecil is the executive director of the DSCC, and he's coming up to Boston to meet with party leaders and other Democratic bigwigs to discuss the race against Sen. Scott Brown. No word of any specific recruiting meetings, but I'd be surprised if some weren't in the offing.

MI-Sen (PDF): Unfortunately this EPIC•MRA poll got wedged beneath the couch cushions a couple of weeks ago, but I found it (along with Sid Leiken's mom's cell phone) when I went hunting for the remote. Anyhow, they showed Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) inching out ex-Rep. (and 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary loser) Pete Hoekstra by a 44-42 margin. (Hoekstra has yet to announce a run.) When this poll first came out, a lot of folks pointed out that the sample composition seems whack. I'll also observe that the pronunciation guides in the poll script for both names are wrong. They told their interviewers to pronounce them STAB-now and HOKE-struh. (Click links for proper pronunciation.)

MO-Sen: No one must be more pleased at Republican Rep. Todd Akin's evolving change of heart about a Senate run than Democrat Russ Carnahan. In The Fix's words, Akin is now "actively considering" the race - which is, by my counting, his fourth different stance on whether he's interested. As for Carnahan, if Akin's House seat opens up, that may mean the Dem's 3rd CD seat gets spared in redistricting.

MT-Sen: I've been disappointed at how meekly the teabaggers seem to have reacted to Rep. Denny Rehberg's coronation as the de facto Republican nominee in Montana, so even though this is purely a rumor, I'm at least pleased to see it. Blogger Don Pogreba says he's heard that Rob Natelson, a hardcore conservative law professor who twice sought the GOP nomination for governor, is polling the race. The big red flag, though, is that Natelson moved to Colorado last year, as Pogreba acknowledges. Tea Party Express, Club for Growth - where are you?

NV-Sen, NV-02: Well, that was quick. Everyone who thought Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki wouldn't challenge Rep. Dean Heller in the GOP primary, you were right. Not only that, Krolicki offered his endorsement to Heller yesterday, just hours after Heller made his entry into the race official. Krolicki did say he's considering a run for Heller's NV-02 seat, though.

As for that 2nd CD race, Jon Ralston said he's seen three different internal polls in recent days, all of which show Sharron Angle doing poorly in a one-on-one fight against Krolicki (and also against Heller for Senate). Ralston says he can't divulge the numbers, but he now thinks that Angle - whom he had previously considered "the favorite" for NV-02 - would need a multi-way primary to have a chance at the nomination.

And finally, here's some welcome - and rare - news about the Dem field: Dave Wasserman says that state Treasurer Kate Marshall, who had previously been talked about as a possible Senate candidate, is considering the race in the 2nd district. Wasserman also reports that state Dems are thinking about a plan to pack Republicans into 3rd CD Rep. Joe Heck's district so as to make a more amenable 2nd CD for the likes of Marshall.

PA-Sen: Another Republican Some Dude has entered the race against Sen. Bob Casey. As Philadelphia Weekly puts it: "Her name's Laureen Cummings, she's the head of the Scranton Tea Party and, like members of the Tea Party, she considers herself a 'patriot.' She also believes Congress needs more patriots and patriots her patriot every patriot morning." And as our own Brian Valco puts it: "Because she's the head of the Scranton Tea Party, expect a Wall Street Journal write-up and FNC primetime interview soon enough."

VA-Sen: This is looking really pathetic. After the DNC swore that Tim Kaine did not tell a class at the University of Richmond that he was running for Senate, the school's newspaper is saying that it has "confirmed that he told the class that he had made his decision." Whoever is telling the truth, this is just some small-time shit which really doesn't seem like the kind of thing someone experienced in running professional campaigns would be engaged in. I mean, how many different times has Kaine uttered something that could be interpreted or mis-interpreted or re-interpreted or mal-interpreted? This is just not the sort of shtick I'd expect from someone supposedly steeped in the "No Drama Obama" ethos. Enough of the games.

NC-Gov: Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R), who has widely been expected to seek a rematch against Gov. Bev Perdue since forever, is kinda-sorta starting to staff up. Several political hands are "advising" him now (though only one is on payroll), including his 2008 campaign manager (who is working on a volunteer basis).

ND-Gov: This is a nice - and to me, unexpected - piece of news: Former Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who lost a tough race last year, is apparently considering a run for governor this year, at least according to the chair of the North Dakota Democratic Party, Mark Schneider. Pomeroy recently took a job at the DC firm of Alston & Bird (erm, what was I saying about lobbyists earlier?), though Schneider says Pomeroy told him he'd rather live in his home state than Washington.

UT-Gov: Utah has another gubernatorial election next year, despite having just held one last year. That's because the 2010 election was a special, to fill the remaining years in ex-Gov. John Huntsman's term. (Huntsman of course resigned to become Obama's ambassador to China, and is now on the entertaining quest of winning the GOP's presidential nomination.) Anyhow, Gary Herbert, who inherited the job when Huntsman stepped down and then won last November, faces voters again in 2012 - but predictably, he's found a way to piss off the teabaggers. He's planning to sign an immigration bill which creates a guest worker program, but the teanuts are calling it an "amnesty." They want to boot Herbert, but we'll see if their bark has any bite. (My guess: no.)

