2006 Elections - State Archive:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dems Hoping to Continue Statehouse Successes

Posted by DavidNYC

And continue is the operative word. Check out this extremely wrong-headed quote from someone who ought to know better:

Tim Storey of the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures said there could be a seismic swing in the control of state legislatures in favor of Democrats this fall because of an energized Democratic base. Legislatures currently are controlled nearly equally by Democrats and Republicans.

"For a number of elections, the Republicans have been eating [the Democrats] alive," Storey said. "Do the Democrats build some momentum in the other direction? I think they're optimistic they can do that."

The facts:

2003: Dem net gain of one chamber
Dems picked up NJ Senate
R's had no chamber gains

2004: Dems net gain of five chambers
Dems picked up CO House; CO Senate; IA Senate (to a tie); MT Senate; MT House (to a tie); NC House; OR Senate; VT House; and WA Senate
GOP gained GA House; IN House; OK House; and TN Senate

2005 & 2006: Dem net gain of eleven seats
No chamber flips since 2004, but Dems picked up additional seats in the 2005 elections (VA & NJ) and in special slections in MO, NH, PA, VA, and TX.

In other words, the Democrats have been kicking ass on this front over the past four years. Why someone from the NCLC - the pre-eminent organization devoted to state legislatures - could get things totally backwards is beyond me.

I would like to take this opportunity to praise the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (aka the DLCC) for their tireless work on these races. State lege races are usually unglamorous affairs, and the rewards for victory seldom receive the attention that national success does. Yet the DLCC plugs away, day after day, in the shadows of the DNC, DSCC and DCCC. They deserve a major pat on the back for all their successes in recent years.

And I'd also like to point out that a little help can go a long, long way in state legislative races. They are almost always low dollar races, so even small donations can make a big difference. ActBlue has activated state-level fundraising capabilities in twenty states now (many with the help of the DLCC), so it's even easier to donate to local candidates now. In fact, the DLCC even has its own ActBlue page with a list of targeted races. But if you aren't sure where you want to get involved, you can check out the DLCC's action list or donate directly to the DLCC.

Posted at 10:44 PM in 2006 Elections - State | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, September 22, 2006

MA-Gov: Memo to Republicans - Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted by James L.

From Hotline on Call (Sept. 18):

Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Gabrieli plays the victim in a spot his campaign released Friday -- a day after Republican candidate Kerry Healey shot an attack his way before Tuesday's intense Democratic primary. [...]

And playing into the theory that Healey's initial attack was a sign that her campaign is more concerned about facing Gabrieli than state Attorney General Tom Reilly or Deval Patrick in the general election, the response ad quotes a Washington Post columnist who supports the idea.

If that was the intent of Healey's strategy, she must be happy with the way the result is unfolding: the Boston Globe reported Sunday morning that its new poll shows Patrick has opened a 21-point lead over Gabrieli and Reilly.

Um, better think again (SUSA, likely voters, May in parens):

Deval Patrick (D): 64 (34)
Kerry Healey (R): 25 (32)
Christy Mihos (I) 5 (17)
Other: 4
Undecided: 2 (17)

40 freaking points. Healey and her merry gang of MA state Republicans figured that progressive rising star Deval Patrick was an outsider who was not ready for prime time, and therefore beatable. Not so fast. Patrick rode a wave of positive campaigning and progressive advocacy that captured the hearts of the Democratic primary electorate despite being outspent by his wealthy establishment opponents. Looks like Massachusetts likes what it sees, too.

Good luck making up those 40 points, Kerry.

Posted at 06:57 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, September 15, 2006

KS-02, KS-AG: What on Earth is Going on in Kansas?

Posted by James L.

So yesterday, SurveyUSA dropped a whole load of polls on statewide races in Kansas. Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius is performing very well, leading Republican Jim Barnett by 58-38. That's no surprise. Slightly more surprising are the polling results for the real statewide dogfight in Kansas this year: the battle for the Attorney General's office (likely voters):

Paul Morrison (D): 48
Phill Kline (R-Inc.): 51
MoE: ±4.1%

Paul Morrison was the Republican District Attorney of Johnson County (Kansas' most populous county with over 506,000 residents), who switched his party affiliation to Democrat last year and filed to run against Kline shortly thereafter, part of an emerging narrative in Kansas politics under Sebelius' deft stewardship. I haven't been following the dynamics of this race other than Kline's relentless anti-abortion related legal activity while in office. Needless to say, it seems that Kline's extreme conservative tack and Morrison's profile have put this race in play for Kansas Democrats. For comparison's sake, the other statewide Republican incumbents facing re-election battles this year (Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner, and Treasurer) are all at or above 60%. I'm just thinking out loud here, but it's important to build up the Democratic bench in states like Kansas (and I will dismiss any arguments that converting moderate Republicans to the Democrats in Kansas is a bad thing), because, who knows, someday we could see Paul Morrison, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, or Governor. I'm thinking a few moves ahead here.

Even more surprising, though, is this internal poll on the congressional race in KS-02 (likely voters):

Nancy Boyda (D): 42.5
Jim Ryun (R-Inc.): 41.2
Undecided: 16.2
MoE: ±4.6%

Here's the context:

Boyda said the only reason she was revealing the data was that on Thursday a front page story in the Kansas City Star downplayed her chances against Ryun because she was receiving little attention from the national Democratic Party in Washington, D.C.


But Ryun’s spokesman Black dismissed Boyda’s poll claims.

“If any legitimate, scientific polling firm found these results, the national Democrats would not have written off this race as reported by the Kansas City Star on Sept. 14,” he said.

State Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said the polling company Infomark Research has a reputation for accuracy, and cited several instances of how it predicted winners in close races.

“This is a winnable race for Nancy Boyda,” Hensley said.

I don't know anything about Informark Research, although they look legit after a cursory glance. But what the heck is going on in this race that could lead to it being a statistical tie? Nancy Boyda was the 2004 nominee in this district, and lost pretty decisively, 56-41, to Jim Ryun (fairing only slightly better than John Kerry did in the district, who lost by a 59-39 margin). So why on Earth should this district be more competitive this cycle? Ryun's record in the House is fairly analogous to Kline's record as AG--that is, extremely conservative. Could we really be seeing the results of this much-hyped intra-party rift between all-or-nothing social conservatives and more moderate Republicans in Kansas at play in KS-02 and elsewhere in the state, scoring some gains up and down the ballot for Democrats this cycle? Time will tell.

Posted at 05:48 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - State, Kansas | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

AK-Gov: What's Going on Here?

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from a Republican outfit (Dittman Research) in Alaska (voters, no trendlines):

Knowles (D): 29
Palin (R): 46
Halcro (I): 3
Undecided: 22
(MoE: ±4.4)

Sorry, no link - I got this one via PollingReport. Anyhow, Dittman is, as I say, a GOP firm, but their poll of the Republican primary was pretty accurate. They had it Palin-Binkley-Murkowski at 40-29-17. Actual results: 51-30-19, clearly with most of the undecideds breaking for Palin. So I'm not ready to write them off just because of their partisan bent - or even because the firm was recently raided as part of an FBI corruption investigation. (Allegedly, Dittman is not a target.)

So anyhow, what's going on here? I was initially very excited about the prospect of Tony Knowles getting into the race - despite his narrow loss in 2004 for AK-Sen, he's really the one marquee Democratic name in Alaska. Of course, the possibility of a matchup against incumbent Frank Murkowski was extremely appealing, but I figured Knowles would have a great shot no matter who his opponent was. Unfortunately, an earlier Rasmussen poll showed TK trailing Palin 51-38, and this latest survey is even more depressing.

One native Alaskan over on DailyKos told me that Knowles has been lying low, hoarding his bullets until after Labor Day. But Knowles probably has close to 100% name recognition, so I'm not really sure how much sense this strategy makes. The modern political playbook says you want to define your opponent negatively as early as possible, especially if you are the incumbent. While there is no incumbent now in this suddenly open-seat race, Knowles certainly has the stature of one.

According to this survey, the battleground is among independents, where Palin leads 44-24. (Both candidates have firm support among members of their own party, but this obviously isn't nearly good enough for Knowles in deep-red Alaska.) If Palin retains her "squeaky clean" image, then it seems like it'll be hard for Knowles to make many inroads. And every week he waits, the harder to gets to drive up her negatives. I only hope that he's got some good oppo on her - and that he's planning a media blitz right away.

Posted at 01:47 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alaska | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Gallup Releases Eight New Gov & Sen Polls

Posted by DavidNYC

And fortunately for us, TPM Cafe has handily collected them in one place:

Race Dem GOP
MN-GOV Hatch (D) 44% Pawlenty (R) 43%
PA-GOV Rendell (D) 57% Swann (R) 35%
OH-GOV Strickland (D) 52% Blackwell (R) 36%
PA-SEN Casey (D) 56% Santorum (R) 38%
OH-SEN Brown (D) 46% DeWine (R) 40%
MT-SEN Tester (D) 48% Burns (R) 45%
MO-SEN Talent (R) 50% McCaskill (D) 44%
MN-SEN Klobuchar (D) 50% Kennedy (R) 40%

In fact, it looks like TPM Cafe's Election Central is pretty serious about rounding up all manner of polls, so this may be a good resource to bookmark.

Posted at 01:39 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

GA-Gov, Lt.-Gov: The Big Day

Posted by James L.

We haven't really spent a lot of time over here at the Swing State Project discussing the upcoming elections in Georgia, but there are a couple of hot races between a few sets of Georgia peaches that are going down today. On the Democratic side, there's a nasty, nasty primary battle going on for the gubernatorial nomination between Secretary of State Cathy Cox and current Lt. Governor Mark Taylor. This race does not particularly enthuse me, mainly due to the fact that these two candidates have spent an estimated $6 million combined on attack ads against each other. It's really bringing back the ghosts of the recent California gubernatorial primary, where two statewide-elected Democrats slimed each other so badly that the Republican party has begun to recycle the same attacks now that the dust has settled. There's been some opinions in the blogosphere that primaries are a good thing, that they help strengthen candidates by forcing them to hone their messages and get serious about on-the-ground organization. And to a certain extent, that seems true; Jon Tester's overwhelming, feel-good victory in the Montana Senate primary against a popular Democrat holding a state-level office, for instance, surely helped legitimize him to national and state donors, pundits, and media. But what's the rule and what's the exception? Are brutal primary races like those in California and Georgia, where character assassination runs rampant, par for the primary course? How can you be sure that every primary attains the perfection of Montana's stiffly competitive, but polite style? I would submit that when the stakes are as high as elected office, there's no way to constrain the nastier competitive tendencies of human nature.

But if there's any saving grace in this, at least the focus is not so much on the Democratic primary today. Nope, it's not even close. If you've been following Jesselee's ongoing coverage at the Stakeholder, you'd know that it's the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, which is taking place between conservative state Sen. Casey Cagle and Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed, that's drawing all the headlines. Reed, who helped orchestrate Saxby Chambliss' dirty victory over Democratic Sen. Max Cleland four years ago, is getting hammered by Cagle over his deep ties with corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff:

His opponent, conservative state Sen. Casey Cagle, has hammered Reed over his connections to Abramoff, the once-powerful Washington insider who in January pleaded guilty to fraud, tax evasion and bribery.

Specifically, Cagle has criticized public relations jobs in which Reed rallied Christian conservatives to thwart regional gambling initiatives. In some cases, that work was funded by competing gambling interests represented by Abramoff, according to the conclusions of a U.S. Senate committee.

"Reed said gambling is immoral, but took millions of dollars from convicted felon Jack Abramoff to help casinos," a recent Cagle TV ad said, referring to Reed's "record of betrayal."

I'm not sure how I should feel about this. A big part of me just wants to see Reed lose outright. What a fitting retribution it would be to see a man like Ralph Reed (whose ultimate goal is to run for President some day, most assume) lose a primary race for a down-ticket office in Georgia. How could his political career recover from such a starting block blunder, especially with the shadows of corruption hanging over his head?

On the other hand, should Reed squeak out a victory tonight (which is possible, given that the light turnout may skew towards his fundamentalist political base), Georgia Democrats can take a page from California Republicans and recycle some of Cagle's attack ads, which link Reed to "forced abortions and child prostitution" on Mariana Island through his efforts to block the implementation of U.S. labor and wage laws on the island, a U.S. territory. The ad goes for the throat, but Cagle may have waited too long to release it--he's spent most of the primary election season peppering the airwaves with typical soft biographical/values ads that lack any bite whatsoever. But with Cagle running neck-and-neck with the former front-runner Reed in the most recent polls, anything could happen today. However, an anemic Reed victory coupled with copying Cagle's script verbatim may seriously inject some life into the Democratic state-wide ticket in Georgia this year.

Posted at 11:37 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Georgia | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday Poll Round-Up: RI-Sen, RI-Gov, TX-Gov, TX-21

Posted by James L.

Lots of polls lately to share. First off, there's some good news from Rhode Island, where Democrats are gaining momentum:

RI-Sen (Brown Univesity Poll, registered voters, February in parens):

Sheldon Whitehouse (D): 38 (35)
Lincoln Chafee (R-Inc.): 37 (40)
Undecided/Decline to answer: 25 (26)
MoE: ±3.5%

Sheldon Whitehouse (D): 55 (44)
Steve Laffey (R): 25 (29)
Undecided: 20 (27)
MoE: ±3.5%

RI-Gov (Brown, Feb. in parens):

Charles Fogarty (D): 39 (35)
Don Carcieri (R-Inc.): 44 (46)
MoE: ±3.5%

The same poll shows President Bush with a dismal 20% approval rating, and a mediocre 51% for Senator Chafee. Whitehouse is really making a race of this one, and don't believe any spin you may hear that this is an unwinnable race if Laffey doesn't knock off Chafee in the Republican primary.

And some noise from Texas:

TX-Gov (SUSA, likely voters, May in parens):

Chris Bell (D): 20 (18)
Rick Perry (R-Inc.): 35 (41)
Kinky Friedman (I): 21 (16)
Carole Keeton Strayhorn (I): 19 (20)
MoE: ±4.2%

Perry is clearly weak, but this is just such a clusterfuck of a race. Troublingly, Chris Bell is only getting 44% of the Democratic vote and losing broad swaths of white liberals to Kinky Friedman's quirky indie bid. I understand the position of a Texas Democrat who's reluctant to rally around the Bell campaign after seeing hopeless defeat after defeat at the statewide level for a decade, but with the field this fractured, a consolidated Democratic base could be a threat to Perry.

TX-21: The John Courage campaign writes in to share some weak numbers on Congressman Lamar Smith (one of Tom DeLay's biggest allies in Texas):

In a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners of 500 likely general election voters June 18-21, 2006, only 31% said that they would vote to re-elect Lamar Smith. (MoE +-4.4%)

This is an anemic number for an incumbent, as that number should on average be closer to 45-55%. The voters want change, and we've got a man of the people that is a teacher and a veteran who wants to be their representative.

Smith has a weak 49% personal favorability rating in this lean Republican district, and there's clearly room for Courage to mount a vigorous campaign against him.

Posted at 12:02 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Rhode Island, Texas | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, June 22, 2006

MD-Gov: Duncan Drops Out

Posted by James L.

From the Washington Post:

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan will announce this afternoon that he is dropping out of the race for governor, sources close to the campaign said today.

Duncan, 50, decided to end his quest for Maryland's highest office because he is suffering from clinical depression, sources said.

The Democratic nominee to face Gov. Robert Ehrlich will be Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley. Duncan was competitive enough to sap a lot of O'Malley's early momentum. The O'Malley campaign can now concentrate on beating Ehrlich, but it's sure tough to watch a candidate drop out under circumstances like these.

Posted at 01:58 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Maryland | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, June 19, 2006

Why Can't California Be More Like Montana?

Posted by DavidNYC


Montana Democrats Barnstorm for Unity

After what could have turned into a divisive primary election, Montana Democrats rallied in four cities Friday to show that the state the party is united behind Jon Tester in what promises to be a no-holds-barred U.S. Senate race against Republican incumbent Conrad Burns this fall.


Tension Builds Between L.A. Mayor, Angelides

Tension between Antonio Villaraigosa and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides surfaced Friday as the Los Angeles mayor declined to say whether he backed his own party's candidate to unseat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It looks to me like Dems in Cali are living up an old credo: They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. All I can say is, someone better bash a few heads in over on the left coast before Angelides and Villaraigosa give the media any more fodder for one of their favorite evergreens, "Dems in Disarray." Maybe we should send Brian Schweitzer over there to whoop some ass.

Posted at 03:29 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, California, Montana | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

California Results Open Thread

Posted by RBH

CA-GOV: 4.3% 13% 35.2% of precincts reporting

Phil Angelides (D): 217,622 (48.7%) 353,474 (47.2%) 523,260 (47.5%)
Steve Westly (D): 191,764 (43%) 327,723 (43.8%) 479,833 (43.6%)

CA-50 (To fill the unexpired term): 11% 35.2% reporting

Francine Busby (D): 17,329 (43%) 27,383 (44.4%)
Brian Bilbray (R): 20,448 (50%) 30,683 (49.8%)

All of the U.S. Congress Primaries in California

CA-50 (GOP Primary for the November election): 11.4% 35.6% of precincts reporting

Brian Bilbray (R): 11,071 (52.9%) 16,712 (54.6%)
Eric Roach (R): 3,347 (16%) 4,486 (14.6%)

CA-04, 11.5% 38.4% 75.3% of Precincts reporting:

John Doolittle (R): 14,054 (63.2%) 25,323 (63.7%) 44,244 (65.9%)
John Holmes (R): 8,186 (37.1%) 14,442 (36.3%) 22,981 (34.1%)

Charles Brown (D): 5,346 (46.3%) 10,534 (47.1%) 18,466 (46.3%)
Lisa Rea (D): 3,641 (31.6%) 7,103 (31.7%) 13,127 (32.9%)
Michael Hamersley (D): 3,563 (22.1%) 4,773 (21.2%) 8,334 (20.8%)

CA-06: 22% 42% of precincts reporting:

Lynn Woolsey (D): 31,997 (65.5%) 38,656 (65.7%) 45,339 (65.5%)
Joe Nation (D): 16,913 (34.5%) 20,244 (34.3%) 23,895 (34.5%)

CA-11: 0.8% 11.7% of precincts reporting:

Jerry McNerney (D): 4143 (56.5%) 9415 (52.6%)
Steve Filson (D): 2044 (27.9%) 5210 (29%)

Richard Pombo (R): 5269 (55.4%) 14,779 (61.9%)
Pete McCloskey (R): 3584 (37.6%) 7616 (31.9%)

CA-24: 10.5% 44.6% of precincts reporting:

Elton Gallegly (R): 5,609 (81.3%) 17,463 (80.8%)
Michael Tenenbaum (R): 1,292 (18.7%) 4,160 (19.2%)

Mark this one down for Gallegly in a landslide. Democratic nominee Jill Martinez has 10,703 votes so far running unopposed.

CA-36: 0% 36.3% of precincts reporting:

Jane Harman (D): 5,981 (69.5%) 13,621 (65%)
Marcy Winograd (D): 2,629 (30.5%) 7,353 (35%)

CA-51: 8.1% of precincts reporting:

Bob Filner (D): 4,336 (53.9%)
Juan Vargas (D): 3,329 (41.4%)

Posted at 12:04 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - State, California | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Iowa and Montana Results Open Thread

Posted by James L.

Here we go.

MT-SEN, 0% 2.42% 10.73% 33.22% 75.78% of Precincts reporting:

John Morrison (D): 1,140 (52.41) 2,631 (34.73) 6,463 (33.10) 15,932 (34.86) 27,735 (36.04)
Jon Tester (D): 969 (44.55) 4,801 (63.37) 12,588 (64.48) 8,657 (62.70) 46,517 (60.44)

These numbers (the 2.42% update) are from Cascade County, which is the Great Falls area. This is fantastic news for Tester, since Matt Singer wrote that "This is one of the few towns where a number of legislators have stayed neutral or are supporting John Morrison, so expect it to be a bit closer here."

Conrad Burns (R-Inc.): 1,500 (69.64) 4,814 (71.36) 10,027 (71.71) 24,746 (70.32)

Bob Keenan (R): 527 (24.47) 1,541 (22.84) 3,150 (22.53) 8,543 (24.28)

IA-GOV, 10.34% 48.67% 58.53% 67.11% 99.47% Precincts Reporting:

Mike Blouin (D): 4,771 (62.50) 29,758 (34.40) 33,084 (34.18) 37,066 (34.30) 49,900 (34.02)
Chet Culver (D): 1,597 (20.92) 31,527 (36.45) 35,995 (37.19) 40,816 (37.76) 57,178 (38.98)
Ed Fallon (D): 1,143 (14.97) 24,064 (27.82) 26,495 (27.37) 28,835 (26.68) 37,795 (25.77)

IA-01 (see IA-Gov link), 0.3% 42.81% 70.06% 100.00% Precincts Reporting:

Rick Dickinson (D): 900 (61.73) 6,274 (44.30) 7,158 (33.29) 9,937 (33.82)
Bill Gluba (D): 323 (22.15) 2,902 (20.49) 6,003 (27.92) 7,496 (25.51)
Braley, Bruce (D): 207 (14.20) 4,545 (32.10) 7,487 (34.82) 10,797 (36.74)

Bill Dix (R): 123 (41.84) 2,309 (40.11) 4,472 (28.29) 8,504 (37.53)
Mike Whalen (R): 113 (38.44) 2,424 (42.11) 8,930 (56.49) 10,985 (48.47)
Brian Kennedy (R): 58 (19.73) 1,024 (17.79) 2,407 (15.23) 3,173 (14.00)

Posted at 10:15 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - State, Iowa, Montana | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

New Mexico, South Dakota Results Open Thread

Posted by James L.

Hmm, okay, how about this: given everything else going on, I don't care what happens in New Mexico tonight. But if anyone's dying to discuss who the GOP nominee to take on Sen. Bingaman is this year, feel free to liveblog that baby in the comments. Anyway...

