North Carolina Archive:

Saturday, August 26, 2006

NC-08: DCCC Changes Its Mind, Moves to Back Kissell!

Posted by James L.

Phenomenal news, people. As you know, we began the August Netroots fundraising push with the goal of lifting up our netroots-endorsed candidates with a strong surge of online fundraising at a traditionally weak time of the summer for such activities. The goal was not so much to give campaigns the necessary funds to push them over the top, but to give them a fundraising "push" that would make larger donors and the DCCC take notice.

Well, guess what? The DCCC just noticed, and they're moving to back Netroots candidate Larry Kissell. (For more on Kissell's compelling story, see our earlier write-up about this race.) From the Charlotte Observer:

A Democratic Party official said Friday that the party's congressional campaign arm made a mistake in throwing its support to an 8th District candidate who later quit the race.

In directing more than $30,000 to Fayetteville lawyer Tim Dunn last year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bypassed Larry Kissell, a Montgomery County teacher. Dunn, an Iraq war veteran, was seen as a favorite before dropping out of the race in March.

Kissell went on to win the 8th District's May primary. He faces Republican U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes in November.

"The DCCC made a mistake in assessing this race," U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., and a vice chair of the committee. "But the voters are smarter than we are."

Davis appeared with Kissell at an evening rally Friday at Charlotte's Veterans Park.

He said party interest in Kissell's race represented "a huge shift." He said he plans to ask the committee to make the race one of its national priorities. That could translate into money and other aid from the party as well as trade unions and other groups traditionally aligned with Democrats.

Amazing. This is exactly what we wanted to happen for our Netroots candidates. With minimal resources based on small dollar donations like yours, Kissell made waves in the district, earning headlines for his low-budget campaign tactics. Now, the "big boys" are promising to pile on in a meaningful way.

Who else can we help push into the DCCC's sights? Jay Fawcett? Dan Seals? Jerry McNerney? Let's see how far we can take this thing. Great work, people!

Posted at 01:16 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Fundraising, Netroots, North Carolina | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Netroots August Fundraising Push: Support Larry Kissell

Posted by James L.

If there's one candidate who actually tugs at your heartstrings this cycle, it's Larry Kissell. Larry's story is all too familiar to the voters of North Carolina's 8th Congressional District. After graduating from University, Larry climbed through the ranks of the local textile industry for 27 years before free trade agreements and corporate consolidation finally took its toll and he was forced to pursue a new career as a social studies teacher. Many of his 800 coworkers were not as fortunate. Now Larry is running for Congress on an economically progressive platform in a district that's been coping with increasingly leaner times under their Republican congressman, Robin Hayes.

Hayes, mindful of his constituent's extreme distaste for the economic effects of globalization and corporate trade pacts, initially said that that he was "flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA," and insisted that "it's not in the best interests of the core constituency I represent," and that "there is no way I could vote for CAFTA." (Source) However, it didn't take long before the Republican strong-arms bullied and bribed Hayes into voting for the Central American Free Trade Agreement, much to the locals' disgust.

This race was originally a DCCC target, but their preferred candidate, Iraq War vet Tim Dunn, dropped out (and so did they). However, with limited resources but an endless supply of great ideas, Kissell's campaign has converted a low budget into a buzz-generating, free media-earning campaign. His best move yet was to sell gas for $1.22/gallon--its price when Hayes was first elected in 1998, as a way to tie the incumbent and his big oil supporters with high gas prices. The move was a stroke of genius for the Kissell campaign, and the event gobbled up lots of local newspaper headlines and radio buzz. The Hotline praised the move as an example that all attention-starved second-tier Democratic campaigns should follow this fall. Even national media sources like CNN were jolted, too:

How much do you want to bet that those 500 voters--Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike--became dyed in the wool Kissell supporters? Chances are, nearly all of them became Kissell converts. After all, Larry did more for them with one cheap tank of gas than Hayes has done for them in 8 years in Congress.

Recent polling shows that Kissell is well within striking distance of Hayes, but he needs your help to keep his momentum going. Based on his campaign's performance so far, Larry knows how to make your small-dollar donations go far!

Contribute to Larry Kissell and the Netroots candidates today.

Posted at 12:03 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Fundraising, Netroots, North Carolina | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

NC-08: Internal (D) Poll Shows a Competitive Race

Posted by James L.