CA-36: Rep. John Garamendi and former Rep. Diane Watson both endorsed fellow Dem Janice Hahn in the special election today. Watson used to represent a Los Angeles district (the 33rd) until her retirement last year. Garamendi hails from the Bay Area up north, but perhaps has a larger profile on account of being a former Lt. Gov. Meanwhile, Debra Bowen put out a press release touting the endorsement of former L.A. city controller and state inspector general Laura Chick. Chick, who has a reputation as reformer, originally endorsed Bowen via Twitter last month.

FL-22: Some Dude "no not that" Patrick Murphy filed to run against lunatic Allen West as a Democrat. The only other time I mentioned this guy, the media account I linked described him as some kind of construction executive, so I thought, maybe rich dude? But The Hill says he's a 28-year-old accountant, so I'm guessing probably not. (That prior piece also said Steve Israel was meeting with him on a recruiting trip, which is sorta surprising.)

FL-25: Politico has another entry in the "David Rivera is doomed" file, but they bury the lede on the only really new information, which is a list of candidates that unnamed "Republicans have begun mentioning" as possible replacements. One of them has come up before on SSP: state Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla. The others are political consultant Carlos Curbelo, state Rep. J.C. Planas, and state Sen. Anitere Flores. Planas and Flores (the only woman in this group) both refused to rule out the possibility of a run.

NY-26: This amuses me: Crazy Jack Davis is, as you know, petitioning his way on to the ballot as an independent. But if you do that in New York, you actually get to create your own (very temporary) party, complete with funny name. (Does anyone NOT think that Rent Is Too Damn High?) Davis's choice? The Tea Party. Actual teabaggers are pissed that he's ganking their good (lol) name. And actual teabagger David Bellavia, who is also petitioning, has been reduced to picking the "Federalist Party." What's next, the Whigs? Oh wait, we already had that.

Wisconsin Recall: The complete results of Daily Kos's polls of all eight recall target districts are out, and the numbers are at least somewhat promising - but go judge for yourself. Also of note, the tradmed is apparently confirming a story that started circulating on some blogs a few days ago - namely, that vulnerable Sen. Randy Hopper left his wife to move in with a 25-year-old mistress (a Republican consultant, of course) in Madison. In addition to the salacious angle, this is also potentially a problem because that means he may now be living outside his district, which would be against state law (depending on certain other circumstances). In any event, it don't look good - and the kicker is that, according to Reid Wilson, Hopper's estranged wife signed his recall petition!

IL-St. Sen.: So sorry - no Scott Lee Cohen!

Miami-Dade County: Just brutal: Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas were recalled from office last night with something like 88% voting to boot them. A Miami friend of mine summed it up thusly: Alvarez "raised taxes, then raised his staff's salary, then got himself a luxury car at government expense when they already provide him two SUVs." Smart thinking!

Special Elections: Heeere's Johnny (Longtorso):

Judy Schwank held Pennsylvania's SD-11 pretty easily yesterday for the Democrats, ending up with a 58-42 margin over Republican Larry Medaglia.

Elections: A number of states are trying to save money and do what's only sensible: consolidate their presidential primaries with their congressional & state primaries. Proposals include making the former later (AL, CA), or making the former later and the latter earlier (MO). Other states are considering switching to caucuses (boo!): KS, MA & WA.

Virginia Redistricting: You may remember the redistricting contest between teams at various Virginia colleges from a few months ago; all of their finished projects are now on display, in case you need some inspiration for your own Dave's App tinkerings. One other rumor that might scramble all those careful map-makings, though: Dave Wasserman is saying that the DOJ might force Virginia to junk its likely compromise map and proceed with two separate VRA seats, one based in Hampton Roads and the other in Richmond. That would probably cost the GOP an additional seat, most likely VA-04's Randy Forbes, who already has one of the most African-American-heavy seats held by a GOPer.

DavidNYC :: SSP Daily Digest: 3/16
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Does someone who knows a bit more about VRA than I do...
Clarify the process by which the Department of Justice can require states to draw additional VRA districts, and what legal argument they can use? I know they can do it, but I'm unsure exactly what that would look like.

As for the other bits of news: Pomeroy for governor sounds like it would be welcome news for DGA chair Gov. O'Malley, whose prospects in Louisiana and Mississippi could be better. Definitely surprising that Rep. Israel is meeting with a Some Dude; in FL-22, can't Democrats do any better? Granted, my 9-year-old dog could probably give Rep. West a run for his money, but...

And as for Chairman Kaine, I would have expected better than the bush-league nonsense that's been going on there. Either announce you're in or get the hell out of the way, man.

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


Sure
To quote the DOJ itself (emphasis added):

Section 5 precludes implementation of a change affecting voting that has the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or membership in a language minority group defined in the Act. The 2006 amendments provide that the term ''purpose'' in Section 5 includes ''any discriminatory purpose,'' and is not limited to a purpose to retrogress, as was the case after the Supreme Court's decision in Reno v. Bossier Parish (''Bossier II), 528 U.S. 320 (2000). The Department will examine the circumstances surrounding the submitting authority's adoption of a submitted voting change, such as a redistricting plan, to determine whether direct or circumstantial evidence exists of any discriminatory purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or membership in a language minority group defined in the Act.

The layman's version is that the failure to create Section 2 VRA seats where required by law has a discriminatory purpose. In short, the 2006 amendments to the VRA effectively incorporated Section 2 into Section 5.


[ Parent ]
Though, to be clear
The Justice Department would not frame it in terms of 'enforcing Section 2 via Section 5'; it would be framed in terms of the "discriminatory effect" of the redistricting plan. In other words, the failure to create a majority-minority seat where one could be created has the effect of "denying or abridging the right to vote" (or, more precisely, the effective exercise of the electoral francise).

