Site News Archive:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Changeover to SoapBlox Site Complete

Posted by DavidNYC

This is the final post on the "legacy" Movable Type version of the Swing State Project. This site now resides at and is no longer being updated. You can, however, find all of our archived posts dating back to this site's origin on Oct. 19, 2003 at this location.

To reach the active Swing State Project site (running on SoapBlox), please visit Thank you.

Posted at 10:51 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Site Switchover Coming Soon

Posted by DavidNYC

Hopefully today, we should switchover to our new Soapblox-powered site. (More on that here.) When we do, just a few things to be aware of:

• You'll need to create a new User ID to post comments and diaries - your old TypeKey IDs won't work on the new site.

• For at least the first few days, the archives will still reside on the legacy (Movable Type) site. We'll port them over as soon as we can. This means that the new site will look a bit empty for a little while - so please feel free to start posting diaries!

• And vis-a-vis that last point, links to old SSP stories, either on this site or others, will temporarily "break" until we can finish importing the old material to the new site.

You can check out the beta site here. And if you encounter any technical problems, or things don't look right on your screen, please e-mail us with a detailed description of the problem. Thanks.

Posted at 08:54 AM in Site News | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Quick Note to Advertisers

Posted by DavidNYC

The Dan Seals campaign just locked up the top corner premium adstrip for the final week leading up to the election, but the #2 featured slot (which also holds only one ad) is still available. Traffic has been steadily increasing at the Swing State Project and I'm sure things will be hopping on election night, especially once we have user diaries in place. And, as always, the main adstrip is open.

Posted at 10:45 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 30, 2006

Coming to the Swing State Project: User Diaries!

Posted by DavidNYC

An exciting bit of site news to share - in fact, the biggest change to the Swing State Project since its inception: We're going to be re-launching the site shortly on the SoapBlox platform, which means we'll now have user diaries! Just like on DailyKos and MyDD, all Swing State users will be able to share their thoughts in full-length format. We'll be moving the site over soon, once we work out the last few technical issues. But you can have a look at the preview site here:

The URL is only temporary, so no need to bookmark it - we'll be switching the domain names shortly. But feel free to sign up for a user ID and post a comment or diary. You'll find the "Recent Diaries" box in the right-hand column, just below the Campaign Engine ad and the box titled "Menu." (Just be warned - everything on the preview site will get wiped clean at some point soon.) If you run into any technical difficulties or see anything that looks out-of-whack, send us an e-mail.

I'd also like to thank Paul at SoapBlox for all his hard work in getting the new site to look almost exactly like the current version, down to the last pixel. And of course I'd like to thank my very good friend Ben at Media Mezcla for managing the transition on this end and for three years of tremendous service in maintaining and expanding this site. If you want a blog with diaries, Paul is definitely your guy. And if you want a sophisticated Movable Type site or a fantastic campaign software package, talk to Ben.

So go, have fun, play around and report back if need be. We'll post another announcement when we're ready to make the swap final.

Posted at 10:29 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy Third Birthday, Swing State Project

Posted by DavidNYC

Today is, believe it or not, the third birthday of the Swing State Project, which began three years ago as a humble diary on DailyKos. Since then, this site has featured several guest posters who have risen to prominence in the blogosphere, like Chris Bowers & Tim Tagaris; raised tens of thousands of dollars for numerous Democratic candidates; and has led the way on candidacies like Paul Hackett's in the OH-02 special last year and Paul Hodes's in NH-02 this year.

Most importantly, what's kept this site going are the readers and commenters. Indeed, we've had an astounding 2.75 million visitors since we began publishing this site. I personally have learned so much from following the discussions here and I look forward to reading the comments every day. So a huge thank you to everyone who has made Swing State a huge success over the years. My hat is off to all of you!

Posted at 09:01 AM in Site News | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, September 03, 2006

E-Mail Subscriptions Are Available Again

Posted by DavidNYC

Good news: Thanks to FeedBurner, we have live e-mail subscriptions once more. If you sign up, you'll get an e-mail every morning containing the prior day's entries here on Swing State. (If we don't publish anything new, you don't get an e-mail.) It's easy to sign up - just type your e-mail address in the appropriate box in the right-hand column, or just use the box just below:

Sign up to receive a daily e-mail whenever the SSP is updated:

I've been testing the service for a couple of days without any trouble, but if you run into any problems, please let us know. Also, a big shout-out to Rick Klau at FeedBurner for helping us set up this e-mail list, among other recent behind-the-scenes improvements to the site.

Posted at 09:40 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 31, 2006

E-Mail Subscriptions Service Change

Posted by DavidNYC

This is a note for those of you who may have signed up to receive a daily e-mail of SSP posts. This service was provided for several years, free of charge, by Monsur at Bloglet. Unfortunately, Bloglet has now closed its doors. The good news, though, is that FeedBurner provides a similar service, and we should be up and running with them shortly.

If you had previously signed up with Bloglet, you'll have to re-sign up with FeedBurner when that goes live. (I'll post an announcement when it does.) While this might be a slight inconvenience, I'd rather protect my readers' privacy than turn over their e-mail addresses without permission. (What's more, some of the Bloglet e-mail addresses are hidden even from me, so I couldn't transfer everyone over even if I wanted to.)

Thanks for your patience. And feel free to use this as an open thread.

Posted at 05:43 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

SSP Changing Servers

Posted by DavidNYC

Because we don't want to wind up like Joe Lieberman on election day, the Swing State Project is moving to a new server. The transition should be seamless for all readers, with one exception. There's a chance that if you post a comment during the change-over, it'll get lost in the ether as we switch servers. So please don't be alarmed if something you write turns into a ghost. But if you were thinking of penning any brilliant comments, you might want to wait twenty-four hours - that's when the transition should be complete.

Thanks for your understanding.

Posted at 01:49 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Server Difficulties

Posted by DavidNYC

Our apologies: As you may have noticed, we've been experiencing server difficulties here today. Usually, they are in the form of "500 Internal Server Errors," which arise when you click a link or sometimes even try to load the main page. We are working with our host company to resolve the problem. Because the error only arises intermittently, if a page doesn't load properly, please wait a few minutes and try again, as there is a good chance it will eventually load. Thank you for your patience.

Posted at 12:23 AM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Weekly Open Thread: What Races Are You Interested In?

Posted by DavidNYC

This weekend, the title question is probably unnecessary - CA-50 and MT-Sen are on everyone's minds. But if you've got anything else going on - perhaps a little Iowa? - let us know.

Also, a few site news notes. First, as you may have noticed, authors' names are now automatically linked to their e-mail addresses. So if you want to contact me, James or RBH, just click our names right below the headline of any post.

Second, we've made it easier to navigate to older stories. When you reach the bottom of the page, you will now see a link to "Next Page »". Clicking that will bring you to the previous set of posts. You can keep navigating back that way at for least 10 pages worth of material.

Finally, you'll notice that the last link at the bottom of every post says "Technorati". This link will take you to a page on the blog search engine Technorati where you can see if other blogs have linked to (and are discussing) the post in question. For example, a number of blogs linked to yesterday's post about CA-50 GOTV efforts, which is definitely something I like to see. Anyhow, it's a fun feature you can play around with.

P.S. It's also looking like another new contributing editor may join us here soon. Stay tuned!

Posted at 05:10 PM in Open Threads, Site News | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Introduction

Posted by RBH

Howdy. It really didn't take a lot of time for me to accept the offer to be a guest blogger here.

While James is from Alberta, I'm from Missouri. Missouri being the geographic center of America, and probably one of the swingingest of all swing states. Missouri offers unpredictablle weather, scenic fields, and Missouri also offers up a front-line Senate race, between Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent.

But then again, I'm sure that the SSP audience probably heard of that whole McCaskill/Talent thing.

When it comes to that campaign, I'll imagine that as we move farther into Summer, Jim Talent will continue to tap dance and sing his new tune. A song which he doesn't usually sing (except in election years).

But, enough about Jim Talent for the moment. When "Jumping Jim" does his "election year tap dance," I'll pass it along.

Back to me for a few moments. I'm 20 (which makes it a bit more incredible that I get to use a shiny object like MT). My first votes were in 2004. I'll also try to refrain from directing donations. I'll also try not to ignite a "Coke v. Pepsi" flamewar. Basically what I'll offer involves campaign news (with possible assists from Google News or Lexis-Nexis or where ever else) .

I'd like to thank David for the offer to be on here. Also, I wouldn't be stunned if I post something on here sometime today or tomorrow.

Posted at 09:58 AM in Site News | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

A View From the North

Posted by James L.

When DavidNYC first approached me with the opportunity to join the Swing State Project as a guest blogger, I immediately said yes (after changing my pants, of course), but with one major caveat: that my presence on the front page will undoubtedly raise more than a few eyebrows. The long and short of it is that I’m Canadian. Granted, I am a Canadian with a borderline-unhealthy interest in U.S. electoral politics, but a Canadian nonetheless.

You may be wondering why someone from Canada has been engaging in U.S. political discussion and keeping tabs on local races in the U.S. Fair question. It could be that the fate of the free world hinges on the political direction of the U.S., but the honest assessment is that I’m an elections junkie in a region with a devastatingly boring political climate. In my home province of Alberta, the government has only changed hands between political parties twice in the last 100 years, and not once in my lifetime. Yawn. For the real juicy stuff, you’ve just gotta look south, baby. And, as a Political Science major with a focus on North American and international politics at the University of Alberta, the U.S. is constantly under my microscope. I think that I’ve built up enough knowledge on American politics to speak coherently on the subject, but I have no doubt that being more intimately involved in this blog will provide many more opportunities to learn. I’m sure it’ll be a blast.

Also, let me be clear about my role here: I’m not here to tell you who to donate to (I’ll leave that to David), or to provoke discussions on international politics, or to wedge ideological debates within my entries. To me, the Swing State Project is about one thing, and one thing only: meat ‘n’ potatoes, nitty gritty U.S. electoral analysis and discussion. That's the reason I'm here and that’s not going to change.

Last but not least, thanks again to DavidNYC for letting me borrow the keys. I’ll try not to take her out for too many joyrides, old man…

Posted at 02:03 AM in Site News | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Introducing Our New Contributing Editors

Posted by DavidNYC

As you know, I've just finished up law school. While I'm thrilled beyond words to be done with school, this unfortunately means that in less than a week, I start bar review classes (the bar exam is at the end of July). Because I'd like to keep the Swing State Project going strong, I've asked two new contributing editors to join me as guest posters. Their names are undoubtedly familiar to you, as they've both been longtime commenters and community members here.

So please give a warm welcome to RBH and James L. (whom you know as "HellofaSandwich"). Both RBH and James, like myself, are keenly interested in the bread and butter of this site, horserace politics. If you've ever read any of their commentary, you know that these guys really know their stuff. Indeed, their comments have often inspired me to research and write on new topics. I know you will enjoy reading their front-page posts.

As for me, I will do my best to stay active on the site as I study for the bar. But it goes without saying that I am truly grateful to James and RBH for stepping up to the plate here to make sure that the SSP continues to thrive. I know the site is in good hands, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Posted at 03:54 PM in Site News | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Blogads Survey Results

Posted by DavidNYC

A while back, I asked you to participate in the Blogads Reader Survey. Almost thirty of you were kind enough to do so and to list the Swing State Project as your referring blog. While that's not a huge sample size, it's enough to get the gist of what the readership of this site is like. Click here for the SSP-specific results. One thing that jumped out at me: 8 of 29 respondents are students - perhaps like attracts like!

The full Blogads survey (covering all political blogs) is here, and a descriptive summary is here. Thanks again for participating!

Posted at 12:52 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, April 24, 2006

Crunch Time

Posted by DavidNYC

Sorry about the slow posting - I'm in my last week of law school classes, ever! While I consider that to be excellent good news, it also means that it's final exam crunch time. I'll try to toss up some updates now and again, but you'll have to forgive me in advance for any paucity in posting over the next few weeks.

For now, please feel free to chatter away about anything and everything in this thread.

Posted at 03:17 PM in Site News | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Weekly Open Thread: What Races Are You Interested In?

Posted by DavidNYC

NY-24 is currently my number one race, and I suspect it'll occupy quite a lot of my thoughts from now until November. People are saying that Oneida County DA Mike Arcuri is the top Dem candidate. What do you know about him? (And, if Arcuri's as good as people seem to think, I'd really like it if the campaign would start reaching out to bloggers.)

Posted at 01:53 PM in Site News | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Koufax Awards Voting Has Begun

Posted by DavidNYC

Voting for the 2005 Koufax Awards has begun. I support the Sandies both because I like the idea of recognizing blogs and bloggers who have made meaningful contributions to the blogosphere, but also because I think the lists of past winners can serve as a helpful guide for newcomers to blog-land. To vote, go over to Wampum and click on the category links in the box atop the left-hand column. Leave a comment with your vote in each category you wish to vote in.

One blog I am definitely casting my ballot for is the Bluegrass Report, in the category of "Best State/Local Blog." I think Mark Nickolas almost single-handedly helped put a Congressional seat in play with his tireless - and successful - efforts to Draft Ken Lucas. For that alone, he deserves the nod. Mark was kind enough to support this humble site in the category of "Best Single-Issue Blog," but I'd be voting for Bluegrass Report even if he weren't.

Posted at 05:53 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, March 09, 2006

MPRE Lockdown

Posted by DavidNYC

With the MPRE (joy!) this weekend, I don't expect to be able to post between now and then. Regularly scheduled posting should resume next week.

Please use this as an open thread to discuss whatever races you're interested in. CA-50, for one, looms large.

Posted at 04:29 PM in Site News | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, March 03, 2006

Spring Break

Posted by DavidNYC

Spring break starts today, so posting will be light for the next week - and not even because I have some fun out-of-town trip planned. I've got to study for the MPRE, which is, sadly, next Saturday - right during spring break. (If you're not a law-type person, just be glad you'll never have anything to do with MPRE, the bar, or any of that stuff.)

Feel free to use this as an open thread.

Posted at 01:37 PM in Site News | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Blogads Reader Survey

Posted by DavidNYC

I kindly ask that you take a few minutes and fill out the annual Blogads reader survey. The better data we have on readership, the better advertisers are able to make decisions about placing ads. It also means you (the readers) get to see ads which are more precisely tailored to this site. Ads are crucial to keeping this site running as they help defray bandwidth expenses (which are considerable, especially when traffic spikes.)

And for question number 23, where it asks you to fill in the referring blog, please put "Swing State Project". Thank you so much!

Posted at 10:00 AM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blogger Spotlight

Posted by DavidNYC

Shameless bit of self-promotion coming up: I'm featured in today's "Blogger Spotlight" in the Hotline's Blogometer. Have at it!

Posted at 01:37 PM in Site News | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Posted by DavidNYC

I'm up in Boston for a few days visiting friends, so posting will be slow. I've been here a few times before but have never really done the touristy things. Any suggestions on things one should do or see?

Posted at 10:41 AM in Site News | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Out of Town

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm visting my fiancee's family in Ohio - the mother of all swing states. (Cleveland, to be precise.) My Internet access unfortunately is pretty limited, so I may not be able to post much until Monday. Back in some home-state news, you've probably seen by now that Janeane Pirro has bailed on the NY Senate race and plans to run for AG. This doesn't really change the calculus for Clinton - she'll steamroll whomever it is she faces. However, Pirro may yet prove to be a decent candidate for Attorney General, which worries me - if she wins, she could turn the nation's top regulatory enforcement agency into a slavering lapdog. I'm proud to say that I once worked for the NY AG's office, and I'd truly hate to see Pirro turn it into the embarassing mess it was under Spitzer's predecessor, the pathetic Dennis Vacco.

In any event, enough politics for now. Go enjoy yourselves - happy holidays to all!

Posted at 06:02 PM in Site News | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Thank the Maker!

Posted by DavidNYC

At long last, after a 24-hour Con Law 2 take-home exam, I am done done done with finals. Once I recover, blogging should return to normal.

Posted at 02:10 PM in Site News | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, December 09, 2005

Patent Law Final Today

Posted by DavidNYC

Hence the lack of updates. I could tell you all about the statutory bar of 102(b), but you're going to have to clue me in as to what's going on in the real world.

Posted at 09:18 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jeremy Blogged in Class Today

Posted by DavidNYC

So I'm taking a study break, and I head over to check out the SSP's stats on Google Analytics. (Some study break, huh?) If you run a website, you're gonna want to use Google Analytics to track your traffic. It's free, and seriously sophisticated. It leaves SiteMeter way, way in the dust.

Anyhow, GA lets you look at every source that ever referred someone your way. Nearly all of the referring sites for the SSP are the ones you'd expect - DailyKos, Google, Bluegrass Report, etc. But toward the bottom of the top 50, one site really jumped out at me: Pearl Jam. If you go to this page and click on the "Politics" button, there we are! I'm guessing we wound up there via the Jon Tester connection, but damn, that's just too cool.