When Iraq War Vet Tim Dunn dropped out of his bid to challenge incumbent Rep. Robin Hayes (R) in NC-08, outside observers such as CQ Politics (and, frankly, myself), were less than optimistic on the chances of Dunn's heir apparent, former textile worker and social studies teacher Larry Kissell. However, a new poll by Anzalone-Liszt Research, a Democratic polling firm, shows that CQ's decision to downgrade this race to Republican Favored over Leans Republican may be a tad premature:

Larry Kissell (D): 38%
Robin Hayes (R-Inc.): 46%

Hayes, as you may know, is most recently known for selling out his working-class constituents by switching his CAFTA vote from "no" to "yes" under intense pressure by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and that information was very likely included in an "informed vote poll" also done by Anzalone-Liszt, which produced these results:

Larry Kissell (D): 49%
Robin Hayes (R-Inc.): 42%

Now, I take polls by Democratic firms with the appropriate grain of salt, but informed polls such as this one require whole heaps of it. Still, there's plenty for North Carolina Democrats to be optimistic about in this new polling report (which will be made public tomorrow, apparently), including this nugget: Hayes leads Kissell by 89%-22% in name recognition, yet he still polls only 8 points ahead of Kissell in the head-to-head vote. Kissell has a lot of room to improve his name recognition in the district, while Hayes, as an incumbent, has pretty much hit his ceiling.

Still, knocking off Hayes would be a remarkable feat, given his $1 million warchest compared to Kissell's very humble $32,000 cash on hand in April (bear in mind, however, that Dunn only dropped out in late March). But in a district that only went to Bush by a 54-46 margin in 2004, and a disgruntled electorate, it's within the realm of possibility that Kissell could mount an upset this November. These numbers will undoubtedly help boost his credibility. (Hat tip to The Southern Dem)

(In other NC news, a poll by the same firm earlier this month showed Democrat Heath Shuler with a 45-43 lead over incumbent Rep. Charles Taylor.)

UPDATE: Steve Hudson, Communications Director for the Kissell Campaign, writes in to emphasize that the "informed vote poll" had no negative push to it, but instead, emphasized talking points from both candidates' campaigns. Fair enough, but I'd still take such polls with an appropriate grain of salt--no one gets the luxury of a capsule biography in the voting both. Still, it shows potential for Kissell to gain ground if he runs an effective campaign.

Posted at 01:33 PM in 2006 Elections - House, North Carolina | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

NC House Races: Got `Em All Covered

Posted by DavidNYC

It was looking dicey there just a week or two ago, but as of today's deadline, Dems have filed to run against every incumbent Republican in North Carolina. Courtesy of RBH:

NC-01 (57/43 Kerry): Butterfield (D) unopposed
NC-02 (54/46 Bush): Etheridge (D) v. Dan Mansell (R)
NC-03 (68/32 Bush): Jones (R) v. Craig Weber (D)
NC-04 (56/44 Kerry): Price (D), Kent Kanoy (D), or Oscar Lewis (D) v. Steve Acuff (R)
NC-05 (67/33 Bush): Foxx (R) v. Mark Glen (D), Syndi Holmes (D), Roger Kirkman (D), or Roger Sharpe (D)
NC-06 (70/30 Bush): Coble (R) v. Rory Blake (D)
NC-07 (56/44 Bush): McIntyre (D) v. Shirley Davis (R)
NC-08 (54/46 Bush): Hayes (R) v. John Autry (D), Tim Dunn (D), Larry Kissell (D), or Mark Ortiz (D)
NC-09 (64/36 Bush): Myrick (R) v. Bill Glass (D)
NC-10 (67/33 Bush): McHenry (R) v. Richard Carsner (D)
NC-11 (57/43 Bush): Taylor (R) or John Armor (R) v. Michael Morgan (D) or Heath Shuler (D)
NC-12 (63/37 Kerry): Watt (D) v. Ada Fisher (R)
NC-13 (53/47 Kerry): Miller (D) v. John Hendrix (R), Vernon Robinson (R), or Charlie Sutherland (R)

Good work, NC Dems. Now we just need to win a few of these!

