• AK-Sen: As it gets more and more apparent that victory isn't going to come on the write-in-challenges front, the Joe Miller camp seems to be admitting as much. However, they aren't preparing to concede, as they see one last ace in the hole: absentee ballots, which are still trickling in. The last to arrive (ahead of Wednesday's deadline) will be the military overseas ballots, which Miller expects will break heavily in his favor (seeing as how many military members nearing the end of their commitment are probably looking forward to a profitable career on Miller's paramilitary goon squad). With Lisa Murkowski's lead holding at 40-35, though, it's unclear whether military ballots would show up in sufficient numbers to turn the tide even if they broke widely for Miller.
• DE-Sen, WV-Sen: Congratulations today to Chris Coons and Joe Manchin, both of whom are being sworn into the Senate this afternoon for the lame-duck session. It's also the first day on the job for Earl Ray Tomblin, who becomes the new West Virginia Governor in Manchin's absence. If you're wondering about Mark Kirk, he'll be sworn in next week thanks to vagaries of Illinois law. (If I may be allowed a brief moment of alma mater pride, Coons appears to be the first Amherst alum elected to the Senate since the ill-fated Thomas Eagleton.)
• MA-Sen: You may remember a boomlet that peaked last week for Senate speculation concerning Setti Warren, the "rock star" mayor of Newton. Well, that's over, as he's now saying his "intent" is to finish his term, which runs through 2013. However, a different young up-and-coming mayor of one of the Bay State's larger cities is now poking the Senate race with a stick: Will Flanagan, the 30-year-old mayor of the much more blue-collar Fall River, is gauging the race.
• TX-Sen: The Fix has a look at possible primary challengers to Kay Bailey Hutchison, who, with her bungled gubernatorial run and her TARP vote, seems to have painted a big target on her back aimed at Texas tea partiers looking for a promotion. Former SoS Roger Williams and former Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones are already in the race (dating back to when it was expected that KBH would be on her way to the Governor's Mansion at this point), but the bigger names to watch are Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. Dewhurst is establishment but has the personal wealth to get a foothold here, while Williams has no money but is the favorite of the tea party set. Dallas mayor Tom Leppert is also mentioned as a wild-card. One Dem who won't be making the race is former Houston mayor Bill White, who in wake of his gubernatorial loss says he won't pivot to a Senate race. That probably frees up the Dem Senate slot for former comptroller John Sharp, who was going to run in the hypothetical special election that never happened and already has a big stack of cash saved up for the race.
• CT-Gov: If you're hearing zombie lies from Republican friends about the Connecticut gubernatorial race being stolen by the urban machines, here's a handy debunking point: exit polls show that the huge falloff in votes in Bridgeport neatly tracks the statewide falloff in Dem crossover votes for the Republican candidate in general from 2006 (when the broadly-popular Jodi Rell ran) to 2010.
• KY-Gov: One more Republican to keep in mind as a potential challenger in next year's off-year gubernatorial election: Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw. That's kind of a big step up to Governor, so it seems like she might be starting with a high negotiating position with the party to try to worm her way into the SoS slot instead (assuming Trey Grayson follows through on plans to run for AG instead).
• NC-02, TX-27: Here are updates on two of our outstanding races: recounts have been officially approved in both of 'em. Six counties in the 27th will be recounted, per Solomon Ortiz's request, as he trails by about 800. In the 2nd, the canvass was officially certified with Bobby Etheridge trailing by 1,489, but he'll be pursuing a recount as allowed under state law. While neither of these prospects looks that hopeful, we can take some solace in that the likely victors, Blake Farenthold and Renee Elmers, are some of the most amateur-hour entrants into the new House and hopefully likely to help define the new face of the Republican Party.
• NY-29: Best wishes for a quick recovery to soon-to-be-sworn-in Tom Reed, who literally just arrived in Washington and was immediately sickened by it. He was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lungs and says he'll be released in one or two days, ready to get to work.
• WA-01, WA-03: I'd hoped that Brian Baird was going to take his unique variety of douchiness to the private sector for good, but it looks like his strange retirement decision may have been an inspired case of district-shopping instead. He's moving to Edmonds in Seattle's northern suburbs, which just happens to be in the 1st District. Assuming that Jay Inslee follows through on his widely-known plans to run for Governor, lo and behold, the 1st will be an open seat in 2012. The 1st (which is a pretty safe district in its current configuration, and will probably keep similar lines in redistricting) has to be more appealing than the 3rd, which redistricting will probably move from a true swing district to a light-red one, as liberal Olympia will probably have to be exchanged for a Columbia Gorge-centered district that's based in Vancouver but that runs east into conservative Yakima County. (Which, unfortunately, would be tailor-made for Jaime Herrera, who's Latina but living in the Vancouver burbs, and will make her much harder to dislodge.) For more detail on Washington's likely 10-district map, see here.
• NY-St. Sen.: Here's an update on the three races that are holding New York State Senate control in the balance. Dem incumbent Craig Johnson trails by only 427, and seems to be gaining at a rapid clip as absentee votes get counted, so the trajectory indicates he might pull ahead by the end. Things seem more locked in with two more Dem incumbents, though: Suzi Oppenheimer leads by 504, while Antoine Thompson trails by 597. Wins by Johnson and Oppenheimer would set up a 31-31 tie.
• Chicago mayor: The election's been over for two weeks, and it's already time for the first new edition of SSP TV: Rahm Emanuel kicked off his mayoral bid with his first TV spot already. Rep. Danny Davis also made it official this weekend, launching his bid and dubbing himself the "grassroots" candidate. (He looks like he'll be giving up his House seat only in the event that he wins the mayoral race.)
• DSCC: After some hopeful signs that Michael Bennet might be willing to take on the role of DSCC head, he said "no thanks" late Friday. At this point, Beltway pundits seem to think that the shortest straw has Patty Murray's name on it.
• RGA: Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed on for another cycle at the helm of the Republican Governor's Association. I've seen speculation that he's doing it mostly to shut down rumors that he's really running for President, although it should be a pretty sleepy gubernatorial cycle and he might be able to juggle both tasks (since most big states elect governors during the midterms, and only a few open seats loom... Indiana, North Carolina, and Washington may be the highest-profile races).
