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Numbers Game

by: HTM NRDC Action Fund

Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 12:36:31 PM CST

Tell POTUS That This Is Our Moment

In case you are tired of making your own New Year's resolutions, President Obama would like you to help him set his. He is inviting Americans to tell him what we think the administration's priorities should be for 2010.  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 492 words in story)

Update on U.S. House and Senate races

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:00:00 PM CST

Yesterday runoff elections were held in Louisiana's second and fourth Congressional districts.

In the biggest Congressional upset of the year, Democratic incumbent "Dollar Bill" Jefferson lost to Republican Joseph Cao in LA-02. You may remember Jefferson as the guy who kept $90,000 in cash in his freezer and used the National Guard to visit his home in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I'm normally a yellow-dog Democrat, but Jefferson is one Democrat I'm happy to see go.

No need to worry about winning back this seat in 2010, as David from Swing State Project explains:

So LA-02 is D+28 (old PVI). There is no district that is as red as this one is blue - UT-03 tops out at R+26. This reminds me of IL-05 in 1994 (1990s PVI: D+11) - corrupt Dan Rostenkowski got beaten by the unknown Michael Flanagan, who got soundly thumped by Rod Blagojevich two years later.

Remember, there are only nine other Republicans in Congress representing House districts with any kind of Democratic lean, and the most Democratic of those districts is D+6.5. Assuming Louisiana Democrats come up with a credible candidate in 2010, LA-02 should be an easy pickup.

The result in LA-04 yesterday was more disappointing. Democrat Paul Carmouche appears to be just 350 votes (less than 0.5 percent) behind Republican John Fleming. Carmouche is not conceding yet, but I doubt there are enough outstanding provisional and absentee ballots to put him over the top here. On the other hand, keeping it this close represents a kind of moral victory for Democrats, since John McCain carried LA-04 by 19 points on November 4. A Democrat "should" not even be competitive in a district like this.

Within the past week Democratic candidates conceded in California's fourth and forty-fourth districts, which were both unexpectedly close despite having strong Republican partisan voting index numbers.

Provisional ballots are still being counted in Ohio's fifteenth district. It looks like Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy has a decent chance at beating Republican incumbent Steve Stivers, because the 26,000 provisional ballots are in her stronghold (see this post by brownsox for more details). Am I the only one who finds it suspicious that so many voters had to fill out provisional ballots? That's almost 10 percent of all the voters in the district on November 4.

UPDATE: Kilroy has won OH-15 by about 2,000 votes. Her margin of victory is large enough not to trigger an automatic recount. Assuming the recount in LA-04 does not change last night's result, the next Congress will have 257 Democrats and 178 Republicans. I'll take it!

Moving to the Senate races, the Minnesota contest is sure to end up in the courts and perhaps resolved by the U.S. Senate. The state canvassing board has delayed its meeting to review thousands of challenged ballots until December 16, because one precinct that favored Al Franken appears to have lost about 130 ballots that were counted on election night. If the ballots are not found, he could lose several dozen votes, which could make the difference in this ridiculously close race. It's still unclear whether absentee ballots that were rejected because of clerical errors will be counted in Minnesota.

Click here to find a bunch of recent (and more detailed) accounts of what's going on in Minnesota. Whoever ends up getting seated in the Senate is going to be viewed as illegitimate by many on the other side. I still can't believe more than 400,000 Minnesotans voted for independent candidate Dean Barkley.

The presidential election results created a few Senate vacancies. The governor of Delaware appointed Ted Kaufman, a former chief of staff to Joe Biden, to take Biden's place. The consensus seems to be that Biden set this up to leave the path clear for his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, to run in 2010 when there is a special election to determine who will serve out Joe Biden's term (which ends in 2014). The younger Biden cannot serve in the Senate now because he has been deployed in Iraq.