So, welcome Pearl Jam fans!

Posted at 09:37 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by DavidNYC

Just wanted to let you know that the SSP probably won't publish much until after the holiday weekend. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Posted at 06:09 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Comments Down Temporarily

Posted by DavidNYC

Commenting appears not to be working at the moment, though the rest of the site is functioning normally. We hope to have them restored soon.

UPDATE: Comments are restored and should be working normally. Please e-mail me if you encounter any problems.

Posted at 06:16 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, November 11, 2005

Going Solo Once Again

Posted by DavidNYC

This is just a short note to let my readers know that I'm once again going solo here at the Swing State Project. It'll be the same site with the same focus - campaign & election news, horserace politics, plus some activism and fundraising - that you've come (I hope) to appreciate and enjoy. And it goes without saying that I extend my thanks to Tim & Bob for all their hard work.

And as always, if you have some thoughts you'd like to share, please leave a comment or drop me a line: davidnyc -at- swingstateproject -dot- com.

Posted at 06:26 PM in Site News | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Peace Out

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A little over a year ago, I badgered David about letting me post consistently at Swing State Project. His work at law school was picking up, and he eventually relented right before election day. Having effectively dragged his baby through the mud, my work here is done. Nothing long and sappy, just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has visited this site and put up with the good (Hackett & State Party Blog Project), the bad (my anti-Bob Casey Jr. ramblings), and the ugly (my inability to self proofread). For the curious, you'll be able to find me at my new home, over here. Yeah, no kidding. Send me an email and I'll see what I can't do about getting all SSP readers half-priced Democracy Bonds. Yes, kidding about that one.

Anyway, that's that. From one location to another, hopefully I'll see you over there -- especially you Ohioans; we'll turn this sucker blue soon enough.

-- Tim

Posted at 11:59 PM in Site News | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

2005 Election Night Coverage

Posted by Bob Brigham

This is the last hurrah for the 2005 Swing State Project team, so we will do everything we can to provide top-notch election night coverage. DavidNYC is in Washington, DC (ready for legal deployment to Virginia if the Tim Kaine vs. Jerry Kilgore race goes into extra innings). Tim Tagaris is on the ground in Ohio, ready to follow through on all he has done to help Reform Ohio Now. And I'm in California with front row seats for Arnold Schwarzenegger's initiatives. In addition to the election results, check out what the local bloggers are writing in the major states. There are now two major wires services for liberal bloggers -- state by state. Keep refreshing Swing State Project, but also visit all of the bloggers on the ground by visiting the wires:

Virginia: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

New Jersey: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

Ohio: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

California: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

DISCLAIMER: I've ended up on BlogPAC's reports before, but all I'm trying to do here is direct you to the bloggers with the on the ground knowledge.

Posted at 07:24 PM in 2005 Elections, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Site News, Virginia | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 07, 2005

Election Night

Posted by Bob Brigham

Of course, we will have updates all day and late into the night tomorrow.

Posted at 03:52 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Comments Down

Posted by DavidNYC

Comments are down right now. We are working on a fix. Thanks for your patience.

Posted at 10:29 AM in Site News | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Comments Are Fixed!

Posted by DavidNYC

Ah, at long last - the comment box is where it ought to be. No more scrolling way down the page to find it. Thanks so much to everyone who offered advice and helped out. If you notice any weirdness, let us know.

Also, I'll be signing off for the next day as it is Yom Kippur. To those of you observing the holiday, I wish you an easy fast.

Posted at 03:14 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-02: SSP in Mother Jones' Hackett Stories

Posted by Bob Brigham

Mother Jones posted their cover story on the OH-02 Special Election:

The Ohio Insurgency: The Democrat who Fought
Major Paul Hackett came home from Iraq to launch an assault on a GOP stronghold. Can Democrats follow his lead?
By David Goodman

They have now also posted a companion piece that provides a timeline of blog support for Paul Hackett:

The Digital Insurgency
How liberal bloggers and their readers fueled Paul Hackett's rise
By Jonathan Stein

On Election Night, I mentioned this was coming. Thoughts?

Posted at 02:13 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Seeking Help for Our Strange Comment Box Problem

Posted by DavidNYC

As you may have noticed, the SSP's comment box is often buried at the very bottom of the page - totally separate from the line asking you for your URL and if you want the site to remember you (ie, the normal place you'd want a comment box to appear). It's also the case with this post. Just sign in with TypeKey and scroll all the way down - you'll notice the problem immediately. And we've been totally confounded by it. Nothing in our templates or CSS file seems to bear any relation to this oddity. And it happens in both Firefox and IE (which is to say, we think it's a site problem, not a browser problem).

One thing that is clear is that the comment box winds up beneath the bottom of the main left-hand adstrip - or, more precisely, below the Site Meter chicklet which is beneath the adstrip. If you have any thoughts on why this might be happening, we'd be extremely grateful for any assistance you can provide. Either leave a comment here (if you can find the box, heh) or send us an e-mail using the links in the right-hand column. Thanks so much!

Posted at 01:15 PM in Site News | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OH-Sen: The Story So Far

Posted by DavidNYC

Way, way back at the start of the year, President Bush followed all second-term presidents in performing a time-honored rite: the cabinet reshuffle. We saw some dear old friends depart, like John Ashcroft and Colin Powell. We were introduced to some wonderful new faces, like Alberto Gonzalez. And some of our long-time buddies just couldn't bear to leave, like Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld.

Almost lost in this misty-eyed pastoral is the tremendously important post of US Trade Representative. Whoever holds this job is responsible for travelling around the world on the government's tab to convince foreign countries to buy our goods. What an awesome job. The lucky fellow who held this job in Bush's first term was one Robert Zoellick, who became a Deputy Secretary of State at the start of Bush's second term. Ah, Bob, we hardly knew ye.

To fill this crucial gap in our nation's governing apparatus, George Bush tapped Robert Portman to fill Zoellick's big shoes. Portman, you see, was a Congressman from southwest Ohio, roughly in the neighborhood of Cincinnati. His district - Ohio's second - was one of the most conservative in Ohio, if not the nation. It had reliably sent a Republican to Congress for decades, and Democrats hadn't poked their heads above a feeble 30% or so for a long, long time.

Smart play by Mr. Bush: Tap a solid insider for your cabinet, and ensure that you don't lose any ground in the House. And the plan worked, too - but you couldn't ask for a better illustration of "be careful what you wish for." So what happened along the way?

A certain blogger - me, as it happens - noticed the Portman nomination and espied the inevitable open seat and special election that would of necessity ensue. So I wrote about it over at the seminal Democratic blog DailyKos. I didn't view the race as winnable (not at the time, at least), but I did think it would give our side a great opportunity to do some political R&D - to experiment, be bold, hold nothing back. When you've got nothing to lose, you can be as aggressive as you want.

Meanwhile, things began to unfold on the ground in Ohio. The fateful primary election took place on June 14th. The Dems emerged with a man that almost no one had heard of - but he did have an interesting resume. Major Paul Hackett had just returned from serving a tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq - a war, believe it or not, he opposed. Who could speak with more authority - both intellectual and moral - on such an important subject, than someone with a background like that?

It turns out that Paul Hackett was also the sort of blunt, plain-spoken non-politician that so many Democrats had craved for so long. He was Howard Dean in fatigues. To many, Hackett's individual positions weren't nearly as important as his willingness to speak his mind. He definitely didn't vote for anything before he voted against it.

The blogosphere began to take serious interest in the race at this point - and a huge reason was Tim Tagaris, one of the editors of this humble magazine. Tim, on the ground with Grow Ohio, served as a crucial conduit between the online world and OH-02. Reports flowed in fast and furious from southwest Ohio. The Swing State Project (along with the OH-02 Blog) quickly became a hub for anyone who wanted to know more about the race or get involved.

As online activists started tuning in, volunteers began to flood the district as well. Hackett started getting real media coverage. He also had a lot of things going for him: Distrust and anger toward Republicans in the state of Ohio had been mounting since the Coingate revelations; Bush's popularity amongst Buckeyes had been steadily dropping; and he drew an opponent, Jean Schmidt, who was as corrupt (she took piles of cash from the now-indicted Tom DeLay) as she was feckless (she was reduced to defensively declaring she wouldn't be a "rubber stamp" during debates).

In the middle of the hubbub, Tim's fellow SSP editor, Bob Brigham, also decamped for the battleground of OH-02. Traffic exploded here as Bob and Tim tag-teamed the final days of the race. Back home, I kept the front page of DailyKos updated as often as I could. A certain energy crackled and infused everything about the whole campaign.

And people began to realize that this was no long just an opportunity to do some R&D - something much more was happening here. Hackett got scads of scrilla from online donations. The GOP got spooked and poured in big money of its own - in a district that Portman had won by 40 points the last time out. The establishment Dems took notice and fired back with a further cash infusion. The race was getting seriously, seriously hot.

It looked like Hackett could conceivably, possibly, just maybe win. No one knew for sure, of course - no one had done any independent, verifiable polling. But even if Hackett didn't win, lots of people - on the ground, in the professional commentariat, across the blogosphere - realized that a strong performance would send a message.

And boy did Paul Hackett send a message. Yeah, he lost - but by a margin much narrower than anyone would have dreamed. Republicans enjoyed scoffing about Hackett's loss, but there was jubilation on the Democratic side. Hackett lost by four points. The prior Dem who ran for this seat lost by ten times that margin. Anyone who refused to believe this showing didn't mean something truly had their head in the proverbial sand.

But the race did more than just send a message. A new star was born - and it wasn't Jean Schmidt. While she limped into her seat in Congress, Paul Hackett became a new Democratic Party star. His fearlessness and ability to connect with normal people (ie, everyone in America who doesn't suffer from D.C. Beltway Brain-rot) ensured that he wouldn't soon be forgotten. Just about everyone agreed he had a bright future in politics.

It turns out that his future was now. The Ohio GOP was reeling. Incumbent Republican Senator Mike DeWine, suffering atrocious approval ratings, was up for re-election in 2006. The Dems were looking for someone to take him on. A lot of people thought Paul Hackett would be the perfect guy to do that.

After some months of convincing, it appeared that Paul Hackett finally thought so as well, and rumors of his candidacy spread like wildfire across the Internet during the month of September. The way was clear for Hackett: Ohio Congressmen Tim Ryan and Sherrod Brown both indicated that they weren't going to run against DeWine.

As October rolled around (and the third quarter ended), an official announcement from Hackett was widely expected. (No candidate for office was going to announce right in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in any event.) Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the election: Sherrod Brown, previously thought to be uninterested in the Senate race, started making noises that he would, in fact, throw his hat into the ring.

At that point, almost instantly, battle lines were drawn. Now, brother is pit against brother, more or less. Alright, so I'm making it sound like a melodramatic Civil War miniseries, only with fewer guns. But the dynamics are pretty fascinating.

Jerome Armstrong, the liberal blogfather and creator of the ur-blog MyDD, jumped on board Brown's ship. (Jerome is, in fact, working for Brown.) Jerome's greatest protege, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos, has sided with Hackett.

And over here at the Swing State Project, the situation is no less jumbled. Tim, as I mentioned above, works for Grow Ohio, which means, like Jerome, he works for Sherrod Brown. Bob, on the other hand, has just started volunteering for Hackett and, as you can see from his posts here, supports him vociferously.

Today, however, Markos seems to weigh in on Brown's side, though the bulk of his readers support Hackett. Meanwhile, Tim (rightfully) wants to focus on RON, not an internecine battle. The Hotline's Blogometer has already noted a "split" in left-blogistan, but as all this indicates, the fault lines are far from clear. Indeed, Chris Bowers, the lead author at MyDD and Jerome's fellow blogger-in-arms, hasn't yet decided whom to support.

So where does this leave me? I count myself in the Hackett camp. But I definitely don't want to see a real blogspheric civil war emerge. We just don't need another huge round of infighting, like we saw during the Democratic Presidential primaries throughout all of 2003. The tide this year is turning strongly against the Republicans. Their corruption is catching up with them. Many will lose next year - both at the ballot box and in the courtroom. It's more important than ever that we stay united to capitalize on this perfect storm.

And the Swing State Project remains committed to bringing you the best coverage possible of the race - and that means reporting on the strengths and foibles of both the guys we support and the guys we don't.

I'll be honest: I wish Brown had chosen a different course of action. But since he's apparently committed at this point, all I'm hoping for is a good clean fight. So let's do this thing!

Posted at 08:30 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (33) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy New Year

Posted by DavidNYC

I'll be taking off for the next couple of days to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. So to all of you who are joining me in celebrating this holiday, I wish you Shanah Tovah - Happy New Year. May you have a restful and peaceful holiday, and a good year.

(As always, Bob & Tim will have things covered.)

Posted at 07:48 PM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, September 30, 2005

C&E: Blogosphere Rally

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Swing State Project received a great deal of press in August for our work to make Paul Hackett a contender. Now that Paul Hackett is viewed as a Senate candidate, we won't let up. But the press keeps flowing about our triangular approach of DavidNYC, Tim Tagaris and me. From the cover story of the (subscription only) Campaigns and Elections:

When US Rep Rob Portman left the House in April to become US trade representative, Democrats were not expected to make much of a race for his seat.

After all, the congressman’s district in Ohio’s rural, southwest 2nd district had been in Republican hands since 1974. More recently, it gave Portman and President George W. Bush respectively 72 percent and 63 percent of the vote in November 2004.

But some liberal activists spied an opportunity. At the blog Daily Kos, a liberal Web site with more than 500,000 daily hits, a law student with the handle DavidNYC posted a short essay titled “OH-02: Let’s Take This Open Seat on a Trial Run.” Sixteen months earlier, the Daily Kos regular had launched a blog called “SwingStateProject” that monitored Democrats’ chances at capturing key states in the 2004 election. After the party’s defeat, David kept up the blog and posted prominent commentaries at Daily Kos.

Back to the political consulant story...

A pivotal site was “Grow Ohio,” launched in June by U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown of Ohio’s 13th District. In 2004 that site’s
chief blogger, Tim Tagaris, had worked for a Daily Kos-endorsed candidate named Jeff Seemann in Ohio’s 16th district, who had lost the race but earned more than $100,000 from online donations. Tagaris, also a blogger at Swing State Project and Daily Kos, had learned how to direct the eyes of media and bloggers to a

On July 13, the Hackett campaign sent a press release to bloggers and reporters called “Choose Your Seat Wisely,” which dramatized what Hackett and Schmidt were doing on Oct. 24, 2004. While Schmidt appeared at a Republican fund-raiser and a football game, Hackett was in a chopper being transported from Ramadi to Fallujah. Tagaris posted a version of the release on Grow Ohio titled “What a
Difference a Day Makes.” The campaign’s visibility was dramatically increased, and donations through Hackett’s Web site and ActBlue spiked.

So let's talk about the history...

Six days later the campaign experienced another surge. A large number of liberal blogs had dubbed July 19 “Blogosphere Day.” A year earlier, bloggers at Daily Kos had “adopted” Ginny Schrader, a nominally funded candidate in Pennsylvania’s 8th district, and given her $25,000 in one day. As blogs were commemorating the day by coordinating donations to Hackett, Democracy For America sent out an
e-mail to its list asking members to support him. Thanks to this combination, the Hackett campaign raised more than $80,000 in 24 hours – the best-ever day of online donations for a non-presidential campaign.

With the candidate’s name and biography now known nationally across the blogs, the campaign was able to attract hundreds of volunteers. Bob Brigham, Tagaris’s co-blogger on Swing State Project, got plugged into the campaign and started using the blog as a rapid response tool. Brigham’s first test came on July 28, when a USA Today story on the race quoted Hackett saying, “I’ve said I don’t like that son of a bitch that lives in the White House. But I’d put my life on
the line for him.” The next day, the NRCC announced two ad buys in the 2nd district totaling $525,000. Committee spokesman Carl Forti said it had reacted to Hackett’s comments and “decided to bury him.”

Can SSP Deliver?

On Aug. 1, the campaign told bloggers that it needed $30,000 to fund GOTV. They raised $50,000. On Election Night, Tagaris and Brigham had Internet access at campaign headquarters, where they posted updates and rumors. For around 30 minutes, when it looked like the race might come down to a few hundred votes in late-returning Clermont County, MyDD and Swing State Project asked readers to
dig up information on Ohio election law.


Posted at 01:58 AM in Site News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Supreme Court: I Oppose John Roberts

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Feminist Bloggers have announced opposition to John Roberts and I posted in the comments my signature to their letter and urge you to also.

The political optics are very simple: when Roberts drives the court away from Americans, Democrats need to be able to have clear contrast.

This is especially true for Democratic presidential candidates. Roberts will have a couple of years to do his worst before the primary heats up. Any presidential candidate who votes for Roberts will be blamed for Roberts.