• Redistricting: The Wall Street Journal has a good overview of what to expect with redistricting, and they seem to come to the same conclusion that I have: that the downside for the GOP of their strong performance in Dem-held red districts is that it means there are a lot fewer opportunities to turf anyone out through aggressive gerrymandering, and instead their efforts are going to have to more defensive, oriented toward shoring up the deadwood that washed ashore. Meaning, of course, that predictions of another large redistricting-driven gain in the House for the GOP aren't likely to come to pass, although it will still make it harder for the Dems to regain significant ground.
A couple articles are also out today dealing with the biggest redistricting prize of all, California, although whether it's a prize or not has much to do with what happens with the newly-created (by Prop 20) congressional redistricting commission; this week, out of the pool of 36,000 applicants, 36 finalists for the commission's citizen slots will be picked. Of particular interest is what exactly happens with the seats in northern Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley, where there's a push underway to get a Hispanic district. (Worth noting: CA-28 already has a Hispanic majority, although Howard Berman seems pretty primary-proof there, and there don't seem to be enough parts and pieces elsewhere in the Valley to create another neatly-shaped one.)
• Demographics: Here's a big surprise, on the demographic front: there are reports that there are 100,000 fewer Hispanics in Arizona than there were when SB 1070 passed. That may not have a big impact on voting behavior (since those emigrants are probably unlikely voters), but a big impact on redistricting, where the possibility of a third VRA district in Arizona looms. Or maybe not... since the census only cares where you were on April 1, much of that fleeing may not have happened yet at that point.
• Dave's App: Exciting news from over in the diaries: version 2.0 of Dave's Redistricting App is available. You can check out all the details at the link, but two major improvements including use of street maps (making urban work much easier) and ability to save JPGs. Redistricting is going to be one of Swing State Project's main preoccupations over the next year, and Dave's App is one of the best tools we have in our arsenal.
• AK-Sen: Joe Miller made a drive toward the hoop with his attempt to get an injunction to force the state to stop counting write-in ballots that weren't spelled precisely "Lisa Murkowski," but a federal judge stuffed that back in his face late yesterday, denying the immediate injunction and saying there's no risk of irreparable harm; the question, of course, will continue in the courts, just at a more leisurely pace while the count goes on. As for the actual counting (which began yesterday, and went through about 20% of the total), things have seemed to continue on pace for Murkowski to hold on. 89% of the write-ins were unchallenged for Murkowski. 8.5% of the ballots were challenged by Miller observers, but only 1.4% of ballots were successfully challenged. Only 164 of the 19,203 ballots analyzed had write-ins other than Murkowski (including, amusingly, two people who wrote in Joe Miller). Roll Call points out that Murkowski would be on track to win even if Miller's injunction succeeds, considering what a small percentage of ballots are being challenged in the first place, which makes it look like Murkowski's remarkably painstaking campaign of instructing people how to spell her name paid off.
• IN-Sen: If there's a Republican who's guilty of the crimes of attempting to legislate and not punching Dems in the groin at every opportunity, it's Richard Lugar. Between that and his age, he's at great risk of a teabagging in 2012 (assuming he doesn't retire), and there's already a line forming of potential primary rivals expressing interest, including state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, state Sen. Mike Delph, and 2010 primary loser Don Bates.
• MA-Sen: Here's another piece handicapping potential challengers to Scott Brown; while most of the names are familiar (Mike Capuano, plus assorted other Kennedys and Reps.), it adds one more to the mix that I haven't heard but certainly seems plausible: Gov. Deval Patrick, whose stock has risen lately with a surprisingly comfortable re-election.
• VA-Sen: Beltway Kremlinologists are analyzing Jim Webb's pronouncements, notably ambivalent about another Senate run, and announcing that he's sounding even iffier now. While George Allen seems to have the inside track on the GOP nomination, filling a hole left by Webb would be a big question mark for the Dems. Ex-Gov and DNC chair Tim Kaine seems like the likeliest bet, although Tom Perriello also gets a mention.
• FL-22: Somehow I suspect someone from GOP leadership paid a visit to Allen West and gave him a refresher course in political discipline, as he abruptly reversed course and decided that his bomb-throwing best friend from the right-wing radio world, Joyce Kaufman, won't be his chief of staff. As we talked about yesterday, the main problem might not be her long track record of outrageous statements but the Ethics and FCC problems that might result if she kept her day job too.
• NY-29: While everyone knows that Joe Manchin, Chris Coons, and Mark Kirk are gaining early entry to the Senate for the lame duck session (because of the special election status of their elections), there's also one new House member also getting that privilege. Recall that David Paterson bumped the special election to replace Eric Massa all the way back to November to coincide with the general election, so Tom Reed is set to be sworn in next week too (gaining the seniority edge over his myriad fellow GOP freshmen). (UDPATE: Several folks have pointed out that Marlin Stutzman, just elected to IN-03 in a dual special/general in the wake of Mark Souder's resignation, also gets the same treatment next week.)
• DSCC: The quest for a DSCC leader just goes on, as no one wants to be left holding that flaming bag of dog doo. Al Franken took himself officially out of the running. Even Chuck Schumer, who everyone regards as the fallback position if no one else steps up, is still adamant that he isn't going to take it either.
• Money: I don't think the Dems could have salvaged the House even if it hadn't been for the huge last-minute outlays of advertising cash from American Crossroads and assorted other 527s, but it certainly helped the GOP run up the score in the close, late-breaking races. At any rate, it's good to see that at least someone on Team Blue is recognizing that we're behind the 8-ball on the dark money front, and at least for the short term it's a can't-beat-'em-join-'em scenario. David Brock from Media Matters is on the case, trying to pull such a mega-527 together to start corralling high-dollar Dem donors.
• CO-St. House: This is a pleasant surprise: the Dems may yet be able to hold onto the state House in Colorado (which would let them keep the trifecta, if that happened). The GOP is claiming a 33-32 majority right now, but the race in HD-29, where incumbent Debbie Benefield apparently lost to Robert Ramirez by 208 votes, is at least back on the table with 687 more votes discovered that need to be counted. (Of course, it's worth being skeptical about her taking nearly 2/3s of those outstanding votes.)