The utility of referencing Section 2 is in that it has been extensively litigated in this specific sense and so therefore it establishes the boundaries of what's required or prohibited (i.e., Gingles vs. Shaw).


[ Parent ]
I would love this result IF it doesn't undermine passing the state Senate Dems' map for the upper chamber......
I don't want VRA to undermine the grand bargain, so hopefully the state Senate Dems' map goes through unaffected and gets McDonnell's signature before the Congressional map goes to DOJ.

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

[ Parent ]
I'm quite skeptical
that the Supreme Court is going to allow this (notwithstanding the change).  

[ Parent ]
I am very skeptical
that litigation based those changes in VRA phrasing would be successful.  Certainly not with the current composition of the court.  I think its clear that Bartlett in 2009 clearly established a framework for status quo court rulings on redistricting.  

You can't stop litigation and dozens of states had various redistricting lawsuits for various reasons in 2001-2002 cycle.

Its clear from looking at legislative intent that no one in congress had anything in mind as far as substantial changes in redistricting laws when VRA was redone in 2006. I might add that the last VRA case settled by the surpremes did not change anything based on new wordings from the VRA.  In fact the last court ruling set in stone, so to speak, a higher standard for VRA regress.  50% VAP is now required for specific protection.  


[ Parent ]
Well
Let's be clear on one thing, the legislation that amended Section 5 contains explicit language that it is meant to reverse the Supreme Court rulings in Bossier Parish and in Georgia v Ashcroft. There's actually no doubt of what the Congress intended; what's under serious doubt is what the Supreme Court will permit.

I'm on record as saying that I think the Supreme Court is clearly prepared to strike down, or at least severely limit, Section 5 during this cycle. They just need to get the right case and it's a done deal in my view. I was simply answering the question as to the DOJ rationale, but I was not saying that I necessarily agree with it nor that I think the Supreme Court would.

That said, nothing that happens with Section 5 would prevent the DOJ from filing separate suit under Section 2, so if the DOJ wants to press the issue with regard to Virginia or any other state, they certainly have the mechanism to do so. It's certainly not as quick and easy to prevail under that route, but it's certainly an option regardless what the Supreme Court rules on Section 5.


[ Parent ]
I will say, however
that the Supreme Court would be misinterpreting the Constitution to invalidate §5. In my view there are three separate textual bases to justify preclearance: Art. I, §4, the 14th Amendment, and the 15th Amendment.

But our Supreme Court. . .


[ Parent ]
Oh, I am too
At least insofar as a borderline case such as Virginia. I don't even see how two majority-black VAP districts could be mapped, so I'm doubtful this will be a serious issue when all is said and done, despite these rumors.

I think the DOJ would require a second VRA seat in Alabama and Louisiana long before it would require one in the Virginia Tidewater. And even then, I think the Supreme Court is just begging for a reason to strike Section 5.


[ Parent ]
I posted this in the Virginia maps thread
Photobucket

And it pretty much goes to show there's no way to require a 2nd VRA district in southern Virginia if it has to be majority by VAP.  While both the 3rd and 4th are about 50.5% VAP black, they would likely meet no one's standards of compactness or shared communities of interest.

NC-06/NC-04


[ Parent ]
Very nice
I gave up trying myself, so great job on that unsustainable map! lol

There is of course still the possibility that the DOJ might require a majority-minority coalition district in addition to the majority-black VA-03 district. If so, then that would signify that the DOJ will be even more aggressive than I anticipated.

Which is not to say that I don't expect them to be aggressive, unlike what seems to be conventional wisdom on SSP. I think the DOJ will strive to implement the full letter of the 2006 VRA, as they interpret it, no matter what the Supreme Court eventually rules. In fact, I think the DOJ is required to do so by law: They do not have the discretion to pick and choose which congressional acts to enforce (which is different from, say, defending their constitutionality in court as in DOMA, for instance).

But, ultimately, I think Section 5 is on very thin ice with the Supreme Court, and the more that the DOJ pushes the envelope, the more likely it is to get struck down altogether. If it were me, I would focus more on Section 2 enforcement actions than pushing the boundaries of Section 5, but then again there's no reason why the DOJ can't do both.


[ Parent ]
A minority coalition district is a lot easier
Under my map the 4th district avoids a lot of the hispanic population in Virginia Beach, so adding those areas would presumably allow the 3rd to retain parts of Hampton and lose the tendrils north and west of Richmond.

NC-06/NC-04

[ Parent ]
Pomeroy
So why would Pomeroy run for governor instead of senator? To show that he prefers ND to DC?

I'm inclined to think, that North Dakotans after having been represented by democrats for decades aren't that unlikely to send a Dem to Congress again. And since Conrad is retiring, Pomeroy might well stand a chance. BTW is there any chance Byron Dorgan might go for a comeback, it seems he retired because he was afraid of losing and not because he really wanted to quit politics.


While I understand the push for Pomeroy and Dorgan
because of the thinness of the D bench in ND

It always makes me lose hope when we have to look for retreads. (It's worse when people voluntarily look for retreads.) I never want to tell the American people "lets go back to the past," as it suggests that future D leaders present no promise.

(Nothing personal, Johannes -- it's my complaint towards a good number of users here.)


[ Parent ]
WI Recall
Those numbers seem like a mixed bag. Dems seem to have a very good chance at picking up atleast two seats, but they need three to pick up the Senate and block Walker's agenda.