As for rank and file Democrats, the play is easy to see. If you are on the judiciary committee you damn well better vote with your team. If a senator is going to make a comment other than opposition, don't. STFU.

Democrats win when we play as a team (i.e. Social Security). We need that now more than ever. We're watching to make sure every Democratic senator plays off the Democratic playbook;

WASHINGTON - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has told associates he intends to oppose confirmation of John Roberts as chief justice, Senate sources said Tuesday as rank and file Democrats began staking out positions on the man named to succeed the late William H. Rehnquist. [...]

As party leader, Reid had urged fellow Democrats not to announce their positions until the conclusion of last week's confirmation hearings for Roberts.

By stating his own position first, Reid likely would set the stage for strong Democratic opposition to the 50-year-old appeals court judge and former Reagan administration lawyer.

We're watching.

UPDATE: And we're talking. From MSNBC:

Bob Brigham, a Democratic blogger who writes for said Democratic activists are following the Roberts battle more closely than they did the 1991 Clarence Thomas saga.

“With the decentralization of politics and the blogs, there are a lot more people paying attention. The Democratic base is following this very closely,” Brigham said.

If he is confirmed, Brigham predicted, “Roberts is going to have a chance to hand down some serious decisions before the 2008 presidential race heats up. And every bad decision he makes will be blamed on any Democratic senator who votes for him. Democratic senators will be held accountable individually for the bad decisions he makes between now and 2008.”

Democratic Senators need to do the right thing.

UPDATE: Full statement from Leader Harry Reid:

“One of the Senate’s most important constitutional responsibilities is to provide “advice and consent” with respect to a President’s nominations. The task is especially important when the nomination is of an individual to be the Chief Justice of the United States.

“No one doubts that John Roberts is an excellent lawyer and an affable person. But at the end of this process, I have too many unanswered questions about the nominee to justify a vote confirming him to this enormously important lifetime position.

“The stakes for the American people could not be higher. The retirement of Justice O’Connor and the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist have left the Supreme Court in a period of transition. On key issues affecting the rights and freedoms of Americans, the Court is closely divided. If confirmed, Judge Roberts, who is only 50 years old, will likely serve as Chief Justice and leader of the third branch of the federal government for decades to come.

“The legal authority that we will hand to Judge Roberts by this confirmation vote is awesome. In my view, we should only vote to confirm this nominee if we are absolutely positive that he is the right person to hold that authority. This is a very close question for me. But I must resolve my doubts in favor of the American people whose rights would be in jeopardy if John Roberts turns out to be the wrong person for the job.

“Some say that the President is entitled to deference from the Senate in nominating individuals to high office. I agree that such deference is appropriate in the case of executive branch nominees such as Cabinet officers. With some important exceptions, the President may generally choose his own advisors.

“In contrast, the President is not entitled to very much deference in staffing the third branch of government, the judiciary. The Constitution envisions that the President and the Senate will work together to appoint and confirm federal judges. This is a shared constitutional duty.

“The Senate’s role in screening judicial candidates is especially important in the case of Supreme Court nominees, because the Supreme Court has assumed such a large role in resolving fundamental disputes in our civic life. As I see it, any nominee for the Supreme Court bears the burden of persuading the Senate and the American people that he or she deserves confirmation to a lifetime seat on the Court.

“Let me start by observing that Judge Roberts has been a thoughtful, mainstream judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. But he has only been a member of that court for two years and has not confronted many cutting-edge constitutional issues. As a result, we cannot rely on his current judicial service to determine what kind of Supreme Court justice he would be.

“I was very impressed with Judge Roberts when I first met him, soon after he was nominated. But several factors caused me to reassess my initial view.

“Most notably, I was disturbed by the memos that surfaced from Judge Roberts’s years of service in the Reagan Administration. These memos raise serious questions about the nominee’s approach to civil rights.

“It is now clear that as a young lawyer, John Roberts played a significant role in shaping and advancing the Republican agenda to roll back civil rights protections. He wrote memos opposing legislative and judicial efforts to remedy race and gender discrimination. He urged his superiors to oppose Senator Kennedy’s 1982 bill to strengthen the Voting Rights Act and worked against affirmative action programs. He derided the concept of comparable worth and questioned whether women actually suffer discrimination in the workplace.

“No one suggests that John Roberts was motivated by bigotry or animosity towards minorities or women. But these memos lead one to question whether he truly appreciated the history of the civil rights struggle. He wrote about discrimination as an abstract concept, not as a flesh and blood reality for countless of his fellow citizens. The memos raised a real question for me whether their author would breathe life into the Equal Protection Clause and the landmark civil rights statutes that come before the Supreme Court repeatedly.

“Nonetheless, I was prepared to look past these memos, and chalk them up to the folly of youth. I looked forward to the confirmation hearings in the expectation that Judge Roberts would repudiate those views in some fashion. Instead, the nominee adopted what I consider a disingenuous strategy of suggesting that the views expressed in those memos were not his views, even at the time the memos were written. He claimed that he was merely a “staff lawyer” reflecting the positions of his client, the Reagan Administration.

“Anyone who has read the memos can see that Roberts was expressing his own personal views on these important policy matters. In memo after memo, the text is clear. It is simply not plausible for the nominee to claim that he did not share the views that he expressed.

“For example, there is a memo in which he refers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as “un-American.” If Judge Roberts had testified that this was a twenty year old bad joke, I would have given the memo no weight. But instead, he provided a tortured reading of the memo that simply does not stand up under scrutiny.

“In another memo Judge Roberts spoke about a Hispanic group that President Reagan would soon address, and he suggested that the audience would be pleased to know that the Administration favored legal status for the “illegal amigos” of the audience members. The use of the Spanish word “amigos” in this memo is patronizing and offensive to a contemporary reader.

“I do not condemn Judge Roberts for using the word “amigos” twenty years ago in a non-public memo, but I was stunned when at his confirmation hearing he could not bring himself to express regret for using the term, or recognize that it might cause offense.

“My concerns about these Reagan-era memos were heightened by the fact that the White House rejected a reasonable request by Committee Democrats for documents written by Judge Roberts when he served in the first Bush Administration. After all, if memos written twenty years ago are to be dismissed as not reflecting the nominee’s mature thinking, it would be highly relevant to see memos he had written as an older man in an even more important policymaking job.

“The White House claim of attorney-client privilege to shield these documents is utterly unpersuasive. Senator Leahy asked Attorney General Gonzales for the courtesy of a meeting to discuss the matter and was turned down. This was simply a matter of stonewalling.

“The failure of the White House to produce relevant documents is reason enough for any Senator to oppose this nomination. The Administration cannot treat the Senate with such disrespect without some consequences.

“In the absence of these documents, it was especially important for the nominee to fully and forthrightly answer questions from Committee members at his hearing. He failed to do so adequately. I acknowledge the right – indeed, the duty – of a judicial nominee to decline to answer questions regarding specific cases that will come before the court to which the witness has been nominated. But Judge Roberts declined to answer many questions more remote than that, including questions seeking his views of long-settled precedents.

“Finally, I was very swayed by the testimony of civil rights and women’s rights leaders against confirmation. When a civil rights icon like John Lewis says that John Roberts was on the wrong side of history, Senators must take notice.

“I like Judge Roberts. I respect much of the work he has done in his career, such as his advocacy for environmentalists in the Lake Tahoe takings case several years ago. In the fullness of time, he may well prove to be a fine Supreme Court Justice. But I have reluctantly concluded that this nominee has not satisfied the high burden that would justify my voting for his confirmation based on the current record.

“Based on all of these factors, the balance shifts against Judge Roberts. The question is close, and the arguments against him do not warrant extraordinary procedural tactics to block the nomination. Nonetheless, I intend to cast my vote against this nominee when the Senate debates the matter next week.”

Posted at 02:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism, Democrats, Site News, Supreme Court | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, September 15, 2005

NOLA: Boots on the ground - we need more bloggers

Posted by Bob Brigham

Having a crack team of bloggers on the ground has allowed us to do more than provide coverage, it has provided real-time communication ability and scalable models.

As many of you know, we've been working with Dr. Ernest Johnson, President of the Lousiana NAACP. In addition to all of the direct aid relief, we have also been working closely with local political leaders.

The following case study is just one example of why we need you to get down to Louisiana and help the NAACP scale up efforts.

Americablog Coorespondent Kyle Shank documented how this started out.

It began with a simple idea, as old as democracy itself. That we need to organize structures of the evacuees, by the evacuees, and for the evacuees.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDue to the team we had on ground, we were able immediately cut PSAs, shoot a video release and blast a press release:


Ernest L. Johnson, President of the Louisiana NAACP called today for Katrina evacuees in shelters to take control of their own destinies by forming SHELTER COMMITTEES.

"Each SHELTER COMMITTEE should elect a Chairperson and a Secretary and begin holding meetings, organizing, and working as a team for better treatment," Johnson said. "In unity there is strength." [...]

The Louisiana NAACP is airing public service announcements on radio stations that explain the process for bringing participatory democracy to the shelter system.

"The Louisiana NAACP is with you in solidarity," Johnson said. "The NAACP will stand with all displaced people until each and every one return to a brand-new New Orleans."

It worked

The PSA's began running and the press began calling. We began reaching out to other groups and other groups began reaching out to us. We began building a coalition and providing the tools to the evacuees to organize themselves.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThen it hit the front page (above the fold) of the Baton Rouge paper (that all of the national press read).

NAACP seeks to organize evacuees

The NAACP is trying to organize occupants of evacuation shelters so they can take some control of their lives and, for black New Orleans residents, so they can have a voice in their city's 2006 elections.

Louisiana NAACP President Ernest Johnson said he wants evacuees to pick leaders who can speak for the groups on common issues, such as, lack of supplies, getting their children educated and moving into temporary housing.

Such efforts are natural for any community and echo the efforts that founded the United States, Johnson said. Banding together is especially important for people thrown into a new environment with few resources, he said.

The head of the state's chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said he especially wants to be sure that black New Orleans residents -- a majority of shelter occupants, he said -- can return to the Crescent City, if they wish. Thousands were taken, without their input, to states as far away as Montana, Johnson said.

There are problems in the shelters and there will be problems in the camps. Some with the Red Cross, some with FEMA, some with Guard, some with the evacuees. By organizing, we can put a model in place that can deal with whatever problem comes up. The evacuees will be able to collectively negotiate and take control over their own destiny.

We Need Your Help

Organizing takes boots on the ground and we need yours.

We need organizers, activists, media specialists, bloggers and people who can document the stories of the victims so we are ready when it comes time for accountability.

We need you. And your friends. This is a General Call to Action, join us. We have tents in the lawn of the NAACP for you to have shelter, we have wifi at the command center. This is the most important civil rights battle of these times, you are needed.

Please help spread the word and come to:

Lousiana NAACP Command Center
1755 Nicholson Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA

You might go days without showing, New Orleans smells like hell and Lake George is a toxic waste dump. But when all is said and done, you will have played any important role in history. Join us. Spread the word. In solidarity, do what you can.

Posted at 11:21 AM in Louisiana, Netroots, Site News | Comments (0) | Technorati

Monday, September 05, 2005

Video and Pics of Katrina

Posted by Bob Brigham

Right now, I'm in Baton Rouge. You can see video from yesterday here and keep up with my travels at

Posted at 03:15 PM in Site News | Technorati

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina: Live from Houston, TX

Posted by Bob Brigham

I'm at the Houston airport, waiting for a flight into Birmingham, then driving south.

During Paul Hackett's campaign, I think we proved that being on the ground is a great fulcrum. "Showing up maximizes" the leverage and we need it now, more than ever. Bush failed America, so now the burden falls to each American to help do what needs to be done.

Donate Housing :: Find ShelterMy specialty is using the internet, which is a perfect vehicle. From ABC News:

"When I put the listing on the Web site in the evening, I had five or six families respond by the morning," van Gelderen said while he was sending out e-mails to his friends challenging them to help. Van Gelderen had his entire staff mobilizing relief efforts, rather than focusing on business. "The private sector has to start doing just as much as the government."

Van Gelderen listed his available housing through, a liberal-leaning non-profit political organization.

MoveOn launched its hurricane housing site on Thursday afternoon, and within 25 hours received offers for 45,000 beds — 11,500 within driving distance of New Orleans, according to MoveOn president Eli Pariser.

"Basically we were just racking our brains trying to figure out how we could help our members provide some help for victims," said Pariser. "We have a direct line to 3 million people and there might be a lot who might be able to open up their homes."

At Swing State Project, I will continue to examine the electoral implications of the second disaster: the response. When Bush's poll numbers dropped below 40%, I didn't think they could go lower. I mean, he would always hold the Republicans, wouldn't he?

Apparently not...

The right wing realizes Bush's decision to continue his vacation kick-started a chain of events that will haunt the Republican Party for a long time. Geographically, Bush's incompetence has put the entire south in play. As the harvest forces tough conversations about transportation, the Midwest will also come into play. Not only is the Republican congress corrupt, but voting Republican gives another vote to the incompetent Republican Administration.

Bush fucked up. And even rabid right-wingers know it. The Washington Times knows it; Fox News knows it. Hell, even the Bull Moose is talking about impeachment. These organizations have propped Bush up for years and now they are cutting him loose, realizing that it is impossible to defend Bush's response – it is a credibility killer.

The hurricane was a disaster, but Bush's vacation-based reaction has been the real catastrophe.

So I'm going in. We're bringing in a SUV full of supplies, I also have my laptop and video camera.

Please sign up for Hurricane Housing.

Additionally requests will be coming.

Posted at 03:26 PM in 2006 Elections, Activism, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Site News, Texas | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Posted by Bob Brigham

While DavidNYC is the publisher of Swing State Project, he saves his best stuff for the front-page of Daily Kos.

Posted at 05:16 PM in Site News | Technorati

From the Swing State Project Team

Posted by Tim Tagaris

We have added a new blog ad to the left linking readers to a Billmon piece that gives a number of different options for those who want to contribute to the people trapped in the Gulf Coast.


For those wondering, there are so many good links about what is going on in the Gulf Coast right now that we aren't going to try and compete--you can expect the same electoral politics coverage you are used to at Swing State Project.

I know that I join many SSP readers in my feeling of complete helplessness. If anyone has information on how we can help in addition to giving money, I am all ears and will do what I can to make sure they get promoted. For those looking for more information, some of the links I am following in the extended entry.

WWLTV Blog in New Orleans
Times Picayune Blog

UPDATE: (Bob) Here is a little more on Bush and Katrina. I think we'll begin to see electoral fallout at the state level as early as tomorrow. I mean, people are calling it Lake George. District by district, state by state, this is rocking the political world.

Posted at 02:12 PM in Site News | Technorati

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Swing State Project News

Posted by Bob Brigham

Thanks for making August a great month. Thanks for reading, helping and sending us tips. In terms of traffic, August was our best month since SSP launched in 2003. Swing State Project also received a great deal of press in August, including the Atlantic Monthly, CNN's Political Play of the Week, Daily Standard, MSNBC, The New Republic, Philadelphia Enquirer, and the Washington Post. Thanks everyone.

Posted at 11:59 PM in Democrats, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Supporting Bloggers

Posted by DavidNYC

You might notice a new ad to the left from Markos of DailyKos, asking readers to support their favorite bloggers. It's a very generous gesture and definitely an unusual sort of blogad. We very much appreciate it.

Yet despite my close working relationship with Markos (most of you probably know that I'm a front page contributing editor at DailyKos), the ad comes totally unsolicited - and proof of that is the fact that the SSP doesn't ask for or take donations. We're fortunate enough that we don't have to. (Though hey, we may one day need to put out a tip jar, so we reserve all rights to come a-beggin' at some point in the future.)

But if you would like to support us financially, the best way to do so is to take out a blogad. That way, we get some cash, Blogads (the company) gets some support, and you get to promote a worthy site, product or cause. It's win-win-win.

And as always, thank you to our readers.

UPDATE (Bob): Markos deserves a great deal of credit for all he has done and is doing to support individual bloggers. And thanks to all of the readers and activists who make what we do possible. One other thing you can do to support the blogs is to encourage your friends to read your favorite blogs. Our power is not just in our writing, but in our numbers. For those of you who haven't yet started a blog to focus on politics in your area, the time to do so is now. Thanks again to Markos and everyone reading this.

Posted at 04:39 PM in Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Democrats 2006: SSP in the News

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Swing State Project in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Bob Brigham, who runs, said: "We as a party can't run from this issue any longer. Some people need to admit being wrong about the war. And we all need to show some political courage. That's what voters respect. If you have core convictions, and aggressively demonstrate that, voters will respect you, regardless of whether they agree with you on individual issues."

Brigham and Sirota, among others, cite the results of an Ohio congressional race on Aug. 2. In a die-hard Republican district where Democrats routinely lose by 40 points, Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq veteran who contended that Bush has been "incredibly stupid" on the war, lost by only two. Yet the Washington Democrats seemed not to notice; when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee analyzed Hackett's strong showing in a memo, it never cited the war as a factor.

