New Hampshire Archive:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

NH-02: DCCC Drops Da Bomb on Charlie Bass

Posted by DavidNYC

Time for the Bassmaster to start cryin' into his beer:


1. Supports Candidate: Paul W. Hodes (H4NH02175)
Office Sought: House of Representatives, New Hampshire District 02
Payee: Great American Media
Date Expended = 10/30/2006 Amount Expended = $490644.75
Purpose: Media Buy

2. Opposes Candidate: Charles F. Bass (H0NH02017)
Office Sought: House of Representatives, New Hampshire District 02
Payee: Great American Media
Date Expended = 10/30/2006 Amount Expended = $490644.75
Purpose: Media Buy

3. Supports Candidate: Paul W. Hodes (H4NH02175)
Office Sought: House of Representatives, New Hampshire District 02
Payee: Great American Media
Date Expended = 10/30/2006 Amount Expended = $35572.50
Purpose: Media Buy

4. Opposes Candidate: Charles F. Bass (H0NH02017)
Office Sought: House of Representatives, New Hampshire District 02
Payee: Great American Media
Date Expended = 10/30/2006 Amount Expended = $35572.50
Purpose: Media Buy

5. Supports Candidate: Paul W. Hodes (H4NH02175)
Office Sought: House of Representatives, New Hampshire District 02
Payee: Great American Media
Date Expended = 10/31/2006 Amount Expended = $26888.62
Purpose: Media Buy

6. Opposes Candidate: Charles F. Bass (H0NH02017)
Office Sought: House of Representatives, New Hampshire District 02
Payee: Great American Media
Date Expended = 10/31/2006 Amount Expended = $26888.63
Purpose: Media Buy

TOTAL: $1,120,206.75

Yeah, you read that last line right. Please join with me in using the Dr. Evil voice when we say ONE MEEELYON DOLLARS! They come at us with $365K, we go at them with $1.1M - that's the Chicago way.

Anyhow, apart from just expressing my joy that the DCCC is beating up so heavily on Bass (couldn't happen to a nicer guy), I do want to make a broader point here. For those of you backing candidates in competitive districts where the DCCC has yet to make a move, don't fret. Sometimes waiting can really pay off. Had the DCCC made a splash in this district any earlier than now, the NRCC (or RNC) would have been sure to match them. It would have been a slogfest, and slogfests almost always favor the party with more money - ie, the Republicans.

Because the DCCC held its fire, the GOP didn't move in this district until late last week. And by playing our cards so close to our vest until the absolute last moment, that makes it a hell of a lot harder for the NRCC to counter the pocket queens we just revealed. I say "pocket queens" because the GOP may yet have a pair of aces face down on the table. But I doubt it. I feel pretty sure that this strategy of delay has paid off.

And this is especially true in redder districts. If the GOP matches Dem independent expenditures (IEs) in a red district, that's almost always going to hurt the Dem, net-net. That's because the redder the area, the more likely undecideds are to lean Republican. The way to avoid this is for Dems to spend in such a way that it comes as a total surprise to the Republicans, as in KS-02, so that they can't match, or at least, can't match in time. In other words, I wouldn't be surprised if the DCCC parachuted into some other under-the-radar districts before election day. So keep your eyes on those IE reports.

Posted at 10:40 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 19, 2006

NH-02: My Favorite Mailer This Year

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm an incredibly tough critic when it comes to humor. But this Hodes mailer is both incredibly well done and very clever. It's easily my favorite piece of snail mail this election:

Totally excellent. I've posted the second page of the flyer below the fold. And follow these links to find larger versions of the front and back.

Posted at 11:25 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NH-02: Charlie Bass Steps in Some Macaca

Posted by DavidNYC

Ah, Charlie Bass. Lately he's shown exactly how weak his grey matter is. Now, he's gone a step further and shown a strong preference for the taste of his own feet. Just the other day, he managed to insult Bernie Sanders, his supporters, and New Yorkers all in one fell swoop:

"Oh, it's going to be nice not to have Hugo Chavez across the Connecticut river, representing Vermont at large. Bernie Sanders and his Sandernistas, go back to taxi driving in the Bronx of New York City, where they came from to begin with".

Watch the video here:

The line - delivered in a hostile, sneering tone - comes about 35 seconds in and is greeted with hearty applause. To my ears, this is some not-so-thinly veiled racist fear-mongering, given that the Bronx is a predominantly black and Hispanic borough. The choice of the phrase "taxi drivers" also stands out. It's a double-whammy: Bass readily mocks hard-working people he views as "beneath" his own lofty station, and he singles out for derision a group composed largely of immigrants. It's no surprise that the faux-moderate Bass holds such ugly views - they are typical of Republican office-holders.

It's also no surprise that Bass, yet again, manages to show how stupid he is. First off, Sanders is from Brooklyn, not the Bronx. But, more importantly, Bernie is still gonna be representing Vermont "at large" next year. Is Charlie not aware that Sanders is running for the Senate this year, and is leading by huge margins in every single poll? Considering that Charlie Bass has still not released any of his internal polls this year, perhaps he's just no longer familiar with the general concept of public opinion surveys.

Like I say, when it comes to Charlie Bass, nothing surprises me. But if he wants to pick a fight with all of New York City, bring it on. As we like to say around here, "Yeah? You and what army?"

Posted at 10:14 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Netroots Candidates Poll Round-up

Posted by James L.

There are a lot of good reasons to be proud of the netroots candidates this year: 10 of 14 House candidates have been targeted for DCCC support, and polling continues to improve virtually across the board, including for our candidates in WA, MN, and NH.

SurveyUSA released a new poll today showing Darcy Burner running neck-and-neck with freshman incumbent Republican Dave Reichert in Washington's 8th (likely voters):

Darcy Burner (D): 48
Dave Reichert (R-Inc): 50
MoE: ±4.3%

Now, I'd normally put trendlines in here, as SUSA has polled this race before in August and showed Dave Reichert with a comfy 13-point lead. The only problem, though, was that SUSA's August poll was of registered voters, not likely voters (I have no idea why they were casting such a wide net the first time around), so a trend in Burner's favor could very well be less pronounced if she has a natural advantage among likely WA-08 voters. Reichert has a very strong profile in this district, so if we're ever going to knock him off, this has to be our year.

Over in the North Star state, MN Publius has a partially leaked MN-01 poll commissioned by the SEIU:

Tim Walz (D): 46
Gil Gutknecht (R-Inc): 40
Undecided: 14

Re-elect Gutknecht: 38

Whoaaa. Maybe this is optimistic, or maybe the MoE is 15%, but you never know. MN-01 is a true swing district at R+0.9, and up until the last national "wave" election in 1994, a Democrat held this seat. The demographics are there for a potential upset, and Walz has been raising more money and bringing more noise to this district than any challenger Gutknecht has faced in recent memory. The DFL is revved up statewide by the Senatorial and Gubernatorial contests, which will be a plus for Walz, too.

And finally, over in David's favorite district, the University of New Hampshire has another poll on the Hodes-Bass battle in NH-02 (likely voters, July in parens):

Hodes (D): 36 (25)
Bass (R-Inc.): 46 (53)
Undecided: 17 (22)
(MoE: ±6.2%)

Now, UNH's polling has been all over the map this year, and it has been noted previously that their methodology is pretty fugly (although their partisan samples are much more reasonable this time), so I have no doubt that the truth is somewhat closer to the DCCC's polls on the race. I say that not only because I trust the Mellman Group more than I trust UNH, but also because the DCCC used this poll in determining whether or not to add Hodes to the Red to Blue program (which they did). Essentially, the D-trip was looking for a good picture on the race, not a stacked deck in Hodes' favor, and what they found was a surprisingly tight contest.

Great movement all around, but let's not rest on our laurels. In case you haven't been following, we need just over 600 more donors to meet our goal of 10,000 by the end of the fundraising cycle this Saturday at midnight. I know we can get there with a bang. If you haven't contributed to one of the netroots candidates this cycle, please consider doing so now--this is our last best chance to give an extra boost to strong Democrats waging uncompromising campaigns nationwide.

Posted at 12:13 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Washington | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NH-02: Charlie Bass Is a Moron

Posted by DavidNYC

Ordinarily, I don't go in for such silly titles, but there's no other way to describe Charlie Bass right now. He's up with a new ad attacking Paul Hodes that just boggles the mind. The video isn't available yet, but here's the transcript:

Charlie Bass: I’m Charlie Bass and I approve this message.