In New York, Caroline Kennedy (the daughter of President John F. Kennedy) has become the surprise favorite to be appointed to take Hillary Clinton's place. It strikes me as an odd choice in a state with many capable Democrats in the U.S. House. Nothing against Kennedy, who seems very smart and principled, but I think Governor David Paterson should pick someone with more relevant political experience for this job. More speculation on the New York Senate seat is here. As in Delaware, there will be a special election in 2010 to determine who will serve out Clinton's term (which ends in 2012).

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich still has not announced his choice to replace Barack Obama in the Senate. Many people still expect Tammy Duckworth to have the inside track, especially since Obama is going with retired General Eric Shinseki for Secretary of Veterans' Affairs. On the other hand, Fox News says Illinois Senate President Emil Jones will be picked to serve out Obama's term (which ends in 2010). Jones is considered a "safe" choice because he is both black and an "elder statesman" placeholder. If he is the pick, expect a very competitive Democratic Senate primary in Illinois in 2010.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Update on Congressional races still to be decided

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 21:07:08 PM CST

As you've no doubt heard by now, Mark Begich took the lead as the early votes were counted, and seven-times-indicted Ted Stevens has conceded the Alaska Senate race. That makes seven Democratic pickups, with Georgia and Minnesota yet to be determined. The Democrats hold 56 Senate seats, and two independents (Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders) also caucus with Democrats.

The polls in Georgia have shown Republican Saxby Chambliss ahead of Jim Martin by three or four points. It's all going to come down to turnout--I doubt much voter persuasion will occur between now and December 2. Barack Obama moved his field staff from Ohio down to Georgia, and many other groups, like Democracy for America, are helping Martin too. The state's largest newspaper has endorsed Martin.

Chambliss has to be favored in this red state, but if the Democrats have a superior GOTV effort, Martin could pull off an upset.

The Minnesota recount has begun. Al Franken went into it 215 votes behind Norm Coleman (out of more than 2.5 million cast, or 0.008 percent). As of Wednesday evening, he had narrowed the gap to 181 votes. The state has a good "voter intent" law, meaning that if a person can determine the voter's intent, the vote will count even if an optical scanner did not record it.

I can't say I feel overly confident, but this study suggests Franken may have a good chance of taking the lead during the recount.

One wrinkle is that Franken successfully sued to get information about voters whose absentee ballots were rejected in one county. His campaign wants that information for all of the counties so that wrongfully excluded absentee ballots can be counted. However, it's not clear whether those votes will ever be counted, even if the ballots were rejected because of clerical error.

As for the House races, we narrowly lost in CA-44, a district we did not target that was not considered competitive.

CA-04 has still not been called, but Democrat Charlie Brown trails carpet-bagger Tom McClintock by about 600 votes, and it seems unlikely he will be able to make up that margin.

It looks like we will pick up VA-05, which was viewed as quite a longshot before the election.

Louisiana will hold two runoff elections in December. Corrupt Democrat "Dollar Bill" Jefferson will most likely hold the second district. The fourth district is competitive, and Dick Cheney recently headed to Shreveport to campaign for the Republican.

UPDATE: I forgot Ohio's 15th district, which is going to count provisional ballots. It seems like Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy has a decent chance of beating Republican Steve Stivers.

Democrats will end up with something between 255 and 259 House seats out of 438. Not bad at all.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Why hasn't EMILY's List gotten behind Becky Greenwald?

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:00:00 AM CDT

Maybe someone out there who knows the inner workings of EMILY's List can explain to me why this group has not put money behind Becky Greenwald, the Democrat challenging loyal Republican foot-soldier Tom Latham in Iowa's fourth Congressional district.

I have been going over the list of Democratic women running for Congress whom EMILY's List is supporting, with a particular focus on the six challengers most recently added to this group in early August. I do not mean to knock any of those candidates, and I recognize that every race has its own dynamic.

However, after comparing Greenwald's race to those of other candidates, I remain puzzled that EMILY's list is not more involved in IA-04.  

Follow me after the jump for more.

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 1071 words in story)

Republican sleazy tactics roundup

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:00:37 AM CDT

It's hard to keep up with the Republican sleaze this week.