Bill Burton, the campaign committee's spokesman, was asked about this the other day. He said that although the war will be important in the 2006 elections, he didn't foresee "one set of talking points" for everybody, because while "inflammatory language" against the war might work in one district, it might be preferable somewhere else to talk about "waging the best possible fight that we can for our troops and our soldiers and our interests."

A Democratic strategist working with 2006 Senate candidates argued privately that an openly antiwar stance is too risky: "The theme should be, 'We're in Iraq, so we gotta win.' Let's not refight the origins of the war, who was right or wrong. That discussion has run its course. Let's talk about how we can strengthen the troops, accelerate the Iraqi training, and let's keep hitting Bush when he's not being straight with the people."

Ed Kilgore, policy maven at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (which recently accused war critics of "anti-American bias"), urged caution: "At this sensitive moment in Iraq, there's no position unifying Democrats about what to do next. We need to give it a little bit more time. Troop withdrawal doesn't represent the full range of our party. It doesn't make any political sense."

The headline was, A split over war, the wimp thing, and how to win. I was shocked -- SHOCKED -- to see Kilgore's name under a headline with the word 'wimp'. While the DCCC has no clue and Kilgore waits, our soldiers and marines and airmen and seamen are dying.

Listening to these DC Losers is what got us in this mess in the first place. In 2002, they said to hide from the war and Democrats lost. In 2004, they told us to hide from the war and Democrats lost. In 2006, tell them to STFU. They were wrong then, they are wrong now and even the press realizes they are wimps. Enough talk about talking tougher. It is time to act tough and lead!

But prominent liberal activists such as David Sirota aren't going to knock it off. Sirota looks at the latest Gallup poll and finds that 33 percent of Americans now favor full withdrawal from Iraq - which beats partial withdrawal (23 percent), status quo (28 percent), and sending more troops (13 percent). And he notes that a majority now believes the war has made Americans less safe at home.

"This sentiment gives Democrats an opening," he said recently. "We can now make the case that an exit strategy from Iraq will actually strengthen our national security. We have to stand up for our principles. There is strength in national-security prudence. There is weakness in national-security impulsiveness, as Bush has demonstrated. People will believe us. They have the evidence in front of their eyes every night on the evening news."

I don't know if the DC losers are illiterate or blind, but they can't seem to read the writing on the fucking wall.

Posted at 12:46 PM in 2006 Elections, Democrats, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Critical Look at News Photos

Posted by DavidNYC

Speaking of advertisers, a terrifically interesting and unusual blog has taken an ad in our main strip just to the left - BAGnewsNotes. There are, of course, any number of blogs devoted to analyzing news stories - BNN is devoted to analyzing news photographs. Most of us in the blogging community spend our time with our heads buried deep in text (our friends at Crooks & Liars nonwithstanding), so it's easy to forget just how visual much of modern media is. BNN makes sure to remind us of that fact, and to help explain what exactly it is we're seeing.

So go have a look around.

Posted at 06:28 PM in Site News | Technorati

Good Works PAC

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Swing State Project visitors may have noticed a new ad on the left purchased by Good Works PAC. I wanted to take a second and urge you to click on the ad to see what they have to offer--especially those of you in the "reddest" of Congressional Districts (if you are too lazy to scroll and click, here is the link).

I had the opportunity to meet with the PAC Director, Eric Loeb, while I worked to get Chuck Pennacchio's Internet campaign off the ground several months ago. Truth be told, I was very skeptical at first, and frankly a bit turned off. But the more I see, the more I like. Eric has really gone out of his way to reach out to the blogosphere, and done so locally.

Eric's first taker was Swing State Project commentor and New York City Council candidate Gur Tsabar. Again, I urge you to click on the ad to the left and find out more. In short, Good Works PAC seeks to mobilize volunteers and build organizations through good works and community service. I kind of view it as DeanCorps on steroids (hopefully). Check it out.

Posted at 12:44 AM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Improved Archive Accessibility

Posted by DavidNYC

Just a quick note: When you reach the bottom of the Swing State Project home page, you can now reach our archives more easily. The same pull-down menus you see in the top banner are available at the very bottom of the page (scroll down and you'll see). If you just want to march back through our recent posts chronologically (the front page only displays the ten newest), pull down the current month and you're set.

P.S. We also modified the blockquotes to make them stand apart from regular text more clearly. You can use these blockquotes in comments as well, just by using the standard blockquote tag enclosed in angle brackets.

Posted at 06:34 PM in Site News | Technorati

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Posted by Bob Brigham

I'm unplugging for the rest of the weekend. Use this as an open thread for ideas you might have for CA-48.

Posted at 12:14 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, August 05, 2005

Netroots Win Political Play of the Week

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comCNN:

Netroots activism. Ever hear of it?

You will. Because this week marks its arrival as a force in American politics. [...]

Like Bob Brigham. He and his partner Tim Tagaris run a Democratic blog called Brigham is in San Francisco. Tagaris is in Ohio.

They never met until this year when they discovered a cause, or more precisely, a candidate -- Democrat Paul Hackett, running in a special election for an Ohio congressional seat that most national Democrats wrote off as hopeless.

But Hackett, a Marine who served in Iraq, showed fight.

"We have to say it loud that we are proud to fight for what this great country stands for," he said.

Damn straight. Voters respect straight talk and bold action.

The liberal blogs got organized.

"A hundred to 150 bloggers helped raise money, turned out volunteers, got people down to the district and emailed their friends in Ohio," said Bob Brigham of

Ever hear of a blogswarm?

According to CNN blog reporter Jacki Schechner, "This was a pretty decent example of a lot of people getting behind one thing at exactly the same time." A blogswarm.

There is a slight typo in the transcript. There should be a space between 'blog' and 'swarm' when referring to the action. As a single word, it refers to an individual. But back to the award:

On the final day of the campaign they needed $30,000. "So Bob from Swing State sent out an email, made phone calls, said, 'Here is what we need, we need $30,000 in a very short period of time.'" Schechner said. "And the next day, ActBlue delivered a check for $60,000."

ActBlue is a Web site that raises money for Democrats.

ActBlue rocks on every day, use it.

"This was a success," Hackett said in his concession speech. "We should all be proud, so let's rock on."

People often compare the Internet to the Wild West. Here's an update.

"The lone gunslingers of the blogosphere could work as a posse, and that's what let us raise an army," Brigham said. And carry off the political Play of the Week.

The bloggers made their point -- on their Web site, of course: "The Republican Party is on notice. For that matter, the Democratic Party establishment is on notice; get with the program or we will leave you behind.''


Posted at 08:45 PM in Activism, Netroots, Ohio, Site News | Comments (7) | Technorati

Thursday, August 04, 2005

DCCC: The Irrelevance of Rahm Emanuel

Posted by Bob Brigham

Since I've been getting some ink today, I thought I would expand upon the soundbites so people know where I'm coming from when I say that the DCCC is currently irrelevant.

In this morning's Washington Post, Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall quote me as saying:

[Hackett's] words against Bush and the war produced strong grass-roots support, and yesterday liberal bloggers said they helped raise $500,000 for Hackett, the bulk of his $750,000 campaign funds.

"We raised a ton of money for Hackett," said Bob Brigham of the Swing State Project site ( ), who served as "coordinator of the liberal blogosphere" for the Hackett campaign.

Brigham criticized the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for not giving Hackett early financial support. "They came in late, and it makes them look irrelevant in everyone's eyes," he said.

DCCC Executive Director John Lapp issued a statement defending the committee. Saying the DCCC would like to fund every House race, he said: "Resources are not infinite. That is why MyDD, the Daily Kos, and the larger blogosphere are so important. You are critical in the effort to expand the playing field well above and beyond the 30 or 40 districts typically in play."

First of all, I was misquoted and I'd like a correction. What I actually said was, "we raised a fuckton of money for Hackett" -- and we did (I'll be checking to see if this is corrected). Second, Tim Tagaris was the first on the ground and did as much if not more than me. Third, MyDD and the Daily Kos and the larger blogosphere are so important because we get post-broadcast politics – which the DCCC certainly does not.

Next up, The New Republic where Michael Crowley says:

This sort of thing made Hackett a rock star in the world of liberal blogs--a figure who combined the defiant rhetoric of Howard Dean with the military credentials of Max Cleland. Schmidt's campaign sniffed at Hackett's Web following. ("The second congressional district doesn't fully involve themselves in the blogosphere," a spokeswoman told me at Schmidt headquarters, as Rush Limbaugh trashed Hackett on a radio playing in the background.) But one need only look at the astounding numbers. Whereas the dccc spent $200,000 on ads for Hackett, the campaign raised more than twice that much from online contributions. Most of that was thanks to the intense advocacy of a handful of liberal bloggers, several of whom traveled to southern Ohio from around the country and became a sort of informal arm of the campaign.

On Election Day, the bloggers' "war room" consisted of a dark corner of the Goldminers Inn, a dank dive bar in Batavia, Ohio, where four twentysomethings quaffed cans of Miller Lite and ruminated about their growing role in Democratic politics. The leader of the group was Bob Brigham, who blogs for a site called Swing State Project. After raising a six-figure sum for Hackett, Brigham had flown in from San Fancisco and "embedded" himself in the campaign, riding in Hackett's small convoy from event to event in baggy blue jeans and faded red canvas sneakers. "We're three times as relevant as the dccc. And you can quote that!" he told me between sips of beer. "It's a sea change in Democratic politics. I see Al From and I see a hearse. This is the future. We're way ahead of the curve." Brigham proceeded to tell a strange tale, wherein Donnie Fowler, a onetime candidate for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, allegedly threw a punch at him. Did it land? "Hell, no! I'm virtual!" The spirit of the Dean campaign was alive and well.

Again, Tim and I are a team. Crowley conludes:

At his after-party on Tuesday night, Hackett's supporters were already looking ahead to next year, when Schmidt's new seat will be up again, and chanting, "'06! '06!" Hackett sounded open to it. And, if he runs, he may prevail. But that doesn't mean the Democrats will.

Spot on. I never thought I'd say this, but I agree 100% with The New Republic on this one. Because the spirit of the Dean campaign is not alive and well in the DCCC. Last year the DCCC did the Ohio second congressional district their way, the Democratic nominee had $16,000 for the entire race, so the incumbent was able to spend all year traveling the country and raising money for embattled Republicans. This year, we did OH-02 the Howard Dean 50 State Strategy way of fighting in every precinct, in every district, in every state -- every single day. It forced a lot of Republican money from Washington to be wasted and we did 40 percentage points better.

Democrats need to stop judging success on Election Day. We need to start evaluating ourselves every day. Did we win today? Thats what needs to be asked in every race, every day. If we can make this simple mindset change, we'll win more races in the long run and stop compromising.

Yesterday, DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel said:

Every Republican in Congress should consider himself put on notice."

That is total bullshit and the vast majority of Republicans in Congress know that the DCCC is going to give them the same treatment in 2006 that they gave OH-02 in 2004.

Why? Because the DCCC acts cowardly by targeting and it is clear they still don't get it. Look at the discussion on MyDD yesterday. DCCC Executive Director John Lapp uses the word "competitive" in reference to districts twice. If Emanuel were serious about gaining relevance, he'd dedicate a staffer to walking around the DCCC and slapping backside the head anyone who uses that term.

Right now, Emanuel is trying to use the same playbook, just do it better. Emanuel's DCCC is trying to be the fastest pony express rider, but the post-broadcast train is leaving the station and the DCCC will be left in the dust if Emanuel doesn't get on board.

It isn't tough, blogfather Jerome Armstrong lays out how to do it here and here. If Emanuel wants to be relevant, he can join the netroots in fighting everywhere, everyday. If not, who cares, we'll do it ourselves.

UPDATE: (Bob) Tom Edsall checked his notes and said I didn't use the word fuckton. He does this sort of thing all day everyday, so I'll trust his notes. But if I didn't use it, I should have.

Posted at 01:18 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Democrats, General, Netroots, Site News | Comments (8) | Technorati

Sunday, July 31, 2005

OH-02: Come Clean Jean!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by
Ohio is appalled that Jean doesn't know Schmidt about Noe

Official state documents prove candidate covered-up ties to corruption

Jean Schmidt is well known for never forgetting a face or a name. Conventional wisdom recognizes her renowned memory to the point where the Cincinnati Enquirer noted (July 31, 2005):

Schmidt knows the district very well, having almost a "file-card" memory to recall details about people, places and issues she's had experience with on the local level.

Yet on this morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters on – only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.

You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.

In fact, on March 21, 2002, official state documents prove Jean Schmidt testified before Tom Noe's committee. Tom Noe seconded and approved the minutes for this meeting, which read:

There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with [Jean Schmidt's] thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

And , additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

These official State of Ohio documents confirm ties between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.

And this isn't an isolated incident, there is a pattern of the woman with the "file-card memory" not recalling her ties to corruption.

When it came to lobbying Bob Taft for online casino gambling, she suddenly forgot everything. The Toledo Blade reported (July 29, 2005):

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. [...]

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

The next day, the woman with the "file-card memory" was the focus of a Cincinnati Enquirer article headlined, Schmidt can't recall Ach favor.

It is time for Jean Schmidt to come clean about her relationship with Tom Noe, Bob Taft, Roger Ach and online gambling. The culture of corruption will continue until reporters demand that career politicians tell voters the truth.

Voters deserve straight talk, Come Clean Jean.

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett and former Senator Max Clelland are on the Courthouse Steps doing a press conference right now. The big three stations, channels 5, 9, and 12 are here. More to come...

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett just referred to Jean Schmidt as the, "Poster Child for the Culture of Corruption" as he held up the documents that busted her. During the press conference, it was clear why Hackett is such a successful attorney, he did a great job of telling the story.

UPDATE: (Bob) Max Clelland remarked, "The odor of corruption not only comes out of Tom DeLay's office, it also comes out of Columbus."

UPDATE: (Bob) Channel 19 was also there, along with the Cincinnati Enquirer. There is no way that the press can ignore this, you can't let politicians lie about their involvement in corruption.

UPDATE: (Bob) It is not too late to donate to Paul Hackett, help him FINISH THE JOB!

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, General, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (7) | Technorati

Friday, July 29, 2005

Sorry About That, Folks

Posted by DavidNYC

Sorry for the temporary outage. We went to bed last night with just 3 days left in the month but 13% of our bandwidth quota remaining. Shoulda been fine, right? Well, 24,000 visitors in one day can change that equation right quick. It was our second-biggest single day ever, after election day 2004. Thanks for bearing with us!

Also, you'll notice we've made a bit of a change to our site design. We've replaced our long column of category and date archive links (which used to be on the left, below our main ad strip) with drop-down menus that are now accessible at the top of the screen. Things may look a little wonky as we work out the kinks, so please leave a comment here or shoot us an e-mail if you notice a problem.

Speaking of which, Bob & Tim have been on fire of late, and what you see on the front page is only a small sampling of what they've been pouring out. Some good places to start would be the "July 2005" archive, and if you're here looking for news about the Ohio special election, try the "Ohio" category.

Posted at 10:52 AM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Blogosphere Surge Forces GOP Splurge

Posted by Bob Brigham

Be part of history, contribute today!

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In a sign that the 2nd Congressional District race might be tight, the National Republican Congressional Committee has dumped more than $500,000 into a TV ad campaign attacking Democrat Paul Hackett.

The ad buy was estimated at $265,000 in the Cincinnati media market, along with another $250,000 on Huntington, W.Va., stations that cover the eastern end of the seven-county district.

Jean Schmidt's campaign is being dragged down by the Culture of Corruption in the Republican Party. Schmidt was Governor Taft's rubber stamp and is campaigning to be Tom DeLay's rubber stamp.

Democrats, though, believe the TV ad blitz is the result of Hackett's success in raising his own campaign funds through online contributions.

Hackett has benefited from a surge of online support in the last week that has brought in, as of Thursday, an estimated $303,000 from more than 5,000 small campaign contributors through a Democratic group called

The online buzz for Hackett started last week when Democracy for America, the group founded by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean endorsed Hackett's campaign in an e-mail to supporters, calling on them to contribute.

Several other liberal-leaning political Web logs, called blogs, urged their readers to contribute to Hackett on July 19, in honor or Blogosphere Day. On that date in 2004, online campaign contributions for Ginny Schrader, a Democratic congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, raised $25,000.

Hackett's online contributions, which increase each minute, surpassed the money raised for Schrader in the first day and continue to grow.

"This has never been done for a congressional candidate before at this level," said Tim Tagaris, a blogger who writes for Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown's blog and, separately,, one of the Web sites that urged online readers to support Hackett.

Hackett's on-line contributions have enabled him to spend far more money than any Democratic candidate in the historically Republican district.

Here is the worst. spin. ever.