Voice Over: What’s Paul Hodes’ Plan for Iraq?

Paul Hodes: We cannot just abandon Iraq.

Voice over: Now Hodes says we should pull out.

[AP, 9/12/06]

Paul Hodes: We cannot just abandon Iraq.

Voice Over: So which is it?

Paul Hodes: We cannot just abandon Iraq.

Voice Over: Now, Hodes wants to send troops into Kurdistan. Kudistan? Hodes says he’s got a plan for Iraq.

Paul Hodes: Yeah? And I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell.

Voice Over: Sorry Paul, we’re not buying it.

Guess what? KURDISTAN IS IN IRAQ!!! Holy moly! Take a look, in case you don't believe me:

Is Charlie Bass projecting? Does he think that Paul, like the lunatic neocons Bass enables, wants to invade Iran? Or maybe Bass thinks Paul wants to send our troops to Kreplachistan? Like I said above, what a total moron.

Posted at 01:22 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NH-02: "IndyNH" Was Bass's Policy Director!

Posted by DavidNYC

All along I figured IndyNH had to be some dumb, over-eager intern. Oh no, this was no small fry - this was a big fish:

A lead staffer in U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass' office resigned Tuesday after admitting to posting fake messages on political blogs.

Tad Furtado, the No. 2 staffer in Bass' Washington office, resigned after it was revealed that he posed as a Democrat on liberal blogs. Bass said that Furtado posed as a supporter of Bass opponent Paul Hodes but then discussed how difficult it would be to beat Bass.

"Tad Furtado posted to political Web sites from my office without my knowledge or authorization," Bass said in a written statement. "I have referred this matter to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for their review."

Staff members in Bass' Concord office said they were shocked to hear Furtado was responsible for the postings. He was described as a rising young star and one of the congressman's most trusted staffers.

And oh, check out the last graf:

Because Furtado used a government computer on Capitol Hill, it could represent a violation of House rules, Bass officials said.

Needless to say, I'm never surprised when Republicans engage in unethical, rule-breaking behavior. Indeed, New Hampshire Republicans seem to have a special problem in this regard - recall the huge 2002 phone-jamming scandal, which sent several people to jail. This Tad Furtado is clearly cut from the same cloth as James Tobin. With any luck, Furtado, too, will pay a price for his transgressions.

P.S. Major kudos to MissLaura, Keener and Yankee Doodler for all their efforts on this story. The tradmed has picked it up big-time, including the AP and several local outfits. And, while you're at it, give to netroots candidate Paul Hodes!

UPDATE: The story makes it on to local news. It's a good piece, I think.

Posted at 02:26 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, September 25, 2006

NH-02: Sock-Puppetry, Polls, and More!

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm back from my fantastic honeymoon (the wedding was beyond amazing as well), and after a pleasant Rosh Hashanah, I'm hitting the ground running here. Quite a bit of goings on in my favorite district, NH-02, of late. First, today's big news, from Roll Call (reprinted with permission at Raw Story):

Liberal bloggers in New Hampshire busted an aide to Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) who was posing as a liberal blogger on such blogs as Blue Granite, NH-02 Progressive and others. Bass’ office admitted culpability to HOH and said the staffer would be “appropriately disciplined.”

The unnamed aide to Bass — who, like many others in his party, faces a tough re-election fight — was routinely trolling liberal New Hampshire political blogs calling himself “IndyNH” and more commonly IndieNH, pretending to be a progressive.

Finally, after noticing that lots of things he said just didn’t add up, a couple of the bloggers traced IndieNH’s IP address to the House of Representatives.

And they thought, “How many offices in the U.S. House would be interested in one race in New Hampshire?” The answer: Very few. Probably only one.

Indeed, it was only one - as the article says, Bass's office copped to the charge. How pathetic, considering how many campaigns have gotten into hot water lately for similar shenanigans. Anyhow, major kudos to MissLaura, Keener and Yankee Doodler for uncovering this scandal. Great detective work! Hopefully we'll see some more tradmed coverage soon.

(I should note that IndyNH put in an appearance here at Swing State once. Like Clemenza says, I bet we won't see him no more.)

In other news, Paul Hodes is up on the air with his first ad, available at YouTube:

New Hampshire TV station WMUR also did a story on this. (Thanks to MissLaura for the links.)

Separately, two polls on this race came out recently. The first, from Research 2000 for the Concord Monitor (likely voters, no trendlines):

Hodes (D): 30
Bass (R-inc.): 55
Undecided: 14
(MoE: ±6%)

Clearly bad news for Hodes, but don't ignore the huge MoE. Also, R2K says they tried to match NH voter registration numbers with their sample, but there are two problems here. First, they only describe their statewide sample, without providing district breakdowns. Second, Dem ID is on the rise. The last two SUSA polls (here and here) which measured Bush's statewide approval rating showed Dem ID outstripping the voter reg numbers - not surprising, given the climate. So if you slavishly follow the stats from the Secretary of State, you are probably understating Democratic performance.

Also, as far as I can tell, this poll didn't ask any benchmark questions, such as George Bush's approval rating. A good pollster always tosses in a few questions like that just so you can have a basis for comparison. If you get a Bush approval rating 10 points higher (or lower) than other pollsters are showing, then your horserace results are probably useless. Without such a benchmark, this poll is just floating in the ether.

The other poll was commissioned by the DCCC and conducted by the Mellman Group (no trendlines):

Hodes (D): 41
Bass (R-inc.): 41

We don't have the full details on this one, but it's almost exactly in line with the Hodes campaign's own internal poll from a little while back. Also, the pollster here had the good sense to ask Bush's approval. In the 2nd district, it stands at a mere 30%. This makes sense - SUSA's last poll had him at 35% statewide, and as we all know, NH-02 is more Dem than the state as a whole.

If you've been following this race closely (and chance are you have, if you're a regular SSP reader), you know that the polls have been all over the place. UNH and R2K showed big gaps, while two Dem polls showed the race neck-and-neck. It's tempting to say that the truth must lie somewhere in between, but I'm not inclined to believe that. The UNH poll had some pretty serious flaws, and R2K simply hasn't provided enough information for us to properly assess their poll.

But to me, the most telling thing is still the fact that we have not heard a single peep from Charlie Bass or the NRCC regarding any polls of their own. A month ago, I passed along word that Bass had apparently gone into the field. Even if that tidbit was mistaken, surely, surely Bass has taken a poll for himself by now. If he hasn't, that would be so stupid as to be criminally negligent. (Though based on what we've seen, I wouldn't put that past him.)

So why haven't we seen it yet? If it confirmed the numbers from the independent pollsters, Bass would have undoubtedly released it by now. His failure to do so can only mean that his own polling shows him doing materially worse than the UNH & R2K numbers. And that doesn't surprise me at all.

Posted at 12:16 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, September 09, 2006

9/12 Primary Races Round-Up

Posted by James L.

So it's primary day this Tuesday, with elections being held in AZ, DC, DE, MD, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, and WI. Here's a round-up of everything you should be keeping your eye on.

AZ-08 (Open, Kolbe): Boy, do I ever feel good about the Democratic chances in this district. Jim Kolbe, the district's Republican incumbent, is retiring. Kolbe, one of those elusive gay Republicans, cultivated a moderate reputation (whatever that means in the Republican Party these days), but received a slight scare in 2004 when conservative firebrand Randy Graf ran on a hard-right platform and scored 43% of the vote in the Republican primary of that year. That's a pretty impressive showing, given the traditional resource gap between a no-name challenger and an entrenched incumbent (admittedly, Graf's a state legislator, so he did start off with base of support). Now, Graf, an anti-immigration advocate, is leading the charge to clinch the Republican nomination for this open seat, and the most recent polling puts him ahead of primary opponent Steve Huffman (33-25, with 14% dispersed among three other minor candidates, and 29% undecided). However, Graf's in-your-face conservatism isn't exactly the best fit for a district that only tilts ever so slightly to the Republicans (Cook rates it as R+1.4), and the NRCC is in panic mode, spending $100k in a last-ditch effort to drag Huffman across the finish line. Clearly, we should be rooting for Graf in the primary if the NRCC is willing to spend coin to stop him. That said, even if Huffman is the winner, Hotline On Call notes that Huffman has plenty of weaknesses of his own:

But there are signs that Huffman is running a lackluster campaign. Despite a big fundraising advantage and Kolbe's endorsement, he remains down in polls. His treasurer was snooping around his challenger's ex-wife's home, prompting the Tucson Weekly to revoke their endorsement of him. And unlike ex-state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and Graf, he kept his seat in the legislature during the campaign - allowing the DCCC to hammer him for missing recent votes on border security.