Posted at 04:33 PM in 2006 Elections - House, North Carolina | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, November 03, 2005

2006: NRSC Chair Elizabeth Dole's FEC Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last month:

We already know that Schumer and the DSCC is kicking Liddy Dole's ass in candidate recruitment. Now, for the second straight quarter, Schumer has kicked her ass in fundraising.
That response followed the DSCC have a 2:1 cash on hand advantage over the NRSC for most of the cycle. But now we learn that National Republican Senate Committee Chair, Senator Elizabeth Dole, has more problems with the money she has raised:
On Monday, the Federal Election Commission issued its audit of the Dole North Carolina Victory Committee Inc. (DNCVC), a campaign committee that served as a joint fundraising arm affiliated with Senator Elizabeth Dole’s 2002 Senate campaign. As a result of the audit, Dole has once again been told to refund more than $81,000 in illegal corporate contributions. This report comes six years after Dole, then an underfunded presidential candidate, decided she cared about campaign finance reform. Of course, the better funded Dole became, the more campaign finance reform became a “frivolous” issue. And now, any respect for the law seems to have just flown the coop altogether.
History after the jump...

FIRST: AS AN UNDERFUNDED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DOLE WAS AGAINST CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. In July 1999, then-presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole said, “I would say let's rule out all soft money for corporations, unions and individuals.” [NPR, “All Things Considered,” 7/19/99]

THEN: AS A SENATE CANDIDATE, DOLE CARED LESS AND LESS ABOUT CAMAPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. During her 2002 U.S. Senate bid, Dole was asked about an FEC complaint alleging she violated the corporate contribution ban by having a photo and quote from her distributed to millions of families in a publication printed by Wal-Mart. At the time, Dole referred to the complaint as just one of the “frivolous issues” Democrats were involved in. [AP, 9/6/02]


BACKGROUND: DOLE AIDE EMBEZZLED FUNDS, DOLE’S COMMITTEE LACKED OVERSIGHT TO PREVENT IT. The FEC found that the committee’s assistant treasurer, Earl Allen Haywood, “wrote unauthorized checks from the committee’s account” which were either not reported or wrongly reported on the original reports filed by DNCVC. The audit further found that “the lack of basic internal controls…and oversight” by Dole’s committee “created an environment that contributed to the misappropriation of funds.” In all, a review found a total of $70,750 in misappropriated funds from 2002 and an additional $104,001 from 2003. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

PROBLEM: DOLE’S COMMITTEE ACCEPTED CORPORATE CHECKS. Dole’s Committee received 55 contribution checks totaling $104,720, including $81,320 from corporations, in 2002 that were not deposited into the account until 2003. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

VIOLATION: CORPORATE CHECKS ARE ILLEGAL. Federal political committees are barred from accepting campaign contributions from corporations. If a corporate check is delivered to a campaign committee, the committee must return it or, if deposited, refund the contribution. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

PROBLEM: DOLE’S COMMITTEE DEPOSITED MORE THAN $600,000 WITHOUT PROPER INFORMATION. Dole’s Committee accepted at least 421 contributions totaling $634,743 from individuals without disclosing the donor’s occupation or employer. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

VIOLATION: CONTRIBUTIONS OVER $200 REQUIRE EMPLOYER/OCCUPATION DISCLOSURE. According to the audit, the Committee “was unable to demonstrate that it had made any follow-up requests for the missing information.” [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

FEC RULING: THREE YEARS LATER, DOLE COMMITTEE STILL NEEDS TO RETURN ILLEGAL CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. “The Audit staff concludes that DNCVC still bears the responsibility for the return of the prohibited contributions.” [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]


AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR, AND 15 LETTERS FROM THE FEC, MARTINEZ FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGES FLAWED FINANCE REPORTING. This week, a lawyer for Sen. Mel Martinez acknowledged that the Senator’s 2004 campaign reports filed with the FEC were “not done with the precision that was required.” The lawyer blamed the erroneous reporting on campaign stress, saying, “They got overwhelmed… If you've not been through it [a campaign] before, the deluge can cause great problems.” But since January 2004, Martinez’s campaign committee “has received 15 letters from the FEC requesting additional information, corrections or revisions in the reporting of contributions, expenditures and debt.” As one independent expert explained, “At the very least, this is sloppiness that is very unusual for a Senate campaign.” [Tampa Tribune, 11/1/05]

DELAY’S INDICTMENT WAS TRIGGERED BY ILLEGAL CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was recently indicted “on felony criminal charges of money-laundering and conspiracy related to the allegedly illegal use of corporate funds in the 2002 state election.” [Washington Post, 10/20/05]

Click Here to View the Complete Dole Audit Report from the FEC.