But Braun said the help is significant. In the Huntington media market, Braun said, the $250,000 TV ad buy "is incredible. It's like one out of every three commercials that air."

Braun said the committee campaign is not an indication that Schmidt is in trouble, but "the first shot in the 2008 (presidential) battle."

No Joe, the Washington Republicans aren't buying one out of every three ads to fire people up for 2008. They're doing this because Schmidt's campaign blew a huge lead in an easy district. This buy was motivated by nothing other than The Fear.

Posted at 07:48 AM in Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Emphatic Denial from Joe Braun

Posted by DavidNYC

Editor's note: We have received the following emphatic denial from Joe Braun of the Schmidt campaign. At present, we are removing the materials in question. We will keep you apprised of any further developments in this story. We are printing Mr. Braun's denial in full.

I have reviewed the materials posted on your blog site that make outrageous and libelous allegations about me. I emphatically deny these allegations are true and demand that you remove them immediately from your website now that I have placed you on notice of their false nature. As you are aware, I am not a public official and you do not enjoy any type of qualified privilege to place patently untrue and malicious statements about me on your blog. I am an attorney who regularly lectures on libel and slander at a local school and am very aware of the current state of both Ohio and federal law in this area. If you will not remove these outrageous statements and retract them as unfounded I will pursue all legal avenues available, including but not limited to, an injunction in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio seeking to have them removed and holding you libel for damages associated therewith.

Please be guided accordingly.

I would appreciate an immediate response.


Joe Braun

UPDATE: (Bob) Steve Gilliard disagreed with the post in question:

Now, I disagree with Bob, there is nothing perverted about BDSM. It's perfectly acceptable, as private behavior. It isn't my taste, but neither is yogurt.

Posted at 06:43 PM in Site News | Comments (16) | Technorati


Posted by DavidNYC

We interrupt your regularly scheduled campaign and election news with this announcement: The Swing State Project has just passed one million lifetime visitors. Like everyone else who starts a small blog and one day winds up in this position, I never could have imagined this would happen.

But wow - 1,000,000. All I can say is, that's pretty cool. And thanks - thanks to Markos at DailyKos for inspiring me to blog and giving me the tools to get started (via the diaries), to Chris Bowers for providing such excellent content with his General Election Cattle Call, to the several guest-posters who contributed during last year's election campaign, to our webmaster Ben, for his technical wizardry, to BlogAds and all of our advertisers, and these days, of course, to Tim and Bob, for their non-stop, super-enthusiastic and incredibly well-informed coverage of campaigns and elections throughout the country. They, far more than I, are now responsible for the great site that is the Swing State Project.

But one thing is for sure - you don't reach 1,000,000 visitors without a whole bunch of loyal readers. You guys, above all, are what makes this site tick. The conversations in the comment threads here are almost always illuminating, and I can't tell you how much I've learned just be reading what you, the users, have to say. So, to all the people who ever stopped by this site - and especially those who took the time to leave a thoughtful comment - you have my deepest thanks.

To the next million!

Posted at 11:30 AM in Site News | Technorati

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

1,000,000 Strong for SSP: Way To Go David!

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I just wanted to take a moment in the midst of all the excitement coming out of OH-2 to thank DavidNYC for the enjoyment I have had reading Swing State Project since it's creation.

We are inches away from 1 million hits at the site, and I am proud to be a part of the milestone along with David, Bob, Chris, Ricky, Seamus and Fester. I think I speak for everyone in especially thanking the people that come back every day to SSP.


Posted at 04:56 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Ice the Champagne: SSP Closing in on 1 Million Visits

Posted by Bob Brigham

DavidNYC started Swing State Project in October of 2003. Since then, SSP has received almost 1 million visits. Thanks to everyone who reads. Double thanks to those who read and contribute. Recommend us to some of your friends and help us cross 1 million!

Posted at 02:03 PM in Site News | Technorati

OH-02: Netroots Investment Yielding Momentum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project Paul Hackett Tim Tagaris and Swing State Project made CNN's Inside the Blogs yesterday. Of course, Crooks and Liars has the video.

The segment focused on the overwhelming momentum Paul Hackett is receiving from the netroots. Here at Swing State Project we've followed his success -- and it has been startling. Netroot Democrats want to see Hackett have the recources to compete in the face of the Swift Boat smears coming from the Schmidt campaign. Here is a netroots investment update:

$$$48 Hours Ago24 Hours AgoRIGHT NOW

And Eschaton is at $12,294.44 from 308 people. That is a quick $55K in the last 24 hours...the beat goes on!

Go contribute!

Posted at 12:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Swing State Project in Washington Post

Posted by Bob Brigham

Washington Post:

One strength of the blogosphere -- its real-time ability to vacuum up thousands of facts -- has been on display with the Roberts nomination. posted excerpts of a 1997 court ruling in which Roberts, representing a pork producer in a clean water case, was accused of making a misleading argument, according to the Web site.

Here is the post mentioned on John Roberts.

Posted at 11:52 AM in Site News, Supreme Court | Technorati

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Happy Blogosphere Day

Posted by Bob Brigham

[EDITOR's NOTE] This will remain at the top till midnight. Scroll down for the latest on "John Roberts"

A long time ago, even though it happened one year ago today, there was an event that proved to the whole world the united blogosphere's ability to deploy resources immediately into a single congressional district. July 19th is Blogosphere Day.

As was announced in October of 2004 and covered by the National Journal last week.

Today is Blogosphere Day and it needs to happen again.

Two weeks from today, there is a special election in Ohio's second congressional district. The Republican is caught in a late-breaking scandal that has made irrelevant all assumptions about the race.

The election will be a big day for Paul Hackett. If he wins, he goes to Washington. If he loses, he goes back to Iraq.

Understandly, Hackett is campaigning as if his life depended upon it...with only two weeks to go.

Just like last year, we need the one-two punch of the blogs, email, and ActBlue. Go make a contribution and then come back and read some of the history behind blogosphere day. Then post and email and let's see how much we can raise.

I gave $50, special elections are important. All day, we'll be rolling out posts on the race.

------ Go Donate


Thanks for donating. Now let me tell you a story about Blogosphere Day -- a national holiday and show of unity by the liberal blogosphere.

It was one year ago today that it all began. I'll let Salon set the moment:

On Monday afternoon, July 19, Stephen Yellin, a 16-year-old politics junkie and frequent contributor to the lefty blog Daily Kos, noticed an intriguing development in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, an area to the north of Philadelphia. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call was reporting that Jim Greenwood, the district's popular, moderate Republican congressman, had unexpectedly decided not to seek reelection, meaning that his House seat was now up for grabs. This is the sort of news that sets partisans like Yellin jumping for joy, and so, of course, he blogged about it.

"I would suggest that we get involved ASAP," Yellin, who goes by the handle MrLiberal on Daily Kos, wrote. Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, the Democrat running for the open seat, "supports civil unions and is against Bush's positions on Iraq and the Patriot Act," he noted approvingly. But she was woefully low on cash -- as of June 30, Schrader had only $7,000 in the bank. Yellin implored Daily Kos' politically obsessed readers to change that situation: "This is completely out of left field, folks, and it gives us another opportunity for a pickup," he wrote. "Ginny Schrader is the luckiest candidate in the nation today, but can her luck hold?"

What happened next was beyond anything that Yellin had expected. Hundreds of people began pitching in, documenting their small donations in the comments threads of Daily Kos and other blogs: "$25.01 coming from me." "$30.01 from me too." "Yeah, this liberal kicked in $20.01." (Daily Kos readers add in the extra penny as a kind of signature for the site, letting a campaign know where the money's coming from.) The tide came in for at least two full days, and when it was over, Ginny Schrader, a candidate who was recently unknown to even the most obsessive campaign watchers, found herself flush with more than $30,000. She was suddenly a political force to contend with. (emphasis mine)

Yes, it was a very magical day. Here at Swing State Project, DavidNYC wrote:

We can make a huge difference overnight if we chip in to help her out - and we can also scare off any Republicans who might consider entering this race now. Imagine the headlines tomorrow or the next day if the blogosphere rapid-response network can toss Ginny some serious coin.

Kos noted, " I just spoke with Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, and the news is spectacular. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, her campaign has raised $14K online. Some from Daily Kos, some from other sources. This is a blogosphere-wide phenomenon."

Once again, we need to leverage our numbers and quickly deploy resources – people and money – to a single congressional district. Here's what Stephen Yellin says:

Paul Hackett's a genuinely good and decent human being, and one that can make a big difference if elected. Jean Schmidt's another GOP hack in a long line of such politicians, and would be just another face in the crowd if elected. No to mention that electing a Democrat in this district would send a clarion message to the Republicans in Washington: Your days in power are numbered. This threat would not be ignored, especially if Congressman Paul Hackett is there to give it to them. The Republicans will be shell-shocked (we saw how concerned they were when Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth won specials in 2004), and we will have scored a major victory for our party, for our ideology, for America.

So, how do we make the most of our moment? Go to Paul's website, and help them out, first off. If the Hackett campaign is going to take advantage of this GOP donnybrook, they'll need to have enough money to run a few TV ads so people know who they ought to vote for instead of "same-old, same-old." They need volunteers-if you live near the district or if you want to fly over there to help, Cincinnati is not far away at all from Hackett's HQ.

Go Donate -- a little money from a whole lot of people can make a huge difference in a low-turnout special election with a late breaking scandal. Thank you for your solidarity and...

Happy Blogosphere Day!

You can follow the success here.

UPDATE (Bob): Wow. At the end of the night: $100504.47 from 1842 netroots Democrats.

Posted at 11:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

We're back up

Posted by Bob Brigham

Sorry, we were down for a little bit (exceeded disk space, instead of our normal shutdown for exceeding bandwidth). Thanks to those who emailed offering to pitch to cover the costs of getting us back online. And thanks to the advertisers who are actually providing enough revenue to cover costs.

Posted at 01:09 PM in Site News | Technorati

Monday, July 11, 2005

Dems 2008: Brian Schweitzer

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the (subscription only) Roll Call:

It’s forest fire season in the Mountain West.

But if disaster were to strike in drought-stricken Montana, many of the people who would be expected to fight the fires are half a world away.

Fully half of Montana’s National Guard — and most of its helicopters — are deployed in Iraq. And Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is fired up about it.

Schweitzer wants to start a dialogue about the way the military has changed its ratio of active-duty to Reserve and Guard forces — a policy in place long before the war in Iraq but one whose full impact is only now being felt.

“One of the things they didn’t consider in this policy,” said Schweitzer, “is that there are governors who are commanders-in-chief of the Guard and they have important missions for them at home.”

It is this willingness to criticize Republican policymakers in plainspoken ways that has some Democratic activists touting Schweitzer as a dark-horse candidate for president in 2008.

“I’m still waiting to see if the Democrats will get behind a pro-choice, red-state governor, who says what he means and means what he says,” wrote Bob Brigham, co-creator of the Swing State Project, a Web log affiliated with a political action committee for Democratic bloggers. “Bonus points for a western candidate, double bonus points for speaking Arabic. Triple bonus points for a dog named Jag.”

Schweitzer’s supporters think the governor, a rancher and farmer who picked a Republican state Senator to run with him as lieutenant governor last year, has a knack for critiquing GOP policies in a way that sounds more populist than partisan.

Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is also backing Schweitzer, whom he called “a genuine version of Bush’s fake ranch.”

Because Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is seen as the overwhelming early favorite for the Democratic nomination, and because so many better-known politicians are gearing up for 2008, the idea of Schweitzer running for president may seem preposterous. Brigham doesn’t think so.

“What do the insiders know?” he asked. (emphasis mine)

I'm glad reporters are realizing you can quote posts just like you quote on the phone...

But, Swing State Project is not affiliated with any polical action committee, this is just another online magazine. And I'm not a co-creator, I'm just a dude. But I'm a dude who wishes Montana had all of the tools necessary to fight this year's fires.

Democratic strategist Chris Lehane doesn’t think anyone can be elected president in 2008 who is not seen as strong on national security. But the former spokesman to then-Vice President Al Gore does not think Schweitzer is at risk of looking weak.

“The way he communicates, the way he looks, the way he talks — he obviously is a hunter,” Lehane said. “His whole character and personality profile make it clear that he is no softie.”

And on domestic issues:

Schweitzer also has taken issue with the Bush administration’s domestic priorities.

When the nation’s governors gathered at the White House in February, Schweitzer likened the president’s pitch, which emphasized Social Security over Medicaid, to a livestock auction that fails to tempt buyers. The headline in the next day’s Los Angeles Times read: “Montana Governor Isn’t Cowed by Bush.”

The governor’s populist touch also on display last year when he brought hunters and fishermen into his camp by exploiting GOP vulnerabilities on field and stream access. On the same day that President Bush was trouncing Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by 20 points in Montana, Schweitzer managed a 4-point win.

Schweitzer counts prescription drug subsidies for seniors, purchasing pools to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and a college scholarship program among his first-year achievements.

Money quote:

Another potential problem for Schweitzer would be time on the ground in the states that host the early contests. Warner will be out of office starting in 2006. Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), another Democrat hoping to upend the Clinton train, is already out of office.

But in a party with a history of nominating heretofore obscure governors, nobody is writing Schweitzer off just yet.

“It’s a huge leap to go from being the governor of Montana to a presidential campaign in a couple of years,” Lehane said. “On the other hand, the guy seems to be a huge talent. He could be the Jimmy Carter of 2008.”

UPDATE: (Bob): Sirota has more at the Huffington Post.

Posted at 11:22 PM in 2008 President - Democrats, Montana, Site News | Technorati

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bloggers have Sources

Posted by Bob Brigham

On the front page of Swing State Project, we keep info on how to contact us. We do this NOT so you can put us on your blast email list (which is far from endearing). We do this so you can contact us.

As of late, I've tried to post something anytime some good liberals start a good website. SSP has damn fine search engine optimization, so even if it doesn't fark the servers it will make it a little easier for people to find it. Many of these sites I know of because people chose to contact me.

We also have a healthy club of Swing State Project regulars who correct us in the comments and help us stay on top of the action in the states. Some things are better in an email than in the comments and the regulars use both.

Finally, because Tim and I both work in politics professionally (and DavidNYC occassionally lives in DC where he can ply sources with alcohol) we also get stuff that "falls off of a truck" or whatever. There's been a lot of this as of late...Kos with poll numbers "from a trusted source", Josh Marshall mentioning that a "a legal memo fell into my hands from the sky".

This is something that I think we'll see more regularly -- especially during the Supreme Court nomination battle (I've been reading over lengthy oppo files for a week now). So feel free to contact us, but don't expect anything from us.

Posted at 10:41 AM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

SSP Fundraising Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

On July 19, 2004, Swing State Project joined forces with MyDD to raise money for Ginny Schrader. By July 30th, the team had raised $800.

This cycle, the fundraising is starting a year earlier. And we made it to $800 in 6 days, instead of 11. The netroots power comes from a large number of people coming together for a common cause. Judging by our initial success, I'm confident that together we can accomplish a great deal for worthy candidates. Join us:

Posted at 12:48 PM in Site News | Technorati

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Swing State Project's Official Candidate List

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project writes on the most important races in the country. Following all of the races lets SSP identify the best candidates in races where your support can make a crucial difference.

Our first candidate is Jon Tester, who is running for Senate in Montana. This is THE BEST pick-up opportunity for Democrats—anywhere in the country.

Last year, the revitalized Montana Democrats sweep the Governor’s mansion and both chambers of the legislature. This year, they are going to send their best and brightest to Washington.

Since this is Montana, your contribution practically doubles in value as soon as it crosses the stateline.

Montana -- the Last Best Place -- has this year’s best Senate candidate. Join us in supporting Jon Tester, he’ll make us proud.

Contribution amount: $

The U.S. Senate needs Jon Tester, send him $25 dollars today to help get his campaign up and running. When you send an email to your friends asking them to join you in helping to win this race, include a link to:

UPDATE (David): I'm incredibly excited that we've launched our new candidate list. Longtime readers will remember the tremendous success we had in supporting Ginny Schrader, who ran for Congress in Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district. We wound up raising nearly $7,000 for her, far exceeding our initial goal of $1,000. Based on our past success, I know we can do a bang-up job for Tester. Let's get to it!

Posted at 10:45 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Montana, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dr. Action on GOP Abuse of Power

Posted by Bob Brigham

According to Chris Bowers, Swing State Project's DavidNYC is Dr. Action.

Join Dr. Action and tell everyone you know about the Republican's Abuse of Power.

UPDATE: (Bob): Dr. Action's All Hands on Deck post made MSNBC today -- check out Crooks and Liars for the video. Way to go, David Dr. Action!

Posted at 06:38 PM in Activism, Nuclear Option, Site News | Technorati

Friday, May 20, 2005

CNN on Santorum Scandal and Swing State Project

Posted by Bob Brigham

Inside_Politics_Santorum 006_0001.jpg

CNN's Inside the Blogs mentioned Swing State Project for our post on the Santorum Scandal. Of course, Crooks and Liars has the video.