SD-Gov, 18.12% 67.99% Precincts Reporting:

Jack Billion (D): 5,455 (64.78) 16,616 (61.44)
Dennis Wiese (D): 2,966 (35.22) 10,430 (38.56)

The AP's calling it for Billion.

Posted at 09:14 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, New Mexico, South Dakota | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

SD-Gov: Voters Will Decide The Fate of The Abortion Ban And Of Rounds

Posted by RBH

From the group working to squash that law

Today, the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families announced the filing of more than 38,000 signatures on petitions to repeal the extreme abortion ban passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Mike Rounds on March 6. Petitions will be filed with the Secretary of State at 2 pm today.
If at least 16,728 signatures are deemed valid, voters will decide whether the ban should become law. [Source]

I'm liking the odds of this getting on the ballot.

Signing the extreme ban did deflate the numbers of Mike Rounds. Rounds has moved up slightly, but not back to 70%. With this issue on the ballot, I wouldn't expect him to move back up to 70% job approval.

The primary to determine Rounds opponent for the fall is next Tuesday. The two candidates for the Democratic nomination are Jack Billion and Dennis Wiese.

From how I'm reading their sites, both Billion and Wiese are on the record as opposing legislation such as the bill signed this year.

Basically, it'll be a white hot election year in South Dakota, because the Dobson-esque groups will be working hard to try and get the ban retained, while the opponents will be working extremely hard as well. This could have a legitimate effect on the Governor's race when people who oppose HB1215 go out to vote against that bill and against Rounds.

We'll keep our heads up on the Governor's race, it could turn interesting soon.

Posted at 11:22 AM in 2006 Elections - State, South Dakota | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, May 29, 2006

AK-Gov: Knowles Is In!

Posted by DavidNYC

This is some great, great news: Former Gov. Tony Knowles declared today that he will indeed seek another term as governor. Knowles, a very popular figure in AK politics, previously served two terms in the governor's mansion but was term-limited out in 2002. However, Alaska's constitution permits a return to office if you skip a term, so Knowles is eligible to run again this year.

One sign of Knowles' strength is that one of the Dem gov candidates, Ethan Berkowitz, immediately said that he would drop out after Knowles made his announcement. The other announced candidate, Eric Croft, hasn't said anything yet, but hopefully he'll bow out as well. Either way, Knowles will have a straight shot to the Dem nomination.

On the other side, as RBH detailed a few days ago, current incumbent Frank Murkowski declared that he, too, will seek another term. This is also great news, given that Murkowski has a net approval rating of minus FIFTY. Murkowski is so unpopular that he's actually facing some stiff primary opposition from his own party. Whenever you can say that about an incumbent, you know it's bad news bears. Naturally, of course, we're rooting hard for Frank.

I should also add that a former Republican state rep, Andrew Halcro, is running as an independent. I've gotta believe that Halcro will draw more votes from the eventual GOP nominee than from Knowles. And Alaskans do seem to love independents - they gave Ross Perot some 28% in 1992, second only to Maine. I have no idea how much name rec this Halcro has, but he could stir things up.

Knowles doesn't appear to have a website up yet, but hopefully he'll launch one soon. (It may go up at the URL of his last campaign sight, presently down.) No matter who the GOP nominee is, Knowles instantly moves this seat into one of our top gubernatorial pick-up opportunities in 2006. Needless to say, I'm very excited about this race.

(Much thanks to RandyMI for alerting me to this story.)

Posted at 11:38 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alaska | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

AL-Gov: Baxley Opens Up 18-point Lead Over Siegelman

Posted by James L.

Finally, from a Press-Register/University of South Alabama poll (likely voters, April in parens):

Lucy Baxley (D): 45 (39)
Don Siegelman (D): 27 (34)
MoE: ±5%

Siegelman, a former Governor of Alabama, is currently embroiled in a trial for corruption and bribery charges. That it took this long for Baxley to bury Siegelman in the polls is fairly troubling. The winner of the primary (also on June 6--but if no candidate receives 50%+1 of the votes, there will be a run-off on July 18th between the top two vote-getters) will face either incumbent Republican Gov. Bob Riley or former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore. Riley is looking more and more like the shoo-in in the primary, but at least it looks like he won't be running against an indicted punching bag like Siegelman in the general.

UPDATE: A recent SUSA poll shows a much tighter picture (likely voters):

Lucy Baxley (D): 43 (39)
Don Siegelman (D): 43 (47)
MoE: ±4.4%
Both polls show Baxley with differing degrees of momentum, however. Such a wide discrepancy is pretty strange, but all the ink that's going to be spilled over Siegelman's ongoing trial in the next few weeks is clearly not the type of publicity he needs to push himself over the top.

Posted at 06:36 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, May 26, 2006

PA-Gov: New Poll Shows Swann Fumbling

Posted by James L.

From Rasmussen (likely voters, April in parens):

Ed Rendell: 52 (41)
Lynn Swann: 34 (44)
(MoE: ±4.5%)

If this holds, the PA Republicans are going to be up the creek this year, with the anemic performances of Swann and Santorum potentially dragging down Republican performance other races, including their most vulnerable Congressional seats (the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th).

Posted at 05:20 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Pennsylvania | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

AK-Gov: Murkowski To Run For Re-Election

Posted by RBH

The field in Alaska gets slightly more certain

Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski this morning declared his intention to seek re-election, saying he wanted to continue the work on advancing a North Slope natural gas pipeline.

“The gas line is certainly the No. 1 priority of my administration,” Murkowski told the morning crowd.

In an e-mail message distributed from the governor’s personal e-mail account, Murkowski says he returned to Alaska from Washington, D.C. “to get Alaska moving again.”

But, when it comes to this race, there's one thing which will work against Murkowski, his low job approval rating. Ok, "low job approval rating" is being generous.

According to SurveyUSA, His job approval rating is 23%. His job approval rating has been "moving again", moving down to 29% in April. Murkowski's highest job approval number in the last year on SUSA was 34%.

And 35% of Republicans approve of Murkowski's job performance.

With a poll number like that, it's no wonder that Murkowski has a primary opponent that wants his job. But, Murkowski could make it though his primary using the power of name recognition. But, he may end up with a very low primary percentage.

The two Democrats running are Ethan Berkowitz and Eric Croft. I think Tony Knowles is still a rumored candidate. I don't know who is in front of the two candidates mentioned.

I think that Alaska is the hidden opportunity for Democrats this fall. Especially if Murkowski wins re-nomination.

Posted at 01:27 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alaska | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, April 20, 2006

2006 Attorneys General Races

Posted by DavidNYC

Once upon a time, party labels didn't matter all that much in state Attorneys General races - it really just came down to "your sheriff vs. my sheriff." This, however, has changed a lot starting in the 1990s. Nowadays, we can expect Republican AGs to be toadies to power, while Dem AGs vigorously fight on behalf of regular folks. This stark difference is all the more important given how egregiously federal agencies have abdicated their enforcement duties. To illustrate this point another way, you need look no further than the trailblazing career of Eliot Spitzer - a guy we could use a few more of.

And where will we get more Spitzers? The Democratic Attorney General's Association has provided us with a very handy map of this year's races where the AG spot is up for grabs:

Note that five posts on the map are controlled either by the governor or the legislature. Dems are safe in NH & WY, while Lingle is safe in HI. Murkowski, however, is vulnerable in Alaska, while Dem control of the legislature in Maine seems to be dicey.

As to specific races, I have to confess I don't know a whole lot about what's going on outside of NY. Here in the Empire State, Republicans had hoped that DA Janeane Pirro would be a better fit for the AG race, after her embarrassing departure from the Senate race. Turns out, a knave is a knave - Pirro is getting swamped by both front-runners for the Dem nomination, Andrew Cuomo and Mark Green.

There are so many other races to keep track of that I just haven't yet found room in my brain to add the AGs. But if you know anything about your local AG race, please tell us what's going on in comments.

Posted at 01:39 PM in 2006 Elections - State | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, March 06, 2006

SD-Gov: Now We've Got Some Ammo

Posted by DavidNYC

South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds couldn't hide behind technicalities this time. Today, he signed a law banning all abortions in South Dakota except to save a mother's life. Not her health, only her life. It also includes no exceptions for rape and incest. None at all. If some sick father rapes his thirteen-year-old daughter, this law would require that she bear his baby. There are no words to describe the disgust I am feeling right now.

The human rights, civic and legal dimensions of this appalling bill are being widely discussed throughout the blogosphere. The political angle, though, should not be disregarded. Don't get me wrong: I would much, much rather that this bill have never passed. It's a true abomination. But since it has - and especially since Rounds signed it - we now have the opportunity to use it against him.

As I wrote recently, the Democrats currently have no one running against Rounds this fall. This matters not because we have any realistic shot of beating him, but because right now, he's well-poised to take on Sen. Tim Johnson two years from now. However, if Rounds can be taken down a few pegs, that'll make him a less attractive candidate.

If SD Dems can't use this as ammo against Rounds, then I have no idea what would work. But this bill is truly an outrage, and it's already brought all kinds of negative attention to South Dakota. Rounds should be made to suffer for his complicity in this obscenity. The Dems need to find a candidate and start hammering.

UPDATE: HellofaSandwich offers up a suggestion: A comebacker for Tom Daschle.

Posted at 05:39 PM in 2006 Elections - State, South Dakota | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, March 02, 2006

AK-Gov: What's up with Tony Knowles?

Posted by DavidNYC

A couple months ago, I wrote about the possibility of Tony Knowles running for Alaska governor. (Knowles was a popular former governor who was term-limited out - but the limits no longer apply to him as he's now sat out a full term.) Chris Bowers' gubernatorial roundup got me thinking about this race once again, and I realized I haven't heard anything about what Knowles is up to.

This Anchorage Daily News article from Feb. 17th included the following tidbit in the final paragraph:

The wild card on the Democratic side is former Gov. Tony Knowles. The two-term governor has not said whether he plans to run, nor has he filed a letter of intent with the state that would allow him to begin raising money.

AK-Gov is really in flux right now. Super-unpopular (26-69 approval rating) incumbent Frank Murkowski hasn't yet announced whether he will seek re-election. If he does, he'll have to face several fellow GOPers in a primary. I'm thinking it's looking pretty bad for Murkowski now, considering that his own Lieutenant Governor is considering jumping into the race.

Meanwhile, another more recent ADN story (Feb. 24th) mentioned this nugget toward the end:

Told by a reporter that some Democrats would like to see former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles vie for his seat, Young said he would take that fight in a heartbeat.

"I guarantee you I (would) beat him, and then he's dead politically forever. That's it," Young said.

Knowles couldn't be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

This might, of course, just be wishful thinking on the part of Alaska Democrats, who must be bloody sick of Young after 34 years in Congress. Moreover, I doubt that Young is in any way vulnerable right now - at least, not in the way Murkowski so clearly is. I don't think this would be a wise race to enter for Knowles. If he does want to think about Congress, he might want to wait a bit. He's not a young man, but he is ten years younger than Young (who is 73, and surely must be thinking about retiring soon). Moreover, Sen. Ted Stevens (who is ten years older still, 83) may retire at the end of this term in 2008.

As to this year's Governor's race, though, Knowles really needs to make up his mind soon. It's not fair to the Dems already running in AK-Gov to keep them on tenterhooks, as they almost certainly would have to drop out if Knowles enters. On the flip-side, donors are probably playing "wait-and-see" with Knowles and may not contribute to the current candidates if TK doesn't clearly state he's not running. Personally, I like Knowles a lot and I hope he does jump in. But I'd like to know what's what soon.

Posted at 11:17 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alaska | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 23, 2006

SD-Gov: Lone Dem Candidate Drops Out

Posted by DavidNYC

The only Democrat running against super-popular South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has dropped out. Ron Volesky says it was due to money (he has virtually none, while Rounds has over a mil), and I'm sure that's part of the reason. But I'll bet that Rounds' 72-23 approval rating (sixth-best in the nation) had something to do with it as well.

I'm sure you're asking why you should care about a gubernatorial race we were never going to win in the first place. It actually gets back to Rounds' lofty approval rating. Argus Leader columnist David Kranz explains:

Influential players in the Democratic Party didn't have great hope to topple Rounds anyway, but their mission was different from Volesky's.

This wasn't about winning.

What Democrats need more than anything is a candidate who can ruffle Rounds a bit, remove the polish from his political exterior so that he will be less-inclined to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson in 2008. That was Volesky - the perfect candidate.

Republicans around the country already say they are or will be working hard on Rounds to run against the incumbent Democratic senator.

In other words, chess, not checkers - to see the importance of the SD-Gov race this year, you've got to look a few moves ahead. Losing a Dem senator in a red state will make it much harder to ever re-take and hold the Senate. After Daschle's loss in 2004, we can't afford to see Johnson go as well. (And remember, Johnson won in 2002 by barely 1% - just 500 votes out of over 330K cast.)

All hope is not lost, though. While the people Kranz talked to are not optimistic, the news article I linked to does toss out some possible names. And, interestingly, while Rounds is very popular, he's actually had a hard time getting a number of his proposals past the legislature (even though it's dominated by members of his own party) and has even had some vetoes over-ridden. That suggests at least some vulnerabilities. Rounds may yet be taken down a notch or two before this is all over.

UPDATE: Of course, how could I miss the obvious? Both D. in FL and Mark in comments point out the white elephant in the room: South Dakota's extremely restrictive abortion legislation, which will soon appear on Rounds' desk. He'll probably be compelled to sign it into law, and from that point on, all hell will break loose. The current bill bans all abortions (except when the mother's life is at risk) - it doesn't even contain an exception for rape victims. Rounds realizes the political thicket he's wading into, even in South Dakota - he vetoed a similar bill two years ago on purely technical grounds (which are rectified in the current legislation). Since even some Republican legislators oppose this bill, I have to imagine a Democrat could make some hay out of it.

Posted at 06:53 PM in 2006 Elections - State, South Dakota | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 16, 2006

MA-Gov: Reilly and Patrick Tied

Posted by DavidNYC

From UMass Lowell (likely voters, Sept. in parens):

Patrick: 40 (18)
Reilly: 40 (49)
Undecided: 20
(MoE: ±5%)

Lotta movement for Patrick over the past half-year. But can you believe that Mass. hasn't had a Dem governor since - wait for it - Michael Dukakis? I sure as hell hope that changes this year, but unfortunately, this poll also shows a much tighter general election race - much tighter than other polls, that is. Reily beats Kerry Healy just 43-42, and Patrick is at 40-38. A Suffolk Univ. poll from just a couple weeks ago gave Reilly a 15-point lead over Healy (and Patrick a seven-point margin). What gives?

Posted at 12:46 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 09, 2006

NY-Gov: Bill Weld, Liar

Posted by DavidNYC

"Flip-flopping" is the media's derisive term for what normal people call "changing your mind." It's an entirely different matter, though, when you change your mind but pretend you haven't. Of course, politicians do this now to avoid being labelled a flip-flopper - they want to act like they've upheld the ultimate shallow media virtue, consistency (causing Emerson to smugly cross his arms up in heaven). Problem is, you commit a much worse (and real) sin: You're now a liar.

And Bill Weld, who aspires to lose the New York gubernatorial race, has done just that.

March 2nd, 2004:

ADVOCATE: So are you saying you now support same-sex marriage?

WELD: I have read the opinions in the case, and while they are all thoughtful, scholarly, and serious, I do believe the case was correctly decided.

Dec. 5th, 2005:

NY OBSERVER: I'm sorry, didn't you support the Massachusetts court ruling that validated gay marriage in Massachusetts?

WELD: No. No. I said that you can't repeal it by a statute, which is quite true as a matter of law.

What a kowtowing wretch, sacrificing his support of equal rights for gays in a feeble attempt to gain the endorsement of the Conservative Party. Bill Weld was praised in the past for what appeared to be a courageous effort to buck the Republican establishment on gay equality. Now, he's backed down - and lied about it.

The Log Cabin Republicans extolled Weld for his support of the Massachusetts gay marriage decision just last August. I wonder if they'll say anything about Weld's latest flip-flop and lying cover-up.

Posted at 09:42 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

IL-Gov: Yikes! Blago Looking Weak

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Rasmussen (likely voters, no trendlines):

Blagojevich: 37
Topinka: 48
(MoE: ±4.5%)

Judy Baar Topinka is the GOP's strongest candidate, but she still has to weather a primary before she takes on incumbent Dem Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Nonetheless, this poll looks very bad for Blago. Of course, it's just one survey and we don't have trendlines, so I'm not about to start wigging out. But given how devastated the IL GOP is, it's sad to think that this seat might be in any danger at all.

(Thanks to RandyMI.)

Posted at 02:11 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Illinois | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

MA-Gov: Reilly Has Lead Over Patrick

Posted by DavidNYC

Independent primary polls seem to be all too rare. Fortunately, Suffolk University has given us one for the Dems running for MA-Gov (registered voters, no trendlines):

Tom Reilly: 39
Deval Patrick: 30
Undecided: 31
(MoE: ±4.9%)

Suffolks says that Reilly once had a forty-point lead, but that was a year ago, so I'm not including that as a trendline. Both men beat the likely GOP candidate, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, though Reilly's margin is quite a bit bigger. He wins 47-32, while Patrick wins 39-32.

However, Reilly has much higher name recognition (35-33 favorability, and an additional 25% who've heard of him but have no opinion), while Patrick is at 19-11-33. In other words, only 8% of respondents said they've never heard of Reilly, while 38% said that about Patrick. If Patrick can close that name reco gap, then Reilly is probably in trouble - something which will no doubt delight many netroots activists.

P.S. Props to Suffolk for releasing extensive crosstab info. Also, good work on framing the name rec questions - I like being able to know the split between "no opinion" and "never heard of the guy."

Posted at 10:46 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, February 04, 2006

NY-Gov: Pathetic

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh man, this is just sad:

As William F. Weld runs for governor of New York this year, his campaign has put a new spin on the old political rule of having a positive message.

Campaign aides have significantly altered two newspaper articles on his Web site about his bid for governor, removing all negative phrases about him, like "mini-slump" and "dogged by an investigation," and passages about his political problems.

Also removed were references to a federal investigation of Decker College, a Kentucky trade school that Mr. Weld led until he left to run for governor last fall; the college collapsed into bankruptcy weeks later amid allegations of financial aid fraud. And criticism of Mr. Weld by a former New York Republican senator, Alfonse D'Amato, was removed.

I think LarryInNYC has it exactly right:

One wonders -- is there still time for Jeannine Pirro to switch from the Attorney General's race to the Gubernatorial? If so, she'd be the first candidate to complete the hattrick -- failing to be elected Senator, Attorney General, and Governor in the same year!

Too funny.

Posted at 12:41 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

VA-Lege: Dems Pick Up Another Seat in Special Election

Posted by DavidNYC

Democrat Mark Herring won a special election to VA's state Senate tonight. What makes this especially welcome news is that the seat was formerly held by a Republican, so this counts as a pickup for us. I believe the margin in that chamber is now 23-17. Virginia's on a roll - excellent work, guys!

Posted at 08:50 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Special Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NY-Gov: Golisano is Out

Posted by DavidNYC

So bazillionaire businessman Tom Golisano has decided not to run for governor. While Golisano was never a threat to Spitzer, his personal fortune would have allowed him to cause all kinds of mischief. With a gang of true nobodies now vying for the GOP nomination, Spitzer will be able to husband his resources and spend more time campaigning for down-ticket candidates.

Posted at 12:46 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, January 26, 2006

NY-Gov: Spitzer Supports Gay Marriage, Suozzi Doesn't

Posted by DavidNYC

Tom Suozzi:

He also opposed gay marriage but supported a civil unions law for same-sex partners.

Eliot Spitzer:

He countered by saying that, as governor, he would introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Posted at 02:38 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

CA-Gov: Arnold's Opponents Lose a Little Ground

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Rasmussen (likely voters, mid-Dec. in parens):

Angelides: 39 (44)
Schwarzenegger: 41 (40)

Westly: 40 (46)
Schwarzenegger: 39 (39)
(MoE: ±4.5%)

Arnold's favorability margin improved somewhat, though his head-to-head numbers didn't. What's strange about this poll is that both Westly's & Angelides' overall name reco seems to have dropped. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they were unsure about Angelides, while only 26% said so in December. Westly, meanwhile, went from 30% all the way to 49%. This probably explains why their top-line numbers also declined.

I don't have access to the crosstabs because I'm not a Rasmussen subscriber, but double-digit shifts to "unsure" (almost 20% in Westly's case) seem really wacky. This may just mean there was a skewed sample in either this poll or the previous one. Since Rasmussen has pledged to poll every major race every month, we should be able to tell which one was accurate come February.

Posted at 09:20 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

OH-Gov: Montgomey (R) Dropping out of Race

Posted by DavidNYC

Republican State Auditor Betty Montgomery is dropping out of the race for Ohio governor. That leaves Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Attorney General Jim Petro to compete for the nomination. (In a recent Rasmussen poll, she performed the worst against the only Dem candidate, Rep. Ted Strickland.) Montgomery is instead going to seek the AG nomination (shades of Pirro), an office she once held but was term-limited out of in 2002.

(Thanks to Earl in Ohio.)

Posted at 12:12 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, January 23, 2006

NY-Gov: Spitzer Taps Patterson; Nassau Lege in Disarray; Golisano Filing

Posted by DavidNYC

First, Eliot Spitzer has asked state Senate Minority Leader David Patterson to be his "running-mate." I put that phrase in quotes because in NY, there are (ridiculously) separate primary elections for Gov. and Lt. Gov. (They run on one ticket in the general.) So it's conceivable that Spitzer would win the nomination while his favorite choice for second-chair loses. In fact, this happened in 1998, when Peter Vallone's preferred choice, Clyde Rabideau, lost to Sandra Frankel. At the time, though, Vallone didn't command nearly the power that Spitzer does now, and the gubernatorial nomination was much more hotly contested. So I think Spitzer's endorsement is likely to carry the day.

This is really all just pure politics, though. The Lt. Gov. has no important duties in NY except to replace the Governor in the event of incapacity or removal from office. So finding the ideal Lt. Gov. is really mostly a matter of creating some kind of perceived balance on the ticket. Eliot's obviously going for ethnic, not geographic, diversity - Patterson is black, but also hails from Manhattan. Patterson also has a pretty compelling bio (read the NYT story for more).