Ouch, Senator Dole is going out of her way to look pathetic compared with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair, Senator Chuck Schumer.

Posted at 06:23 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, North Carolina, Scandals | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hackett Effect: Six Veterans Running as Democrats

Posted by Bob Brigham

While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hiding from the Iraq issue, individuals are stepping up to fill the DC Establishment leadership void. In fact, there are already 6 veterans ready to serve again -- in Congress:

While fighting in Iraq, a private asked then-Capt. Patrick Murphy why U.S. forces were in the Persian Gulf nation and was told it didn't matter; there was a job to do and just try to return home safely.

"That wasn't the time to question our government," Murphy recalled.

Now, however, Murphy and five other veterans of the war are asking questions about President Bush's policies in Iraq as part of their broader Democratic campaigns to win congressional seats in next year's elections.

Given their experience in Iraq, the six Democrats in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia say they are eminently qualified to pose the tough questions.

Unlike the DCCC, these six candidates are in line with the American people:

Their reservations mirror public opinion, with an increasing number of Americans expressing concern about the mission and favoring a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The most recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll indicated only 37 percent of Americans approve of Bush's handling of Iraq, with 62 percent disapproving.

This summer, Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran, nearly defeated Republican Jean Schmidt in a special election in an Ohio district considered a GOP stronghold. Hackett focused on his wartime experience and his opposition to Bush's policies.

Unlike the DCCC, these six candidates are doing their duty:

"Some guys don't think it's time to question our government, but the fact is I love my country," said Murphy, 31, a lawyer who fought in the 82nd Airborne Division. "We need to have an exit strategy now."

Murphy is challenging first-term Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a Republican in the northern Philadelphia suburbs of the 8th District.

Another Iraq war veteran, Texas Republican Van Taylor, is also running for a House seat, but he backs President Bush.

It's too soon to measure the impact of the war on the 2006 elections, but the handful of veterans pursuing seats in the House of Representatives is an early indicator.

The press thinks this is a story, the veterans know first-hand how high the stakes are, and it is clear that individuals are stepping up to fill the leadership vacuum created by wimpy Washington Establishment Democrats.

Please use the comments to let us know what you know about this six Democrats.

Posted at 02:17 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Democrats, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, July 18, 2005

NC-11: Heath Shuler (D) vs. Rep. Charles Taylor

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the A.P.

Former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler is mounting a challenge for the U.S. House seat held by Republican Charles Taylor of Brevard.

Shuler, a Democrat who lives in Waynesville, said in a statement Monday that he has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission that clear the way for him to run next year in the 11th Congressional District.

Taylor, an eight-term incumbent, has been targeted by the state Democratic Party in recent months. The party has released a series of statements attacking Taylor's ethics and under the leadership of new party chair Jerry Meek has created a task force aimed at shoring up Democratic prospects in the western mountains.

In 2004, Patricia Keever held Taylor to 55%.

"Far too many families in western North Carolina are struggling to earn a decent living, educate their children, and pay for health care," Shuler said. "Congress is spending too much time playing partisan politics, instead of working to find solutions to the real problems facing our families." [...]

Shuler played football at Swain County High School, where he ranked among North Carolina's all-time passing leaders and led his team to three straight state championships. At the University of Tennessee, he was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.

Drafted in the first round by the NFL's Washington Redskins in 1994, Shuler's pro career never took off. In four-plus NFL seasons with the Redskins and New Orleans Saints, Shuler started just 22 games, throwing for only 15 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.

Since retiring from football, Shuler and his brother Benjie have run Heath Shuler Real Estate, a firm with 250 employees. Shuler and his wife Nikol have a son and a daughter.

It looks like Congressman Taylor's re-election is in trouble:

"That doesn't mean that we don't see the 11th as a great pickup possibility," Johnson said Monday. "Charles Taylor is ripe for the picking. ... From all we've gathered, Heath Shuler will be a very formidable candidate."