The numbers in Alberta Darling's district are quite surprising. I know a couple people living in this district and it is usually considered a swing district with a slight republican lean, but Darling is looking strong.

Luther Olsen's district is pretty rural, so collecting signatures there might be more difficult. But the Dems have been very organized about this whole effort.

23, dude, gay, IL-13


I would say 2 are likely pickups for us and 3 more are tossups, plus here's some more info (link)...
...from a SSP exchange I had with a commenter on the ground there:  http://swingstateproject.com/s...

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

[ Parent ]
There are some rumors
that Randy Hopper might resign. Making a recall race harder for the Dems, since they would be against an opponent who never voted for the bill.

23, dude, gay, IL-13

[ Parent ]
...and, on the downside, a face-in-palm newsclip today......
Democratic state Senator Tim Cullen proposes Constitutional amendment abolishing quorum requirement that Dems used to delay the union-busting bill.  Yes, Democratic state Senator Tim Cullen introduced that proposal.

http://politicalwire.com/archi...

Way to step on the message, Tim!  I recall reading a piece on Talking Points Memo some weeks ago that noted Cullen is one of a couple Dem state Senators who Walker actually likes.  I guess we now know who is the WI state Senate's answer to Evan Bayh/Joe Lieberman.

As I said in the subject line, face-in-palm.

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


[ Parent ]
This is just good public policy
This walkout is, or should be, a one-time deal.  If we don't get rid of it, we'll probably have Republicans doing the same thing every time Democrats try to raise taxes on the rich.  

I support Cullen's amendment.  The walkout served its purpose, now it's time to eliminate it.  


[ Parent ]
Except the problem is...
By introducing it so soon after the walkout, it looks like the guy is saying the tactic was not legitmate. Which won't play that well with the public.

It might be good public policy, but he should have waited on this.  


[ Parent ]
It sort of wasn't legitimate, though
If not for the fact that the Republicans in Washington have been filibustering everything, I'd be pretty disappointed with what the Wisconsin 14 did, even if I was pleased with the result.  Obviously, it would be chaos if you had minority parties going out of state every time they strongly disagreed with a proposal.  And frankly, Scott Fitzgerald and most of the Wisconsin Senate Republicans are just vindictive enough that they might try something like this once when the Democrats get the majority back.  Better to get them on record voting for a proposal to stop both parties from ever doing something like this again.  

Personally, what I'd rather see coupled with this amendment is a mandatory 3 week waiting period for most legislation, from the time it is introduced until it is brought up for a final vote.  Think about it, most legislation takes at least that long anyway.  And if this waiting period had been in effect, the walkout wouldn't have been necessary because the opposition would have had time to mobilize.  

The waiting period could be waived in the case of a bona fide natural disaster or terrorist attack.  It could also be waived with a two-thirds vote in both houses for other emergencies not covered, or for non-controversial bills.  


[ Parent ]
Considering Wisconsin's legacy re: unions
It wasn't just something the Democrats "strongly disagreed" with. It was something that was utterly at odd with Wisconsin itself.

23, liberal democrat, SSP Gay Caucus Majority Whip, IN-02 (home), IN-03 (birth), SC-03 (early childhood), IN-09 (college);   DKos: HoosierD42

[ Parent ]
What matters is politics and moral authority, not merits of the proposal......
The politics are awful for the reason markhanna states, that it makes state Senate Dems look like the bad guys for walking out.  And it's a Democratic state Senator saying that.  I don't even know what to say to someone who fails to recognize how stupid this is by Cullen, how much he's sabotaging his own party.  You can't have it both ways, walk out (AS CULLEN DID) and then say walkouts shouldn't be a legal tactic.

And that raises the closely related point that Cullen in particular, as well as all the other state Senate Dems, have zero moral authority for this proposal.

That's what voters care about, this just undermines the recall effort.  You don't do this until after all recall efforts are complete.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

What will Cullen do next, introduce an amendment to abolish recalls?

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


[ Parent ]
I agree with you...
...but, it will have little effect on the recall races.  I think it was a bone thrown to get the Dems "off punishment".  Yeah, that doesn't help the recall races any, but Cullen does have enough cred with the GOP that some of the more odious GOP proposals might be watered down significantly in the face of recalls.

That's his angle and always been his angle.  In that sense, he is a Lieberman.  Unlike Lieberman, he didn't stab his party in the back when he certainly could have a few weeks ago.  I think he will be an important player going forward, policy-wise, if not politics-wise.

Still, very strange proposal with very strange timing...  


[ Parent ]
Darling Also Surprised Me
I was also surprised to see Darling doing so well, but the crosstabs (http://www.dailykos.com/polling/2011/3/11/WI-SD-8/21/ygrzV) are interesting.  First the sample is tied 48/48 Obama/McCain.  However, Obama won the district 51-47. Secondly, conservatives make up the plurality of the respondents.  That would only occur in a 2010 electorate, which simply will not happen this summer.   So while I would not expect to see her behind, I think it should be a few points closer.  I wonder if any another public pollsters are looking into to this?
In terms of Olsen's district, indeed it is rural.  However, Madison, Stevens Point, and Wausau are all quite close to the district so if there is a need for circulators, there will be a source.   One of the interesting things about these recalls is it is a statewide effort, but it is not a statewide race.  Unlike in a normal election, there would not be a Presidential or Gubernatorial race.  Thus, instead of people doing GOTV or knocking on doors in Madison, they are more likely doing it in Portage. So while it might take a bit more time than say Kapanke's or Hopper's districts, I believe that Olsen will face a recall election.  