• NY-St. Sen.: Here's the situation with the Senate in New York, where it may be weeks before we know who's in charge. The GOP has paper-thin leads in two Dem-held seats: Mark Grisanti leads Antoine Thompson in a Buffalo-area seat, while Jack Martins leads Craig Johnson in northern Nassau County. (There's also one other race not yet called, where incumbent Dem Suzi Oppenheimer still leads.) Dems have asked for recounts in both the races where they're trailing, so this is apt to drag on. If the leads hold, the GOP will retake control the Senate 32-30 (assuming Grisanti cooperates with them, which sounds like it may not be a done deal). If Dems turn one around, the clusterfudge gets even nuttier, as it'll be a 31-31 tie, which should let Dem Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy be the tiebreaker but promises endless litigation over just what sort of powers the still ill-defined LG position even has.
• WATN?: Three different names from Florida are considering their options today. One is Jim Davis, not the creator of Garfield but rather the five-term ex-Rep. who left the House in 2006 to run for Governor (and lost to Charlie Crist), who's now looking for a political third act as Tampa mayor. The election to replace termed-out Pam Iorio will be held in March. Another name is Rod Smith, a former state Sen. whom you might remember losing the 2006 Dem gube primary to Davis, and losing in 2010 as Alex Sink's running mate; he's set to take over as Dem state party chair, as Karen Thurman looks like she's finally getting put out to pasture after another terrible cycle. Finally, there's Alan Grayson, who's going to need a new job in a few months; he says he's likely to run for something again someday, not wanting to waste the large supporter base online that he built over the last few years.
• Polltopia: Scot Reader has a very interesting look at the success rates for internal polls this cycle (of which there were an unprecedented number released). He finds that GOP internal pollsters performed better than Dem internal pollsters this cycle, to the extent that firms like POS were pretty close to the mark. (Although it's worth noting that, while public polling of Senate and Gov races was close to the mark -- with the exception of Nevada, where the internal polling was much closer -- it also tended to underestimate Republican support in the House, in the end.) If his name sounds familiar, he's the guy behind the Polltrack twitter feed (now renamed Pollmaven), which we strongly urge you to follow.
Swing State Project is rolling out another round of updates to our House, Senate and Gubernatorial race ratings charts. This may seem like an alarming large number to do all at once, especially since almost all the changes are favorable to Republicans, but that's not in response to any particular event or series of events. Mostly, we're just playing catchup after having been a little slow in performing a global update since late July, and obviously the general environment deteriorated over August for Dems (although we might have seen a slight uptick in their fortunes, at least in terms of generic ballot tests and mindless Beltway CW, in the last week).
AZ-Sen: Races to Watch to Safe R
CT-Sen: Likely D to Lean D
IN-Sen: Lean R to Likely R
MO-Sen: Tossup to Lean R
OH-Sen: Tossup to Lean R
PA-Sen: Tossup to Lean R
AZ-Gov: Tossup to Lean R
CO-Gov: Lean D to Likely D
CT-Gov: Tossup to Lean D
IL-Gov: Tossup to Lean R
ME-Gov: Tossup to Lean R
NH-Gov: Safe D to Likely D
NM-Gov: Tossup to Lean R
NV-Gov: Lean R to Likely R
WI-Gov: Tossup to Lean R
AR-02: Lean R to Likely R
AZ-01: Lean D to Tossup
AZ-05: Lean D to Tossup
CA-47: Likely D to Lean D
CO-03: Likely D to Tossup
CO-07: Likely D to Lean D
CT-05: Likely D to Lean D
FL-02: Lean D to Tossup
IA-01: Safe D to Likely D
IL-11: Lean D to Tossup
IL-14: Lean D to Tossup
IL-17: Likely D to Lean D
KY-03: Likely D to Lean D
LA-02: Likely D to Lean D
ME-01: Safe D to Likely D
ME-02: Safe D to Likely D
MI-07: Lean D to Tossup
MI-09: Likely D to Lean D
NY-29: Lean R to Likely R
OR-05: Likely D to Lean D
PA-03: Lean D to Tossup
PA-07: Tossup to Lean R
PA-08: Lean D to Tossup
SC-05: Lean D to Tossup
WA-02: Likely D to Tossup
WA-03: Tossup to Lean R
39 of these changes favor Republicans; 2 races have moved in the Democratic direction.
MO-Sen: AFSCME just threw down another hefty hunk of cash, pouring $700K into radio ads attacking Roy Blunt for voting against minimum wage hikes. According to The Hill, the union says that the ad is airing "statewide on over 200 radio stations outside the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets."
NH-Sen: Despite leading in the polls, AG Kelly Ayotte is joining third-party groups and launching a TV ad of her own attacking rival Bill Binnie as a "liberal." This comes in response to Binnie's new ad attacking Ayotte for her handling of the FRM scandal. NWOTSOTB, though Binnie's latest purchase is reportedly for some $430K.
WI-Sen: It's hard to keep up with Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, but really, the lamestream media is being unfair to Ron Johnson, who definitely deserves a starting spot on the Wingnut 9. Watch him bash this stand-up double into deep right field:
There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland. It was actually green at one point in time. And it's been, since, it's a whole lot whiter now.
FL-22: Absolute fucking maniac - and absolute fucking whiner - Allen West has been decrying the "Gestapo-like intimidation tactics" he fantasizes have been deployed by Ron Klein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama. What are his dark Orwellian warnings about? The fact that the Klein campaign has been sending a video tracker to West's events. Yep, exactly like the Holocaust. Good comparison to be making in Palm Beach.
IA-01: The American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)4, claims it's preparing to spend "six figures" against Rep. Bruce Braley (D), not a guy generally considered to be vulnerable. Part of that is because Braley leads his opponent, lawyer and former congressional staffer Ben Lange, $630K to $110K in cash-on-hand. Let's see if they actually follow through, though.
MO-04: For the first time since the mid-90s, the Missouri Farm Bureau's political arm, FARM-PAC, is not endorsing Ike Skelton - and in fact, they're supporting Republican Vicky Hartzler. FARM-PAC cited Skelton's vote in favor of cap-and-trade as the main reason for their change of heart. The Skelton campaign did, however, announce they received the backing from another agricultural group, the Missouri Corn Growers Association.
ND-AL: Rep. Earl Pomeroy is out with a new ad attacking Republican Rick Berg for his long (28-year) tenure in the North Dakota state lege, as well as his support for privatizing Social Security. NWOTSOTB.