The scandal is still breaking, I'm sure we'll have more on the Ricky Santorum Scandal, the GOP's Nuclear Option, and information on what is moving with the campaigns in the states.

Posted at 06:28 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Nuclear Recap

Posted by Bob Brigham

[Bumped up to the top. - David]

So far, Swing State Project has done more posts on today's power grab than there is room on the front page. So here's our recap:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

UPDATE: Wednesday, 9:49 P.M. (Bob): Looking back over Day 1, it is clear that the GOP is over-playing on the over-reach. But what strikes me as one of the most important developments is not the GOP screwing up, but the Democrats not screwing up. Moreover, I think it is an honest assessment that the Democrats are kicking ass -- for the first time in a long time.

The abrasiveness of the GOP powergrab seems to have been the shock that some Democrats needed to finally understand that we aren't a governing party. Democrats brought their A-Game and it matches up very well against team the GOP fielded (i.e. Mammy Miranda). The team-work and drive of revitalized Democrats is achieving results and winning hearts. Today, the Democratic Party was a party worthy of respect.

More to come...

Posted at 05:14 PM in Nuclear Option, Site News | Technorati

Monday, May 16, 2005

Brigham on CNN's Inside Politics

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I don't know how many of you saw it earlier today, but Swing State Project's own, Bob Brigham, was on Inside Politics. He spoke about Seth Williams and as stellar examples of a "localization" trend in the blogosphere. He was asked several other questions, but I will leave it for you to watch.

The full video can be found HERE. Nice job, Bob!

Posted at 08:40 PM in Site News | Technorati

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Easy New Way to Advertise on Liberal Blogs

Posted by Bob Brigham

Liberal Blog Advertising Network
By bringing together more than forty of the most highly trafficked, regularly updated and politically focused liberal and progressive blogs, the Liberal Blog Advertising Network now makes it possible for advertisers to reach virtually the entire liberal and progressive political blogosphere at once. Simply put, no other advertising opportunity can offer an audience so dedicated to liberal and progressive causes. Advertise here, and reach the people who manufacture the liberal and progressive zeitgeist.

Combined, these blogs receive more than one million page views per day from highly informed, dedicated, and influential liberals and progressives. Over 75% of the audience of these blogs either donated to or volunteered for a campaign in 2004. With a median income of $75K, and a median age of 40, readers of these blogs tend to be affluent and young. Click-thru rates also tend to be twice the typical online average.

Posted at 08:29 PM in Site News | Technorati

Inq on "Philadelphia Phenomenon" - Seth Williams

Posted by Bob Brigham

Philadelphia Inquirer:

While blog power has been well-celebrated in national politics - consider bloggers' role in former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's brief reign as a front-running Democratic presidential candidate last year - the Williams effort is considered one of the few attempts ever to unite electronic activists around a candidate for local office. [...]

Though it seems modest, a national Democratic political consultant who specializes in Internet organizing sees the Philadelphia effort as a beginning. Bloggers in Pittsburgh have been talking up a candidate in the mayoral primary there.

"A lot of national campaigns see the Internet as a glorified ATM machine," said Tim Tagaris, the consultant working to set up Chuck Pennacchio's 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in Pennsylvania. "Regionalization is going to be the next wave," Tagaris said.

He also has written extensively about the Philadelphia phenomenon on his national blog, Swing State Project. Tagaris said that local blogs, with their small audiences, have the same organizing potential in cyberspace as the neighborhood networks that President Bush's reelection campaign put together to win support in small towns and rural areas.

"It's that same peer-to-peer strategy, but online," Tagaris said. "Millions of people have blogs, but they are read for the most part by neighbors, friends, coworkers and family. You are able to influence a few people at a time." (emphasis mine)

Tim had an important post on Philly's localization yesterday, and right now I have front-paged diaries on Daily Kos and MyDD about regionalization.

More from the Inq:

Williams strategists say they believe the bloggers provide at least a modest counterweight to District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham's power. She is a 14-year veteran who has plenty of campaign cash - but so far no bloggers - and the support of Democratic Party ward leaders.

"The bloggers tend to be leaders," said Ray Murphy, who runs Williams' Internet operation. "I think of them as carrier pigeons spreading the word." [...]

Blogs can have more power locally because those who write them tend to be influential, active and have extensive social networks in their communities, said Julie Barko Germany, deputy director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet at George Washington University. "People are just starting to discover the possibilities," Barko Germany said. [...]

In coming days, the Williams campaign plans to include canvassing lists on its Web site for supporters to download, Murphy said. Campaign literature and window signs already are available there.

"We want to get Seth's name and ideas out to as many households as possible," Murphy said.

For more on Seth William, check out Swing State Project on April 21, April 28, May 2, and May 9.

If you live within driving distance of Philly, join them next Tuesday for GOTV.

Posted at 09:51 AM in Netroots, Pennsylvania, Site News | Technorati

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Saturday Schedule

Posted by Bob Brigham

2:00 PM (eastern) Governor Jim Douglas announcement

3:00 PM (eastern) Filibuster Frist at Princeton University will hit 100 hours (with 50K hits online in 36 hours)

Swing State Project will have weekend updates on both.

Posted at 01:08 AM in Site News | Technorati

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Explain This to Me

Posted by DavidNYC

This entry (at least so far as I know) has nothing to do with politics. It's about technology. Over at DailyKos, 33% of the visitors use the awesome Firefox, while 57% still use the atrocious Internet Explorer. At MyDD, a site thought to have a lot over overlap with Kos, the numbers are actually a lot different: 39% Firefox, 45% IE. Over at Atrios, it's a whopping 48% Firefox to just 33% IE.

And here at the Swing State Project, we're a real low outlier, at just 22% Firefox to 64% IE (including 1% using Explorer 4.0, the only site where that old browser even registered at all). If you look at other liberal/left wing/Democratic blogs, they are similarly all over the map. I don't think size is the explanation. Sadly, No gets about as many visitors a day as we do and they're at 36% FF, 45% IE. Meanwhile, South Knox Bubba, another similarly-sized blog, is an almost perfect match at 21% Firefox, 65% IE.

I would have thought that most of these blogs draw from the same pool of readers, but these numbers indicate that the makeup of the readership from blog to blog can vary substantially. Anyone have any ideas why this is the case?

P.S. If you haven't switched to Firefox, I have no idea what you're waiting for. Go get it. You'll thank yourself.

Posted at 11:11 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Live Blog Tonight

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tim Tagaris and I have spent some time doing phone-relay, live blogging where the one on the ground phones in updates to the one in front of a computer.

The most notable was the Schwarzenegger protests in San Francisco. Tonight we'll be providing live coverage of MoveOn's Stop the Judicial Takeover protest in San Francisco.

The event will be held in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which should combine with the passion over the "Nuclear Option" and the excitableness of Bay Area protests to create a memorable night.

It starts at 8 PM Eastern (5 PM local), tonight. Join us.

Following the San Francisco protests of Arnold Schwarzenegger live-blog, we posted on the protest in Berkeley that scared off the Governator. We also did this for the DNC Western Regional Caucus: #1, #2, and #3. And we've live-blogged conference calls with Simon Rosenber and Donnie Fowler. Tonight should be fun and I'm sure we'll have more to come.

Here is what MoveOn says about tonight (from an email):

MoveOn PAC Sponsors 150 Rallies in 48 States
to Oppose Nuclear Option

New TV Ad Features Rampaging Elephants in Slam of
Republican Move To Control Federal Courts

Vice President Gore Speech Will Headline DC Event

View Rallies at:

Washington D.C. --- MoveOn PAC will kick off a week of campaign activities to oppose a Republican attempt to eliminate the filibuster of presidential nominations for the federal judiciary. A new TV ad and at least sixty rallies in over forty states will spearhead the effort. On Wednesday, Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to give a major address on the subject at a MoveOn PAC rally in Washington DC. The Senate may vote this week to eliminate the 200-year-old rule.

"Our government was founded on principles of checks and balances to ensure that no one party holds absolute power," said Ben Brandzel, MoveOn PAC Advocacy Director.

The ad, which begins airing tomorrow on CNN nationwide, features animated elephants, symbolizing radical Republicans, rampaging through the Capitol, only to be stopped on the steps of the Supreme Court.

"You would think it would be enough for Republican leaders that their party controls both houses of Congress, the White House, and has appointed most of the sitting Supreme Court Justices and appellate judges, but no, they want complete control of the federal government. To get it, they're willing to toss out a 200 year old rule that has balanced the rights of political majorities and minorities and served the American people well since the early days of the Republic, said Brandzel"

Wednesday, MoveOn members and allied organizations will participate in “Rallies to Stop the Judicial Takeover”. They will call on their senators to vote against the Republican effort to seize full control of the federal courts by packing them with right-wing judges. The events are organized by the 3.1 million-member grassroots organization, MoveOn PAC, and the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary, an alliance of the nation’s leading civil rights and public interest organizations opposed to a right wing judicial takeover.

To dramatize the impact of the attempted Republican judicial takeover, volunteers will symbolically cordon off court houses and declare them property of the Republican leadership. The rallies will occur on Wednesday, the day Senate Republican leaders are expected to call a vote to eliminate the filibuster.

This past weekend in 800 neighborhoods across the country, MoveOn PAC members went door-to-door handing out window signs and urging friends and neighbors to call their senators.

MoveOn PAC
TV :30






ANNOUNCER (VO): Republicans control the White House.




ANNOUNCER (VO): And the House of Representatives. And the Senate.




ANNOUNCER (VO): Republican Presidents appointed the majority of judges on most of our appeals courts. But radical Republicans want absolute control of the entire government. So they’re planning to break the rules, eliminating checks and balances to get more extremist judges approved.




ANNOUNCER (VO): A few courageous Republicans have said “no” to the radicals. Will your Senators have the same courage? Call them.


SUPER “CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY, 202-224-3121.” THEN SUPER “PAID FOR BY MOVEON PAC, THIS COMMUNICATION IS Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Moveon PAC is responsible for the content of thIs ADVERTISEMENT”.


ANNOUNCER (VO): MoveOn PAC is responsible for the content of this advertisement.

View ad at:

Posted at 05:50 PM in Activism, Site News | Technorati

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Swing State Project Leads the Pack

Posted by Bob Brigham

As long as I can remember, I've associated DavidNYC with New York City. So his decision to move Swing State Project headquarters to Washington, DC was viewed, by me at least, as part of a major trend in the industry.

Now, the Atlantic Monthly is following suit:

WASHINGTON — IRVING KRISTOL snubbed New York when he left for Washington in 1988, pronouncing Manhattan no longer the "nation's intellectual center" as he packed off his ideological enterprise.

The Atlantic Monthly does not have as lofty a motive for moving to Washington in the months ahead. David Bradley, the owner of the venerable magazine, said the recent decision to move and consolidate his publishing enterprises in Washington was driven by economics, not symbolism or a desire for cachet.

But the news has given some readers, writers and thinkers - not to mention Bostonians - a familiar pang of anxiety, a reminder that even in the democratic Internet age, all cultural capitals are not created equal. [...]

However far the geographic divides have been bridged, certain places are doing better than others. The interplay between personal contact and ideas still matters, at least somewhat.

And while three East Coast cities have jockeyed for prominence, a perceptible southward tilt is continuing, as Boston has evolved from its liberal arts and political origins, and Washington has, in a sense, matured. Intellectuals still reside in Boston, New York and Washington (and hop the shuttle easily among the three), but in a highly charged political environment, there has been a move away from academic ideas toward ones generated in the real world, or at least real government. And if not that, then in think tanks.

Of course, some of you be thinking that the Atlantic Monthly's move to DC had nothing to do with Swing State Project. And the more cynical of you might be thinking that David's move to DC had less do with a trend towards geographic concentration of ideas and more to do with his choice of law schools. And you might be right.

But all kidding aside, I think Swing State Project does benefit from geography, at least when it comes to our bi-coastal distribution and the resulting time zone advantage.

I also believe there is a right place for each time. I felt certain that I was at the center of it all during San Francisco's dotcom boom. But those days have passed.

So is Washington, D.C. the new best place to be? Or are telecommuters like David Sirota on to something when they ditch D.C. and move to Montana?

Posted at 02:32 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Posted by DavidNYC

If you tried to reach the Swing State Project this morning, we apologize for the site being down - we hit our bandwidth limit and had to bump it up to get back online. Evidently, we've become a bit more popular than we anticipated. The site should be working properly now.

Posted at 01:38 PM in Site News | Technorati

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

E-Mail Subscriptions and Blogads

Posted by DavidNYC

If you've signed up to receive an e-mail subscription to this site via Bloglet, you may not have gotten any e-mails recently. That should be fixed now, but please let us know if you're experiencing any problems with the system.

If you haven't signed up yet, it's free and easy. You can do so in the box below in this post, or in the right-hand column. You get just one e-mail per day (sent overnight) which contains short excerpts of each SSP post that day.

Separately, you've probably noticed that the SSP adstrips are once again open for business. We have two new advertisers in the left-hand strip, so please pay them a visit if you are so inclined. Traffic has been steadily climbing around here lately, so now is a good time to think about putting up an ad.

Posted at 01:47 PM in Site News | 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, February 15, 2005


Posted by Tim Tagaris

Busy day at work, I am really sorry. Atleast at my job, I will never be fired for blogging.

Quick question(s) for you. When is this blog operating at its best? When is it at its worst? Talk to me about quantity and categories of posts for the past few weeks. Which would you like to see more of, which less? Overall, how many original posts a day is good for you?

Update: I have received a few emails telling me the comments don't work on SSP today. We'll try to get that fixed toot-sweet. -- Tim

Posted at 01:44 PM in Site News | Technorati

Friday, January 28, 2005

TypeKey and Comment Spam

Posted by DavidNYC

Sadly, the tragedy of the commons has started to afflict blogdom. Much as your e-mail account is now likely awash with spam, so too are blogs with open comment systems. We've tried several different systems that are invisible to you, the readers, to reduce spam here. Unfortunately, they all require a lot of work and aren't all that effective.

Since I'm as tired of seeing pornogaphic spam infest this site as you are, we've decided to employ TypeKey on a full-time basis. TypeKey is very simple: You create an account and then use that to post comments on any Moveable Type-powered blog which uses TypeKey. It has the advantage of drastically cutting down on spam (because spammers would have to create traceable, shut-down-able accounts), and it also prevents your user name from getting spoofed.

The Swing State Project will now require that you be logged into a TypeKey account to post comments.

I know this change may be viewed as an added inconvenience to some, but based on my experience with blogs that had open systems and later switched to account-based systems, it will be a big improvement in both the short and long term. You can create a TypeKey account by following this link. (TypeKey's privacy policy is here, if you are curious.)

If you experience any problems, please let us know. And thanks for your patience during this transition period.

Posted at 03:03 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Some Site News

Posted by DavidNYC

We've added permalinks to individual comments, so now you can link directly to the pearls of wisdom you or your fellow SSP readers have left in the comments section, like so. Just look for the word "Permalink" to the right of the date/time stamp at the bottom of each comment.

Also, Tim & Bob have new SSP e-mail addresses: tim.tagaris -at- and bob.brigham -at- (Just replace "-at-" with the traditional @ symbol.) If you have any thoughts you'd like to share directly with either of them, please do so. (Mine, as always, is davidnyc -at-

More changes of a more substantive sort are in store as the new year gets under way.

Posted at 03:37 PM in Site News | Technorati

Friday, January 07, 2005

Props to DavidNYC

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project as been nominated for a Koufax Award in the category of Best Single Issue Blog!!!

This nomination is a high honor and recognizes the devotion DavidNYC has shown to better understanding elections in the United States.

DavidNYC's blogging contributions have also won him a coveted spot as a Daily Kos guest poster. Technorati suggests that many bloggers have noticed Swing State Project and the rising readership shows people are coming and coming back. Congratulations.

Added by Tim: Chris Bowers also deserves some serious recognition for his contribution in the growth of Swing State Project and Koufax nomination. His cattle calls and general commentary were indispensable sources of information to visitors.

Posted at 10:54 AM in General, Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

We've Finished Moving

Posted by DavidNYC

We've finished moving servers, switching from TypePad to Moveable Type. The transition seems to have gone smoothly (thanks, Ben!), and everything should function as before. We have added one new feature: You can now permanently log in to post comments if you create a TypeKey account, which can help protect your posting identity. But if you notice any strangeness or experience any problems, please let us know.

Posted at 09:03 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Servers

Posted by Bob Brigham

Once DavidNYC hit the big time as a Kos Guest Poster the traffic exploded...the servers went demolition derby, sparks flew, smoke filled the air and next thing we knew the papparazzi had arrived. Or something like that.

For this or maybe other reasons, SSP is heading to new servers -- so don't panic if you can't find us this week. Happy New Year!