Democrats have long blamed Taylor for the loss of thousands of blue-collar jobs in the 11th District. And he has been dogged by ethics controversies, including an extended run-in with the Jackson County tax collector over unpaid taxes on a tree farm Taylor owns, and a criminal trial at which longtime political associates testified that Taylor knew about fraudulent loans made by the Asheville-based bank he chairs, Blue Ridge Savings.

Here are some stats.

Posted at 04:15 PM in 2006 Elections - House, North Carolina | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Time to Leave North Carolina

Posted by DavidNYC

I hate to say this, but I think it's time we pulled out of NC and focused on some more important fish. Mason-Dixon's newest poll has this to say (LVs, mid-July in parens):

Kerry: 43 (45)
Bush: 52 (48)
Undecided: 4 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

That's an ugly decline, but I'm not basing my opinion on one poll alone. Since the RNC, we haven't done better than four or five points down in any poll, and several (such as this) show us further back. I know some of you get frustrated when the Kerry camp announces it is pulling out of a given state, and I sympathize: I want to fight as broad a campaign as we possibly can.

But at a certain point, you have to decide what the true battlegrounds are. As my mom might say, you need to pick your battles. We don't need NC in order to win it all. I'm not saying we should retreat to just five states, but I also don't think we should be spreading ourselves thin in twenty-two. I also think that Easley and Bowles will do well in their respective races, without a big Kerry-Edwards presence in the state.

I know I've been bullish on NC in the past, so call me a flip-flopper. (Hey, I'll be in good company.) But I think I'm just bowing to reality here. Thought if you can make a case why we should still run strong in NC, I want to hear it.

Posted at 05:17 PM in North Carolina | Comments (37) | Technorati

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rasmussen: 13-Point Lead for Bush in NC

Posted by DavidNYC

Just gonna provide the link for this one: Rasmussen shows Bush up 55-42 in NC. SUSA just had Kerry four points back. Someone's gotta be wrong. Rasmussen also has an agreggate battleground states poll-of-polls going, but you need to be a premium subscriber to get the full details, so I probably won't be discussing it.

Posted at 05:51 PM in North Carolina | Comments (5) | Technorati

Friday, September 10, 2004

Two SUSA Polls: OH & NC

Posted by DavidNYC

[Note: I originally had the Ohio numbers swapped. Bush is ahead 50-47.]

Survey USA has new polls out for Ohio and North Carolina.

Ohio first (PDF) (likely voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 47
Bush: 50
Other/Undecided: 4
(MoE: ��3.8%)

SUSA is one of the more prolific polling outfits, so I'm surprised that this is their first survey of Ohio. Without trendlines, it's hard to know where this poll falls on the map, but the results seem to comport with everyone's expectations. Of course, you can never really how a given firm's definition of "likely voters" can skew their results.

Kerry apparently has the base fired up here: He gets 89% of Democrats, while Bush gets 91% of Republicans. Somewhat surprising (to me, anyhow) is that Bush leads 51-41 among independents. That might make sense, though, if that group includes swing voters who might be easily swayed by all the GOP convention coverage from last week.

And North Carolina (PDF) (likely voters, mid-August in parens):

Kerry: 46 (45)
Bush: 50 (51)
Other/Undecided: 5 (4)
(MoE: ��4.2%)

Naysayers, you're gonna have a lot of `splainin' to do. Since Edwards was tapped, no poll from any outfit that I'm aware of has shown the race wider than seven points, and most show it a lot closer. (The only exception was a Gallup poll which showed likely voters preferring Bush by a 15-point margin. As we know, though, Gallup's LV model leans heavily Republican, for whatever reason - and, not surprisingly, their RVs showed a seven-point race.)

SUSA actually once had the race out at seven points, back in late July, just before the DNC. So if we extend the trendlines back that far, the Kerry-Edwards ticket has shown gains in two successive polls. This isn't a fluke, either. Democratic Gov. Mike Easley now has a 15-point advantage in his race, up from 7 in August, and Erskine Bowles, running for Senate, saw his lead jump from 8 points to 10.

As I always caution, I don't think it's likely that we'll win NC. And I think there are better battlegrounds for us to spend (most of) our money on. But there's no denying that we're competitive here, and that barring any shocking developments, Democrats will do well in North Carolina this fall - if not at the presidential level, then certainly in the Senate and State House. I should add that the NC House of Representatives is tied - 60 Dems to 60 Repubs. A strong year for the Blue Team in this state could definitely push this branch of government our way.

