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SSP Daily Digest: 3/25

by: DavidNYC

Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 2:18 PM EDT

CA-Sen (PDF): The Field Poll also has approvals and re-elects for Dianne Feinstein. The former stands at 48-33 (more or less in line with her historical averages), while the latter comes in at 46-42 (somewhat below her scores at similar points prior to her previous re-election campaigns). One aside: Is it normal for the Field Poll to go into the field for a two-week period? The dates on this survey are Feb. 28-March 14.

FL-Sen: God, Mike Haridopolos really is such a joke. He's now had to amend his financial disclosure forms a third time, because he somehow keeps forgetting to account for all the sources of his income. You have to be pretty rich and disconnected not to remember where you're getting all your money from. So in other words, Haridopolos is a perfect GOP exemplar. (He claims he didn't disclose the property in question because his mortgage payments exceed the rent he's taking in... but ya know, he's still getting checks in each month!)

NM-Sen: GOP Lt. Gov. John Sanchez tells Le Fixe that he is "very close" to getting into the Republican Senate primary and will decide "very soon."

OH-Sen: Quinnipiac has some numbers out on Sherrod Brown. He has a 43-27 job approval (in January, it was 45-25); a 45-29 lead over Generic R (Jan: 45-33); and almost identical 45-30 re-elects (unchanged). President Obama gets 41-34 over Generic R, but just 45-46 re-elects.

Meanwhile, Dave Catanese caught up with Ken Blackwell, who says he's intrigued by PPP's recent smorgasbord poll of the Ohio GOP primary showing him "leading the way" with all of 21% and now plans to take a "serious look" at the race. Hey, thanks a lot, Tom Jensen! No, I really mean it! Ken Blackwell would be entertaining, and he's also not exactly a very strong candidate. PPP should goad more also-rans into re-thinking their futures.

VA-Sen, VA-03: Dem Rep. Bobby Scott visited Larry Sabato's class the other day and said he's still thinking about running for Senate and will decide by July. Scott also called Obama's actions in Libya "unconstitutional"... hrm. Anyhow, Blue Virginia also notes that Scott could potentially take advantage of an obscure state law which would allow him to run in two primaries at once, meaning he could, say, run against Tim Kaine in the Senate race but if he gets pounded, could hold on to his House seat.

MT-Gov: I wonder what the connection is here: very temporary former Florida Sen. George LeMieux is holding a fundraiser for businessman Neil Livingstone in DC next month. Livingstone is one of several Republicans seeking to replace outgoing Gov. Brian Schweitzer next year. I'm really curious to know why LeMieux is taking an interest in this race.

NH-Gov: I don't know if Papa Sununu is merely running off his mouth, or if he actually knows something. But he seems to suggest that Dem Gov. John Lynch, already serving a highly unusual fourth two-year term, might seek a fifth next year. He also tosses out a few names for potential Republican challengers: 2010 nominee John Stephen, 2010 Senate primary loser Ovide Lamontagne, state Sen. (and ex-Rep.) Jeb Bradley, and ex-State Sen. Bruce Keogh.

WA-Gov: Seattle Magazine has a lengthy profile of King County Executive Dow Constantine, whose name you occasionally hear mentioned in the gubernatorial context despite most people's assumptions that Rep. Jay Inslee has first right of refusal on the Dem nomination. The article mentions unnamed insiders who think that Constantine may a better choice than Inslee (whose district's center of gravity is in Snohomish County) for beating AG and former King County Councilor Rob McKenna. McKenna-unlike any other possible Republican candidate-is capable of winning over suburban moderates in east King County, the only possible road for a Republican to win statewide. (The 49-year-old Constantine's gubernatorial timeline might be more appropriately 2020... though he has three times as many constituents as Inslee, so he may have the leverage to cut to the front of the line.) Speaking of McKenna, he's on Step 2 of his Quasi-Moderate Reboot following his attempted equivocation on HCR repeal: now he's also distancing himself from the new GOP boogeyman Scott Walker, saying he'd never mess with collective bargaining rights.

CA-36: It's looking like Gov. Jerry Brown's hoped-for statewide special election on ballot proposals to extend certain tax measures may not happen in June after all, which means the race in the 36th could stand all alone-and face even lower turnout than might otherwise have been expected.

FL-26: We mentioned (thanks to Greg Giroux) Karen Diebel's unusual FEC filing the other day-she says she plans to run in the non-existent "FL-26." Now, says Dave Catanese, NRCC chair Pete Sessions was seen squiring Diebel around DC, taking her to a meeting of House Republicans, and raising some eyebrows in the process, seeing as she lost to now-Rep. Sandy Adams in the FL-24 GOP primary last year. Diebel must be hoping that a new Orlando-based district carves out some room for her.