Yikes. Things are looking pretty stressful for the Republicans if Huffman is the best they can come up with in this district. I can already see the negative ads in my head regarding his treasurer's bizarre antics.

The Democratic primary, on the other hand, is pitting two candidates who would either be strong or reasonably strong performers in the general election: ex-State Sen. Gabrielle Giffords and local TV anchor Patty Weiss. Giffords, though, leads Weiss 46-29 in the latest polling, and looks like the likely winner on Tuesday. Giffords is also the only Democrat in the current field who leads Huffman in a hypothetical general election match-up, by 42-39. Additionally, recent generic polling suggests that the district is leaning towards pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate this cycle, by a 50-46 margin. Between the nasty Republican primary pitting the NRCC against the local conservative base, a strong Democratic candidate, and an electorate that's beginning to tilt Democratic in the most recent polls, I'm expecting good things from AZ-08 in November.

MD-Sen (Open, Sarbanes): A whopper. A late August poll put Rep. Ben Cardin ahead of former NCAAP head Kweisi Mfume by a 43-30 margin in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes, although other polls have shown a tighter contest over the past several months. However, the demographics of Maryland's Democratic electorate would seem to hold more favorables for Mfume than Cardin, at least on the surface. Still, Cardin has outraised Mfume by a wide margin, and has been putting up a far greater amount of resources on air time in this stretch run than Mfume can afford to spend. I'd be surprised if Mfume pulled off this upset.

MD-04 (Incumbent, Wynn): 2006 has seen a series of surprising primary elections where incumbents have been knocked off their perch--Lieberman, Joe Schwarz in Michigan, and Cynthia McKinney in Georgia. Can Donna Edwards make it four by knocking off entrenched Democratic incumbent Al Wynn? Edwards has made a strong case against Wynn, who has supported the Bush administration on several crucial votes, including the Bankruptcy Bill and the Iraq War. Lemme just chime in and say this: no Democrat has any business voting for the ass-backwards Bankruptcy Bill, but this especially applies to any Democrat who represents a district that delivered 70% of its vote to John Kerry in 2004, like Wynn's. The Club For Growth, even if their choice in candidates is often extremely questionable, has the right philosophy: use primary races in districts with deep partisan favorability to their cause, and push ideological purity there. An Al Wynn-style voting record may be a lot easier to stomach for, say, a Democrat representing a white-majority district in the South, but Maryland's fourth can do a lot better than Al Wynn. Edwards has been picking up momentum in recent weeks, with the impressive achievement of securing the Washington Post's endorsement. If she can't do it this time, Edwards will be well-placed to make an earlier, more well-funded challenge to Wynn in 2008.

MN-05 (Open, Sabo): I gotta say, I know next to nothing about this hotly-contested open D seat race in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. The field is huge, but the big spenders and movers have been Keith Ellison, Mike Erlandson, and Ember Reichgott Junge. I would invite our resident MN commentators to give us the lowdown in the comments.

NH-01 (Incumbent, Bradley): This race isn't quite as sexy as NH-02, but there's still a glimmer of hope here. Cook rates this district as a highly competitive R+0.1, and Bush only edged Kerry by 2% here in 2004. One of the Democratic challengers, NH House Minority Leader Jim Craig, is credible, and holds at least some name recognition in the district. But first he'll have to get through a primary with Carol Shea-Porter, who has her share of supporters as well.

NY-11 (Open, Owens): The most recent polling I've seen in this open seat shows a dead heat between the four would-be Democratic successors to retiring incumbent Major Owens in this central Brooklyn district (and my home away from home): NYC Councilmembers Yvette Clark, David Yassky, State Sen. Carl Andrews, and Owens' son, Chris Owens. Yassky's had the best fundraising, but also the most controversy, with the other candidates criticizing Yassky for running in an African-American majority district. Looks like this one will go down to the wire.

NY-19 (Incumbent, Kelly): The Democratic field to take on incumbent Republican congresswoman Sue Kelly has been annoyingly huge, but it's been whittled down to four: ex-Republican attorney Judy Aydelott, school principal Ben Schuldiner, political hack Darren Rigger, and Orleans guitarist John Hall. Aydelott had the very early mo' in this district, but Hall's fundraising has really picked up steam, and the endorsements (including one from the NY Democratic Party) followed suit. Cook rates this district R+1.5, but the locals are hoping for some serious coattails from the Spitzer-Clinton bulldozer at the top of the ticket this year, as well as changing demographics as a result of NYC residents moving into the district for more affordable housing.

RI-Sen (Incumbent, Chafee): The big one! Depending on whether you choose to believe Rhode Island College or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, this primary race is either firmly in conservative challenger Steve Laffey's hands, or will be held safely by incumbent Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee--both organizations put out wildly conflicting polls. The NRSC has made it clear that they're reading to cede the Rhode Island Senate seat to the Democrats if Laffey wins on Tuesday, so... well, you know who to root for.

RI-02 (Incumbent, Langevin): I don't have much to say about this one, but Jennifer Lawless has been running a primary challenge against Rep. Jim Langevin from the left. Langevin, in my estimation, is a pretty decent Rep, aside from his pro-life/anti-choice record. Lawless has gone so far as to say that Langevin Equals Lieberman, but given Langevin's opposition to the Iraq War, I don't think that passes the sniff test. So whatever.

WI-08 (Open, Green): No question about it: this is a Republican district. Bush scored nearly 55% of the vote against Kerry's 44% in 2004, yet Democrats are smelling an opportunity this year. Indeed, the most recent RT Strategies/Constituent Dynamics poll has the generic Democrat edging the generic Republican by 48-44 in this open seat race. The DCCC has gone up on the air to soften up likely Republican nominee John Gard's numbers, while the NRCC has done the same against physician Steve Kagen, the big spender in the Democratic primary race (he's put up over $1m of his own funds into this race, the last time I checked). Kagen's primary opponents, former Brown County Executive and De Pere mayor Nancy Nusbaum and business consultant Jamie Wall, have also raised impressive amounts for a crowded field, but Kagen's deep pockets has put the local Republicans on edge. If the NRCC is committing resources to defend this seat, the 2006 field is favorable indeed for Democrats.

Posted at 09:02 PM in 2006 Elections, Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Netroots Filing Deadline Roundup

Posted by DavidNYC

• MissLaura has a great bit of bonafide reporting:

Tonight at a meet the candidates event held by the Rumney Democrats, Hodes announced that he has now broken the all-time record for in-state fundraising for any Congressional candidate in any party for an entire cycle. (Emphasis added.)


• MissLaura also reports that MoveOn has gone up with ads targeting Charlie Bass. I'm sure he's totally flipping out right now. One thing I can tell you: MoveOn did some very careful polling after they ran their first batch of ads (in CT-05 and elsewhere). Turns out, the ads had a net positive effect. I hope to blog more about this later. You can see the ad here.

• Meanwhile, a reliable source tells me that Bass recently went into the field with his own internal poll. (How can anyone outside the Bass campaign or his polling outfit know this? Easy - when a Hodes supporter gets an obvious polling phone call, they let others know. Word can get around pretty quickly.) Yet, apropos my post yesterday about internal polls, Bass hasn't yet released his. What're you scared of, Charlie?

• And speaking of MoveOn, they've also gone up in NY-29, home of Eric Massa. This district, even moreso than NH-02, is especially cheap, so MoveOn should get some good bang for the buck here. (They're also running the same ad in NY-20, where Kirsten Gillibrand, a personal favorite of mine, is running against Sweeney Blutarsky.)

• Also, Eric Massa receives a letter of support from a lifelong Republican who just happens to be a former GOP county chair. Unlike all those phony "lifelong Democrats" who write in to Andrew Sullivan or the New York Post, this turnabout is legit:

. Consequently, I must in good conscience vote to replace you in Congress with your Democratic opponent, Eric Massa, who I understand is a well-intentioned, well qualified individual of principle and integrity, just the right mix.

Allow me the literary license to paraphrase a statement Republican, Senator Barry Goldwater thusly: "Mindless party loyalty is no virtue. Breaking with miscreant party leadership is no vice."