[ Parent ]
Darling's numbers
Didn't surprise me, they shocked me. She acknowledged that she was going to be in a tough race. But in addition to what you said, the sample size on her numbers is significantly lower than everyone else's so I'm guessing the MOE is quite a bit higher. Because this election is more about turnout and energy than even a typical election, poll results while helpful are less useful than they would normally be.

[ Parent ]
It could simply be an outlier...
Even the best pollsters have those, but I would not be shocked if it was true.  Her district had disproportionately high turnout in 2010, which suggests that the conservatives in her district are highly engaged.

[ Parent ]
One other thing
About these numbers. I understand that it looks great from a PR perspective and political perspective to say that all 8 eligible senators who voted for this legislation faced a recall election. But it would be really embarassing if we failed to get enough signatures to recall any of them.

But even more important than a couple of not great news cycles is that from the beginning I've believed that Lazich and Grothman were safe and these numbers affirm that. I think there are 3 of the 8 seats where the results seem pretty clear, Grothman, Lazich and Kapanke is toast. I think the other 5 we've got shots. And frankly I kinda hope we don't get enough signatures to have recall elections for Grothman and Lazich because every dollar and every person used to do that, IMO excercise in futility, is one less dollar and one less person that will be used on those other 5.


[ Parent ]
VA-Sen: David I'm sorry but you're making much ado about nothing......
This "dust-up" about did he/didn't he say he's running is about a fraction as significant as the McCaskill plane travel "dust-up," which you correctly recognize as a nonsensical manufactured hit job by Politico trying to make something out of nothing.

Kaine probably has decided he's running, and he let words to that effect let slip to his class.  Probably one of the kids asked him, and he blurted out an answer spontaneously--even today in the internet insta-news era probably hardly anyone would think he/she has to "stay on message" in an informal classroom setting like that, with a bunch of kids you've gotten to know.  It's an honest slip, a lot of pols are still learning only just now how anything they say outside the most private conservations can wind up on the internet in minutes.  It's got to be a stunning feeling to be in the shoes of a pol experiencing that reality.  Kaine's last cycle on a ballot was in 2005, the internet-age but still not quite insta-news, and he probably made equivalently newsworthy utterances in semi-public fora countless times with no one ever finding out except the immediate audiences and small handfuls of their random friends and family.

So Kaine makes that slip, and it blows up into the Twitterverse and the political media.

And to what consequence?  There is no possible adverse consequence from this unless Kaine eventually announces he's not running, and even then it's fleeting and inconsequential to anyone but Kaine himself, and even then it's not consequential to him unless he later in life does decide to run for another office.  And the "consequence" at its worst under any circumstances is limited to a single 24-hour news cycle in the cottage industry of the political media.  Almost no voters will ever hear about this, and among the few who hear about it, virtually no one will care.

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


If it were a single incident
I wouldn't care. What bothers me is that I feel like this whole process has been unprofessional. I think a serious candidate should say - once - that he's considering a race, and that he'll inform everyone about his decision when he's ready. That's all.

I don't think there will be consequences to the race (though I'm sure the GOP will try to make claims about "arm-twisting"). Rather, I don't like what it says about Kaine, who I figured was a real professional when it came to campaigns. It's sloppy, it's silly, it's shticky and it feels like games are being played. I hope it's an abberation, and if it had been just one weird slip, then I'd overlook it.

But he's made multiple comments on multiple occasions that have confused a lot of people - including, at one point, leading the AP's Charles Babbington to believe on Feb. 25th that he'd declare inside a week. Maybe I'm making too much out of this, but I hope that if Kaine runs, his campaign is a lot more disciplined than this.


[ Parent ]
I see what you're saying but I don't think it signals anything......
Kaine has never lost an election, and he won statewide twice in the past decade with a more conservative electorate than Virginia will have next year.  He's never had problems in his campaigns.

So the kerfuffle over will he/won't he and the tea leaves are a non-issue to me.  The agony you feel is from being a campaign junkie, but Kaine doesn't care about the agony of campaign junkies.  He answers questions straightforwardly and drops tea leaves that almost no one really cares about outside the world of campaign junkies.  I'm sure when he says "within a week" he means it at the time.  But then he changes his mind about when to make the decision, his thinking just isn't complete yet.

None of this stuff concerns me in the least.

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


[ Parent ]
Concerns the hell out of me
Kaine's heart is really not in it. His whole roll-out has been as professional as Newt's, and it shows. Say hello to Senator Allen...

22, male, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Mountains out of molehills


[ Parent ]
Yup, it's utter nonsense to be concerned about this. If he didn't want to run...
...he'd just say so.  He knows damn well a lot of Democrats would be thrilled to have Perriello as the nominee, and he knows the state's changing demographics and the year combine to give any competent nominee at 50-50 shot at victory.

People need to give Kaine a little more benefit of doubt, because he's earned it.  He was winning elections in Virginia at a time the state had been heading in the same direction as the Deep South, with white conservatives, the state's dominant political force until the past few years, abandoning the Democratic Party at all levels.

If Kaine runs, he'll run a good campaign.  He always has, he knows what he's doing.

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


[ Parent ]
PA-Sen: doesn't Laureen Cummings work at Dunder-Mifflin?......
Oh, wait, that's Angela Kinsey.