MN-06: If god really loved us, Michele Bachmann would run for pretzeldent. And now she's saying it just might happen!

Ohio Init.: Here's what's going to happen: the Republicans who are busy destroying themselves in Ohio will pass SB5, a bill designed to strip away collective bargaining rights from union members. Then unions and their supporters will get a referendum on SB5 placed on the ballot. If polls and history (see 1958) are any guide, SB5 will get overturned. Republicans, of course, don't want that to happen, and at least some of them think they stand a better chance if the measure goes up for a vote this November, rather than next November. For that to happen, Gov. John Kasich needs to sign SB5 into law by April 6th. But the Republican Speaker of the House isn't so sure 2011 will be better for the GOP than 2012, and I'm not sure I disagree with him.

Suffolk Co. Exec.: This sure is an unusual way to end a criminal investigation-and a political career. Steve Levy said he won't seek re-election to his current post... and he's turning over his $4 million warchest to the Suffolk Co. DA's office, which had been probing him for campaign finance violations. Of course, Levy's political suicide really began in earnest last year, when the one-time Democrat tried to change parties to run for the GOP nomination for governor... only to get dinged at the Republican convention. Quite the capper to an ignominious career best known for immigrant-bashing.

Wisconsin Recall: Democrats now say they have "over fifty percent of the number of petitions they need to recall eight Republican state senators, although they are not over the fifty percent threshold in every district."

Meanwhile, the Randy Hopper mistress story keeps getting better. It now looks as though his paramour managed to avoid the formal recruitment process that normal people went through in order to land state jobs during the transition period after Gov. Scott Walker was elected. Despite that, she scored a gig, and a pay raise.

WI Sup. Ct.: The Capital Times has a detailed profile of the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, noting in particular the increased enthusiasm for getting rid of David Prosser in light of Scott Walker's evildoing. Prosser, by the way, continues to blame his fellow women justices for the lack of civility on the court, now claiming that they've "ganged up" against him. Remember this, is the guy who screamed at the Chief Justice that she was a "bitch" and he'd "destroy" her.

Models: Nate Silver critiques Harry Enten's house forecasting model that we mentioned here the other day, saying that Enten has too many variables and not enough data sets. Enten responds here.

WATN?: We mentioned the Idaho GOP's move to a close primary system a little while back, but I'm linking this article because I was unaware that 2008 ID-01 Dem nominee Larry Grant is now the chair of the Idaho Democratic Party. Grant lost to the infamous Bill Sali in 2006 by a relatively tight 50-45 margin.

Redistricting Roundup:

Arkansas: One place where, seemingly against all odds, Dems control the redistricting trifecta is Arkansas. The only Democrat left in the House delegation is Blue Dog d-bag Mike Ross, and he'd apparently worked out a map with his colleagues in the legislature that would protect his 4th CD seat, but also continue to make the 1st and 2nd CDs (now held by Republicans) potentially competitive. But according to Blue Arkansas, at the last minute, Ross changed his mind and insisted on a plan which would shore up his own district at the expense of the other two. Blue AR says this was particularly galling, because, they say, Ross has been telegraphing his plans to run for governor in 2014. However, Ross didn't get his way: a little tinkering was done, but not enough to materially change the original plan. Anyhow, I believe that the map in question can be viewed here.

Louisiana: I don't think there's much if anything new here, but Politico seems increasingly convinced that Rep. Jeff Landry is on the verge of getting screwed. This of course would not be a surprise, as the teabagging freshman is definitely the low man on the totem pole.

DavidNYC :: SSP Daily Digest: 3/25
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Field Poll
Yeah, they always have a long sample. In terms of Blackwell, there is a priceless quote where he inferred PPP didn't poll him against Brown because they were scared what they might find!

I'd never voted for Blackwell, but I find him very entertaining. If only he and Carly Fiorina landed a FOX show...

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]
I am leery of nearly every model
that pretends to have any sort of idea of who will win the house.  I have seen too many years where the national mood would foreshadow a big win for one party but the results went the other way.  Years like 1972, 1980, 1984 and 2000 come to mind.  

There are so many variables like redistricting, incumbency, ticket splitting and money that make forecasting house results seem alot like picking lottery numbers.  

I might add in the 1970s and 1980s the political composition of house districts, IMO, favored the democrats.  Since 1990 the composition of house districts, IMO, have favored the GOP.  That based on the idea that if 50% of the voters voted R and 50% voted D the GOP would win more then 218 house seats.  The D seats tend to have actual voters but also tend to be more intense in their party support.  