• Finally, while I don't have anything to add about Darcy Burner in WA-08 at the moment, she, too - like Hodes and Massa - faces the end of a fundraising period tonight. Help all three of them, and all the other netroots candidates. Any donation of any amount is greatly valued.

UPDATE (James L.):

• Great news! As of tonight, all of the Netroots candidates have surpassed past candidate Ciro Rodriguez in terms of total donors. Now, let's see if we can get a few to leapfrog Busby!

Posted at 06:57 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 21, 2006

NH-02: Hodes (D) Internal Poll Shows Dead Heat

Posted by DavidNYC

Anzalone-Liszt Research for netroots candidate Paul Hodes (likely voters including leaners, no trendlines):

Hodes (D): 42
Bass (R-inc.): 43
Undecided: 15
(MoE: ±4%)

Without leaners, it's a pure tie, 40-40. The absolutely amazing thing is that Bass has full name recognition - 94%. Hodes, meanwhile, is at just 27%. The only thing which can explain this is extreme voter dissastisfaction with incumbents and Republicans. Charlie Bass, of course, is both.

And this is born out by the other questions asked by the poll. An impressive 69% of second district voters give George Bush a negative approval rating, while 75% do the same for Congress. Interestingly, a whopping 79% approve of Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who is cruising to re-election. Clearly, New Hampshirites like the Dems back home but are sick of the Republicans who have lost touch down in Washington.

While I don't have the party ID breakdown for this poll, the accompanying press release notes:

The polling sample used reflects the slight Republican registration advantage of the 2nd district.

Earlier today, I happened to crunch the numbers myself, based on the data available from the NH Secretary of State. Turns out that registration in the 2nd CD is 30R-26D-44I - a four-point net GOP advantage. And these numbers are a couple of years old - if anything, I'd believe the GOP edge is a bit smaller now.

So remember that UNH poll we disected a while back? It had a partisan breakdown of 32R-23D-38I, a nine-point Republican edge. Clearly, that just doesn't reflect reality. The Hodes people - like the folks at most campaigns - want accurate numbers so that they can have a proper sense of how the field looks. Academic operations are much less concerned with partisan weighting. So if you ask me which numbers I trust, I'm inclined to think the Hodes survey is a lot closer to reality.

And since this is the netroots fundraising push week, I of course will end this post with an exhortation to donate to Paul Hodes and all the netroots candidates!

P.S. You can read the complete polling memo summary here (PDF).

Posted at 08:11 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 17, 2006

NH-02: Rahm at Hodes Fundraiser

Posted by DavidNYC

I don't know any details, but I sure do like the sound of this little tidbit:

Democrat Paul Hodes said today he supports legislation that would give anyone in college or graduate school a three-thousand dollar tax credit each year.


The tax credit is sponsored by Illinois congressman Rahm Emmanuel, who is heading the Democratic Party's effort to elect more Democrats to the House of Representatives. Emmanuel also appeared at a fundraiser for Hodes in Boston last night. (Emphasis added.)

It's all about that last line. Rahm Emanuel doesn't just randomly appear at fundraisers for just anyone. He's only gonna stick his neck out for legit candidates. With any luck, this is a sign that there might be a spot for Hodes on the D-Trip's Red-to-Blue list at some point soon.

(Thanks to MissLaura for the catch.)

Posted at 12:05 AM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

NH-02: New Poll Shows Wider Bass Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

The University of New Hampshire just released a new poll (PDF) on the race in NH-02 (likely voters, May in parens):

Hodes (D): 25 (35)
Bass (R-inc.): 53 (42)
Undecided: 22 (22)
(MoE: ±6.2%)

A few things to note about this poll: Like the last one, it has a huge MoE. Unlike the last survey, though, this poll isn't backed up by any others (yet). A Hodes staffer told me that back in May, the campaign's own polling showed the exact same margin that UNH's did. Hopefully, there will be another poll in the field soon - but this time, I'm betting it won't confirm these newest UNH results. Why do I say that?

First, what's happened in NH-02 over the last three months that could possibly have caused such a huge swing? Do you have any clue? I certainly don't - and that's because the answer is "nothing." This race has barely heated up. Neither candidate is on the air in any meaningful way. The campaign hasn't even experienced much if any controversy yet (Bass's immoral voting record nonwithstanding). And this is born out by the fact that Hodes' name rec numbers are essentially unchanged from the last time out.

Bass, however, saw a big jump (nine points) in his favorability score. Though the PDF linked above doesn't give an exact figure, it does say that Bush's favorability also increased from his May low of 30%. If Bush experienced a jump anything like Bass's (and I wouldn't be surprised if they were similar), you've gotta ask: Why? Is Bush (and by extension Bass) all of a sudden more popular in New Hampshire now than he was three months ago?

I'd have a hard time believing that. But I think I have the answer right here. Check out the partisan breakdown of the survey sample, with the current poll listed first and the May poll in parens:

Democrat: 23% (25%)
Republican: 32% (22%)
Independent: 38% (43%)
Unregistered: 7% (10%)

I think that just about explains things: The current sample has 10% more Republicans than the prior poll. While I'm aware that party ID among independents tends to shift with the political winds, there's been nothing to suggest that even so much as a gentle zephyr has been blowing in the GOP's direction in New Hampshire over the last twelve weeks. What's more, if Bush's favorability shows an increase comparable to Bass's, that would make him more popular in blue New Hampshire than in the nation as a whole - and more popular than he's been in the state since January.

You may be tempted to dismiss this as so much spin from a Hodes partisan. That I am a big supporter of his I would never deny - it's been plain for everyone to see for months. But again I say, this latest survey from UNH isn't backed up by any other polls; it has a huge MoE; and there is a serious issue with the dramatic, unexplained change in sample demographics. If Charlie Bass wants to sleep soundly tonight because of this poll, that's his mistake to make. But Hodes supporters shouldn't be discouraged and should view this poll with the skepticism it merits.

Posted at 05:14 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, July 28, 2006

Who's Turning New Hampshire Blue?

Posted by DavidNYC

A common refrain about New Hampshire's recent trend toward the azure is that migrants from other states are responsible for this shift. True or not, Republicans - ever mindful of New Hampshire's fiercely independent streak - have used this talking point to tarnish Democrats as somehow being the beneficiaries of illegitimate outsiders. (Of course, peddling this line means that NH GOPers are dissing their own citizens, but that certainly would never stop them.)

As it turns out - don't be surprised - at least one recent poll shows that the GOP has been peddling baloney. Keener suggests we take a look at this presidential approval numbers UNH collected (PDF, page 9), broken down by length of residency:

5 years or less: 36-57
6 to 10 years: 39-59
11 to 20 years: 22-73
More than 20 years: 29-65

While few people really like George Bush very much, it sure seems that long-time New Hampshirites despise him at even greater rates than newcomers do. These results certainly make the GOP's hackery seem like B.S. However, they may not tell the whole story. Another UNH survey (PDF, page 13) from back in 2000 actually broke down party affiliation by state of birth. Take a look at this chart:

Native-born New Hampshirites are indeed more likely to be Republican than migrants, but they are also more likely to be Democrats as well. I was actually fairly surprised to see that comparatively few natives identify as independents, given the state's reputation - and motto. However, the plurality of New Hampshirites - regardless of length of residency - do ID as "moderates":

This chart also does show that newcomers are more likely to be liberal, and long-timers are more likely to be conservative. It thus seems to contradict the presidential approval results I've listed above. There are certainly plenty of possible explanations. But one thing is certain: These two charts are six years old. It may well be that the most recent batch of immigrants to New Hampshire - who would not have been covered by this poll - are actually redder than the previous wave.

No matter what the answer is, the NH GOP is pushing a line that is highly questionable at best, and is divisive no matter what. I expect nothing less from the guys who brought us the election day phone jamming scandal which has already sent several people to prison. And that's why New Hampshire Dems, as Keener is suggesting, should push back against this.

Posted at 04:00 PM in New Hampshire | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, July 14, 2006

NH-02: Hodes Pulls In $343K, Sets Local Record and Pulls Even With Bass!