NYCO raises one angle not covered in the NYT story (which itself reads almost like a bloggy tea-leaf reading exercise). Patterson has been heavily involved with the Democratic effort to retake the state Senate - a goal which is tantalizingly within reach. This is of enormous importance because if the Dems can retake and hold the Senate, and if Spitzer can win a second term in 2010, we will be in a commanding position to shape redistricting for the 2012 elections. I imagine, though, that Patterson would not leave the Senate without ensuring that his efforts are in good hands.

Anyhow, in some other related news, Tom Suozzi is seeking to govern the whole of New York State, but he can't even seem to govern his own county these days. A couple of rebel Democratic county legislators, working with the Republicans, have shut down the Nassau legislature. If Suozzi can't handle a couple of wayward Dems - including one goon who's thrice filed for bankruptcy, lied about serving in Vietnam and even lied about graduating college - then how can he hope to command respect in Albany? The point, of course, is entirely academic. Suozzi isn't going to beat Spitzer - the last Q-Poll had Eliot up 72-8 (yes, 8).

Finally, the Daily News is reporting that Tom Golisano is about to jump in on the Republican side, and he may spend up to $125 million of his own money. Kind of sad that he wants to waste so much money on a losing effort (he's spent enormous sums before, only to lose three times in a row), but hey, it's his cash.

Posted at 04:19 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, January 19, 2006

PA-Gov: Swann Surges Against Rendell

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Rasmussen on PA-Gov (likely voters, Nov. in parens):

Rendell: 45 (50)
Swann: 43 (36)

Rendell: 46 (47)
Scranton: 36 (39)
(MoE: ±4.5%)

Ed Rendell is the incumbent Democratic Governor. The Republicans are Lynn Swann, a former star received for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Bill Scranton, a former Lt. Gov. Swann just formally announced his candidacy a couple of weeks ago and may be benefitting from the media coverage. The stability of the Rendell-Scranton numbers suggests, at least, that Rendell is not to blame for Swann's surge.

Here's my question to Pennsylvanians: Rendell is the consummate pol's pol and strikes me as unlikely to make too many obvious mistakes. But does Swann have what it takes to be as slick on the campaign trail as he was on the gridiron? Or is he coasting on star power and name rec now, only to get taken down once things heat up?

Posted at 11:19 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Pennsylvania | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, January 14, 2006

NY-Gov: Now It's Too Late

Posted by DavidNYC

Just the other day, I suggested that Tom Suozzi could still back out from his stupid, politically suicidal plan to challenge Eliot Spitzer for the gubernatorial primary. Well, now it's too late. Ala Jeanine Pirro, he's not exactly off to a smooth start:

"That's good policy stuff I just gave you. Eliot's been running for a [expletive] year and he hasn't -- " Mr. Suozzi stopped himself at that point, then asked if the comment could be excluded from this article. However, there was no prior agreement in place to allow Mr. Suozzi to select his remarks.

If Suozzi sticks it out until September, his only friends left will be the greedy Wall Street Republicans who are bitter that they got caught behaving improperly by Spitzer. But at this point, Suozzi doesn't seem like someone whom any sense can be smacked into. This is going to be a long, stupid, ugly, pointless primary, with an outcome as clear today as it will be on election day. Sigh. What a waste.

Posted at 02:53 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, January 12, 2006

NY-Gov: Tom Suozzi's Brain

Posted by DavidNYC

So Nassau County exec Tom Suozzi thinks he wants to challenge Eliot Spitzer. Here are possible scenarios for Suozzi, with my estimated likely outcome percentages:

1) He beats Spitzer in a primary. Ha ha.

2) He loses embarrassingly. 75% chance.

3) He loses, but by some arbitrary margin which insiders and the media agree means that he "did surprisingly well" and "raised his profile across the state." 25% chance.

Don't forget that no matter what the outcome, he will earn the undying ill will of many if not most Democrats throughout the state. I'm probably over-estimating Suozzi's odds of nailing #3, but in any event, that's his best-case scenario. But what does that even get him? In other words, where does he go with his newly-enhanced profile? Here are his options, and how viable they each look to me:

• Primary challenge again to incumbent Governor Eliot Spitzer in 2010. Whatever.

• Primary challenge to Senator-for-Life Chuck Schumer in 2010. Uh huh.

• Primary challenge to Spitzer's appointed replacement for Hillary Clinton (should she become President), presumably in 2010. Suozzi certainly won't be Spitzer's appointee. Bleak.

• Vie for Hillary's senate seat in 2012, possibly against Hillary herself. Ugh if it's Hillary. If it's an open seat, it'll be a lively primary, and Suozzi will be six years away from his crowning achievement... a primary loss to the incumbent governor.

Suozzi's choices, in other words, suck, no matter what. But what I should really say is that any overly ambitious New York politician not named Spitzer, Schumer or Clinton will have to cool his or her heels for quite a few years yet to come. There just aren't any good opportunities to move up the ranks (except for Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is poised for a strong NYC mayoral run in 2009).

Suozzi is manifestly impatient, to the point that it's very dangerous to his own dreams. Any run against Spitzer, as I say, would lead to a harsh and permanent backlash against him from many quarters. Moreover, he's already behaving in damaging ways - allegedly courting an endorsement from Republican (!) Tom Golisano, and receiving loud backing from Home Depot CEO & bigtime winger Kenneth Langone (who harbors a grudge against Spitzer).

Politicians do dumb stuff all the time. Most of the time (perhaps sadly) those stupid mistakes can be overcome. Tom Suozzi is about to embark on a different kind of mistake, though - the kind which can't be repaired or forgiven, and which will never be forgotten. I think his ability to damage Spitzer is mercifully quite limited, but I hate to see this kind of ridiculousness regardless. It's not too late to back out. I still maintain he should challenge Peter King in NY-03 (Suozzi lives in King's district). I hope he changes his mind.

Posted at 01:59 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

HI-Gov: Do Dems Finally Have a Candidate?

Posted by DavidNYC

On the good side: The Dems may finally have a candidate to take on Republican HI Gov Lindle Lingle. Though he's still mulling his choices, former state Sen. Randall Iwase says "every fiber of my being wants to run for governor." That's a lot better than the usual wishy-washy stuff you hear from candidates contemplating a run for higher office.

On the bad side: Iwase's been out of office since 2000 - that's the better part of a decade, now that we're into 2006. And I think Derrick DePledge (writing in the Honolulu Advertiser) gets this one pretty much right:

Without personal wealth or solid commitments of state or national fundraising, a candidate with no statewide name recognition, like Iwase, would have to build an extensive grass-roots network of support to be competitive against Lingle.

Iwase is not a strong candidate - certainly, at least, compared to, say, Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Still, like I say, at least we may have someone.

(Thanks to Taegan Goddard.)

Posted at 11:44 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Hawaii | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VT-Gov: Douglas With a Big Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

Jim Douglas, the Republican Governor of Vermont, holds a large lead over his Democratic opponent, former state Sen. Scudder Parker, according to Rasmussen (likely voters, no trendlines):

Parker: 31
Douglas: 54
Undecided: 11
(MoE: 4.5%)

Frustrating, given how Democratic Vermont usually is. It's hard for me to see how Parker might break through at this point - Douglas is very popular (65-26 approval rating, good for 8th out of 50, according to SUSA). And ethics scandals currently devastating the national GOP are likely to leave most Republican state officials in the clear. I hate to be a pessimist, but barring some unforeseeable major changes, the VT governor's mansion may well be out of reach for us this year. Fortunately, the governor only gets to serve a two-year term, so we'll get another crack at Douglas before long.

Meanwhile, independent Bernie Sanders is cruising in his bid to replace Sen. Jim Jeffords. So it looks like the House race will be Vermont's most interesting election this year. Sanders, by the way, is backing Democrat Peter Welch, and is advising left-wing third party candidates to avoid jumping into the race.

Posted at 10:16 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Vermont | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

ME House: Legislator Leaves Dems

Posted by DavidNYC

So a state legislator in Maine has bolted the Democratic Party. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be news except for the fact that this now leaves the Maine House in a tie between Republicans and Democrats. (The upper house is held by the Dems, as is the statehouse.) Maine reps are up for re-election this fall. Mainers: Can this setback be reversed? Or is it a worrisome sign for the future? (This is the third Dem to become an independent in the past year.)

Posted at 05:22 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Maine | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

MN: Despite Pawlenty's Games, Dems Win Two State Lege Races

Posted by DavidNYC

Jerkass Governor Tim Pawlenty, who apparently views participatory democracy as a game, recently scheduled a special election two days before Thanksgiving. In a bid to out-do himself, he then scheduled another special election for two days after Christmas - ie, today. This was all done in an effort to suppress Dem turnout. Guess what? He failed in November, and he failed again in December. From a DLCC press release (no link):

Tonight, Democrats were victorious in two special elections in Minnesota.

The decision by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty to schedule two special elections during the holidays - a move many view as politically motivated - did not stop voters from coming out to support Tarryl Clark (DFL) for State Senate in the 15th District and Larry Haws (DFL) for the Minnesota House election in District 15B.

The win by Clark expanded the Democratic majority in the Minnesota Senate to 38 seats while the GOP holds only 29. Haws' victory in the uncontested election in Minnesota House District, allowed the Democrats to maintain their hold on 66 seats to the Republicans' 68.

Excellent work, MN Dems! By the way, Clark's story shows why even losing can be valuable. She ran twice before and lost, but very narrowly the last time out. This time, with an open seat, she was able to build on her name recognition and experience - and seize the day. As I've said before, it's why guys like Ben Konop really need to think about running again when seats open up.

In any event, it sure would be nice if MN Dems could close that two-seat House gap sometime before 2010, as Minnesota is a state where the legislature is in charge of redistricting.

Posted at 11:30 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Minnesota | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

AZ-Gov: Napolitano Leading All Comers

Posted by DavidNYC

I personally think that incumbent Dem gov Janet Napolitano is safe next year. Rasmussen, at least in the early going, agrees (likely voters, no trendlines):

Janet Napolitano: 50
Don Goldwater: 30
Other: 3
Not Sure: 17

Janet Napolitano: 56
John Greene: 23
Other: 6
Not Sure: 16

Janet Napolitano: 52
Jan Florez: 25
Other: 7
Not Sure: 16
(MoE: ±4.5%)

Who are the potential challengers? Don Goldwater, nephew of Barry; John Greene, former President of the State Senate; and Jan Florez, fomer state appeals court judge.

Here's the thing. I think any incumbent with numbers like these - especially a Dem in a red state - is in a pretty commanding position. Yes, a lot can happen in a year, but closing (at a minimum) at twenty-point lead is no mean feat - especially when, lately, we've seen more undecideds ultimately going with incumbents than they have in the past.

Therefore, I think it may be a bit soon to say that another Arizona incumbent positioned (at least superficially) in the same way as Napolitano is "struggling." That would be AZ GOP Sen. Jon Kyl, who is also leading by a 50-30 margin in another Rasmussen poll taken at the same time.

Now, the comparison may only be superficial indeed. I think Jim Pederson, with his money and network, is a much stronger candidate against Kyl than any of these no-names are against Napolitano. And she's a lot more popular than Kyl (13th of 50 governors vs. 90th of 100 senators). And, of course, 2006 is shaping up to be a year that favors the Dems.

My gut tells me that the odds of AZ-Sen becoming interesting are a lot higher than AZ-Gov becoming a serious race. But Pederson still has some serious work cut out for him if this race is going to become competitive. Once we have a pollster whose been in the field twice (I bet Rasmussen will be first to the punch), we'll finally get to see some trendlines and be able to gauge momentum.

Posted at 01:56 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Arizona | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, December 26, 2005

AK-Gov: A Return for Knowles?

Posted by DavidNYC

One of the bitterest losses last year was up in Alaska. Popular former Gov. Tony Knowles lost by just three points to "incumbent" Sen. Lisa Murkowski. I put incumbent in quotes because, despite her minimal qualifications, she had been tapped to fill a brief Senate vacancy by the state's governor. Who happened to have created the vacancy himself by leaving the Senate to become governor. And who also happened to be her father. It especially sticks in my craw because Lisa M. is pretty unpopular (60th, vs. 10 for AK's super-senior senator, Ted Stevens).

But there's a silver lining to all this - a very shiny, lustrous silvery lining indeed, at least for Democrats. Frank M. (Lisa's daddy) is now the second-least popular American governor in all creation. His approval rating stands at an astounding 27-69. (Frank says a prayer for #50 Bob Taft's health every day.) Indeed, Frank may not even run again. This gives Tony Knowles a golden opportunity to reclaim his old office. TK was term-limited out in 2002, but the AK state constitution allows a former Governor to run again after a one-term interval.

And it looks like TK is at least thinking about tossing his hat back in. The AK Dems recently touted a public appearance by Knowles - the first time they've done so since he lost to Lisa M. last year. Of course, this is just tea-leaf reading right now, and there already are two Dem candidates in the mix: State Reps. Eric Croft and Ethan Berkowitz.

Pollster Ivan Moore claims that any one of these guys - Croft, Berkowitz or Knowles - could beat Frank. However, two things: First, in eleven straight polls last year, Moore had Knowles leading Lisa, including a two-point margin in his final poll in mid-October. So that's something of a mark against him. But second, and more importantly, if Murkowski decides not to run again, then the GOP will probably have a more formidable candidate (ie, one without all that baggage and those horrible negatives).

In that scenario, we'd want our biggest guns blazing - and that would take the form of Tony Knowles. Fact is, we'd want the strongest guy we can muster no matter whom the Republicans put forth, even if it is Frank. As I'm sure you've gathered from this post, I'd like to see Knowles jump in, but TK has to make up his mind soon, though. By keeping everyone on tenterhooks, he makes it a lot harder for Croft and Berkowitz to raise money and gain traction. Let's hope we hear from him before long.

Posted at 04:28 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alaska | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

MI-Gov: Granholm Cruising

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Michigan-based EPIC/MRA on the gubernatorial race there between Dem incumbent Jennifer Granholm and Republican businessman Dick DeVos ("active" voters, Oct. in parens):

Granholm: 58 (53)
DeVos: 35 (30)
Undecided: 7 (17)
(MoE: ±4%)

The usual caveat applies to these early polls: Granholm's challenger is largely unknown. DeVos hasn't been able to gain any traction - his d/ks are in the low 60s and have remained unchanged since early July. That will probably eventually change, and the race will tighten. Fortunately for Granholm, she remains popular - 64-29 favorability rating and good job approval numbers as well. (The poll breaks those down into five categories, so they can't be neatly summarized, but they decidedly tilt in Granholm's favor.)

One thing which mystifies me is this "right direction/wrong track" stuff. What I mean to say is that I never know what to make of it, in any poll. Is it an important question? Does it signify anything? I'm at a loss, especially because of the numbers here. Only 23% of respondents said they felt the state was on the "right direction" while 61% said "wrong track." How come, then, majorities support the incumbent governor as to all the other questions? Any thoughts?

Posted at 12:14 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Michigan | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Raise a Ruckus: Bush Fundraising for Steele

Posted by DavidNYC

Sorry for the late notice, but tomorrow morning at 10am, Marylanders will protest Bush's fundraising appearance for Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. As I say below, it's important to make sure that the media and the public realize exactly who supports Steele - and whom he supports.

I like the idea some Arizonans had when Bush came to town for Jon Kyl just last night - they formed a human chain from Kyl's office to the location the fundraiser was held to demonstrate the "link" between the two men. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any photos of that bit of guerilla theater. So Marylanders, if you've got any tricks like that up your sleeve tomorrow, please take pictures. And raise a ruckus!

Follow this link for complete details. Thanks to Nick in comments for the info.

Posted at 09:51 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Maryland | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Gov: Coleman Drops Out of Dem Primary

Posted by DavidNYC

Michael Coleman, the mayor of Columbus, has dropped out of the running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Ohio. This means Ted Strickland, who represents OH-06, will be our nominee. I haven't been following this race too closely, so I don't have an opinion as to who would have been the stronger candidate. There wasn't much polling, either - a Columbus Dispatch poll from September showed a close primary race, but with lots of undecideds. Of course, this was the Dispatch's notorious, wildly wrong mail-in poll, so to me, those numbers mean nothing.

Of concern is the district Strickland is leaving behind. Superribbie ranks it as our fifth most-endangered Dem-held seat. And according to Dave Leip's numbers, the district went narrowly for Bush last year (by less than a percentage point). Thanks to Ohio's outrageous gerrymander, that actually makes it Ohio's sixth-most Democratic district. Our guy here is State Sen. Charlie Wilson, whom Superribbie calls an "excellent candidate." (The DCCC also lists one Diane Murphy as running for this seat, but I can't seem to find a website for her.)

Posted at 07:25 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Bush Pimping for Ehrlich and Steele in MD

Posted by DavidNYC

Maryland is a very blue state. It's a challenge for any Republican to win there statewide. And yet two if its most prominent Republicans, Gov. Bob Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, are apparently sucking up to George Bush without hesitation. Dubya is coming to town for some fundraising events (not that it's very far from home), and I wonder how well that'll play during the general election campaign.

Someone, though, needs to explain this bit to me:

Bush's stop at a $125-a-plate fundraising luncheon at M&T Bank Stadium - attendees who contribute $5,000 get a photograph with Bush - will drum up early campaign cash for Steele.

$5,000? That's more than the maximum, even for a couple (who can give $2,100 each or $4,200 combined). What's going on here?

These kinds of visits can't be dismissed, though. Bush is still an incredibly powerful fundraiser - he just raked in $1.4M for Jon Kyl last night in Arizona, a state record. Doubtless this visit will bolster Steele and Ehrlich financially. But that's all the more reason why Dems have to turn this lemonade back into lemons, by roping President Albatross as tightly around their opponents' necks as possible.

Posted at 02:37 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Maryland | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 28, 2005

MA-Gov: Healy (R) Looking Weak

Posted by DavidNYC

Mitt Romney is running for president. He's not running for re-election as governor of Massachusetts. Everyone seems to agree on that.

Here's something you probably didn't realize - or at least, haven't contemplated for a long while: Massachusetts has not had a Democratic governor since Michael Dukakis left office in 1991. Hard to believe for a state where both senators and ten of ten congressmen are Democrats.

But a new poll puts wind in the sails for long-suffer Massachusetts Dems. Romney's likely successor, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, is getting badly beaten by all comers (registered voters, mid-Sept. in parens):

Reilly: 56 (49)
Healey: 25 (28)

Galvin: 49 (43)
Healey: 28 (32)

Patrick: 44 (31)
Healey: 36 (32)
(MoE: ±5.1%)

The Dems are Mass AG Tom Reilly; Mass Secretary of the Commonwealth (aka Secretary of State) Bill Galvin; and Deval Patrick, former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Clinton. And just also be aware of the fairly high margin of error.

Healey's approval is 32-33, with 37% saying they don't know who she is. Unfortunately, State House did not ask for approval ratings (or plain name reco) for the Dems, but I'm gonna guess that they aren't any higher than Healey's - if anything, they may be lower (especially Patrick's). You can't get cocky here, of course - I though Bob Reich would beat Romney three years ago, simply because of how Democratic the state is. But at least in the early going, Mass Dems might have a legit chance to retake a statehouse that has been out of our grasp for almost fifteen years.

Posted at 11:56 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

NY-Gov: Tom Suozzi, What Are You Thinking?

Posted by DavidNYC

According to the New York Observer and Newsday, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi is seriously looking to challenge Eliot Spitzer for the NY gubernatorial nomination. There is no way Suozzi can beat Spitzer - the only thing he can do is raise his own profile. But he will also create a lot of enmity - enmity which would far outweigh any increased name recognition he might earn, in my opinion.

NY also has an obscenely late primary date (September), which is designed to protect incumbents. Fortunately, Spitzer won't be facing an incumbent, but if he has to waste time fending off Suozzi, that curtails his ability to turn his guns on whomever his Republican opponent will be. If I were Spitzer, I might try ignoring Suozzi altogether. If the first poll of a hypothetical primary puts Suozzi's support in the teens and Spitzer's at or over 50% (as I'd expect), then this strategy might work.

On the other hand, maybe those news reports are wrong. We can only hope.

(Via Political Wire.)

Posted at 10:23 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, November 11, 2005

More on State Legislatures

Posted by DavidNYC

Some interesting facts from the DLCC (not to be confused with the DLC). These guys are the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the folks who help Democrats get elected to state legislatures throughout the country. Take a look:

• Dems gained 46 legislative seats nationwide in 2004, moving 10 legislatures into Democratic control, while only four became GOP-held.

• Dems gained one seat (or possibly two) in NJ and one seat in VA this year.

• As a result, Dems now have eight more legislative seats nationwide than the Republicans (3,661 vs. 3,653). Not an especially meaningful measure of legislative strength, but at least it's an indicator that Dems haven't fallen behind on the state level, even if they have on Capitol Hill.

• Don't dismiss the importance of state legislatures - they are our political farm system: 57% of congressmen and 44% of governors once served as state legislators.

• This is the big one: Twenty of the 36 states in which state legislatures control redistricting are within just four seats of switching party control. These 20 states represent 195 congressional districts.

I'd love to see a list of the states mentioned in that last point, but unfortunately, the DLCC doesn't seem to name them. I did identify 37 state legislative bodies with eight-seat margins or narrower (ie, a four-seat change would shift control, or at least create a tie). The list is in the extended. Hopefully the DLCC will elaborate soon.

Alaska Upper
Arizona Upper
Colorado Lower
Colorado Upper
Delaware Upper
Illinois Upper
Indiana Lower
Iowa Lower
Iowa Upper
Kentucky Upper
Maine Lower
Maine Upper
Michigan Lower
Michigan Upper
Minnesota Lower
Minnesota Upper
Mississippi Upper
Montana Lower
Montana Upper
Nevada Upper
New Hampshire Upper
New Jersey Upper
New Mexico Upper
New York Upper
North Carolina Lower
North Carolina Upper
Oklahoma Upper
Oregon Lower
Oregon Upper
South Carolina Upper
Tennessee Lower
Tennessee Upper
Texas Upper
Virginia Upper
Washington Upper
West Virginia Upper
Wisconsin Upper

Posted at 04:47 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Monday, November 07, 2005

IL-Gov: Topinka in Against Blago

Posted by DavidNYC

Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) is not an especially popular guy. Among other things, he ranks in the bottom tier in gubernatorial approval, a poll in early October gave him just a 35-42 re-election number, and by most accounts, he hasn't had a very successful first term in office.