NM-02: Defenders of Wildlife has re-upped its ad buy against Steve Pearce, who is attempting a comeback bid against Rep. Harry Teague, throwing down another $125K. It's not clear whether this is the same ad from a couple of weeks ago, which one station refused to air.
NJ-03: Props to Jane Roh of the Courier-Post, a paper which serves southern New Jersey. She exposes Republican Jon Runyan's first television ad for the video press release that it is, reporting that it's a mere $8,400 (on FOX News and CNN), but notes - do I detect a touch of mockery here? - that it's "expected to swell to $12,500 this week." This is pretty much a joke buy anywhere, but in the NYC media market, this doesn't even rate with late-night infomercials.
NY-13: Rudy Giuliani's lent all kinds of support to Mike Grimm in his primary against Michael Allegretti, and now he's cut an ad for him as well, touting Grimm's experience with terrorism as a "9/11 first responder." I wonder if that's the tie that binds these two men, or if Rudy is making some long-term play against the entrenched GOP interests on Staten Island which, for whatever reason, have been backing Allegretti. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, and incidentally, the FBI (and the Marines) have expressed displeasure with similar Grimm ads in the past.
NY-29: Teabagger Janice Volk failed to collect the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent... but now says she'll run as a write-in. Whatever. Anyhow, has anyone heard anything - anything at all - about Dem Matthew Zeller?
OH-18: The Ohio Elections Commission ruled late last week that Rep. Zack Space made false statements about Republican opponent Bob Gibbs in an attack ad, but is issuing no penalty - not even a letter of reprimand. Sort of makes you wonder why this commission exists in the first place. I also find it weird that Ohio even has some body that tries to act as a referee for political campaigns. Isn't that what voting is for?
Redistricting: Redistricting geeks, rejoice! Thanks to some key volunteer help, Dave's Redistricting App now has partisan data for North Carolina and New Mexico. But more help is needed to get the remaining states online. Check out Dave's diary to see how you can help.
AK-AL: After three years of anticipation and $1.2 million in legal defense fees, GOP Rep. Don Young's office is now claiming that the Department of Justice will not prosecute the crusty incumbent for his involvement in a wide-spanning Alaskan bribery scandal.
AR-01: Three aides to scuzzbucket former state Sen. Tim Wooldridge, who narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Chad Causey, have decided to endorse Republican Rick Crawford. Wooldridge is still staying mum on who, or when, he'll endorse, but this doesn't seem like a good sign for Democratic unity.
AZ-08: National Research for the Conservatives for Congress Committee (7/26-27, likely voters):
Jesse Kelly (R): 36
Jonathan Paton (R): 17
Brian Miller (R): 5
CFC's dog in the race against Democrat Gabby Giffords is clearly the tea-stained Kelly, as opposed to the NRCC-hyped state Sen. Jonathan Paton. Who knows if this poll is credible, but let's hope that it is!
NY-01: Hah, this is a pretty good catch by the George Demos campaign. They're hitting Randy Altschuler for sending out campaign emails cribbed from the notepad of NY-23 loser Doug Hoffman. Sure, it's not at the same level as Scott McInnis, but the more cat fud consumed in this race, the merrier for all.
NY-29: A hearing officer of the New York Board of Elections has invalidated enough signatures to knock Some Dude Janice Volk off the GOP primary ballot for the vacant seat left behind by Eric Massa. The NYBoE will issue its ruling on the matter today, but it doesn't look like the beleaguered Volk campaign has the resources -- or spirit -- to appeal the decision in court. Volk's exit will ensure a fight between Republican Tom Reed and Democrat Matthew Zeller this fall.
PA-06: Jim Gerlach is attacking his Democratic challenger, physician and Iraq War veteran Manan Trivedi, for not having lived in the 6th District in recent years. But of course, Trivedi was otherwise occupied with a little thing called military service during that time. Douche chill!
WY-AL: Mason-Dixon for the Casper Star-Tribune (7/26-28, likely voters):
RNC: The Republican National Committee has taken out a $10 million line of credit in preparation for funneling major resources to the party's efforts at winning Dem-held House and Senate seats this fall. There's no word, yet, if Democratic committees plan to follow suit -- you may recall that in the last cycle, both the DCCC and the DSCC took out substantial loans to help take advantage of the national climate.
DE-Sen: Biden alert? Dem senate candidate Chris Coons says a Biden fundraiser is "in the works." I sure hope so! I think Coons is a sleeper candidate, and it would be ridic for Biden not to help a fellow Dem out in his own state (which is just outside of DC, anyhow).
NV-Sen: It may be too late to save her fricasseed campaign, but Sue Lowden has an over-the-top ad out hitting Sharron Angle for her support of a Scientology-backed plan to offer massage therapy to recovering drug addicts. Be sure to check out the cameo of a certain couch-jumping Top Gun star at about 20 seconds in.
NY-Sen-B: So as you know if you're a faithful SSP reader, the state GOP put two dudes on their ballot line for the September primary: Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass. They did not include ex-Rep. Joe DioGuardi, but (and this is a big "but," DioGuardi did score the Conservative Party's ballot line all to himself. Though DioGuardi says he'll try to petition his way on to the GOP ballot, Republicans don't seem to have a lot of faith in him becoming their nominee, and they want to avoid a split ticket. So Conservative chair Mike Long got a bunch of calls asking him to bounce DioGuardi from his party's line, but he refused, pointing out that DioGuardi got 70% of the vote at the Conservative convention. Ah, the New York GOP - still a train wreck.
ID-Gov: The Idaho Statesman has a pretty good profile on Dem gubernatorial nominee Keith Allred, who is running a surprisingly vigorous (and decently-funded) campaign against the not-so-hot incumbent Butch Otter. The most interesting detail is the fact that the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a chamber-of-commerce-type big business lobby, is already attacking Allred - not something you usually bother doing with an un-serious candidate.
SC-Gov: Rudy Giuliani jumped in with a last-minute endorsement of AG Henry McMaster yesterday - though note that the unlovable loser finished sixth in the South Carolina primary in 2008. (Though Joe Lieberman reassured him that it was actually an eleventy-way tie for fifth.) And in a seriously weird last-minute desperation move, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer released, uh, well... you'd expect me to say "released a poll," right? Nope - he released the results of a polygraph test (!), which he claims show he had no involvement in the various Nikki Haley affair allegations. Talk about protesting a wee bit too much, huh?