Michigan Republicans are planning to use foreclosure lists to suppress the vote in African-American neighborhoods:

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP's effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

"We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.
[...]

One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

"You can't challenge people without a factual basis for doing so," said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. "I don't think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance."

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, "mean-spirited."

Republicans in Columbus, Ohio may be planning to use the same tactic.

Speaking of Ohio, Marc Ambinder reports that push-polling against Obama appears to have started there as well as in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Don't imagine that it's only state-level GOP operatives taking the low road. John McCain's latest television commercials on education accuse Obama of wanting to teach kindergartners about sex before they learn to read. David Sirota correctly points out that the law in question (on age-appropriate comprehensive sex education) called for protecting small children against child molesters by teaching them about inappropriate touching. If anything I think kindergarten is a little late to start teaching children about "good" and "bad" touches. This knowledge makes kids safer from sex predators.

In other news of the week, Republican spinmeisters are trying to gin up a scandal over Obama's use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig." Their fake outrage is even more hypocritical than it appears at first glance.

Also, CBS forced the McCain campaign to take down a "misleading" web ad.

Feel free to post a comment about anything I've left out.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that Sarah "I put the plane on eBay" Palin charged Alaska taxpayers for her family's personal travel.

In addition, Palin's ethics adviser urged the governor to apologize for "overreaching" in her desire for revenge against the Alaska state trooper who used to be her brother-in-law.

Newsweek cites court documents showing that the judge in the divorce case

was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten's behavior and character. "Disparaging will not be tolerated-it is a form of child abuse," the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings.

I can't remember who said it first, but I absolutely agree that in light of "troopergate" we need to worry about how a potential Vice President or President Palin would use the FBI against her personal as well as her political enemies.

Meanwhile, a whistleblower who worked for Cindy McCain during the 1990s asserts that John McCain

used his Senate staff and resources to cover up Cindy's drug use, and potentially to prevent the Drug Enforcement Agency from investigating his wife's theft of illegal prescription drugs.

Snud has a lot more detail on those allegations here

Abuse of power to cover up personal wrongdoing? Sounds like George Bush to me.

SECOND UPDATE: Naughty, naughty. The Wall Street Journal scrubbed the end of an article pointing out that while McCain criticizes earmarks, Palin requested more earmarked dollars per capita than any other governor.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Obama Shows Strength in Swing States (with MAPS)

by: silver spring

Sun May 25, 2008 at 00:47:53 AM CDT

A Geographic Analysis of PA, OH and VA General Election Polling

(Cross-posted on MyDD and Daily Kos)

A number of state polls have come out in recent days for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.  The numbers overall look good for Barack Obama, with him leading John McCain in Pennsylvania in all four polls released in May; Obama leading outside the margin of error in one poll in Ohio while being within the margin in two others; and a very competitive race in Virginia as well, with one poll there showing Obama up by seven points (links to polls used are provided at bottom of this diary).  What I wanted to do in this diary is to look at the regional breakdown in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia to examine Obama’s geographic areas of strength and weakness. 

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 1044 words in story)

Demographically, Pennsylvania is an uphill climb for Obama

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 18:14:51 PM CDT

Probably you knew that already, but techfidel provides this great analysis of the demographics in Ohio and Pennsylvania, going down to the county level.

The bottom line is that if the various demographic groups vote the same way in PA as they did in OH, techfidel projects a 57-43 victory for Hillary.

Click the link to see the maps and read the detailed explanation. There is also a spreadsheet you can download if you're interested.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

March 4 primaries prediction thread

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 20:11:20 PM CST

What's going to happen tomorrow?

I think Obama will win Vermont and Texas (popular vote and delegate count), while Clinton will win Ohio and Rhode Island. I don't think Clinton will gain serious ground on Obama.

If she doesn't win the popular vote in Ohio and Texas, I do think Clinton should drop out. If she wins the popular vote in those states, I think it's reasonable for her to continue on to Pennsylvania, even though it would be very hard for her to overtake Obama in the delegate count.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)
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