So it's not much of a surprise that the most popular - only popular? - Republican in the state, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, has decided to toss her hat into the Republican primary ring. There are five guys already in the race, but they are mostly low name-rec nobodies, with the possible exception of uber-conservative Jim Oberweis, best known for losing in the IL Senate primary last year to disgraced ultra-loser Jack Ryan. Topinka stands at 81% name recognition and holds an impressive lead (31-15 over her nearest challenger) in a hypothetical primary matchup.

However, don't fret too much. Blago has somehow managed to amass an enormous warchest - $14 million and counting.That's some serious Hillary-level scrilla. Plus, IL has become very blue of late, so that's a natural advantage - plus, as I need remind no one, the national GOP is imploding, which is yet another natural advantage for us. Nonetheless, this race probably just got moved into the "interesting" category thanks to Topinka.

(Trib story thanks to mlkisler.)

Posted at 12:27 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Illinois | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, November 04, 2005

A Survey of New Hampshire

Posted by DavidNYC

Last year, New Hampshire provided a rare bright spot for Dems nationwide. For one, it was the only state which switched from red to blue on the presidential front. For another, Democrat John Lynch ousted the sitting governor, Republican Craig Benson - and Lynch, too, was the only Dem to oust a GOP governor that year. It marked a nice turn-around from the huge disappointment of two years earlier, when Jeanne Shaheen lost the race for an open senate seat to (shudder) John Sununu, Jr. Of course, nothing can ever soothe our wounds from 2000, when the combined Gore + Nader vote exceeded the total Bush vote... gah. But anyhow. Back to the present.

Like in neighboring Vermont, where Howard Dean seemed to have served 17 terms in a 5-year span, the New Hampshire governorship has a very short tenure - just two years. So Lynch is up for re-election next fall. The good news is that New Hampshirites love him. The University of New Hampshire's just-released new poll (PDF) gives him a whopping 71-9 job approval rating. (Bob Taft must be thinking, "Surely you mean 9-71?") Believe it or not, that's up 10 points from the last poll (in July). These findings are backed up by Survey USA, which shows Lynch at 70-21 - good enough for fourth-best in the nation and tops among Democrats. I have no doubt Lynch will be safe in 2006.

On the flipside, things aren't looking so hot for the members of the state's all-Republican Congressional delegation. I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty rare for sitting senators to have low or negative approval ratings - even Mr. Irrelevant (in this case, Li'l Ricky Santorum) manages to eke out a 45-48 rating. So I think you've gotta look at things on some sort of relative basis. With this in mind, it ain't exactly peachy for the NH GOP.

The odious cheapskate Sen. Judd Gregg (already a multi-millionaire, he just won $800K playing Powerball - can you believe it? - a day after voting against increasing the minimum wage) has a nifty +38 net approval - but that's his lowest mark in the four years UNH has been asking that question, and down 15 points from his high just over a year ago. Similarly, Sen. John Sununu is at +22, down 9 points from his recent high. Unfortunately, neither of these guys is up for re-election for a while.

But here's where it gets interesting. UNH also polled the state's two Representatives, which is nice to see because you don't get independent data on members of the House all that often. Turns out one of the few lucky bastards is incumbent Rep. Jeb Bradley (1st CD), whose favorability has increased of late. (That's not the interesting bit.) However, NH's other Congressman, Charlie Bass (2nd CD), is hurtin'. Bass stands at +24 in his home district, but that's waaay down from July of 2004 when he was at +41. A seventeen-point drop is something to get worried about.

UNH states what is no doubt obvious to all: That NH's GOPers are being hurt by Bush's poor approval - 37-61 at last count. I think the stench of endemic Republican corruption may also be playing a role here. Bradley, the less-endangered of the two Congressman, actually felt the need to give back fiifteen grand in tainted DeLay cash. Bass, who will probably face a stiff challenge, has decided to keep $7500 DeLay StinkyBucks (TM).

The Granite Prof. obliquely suggests that the reverse of the CW might be true - that Bradley caved on the StinkyBucks because he might be more at risk. I just think Bradley is smarter than Bass - and when you're in a safer seat, it's easier to give back money. Speaking of which, Bass's district went for Kerry in 2004, making him one of the few GOPers to hold a Democratic district. Superribbie puts Bass at #22 on his list of the most vulnerable House Republicans.

Now, Bass did win by a 20% margin in 2004. But if 2006 is a big Dem year - and I expect it will be - that's the kind of gap that can be overcome. Why do I say this? Because shifts like this have happened in the past in this very district. In 1992, Dick Swett, the Democrat who represented NH-02, won by a whopping 62-36 margin. One term later, in the Year of the Newt, Swett lost to a guy named - yep, you guessed it - Charlie Bass by a tally of 51-46. If the GOP can move 31 points in two years, then we can definitely move 20.

I'm not sure how the Dem side of things will shape up - it looks like 2004 challenger Paul Hodes is going to run again - but this race will definitely be one to watch.

(UNH poll via the Democratic Governors Association. Good material on the site, but time to start a blog, fellas.)

Posted at 12:10 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - State, New Hampshire | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, November 03, 2005

HI-Gov: Abercrombie (D) Won't Run

Posted by DavidNYC

Confirming our suspicions of last week, Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii won't run for governor next year. Interestingly, it looks like big players in HI politics (such as Sen. Daniel Inouye) were pushing Abercrombie not to seek higher office (apparently because of his seniority in Congress). Usually it feels like the situation is reversed, with the Chuck Schumers of the world pressuring people to take the ultimate statewide plunge.

Unfortunately, this means that the Dems out in paradise have no big names to challenge Lingle. I have this nagging feeling that Hawaii is trending Republican. Just one data-point: According to Survey USA, Bush still has a 39-54 approval rating in HI. But look at this chart - Hawaii stubbornly shows up as Bush's most favorable blue state (followed closely by Minnesota, another troublesome - and nominally - blue state).

Anyhow, I bring this up because even if 2006 is a big Dem year nationwide, I don't know how much of an effect that will have in Hawaii, where the winds of change seem headed in the opposite direction. A no-name candidate can potentially pull off a big upset in a landslide year - think George Pataki, 1994. But I don't think HI is fertile ground, especially since Lingle has pretty good approval ratings.

P.S. Does the DGA recruit candidates in the same way that the DSCC and DCCC do? Or are gubernatorial races strictly local affairs?

(Abercrombie story via Political Wire.)

Posted at 02:10 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Hawaii | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 27, 2005

AL-Gov: Seigelman Indicted - Again

Posted by DavidNYC

Some news out of AL:

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy were indicted by a federal grand jury in an alleged bribery and extortion scheme.

The 30-count indictment, returned today in Montgomery, Alabama, accuses Scrushy, 53, of paying $500,000 in bribes. Paul Hamrick, a former chief of staff to the governor, and Gary Roberts, the ex-director of the Alabama Department of Transportation, were also charged in the case.

Siegelman, 59, a Democrat, was governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003. The indictment alleges that Scrushy made two payments to Siegelman in exchange for appointing the business executive to an Alabama state board that approves hospital construction.

Fortunately, we still have a great - I'd say, much better - candidate for the Alabama gub race in Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley. Seigelman really, seriously ought to just step aside. Unfortunately, he's being really unreasonable.

P.S. Siegelman was indicted once before for a bid-rigging scheme, but the charges were dismissed as his case was proceeding to trial. This set of charges pertains to a different accusation entirely.

Posted at 04:15 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

HI-Gov: Abercrombie (D) to Decide Soon

Posted by DavidNYC

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) is close to deciding whether he'll run against incumbent Republican governor Linda Lingle. Through the rumor mill, though, I'm hearing he's gonna say no. His remarks strike me as leaning that way, too:

"I will make a decision shortly. This is not something that is going to hang on," Abercrombie said.

"(Gov.) Linda Lingle can and should be defeated for re-election. That is the fundamental premise, whether or not I do it," Abercrombie said.

"All I can say is I am very grateful for the kind and insightful and provocative thoughts that have come my way," Abercrombie said.

I hope Abercrombie does say yes, but I can understand if he declines - Lingle is pretty popular (61-32 a month ago) and probably won't go down easily, barring a Democratic tidal wave (which may yet happen).

Posted at 02:09 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Hawaii | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 20, 2005

KY-Gov: More Indictments in Hiring Scandal

Posted by DavidNYC

Texas isn't the only place where indictments are being handed up these days. Via BluegrassReport, a new development in the Kentucky state government hiring scandal:

A special grand jury investigating state hiring practices has indicted Kentucky Republican Party Treasurer Dave Disponett and party official J. Marshall Hughes on charges of criminal conspiracy and political discrimination.

The charges are the first outside of state government in the investigation that has been going on for months. Disponett and Hughes are close supporters of Gov. Ernie Fletcher and there names have appeared frequently in e-mail exchanges about job candidates.

Mark of Bluegrass says that the only people close to this scandal who remain unindicted are Governor Fletcher himself, Chief of Staff Stan Cave, and former general counsel (and current KY Supreme Court justice) John Roach. I'm thinking it's only a matter of time.

Posted at 03:55 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Kentucky | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

MO-Ballot: Wingers Eating Wingers

Posted by DavidNYC

A few days ago, we wrote about the pro-stem cell measure on the ballot in Missouri next year. Ultra-wingers want Republicans to oppose it, while big business is pushing hard for it. GOP politicians are trapped in the middle, and it's already causing rifts. Governor Matt Blunt is the first victim:

The Board of Directors of Missouri Right to Life announced today that Governor Matt Blunt can no longer be considered pro-life because of his support of an initiative petition that would establish in the Missouri Constitution the right to do cloning and embryonic stem cell research, and to use tax dollars to pay for these procedures.

Hopefully incumbent Sen. Jim Talent - up for re-election against a very strong opponent, State Auditor Claire McCaskill - will get tripped up in this whole mess, too.

(Via Jim Hacking.)

Posted at 03:19 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Missouri | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland Claims Credit for Democratic Party Chaos

Posted by Bob Brigham

During the Ohio Special Election, I had the opportunity to meet Congressman Ted Strickland and he seemed like a good guy. But like too many politicians who have been in DC for too long, all he cares about is which office he gets next. Now, Representative Strickland is claiming credit for forcing the flip-flop that has added chaos to the Ohio Democratic Party. Like a typical DC politician, Strictland announced he is to blame in a DC insider publication, The Hill. Note to Strickland: it isn't all about you.

As word of this travels through Ohio, I think we can expect a backlash against yet another DC politician who thinks he is the center of the universe.

Posted at 01:27 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 17, 2005

AL-Gov: Riley (R) in the Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

Last week, I wrote about the Republican primary in the Alabama governor's race. A new poll showed incumbent Republican Bob Riley taking a big lead over maniac ex-judge Roy Moore. Today, the same outfit - a combined venture of the University of South Alabama and the Mobile Register - releases polling on hypothetical general election matchups. And it doesn't look pretty for our side (registered voters, Feb. in parens):

Baxley: 33 (39)
Riley: 44 (35)
Undecided: 23 (26)

Siegelman 31 (34)
Riley: 46 (43)
Undecided: 23 (23)

Baxley: 44 (44)
Moore: 37 (38)
Undecided: 19 (18)

Siegelman: 40 (34)
Moore: 40 (44)
Undecided: 20 (22)
(MoE: ±5%)

On the Dem side, it's Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley vs. form Gov. Don Siegelman. In the last poll on the Dem primary (all the way back in January), Baxley led Siegelman 45-31. The latter evidently remains unpopular - he was indicted last year for allegedly participating in a bid-rigging scheme (though the charges were dismissed by a judge just as the case went to trial). I would expect Baxley to win the primary.

The February head-to-head results between Baxley and Riley were heartening, but man, that's a big delta - Baxley goes from +4 to -11. Why might this have happened?

My thesis in my earlier post on this race was that if the conservative base were truly deserting Bush over the Miers nomination, Riley would suffer because disaffected wingnuts would flock to the ideologically "purer" Moore. The earlier primary poll showed that the opposite was happening, and Riley seems not to have suffered at all in this general election poll.

The main alternate explanation for Riley's resurgence against Moore was that Riley's approval went up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, just as neighboring MS Governor Haley Barbour's did. (Poor Kathleen Blanco of LA seems to be the exception.) I hope this is the case, because impressions like that fade as people return to their lives and their everyday problems. (Bush saw a spike when Saddam was captured. That must seem like ages ago to him.)

We're a long way out, and I'm confident that Baxley, should she be our nominee, can run a strong race against Riley. I'd bet that the truth lies somewhere in between the February and October polls - in other words, the race will be very, very tight. And this is in Alabama, which just goes to show that you should never, ever write off entire segments of the country. Hell, even Bush only has a 51% approval rating here. A bit of a Dem tide in 2006 could definitely put this seat in our hands.

UPDATE: Reader John e-mails me with another poll on the primaries taken just days ago by SUSA. The Dem side shows Seigelman crushing Baxley, 54-24. That result is so wildly different from the January Register poll I mentioned above that I'm really not sure what to make of the situation, except to say that 10 months is a long time in politics. But if this poll is right, then my tentative prediction that Baxley would win the primary is probably shot.

The GOP side is even crazier. SUSA has Riley over Moore, 44-38. That's a hell of a lot closer than the 44-25 Riley lead that the Register claimed just a week ago. My head is spinning. Any thoughts?

Posted at 02:51 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 13, 2005

NY-Gov: Spitzer Still Smoking All Comers

Posted by DavidNYC

Yesterday I mentioned that zillionaire and perennial losing independent gubernatorial candidate Tom Golisano had joined the GOP. Siena College now obliges us with a new poll showing just how strong Eliot Spitzer is in the state (registered voters, late Aug. in parens):

Spitzer: 56 (52)
Golisano: 26 (28)
Undecided: 18 (21)

Spitzer: 62 (56)
Weld: 18 (19)
Undecided: 20 (26)

Spitzer: 63
Faso: 19
Undecided: 19
(MoE: 4%)

Faso? Whodat? You know you're seriously nobody when I have to Google you to discover that you're merely a former freakin' Assemblyman. Alright, so he was minority leader, and alright, he came close to beating Alan Hevesi for the state Comptroller's job a few years ago - but you'll forgive me for erasing him from my memory, considering that 78% of my fellow New Yorkers (according to Siena) also don't know enough to form an opinion on the guy.

It does seem, though, that there's a pretty simple correlation going on between name recognition and support among potential Republican voters. Golisano gets a 52% D/K and 26% of the vote, while Weld and Faso are basically the same (75/18 and 78/19, respectively). Three point of name reco seems to be worth about one point at the polls. I don't know what the usual ratio, but that strikes me as pretty sad-sack.

Anyhow, like I said earlier, Golisano's got money to spend, and spend it he will. But he still won't beat Spitzer, and it's looking like he'll have a loser's primary with Faso and Weld to even get a chance against Eliot.

Posted at 10:14 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Gov: Montgomery Releases Poll Numbers

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In a memo titled, "Montgomery Still the Only One Who Can Win the General," Betty Montgomery released her latest poll commissioned by The Tarrance Group.  Notably absent are number for a potential primary, which she undoubtedly paid for as well.  I think it's safe to assume that headline might have read, "Montgomery Getting Clocked Cleaned in Three-Way Primary." Anyway, here are the numbers (.pdf):

The Tarrance Group. MoE +/- 3.5%. 801 registered voters.

Ted Strickland (D): 43%
Ken Blackwell (R): 35%
Undecided: 22%

Michael Coleman (D): 44%
Ken Blackwell (R): 36%
Undecided: 20%

Ted Strickland (D): 39%
Betty Montgomery (R): 42%
Undecided: 19%

Michael Coleman (D): 37%
Betty Montgomery (R): 44%
Undecided: 19%

Ted Strickland (D): 41%
Jim Petro (R): 38%
Undecided: 22%

Michael Coleman (D): 39%
Jim Petro (R): 23%
Undecided: 39%

She paid for the poll, so take it with a grain of salt.  With all the recent developments in Ohio, I'd expect a slew of polls to come out on all sorts of races in the very near future.  Mayor Michael Coleman also put out some numbers recently, but they are in release form as opposed to the raw data supplied by Montgomery.

Posted at 03:38 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

NY-Gov: Golisano Turning (R) - Will He Jump In?

Posted by DavidNYC

From the NYT:

Tom Golisano, the businessman who helped found the state's Independence Party, ran for governor three times and spent tens of millions of dollars of his own money attacking George E. Pataki, became a Republican on Tuesday and announced that he was "seriously considering a bid for governor in my new party."

Golisano might make life difficult for Spitzer if only because he could spend jillions of his own money. (Work for a company? Get paid via an automatic check system? If it's not run by ADP, it's run by Paychex - which is Golisano's company and how he made his fortune.) However, Golisano would still have to fight a primary against Bill Weld. What a weird primary that would be.

I don't see Weld being remotely able to raise enough money to compete against Golisano, but as long as he stayed in the fight, it would be good for Spitzer. New York has a very late primary (September), so anything that keeps the GOP wrapped up until that point is probably a good thing.

Posted at 01:45 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CT-Gov: Blumenthal (D) Is Out

Posted by DavidNYC

Via a DKos diary: Connecticut Attorney General Dick Blumenthal (D) is officially out of the governor's race. Probably a wise move, given that incumbent Republican Jodi Rell (aka the accidental governor) has some of the highest approval ratings in the nation. The Dem primary now falls to a couple of mayors: Dannel Malloy (Stamford) and John DeStefano (New Haven). I don't know anything about Malloy, but I do know that I was unimpressed with DeStefano during the years I lived in New Haven.

On a related note, I wonder if, in the case of gubernatorial resignations, it might not be "be careful what you wish for." The Republican governors of both Ohio and Kentucky are embroiled in ethics scandals and might resign before their terms are up. Would their successors (either in office, or as candidates) wind up getting a huge (and lasting) bounce like Rell, or would they wind up more like middle-of-the-pack Richard Codey, the man who replaced McGreevy in NJ? Hard to know.

Posted at 10:50 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

WI-Gov: Doyle (D) with a Hefty Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

Earlier, we relayed some news from Josh Marshall about the stink of Abramoffian corruption bleeding into the campaign of Rep. Mark Green, candidate for Wisconsin governor. Today comes some good news for Jim Doyle, the Democratic incumbent. Take a look at this new poll from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (adults, no trendlines):

Doyle: 46
Green: 33
Undecided: 21
(MoE: ±5%)

This is a marked contrast to the Zogby Patented Happy Fun-Tymes Poll (TM), which had Green ahead 46-44. Whatever. (WPRI also shows Doyle swamping another GOP hopeful, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, 50-31.)

However, it's not all roses for Doyle. For one, Green appears to have low name recognition - though the internals maddeningly conflate "neutral opinion" with "don't know." I am sure Green's D/K is not 61% - I'd bet it's more like 30 to 40%. On the flipside, Doyle's favorables aren't very good - he's at 46-38, though apparently the 46% mark is the best of his career (PDF), according to the WPRI.

With 21% undecideds, and Green's name rec poised only to grow, I think there's a lot of room for this race to gyrate. I don't know how serious the Green-Walker primary battle is, but these sorts of things usually tend to give challengers more exposure. On the flipside, the primary in WI is very, very late - September of '06, so if it's a hard-fought battle, the eventual victor will have precious little time to change gears and wade into battle with Doyle.

The one odd thing about this poll is that it surveyed just adults - not registered (or likely) voters. I don't know what that tends to do with results, but I'd guess that people who are less politically inclined are probably more likely to support incumbents by default, simply by virtue of their greater name recognition. So it may mean that this poll tilts a little bit toward Doyle. Thoughts from those with insight on this detail would be greatly appreciated.

(Via jj32.)

Posted at 02:58 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Wisconsin | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

WI-Gov: GOP Campaign Manager on Abramoff Gravy Train

Posted by DavidNYC

Go read Josh Marshall for the complete take on this one. But here's the capsule summary:

Rep. Mark Green (R-WI, and not to be confused with the long-time New York politician of the same name) is running for governor in Wisconsin. It turns out that Green's campaign manager, one Mark Graul, has long been on Jack Abramoff's sleazy gravy train, repeatedly begging like a little kid for basketball tickets. (To see the Wizards? Man, this guy must have had no life.) To compound his sin, Graul has attempted a non-denial denial of his connections to Abramoff.

The upshot: The details of this relationship are publicly known because of Team Abramoff e-mails. If Eliot Spitzer has taught us anything, it's that e-mail will screw you every time. Good luck there, buddy.

So, two observations:

1) The obvious one: A schmendrick like Graul only gets luxury box tickets from a Republican bag man like Abramoff because he's perceived to have influence with his boss, Green. The odds that Green himself is not similarly tainted are, in my opinion, as low as Crazy Eddie's insane prices. Either way, incumbent Dem Governor Jim Doyle needs to make an issue out of this, big-time.

2) Speaking of which: The Republican culture of corruption is so deep, so wide, and so entrenched that almost every Democrat running for any office in any part of the country can and should - nay, must - push this issue and push it hard. People hate getting ripped off by the government, and that's exactly what the GOP's been up to for the past five years. We need to be totally unafraid in making this our national platform. If a few corrupt Democrats go down because of this, so be it - far, far more Republicans will pay the price.

Posted at 12:52 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Culture of Corruption, Wisconsin | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

MT-Sen: Tester's Email Fundraising

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I got another one today. An email from a candidate asking for money. It's common knowledge that the more a campaign uses its email list to ask for money, people will open less of their emails down the road, and their list will become burned.

But the email I received today was different, and frankly I have never seen it before. I sign up for all kinds of campaign emails, and I am not sure I can remember a time a candidate, in the middle of a campaign, asked people to give their money to something else. Something of a more immediate concern. Something more important than one campaign.