Posted by DavidNYC

James is doing yeoman working tracking all the fundraising numbers as they come in. But I had to take a quick break from studying to pass along SSP favorite Paul Hodes' official fundraising figures:

Paul Hodes Fundraising Numbers

2Q Raised: $343K
2Q Cash-on-Hand: $443K

Those are some pretty rock-solid nums. Hodes more than doubled his 1Q numbers, by a fat margin. It also brings his cycle-to-date total to over $604K. What's more, Hodes has already raised more from New Hampshirites than anyone else in NH-02 ever has - including Charlie Bass. Over half of Hodes' contributitions - $325K - have been from local sources, and we're still four months away from election day. Bass never even managed $300K from New Hampshire residents during an entire election period. Charlie's gonna have to rely heavily on PAC money to bail him out.

Hodes' burn rate looks pretty good, too. By my calculations, the campaign spent $132K this past quarter. (They ended the first quarter with $232K CoH, and raised $343K this quarter. That totals $575K. Subtract the current CoH - $443K - from that and you can see how much they spent.) Considering that the campaign's CoH went up $211K, that sounds pretty frugal to me. Hopefully these numbers will be enough to get Hodes added to the DCCC's Red-to-Blue list posthaste.

UPDATE (James L.): Wow. Check out Bass' 2Q numbers: only $200k raised and $450k CoH. Hodes is pulling even!

Posted at 01:33 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

NH-02: Charlie Bass by the Numbers

Posted by DavidNYC

If you've ever clicked over to his website, you might know that, in addition to being a community activist and former prosecutor, Paul Hodes is also an accomplished musician. What I'm sure you didn't know is that Charlie Bass is also a performer. In fact, he's one of the best B-actors the GOP has ever had - right up alongside Arnie and Ronnie. And like his fellow Republican thespians, Bass plays the same role, over and over and over. His recurring bit? That old evergreen, the GOP "moderate."

Charlie takes every opportunity to tell voters at home what a moderate he is. Just take a look here or here or here or here or here... I think you get the picture. Bass likes to ham it up real good. But how can you tell that this is nothing more than a facade, that Bass wears the term "moderate" like a cheap costume?

It's all in the numbers, and the numbers don't lie. Congressional Quarterly has been tracking "party unity" scores since time immemorial. They look at votes where a majority of Republicans oppose a majority of Democrats, and then they track how each member of Congress voted in those votes. Divide the latter number by the former and you have a party unity score, expressed as a percentage. (Though this data is mostly behind CQ's subscription firewall, you can see a PDF of the 2004 numbers here.) And here's Charlie Bass's resume for the last six years:

Charlie Bass's Party Unity Scores

2005: 87%
2004: 85%
2003: 91%
2002: 85%
2001: 85%
2000: 85%

These are not the voting habits of a "moderate" - they're the patterns of a true believer, a kool-aid drinker, a dedicated GOP team player. But evidently, in Charlie's worldview, being a "moderate" means you vote with Tom DeLay, Denny Hastert and Roy Blunt at least 85% of the time, if not more often. This includes votes for the Paris Hilton Tax Relief Act (aka estate tax repeal), the odious bankruptcy bill, and, for good measure, the budget bill which cut student loans by $13 billion.

Charlie Bass is a vaudeville phony. You know it, I know it, and much of blogland knows it. But let's not kid ourselves: We're a bunch of political junkie nerds. I understand why ordinary New Hampshirites might not know the truth about Bass - it's because he's been misleading them for over a decade. But Bass can't hide from the truth for much longer. And now priority number one for the Hodes campaign is to expose him. It's gonna come as a double-whammy for Bass: He'll be revealed as both an extremist and a phony all at the same time.

Oh, so sorry, Charlie!

Posted at 11:10 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, June 26, 2006

NH-02: Paul Hodes, Netroots Candidate

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm very pleased to announce that Paul Hodes, running for Congress in New Hampshire's second Congressional District, is one of four new netroots candidates. As you may recall, MyDD, DailyKos and the Swing State Project all solicited nominations for the netroots page. Today, Markos, Chris Bowers, Matt Stoller and I are each introducing one of the candidates. Chris has already written on Jerry McNerny (CA-11), and Markos has covered Jim Webb (VA-Sen). Matt will soon introduce Linda Stender (NJ-07).

Of course, Paul Hodes needs little introduction to many readers of this site, but I always enjoy taking the opportunity to discuss the candidacies of people I support. If you look back at the criteria we outlined for ideal netroots candidates, you'll see that the Hodes campaign fits perfectly into two key areas: NH-02 is a Dem-leaning district and the seat is a key part of the "Northeast Strategy."

On that first point: In 2000, Al Gore carried the district by a razor-thin margin, 48-47. Four years later, however, Bush remained flat while John Kerry racked up a 52-47 win. Meanwhile, the state as a whole has also gotten bluer: It was the only state to go for Bush in 2000 that switched to Kerry in 2004. It was one of only 18 states (including DC) where the Dem margin increased in 2004, and NH's 3% improvement makes it the eighth-best improvement overall. Among swing states, only Colorado and Oregon showed bigger trends in favor of the Democratic Party.

And speaking of trends, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time in the Northeast. In 1994, as you know, Dems lost a lot of seats in the South - seats where locals had been splitting their vote since Richard Nixon's heyday. Newt Gingrich came along and started convincing folks they should instead vote a straight ticket. The GOP was successful in turning a lot of Dixiecrats out of office, but now it's our turn to make a dying breed of Republicans extinct: the Northeastern "moderates."

I put that word "moderate" in quotes, as I often do, because these alleged centrist Republicans talk a moderate game at home, but go back to Washington, DC and vote for Tom DeLay and Bill Frist to run the show. And while they might occasionally buck the establishment when given permission (a practice known as "catch-and-release"), they vote for George Bush's radical agenda almost every time. These Republicans enable the far right, and it's well past time to stop their bamboozlement.

Fortunately for us, the GOP has given us a number of juicy targets this year. We have competitive races in Dem-leaning, but GOP-held, seats in PA, NJ, NY, CT, and, of course, NH. Charlie Bass, the incumbent in NH-02, is increasingly out-of-step with his district. Appropriately enough for a guy named Bass, he survives thanks largely to the occasional "catch-and-release" reprieves that party elders grant him. But it's up to us to make sure that voters in New Hampshire learn about the real Charlie Bass. Once they do, he won't last long.

And Bass is someone we can definitely get to. He's a lazy fundraiser, and his poll numbers are barely treading water. Paul Hodes, meanwhile, has the energy and the experience to expose Bass and to beat him. But Paul's not there yet - he needs our help.

One of the suggested netroots criteria was that a race not yet be considered "top-tier." A compilation of House race rankings by pro prognosticators puts NH-02 at thirty-third overall among GOP-held seats, just on the periphery of the most-watched races. Hodes has attracted notice from the DCCC, but he hasn't yet been placed on their "Red to Blue" list. We can help make that happen by ensuring that Hodes finishes out the fundraising quarter strong.

The second quarter ends this Friday, June 30th. If Hodes shows good numbers and a sizable warchest, big players who are currently sitting on the sidelines will change their minds. We in the netroots, of course, love a challenge, and it's in our nature to be "early adopters" of up-and-coming candidates. We may not be able to raise the same kind of money the big boys can, but we can definitely get the ball rolling. So, with the deadline approaching, please consider giving to Paul Hodes and the other netroots candidates. We can make a big difference here.

Posted at 08:08 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, May 19, 2006

NH-02: Why Paul Hodes Is a Much Stronger Candidate This Time

Posted by DavidNYC

Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report has put out her latest assessments of the most competitive House races (sub. only). While I think a lot of her analysis makes sense, I do have a bone to pick with her about NH-02. Before I go further, let me just say that I've met Amy in person and talked shop with her at length. She's one of the smartest and friendliest people I've met in DC, so I assure you this is purely a professional disagreement.

Anyhow, this is what she says about NH-02:

Even as the political sands beneath him continue to shift, GOP Rep. Charlie Bass has looked as rooted as ever. In 2004, as John Kerry won the district with 52 percent, Bass scored the biggest victory of his 10-year career taking 58 percent of the vote. Bass has crafted a moderate, independent image that helps to insulate him from charges that he is simply a proxy for the broader Republican agenda.

The question now is if Bass can hold on when the ground beneath him is not simply eroding, but is actually being churned and pulled by a political force that he has never yet had to face. Will voters, who have been willing to split their tickets in years past, continue to stick with Bass even as they voice a higher level of frustration with Congress and the President than they have since Bass has been elected?