Cousins, maybe?

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


NV
"...state Dems are thinking about a plan to pack Republicans into 3rd CD Rep. Joe Heck's district so as to make a more amenable 2nd CD for the likes of Marshall."

The only way to do this would be for Heck's district to snake into Reno for Republican votes, forcing "Marshall's" district to snake down to Vegas for Dem votes. Sandoval would veto that.  

41, Ind, CA-05


Absolutely! Sandoval won't allow for it...
And there will be folks on both sides of the aisle and from both counties crying foul over two Reno-to-Vegas districts. A map like that might not even pass The Legislature.

I still don't see it as very likely, but they're probably better off forcing Elko on Joe Heck than trying to make NV-02 winnable for Kate Marshall by giving her some of West Side Vegas. (And even doing this might defeat the purpose, as they'd have to get REALLY creative to get around Summerlin!)

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
Nye
I suppose they could stick R+10 Nye in the Reno district and R+24 Elko in Heck's district, but even that seems like a crime against geography as Pahrump is far closer to Vegas than to Reno. I assume they get Vegas tv stations.  

41, Ind, CA-05

[ Parent ]
Yep, Pahrump gets Vegas TV & radio...
And there are even some Pahrump residents who commute to Vegas to work! OTOH, there's really nothing tying Elko to Vegas.

That's why this option isn't likely, and I really have a hard time seeing Dems succeed in knocking down the R+ PVI too low.

Besides, since Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron is running there again, they may not have to do too much, especially if Krolicki and Amodei fight it out for GOP Establishment $$$$.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
OH-Sen
Y'all are gonna like the new PPP numbers! Well, not our Republican friends.

Flake and Lee
Both come from old, powerful Mormon families once based in eastern Arizona's White Mountains. These folks still look out for each other, maybe not quite enough to cross party lines and get too tangled up with the Udalls (at least publicly--though I should also note that Lee and the cousins Udall are fairly closely related as the families are intertwined at multiple points), but enough to make the smaller ideologically differences between Lee and Flake unimportant.

22, Democrat, AZ-01
Peace. Love. Gabby.


OH-Sen: Brown leading by double digits
http://www.publicpolicypolling...

Republican stock in Ohio seems to have fallen.

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


May be inflated by current events
But equally could be a firm trend.

[ Parent ]
Midwest
While it sucks that they are screwing over the middle class out there, the new Governors may be the best thing to happen for Democrats since Dubya.

29/D/Male/NY-01

[ Parent ]
You're going to like this...
Kasich will be a gift that keeps on giving.  He says that he wants to make his budget annual, instead of biannual, so he'll propose another unpopular budget next spring to be fought through summer!

Whatever he's doing, he's certainly not doing the national party any favors.


[ Parent ]
Mary Taylor
I think it is reasonable to say that Kasich's plummeting stock will impact Mary Taylor's stock. She's no longer a top-tier recruit. Not sure who would be the #1 recruit that they could get.

28, Male, Democrat VA-08  

[ Parent ]
Agreed
I imagine Steve LaTourette is the strongest, but I've never quite bought the sentiment he'll actually run and give up his House seniority. I think Taylor might well still run and double-down on the Kasich agenda. Either way, this is looking more Lean D than toss-up now.  

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

[ Parent ]
LaTaurette has been seriously pushing the...
"moderate" angle as of late and has been hogging the local press both of which are unusual for him.  It's possible, though, that he's scared the teabaggers will ruin his bogus "moderate" rep (he's not, but plays one on TV) and is being proactive early on to protect himself especially with redistricting possibly making his district bluer.  Maybe he's just excited to be in the majority again and gets a chance to do something.  I don't know.  There has been no hinting in public that he's remotely interested in the Senate race, and no rumors to that effect, either... still... I'd keep an eye on him.  His actions have been very strange as of late... for example, he says he's trying to convince Kasich to accept the high speed rail money and run a new east-west route in the northern part of the state.  That's not going to happen, but why is he making headlines with such talk?

[ Parent ]
I don't know if she ever really was top tier...
There have been strong hints that she was never really ready for prime time.  She was a pretty face without any accomplishments and never ran a race against a serious opponent.  Her claim to fame was that she won the Auditor post in a year that Dems swept everything (2006), but her opponent was a seriously weak minority candidate in a state that still struggles electing minority candidates.

The one thing she managed to do well was keep her mouth shut which kept her out of trouble for the most part, but that also made her the ultimate invisible candidate.  That works if you're running fro Auditor or Lt. Governor, but won't cut it if you run for U.S. Senator.

Her strength as a candidate is still a question mark.  She could be very strong, or could be very weak.  We really don't know for sure, but now she has Kasich stench on her that won't be easy to rub off.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, I saw that...
He's been senator for what... 10 minutes?

[ Parent ]
You say that to make fun of him
But I have heard people here wanting Hanabusa to run for Akaka's seat.

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

[ Parent ]
It's definitely two very different
things.  

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 ]
Yeah
But look at all the experience he's had before him. Portman for VP is a lot different than Rand Paul or Mike Lee, or even Kelly Ayotte, for VP. In 2008, he was McCain's top pick for awhile, IIRC.  

[ Parent ]
About Portman, agree with you.
Hearing his name tossed around for vice president isn't ridiculous.

I do wonder whether this is more about 2016 than 2012. If he's the vice presidential nominee and the ticket he's on wins, he gets a pretty serious career upgrade. But if the ticket he's on loses, he still has a job. And of course, if he does a good job in the campaign, it could give him a leg up if he wants to run for the top spot.  