As I write this, waters continue to rise in New Orleans, where entire neighborhoods have been flooded. Biloxi, Mississippi has been hit hard. More than 37,000 Americans are already seeking shelter in American Red Cross centers all along the Gulf Coast. And the director of FEMA says tens of thousands more will likely require shelter for weeks, if not months.

So why is a U.S. Senate candidate from Montana asking you to help out?

Because it’s the right thing to do. Because this campaign isn’t just about politics—it’s about all of us pulling together to bring Montana values to Washington, D.C. and to the rest of the nation.

And in Montana, we help a neighbor in need. And sometimes that neighbor is very far away.

So please do what you can by supporting the efforts of the American Red Cross to help those affected by this disaster:


Thank you for helping out.

Jon Tester
Montanans for Tester

P.S. Please forward this on to your families and friends. Lives really are at stake, and your efforts can make a difference.

What really amazes me with this appeal is that for many, this is the first email they received from Jon Tester. Given his recently online publicity on the front page of Kos and MyDD, he made decision to make his first contact with many an attempt solicit contributions for a greater good than his campaign.

It makes me even more proud that my second ever contribution to a political campaign was John Testers, and it speaks volumes about the man.

UPDATE: (Bob) I was blown away when I opened the Tester email -- Tester is the real deal. I also got an email from Jon Corzine asking for help. As we come together online, our networks have value far beyond any election. Together, we can make a difference regardless of the challenge. The internet allows us all to act neighborly.

UPDATE: (Bob) I just received an email from a source close to the Chris Bell gubernatorial campaign in Texas. It appears that Bell's campaign was in the middle of an online fundraising drive to mark the launch of his campaign earlier this month. Bell suspended it earlier today and will be sending an email solicitation for the Red Cross tomorrow in place of the fundraising email that was scheduled. The website says:

I read the news today, oh boy. The Chris Bell for Governor campaign is calling off our online fundraising drive out of respect for the hurricane victims. Please do what you can for those who can't do for themselves. Please do as much as you can, and then please do more. We're taking down our fundraising thermometer and putting up the link to the Red Cross...

UPDATE: (Bob) And Howard Dean, full email after the jump...

This week millions of Americans fled Hurricane Katrina. Across the South families abandoned their homes and businesses, not knowing what would be there when they returned.

Many stayed behind and suffered devastating loss and injuries -- nearly a hundred have died that we know of, and hundreds of thousands need our help.

America is at its best when we realize that we are one community -- that we're all in this together. That means that each one of us has the responsibility to do what we can to help the relief effort.

The Red Cross is a great place to start:


They are already moving people and resources into the region to help. Donations will provide clean water, food, and shelter for disaster victims. The Red Cross web site also has important information for victims and their relatives across the country.

Many local Red Cross chapters are organizing volunteers to travel to affected areas -- doctors and nurses to provide medical care, workers to build shelters, first responders to assist in rescue operations.

You can find your local chapter here to learn what you can do:


We are still learning the full story of the devastation, but there is no time to wait. Please do something now.

Thank you.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Posted at 07:00 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Montana, Netroots, New Jersey, Texas | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, July 15, 2005

OH-Gov: GOP Looks to Fox for Good News

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Since Republicans have three tainted candidates running for Governor in Ohio, all vulnerable to the "pay-to-play" tactics that gave life to the "coingate" scandal, it shouldn't surprise anyone they are tuning into Fox News looking for a bit of good news lately. Many hope they have found it, and are urging anchor John Kasich to run for Governor.

Former Congressman John R. Kasich is being urged by some influential Republicans to run as a reform candidate for governor next year because he is untainted by Statehouse scandals. [...]

The source put the chances of a Kasich bid at "25 to 30 percent," adding that Kasich would have to give up lucrative private-sector jobs to run for the $131,000-a-year post.

The article shows the extreme panic that has set in at Republican HQ in Colubmus. The Dispatch reports that Kasich has told he will only run if the GOP promises to end its penchant for pay-to-play politics, and that he would have no problem running against Ken Blackwell whose fiscal proposals he views as "irresponsible."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party by their next best hope. Democrats have two solid candidates currently running for the post, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and Congressman Ted Strickland. Although, that number may dwindle down to one in the coming weeks.

Posted at 09:28 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, July 11, 2005

MI-Gov: Ted Nugent Running for Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham

Even though he lives in Crawford, Texas, Ted Nugent is looking to run for Governor of Michigan. Via Political Wire, we have his platform:

``To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em.''

It looks like he's running on the Nancy Grace platform.

Posted at 11:40 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Michigan | Technorati

Saturday, June 25, 2005

AZ-Gov: John Greene Running for Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the A.P.:

PHOENIX - Former state Senate President John Greene announced Thursday he's running for the Republican nomination for Arizona governor in hopes of ousting first-term Democratic incumbent Janet Napolitano.

Latest Poll:

A new statewide telephone poll of 357 registered voters conducted by KAET-TV/Channel 8 and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University between May 17 - 22, 2005, found that 79 percent of registered voters in Arizona rate Gov. Janet Napolitano's performance in office very good (32 percent) or good (47 percent). Sixteen percent gave her a negative rating. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the Republicans interviewed gave the governor a good performance rating, as did 95 percent of the Democrats and 80 percent of the political independents.

Adios Mofo.

Posted at 08:22 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Arizona | Technorati

Friday, June 24, 2005

NJ-Gov: Karl Rove Scandal Scalds Doug Forrester

Posted by Bob Brigham

I knew the Karl Rove scandal would have impacts in local elections when I received the following email with an hour of the scandal blowing up:

Vicious Karl Rove Just Raised Money for Republican Doug Forrester

I’m sure you’ve heard about Karl Rove calling liberals and Democrats traitors, and the White House supporting his comments.

I think it’s interesting that Karl Rove was just in New Jersey raising money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester: link

Now there is an Action Alert to contact NJ Gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester, New York City Mayor Michael Bloombloog and New York state Governor Bill Pataki. This already has support from Americablog, Eschaton, Steve Gilliard's News Blog, and Chris Bowers at MyDD.

From AmericaBlog:

Anti-Karl Rove Action Alert

Atrios suggests we all do the following. I agree:
This week Karl Rove headlined a couple of fundraisers for the Republican candidate for governor of New Jesrsey, Doug Forrester.

Call his campaign office and demand to know if Forrester stands by Karl Rove's assertion that Democrats like Dick Durbin are motivated by a desire to see troops die (especially if you live in New Jersey or imagine that you do). Demand that he return the money he raised. Find out if he's proud to stand with Karl Rove, and if also thinks that New Jersey Democrats are motivated by a desire to see our troops die.

email: info@doug2005.com

GOP Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has refused to repudiate what Rove's, Mehlman's, and the White House's assertion that YOU want to kill the troops and didn't give a damn about September 11. And remember folks, this is New York City, if they want to play that "liberal" card, let them. 80% of the city would call itself "liberal." So Bush thinks 80% of New Yorkers didn't give a damn about September 11. You're traitors, you dishonor the dead. When your friends died that day, you wanted to give Osama a hug.

Call Mayor Bloomber and demand he publicly repudiate the White House's slander against New Yorkers and all those who survived September 11. Bloomberg's wishy-washy statement about how we wishes all sides would stop politicizing September 11 is cute, but "all sides" weren't politicizing it. Only one party has. That would be the party he invited to hold its patriotic orgasm of a convention there last fall, the one that politicized September 11.

It's time for Bloomberg to tell New Yorkers, is he with them or against them? Does he stand by the White House's words that 80% of New Yorkers are motivated by a desire to kill our troops, and that 80% of NYers didn't give a damn about September 11? Answer the damn question, or don't be mayor.

Email bloomberg here.

Then make some phone calls to Bloomberg's press people:

Edward Skyler, Robert Lawson, Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958


Pataki refused to even give a wishy-washy answer yesterday about the White House's slander of NYers and all Americans. He stood by Rove 100%. Give him a call too, and demand that he publicly repudiate this disgusting use of the 9/11 dead to help George Bush's polls.

Main governor's office phone: 518-474-8390, 212-681-4580
Email the governor here

Lynn Rasic (Governor)
(212) 681-4640

Forrester, Bloomberg and Pataki need to do the right thing by denouncing Karl Rove and returning the poisoned money.

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, New Jersey, New York, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, June 02, 2005

NY-Gov: Thomas R. Suozzi to Run

Posted by Bob Brigham

The New York Times plays the role of trial balloon for Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. Steve Gilliard shoots it down:

If Tom Suozzi wants to commit political suicide, that is his right, but he should talk to Andy Cuomo first. Because he almost ruined his career running against Carl McCall.

The best thing for him to do is lay low or run for Lieutenant Governor, not challenge Spitzer, who will club him over his head with his "abortion compromise". Spitzer and NARAL will run him into the ground. While abortion is a toss in New Jersey, a NARAL attack on Suozzi would doom his candidacy. Abortion rights is so important in New York, even the GOP is pro-abortion and there is a seperate Right to Life party.

Suozzi would do well to not let his ambition get ahead of his common sense.

If he thinks Spitzer's support is shallow, I would invite him to test that theory. I think he will find it lacking when he tries it. New York Democrats want someone who is going to fight, not try and make deals. There is NO question about Spitzer's ability to fight. Suozzi seems willing to cut deals. So if he wants to run and get hammered like Dennis Vacco, that is his right. But a wise man would look elsewhere.

Indeed. Elliot Spitzer is a dream candidate and Suozzi should keep his selfish grandstanding in Long Island -- the rest of us have neither the time nor patience.

Posted at 04:37 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

CA-Gov: Digging Holes to...Fill Them

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last week, Swing State Project reported on Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger getting busted having government workers dig a hole in the ground so that he could fill it in for a photo-op.

Today, we have the weakest attempt at spin I've seen in a long time. From David Vossbrink:

"San Jose crews were already planned to be at that location to work on scheduled repairs that require removing old pavement and replacing it."

So there was a plan to dig a pothole to fill it in, it had nothing to do with the photo op. Wink-wink, nod-nod...

Posted at 12:36 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California, Scandals | Technorati

Friday, May 27, 2005

CA-Gov: Political Cheapness

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveled to a quiet San Jose neighborhood Thursday, and -- dogged by protesters -- filled a pothole dug by city crews just a few hours before, as part of an attempt to dramatize his efforts to increase money for transportation projects.

The choreographed press opportunity -- at least the governor's fourth recent event involving transportation issues -- seemed aimed as much at thwarting the demonstrators who have followed Schwarzenegger for weeks as grabbing new attention for his proposal.

The Governor is using state resources to tear up our roads so he can pretend to fix them on TV? This is one of the most pathetic acts of political cheapness I have ever encountered.

Even worse is the fact the Governor's handlers were busted trying to pull of this little stunt. You be the judge, is such an event an adequate rapid response to yesterday's FRONT PAGE STORY:

10,000 protest governor

Sacramento -- Thousands of public employees staged the biggest political rallies of the year at the state Capitol and in Los Angeles on Wednesday, charging that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's policy agenda shortchanges schoolchildren and undermines the fabric of California's poor and middle class.

The protests came after weeks of increasingly heated, campaign-style rhetoric from both sides as Schwarzenegger moved the state closer to a special election on issues such as state spending and teacher tenure.

Schwarzenegger has derided unions as "special interests" whose grip on Democratic party politics is the source of many of the state's ills. At the Capitol on Wednesday, firefighters, teachers, nurses and others -- many wearing the insignias of their professions -- stood under a sweltering late- afternoon sun and, in the most charged and personal rhetoric yet, fired back.

"The CEO of California is ... picking on women in wheelchairs," Frances Gracechild, director of Resources for Independent Living, told a crowd of roughly 10,000 people. "The only thing I can think of so he won't have to do hard time in hell is resign." (emphasis mine)

This on top of the product placement scandal? I don't think Schwarzenegger will be back.

Posted at 10:51 AM in 2006 Elections - State, California, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

CA-Gov: Product Placement in Campaign Ads?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

You have simply got to be kidding me. What a clown Arnold Schwarzenegger is.

The TV ad, released in May, features Schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad.

Donors connected to Pepsi Co. and Arrowhead Water's parent company, Nestle, gave the governor a total of $279,800 in campaign contributions. Also recognizable on-screen are Ruffles, Sun Chips, Cheetos and a SoBe Beverage, all brands owned by Pepsi.

And polling results released earlier today over at Polling Report (subscription only) tell the story (MoE +/- 2%).

"Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California?"

Approve: 40%
Disapprove: 49%
Don't Know: 11%

"Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?"

Right Direction: 35%
Wrong Direction: 57%
Don't Know: 8%

Phil Angelides,
not sponsored by Pepsi, your next Governor of California.

Posted at 12:46 AM in 2006 Elections - State, California, Scandals | Technorati

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Governor's Races

Posted by Bob Brigham

This year's off-cycle gubernatorial races are likely to split, with Jon Corzine (D) winning in New Jersey and Jerry Kilgore (R) winning in Virginia. This will set up quite a showdown in 2006. Kos takes an early look at 11 of the 36 races. It is very early, but good stuff.

Posted at 11:10 AM in 2006 Elections - State | Technorati

Monday, May 09, 2005

MA-Gov: Open Seat of Governor in 2006

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Kos, when Novak gets the leak, I pay attention:

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a recent secret Washington meeting with national political operatives signaled he probably will forgo seeking re-election in 2006 in order to pursue the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Open seat in 2006?

Romney did not flatly reveal his future intentions, according to sources who were present. But he did say a presidential race would be difficult if he were concentrating on a 2006 campaign for governor and were still in that office in 2007-08.

The early evening meeting was held at the Caucus Room, a Washington restaurant popular with politicians and lobbyists. It was put together by Ron Kaufman, longtime Massachusetts member of the Republican National Committee and an intimate adviser of the senior George Bush.

Kos says:

This would be ideal. An open governor's race that Democrats should finally be able to take, and a primary bid doomed from the outset. As if Republicans will nominate a governor of Massachusetts.

Indeed. Demcratic candidates for Governor include Ex-U.S. Attorney Deval Patrick, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, and 2002 candidate/ex-state Senator Warren Tolman.

Posted at 12:41 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts, Open Seats | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, May 05, 2005

OH-Gov: Strickland is Running

Posted by Bob Brigham


COLUMBUS, Ohio - U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland will run for governor after saying in January he would not seek the Democratic nomination, two sources told The Associated Press today.

Strickland, 63, will make an announcement early next week, Democratic sources in Ohio and Washington who are familiar with his plans said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The six-term congressman would not confirm or deny a run for governor, a job held by Republicans since 1991.

"I have decided what to do in regard to my future plans," Strickland said in a brief interview in the Capitol. He said it was "highly unlikely I will run for the Senate."

Strickland's entry into the governor's race would be a blow to U.S. Senate Democrats, who have tried to recruit him to run next year against two-term Republican Sen. Mike DeWine.

Strickland would become the second Democrat in the race for governor, joining Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.

So who will be the Senate candidate?

Posted at 05:39 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Technorati

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas Not for Senate

Posted by Bob Brigham

Gov. Jim Douglas (R-VT) is between a rock and a hard spot. On one hand, he wants to be a U.S. Senator. On the other hand, Gov. Douglas knows he will lose if he runs against Rep. Bernie Sanders. So a lot of people are telling Douglas he'd have a better chance of holding an office if he focused on trying to get re-elected.

It sounds like we'll know what he's running for tomorrow. This has been moving rapidly, the local press has filed multiple stories in the last few hours.

The AP kicked things off:

MONTPELIER, Vt. Governor James Douglas is expected to announce tomorrow that he will seek re-election and not run for an open U-S Senate seat next year.

The governor is planning a news conference in Burlington, but the governor's top aides won't say what he plans to announce. [...]

Several political observers say since Douglas is making the announcement while the Legislature is in session it means he is sure to say he doesn't intend to run for the Senate.

And Channel 3:

Governor Jim Douglas announced today, he will make "an announcement" at an afternoon press conference at the University of Vermont.

And Channel 5:

Just nine days ago, Sen. Jim Jeffords announced he plans to retire at the end of his 18th year, in 2006.

Then, Douglas told reporters he's focusing on his job at the statehouse and has no timetable for making a decision.

That changed sometime on Friday.

Sources close to Douglas will only say that he's considered his options carefully and wanted to clear the air as soon as he could.

And back to Channel 3:

"I don't know. I guess I'll probably talk about my future political plans," he told Channel 3's Kate Duffy. Asked what they are he replied: "You'll have to come and see, Kate." Prodded for a sneak preview he smiled: "You wouldn't tell anyone, would you?"

Sen. Jim Jeffords, I-Vermont, announced last week he would retire instead of seeking a fourth term in Washington. Political insiders say if Douglas is making an announcement this early, it likely means he will seek re-election instead of a Senate seat.

"I'll have something to say about it tomorrow. I'm not being very helpful am I? I have to give the weekend crew something to do, right?" he joked. [...]

A decision the governor will keep secret until Saturday.

Reading through the articles, it seems to me the Vermont press corps has a problem with chain-yanking politicians. Announced an announcement? "You'll have to come and see"?

What a typical politician, thinking this is all some theatre that revolves around him. Jim Douglas doesn't get it, he especially doesn't get it on health insurance.

Posted at 01:02 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Vermont | Technorati

Thursday, April 28, 2005

CA-Gov: A.G. Bill Lockyer Abandons Gubernatorial Bid

Posted by Bob Brigham


Attorney General Bill Lockyer abandoned plans to run for governor next year and will instead run for state treasurer, a source close to Lockyer told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Lockyer, who told reporters as recently as last month that he planned to run for the Democratic nomination to take on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was expected to announce his new plans Thursday afternoon. [...]

Lockyer's surprise decision transforms the field of Democrats vying to succeed Angelides in 2006. They include Sen. Joe Dunn, D-Garden Grove; John Chiang, a member of the state Board of Equalization; and Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer, D-Glendale.

For anyone not closely following California politics, it is now readily clear that Phil Angelides is the top dog moving up while Lockyer tries for Angelides' hand-me-downs.



  • Angelides: officially the top Democrat in the state.
  • The Party: Democrats still mad about Lockyer's re-call vote can now brag that such actions will not be rewarded.
  • LGBT Activists: One of the clearest contrasts between Angelides and Lockyer was over gay marriage. In addition to gay activists being vindicated by the court, they have also been proven as enough of a power to scare out Lockyer.
  • Schwarzenegger: An expensive primary would have focused on who could bash the Governator the most.


  • Lockyer: Best case scenario is now a demotion and the Sacto gossips will focus on his weakness.
  • Steve Westly: Controller Steve Westly was considering tossing his hat in the ring. It could be argued that he would have had a chance in a three-way race, but I just can't see any way he could best Angelides in a head-to-head matchup.
  • Other Treasurer Candidate: State Senator Joe Dunn, Board of Ed's John Chiang and Assemblymember Dario Frommer will now have to compete with Lockyer's $11 million warchest with Lockyer having the potential to win Treasurer out of pity as something of a consilation prize.

This will continue to break rapidly, stay tuned.

Posted at 03:23 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Comments (1) | Technorati

CA-Gov: Schwarzenegger Flunks Education Poll

Posted by Bob Brigham

Following yesterday's new poll numbers that showed Schwarzenegger with a re-elect number of 29, we now have a major new poll on education. This poll isn't just bad, this is have your Secretary of Edcation resign bad. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Sacramento -- Richard Riordan, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's secretary for education, announced his resignation Wednesday as a new poll showed the governor's approval rating plummeting to an all-time low, largely because voters don't support his handling of education.

Schwarzenegger's education policy, backed by Riordan, has faltered this year as the governor has come under intense fire by school officials for reneging on a promise to devote more money to education in the state budget.

Before we get into the poll numbers, one thing that pops in my mind whenever I think of former LA Mayor Richard Riordan.

His tenure was marred by an incident last summer when he told a 6-year-old girl named Isis that her name means "dirty, stupid girl." The remark, caught on camera, prompted some to call for Riordan to resign, but he apologized and, with Schwarzenegger's support, stayed on.

Anyway, in California, the Secretary of Education doesn't really do anything other than show up when the Governor has a presser about kids. Governor Schwarzenegger's Administration may be trying to get a clean slate now that Riordian is leaving, but this is Arnold's disaster and the Governor bears full responsibility.

Back to the poll, 2,502 registered voters, April 4-17, ± 2 pts:

Even with his low approval ratings, however, the poll shows that many voters agree with the Republican governor's stated goals to make education the state government's top priority and to change the teacher tenure system.

But asked whose approach they prefer in fixing the state educational system, 39 percent of likely voters cited "Democrats in the Legislature," compared to just 25 percent who cited Schwarzenegger's plans, and 15 percent who favored the approach of the Republicans in the Legislature.

Survey director Mark Baldassare says the governor's latest poll numbers underscore the increasingly deep worries of residents about the state of education in Democrat-leaning California as the governor pushes plans for a special election later this year.

"Concerns about his handling of education issues has now generalized to more global concerns about his overall leadership,'' said Baldassare. "The governor -- who had been so successful in communicating with people outside his party, telling them he was working in their best interests -- has lost considerable support among independents and Democrats.''

And the numbers could still be moving. This poll was in the field for almost two weeks and was pretty stale by the time it was released. It shows a 43% approval rating. But yesterday's poll went into the field after this poll concluded, and showed a 38% approval.

My gut says that Schwarzenegger has yet to bottom out.

Posted at 09:35 AM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

CA-Gov: Schwarzenegger Falling and Retreating

Posted by Bob Brigham

Not long ago, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was expected to coast to any easy re-election. But in a few short months, the Schwarzenegger administration has nose-dived and is on course to crash and burn in California's 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

First up, not what Schwarzenegger wants to see in the news:

OAKLAND, CALIF. — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Year of Reform" is fast becoming a year of retreat.

What began in January as an outsized agenda — encompassing a range of issues as arcane as redistricting and as controversial as merit pay for teachers — has steadily shrunk as a chastened governor is set back on his heels, stung by his own missteps and an increasingly emboldened opposition.