One thing about Harry Enten's model...
... is that by setting a cutoff date of 1952, he just misses the most obvious counterexamples of 1946/1948.

Now, I doubt Democrats are going to pick up 70+ seats next year, and I think they're the underdogs overall. But it doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibilities for them to retake the chamber, although it almost certainly will require Obama to win by at least as much as he did last time.  

[ Parent ]
With numbers like that in CA-Sen, I imagine the GOP has to draft SOMEONE
I mean, just encourage Steve Poizner to run as a sacrificial lamb. It looks like Feinstein's ceiling is probably around 60%.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

Why do you say that?
Pages three and four seem to indicate she's in fine shape. If anything, they suggest her numbers might improve as Democrats who aren't thrilled with her come home.

Besides, even if it was 60 percent, how is that bad? 2006 was a very good year for Democrats, obviously, but even then, she only received 59 percent of the vote.  

"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 ]
Lazy reporting?
This isn't about any race in particular, but after reading the blog link below, I'v enough with this seemingly lazy reporting about how certain candidates can self finance presidential campaigns. Unless they are talking about primaries, which even then is a stretch, it's pretty unrealistic to expect any of these guys to finance a campaign. For one thing, Jon Huntsman isn't all that wealthy. I mean, he's loaded, sure, but if his net worth is supposed to be at most $25 million, that's not going to help him at all. Hell, even if were to cash in his likely inheritance--something he would/could probably never do, since his dad intends to die broke--I don't think he could do it. Even the richest members of congress, like Mark Warner and Herb Kohl, are limited. If they tried to cash in their worth and drop $100 to $200 million on a presidential campaign, something tells me their wives would have a thing or two to say about it. In some senses, it might helpful, but unless you are talking about Meg Whitman-style money, it's only going to go so far. Besides, if you can't suck up to corporations or raise money off of small donors over the Internet, you just aren't trying. I just wish more reporters would realize this.

There, rant over.

"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?

Mike Ross is a flip-flopper.
The State Senate should just ignore him.  It was the same during the HCR debate.  He held it hostage in committee until an amendment he authored got approved and passed.  Then, a few months later, he was suddenly adamantly against the whole thing.

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

Arkansas Map
Creative, having Ross' district shoot a finger into Fayetteville (which, despite being in the heart of ultra-GOP NW Arkansas, is surprisingly a Democratic city).  Presumably, this strengthens Ross and lets him drop some other Dem-leaning areas into the other two districts.  Can anyone more familiar with Arkansas demographics draw any further conclusions from that map?  Does it really screw over Griffin or Crawford?  Or does it just weaken them both somewhat?

I'd say the latter

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

[ Parent ]
looks to leave Griffin about the same perhaps just a bit more D by a pig hair.  

AR1  was 58.69 McCain and 38.41 Obama

Its about 57.50% McCain and 39.60% Obama

All that slicing and dicing for less then a 1% move in AR2 and just a 2% move in AR1?  

Its basically a standstill map for AR1 & AR2.  I might add that one would assume being an incumbent would be worth at least 2% in each case so this map is pretty tepid in AR.  Frankly AR4 is not much changed and would be vulnerable in an open seat situation for what gives?  

Either way I think the senate kills this map or actually passes another map more plesasing to Ross  

[ Parent ]
Ross' district will become a lot more D friendly really.

He's getting Fayetteville, and losing Hot Springs Village (a lot of retirees.)

Im surprised they wont go for 2-2, but it looks like Ross has pushed to make his district more D friendly, while also keeping AR-01 and AR-02 tossups in a state like Arkansas (they have GOP PVIs, but the Dem state party is very strong.)

AR-01 still has all of the delta and West Memphis so there is a base there, and AR-02 has Pulaski county, home of Little Rock.

If they wanted a 2-2 map, they would stick parts of the Mississippi Delta with Pulaski County for a strongly black Dem leaning district (a white democrat would still be elected, if he can escape a primary. If a black dem won the primary, sadly, he/she would probably lose or it would be a tossup at best.)
The other district in a 2-2 map would be having Ross' AR-04 get Fayetteville (not in the district now) and Hot Springs, and the southern part of the state like it does now.

Im guessing the Arkansas Dems think they can regain their 3-1 advantage, and lost only becuase of 2010. But, I think the trend in the state and Obama as president will not help them too much in the short term.

At best, the map proposed will be a 1-1-2 (D,R,Tossup) with Ross in the race for AR-04. If he retires thats 3 tossup seats and 1 R.