Posted at 10:07 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Support our Sponsors

Posted by Bob Brigham

Please support our sponsors.....

DavidNYC's SSP provided excellent intelligence on Swing States during the 2004 cycle. Looking ahead, I think we will all be surprised at how SSP blossoms.

Since there are some big changes coming, I asked David if I could run the Senate 2006 ad you now see -- as a placeholder. I wanted to brighten the place up. So, of course I went with the SSP Green. A little part of me thinks it is an ugly color, but I've come to love it.

But putting together the map showing the distribution of 2006 U.S. Senate races was an early shock to my system as to the expanse of the coming battle...and that is just for the senate.

The next two years will be a defining time in American politics. Post-modern politics can no longer be avoided and it is going to have a powerful effect on the mid-term elections. Before that, we'll have a savory selection of opening acts.

I hope we're going to see an expansion of the congressional competition list and the senate situation will force it. Also, the reform of the Democratic Party primary calendar will end the IA/NH monopoly and bring new states to the forefront in choosing a nominee.

This is an exciting time for politics.

Posted at 10:54 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, December 20, 2004


Posted by Tim Tagaris

I just spent an hour on a post -- and backspaced, deleting it by accident.  Posting will resume today.  Sorry for the time off.

Posted at 04:31 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, December 10, 2004

New Years is the new Labor Day

Posted by Bob Brigham

If memory serves me, Labor Day was once the traditional start of political campaigns. This marked the end of the lazy August afternoons and the beginning of hard-core campaigning. Labor Day began the work to win elections.

Now New Years Day is the official start of the campaign season. As has always been the case, the smartest win before the battle begins so I am using December to start my Swing State Project coverage of the next cycle.

This is an exciting time for politics. Post-modern dynamics have made non-candidate actors as relevant as the official campaigns. There is no longer an ante to engage in politics and the 2005 and 2006 elections are certain to provide many examples of how this is allowing increasing numbers of political participants. As former-congressman Ed Schrock found out, blogging is a powerful force.

The excitement around politics is likewise astonishing. One needs to look no further than the race for Chair of the DNC where tens of thousands of new activists are engaging in what was once an insider-only event. The candidates are realizing this with three online visions now available:

A decade ago there were maybe a thousand people who followed politics state-by-state. This year, that number grew to more than a 100,000. I see no reason why that number won't continue to increase as participatory democracy flourishes on the blogosphere.

I petitioned to join Swing State Project because I wanted to write with Tim Targaris and strengthen the farm system now that DavidNYC has gone big-time on Kos. I served as Ginny Schrader's online manager which introduced me to Swing State Project and has given me a firm grasp of the institutional history. I met Tim when he was running the online communications for Jeff Seemann and it was very helpful to bounce ideas off him as we both worked to develop new tactics for online campaigning. With two of the most aggressive blogosphere consultants posting on Swing State Project we will hopefully provide you reasons to keep coming back.

I intend to focus on covering the 2005 and 2006 cycle with analysis, occasional wit, frequent spelling errors, and links that allow you to further explore the depths of each race. To avoid the wrath of David Paul Kuhn I'll be sure to add disclaimers when my consulting overlaps with my posting. I look forward to exploring politics and elections with the good people who read Swing State Project. Thank you for all of the support you provided to Ginny and thank you for welcoming me to this community.

Posted at 04:45 AM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

DavidNYC -- Remember Him?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In case you missed them, or just miss him -- here are links to David NYC's front page posts since getting promoted at DailyKos.

Blogs off the Beaten Path -- Lawless Courts and the Death Penalty -- Soldiers Suing to Stop Back-Door Draft

I hesitate to link 'em.  Simply because I was hoping people would forget the bar has been lowered since his departure.

Posted at 05:05 AM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, December 03, 2004

Welcome Kos Folk...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Yes, this was --and remains -- David NYC's blog.  Congrats to him on his new gig as a front page poster on DailyKos.

Me?  I'm ttagaris from Kos.  Jeff Seemann's (OH-16) old Communications Director.  You might remember him as well?

Anyway, thanks for stopping by.  Take a look around.  Bookmark the site and come back often.  The main thrust of this blog (as decided by its readers) is to highlight upcoming "swing races" in 2005 and 2006, along with keeping tabs on Congressional injustices (see Pork vs. Pell Grants below).  Obviously, we will talk about current events when they happen as well.

Anyway, come back.  Often.  Alright?  Seriously.  My self-esteem will go down the toilet it you don't.

And while you're here, tell us what you would like to see from the SSP as you return.

Posted at 11:07 PM in Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Guest Posting at the DailyKos

Posted by DavidNYC

Markos over at the DailyKos - 600-pound gorilla of the lefty blogosphere and "blogfather" to this site - has asked me to be a guest poster on the main page there. Needless to say, this was an honor and opportunity I could not turn down. Along with a new crew of guest writers, I'll be posting there on weekends (and whenever Markos is out of town). With final exams breathing down my neck, I probably won't get fully underway for a couple of weeks, but I hope you'll visit me over there, in addition to keeping up with what Tim throws our way here on the SSP.

And also, I wanted to give you one final employment update: I finally accepted a job with what I would describe as fairly big NYC firm. I'm really happy with my choice - the people there are excellent - and I look forward to working there this summer, and hopefully, in the future as well. Thanks once again to everyone who offered advice & encouragement during my job hunt!

Posted at 11:04 PM in Site News | Comments (8) | Technorati

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Direction & Building In-House Infrastructure

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Let's dispense with the formalities and get right into the direction you said this blog should take in the upcoming months/years.

1.) 2006 Races:  We will spend a good deal of time discussing the upcoming House, Senate, and even Gubernatorial races.  Additionally, if all goes well, this site can serve as a hub for information (direct from campaigns hopefully) on ways to best get involved.

2.) Current News/Upcoming Legislation/Initiatives:  Shining the light of transparency on government affairs and important issues set to fall before the Congress.  A discussion of current events taking place in and out of the United States. 

3.) On-going discussions about prescient topics will be "tagged" and remain visible from the main page, or at the very least linked within the current discussion.  That way we can have a continuous discourse on topics like The Patriot Act II, for example.

4.) Most importantly, what you want to talk about - the way you want to talk about it - and ideas from within this community will be implemented.

That brings me to the topic of infrastructure.  Over the course of time, I will work closely with David so that this site is not only a place for information/updates, but also an efficient source for Progressive activism.  It may involve some rearranging, but appears to be what this community is looking for.

In keeping with a focus on 2006, it would seem to me a good place to start would be an immediately accessible on-site database of sitting Senators, Representatives, and Governors - we can & will fill in potential opponents as they become available.  Also included in this database should be percentages received in previous elections, opponents, and possibly money raised.  As we move along, we can build the database together with whatever information one could want to get involved, inform themselves, or just peruse at their leisure.

So, by Tuesday, I will start creating that infrastructure/database and we can fill in the blanks together.

I am excited.  I hope you are.  And in the near future, we will hopefully become a clearinghouse of sorts for activism and information about upcoming races, activism, and current events.


Posted at 10:42 PM in Site News | Comments (9) | Technorati

Monday, November 15, 2004

It's Your World...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As you have no doubt noticed by now, David hasn't been around to post as often as all of us would like.  I posted here and there, about once a day on a wide range of topics.  I have enjoyed how thoroughly you express your thoughts, especially compared to the short rants sometimes found on other blogs.

However, today I have to leave for six days, returning to Southern Illinois University to finally defend my Masters Thesis after a 7 month break to work on the election, play some basketball, and hang out with old friends.

So, maybe this would be a good opportunity to collect some thoughts about what people want to see posted on this blog, since the election is over (in some people's minds).

What topics would you like to discuss?
How many times a day would you like to see posts?
Should this remain a blog geared toward activism & not necessarily news?
In what way would be able to use this site to promote activism?
Should it focus on upcoming Congressional races for 2006?
Any other thoughts?

Specifics would be great, and when I return we can implement them together.




Posted at 12:37 AM in Site News | Comments (12) | Technorati

Friday, November 05, 2004

Weekend Break

Posted by DavidNYC

I think I'm gonna take a break from blogging for the weekend. Next week, we'll come back, do some more wrap-up, and then decide where to take this site. In the meantime, please feel free to use this as an open thread.

Oh, by the way, did anyone happen to catch this headline in the New York Times? This has to be the bizarrest story I've seen in a long time: Warplane Strafes a School in New Jersey. Now we know what it probably feels like to live in Fallujah.

And my life just gets weirder and weirder. This happened just one subway stop away from where I live:


Yeah, it's time to take a break alright.

Posted at 05:43 PM in Site News | Comments (11) | Technorati

Monday, November 01, 2004


Posted by DavidNYC

I won't be around for election day - I'll be spending the entire day in Philadelphia, doing election protection along with hundreds of other law students from DC-area schools. I'm going to set the site to auto-post a few open threads throughout the day, and a friend will be checking in on the admin side. Traffic may jump (or it may not, if everyone is out doing poll watching), but I expect things to run smoothly.

To victory!

Posted at 11:04 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, October 25, 2004

A Note to Advertisers

Posted by DavidNYC

I just wanted to pen a quick note to potential advertisers. As everyone knows, there's just one week until election day. Traffic has been surging here lately, and I'm sure it will spike as November 2nd approaches. So if you'd like to get one last ad in, now's the time. The top corner slots are both taken for now, but you can absolutely place an ad in the main strip. (FYI: For the time being, I am only accepting ads for one-week placements.)

Please feel free to use this as an open thread.

Posted at 02:37 AM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Final Call For Links

Posted by DavidNYC

With the election hovering practically moments away, I wanted to take one last opportunity to ask people for links. I'm looking primarily for two types of sites:

�Ģ Blogs which cover politics in a particular swing state. A good example would be New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan, which focuses on the NM scene like a laser.

�Ģ Groups which organize swing state activism. The foremost example would, of course, be ACT, but groups of almost any size qualify.

Also, if you use any good political reference resources, let us know as well. Some of my favorites include Jim Howard's electoral college calculator and Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.

I'm much obliged. And feel free to use this as an open thread as well.

Posted at 01:28 PM in Site News | Comments (41) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Whither the Swing State Project?

Posted by DavidNYC

Lately, a number of people have asked me, "What are you going to do with the Swing State Project after the election?" Given the relatively narrow focus of this site - it's right up there in the banner - it's a good question. I've thought about it a lot, though, and I don't have too many good answers. So I want to solicit some reader advice. These are some of the ideas so far:

1) Keep the site and focus on swing state activism. Even if there are no hot races for some time, we can always talk about ways to help people get involved in activism. (I'm sure ACT, for instance, will focus on this big-time in the off-years.) Of course, this would mean broadening the site to cover "swing" Senate, House and state/local races, but that's fine with me.

2) Start something new (though probably related), and redirect this site there.

3) Mission Accomplished - call it quits, job (hopefully) well done.

This site now gets pretty decent traffic, and I really enjoy the community that's formed here. I'd hate to see it all go, but I certainly wouldn't mind a break. If you have any other suggestions, please post in the comments.

Posted at 08:33 PM in Site News | Comments (26) | Technorati

Friday, September 24, 2004

Yom Kippur Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

Taking a break for Yom Kippur. May you have an easy fast. And please feel free to use this as an open thread for the latest polls, swing state news, etc. Let's go Jets!

Posted at 10:04 PM in Site News | Comments (19) | Technorati

Friday, September 17, 2004

Action Time

Posted by Chris Bowers

I'll have the new GECC up later today. But first...

I believe the political blogosphere can be understood as different from existing campaign and political reporting primarily because our discussion is designed, and frequently does, to lead to action. Here is an overview of my theory on the subject. Let's spend a few hours turning theory into practice.

First, yesterday I wrote a long article detailing the excessive degree to which Gallup has favored Bush during this campaign. This article is getting some notice over at Dailykos, but let's spread the word to the media. DCG provides an excellent list of talking points to use when contacting the media--or even your friends and co-workers--about the Gallup poll. Also, slinkerwink provides an excellent list of media outlets to contact. No matter what other polls end up showing, we need to dent Gallup's public credibility until excessive qualifiers start appearing in every news release about their polls.

Second, when SSP and MyDD decided to try and start raising money for Ginny Schrader, we decided upon $2,000 as a great goal to achieve for the entire cycle. With $2,000, it would be as though we were one large donor giving the maximum. To date, through 20 donors, we have reached $980. We are almost halfway there! I'd like to meet our goal by the end of Q3, so we never have to nag you again. A $20 donation would put us over $1,000. Chip in today.

Third, please check out our sponsors. They all good causes.

Posted at 01:10 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Rosh Hashanah Break & Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

I won't be posting for the next couple of days because of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. I'll be back at some point this weekend. Please feel free to use this as an open thread. Shanah Tova!

Posted at 05:30 PM in Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

Monday, September 13, 2004

New Ad Slots Available & Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

A quick note to potential advertisers: I've created two new slots (one in each corner) for "featured" advertisements. Each spot will be reserved for just one ad.

And please feel free to use this as an open thread.

Posted at 11:51 AM in Site News | Comments (11) | Technorati

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Comment Double-Posting Problems?

Posted by DavidNYC

I've been noticing more double-posted comments on the site than usual. Things may be loading a tiny bit slower due to the BlogAds, so I just ask for your patience when you hit the "Post" button. If you are getting any genuine errors when you are posting, please let me know in the comments.

Posted at 07:44 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Open Thread - and Blogads Are Here (Almost)

Posted by DavidNYC

If you're reading this post, then you've probably already noticed that the SSP has a slightly new look. The new column on the left will host Blogads, as soon as advertisers start filling orders. The re-design is courtesy of my good friend Ben, who is a top-notch web designer and graphic artist. This modest site isn't a worthy showcase of his talents, so if you are thinking about building or re-doing a website (or know anyone else who is), I highly recommend you check out Ben's company, Media Mezcla.

I also moved all my junk down to my new apartment in DC (hooray!) & I'm now vacationing for a few days before school starts. Please feel free to use this as an open thread.

Posted at 06:45 PM in Site News | Comments (19) | Technorati

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Movin' on Down

Posted by DavidNYC

Tomorrow (Sunday) I move back down to DC to embark on my second year of law school. As I've mentioned before, this is going to be a very busy time for me: Moving into my new apartment, early interview week, the beginning of classes, and starting journal work. I found out recently that I won a spot on the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, so I'm very happy about that. I also finally got my EIW interview list - I wound up with interviews at 12 of my top 15 picks, so that's good news as well.

So please bear with sporadic posting from me for the next little while. I'll try to toss up some open threads when I can, and please feel free to post any new polls in any of the existing threads, even if they cover different states.

Posted at 12:15 AM in Site News | Comments (6) | Technorati

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Happy Hunting

Posted by DavidNYC

Thank the maker! I'm back in DC this weekend doing more apartment hunting, and I finally found a place, courtesy of Craig's List. Thanks again to everone who wrote in with suggestions - they were greatly appreciated. Posting will once again be light this weekend, as I am mostly without Internet service. Also, the rest of August (particularly the second half) promises to be pretty busy for me, as I move down to DC and then experience the joys of early interview week. But this site will keep humming along right on through election day.

Posted at 08:59 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Monday, August 02, 2004

It Was a Very Big Month

Posted by DavidNYC

No summer doldrums have set in - not in the realm of politics, and not at the SSP, either. July was by far our biggest month yet, with close to 65,000 visitors - more than doubling the previous record-setting month of June, which saw 25,000 people stop by. The Edwards announcement brought a big (and apparently permanent) spike of new traffic, and the convention seems set to do the same. Unsurprisingly, this phenomenon has been replicated across the political blogosphere.

I'm always thrilled to see more visitors to this site. As I've often said, I consider this blog to be very much a two-way learning opportunity. Before I set out on this project, I didn't know very much about any of the swing states. But thanks in large part to the commenters here, I've learned a great deal, and I hope the same has been true for readers as well. So I'm thankful to everyone who's dropped by, and particularly those who have left comments. I'm also grateful as always to my guest posters, particularly Chris, who has kept this site humming with the GECC during what has been a very busy summer for me.

Lastly, I want to mention that, as a result of the increased traffic to this site (now averaging over 3,000 visitors per day), Blogads will soon be coming to this site. Though my hope is to make enough money to cover the SSP's operating expenses, that's not my main reason for adding ads. Rather, I think blog readers like the highly targeted nature of Blogads - I've certainly learned about races I might never have otherwise heard of. And by providing another (modestly trafficked) site to the list of places Democratic hopefuls can advertise, we might actually be helping campaigns reach a broader audience. Lastly, I think they've been deployed quite successfully - and unobtrusively - on sites like Daily Kos, MyDD, Atrios, etc. Any feedback - particularly after the ads are rolled out - will be welcome.

Posted at 02:16 AM in Site News | Comments (5) | Technorati

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Apartment Hunting

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm down in DC this weekend, hunting for apartments, hence the light posting. The search is going pretty abysmally - sigh. Anyone got any leads?