Already, he has abandoned an initiative to privatize the state's pension system, as well as promises to drastically cut the bureaucracy in Sacramento. Now, he appears to be considering a plan to drop the merit-pay measure. Add in a few ill-conceived comments antagonizing immigrants and nurses, and Governor Schwarzenegger has reached a low point of his administration.

The problem with California is that when a politician is perceived to be weak, they are eaten alive. Which is why the latest poll numbers are even worse news for the Governator. From the subscription only Hotline:

Pollster Mark Mellman: "Schwarzenegger's failures and his failings and his battle with teachers, nurses and public safety workers have taken a tremendous toll on his image. He's nose-dived and is now worse off than George Bush in California"

The poll (onducted 4/18-21 for the California Teachers Association; surveyed 800 likely voters; margin of error ± 3.5%) shows Schwarzenegger with a 29% re-elect number and an approval rating of only 38%.

The last poll I noticed had Schwarzenegger at 43% (down from 59% in January).

Has Governor Schwarzenegger really fallen more than 20 pts so far this year?

It really doesn't matter...at this point, the sharks smell blood in the water and no matter how much Arnold retreats on the issues, he will be chased down and ripped apart.

Cover the eyes of the children, this is going to get ugly.

Posted at 05:22 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

CO-Gov: Choosing on Choice in Democratic Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Denver Post:

In case of a Democratic primary, many have pledged to work against former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, a Catholic who opposes abortion rights. [...]

Schoettler says a network of Coloradans dedicated to electing women to top political seats will be eager to cut checks should [state Senate President Joan] Fitz-Gerald enter the race.

"A lot of us have a lot of energy that we're willing to put into electing Sen. Fitz-Gerald," said Meg Froelich, a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.

In Washington, the well-heeled EMILY's List - a national group that funds female candidates who champion abortion rights - also is eyeing a possible Fitz-Gerald candidacy.

"We're watching the Colorado race with a great deal of enthusiasm," said spokeswoman Ramona Oliver. "If Joan, a pro-choice Democrat, decides to get in, we'll seriously consider getting involved."

This is going to be a huge race in 2006 and the overwhelming interest in the Democratic primary shows the consensus view that the general election will be the Democrats to lose.

There seems to be good deal of institutional excitment around the Fitz-Gerald option, the unions are also on board:

"If Joan ran, it would energize labor and we would bust our humps to get her elected," said Colorado AFL-CIO president Steve Adams. [...]

Labor groups' money and activism are credited largely for the Democratic takeover of both legislative chambers in 2004. Union brass are looking for a gubernatorial candidate to back next year.

Mitch Ackerman, president of Colorado's 5,000-member Local 105 of the Service Employees International Union, lauded Fitz-Gerald's record for "working people" in the state. Specifically, he cited her work this year on a bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

"Our members appreciate her efforts and know she'd keep working on their behalf as governor," he said.

Mark Schwane, executive director of the 2,000-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, credits Fitz-Gerald for championing higher wages and better health care for state workers.

"There's been a lot of talk about her candidacy. Our members would support her if she made the decision to run," he said.

When Congressman Mark Udall decided to focus on building a 2008 senate campaign, it looked like it would be a wide open primary. But in the last month and a half, it appears that a consensus has started to form around Fitz-Gerald.

We're still waiting to hear if venture capitalist Rutt Bridges or Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper get in, but it sounds like people have agreed not to choose Bill Ritter.

On the Republican side, University of Denver President Marc Holtzman is running and we're keeping an eye on Colorado Treasurer Mike Coffman, Congressman Bob Beauprez and former Congressman Scott McInnis.

Posted at 03:17 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Colorado | Technorati

Friday, April 22, 2005

CA-Gov: Schwarzenegger's Office FUBAR

Posted by Bob Brigham

Peter Nicholas and Robert Salladay have a must-read article that goes to great pains to avoid using the word, 'clusterfuck' when the story seems like it wants to type the word itself.

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is facing infighting among his senior staff and campaign team, which has contributed to a series of political missteps that threaten the once soaring governor's ambitious agenda, more than a dozen aides and lawmakers said Thursday.

With a lede like that, you know it is going to get ugly:

The problems are considered bad enough that they are expected to be discussed today as the governor's senior aides gather for a strategy meeting.

Schwarzenegger is reeling after successive policy reversals, gaffes and clashes with well-organized opponents have deflated his once-buoyant approval ratings. The latest setback came this week when he told a newspaper publishers association that the United States should "close its borders." He later apologized, explaining that he misspoke because of his imperfect command of English.

But a range of advisors see the remark as a sign of deeper strains. People with ties to the administration use words like "dysfunctional" and "civil war'' to describe the atmosphere within the warren of offices where Schwarzenegger and his top aides work.

I thought "dysfunctional" might be a little strong, until I read this:

Lawmakers say they are confused about who speaks for the administration and who has the authority to close political deals. [...]

One lawmaker, who would not be identified, said Schwarzenegger's top staff made clear that they, and not Finance Director Tom Campbell, should be consulted on budget policy — although a governor's finance director traditionally serves as chief budget negotiator.

Here is the political definition of clusterfuck (and a sign Schwarzenegger's Chief of Staff is failing):

People close to the office describe a hub-and-spoke system with Schwarzenegger at the center and various aides having little idea what others are doing. Though that structure has centralized power at Schwarzenegger's desk, downsides include confusion and a lack of coordination among staff members.

And the fact that Democrats can win is increasing all of these strains:

A consequence of the internal infighting has been an increasingly emboldened opposition, with Democrats in the Legislature spurning talk of compromise and expressing optimism that they can unseat Schwarzenegger in 2006 — a prospect that seemed far-fetched as little as three months ago.

"While the governor was still in the planning stage, still debating within his inner circle which direction he wanted to take … the opposition got organized and mobilized,'' Allan Hoffenblum, a Republican strategist, said, citing the vocal protests mounted by teachers, nurses, police and firefighters. "He got outflanked."

But the last line brings up the new talking point on Schwarzenegger:

Then he retreated.

Schwarzenegger talks big...and then he reteats. He doesn't have the team he would need to win, the civil war is costing him, and it is looking more and more likely that California will eat him up and spit him out before he loses re-election.

Posted at 11:52 AM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

Thursday, April 14, 2005

CA-Gov: Phil Angelides is Running for Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham


AN FRANCISCO - How could California's charisma-challenged state treasurer even dream of trying to unseat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Phil Angelides cites the advice he gives his three daughters: "It never matters what the odds are. What matters are your beliefs, and what you do to pursue them."

The 51-year-old Angelides has become the first Democrat to officially announce he is running against Schwarzenegger, who is expected to seek re-election in 2006.

Despite some recent setbacks, Schwarzenegger remains popular in a state that has almost always elected its governors to second terms. But political observers warn that he should not underestimate Angelides, a man regarded as shrewd and aggressive by his friends, ruthless and mean-spirited by his enemies.

Schwarzenegger has been tanking in the polls and is far weaker in California than many out-of-state pundits assume.

Soon after Schwarzenegger got elected in a recall election in 2003, Angelides positioned himself as the "anti-Arnold," portraying the highly popular Republican as an out-of-touch plutocrat who failed to keep his campaign promises — a strategy that was seen as foolhardy until Schwarzenegger suffered some reversals of fortune.

Assailed by teachers, firefighters and other public employees, Schwarzenegger last week scrapped his effort to privatize state pensions, the latest in a series of retreats in the face of opposition from unions and other Democratic constituencies. Polls show his approval ratings dropping below 50 percent for the first time.

"Arnold was elected because he said he was going to do extraordinary things for people, but he's turned out to be an enormous disappointment," Angelides said. "The thing I find most mystifying is why someone who came in with such enormous political capital chose not to use it."

When conventional wisdom said Schwarzenegger would sail to re-election, Angelides was dogging the Governor. Now that the push against the Governor has paid off by lower his approval ratings, Angelides is being recognized as a smart Democrat willing to stand up to Schwarzenegger.

A Sacramento native of Greek descent, Angelides got his start in politics as a student at Harvard, protesting the Vietnam War and campaigning against President Nixon in 1972. Angelides went on to make a fortune as a real estate developer before returning to politics full-time. As state Democratic chairman in 1992, Angelides helped Bill Clinton win California.

But he also came under fire during that year's bruising Senate contest, in which Barbara Boxer narrowly beat GOP candidate Bruce Herschensohn after a last-minute leak from a Democratic operative that Herschensohn had visited strip clubs. Angelides denied involvement in the leak but later said the information was fair game.

"Angelides is a mean-minded, terrible partisan hack," said GOP strategist Ken Khachigian, who ran the Herschensohn campaign and previously worked for Nixon and President Reagan. "Arnold can expect a mean gut fighter who'll run a very hard-hitting, dirty campaign. He'll stoop to anything."

This is exactly the type of nominee the Democratic Party needs to win. And for all you east-coasters, how is this for a stamp of approval?

Angelides has also leveraged his role as an officer of CalPERS, the nation's largest state pension fund, to push for greater transparency in the financial markets.

"He's smart, he's aggressive, and he's creative," said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who claims he and his fellow Democrat are "joined at the hip" in their work crusading for corporate accountability.


Posted at 07:55 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California, Democrats | Technorati

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Political Blog Consultants

Posted by Bob Brigham

My recent post on Matt Stoller got me thinking about the unfortunate situation of a lack of experienced political blog consultants. While there are many people who can help a campaign set up a blog, there really aren't that many who can help a candidate get other blogs involved. Tim calls this "thinking outside the website" and this holds more potential than any other tactic.

But who are campaigns going to hire to make this happen? Corzine snatched up Matt Stoller, Sherrod Brown grabbed Tim Tagaris, Reid landed Ari Rabin-Havt, Markos isn't consulting any longer and I'm not taking any additional clients. Of course, Jerome Armstrong is available, but not everyone is going to be able to hire the Blogfather himself.

If you are interested in online communications and you are looking to hop on a campaign, send me a resume: bob.brigham -at- swingstateproject.com. With 33 Senate races, 435 House campaigns, hundreds of important state races there will be lots of opportunities.

Posted at 02:33 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

CA-Gov: Arnold Schwarzenegger's $60 Million Report Card

Posted by Bob Brigham

My how convention wisdom evolves. Six months ago, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was expected to cruz to re-election. Now he's in for the battle of his life, from the Contra Costa Times:

California's teachers are girding for a battle royal.

The 335,000-member California Teachers Association began assembling a $60 million war chest last weekend to fight off Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's anticipated actions on school funding guarantees, teacher pay and tenure, all of which are expected to appear on a special election ballot in November.

Even in California, $60 million is a huge campaign fund. And this is just the teachers. Add in the nurses and the firefighters and the unions and the Democratic Party and the people, and it is easy to see how a quarter of a billion dollars could be spent against Schwarzenegger in the next two years. In all probability, there could be far more spent. Here is a key point from the story:

But California teachers can opt out of their union's political activities at the local, state and national level without losing any of their rights and privileges, said CTA vice president Dave Sanchez.

Some teachers take that option. Others, like Mt. Diablo union president and CTA state representative Mike Noce, think the political lobbying is so worthwhile that they contribute more.

"This equalizes the little guy," said Noce. "It gives me a voice in Sacramento."

The current political climate has incensed teachers to such a degree that several teachers who initially opted out came back to Noce to change their minds, he said. Even political neophytes have hit the streets, demonstrating outside San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton Hotel last week when Schwarzenegger was in town to raise campaign money.

People were unhappy with Gray Davis. But when it comes to Schwarzenegger, the people are pissed off.

Posted at 12:26 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

Friday, April 08, 2005

Action Hero Chickens Out in Berkeley -- Live Blog

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Not a very good week for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Bay Area. First their were the mass protests in San Francisco, his approval rating dropping to a paltry 43%, and today, the action hero known as Governor was a no-show for a speaking engagement with Bayer.

Girlie Man? Yeah.

Ahnold, who is "not beholden to special intersts," has taken tons of money from the pharmaceutical indusrty, vetoed a bill making safe importation of affordable medicine. Today, the California Nurses Association, Machinists Local 1546, Teamsters, and teachers all showed up at the event to protest to support patients, students, workers, and affordable health care.

The only person missing was Arnold. (Liveblog in the extended copy)

I just got off the phone with Bob Brigham who, again, was at the event. He said that the rain was coming down so hard that you could see the animals marching two by two to the ark. He told me that the event was very well organized and attended, especially since no one really knew about it until yesterday.

"The passion is certainly here," Bob said.

I also had a chance to speak with frequent Kos and MyDD contributor, Paul in Berkeley. He said, "We drew a line and said, the Bay Area is not a place where he is welcome. He should stick to doing visits to shopping malls in orange county, because the bay area is an Arnold free zone."

As I was on the phone with Bob and Paul, I could hear all kinds of people driving by and honking their horns in solidarity. The California Nurses Association is to be commneded especially. They were the ones that gave Bob the bottle of water as he breathed in the smoke from smoke bombs at the San Francisco rally; today, they were there with an umbrella for him. They are really taking the fight to the action hero.

The moment that word came that Arnold had cancelled the event, a celebration ensued among the dozens and dozens of protesters in attendance.

If you are in California, take a look at the campaign website of Phil Angelides. I know at least one member of his staff, and I am very impressed by what they are doing. Maybe you can volunteer a few hours if you live out that way?

Posted at 01:17 PM in 2006 Elections - State, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, California | Comments (1) | Technorati

Action Hero Chickens Out in Berkeley -- Live Blog

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Not a very good week for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Bay Area. First their were the mass protests in San Francisco, his approval rating dropping to a paltry 43%, and today, the action hero known as Governor was a no-show for a speaking engagement with Bayer.

Girlie Man? Yeah.

Ahnold, who is "not beholden to special intersts," has taken tons of money from the pharmaceutical indusrty, vetoed a bill making safe importation of affordable medicine. Today, the California Nurses Association, Machinists Local 1546, Teamsters, and teachers all showed up at the event to protest to support patients, students, workers, and affordable health care.

The only person missing was Arnold. (Liveblog in the extended copy)

I just got off the phone with Bob Brigham who, again, was at the event. He said that the rain was coming down so hard that you could see the animals marching two by two to the ark. He told me that the event was very well organized and attended, especially since no one really knew about it until yesterday.

"The passion is certainly here," Bob said.

I also had a chance to speak with frequent Kos and MyDD contributor, Paul in Berkeley. He said, "We drew a line and said, the Bay Area is not a place where he is welcome. He should stick to doing visits to shopping malls in orange county, because the bay area is an Arnold free zone."

As I was on the phone with Bob and Paul, I could hear all kinds of people driving by and honking their horns in solidarity. The California Nurses Association is to be commneded especially. They were the ones that gave Bob the bottle of water as he breathed in the smoke from smoke bombs at the San Francisco rally; today, they were there with an umbrella for him. They are really taking the fight to the action hero.

The moment that word came that Arnold had cancelled the event, a celebration ensued among the dozens and dozens of protesters in attendance.

If you are in California, take a look at the campaign website of Phil Angelides. I know at least one member of his staff, and I am very impressed by what they are doing. Maybe you can volunteer a few hours if you live out that way?

Posted at 01:17 PM in 2006 Elections - State, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, California | Comments (1) | Technorati

Arnold Schwarzenegger down to 43%

Posted by Bob Brigham


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is showing himself to be an ordinary mortal after all with a significant policy retreat on Thursday and a new poll showing his approval rating down sharply.

Swept into office in an unprecedented recall election in 2003, the Republican's approval rating fell to 43 percent from 59 percent in January, according to a Survey and Policy Research Institute poll released on Thursday.

I'm heading to the a Schwarzenegger protest right now. The link to the last protest is here, today's is in Berkeley.

More to come...

Posted at 11:03 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Activism, California | Technorati

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Schwarzenegger loses pension privatization battle

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hours after the news broke of the new Schwarzenegger poll, the Governor has admitted defeat and given up his plan to privatize pensions. From The AP:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Under pressure from firefighters and police officers, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday backed off, for now, his plan to privatize California's public employee pension system.

The Republican said "misconceptions" among firefighters and police officers that privatization would strip them of death and disability benefits had come to dominate the issue.

Over the past few weeks, Schwarzenegger has waged a campaign to put privatization on the ballot during a special election next fall. But on Thursday, he said he would wait until the June 2006 election if lawmakers did not craft a compromise measure in the coming months.

This is a major defeat for the embattled Governor. Having this on the spring ballot prevents Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign from coordinating with the initiative money. Schwarzenegger has already dropped 10 pts. this year and now that it is clear he can be beaten everyone will pile on. This week has been a major turning point in California's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Schwarzenegger is unpopular, on the run, and things are only going to get worse. It is so bad the Governator can't even visit San Francisco without huge protests.

The Democrats are now favored in the 2006 race for governor.

Posted at 04:56 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Comments (1) | Technorati

Schwarzenegger's double-digit crash in polls

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the LA Times:

He's too interested in PR gimmicks, many voters think, and should be putting more effort into dealing with legislators.

Fewer than half of Californians now approve of the way the governor is handling his job, a sharp decline since January.

Moreover, people think California has gotten off on the wrong track.

These are the findings of a statewide poll to be released today by the Survey and Policy Research Institute at San Jose State.

California's 2006 gubernatorial race is moving and reading through these numbers I'm sensing more of an ongoing trend than a brief shift.

Voters were read these statements, with the order rotated from call to call, and asked to agree or disagree:

• "He's doing a good job of working with legislators and getting things done." Agree 43%, disagree 43%.

• "He's right to bypass lawmakers and focus on his ballot initiatives." Agree 38%, disagree 47%.

• "He's too interested in gimmicks, public relations and image." Agree 49%, disagree 41%.

• "He should be putting more effort into working with legislators so he'd get more done." Agree 62%, disagree 25%. Even Republicans agree, 49% to 34%.

And it isn't just the usual suspects who have turned, but independents are moving as well:

The voter groups most sour on Schwarzenegger are Democrats and women, L.A. and Bay Area residents, blacks, Latinos and Asians. No surprises there. But it's significant that independents tilt slightly against him. Republicans remain his biggest boosters.

The governor's job performance is approved by 49% of voters, disapproved by 38%. His rating is worse among all adults: 43% approval, 43% disapproval — a steep slide since it was 59%-26% in January. Polls last year had shown Schwarzenegger with stratospheric job ratings in the high 60s.

People also were asked a standard question about whether they think "things in California are going in the right direction or are they seriously off on the wrong track." Only 39% answered right direction; 49% said wrong track. In January, it was almost reversed: 52% right track, 35% wrong direction.

Taken together, it is hard to imagine how the Governor could have done worse in the early months of 2005.

While his celebrity got him into office and his gimmicky events and ballot initiatives raised his approval, it is now clear that voters see through his tricks. With no foundation to fall back upon, it appears the Governator is heading for termination.

Posted at 01:13 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

Virginia: Tim Kaine campaign rejects reason; rejected by voters

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tim Kaine is on track to get spanked in Virginia's gubernatorial campaign. The latest numbers I'v seen show Republican Jerry Kilgore up by 10 and the blundering Kaine campaign is only making things worse.

Luckily, it is not too late for Kaine to turn things around, but the campaign shake-up and message re-write need to happen now. Kaine is getting advice so bad it would be called political malpractice, but by definition it isn't based in reality, it isn't based in reason.

The Kaine campaign has lost touch with reality and it is playing out in the papers. It would be one thing to lose the Governor's seat in Virginia, but Kaine seems hell-bent on taking down the Democratic Party in the process.

This isn't the first time I've written on the self-destructing Kaine campaign. And unless Kaine gets smart and fires his faith-based campaign staff, it won't be the last.

You see, there is a science to political campaigns. Tactics can be quantified and evaluated. Cognitive scientists who study the issue can demonstrate that Kaine's strategy backfires and will hurt the campaign with both swing voters and the base.

Yet Tim Kaine has rejected science and instead chose to embrace a faith-based campaign strategy. When the right does this, it makes strategic sense as cognitive scientists have proven. When the left does it the candidate is going to lose.

The great thing about a reality based understanding of campaigns is that by learning the results for different actions, you can avoid poor decision making. Even though he is 10 pts down, the Kaine for Governor campaign seems to think such an advantage is unnecessary.

The worst part is the way the Kaine campaign seeks to impose their disproven zealotry on the rest of the Democratic Party.

From today's Washington Post:

In February, Kaine took his message to the Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

"Sometimes our candidates have trashed the religious right, when what we meant to trash is a bad idea," he said, prompting more than a few hard-core Democrats to squirm in their seats. "We should never, never label people who are from the religious right."

It is one thing for Kaine to make an ass of himself and lose his gubernatorial campaign. It is another when he says the word "never" twice in reference to Democrats living in a reality based world.

Posted at 12:30 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Virginia | Technorati

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

California needs a real Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham

Read the protest live-blog HERE.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is no longer the hero, he is the villan. Tonight every news station from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz had a truck to document the fact that teachers, nurses, and firefighters know Schwarzenegger is screwing up California. Tomorrow, every paper will have coverage of how the people who make California great have joined together to explain how Schwarzenegger is hurting the people of California.

Every day from now until November 7, 2006, Schwarzenegger will be held accountable. He is beatable. And he will face a wrath unlike anything Gray Davis faced.

Check out the Democrats, Phil Angelides and Bill Lockyer because one of them is going to beat Schwarzenegger.

Posted at 12:39 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Activism, California | Technorati

Schwarzenegger backlash, critical mass achieved

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tonight was a turning point in California politics. The gubernatorial race is more than competitive, I'd now call it leaning Democratic.

Tonight, the people who actually run California, the teachers, the nurses, the firefighters, the citizens joined together with a united message that the Governator is hurting the people.

Living in San Francisco, one sees a great deal of protests. But the crowd tonight was not the people I marched with all night when Bush started the war. Tonight's crowd wasn't radicals, but radicalized opinion leaders. Imagine your second grade teacher, face strained while shouting, "Shame" and you'll know tonight's story.

...more to come.

Read the protest live-blog.