A recent UNH poll, suggested that voters here are at least willing to take a look at voting against the GOP incumbent. In the poll, taken April 20-27, Bass was taking just 42 percent of the vote against Democratic attorney Paul Hodes, who was at 35 percent. Bass beat Hodes by 20-points in 2004. It’s not that Hodes looks any stronger, but it’s that the climate looks that much better. On an even playing field, Bass wins. It is only with a huge wave that Hodes can have a chance to win.

It's that last paragraph I take issue with, particularly her claim that Hodes does not "look any stronger." Now, unlike Amy, I'm a partisan and I have a dog in this fight. But the differences between Hodes 2004 and Hodes 2006 are indisputable:

• Hodes got a much earlier start this time. In fact, he never shut down his last campaign committee and has been running for this seat since pretty much the minute he lost in 2004. As Sean Carberry, Hodes' campaign manager last time, explained, the late start was crippling.

• Hodes has raised far more money at this point in the campaign than he did last time. Want to guess how much he had raised in the first quarter of 2004? Zero dollars and zero cents. (See late start, above.) This time, he outraised Bass in Q1 by a big margin, $146K to $102K.

• Hodes, with only 20% name rec, has already raised $329K. Bass, the six-term incumbent, has raised just $354K. It's possible that Bass isn't taking Hodes seriously. But if that's the case, then he's an incredible fool, given the political climate.

• Hodes has a much stronger staff this time, again thanks to his early start. Sean was too polite to really dish on the staff he had to work with, but I can only imagine how slim the pickings were very late in the game in a swing state in a presidential year.

• Unlike last time, Hodes is getting serious support from the DCCC. (In 2004, they gave him a grand total of less than $14K.)

• And finally, Hodes now has some serious experience under his belt. I'm probably going to point to this list again and again and again, but it really seems that most politicians lose before they win. Bill Clinton and Dick Nixon are the norm - it's the Chuck Schumers and Howard Deans who are the exceptions. Hell, Charlie Bass even lost a race for this seat before he won it. The bottom line is that it's hard to know how to win a race until you've run in a race - and now Paul Hodes has that knowledge.

Now, as lawyers would say, the issue here is not relevance - all of these things clearly matter - but how much weight to give all of these facts. It's possible that Amy reviewed all of this information and concluded that Paul is nonetheless not a materially stronger candidate. To my mind, though, all of these differences makes the 2006 edition of Paul Hodes a much more formidable contender than his previous incarnation.

I will grant that these factors do not account for Hodes' strong showing in the recent UNH poll - that's clearly due to the external situation. But if Paul is to make up that seven-point difference and actually win this thing, then everything I've listed here will be instrumental in bringing that about.

Posted at 06:42 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NH-02: History Lesson, Part Two

Posted by DavidNYC

Sean Carberry, Paul Hodes' campaign manager in 2004, showed up in the comments to my last post and offered a very forthright assessment of what happened to the Hodes campaign last time. I think it's worth front-paging, so here it is:

Here's some more perspective from '04 that bodes well for Hodes in '06. I managed Hodes' '04 campaign, and I can tell you our mission was to help John Kerry win NH, not to win the seat. We got in late, Paul had no name recognition, we had no support from the party, we technically had a primary, and that also constrained donors until the last 8 weeks--not that donors ever stepped up in any significant manner. We were not targeted, and therefore could not raise money. Plus, NH had a brutal governors race that also took attention and resources from our effort. We barely had the money to make it to TV and could not run the campaign we wanted to run.

This time, Paul has been running and fundraising for over a year already, has been able to hire more experienced staff (we won't discuss some of the people I was relegated to hiring in order to fill positions last time, and I wasn't exactly a ringer either), and has a strong base to run from. Plus, DCCC is targeting the race, and that will make a dramatic difference in fundraising.

In other words, the '04 margin is meaningless. The important thing to look at is the UNH poll that has Bass at 42-35 over Hodes right now. Bass has never polled that low, and Hodes hasn't even begun a media campaign yet.

This year is different. People are ready for a change, and Hodes is perfectly poised to take this seat. What will make the difference is people getting on board now and contributing rather than sitting on the sidelines reading the tea leaves. It's going to take a lot of effort and money in the home stretch, and it all has to build now, so give him a boost!

One detail to add: That brutal governor's race paid huge dividends for us. Democrat John Lynch is one of the most popular governors in the country right now and faces only token opposition this fall. That puts him in a great position to help out in both congressional races. (In case you're wondering, New Hampshire is one of only two states in the nation where the governor serves just a two year term. Next-door neighbor Vermont is the other.)

Posted at 11:56 AM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, May 15, 2006

NH-02: History Lesson

Posted by DavidNYC

Well, unsurprisingly, the movers haven't shown up yet, so I've got time for a post today. I brought up this topic a while ago, but with the attention Paul Hodes has been receiving of late, I thought it worthwhile to revisit it. I haven't hesitated to point out that Hodes got crushed by Charlie Bass last time, losing 58-38. I've also stated my belief that losing now can help you win later - and check out the list of politicians who took that route.

Generalities aside, New Hampshire's second congressional district also offers a much more specific history lesson - a lesson in how fortunes can change dramatically in just two years, and how when the stars are aligned, even seemingly entrenched incumbents can be toppled.

NH-02 1992 Results
Dick Swett (D-inc.): 62% (Spent: $784K)
Bill Hatch (R): 36% (Spent: $233K)

NH-02 1994 Results
Dick Swett (D-inc.): 46 (Spent: $1.029M)
Charlie Bass (R): 51 (Spent: $448K)

Despite the Republican candidate losing by 26 points two years earlier, and despite being outspent by more than two-to-one, Charlie Bass moved the needle an astounding 31 points in his direction. Paul Hodes, meanwhile, only needs a shift of 20 points. I should add that Charlie Bass is no stranger to losing in NH-02 - he got beat by Judd Gregg in the Republican primary in 1980.

As always, I don't mean to suggest that the two situations are perfectly comparable. I don't think 2006 will be nearly as big for us as 1994 was for the GOP. And Bass is a six-termer, while Swett, when he lost, had only served two terms. On the flipside, Hodes has the advantage of demographics shifting in our favor. In 1994, Bass caught a wave that surged so far from the South in lapped up against the shores of New Hampshire. If there's a wave this year - even a much smaller one - it's starting in the Northeast.

History may not repeat itself, but as Mark Twain said, it certainly does rhyme. And you've got to familiarize yourself with the first couplet if you want to catch the cadence. Will 92-94-04-06 go (for you English majors) abba? Or perhaps we should say, DRRD? I don't know that it will, but I know that it can - and that I'll be listening for it.

Posted at 02:11 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, May 06, 2006

NH-02: Fishing Season

Posted by DavidNYC

Anglers, start casting:

The national Democratic Party said yesterday it will target Republican 2nd District Rep. Charles Bass for defeat in November, a move that did not surprise the Bass campaign.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hopes to capitalize on President George W. Bush's lack of support in New Hampshire — particulary the 2nd District — to defeat five-term incumbent Bass, according to committee recruitment chair, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.


The race could be on the DCCC's next "red-to-blue" list in late June if Hodes "continues at the pace he is going."

I hear the bass-fishing season is nicely under way in New Hampshire round about this time of year.

I think we're gonna hook ourselves one of these before long. Go Hodes!

Posted at 08:29 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, May 04, 2006

NH-02: We've Got a Race on Our Hands

Posted by DavidNYC

Ah boy does this feel good. Check out UNH's new Granite State Poll (PDF) (adults, no trendlines):

Hodes: 35
Bass: 42
Undecided: 22
(MoE: ±6.4%)

Those are awesome numbers for Paul Hodes. On the one hand, Charlie Bass is well below 50%. On the other hand, Hodes pulls in 35% of the vote despite being unknown to a whopping 81% of voters. New Hampshire's not a big state, and Hodes has a lot of time to get his name rec up. (Bass has a 49-20 approval rating and is d/k'ed by only 19% of district residents. This is actually one of his weakest showings over the last five years - his favorables have usually been over 50%.)

I'd also like to point out that this poll is something of a rarity - an independent poll of a House race. So none of the usual caveats about internal or partisan polls apply. Yes, the MoE is a bit high, but no, contrary to popular misconception, this does not mean that it's "equally likely" that Bass is actually at 50%.