P.S. Newsweek has a new post-convention poll. It has Kerry up 52-44. The previous poll (from early July) had Kerry up 51-45. (MoE: ��4%.) So a "baby bounce," as the headline puts it. With Nader factored in, Kerry saw his lead jump from +3 to +7. Also, independents now support Kerry in this poll 45-39. And one other thing which I was glad to see: 57% of respondents said they think Kerry is the kind of person who "cares about someone like them," whereas only 44% said the same thing about Bush. So, media, can we put to rest this ridiculous idea that Bush is somehow a "regular guy" who people would rather have a beer with than Kerry? Because that's obviously not the case.

Posted at 06:37 PM in Site News | Comments (6) | Technorati

Friday, July 30, 2004

Updated Swing State Map Available

Posted by DavidNYC

As promised, I updated the swing state map to show North Carolina as a battleground state. Yes, it violates my strict ��10% methodology a little bit, but I'm satisfied with Chris's research that shows that the VP selection can materially affect a state's vote. Also, NC was actually the second-least red of all the states outside the ��10% group (Georgia was the first state over that barrier). So it's not a huge stretch. (I also cleaned up the map to show all of Maine as a swing state, even if it is strongly leaning toward Kerry.) A color-blind reader suggest I use patterns rather than colors - I'll try to create a second, more color-blind friendly map if I get the chance.

Also, related to my question immediately below, Zogby already has a new national poll out, showing Kerry/Edwards ahead 48-43. Zogby's last pre-convention poll had Kerry ahead 48-46, so all this poll shows (so far) is that 3% moved from Bush into the undecided group. (I don't usually, if ever, mention national polls here, but it might be a few days before we see post-convention state polls.)

And lastly, speaking of maps, a number of people have recommended the LA Times' electoral vote tracker map. It's pretty & user-friendly, and it even plays a little song (is that supposed to be "Stars & Stripes Forever?") when one candidate reaches 270 EVs.

2004 Swing States

Posted at 12:14 AM in General, Maine, North Carolina, Site News | Comments (8) | Technorati

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy Fourth of July

Posted by DavidNYC

I hope everyone's having a great Fourth of July. As you might expect, posting will be light here this weekend.

Also, some people - myself included - have encountered a frustrating (and improper) error message when trying to post comments here. You might see something like this:

An error occurred...

Your comment has not been posted because it appears to contain questionable content. If you believe you have received this message in error, please contact the author of this weblog.

Please correct the error in the form below, then press Post to post your comment.

TypePad has apparently "upgraded" its spam-filtering software, and it's hitting some glitches. (Perhaps not so wise to do this on a holiday weekend, fellas.) I have a help request in to the company, but there's unfortunately nothing I can do about it at the moment. So please remember whatever it is you wanted to say, and come back on Tuesday prepared to jabber.

Better thought: Just go and enjoy some barbecue, beer and fireworks. Happy Independence Day!

UPDATE: TypePad says the problem has been fixed, and indeed, I was just able to post a comment. But if you run into any problems, please shoot me an e-mail.

Posted at 01:29 PM in Site News | Technorati

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Difficulty Posting Comments? Read This

Posted by DavidNYC

In an effort to stop comment-based spam, TypePad (the host of this site) has instituted a new set of blocks on the comment features. If you get an error message saying the system won't allow you to post, scroll down and look for an image similar to this one:


By entering the text of the image in a separate box, the system will allow your comment to be posted. (This works because computers are unable to understand the image - known as a "captcha" - but humans can figure it out easily.) I'm sorry for the added inconvenience - this new system was installed by TypePad, not by me. But hopefully it will keep spammers from swarming the message boards - a very important part of this site.

If you run into any problems, please let me know.

P.S. If you aren't getting any error messages or seeing any funky text images like the one above, that's a good sign - it means you are in the clear. Only certain computers (those with allegedly "unsafe" settings, the kind that spammers can exploit) are being hit by this blocker.

Posted at 04:50 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, May 17, 2004

In Transit

Posted by DavidNYC

I just moved back up from DC to NYC last night - an exhausting trip. I'm still settling in here (and working on my law school's journal writing competition), so updates may be a bit infrequent over the next week or so. But keep checking back for Chris's General Election Cattle Call.

Posted at 05:32 PM in Site News | Technorati

Friday, May 07, 2004

It Don't Mean a Thing If You Ain't Got That Swing (Voter)

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm overdue in mentioning a new blog that is very much worth checking out. Rick Heller runs the Swing Voter Weblog, where, as you might expect, he disects and discusses the mercurial minds of the eternally sought-after swing voter. Rick himself is a Kerry supporter but also considers himself a swing voter - so he ought to know what he's talking about. Hopefully a few million more people like Rick will make the same choice he has.

As Rick observes, "To elect Kerry, we don't need to convert swing voter into Democrats. We just convince them to vote Democratic in 2004." While I'd prefer to do the former, I'd certainly be happy with the latter, no question about it.

Posted at 05:09 PM in Site News | Technorati

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

New Guest Poster for Arkansas, LiberalAce

Posted by DavidNYC

LiberalAce, a denizen of Arkansas and frequent commenter around these parts, is joining the SSP team. Naturally, he'll be reporting on what's happening in the home state of my favorite living president, William Jefferson "Big Dog" Clinton. So give him a warm welcome, and also check out his blog, Political Bytes.

Posted at 02:36 PM in Arkansas, Site News | Comments (6) | Technorati

ReDefeat Bush

Posted by DavidNYC

Maybe you don't have a car and a spare weekend. Maybe you've forgotten how to hand-write a letter after all those years sitting in front of your computer. Don't worry, I still have a way for you to get involved with voter registration efforts in swing states.

It's called ReDefeat Bush, and they organize events where volunteers register voters in battleground states by phone. Go ahead & check `em out.

Posted at 12:59 AM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Exam Crunch Time

Posted by DavidNYC

Tomorrow, my final week of exam crunch time begins. My last exam (thank heaven) is a week from Monday. So until then, please expect light posting from me. Chris's GECC should be appearing regularly, though, so feel free to use those posts as open threads.

Posted at 06:35 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Say Hello to the General Election Cattle Call!

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm very pleased to announce a new recurring feature debuting today on the Swing State Project: The General Election Cattle Call. Using a strictly empirical methodology, Chris Bowers, a longtime regular poster at the DailyKos, will put his finger to the political wind to tell us where he thinks the election stands.

A little background: During the primary season, Chris created the original Empirical Cattle Call in an attempt to use hard numbers to cut through the endless speculative chatter about who the Democratic nominee would be. For this project, he's refined and updated his methodology, and he'll be posting GECC updates whenever new polling data warrants it.

For a sneak preview, check out Chris's DKos diary here. Chris will provide a full introductory post (complete with methdology) here later today. Poll junkies should find the GECC especially rewarding, and I know it will provide a valuable contribution to our understanding of this year's presidential race.

And let me also say "Thank you!" to Chris, and welcome aboard!

Posted at 05:17 PM in General Election Cattle Call, Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, April 19, 2004

Six-Month Blog-o-Versary

Posted by DavidNYC

I just wanted to mention that today marks the half-year point for the Swing State Project, which I started last October. And just the other day, in fact, this site hit 30,000 total visitors, something I hardly imagined would ever happen all those months ago.

So let me just say a big "Thank You" to all my readers and especially to those of you who have left comments here. You've taught me an amazing amount. Thanks also to everyone who's linked to or otherwise plugged this blog, and also, of course, to my guest-posters.

In a little over six months from now, we're going to hit election day. Let's keep up our hard work, because I plan on seeing you all at the victory party.

P.S. Posting might be a little light the next few weeks as I head into final exams. But I'll do my best to keep the site updated.

Posted at 08:00 AM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Welcome, Majority Report Listeners!

Posted by DavidNYC

Majority Report, one of the great new programs on the great new radio network Air America, has very graciously linked to this humble blog from their own. I'm a huge fan of AAR so far, and I especially love Janeane & Sam's show (in large part because I'm actually awake when they're on the air). Unfortunately, I missed last night's show, which featured (among others) Bill Scher, proprietor of the must-read liberal mega-site (The interview with Paul Krugman is still one of my favorites.) Bill too-kindly listed my site along with the grand-daddy of left-wing blogs, Jerome Armstrong's MyDD, and Luke Francl's always-excellent media analysis site.

Newcomers may want to start by clicking on the "Methodology, Map & List of Swing States" link to see what this site is all about. For state-by-state info, check out the "Categories" section toward the bottom of the right-hand column. If you want to get involved in the fight to kick Bush out of the White House and retake Congress, be sure to peruse the "Swing State Activism" links. And thanks for stopping by!

UPDATE: I just found out from Luke that Bill did in fact mention us on the air. We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

Posted at 09:24 PM in Site News | Technorati

Monday, April 12, 2004

Some New Additions to the Blogroll

Posted by DavidNYC

With some Kossack help, I've added a few new blogs to the roll:

CO: MakesMeRalph (great name, nothing to do with Nader)
MO: The Temple Report
PA: Catalyst
WA: Washington State Political Report
WI: Folkbum's Rambles and Rants

I've also updated the link for SEIU's "2004 in 2004" program (formerly known as the "Push Bush" plan). Apparently, if you are an SEIU member, you can take paid time off to do political work for three to seven months in a swing state. Sounds awesome to me!

Lastly, I've added a search box (powered by Google) to let you easily search the SSP archives. It's right there toward the top of the right-hand column, just under the "subscribe" feature. It should be working fine (I've tested it a bunch), but let me know if you run into any difficulties.

As always, if you know of any good sites (particularly swing state blogs), please let me know.

Posted at 01:54 AM in Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Swing State Project is Growing!

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm very pleased to announce that three new guest-posters have joined the SSP: Seamus (of the Seamus Press) and Fester (of Fester's Place) will be reporting on the Presidential race from Pennsylvania, while Ricky (of Timshel) will be doing the same from Louisiana. I'll continue to do the in-depth analyses, while the new posters (all of whom have excellent blogs that you should also check out) will typically do more quick-hit commentary on news stories.

Also, I'm on the lookout for more guest-posters. Ultimately, I'd like to have people from all 21 swing states. Ideal candidates either are established bloggers or are regular diarists at DailyKos. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. And please give a warm welcome to Seamus, Fester and Ricky.

Posted at 06:13 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

Sunday, January 18, 2004

New Additions to the Blog Roll

Posted by DavidNYC

Added a few new sites. The first is Blog Free or Die, a promising new Democratic blog from New Hampshire. The other two can be found under the Swing State Activism section. Swing State Spring Break, according to its website, is a "100% volunteer-operated program for progressive students and their allies, who volunteer to do grassroots, electoral work in swing states during their spring or summer vacations." Good thing Florida is a swing state.

The last addition is a new mini-project of mine (actually a sub-blog of the SSP), titled simply "Competitive House Races." People often ask me how they can get involved this campaign season. If you live in a swing state, you should help get our nominee elected. But if you don't live in a swing state, the most important thing you can do is work on a Congressional campaign. Most House races, though, are foregone conclusions - there's no reason to work for you local Congressman if he regularly wins with 80% of the vote. So CHR is devoted to providing information about the few races which will actually matter: Democrats we need to defend and Republicans we need to unseat.

Right now, it's a work in progress, and I've only listed a few races so far. My main source for finding out which elections will be competitive is Brian's Utah Weblog, but if you have any suggestions for races CHR should include, please let me know. (Just be aware that Brian hasn't finished covering the entire country yet.) And general feedback is always welcome.

Posted at 10:39 PM in Site News | Technorati

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Sporadic Posting

Posted by DavidNYC

I just want to explain the sporadic frequency of posts (and the fact that I haven't done a full-bore state analysis in a while). I chose to start this blog at just about the worst time possible: the middle of my first semester at law school. As you may know, law schools are fond of working their first-year students to death. A month ago, my schedule wasn't so bad, but now that we're down to the last month of the semester, with exams just weeks away, it's hard for me to post regularly.

I should have the chance to put up some new material over Thanksgiving, and I'd like to catch up on a bunch of states over winter break. So thanks for bearing with me during this period of semi-hiatus. Heading into 2004, the Swing State Project should be strong - at least until my next finals period. :)

Posted at 11:44 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Monday, November 10, 2003

Receive SSP Updates via E-mail

Posted by DavidNYC

I've added a new tool in the right-hand bar which allows you to sign up for e-mail updates from the SSP. If you sign up, you'll get an e-mail once a day informing you of the site's updates. Since some of my posts are very long, the e-mail will only contain excerpts - you'll have to click over to the site to read the full posts & participate in the comments section. If there's a strong interest in seeing the full posts in e-mail form, I'll consider changing the setup, but for now, just teasers.

The service is provided free by Bloglet. E-mail addresses are collected by Bloglet, but the site's privacy policy says that they will "never sell anyone's email address". I can also see the e-mail addresses of subscribers (unless you mark your account "private" over at Bloglet), but it goes without saying that I would never share these with anyone.

Let me know if you have any feedback about the service. I've never used it before and don't know anyone who has, so I'm curious to see how useful it is.

UPDATE: There's also an RSS feed available, for those of you who are so inclined.

Posted at 11:24 PM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Domain Mapping

Posted by DavidNYC

If you arrive at the main page of this website via, the site should look normal. If, however, you try to get here by just typing in "" without the www, you'll get an ugly banner from at the bottom of the screen. For seemingly arcance technical reasons, I am unable to elegantly "map" the non-www address to the TypePad site and must instead rely on the clumsier technique of URL forwarding. Unfortunately, charges an arm and a leg ($49/year) for the privilege of "pretty" (ie, bannerless) forwarding, so I'm stuck with their free forwarding service. So if you come to this site and see that annoying banner, just retype the URL into your browser with the www this time, and voila! the banner will disappear.

And if any tech wizards out there have any good (ie, free) solutions to this problem, please let me know. Thanks.

Posted at 04:22 PM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Updating the Blog Roll

Posted by DavidNYC

I've added links to three swing-state focused political blogs in the blog roll to the right:

CO: Colorado Luis
OR/WA: Ridenbaugh Press
PA: Fester's Place

I also added a new site under the "Swing State Activism" section, the Rocky Mountain Progressive Network. I'd love to be able to add blogs & activism sites for all of the swing states, so if you have any suggestions, please post them in the comments.

Posted at 02:47 AM in Site News | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, October 31, 2003

A Permanent Home for the SSP

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm pleased to announce that the Swing State Project finally has a permanent home: If you have any links or bookmarks to this site, you can update them to the new, simpler URL. It's not strictly necessary, though, as the old TypePad URL should still work, and the even older BlogSpot site should auto-forward here. Permalinks to specific posts should be unaffected as well, but if you notice any problems, please let me know so that I can resolve them. Thanks.

Posted at 02:08 AM in Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Looking for Links

Posted by DavidNYC

I want to flesh out the blogroll here on SSP to make it (and the whole site) a more useful resource. In particular, I'm looking for two type of sites:

1) Groups involved in swing state activism - basically fundraising, canvassing & other campaign activities in swing states on behalf of Democrats. I've already added a few such groups in a sub-list to the right. (Thanks to LFinMN for the first batch of links.)

2) Political blogs whose authors are from swing states & who focus heavily on their home-state politics. A good example would be Colorado Luis. Another example would be the Burnt Orange Report, but alas, Texas is not a swing state. For this group, I'm interested in right-wing as well as left-wing blogs.

If you have any suggestions for either of these categories, I'd be very grateful. And if there are any good general political reference sites out there that you like (like Dave Liep's Atlas), let me know about those, too.

Posted at 05:09 PM in Site News | Comments (5) | Technorati

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Methodology & List of Swing States

Posted by DavidNYC

This site is devoted to analyzing the battleground states which will ultimately decide the 2004 US Presidential election.

Methodology: Any state where the margin between (Gore + Nader) - (Bush + Buchanan) was ±10% in 2000 is considered a swing state for the purposes of this project.

The one exception is North Carolina, which has moved into the swing state category by virute of John Edwards' presence on the Democratic ticket. Historically, the home state of a party's vice-presidential candidate is one of the few (if only) factors that can materially affect the vote in that state.

List (with margin in parentheses):

Arizona (-4.12%)
Arkansas (-4.79%)
Colorado (-3.71%)
Florida (1.33%)

Iowa (2.11%)
Louisiana (-7.32%)
Maine, 2nd CD (5.74%)
Michigan (7.08%)
Minnesota (6.70%)

Missouri (-2.13%)
Nevada (-1.86%)

New Mexico (3.38%)
New Hampshire (2.17%)
North Carolina (-13.13%)
Ohio (-1.58%)

Oregon (5.02%)
Pennsylvania (5.94%)

Tennessee (-3.12%)
Virginia (-6.06%)

Washington (9.43%)
West Virginia (-5.17%)
Wisconsin (3.40%)

Posted at 10:50 PM in Site News | Technorati

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