AL-05: A douchey move from a douchey guy: Bud Cramer, the Democrat who held this seat before giving way to Parker Griffith, is not "ready to endorse any candidate for Congress" - even though, you know, we have a nominee (Steve Raby). Cramer actually pulled this same shit last cycle after he announced his retirement, dithering for several weeks before finally endorsing Griffith. Back then, Cramer suggested he might endorse a Republican - and I guess he finally got his wish when Griffith switched parties. Jesus, though - do the right thing already.
FL-24: Former Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel scored an endorsement from Mike Huckabee in her bid to become the GOP nominee against Rep. Suzanne Kosmas.
MA-10: Republican Jeffrey Perry has been under fire for his oversight of a police officer under his command while Perry was a police sergeant in the early 1990s. The officer, Scott Flanagan, was ultimately fired and pled guilty for illegal strip-searching a 16-year-old girl. Now, the Cape Cod Times reports that Perry's own accounts of the incident and its aftermath are contradicted by police records from the time. In an earlier interview, Perry suggested that he had acted with alacrity in handling the situation, but now it appears he waited 24 hours to write up the officer, and almost a week to take a statement from a witness to the search.
NC-08: Heh, he actually went ahead and did it. Weapons-grade wingnut Tim D'Annunzio launched a defamation suit against his runoff opponent, Harold Johnson, for a "radio ad targeting D'Annunzio for his 'life of drugs, crime and time served in prison' and for supposedly failing to pay an employer payroll tax, having tax liens, and withholding child support." D'Annunzio had previously threatened to sue the chair of the NC GOP, but this is so much more fun.
NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon scored the endorsement of the Independence Party, which means he'll have their ballot line in November (something he didn't have last cycle). And while he won't get the support Working Families Party thanks to his "no" vote on healthcare, the WFP isn't expected to nominate any kind of challenger, so their line will likely remain blank in this race - thus avoiding a split of the left-leaning vote. A Dem primary challenge at this point also looks remote. Meanwhile, McMahon raised $140K at a fundraiser hosted by none other than Mike Bloomberg. He was also expected to take in some $90K at an Anthony Weiner event, which was also slated to feature Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, a Conservative.
NY-29: Judge David Larimer of the Western District of New York ruled against Republicans who were seeking to force Gov. David Paterson to call the special election for this vacant seat earlier than November, saying Paterson was empowered to call it for the fall. An appeal to the Second Circuit is possible, but no word yet on whether one is planned.
CA-SoS: I guess maybe we were too busy laughing when we first heard stories that Orly Taitz was running for California Secretary of State to bother writing it up... but not only is she on the ballot, the CA GOP is worried she might win the primary! She's running against Damon Dunn, another ex-NFLer (what is with those guys running for office this year?), but Dunn's deliberately ignored her rather than attack. The Republicans have little chance against Dem incumbent Debra Bowen, but Orly as their nominee would be a nice, months-long goiter for them to deal with.
Blue Dogs: I think I agree with everything Chris Bowers says in this post.
Games: Several folks in comments were recommending a new game called Congress Forever the other day, where you battle for control of the House and Senate. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like the perfect nerd timewaster.
Polling: Nate Silver just released the latest version of his pollster ratings, which analyzes a truly massive data set of "4,670 distinct polls from 264 distinct pollsters covering 869 distinct electoral contests" going all the way back to 1998. He lays out his methodology in a separate post, which is a must-read. Also, that gang of polling maniacs over at PPP are soliciting your votes again: The choices this time are LA, MA, PA, WA or WI.
Redistricting: Politico has a piece out which claims that Republicans are lagging in the race to raise money and set up legal groups to wage the coming round of redistricting battles. I'm a little skeptical, because the article says that Republicans are hurting thanks to a lack of soft money in the post-McCain Feingold world - but if anything, Dems were known as the party most dependent on soft money before campaign finance reform passed. Still, P'Co suggests that Dems are more organized because of some top-down control being exercised by the Obama political operation.
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist went the full-on "I" today; he made a big show of switching his own party registration to "no party affiliation" today, to match having filed as an independent to run for Senate. Free from his Republican shackles, Crist is also following through on plans to call a special legislative session on oil drilling, which could result in Floridians voting on a constitutional amendment to ban offshore drilling in Florida waters. And one final middle-finger to his former Republican allies: after previously saying he was open to refunding money to donors unhappy with his party switch, today he said he wouldn't be giving any contributions back.
• NC-Sen (pdf): PPP's out with another quick poll of the runoff for the Democratic Senate nomination between Cal Cunningham and Elaine Marshall. It's a tie, with Cunningham and Marshall both at 36. While this would initially suggest that Cunningham (who finished 2nd) is picking up the bulk of the also-rans' votes, that's not the case; Marshall is still leading among liberals and African-Americans, which probably means she's getting most Kenneth Lewis voters. PPP's analysis is that Cunningham's improved standing is a result of an enthusiasm gap between their supporters; Cunningham backers seem likelier to actually show up for the runoff.
• NV-Sen: Here's something we haven't seen in probably more than a year, which is half a lifetime in politics years: Harry Reid is posting a lead. Now, granted, this is a Democratic poll, although not a Reid internal; it was taken by Dem pollster Fairbanks Maslin on behalf of the New West Project. But still, this shows that the chickens have come home to roost for Sue Lowden, in the wake of her quadrupling-down on her HCR gaffe; she's now trailing Reid 42-35 (with 5 for Tim Fasano, 3 for Scott Ashjian). Reid is tied with Danny Tarkanian, who isn't gaffe-tainted (and in fact is now trying to tar and feather Lowden with it in the primary), at 37-37 (with 7 for Fasano and 2 for Ashjian).
• UT-Sen: One impure collaborationist down, one to go. With Bob Bennett out, teabagger frenzy is now turning to Orrin Hatch. Mason-Dixon finds Hatch's 2012 numbers pretty weak, with a 35% re-elect and 51% wanting someone else. And that "someone else" is already making his interest known, more than two years out (probably with an eye toward goading the 78-year-old Hatch into retirement): ambitious freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
• WI-Sen: Wealthy businessman Ron Johnson, the teabaggers' horse in the Wisconsin Senate GOP derby, made it official, filing as a candidate today. He'll officially launch his bid next Monday.