The bottom line is that we've got a serious race on our hands in this district. If Hodes can raise enough money, and in so doing, raise his profile, then Bass is going to be in deep trouble. If you want to help make that happen, I know that Hodes is having a fundraiser in NYC tonight. I'm not sure if the information is on his website, but you can contact the campaign for more info here.

Oh, and one last thing. RCP declared just yesterday that "no one seriously thinks that Charlie Bass" is in trouble. Well, the good folks at the University of New Hampshire seem to think so - and if Charlie Bass (who was outraised by Hodes last quarter) doesn't think so as well, then he's either in denial or an idiot.

Posted at 01:41 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (12) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Monday, April 17, 2006

NH-02: Hodes (D) Outraises Incumbent Bass

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, I love it when this kind of thing happens, on multiple levels. Just the other day, I suggested that Paul Hodes, the Democrat running in New Hampshire's second Congressional District, might be someone to keep an eye on. Well, Paul did us all a solid by out-raising the incumbent, Charlie Bass, in the most recent quarter. So I get to look smart and we have another competitive race on the radar:

Hodes (D) 1Q Raised: $146K
Bass (R, inc.) 1Q Raised: $102K

Hodes Cash-on-Hand: $232K
Bass Cash-on-Hand: $301K

(Sources: Hodes | Bass)

Hodes beat Bass by almost 50%. Not too shabby. Even in the CoH department, Bass doesn't exactly have a huge lead - and if the fundraising trends continue, that gap will vanish shortly.

Now, to be forthright, Hodes did get spanked last time around, losing to Bass 58-38. As it happens, though, that's exactly one point better than Francine Busby's tally the first time she ran for CA-50 - and Busby might very well win this time. Melissa Bean, meanwhile, improved nine points between 2002 and 2004, in a much more conservative district. My point is that a first run against an incumbent can serve as a sort of trial, a way to hone your skills and strategies, a way to probe for weaknesses. Smart challengers use those lessons the second time out, and from what I can tell, Paul Hodes is no slacker. And the word on the ground is that he's running a much better, more tightly-managed campaign than last time.

Moreover, there's the macro situation. I don't mean national polls showing Bush and Congress in the dumpster - I think people read too much into those. Rather, I'm talking about what's happened in New Hampshire over the past two decades. It's one of the few states you can confidently say has trended blue. A state that almost always voted Republican, New Hampshire voted for Clinton twice in the 90s. Then, in 2000, the Gore + Nader vote exceeded the Bush vote. In case there was any doubt about the direction of this trend (perhaps, you think, it's not fair to lump the Nader vote in with the Gore vote), NH was the only state in the nation to switch from Bush in 2000 to Kerry in 2004.

It's certainly true that this trend is lagging on the Congressional front. But I don't expect it to lag much longer. New Hampshire is a growing state - indeed, in the first half of the decade, it grew faster than the nation as a whole. Many of these migrants are from more liberal states, particular Massachusetts. But it actually turns out that newcomers from all regions (PDF) are less Republican than native-born New Hampshirites (scroll down to page 13). The state is changing, and there's no avoiding it.

Let me put things another way: In the 90s, NH-02 had a PVI of D+1.0. It's now up to D+2.7. The state's other CD has also followed suit, going from R+1.6 to an almost dead-even R+0.1. What's happening here is an inverse of what happened in the South to members of our party. Republicans who once were right at home in their districts are now being left behind by demographics. It's not just that Charlie Bass represents a Dem-leaning CD - it's that he's getting more out-of-step with his constituents every passing year. According to CQ, Bass voted with the Republicans 87% of the time in 2005. NH-02 is not that conservative.

And perhaps that all points to why he did so abysmally this quarter in fundraising. Whenever an incumbent rakes in so little cash, and especially when he gets beat by a challenger, you've got to ask yourself: Is his heart really in it? Does he really want to stay in office? NRCC Chair Tom Reynolds has been putting vise-like pressure on his caucus-members not to retire. But for a guy like Bass - whose re-election campaigns will only get harder and harder each cycle - party loyalty may not trump personal convenience. Certainly if Bass's fundraising continues to lag, people will start asking if he's going to quit, and he's gonna have to answer `em.

In the meantime, Paul Hodes can keep kicking ass.

P.S. If you know of any other races where the challenger outraised the incumbent this past quarter, please post `em in comments.

Posted at 12:27 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, November 04, 2005

A Survey of New Hampshire

Posted by DavidNYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 10, 2005

2008: Western Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project has written before of the need to let western states be involved with Presidental politics. However, tomorrow's breaking announcement about a 2008 "Western States" presidential primary could change everyone's calculations.

There is a DNC Commission that wants to let two states front-load with Iowa and New Hampshire. But what if instead of two "states" -- it were two elections, including a Western States Primary.

In discussing the new plan to diffuse the early strength, Jerome Armstrong suggests:

So I'd bet that the states that will be added in between, and if I had to guess, I'd go with New Mexico and Nevada as being the two states leading for the southwestern slot, and South Carolina and Alabama for the southern slot.

Solid analysis, but what if the "southwestern spot" was actually one big Western Primary?

Something to think about considerring the following announcement (via email):

Governor Richardson, Utah Governor Huntsman to Make Announcement Concerning Western Primary TUESDAY

SANTA FE – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman will hold a press conference at 11:30 am, Tuesday, October 11th, in the Governor’s cabinet room to discuss bipartisan Western Governor’s support for creating a “Western States” Presidential Primary in 2008.

Governor Huntsman is leading a bipartisan delegation of Utah legislators and party leaders to Santa Fe. Accompanying Governor Huntsman are Utah Senate President John Valentine, Utah Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, Utah House Majority Leader Jeff Alexander, Utah House Minority Leader Ralph Becker, Utah Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland, Utah Republican Party Chair Joe Cannon.

The Utah delegation will meet with their New Mexico counterparts to discuss the Western Primary and immigration issues.

The Utah delegation will depart Santa Fe in the afternoon.

These two events could come together in a way that would turn conventional wisdom about presidential primaries on it's head.

I'm a big fan of some the Western Strategy: straight talk, bold action, populist, and authentic. In short, four qualities we were missing in 2004.

Could a western primary help bridge this gap? What about the talk of a western 2008 Democratic National Convention? What about both?

Posted at 04:38 PM in 2008 Election - President, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Two more State Party Blogs

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Take a moment and head over to the two newest state party websites that have included blogs as a means to communicate directly with the grass/netroots.


New Hampshire

I am particularly fond of the Maine blog. It looks like the party has really spent some time and effort in getting it up, running, and did an effective job getting people to participate.

On a sour note: The Pennsylvania Democratic Party basically said, "f you" to members of a DFA in Bucks County who requested a blog. CLICK HERE for more information -- and expect even more in the near future. As Chris Bowers of MyDD puts it:

Ahhh, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, where reform goes to die. Forcing candidates out of the Senatorial primary. Endorsing Fowler for DNC chair after Dean secured the votes to win. Not giving Ginny their full support (more on that later). And now, this. No wonder in a state where Democrats lead in voter ID and voter registration, they are substantially behind in the legislature, the congressional delegation, and don't have a Seantor. Color me disgusted

Posted at 05:56 PM in Activism, Maine, Netroots, New Hampshire | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, June 10, 2004

ARG: Dead Heat in NH

Posted by DavidNYC

American Research Group's latest poll in the Granite State (3/30 - 4/1 in parens):

Kerry: 46 (43)
Bush: 46 (48)
Nader: 2 (3)
Unsure: 6 (6)
(MoE: ��4%)

That's some pretty good movement for Kerry. Unfortunately, he has a pretty poor favorability numbers: 48-48. Bush isn't much different, clocking in at 49-46. I'm guessing that the long exposure during the primary season (and relentless attack ads by other Democrats) probably has permanently hurt Kerry here. I still think it's very winnable for us, especially when you consider that NH has been trending our way for some time.

Posted at 02:34 PM in New Hampshire | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Bush Sinking in New Hampshire

Posted by DavidNYC

BriVT at Kos points to a new poll which shows truly wretched numbers for Bush in New Hampshire:

Approval: 47%
Disapproval: 48%

Plus some very heartening head-to-heads:

Kerry: 53%
Bush: 38%

Edwards: 52%
Bush: 37%

Both top Democratic contenders are a whopping 15 points ahead of Bush. I'm sure all the attention being paid to the Democratic primary contest is a factor here, but in a state that went for Bush by just a hair's breadth in 2000, this sure is nice to see.