Posted at 03:22 AM in North Carolina, Ohio | Comments (14) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Four New Swing States

Posted by Chris Bowers

Zogby has declared that four new states--Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia--are now swing states and will be included in future Zogby Interactive Battleground polls.

Sweet! Not only does this show weakness in Bush's base, we will all be treated to regular polls from these four states. This will also help to reinforce the emerging conventional wisdom that Bush is in a lot of trouble in this campaign.

As a testament to David's determination, he had never given up on these states, listing them as swing all along. It is forward thinking people like that who will be the backbone of a more aggressive Democratic Party in the years to come.

Georgia and Louisiana remain the final frontiers.

Posted at 04:29 PM in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia | Comments (22) | Technorati

Saturday, August 14, 2004

NC Gets Even Closer

Posted by DavidNYC

The Raleigh News & Observer just released a new North Carolina poll, taken around a week after the convention (likely voters, early July - post-Edwards - in parens):

Kerry: 45 (44)
Bush: 48 (49)
Undecided: 7 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

Though the margin has shrunk, it's all still well inside the MoE. The difficulty here, though, is that Bush still has a pretty high favorability rating, 53-38 (though he was at 57-37 in January). His job performance rating isn't quite so good, with only 49% rating him excellent or pretty good and 51% saying only fair or poor. Nonetheless, I think with numbers like these, it may be pretty hard to get undecideds to break our way.

John Edwards' job performance, however, has markedly improved, from 49-44 in January to 57-35 in this poll, so he might actually help the ticket more as time goes on. And on a key local question - "Has President Bush done enough to protect furniture, textiles and other manufacturing industries from foreign trade?" - only 34% say yes and 59% say no. This means that a good chunk of Bush's Republican base thinks he's done a shoddy job on this issue. In recent years, the Dems have had some success in pushing local issues in red states (I'm thinking South Dakota & Louisiana in particular), so this might be our opening.

A side-note: Kerry will be in the Charlotte area on Friday. And for those of you who thought the GOP wasn't taking the Dem threat to this state seriously, Team Bush is opening up a campaign office in Raleigh.

(Thanks to reader Chris.)

Posted at 04:15 PM in North Carolina | Comments (14) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Quick Note on Rasmussen

Posted by DavidNYC

Rasmussen has by far the most annoying - and quite possibly silly - polling methodology out there. In fact, I'd almost say Zogby's "interactive" polling is prima facie more sound. Rasmussen polls over the course of a month which, as someone cleverly observed, is not a snapshot but rather a daguerreotype. I'll quickly mention the swing state results he released today, but since the vast majority of the polling was done before the convention, I think they are even more useless this month than in the past.

�Ģ Missouri: 50-46-4 Bush (May: 44-43-13 Bush)
�Ģ North Carolina: 50-45-6 Bush (June: 49-42-8 Bush)
�Ģ Virginia: 49-46-5 Bush (June: 48-45-6 Bush)

I just want to re-iterate: I'm giving these polls short shrift not because they show Kerry losing, but because I have deep reservations about Rasmussen's methodology. If a more traditional pollster showed results like these for NC and VA, I'd actually be quite happy.

(Thanks to glibfidget.)

Posted at 08:30 AM in Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia | Comments (2) | 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 18, 2004

Research 2K NC Poll in Line with Mason-Dixon

Posted by DavidNYC

Hot on the heels of last week's Mason-Dixon North Carolina survey, Research 2000 has a new poll out of that state (June in parens):

Kerry: 44 (42)
Bush: 49 (47)
Undecided: 7 (11)
(MoE: ��4%)

In June, the poll only asked Bush v. Kerry. This time around, R2K included the VP names as well in their question, so the trendlines are not quite "pure." As you can see, the spread in both polls is five points. You can argue, as Del Ali, the president of R2K, does: that there is no visible "groundswell" as a result of Kerry tapping Edwards.

The problem here, though, is that if R2K had asked the same question in July as it did in June (ie, Kerry's name alone), the results might have been worse for the Dems. That means that Edwards might have forestalled any further sliding. Could the results really vary materially with different questions? I think it's certainly possible. At the very least, you have to consider the fact that R2K saw fit to change the wording of their question, so it must be meaningful to them.