21, Male, Gay, Dem, Born: AR-04 ;  Current Residence: FL-02

[ Parent ]
I think the Dems are making a dummymander
I could be misreading the landscape entirely, but it seems to me they'd be better of with a Pulanski + Eastern Arkansas AR-02, shoring up AR-04 and writing off AR-01.

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

[ Parent ]
This is what they should do exactly
They need to write off AR-01 and just make 2 safe districts. The map theyre going for screams dumymander

21, Male, Gay, Dem, Born: AR-04 ;  Current Residence: FL-02

[ Parent ]
That's what I thought they'd do. My guess would be that some overconfident state legislator(s) from AR1 insisted that it be kept such that a Dem could still conceivably win if everything breaks right.

41, Ind, CA-05

[ Parent ]
You have to think about who most of these legislators are
Most of them are white blue-dogs who wouldn't be happy with a Little Rock-to-Delta district that would elect either a liberal white Democrat or a black Democrat. They want districts that people like them can win. That's why are doing what they are doing instead of something like that which would probably be better for the party in the long run.  

Male, VA-08

[ Parent ]
I need to see the numbers before I would
say a "lot more D" for Ross.  Ross is giving up 4 counties that Obama lost by only 500 votes.  Those are in SE AR and they are Ross strongeholds.  To get to Fayetteville Ross picks up Franklin and Johnson which McCain won by 4400 votes.  The Garland move looks a 3000 vote loss on the McCain count.  So far its about 1000 votes to the worse for obama.  If Fayatteville is a 5000 vote pickup for obama that 4000 votes or 2%.

All this for 2%

Show me the numbers --not alot of difference

[ Parent ]
He's not losing Hot Springs Village.
[ Parent ]
I just posted a comment at Bluearkansas
on the pigtail map.

I looked the Washington county map and I am assuming that portion will be about 3K towards Obama.  Its a guess on my part but here's my numbers

1st +1700D from 2008 Presidential 250K total votes so +1700 is about 3/4 of one % move towards the D

2nd +1000 D from Presidential numbers 300K total voters so 1000 votes was .4%

3rd +5000 R.  +6300 from Baxter minus 4400R from Johnson & Franklin and +3000 from Washington/Crawford

4th +2300 D for Ross.  Ross comes out ahead by 2300 votes under this map.  

Someone is a vote hog in AR.  

[ Parent ]
It slightly weakens Crawford
Griffin stays about the same. Baxter County gave Crawford a good portion of a his majority, with that extracted and two over 60% Blanche Lincoln counties added, it may be enough to swing it, even if the PVI didn't move much at all.

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

[ Parent ]
AR-02 will have the biggest swing in 2012
Little Rock voters stayed home (some moderate whites and African Americans.) They will go out to vote in 2012, and minus Baxter county, it should help whoever challenges Crawford.

As much Id like to see Griffin go, I dont see who could beat him atm. There will be higher black turnout from the delta in 2012, but its not enough. a conservative white Dem would need to win the primary and Griffin would have to get nailed on some kind of unpopular vote or scandal. Only Wesley Clark or Mike Beebe could win AR-01 imo (given the current political environment.)

21, Male, Gay, Dem, Born: AR-04 ;  Current Residence: FL-02

[ Parent ]
Shane Broadway or Bill Halter could possibly defeat Griffin
Broadway has some popularity in Saline County, holding his own there and getting a huge percentage out of Pulaski County.

They could easily get rid of Griffin if they would put Pulaski in with the Delta. There is no way they should let a Republican have a favorable seat that holds the biggest source of Democratic votes in the state. AR-1 could be won by a competent Democrat, there's a deep bench.

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

[ Parent ]
I could go for either.
I also wouldn't mind seeing David Boling run again.  He impressed me last time around.

[ Parent ]
Baxter County was in the 1st, now the 3rd.
Not the 2nd, where Little Rock is.

Crawford seems to be the weaker of the two-he doesn't have the political savy Griffin does, and he beat his opponent, the hapless Chad Causey, rougly 52-43-5 with that 5 percent going to a Green of all places.  Those delta counties are increasingly African American and many of them were some of the few counties that went to Obama in 2012 and a few (like Mississippi county) just barely missed the boat.  Crawford's beatable.

As for Griffin, it's going to be tough, but if Republicans blow their feet off it could be possible.  Obama's going to be a tough drag (though I still want to see some polling here on Palin and Gingrich) but we will have an active Obama campaign in the state next year and some good ballot initiatives (hopefully) to drive out turn out on our side.  The Democratic Party of Arkansas also went through a shake up following 2010 and are doing things a lot differently than they have been, so there may be hope that 2012 isn't a total massacre here.  

Our goal for next year is simple-survive.