"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 ]
NM-Sen: Heinrich leads in Dem primary
http://www.politico.com/blogs/...

Heinrich - 32%
Denish - 25%
Lujan - 15%
Balderas - 5%

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


It doesn't surprise me, Heinrich has a strong base in Albuquerque which helps
I doubt Denish would ever beat him in a primary, especially after losing in 2010 (and I say this as someone who genuinely likes Diane Denish).

Heinrich's the favorite if he wins.

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 ]
Give then New Mexico is 45% Hispanic
I would like the delegation to reflect that. I love Heinrich, but I'm for Balderas.

23, liberal democrat, SSP Gay Caucus Majority Whip, IN-02 (home), IN-03 (birth), SC-03 (early childhood), IN-09 (college);   DKos: HoosierD42

[ Parent ]
Hispanics have plenty of representation in New Mexico
You should take a look at the legislature and statewide officials. Plus, if Heinrich does run for Senate, Eric Griego will likely run in NM-01, and if he wins the primary he'll probably win the general election (meaning the House delegation would have two Hispanics).

Getting more Hispanic is great, but I think this is a case where you're only looking at the surface of New Mexico with representation.

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 ]
But it's not about NM, it's about the Democratic Senate Caucus......
When is the last time NM sent a Hispanic Senator to Washington?  I don't remember one in my lifetime.

I realize, and appreciate, and am sincerely glad that NM has a mature enough electorate that racial politics are not a factor.

But let's get real, the race is on to try to appeal to the fastest-growing ethnic minority in America who will be increasingly important in future elections.  Now that we have the first black President, that competition is accelerated.  We don't want to be the party that somehow doesn't get Hispanics nominated and then over the hump in November in high-profile races.

I'm not saying it's essential that Balderas wins.  Who knows, maybe he's a bad candidate?  Or maybe he'd be in over his head as a Senator?...although hard to believe since he's already in statewide elected office with no revelations of baggage collected.  If the rank-and-file Democrats of NM want Heinrich, I'm certainly fine with that.

But over time we do have to seek out and elevate electable Hispanic candidates in statewide elections where they have a realistic shot at winning in November.

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


[ Parent ]
As long as they play nice
I have no problem with a Heinrich-Balderas primary. Not sure I would put much stock in this poll though.

"The Tulchin Research poll of 213 likely Democratic voters was taken between March 8-March 10.  If you consider the 6.7 percent margin of error, Heinrich's advantage over Denish is minimal out of the starting gate."


[ Parent ]
Whoa, good flag, two things there really discredit the poll......
First, the sample size is waaaaaaay too small to take the poll seriously.  It requires the same admonition I always give here to crosstabs in polls with larger samples.

Second, a "likely" voter screen for a primary that's a year away?  Not remotely reliable.

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


[ Parent ]
That's probably true, although I will say the numbers are probably close to reality
If nothing else, based on name recognition I'm not surprised that Heinrich would have an early lead (Heinrich was blanketing Albuquerque with ads for a long time, and the Albuquerque market stretches statewide, so his name is definitely out there).

Still, I doubt Baldera's numbers are that low, even though it is just Auditor, he is a statewide official (although I would definitely say that Heinrich would have an edge over Balderas for the time being).

Oh and to your point above, I definitely agree with the sentiment of electing more Hispanic Democrats in the senate, which is why I'd at least consider Balderas over Heinrich (although I really do like Heinrich, he's been a great congressman, and I'd hate to see him out of public office if he runs).

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 ]
Balderas
I'm for Balderas for the same reasons. I remember liking the little I read about him, and it's time for more diversity in the senate.

22, male, VA-10

[ Parent ]
DavidNYC - a question
You did some really good analysis on the front page of Kos about the PPP Wisconsin polls. I notice that has not been cross posted on SSP.

I was chomping at the bit to comment on the analysis, but the problem with putting on the front page of Kos is that too many of the comments (IMHO) are of the "rah-rah" variety rather than the in-depth stuff you get on this site. I do plan on signing up for a Kos password once we get our own seperate page on the Kos site, but in the meantime could I request you repost the Wisconsin analysis on this site?  


Sure
I meant to do that yesterday but got busy. I'll cross-post later today.

[ Parent ]
Too bad
I would have liked to see Angle cause some mayhem in the senate race.

Ah well.

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 ]
Bad news for Shelley Berkley...
But great news for Kate Marshall. This will probably make the DSCC ratchet up its effort to keep Shelley out of NV-Sen "help her make her decision in a timely manner", but this will probably also encourage the DCCC to keep encouraging State Treasurer Kate Marshall to jump into NV-02. Life just got a little easier for Dean Heller, but a hell of a lot harder for Brian Krolicki, today!

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
So as a Nevadan
Whom do you think would be the better choice for NV-Sen if it came down to Catherine CortezMasto and Ross Miller?

NC-06/NC-04

[ Parent ]
I think atd sort of alludes to it
Heller probably would have stomped her in NV-Sen, especially in a two-way. But she can cause a lot more trouble in NV-02, particularly since it's very unlikely to be just a two-way.

[ Parent ]
Yep, yep, yep!
she can cause a lot more trouble in NV-02, particularly since it's very unlikely to be just a two-way

The key here is the GOP Establishment. If they coalesce around Krolicki, they can stop Angle. But if the establishment fractures (again) and teabaggers don't warm up to Lippold, then Angle has her opening.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
True, but
It still would have caused some chaos for Heller. Still, atd has a good point, it does give Angle an opening in NV-02 and that, in turn, gives us an opening.