• AL-Gov: Bradley Byrne, the supposed moderate (by Alabama GOP standards) in the race, has had to two-step to the right and defend his creationist cred, after an ad from the "True Republican PAC" attacked him for the unforgivable sin of teaching evolution in schools. Turns out that there's some tasty Democratic dirty pool behind all this: the True Republican PAC is funded by the state teacher's union, the Alabama Education Association (who are also Ron Sparks' biggest financial backer). Their rationale seems to be that they'd rather, Gray Davis-style, torpedo Bradley Byrne in the GOP primary, on the assumption that he'd be the most difficult Republican to beat in the general.
• CT-Gov: On the Chris Cillizza hierarchy of endorsements, I think this one falls under the category of "10) Wtf?" State Sen. minority leader John McKinney, who'd considered a gubernatorial run himself, endorsed neither of the GOP frontrunners, but rather the random businessman with the weird name, Oz Griebel. The former head of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce has been polling in the low single digits.
• OH-Gov: Lehman Brothers keeps turning into a bigger and bigger albatross around John Kasich's neck. It turns out that Kasich, while he was head of Lehman's Columbus office in 2002, tried to convince two state pension funds (OPFPF and OPERS) to invest with the now-imploded investment bank.
• OR-Gov: Yet another poll of the primaries in the Oregon gubernatorial race, confirming what's come into pretty sharp focus lately, that it'll be a John Kitzhaber/Chris Dudley matchup in November. Local pollster Tim Hibbitts, on behalf of assorted media outlets including Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Portland Tribune, found Kitzhaber beating Bill Bradbury 53-23 on the Dem side. For the GOPers, Dudley leads Allen Alley by a not-overwhelming 33-23, but there's little time left for Alley to make a move. (John Lim is at 8 and Bill Sizemore is at 6.) They also looked at the Dem primary in the special election for Treasurer, finding a competitive race with lots of undecideds: appointed incumbent (and ex-Multnomah Co. Chair) Ted Wheeler leads state Sen. Rick Metsger 29-24.
• WA-Gov: The rumor du jour is that Chris Gregoire is now on the short list to become Solicitor General, assuming Elena Kagan gets promoted to the SCOTUS. Allow me to say: bad idea, if only because it means at least several months of Governor Brad Owen. Under Washington law, though, Owen wouldn't serve for long, as a special election would be held. The timeline varies, depending on when Gregoire might quit as Governor. If it happens before May 31, a primary would be held, followed by a two-person general in November. If it happens after May 31 but before October 3, it would result in a jungle-style election in November. And if it happens after October 3, we'd be blessed with two full years of Owen. One other major wrinkle: if this looks like it has legs, it may shut the door on a Dino Rossi run for the Senate, as it's a poorly-kept secret that he'd really prefer another gubernatorial run rather than wasting his third strike on getting pasted by Patty Murray, and this would be the way for him to do it.
• NY-29: David Paterson did the unthinkable and called a special election for the 29th. Heh... except he called it for the regularly-scheduled election day in November, so the winner will get to serve for a few weeks in the lame duck session, Snelly Gibr-style. Smart move by the Gov, as it saves Dems from a potentially embarrassing special election on a day when that's the only story. Instead, the outcome will probably be that Tom Reed gets to start work a few weeks early.
• PA-12: Two polls are out today in the 12th, both giving a single-digit lead to Democrat Mark Critz. One poll is a Critz internal, so you'd expect a lead there: Global Strategy Group gives him an 8-point lead of 44-36 (up from 41-38 in mid-April). But the other is from Susquehanna, a pollster who often works for Republican candidates but here is polling on behalf of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (the GOP paper in town). They find Critz up 44-38, and Critz even leads by 19 among "super voters" (who've voted in 3 of the last 4 primaries). Interestingly, they find Republican Tim Burns' woes increasing on two different fronts: he's also in a "dead heat" with BaseConnect stooge Bill Russell (who got passed over for the special election nod) in the regularly-scheduled GOP primary on the same day. For some reason, specific numbers weren't available for the GOP primary or the Dem primary, although it says Critz has "a majority" against Ryan Bucchanieri.
AR-Sen: The odious U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running ads on behalf of Blanche Lincoln, though they are refusing to say how much they are spending on their buy. As Salon says, with friends like these....
FL-Sen: Reid Wilson does some counting and finds that Arlen Specter has given back a rather amazing $1 million this election cycle, following his party switch. (Part of this was fueled by an aggressive campaign by the Club for Growth, which won FEC permission to contact Specter's donors and push them to ask for refunds.) If Charlie Crist bails on the GOP, there's no telling how much it might cost him financially, but the Specter precedent suggests it could be a hell of a lot.
IL-Sen: Even Mark Kirk is smart enough to skip an IL GOP fundraiser headlined by Sarah Palin.
IN-Sen: With the GOP primary just days away, Dan Coats has floated himself a $200K lifeline. I wonder if it will be enough.
NV-Sen: Fuck it - Sue Lowden knows that when you're at the bottom of a 2,000-foot deep mineshaft, you should keep fucking digging until you've reached China. That's why she is still advocating the barter system. While this prolonged episode of inspired insanity is not helping her win any elections, it is helping her become one of the most awesome candidates of 2010. Meanwhile, GOP primary opponent Danny Tarkanian is shish-kebobbing Lowden for her "poultry-based healthcare plan."
OH-Sen: Quinnipiac should have a poll out of the Dem senate primary this morning.
PA-Sen: Michael J. Fox has cut an ad for Arlen Specter, citing his support for medical research. Fox had previously done an ad for Specter in 2004 as well.
FL-Gov: Mocking gun ownership? And pissing law enforcement off in the process? It sounds like a deranged GOP fantasy of something they think Dems would love to do, but in fact, the Republican Party of Florida is the guilty party here. They put out a shitty web video mocking CFO Alex Sink, who authorized the purchase of "advanced weaponry" for law enforcement officers who operate out of her agency. The state PBA blistered AG Bill McCollum (who posted the video on his website) for this offense, noting with irony that he's the state's chief law enforcement officer.
GA-Gov: Ex-Rep. Nathan Deal has come out in favor of Arizona's draconian new immigration law, apparently the first Republican gubernatorial candidate in Georgia to do so. While Deal trails badly in the polls and isn't very likely to win the GOP nod, in my opinion, he might succeed in driving the Republican field to the right on this issue.
