While the range of competitive House districts has narrowed considerably, I am still including all 8 Obama-Republican districts to watch their trends. I also added state legislative seats that are open this year in which the incumbent is not term-limited.
With the filing deadline passed, we are beginning to see how the fields are shaping up for the 2010 elections in California. While the range of competitive House districts has narrowed considerably, I am still including all 8 Obama-Republican districts to watch their trends.
Whilst the Massachusetts Senate Special and a series of dodgy house polls have Democrats convinced that the November midterms will be apocalyptic; the fact is that a number of Republican held House districts are in fact vulnerable to a takeover from Democratic challengers.
Taking into account some suggestions and comments, I made some changes to my previous attempt at redistricting California. I conceded an additional 2 seats to the GOP, which concomitantly makes a number of other seats more strongly Democratic. The additional 2 safe GOP seats are CA-4 and CA-48. Here's what version 2 looks like, overall:
I decided to try my hand at redistricting California's Congressional districts for 2010-2012, using Dave's Redistricting App. After playing around with it a bit, here's what the map I came up with looks like overall:
Here's the 2008 Obama/McCain vote in California, on the precinct level:
• AR-Sen: To few people's surprise, Blanche Lincoln folded faster than Superman on laundry day on the public option issue when faced with a non-ridiculous challenge from the right. Still, her erstwhile GOP rival, Gilbert Baker, may not be quite as problem-free as the Beltway media have touted him as; ArkDem provides some essential local color in the diaries.
• CO-Sen: This isn't going to endear the NRSC to the Colorado rank-and-filers (and even the party establishment, like state party head Dickwad Hams Dick Wadhams) any more: they just got caught building websites for former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton. This may help fuel whatever fire is suddenly burning under Weld Co. DA Ken Buck.
• MA-Sen: After contrasting reports yesterday about whether ex-Rep. Marty Meehan might or wouldn't run for Senate, Politics magazine got him on the record saying that he "hadn't ruled it out" but that he was absorbed in his university chancellor job and that he'd defer to either Vicky or Joe Kennedy. No word on what happens to his $4 million if he doesn't run.
• NY-Gov: The Eliot Spitzer boomlet lasted about one day before he laughed it off, but a quickie SurveyUSA poll verified that he's still got some political mojo left. 15% of New Yorkers said they'd still vote for him no matter what office, 47% said they might, depending on the office, and only 39% said no way. He also won against David Paterson on the curiously worded question of "who's better qualified" to be Governor, 41-24, although Rudy Giuliani wins the same question against Spitzer, 59-25.
• OR-Gov: As we reported yesterday, ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber made it official this morning: he's in the race. Former SoS Bill Bradbury, who's already in the Dem primary, now says he will be announcing something on Sept. 17 (he'd previously alluded to staying in even if Kitzhaber got in, but we'll have to see what he says now that it's happened). Meanwhile, SurveyUSA has another snap poll, this time of the favorables of the race's announced players so far: Kitzhaber has a fave of 33/26, Bradbury is at 21/20, and moderate Republican Allen Alley (the 2008 Treasurer candidate, and a former deputy CoS to Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski) is at a woeful 8/10.
• VT-Gov: Two other names for potential GOP gubernatorial candidates have surfaced, in addition to Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie. One is Mark Snelling, who's never held office before but benefits from a prominent family name (he's the son of ex-Gov. Richard Snelling and ex-Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling). Another possibility is former Auditor Randy Brock who served one term, 2004-2006, before losing re-election.
• CA-24: Marta Jorgensen, a nurse who held Rep. Elton Gallegly to 56% in 2008, said she's back for another try in 2010. Gallegly, frequent retirement speculation target, hasn't formally announced he's running but informally said he'll run again.
• IL-14: Another GOPer is taking a look at the race against Bill Foster, joining Ethan Hastert and Mark Vargas. Bill Cross is a former member of the Aurora City Council and owns two hardware stores in the district.
• KS-03: Rep. Dennis Moore has proven pretty entrenched in his light-red district in the Kansas City suburbs, repelling state Sen. Nick Jordan in 2008 without much trouble. Still, he's drawn another credible challenge for 2010, from GOP former state Rep. Patricia Lightner.