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 ]
I think we got the best result on this, Angle would've been non-factor in NV-Sen......
I really think much of the GOP base has soured on Angle after she lost to Reid.  They haven't soured on her politics, her ideology, or her positions on issues, but when you lose you need a scapegoat, and for the GOP base the particular losing candidate, in this case Angle, is the scapegoat.

Angle can't win a primary again without a split field, she couldn't quite get over the hump even in a 3-way the last time in NV-02.  She's lost some support now and probably needs a 4-way to make it, even in conservative NV-02.  But that could happen in NV-02, no way in NV-Sen.

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


[ Parent ]
Yep. I still believe another...
Teabagger can cause mayhem in NV-Sen should he run and make life for Dean Heller. But in retrospect (and especially now knowing the private polls Ralston now talks about), I can now see how Angle could have been effectively sidelined by Heller so long as he kept his fellow establishmentarians out of NV-Sen. But with no "taint of a loser", another teabagger (and no, I don't want to hear anyone bring Lil' Tark Shark into this!) might make this primary interesting again.

But in regards to NV-02, a 3-way primary will probably be enough for Angle to slip through. Remember, she almost did in 2006, and that was before she became a national teabagger celebrity. If Heller and Krolicki can't convince Amodei to get out of NV-02, it probably bodes well for Angle.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
PPP finds Obama at 47/47 approval, up 5, 11, 15 over Huck/Mitt, Newt, Palin
PPP
They are always a top polling on elections but one of lowest approval pollsters.

Huchabee Isn't running.Outside of Nevada and possibly NH Romney Isn't much a threat to take back Obama States.With him as nominee Missouri Could be In Play.And this Is before the public becomes more aware of his flipflipping and RomneyCare.Palin unfortuntly probally won't be running.Gingrich Is almost as good for Obama as Palin.

Republicans are helping Democrats resurange In Midwest.


[ Parent ]
Can't stand PPP
For the same reasons below. Huckabee isn't running. Palin isn't running imo. They should throw in Pawlenty/Barbour/someone who's actually in this thing.

22, male, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Bharat, PPP did just the iteration you want......
PPP has been polling people like Pawlenty and Barbour, and this time they tried several different primary iterations, asking "what if" Palin or Huckabee didn't run, and "what if" just one or the other didn't run.  No one speculated to run has not been included at least once in a PPP poll.

The problem is the results don't tell us much.  For the most part the results are all name recognition, with month-to-month variations nothing more than statistical noise.  We learn a few things about a few individuals.  We learn Romney has a low ceiling he ran the mechanically best campaign last time and yet can't perform any better than he did in national polls through 2007.  We learn Palin is disregarded by GOPers because she's stuck in the pack in the high teens or low 20s like Romney and Huckabee, and that's strikingly poor for the previous Prez election's VP nominee.  We learn Huckabee is stuck in that same 3-some despite, like Romney, running last time, so he seems to have a low ceiling.  And we learn Gingrich, despite wide name recognition, is regarded worse than the other 3.

Beyond those 4, it's no use to poll Barbour and Pawlenty and others except to keep learning what's always been true:  no one knows who they are.

I think even if you erased the top 4 from a poll, you'd find Barbour and Pawlenty and Daniels in the single-digits, with undecideds taking up the support of the top 4.

I really think we're not going to learn anything useful about who actually might win the nomination at least until early next year, perhaps not till after Iowa.

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


[ Parent ]
that makes sense
thanks for the sound analysis

22, male, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Michigan protests
There are literally thousands of folks on the Michigan Capitol square right now protesting Governor Snyder.  This is easily one of the biggest protests even recent years, certainly bigger than the Tea Party protests, last year, which had been the biggest up 'till that point.

25, independent liberal, MI-08

Arrests in Michigan Capitol Building
Arrests have been made inside the Michigan capitol after attempts by a dozen or so protestors to occupy the rotunda:

Lansing- At least four protesters were handcuffed and arrested inside the state Capitol this evening as demonstrations continued against Gov. Rick Snyder's budget and legislation opponents say is anti-union.

Five others have linked arms and are seated on the glass floor of the rotunda, challenging State Police to arrest them, as well.

State Police Capt. Gary Nix said those arrested will be charged with trespassing and some could face additional assault charges. Some of those inside the Capitol scuffled with police when the protesters charged a door adjacent of the rotunda in an attempt to allow in protesters who were outside pounding on the doors.

The arrests capped a day when at least 3,000 demonstrators flooded the state Capitol for the biggest and rowdiest protest yet against Gov. Rick Snyder's plans to tax pensions and weaken collective bargaining rights.

Photo

25, independent liberal, MI-08


[ Parent ]
OR-01: Wu drip drip
http://www.wweek.com/portland/...
Asleep At The Wheel
David Wu totaled a parked car in 2010 and blamed it on his hectic travel schedule.

Warning: if you listen to the 911 call, there are some very loud beeps in place of personal info.


Damn
I should send off an email or two. I'd love to know what's the inside track on this.

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

[ Parent ]
MN-08 Census numbers
MN-08 population came in a little higher than expected, only about 2,600 under the ideal population. This is good news for Dems because it will make it next to impossible for Republicans to strengthen Chip Cravaack much at all.  

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


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