NY-Gov: Steve Levy, the Dem-turned-Republican who is hoping to get buzz-sawed by Andrew Cuomo in the fall, is apparently "likely" to get the endorsement of the Queens Republican Party. In order to get a spot on the GOP ballot line, he needs the support of 51% of the state's county-level parties (which are weighted by size), because he's still a registered Democrat. He claims to be at around 45%, but it's not clear if Queens is already included in that tally. If Levy pulls it off, this will be an extraordinary humiliation for Rick Lazio, a man I thought was incapable of being humiliated further.
ID-01: Some Very Wacky Dude dropped out of the GOP primary the other day. On his way out, Michael Chadwick attacked another candidate, Vaughn Ward, for representing "powerful special interest groups in New York City and Washington, D.C." He also called Ward a "protégé and surrogate of the military-industrial-intelligence establishment" who will "vote to build up and sustain the Permanent War Machine." I hadn't realized this, but another Republican, Allan Salzberg, also bailed last week.
MI-01: Is it crowded in here, or is it just me? State Rep. Matt Gillard, a Democrat, is the latest to enter the race. He joins two other state Reps, Joel Sheltrown and Gary McDowell, as well as Connie Saltonstall, in the Dem primary field.
NY-14: Reshma Saujani may want to re-think her pro-bankster platform as she attempts to unseat Rep. Carolyn Maloney: A new Marist poll shows that even Manhattanites consider Wall Street to be "more of the problem" rather than "more of the solution" by a 49-31 margin.
NY-15: As Liz Benjamin observes, Assembly Adam Clayton Powell IV hasn't gotten a whole lot of establishment backing in his attempt to unseat Rep. Charlie Rangel, but a few of his colleagues on the Assembly are hosting a fundraiser for him. Seems pretty minor to me, though.
NY-29: Republicans are citing a case from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in their attempt to force Gov. David Paterson to hold a special election to fill Eric Massa's seat. The 6th Cir. ruled (PDF) that Art. I, § 2, ¶ 4 of the Constitution required then-Gov. Bob Taft of Ohio to hold a special election to fill Jim Traficant's seat after he was expelled from Congress. However, there's an old New York State Court of Appeals case, People v. Voorhis, 119 N.E. 106 (1918), which held otherwise - and if this goes before the federal courts in NY, the Second Circuit may very well rule differently from the Sixth.
Calendar: Be sure to bookmark SSP's handy list of key primary & special elections in the very merry month of May.
• AZ-Sen, AZ-Gov: The signature by Gov. Jan Brewer (which may have helped her survive the GOP primary, but may also hurt her in the general) of Arizona's new aggressive anti-immigrant law was the key motivating factor in a new Democratic candidate getting into the Senate race: civil rights activist Randy Parraz. He'll face Rodney Glassman in the Democratic primary. (Why not the, y'know, Arizona Governor's race instead? Apparently Glassman looks like easier primary opposition than AG Terry Goddard in the governor's race... and at any rate, John McCain and J.D. Hayworth have both been beating the war drums on immigration.) And here's an interesting take on the immigration law: ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo just came out in opposition to it, saying, "I do not want people here, there in Arizona, pulled over because you look like should be pulled over." If even Tom Tancredo thinks you're doing it wrong... you're probably doing it wrong.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's campaign doesn't seem to be doing anything illegal here, but there's still no good way to spin this: the campaign has been offering students an extra $5 bounty (on top of a flat hourly rate) for every Republican registered during a Univ. of Connecticut voter registration drive. It's a practice that the DOJ has frowned upon.
• IL-Sen: In the wake of the seizure of the Broadway Bank, Alexi Giannoulias wasted no time in getting an explanatory ad on the air, laying it out in easy-to-grasp points: one, he hadn't worked there in years and when he left it was fine, two, the broader economy took the bank down, and three, speaking of that economic downturn, don't vote for unemployment-benefits-denying Mark Kirk.
• MD-Sen: OK, maybe all those Barb Mikulski retirement rumors will finally go away. She just had her campaign's official kickoff event on Friday. She has 24 times the cash of her likeliest Republican opponent, Queen Anne's Co. Commissioner Eric Wargotz.
• NC-Sen: Elon University's out with another poll; they still aren't doing head-to-heads, but have some assorted other numbers that Richard Burr would probably rather not see. His approvals (among flat-out everybody, not even RVs) are 28/37 and 26% say he "deserves re-election" with 44% saying "time for a new person."
• NV-Sen: A poll for the Nevada News Bureau performed by PMI finds Sue Lowden leading the pack in the GOP Senate primary, at 41. Danny Tarkanian is at 24, Sharron Angle is at 17, and "someone else" is at 18. The poll was taken on the 22nd, shortly after Lowden laid out her support for trading chickens in exchange for poultices and tinctures.
• NY-Sen-B: Long-time Rockland Co. Exec Scott Vanderhoef has decided not to pursue a run against Kirsten Gillibrand, after having spent a month in exploratory mode, saying the money's just not there. Vanderhoef probably found he didn't have the name rec outside of Rockland Co. to have an advantage against the odds and ends in the GOP primary, let alone in the general.
• UT-Sen: Another poll of GOP delegates for the convention in Utah isn't as bad for Bob Bennett as the one leaked to Dave Weigel last week, but it still looks pretty bad for him. Mike Lee leads the way among first-choice votes at 31%, followed by Bennett at 22% (and then Tim Bridgewater at 17% and Cherilyn Eagar at 10%). 41% of delegates say they will "absolutely not" vote for Bennett, so even if Bennett picks up the other 59%, he still can't nail down the nomination at the convention (as there's a 60% threshold).
• WA-Sen: Everyone seemed a little taken by surprise by Friday's SurveyUSA poll of the Washington Senate race, which has non-candidate (for now) Dino Rossi leading Patty Murray 52-42 (and leading the various no-name GOPers actively in the race by 2 or 3 points). Even the Rossi camp is downplaying it, saying that their internal polling places Murray in the lead - which is an odd strategy for someone who got gifted an outlying poll, unless either he's trying to rope-a-dope Murray into complacency or privately cursing the results saying "aw crap, now I have to run for Senate." One of the no-namers, motivational speaker Chris Widener, got out of the race on Friday, which may also portend a Rossi run (or just having taken a stark look at his own finances). Murray's camp may have gotten advance warning of the SurveyUSA poll, as on Friday they leaked their own internal from Fairbank Maslin giving Murray a 49-41 lead over Rossi, very consistent with R2K's recent poll.