My examination of New Hampshire leads me to believe that it's one of our best pickup shots, if not our very best. FWIW, Podesta said yesterday he agreed - in particular, he thinks Kerry has a very strong chance there. Obviously, NH ain't the mother lode, but I have a feeling this is going to be another close election, and we'll be glad for every EV we get.

Posted at 08:39 PM in New Hampshire | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Once Again, Turnout is the Story

Posted by DavidNYC

The DNC's blog, Kicking Ass, highlights the good news for all Democrats coming out of New Hampshire: As in Iowa, turnout was way, way up. Two-hundred twenty-thousand people turned out to vote in the Democratic primary - but NH has only 180,000 registered Democrats. Since NH allows independents to vote in party primaries, this can mean but one thing: A very large number of independents in the Granite State want to see Bush gone. Hell, even a few thousand Republicans wrote in the names of Democratic candidates in their party's primary rather than pull the lever for Bush.

So far, the first two primary/caucus states also happened to be swing states. So are many of the early February states: New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri on Feb. 3rd and then Michigan, Washington, Nevada & Wisconsin shortly thereafter. A sample size of two is rather small, but we'll soon have a bunch more data to test this thesis. Let's hope the trend keeps up.

Posted at 09:49 PM in New Hampshire | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, October 27, 2003

New Hampshire: The Libertarians are Coming, the Libertarians are Coming!

Posted by DavidNYC

Couldn't resist linking to this amusing NYT article about the planned mass migration of libertarians to New Hampshire, which we were discussing in the comments a while back. Of course, by "mass", I mean 20,000, which won't make a dent in a state which has a population of 1.3 million. And libertarians will be lucky if the even get that many folks to move - apparently, a lot of prospective migrants were complaining about how damn cold New Hampshire is. I guess they like that "rugged indvidualism", just minus the "rugged".

Posted at 12:48 AM in New Hampshire | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

New Hampshire: Additional Thoughts

Posted by DavidNYC

A few posters over at DailyKos contributed some more thoughts to the New Hampshire race. DemFromCT glumly points out a recent Granite State Poll which gives Bush a 56% approval rating in NH (with 40% disapproving and 4% undecided). However, this is down considerably from Bush's post-war high of 71% in April, when his disapproval was a mere 23%. We'll have to keep an eye out to see if Bush continues to slide any further.

Carl Nyberg (who thinks Dean can win New Hampshire) also brings up a much more optimistic - and potentially important - demographic point. New arrivals from Boston and NYC constitute a fast-growing part of the NH population, and these folks are less likely to be Bush supporters. This presentation by UNH's Survey Center appears to bear out Carl's assertion. Forty-two percent of native-born New Hampshirites consider themselves Republicans, but much smaller proportions of those born in other states do. And indeed, New Hampshire has seen a fairly sizable positive net migration since 1992.

In fact, GOP voter registration has declined just a bit since a peak in the mid-90s, while the number of independents has shot up dramatically, making them the single-largest group of voters, as noted in a previous post. Interestingly, only 24% of native New Hampshirites self-identify as independents. So the conventional wisdom that New Hampshire is a state of prickly independents seems (at least these days) to rest in large part on the political proclivities of these new immigrants. The CW isn't wrong, per se - but it's obviously malleable. And since you may have been wondering, independents preferred Gore over Bush 47% to 43% - though that last pair of figures comes from the much-maligned Voter News Service, so the usual caveats apply.

It is clear that the political landscape in New Hampshire is shifting, and Bill Clinton's two victories there may not have been so much as an aberration but rather the start of a new trend. I'll count the 2000 results as part of this continued trend, since the Gore + Nader vote was greater than Bush's. The comparison I'd like to make here (and I know New Hampshirites will bristle at it, but indulge me) is to Vermont. Today, we think of Vermont as being an extremely liberal state. But until Bill Clinton came along, Vermont had gone Democrat exactly once during the entire 20th century (for Johnson in `64). Yep, VT managed to vote against FDR all four times. I don't think NH will become another Ben & Jerry's and Birkenstock paradise any time soon, but I also don't believe that the past is necessarily prologue here, either. The times (and the voters), they are a-changin'.

Update: In the comments section at the old BlogSpot site, Steady Eddie offers a worthy critique of my VT analogy.

Posted at 02:54 AM in New Hampshire | Technorati

Monday, October 20, 2003

New Hampshire

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm going to start my look at each swing state in the top right corner of the map and work my way around. So we'll begin with the Granite State.

Electoral Votes: 4 (4 in 2000)

2000 Results:

Bush: 48.07%
Gore: 46.80%
Nader: 3.90%
Buchanan: 0.46%

New Hampshire stands out among the states Bush won in 2000 for two reasons. First, if you look at the electoral map, you'll notice its sliver of red amidst a sea of northeastern blue. Indeed, New Hampshire is the odd man out in New England, with a very different politics and electoral makeup than most of its neighbors. We'll look at this a bit later.

Second, and more importantly, NH stands out because it was one of two states where the combined Gore/Nader vote was greater than the Bush/Buchanan vote. (Florida, of course, was the other.) In fact, the left-wing vote in NH was three points greater than the right-wing vote.

On the face of it, then, it would seem that NH is ripe for the Dems to take back - if you believe that Green party voters will now (for whatever reasons) vote Democrat. Obviously, the likelihood of this is hard to assess because it depends on so many factors. Will Nader run again? If he does, will he engender the same level of support? If he doesn't run, will Green voters stay home? And if the Greens do vote in the absence of a Nader run, will they pull the lever for the Dem nominee, or will they still go Green, regardless of who their candidate is?

Right now, it's especially difficult to answer any of these questions, though some will become clearer in the coming year. But even if the Greens come back to the Dem fold en masse, we need to look at whether NH might shift from its ultra-close 48-47 split in 2000. And that brings us back to the first issue: NH's quirky politics.

The conventional wisdom is that New Hampshirites favor outsider-types. The results in primary elections indeed bear this out: "Maverick" John McCain beat Bush handily in 2000, for one, and the odious Pat Buchanan managed to stun establishmentarian Bob Dole in `96. Buchanan even snagged 39% of the vote in `92 when he ran against incumbent Bush, Sr.

Part of this has to do with NH's liberal open primary system, whereby independents can choose which party's primary they'd like to vote in on election day. (In New York, by contrast, you can only vote in your own party's primary, and if you want to switch parties, you have to do it months in advance. And independents can't vote in any primaries at all.) In NH, independents in fact make up the plurality of NH voters.

But will this independent streak carry over to the general election? It's hard to say - and, I'll admit, I'm not an expert on NH politics. I can tell you that New Hampshire's entire Congressional delegation (two senators and two congressmen) is Republican, as is the governor. And though I'll take any poll of Bush vs. "Unnamed Democrat" with a major grain of salt, the ARG poll cited below does show a pretty big spread between Rs and Ds. So clearly a lot of independents must be voting Republican.

On the flipside, the last two races where we had a one-term incumbent and a weak economy (`80 and `92), New Hampshire went for the outsiders (Reagan and Clinton) both times. Furthermore, the strong interest in the Democratic primary (combined with the absence of a Republican contest) may have residual effects. Democrats who mobilize in large numbers in January may feel more compelled (and better equipped) to do so again in November. By contrast, their Republican brethren will, for the most part, have to sit idly by until autumn. And lastly, if Dean gets the nomination, it's possible that his outsider credentials will give him a boost here. (I don't think any of the other candidates can successfully claim this sort of mantle.)

Ultimately, I can't provide a good answer my own question - that is, will the GOP/Dem split in NH stay the same in 2004. Evidence points both ways. Of course, there are the Two Huge Unknowns - the economy and the war in Iraq - which will affect every state in one way or another. (And right now, these Bush negatives redound in the Democrats' favor.) But absent any compelling evidence suggesting a GOP or Dem surge in NH, I'm going to say that the outcome in this state rests primarily on what happens with the Green voters.


"If next year's Presidential election were being held today, who would you be more likely to vote for Republican George W. Bush or the nominee of the Democratic Party?" (ARG, 9/16/03)

Bush: 50%
Democrat: 36%
Undecided: 14%

"Which candidate has the best chance of defeating Bush?" (Zogby, 9/26/03)

Dean: 26%
Kerry: 24%
Clark: 19%

Posted at 05:38 PM in New Hampshire | Technorati

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