Posted at 12:21 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Activism, California | Technorati

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

CA Gov. 2006: "The Tipping Point" (LIVEblog Part 1)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

This is one thing I love about California, and San Francisco in particular, they don't play around. Bob Brigham is on-the-ground right now, phoning in updates from a large scale protest against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The event: Arnold's $1,000 to $100,000 a plate fundraiser. Bob referenced it in a post earlier today, here are the updates. It looks like Govenator's re-election will not be as smooth as many anticipate:

Bob says that there are easily 3000 people there right now, and they are all over the place. He counted at least 10 telvision news trucks, 30 photographers, and 2 helicopters constantly circling overhead. He said he couldn't tell what the plane flying above had on it's banner, because it was directly overhead (that made me laugh). He told me that this is nothing short of a rock concert atmosphere.

Bob just called me back to let me know that there is a group forming to the side that is going to attempt to block the Governor from even entering the event. Firefighters are all over the place with signs that read, "Not my neighborhood firehouse," and are holding professional looking signs with burning buildings demanding that local firehouses be kept open. Other signs read: "Money for schools not corporate interests"

Bob's quote to me was: "It looks like the tipping point. There is blood in the water. The race is going to be extremely competitive."

The two Democrats vying to compete for the Governor's mansion in California are State Treasuruer Phil Angelides -- (campaign website) and Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

He also mentioned that Assemblyman Mark Leno was rushing down from Calfifornia to speak at the event.

More on everything (updates) in the extended entry--cause Bob keeps calling.

UPDATE: Bob just called back and put his phone in the air to let me hear the chant, "RECALL ARNOLD."

He says that every single off-duty emergency personnel is there to protest George Bush and Arnold. The police are now breaking out more barricades. Bob claims that there are more off-duty police officers on the people's side of the barricades than Arnolds.

"They are taking over the street now. The street is shut down. There are about 50 people on the middle of the street, they just took it over." "There are smoke-bombs going off." He is laughing/coughing. "I am right in the middle of all of this, this is amazing."

There are green smoke bombs going off--green and gray smoke going off all throughout the crowd.

"We have the street" -- "We have taken the street." "The cops have no interest in restoring control. The police are laughing." Bob has no idea how Arnold will even get inside his fundraiser.

The limos that were approaching the hotel, the motorcade, has been surrounded by protestors. Traffic is shut-down. The situation is completely out of control. The dirt-bike cops are leaving. It is all shut down he says.

More later...


The police just tried just arrest somebody, and the crowd started chanting "shame on you," -- the cops let him go. And now that same guy is leading the march to re-take the street, and Bob is right next to him wearing his BlogPAC hat.

They had the guy cuffed, uncuffed him, and now he is leading the charge the re-take the street.

Bob just put him on the phone for me to interview him. His quotes:

"If I felt any better I would be the cupcake, like the sprinkles. Its about taking back the power."

He just told me that when the cops cuffed him, he told them he was out fighting for their rights as well. Then they patted him on the back, uncuffed him, and said, "let's get this thing going," and sent him on his way.

He said he is not worried about getting arrrested -- not for this cause this cause. He would pay a fine go home, feeling good, and he would hang that citation on the wall.

Five reporters were waiting to interview him while he was on the phone with me.

COPS ARE GETTING OUT OF CONTROL. IT IS GETTING VIOLENT, Bob says. They are shoving people all over the place.

More soon...

Backup called for: The California Highway Patrol is there.

The banner on that airplane I referenced above was paid for by Calif. Nurses Association and it said, "Arnold, Calfornia is not for sale."

Arnold is going to enter the building on the opposite side of the building that the protesters shut down the street. The police are now marching down the street in lock-step.

The violence has worn down. Bob said that the cops ruthlessly arrested one guy and hauled him into the hotel. The crowd is swelling, Bob puts the number at 10,000 for crowd size. More and more people keep on coming.

Again, the police do not have on full riot gear, just helmets so far with the huge nightsticks. But the violence has calmed. But, Bob can only comment on one of the sides of the building, but there are people on all sides.


The motorcade is now forming to come down Nob Hill. Sixty motorcycles (police) are escorting Arnold's motorcade down the street.


"Arnold's San Francisco priveleges have been revoked; he can never come back again." - Bob Brigham

He also wanted me to let you know that there is a protest going on at the GAP right now that one of his friends is organizing (Cory Black is leading the boycott). People are protesting the chain because of the owner's contribution (Don Fisher) to Arnold's re-election campaign.

Four streets are now blocked. And the crowd continues to grow. No word on the motorcade, as it is coming down the street on the opposite side of the building.

Bob Brigham just talked to rising star Mark Leno and he asked Californians to sign a petition to stop Arnold at:

Petition at California for Democracy.

"Using the Internet there is going to be a grassroot uprising in California." -- Assemblyman Mark Leno


"It is amazing how many nurses are here in their scrubs. They just gave me a bottle of water to quench my thirst after the smoke from the smoke bombs." -- Bob Brigham

Street Closings:

California Street
Pine Street
Grant Street (Chinatown)
Stockton Street


"The sun has set. The streetlights are on. The crowd has laid siege to the building, controlling all entrances, and all streets. The streets belong to the people." -- Bob Brigham

The crowd is chanting that Arnold is chicken. The crowd is now chatning "na na nana hey hey hey good bye" (I can hear that). The professionalism of the organizing is "pure west coast."

The nurses have a staging area at St. Mary's park -- a half block away. The firefighters provided the flatbead truck that serves as a stage with sound equipment to amplify music and speeches.

More signs:

Stop the budget cuts -- save social security
Public Health - Not Corporate Wealth
Don't Target Our Children (held by an 8 year old over her head)
Hands off workers pension
Workers are not a special interest


People were pounding on the Governor's car, while it was speeding out of the garage. Bob said the car peeled out, and you can literally smell the burnt rubber from where he is standing. He fled with his tail between his legs.

The motorcade is following the Governor's car down the street. It's over.

The people won.



Code Pink, a group founded by women to protest the war in Iraq, also showed up -- and not the same way as the other protesters.

Instead, they rented a $325-a-night room in the hotel, donned pink wigs and hung an anti-Schwarzenegger banner out a window before hotel security intervened. [...]

The protest organizers weren't content to limit their efforts to the hotel on Tuesday. The California Nurses Association drove a mobile anti-Schwarzenegger billboard to opening day at SBC Park and had an airplane flying over the city with a banner saying: "Arnold: California is not for sale."

"We're going to have a blast,'' said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the nurses group. "We've been protesting at 38 of the governor's fund-raisers since November, and we expect this to be the most significant."

Earlier on Tuesday, protesters also took their complaints to the governor's biggest financial backers. Demonstrators showed up outside the Gap store on Post Street in midafternoon to protest the $225,000 that company founder Don Fisher and his family have given to Schwarzenegger and his committees.

Posted at 08:32 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Activism, California, California, Netroots | Comments (5) | Technorati

California 2006 Gubernatorial: Schwarzenegger loses SF privileges

Posted by Bob Brigham

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is on the verge of being eaten alive by west coast political sharks with a keen sense of the first drop of blood in the water.

In 2000 California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush was eaten alive, in 2003 the victim was Governor Gray Davis, and the last year the cannibals went after Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. Next up, The Governator?

It looks like Schwarzenegger has become so politically radioactive that he can't even visit San Francisco:

Quite a greeting is being planned for Arnold Schwarzenegger's visit Tuesday to San Francisco -- with labor groups hoping to turn out upwards of 5,000 (some say 10,000) protesters to razz the governor's big-buck fund-raiser at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. [...]

"That's the skinny we've been hearing -- word is there are going to be a lot of folks out," said Deputy Police Chief Greg Suhr. "And it's not your usual First Amendment crowd. It's a lot of firefighters, teachers and nurses."

I scouted the site earlier and it looked like a cop convention (I haven't seen the police put on a show of force like this since the first days of the war). If the protest is successful, tonight could be the tipping point in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign. One drop of blood in the water and the instincts of the sharks take over. The inevitable frenzy would make the race competitive faster than you can say, "Hasta la vista, baby."

Posted at 06:27 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

Monday, April 04, 2005

Online Campaigning

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project covers more than what is going on in the states, we also try to following the evolving role of the internet in political campaigns. The 2006 cycle will take online campaigning to a level few can imagine now. These drastic changes in the fundamentals of campaigning will create winners and losers.

When Tagaris and I aren't posting here, we are both busy consulting candidates and causes in the best practices to catapult movements online. Here are some things we've been writing about lately.

My ATM Pin Number or On-Line Fundraising

There are many good reasons why this has become a cult classic. Read this one first.

Here are some more classic posts by Tim:

The Small Blog as the Small Donor of 2006/2008

No Filter: The Net as a Tool for Upstart Campaigns

I've been laying off the campaign guides for a few months, but you might enjoy a three-piece series I did for the New Democrat Network:

The 2024 Presidential Campaign

Modern Fireside Chats

Mehlman's Modernization

Also, you might be interested in:

Post-modern Politics

Simon Rosenberg's DNC Blog Plan

We'll be doing more of these posts, use the comments to suggest any subject areas.

Posted at 05:21 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

New York Governor: Eliot Spitzer

Posted by Bob Brigham

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is the frontrunner for Governor. Here is some background.

Eliot Spitzer 2006:

Eliot Spitzer was born on June 10, 1959 in the Bronx. He is a 1981 graduate of Princeton University and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and where he met his wife Silda, also a Harvard Law School graduate.

Eliot and his wife, Silda, live in Manhattan with their three daughters, Elyssa, Sarabeth and Jenna and also maintain a home in Columbia County.

Eliot Spitzer was first elected New York State Attorney General in 1998 in a stunning upset. Eliot brought considerable experience to the office when he became the state's 63rd Attorney General on January 1, 1999. He was a clerk to United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet and then, an associate at Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison.

From 1986 to 1992, Eliot served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, rising to become Chief of the Labor Racketeering Unit, where he successfully prosecuted organized crime and political corruption cases. He later worked at the New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, and was a partner at Constantine & Partners. In 2002, he was re-elected New York State Attorney General with the largest winning margin--1,509,403 votes--of any statewide candidate.

There is a great tradition in New York of Attorneys General being aggressive public advocates. Since Eliot took office in January 1999, he has continued this tradition. Working with a team of dedicated professionals, Eliot has won important victories in the areas of investor protection, healthcare and prescription drugs, environmental protection, consumer affairs, civil rights, criminal justice and public safety.

When New York Magazine gave him their Public Service Award, they wrote, "... if you've heard of it, Spitzer did it. Spitzer demonstrated that you win these fights with hard work, a zest for battle--and, most of all, with facts (and a great staff). Sure he gets headlines, but unlike a lot of people in public life, he does the work that earns them. What he gets is results."

In 2003, Eliot's office recovered $1.74 billion in penalties, fees and tobacco money -- a 34 percent increase over the record $1.3 billion collected in 2002. The New York Observer editorialized, "Mr. Spitzer probably has done more to stabilize the state's finances in the last few years than any other elected official. By refusing to look the other way as C.E.O.'s and financial institutions ripped off New Yorkers, he helped bail out the state during a difficult budget crisis. "

Eliot Spitzer: The Two Billion Dollar Man – 5/26/04

The San Francisco Chronicle named Eliot their 2003 "Businessperson of the Year," saying that he was "all about looking out for the little guy." The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board called his 2003 investigation of the mutual fund industry a "public service" and the New York Times editorialized, "Investors can be grateful that the attorney general is once again propelling the inquiries."

Businessperson of the Year: Eliot Spitzer – 12/31/03

Revenge of the Investor Class – 10/23/03

Mutual Fund Misdeeds 9/5/03

TIME Magazine named Eliot Spitzer their 2002 "Crusader of the Year" for his landmark settlement with ten of the nation's largest securities firms over charges of misleading investors--and posed the question, "What will Spitzer do for an encore?"

Time Magazine names Eliot Spitzer "Crusader of the Year" – 12/21/02

Then, there is Eliot's leadership in protecting our environment. As a result of a 2002 lawsuit he filed to keep clean-air policy intact, the United States Court of Appeals recently blocked a Bush administration attempt to weaken the Clean Air Act. The New York Observer editorialized that we "need officials like Mr. Spitzer, because the Environmental Protection Agency has abdicated its responsibilities." After his settlement with Virginia Power over pollution from their power plants, the Albany Times-Union praised him in an editorial, "Take the moment to savor a rare victory. We will breathe a little easier as a result."

Spitzer versus the Pollution President – 11/16/03

State in Clean Air Lawsuit against power company – 5/21/04

Posted at 10:35 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Technorati

Monday, March 28, 2005

2006 Maryland Senate Democratic Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Washington Post:

Barely two weeks after Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D) announced he would retire at the end of his term, the field for Maryland's 2006 U.S. Senate race has begun to take shape -- with three prominent Democrats and a leading Republican seriously considering bids.

Former Democratic congressman and NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume waited just three days before printing up campaign signs and entering the race. Democratic Party officials said last week that they believe Reps. Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen will run as well.

Kweisi Mfume

Although Mfume was first into the race, he said in an interview Saturday that he recognizes he will face a fierce battle for the nomination. To prepare, he said, he spent the first full week forming a campaign apparatus, including reaching decisions about strategists and fundraisers that "will include names that are familiar to everyone."

"Paul [Sarbanes] caught everyone off guard," Mfume said. "We had to drop everything we were doing and get started. But right now I'm very energized. I haven't felt like this since 1979," the year he first ran for Baltimore City Council.

Congressman Benjamin Cardin

Cardin, a former speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, is in his 10th term representing Maryland's 3rd Congressional District, which includes parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties. He said repeatedly during an interview last week that he "will not run away from a tough battle."

His effort to drive home that point was intended to challenge perceptions that he is unwilling to take risks with his career. Last week, Maryland GOP Chairman John Kane called him "Congressman Cold Feet" because twice in the past 20 years -- in 1985 and 1997 -- Cardin expressed interest in runs for governor but backed out.

"There was no way I could win those races," Cardin said during the interview in Annapolis, which he gave after conducting a town hall-style meeting for two dozen constituents on the subject of Social Security reform. "At the time, my supporters told me not to get in. And if I had gotten in, I would have lost."

That is not what his supporters are telling him this time, Cardin said. "It's only been nine days, but in those nine days it's been very encouraging. I'm feeling very confident that my record will appeal to the voters of this state. I'm convinced of that."

Chris Van Hollen

Van Hollen, a former state senator from Kensington in his second term representing Maryland's 8th Congressional District, attended a labor rally in Baltimore County last week and announced that he had brought in veteran Democratic operative Michael Morrill to "play an active role as the exploratory team communicates with Democrats around the state." Morrill was communications director for former governor Parris N. Glendening (D).

Van Hollen sent a letter to supporters Tuesday, asking for financial help and seeking "input and support as I seriously and actively explore this possibility."

And others?

Though it's too soon to tell exactly how the field will look -- several other Democratic potential candidates, including Reps. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Elijah E. Cummings, are pondering their options -- veteran Maryland political observers said last week that the contest will test several long-standing political assumptions about race and geography.[...]

Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's), who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) last year, said he has not decided whether to try for the seat. But he thought his chances would be greatly improved from his last attempt.

"An open seat creates a whole different dynamic," he said.

The dynamics:

For Mfume to win a three-way Democratic primary, he will have to find backing beyond the black communities in Baltimore and Prince George's County, said Timothy Maloney, a former state delegate who practices law in Prince George's. For Cardin to succeed, he will need to strike a chord with voters in the Washington suburbs who have had little exposure to him over the years. And for Van Hollen to prevail, he will have to disabuse Baltimore voters of the notion that Montgomery County breeds politicians who are wealthy and aloof.

Two decades ago, Del. William A. Bronrott (D-Montgomery) helped organize then-Rep. Michael Barnes's attempt to mount a bid for the U.S. Senate after Barnes served in the 8th District House seat Van Hollen occupies. Bronrott said he believes the perception of Montgomery "as a gold-plated place" helped seal Barnes's defeat.

This should be quite a primary. Good.

Posted at 01:49 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Maryland | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, March 21, 2005

GOP Overextended

Posted by Bob Brigham

New Polling Numbers:

New polling numbers on the Schiavo case have been released by ABC News. Here are some highlights:

- 70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case.

- 67% of Americans “think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.” (Just 19% believe the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles.)

- 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of Democrats oppose federal government intervention in the case.

- 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention.

- 63% of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed.

Posted at 03:05 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Republicans | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

CA 2006 Gubernatorial Race

Posted by Bob Brigham

California: The State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has also entered:

First, the attorney general said he plans to run for governor next year, adding "it's not a formal announcement, but that's what I'm working on."

Then, he criticized Schwarzenegger's leadership style, saying "I don't like to dwell on this. But it has a little bit of the sort of the odor of Austrian politics. There's a sort of arrogance of power that bothers me. You know, Arnold is still an Austrian citizen."

Asked pointedly if he were referring to Nazi-era Austria, the attorney general replied, "I'm just talking about the culture,'' he said, adding that there was a "long history from the Austria-Hungarian empire on, of sort of a more autocracy... it's a more elite system."

This is California politics:

Karen Hanretty, spokeswoman for the California Republican Party, quickly responded, calling Lockyer's statements appalling and outrageous. She sought to tie Lockyer and Angelides together as out of the mainstream with state voters.

"We have two spokesmen for the California Democratic Party today, one of them promoting tax increases, and the other comparing the governor to the Nazis," she said.

Angelides: $12.5 million
Lockyer: $11 million

This is going to be fun to watch. This primary has been building for a long time.

Posted at 07:22 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

CO 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Colorado: Last week we looked at some names of potential Democratic candidates for governor. Today, the AP looks at the initial movement in the Republican primary:

University of Denver President Marc Holtzman has announced plans to run for Colorado governor next year.

Holtzman, a 45-year-old Republican, was appointed by GOP Gov. Bill Owens to oversee the state's technology development efforts in 1999, later leaving to take the university job in May 2003. He has never held elected office.[...]

Other Republicans considering joining the race include state Treasurer Mike Coffman, U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez and former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis.

Posted at 06:55 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Colorado | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Colorado 2006 gubernatorial, 2008 senate races

Posted by Bob Brigham

Udall is running for US Senate:

Saying he wants to work on federal rather than state issues, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall surprised fellow Democrats on Thursday by deciding not to run for governor in 2006 but to vie for the U.S. Senate in 2008 instead.

"Frankly, I am reluctant to set out on a different path," said the fourth-term Eldorado Springs congressman who was the favorite in the small camp of Democrats publicly eyeing gubernatorial runs.

Udall's announcement emboldens former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter and venture capitalist Rutt Bridges, both of whom have expressed interest in the job but lack Udall's name recognition and party ties.[...]

Udall's decision also clears the field for other potential Democratic contenders. Some in the party have urged state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald to run for governor. And many Democratic brass are leaning heavily on Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to consider the seat.

This is one of my favorite states and critical to the future of the Democratic Party. I'll be watching the 2006 primary closely, you should too.

Posted at 04:42 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Colorado | Comments (3) | Technorati

Monday, February 28, 2005

Two jokes

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As some know by now, former Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Lynn Swan is making a run at Ed Rendell in the 2006 Pennsylvania Gov. race. Of course, the campaign is "Alan Keyeseque," a feeble attempt by Republicans to get a well-known placeholder up to help other races up and down the ballot. I mean, when the Green Party is effectively making a mockery of your campaign, maybe it's time to re-think?

Former Green Party candidate for governor, Michael Morrill, today declared his intention to try out for the position of wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Morrill admits he has no experience in organized football, has only a casual fan’s understanding of the game and at age 50 might be a little slow for the National Football League. When asked why he thought he might be qualified to be a wide receiver for the Steelers, Morrill said he was inspired by four-time Super Bowl Champion Lynn Swann. “If Lynn Swann can run for governor with absolutely no public policy experience, why shouldn’t I be able to try out for the Steelers?” Morrill responded.

Morrill was also asked what he thought his chances were to make the Steelers. “About the same as Swann’s chances to be elected governor,” he replied.


Posted at 12:51 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Pennsylvania | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, February 25, 2005

Florida Senate Race 2006

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Another Quinnipiac poll--this time regarding Florida 2006. The data covers both races, Governor and Bill Nelson's re-election bid. For the purposes of this post, I am going to focus on the race for Senate; visit the link above for more information on the Governor's race. (MoE +/- 3.1%)

Bill Nelson: While his approval ratings have breached the all-important 50 percent mark, his re-elect numbers are troubling. At the very least, his numbers are on the rise from the last Quinnipiac polling:

50% (46)
Disapprove: 17% (17)
Don't Know: 33% (37)

Ironically, his approval ratings are higher among Republican (52%) than they are Democrats (49%).

Should Bill Nelson be re-elected, or should Floridians elect someone else:

Re-Elect: 37% (36)
Someone Else: 37% (40)
Don't Know: 26% (24)

And who do Floridians want to run against Nelson? Yep. Katherine Harris leads the way. Since Republicans vote in the primary, they are the important number; overall is in parentheses.

Harris: 37% (26)
Gallagher: 20% (19)
Crist: 16% (14) -- Crist leads the way among Republicans for Gov.
Jennings: 11% (10)

Posted at 12:11 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Florida | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, February 21, 2005

Baxley leads all...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Alabama's Gubernatorial Race for 2006:

Bob Riley (R-incumbent) 35
Lucy Baxley (D) 39

Roy Moore (R) 38
Lucy Baxley (D) 44

Riley (R) 43 (46)
Don Seigelman (D) 34 (36)

Moore (R) 44 (40)
Seigelman (D) 34 (39)

For more on the race, here is an overview I did about a week and a half ago. Thanks to Kos for the heads up. LINK to Alabama State Democratic Party Blog

Posted at 12:40 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Technorati

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Pataki Circling the Drain

Posted by DavidNYC

The third poll in a week - this one courtesy of the New York Times - demonstrates just how bad life is for George Pataki (registered voters, no trendlines):

Spitzer: 49
Pataki: 34
Undecided: 14
(MoE: ±3%)

The rest of Pataki's numbers are even more atrocious. Job approval: 43-41 (lowest since his first year in office). Favorables: 33-38 (again, lowest since 1995). Spitzer's numbers, meanwhile, are awesome: 59-13 job approval and 39-7 favorable.