• IL-Gov: Oh, goody. Scott Lee Cohen, having bailed out/gotten booted off the Democratic ticket as Lt. Governor nominee after his criminal record became news, still has a political issue that needs scratching. He's announcing that he's going to run an independent bid for Governor instead. Considering how thoroughly his dirty laundry has been aired, he seems likely to poll in the low single digits; I have no idea whether his candidacy (which now appeals mostly only to the steroid-addled pawnbroker demographic) is more harmful to Pat Quinn, Bill Brady, or just the world's general sense of decency.
• MI-Gov: When I heard a few weeks ago that Geoffrey Fieger (the trial lawyer best known for defending Jack Kevorkian and second-best-known for his awful turn as 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee) was pondering another gubernatorial run, I laughed it off. The new EPIC-MRA poll makes it seem a bit more serious, though... which, in turn, if he won the primary, would pretty much foreclose any Democratic shot at winning the general. They only polled the Democratic primary and find, thanks to name rec within the Detroit metro area, Fieger is actually comfortably in the lead at 28%. Andy Dillon is at 20, Virg Bernero is at 13, Alma Wheeler Smith is at 8, other is at 2, and 29% are undecided. Fieger hasn't moved much to act on his interest, though, and has only three weeks to collect the necessary 15,000 signatures to qualify.
• FL-24: Karen Diebel earned the backing of Tom Tancredo in the GOP primary in the 24th, focusing on (with Tancredo, what else?) in the immigration issue. It seems less of a pro-Diebel endorsement than more of a slap against her GOP opponent Craig Miller, though; in a 2006 Miami Herald op-ed, Miller (who was at that point chairman of the National Restaurant Association) came out pretty solidly on the "cheap labor" side of the Republican split on immigration.
• GA-12: Democrats looking for an upgrade from ex-state Sen. Regina Thomas (who raised $10K last quarter and has $4K CoH) for a primary challenge to recalcitrant Blue Dog John Barrow are going to have to keep looking. State Sen. Lester Jackson decided to take a pass, and will stay neutral in the Barrow/Thomas race. He'll focus instead of supporting the Senate bid of Labor Comm. Michael Thurmond (another rumored, but no-longer, challenger to Barrow).
• LA-03: Bobby Jindal just appointed Scott Angelle, the state's Sec. of Natural Resources, to the vacant position of Lt. Governor. Why is this filed under LA-03? Angelle was rumored to be one of the top contenders to run for the 3rd (although it was unclear whether he was going to do it as a Dem or a GOPer... Angelle was a Dem in the legislature, but appointed by GOP Gov. Jindal to his cabinet). With Angelle saying he'll return to his job at Natural Resources after a permanent replacement is elected, that means that former state House speaker Hunt Downer is pretty well locked-in as the GOP nominee in the 3rd, and the Dems aren't likely to get an upgrade from attorney Ravi Sangisetty, making this open seat a very likely GOP pickup. (H/t GOPVOTER.)
• NY-01: Randy Altschuler got the endorsement from the Suffolk County Conservative Party on Friday, which guarantees him a place on the ballot if he wants it. He'll still need to overcome Chris Cox and George Demos in the competitive three-way moneybags duel in the GOP primary (where the county GOP recently switched its endorsement from Altschuler to Cox). It's unclear whether he'd keep the Conservative line if he lost the GOP primary, as that would create a NY-23 type situation and pretty much assure Rep. Tim Bishop's safety. (Unlike the patchwork of counties in the upstate districts, all of the 1st is within Suffolk.)
• NY-29: The GOP would really, really like to have a special election in the 29th, despite David Paterson's apparent intention to play out the clock until November (and prevent a possible GOP pickup, given the difference in strength between the likely candidates). Several GOP party chairs within the district are preparing a lawsuit that would force a special election; the state GOP plans to assist.
• OH-02: Bad news for Jean Schmidt: although she got the Hamilton Co. GOP's endorsement in the previous two elections, she's going to have to proceed without it this year. They're staying neutral as she faces several primary challengers, most notably Warren Co. Commissioner Mike Kilburn.
• PA-12: In battling independent expenditures in the 12th, the GOP went large, as the NRCC plunked down $235K on media buys. The DCCC also spent $16K on media buys.
• SC-04: The dean at Bob Jones University (the crown jewel in the buckle of the Bible Belt, in Greenville in the 4th), Robert Taylor, has announced he's supporting Trey Gowdy in the GOP primary instead of incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis. The occasionally-moderate Inglis (more stylistically than in actual voting substance, though) faces at least three right-wing competitors in the primary, but could run into trouble if he doesn't clear 50% and gets forced into a runoff with one of them.
• WV-01: There are dueling internal polls in the 1st, in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Mike Oliverio was first to release a poll, saying he led Rep. Alan Mollohan 41-33. (One caveat: Oliverio's pollster is Orion Strategies, owned by Curtis Wilkerson, who also just happens to be Oliverio's campaign manager.) Mollohan struck back with a poll from Frederick Polls giving him a 45-36 lead over Oliverio, with the primary fast approaching on May 11.
• MA-AG: Despite it now being widely known that Martha Coakley has a glass jaw (or what's something more fragile than glass? what do they make those fake bottles out of that they use in bar fights in the movies?), she may actually get re-elected Attorney General without facing any GOP opposition whatsoever this fall. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that the GOP's entire bench in Massachusetts just got elected to the Senate.
• Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia Inquirer has an interesting look at the changes in registration in Pennsylvania over the last decade. The Democratic Party grew substantially in the state's east, gaining 550,000 registrations up to 4.3 million voters. The GOP shrank by 103,000 registrations down to 3.1 million votes. The Dems lost 20,000 voters in the state's southwest, though; in 2002, 27.8% of the state's Dems were in the Pittsburgh area, but that's down to 23.8%. Contrast that with the Philadelphia metro area: in its five counties, the number of Republicans dropped 13.5%, from a million to 873,000.
• Redistricting: Here's the last redistricting resource you'll ever need: a handy map showing congressional and legislative redistricting procedures for all 50 states. There's also an accompanying document (pdf) which goes into remarkable detail about the various processes, and even contains an appendix of some of the ugliest current gerrymanders.