[ Parent ]
FL-22 Poll

West beats Frankel(mayor of West Palm Beach) 53-38 under the current district lines. His favorables are 50-36, hers are 28-36.

Doesn't mean too much with how much the district could change in redistricting of course.  

It will likely move to D+7, and Allen W. is no Bob Dold.

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

[ Parent ]
Nobody's campaigned yet so that poll is very premature.

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

[ Parent ]
GOP pollster
that does everything it can to hide its partisanship, a la We Ask America when it came out during the 2010 cycle.

34, WM, Democrat, FL-11

[ Parent ]
Say what you want
But WAA was pretty good in its house polling.  

[ Parent ]
They were excellent, and I did not say otherwise.
Does not make it right to try to hide their partisan leanings, which they did.  I did a diary when their first public polls came out to connect the dots.  Like this pollster, they used a neutrally-named intermediary to try to hide their affiliation to conservative organizations.    

34, WM, Democrat, FL-11

[ Parent ]
fairness WAA was spot on. This is coming from someone who was very skeptical of them at first.  

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

[ Parent ]
See above.
They did a very good job, but trying to hide who you work for is bullshit and they deserve to be called out on it regardless of the quality of their polling.

34, WM, Democrat, FL-11

[ Parent ]
although I wonder how much crossover there might be as far as who they poll for. For example, I know a candidate who got a poll of his race in North Carolina from PPP who is a Republican; today he is a State Representative and the poll actually showed him overperforming by a few points (although I believe after the poll the Democratic state party poured over tens of thousands into advertising into the race).

19, Male, libertarian Republican, TX-14 and MN-04

[ Parent ]
Are you saying this Republican year, adn was PPP's client? Or...
...are you saying PPP did a poll of the race for another client and the Republican candidate managed to obtain the results?

Sounds like the former (i.e., my subject line), which is interesting.

PPP's reputation has really skyrocketed, they've been smart to eat the cost on many hundreds of free public polls.  They did a poll for Robin Carnahan in MO-Sen last year, and they also have had one or two U.S. House candidates in the past cycle or two.  There are probably more than this, but that's just what got out publicly.  That a Republican hired them just reinforces that their polling is increasingly trusted.

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

[ Parent ]
God, my subject line above is totally screwed up thanks to my keyboard......
It should read, "Are you saying this Republican was PPP's client?"

My laptop is screwed up in that the cursor constantly jumps when I'm in the middle of typing.  I'm finally getting a techie to my house on Tuesday, I don't know if he can fix it.  But that's what screwed up my subject line, and I didn't notice the mess-up before posting.

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

[ Parent ]
Try some compressed air
Keep it a couple of inches away from the keyboard / touchpad when blowing.

If that doesn't work, the next steps are somewhat more difficult -- but keyboard replacements are generally not that hard for someone comfortable with electronics.

However, a cursor jump is sometimes related to a touchpad issue. Replacing that is more difficult, and varies greatly depending on laptop make/model.

Can you turn off your touchpad? If that stops the problem, then auxilliary USB mice are inexpensive until you can get the touchpad replaced.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the tips!
I will explore these things based on your suggestions.

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

[ Parent ]
You're inadvertently touching the mousepad while typing...
The touchpad mouse thingy in front of the keyboard.  There should be a setting in the control panel to disable it while you are typing.

[ Parent ]
Get yourself an external keyboard and desktop stand (or external monitor).

Notebooks are really suboptimal ergonomically.  

[ Parent ]
Better yet:

a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse combined with a flat screen TV used as a monitor.

21, Conservative Gay Democrat, NM-2 (Childhood) TX-10 (Home) TX-23 (School);   DKos: wwmiv.

[ Parent ]
TVs tend to be pretty crappy as monitors
Though they have led to a race to the bottom in terms of computer LCD quality over the last few years. It's a bit reason why everything seems to be so low res these days.

[ Parent ]
??? Get a good TV. Mine is just fine.

21, Conservative Gay Democrat, NM-2 (Childhood) TX-10 (Home) TX-23 (School);   DKos: wwmiv.

[ Parent ]
The poll was for a Republican client.

19, Male, libertarian Republican, TX-14 and MN-04

[ Parent ]
Even without redistricting
it's WAY too early to see who wins here. A large amount of Dems who lost were ahead in at least one poll, especially at this point.

Sometimes, they were ahead in EVERY poll and still lost.

[ Parent ]
that district is always swingy
the races are always close even in bad years(that is, if left intact)for the 'in' party

[ Parent ]
If Lynch Finishes
out his current term, he'd already be the 2nd longest serving New Hampshire governor ever. Though he'd need 6 to pass John Taylor Gilman's total tenure.  

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