Oh, and one point I'll add (because Steve Soto taught us all to ask this question): The poll undersamples Democrats (and Republicans, but by a smaller margin). The spread in New York state is (according to the most recent enrollment figures) 47% Dem, 27% GOP and 20% independent. (Another 3% are potentially confused members of the Independence Party who may think they are registered "independents," while the final 3% belong to an assortment of other small parties.) The NYT poll has a sample of 43D-25R-22I.

Granted, according to CNN's exit polls taken during last year's election, Republican-identifiers apparently voted in greater strength than the number of GOP registrants would predict. But those figures are only useful for determining how to weight for likely voters. Since the NYT is only talking to registered voters at this very early date, it should re-weight accordingly. The Times weights for other factors but not, evidently, party ID.

The bottom line: Among registered voters, I think the numbers are actually a bit worse for Pataki than even this abysmal showing indicates. Time to throw in the towel, George.

You can get the full results here (PDF).

Posted at 01:17 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, February 11, 2005

Harkin to abandon the Senate?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Iowa: With Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack stepping down, the rumor mill has begun to churn for the 2006 open election. Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA) has already declared that he is going to chase the seat. Now, rumors of a potential heavyweight showdown between Nussle and Tom Harkin have begun to surface.

Harkin, a Democrat in his fourth term, was asked Thursday in a conference call with Iowa reporters about rumors he may make a bid for the chief executive post back home in Iowa.

The governor's seat will be open in 2006, when Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack has said he will step down after two terms. Several Democrats are considering runs, but the only announced Democratic candidate is state Rep. Ed Fallon of Des Moines.

"I don't know - that just went all over the darn place and I don't know what's all behind that," Harkin said of the rumors.

In fairness, the tone and tenor of the article kind of leads you to the conclusion that Harkin will stick around in the Senate, and thank God for that. I suppose that is easy for me to say, being from Chicago and living in Pennsylvania. The piece concludes:

Harkin does appear to be ready to tackle a fifth Senate term in 2008. "I love my job," he told reporters.

Posted at 09:46 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Iowa | Technorati

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Alabama: Roy Moore to run for Governor

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Everyone's favorite Constitution Party candidate, Roy Moore, looks like he will be running for Governor of Alabama in 2006. The GOP is ready to accept Moore into their "big tent" to take on incumbent Republican Governor Bob Riley in what would shape up as a spectular primary pitting wingnutery vs. extreme wingnuttery.

Moore flirted with the prospect of running for President of the United States under the Constitution banner in 2004, campaigning to turn the United States into a "Bible-based republic." Moore is the Chief Justice in Alabama who was booted for refusing a federal judge's order that the Ten Commandment be taken down from outside the state judicial building.

This is actually a seat that the Democrats can pick-up. However, the Democratic Party of Alabama would much rather have a rematch with Riley as opposed to taking on the extremely popular Moore. The Alabama State House of Representatives is controlled by the Democratic party, adding the Governor's Mansion would be a nice boost.

The Democratic nominee will most likely be Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley or a rematch against ex-Governor Don Siegelman. In 2002, Riley defeated Siegelman by a mere 3,110 votes.

Posted at 04:31 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Alabama | Technorati

Clinton leads Pataki & Giuliani

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Two days ago, David pointed to the Siena College poll that has Elliot Spitzer crusing Pataki in a race for NY Gov.

Falcon4e pointed out in the comments that Pataki's best bet might be to square off against Hillary for the US Senate seat. That might be the case, but if the race were held today, he would get beaten even more soundly in that contest. It is also interesting to note that Clinton would not only demolish Pataki, but leads Giuliani as well.

Quinnipiac Poll released today (registered voters, early December in parens for first poll):

Clinton: 61 (58)
Pataki: 30 (36)
Undecided: 5 (4)
(MoE: ±2.8%)

Clinton: 50
Giuliani: 44
Undecided: 5
(MoE: ±2.8%)

Many more particulars on the Quinnipiac press release.

Posted at 11:40 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, New York | Technorati

Monday, February 07, 2005

Spitzer Crushing Pataki but Behind Giuliani in New Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

Siena College has a new poll out covering my favorite race, NY Gov. Here's how things look (registered voters, no trendlines):

Spitzer: 51
Pataki: 35
Undecided: 15
(MoE: ±3.9%)

For a race that's almost two years away, 15% undecided seems remarkably low - a product, surely, of the high name-recognition that both men, particularly Pataki, have. In fact, that really tells the whole story here: Spitzer's favorable/unfavorable/unsure rating is 48-17-34; Pataki's is 39-45-16. With 34% DK, Spitzer has room for improvement. Pataki, glub-glub-glubbing with a negative rating and few undecideds, has little room for movement, especially when (in a separate question), 57% say they'd like "someone else" to be governor.

The Spitzer-Giuliani matchup provides a different picture but actually tells a similar story:

Spitzer: 40
Giuliani: 49
Undecided: 11
(MoE: ±3.9%)

Giuliani, over three years after 9/11, still has impressive favorables: 61-28 (with just 11% unsure). This certainly is what accounts for Spitzer's weaker performance against Rudy than against George. But the key difference here, as I noted above, is that Spitzer has room for improvement. Until and unless the GOP starts running a Swift Boat-style campaign against Eliot, his numbers should only get better. (Except among Wall Street whiners, it's hard for an AG by himself to drive up his own negatives.)

The bottom line: If it's Spitzer vs. Giuliani, we will have a serious horserace on our hands. (That's a big "if" - I don't think Giuliani has shown much interest in running.) But I'm confident that Eliot can go toe-to-toe with Rudy, who will be five years out of office by the time election day 2006 rolls around - and 13 years removed from his last serious election campaign (in 1993 vs. Dinkins). He'll be rusty, and Eliot will be fiesty. I'll take that matchup.

(Thanks to NYCO.)

Posted at 05:26 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ohio: Mayor Coleman to run for . . .

Posted by Tim Tagaris

. . . Governor.

That sound you hear is the air being let out of my sails. Apparently Coleman, along with every other registered Democrat in the state of Ohio, is running for governor. The Mayor of Columbus is set to make the bid official with a noon annoucement from his home.

So with depression setting in, and an increased likelihood that we will not field any credible downballot statewide candidates, let's do an unofficial Ohio 2006 Cattle Call (I wish I had the arrows like Jerome):

1.) Congressman Sherrod Brown (NO CHANGE)

The nomination for governor is still his if he wants it. The only thing Coleman's announcement changes is that Brown might now be forced into an early decision. He orginally stated that he would have liked to wait six months before declaring his intentions one way or the other.

2.) Congressman Ted Strickland (NO CHANGE)

The Senate nomination is probably his if he wants it as well. He has already made it clear he is not running for governor, swinging his endorsement to Congressman Sherrod Brown. He then crytpically told reporters that he would be running for "federal" office in 2006. Apparently people like to take their sweet time making decisions in Ohio.

With one exception...

3.) Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman (UP)

Coleman rises simply because he officially makes the decision to run. That's great, but if Sherrod runs, Coleman gets stomped. Unfortunately Congressman Brown has a history of waffling on these statewide decisions, eventually bowing out of potential runs.

If Congressman Brown keeps people waiting for his decision, and eventually decides not to run--the nomination will likely go to Coleman. My displeasure is not that I think Coleman would be a bad candidate, I just really like Sherrod, Dammit!

4.) Jerry Springer (THE WILD CARD)

Who knows what Jerry wants to run for in 2006. Many would like to see him keep raising money for candidates and keep his name off the ballot. I don't think that will be the case--Jerry is running for something.

In 2004 he seriously explored a potential bid for US Senate against George Voinovich. He eventually stepped aside for Eric Fingerhut's failed run. But the year is 2006, and all indications are that Jerry is thinking more about running for governor than he is thinking about giving the senate another go. I personally wish it was the other way around. It will take a "different" kind of candidate to beat Mike DeWine, and with Jerry's name ID and ability to self-finance the race, I think he actually has the best chance against the sitting Senator.

5.) Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic (DOWN)

This annoucenment makes it almost official, he will not be running for Governor (or US Senate). This might be the only bright spot of the Coleman decision; Plusquellic is now freed up to run for Secretary of State or Auditor (or Lt. Governor). I am not sure if that interests the Akron Mayor. Time will tell...

6.) Former Ohio Atty General Lee Fisher (POOT)

And no thank you...

Fisher has already run for governor once and lost to Bob Taft, the current (and worst ever) governor of Ohio. In fact, Mayor Michael Coleman was Fisher's Lt. Gov. on that ticket. I would think that Coleman's decision today also came after consultation with Fisher.

So, without further ado, my (ever changing) Ohio predictions:

Governor: Sherrod Brown vs. Michael Coleman

Senate: Jerry Springer runs unopposed in the primary

Ted Strickland: Runs for re-election in his congressional district

Don Plusquellic: Runs as Lt. Gov on Coleman's ticket -- if not -- runs for Sec. of State.

Fisher: Stays home

State Auditor: Democrats field no credible candidate

Sec. of State: Eric Fingerhut (big time guess here) -- If Plusquellic runs, Fingerhut stays home and watches Buckeye football with Fisher on Saturdays.

Posted at 10:58 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Jerry Gets No Love From Plusquellic

Posted by Tim Tagaris

We still aren't any closer to figuring out who is going to run for what and against whom in Ohio, but we learned one thing today; if Jerry Springer is the Democratic nominee for governor, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic is taking his ball and going home.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic said on Monday that he would not support Jerry Springer if the TV show host becomes the Democratic nominee for governor.

Springer and Plusquellic are among a handful of Ohio Democrats who are considering a run for governor in 2006. Plusquellic has spoken well of other possible Democratic gubernatorial candidates, but he had little good to say about Springer.

"It doesn't make sense for our party," Plusquellic said. "It will be a detriment to our party."

The run-down of potential candidates and where we are at with each of them is in the extended entry.

(Hat tip to the Seven Cent Nickel for forwarding me the above article)

Two seats up:

Republican Mayor Bob Taft - Term-Limited
Republican Senator Mike DeWine - Running for re-election

The Democrats:

Congressman Ted Strickland:

Will not run for Governor, but intends to run for "federal" office in 2006. Does that mean US Senate or simple seat retention in the House?

Strickland endorsed Sherrod Brown for governor in 2006.

Congressman Sherrod Brown:

Has said that he will wait six months to make his decision on whether or not to run for governor. Brown had the following to say about Jerry Springer in the same article referenced above the fold:

"I don't think Jerry is the nominee we want," Brown said in an interview. "Jerry is very smart, he's right on the issues, he's as good a speaker as there is out there, but his TV show is just too much baggage."

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman:

Probably the least visible of the all the potential candidates for governor. We know from yesterday that there is a website out there tagged for his run.

We also know that him and Plusquellic have talked and decided that they would not run against eachother in a primary.

Ohio Dem. of the Year Jerry Springer:

Maybe he can run for Senate with the crowded field for governor? Plusquellic won't support him, Brown thinks he has too much baggage because of the television show, and still no one has brought up a certain check he wishes he could have back.

I like Jerry. I have heard him speak and dammit if he isn't passionate and spot on with the issues. It will take a special/different kind of campaign to beat DeWine; why not Jerry?

Besides, he can self-finance and his original intent was to run against Voinovich for Senate in 2004. I also love the fact that Jesse Taylor from Pandagon is on his payroll right now.

I know the Senate seat will be more difficult, but I would love to see him give it a go.

Akron Mayor Done Plusquellic:

Is thinking about running for Governor -- will not run against Coleman in a primary -- and has no love for Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Quite frankly, I believe he is the least appealing of all the candidates mentioned on this list.

Posted at 03:59 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Small Blog as the Small Donor of 2006/2008

Posted by Tim Tagaris

You couldn't escape it. During the 2004 election cycle, Internet fundraising was all the rage. From Howard Dean's $40 million, DailyKos and ActBlue, to Terry McAuliffe receiving credit, some of it undeserved, for leveraging the small donor to pull even with GOP fundraising efforts.

That's great - for whatever the real reasons - the Democratic Party did a terrific job of using the Internet to raise money in small amounts as a counter to a traditional GOP advantage. But guess what? The Republican (Noise) Machine will learn, and we had best get ahead of the curve.

If the small donor was the phenomenon of the 2004 election cycle, the small blogger might very well be the next great hope for the Democrats.

The online financial contributions had implications for finance (and comm.) staffs working campaigns across the country. Leveraging the small blogger is predominantly a technological offshoot for traditional field programs (and comm). And as many of us know, the field organization is where is gets done in a grassroots effort. They are the group that will put in hours of tedious study to pull every last vote out of each precinct in a candidate's universe.

Much like everything else in the field plan, organizing the small blogger is laborious and requires a commitment often unmatched by other parts of traditional campaigns. The good news is, so much of netroots outreach crosses formerly compartmentalized groups within a campaign structure; so you can share the burden. What fun!

Let's begin.

If you listen to the pundits, why was the GOP finally able to effectively counter the Democrat's field operation? I have heard it a million times, you probably have as well, it was "the neighbor to neighbor strategy." Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove crafted a plan that had people convincing others in their communities to vote for President Bush. By most accounts, it worked terrifically.

We can accomplish the same thing using our netroots. The beautiful thing about this plan is that we have all the resources necessary to accomplish it without some sort of direction from the powers-that-be. But let's take it back into the campaign setting, because that is the reason I started writing this. Rest assured however, the blogosphere has every resource it needs to make this happen without direction.

Think about the characteristics of the small blog. Many of us run our own. You know the blog your friends, co-workers, and maybe your parents read? The same one you link to in your Kos diaries to boost your visibility? Yes, that one.

It's the blog that generally gets the same 15 people, most within same community you are targeting, reading it a few times a week/month. Maybe you see where I am heading now?

I propose that we take that personal neighbor to neighbor strategy and lead it in a technological direction.

Let's assume you are working on a campaign that has a very clear message. You are part of a functional effort that sends out consistent press releases, talking points, and uses the Internet to foster participation within your congressional district, legislative district, or even statewide.

Step 1: Start collecting each and every single blog that exists within the universe your campaign is operating in. Find them out, email them directly, then introduce yourself and your campaign.

Step 2: Give your supporters the tools to create their own blogs. And do it your website. Heck, it takes 3 minutes to start a blog - walk them through it on your homepage or get involved page. Get a volunteer in the office whose task it is to take people through it step by step over the phone if necessary.

Step 3: If a blog, even a small blog, asks for an interview, grant it! If it gets to be too much, then schedule a weekly/bi-weekly half hour conference call with all the bloggers who want to participate.

Step 4: Back to the press releases and talking points. Send them to bloggers. Send them in the same mass email that you are sending out to the traditional media outlets. Give them the same opportunity to ask questions of the campaign.

Step 5: Invite bloggers to attend your events, just like the press. Make your press conferences and events wi-fi when possible.

Step 6: Nurture the relationship. Rinse and repeat. Bloggers love the inside scoop before the newspapers can get it in print the next day or the news broadcasts it a few hours later

And this plan holds for medium sized blogs as well. The ones that candidates and their staffs would have never dared to enter before because there weren't enough ATM cards found on a consistent basis.

There are some great medium sized blogs out there on both sides of the aisle. There are quite a few of those smaller blogs that have HUGE POTENTIAL in the state I am working now; they include: Young Philly Politics and Philly Future. Pittsburgh Webloggers is also a great source.

The way that traditional communication directors compile lists of newspapers, reporters, journalists, and their contact information - that is the way they need to start with bloggers, especially the small bloggers within their universe.

Finally, cross your fingers and hope they remember you when they go big! Until then, just be content as you work with them to spread your information to their families, co-workers and friends in the district which you are running.

Posted at 02:18 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Republicans, Activism, General, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Post Modern Political Warfare: Part II

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It looks like one reader has taken, and ran with, the idea I discussed in this post about waging politics on-line. The idea was to purchase potential URLs for 2006 GOP candidates, before they do.

SSP reader Max Palmer sent me this email earlier today:

Inspired by your post "Post-Modern Political Warfare", I registered several domain names tonight of Republic senators up for relections:

snowe06.com, talent06.com, kyl06.com, chafee06.com, lott06.com, ensign06.com, hutchison06.com, allen06.com - I also registered nelson06.com, b/c I am worried about both races and did not want anyone opposing them to get it. [...]

I consider the $90 I spent registering these sites to be a part of my donations to the democratic party and its candidates.

It's a new ballgame folks. Those who used to marvel at the perfect placement for a yard sign, should now consider perfect Internet positioning in post-modern political campaigns.

Imagine if Katherine Harris had to give out the URL, "katherineharrisforussenateinflorida.biz" on every piece of literature, in every speech, and in commercials. The fundraising, organization, and information loss would be staggering.

If nothing else, the people at Free Republic were pissed at my original post.

You can check out what domain names are taken and available here.

Disclaimer(s): You should not purcahse these URLs and attempt to sell them for profit later. If you buy a GOP URL, link it to the Dem candidate's site, or put your own blog on it and comment on the race.

If you buy a Democrat's URL, offer it up to the campaign as an in-kind contribution.

Posted at 04:07 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ohio Gov: Ted Stickland Out - Sherrod Brown In

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Yes! Yes! Yes! Possibly my favorite politician, period!

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lucasville said Tuesday he will not seek the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor in 2006.

Strickland called other potential Democratic candidates "highly qualified," but said his favored candidate would be U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown.

Among other Democrats still considering whether to run are Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, State Sen. Eric Fingerhut, former Attorney General Lee Fisher and television and radio host Jerry Springer.

Posted at 03:05 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Post-Modern Political Warfare

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Internet gamesmanship in the run-up to the race for Governor of Massachusettes in 2006:

Massachusetts Republicans have launched a pre-emptive strike against Democratic Attorney General Tom Reilly by snapping up online Internet addresses that would have been obvious picks for him if he decides to run for governor in 2006.

Reilly has not yet said whether he will challenge Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006. But if Reilly does run, it will be hard for him to use the Web sites reillyforgovernor.com, tomreillyforgovernor.com, reillyforgovernor2006.com and reillyforgovernor06.com.

A smart move is a smart move, regardless of what party is behind the tactic. Get ready to see increased political warfare on-line during the 2006 election cycle. Since most web campaigns begin with a simple URL, I can't think of a better place to start.

So, if you have a credit card handy and $7 you are willing to invest...

santorum06.com is available.
santorum06.org is available.
santorumforsenate.com is available.
santorumforsenate.org is available.
santorumforsenate2006.com is available.
santorumforsenate2006.org is available.

Doesn't have to be Santorum; choose your race and knock yourself out. http://www.networksolutions.com can tell you if there are domains available.

If you buy any, for any Republican candidate, please email me to let me know.

Posted at 10:10 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Netroots | Comments (6) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

MA Dems look outside of city limits

Posted by Bob Brigham

Michael Kunzelman reports for the Metrowest Daily News:

Democrats must win over unenrolled, suburban voters if they hope to regain control of the governor's office in 2006, a panel of party leaders concludes in a report unveiled last night at a Democratic State Committee meeting in Marlborough. [...] Jane Lane, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said Democrats already have borrowed a page from Romney and the Republicans' 2002 playbook. For November's legislative races, the Democrats concentrated on wooing unenrolled voters in the suburbs. And the result, Lane said, is that none of the Legislature's incumbent Democrats who ran for re-election lost their seats. "It was a ground game, a grassroots effort, on our part," she said.

The Massachusetts Governors race is going to get interesting, fast.

Posted at 02:51 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Technorati

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Jim Nussle surfaces for Governor, IA-01 Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Des Moines Register:

U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle became the first Iowa Republican to take formal steps toward running for governor next year, filing documents Thursday announcing his intent to seek the 2006 Republican nomination. [...] At the end of 2004, Nussle had a combined total of roughly $450,000 in his congressional campaign fund and an account connected to a political action committee he formed in part to curry favor with legislative Republicans.

Ryan said Nussle had transferred none of that money to his gubernatorial campaign, although Iowa and federal law allows such transfers.

As Laddy on MyDD points out:

This will likely to mean he'll vacate his seat in what should be friendly Democratic turf. The seat has potential to be a pickup, as Gore won the district 52-45, and Kerry won 53-46.

The Gazette reports, "Nussle said he benefited from the many visits by President George Bush...Nussle has collected more than $1.6 million for his campaign. Gluba has collected $368,000."

An incumbent needed multiple visits from the President and a 4:1 financial advantage to hold on to this Democratic seat. The battle for IA-01 could be very interesting.

Posted at 03:12 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - State, Iowa | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Arizona Governor's Gay Marriage Gamesmanship

Posted by Tim Tagaris

One of the many subplots in the 2004 election was the placement of gay marriage amendments on ballots in states across the country, swing or otherwise. Arizona's 2006 races feature an incumbent Republican Senator (Rep. Jon Kyl) and Democratic Governor (Dem. Janet Napolitano) both facing re-election.

Naturally, Arizona Republicans are excited about the potential placement of a gay marriage amendment before the voters in 2006 as they attempt to unseat Governor Napolitano. After all, two months ago prominent Republican lawmakers and activists promised they would pursue such an amendment. Despite the fact that a state law already exists and has been ruled constitutional, Republicans want that amendment bad.

Fine. You want it that bad. Let's vote on the measure in 2005. So sayeth Governor Napolitano. From her Chief of Staff, Dennis Burke;

“You already have the law on the books, “Burke said. “You already had the courts speak on it. So the question to those guys is, ‘Why are you doing this.’ The governor is asking them, ‘If it’s so urgent, let’s do it in 2005.’”

Of course, Republican's are crying foul, claiming Napolitano is playing politics with the gay marriage issue.

Republicans have chastised Napolitano, saying the move is a political ploy to keep a gay marriage referendum off the ballot and keep more conservative voters away from the polls.

Hypocrisy, table of one.

From everything I have read, it takes the state legislature to call for a special election placing the constitutional amendment on Arizona's 2005 ballot. Unfortunately, Arizona's state house is overwhelmingly Republican so it is not clear if her plans will fly.

One thing is for sure. The move is a smart one and will force Republicans to put their cards on the table while at the same time dividing Republicans from some traditional Christian Convservative allies who would want the amendment as soon as possible.

Posted at 01:01 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Arizona | Comments (3) | Technorati

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