I admit I may be grasping at straws here, but I do think this is slightly sloppy polling. The unalloyed good news is that 25% of respondents said that the addition of Edwards to the ticket makes them more likely to vote Dem, while only 13% said it makes them less likely. Furthermore, Edwards' favorability has been increasing in his home state: from 51-40 in January to 56-38 now. This bodes well in winning over the undecideds.

(Thanks to reader Chris.)

Posted at 10:27 PM in North Carolina | Comments (4) | Technorati

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Nuts to That Gallup Poll!

Posted by DavidNYC

No, I'm not cherry-picking the results I like - I'm tossing out the bad apples that obviously don't belong. Check out Mason-Dixon's newest for North Carolina:

Kerry: 45
Bush: 48
Undecided: 7
(MoE: ��4%)

These are the guys who polled Bush over Kerry at 48-41 in May - but had a hypothetical ticket of Kerry/Edwards just one point back in the same poll. The polls may not be entirely comparable (which is why I'm not listing trendlines) because the May polls included Nader while the present poll, oddly enough, included Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik. (As Monty Python might say, Badnarik pulled just about no voted at all in this poll - not a sausage.) This poll, FYI, did include the names of both Pres and VP candidates for all tickets.

Sixty-four percent of those polled approved of Kerry's choice of Edwards, by the way. Bush's favorability rating stands at 50-36-14 (the last number being "neutral"), while Kerry is allegedly 38-36-26. Edwards gets the best spread in the state, at +15, far higher than Cheney, the least popular of all four men (unsurprisingly).

Gallup has some `splainin' to do.

Posted at 01:12 AM in North Carolina | Comments (14) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Gallup: 15-Point Lead for Bush in NC

Posted by DavidNYC

Sigh. Not quite sure what to make of this one from Gallup (no trendlines; post-Edwards; likely voters):

Kerry: 41
Bush: 56
Other: 3
(MoE: ��5%)

Seems like quite an outlier, compared to all the other NC polls. When looking at registered voters, the gap is not quite so bad, 51-44. Edwards gets very high favorables here, 63-29, and 30% of voters say his presence on the ticket makes it more likely they'll vote Dem.

Kerry, however, seems to have nose-dived in just the last few weeks, going from 58-35 on June 23-25 to 49-43 now. That's a 17-point shift. Ugly. And since Bush didn't go on the air in NC until a few days ago, I'm at a loss to explain that drop. Any ideas here, folks?

(Thanks to reader Tucker of DBD.)

Posted at 08:58 PM in North Carolina | Comments (5) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Kerry Just Five Points Back in VA

Posted by DavidNYC

SUSA released a new poll (PDF) last week for Virginia. Read it & groan, G-Dub (no trendlines):

Kerry: 45
Bush: 50
Other: 3
Undecided: 2
(MoE: 3.8%)

These are the kinds of numbers which have to make Karl Rove go ape, especially since they seem to echo the 48-45 Rasmussen had in his June poll. Virginia just shouldn't be this close for Bush. The too-small number of undecideds here suggests that SUSA's methodology pushes "leaners" very hard - though I must admit, I'm not sure exactly what consequences that has.

Anyhow, I wonder if Kerry's unexpected advertising had any effect, especially since, as far as I know, Bush was not on the airwaves in VA during the month of June. Also note that this poll was taken almost immediately post-Edwards, so that could well have had something of an effect. (But the pollsters did not include either Edwards' or Cheney's names in their questions.)

And speaking of ad buys, Bush is still refusing to go on the air in Virginia - perhaps due to a shortage of campaign cash, perhaps because he doesn't want to admit weakness. (Or perhaps because the GOP really does think VA is not in play - and maybe they're right.)

Oh, and the Two Johns are also on the air in NC now (same article), once again getting up before Team Bush does, just as we did in LA and CO. I suppose another pretty reasonable (if slightly narrow) way to define a swing state is, Are either of the campaigns advertising there? If the answer is "Yes, both," then you probably have a bona fide contest on your hands - as we do now in North Carolina.