• LA-03: One more name to add to the seemingly endless pile of possible candidates in the open seat in the 3rd: Craig Webre, sheriff of Lafourche Parish (popu. 90,000). The article is strangely unclear about what party he'd be running for -- Webre is registered as a Republican, but Democrat Reggie Dupre (the former state Senator whose resignation triggered last week's successful special election in SD-20) was advising Webre and was the article's source -- although considering how porous party lines can be in Louisiana, that seems typical. Dupre, who just took over as Terrebonne Parish levee director, confirmed that he himself wouldn't run.
• VA-02, 05, 11: The trio of Virginia freshmen (Tom Perriello, Glenn Nye, and Gerry Connolly) have banded together in a joint fundraising committee. Connolly has to be seen as less vulnerable than the other two, but still needs resources for a potentially expensive rematch against Keith Fimian.
• CA-Lt. Gov: With the now very-high likelihood that John Garamendi will be heading to Washington DC in a few months, the question arises of who Arnold Schwarzenegger will replace him with. Sorta-moderate state Sen. Abel Maldonado gets the most press; his appointment would open up a Senate seat in a Dem-leaning area that could get Senate Dems closer to that magic 2/3s mark. Assemblyman (and former minority leader) Mike Villines is another possibility; another idea is giving the job to ex-Rep. Tom Campbell in order to pry him out of the Governor's race. Schwarzenegger is mavericky enough he might appoint a Democrat, too; one name mentioned is former Assembly speaker Bob Hertzberg, who has occasionally cooperated with the Governator.
• Seattle Mayor: The mayor's race in Seattle, between two unknowns (Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan) who won the primary after incumbent Greg Nickels KO'd himself, briefly threatened to get much more interesting when prominent state Sen. Ed Murray started exploring running as a write-in, sensing an opening for someone who actually knows what the hell he's doing. Although he could have counted on a lot of both labor and real estate developer support, he decided against it yesterday, aware of the extreme technical difficulty in mounting a successful write-in campaign on weeks' notice. Murray instead remains the most-talked-about successor to Rep. Jim McDermott, although it seems like he could be waiting another decade for that seat to open up.
• FL-Sen: Oh please, oh please: The Club for Growth's president, David Keating, says that he's very impressed with Marco Rubio, and may run ads against Rubio's primary opponent, Charlie Crist (although he said there's no set timeline for "endorsement"). Politico also points to a strongly anti-Crist new editorial from the Wall Street Journal that, believe it or not, compares Crist to Barney Frank (get your mind out of the gutter... apparently it has something to do with an analogy between hurricane insurance and Fannie Mae).
• MN-Sen: Despite the fact that Tim Pawlenty (not running for re-election, but probably running for the Big Show in 2012) is now answerable to the nationwide GOP base rather than to all Minnesotans, he's not going to obstruct the all-but-inevitable seating of Al Franken. He confirmed on CNN that he'll certify Franken if Norm Coleman loses his Minnesota Supreme Court case.
• NC-Sen: While former state Sen. Cal Cunningham is making some senatorial noises, he says that he won't commit to a timeline on getting into the race, saying only that he'll make a "timely decision."
• AL-Gov: We're up to six Republican gubernatorial candidates now; Bill Johnson, the state director of Economic and Community Affairs, resigned his post on Friday and declared his candidacy. Despite his statewide position, Johnson seems like kind of an odd duck; he was the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri in 1994.
• SC-Gov: The behind-the-scenes battle is heating up between Mark Sanford and his Lt. Governor and possible successor (either via resignation or the 2010 election), Andre Bauer. Bauer's would-be opponents (who would be at a disadvantage if Bauer comes into the election as an incumbent) are already dusting off old lines of attack from his LG primary campaign in 2006, that Bauer is too much of a fast-driving, plane-crashing party boy and not sufficiently conservative. (Bauer's spokesperson does some very strange pushback in this article, seemingly protesting too much that Bauer is merely a "red-blooded American male" and "straight.") The New York Times details efforts by Bauer's camp to exert pressure on legislators to pressure Sanford to resign (which came to public light when Bauer's camp inadvertently contacted an ally of potential 2010 rival AG Henry McMaster).
Meanwhile, State Rep. Nikki Haley has been encouraging Sanford not to resign (which he says he won't do) -- on the surface because she was one of Sanford's few legislative allies even before the scandal, but at this point, more importantly because she's also running in 2010 and would be at a disadvantage if Bauer comes in as a one-year incumbent. She has also issued a statement "fear[ing] for the conservative reform movement" if Bauer takes office. Similarly, McMaster seems reluctant to launch criminal investigations into Sanford -- again, the subtext being that would make Sanford's immediate replacement by Bauer likelier.