Posted at 01:04 AM in North Carolina, Virginia | Comments (8) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Quickie Insta-Poll on Edwards

Posted by DavidNYC

CNN did a quick poll today (with an MoE of ��5%) about Edwards. I think the screen caps show it better than text alone would:




The "choice of running mate" number in the first panel looks very good, but I was especially glad to see the results in the third panel. Evidently, the phrase "trial lawyer" isn't as automatically toxic as many Republicans might hope. I also just finished the first section of Edwards' book Four Trials and I found it to be very moving and humanizing.

One other thing: I came across a new Annenberg poll (PDF) via Polling Report. Edwards currently gets a 31-17 fave/unfave rating, with 29% "neutral" and 22% undecided. His spread among independents is a nifty 36-8. The same poll put Kerry at 40-36-18-6. (MoE: ��3%.)

I can't wait for the next NC poll.

(Images thanks to Al Rodgers.)

Posted at 01:46 AM in General, North Carolina | Comments (9) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

More NC Polling Data

Posted by DavidNYC

Even though it falls outside of my strict criteria, I'm going to add NC as a swing state based on Chris's observation that VPs historically provide a roughly five-and-a-half percent boost in their home states. The margin in NC in 2000 was about 13 points (interestingly, Nader was not on the ballot there); with Chris's new cosmological constant in play, that puts NC safely within the SSP's ��10% cut-off. (I'll update the map as soon as I get a chance.)

Rasmussen just released a new, month-long poll that covers the month of June (May in parens):

Kerry: 42 (44)
Bush: 49 (48)
Other: 2 (3)
Undecided: 6 (5)
(MoE: ��5%)

Kerry's gap widened from four to seven points here, but the MoE is fairly hefty. I bet we'll see it close up again when Rasmussen releases his July poll.

Research 2000 also did a poll back in June for a consortium of media outlets (no trendlines):

Kerry: 42
Bush: 47
(MoE: ��4%)

Quite maddeningly, the article linked just above says, "The divide would narrow further if Kerry selects Sen. John Edwards as his running mate, according to the survey," but it doesn't say what those numbers are! If anyone can find those numbers, I'm sure we'd all really love to see them. (By the way, this is the same R2K poll I mentioned below concerning Edwards' popularity numbers.)

I think my earlier throwaway comparison to NJ is at least half-right: Right now, Bush is looking surprisingly weak in NC (just as a few polls have shown Kerry looking surprisingly weak in NJ), but odds are, that'll change by election day. It's half-wrong, of course, because the big difference is that Bush isn't tapping Christie Whitman to be his VP - if he had, then I might be more nervous about Jersey (and the election in general). With Johnny Sunshine on the ticket, NC becomes a whole new ballgame. Someone please insert a clever Bull Durham quote here, willya?

Posted at 05:56 PM in North Carolina | Comments (20) | Technorati

Does Edwards as VP Make NC a Swing State?

Posted by DavidNYC

Does John Kerry's selection of John Edwards as his running mate make us more competitive in the Carolinas? It's a good question. At the very least, it makes the Bushies sweat a lot more in that region of the country.*

A Mason-Dixon poll in May (from Polling Report - no link available) showed Bush with a 48-41 lead in NC. But when people were asked to choose between Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards, that lead shrunk all the way to 46-45. And a Research 2000 poll in June showed Edwards with a pretty solid 55-37 favorability rating. Plus, in that poll, 55% of respondents said Kerry should tap Edwards, compared to just 37 against. (But there was no paired matchup in that poll.)

Previously, I've called New Jersey a Jack Daniel's state. North Carolina is the exact opposite: A Dom Perignon state - if you see this state go blue on election night, break out the bubbly and start celebrating. I'm certain there will be a lot more polling in North Carolina very soon.

*(South Carolina, though much more conservative than NC, has also suffered a lot of job losses - and don't forget that Johnny Sunshine won the SC primary pretty convincingly. I know primary politics are a horse of a different color, but it suggests to me that Edwards has strong institutional and popular support there. Again, not that I think we'll win here, but if the Bushies have to even think about SC, then they're running scared. The most recent poll, taken for Republican Senate candidate Jim DeMint, showed Bush with a 15-point lead here, but a slightly earlier poll by Rasmussen put Bush just 10 points ahead - a far smaller margin than in many other Deep South states.)

P.S. For what it's worth, I'm pretty happy with this pick. As you probably know, Bill Richardson had long been my top choice, but John Edwards was probably my second-favorite.

Posted at 08:57 AM in North Carolina | Comments (11) | Technorati

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