• WI-Gov: Here's an interesting rumor: Gov. Jim Doyle may be in line to take over as the next head of the Peace Corps. Not only would this spare us a 2nd re-election run by Doyle, who's been posting mediocre poll numbers, but, assuming he resigns to take the new post, it would give Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton the chance to run in 2010 with a year of incumbency under her belt.
• AL-05: Despite earlier reports that the GOP was happy with their recruit to run in AL-05, businessman and local GOP "minority outreach" coordinator Lester Philip, they've recruited a higher-profile figure to run against freshman Rep. Parker Griffith. Madison Co. (location of Huntsville) Commissioner Mo Brooks said he'll formally enter the race this week.
• CA-11: After first flirting with the CA-10 special election and then flirting with the idea of running against Rep. Jerry McNerney in CA-11 in 2010, Contra Costa Co. Sheriff Warren Rupf declared that he isn't running for Congress, period. Rupf, in fact, basically gave Congress the middle finger, saying his values "don't line up with the fringes of either party and compromising my values or my priorities is a price I am not willing to pay."
• CA-24: The DCCC has been cajoling Peter Jim Dantona, a local political consultant, to get into the race against longtime Rep. Elton Gallegly in the 24th. Dantona proved his bona fides by almost winning a seat on the Ventura Co. Board of Supervisors in a heavily Republican district. (Another consideration is the possibility that Gallegly, who's tried to retire before, may turn this district, which Obama won 51-48, into an open seat if faced with a stiff challenge.)
• CA-50: A Francine Busby fundraiser in a supporter's backyard turned into a bit of a melee when the police were called over a noise complaint, ending with the party's 60-year-old host getting pepper-sprayed and arrested when she wouldn't give the police her name and date of birth.
• FL-24: GOP State Rep. (and former mayor of Port Orange) Dorothy Hukill announced her interest in taking on Rep. Suzanne Kosmas. The NRCC was already highly touting Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel in this race, so it'll be interesting to see if Hukill is doing this on her own, or if the NRCC kept looking after pre-emptive Dem attacks on Diebel's stability may have damaged Diebel.
• MI-03: Rep. Vernon Ehlers, who's 75, sounded a little ambivalent about running for another term in 2010. Roll Call does some interesting dot-connecting: Ehlers and SoS Terri Lynn Land are friendly, and her sudden jump out of the governor's race, where she looked competitive, may have something to do with her getting some insider information on MI-03 being available instead.
• NC-08: The GOP is still wondering what to do about a challenge to freshman Rep. Larry Kissell. Oddly, their first choice is a rerun by former Rep. Robin Hayes, who looked clueless en route to losing in 2008 by over 10 points. (Hayes is still considering it, but also helping to recruit other candidates.) Another possible (and more ominous) contender, who hasn't ruled it out, is Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, who lost the 2008 gubernatorial race and will be looking for something else to do after his seventh mayoral term ends this year. Union Co. District Attorney John Snyder was also cited as a possible GOPer.
• NE-02: Rep. Lee Terry seems to be under a lot of stress lately, as seen by his recent F-bomb-laced freak-out when trying to cross the street in Washington.
• Fundraising: Just a friendly reminder: the fundraising quarter ends tomorrow. If there's a candidate out there who you want to give some early momentum to, now's the time to contribute.
I've been saving the changes in registration differences in the competitive districts that I track in my regular registration number updates. Here I will show the changes in registration going from the last numbers before the 2008 election to the latest numbers released a few days ago. Here they are in tabulated form. And for the congressional districts, in addition to the 8 Obama-Republican districts, I tossed in CA-04, because the House race there was very close in spite of the considerable Republican advantage in registration and the presidential race, and CA-46, the district of McCain's closest win of the 11 McCain districts and the only one that he won with less than 50%.
With the release of the new registration numbers, and a couple of special elections just around the corner, I now have updates for the open and/or competitive State Senate and State Assembly districts, as well as the eight Obama-Republican districts. The Secretary of State's website has the presidential results by district, so I am including the presidential results in each district.
Breaking news: We now have a (albeit slight) registration advantage in AD-10!
And an edit: I am including CA-04 in the list because of McClintock's less-than-1% win, even though the presidential race and registration gap are not particularly close.